Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Go impeach yourself
Go here to read about a supposed "blog swarm" to gin up demand for impeachment of President Bush.
Here is the comment I left there:
It's awful easy to throw "impeachment" around. The fact is, the House can impeach a president for about anything if it chooses to call a "high crime" or misdemeanor, then the Senate has to have a trial. All it takes is the passing of a resolution.
The great Texas congressman Henry B. Gonzalez also called for Reagan's impeachment, as well as Bush I's impeachment, over disagreements over U.S. acts of war. Go here to see his Congressional testimony on Bush I.
A better idea is for the Dems -- and I am a Dem -- to offer real alternatives that middle America can vote for, for Congress and for the presidency. If "breaking the law" were real grounds for impeachment, I dare say every president in our history could be have been impeached.
Dr. ER posts!
Read all about it.
Monday, May 30, 2005
Overheard in the ER household V
"Every human flag will fall"
gracEmail (GOD'S FLAG STILL THERE)
May 30, 2005
Today, May 30, 2005 is Memorial Day here in the United States of America, a national day of remembrance of those who have given their lives in the armed services of this nation. During a radio program of patriotic music, I was struck by the words of our national anthem which say: "And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there." What, I reflect, "gives proof" in this world of the presence of God's kingdom?
* * *
Indeed, as Jesus told Pilate, God's kingdom does not arise from the present world order (John 18:36). Its purpose is not the advancement of human agendas. It does not depend on human defenses. It is not advanced by human strength or strategy. The sure sign of God's present kingdom is not access to political power, influence over public opinion-makers, business boycotts or commercial clout. Those things sprang from the Constantinization of the church and belong to the "Christendom" that came after and is now passing away. On the day that Jesus conversed with Pilate, the representative of God's kingdom was the man whose face was wet with spit, whose back was ripped and bleeding, the man with nails in his hands, whose side was pierced by a sword.
One day at the end of this present age all earthly governments will tumble and every human flag will fall. Then people of every nation will join voices to ascribe sovereignty and dominion to God alone. Those who trust in God now will be vindicated in public. God's poor will receive a kingdom. His people who once suffered, persecuted and powerless, will share in his reign forever (Dan. 2:44; 7:18, 22, 27). But that is then and this is now.
Where is God's kingdom today -- the kingdom that has come and is yet to come? We see it wherever self-willed and self-seeking men and women begin, like little children, to trust the Father and to pursue his agenda (Mark 10:14-15; Matt. 6:33). We know that it is present where people who once were self-sufficient approach God like beggars, conscious of personal inability and devoid of all claims, pleading without shame for his undeserved kindness (Matt. 5:3). God's kingdom is evident in the tears, labor and suffering of those who seek justice, of those who struggle and sacrifice for the weak, the poor and the powerless -- for people, in other words, whose only hope is the intervention of a force from beyond the darkness of this fallen world (Matt. 3:10).
What gives proof that God's kingdom is present? The transformation of religion does that, when rituals and rules serve rather than subdue, when internal motivations overshadow external appearances and performance, when righteousness, joy and peace count for more than theoretical religious issues and debates (Rom. 14:17). "Thy kingdom come," we pray, "as in heaven, so on earth." Where Jesus is, there is God's kingdom. Is there any sign that it is present in my life? In yours?
© 2005 by Edward Fudge. Unlimited permission to copy without altering text or profiteering is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice. For encouragement and spiritual food any time, visit our multimedia website at www.EdwardFudge.com.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Couldn't see my finger for the tree
Four stitches! My first EVER stitches.
Got some Lortab, which I WILL need tomorrow because about a third of my nail is gone. It will smart, I'm sure. Dr. ER says Lortab is good for pain. Right now, the local has everything in that left index finger all nice and fuzzy.
At least I got the front yard mowed first. At least I didn't cut the tip actually all the way off -- but it was pretty close -- with Bailey, the retarded hyperactive weenie dog at my feet. 'Cause he woulda ate it!
At least Dr. ER was home to drive ER to the, uh, ER! She is, however, bein' less than sympathetic. I am threatenin' to go home to Mama.
Feel free to go on and on about my boo-boo -- 'cause there ain't nobody in THIS house goin' to! I tell you what ... (grumble, grumble).
And at least I got most of the typin' I'd planned to do this long weekend done. So tomorrow I can do lots of reading.
"Tubbee" and his nieces
I just up and decided to take a chapter from my thesis and pitch it to a historical journal that might find it interesting. This would the same chapter that provided grist for a presentation I made recently at a historical conference.
Pass a glass. I am milkin' my thesis for all it's worth.
And, I just whipped out an abstract for a paper I am fixin' to pitch to a university conference. From another chapter in said thesis. I'll tinker with it until time to actually submit it, but here 'tis:
“Tubbee” and His Nieces: A Colloquy on White Men, Choctaw Women, Intermarriage and ‘Indianness’ in the Choctaw Intelligencer, 1851.
The Choctaw Intelligencer’s editorial commentary wandered all over the Indian Territory racial map, so to speak, when it came to Choctaws and Chickasaws’ relationship with the United States. The most poignant opinions expressed came from letter writers and centered on the topic of what it meant to be “Indian.”
“Tubbee,” the nom de plume used by an obviously mixed-heritage Choctaw, joined a public colloquy on the types of settlers welcome in the Choctaw Nation with an open letter “To the Young Men of the United States” published June 4, 1851. He proposed to throw open the doors of the Choctaw Nation to white settlers – but not just anyone, only “those of you have attained twenty-one years – those of you who are not married, and those of you who have neither lands nor homes.”
A Choctaw woman writing under the pen name “Squaw” purported to answer for all Choctaw women. She held whites in lower regard than did Tubbee, and took exception to Tubbee’s desire to see homeless men come to the Choctaw Nation, “for if they were of any account they would have homes, and not be wandering about through the Indian nation in quest of homes.”
Squaw boldly dismissed Tubbee’s contention that Choctaw girls went wanting for husbands in a way that shows just where racial lines were drawn 150-plus years ago in the Choctaw Nation: “If we are squaws, we are doing far better than the young ladies of the Abolition land, where they are courted and gallanted by the Darkey gentlemen, and even marry (them).”
Letters from “Tubbee” and “Squaw,” who eventually was revealed as one of Tubbee’s nieces, along with writings from others drawn into the conversation, provide a snapshot of the Choctaws’ struggle to maintain the momentum of “progress” for their Americanized nation while securing their identity as a native people.
“Squaw” resisted the aims of her elite uncle by taking his letter, meant to boost white settlement, and turning it into a discussion of the appropriate roles of men and women in the Choctaw Nation in 1851.
Not bad to get done before 3 p.m. Now, I can get some readin' done.
Overheard in the ER household IV
Thing is, I'm not sure what she did for a bra yesterday.
Bird update: After one full day workin' at American Eagle, yesterday, her gayboy magnet is already fully engaged.
Said I, after hearin' her go on and on about how she cut up with and had fun carryin' on with a couple of 'em in the store: "You sure do get along well with gay guys, don't ya?"
Said Bird: "They're like girls!"
Today's paper has a feature pic from the gay rodeo of a guy in drag ridin' a steer with two other guys on either end of the critter, leadin' it around the arena.
One of these days, the lesbian and gay "community" is gonna realize that this kind of flamboyance has the same effect as when a bunch of serious retard rednecks (as opposed to the erudite variety) get together and wear sheets and burn crosses.
It's extreme to the point of genuine offense to most people, and it makes the great unwashed middle of America turn up their noses. I'd say it actually contributes to middle America's tendency toward intolerance.
Back in the day, maybe they needed to be so "out there" to get attention for their cause. Hell fire, "boys," we hear you. You're here, you're queer -- and all that.
Now, if you want to be mainstreamed, then act like it.
'Cause if they ain't gonna let me and mine fight roosters, if they are gonna keep makin' fun of me and mine for drivin' pickup trucks, chewin' tobacco, wavin' the American flag, honorin' the Confederate flag, listenin' to country music, ownin' guns, shootin' critters for sport and everything else that contributes to my redneckery, then me and mine ain't gonna let them show their asses (literally, sometimes), without shoutin' them down.
I tolerate. Don't make it harder for me than it is.
I do not accept. Don't expect it.
I for damn sure do not embrace. Because the fact is, we are NOT all brothers.
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Overheard in the ER household III
Dang it! Reined in!
Dr. ER and Bird and I were fixin' to take a fambly trip to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, when Bird got called into work at American Eagle. Such is life, Bird! So me and the doc are fixin' to head on down by our selves.
Then, to Epperson Photo & Video, where She Who Is will feed her photography habit and I will get off on the chemical smells.
Genuine photo shops smell a lot like old newsrooms with real back shops next door used to smell. Bein' a relative youngster, I barely caught the tail end of that era. But I did catch it. You know, wax machines and paste pots and such. Bein' able to smell the ink and hear the roar of the press in the next room.
Then, I WILL get some history-related researchy writin', or something, done later today. It'll be hard without the Western Channel as background noise, as is my custom.
Friday, May 27, 2005
On "church" and state -- in Iraq
From the Chicago Tribune:
BAGHDAD -- Shiite legislators have decided not to push for a greater role for Islam in the new Iraqi constitution out of concern that the contentious issue will inflame religious sentiments and deepen sectarian tensions.
Instead, the United Iraqi Alliance, the Shiite coalition that won the most seats in January's elections, will advocate retaining the moderate language of Iraq's temporary constitution that was drawn up under the auspices of the American occupation authority.
Read all about it.
Chicks, trucks and sauce
Why do men's hearts beat quicker, they go weak in the knees, get dry throats and think irrationally when a woman wears leather clothing...?
Because she smells like a new truck!
Speakin' of barbecue sauce. Check out Head Country, best Okie sauce I know of.
Oklahoma ith too diverth!
Looky here! Just doin' my part for tourism!
Great Plains Rodeo
What: Rodeo sponsored by the Oklahoma Gay Rodeo Association featuring both serious and fun events.
When: From 8:30 a.m. Saturday and from 8:30 or 9 a.m. Sunday. Grand entries both days at noon.
Where: Oklahoma City, State Fair Park, horse barns 6 and 7.
Admission: Tickets $15 a day; 12 and under free.
Look, y'all. Mainly I just like stirrin' things up.
But, my position: People's orientation, sexual and otherwise, is betwixt them and the Lord. And, both strains of my selfness -- both erudite and redneck -- give a big ol' Oklahoma holler and shout-out for freedom.
Tho, ride 'em cowboyth!
Rabbit food improvement
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Carrie does Oklahoma proud
Checotah -- pronounced "Shuh-KOE-tah" -- is just up the road a piece from my own original stompin' grounds. At around 3,500 population, Checotah is little bigger than my hometown.
I am so proud as a fellow rural Oklahoman, and as a country music fan -- although I'm also a Southern rock fan, and had it not been an Okie girl in the running, I'da been pullin' for that rockin' Bo Rice from 'Bama, all the way.
Y'all, Oklahoma has about 3.5 million people. About 1 million are in the Oklahoma City metro area, and about 1 million are in the Tulsa metro area. The rest are scattered out across almost 70,000 square miles.
It's pretty doggone close-knit, for a state, really. So, bear with us as we all holler and hoop for a spell, for the next Reba:
Carrie Underwood of Checotah, Oklahoma: Saa-LUTE!
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
How queer to have gay old time
I just want it noted for the record that I have had three brushes with homosexuality this week, and not once was my heterosexual marriage, or anyone else's as far as I can tell, threatened thereby.
Talked to one gay guy by e-mail yesterday in the course of work. No threat.
Talked to another gay guy day before yesterday in the course of work. No threat.
Overheard someone at the State Capitol today make reference to a conversation she had had recently with a gay guy. No threat.
Also, for the record:
I have had my eyes peeled this week for threats to the body politic by raging sin and specific threats to my Christian faith, and have failed to encounter any at all, save an over-wrought radio commercial promo'ing some local TV "expose" on how "sin comes out at night."
Well, no shit. Stop the presses.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives started bidness this morning with a short preachin' and a prayer, lifted up in the name of Jesus Christ Almighty, Hisself. I was there. And all the people said, "Amen."
All of which is to say:
I think the premise that most of the Rabid Right uses to justify attempts to reduce the freedoms we enjoy in this country -- that things are "worse than ever" -- are attempts to dupe the not-so-erudite amongst us into giving them carte-blanche to tell the rest of us where to head in at, morally. Just read some history.
They're selling snake oil in rhetorical bottles with labels bearing Jesus' stolen image. They should be ashamed of themselves.
For the most part, you still have to go looking for sin. At least around Oklahoma this week.
So shut up about how "bad" the world is, because it has sucked since The Fall, and get on preaching the goodness of Kingdom Come, please.
Or, just shut up.
Just preach Christ Jesus, and Him crucifed, And risen. And let the Lord sort it out.
Or, just shut up.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Bert and Ernie: Crazy lefties?
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the Public Broadcasting Service -- which airs programs ranging from "Sesame Street" to "Washington Week in Review" -- on Tuesday denied the network has a liberal bias, rejecting criticism from the U.S.-funded corporation that helps pay for its broadcasts.
Read all about it.
In answer to the question posed in the head: Horse puckey!
Ernest T. Bass, RIP!
Go Poke, rest high on that mountain ...
Vernon Grant, RIP.
Monday, May 23, 2005
ER hometown news
"Magazine Creek Arena* and Riders will hold an auction at noon Saturday at the arena. Hardware, plumbing, saddles, tack, windows, microwave, video tapes, shelving, heavy duty trailer ramps, a stereo that plays records, carpet, one registered paint breeding valued at $500, one quarter horse breeding valued at $500, furniture and more will be sold. Proceeds will go to the shodeo kids for year-end awards."
Said arena is so close to Mama ER's house that, as I was growin' up, I could see the lights and hear the announcer from the yard.
My best friend in high school rode a bull -- or, actually, failed to ride a bull -- at a rodeo in that arena.
I learned to love Frito chili pie, with a light sprinklin' of dirt dust and manure dust, at that arena.
SIGH. Where did I go wrong with life? I shoulda never moved to town.
* Name of arena changed for the hell of it.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Dang band had cracked and was scratchin' my baldin' noggin. Bought that new Resistol awhile back, but it's a little fancy for everyday wearin' -- so I just taped up the insides of another one.
And I b'lieve I am fixing to blow off the thoughty history-related projects I had lined up to do today, 'cause the weather is too basebally not to go enjoy some! I love to sit in the sun in the outfield, under a straw hat, with a cold one. What a great ballpark!
And that is what I'm fixing to do. Dr. ER is at her place of employment, bein' employed. Bird has flown off to Stillwater to visit with a lonely friend there stuck bein' a nanny-house sitter. Didn't see a single game last year, in the throes of grad school. So, what the hey.
Hotdogs and watermelon yesterday. Baseball today. Am I an American or what? Damn straight.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Yardbird and icy melon, reprise
I must have some of the tropics about me, 'cause I likes summer. I likes winter, too. Just give me an extreme, please.
Summertime is fried chicken'n picnics and watermelon, also outdoors.
Here's (what I consider a "Best of") ER post. From Aug. 22. Then, my average daily hits was about 20. Now it's *all the way up to* 100. "Woo," he said, adding, "hoo." Thinking a bit, he said, "B," adding "FD." :-)
Anyway, check it out. If yer a Southerner it will speak to yer Southern soul. Or yer inner redneck. :-)
Read about fried chicken and watermelon here. :-)
The livelong day
Pulled weeds in front, check.
Edged front sidewalk, check (with a "manual" half-moon edger, thank-
Roundupped brick patio-turned-prairie reserve, check.
Swept everything outside, check.
Watered everything thoroughoy, check.
Got all my laundry caught up, check.
Grilled weinies, check.
Consumed tres cervezas, checko.
Consumed two hotdogs, check.
Fed the always-hungry Bird.
Ate half an icebox watermelon, check.
Read some of "The Galvanized Yankees," check.
Caught the tail end of the NASCAR race formerly known as The Winston, on TV, check.
Pretty dadgum productive day, all told :-) Dr. ER and Bird were both gone for most of it. It was just me and the dogs, mostly.
Now, tomorrow, mebbe I can get some of these here thinkin' projects done before I go into work to catch up from unexpected crap that cheated me out of a normal Friday.
P.S. Boy, if THIS ain't the bottom of the blog. I did a few other normal, mundane things, too! :-)
Suburban farming calls
Brick patio is a joke. So much growing up between them I'll have to put the dogs in the sun room after I Roundup to keep them from passing out from fumes. Weeds need pulling in the front flower bed. Gutters need cleaned out desperately.
The house is a wreck on the inside, too.
Plus, I have a list of thoughty projects I really need to be working on. And it's grilling season, and I want to sear some form of livestock in the back yard, but I've talked myself out of it the last couple of times, which is a bad sign.
So far today, I have gotten this far:
Got up, read the paper, went to Sonic for a bacon-egg-cheese sammich and tots and coffee, came back home. Oh, I stopped and bought some lightbulbs, Oh, and I managed to put my work boots on this morning.
And I have somewhat of an emotional hangover from a tense supper and late-late-night conniption I directed at She Who Is.
Tough day yesterday at work -- and totally unexpected. Blew my usual Friday routine. Pissed me. I need to learn to stay away from people when that happens.
Ugh. Must ... start ... work .... on ... yard ...
Friday, May 20, 2005
Shots fired! 3 dead; 2 hurt; Resolve tested
For 20 years, at least, the following has been my position on capital punishment: “I don’t believe the state should have the power to kill its citizens, ever.”
That’s what I believe. Not because I don’t think some people deserve to die for their actions. No. In fact, my redneck friends and kin have joked for years about the unwritten “He needed killin’ law.”
See the great movie “Next of Kin.” I LOVE that flick. Yes, I have a strain of vigilantism in me.
The state, and by that I mean the state in the general sense – whether individual state of the U.S., the United States as a whole, or any other legitimate form of general government – should not have such power.
Is it a good thing that Timothy McVeigh, Oklahoma City bomber, is gone? You bet. But it makes me nervous that this country put down one of its citizens, a veteran at that.
Are we better off every time someone gets the needles at McAlester (Oklahoma state pen)? Probably, in most cases, but that’s not the point.
An aside: Incarceration, in my view, has several purposes, some of which have fallen out of favor.
There is simple punishment, upon which most of us can agree. There is the need to separate some violent people from the rest of society by locking them away, upon which most can agree.
There is the hope of rehabilitation, upon which many of us agree.
And there is retribution, or vengeance, which is the main one that has fallen out of favor.
Capital punishment, being permanent, answers three out of four. There is, of course, no hope of rehabilitation, this side of Jordan. But, I don’t care, and I digress.
Nowadays, first-degree murder is about the only crime for which one can be punished with death. I dare say most of the ones who get it deserve it. But, advancements in DNA technology have called that into question recently, which is another reason to be against capital punishment.
But the bottom line is this: We tend to overreact in this country. See Congress right now. See the Bush administration. For 20 years I have feared capital punishment in the hands of a people who were so afraid they would start misusing it wholesale. We are that afraid, it appears, now.
Capital punishment for murder? Why not for rape? Sounds reasonable, and it used to be the law in some places. While we’re at it, why not for aggravated robbery?
Why not for manufacturing methamphetamine (a real scourge on society that we’re only starting to realize).
Why not capital punishment for identity theft? Lives are ruined every day because of it. Why not just kill the perps? Why not capital punishment for drunk driving? Why not for selling marijuana?
Why not kill people for writing unpopular things? Or for saying “unpatriotic” things? Or for opposing the status quo?
Why not use capital punishment to tamp down some of the extremes of liberty that make this country and society so messy and hard to govern?
You think I’m paranoid? Bull. Read the news right now out of Washington. The FBI brazenly, without apology, in the name of the “war on terrorism,” wants to be able to avoid having to go before a magistrate before issuing subpoenas.
Next will be arrest warrants. Who needs a judge? Then, well, why not do away with the paperwork altogether? After all, there’s a WAR on.
There’s a war on all right, a war against freedom in the professed name of “security,” but really in the name of simple “order.”
Screw order. I choose freedom. I choose the messiness of disorder that comes with it.
And I oppose the death penalty, in all cases, for all time.
And that’s why I was dismissed from jury service last week.
It was a capital case. The defendant had shot three people to death, and left two others shot and in critical condition. He admitted the act. He’d pled not guilty and self defense.
For three days, I agonized over my 20-year position on the death penalty. Why? Because I wanted to do my civic duty.
People who are four-square against the death penalty do not get on juries in capital cases, which bothers some people. But the logic of the system fails if you don’t weed out death penalty opponents. If you can’t honestly consider it as an option, then you can’t honestly follow the law, because the death penalty is an option under the law.
Thus, the source of my angst. Here’s how I resolved it.
Yes, I am against the death penalty, I testified in several instances over three days of voir dire. But faced with a real-life case, I have to fine-tune my political position.
I am against it because of its potential for wholesale misuse, I said, making reference to our penchant for overreacting. It is not being misused now, not in the way I mean, although I believe some die who don’t deserve it.
So, I am against it, but I can follow the law. I can suspend my political position, consider the facts, consider the law, follow the instructions to the jury, and do my duty.
The prosecutor didn’t buy it. I don’t blame her. I was dismissed. I don’t know how the trial turned out. You’d think a trial in a triple-homicide case would make the news, but I have not read or seen a peep about it.
I did my duty, by the way. I showed up for jury service, which is more than some do. I thought hard, agonized, in fact, over a long-held belief.
And I looked the state in the eye, in the form of an assistant prosecutor, and said, basically:
“You do not deserve the power to kill your own citizens. I will follow the law, because to serve on this jury and do less would be its own form of minor anarchy. Between my own personal views and the rule of law, I choose the rule of law. But I’m on to you, and I resent being put in this position.”
Thursday, May 19, 2005
This reminds me that the extreme right -- the same ones who have kidnapped Jesus, and have him bound and gagged in a back room somewhere -- is dead wrong.
No rant. I have outrage fatigue.
From The Associated Press, via Yahoo
WASHINGTON - The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is working on a bill that would renew the Patriot Act and expand government powers in the name of fighting terrorism, letting the FBI subpoena records without permission from a judge or grand jury.
Read all about it.
"Loquat-ious," not loquacious
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
"There you go again ..."
From Reuters, via MSNBC
NEW YORK - The U.S. Air Force is seeking President Bush’s approval of a national security directive that could move the United States closer to fielding offensive and defensive space weapons, the New York Times reported Tuesday, citing White House and Air Force officials.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Dreamed last night:
I was with three or four other grungy, raggedly dressed guys in something like a steam pipe distribution venue, underground.
It was "underground" in two ways: literally, and it was clear that we all were fugitives -- from who or what I don't know. The walls were dripping, mossy and moldy. It was dimly lit and dank.
In comes another of "us." He tosses down a duffel bag and says, "Look what I got!" We gather around.
In one end of the bag were a bunch of packs of Winstons, in the other were a bunch of packs of Chesterfields. We all lunged in to grab hands full.
"Oh, man, I haven't smoked a Chesterfield in years," I said -- but when I picked up some of the packs, they all were opened and all the cigs were wet.
Then, I reached ovr for some Winstons, and they were all gone, lost in the odds and ends of other junk he had in the bag.
What a gyp!
What does it mean?
Confession: I have been Copenhagen (snuff)-free since July 6, 2003. I do still smoke cigars once in awhile, and, since Dr. ER started complainin' about the "sheep turd specials" that are my favorite cigars (short, 50-ring, maduro), I've picked up the pipe again. But I still chew at least one nicotine gum a day.
Yesterday, while smoking my pipe in the back yard, tryin' like heck to finish this two-volume 1,026-page tome on the history of the fur trade, and drinkin' a quad vinte eight-pump mocha from Starbucks, it dawned on me that I mighta just used the gum to switch habits.
SIGH. Well, it beats spitting in cups and leavin' them everywhere. I never smoke in the house.
Monday, May 16, 2005
My kind of Baptist journalist
Overheard in the ER household II
"Dude, I totally forgot I had a remote control car. Sweet! ... "
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Homos, Jesus and me
The following excerpt from the comments, betwixt me and Bitch, Ph.D., is an example of how to disagree without personal attacks, and ensued in response to previous post "Conservative Democrat," below :-) (No offense, Nick; just tryin' to preserve the thread betwixt me and B!)
Ok, I gotta ask: you, personally, think God is necessary for moral beliefs? And you, personally, think homosexuality is wrong? I ask b/c you said the quiz results "nailed" you...
# Above posted by bitchphd : 1:48 PM
Ah, good questions, B. Perhaps "nailed" was too strong a term. I think I was surprised to see that "Conservative Democrat" was actually on the list. And I have always considered myself a Conservative Dem -- but mostly on defense and foreign relations.
Actually, I am at variance with the God part. I mean, I have my beliefs, but I do not insist that others share them, or that they even have a God belief, to be morally moral.
As for the homosexual thing. Tough to parse. Do I believe it is wrong? Yes, but I do so probably out of habit. It makes me uncomfortable, which has nada to do with right and wrong.
About a Christmas or two ago, I had something of a "come to Jesus" over it, while pondering the Web site of the United Church of Christ -- http://www.stillspeaking.com -- wherein I found myself weeping over a lifetime of arrogance over the subject.
Further, I believe in freedom -- freedom to live life as one sees fit, as long as it doesn't impinge on others' rights -- realizing that we do not have a right not to be made to feel uncomfortable by others' lifestyle choices.
And that's another thing: I believe that the homosexual lifestyle is a choice, while same-sex tendencies are a complicated mix of the whole nature-nurture conundrum. Like, genetic, or medical obesity, for example, is one thing; what people do about it, embrace it and celebrate it, or submit to God's grace with it, is another. Same with most everything else.
My tears over that Christmas were born on the sudden realization that the idea that one's sexual orientation, and what one did about it, were more important than any other shortcoming-sin-decision-tendency vis-a-vis God, was bullshit.
Some bottom lines: There is God. I am not He. Jesus saves sinners. All have sinned.
Two things, from the United Church of Christ Web site.
1. A description of their commercial, on TV now and then; this is what made me see my own arrogance:
The first commercial features two muscle-bound "bouncers" standing guard outside a symbolic, picturesque church and selecting which persons are permitted to attend Sunday services. This represents the alienation felt by some persons toward church and religion. Written text interrupts the scene, announcing, "Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we." A narrator then proclaims the United Church of Christ's commitment to Jesus' extravagant welcome: "No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.
One of the main lessons of the Bible is that Jesus didn't turn people away. The UCC seeks to be a place in today's world that welcomes all who come through our doors.
2. From the UCC "What We Believe" section:
We believe that all of the baptized ‘belong body and soul to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.’ No matter who –- no matter what –- no matter where we are on life’s journey -– notwithstanding race, gender, sexual orientation, class or creed -– we all belong to God and to one worldwide community of faith. All persons baptized -– past, present and future -– are connected to each other and to God through the sacrament of baptism. We baptize during worship when the community is present because baptism includes the community’s promise of ‘love, support and care’ for the baptized – and we promise that we won’t take it back – no matter where your journey leads you.
# Above posted by ThePress : 2:21 PM
Yeah, I would've expected your libertarian tendencies to trump religious dogmatism on things like gay rights. And as you say, "discomfort" is neither here nor there--that would be your problem ;)
You've surely already heard this, but the "being gay is a choice" thing--do you really think anyone in their right mind would deliberately choose to be a social pariah? Same thing with fat, actually--if it were a question of willpower, there would be a lot fewer fat people around.
See, that's where your conservative belief that people can lift themselves up by their own bootstraps clashes with my more classically liberal belief that individuals are conditioned by social systems...
# Above posted by bitchphd : 2:50 PM
Re, ' "the being gay is a choice" thing--do you really think anyone in their right mind would deliberately choose to be a social pariah? Same thing with fat, actually--if it were a question of willpower, there would be a lot fewer fat people around.'
Actually, right now, being gay seems to have a certain ... what IS that word ... well, "coolness" about it in some circles. Blue circles. Very blue circles. :-)
And, in those circles, NOTHING that comes out of the current administration or Congress is given much weight. So, so what if the Repubs, then, think gays are pariahs?
But note: I distinguish between "being" and "doing." What I was trying to say was this:
One might have the genetic propensity to alcoholism, which is not a sin, and, once aware of it, surrender to habitual drunkenness, which is a sin. One might have a genetic propensity to obesity, which is not a sin, and, once aware of it, surrender to gluttony, which is a sin. One might have a genetic tendency toward insatiable horniness, which is not a sin, and once aware of it, surrender to acting on unbridled lust, which is sin.
And, in my view, one might have a genetic tendency toward homosexuality, which, if genetic, is not a sin, and, once aware of it, surrender to acting on it, which is, according to almost every group of Christians I know of, a sin.
One thing's for sure: If a bunch of drunks, or mean, fat assholes, or militant in-your-face homosexuals, march into any church and demand to not only be accepted but approved of, and allowed in church leadership positions, in spite of what Scripture suggests and what church tradition and corporate interpretation generally say, then there is no humility, no hint of repentance, no sign of self denial -- well, that ain't right.
And now, I am fixin' to answer my genetic addiction to tobacco with a cigar, my predisposition to like a nip now and then -- usually more now than then -- with a little Sunday-afternoon Geo. Dickel Tennessee whiskey, and my unnatural affection for my dogs by headin' to the back yard for a spell to read about huntin' for beaver -- and y'all all just get yer minds out of the gutter. I'm talkin' about the fur trade -- huh-huh, he said "fur" -- of the 19th century. :-) My mind is liable to be even more opener when I return.
#Above posted by ThePress : 4:14 PM
Oh, I see.
Well, I disagree about your interpretation of scripture, but as usual, I find comfort in the fact that basically we aren't really that far apart. I would interpret the things you call "sins" less literally--sin, like god, functions best as a metaphor imho--and I'd argue that there's something fundamentally different between alcholism (which is destructive) and having a sex life (which isn't). And I think you vastly overrate the "coolness" of being gay; even among liberals, gay men and lesbians are often subject to discrimination that the rest of us don't have to put up with. But basically, yeah; if you want to think of drinking, or sex, or smoking, or whatever, as "sinful"--in the context of an acknowledgment that we're all sinful, of course ('course, I would say, it just means we're all human--w/out the sort of Miltonic sense that "human" necessarily means "fallen," either). I'm on board with the idea that hey, people do shit we think they oughtn't, but then we do shit they think we oughtn't, so a certain level of minding-our-own-business is called for.
'Course I can't refrain from pointing out that there seem to be a lot of mean, fat assholes running churches nowadays.
# posted by bitchphd : 4:38 PM
And on this we definitely agree: " 'Course I can't refrain from pointing out that there seem to be a lot of mean, fat assholes running churches nowadays. "
Hey, I don't like-admire-support-read ya 'coz I agree with ya alla time. I do so 'coz yer intelligent, expressive and honest.
# Above posted by ThePress : 6:02 PM
Well and ditto.
# posted by bitchphd : 6:14 PM
PAST TYPOLOGY COUNTERPART: Socially Conservative Democrats / New Dealers
14% OF ADULT POPULATION
15% OF REGISTERED VOTERS
PARTY ID: 89% Democrat, 11% Independent/No Preference, 0% Republican,(98% Dem/Lean Dem)
BASIC DESCRIPTION: Religious orientation and conservative views set this group apart from other Democratic-leaning groups on many social and political issues. Conservative Democrats' views are moderate with respect to key policy issues such as foreign policy, regulation of the environment and the role of government in providing a social safety net. Their neutrality on assistance to the poor is linked, at least in part, to their belief in personal responsibility.
DEFINING VALUES: Less extreme on moral beliefs than core Republican groups, but most oppose gay marriage and the acceptance of homosexuality, and support a more active role for government in protecting morality. No more conservative than the national average on other social issues such as abortion and stem-cell research. Most oppose the war in Iraq, but views of America's overall foreign policy are mixed and they are less opposed to Bush's assertive stance than are other Democratic groups.
Key Beliefs: General Population, Conservative Democrats
It is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good (ethics): 50%, 72%
Most people who want to get ahead can make it if they're willing to work hard: 68%, 82%
We should all be willing to fight for our country, whether it is right or wrong: 46%, 49%**
The government should do more to help needy Americans, even if it means going deeper into debt: 57% 59%**
** Figures are notable for being so different from other Democratic groups.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Overheard in the ER household
This morning, between 11 a.m. and noon, comes this voice waftin' into my home office here from the kitchen.
Dr. ER: "ER, is it OK if Bird puts your Texas beer in the crisper?"
ER: "I guess."
If you've never checked out Overheard in New York, linked to the left, do it. It's hilarious. Fair warning: It's pretty raw. It IS New York.
Today was surprisingly productive, and I thank Bitch, Ph.D for it. Yesterday, she invited regulars to leave comments as to what they were procrastinatin' on, and I did, and it guilted me into gettin' some things done today.
So, all that remains for me to have submitted a once-rejected article to another history journal is actually handin' it across the counter Monday morning to a postal employee. Since 9/11, it turns out, you can't just mail envelopes weighin' more than 1 pound. The four copies of my article came in at 1 pound, 4 ounces.
I also went so far as to print off the 40-odd pages of author's guidelines from the Web site of Major Regional University Press. Next is nipping and tucking my thesis to get it in shape for submission. It'll probably be fall before I get that completed.
Which is good because by then I should know whether a paper proposal I am fixin' to pitch to a university conference on Native American women issues has been accepted. If so, then that's another line on my vita, which will be submitted with my thesis to Major Regional University Press.
Said conference, in November, was the cause of my early-afternoon wild-hair trip to the book store to pick up a couple of books on the broad subject of Choctaw matrilineal traditions and cultural habits and such.
The paper I will pitch is a narrow examination of a specific colloquoy that took place between a Choctaw man and some of his nieces in an 1850 Choctaw newspaper. That, I have down pat. The broader issues and history, not so much.
Cool: One of the books I bought is by my fellow panelist at the recent conference in Muskogee. Danged if I ain't actin' like a real historian.
Here's how cool Bird is. She has jobs in hand at both Abercrombie & Fitch AND American Eagle. One of them will get her for the summer.
Bird herself was floored to get the offer at A&F. She says they must have dispensed with their "snotty bitch" requirement for hired hands. Good thing. I done tole her that ol' ER would be keepin' his eyes peeled for any signs of snottiness on her part, in readiness to call her on her shit if need be.
There is a sack in there on the kitchen counter with $45 worth of brisket, ribs, polish sausage, beans, cole slaw, tater salad, pickles and other fixings -- almost 5 pounds of vittles, in all.
The Richmond Night Race, a minor holiday for NASCAR-Americans, is fixin' to come on.
Dr. ER is home! I'm home! Bird is home!
The aforementioned Texas beer, havin' been transferred from under the kichen desk, where I had forgotten about it, to the icebox, is appropriately cooled now for drinkin'.
It don't get much better. :-)
Friday, May 13, 2005
To the dead I've known before
The other day, I had to scootch my truck around a wreck in The Village, a municipality of 4,000 or so smack in the middle of Oklahoma City.
It wasn’t much of a wreck, as wrecks go. But there in the middle of the street was a motorcycle on its side.
Off the street, but not very far, appeared to be some rolled-up carpet or blankets or something, which I found out later was the operator of the motorcycle. Bystanders wrapped him up in whatever they had.
I read later, in the paper, that he was dead.
Not dead as in killed instantly, either, but dead as in alive when the traffic stopped around him, alive when the first responders first responded and, I guess, alive as they wheeled him into the emergency room. But he died.
It got me to thinking about other dead I’ve observed as an observer, professional or otherwise.
Not kin. Not at funerals. But just the freshly dead who I have either witnessed with my own two eyes, reporter’s notebook and pen at the ready, or that I’ve been so close to I might’ve just as well laid my eyes on them.
To the first dead of my college journalism career: I was the line editor for a reporter covering a murder trial. Middle-class teen girl killed her parents. Gruesome, for a small Okie college town.
To the first dead subject of my own personal, clinical, sanitized newspaper prose: A soldier who died when the truck he was driving overturned in a dry creek bed on Fort Chaffee, which I reported, after examining the scene, as an intern at the paper in Fort Smith, Ark.
To the two men whose big 1970s-era cars hit head on, especially the driver whose bare heel stuck through his torn sock and the torn back of his shoe from his feet having hit the firewall at a combined speed of about 150 mph.
To the two women who died in a house fire. But more to two survivors, who learned definitely that their loved ones were gone, from me, but not from reading it in the paper, but from my anguished and awkward whispering into a telephone in a neighbor’s house, where I borrowed the phone, on deadline, and they awaited official word. This was before cell phones, obviously. I had a walkie-talkie but the scene was too far outside of town for it to work. An emotional burden I still carry; I still hear the mewling that grew into to wailing .
To the elderly woman bound, gagged, raped and murdered in her house outside a tiny town, 15 miles from a small town, 60 miles from a midsize city in Texas, but out in the middle of nowhere no matter how you define it. They never caught her killer.
To the young mama and infant slashed to death in a small Oklahoma town on New Year’s Eve. I got that story because I was the first reporter found at home sober and alert early that New Year’s Day (only because my girlfriend at the time was clean and sober, in the AA sense.) Damned if I didn’t report the hell out of that horrible story. Damned if I didn’t win an award for the coverage Damn.
To the high school cheerleader raped and murdered -- tied up, drunk, shot in the back, left under a bridge on a county road -- outside another small Oklahoma town. Another one I didn’t write about myself, but served as the line editor, where you can get as intimate with the players in a story, over time, as a reporter can.
To the police officer shot and killed in the projects of midsize Texas city. First time I ever was at a crime scene that was not under control -- not the last. First time I ever found myself running to the sound of gunfire and wondering “what the hell am I doing here?” -- only time for that. Source for the only time I ever had notes, and myself, subpoenaed, by the public defender appointed for the perp. “Sorry, y’all, I don’t keep notes, just for that very reason. Oh, you want copies of my stories? They are in the public library.” I was headed from Texas to Tennessee on a Friday and stopped by the PD’s office to tell them that, to inform them that I had nothing to bring to the hearing but myself, and that all I know I had put in the story, and to tell them if they could get the sheriff’s department in whatever county Memphis is in to come get, fine, but otherwise I was hitting the road. They decided they really didn’t need me to do their work for them, after all.
To the rodeo cowboy killed by drug-addled marauding youth on a lonesome stretch of highway … to the man in the ‘70s-era Monte Carlo that I saw crash into a grove in the median of Interstate 40, fall out of the open door and stumble a few feet before collapsing (the whole highway shut down, both ways, and lots of people ran to help; I continued on, and heard on TV later than he’d died) … to the Air Force captain killed in his fine home by person or persons unknown … to the man killed little by little by little by arsenic poisoning, for an insurance settlement … to the young mother found strangled to death in a ditch a few yards from her truck, idling, with her toddler still strapped in … to the young girl run over by a drunken young man who roared down the country road and didn’t see that half the small town’s teens had gathered to drink beer and whiskey around a makeshift campfire … to … all of them and others.
But, also, to the three dead I would have gotten to know intimately this week and next had I been picked to serve on the jury of the man charged with killing them. Alas, I was not picked. More on that anon.
Started out as golf balls. Then jelly beans. Damage appears to be light. Also, rear raingutter filled with stones, appears ready to fall off the house!
Last June, hail damaged my truck to the tune of $6,500-plus.
That's life on the Southern Plains!
Thursday, May 12, 2005
I am shamelessly going to wear this thing, a token of my experience at the University of Central Oklahoma, and retire my 1988 Oklahoma State ring (although it'll come back regularly for games and such).
Curriculum Oval for Him
Metal Choice: 10-kt. Yellow
Ring Size: 14
Metal Finish: Antique
Stone Options: September Fire Blue Spinel (closest to UCO school-color blue)
Ring Side Options 1: History
Ring Side Options 2: 2004
Ring Side Personalization: MA
Inside Engraving: Full Name: Erudite Redneck
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Zero Yankee, of course. :-)
Your Linguistic Profile:
60% General American English
5% Upper Midwestern
Wonder how Pecheur would do?
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
I love my truck
It – that’s it – right here – is the second-coolest vehicle I have ever owned. The coolest vehicle I ever had – “owned” is stretching it, since I was all of 16 – is the 1970 Dodge Charger –- Oh My GOD. That’s it! Just tone down the blue a little; make it a little skyier; and give it a thin layer of dust, some dust in the wheel wells and hang some blue fuzzy dice from the rearview mirror – oh, and put the Confederate battle flag on a tag on the front – and THAT’S IT.
The Dukes of Hazzard
like to used up every last dang one of them –- 1968-1970, I think. You can tell the difference by the tail lights: the ’70 model has a rectangular light on each side; the ’69, and ’68 (I think) have circle tail lights.)
Ah, I waxed nostalgic about my Charger. I always have and I always will. I worshipped it, which is probably why the Lord saw fit to allow me to wreck it. I mean, the gal that hit me from behind wrecked it. She was in a 1966 Plymouth Fury – a tank – which suffered very little in the “incident,” which happened on Grand Avenue in Fort Smith, Ark., somewhere around 15th or 16th Street, not that I remember every detail or anything, but, of course, I do.
It was one of the only time my daddy rode with me, and it was the first time I cussed in front of him. After we got hit, and his head whipped back and hit the headrest, he shook it a little and said, “Did we get hit?” “We sure as hell did,” I said, and immediately felt bad. The only other time Daddy and I every really got into it was durin’ a Bible verse quotin’ argument. “Children, obey your parents!” he intoned. “Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath,” I retorted, whereupon he swatted at my backside, the only time ever, which, today, 25 or so years later, seems like it happened this morning.
I digress. Look at this, this handsome thing, but imagine that it’s silver, with running boards. I’m not that materialistic – I mean, I have three liberal arts degrees, for cryin’ out loud, none of which pay much. But I love my truck.
All us’ns, in the town where I grew up, loved our trucks. In fact, some of thought that’s what the Huey Lewis & the News song was about. We thought "I Want a New Drug" was “I Want a New Truck,” there for a while. Yes, one that won’t make us sick, please.
Hey, cut us some slack. Some of the same bunch of boys, about five years earlier, thought – would have SWORN – that the cool and funny C.W McCall song “Convoy” had the F-dash-dash-dash word in it!
As in: “We’ve got a f------ convoy, rockin’ through the night! We’ve got a f------ convoy,ain’t she a beautiful sight? …” Sue us. We were hearin’ it on a little portable record player, on the floor of sixth-grade home room, plugged into a wall socket in the bottom section of someone’s open-air “locker,” really just some shelves arranged to resembl lockers. Couldn’t trust us with real lockers, that we could lock.
This is the same home room where an embarrassment occurred to me that did not become fully manifest for years later.
Last day of class. We’re cleaning the room for Mr. Horn. I’m on a ladder going through stuff on the top shelf of the big closet at the back of the classroom. There’s a big box.
“My Horn, what do I do with this?” I asked. “Nothing. Leave it there. It’s full of cinnamon napkins,” he said. “Ah, OK,” I thought. “Whatever. There is that candy machine just inside the door of the girl’s bathroom.”
And not thinking too much on it, really, I “thought” somethin’ like, “girls … cinnamon napkins .. whatever …”
Later, someone asked ME what about the box. I said, “Mr. Horn said to leave it because it’s full of cinnamon napkins.” Whereupon Mr. Horn’s eyes buged out, watered up and he got so red I thought was fixin’ to explode.
And I was in high school before I put together “feminine napkins” and “cinnamon napkins,” a realization without which I would think my bloggin’ buddy Bitch a “cinnamist” (see part no. 445).
And ALL of this came to me on the 20-mile drive from the heart of The City to this here suburb where I hang my hat these days, in the best thing place I sat my buttocks today: My truck. (Not that I worship it Lord, just so you understand. It’s just pretty dang cool to have, and I don’t deserve it, so it’s gravy. Gracias, Dios Mio.
And THIS, kith and kin, is what you get when you put me sittin’ in a hardwood pew at the county courthouse ALL DAY, just listening, with no access to the ‘Net nor to a single soul I know. I get full. Of what, I will leave it to y’all to decide. :-)
Your Political Profile
Overall: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Social Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Monday, May 09, 2005
Sworn to silence
But, before I was sworn, some things transpired that I can report:
1. Just being called and sitting with several hundred of my fellow citizens in the jury assembly room, and listening to the clerk and presiding judge talk about freedoms, duty and the unique system of jurisprudence we enjoy in this country went a long way toward dissolving a bunch of cynicism I'd let build up. Screw Lee Greenwood and that overplayed song. Today, I am proud to be an American.
2. There were only minimal gimme cap issues. When the judge is in the assembly room, it becomes a court and hats come off. When he left again, some of the good ol' boys were confused about just when they could and could not wear their dadgum hats. I had the sense to leave mine at the house.
3. I went expecting to "people watch." I was struck by how wonderfully average the crowd was. Just folks -- of all colors, national origins and religion. I was reminded of just how WHITE the suburb I live in is.
4. The noninflammatory book I took to read during the waits was Theda Perdue, ed., Cherokee Editor: The Writings of Elias Boudinot (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996).
Boudinot was the first editor of the first Indian newspaper on the continent, the Cherokee Phoenix, which started publishing in the 1920s, before the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks and Seiminoles were uprooted and forced west, to Oklahoma, on the infamous Trail of Tears, whereon thousands and thousands died.
Times were tough in the Southeast before removal. Their tribal governments -- constitutional republics for the most part -- were overrun and systematically dismantled. The state of Georgia, specifically, tore down the Cherokee Nation as the United States stood by and watched.
All of which made the following passage on P. 21 so very poignant in light of where I was and what I was taking part in this morning:
" ... The Nation was impotent: Cherokee laws had been abrogated, the judicial system dismantled, and the national police force relieved of all responsibility for maintaining order. Georgia courts offered little protection to Cherokees because a new Grorgia law prevented Indians from testifying against whites. ..."
5. It was pretty clear that some people dressed up for the occasion, some dressed down, and some dressed sideways, that is, they wore what they normally wear on a weekday. I dressed down: jeans and a nice shirt, no tie, and tennis shoes.
6. The men's room off the jury assembly room is the only one I've ever seen with a lounge area, with a couch, table and chairs, in a foyer kind of thing. I thought that was a chick thing exclusively.
7. There were all kinds of "foreign" accents and regional dialects among the potential jurors. Good Lord, it done my redneck heart good to hear lots of y'allses and "do whats?" comin' out of the court officials' mouths.
8. The presiding judge joked, after Oklahoma State University came up for some reason: "Now, y'all know I don't allow certains shades of red in my courtroom. I do have the power to find people in contempt of court for cheering for the wrong school." Or something like that. Obvious negative references to the university of Oklahoma. Very cool, very fun, and everybody seemed to take it in good humor, apparently even the sooner fans. But then, he was de judge. :-)
Silence now, on the rest, until I am released from my oath.
Not much beats a county courthouse for people watching.
Hmm, now to select some noninflammatory book to be readin' while I wait. Thomas Sowell's "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" is out, I'm thinking. I do want to be put on a jury.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
27 percent Repub!
"You're probably one of those people who still thinks that getting (oral sex) is not an impeachable offense."
Jesus, R-Nazareth? (Not)
A Baptist deacon says he and eight other members of East Waynesville Baptist Church were removed from the church roll because they disagreed with the pastor's political views.
Today, the pastor called it a "misunderstanding." If the tape I heard on TV is legit, the only thing he misunderstood is the difference in the Gospel and pure politics.
He is making Baby Jesus cry! And the Grown-up Jesus is probably rollin' His sleeves up and flexin' his moneychanger-tossing muscles.
P.S. My name is still on a Southern Baptist church roll; I do have a dog in this hunt. And he is hidin' under the porch in shame.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
"Then let us fight the war defensively, interpreting the defensive, if need be, as the right to chase (the enemy) all the way to their capital to prevent invasion, then later find that the majority (in Congress) had deceived us. It was a time-serving myopic policy, which offended even their supporters, who, though they were in no mood for analysis, were hardly to be seduced by legalities. The administration's case, however, was on no higher intellectual level: in May we were making war to repel invastion, but by August we were making war to obtain indemnity for claims and injuries and to overthrow a government whose despotism menaced free institutions."*
The Mexican was a war of expansion, led mostly by Southerners bent on expanding slavery, which held up the economy. The Iraq war is a war of expansion, in its own way, led mostly by Southerners bent on expanding our sources of oil, which holds up the economy.
Do not misunderstand me. ER is no peacenik. Great-great-grandpa ER fought in the Mexican War; I would've answered the call.
As for Iraq, I think we, as a people, were punch-drunk after 9/11 and that our leaders took advantage of that to expand from war in Afghanistan to conquest in Iraq. I was for it, based on the "information" we were given at the time.
I'm still generally for it. There is no shame is fighting wars for scarce resources, i.e., oil, in the global scheme of things. Sometimes. I just wish the administration would've shot straight with us.
The Mexican War, IMHO, is a close example in our history to what we're doing in Iraq. It's why I call today's Democratic Party modern "Whigs."
The Democratic party is on the wrong side of popular opinion on this war, like the Whigs were on the wrong side of popular opinion on the Mexican War.
Because of that and other reasons, I think the Democratic Party as we know it will go the way of the Whigs. Those in the current majority party, take note: The entire party structure was soon in upheaval back then, not just Whiggery. Beware your own current "success."
*Quote from Bernard DeVoto, The Year of Decision: 1846 (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1943), 208.
Friday, May 06, 2005
I can be a real dictionary
You're The Dictionary!
You're one of those know-it-all types, with an amazing amount of
knowledge at your command. People really enjoy spending time with you in very short
spurts, but hanging out with you for a long time tends to bore them. When folks
really need an authority to refer to, however, you're the one they seek. You're an
exceptional speller and very well organized.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Bird and beef
Woo hoo! Our Bird -- the other precious gal in my life, my redheaded redneck stepgal -- is coming home for the summer!
She came home for about three minutes the other night to swap vehicles. She has my pickup up in Stillwater for crap-haulin' purposes, and I'm stuck drivin' her teeny-tiny Mazda carlet.
Dr. ER happened to be outside when I drove home last night and she just looked at big ol' me all scrunched up inside little ol' it and LOL.
Bird has one more final, today, then will commence to packin' for real and come to the house tomorrow. I am so ready to have her around again. Baby Bird! Fixing to be a sophomore!
Dr. ER is treating me to a belated birthday steak supper tonight at my favorite eatin' joint in Oklahoma City, The Cattlemen's Restaurant out by the Stockyards.
There are lots of reasons to love the place, but near lifesize wall photos of Herefords, with a previous owner ahorse amongst 'em, sums it up.
Thursday, May 05, 2005
I love Ann Coulter
Now, it's 10:53 p.m. and since midnight last night, there have been 498 hits on this site. That's a record.
As Dr. ER likes to point out, I do not discern between good attention and bad attention. It's all attention. Yep.
Not that y'all have been "had" or anything. Seems that way, but only in retrospect. I never dreamed ...
But Lordy there has been a lot of ass-showin' here today -- including some by my own self.
Eh, that's the heat of argument. :-)
High horses and low blows
***This post, previously rated R, is now rated PG, thanks to expert editing by Yosemite Sam***
Man, this was too good to leave buried in an avalanche of comments. From an irate reader:
Talk about high horses. This E.R. dude is about as high as it gets. His blog is for comments that agree with him, otherwise you get called names like 'dork,' which is very kindergarten like. Both Frenzied Feline and Crystal Diggory expressed their views and got slammed for it. If you want a truly neutral place to discuss things, I suggest you look elsewhere. Just don't bother looking at his precious Dr. E.R.'s blog. She's as full of herself as he is.
(Great horny toads! -- YS), so little time! Quickly now! Keep up!
Class, have I EVER discouraged people to stay away if they disagree with me? No.
Am I more often than not longsuffering in tolerating people's meanness and ignorance? Yes.
Do I occasionallly spout off? Yes.
Is calling someone a "dork" an act of war? No. It's actually an affectionate term, to me, for when I disagree with people I care about. Now, people I'm really mad at? I call them "stupid," "jerk," "asshole" or something like that. But not to their face, and usually not here.
Did I "slam" Frenzied and Crystal? Only if you think "dork" is really mean.
Re, "If you want a truly neutral place to discuss things, I suggest you look elsewhere." Yes. Indeed. Never said this was a neutral place -- just an open forum. If I think you're wrong, I'm liable to tell you. But not always.
Seriously, if y'all haven't read the READ ME link at left, do it.
Re, "Just don't bother looking at his precious Dr. E.R.'s blog. She's as full of herself as he is." (You dog-blasted, ornery, no-account, long-eared varmint! -- YS) There. The ONLY instance in this space of me totally abandoning any pretense of civility or reason. Dr. ER is precious. She is She Who Is My Wife. Sir, were you to say such to my face, why, well, (I'm the roughest, toughest, he-man stuffiest hombre as ever crossed the Rio Grande and I ain’t no mamby pamby! -- YS) (What a one-eyed galoot. -- YS). And if you are a ma'am, I would find some other woman and pay her to (booby-trap your britches! -- YS). (Great horny toads! -- YS)
I feel much better now. ANY references to the insult to Dr. ER, or my response, will be deleted.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Coulter & the Texas heckler
Something fowl afoot
"Black Rednecks, White Liberals"
Thomas Sowell, Black Rednecks and White Liberals(San Francisco, Encounter Books, 2005).
It'll be released May 10. I got an advanced readin' copy. The blurb says it "challenges many of the long-prevailing assumptions about blacks, about Jews, about Germans, about slavery and about education."
"Plainly written, powerfully reasoned and backed with a startling array of documented facts, Black Rednecks and White Liberals takes on not only the trendy intellectuals of our times but also such historic interpreters of American life as Alexis de Tocqueville and Frederick Law Olmstead."
We'll see. Frankly that overblown blurb gives me pause.
"Plainly written" is hard to accomplish. It better by-God be powerfuly reasoned or why bother? And "a startling array of documented facts"! A startling array! Ooooh! Somebody got an intern to write the press release! Barf. Flacks!
I WILL get back to y'all on this.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Tough ho to throw
"OMG! Arch-conservative Ann Coulter is totally dating a Democrat on the down-low."
This is hootish on soooo many levels. What a ho -- and I mean about her thinkin' and writin'. She can date whoever she damn well pleases. Coulter is, after all, uno babe-o caliente.
Monday, May 02, 2005
Awesome Possum, etc.
Is erudite black? Is erudite Latino? Is erudite Baptist? Is erudite Yankee?
The commenter either didn't know what "erudite" means or what "redneck" means, or both.
Erudite means scholarly, or learned. Redneck is a subculture, or maybe a sub-subculture.
"Redneck" means a stubborn, usually but not always Southern, person who came up workin' for a livin' and is proud of it, who doedn't take much shit from many people, who might be a little on the conservative side sometimes, and a little on the liberal side sometimes, but above all else is independent and doedn't cotton to anyone tellin' him or her where to head in at, be it Big Government, Big Bidness, Big Religion or Big City Idiots who don't know shit about the country, whether its red or blue, who thinks political correctness and other attempts to tamp down plain talk is our main enemy from within because of all the rights we enjoy in this (more or less) free country, there is no right to not have your dang feelings hurt by what others say or write so shut the hell up about them already, get over it and yerself, for God's sake.
And it means some other stuff. But I'm so put off by the notion that one cannot be "erudite" and "redneck" it makes me want a dip, so I could spit right -- 'cause I ain't been able to spit fer shit since I quit dippin' back in 2-ought-ought-2. Holy crap, where's the Goody's Headache Powder?
I got all that eruditeness from Muskogee (OK, now that sounds like an oxymoron, but I can say that, bein' from them parts), by headin' directly on Saturday, after the big history hootenanny, to Fort Smith, Ark., where I acquired a new hat -- first new hat in a few years, The Cattleman, by Resistol.
Then went to Paw Paw, the remains of an Oklahoma town that washed plumb away in the '40s when the Arkansas River flooded, right on the border spittin' distance from Fort Smith, with some friends to smoke cigars and drink Arkansas beer. (I am amazed that Mapquest has it; there is nothing left but the cemetery and the old townsite is now on privately held farm land).
Then went to Jimmy's Somewhere Else Club betwixt Panama and Bokoshe, Okla., a little ways south of where I grew up to see Awesome Possum, an outlaw band fronted by the nephew of my oldest redneck friend in the world, wherein more beer was consumed.
Then headed back to Mama ER's house, where cold icebox chicken, procured earlier in the day just for the occasion, was down-chowed around the kitchen table just a little after midnight.
A fine, fine way to maintain balance in life: Erudite in the mornin' and redneck in the evening. Yea and verily, it was good.
To retire at 41
Poetry Month ended two days ago, but here's a great one, Mad Farmer Liberation Front: Manifesto, by Kentucky poet Wendell Berry, posted by Dana at Authenticity.
More from me, anon. I b'lieve Mr. Berry's work has helped prepare me to buy tires at Wal-Mart today, oddly.