Saturday, July 29, 2006

Quiz - How you can know that you're a nerd like Ty

1. You have grammars for more than half-a-dozen languages and find it hard to be without them (even though you know that you don't have time to use them right now).

2. You can name two or more characters from the new Battlestar Galactica that appeared on Andromeda or Stargate: SG-1 as guest stars.

3. You can name three commonly accepted text types represented in the Pauline epistles and you can characterize each text type, but you know that the same groupings are not valid in the book of Revelation.

4. You bought a novel based on a comic book (i.e. The Death of Superman).

5. You find it very difficult to pass up a book that: was written by Paul Ricoeur, Robert Jordan, M.M. Bakhtin, Leo Strauss, or F.M. Cross; has the term Imagination, Fiction, Mars, Historiography, Philosophy of History, Dragon, Narrative, or Text in the title; takes place in the Star Wars universe; has a close connection to the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies or the Studies and Documents series.

6. You feel ashamed that you do not own a book by Hayden White, Gayatri Spivak, or Martin Heidegger.

7. You have read more than 50 books in one Sci-Fi/ fantasy series (for me, Star Wars, others may include Dragon Lance, or Star Trek).

8. You have had to quit reading a book because the grammar was so deplorable.

9. You resonate with Daniel Jackson in SG-1, Seamus Harper in Andromeda, Augur in Earth: Final Conflict, but you sometimes feel embarrassed watching Law and Order: Criminal Intent, or CSI because you're afraid that others see you as Goren or Grissom.

10. You've been in more than one argument about Einstein's theories.

11. You think that Lexa Doig is more believable as a human when she is playing the role of an android than when she plays a doctor (and you get the references).

12. You laughed your tail off when you saw Patrick McKenna from The Red Green Show on Star Gate: SG-1, and really wished that they could have found a way for him to say, "Uncle Red, Uncle Red, Uncle Red," that would work with the rest of the dialogue.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Inappropriate Use of an Exclamation Point II

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present Boise Radio host, Matt Diablo's chest tattoo.

Anonymous 12:57 PM

Today I decided to repost a comment by an anonymous blogger, along with my response. Please treat Anon 12:57 with some respect. I may not agree with Anon, but some of what Anon says balances out some of the anger many of us feel at the situation in Lebanon, and it has been said intelligently and without personal attacks.
Anonymous said...

You're right. There is no morality in government; there's no integrity, either.

But would you sit on your hands if your neighborhood was constantly being attacked, innocents killed along with the "enemy," which in this case is you?

Israel has a modern history, too.
Anyone who attacks them must have a death wish.

The horrific part in this case is that the Hezbollah was allowed to hide behind Lebanon's skirts in the first place.

But then, this is a "holy war" for Islam. Who better to put in harm's way than a country so highly populated with Infidel Christians? Two birds with one rocket, so to speak.

Islam seems intent on destroying everyone in the world but themselves. I wouldn't let them take pot shots at my family and friends; I'd be more intent on showing Islam that they're not going to succeed, at least not in my neighbohood.

Nobody has all the answers. We just hear what the media wants us to hear, anyway.

That's why I'm anonymous. I don't have all the answers, and I'm not out to alienate friends.

But such one-sided arguments sound like the media itself, villifying one side with a huff of moral judgement. And by pointing out America's part in making the weapons, it makes us feel good because we get a thrill of false humilty, proclaiming ourselves to be above the immorality of our own government.

It's easy to take the side of one factor and find nothing but evil in the other.

It is far more difficult to seek the truth in both sides, and to try to understand the personal part of the war on the other side, too.

Innocent people die on both sides. Innocent people die from starvation in other places. Innocent people die in the United States of accidents, of disease, of senseless violence.

The fighting going on now in Lebanon is horrible; all war is horrible. But there is a reason behind it, and unless we allow ourselves to remove our blinders and see that, how are we to gain wisdom? How are we to know how to take care of things in our own neighborhoods? How are we to learn how to make honest judgments during the rest of our lives?

Let us continue to pray without ceasing, and ask for wisdom for those who can make a difference there.

God go with you.

12:57 PM

Anon 12:57, I agree with many of your points, and I don't want to say that Israel is wrong to pursue some kind of justice here. Actually, I fully support going after HEZBOLLAH, what I cannot support, what I cannot imagine being able to support, is the indiscriminate killing that Israel has undertaken here. Treating Lebanon as if the whole country had declared war on them rather than pursuing the terrorist organization that did attack them in no way represents justice.

Would I do nothing if my community was under attack? First, I don't know exactly what I would do, but I hope that I wouldn't start indiscriminantly killing people, because they happen to be in the same area as those responsible.

Second, ask some Lebanese, who weren't Hezbollah that.

If you check some of my previous posts, you will find that I believe Hezbolla is to blame as much as Israel. The difference is that Hezbollah's work of luring Israel into genocide (check the UN definition) is over and there is nothing that can be done to change their evil actions; Israel still seems intent on destroying the lives of innocent people, so there is still hope, however small, that pressure from American citizens, and others, will cause governmental action to stop this murder spree.

I hope that all those in Hezbollah pay for their crimes. Not only have they murdered some people, but they knew that their actions would result in something like this, how can anyone who knows Israel doubt the ruthlessness of their retaliation; but that does not make it okay to kill everyone else who lives in the same city or country, or building. NO!

As for Lebanon helping to hide Hezbollah, do you know how weak the government in Lebanon is? Lebanon is made up of several factions, none of which can agree to do anything with any other for more than a few days. I seriously doubt that they could agree to that. But, if what you are talking about is Lebanon not disarming Hezbollah, their army has not been strong enough to disarm Hezbollah in this century, let alone since Hezbollah started hiding there.

"But then, this is a "holy war" for Islam. Who better to put in harm's way than a country so highly populated with Infidel Christians? Two birds with one rocket, so to speak." Does that make it a good thing that Israel fell into the trap set by Syria and Iran? I don't see how that is a good thing.

"Islam seems intent on destroying everyone in the world but themselves." Assuming that you are talking about primarily Islamic governments, that statement is wrong for two reasons: 1. There is, and has been since British colonialization, more attempts or plans by Islamic leaders to take over the countries of other leaders than there has to take over any non-Islamic country, except Israel. And you should note here that plans for the destruction of Israel are usually only talk, with very little action. 2. Read The War for Palestine, written primarily by Jewish scholars, by the way: most of the traditionally Islamic nations' leaders know that they need Israel as an enemy so that they can use anti-Israeli propaganda (and sometimes truth) to keep their countries together and for intra-islamic wars. The ways in which this have been done are actually quite ingenious.

"We just hear what the media wants us to hear, anyway.": Close, but not quite. I'm listening to the many Lebanese bloggers who have been striving for peace and friendship with Israelis before this happened. I've been reading their blogs for six monthes or so, and they were always arguing with people who were anti-Israeli. Of course, now they aren't supporting Israel; I have to admit that I would have dropped the bomb on Afganistan after 911. At least most of them aren't trying to increase the violence, though they don't want to see their country in ruins either. So, no, I'm not listening to the media, though I'm not saying that I don't watch and I'm not deaf enough to miss them calling ALL the people being killed Hezbollah, even though that would be ridiculous, considering that entire city blocks are being wiped out.

"[T]here is a reason behind it." I agree, there is a reason. But that reason does not excuse the murder of so many innocent people. I've said it before, and I'll say it 'till I'm blue in the face, Israel claims to have the best assasins, in the best intelligence network in the world, why didn't they send out snipers and assasins to take out Hezbollah? They could have, but they don't care about Lebanese casualties, so they send in the bombs.

"The fighting going on now in Lebanon is horrible; all war is horrible. But there is a reason behind it, and unless we allow ourselves to remove our blinders and see that, how are we to gain wisdom? How are we to know how to take care of things in our own neighborhoods? How are we to learn how to make honest judgments during the rest of our lives?"

I hope that we don't learn that lesson; if someone kills some people in your neighborhood, I would hope that you would not retaliate by wiping everyone in their neighborhood out.

Finally, you've called what I've been saying one-sided, that's true enough, at least for a few posts. Let me explain, I am siding with the innocent. I'm not siding with Hezbollah and I'm not siding with Israel, but I am siding with the people in Lebanon who did nothing wrong and yet are being killed and starved and are watching their children die for crimes someone else commited.

Again, I think many of the things that you mentioned are valid and that we need to hear them, but I think that none of them excuse the way in which this retaliation is being carried out.

Pray for the innocent.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


The following is reprinted by permision from the blog of The Perpetual Refugee. He is a Lebanese expatriate who has worked with people from around the world. His posts, prior to the war, contained hope for peace with Israel, as he was able to build relationships with Israelis and to share stories of reasonable people from many nations who have been able to accept one another. Recently, the events in Lebanon have led him to question his dream of, if not friendship, at least peace with Israel, as many of us do.

This is what life is like when you have to watch your world destroyed, and when you are helpless to save her:

from the killing fields. Silence.

The sound of death is horrifying. It’s doesn’t sound of bombs or missiles. Guns or F-16s. Those are the sounds of war and misplaced ideology. We become accustomed to those through 42 inch plasma screens showing embedded playstationesque reporting. Women and children becoming mere statistics in the fight for high ratings and even higher ad revenues.

No, death has more horrifying sounds.

The wail of a grandmother upon seeing her 6 month old granddaughter mutilated by Seattle-made precision-guided missiles. The pain emanating from her hope that with this infant a new future full of happiness would embrace her descendants. A future where life was not hard. Where food was bountiful. Where love prevailed. Yet death came suddenly from the heavens, and now this broken teta directly confronts her God in a language only He understands. Yet He doesn’t reply. Only silence.

The empty stare of a 36 year old man as he wraps his mother in white, quickly saturated with a bright red as if she was consciously rejecting the purity of the white linen. Her son’s grey eyes screaming in agony, recounting his childhood. Her warm, caring hands caressing his flowing hair when he stayed home from school. Fever reaching 40 degrees. Feeding him home made chicken soup. Or as she held him to her bosom, comforting him as he mourned the passing of his father those many years ago. Yet we don’t hear anything looking at his picture. We hear nothing. Silence.

I try and imagine the 371 stories of each fatality of this current genocide. I try and remember how beautiful a summer it was in Lebanon. How children played in the streets at all hours of the day. The sounds of innocence echoing through the valleys of Lebanon’s countless villages. How the restaurants were full of foreign people in love, I mean totally in love with the host country that has so generously welcomed them into her heart. How each person I had spoken with just one week ago had so positively looked to the future of a nation that just earned a hard fought independence. A confident Lebanon. A proud Lebanon. A Lebanon so full of promise.

And now, as I watch high rated news telecasts projecting images of destruction. Images of genocide. I don’t hear anything. Just silence. Mixed in with ads for McDonald’s and Ford automobiles interspersed between the funerals.

Silence from the brotherly ‘Arab’ countries as they take pleasure in watching lowly Shi’ites perishing before theirs eyes. They don’t ask questions. They don’t want to know how many Sunnis were brutally murdered. Or Maronites. Greek Orthodox. People. Human beings. They sit back in their majlis, drinking their tea while infidels are slaughtered. Six month old infidels. 75 year old infidels. And everything in between. And they don’t ask. Don’t hear. Don’t see.

Silence from the ‘moral’ western governments as their weapons do what they were manufactured to do. Wreaking havoc on a nation while profits roll into Manhattan bank accounts. Bank transfers silently finding their way to manufacturers, middle-men and terrorist regimes alike. Those same banks will find more profits once the reconstruction funds come to fruition. Morality and silence frolicking quietly in bed together.

I just watched the death of #372. And I hear nothing. Silence.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Inappropriate Use of an Exclamation Point

Sunday, July 23, 2006

More of What I Don't Want To Think About

A friend of mine and one time roomate, Jamie, reposted an article from Sojourners, in which the author opposes the attacks on Lebanon and our president's support thereofOne of Jaime's commentors made several comments in support of the bombings and (because he lacks detailed knowledge of the situation) calls the Lebanese people, "millitant Muslims." I feel that I should reprint my reply, in case any of you need to know how to defend your support of Lebanon innocents (my comments assume that most readers are coming from a Judeo-Christian perspective):

. . . I don’t know how to approach this without stepping on your toes, but I have to point some things out. I was in contact with a dozen or more Lebanese who, before this started, just wanted to live in the country that they love, though most are in exile at the moment. They ALL opposed Hezbollah, but felt that their government was too weak to disarm them (and it was). What we have here is a bigger problem than you recognize: you see Israel retaliating against terrorists, but the fact is that Israel is retaliating against women and children, angainst the elderly and sick for the actions of people who were the enemies of those people, at least before this violence drove them together.

Israel always claimed to have the greatest force of assasins in the modern world, why couldn’t they use those assasins to kill those responsable for terrorism, instead of killing the innocent — and creating more terrorists.

Also, Lebanon is one of the few countries in the Middle East that has significant Christian populations; Christians (mostly Marionite and Orthodox) make up almost 40% of the population (CIA Fact Book, updated on July 20, 2006). Whoever told you they they were a bunch of fundamentalist Muslims lied.

Sorry to pull the proverbial trump card, but I think it proper that we all remember Proverbs 17:15 , “One who justifies the wicked and one who condemns the righteous are both alike, an abomination to the LORD.” There are countless righteous people being condemed, and way too many defending the wicked actions of others.
Read Amos, follow the progression of the oracles, God makes it clear that all nations will account for their actions, whether or not those actions were retaliation or just terror. God doesn’t let Moab off for defiling the bodies of Edomite kings just because Edom, “. . . pursued his brother with the sword.” I’m sorry, but you don’t get to act that way, and if you claim to be the People of God, you get worse, and I don’t know whether I’m talking about Israel here or America: we may all be destroyed for supporting this, at least according to scripture.

My advise: we wail in sackcloth and ashes and pray for our brothers and sisters in Lebanon.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Yeah, so I've wanted to learn Arabic for about four years and Gina told me that BSU has it. So I looked it, up and class doesn't start for a few weeks, and I can go register. GREAT! SO happy! SO excited! One problem . . .

It costs $600.

I guess it's back to the electronic Pimsleur lessons I borrowed from the library.

A spark plug makes sparks to ignite the compressed and vaporized gasoline in the cylinder and blow the piston back down to prepare for the next cycle.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hide and Seek

I took the liberty of going back to the posts that I had missed and commenting on them. Actually, one of your posts now has what I believe to be my funniest, best worst comment that I've ever made on a blog post, and i can't wait for all of you to find it. So, you need to go back to june 6th and check to see if you have any new comments, then read blogs by others in our blogmunity to see what comments you can find. Okay, so it may not be worth it, but if you have too much time on your hands, go for it.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A Prophetic Plea to Lebanon

May God bless words of peace.

This too Shall Pass
by Fouad Boulos:

My friends, my brethren, my people, my big extended family spread farther than the eye can see, my souls, my bloods, the reason I am alive and still willing to live, I beg you, I beg you as my fingers tremble and my eyes well-up with tears, brace yourselves, join the broken bridges with your outstretched arms, fill the gaping craters with your unwavering pride, build and rebuild with the torn bodies of those who have fallen, keep together, raise the chants of unity, be not afraid but strong, be not angry but resilient, be who you've always been, be alive, stay alive, for this too shall pass. Do not give in to violence, do not embrace it, for there is no victory in killing, but there sure is one in faith, in strength, in unity, in peaceful resolve. The enemies of this nation cannot wipe it out of existence, they cannot kill us all. The hate-ridden hearts and bitter souls will not thrive. They will not persist. What is of stone can be rebuilt a thousand times over, and what is within us, our history, our abiliy to brave all dangers and rise from the rubble stronger still, is what they cannot and will not take away. I say this as my bleeding heart traces its thirty-one years on the streets of the land it fell in love with, the land of giving, of divine inspiration and beauty, the land of all things sacred and all things cursed, I say it as I helplessly watch my land disappear in a dark haze of destruction and death, because I know that this too, as bleak and tragic as it is, shall pass. Just brace yourselves sons and daughters of Lebanon, be strong so I can be strong, survive so I can survive, for you don't know you are all right here with me in this small room in Nashville, and my heart, my spirit, my tears, are with you, today and everyday until a better day comes, until a better life comes, until the very end of time.

Fouad Boulos is a Pathology Resident at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville, and an expatriate of Lebanon. Dr. Boulos posts regularly on his blog, Welcome to My Lebanese Dream. Permission to reprint this entry was obtained from Dr. Boulos prior to posting.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Give Me a Few Minutes; I'm Reading My Blogs

Two of my favorite bloggers posted so many blogs while I was blog-breaking that it may take me a while to catch up, Arwen posted 39 entries and Lisa posted 19. To tell the truth, I was a little upset that they posted so much, until I remembered that is one of the reasons I like their blogs. In addition to that, I need to apologize to all of you whom I have been neglecting while working on the house (just wait for Gina's post, by the way). Here are a few of the things I have on my to-do list:

1. Email Andrea

2. Email Jon

3. Comment on Christi's MySpace

4. Email Bogie

5. Call Conni (she won't be there)

6. Email Rachel

7. Write a wikipedia article on Heresiology

8. Write a serious blog entry on Bible translation for lingamish

9. Find a way to help with relief to victims of the violence in Lebanon (and Israel)

10. Write Thesis

Feel free to make a request for numbers 11 and following, but I might have to say no.

I apologize for neglecting all of you, but I'm trying.

Okay, so I rarely end a sentence in a preposition and I know how to use a semi-colon, but I DO have my issues with spelling, I'm in love with hyphens, and I just had to look up the rules for capitalizing titles: "Capitalize the first and last words and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinate conjunctions. Lowercase articles (the, a, an), coordinate conjunctions (and, or, for, nor), and prepositions, regardless of length, unless they are the first or last words of the title or subtitle. Lowercase the to in infinitives. "

Friday, July 14, 2006

Dear . . .

Dear Israeli government,

If you are going to murder people, please murder the correct people.


Dear Hezbollah,

You have become partners with Israel in the murder of innocents. At least for them, they were enemies, but to you they were family.


For three sins of Israel and for four, I will not turn back, says the LORD . . . For three sins of Damascus and for four, I will not turn back.

Read Amos and you will know how God feels. These are ALL God's people. Amos was not written for our time, but if I wished to be a prophet, I would only change a few words and, I promise you, they would come to pass, not because I am a prophet, but because people are predictable.

Israel must stop greeting eachother with, "peace" (shalom) when there is no peace; and Hezbollah must stop saying, "If the Lord wills," (inshallah) when they deny what the Lord wills. What the Lord desires is Justice and what he calls people to is mercy; do not perpetuate injustice and close your heart to mercy, do not despise peace.

Dear America,

If you must stand a party to murder, then keep the Lord's name from your lips, lest he be implicated in the crime, and turn on you, and you would be destroyed.


I once challenged a statement that Brian Simmons made in class, okay, so I challenged more than one, Brian wanted us to challenge him, if we could do so logically. Anyway, Brian said that animals are incapable of emotion, that our belief in that ability is personification. I gave some examples, but in my heart, I think it is like the people who claim that God is without emotion. They think that to claim that God feels emotion is to make God need us in some way, that having feelings means that he can be manipulated. The problem is that these people, who accuse others of forming God in the shape of man, are doing exactly that. They assume that God's feelings are like a human's feelings in that God is at their whim, in some way. I, on the other hand, believe that God feels deeply, that his heart is often broken, that he cries with us but that God's tears do not force him to ride their waves, rather, God seeks to act in the manner that is best in all ways.

I only bring it up because my (sister's) cat, Pookey, proved to me that he has emotions tonight. He was howling as loud as he could, so I went down to comfort him. I think that he wanted to come inside, I think because he is lonely for human company and he feels neglected since we have not been able to spend a great deal of time with him. Those suspicions about his feelings, however, are not my evidence for emotion from a cat.

After petting him for 10 or 15 minutes, I told him good bye, words and tones he recognizes, since I tell him that every time I leave him. Until I said that, he was sitting quietly and purring, as soon as I said it, he jumped up and went to block me off from the door. I said, "No." softly, but firmly. He looked up at me, and here's my evidence, he did not swat at me, or whine, he HISSED at me, for telling him 'no.' Therefore I believe that animals possess emotion, but they lack the ability, as far as I have been able to observe, to overcome the power of their emotions by planning, logic and rational thought, which should make them different than people, but, in my experience, most people lack those abilities too, myself included.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Word on Malapropisms

In honor of Rizzle's post of June 27th, in which he used malapropisms, either coincidently, or (what I prefer to believe, because I think Ryan is a comic genius) on purpose, I shall here mention a few terms which no one should confuse except in the cause of comedy.

As James clarified on Ryan's blog, an epitaph is a statement about the dead, a epithet is said about the person you wish was dead.

A genius is a person with a very high level of intelligence, a genus is a group or type, like categories of biological entities or versions of Trivial Pursuit.

An illusion is something performed by a by a magician usually with little skill, an allusion is a device used by an author with skill (I said illude for allude yesterday).

An Abbess governs nuns, the abyss is the bottomless pit of hell you'll be cast into if you don't do what she says.

One dissembles to keep the truth from being revealed but one disassembles to fit something into a box or to see how it works.

Using whips was performed by certain monastics who were ascetic, but art is commonly judged by whether it fits a certain aesthetic.

The aforementioned whipping was an act of flagellation, but cows are supposedly destroying the ozone layer through acts of flatulation.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Rebus, cause I'm too tired to write words and those other thingys

This is what Gina said she needs to do:

Monday, July 10, 2006

OCD and My Sister, The Saint

Miss you bloglanders, that means you Arwen (okay, I suppose I miss all of you), but I won't be back until the house is on the market and everything is clean.

I love clean, but my attempts to become obsessive compulsive about it have met with failure time-after-time. I like the after-prep time when the house has to stay ready to show because I can pretend that I have actually succeeded in reaching the pinnacle of my ambition as an OCD wannabe for a few weeks, but I know that it can't last forever. Eventually, I'll have another couple of hundred books on my bedroom floor (yes, it has happened) and laundry forming a boarder for my room (as it is now) and twenty-or-so empty water and Gatorade bottles, boasting of my drinking abilities (really, I never drink alcohol, I can barely down communion if they leave the grape juice too long, but I can put away 20 or Dr. Peppers or iced-teas at a restaurant, and, at TGI Fridays, they give me a pitcher of iced tea and a straw and I drink two or three)

On a side note (earmuffs Gina): working in the house this week has taught me that my earlier impressions were correct: as great as my brother-in-law is, and he is very awesome most of the time, he is an immature selfish jerk to my sister any time he wants his own way, hates what he is doing, or wants to be funny. Don't get me wrong, I am too, I just don't want my way that badly at least once a day, I try to be alone when I hate what I'm doing, and I don't normally try to be funny by annoying people with whom I am living. Beyond which, I am in the same boat as most people: I'm used to my own stupidity (though I do have intense feelings of shame afterward) so I don't notice as much when I am a jerk, until afterward, then I talk to myself for a day or two, 'you're an ID-iot!' 'Gee, I'm a jerk!' 'I can't believe I said that!' Basically the same things I say after a date.

Where I come from, when someone asks you to stop doing something that annoys you, you stop at least nine out of ten times, the tenth time is used for humor, but any more than one out of ten is being a jerk, and ten-out-of-ten makes you pest of the year, and if it leaves bruises, even unintentional bruises, you don't ever do it again. So, raise your pitchers of DP here's to Gina, my sister and Patron Saint of Tolerant Women.

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