Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Giants are in

As a Detroit Lions fan by virtue of growing up in Windsor, Ontario, I don't really know who to cheer for. The quest for a perfect season, despite the asterisk that is spygate or the team of my adopted home? There is no real story for the Giants, except that little brother Manning wants to show the world that he too can win a superbowl. (or as I like to think, the Giants can win, despite having Eli as a quarterback.)

Anyway, I'm just looking forward to a good game and some good wings.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Idiot of the Day Awards

The idiot of the day awards go to Jeremy Clarkson and some kid from Leamington, Ontario.

First Clarkson:

Clarkson stung by fraud stunt
Monday January 7 2008

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has admitted he was wrong to brand the scandal of lost CDs containing the personal data of millions of Britons a "storm in a teacup" after falling victim to an internet scam.

The outspoken star printed his bank details in a newspaper to try and make the point that his money would be safe and that the spectre of identity theft was a sham.

He also gave instructions on how to find his address on the electoral roll and details about the car he drives.

However, in a rare moment of humility Clarkson has now revealed the stunt backfired and his details were used to set up a £500 direct debit payable from his account to the British Diabetic Association.

The charity is one of many organisations that do not need a signature to set up a direct debit.

Clarkson, 47, writing in his column in the Sunday Times, decried the furore last year after CDs disappeared containing the banking details of 7 million families.

The loss led to fears of mass identity theft with people's bank accounts open to internet scams. At the time he wrote: "I have never known such a palaver about nothing. The fact is we happily hand over cheques to all sorts of unsavoury people all day long without a moment's thought. We have nothing to fear."

However, yesterday he told readers he had opened his bank statement to find a direct debit had been set up in his name and £500 taken out of his account.

"The bank cannot find out who did this because of the Data Protection Act and they cannot stop it from happening again," he said. "I was wrong and I have been punished for my mistake."

He added: "Contrary to what I said at the time, we must go after the idiots who lost the discs and stick cocktail sticks in their eyes until they beg for mercy."

Now the dumb kid:

Teen faces racing charge
Challenged OPP driver, cops say
Sonja Puzic,
Windsor StarPublished: Monday, January 07, 2008

An 18-year-old Leamington man has been charged under Ontario's tough new street racing legislation after he tried to race an unmarked police car on Highway 401.

Sgt. Cam Woolley of the OPP highway safety division said the teen was driving his parents' new 2008 Chrysler 300 on the highway toward Windsor Friday morning and pulled up alongside the unmarked OPP vehicle, a Chevrolet Impala with tinted windows.

He repeatedly tried to get the Impala, driven by the Chatham-Kent OPP detachment commander, to race. The Chrysler's speed reached over 160 km/h.

The teen was pulled over and arrested. His G2 class licence (the graduated licence between a learner's G1 and a standard G) was suspended and the car was impounded for a week. He also faces a minimum $2,000 fine if convicted.

"He was crying," Woolley said. "There are a couple of good morals to this story." Woolley said OPP officers use unmarked cars that don't look like police vehicles to target aggressive drivers.

"Every detachment has one," he said. "And there are more of them coming. They won't necessarily be a car, so it could be an SUV or another type of vehicle."

Woolley said the teen's parents had to pick him up after the car was taken away.

According to an Essex OPP news release, a 17-year-old Kingsville resident was also charged with racing Friday after he was clocked travelling 131 km/h on Highway 3 near Marsh Road, where the limit is 80 km/h.

Anyone caught driving 50 km/h over the limit can be charged with street racing. An 85-year-old Thornhill man recently became the oldest person charged under new legislation, which came into effect Sept. 30.

Monday, January 7, 2008

A New Kind of Conservative

I'm at home today, caring for sick little girl. No big thoughts to share, but I'm posting someone else's to share so that you may ponder.

The author is Joel Hunter (link here and here), and it's from his recently published book "A new kind of Conservative", obviously playing off "A New Kind of Christian" by Brian McLaren.

Sort of reminds me of something I found on the internet a while back: "They will know we are Christians by our boycotts, moral outrage and self-righteous indignation...hey! Wait a minute!"


A New Kind of Conservative
Joel Hunter
Excerpt from A New Kind of Conservative

Truth is stranger than fiction; truth is also stronger than friction. It seems logical to assume that Christianity is strongest when it is most forceful. It also seems logical to assume that if the Christian tradition is under attack, believers should fight back. It is almost inconceivable that, at a point when religion is most desperately needed, they would detach ourselves from religious terms. It would be so natural to respond to mockery with a counterattack.

Both Jesus and the religious crowd were threatened, but the two reacted differently. The Jews tried to protect their religion by complaining to the authorities. They organized as much political force as they could muster. They mobilized a campaign to save the country—a campaign based on accusation, negativism and fear. They won the debate and missed the point.

Jesus, on the other hand, offered no defense. He was not interested in justifying Himself. He was interested in truth: “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). He used no religious talk. He used the highest universal goal—the truth—and was confident that those who were seeking the truth would understand Him. Such a strategy made Him vulnerable; such a strategy made Him invincible.

It is sobering today to find Christians choosing the political strategy of the crowd instead of that demonstrated by Jesus. It will cost us more than we realize.

Christians who choose to defend their religion rather than seek the whole truth will lose three very important capacities: (1) the ability to see God outside of their own tradition; (2) the capacity to influence people in any positive sense toward God; and (3) the opportunity to grow in faith.

When voters choose to limit themselves to the singular strategy of defending a religious tradition, they minimize their capacity to positively influence other people toward God. When they are so narrowly focused upon their own concerns, they cannot expect others to truly hear them. When the religious crowd presented its concerns to Pilate, he did not investigate. Instead, he promptly declared, “I find no guilt in this man” (Luke 23:4). How could he decide so fast?

Pilate reacted not to their statements but to their motivation. He could see that their motivation was envy (see Matthew 27:18), that their political ends were focused upon their own benefit. He had no desire to help them or to join them in their goals.

Christians who defend a religious tradition are similarly dismissed. And why shouldn’t they be? The world doesn’t give a hoot about Christianity, and they will not give one until they perceive that Christians care more about all people than their own interests. If evangelicals in politics cause people to dismiss Christianity because of their defense of it, how tragic that is!

We are called to be witnesses (see Acts 1:8), to point beyond ourselves. Christ shows us two important prerequisites to witnessing. First, we need to get rid of the counterattack mentality, which not only kills our own search for truth, but it also kills everyone else’s as well. Jesus quietly and calmly told the truth when under fire. The truth was His strength. He did not need any other justification: “But Jesus made no further answer; so that Pilate was amazed” (Mark 15:5).

The second prerequisite that Jesus modeled was His use of nonreligious language. Religious terms can shut people out. Why then do Christians often insist on speaking Christianese? They may hope that quoting Scripture to back up their points, or shouting “Amen!” to a speech, will communicate something of the Spirit to people. It does communicate a spirit—a spirit of exclusion, because the words they’ve chosen convey the meaning they intend only to those of their own group.

The search for truth in any issue or candidate puts religious and nonreligious people on common ground. As any Christian who is honest admits, the revealed truth of Scripture does not automatically transfer to the contemporary issues of our nation. Scripture does not replace the gathering of facts. It does not save us from the need to calculate the consequences of our vote. Scripture does not relieve us from the need to draw truth from those with a different perspective. All truth is God’s truth. The search for truth is hampered by special lingo that would make communication unwelcome or more difficult. Any statement that sounds religious rather than moral creates walls.

A true test of Christianity in politics is this: Are a great variety of people benefited by our political stance, even people who are not of our faith? We are following the footsteps of Christ when we work hard to assist others, even when their political stance is different from our own, and when we talk in terms that communicate to everyone.

Friday, January 4, 2008

First Post!

I thought I'd create a blog. So here it is. You won't find anything personal, mostly funny stuff, good music, thought provoking articles, etc.