We are in danger of becoming so adverse to risk we will lose sight of common sense.
Said in response to a couple in the UK not being allowed to take pictures of their kid in the park.
Jeromy over at Seeking Goliath has posted some thoughts about the war in Iraq. He notes that he did support it at the beginning, but is not quite sure how he feels now. While I was never sold on this war, I can understand those who did think it may have been justifiable in the beginning. What I cannot understand are those people who think the war has gone swimmingly and think any criticism of it is not just wrong, but blasphemous (*coughNormanPodhoretzcough*). Jeromy certainly does not shy from questioning and he brings this point up in his post as well as some others.
1. Constitutional rights were created to be upheld in difficult times, not done away with. It is precisely those difficult times that reveal the constitution’s merit. Freedoms cannot, primarily, be forsaken in the name of “national security,” whether they be our freedoms or those of another nation. Nor can we take away the rights of non-Americans and simultaneously demand the rights of Americans either domestically or on the foreign stage without staring squarely in the face of our own hypocrisy.
2. You cannot wage a global war and simultaneously expect no consequence to a global economy.
3. War solely for the sake of peace is not justifiable. For centuries wars have been fought in the name of peace, and for centuries no war fought in the name of peace has resulted in peace. The two concepts are innately opposed to each other. It’s like saying I’m going to build a tree house by digging a hole.
"The aim and result of war necessarily are not peace but victory, and any victory won by violence necessarily justifies the violence that won it and leads to further violence. If we are serious about innovation, must we not conclude that we need something new to replace our perpetual 'war to end all war.' -Wendell Berry
4. There is a time for war. Ecclesiastes bears this truth. History provides evidence as well- there is a time to fight. However, if I am being completely transparent, I have to admit that I don’t yet know when that time is.
5. There is a difference between patriotism to the ideals that the constitution upholds and patriotism to the current ruling government. Thomas Jefferson felt that skepticism was an important part of being a citizen,
"for nothing can keep it right but our own vigilant and distrustful superintendence."
Patriotism has been manipulated by those in power of both parties who are simply seeking the favor of the masses. Patriotism is defined (though “patriots” would not put it this way), as a blind loyalty to the actions and motivations of the presiding regime. What America wants, America has a moral right to, and if you disagree you are an unpatriotic, ungrateful coward.
Posted by Captain Noble at 8:42 PM
Last Saturday I talked to Joyce, Patrick's mother. She said that she had been going through Patrick's things with his father, Dennis, and they had some things that they thought I might want. On Monday night, I went out to their house.
It was hard looking through it, a lot of memories came back. We role-played a lot and most of the things they had set aside were his RPG books. We played so many games - D&D, Shadowrun, Ars Magica, L5R, Battle Tech. So many good times. I want so badly to go back and have those experiences again. If only...
I ended up with five boxes of stuff, mostly RPG books, and a crate of DVDs. Dennis told me they still have more of his stuff to sort through, but he knows there are a lot more books and games. They want me to have them and are going to call me when they have dug them out.
I'd trade it all for five more minutes with Patrick.
Posted by Captain Noble at 8:23 PM
I talked to my friend, Ken, yesterday and he says that he cannot afford to move in now because he is just starting to pay his school loans back. The payment is over $400 a month right now. I offered to make the rent lower and he said "maybe," but even so it wouldn't be until after Christmas.
The problem is that 1) he's not sure and 2) Mom and I can only afford everything through January. Mom obviously doesn't want the house to be foreclosed, so we would have to get the house sold in January so we don't have to worry about the February payment. Ken said he has asked a few people he knows and one of them has said they would think about it.
Unfortunately, time has now become very critical. I have by no means given up hope, but I am less confident.
Posted by Captain Noble at 8:39 PM
Kids say the darndest things, of course, but sometimes it seems my daughters do it better than most because of their crazy home environment. This weekend they mentioned that their Mom's brother, Doug, had been making fun of their other brother, Dale, for still being a virgin, "just because he's never had sex!"
Oh, I do so love these opportunities. I talked to my daughters then about sex and marriage (not our first). I told them that I thought it was a good idea to wait until you are married before you had sex, but that everyone has to make their own decision about it and it is not right to judge someone for making a different decision. They seemed to agree with this and it isn't anything we haven't discussed before. Then I get this from my sweet, youngest daughter, Shaena, "Dad, if you believe that, why did you and Mom have sex before you were married."
Shaena, the one who is usually quiet and doesn't say much during our "serious" talks, asks me this question. I was shocked for just a second, but then recovered and tried to answer. I told them that it was a very fair question and they shouldn't be afraid to ask me about anything. Sometimes people make mistakes, but the important thing is that they learn from their mistakes is the gist of what I told my daughters.
Of course that's not all. I asked them if their Mom had talked to them about any of this stuff. Erica says, "No, not really. But she did say that sometimes if you get a crush on someone, it can be Satan lying to you."
"What?" I asked.
"Well, Mom said that she had a crush on you and thought you were going to take care of her for the rest of her life," Erica answered.
I tried to explain that feelings are not sent by Satan, they are part of being human. Erica tried to say, "Not all the time, Dad, just some of the time," but I told her I didn't agree with that, either. There is nothing wrong with getting a crush or "liking" someone, I said. It is only a problem if you stop thinking and do something stupid because of your feelings. Bringing it back to their mother and I, I explained that there was nothing wrong with their mother and I having feelings for each other when we met. The problem was that we stopped thinking (well, I'm not sure she had ever started, but I digress) and did not make good choices.
Whew. Being a father certainly is not easy. I'm certainly not looking forward to their teen years.
I was also thinking about the fact that "Satan makes people have crushes on other people." I may have to talk to him about that and see if we can't work out some arrangement whereby I can give him a list of women that I wouldn't mind having a crush on me and he can make something happen. I'm sure the price wouldn't be too high. I'm not really using my soul anyway.
Posted by Captain Noble at 5:25 PM
The one and only Meat Loaf performing "Paradise by the Dashboard Light." I would love to catch one of his concerts. He has so much energy. This performance with Karla DeVito (who is just lip synching, but still good) is awesome. And I'm not sure there's a better ode to teenage love/lust than this song.
Posted by Captain Noble at 5:10 PM
New research about the happenings of the universe in the immediate moment after the Big Bang.
Physicists announced Thursday that they now have the smoking gun that shows the universe went through extremely rapid expansion in the moments after the big bang, growing from the size of a marble to a volume larger than all of observable space in less than a trillion-trillionth of a second.
The discovery -- which involves an analysis of variations in the brightness of microwave radiation -- is the first direct evidence to support the two-decade-old theory that the universe went through what is called inflation.
Posted by Captain Noble at 12:38 AM
After my daughter's told me that they no longer wanted to read Dragonlance because it was a book that could lead a good Christian astray, I was frustrated for awhile and struggled to find something to read. Finally, I settled on Ender's Game.
For those who do not know, Ender's Game is the Hugo and Nebula award winning novel of Ender Wiggin. In the future mankind faces annihilation at the hands of the Buggers, fierce insect-like aliens who have only been narrowly defeated twice before. The hope of the world rests with gifted children who are sent to Battle School to become warriors and leaders of the human armies preparing for the final conflict with the superior alien forces. Ender is the smartest and most talented of the group, but the rigors he faces in the school may break him before he is through...
It happens to be one of my favorite books and I hoped that my daughters would enjoy it as well. It was a fantastic success. We ended up staying up until nearly 2 a.m. last night finishing it. Erica had tears in her eyes at the end. Shaena loved it, too. I'm very glad that with the exception of one or two bumps, I have been able to share my love of reading with my daughters.
Next up: Tarzan of the Apes
Posted by Captain Noble at 12:03 AM
Life ain't easy. But then, if it was, everybody would be doing it.