Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Friend Fights Facebook

You can take me down
To show me your home
Not the place where you live
But the place where you belong
You can bend my ear
We can talk all day
Just make sure you're around
When I've finally got something to say

Toad the Wet Sprocket

I will refer to my friend as a variable: He is person (X). Nevermind, he is Chris. Though communication has failed us through the years their are great memories so that when we cross paths it is a gift to continue the friendship. He is eccentric, different than I, so though we share certain truths (small T) his foundation is appealing in its difference. We happened upon each other the night of the election and engaged in a virtual dialogue surrounding the historic event and the possible consequences for man and country. Subsequently Chris began to comment with a certain degree of unexpected frequency as to the word salad ramblings from my fingers. Personhood was a topic that was just getting good when Chris dropped off Facebook. His reason...the egoism and self-serving nature of the medium was just too much and he could not philosophically reconcile his participation on the application.

I was not taken aback by his comments as there was some virtual discussion in the not so distant past in which he raised the question of why people might care about others to the extent that so much his shared on the internet. Valid question. I have, for the most part, been a proponent of community and the joy the other takes in what you disclose to them. Although I would not agree in majority to a Hegelian view of man in society, I do agree to an extent that the self is further defined by society and hence our need for community. But mediums like Facebook raise the ante a bit and Chris forced my hand.

For example, why do folks use their "status" as a means to express opinion? I have done it so I can answer for myself: I do it to get my point across on a grand scale as it forces anyone who can see to become a part of my thinking. If I put it in a note or on my wall it might never get read. Chris is therefore right...egoism...selfishness. Why do I believe that anyone cares? My reaction is to turn the question back on him: why do I care if anyone cares? If my purpose is to share a part of me I am opening myself up in the hope of a response and hence dialogue. In turn my efforts at community are satisfied in that a specific relationship is better defined. I simply don't see it as a negative. At times it is an annoyance and surely there are those who have seen my "status" and wished I would, in a virtual sense, shut up.

Chris's sentiment did ?inspire? me to blank out my status though I haven't remained true to that agenda. To a greater extent it forced me to reconcile my cynicism with my hope once again, a contradiction and hypocrisy I accepted many years ago. Rather than be disgusted by the "look at me" perspective I could take with respect to Facebook I side with the perspective that there is a level of sincerity in my "friends". Rather than their sharing be a need for them to be affirmed or seen, I will accept that they are merely wanting to be known for the sake of community and the happiness found in friendship.

Surely there is a level of Truth (big T) in both positions that Chris and I take. However, Chris has (and for the last time he claims) deleted his Facebook account requiring that I now utilize email or phone as how we communicate. I'll miss the pictures and other updates to his life. I respect and understand why he had to do what he did. I hope he changes his mind...again.

Egoism is the very essence of a noble soul.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Friday, September 19, 2008

On Another Level

I think, therefore I am.

Oh Descartes.....

No this isn't going to lead into a treatise on the short comings or the wisdom of the quote. I thought it was a good lead into this long anticipated blog! ;)

I sat through the Jaguars\Bills game this past weekend and came to a realization that I didn't love football as much as I used to. Maybe it was the fact that our tailgating is limited due to friends who didn't renew season tickets or that the game was quite hot or that the Jags are losing. I dismiss all of those and defer to the realization that my time is limited.

I have roughly 5 more years of my son living in my house (assuming he leaves for college.) After that another 5 years of my daughter. Soon it will be only my wife and I...well, I'm sure a dog plays into the scene. There is nothing, I am reminded, that you can keep.

Maybe turning 40 did have a covert affect on my world view: I did recently re-discover Thoreau. Maybe it was my son's realization that he has an artistic side he wants to investigate. I found that the values I held tight to in my 20's and early 30's vanished but have now bloomed. The Utilitarianism has faded somewhat for the sake of Hedonism. To clarify, the sense of duty has taken a back seat to the pleasure of Being. The wanting to surround myself with friends and family in an effort to establish memories...possibly a means of literary immortality.

I still embrace my son's football and my daughter's cheerleading. It isn't the event itself that I'm averse to. The thought of who I enjoy the moment with has become quite important. Sitting with my wife and my friends, Vic and Chuck, struck a chord that vibrated the question "you paid how much for this to spend these 6 hours with mostly strangers?"

Soon my friends and I will buy Rosetta Stone and learn some new language. I will soon begin teaching my children basic lawn and home maintenance. I want to continue to progress as a human, but I want to do it in the company of those I love. Not being alone is a privilege that I believe many take for granted.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Blah, Blah, Blah, Ginger

Does anyone remember the Far Side comic strip "what dogs hear"? With the forthcoming election, and having survived the Democratic Primary, is anyone else hearing "blah, blah, blah, voter"?

To be honest I've been wanting to blog something. I read Matt's blog (see links to the right) and he lays out such interesting and biographical commentary and I'm simply dry. I've begun re-reading my women in religion books to feed my need to ground my understanding of man's progressive understanding of a god\goddess. I'm still working on my problem of evil class curriculum. I have yet to finish my book on the middle east and how their religious structure precludes any successful understanding from our government and population as a whole. Too many irons in the fire.

Oh, and I turn 40 in 6 days and to be quite honest I don't feel any different. Bucking the "mid-life crisis" stereotype with guns blazing.

I did engage a close friend regarding how God is protrayed in the tower of Bable story. Still waiting on his blog response.

My problem of prayer issue is dying...I'll probably pick that book up again to resolve some conflicts...or to foster more...still an odd concept.

I do have a sprint tri this weekend that I feel too weak from the bike standpoint.

Blah, blah, blah, reader. I am so sorry.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pox on the cynic

So Cook wins...damn my lack of faith in the American public. I'm sure they'll live down to my expectations some time soon.

For example...HC telling "racists" (or rednecks as they were noted) that she won't accept their votes? Really?! Because if race is a factor for voting whites then its racism. But if the blacks say they are voting for Obama or if women say they are voting for HC that isn't an -ism? This is the country we live in. These are our leaders. All of your are fools if you buy into this party mentality. More on this later.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Idol or I Doll?

I got sucked in. For the first year I got sucked in. I can't explain why but American Idol has been a staple in our house for the past 2 months. I vowed never to watch because the show spits out the flavor of the month rather than a true "talent". Find a pretty face and\or a nice voice then plug into the formula.

Now all things being equal I'm not much for pop music. If I could pour molten lead down the throats of Mariah Carey, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Celine Dion I would. But their loaded while my taste ends up in small arenas or clubs.

It further came to a head when "America" voted off Carly Smithson. Not the most polished of voices but the girl could perform. Jesus Christ, Superstar was an amazing show and watching her enjoy it as much as she did should've allowed her to move on (while reggae boy mulled through the same crap over and over and over...). Taking my stand to kick the AI habit they sucked me back in with Neil Diamond week, only to be almost completely sickened by the weak attempts at singing Neil's classics. Blah.

So here I am during finals week, trying to care. Knowing full well that DA will take this thing because he is 1) cute 2) has a refined voice and 3) all he sings are ballads. As a total cycnic I don't believe for one second the American public will see beyond the boredom that is DA. Let me restate, I'm not saying the kid doesn't have a great voice. What I am saying is that he isn't anything special as the total package. I can see him on Broadway. I can see him on the Disney Channel. Beyond that I can't see him being a star.

DC, on the other hand, has the presence and the personality. His voice isn't as polished but he can sing a ballad or a rocker and you're still interested. He also sings with passion where as DA sounds plastic. How could anyone think that DA's rendition of Imagine was good? It lacked all soul and the lyrics were lost behind the syrup of DAs voice. School girls will love him and I'm sure he'll have top selling ballads but if you buy a CD can you honestly expect a full lineup of great DA songs? DC can give you the range of styles to keep you interested.

I do think DA will win simply because I have no faith in the American music public. Their taste tends to be throw away music that can't stand the test of time. But I guess that is what POP music is all about. If American Idol is about the total package then DC is your winner. If is about who is vocally more polished then DA is your winner. If the mass of voters are giddly little school girls then DA is your winner.

What happened to me?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Fall of the Roaming Empire

I was joking with my son the other day about the paradox of life. At what point do we begin dying? As I approach the big "40", society says you should evaluate where you are. Really? To be fair I've been doing that for about the past 24 years. Considering where I could be, the parts that don't bring at least 50.1% of total joy pale. More satisfying job? Sure. Better family? No. End of argument.

I don't want a new\fast car. I don't need a young girl...well any more than I have for the past 28 years. :) I don't buy the mid-life crisis mantra. Interesting note:

A midlife crisis is experienced between the ages of 40 and 60. It was first identified by the psychologist Carl Jung and is a normal part of the maturing process.

To circle back, dying can't be such an open process. Are we speaking biologically or mentally? Spiritually (whatever that means) or process wise? I mean, life is a process so you could argue that you start dying when you give up. When you consider that the world has given you all it can and now you just sit back and let it take you away.

There should only be one fall of the roaming empire...when the line goes flat. Until then we should be obligated to move on to new ideas and places. Ensure that you retain that foundation that all empires must Family. Friends. And this isn't some mid-life comment. It is youth and elderly based. It is a realization of Truth.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ben Stein On Intelligent Design

No I haven't seen the movie but I did find this nice site that reviewed it. I'm curious as to whether I will have a similar opinion. I am entertained that she considers Sicko so highly and yet comes down so hard on the Stein movie. Smacks of attraction to the opinion of the movie as opposed to the movie itself. If the movie is bad or good because of the content, that isn't really a review of the movie but rather a review of opinion promoted. That would be akin to a bad review of Harry Potter because you don't like witchcraft or sorcery.

That being said, this blog is an intelligent read and gets some good both in favor of an opposed to her reviews.

Friday, April 11, 2008

That Old Black Magic Has Me In Its Fortune Cookie

A promise of overhaul and nothing yet. Tic, Tic, Tic.

A promise of intelligent dialogue hijacked on forums. Tock, Tock, Tock.

"I wear black on the outside, because black is how I feel on the inside." Ring, Ring, Ring

Because it is cool to be an atheist. Because it is cool to be agnostic. Because it is cool to be a christian. Because it is cool to be a NIN fan. Because it is cool to hate NIN. Because preppy is cool. Because I hat preps. Because being punk is cool. Because I hate punks. Because Democrats rule. Because Republicans are racist war mongers. Because Democrats are socialist hypocrties. Because Republicans actually have a position and a belief.

Belonging > Be-Longing
For the follower.

You are what you despise. You just wear different clothes. You are George Bush. You are Hillary Clinton. You are Barrack Obama. You are Al Gore. You are John McCain. You are Paris Hitlon. You are Britney Spears. You are Trent Reznor. You are Morrissey.

The shell may be dyed but the yolk is still yellow.

Where is the Philosopher King?
Quit pretending you know and listen.
Quit posing.

One of my best friends is a Catholic lesbian, married w2 daughters (both baptised in the Catholic church) and a staunch Republican. That equals being yourself in the face of what the Other tells you you must be.

Lesbians say you can't be a lesbian and a Republican.
Catholics say you can't be a lesbian and a Christian.
Christians say you can't love God and be a lesbian.

Nothing original in the fortune cookie.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Falling on my own sword

With shovel in hand I began carve out of the earth a place for the casket of Obama's presidential bid. The idea of alligning one's self with a "religious leader" who spews such vitriole surely seemed the silver bullet. It was something I was not happy to see. I had already resigned myself to the idea that this election would not be about policy. I would not allow myself to get caught up in the debate over such meaningless issues such as banning gay marriage with a constitutional amendment with respect to a candidate. Rather I would recognize that this election is about PR and a God-head. America needs a pretty face. America needs to change its suit and paint its fence. Policy is not something soley defined by one man (hello congress) and as we have seen over the past 16 years a president is as much defined by his actions as by his looks and speech. More so by the economy. Lest we forget that Clinton benefitted from the Dot Com boom. Lest we forget that Clinton also wanted Hussein removed from power and did put forth policy to remove him. So while we, and justifiably so, look dourly upon the past 8 years and the quagmire of Iraq and the recession, blame on one man plays totally into the hands of the partisan politcal machine. Don't be cattle.

Now where was I......

So I resigned myself to the idea that America needs a new face. For years I had looked at all the parties (not just the big 2) and would vote based on what I felt was the best platform. Not this time. I would fall on my sword and be reborn as someone who I once hated. A person who voted for the pretty candidate. A person who voted Republican because of the religious right. A person who voted Democrat because they were in a union. Never did I consider that this rebirth would be something more critical and significant that the aforementioned reasons.

Neither party satisfies my conditions but I am a registered Republican. I am more moderate (a fiscal conservative and social liberal) and tended to fall closer to a Libertarian. But the idea of having a woman or a racial minority as president struck a chord in me. What message would this send about white, puritanical America? From a social perspective the ramifications would be, hopefully, something the world would see as progress. Such change could help with foreign relations. That is not to say we drastically change policy, but a new suit sure does make heads turn.

Our choices: a very liberal Obama and a Clinton. I was one who did not vote for but did support the first 6 years of Bill. But Hillary was simply too poll driven. Obama too new. In looking at what the Republicans had to offer I felt there was no way the elephants could take this. McCain is a great American and one who I supported with all my heart in 2000. He is more moderate and that is a good thing for the country though it appears not the party (good grief I can go on tangents).

Focus Fullford!!!!!!

So I'm bleeding on my sword and watching the mushroom cloud that is the Obama campaign. Then came the speech....

There are questions regarding his lack of specifics. There are questions regarding the idea of associating with someone so hateful and divisive. There always are questions. But what struck me more than anything else was that a black man, in a powerful position, in the Democratic party, was telling black citizens that racial tension goes both ways. That many whites feel animosity towards blacks blaming them when they have done nothing wrong. Whites have been saying this for years but to deaf ears. This sentiment can only be effective coming from a black man to the black community. At this the needle again pointed north.

Maybe Obama isn't the most qualified. Maybe he will need to surround himself with seasoned and more learned individuals (Bush). I can't help but see the potential for making domestic progress in race relations if Obama is elected. I could be wrong and I respect the counter argument. But I'm willing to sacrifice the next 4 years and put some faith in our leaders. I want my children and their children to live in a country where race is less of an issue and I believe this could be a big step forward for this country...away from the past.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Prayer Is Odd

The concept of prayer has confounded me for years. Let me be more specific: the idea of praying for something. Meditation makes sense. The idea that one pauses to reflect and clear the mind. The idea of emptying all thoughts and then bringing them back in anew. The idea of repetition, a mantra, to ingrain a mind set or character trait. Beyond that, prayer is a strange action that is more akin to insanity in that you are talking to someone who isn't there from a tangible standpoint. You can believe "It" is there but you can walk into any psych ward and find many people who will tell you of the voices.

For example, you can pray for patience. But what happens when you pray for someone to get well? If the person dies is God not answering the prayer? Were you praying for the wrong thing? Were you not "saintly" enough for God to hear your prayer? The Bible says Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.–Matt. 18:20. But what does that mean with respect to answering prayer?

If prayer is evaluated in hindsight then prayer because utilitarian. By that I mean a vehicle through which objective validation becomes the measuring stick. Prayer should be spritually edifying. If you make it something to prove out, the subjective aspect bears nothing to its need.

Karl Barth notes that it is always better to pray for something, even if you think it might be inappropriate, than not to pray at all. But that points to the idea of prayer as a means of establishing a relationship and in turn the outcome should not matter. Is that the goal: a relationship rather than an answer? In that light prayer does not become something that demands the "Other" respond but rather that the "Other" just be there. This of course begs the question of what said presence may be and how you come to conclude there is presence. But here we have the subjective religious experience in which the participant constitutes the "Other". Even if the qualities given are false, it may not necessarily negate presence but rather substance.

To hear someone say "I prayed wrong" or "I prayed for the wrong thing" is merely stating the fact that one cannot know the outcome of events nor can we change them. Furthermore it explicitly claims we do not know what is best with respect to the world as progress. I admit this implies we exist in the best of all possible worlds and accept that. But doesn't everything imply a foundation of which we presuppose something? In this light, prayer really becomes something that is just as intangible as the "Other". It is subjective in process and outcome. And what then becomes the distinction between the psych patient and the football player taking to himself before the play compared to the parishoner on their knees?

This blog is a great read though sadly not updated for years.

The onus of this word salad are 2 simple songs that I have found puts in the proper state of mind. There are many that do but these are special.

Jars of Clay - Surprise

We are so beautiful when we sleep
Hearts of gold and eyes so deep, deep, deep
But love won't cure the chaos
And hope won't hide the loss
And peace is not the heroine that shouts above the cause
And love is wild for reasons
And hope though short in sight
Might be the only thing that wakes you by surprise
Surprise, surprise

Jars of Clay - Oh My God

Oh my God, look around this place
Your fingers reach around the bone
You set the break and set the tone
Flights of grace, and future falls
In present pain
All fools say, "Oh my God"

Oh my God, Why are we so afraid?
We make it worse when we don't bleed
There is no cure for our disease
Turn a phrase, and rise again
Or fake your death and only tell your closest friend
Oh my God.

Oh my God, can I complain?
You take away my firm belief and graft my soul upon your grief
Weddings, boats and alibis
All drift away, and a mother cries

Liars and fools; sons and failures
Thieves will always say
Lost and found; ailing wanderers
Healers always say
Whores and angels; men with problems
Leavers always say
Broken hearted; separated
Orphans always say
War creators; racial haters
Preachers always say
Distant fathers; fallen warriors
Givers always say
Pilgrim saints; lonely widows
Users always say
Fearful mothers; watchful doubters
Saviors always say

Sometimes I cannot forgive
And these days, mercy cuts so deep
If the world was how it should be, maybe I could get some sleep
While I lay, I dream we're better,
Scales were gone and faces light
When we wake, we hate our brother
We still move to hurt each other
Sometimes I can close my eyes,
And all the fear that keeps me silent falls below my heavy breathing,
What makes me so badly bent?
We all have a chance to murder
We all feel the need for wonder
We still want to be reminded that the pain is worth the thunder

Sometimes when I lose my grip, I wonder what to make of heaven
All the times I thought to reach up
All the times I had to give
Babies underneath their beds
Hospitals that cannot treat all the wounds that money causes,
All the comforts of cathedrals
All the cries of thirsty children - this is our inheritance
All the rage of watching mothers - this is our greatest offense

Oh my God
Oh my God
Oh my God

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thumb Sucking Republicans

I have found a new friend and his name is Roland S. Martin. He has written a striking article on the Republican base and McCain: here.

The 'Phant talking heads are in an uproar over the inevitable McCain victory and America shouldn't be happier. Why? Simply put, the Reagan 'Pubs have run their course and the party needs to be redefined. As the article points out, McCain has "conservative" positions that he holds dear. The problem, as also noted, is that McCain isn't a slave to party agenda. How many 'Pubs are of an environmental bent only to be told that is a "liberal" platform? What defines a party platform has for so long been opposite ends of the argument that for a constituent it is all or nothing. The likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, etc have for too long spoon fed the lemmings of the party and cast out those who considered themselves more "moderate" with respect to the party platform. In McCain there is hope that reason will win over rhetoric.

The most distressing part of this McCain dilema is the given reaction. Dr. Dobson told McCain he wouldn't vote for him. Will Beck really vote for Hillary? The basic premise here is that a moderate 'Pub is worse than a Dem. Not good logic. And what of the Religious Right forming their own party? I have three words for you: Green Party Failure. I, for one, wold be ecstatic. Get the zealots out of the party and allow it to be driven by reason and not the bible. If I wanted to live in a religious state I'd move to an Islamic country.

The 'Pubs are being tested here. They are going to have to decide whether they can be happy with some and not all. They are further going to have to accept that the mantra spewed by the likes of Limbaugh all these years is not the mantra of the populace. If McCain continues to show his popularity the 'Pubs will have to accept that America may like the conservative platform sans the zealotry and extremism. McCain has no issues doing what it takes to get things done, even if that means working with the hated left. If this perception of McCain is accurate, bad for the dogmatists. Good for the America.


The pain of another football season passing isn't as severe as the past years. A certain degree of change is in the air (the ground water, your food, etc) or maybe it is age and the perception the manifests from it. I read Vic Ketchman on regularly and he notes a sense of anger and hate within the modern fan. The idea of fun and entertainment has been replaced with a greater need. Message boards and blogs foster that environment and feed the need. Confrontation to prove something and be part of something, which itself is empty and pointless. Being right, aka. correct.

Taking a stance and putting forth an opinion walks hand in hand with the fan's favorite team. Whether criticizing or applauding the fan isn't able to escape the self importance of their opinion. It would be like arguing the acting of a movie and getting pissed off about it. Or taking a business plan and trashing the person who wrote it. Lost is the entertainment of even the talk itself. It begs the question of "who cares?". The fan becomes part of something that doesn't want him. The fan forgets that he is not only a spectator but an investor. You buy the tickets, you but the merchandise and you support the team. You don't play. You don't get hurt. You don't get a trophy.

It really begs the questions of "what else do you do?". Passion is one thing. Having a favorite anything lends to the ups and downs of the emotional switchback. But defining yourself by the team to the extent that you become engraged when you're challenged about an opinion is different. The simple idea of respectful discourse is lost, mostly because it is hidden behind a keyboard and a monitor. So when asking "what do you do?" the underlying sentiment is that whatever is, you aren't really satsified. You seek out ownership in a virtual world. That is sad.

The curious stat is found in asking how you would converse when your "opponent" is directly in front of you. I have argued this for gamers and it fits fan as well: you are losing your humanity. The virtual world safeguards you from dealing with the confrontation. It gives you the false sense of power you need. In my experience the more educated blogger or poster tends to distance themself from an emotive response and focuses on reasoned responses. I see those less often.

This is why I believe I don't miss it as much. I dislike fan almost as much as high school parent. Surely nothing brings me more disgust than going to a University Christian and Trinity Christian football game and watching "family fan" acting as if they were auditioning for hell. I've coached football for 4 years and this past year had the gift of simply watching my son play middle school ball. It was great. Pure enjoyment without all the calories. Fan needs to remember to enjoy the game and to enjoy other fan. That is why they call it a game.

...end of word salad...

15 Seconds of Fame

So I'm listening to my favorite AM radio station (1010XL) and I hear that they are giving away 2 club seat tickets to tomorrow night's Hannah Montana show. All you need to do is wait for the queue song (Girls Night Out by HM) and call in.

But it doesn't stop there.

You then have to sing for 15 seconds, any song of your choice, at which point the hosts (Jeff Prosser, Dan Hicken and Tony Boselli) will vote who is best. It is 7:48 am at the Fullford House and I am mandating Mrs. Fullford and I pay close attention on our way to drop off Sara and work, respectively, so that we may dial in.

At 8:51 am I hear the song and quickly start pressing digits. 6 busy signals pass by but I am committed until I hear them come back on the air. On lucky 7 the phone is answered and I become one of three at this opportunity. First goes a guy who sings a country song...are you kidding? You have to go with the HM song. He sounds good, though. Next goes I. I had decided to go with Best of Both Worlds, but only the line right before the chorus and the chorus since that is all I can remember. But thanks to nerves I can't recall the line and sure enough I'm starting from the beginning. I know about every other line but can make it up as I go along. Thankfully they don't know the lyrics and as I break into "Rock out the show" I give it that extra UMPH!!!

I'm feeling good as they show their appreciation of my extra passion. Then I find out I'm going up against an 11 year old girl. No chance in hell at this point. Add to that, my wonderful cell signal drops. I call in quickly (first time and they remember me) to hear the girl sing. She is a bit off key but she is a kid. I'm a goner.

Then they start debating. The want to stay true to the process (as they are trying to be as professional as American Idol), but how can you go against a kid! Then the votes come and somehow I get the Boselli and Hicken vote (Prosser you must be on the only moral person on that show).

So tomorrow morning at 7:00 am I am going to the studio as one of 6 finalists. I have to believe there is some mom or kid amongst the finalists but it will be cool just to be there.

Boar Sans Balls

Do you really want to know where it comes from and why it is good? In the food industry, ignorance surely is bliss for a good majority of people I have met. I'd like to thank my good friend Nick for sharing his Boar Story. A part of life and the world I had not been exposed to was made real to me a few weekends ago: castrate the boar, let it roam for a year, and then kill it for the best meat. I have included a link that offers some counter arguments to that position but still, isn't it cool to know!

Eating Boar

"If my answers frighten you then maybe you should cease asking scary questions."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Oh Belinda Carlisle

Why would we want to make heaven a place on earth? If we look to the scriptures, we are supposed to long for heaven as a place better than earth. If we wish to implement a theocracy, aren't we defeating the purpose of longing for a better place? Doesn't that create a greater attachment to the material world? And to that end, aren't we actually trying to make perfection?

Oh perfection...the end goal. So argues the zealot: "we wish to be christlike!" Last I checked Jesus wasn't making stump speeches or helping to raise millions of dollars to support a candidate's bid for power. I'm going to wager Jesus would be tipping over the "money pots". If you want me to convert, just put a sword to my neck and ask that I convert or die. Don't insult me by the making the claim that you're doing this in my best protect my interests.

The Lady In The Library

Have you ever just went to another state's or city's newspaper in order to gather what they think the news is in that world? I ventured into the great NW...the home of the Ducks and Beavers...and found this little gem:

Kids and MLK

Raising children is not an easy task (said captain obvious). I am very outspoken regarding parents who think keeping their children hidden from the "world" is the best course. In an effort to protect the child, the parent limits the child's ability to prepare for the "world". In turn, knowing when your child is ready for the "world" becomes the real test of parenting. Who does the parent use as the onus of the decision: the parent or the child?

Any -ism demands so many layers of understanding that, as the article notes, we sometimes lose the very heart of the subject. The pain of knowledge comes from the self and how the self values it-self against the other. That our nation still feels a need to tip-toe around the black..white debate begs so many questions, none more relevant than "why can't we discuss it?". Is it that these children don't define themselves by the subjects of the past that it can be so freely operated on? Doesn't the debate always take an ugly turn when the subject becomes too personal and hence we find ourselves not defending the issue but rather our own self-defining positions?

Some might argue there is a fine line between telling and teaching. I disagree. Teaching is the simple task of finding a means of getting someone to understand a concept or a fact. The concept can be easier in that it isn't concrete. The fact, however, is presented as defined and when the questions arise about the fact then the teacher is obligated to have a sound understanding not only of the fact itself but how the fact came to be. To be clear, I am not using teacher as a professional term but rather as one who teaches. One does not need a degree to teach something.

So our article finds a group of children, in Oregon, working their way through the maze of MLK and racism. With the help of Teachers who had the good sense to know what approach to take. Phoebe would be proud.

"The cow in the meadow goes moo,
the cow in the meadow goes moo…
Then the farmer hits him on the head and grinds him up, and that's how we get hamburgers…
Now chicken!!!"