29 July 2005

What's left to ponder??

In Washington DC there is a big issue at hand. That issue is stem cell research. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is standing behind legislation to expand federal financing for human embryonic stem cell research, stating that "it's not a matter of faith, it's a matter of science."

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan is supporting Frist and others in this because this research could help ease so much suffering worldwide in the future.

This is where I get conflicted in how I feel about it. I agree with Frist and Reagan to an extent that it would be amazing to know things that could end so much suffering, but I also disagree with Frist in that I feel that this is a matter of faith for those whose faith encompasses the sanctity of human life.

Now President Bush is making threats to veto the bill because he's made his point clear: "There is a principle involved here from the president's standpoint when it comes to issues of life."

I agree with this as well. There are principles when it comes to issues of human life. There are major principles. And I feel as if standing on the conservative Christian side of this debate can make me seem so insensitive towards all those who are suffering and could possibly benift from this research. I'm very sensitive towards them and that is why I'm conflicted. How do you compare the value of life for the value of life? It's like asking someone which quarter is better. Neither...they are both worth 25 cents. So how are we to decide which life is better or more valuable?

I guess this is a time that I need to learn more about the positives and negatives of stem cell research and really pray about how I feel.

28 July 2005

Straight out of Compton

If you've ever had the aching desire to read my blog, or any other website for that matter, in ebonics, then you can check out gizoogle. All you do is copy and paste a web address in the serach form and see the magic that comes up.

My blog in ebonics


27 July 2005

I'm Changing All My Strings...

Greg Maddux, pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, scored his 3,000th strikeout in his major league career last night is a loss to the San Fransisco Giants.

3,000 is an impressive number and Maddux has had quite an impressive career. He's such a strong starter and he's been quite the pest for the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League first with the Atlanta Braves and currently with the Chicago Cubs. I guess he's worth the $9 million he's earning this year. It's just too bad that he had to get his 3,000th strikeout in a game he lost.

All this baseball talk has made me want to dream up a fantasy team. Retired and current players alike can be allowed with the understanding that they will be playing on my team in their physical and athletic prime.

Starting Pitcher: Nolan Ryan
Starting Catcher: Carlton (Pudge) Fisk
Starting 1st base: Albert Pujols
Starting 2nd base: Ryne (Rhino) Sandburg
Starting 3rd base: Alex Rodriguez
Starting Shortstop: Ozzie (The Wizard) Smith
Starting Left Field: Barry Bonds
Starting Center Field: Willie (Say Hey) Mays
Starting Right Field: (Hammerin')Hank Aaron
Closing Pitcher: Rob Nen

They would be an un-beatable squad.

26 July 2005

Somewhere in South Dakota

For some odd reason these bands have been repeatedly listened to over the past few days:

Less Than Jake
Mock Orange

I guess you can say that I've been a bit musically nostalgic, but I've been enjoying every bit of it.

I'm glad to see the stories floating around about Sony Music and their payolas to radio personalities in order to have Sony's artists played on air. Jennifer Lopez and Good Charlotte are among the "artists" that have had their music played on air as part of a payola deal. The deals have transisted from direct money transactions to things such as mp3 players, vacations, strippers, and event tickets.

This is one of the main reasons that crap is polluting our airwaves. Of course the labels don't care, because they're targeting the under-16 age bracket, as they are the ones with the most disposable income.

I say take the crap, throw it away, replace it with real music and people with real musical ability. It may be bad for Neilson ratings but if good ratings are associated with bad music, then I say the ratings can suffer.

Fun stuff.

25 July 2005

Twisting my stomach into knots...

The St. Louis Cardinals lost a hard-fought game last night against the Chicago Cubs. I really don't understand why the Cardinals continue to hold onto J. Tavarez. He's been a proven choker over the last two seasons and the two runs he gave up in the 8th to give the Cubs the lead are further proof of that. LaRussa has such a strong squad and it's so insane to me to see him hold onto a weak link like Tavarez. Well the Cardinals did come back to tie it up in the 9th, but the after intentionally loading the bases, gave up a crushing grand slam in the top of the 10th.

In cycling (as everyone knows by now) Lance Armstrong took a 7th consecutive Tour de France. Simply amazing

I picked up two new books this weekend which I am already enjoying one and looking forward to the other. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris is another one of his collections of stories. These from his childhood are hilarious, sad and disturbing at the same time. He wit and way with re-telling his life is second to none.

I also am quite excited about reading Nick Hornby's Songbook. I don't know what to expect from it, but I've liked reading his books before, so I imagine it will be great.

22 July 2005

Were you born to resist...

Congress voted to extend the Patriot Act for another 10 years. In a 257-171 vote in favor of the extention the majority of Republicans fully supported the extention. Many Democrats also supported the extention but re-hashed concerns that the act still comprimises Americans' civil liberties. I guess the ACLU will have 10 more years of complaining to do.

Here's my take on the Patriot Act. I agree with those who say that it infringes on our civil liberties. However, I feel that this infringement is necessary in a era of terrorism and international war. Personally, I am ok with Big Brother checking my phones, reading e-mails and knowing my library habits. Yes, the government is limiting my personal freedom with this. But again, I am ok with that. It makes me feel safe. In the same sense (and this is stretching it I know) I feel that the President would love it if he could eat breakfast, use the phone or ride a bike (successfully) without Secret Servicemen over his shoulder. But those men, although they are infringing on his privacy, are necessary and helpful. Please feel free to let me know if that was a terrible comparison.

Now, many argue that the Act has done nothing while others contend that since the act was put into law in 2001 that there have been no terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. No one's to say that the absence of terrorism in the U.S. is due to the act, but I am certain that it has been a helpful tool in this very abstract War on Terror.

I love the United States
I love Baseball
I love chocolate milkshakes

21 July 2005

Under the Radar

I am currently disgusted at the second bombing attack on London in less than three weeks. Early this afternoon in London four bombs went off in the underground and on a bus. Only one person has been reported as being injured by the blast, which is relief, but the fact that London has become a terrorist target is upsetting. I'm not certain why London and why now, but I truly feel for the people of London right now.

A more positive story involves (you guessed it) the St. Louis Cardinals who doubled up the Milaukee Brewers last night in a 4-2 victory at Busch Stadium. Milwaukee pitcher Ben Sheets was strong in the first making Albert Pujols look foolish with nasty curve ball. However, Pujols got his revenge with a two-run homerun later in the game.

Tonight will wrap up the four game series between the team and I am excited to see the Capuano/Marquis matchup. Can the Cards take the crew three games to one? I think so.

Soon you shall hear me discuss why Ozzie Smith is the greatest shortstop to have ever played in the Major League.

20 July 2005

In 17 minutes

In Major League Baseball news, the Baltimore Orioles are looking to complete a deal with the Florida Marlins. The trade would allow Marlins pitcher A.J. Burnett to come to Baltimore where he would have a lot more run support than he currently does in Florida. If Baltimore gets Burnett their chances at No. 1 in the AL East are far greater. They are already creeping up the ladder and are in contention for No. 1.

In other news, the St. Louis Cardinals lost last night to the Milwaukee Brewers. Letting a one-run lead slip away late in the game, relief pitcher Julian Tavarez made this his game to lose (as he did last year in the NLCS and the World Series). It's frustrating, because he's an amazing reliever, yet somehow seems to blow leads at when it appears that the game is a locked victory for the Cards.

I won't go on complaining about it, but I will savor Monday's win over the Brewers. Matt Morris (as I predicted) came through for the team and it didn't hurt that every single batter on the team had a stunning performance.

And tonight they shall dance again.

***21N and PMH80...I haven't forgot about the CD

18 July 2005

Life in a Glass House

Every time I listen to Radiohead I am re-assured that they are one of the most creative bands to have ever existed. I won't go into nerdy details, but they are one band that I will continually be amazed by.

And so to baseball.

Today starts a day that will bring much tension into my household. That's right the Milwaukee Brewers are stepping into beautiful Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO to face my beloved Cardinals. Mr. William O. White IV will be standing faithfully behind his Brewers, but alas, his cheers and support will be no remedy for the pain that the Cards will unleash upon them. The best team in the National League will stand its ground and the fearless leader Tony LaRussa will lead his troops to success.

Matt Morris will be pitching tonight for the Cards. With a 10-2 record he will be facing Milwaukee's Victor Santos (2-9 for the season).

Radiohead and Baseball. Life can't get any better.

15 July 2005

Last one out of liberty city, burn it to the ground

This is a funny little article I found on The Onion.

Apparently nearly 800,000 Americans are finally rasing a voice. A voice that is so upset over the years of discrimiation they've faced at the hands of America's stores and restaurants. That's right they are saying that they want to be able to come into any establishment and have the freedom to be shirtless and/or shoeless. They were chanting "No shirt, No shoes, No Justice." Well spoken my friends.

I for one am horrified that anyone in America could be so discriminatory against such quality citizens. These classy people deserve the right do wear what they like or not wear what they like in any place they like. I would love to go to Outback Steakhouse or P.F. Changs and sit next to the table with the guy with a hairy back and no shirt or the lady with athlete's foot and no shoes. I would just love that. So come on America...let's get on those phones to Washington and set our tortured people free.
**The above paragraph is not serious, just in case any were wondering.

It's worth looking at the article simply to see one of the most amazing farmer's tans you will ever behold.


14 July 2005

It's like rain on your wedding day

Here are just a few very interesting points I've stumbled upon recently:

1) Tiger Woods is the world's highest paid sportsman. He earns $78 million a year - or $148 ever second.
** Tiger woods makes more in a second than I make in a day

2) An average of 10 languages die out every year.

3) More than 150 countries use torture.

4) Brazil has more Avon ladies than it does members of its Armed Forces

5) In 2003, 15 million Americans had some form of plasitc surgery.

Kind of crazy.

13 July 2005

I've seen a million faces and I've rocked them all...

I'm going to talk about two things today: Sports and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

First the lighter side of this post.

I have a sense of confusion regarding 15-year-old female golf phenom, Michelle Wie. She quite possibly the female version of Tiger Woods. But she is the female version of today's Tiger Woods. She is incredible. She is beating women over twice her age and scoring better than some men with three times more experience. And she is doing this on her summer break from high school.

Now, there is some controversy about her playing in men's PGA tournaments. Some of the media is saying that she should stick to women's golf and not try to cross over to the side of the men. I patrially agree in the sense that there is a women's professional golf association and she has the opportunity to play in that. It's not like auto racing where there is no female circuit and women like Danika Patrick are forced to play with the boys. But I also feel like if she can keep up with the boys she should be given a shot to do so.

But let's hold up a second here. If Wie is allowed to compete in the PGA Amateur tournament and wins (beating all the guys), she will be eligable for a spot in the Masters Tournament next year. The Master's Tournament has always been an all-male tournament and Augusta National Golf Club is an all-male club. Some will say it's sexist to not let her compete if she makes the cut, but it would also be breaking one of the greatest traditions in sports. I really haven't made my mind up about this yet.

The next sports issue is Kenny Rogers, pitcher for the Texas Rangers. He was fined by the MLB for his behavior in knocking the camera away from two cameramen in a pre-game warm up. He publicly applologized for his outrageous actions and paid the fine. He was also an all-star pitcher in this years all-star game. When he was announced in the line-up the un-forgiving crowd at Detriot's Comerica Park viciously boo-ed him. I thought this was un-acceptable. In his entire career he's done one thing that he was publicly criticized for and after apologizing, the masses still can't forgive him. I guess that says a lot about the American sports fans these days. Since when did having a bad day and making a mistake become an un-forgivable action?? I'm just certain that all the jeering spectators have been perfect their whole life.

Now hear me roar about Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Investigators are bringing the mis-treatment of known-terrorist to the media's attention. According to the Associated Press, "Interrogators subjected a suspected terrorist to abusive and degrading treatment, forcing him to wear a bra, dance with another man and behave like a dog, military investigators reported Wednesday."

This seems to be a little much, but I also don't remember the last time that known terrorists were supposed to be treated like your average felons. Now, I'm not saying it's ok to put a guy in a bra and disgrace him like that, but I also don't know why it's anyone else's concern how we treat terrorists. Everyone with half a brain knows that prisons like that exist for alternative purposes that average prisons can't serve. And everyone could assume the kinds of things that go on in these places. Let's just say that I don't think that known terrorists are getting daily spa treatments there.

For as long as I've known, this kind of situation has always been a don't ask...don't tell kind of thing. But for some reason it's all coming up in our own media. I think it's bad for our country that the media is focusing so much on this. I think if there are going to be investigations regarding this ceratin situation, then they should be done privately. Having a biased media covering the whole situation is potentially distructive to our nation's entire process of dealing with detained terrorists.

There has been no accusations of prisoner abuse, however there is three cited occasions of prisoner mis-treatment. These were all violations of the Geneva Convention and Army Protocol and each person involved received discipline. I just don't think it should be covered so much because previously accounts of this nature have hurt the U.S. in world standing.

11 July 2005

I should have had my hammer

I am getting more and more concerned about the world we live in. "Why's that Patrick?" you ask. "Is it because of terrorism, global warming, AIDS or hunger?"

No, I tell you. It's because 90% of the websites I go to either have a pop-up ad or a banner ad for some on-line dating service. Whether it is true.com, trueromance.com, e-harmony.com or some other cheezy site with pictures of beautifully tanned women and extremely physically fit men, they are everywhere.

I can't figure out whether or not I'm sad, depressed or concerned about the state of relationships in America today. The simple fact that these adverts are nearly everywhere in cyberspace means that the services offered by these companies are beig utilized. People all of this country (and the world I'm sure) are finding love (or lust) through these sites.

Maybe I'm old fashioned. Maybe I'm closed-minded. I don't know and I really don't care either way, but I do know that things aren't the way they used to be. I really wish that men and women would still meet in person. That they would establish a personal relationship instead of first establishing an e-relationship.

Now, to the credit of some of the people who have done this, I'm sure that in certain cases on-line match making has been truly successful and great relationships have grown from that. But I still hold to the fact that it's kind of crazy how many people are relying on these services to find love in this world today.

07 July 2005

Phil???? Phil Connors??

I'm sittng at the house of Phil and Alicia Harris (Connors)

I am very upset at the terrorist attacks on London that took place this morning. I think it was a cowardly act and I hope those terrorists get the punishment they deserve.

I am excited though that London will be the site of the 2012 Olympics. I would have been pretty mad if Paris had won the bid. If you can't tell from any of my previous posts, I am not the biggest fan of the French right now.

In music: I purchased the new Alkaline Trio record "Crimson" I really feel that the album as a whole is pretty good. The production is tops and the band has started to step into previously un-touched areas, adding piano and strings to their music. I've greatly enjoyed it to this point.

05 July 2005

For you I'd wait 'til Kingdom Come

I have been reading a lot of John Piper lately. His thinking is amazing and his ideas towards living a life pleasing to God are extremely interesting. He makes the conclusion that we are most pleasing to God when we take joy in Him. That God created us to be joyful and the most pleasing thing we can do for the God who created us like this is to take joy in Him.

Piper's book, Desiring God, is one that I highly reccomend.

01 July 2005

Honorable Mention

An honorable mention to the previous post would have to be The Smashing Pumpkins - "Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness"

This two disk recording is a close-to-perfect, masterpiece which features soulfull lyrics, frightening guitars and drumming like no other. The album's songs deal with so many differnt topics including spiritual struggles, pain, growing up and love. And the difference in sounds on each disk make a great variation. Billy Corgan and gang got a lot of things right in their career, but this record may have been the one to change so many people as much as it changed the band.

Happy Early 4th of July to everyone. God Bless America!