September 30, 2004

Looking forward to TMBG at the TLA tonight.

This is only like the fourth rock concert I've ever attended. One Steve Taylor, and two to three Rush concerts have been it, and those were long ago. And a couple of free concerts when I was in college, where they got Joan Jett and Tommy Conwell to do some gigs for the school.

September 28, 2004

So it's not exactly sporting of me to post some choice bits from the Kerry Spot at NRO. They're quite savory though, I must say.
The average voter is working hard, maybe trying to start a business on the side or sell something on E-Bay or whatever.... Seeing the towers fall on 9/11 frightened them like nothing else in this life, and they right now have very simple, but not small expectations from their leaders. Which message is going to appeal to them more?

Bush: “I’m gonna kill terrorists. Killin’ those who need killin’ is what I’m good at.”
Kerry: “I will restore our nation to its respected position in the international community.”

And if Bush’s critics want to take this opportunity to rip the American people for being “too simple-minded” to understand Democratic arguments and philosophies, the GOP will cheer them on.

Folks on the right fell into a dangerous habit during the Lewinsky scandal when they started dismissing the insufficiently-outraged American people as “sheeple.” In recent years, this bad habit quickly got picked up by the left, particularly as the antiwar movement picked up steam.
“Vote for me because I’m smarter than you are, you morons” is not a winning slogan

In a similar vein
Kerry Spot reader Alan recalls a comment by George Soros at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs graduation, delivering the commencement address on May 14 this year:
“I would dearly love to pin all the blame on President Bush and his team. But that would be too easy. It would ignore the fact that he was playing to a receptive audience and even today, after all that has happened, a majority of the electorate continues to have confidence in President Bush on national security matters. If this continues and President Bush gets reelected, we must ask ourselves the question: “What is wrong with us?” The question needs to be asked even if he is defeated because we cannot simply ignore what we have done since September 11.”
At that point, Soros pulled back his mask to reveal himself as Latverian dictator Doctor Doom, who cackled, "Fools! You think you can defy my will at the ballot box! My henchmen the 527-men and I will destroy you all with my Destructo Ray! Bwahahahahahaha!"

Musicologyman can consider this retribution for Killing the Omniscient Narrator

I'm rockin out to the new TMBG album the musiclologyman lent to me last sunday.

I like Au Contraire, It's Kickin In, Skullivan, Prevenge, Broke in Two, and I'm all You can Think About. I'm not sure why they redid Whistling in the Dark. Can't tell if its different in any respectable way.

I'm his "date" for the TMBG concernt this thursday. Woot!

September 26, 2004

My wife thinks this is great.

I do too.

September 22, 2004

Now to finish off the last 3 episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

That's some mighty deep weird.

My urban-leftist-academic-and-working-poor neighborhood has been crawling with people registering folks to vote. It was not this intense four years ago. Just today I was asked once on the way home, and had a fellow at the door after dinner.

There is also a sizable afircan immigrant population in my area. I wonder if I should broadly greet "my fellow citizens" when I enter the polling place in November. Probably too confrontational.

I figure most conservative republicans and evangelicals are already civic minded enough to be registered to vote, but I always forget how many aren't.

I usually refrain from commenting on warfield list postings, but I'm appreciative of Rick Phillip's recent posting for its tone and pastoral concern. (Disclosure: Rick was my associate pastor when he was at Tenth, and got baptized at the singles fellowship retreat shortly after my own engagement.

In terms of substance, the most critical thing is the question of Old Testament hermeneutics. I'm sorry, but my apprecation for old testament theology as the crucial ground point for any kind of sane new testament theology is a direct result of my upbringing in hardcore psalmodist WCF presbyterianism, including some variety of theonomy, so I guess Horton can call people like me "recovering reconstructionists" still.

Its the kind of half-bible thinking that is the problem in evangelicalism and Reformed circles. Who wouldn't want to try to get the OT right first before trying to get the NT right? Who knows the 5 different kinds of sacrifices and what they mean? Who understand the avenger of blood and his relationship to the kinsman-redeemer? Who explained why the mixture laws were ceremonial laws, and therefore not obligatory, and how they find their antitype in the NT's inclusion of those typologially excluded.

Reconstructionists were the only ones even asking these questions.

At places like Tenth, we get statements in the bulletin about how in the Old Testament, the tithe was required in the Law, but "New Testament Christians" are not bound to that law, and should probably be willing to give even more. Yet for some reason, Tenth is having difficulty meeting all her budgetary needs (at this point in the summer: we're also blowing alot more money on 175th anniversary celebrations, which is, oddly enough, something the Torah would analogously say is a possible function of the tithe)

Would it kill anybody to tell them: "Hey, start tithing. The antitype of the OT Aaronic tithe system is a Melchizedekial one, which, lo and behold, included a tithe."

You can call me a New Testament Christian after you pull my Old Testament from my cold dead fingers.

While the sociology of this stuff is interesting, I wouldn't attribute it all to the blogosphere yet. The blogosphere has enabled the people who have been reading in two different stacks to finally encounter each other after long seperation. And now they find that they have started to become two seperate species. But I'm not one to argue for darwinian evolution...

September 20, 2004

The son has strep throat.

The wife may be getting it too.

The son got hit in the eye, which made me worry we'd have an eye infection, but we don't, fortunately.

September 16, 2004

I join the chorus of voices pointing you to Leithart's article on Kellior: The Real News from Lake Wobegon

Whee, this is fun. Amazon.com's single review of the Federal Vision was certainly unbalanced, so I wrote up my thoughts on the book. Now a "review war" is brewing, with secret identiy reviewers posting multiple screeds and helpful/not-helpful votes flying left and right.

One reviewer seems to be gaming the system with multiple account instances. Either that or someone named "P.D. Ouspensky" is more popular than I thought. Check him out. I sometimes claim that opponents of the Federal Vision version of Reformed theology have a gnostic streak to them. Good to see what a real gnostic is like by comparison.

September 05, 2004

So N. T. Wright favored debt cancellation, but doesn't go into a lot of specifics about how the problem started, why its some kind of intentional evil, or talk about the downside.

This article makes interesting reading.

I wonder about the choice of terminology when the article criticizes the IMF's conditions for loan repayment
In order to obtain more foreign currency, governments implementing SAPs usually have to:

- spend less on health, education and social services - people pay for them or go without
Ok. But is the best response to cancel the debt and allow the admittedly corrupt governments to continue to spend little on social services? Were the social services effective? Can charities and churches take up the slack?
- devalue the national currency, lowering export earnings and increasing import costs
I never know enough about currency valuation to know what this one actually means.
- cut back on food subsidies - so prices of essentials can soar in a matter of days
But why should a government take tax money and spend it by paying growers more than their crop is worth? I don't like this when we do it either.
- cut jobs and wages for workers in government industries and services
Are the jobs necessary? Are the workers overpaid?
- encourage privatized of public industries, including sale to foreign investors
If I were reducing my debt, wouldn't selling something valuable to do so make sense?

There is an admission in the article that corruption was the source of the problem with the funds being squandered
Some countries, like Mexico and Venezuela, took out loans to repay previous debts. But for others, this was the first time they had borrowed from commercial banks. Many intended to use the money to improve standards of living in their countries.

In the end, little of the money borrowed benefited the poor. Across the range, about a fifth of it went on arms, often to shore up oppressive regimes. Many governments started large-scale development projects, some of which proved of little value. All too often the money found its way into private bank accounts. The poor were the losers.

Well, what about the good intentions? The article claims the regimes have good intentions for what to do with the canceled debt savings.

If we really want to try to follow biblical law, I note that the debts date from the seventies. If the debtor cannot pay off his loan, one biblical option was slavery. When enslaved, the debtor would through the austerity of his slave life, learn thrift and the value of hard work, and the debt would be canceled in the fiftieth year. SO we have till 2020, and we'd need a much more robust colonial office to administer these governments in a less ham-fisted way than the IMF is doing. We should probably also make sure that we put the current regimes officers to work in the fields: but isn't that what the IMF is doing by reducting government industry wages and jobs?

De script shun




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