Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Cheyenne, my home town, is in flames

Check it out!

How the US can keep China down

As everyone knows by now China and Russia are planning a joint military training exercise in July of next year. As everyone knows China's economy is growing at an astonishing rate. As everyone knows China is considered a strategic competitor with the United States. As everyone knows China has stolen quite a bit of military information and even technology from the United States. As everyone knows China and the United States could go to war of Taiwan. As everyone knows in the long term China is a serious threat to US global hegemony. So the question before us today is how does the US maintain it's single super power status and keep China from being one?
As strange as this may sound I've been thinking about this problem since I heard the buzz about China being a strategic competitor when my mother went through the Army Baylor program when I was in 9th grade. So I've been thinking about this problem off and on for the last... 7 years or so. In all these years I've found few people willing to talk about this issue, except Big Red from Cheyenne, who has concluded that China's culture is so ancient and superior that they deserve to conquer America, and the Little Hawaiian in Eugene who thinks we need to pre-empt them and it will be the mother of all battles, massive waves of Chinese against the best and bloodiest American technology ever.
Here are a few possible strategies.
1. Direct conflict- I don't think this is such a good idea, when I found out that Tom Clancy advocates this I stopped reading his books (that and I realized his writing stinks). Tons of people would die, and I think it would come to nukes. I've heard estimates that with our troops in Iraq China could get all the way to Iowa before we'd be able to stop them.
2. NUUUKKEEES IN SPPAACCCE- Quite simple, we stick nukes in space and establish some sort of space colony we can threaten to nuke the world and still survive. This would more or less be international blackmail. This would be really immoral.
3. Start a new Cold War- It looked like that is what Bush was trying to do before September 11th. Remember the spy plane issue at the start of his administration.
4. Destroy their culture- As I said Big Red thinks there ancient culture is what makes them so powerful, basically they have a national purpose that flows along for centuries if not millennia. The solution, WALMART. It will tear their culture apart faster than you can say McEggroll. Also this is already happening, Walmart is opening stores in China as it is.
5. Create strong alliances- I like this one... then again I liked Kerry too. It seems if a bunch of countries would side with us against China even if China is more powerful than us they wouldn't attack us since Japan, Germany and India would take China into a back alley and bust a cap.
6. Isolate China- This is the other side of the strong alliances coin if we are the lesser of two evils the world will back us. I think the Olympics being in China in '08 is a really good PR move for them, bad for us. We need to make sure people see the dissidents tortured in China.
7. Carve up the world- As you may remember Portugal and Spain called on the pope to cut up spheres of influence in South America, maybe a Lutheran Bishop could do the same for China and the US.
8. Strengthen our own culture- I like this, invest in education, literature, religious unity. Basically make ALL Americans feel like being an American is a good thing.
9. Wait for a balance of power- Other nations will be becoming powerful as well, Brazil, the EU, Pakistan, India. They can balance out both our power and Chinas, so maybe no one will go to war.
10. Mess with the global economy- As you know China has tagged their money to the dollar, so we can't get a fair deal from them. Maybe we should tie the dollar to the Euro so it would force them to take a stand either with us or with China. (I'm not quite sure this works).

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

And in movie rumors "Choose again!!!"

Dan Simon's amazing Hyperium series is going to be made into a movie! Very good news for we Simons fans!

Mr. Missouri Synod knows something about quakes

Check out his Q+A session about the quake. Also, seeing as China and Russia are going to be doing joint war games next year around January or so I think I'll release my 10 broad based plans of how to keep America on top with China breathing down our necks.
PS the waves are going to hit Kenya where I might be going next year.

Monday, December 27, 2004

In light of the waves let's talk about the Israel Palestine issue

Well, I was going to unveil my 10 possible plans as to how America can stay as the only Super Power even with an emerging Asia, but as Asia has recently been hit with deadly waves I feel it would be in poor taste to do so. Luckly for you folks reading my blog I recieved an email from Kyla Knutson, the Gnostic who doesn't have a blog (as far as I know). It is about the new Geneva Accord for Israeli-Palestinian peace. If you feel like signing the petition here is the address.

As for me I need to research it further. There are things I still need to look up when I get back to Eugene were I recently found that the University of Oregon library has all the UN records from it's inseption.
Anyways, briefly here are the things I don't feel informed enough about to support.

1."Affirming their deep belief that the logic of peace requires
compromise, and that the only viable solution is a two-state solution based on
UNSC Resolution 242 and 338;
-I think a 2 state solution is the only way to keep Israel from becoming undemocratic and give the Palestinian people a voice, but I don't know the specifics of Res. 242 and 338.

2. "Declaring that this Agreement marks the historic reconciliation
between the Palestinians and Israelis, and paves the way to reconciliation
between the Arab World and Israel and the establishment of normal,
peaceful relations between the Arab states and Israel in accordance with the
relevant clauses of the Beirut Arab League Resolution of March 28,
-once again, I don't know what Res. March 28 is about.

3.* Israel will create a corridor for travel between the West Bank and
Gaza, which will remain under Israeli sovereignty and under Palestinian
administration and run in accord with Palestinian law
-This seems a bit messy, Israeli sovereignty but administered by the Palestinians.

4.* Jerusalem will become capital of both states. The Temple Mount and
East Jerusalem will be under Palestinian control and the Wall and West
Jerusalem under Israeli control. The Old City will be open, weapons
forbidden, free travel inside to all sectors guaranteed.
-I just wanted to mention that Tom Clancy advocates this in one of his military pornos (I'm demeaning his work in case you couldn't guess, like calling starwars a "space opera").

Anyways, if there is anyone out there with a strong opinion about this issue be sure to post away.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas

The Christ child is born, the resurrection story begins, the world's salvation is set into motion.
The peace of the birth,

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Our new Fearless leader! and brief update

Here is the best quote of the piece.
"And here's another story from Reid's tenure as chairman of the gaming commission: A man named Jack Gordon, who later married LaToya Jackson, tried to give Reid a $12,000 bribe. Reid let the FBI videotape Gordon offering him the bribe, and then, according to a Las Vegas Review-Journal account, he "put his hands around Gordon's neck and said, 'You son of a bitch, you tried to bribe me.'" That's right, Senate Democrats are being led by a man who once tried to strangle LaToya Jackson's future husband-manager. You call that boring?"

Also, I'm in Hayseville NC now,finally re-united with Baby, my lovable 8lb Yorky-poodle mutt! What can I say, a boy and his dog.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I was at Jimmy's house!

Jimmy Carter that is! Man, Plains Georgia is a kickin' town, well, at least their number one resident is pretty kicking. I checked out his house, his school, and his campeign headquarters! It felt really good. I ended up buying a button and a T-shirt, yeah, I'm a politics dork, but after this last election I needed to go "back to bam, back to who I am" so to speak. Jimmy was a really good Democrat!

PS Look what's out on Video!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Forgot to mention

I saw Hemingway's house in Key West! It was pretty cool, he raised 6 toed cats, and there are still about 60 of them on his property. Oh, and I didn't mean to make Goldwater's relitive out to be fanatical anti-Clinton, he was a Philosophy teacher and seemed really bright.

Back from the Ship

Well, road around the Atlantic for the last 7 or so days, talked with Barry Goldwater's Nephew (he was kind of fixated on Clinton's failure in Rwanda), the owner of some expensive handbag company and so on. Found out Champeign isn't my friend. Saw Mexico, the Bahammas, and a bunch of Mayan Ruins. Now I'm in Daytona Beach, going to see JIMMY CARTER's place sometime this week! Then going to my aunts in South Carolina. I checked out my grades, got an A- in Islamic Mysticism, an A in Jacksonian History as well as Creative Writing, and got a B in the Cultural History of the Enlightenment. Finished Last Temptation of Christ, Amazing book. Reading Living Jesus, by Luke Timothy Johnson (he spoke about Paul at Central a while ago), basicly it is a defense of traditional Christianity against the Historical Jesus movement. Long short of the argument is that because Jesus is raised and present in the church Jesus is still revealing his will, and therefore the "historical" thing is not a closed book yet. Very interesting, I'm liking it.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Well, I'm off at 6AM, I'll blog after Christmas

I'm flying out at 6AM in the morning to Orlando Florida, my parents are already there. I'll leave you with an online Christmas quiz.
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
You are 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing'. You take
Christmas very seriously. For you, it is a
religious festival, celebrating the birth of
the Saviour, and its current secularisation
really irritates you. You enjoy the period of
Advent leading up to Christmas, and attend any
local carol services you can find, as well as
the more contemplative Advent church services
each Sunday. You may be involved in Christmas
food collections or similar charity work. The
midnight service at your church, with candles
and carols, is one you look forward to all
year, and you also look forward to the family
get together on Christmas Day.

What Christmas Carol are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Merry Christmas to all. May our Lord's birth be good to you all.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The best Lutheran comedy magazine ever

Finished my interview final for Islamic Mysticism, did pretty well, though I ended up biffing a question about Al-Arabi. I think I'll end up with an A in that class.

A really bad joke in poor taste

The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University
Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so
"profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic
(absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law
(gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So
need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the
at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that
a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different
Religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions
that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.
Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do
belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of
souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of
change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in
for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the
of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added. This gives

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which
enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase
until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls
Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes
over. So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by
during my Freshman year that, "it will be a cold day in Hell before
sleep with you, and take into account the fact that I slept with her
last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell
exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory
that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting
any more souls and is therefore, extinct...leaving only Heaven
proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last
Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

A piece from Sojourners

Don't put a restraining order on God
by David Batstone

In Cupertino, California, a public school teacher ignited a cultural powder keg this semester when he supplemented the standard-issue history book with materials backing up his contention that religion was central to the founding fathers.

In New York City last week, several major television networks banned a paid advertisement produced by the United Churches of Christ. The commercial features a core value of the UCC church - that it welcomes with grace all people into its community regardless of an individual's background.

These recent, high-profile events give us a clear view into the often muddled moral values debate that rages from shore to shore in America today. They show both cultural conservatives and cultural liberals using the same arguments to restrict public conversation. More pointedly, each side of the polar (as in cold...war) divide is happy to ban a message from the public square if that message does not align with its own cherished beliefs.

I expect a spirited debate from both ends of the spectrum, so better to address the assumed frontline counterattacks. Liberals claim they are upholding the cherished separation of "church and state" when they put a restraining order on God from entering public schools. The Constitution, however, nowhere stipulates that religion should be deemed a taboo subject in public life. The state (and by extension public schools) is prohibited from the establishment of religion, indeed. But that's a far cry from outright exclusion.

Steven Williams wants to teach his fifth-graders how deeply Christian values shaped early America. So he passed out to his class William Penn's "Frame of Government of Pennsylvania" in which Penn wrote, "Government seems to me a part of religion itself, a thing sacred in its institution and end."

Talk about crossing the church-state wall! With that kind of pedigree, we should kick Pennsylvania out of the Union posthaste. Wait a minute, put Delaware on that list as well. A list of religious clauses in the 1776 Delaware state constitution requires officeholders to "profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son."

To ban any reference to religious conviction in the early history of America would be rewriting history. So that's ridiculous. But the complaint goes deeper in the Cupertino case, because Williams is a practicing Christian who wants his students to realize that faith in God continues to be an important element in government. A parent of a student at the Cupertino school complains, "This is not about teaching history, this is about indoctrination."

I honestly do not know if Williams is directly proselytizing in the classroom. I bet not, though I would not be surprised if he hopes that a seed of faith might be planted in his students' lives. For most secularists, it does not matter. Any teaching about religion in history or contemporary life is akin to "indoctrination."

Cultural conservatives likely are standing atop their chairs cheering at this point. But why don't they apply that same enthusiasm to defend the right of the United Church of Christ to proclaim its message on national television? It's because they are no less interested in legislating their own narrow stream of moral values. They, too, want all Americans to be converted into their own image.

After reading all of the hype about the "controversial" commercial, I went to view it on an Internet site. I was totally shocked at how innocuous it was. In my opinion, it also captured the gospel stories of Jesus accepting into table fellowship those very people that his society deemed as "unclean." Like it or not, UCC theology and ethics has a firm grounding in the biblical tradition of grace and freedom.

The commercial does not address gay marriage as much of the conservative media would lead you to believe. It does not even address the gay lifestyle, beyond showing two men who fit the stereotype approaching the church steps and being turned away by a bouncer. At another point, two women standing together smile broadly at the camera. I suppose that's the offensive "lesbian" moment.

But even if the United Church of Christ did promote more directly its theological position that God blesses gay people, even to marriage together, is that sufficient reason for censoring its message? I hope you agree with me that it is not, for I would like to reserve that same open platform for other faiths and other values. Surely, we could all come up with extreme, destructive viewpoints that do not merit public access, whether they offer divine justification for their values or not (the KKK comes to mind). But that's not the case here.

Maybe the toughest challenge of living in a democracy is to respect the freedom of other people to live according to values that are not your own. Real freedom, however, does not thrive in a moral vacuum (the ardent secularist) or a moral straightjacket (the ardent theocratic). What does my ideal of democracy look like? I can sum it up in a single sentence: A person arrives at faith freely, practices it openly, and uses dialogue with others about their own life path to deepen their understanding.

And we snub the world again

At the beginning of this year's conference on global warming, the head of the Climate Change Convention had seemed to be offering an opening to the US.

It was suggested that in the next phase of action after 2012, countries might be able to pursue different routes towards a similar end.

The US mantra has been that it is committed to addressing climate change but has simply chosen a different path.

But if it was an olive branch, the US has brushed it aside.

Dr Watson, who is leading the American delegation here, told a news conference that this was not the moment for the US to reassess its policies.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The questions for Wednesday

The questions
1. Miracles. Do you believe in them? Do they change your outlook on the cosmos in any way?
2. Without using entrenched religious rhetoric describe God. Can you?
3. What is the point of the book of Job? Is Job a real guy or a parable?
4. If Jesus is the perfected Adam, as Paul says, then is he still of the flesh or spirit only?
5. How should we take Song of Songs? Is God the lover and humanity the beloved? or is it a song between two humans? If both how?
6. What is up with all the sacrifice and such pre-Christ? Did God ordain those things or is it something else?

Monday, December 06, 2004

Al-quada's last attack

Well, there was a new tape, now there is a new attack... typical pattern. I'm wondering if they can reach outside of the Middle East? Of course if you count the Spainish thing too... but then again that was an entirely different issue, for example they made sure no one was killed.
Anyway, I'm wondering if a containment ring against terror would have been better than a war on terror?

How empires start

This is a really brief account of how the British started their empire.

He says we're already creating human-animal hybrids

Check out this article, there are some alternatives to stem cell research, like creating imperfect humans to harvest, or harvesting embryos pre-programmed to die.
On one hand I'd love for someone to grow me a new heart so I don't have to worry about the pain and trauma of surgery any more, on the other hand stem-cell research is kind of a gray area that I do not have enough scientific knowledge about to make a real judgment.
Back to studying.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

This looks kind of good

I generally don't blog on Sunday, but I saw this video clip and thought it looks like it will be a good (more entertainment style good, not intellectual good) show, "Ramses: wrath of God or man?"

Friday, December 03, 2004


And the weirdness continues

As Eric and I were walking through campus from our weekly helping of sushi we saw a group of guys duct-taping another guy's face. We found the campus security number and called them.
Strange stuff.

A very weird morning/end of the term

Turns out I set my alarm clock for 6:45 PM, not AM, so I ended waking at 9:16, class had started at 9:00. I threw clothing on and headed out, rushing through the graveyard between the house and campus. Then I meet this drunk/confused/scared Freshman girl who couldn't find campus (last night was Thirsty Thursday at the Frats). I slowed up and led her to the Erb Memorial Union and then finally got to class at 9:40, had 15 minutes of Jacksonian History then got to the KIDD creative writing program class. Not a fun class today, I was hungry, unshowered, bookless, and did I mention hungry. The class was pretty banal, the English majors argued about various thing, none of them having to do with the stuff we read for class, they were all very elitist, which made me feel sad. It made me think of the Republican attack on the Clinton years, "so much potential, but to what end?"

Thursday, December 02, 2004

A short story

“Look at either end,” said the big friend.
“It once had the freedom of the sky,” I said, bending down, touching first the wings, my fingers going inside the arch of the wing, it was downy and soft, like the warm undebelly of a content puppy. I then undid the fastening of my coat, opened my jacket, and took even this little nothing up to my heart.
Feathers were falling out of its body like a pillow used since the day I was born, worked over until the stuffing came out.
“Is,” asked my big friend, “everything always so important to you, everyone, even birds?”
At that point I was flying with my little friend of a few moments to the great island, prostrate in the sea.
“I said,” he said again, “Is…”
We landed, the two of us, the shoreline broke with waves of green, writhing with seaweed, crabs, and other fair foods. I could feel my little friend’s heart slow, he could feel the air, safety, wed, and free.
“Everything,” I replied, setting my little friend down.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

1400 Soldiers dead in Iraq

Just thought I'd remind everyone that just because all eyes are on Kiev the war in Iraq is not over.

D+D questions

They will be the same questions as last week since I was sick.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I've updated my profile

So now my readers can know something more about me than that I like books! I'm becoming a multi-facited person, oh joy!

Monday, November 29, 2004

What happens when you let people like me design their own curriculum!

So, for my creative writing class I get to design my own curriculum for next term. Here is it.
Week 1.
1. Get in contact with soldiers, By this point I hope to have the addresses (email or snail mail) of several soldiers, as well as some sort of form letter to send off to soldiers in Iraq.
2. Read The Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke
Week 2.
1. Read the Gospel of John
2. Watch The Passion of the Christ
3. First discussion with Daniel Falk
Week 3.
1. Read Last Temptation of Christ
2. Watch Movie Last Temptation of Christ
Week 4.
1. Read Ender?s Game
Week 5.
1. Read Ender?s Shadow
Week 6.
1. Read Sound the Fury
Week 7.
1. Re-read the Gospels
2. Second discussion with Daniel Falk
Week 8.
1. Watch Rashomen
2. Skim Area Handbook for Iraq
3. Skim Historical dictionary of Arab and Islamic organizations
4. Skim Historical dictionary of Islamic fundamentalist movements in the Arab world
Week 9
1. Discussion with Timothy Gianatti
2. Read/compile letters from soldiers in Iraq
Week 10
1. Catch up on any readings/etc. I was unable to complete previously.

I had a dream

Okay, actually it wasn't a dream, it was more of a flash of insight. I was reading "Sufis of Andalusia" and I realized over Thanksgiving break I had read something like 6-700 pages of Islamic/Jacksonian/Enlightenment text in the past 3 days. That made me brissle and stop concentrating on those wild Sufis for a few minutes. That's when my brilliant idea hit. First I thought, I'm not going straight to Seminary, I'll be burnt out on School work by then. Then I thought, what will I do for the year off if I don't go to Kenya? See the world, I thought. Then I thought, no, see America. Then I calculated out how much it would cost to fly to every state in the Union, $15,000 or so, I thought, wow less than a year of college at many places. Then the real epiphany came. What if I could convince the federal government to set up a flying federal college! That is, what if I could create some sort of National program for the best and the brightest Freshmen in the US that would be the equivalent of their first year of college, but instead of being a traditional college they would see every state in the union, for history classes actually see US battle site, for geology classes see Yellowstone, etc. If done well it could be a great program, it would foster an academic American Nationalism that transcends regional boundaries within the best and brightest of America's youth (aka bright blue state kids would see and respect the red states as well as the blue state, and bright red state kids would see and respect the blue states as well as the red states.) So future generations would see America as one big state, not a lot of little bickering political regions.
Well, that was my big idea for the day.

My blogrole increases with the Gnostic

Well, my good friend Kyla here in Eugene has a blog. We are in Timothy Gianatti's Islamic Mysticism class. Check out her blog.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

A Very Howard Zinn Thanksgiving

Eric and I listened to Alice's Resteraunt, read some Howard Zinn about the Pilgrims killing Native Americans, said what we were Thankful for (The best college term in my life, full of wonderful new friends etc {me} and the fact that we were blessed with living in a socio-economic stratus that allowed us to go to college {Eric}) and ate Turkey Sandwiches, Shrimp, French (not Freedom) bread, and Apple Cider.
It was a good Thanksgiving.

What Part of Thanksgiving are you?

You Are the Cranberry Sauce

A little sweet, a little sour - you've got the flava!Though, you do tend to squish in people's mouths...
What Part of Thanksgiving Are You?

Well, it's thanksgiving in Eugene. Eric (my roommate from 2 years ago) and I are going to hang out, eat, and listen to Alices Resteraunt.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

D+D questions for tomorrow

1.Is Christianity primarily a relationship with Jesus or following Jesus’ teachings? What are the positives and negatives of both? Which section do you fall more closely in?
2.What is the difference between dogma and theology?
3.Is there a way to evangelize that is not in your face and annoying?
4.What are the flaws of Universalism?
5.What does it mean that we are "made in the image of God, male and female"?
6.Does Jesus’ death make sense? How is it redemptive?
7.What is the relationship between the TaNaK and the New Testament?

Also, it turns out I won't be returning to Cheyenne for Christmas, but instead will be going to Florida with my parents. I'm not happy about it, but them's the breaks, and Florida should be fun.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Why Pastors need hazard pay

Air inside churches may be a bigger health risk than that beside major roads, research suggests...

A good week

Went to see Gustavo Gutierrez (the founder of Liberation Theology) speak about Bartolome de las Casas (who he claims is the real founder of Lib.The.). I also saw a couple of Israeli Refuseniks speak, they went to prison for nearly 2 years because they refused to serve in the West Bank. Interesting people, and they are my age! Crazy.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

I committed murder in my heart today

I got back a quiz in my "Cultural History of the Enlightenment" class today, got a B, but in my opinion a hard earned B (I read the whole book, talked a lot about the concepts in class etc) and as I left class this guy says to me, "I got a B, not bad for not reading the book." What can I say, I felt kind of bad about that, I knew Mercier backwards and forwards, and I ended up getting the same grade as some guy who didn't even crack open the book.
On a better note I got up early and went to the gym, went 10 miles on a stationary bike and ran around the indoor track a bit. I'm trying to get into the habit of doing upper-body stuff in my room on mon-wed-fri, and lower body biking stuff tue-thur.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

An old friend WW2 has set up a blog

Check his blog out, he is a good guy, we attempted to do a duet of 1984 together back in Highschool, we've known each other for 8 years, give or take.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Lutheran in a Tipi hits the perfect note

The questions for Wednesday

If we look at the Bible as inspired word of God not inerrant word of God how does that effect our religious convictions? Why are the specific sets of writings so important than? Does that lead to the re-opening of the cannon?
What religious suppositions could all people agree on?
What will heaven be like? Describe
Where would Christianity be without systemization?
What is the place of sex (or sects for that matter) in religion? Is it original sin, or a commandment to unite of 2 flesh as one
Paul says, "be all things to all people" how does one do that while still respecting God?

The Door gets "Prayer at the pole" right!

Monday, November 15, 2004

My Line of Interest for Creative Writing

So, I'm in this creative writing class that lasts for the entire rest of my Senior year here at the University of Oregon. I now know what I'm going to be doing in respect to creative writing. Here is my proposal. Does it sound academic enough?

The Shaping of Truth through narrative and commentary: The Gospels of Jason Clay
An LOI by Chris Halverson
My line of Inquiry, that is the textual aspect of the evolution of a religious truth, is sort of a strange topic for a creative writing program, but I think it really will work. I would like to look at the initial event of a religion that begets a religious text AND how textual variations away from the beginning event is imbued with variations of religious interpretation and truth. I want to find the standard deviations between an event and the personal interpretations of the event. I would like to do this through a series of 4 renditions of one short story about the death of an American GI, Medic Clay, in Iraq.
The way I will explore this evolution of truth is to write the initial "religious truth" that of a straightforward story of a soldier, Jason Clay, and how he meets his eventual end at the hands of Javed Ihab, an Iraqi civilian who’s family was killed in the initial days of American Bombing. What makes things interesting is that from this initial story I will make four new versions of the story from four different sources, one from Major Benton Fritz, Clay’s commanding officer, one from Maggy Clay, Clay’s wife, one from Lewis Bliss, a British journalist, and one from Javed Ihab. From these four texts I will go even further, injecting interpretation into these stories through commentaries in the footnotes. In the footnotes I will add commentaries on the structure of the 4 stories, how they relate to one another, as well as their religious implications. I will mimic the structure of the 4 canonical Christian gospels re-telling of the events of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
The reason I am so invested in this question is that I am a very religious person, a future Lutheran Pastor to be precise, and I am also a very thinking person, so these lines of questioning often come up. As a Religious Studies major I have read lots of textual criticism of the Gospels, and have an overall understanding of how, and in what contexts, they were constructed. From that what fascinates me is, of course, getting past the biases of each author and to the overall message of the Christ, but also understanding the importance of the differences in each Gospel.
On top of that I have read and seen a lot of different depiction of Jesus, from the slightly irreverent, and very seventies Jesus in Jesus Christ Super Star, to the darkly engaging and human Jesus in Kazantzakis’ The Last Temptation of Christ. All of these depiction leave me wanting to try my hand at defining my own Character, Jesus or otherwise, in several different, but not untrue ways.
My senior year of high school read The Sound and the Fury in which Falkner tells his story by bouncing his narration from character to character, from the man-child Benji to the suicidal Quentin. The book itself was good, but the aspect of it that left the largest impression upon me was Falkner’s technique of using multiple points of view. Years ago I had the pleasure of reading the Ender Wiggens series by Orson Scott Card, and more recently I picked up a very interesting book, Ender’s Shadow, which was a book portraying the same events as were in the book Ender’s Game, only from a different character’s perspective. At the time I just thought it was a great way to look at the Synoptic problem, but more recently it has made me think again about this phenomena of using multiple viewpoints to tell the same story.
I believe this line of Inquiry is worth my attention because as the Rabbi’s say, "Everything is in the text" and I believe it, and I sure as hell want to prove it. Without the text events are just stuff that happens, but in their telling they gain power, in people’s trying to make sense of things, they gain meaning. I think this topic is important on a level beyond my own self-gratification and attempts to prove something about the texts as well, I think my LOI will tackle the issue of religion and modernity, which, in this world on the cusp of becoming post-secular, is something that must be addressed. Iran’s government fell because of the voice of a religious leader, Usamma bin Laden kills people in the name of God , Bush won because of many evangelical’s belief that he could save America from Sodom, and people blow themselves up because of a mix of dispair and religious devotion. Not that this piece is going to solve any of these problems, or even look at most of them, but it will look at the interaction between the real world and the written word in a religious context. Is there any better place to tackle such issues than a University creative writing class?
So far in the KIDD program there has been one batch of readings that explicitly deals with my issue, Memory. Patricia Hampl’s "Memory and Imagination" is the best example of this, her memory was unreliable, and so her music book was a different type than what she believed it was. How much more will this change when there are 4 people and countless (well, me tackling the text from multiple perspectives) commentators all messing with memories of one single event?
I hope this thing I shall write will be a respectful continuation of textual traditions that stretch back for millennia, from Talmud (Rabbinical commentaries), to modern Historical Critical Biblical Scholars, to the Sharia commentators that may well create governmental laws in Nigeria, to the average American citizen who struggles to give meaning to this thing we have done in Iraq, to anyone who wonders how texts and truth play off one another.

Annotated Bibliography:
The 4 Canonical Gospels— These four texts are what I am structuring my LOI off of. These four Gospels tell the story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus from the perspective of four different authors. The first three Gospels, Mark, Matthew, and Luke, follow a similar structure (much of their telling of Jesus’ life come from the same sources) whereas the Gospel of John is much different in it’s emphasis as well as it’s structure.
Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card (384 pages)—This is a Science-Fiction book is about Ender Wiggins, a boy who ends up leading earth to victory over an alien race. The story is told from the perspective of Ender.
Ender’s Shadow, Orson Scott Card (480 pages)—This book tells the same story as Ender’s Game, except from the perspective of Bean, a sometimes friend of Ender Wiggns. I feel this story would give me a further feel of how to balance perspectives.
Last Temptation of Christ, Nikos Kazantzakis (496 pages)—This is a fictional account of Christ’s life that makes him way more human than the Gospels, I am only halfway finished with it, but it was one of the things that inspired this LOI and I think it deserves finishing.
The Sound and the Fury, William Falkner (336 pages)—Falkner does a really good job of making each switch in character narration very distinct, I think this could be useful for my development of unique voices for my "authors."
The Passion of the Christ- I can see how Mel Gibson interprets Jesus’ last days, which may inspire me further with my telling of Jason Clay’s last days.
Rashomen—I’ve been told this is THE MOVIE that exemplifies the subjectivity of story. Apparently many different characters tell the same story and each one sees the events very differently.
Timothy Gianatti—He is a Religious Studies Professor here at the U of O, and focuses on Islam (and has been to the Middle East). I think I could pick his brain a bit about specific realistic details about Islamic society and make the character of Javed Ihab believable.
Daniel Falk—He is another Religious Studies Professor, his focus is Biblical Studies, I think he could help lend an air of scholasticism to my commentaries.
Historical dictionary of Islamic fundamentalist movements in the Arab world, Iran, and Turkey, Ahmad S. Moussalli—I will use this as a resource for understanding the Fanatical Islamic aspect of my story.
Historical dictionary of Arab and Islamic organizations, Frank A. Clements—Once again this will be a resource to add realism to my story.
Army talk, a familiar dictionary of soldier speech, Elbridge Colby—I figure this will add authenticity to the dialogue my soldiers will be having.
Soldiers of the old army, Victor Vogel
Area handbook for Iraq, Harvey Smith—This will make the place of Iraq seem more real.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Saw the Producers tonight on stage

It was amazing, Mel Brooks should have some sort of shrine somewhere (he may already have one if there is justice in this world). The actual musical scene was SO over the top it actually made me uncomfortable, just the shwasticas(sp) all over, the storm troopers dancing in hot pants, jeeze it was crazy.
Last word on it, any play that ends up having a dancer coated with pretzels and brotworsts is good in my book.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

It is resurrected!

I was pretty sure my little laptop was dead (7 years is a long life for one of those), so I hurried up and saved all the short stories etc from it, then low and behold it seems to be alive again, and we aren't just talking resuscitation!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Questions

The Questions
How does time work, specifically in relation to resurrection?
If we claim God is multifaceted and unknowable how is it that humans know God?
In the Bible God does some really scary things, eg demand sacrifice, bless the people who "basheth the heads of the babe (or something to that effect), call for Xaram, that is the complete destruction of certain peoples. What do we do with said commands etc?
The worlds ends at 4PM Saturday, what’cha going to do about it?
Are there things about a person that are fundamental?
What is the soul? Does it exist? Is there a difference between soul and spirit?

They found Luther's lavatory

I must have missed this during the election, cool story, check it out.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

To clarify

I shaved my beards off and the hair off my head, contrary to what some may tell you I did not shave my head off.

Oh, there is something else I need to tell all of you

I shaved the beards off as well as my head. I look like a scrawny Bruce Willis. This was a week ago 2AM Wednesday morning, so I'm starting to get back a little bit of stubble.
If you want to see pictures email me

Monday, November 08, 2004

Cough, cough, Global Warming, cough

No more polar bears. The Polar Ice Caps are melting, Santa is going to be flooded, then the coasts... Wee...

Voter fraud?

A friend of mine emailed me this. If anyone is interested check it out.

-Hi Chris,
Thought you might be interested in seeing this. Don't know how much
foundational evidence there is backing this, but it's definitely
interesting and hopefully will be dealt harshly with if found to be
even the slightest bit true.-
"The word is that TV media is on a "lock down" and have been
instructed not to talk about this. The only exception is Keith
Olbermann of Countdown MSNBC who has taken up the story in his blog
and will be doing a story possibly on Monday or Tuesday. Let's keep
our fingers crossed that he gets this on the air.
Basically, there is hard evidence that corruption has went down
regarding voting procedures of the 2004 Presidential Election. I'm
going to copy the email sent to me by a friend, urging me to get this
message out:
Jeff Fisher -- a candidate for congress in FL has called the FBI
claiming he has conclusive proof that the election was fixed through
electronic voting machines in FL, how and who did it but he did
indeed call the FBI --
Three congressmen have sent a letter to the GOA asking for an
investigation into voting 'irregularities'
Statisticians from all over have been posting on blogs -- citing that
there are huge anomalies in the results from several states -- -- but
big time in Ohio and FL -- the main one being why every last exit
had Kerry winning and every last exit poll was wrong by the same
percentage in swing states with electronic voting --
There are three sites that are covering this story. You can visit
them to find out more:
I cannot stress the importance of getting this message out. We have
to get people talking about it and we have to hold our media
accountable for reporting the news. If you have a zine, run this
story. If you write for a paper, now is the time to make history. If
you have an email list of friends and family, copy this and send it
to them. The future of our nation is at stake. This man *must* be
held accountable for his crimes. It's high time we try our president
for something more than getting a blow job.
Make us proud. The world is laughing at us. Send this to *everyone*.
Thank you"
-That's what was sent to me by a friend whom I trust, it has been
going around now.
Talk to you later

Thursday, November 04, 2004

I'll give Bush one thing

His wife's new dog is kind of cute.

D+D questions from last night

The Questions
1. Does Deism make sense? Does religion need to make sense?
2. How does God connect with humanity?
3. Some people are claiming that America is becoming a “post-secular” nation, how can established religious authorities help with this transition from a private sacred sphere to a reintegrated public sphere of worship? Do you buy the premise? Or are we still secular or even pre-secular?
4. Can and should there be attempts to reconcile divergent faith traditions?
5. What is the reason for suffering? Is it “redemptive”?
6. How/can we reconcile Hebrew scripture with the Greek New Testament?
7. If God is good can God be God? If God is God can God be good?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

We Lost

We lost. I’m not going to speculate how or why. We fought hard, we registered lots of voters, we did everything we could for Senator Kerry; it was, to quote President Bush, "hard work." For all our efforts Bush still won the Presidency, with the popular vote. The Republicans now control pretty much all branches of government with a mandate. We can expect the extinguishing stench of war, both on foreign countries and on the poor and middle class. We can expect the smoke and spew of environmental degradation and further dependence on foreign oil. We can expect the shadow of alienation from allies, and fiscal irresponsibility.
In short, this is a dark hour. Still, the flame of America is here; it still flickers within each of us as tiny beacons of hope in this cheerless sea that surrounds us. That’s right, it shines within each of us. Each time we stand up and speak our mind, each time we talk politics to a friend, each time we open a newspaper to become informed about issues, the light is there.
Look deep within yourself and find your core beliefs, and live them out each day of your life; become a democracy of one. For too long it has been the Republicans that have had a stranglehold on the idea of "local control" and "States rights." Well, we can do them one better, let us find self-control, and individual rights. If you have a heart for the homeless, work at a shelter, if you want to protect the environment find your State or national parks and volunteer there. If you are worried about Bush’s attack on the school system, take time out to read to a child. Start biking to keep carbon monoxide out of the air, and for the love of God if the Republicans want to attack Cuba, Syria, North Korea, or Iran and you are not so sure that’s a good idea get out in the streets and protest!
The light is not out friends; it is just a little dim. There is so much we can do between now and the next election cycle, that, if we intentionally and incessantly work for change, the cycles don’t matter, we do. Parties may make policy, but people make a nation, a signal fire of democracy lit from the individual torches of the hearts of many.


We lost. I’m not going to speculate how or why. We fought hard, we registered lots of voters, we did everything we could for Senator Kerry; it was, to quote President Bush, "hard work." For all our efforts Bush still won the Presidency, with the popular vote. The Republicans now control pretty much all branches of government with a mandate. We can expect the extinguishing stench of war, both on foreign countries and on the poor and middle class. We can expect the smoke and spew of environmental degradation and further dependence on foreign oil. We can expect the shadow of alienation from allies, and fiscal irresponsibility.
In short, this is a dark hour. Still, the flame of America is here; it still flickers within each of us as tiny beacons of hope in this cheerless sea that surrounds us. That’s right, it shines within each of us. Each time we stand up and speak our mind, each time we talk politics to a friend, each time we open a newspaper to become informed about issues, the light is there.
Look deep within yourself and find your core beliefs, and live them out each day of your life; become a democracy of one. For too long it has been the Republicans that have had a
stranglehold on the idea of "local control" and "States rights." Well, we can do them one better, let us find self-control, and individual rights. If you have a heart for the homeless, work at a shelter, if you want to protect the environment find your State or national parks and volunteer there. If you are worried about Bush’s attack on the school system, take time out to read to a child. Start biking to keep carbon monoxide out of the air, and for the love of God if the Republicans want to attack Cuba, Syria, North Korea, or Iran and you are not so sure that’s a good idea get out in the streets and protest!
The light is not out friends; it is just a little dim. There is so much we can do between now and the next election cycle, that, if we intentionally and incessantly work for change, the cycles don’t matter, we do. Parties may make policy, but people make a nation, a signal fire of democracy lit from the individual torches of the hearts of many.


I'm confused. We turned out so many new voters who voted for Kerry. We united all the factional pieces of the Democratic Party behind the Johns. We spent so much money. We worked so hard. Yet it's the same junk from 2000, except Bush has the popular vote this time. We won Oregon, I did my part, but jeeze, if we don't win Ohio, I don't know what will happen, 4 more years I guess.
Kenya is looking very tempting. I'm going to be filling out my papers.
Peace, Good night, Pray for our country.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

1 finger victory salute by Bush

BIG NEWS: Bush's team plans to cheat in election

"A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals."
Read it!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

D+D Questions

The Questions
1. How important should Paul be to Christianity?
2. Outside of scripture what can we know about God? How?
3. How important is the environment in God’s eyes?
4. Does God select specific people out to do his will? If so are these people different from the rest of the populace?
5. What would you like the afterlife to be like (both heaven and hell)? What do you think they are actually like?
6. Is Pascal right, do all men seek happiness? If so what does that imply about man’s relation to God?

M+M goes anti-bush

It's an interesting video. Mind you KRS-One and the like have been doing it for years, but still, better late than never. Check it out.

Last night

I hung out playing risk with Matt, Hatch, Daniel, and the Falks (Prof. and his wife) until 1 AM. It was good times. This morning I get to Cultural History of the Enlightenment, and we talk about the Sexual History of the Enlightenment. Interesting stuff. Various social contract theorists (all of them pretty much German) kept looking for the base connectedness of humans, ends up being sex, and therefor the thing that could tear appart society was Masterbation. That was because they figured semen was basicly excess brain/spinal fluid, and people that masterbated were more or less draining their reason out of themselves, thus threatening the very reasoned structure of society. Odd class, odd time period.
This leads into another thought. I think I know the real reason the Misouri synod exists, because germans are too patriarchal, and Scandinavians are too matriarchal for the two groups to mix. The ethos of Scandinavia is one of acceptance of everyone (that's why ELCA has open communion) and a motherly kind of love. The Misouri Synod is steeped in German patriachy, ridged. I don't know, I'll perhaps come back to the argument sometime.

Monday, October 25, 2004

All Hallows Eve

I'm going to be going Trick or Canning with the College Bible Study group. We will be collecting canned food from the homeless. It should be a good time, I'm going as an experiment gone wrong, another guy is going as a robot, and a third as our mad scientist. Should be fun to see what everyone else goes as.

All Hallows Eve

I'm going to be going Trick or Caning with the College Bible Study group. We will be collecting canned food from the homeless. It should be a good time, I'm going as an experiment gone wrong, another guy is going as a robot, and a third as our mad scientist. Should be fun to see what everyone else goes as.

All Hallows Eve

I'm going to be going Trick or Caning with the College Bible Study group. We will be collecting canned food from the homeless. It should be a good time, I'm going as an experiment gone wrong, another guy is going as a robot, and a third as our mad scientist. Should be fun to see what everyone else goes as.

My new favorite comic: thatguy

A guy in my creative writing class does an online comic, thatguy. Good times, he harkens back to Bill Waterson a lot. Check it out if you get a chance.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Last post for the day, Threat to Twin Cities

I thought this was interesting. There is chatter going about that the twin cities might be targeted. Let's hope not.

The kids pick Kerry

I've heard that every year they have done this thing the winner wins in the real election. I remeber voting for Clinton back in 1992 in this Nickvote thing.

Finally, we can find the traitors

As you might have guessed, I'm back online! A good thing. Nothing much to report, I'm going to finish my Voltaire thing today, and also read Al-Gazalli's stuff. Also I'll watch "Unconstitutional: The war on our civil liberties." Some Lefty fellow threw the DVD at me.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Lyrics for "Rock and Roll Life Style"

Cake(Motorcade Of Generocity)Well, your CD collection looks shiny and costly.How much did you pay for your bad Moto Guzi?And how much did you spend on your black leather jacket?Is it you or your parents in this income tax bracket?Now tickets to concerts and drinking at clubs,Sometimes for music that you haven't even heard of.And how much did you pay for your rock'n'roll t-shirtThat proves you were there,That you heard of them first?How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?Ah, tell me.How much did you pay for the chunk of his guitar,The one he ruthlessly smashed at the end of the show?And how much will he pay for a brand new guitar,One which he'll ruthlessly smash at the end of another show?And how long will the workers keep building him new ones?As long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue ones.And how long will the workers keep building him new ones?As long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue ones.Aging black leather and hospital bills,Tattoo removal and dozens of pills.Your liver pays dearly now for youthful magic moments,But rock on completely with some brand new components.How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?Excess ain't rebellion.You're drinking what they're selling.Your self-destruction doesn't hurt them.Your chaos won't convert them.They're so happy to rebuild it.You'll never really kill it.Yeah, excess ain't rebellion.You're drinking what they're selling.Excess ain't rebellion.You're drinking,You're drinking,You're drinking what they're selling.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Kerry's Rolling Stone Interview

D+D questions

The Questions
How does Jesus work on a Genetic level considering Mary’s "virgin birth."
What is the point of preaching? Is it to teach, to inspire? Is it situational? What’s the deal w/ Preaching?
Does Jesus’ ruling "give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s" mean people can not and should not try to topple oppressive governments?
Is scripture the inerrant word of God or the inspired word of God? Why?
What are current forms of Idolatry?
How does Jesus’ divinity really work? For example did Jesus lust?
Who is "saved"? For that matter what does it mean to be "saved"?

Monday, October 18, 2004

What enders game character are you?

I'm Bean-
Not quite human, right? You are just too smart for all of us. You're quick on your feet, and small, too. At least, you are right now. You'll grow, trust me. You have a deep love for a girl at Battle School (but shhhh, you have to pretend you don't). She shares that same love for you, and will want to bear your children. You'll resist, but in the end, you know she'll win. She always does. Live life to the fullest, for your future is scarce.

Voltaire on the Trinity

For my Cultural History of the Enlightenment class here at the University of Oregon I am mimicing Voltaire's style in "Philosophical Dictionary." Here is one of my entries.

Création: Creation
Many a well-founded, well-respected, theologian traces the latter third of our divided God, that is the Holy Spirit, back to the beginning of Creation. For it is written, “The wind of God was moving over the face of the waters.” That is, this xwr is “neither made nor created, but proceeding from the father and the son.” And so the Person of the Holy Spirit, the Wind of God, is expelled from the Person of the Father and the Person of the Son. Still greater theologians and metaphysician see this water as a clear sign to baptize, though those unworthy Anabaptists would disagree. Then this one Hebrew, come three Christian, God proceeds to make the world, lights (please note lights, not sun), vegetation, and various animals. Then comes the greatest animal of them all, Man.
Nicolas Fréret, or perhaps it is Mme Bourgnon, I know not, writes of Genesis 1:26 thus, “Though many think this phrase, ‘let us make man in our image, after our likeness,’ to be the use of a royal we, or likened to the Muhammidian single God, Allah, who is also known as We, there is a better reasoned response, God the Father, and the Son, in order to proceed the Holy Spirit together at the birthing of creation, were still connected together, like the hermaphrodite Adam.” Oh, listen to their reason, is it not brilliant! The well-established Christian fact of the trinity helps us to reason through the old muddle Jewish texts, steeped in confusion and presupposition.
Through these infallible texts comes reason to us. Is it not obvious that our very bodies are a tribute to this great religion. Each time a peasant drinks too much mead, or eats too many beans they call out a clear sign of the Spirit, as was done at the first creation. And how about those eunuchs, those hermaphrodites, are they not a clear sign of the unity of Father and Son? (do those so called Orthodox of the Czars not see that the Spirit proceeds from not one, but two in one) And when a man and a woman, or a father and a son for that matter, copulate (as long as they are not priests, for that right has been acknowledged from the very beginning of time) do they not affirm the unity of God?

Saturday, October 16, 2004

I voted today! It was the first time I got to vote for president! It felt good

Also, if anyone wants they can help Bush debunk these fake documents.


Napoleon Dynamite!!! It was amazing, funny, inspirational (in it's own quirky way), dangerous, wacky, great!

Blogs are democratic

Perhaps... I was thinking about this. Blogs tear down the walls of punditry in this country. All of a sudden anyone can not only have an opinion, but express it. More later perhaps.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Do you dream in Lutheran?

Last night I did. Pastors; Sarah, James, and Joel and I were being led to a guillotine by a bunch of monks. It was a very medieval atmosphere, people were shouting Heretic and Hussite and throwing stuff at us. I woke up before we were killed.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

My thoughts on the 4 debates

Debate 1. Kerry by a mile. Bush was inarticulate, repetitive (He mentioned he was working hard ELEVEN times!), and scared. Kerry on the other hand knew the issues, and set out a serious plan, and generally made the American people remember what a president sounds like.
Debate 2. Cheney and Edwards were quite an even match, still Edwards won by his unveiling of Cheney's abhorrent voting record. Another problem of Cheney was his callous treatment of the Aids issue. Still, Cheney has a certain kind of charm, of course his kind of charm is one only found in a mix between a Piranha and humpty dumpty.
Debate 3. Kerry still wins, though Bush does figure out how to speak. This was probably the debate to judge the two candidates on. One of Bush's biggest problems was his use of the term "Internets" as well as his overall policy points.
Debate 4. I was surprised tonight. Bush spoke pretty well, he still blinks too much, but he did okay. He ducked the Roe v. Wade issue as well as the economy. Whenever the economy was mentioned he responded with No Child Left Behind. I was disappointed with the last question, which was really softball about wives. I would say this one was a draw. I think part of the problem with Kerry is that I've heard his stump speech so many times I'm starting to zone out when he speaks, since I already know what he's going to say.
Kerry/Edwards 3, Bush/Cheney 0, Tied 1.
Now, I'm going to admit I'm a liberal, and so I am really not impartial. Even with my bias I KNOW Kerry won the first debate, Edwards the second, and Kerry the third. This last debate, I'm not sure, part of the problem is that my expectations of Bush talking about domestic issues was below sea level and he gave a C performance and I thought it was good.

Bill O'lie-ly sexual harassment case

Edwards did a good job

Made me feel better about college dems. If you want to see the pictures email me.

Edwards did a good job

Made me feel better about college dems. If you want to see the pictures email me.

Strike two for the college Dems

Well. As I said Edwards is coming to town. I was set to volunteer, I even hung out last night for 1/2 an hour hearing what I was supposed to do, even the head of the College Dems didn't go to that. And now it turns out I'm not on any list. I was blown off first by the Carry Oregon guy, which was to be expected. Then Kevin (a great guy), the head of the CD's, stepped in to help me get on the list and the person coordinating the event went bouncer on me. I'm really disappointed. I mean I am the Events coordinator and I can't even volunteer at the one major event on campus!
Edwards better amaze me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Edwards is coming, Edwards is coming!

And I'm going to be helping out. I'll be ushering or something to that effect. Should be great fun.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Saw Mike Barnet at the poetry night

He was really good. He is like a mix between Bruce Springsteen and KRS-One. Good stuff. I got to shake the man's hand and tell him he did a good job, he responded in kind, saying my poetry I had done was good. A very cool guy. I'm glad he came to the University of Oregon.

My thoughts on Bush's back box

The whole political world is spinning about the possibility that Bush cheated at the first debate, and possibly at the second as well. My thought is that this isn't true, for the simple fact that BUSH SHOULD HAVE DONE B ETTER! Bush really stunk up the first debate, so if he was getting messages played into his ear they must have been more of a distraction than a help. Still, if he is cheating he should pay the price for it.

I like Ike 2.0!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Examples of me in the news

A good day!

Saw Veterans for Peace on campus today. Also saw 2 people that were actually shot at Kent State! It was crazy, the FBI/CIA hounded them, guns were planted on people. It sounds like it was REALLY wierd.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

D+D questions

Well, after a summer off I'm back to asking the questions.
Here are this weeks.

Is logic necessary for belief in God?
Is scripture the inerrant word of God or the inspired word of God? Why?
How does Jesus’ divinity really work? For example did Jesus lust?
When it comes to politics what are "Christian issues?"
What types of musical instruments are positive during worship?
What are current forms of idolatry?

Also here are some thoughts on the vp debates and this and this.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Longing for THK

Edward's best moment in the debates

Was when he hit Cheney's record, where he voted against, "Meals on Wheels for seniors, Headstart, a Martin Luther King federal holiday and calling for the release of Nelson Mandela."

Brief rant

What do you do when you feel as if you have been slighted? What do you do when you have put years into something and you are still treated like an outsider?
I feel like this too often. Today at the college Dems meeting I was going to hang out with my fellow directors and this guy just steps in front of me and pretty much asks me why I’m still there after the meeting. I felt like saying, "Well, I don’t know who you are, but I’m Director of Events with the College Democrats and I was going to hang out and talk with the other Directors, now get off my ass." Another example, for the most part I am still an outsider at the church here in Eugene that I have attended for the last 2 years! I've taught these people's children about GOD, yet they have no bloody clue who I am.
I don’t know, I sometimes feel that throughout my whole life I have failed to foster relationships to the point that I am just an interesting face in the crowd, not someone that people would actually like to know on more than a forced to be around/work related level, and honestly that is kind of depressing.
I know this whole condition is brought on by, among other things, my own innate bookishness, but I still wish I had relationships nourished to the point that they could spring out with a certain amount of spontaneity.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Final post, hey, look at Saudi cats

A good site if you want an insiders look at Saudi Arabia.

I'm the Blog of the Week!

I have the internet again

Gotta love Christus House's wireless network.
So, back to the camping of a week ago. We ended up going spelunking(sp) it was great fun. Six of us made it to the bottom (by the way the only female of the group happened to be Lutheran, mad props to Eva!).
I've been through a week of classes. I've cooked for myself. I've gotten really good at making cheesesteaks (we'll I will be off in Philly in a year or 2).
Not much else going down, I need to clean the living room before tomorrow.
Oh, DEAN, I almost forgot. He was on campus, he kicked some butt, gave me a wink and a nod. Also, the debates, Kerry won, no doubt. Bush mentioned he was working hard 11 times. I think he was scared, and I think he was scared rightfully so.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

I'm in Eugene

No internet, so this is from the college's library. Should get off soon, I've overextended my 15 minute max. Anyways, I'm in Eugene, I have a parking space. There is a Calvinist next door, really bright, so that should be good. I'll be camping with them starting today at 2:30. My parents stopped an attempted rape yesterday (they were walking the dog, saw it going on, called cops). Big day for everyone.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Happy Birthday to me. Well, I'm 21

Had some wine for supper w/ the parents at Outback Steakhouse. I don't know, I thought it tasted like bad mouthwash, who knows.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Went to a dog walk, came back with lots of prizes

So, I went to this Animal Shelter walk with my mom and Baby, my yorky poodle mix (she looks like a tiny sheepdog). At the end they were handing out prizes. She ended up winning the "Smallest dog" prize. Then they asked for "owners who look like their pets" and Baby and I won! Both Baby and I are very fuzzy and blond. We ended up with a 50 dollar gift certificate to this one westernwear store! Afterwards the local news interviewed the two of us. On top of all that I bought a pair of chop-sticks. In short it has been a good day today.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Bush's guard days, and Kerry's cellphone salvation

And Kerry's cellphone salvation
So, first off Bush is keeping guardsmen (people if you aren't looking at it Christologically) in the guard even though they are not actually helping to combat terrorists. And, Kerry could be winning, the polls don't interview people with cell phones.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Where I'll be living come the end of the month

This is Christus House's website. It looks like it hasn't been updated in a while.

Christians for Kerry

I thought this looked like an interesting site.
In other news I can now take off my splint thing when I'm just hanging out, which is nice.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I know where I'm going to Seminary at!

I'm going to go to Philadelphia! It was perfect. I had liked Wartburg, but it had no Urban emphasis. I had liked Chicago, but it was very impersonal. Philadelphia is really good at the Urban thing, even has a UTE (Urban Theological Education) program, it also has a really serious community, worshiping together 1-2 times daily, etc. And finally there are tons of right out of College students there! I'm really happy.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Monday, September 06, 2004

Sermon from Sunday

As we all know after a brief period of religiousrebellion in his thirties (youthful indiscretions helater called them) the good man Jesus settled down,became a Pharisee, married Mary Magdaline, had threenice kids, a dog named Scooter, and lived in a nicesuburb of Jerusalem. Eventually, he gained his Romancitizenship, ran, and won a Roman Senate electioncampaign stressing family values and uninterruptedprosperity, and he lived to the ripe old age of 102.XXX No. Wait. He DIDN'T.Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, the very Son of God,lived, preached a message of uplifting the poor andsalvation for all. He pointed out the hypocrisy of thereligious authorities of his day, he was betrayed by afriend, was crucified by the Roman occupiers, died,and was buried. It would seem when it was said, "See,I have set before you today life and prosperity, deathand adversity," he chose death and adversity.When we look at the scriptures, we do not see God'speople, God's disciples, as living an easy life.Abraham was called to leave the land of theChaldeans, the land of his ancestors, the land of his family. He was called to leave everyone he knew andloved.During the Exodus God's people had to bear up thecapstones of misery in Egypt.The Israelites were scattered, separated, anddispersed during their exile in BabylonIn the midst of his ministries John the Baptist wasimprisoned by King Herod, and beheaded.Stephan was martyred in the streets of Jerusalem,stoned to death.While proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ Paulwas imprisoned, suffered, and died.As Christians let's not kid ourselves, let's enterinto our faith with no illusions, let's keep our eyeswide open. Living out Christianity isn't an, if you doX you'll be rewarded with Y, kind of religion, insteadit is like completing a tower, it's like going into abattle with 2:1 odds stacked against you. When we putour God before all thing; before our family, beforeour possessions, and yes, even before our life, thereis going to be adversity.Jesus says to us today, "Whoever comes to me and doesnot HATE father and mother, wife and children,brothers and sisters. Can not be my disciple." HATEour family! Hate Valerie, Hate Jerry, Hate my littleDog Baby! It's not quite as vicious as that. It turns out whenone looks at the Greek the actual word is acomparative word. In this case we are weighing Jesusup against our family. In comparison to how much youlove Jesus, the love you have for your family is hate.Still, this isn't easy. Look at how the Phariseesfumed when Jesus disregarded his connections with hispeople, the Jewish family, by hanging out withnon-Jews in Sumeria and elsewhere. And think of theanger he invoked when he would berate the Phariseeswith parables like the one about the good Samaritan.Think of the heartbreak he must have felt when he saidthat his mother and brother were not his relatives,but instead those who followed him were. Think of theanguish he felt when he left Galilee to preach hismessage, and when he left even his disciples to comebefore Pontious Pilate.Think about when Abraham left those he loved. Thinkabout the defining moment when you left your family.It could be going to a sleepover at a friends. Itcould be college. It could be going off to war orgetting married. For me it was about two years ago when I went off toEugene to college for the first time. I remember thatfirst night in the dorms. It was kind of scary.Outside my room were a horde of very. hyper track boysthat just realized the dorm was co-ed by room. Insidemy room was my roommate. All I knew about him was thathe was from Alaska, was more introverted than I was,had a strange obsession with maps, and didn't take offhis blue baseball cap even to go to sleep. I think ofthose first few weeks on campus, trying to find anitch for myself. I remember the riot that took placeafter a basketball game, they lit a portion of themain street on fire and drove a metermaid cart intothe flames. In short, leaving your family, being adisciple of Jesus, pulls you out of your comfort zone.Still, what is the good news in that? The good newsis that when we love Jesus to the point that our loveof family is likened to hate we may close our eyes toour biological family, and open them up to see all ofhumanity. We can look at anyone and everyone andremember that we all contain the breath of God wereceived through God's breathing into that clay manAdam. We are all redeemed through that last dyingbreath Jesus took on the cross, and that gloriousbreath of resurrection he took inside the tomb. And weare all united in that blast of Holy Breath that wasPentecost.In the movie "A Beautiful Mind" there is a scene thatcatches at least a pinch of this idea. John Nash, thefamous mathematician, is at a bar drinking with someof his friends. A group of women enter, one of thewomen is a stunning blonde. Nash and his friends allplan to ask out the blonde. At that point he realizesit would be in all their best interests if they askedout the other girls, so all of them would have a date,instead of all of them competing against one anotherfor that one girl and none of them having a date. Inshort, he realized it is better to give one anothermutual aid than to compete. As I said, an incompleteexample at best. Still, the point is well made thatinstead of looking out only for the best interest ofthe few, disciples of Christ look out for the wellbeing of everyone. We are able to shed our baseconnections of clan and country, kith and kin, to loveall and be loved by all.For a more biblical example look at today's letter ofPaul. Through loving Christ more than family thisrunaway slave, Onemus becomes family and is changedinto a son of the apostle Paul and a brother, no evenmore than that, a beloved brother, of Philemon. Whenwe throw out our attachment to family then people areno longer property, but fellow children of God.Jesus says to us today, "None of you can become mydisciple if you do not give up your possessions." Giveup our daily Starbucks coffee? Give up our nice shinycar? Give up our bed? Give up the roof over our head?Give up the food we eat? This is tough, every daycommercials tell us if we only buy Crest White stripswe will be loved. If we only eat at Chile's we'll behip. If we only get a new car a band will follow usaround and all our problems will be solved. Yet, to beDisciples of Christ Jesus we love him to the pointthat our love of our possessions is like hate. Thisundermines the message of this world and leads us toexamine our needs, and recognize that a lot of thestuff we strive for is not necessary, and, not onlythat, they may be unhealthy and unhelpful.Again, what is the good news in that? First, it meanswe are able to stand in solidarity with the poor,since, without our precious possessions where do westand? Where does economic prestige go? All of asudden we are all buck naked hominids without fancyclothing or a shiny white smile. Just like when wedisregard our biological connections, when we ax oureconomic reputation, our differences evaporate. Werealize people are more than their possessions orjobs, a tax collector decked out in gold is just ashuman as a prostitute in a cheep hotel room or apriest with a nicely pressed roman collar. A homelessperson looking for food and a job is just as human asa CEO in a private jet or a sales clerk eating atWendy's.As proof of this miracle of love let's look again atPaul's letter to Philemon. Paul, a man imprisoned,shackled in chains/ a dude in jail/ is able to effectthe status of Onemus. Think about that, a prisoner hasthe ability to make a man free. When we stop lookingat Paul, as a man with no home, wandering the worldpreaching, making and mending tents for a living, andstuck in the slammer, then we can see him for who andwhat he really is, a messenger of God preaching withthe authority of God.Secondly, being a Lutheran, and believing we aresaved by grace, through faith, for works, I can'tleave the question of possessions at that, I'm goingto push things a little farther. What if we don't justabandon our earthly possessions, but also abandon ouridea of earning heavenly possessions? What if we putChrist at the center of our life to such an extentthat we truly humble ourselves before him, and realizethat nothing we do can earn the kingdom of God? Whatif we trust in Christ so much that we admit that thegates of Hell have already been stormed, and salvationis already ours? Then all the actions we commit, allthe good things we do, all the love and kindness weshare with the world is done of our own free will, notbecause we have been bribed with a room in heaven, orthreatened with a thundering God of judgment. Then,like our brother and fellow disciple Philemon, ourgood deeds can be voluntary.Jesus says to us today, "Whoever comes to me and doesnot hate. even life itself, cannot be my disciple.Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannotbe my disciple." Let us love Jesus to the point thatour love of life is like hate. Let us live life not tofurther our family name, nor for our own prosperity,but for the love of God.The good news is that Christ has bought our life withhis. The good news is that we have been freed from theslavery of sin to become servants of all. The goodnews is that Christ bore his cross, and calls us tobear ours. The good news is that Christ rose from hisgrave, and calls us to rise from ours. The good newsis that we can live a life in faith that theresurrection will happen.The good news is that Abraham went to the promisedland and through him came a people to be a blessingand bring a blessing to the whole world.The good news is that God heard his people's criesand called them out, led by Moses through the desertto the promised land.The good news is that the Israelites heard the voiceand made a path through the wilderness back to theHoly land.The good news is that John the Baptist was a voicecrying out in the wilderness, "make straight the pathof the Lord."The good news is that Stephan testified to the Son ofMan sitting at the right hand of God. The good news is that Paul preached the blessing ofAbraham to the whole world.Brothers and sisters in Christ, disciples of Christ,there are things we give up. There are things thatshall lessen in importance, but only so that Christ isamplified. A+A

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The Bush twins were really bad last night

Really, not a good speech. They insulted their grandmother, groan. It was just bad in general. I really didn't want to think of Bush and Laura shaking it "like a polaride photo." I don't think they really reached their generation, instead they just insulted the past generations. Why were they up there?

Some thoughts on Bush' flip-flops

Check out the Slate article, but also think about it. He was anti-nationbuilding now pro-nationbuilding. He was against Homeland security, then he was for it. He wanted to have the security council vote about using force in Iraq, then he decided he didn't want it. He said we will win the war on terror. Now he says we can't win the war on terror.
Just some thoughts. I really need to get back to Theology.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

My former band instructor is running for a House Seat here in Wyoming. Help him win.

If you could throw a couple of bucks to his campaign I would appreciate it. Here is his website:< />You can send him money online here:< >or< >I'll be stuffing envelopes for him, I hope to hear he got some money from people who look at my blog. Last election we only lost his district by 100 some votes. I believe Mr. Barbre can win.Thanks, Chris

Monday, August 30, 2004

Garrison Keillor goes hog wild

Something has gone seriously haywire with the Republican Party. Once, it was the party of pragmatic Main Street businessmen in steel-rimmed spectacles who decried profligacy and waste, were devoted to their communities and supported the sort of prosperity that raises all ships. They were good-hearted people who vanquished the gnarlier elements of their party, the paranoid Roosevelt-haters, the flat Earthers and Prohibitionists, the antipapist antiforeigner element. The genial Eisenhower was their man, a genuine American hero of D-Day, who made it OK for reasonable people to vote Republican. He brought the Korean War to a stalemate, produced the Interstate Highway System, declined to rescue the French colonial army in Vietnam, and gave us a period of peace and prosperity, in which (oddly) American arts and letters flourished and higher education burgeoned—and there was a degree of plain decency in the country. Fifties Republicans were giants compared to today’s. Richard Nixon was the last Republican leader to feel a Christian obligation toward the poor.
In the years between Nixon and Newt Gingrich, the party migrated southward down the Twisting Trail of Rhetoric and sneered at the idea of public service and became the Scourge of Liberalism, the Great Crusade Against the Sixties, the Death Star of Government, a gang of pirates that diverted and fascinated the media by their sheer chutzpah, such as the misty-eyed flag-waving of Ronald Reagan who, while George McGovern flew bombers in World War II, took a pass and made training films in Long Beach. The Nixon moderate vanished like the passenger pigeon, purged by a legion of angry white men who rose to power on pure punk politics. “Bipartisanship is another term of date rape,” says Grover Norquist, the Sid Vicious of the GOP. “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” The boy has Oedipal problems and government is his daddy.
The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk. Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we’re deaf, dumb and dangerous.
Rich ironies abound! Lies pop up like toadstools in the forest! Wild swine crowd round the public trough! Outrageous gerrymandering! Pocket lining on a massive scale! Paid lobbyists sit in committee rooms and write legislation to alleviate the suffering of billionaires! Hypocrisies shine like cat turds in the moonlight! O Mark Twain, where art thou at this hour? Arise and behold the Gilded Age reincarnated gaudier than ever, upholding great wealth as the sure sign of Divine Grace.
Here in 2004, George W. Bush is running for reelection on a platform of tragedy—the single greatest failure of national defense in our history, the attacks of 9/11 in which 19 men with box cutters put this nation into a tailspin, a failure the details of which the White House fought to keep secret even as it ran the country into hock up to the hubcaps, thanks to generous tax cuts for the well-fixed, hoping to lead us into a box canyon of debt that will render government impotent, even as we engage in a war against a small country that was undertaken for the president’s personal satisfaction but sold to the American public on the basis of brazen misinformation, a war whose purpose is to distract us from an enormous transfer of wealth taking place in this country, flowing upward, and the deception is working beautifully.
The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few is the death knell of democracy. No republic in the history of humanity has survived this. The election of 2004 will say something about what happens to ours. The omens are not good.
Our beloved land has been fogged with fear—fear, the greatest political strategy ever. An ominous silence, distant sirens, a drumbeat of whispered warnings and alarms to keep the public uneasy and silence the opposition. And in a time of vague fear, you can appoint bullet-brained judges, strip the bark off the Constitution, eviscerate federal regulatory agencies, bring public education to a standstill, stupefy the press, lavish gorgeous tax breaks on the rich.
There is a stink drifting through this election year. It isn’t the Florida recount or the Supreme Court decision. No, it’s 9/11 that we keep coming back to. It wasn’t the “end of innocence,” or a turning point in our history, or a cosmic occurrence, it was an event, a lapse of security. And patriotism shouldn’t prevent people from asking hard questions of the man who was purportedly in charge of national security at the time.
Whenever I think of those New Yorkers hurrying along Park Place or getting off the No.1 Broadway local, hustling toward their office on the 90th floor, the morning paper under their arms, I think of that non-reader George W. Bush and how he hopes to exploit those people with a little economic uptick, maybe the capture of Osama, cruise to victory in November and proceed to get some serious nation-changing done in his second term.
This year, as in the past, Republicans will portray us Democrats as embittered academics, desiccated Unitarians, whacked-out hippies and communards, people who talk to telephone poles, the party of the Deadheads. They will wave enormous flags and wow over and over the footage of firemen in the wreckage of the World Trade Center and bodies being carried out and they will lie about their economic policies with astonishing enthusiasm.
The Union is what needs defending this year. Government of Enron and by Halliburton and for the Southern Baptists is not the same as what Lincoln spoke of. This gang of Pithecanthropus Republicanii has humbugged us to death on terrorism and tax cuts for the comfy and school prayer and flag burning and claimed the right to know what books we read and to dump their sewage upstream from the town and clear-cut the forests and gut the IRS and mark up the constitution on behalf of intolerance and promote the corporate takeover of the public airwaves and to hell with anybody who opposes them.
This is a great country, and it wasn’t made so by angry people. We have a sacred duty to bequeath it to our grandchildren in better shape than however we found it. We have a long way to go and we’re not getting any younger.
Dante said that the hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral, so I have spoken my piece, and thank you, dear reader. It’s a beautiful world, rain or shine, and there is more to life than winning.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

A question on heart surguries

The Terrible Swede has asked for a brief description as to why I have had to have my heart surguries. In layman's terms (and that's all I'm really good for) I had a hole in my heart (not the romantic kind) between two chambers. Along with that the valves going out of my heart were really small. I had my first correction when I was 2 days old, they took some veins from my left hand and strung them between my lungs and my heart so I could get enough oxygen, to do this they took out a rib (once again I'm missing a rib, but not in the romantic/biblical sense) and cut up my back pretty well, there is a good sized spot on my back that has no feeling in it (If I bend down in a certain way I can make it look like I have a hump in my back). Then when I was three I had a full correction where they replaced my valve with another valve (I am thinking one of the valves may have been pig... yeah I'm an unclean animal). Then when I was ten they had to do another operation, then when I was 13 they put in a stent, then when I was 18 they did another full correction. Each of these full corrections involve cracking open all the ribs in my chest, and replacing valves. The recovery time for each of these is about 6 weeks plus another 3 months or so on Didgoxen.
Hope that was helpful, maybe even entertaining.

Friday, August 27, 2004

By the way, I turn 21 on the 20th of sept.

Over at my bizzaro blog, BIFA, they are contemplating what should be my first drink.

I thought this was cute

Last Thursday, my organization, People Reluctant To Kill for an Abstraction, orchestrated an overwhelming show of force around the globe.
At precisely 9 in the morning, working with focus and stealth, our entire membership succeeded in simultaneously beheading no one. At 10, Phase II began, during which our entire membership did not force a single man to suck another man's penis. Also, none of us blew himself/herself up in a crowded public place. No civilians were literally turned inside out via our powerful explosives. In addition, at 11, in Phase III, zero (0) planes were flown into buildings.
During Phase IV, just after lunch, we were able to avoid bulldozing a single home. Furthermore, we set, on roads in every city, in every nation in the world, a total of zero (0) roadside bombs which, not being there, did not subsequently explode, killing/maiming a total of nobody. No bombs were dropped, during the lazy afternoon hours, on crowded civilian neighborhoods, from which, it was observed, no post-bomb momentary silences were then heard. These silences were, in all cases, followed by no unimaginable, grief-stricken bellows of rage, and/or frantic imprecations to a deity. No sleeping baby was awakened from an afternoon nap by the sudden collapse and/or bursting into flame of his/her domicile during Phase IV.
For the rest go to the link

Broken wrist

Well. I hurt my wrist wrestling 2 or 3 weeks ago, but I figured it would get better. Today I went to the doc and it turns out I have a broken Ulna, so now I'm wearing a silly little splint on my right hand. I think I have problems with pain tolerance. Since was born into heart surgeries and the like I figure things don't hurt until they break open my whole chest (every rib, except for 1 they took out when I was young) cavity and twiddle around in my heart. Therefore I don't really think of a lot of things as painful (like my wrist) instead just an irritant.
If anyone feels like praying for my ol' wrist I would appreciate it.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Death mobile and a break down of JE's stump speeches

Well. First off I'm still driving for the homeless shelter here in Cheyenne, though the van I drive has taken a turn for the worse. Driving up a hill it stalls, driving down a hill it stalls, stopping at a sign or light it stalls. WEEEE.
And here are John Edward's promises.
raise the minimum wage;
spend more money on: early education, public schools, child care, afterschool programs, and salaries for teachers in the communities where they're needed;
raise taxes on: companies that take jobs overseas; individuals who make more than $200,000 a year;
reduce taxes for: small businesses that create jobs in communities with high unemployment; individuals through a $1,000 tax credit for health care and a $4,000 tax credit for college tuition (in addition to promising four years of tuition to individuals who perform two years of public service);
improve health care by: making the congressional health-care plan available for purchase by all Americans; covering all children; allowing prescription drugs to be imported from Canada; and allowing the government to use its bulk-purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices from pharmaceutical companies;
reform labor laws by: swiftly and severely punishing employers that violate labor laws; banning the hiring of permanent replacements for strikers; "make card-check neutrality the law of the land";
fight the war on terror by: strengthening alliances to help "get terrorists before they get us";
improve the situation in Iraq by: improving our relations with allies so that NATO will agree to get involved; keeping Iran and Syria from interfering; and getting "others involved in reconstruction besides Halliburton."

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I've talked about the short stories, here are a few examples

Darkest Night, lightest day
Here in Wyoming, the sky is different than in your neck of the woods. For all its negative qualities Wyoming’s sky almost makes up for all of them. Here one can watch sunset, and moonrise. Here one can be transported into the vastness of infinite space. Here one can realize they are nothing without meditations and ruminations. Here one can become a speck upon the ball of lint. Here one is overwhelmed each morning and each evening.
That of course is why I am telling you this. You do not know what you ask of me, to take you here and see the problems of Wyoming, because Senator, the problems are empty, as is the sky. I would recommend you go back to DC where you belong, where you are enclosed by domes and pocketbooks. Where importance is something thrust upon you, something bought and sold. As for me, I shall stay here, and watch how these people cope with the emptiness. I shall see them root and fuck. I shall see them contemplate themselves to gunshot wounds. I shall see them slit their wrists. I shall see them break. I shall see them live.
It is not a pleasant duty for which I have dedicated my life. It is not a happy place to be a watcher, but for Science, God, and Country I shall observe, and report. Howl.

A question or three
“Why must everyone die father?”
The kindly old man, named Abraham looked down at his son, bound upon the altar to his foreign God, “My son,” said he, “death, is part of life. You see. Sacrifices, are offered because they are something blessed. So too are we. We are blessed, only because we have a finite amount of time in which to make choices. Therefor our own impending death creates value, we have to make choices, separate great from good, good from so-so, and so-so from not so good.”
With that he scrapped the sacrificial blade again, no Mesopotamian was he, but instead the first exile, he had chosen a value higher than country, that of ideology, and God.
“Why are these values good? What use is there for hierarchy?”
He thought of that, wondering at Isaac his famous son, and chose his words carefully, “Remember your brother Ishmael, yet I say I have but one son, you Isaac. Don’t you see, I have chosen the more valuable one as a Gift to the one who Shalt Be.”
“What makes me a more pleasing sacrifice? Why am I better to kill than my brother? Why must you differentiate between the two?”
And with that Abraham could stand it no longer, the knife came down, toward the boy’s throat.

There is more to life than dying characters
“Have you heard of such a thing as love Mr. Higgins?”
The old teacher nodded at his bright young student.
“And what have you to say on the matter?”
He smiled, in an odd way, “Well, Donald. There are things to think about. For example, may I ask what,” he paused, smiling further, “or should I say… who, brought up this topic of conversation?”
“I think you well know that. Don’t you sir?”
“I do,” he nodded, and continued, “I know you have looked at Ms. Poe for three long days.”
“Yes, sir,” he said, blushing from happiness, not embarrassment (a feat the author could never do, at least not when the fairer sex is concerned).
The old man smiled, “What is it that strikes you about her? What is it about her that makes your heart leap.”
“Sir, it is an indescribable thing.”
Mr. Higgins looked at the boy, “I’m an English teacher. I know you can describe this.”
“True,” said Donald, and continued, “Angela Poe is an angel.”
“There have been many angels before Donald, one’s that are in fact pieces of the Throne of the Blessed one, Holy be he, one’s that are cupidic, ones that avenge the Holy will, and devils too. Be more specific, describe the concreteness of this attraction.”
“I,” he began, unsure of himself, “I know that to others she is simply a,” he couldn’t bear to say it, yet he said it anyways, “another girl, but to me. She seems to be a immaculate statue, carved out as an ode to beauty…”
“Stop. What is Beauty? What is beautiful about this statue to an… abstraction.”
“It is,” he paused, “oh, I see sir. Let me go again.”
“She is an immaculate marble statue carved out by some god to represent caring. It is a healing maiden, a Virgin Mary, but with spunk and love.”
“Love. How is this love manifest in spunk dear Donald?”
“You are right,” he said, “spunk, she will heal, she will bear forth the Christ Child whether God wants her to or not. She will manifest the Will of the Holy One Blessed be He whether or not He wills it or not.”
“That is sacrilege, but most love it. Continue.”
“Where shall I continue sir?”
“Where ever you feel like it.”
He breathed deeply, “okay. In her very existence you see the propensity to be compassionate no matter what.”
“I think you’ve already said that.”
“Well… Sir. That’s because it is true. I love her for her compassion. I love her for her willingness to… I don’t know sir.”
“You do. The Idea and the Deed. That is where you are headed, or should be if I’ve taught you anything.”
“Yes,” he exclaimed, “she is the idea, that is idealism, along with the deed, praxis. She knows what needs to be done, and she will do it whether it is accepted or not.”
“Is that love or tyranny?”
“Both,” Donald said, misty eyed and smiling. Mr. Higgins could do not but nod.

Wisdom poetry
“And what did he mean by this?” asked the Rabbi.
The student looked up to him, and said, “that Abraham is the… what kind of spice?”
“Does the kind of spice matter? What is the point of the text?”
“The text is infinite,” said the boy, twisting his tefilim.
“So what?” asked the Rabbi, “Does that matter? What is the point at essence?”
“That’s for you to know,” said the boy.
The Rabbi’s face darkened, his earlocks practically curled, “I ask these questions, for I do not know the answers.”
“Abraham makes Isaac a solemn sacrifice, but he does it believing, knowing that the Holy one, blessed be He shall resurrect Isaac, or stop the sacrifice in some way.”
“Or that the command of the Holy One, blessed is He is so all powerful, all encompesing that he has to obey."
“Which would the Christians believe?”
“The first.”
“Which do you believe?”
“The second.”
And with that the Rabbi slammed the TaNaK shut, and whipped out a cigar, “Are you sure?”
“The Christians would believe one or the other.”
“The first,” said the student, stepping away from the smoke, “I already said, the first.”
“We would believe both. Saying the text is infinite, and living into an omnipotent text are two different things.”