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Showing posts from January, 2008

Politics: No on prop 94, 95, 96, 97

Prop 94-97 will allow more casino slot machines but in exchange for a bigger share of the revenue for the California budget.

How many slot machines are in Las Vegas?

According to About.com there are 197,144!

I don't know how many slots there are already here in California but this adds quite a few more!

The San Francisco Chronicle is against it:

Passage of these propositions would allow four of the state's wealthiest tribes - Agua Caliente, Morongo, Pechanga, Sycuan - to dramatically expand their Southern California gambling operations by adding up to 17,000 Nevada-style slot machines. Their casinos in Riverside and San Diego counties would become among the world's largest.

That $9 billion "windfall" for state government - assuming the proponents' projections come to fruition - would not suddenly fall from the sky. It would come between now and 2030 and the additional state revenue from the new slots would amount to, at best, perhaps one-tenth of 1 percent of the s…

Politics: No on Prop 93

This ballot measure tinkers with the current term limit system in place for the California legislature.

Send it back to them with a "no vote" and say "try again."

The LA Times is for it:

Like many political reform initiatives, Proposition 93 presents voters with a quandary. It would improve California's political system by rationally reforming the legislative term-limits law. But it also would confer a temporary, unearned and undeserved benefit on a handful of elected officials who broke faith with Californians. Now the question before voters is whether it's better to punish those politicians, and in so doing punish ourselves, by squandering a rare chance to improve the system, or to begin repairing the broken process without worrying that a few elected officials may, for a short time, enjoy an unexpected political afterlife.

The Times urges voters to reject the childish world of politics and to engage instead in the grown-up business of governing. Vote yes on …

Politics: No on Prop 92

Community colleges are a wonderful option for people.

But should the fees and governance of them be determined by ballot box?

Vote no.

The SF Chronicle is against it:

With the state facing a project deficit of $14 billion next year, this might seem like the worst possible time to propose a ballot measure that would commit an extra $900 million to community colleges over three years.
But even if times were flush, the budgeting-by-formula proposed in Proposition 92 would be a bad idea. This is the type of auto-spending that keeps the state budget rising in the good years and brings excruciating decisions when revenues get lean.

The Los Angeles Times agrees:

Proposition 92 promises California's community colleges a stable funding source while lowering student fees. What could be wrong with that?

A lot. Community colleges certainly need more money, but Proposition 92 would lock the state into spending hundreds of millions of additional dollars that it doesn't have. Lawmakers would have …

Politics: No on Prop 91

Its easy: vote no on proposition 91.

The LAT is against 91:

Even the authors of Proposition 91 want you to vote against it. It's an "orphan" measure that got onto the Feb. 5 ballot as part of an overreaching bargaining strategy by a coalition of transportation advocates. They already got what they wanted: Proposition 1A, approved by 77% of California voters in November 2006, locks up the sales taxes that motorists pay at the gasoline pump, allowing the revenue to be used only for transportation projects.

That makes this decision easy. Vote no on Proposition 91.

The SF Chronicle has also said the same thing:

Proposition 91 would restrict spending of gas taxes to transportation, and it faces some unlikely opponents: its sponsors.
A pair of powerful transportation industry groups that fought in 2006 to put Prop. 91 on the ballot now oppose it.

Its easy: vote no on proposition 91.

Politics: Hillary, Barack, John and Mitt's Cross Country Adventure

Well, the field got smaller awfully fast!

Edwards had to get out as he had no wins and no likely wins.

Huckabee has one win (Iowa) and some possible wins on Super Duper Tuesday but he will be under a lot of pressure to get out but has said he is staying in.

Romney is probably on the issues the most compatible candidate for many Republicans. However, he can't seem to shake the flip-flopper tag. Thus, we are where we are now.

One can't discount McCain's biography as a factor in his favor. The choice of a President is more than just issues.

How did George W. Bush win twice?

He was never the smooth talking candidate but support or oppose him, he was seen as being authentic.

I went to a McCain event in 2000 during the California primary. He was not a particularly good speaker. On the issues, he has taken some positions that many Republicans would question. But he projects the aura: what you see is what you get! His willingness to advocate the surge and back Bush while the va…

Devotional Thoughts: How do you pray when ...

Get the occasional email from friends who share a concern. Sometimes it is a health concern. Sometimes it is a work related matter. Could be any number of things.

But how do you pray when the request is: I'm talking with someone who is about to make decision XYZ and I think they are making a mistake?

Thus, there are two people to pray for: the person making the request and the person that is the subject of concern.

In this case, the decision XYZ is something that has huge consequences to that person and to everyone who knows this person. It is not something illegal but I think something immoral. How do you pray?

I think of James 1:16-18. Turning it into a prayer:

Father, please give wisdom to my friend who is trying to reach out to this troubled soul. I think this friend of a friend is being deceived. Help him to see that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father who gives good gifts. He gives wisdom through the word of truth that we might bear frui…

Non-profit of the month: January, 2008 - Polaris Project

One of my friends is a supporting of Polaris Project.

It is hard to believe but slavery still exists.

Today, it is known as human trafficking.

What does that mean?

From Polaris ...

Trafficked persons are forced or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. Under international law, all children who are commercially sexually exploited are considered trafficking victims, even if no force or coercion is used. Sex trafficking is one of the most lucrative sectors of the trade in people, and involves sexual exploitation in prostitution or pornography, bride trafficking, and commercial sexual abuse of children. Labor trafficking is widespread not only in situations of domestic servitude and small-scale labor operations, but also in sweatshops and farms that are subcontracted to major multinational corporations.

This kind of injustice must be opposed.

Please consider supporting an organization that is in the fight to end modern-day slavery.

Devotional Thoughts: Will he call upon God at all times?

Job continued his monologue from chapter 26 into Job 27.

I've linked to the NIV-UK. I've never tried that version so I thought I would today!

Interestingly, the NIV-UK laid out the text a little differently by breaking it up into sections. This sectioning isn't apparent in the online version of the NIV. I got my hardback edition of the NIV Study BIble and I noticed the spacing is a little bit larger between the sections and those spacings track with the NIV-UK online edition.

I didn't notice any obvious "Britishism!"

vv. 1-6

And Job continued his discourse:
As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made me taste bitterness of soul,
as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils,
my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit.
I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity.
I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproac…

Faith: Christian "Communal" Living

Saw this item about a group of Christians trying to live simpler lives in a more commune like setting. They are a part of the New Monastic Movement.

Excerpts:

BILLINGS, MONT. -- In a peeling house on South 32nd Street, five friends came together to stretch their faith.

They left comfortable apartments for a communal home within walking distance of a prison, a pawnshop, a derelict trailer park. Exhaust from a sugar beet factory drifted down the streets.

Moving in last January, they pledged to spend one year together, learning to become true followers of Christ. They would give generously, love unconditionally. They would exchange their middle-class ways for humility and simplicity, forgoing Hardee's fries, new CDs, even the basic comfort of privacy.

"The focus has to be on God and the way of life he has set out for us, as opposed to the way we want to live, which is very selfish," Jeromy Emerling said.
.......
On the cold November day when Phyllis and Kyle moved out with…

Bookshelf: Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower

About 1/2 way through Looming Tower which recounts the history of Al-Qaeda.

One school of thought says that economics is the root of human behavior. This kind of analysis says poor people will be desperate and commit crimes. That view is too simplistic. Bin Laden was a wealthy Saudi. So why did he become a terrorist?

Thus, ideology is a part of human behavior.

The book covers some of the conceptual factors (and some of the circumstantial ones) that have yielded Al-Qaeda.

For instance, I had no idea how corrupt the Saudi royal family has been through its history. Thus, various Jihad groups hate the Saudis and the Americans who have supported them over the decades.

Also, it was rather incredible how porous the Afghanistan-Pakistani border was. It seemed like anyone could find their way there to join in the war against the Soviets. Ironically, many of these Jihad fighters were happily let go by countries because they would have been trouble back in their home countries.

One big concep…

Technology: The real reason why airlines don't want you to use your cell phone

Saw this item.

Excerpt:

Part of the issue regarding stowing electronics at takeoff and landing, says Smith, has nothing to do with the fabled "interference," but rather the that that they can be dangerous as impromptu projectiles in the event of a sudden stop. Just ask the lady who decided to leave her tray table down and a full cup of Coke on it during my recent return flight from Vegas. Amazingly, it didn't stay where she wanted it to.
......
Smith wisely notes that one big reason for the cell phone rules is that the potential for danger of phones ensures that people won't demand to use them in flight. Most fliers, as we know, despise this idea, but serial chatters are far more, ahem, vocal about the issue. No one wants a war over technology at 35,000 feet. Those days, however, are already arriving in Europe, as onboard cellular systems have already been approved. Will the U.S. see the same? Smith feels it's inevitable, and he's probably right.

I have to say I&#…

Politics: Cal Ballot Measures

The items on the ballot.

Will have to take closer look at them.

My default is to vote no unless I have good reason to vote yes.

The LAT has come out against Prop 91.

They have come out in favor of Prop 93.

I hope to post some of my own thoughts soon.

UPDATE: SF Chronicle has come against all of the ballot measures!

UPDATE: McClintock who has libertarian leanings posts his recommendations on the ballots.

I'm torn about 94-95-96-97. My libertarian instincts track with McClintock, "I’m not a gambler, but it’s none of government’s business how people spend their money. I’m tired of government restrictions on enterprise, and I’m tired of government telling us what we can and can’t do. And our economy desperately needs the new jobs and investment."

On the other hand, as a matter of social well-being, is our society better with MORE casinos?

How about this for a "creative" libertarian reason to be against 94-97: if the California government fails to get more revenue bec…

World: Saddam Hussein's Interogator on 60 Minutes

Very interesting!

Excerpts:

Saddam Hussein initially didn't think the U.S. would invade Iraq to destroy weapons of mass destruction, so he kept the fact that he had none a secret to prevent an Iranian invasion he believed could happen. The Iraqi dictator revealed this thinking to George Piro, the FBI agent assigned to interrogate him after his capture.
.......
"He told me he initially miscalculated... President Bush’s intentions. He thought the United States would retaliate with the same type of attack as we did in 1998...a four-day aerial attack," says Piro. "He survived that one and he was willing to accept that type of attack." "He didn't believe the U.S. would invade?" asks Pelley, "No, not initially," answers Piro.
......
Saddam still wouldn't admit he had no weapons of mass destruction, even when it was obvious there would be military action against him because of the perception he did. Because, says Piro, "For him, it was crit…

Politics: Brokered Convention?

You have to remember in the general election for president, the key is the electoral college.

In the nomination race, the key is the delegate count.

In the modern era of presidential nomination races, the brokered convention hasn't happened. Usually, one candidate wins enough primaries and caucuses such that the old style deal making in smoke filled room isn't needed.

Will this year be different?

On the Democratic side, it is a remote possibility. My feeling is that something has got to give. Eventually, Clinton or Obama will have a breakthrough moment. Obama's biggest liability is inexperience and if at some point that factor rises above the novelty of his candidacy his support will wane. However, Clinton's biggest liability is her biggest asset, the Clinton brand name. They were playing it pretty safe hoping to run out the clock and coast to a victory. Now, they realize they are in a battle and are now blasting away. Its a delicate balancing act when you go negat…

Youth: How much more ... episode 3

Our youth group is currently going through a series of teachings based on Bible passages in the New Testament that uses the "How much more ..." formulation to hit home an important point. The first talk was on prayer and how we can be "shamelessly audacious" in coming before God. The second was on the gift of the Holy Spirit and what the Spirit can do in our lives.

I'm pinch hitting the third talk in the series. Am working on a talk around Matthew 12:9-14.

(1) What are some of your identities?
Do you embrace it?
Is it put upon you?
Incorrect?
ASK for reactions from the group
(2) Matthew 12:9-14
Film clip from Pasolini’s “The Gospel According to Saint Matthew”
Read the text
ASK for reactions from the group
(3) Connection to identity - in this case Jewish Identity
Oppressed people
Distinctiveness of the Jews (5 Books of Moses - the Torah, the Temple, circumcision, purity, sabbath keeping.
What was their mistake here?
How does Jesus pop their bubble?
(4) Jesus set them and u…

Devotional Thoughts: How faint the whispers we hear of him

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In Job 26, Job spoke.

Then Job replied:
How you have helped the powerless!
How you have saved the arm that is feeble!
What advice you have offered to one without wisdom!
And what great insight you have displayed!
Who has helped you utter these words?
And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?

Job took Bildad to the woodshed here saying what he said was simply not helpful.

After dismissing Bildad, Job turned to the existential reality of all human beings.

The dead are in deep anguish,
those beneath the waters and all that live in them.
Death is naked before God;
Destruction lies uncovered.

Is this a hint of afterlife theology?

If the dead have no existence (i.e. the body dies there is nothing left) then would they feel anguish?

And the construction of these lines of poetry paints a picture of a collection of those who have died who "live" (exist?) "beneath the waters" in a nether world?

Job, for a guy who had been ranting at God, extols God's power.

He spreads out the northern…

Devotional Thoughts: "Hearing" the voice of God?

I "talk" to God by praying. I believe God hears. But does God "talk" back?

Hmmm ...

I have to say I have NOT heard an unmistakable audible voice of God like you see in a movie like the Ten Commandments.

No burning bushes. No angelic visits.

So how does God "speak" to me?

I suppose one way is through the Scriptures when I read them or when someone shares them with me. Often times it seems that when I'm face-to-face with the Bible, something just "jumps out." Call it coincidence or call it God communicating?

Another way I suppose is what some people have called "divine appointments" when some circumstance of life happen where you think, "what was that?" Was that a "God thing?" Or my favorite phrase, "a whisper of grace?" Again, one without faith might say that was just a happenstance and the believer is reading into an ordinary event some divine meaning. Perhaps so.

One definition of a miracle I hear…

Politics: Michigan goes Romney or McCain?

The latest round up of Michigan polls over at RCP shows it is very close. Of the 6 latest polls listed, 3 have McCain ahead and 3 have Romney ahead. The spread on the 3 more recent ones is very close!

So far, I've correctly picked the winners in 3 of 4 races but I've underestimated the margin of victory in each case.

What will happen in Michigan?

Here is my guess ...

Romney 31%
McCain 30%
Huckabee 16%

UPDATE: Romney gets his first "gold medal!"

Final numbers:
Romney 39%
McCain 30%
Huckabee 16%

LA Scene: LA Philharmonic Concrete Frequency

Concrete Frequency is the current music festival being run by the LA Philharmonic. Excerpt from the press release:The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Concrete Frequency festival – a multi-disciplinary series of events – offers a probing exploration and celebration of the elements that define a city and how they are affected by, and reflected in, music. The unique examination of the relationship between music and the urban environment includes three orchestral programs, an electronic concert and a singer/songwriter program, enhanced by a film series, an art exhibition and a thought-provoking symposium. The two-week event begins with a Casual Fridays performance featuring Festival Director David Robertson conducting the Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Friday, January 4, at 8 p.m., and wraps up Thursday, January 17, at 9 p.m., with the special event – Man-Machine in the Digital City, featuring Tokyo’s Cornelius and British techno duo Plaid.I attended the event at Walt Disney Concer…

Devotional Thoughts: What God wants

John 13:35

"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Saw this news item.

Briefly, you may recall the terrible shooting rampage at New Life Church in Colorado Springs last year.

On January 3, the parents of the shooter, Ron and Loretta Murray went to the church and met with the pastor of the church Brady Boyd who answered their questions as to what happened that fateful day of the shooting.

Part of the meeting included the parents talking with church member and volunteer security guard Jeanne Assam who wounded their son who then shot himself fatally.

A spokeswoman said, "They told Assam that they were so deeply sorry she had to do what she did. There were tears, lots of embraces, prayers."

In a moment that was deeply powerful for all involved, the Murrays met with David and Marie Works, whose daughters, Stephanie, 18, and Rachael, 16, were killed by Matthew Murray.

Pastor Boyd said, "The four of them met and hugged and …

Politics: Latest national Gallup poll ...

Here it is...

Democrat
Clinton 33%
Obama 33%
Edwards 20%

Edwards will eventually drop out... who gets his 20%?

Republican
Huckabee 25%
Giuliani 20%
McCain 19%
Thompson 12%
Romney 9%

Talk about fractured!

A simplistic way of looking at it:
Social conservatives 25% (Huckabee)
National defense conservatives 39% (Giuliani + McCain)
Economic conservatives 21% (Thompson + Romney)

The ideal GOP candidate pulls in all three legs of this table.

To get the nomination, you got to get at least two legs.

Who can do that?!

Politics: Obligatory New Hampshire Wild Guesses

Latest polling data at RCP ... check it out. Obama looks to be in for a win but it isn't clear whether it will be double digits. McCain is narrowly ahead with one poll giving Romney the lead. I think it will be very close and Romney could just as easily win by a percentage or lose by a percentage. I think the thought of an aging McCain going up against a youthful Obama might work against McCain.

My guesses ...

Obama 43
Clinton 32
Edwards 20

McCain 34
Romney 33
Huckabee 12
Giuliani 10

UPDATE: As of 9:29pm:
Clinton 39%
Obama 37%
Edwards 17%

McCain 37%
Romney 32%
Huckabee 11%
Giuliani 9%

Clearly, the shocker was Clinton's victory. I bought into the tidal wave. I should have known better that the party bosses and the mainstream older democratic voters would respond to the shock to the system. It was a case of the "Empire Strikes Back." The old guard of the party will not go quietly and hand over the keys to the kingdom to the new kids on the block. Barring scandals or major bl…

Devotional Thoughts: How can one born of woman be pure?

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Job 25 picked up with one of Job's friends speaking ... and its real short!

I guess the friends are getting tired. I think this is the shortest monologue so far?

A bit of "inside baseball" on reading the Bible before we breakdown the short speech from Bildad.

The Bible contains various literary forms. Each literary form contains sort of an "agreement" between the author and the reader. If you want to explore this idea some more check out How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth.

Anyway, in poetry, one of the things to look for is parallelism. For instance, sometimes, Line 1 will say something and line 2 will say the same thing but using different words. Or line 1 will say something and line 2 will say the opposite to make a point. And other times, line 1 will say something and line 2 will explain line 1 and even on occasion subsequent lines will explain line 1.

So what do we have here?

Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
"Dominion and awe belong to God;

Bildad&…

Politics: Debate impressions

Disclaimer: My politics views are center-right. So that is where I'm coming from but I do try to be fair minded. So in the words similar to Fox News, I blog you decide! 8-)

Obama clearly has got the big Mo. Unless he blunders on the campaign trail or some scandal breaks out, I just don't see the Clinton forces able to resist this tidal wave.

Meanwhile on the Republican side, the divisions within the party has things murky.

Saw parts of the two Republican debates and a little bit of the Democratic debate. Since I'll be voting in the GOP primary I paid more attention to those debates.

So my only comment about the little bit I saw on the Democratic debate is to quote what K-Lo said over at NRO:Saturday, January 05, 2008
From the Audience [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"Debate drinking game - every time a Democrat says "change" take a drink."
01/05 09:39 PMIf I took her advice while watching the small snippet I saw, I'd have fallen down, passed out and suffer…

Bookshelf: First In by Gary C. Schroen

I went to the Los Angeles Public Library branch near where I lived and browsed the current events section and found First In - An insider's account of how the CIA spearheaded the war on terror in Afghanistan.

Reads like a page turning novel!

Hats off to the courage of the first team to go into Afghanistan and all who fought against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

9/11. A little over 7 years ago. Hard to imagine it happened.

It seems like ancient history in our 24/7 fast paced life and times.

What happened in Afghanistan happened very quickly and mostly out of the public eye.

This book sheds light on those momentous events.

A quick recap of the major events ...

September 9, 2001 - Masood, commander of the Northern Alliance was assassinated by Al-Qaeda

September 11 - Al-Qaeda hijacked four airplanes resulting in thousands of deaths in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.

September 14, Gary Schroen asked to lead first CIA team into Afghanistan.

September 19, Schroen and team members fly fr…

Politics: Iowa fallout - Republicans are divided

The traditional analysis is that the GOP is divided into social conservatives, economic conservatives and national security conservatives.

Using this filter, we can see why the GOP field is fractured.

Huckabee has got the corner on the social conservatives.

Paul has got the libertarian wing of the economic conservatives.

McCain and Giuliani are drawing from the national security conservatives.

Romney is drawing a little bit from all three.

Thompson had the potential to draw from all three but his candidacy is sitting on the launch pad fizzled.

Hugh Hewitt and the National Review's endorsement of Romney make the case that Romney is the full spectrum conservative that could pull together a coalition for victory in the general election.

The question for Team Mitt is can they ratchet up the passion level and increase the size of their draw from the three wings of the party?

Will he be able to say to the social conservatives who are backing Huckabee, I know I'm Mormon and not an evangelic…

Politics: Iowa fallout - Democrats choice is past or future?

Unless Obama has some scandal hidden that comes out of the woodworks or if he totally bungles debate performances that shows he isn't ready for prime time, he may well be the Democrat nominee and the next president.

The dynamics on the Democratic side is simple: past or future?

Edwards is the past and had his last hurrah in Iowa. His populist message is going to be overwhelmed by the new wave backing Obama.

Clinton is the past and will not go easily into the night. She represents the mainstream Democrat wing which is substantial. But another wipe out like Iowa in New Hampshire, she is done, toast, finished. She has the organization to weather a narrow defeat but clearly, they want a win. They can say Bill Clinton didn't win Iowa nor New Hampshire but the analogy doesn't wash as 1992 was a multi-candidate field with favorite sons in play. This is one-on-one and if Clinton can't get a win soon, she's done.

As I have mentioned before, she has none of the charm of…

Politics: Iowa delivers the obligatory surprises

My forecast was:
Huckabee 29%
Romney 28%
McCain 14%
Thompson 13%
Giuliani 10%
Paul 6%

Obama 35%
Clinton 34%
Edwards 31%

What happened?

As of 9:18pm:
Obama 38%
Edwards 30%
Clinton 29%

Huckabee 34%
Romney 25%
Thompson 13%
McCain 13%
Paul 10%
Giuliani 3%

I felt that Obama's support was real. Supporters who think they are making history will turn out. But I am surprised at the size of his victory.

Meanwhile, on the GOP side, I felt Huckabee would win by hanging on. Suffice to say, I'm surprised it turned into a 9% point rout!

The road ahead?

Clinton needs a win in New Hampshire. Clinton could survive a narrow loss due to nation wide strength but their campaign will be on the edge. But another pasting like this and they are done, stick a fork in em. This was Edward's last hurrah. He needed to win or be very close to winning to keep him going. He will crater in New Hampshire and will be done.

On the GOP side, Romney needs a win in New Hampshire. If Romney can't win in a neighboring state, he is…

Art: Aldrich's "All Nature Sings" Jan 5 - Feb 2, 2008

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Wanted to post this item for people who enjoy contemporary art that is NOT on the "ick" side nor the "I could have done that" realm. There might be some "I'm not sure what it is" feelings but they are thoughtful objects and are always well crafted that encourage contemplation and wonder.

Lynn Aldrich is a friend of mine who works in that space.

The exhibit starts Jan 5 and runs until Feb 2, 2008 at the Carl Berg Gallery.

6018 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles CA 90036
tel: 323-931-6060

Devotional Thoughts: Compline

Compline - according to Wikipedia, the final church service (or Office) of the day in the Christian tradition of canonical hours.

One tradition of this office is the one described in the Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer.

It is meant to occur in a congregational setting with parts spoken by the clergy and with parts by the laity. But since I'm sitting here this evening writing on my own there won't be any distinction.

Material taken straight from the BCP will be in italics and my meditations in regular font.

The Lord Almighty grant us a peaceful night and a perfect
end. Amen.

Our help is in the Name of the Lord;
The maker of heaven and earth.

Let us confess our sins to God.

Lord, how often today was my attention not on the person speaking to me? Teach me to honor the moments I have conversations with others. Lord, how often were my thoughts drifting off into places they should not dwell? I know my waywardness. Give me ears to hear your Spirit calling me to holines…

Politics: Iowa starts it up

My favorite one stop shop for political commentary is RCP. They have daily links to various news and comment sites and strive to have a mix of left and right leaning sources.

Their poll round up is handy.

Iowa is on the center stage.

On the Democratic side the key is whether the Obama supporters will turn out. Dean was the hot candidate in 2004 but when push came to shove his voters didn't turn out. Clinton has a core of supporters as much as a core of people who won't vote for her. Her supporters will turn out. Those who wouldn't vote for her might or might not turn out to support Obama or Edwards. And of course, there is a core of voters who support Obama believing they will make history. How will they feel on the night to go out into the cold to show that support? My guess is that Obama's supporters are going to turn out unlike the Deanics!

My "political instincts" tell me it will be a virtual tie between Obama and Clinton; they will finish within one…