The week has just whizzed by, but there’s been a trainload of great stuff in out in webland:
- On Government the solid Rock I stand: Obama was preachin’ to the choir again, in a New Orleans church, quoting the Sermon on the Mount.
First, the obvious: can you imagine a Republican or a Conservativepreaching in a church and quoting the Bible — without the chorus of cries about “theocracy” and “right-wing fundamentalist extremists”? Didn’t think so. But more to the point: I somehow don’t think Christ was referring to government when He spoke about building houses on on the Rock … and isn’t New Orleans an excellent example of building houses on sand?
- And while we’re on the subject of New Orleans: Just among friends, may I say something, rather politically incorrect? Why in the hell are we rebuilding this city? We’re $127 billion in, with very little to show for it, and we’re one hurricane away from flushing that money down the can as well. Leave the Crescent, bulldoze the rest, breach the dikes permanently, and let the Mississippi regain its tidal marshes. Mona Charen spells it out nicely, as does the Confederate Yankee: Rebuilding New Orleans: A Continuing Mistake
- In memory of Stevie Ray Vaughn: Stevie Ray Vaughan, one of the truly great blues guitarists, died 17 years ago this week in a helicopter crash:
And check out this session with Albert King — two of the greatest electric blues players ever. (Notice King’s left-handed Gibson Flying V) — played upside-down (high strings at the top):
OK, stop me before I link again — here’s SRV, Albert King B.B. King, and I think (correct me if I’m wrong), Charlie Musselwhite. Blues ecstasy!
- Gagdad Bob nails it: Robert Godwin over at One Cosmos is one deep thinker — so deep at times I need a decompression chamber to recover. No nitrogen narcosis from this one, just outta sight insight: Epidemanology 101: The Cause and Cure of Mankind
- Sticks & stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me: Modern secular liberalism is all about words — negotiation, compromise, appeasement, multilateral solutions, tough talk without action. Why smooth-talking lily-livered intellectuals pose such a threat to Western culture: Courage, Cowardice and the Wordsmiths:
These self-flattering views carry over to adulthood, and shape the future wordsmith intellectuals’ political views. If words can resolve all conflicts, then wordsmiths are exceedingly important. If conflicts within and between human beings can be “resolved” with words, then who better to play the role of savior than the wordsmith intellectual?
One of the central features of utopian politics, explaining their appeal to intellectuals, is the promise that conflict can be abolished and human nature fundamentally changed. Whether Communism, Nazism or Islamism, the aim is a unified, submissive, happy mankind led by an elite in possession of the truth, just like Miss Murphy when she taught 6th grade. Aggression will then vanish when egalitarian paradise prevails.
- The pointlessness of suffering: Once again, a home run over at First Things — this time on the problem of pain and suffering in Christianity:
Which is to say that there the already of salvation history: He is risen! and the not yet. And the not yet entails suffering in this passing — suffering that is often unjust and seemingly pointless, but in the hands of a sovereign and Good God a tool to conform his children to the image of his Only Begotten, the true purpose of their predestination. (So as not to be misunderstood, because suffering falls within the permissive will of God, and can even be used by him for ultimately good ends, is no excuse for complacency; the alleviation of pain, done in the name of Jesus, is, like preaching and teaching, a heralding of the kingdom and a diffusion of hope.)
Now, a sovereign God does not displace secondary causes in Christians’ thinking about how the world works. Shifting tectonic plates do give rise to earthquakes and tsunamis. But Christians also believe God continues to intervene in the affairs of his creatures and does so to remind them that the world and its horrors are not beyond his purview, and that the saved child and the answered prayer is a foretaste of the age to come, in which every tear shall be wiped away and the body will no longer be an occasion of sin or pain.
But a foretaste only. Which is why sometimes only one child is saved. And why only Lazarus is raised from the dead. They are signs of this already, while the rest endure the not yet. Hints, whispers, and still small voices until the full number of the Elect have come into the Kingdom and the very last fundamentalist Darwinian has raged.
- Such a deal:
An Arab, desperate for water, was plodding through the desert when he saw something far off in the distance. Hoping to find water, he walked toward the object, only to find a little old Jewish man at a small stand selling neckties.
The Arab asked, “Do you have water?”
The Jewish man replied, “I have no water. Would you like to buy a tie? They are only $5.”
The Arab shouted, “Idiot Jew! Israel should not exist! I do not need an overpriced tie. I need water! I should kill you, but I must find water first.”
“OK,” said the old Jew, “it does not matter that you do not want to buy a tie and that you hate me. I will show you that I am bigger than that. If you continue over that hill to the east for about two miles, you will find a lovely restaurant. It has all the water you need. Shalom.”
Muttering, the Arab staggered away over the hill. Several hours later he staggered back, near collapse.
“Your brother won’t let me in without a tie.”
(HT: Mr Bagel Funnies)
- Well, they don’t kill everybody: 100-year-old celebrates her birthday by smoking 170,000th cigarette
- The doctor will see you — eventually: Why our current health care system promotes scheduling inefficiency and long waiting-room times. Waiting for the doctor.
- How to avoid getting a DUI: Drunk dad has 11 year old drive home
- Don’t wear this one to a Greenpeace protest: Exploit the Earth or Die Merchandise
That’s all for now — have a great week, and God bless.