Rush Limbaugh has his . . . well, here is mine. This is my record of news stories and issues that interest me. You can also find more headlines at the site where I serve as editor: The Common Voice.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

BJU Candidate Could Be Elected

Showtime - American Candidate - Political reality series on Showtime

Okay, the world can get really weird. I had heard about the Showtime reality show, American Candidate, several months ago. I even knew that one of the candidates was a Bob Jones University graduate. I don't get Showtime and wasn't really that interested in the show either. So, I just forgot about it.

Then I was in for a shock. Park Gillespie, the "presidential" candidate, has a campaign manager that I know. Low and behold, it is James Dockery! Now, that means nothing to you, but James was a good friend of mine in college and I still see him from time to time. A smart guy with a wonderful family, but I would NEVER expect to see him doing something like this!

I just got this today:

We need you to vote for two BJU grads in the final episode this Sunday, Oct. 3, 2004. Park is in the final 3 of over 2,700 applicants on Showtime’s political reality series, American Candidate. He is an evangelical Christian who is taking a stand and sharing truth to an audience that rarely hears the truth. He is the only Republican in the race, while his opponents are “Michael Moore” Liberals that are pro-abortion and favor same-sex marriage. Park and his running mate, James Dockery have taken a stand for Christ and been a testimony for pro-family values over the course of the 10 week show.

Park and James are very active members of their local church in the Charlotte, N.C. area. Park is married with four daughters, while James is married with two daughters. Focus on the Family has recently published articles on Park in their CitizensLink online magazine as has WorldNet Daily.

This Sunday Oct. 3, after the 9pm EDT episode airs, the toll-free phone number to cast your vote will be broadcast on Showtime at approximately 9:45 pm EDT. Polls will be open from approximately 9:45PM EST-11:45PM EST, and again from 12:45AM EST-2:45AM EST. As far as people who live on the West Coast are concerned: Polls will be open from approximately 6:45PM PST-8:45PM PST, and again from 9:45PM PST-11:45PM PST. One phone gets one vote... use as many phones as you have! (text messaging is also available if your phone has the capability).

Please visit one of our Websites this Sunday night, or and we will have the toll-free number by 9:50 pm EDT. If you don’t have the Internet, as a last resort, you can call 704-824-4877 at 10pm EDT to get the toll free number to call for voting.

Please cast your vote Sunday night, and then call at least 20 of your family/friends and ask each of them to call at least 20 people they know ... and so on. Be sure to call your friends now, and get them “prepared” for the big vote Sunday night! Don’t wait until Sunday to “line up” your list of contacts or you may miss them! We need all the votes we can get!!! Spread the word! THANK YOU
I guess I am doing my part. If you want to take the time to vote for Park and James, I can at least vouch for James.

I still can't believe he's doing this!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Talladega Predictions

This is just a little fun. I went back through the last four Talladega races and found that if each driver finishes in the average position over that period, the Points Standing coming out of the EA Sports race will be shuffled. Now, do I really think that is how things will go? No.
After TalladegaAfter Dover
Dale Earnhardt Jr.Jeff Gordon
Jeff GordonKurt Busch
Kurt BuschDale Earnhardt Jr.
Jimmie JohnsonJimmie Johnson
Mark MartinMark Martin
Ryan NewmanElliott Sadler
Elliott SadlerMatt Kenseth
Tony StewartRyan Newman
Matt KensethTony Stewart
Jeremy MayfieldJeremy Mayfield

NRO Thoughts

Took a moment to swing by National Review Online to read my favorites. Here are some quotations I enjoyed.
Jonah Goldberg on National Review Online: This pattern seems to hold across social and economic policy and elite attitudes. Once an entitlement becomes widely held, it is permanent. Once any group swells its ranks to sufficient size that it becomes, well, a "group" in democratic parlance, its members begin to be treated with increasing respect, no matter how wrong or "deviant" we might have thought them not long ago. Wiccans, Druids, Goths, even fans of Margaret Cho, and, to a very limited extent, pedophiles have gained grudging acceptance.

The reasons for all this are complex, with some trends dating back to the French Revolution, when the Jacobins deified the masses and democratized God. Identity politics, pandering, multiculturalism, pragmatism, the decline of political parties, etc. all factor in too. In a sense this is just one more gripe about modernity.
Moving from Jonah to Jay...
Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus on National Review Online: How much would you pay to hear President Bush — answering some point that Kerry has made — say, "Nice tan, by the way"?
Hee, hee.
Speaking of blows, particularly of the low kind: It just may be that Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings (D., S.C.) is the meanest man in politics. I have a sharp memory of a 1984 Democratic-primary debate — one moderated by Barbara Walters. Hollings was a candidate, and so was Reuben Askew, the former governor of Florida. Hollings thought Askew had misquoted him (or something), and Hollings barked, "You got a tic in your ear, too?" (Askew suffered from an eye twitch.)

Anyway, Hollings keeps calling Bush a "draft dodger." In recent days, he has said, "Look at the record. We're defending a Silver Star recipient against a damned draft dodger." Earlier in the month, he had said, "The Silver Star is being kicked around by a draft dodger."

A) Bush is not a draft dodger. And b) the Democrats nominated a genuine draft dodger for president twice, in the 1990s. Shouldn't Democratic senators keep their mouths shut on this? I mean, facts aside?
This is why I will never live in one of these new-fangled subdivisions!
A letter from an Impromptu reader... "Jay, I serve on the board of our co-op [in Manhattan], and at a recent meeting a fellow member brought up the subject of flag display. Since 9/11, we have flown a flag in front of our apartment building every day. He stated that 'recently, a tenant came up to me and said that flying the flag means we support George Bush for president.' I objected, saying that the flag is not Republican but American. After a very brief discussion, we voted to either keep the flag up all the time or fly it only on holidays. You already know the answer because I wouldn't be writing you if the flag were flying every day. Flag flyers lost 5-3. It was a sad day for me, and this story has outraged more than a few of my friends. Sad day for the Democrats on my board as well."
Enough fun for today!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Jesus baiting

Chicago Tribune 'Jesus baiting'

This piece also appears on The Common Voice.

One of the neat things about having a Web blog is that I can take a media story that includes me and make comments that show my side of the story. However, I'm sure doesn't get nearly as many readers as the Chicago Tribune Online!

Mr. Madigan was quite fair to ol' BJU. When you appear in the media, you tend to want the writer or reporter to present you the way you see yourself. We get all frustrated with the media when the stories don't come out quite that way! It pays to be mature and try to read the story through the eyes of the writer and be thankful when they get the story "mostly right."

I'd say Charlie was "mostly fair." I have very few beefs with the piece and the beefs - if they can be called that - I do have, are very minor. I'll go through them.

1. John Ashcroft did not give a commencement address at Bob Jones University. The school does not have a commencement speaker. The graduating students give testimonies. What happened was that Ashcroft was given an honorary doctorate and he asked if he might say a few words at the time the degree was being conferred. Thus we heard the now [in]famous "No King but Jesus" speech (Which I loved, by the way).

2. Madigan makes a chronological error when he says, "Bush spoke and Keyes and McCain both saw the opportunity to whack him with the race and religion stick, with Keyes saying the place still banned interracial dating." Actually, that wasn't the issue, during the South Carolina debate the policy still existed. However, Charlie points out the real issues when he writes later, "As for Alan Keyes, now the Republican hopeless in the U.S. Senate race in Illinois, he wasn't at all reluctant to speak at Bob Jones in 1996. But he was left aghast by the Bush visit in 2000. What a transformation!" I would say, what hypocrisy!

3. Charles then appears to attribute the following to me - not as a direct quotation, but as a paraphrased thought. "Pait is the first to acknowledge that those charges didn't come from the ether. The rhetoric of old-time religion and the values of the Old South once drove this place, and it wasn't at all out of character for the fundamentalists of that era to refer to the pope, for example, as an anti-Christ figure."

This will take a little longer. I do acknowledge that the words and phrases that were clearly understood and used in the over 500 year-old debate between Catholics and Protestants cause much confusion when they find their way into a public forum that is not up on the lexicon of the debate. That is true in many instances. However, I did not maintain that the "values of the Old South once drove this place." What has always driven the central focus of BJU was a firm conviction in the fundamental doctrines of the Bible. Other issues, such as the interracial issue or other cultural issues were incidental - not driving issues.

What are the "values of the Old South" anyway? Some of those values were/are very valuable!

4. He says that the interracial dating policy was "aimed at Asians, not African-Americans." To be accurate, the policy was aimed at caucasions. It was an Asian family that first complained about their daughter dating a white American. Actually, we didn't talk about this that much. I believe Charlie picked this one up from research from past pieces on the subject. I only remember giving assent that the policy came into being because of an incident such as above. I never said who it was "aimed at."

5. Another picky little thing. Charlie writes of the 2000 fiasco, "It all became a 'baseball bat' that everyone wanted to use to bash the college." What I recall saying was that everyone wanted to use BJU as a "baseball bat" to bash Bush. Either way, both interpretations are accurate!

6. Getting even more picky. He writes about his visit to the dining common, "It seemed like most of the 3,000 students were at lunch Monday after chapel." He got that number because I had told him earlier that there are just over 3,000 students in the resident halls. The actual number of students on the campus in a given day is more like 4,800.

7. My apologies to the people who live in Mauldin. Josh didn't spell it out to the journalist - so it ended up being printed Malden.

8. In one of the more humorous parts, Charlie writes of his visit to the University chapel service. He writes, "...particulary the part where the speaker noted that babies have fat heads and have to grow into them. Somehow, he made the transition from there to growing into Christ's head. I didn't get it, but it was kind of funny and the students did, which was just the point." Let me explain...

The speaker had as his text Ephesians 4. Specifically the verses, "Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love." (ESV Eph. 4:15,16) The application was that each student should equip themselves to the best of their ability to help encourage the body (the Church) to mature so that it can most effectively obey the commands of the head (Christ).

The speaker used the humorous illustration of a toddler whose head seems large (as all toddlers heads seem to be in proportion to their bodies), but whose body (thankfully) matures to become more proportional. In other words, the Church shouldn't stay the size of a toddler. A forty year-old person looks funny if they still have the proportions of a toddler! Each Christian has a responsibility to help in that maturity.

That's it. If every writer would be that far "off," I would be a very happy PR guy! Oh, what were some of the things I liked about the piece?

1. I liked the whole tone. Charlie wasn't condescending. He even pointed out that he did not necessarily find the response he expected. Best of all, he didn't try to twist things in order to get the kids to say what would help advance his own premis.

2. "By definition, everyone on the campus of Bob Jones has already turned to Jesus in a very serious way that defines their lives. They believe in their hearts that the Lord tells them what to do. It makes some people very uncomfortable, all that certainty stacked up in one place." Insightful...but take a look at that last statement. It leads me to the question, "Why?" It would certainly make me uncomfortable if that "certainty" was tied up in something dangerous - like I believe is the case with the fundamental doctrines of Islam.

3. "If you are truly American, you don't have to like what they say here at all, but you really have to honor the fact they feel completely free to say it."

4. "I was surprised. The young people here seem to have a filter that they use when they listen to political speech. It's not enough to say you are born again. They look at policies and proposals and decide who is just talking and who is living the talk, in their terms."

5. "You have to play along to be a political tool, and these folks weren't playing along."

6. Thanks, Charlie, for being one of few journalists to print in their stories my point, "Disagreement does not equal hatred."

7. "I left the place firmly convinced that everyone on campus who is old enough to vote will vote for George W. Bush on Nov. 2, but that they aren't blind fools about it. They relate to him. When he speaks the language, the students told me, you can tell it's the language, not an imitation of the language."

8. "Well, it's good to meet people who feel certain about something."

Yes, people here are certain about some things, but not certain about ALL things. The primary thing is our certainty that we know that Jesus Christ is alive and is coming again. We are certain that He loves us and gave Himself for us so that we can have eternal life. Politics don't seem quite so important (not unimportant - just not as important) when your eyes are on the eternal kingdom.

Monday, September 27, 2004

My Visit With Charlie

Today I spent several hours with Charlie Madigan. He's a veteran Chicago Tribune editor and correspondent who has been with the newspaper since 1979.

One thing I didn't catch talking with him is the fact that Madigan performs Celtic and Irish music on the guitar and bouzouki in the Chicago area and has written a series of songs in the Celtic tradition. Had I known, I would have had him sing a few bars. I dabble a bit in Celtic and Irish music.

Anyway, he is attempting to test out a feature concept. Basically, he just goes around to different locations and paints a picture about the people he meets there. He has a couple of questions that he asks and then he lets those people have at it. He says that he wants to get out of the way and just let folks have their say.

He started the concept at the two larger parties' conventions. The editors liked it so that told him to keep going. That is what led him to Bob Jones University. He had a couple of questions to ask and he figured that was just the place to go to get the answers - and a bit of color to make the story interesting.

I haven't seen the article, but I'm not holding my breath. I hope I am surprised, but based on the track record of national reporters, I can't help but wonder if he will get the story right. Enough about that, what are the questions?

1. Do you believe that politicians use religion to get the vote and in so doing are they using religious people?

2. If that is true, what is your reaction to seeing politicians tell you they are going to do such and such and then when they get elected they conveniently forget their promises?

The first several students he interviewed were all freshmen and sophomores. It was obvious that they had not yet formulated their thoughts on the matter. Most of them were going to be voting for the first time in November.

They pretty much all agreed that politicians are using them and that it tended to make them cynical of the politicians and the political system. I felt sort of sorry for them because you sensed that they were so busy just trying to make it through school that the courting habits of politicians wasn't the first thing on their minds.

Later Charlie had an opportunity to visit with six students who had served the BJU delegation of the South Carolina Student Legislature (a quite successful delegation, I might add) and he got a different view. Most of these students were juniors and seniors. They also were more politically involved (some of them are working in current campaigns). Their answers were not quite so simple.

I almost got the impression that Charlie was disappointed in this last group. It seemed he was looking for some stark answers. He expected to get some very black and white answers. Instead he met some students who were principled, but who understood that a level of pragmatism is necessary if you are to engage in the political realm.

I'll be interested to see how he paints the colors surrounding these various students. More than that I will be interested in seeing how he paints the picture of BJU. One thing I have learned through the years is that reporters love you as long as you are giving them information, but once you have been sucked dry you can find they morph into something quite different.

Charlie, I really hope you prove to be different. I enjoyed your visit and while I'm sure we wouldn't agree on a whole lot of things, I was surprised about how many things we did agree. Even where didn't agree, you made things interesting and civil. I'll look forward to reading the rest of your reports.

Spending My Day with the Chicago Tribune's Gleaner

Chicago Tribune Geezer Mantra: Damned Kids!

I won't be able to send up many posts today. I have to spend my time with "The Rambling Gleaner" who is Charlie Madigan with the Chicago Tribune. You can read some of his previous work at the link above. I'll give a report at the end of the day.

NASCAR What If vs. The Chase - Races - Standings

This is our second week of comparing the "What If Standings" and the "Chase Standings." This week I have added the actual points for each driver. Jeff Gordon has moved up to take the point making the what if leader the same as the current Chase leader. After the leader, all other positions shuffle. Kasey Kahne drops below the lowest ranked Chase driver. Therefore he drops from the poll.

Tony Stewart is hurt the most by the new points system. Mark Martin gets the biggest boost. In the Chase, 157 points separate the leader from 10th place. Racing the way we did in 2003 would mean 478 points between first and last place. The only what if drivers within 157 points are Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Jimmie Johnson.

I think that when all is said and done, those three drivers will be the top three of both polls - though not necessarily in the current order. Hey, here is a what if for you: if Earnhardt Jr. finishes 1st at Talladega (getting 5 pts. for leading a lap and 5 pts. for leading the most laps) and Gordon comes in 2nd (getting 5 pts. for leading a lap), then Gordon will still maintain a 3 point lead over Junior. Of course, if the race finishes like the April Talladega race, Gordon will increase his lead over Junior to 23 points and over Busch to 126 points.

RankChase StandingsPointsWhat If StandingsPoints
1Jeff Gordon5371Jeff Gordon3923
2Kurt Busch5370Dale Earnhardt Jr.3854
3Dale Earnhardt Jr.5353Jimmie Johnson3811
4Jimmie Johnson5314Kurt Busch3659
5Mark Martin5314Tony Stewart3611
6Elliot Sadler5275Matt Kenseth3579
7Matt Kenseth5272Elliott Sadler3566
8Ryan Newman5264Mark Martin3512
9Tony Stewart5236*Jamie McMurray3473
10Jeremy Mayfield5214Ryan Newman3445
11Jeremy Mayfield3397
*Not in the Chase for the Nextel Cup

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Sunday Evening Sermon

Superiority of the Gospel

Where does a person find a relationship with God? Is it in religion? No, it is found in the Gospel. The Gospel changes everything.

Gordon Takes Points Lead

A third place finish places Jeff Gordon into the lead for the Chase to the Cup. Okay, so maybe it is only by one point. That is what it is going to take to win the championship. Avoid the bad days. Have at least one really good day. Finish in the top ten each week. So far, so good.

Newman led 320+ laps. No one was going to stop him. He could only stop himself - and he didn't. Gordon was down in 26th place with a very ill handling car. So, the Dupont boys showed they have what it takes to be consistent in the final ten races. Oh yeah, and all that engine trouble they were having earlier? I really think they were taking us for a ride telling us they weren't testing.

On to Talladega... expect big things out of DEI. Don't forget that Hendricks Motorsports has started to give those boys some reason to look in their mirrors. Still, will 18 points be enough to keep Junior from passing Gordon for the points lead? We'll see...

Sunday Morning Sermon

Living Under the Smile of God

How do we overcome temptation? How do we persevere in this world?

Do we do it by replacing the bad with the good? No.
Do we keep the bad and tack on the good? No.

We live our lives under the smile of God. Are you?

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Tar Heels - Back to Normal

North Carolina Shut Out By Louisville

Everyone complained about the Tar Heel defense coming into this season. The offense was supposed be the bright spot. If the O is to be the light, it is going to be a pretty dark year!

Granted, Durant was uncharacteristicly off target today. Maybe he was trying too hard. Several throws that could have helped keep drives alive were behind the receivers or over thrown.

As for the defense, they fought hard but were on the field for a very long time. The offense did not help them at all. Of course, the Louisville offense helped the Tar Heel defense look good - at least on the score board - by holding the ball for an eternity in the first half.

Growing hurts. Here's hoping all this pain will lead to some gain as the year goes on.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Hello From Arabic TV


Tonight I have the dubious distinction of being broadcast across the Muslim world. A couple of weeks ago, Alhurra television came to Bob Jones University to film a special program "America Decides 2004." They spent time interviewing Bob Jones III, students and members of my family. The purpose of the program was to show the views that conservative Christians in America have toward the political process as well as toward issues facing the world.

Of course, none of us will be able to see it when it is broadcast. It is only broadcast via satellite into the Arabic speaking world. There is no American satellite that will carry it. I hope to get a copy and have one of the Arabic linguists at BJU translate it for me.

Another BJU Link

Galilee Baptist pastor retires after four decades

Nothing really remarkable or controversial about this story. However, I think it is a good example of just how BJU graduates are out there doing "unremarkable" and "noncontroversial" things every day. Just plain old good solid citizens. Tens of thousands of them are out there.

Thanks, Pastor Frank, for a job well done.

Also, it is ironic that this story appears on the same day as the preacher shortage story in The Greenville News.

BJU Link for Today

Churches look for younger faces in pulpit

This article has a quotation by Bruce McAllister, director of ministerial training and extension at BJU. Speaking of the needs across the country, "We aren't panicking or anything, but you do see a lot of gray-headed pastors at pastors' meetings."

There is no doubt that there are many churches around the country that have need of pastors. Here we get the stats on most of the denominations. I sure would like to be able to see the stats for unaffiliated churches. It is one of the most underreported segments of religion.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Today's BJU Links

Of course, if you are a reader, you already know about the link there. Here is another one that really isn't that big of a deal except it attempts to use BJU to make the same tired old charge that because GOP candidates spoke there they were seeking to "race-bait."

"Whether it's denouncing fictional welfare queens, saluting the Confederate battle flag or showing up to speak at Bob Jones University, the GOP knows how to race-bait."

Just take these three charges and think about them for a moment. When was the last time you heard a GOP candidate denounce welfare queens? Anyone recall any one of them saluting a Confederate battle flag? Also, someone please show how speaking at Bob Jones University somehow increases the number of "rascist" votes a candidate can glean from the "backward south."

"The GOP has built a Southern base by accommodating racists. That doesn't mean most Republican politicians are racists themselves. But they don't hesitate to pander to a constituency that is still uncomfortable with the social changes ushered in by the civil rights movement."

Get out some, Ms. Tucker. There is no doubt that there are still people out there who are racists. However, you paint with a very broad brush. You know you can't attack a politician for being racist, so you have to attack those people who don't have the voice you have to defend themselves. You can sit in your ivory tower and lob these charges. Back them up.

"The GOP still has a problem: Its potential is limited. As the nation grows browner, more and more voters will be drawn to the all-inclusive ideals espoused by the Democrats."

Sorry, it is the GOP that has the potential. Your argument is based on the idea that people make all of their choices according to the color of their skin (how racist!). As "the nation grows browner," that is just that much more of your marketshare from which the GOP can draw. It isn't your "all-inclusive ideals" that has made America great. When that "browner" segment begins to realize the true America ideals of freedom, liberty and access is available to them and they don't have to depend on the Democrats, your reign will end. When they begin to realize that your fear-mongering based on the past gives a false impression of the Republican Party and the reality of today, your hold will cease. Fear cannot defeat truth forever.

Miller knows race-baiting lifted GOP

Sparse Blog Day

Twilight Zone Comes to Greenville

I'm spending some time trying to track this down while also trying make some last minute arrangements for the Ten Commandments Monument (of Roy Moore fame) to be displayed on the campus of Bob Jones University.

I won't be able to post much today.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Pray for Haiti

Storm Floods Kill More Than 600 in Haiti

This may seem like an out of the way story to many of us here in the States. However, this story hits home with me because one of my wife's students in her speech class at BJU is a young man from Haiti.

He is a freshman and is away from his family for the first time. His father is a pastor in the storm-ravaged country. Of course, they are not only having to live with the weather problems but Haiti is a very dangerous place to live because of crime and civil unrest.

This young man heard on a news report that a pastor had been killed. Because of the problems with communication he did not know if it might have been his father. At this moment I do not know if he has yet learned.

Pray for Haiti. My Christian brothers and sisters, also pray for our brothers and sisters in that land. Consider finding an organization through which to send relief to these in need.

NRO Break

Jay Nordlinger: Little Suppressors

I love this little exchange that appears in this article. It is an actual account sent to Jay from a reader regarding his experience in a local New Jersey bookstore.
A while back, I paid a visit to our local bookstore (I live in southern New Jersey) with the intent of perusing the new release Michael Moore Is a Big Fat Stupid White Man [these titles are getting out of hand]. I looked on the new-release, bestseller, and new non-fiction racks — nothing. I wandered around for a while and then headed up to the information desk. The clerk, [unflattering description of looks goes here], smiles at me. Here's a fairly accurate transcript:
Clerk. How may I help you?
Me. I'm looking for Michael Moore Is a Big Fat Stupid White Man.
Clerk (still smiling). You mean Stupid White Men by Michael Moore . . .
Me. No. Michael Moore Is a Big Fat Stupid White Man. It's a new release.
Clerk. We don't have it.
Me. Are you sure? It's very popular.
Clerk (tight-lipped). Never heard of it. (Looks past me.) Can I help the next person, please?
Me. Excuse me, but can you check on your computer?
Clerk (very annoyed). Fine. (Bangs away at the keyboard. Scrolls down the screen at warp speed.) No. Doesn't exist.
Me (spying it on the screen). Wait — there it is.
Clerk (extremely annoyed). Oh . . . um . . . yesss. We only received one copy. It's in the back.
Me. Where in the back?
Clerk (loudly). In the political science section!
Me. Thanks!

I searched this section. The book was nowhere to be found. I walk back to the desk.

Me. Pardon me, but I couldn't find it.

(Clerk curses under her breath and slams her pen on the counter. Slams swinging door. Marches to the back of the store.)

I could not believe what she did next. She grabs a step ladder and climbs up. The book was lying flat on the top row of books — with the spine toward the back so you couldn't see the title. She grabs the book, climbs down, and slams it into my chest. Her face beet red, she screams, "HERE!!! ARE YOU HAPPY NOW, YOU FRIGGIN' FASCIST?!?!"

I was shocked — but I figured it was time for some Brooklyn diplomacy. I walk up to the counter again.

Me. Excuse me: Do you have Treason by Ann Coulter? In the bestseller section? I couldn't find it . . .

And now something from the couch of Jonah Goldberg:

Jonah Goldberg: Good Enough

Jonah offers 10, no 13, criticisms that he believes are valid about Iraq and then goes on to argue that regardless of the criticisms there is still an upside to fighting the war. He states for instance:
There simply is no diplomacy with the enemy today. So, that means going on offense. That means taking the fight to them. That means, in the short term, "creating" more extremists and terrorists by fighting on their home turf. But the point isn't merely to fight them, it's to pull the rug out from under them. The ultimate goal is democracy, of course. But the interim goal is to rationalize the Middle East so that, while it may still produce enemies, they will be ones we can deal with around a table, not a crater. And the short-term goal is to kill lots of them where they live, instead of them doing the same to us.
Unfortunately today's NRO didn't have a column by John Derbyshire. Maybe tomorrow.

UNC Avoids the ESPN Bottom Ten - NCF - The Bottom 10

Proof of UNC's improvement over the weekend can be found in the fact that they have been moved off of the waiting list of's "The Bottom 10." They were listed for the first two weeks of the season in the "Waiting list." Keep it up guys! Or should I say, "Keep it off!"

Today's BJU Link

BJU proposal draws skeptical crowd

It appears from this article that the BJU proposal to build a development along Pleasantburg Drive is giving people a chance to vent off their frustrations toward existing problems. This seems to be more about past and present than one about the future proposed development.

Ben Szobody (a BJU grad - shows that not all grads get lock-step orders from the campus) reports, "But the timing plays into the hands of frustrated residents in the adjacent neighborhood who have watched a new shopping center to the south and Wade Hampton High School construction to the north funnel extraordinarily heavy rains into their neighborhood streams..."

The architect Ken Betsch is attributed as saying "that while the project won't exacerbate drainage problems, it probably won't help either." So the point is that even if the project goes in and there is no adverse impact, the residents still will not be happy with the situation.

However, the lack of rezoning does not stop the development of the property. As Bob Wood, executive vice president of BJU, points out, "'[I] wonder if they understand the potential' of an office development, which could be built without county approval."

Oh, well, you feel for the residents and hope they can find a way to resolve their neighborhood problems. Unfortunately for them, it doesn't matter whether the development goes in or not. They will still have their issues. Unfortunately for BJU, it ends up being used as a leverage tool by the residents seeking to find a solution.

Monday, September 20, 2004

What if? - Races - Standings

After each race during the Chase for the Nextel Cup, I will be posting a comparison of the current standings vs. the "what if things where the way they were" standings.

Chase StandingsWhat If Standings
1Dale Earnhardt Jr.Jeff Gordon
2Kurt BuschDale Earnhardt Jr.
3Jeff GordonJimmie Johnson
4Matt KensethMatt Kenseth
5Jimmie JohnsonKurt Busch
6Elliot SadlerElliot Sadler
7Mark MartinTony Stewart
8Tony StewartMark Martin
9Ryan Newman*Jamie McMurray
10Jeremy Mayfield*Kasey Kahne
12 Ryan Newman
13 Jeremy Mayfield
*Not in the Chase for the Nextel Cup

It will be interesting to see how high up Jamie McMurray and Kasey Kahne can go. Following the old system, Kahne would have an outside chance for 6th place. It would also be a hoot if the winner of the Chase for the Nextel Cup would also end up being the "What if" champion. We'll see...

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Sunday Evening Sermon - Law Change vs. Grace Change

How can you have lasting change in your life? It isn't through a twelve step method or disciplined change. It must start with a change of the heart. The Gospel changes everything.

Pretty good sports weekend

North Carolina Tar Heels go to 2 and 1 overall and 1 and 1 in the ACC. A 3 and 8 season seems pretty assured. A 4 and 7 season is possible. A 6 and 5 season is a dream...but hey, a guy can dream!

Jeff Gordon survives the first race in the Chase to the Nextel Cup. It wasn't looking very good midway through the race but the late caution brought the field back together and with the 24 having pretty good tires, Jeff was able to pick up three or four positions. Only 9 points out of first place - not bad.

The Panthers overcame the multiple setbacks to the roster. Foster just let loose and rookie receiver Colbert stepped up with the absense of Smith. Now they have a bye going into the next week so they can work some on the chemistry. Of course, the Chiefs game sure helped get the becker charged!

Sunday Morning Service - Faith By Waiting On God

Most of the church was supposed to be on a camping trip in North Carolina this morning. The event got canceled because of fear that the weather would be a problem. Turns out, the weather was wondeful! However, it was nice to have pastor preaching to the entire church this morning.

Sometimes we think that faith is measured by the incredible things that God does for someone who exhibits "faith." However, we learn from the life of Abraham that faith is also exhibited by patience.

Does Bush Read Newspapers and Watch TV?

Kerry: Bush Has Secret Troop Call-Up Plan

I had to laugh when I read the following statement by John Kerry:
"With all due respect to the president, has he turned on the evening news lately? Does he read the newspapers? Does he really know what's happening? Is he talking about the same war that the rest of us are talking about?"
Of course, Bush doesn't need to watch TV or read the Newspapers. He gets more detailed information on the goings on in Iraq then what we see on TV or read in the papers. For that matter, it is questionable whether or not we are seeing the whole picture if we get all of our information from the media.

Does Bush get his knowledge about the war from the media? The answer? I hope not!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Heels Take It To Tech

Gametracker by

They did it. How fitting that the last play of the game was a fumble by Georgia Tech that was picked up by the Heels' defense and run in for the final score.
Picture credit to

The second half was bend...bend...but don't break by the defense and a pretty acceptable game by the offense. Still, the offense did not live up to its potential.

Now, if only the defense can build off of this game and continue to improve. Perhaps the offense will then find a rythmn. This team has shown they can improve from one game to the next. Next week is Louisville at home in Chapel Hill. It is certainly possible the team could be 3 and 1 going into Tallahassee.

Starting then until is going to be a very long road! Still, this year, if UNC can win the games they have a chance in and then do a reasonable job in the games where everyone expects them to lose, this year could be a good building year.

Tech Vs. Heels - I'm in shock! - NCF - College Football - Game Update

Is this the same team that was humbled by Virginia? Is this the last ranked defense in the ACC? Already the Heels have two interceptions against Reggie Ball. They have also recovered a fumble. The defense has kept the Tech offense out of the end zone for the entire first half.

The Heels' offense is another matter. They have not been able to move the ball consistently. They probably have lost 100 yards due to penalties. Several very long runs and receptions were brought back because of holding calls. Darian Durant has thrown two interceptions and they have had to punt most posessions. As a matter of fact, the touchdown scored by the offense came after a fumble recovery on the the Georgia Tech 1 yard line. As it is the stats are pretty even.

So, if only the defense can continue to play so well in the second half and the offense can settle down...

Heels Take On Tech

Tar Heels Look To Rebound At Home Against Georgia Tech.

Photo from
Can Darian Durant lead the hobbling Heels and save the coach?
Well, today is a big day for Carolina football. The Heels take on Georgia Tech at 6:00 tonight in Kenan Stadium. It won't get much attention with the sports talking heads, but from here on out every game is a bowl game for North Carolina.

More sports stuff that probably interests no one but me :-)

How appropriate that the Sylvania 300 qualifying got rained out. That means that the first race of the Chase for the Nextel Cup will take place with the top ten contenders running nose to tail.

Awwwhh, rats. "President Bush has canceled his appearance at the New Hampshire International Speedway on Sunday" the Associated Press reports. Of course, he is doing what he should be, "He will instead spend the day in Florida and Alabama, where Hurricane Ivan devastated coastal communities this week."

While the NASCAR boys are bumpin' and rubbin' in Loudon, the Panthers will be taking on the Kansas City Chiefs. After losing to the Packers last week, this makes Sunday's game an important one if the Cats want to do as well as last year.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Last Word From Israel

Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus on National Review Online

Some of the interesting tidbits:
We travel up north, to the "finger" of Israel, and, in fact, to the "fingernail" — Metullah, a beautiful little town of 1,600 in the crosshairs of Hezbollah guns. Yes, we are on the Lebanese border. There's the spot from which Prof. Edward Said threw rocks! We are told, in fact, that conscientious Shiites bring their children here, to throw rocks at Israeli farmers. That is how they spend their vacation. Who needs Disneyland?
I found this section interestings because I just recently spoke with a Lebanese reporter. I didn't realize that the Lebanese do not harbor as much animous for Israel as they do for Syria. The more I learn about the Middle East the more I see Syria as a cancer. Any people they touch are harmed - whether it be Lebanese, Israeli or Palestinian.
For years, workers in the Israeli orchards were Lebanese. According to one resident I meet, Israelis and these Lebanese had good relations, respecting one another, benefiting from one another, participating in one another's celebrations, and so on. But the death grip of Hezbollah meant that Lebanese could not cross to work in Metullah anymore.
I'll end with two last observations from the article:
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to end with some general things. Throughout my week in Israel, I've often found myself angry — mainly at this country's pariah status. That the world should hate this country says something very, very bad about the world.
This is how I think of Israel: a determination to live, in spite of the worst. A refusal to surrender to death. A refusal to succumb to evil. A decision to live. To keep living. To choose life, not death. To go on.
Thanks, Jay - I enjoyed your reports.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

President May Give Call to Start Engines - President paying a visit to New Hampshire?

This is reported by
It appears as though President George W. Bush will be visiting New Hampshire International Speedway for the Sylvania 300 this weekend.

According to a report in the Concord Monitor, Bush will fly in via helicopter Sunday, before being ushered into the track, law enforcement sources said.

He is expected to give the command to start engines from the media center, located inside Turn 3.
Here is the original article in the Concord Monitor.

The Question of God

I found the PBS program The Question of God to be very stimulating. I almost expected a Hannity and Colmes experience, but I was wonderfully disappointed!

I plan to order the DVD. If you are an atheist - or at least antagonistic toward Christianity - this show will at least give you some insight into the thought processes of those who have accepted the claims of Jesus Christ. For Christians, it is a good exposure both the thought processes of atheists and spiritualists. As Cal Thomas wrote yesterday, "It is worth your time to watch. It is worth your time to investigate the claims discussed. It might even restore (or enhance) your faith."

Funny, but if you were to take the Christians out of the panel and then ask me with whom I would prefer to enjoy a nice lunch, I would say Michael Shermer, editor-in-chief of Skeptic Magazine and director of the Skeptics Society. I found him to be an honest skeptic and greatly perfer to discuss things with people who aren't all over the place. The spiritualists get me tied in knots.

I also enjoyed the input by Frederick Lee, a practicing physician and former teaching associate of Dr. Armand Nicholi (the moderator of the program).
And that's when one comes down to: Is this story made up or not? And the key thing there is, here is a man, Jesus Christ, who's documented as claiming to be the son of God. Now, I've seen patients do that in my psychiatric rotations — "I'm Napoleon, I'm Caesar, I'm God, I'm Jesus," but they're invariably psychotic. And yet, from the scriptures, from all the witnesses that we have, what Jesus said reflects some of the deepest, most insightful wisdom into human nature. He's not a lunatic, okay? He's not crazy. There's no other alternative, other than to assume that this bizarre claim, this fantastic claim, that's never been made or spoken by human lips in the history of the world has to be true. There's no other explanation.
Actually, there is a different explanation. Jesus could have been a charlatan - a liar, a fraud. Of course, that is why this particular statement falls into the segment’s discussion on miracles. Jesus’ miracles were proof of His claims.

Shermer counters one of Lee's arguments regarding miracles with the following:
Once you've tried to understand the forces by which God intervened into this system from outside this system, you're just back in the system again, looking for natural causes. God used some electromagnetic force to tweak the genome, to restart the heart, to whatever. If that's what you're doing, then you're just doing science. And the only other choice is, you just say, "beats me, it's a miracle." I give up.
At that point, I wished I were sitting at the table. I would have said, "But Michael, if we could physically explain how God did what He did, it wouldn't be a miracle. If God used some electromagnetic force to tweak the genome, it would not by definition be a miracle. A miracle demands that the event transcend natural law. More incredible would be to discover that point where natural law was suspended and you are left saying, ‘Wow, it’s a miracle!’"

Stimulating and fun - of course, it is also nice to watch something on TV that does not dismiss belief and treated both sides respectfully. There are few opportunities for that kind of discussion now days.

Finally, it would be so incredibly neat to have been able to go back and be a part of that group of spiritual thinkers that included Lewis and Tolkien.

The next segment will be next Wednesday evening at 9 PM.

Lamb Lies Down With Lion

Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus on National Review Online

Jay posts his next installment from Israel. This joke sent in to him by a reader made me laugh. I'm surprised I have not heard it before.
An American minister goes to the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem and is astounded to see in one enclosure a lion and a lamb. Unable to contain himself, he rushes to the director's office. "I must tell you how wonderful this is," he exclaims. "Here we are in this violent, hate-filled land, yet I see, as the Biblical prophecy has it, a lion and a lamb lying down together. How do you do it?"

The director shrugs. "Easy. Every morning we toss in another lamb."

In this segment Jay interviews "Efraim Halevy, the Man Who Kept the Secrets (to quote the title of a book about Richard Helms, the late and legendary CIA director). Halevy was with the Mossad from 1961 to roughly yesterday, ending as chief. He, indeed, knows the secrets — not that he's sharing all that much."

Regarding our CIA in the Middle East.
I ask Halevy about the CIA's ability in the Middle East — or lack of it. He is not so dismissive — not at all. In fact, he is stoutly defensive of the CIA, and of George Tenet, in particular. They are doing as good a job as possible, he implies. (Halevy wrote an article — about intelligence inquiries in the U.S. and Britain — for The Economist. Here.) People have to gain some perspective, he continues. Israel occupied the West Bank militarily from 1967 to 1994 — that should mean knowing the ground pretty well. "Yet we still have had 1,000 dead — and we are now disengaging."

Another interesting observation.
As I leave, I meet an unlikely IDF soldier — a blonde, blue-eyed southern belle. A real Dixie beauty, from Birmingham, Ala. She inquires of our group, "Y'all from the States?" She herself is an Israeli who has experienced both countries (obviously). As we talk, she mentions that she has been a kind of liaison to a group called Christian Friends of Israel. Back in Birmingham, she faced anti-Semitism — "but here, the Christians love Israel."

One day, I'm going to go see that land for myself.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Nordlinger From Israel

Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus on National Review Online

I've been enjoying Jay Nordlinger's journal of his ongoing visit to the land of Israel. Here is a tidbit he gives from an interview with Oded Granot, a "big television presence" there in Israel.

"Finally, a bit about the U.S. election. I paraphrase: 'If Bush is reelected and succeeds in Iraq, this will have a big effect on the region - including the Palestinian question. If he fails, or the U.S. fails, it will be a disaster. The worst Arab leaders will say, 'We are the master of this region now, not the U.S.' Iran will be emboldened, when it least needs to be. A U.S. pullout would be a green light for the extremists.'"

Sure makes you pause to consider where we are. Regardless of why or how we got there just pulling out isn't going to bring the world back together again.

Today's BJU Link

IRS warns churches: no politics allowed

BJU only appears in this article as a supporting illustration. However, the illustration is not a correct one. The writer says, "Advocates for Christian churches say they are most often the target of scrutiny. Some of the IRS's high-profile cases have been against Falwell and Bob Jones University, a Christian college in Greenville, S.C." This was written in the context of the IRS punishing religious organizations for political involvement. While the example of Falwell way fit the context, BJU's loss of tax exemption had nothing to do with political activities.

"The power to tax is the power to destory." It is also true that the power to grant tax exemption is the power to control.

In this way the BJU case was somewhat of a milestone - or tombstone - in the way the IRS worked with organizations. It does connect to this Florida story from a different angle. To put it in simple layman's language (the kind I need), it was ruled that the government granting tax exemption to an organization was the same as the government giving money to that organization. If that organization engaged in activity that was contrary to "prevailing public policy," the government would be supporting that organization and by extention the activity in which it was engaged.

You can see how this type of ruling could turn the traditional dealings between the government and churches upside down. Using the logic of the BJU court case, it is a simple step to then say that the government's granting of tax exemption is tantamount to the "establishment of religion."

However, this flies in the face of the history of not taxing churches. It is true that the framers of the Constitution did not want established government churches as found in Europe. However, during that same period states were exempting churches and the Seventh Congress passed a property tax exemption in 1802. These exemptions were never thought to be a gift or at conflict with the First Amendment.

Indeed, they were limiting the government's power to use taxes to hinder the free exercise of religion. Tax exemption was for the purpose of strengthening the First Amendment. Such control by taxation was common in the European-style church establishment.

Now, that is being turned on its head. What was intended to be a limitation on government has turned into a tool of power for the government. The churches can't win for losing.

I am not a proponent of organized church activism in politics. I do not like the practice of the Republicans using church directories to trawl for votes. I don't like the practice of having politicians come to speak from the pulpit on matters of politics. However, as much as I don't like it, the government has no business telling churches what they can or cannot do - especially when it comes to matters of free speech. This whole business makes a mock of the First Amendment on multiple levels!

Today's secular society wishes to create a culture where it is okay to go behind your closed church doors and practice your little religion club. However, they don't know what to do with people who take their beliefs seriously and see a connection between doctrine and day-to-day living. These type of people scare them and they must be controlled.

For the Christian, he is not only a Christian when he crosses the threshold of the church. He is also a Christian when he enters the voting booth - or when he stands as an elected official on the floor of Congress. Freely exercising religion does not mean "free to believe what you want as long as you keep it inside the church doors." The IRS and those who wish to use it as a tool of control misuse the "establishment of religion" clause to negate the "free exercise thereof."

Bush Stickers In Short Supply

Shrinking Battlefield Changes Strategies

If you want to see where your political parties' (at least the Dems and Repubs) resources are going, you'll want to look to the following states:
Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, West Virginia and New Hampshire.

It does cause some problems for supporters here in "safe" South Carolina. The poor secretary for the Greenville County Republican Party is inundated with requests for the cool little oval "W" stickers. It is hard for the party to get them because the stickers (and funds) are being routed to these "battleground" states.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Impromptu from the Holy Land

Jay Nordlinger checks in again from Israel
[Saeb] Erekat says one quite interesting - even semi-newsworthy - thing . . . about Bill Clinton. Clinton tells a certain story. Many of us have heard it. It goes, Arafat said to him, as his second term was expiring, "You are a great man" (or a great leader or some such thing); Clinton answered, "No, I'm not, I'm a failure, and you made me one" (meaning that Arafat blew up the peace process, refusing to deal with Barak).

No way, says Erekat. He was part of the phone call that took place between the two men, and Arafat did, indeed, praise Clinton as a great man (or something) - but without that riposte from Clinton.

Who is telling the truth? As between Clinton and the PLO, I'll let you decide.

UNC's Bunting Must Be Crying In a Corner

Seagraves Likely Out For The Season :: Offensive lineman out with a broken bone in his foot.

And you wondered how things could get any worse for the Tar Heel football team? Okay, so maybe you didn't. Only us UNC football fans (all 10 of us). Here you go. If the Heels had any strength, it was their offensive line - particulary Seagraves and Jason Brown. Now, that one strength is weaker.

I'll be looking through my fingers at the GTech vs. UNC game this Saturday.

Today's BJU Links

Here is some more of the same. It is almost like there is a style book out there that makes the following statement the rule:

"We saw his appeal to racists during the campaign, when he found it politically expedient to visit Bob Jones University, an openly racist institution."

The argument here is not whether BJU is/was racist or not. Regardless of whether that argument is true or not, this statement is still wrong. Why? This columnist states, "We saw his appeal to racists during the campaign." It is here that they bring out the example: His visit to Bob Jones University. In order for this charge to be correct you would have to show that Bush's intention for visiting the school was to "appeal to racists." Now, stop and think about that. Would any conservative politician on the national scene knowingly and intentionally go to an organization that was racist? Liberals, of course, would say, "Yes, and his name is George W. Bush!" However, reasonable people have to question such a conclusion.

Look, I was there. I remember it well. The Bush campaign was coming to BJU because it had been a traditional stop for candidates for 20 years. It is patently false that Bush came to BJU to "appeal to racists." He came to BJU to appeal to conservative Christian voters in South Carolina - and no, my liberal friends, "conservative Christian" does not equal "racist."

Now, as for BJU, I realize it just drives people nuts, but the truth is that outside of the liberal media BJU was and is known for much more than the now defunct interracial dating policy. Based on media coverage, you would think that the school existed exclusively for that rule. The truth is that most people in the national political scene knew BJU more for the high-quality graduates that it has matriculated and who have made a positive impact in politics and government.

Of course, trying to make headway against the oft-repeated lie that Bush was courting the "racist vote" is like trying to sail against hurricane Ivan.

Now for some good news for BJU watchers. This editorial in The Greenville News actually comes out in support of the University's plans along Pleasantburg Drive. I am not up on all the plans - mainly because the serious discussions can't start until the zoning is approved. However, one thing I know for certain is that BJU plans to do all it can to be a good neighbor.

One issue that keeps coming up is runoff and water problems. Unfortunately, there is an existing problem in the neighborhood. Some of the residents have for some time been approaching the County in hopes of finding a solution to their problem. While BJU can design its development to control runoff from the property (and fully plans to do so), that will not fix the existing issues.

Later today, I hope to give a report on the Alhurra visit to BJU last Friday.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Hey, what happened to "Fugheddaboutit!"

Maybe I missed it. Wasn't there supposed to be a "civil" protest as millions of Americans across the country leaned out their windows and yelled "Fugheddaboutit!" when Georg Bush spoke from the podium during the Republican convention?

I don't know what made me think about it now - weeks later, but it struck me today that I never heard anything that night. I expected Greenville to erupt with a window rattling "Fugheddaboutit!" So, I did a quick search to find out if there was any damage in the country due to the anticipated sonic waves. Hmmmm, I found LOADS of articles about the planned protest. Problem is, I can't find any after the event... Ah, here is one.

"On a midtown residential block shortly after ten o’clock last Thursday night, as the President appeared onstage at Madison Square Garden, a series of dissonant voices joined the familiar chorus of passing car stereos and sirens. 'Fugheddaboutit!' the voices yelled from a few third- and fourth-story windows. The loudmouths were heeding the instructions of the liberal radio host Al Franken, who’d called for a 'Great American Shout-Out,' timed to the President’s speech, to protest the Republican proceedings. In the context of a week’s worth of orchestrated civil disobedience and disruption, the scattered hollering was harmless, even a little silly."


The good news is that there are still opportunities to plan your own event. Check it out.

I'm still looking... the silence of any coverage on this great protest is deafening!

Some Morning Reading

  • Jay Nordlinger comments from Israel: "We meet with David Horovitz, editor of The Jerusalem Report. Or, hang on: In a couple of days, his appointment as editor of the Jerusalem Post will be announced. He is an important journalist (obviously), and the author of several books, including Still Life with Bombers: Israel in the Age of Terrorism. He came from England 20 years ago, and has the fluency -- the extreme fluency -- that seems inherent in Brits.

    "He makes the simple point that Israel has fought war after war, and if it had lost any one of them, 'we wouldn't be sitting here today.' The last four years, however, have been the worst in Israel's history. (I am relating Horovitz's views.) Since 2000, there have been 130 suicide bombings, which constitute a mere 10 percent of all attempted bombings. Think of it: 90 percent have been thwarted."

    Imagine this in America? We can fight them in Iraq and Afghanistan, or we can fight them here.

    Read more of Jay's trip to Israel, here.

  • Drudge links to the AP article, Kerry Hints GOP My Suppress Black Votes. Yawn. Couldn't he be more original? It wasn't a matter of if Kerry (or the DNC) would make such a charge. It was just a matter of when. Of course, it comes just a week after Democratic black leaders were accusing Kerry of taking the "black vote" for granted.

  • Of course, the sun setting on the Assault-Weapons ban is all the rage today.

  • Sunday, September 12, 2004

    I saw my first neighborhood party headquarters

    Democrats opening offices in neighborhoods

    I saw my first Democratic Party Neighborhood Headquarters today while taking a Sunday afternoon stroll in the Augusta Road area of Greenville. It is the first one I have seen.

    It is a pretty neat idea. I'm not so sure how effective it will be, but it is novel and gets a little exposure for the party. Maybe there are more of them in other parts of the state, but so far that is my first.

    Sunday Morning Sermon - Sermon Info

    Pastor Chuck preached a powerful and convicting sermon this morning! "Faith: A Journey, Not An Event" was taken from the text Hebrews 11:8-10. The life of Abraham helps teach us that faith is not a tool that we pull out when trials come. Faith is a way of life.

    Saturday, September 11, 2004

    Tonight Determines the Chase

    Tonight is the final race leading up to the "Chase for the Championship." Next week the top 10 in the Nextel Cup standings will be the only ones who have a chance to finish in the top 10. Of course, the main thing is that those 10 are also the only ones who have a chance to win the championship.

    I didn't like the plan when it first started. However, I have to admit that it has made the entire season a little more interesting.

    Hey! There's Rummy! You could see on his face that he was bowled over by the NASCAR crowd.


    The pledge! Man, if that didn't bring tears to your eyes . . . I don't know what would. Of course, it is a little embarrassing that the fans forgot about the moment of silence. Still, I can't help but think the attempts to start the USA chant are more fitting anyway.

    Here are the colors.

    Now the invocation.

    (Man, no wonder lefties can't stand this sport. Give me a NASCAR redneck anyday!)


    Okay, the anthem wasn't too bad. I still prefer the song not be "performed" but . . .

    (Ooooooo, the flyby!)

    . . . she sure belted that thing!

    Rock and Roll!

    Bye, Bye, Bunting College Football - Game Update

    Well, I guess we can say goodbye to John Bunting, fourth year coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels. I don't say that as someone who wants to see him go. However, I know that the sharks are going to start circling.

    I like Bunting. I also think that he can turn it around. The defense is very young and a defense that can't stop anyone does not help your offense. It showed today as Virginia PLASTERED the hapless Heels.

    I'm a Heel fan win or lose, but man, today hurt!

    May 9/11 Never Become a National Day

    As I have watched the various memorials surrounding the events of 9/11, I am struck by the honesty of the comments. The reality of the actions of that day is still fresh on the hearts of those who suffered that day. Seeing them remember makes that day return to us all.

    Some would say it is time to move on. No, we must never forget. We do not need to wallow in feelings of the victim, but we must remember the spirit of the American people that rose from the rubble of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania field.

    It is sad that our days of memory have become really nothing more than holidays. May we never make 9/11 a "paid time off holiday." It will be to our advantage that our memories of this day be a sacrifice. That sacrifice will keep the reality in our memories.

    No. We must never forget. We must turn it into a memory that strengthens us.

    The President spoke to us today. He remembered that day by saying, "The struggle between good and evil was compressed into a matter of a few minutes." Those moments became a gut check for our nation. Whether it was our military or stock market traders, it was time to show our mettle.

    "Our nation accepted the mission: We will defeat this enemy."

    The war started. It has been called the fourth world war. It is a different kind of war. The way to wage it is sometimes an experiment. However, we have indeed accepted the mission. While our methods may alter - while those on the front lines may not always be soldiers - the fortitude of the American spirit will indeed allow us to defeat the enemy. The only way we can be defeated is to ignore those values and strengths that have fortified that spirit.

    "We are safer than we were, but we are not yet safe."

    It is true. We have certainly lost our sense of invincibility. However, the numbers - the facts show that we are farther along than we were before the attacks. Even the stock market is at a higher level than it was on September 11, 2001. Our national worth is trillions of dollars greater than that day. We need always to be vigilant, but we can take comfort in our successes.

    "We are patient in a just cause and confident in our victory."


    Hold The Door For Others
    Tuesday's Children

    Friday, September 10, 2004

    Arabic TV comes to Greenville

    The satellite network ALHURRA will be in Greenville, SC on the campus of Bob Jones University today. Posts will be very sporadic or non-existent today as I spend time with them.

    Sounds like it will be an interesting program. The show is called America Decides 2004, hosted by Alhurra anchor Ephrem Kossaify. America Decides is the only in-depth Arabic-language show focusing on the 2004 Presidential Elections.

    The show aims to offer its audience in the Arab world information on the democratic process in America. It will give voice to the issues that matter most and allow the viewers an insight into the lives and perspectives of average Americans.

    The program has already discussed the American System of Government and how it accommodates different "factions": Arab Americans, Jewish Americans, African Americans. The purpose for this interview is for the upcoming episode, when the program is going to discuss religious values and the role of religious people in the American political system.

    My understanding is that various ideas will be examined. The network was hoping to have an interview with the group Americans United for Separation of Church and State as well. I'll let you know how it goes. Wish the program could be aired in America - and in English :-)

    Alhurra is Arabic for "The Free One", a 24/7 Arabic-language satellite television network that launched on Sat. Feb. 14, 2004. It now broadcasts throughout the Middle East and Iraq from studios in the Washington, D.C. area, and bureaus throughout the region.

    The network is devoted primarily to news and information. In addition to reporting on regional and international events, the channel will broadcast discussion programs, current affairs magazines and shows on a variety of subjects. Alhurra's mission is to present accurate, balanced and independent news, information and discussion, and thereby promote freedom and democracy.

    Today's BJU Link

    BJU plans for-profit housing, retail development

    Plans have been on the table for several years for the purpose of reinvigorating the Pleasantburg Drive area. These plans have involved the City of Greenville, Greenville Tech, University Center, Bob Jones University, and other players along Highway 291. The plans have been to beautify the area and hopefully turn it into an "education corridor." Some of the plans are rather ambitious.

    The overall concern is to stop any decline in the quality of life along one of the busiest roads in the state of South Carolina. Bob Jones University sees a two-fold advantage in this project. First, it helps to show the school is committed to the larger plan involving the improvement committee. Second, it helps to improve the community around the University campus. Just as improvements to downtown have lifted the quality of life there, it is hoped that this project will have the same affect.

    Thursday, September 09, 2004

    It's Not Just the Wallet, Stupid!

    Jonah Goldberg on Voting and Economic Self-Interest: "People vote - or at least should vote - based upon the kind of country they want their kids to live in. And that means they vote on more issues than narrow economic interest, however defined. Most people - liberals and conservatives - don't see the government as the source of a welfare check and therefore don't vote for the party that promises to put the most zeros on that check. Most see government more as a protector than a nanny. And some people see the government as a reflection of, and influence on, the society in general. And so asking them to subsidize soaking Jesus in urine offends them not because they're 'hicks' but because they don't think that's the sort of society they want to raise kids in."

    Can Money Make the Difference?

    Inez’ PACT scores

    Ralph Bristol writes: "Taxpayers have invested about $60 thousand in each of these 5th grade students’ education so far and most of them have learned approximately nothing.

    "Allendale is among the districts suing YOU, the taxpayer, for inadequate financial support. The case is still being litigated. Their star witness was Inez Tenenbaum."

    Note: Don't think there will be much from me on today. I'm not feeling so well. There is a stomach virus going around and I think I got it.

    Wednesday, September 08, 2004

    Republicans Against the World

    Global survey shows 30 of 35 countries want Kerry in White House

    Thank God we are a sovereign nation! I realize this may sound jingoistic, unsophisticated and potlitically incorrect, but I am just sick and tired of all this stuff. We're not voting for the interests of the whole world. We're voting for the interests of America. So, the world wants Kerry. . .

    I could care less!

    Most Don't Want to Know the Answer

    David Brooks: Refusing to look a cult of death in the face

    David Brooks writes a poignant piece about the enemy we face in the current great world conflict.

    "We should be used to this pathological mass movement by now. We should be able to talk about such things. Yet when you look at the Western reaction to the Beslan massacres, you see people quick to divert their attention away from the core horror of this act, as if to say: We don't want to stare into this abyss. We don't want to acknowledge those parts of human nature that were on display in Beslan. Something here, if thought about too deeply, undermines the categories we use to live our lives, undermines our faith in the essential goodness of human beings."

    I was watching Fox News when David Asman asked of a guest, "What would cause someone to do this?" There are those who could offer you an answer, but their contribution would be dismissed out of hand. David Brooks touches on it when he says, "Something here, if thought about too deeply, undermines the categories we use to live our lives, undermines our faith in the essential goodness of human beings."

    Perhaps it would do us all much good to think a little more deeply.

    Show Me the Facts

    Drudge Report: Facts Show Another Republican Lie

    Kerry's campaign responds to the bruhaha over his acceptance of a semi-automatic, pistol grip shotgun. Included in the release is the following:

    "The facts are clear. John Kerry opposes banning this gun and always will. John Kerry was proud to receive this union-made gun at the United Mine Workers Labor Day picnic in Racine, West Virginia."

    Please, may we see those facts? I will even grant that Kerry may not even realize that his votes would indeed bring the legality of this weapon into question. However, that doesn't change the results of his votes - nor the desires of the anti-gun crowd.

    Here are some facts and some more.

    Here is the goal of the Brady Campaign as stated by its original founder:

    "We're going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily — given the political realities — going to be very modest. ... Our ultimate goal — total control of handguns in the United States — is going to take time. My estimate is from seven to ten years. The first problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns sold in this country. The second problem is to get them all registered. And the final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition — except for the military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors — totally illegal."

    - Pete Shields, former Chair of Handgun Control, Inc. (1976)

    Here is John Kerry's voting record according to the Brady Campaign web site.

    Novak "Amens" from the Pew

    Mighty Miller: Say it louder, brother!

    Michael Novak makes an interesting prediction in his latest NRO piece.

    "George Bush is going to win a surprising share of Democratic votes this year. The firemen's and policemen's vote. The Nascar vote. The motorcycle vote. All of them, Zell's Angels."

    These opinion guys and headline editors have just got to love the gift Sen. Miller's mother gave them. "Give 'em Zell!" "What an angry Zell-ot!"

    A White Defection?

    Today Ralph Bristol comments on the Trout win:

    "The never-ending election is over. Greenville County District 18 votes elected Tony Trout over incumbent Steve Selby, meaning the council may now have the votes to reverse itself on a contentious issue -- the proposed Martin Luther King Holiday. Of course, Trout could also lose to Democrat Jeff White in November. A lot of Republicans who think Trout is a Democrat in Republican clothing will likely vote for White out of spite."

    I think "Ralph is right". I can almost guarantee you one vote against Trout and for Jeff White: Steve Selby!

    Tuesday, September 07, 2004

    Official: Trout Wins

    GreenvilleOnline - Election 2004

    Full count is in. Trout: 1871 / Selby: 1573

    Trout will win - Politics

    I was surprised that is not covering the vote count for the district 18 runoff election.

    WORD 1330 AM is running normal programming while breaking in with weather reports.

    Ironically, I turned over to WYFF 4 and found that "Last Comic Standing" is on.

    Well, I just refreshed the News vote count and found that with 79% reporting, Trout is maintaining an over 200 vote lead.

    Selby is done. Trout has won.

    Taylors is Selby's only chance

    Selby picks up the next two precincts but not at a level he needs.

    If Taylors does not go overwhelming for Selby, it is over.

    Trout widens lead

    Okay, Canebrake, Fairview, Riverside and Trade precincts are out of the way. 50% of the precincts are reporting. Unless the next two precincts go to Selby, Trout is in. His lead has extended beyond 100 (Trout: 782 / Selby: 547).

    The numbers are rolling in

    The numbers are starting to look better for Tony Trout. Some of the precincts expected to be Trout leaning were so. However, some other precincts were not as close as Selby backers had hoped.

    Perhaps we'll know the winner more quickly than I thought. Right now Trout leads by just under 100 votes.

    Poll Updates

    Some reports have come in to me from the polling places today. It appears that the ACLU and NAACP were out in force. Not only were they at the polling places but they were in where the booths were. So much for the five minute rule. I am told the rule was waived because of the rain.

    Stories also came in of voters approaching the poll workers and responding to the question of their status: "I'm voting for the Democrat."

    "I'm sorry, but there are only Republican candidates."

    "Well, Tony Trout, which ever one he is. That is the one I want."

    So far, shows only absentee and failsafe votes being cast. Selby leads at this time 33 to 23.

    Don't plan on knowing who won at 7 PM

    District 18 voters go back to polls

    Conway Belangia reports that turnout has been moderate. Some precincts are reporting around 30% turnout. Any delays in annoucing the election results won't be due to the number of votes cast. It will be because of challenged ballots. In at least one polling place between 30 and 50 ballots have been questioned.

    We'll see. . .

    Not 11 - but still a lead

    : "But with all that said, it simply is not an 11 point race. It just isn't." - John Zogby

    A second poll comes out that questions the earlier polls that suggested Bush has a 11 point lead over Kerry. It is Zogby this time and his poll was pointed to as the closest to the real thing in 1996 and 2000.

    At the same time, Zogby still agrees with the earlier polls that Bush has the momentum. IF things in the economy, etc. continue to improve the momentum stays. IF things go ill, Kerry can swing back. Bottom line is that Kerry doesn't seem to be able to influence momentum. Everything revolves around Bush's successes and failures as well as those things Bush can't control: Iraq, economy and terrorism.

    Power out at the Paits' - WeatherMap

    Oh, great. The power is out at my house. This wouldn't normally be a problem except that my house has some issues with flooding in my basement. No power = no sump pump.

    My basement used to be a garage. Whoever designed it was out of his mind. The "driveway" starts on a hill and then wraps around the house to the garage door. I'm sure with the first major rain the problem presented itself. The water would simply funnel down the driveway into the basement door! These folks designed the house to flood!

    Well, the family that lived in the house before us tried to fix the problem. They built a retaining wall to hold back the water. With a good rain like we have today, the water builds up behind the wall to make it look like an in-ground pool.

    Some rain does fall between the overhang and retaining wall. It flows into a drain that then flows INTO the basement sump pump hole. The pump then sucks the water out into the drain that goes out to the city sewage system.

    Again, not really a problem except that I finished out half my basement for a home office. If the sump pump does not kick in, water can rise to the floor of the office. Even if it doesn't, water makes the basement damp and that isn't good for my allergies!

    GOP candidates to bring legal action against Greenville News?

    'Hate group' linked to four GOP candidates

    Greenville County Council member, Scott Case, is reportedly hinting legal action against the Greenville News. WORD 1330 AM has been reporting this along with a quotation from Case taken from the "Russ and Lisa" morning show.

    I certainly share his frustration, but the article itself gives breathing room for the News. It is the headline that is questionable. The article itself is certainly not "fair and balanced", but it isn't a clear case of libel or slander - insinuation would be the most accurate term.

    It also makes one wonder where the Greenville News was earlier in the election season when an anonymous group was sending out misleading mailings attacking some of these very candidates.

    BJU link for today

    dOc DVD Review: The Ladykillers (2004): "Her husband has already made his trip to the great hereafter, and Mrs. Munson, a kindly old sort, is a devoted supporter of that illustrious institution of higher education, Bob Jones University."

    This one brought back memories. I recall getting Emails asking if Tom Hanks was a graduate of BJU. I'm certain the Coen brothers meant this to be a slam on the school, but most of the publicity it brought ended up being very positive.

    Most people were drawn more to the character of Mrs. Munson than to the others. I haven't seen the movie - most likely won't see it - but my understanding is that she kind of steals the show.

    Poll continues disinformation

    News Radio WORD Poll

    WORD 1330 AM continues the disinformation. The poll question reads:

    A local newspaper reported over the weekend that several of our local politicians accepted money from a fundraiser held by The League of The South, which seeks for southern states to return to the confederacy. Should these politicians return the donations?

    The choices you have are:
    1. Return the cash.

    2. No, they should keep the money.

    3. I would not vote for anyone associated with the League of the South.
    Of course, this poll question does not tell the whole story. This is how error gets turned into "truth".

    Monday, September 06, 2004

    My BJU links for the day

    Homeschools work: study

    Sites a 1997 study done at BJU comparing homeshooled students with public and private school students.

    Why conservatives need to back the Republican Party

    This piece has appeared in some other commentary sites over the last few months. Blumenfeld mentions speaking at a homeschool conference held on the BJU campus.

    Putting the labor in Labor Day

    I went over to The Common Voice this morning to see if there were many headlines submitted. I wasn't surprised to see that there were very few. What do you expect on Labor Day?

    Most folks are probably just getting out of bed as I type this. If they did get up before now, they are probably loading up the car to head out for some recreation - or they haven't even been at home since last Friday.

    Well, some of us are at work. Some are probably working because they are needed to man the floors of retail stores holding Labor Day sales. Others are serving tables or running the cash registers at restrurants. Still others are working because they need the extra cash.

    However, I think a small minority of folks are working today because at some point in the past their employer didn't like the origins of what has now become just another accepted day off of work - the official end of summer.

    Some have confused Labor Day with the idea of the communists' May Day (another day set aside to "celebrate the worker"). However, the day finds its origins in organized labor. The American Federation of Labor along with the defunct Knights of Labor worked to get Congress to pass a law recognizing Labor Day in 1894.

    Interestingly, in Australia, Labor Day is called Eight Hour Day, and it commemorates the successful struggle for a shorter working day. Of course, in Europe, May Day (May 1) takes the place of our Labor Day and is more closely aligned to socialism.

    The day's origins in organized labor and a confusion between Labor Day and May Day caused some in the 20th century to look with skepticism on the celebration. Of course, the day - like so many of our holidays - has come to be just another opportunity for a long weekend. Unlike those beginning days not much thought goes into "celebrating the worker" or the "brotherhood of man."

    It is certainly an interesting history.

    Sunday, September 05, 2004

    Today's sermons - Sermon Info

    Well, my pastor was out of town today. His father had a bad bike accident earlier this week. He was going down hill on a road bike - probably reaching around 30+ mph. Something came up into his front rim and flipped him. His helmet was crushed and he had head injuries as well as some broken bones.

    Anyway, our youth pastor spoke this morning and we had a visiting speaker in the evening service. Both services were a blessing and a challenge.

    Come on over to Suber Road

    Suber Road Baptist Church

    It's Sunday and I am off to church. Why don't you come and join me and my family? I'll post links to the sermons later today.

    Saturday, September 04, 2004

    It will be another LONG season for Tar Heel fans College Football - Game Update

    It was a win. But . . .

    It appears the Heels' defense has not improved from their 116 ranking last year. However, most of the boos that came from the stadium were not aimed at the defense - they rained down on the offense. Four turnovers!

    Bright spot? Conditioning. UNC wore W&M down toward the end. There were no turnovers in the second half. Durant and the receivers really started clicking and what can you say about those backs?

    Had they really run for it UNC could have had THREE running backs with over 100 yards. McGill had 133, Lewis had 123 and Scott had 75. One thing we can count on are scores that will look more like a basketball game!

    Next up . . Virgina.

    Second poll gives Bush bounce


    I was listening to the Tar Heels getting beat by William and Mary (I don't think it is going to be a good year for UNC) and was so disappointed, I started surfing around to get my mind off the game. I found this on Drudge.

    Might be a bad time for the Heels, but looks like it is starting to look like a good week for Bush. It's another double-digit lead for Bush/Cheney. Of course, anything can happen with two months to go.

    Thankfully, the Heels have a quarter and a half to come back to win . . . I hope.

    September 7 can't come soon enough

    'Hate group' linked to four GOP candidates

    Tony Trout doesn't need a 527. The Greenville News is doing its own job. This article is a case of what I call "headline assasination." The facts of the story don't equal the charge - yes, I said charge - of the headline.

    As for the supposed outing of Trout's "criminal activities," I think it is very low. It is bringing the national sleeze to the local level. If you are going to do something like this, show the whole record. Problem for these people is that when you show the whole record it kind of does away with the punch.

    All I can say is let's go ahead and get it over with.

    Loopholes and Originality New 527 Group Releases Anti-Kerry Ad

    Where there is a law there is a loophole. As much as I don't like the nature of these ads - on both sides (except for the Swift Boat ads about Kerry's actions upon his return from VN), they have every right to be involved in the process. To bad we need loopholes in order to practice free speech. Well, I guess they succeeded in their plan: "to get the press's attention." Then again, all of these organizations trying to be the next keep giving that group more publicity as well.

    As to the substance of the charges by MOFA, I'm sure most any defence lawyer could have something turned to look negative. The Sharpton ad may help Kerry more that hurt him. Might even pick up some Republican votes!

    Friday, September 03, 2004

    Boos in his own mind

    Audience boos as Bush offers best wishes for Clinton's recovery

    "''He's is in our thoughts and prayers,' Bush said at a campaign rally.

    Bush's audience of thousands in West Allis, Wis., booed. Bush did nothing to stop them."

    The truth? Text of Bush's remarks in West Allis. This is also consistent with the radio news reports I have heard. Boos? Where did that come from? Maybe the reporter was still hearing his own boos in his mind.

    It's only September, but . . . Campaign 2004: Bush Opens Double-Digit Lead

    It would appear that old mo is swinging over to George Bush. The places where Kerry is supposed to be strong against the sitting President are not that positive for the challenger. If Bush is slightly ahead or even on the economy, that posts some bleak headlines for Kerry. All signs point to the economy continuing to grow. I don't see Bush dropping any at this point. So, 47% to 45% looks pretty big right now.

    Bottom line is that Bush seems to be holding steady on all his "weak" areas and pretty much trouncing Kerry in his "strong" areas. You even have to wonder if this poll includes any type of bounce from the Republican convention. If such a thing exists and is still on the way . . .

    Hey, Tammy!

    Text of President Bush's RNC Speech

    I'll let all the talking heads (and there are plenty of them!) pontificate the details of the President's speech last night. It started kind of slow with all the policy stuff and then warmed up when he opened up to show us a glimpse of his soul.

    One of the things that stood out to me was I saw an old friend on the Fox News coverage. I had been watching C-Span in order to escape the incessant talking about "what we're going to hear tonight." I turned over to Fox News about midway through the speech because I liked the camera angles better.

    Right about the time Bush was saying, "And in those military families, I have seen the character of a great nation: decent, and idealistic, and strong" the camera panned away from the President's tear clouded eyes to the audience. There the camera lingered for a moment on a tall redhead grasping a flag. There were tears in her eyes to match those of the speaker.

    "That's Tammy!" I exclaimed. Tammy was my wife's apartment mate when we were all in graduate school. I expected to see David Wilkins there (I saw him shake hands with Dick Cheney) and Gloria Haskins (she was there with the SC delegation), but I didn't figure to see an old friend I have not seen in nearly a year.

    Hope you had fun, gurl!

    Bureaucracy vs. Results

    Music Teacher Claims Pay Cut Result of Her Religious Objections

    Does accreditation really deserve the weight it receives in educational circles? In my mind, it is nothing more than bureaucratic laziness. It appears to foster a mentality to ignore results and put the focus on how well the papers are shuffled.

    Bob Jones University has purposefully refused to seek accreditation. Most regional accreditation agencies are not so much interested in whether students are getting an education than in making sure schools are adhering to the agencies' philosophies and cultural whims.

    For a religious institution like BJU, that would be an unnecessary burden. Adherence to these philosophies and structures could destroy the religious nature of the institution.

    Unfortunately, accreditation appears to continue to trump nearly 80 years of proven academic excellence. Never mind the graduates who go on to graduate schools such as Harvard, Yale, Duke and any other number of medical and law schools. Never mind the proven success of CEOs and executives in major national and international corporations. Never mind those graduates who are senators and congressmen on the state and national level - as well as public servants such as the current Undersecretary of the Office of Homeland Security. Never mind the graduates serving as officers and chaplains throughout the United States Armed Forces.

    No, all that means nothing because "the state only reimburses the districts when credits are from an accredited institution." How typical… "We don't care whether you have a good education or not. We just want to make sure you have your papers in order."

    The sad thing is the burden this places on graduates of BJU. It is hoped that the school will be able to find an accrediting agency that will base its "stamp of approval" on results and less intrusive monitoring of current educational and administrative practices. Then there will be one less obstruction for the thousands of young people who are helping make America a better place.