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Homefront for sale October 30, 2006

Posted by fajita in General.
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Buy my book. It’s called Homefront and it is a collection of articles I wrote for the Jonesboro Sun. It costs $12.50 (shipping included).

I will split profits with World Vision.

It’s a bathroom book, stocking stuffer, Christams gift, paperweight, and much, much more.

Send a check to 2753 Sunset Lane Burnsville, MN 55337 and you will receive as many copies as you pay for. Buy 5 or more and pay only $10.00 each.  

Quote of the Day October 30, 2006

Posted by fajita in family.
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As my 59 year old mother was helping my 80 year old grandmother into the mini-van, my 80 year old grandamother says, “Geez, I can do that; you’re treating me like I’m 90.” 

Overheard on the bus October 26, 2006

Posted by fajita in General.
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“Grey’s Anatomy, gosh, it’s just like my life.”

St. Paul, Minnesota.

Free wi-fi? Make sure it’s legal October 25, 2006

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If you think you can just drive around the neighborhood like those guys on that one commerical and get free wi-fi, well, you probably can. But you probably can’t do it leagally.

Click here to learn more.

Baby Got Book October 23, 2006

Posted by fajita in General.
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Click here to see a white boy youth minister cover Sir Mixalot.

“Me so holy.” What gives?

Postmodernity Doesn’t Need Any Postmoderns October 21, 2006

Posted by fajita in Philosophy/Religion.
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I have been involved in conversations wherein people tried to assign postmodern philosophy to people. For example, I have heard people say that someone who doesn’t understand movie Napolean Dynomite is not postmodern. In other conversations I have heard people talk about postmodernity like it is a genetic trait.

So, are people postmodern? If they are, do they know it? Are they trying to be that way? I don’t, maybe they know it, maybe they are trying to be postmodern. Maybe not.

It’s not that I am doubting that there is a postmodern philosophy that is pervasive in American society, because I think that it is. However, I think that it is more pervasive on the macrolevel than on the personal level.

Let’s see if I can make any sense of this. All postmodernity needs in order to proliferate is increasing diversity, even if the people comprising the diversity are themselves not very diverse or even open to new ideas. How’s this?

Well, imagine people grouping together in like kinds of groups. Whites with whites, gays with gays, and farmers with farmers. Now, imagine that there are lots of these groups and the number of these different kinds of groups increases. Imagine that these groups often don’t agree with each other or often mingle with each other, but at the same time refuse to be violent toward each other. The number of different groups increases that there is no majority group or group powerful enough to always gets its way through policy, economic, factors etc.

Power decentralizes and then localizes; morality does the same. Truth becomes local as well. People in the groups realize that there are diverse views out there, but also realize they are limited in their ability to pursuade people that their group is better than other groups, and eventually give up trying so hard to pursuade, however, at the same time they do not hold their belief any less.

No one in any of these groups is”postmodern” in that they believe in postmodern philosophy. They all think that they are right in the most modern sense. And yet, the society they live in is trending postmodern.

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300 Million Americans: 2 – Why the U.S still isn’t Europe and never will be October 19, 2006

Posted by fajita in General.
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Many European countries have declined in birth rates such that they cannot replace their current populations. The United States has declined as well. The difference is that so many people want to immigrate to the United States that population decline will only be a problem if the U.S. closes its borders to immigration.

The U.S. won’t do it. Even with all the talk of building walls and controlling illegal immigration, America is still considered the Promised Land for  millions of hopeful people living in different countries. Furthermore, America is adding jobs and needs to have people to fill those jobs.

Some people think that this immigration threatens American culture. Truth is, massive immigration is a uniquely American reality. France, for example, seems to take great pride in being French, but the racial riots in France would indicate that there might be someting negative about the French wanting to be so very French.

Preserving American culture is not a racial thing, but rather a diversity thing. We’re in wave II of massive immigration, only this time around it’s not as much European immigration as it is Hispanic (whatever that term means) immigration. It would be unamerican to suddenly accept only European immigration and not Central and South American immigration.

While many European countries want to preserve homogenous national identities, American preserves its diverse and heterogenous identity by not being exclusive. The United States must be flexible and inclusive in order to continue its phenominal economic expansion. America must continue to welcome people of the world and find ways to give these immigrants access to the great American experiment.

America must be willing to continue to rethink itself with every next immigrant. Yes, these immigrants need to conform in many ways to American culture, but what might not be so obvious is that it is to America’s benefit to conform in some ways to the culture of the immigrants we welcome here.

We must never forget that America is an experiment. Its history is immigration. Its present is immigration. If its future does not contain immigration, then that point will mark the beginning of the decline and fall of the American culture.

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Virtue: Means to an end? October 17, 2006

Posted by fajita in General.
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The fatal flaw of Western Christianity is that it is too easily enticed into using virtue as a tool by which to produce something else. Health and wealth theology is firmly rooted in using virtue, spiritual disciplines, and even goodness as a means by which to gain something else. It is consumerism run amuck.

And it is easy to pluck out the obvious examples of this and feel good about how we do virtue, but the sad fact remains that few of us Americans is any good at being satisfied with virtue and the end. And here is the irony, it’s not that we can’t settle for only virtue, no; rather it is that we are not desirous enough to achieve satisfaction through it. We desire so little that we will settle for any little thing that will tantalize and tittilate.

Furthermore, we construct such elaborate means to achieve such little ends. We are so numb to the fact that we are looking so hard for so little that we will use virtue to accomplish that end. The cart is pushing the horse.

There is a certain economy of spirituality that takes into account certain inputs and outputs. Inputs being prayer, spiritual disciplines, and fruits of the spirit with the outputs being paid mortgage, healing, or things more trivial. Thing is, that is not the way it was meant to work. Virtue is an end to itself, a good end, the prized end.

When are we ever going to get it straight in the wya we really live our lives? Is a very difficult time or situation that never ends, but produces patience or wisdom not and blessing? Comfort is no great prize. Wealth isn’t either. Virtue, however, is a great prize.

The more that is attained the more that is desired and the more that is desired the deeper a person goes into the goodness of God. That end results in a spreading of blessing from the virtuous person the the people surrounding him or her, no matter their level of virtue. There is a certain generosity of the virtuous person that does not view the world as a pool of scarce resources that must be won or lost, but rahter views the world as a deep spring fed pool that never runs out from which to draw and share.

Thus ends my philosophizing.   

Faith 2.0: Book ’em October 17, 2006

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Go to Faith 2.0 and learn about how you can access this great resource for you, ytour family or even your church.

300 Million Americans: 1 – Old White People Need Teenage Mexicans October 15, 2006

Posted by fajita in Population.
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The Boomers are retiring. And even though there is that commercial with the gray haired cool guy says, “this generation isn’t going to play shuffleboard,” they are going to need social security. In fact, they are going to need more social security than any genration prior. Not only that, these same boomers didn’t have enough babies to make sure that social security was going to be in place.

Enter immigration. Were it not for immigration, the U.S. would be scared straight like Europe about low borth rates and low replacement rates of population. The U.S. is unique in that the population is growing a little by birth, but a lot by immigration.

Now, these boomers are going to require lots and lots of people paying into the (poorly developed and poorly thought out) social security program (along with other entitlements). Since we’re not making enough babies fast enough to pay for these entitlements, someone is going to have to pay for this. We must count on the immigrants to pick up the slack. They won’t pick up all of the slack, but they will make a significant difference as compared to a closed America.

Some might object that immigrants only take crappy jobs that no self-respecting American would take (snobs), but that is not true. It is only true that a lot of these jobs are filled by immigrants, but it is not the only kinds of jobs immigrants fill.

I was amazaed when I heard the statisitc that over 25% of PhDs in America are foreign born. I doubt many of the immigrant doctorate holders are flipping burgers for $6 an hour. No, they are holding moderate and high paying jobs. A large percentage of American MDs are immigrants as well. They are paying taxes; supporting the system. Furthermore, they are not tkaing away PhD’s and MDs from Americans, they are achieving them on a relatively equal basis if not a bias against them.

Retiring Americans need immigrants to come to America and succeed if they want that social security check to come in anywhere near the levels they feel like they are entitled to.

Americans need immigrants to fill American jobs produced by an American economy that certainly is de-manufacturizing, but is growing, growing, growing in many other sectors. We do not need a woker shortage that so hampered Japan. The only way to have enough workers for the future jobs that need to be filled is going to be immigration – unless we can start getting couples to get in the sack and make some babies. That ain’t going to happen if trends continue as they have been.

Old white men might not like the fact that Mexican (Indian, Somali, Hmong, etc) teenagers are here and more of them are coming, but it just might be their economic salvation. What a bizarre and redemptive twist twist.