Chicago’s annual air and water show!
I focused on news items this week…
Blogs come and blogs go. The good ones survive, and here’s notice of another good Bible blog by John Byron
. Bookmark it.
I read Chris Ridgeway
‘s master’s thesis and it was a good one, so I’m glad he’s posting about it. Very few are analyzing media technology with such finesse.
Speaking of technology, that reminds of what’s hip: Brett’s
got photos showing what hipsterdom looks like. And for all the flap about his WSJ piece, my recommendation is this: Read his book and not just the excerpted piece.
Speaking of 20somethings, a longish but good piece in NYTimes
… but my suspicion is that the way children are reared today has much to do with emerging adulthood. (What I mean is that parents do too many things for kids.)
Sarah Pulliam Bailey
pieces together a story about some funding of Sojourners. Wallis made some strong denials but now has admitted he was wrong. What can we learn from this? Besides watching our donor lists more carefully, we are to learn the lesson of Empire: the Church is to stick with the gospel and avoid at all costs political alliances, and this applies to Left and Right.
Speaking of Left and Right, it’s getting crazy at times and that is why Geeding’s
post can bring us some mirth. (OK, this is supposed to be funny and not some accurate depiction.)
reflects on the impact of the internet on theological education.
Meanderings in the News
Occasionally I get readers who write to me privately or who comment on the Weekly Meanderings about my political views. For some, linking to a report means agreement with what is said. Not true in my case. I link to things I find interesting, whether I agree with all the points or not.
1. Dan Balz
, on the midterm elections as turning against those in power: “Democrats should be familiar with this. Their victories in 2006 had everything to do with dissatisfaction with then-President George W. Bush and very little to do with voters’ feelings about the Democrats.”
2. From NYTimes: “ST. LOUIS — Some say he is on a mission from God. Others say he is the devil. But no matter whom you ask in this city’s tight-knit community of Polish Catholics, the name of Marek Bozek is seldom met with a shrug.”
3. Thomas Sowell, always worth reading just for his curmudgeonly ways, commenting on proportionality in society: “At the heart of such statistics is the implicit assumption that different races, sexes, and other subdivisions of the human species would be proportionately represented in institutions, occupations, and income brackets if there were not something strange or sinister going on. Although this notion has been repeated by all sorts of people, from local loudmouths on the street to the august chambers of the Supreme Court of the United States, there is not one speck of evidence behind it and a mountain of evidence against it. Ask the bean-counters: Where in this wide world have different groups been proportionally represented? They can’t tell you. In other words, something that nobody can demonstrate is taken as a norm, and any deviation from that norm is somebody’s fault!”
4. Did you read Gail Collins? “We celebrate Women’s Suffrage Day on Aug. 26, which is when the amendment officially became part of the Constitution. But I like Aug. 18, which is the day that Harry Burn jumped up in the Tennessee Legislature, waving his mom’s note from home. I told the story once in Atlanta, and a woman in the audience said that when she was visiting her relatives in East Tennessee, she had gone to put a yellow rose on Harry Burn’s grave.”
5. William Saletan: Heredity and competition: “There’s nothing unusual about dismissing race as social construct. Racism watchdogs do it all the time. But they do it precisely to deny hereditary differences between blacks and whites. Bejan, Jones, and Charles are affirming hereditary differences. That’s what they mean by “survival fitness in different parts of the globe during thousands of years.” Evolution in Europe and evolution in Africa produced different results.” And this: “But the authors’ most intriguing contribution isn’t in biology or physics. It’s in linguistics. By removing the word race, they’re trying to make the world safe for clearheaded consideration of theories about inherited group differences. What they’ve done is more than a series of engineering calculations. It’s a political experiment. Let’s hope it works.”
7. Stephen Hawking: “If humanity is to survive long-term, it must find a way to get off planet Earth — and fast, according to famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking.”
10. Sharon Lerner at Slate: “Sandy Stephens got pregnant when she was working in housekeeping for a company known as Global NAPs Inc. in Massachusetts. Her supervisor at the small telecommunications firm had told her that she could take unpaid maternity leave longer than eight weeks if she gave birth by cesarean section. Stephens did wind up having a C-section, and so she stayed home for 11 weeks. Yet, when she returned to her job, she found she had been fired.”
11. Stephanie Banchero at WSJ: ”New data show that fewer than 25% of 2010 graduates who took the ACT college-entrance exam possessed the academic skills necessary to pass entry-level courses, despite modest gains in college-readiness among U.S high-school students in the last few years.”
Meanderings in Sports
The Rocket by Joe Posnanski: “An indictment is not a conviction — not even close — and my understanding (based on watching lots of courtroom dramas) is that the law views Clemens innocent until proven guilty. Anyway, innocence or guilt, there are a million complications and delays and hypotheticals. … Barry Bonds was indicted on perjury charges and obstruction of justice almost three years ago. His trial might start in March, and, of course, it might not.
In Clemens case, you have an unreliable accuser in McNamee, various unanswered questions, a famous defendant, what is certain to be an expensive legal defense team …
… but the question now is really not about innocence or guilt or potential jail time or even about how this seems a ludicrous waste of government time and money. The question is why? If Roger Clemens did use performance enhancing drugs — as several people say he did and like so many players of his era did — then he could have come clean. People would have forgiven him, many people WANTED to forgive him. Does anybody care that his teammate and friend (and witness for the prosecution) Andy Pettitte used?
And if Roger Clemens DID NOT use PEDs, he could have quietly denied, lived his life, the people who were inclined to believe him would have believed him and the others, well, he wasn’t going to convince them anyway. He KNEW it. “No matter what we discuss here today, I am never going to have my name restored.”
Instead, he went to Congress. He said dubious things. He raised suspicion. He found his personal life unveiled for the tabloids. He inspired a government investigation. He got indicted. Now he will have to fight for his reputation and his freedom. Why? People say it’s because of his ego. People say it’s because he has to win. People say it’s because he believes in his innocence and he’s not just going to stand there and let people lie about him. People say it’s because pushing the envelope is just what he does — it is what made him a great and dominant pitcher. People say. But people don’t know. Nobody really knows.
Thursday, Roger Clemens Tweeted this:
“I never took HGH or Steroids. And I did not lie to Congress. I look forward to challenging the Governments accusations, and hope people will keep an open mind until trial. I appreciate all the support I have been getting. I am happy to finally have my day in court.”
He signed the note “Rocket.”