>Dear God….

>I pray that we get someone half as good as the late President Reagan.

I just listened to an interview with a member of his Secret Service team.

He was asked what his worse day on the job was, with the assumption that it would be the day the President was shot.

No.

It was the day he had to tell the Former President that he couldn’t ride anymore.

He walked in to the room, where Reagan was reading a book “as he always did– he read right up until the end”– and he decided that he’d try the tact of telling former President Reagan that the agents weren’t enjoying the ride, because Ronald Reagan always asked if they’d had fun, and was very concerned that the would not.

He got about half way through it and was breaking down when the former President put down his book, stood and patted him on the shoulder, telling him “I know.”

That is a man. That is someone I am proud of. I am not old enough to remember President Reagan, not really, but I have tears in my eyes because I am so proud that he lead my country.

May God grant us a thousand more such as him.

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>Stupid Racists

>Look,I don’t much care if you’re black, white, red or yellow. I’m going to pay more attention to how you dress, speak and act as cues to how much of a threat you are to me (As a primary goal.) and if you’re someone I want to be friends with. (As a secondary goal; I put “healthy and whole” ahead of “happy and entertained.”)

That said, I saw a picture over at Black & Right that really startled me.

Look at their skin– can you see any major difference? Edwards is slightly more red, but he’s “white”– Obama has a yellowish tinge to his tan, but he’s “black.” What, are we going to some kind of a one-drop rule? Will Roxy be running in 2025 as a black woman?

I don’t know, but I do know I’m royally sick of folks dragging race in everywhere, then hollering about racisim.

>Only Whites are Nerds? Are You Nuts?

>Apparently, someone wasn’t satisfied with acting like “ghetto culture” or “hip-hop culture” or “gangsta culture”—or whatever the frick they’re calling thugs who traffic drugs, sex and pathetic excuses and the rappers and fans who support them– is a good thing, so someone had to go for a good target to describe as “hyper-white.”

What’s about the furthest you can get from idiots who try to pickle their brains, treat women as objects, called doing decent in school and not breaking laws “acting white”? Perhaps a group that generally only does caffeine, are generally highly respectful to and even a bit intimidated by women, are renowned for their brains and lack of fighting? That’s right, “nerds.” Never mind that we don’t call ourselves nerds anymore– I am a geek, and I associate with geeks. We generally agree that a nerd is a geek without social skills.

Unfortunately, it seems that the author of the paper did her research by watching bad movies from the 80s.

The idiot even thinks that geeks won’t become friends with folks because of skin color. What, the two black guys, five Filipinos, two “some kind of Asian” and three Mexican guys in my geek group can’t call themselves that? (All descriptions are self-applied, so feel free to go call those dozen geeks racist against themselves. Oh, and the three guys’ families *were from Mexico*. Every blessed one is or was American first, but that is probably because we were all in the Navy.)

Now, in the author’s defense, it’s possible that the groups she was looking at were big-city schools, and it’s possible that she was observing social pressures besides geekdom at work. I know I’ve heard of black kids in big schools being beat up for, well, acting like Urkel. Given the huge obsession with race even at my nice little high school– generally on the part of the teachers– I can easily see groups that are large enough that not everyone knows everyone else getting broken down into mostly race and language based groups. I think it’s stupid, but that’s an entirely different post.

The point is, I don’t thing this lady did very good research. For the love of all, she thinks we use POCKET PROTECTORS. Please. PDAs all the way. So, this is my response from within the “culture” she’s talking about. Thanks to Junk Yard Blog for bringing this up.

>Harry Potter-

>Because the Cool Kids are doing it…. (oh, no spoilers, too)

The Magic of Harry Potter, and Why it’s Not Biblically Evil

Exodus 22:17 : You Shall Not Let A Sorceress Live
(all quotes from New American Bible, c 1987, Nihil Obstat and Imprimature listed)

Now, why would it say that? Well, if you go to Deuteronomy 18:10-11, it says: Let there not be found among you anyone who immolates his son or daughter in the fire, nor a fortune-teller, soothsayer, charmer, diviner, or caster of spells, nor one who consults ghosts and spirits or seeks oracles from the dead.

These are all pretty good examples of idolatry– putting something above God, either by sacrifice or by trying to do an end-run around God. Other than the first or possibly the caster of spells one, they are all attempts to gain knowledge beyond the norm; the other two do material harm to others.

Harry Potter talks to Nearly Headless Nick, he waves his wand around, he takes Divination– aren’t I making the exact point I’m arguing against?

Only if you are glancing at the words and making snap judgments. Hardly a very Christian thing to do, when you’re trying to figure out if someone has committed a grave sin. Honestly, I think most of the problems stem from the English language being so much different than ancient Hebrew.

Consulting with Ghosts: I’m guessing we’re all familiar with King Saul getting a medium– a witch, a consulter of the dead– to speak to Samuel. (Goggle “witch of Endor” if not.) He finds someone who can call ghosts from their rest in order to try to get information that isn’t available via human means. This is much different than an imaginary world where some people, after death, are not ready to move on to the Hereafter– the “ghosts” of Harry Potter could be elves, fairies, aliens, or just about anything else; they are ghosts because it is a classic English story-item to have immaterial, faded forms of those long dead haunting old buildings, especially if they died by bad means.

So Potter isn’t guilty of consulting ghosts and spirits, Biblically.

Casting Spells— What is Biblical magic? It’s gotten by making pacts with powerful, mystic beings. What is Harry Potter magic? An apparently genetic quirk.

Bible magic: can be acquired by anyone; only evil beings would give it to you.
Potter magic: natural born ability that must be trained for the safety of everyone around the Wizarding folks; can be put to good or bad uses. (See earlier post on wands=guns.)

If the magic isn’t morally the same, then the spells cast via the magic will also not be the same. So he’s not guilty of that one. (Open to possible arguments on the subject of Unforgivables.)

Divination (and all the other flavors): This one is probably the most solid accusation, seeing as they read tea leaves, use crystal balls and various other things at Hogwarts itself– there’s an entire class devoted to it! One small problem: even at Hogwarts, it doesn’t work. (Please notice the scorn heaped on it by Hermione, and the utter boredom that everyone else save the flakes has– and the dozens of predictions that don’t pan out. If anything, I think the lady author has managed to make it less interesting than the real world version.)

The only valid prophecies that we see are spontaneous, unsought, and the Prophet doesn’t even know it’s happening– a plot point, in fact. (As is all of the magic in the Potterverse.) It’s even given as the only reason that they HAVE a Divination class– Dumbledore needed some excuse to keep the woman who made the real prophecies around. There is no calling on those who have gone beyond the veil, there’s no Ouija board even. Most importantly, there is no actual information to be had at will, and those who think there is are shown as deluded fools.

Now, tea leaf reading in the real world is something I refuse to touch– my grandmother had a nasty run-in with it. So bad that she doesn’t allow non-fiction in her house– and that includes Disney. If something happened that was strong enough to make my very pragmatic, Scottish grandmother scared for the better part of a centry… well, I’ll give it LOTS of space. Once again, however, things are different in the Potterverse, due to the nature of magic being different. If there were demons and powers to be called on, we can be sure that Voldemort would have done so– it didn’t fit into the story, though, so it doesn’t exist in this fictional world.

Seeing as the Divination in the Potterverse is much different than in the real one– and that she goes to great lengths to make sure that it’s not made to look cool, or charming or even funny, just rather pathetic… we can find Potter not guilty on the charge of divination, etc.

Conclusion: Harry Potter does not fit the Biblical standards of a ghost-caller, a curser or a fortune-teller. Therefore, we are free to decide if we find them right for ourselves and our children– but should refrain from calumny against those who find it does not damage their faith, and who can find the good themes in the story.

>YES!!!!!

>That SOB that called those killed on 9/11 Nazis has finally been fired!

YES!

If you’re disgusting enough to say such disgusting things about victims of a terrorist attack before the bodies are even cold– well, I hope you don’t say it near me, or we’ll have troubles.

Oh, and he was actually fired for “plagiarism, falsification and other misconduct”– which means that he really isn’t worth much for the full circle, let alone on his “politics.”

Lying SOB.

>Reading In to Harry Potter

>Yes, I read the Potter books. No, I’m not so much a fan of the Trio as of the adults around them– McGonagall is what I think my Grandmother would be if she were a magic school teacher. (Not that Grandma Alice would ever, ever EVER allow such a thing– she doesn’t even like fiction, let alone fantasy. Bad experience with tea leaves. Good Scottish name, though.) Snape reminds me so much of my favorite English teacher it’s painful. (Yes, that’s you, Kallery. Barring the whole double-agent-with-a-homicidal-muggilcidal monster. Also, you have more than a nodding acquaintance with shampoo.) Hagrid reminds me of a lot of folks, and Draco-clones tried to make my childhood difficult. (And failed miserably.) Mr. and Mrs. Weasley I adore– some bits remind me of my folks, but I suspect that’s because they obviously love their kids and each other so much, rather than any real similarities.

Maybe because the supporting characters are the reason folks read so much into the books? So far they’re Christian, they support witchcraft, they’re pro-gay, they make kids anti-social, they’re a sweet love story, they have horrible romantic writing, they make kids read more, they give kids something to talk about, they’re wish fulfillment, they show Harry his wishes aren’t what he thought, they’re too black and white, there’s too much blurring between good and evil…. Heh, guess they’re what you make of them. But it’s a rare book that isn’t….

What brings this up? Well, it’s partly Jimmy Akin’s fault, partly my mom’s fault (insisting that you try to look at *everything* from as many views as you can) and partly because of Sirius Radio’s “Patriot” station…. I got to read the new book, and I think it has a situation that fits pretty well with gun control.

I’m dancing around to make sure I don’t spoil even a little thing. ;^)

In the books, there are powerful tools, highly regulated, that that some folks have and some don’t; the folks that have them keep entire classes of folks from having access; when the bad people get power, they move to take them from even more classes of folks, and removes the primary source of these items. (There, that’s dancing enough.)

I don’t think Mrs. Rowling was doing this on purpose– but I do think it’s startlingly fitting. Makes me wonder what other things I could read in…..

A former sailor's ramblings on anything from family, country and Church through general geek-ness.