“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

In The News, October 24

I thought this was a very fair comment on American Politics from Arnold King:

The incumbent Republicans in Congress have done everything possible to merit being tossed out as bums. They have abused power, focused on entrenchment, and acted aloof and arrogant when called to account...Of course, no one has to remind me that the Democrats are at least as guilty of arrogance, entrenchment, and tendency to abuse power. Incumbents of both parties deserve to be tossed out as bums.

The whole article is decent, and fair to a point. Neither side has a lot going for it in terms of fine up-standing citizenship. But, they are both VERY good at finding the faults of the other. (…why oh why do we always listen to the spin doctors and let them change what we believe…)

Meanwhile, there’s a new twist to the separation of church and state issue. It was reported Friday that the city of Titusville, Pa has a zoning ordinance forbidding churches in the downtown area. The city has been sued in federal court over it, since it violates RLUIPA. The cities are trying to decide where religious groups can and can’t go, and the feds are going to referee. (…hhhmmm…doesn’t sound too much like separation of church and state to me…)

Here was something a bit frightening. MSN has a series going on Personal privacy. It reveals a lot about our attitudes towards, and what we think it is. The part I found most informative was a comparison in Part III between how people in the US and Europe view privacy. The short version: what we don’t let governments do, they allow, and what we let companies do, they do not allow. (…personally, I think we let both groups have way too much control of our personal information…) Those EU privacy restrictions even got in the way of anti-terrorist efforts! But, even so, the US and the EU reached agreement today to share criminal information.

In case I haven’t said so, I am a proponent of the death penalty. I think there are definite times it should be used…like on murderers and rapists. I agree there should be judicial restraint used tomake sure the guilty get their just punishment. I also think the appeals process goes on far too long in many cases—costing millions of dollars better spent elsewhere. But, according to this ABC news report, this guy really deserved it. How do you calmly execute a 7 year old little girl in the name of your God? (..can I dare to ask that about the Islamic terrorists and their followers?...or those in our country who find them supportable?...)

In a piece of surprising news, CNN had this report on the confirmed killing of the mastermind behind the 1998 Embassy bombing. It’s nice to see the ones who shamelessly broadcast video of US troops being killed by Islamic snipers report something so encouraging.

And, finally (…for this post anyway…), the US and Iraq announced a timetable for peace. I am not holding my breath on this one. The Iraqi government and security forces need to show they can work together. I know they’ve been gaining a lot of ground, but I don’t think one year is enough time. (…personally, I welcome the news. My daughter just returned from Kuwait recently. My son-in-law came home from the Baghdad area last spring. I do not relish them having to go back…)