Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Sunday, February 14, 2010

This Is Why NASA Should Be Run By Someone Without A Sciences Degree

Maybe they could think up better goals than this. Or at least come up with a reason why manned spaceflight matters. Why should we try to get an astronaut out of earth's gravity well? According to the writer of the article...well he doesn't actually say. He just laments our obsession with "landing on things".

Passed Along Without Comment

Other than to say that this seems like the type of book both Christians and non-Christians should check out.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What A Super-Creepy Thing To Say

Listen, if some woman wants to be buried in an Obama t-shirt, I'd say she has problems, but its her business. But for the president to cite it as if it's some kind of touching story or illustrative of some larger point about policy is more than a little bit sick. It's one thing for the president to have an unhealthy, child-brainwashing, celebrity-pledging, personality cult. It's another for the president to act as if it is healthy.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Here's Something We Can All Agree On

Any New Yorker who votes for Harold Ford thinking they're getting a liberal is a moron. Any New Yorker who votes for Harold Ford thinking they're getting a blue dog is a moron. Any New Yorker who figures that a charming man with no morals and no center will make a pretty effective Senator is probably right.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Why Bipartisanship Can't Work

Apparently it is because the GOP exercises such rigid control over its members. Unprecedented control that no party has ever exercised before in history. It makes one long for the halcyon days of yesteryear, when Harry Reid allowed all of Bush's judicial nominees an up-or-down vote, Democrats supported the 2003 tax cuts, and they tried so hard to contribute constructive ideas during George Bush's Social Security reform efforts.

Did it ever occur to Fallows that perhaps the GOP's intransigence has as much to do with being locked out of the process from the beginning as it does with the GOP leadership's legendary ideological conformity? (Quick quiz: Which party's voters just elected a pro-choice Congressman with a lifetime ACU rating of only 55% in their Senate primary on Tuesday after the state's leadership quietly cleared out any strong conservative opposition? Here's a hint. The same one that recently elected the pro-choice, "same-sex marriage in Massachusetts is a settled issue" Scott Brown, and whose leadership supported guys like Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio and Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey.)

Don't get me wrong here. I don't know that the Democrats did anything wrong by locking the Reeps out. Once they got Al Franken and Arlen Specter on board, they naturally assumed that they didn't really NEED any Reep votes. Why give things away when you don't have to? It was a natural response to having the largest majorities any of them remember, and I don't fault them a bit for it. However, it's pretty disingenuous for the president and Congressional leaders to now pretend that they went into this process with any intent to listen carefully to Republican proposals or for political pundits to blindly accept the "Party of No" label.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Survey Sez

How about we all just agree that this survey doesn't prove Republicans are more well-informed than Democrats, but rather that they are simply marginally less stupid? 6 out of 10? Sheesh.

Christian Manhood

I think Rod Dreher makes a good point when he says that evangelization tools like this are a sign of a deeper need. Ironically, the faith of King David, Saint Stephen the protomartyr, Charlemagne, Richard Cœur de Lion, and Dietrich Bonoeffer is struggling to deal with a deficit of authentic manliness. This is more than a Christian phenomenon though. It is an American one. A combination of the deliberate confusion of gender traits, the rise of single-parent households, and increased dependency have created a generation that doesn't know how to be men, or where to go to learn.

Fight Club and Wild At Heart are both great books dealing with manhood, albeit from drastically different perspectives. Rod talks a little bit with Fight Club and its hyper-masculine nihilism. In their attempt to discover what they lack, its characters embrace the worst faults of manhood rather than remain mild and boring. This is because a godless worldview has little to offer as an alternative. The solution for the hyper-masculine is not to become feminine. That is the direction taken by too many today, and young men, never the most faithful churchgoers, look around and see little in modern churches that meets their needs. Church is like too much like school, another place ill-suited for young men. It is a place where you are told to be good, quiet, patient, and safe. Jesus was Mr. Rogers and we should all aspire to be like him. There is a worship song that gets on my nerves every time I hear it for precisely this reason. One line describes Christ on the cross as "like a rose, trampled on the ground." I hate that. My God isn't a rose. He wasn't some fragile little victim dragged to a cross against his will. He was a man of such power that the hired thugs sent to bring him back fell on their faces at his very name. HE chose the cross, not his persecutors.

That is the message that John Eldredge tries to convey in Wild at Heart. The traits that lead to a Fight Club world are not inherently bad. In fact, they are the very traits God wants his men to have. They must be controlled, but not ignored or denied. Christian churches don't have to throw MMA parties to teach manliness. They just have to rediscover a balanced view of their own savior and history. Buddy Christ has been tried and found wanting. It isn't easy, and its much simpler to say than to do, but it is necessary.

Oh, and by the way, there are some Christians doing it pretty effectively.


Carly Fiorina's attempt at an attack ad against Tom Campbell is so bad that it is almost sufficient in and of itself to keep me from voting for her in a primary. The ad is like a spoof on attack ads. Really? A cartoon sheep falling off a pedestal is supposed to help convince me not to vote for Campbell? It amazes me that politically savvy people could have watched and approved this.