Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Sunday, November 30, 2008


At our Church some time ago we did a series called more. Basically what we said was that the fundamental pursuit of the average american was more something. More stuff, more money, more sex, more power. Too often the church provides a heavy handed response--no! not more! You need less of all that stuff. That's wrong.
Of course this is fundamentally a question of lordship--who owns my money, sex, and power and to what purpose these are given. It's also (and I think this gets missed) a little bit about we need more passion, more dreaming, and THIS IS NEVER SAID more discipline.
Lots of people (myself included) have talked a lot about the difference between "training and trying" or how a tree doesn't strain to produce fruit, or one of a dozen other cute ways to say "transformation is the overflow of life in Christ." That's true, but there's more to it than that. Hard work matters. Delaying gratification matters. Manning up through pain matters.
People say that the de facto God of the suburban church is stuff. I used to think that, but I don't anymore. We bow down to the God of comfort.
There's a scene in Laurence of Arabia when he is asked of the declining England.
Fafas: [England,] Is it a desert country?
Lawrence: No. It is a fat country. Fat people.
We need to work harder. There are not 200 easy ways to go green or fix our schools our save our cities or (insert cause du jour here). There is one way--work our ass off for things bigger than us.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why Bubbles Rock!

This isn't an original thought to me, but it's an important one:
Bubbles are good.
We tend to think of bubbles as a market failure. It's an irrational overallocation of money in one area. Yeah, that's true.
Some guy who crapped on a log in 1998 and thought he would make a fortune with craplog.com was an idiot. Same with someone who paid $450K for a ranch in Columbus, OH or the guy next year who sinks a ton of note into some BS "green company" with poor management, planning, and vision.
The moral of that part is "don't be stupid."
Bubbles rock because bubbles bring a ton of money into a sector. That money goes to fuel innovation, form infrastructure, and develop technology from a white piece of paper to the production scale. And then it does it again, and after the eight time this happens we're back at the craplog.com stage, and it repeats again and then again and then someone says "Hey, the emperor's naked" and everyone swears and cries.
But in between the true arbitage and the craplog stage the innovation, infrastructure, and development are real. Look 5 years after any bubble and you'll see that there is some pretty cool companies making real profit and being run by grown ups. Global commercial networks that allowed flat earth interaction were a function of the Asia bubble, Web 2.0 was a function of the tech bubble, etc.
So in review, bubbles rock.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Pray for Barack Obama.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Vote Obama

It's no secret that I'm an Obama supporter, but I've not come right out and made the case for why I believe that Obama is the proper vote for an evangelical. I will do that now. In no particular order:
1. I like his tax policy. Middle class liquidity and specific tax abatements for factors driving job growth yield a strong economy. Supply side economics is either a "failed economic theory" or probably more accurately a strong response to Keynesian excess, it's bad policy for now. It's fair to say there's a little bit more gray area on cap-gains taxes, which is why I was pleased that Obama's tax plan included cap gains cuts for small businesses and start-ups.
2. I like his general approach to foreign policy. Some background--A group of thinkers included then academic Condoleeza Rice began writing about how, basically, it was OK for the US to act in its own interest. They felt like the multilateral, internationalist approach in old europe signaled a breakdown in the role of autonomous nation states or, put in more real terms that Europe banded together because they were kind of pussies and had to. It's easy to sit in Norway or France and talk about humanitarian rights knowing that if need be you'd have some Americans go in and kick some ass and then after you could...I don't know...write a poem. This set up a debate between the idiot right (i.e. the current administration) and the idiot left which felt like compromise and "it's americas fault" were the only right answers. Both of these are obviously stupid, but I think Obama's approach to foreign policy issues tends to lead to the right answer and tends to be more mature.
3. I like his reconciliation of faith in the public square. Find his speech from Call to Renewal. I've seen the cock up version they talk about on Fox News. Read the whole thing. It's excellent.
4. I think he is a legitimately transformative figure. At the risk of sounding like a Successory part of the problem with America right now is that we don't dream enough, and I think Obama asks more of us than McCain.
5. I like how he thinks. He's smart and brings an intellectual rigor to issues that's rare in people, let alone politicians.
6. I like Joe Biden. I think he would be a good president if Obama were to die.
7. I like his books.
8. I like the legislation he's proposed. He's not been in the senate long, but he's been fairly prolific while there. It's wonky disciplined things that get stuff done--transparency, nuclear non-proliferation--not sexy but good.
9. I think his policies will limit the number of abortions performed. I really do. I think abortion is wrong, I also think it's become a political football. I don't think either party would successfully overturn Roe, so for now the debate is over limiting the number of abortions performed. I believe Obama's policies would be better for this.
I like John McCain, it was actually his 2000 Campaign that really sparked my interest in politics. I've written before about the sad dissonance between that McCain and this one, and I won't do it again.
If you're still undecided (and I know I've got friends who read this that are) please consider these reasons.