February 20, 2004

me = unabashed pro-tax-cuts person

This is why tax cuts are not evil:

Is it falling down? No. Is it ugly? Yes. So I fully admit that I am using my tax cut for a non-essential aesthetic upgrade of my life. It is not something I need, but of course I don't need this computer, either; I could etch the Bleat on a clay tablet with a stylus, put it the yard and you could come by to read it at your leisure. The point is that I'm going to be employing quite a few people by the time this is done. It'll be like the last big improvement to Jasperwood, The Stairs. I'm still amazed at how much economic activity that job produced. This is why I won't vote for anyone who raises my taxes. It's not fair to the rug salesman and the day laborers and union electricians. Or to the people to whom they will give the money I give them. And so on. I'm always a bit bemused by people who say well, if you can afford those stairs, you can afford to pay more taxes. Yes, but if I pay more taxes, I can't pay the people to pay the stairs. So? The old stairs were ugly and crumbling, but they worked. But the new stairs increase the value of my home, in addition to putting money in other people's pockets -- seven people worked on those steps. And got paid. And paid taxes on what they got paid. Why does this sound like radical heresy?

Posted by Tim at 05:37 PM | Comments (6)

February 19, 2004

South Dakota House Passes Bill Criminalizing Abortions -- 02/11/2004

It has to get through the Senate and the Governor's -- but both of them are likely to pass it. Then the more formidable judicial challenges begin.

Following an emotional debate, the South Dakota House has passed a bill saying that life begins at conception -- something that would outlaw abortions in the state.

Tuesday's vote in favor of House Bill 1191 wasn't even close. It passed 54-14.

Backers said the bill is intended to prod the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortions nationwide.

To quote Summer: "Is that good news or WHAT?!?!?! *jumpsuprunsaroundhousescreamingandshoutingandsingingwavingarmsintheair*"

Posted by Tim at 08:41 PM | Comments (5)

Yey! Book-binge pays off

Yeah, so I guess for most people 3 books and thirty bucks isn't much of a binge. But anyway, two of them came today: Plowing in Hope: Toward a Biblical theology of culture and He Shines in all that's Fair: Culture and common grace. Still waiting on Engaging God's World: A Christian vision of faith, learning and living. Yeah, I'm a theology geek.

Posted by Tim at 05:01 PM | Comments (1)


Hello to all those who read Tym's webpage thing. This is his slightly insane friend, Mary. I am presently residing in Denver, Colorado, but I'm a Michigander at heart. I met Tim in high school--enough said.
Let me explain the slightly insane bit: I am a Biblical Studies major, drowning myself in homework and paying an exorbitant fee for the privilege. As I swim in an increasing pool of books to read and papers to write, I've found that the one thing that keeps me afloat is my Greek class. (I warned you about the insanity!) I just finished translating the New Testament book of I John--what a rush! And so I counsel you all, whoever you may be, take Greek. That is, take Greek if you are an insane Bib Studies major! I take my leave.

Posted by Mary at 02:46 AM | Comments (5)

February 18, 2004

Movies and generations

Terry Teachout (followed from Mr. Strauss's blog) mentions:

My septuagenarian mother and I watched Lost in Translation yesterday afternoon. Somewhat to my surprise, she liked it, though she initially found Sofia Coppola’s elliptical style of storytelling a bit hard to follow. (Gen-X moviegoers suckled on MTV take jump cuts for granted, but most people born before 1950 or so are accustomed to films in which the plot elements are laid out fairly straightforwardly.) In addition, it hit me after about 10 minutes that she didn’t know what jet lag was, meaning that she couldn’t understand why Bill Murray didn’t just lie down and take a nap. Once I explained his problem, she was fine.
It's interesting how different generations perceive reality. In the church, my generation has grown up with more-or-less modern institutions (church, university, family) but exposed to postmodernism so much by MTV and pop culture. My Intro to Worldview prof pointed out that, when discussing some question with his kids, his daughter immediately went online and found the answer in seconds, something he wouldn't have thought to do. I can't imagine not having the Internet there; coming home, it's enough of a shock to have dialup and not instant, twenty-four hour Internet access. I have my laptop next to my bed and the first thing I usually do after hitting my alarm is to check the news and read my daily comics.

I liked The Ring (again, I automatically thought of Internet Movie Database when referring to a movie). It wasn't particularly scary, but it was enjoyable. I had little difficulty understanding the plot. Yeah, it was disjointed, but especially watching it again it's quite simple.

Watched it with my mom once. She hated it, and I think mostly the reason is that she didn't like the chopped-up, twisting editing.

(Mom: if you ever get around to reading this, what did you think, am I getting it wrong here?)

Posted by Tim at 02:50 AM | Comments (0)

New person

So, that other guy doesn't seem to be blogging... let's see if we can get Mary to post an entry. That way the blog looks productive even when I laze off.

Posted by Tim at 01:16 AM | Comments (1)

February 17, 2004

more quizzy goodness

"We reject the false doctrine that the church could have permission to hand over the form
of its message and of its order to whatever it itself might wish or to the vicissitudes of the
prevailing ideological and political convictions of the day."
You are Karl Barth!
You like your freedom, and are pretty stubborn against authority! You don't
care much for other people's opinions either. You can come up with your own fun, and
often enough you have too much fun. You are pretty popular because you let people have their
way, even when you have things figured out better than them.

What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson

Posted by Tim at 05:41 PM | Comments (5)

Population growth -- or not

If this report is true -- it changes a lot about our world, 2030 or so.

0.73% population growth in China over the next I can see, due to their barbaric one-child policies. But 1.51% in India? The highest rate I can see is East Timor, 4.00%. And as far as I can see these are projections for 2000-2005 -- meaning the rates per year are more like fifteen percent of these numbers. So an average of something like 2.4 kids per? Fast falling to replacement-level, anyway. And the US continues to grow significantly due to high immigration and above-replacement levels.

Maybe I'm reading this wrong though; math is not my strong suit....

Posted by Tim at 10:40 AM | Comments (4)

February 14, 2004


Can I get images to go up? All by myself? (If this works, the picture is from the webcomic toothpastefordinner.com and clicking on it will send you there...

Hmm, how about just sending you to the site. If this picture doesn't work:

Just go here. I know I can do hyperlinks, anyway.

And that big entry -- it will happen. Today. (It's quite frustrating to accidentally close your blogging window, 600 words in! But fortunately providentially I had most of it in a Word window, too.)

Update: Or maybe tomorrow; I've spent six hours sitting here writing, editing, accidentally deleting, binge-buying books on Amazon, instant messaging, blog-reading -- and it's so difficult to reconstruct something I've already written, because my brain says I've already thought this part through... why are we going here again? and digs in its heels. So, I'll be back later tonight, and I will try to finish it then; if not, tomorrow. So sorry.

Posted by Tim at 07:31 PM | Comments (4)



Posted by Tim at 07:05 PM | Comments (0)

Made it home

And here I am for a week and a day. So I hope to catch up on blogging along with all that other stuff (what, school-work?) that I haven't done.

Special shout-out to my English 222 prof for giving me a take-home midterm of 3 600-word essays. You rock; and by 'rock' I mean 'don't rock so much'.

Posted by Tim at 02:00 PM | Comments (2)

February 13, 2004


A survey I found at Allison's Livejournal:

spell your first name backwards: yhtomit nav enytsla
birthday: April 9, 1985
nationality: proud to be an American (but also justifiably Indian, Dutch, Canadian...)
favorite month: whichever one it is now
the story behind your username: i do not have a livejournal so it doesn't really apply
"Describe your"
wallet: ducktape, falling apart
key chain: five or six keys. Pewter cross. If anyone wants to buy me something cool for't that'd be awesome.
jewelry worn: I have a pewter bracelet with my name in Greek on it. I should really wear it more often, eh?
pillow cover: blue
coffee cup: One says "Fix it with ducttape", a couple say "God Bless the USA".
shoes: brownish/tan. Slip-on; I hate tying shows.
school bag: made completely out of duct-tape. I've had it for a year, too.
favorite shirt: too many -- maybe my Redeemer shirt.
favorite pants: my faded jeans
cologne/perfume: I don't have any.
piercing: I think I'd like one on my chin. Or just the left ear thing.
in my head: thoughts of sleep
eating habit: I don't eat much. I enjoy it, though.
some of your favorite movies: Amelie, all of LOTR
do you believe in love at first sight: no
the last thing you ate?: banana bread I made myself.
do you have multiple personalities?: let me ask them
thing that you are deathly afraid of?: flying monkeys (from the Wizard of Oz)
do you believe in love: i hope love exists or we're pretty screwed.
who is your boyfriend/girlfriend/crush: nobody
what do you notice first in the opposite sex: sense of humour
are you currently in love: with you
first crush: 7th grade -- she began the long tradition of people I have crushes on moving out of the state or country (really, it's happened with at least four of them)
first love: Christ
quote you like?: "When push comes to shove, sometimes you just have to push the person off the roof." --my RA Simon LeSieur
siblings: Josh
do you believe in forgiveness: yes
three places you wouldnt mind relocating to?: Ontario, Spain, Colorado
what are some of your favorite foods?: goldfish crackers, Skittles
last person you kissed: my mom, probably

you keep a diary: We like to call it a journal
you have a secret you have not shared with anyone: yeah, i work for the cia. that's why i'm really in Canada
you fold your underwear: no
you talk in your sleep: yes, a lot if you listen to my room-mate

movie you bought/recieved: Anger Management
song you listened to: I'm listening to California by Phantom Planet right now (theme song of the O.C. tv show.) Before that -- Arrogant Worms' The Toronto Song.
song you've downloaded: I don't know
TV show you've watched: the O.C. (the only show I've seen since Christmas break except for one episode of Will and Grace once.)

black or white?: black
cats or dogs?: cats
tea or coffee?: both/and. OK, tea. Preferably iced.
achiever or slacker?: depends. If I want to do it, I do it well.
leader or follower?: Can't follow, generally am too lazy to lead. So -- maverick.
matches or a lighter?: matches... more danger
letters or emails?: letters (but phone is much better)
short hair or long hair?: long. And please, facial hair. Sideburns are a good thing and since i shaved mine off i have not heard the end of it from anyone i know.

i want to..
Go: home
Kill: anyone who makes clever jokes about how I must be cold cuz I'm not wearing a coat.
Hear from: my best friend
Meet/Visit: the guy who runs the blog Iberian Notes
Avoid: this guy i know
Hug: my mom
Kiss: my favourite cat

have you ever..
drank alcohol? yes
broken the law? no -- well does speeding count?
ran away from home? what do you think I'm doing now? actually, no.
broken a bone? no
cheated on a test? yes but then I felt so guilty that I deliberately answered others wrong
played Truth Or Dare? yes
Kissed someone you didnt know? no
Been on a talk show/game show? I made it to the state competition of the National Geography Bee in fifth grade, does that count?
Been in a fight? no
Ridden in a fire truck? no
Been on a plane? yes
Come close to dying? yes
Gave someone a piggy back ride? quite a lot
Swam in the ocean? No but I've been in four of five Great Lakes, and that's what counts.
Had a nightmare/dream that made you wake up? Yes
Wanted to die? Not really
Had a crush? Yes

are you..
vegetarian? I would be if I didn't like meat so darn much
good student? I guess.
good at wake boarding/snow boarding?: If by good you mean people get a good laugh out of it, then yes I am
good singer? yes, in my own deranged mental world
a deep sleeper? super-deep-comatose-state=me every night

Posted by Tim at 03:17 AM | Comments (6)

February 12, 2004

Does this sort of thing ever happen to you?

So I was walking out of school today after my Canadian Lit class and at the very moment I stepped out the door, a huge drop of water (presumably from the melting snow on the roof) dripped onto my forehead. Its size and temperature were such that I got brain freeze.

Do things like this ever happen to you? 'Cuz I definitely have mishaps of this sort on a regular basis. I think I've angered some malicious imp at some point in my life. How do you mollify an annoyed demi-god?

Posted by Tim at 03:16 PM | Comments (6)

Me nine months ago

This is a post of mine from July 2003; I like the CS Lewis quote, but I'm not sure I'd say everything the way it's stated here...

CS Lewis, though a Brit, makes a great summary of the concept of limited government:

"[I]t is easy to think the State has a lot of different objects -- military, political, economic, and what not. But in a way things are much simpler than that. The State exists simply to promote and protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and a wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden -- that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time."

That's right. The State doesn't exist for income redistribution, as a jobs program, to be the morals police, to GIVE us our rights; no, the State is instituted by God to protect us from attacks on our God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, be they threatened by foreign invasion or domestic crime or the media or a corporation. But who will guard the guards themselves? That's you and me, buddy. And hopefully, we'll fill in some of the blanks: help the poor, maintain high standards of morality, act as forces for good with the help of God. Then maybe the Nanny State will get back to its legitimate role.


Posted by Tim at 02:44 AM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2004

A poem

I wrote this this morning. I was surprised at how easily it came, given that I've barely written any poetry since I came to Canada, and the few things I've done are mostly crappy. I like this one without having edited it, which is rare for me, a perfectionistic writer and poet.

Song of Winter

the way the snow falls sometimes
slowly, slifting, like leaves sinking in
water and bobbing: this I love

and I love, too, the winter's breath
which is cold and angry but bears
a grudging admiration for us few

who, living in these northern lands
of dark days and short summers,
do not flee to Florida, the sunny south

but stay to learn under the tutelage
of our frozen goddess; she shelters
us and smiles coldly upon us.

UpdateSome commenter wanted a rhyming poem, and I thought that was a good idea -- quite happy with the results:
the way sometimes the snow is falling
slowly, slipping, like leaves in water;
this I love, their sinking, bobbing

and, too, I love the breaths of winter
so cold and angry, but which bear
a sullen admiration, almost wonder

at we few who, burdened with cold cares,
don't flee to Florida, the sunny south
but stay to learn and live, to love these fair

north-lands, these places which for months
are white and barren, glistening
while we both scorn and crave the warmth.

The 'scorn and crave' phrase, you may note, is stolen from a hymn whose name I can't remember but which has the plaintive, lovely tune of "Let all mortal flesh keep silence". Redeemer people can probably help me out here; the line is "You [Christ] whom we both scorn and crave". I do like the poem better now, I think. Maybe I'll try to "rhymeize" more of my free-verse poetry.

Posted by Tim at 09:18 PM | Comments (10)

Don't worry, Saddam's doing just fine

according to this story from The Onion.

Posted by Tim at 08:40 PM | Comments (0)

this made me laugh

Uh, I'm not the biggest fan of forwards, but this one sure rang true for me:

You might be a Dutch Calvinist if...

1. You finish the food on your plate in a restaurant even though it is burnt or otherwise unfit for human consumption;

2. You reused plastic margarine containers long before anyone had heard of the environmental movement;

3. You have a two volume address book: Volume I: A-U Volume II:V-Z

4. You have never skipped church to watch the Super Bowl; your main contribution to gender equality was the switch from King to Wilhelmina Brand peppermints;

5. Your range of restaurants is restricted by the contents of a "Buy one meal, get one free" coupon book that you purchased to support missionaries
in Sierra Leone;

6. You wipe the last of the butter out of the container with your bun;

7. Your mother's hairdo is the same at your wedding as it was at hers;

8. Your closet is divided into work clothes and Sunday clothes;

9. Your church attendance record is not disrupted by childbirth;

10. Your Sunday routine resembles: church, coffee, roast beef, Jell-O salad, snooze, and church (or church, coffee with cake and cookies, soup & buns, snooze, and church);

11. You have a living room but never sit in it;

12. All your cookies taste like almonds;

13. You make the bed in your hotel room;

14. The last tip you left at a restaurant was: "Don't wear so much makeup" and "A little quicker with the coffee next time";

15. You have always been to church on New Year's Eve;

16. You can sing "Ere Zij God" even though you can't speak Dutch;

17. You think that being progressive means discarding the church hymnbook in favor of Keith Green songs on the overhead;

18. Seeing raised hands during worship causes you to look around for a stickup man;

19. You are still trying to justify owning a dishwasher;

20. At your wedding everyone is swaying but no one is dancing;

21. You have attended worship services at a campground amphitheater;

22. You know what an afghan is;

23. You have lace on your windows but not on your underwear;

24. Your two permanent Saturday jobs are to wash the car and make sure you have enough single bills for the offerings;

25. All of your recipes are adapted to fit a 9 x 13 pan;

26. You can't imagine a funeral reception without ham buns;

27. The usher never needs to ask you where you want to sit;

28. You consider ketchup a spice.

Posted by Tim at 06:45 PM | Comments (2)

How odd

I can't picture Mr. Strauss saying "w00t! w00t!" -- but he has, on his blog.

Now, er... how would you pronounce that in South Africa, eh? (By the by, I have completely given up on trying not to say 'eh', at least not when I'm in Canada. My linguistic assimilation continues to the extent that I caught myself saying "PRO-gress" instead of "PRAH-gress" the other day. But I am convinced that I will never be able to think in Celsius degrees. I mean, zero for freezing, 100 for boiling? So confusing.

Posted by Tim at 06:36 PM | Comments (8)

Finding God in... doing dishes?

Found on Mr. Strauss's blog (quote actually from Bob Kramer):

I am more and more convinced that the people you choose to have around you have more to do with how you act upon what you believe than what you read or the ideas that influence you. The influence of ideas has to be there, but the application is something it’s very hard to work out by yourself. You work it out in the context of friends -- just as you work it out with your spouse, so you work it out with a group of friends. What does it mean, when you're trying to think through new structures or new ways of living, when you don't see models around you?

This is something I've been struggling with. I was talking to my mom yesterday and she agreed with me that it's very easy for Christian university students to assume that we won't be living out "community" and "the Christian life" until we graduate, get a job, settle down, etc. And the question is, now that I believe my faith should impact all of my life, how should it do that, what does that look like.

A few weeks ago, I read this article from the webzine Razormouth entitled "The God of the mundane":

But I think I am beginning to learn that there is a vast amount of theological significance in the mundane. Within "boring, old" marriage (my wife and I have not yet been blessed by children, so I cannot speak of that from personal experience), I believe there is a great deal of joy to be found in the simple, stupid things of everyday life: washing dishes, making dinner, mowing the lawn, cleaning bathrooms, going for walks, or cuddling just before sleep. In these simple acts of everyday life, more of the love and tenderness of God can be revealed and illuminated than any extreme sport could demonstrate. As we learn what it means to genuinely serve one another in the minute details of daily living, Christ himself is truly evident in a manner not to be seen in the newest, fastest Porsche or the newest and hippest cocktail party.... I do not think we should ever forget that Jesus has also revealed himself in plain bread and wine – common, everyday implements that our Savior himself consecrates to show forth the most awesome, fearful, and glorious act of love and mercy one could imagine. It is that act which gives meaning to every facet of our lives and hope that it serves a greater purpose.
I think this is right; I especially like the reference to the sacraments. It's true; in one sense, Jesus used the everyday activity of eating and drinking (of course, there's lots more ties-in with the Passover, etc.) and told us, do this (boring, mundane, every-day) thing, and when you do it remember me. There's a song:
Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love, show us how to serve the neighbours we have from you.

Kneels at the feet of His friends, silently washes their feet, master who acts as a slave to them.

These are the ones we should serve, these are the ones we should love, all these are neighbours to us and you.

Loving puts us on our knees, serving as though we are slaves: this is the way we should live with you.

And I'm out; good night.

Posted by Tim at 01:57 AM | Comments (4)

February 10, 2004

Map your soul -- what the heck?

So last night in Modern Philosophy, Mr. Strauss told us to draw a map of our soul.

He takes great pleasure, methinks, in giving us vague in-class assignments and watching us scream on the inside as we try to figure out what the question means so that we can take a stab at answering it. I ended up just drawing a bunch of squiggly lines and writing under them "this is a map of my soul. if you don't understand it you are just not as smart as me." Then I drew a picture of what I want my life to look like -- what I want to be in the centre, what I want to be important.

Today, I think a map of my soul would just be a bunch of words strewn across the page: "school Christ liberalism faith blogging friends Redeemer Michigan Ontario city family community introspection love faith justice music culture media knowledge wisdom postmodern frustration Calvin Reformed conservative politics Internet questions doubt...", and this would show that my life has seemed to lack coherence for the last two years or so. I think that everyone needs something to be at the centre of his life, something that brings his life meaning and coherence, something that is his primary identity and the thing through which he sees the rest of himself and his world.

We are called to make Christ that entity, that thing around which we build our lives. St. Paul writes in the book of Colossians:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.... For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Christ is the One who holds reality together -- in that he has created and maintains the universe, but also in that He is the way we can understand ourselves and our purpose. We need something to fit into, a Story to take a part in (all the world's a stage...), and if we do not make that Story the Biblical narrative of a God who created and uses us to proclaim his redemption to a fallen world, we will fit ourselves into another Story -- whether it be the humanist, modern Story of people working together to build utopia (by capitalist, socialist or whatever other means) or a neopagan Story or we will reject, as postmodernists do, that there is even a Story. And if there is no Story, then there is no need for characters to populate it, and if we are not needed why do we continue to live?

Um, OK. On a lighter final note:
Q. Why is homework the devil?
A. Because Satan himself invented it, it is his spawn and its sole product is to distract, waste the time of and frustrate university students during their midterm exams.

Q. What is the best thing ever?
A. Spring break, next week.

Posted by Tim at 04:24 PM | Comments (4)

February 09, 2004

Oh bureaucracy, I hate you a lot

OK, so I have a job on campus -- two, actually. Over the last month, I've worked about 20 or 25 hours which should give me a good chunk of money.

Enter message on the white board telling me I need to turn around and go back to school so I can fill out forms.

OK, I'm cool with that. They need my signature all nice and legal, they need my bank account number so they can direct deposit my salary.

But no, there's more. I don't have a Social Insurance number. I need that number to get a job in Canada. I need... (drum-roll) More Forms. This time for the government.

Can you explain to me why the Canadian Federal Government needs to know that I was born in Calcutta, India, or what my mother's maiden name is? I didn't bloody think so.

According to the form, I should receive my Social Insurance Number card in three weeks. We'll see.

Thank you, Canadian Federal Government, for creating lots of forms for me to fill out so that I can give my money to the national health-care system, an entity that I will likely never need and wouldn't be able to use (for free) even if I needed to.

Maybe if I fill out more forms at the end of the year, they'll graciously give me whatever large chunk they've appropriated from my paycheque. Right now, I just have to guess whether I'll get my card in time for the March payday, I've got less than a snowball's chance in Hades of getting this all together in time to be paid this month.

Thank you, Redeemer University, for not telling me that I needed this stuff in when I started working for you a month ago. I can thank you that I will probably be getting my first pay in mid-March, two months after I start working and one month before I leave to go home.

It's a good thing I don't have to worry about bills or housing or anything like that. If I really were poor, I wouldn't be able to jump through all these hoops. Another example of how Big Government hurts the poor. It's enough to make someone a Libertarian (only joking, Mr. Strauss -- by the way, the response to Rousseau will also likely be late since I'd budgeted this afternoon to do that reading but now have to do these forms. Lovely.)

Update 4:34PM: Today is now officially the Worst Day Ever. Crappy Sociology class at three (highlight -- we watched a video from some ecumenical organization about the American involvement in Colombia. Lots of peasant types were going on about how the increased American military aid was helping their government spray crop-killers on their land with the effect that they couldn't produce anything, etc. They were sure that US involvement wasn't doing anything to help the War on Drugs. That's funny, I said to myself. Why would the US endure international criticism and waste lots of money to oppress a few Colombian peasants and do a little democracy-subversion? Then they started talking about the oil exploration. Oh yeah, I said to myself. How could I forget that the primary, overarching drive behind all of United States foreign policy is OOOIIILLL!!!?

Uh huh, then after that I found a note in my mailbox telling me to change the sign (one of my two on-campus jobs) by tomorrow at noon. What is this message , so sudden and urgent that I couldn't have had, say, 12 hours' warning? (I can't do it tomorrow morning because I promised some friends I'd drive them on errands and such). The super-important message is "Redeemer Royals / Men's Basketball vs Lambton / Tues, Feb 10 at 8 PM". That's right, we've apparently now started advertising for basketball games, like anyone who wants to go to a game wouldn't already have found out when they're playing. So I have to go change that sign now before supper.

And this all on top of the six hours of class I have today (three during the day, one three-hour night class) mean this is truly the Worst Day Ever.

But God is faithful, and His mercies are new every morning. Tomorrow is a new day, eh?

Posted by Tim at 02:34 PM | Comments (7)

Hope for the future

It's things like this
that give me hope for our nation:

PIERRE, S.D. - Tear by tear, sobbing women from South Dakota and other states went to the microphone Thursday evening to tell legislators of being haunted by agony and lingering shame years after having abortions.

Some said they tried suicide, others told of those who had killed themselves. A young baby occasionally cooed in the crowd, a tender contrast to the emotional testimony and graphic photos of aborted fetuses displayed in the packed Capitol room.

For an hour, grieving women, several doctors and some lawyers pleaded with members of the House State Affairs Committee to approve a bill that would make most abortions illegal in South Dakota. The panel voted 11-2 to send the measure to the House floor for additional debate.

The final person speaking in favor of the bill was 16-year-old Alecia Johnson of Pierre. She said she has not had an abortion, and she wondered how anyone could.

"If you throw this bill out, you're saying that you condone murder," the teen told lawmakers.

"Life is given from God," she continued. "A person is a person right from conception."

The legislation declares it public policy in South Dakota that life begins at the moment a woman's egg is fertilized by a man's sperm. It makes abortion illegal unless the life of a woman is at risk by giving birth.

"Human life applies to all human beings, born or unborn," the measure declares.

The article goes on to say legislators are worried about the possible costs (1M dollars) of legal costs. Yeah right, since when has the government cared about spending money. If they asked for donations to cover their asses, I bet they'd get a billion dollars. I'd send 10 bucks, and if a starving college student like me has the motivation, you can bet other prolifers who have actual money would give more. Lame, lame.

But wow. What if, eh? It would be a huge step toward a society that celebrates life, rewards heroism, acts justly, loves mercy....

Posted by Tim at 12:13 AM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2004

Angel of death would have been cooler, oh well.

You would be an Angel of Wisdom ...

Posted by Tim at 03:59 PM | Comments (1)

February 07, 2004

Aggg, no!!!

Looks like I'll be hanging out a lot more at Hotmail and Redeemer Webmail, cuz of this:In an effort to keep things working, we've decided to block the smtp port
on the firewall which should help to curb the spread of the current email
based virus.

The unfortunate side effect of blocking this port is that any one using an
email client such as Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora or others,
will not be able to send email using their client. They can still receive
though. This has no effect on EMU mail users.

We will continue to monitor the situation, and once the virus has been
cleaned up we will open the smtp mail port once again.

Thanks for your patience in this matter.

Information ServicesHonestly Redeemer people, if you would run your anti-virus program we would not be having this problem. It's not that hard.

Posted by Tim at 06:42 PM | Comments (1)

Little preview

Tomorrow on Stranger in a Strange Land: Tim on Political Science 122.

Posted by Tim at 01:44 AM | Comments (2)

February 06, 2004

Defense of the War

Graham Ware, a fellow Redeemerite and blogger, commented on the US-led war in Iraq (scroll down to "The Fuhrer, George W. Bush"). I've commented below.

Nextly, in the Iraq war debate... where are these WMD? I have yet to see one iota of proof of any WMD, or even WMD programs. Didn't Bush attack on the grounds that Saddam was ready to attack using WMD? Which of course, brings me to comment on the idea of "imminent threat." During the attack on Iraq, the Iraqi army was unable to get a single plane in the air, their tanks sat unmanned at airports and bases, and the fighting forces were militia. Baghdad was taken in 6 weeks. And this is the country that was an imminent threat to world? They didn't have pilots to fly their planes, soldiers to fight, or even the ability to defend themselves. Imminent threat my arse!
Everyone's intelligence services (US, UK, France...) said that Saddam likely did have WMD. We couldn't prove it because Saddam wasn't cooperating -- and under the ceasefire agreement (not peace treaty mind you) at the end of the 1991 Gulf War, the burden of proof was placed on Iraq to prove they were disarming. Bush did not say the threat was imminent, quite the opposite. Here's his words in the State of the Union address, January 2003:
Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.
It is difficult to postulate that the President of the United States, in the yearly speech watched by all politically-minded Americans and laying out his plans and positions for the year (something like the Canadian Speech from the Throne, if I understand that rightly), would propound an argument diametrically opposite to the one his Administration really wanted disseminated -- that "Saddam is an imminent threat".

This is all something of a red herring to me, though. I never thought WMD was the best argument, and I suspect it was used to bring in international allies like the UK, Australia, Poland, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Pakistan, Japan... the list goes on. I supported the war on these legal and anti-terrorism grounds as well, but my primary reason was moral. I believe it's the responsibility of the free and the rich peoples of the world to help their fellow human beings suffering under oppressive governments. Iraq was a good place to begin this effort because of the legal reason (US, Iraq technically still at war), the threat reason (unaccounted-for WMD, support for Palestinian terrorists if not others, prior aggression against Kuwait and internal dissidents & minorities) and, yes, the strategic interests. While I don't think OIIILLL is the main concern, it is the foundation of the world economy, and until we're able to develop alternative, cost-efficient energy sources, I would prefer not to have the world held captive to the whims of a few Mideastern dictators.

Many of my fellow Americans will not agree with me. There's a strong isolationist streak in American thought, an unwillingness to deal with the rest of the world. We'd really just prefer to stay at home (remember, we showed up late for both World Wars). I think this is unfortunate, and that Americans should be working all around the world to do what they can to make it better.

Am I a starry-eyed liberal? I don't think so. We have a mixed record -- off the top of my head, successes in Germany and Japan, failures in Colombia and other places. Sin is everywhere, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't try to do the right thing. And I don't see how overthrowing or closely watching repressive, brutal regimes like Saddam's Iraq (and hopefully Kim Jong Il's N. Korea, through diplomacy if possible) is wrong.

I'm more worried about the widespread, and I think a bit racist, beliefs that (a) non-Western peoples would rather live under homegrown oppressors than West-aided representative governments and (b) governments have the right to do anything they wish to their subjects. I believe that governments are instituted by God, yes -- and even non-representative governments should be given respect as God's instrument to uphold justice (as Paul said about the Roman Empire, hardly a liberal construction). I do not believe that those engaged in systematic denial of their peoples' rights as humans, image-bearers of God, should be given a free pass.

I'm not a huge fan of the President's policies. His domestic programs are largely illegal encroachments of the Federal Government onto the terrain of the states and local governments (if not the people themselves). But what else is new since FDR. He's not been as harsh on Saudi Arabia as he should have been, and I have other small quibbles with his foreign policy, but ultimately it looks like I shall have to vote for him over John Kerry or whoever the Democrats put up against him, and I suspect lots of Republicans feel the way I do. It makes me wish a little that we had proportional representation. It makes me wish a lot that Washington would just go away and leave us be. But that's another post.

Posted by Tim at 09:40 PM | Comments (2)

February 05, 2004

Behind the times

Ooh, I see my Redeemerblogger list is sorely inadequate. I estimate the last time it was updated was November. I'll have to remedy that soon. Sorry, all newcomers!

Posted by Tim at 10:52 PM | Comments (0)

Unexpected turn of events

Apparently there is a conference having something to do with Christian labour, CLAC, etc. going on tomorrow and one of the people going from Redeemer (Prof. Koyzis's lecture on conservative ideology? Unfortunately (er, if I believed in fortune... unprovidentially? Sounds sorta blasphemous), I will. Sorry! I hope to blog there but as likely as not won't be able to. So, see you Saturday -- I'll maybe do some conference-blogging & post it then.

Oh yeah, I don't even have any money, since that US$100 cheque I wrote to my Canadian account is on hold while Scotiabank checks to make sure it doesn't bounce, and though I've worked a ton on campus I have yet to receive that paycheck. So I've got all of CAN$7.50 in my pocket right now. Living on the wild side, that's me. Maybe God wants me to do a fast.

Posted by Tim at 10:34 PM | Comments (2)

February 02, 2004

Hey, I'm nothing if not responsive

And I was asked in the comments below to expound upon my classes this semester... I have to be careful though, because both my Modern Philosophy class (taught by Mr. Strauss, who refuses to allow us to call him Professor Strauss) and my Political Science classes (Prof. Koyzis) are bloggers who are aware of and potentially readers of this blog. So I'll get them out of the way first, eh?

Modern Philosophy -- This is the class I will learn the most from, also the class I can potentially learn nothing from if I don't pay attention. Professor Mr. Strauss has lots of thought-provoking things to say but he has the unfortunate habit of saying them in his native South African dialect so I, a lover of the English language, have a tendency to listen to that and not the words he's actually saying... but yes, an excellent class and one that leaves my head spinning (in a good way) by the end.

Actual conversation after class tonight (it runs from 7 to 10 on Mondays):

Friend: Tim, why don't you have a coat? [I may or may not have mentioned here that I don't easily get cold and have not worn a jacket for at least three years.]

Me: It's not that cold.

Her: I guess it's warmer than it was today though it may have gotten colder now.

Me: Tends to do that at night.

Me: Also darker.

Me: My theory is that the sun is the source of both heat and light. Conversely, the moon might radiate darkness and cold.

You may interpret this either as an example of my penetrating wit or a demonstration of a mind that has totally overloaded. Myself, I think I've made a revolutionary discovery.

Er, I think I'm done. I'll post on the other classes when I'm less completely swamped by schoolwork. Also, I want to read webcomics right now.

Posted by Tim at 10:33 PM | Comments (22)

February 01, 2004

OK, so I'm back, I think...

Barring any unforseen disasters, I officially resume blogging as of now.

So what have I been up to? Apart from leaving my computer at home, witnessing the death of Yet Another Crappy Car and thus postponing my return home to get my computer, I have... um, not done all that much, really.

I'm sitting here on my bed on a Sunday night, eatin' peanut butter and crackers while reading comic strips at Nuklear Power.com and avoiding the Survivor party in the living room (I haven't watched an episode of Survivor ever and I'm not gonna start now).

Oh, and I added my friend Wraj as an author to this blog. So he may or may not be posting sometime. Have fun with that, he's a good guy. And Pixy, he's an anime-lover, unlike me who am still sitting on the fence (ouch, awkward sentence there).

Posted by Tim at 11:06 PM | Comments (4)