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Date for ezine: May 13, 2003
Subject for ezine: The Good Fight, no.9

Father Dave's newsletter no.9

The Good Fight
The Good Fight
May 13, 2003   Fathers Dave's Monthly Newsletter
The view from my corner

Hi Y'all,

Yep. I've just returned from a week in the USA. I've brought back with me a souvenir Southern General's hat and I'm doing my best to retain the accent.

It was a terrific week that centered around a three-day conference on the American Civil War entitled "In the footsteps of Stonewall Jackson."

I'll resist the temptation to sprout off about Jackson at this point and save it for another 'rave'. Suffice it to say that he was a man ahead of his time. I learnt a lot, and thanks again to Marty, Richard, Cindy and Bob for showing me such great hospitality.

When I wasn't at the conference I was getting things organised for 'Father Dave's Gettysburgh Tour' - scheduled for July, coinciding with the 140th anniversary of the great battle.

Yes, it looks like it's all happening. We've got a goodly number of participants, and we're looking to sponsor a couple of our local Dulwich Hill young people to come along. It should be dynamic. At this stage I've still got room for two more people, but let me know right away if you're interested. And if you haven't seen the promotional video I put together for it, you can click here to download it.

I got one major surprise on this USA visit. I found that people's opinions on the war with Iraq were much less predictable than I had imagined. I knew that the people attending the Civil War seminar would be mainly Vietnam veterans, and I sorta assumed that most of them would be taking a 'my country right or wrong' attitude to the war. Conversely I expected that my more serious church-type friends would be deeply opposed to the conflict. I was surprised on both counts.

Some of the vets expressed grave concerns to me about what their country was doing. I was impressed by the extent to which people seemed to be making up their own minds on the subject. I was less impressed by the treatment the Dixie Chicks were getting, but that's another story.

What's new on the site

Well, I must be doing something right. After rejoicing last month that the site scored 22,525 hits in March, we nearly doubled it in April with 44,154 hits! I trust that all those downloaded sermons are doing some good.

This month I have included a brief 'Rave about the War'. The best part of the rave is actually the articles that you'll find linked to it. These are the best of what I've read on the web.

If you've found material of a similar calibre, please forward it on to me and I'll put up some more links. To go straight to the rave now click here.

Computer Tip #9 - Getting Rid of Spam

Last month we discussed viruses. This month we'll address that other great scourge of the electronically-connected community - unsolicited email or 'junk mail', commonly known as SPAM.

Spammers get hold of your email address in any number of ways. They buy lists of addresses from other unscrupulous companies that collect information about you when you innocently sign up for a newsletter or software download. They can gather their harvest of addresses through electronic web-spiders that scour the internet looking for information. Alternatively they can generate random addresses. If they send out emails to 1,000,000 randomly generated addresses and 1000 don't get bounced back, they know they've located real live targets, and once they know you're there ...

How do you avoid being Spammed? Well, it's a good idea to always read the privacy statement of any internet company you intend giving your email address to, but given the multiple techniques at a spammer's disposal, you won't remain immune by simply NOT signing up for anything on the internet. The only surefire way to deal with SPAM is to fight back with a dedicated email filtering programme.

I use 'I Hate Spam', and couldn't be more happy with it. I tried a number of different products initially, but particularly liked the way 'I Hate Spam' goes through my email AFTER it's been downloaded. This means:

1. It doesn't interfere with anti-virus software that filters email before it gets to the inbox.

2. It stores all suspect email in a folder that can be easily accessed, in case the program has accidentally quarantined some good email.

The only downside of 'I Hate Spam' is that it only works with either Outlook or Outlook Express, but if one of these is your email programme, I'd recommend it to you without reservation.

I liked 'I Hate Spam' so much that I joined their affiliate programme, which means that if you decide to purchase a copy after clicking here , Fighting Fathers Ministries will get a kickback! Frankly, at $US20, I do believe it's the cheapest and best SPAM weapon on the market.

Sermon of the month

The fourth Sunday after Easter each year is traditionally know as 'Good Shepherd Sunday. The Psalm for the day is everybody's old favourite - Psalm 23 - and the other Bible readings tend to revolve around Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

'Good Shepherd Sunday provides a challenge to the preacher, who has to try to come up with a new sermon each year on exactly the same text! To see how I stood up to the challenge this year click here.

Fight Tip No.8 - Jackson's fight tips

Fresh from my American Civil War conference in the USA, it seems approrpiate this month to take a fight tip from the great Stonewall Jackson himself.

"Always mystify, mislead and surprise the enemy; and when you strike and overcome him, never let up in the pursuit."

Stonewall's dictum was targeted at warfare in the mid-nineteenth century. Even so, his principles apply equally well to modern pugilism. A ringfighter's translation might be:

"Always bawk, confuse, appear to take aim at one target area and then strike for another. And when you get your opponent on the ropes, don't back off until he's on the canvas."

These were the tactics that enabled Jackson to overcome opponents much larger and better equiped than he was. They involved deception, audacity, intimidation and persistance. Look at some of the great ring fights in history - for example, Ali's Rumble in the Jungle with George Foreman - and you'll see exactly the same tactics at work, yielding equally spectacular results. I wonder if Ali is a fan of Jackson?

The pic is of the Jackson monument at Manassas Battlefield Park. Click on it for an enlargement.