Thursday, August 31, 2006

Re: King of the Christocrats

I just spent 15 minutes or so with David Barton. I enjoyed it. I don't think the Texas Monthly did him justice or presented him in a fair light.
While he believes the founding fathers were strong supporters of Christianity (which I don't doubt) I got the impression he doesn't believe in a creating an American theocracy and I assumed he did from the article.
I played devil's advocate a bit and he said that the founding fathers believed religion and Christianity were interchangeable and when they spoke of other religions they mentioned them by name. He also said he supported prayer in schools - but student led. I can support that. If a student is Islamic, they should be able to say an Islamic prayer. If they're Jewish they should be allowed to say a Jewish prayer and if they're Christian they should be able to say a Christian prayer.
He also said that if you shouldn't have to change the rules to win - i.e. censorship.
The truth should always win out if we're doing our job.
"And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." - Muhammad (j/k) Jesus
I want to talk with David more and pick his brain some more. He also owns over 70,000 documents from our founding fathers - I'd love to see those as well.
Anyone interested in a freelance article about him?

One of these mornings...

It's funny how you can hear something or read something a million times and never comprehend the meaning behind it.
I was listening to a mix Thomas sent me for a show idea for Lighthouse 21. BTW Thomas, love the whole mix.
Anyways, near the end of the show Thomas throws a Moby track into the mix.
I've heard the song a million times and never considered the words much, but suddenly it sprang to life this morning and I actually got chills thinking about it.
It's a simple track with a soulful woman singing in the foreground, "One of these mornings - and it won't be long - you will look for me and I'll be gone."
It just hit me this morning that she's referring to the great getting up morning when Christ comes back for her bride.
And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don't want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.
And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master's word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they'll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God's trumpet blast! He'll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they'll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we'll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words. - I Thes 4:13-18
Whether Christ comes for me and you individually (death) or as a collective result of the rapture - He's coming. And one of these mornings you will look for me -- and I'll be gone.
Thanks for the reminder and eye opener Thomas.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Beer industry=big money

From our local chamber of commerce:
Beer Industry Provides 128,614 Jobs in Texas
$3.9 Billion Earned in Wages; $11.8 Billion to Texas’ Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. - This Labor Day, as you fire up the grill and enjoy a cold beer in the hot summer sun, it’s a good time to remember that the same people who produce, distribute and sell your brew also provide jobs for 128,614 citizens of Texas, directly or indirectly.
According to an economic impact study conducted by John Dunham & Associates and sponsored by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and Beer Institute, the beer industry generates $3,982,817,300 annually in wages and benefits and contributes $11,883,705,266 to the state economy.
“The independent family businesses that distribute beer to retailers large and small are doing their part to keep America’s economy strong. These families have been ingrained in their communities for generations and support the local economy, including creating jobs for their neighbors,” said Craig Purser, president of NBWA. “This is an industry that prides itself on providing good paying jobs and quality benefits for its employees.”
“This study demonstrates that the beer industry is more than just those who make and distribute our products,” said Jeff Becker, president of the Beer Institute. “We are an industry of farmers, can manufacturers, truck drivers, retailers, and many others located in virtually every state and local community across the country. These hard-working men and women place tremendous pride in delivering the quality products and services enjoyed by millions of responsible adults every day.”
In addition to strengthening the Texas economy with job creation, the industry plays a significant role in promoting responsible consumption of its products. The Texas beer industry – which includes brewers, 82 independent 105 beer distributors and 36,495 retailers – has invested in communities across the state to develop and implement numerous programs to promote responsibility and help fight alcohol abuse. These efforts, along with those of parents, law enforcement, educators, and other community groups have led to significant declines in illegal underage drinking and drunk driving for the past two decades.
America’s beer distributors also work within a framework of individual state laws to ensure their products are sold only to licensed retailers who in turn are responsible for selling only to adults of legal drinking age.
The complete Beer Industry Economic Impact study, including a state-by-state and congressional district breakdown of economic contributions, is available at the Beer Serves America Web site, www.beerservesamerica.org.

The world is ending - again

A while back, we discussed the possibility of the world coming to an end on 6/6/6.
I'm guessing that didn't take place.
But now another prophecy expert is predicting nuclear war in the Middle East on Sept. 12, 2006.
Yup. It's all coming to an end on Sept. 12 says Yisrayl Hawkins.
I like what I heard an area pastor say yesterday. "Every generations predicts the end of the world will come during their time. And they all point to events in the Middle East as their reason. So far non of them have been right. I'm betting it does't happen during this generation either - but you never know." (losely quoted)
So, start pulling out all those canned goods and bottled water you stocked away for Y2K, 6/6/6 and any other planned world ending days, and "get ready to live."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

King of the Christocrats


If you don't subscribe to Texas Monthly, be sure and go pick up the September issue if for nothing else, this article.
It takes a look at David Barton and his work to "right American history" and show how devoted the founding fathers were to Christ.
Well worth the read.

Five Super Hero songs

5. Hero - all natural
4. Ninja Rap - Vanilla Ice/Triangle Man - They Might be Giants
3. Heroes - Wallflowers
2. Superman (It's not Easy) - Five for Fighting
1. Superman - R.E.M.

Five assuarances you're headed for a third world country in September

5. You've received 15 different vacinations
4. You have a prescription for Cipro
3. You've been raising support for six months
2. You buy bug repellant that is probably not legal in 24 states
1. You check the airline daily to see what the latest carry-on restrictions are

Monday, August 28, 2006

Who killed the electric car?

Did you know that from 1996 to 2000, GM and Toyota both produced fully functional electric cars?
According to a new documentary, the GM EV1 was scrapped less than two months after GM purchased Hummer from AM Motors.
Also, the film makers report that Americans drive an average of 29 miles a day, which would mean you could drive several days without ever recharging.
The average battery charge would last 250 miles and stations popped up around California to recharge batteries quickly.
What happened? I want to see this movie.

Quit digging your grave


Just listened to the full interview my bud Rick Walker had with Arkansas Gov. Huckabee. Good stuff. The governor lost 110 pounds in order to improve his health and living conditions.
Worth a read - especially if you're having trouble getting rid of those extra pounds.
rapture

This video should grab your attention for sure. What will you be doing when the rapture takes place?

Ethical question of the day

This is from Laurie's ethics class:
Problem: The class is on an international geology field-study trip in Mexico to study various rock formations in caves. Everything is going quite well until we come to our last set of caves near Taxco. Thirty of us are together inside the cave when tragedy strikes. An earthquake of enormous proportions causes a cave-in, and the mouth of the cave in which we are exploring is completely covered with large boulders. After surveying the situation we find that about 10 students are seriously injured and need medical attention soon if they are to survive. All other students and faculty are shaken but unharmed except for one. One student (Pat) is trapped in the rubble of large rocks blocking the entrance. Pat is conscious but in substantial pain.
When we survey what we have in the emergency kit, we note that we have several sticks of dynamite. Our guide, Jose Peralta Cisneros, points out that our supply of oxygen is extremely limited.
He knows that at the very best we have about 8 to 12 hours of oxygen and certainly no more than 24 hours. No rescue units would even know that we are trapped in the cave and even it they did we would all be dead before they could reach us. Without doubt, the 10 injured students (11 counting Pat) and all of the rest of us will be dead if we do not escape the cave very soon.
We realize that if we use the sticks of dynamite to blast open the mouth of the cave, then Pat will be killed by the blast.
If we do not blast open the mouth of the cave the situation is hopeless for the other 29 of us and we will all die. As we begin to discuss our options one student says, "We can't kill Pat, because it is wrong to kill another human being!"
Another student says, "But all human life is sacred and we must do everything that we can to preserve lives! We must kill Pat to save everyone else."
We don't have long to make up our minds, because we are running out of air to breathe and the injured are at great risk.
1) What should we do? Why?
2) What (if anything) changes if Pat says that he is in such pain that he wants to die?
3) What (if anything) changes if Pat begs us not to kill him?
4) Does your decision change if Pat is female? Male?
5) Are there any general moral principles that could be derived from this exercise?
What do you think? I'll give my opinion in a few hours or tomorrow after you have a chance to comment.

Vatican to look at intelligent design

The UK Guardian reports that philosophers, scientists and other intellectuals close to Pope Benedict will gather at his summer palace outside Rome this week for intensive discussions that could herald a fundamental shift in the Vatican's view of evolution.
There have been growing signs the Pope is considering aligning his church more closely with the theory of "intelligent design" taught in some US states. Advocates of the theory argue that some features of the universe and nature are so complex that they must have been designed by a higher intelligence. Critics say it is a disguise for creationism.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Today's assignment

If you were stranded on a desert island what book of the Bible would you bring with you and why?
I finally chose Psalms. Laurie chose James or Isaiah.
Leave your comments below. You can even do it annonymously if you must.

Drinking Liberally with Chris Bell

From the Chris Bell campaign:
Chris hittin the bar in Dallas - Tuesday!!!
Park Cities Democratic Rally!!!
@ Poor David's Pub, 1313 S. Lamar, Dallas, Tuesday Aug 29th at 7pm.
Come hang out with Chris...winner of the special contest gets to have a drink with him!

Horse Sense: Mechanics of Consolidation (Part I)

Consolidation of power at the national level has occurred, and that is historic fact. Just why it is, is something more difficult to tell. I remember in graduate school at Oxford expressing a certain na├»ve measure of wonderment, that what the Founders intended did not come to pass and indeed went badly wrong in some respects. One of my professors with a Harvard background merely smiled, without explanation but with apparent glee. He was a proponent of consolidation you see, and he knew that proponents of liberty were on the losing side of history thus far. There are evil professors making muck of minds and placing their stamp, yea mark, upon the careers of young academics, and writing the textbooks and determining acceptable “consensus” amongst those who depend upon them for their Ph. D’s. I tell you this, having been there in the Ivy League; I tell you this to sound a trumpet—there’s more than one global war going on! Some are wars between nations, twixt civilizations, but the biggest war of all is always spiritual—and its close cousin, the war of ideas. Simple really, this war of ideas: it is between those who would control, and those who would set free.
I know now more than I did, some of the history that isn’t always taught. One place to begin is in the Senate. That august body was meant to be an institutional safeguard against consolidation. Indeed, the Founders expected it to serve as guardian of States’ reserved powers. The reason may come as some surprise to you. It is because the Founders intended Senators to be selected by State legislatures. Senators would therefore be direct representatives of the States, within the Legislative branch of the national government. That was indeed law according to the Constitution, before adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913. Like the federal income tax, passed by the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913 also, popular election of U.S. Senators is the product of the Progressive Era, which transformed the nation even more than the War Between the States did, at least if taken in isolation. The Progressive Era, so far as the Constitution is concerned, represents a departure from republicanism and institutionalized safeguarding of dual-sovereignty; it represents a corresponding triumph for national party politics and blind faith in democracy. One has to wonder why the Founders would have worked so hard at the Constitutional Convention, if all that were needed were elections and the people’s choice.
Next there is the very strange gravitation of all issues and concerns to the national level, something that continues to this day as if towards a black hole. What were clearly intra-state activities, to be regulated by local officials, have all fallen in Congress’s purview of delegated powers. Congress has express power to punish only a handful of acts, such as piracy, crimes on the high seas, treason, and counterfeiting according to the Constitution. The number of crimes punishable by the federal government did increase after Appomattox, but it did not skyrocket until recent years. Over forty percent of federal crimes were enacted since 1970. The reason, which may not come as quite the surprise, is political. Senators and congressmen found that law-and-order platforms are winners at the ballot box. Tough-on-crime conservative politicians found liberal colleagues to be cuddly bed partners too. The fact remains, however, the people of the several States never delegated a generalized “law and order” power to the federal government. Of course congressmen are want to find it, like a catcher in the rye. So broad in fact is Congress’s interpretation of the Commerce Power, that other enumerated powers are superfluous. The regulation of interstate commerce has become akin to a general police power, such that, if anything could affect the national economy, Congress can regulate. Of course that’s a crazy, unconstitutional assertion, because my friends will all tell you my backyard barbeque no doubt threatens a series of establishments! (Be that as it may,) commerce in the Founders’ day was understood to be, well, uh “commerce.” That is, commercial intercourse, i.e., exchange of one thing for another, the interchange of something, trade or the trafficking of goods. Commerce was not, as Congress and the Supreme Court now interprets, a synonym for every “gainful activity,” “economic activity,” “agriculture” and “manufacturing” activity. James Madison noted that the object of the power to regulate interstate commerce was “the relief of the States which import and export through other States.” In other words, the Founders wanted to remove internal trade barriers and create a national free-trade zone. Ironically, the freedom they sought to give us has, through the politician’s turn of phrase and sinister Constitutional reinterpretation, become the source of much internal regulation, constituting an unlimited grant of legislative power. Today any activity that tangentially affects the economy, or could affect the economy if hypothetically, a lot of people engaged in it, is fair game for regulation—and quite possibly, another platform for winning votes. (Yippee).
_____________________
Wesley Allen Riddle is a retired military officer with degrees and honors from West Point and Oxford. Widely published in the academic and opinion press, he ran for U.S. Congress (TX-District 31) in the 2004 Republican Primary. Article loosely based on William J. Watkins, Jr., Reclaiming the American Revolution (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), chapters 4-6. Email: wes@wesriddle.com.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Mungles on Movies


Looking for a good honest place for movie reviews? Check out my friends the Mungles at Mungleshow.com.
Matt's an 89.7 Power FM veteran and he still hosts an indie Christian show that's broadcast to various stations around the country as well as online and on podcast.
He and his wife have also begun an audio and video podcast for their weekly movie reviews.
Good stuff. Drop him a line and subscribe to the podcast.

Getting the band back together

We had another great Lighthouse21 brainstorming session tonight.
Met at Rockfish, enjoyed some great conversation and just discussing the future.
We're moving full speed ahead with starting the ministry again, mainly with an Internet presence to begin with.
We'll be streaming programing 24/7 with music and several different shows.
I'm psyched.
We're looking at doing a varied music station with your typical Christian bands as well as those not so typical Christian bands. The ones that diss the labels, but are still out there challenging our faith. Faith-based radio -- not Christian label radio.
What bands/music would you want to hear on it? U2, Coldplay, Kanye West, R.E.M.?
We may have a special house/techno show. We'll have movie reviews from our buddies over at Spin 180 and more.
We're also about to kick the video show back into full production and we'll be streaming our video show online as well.
It's going to be a blast!
Did I tell you I'm psyched?
Watch the progression over at Lighthouse21.com.
And if you're interested in sponsorship of the radio station or video show, give me a shout. We'd love to talk with you about your organization and sponsoring Lighthouse21.com.

Friday Fun

Today's assignment, what would the soundtrack to your life be?

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A MOVIE, WHAT WOULD THE SOUNDTRACK BE?

Here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, etc).
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every question type the song that's playing.
5. When you go to a new question press the next button.
Ready? GO!

Opening Credits:
“3x5” John Mayer

Waking Up:
“Back to You” John Mayer

Falling In Love:
“The Shadow Proves the Sunshine” Switchfoot

Fight Song:
“Twist and Shout” Momma’s and the Papas

Breaking Up:
“I Wanna Go Back” Kid Rock

Making up:
“I’ve Got to See You Again” Nora Jones

Life's Okay:
“You’re Beautiful” James Blunt

Mental Breakdown:
“Sunshine (I Can Fly)” Raul Midon

Driving:
“Elvis Presley and America” U2

Flashbacks:
“La Cienga Just Smiled” Ryan Adams

Happy Dance:
“Rapid City: South Dakota” Kinky Friedman and the Jewboys

Regretting:
“Celebrity” NSync (I’m regretting that’s left over from a dance I DJ’d)

Final Battle:
“Baby’s Got Back” Sir Mix-A-Lot

Death Scene:
“More to This Life” Steven Curtis Chapman

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mac battery recall


I've had some Mac fans e-mail me bragging that at least their laptop batteries don't blow up. Better check on that.
Apple announced a recall of a number of laptop batteries today as well.
Both Dell and Apple's batteries were manufactured by electronic giant Sony.
Sony has also made batteries for Toshiba and Fujitsu. While I'm sure not hoping my Toshiba battery explodes on me, I do need mine replaced if Toshiba plans to follow suit.

New results for stem cells

Two new announcements were made today regarding stem cell research.
Japanese scientists announced they've been able to make adult stem cells respond more like embryonic stem cells.
American scientists announced they've been able to take cells from embryonic stem cells without harming the embryo.
Japanese researchers have modified stem cells from adult mice into cells that have the promising characteristics of embryonic stem cells, according to research published in Thursday's issue of the journal Cell.
The announcement is the second development this week that could help scientists overcome objections to controversial research on embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cell research has been lauded by scientists for its potential to find cures for debilitating diseases, but critics of the technique say it essentially kills a human life because scientists must destroy an embryo to create the cells.
I still say lets fund more research with adult stem cells, but the new research with American scientists looks promising as well.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Re: And who is my neighbor

From the podcast:
When the lawyer in Luke 10 says, "Who's my neighbor?" What he's really saying is, "Whom don't I have to love? Whom can I get with not having to go out of my way for? Surely not a Samaritan. Surely not a Gentile."
The answer Christ gives him is "Your neighbor potentially anybody but is specifically the person that God providentially places in your path with a need."
The person with the broken down car, the person with too many bags of grocery.
The person who's lost a loved one -- that's your neighbor.

And who is my neighbor?

John Brown, an associate pastor at Denton Bible Church (Tommy Nelson) gave a great message Sunday on "Who is my neighbor?"

"What could possibly be on par with loving God with our entire heart, soul, strength and mind?
Christ quotes Lev. 19:18, 'The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"

Listen to the message in Real Audio or subscribe to the podcast.

A prayer of thanks

"How good it is to be able to come before you -- anytime and anywhere.
That as we sit in this room we didn't have to rouse a priest, kill a bull, go to a temple or wait for the stars to align just so -- but where two or more are gathered in your name there you are among us. We thank you for your blessed presence."

Quote for the day

"You will never know it all, because mystery is a prerequisite of faith and without faith it is impossible to please God" - Matt Chandler

Israel gets it


As likely everyone knows, liquids are now banned on US flights.
I still think its a very knee-jerk reaction.
I also think seperate lines for Muslims, Arabs or whomever is an even worse knee-jerk reaction.
Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby examines Israel's national airline that has been free of terrorist attacks for nearly three decades.
Nearly five years after Sept. 11, 2001, US airport security remains obstinately focused on intercepting bad things -- guns, knives, explosives. It is a reactive policy, aimed at preventing the last terrorist plot from being repeated. The 9/11 hijackers used box cutters as weapons, so sharp metal objects were barred from carry-on luggage. Would-be suicide terrorist Richard Reid tried to ignite a bomb in his shoe, so now everyone's footwear is screened for tampering. Earlier this month British authorities foiled a plan to blow up airliners with liquid explosives; as a result, toothpaste and cologne have become air-travel contraband.
[...]
Israeli airport security, much of it invisible to the untrained eye, begins before passengers even enter the terminal. Officials constantly monitor behavior, alert to clues that may hint at danger: bulky clothing, say, or a nervous manner. Profilers -- that's what they're called -- make a point of interviewing travelers, sometimes at length. They probe, as one profiling supervisor told CBS, for ``anything out of the ordinary, anything that does not fit." Their questions can seem odd or intrusive, especially if your only previous experience with an airport interrogation was being asked whether you packed your bags yourself.
Unlike in US airports, where passengers go through security after checking in for their flights and submitting their luggage, security at Ben Gurion comes first. Only when the profiler is satisfied that a passenger poses no risk is he or she allowed to proceed to the check-in counter. By that point, there is no need to make him remove his shoes, or to confiscate his bottle of water.

Kinky on the Hot Seat


Kinky Friedman is on the Startlegram's latest Hot Seat podcast.

Adult stem cell to repair cartlidge

Lifenews reports:
Adult stem cell research may soon have another medical issue that can be added to the list of diseases or ailments patients have that it can offer help. Scientists are studying whether injections of bone marrow cells can spark regrowth in cartilage to help repair damaged knees.
Knee problems are very common -- they occur in people of all ages and can be the result of disease or injury.
[...]
The first clinical trial involving the bone marrow stem cells has begun to try to regenerate the meniscus. Doctors will be using mesenchymal stem cells, the adult stem cells that live in bone marrow and can transform into cartilage-forming cells called chondrocytes.
Some 55 patients have signed up for both stem cell injections and a placebo and the first results are expected to come in around October.
I'm sure several of our wrestlers are hoping this turns out positively.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Thomas' bride has a new blog

My mate Thomas' wife Olly has a new blog. Check it out. Looks like it will be a good one.

Cheap entertainment tonight

If you're tired of summer re-runs and looking for some cheap entertainment tonight, head over to the WDL blog.
I'll be blogging from the Waxahachie City Council's budget workshop (if all goes as planned).
Usually budget hearings can be a bit dull and slow, but I'll try to liven it up for all you folks at home.

Whole lot of shakin' goin' on

Before he left the paper, I believe Eric was working on a story or two regarding Jerry Lee Lewis.
I just found this while doing separate research on Wikipedia:
His (Lewis') mother enrolled him in Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Waxahachie, Texas, secure in the knowledge that her son would now be exclusively singing his songs to the Lord. But legend has it that the he tore into a boogie-woogie rendition of "My God Is Real" at a church assembly that sent him packing the same night. Pearry Green (then president of the student body) related how during a talent show Jerry played some "worldly" music. The next morning the dean of the school called both Jerry and Pearry into his office to expel them both. Jerry then said that Pearry shouldn't be expelled because "he didn't know what I was going to do." Years later Pearry asked Jerry "Are you still playing the devil's music?" Jerry replied "Yes, I am. But you know it's strange, the same music that they kicked me out of school for is the same kind of music they play in their churches today. The difference is, I know I am playing for the devil and they don't."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Hey Ya

I've seen a lot of things in my life - but this is awesome. Mat Weddle of Obadiah Parker sings a cover of Outkast's Hey Ya. Awesome.

Watch the original video here.

School finance

I was thinking about school finance tonight (for some really odd reason) and thought of this new way to help school finance... what do yall think? Let's think out of the box here.

Sponsored text books. We already have ads all over our the school stadiums and on score boards. And companies already pay money to have their logo and ad slapped on the text book covers. Why not sell advertising space within the books themselves. Then the publishers can give the books to the schools for virtually nothing and still reap major profits. We could even sell the wrap around ads like you see on DART buses on school buses and on lockers.

Quote for the day

My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am."
- Unknown

Blogger down?

I haven't been able to load my page today. Not sure why. The RSS feed is still up - for those of you who have advanced in your blog reading ;-).
Sorry if you're having trouble. Hopefully it will be back up soon.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Grandma's flip-flops

Capital Annex reports on an article in the Houston Chronicle, listing Independent candidate for Texas Grandma's many flip-flops:

On The Trans Texas Corridor:

• 2000: Strayhorn in a review of the Texas Department of Transportation recommended toll roads: “Building highways through toll financing rather than pay-as-you-go financing dramatically speeds the time it takes to complete a given project.”
• Now: “I am adamantly opposed to this massive toll plan,” Strayhorn said. “Rick Perry calls it Trans-Texas Corridor. I call it Trans-Texas Catastrophe, and as governor, I will blast it off the bureaucratic books.”

On Vouchers:

• Before: Won election as comptroller in 1998 with the help of a $950,000 loan from voucher advocate James Leininger. Strayhorn said she supported vouchers as a means of giving parents a choice when their children were trapped in failing schools.
• January: “When I’ve talked about vouchers; philosophically I wouldn’t have a problem with that for disadvantaged kids. But let me tell you what, that was before we had five years of this administration that is absolutely totally dismantling our public school system day by day.”
• Early February: “I will veto any type of legislation that puts a single dollar into any voucher program, period.”
• Late February: “I’m not saying I would never support them. I’m saying that I would take vouchers off the table for discussion. No more talk until we address the needs of public schools.”

On A Woman’s Right To Choose:

• 1985: “She refused to discuss her position on abortion.” — Austin American-Statesman
“She has been pro-choice on abortion, although she now says she opposes abortion personally and would rule out tax dollars for its practice, except in cases of rape incest or where the mother’s life is threatened.” — Christian Science Monitor
• 1990s: Signed pledges for the Republican National Coalition for Life to oppose abortion and told Greater Austin Right to Life that she supported overturning the Supreme Court decision allowing abortions.
• Now: “I have made my position very clear. As a mama and a grandmama, I believe in the sanctity of life, but I understand that there are those heartbreaking situations where heartbreaking decisions have to be made.”

Is it still unclear to anyone that Carole Keeton Strayhorn has no positions except those which are most politically expediant at the given moment she opens her mouth?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Re: Rick Walker on TV


More on Rick's TV appearance...
Thanks to Rick Reynolds for the linkie link link.

McDreamy makes North Texas happy

Gov. McDreamy sent a letter this week to the Texas Department of Transportation supporting the North Central Texas Council of Governments' plan to route the infamous Trans Texas Corridor along the Highway 360 corridor and planned Loop 9 corridor.
The NCTCOG plan has been supported by a number of governmental entities in North Texas, including the Ellis County Commissioners Court, who adopted a resolution supporting the plan July 10.
“The TTC Tier 1 plan narrowed their plan town to a 10 mile stretch from Milford to east of Ferris,” County Planner Clyde Melick said. “What we’re saying with this resolution is we’d like TxDOT to look at an alternative alignment – and that’s the 360 corridor.”
Melick said the alternative avoids bisecting the county and doesn’t disturb the Blackland Prairie.
“We also think moving the corridor to the west will benefit the air quality in the region,” Melick said.
[...]
Commissioner Ron Brown, Pct. 4, said the Highway 360 alignment would save $1.9 billion to the state.
“I think there are a lot of questions still out there and I feel concerned about making the resolution,” (County Judge Chad) Adams said.
Melick said the resolution would hopefully get TxDOT and the TTC coalition to study the 360 corridor and give everyone more options and answers.
“It’s better if we call their hand now and ask them to study 360 now so we’ll have more options,” Melick said. “They’ll be a lot more likely to study it now than later down the road.”
Commissioner Heath Sims, Pct. 3, said he favored encouraging the TTC coalition to look at the 360 corridor.
“Just looking at what I’ve been informed about, the map they show cuts our county in half,” Sims said. “We don’t know where the exits or entrances will be but I feel like if they can cut back 60 miles of roadway and save $1.9 billion, building on the 360 corridor and circling the metroplex would be a better deal. And a resolution is nothing more than that. I personally think it does no harm to do a resolution now but it might do harm to do it later.”
Adams took issue with Sims’ comment about splitting the county in half.
“That argument doesn’t make sense because we have Highway 287 cutting the county in half from east to west,” Adams said.
“That’s true, but you also have exits every quarter mile,” Sims said. “We’re talking about a major 1,200 foot roadway with very few exits and trucks and trains carrying who knows what. I move to adopt this resolution.”
Adams asked for more discussion between the commissioners before the resolution was passed.
“I feel there hasn’t been enough communication with the cities,” Adams said. “I want the commissioners to be sure they’re comfortable with their vote.”
The resolution passed in Ellis County 3-2. Adams and Commissioner Dennis Robinson, Pct. 1, voted against the resolution.
The final chance to file comments with TxDOT regarding the plan is Monday, Aug. 21. Representatives from NCTCOG have said previously they expect TxDOT to announce expanding their corrider of study to include the 360 and Loop 9 corridors after the August 21 deadline.
If the plan is approved, the TTC would follow the Highway 360 corridor, west of Midlothian and then connect to the planned Loop 9 around the Metroplex.

See the proposed 360/Loop 9 compromise map. (pdf)
Read the letter from Gov. McDreamy (pdf)
More info from NCTCOG
More info from TxDOT

Does a congregation know more than the pastor?

"My congregants know more than I do" - Pastor Jeff Wenke, pastor of The Journey in Silicon Valley

MediaShift has an interesting look at the new way of doing church in Silicon Valley.
It was indeed a radical notion for a church to change its traditional structure, as its roots clearly lie in a very top-down, minister-knows-all hierarchy. For a pastor to say, “My congregants know more than I do” — in an echo of Dan Gillmor’s “My readers know more than I do” — is a near heresy, because the truth and power has always come down through the hierarchy of the church. Even though the rise of Protestants helped decentralize power of the priests in Catholicism, there’s still a top-down power structure inherent in most organized religions.
But times are changing, and attendance in organized religious services is on the downward trend. So one day, Andy Gridley (pictured here), the former Worship Pastor at The Journey, came upon the Newsweek story about Web 2.0 companies, The New Wisdom of the Web. He brought it to The Journey staff’s attention, and a plan was hatched to add more interactivity to the church services.


Thanks to Andrew for the link.

Re: You Turn me Around


The Wedding Singer musical? Really? Ok.

You Spin Me Around (like a record)

You Spin Me Around (like a record)

For your weekend enjoyment.
I can't hear this song anymore without picturing Adam Sandler singing it at a wedding reception in the opening of the Wedding Singer.
Awesome.

Friday, August 18, 2006

You can taste the heat hate

Pinkdome has the scoop on new Minuteman Salsa:
"We're sick and tired of foreign-grown produce and foreign-made salsa entering our country. Few Americans support illegal immigration, but they spend hard-earned dollars on what we see as illegal salsa," explained Founder & CEO Ryan Lambert. "Foreign salsa takes American jobs, disrespects Americans sovereignty, and this Fourth of July, we're encouraging Americans to re-declare our independence and deport foreign salsa."
This is from the FAQ's page:
Why was Minuteman Salsa started?
While watching TV coverage of a pro-illegal immigration rally, we realized the salsa we had been consuming was at odds with our values. After a bit of research, we learned that most salsa was made outside the United State [sic] by companies that value profits over patriotism and who contribute to flood of illegal immigration by employing foreign workers and using foreign produce.
I'm sure I could say a lot about this - like funny how you love Hispanic food and salsa, but not the people who made it... but I think Pinkdome sums it up pretty well.
That's right, folks. Companies outside of the United State that employ foreign workers and use foreign produce ... those are the companies that contribute to the flood of illegal immigration.

Five songs on repeat today

5. Willie Nelson's Great Divide album
4. Jars of Clay - Jesus' Blood Never Failed me Yet
3. Newsboys - He Reigns
2. U2 - Walk On
1. Wayne Watson - Walk in the Dark

Five signs it might be Friday

5. You don't need coffee because you're already wired that its TGIF
4. No one has returned your phone calls
3. You've typed nothing except blog entries
2. Your bags are packed and in your truck, ready for an evening adventure
1. You sleep in till 11:45 a.m.

Rick Walker on TV

My bud, Rick Walker, former host of Lighthouse 21 will be on A&E Sunday.
Check him out.
If you find yourself channel surfing this Sunday around 3:30pm, flip over to A&E to watch the "Find and Design" crew transform our gameroom! David, AJ, Jake and Jaycie will be making an appearance on the show and have agreed to sign autographs afterwards. :)
I'll also be having a small "watching party" at my house - so you want to munch on chips and get an autograph from our superstar kids - come on over at 3pm. this Sunday!

Running to abolish position


Harris County candidate for county treasurer Richard Garcia is running so he can abolish the county treasurer's office.
Check out his campaign website at: abolishtheoffice.com

Mr. Way to Proud of Texas Guy

Bud Light Beer has put together a new "Real Man of Genious" for what the ad calls, "Way to proud of Texas Guy."
Men from lesser states may know their state capital but you - you know your states bird, tree and reptile.
You display your pride with your Lone Star tattoo... and comtempt for any state that doesn't start with "Tex" and end with "iss."
Should I plead guilty now?

Listen to the ad here.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Pre-order U2 by U2


Amazon has the new U2 autobiography, U2 by U2 available for pre-order. The book will be released on Sept 26.
Hopefully I'll be able to snag a copy somewhere before I head to Nigeria.

Five songs I would record if I was making a U2 cover album

5. Stranger in a Strange Land
4. Original of the Species
3. With a Shout (Jerusalem)
2. Wake up Dead Man
1. Walk On

Five U2 lyrics I love

5. I wanna go to the foot of the Messiah - to the foot of He who made me see
4. Gloria...in te domine, Gloria...exultate, Gloria...Gloria, Oh Lord, loosen my lips
3. And I can't tell the difference between ABC News, Hill Street Blues and a preacher on the old time gospel hour - stealing money from the sick and the old. Well the God I believe in isn't short of cash - Mister!
2. Where you live should not determine whether you live of whether you die.
1. Grace, its a name for a girl. It's also a thought that changed the world.

Special line for Muslims

Mike Gallagher said on this week on Fox News, that we should have a special line for Muslims at our nation's airports.
"It's time to have a Muslims check point line in American airports and have Muslims be scrutinized. You better believe it."
Are you kidding me?!
How are we going to determine who the Muslims are? Should we require them to put red crescents on their sleeves?
Next we'll have separate water fountains and separate bathrooms for Muslims, Christians and Jews.
Before long, someone's going to suggest building a 20-foot wall between American and Canada Mexico.

As reported earlier, one of my favorite billboards reads, "When I said 'Love your neighbor' I meant it. - God"

Horse Sense: Resolves Among America’s Great Charters

*sorry this is a couple days late... my bad...

Considering America’s great charters, the historical revisionists have seen to it that we should forget some, while selectively remembering a few lines from others. For instance, the Declaration of Independence is universally celebrated for its recognition based on the faith-based knowledge of our Creator, that “all men are created equal.” The Declaration is hardly mentioned, however, for its preponderance of words dedicated to the cause of secession from Great Britain, as well as to the explication of timeless rationale for the just revolution against tyrannical governments, wherever they may be, including theoretically and potentially at least, our own. Of course we give an occasional nod towards the Articles of Confederation in history class, mostly incidental to thanking our extraordinarily lucky stars for the powerful central government we now have under the Constitution. So yes, we do generally recognize a fuzzy “Constitution” as the basis for governmental legitimacy and the legitimate exercise of powers, but we almost entirely forget to mention that it was the Kentucky and Virginia Resolves, which reined in the first series of abuses by the federal government and which asserted the States’ role in maintaining constitutional republican government, according to Original Intent. Indeed, written by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison respectively, the Kentucky and Virginia Resolves lay out an eloquent account of nuts and bolts to ultimate sovereignty, which resides with the People of the several States. They also reinforce divided legislative sovereignty, inherent in our unique system of federalism, which is surprisingly still virtually undisputed by the academy or by courts in principle, if not in practice. Dual or divided sovereignty after all, stems directly from the fact that through the aegis of the Constitution, the People of the several States delegate only certain powers to the national or federal government, and they retain everything else at the level of the States. Hence, the beginning of the restoration of our Republic may be the reinsertion of these Resolves, back into the pantheon of America’s great charters. Then we shall return to a Constitution of Rights, as opposed to a Constitution of Powers.
Though the South is most often associated with the doctrine of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolves, in the years after the election of Jefferson and his peaceful political Revolution of 1800, the Northern states recurred to it just as frequently. In 1802, the State of Pennsylvania stopped action by Federal District Judge Peters on behalf of Gideon Olmstead, rendering the Judge’s decision “null and void,” since the Judge had illegally usurped his power and jurisdiction. In 1808-9, Massachusetts, Delaware and Connecticut employed nullification on the Embargo Act. Indeed, the legislative actions and public protests convinced Congress that continuance of the Embargo was untenable. The doctrine of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolves also animated the Hartford Convention in 1814, as surely as it did South Carolina’s Ordinance of Nullification in 1833—a doctrine essentially of state negative aimed at oppressive national laws. In the end, South Carolina’s nullification proved successful in prompting Congress to lower its high and disproportionate tariff duties. It is indeed a measure of the loss of freedom in the country as a whole that, since the War Between the States, Northern and Southern, Mid-West and Western States have all witnessed their scope of sovereignty diminish. With the check and balance provided by States gone, the consolidation feared by Anti-Federalists, by Jeffersonian Republicans, by nullifiers in New England and South Carolina, has come to pass. A look at the U.S. Code or a federal appropriations bill proves that Congress, like the British Parliament, claims the authority to legislate on all subjects whatsoever. Moreover, the Supreme Court’s claim to be the final arbiter on matters of Constitutionality, is largely acquiesced in—which, if you think about it, doesn’t square with the people’s position as ultimate sovereigns. In most cases, elections should serve to check tyrannical rulers. The Resolves addressed those situations when/if the General Government assumed powers egregiously violating States’ reserved powers, or when/if it passed unjust measures that did not operate equally on all citizens or all sections. In such cases, the added safeguard of a state veto, or nullification, was necessary and could very well be the most efficacious solution. As long as there were statesmen and not just politicians in office, peace was maintained and compromise achieved, the Union held together in bonds of affection, fealty and voluntary submission, rather than by chain links of iron.
_____________________
Wesley Allen Riddle is a retired military officer with degrees and honors from West Point and Oxford. Widely published in the academic and opinion press, he ran for U.S. Congress (TX-District 31) in the 2004 Republican Primary. Article loosely based on William J. Watkins, Jr., Reclaiming the American Revolution (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), chapters 4-6. Email: wes@wesriddle.com.

Re: Doctored Photos


Apparently the link on the page Walker sent me was to an older video. Here's the actual video Walker linked to.
(You may need to click on the permalink to view the file without hearing the audio from the previous post.)
Ok the dualing audio is too annoying. So I'll let you just click the link to the actual site with the video.

Despite veto stem cell research continues in the US

According to LifeNews:
The Ion Channel Media Group, a private biotechnology and advertising firm, has released a list of the top stem cell research laboratories in the world.
The ranking was compiled using the publication and citation history of nearly 5000 stem cell research labs.
The survey found that most of the laboratories in the top 25 are from the United States, despite President Bush's limits on using taxpayer funds to pay for any new embryonic stem cell research.
All of the top eight stem cell research labs hail from the U.S., including the number one center, Irving Weissman's lab at Stanford. Catherine Verfaillie's laboratory at the University of Minnesota earned the number two spot based upon her work with adult stem cells derived from bone marrow.

Doctored photos


W emailed me the link to this flash video about apparent problems the MSM has had in reporting the war between Israel and Iraq.
*Edit: Click here to see the video

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Chris Bell on the Talk Show

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell will be on KERA's talk show tomorrow, Thursday.
If you miss the hour long discussion you can listen on the podcast - probably what I'll end up doing.
The Texas Governor's Race is heating up. What issues are important to you? As part of KERA's Voter's Voice coverage, Krys Boyd will spend this hour with Democratic candidate Chris Bell. We'll also take your calls and questions in what is planned to be the first in a series of gubernatorial candidate interviews on The Talk Show.
Call 800-933-5372 or email talkshow@kera.org on Thursday to tell Chris what's on your mind or to ask him a question.

MTV Movie Awards - Batman Begins

MTV Movie Awards - Batman Begins

Thomas shared a link to the 2005 MTV Movie Awards spoof with Batman.
Just wait till the end.

U2 by U2

Aaron sent me this link:
U2.com is reporting that U2 will release a new book next month, entitled U2 by U2.
It will be the definitive U2 story. It will have stories never before told and photos never before seen. It is ‘U2byU2’ and worldwide publication is just two months away, on September 22nd.
For the first time each member of U2 – and manager Paul McGuinness - has told their own story from their earliest childhood memories to their first meeting with each other, from those opening chords in Larry’s kitchen to becoming the biggest band in rock’n’roll.
Looks like it should be out just in time for me to read on my super long flight from Dallas to Nigeria. Looking forward to it.
Speaking of my trip, I believe I'm still at least $1,000 short for the trip. So if you feel so led, feel free to make a donation to the trip by clicking the PayPal button on the right hand column.

Six ounces still legal

For those of you heading to New Braunfels this year, just a friendly reminder:
The New Braunfels City Council on Monday approved an anti-littering rule that targets "Jell-O shots" on local rivers despite some residents' complaints that the ordinance will be ineffective.
The ordinance does not specifically address the small cups of alcoholic gelatin but was crafted to focus on containers of 5 fluid ounces or less.
The city recently increased fines for noise-ordinance violations and banned "volume drinking devices" - better known as beer bongs.
But have no fear, you can get more alcohol in a six ounce jell-o shot and they're still legal.
At Monday's council meeting, resident Jay Patrick distributed nonalcoholic Jell-O shots in 6-ounce containers to make the point that nothing but the size of containers would change under the new ordinance.
"You can use 6-ounce containers, like these, or you can make Jell-O shots in ice trays," he said.
Just a word of advice, if my friend Kelly offers you a jell-o shot, avoid it. It's probably mixed with 151 and tastes like gasoline.

My aunt is a grandmother

I'm not sure which is more surprising, that my cousins Bryan and Brandon are uncles, or my aunt is now a grandmother. I think everyone needs to call her and tease her about that.
Either way my cousin Delaina and her husband Mark welcomed their son, Matthew Walker into the world at 11:24 a.m. today. Matthew was 8 lbs, 12 ounces and 19 inches. I think he's already bigger than his proud parents.
Mother and son are both doing well according to the proud father - who I had to call to get the info. I guess cousins aren't at the top of the phone call list.
Congratulations to everyone!

Steve Blow gets it

From Sunday's DMN:
Parents must be in charge of their children's education. To put it plainly: The success or failure of your child's education is up to you.
We spend a lot of time talking about "fixing" schools. The truth is that few are broken. The much bigger problem is parents who have forgotten their vital role. When that happens, schools struggle.
Teachers have a hard time discussing this. It sounds like they're making excuses. But it's true.
As a parent, you have the power to make a complete failure of the very best teacher or finest school. How? Easy. Just say bad things about the school to your child. Tell how unfair teachers were to you. Criticize a lot. Or simply take no interest at all. Trust me, your attitude will quickly be your child's attitude.
On the other hand, if you are excited about school, chances are your child will be, too. Make it clear how important education is to you. Set high goals. Volunteer at school if you can. At least introduce yourself to the teacher. Don't hesitate to make an appointment as soon as concerns arise. Working as a team is everything.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Great billboard

When I said, "love your neighbor" I meant it.
- God

Lunchtime exercise


The beautiful Laurie sent me a great flash animation with Bono and friends - including President Bush singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.
I haven't had any suggested exercise lately here on the blog, so I suggest you get your entire office in on the fun in celebration of the SSC sale.
Just be sure you watch Bono's lead and not Bush's.

Top 5 songs I'm listening to over and over today

5. Jack Johnson - Better Together
4. Stevie Ray Vaughn - Life by the Drop
3. Switchfoot - We are Made of Stars
2. Jurassic 5 - What's Golden
1. Stephen Speaks - Out of my League

Full disclosure: I've also just added Gnarles Barkly - Crazy to the mix.

Israeli kids sending greeting to Lebanon Momma don't let you children grow up to be soldiers


Israeli kids sending greeting to Lebanon
Originally uploaded by Kodak Agfa.

While searching for images from Lebanon, I came across several photos that were alarming.
Children signing messages on rockets before they're fired at Lebanon.
Apparently anti-Israeli propaganda:

And Hezbollah child soldiers:


"I've got soul but I'm not a soldier"

Good Morning Beruit


Good Morning Beruit
Originally uploaded by Emamd.

From e-mail. I believe the family in Beruit are(were) members at my dad's church. Either way they're friends with members of the church. (note: the photo is from flickr and not the sender of the e-mail.

Dear Friends,
Thank you so much for your patience. I have been so extremely busy trying to organize a system for food purchase, storage, and distribution. None of us has had any training in this area, but we praise the Lord for sustaining us and using us mightily to lift up His wonderful name. We have a team of volunteers who are working six days a week in order to unload the food from the pickup trucks, parcel it out, load it in to the church vans to take to the schools or public spaces where refugees have taken refuge. So far we have distributed food to more than 2500 families in our major church in Beirut called the Karantina church. I do not have a final count of all the food distributed by other Alliance churches in other areas or by our other partner churches in eight other locations.
Gasoline shortage has forced us to change our strategy and start distributing food to refugees on church premises. Today for the first time, the Israeli airplanes raided our own area where [a] few important bridges were destroyed. We were feeling secure up to this point. This recent developments has hampered our relief distribution efforts for few and it will have a tremendous effect for the future. Seeing that we were unsure about how widespread these attacks were going to be, we suspended all our program for a few hours to make sure that our volunteers are not on the roads. We resumed food distribution just before noon and went on till 6:00 p.m., but we did not send our vans out on the streets. The destruction of the bridges just north of Beirut has made supplying the city with much needed supplies more difficult, more expensive, and dangerous. We are bracing ourselves for a very difficult couple of weeks. So please continue to pray for us, I can feel some disappointment and frustration in our volunter team for they are all very tired and are expecting the worst now.
Today, I have tried to bring as many supplies as possible to our very small storage room, but what we have is not enough to meet the needs if things get as a bad as we think they will.
This is a quick update. Sorry I cannot write a full-blown report right now, for I am extremely busy trying to get things in order to keep our ministry going. It looks that there is no end in sight, so we are all in a survival mode right now. A few days ago, I moved my family to the church campus in Beirut because of the shortage in gasoline. This way we do not have to be on the road everyday. But, the bombing of the bridges has made us all apprehensive, since our church is situated about 200 meters (600 ft.) away from one major bridge connecting the northern suburb of Beirut to the city center. The apartment in which we were staying has a glass facade. Any bombing of the scale we have seen so far, will definitely shatter the glass and we risk being injured. So I sent my family up to Anna's parents where there is nothing to be bombed and I stayed in the city to oversee the relief distribution operation.
In the midst of all this, I would like you to know that the Lord is being glorified and lifted up. Many people are receiving a copy of the Bible/NT and we are having many opportunities to share Christ with Muslim refugees. One of the girls that my wife took care of when she had an infected tooth and made sure she gets her antibiotics and some dental care, said to Anna, "I wish I would always be sick so that I can spend more time with you." On Sunday, Anna drove a van full of people to church who were absolutely amazed at how the Christian believers are helping them even though they considered them to be the cultural/political enemies.
On Thursday night, we had had a meeting of all our volunteers in order to pray and praise God as a group and share some thoughts on how the Lord has been working through our ministsry. It was a great time of sharing of stories and lessons we have learned as Christians in trying to deal with this whole situation. Some of the 7 Muslim families that took refuge in our church were also there with us singing with us and praising Christ our Lord and blessing his name. One Muslim lady shared how much our ministry has meant to her and her family. She is a Brazilian citizen and had a chance to leave her family behind and evacuate with the Brazilians that left Lebanon. She thanked us for allowing them to stay at the church because this kept her family together.
Please continue to pray for our safety and for boldness to speak the truth of Christ in love for a people hungry to hear a word of hope. Our hope in Christ means a lot to them. They are puzzled by our love. They help us when they can and every now and then I see a Christian with a Muslim sharing with them the love of Christ.
Yes our days are dark. They may get even darker in the coming few weeks. Strangely, I am reminded of the words of Gandalf the gray wizard in the land of Moria when Frodo was complaining about the fact that he got to be the ring bearer. Gandalf said, "So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." I know this is not the Bible, but it is insightful. We cannot worry about tomorrow and the "why." At this point, we have to decide what to do with the time given to us. We have been given a time of war, and we decided to honor the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and obey him by staying where he called us to be in order to be lights for Him. Pray that our light will shine and continue to shine.
Blessings,
Milad

Monday, August 14, 2006

Shawn Michaels on the new DX

WWE.com has a great interview and story with Tripple H and Shawn Michaels.
As you may be aware, Michaels and HHH have returned to their old days of DX, but Michaels of course has found faith in Jesus since the DX of 1997, when anything and everything was cool.
While a lot has changed since the origins of DX, one of the key factors in the evolution of DX is Michaels’ personal faith. HBK is now a born-again Christian, and his faith has changed him in every facet of life. He’ll even be the first to tell you that the Shawn Michaels you see in 2006 is a much different man than Shawn Michaels was in 1997.
“Well, everybody knows, obviously my faith and becoming born again was the one and only impact on my life,” Michaels said. “A lot of other things changed as a result of that, and I knew there were a lot of questions coming to do with the DX thing. They obviously asked me beforehand what I’d be comfortable with and what I wasn’t comfortable with and I knew this going in.”
When Shawn Michaels steps through that curtain every night, he becomes the Showstopper. Shawn is an icon in the industry, but these days his reputation with God is much more important to him than anything else. There’s a lot of give and take in sports-entertainment, and while Michaels realizes this, he does the best he can to stay true to himself.
“I’ve done my best to stand strong, but I set out some guidelines of things I wasn’t going to do,” Michaels said candidly. “They slowly try to creep them in and I slowly do my best to fight them off, and they say OK and they back off for a week and then they try to creep back up again. It’s a non-stop struggle, and everybody’s trying to…”
Shawn took a moment to compose his thoughts before continuing.
“You know, this company has a product to put out, obviously DX has sort of an image to uphold. Really, I’ve tried to do my best to do that and still stay true to my beliefs and it’s been difficult. I know that there have been a lot of people who have come down on me and I’ve taken a lot of heat for it; I’m used to that. Thank goodness me getting heat on myself for various reasons is no different now than it was 10 years ago, although it may just come from a different sect or a different group of folks. There are two roads: a road to righteousness and a road to destruction, and as I’ve always said, I try not to beat anybody over the head with it. But I like to think I’m staying true to my faith.”

Why I don't give my opinions

Rick and a few others get on to me for not giving my opinions on politics on my blog.
Thought I'd share this article from Editor and Publisher.
Let's assume that for blogs written by full-time staffers or other specifically designated "regular" contributors to a newspaper's Web site, there's little doubt that the legally prudent, and probably most editorially effective, approach is to "pre-edit." But what about blogs that full-time staff members write from home on their own time and that aren't related to their areas of expertise at the newspaper? Those would seem to be OK, wouldn't they?
Not so fast, says Chad Milton, citing the hypothetical case of a star reporter who from home maintains a blog about wines. "People know who he is," observes Milton, "and they pay particular attention to him because he is a star reporter. If he says something defamatory in his wine blog, I would think the plaintiff might well want to sue the publisher of his newspaper, arguing, 'This is your guy, so you're responsible for it.' Whether that would stick, I don't know. But there certainly is the potential for a case there."
Determining the nature of personal blogs written by reporters and editors outside the parameters of their official newspaper duties is a delicate issue indeed.
It really makes you think about how opinionated you want to be on a topic.

Seriously - shes a hottie


Seriously - shes a hottie
Originally uploaded by Jdblundell.

There's new pictures posted over at Flickr from the wedding this weekend in San Antonio.
Had a good time and saw comedian Ron White on the Riverwalk.
He walked right by me and smiled.
Didn't see his infamous cigar or whisky glass though.

The Brick Testament

Just got back from a loooong meeting and lunch and did a little catching up before starting on today's stories.
Came across this: The Brick Testament...

The entire Bible illustrated with Legos. Fun way to visualize the scriptures.

McDreamy vs candidate for grandma


Gov. McDreamy has posted a new video on his campaign website done by the Perry Alliance Network.
The video shows the Independent candidate for Texas Grandma making an official, or is that a campaign speech about the Trans Texas Corridor.
Either way, the video shows that the candidate for grandma arrived in her official state comptroller vehicle.
This comes after recent reports by reports by the Austin American Statesman and Houston Chronicle published reports that the candidate for grandma was using her comptroller office staff to do campaign research and work.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Brand new podcast

It's up and running!
The new encounter podcast was published tonight!
It took some more tweaking from the test run of the one21media podcast, but I think all is well and hopefully the podcast will also be added to the iTunes podcast directory within the next day or so.
Want to listen?
Go to http://feeds.feedburner.com/Encounter and click on the latest post near the bottom of the page, or simply click on your preferred podcast player on the right hand side of the page to subscribe.

Re: Did my dad just start a blog?

Yup. Sure did.
Keep an eye out for more posts. And drop him some encouraging comments to keep it up: http://passage-to-higher-ground.blogspot.com

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Did my dad just start a blog?

WOAH! Did my dad just start a blog? Or is someone going by the name of fred commenting on Walker's blog?
I'm really excited if he did - but hopefully he'll update it more often than he check his e-mail ;-).

Friday, August 11, 2006

To cable or not to cable

My buddy Walker is trying to decide whether or not to upgrade to a cable subscription or not.
He could use some advice.
Drop him a note, let him know what you think.

elliot's ice cream


elliot's ice cream
Originally uploaded by Mr. Biggs.

Wait a second - that looks like a Lehmann girl.

Nice quotes

President Bush, March 6, 2005: “We‘re taking the fight to the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”

President Bush, Aug. 10, 2006: “It is a mistake to believe there is no threat to the United States of America.”

Life and Death

I don't usually read the obits in the paper, other than to proof them. And I don't usually read them in other papers, but for some reason this one jumped out at me.
DARNELL, SAMANTHA M., 26, who was the light of her Dad's life and the heartbeat of her Mom's soul, died May 23rd due to complications with the demons of prescription drug abuse, and the associated problems that went with it. After years of valiantly attempting to beat this disease, the battle was finally lost. She lit up a room when she entered and gained many friendships in her short time here. Finally released from the vises (sic) that tormented her so on this Earth, I can only imagine that she has joined her beloved grandmother, Mary Darnell, in an environment where she is free and happy, at last. She is survived by her Dad, Sam, and his wife, Terrianne. Memorials may be made to Nexus Recovery Center, 8733 LaPrada Dr., Dallas, TX. 75228, 214.321.0156.
I feel for her family. Maybe because she was so close in age to Amy - I don't know. But it also unusual to see a family just lay it out there like that. I'm sure she was greatly loved and is now greatly missed.
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, naked I shall return. For the Lord gives and takes away. Blessed be His name."

$1 mil donated to stem cell research

A couple in New York has donated $1 million to a university for stem cell research.
A Brighton couple has given the largest private donation ever towards stem cell research at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Jack A. Erdle, founder of Eldre Corp. in Henrietta, and his wife, Norma, donated $1 million to go specifically towards stem cell research at the university. They didn't specify what kind of stem cell research the money should be used for.
Many universities nationwide are relying on private funding to do embryonic stem cell research. President Bush vetoed a bill last month that would have re-established federal funding for stem cell research using embryos that are normally discarded at fertility clinics.

MochaClub



Get this video and more at MySpace.com
Check out MochaClub.org. Using clubs and Web 2.0 ideas like Myspace and Facebook, the group is doing some great things for African orphans and HIV/AIDS victims.
Under the umbrella of African Leadership they're offering a chance for everyone to get involved and make a difference.
For the cost of two mochas, you can help make a huge difference in Africa.
$7 a month?! That’s 2 Grande soy-milk mochas with whipped cream that you’re not drinking! We believe that joining the Mocha Club is an extremely advantageous, exciting and innovative way for YOU to participate, and we believe this is going to be an opportunity for God to pour into you a gratefulness and overwhelming joy through the beautiful orphans in Africa!
I'm looking to start a club for our church, so I'll keep you posted on that. But if you'd like, sign up for your own club or someone elses and start waking up and making a difference to the needs around the world.
90 percent of the gifts given will go to Africa and $7 a month will:
  • Give 9 orphans 3 meals in a day, or
  • Pay for 21 orphans' housing for 1 day, or
  • Keep a child in school for 3 months, or
  • Give 7 Africans clean water for a year, or
  • Provide one month's worth of life-saving drugs to someone living with AIDS.
  • Thursday, August 10, 2006

    Susan Combs interview

    I just finished an interview with state comptroller candidate and current Ag Commissioner Susan Combs. I like her. She's smart, sounds like she knows what's going on -- and I agree with (what I feel is) her belief in the role of the state comptroller.
    The comptroller shouldn't set the state's budget rules and legislation, but give the executive and legislative branch the most complete and accurate information possible.
    I'm afraid Strayhorn hasn't done that.
    Strayhorn is too interested in setting policy and deciding how the state should run the budget, rather than getting complete acurate information to the people who were elected to make those decisions.
    And about that "steamy romance book..." she said it was just genre fiction that she had an opportunity to write and joked that she was dissapointed now that her current opponent has brought it up and its getting tons of free publicity, the publisher has closed and she's not getting a dime from new books sales.
    The book was written in 1987 and was brought up in her 92 and 97 elections and no one cared and I think she's surprised its in any way an issue now.

    Walker's got a blog

    Everybody give a shout out to my boy Walker!
    "What up Walker?!"
    Walker joined the blogosphere today with Sojourner's Jaunt.
    Check it out. Great guy - should be a fun ride.
    Now if someone could get his wife, Dollye and my girl, Laurie, to blog - the world might be perfect again ;-).

    The blogging church


    Thanks to Johnny Baker for the heads up.

    Fire Breathing


    Fire Breathing
    Originally uploaded by Jdblundell.

    There's something funny about pictures of people squinting from bright flashes and exhauling large amounts of smoke from a Hookah. Dollye, Walker, Matt and I all enjoyed some tasty Turkish food and Hookahs last night in Richardson. A good time had by all I do believe.

    What's broken at church

    From CMS:
    Watch Seth Godin riff on what's broken (watching a Seth Godin riff is as good as reading one!). It all comes from the site This is Broken, which has loads more great examples. Seth offers up a few reasons why things may be broken:
  • Not my job - It wasn't someone's job to fix it, so they didn't.
  • I didn't know - Someone didn't know it was even broken, which is probably the scariest (do you use your own stuff?).
  • I'm not a fish - The person who designed it never uses it.
  • Broken on purpose - This is kind of the odd category for something that's supposed to be broken.
    So what's broken in church?
  • Re: Doctors grow new bladders

    I still think that's a funny looking headline, but I bet it grabbed your attention - at least the first time you read it.
    Just got this news update about Medical City in Dallas:
    A Dallas-area hospital has become the Texas Cord Blood Bank's first donor collection site in North Texas -- the fourth donor site in Texas.
    Medical City has begun collecting stem cells from umbilical cord blood. Umbilical cord blood, which is normally discarded after a baby is born, is naturally rich in blood-producing cells.
    I do find it funny though that I read it in a San Antonio business journal and not a local paper.

    Re: Doctors grow new bladders

    KERA's Talk Show looked at the 50,000 plus frozen embryos left over from in vetro fertilization. A great program and interesting issues/points.
    Check out the podcast.
    From the show's description:
    500,000 frozen embryos left over from in vitro fertilization procedures are accumulating in storage in the nation's 430 fertility clinics. What should couples do with these embryos? It's a difficult decision for many people and rapidly expanding access to fertilization treatment means that more and more couples will face the question in the future. Liza Mundy, Washington Post staff writer, worries that the excess of frozen embryos might "explode the reproductive landscape" in America. Mundy writes about the personal, political, and moral dimensions of the subject in "Souls on Ice: America's human embryo glut and the unbearable lightness of almost being," which appears in the current issue of Mother Jones Magazine. Krys Boyd will talk with Liza Mundy this hour.

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    Re: Doctors grow new bladders

    Doing even more research on the topic, this was just released a couple hours ago from CNN Money:
    Embryonic stem cells might hold the secrets to curing paralysis and brain damage, but they've also garnered plenty of controversy with the anti-abortion lobby because they're harvested from embryos.
    However, work using adult stem cells - which are donated by grown men and women - is not only free of such controversy, it's actually much closer to getting effective products on the market.
    The adult stem cell research at several biotech outfits in particular - Osiris, Cytori, Aastrom - is worth keeping an eye on according to analysts.
    "From a Wall Street perspective, adult stem cells are a much better investment," said Stephen Dunn of Dawson James Securities. "These are the guys who are going to be in the news in 2007 and 2008."
    According to the report, while embryonic stem cell researchers are experimenting with rats, adult stem cell researchers have moved on to more advanced tests with humans. The embryonic-based stem cell treatments are probably a decade away, but the US market could see its first adult-based stem cell treatments within the next couple of years.
    That's exciting and something I would be willing to throw tax payer money behind.

    Doctors grow new bladders

    I don't know how or why I missed this, but I found a very interesting report from the Washington Post from April of this year.
    Researchers said yesterday that they have grown complete urinary bladders in a laboratory and transplanted them into patients, improving their health and achieving a Holy Grail of medicine: the first cultivation of working replacements for failing solid organs in people.
    The "neo-bladders," each one grown in a small laboratory container from a pinch of a patient's own cells, have been working in seven young patients for an average of almost four years, according to a report released yesterday by the British journal the Lancet. The organs have remained free of the many complications that bedevil the conventional practice of surgically constructing bladders from other tissues.
    According to the article, no embryonic stem cells were used in growing the new bladders. That's great information for possible future health issues.
    My decision is still out on embryonic stem cell research. I don't know enough about the issue to decide. On one hand, I believe we should be looking to cure every and all conditions and diseases we can and I have a hard time believing that it's OK to flush embryos from fertility clinics down the drain, rather than use them for research. It seems a bit hypocritical to me.
    I have a hard time believing its OK to kill anyone, embryo, fetus, newborn or a 115 year old senior living in a nursing home.
    On the other hand, I have no issue with adult stem cell research, or umbilical cord stem cells, or even fetus stem cells if the cells can be taken without harming life.
    But depending on which report you read, the research seems to go both ways on how much advantage embryonic stem cells might have over other stem cells.
    I would love to see the conservatives (or anyone else) stand up and say "While we realize there may be ethical issues involved with embryonic stem cells, we'll fund research of umbilical cord stem cells, adult stem cells and others."
    Quit arguing over embryonic stem cells and lets find a common ground with other cells that we know will not harm a life.
    In contrast to research on embryonic stem cells, non-embryonic stem cell research has already resulted in numerous instances of actual clinical benefit to patients. For example, patients suffering from a whole host of afflictions -- including (but not limited to) Parkinson's disease, autoimmune diseases, stroke, anemia, cancer, immunodeficiency, corneal damage, blood and liver diseases, heart attack, and diabetes -- have experienced improved function following administration of therapies derived from adult or umbilical cord blood stem cells. The long-held belief that non-embryonic stem cells are less able to differentiate into multiple cell types or be sustained in the laboratory over an extended period of time --rendering them less medically-promising than embryonic stem cells -- has been repeatedly challenged by experimental results that have suggested otherwise.
    If this is true, why are we not funding more research on adult stem cells? Chris Bell said in a phone interview last week that he would propose spending $30 million on stem cell research if elected. He didn't clarify if that was for embryonic or all stem cell research - but given the context of the interview, I would guess it would go towards embryonic.
    If I were Gov. "McDreamy" I'd propose spending $30 million on adult and umbilical cord stem cell research in Texas right away. Show the supporters of embryonic stem cell research that there are other options. Prove it to us.
    For more articles and information on other stem cell options, visit The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics

    Podcasts up and running

    We're getting ready to start podcasting Brian's messages from Encounter so I spent a little time today making sure I knew what I was doing.
    Now I do. And I'm acually amazed at how easy it is. I'll need to do this a lot more.
    Anyways, if you're bored, feel free to check out the "One21Podcast."
    Just copy and paste this code into your podcast player: http://www.one21media.com/one21podcast.rss
    If you're using iTunes, click Advanced on the toolbar and then Subscribe to Podcast. Copy the podcast address into the box and you're on your way. Don't know when or how often I'll update this, but I may throw some random things on there from time to time.

    PC v Mac

    PC v Mac: Work

    Mandy suggested I do a top 5 list on why PC's are better than Macs (folks in my office love when their Macs crash hourly and I'm still typing away on my PC).
    But instead of a top 5, I thought I'd just share this video.

    Bloggers shut down campaign


    I'm sure most of you are aware by now that Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., lost his primary election yesterday.
    I'm also sure many of you have heard that Lieberman's website crashed yesterday -- on election day.
    But you may not have heard about the impact bloggers and groups like NetRoots had on the campaign.
    TIME magazine gives the rundown for you: "The Unmaking of a Senator: How Bloggers Pulled It Off" - With Lieberman's primary loss, the netroots movement has established itself as a power center among Democrats. But will its influence haunt the party in November?
    The much-hyped Internet activists of the Howard Dean presidential campaign, liberal blogs like Daily Kos and activist groups like MoveOn.org had generated lots of buzz, but few results at the ballot box until now. But in Tuesday's Democratic primary, the bloggers didn’t just get a win, but a victory no one could have expected even four months ago. Joe Lieberman wasn't just a three-term Connecticut Senator, he was only a few thousand votes from being the vice-president in a Democratic administration six years ago. And despite almost the entire Democratic establishment supporting his run against a virtually unknown businessman named Ned Lamont, including former President Clinton campaigning for him in Connecticut, the bloggers and Connecticut voters have essentially kicked Joe Lieberman out of the Democratic Party.
    Makes groups like TexRoots sound a lot more viable.

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    Bono buys stake in Forbes

    Forbes, a family held company, announced today an investment in the company by Elevation Partners in which the private equity firm, co-founded by Bono (who serves as Managing Director), has become a minority shareholder in a newly formed company, Forbes Media, LLC, the publisher of Forbes magazine, Forbes.com and other media properties.
    In making the announcement Steve Forbes, President and CEO of Forbes and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine said, “This investment by Elevation Partners will now accelerate our pursuit of a number of very exciting opportunities for growth. The team brings impressive experience and great expertise, and they are particularly strong in technology, media and entertainment innovations. Elevation Partners are the kind of entrepreneurs Forbes has been covering for years. Truly, they are the right people at the right time.”
    The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports said the stake was worth about $250m.
    From the Elevation Partners website:
    Elevation Partners is a newly formed private equity firm that makes large-scale investments in market-leading media, entertainment, and consumer-related businesses. We focus on investing in intellectual property and content oriented businesses, as well as traditional media and entertainment companies, where we can partner with management to enhance growth and profitability through a combination of strategic capital and operational insight. Elevation Partners has nearly $1.9 billion in committed capital to be invested over the next six years.
    We aim to help media and entertainment businesses create and market great content and insure it reaches the widest audience possible. Our investment team has a unique combination of media and entertainment knowledge and relationships, technology domain knowledge and relationships, investing experience, and operating expertise. Businesses that partner with us expect to transform themselves through the strategic use of technology and licensing, as well as improvements in core marketing, distribution, and operating processes.