Saturday, March 09, 2002

"I don't want to keep it short and sweet." i do, but i don't want to have to.

Friday, March 08, 2002

oh, so that's what were fighting for.

"AT TIMES it becomes necessary for a nation to defend itself through force of arms. Because war is a grave matter, involving the sacrifice and taking of precious human life, conscience demands that those who would wage the war state clearly the moral reasoning behind their actions, in order to make plain to one another, and to the world community, the principles they are defending."

i heard a really good anti-war speaking a few days ago, so i'm up for another lengthy anti-war rant. there are too many hypocritical points in this article to cover, but i'll try to touch on a few:

"no appeal to the merits or demerits of specific foreign policies can ever justify, or even purport to make sense of, the mass slaughter of innocent persons."

so then does the american involvement of the mass slaughter of innocent persons justify the mass slaughter of americans, or does the mass slaughter of americans justify the mass slaughter of innocent persons in iraq? columbia? afghanistan? vietnam? japan? what exactly does justify mass slaughter? or how does anyone propose conducting war without mass slaughter?

"We agree with the international group of distinguished philosophers who in the late 1940s helped to shape the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights"

why, if these rights are universal, does america regularly deny many rights listed therein? the death penalty, for example, is obviously against the UDHR.

"we agree with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."

king was an anti-war activist, plain and simple. he was unquestioningly against war and all forms of violence. to quote king in a defense of war is absolutely ridiculous.

"we acknowledge again the all too frequent gaps between our ideals and our conduct...a possible basis of hope for a world community based on peace and justice"

the most obvious gap between the ideals and conduct here are the suggestion that war is somehow peaceful.

"We also know that the line separating good and evil does not run between one society and another, much less between one religion and another; ultimately, that line runs through the middle of every human heart...Yet reason and careful moral reflection also teach us that there are times when the first and most important reply to evil is to stop it"

if we recognize that every human heart contains both good and evil, what right do we have to destroy the good with the evil? the most important reply to evil is to stop it, but this must be done without stopping good as well, and without creating more evil.

"Wars may not legitimately be fought for national glory, to avenge past wrongs, for territorial gain, or for any other non-defensive purpose."

who really believes the "war on terror" is still defensive? where are the people against whom we are defending? we have no idea.

"Wars may not legitimately be fought ... against dangers that might plausibly be mitigated solely through negotiation, appeals to reason, persuasion from third parties, or other nonviolent means"

i agree. and which of these nonviolent means did we exhaust before going to war? none of them.

"WE PLEDGE TO DO all we can to guard against the harmful temptations - especially those of arrogance and jingoism - to which nations at war so often seem to yield."

too late.

"One day, this war will end."

just not any time in the foreseeable future.

when i was in high school, i was at a church youth group meeting. i was playing "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" by bob dylan on the piano (the brass section part), and the youth pastor walked up to me and said "do you think that's appropriate to be playing at church?" so i stopped playing. but a few years later i started thinking about the lyrics to that song, and i thought to myself "yeah - that is entirely appropriate to play in church." i regret hanging around a church that wouldn't affirm that it's better to share pot with people than to throw stones at them.
if i owned a store that sold computers, i would subtley adjust laptop prices as the local temperature rose and fell, because everyone really wants a laptop when it's nice out.

Thursday, March 07, 2002

The New York Times: "Create a Times News Tracker alert and begin receiving FREE e-mail notification when articles that match your interest are published." interesting. it seems like there's something good about having to skim past the articles of no immediate interest to pick out the ones you want - an ever so slight broadening of knowledge that is easier and easier to not get these days. what i'd really like is to get my selected topics (not limited to 3) emailed to me in full (not as links) along with a few other randomly selected articles. feel free to insert ads where necessary to pay for this service, and if they relate to my selected topics, i might even read them.

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

i changed my reply system from blogback to quick topic. this means that i've lost all (3?) of the previous comments, and there's no longer threading, but i'll now be emailed whenever someone comments, and i'll be able to export the comments from quick topic and import them into my own commenting system whenever i get around to creating that.
having no illusions that anyone will actually use it, i've added a donation button.
for the record:

Cornelius Gysbert Reynen, the son of Albert and Henrietta (De Geest) Reynen, was born on July 8, 1916 at Otley, Iowa. At the age of five years he moved with his parents to Hollandale, Minnesota where he attended grade school and graduated from high school. Cornie, as he was known, then enrolled at Central College in Pella, Iowa. He graduated from Central College in 1939 and then attended Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. Cornie graduated from seminary with his Masters of Divinity Degree in 1942. On August 8, 1940 he and Almira Janet Klein were united in marriage. To this union five sons were born: Kenneth Eugene who died 3 days following his brith, Kenneth Eugene, Paul Allan and twins: Richard Dean and Roger Gene, who died at the age of 9 months.

Rev. Reynen and Almira served Reformed Churches of America in Archer, Iowa; Erie, Illinois; Holland, Michigan; Lansing, Illinois; Grand Haven, Michigan; Kalamazoo, Michigan; Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin and Des Moines, Iowa. Following his retirement from the Bethany Reformed Church in Des Moines they moved to Pella, Iowa in 1983. Rev. Reynen then served as the Calling Pastor for the First Reformed Church. Rev. Reynen seved his congregations faithfully throughout his ministry and enjoyed two hobbies: landscaping and gardening. He also enjoyed fishing with his sons. In August of 2001 Rev. Reynen and Almira sold their home in Pella and became residents of Fair Haven East. They enjoyed making this transition together.

In January of 2002 Rev. Reynen became a resident in the Long Term Care Unit at the Pella Regional Health Care Center. On Thursday evening, February 21, 2002 he passed away in the Pella Regional Health Care Center at the age of 85 years, seven months and thirteen days. Rev. Reynen is survived by his wife of sixty-one years, Almira, their three sons and their wives, six grandsons and their wives, and four great-grandsons.

Of his original family, Rev. Reynen is survived by his younger brother, Henry Reynen and his wife, Henrietta of Hollandale, Minnesota. His wife, Almira's family includes the following siblings: her brother, Henry A. Klein; and her sister, Ester and her husband, Virgil Boot all of Pella, Iowa. He was preceded in death by his two sons who died in infancy and his parents: Alberta and Henrietta Reynen. Rev. Reynen was a faithful member of the First Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa, and Cornie found much joy in sharing the gospel with all those he could.
"Google is unique among search engines in that while it almost always shows you pages that have the exact keywords you are looking for, occasionally it will show you pages that don't have those keywords, but other pages linked to that page with those words." if we move, for a moment, beyond the ability to abuse this feature, we might recognize what this means for responsible linking: we can all collectively improve the validity of google results simply by accurately describing what we are linking to in the text of our link. that is, a good netizen should not use links like "click here", but always links like "a good search engine".

perhaps what google really needs is some way to anti-link, so that pointing to "-(consumer friendly)" will reduce the relevancy of a given link to a given search term. then we can collectively vote websites out of undeservedly high search rankings.