Obama and national service

Barack Obama LogoThere are many things that set Barack Obama apart from our current President. His recent call for greater national service is one of them. Bush is the only President in history to cut taxes in a time of war. The closest he's come to asking for sacrifice from the civilian population is when he said they should go shopping more. This week Obama announced a plan to expand AmeriCorps and double the size of the Peace Corps.

Helping Obama introduce the plan was Harris Wofford, an aide to John F. Kennedy who was instrumental in forming the Peace Corps. Wofford said, "I haven't felt this way since the days of high hopes of John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Barack Obama has picked up the torch that they lit."

Obama is not unique among the Democratic candidates. Edwards and Dodd have similar plans. But Obama seems especially capable of leveraging his charisma and leadership to inspire the public to service in a way that hasn't been done since Kennedy. And he's ready to back his rhetoric up with real programs. What's more, Obama's career in community service shows his commitment to this cause.

Malcolm in the MIddle on God

(via Atheist Media Blog)

Kyle's answer

I was excited to see my friend and fellow Truman (and CCF) alumnus Kyle write about the reasons he believes in God. I think very highly of Kyle and while I found his reasons unconvincing, I respect his faith and I enjoyed reading about it. I don't consider my beliefs to be permanently settled, so I think about the subject a lot and try to test my ideas and refine them. I'd like to deal with each of his reasons in turn, not to argue with him or to attempt to disprove his beliefs, but to explain why the they don't work for me.

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34 Unconvincing Arguments for God

The Minnesota Atheists posted a list of 34 Unconvincing Arguments for God. It gives a brief rebuttal of almost every reason I've heard for believing that a god exists. If you don't want to download the pdf version, here's an html version.

Obama pulls ahead

The Real Clear Politics Iowa poll average now has Obama ahead by four points. Recent Zogby polling shows that Obama is the candidate that can defeat any of the Republicans. He still trails in the national Democratic primary polls, but it's now clear that he can win Iowa, he can win the nomination and he can win the general election. I think he's the candidate that would be the best President, so this is great news.

Cooking with Pooh

Cooking with Pooh

Cooking With Pooh - Someone didn't think this title through.

(via Digg)

The Border Between Them

Image from AmazonLast weekend was the football game between MU and KU. I don't give a damn about sports, but it is interesting that this rivalry is called the Border War because there really was a time when the citizens of Kansas and Missouri were at war with each other. I'm currently reading The Border Between Them: Violence and Reconciliation on the Kansas-missouri Line by Jeremy Neely which explores the causes and effects of that war on six of the border counties. I live in one of those counties and it's been fascinating to learn more about the history of the area. I recommend the book to anyone who likes history, especially if you live in the area like I do.

Miranda Wrongs

MirandaKeep in mind that according to our President, we're keeping troops in Iraq to create breathing room for their fledgling democracy to stabilize. The US embassy in Iraq is giving instruction on democratic principles to Iraqi lawmakers through its Office of Legislative Statecraft. So far so good. Who did the Bush administration appoint to direct this office? Manuel Miranda.

Where did Miranda hone his own legislative statecraft? At the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this decade, where he led an 18-month effort to pilfer documents from the Democratic staff.

Miranda, who moved on to work as judicial nominations counsel for then-Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) in 2003, was forced from his job in early 2004 after an internal Senate investigation determined he and a junior aide had swiped 4,670 documents, memos and e-mails.

Miranda subsequently acknowledged doing so. He said that because the committee had no internal password protection at the time, no laws were broken when he looked through and printed out other aides' electronic files. (Washington Post)


After months of talking about it and mentally converting various sums of money to the equivalent number of Wiis (1 iMac = 6 Wiis), I finally broke down and bought a Nintendo Wii. I picked up Wii Play and Super Mario Galaxy. We set it up last night and had a lot of fun. Sara destroyed me in tennis and bowling. Emma and I made Miis that look like us and I added the Check Mii Out channel and downloaded a few celebrity Miis. Ever wondered who would win in a boxing match between Chuck Norris and Jesus? If you have a Wii and want to exchange Wii # so we can send each other Miis, email me.

Intelligent Design on Trial

Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on TrialNova | Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial - I just finished watching this PBS documentary about the trial in Dover, PA. Like the trial itself, the film gives a good overview of the science of evolution and the criticism leveled against it by proponents of ID. I highly recommend it. You can probably catch a rerun on PBS, or watch the whole program online.

The PBS site has some extra information, including several examples of transitional fossils.

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