Friday, November 05, 2004


Here's one with the famous car in outline.


A piece of Americana.. the Oscar Mayer truck in the Starbucks parking lot. Sorry for the dark and blurry pic, but it was dark and I had to take the picture quick.


Back on March 31, I blogged about the ridiculous claim by some that the Passion of the Christ as an outreach opportunity.

I too was mostly unmoved by the movie. I walked out thinking, “Hmmm.” I too do not see it as “possibly the greatest outreach opportunity in 2000 years.” (Excuse me for saying so, Mr. Promotion-Video-Producer, but the church was, is, and remains the greatest outreach opportunity in 2000 years--and before that it was the nation of Israel!)

Yesterday on the NT Gateway blog they mention an article in the Christian examiner about a Barna survey that says there was little or no evangelistic effect.

Gosh, I'm shocked. When will we learn that there's no magic pill?!?!


I had an interesting encounter a few days ago on the bus. I had had a conversation with this thirty-something woman a few weeks before. Her husband had just gotten out of jail and was getting his life back together, then one evening, due to mistaken identity, he was detained by the police. During the ‘capture’ the police had severely injured his ankle. They let him go with an apology, but he still had the injured ankle. Needless to say, it was a bummer. Anyhow, during the course of the conversation (during which time she mostly talked and I mostly listened), someone on the bus asked for a bus schedule. She remembered that she needed one, so she got up and retrieved one from the little plastic holder near the rear door. As she sat back down, she commented that she was always in need of a new schedule because her dear husband had the knack for leaving it in his pants pocket, resulting, of course, in its being washed and rendered unusable.

Fast forward to a few days ago. I’m sitting in my usual spot near the rear door, when she gets on with her now healing husband and sits opposite. The bus takes off and within in a few minutes, he gets up to retrieve a bus schedule from the little plastic holder near the door. As he sits down, she gently takes it from his hand, places it in her purse, and looks at me with a grin.

It’s amazing the connections that can be made. Imagine non-verbal conversation with a near stranger.

Mapping the Election

A friend of mine brought me a copy of this handy 'votes by county map' from the LA Times this morning, but JOLLYBLOGGER has a copy of it online (along with one from 2000). Interesting. I have a theory that the presence of large bodies of water has something to do with one's political leanings. (Of course it could be the 'urban factor', but I still say it's water.)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


Daily Breeze - Associated Press: "Well south of the tundra, Schwarzenegger's enthusiastic backing of Proposition 71 helped land sunny California on the cutting edge of a technology questioned by the Bush administration and others. Polls indicated Schwarzenegger's endorsement, coupled with commercials featuring the late 'Superman' star Christopher Reeve, put the proposal over the top."

I am happy with most of the election, but the passage of the stem cell research proposition trumps the happiness with, frankly, despair. While I do indeed know that such research can be accomplished using adult stem cells (see Saving Lives Without Taking Lives: Adult Stem Cells), embryonic stem-cells are easier to get.

Here's some moral context from Scott Rae, Talbot professor of ethics:

And ethics expert Dr. Scott Rae of Talbot Theological Seminary said, "There's no reason why we can't and shouldn't be using adult stem cells. And so far most of the most promising research that's actually producing results is coming from stem cells derived from bone marrow, cord blood and from, of all things, fat cells. I never thought liposuction would have redeeming value."

Rae says, by contrast, we must consider an embryo as a person with dignity. "We have a problem with harvesting stem cells from human embryos because that's the moral equivalent of killing a person in order to benefit another."

Rae compares that to the behavior of Nazi medical doctors who experimented on Jews without their consent, for the sake of society. Of course, it is impossible to get the required consent from an embryonic cloned person.

Rae said, "That's been a fairly standard part of medical ethics - we don't require, we would never ask nor would we obligate someone to sacrifice their existence in order to benefit someone else."

Even though there is much to report on the progress of adult stem cell research, very little actually is being highlighted by the media.

Also, from what is reported, there is a real question of whether the public is getting the full story on embryonic vs. adult stem cells. For example, most people have never heard from the mainstream media that implanted embryonic cells can produce malignant tumors.

I am also sad that I did not say more, do something, anything.