Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Schroedter's New Blog

My nephew, Schroedter, has a new blog, so go check it out if you haven't already.

My brother points out that it was our mother who had the idea for setting up Schroedter's blog. An excellent idea, but one that makes me giggle. When I started this blog up less than a year ago, she told me she didn't like the idea and pretty much refused to read it, saying that blogging was far too impersonal for her taste. The inexorable march of progress I suppose. Glad to see that she has turned to the dark side.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Makin' Bacon

Well, I voted today. Of course here in New York the Republican party has completely collapsed, making the elections somewhat of a foregone conclusion. So what to do? Vote for the Communist Party, of course. Why? It's what Jesus would do:

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet.

-Acts 4:32-36

Of course, the apostles could get real old school on this:

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property.
With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet.

Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God."

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?"

"Yes," she said, "that is the price."

Peter said to her, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also." At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

-Acts 5:1-11

Pretty harsh stuff. And perhaps a bible passage that the friendly folk at Pastor Ted's New Life Church in Colorado Springs should read as they ponder a replacement for him now that he's on that downbound train. Here are the salaries for various ministers at that church:

Ted Haggard (old pre-meth salary): $617,795.00
Rob Brendle (Associate Pastor): $629,447.00
John Bolin (Teaching Pastor): $386,000.00
Lance Coles (Church Administrator): $483,777.00
Ross Parsley (Worship Pastor): $443,898.00
Matthew Falentine (Associate Worship Pastor): $351,303.00
Glen Packiam (Associate Worship Pastor): $335,136.00
Ted Whaley (Small Group Ministry Director): $519,431.00
Bill Walton (5th and 6th Grade Pastor): $381,395.00

Obviously only a partial list. But clearly Jesus pays quite well. One would think that the local meth dealers and whores would up their rates somewhat.

Monday, November 06, 2006

We are all Going to Die

The most recent scientific estimates are that our sun's lifespan is about 10 billion years, and we are not quite halfway through it, our life source being around four and a half billion years old. The earth is somewhat younger, but under normal conditions would last about the same as the sun, until the sun goes nova, engulfing us in a quick nuclear flameout.

Unfortunately for us, the universe is not so normal. It is estimated that the nearest large galaxy, Andromeda, is on a collision course with our own Milky Way, and is due to hit us in three billion years or so. And while our sun may survive, things don't look as rosy for our homeworld.

Based on our 'safe' location in one of the galactic arms (safe from the ravages of our galactic core), computer simulations show us being ejected from the Milky Way by the Andromeda collision, and sent into a crazy elliptical, almost comet-like orbit around the merging galaxies. Our Solar system will fly out (all well and good) but then careen back into the merging mess, slamming us through the galactic core, and then spun out again. The cycle will repeat itself over and over until our sun does it's normal burnout or is torn to shreds by the (likely) massive black hole at the center of the galaxy. Earth wont be so lucky. If it survives the initial collision and ejection, it almost certainly will be obliterated by the first pass through the center of the galaxies.

The astronomer John Dubinski, of the University of Toronto, has produced a series of helpful movies of our future doom. 'Galaxies in Collision' shows the event from the peace of distant space, making the violence like a ballet. My personal favorite, 'Future Sky', shows the collision from Earth's vantagepoint. It's fun to watch us repeatedly slam into the center of the madness.

Don't forget to vote.

Friday, November 03, 2006

When You're Going to Hell, Don't Pack your American Express

Price of Meth Amphetamines: $25/ quarter gram

Price of Gay Prostitutes: $200-$250/ Hour

Value of telling the press that you bought the meth, but didn't use it, and that you only got a massage from the Gay Prostitute: Priceless

When You're Going to Hell, pack for warm weather, but don't pack your American Express Card...

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Well I had planned on using my limited free time to post on the scandal enveloping Ted Haggard, the pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. It seems that Pastor Haggard found the collection of erotic art in the church's buildings too arousing and fell into sin. An excellent article on the church appeared in Harpers earlier this year, and they have helpfully posted it on line today. It's a must read even before the scandal broke. A choice quote:

'He was always on the lookout for spies. At the time, Colorado Springs was a small city split between the Air Force and the New Age, and the latter, Pastor Ted believed, worked for the devil. Pastor Ted soon began upsetting the devil's plans. He staked out gay bars, inviting men to come to his church; his whole congregation pitched itself into invisible battles with demonic forces, sometimes in front of public buildings. One day, while he was working in his garage, a woman who said she'd been sent by a witches' coven tried to stab Pastor Ted with a five-inch knife she pulled from a leg sheath; Pastor Ted wrestled the blade out of her hand. He let that story get around. He called the evil forces that dominated Colorado Springs—and every other metropolitan area in the country—“Control.”'

So much for control...

His church revolves around subdivided groups (it's otherwise going to be impossible to manage a congregation in excess of 14,000 souls). The group list makes for some enlightening reading, and as the good pastor embarks on spiritual counseling he will be well taken care of by his church. Some of the groups include:

Tri Lakes Mens Gathering - ' to build Godly men of character'

Real Men - 'A real man is one who is REAL with other men'

In his Grip - for golfers

Soul Safety - sexual purity for men - 'for men struggling to remain sexually pure'

Soul Safety - sexual identity issues - ' biblically based study for men & women struggling with homosexuality'

Becoming Mighty Men - 'Male heroes of the Bible including their strengths & weakness, to help today's man become a mighty man of God'

Marketplace for Men - 'Start your week with men just like you from the marketplace to share ideas for life.'

Warrior Poets - 'Begin the Journey of A Warrior Poet...'

and, of course:

Men of Caliber - 'Guys and Gunpowder; Now there's a great combination(usually)!!!'

I had actually wanted to write something more inspired on these lines rather than pointing out the homoerotic undertones of all of these courses. But before I had the chance, and got too tired, this lovely bit of news hit the wire, and my limited amount of tolerance for hypocrisy was overwhelmed.

Back in the Spring, the Administration set up a website to post captured Iraqi and 'terrorist' documents to allow the general public (namely the 101st fighting keyboarders) to 'translate' them to help them find dastardly things. Quite a PR move. Although they apparently screwed that one up:

'Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who said they hoped to “leverage the Internet” to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.'

There's really not much more to say. That large nuclear sound you hear is the noise generated by a star turning into a black hole, collapsing in on itself because of its immense gaseous weight. The latest (too optimistic in my mind) predictions have the Democrats taking over both the House and the Senate. It can't happen soon enough.