ornament 31 December 2008 ornament

2008 in places

In keeping with tradition, a record of all the cities (or towns, hamlets, dots-on-a-map) in which I’ve spent at least one night this year:

  • Annapolis, MD
  • Kingsport, TN
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Lexington, KY
  • Nashville, TN
  • Owensboro, KY
  • Rodanthe, NC
  • Stamping Ground, KY
  • Woodbridge, VA
  • Washington, DC

cf. 2005/1999, 2006, 2007.

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ornament 24 December 2008 ornament

Hail th’incarnate Deity!

For all the talk in today’s culture about the “magic of Christmas,” the reality is that it is the very absence of “magic” in the world that gave us need for the incarnation.  Left to our own device, we humans dance dangerously about in darkness.  Left to our incomplete selves, sin reigns supreme.

Only a complete Man could be our hope.  One who was, as the song goes, “pleased as man with man to dwell.”  May the increase of his government and of peace see no end.

Merry Christmas!

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ornament 21 November 2008 ornament

How President Bush can save his legacy

President Bush is not a popular man these days.  If his approval ratings fall any lower, they might be mistaken for the current Dow Jones Industrial Average.  The lamest of ducks at this point in his career, a turkey might be the only way for him to salvage his legacy.

Every year, the president is presented with the National Thanksgiving Turkey.  And every year since 1989 — when the Bush’s father granted a stay to the national bird — a turkey has been pardoned by our commander-in-chief.

Now is the time for George W. to differentiate himself.  Don’t grant the pardon. Eat the bird.

Pardons in the waning days of an administration are the stuff of Bill Clinton, not George W. Bush. It would be a final, Machiavellian exercise in strategery.  Sure, PETA would cry foul (or fowl?), but he’ll likely never win their hearts anyway.

There will be a whole host of turkeys headed to Washington in the coming days, many of whom will undoubtedly require post-tenure pardon by the Obama administration.  This Thanksgiving, it’s time for the president to make his mark upon history by returning to the great American tradition of eating turkeys — there will be plenty to pardon later.

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ornament 21 October 2008 ornament

[Link] The ‘Trophy Kids’ Go to Work

The ‘Trophy Kids’ Go to Work: “For this generation, work is not a place you go; work is a thing you do…”

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ornament 15 October 2008 ornament

[Link] Prof. Robert George: Obama’s Abortion Extremism

Princeton prof Robert P. George takes Obama’s abortion extremism to task.

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[Link] Tom McClusky on Oxymorons for Obama

Oxymorons for Obama: My friend Tom McClusky takes a closer look at what some of Obama’s more unlikely supporters might be missing.

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ornament 8 October 2008 ornament

The end of the world as we know it

What would the world be like without humans?

If a recent special on the National Geographic Channel is correct, it would be much better off.  “Aftermath: Population Zero” takes a hypothetical look (and I emphasize the hypo) at what would happen should every human on the planet suddenly disappear.  From the show’s description:

This is the astounding story of a world we will never see. A world without people, where city streets are still populated by cars, but without drivers. Nobody to fix bridges, repair buildings or maintain power plants. After being controlled by humanity for millennia, nature reclaims the earth. But how would that work? How long would skyscrapers, nuclear power plants, and our homes last if abandoned? How would wild and domestic animals fare without us? Will the Eiffel Tower outlast the Statue of Liberty? Aftermath: Population Zero gives us a chance to see the impact of human beings by seeing how Earth would adapt without us.

It’s a concept that could be very interesting — a philosophical pause on an I Am Legend scenario that shows us how humans really are the pinnacle of creation.  It could be interesting, except for the one thing “Aftermath” forgets: humans are a part of nature.

Following a textbook environmentalist script, the show postulates how our nuclear power plants, suddenly unmanned, will explode and cause mass devastation upon the world — we apparently can’t stop tearing stuff up even after we’ve left the building.

Not to fear, the planet soon heals itself and recovers just fine without us.  Even the “green” movement gets a boost without those pesky people to interfere.  As the narrator observers, “Manhattan turns from gray to green.” And as the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty finally crumble after a millennium, we learn that it’s all just part of how “nature is reclaiming the world, city by city.”

All documentaries, even the speculative ones like “Aftermath” — have a moral at the end of the story.  It’s the take-away message that we’ve all learned from what we’ve just seen.  As nearly all traces of human existence are wiped out, our narrator encourages us with the fact that “earth is resilient — in time, it cleaned up every mess we made — all we had to do was get out of the way.”

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ornament 30 September 2008 ornament

[Link] Anthony Esolen’s “The Rules” on whom to marry

Touchstone‘s Anthony Esolen gives us a quite profound — and amusing — list of rules for finding whom to marry, and whom to not.

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ornament 24 September 2008 ornament

Introducing the 2008 Chevy Corvair

Parade of the also-rans:
Ralph Nader

Just when I thought the race was down to two candidates, I realized that I had left out the perennial Ralph Nader.  That’s right, get ready for lots of ballot counting, because Nader has swung into the race faster than an unsafe car to once again capture the heart of the disaffected voter.

Nader is not threatened by fellow also-ran Mike Gravel.  He’s willing to take on the erstwhile Alaskan for the title of weirdest campaign video.  If Gravel can stir up the avant-garde in each of us by staring down a camera, Ralph Nader’s conversation with a parrot can lead us to presidential sanity:

Looks like the Nader campaign is unsafe at any speed…

[This post is fifth in a series on the other 2008 presidential candidates called “Parade of the also-rans.” See the whole series here.]

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ornament 23 September 2008 ornament

Hating the Gators from the west

Vols 6, Gators 30

All tied up with GodBlogCon/BlogWorld in Las Vegas, this was the first Tennessee-Florida game I’ve not watched in a decade, and it’s just as well.  Apparently it was all I expected and more.  Last year, I predicted that the massive defeat to the Gators marked the end of the Phil Fulmer era.  Premature, perhaps, but I stand by that statement.

Come on Phil, isn’t it about time to “spend more time with your family?”

Sigh.

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