Friday, December 30, 2005


On Yankee dogs and awesome possums

Saturday, Dr. ER and I will head to my ol' stompin' grounds in eastern Oklahoma for the weekend, while Bird flies off to Massachusetts to meet her Yankee boyfriend's parental units and stay the week -- and swing back through here with a dadgum YANKEE DOG, as a gift from the Yankee beau!

A danggum Boston Terrier!

A Mississippi Leg Hound woulda been more fittin' for a redheaded redneck stepchile.

If we think we can actually stay up that late, Dr. ER and I plan to usher in the new year at this here establishment of chance, although I will spend some time across the highway at a beer joint listenin' to the Awesome Possum Band, a genyoowine outlaw band fronted by one of my best friend's nephew.

However, I have alerted the eastern Okie fam that I reserve the right to spend Saturday sittin' in a lawn chair in my front yard with a garden hose if it looks like these get close to the house!

So, what're y'allses' plans for New Year's Eve?


Thursday, December 29, 2005


Damn scientists and their damn science!

It figures! 2006 was going to be the year I actually dragged Dr. ER to Marfa, Texas, out in THE middle of nowhere, on the outskirts of the Hell City Limits, about a 10-hour drive from Oklahoma City to the OTHER side of Midland, Fricking, Texas, to see the famous Marfa Lights.

(Read a summary here.)

And some bunch of dang eggheads done went and took all the dang fun out of it. Well, I ain't a-gonna let 'em.

I ... I ... I BELIEVE!!!!

Marfa Lights "explained."

We just cain't have nothin' nice!

WHAT "unexplained" phenomena do you have in your neck of the woods? What do you want to go see before some dangnab egghead scientists rurn it? :-)


Wednesday, December 28, 2005


The Seven Meme

M. Brandon Robbins tagged me with this meme! Others are tagged at bottom. Y'all all feel free to copy and paste this and insert your own answers in the comments. :-)

(By the way, MBR has started another cool blog, called Lit Nerd Central. Fellow bibliophiles should check it out!)


The "Seven" Meme

A. Seven things to do before I die
1. Earn a Ph.D in history or American studies.
2. Publish several books.
3. Travel Europe.
4. Learn Choctaw and improve Spanish.
5. Edit a small-town newspaper.
6. Buy and restore a 1969 or 1970 Dodge Charger.
7. Own a cow-calf operation.

B. Seven things I cannot do
1. Type.
2. Read music.
3. Lie convincingly.
4. Fly with ease.
5. Suffer fools gladly.
6. Uh, play a cello (Bird's contribution).
7. Menstruate (Dr. ER's contribution).

C. Seven things that attract me to (...)
(any given person)

1. Their general happiness or contentment.
2. Erudition.
3. Ability to be articulate
4. Tolerance of others.
5. Sense of humor.
6. Politics like mine.
7. Ability to argue, not just rant, politics different than mine.

D. Seven things I say most often
1. Damn it to hell!
2. Well, f-- me a runnin.'
3. F---er! (in traffic)
4. Jesus!
5. ("(My place of employment), this is Erudite Redneck."
6. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I pray, Amen (muttered several times a day after silent prayers)
7. "(ER) loves (Dr. ER)."

E. Seven books (or series or genres or topics) that I love
1. C.S. Lewis.
2. History of the American West.
3. History of Oklahoma.
4. Native American history.
5. The Reformation/history of early-modern Europe.
6. The Bible.
7. Various historiographies.

F. Seven movies I watch over and over again (or would if I had time)
1. "Casablanca."
2. "Red Dawn."
3. "The Apostle."
4. "Hud."
5. "Twister."
6. "Next of Kin."
7. "Raising Arizona."

G. Seven people I want to join in, too.
1. Trixie!
2. Tech!
3. Miss Cellania!
4. Bitch, Ph.D. (who hates memes, a rare flaw in her character!)
5. Teditor!
6. Still Life!
7. Russian Violets!


Herdin' cats

This is the best cat commercial EVER.

(Video. Thanks to Drlobojo.)

Herdin' cats!



Redneck truck surfing

This is beyond even my own youthful redneck tendencies:

Redneck truck surfing!

The closest I can recall coming to it was ridin' the hood of a same-age nephew's friend's car, with two other guys, down a former U.S. highway turned city street in my home town. This would have been in 1978 or '79.

Everything was fine until the driver turned fast into the parking lot of an Assembly of God Church and sent us flyin' onto the cement. I spoke in tongues, all right.

Landed precisely on the outside of my right thumb joint and my left hip bone, before sprawling and rolling like a bale of hay lost from a flatbed truck at a similar speed.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005


'What are you people, on dope?'

I am officially old. "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" -- THE movie of my senior year of high school (1982) -- has been added to the National Film Registry.

A well-deserved honor!

Totally bitchin' flick, dude -- from the dugout make-out scene to Phoebe Kates' ... ah, upper body. Spicoli. The land yacht. Mr. Hand!

Name THE movie of YOUR senior year.


Monday, December 26, 2005


Bad ER! Bad, bad ER!

By The Erudite Redneck

Idn't this a cute critter? Take a good look at her. Her name is Belle. She is my dog-in-law. She lives in Texas and belongs to Dr. ER's folks. How sweet.

Unlike OUR dogs, which are maniacs.

About half way to Texas, I turned to Dr. ER and said, "Did I move the milk can in front of the back door?"

Let's stop right there, for this requires a little splainin' right off the bat.

The door from the dining-living area of the ER House to the "sun room" -- quote marks to distinguish this part of our home from an actual sun room -- will not latch, not without a lot of heaving and hoisting and slamming.

So, rather than heave, hoist and slam it at every instance of ingress or egress, we usually just slide a milk can that sits BY the door over in FRONT OF the door, to keep Riker, the regal and sophisticated Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Bailey, the po' white trash weinie dog who should reside in a short yellow doghouse, from jumping up on said door and coming into the house, where Ice-T now reigns supreme. (The dogs have complete access to the sun room because, bein' suburban livestock, they are sissies and spoiled. When I was growin' up. my dogs had to walk 12 miles uphill to their feed dish, both ways).

The door stop would be one of your basic heavy-gauge milk cans like dairy farmers used to use before they got so high-tech. We have two in our front room, one from the ER home place, where Daddy ER once operated a dairy, and one from somewhere else, from the Dr. ER side of the family. They go nicely with the NASCAR tire, which also is in repose in the living-dining area of the ER household.

But I digress.

Said Dr. ER, at that moment half way to Texas, "Well, if you can't remember if you did, then you probably didn't." And for about 2.75 seconds, I worried about it and what havoc two dogs and cat could wreak in the house over a weekend unsupervised..

In Texas, hugs, handshakes and gifts were exchanged. It took me a long, long time, but I finally got half way warmed back up to having Bird in my presence. Dr. ER and I went to walk through the local community Christmas light display on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, more hugs were exchanged and food consumed.

We took off back for Oklahoma by mid-afternoon. Bird took off in her own car and got 20 minutes or so ahead of us. She was instructed to call Dr. ER on her cell phone if there was any evidence that domestic livestock had, in fact, been in the house.

About 45 minutes from the house, just as I was expounding on some fine point surrounding the secular politics behind the Council of Nicea and what potential ramifications it has today for people of faith, Dr. ER's cell phone rang.

And time, as we know it, stood still.

"There is definitely evidence that dogs have been in the house," Bird reported. Dr. ER hollered into the phone unintelligibly, except for one phrase that was crystal clear: "ER, you are in so much trouble."

Bird swept through the house, reporting that "leaves are everywhere." Riker emerged from my office, yawning, she reported. Ice-T is alive, is all we can get out of her.

"I can't find Bailey," Bird said, noting that the door to the "sun room," the milk can sitting useless to its side, is wide open.

"Oh! I saw some something! Bird said. "Bailey is running around in the back yard with -- does he have a red-and-white blanky?" ("Yes," she is informed) "... with a red-and-white blanky hooked onto his collar!"

Holy shit, where's the Tylenol! It was pandelerium in the ER household.

We got home to find not just leaves, but cedar chips on every square inch of the floor of the dining-living area, kitchen, hallway and laundry room, and some in my office, and some in Bird's old room (thank goodness we had shut the doors to our bedroom-bathroom tight; Bailey absconded with a stuffed Halloween toy from where we do not know, to his house in the "sun room"; a cat on the verge -- nay, the very precipice -- of a complete nervous breakdown; all the cat food, dog food and water that Riker and Bailey could get to, consumed; a dog-shaped hole in one of the screen windows of the "sun room," where the made their exits and their extrances after the wind had slammed the outside door shut; early-opened Christmas presents on the floor by my recliner akimbo but othersise unharmed; stockings on the hearth nosed around in; and the ER household's own Christmas presents, still under the tree, but nosed around in if not urinated on -- but it didn't look or smell like any unauthorized tinkling had ensued around our tree.

So I spent Christmas night cleanin' the house!


Today, we finally went to see "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." Good. But there's too much story in that story to get into one movie. Then we ate at "Nothing But Noodles" -- which reminds me of the Puppy Store and the Scotch Tape Store in an old Saturday Night Live -- then wandered around the Bass Pro Shop for awhile.

Bird and Dr. ER just went to Kohl's to look for after-Christmas bargains. Myself, I am takin' a break right now from nosin' around the kitchen lookin' for a post-noodle lagniappe.


P.S. Guess who?

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Merry Christmas Eve, y'all!

Dr. ER had me open a present last night, and it was a digital camera, just for blogging purposes. Blogger is being a Grinch, of course, and will only let me put one pic up. Lucky this was the first one I tried. :-) We are GTT today -- Gone to Texas, to see Dr. ER's folks, and Bird. See y'all on the flip-flop.


Friday, December 23, 2005


So sayeth Bitch, Ph.D.

Professor B wrote:

'Tis the season for family and feasting and not watching so much news--but 'tis also the season for thinking about peace, charity, and justice. Christmas is a national holiday as well as a religious one--let's not forget the perilous state of the nation over the next couple of weeks.

Read all about it, in context of the news of the day.

Erudite Redneck added: Here, here! Peace. Charity. Justice. Amen.


Thursday, December 22, 2005


Meowy Christmas!

Yo, 'sup, y'all people!

Me and some of my friends have some albums out, including some Christmas stuff.

Check out our version of "Angels We Have Heard on High."

It's a scream, I tell ya. A late-night, sittin' on a fence post, howlin' scream!


Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Jesus is a conservative



(Inspired by the long life of the infamous and controversial conversation starter, "Jesus is a liberal" post of Aug. 24.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


'Ding fries are done!'

This is the funniest thing going around this Christmas season!

Prepare to LYAO: "Ding fries are done!"


P.S. I heard on the evvvviiiillll NPR comig home tonight that the FBI has been spying on People for the Ethuical Treatment of Animals, Greenpeace and other extreme but peaceful groups, under the guise of terrorism investigation.

If so, I will join both -- and I HATE PETA more than any other single interest group I can think of, and I am ambivalent about Greenpeace, which should use the news of drowning polar bears at the North Pole as a fund-raiser.


Intelligent design, inevitable demise

Thank God for U.S. District Judge John E. Jones, Republican, churchgoer, patriot, for maintaining the integrity of church, and maintaining the integrity of state, by keeping them separate.

"Intelligent design" ruling (requires Acrobat) from the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.



Dissent is patriotic

The upside-down American flag is a sign of distress. The president thinks he is above the law. He has chosen to ignore even the very minimal requirements imposed by an already secret court in the Justice Department. He has declared the honorable actions of a free press -- acting to bring light to darkness that threatens liberty in the name of security -- as "shameful."

Forget politics. I will accept minority status for the Democratic Party for a generation if necessary. I reject that the Dems are to blame for the sunsetting of the so-called Patriot Act. The president's arrogance and stubbornness are to blame; the Dems wanted to continue the law as is for a short while, to then revisit again after the first of the year, which is reasonable; King George would hear nothing of it.

This is beyond outrageous. It's the stuff revolutions used to be made of. Nowadays, I will settle for the shutdown of the Senate, or a walk-out.

Texas Democratic senators fled to Oklahoma to shut down the Statehouse, but also partly to bring wider attention to U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay's highjacking of the state process of apportionment and manipulative robbery of minority representation in that state.

U.S. Senators of both parties who cherish the rule of law above expediency, the balance of powers over a presidency out of control, and the legitimate role of the judiciary and legislative process -- even in time of "war" -- should go to Puerto Rico, outside the United States but a territory OF the United States, to take a stand and make the same point.

And U.S. Rep. John Lewis should file his bill of impeachment.


Monday, December 19, 2005


Balls four

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, already ballsy since his service on the front lines of the civil rights movement, grows a second pair, says Impeach Bush.

U.S. Rep Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., posts petition calling for hearings on King George's secret domestic spying.

For more good bad news, check out After Downing Street.

To laugh to keep from crying: Buck Fush.

Oh, and anybody who thinks I'm un-American can go here.



It's an American war; Bush still king

*****CORRECTION CORRECTION***** The president did NOT say, as I complained below, "The fact that we're having this press conference is helping the enemy," according to a transcript of Monday's press conference.

He said:

THE PRESIDENT: Let me start with the first question. There is a process that goes on inside the Justice Department about leaks, and I presume that process is moving forward. My personal opinion is it was a shameful act for someone to disclose this very important program in a time of war. The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy.

Actually, the fact that Bush decided to place himself above the law is what is helping the enemy. They win when we cannibalize our own liberties and institutions.


***UPDATE: Less than 2 hours after I wrote the following, the president was having his press conference Monday morning. I listened to him in the truck, before coming in to work.

Maybe, I thought, yes, maybe the Dems in the Senate have made their point. Maybe they should let up on their opposition to the Patriot Act. They can fix the extremes later.

Then the president started bragging about how reductions in non-military spending were helping the economy, which is bullshit. Low interest rates and construction have kept the economy out of the ditch.

Then I came into the office. Bush was on a TV and I was standing there watching and a coworker walked by and said, "Did he take it back?" Meaning, did he go back on the good things he had to say last night from the Oval Office. "No, not yet," I said, ha ha.

And in the next breath, King George did the equivalent. Refusing to budge on the secret spying of citizens -- and the ignoring of a system set up specifically to guard constitutional liberties -- he actually said:

"The fact that we're having this press conference is helping the enemy."

Karen Hughes slept in this morning.

If I ever say another kind word about the president, somebody slap shit out of me, OK? Y'all on the religious right will understand me when I say, honestly: "I love the president, but hate the presidency."

Now, back to our regularly scheduled, orginal Monday morning blog:


More evidence that Karl Rove is out and that Karen Hughes is back in the saddle again at the White House: President Bush's speech last night from the Oval Office.

"I have a request: do not despair ..."

That ain't Rove talking. It's Bush quoting Hughes through clenched teeth.

It might have been just enough, just in the nick of time.

Those who think poorly of the president will still think poorly of him. Those, like me, who HATE to hate the president, any president, will find reason to give him yet another benefit of the doubt.

But that spying on fellow Americans, not even using the court system set up to allow him to do so, is the kind of arrogance of power that could get him impeached.

In the balancing act of our era, security or liberty -- give me liberty.

Bush is still the leader of the wrong party, and all that implies, in a time when the GOP is as corrupt as, if not more than, it was during U.S. Grant's term.

They should put him in a short yellow White House. But his change of approach, if not change of heart, will get me and some others off his backside for awhile -- at least through Christmas.

This country needs a break from the onslaught. I think I'll take one. With Imus off this week, I have no need to turn on any TV "news" channel, which means I'll be getting my information from more reliable print sources.

In the meantime, thank God for John McCain for having the balls to stand up to the Bush machine. It's his war, too.

Thank God for John Murtha for expressing the courage of his experienced convictions. It's his war, too.

And thank God even for Cindy Sheehan, whose lone voice served its own purpose when no one else had any damn balls. It's her war, too.

Bush started it. But it's our war, too, which the president seemed to at least acknowledge last night. And it will take all of us to work through it -- hawks and doves, Repubs and Dems. And mamas.

I've read my last assertion that those who oppose the war, or the president, are anti-American. People who think so truly are delusional and do not deserve my attention.

This is an American war. All Americans have a stake in it, and a voice in how to proceed.


Sunday, December 18, 2005


Sunday guest blogger: Ice-T

Ehhh! Ehhh! Look at me! Ehhh! I got a modelng contract to pose for this Christmas stocking, thanks to Dr. ER. Ehhh! Aren't I a handsome critter? Ehh! (I still need to learn to meow properly).

See the gift behind me? It's for ER! From me! Dr. ER wrapped it. ER has no idea what it could be! Now, where can I get my paws on a real version of that yummy-looking fake fish they posed me with for that stocking picture???

Mmm-mmmm! Smell that? That's a chicken in a pot ER has going in the kitchen. He came home from church and started bouncing around the house because it just makes him feel so GOOD to have found a church that touches his mind as well as his heart! He felt all homey and Christmassy and decided to fix chicken-and-dumplings while Dr. ER rests up from being ill, and packs up to be gone this week. It smells so good. It makes me a lil woozy!

I sure hope ER fixes me a lil dish of chicky-dumps!!

You would, wouldn't you? How could anyone resist this face???

See all y'all later! Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 16, 2005


'Hole in the World'

Right now, Friday night, on Bravo is an Eagles concert from Australia. They just sang a song that I somehow had missed for four years. Henley said they wrote it the night of 9/11.

It is a spiritual. It made my dang eyes tear up.

I get so tired of being so angry, sometimes. But I can't help it.

I look at what's going on in this country in the name of "security," and I look at what's going on in the so-called "culture war" in the name of Jesus, and it's either get mad or get so sad I don't want to get out of bed.

But I have to get out of bed. And so I'm angry a lot.

Good news -- relatively speaking -- came out of Congress the past couple of days:

McCain prevailed over the administration regarding torture -- torture! The Senate balked at the draconian anti-civil-liberties sections of the Patriot Act.

The House went on record against cuts to food stamps, higher fees on student loans and other spending reductions that would hit children, the elderly and the poor -- symbolic, but important.

The House also called for the administration to give Congress details of secret detention facilities overseas.

And as glad as I am to read of all of that -- people on the opposite side of the political spectrum from me are equally angered and appalled.

And I want to throw my hands up, and throw a fit -- and throw up.

So this song by the Eagles touched me. It's beautiful, with that Eagles five-part harmony. The words alone speak, too, though, and are worth meditating on, I think:


"Hole in the World"

There's a hole in the world tonight.
There's a Cloud of fear and sorrow.
There's a hole in the world tonight.
Don't let there be a hole in the world tomorrow.

They say that anger is just love disappointed.
They say that love is just a state of mind,
but all this fighting over who will be anointed.
Oh how can people be so blind

There's a hole in the world tonight.
There's a Cloud of fear and sorrow.
There's a hole in the world tonight.
Don't let there be a hole in the world tomorrow.

Oh they tell me there's a place over yonder,
cool water running through the burning sand,
until we we learn to love one
another we never reach the promise land.

There's a hole in the world tonight.
There's a Cloud of fear and sorrow.
There's a hole in the world tonight.
Don't let there be a hole in the world tomorrow.

(Repeat CH five times)



Christmas rush

Dr. ER and I must've been in a hurry for Christmas this year. Seems that way anyway, maybe because we are effectively estranged from our Bird.

We've watched the Charlie Brown specials, the Shoot-Your-Eye-Out Movie, "Christmas Vacation," "The Bishop's Wife," "It's a Wonderful Life," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "Rudolph," and just about everything else we usually watch.

We've had hot apple cider on the stove almost every day since Thanksgiving.

Been eating great joints of meat, and pies and other holiday fare.

Been to a Christmas party or two.

I've read Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."

My shopping is done except for one remaining gift I need to find for my dad-in-law.

And Christmas is still nine days away!

Pretty cool, actually, although, assuming Dr. ER is well and able, she will be out of town next week -- which might make me crazy.

Or it might encourage me to work on a journal article that has gone through review already and needs to be revised and resubmitted.

Anyhoo. Dr. ER has been home for quite a spell, and she and Ice-T have had me in a festive mood, festiver than the past few years even -- even with Bird's continued estrangement.


Thursday, December 15, 2005


Bush takes responsibility (sort of)

I dang near missed this. President Bush's speech Wednesday at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars was as close as he will ever come to admitting he was wrong about starting the war in Iraq.

I mean, it's not very close to a mea culpa at all. But since I actually do look for reasons to trust the man, I accept it (sort of), although it pains me to face the fact that the president taking responsibility is a news item, and not a routine matter of course.

I post this to be fair, since I previously complained that a hint, at least, of contrition, was what I, and many others, wanted. There was a hint of contrition (sort of) in Bush's speech yesterday.

Of course, those who look harder than I do for reasons to distrust the president find nothing new in his words at all, and in fact, continue to see dishonesty and fraud. Here is one, from The Moderate Voice, who calls it a "deceptive admission of responsibility."

And, since it is well known that the president is a stubborn man, and does not like to show weakness by admitting mistakes, here, from Doug Thompson's Capitol Hill Blue, is a great backgrounder on the cussing and discussing in the White House that led up to the Wednesday speech.

It's all good stuff. So, today, I disdain President Bush a little less. (That's for you, Mark).

But just a little (sort of).


Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Eminent domain, imminent demise

I am all for this. The Supreme Court's decision in Kelo vs. Connecticut widened the concept of "eminent domain" to a dangerous level.

Oklahoma is the first state to push for a state constitutional amendment to protect private property rights that were swept away by U.S. Supreme Court's Kelo decision in June.

Read all about it from Focus on the Family.

Focus on the ... Family?

Focus on the Family's PAC applauds it. Fine.

Somebody tell me what property rights have to do with "family" or Christianity or, specifically, the Lord Jesus himself.


Focus on the Family and its PAC continues to confuse secular politics and worldly government with the Gospel. James Dobson's worldly influence continues to grow. His spiritual influence is reduced accordingly.

His smart-ass reference to "the Supremes" is especially offensive to me. Dobson would set himself, and his flock, above the law and above the very institutions of American government.

Dobson's fall -- not from secular power, but from eternal influence -- is imminent.

Where a man's treasure lies, there his heart will lie also.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I voted today -- in a church

Voted to fund 911 for cell phones and for two bond issues for the local school district.

I vote for every school bond issue that comes along because so many people think their duty is done after their kids graduate -- or worse, they think they should not have to pay for schools because they don't have kids at all.

It galls Dr. ER, who was raised Catholic, to have to vote in a Baptist church, but she does if she wants to vote, because that's where our polling place is.

Before this, in Texas, I voted at an elementary school named for Davy Crockett.

Before that, in the same town in Texas, I voted at an "alternative" school for "troubled" teens.

Before that, in Stillwater, OK, I voted in an armory.

Before that, before I moved away from home, which at the time was smack between two small towns, I voted in the city hall of one of them.

What kind of joint do you vote in? Has anyone else voted in a church, or is that just an Oklahoma thing?


Monday, December 12, 2005


Not the pretty kind of geysers

Muddy water from Dead Indian Creek spews several feet in the air from a gaping hole where gas broke through the surface on a rural road outside Kingfisher. (Staff Photo by ANDY CARPENEAN, Enid News)

Oh boy. You just can't BUY press like this!

Not only is natural gas and oil field saline and God know WHAT else apparently just spurting out of the dang ground in northwest Oklahoma -- but it's doing so hard by one of our most embarrassing place names:

Dead Indian Creek.


Read more from the Enid News.



Thar she blows!!!!

Whoa! The oil patch is spittin' back??


By The Associated Press

KINGFISHER, Okla. - State and local officials are puzzled by geysers that have erupted in recent days in Kingfisher County, spewing mud and gas into the air.

The geysers have appeared throughout the countryside of rural Kingfisher, with stretches of up to 12 miles between spots and some as short as a quarter of a mile, said fire Chief John Crawford.

The threat of the gas igniting is "unlikely" Crawford said, but a bigger concern is that the gas could begin coming up through water-well lines.

"The gas may be part of an aquifer," he said. "We've checked well sites and pipelines. All things are normal."

Crawford said sheriff's deputies were dispatched to inform residents of the possibility of the gas coming through wells and water systems. Crawford said he did not foresee any reason to evacuate the area.


Prayer for a moral budget

At the Oklahoma Capitol, in the Blue Room, at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14.

(As a member of the working press, I cannot participate in this. I encourage any of y'all who can to do so. Jesus first, people second, religion last, politics dead last. -- ER)

"Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not take care of you?' Then he will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' " (Matthew 24:44-45, NRSV Bible)

On Nov. 18, the U.S. House pass its budget reconcilation bill (HR 4241), cutting nearly $50 billion in social supports, by a vote of 217-215.

This budget bill would:

Cut basic food aid by nearly $700 million over five years.

Deny food stamps to more than 220,000 low-income people each month by 2008.

Cut nearly $10 billion from Medicaid.

Cut nearly $8 billion from foster care, child support enforecement and aid to the disabled.

Gatherings will be held simultaneously around the country the week of Dec. 12. These vigils are being inspired by The Call to Renewal, a faith-based movement to overcome poverty.

The gathering in Oklahoma City is a public witness held by people of faith who are deeply troubled by the budget cuts under consideration in Congress.

Endorsements include Oklahoma Conference of Churches, Catholic Charities, Church of the Open Arms, Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church Standing Committee on Church & Society, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church Legislative Action Coalition, Peace with Justice Task Force of the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Jesus: "Left Behind"

The religious right: An inverted image of the religious left.

With both, Jesus is "left behind."

This is a great article.


By Miroslav Volk
in The Christian Century

A few months ago a friend told me about a conversation he'd had with an atheist in Colorado Springs. That Colorado city, the Mecca of American evangelical Christianity, may be the last place an atheist would feel at home. But there he was, right in the middle of a lion's den. My friend had met him and started talking to him about Jesus. The man was interested. Even those who feel that facing a Christian is like being a piece of meat held out to hungry lions are often attracted to Jesus. After they had studied the Gospels for a few weeks, the atheist's fascination with Jesus grew, but he was puzzled about his spiritual guide. "What kind of Christian are you?" he inquired of my friend. "If you really want to slap a label on me, it should probably be 'evangelical,'" my friend said. "You can't be an evangelical," responded his interlocutor. "You are talking about Jesus!"

Read all about it.


Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, John, Paul, George, Ringo, Red, Redd, George, Norman, Conway, Loretta, Merle, Robin, Steve, Billy, Cheech,Chong and Richard

Some of my earliest influences.

God rest Richard Pryor's tortured soul.


Friday, December 09, 2005


Plunging and heaving

Necklines and bosoms, that is.

Went to a formal holiday function tonight in the line of duty.

There were at least a half-dozen false pairs in the bunch. I swear, they should just hang signs around their necks with a couple of arrows pointin' 'em out.

First glance, ya think: "Hey!"

Second glance, ya think: "Honey, you shouldn'ta gone and done that."

Third glance, if ya dare: They pretend to blush, or act offended.

And you're caught! Because it takes a triple-take to even mentally process some of 'em, they're ... so ... gauche(?) (I think that is the right word.)

It's as jarring and odd as if I'd stuck a pair of socks in the front of my britches, and pretended I didn't want anybody to notice. What. Ev. Er. It is, of course, a free country.


Thursday, December 08, 2005


Churches closed for Christmas!?!

I am aghast and agog. Where is the outrage? Specifically, where is the outrage from people who are so offended not to hear "Merry Christmas" from a complete stranger at the store?

Welcome to the suburbs of Laodicea!

Rank-and-file believers should be calling down Heaven over this.


By RACHEL ZOLL AP Religion Writer
The Associated Press

Dec 6, 2005 — This Christmas, no prayers will be said in several megachurches around the country. Even though the holiday falls this year on a Sunday, when churches normally host thousands for worship, pastors are canceling services, anticipating low attendance on what they call a family day.

Read all about it, from The Associated Press via ABC.


Freeze-dried Okies

Dude. THREE degrees right now, maybe an inch of salt-like snow out there.

Bailey (right) is in the laundry room.

Riker (left) slept in an extra bedroom with a still-ill Dr. ER.

Ice-T was put in solitary confinement in the front bathroom.

We's all snug as could be, though. And it was 4 a.m. before Bailey took to howling, and 6:30 a.m. before Ice-T took to clawin' at the bathroom door. Riker was his usual well-behaved self.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Dowd: Condi tortures the language

I reckon we CAN blame Bubba for this. He dared speak the truth: It does depend on what your definition of "is" is.

Amazing that the same people who condemned Clinton for parsing the language to hide a peccadillo that shamed mostly just himself cheer the same when used to obfuscate a truth that shames us all.

Dowd buried her lead, though:

When Rice was a Stanford professor, she would have flunked any student who dared to present her with the sort of willfully disingenuous piffle she spouted on the eve of her European trip.

Read all about it, via the Times of India, of all places.



Oklahoma snow!

Woo hoo! A glance out my eighth-floor window told me the winter wonderland was makin' itself seen and felt out there, finally.

Good ol' southern Plains salt-like snow. Not flakes. Just little sleet-like things, at least so far.

But it's sticking!

Therefore, I assigned myself to go to a library branch to check out a book I need for something I'm working on. Swung back by a Starbucks on the way back.

The gal behind the counter testified as to how she, bein' from Washington State, had never seen "snow" like this: "It's so dry!"

Well, yeah. I mean, it ain't Colorado powder, but it's good ol' Oklahoma snow!



Barney cam, 2005!

The White House -- OUR White House; it belongs to ALL of us -- sends its annual First Petly cheer from Barney and Miss Beazley, with a bit part played by First Cat Willie.

It's 9 minutes and 48 seconds of silly fun -- and it reminds me that the occupiers, I mean, occupants, of the White House ARE human beings. They're wrongheaded about some things, important things, but so am I.

It's easy to forget that they're not all blinking cursors, headlines, sound bites and little bits of spin. Republics are people, too. (Someone note the time and date).

Now, I ain't goin' soft. But I can set aside my own confounded consternation long enough for a bipartisan romp with the First Pups. Y'all should, too.



Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

I'm afraid we're gonna get gypped. It's dang near 1 p.m. and no precip yet!

Winter wonderland desperately desired!

Bring. It. On.

Here's hopin' ...








"Let us be slow to judge ..."

This came blowin' in amongst the rot over this here Internet contraption today. I love it. And to it, I say, "Amen and amen."


Heavenly Father,

Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Bulletin: Dr. ER blogs!!!

Dr. ER has been sick for two weeks. She felt good enough to blog today! Yay!


My Christmas tree has become a sort of testament to many of the places I’ve been. ...

Read all about it on Dr. ER's blog, My Race Space.



Eight girly reindeer?

Reader mail.

No comment.



According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December.

Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring.

Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, EVERY single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl.
We should've known ... ONLY women would be able to drag a fat-ass man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.

Monday, December 05, 2005


"Moo ... Mouse ears! Mouse ears!"

By The Erudite Redneck

It’s the time of year that causes me to turn to classics in everything I consume. Something about winter and Christmas does that to me.

Reading? “A Christmas Carol,” by Dickens.

Drinking? Finer wines than usual. Or a finer ale, like Chimay, which caused Dr. B to question my Okieness. I even get uppity with regular old beer: Make it a Michelob, please.

Eating? Pot roast for supper last night. The classic: beef, potatoes, onions, carrots, brown gravy.

Music? Ah, well. B, prepare to strip me of all pretense of Okieness. Rem, here, take my R.

The past few days to and from work in my truck I’ve been reaquainting myself with the only opera I can tolerate: Tchaikovsky's “Mazeppa.”

The music is great: at turns dark and foreboding, then bombastic with hints of militaristic bravado -- in short, it’s just so RUSSIAN.

Plus, it’s an intriguing story. And it’s a form of mental exercise to try to follow the story just by listening to the music, both instrumental and vocal.

The singing, of course, is in Russian, and I don’t speak or understand Russian.

At one point, Mazeppa himself, I think, starts a segment by singing what sounds to me like: “Moo!” Later, he belts out what sounds like: “Mouse ears! Mouse ears!”

Any of y’all know Russian, please translate. At both junctures my R comes crashin’ headlong into my E. Talk about a buzz buster and a tone violation!


Sunday, December 04, 2005


Wildmon and Dobson, sittin' in a tree ...

Focus on the Family considers this kind of thing (below) "advocacy journalism," but it's not. It's just advocacy.

And it's "gotcha." It's unfair and unbalanced, in other words. And it's not journalism at all; it's propaganda.

Not that propaganda is a bad thing. They're entitled.

As to the merits of the matter: It peeves me, too, to see stores water down Christmas messages. I am, after all, a Christian.

But guess what? They're not in business to cater to Christians. They're in business in performance of a societal act of worship of Mammon, actually.

(Hee hee. This fundamental[!] strain within the Republican Party cracks me up. Money-grubbing capitalists and Bible-misquoting fundies: Talk about a match made in political hell. It cannot last.)

Focus on the Family, in its self-appointed role as watchdog over all things Christian in American culture, focuses more and more on anything ... but ... family.

ER predicts a break of the political action arm from the ministry arms before too long, and the announcement of a separate organization (NOT -- just a new name). To keep calling it Focus on the Family is silly.

But I digress.

You're known by the company you keep. Focus on the Family, so called, is a conservative Christian outfit that regularly wobbles over into righty-rightness. Donald Wildmon, however, is a right winger extraordinaire.

I'm surprised to see them acting together like this. No way is Wildmon moderating. Focus is veering even more to the right-wing fringe by hitchin' to his wagon.


Target Boycotted Over 'Christmas'
From Focus on the Family

The American Family Association (AFA) has expanded a
nationwide boycott of Target stores. AFA Founder and
Chairman Don Wildmon said the reason is simple: Target
refuses to use the word "Christmas" -- instead referring
only to a generic "holiday."

Read all about it.


Saturday, December 03, 2005


Deer and Christmas kitties play

Charles Robinson, the Minne-SOH-tan who actually came up with and executed (so to speak) what we call the Redneck Christmas Deer, emailed me with a link to a picture essay on the project.

He wrote:

This was not an attempt to be authentic... and it was NOT done in the suburbs! We lived in the suburbs for just over a year and hated it - as well as all those obnoxious light-up deer. So, when we rescued one from a dumpster we decided to string one of those annoying deer up.

South Minneapolis, MN - November 2004

-Charles Robinson

Check it out.

In other holiday livestock and game news, Ice-T thinks the skirt at bottom of our Christmas tree -- getting decorated a little at a time with or without a psychoBird -- is his new bed!


Friday, December 02, 2005


Wide open Friday

I'm worn out today. Been up late and early the last three days getting a historical (not for work) article written before this weekend, so I could relax -- and I'm just too old to stay up until midnight and get up at 4 a.m. more than once in a row.

So, I'm brain-addled.

Fixing to go to Maker's in downtown Oklahoma City for a fancy-ass cigar and a glass or two of Chimay ale, for medicinal purposes only, you see.

In the meantime, y'all run the joint.

Here's something to start on:

What do you want for Christmas: Temporal? Spiritual? Political?


Ribeye roast on my trusty Weber kettle grill might be in the offing sometime over the holidays.

The Lord has been kind enough to let me come skulkin' around His people again after years of going it alone. Thank Him. Hope to continue that.

Political: May we find a way to find consensus again.


Thursday, December 01, 2005


Chicks dig cats! Who knew??

Took Ice-T with me last night for a late latte run to Starbucks. First time for me to take him in a vehicle. It'd been three months or so since he'd even been outdoors.

He started out stunned into that feet-tucked, sorta bunched up pose they get when they're cold, sittin' on the console. About half way there, about 2 miles from the house, he relaxed and crawled in my lap to look out the window.

By the time we got to the drive-through, another mile a half or so, he was talkin' to me.

At the drive-through, Ice-T stole the show! The young ladies in the Starbucks came over and made kissy noises at the kitty!

Chicks dig cats! Who knew? I'da been a cat man a long damn time before now!

Sigh. I remember datin' several girls who had cats, and knowin' lots of others. But it never really sank in. They were just critters up with which to put, to me.

Gaah. The white zin and Kenny G tapes I coulda saved on in the '80s!



Japan ponders war and women

Should the Japanese write warmaking power back into their constitution -- or should that idea be nipped in the bud?

TOKYO - Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Wednesday that Japan‘s pacifist constitution should be changed so the country can legally maintain an armed military force and beef up its national security.

Read all about it from Leading the Charge in New Brisbane.

Should we be alarmed that a country still so leery of women in positions of power, even ceremonial "power," wants to make it easier to go to war? How do you say "Pass the testosterone" in Japanese?

Prince Tomohito, a cousin of Emperor Akihito and fifth in the line of succession, caused a stir when he wrote an essay in September saying Japan should exhaust all other options, including bringing back concubines, before allowing a woman to ascend its imperial throne.

Read all about it from Sign On San Diego.


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