Archive for February, 2007

AoS: “An Inconvenient Energy Bill”

February 26th, 2007 9 comments

I think this is one of my favorite post titles from Ace of Spades: An Inconvenient Energy Bill. It made me crack up, probably too much. Oh, and the content was interesting too. Everyone’s favorite environmentalist, Al Gore, apparently uses 20 times more energy than the average American at his estate in Tennessee (oh, and his consumption increased after the movie came out).

Here is what I have boiled his message down to: “We need to stop global warming! And by ‘we’ I mean ‘you’. So get on that!”

I have also been enjoying reading about The Gore Effect (more here, and here), especially since I figured he would win for best documentary (shocking). Good times.

UPDATE I: Instapundit has more on Gore’s response. His response seems like something a magician (or politician) does: look at what is going on over here so you don’t see what is actually going on over there. Also Wizbang has an addition about Bush’s house in Texas (although the specific energy usage is not given) from this post:

The 4,000-square-foot house is a model of environmental rectitude

Geothermal heat pumps located in a central closet circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground where the temperature is a constant 67 degrees; the water heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. Systems such as the one in this “eco-friendly” dwelling use about 25% of the electricity that traditional heating and cooling systems utilize.

A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof runs; wastewater from sinks, toilets and showers goes into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is used to irrigate the landscaping surrounding the four-bedroom home. Plants and flowers native to the high prairie area blend the structure into the surrounding ecosystem.

Interesting. Of course that is never reported. Shocking.

UPDATE II: Oh this is just too classic (hat tip to protein wisdom via sal):

So, where does Gore buy his ‘carbon offsets’? According to The Tennessean newspaper’s report, Gore buys his carbon offsets through Generation Investment Management. a company he co-founded and serves as chairman:

Gore helped found Generation Investment Management, through which he and others pay for offsets. The firm invests the money in solar, wind and other projects that reduce energy consumption around the globe…

As co-founder and chairman of the firm Gore presumably draws an income or will make money as its investments prosper. In other words, he “buys” his “carbon offsets” from himself, through a transaction designed to boost his own investments and return a profit to himself.

Um, yeah. Read the whole thing. Of course, he presumably draws an income from the company. He may not. But regardless, that is so incredibly fishy! Gore: the eco-warrior, making profits and looking good doing it! Of course this will probably never make it to the MSM either.

UPDATE III: Scripps Howard News Service notes many of the left’s responses to The Tennessee Center for Policy Research’s report on Gore’s energy usage. Pretty standard. I liked Malkin’s comment: “Par for the course, of course.” Here is my favorite quote from the SHNS’s post:

“Some people must believe the Mason-Dixon Line runs between our office and Gore’s mansion,” Johnson says. “No one would call Gore a redneck, but when we uncovered his hypocritical energy use, it somehow made me a sister-dating hillbilly. That’s quite amusing, since Gore and I live in Nashville, less than five miles apart.”

UPDATE IV: Gee, aren’t I surprised: “Carbon Offsets” a fraud!

Reduce Your Energy!

Categories: Politics, Social Commentary Tags:

Oprah and The Secret

February 25th, 2007 9 comments

Some family members recently asked me if I knew anything about The Secret that is often talked about on the Oprah show. Well, having never watched a single episode, I hadn’t. But the way it was described to me, it sounds much like Gnosticism (which goes way back to New Testament times).

The essence of any sort of Gnostic thought is that “I have this secret information and if you have it too, your life will be much better.” Obviously that is way simplified, but that’s the just. It was asked how this fits in with Christianity because, apparently, it seems that on the show the two are compatible. Fortunately for me, one of my favorite professors from Regent answers this question directly (since I didn’t know anything about it!): Prof. John Stackhouse’s Weblog: Oprah’s Secret: New? Old? Good? Bad? Go check it out. He does a great job of taking a look at The Secret and how it fits with Christianity.

A few snippets from his post:

To be sure, this particular form of gnosticism is particularly suited to our age in that it does not call us away from the material world to a better, spiritual one, but instead tells us that there is just one cosmos of energy that we can then manipulate by force of will.

Some viewers are recorded on Oprah’s website as raising questions about the compatibility of this view with Christianity–as well they might. The soothing answer, however, is what you would expect if you know Oprah’s general take on things: There is nothing in this teaching to contradict the essence of any of the world’s great religions. For those who believe in a God who orders the universe, The Secret is just a description of the way God does so. For those who don’t believe in such a God, The Secret is just a description of the way things are.

What makes The Secret so troubling, from my point of view, is that it is a stew of the good and the bad, such that the good is genuinely nourishing, while the bad is genuinely toxic.

The Secret, therefore, is wishful thinking that does not correspond to the way things are. Some of it does, yes, which is why people can honestly testify to good things resulting from it. But some of it does not, and down that blithe spiritual path lies disastrous confrontation with a world that will not simply conform to our preferences.

If The Secret has caught your eye, definitely go read Stackhouse’s full article.

Categories: Religion Tags:

Lent Begins

February 23rd, 2007 No comments

Oh yeah, Lent started on Wednesday and I forgot to post! Ash Wednesday starts the 40 days (+6 Sundays) of the Lenten season leading up to Easter and the resurrection. (See my post on the dichotomy of Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday in today’s scoiety.) This year I have given up carbonated beverages for Lent. And let me tell you, this will be difficult for me, but I think it is a good choice. If anyone is interested, my family is doing a Lenten devotional from Eugene Peterson’s A Long Obedience in the Same Direction so stop by and check it out.

At the Ash Wednesday service we looked at Isaiah 55.1-7 and I wanted to share it with you here:

1 “Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.

6 “Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

YOU have been invited into the company of the Lord. Might be something to ponder this Lent. “Hear, that your soul may live.”

Categories: Religion Tags:

Obama’s Racist Church

February 21st, 2007 4 comments

I don’t know much about Barack Obama. Just wanted to get that out there from the start. From what I have seen of him, he is a good politician. He seems (possibly like Kerry during his presidential run?) like he will say anything to anyone to get them on their side. He just seems to do it better than Kerry.

Obama is a Christian. (When is a politician not?) I am in no place to question his salvation nor his commitment to his faith. But I do take issue with his Church (via LGF: What Does Obama Believe?). Of course a church can believe whatever it wants, but when it calls itself a Christian church, they are open to scrutiny by other Christians.

The KKK called themselves Christians, they also called the white race superior. Fortunately for us, they have been around long enough that no one takes their crap theology/dogma seriously and have, for all intents and purposes, no voice in the world of politics and religion. Now the issue arises that because of African-American persecution/discrimination, it is difficult to claim “foul” when there are cases of reverse discrimination. But just because it is difficult, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t call it what it is: racist.

So keeping the KKK and their racist “church” ideologies in mind, what do you think when a church notes this as their value system?

1. Commitment to God
2. Commitment to the Black Community
3. Commitment to the Black Family
4. Dedication to the Pursuit of Education
5. Dedication to the Pursuit of Excellence
6. Adherence to the Black Work Ethic
7. Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect
8. Disavowal of the Pursuit of “Middleclassness”
9. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the Black Community
10. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions
11. Pledge allegiance to all Black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System
12. Personal commitment to embracement of the Black Value System.

Now replace every instance of “black” with “white” (which is what LGF’s post was quoting from this post). Can you imagine that? Can you imagine the ACLU’s reaction to a church like that? (And is “embracement” a word? Middleclassness?)

This is obviously a touchy subject because no one wants to be called racist (myself included!), but it seems that there is a double standard: anyone claiming any sort of “white value system” (whatever that would mean) is completely racist and would be denounced (as it should be), but having a “black value system” (whatever that means) is somehow ok because blacks have been persecuted in the past? I simply don’t get it.

Of course I would not go so far as to say this church is just like the KKK (that would be a bit extreme), but the similarities seem fairly apparent to me. Ideologies like this are extremely dangerous for a Christian church to hold to and just as dangerous for a politician.

Categories: Politics, Religion Tags:

The Way

February 20th, 2007 6 comments

While looking at Paul’s conversion in Acts with my Bible study I was reminded of something that I found interesting: the early church often went by the title The Way rather than Christian. Six time in Acts followers of Christ or that community was referred to as The Way. The term Christian is only used three times in the New Testament (and it has been suggested that originally it was pejorative term meant to mock or belittle those people who wanted to be like the crucified King of the Jews). So what does this mean? Well not much really, it was pretty quick that the Christian title took over, but I kinda like The Way, I think it has a nice sound to it.

Categories: Religion Tags:


February 14th, 2007 4 comments

Last week I drove down to Mount Vernon to catch Snodfest, a night of music to raise money for Theo’s Work an non-prof supporting humanitarian efforts in southern Haiti. There were three bands that I wanted to see: Corbin Watkins, The Tallest Building in the World, and The Lonely Forest.

I had seen Corbin twice before and was looking forward to hearing him again, be looking for his new album coming out in March! I was really looking forward to hearing Tallest Building because I have heard a lot about them, but hadn’t seen them yet. They were a lot of fun to hear and see, they kept up their intensity (and there was lots of it) throughout the entire performance. Isaac Marion was great to watch and seems to be the master of multi-tasking as he played two sets of keys, guitar, the mototron (a cool stringed instrument that he created), and sang. Pretty awesome. Tallest Building was also recently on KEXP 90.3 FM in Seattle, the performance can be heard here by putting in Saturday, Feb 10 at 8:00 PM. And finally, there was The Lonely Forest (my Lonely Forest blog page). Their new stuff is really growing on me. The Nuclear Winter stuff is pretty different from the God is Dead stuff that I really love, but hearing it more and more is really winning me over.

Read more…

Categories: Meaningful Song, Photoblog Tags: