Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Palin V. American Intelligence

Sources say that in an interview segment yet to be released by Couric and CBS (as part of their Presidential Questions leading up to the VP debate this week), Governor Sarah Palin could not name one high-profile Supreme Court case besides Roe v. Wade. Apparently not one before nor one after. So, I thought it would be a good exercise to count how many SC cases I could rattle off, just in case either one of the Parties wanted to pick me up in the off chance that a loose-lipped VP candidate bows out. Here's my list and what they signified for the American people:

  1. Brown v. Board of Ed. - The wrongness of the 'Separate but Equal' argument
  2. The People v. Larry Flynt - Free speech (and costly pix) even for moralless creeps like him
  3. Kramer v. Kramer - The right for emotional sappy movies even about divorce
  4. Spy v. Spy - The right to copy Tom and Jerry and Wil. E. Coyote gags
  5. Alien v. Predator - That was just about who could kick who's butt in no-holds-barred terror throw-down

Monday, September 29, 2008

It's the economy, stupid, lazy, shiftless, leaderless...

So, now what?

I'm not smart enough. I don't know what we need. I'd rather us not plunge into foolhearty plans or reward people for acting foolishly with citizens' hard-won and -saved monies. But there needs to be some spine in Washington. I'd rather that we not buy known junk with this idea that we may get our money back (loans would be better, won't they?), but can't someone out there just have the balls to say, "Enough is enough." What happens in Wall Street affects Main Street in this country. Sorry to break the news to you so fast. But we are not an agrarian culture any longer.

We live and die by trading and paper money. Worthless things on their own. Both based on an economy of confidence. Once we lose confidence in what we are trading in, it becomes less than worthless - people's lives are thrown about. I wish I could just slap some of these traders around for a while, but I guess it just doesn't work like that.

But, somehow, whether or not the markets just need to fix themselves, I doubt that the politicos in Washington are doing (or even capable of doing) anything other than posturing and ptoa'ing. And that certainly includes that economically clueless nominee for the Republican Party.

Weekly Links We Like to Link to: Big Ideas (??)

  • I think I figured out what I was created to do: become a career student. When I get some free time in between the more "practical" classes, I'd like to stop over to Auburn and be this guy's "apprentice". (NYT, reg. req.)
[H]e sees philosophy less as a profession than as a way of looking at, of being in, the world. “I am convinced that philosophy is not just about theory,” he told me. “It’s about a life well lived and thoughts truly thought.”

Which is sorta how I look at theology. It shouldn't just be for the theologians and pastors and seminary students and whatnot, but for all of life to look and reflect on the things of God.
h/t to Scot McKnight

  • Were you as disenchanted with the constant back-and-forth spattering of information between the candidates on Friday night? It reminded me of 2nd grade taunts. To help us sift through the distortions (yes, my man Obama laid some out too sadly...) here's our friends at Factcheck with an extensive list. Very. Extensive. List.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

700 Billion Dollars = A LOT of Frustration

Yep. Got me.

I hope to God that these people aren't injecting partisan presidential politics into this fiasco. It's frustrating enough as it is. And just plum risky business.

Let's pray that Congress, Paulsen, Bernanke, et.al., know what they're doing. 'Cuz the rest of us shmoes sure don't.

"I hate to say I told you so..."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in the country for his non-Hillary-protesting event at the UN, doesn't look so crazy right now.

Well, maybe a whole lot crazy, but the whole bit about "the American empire coming to an end..." That could very well be it.

Hopefully, though, we'll still have a strong economy and all that. But prayerfully, maybe we'll just cut back on our wars and all that, y'know, empire stuff.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

And Now the Moment You've Been Waiting for Since Spring...

Yes. The 2nd Semester Spanish Spanish Love Song.

1st Semester Spanish Spanish Love Song can be found here. (Can you believe how long I spent looking for this on my own website? Heck, if you're reading this, you're probably used to time-wasting...)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekly Links We Like to Link to: Oh, the economity

The bailouts, the bankruptcies, the empty desks and empty 401Ks. And then there's the "golden parachutes." Newsweek has a gallery on how these golden boys fell and how well they fell.

We constantly worry about developers in this part of the city. Wonder how many developers are trying to stake out a claim here: Shantytowns on the rise.
h/t to Andy Whitman, with a nice nod to Hoover.

And this is not good for any of us: Joe Biden's family, over the last ten years, has averaged $369 a year in giving to charities. That's 0.2% of his earnings. That sucks. That just plum sucks.
h/t to Scot McKnight

Heck, Keith Olberman gave more than that just Friday.

I've neevr flet btteer tahn wehn I'm dinog tihs.

I don't think this works so well with my articles. It's the scrambled reading text. You know, where they change the order of the letters in between the first and the last letters in every word
and your mind unscrambles it because it reads more from context than just straight left-to-right.

There is now a website that, I don't know how they do it. Haven't the phoggiest, really. But you type in the address of a web page and it'll show you that page with the letters all scrambled up. Honestly, I think that mine's a little scraggly even for me to read. Check it out:

Nwes of the Wreid: Wmceloe Bcak Ctetur etiiodn

I wetand to rlol out the ol' NtoW lsat week, but the pkiicn's wree simmelr tahn the cachens of an Aaslakn dnieyng goball wrinmag (eevn Pialn ddin't dney it. She mleery rfteued the csaue of it. She can't pilossby be in any ltiboybss' pcketos). Tihs week, hveweor, we got the run of the leittr, as alebolutsy noodby on ertah syas. So, hufloeply we can do a few tihs week to mkae up for psat snis (and we got a LOT of mniakg up to do).

Aincordcg to one kfnie-widnileg pncaripatit, it was "aytinnhg geos" at a Ghneitrag of the Pcak ciitotpoemn... snoserpod by the Dog Berhotrs fghit culb of Los Alngees. A Rteures rptreeor dieberscd two men wuoihtt pdiandg banetig ecah ohetr wtih havey sktics and atnheor two who fhougt wtih erccltlaleiy carehgd kivens. The kifne deul eendd wehn one of the feitrhgs seplpid a hnad fere form a wilrnsteg hlod and aeldellgy ptlenad a 1,000-vlot cgrhae on his onpepnot. Siad one fuirt-and-vggiee-srtoe meagnar form Cnadaa, "I've neevr flet btteer tahn wehn I'm dinog tihs."

h/t to Marko

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Following in the footsteps of Emo Elmo, Emo Obama

h/t to markO for Emo for Obama button (sources: Elmo and Obama) http://thecorner.typepad.com/bc/2008/09/post-2.html

Friday, September 19, 2008

How to Talk Like a Pirate on International Talk Like a Pirate Day


Avast ye sea-dogs. I be a plunderin'. But none of that other stuff that pirates be doin' so much.

Now I ask ye, how did thee sun go down on dis here solemn day without me seein' this here youtube witchery before? Methinks that it should be International Talk Like a Pirate Weekend and that thar maybe it shall.

Hoist one up fer me.

Weekend Links We Like to Link to

First off, another week another blog: Build a Better Bridge. It's mostly links to news and info on and surrounding not-for-profits and non-governmental organizations. Hopefully, I can do my part and save Bambi's mom. Or whatever.

This guy is quite possibly loonier than Tom Cruise. And nowhere near as agile in heat shafts. Hmmm… The self-proclaimed agent of the US Illuminati was caught in Tennessee. I wonder what they’re growing down in that region…
h/t to Jeffrey Overstreet via Facebook

Rob Bell’s new book coming out is called Jesus Wants to Save Christians. Scot McKnight sums it up as the five E’s: Exodus, Egypt, Exile, Eucharist, and Empire. As usual on this site, civilized but disagreeing comments ensue. Interesting though I can't quite get my head around the order. But I may read it soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

This is ridiculous partisanship

Despite the fact that we all know that had Sen. Obama picked Sen. Clinton as his running mate, he would have little question in the polls now it still would have been a bad choice. She just reeks of bad form.

Consider the fact that Clinton was going to attend a rally outside of the UN protesting against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (Yes, that takes some major cajones.) Then her people got word from reporters that Gov. Palin might show up too. According to the AP:

That would have set up a closely scrutinized and potentially explosive pairing in the midst of a presidential campaign, one in which the New York senator is campaigning for Democratic nominee Barack Obama while Palin actively courts disappointed Clinton supporters.

So Clinton backed out.

Okay, that's somewhat understandable. But check out this line of reasoning:

"Her attendance was news to us, and this was never billed to us as a partisan political event," said Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines. "Sen. Clinton will therefore not be attending."
Maybe Reines doesn't understand what the word 'partisan' means. If representatives from each of the two-party political system are invited and show up, that would by definition make it 'non-partisan'. Nobody complained when Sens. Obama and McCain were within hugging distance on September 11th.

I agree with Clinton on policy issues, and I believe her when she says she'll fight for us. But if she wants to win ever and maybe change the face of the US, maybe she should learn what graciousness is.

h/t to Peter Chattaway

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

News of the Weird: Instant Karma edition

Gabriel Nathan Shwartz, a 29 year old Young Republican is interviewed at the RNC, where he is a delegate for Colorado.

This from the interview:

LinkTV: What is your vision for change under a John McCain administration?

Shwartz: Less taxes and more war.

L: So, where should the United States bomb next

S: Iran, baby.

L: Why should the US bomb Iran.

S: To protect Israel...

L: So, what would a war with Iran look like.

S: Hopefully, just bomb the hell out of them from the sky. No troops.

L: Are you worried about the escalating costs of the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars? How would we pay for the costs of a war in Iran?

S: We should plant a flag. Take the oil. Take the money. We deserve reimbursement.

While still in the Land o' Lakes, Mr. Shwartz meets a girl in a bar. They go up to his room, she mixes some drinks, yadda, yadda, yadda, she makes off with $120,000 (or his estimate, $50,000) worth in cash and belongings.

And no, I didn't yadda, yadda, yadda out the best parts.

More of story in Pioneer Press.
h/t to Huffington Post

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tina Fey: female chauvinist pig

The McCain campaign's got some balls.

Tina Fey's portrayal of Governor Sarah Palin on SNL the other night was "disrespectful in the extreme, and yes, I would say, sexist in the sense that just because Sarah Palin has different views than Hillary Clinton does not mean that she lacks substance." (source)

Wait, so, is McCain spokesperson Carly Fioriana saying that because Palin doesn't agree with Clinton those who disagree with Palin are being sexist?

My head hurts from all this spin.

Remember that quote about Good people/small towns during Palin's speech at the RNC? Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s got some words to say about the author of that piece. It ain't pretty:

Fascist writer Westbrook Pegler, an avowed racist... expressed his fervent hope about my father, Robert F. Kennedy, as he contemplated his own run for the presidency in 1965, that "some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies."

News of the Weird: Welcome Back Cutter edition

I wanted to roll out the ol' NotW last week, but the pickin's were slimmer than the chances of an Alaskan denying global warming (even Palin didn't deny it. She merely refuted the cause of it. She can't possibly be in any lobbyists' pockets). This week, however, we got the run of the litter, as absolutely nobody on earth says. So, hopefully we can do a few this week to make up for past sins (and we got a LOT of making up to do).

According to one knife-wielding participant, it was "anything goes" at a Gathering of the Pack competition... sponsored by the Dog Brothers fight club of Los Angeles. A Reuters reporter described two men without padding beating each other with heavy sticks and another two who fought with electrically charged knives. The knife duel ended when one of the fighters slipped a hand free from a wrestling hold and allegedly planted a 1,000-volt charge on his opponent. Said one fruit-and-veggie-store manager from Canada, "I've never felt better than when I'm doing this."
From the Reuters article itself:

"This is like the ultimate. You've got striking, you've got grappling, you've got weapons, anything goes," said Matt Booe, a karate instructor hoping to fight with hefty, blunted knives at a recent gathering in Burbank, just north of Los Angeles.

"It gives you the idea of really finding out what martial arts are like, not just doing pretty forms."

Seems like Dog Brothers fight club broke the first rule of Dog Brothers fight club.

Article from Chuck Shepherd. "News of the Weird", Chicago Reader. Sept 11, 2008, p. 135.

Guy's a genius

And this time I'm not being snarky.

Seth Godin is famous in the advertising copy world. Of course since until recently I never followed that world, I never heard of him. But I've started following one of his blogs (if I recall, he's got others). The guy knows how to write economically, with an eye on the upcoming trends, and right to the point.

And he's an evangelist for the gospel of long-term vision. Consider this:

The stock market is going to be bonkers today.

And for most people, it won't matter so much. Because most of us aren't focused on flipping assets. We're building value by creating interactions that work...

[I]t's easy to get distracted by external noise instead of focusing on what counts. Hint: They started Google in the middle of the dot com melt down.

The short-term consequences of an unstable stock market are real and uncomfortable. More (and better) adult supervision would have gone a long way, imho. But we can't control this, all we can do is focus on what matters.

Hang in.

I wanna be like him when I grow up.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekly Links We Like to Link to:

1) If a free democracy's best ally is a free press, then we can measure a despotic government by how much it hates (threatens, imprisons, murders) the independent reporters and editors. Zimbabwe's junta leader Mugabe is one of the most-threatened and saddest of ex-presidents trying to hold on to their power.
But back to the latest death threat. My eye is caught by a final paragraph: "The majority of those named on the list, although they are living in the bliss and security of the diaspora and the anonymity of cyberspace, their family members will not be so lucky." It's a chilling development. They are now threatening to harm our families. And we know this is no idle threat.
Wilf Mbanga, founder and publisher of The Zimbabwean.
h/t to Scot McKnight

2) Young Adult fantasy writer G. P. Taylor (Shadowmancer) claims that the BBC is banning him because of his outspoken Christianity. According to emails obtained from the BBC, however, it seemed some producers had problems with the so-called "new C. S. Lewis" and Anglican priest's personality, basically claiming himself to be the next J. K. Rowling even though "he is not universally admired".
Two reactions:
1) I understand when Christians are jerks. We're human beings. I'm a jerk more often than not. But please don't blame others nor "the media" for your short-comings.
2) What is up with Christian British fantasy writers and their initials?
h/t to Relevant

3) Speaking of Christianity, Prodigal Jon has got some cool ideas for what a "Stuff Christians Like" home school would look like. Favorite (though clumsy) quote: If you came to this school on Monday, you should heed Thomas Dolby's 80's song warning, because you're about to be blinded with science.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Weekend Links We Like to Link to - the triumphant return

First off, I would like to turn some attention to my community pastor at New Community Covenant Church, Chicago - David. He's got a great little literate and thoughtful blog called signs of life and I think it's worth a read.
As well, a hat tip to Pastor David (via FaceBook) for this article in Time on the Republican myth of small-town America; Joe Klein particularly addresses the whole small-town/Jeffersonian yeo-man nostalgia that the GOP has so effectively fashioned and hearkened to since Reagan and is now vastly utilizing with the popular Palin.

Since we're on the topic of politics (and we'll be right off again. It's just sooo danged interesting and infuriating at the same time. Sorry), RC has an intriguing article about how Russia/USSR is way ahead of the US in the fight against Baldism and Hairyism in regards to their top leaders.

The Amish have been getting some positive buzz since the school-house killings and their subsequent mercy on the killer. But I had absolutely no idea that not only are they not dying out, but they're sprawling:
The Amish are expanding their presence in states far beyond Pennsylvania Dutch country as they search for affordable farmland to accommodate a population that has nearly doubled in the past 16 years, a new study found...
Amish couples typically have five or more children. With more than four out of every five deciding in young adulthood to remain in the church, their population has grown. More than half the population is younger than 21. A small portion of the increase is also due to conversions to the faith.

Word to the wise: Be kind to the next buggy-driver you plan to pass by.
h/t to Scott McKnight.

Ready for some infectious Catholic ska?

Jesus Is My Friend.
He can be yours too.
Pretty neat, I think.

h/t to Terrace Crawford
You can catch an interview here with singer Sal by the guy who originally lit the Sonseed fire on the YouTube world.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Spetember 11th is here again

Hug someone. Remind those close to you how much you love them. Safety is fragile. God is infinite.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Live by the experience sword, die by the experience sword


First and foremost, down with the experience myth. The man generally recognized as the best president of the United States and as the establisher of the Republican Party was in the House of Representatives for two years. He was a state representative in Illinois for, what, eight years? He ran a couple times for US senator but lost, most famously to his lifelong rival, Stephen Douglas. Two years after that, he is picked to run the country.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt himself spent just over two years in the New York Senate as well as one term as New York governor before beginning a historic twelve year run as one of the most popular presidents in US history.

Let's face it, nobody is fully prepared for the tasks at hand when they step into that oval office. I do not think that leading this country (or any, really):

is a question so much of experience as of character. And for my money, McCain has lost his compass a few years ago when he decided to back Bush policies. John McCain was a maverick. John McCain was a reformer.

All of this wouldn't bother me so much if the Republican party had focused on character issues and general policy issues rather than experience. And now their choice for VP (one who you have to admit, does not have the credentials no matter how you spin it) is just making them talk in stupid circles. Let them keep talking: it should make the American people angry that they are treating us like some insipid children.

I stole this from Arachnerd


I'm all for the gender and racial politics to be shaken...

but this may just be ridiculous.

Will Smith as Captain America?

I could see a Black. Latino, or Arabian playing the part of many comic book characters. Certain characters, like Bruce Wayne, are iconic in name, but not so much image. Captain America however has iconic features - just like Superman (which is why this talk of rebooting that movie series may be more difficult than it sounds). Captain America, if nothing else, is represented as much by his chiseled jawline as by the US flag.

Who would be ideal to represent Cap? How about a 21st century Dolph Lundgren or even Cary Grant.

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury? Yes. He's got that certain jack-a**edness down to a T. Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man? Heck yes. He sold me on Peter Parker's awkward nerdiness from the opening scenes. The Fresh Prince as Captain America? ....

Not so much. But, what iconic roles could he sell?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

How I made the mistake of my life

I was skimming through a post on Dan Kimball's Vintage Faith about the problem of Governor Palin being accepted by complementarians (Conservative Christians in the American church who contend that a woman's role in the church is to complement the male leaders by serving in any other capacity except to lead over men or mixed-gender meetings) and ran across this eighteen-paragraph comment (which I also found on this female author's website):

The Republican Party has chosen a woman to run for the second highest office in the land. What have we come to that no man in this country is qualified to do the job and we had to pick a woman? Sodom and Gomorrha couldn't produce ten righteous souls, and the Republican Party can't offer up one man that is more fit than this woman to run for Vice-President of the United States.

It continues with what, a few paragraphs later only looks like biting and baited sarcasm against this way of thinking. But a few more paragraphs down, I realize that there's nothing Swift-ian about this article. The lady, who is telling both male and female readers that we should be ashamed of ourselves for thinking of nominating a female to lead and detract from the "glory of the male", is quite serious.

Towards the end, she gets a bit more personal (for my sake, at least):

I haven't even spoken about how a vote for Sarah Palin is a vote for a woman to leave her God-ordained role at home and take on the ruling of a country instead. Let's not even try to fool ourselves into thinking she can do both, and we might want to consider whether we want to support her abandonment of her children, including her nursing baby.

Mr. Palin has agreed to be Mr. Mom. He will try to be a helper meet for Sarah. And clearly she will be known in the gates, when she sits among the elders of the land. So Mr. Palin might be what many of us women aspire to be: a Proverbs 31 woman. Will women look to him then as a role model for being a good housewife? Or will we look to his wife as a role model for being a good leader? Will men look to Mr. Palin as a role model for being a good househusband? Or will they look to his wife as a role model for being a good leader? I don't know; but I know that God is not the author of confusion, and we are one confused nation. And we shake our heads and wonder why homosexuality and unwed mothers seeking abortions continue to flourish in the land.

Wow. God is not the author of confusion, but of condemnation??? Sorry for choosing to be a stay-at-home dad and allowing my wife's giftings and abilities to so shame me. You must be so ashamed of me, CED (who, by the way, also goes by her maiden name. But I'm sure that's not done in a way that rejects the name her husband gave her and thereby wouldn't shame him...). After all, it's all you talk about. What a horrible father Mr. Palin is, taking care of their four children.

Shame, shame, shame.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Bar-Rick Rolled

This is wonderful. This editor is a flippin' genius, and has got too much time on his or her hands. Which is ok for me.

Never gonna give, never gonna give...

Sunday, September 07, 2008