Thursday, June 30, 2005

Cradle of civilization

Thursday, June 30, 2005 0
I know there is suffering in some form or another all over the world, but in my estimation, there is not a more decimated or broken people on the face of the earth than the people of Africa. The scope of the human suffering that takes place there every day should be enough to take the breath away from anyone with even a shred of compassion. In a very encouraging move, President Bush is seeking to double the amount of financial aid pledged to Africa from the US by 2010, bringing the total to 8.6 billion dollars. Remember to pray for our president next week as he attends the G8 summit in Scotland that he would have wisdom and grace as he represents us in this meeting of the wealthiest nations in the world. Pray that they would be moved with compassion and do what is necessary to help the people of Africa.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Darkness and disturbing news cycles

Saturday, June 25, 2005 6
In case you haven't been paying attention, the news has been especially horrible the past couple of weeks. Father of 9 guilty of murdering his entire "family" (read the story, the quotation marks will make sense) ...police apprehend molester who kept a log of over 36,000 names of children he abused over the past 30 years...the situation with the missing girl in Aruba is starting to play out like a David Mamet movie...and this just in, 3 missing New Jersey boys are found dead in the trunk of a car parked next door to their house. Sometimes it's hard to even fathom the sheer scope and intensity of the darkness that surrounds us every day. Even though I have largely been spared in my own life from tragedies like these, the stories still shake me to my core. I often get wrapped around the axle, so to speak, with the question of why God allows things like this to take place. It was in the midst of these thoughts that I read this piece by Betsy Childs. It's become a cliche by now, but there is truth to the notion that you can't see the light without the darkness. If we are to be the light of the world, our light should only be that much brighter living in days in days as dark as these.

It's been too long...

It's been 2 weeks since my last post for anyone who's counting. I've just been crazy busy lately. Now that blastball is over and T-ball is winding down, hopefully I'll have more time to devote to this.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Copenhagen Solution

Saturday, June 11, 2005 0
My homeboy RS dropped this piece from the Wall Street Journal on me after reading my last post. If you're not inclined to read it - the long and short of it is that there is a group of economists who took the initiative to classify, in order of positive impact, more than a dozen developmental efforts designed to aid third world countries . Their thesis was, in a nutshell, that we (the worlds richest countries) don't have unlimited funds at our disposal and so we must determine how to get the most bang for our buck where these projects are concerned. In my opinion, their findings weren't all that shocking. Things like controlling infectious disease (AIDS, Malaria) and water purification ranked high on the list. The Kyoto protocol (global warming initiatives) ranked last. I wasn't aware of this, but our buddy Tony B from across the pond, actually has the Kyoto protocol at the top of his laundry list for the G8 summit next month. I agree with the Journal that this is a foolish priority in the face of so many other pressing issues. I agree to an extent with their assessment that "...what the developing world needs is better governance, not aid." I agree wholeheartedly that better governance must be a top priority, indeed a requirement, of receiving aid dollars from the G8 countries. I do not subscribe to the notion that we should just write a $100 million dollar check to Sudan, write off their debts to the World Bank and then shake their hand and bid them good day while they continue slaughtering thousands of their own people in Darfur...or Bosnia...or Somalia. That's beyond stupid. There should be some level of accountability from the leadership of these nations in exchange for the money and assistance we give them. My problem with the Journals statement is this: better governance doesn't keep people from starving to death today or tomorrow. More aid dollars can do just that. I would submit, that what the developing world needs is better governance AND more aid. I just don't think that the two can be mutually exclusive. There are too many lives at stake for us to watch the people of Africa starve to death because the despotic regimes they were born under will not turn from their corruption and murdering ways. We have to figure out ways to help them in spite of their government, not just allow them to starve to death because of it. I don't know what the answer is, and I don't claim to be even moderately educated in the political machinations of sub-Saharan African countries. But I do know that that there are children in this world who will not wake up tomorrow morning because of something as mundane as not having clean water to drink. And I know that has got to change.

Friday, June 10, 2005

One

Friday, June 10, 2005 0
This is either a very hopeful sign for our generation or a sign of the apocalypse...I'm not sure which yet. If you check out this website you'll see what I'm talking about. It's not often that you find a cause that Eddie Vedder, Michael Stipe, Dave Matthews, Pat Robertson...yes, you read that correctly...Michael W. Smith, The Newsboys and Brad Pitt can all lock arms on, so to speak. So while, practically speaking, I'm opposed to anything that puts another one of those rubber "cause" bracelets on the street to taunt me and the rest of the Plain Bellied Sneeches who don't wear them - morally, I'm very much in favor of things like debt relief, additional research funding for the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa and increased medical aid and educational opportunities in the worlds poorest nations. If you are as well, you can click on the banner ad to read more about it. If you don't want to send them a dollar, then don't. It doesn't matter to me. But do something, would you?


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Oh Canada...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005 1

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Originally uploaded by tbone0323.
As newsman Buzz Burbank would say, here's a story from our Homeland Insecurity department. Hats off to the crack squad of border guards who let this altar boy cross over from Canada. Gregory Despres arrived at the US-Canadian border carrying "...a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a chain saw stained with what appeared to be blood." Look at that face...I ask you...is this the face of a mass murderer?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

We suck

Wednesday, June 01, 2005 0
My softball team sucks...we just got drilled 15-0. This is our 5th game and our 5th loss as a result of the run rule that is supposed to keep us from being embarrassed. It's not working. My personal feeling is that the rec league we're playing in would be perfectly within their rights to refund us our money and ask us just to not play anymore...
 
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