Conscious Stream?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Talk about a boring life........

Ok, one of the most common excuses for not posting new blog's is that 'nothing has happened' or 'I have a boring life'. If you've ever posted something like that, take heart - I doubt that your life could be any more boring than this guy. I guess the thing that really blows my mind is that, in spite of being able to recite Pi to over 8000 places, he is only ranked 12th in the world. How sad.

On my front, life has not been boring. Besides the usual challenges of my job, I've been teaching a men's group at church, helping to promote the ApologetiX concert at church (it's over now, it was successful and fun) and working on reviving my photography business to help finance our Brazil mission trips.
You can see some of my work here. I guess that's enough for now. Let's see 3.14....uh - ok, I rank somewhere in the top 6.5 billion people in the world.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

This is Scary....

"Apple Sued Over Potential Hearing Loss"

This gist of this article is that some guy is sueing Apple because the iPod has the "potential" to damage someones hearing. It seeks to have all iPods declared 'defective' and recalled. This guy doesn't even claim that the iPod damaged his hearing, just that it's possible. Not only is this ridiculous, it's really frightening. Just think of some of the potential suits if Apple loses this one...

* Our church could be sued because our sound system has the "potential" to damage someones hearing.

* All professional sound equipment would be declared "defective" because of the "potential" to damage someones hearing.

* Automobiles would all be recalled because of the "potential" for someone to be injured.

* A $200 lawnmower will cost $1500 because product liability insurance premiums will skyrocket due to the added risk of a "potential" injury suit. In fact, the cost of most items will soar because of "potential" injuries.

* Someone will sue McDonalds because they serve beef, which is a "potential" source of food poisoning.

You get the idea. This type of thinking almost killed the private aviation industry in the late '70's. Is it going to be allowed to kill the music industry, the automobile industry and every small manufacturer in the USofA? Scary, isn't it?

Monday, January 30, 2006

I Knew.....

Remember in December I posted a blog entitled "Gonna Get A Horse"? Well, I should have listened to my own advice. Yup, the car in the picture is one of mine. Lindsay was on her way home from school last Friday when a couple kids cut her off and then slammed on their brakes. This is the end result. Lindsay and Jerica were a little bit bruised, but other than that, no injuries. I thank God for protecting them - the accident could have been a lot worse. Anyway, I had been doing a pretty good job of procrastinating about fixing the water pump on the brown Windstar. Not anymore. I've got to get it fixed so that I can get Lindsay's car in the garage to see if it's fixable. I figure that I've got about two weeks before the neighbors start complaining about the wrecked car. Diana suggested that we get a canvas car cover to fit a Humvee, stack some of the boxes from the garage on the car and cover it up. The square boxes would make it look like a hummer, and I'd get some extra storage space out of the deal. No covenants against having a covered car of any type in your driveway...... yet!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Unpopular Thoughts

This is probably not going to be a popular post. There is a discussion happening on Bill Roberts blog about revenge and Christianity. This brought up some discussion about the Iraq war, and I didn't want to hijack the discussion to create a political forum. I have strong oppinions about the war in Iraq and the impact that it has had on world Christianity. Being a strong believer in freedom of speech, feel free to disagree with me, or agree with me, or not give a hoot.

Let me preface this by saying that I was in Brazil when the USofA invaded Iraq. The only English speaking television we got was BBC and an Brazilian news program in English. Basically the gist of both of those stations was that the United Nations had searched for weapons of mass distruction and not found them. The world was against a unilateral attack on a country that hadn't really done much since 1992.

Opinions varied throughout the world. Many believed that George the Second invaded Iraq to finish the job that his father hadn't been allowed to complete. Others felt that the invasion was all about oil. In any case, about the only people that believed that Iraq had WMD's were American and British citizens. Now, I don't know a lot of Arabs, but I do know a couple - both programmers and both pretty logical people. One was born in Iran, the other in Atlanta. They both felt that it was ludicrous to think that Iraq could harbor terrorist camps because of the friction between the Sunni and Shiite muslims. I don't know much about the different sects of Islam, but I do know that Iraq was not in harmony with most of the Islamic world, as evidenced by the war with Iran and the invasion of Kuwait. So I have to defer to people who know more than I do on this point.

Well, we invaded Iraq and many of the Brazilians asked us why President Bush wanted a war so badly. And we didn't know what to tell them. Was he striking Iraq while emotion about 9/11 was still high and the American people would approve? Was it another Viet Nam - a war to boost the economy? I didn't know, and I still don't. But I have seen some results of the invasion. I've talked to some people who were there. I've seen some statistics, and I've experianced some of the effects.

  • Terrorism is on the rise in Iraq. The disempowering of the Sunni's has emboldened the Shiite groups who feel free to operate in the reletive chaos exists in Iraq.
  • Thousands of Americans and tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of Iraqis have been killed.
  • There is more freedom in Iraq, but in the absence of an effective police force, that means that there is also more crime.
  • Many Iraqis are happy that Sadam is no longer in power, but they are not happy with current state of affairs. Ultimately the government will either stabilize or there will be civil war. The world doesn't need another Somalia or Rwanda.
  • The USofA has lost a lot of credibility in the rest of the world. We are still respected for our military power and wealth, but are viewed as culture crushing imperialist. This has greatly weakened the credibility of American Christians and our access to other cultures. While the American church has been a shining light in the area's hit by the tsunami, it probably isn't enough to undo the damage done by the war in Iraq.
  • The war has done huge damage to less privaleged Americans. I work in the public housing arena. I write software for managing public housing authorities. Since 2002, I've seen monies being pulled from social service budgets to bolster the defense budget. I don't know what that means in terms of child support, food provision and so forth, but I do know what it means in my area of expertise. It means more Americans displace from thier homes this year by federal budget cuts to Housing Authorities than were displace by hurricane Katrina. And this is the third year in a row that it's happened. Bombs are expensive.
  • A new racism has been birthed in the USofA. Don't believe me? Just try going some place by airplane with my son-in-law who has enough Native American blood that his skin darker than mine and his eyes and hair are black. He gets stopped and searched at every security point. Every time.

I suppose there are some good things that we've taken to Iraq. Like American morality and materialism.

I guess we should be happy that we were at least saved from the non-existant weapons owned by a country with no way to deliver them.......