Wednesday, October 31, 2007

And to the REPUBLIC for which it stands...

Don't forget, people, that the United States is not a democracy. It is a republic.

Whether that has anything to do with Democrats or Republicans is a different topic.

Pure democracy is a voting anarchy. Some people consider that it's the people of wealth that hold the power. One view says that the United states is an oligarchy: government run by an elite few.
OK, that is, in essence, what a republic (or, to read Wikipedia tell it, any government) eventually becomes. But, really, how many people really REALLY want to be bothered by the day to day operation of *government*? That is indeed why we have a republic. It is a representative government. Believe it or not, it's intended to keep us/help us citizens from not having to deal with gathering together to make decisions about our future... every time a decision is to be made. Do you, dear reader, have time to vote for EVERY decision that is to be made? It's hard enough to get some 25% of eligible voters to make one trip to the voting place, every four years.

Those who complain about "This isn't a democracy" are correct. I doubt they realize what the alternative to the republic actually means. Real, honest to goodness people who are truly interested in things like saving the US from the current administration
seem to be absent the clue of what the other option might be. If there is a valid alternative, I have yet to hear it. Pure democracy works in small batches until people get tired of spending all their time voting and none of their time actually getting. work. done.

The true alternative, at least in the United States, is to actually gather your voting base, learn why you vote this way, and get your candidate elected. In presidential elections, maybe it is time to stop stumping for a *Candidate* and start building a warchest for an ideaset. What I mean by this is to start with focusing on a specific political party that will embrace an ideaset. Then, create amongst that group the candidate that will uphold the ideals of that ideaset.

But, the question becomes... can an independent actually accomplish any of the goals on his/her own? It will seriously depend on the charisma of that candidate to be the great mediator or statesman rather than a simple figurehead/puppet. I believe, seriously, that it will take a new leader of a new party to effectively move from the impasse of what is now. As it stands, I think that may be the only common ground that can be had.

Come to think about it... Here's a bold statement: Let's endeavor to pick a President of parties that do not belong to those associated with Congress. Just once, let's see what separation of powers actually means.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The contradiction...

There cannot be absolute truth

When one says a religion is intolerant, and therefore wrong, one fails to realize the judgment call made by that statement.

The truth that is insisted to be applied to the statement is based upon ... what? Could there be a truth applied that exists for all places and all times that an intolerant religion is therefore invalid? Or, could it be that this, too, is a new way of thinking that replaces previously held firm ideals?

Well, I leave it to the so-called intellectuals to work their way out of the paradox of the quote above.

Monday, October 22, 2007

D Train: Halloween: the Christian's second most important holiday

D Train: Halloween: the Christian's second most important holiday

The only alternative thought I have about this is that my church's Halloween alternative *is* where the people go. Over 3,000 of them. Many of whom would probably not want to set foot in a church. The proselytizing is there if you choose to look at it, of course, and the pastor gives a sermonette, but if you don't care to listen, you don't have to.

I'd have to concur with the author of the above-linked post, with the addition to note that many people have an equal feeling about the reality of Christ, vampires, and an anthropomorphic Green M&M.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

BlueHost clients, change your Favicon.ico

Look familiar? I use Bluehost to host my main site, and I have been guilty of not changing my own default favicon.ico.

How to do it? Simple: Go here, upload a picture of your choice, and upload the resultant favicon.ico in your public_html folder.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The best places for churches to get more attendance...

Is in places that people occupy who don't know that the church exists.

I've long been an advocate of churches to advertise in secular environments. The main argument against is simply that it's support (by paying advertising revenue) to secular media, who may not share the values of the church.

Why should the church maintain such supposedly high standards?

The point of the church is to reach the unsaved. How can the church reach the unsaved without using all the tools that are available? For that matter, why should the church be on the Internet, when it's a conduit for porn? What does the church's internet service provider moneys *really* pay for? Should one expect that all churches only subscribe to authorized filtered internet service providers, and only pay for phone lines through companies that are Christian based?

How much of an isolationist should the church be from the media that exists and has existed for years? Does one expect that the church's missionaries have their own transportation that doesn't also transport people who disagree with the church's position?

I'm not advocating, necessarily, that churches should start advertising on programs that are anathema to the church. Then again, who, really, is the church trying to reach? Is the church supposed to reach the righteous or the lost? Shouldn't the church be light and salt in a dark and tasteless world? Wouldn't a subtle reminder that, "If you're still searching for refreshing content, come see what's around the corner, in your neighborhood," be of importance to growing the base that the church needs?

So many questions, to be sure. Pray, for sure. Then consider: should the Great Commission stop when the TV comes on?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

ASSP Spam in Commission. A Search Open.

Some queries that I'm using to parse ASSP spam directory, just in case I need to look it up again:

grep "email@address" * | cut -d: -f1 | xargs grep "content"
Result: in all the spam emails that contain the email address, get the filename and in those files, look for "content"

ls -l | grep "Oct 10" | cut -c57-80 | xargs grep "email@address"
Result: for a specific day (or range of days/month), get the appropriate file names and in those files, search for email (or other criteria)

Monday, October 8, 2007

The War on Christmas. The mortal/Christian battle continues.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

In case people can't read English, this means that Congress can't a) Establish a religion or b) prevent religion from being Established. Established means to bring about or make firm. People, what part of MAKE NO LAW do you not understand?

Governments who make decisions based upon [their perceived notion of their own] fear do not need to be in power, and we as constituents should be mindful of this reaction when the next election cycle comes. If it is important to you, the citizen, that x occurs and y does not, then make your vote count and vote out the people who are not representing your interests. If you are unable to make an effective statement and make effective change, you either need to bulk up your voting base or accept that you are a minority [or that your base didn't have enough votes] in your opinion. Nonetheless, the ability that some minority groups have to bypass legislation to enact their own agendas means that somebody is asleep at the wheel.

It's time for fearless ability of the Executive Branch to recall judge appointments.

In any case, it's not time to enact legislation to force or remove displays of any religious observation. By the way, Christians, where *is* your base?

Don't forget that Christians do not have a lock on religious symbology. They will not be the only ones who will be allowed to display religious icons. However, be prepared to DEMAND that Christian displays will be allowed when Muslim displays occupy the place formally taken by the Nativity.

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