Guruzilla's /var/log/knowledge-junkie
["the chatter of a missionary sysadmin"]

idiots, church, State, etc.

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Long time no jabber, but the news is filled with delightful, and not so delightful, stuff lately. So a few wisecracks to get the ol' writing muscles stretched.

Fortunately or unfortunately, this idiot isn't in my district, but the one right next door; happily, Sensing-sensei can reach across the country via the magic of Teh Intarweb, and slap Tancredo silly. Tancredo also had some kind of hissy-fit lately involving him running for President if somebody doesn't do his histrionic bidding on immigration policy. Twit.

I admit I like it when a raving atheist science buff unintentionally echoes C. S. Lewis and generations of other Christian philosophers (via BBC):

Professor Dawkins' opening talk, in a session called Meme Power, explored the ways in which humans invent their own realities to make sense of the infinitely complex worlds they are in; worlds made more complex by ideas such as quantum physics which is beyond most human understanding.

"Are there things about the Universe that will be forever beyond our grasp, in principle, ungraspable in any mind, however superior?" he asked.

"Successive generations have come to terms with the increasing queerness of the Universe."

I won't pretend that the remarks somehow validate theism, or that a 'God in the gaps' theory is plausible, workable, or useful, but it simply strikes me that the intuitive, innate sense of the universe's oddity goes beyond the mere quixoticism of some British theologians. Richard Dawkins is the last person I'd expect to note the fact, but then again, he's fairly committed to scientific empiricism...

Not to say that I've been advocating this for about a decade and a half, but I've been advocating this for about a decade and a half: Education Without Principals.

The Register is appropriately acid about this hyper-megachurch adventure, which is now nesting in the abandoned lair of a pro sports stadium. Pricetag pushes $100 million; church intake runs approx. $55million annually. To give you a sense of scale, ACME Int'l, the missionary agency where I work, has major home administrative centers in 13 different countries, and over 1200 workers lots of places across Asia, and we run a budget (guesstimating) under half that (maybe even a third). If Osteen tithed his official salary, he'd cover most of the the USA budget for IT personally. We also sell books, though, just like them, I must admit; though a lot of ours are tracts, discipleship materials, and leadership development resources in languages native to those we work with in Asia. Not as sexy as self-fulfillment, though...

All I have to say about Jared Diamond's unintentionally hilarious "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race" is to quote the great Douglas Adams: "And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."

These Neolibertarian types are really warming the cockles of my heart lately, with pieces like, "Three Good Reasons to Despise the GOP". I miss my registration less and less... Best to read for the punchline!

Don't forget to keep reading's 'America Goes to War' features, link above -- there's nobody with quite the same panache in free advice to the wicked as their editor:

# ONLY 50 YEARS? MOHAMMAD ATTA'S FATHER SPEAKS [1200 GMT] CNN interviewed 9/11 hijacker Mohammad Atta's father in Cairo. The father praised the London attacks and wanted $5000 for a filmed interview: not for himself he said, but to finance another London-type attack, as that is what it had cost.
# He said the religious war would last 50 years.
# is disappointed. We thought we're in a 100-year war, and had no idea the extremists were going to give up in just 50 years.

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