Archive for October, 2003

What has politics become?

What has politics become?
Yesterday’s debate was very disappointing.  There was lots of heat but not a lot of substance.  I was listening to the local radio talk shows today.  It seemed that people see what they want to see in a debate.  We each have our own important criteria.  We ignore the things we don’t care about and we focus on the things we think are important.

I listened to the local radio shows this morning as callers debated the debate.  Those who thought Hermanson was the clear winner thought he struck a damaging blow by exposing the NDP’s “hypocrisy” over privatizating the crowns.  Those who believed Calvert won thought Lorne was composed and appeared like a leader.  Those who thought Karwacki did the best believed he was the only one to offer real policy alternatives and was willing to let others speak.  In an odd twist many of the Hermanson supports thought Karwacki appeared weak and ‘boy scoutish’.  Conversely the Karwacki and Calvert supporters thought Hermanson was the clear loser because he came a across as a loud mouth bully. 

What has politics become?  The most memorable and influencial part of the debate was an exchange which could be summed up as ‘your a hypocrite’, ‘no I’m not’.  It looks like this election will be won or lost based on scare tactics, shouting down opponents, and dramatically presenting debatable facts as absolute truth.  Maybe it is the forum.  In an age of mass media maybe intelligent dialogue is impossible.

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Election Debate

Election Debate
I watched the debate over the Internet.  Stupid Bell Expressvu had the wrong time on the on screen guide.  A few thoughts.

Hermanson should learn that raising one’s volume doesn’t make one sound any smarter.

Calvert echoed Grant Devine’s comments in 86.  If we maintain a balanced budget in an economic downturn we turn our backs on the farmers of Saskatchewan.  Spooky.  I don’t know how you can brag about job growth and then point to the difficult economy when asked about budget deficits.

Karwacki is right, Hermanson is tanking in urban Saskatchewan.

Low utility rates and some funding for education is not a real plan to grow the province.

Saskatchewan does need careers, not just jobs.

Broad tax cuts by themselves will not stimulate the economy. 

Why didn’t Hermanson talk about purposed changes to labour laws?

Karwacki actually thinks he can win. 

How can you call someone a hypocrite repeatedly and then say you were “stepped on” in your final statement.

 

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This paper and pen thing is a passing fad

 This paper and pen thing is a passing fad
Today I went through this terrible trial. There is a problem with our Centrex Data Services line at the college so we haven’t had Internet for the last 36 hours or so. I finished some work and I needed to relay a message to someone else on staff. Email wasn’t an option. So I was lost. How do you send information to someone else. I had to use this different technology called the memo.

I had to go all the way to the reception office. They have these little blue pieces of paper. I can’t use other paper, it has to be the blue memo paper. This memo had so many complicated steps. I needed to write my name and the date on there. I wasn’t sure how to do that. I had to check the date. Writing with my hand wasn’t easy. But I struggled through it. There was no spell checker. Then I needed to look up the mail box number.. Another complicated step in a complicated process. Then I had to find the mail slot with the corresponding number. I’m sure paper doesn’t like me. The pens keep running out ink all the time. I’m paper illiterate, they shouldn’t expect me to learn this whole complicated system of pen, paper, memos and mailboxes. This writing is just a passing fad. Paper is just so impersonal. The world was a better place before we had all these fancy pieces of paper and pens. I hate writing.

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Calvert, Hermanson, or Karwacki

Calvert, Hermanson, or Karwacki
Tonight I watched Calvert, Hermanson, and Karwacki interviewed on the Global network.  Here are my reflections.

Lorne Calvert – Current Leader
Lorne did very well in his interview.  He came across articulate and intelligent.  He defended the NDP’s perspective on Hermanson and crown corporations very well.  He answered the questions well and showed the most poise.  My impression of Calvert improved.

One of Calverts promises is the lowest utility rates in Canada.  One of the interviewers commented that NDP policy seemed uninspiring.  We already have low utility bills.  I can’t see how another 10% off is going to bring people here.  It was a good point. The NDP don’t seem to have a grand vision for the province.

Elwin Hermanson – Opposition Leader
Elwin did not do well in his interview.  At times he seemed flustered.  He did not answer questions well and seemed to be dodging them.  At one moment he said he was open to certain kinds of offers on the crowns and then said he wasn’t open to offers he was open to partnerships.  I honestly believe he was being consistent in the interview, he just chose the wrong words.

Elwin promised that tax cuts would create growth.  I do believe that some moderate tax relief for small businesses would be a good idea.  However the government deficit makes tax cuts impossible until growth in the economy floats government coffers to a reasonable level.  It seemed obvious some spending cuts would be necessary to make tax cuts possible within a balanced budget.  When questioned on this Elwin could only name out of province investments by crown corporations as a target for spending cuts.  That seemed like a poor answer to me because as far I know the out of province crown investments have earned just as much money as they have lost.  

David Karwacki
David did very well.  He came across intelligent and articulate as well.  He also offered fair criticism of the current property tax system, crown corporations working against local business, and the negative nature of the other 2 campaigns.  As one who has a business in website development and hosting I don’t like the fact that the company I get my cell phone and Internet service from competes with me in my core business. 

The only downside to Karwacki is that he is well behind in the polls.  I am still leaning heavily towards Karwacki at this point.  Our current government doesn’t have much vision, and we could use a change.  The Liberals have a real plan with some business sense.

Immediately after the interviews the phone rang.  Scotty answered “Vote Karwacki” and I started laughing so hard a fell over on to the couch. 

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What no updates?

What no updates?
This website is hosted on my company’s Win2k Server.  Every couple of weeks I make sure that it has all the necessary patches.  For the first time in what may be a long time, there is nothing to update.

Crazy

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Unity

Unity
A few months ago there were a couple of bloggers that talked about church punditry and not having enough stories online. They had pretty good points. Now that I’m part of new group I’ve been doing my best to write about it. I’m writing about our joys, questions and struggles. Since then I’ve received a few honest and probably fair comments about what I’ve been writing. Some are concerned that I’m writing too much, being too open. Some are concerned we are talking to much about meetings. One person was concerned that I haven’t talked enough about spiritual leadership of women in our group. I am not saying some of these comments aren’t fair but if I had to act on all of them I wouldn’t know where to start.

In some ways I think the emerging church could be in for a rude awakening. Unity is easy when we criticize the old or speak in theory about the new. Once we put things in to practice some of our old allegiances and assumptions come out. These things come out in our house church which is not part of a denomination. At each step we need to work out the basic things that most churches worked out long ago. This isn’t easy.

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Bring on the Bombers

Bring on the Bombers!
The Saskatchewan Roughriders have dispatched BC for the 3rd and final time this year.  It’s nice to have the Leo’s around for some easy points.  Now we shall have our vengeance on the evil horde from Manitoba.

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Believing in People

Believing in People
I’ve been thinking about a few things lately.  What is the goal of a church?  Traditionally we design structures and models that will facilitate church health and growth.  So far our house church exists more for the people than for itself.  I was talking about this at lunch with Randall a few days ago.  If the house church I’m a part of disbands in a year but everyone leaves a better person than they are right now the church has been a stunning success. 

Randall has become a pastor to me in many ways.  I appreciate him, and so do many others around here. 

Jeremy Olson is someone that many of my peers might have disregarded.  He was even rejected for denominational education funding because they had reservations about his calling in ministry.  Jer had been known for pushing buttons at the school.  He was unashamedly radical in his thinking about God and church.  He has offended and frightened a few.

I am very glad that I never started doubting that guy.  He has been a great asset to our church.  He shows more and more maturity all the time.  He has a willingness to face issues head on, and to grow through each experience.  I think the people that questioned his call to ministry, if that is what you would call it, were really out to lunch.  In some ways some people prefer their church leaders to be nice cookie cutter Christians that will faithfully run programs.

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Song for Settlers of Catan

Song for Settlers of Catan
Sung to the tune of Young Lust by Pink Floyd.

I am playing settlers
Settlers of Catan
I need to roll a seven
there’s a robber on my land

oooooooooooh I need to roll a seven
oooooooooooh I need to get some ore
oooooooooooh I need to roll a seven
oooooooooooh I need to get some more

I’m locked in by this desert land
The year of plenty in my hand
Why won’t someone roll a three
I’ll get one wheat and lots of tree

oooooooooooh I need to roll a seven
oooooooooooh I need to get some ore
oooooooooooh I need to roll a seven
oooooooooooh I need to get some more

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Church Chronicle

House Church Chronicle
It’s been an eventful week on my blog. The debate on my blog included people in our house church as well as close local friends. I think there is a need to clearly and concretely explain the nature of our group and the consensus of our group on newcomers.

Nature of our church
Jer and I are are the leaders, but really only as first among equals. Decisions about the structure of the church are made by the group. As a group we are trying to employ a community hermeneutic. Which means we attempt to figure out church together, not as likeminded individuals grouping. Some might question how we even came together without some central tenets in agreement and that would be fair. As we flesh this thing out, we do it as a group and each one of us is submitted to the group. This is not LT’s church anymore than it is Linsay’s church, Jer’s church or Kimbo’s church..

The consensus of our group
Anyone is welcome to join in on our meetings. We limit communion to Christians. We are open and honest about the nature and expectations of our group, what it believes and what it does. I personally am in full agreement with this.

So what happened
We celebrated the Lord’s Supper and shared from our lives.  No teaching this week.  The potluck consisted of roll kuchen (sp?), donuts, DQ ice cream cake and Vern’s Pizza. 

There were members of our group that were concerned about what I had been writing in the last few days. I articulated what I believed their concerns to be. I did my best to demonstrate I cared and was listening to their concerns. Then I went on to explain how everything got started with my last church chronicle. Some of the people that commented on my blog misread my first post, and my explanations. Once the church people had a better understanding of what I actually believe I think a lot of people were relieved.

 

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