look both ways
Friday, March 26, 2004
Wrong Answer

lj | Friday, March 26, 2004 | |

Thursday, March 25, 2004

My apologies to Bro. Phil. I fully intended to do this earlier, but the family has been sick. Plus, I had to gather all my books together (some were at home and others at church). It was also difficult to narrow it down to ten, but here they are:

1. Purpose Driven Youth Ministry,by Doug Fields, published by Zondervan
I know these days, it's fun to hate Doug Fields. Even those who outwardly criticize his books, probably secretly still use them. After all, like he said, "Why re-invent the wheel?" You don't have to copy what he says. I don't think his goal was to make other youth groups like his, but his principles give you a clear vision of what needs to be accomplished Biblically and why. Just because it has become mainstream doesn't make it evil.

2. Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry,by Doug Fields, published by YouthSpecialties and Zondervan
Again, I know Doug Fields haters aren't going to like my list, but this is also an essential book. Regardless of the title, I think it is a good book for anyone. I was in the ministry for over two years before I first picked it up, and it still helped me. I make enough mistakes as it is, if I can learn from someone else's mistakes, I'd rather do that.

3. Youth Ministry Management Tools,by Ginny Olson, Diane Elliot, and Mike Work, published by YouthSpecialties and Zondervan
Let's face it. Youth Pastors stay in trouble. In trouble with parents, church members, deacons and even pastors sometimes. These management tools will help minimize the risk factor and be prepared for something before it occurs. Liabilities, Injuries, Finances, Interviews, Advertising, Time Management, etc. Many useful tools.

4. Youth Ministry in Small Churches,by Rick Chromey, published by Group Books
Most people won't pick this book up out of pride. None of us like to think of ourselves as "small." For some reason that has been given a negative connotation concerning youth groups. But this book will help you think small minded which is important, regardless of your actual size. In response to the eternal question Youth Pastor's are inevitably asked, that is, "How many are in your group," Chromey answers: "Counting kids isn't as important as making kids count." Touche.

5. Tough Topics: 600 questions that will take your students beneath the surface,by Jim Aitkins, published by YouthSpecialties and Zondervan
This is just one of a series of books by YouthSpecialties. All of them are great.
The others are: Have You Ever?; Name Your Favorite; Unfinished Sentences; What If?; Would You Rather?
My group fights over these, and gets mad if I don't read one in Sunday School. They have changed my group and shown me the need for a good crowdbreaker.

6. A Ready Defense,by Josh McDowell, published by Thomas Nelson Publishers
This isn't a Youth Ministry book per se, however, if anyone is ever asked tough questions about the Bible, it's Youth Pastors. Kids don't pull punches when it comes to issues and I've found Josh McDowell's book to be more than adequate. Some have criticized him for starting with history and working to support it with Scripture but I have found his analysis to be a very lucid and rational apologia. In fact, I plan to quote some excerpts in the near future for the blog. Numerous times my teens have asked me about the beliefs of certain other religions out of concern for their friends and I have found myself returning to this book for insight.

7. Videos That Teach, by Doug Fields and Eddie James, published by YouthSpecialties and Zondervan
Every once in a while you will come across something that changes the way you teach and relate to young people. And while this method of using movie clips to teach isn't new (I think Group puts out a series called Blockbuster Illustrations that is the same idea) it still surprised me at the positive responses I had once I started using them. I presently do it once a month or in a particular lesson that calls for it.

8. Understanding Today's Youth Culture,by Walt Mueller, published by Tyndale House Publishers
One of the biggest mistakes that parents and adults make in dealing with young people is not paying attention to what's going on in their lives. If you're a parent but you're having trouble communicating with your teen it might be because you haven't been paying attention to them or what's going on. The music they listen to, the way they dress, all these things are for a reason. Walt Mueller is probably one of the leading authors on youth culture today, especially as it pertains to a Christian perspective.

9. How to Speak to Youth. . . and keep them Awake at the same time,by Ken Davis, published by YouthSpecialties and Zondervan
Ken Davis has been around a while but his humor is still witty and relevant. We should always be reminded of the fact that we are ministers, not babysitters. Our lessons and sermons are just as important as any a pastor would give. And they take just as much preparation. The average church member has sadly lost sight of this fact. Mainly because preparation and connection with the youth is not part of the equation.

10. Junior High Ministry,by Wayne Rice, published by YouthSpecialties and Zondervan
Of all the problems I have heard other Youth Pastors speak about, they almost always involve a Jr. Higher in some way or another. Not that Sr. Highers are saints, but it takes a special call to deal with Jr. High. Rice's book will help you see past all the sterotypes that have been given to Jr. Highers and what it will take to effectively deal with them. The great thing about the book is it's not over-analytical. It has practical ideas, even games and bible study ideas, ready to use right now. Junior High ministry is probably the only one that requires a manual.

lj | Thursday, March 25, 2004 | |

Media Line uh Thursday

"Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have more responsibility here than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. I know deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you don't want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then question the manner in which I provide it. I prefer you said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand to post. Either way, I don't give a **** what you think you are entitled to."

lj | Thursday, March 25, 2004 | |

Much has been made of President Bush's spending habits. In all honesty, I myself am surprised to see it by a Republican. My biggest beef with Bush is the appropriation to the NEA. Keep in mind though that because of the threat of terrorism, a new cabinet, Department of Homeland Security, has been created. It's creation makes some people uncomfortable but because of it's existence, they have the freedom to be uncomfortable in the safety of their own homes. (I'm thinking of a particular Jack Nicholson quote in A Few Good Men)

But do you think Kerry's spending will be more fiscally responsible? At least with Bush will enjoy lower taxes.

lj | Thursday, March 25, 2004 | |

Wednesday, March 24, 2004
The Many Faces of John Kerry

lj | Wednesday, March 24, 2004 | |

Why Dad's Shouldn't Babysit (I can definitely relate to this one.)


How Eminem got his start

lj | Wednesday, March 24, 2004 | |

lj | Wednesday, March 24, 2004 | |

Leave it to the United Nations -- to screw things up

Nearly half a decade after the U.S. intervention and the appointment of a U.N. authority, discord persists in the war-torn capital of Serbia-Montenegro. In the latest burst of violence, Serbian nationalists last Thursday rioted and clashed with police, at one point even setting fire to a 17th century mosque. In response, one Serbian minister cautioned that violence against the province's Muslim Albanian majority could lure terrorists to the troubled region.

I mention this partly because conservatives, especially American ones, often are accused of being insufficiently deferential to the U.N. Allow me to remedy this state of affairs: the U.N. should be acknowledged for its role in perpetuating the chaos in Kosovo. Lest I judge too harshly, let me point out that the U.N.'s solution to the region's conflict is typical of its solution to every international conflict: announce that everything is fine, then hope reality cooperates.

It may be equally poor etiquette to argue that the U.N. inflamed ethnic rivalries. And yet, by willfully glossing over the long-simmering tensions between the Albanian Muslim majority and the Serbian Christian minority, the U.N.'s plan to preserve a single multiethnic state did exactly that. As last week's eruption of violence attests, the effect of the U.N. plan was akin to throwing a blanket over a bonfire. Bleak and bloody, Kosovo today is a testament to the shortsightedness of a U.N. administration and the fecklessness of its oversight.

NONETHELESS, THE FICTION THAT only the U.N. can win the peace remains, for some people, a compelling one. The New York Times, chief exponent of the see-no-evil-unless-you-can-pin-it-on-Bush school of editorial writing, assures us that "Winning the cooperation of countries like France and Russia will require the Bush administration to be far more serious about turning over real responsibility in Iraq to the United Nations and NATO."

Here we have an interesting glimpse into a particular kind of liberal psyche. For the Times, the most important question concerning our efforts in Iraq is not whether democracy is working for Iraqis, but whether it's working for those countries that strongly opposed its establishment in the first place. True, acknowledges the Times, Iraqis are better off without Saddam; on the other hand, Russia and France clearly are not. Follow the syllogism? The Times' editorialists are willing to concede that the administration pursued the right policy in ousting Saddam, but only by putting their rhetorical weight behind the opponents of said policy. They're for it because they're against it, you see. No wonder they're hot for John Kerry.

*I recently commented to my friend Dan that I believe the U.N. to be useless. His view is that it is simply flawed. Well, I say tragically flawed. Mortally flawed beyond repair. Some believe Bush made it that way, but in reality he only exposed what was already there: that the U.N. is a puppet for weak nations controlled by the European Union, of which there is a schism** with the United States.

**America and the European Union are quite different on policy regarding many things, particularly the Middle East, not because one is big and strong and the other is small and weakly and thus they see life differently, but because one is based upon Christian principles and the other is the not and thus their agenda is vastly different..

President Bush supports Israel's claims to the promised lands, while the EU opposes their claims and has tried to establish permanent obstacles.

While President Bush says that Israel has a right to self defense, the EU leads the world in condemning its fight against terror and demanding that Israel give land that God promised her to those who wish to destroy her
. (thanks to Greg Ofiesh)

lj | Wednesday, March 24, 2004 | |

Record Industry Sues 532 Alleged Music-Swappers

LOS ANGELES — The recording industry sued 532 people Tuesday, including scores of individuals using computer networks at 21 universities, claiming they were illegally sharing digital music files over the Internet.

This latest wave of copyright lawsuits brought by the Recording Industry Association of America on behalf of recording companies marks the first time the trade group has targeted computer users swapping music files over university networks.

The RIAA filed the "John Doe" complaints against 89 individuals using networks at universities in Arizona, California, New York, Indiana, Maryland, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Washington. Lawsuits were also filed against 443 people using commercial Internet access providers in California, Colorado, Missouri, Texas and Virginia.

The recording group did not name which Internet access providers the defendants were using.

With the so-called "John Doe" lawsuits, the recording industry must work through the courts to find out the identities of the defendants, which at the outset are only identified by the numeric Internet protocol addresses assigned to computers online.

The defendants, which the trade group claims offered "substantial amounts" of music files, face potential civil penalties or settlements that could cost them thousands of dollars. Settlements in previous cases have averaged $3,000 each.

"We are sending a clear message that downloading or 'sharing' music from a peer-to-peer network without authorization is illegal, it can have consequences and it undermines the creative future of music itself," RIAA president Cary Sherman said in a statement.

Including Tuesday's filings, the recording industry has sued 1,977 people since launching its legal assault against online music piracy last fall and reached out-of-court settlements in around 400 of the cases.

lj | Wednesday, March 24, 2004 | |

4-year-old brought $7,500 worth of cocaine to the Head Start program

Police find toddler who also disappeared on Monday after the couple's 4-year-old son brought crack cocaine to a Head Start program.

The parents of a pre-schooler who brought crack cocaine to school were believed to still be in hiding this morning, but police said they have found a toddler who disappeared with them on Monday.

The toddler was found at an apartment complex in the 4400 block of North Shadeland Ave. about 11 a.m., police said.

Police believe that the couple, Kenneth Lee Green, 24, and Andrea D. Jackson, 23, might be armed, said Sgt. Roger Tuchek, of the Indianapolis Police Department.

A search of the couple's home in the 400 block of West 41st Street on Monday turned up handgun and rifle rounds, shotgun shells and a bulletproof vest in addition to scales and some suspected marijuana.

The search for the couple began after their 4-year-old son brought a bag of suspected crack cocaine "rocks," worth as much as $7,500 on the street, to the Head Start program at 3637 N. Meridian Street.

A teacher recognized the white clumps as possible cocaine and called police.

"Obviously, these parents aren't going to get any Parent of the Year awards," said Tuchek.

*My first thought was: "What the heck is going on with our parents? Then it was: "He brought it to the head start program? Head start to what? Scarface?"

lj | Wednesday, March 24, 2004 | |

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Boy, 5, Brings Bag of Marijuana To Elementary School
Child Spotted Sprinkling Drug Over Friend's Lasagna

MIAMI -- Police say a 5-year-old boy brought a bag of marijuana to school and was sprinkling it over a friend's lasagna at the school cafeteria before a monitor intervened.

Police say it is unclear whether the kindergartner at Gratigny Elementary School even knew he was carrying the drugs on Monday.

The lasagna was confiscated before the other boy had a chance to eat it.

Initially, the boy, who had tried to hide the bag with his feet when the monitor approached him, "may have said it was oregano," said Mayco Villafana, spokesman for Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

"The boy is not going to be charged," Villafana said. "The focus is on the child's environment and what issues could have led to a child having a bag of marijuana in school."

The family of the kindergartner who had the marijuana is under the scrutiny of school police and state child-welfare authorities.

lj | Tuesday, March 23, 2004 | |

One team to root against by Seth Emerson

So your NCAA tournament bracket is shot to pieces. You had Kentucky, Stanford, Gonzaga, Mississippi State or some upstart (uh, Wisconsin) and now your pool pick-sheet is worth as much as a Dominican baseball player's birth certificate. But there are still two more weeks to go, so now who do you root for?

Easy. You root against Duke, for that program and its head coach are — and we don't think we're in any way exaggerating here — the epitome of all that is evil.

Oh, but you're confused? You thought this was the sainted Mike Krzyzewski (pronounced ARRO-GANT PHONY), who runs the cleanest program in America, whose basketball players are also Nobel laureates who spend their spare time reading to the blind and turning water into wine (and not just wine, but Chardonay). Well then you've spent too much time listening to the national media, which props up and adores Duke, led by ESPN and Dick Vitale, who often has to wear a slobber bucket around his neck when calling Blue Devils games.

The truth is a little more gray. You'd know that if you spoke more to the local media outlets in North Carolina, whom Krzyzewski doesn't speak to except for league-mandated conference calls or if you spoke to Atlantic Coast Conference referees, who for years have endured Krzyzewski's often-profane and abusive verbal barrages. Funny how they aren't played up like they are for his current main rival, Maryland's Gary Williams, or Coach K's mentor, Texas Tech's Bob "I invented five curse words last week" Knight.

Or you could speak to Pete Gaudet, who for years was the third assistant at Duke, earning upwards of $12,500 per year. Then during the 1994-95 season Coach K underwent back surgery and decided conveniently to take the entire year off as his team went 13-18. Once he returned The Sainted One fired Gaudet and later petitioned the NCAA to have all but three of those losses charged to Gaudet's record and not his own.


Look, Duke is the No. 1 basketball program in America, bar none. Most of what it does is right, admirable and to be lauded. But it's not the only winning program in America doing things right and deserving of such recognition. And right now, with a whiny, sniveling coach, Duke is the least deserving of a fourth national championship.

Read more of One Team to Root Against

lj | Tuesday, March 23, 2004 | |

lj | Tuesday, March 23, 2004 | |

Monday, March 22, 2004

C-SPAN, as part of its "Road to the White House," is broadcasting Sen. Kerry's 1971 testimony before Sen. Fulbright this Sunday night (6:30 & 9:30).

Now if I can only find that blank vcr tape.....

Thanks to Tony at i am always right

lj | Monday, March 22, 2004 | |

Exposing the True Message of the Anti-Bush crowd

Little Green Footballs
has documented the "Global Day of Action" rally in San Francisco this past Saturday.

I am experiencing so many emotions after viewing the pictures. The top three are: shame, anger and nausea.

If this is your vision for America, I feel sorry for you.

lj | Monday, March 22, 2004 | |

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Childhood Treasures

I was supposed to save them for the future.
My relatives were diligent in acquiring them for me.
I relished them for a brief span, out of love for what they represented.

Cardboard memories. Childhood treasures.

Yet the admiration was fleeting as my juvenile mind could not comprehend such riches.
Left to my own devices, they fell victims to sundry forms of gratification by destruction.
What was once only to be reserved for future value, soon became currently useful.

Cardboard memories. Childhood sound effects.

Unmercifully attached to my bike, I could now have the motorcycle I had always wanted.
But it came at a price.
Who knows how many unfamiliar faces were forced to pay homage to the spoke god.
But I didn't care. Sound effects were more fun than cardboard memories.

Regrets are never fun.
Now those familiar faces represent the treasures I once had.
Now those familiar faces represent the treasures I once was given.
Now those familiar faces represent the treasures I once threw away.
Now those familiar faces represent the treasure of a game I've grown to love.
Now those familiar faces represent the treasures I will pass on to my kids.
Now those familiar faces will become unfamiliar to someone else.

Baseball cards. Cardboard memories. Childhood treasures once again.

lj | Sunday, March 21, 2004 | |

"The Passion of the Christ" tops all R-rated movies

Now totaling $295,280,000 after Saturday's total,"The Passion" passed The Matrix Reloaded ($281,576,461) as the top grossing rated R movie of all time..

I hate to say I told you so. Actually, no I don't. I told you so, here and here. But it has even exceeded my optimistic expectations financially.

It's new total also moves it into #18 on the all-time list. It has to be a serious contender for the top ten, maybe higher, considering that Easter is near. Many church groups will be making another trip as a reminder of the holidays.

My new prediction? Look for "The King of Kings" to pass that other king.

lj | Sunday, March 21, 2004 | |

Saturday, March 20, 2004
Another Duke Post - Quote of the Day

There's something somewhat perplexing about journeying into Cameron Indoor Stadium. You know that the Cameron Crazies are supposed to be funny and hysterical, because Dick Vitale tells us so at every opportunity. So every time the Crazies open their collective mouths, you expect something witty and humorous to come out.

But the truth is that the student section is really the world's largest group of people who spent high school being beaten up and getting their lunch money stolen.

--Adam Lucas, goheels.com

lj | Saturday, March 20, 2004 | |

My Tribute to Duke - J.J. Redick at his best

I hope you didn't pick Duke to go to the final four....

lj | Saturday, March 20, 2004 | |

Use the location search (on your home address) to find those who live near you that have made presidential campaign contributions. You can also search for friends or celebrities by name.
via Insults Unpunished

lj | Saturday, March 20, 2004 | |

Friday, March 19, 2004
Impeachment: The Founders' Solution

As noted earlier, judges in previous generations who usurped powers from Congress or the people faced impeachment. But today's critics claim that the use of impeachment would either make the judiciary a “political” branch (as if it were not already a political branch) or that it would violate the “independence of the judiciary.” Yet, as Thomas Jefferson so accurately cautioned,

It should be remembered as an axiom of eternal truth in politics that whatever power . . . is independent is absolute also. . . . Independence can be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass.

No judge should ever be so independent that he is unaccountable to the Congress, and thereby the people. As Justice James Iredell (placed on the Court by President George Washington) so clearly explained:

Every government requires it [impeachment]. Every man ought to be amenable for his conduct.

Iredell further noted that some officials will behave themselves only under “the very terror of punishment” that impeachment provides. Recent events suggest he was right.

In 1996, six members of the Supreme Court voted to overturn the Colorado election forbidding special (rather than just equal) rights for homosexuals. Following that flagrant display of contempt for the will of Colorado voters, there was a national call for the impeachment of those six Justices. After this clamor for their removal, those same six Justices suddenly became ardent defenders of the people's elections and in a subsequent decision unexpectedly and unanimously chastised a lower court that had overturned a statewide election in Arizona. (Interestingly, Thomas Jefferson on multiple occasions called impeachment a “scarecrow” - something used to frighten predators - and the threat of impeachment certainly had that effect on the Supreme Court.)

Similarly, after a federal judge overturned a binding referendum by the voters of California (“Proposition 209”), national leaders called for the impeachment of that judge. Later, the 9th Circuit ordered the results of the election reinstated and criticized that judge for ignoring the will of the people. Yet, this same 9th Circuit Court had itself shortly before overturned at least three similar elections. Why the flip-flop? The “scarecrow” had been forcefully raised by Congress to make judges accountable for their decisions by returning to the original constitutional uses of impeachment.

It is true that impeachment is a cumbersome process, and achieving a conviction is difficult. However, on most occasions, just the threat of impeachment produces results. In fact, there are several examples of federal judges correcting their own decisions after hearing Congressional calls for their impeachment; and an actual impeachment sends an even more powerful message to all other wayward leaning judges.

Although Congress is ultimately responsible for the discipline of judges, far too many of our Congressmen (like far too many of our citizens) have no understanding of the proper use of impeachment. However, a wise political axiom declares that “Congress sees the light when it feels the heat,” and this is especially true on this issue. As citizens, we need to educate ourselves on the proper use of judicial impeachment, and then we need to educate our Representatives, reminding them of the need for judicial reform and alerting them to those judges showing a pattern of abuse. The time for encouraging judicial accountability is once again ripe. This is a golden opportunity for citizens to weigh in and make a difference.

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

The Supreme Court versus Congress

Even though the Constitution gave the lawmaking powers to the Congress, courts have become the predominant policy making body in the nation. In fact, on public tours of the Supreme Court, one often hears the ridiculous claim that “this is the building from which all the laws in the land emanate.” The Supreme Court, fully believing its own propaganda, regularly strikes down or rewrites the laws of Congress to conform to its own predilections and edicts.

For example, in 1993, Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to correct an earlier Supreme Court decision that weakened a long-standing First Amendment protection for religious groups. That Congressional act reinstituted protection declaring that a government entity must not interfere with a religious body unless it had “a compelling state interest” for doing so. When a Catholic church in Boerne, Texas, sought to accommodate its burgeoning membership but was denied a building permit to expand its facilities, the church invoked relief under RFRA, claiming the city had no “compelling state interest” in denying the church expansion. The Court ruled otherwise, striking down Congress' attempt to protect religious bodies from government intrusion. While most decried this decision for weakening the rights of religious bodies, there was a far greater question at stake.

Congress invoked Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution in passing RFRA to protect religious freedoms from further governmental encroachment. Yet even though the Congress had acted on the power explicitly given it in the Constitution, the Court struck down the law, refusing to be corrected by Congress and warning that Congress should not attempt to correct a Court ruling. Significantly, Congress cited the Constitution as its authority for passing RFRA, but the Court did not cite the Constitution as its authority for striking RFRA down. The Court instead pointed to its own previous decisions, thus elevating its rulings higher than the Constitution itself. As it explained, “Any suggestion that Congress has a substantive, non-remedial power under the Fourteenth Amendment is not supported by our case law.” The Court then rebuked Congress, warning that its judicial edicts must be treated “with the respect due them.” In short, we the Court demand that you the Congress adhere to our opinions regardless of what the Constitution says.

Obviously, the Supreme Court considers both itself and its decisions supreme over Congress. However, the Constitution disagrees - it deliberately empowers Congress with greater power. For example, the Constitution gives Congress the authority to set the salaries for judges, determine the size of the Judiciary, establish the scope of the Judiciary's jurisdiction and the types of cases which come before it. Furthermore, judges cannot serve without the approval of Congress, and Congress may remove judges with whom it is dissatisfied. These are just some of the “constitutional arms” for Congress' “powers of self-defense” (Federalist 73, Alexander Hamilton).

The Constitution clearly places many of the operations of the Judiciary under the oversight of Congress - a power not granted reciprocally to the Judiciary. This is made clear in the Federalist Papers (described by James Madison as “the most authentic exposition of the heart of the federal Constitution”), which confirm that subjugating the Judiciary to Congress was deliberate and intentional. Federalist #51 declares:

The legislative authority necessarily predominates.

Federalist #78 then proclaims:

The Judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power.

Furthermore, Federalist #49 declares that Congress - not the Court - is “the confidential guardians of [the people's] rights and liberties.” Why? Because the Legislature - not the unelected judiciary - is closest to the people and most responsive to them. In fact, the Court's own history proves that it is not a proficient guardian of the people's rights. For example, after the Civil War, Congress passed civil rights laws forbidding segregation, but the Court struck down these laws and instead instituted “separate but equal” in Plessey v. Ferguson. (While the Court eventually ended this racial segregation in Brown v. Board of Education, that decision was merely the Court's reversal of its own segregation standard previously established in Plessey.)

Moreover, had it been up to the Court, slavery would have never ended: in 1857, the Court declared it unconstitutional for the other branches to end slavery or to free slaves. Fortunately, Congress ignored that decision by declaring freedom for slaves in 1862 and President Lincoln also ignored that decision by issuing the “Emancipation Proclamation” in 1863. All substantive progress in civil rights after the Civil War was accomplished only after Congress used Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution to remove all Reconstruction issues from the Court's reach. Indeed, history demonstrates that the Court is less than a faithful guardian of the people's rights, violating the people's liberties as often as it protects them. As Thomas Jefferson pointed out:

Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. . . . and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control.

Today, the Court claims that it is the only body capable of interpreting the Constitution - that Congress is incapable of determining constitutionality. However, the Founding Fathers vehemently disagreed. For example, James Madison declared:

[T]he meaning of the Constitution may as well be ascertained by the Legislative as by the Judicial authority.

Constitutional Convention delegate Luther Martin similarly attested:

A knowledge of mankind and of legislative affairs cannot be presumed to belong in a higher degree to the Judges than to the Legislature.

The Founders consistently opposed the Court being the final word on constitutionality. For example, Thomas Jefferson declared:

[T]o consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. . . . The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal.

He further explained that if the Court was left unchecked:

The Constitution . . . [would be] a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please.

Allowing the Court to enlarge its own sphere of power beyond what the Constitution authorizes, permitting the Court to usurp the powers of Congress, and tolerating the Courts' disregard of constitutional separation of powers moves America ever further from being a representative republic and ever closer toward the oligarchy against which Jefferson warned. The Court must be resisted in these attempts.

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

Examples of Judicial Abuses

While most are aware of the 9th Circuit's recent decision that saying “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance threatens our American form of government, there are numerous additional examples, some staggeringly unbelievable. For example, in Jane Doe v. Santa Fe, a federal judge ruled that graduation prayers must not include any mention of “Jesus” or other “specific deities” and that any student offering such a prayer would face immediate arrest and up to six months in jail. The judge threatened “violators” by saying they would wish they “had died as a child” once his court finished with them.

In a Texas county where conservatives narrowly won multiple seats in an election, a federal judge reversed that outcome by arbitrarily throwing out the 800 votes cast by U.S. military personnel, saying they had no right to vote in local elections.

A federal judge in Nashville reviews the verdict of any jury in Tennessee that awards the death penalty. This judge has openly declared his personal opposition to the death penalty and has set aside every jury decision on this issue, despite the Constitution's explicit language to the contrary. The judge even allows nine years to pass, on average, before overturning the jury's sentence, thus disregarding the Constitution's guarantee to a speedy trial.

After citizens in a statewide election voted down a proposed tax-increase in Missouri, a federal judge, in direct violation of Article I of the Constitution, unilaterally set aside the election results and instead decreed that the tax be levied in order to finance his own personal plan for education in the State. Interestingly, this judge's plan (which funded the “Taj Majal” of public education) proved to be a dismal failure - at the continuing economic expense of the entire State.

There are many other examples; today's judiciary is now so arrogant that the Supreme Court's own Justices have described it as “a super board of education for every school district in the nation,” as amateur psychologists on a “psycho-journey,” and as “a national theology board.”

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

Impeachment of Federal Judges

The Founders' intent for impeachment was to protect the fundamental principle of “the consent of the governed.” The Constitution carries no title but “We the People,” and impeachment removes from office those officials who ignore that standard. (Recall that the Constitution does not guarantee a federal judge his position for life, but only for the duration of “good behavior.” Art. III, Sec. 1)

For this reason impeachment was used whenever judges disregarded public interests, affronted the will of the people, or introduced arbitrary power by seizing the role of policy-maker. Previous generations used this tool far more frequently than today's generation; and because the grounds for impeachment were deliberately kept broad, articles of impeachment have described everything from drunkenness and profanity to judicial high-handedness and bribery as reasons for removal from the bench. (Sixty-one federal judges or Supreme Court Justices have been investigated for impeachment, of whom thirteen have been impeached and seven convicted.)

Today's judiciary, not having experienced any serious threat of impeachment as judges in earlier generations, repeatedly flaunts its contempt for the will of the people. It recently has overturned direct elections in Washington, New York, California, Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, etc., simply because it preferred a different outcome. This is not to suggest that the results of all citizen elections are final and infallible, for it is the duty of the Court to protect the Constitution. However, the above elections violated at most the judiciary's ideological leanings rather than any manifest provision of the Constitution (e.g., English as a State's official language, ending government assistance for illegal immigrants, enacting term-limits, prohibiting physician-assisted suicides).

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.

~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

We will soon be buying a new car. It will be our first car purchased together as a family. Before going to dealers we did extensive research and psyched ourselves up. You would have thought my wife and I were being sued and going to court the way we were getting our stories straight.
"Stay strong, stick to your story, don't let them rattle you." Thankfully it was unnecessary as we got a great deal on a 2004 Honda Pilot.

Most people are unnerved by car dealers and mechanics in general because of the unknown factor. We are always afraid we will get suckered for something we have no knowledge of.

Like this woman.

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

Toddler Wins Family $100,000

Though he's not even 2 years old yet, Billy D'Onofrio is curious about everything. He fiddles with the family phones and accidentally calls people. He plays with the television and winds up changing channels.

Now his curiosity has paid off.

The 21-month-old toddler, who lives in Brewster, N.Y., recently dismantled his family's TV remote control console to reveal a tiny Duracell battery worth $100,000.

The purple AAA battery was one of 12 the manufacturer stuck the label "winner" on as part of a promotional campaign. After Billy threw another battery in the garbage, the D'Onofrios put the lucky one into the remote without realizing its value.

But on Jan. 20, the small boy managed to open the remote and shake the special battery onto the floor, where his mother, Lisa, finally noticed it. She assumed it would get her a coupon.

"I would have been happy with a year's worth of batteries," she told The Journal News.

But Duracell told her the prize was $100,000.

**From now on, my kids are allowed to play with the phone and remote controls.

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

Donald Trumped by Former Shoe Foe

Once upon a time, Chuck Jones was in jail. He went there for letting his obsessions about Marla Maples, then the wife of Donald Trump, get the best of him. He stole her shoes. He wouldn't leave either of the Trumps alone.

You'd think Jones would have been rehabilitated by now. But on Wednesday night, he returned to the world he once knew and did something not entirely unexpected. He tried to embarrass Donald Trump.

The scene was Michael's restaurant, and the occasion was a gathering of journalists who'd paid $100 apiece to celebrate the life of the late Michael Kelly. The editor of the Atlantic Monthly died in Iraq last year in a vehicle accident while embedded with U.S. troops.

Into this room, where folks such as Tina Brown, New Yorker editor David Remnick, Rolling Stone's Kent Brownridge and many other reporters and writers jabbered about amiably, came Trump to pay his respects.

Everything was going just fine until, suddenly, like an assassin, up popped up Jones.

Trump didn't recognize him at first. He didn't have time. With no warning, Jones came into his airspace and took a shot.

"You're fired!" he said, mimicking Trump's signature line from "The Apprentice."

At first Trump kind of smiled, until he realized what had happened. Jones had disappeared into the crowd. Within moments, so did Donald.

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

Ex-USA TODAY reporter faked major stories

Seven weeks into an examination of former USA TODAY reporter Jack Kelley’s work, a team of journalists has found strong evidence that Kelley fabricated substantial portions of at least eight major stories, lifted nearly two dozen quotes or other material from competing publications, lied in speeches he gave for the newspaper and conspired to mislead those investigating his work.

Perhaps Kelley’s most egregious misdeed occurred in 2000, when he used a snapshot he took of a Cuban hotel worker to authenticate a story he made up about a woman who died fleeing Cuba by boat. The woman in the photo neither fled by boat nor died, and a USA TODAY reporter located her this month. If Cuban authorities had learned she was the woman in the picture, she says, she could have lost her job and her chance to emigrate.

Kelley, 43, resigned from the newspaper in January after he admitted conspiring with a translator to mislead editors overseeing an inquiry into his work. At the time, newspaper editors said they could not determine whether Kelley had embellished or fabricated stories.

After Kelley quit, a new investigation began, spurred by fears that Kelley might have plagiarized. A team of five reporters and an editor, monitored by a three-member panel of former editors from outside the newspaper, reviewed more than 720 stories Kelley wrote from 1993 through 2003. Each was examined by at least two members of the team.

A story was considered fabricated if expense reports, phone records, official documents or witnesses clearly contradicted all or parts of what was published, and if Kelley’s explanations failed to reconcile those contradictions.

The three former editors spent about 20 hours interviewing Kelley. Throughout those interviews, Kelley insisted he had done nothing wrong and urged a quick resolution to the newspaper’s investigation. “I’ve never fabricated or plagiarized anything,” Kelley said.

Confronted Thursday with the newspaper’s findings, Kelley spent 2 1/2 hours again denying wrongdoing. “I feel like I’m being set up,” he told them.

But an extensive examination of about 100 of the 720 stories uncovered evidence that found Kelley’s journalistic sins were sweeping and substantial. The evidence strongly contradicted Kelley’s published accounts that he spent a night with Egyptian terrorists in 1997; met a vigilante Jewish settler named Avi Shapiro in 2001; watched a Pakistani student unfold a picture of the Sears Tower and say, “This one is mine,” in 2001; visited a suspected terrorist crossing point on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in 2002; interviewed the daughter of an Iraqi general in 2003; or went on a high-speed hunt for Osama bin Laden in 2003.

In addition:

• Significant parts of one of Kelley’s most gripping stories, an eyewitness account of a suicide bombing that helped make him a 2001 Pulitzer Prize finalist, are untrue. Kelley told readers he saw the bomber. But the man he described could not have been the bomber.

• Kelley’s explanations of how he reported stories from Egypt, Russia, Chechnya (news - web sites), Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Israel, Cuba and Pakistan were contradicted by hotel, phone or other records or sources he said would confirm them.

• Kelley wrote scripts to help at least three people mislead USA TODAY reporters trying to verify his work, documents retrieved from his company-owned laptop computer show. Two of the people are translators Kelley paid for services months or years before. Another is a Jerusalem businessman, portrayed by Kelley as an undercover Israeli agent.

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

Taiwanese President, Vice President Shot

TAIPEI, Taiwan, March 19 -- Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu were shot Friday while campaigning for this weekend's presidential election, but their injuries were not life-threatening, a senior official said.

Chiou I-jen, secretary-general in the Presidential Office, said the president was shot in the stomach and the vice president was hit in the right knee while their motorcade was cruising the streets in the southern city of Tainan.

"They did not suffer life-threatening injuries. They urge the public to cool down," Chiou said at a news conference.

Chiou added that "the president is conscious" and "can still direct the nation's affairs."

Chen was riding in a red convertible four-wheel-drive vehicle past crowds lining the streets in his hometown. People were setting off celebratory fireworks as he drove by and early media reports said he was injured by firecrackers.

"It was definitely a gun attack," Chiou said, adding that officials found one bullet.

"The vice president first felt pain in her knee and she thought it was caused by firecrackers," Chiou said. "Then the president felt some wetness on his stomach area, and then they realized something wrong."

Lawmaker Wang Hsing-nan told TVBS cable news that he was traveling in a car behind Chen's convertible four-wheel-drive vehicle.

"The president suffered a deep wound about three centimeters (1.2 inches) deep in the stomach," Wang told TVBS.

Saturday's election pits Chen against opposition leader Lien Chan, who's promising to take a softer approach with the island's biggest rival: China.

The Chinese government had no immediate public reaction to the news of the shootings. The Foreign Ministry referred questions to the Cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office, which didn't answer telephone calls.

China is traditionally a hot topic in major Taiwanese elections. The two sides split when the Communists took over the mainland in 1949, and Beijing is pressuring Taiwan to unify.

Lien and Chen agree on most of the basic issues involving China policy. Neither candidate favors immediate unification, and both are highly distrustful of the Communist leadership.

However, Chen has been more aggressive in pushing for a Taiwanese identity separate from China's, and this has raised tensions with Beijing. China has threatened to attack if Taiwan seeks a permanent split.

Chen also planned an unprecedented islandwide referendum on the day of the election.

Voters will be asked whether Taiwan should beef up its defenses to protect against hundreds of Chinese missiles pointed at the island.

China, which claims Taiwan is part of its territory and insists the two should be unified, has criticized the referendum, fearing it could lead to a future vote on Taiwanese independence.

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

Scott Elliot runs Election Projection. His parents were killed Monday in another drive-by shooting just South of Baghdad. My prayers go to Scott and his family.
Larry and Jean Elliott were sponsored by the International Mission Board, which has set up a fund in their name. You can click on the link above for details.

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

Homosexual book for 1st-graders
Parents outraged over story where prince finds love with another prince

A North Carolina couple is outraged by a book their first-grade daughter brought home from the school library in which a prince finds his true love – in the form of another prince.

The leading character in "King & King," Prince Bertie, waves off a bevy of eligible princes before falling for Prince Lee, Associated Press reported. The book ends with the two "marrying" and sharing a kiss.

"I was flabbergasted," Michael Hartsell of Wilmington, N.C., told the news service. "My child is not old enough to understand something like that, especially when it is not in our beliefs."

AP reports the 32-page book by Linda De Haan and Stern Nijland was published in March 2002 by Tricycle Press, the children's division of Ten Speed Press of Berkeley, Calif. A follow-up, "King & King & Family," was recently published. The publisher says the book is intended for readers age 6 and up.

The principal of Freeman Elementary School defended the book.

"What might be inappropriate for one family, in another family is a totally acceptable thing," Principal Elizabeth Miars is quoted as saying.

Hartsell and his wife, Tonya, said they intend to file a written complaint with the committee that reviews library books for the district and are considering transferring their daughter.

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

Robber turns himself in after watching film
Says Gibson movie caused deep stirring, prompting confession

After more than two years as a fugitive from a bank robbery, a Florida man says he turned himself in to police after watching Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ."

James Anderson now admits he grabbed an employee of a Palm Beach Gardens bank in December 2001 and forced tellers to hand over $25,000, the Palm Beach Post reports.

The case stumped police, but on Tuesday the 53-year-old man walked into the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office lobby saying he was ready to give himself up.

Surprised investigators interrogated Anderson and arrested him after hearing his confession and bringing in Palm Beach Gardens police.

A sheriff's detective asked Anderson why he came clean after all this time.

Anderson said he was stirred deeply after watching "The Passion of the Christ," the blockbuster film about the suffering and death of Jesus.

"He said, 'I saw 'The Passion' and that made my decision,'" said sheriff's office spokesman Paul Miller, according to the paper. "And he sort of urged [the detective] to see the movie too."

But after interrogating him at length, Palm Beach Gardens police say Anderson's surrender was much more calculated, the Post reported.

Anderson, who was living in a blue 1995 Toyota Corolla, is broke, believes he has prostate cancer and is tired of constantly fearing police, said Palm Beach Gardens police Sgt. Richard Geist, according to the paper.

"He's looking for medical attention he doesn't have to pay for," Geist said. "That, and he's probably tired of living out on the streets."

Anderson, arrested once before on cocaine charges, told Geist he would welcome the health care he could receive in a federal prison, the Post said.

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

Kerry's Uncommon Touch
by Hugh Hewitt
Besides the flip-flops, John Kerry has another big problem: how his life in the Senate has prepared him for connecting with ordinary Americans.

JOHN KERRY presented President Bush with a St. Patrick's Day gift via the Wednesday morning New York Times. Responding to a new Bush ad reminding voters that Kerry had voted against last year's $87 billion dollar appropriation to support the troops deployed in Iraq, Kerry responded: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

This beautiful bit of nonsense from the nominee followed Sunday's Miami Herald piece on Kerry's many positions on Cuba and Cuba-related issues. The choice paragraphs from among many:

"Asked in the Herald interview last year about sending Elián back to Cuba, Kerry was blunt: 'I didn't agree with that.'"

"But when he was asked to elaborate, Kerry acknowledged that he agreed the boy should have been with his father."

"So what didn't he agree with?"

"'I didn't like the way they did it. I thought the process was butchered,' he said."

It is hard to caricature a caricature, but the Bush campaign may not have to. The New York Times/CBS poll which appeared the week following Kerry's first extended tour before the entire electorate had Bush beating Kerry by eight points in the three way race with Nader. (The fact that the race is closer without Nader was a "finding" of the poll; this is about as relevant as head-to-head match-ups between Bush senior and Clinton which ignored Perot. Why the New York Times publishes results on hypothetical situations alongside those of real ones is an odd bit of reporting, best understood as a clear attempt to message Ralph.)

KERRY had his first rotten week last week, with his venomous outburst about the "crooked" and lying GOP, his declaration that he wanted to be the nation's second black president, and his assertion that he's spoken with foreign leaders who want him to win in November. Pressed to name these Harvey-the-Rabbit leaders, Kerry dodged and darted, and found himself snarling at Cedric Brown, a signmaker from Pennsylvania. Kerry told Brown that it wasn't any of his business who these pro-Kerry leaders are, and followed that up by bullying Brown into admitting that he had voted for Bush, which led to boos from the pro-Kerry crowd.

As a caller to my show put it: Doesn't Kerry want to win any of the votes that went to Bush in 2000?

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

A River Runs Through It

Apparently overlooked in Wednesday's stories about Senator John Kerry's $5 million estate in Sun Valley, Idaho, was his most glaring indulgence. Never mind the 500-year-old English barn, each piece of which was numbered and reconstructed after shipment from a small town in southern England, or the quarter million dollars worth of landscaping on the property. Kerry saved his greatest indulgence to share with the taxpayers of Idaho.

After paying for all the landscaping on the Sun Valley property, the Kerrys determined that their water supply was not great enough to keep their vegetation thriving. And so the couple petitioned the state to have a small river redirected so that its waters could be used to keep their garden nice and green. The state complied, leaving taxpayers on the hook for the work done. The state covered the cost ostensibly to ensure that the river's redirection would be environmentally sound.

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

"The Passion" doesn't inspire everyone

STATESBORO, Ga. — A couple was arrested after their argument over a theological point turned physical following a night at the movies to see "The Passion of the Christ."

The two left the theater debating whether God the Father in the Holy Trinity (search) was human or symbolic, and the argument turned violent when they got home, Melissa Davidson said.

"It was the dumbest thing we've ever done," she said.

Davidson, 34, and her husband, Sean Davidson, 33, were charged with simple battery on March 11 after the two called police on each other. Messages left with police Thursday were not immediately returned.

According to a police report, Melissa Davidson suffered injuries on her left arm and face and Sean Davidson had a scissor stab on his hand and his shirt was ripped off. Sean Davidson also had punched a hole in the wall, according to the report.

lj | Friday, March 19, 2004 | |

Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Strong Bad's 100th email

lj | Wednesday, March 17, 2004 | |

Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Watch Your Back

lj | Tuesday, March 16, 2004 | |

Interesting Thoughts

The most common first name in the world is Muhammad. The most common last name is Chan.

**Hmm...Muhammad Chan. I will keep that in mind if we ever have another kid....in bizarro world.

If you live an average lifespan, you'll spend a total of more than six months on the toilet.

**Hmm...I think lately I have been living above average.

lj | Tuesday, March 16, 2004 | |


1. Do I look like a people person?
2. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.
3. If I throw a stick, will you leave?
4. Does your train of thought have a caboose?
5. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.
6. Well, this day was a total waste of makeup.
7. I'm trying to imagine you with a personality.
8. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.
9. Stress is when you wake up screaming and you realize you haven't fallen asleep yet.
10. Can I trade this job for what's behind door #1?
11. Too many freaks. Not enough circuses.
12. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?
13. Chaos, panic, & disorder...my work here is done.
14. How do I set a laser printer to stun?
15. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.
16. I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow isn't looking good either.
17. I don't suffer from stress. I'm a carrier.
18. Leave me alone. I'm having a crisis.
19. I don't have an attitude problem. You have a perception problem.
20. Perhaps, if I am very lucky, the feeble efforts of my lifetime will someday be noticed, and maybe, in some small way, they will be acknowledged as the greatest works of genius ever created by Man.

lj | Tuesday, March 16, 2004 | |

Quote of the Day

Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either. Just leave me alone.

lj | Tuesday, March 16, 2004 | |

Late Night Liners

Did you know that Kerry speaks French? Democrats have been calling Kerry "one in a million”. Hey, a war hero who talks French, I think that makes him "one in a trillion!”

And today, President Bush said he doesn’t care whether Osama is found in Pakistan or Afghanistan – just as long as he’s found before November.

In fact, according to a new study in the journal of the American medical association, 65% of Americans weigh too much. You know what that means? We’re turning into a nation of Clinton girlfriends.

"People” magazine did a story on a couple in Edmonton, Canada whose family pet is a 16-hundred pound buffalo that’s not housebroken. Not housebroken? You thought you hated taking the kitty litter out.

~Jay Leno

lj | Tuesday, March 16, 2004 | |


Thanks to G.E.

lj | Tuesday, March 16, 2004 | |

Friday, March 12, 2004

lj | Friday, March 12, 2004 | |

lj | Friday, March 12, 2004 | |

Thursday, March 11, 2004
Kerry: No Apologies for GOP Remarks

WASHINGTON — Sen. John Kerry said he won't apologize for remarks he made that angered Republicans and the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign.

The Massachusetts senator and presumptive Democratic nominee got himself into hot water on Wednesday when, after a speech on tax cuts in Chicago, supporters urged him to take on President Bush.

Kerry responded, informally and off camera: "Let me tell you, we've just begun to fight. We're going to keep pounding. These guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group I've ever seen."

On Thursday, Kerry said he's not sorry for his comments.

** Big surprise. Of course he's not sorry. He's the next black president, who's Jewish but also Catholic. He's a veteran but also a war protestor. He's French but also Irish. He voted for the Iraq war but he's against it. He's for the little guy but lives like a star.

Trying to be objective, both sides claim the other is running dirty campaigns. The truth is, they both are. Although most of Bush's responses are retaliatory, trying to rectify all the numerous prevarications blurted out by Kerry. I forget who started it, probably Kerry because this is the only way he can win. Draw Bush into a negative campaign and hope swing voters will sour on him. I can't say that I blame the Bush campaign, I would probably do the same. Anyone who is attacked will riposte.

I heard Kerry say today that Bush has no record to run on. What is he talking about? What foreign policy credits does he have? Do you really think Kerry would have gone after Al Qaida aggressively? Do you really think we would have been free from domestic terrorist attacks since 9-11 with Kerry's foreign policy vision? He boasts about other foreign leaders allegedly rooting for him to win. Is it any wonder? This is not a compliment. Division isn't always a bad thing. A divided world is better if America is stronger for it. A unified world is useless if we are powerless. Dem's just don't get that. That's because they don't have America's best interst in mind. For someone who says it more eloquently than I, read Democratic Realism: An American Foreign Policy for a Unipolar World by Charles Krauthammer.

I think Kerry is wrong about the record, but even if he's right, it's better than a bad record, which is what he has. As Robert Prather stated on his blog, that's why Senators are rarely elected President, their record.

Go ahead Dan, fire away. :)

lj | Thursday, March 11, 2004 | |

Well, at least I wasn't Forrest Gump

Fight Club!

What movie Do you Belong in?(many different outcomes!)
brought to you by Quizilla

lj | Thursday, March 11, 2004 | |

When being a Youth Pastor is worth it all

      The games are always wild, disorganized and time consuming. The deadlines for trips are seemingly meaningless. Their ballgame date was changed and they didn't tell you. Deposits are never in on time for trips. The computer messes up right before Bible study. The music doesn't always come out as planned. Half of the church is mad at you because you want to knock out a wall in the parsonage for the new youth room. Parents give you no help whatsoever. You're on your own. But every once in a while, it's worth it all.

      After taking our group to the Passion movie last week, two re-dedicated their lives and one college student wanted to meet me for lunch. He feels God is calling him to youth ministry. I said, "Don't do it!" Ok, not really but I tried not to sugar coat it either. He insists God is calling him. I am happy and sad for him at the same time. Happy because of what he will go through and sad because of what he will go through.

      A few weeks ago, I took my workers to The Core for training. I have been looking for some type of discipleship or devotional book that would get my kids into the Bible and devotions. I found an updated version of the Oswald Chambers classic My Utmost for His Highest, called Everything Counts, put out by Youth Specialties. I ordered enough for our whole group. I just got them in the mail last week and handed them out, hoping, but pessimistically doubting, that they would read them.

      Tonight I asked how many did their devotions this week. Almost every hand went up. Some teens read them every day. Some started at the beginning of the book, others started at the recent date listed on each page. I know it's only been a week but I can't help but be excited about their new found zeal.

Sometimes it's just worth it all.

lj | Thursday, March 11, 2004 | |

Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Kerry plans trip to Mars prior to November election
Plus other news you need to know (from a satirical point of view)

~John Kerry says he may travel to Iraq before the election, but more important right now is a visit to Mars. The Masschusetts blue-blood is bored with bottled water from this world and wants to sip the recently-discovered Mars variety. "That would be heavenly," he says, quickly correcting himself. "I mean Martianly. And wouldn't it be delightful if they also serve latte at their Mars Bars?"

~Speaking of Mars, the next thing scientists hope to find is evidence of fossils. Kerry says that when he goes, he'll look around for some, but he doubts Dick Cheney has ever been there.

~Attorney General John Ashcroft had his gall bladder removed Tuesday. He emerged from the operation calling for release of all prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay. "It took gall for me to hold them without legal representation," Ashcroft said, "and I've lost my gall." The new Ashcroft is also calling for revocation of the controversial Patriot Act. Supporters of the act say he should go back into surgery to repair his bleeding heart.

~A survey of why people oppose the government's power to subpoena records showing who took out what library books found that (1) people under 30 are don't want it known that they don't read books, and (2) people over 30 are embarrassed that they read books on how to regain their youth -- at which time they presumably will become embarrassed about no longer reading books.

lj | Wednesday, March 10, 2004 | |

"The Passion" breaks the top 50 all time

It's 14 day total of $223,720,260 puts it at #41 all time, passing X-Men 2 and Saving Private Ryan.

It is interesting which movies it will soon pass. "The Passion" now ranks 4th all time among rated R movies. It trails The Exorcist, a movie about a demon possessed child, by less than $10 million. You have to think it will pass Bruce Almighty on the all time list, which ranks 30th with $242,829,261, before it is finished.

Ironic isn't it? Movies about demon possession and about a man becoming God getting passed financially by a movie about God becoming man?

lj | Wednesday, March 10, 2004 | |

Light Blogging

Posts will be scarce the next few days. Staying busy. Baseball is here, the yankees need me. NCAA and conference tournament time is here, the tarheels need me. Plus I'm trying to learn the guitar. Yeah, I suck. But I'm getting really good at sucking at it.

Check back though, there's plenty to make fun of. Especially if Kerry stays in the race.

lj | Wednesday, March 10, 2004 | |

Late Night Liners

I guess you heard Martha Stewart was found guilty on all charges. You know what that means? Stripes are in. Martha Stewart found guilty on all charges.

How amazing is that? A jury actually convicting a rich white woman on felony charges. Michael Jackson must be scared to death!

Although a lot of people are on these low-carb diets, doctors say be careful, because you need carbohydrates because carbohydrates create a chemical in your brain that cheers you up and fights depression. So the next time you see a guy on a ledge, about to jump ... throw him a doughnut.

How bizarre is this - a Connecticut woman drove her car into a lake yesterday in what police called "an attempt to recreate a scene from the Mel Gibson movie "The Passion of the Christ." I’m no biblical scholar, but did someone drive their car into a lake in that movie? That must have been when I went out for popcorn. Do you remember seeing a Buick Electra going into a river? I don’t remember that.

~Jay Leno

lj | Wednesday, March 10, 2004 | |

Saturday, March 06, 2004
The 2 dumbest calls in college basketball:

1. Jump ball/possession arrow - you would think in the 100+ years of existence, basketball would be able to come up with a less arbitrary or capricious way of deciding a jump ball. Why don't you just roll dice in center court? It's a whole lot more fun and probably just as accurate.

2. The I-can't-control-myself-so-now-I'm-rolling-on-the-floor-calling-timout call - Why in the world is it okay to slide 10 feet across the floor if you are about to call timout? Or if you are flying out of bounds and you mysteriously call time out between your legs? I'm sorry but this is the dumbest call in College basketball. Can you imagine this rule in other sports? A quarterback is about to be sacked so he calls time out to stop play? Ludicrous.

lj | Saturday, March 06, 2004 | |

Great Orators of the Democratic Party

"One man with courage makes a majority."--Andrew Jackson

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."--Franklin Roosevelt

"The buck stops here."--Harry Truman

"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."--John Kennedy

"This isn't going to be some kind of, you know, we're-like-them-they're-like-us-wishy-washy-mealy-mouth-you-can't-tell-the-difference deal. This is going to be something where we're giving America a real choice."--John Kerry

"My favorite Kerryism so far is, 'This president always makes decisions late after things have happened that could have been different had the president made a different decision earlier.'

I'm beginning to wonder if John Kerry is deliberately duplicitous about his core beliefs, or if he just isn't smart enough to grasp the issues."

From Sean at Everything I Know is Wrong.(Original source From OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today)

lj | Saturday, March 06, 2004 | |

"The Passion" ranks 78th all time after 10 days with $174,742,000.

lj | Saturday, March 06, 2004 | |

Friday, March 05, 2004
the friday five

What was...

1. ...your first grade teacher's name?

Mrs. Albright

2. ...your favorite Saturday morning cartoon?


3. ...the name of your very first best friend?

Can't remember who was first. Either Stuart Albert or Andy Williams (cousins)

4. ...your favorite breakfast cereal?

Cap'n Crunch

5. ...your favorite thing to do after school?

Basketball on the dunk goal. A daily ritual.

lj | Friday, March 05, 2004 | |

Thursday, March 04, 2004
The Passion Of The Liberal

IN THE DOZENS and dozens of panic-stricken articles the New York Times has run on Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of the Christ," the unavoidable conclusion is that liberals haven't the vaguest idea what Christianity is. The Times may have loopy ideas about a lot of things, but at least when they write about gay bathhouses and abortion clinics, you get the sense they know what they're talking about.

But Christianity just doesn't ring a bell. The religion that has transformed Western civilization for two millennia is a blank slate for liberals. Their closest reference point is "conservative Christians," meaning people you're not supposed to hire. And these are the people who carp about George Bush's alleged lack of "intellectual curiosity."

The most amazing complaint, championed by the Times and repeated by all the know-nothing secularists on television, is that Gibson insisted on "rubbing our faces in the grisly reality of Jesus' death." The Times was irked that Gibson "relentlessly focused on the savagery of Jesus' final hours" – at the expense of showing us the Happy Jesus. Yes, Gibson's movie is crying out for a car chase, a sex scene or maybe a wise-cracking orangutan.


But the loony-left is testy with Gibson for spending so much time on Jesus' suffering and death while giving "short shrift to Jesus' ministry and ideas" – as another Times reviewer put it. According to liberals, the message of Jesus, which somehow Gibson missed, is something along the lines of "be nice to people" (which to them means "raise taxes on the productive").

You don't need a religion like Christianity, which is a rather large and complex endeavor, in order to flag that message. All you need is a moron driving around in a Volvo with a bumper sticker that says "be nice to people." Being nice to people is, in fact, one of the incidental tenets of Christianity (as opposed to other religions whose tenets are more along the lines of "kill everyone who doesn't smell bad and doesn't answer to the name Mohammed"). But to call it the "message" of Jesus requires ... well, the brain of Maureen Dowd.

In fact, Jesus' distinctive message was: People are sinful and need to be redeemed, and this is your lucky day because I'm here to redeem you even though you don't deserve it, and I have to get the crap kicked out of me to do it. That is the reason He is called "Christ the Redeemer" rather than "Christ the Moron Driving Around in a Volvo With a 'Be Nice to People' Bumper Sticker on It."

**Funny how someone always says it better than me.

lj | Thursday, March 04, 2004 | |

A Gift of Song

"I went to buy a birthday gift for my wife. Some friends had been
invited over that night to celebrate her fortieth, and I wanted to
get something special. At the store I spotted some cute little music
boxes. A blue one was playing "Happy Birthday." Thinking they were
all the same, I chose a red one, selected some appropriate wrapping
paper. The clerk cheerfully gift-wrapped it.

Later, at dinner, I gave it to my wife and asked her to open it.
When she lifted the lid, out came the tune, 'The Old Gray Mare, She
Ain't What She Used to Be!'"

By way of Pastor Tim's CleanLaugh List

lj | Thursday, March 04, 2004 | |

You know, back in Vietnam we used to play football.....

Found this great picture at Matt Margolis' blog. I just had to post it. Check his site out when you get a chance. You may not like it though if you don't like Bush.

Got a funny caption for this picture?

lj | Thursday, March 04, 2004 | |

Late Night Liners

~As I’m sure you heard Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide has been driven from power and they say Michael Eisner could be next.
~Things are changing in Iraq. Today 200 gay couples met in downtown Baghdad to get married.

~It’s a big day for Democrats. It’s Super Tuesday. 10 different states are voting on a nominee – and it’s been predicted that the winner in all 10 states is the movie "The Lord of The Rings”.
~John Edwards has continued to campaign with the saying that there are two Americas. Apparently neither one has voted for him.

In baseball news – in order to level the field the Dodgers will be the only major league team that must take steroids.

lj | Thursday, March 04, 2004 | |

More proof that liberals don't know their history

This is the 1st National flag of the Confederacy, the Stars and Bars:

This is the new Georgia flag. Look familiar?

After months of debating Georgia's flag, state lawmakers struck a surprise compromise Friday — an entirely new flag that echoes an old Confederate flag but does not include the divisive Dixie battle emblem.

** Huh? I have heard for years now that the reason the flag should be changed is because the other one (the battle flag) represented hate because of the South and the Confederacy. Does the new flag not represent the Confederacy? If you don't see the similarities in the flags then I have some land I want to sell you.

Perhaps they are morphing their argument into a neo-liberal, anti-alphabet cause:
Although the new design is based on a Confederate flag, it does not incorporate the more familiar blue "X" on a red field with white stars on the "X." That emblem -- adopted as a feature of the state flag in an era when the battle over desegregation was raging in the South -- has been used by white supremacist and racist groups.

*Again, I have heard the South derided more in this whole poppycock than the KKK, which I abhor. Yet now the argument is, "We just didn't want that KKK flag thingy." So what happens when the KKK adopts a new flag? Since when did we become subservient to hate groups? Political correctness has no brain and it is most certainly advanced by the historically illiterate.

lj | Thursday, March 04, 2004 | |

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

lj | Tuesday, March 02, 2004 | |


Because of Redneck jokes, here are some takes on how Southern folks
look at Northerners (or how Northerners sometimes think of themselves). In reality, Rednecks are everywhere, not just the South.


...Instead of referring to two or more people as "Y'all," you call them "you guys," even if both of them are women.

...You think barbecue is a verb meaning "to cook outside."

...You think Heinz Ketchup is really SPICY.

...You would never stop to buy something somebody was cooking on the side of the road. (e.g., boiled peanuts) .

...You don't have any problems pronouncing "Worcestershire sauce" correctly

...For breakfast, you would prefer potatoes-au-gratin to grits.

...You don't know what a moon pie is.

...You've never had an RC Cola.

...You've never, ever eaten okra -- fried, boiled, or pickled

...You eat fried chicken with a knife and fork.

...You've never seen a live chicken, and the only cows you've seen are on road trips

...You have no idea what a polecat is.

...You don't see anything wrong with putting a sweater on your dog

...You don't have bangs.

...You would rather have your son become a lawyer than grow up to get his own TV fishing show.

...You drink either "Pop" or "Soda"- instead of "Cokes."

...You've never eaten and don't know how to make a tomato sandwich.

...You have never planned your summer vacation around a gun-'n-knife show

...You think more money should go to important scientific research at your university than to pay the salary of the head football coach

...You don't even have one can of WD-40 somewhere around the house.

...The last time you smiled was when you blocked someone from getting on an on-ramp to the highway.

....You don't have any hats in your closet that advertise feed stores.

...You have more than one professional sports team in your home state.

...You call binoculars opera glasses.

...You can't spit out the car window without pulling over to the side of the road and stopping.

...You don't know anyone with at least two first names (i.e., Joe Bob, Faye Ellen, Billy Ray, Mary Jo, Bubba Dean, Joe Dan, Mary Alice)

...You don't know any women with male names (i.e., Tommie, Bobbie, Johnnie, Jimmie)

...You don't have Maw-maw's & Pawpaw's.

...You get freaked out when people on the subway talk to you.

...None of your fur coats are homemade.

From Sermon Fodder

lj | Tuesday, March 02, 2004 | |

Oscar Whacks

This year's 76th Annual Academy Awards had its share of mean memorable lefty moments.

Host Billy Crystal joked that for the first time, the show was being simulcast in Aramaic, a jab in the mouth of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ."

Crystal couldn't resist taking a few pokes at the Republicans, too.

He said that the first time he hosted the Oscars 13 years ago things were different in that "Bush was president, the economy was tanking, and we'd just finished a war with Iraq."

The economy is tanking? With booming productivity, rising factory orders and construction and salaries, minimal inflation and unemployment at a below-average 5.6 percent and still dropping?

Then Crystal echoed the DNC's latest attack on President Bush. "The academy and the Oscars have been very gracious to me. They let me come and go the past few years. It's kind of like being in the Texas National Guard."

Director Errol Morris was awarded the Oscar for documentary feature for "The Fog of War," a film about Robert McNamara, U.S. defense secretary during the Vietnam War. Morris used his spotlight moment to take an oblique shot at the Bush administration. He said, "Forty years ago, this country went down a rabbit hole in Vietnam - millions died."

He added, "I fear we're going down the rabbit hole once again." Celebrity libs clapped in empty-headed unison.

Sean Penn, who took the trophy for best actor, used a slice of his acceptance speech to hurl a silly out-of-place mention of the war in Iraq.

"If there's one thing that actors know, apart from the fact that there were no WMDs," Penn said, "is that there are no bests in acting."

The Left Coast Report knows Tinseltown can't help spouting off. It was born with a liberal pacifier in its mouth.

lj | Tuesday, March 02, 2004 | |

Ashton Kutcher Gets 'Punk'd' by Brits

One of Ashton Kutcher's gigs involves playing practical jokes on other celebrities.

But recently some U.K. officials got the better of the "Punk'd" star.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that, when Kutcher arrived at London's Heathrow Airport, he was taken aside by some customs officials who briskly informed him he'd been banned from the country.

Apparently, the actor was appalled when told he would have to return to Los Angeles on the next flight.

Minutes later some straight-faced Brits let him in on the joke.

Kutcher said that he "really believed it at first" and couldn't understand why he "wasn't welcome in the U.K."

He added, "I suppose I ask for this by playing pranks on other famous people."

The Left Coast Report says it's a good thing Demi Moore wasn't there or she might have thought he was being taken into foster care.

lj | Tuesday, March 02, 2004 | |

Bonds got steroids, feds were told Slugger's trainer said to have given substances to several athletes

San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds, New York Yankees stars Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield and three other major league baseball players received steroids from a Burlingame nutritional supplement lab, federal investigators were told.

The baseball stars allegedly got the illegal performance-enhancing drugs from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative through Greg Anderson, Bonds' personal weight trainer and longtime friend, according to information furnished the government and shared with The Chronicle.

In addition to Bonds, Giambi and Sheffield, the other baseball players said to have received steroids from BALCO via Anderson were two former Giants, outfielder Marvin Benard and catcher Benito Santiago, and a former A's second baseman, Randy Velarde.

Oakland Raiders linebacker Bill Romanowski also was said to have received performance-enhancing drugs.

Anderson allegedly obtained a so-called designer steroid known as "the clear" and a testosterone-based steroid known as "the cream" from BALCO and supplied the substances to all six baseball players, the government was told. In addition, Bonds was said to have received human growth hormone, a powerful substance that legally cannot be distributed without a prescription, investigators were told.


The source told The Chronicle that the weight trainer had obtained steroids and human growth hormone for Bonds dating back to the 2001 season. That was the year the Giants outfielder broke baseball's storied single-season record for home runs -- hitting 73.

Sheffield's attorney Paula Canny said, "Gary Sheffield has never knowingly ingested a steroid ... and Gary Sheffield has never knowingly applied an anabolic steroid cream to his body."

Santiago's attorney, David Cornwell, declined specific comment but said: "Based on my involvement in this matter, I know that many of the athletes involved did not know they were being given a banned substance."

Anna Ling, an attorney for Anderson, said the trainer had "never knowingly given any illegal substance to anybody."

** What?!? They received them but they didn't know what they were? They received them but they didn't use them? I don't think that works with cocaine possession but it will probably work for these guys, knowing MLB's track record with discipline. I hope they are treated like the common man and not like the false superstars they were aspiring to become. That's probably wishful thinking.

lj | Tuesday, March 02, 2004 | |

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