28 September 2007

dumb kids

So there are some silly people in the world. Some high school students in Colorado have decided that they can no longer say the pledge of allegiance because it violates the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state. I think this is funny because so often we take up causes with little knowledge of the real issue. There's no constitutionally mandated separation of church and state. Mrs. Klein taught me that the Bill of Rights only prohibits the state from establishing religions. I agree that the church and the state need to be separate because if not, you get leaders who are only elected because they appeal to a certain religious right with no real qualifications or ability *cough cough*. Anyway--some people can be dumb. Hooray America.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

25 September 2007

the meaning of that symbol

According to this article, a field in New Jersey recently had a swastika cut across it by unknown perpetrators. Joe Pica, the owner of a neighboring field, is understandably upset by the symbol. Since the second world war, the symbol has become synonymous with hate, genocide, and Nazism. Before the war, however, the symbol has a deep, peaceful history the extends well beyond the hatred it came to symbolize.

Pica is apparently unaware of the symbol's rich history. He advises that if children are caught vandalizing using the swastika, they should be "made to sit down for three or four days and research the history of the meaning of that symbol. Maybe they'll learn something from it."

Indeed, they'll learn that Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religions and cultures have long used the symbol for both religious purposes and architectural means.

While I cannot fathom that the vandals intended to hearken back to their Jain roots by cutting an acres-wide swastika into a field--I, too cannot let the rich heritage of a fascinating symbol go to the dustbin of history because one particularly hateful man decided to make it his own symbol. I really don't delude myself to think this post will make much of a difference in the grand scheme of humanity, but I can feel a bit better now that I've done something, even a little bit.

24 September 2007

ahmadinejad and hitler

so what do you think about the whole Ahmadinejad speaking at Columbia business? Me, I think it's a fantastic opportunity to try to understand, to take a peak into the mind of a man so terrible feared by our nation. Though he should have chosen better phrasing, I applaud John Coatsworth, acting dean of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, for the sentiment that he would invite even Hitler to speak because "academic give-and-take," even conversation with a hated dictator, is vital to any well-rounded education.

Having recently seen The Last King of Scotland I am suddenly aware that even the vilest dictators have a human side, and are probably surrounded by people that love them. From the few interviews and articles I've read about Ahmadinejad he appears to be a well educated man that openly says what he means. In most people those are admirable qualities; I guess that's just not true for world leaders. I am certainly no expert on foreign policy or nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, but I say that Columbia is in the right by inviting him to speak--he was going to be in New York anyway.

Now, who is the next ASI speaker?

21 September 2007

ride on the peace train

After having heard that song for the first time in a long time on Den's deck Labor Day Weekend, it's been stuck in my head off and on. The ladies here at work listen to the Remember the Titans soundtrack often so I hear it all the time. All that to say, I like the peace train. I figure, riding the peace train is better than riding the S.L.U.T anyway.

There's a lot in life that could get one down. I've been pretty bummed about the Jena 6, The War on Terror, government in general, and Matt Drudge. I think he's ruining my life. Though there is much bad in the world, I can take solace in the occasionally overwhelming good of people and God. I have many good friends nearby and I have a fantastic wife who always makes me feel better about life. The Buckeyes haven't lost yet this season and it's possible that they could end the regular season loss-less. To add to that joy, Notre Dame is win less and M*ch*gan is 1-2. Nearly everything in the world of NCAA football is going my way. If only the SEC would implode--that would be nice. O, the Cowboys are 2-0 while the Eagles are 0-2. Take that Philly. The Braves are on a surge (much like the troops but the only causalities are the occasionally beaned players) so sports in general are treating me well right now.

There is a lot of homework, but it's considerably more enjoyable than most of the work I had at Harding. It's all exactly what I want to do. I'm sorry that this post hasn't said anything substantial but I'm at work and I'm incredibly bored and I haven't posted in awhile and I realize that if I keep typing then you'll eventually stop paying attention. Welp, it's back to the world of money markets and saving accounts.

06 September 2007


I'm nearly finished with my third week of my job as a bank (really, a credit union) teller. While I'm no institutional expert, I have a decent amount of confidence in my abilities as a teller. I was hoping this day would take a little longer to come because I fear that from now on, I'll be just a bit bored. I do, however, enjoy the people I work with--that makes the day easier. A huge plus for this job is that I am in front of a computer with internet access (though no facebook, xanga, e-mail, etc.) so between helping members (that's what our patrons are called because we are a credit union, not a bank) I can keep caught up on the news, see sports scores, and occasionally read wiki articles about Jacques Derrida in French. We were really slow last week at times.

Graduate school is better than I had hoped, especially considering that I'm only taking one class involving actual literature. I do believe my literature course, Mythology, will be my least liked of the three I'm taking. The other two are Pedagogies and Literacies and Introduction to the Profession of English Studies. In title they're a bit boring but I'm enjoying them. Hooray for higher learning.

Yesterday on West Chester's campus I missed Harding, really for the first time. It all happened because I passed a red-headed girl talking on a cell phone who looked enough like Alice-Anne to make me believe it was her. I nearly stopped to talk to her until I realized that AA lives in Mississippi--nowhere near the CBL.

I'm not sure that anyone has read this blog yet, and I'm mostly okay with that. If you are reading this, know that you're loved and most likely missed.

02 September 2007


So this collection of my personal ruminations begins at, what many would consider a new chapter or even a new volume, of my life. I got married a little over a month ago, started grad school just under a week ago, and started a full-time job that I hope won't be my career just under two weeks ago. Jenna (the wife of just over a month) and I moved to the CBL almost a month ago and we're slowly adjusting.

I tend to think that life, or success at life, is all about ones ability to cope with differences--to adjust. Whether it's small matters like limiting your sugar intake or massive undertakings like packing up your life and moving eleven-hundred miles from what has been home for four years, life is about adjusting.

It hasn't been as hard as I feared it would be. I have a few amazing friends in the city on whom I can rely and I have Jenna who is my rock (yes, it's trite to say this, but I've done it because it's true). I have a supportive family and loving friends and kind strangers in every imaginable spot on the earth. I, too, have a little niche on the interwub where I can leave my thoughts for a very few readers (because who wants to read my thoughts too often?) and life couldn't be much sweeter.