i'm just an incorrigible hustler.
What's on my mind?
I'm selling a Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens. It's a great lens, I simply don't use it as much as I thought I would. $325 + s/h, though if you're local to Dallas, I'm happy to drop it off or have you pick it up.
Do emoticons count as puncuation? If so, what value do they have? Is a smiley face a full stop like a period, or only a partial stop, like a comma or a semi-colon?
me: The book got the green light yesterday. I'm so excited!!
angel: YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So we get $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
me: hahaha, i'm sure i'll be rolling in the dough from my obscure, new testament textual criticism related essay.
Article I, Section II specifies that "The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States." If it wasn't already clear that this is about an individual right to vote, the 17th Amendment makes it so by stating that "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years." In other words, Article I, Section II along with the 17th Amendment provide that the entire legislative branch is elected by means of popular vote.
The 14th Amendment outlines the consequences if "the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof is denied...or in any way abridged" for male inhabitants, over 21 years of age, and who are citizens of the United States.
The 15th Amendment clarifies further that "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
The 19th Amendment clarifies even further that "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."
The 24th Amendment clarifies yet further still that "The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax."
The 26th Amendment clarifies once and for all that "The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age."
And finally, even if, contrary to their plain meaning, none of the Articles or Amendments listed above presumed a right to vote and none of them were simply specifying the conditions under which it could not be denied or abridged, a defense of the right to vote would still be legitimate based on the 9th Amendment, which specifically points out that just because certain rights are enumerated in the Constitution, that does not imply that they are the only rights retained by citizens of the United States.
That is all.
[Abbreviated version of this comment. See Brian's response here.]
Just...wow. My new favorite political commentator, Brian Fulthorp, has outdone himself with his latest post. I'm seriously considering getting a Wordpress ID just to be able to comment on it. In this post, Brian makes the following assertion:
Now putting aside the fact that in the only concrete example he cites, Barack Obama does not once speak of a "right" to fair pay AND putting aside the fact that things like voting and fair pay and universal health care are quite obviously the GREATEST THREATS to democracy EVER, and that anyone pushing for them is quite obviously unfit for office AND putting aside the fact that the right to vote is actually in the Constitution...wait, no, let's not put that one aside: THE RIGHT TO VOTE IS IN THE CONSTITUTION. It's right there, most helpfully in the 15th amendment (emphasis mine):
According to Democrats the following entitlements belong to us:
the right to vote
the right to fair pay (here is an example)
the right to lower gas prices
the right to universal health care
the right to other people’s money (especially the evil rich) iow: special tax credits
on and on the list goes
It’s all really amazing! Note: none of these “rights” are noted in the Constitution. None. When will the silliness end?
There is of course also the 14th amendment, which says this (emphasis mine):
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.Now, with an amendment like that, you can almost understand why someone would get the silly little idea of "equal work, equal pay" in their head.
As I've said before, I'm happy to disagree with people on issues of political preference. I understand that not everyone is going to agree with me about what direction this country should head in. But, COME ON. Can we at least not woefully misrepresent what the Constitution says in a transparent attempt to score some cheap political points?
I know this blog has become much more political in the last few months, and particularly in the last few weeks. I know also that it's quite obvious I'm in the tank for Obama. If either of those two things bother you, then I suggest that you pass on the upcoming post. There will be plenty of others that will be closer in content and tone to what I normally post on (which, while hard to define in its own right, has some connection to the intersection of scholarship and religion).
I am concerned that not a few Democrats think companies making a profit is somehow a bad thing. Like one talk radio guy says “What’s good for the economy is bad for Democrats” because they tend to cater to a doom and gloom situation so as to garner more votes.John McCain's chief strategist, Charlie Black:
The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December was an "unfortunate event," says Black. "But his knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who's ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us." As would, Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. "Certainly it would be a big advantage to him," says Black.Talk amongst yourselves.
Though I still have quite a lot of reading (blogs and otherwise) to catch up on, I'm back, and after a good night's sleep, I feel great. Though I do and will forever hate Delta airlines.
I've been stuck in airports and on airplanes since 1130PM Sunday night. I won't be getting into Dallas until 1 in the morning tonight, if I'm lucky. I hate this part.
From his earlier assertion that he would use public funding, Obama has changed his mind. Why? Because he’s a politician and when something is to his advantage he will use it and when something isn’t he will abandon it. Obama is just like every other lying politician and why - in spite of all his blather about ‘change’ - he will be nothing else than a politician who does business as usual.Properly-measured reaction:
Third, he's a politician. He's going to disappoint us. If I were one of those people who I suspect live mostly in the imaginations of columnists at the National Review -- the people who think Obama is the messiah, capable of making the lion lie down with the lamb, cooling the planet with the touch of his hand, bringing the dead back to life, and so on -- I suppose I'd have just dissolved in tears and sworn off politics for life. Luckily, I'm not. And at times like this, I just cast my mind back over previous Democratic nominees -- Kerry, Clinton, Dukakis -- and think: FISA compromise or no FISA compromise, he's still the best candidate I can remember.
It was already 1.30; we thought we could get there by 6 pm. The roads were good, but sometimes included twisty mountainous paths no bigger than Texas alleys. Our little Hyundai four-seater could maneuver only so well on those mountain roads. The ‘highway’ was punctuated with crosses, reminding us that death was no stranger to these paths. And Greece is only recently discovering guard rails.
We were able to arrive about 30 minutes early, but it took us another 15 to find the mayor’s office. One of the guys was driving and even though we were in a sardine can of a car, when he tried to parallel park, he scraped the side of our brand new rental car against the front bumper of a parked car. Hopefully, not an omen of things to come!
Peter Leithart has a post up arguing that Barack Obama can't win because he's not a "Jacksonian Warrior":
Two things to say about this. First of all, this kind of argument strikes me as a bit ridiculous. There is an abstract principle at work here ("Americans like fighters") versus an objective reality (Obama just beat a fighter for the ages in Hillary Clinton) and a coming reality that doesn't look very different (Obama has a significant lead in pretty much any current poll or electoral projection, as well as a devastating financial advantage in an age when pretty much everyone dislikes their Republican representatives, particularly the President). Second of all, does this sound like a "Academidician/Priest" to you:
Obama is an Acamedician and a priest. He is Adlai Stephenson rather than Scoop Jackson. And he is facing a Jacksonian warrior to top all warriors.
America is a Jacksonian/warrior nation. Emery points out that Americans, even in the supposedly racist South, are perfectly willing to vote for a black candidate, provided he shows the grit, fighting spirit, and strength they admire.
Sounds pretty warrior-like to me.
Now in their attempt to distort my position, Senator McCain’s campaign has said I want to pursue a law enforcement approach to terrorism. This is demonstrably false, since I have laid out a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy that includes military force, intelligence operations, financial sanctions and diplomatic action. But the fact that I want to abide by the United States Constitution, they say, shows that I have a “pre-9/11 mindset.”
Well I refuse to be lectured on national security by people who are responsible for the most disastrous set of foreign policy decisions in the recent history of the United States. The other side likes to use 9/11 as a political bludgeon. Well, let’s talk about 9/11.
The people who were responsible for murdering 3,000 Americans on 9/11 have not been brought to justice. They are Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and their sponsors – the Taliban. They were in Afghanistan. And yet George Bush and John McCain decided in 2002 that we should take our eye off of Afghanistan so that we could invade and occupy a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. The case for war in Iraq was so thin that George Bush and John McCain had to hype the threat of Saddam Hussein, and make false promises that we’d be greeted as liberators. They misled the American people, and took us into a misguided war.
Here are the results of their policy. Osama bin Laden and his top leadership – the people who murdered 3000 Americans – have a safe-haven in northwest Pakistan, where they operate with such freedom of action that they can still put out hate-filled audiotapes to the outside world. That’s the result of the Bush-McCain approach to the war on terrorism.
Please, forward this to all your friends. There are some things the American people need to know about Barack Obama. We're running out of time!
See even more SCANDALOUS DETAILS right here.
Subject: WHO IS BARACK OBAMA?
There are many things people do not know about BARACK OBAMA. It is every American's duty to read this message and pass it along to all of their friends and loved ones.
Barack Obama wears a FLAG PIN at all times. Even in the shower.
Barack Obama says the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE every time he sees an American flag. He also ends every sentence by saying, "WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL." Click here for video of Obama quietly mouthing the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE in his sleep.
A tape exists of Michelle Obama saying the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE at a conference on PATRIOTISM.
Every weekend, Barack and Michelle take their daughters HUNTING.
Barack Obama is a PATRIOTIC AMERICAN. He has one HAND over his HEART at all times. He occasionally switches when one arm gets tired, which is almost never because he is STRONG.
I've been thinking about LOST and there are some things I want to get off my chest about the upcoming seasons.
Who does Sun blame for Jin's death? The two people Sun blames are almost certainly her father and...Ben, right? Otherwise what was she talking about with Widmore and their "common interests." This would make sense if Bentham had visited her (like he did Jack, Kate, Walt, and probably Hurley) and explained that it was Ben's murdering Keamy that led to the ship blowing up. However, If Jin is alive (I think he is, and I'll explain in a moment), wouldn't Bentham also have told her that, particularly if he wanted her to return to the island? So that throws me off. Of course, it could be that Sun also blames Widmore, and is setting up an opportunity to take him out.
Is Jin really dead? Personally, I don't in the least bit think Jin is dead. When major characters die, they get quite the send off. See Charlie's death last year for the absolute extreme there, but we can see the same thing with Boone, Shannon, Eko, and Libby. At the very least, we see the way they die. With Jin, the last image we have is of him waving his hands at the helicoptor from the deck. When they cut to the boat just before the explosion, there's pretty clearly no one on the deck. I'm content to go by the rule that if we don't see someone die, they're probably still alive.
Where did Ben move the island? The island didn't move in space, but in time. This seems pretty clear to me from the orchid orientation video. Marvin Candle talks about sending the rabbit into the future by 100 milliseconds, "while the rabbit will appear to disappear, in reality" and then the tape starts to rewind. In the same way, the island appeared to disappear to the O6, Desmond and Frank. So, in all likelihood, the island has been moved into the future. This might also explain why the person who moves the island "can't" go back to it: they're sent to a different time altogether. What doesn't make sense is why this would prevent Widmore from finding the island. If it only moved in time, then eventually (say three years later) it would appear again in the same place.
What's Ben's angle and why does he look so freaky when he visits Jack at the funeral parlor? As Ben explained to Locke, he always has a plan. I think he's found a way to get back to the island, but it requires reuniting the O6 + Locke on the island. So he's either lying to them about why they have to go back, or he found a way to get Bentham to lie for him, or he's the one who originally made the "very bad things" happen on the island to get Locke to leave and try and bring the O6 back. Also, I don't know why he looks so freaky.
What very bad things happened on the island? Assuming that the island hasn't been found or stumbled upon by anyone else, the very bad things have to involve people we already know on the island: the remaining losties, the others/dharma/the hostiles, and the newbies (Charlotte, Faraday, and Miles). It's possible that there are still two separate camps, and that they're fighting, but I doubt that's it. Perhaps the smoke monster went crazy, but I don't think that's it either. I think the show has set up the idea of constants and how the characters need to be constants for each other through all those little connections the characters don't know about themselves. I think when the O6 left the island, and when the island time jumped, people started having the time consciousness sickness, and some of them died because they couldn't find constants. Or something.
That's it for now. It'll be a long summer and fall, though, so I'm sure there will be more.
I'm not sure if you know this about me, but I love naps.* Like, LOVE THEM. And I think you should too. To that end, Lifehacker [via 43 folders] has posted a link to the Boston Globe's awesome sidebar on napping, and how to do it best, complete with infograph. If you would like to restore order to your life, do yourself a favor and nap more.
*I'm just kidding. I know you didn't know that about me.
James McGrath moans about how Obama's not the anti-christ. LAME. I like my Revelation speculation positive, not negative, thank you very much, which is why Scott Bailey's identification of Tiger Woods as the anti-christ is much more helpful.
While on the topic of what other movies should get re-made right away à la The Hulk, Peter Suderman relates of an afternoon that Nick Norelli would love:
While on this topic, I should add that Marvel already seems to have answered this question. The studio is making another Punisher film, hoping people will forget the awful one they made with Thomas Jane a few years back (as well, presumably, as the late-night cable ready Dolph Lundgren actioner that was put out in the late 80s). The trailer suggests it will be 1) both very red in hue and 2) at least somewhat better (though probably still no better than enjoyably bad, but it won’t have the release-date advantage of the original. That film hit theaters on the same day as Kill Bill 2, which meant I got to do a glorious revenge-film double header: roughly four full hours of buttery popcorn and faux-righteous, over-the-top violence. The original Punisher was indeed a hilariously terrible movie, but it made for a nearly perfect warm up for the second half of Tarantino’s opus of referential ass-kicking. Context can do wonders for even the cruddiest film.
In an effort to keep it simple, short, and easy to follow, I'd like to challenge you to quote one verse (not one chapter). And then say what the Lord has been teaching you in one sentence (not one paragraph). Then tag 5 peeps (you know the drill).And now, I will proceed to break those rules.
στραφεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ θεασάμενος αὐτοὺς ἀκολουθοῦντας λέγει αὐτοῖς· τί ζητεῖτε; οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ· ῥαββί, ὃ λέγεται μεθερμηνευόμενον διδάσκαλε, ποῦ μένεις; λέγει αὐτοῖς· ἔρχεσθε καὶ ὄψεσθε. ἦλθαν οὖν καὶ εἶδαν ποῦ μένει καὶ παρ᾿ αὐτῷ ἔμειναν τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκείνην· ὥρα ἦν ὡς δεκάτη.The reason I've used the Greek is that I happened to actually read this in Greek when it struck me. As to what the Lord's been teaching me through it, that I ought to seek him more: the simplicity (yet also gravity) of Jesus' ἔρχεσθε καὶ ὄψεσθε is most striking to me.
And should they wish to participate, I would invite Bryan, Josh, Scott, Pat, and should he emerge from wherever he's gone into hiding, Ryan.
As requested, here is John 1:38-39 in English (ARPT*):
Now, when Jesus turned around and saw them following him, he said to them, "What do you seek?" And they said to him, "Rabbi (which translated means teacher), where do you live?" He said to them, "Come and you will see." So they came and saw where he was living, and they stayed with him that day. It was 4 o'clock.In all honesty, when I first read this a few days ago, I confused the ποῦ (where) with πω (how). I still think Jesus' answer has great power, which is why I used this verse anyway, but it does take a bit away from the initial impact (personally, anyway).
*a rough personal translation
best sign ever. unfortunately, the store was closed when i took the pic, otherwise, i'd be getting more and more right now.
along the port on patmos, i passed by this rusty old...well, i don't even know what it is. and i had to take a picture.
i had no idea how few comments i've responded to in the last two months or so. apologies all around. if you had previously commented on one of my posts, and had been utterly disappointed by my lack of attention, it has now been rectified.
In the last 24 hours, I've been on two ferries, traveled from one end of the Aegean Sea to the other and back, navigated a sea of Europeans exiting both ferries with about 60 pounds of equipment, and survived a taxi ride in which the scariest thing was not that the driver failed to put his seat belt on as we started, but that he opted to put it on midway through the trip as we passed not one but two different cars as oncoming traffic made their displeasure unknown.
On the other hand, I'm island hopping in Greece right now, and four years ago I didn't even have a passport. So suffering is, I suppose, a relative term.
My mom found my blog. Hi, mom!
I thought about devoting a whole post to this, but Bryan put it better than I ever could.
In response to a couple of recent posts about Obama, I wrote this last night. It seems that at least one of the authors to whom I was responding (Nick Norelli) didn't appreciate my response. I can't be completely sure because (1) I'm not sleeping enough right now, and my judgment may be off (even moreso than normal!) and (2) it's difficult to tell these kinds of things over the internet. Either way, I wanted to take this opportunity to write about (obvious alert) the perils of blogging.
First, let me say that I love Nick's blog. Unless my blogroll has changed without my knowledge, he's on it, and is one of the 20 or so blogs that I make sure to read pretty much every day. While I don't agree with everything he writes, I enjoy nearly all of it. The trick, however, is that when I do decide to comment on something, it's almost certainly because I disagree with him. Therefore, it seems as if I disagree with Nick far more often than I actually do. This phenomenon is not reserved solely for RDTWOT (Jim West's is another one for me), and I'm sure it's not something that only I encounter.
But I'm not totally sure how to correct it. I guess I could endeavor to voice my agreement with bloggers more often if I also plan on disagreeing with them. I don't think I was being particularly unfair to Nick in this post, so I find it difficult to imagine trying to write less contentiously (though, admittedly, I do not see without my own bias, so perhaps I'm just missing it).
Anyway, it's a peculiar phenomenon, and I'd love to hear how others deal with it. As far as this particular situation goes, I've responded to some of Nick's criticisms here, and apologized for raising his ire.
michael ian black is a comedian. if you watched the greatest romantic comedy television show of all time, you know his work. he usually writes really absurd posts, which are funny, but most recently he posted a well-reasoned rebuttal to one of his commenters who touched on the "lesser of two evils" style of politics. i agree with black completely: i think that's an overly pessimistic view of politics that is used to get people off the hook for apathy more than it reflects reality. we are a representative democracy, and we get the government we deserve. if you think you're continually forced to choose between the lesser of two evils, do something about it.
Brian of συνεσταυρομαι has written a post about a recent Wall Street Journal article on the freshly-minted, presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic party, Barack Obama. I don't think he's a fan. As I am a fan, however, I thought I would take the opportunity to respond to his criticisms (of Obama, not the Wall Street Journal). There seem to be two main ones. First of all, that Obama is unaccomplished (giving us the title of our post):
Can anyone tell me of even one thing Obamassiah has accomplished legislatively? Just one?I'd be happy to! After a very little bit of research, it's apparent that Obama has actually accomplished quite a bit as a community organizer, Illinois State Senator, and United States senator, particularly for someone so young. The author of two of those points, hilzoy (a liberal blogger who quite obviously can't be trusted with hyperlinks) puts it better than I can:
There he was, working for nuclear non-proliferation and securing loose stockpiles of conventional weapons, like shoulder-fired missiles. There he was again, passing what the Washington Post called "the strongest ethics legislation to emerge from Congress yet" -- though not as strong as Obama would have liked. Look -- he's over there, passing a bill that created a searchable database of recipients of federal contracts and grants, proposing legislation on avian flu back when most people hadn't even heard of it, working to make sure that soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan were screened for traumatic brain injury and to prevent homelessness among veterans, successfully fighting a proposal by the VA to reexamine all PTSD cases in which full benefits had been awarded, working to ban no-bid contracts in Katrina reconstruction, and introducing legislation to criminalize deceptive political tactics and voter intimidation.The fact is that's really only the beginning of all the literature you could dive into. If anyone is actually interested in learning more about Obama, it's easy enough to find out. As far as his policies go, there's a very helpful link right on his website for detailed policy initiatives (PDF) on issues ranging from the war to the environment to the economy, and more. I understand that there are those who do not share my enthusiasm for Barack Obama and his record. I look forward to speaking, dialogging, and debating with many of them over the coming months. But can we at least not pretend that he doesn't have a record in the first place?
Secondly, apparently someone wrote about how "the world" embraced Obama's nomination, and Brian took issue with that embrace:
I guess too, “the world,” those supposed haters of America, those who want to see a weaker US, are enthralled by Obama winning the nomination - an not because of anything he has actually done but what he seems to be.This criticism of Obama is particularly difficult to understand. Is it Brian's position that we should avoid doing things as a country of which other countries (or the citizens of those countries) might approve? What of the apposition of "the world" with "those supposed haters of America"? Supposed by whom? Why exactly is it that the world wants to see a weaker United States? I'm generally not in the line of pissing off people just for the fun of it, so I fail to see why the United States would want to spite the world just for spite's sake? I like Barack Obama. I'm glad he's the nominee, and hope he wins in November. If the rest of the world wants to join me, the more the merrier!
As far as who he is, goes, who he is seems pretty good to me. It is historic that he is the first major party nominee to, you know, not be white. What's wrong with celebrating that? It's not the reason he's the nominee by any means, and I don't know who Nick is talking to, but it's not the reason people I know are voting for him. In fact, if you actually look at why people say they've voted for him, race is simply not one of the top factors. Its the economy, or the war, or the way the present administration has so completely screwed things up. Of course people want change! Of course we want hope!
Anyway, it's late, and I should be sleeping, but I just wanted to give Brian or anyone else the chance to see that, whatever things can be said of Barack Obama, unaccomplished is not among them.