October 30, 2003

California Fires: Environmentalism and Stewardship

Hugh Hewitt blasts environmental policy, specifically the Endangered Species Act, for how it has contributed to the conditions in California that allowed the fires to become as large as they did.

There is a role for conservation and environmental stewardship in conservative politics, and I'd say there is one basic difference between a conservative view of environmental protection and a liberal view. While today's mainstream environmental groups largely see mankind as an alien being on the earth, delegated to a do not touch role, forcing nature to take care of itself, a conservative view of environmental stewardship sees mankind as a being created by God, also part of God's creation, and given the responsibility of actively maintaining and nurturing the environment. We screw up of course, and there are those who through neglect or wanton destruction shirk their God-given role, but the role is given to us nonetheless. We are a part of nature. We are intended to touch the environment, God did not create it to exist independently of us.

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 11:04 PM | Comments (2)

How to Achieve Equality

Scott Ott shows how to achieve educational equality.

A similar principle exists in economics: to achieve economic equality, take it away from all the rich people and give it to government programs which are advertised as helping the less well off. Disregard the fact that the rich own businesses that hire people, and that most of the money being redistributed is lost due to government waste and/or corruption, and that what does get to the less well off is given in such a way that it encourages unproductive or harmful social behaviour. That will give a society where everyone is equal, and also very poor. Can you have an egalitarian society? "Yes", as Frierich Hayek said, "but only at the lowest possible level."

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 10:51 PM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2003

A picture of us

When Amy and I go to China, our pictures will be available on the Internet for family and friends to see us and our new daughter (or son - unlikely but possible). How will you know how to recognize us?

Here's our picture taken at Washington Crossing State Park: Amy and me and some unnamed Democrat. Actually, the mule is part of the art project Miles of Mules, and there are about thirty of them spread out over the New Hope PA - Lambertville NJ area, and each one is different. Unfortunately, some have been vandalized.

Update! Miles of Mules is bigger than I thought! Amy said it would be good for me to put a link to it up, so I looked it up. There's more than 150 of those things all over the Lehigh valley. Cool!

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 10:20 PM | Comments (0)

A Pet Peeve

I just got finished watching Hannity & Colmes. Sandy Berger was talking about what he doesn't like about our Iraq policy. He thinks there was a threat, although he thinks it was exaggerated, but he doesn't think it justified unilateral action.

Hey Sandy, unilateral means acting alone. We had help from other countries, from Great Britain and others. Our military actions in Iraq were not unilateral, and I wish Sean Hannity would have confronted Mr. Berger with that liberal lie.

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 10:13 PM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2003

Delaware Water Gap

I think I've got it now, but I'm not sure why. When I copy files up to my website with an FTP program, I can't get the images to be able to link (frustrating figuring this out!), but when I use Windows Exlorer to view my ftp site and change the filenames, I can then link them. Here are some pictures from our weekend trip, all taken by our friend Ren Meiseman (except for Bowman's Tower, done by me with her camera):

Delaware Water Gap

Another view of the Delaware Water Gap - what I call The Rock

Delaware River and fall foliage viewed from Bowman's Tower

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 07:33 AM | Comments (6)

October 21, 2003

Pictures coming soon!

Amy and I went up to the Delaware Water Gap this last weekend, taking a side trip through Pennsylvania's Washington Crossing State Park and Bowman's Tower. Our friend Ren came along, so that we could use her services as a photographer (she owns a digital camera and we don't). Amy took some pictures on her 35mm, and I'm about to add some pictures to a picture gallery on my home page, just as soon as I can figure out how to get links to them to work.

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 09:55 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2003

The Social Justice of Defending Marriage

Also from the Institute on Religion and Democracy, Erik Nelson's commentary: Why Defending Marriage is Social Justice.

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 09:16 PM | Comments (0)

IRD response to Statement by Anglican Primates

Diane Knippers, President of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, responds to the Statement of the Primates of the Anglican Communion.

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 09:12 PM | Comments (0)

David Frum on Same-sex marriage

From yesterday's OpinionJournal, David Frum discusses the effects of same-sex "marriage-lite".

Over in the blogroll on the left, I have a link to the Vatican position on homosexual unions. I agree with their position on this issue. Any relationship involving children, other than a marriage between a father and mother, is violent to children, in that children are deprived of life experiences which come from two parents who complement each other.

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

Pilgrim's Progress

I have just been complimented by a reader on my Pilgrim's Progress blogging. Thank you! And I have been reminded that I have not finished the book! I've been very casual about finishing it, and I should remedy that now. Look for some upcoming chapters, as soon as I can recover from a busy week, and do another review of the last chapters. It may be after The Purpose Driven Life sessions are over however. That would be after Thanksgiving.

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)

Purpose Driven Life

I'm participating in The Purpose Driven Life at Washington Crossing United Methodist Church. This isn't my regular church, but it's one I like to visit from time to time, about 25 miles away from me. Since I've got commitments at my own church, I'm actually going to two church services on Sunday in order to hear the sermons associated with the book. The home group (part of the program involves small groups meeting at participants' homes) is a lot closer to me which makes it easier. Another complication - one of our two cars just got hit in an accident, and we're likely going to give it up for cash, thus owning only one car until we finish our adoption.

I like The Purpose Driven Life. I had some misgivings about it at first - just another program, another drain on my time, this preacher is too proud for his own good, so on and so on. After hearing the first sermon, a videotape shown to many churches simultaneously, I changed my mind. I liked the way that the Christian life is presented as both an ever-present and an eternal mindset, emphasizing worship, fellowship, ministry, discipleship, and mission. I like that membership in a church is emphasized, and that the participants are asked to participate in a small group and to practice active intercessory prayer for each other. I like that it is not presented as just another self-help program, but rather is intended to prepare one for a richer life of fellowship with God and obedience to His will, being more concerned with life goals that have an eternal impact rather than those which will soon be forgotten.

One thing that I don't like, and it's a small dislike, is that a lot of people are touting the book as some big thing that's going to make a big difference in their lives. While I see value in good spiritual teaching, the One who empowers us for Godly living is the Holy Spirit. The teachings in the book may increase our awareness and openness to God working through our lives, but the bottom line is that the glory is due to God.

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 08:35 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2003

Cats Stories

Jeffrey Collins tells about a kitten caught up in a tree, and wonders what to do - now the kitten needs a home.

Here's how to get a cat out of a tree - call it to dinner (it helps if the cat knows the routine in advance though).

Amy and I have a couple of cats, used to have four (kindof like the Brady Bunch with cats, she had two, I had two, and we didn't want to give any of them up when we got married.)

General Cat, who is now 15 years old, had a tree experience when he was a kitten, about seven months old. A big old bully cat lived in the neighborhood, and one day he chased General Kitten, so that poor little General rushed up a tree about fifteen feet high and out onto a tree branch. The catch now is that it was a cold drizzly day in December and the tree branches were slippery. General lost his footing and wound up hanging from a tree branch like a sloth. I was so sure he was going to fall. He would have landed on his feet of course, but I was still thinking he could break a leg or worse, so I was really put out, looking for a ladder or anything I could get, but nothing was around (I lived in an apartment back then). I don't know how he did it, but he hung on and even got back on top of that branch. It was hard to get him down, but he did make down just about dinnertime. General did get his revenge later in life; he grew up to be a pretty good sized cat himself.

General's sister, Princess, who died in 2001, was an expert tree-climber. She was so small and light, even as an adult cat, that she could walk out and maneuver on the smallest tree limbs. On the tree behind our house, she used to walk way out on the branches till they bent close to the ground, and jump just the few remaining feet to the ground. No inching down backwards on tree trunks for her. She was also an excellent leaper, and once caught a bird about four feet off the ground as it was taking off out of a bush.

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

Cowboys and Eagles

Jeffrey Collins might agree with me on this, I'm sure Ben Domenech won't (neither will Ed, who sits next to me in the choir loft on Sundays - sorry Ed!): that Cowboys win over the Eagles was the most enjoyable regular season game I've seen since Jason Garrett (the second backup quarterback for the Cowboys) led the Cowboys to victory over the Green Bay Packers nine years ago.

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 08:31 PM | Comments (1)

Evangelical Activism

Here's an item I noted on Friday and intended to mention, but forgot about:
On This They Do Agree Evangelicals take the lead in human-rights activism, from Friday's OpinionJournal, on the Taste Houses of Worship page.

Allen D. Hertzke tells how evangelicals have taken a leadership role in combatting modern-day slavery in The Sudan, while our leftist press and social activists have for the most part ignored it, or even denied that it exists. Also mentioned in the article are efforts to assist North Korean refugees and stop human trafficking everywhere.

The Institute for Religion and Democracy has been speaking out against Islamic oppression in The Sudan through their Church Alliance for a New Sudan campaign.

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2003

Prager on Belief

Dennis Prager: Only those with beliefs can defeat those with beliefs; Prager's thoughts on fighting Islamist terror, and why it won't be won by people who don't believe in anything (and people who say it's not right to judge anything as right or wrong, good or evil, don't believe in anything).

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 07:12 AM | Comments (0)

Sowell on Great Depression Myths

Thomas Sowell reviews Jom Powell's book FDR's Folly, which claims President Roosevelt's policies prolonged the Great Depression.

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 06:56 AM | Comments (0)

Latest spiel from Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood is calling October "National Family Sexuality Education Month"

On the surface this looks perfectly fine, and I do believe that parents should talk to their children about sex, but it's rather strange coming from a group calling for children to be able to get an abortion without telling their parents. This has almost as much irony as the poster contest, where a child had to have a parent's permission to submit a poster to their poster contest. So PP - it's fine for parents to talk to their children about sex, but not after the fact, when a new human life is involved?

Looking at stuff like this bothers me in another way: while the word family is used (rarely), it is never used in the context of the child considering sex. There is never any concern with telling the child to wait until they are married and having a permanent family - no, the emphasis is on maturity alone, a moving standard, and unreliable, for someone considering such activity. No role for a dad at all, who may be as casual an acquaintance as a one-night stand who never meets or contributes to the raising of his child, just as long as the mom is mature enough, based on some vague standard of maturity.

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 06:48 AM | Comments (1)

Slow week

Sorry to regular readers - I've had writer's block this week. Starting off with some important work associated with Microsoft security patches, and I never felt like sitting down and writing after that, and when I did, found I couldn't come up with anything. Well, a few odds and ends which follow

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 06:17 AM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2003

Comparing anti-tobacco and anti-abortion advertising

Emily, over at After Abortion, mentions an advertising campaign to discourage smoking through portraying the regrets of former smokers, and compares it to similar attempts to portray the regrets of those who had abortions.

That reminded me of how anti-tobacco activists are trying to put gross pictures of the effects of tobacco on tobacco packaging. I remember at my previous church (that political one), which was very active in anti-tobacco politics, they had a picture of a woman with half her body showing what her internal organs looked like after smoking. Not obscene, just very gross and disgusting. Yeah, that'll make me want to not ever smoke. Pretty effective.

One little problem, though. These same people are also trying stop similar pictures of abortions from ever being shown at abortion clinics or at political rallys. Abortion brownshirts, as Mark Shea might say. They say it's gross and disgusting. Yeah, that's the point. Make people confront what they are doing, just like we're doing for tobacco, just that pro-life people are more consistent in their values, and not trying to protect a killing industry, whether it be tobacco or abortion.

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 10:42 PM | Comments (1)

Patriotism, neo-McCarthyism, and Whining

From The Daily Standard (the Weekly Standard's website), Hugh Hewitt writes The National Security Gap, "the real reason Democrats are crying McCarthy on questions of patriotism".

Why would an author and a journal of established reputations dirty themselves with trumped up charges of McCarthyism? Because the only way to keep the Democrats from certain electoral setback is to protect the party and its candidates from close examination on the issue of judgment on matters of national security. If the election is fought over which party is better prepared to defend the United States against Islamic fanaticism and North Korean irrationality, the Democrats will lose and lose big.
...
For the record: A child might argue for unilateral disarmament in order to advance the cause of universal peace. That doesn't make the kid unpatriotic, just ill-informed.

So it is with the Democrats: Their recklessness and fecklessness on matters of national security does not make them unpatriotic, just unqualified to lead the war on terror.

From National Review Online, Jonah Goldberg writes The Great "W", "can the whining stop, please?"

Criticizing someone else's criticism even when a government official does it isn't an assault on free speech. It is free speech.

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 10:16 PM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2003

Robert Novak's comments

I'm sure this is linked to from hundreds of blogs today, but just in case you haven't seen it, Robert Novack gives his side of the CIA-employee-name-leak story.

I think this is getting way out of hand, though the Bush administration is doing the right thing by investigating. Stonewalling this would just play into the Bush-hating camp, not that it will help or anything (I think most people will not change their minds on this issue no matter what the investigation reveals).

UPDATE: Here's David Corn's, of The Nation, side of the story. David Corn is the writer who first wrote of this back in July. He disputes Robert Novak's testimony. Robert Novak and David Corn cannot both be correct in all details of this story. One or both of them is lying about the details of this scandal.

Posted by joelfuhrmann at 10:06 PM | Comments (0)