Friday, July 2, 2010


A friend, former student, and current law school student named Caleb sends along some thoughtful comments on several of our recent posts. His letter can be read on our Feedback page. Check it out.


Headless Chickens

James Carville's outburst a couple of weeks ago appears to have legitimized Democratic criticism of the Obama White House for its lackadaisical response to the oil spill. One recent example is Democrat House member Gene Taylor who calls Obama's response to the spill incompetent:

As oil spread as close as 1.5 miles from Jackson County's coast Saturday, U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor called the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster "incompetent."

"I'm having a Katrina flashback," said the Bay St. Louis Democrat after an aerial survey of the Mississippi Sound and barrier islands Saturday morning. "I haven't seen this much incompetence since Michael Brown was running FEMA."

All those boats are running around like headless chickens. None of them are skimming for oil. It is criminal. Between the amount of money, the amount of wasted effort, there shouldn't be a drop of oil in the Mississippi Sound, but because of this incompetence, it is there."

It's hard to understand the congressman's complaint, actually. The President has assured us that he's been on the case from "day one" and is not resting until, well, until he's kicked somebody's fanny.

Maybe there are some headless chickens running around in the West Wing, too.


Three Questions

Justin Taylor over at Evangel relates part of an interview he had with theologian Gerald Bray. During their conversation Bray explained the three overarching questions which we should bring to our reading of any passage of the Bible. If we do this, he says, passages which seem otherwise to have no meaning will become meaningful. Taylor then challenges Bray to apply his method to the genealogies in I Chronicles which certainly seem to have no purpose other than to make the reader's eyes glaze over.

Bray's three questions are these:

The first question we must ask of every biblical text is simply this-what does it tell us about God? What does it say about who he is and about what he does?

The second question is: what does this text say about us human beings? What are we meant to be and what has gone wrong?

The third and final question is: what has God done about this and what does he expect of us in the light of what he has done?

Asking these questions and seeking answers to them will help us interpret the Spirit's message to Christ's people and to each of us as individuals.

Bray's application of these to the I Chronicles genealogies is interesting. Give it a look.


More Bureaucratic Bungling

Dick Morris paints us a picture of the sort of ineptitude on display by the federal government as it does its best to turn the Gulf oil crisis into a tale straight out of a Franz Kafka novel. I doubt that even the greatest satirist in the history of western literature could have constructed a parody to match what the feds are doing in real life:

According to state disaster relief officials, Alabama conceived a plan - early on - to erect huge booms off shore to shield the approximately 200 miles of their state's coastline from oil. Rather than install the relatively light and shallow booms in use elsewhere, the state (with assistance from the Coast Guard) canvassed the world and located enough huge, heavy booms - some weighing tons and seven meters high - to guard their coast.

[Unfortunately, two days after James Carville complained about the lack of effort to stop the oil from spilling into Louisiana marshes the Coast Guard moved those booms to protect the Louisiana coast.]

So, Alabama decided on a backup plan. It would buy snare booms to catch the oil as it began to wash up on the beaches.

But...the Fish and Wildlife Administration vetoed the plan saying it would endanger sea turtles that nest on the beaches.

So, Alabama - ever resourceful - decided to hire 400 workers to patrol the beaches in person scooping up oil that had washed ashore.

But ... OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Agency) refused to allow them to work more than twenty minutes out of every hour and required an hour long break after forty minutes of work so the cleanup proceeded at a very slow pace.

[E]very agency - each with its own particular bureaucratic agenda - was able to veto each aspect of any plan to fight the spill with the unintended consequence that nothing stopped the oil from destroying hundreds of miles of wetlands, habitats, beaches, fisheries, and recreational facilities.

Where was the president? Why did he not intervene in these and countless other bureaucratic controversies to force a focus on the oil, not on the turtles and other incidental concerns?

Good questions. They're questions that Mr. Obama needs to be forced by the media to answer. Until he does he simply looks uncaring, disengaged, and incompetent. What's worse for the Democrats in November, it won't be long before bumper stickers start appearing referring to the president as President Obungler.

BTW, these are the same people who are trying to lead us out of the economic doldrums and who have recently arrogated to themselves the power to manage your health care. That should make you feel good.