Monday, January 31, 2005

Friday, January 28, 2005

KENNEDY SUPPORTS THE WAR! "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. This much we pledge--and more." OK, so that was John F. Kennedy in his inaugural address way back in 1961.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

IS HE OR ISN'T HE? PART 4. The debate continues. ABP Press reports taht Henry Blackaby believes the tsunami ws God's punishment for persecuting Christians. Blackaby is the author of the famous "Experiencing God" book and materials, among other things.

In an article dated today, Ken Camp reports that "Blackaby told a Kentucky pastors' conference workshop he recognized God's hand of judgment in the tsunami after he saw a map published by Voice of the Martyrs showing areas of intense persecution of Christians worldwide. " He also referred to the Old Testament stories of God destroying those who persecuted his people.

Disagreement came from Tom White of "Voice of the Martyrs". The article reports that White said "We do not agree with Blackaby's suggestion regarding the tsunami". "We do not agree that God was behind the deaths. Our Indonesia staff is rushing to deliver material and spiritual aid to the Muslims in that region. God desires all men be saved."

In support of Blackaby, Todd Johnson, director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, says it is a Biblical concept for God to use "natural" disasters as punishment. He also said we cannot know if the disaster is divine wrath or not.

Others weighed in on both sides. You can read all the comments on their web site.

None of these people really focused on the sovereignty issue. It was implied by some, such as Blackaby. We certainly cannot know the reason for God's actions. But, I do believe they are God's actions.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

IS HE OR ISN'T HE? PART 3. Anonymous also had a good comment to the sovereignty post. Here is that comment and my response, again in italics.

I am not questioning the sovereignty of God. However, I believe the Bible teaches that God does not necessarily have one particular person that we should (or must) marry. Paul, in I Corinthians 7:39, says that a widow is free to remarry "to whom she wishes" as long as he is "in the Lord." And in verse 40, I believe he says that she is free not to remarry. Now, what is even more interesting, is the fact that Paul uses a word in verse 39 that is translated "wishes". It can also be translated as "wills." That means that Paul used "free" and "will" in the same sentence. ;-) (I notice that Calvin did not comment on those verses in Institutes.)

This is a very interesting comment, Anonymous. The point of the passage is that a widow is released from the bond of marriage to her dead husband and may remarry. Some tried to hold the widow to her status forever even though they allowed men to remarry. Paul refuted that. She is “free” of the bond of marriage (but, good catch on the use of both words in one sentence!).

Although I see your point in the wording, Paul is not addressing the issue of God’s will, so I don’t think we can apply it beyond its context. In addition, he immediately restricts her to marrying a believer. Regardless, God could still direct her steps while she searches for a second husband. If he did not, it would mean he did not care whom she married.

As to the Institutes, they are not verse by verse expositions of the Scripture. It is a topical arrangement of his theology and practice. He did comment on this verse in his commentary on Corinthians.

IS HE OR ISN'T HE? PART 2. Wow, I should post on sovereignty more often. I received two good comments on the one post. ChelleBelle takes me to task for assigning to God responsibility for the Tsunami and other points. She is a perceptive and intuitive person who asks the right questions. Here is my reply to her comment. My replies are in italics.

This is the problem I have with Calvinists. I too believe in the sovreignty of God, but I just cannot swallow that he is responsible for thousands of deaths in the Tsunami.

This is the problem I have with non-Calvinists. They say they believe in the sovereignty of God, but then tell you all the reasons they think he is not sovereign. Sometimes they do this out of good intentions: they do not want God held responsible for what happens, or they do not want to have to explain it. But, you either believe God is sovereign over all things or you do not. The problem is, believing in sovereignty leads you to things that are difficult for the human mind to understand. You go forward from there in faith, however, not in re-definition or retreat from the scripture. In Isaiah 55:8, God said "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." He knows what he is doing, we do not. We simply trust him.

You compared that part of the world being destroyed to Sodom and Gomorrah and the sinful city that Noah lived in.

No, I did not compare that part of the world to Sodom and Gomorrah. I used Sodom and Gomorrah as examples of God using his power to judge and to destroy.

Yes, he destroyed the world before, but how can you say that these people, not just the natives trying to eak out a living, but the tourists and even humanitarians there, deserved to die?

I cannot say they deserved to die, only God can. I trust him to be just as he claims to be in the Bible. We do not know God’s purpose. It might have been judgment. It might have been redemptive. It might have been both. He reserved the right to deal with men as he saw fit. He described himself to Moses by saying "I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show merc on whom I will show mercy." (Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:15.

And how do you explain that He promised never to destroy the earth by water again?

He did not destroy the whole earth by water this time, and he will not. He did promise in Matthew 24 there would be earthquakes and famines in various places. The book of Revelation contains pictures of all sorts of catastrophes.

It is not denying the sovreignty of God to say that he did not cause the Tsunami. The earth's plates have been moving for thousands upon thousands of years. Maybe God set them in motion or maybe not.

It is denying the sovereignty of God if you are denying his power over the earth. It is either within his power or not.

The point is, He is a fearful God but he is also loving. Jesus came to show the world that. He said "The theif comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly." Shall I go on? You know all the verses about the love and life that comes from the Lord.

That is exactly the point. There are two sides to our Heavenly Father. There is the One who abhors sin and pours out his wrath on all who reject Him. There is he who loved us so much he sent his Son to die for us.

The Tsunami has caused innumerable deaths, not to mention the horror of what is happening in the wake of it all, such as child-trafficking, disease, newly orphaned children with nowhere to go, inconsolable grief. I don't understand how a person who is filled with God's love say such cold things in lieu of what has happened.

It is not cold to ascribe to God the traits revealed about him in his word. It actually is praise. He often works through bad events to accomplish good things (Romans 8:28). They are still bad events and it is still his working.

And as for the "soul mate" thing, find me a verse that says that God plans who we each will marry, and I'll believe it.

There was not much problem with that idea as the Bible was written, because most marriages were arranged. You will not find much advice on courtship or looking for a mate, because you did not get to do it. But, as the original post showed, there is much in the Bible that shows God in control of the events of our lives. We make plans and choices, surely. But, that is why Proverbs 16:9 says the heart of man plans his way but the Lord establishes his steps. That is why I prayed every day for a couple of decades that God would lead my little girl to the right man to marry and why I believe he did that. And I thank Him for it.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

WOULD YOU LIKE A LITTLE WHINE WITH THAT? Sen. Barbara Boxer claims to be the real victim of last week's confirmation hearing for Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice. In my opinion, she confuses the word "loser" with the word "victim". Boxer said "She turned and attacked me." This person is, sadly, in the United States Senate. The only consolation is she is a California Democrat.

Boxer can dish it out, but not take it. She attacked Dr. Rice by saying "I personally believe — this is my personal view — that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell this war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth." In other words, I think you are a sell out to your boss and you lied to protect your position. This is the Aunt Jemima accusation without the overt racial slur.

Rice shot back with "I never, ever lost respect for the truth in the service of anything. It is not my nature. It is not my character...And I would hope that we can have this conversation and discuss what happened before and what went on before and what I said without impugning my credibility or my integrity." In other words, she simply denied the accusation and asked to keep the conversation on the issues without the personal attacks.

Boxer is trying to cover up for a clumsy insult and a big loss in the debate column. So she needs a little California Whine with her cheese.

IS HE OR ISN'T HE? This week, I heard of two attacks on the sovereignty of God from people who should know better.

The first came from a speaker at a college student function. My daughter called me worried because the speaker told them God did not have a specific person for them to marry, there were numerous people they could marry and they had to learn how to do it.

I looked the guy up on the internet and found he had a degree in apologetics from Talbot Seminary. I found a little irony in this. He studied to defend the faith, but is attacking the sovereignty of God in his speeches.

I began to quote verses to my daughter until she felt better about it. First, God directs our steps. Proverbs 16:9 says “in his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Second, not a sparrow falls to the ground outside the will of our Father. (Matthew 10:29) Third, we should make all plans saying if God is willing. James said "You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. . . . You ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that'" (James 4:14-15).

The second attack came from a pastor. It was also full of irony, for he was preaching about God revealing himself to Abraham as El Shaddai, or God Almighty. The pastor began to explain what God Almighty meant, how God is all powerful or omnipotent, then said, but God is not a God who would send a Tsunami.

If he didn’t do it, who did? One option is that no one did it, the Earth just did it. That assumes that God, although he made the Earth and upholds all things by his power, lets the Earth do its own thing outside his control and direction. We could call this the Andrew Flew theory. The second theory is that God is not omnipotent but impotent and cannot stop it. The other theory is that God did not make it happen, but allowed it to happen. This theory suffers from the same flaw as the first one. In addition, it does not make God look any better, although that is its intention. If God could stop it from happening and does not, does that really make you feel better about him than if he made it happen? Would you feel any better about me if I let your kid get run over by a bus when I could have stopped it, just because I was not driving the bus? No, you would be mad that I stood there and let it happen when I could have grabbed your child and pulled him to safety.

In the Bible, God makes clear that he is in control. In Job 38, God says that he controls the sea. Job 41:31 says “He [God] makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron and sirs up the sea like a pot of ointment. Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair.” (NIV) Remember the words of the hymn: “billows his will obey”? He clearly has the power to bring a Tsunami; He destroyed the world by water once before. He also gave Moses the power to part the sea. Jesus walked on water and calmed the storm. The disciples exclaimed that even the wind and sea obeyed him (Mark 4:39).

He caused the earth to split open and swallow those who infringed on His glory. He destroyed Sodom and Gomorra. Psalm 1:6 says “For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” Psalm 29:10 says “the Lord sits (or, sat) enthroned over the flood”.

Question 27 of the Heidelberg Catechism says "The almighty and everywhere present power of God . . . upholds heaven and earth, with all creatures, and so governs them that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, all things, come not by chance, but by his fatherly hand."

In Deuteronomy 32:39 God said "There is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand."

Even the pagan king, Nebuchadnezzar recognized this. In Daniel 4:35, he said God “does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him ‘what are you doing’”.

Centuries later, Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, believed it. He said: “I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes – that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit, as well as the sun in the heavens – that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses. The creeping of an aphid over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence – the fall of . . . leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche.”

When faced with calamity, how should we respond? Job said “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10) He accepted God’s sovereignty and determined to glorify God even when he suffered.

Monday, January 24, 2005

TODAY IN THE NEWS. This makes it pretty clear. Abu Musab al-Zarqarwi, the leading terrorist in Iraq and friend of al Qaeda said “We have declared a bitter war against the principle of democracy and all those who seek to enact it. Those who vote are infidels.” Just in case you were wondering, he makes it clear that it is not just the United States that is a problem for radical Muslims, it is the very principle of democracy. Letting people decide for themselves upsets the Muslim applecart of dominating Mullahs allied with terrorists and dictators to control the minds and actions of the millions of Muslims on the planet.

Daniel Pipes points out to us that it is cold comfort to say that only the radical element in Islam favors Jihad. This element makes up about ten percent of Muslims worldwide. That means about 100 million Muslims support Jihad against the western nations. Sleep well tonight, my friend.

Speaking of terrorism, the son of U.S. Representative Gwen Moore from Wisconsin was arrested along with five other Democratic activists for slashing tires on vans rented by Republicans for use in the in November. If you are worried about the vote, keep people from voting. Detractors to the democratic process exist both in Iraq and in America. There are always those willing to take away your freedom in order to win your cause. Some are Muslims, some are Democratic activists.

Speaking of those who impede the democratic process in Iraq, French President Jacques Chirac will have dinner with newly re-elected President Bush while our president is on a European trip next month. Rumor has it President Bush wanted to try a French Dip. It is said that President Bush plans to begin his second term repairing relationships damaged in his first term. I guess that means he won’t start the meal with a toast saying “Nah nah nah nah nah, I won again.” He won’t have to. Chirac will be thinking it all during the meal. The main course might be crow.
Bush and Chirac will have a working dinner in Brussels the day before meetings with the European Union, otherwise known as the Brussels’ Sprouts. I think it would give me indigestion.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS. Spanish priests are now in bed with other Spaniards of alternative sexual life styles. The Spanish Bishop's Conference approved the use of condoms, despite Rome's opposition. (There is speculation John Kerry was there. They voted in November against approving condoms, then voted in January to approve them.)

In a thrilling moment of togetherness, the Spanish Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals issued a statement commending the action. I'm not kidding. If they take a group picture, I want a copy.

My theory is, one way you can tell if you are doing the right thing is by who opposes you and who supports you.
THE FIGHTER STILL REMAINS. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmed Condoleeza Rice's nomination for Secretary of State and sent it to the full Senate. If confirmed, as she will be, she will be the first Black woman to serve in that position. I have a feeling that, by the time she is done, the phrase "First Black Woman To" will be practically affixed to her name.

John Kerry voted no. At first they would not let him vote. He had not been there in so long they did not recognize him (or wouldn't admit it). But, after he told them he voted for her before he voted against her, they believed him and let him in, after not letting him in.

Barbara Boxer voted no also. It is just that no one cared.
NO FOOL LIKE AN OLD FOOL. Most people think about taking it easy in their sixties. They might want to retire, travel, or pursue different interests. If they think about babies, they mean grandchildren.

This is not the case for Adriana Illescu, a 66 year old professor in Romania. She has just had a baby, and may be the oldest woman to give birth.

This is a woman who really wanted to have a baby. She is unmarried, but nonetheless has been taking fertility treatments for 9 years. She became “pregnant” by receiving both sperm and egg from donors through in vitro fertilization.

It does, however, point out several of the problems of women having children well outside of child bearing years. Illescu was pregnant with twins, but one was stillborn. She weighed only 1 pound, 8 ounces. The child that made it was born more than six weeks early and weighed just 3 pounds, 3 ounces. She is in an incubator in intensive care. Illescu is in intensive care also.

If the baby lives, she will have a mother who is 66 years older than her. If the mother lives to the life expectancy of the average woman, around 72 years, the child will be orphaned at 6 years old. That does not seem fair at all to the child.

The ability of doctors and scientists to do things has outstripped their ethical abilities. It seems like there should be some limits to what can be done, as it affects lives. Illescu gets to fulfill her dream of having a child, but what kind of life will the child have?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

EVEN A BLIND HOG. I can't believe I'm saying this, but Senator Joseph Biden, the erstwhile speech plagarizer from Delaware, said something intelligent. This is it: "I spent a little time in Europe recently, and I have one simple message: Get over it. Get over it. President Bush is our president for the next four years, so get over it and start to act in your interest, Europe." Biden said this during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to confirm U.S. Secretary of State nominee Condoleezza Rice. Maybe they will listen, since it came from a Democrat.

It was a good time to find a nut. Biden is not in the same I. Q. league with Dr. Rice. I'd advise Biden to quit while he is ahead. She might mention that she never lied about her class standing or had to steal a speech from a Brit.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

NAHSON'S LEAP. Well, maybe it wasn't Nahson's leap, but I did go to the opera, and a modern opera at that. I had coffee last night with Opera Boy and his Lovely Fiance. He reminded me that I owed him a review.

The opera was Little Women. It was quite good. I had a bit of adjustment at the beginning. The music was not as melodic as the classic operas. There was also a little difficulty hearing the singers when they were in the attic part of the set.

The soprano, playing the part of Jo, was very good both in singing and acting. The baritone was amazing, really, with great range and tone. All the leads were good.

The second half of the show, after intermission, was really good. There was great emotion. The death scene was dramatic, Jo's suffering palpable, and the scene of the sisters gathered in the attic as if they were still children was a heartbreaker. When they all sat, holding each other and singing without instruments, it was just perfect: beautiful and heart rending at the same time.

Opera Boy also acquitted himself well. He played the publisher who buys Jo's books and showed good presence and good voice both. Well done. A few bravos came from behind me when he finished. We yelled "Yea B..." instead.

Good show.

(BTW: in Jewish tradition, Nahson was the first one into the Red Sea after Moses parted it.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

PRACTICING WHAT YOU PREACH. Sunday was a big day at Covenant Presbyterian Church. The preacher, and former pastor, Jack Arnold, preached about heaven. During the sermon, he said started to to say "And when I go to heaven...", he collapsed and died in mid-sentence.

Before he collapsed, Arnold quoted John Wesley: "Until my work on this earth is done, I am immortal. But when my work for Christ is done ... I go to be with Jesus."

Talk about dying with your boots on. I remember hearing W. A. Criswell say once that he did not want to leave the pulpit, just die in it. He did not get that desire fulfilled.

I thought maybe it was just too hard for a Presbyterian to refer to John Wesley, and it did him in.

A NEW CHIEF. President Bush has appointed Michael Chertoff, federal appeals judge, as the new Chief of Homeland Security (pending approval by the Senate). Chertoff is a former head of the criminal division of the Justice Department, former U.S. Attorney, and former counsel for the Whitewater Committee. That last one will not help him with Democrats, but he also did some work with Janet Reno.

Hopefully, this guy won't get tripped up because his maid was illegal. We lose a lot of folks that way.

I'm ready for us to get someone tough and smart in that office and go to work preventing terrorists attacks on our Homeland. Go get 'em.

Monday, January 10, 2005

QUOTE OF THE DAY. "Some men are alive simply because it is against the law to kill them." Ed Howe.

Friday, January 07, 2005

NOT SO LITTLE WOMEN. I am going to the opera tonight at the Bass Hall. We are seeing "Little Women". We are seeing Little Women because Poor Boy is in it. I do not know why he is in it, because he is neither little nor a woman. I wonder which one he is going to play.

I read the book. I saw the movie with Winona Rider. Well, I didn't go with her to the movie, she was in it. This was before she was arrested for shoplifting. She didn't steal anything in the movie, either. She might have stolen the show, actually, as she was the best actress in it. Susan Sarandon was there. She did not make any political speeches with Tom Robbins. Tom was not in the movie. They decided one whiney Democrat was enough. So, I will know what is going on.

They should do it in Italian, though. Opera always sounds better in Italian. In English, you can tell when the lyrics are stupid. I saw Carmen once in English. The lyrics were stupid. People laughed. Of course, it was Lubbock.

I don't want you to think I'm not cultured, but I did spend a lot of time growing up in West Texas. I guess that is OK, because Poor Boy is from New Mexico. And here we are both at the opera. Who'd a thunk it.

To prove how multi-cultured we are, we are eating Chinese food first.

Poor Boy is pretty much multi-cultured all by himself. He spent a summer in Italy and can say "Italian foof" without a long "i" at the beginning. Then, to top it all off, he went to school in New York City, the capital of multi-culturalism, if you don't count the Texas border.

So, tell Poor Boy to break a leg (that's opera talk) and I'll give you a review later.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

LOVE MEANS. Ed and Helen Meusche, from New Jersey, were sailing around the world with about 25 other sailboats when they ran into the tsunami. They were walking on the tiny island of Phi Phi, when they saw fishermen in the distance yelling and waving. They saw the tsunami as it came toward shore. They ran, but could not out run the wave. They decided to hold each other in a bear hug and ride out the endless wave.

The were flattened us against the sand, held underwater, and swept completely over the small island to the bay on the other side. Ed held on to his wife, Helen. She turned pale. Ed tried to pull them above the water. At one point, they were trapped under a boat and Ed thought it was over. Then he grabbed the boat’s motor and pulled them above the surface. Ed could see Helen was dying from lack of oxygen.

A fisherman picked them up. A charter boat then took the couple aboard, gave oxygen to Helen, and took her to a hospital. Helen got pneumonia, but survived after several days in intensive care.

An old movie once said love means never having to say you’re sorry. I never agreed with that.

Ed Meusche shows us that love means never letting go.

ONE FLEW OVER. Much has been made recently of the change of heart by Britain's Anthony Flew. Flew is a philosopher and, until recently, an atheist. He now claims to believe in a god of some sort, for he says only some sort of super intelligence could have created life in all its complexity. It is good that his 81 years of study and thought have brought him to Genesis 1 and Romans 1:19-20.

He is not, however, ready to believe in God as revealed in the Bible, or, more accurately, as Flew thinks he is revealed in the Bible. Flew thinks that the Bible depicts God as a cosmic Saddam Hussein. (You don't want be standing too close to him in the judgment). He actually grew up in the Methodist church, but became an atheist at age 15. Anthony, you might want to read the Bible before you decide how it portrays God.

With more thinking, Flew might get there. He claims that his life is built on the principle of following the evidence, wherever it leads. He sees the creator of life as a being with intelligence and purpose. The next logical step, then, is to find out what that purpose is. If that purpose involves mankind, including Mr. Flew, it would behoove him to know. I pray that he finds it.

Blessed is he whose help is the Lord his God, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them-the Lord who remains faithful forever. Psalm 146:5-6.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

SPEAKING OF FRANCE. We were, weren't we? The History Channel is running an ad for a show based in French history and at the end it says "It won't hurt you to like France for two hours."

Yes it will.

Anyway, did you know you can make donations for Tsunami Relief on You can. Guess which country has the most in private donations? America The Beautiful and Generous.

Individual Americans have given right at 14 million dollars for the aid of people on the other side of the globe. Those whiney people of French descent living immediately north of us in a semi-socialist state have given 62 thousand dollars, or enough to buy a new Hummer. The French have given (drum roll) $29 thousand. Oh, the Gaul.
BUFFALO BILL'S DEFUNCT. No one reads the paper anymore, it seems. There is an interesting article by David Kelly of the Jewish World Review at discussing the decline of newspapers.

Kelly states that “circulation was stagnant, or dropped, at two thirds of all dailies in America, including such biggies as the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times, where readership is in free fall. “

Less than 53 percent of Americans now subscribe to a newspaper. Television news is in decline, also. Kelly reports that audiences for the nightly news on ABC, NBC and KBS, formerly known as CBS, have fallen 59 percent since 1969. It is probably even worse, because several newpapers admitted to lying about their subscription numbers. Kelly also points out that it may get worse before it gets better. Senior citizens are the biggest customers of newspapers and TV news. As they die off, they will likely not be replaced.

Some of the decline has simply got to be the convenience of the Internet. Everyone has it. News is there if you want it, and you can pick what you want. You can read about the war and see pictures of it, you can read blogs written by soldiers, or not.

If you prefer, you can skip the war and read about Brittany Spears latest shopping trip or marriage. It's hard to know which she does more. Also on the Internet, you do not have to look at some smug anchorman who thinks he is important, rather than just a blow dried prompter reader.

Then there is the credibility factor. Both TV news and newspapers have been caught in major problems in the last few years. You have Dan Rather using sources he knows are bad to make the President look bad. Bloggers killed him by fact checking the stories. Then he sent the information to the Democrats. I wonder why we would not think you objective, Dano.

Very few reporters are objective. Plus, their subjectivity is weighed against the majority of Americans. They clearly favor liberal causes and candidates. They attack President Bush for everything from global warming to the lack of good programming on their own stations. Their problem is the same as Howard Dean’s anti-war campaign. You cannot be really popular taking really unpopular stands. The answer to that problem is to be scrupulously neutral. Unfortunately, they do not seem to be able to do this. Worse, they are incapable of seeing that they are uncapable.

Another factor is time. Not everyone is available for the evening news, and the newspaper takes a long time to read. The computer, however, is always there. Plus, it doesn't get wet in the yard, end up in the shrubs, or leave black marks on your hands. Unless you never clean your keyboard.

The final factor is news fatigue. It is everywhere. Sometimes, you just don’t want to know anymore. After a day of stressful working, sometimes you do not want to share anyone else’s stress. You would rather go do something fun, or read a book, or go to the pistol range and fire a few rounds. I feel like firing a few rounds right now, but they frown on it here in the hospital. We hear about everything these days. If some guy gets arrested in France for child abuse, it is on the news or in the paper. (No, I really don't think they arrest people for that in France, it was just an example.)

Reporters will have to worry that they will be forced to quit writing about what other people do and go do something themselves.

(P.S. - the title is from the first line of the poem "Buffalo Bill" by e. e. cummings)