Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My one-month-old already up and running

My Holocaust blog turns one month old today!

Some of the most popular blog posts, so far:

Title

Views

1.

Jews Murdered Between 1 Sept 1939 and 8 May 1945

42

2.

American Students Gripped by Holocaust Horror

29

3.

The Auschwitz Album

26

4.

“World War II Erupts!” Looking back 70 years

25

5.

Holocaust Encroaches Kovno, Lithuania

21

6.

Hitler’s War Against International Jewry

19

7.

Destination Lodz, the Lizmannstadt Ghetto

17


Please stop by and leave a comment or two, so that I know you've visited. To date, we have nearly 1,300 visits. Not a bad start.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Inked in church pews and pulpits

Leviticus 19:28 (NIV), "'Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.’” The Contemporary English Version says, “I forbid you to shave any part of your head or beard or to cut and tattoo yourself as a way of worshiping the dead.” But the last part probably relates more to the shaving, as noted here.

Dial The Truth Ministries says:

"Could [Leviticus] be any more clear?
Simple. . . Straightforward. . .Settled. . .God Said It. . .
I Believe It. . . That Settles It. . .Right. . .?
Not hardly. . . The clear statement from the word of God does not settle anything for this generation of disobedient, carnal, worldy, tolerant, non-judgmental, Christians."

This site goes onto label Satan as the “master tattooist." I mean, just look at it! Doesn't that look evil???

On the other side of the coin, one reformed theologian writes, “If these actions do not have evil associations in our own time, there would seem to be no reason to forbid them.”

A blogger at All Things Ink says, “Historical context is paramount. When Leviticus was written, tattooing was largely a pagan practice, done to mark slaves or to show devotion to a pharaoh. Since tattooing has evolved the rule may be outdated.” Here’s a word from the Jewish community about the history of their belief.

Considering both sides from a Judeo-Christian perspective, what are we to do with the tattooed??? Should we kick them out of the Church? Should we limit their participation in worship services? How do we respond to the clear message of that one Old Testament Scripture?

Heaven help us if our denomination were to come out and endorse “those who are inked.” What if they allowed “the inked” to be ordained and practice as full-fledged members of the clergy? Would we be able to bear it? Would they have to cover all body art in order to officiate services or partake in the sacraments?

You know, some hardliners, like Dial-God-up-on-the-phone-we’ve-got-a-direct-line Ministries, would question their Christianity. If their denomination were to give credence to “satanic” body art, they would probably have to denounce such action with great public fanfare and accordingly leave the denom. At a minimum, they would certainly quit funding it with their offerings.

The reformers, on the other end of the spectrum, might see such a decree as a welcome sign of change, acceptance and openness. They might embrace the inked into their churches, love them as Christ and welcome the value they bring to the communion table. They might not even have a problem sitting under the leadership and counsel of such a person. And they certainly wouldn’t pull their support, financial or otherwise.

Two sides of one coin, or in this case, one Scripture. Two very different responses. Which one do you think sounds more like the Spirit and letter of Christianity?

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Redemption and the possibility of a perfect football weekend

After humiliation by an arch-rival and near humiliation by a nobody team last week, this week was football redemption! I'm speaking about Chatard's redemption after a 31-7 defeat at the hands of arch-rival Cathedral, and Florida State's redemption after nearly choking at Doak against underdog Jacksonville State. If you didn't see the highlights, the Seminoles went into Provo, Utah, and put a hurting on then #7 BYU in front of a sold-out crowd, 54-28. It was like the Seminoles of old reborn and scoring from both sides of the ball. It was a sorely needed win against a top-10 ranked opponent.


Chatard, my high school alma mater, drubbed a team from Anderson 42-13 on Friday. The Trojans were no doubt still feeling the sting of embarassment from the previous Saturday. The offense stuggled to put a single drive together against top-ranked Cathedral, scoring only once as time was about to expire. This week, they scored early and often. Way to go Trojans!


Now, if only the Colts can win tonight at Dolphins' Stadium in front of a national TV audience, it will be a football weekend trifecta! I have no doubt about the Colts' ability to score. Peyton Manning to Reggie Wayne for at least one 50-yard bomb and a touchdown is nearly a foregone conclusion. What waits to be seen is if the defense can play as hard for four quarters like they did in Week 1 against Jacksonville. I remain hopeful. The new defensive coordinator stands head and shoulders above his predecessor Meeks. He's aggressive. Just when you think you've stopped the bookends-with-burners Freeney and Mathis, he'll unleash the linebackers on an all-out blitz! Love that kind of defensive playcalling....missed it the last several years.


I'd be even happier if my Samsung TV weren't on the fritz. I may just have to watch tonight's game at a bar. If the Colts make this my perfect football weekend, you'll hear me hollaring and honking my horn all the way through Fishers.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Truly moving video at Never Again!

I posted a truly moving video to my Holocaust blog this morning. It was so good, in fact, that I decided to post a link here, too.

If you haven't visited Never Again! my online Holocaust memorial, here are some of the most recent posts:

Since launching the memorial blog concurrent with the 70th anniversary of WWII, there have been over 600 hits. I invite you to stop by and leave a comment. Thanks.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Businesses doing 25 on the Info Superhighway!

Many in today’s business world don’t get the fact that net life equals real life. Now, my objectivity might be a little skewed because I was underappreciated (read: inexplicably laid off) in my last job as Internet Manager. That noted, I am quickly realizing that the distrust of this “newfangled” technology reaches far beyond the American auto industry (God rest it’s beleaguered, yet bailed out soul!). My gripe comes on the heels of a recent run-in with customer service ineptitude online.

This time it was GMAC, but I only use them as one example of the pervasive attitude amongst many businesses. It is the attitude that believes online transactions are a marked privilege that they, the business in question, bestow upon their indebted patrons. GMAC disabled our online account, preventing us from making our monthly installment, albeit a couple weeks late, via the Internet (of the aforementioned newfangledness). Instead of making it more convenient for us to pay, they are, in effect, punishing us for being late. This begs the question, “Do you really want my money, or would you rather wait another week for it?

Internet bill payment options provide just as much convenience for the creditor as for the indebted. It’s not like they invented the Internet (*ahem* Al Gore) just to reward us for patronage. No, like us, they reap the cornucopia of daily benefits offered in this age of information. The free-flow of information along the international superhighway is what powers business today. For any business to put up roadblocks is just asinine!

And, trust me, it’s not just GMAC barracading avenues for accounts receivable. It is businesses all over the country, including Household Bank. I’ll spare you the boring details, but you get the picture, I’m sure (imagine me on the superhighway flustered by flashing lights atop orange-striped barrels). Trust me, it gets worse...

Social networks are the newest media to become exploited by business enterprise. And, once again, the stooges have tripped onto the roadway, blocking traffic, confounding customers and causing ill-will. Take Marsh Supermarkets for example. They “stubbed their toe” on Facebook and have yet to make good on promises to their loyal fans. I was among the masses duped by their offer, then offended at their accusations. I did not pass go or collect my $10 in groceries! Thank you very little.

The same week as Marsh’s Facebook fiasco, I was duped by another social marketing snafu. This time, Wendy’s, dangling the carrot (sorry, couldn't pass up a Wendy's=Carrot Top reference) of free frosty goodness, lured me onto their site for a gimmicky contest and a coupon. Nevermind that the coupon included a security code, a barcode and was printed from the corporate website, I was refused a free Frosty at my local Wendy’s. And to think that I actually became a fan and posted their promo on my fb page…the nerve!!!

All this to belabor my original point that businesses, especially here in the good ol’ corn and rust belts, need to get out of the IBM Selectric age and join us on this side of the millennium! (pssst...it's almost 2010!) The Internet is here for better or worse, richer or poorer…you get my drift. So instead of treating the public like a mail-order bride, how about a little love and respect??? You’re not doing us any favors by allowing us to pay you what we owe. You’re the beneficiaries of online transactions as much, if not more, than we are. And furthermore, don’t dabble in online media until you know WTF you’re doing. Hire a wet-behind-the-ears marketing team that actually uses tools like Facebook and Twitter, then parse their ideas through some marketing vets who can see past the ends of their noses. Surely you can figure out how to spread a little goodwill and achieve effective public relations through a free medium. No more pile-ups on the information expressway!

There...I feel better. Maybe I should have parlayed my online management skills into a consulting gig. Maybe I still will. What do you think?

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Champion for Holocaust Truth

FATHER PATRICK DESBOIS

This French priest has devoted his life to exposing the truth about the Jewish Holocaust in the Ukraine where more than a million Jews were executed in mass graves.

During WWII, Nazi death squads known as Einsatzgruppen operated behind the front lines of the German advance through western territories of the USSR, including the Ukraine. They butchered men, women and children as part of the Third Reich's "Final Solution to the Jewish Problem."

Many of the unmarked graves in the Ukraine--estimated at 1,200--were previously undocumented. That is until Father Desbois and his research team set out to interview hundreds of eye-witnesses.

He has been praised by many in the Jewish community as a champion of truth for his endless search of mass graves. I blogged about him today on my Holocaust memorial blog, Never Again! There you'll find links to news articles, as well as his 2008 book The Holocaust by Bullets.

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Seminole Saturday...er...Monday Night!

I lived in Tallahassee during the peak of Bobby Bowden's career at Florida State University. I count myself very lucky to have witnessed, either in person or on live tv, some of the historic Seminole victories over teams like Nebraska ('93 title game), Notre Dame, Ohio State, Virginia Tech ('99 title game), Auburn, Miami... But the game that "did it" for me was the 1991 Michigan game that silenced more than 106,000 maize-and-blue-clad fans in the Big House (Michigan's 4th largest home crowd).

You see, I had grown up in Indiana my whole life until 1986. I thought that Notre Dame was the standard in college football. I didn't even know who Bobby Bowden was before moving south. Even after arriving in Tallahassee the summer of '86, I proudly wore my navy and gold and scoffed at those who thought FSU was the new standard. To be honest, I really wasn't that much of a college football fan. That didn't last long.

For those of you who've never lived in the south, especially in a small college town, let me frame it in terms my Hoosier friends would understand. Think small town Indiana basketball on a wintry Friday night. That was how football crazed Tallahassee was in the late 80's when I arrived. So a healthy dose of Seminole Saturday Nights--the golden helmets sparkling under the lights, the flaming spear thrust into the turf by Chief Osceola accompanied by an eruption of adulation, causing the big replica spear to light up in the south end zone--was enough to make me shed my Irish garb FOREVER!

I still remember that Saturday, September 28, 1991. My friend Ronnie Byrom, once a lineman for Bowden's team, had invited me over to his fraternity to watch the historic FSU-Michigan match-up. By the end of that game, I had become a true believer. Apparently, so had the nation. Never again would I settle for the three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust football I had grown up with in the midwest. I wanted to see high-arcing, 50-yard bombs to Lawrence Dawsey! I needed a weekly dose of wiley Bowden trickery, like a drugatic needs his fix!

Needless to say, after attending the university and working there for a number of years, I became a die-hard FSU fanatic. Yes, my blood runs garnet and gold. I proudly hang my Seminole flag on the porch every weekend in the fall. I am ready for this "dadgum" season to start! What about you? Are you ready for some football???

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