Current Affairs hmm... thoughts

Poll: How much cash do you typically carry?

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m shocked to see how many people carry $50-$100 in cash in their wallets. Just so I know if I’m weird or not, humor me and let me know how much you typically have on you. (Totally secret, no way for me to know who said what.)

Current Affairs

Life After Debt

Americans borrowed less for an 11th consecutive month in December, paying off credit cards while increasing borrowing for cars and other products. link

This is great news. For 11 months in 2009 the American people not only covered their bills, but they paid down debt. The irony of that is clear. 2009 was a horrible year financially for a lot of people.

This next line in the USA Today article clears up why the stock market tumbled on this news.

The mixed picture raises hopes that Americans may soon return to spending, a necessary condition for economic recovery. link

Our national economy, jobs in America, and some would tell you the future our our nation itself… depends on you and I going deeper and deeper into debt to buy stuff we don’t need with money we don’t have. Cute, eh?

Maybe we should all collectively just hold on to our money for another 11 months and enjoy this recession a little more so we can all get out of debt?

Think about it like this. In the worst economic year in decades and we collectively covered our monthly bills and paid down our debts for 11 straight months. This is great news! And it also reveals that debt is a head issue and not always a money issue.

I know for our family 2009 was a hard year. We had to wrestle through stuff we didn’t like to wrestle through. But the flip side is that we are way better off financially for it. Less debt, more savings, and an attitude of frugality we hope lasts a lifetime.

Current Affairs Politics

Let’s deal with the Obama conspiracy theory

barack-obama-birth-certificateFor once in my life I actually agree with Bill Maher. In a July 31st Op-Ed piece with the  L.A. Times, Bill reminds readers why we need to stop the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Obviously, Bill’s who schtick is to hate all things conservative republican and conservative Christian… so it’s a little odd that I’d be with him on this one.

But we live in America, and in America, if you don’t immediately kill arrant nonsense, no matter how ridiculous, it can grow and thrive and eventually take over, like crab grass or reality shows about fat people.

This flap might be a deluded right-wing obsession that is a total waste of time, but so was Whitewater, and look where that ended up. A handful of Republican operatives, enraged at Bill Clinton’s unprecedented economic growth and budget surpluses, found a woman named Paula Jones, which led to a woman named Monica Lewinsky, which gave me enough material to eventually be able to buy a big house in Bel-Air. Which I’m still conflicted about.

Reality #1 for the far right.

In November 2008, Barack Obama won the Presidential election in a landslide. It wasn’t even close. Consequently, in January 2009 Barack Obama became President of the United States. I know this will shock some people, but it really did happen. The Republicans also lost the House and the Senate. The will of the people was to politically swing from the far right to the far left. It wasn’t a conspiracy. Only the Minnesota senatorial election was markedly close. The 8 year conservative dream [in which very little was done, by the way.] died in November 2008.

Reality #2 for the far right.

The American people, in a landslide, elected a man who was born in Hawaii. Hawaii is a state. I know that for many people Hawaii is halfway to Asia so we don’t consider this a state in our country. But it is. You don’t need a passport to travel from Hawaii to the mainland United States. And people born there are considered United States citizens. Just like George W. Bush, Barack Obama lived outside of the United States for a significant amount of time. This doesn’t mean he’s not a natural born citizen of our country. It means that his mother took him to another country.

Reality #3 for the far right.

Barack Obama, legally elected and legally born in this country…. is the President of the United States for this term. It doesn’t mean we can’t question him. It doesn’t mean we have to like all of his decisions. But it does mean that we need to stop questioning if he really can be President. It makes conservative conspiracy theorists look stupid, petty, and… I’ll say it… racist. It reminds the general public about the Monica Lewinski scandal. You know the one where the conservatives were so worried about Bill Clinton’s private life that they allowed genocide in Rwanda to go uncovered by the media. You know, the incident where they kept the media so distracted by Bill Clinton’s private life that they forgot that their leaders were also sleeping around and that their media king, Rush Limbaugh, was jacked up on drugs and completely out of his mind.

So, my hope is that conservatives will join with crazy, whacked-out, left-of-liberal, Christian-hating, Bill Maher in killing the rumor that Barack Obama isn’t really a United States natural born citizen. Conspiracy theorists need to plan vacations to Roswell and Oregon where they can hunt for aliens and big foot. Instead of trying to destroy the President with a silly theory, lets focus our attention on things that matter. Maybe if we’re disenfranchised with the current administration we should invest our time in changing our neighborhood? Maybe we should help the powerless among us seek justice? Maybe we should volunteer at a crisis-pregnancy center?

For those who believe Obama was born somewhere else, how do you respond to these documents?

Current Affairs Video Clip

Throwing Down the Chicken Gauntlet

First KFC did this:

Then Oprah talked about it and it went like this:

Then, a bunch of folks did this. Bam!

Part 2

Then, a chicken chain here in SoCal responded with this. Ole`!

Where will it end? I can’t be too certain. But I have a feeling that Colonel Sanders and the crazy chicken are going to fight. In the streets of Louisville. Midnight. On Mother’s Day.

Current Affairs

And you thought our housing market fell?

Check out this story too… 3000 abandoned cars at the Dubai airport with the keys in the ignition!

Current Affairs Funny Stuff hmm... thoughts Marketing news item

PETA Rebrands Fish as Sea Kittens

Yes, PETA is trying to rebrand fish as sea kittens. You can’t make this stuff up! It seems that kids game sites have gotten so out-of-hand that one of the kookiest of leftist bunches decided they needed one too. What’s next, (Uh, that seems to be a movie site in Japan or something!)

Here are some sea kittens we made.

I kid you not. Paul wanted to be a Tuna because they taste so good. I have to admit, I like some tuna sea kitten just as much as I like Tuna fish.

Culture Current Affairs Web/Tech

John Stewart & Stephen Colbert Speak My Language

Current Affairs news item Sports

Boycott the Olympics?

olympicsIn the next few weeks there will be a growing public outcry for the United States and many other major nations to boycott the Olympic Games in Beijing.

It bears refreshing our memory that China is, indeed, one of the worst human rights violators on the planet. Up until 2008 China was on the State Departments list of 10 worst human rights violators in the world.

Obviously, the Tibet issue is front page news today. But let’s not forget about the other continued violations. Organ harvesting. No political freedom. No freedom of the press. No freedom of speech. No freedom of movement. No freedom to work. No religious freedom. And of course the one-child policy which has led to female infanticide, forced abortions, selective abortion, and abandonment.

There is little doubt that the last 10 years has seen lots of reform in China. But I think it is worth thinking through… should the United States support an Olympic Games in a nation with such widespread human rights problems? How can we sit idly, pretend everything is OK, watch coverage on NBC and do nothing? Of course, the Olympic Team from our country will go. A boycott is not plausible. It’s all about money and everyone would say that a boycott would be bad for the economy. And it would be bad for US/China business relationships. There are a lot of palms to be greased, a lot of hospitality tents to fill, and a lot of complimentary freebies to give to one another in the name of the Olympics.

If we don’t come up with an answer, expect to see a lot more stuff like this…

Current Affairs Funny Stuff hmm... thoughts Marketing

Christian Alternatives

Christianfamilytube logoLast night I got an invitation to put all of our church videos on a new Christian-only version of YouTube. First there was GodTube and now this.

I laughed at GodTube’s claims that they were the fastest growing site on the internet… totally a joke of a statistic if you ask me… not like GodTube got bigger than Facebook did in 2007.

As far as interface and design go… could this new site be any more cheesy? Technically speaking… a lot of the videos don’t even work!

Let me share my opinion about “Christian only” content sites. I don’t mind sites that are geared towards Christians networking… heck, I own one. But I am against the idea that there should be a differentiation between the “Christian internet” and “secular internet.”  Both GodTube and this new video site claim to be “family safe.” While that isn’t a bad thing in and of itself I always wonder why people like this don’t just create channels of “family safe” stuff within the existing structure of MySpace, Facebook, or YouTube. Christians were never commanded to separate from the world or form our own sub-culture… we were commanded to penetrate the culture for God. Ephesians 5 teaches us to bring “light” to “dark” places. These sites are trying to do the opposite.

I don’t plan on moving content to these new sites. If they offered services that were better than YouTube’s than I might consider it. But I’m not going to pull content off of a great delivery channel only to put it on a weaker and sorry to say cheesier delivery channel. That completely misses the point of using the internet for ministry.

Plus, I don’t know how YouTube doesn’t sue these companies for trademark violations. That’s for another day.

Church Leadership Current Affairs Funny Stuff

The Preference Wars of Church

Perry Noble of NewSpring Church has a couple of funny, yet serious, points about heaven and the preference wars of church today.

I was reading through Revelation a couple of weeks ago and I had this thought, “I really think that some people might not like heaven!” Especially when I got to Revelation 7:9-12…seriously, take a second to read that passage and then come back here as I share a thought or two about it. If people approach heaven the same way some approach church then here are my fears… 🙂

#1 – For Some People Heaven Will Be “Too Big.” We have people that say, from time to time, “I really do like your church–except that it’s too big.” My reply is always the same, “Heaven isn’t going to be a small group/house church!”

#2 – The Focus Will Be On Jesus…And That’s It! Apparently the music in heaven is going to be loud…and will not be sang out of the Baptist hymnal. (See verse 10–they cried in a LOUD voice…apparently they didn’t get the “reverence” memo!) No one will be asked in heaven, “Did you like the music? Was the sound too loud? Were you totally comfortable?” Nope–the focus will be on Jesus Christ…NOT consumeristic ego maniacs who church hop because they think everything exists for them. 🙂

I think Perry is right. And I think he brings about the new battle in churches, personal preferences. If 1990-2005 were all about music wars 2005-present are all about preference wars.

Should church be like Burger King and the parishioners be like Frank Sinatra?