Archive for December, 2010

My answer to an article on War In Context


On 2010-08-22, I responded to an article at titled The new anti-Semitism to which I posted this comment:

Hmm.  So I take it you don’t consider the ground on which nearly 3,000 innocent people were crushed to irretreivable fragments by 10 Islamic jihadists hallowed.
What ground, one wonders, would you consider “hallowed,” if any?

And how surprising that the “tropes do not always line up.”  In fact, they never line up, as the writer concedes.  The whole thing is a straw man, because if we can’t defend Islam on factual grounds, we’ll just make something up.

But the most hilarious of all the bloviations masquerading as analysis is the delightful term “Islamophbic.[sic]”
I am fearful of Islam in the same way I’m fearful of kids popping bubblewrap.  Considering though the, uh, shall we say, less than encouraging record of Peaceful Behavior by Muslims as indicated for example in Barb’s post above, wouldn’t one suppose it prudent to have a certain attentiveness to the predisposition to violent behavior from avowedly religious motivation arising in that quarter?
Or should we just be as dumb as a brick regarding Islam, like George W. Bush, and happily proclaim it hijacked by a “tiny minority of extremists” and go celebrate diversity?  A tiny minority numbering at least 100,000,000 people worldwide, according to reliable polling.
The only islamophobia I’ve ever felt was when I was leaving the mosque after the Ramadan dinner (I was present by invitation), whereupon I realized that my host had fulfilled his Quranic responsibility to present the faith and invite me to join, and my rejection meant that I was now fair game for violent jihad.  Silly, I know, but then, ya know, there’s that pesky invite by Osama in 1998 that in his mind the US rejected and made us, oh well, guess we’ll have to teach the kuffar a thing or two about The Prophet, fair game for 9/11.
You know, that mundane, unremarkable place where all those broken-to-bits bodies are.

Barb’s post referred to in this piece is actually a repost of an article here.

Another (failed) attempt at humor

       My other current schtick line is that I am the “Geek Emeritus.”  I’m older than everybody I work with by at least a generation.  Sometimes more.  When people ask what certifications I’ve got, I reply that my certification is having written my first program on a TeleTypewriter and storing it on punched paper tape.  That was 1969.

This is an attempt at humor

       My current schtick line is that I’m “culturally oblivious.”  This means I’ve only seen four movies in my life, and mastered only one video game.  Actually I had to hack the video game.  Oh, and I hacked that other one, too, with the spispopd thing.

       I warned you it was an attempt.  Geeks are notoriously unfunny.

        But the video game I hacked is slightly noteworthy.  It’s called “Ladder,” and was bundled with the Kaypro 10 I bought in 1984.  For $2,950, and that was on sale for $1,000 off to make it competitive with the IBM PC-XT.  (At that time, you could still opt for the $400 operating system upgrade for the XT and get genuine Digital Research DOS instead of that Gates-thingy PC-DOS.)

       Anyway, the Ladder executable was compiled to Z80 assembler, and somewhere I obtained a convenient hex editor for CPM, so I found the place in the code where the “you die now” subroutine was and patched the executable by putting in a jump instruction to the exit, bypassing the death code.  So I’d die hitting one of the whatevers, and instantly come back to life in the same place.  Voila!  I win.

A Contrast in Library Categorizations

I made a note on 2007-09-16 regarding another happy recollection from my Bible College days in Lenox, Massachusetts.  I was tapped by the leadership to assist with organizing the Library, and as part of the process of cataloging the books in a custom application written in dBase II on a Kaypro with twin 5¼ floppies we devised a novel scheme of categorization suitable to our purposes.
My notes: 

 The world’s four library categorizations:

  • 1) Fiction
  • 2) Non-fiction
  • 3) Periodicals
  • 4) Reference

The library at Lenox’s four categorizations (with help from Pr. Tom Lareau)

  • 1) God’s Categorical Doctrine
  • 2) Sectarian Supportive Scholarship
  • 3) Satanic Noise Straight From the Pit
  • 4) Cosmic Drivel (or All Else)

We had great fun with it. Categorizing books became a joyous art.

The Relationship

The oft-repeated observation that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship was amplified by some thoughts I had while waking this morning.

Christianity establishes, explains and explores the Relationship.

It is established when by the grace of God the blood of the Lamb is efficaciously applied to an individual.

It explains the nature of being and the concept of truth.

And it is an invitation to the exploration of the creation of which we are a part and which has been devised for the purpose of providing the platform on which we can express the gifts and capabilities of humanness in their fullness.

The lone other reflection that arose immediately was one typical of my own inclination in analysis, the ongoing spectacle of pagans parading their cognitive dissonance as some sort of deep understanding cloaked in complexities whose profundity only confounds the pitiably less gifted and so makes pointless any attempt to elucidate it to the poor wretches.  The reflection was this — in explaining the nature of being, Christianity concomitantly explains such as why unborn children are humans.  (Pardon me for avoiding the terminology of choice (no pun intended) of those who would commandeer the argument by usurping the terms of the debate.  I decline to cede defeat a priori by using qualifiers like “fully human”, as if there were some validity to the idea that there is a distinction among humans by their “degree of humanness”.)  The explanation lies in a central point of doctrine, that of the Position of the Believer.  As adopted children in the royal family, we have already attained to the final state of acceptance in the Beloved and all that is contemplated thereby, though our experience evinces no proof of it.  In this light, visible only to ones who have themselves experienced the Spirit’s inner testimony of their being in possession of eternal life, it can be seen that the baby human, regardless of how little the manifestation of the attributes of maturity, is in full possession of humanity as such and deserving of the rights so to be accorded.

To one who knows nothing of eschatological identity, this is an unfathomable mystery.