Conversations With Myself
Thursday, July 21, 2005
  I'm a Centrist... at least politically
I took the World's Smallest Political Quiz and here are the results:


The political description that
fits you best is...


CENTRISTS espouse a "middle ground" regarding government
control of the economy and personal behavior. Depending on
the issue, they sometimes favor government intervention
and sometimes support individual freedom of choice.
Centrists pride themselves on keeping an open mind,
tend to oppose "political extremes," and emphasize what
they describe as "practical" solutions to problems.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
  This Day In History... Armstrongs Walks On The Moon
July 20, 1969

At 10:56 p.m. EDT, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth,
speaks these words to more than a billion people listening at home: "That's one
small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." A moment later, he stepped off
the lunar landing module Eagle and became the first human to walk on the surface
of the moon.The American effort to send astronauts to the moon has its origins
in a famous appeal President John F. Kennedy made to a special joint session of
Congress on May 25, 1961: "I believe this nation should commit itself to
achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and
returning him safely to Earth."

I must admit, I watched this live. Our family sat in the living room in the middle of night watching a fuzzy black and white picture of Armstrong climbing down the ladder of the LEM and onto the surface of the Moon.

My father was a big space program fan, and I grew up watching almost all of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo launches... Something that my father and I to this day share. My wife can tell you about our trips to the Kennedy Space Center... I am like a kid in a candy store. Last time we were there, Columbia was on the Pad for a launch the next week... It was cool seeing it from a distance, even if it was just sitting there.
  Wandom Wednesday
Set my real player on my hard drive to shuffle play

Here is the list

1. Diaphonic Suite No 4: Scherzando ritmico: Ruth Crawford Seeger
2. The Preachers of Crimetheus, Ballet in One Selfles: 1. Prologue: PDQ Bach
3. Stabat Mater for soprano, chor: Francis Poulenc
4. Sir Adrian in Rehersal Act lll Scene 1 Pilgrims Progress: Ralph Vaughn Williams
5. Litanies à la Vierge noire: Francis Poulenc
6. Comfort Ye My People: Messiah: George Frederick Handel
7. Fugue No.13 in F# major, Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1: J. S. Bach
8. Und der Prophet Elias brach hervor, Elias: Felix Mendelssohn
9. Arise, Elijah: Elijah, Felix Mendelssohn
10. Prelude No.19 in A major, Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1: J. S. Bach

Now realize that I have mostly Classical Music on my Hard Drive.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
  Talk about Circular Posts
I just posted a comment over here Lanco Yokels about a proposal to use Sales Tax as a substitute for School Property taxes. As I was posting this, it hit me.

What does PA currently use its income from Sales Tax on, we must use it for something, if it is now all going to go to School Districts, how does the state pay for the programs that it is currenly using the Sales Tax for?

I don't know the answer to that, but it does not seem to be a revenue neutral change to the PA tax structure.

I guess I will now email my representative, and see if he will actually respond to my concerns.
Monday, July 18, 2005
  St. Casserole: Things I don't understand
St. Casserole: Things I don't understand

I was reading this simple straight forward post and it got me to thinking.

Things I don't understand, about the Methodist Liturgy.

A few years ago when the new Methodist Hymnal came out and our church purchased it, we of course had to learn about it. First now Hymn number 1, O For A Thousand Tongues, was now Hymn No. 57 it as still the first hymn, but not No. 1. It has always bothered me, don't know why but it does.

Another thing that changed that I really don't understand is in the middle of our Communion Service there is now the phrase: "In the Name of Jesus Christ you are forgiven." Now this one really bothers me, first the pastor says it to the congregation then the congregation says it back in response to the pastor. No, Methodist's are Protestants, and it is my understanding that one of the main tenets of Protestant belief is that we require no intersession between us and our God. So when we go to the communion rail and partake of the sacraments, we commune with God and ask God for the forgiveness of our sins, we do not go to a confessional where some earthly intersessor assures us or not that we are forgiven. It something between me and God. So by that merit the pastor has no right to say that I have been forgiven for he can not see into my heart, nor do I have the right to say to the pastor that he has been forgiven, for the same reason. So why did we put it into our liturgy?

Also, why do we say that Jesus "descended to the dead" in the Apostles Creed during our Baptism and Confirmation services? This is not part of our every day Apostles creed, in fact from what I can tell, it was purposely left out of our creed at some point. If you went to a Presbyterian church when I was growing up it was in their creed but they said "descended into Hell." So I concluded that it was left out for a purpose and that that purpose was part of our belief structure. Basically saying that the Methodist Church does not believe that Jesus went to Hell, before his resurrection. Now it suddenly appears again, an unilateral decision that only during Baptism or Communion do we believe that Jesus descended to the dead. On most other Sunday's we use our traditional creed, which omits the words "descended to the dead."

Finally, why did we basically take the Lutheran Baptism Service and put it in our hymnal? There must be something that is different about Methodism that is not the same than Lutheranism? Otherwise would we not be called Lutheran, or they Methodist? I know this mainly because I worked in a Lutheran Church as the Senior Choir Director for 5 years. I was shocked when I saw their service in our hymnal.

On that final point, my theory is that it is part of the ecumenical movement, a blending of all our religions to make us more acceptable to people of other faiths. But that does not hold water, because although some of us became Methodist's because we grew up in the church, the main reason that I remain a Methodist is that I find most of what is taught in the church acceptable to my view of the way that I want to worship.

I know that these may be small and insignificant issues, that most people would think are silly to worry about and to be sure they are not enough to make me change churches, but I do wonder what decisions were made by the liturgy committee of the Church to decide to change these things.

I also admit that they bother me, which is why I guess I brought them up in the first place.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005
  Stem Cell Research
Senator Spector just came out with a Senate Bill relaxing federal funding for Stem Cell Research. The announcement that I heard on the radio, KYW in Philadelphia, today, mentioned that when the President banned federal money for stem-cell research he stated that some people in this country feel that stem-cell research is immoral and they should have to pay taxes that pay for something they feel is immoral.

Well Mr. President, I think the war in Iraq is immoral, can I get out of paying my taxes?

The libertarian argument does not work in a none libertarian form of government. If I have to pay for the things I don't agree with, then so should people that are against stem-cell research.
Friday, July 08, 2005
  This day in history... The Liberty Bell
July 8, 1776

Today it rang to summon people to here the first reading of the Declaration Of Independence. To this day
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

See the full article here
  Got this from a friend in e-mail
"Some people are like Slinkies.
They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your
face when you push them down a flight of stairs."

Thanks I needed to smile
Thursday, July 07, 2005
I was deeply saddened by the attack on innocents in London. There is no explaining terrorism.

Also, I am deeply ashamed that the United States has not stuck to the original mission. I was all for finding Bin Laden and doing what we could to stop terrorism in this world.

I keep asking myself, would things have been different if we had kept our eyes on the prize, the elimination of Terrorism in this world, and not been diverted by the case of revenge. To get Saddam because he tried to kill daddy! That is how I have always felt about this unnecessary war with Iraq. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and were not active supporters of Bin Laden and his organization. There were no weapons of mass destruction, and Saddam did not have the means to attack the United States.

If we had continued the war on terrorism, could this have been prevented? Can this world again be safe? Or are we doomed to always fear for our lives when we step out of our homes, or worse fear for our lives in our homes because our governments can no longer secure our shores and borders.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of London in your time of sorrow. May this not happen again, and may we find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
Here you will find what I find interesting to comment on. What interests me is Music, especially Church Music. Photography, Programming, Golf, and Politics.

Location: Thorndale, Pennsylvania, United States

I have been married for almost 23 years, and am the father of a teenage girl. I spend my days programming in just about any language they want in the banking and investing field. In the evening I work on my music, currently concentrating on arrangements and new choral pieces for my Church Choir. I have been Minister of Music, at my church for the past year, looking forward to next year. When I have time, I take pictures of anything and anyone. Also I play golf, not very well, but I enjoy it. Finally what I enjoy most is spending time with my family.

Blogs I Read

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