I'll admit it: I'm one of those people who, back in the 90s, learned Jeff Buckley's version of "Hallelujah" and played it note for note without even realizing it was written by the great Leonard Cohen. Glad to say I'd moved on by the time The West Wing, Scrubs and !@#$% Shrek got hip to the song, but still: no excuse for that.
Here's some good news: despite our short collective attention span, despite the fiscal-cliff debacle dominating the headlines shortly after the Newtown shooting, the U.S. scourge of gun violence is still part of the national conversation.
Normally my siblings and I spend December 26 goofing around together. This year, however, we felt the need to create something that addresses an important issue facing our Christian sisters and brothers elsewhere in the English-speaking world.
As a kid I loved to play Monopoly. Loved it. Friends and I would have marathon games, fighting over close readings of the rules, bargaining for half an hour while the dice and younger siblings sat idle, the whole deal. My sisters still talk about the time I prematurely ended a game I was losing by flipping the board over and scattering the pieces everywhere.
I found this incident at Vermont College very sad. The sustainable-farming-oriented school planned to slaughter two oxen it's had for years and serve them at the dining hall. Faced with protests from animal rights activists—who successfully prevented the college from finding a willing slaughterhouse—the college ended up having to euthanize one of the animals, who had a bad injury and declining quality of life.
As planned, the ox was killed. But nobody got to eat him.
My wife and I are about to leave for two weeks on the east coast, where we'll see old friends, meet new babies, work a little (her mostly) and hopefully relax a lot. I've prescheduled a few posts for while we're gone, but my blog will be relatively quiet. (I'm afraid the internets will have to live without one more voice chiming in on the fiscal negotiations for a while.
It is the nightmare that virtually all email users dread: accidentally hitting "Reply All".
This week, one student at New York University took the all-too-simple error to the next level, when he inadvertently discovered a bug in the school email system that allowed anyone to "reply all" to a generic university email, bombarding nearly 40,000 people with his answer.
The Blanco Sessions, by Janis Martin. In 1956, RCA signed “the female Elvis,” 15-year-old rockabilly pioneer Janis Martin. But a secret marriage and a pregnancy soon led the label to drop her. In 2007, neo-rockabilly powerhouse Rosie Flores coaxed Martin out of retired obscurity and produced a comeback album for her.
My wife works as a vegetable farmer; she's also pursuing ordination in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. The diocese just launched a magazine, and the first issue includes a short profile of Nadia and her work. Here's an excerpt:
While my home church sang praises to King Jesus and also ran a food pantry, the Feast of the Reign of Christ boldly proclaims that the hungry won't be hungry forever. While others in the '60s juxtaposed sweet harmonies with earnestly social lyrics, Dylan conjured a complex vision of social upheaval—a vision both threatening and profoundly hopeful.
Wonkblog has taken to using “austerity crisis” in place of “fiscal cliff.” They’re right: “fiscal” is not very specific, while “cliff” suggests a problem that happens all at once.
The reality is a crisis that unfolds over time. And it’s caused not by our fiscal policy in general but by something very specific: a severe austerity package actively imposed by Congress the last couple times it kicked the can down the road.
And as we saw then, there are really two questions at hand: when to reduce the deficit and how. The latter is a relatively straightforward partisan standoff. The former has become rhetorically rather bizarre.