Saturday, January 26, 2008

A couple questions for the Christian in Chief

Dear President Bush,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from you and understand why you would propose and support a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. As you said "in the eyes of God marriage is based between a man a woman." I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her? (I'm pretty sure she's a virgin).

3. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

4. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

5. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Aren't there 'degrees' of abomination?

6. Lev.21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

7. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

8. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

9. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging. It must be really great to be on such close terms with God and his son, ... even better than you and your own Dad, eh?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

935 Lies

"A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks."

"The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both."

I'm surprised to hear that Bush and co. were at work long enough to make 935 statements of any kind.

Friday, January 18, 2008

U.S. on the Torture List

As they say, you'll be known by the company you keep. A training manual for Canadian diplomats lists the U.S. as a place where prisoners risk torture and abuse, citing interrogation techniques such as stripping prisoners, blindfolding and sleep deprivation.The document, released Friday, singled out the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. U.S. joins Israel, Afghanistan, China, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Syria as a place where inmates could face torture.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Macro Embassy As A Microcosm

I came across this gem over at Balloon Juice.

The Macro Embassy As A Microcosm
By: Tim F. January 13, 2008 at 12:45 am

The sprawling new American embassy complex in Baghdad will cost at least half a billion dollars to build, probably much more. It will be by far our largest foreign service installation in the world, practically a self-contained town with its own power, sanitation, dining and housing. The size reflects the security situation, of course, but it also reflects the strategic importance that war planners put on our presence in Iraq. It’s not an accident that our Iraq outpost sits conveniently between Syria and Iran.

Now if you expect invading Iraq to end badly then the embassy complex probably strikes you as hood ornament on a monstrously expensive lemon of a project. If you supported Iraq and think that this mission might still work the embassy project is much, much more important. Although not as critical as, say, resolving Kirkuk or settling the beefs between Sadr, the Sunni councils and the central government, at the very least the center of our presence in the country ought to be habitable.

One would expect Republicans to take it worse than anybody that managers of the embassy project handed the project to a firm that never did embassy work before, mismanaged the proceedings and then buried evidence of major safety issues. They won’t, of course. A central theme of modern Republicanism is that appearing to do something is more important than doing it well. The mentality isn’t limited to the embassy, of course. It pervades contracting throughout Iraq. When Stuart Bowen, the Inpector General responsible for Iraq, uncovered evidence that America’s contracting money was largely disappearing down a fraud hole the White House reponded by trying to sack him. If any right-wing voices complained about that I don’t remember hearing about it.

Take abstinence only education. Studies have variously showed that it either doesn’t work or causes more underage sex than doing nothing, yet ordering teens to cross their legs until marriage remains a central point of the White House’s education agenda. The disparity between goals and results has gotten so stark that some states have given up federal funds so that they can implement sex ed programs that work. Hurricane FEMA. Setting aside programs that are meant to contradict their official purpose, which include mine safety, climate science and environmental protection, more often than not programs which Republicans want to work still collapse from miserable implementation.

Sure, as a guy who shares almost none of their agenda I won’t be supporting modern Republicanism any time soon. The billion dollar question is why anybody would.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Hillary

So what do you think of Hillary's win in New Hamshire? (And is it a win if the candidates split the delegates?)

Monday, January 07, 2008

Corny, I know, but...

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger.
Then it hit me.

Police were called to a day care
where a three-year-old was resisting arest.

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off?
He's allright now.

The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.

The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind inhis work.

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement.
He became a hardened criminal.

Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.

We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.

The math professor went crazy with the blackboard.
He did a number on it.

The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shakyground.
The dead batteries were given out free of charge.

If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.

A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.

A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

A will is a dead giveaway.

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

A backward poet writes inverse.

In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.