Yesterday was a busy and a good day for me, filled with some of the expected, and the unexpected as well.
It started out as usual with a scan of the usual news sites looking in particular at those centered on the Fluke/Limbaugh controversy after which I e-mailed various Rush advertisers asking them to reconsider their position.
Then I was called upstairs to our landlords house while a repairman fixed Adams freezer. Chun, the repairman, was from China and we talked about his journey from there to America. Chun escaped from Communist China to Hong Kong in his mid 20s. His two companions were not as successful and were captured and according to Chun probably sent to a “re-education” camp, which in those days was slave labor until the re-education finally worked with the death of the re-educated. Chung remained in Hong Kong until he immigrated to the U.S., saying he did this because of the eminent transfer of power from the British to the Chinese. This man has no kind words for Communism, and characterized Chairman Mao as a monster.
Later in the afternoon I hopped the train to New York to attend a debate at “Socrates in the City” (more about the debate later). I was enjoying a beer in the bar car seated next to four young ladies. I kept noticing a young man across from us reading his Nook, but occasionally looking up and staring at the young ladies. They didn’t appear to know one another, but then the young man stood up and started talking to the girls. The topic seemed to be about U.S. Presidents, and who were the good ones. I stepped into the conversation with a nomination of George Washington as the best ever, which launched us into a conversation about several books we both had read or had in our stack of “must reads”. We had both read Ron Churnow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton and each of us came away from that read with a tremendous admiration and respect for Hamilton. I recommended Jay Winik’s “April 1865” and my new friend excitedly said that it was on his Nook but had not yet read it. Quite a delightful time on the train, and it shortened the ride considerably. The young fellow must have sensed the conservativeness in me although we didn’t touch politics at all, and he ended our time together by saying that he really enjoyed our conversation though he himself tended toward the left. By the way he works as a Marketing Analyst in Manhattan.
D’Souza is a born again Christian, and Indian immigrant and president of The Kings College in Manhattan. I’ve read three of his books; “What’s so Great About America?” “What’s so Great About Christianity?” and “The Roots of Obama’s Rage”, so I was anxious to see and listen to him in person and was not disappointed.
Bart D. Ehrman. was a born again pastor, and a PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary, but along the way became an atheist because of his inability to reconcile the very question of the nights debate, “God, Suffering, and Evil”.
A very interesting and lively debate, and one which reminded me of on I had attended years before at UCSD between an atheist converted to born again Christianity, against a former born again Baptist preacher converted to atheism.
A summary of the debate can be found here http://empirestatetribune.com/?p=5592
The train ride home was long and uneventful.