Friday, April 27, 2007

Over there

I'm just getting settled in to the North Carolina Conservative Leadership Conference, "MEDIA" nametag and all. I'll be blogging on my other page, Five Points, for the next two days.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

More On The Radio

I was listening to public radio somewhere on the Nebraska-Colorado state line last month -- I think it was just past Peetz -- and heard two absolutely stunning sentences. The announcers on "All Things Considered" need to remember the listener can't see the punctuation, and if they're not going to vocalize the periods and commas like Victor Borge, they have to make it clear some other way.

At the station break, we heard:

"Next, NASA weighs the Theory of Relativity and your letters."

No kidding? Oh, on Thursday they read their email.

And so introducing one of the letters (one which NASA, incidentally, neglected to weigh), they referred to an earlier story

"... our story about a man suffering from Alzheimer's and his wife ..."

If anything, she was probably suffering from him.

Honestly, guys.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Time to change stations

This morning I heard a few minutes of an unknown syndicated talk program (this was very early this morning). Apparently the guest was a supposed clairvoyant of some sort, and the caller was a woman who claimed she had had all kinds of dreams about herself come true.

The medium interrupted and actually said, "Well, some people say you can't be psychic about yourself, but I think that's just an old wives' tale."

Actually, ma'am, the "tale" goes much further than that.

Monday, April 16, 2007

SBC leader endorses Hillary?

In a sort of backhanded way, yes. The Washington Times reports that

Richard Land, president of the Religious and Ethics Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, takes a hard line against virtually all the major Republican candidates. He says he'd vote for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, over Mr. Giuliani if the 2008 presidential race came down to such a choice.

Wow. And in the national election, too.

My approach has been to cast my purest philosophical vote in the primaries, but when it comes to the final ballot, I take the path suggested by William F. Buckley many years ago -- I go for "the rightwardmost viable candidate". It seems that by that time, unless there is an overriding reason not to vote at all -- and I'm not sure that a choice between Guiliani and Clinton may not be that circumstance --, it is better to block the worse candidate than to seek to punish the one who doesn't live up to my expectations. The latter approach, in my view, is why we have Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid leading the House and Senate this year.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bread and wine

Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

This was part of the passage for our men's Bible study Tuesday and it struck me as significant. Jesus Himself, not merely a human priest, took the cup, blessed it, announced that "This is My blood" -- and immediately referred to it as "this fruit of the vine".

When Luther met Zwingli to debate the nature of the Lord's Supper, before he sat down he chalked the words Hoc Est Corpus Meum on the tablecloth before Him. And so it is -- but it's still bread, and the wine is still the fruit of the vine.

UPDATE: Ebeth sent along a couple of links to Roman Catholic apologetics blogs. First, I'd say thanks to Ebeth for reading, then taking the time to share his (or her) concerns. However, this being a blog from a historic Reformed perspective, Ebeth will understand why I'm not publicizing a Catholic defense of transubstation here. John Calvin's Short Treatise on the Lord's Supper (1541) lays out the Reformed position -- basically, that Christ is truly present in spirit, but with bread and wine unchanged in their physical substance. Christ is only received in the spirit, not in physical consumption of the bread, though the two occur at the same moment.

More resources ancient and modern are posted on Monergism: The Church on the Threshold, here.

Monday, April 09, 2007

John Edwards, one of N.C.'s newest

UPDATE: An unashamed crossposting from The Locker Room:

John and Elizabeth Edwards have announced their intention of joining 33,690 other North Carolina families in a rapidly-growing phenomenon. Elizabeth told Newsweek this week:

I think we've pretty much settled on what it is we're going to do. I think the children will finish out the school year and then, in the fall, they'll travel with us. We will home-school them. We'll employ a tutor to travel with us to help teach them. I hope it will be an extraordinary experience for them.

I'm sure it will be. I'm no fan of Edwards, but I applaud their decision.

Admittedly, hiring a tutor is more like the education enjoyed by wealthy families from time immemorial, than the largely middle-class, single-income homeschooling mainstream ... more Theodore Roosevelt than Abraham Lincoln, to put it in presidential terms ... but as long as the parents are in ultimate charge of the program, more power to them, I say.

John does demonstrate one minor problem of life in the public eye when he told
We haven't even talked to the children about it, which we have to do.

Oops. Uh, kids, about those news stories ...


[1] In case anyone's wondering, John asserts that evolution will be part of the curriculum, though the question said more about the liberal media's assumptions than about Edwards or homeschooling generally. Interesting there was no question about algebra, creative writing, or a million other academic options.

[2] Not that comparing John Edwards to two Republican presidents means anything political, understand.

Connecting With History

In 1913, the highway from Smithfield to Raleigh was a dirt road. One day that year, Wesley Bell, a man who still bore scars on his back from whippings he suffered as a slave, turned his muledrawn wagon off the road onto the land he had just purchased. Picking a likely spot on high ground, he began clearing his own property to build a home for himself and his family.

Ninety years later, Bell’s greatgrandson lives on part of the land his ancestor paid for with bales of cotton. After moving his family 400 miles to reclaim part of his heritage, Joseph Avery of Smithfield has crossed the Pacific twice to help strangers reclaim part of theirs — the legacy of American Buffalo Soldiers who stayed in the Philippines after serving in the Spanish American War. ...

Joseph has a fascinating story, both in his local family history and in the broader history he's uncovering in the Philippines. I appreciate Joe sharing his experiences and photographs; we had two solid interviews to get it all down, and I wouldn't be surprised if there's more to come. The article "Smithfield Man Scours Pacific for Buffalo Soldier Legacy" appears on the front page of the April 2007 Carolina Journal; you can download the electronic edition here.


The Inner Banks Eagle calls it: "... a great article about one of the most impressive men in the Republican Party of North Carolina."

Thought for the day

Cast your burden on the LORD,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Spring is icumen in

Wow, I love spring, when everything turns green -- the grass, the trees, the sidewalk, the car, the dog ...

If there is a downside to living in North Carolina, or at least this part of it, I think this would have to be it. We've got corruption and occasional flakiness in state government, but we had that in Louisiana and California. Hot and humid summers, Louisiana again, and Florida. High taxes, California again. But pollen, oh, we got pollen.

The first year I worked in Johnston County, the pollen nearly killed me. I think my co-workers knew me as the new engineer who was slowly choking to death; "Tuberculosis?" they may have thought. It hasn't been as bad since then, and I thought maybe it was just becoming acclimated.

Nope. I saw the first dusting about a week ago, then here it comes. Two of the boys went to Cary for a movie Friday night. By Saturday morning, the new pollen on the hood of the Jeep was so thick, it rolled off in blowing drifts as I drove to the store. Washing the car seems a pointless exercise; by the next day, it looks like a crime scene after the investigators finish dusting for prints (hmm, there are clearly nine people involved with this vehicle). There are piles of pollen in the gutters. The dog's nose is greenish-yellow; how does a hound survive in this?

The news reports that this is the heaviest pollen count in about eight years. Yep, that sounds about right. But it reminds me of my granny's house in Sumter -- short grass, hard dirt, piles of oak catkins, and a slight greenish cast to everything. At least the azaleas are pretty.

Allusion note: A very old English round