I’ve always appreciated the business model of Netflix and joined them for a brief period when they first started.  We just didn’t watch enough movies to make it worthwhile.

But my wife and oldest daughter are trying to watch all the “Best Picture” Academy Award movies this year, so we figured it would be a good deal.

We did the $14/month plan where you can have two movies checked out at once.  Netflix processes the returns very quickly so that should suffice for us. 

First up: The Godfather, Part II (we’re watching The Godfather tonight – the last movie from our local rental shop for a long time) then The Broadway Melody of 1929 (whatever that is!).

Tip: We went through Ebates to get to Netflix so that yielded us $18 off in addition to the two free weeks Netflix provides.

I didn’t know hurricanes were so funny

But some leading Democrats sure seem to think so.  See how much of this gets addressed in the mainstream media, then ask yourself how much of it you’d see if the situation were reversed and Republicans had said it.

Former National Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Don Fowler and Congressman John Spratt of South Carolina were caught on video in a plane saying:

The hurricane’s going to hit New Orleans about the time they start [the Republican convention] . . . The timing is, at least it appears now, that it’ll be there Monday. That just demonstrates God’s on our side.

There was plenty of laughter as well.

One also offered the typical sexism of the far Left, saying, “Other than the simple fact that she’s a female, she has nothing to offer.”  That’s odd, all the conservative blogs I’ve read mention her views and not her looks or her sex.

Then there is filmmaker Michael Moore:

I was just thinking, this Gustav is proof that there is a God in heaven…To just have it planned at the same time, that it would actually be on its way to New Orleans for Day One of the Republican convention, up in the Twin Cities, at the top of the Mississippi River.

Just more proof that they didn’t care much about New Orleans at all, they just loved the opportunity to bash Bush.  They had serious memory loss about which party had been managing New Orleans for decades.

Even more interesting is that these folks invoked God only when it meant a possible disaster for the people of New Orleans.  After all, who cares about massive devastation to people you only pretend to care about as long as it would temporarily inconvenience an ideological foe?

1 Kings 15-16

1k15.jpgGreetings!  These chapters document more evil and rebellion of kings in the northern and southern kingdoms.

Abijah King of Judah

15     In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam son of Nebat, Abijah became king of Judah, 2 and he reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother’s name was Maacah daughter of Abishalom.

3 He committed all the sins his father had done before him; his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his forefather had been. 4 Nevertheless, for David’s sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem by raising up a son to succeed him and by making Jerusalem strong. 5 For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.

6 There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam throughout Abijah’s lifetime. 7 As for the other events of Abijah’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 8 And Abijah rested with his fathers and was buried in the City of David. And Asa his son succeeded him as king.

Asa King of Judah

9 In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa became king of Judah, 10 and he reigned in Jerusalem forty-one years. His grandmother’s name was Maacah daughter of Abishalom.

11 Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done. 12 He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his fathers had made. 13 He even deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive Asherah pole. Asa cut the pole down and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 14 Although he did not remove the high places, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life. 15 He brought into the temple of the Lord the silver and gold and the articles that he and his father had dedicated.

16 There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel throughout their reigns. 17 Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah.

18 Asa then took all the silver and gold that was left in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of his own palace. He entrusted it to his officials and sent them to Ben-Hadad son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, the king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. 19 “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you a gift of silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.”

20 Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. He conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maacah and all Kinnereth in addition to Naphtali. 21 When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and withdrew to Tirzah. 22 Then King Asa issued an order to all Judah—no one was exempt—and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using there. With them King Asa built up Geba in Benjamin, and also Mizpah.

23 As for all the other events of Asa’s reign, all his achievements, all he did and the cities he built, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? In his old age, however, his feet became diseased. 24 Then Asa rested with his fathers and was buried with them in the city of his father David. And Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king.

 Asa did a better-than-average job as king, but missed out on much by not following God’s plan.  2 Chronicles 14-16 covers his life in more depth.  Bribing Ben-Hadad was not the plan God had in mind.

Nadab King of Israel

25 Nadab son of Jeroboam became king of Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. 26 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, walking in the ways of his father and in his sin, which he had caused Israel to commit.

27 Baasha son of Ahijah of the house of Issachar plotted against him, and he struck him down at Gibbethon, a Philistine town, while Nadab and all Israel were besieging it. 28 Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of Asa king of Judah and succeeded him as king.

29 As soon as he began to reign, he killed Jeroboam’s whole family. He did not leave Jeroboam anyone that breathed, but destroyed them all, according to the word of the Lord given through his servant Ahijah the Shilonite— 30 because of the sins Jeroboam had committed and had caused Israel to commit, and because he provoked the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger.

31 As for the other events of Nadab’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 32 There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel throughout their reigns.

Baasha King of Israel

33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha son of Ahijah became king of all Israel in Tirzah, and he reigned twenty-four years. 34 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, walking in the ways of Jeroboam and in his sin, which he had caused Israel to commit.

16     Then the word of the Lord came to Jehu son of Hanani against Baasha: 2 “I lifted you up from the dust and made you leader of my people Israel, but you walked in the ways of Jeroboam and caused my people Israel to sin and to provoke me to anger by their sins. 3 So I am about to consume Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat. 4 Dogs will eat those belonging to Baasha who die in the city, and the birds of the air will feed on those who die in the country.”

5 As for the other events of Baasha’s reign, what he did and his achievements, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 6 Baasha rested with his fathers and was buried in Tirzah. And Elah his son succeeded him as king.

7 Moreover, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Jehu son of Hanani to Baasha and his house, because of all the evil he had done in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger by the things he did, and becoming like the house of Jeroboam—and also because he destroyed it.

Elah King of Israel

8 In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah son of Baasha became king of Israel, and he reigned in Tirzah two years.

9 Zimri, one of his officials, who had command of half his chariots, plotted against him. Elah was in Tirzah at the time, getting drunk in the home of Arza, the man in charge of the palace at Tirzah. 10 Zimri came in, struck him down and killed him in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah. Then he succeeded him as king.

11 As soon as he began to reign and was seated on the throne, he killed off Baasha’s whole family. He did not spare a single male, whether relative or friend. 12 So Zimri destroyed the whole family of Baasha, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken against Baasha through the prophet Jehu— 13 because of all the sins Baasha and his son Elah had committed and had caused Israel to commit, so that they provoked the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger by their worthless idols.

14 As for the other events of Elah’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?

Zimri King of Israel

15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned in Tirzah seven days. The army was encamped near Gibbethon, a Philistine town. 16 When the Israelites in the camp heard that Zimri had plotted against the king and murdered him, they proclaimed Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that very day there in the camp. 17 Then Omri and all the Israelites with him withdrew from Gibbethon and laid siege to Tirzah. 18 When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the royal palace and set the palace on fire around him. So he died, 19 because of the sins he had committed, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord and walking in the ways of Jeroboam and in the sin he had committed and had caused Israel to commit.

20 As for the other events of Zimri’s reign, and the rebellion he carried out, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?

Omri King of Israel

21 Then the people of Israel were split into two factions; half supported Tibni son of Ginath for king, and the other half supported Omri. 22 But Omri’s followers proved stronger than those of Tibni son of Ginath. So Tibni died and Omri became king.

23 In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned twelve years, six of them in Tirzah. 24 He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver and built a city on the hill, calling it Samaria, after Shemer, the name of the former owner of the hill.

25 But Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord and sinned more than all those before him. 26 He walked in all the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat and in his sin, which he had caused Israel to commit, so that they provoked the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger by their worthless idols.

27 As for the other events of Omri’s reign, what he did and the things he achieved, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 28 Omri rested with his fathers and was buried in Samaria. And Ahab his son succeeded him as king.

Ahab Becomes King of Israel

29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria over Israel twenty-two years. 30 Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him. 31 He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. 32 He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. 33 Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him.

34 In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken by Joshua son of Nun.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

This begins the section on Ahab and Jezebel, two of the more spectactularly evil Bible characters.

Woo-hoo! Palin is McCain’s VP pick

Lots o’ links about Palin at this post and those that follow it.

Update 8: The ridiculous “cover up” rumors of Palin’s Down Syndrome baby belonging to her daughter have been thoroughly debunked.  Nice, big, black eye for the Kos kids.  Her daughter is pregnant, and is taking responsbility for it along with the father.  Hypocrisy rating: Zero.  If she pushed her child to have an abortion, that would be hypocrisy.

Kudos to Obama for asking, in apparent sincerity, to leave the kids out of the attacks, and for not encouraging abortion to avoid the “punishment” of the baby.

Also, on the age thing, Biden has had health issues and is 66 himself.  Also, the Dems had no interest in him as President.  So why does he make such a dandy replacement if Obama is incapacitated or dies?

Update 7: Sarah vs. Hillary = no contest

Consider: Hillary has spent her whole life in the quest for power. She is a political animal through and through, willing to do what ever it takes to obtain the highest office in the world. —- 
Speaking of the real world, Sarah Palin is a life long member. No power hungry politico, she. Gov. Palin, by all accounts, is a woman who embodies the best of the female species. Experienced in real life, she is the epitome of what America stands for. She exhibits the traits that have made America great. And she does it effortlessly, because that’s who she is.  A mother of five, a wife, a conservative, a person who has lived life and succeeded at everything she has set out to do. That’s what America is.
Unlike Hillary, Gov. Palin has never had the need to ‘reinvent’ herself. Unlike Obama, her message comes from the heart instead of the teleprompter. Unlike McCain, she is not a career politician. She has a life, and politics is a part of it. Kinda like the citizen legislators our founding fathers favored.
Tammy Bruce on Sarah – another supporter
Update 6: Fabulous summary of Palin vs. Obama.  Obama looks even worse compared to McCain.

Update 5: The biggest thing going on with the lefty nutroots is their claim that Palin didn’t really deliver her Down Syndrome child, but that her daughter did.  This leads to amazing comment threads filled with profanity, awful grammar and escalating paranoia about her “hypocrisy” and such.

As irritating as people like that are, I view it is a major positive that the Daily Kos-type sites are focusing on something like that.  I mean, that’s the best they’ve got?  Yeah, the whole state of Alaska is involved in the cover-up.  Shhhhhhh.  They even got a blogger to plant the “fake” story of her pregnancy back in April about a March encounter, because they anticipated all this.  Actually, the blogger’s insights are fascinating because they occured so long ago.  They highlight what a truly amazing and down to earth person Palin is.  I think the more people learn about her the more they’ll like her. 

Of course I had to check out the “Hottest Governor in the US” and quickly turned to see her pregnant (she has since had her baby) with bags and daughter in tote. Then it struck me as odd. Why is the Governor of Alaska in the airport and preparing to get onto my commercial flight?

Sarah’s got a gun – “You’re hitting it pretty close to dead center.”

Sarah on energy policies – can’t wait to see her debate Biden on this topic. 

Update 4: The mainstream media was able to find some people critical of McCain’s choice of Palin.  The people quoted – and I am not making this up – were Democratic politicians. 

MSNBC couldn’t find any of the three (heh) people in Alaska to say anything bad about her.  Seriously, I was surprised that they were so gracious in reporting about her.

Even if Palin just gets a fraction of ticked off Hillary supporters and causes a few of them to stay home that will be a big win.  She has obviously and immediately energized many true conservatives who had planned to sit out.   The hard core pro-abortion types were going to vote for Obama no matter what.  I am continuously amused at the sexist comments made by liberals while the conseratives are focusing on her actual viewpoints.  It is always nice when the truth comes out.

So the only question is whether Palin hurts McCain with the undecided folks. I don’t think it does, but it will be interesting to see what the polls show. Like McCain and unlike Obama/Biden, she has done real, live reforming, and that should appeal to the middle ground folks. 

Nice summary of Obama’s experience vs. Palin’s – and remember, this is the #1 on the Dem ticket vs. the #2 on the Republican ticket. 

Update 3: It is interesting that the main folks commenting on her looks are the Democrats.  All the conservative bloggers I’ve read are excited about her views and her experience.  Who’s sexist again?  Oh yeah, anyone who votes against a woman, right? 

So in this election you get to vote between being a racist or a sexist.  Actually, as usual, I couldn’t care less about the skin color or gender.  I care about their positions and leadership abilities.  I dislike Obama because he is awful from virtually every angle – no executive experience (less than Palin), no foreign policy experience (less than Palin!) and terrible ideas on Iraq, truly monstrous pro-abortion views (to the left of NARAL!), pro-oxymoronic same-sex marriage, bad economic ideas, no loyalty (he threw his grandmother and his preacher under the bus), and so much more. 

Update 2: Early conservative sentiments are interesting.  The media tried to act like some are disappointed because of the “experience” issue.  A Time editorial online tried to make it sound her her experience is an issue (“a heartbeat away from the presidency”).  But that is simply laughable when you realize Obama would be the President from day one and that he has even less experience. 

And once they dig into the details the media should realize that she has more foreign relations experience than Obama and she is in charge of the Alaska National Guard. 

Every blog I’ve read has been elated – mainly like, My shift from protest vote to “Can I have a yard sign?”   The fact that she is an authentic conservative seems to be getting people jazzed up.  Dobson did a quick turnabout on McCain already.

And McCain’s donations page is said to be running slowly. 

I didn’t sense anyone thinking, “Oh no, Obama picked Biden, now he’ll be tougher to beat.”  But the pro-aborts seem mighty spun up over Palin.

McCain on the issues

Update: Be sure to watch her speech.  Great stuff.

Initial reports are that Obama’s camp is attacking her lack of experience.  Sure.  Go strap the polygraphs and see the truth.  This is the worst possible pick for them.

Obama – the “change” guy – in his first big decision as a candidate, picks Biden, a Washington insider.  Not Hillary or any other woman.  Not a person with executive experience.  McCain picks a woman who is roughly Obama’s age.

Who’s really for change?

Obama, who has no executive experience, and who has spent most of his short time in the Senate running for President, is making a mistake in criticizing the VP pick for not having enough experience.

And true conservatives will love Palin.  Check out her views and her voting record.  Truly pro-life, including keeping her child with Down Syndrome when many would have aborted.  She has done real, live government reform.  She told the Federal Gov’t to skip the “bridge to nowhere.”  She sold the governor’s jet that a Republican had purchased. 

The only downside is that she and her husband are in unions, and I’m not a big union fan.  But on the flip side, that could be good politics.  Biden and Obama can claim to be pro-union, while she can say how her family belongs to one. 


The original: Read about it here.  That sound you heard was the momentum leaking out of Obama’s convention bump.

I’ve noted this on other blogs but I don’t think I mentioned it here.  She was my #1 preference and I was just praying yesterday that this would happen. 

Republican John McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate on Friday, a senior campaign official said, in a surprise choice that could help him appeal to women voters.

Palin is a conservative first-term governor of Alaska with strong anti-abortion views and a record of fiscal conservatism. She is an avid sportswoman who would bring youth and vitality to the ticket. McCain turns 72 on Friday.

Palin is not well-known nationally, and that could cut into McCain’s argument that Obama is too inexperienced to handle the White House. But she could help him appeal to disaffected supporters of Democrat Hillary Clinton, who lost a bruising primary to Obama.

In his acceptance speech on Thursday, Obama directly attacked McCain and linked him to what he called the failed Republican economic policies of President George W. Bush.

Palin, former mayor of the town of Wasilla, built a reputation as a reformer in a state that recently has been hit with corruption scandals. Elected in 2006, she is Alaska’s first woman governor.

Palin and her husband, Todd, have five children, ranging in age from 18 years to 4 months.

She is very strongly pro-life, has executive experience, knows the energy issues well, and seems to be very energetic.

I can’t wait to see how the Hillary backers react.  Did they really want a woman, or did they want a pro-abortion woman? 

Time will tell if this was a good pick politically, but I couldn’t be happier.  I think she was the best choice – way better than Huckabee, who many evangelicals seemed to lean towards.

Now who’s for change?  Barack picks a male Senate lifer.  McCain picks a woman.   A woman who has more executive experience than Obama, in case anyone cares about that sort of thing.

I hope McCain wins a term or two followed by a couple terms of President Palin.

Weekly roundup

Eric Liddle — a Christian for the ages – I always enjoy reading about this great man.

There is a famous line in the movie ‘Chariots of Fire’ where Eric’s sister is arguing with him about his going to Paris instead of going instantly to the mission field in China. Eric’s response was memorable, “God has made me to be a missionary, aye, but he has made me fast, and when I run, I feel God’s pleasure”.

Gotta love this: Bio Prof: “It Is OK to Use Some Inaccuracies Temporarily” to Sell Evolution.  I’m not sure whether to be happy about the candor or sad at the immorality.

Nobama stuff

Amazingly, at the same time that the Democratic National Convention was going on Obama’s camp was doing everything in their power to prevent free speech.  And this is before he has been elected and has his hands on the Justice Department! 

Members of Barack Obama’s campaign HQ in Chicago tried to shut down a local radio show on the City’s most powerful radio signal, WGN 720, because they didn’t like a conservative guest that was on going on the air to discuss Senator Barack Obama’s ties to local terrorist William Ayers.

Obama’s stand on illegal aliens – not surprising

Even Dukakis can’t think of any Obama accomplishments

He’s back!  Shane Raynor, who used to run the Wesley Blog where quite a few of us hung out, has a new blog on United Methodist news, life and culture.

He’s here!  John Lomperis, formerly with IRD and UMAction, started a new blog.

Care Net Fall Fundraiser

Saving lives now and for eternity

fyi – Care Net Pregnancy Center of Northwest Houston will hold their annual Fall Fundraiser, Dinner and Silent Auction on Thursday, September 18, 6-9 pm at Tin Hall in Cypress, TX.  Guest speaker is LIFE International’s Kurt Dillinger. There is no charge to attend. RSVP at 281-477-8200 by September 11.

(This is the place where I am on the board and teach classes on fatherhood and pro-life reasoning and where I used to counsel the guys who would come in.)

Hate speech / hate crimes

“Truth sounds like hate to those that hate the truth.”

Some guy I heard on the radio.

Hate thought crimes legislation is moving through the House of Representatives.  This is an awful idea on many levels.

I’m a Christian, so of course I’m against hate.  I am commanded to love (that is, to have everyone’s long-term best interests at heart).  I just don’t see how you can legislate against hate or why my religious beliefs should be forced upon someone else.

Please note that I am anti-bullying in all venues, especially in schools.  I think all kids should be protected from verbal and physical bullying of any kind, on or off school grounds.  This isn’t a hate speech / hate crime issue, though.  It is the right of people not to be harassed or threatened for any reason.  If a kid is brutalized for being fat/thin/black/white/smart/not so smart/gay/straight/etc. it is all bad.

Why would a crime against a straight, white male have a lesser charge than the same crime against someone from a protected group?

Ironically, the pro-hate crimes legislation folks are typically anti-death penalty, so in many cases I am in favor of a stronger penalty for “hate crimes” than they are.  The evil men who lynched James Byrd back when George W. Bush was Governor of Texas rightly received the death penalty (in my view).  Yet those advocating hate crime penalties want “stronger” punishments but are against the death penalty.  Huh?!

The same thing goes if someone murdered someone who is gay (regardless of the motive).  Conservatives would typically be for the death penalty in most cases, while most Liberals would not.  If they have reasons to be against the death penalty, that is a separate debate.  Maybe they are right.  But I hardly see how anyone could be accused of being a “hater” when he would be in favor of a stronger punishment for the murderer than the pro-hate speech legislation groups.

If certain crimes are more heinous because of their historical significance (e.g., cross-burning), then I have no problem with those having stiffer penalties than average vandalism.

Making moral criticisms of a person or group is not hateful in and of itself.  If it was, then those who accuse of others of hate speech would be guilty of hate themselves.  Many liberal blogs would have to be shut down tomorrow for the venom they spew.  And groups like Alcoholics Anonymous would be guilty of hate speech against alcoholics.

“Hate crimes” are really two things – one is a crime against a person, for which there are laws in place (e.g., assault) and one is a belief against a class of people.

Then there is the selective enforcement.  I haven’t done a complete tally, but I have heard literal hate speech (e.g., “We hate Bush,” “Kill Michelle Malkin!”) much more from Democrats than Republicans.  Google it and see for yourself.  I don’t see any concern in the House about this kind of hate speech.

Make no mistake: This hate speech debate is about politics, and specifically about silencing opposing views.   It is rampant on college campuses and coming soon to the public arena near you.

That otherwise-Liberal proponents of hate speech legislation would so trample the First Amendment is beyond parody.

Also see Hating the (alleged) haters