17 October 2008

McCain and Obama Share Some Laughs

This is video from the Alfred E. Smith Dinner in NYC last night. It is a benefit dinner for Catholic Charities - where many famous politicians show up. The wonderful thing about it, is the light heartedness about it.

It is so great to have some laughs through this rough and tumble election. It is great to see the humanity of these two driven men. Very funny - totally worth the 25 minutes.

05 October 2008

Are Free Market Capitalism and Total Depravity Compatible?

So this might go off the theological/political/financial deepend a little bit, but ever since this whole financial meltdown popped up, I have been thinking about it.  

It seems that there may be some who would inclined to believe in both Free Market Capitalism and the theological concept of Total Depravity.  Let me explain them both briefly:
1. Free Market Capitalism:  The idea that there is no need for government intervention in the market - buyers and sellers will set the price of goods and services.
2. Total Depravity:  Humans are inherently sinful, and unless acting through God's grace will demonstrate their consuming sinful intentions.

So if humans are going to do bad things, how can we trust our economy to unbridled human greed?  I know that overregulation is not good for anyone, but it is also clear for me that the rampant consumerism of our culture is in the process of imploding on itself.  We want larger houses, bigger tvs, nicer cars -  the banks, and stores want to sell and borrow more and more- put those two selfish desires together and we will drag each other over the cliff...

I am not seeking to knock down a straw man - because I could be totally wrong.  Maybe no one holds these two beliefs in their conceptual perfection.  I am just wanting to explore how our faith/theology/understanding of God's role in our lives impacts our day to day lives.   For me this Financial Crisis is a clear example (just like watching Jerry Springer) that is some malfunction in our society at a pretty basic level.

Christians have good news for those who idolize materials, and good news for those who seek money and glory over the care of the widow and the orphan - we just have to figure out how to tell the story for them.

Kabuki Sue

Here are some pictures of my completed bike.

It is a fixed gear (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed_gear) bicycle. Basically you can't ever stop pedaling.  It took a bit of adjustment at first, but there is a certain level of connect that you feel with the bike since you can't coast.

Building my own bike was an even bigger adventure.  Figuring out which parts fit, and which didn't.  Making all kinds of decisions about handle bars, gear ratios, tires was fun and confronting.  I have only ever just bought a whole bike - and all those decisions were made for me. 

There was a pretty large sense of accomplishment when I rode this bike with my friend on a mini-camping trip.  And every time I get on the bike, I feel pretty good about it all.

I am still making adjustments - switching between the rear rack and a pannier - and using a messenger bag, and still figuring out the best place for the brake lever, etc.  It is not normal for me, but with this project, I have learned about making the journey enjoyable - instead of worrying so much about the destination.  (As long as the wheels don't fall off ;)