January 14, 2009

Thinking about my life in terms of who's inhabiting the White House

As we will soon have a new resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue I've been reflecting on my life in epochs of who was in the White House.

Lyndon B. Johnson
I was born in 1967, so LBJ was president at the time, but I remember nothing about him at all. The first president I have any memories of was...

Richard Nixon
My first memories of Richard Nixon was him greeting astronauts on their return from missions. I also remember in 1972 when I was in kindergarten we had a mock election and I was one of the only kids to vote for McGovern. I also remember being asked why I was voting for McGovern and I said that, "I think we need new blood in the White House." Where did I get that? I don't know. I wish people had listened to me, though. I also remember being irked that the Watergate hearings preempted my afterschool TV schedule.

Gerald Ford
I don't have many clear memories of Ford, though I do remember pictures of him skiing and knowing that his wife supported the ERA where he didn't, which I thought was odd. I had much clearer memories of...

Jimmy Carter
Carter was the president of my late elementary and early Junior High years. Once again, I was one of the few people of my class that, in mock elections, supported Carter. I remember thinking it was cool that his daughter, Amy, was about my age. I also was getting a nascent understanding of issues and being very concerned about energy conservation. The sweater speech made a real impact on me and I started becoming more conscious about how my choices affected my world.

Ronald Reagan
Reagan was the president of my high school and early college years. I went through a lot of changes during those 8 years and my image of Reagan changed greatly too. I remember thinking of him as a kindly, avuncular old man when he first came to office and by the end of his time I was completely disillusioned by US foreign policy and its arrogant use of economic, cultural, and military power.

George H. W. Bush
This was an extremely formative period of my life in which I graduated from college, got married, and was generally extremely idealistic. I was still trying to figure out how I was going to impact the world around me and Bush was certainly a foil. I remember being very involved with the anti-war movement around Gulf War I, as I suppose we must now call it, or maybe just Gulf War Part A. This was an extremely productive period of time for me artistically and, in this crucible, I found a voice and received a call to ministry, though I wasn't sure how that was going to play out.

Bill Clinton
The years of Bill Clinton were very much my figuring out how to live within institutions - the institution of marriage, the church, and so on. Both of my children were born during this time so I also learned how to be a father. I started and finished grad school and found myself moving, a lot. From January, 1993 to January, 2001 I was the pastor of seven different congregations in four different communities. I had six different addresses. I bought my first home. I lived in three different states.

George W. Bush
The Bush years have been my Duluth years. I moved here the night Gore conceded the race. And these years have been marked with disillusionment. My marriage ended. My relationship with the United Methodist Church ended and I became a Presbyterian. I have had to rethink much of what I thought I was building my life on. At the same time these have been great years of relearning who I am and taking responsibility.

What will the Obama years bring for me? What will my personal narrative be of these years ahead? These will be the years that my children enter high school and, depending on his length of office, go to college. I just bought a house and am putting down roots here. I've been at the same church now for 5 1/2 years, but with the economy as it is, who knows what my job security is?

Just thinking aloud.

November 11, 2008

Conservatives, Liberals, and the Moral Mind

Carl Klutzke posted this TED talk by Jonathan Haidt on his blog and I watched, thought it was kind of interesting, then found myself thinking about it constantly for the next 3 days. So I thought I'd share it with you. What do you think?

November 5, 2008

Blue Indiana

You could knock me over with a feather. I'm amazed and know not what to say.

November 4, 2008

Election Central - London Road

10:09 - We're watching live coverage from the BBC online with a feed from Grant Park and commentary by Ted Koppel.

10:01 - NPR just called the election for Obama!

9:59 - We are waiting for the polls to close in California and for the presidential election to be called.


8:31 pm - Hey Dan! Ohio was just called for Obama! I'm filling it in blue! A shout out to Joyce and Mary Ellen in Dayton... Blue Ohio!


8:08 pm - We continue to fill the map in. I got called by MPR to contribute to a story that's going to be aired tomorrow morning. Don't know if the interview will be used or not.

Update: Here's the MPR piece that was aired Nov. 5, 7:25 am.


6:27 pm - We've been making cookies and coloring in an electoral map I printed from online. So far Simon has colored Kentucky red and Vermont blue. Emma is pulling up election related SNL clips on Hulu on her computer and I'm listening to MPR on mine. No cable here at election central, but the wifi is pumping!


I Voted


I got to my polling place, St. Michael's Catholic Church, at 6:35 this morning and the polls opened at 7:00. When I got there I was 5th in line. By the time I got in at 7:00 the line stretched out the door and down the sidewalk. By the time I left the parking lot was full and it looked like there were well over 100 people waiting to vote.

There's a wonderful fraternity of people who get up early to vote. Everyone there was excited and chatted happily about how our precinct has one of the highest voter turnouts in the nation.

And now I get to look forward to awaiting the returns tonight.

October 3, 2008

I'm glad I didn't have to take a drink every time she said "Maverick"

Leah sent this to me (which she found on the swivet) and I had to post it.

If I were Tina Fey right now I'd be having an extreme crisis of conscience... "Do I vote my principles or my pocketbook? Because I could ride this gravy train for four years if she's elected!"

As it would happen, as I was posting this my girlfriend, Heather, who watched the debate with me, sent me the same flowchart.

For my naughty comment about the debate, read on...

Continue reading "I'm glad I didn't have to take a drink every time she said "Maverick"" »

May 1, 2008

Five Years of Mission Accomplished!


You know, I was a real critic of the idea of going to war. I thought it would be long and drawn out and that our mission was unclear. Were we there to remove Saddam Hussein? Were we there to find and disarm WMDs? Were we there to fight al Qaeda? Little did I know that the whole mission would come to such a swift conclusion. I mean, honestly, 3 months for military operations was really exceptionally fast.

But what was more unexpected for me was how prepared the State and Defense Departments were to engage in their very thorough and well planned postwar operations for stabilization and rebuilding. I know, I was really critical of the Bush administration back prewar and I realize how foolish I was now. Now it just seems so self-evident that if you are going to war with the world's largest military that of course you are going to have a strategic plan that makes sure that your military success can be followed up with peace and reconstruction. It just makes sense, doesn't it?

I was also a critic of us going into Iraq unilaterally without the support of the community of nations. I thought this would make us look like a bully and a pariah on the world stage. I guess I didn't understand that we were leading a coalition of countries and that the world would fall in line behind us once they realized the stability and prosperity we were bringing to Iraq.

And, I'm ashamed to say, back prewar I was concerned that our invasion of Iraq would create a breeding ground for terrorists who would be unified and emboldened by our presence there and that we would foster the very thing we were trying to defeat. Boy, was I stupid.

Also I was worried that civil society in Iraq might break down along old ethnic and religious fault lines and that we might end up trying to reconstruct a country ripped apart by civil war. I should have known that our presence would only stabilize Iraqi society and they would greet us like liberators.

Well, now in 2008, all my doubts back in the build up to war look amazingly naive and short sighted. I'm sorry I doubted you, Donald Rumsfeld, and congratulations on your decisive primary victories. I have no doubt, now, that with Bush campaigning for you and your reputation as the architect of our Iraqi victory you will have no problem securing victory in the fall, and deservedly so.

April 19, 2008

Director's Notes

crystal-ball.jpgI went to a production of Blithe Spirit last night at a local high school. It had a Director's Note like none I've ever seen. Most Director's Notes for plays fall into the following categories:

  • My Artistic Vision - These are always amusing, typically arrogant, and often portend disaster for the next 2 hours.
  • Thank You So Much - This is what a director says when he or she can't think of anything else to say. Also often portends disaster.
  • Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge - The director makes little inside jokes that you just had to be there for. Your friend in the cast will explain it after the show through hails of laughter. Smile and nod.
  • I Have a Masters Degree - Hey, the director spent a lot of time and money getting that degree. Might as well put it to use. Yawn.
  • The History of this Play - Blah, blah, blah. Start the frickin' play already.

This page long "note," however, read like a paper on British-Indian relations in the middle of the 20th century when Great Britain was divesting itself of its colonial possessions. When I got to the bottom of this dissertation it was all because of two lines in the play that disparage Indians and how they decided to leave the lines in even though they are "offensive" and how they do "not in any way condone these beliefs."

I rolled my eyes.

I had never seen Blithe Spirit, though I knew the gist of it. Fabulous dead wife returns from the dead to haunt living husband and domineering living wife. So it was fun for me, considering the lengthy disclaimer in the Director's Notes, to see what this Catholic High School thought wasn't worth disclaiming...

  • Alcohol Abuse - The characters are constantly drinking and it's a major theme of the play, but, on the whole, apparently better than racial slurs.
  • Wife Beating - The dead wife mentions how her husband struck her with a pool cue but that she still loved him. Better than calling Indians lazy!
  • Occult Practice - Summoning people from the dead, while strictly forbidden in scripture, is still more acceptable than racial epithets!
  • Tobacco Use - Considering the current civic obsession about smoking I'm surprised that there wasn't a disclaimer about people smoking in the 1940s being the social norm, but apparently casting aspersions on Indians is worse!
  • Adultery - There's plenty of discussion about infidelities and trysts and indiscretions and other naughty extra-marital behavior which kinda made me blush coming from the mouths of 16 and 17 year olds, but apparently that doesn't merit a disclaimer.

Oh, and not only did these brief comments merit a full page disclaimer, but were the main topic of the opening curtain speech which went on for several minutes. Nothing about how hard the kids had worked on the play or how fun the play was to do. Nope, the director seemed bent on making sure no one was offended.

And that, unfortunately, is what it all comes down to... making sure no one is offended. And, of course, this is evidence of social psychosis. Because we can't control what offends people any more than we can control what makes people sad, or happy, or angry. I mean, sure, it's good to be considerate, but it's a slippery slope to start apologizing for certain things and leaving other issues out. And if we can only do plays that don't offend anyone well, there goes Shakespeare, Moliere, Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, and, well, just about any other playwright of note.

So, to all the artists out there, I hereby give you permission to make art that may offend me. Go for it.

March 19, 2008

Free Speech Group Doesn't Allow Attendees to Speak

freespeechzone.jpgJust when you thought the Republicans couldn't get any more Orwellian, the Minneapolis task force formed to ensure the free speech rights of protesters at the upcoming Republican National Convention silenced attendees at their meeting today. The attendees resorted to holding up handwritten signs. You can read the full story as reported by Minnesota Public Radio which didn't miss the irony of this.

Or you can just read 1984.

March 8, 2008

Food Fights

Here's an abridged version of the last 70 years of warfare. A veritable "smorgasbord of aggression."

Here's a cheatsheet listing all the foodstuffs and a breakdown of the battles.

And, while we are talking about food fights, remember that politics is just warfare by other means (or something like that). Here are some of campaign ads made by my pal, Fuzzy.

Continue reading "Food Fights" »

February 11, 2008

Equal Time

Since I posted Yes, We Can I thought I should offer the McCain campaign equal access to my blog. Prepare to be inspired!

Yeah. Good luck with that, John.

February 5, 2008

Yes, We Can

"We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope."
- Barack Obama

Vote Hope.

February 3, 2008

Select a Candidate

I mentioned this in the post below and thought it might prove helpful to some people. I'd also encourage people to take the Candidate Blind Taste Test.

February 1, 2008

Standing Up and Making a Choice

obama%2Bo%2Blogo%2Bsmall.jpgWell, I've been listening to the candidates over the last year and this Tuesday is the Minnesota Caucus and that means it's time to make some hard choices. First of all I had to decide who I was going to caucus with. Four years ago I caucused with the Greens because I really didn't care for any of the candidates in the two major parties. I flirted with the idea of caucusing with the Republicans this year in support of Ron Paul. But, now that push is coming to shove, I'm going to be at the high school hanging with the Dems this year and I'm supporting Barack Obama.

Why Obama?

Continue reading "Standing Up and Making a Choice" »

January 29, 2008

The End of the World

Continue reading "The End of the World" »

July 17, 2007

Keeping it Surreal in Duluth

MrNice_300px.jpgMr. Nice is running for mayor of Duluth, Minnesota. At least, he wants to. City officials are denying him access to the ballot because they say he's not a person, he's a piece of art. As if we've never elected a puppet to office! At least with Mr. Nice we know what we're getting!

Here is his announcement of candidacy courtesy of Starfire.

His platform includes:

  • Open the Duluth tunnel system for strolling
  • Refinance the health care crisis by defaulting on the loan
  • Turn the Aquarium into a revenue-generating sport-fishing arena and Navy SEAL training facility
  • A secret plan for both ending and continuing the war in Iraq
  • Legalize gangsterism in order to fund more police to keep our communities safer
  • Sell fighter jet parts from the air base to Iran to offset the retiree healthcare crisis

His struggle is the subject of this Duluth News Tribune article and there is a poll on the main page asking "Would you vote for a puppet?" Feel free to flood the poll.

There is a rally protesting his exclusion from the ballot today at 4:20pm on the commons outside the Duluth City Hall.

July 12, 2007

Harry Potter and the Wicked Hot Summer

harry-potter-phoenix.jpgI went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with my kids this afternoon. It was a good film and a very decent adaptation of the book with several stand out performances and a jolly good fight scene to cap it off in the end.

That said something happens in the opening scene that could make my blood boil, or nearly so. The opening shot is of suburbia not too far from Number 4 Privet Lane and a voiceover of a British announcer with the weather, letting the audience know it's a hot hot summer with temperatures in the 90s and may even hit 100. Really? In Britain? 100 degrees is way past hot, it's boiling... literally. The British, as well as nearly the rest of the world, has been using Celsius for temperature readings for over 30 years. So why is this opening voiceover using Fahrenheit? It would be like Harry going into a shop and pulling dollar bills out of his pocket instead of pounds.

I expect the answer is that this is the U.S. version of the film and that people in the States are, apparently, too dumb to understand that the rest of the world uses Celsius, or at least the film industry thinks so. This kind of pandering is just infuriating to me. It perpetuates the idea that the world will conform to our point of view and simultaneously dumbs down the American audience by refusing to rock their boat.

Frankly, our boat needs rocking.

Okay, end rant.

July 3, 2007

Become a Card Carrying Republican!

get_out_of_jail_free_card_small.jpgHere's what all good, loyal Republicans are carrying in their wallets and purses! Get your own! All you have to do is:

  • out undercover CIA opperatives
  • lie about it under oath
  • and protect your bosses like a good little lackey
Come on, everybody's doing it. Ethics? Schmethics!

Learn more!

June 27, 2007

Resistance Is NOT Futile

I was watching a Doctor Who episode entitled Bad Wolf tonight and I loved this exchange:

Dalek: We have your associate. You will obey or she will be exterminated.

The Doctor: No.

Dalek: Explain yourself.

The Doctor: I said "No."

Dalek: What is the meaning of this negative?

The Doctor: It means "No."

Dalek: But she will be destroyed.

The Doctor: No, because this is what I'm going to do, I'm going to rescue her. I'm going to save Rose Tyler from the middle of the Dalek fleet, and then I'm going to save the Earth, and then, just to finish off, I'm going to wipe every last stinking Dalek out of the sky.

Dalek: But you have no weapons, no defenses, no plan.

The Doctor: Yeah, and doesn't that scare you to death?

This is more than just bravado. This sums up for me the essential spirituality of Doctor Who - Resistance Is NOT Futile. In the face of false dichotomies and overwhelming odds there are always choices, and accepting the ones offered to you is often just plain stupid. Life is seldom "either or."

Further, the powers that be will always threaten to take away the things you love if you fail to obey. Don't believe them. They can't take what they can't comprehend.

June 26, 2007

Gravity is just a theory too...

Continue reading "Gravity is just a theory too..." »

June 14, 2007

Executive Directive Gives President Dictatorial Powers in Case of an Emergency

In a National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive signed on May 9, 2007 the President grants himself blanket powers in case of an emergency. The whole document can be found at the White House website and is appended below. Thanks to Christof for alerting me to this.

Can we call it fascism yet?

Continue reading "Executive Directive Gives President Dictatorial Powers in Case of an Emergency" »

February 28, 2007

Big Brother's Pizza

Would you like surveillance with that?

"The penalty good people pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by people worse than themselves."

markson-face-shrug.jpgPlato, Republic, I. 347

I struggle with how involved I should be in the institutions of the day. On one hand I feel that I should be actively engaged in the life of the society through involvement in government. On the other hand I think if you invest in the powers that be you can be giving credence and legitimacy to the status quo.

I do think, regardless of where you end up on either side of that issue, that the worst choice is to shrug your shoulders, stand on the sidelines, and say, "What can you do?" or "That's how it always is." I can't abide fatalism or apathy.

In the Book of Revelation John of Patmos talks about the Beast who could represent variously Power, Propaganda, Government, etc. And the people's response was, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?" Or, in other words, "You can't fight City Hall." It's as if the people gave a giant shrug and gave up. And they got what they deserved.

40 for 40, #20

February 21, 2007

Continuous Warfare

from 1984 by George Orwell, Part 2, Chapter 9

[text below]

Continue reading "Continuous Warfare" »

February 15, 2007

Truth in Comedy

alfranken.jpgYesterday Al Franken officially announced his candidacy for the Minnesota U.S. Senate seat presently held by Norm Coleman. This reminded me that I blogged about this on my old blog, so I decided to find that old post and resurrect it. I stand by what I said then. I think Al will make a great senator and I look forward to seeing him on the campaign trail.

Continue reading "Truth in Comedy" »

February 13, 2007

Dixe Chicks, I Salute You

Continue reading "Dixe Chicks, I Salute You" »

January 29, 2007

Half Glass

halfglassfull.jpgToday in an interview with NPR's Juan Williams President Bush defended Vice-President Cheney's continued optimism about Iraq because he has a "half glass full mentality." This totally makes sense to me as the whole Iraqi campaign has been a half glass operation from the start.

When they were planning (and I use the term loosely) the invasion of Iraq they half glassed it by predicting we would be greeted as liberators. When we were figuring out how we would pay for this thing they half glassed it by saying that the oil revenues would more than take care of it. When they defended our continued presence there they half glassed it saying we were leading an international contingent consisting of us, Great Britain, and, oh, lots of folks really! Let's face it. Timelines, strategies, world opinion, everything this administration does in Iraq is half glassed.

Oh, and it doesn't stop there. Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina? Half glassed. After all, wasn't Brownie doing a hell of a job?

Bush's health care plan? Half glassed. It is the only health care proposal that has ever united labor and business in opposition.

Bush's economic policy? Half glassed. Not only does he cut revenue by slashing taxes for the rich, he grows government spending more so than any president since FDR supposing that the next generation will be rich enough to pay for it.

And thanks to this interview we finally understand the underlying principle behind these policies. They are all half glassed.

November 8, 2006

You did a hell of a job, Rummy...

rum-viper5.jpgDonald Rumsfeld was finally fired today after a long record of gross incompetence. But I liked his poetry. Maybe he has a literary career in his future. I will say farewell with one of my favorite poems, er, press briefings of his.

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.

February 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

And here's a recitation!

October 25, 2006

5000 Years of Middle East History in 90 Seconds

Full Screen Mode

October 6, 2006

Friendly Fascism

mal8st.jpg"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

Any guess who said this?

Continue reading "Friendly Fascism" »

October 5, 2006

What Shall We Declare War on Next?

brain on drugsIt don't get much more ironic than this.

The GAO has recently completed a study on the effectiveness of the government's Anti-Drug Ad Campaign, and after 1.4 billion dollars over 18 years not only has the War on Drugs not reduced drug use, it looks like it may have actually increased drug use.

And, of course, a recently released NIE reports that our War on Terror has actually produced more terrorists.

So, let's recap -

War on Drugs = More Drug Users

War on Terror = More Terrorists

Given this track record of success, what shall we declare war on next?

Or, perhaps, just maybe, declaring war, even as a metaphor, is a losing proposition. Hmmmm...

September 7, 2006


Some thoughts on September 11, 2001 five years later from a Brooklyner...

That pretty much sums it up for me. Thanks, Ze, for saying it so I don't have to.

August 4, 2006


whac-a-mole-home.jpgGenerals John Abizaid and Peter Pace delivered a sobbering report to the Senate on the state of affairs in Iraq. (Can we call it a quagmire yet?) They described increased sectarian violence and said that not only could we not withdraw troops, we may need to increase them and redeploy those that we have there to supress those wiley insurgents in a military strategey that Senator John McCain called "Whac-a-Mole."

In other news, the Bush administration has declared war on Space Invaders warning against marauding Asteroids and has alerted the Missile Command to prepare the Battlezone. Critics call this nothing but "a Tempest in a Tea Cup" and that the administration has finally gone Berzerk. Bush, however, claims to have special intelligence from his head Spy Hunter and the Vanguard of the Moon Patrol living high above the earth in their Star Castle.

On another note, awash in funding scandals, the Republican National Committee has decided to hire Pac-Man as their new PAC... person.

August 2, 2006

My Current Outgoing Message

tmwsmall.jpg"Hi, this is Lawrence. You missed me but you can leave a message at the beep.

"Oh, and if you hear any additional sounds, like pops or clicks or whistles, don't worry. That's the sound of freedom. That's the sound of our NSA listening in on our conversation. And we don't have anything to hide... right?"

[Thanks, Tom Tomorrow, for the swell comic.]

July 20, 2006

Bush Uses Bad Language and Language Badly

Yeah, yeah, we all know that Bush used the word "shit" in what he thought was a private moment with Tony Blair. But he used the word correctly and aptly, in my opinion. What offends me is his misuse of the word "irony." Consider the exchange...

Bush: What about Kofi Annan? I don't like the sequence of it. His attitude is basically cease-fire and everything else happens.

Blair: I think the thing that is really difficult is you cant stop this unless you get this international presence agreed.

Bush: She's going. I think Condi's going to go pretty soon.

Blair: Well that's all that matters. If you see, it will take some time to get out of there. But at least it gives people ...

Bush: It's a process I agree. I told her your offer too.

Blair: Well it's only or if she's gonna or if she needs the ground prepared as it were. See, if she goes out she's got to succeed as it were, where as I can just go out and talk.

Bush: See the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over.

Continue reading "Bush Uses Bad Language and Language Badly" »

July 17, 2006

Truth in Advertising


Someone decided this recruitment billboard in Duluth, Minnesota needed just a bit more exposition. Thanks to Barrett of perfectduluthday for sharing this.

This reminds me of the work of the Freeway Bloggers.

July 15, 2006

Why New Media is the Domain of Progressives

The Right is right to fear the Internet, because it is a medium whose ethic is essentially antithetical to the Right.

amandamsnbc.jpgI've been thinking a lot about this since Amanda Congdon left Rocketboom, not because Amanda is so openly a lefty, but because of how she talked about her relationship with her audience. It is about interactivity and listening and having the audience be coproducers of media as she said in a recent interview. When she was asked what new media gets that old media doesn't get she answered, "How to make friends with my audience." Old media doesn't want to make friends. They want to make consumers.

loiclm.jpgAnd then I saw Loic Le Meur, a french entrepreneur, on Mobuzz talk about the nature of innovation in business to take advantage of the new media. He talked about how the old model was for some idea guys to cook up an idea for a product, focus group it, design it, produce it, and then make a market it. If necessary, create the need for the product. The new model is almost completely backwards. You first announce the product and then cocreate it with the consumer from the ground up.

Continue reading "Why New Media is the Domain of Progressives" »

July 2, 2006

Preaching an Inconvenient Truth

Al GoreI had two big takeaways from watching An Inconvenient Truth:

1) Al Gore may be more in love with his Apple laptop than I am with mine. (Note: Al Gore is on the board of Apple.)

2) Al Gore is a very good preacher.

The second point came to me when I was leaving the film and my friend mentioned how good the film was and how she appreciated that Al Gore wasn't "too preachy." And I realized that while he wasn't preachy, he was, in fact, preaching in the best sense. The whole film has a sermonlike quality and structure to it.

Continue reading "Preaching an Inconvenient Truth" »

June 30, 2006

Parody Bloody Parody

George W. Bush singing U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday. It doesn't get much more ironic than that. Thanks!

June 18, 2006

Well, Globalize Me


So my kids and I went and bought bikes last weekend celebrating the end of school and the official beginning of summer. I was pleased to find our local store had Huffy bikes because I knew they were made in Celina, Ohio, near where I grew up, and I told my kids this. Emma looked at the tag on the bike and said, "Papa, where in China did you grow up?" Yep, Huffy outsourced.

Continue reading "Well, Globalize Me" »

May 27, 2006

The Banal Patriot

americanflagchair.gifI saw this chair stacked up like cordwood in the entranceway of my local Pamida and was once again moved to disgust with the depths to which so-called patriotism has sunk. The American Flag, which we are supposed to respect, is also apparently a perfectly acceptable thing to sit upon. The flag is debased by merchandise like this.

Now, I'm not some sort of flag waving zealot. I don't even own one. I believe that patriotism is more than what one wears or, apparently, sits upon. I believe patriotism is marked by engaged and informed citizenship, participating in the systems of governance and, yes, opposing the government when there is good cause. Protest and revolution are not only patriotic, they are our national birthright.

Amerikitsch like this suggests that patriotism is nothing more than an accessory or a fashion choice. Patriotism becomes a "These Colors Don't Run" bumper sticker on the back of an SUV. Please!

Continue reading "The Banal Patriot" »

May 16, 2006

Nope, Not Militarizing the Border...

George Bush said last night that he is sending 6000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border but that he is not "militarizing the border."

Oh yes, and Black is White, Freedom is Slavery, War is Peace, and Ignorance is Strength.

As the years go along I am coming to believe that the best practical preparation for the real world, or the world as it has come to be, I got in public school was from reading George Orwell's 1984 in Sophomore English. At the time I thought it was a ridiculous novel and that no one would be dumb enough to fall for the bald faced lies of the state. Welcome to 1984, folks.

The Ministry of Reshelving seem to agree with my general assessment and are going to local bookstores moving Orwell's book to Current Events.

May 8, 2006

Lives in the Balance

livesinthebalance.jpgJackson Browne released this song in the 80's when we were knee deep in Central American blood. Eerily, the song is more relevant today than ever.

I submitted this video to videobomb and you can see it there too.