Why Worry?

Excerpt from Garrison Keillor's opinion piece:

I got some insight week before last into who supports torture when I went down to Dallas to speak at Highland Park Methodist Church. It was spooky. I walked in, was met by two burly security men with walkie-talkies, and within 10 minutes was told by three people that this was the Bushes' church and that it would be better if I didn't talk about politics. I was there on a book tour for Homegrown Democrat, but they thought it better if I didn't mention it. So I tried to make light of it: I told the audience, "I don't need to talk politics. I have no need even to be interested in politics - I'm a citizen, I have plenty of money and my grandsons are at least 12 years away from being eligible for military service." And the audience applauded! Those were their sentiments exactly. We've got ours, and who cares?

The Methodists of Dallas can be fairly sure that none of them will be snatched off the streets, flown to Guantanamo, stripped naked, forced to stand for 48 hours in a freezing room with deafening noise, so why should they worry? It's only the Jews who are in danger, and the homosexuals and gypsies. The Christians are doing just fine. If you can't trust a Methodist with absolute power to arrest people and not have to say why, then whom can you trust?

Please read all of it.


Emphasis mine ...

"I mean that a defeat in Iraq will embolden the enemy, and will provide the enemy more opportunity, to train, plan to attack us, that's what I mean. One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror," Mr. Bush said. "I believe it, but the American people have got to understand that a defeat in Iraq, in other words if this government there fails, the terrorists will be emboldened, the radicals will topple moderate governments. I truly believe that this is the ideological struggle of the 21st century. And the consequences for not achieving success are dire." CBS News story

There's no evidence [that] Saddam Hussein had ties with al-Qaida, according to a Senate report on prewar intelligence that Democrats say undercuts President George W. Bush's justification for invading Iraq. International Herald Tribune story


Wendell Berry Essay

I found this little gem that you may enjoy ...

"We will discover that God found the world, as he made it, to be good; that he made it for his pleasure; and that he continues to love it and to find it worthy, despite its reduction and corruption by us. People who quote John 3:16 as an easy formula for getting to heaven neglect to see the great difficulty implied in the statement that the advent of Christ was made possible by God's love for the world--not God's love for Heaven or for the world as it might be, but for the world as it was and is. Belief in Christ is thus made dependent upon prior belief in the inherent goodness--the lovability--of the world."

keep reading...


Segway XT

This is probably old news, but I find it amazing ...

"Engineered for cross-terrain, introducing the rugged Segway XT."


Good Idea

"If you have to choose, as I do, which foods to spend more money on, try this rule of thumb: the higher up the food chain you eat, the more it matters whether the food was produced with ecological methods. Pesticides and other toxins concentrate as they move up the food chain. Thus I'm willing to spend more on nutritient-dense foods (meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs) than on fruit and vegetables. It's more important to eat 'clean' butter than 'clean' lettuce."

From "Can the Poor Afford Good Food", an essay by Nina Planck


On Yesterday (the 4th)

Howard Zin via Kottke

One of the effects of nationalist thinking is a loss of a sense of proportion. The killing of 2,300 people at Pearl Harbor becomes the justification for killing 240,000 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The killing of 3,000 people on Sept. 11 becomes the justification for killing tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And nationalism is given a special virulence when it is said to be blessed by Providence. Today we have a president, invading two countries in four years, who announced on the campaign trail last year that God speaks through him.

We need to refute the idea that our nation is different from, morally superior to, the other imperial powers of world history.

We need to assert our allegiance to the human race, and not to any one nation.


Tell it like it is Jon ...

"The lower strata of American society has had a free ride for too long. And, if you were to give them $7.25 an hour, you know it would just go, you know, up their nose and through their hose.… Kudos to Congress for taking a giant shit on the poorest in the country!"

View the video


Word of the Day

Wikipedia on Sethianism

Sethian is also a Finnish progressive metal band.


"A corporation, essentially, is a pile of money to which a number of persons have sold their moral allegiance."
Wendell Berry


When I read/hear about what our minds are capable of I feel like such a loser. Case in point: 'AJ' can remember the details about every day for the past 25 years; details like making cookies, having pink-eye, etc. and she doesn't use any memorization tricks. They're calling it 'hyperthymestic syndrome'.

While I'm not always crazy about mod architecture, I am very intrigued (and maybe a bit covetous) of the Zero Energy houses popping up.

I want one of these.


The Meatrix 2

The Meatrix 2
If you haven't seen The Meatrix do that first.


Slippery Slope

How many times have you heard this argument? You posit some theory you've been mulling about and someone chimes in "Yeah, but if you go there then you can go THERE and then the whole thing is a wash, so you can't go to that first place, or else ... yeah."

I think CS Lewis popularized the catch phrase "slippery slope" and far be it from me to disparage the man, especially since I can't remember how he used it, but it kinda sucks.

RLP has a much more intelligent analysis than "sucks" here.

Cities :: Food :: You?

Perhaps you'll find this site as interesting as I have: The City Repair Project
You live somewhere ... contribute to it.

If you eat food, you should know a little bit about it's history ... good luck with that. Start here, go here, read here.


Two Items

Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action
As American evangelical Christian leaders, we recognize both our opportunity and our responsibility to offer a biblically based moral witness that can help shape public policy in the most powerful nation on earth, and therefore contribute to the well-being of the entire world. Whether we will enter the public square and offer our witness there is no longer an open question. We are in that square, and we will not withdraw.


Iraq, by the numbers
From a short item inside the Times' business section Sunday: "No matter how one feels about this particular conflict, war always has winners and losers -- on both sides." Some "indisputable winners" so far? Defense contractors. Courtesy of the Times, here are six top defense contractors and the percentages by which their profits have increased since 2004: Boeing (37.4 percent), Lockheed Martin (44.2 percent), General Dynamics (19.1 percent) Northrop Grumman (29.2 percent), Raytheon (108.9 percent), and Halliburton (292.9 percent).


Pro Life



But your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.
They're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for,
And your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.

Chorus from John Prine's Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore
4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."