Saturday, September 11, 2004

CBS & Dan Rather are SUCH Liars

DEFEATJOHNJOHN.COM is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone that can produce an IMB Selectric Composer (or any typewriter) from the early 1970's era that can reproduce the documents that CBS News claims are from President Bush's Texas Air National Guard days. Read the article at their website.

If you're still not convinced the CBS documents are frauds, look at this .gif image of a brand-new MS Word version of the memo, overlaid on the CBS version.

The similarity is uncanny. Far too close to be anything but a complete MS Word fraud.

September 11 - Lindsey's Birthday

Today is September 11, 2004. The third anniversary of perhaps the most infamous day in our nation's history. It is also my daughter Lindsey's 16th birthday.

I remember waking up about 7am on September 11, 2001. My radio alarm clock was set to KFBK news in Sacramento, and Peter Jennings was on ABC radio talking about something. I didn't listen closely, but I remember thinking, "what's Peter Jennings doing on the radio?"

I got up, walked out to the living room, where Lindsey was watching TV. She'd been up a bit earlier, getting ready for school. I looked at the screen, and saw some building on fire. I figured it was an old documentary or something, so I didn't think much of it.

I went to make coffee, and Lindsey asked me something about what was on TV. Since I hadn't watched yet, I came over to see what the documentary was about. It's then I realized whatever it was, it was live.

Dang, lots of smoke pouring out of that building.

Oh, wait, it's two buildings.

Holy smokes, those are the World Trade Towers in New York.

Soon Cameron and Emily came out to the living room, and we all watched for a few minutes. The TV news began replaying video of the planes hitting the buildings, and before long, the full impact of what we were seeing finally hit us.

It was horrible.

I remember Lindsey standing in front of the TV, saying, "That kinda ruins by birthday."

She's was right, of course. It kinda put a pall over the whole birthday thing.

Knowing that every September 11th for years to come will be overshadowed by the memorial events, we told her she could pick any other day of the year, and we'd celebrate her birthday that day. She's never really picked a particular day, and we usually wind up celebrating the birthday based more on paychecks and availability of funds than the calendar. Tonight I'll take her to dinner where ever she wants, and we'll have the birthday "celebration" thing in a week or two.

September 11 will, for me, always be my daughter's birthday first.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Spreading The Gospel is Hate Crime?

Ok... lemme get out my soap-box and jump on it. Grrrmmph... Ok... now I'm up on my box, lemme get started.

Reference a story on KCRA TV news, and the KCRA Channel website, entitled Fliers On UOP Campus Called Discriminatory.

STOCKTON, Calif. -- Gay students at the University of the Pacific are mobilizing in response to defaced fliers that school officials call an act of discrimination.

The controversy started when a campus group made up of primarily homosexual, transgender and bisexual students posted fliers around campus. Fifty of those fliers were covered by another flier that featured a skull face and the message "Satan: the god of this world."

Every student KCRA 3 spoke with was outraged that the pamphlet could be littering their campus.

There was no specific working that targeted homosexuals, nor was there a local group claiming responsibility. But there was an address from the Fellowship Tract League in Ohio.

This isn't the first attack on Pride Alliance. Two years ago, the group's rainbow flag was stolen during gay pride week. It was found in a plastic bag soaked with urine. Despite the two incidents, students from the Pride Alliance say the fliers won't intimidate them. (emphasis all mine)

What a bunch of biased reporting and blatant anti-Christian slant. Infuriating to me.

The main complaint seems to be simply the cover art and the title. Quote the story, it "featured a skull face and the message "Satan: the god of this world."
Everyone has a knee-jerk reaction to anything having to do with Satan, especially if they think it's directed at them, so this part of the report is downright inflammatory. The cover art IS startling, as is intended. It's an eye-catcher, just like the Pride Alliance poster.

The problem with the reporting is in both how the tract is described, and how it isn't.

The story says the tract is an "attack".

The fact is, just as the story says, there was "no particular wording that targeted homosexuals". How can this be an attack when the "attack" doesn't even attack you? It's not a neo-nazi pamphlet, it's a gospel tract. How do you feel "attacked" by a gospel tract? Offended? Disgusted? Disagree? Fine. But attacked?

Grow up people.

Channel 3 completely ignores the fact that the "flyer" is a Christian tract. It has an admittedly startling, eye-catching cover, but stating that Satan is "the god of this world" is basic Christian doctrine. No mystery or surprise here. Certainly nothing hateful. Certainly not an attack. It's simply an effort to spread The Gospel, something that's been ongoing for nearly 2000 years.

To call this "discrimination", "litter", or an "attack", without exploring the other side of the issue, goes to the basic bias the reporter has against Christianity; an absolute shame when it comes to fair reporting. To report that the Pride-Alliance students were offended by the tract, and disagreed with it, would have been fair reporting; just not very compelling. It's not a crime to be offended. To report that someone feels attacked is much more compelling, and holds the attention of many more viewers.

A more balanced reporting of the event would have gone something like:

"The controversy started when a campus group made up of primarily homosexual, transgender and bisexual students posted fliers around campus. Fifty of those had Christian gospel tracts tacked to them, that featured the Grim Reaper and the message "Satan: the god of this world."

More truthful, but less compelling. Students being "intimidated" by Christian tracts just doesn't sound newsworthy.

I think the Pride-Alliance students simply don't like what the Christian message says, and they found a willing outlet in the media. They don't like hearing from anyone who says their lifestyle is sinful, and they don't want Christians to even be allowed to state as much. They want complete freedom to do as they want without anyone passing judgment because, they feel, to judge is to attack.

The Bible talks clearly about the gay & lesbian lifestyle (read Romans 1 some time), and to talk about what the Bible says is simply FREE SPEECH, not hate speech. In fact Christians are commanded by Jesus himself to speak boldly what they claim as truth: all people are sinners (including gays & lesbians, trangenders, etc, as well as every other living soul on earth), and Jesus died to bring each person who will accept it, eternal life. To define Christian evangelizing as hate speech is just plain wrong. You might think it personally annoying or irritating, but it's not hate speech.

The truth of the matter is, KCRA didn't report on the content of the tract. They didn't try to find anyone who supported the Christian view, and they didn't try at all to be balanced or truthful.

For an outlet such as KCRA (Where The News Comes First- Ha!) to show such blatant bias is just sickening. They should be downright ashamed of this terrible piece of reporting.

(Disclaimer: I am not anti-homosexual, or a gay-basher. Gay-bashing and -baiting sickens me. It is clear, though, that many people use "Christianity" as a rod to do just that: brow-beat people, tell them that God hates them because they are evil, etc. As a result, many have a negative view of Christians, and what Christianity is about. This is sad. It is very wrong when "Christian" people use the Bible as a hammer, and ought to be decried every time it happens.

Jesus taught his followers to love all people, and treat each person decently, with respect for them as individuals. The Gospels are replete with examples of Jesus talking to people of all standings, and treating each with great dignity. This is the whole reason He was crucified: so that each person, no matter who they are, would have the chance for Life, if they so chose.

Jesus also taught that He is The Way, They Truth, and The Life, and that no person comes to the Father, except through Jesus. To not speak the truth as The Bible states it, to me, is even more sickening. Jesus never shirked from the truth, or watered it down, or made it politically acceptable.

He told it as it is, and let people make their choice.)

Ok, lemme step down off my soap-box now. My feet are getting tired..... ;-)

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

DVD Madness

I've become a DVD junkie. Kinda. I love Hollywood and Blockbuster video when they have their used DVD sales. See, I'm so bad at taking rentals back, I'd rather just buy the movie and keep it, than rent it, forget about it, and owes huge late fees.

So, in the last month I've bought:

Starsky & Hutch
(If you truly have nothing better to do, check out the Starsky & Hutch pinball game. Uh huh... pinball game.
Along Came Polly
Butterfly Effect (awesome! You must watch the director's cut, too. Trust me!)
The Whole Ten Yards
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
Runaway Jury
and the quirkiest choice I've made this month, I'm with Lucy, which was Camie's choice, and
wound up being really cute.

(Monica Potter stared, so it could have been crap, I'd have still watched it.)

I need to buy a bookcase to store my DVDs. The entertainment center I have is starting to get a bit crowded.

Lastly, I don't know who this guy is....

but I'm not going to vote for him specifically because these huge yellow signs occupy every bare fence and field. I'll be curious to see how soon AFTER the election he takes them down.

Monday, September 06, 2004

San Francisco

Took a drive to San Francisco today. Being Labor Day, most people had left the city for the weekend. Traffic was great and parking was plentiful, and free! So I packed my camera and went off in search of some photos.

I drove into the city from the north, down Hwy101 from Sausalito. I've never come this way before, so it was exciting to see the top of the Golden Gate Bridge tower suddenly come over the top of the hill. I stopped at the recreation area at the headlands, and hiked the short hike to Battery Spencer for some photos.

This spot, and this particular view of the Golden Gate, has been featured in countless movies and photographs, and now I see why. It's an awe inspiring view. If you ever get to San Franciso, you must cross the Golden Gate and take a stop here. If you can't, check out this page at for a good idea of what it's like.

I left the Golden Gate and wandered around the Presidio a bit, watching kite-flyers and just generally taking in the nice day. There were lots of picnicers and joggers and boaters.

Then I headed downtown, through Chinatown, and the financial district, where I wandered around until about dark.

I'm fascinated by San Francisco's skyline.

It's growing and changing constantly, but I'm drawn to it's main feature: The TransAmerica Pyramid. This building is huge! 853 feet tall, it's the 4th tallest building west of the Mississippi.

I felt like a little ant standing next to it. Very impressive.

Check out some more of my photos of this trip at my PhotoBucket page.