Category Archives: Syria

The real question about those one-star votes


OK, I’m bored, and I need a break from grading, so I’ll take the bait.

I’ve wondered about the motivation within the person who occasionally finds it meaningful to jump on my blog here and give one-star votes to everything on the first page of posts, regardless of extremely wide differences in the content of each. It has happened before, and this week, happened again.

These disapproving votes first appeared shortly after I added a link to a reputable charity seeking to help Syrian refugees, who through no fault of their own have been forced from their homes with their children. So I suspect the voter dislikes Syrians or Muslims. I wish it bothered me more, but that sort of dislike has become cliché.

However, for me, at the moment, the motivation behind the one-star votes is not the real question.

The real question is why, after voting one star on six posts on my homepage, did the voter fail to click that single left-hand star on the final post?

The homepage, the landing page, always displays seven posts. Until the post you’re reading right now was published, the seventh post on this page stood without a vote. It was right there, barely a mouse-twitch away. I assure you that post is just as hostile as the six previous posts to everything the voter stands for. Now it’s gone over to the second page, out of reach to quick protest votes.

So, since the voter missed it, I’ll extend the opportunity and give the link. It’s right here. Go click one star on the post you missed, right here, right now.

One star is better than nothing. Thank you.

So, I took the bait. You’re welcome. Thanks for the break from grading.

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A Quick Word About Syrian Refugees and Migrants


I told my Facebook friends they have my permission to skip a couple of craft beers and drink cheap beer if they give the extra money to help some fellow humans who have fled their homes and their nation.

That’s kind of a big deal—I mean, for me to tell people they can drink cheap beer. I wrote a rather snobbish newspaper column about craft beer, imports and microbrews for seven years. If you think I get irritated on this blog about The Gospel Coalition crowd, then certainly don’t get me started on Bud Light, which just proves that with enough marketing power, you can make a household brand from cow piss.

OK; deep breath.

Google is doing something really cool: matching donations and giving the money to a donor-advised fund called Network For Good, which will be distributing the money to Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Save The Children, and UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Click here to donate.

The International Committee of The Red Cross is on the ground in the region surrounding Syria. If you donate to the Red Cross, you’ll be helping efforts like this massive aid distribution just a week ago:

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has distributed 90 tons of food to around 10 thousand Syrian refugees in northern Lebanon. The distribution was supported by the Lebanese Red Cross. Food was also given to Lebanese families who have been hosting the refugees in the area of Dreib Al Awsat in the governorate of Akkar.

“It’s the first time we have made such a large food distribution in Lebanon since the Syrian crisis began,” said Jeroen Carrin, the coordinator of the food distribution for the ICRC. “It’s a sign that needs are growing significantly.”

I’m sure there are more. The important thing is that we indeed help in the ways we can.

I don’t know anything about helping refugees, and honestly, some of them would probably prefer tents over staying in my house.

I’m pretty sure the above-mentioned organizations know how to help humans who have been driven from their homes. We can give the organizations some money.

It’s football season. Thanks to a  multi-million dollar advertising and marketing juggernaut, Bud Light is almost synonymous with football. So no one will even notice you’re not drinking good beer. You’ll take a weekend off from good beer and use the savings to help your fellow humans.

The Gospel Coalition crowd’s fine print argues that God makes every sin happen and then holds each person accountable for what He made them do, so if The Gospel Coalition folks donate for bad reasons or don’t donate at all, it was all God’s idea in the first place. Nothing could be done.

And while they’re maintaining that lofty position, the rest of us can think about “the least of these.”

Donate. Or, donate.