Monday, October 29, 2007

A hoax worth debunking

The link is no longer active. Damage control at CNN must be working.


Does someone think this is funny? Or are they so blinded by desire to serve a "higher cause" that they are willing to lie to do so? Is this meant to work in an opposite way, formulating a hoax that, when debunked, will serve to give minute men types a bad name?

Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: we have a hoax on our hands and people need to know.

Filed under this headline:
Separatists claim responsibility for California Wildfires

The article says that MEChA ("Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan"), which indeed is a separatist group, is claiming responsibility for the fires in California. Not only is it pretty far-fetched to begin with (Western has a chapter -- I'm trying to imagine the fall-out), but the URL for the story is obviously bogus (note: cnnheadLIEnews). I was made aware of this rumor early this morning. I can assure you if they actually did claim responsibility, I would be calling the Bellingham Herald, telling them they had better start asking questions of the Western Washington University chapter.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

The gamesman

I'm starting to give in to an old habit of mine: political commentary. I don't think this is a bad thing. I'm actually somewhat frustrated with myself for what I think is laziness on my part -- i.e. I get frustrated with the way the crowds are going but I'm to lazy to formulate a cogent reason. So here's one such attempt.

Politics is necessarily a game you have to play right in order to win. Just like a game of risk where you have to allocate your resources properly and then let the chips fall where they may. But that's not all there is to it, and any candidate who acts like that is all ignores some essentials at his own peril.

Romney is becoming the poster boy for this problem: a candidate who seems to know how to play a game, but beyond that, you can't really know. After winning the governorship of a liberal state by catering to liberals, he switches his attention to a national office, and then decides that his previous platform will not get him anywhere -- he would be right. There's only one problem: it's too obvious. The practical result is that no matter what he says, I feel like saying right back to him: You are lying. You don't really mean it. You don't care, just as long as I vote for you.

Perhaps he really thinks he can serve well without believing anything.

But suppose, we give him the benefit of the doubt and we can believe that he has truly undergone a change of values. Didn't Reagan change to some degree during his time in Hollywood? Perhaps, but Reagan did plenty to prove he was the real thing. He quickly made a name for himself as a conservative, starting with his Goldwater speech and it only went up from there, constantly backed by concrete action.

I'm sorry but you need more of a conservative resume than, um nothing, to convince me you deserve to be president. That's just what I think anyway.

At least Guiliani has a resume that is for the most part conservative. At least he understands what federalism is. Isn't that really what Roe v Wade was about?

Federalism: the right of a state to make sovereign decisions about issues that are not spoken to in the constitution. Roe v. Wade basically stated in a roundabout way that the constitution guaranteed a right to abortion -- stunning but true -- and therefore, no state could prohibit it.

So go ahead and complain that Guiliani hasn't been a conservative activist. Go ahead and complain that he doesn't meddle with the constitution. Go ahead and complain that he had the only concrete record of effective leadership. Go ahead and complain that cleaned up New York City.

The only REAL problem with the good mayor is the major weaknesses of character that are displayed in his personal life. It's a demonstrated fact that your private life has an effect on your public life (see Marvin Olasky: The American Leadership Tradition). However, there aren't that many other candidates that can throw a stone at him. And don't say Romney because I already argued that he hasn't shown himself to be trustworthy in the first place.

Alas, at the very least, this election is more demonstrative of the fact that you can't expect perfection.

Integrity however, at least for the sake of this discussion, is something we should and can expect from a candidate. Integrity is known in the military tradition as the cornerstone of leadership. How much more should the man who is planning on being the commander-in-chief of that same institution display at least an inkling of the same virtue?

Monday, October 15, 2007

It's happening

Last week I asked for a letter of recommendation from the editor at the Tribune and he didn't give it to me.

That's because this week I got a full time job at the Lynden Tribune.

Starting day? Sooner than later.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The machine

Up the street, I see my church. It is beautiful, but I'm always aware of the blemishes on the walls, the off-key piano, and hard benches. It could be better. I could make it better, but I've got other things to think about.

Just behind the lilac hedge, I see my house. It is beautiful, but I am always aware of the moss on the shutters, the weeds obscuring the path, and the soot blackening the chimney. It could be better. I could make it better, but I've got other things to accomplish.

Down at the mill, there is my coworker, my neighbor. He sounds smart, but somehow always manages to get lost on his way home from work, bounce all of his checks, and forget where he put his house key. I could help him. I could help him but I've got my own set of problems.

In my cellar, there is a machine. It is capable of making 10 lumps of clay every hour. I love spending time thinking of ways to make even more lumps of clay every hour. It gives me satisfaction even though every lump produced is colorless, has no conceivable meaning, purpose or use, and will most likely break apart within 30 minutes of being formed. Every day I apply my spare time to thinking about how to make them last longer. What an accomplishment it will be when I finally solve this problem and have all the lumps I could possibly want.

I hear every day people talking about machines of one sort or another. Some produce lumps of wood, some produce lumps of straw. I've even heard of some that produce lumps of wind.

But the world has never seen anything like my machine. No one but me will ever figure out how to make lumps of clay faster than they will break.

I'm so glad I found a good way to spend my time.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Change in the wind?

I hope so.

I hope I can learn to spend time wisely.
I hope I can learn to show those around me the love of Christ.
I hope I can learn to prioritize time spent with those who deserve my attention.
I hope I can learn to conquer the old man through the power of the Holy Spirit.

And on a more superfluous note:

I hope I can nail a new job in the next month. This one is getting old.