December 5, 2006

Sigh, our President

Listened to the opening remarks for this morning's confirmation hearings for Robert Gates. Senator Warner (Republican) reminded Gates of his own writings on the importance of the executive branch cooperating with Congress. Nice reminder, of course, but one that I believe is completely lost on this President. Actually, Robert Gates' nomination is my one ray of hope. Hope that this President has actually learned a little humility and will rely on some pragmatic approach to the world's problems--instead of some Left Behind version.

That reminded me of this article from the Boston Globe detailing just how dangerous the number 2 man is to our democracy. You can read it here. Very interesting scan of Cheney's attempt to restore power to the executive branch. This reporting would have been nice, btw, in 2004 when we were warning the American people of this power grab, but better late than never.

27 comments:

volfan007 said...

streak,

i think that you dislike this president so much that your mind is closed to anything that he thinks or says. he could say that the sky is blue, and you would disagree with him. you are doing exactly what you accuse me of doing...not listening to the other persons side and dialogueing, or learning from it. you seem to just be against bush...period.

volfan007

Streak said...

Those who know me know that I am open to alternative interpretations. Make your case for why I should like Bush. What has he done to make our country safer, better, more moral, more unified, anything?

I am listening.

volfan007 said...

streak,

i doubt very seriously if you would listen. it sounds to me like you have your mind made up.

besides, to be truthful...i dont really care if you like bush or not. although i would vote for him again if he ran against obama or hillary.

volfan0007

Streak said...

Volfan, this is why none of us take you seriously. I have given you an opportunity. If you read my blog, you would know that I am open to dialoguing with those who disagree with me, even about Bush. Yes, I agree, I don't like the man. I don't think it is because my mind is closed, but based on what I have seen from the man.

But lets look at what you have contributed just in this thread. You had accused me of being closed minded, and then when I asked you for some examples of reasons I should like Bush or at least say something good about him, you give me this: "i doubt very seriously if you would listen. it sounds to me like you have your mind made up."

This is your argument style through everything. You make broad general statements, and when asked for specifics or examples, you bail. Or, you play the hillbilly card. Or you say that you are just trying to present the truth.

When I said that I was listening, it was not a "rhetorical ploy" nor was it a lie. I really was curious what you thought were some positives from this President.

But you don't actually want to dialogue, do you?

volfan007 said...

streak,

forgive me if i read more into your comments in your posts and the statements you make on your blog sight about bush.

alright, let me tell you why i voted for bush. he was the lesser of two evils. he is pro life. he is against raising taxes. he is not for the gay agenda. he is for a strong military. he is against the radical environmentalists...he is no tree hugger. he is against gun control. and, the list goes on why i would vote for bush again if he were running against socialized healthcare, gay agenda, pro choice hillary and obama.

but, let me just say this. my hope is not in the republican party. i am waiting for the day when King Jesus takes over. He will make this world right again.

volfan007

ps. your dog is a blue healer, is he not?

Streak said...

Volfan, what interests me about that list is that they are all campaign promises. But Bush hasn't delivered on any of it except the anti-environment stance. FYI, people close to the President acknowledge that he really isn't concerned about the "gays" but uses that because he knows you will vote for him if he comes out against them.

So he is pro-life. Has he done anything to help that movement? Are abortions down under his administration? I will admit that he has saddled us with tremendous debt so that your taxes might be a little lower, but I hardly see that as either conservative or responsible. Tax and spend is better than borrow and spend, which is exactly what Bush has done.

So, to sumarize why your presentation is unconvincing (I have no doubt this is why you voted for him), you haven't given me policies, but merely campaign slogans. Are you really saying that you have no problem with incompetence as long as the lip service is pro-life and anti-gay? He can let New Orleans drown, completely f$%k up the war in Iraq, allow Osama to run wild in Afghanistan, etc. Competence seems really low on many conservative's list, and that puzzles me. I could handle Bush a little better if I thought he was even marginally competent. But I have not seen one program run effectively under his administration.

And why are you so anti-environment? Why is it that the same people who are adamant that God created this world in a literal 6 days so indifferent to its destruction?

ubub said...

What exactly is "the gay agenda?" I have long wondered what comes up, for example, under "New Business," but apparently, unlike Focus on the Family and others, I do not receive meeting minutes. Perhaps I should be concerned, but all I get is vague boogeyman-style stories.

I am also confused that those who would profess such great love for the Creator, and expend such energy defending a particular view of the process of that Creation, would show such callous indifference to Creation itself. Is this part of the 'fallen world' view? Why is there more passion for and loyalty to an idea than to the world that God made for us through whatever processes we may believe that happened?

What do guns and gun control have to do with religious beliefs?

Maybe it's my turn to wear the mantle of ignorance. If so, I claim it proudly.

Anonymous said...

It's time for a quote from Jerry Seinfeld's Seinlanguage:

What causes homophobia? What is it that makes the heterosexual man worry about this? I think it's because deep down all men know that we have weak sales resistance. We're constantly buying shoes that hurt us, pants that don't fit right. Men think, "Obviously I can be talked into anything. What if I accidentally wander into some sort of homosexual store thinking it's a shoe store and the salesman says, 'Just hold this guy's hand walking around the store for a little bit and see how you feel. No obligation, no pressure, just try it. Would you like to see him in a sandal?'"

volfan007 said...

homophobia....lol. i am not scared of gays..lol. i love gay people. thats why i am for reaching out to them with the gospel of Jesus Christ so that they can be saved and turned strait by the Lord.


also, streak, i have always said that bush was the lesser of two evils. he hasnt carried thru with what he said he would...thus, a lot of us evangelical conservatives are not that fired up for him. but, it would be better than hillary. its a thousand times better than the direction that we were heading under her leadership....ooops...bill's leadership.

ubub,

gun control has nothing to do with the bible. thats just how i feel, and a lot of us conservatives feel. we like to have our guns ready for burglars and in case we have to defend our country and freedom. we just like to be ready.

also, i am not anti environment. i love God's creation. i dont agree with the radical tree huggers who want to put people out of jobs to save an owl, or who are for us spending millions of dollars to study global warming, or the emission of cows gas, or for not letting oil to be sucked out of the ground on the frozen grounds of alaska. i just dont agree with peta and some of those other radical groups who want to declare every farmers land wet lands, and then wont let them farm thier own land anymore. i have seen this happen more than once btw.
i am for taking care of the environment...just not going bananas over it. and, i beleive the bible.....this earth will be around when Jesus comes back. we are told so in the bible. and, apparently yall believe the bible too....that the earth is devolving...not evolving.

volfan007

Streak said...

Volfan, let's look at how you frame this discussion, because that has a huge impact on your conclusions. Consider how you framed the torture issue where you said that we were torturing "terrorists." If that were the case, of course, it would not determine the discussion, but it certainly skews it away from the reality that we don't know if these people are guilty or not.

Likewise with the environment, you present it in a completely biased manner. The environmental movement is not about--for the most part--saving owls just to save owls. (though, btw, if God created owls, who are we to make them extinct?) In fact, most serious environmental movements are deeply concerned about the ecosystem and the survival of all of us. Nature isn't "out there" someplace where just owls live--but all around us. As humans, we are part of nature, not distinct from it. If owls can no longer live here, at some point, we endanger our own survival. And we don't even have to look at global warming to see problems. Our seas are dying. Every day we flush fertilizers and pesticides and other chemicals into God's creation. Fish now contain enough murcury that pregnant women aren't supposed to eat it. And beyond that, our levels of toxicity are well above what they would have been even 50 years ago.

And I really don't understand the dismissal of global warming. It is a clearly identified phenomenon that will, as it progresses, effect the poor and needy the most.

Christians could be on the vanguard of protecting God's creation. They could (and should) be leading the charge. Just as many want to defend life in the womb, they could be leading the charge to recuce toxic emissions, slow down global warming, and help reduce cancer and respiratory disease around the world.

But they aren't, and they won't--at least as long as people like James Dobson and Jerry Falwell are in charge. As we saw with the Christian Coalition--a pastor who dares to expand the concerns beyond (not to abandon, mind you) abortion and homosexuality to include anti-poverty and environmental concerns was promptly fired.

But as long as we keep a few jobs.

volfan007 said...

how could we afford to buy food that was grown without fertilizers and pesticides? i live in a small town...have lived in small towns for a lot of my life. my grandfather was a farmer....my other grandfather was a daniel boone type. he lived to hunt and fish. so, i know about the environment from that angle. i live in it.

i just have real concerns that to do all that the environmentalists say that we should do...and to stop all the stuff that they say we should stop....would costs us thousands of jobs and would drive the costs of food and fuel and other things up so high that we couldnt afford it. is that not a concern for you streak?

also, about the world being here and people being around in the future....the world will be here and people will be here. the bible teaches that Jesus will come back and there will be many, many people still living when He comes back. so, i dont buy into the our planet will die scare tactic.

btw, streak, many animals have become extinct in the past...dinos....and we are still kicking and doing well. i doubt that one species of owl becoming extinct will kill the planet.

volfan007

Streak said...

Ok, your first point is just another example of bad logic. I never said that we had to get rid of pesticides and fertilizers, but we use them well beyond need. The amount put on suburban lawns (which feed no one, need I remind you) is shocking. We can certainly do better there without starving ourselves.

In fact, much of that overuse leads to soil depletion and encourages infestations rather than reducing it, so much of our chemical dependency is counter productive--except for the people manufacturing it.

Of course there are real challenges here. I never meant to suggest that we (nor is any environmentalist, btw) stop everything that we do now. But, as in the case of fertilizers and pesticides, we can do much better. Jobs and access to food are real issues and have to be addressed, but there are ways around them that are not this false dichotomy you presented--between some mythical radical environmentalist and the Bush policies of cut every tree down and dig for oil in the middle of our wilderness areas.

I am glad your reading of the Bible includes an allowance that dinosaurs once roamed the earth. You must not be a young earth creationist. And I am glad you are so convinced that humanity will survive, I am not so convinced. I suspect, however, that you see humanity as apart from the rest of the animal world. We all live in the same food chain. As DDT and Strontium 90 showed us, we can end up with those toxins in our own bodies. We are not some special creation (in that reading) but yet another vulnerable species struggling for survival.

volfan007 said...

of course dinos roamed the earth. eve probably had to shew some of them out of her garden. pairs of them rode on the ark as well. and, this all fits very well into a young earth, creationist view.

streak,
i believe the bible over mans guessings. the bible says that Jesus will come back and there will be millions of people on the earth at that time. therefore, the earth will be around in spite of global warming and people cutting down the rain forrests..which used to be called jungles.

volfan007

Streak said...

Dinosaurs on the ark? Because they are in the Bible where? And of course carbon dating is wrong.

Good grief. Even William Jennings Bryan didn't believe this stuff.

volfan007 said...

there are several places where dinos are mentioned. one place is in the book of job. the kjv calls them behemoth. job is one of the earliest books written.

the flood....the world wide flood and noah....can explain much those who say that the earth existed for millions and millions of years theory(guess). also, the fossils fit better with young earth and flood than they do with evolution.

read dr. henry morris' books and work on the subject. he was a skeptical scientist who set out to disprove the bible. the more he studied the bible, the more convinced he became that it was true. he became a christian. his work on this topic is priceless for the sincere student of truth.

volfan007

Streak said...

Ok, whatever.

I understand the need to believe in creation. I can even see it. Faith is that area where we make sense of things we cannot explain.

But young earth creationism is not that. Not only was it started by Seventh Day Adventists in the 20th century (did you know that Volfan?), but it suggests to fundamentalists that they ignore even things that are explainable. Geology has established the ancient earth, and until the 1930s most Christians accepted that--even as they had reservations about Darwin.

I like faith. But when faith is imposed on a place where it does not belong, it gives us bad history, bad science, and bad policy.

volfan007 said...

for one thing, young earth creationism was not started by the 7th day adventists.....the book of genesis states a young earth creation.

secondly, the flood explains a lot of what the scientists who say that the earth is millions and millions and millions and millions of years old. was anyone around to record this millions and millions and milllions of years? no. and, the great flood could do this earth what the scientists, or geology, thinks took millions and millions and millions and millions of years.


read dr. henry morris' books and study his work...then commment.

volfan007

Streak said...

for one thing, young earth creationism was not started by the 7th day adventists.....the book of genesis states a young earth creation.

Then why did most Christians (even those opposed to evolution, mind you) believe in an old Earth up till the 1930s?

And no, the flood does not explain what you think it does. There is no evidence for a global flood, but certainly a regional one in the area of Mesopotamia.

This is why this is so needless. Faith is good at explaining things outside our reach. But we have ample geological evidence that the earth is much older than 6,000 years old. No need to choose between that and a belief in God. It is simple anti-intellectualism.

And no, I am not going to read Henry Morris's book. The entire scientific community has rejected his ideas, and I have better things to do than argue about young earth creationism. I suggest you read a little about the history of such thought. Because even Morris acknowledged that his ideas came from the 7th Day Adventists.

volfan007 said...

genesis was written long before there was a 7th day adventist.

if you dont want to see a very intelligent scientist explain from a scientific view the creation, then you can go on in your delusion with the rest of the godless, evolutionist scientists who dont want there to be a creator God that we must answer to one day. did you know that there are even secular scientists who are saying that darwinian evolution doesnt fit the facts?
streak, i grew up learning the myths and theories(guesses) of the evolutionist crowd. it was rammed down my throat at school. i have considered....truly considered the evolutionists to be right...but, they are not. and, christians have no need to kow tow to the dr.'s and college prof.'s who believe in evolution and dont wanna beleive in creation. the real, true scientific facts fit better with the bible than they do with evolution. read dr. morris' books.

volfan007

Streak said...

Volfan, I am one of those dr.'s and college prof.'s that you are so sure are wrong. But I think we have little in common here and there is little that can be learned from this debate. We approach the entire notion of knowledge and how we learn knowledge differently. Just your use of words like "theory" which you assume to be "guesses" shows that difference. Same with your assumption that Genesis is clear on this. Like I said, if you knew anything about history, you would know that prior to the 1930s, even creationists believed in an old earth. You can dismiss that all you want, but it is true.

But all of that is besides the point. There is no way we can agree here because we approach the world in completely different ways. You assume that the Bible is not only innerrant, but literal (though as you showed with WJ, you are willing to parse and interpret when it suits you) and I am not. I don't believe the Bible was ever intended to be read in a literal way, nor do I think it is authoritative on issues of science or history.

Like I said, there is no need to reject science to believe in God. But go for it.

volfan007 said...

i bet that i could find many theologians who beleive in a young earth before 1930. i would bet you that most conservative theologians in the 1500's thru the 1800's beleived in a literal 6 day creation, and that the days meant literal days.

i believe that the bible is inerrant and should be taken in the context that it was written. where its literal, we should take it as literal.


also, streak, i also have a college degree, and i have a masters degree. i have thought about a doctorate several times, but i wonder if it would really be beneficial to me. i am a pastor, and i really dont see the need for it.

volfan007

Streak said...

Again, not much we can say here. We see the world from completely different vantage points, as your responses bear out.

Congrats on your masters degree from a bible college, but I don't see the point.

There is no room for agreement here, Volfan. You can't convince me because your form of evidence is not evidence in my eyes. The literal Bible, for example, or citing that same Bible to prove the future.

I will never convince you for multiple reasons. You don't actually listen to most critiques and my form of evidence (scientific method, historical method, factual evidence) doesn't matter to you. Where I have the entire scientific community, you have Henry Morris.

volfan007 said...

i didnt mean to imply that the only one i had was dr. morris. i just brought him up because i thought he might speak to you and college prof.'s like you due to his being a scientist.

there are many, many, many more out there who believe in a young earth that was created.

my main sourse for all of this is the bible.....in genesis.

volfan007

Streak said...

Volfan, read my comment. We are speaking different languages and you somehow think yours is the "original Greek."

And (banging head against wall) Henry Morris is not the point. The point is that scientific concensus is against a young earth. The Young Earth idea is unnecessarily anti-modern and anti-intellectual. You might as well argue that gravity is a lie, because it argues against God's sovereignty.

But again, we are talking in circles. As long as you think Genesis is all the evidence you need on the subject of geology, then we have nothing to talk about.

volfan007 said...

streak,

at one time, all the scientists said that homosexuality was abnormal behavior....even deviant behavior...along with child molestation. would you have gone along with the scientists back then?

how about the dr.'s....scientists....who believed that draining blood out of a person was the best way to handle sickness.....like back in george washington's day....would you have gone along with the scientists then?

or, how about the scientists saying that red dye causes cancer, and they quit making the red m&m's. and now, its ok to eat red!

i had a science prof. tell us at ut....a secular school....that science changes every five to ten years. so, what a scientist is telling you now may not be any good in ten years.

i think i will stick with the Word of God which never changes. it's always been true, and is true right now, and forever will be true.

volfan007

Streak said...

Of course the interpretations of the Word of God change all the time. Like when people around 1930 decided to read the creation story as literal days and to track back dates so they could name the creation of the earth in actual days (what, 6,000 plus years ago?).

Interpretations of the Bible have changed as cultures and contexts have changed. Yes, science has changed too. No one here, nor in the scientific world, argued that Science is capital "T" truth. It is always the best explanation for the evidence at hand. But that is not what creation science is (as he remembers that he is talking to someone who thinks that the Bible "says what it says").

Tell you what volfie, since you continue to ignore any points that undermine your world, I am going to go outside and have a talk with my dog. I dare say I will have a more intelligent conversation.

Some of my liberal friends have noted that Tony has made us rethink our assumptions about innerantist, Baptist homeschoolers, but volfan has us thinking we were right all along.

volfan007 said...

streak,

you must have a very intelligent dog.

volfan007