Completely Stolen Content

This is some information on our Christmas present from the Senate. All kidding aside, this is important information, displayed graphically. Click on it to blow it up, and prepare to be less pissed off about the lack of a public option.

I heard about it from Fleur, but I got it here.

Also, there are about 8 hours left to vote on the "Change We Can Believe In" poll on the sidebar.


How Would Jesus Vote?

I rarely put up bible verses on this blog (I'm afraid it might burst into flames or something...) but this has been really bothering me of late. The following is the New International Version of Matthew 25:34-40.

34 Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
37 Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40 The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

This passage is part of the bit about "the Sheep and the Goats." Jesus is hanging out on the Mount of Olives with his crew, talking about "the end of the age" (Matthew 24:3). He makes a clear statement about compassion and charity when he tells them that in order to be among the sheep who go to heaven, you have to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and visit those imprisoned.

Given that bit in bold, why is it that the Republicans, the party that most often invokes Jesus as it's guiding influence, is so dead set against a public option? I think many of these so-called Christians need remedial Bible study. Notice that it doesn't say "...I was sick and you told me to get off my ass and find a job with health insurance for myself..." It also doesn't say, "...whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers of mine, it must reduce the deficit and not increase taxes..."

As usual, it appears that the teachings of Jesus are embraced when profitable and ignored when inconvenient. The greed, selfishness, and overall discompassion of their positions is appalling. I believe Christ would be saddened by all this, and the number of goats would just keep rising...

Would some conservative Christian please explain these verses to me in light of recent events?

Christmas is about Tradition

I've posted this before, but it deserves additional bandwidth. This touching video reminds us how precious Christmas traditions truly are...

Part two can be found here. Watch it for the children.

Leftover poll

I should have written up these results about two weeks ago, but better late than never, right?
The question was...

turkey 0%
stuffing 5%
cranberry goo 29%
pie 5%
candied yams 5%
greenbean casserole 23%
congealed gravy 0%
green glop (that weird "salad" with the green jello...) 23%
other (please specify in comments) 5%

Bottom line? Cranberry goo, green glop, and greenbean casserole should go directly into trash/compost/pigeon food immediately after the meal. No need for tupperware. And you thought statistics were useless!

The new poll is much more controversial...

Charitable Gifts

I promised a post about making donations as gifts almost two weeks ago. Then the final push of the semester ate my life and I never got around to putting it up. My prospectus was turned in Friday, and I've been sleeping and playing video games ever since - I think I've finally recovered enough to get back to some semblance of brain activity.

In addition to the list of Pope Tested, Ministry Approved gifts found here, the Pontifex Niger also endorses the making of charitable donations in his name. Make a donation to any of the worthy organizations below and you will receive a minor beatification and a 10% discount on indulgences purchased before January 15th! You all have the power to make these "holy days" instead of "hollow daze." Go forth and donate!

The plight of great apes in captivity is a topic I have been interested in for a few years now. The Center for Great Apes is a sanctuary that takes in orangutans and chimpanzees and gives them a permanent home. Most of these apes come from the entertainment industry or from research, but there are a few who were raised as pets. A donation to the Center provides them with food, shelter, an enriching environment, and the company of their own species. For more on great apes in captivity and their legal rights, check out GRASP.

Farm Sanctuary provides a home and an adoption service for farm animals. The residents include chickens, ducks, pigs, cows, goats, and other animals rescued from terrible situations. The animals there often come from conditions of horrible and inhumane treatment, torture, and slaughter - there is even one goat there who was headed for a ritual sacrifice! (By the way, if your god still calls for blood offerings FUCK HIM! Believe what you like, but leave innocent animals out of your insanity, ok?)

Another fine adoption agency is the Rocky Mountain Aviculture Society. They are based in Denver, and I'm proud to be a member. They take in abandoned and surrendered parrots, housing, feeding, and providing veterinary care for them until a new home can be found. They can always use a few more dollars, and be honest - couldn't your karma use the cleansing? I know mine could.

If none of the suggestions above lights your fuse you can go to the No-Kill Network and find a no-kill animal shelter near you and donate to them. These shelters take in abandoned pets of all types and provide them with housing and care until a home can be found for them - or for the rest of their lives if necessary. Animals that don't end up at no-kill shelters end up at the other kind of shelter, which is not so much a shelter as it is pet DEATH ROW. Make a donation so no animal has to go there. Better yet, adopt an animal from a no-kill shelter. If that seems more like a gift for yourself than a gift for me, you can just name the pet after me. I love the idea of everyone having a puppy that reminds them of me! I can just imagine it on Christmas morning...

"God damnit!"
"What's wrong?"
"His Sinfulness shit on the floor again!"

That's EXACTLY what Christmas morning sounds like at Flock Hall.

Wish List

It has been brought to my attention that I am one for whom it is hard to shop. I have been encouraged by the BCPs to construct the following list as an aid to the Cyber-Faithful. Naturally, I would be pleased with a donation to charity in my name - in fact, I have a post on that very topic planned for later this week - but for those of a more materialist bent, I present in no particular order a few things I'd like to have...

An udu. The udu is played by striking it with all parts of the hand, and by cupping the hand(s) over the hole(s). Different techniques and different locations on the drum yeild many different sounds. I love hand drumming (that is, drumming without sticks), and the udu offers a number of cool sounds, but with less volume than a doumbec, djembe, or congas. I could play this at FlockHall without disturbing all the other inmates...

A nice mate and bombilla for yerba mate. I have a serviceable mate and bombilla, but I would love to have a larger one (I am as big as a house - my caffeine tolerance/jones is quite phenomenal). Other yerba mate paraphernalia (like a cool thermos, so I can stop stealing Ducky's) would be lovely also, as would a bag of the herb itself.

Clubbells. They are an absolutely awesome workout tool. Versatile, sturdy, and even fun to use. There is something meditative about rhythmically swinging these beasts about your head, and they are coated in rubber in case you aren't all that coordinated. I have a pair of 15 pound clubbells - they are central to my workouts, but I have grown strong enough now that a larger clubbell would be a big help. Any club of 25 pounds or more would be useful for single-handed exercises, and disciplining the cat. KIDDING, of course. The cat is way too fast for that...

A push-up board. I know, I know - another workout toy, but this is an item I would use three, maybe four times a week, and think gratefully of the giver each time. If you like the idea of me sweating and grunting while I pump up and down and think of you, then this is the gift choice for you! It would also be perfect if you are just tired of looking at my flabby moobs (man boobs). All kidding aside, this helps reduce wrist pain while doing push-ups and other "forward leaning rest position" exercises. When gripping the ends of the board, your hands are in a more natural position and your wrists don't hurt... which leaves you more able to concentrate on the searing pain elsewhere in your body...

Apple butter. It's not just a joke around here - I really do love apple butter. It contains important trace elements that my body needs in order to keep up with my hectic schedule of evil-doing. The store brands are ok, but they lack the homespun goodness of apple butter that someone canned themselves. I like my apple butter like I like my women - smooth, spicy, and straight - but I am not opposed to the bi varieties (pumpkin-apple, apple-pecan, peach-apple, etc.).

If none of these suit your tastes, you can simply use the three cop-out gifts my family always uses; books, games, and hot sauce.

The End is Nigh

Another semester is winding down, and I have remarkably few things to complete these days. These are the final days of the final classes I'll be taking at UW - a take home exam, a 15-page paper, and a presentation will complete my coursework here. Next semester I'll just be writing my thesis - no classes, and although I still have GA funding, I am not assigned to a professor.

I am not worried about getting this semester's work done on time.
I am not worried about writing my thesis, or defending it.
I am not worried about my PhD applications, or getting accepted somewhere.
In fact, I am not even excited about being done here.

The academy has finally rendered me numb.

Well - not entirely numb. I can still feel how tired I am. I know that by the end of the month-long winter break I will be ready to get back to work, but right now I just want to sleep.