Archive for September, 2009
My sister has finally gone and done it–she has gotten her own blog, "The Primary Word." She will be missed. Go and read her blog more often than mine, because it’ll definitely be better.
Blog on, man. Blog on.
I wish I had known about this association and others like it when I was in college. I was student senate parliamentarian for a year; as someone who enjoys rules, protocol and the ins-and-outs of procedures, and who is interested in politics, these seminars and publications would have neat to experience.
In light of Rep. Wilson’s outburst last week during the president’s address, I’ve been watching some videos and reading reports about incidents in parliamentary bodies in other countries. Compared with some of the goings-on in these other bodies, Wilson’s behavior seems quite tame. Now, all the coverage and commentary on his outburst and subsequent apology have distracted from the substance of President Obama’s address. I swear, we have the national attention span of a fruit fly.
This is not to defend Wilson, however. Cultural expectations are the key here; if he were a British or Australian MP, his comment might have been within the bounds of protocol–even if not quite factually accurate. However, the rules of decorum generally understood in the US Congress made his comments disrespectful, and he was right to apologize.
Ever heard of this incident on the Senate floor?
Check out this article on Plugged In’s website. The old question is again raised: to what extent does art reflect culture and to what extent does art shape culture?
We are a society of romantics, looking for the next emotional high or low. I was in a band in high school, and I swear that our singer/songwriter would enter a relationship half hoping that it wouldn’t work out so that he could write a heartfelt breakup song. If we’re not constantly emotional, we’re somehow less human.
Yet we appropriate others’ artistic productions to express our own feelings. We make montages of our favorite TV couples, set them to our favorite songs, and post them on Youtube. We copy neat photos and literary quotes to our facebook pages to convey our own emotions. We feel like we are contributing to culture and understanding, but we’re just homines incurvati.
Today is the fifteenth anniversary of my baptism. I was baptized on September 9, 1994, at Light of Israel Congregation in Yonkers, NY.
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Rom. 6:4)
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
.אַשְׁרֵי נְשׂוּי-פֶּשַׁע כְּסוּי חֲטָאָה
Well, it has begun: our final semester at PBU. After 10 years at PBU between the two of us, Bekah and I are entering the home stretch. In December, she will receive her B.S. in Biblical Studies with honors, summa cum laude, etc. I’ll get my M.S. in B.S. two years after completing my B.S. in B.S., thank the Laude.
It’s strange to be finishing together. Though we’re two school-years apart, we have never studied at the same institution at the same time. In my senior year of high school I took 12 credits at PBU’s now-defunct NJ campus. Then I matriculated in Fall of 2003 and finished in three years. Bekah spent what would have been her freshman year in Mexico, so she arrived just after I left. While she did her first two years, I took a year off and then went to Westminster for a year. In the wake of the Enns fiasco, I transferred back to PBU for grad studies, only to see her spend a year in Oxford. Now, finally, we get to spend our last semesters together. I’m enjoying it already.
I’d appreciate your prayers as I make several campus visits in pursuit of doctoral admission. I’m going up to Penn State next week, and then to Princeton Seminary in three weeks. Bekah is applying to several graduate programs in the US and UK, but she’ll need your prayers less than I will.
Here’s a comment I made on Thomas’s post about healthcare:
I’ve wondered about that and often felt frustrated about my inability. Unfortunately, the culture of health insulation (a more accurate term than "insurance") has allowed prices to rise so high that it is simply not feasible for a church to simply share medical expenses. One problem is that the necessity of certain procedures is questionable–do I really need this test? If I’m not paying for it, of course I do! If I am, then–eh, maybe not. The rationing that naturally occurs within a market is difficult, partly because we don’t have a market for health care, and partly because most consumers don’t have expert knowledge of which services are necessary and which are borderline or frivolous.
From what I’ve read, the problem seems to go back to WWII when wages were frozen by gov’t; employers improved fringe benefits to entice workers. After the war these benefits stayed and (this is key) became tax exempt. If congress made fringe benefits offered by employers–retirement, health insurance–taxable, and instead passed on that value as an income tax credit, we would see more of a market for insurance plans, particularly cheaper plans with high deductables and catastrophic coverage (think SafeAuto). Congress should also do its job according to the Constitution and "regulate" (i.e., "make regular") trade between the states by forcing states to allow the purchase of health insurance policies across state lines.
The problem is we’ve had a race to the top of the industry and no variegation in coverage and price. Now those who have insurance pay nothing (so they think) and use too much and those who don’t have insurance are sunk.
So, back to the original question, Thomas: I don’t think we can do much, except pray, help individuals find jobs with insurance, and lobby our public officials to loosen some of these chokeholds on the industry.
What a downer.