Today's blogger for the 40 Day Fast is Jason Gray, who writes about World Vision's work all over the world.
"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)
Today's blogger for the 40 Day Fast is Jason Gray, who writes about World Vision's work all over the world.
Speaker of the Texas House Tom Craddick will have a Democratic challenger on the ballot this fall. At least Midland voters will have an alternative.
My friend Julia recently moved to Colombia, where she is living in a peace community that protects farmers and families who are in danger due to nearby instability. She's recording some fantastic reflections on living in intentional community on her new blog. You should definintely check it out.
Peter Wehner, a conservative evangelical and former Bush administration official, writes a beautifully-reasoned explanation as to how James Dobson's attacks on Barack Obama were unfair and based in dishonest interpretations of his statements.
We should start doing this when American (inevitably) cancels flights at DFW. If it worked in an authoritarian, Communist state, it outta work here in the liberty-rich U.S. of A. Of course, your name would probably be on a no-fly list forever...
Oh, Bruce Ware. Blaming non-submissive women for spousal abuse is probably not the best way to get more people into the Southern Baptist fold. Just a suggestion.
From our friends at Heal Africa, there's news that tonight's episode of Nightline will feature the situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and the information-gathering that actor Ben Affleck has been doing there. A good bit of filming happened at Heal Africa Hospital, where I've spent a lot of time during research for my dissertation, and there will be a feature on Marta, above, one of the survivors at the hospital. Marta was raped and burned by members of one of the many militias operating in the region.
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." - version of the Second Amendment passed by Congress that is on the Bill of Rights in the National Archives
Beginning at 9 central, the Supreme Court will release its final decisions of the term, including, we expect, a decision in D.C. v. Heller, the first case in which the court will make a ruling on gun ownership rights since the 1930's. SCOTUSblog and many other court watchers think that Justice Scalia probably wrote the majority opinion, which would mean the court has found that an individual right to gun ownership exists.
Today's bloggers for the 40 Day Fast are Annie, who writes about an arts-based program that helps poor children in South Africa, and P.D., whose subject is access to water. Be sure to check out their writings!
McSweeney's does Lit 101 in three lines or less. My favorite has to be Moby Dick.
"Like all Americans, Dr. Dobson has every right to advocate public policy informed by his abiding Christian faith. I will be counting on him to continue to do so, but he will improve his chances of success by not pretending to lack the most basic understanding of democracy, which we all know he has, or by misreading and mischaracterizing the views of one of the country's most eloquent defenders of the importance of faith—maybe since George Washington opined that it was indispensable to the prosperity of the nation." - Professor Doug Kmiec
Dear Texas in Africa,
From jamesdobsondoesntspeakforme.com, a group led by Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell (who officiated Jenna Bush's wedding last month in Crawford and who has endorsed Obama):
Update on the Chet Edwards story: he hasn't been contacted by Obama's VP team as of yet.
Of all the objectionable things the Bush Adminstration has done (and there are many), one of the things that disturbs me most is their attempt to politicize our judicial system. A new, internal report, out today, confirms what has been obvious for quite some time: that the Justice Department under the Bush administration has been using political factors in its hiring decisions. That's not only reprehensible; it's also illegal.
Chet Edwards for veep? That's not a bad idea. Not a bad idea at all.
Although I have never really understood why it is that anyone would rely upon a child psychologist for advice about for whom to vote, it seems that Dr. James Dobson has once again weighed in on this year's presidential race, and, not suprisingly, he doesn't like Obama. (That's not to say that he likes McCain's, either. He apparently doesn't.)
Today is the beginning of the 40 Day Fast that we're hosting over at Inspired to Action. Brant Hansen is the first poster, and you won't want to miss his beautiful words about a Compassion project in Nairobi's Kibera slum.
For my intro American government class, I've developed a series of ways for students to do a term paper that is usually a little more interesting than a traditional, library-based research project. In election years, I have the students do a mock debate. Some ask questions, others answer. The students seem to like it, and it gets them engaged in understanding current political issues, which is one of my main goals for the course. It also meets a goal of involving students of diverse educational interests in experiential learning while requiring them to synthesize information in a creative way.
A refugee camp is not a place you want to be.
“'With the exception of the cross-burning episode … I believe John Freshwater is teaching the values of the parents in the Mount Vernon school district.'’’
Having a T.A. = Totally Awesome.
The best part is I only actually asked him to give the exam. I do not have any plans to abuse my T.A.'s friendliness and willingness to help, but, wow, this is great. Here's where I begin to rethink my plan to teach at liberal arts colleges forever.In other news, job postings are starting to come out. McMurry is hiring. Yippee.
When you give money to a political campaign, the Federal Election Commission collects data on your donation that becomes a matter of public record. Part of that data includes your occupation, which is self-described. Here's an awesome list of which parties people in different occupations have been giving to in this election cycle. In what I'm sure is a shocking shift in group support for a candidate, it appears that Ron Paul has finally managed to corner the support of the wizard demographic.
I just got an invitation that, well, has to be read to be believed:
It's time for the 40 Day Fast!
The Librarian and I went to see tonight's double feature at the Paramount: Dirty Dancing AND Flashdance. It was, as you can imagine, totally awesome. (Also, Flashdance is among the worst movies I've ever seen on the big screen.)
I just threw up in my mouth a little:
A.J.'s coming back! Probably.
I am definitely not smart enough to be a German, although guessing got me the requisite 4 of 7 correct.
I wish I could say that I was familiar with Kenyan/American band Extra Golden prior to hearing them on NPR back in January when there was so much trouble in Kenya. But I wasn't.
Ethics Daily today runs an excellent blog post by Emily Hunter McGowan that I've been meaning to post on for a few days now. It's about the role of women in ministry, and, to put it bluntly, the fact that we don't have time for cop-outs.
Well, thanks to Steve the Lawyer's hard work (and his team's, whatever), the new Kosovo constitution went into effect at midnight on Sunday morning. Now the government controls the territory, with a "supervisory role" being played by the EU. (Steve assures me, however, that the UNMIK stamps in my passport are not a relic, but that capabilities such as airport customs enforcement will be phased in as capacity is built. Such a diplomatic way of putting it.)
Ann describes the events of last night better than I can. And for the record, the wings under the arms on my muu-muu were not the only reason to never be seen in that in public again.
Happy Father's Day to my daddy! My dad is the coolest, and is a great husband and father. He retired this year from being editor-in-chief of a publication that had a huge circulation. At his retirement party, I got to give a speech about all the ways he's made a difference in our lives. As my sister pointed out later, we never had to worry that our dad would work late or not be there for us - he was always home for dinner at 6, and he never missed anything significant in our lives growing up. He has never - not once - said that I couldn't do something if I put my mind to it, but he also gives wise advice and encourages us to make the best decisions. He loves us unconditionally, and we are so lucky to have him as our father.
Question: What did Texas in Africa do on this lovely, humid evening in scenic Austin, Texas?
Oh, camp nostalgia. And now someone's written a book about it. It may be a cliche, but I don't care. Spending two weeks of each summer sleeping in a cabin in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina was one of the great blessings and privileges of my life. To this day, eleven years after I last spent a summer at camp, some of my greaest friends are camp friends. A ridiculous number of my friends on Facebook are camp people, including the girls who were my campers the summer I was their counselor. They were seven and eight then. This summer, several of these cute little girls are counselors themselves. Gulp.
You have to love life in Austin, Texas. I'm pretty sure we're the only place in the world that hosts a massive biker rally and a gay pride festival (with a fire truck in the parade) on the same 103-degree heat index weekend. Not to mention the Juneteenthers and the rest of us who are just living life and trying to avoid the traffic snarls...
...who wrote this on my spring evaluations. It will be on page 1 of my teaching portfolio for the job market this fall:
NBC political analyst Tim Russert is dead at age 58.
The Officemate (who is technically now the former officemate) is defending her dissertation as we type. I know she would appreciate your thoughts and prayers.
We just received our summer departmental directory, which has everyone's phone number, email, and office hours, as well as general university contact numbers for the problems you may face.
So this morning I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts on the way to work and remembered that I keep meaning to share it with all of you. I can't remember where, but somewhere I read about In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg, a production of the BBC's Radio Four, and subscribed to the free podcast on iTunes. And proceeded to only listen to one or two of them for six months.
Referring to Michelle Obama as Barack's "baby mama" is a big much, don't you think?
"The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times,” Justice Anthony Kennedy, in today's ruling that terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay have rights to challenge their detentions in American courts rather than in the ridiculous Combatant Status Review Tribunals that gave defendants no defense lawyers, no access to the evidence against them, and no information about the witnesses against them.
The SBC Executive Committee has rejected endorsing the creation of a sex offender database for SBC churches. The reason for their decision is based partly on practical issues (it would be really hard to do) and largely on the autonomy of the local church.
I'm going to consider this a challenge.
So I've mentioned before that the Kirk Cameron witnessing show is just about my favorite out-of-touch Christian thing ever. This clip, posted on the Daily Dish today, is a classic case. Notice how they completely fail to consider what the creational genius of the banana tells us about the relationship between man and apes:
Dr. Jimmy Draper made some rather stunning comments yesterday to the pastors' conference that preceeds the SBC . Ethics Daily reports on it here, including this:
Student 1, in class today: "Well, it [the Top 10% law] was a good idea..."
As you may have guessed, I have a close, personal relationship with the people at ILS in our lovely, Texas-shaped library. I order obscure books to be shipped in from other places like nobody's business, because, well, when the Library of Congress can't get you access to the books you need, ILS is the last best chance you've got. (Cases in point: Friday I sent one back to the Fleming Library at Southwestern Seminary. Today I picked one up from Brigham Young.) I take the five-minute walk to the library at least twice a week, so much so that the guards know that my books, being non-UT books, are going to set the security alarms off.
Of all the things for which I am thankful to Jesus (and believe me, there are many), one of them is that, since I chose to no longer be a Southern Baptist, I don't have to worry about what they're going to do to embarass me every June anymore.
Who's really being hurt by high gas prices.
Somebody set the Texas Governor's mansion on fire early this morning. Thankfully, no one was injured as it's under renovation while Governor Goodhair lives in a pricey rental that technically isn't even in Austin (which is unconstitutional, but apparently just a detail).
Five years ago, my phone rang. I was driving down I-40, just getting into Memphis, when Allison gave me the news.
I finally have access to my course management website.
Many of you prayed for my friend A's father a few months back when he was placed under house arrest by Pakistan's dictator for his support of democratic practices and the rule of law. I thought you should know that he's no longer under house arrest, and that he was profiled in the New York Times Magazine this past weekend. Take a look to see what the government of the United States is, at least in part, against: democracy in Pakistan.
Anybody out there read Swedish and/or Norwegian? I've got a tiny dissertation issue with which I need some translation help. Anybody? Please?
Robert Mugabe's police just unleashed a world of pain on their government. Detaining American and British diplomats (and slashing the tires of their cars) is never a good idea.
It's the first day of summer school.
Hillary will finally - FINALLY - give up and endorse Obama this weekend.
So the whole abstinence-based sex ed thing isn't working so well...
Being as the last four weeks have been what passes for "vacation" here in the world of Texas in Africa (meaning that we stay up until all hours, sleep 'til 11, and stumble into the office for a few hours of remarkably productive dissertation work before leaving for the gym at 5. Or, you know, go to DC for a week to sit in the Library of Congress all day.), I've actually gotten to read some books FOR FUN of late. Here are my (mercifully brief) thoughts on each:
Well, how's that for variety? Blood diamonds, nuclear terrorism, espionage, and a Botswanan detective novel. Next up is an autobiography of legendary Texas politician Ben Barnes, a copy of which the Librarian was sweet enough to pick up for me at the Texas Library Association meeting in April. I love vacation. You read your beach books and I'll read mine.
The AP says that Obama has clinched the Democratic nomination for the presidency.
Former president (and thus far uncommitted superdelegate) Jimmy Carter will endorse Obama tonight after the polls close in Montana and South Dakota. It's over, even if Hillary Clinton's campaign doesn't want to admit it. Obama already has seven supers who've committed to him today, including five from Michigan (who, granted, only count as half delegates given the compromise worked out over the weekend).
Well, in typically tacky Clintonian fashion, the AP reports that Hillary Clinton will concede "the delegate race" to Obama tonight. He's almost certainly going to cross the threshold of pledged delegates and superdelegates today, so there's not much she can do. But her people are making a point to say that she will continue her campaign (even if they're firing most of the staff) and that she is not conceding the nomination.
I went to an opera yesterday.
Over the weekend, I got a save-the-date for the wedding of one of my closest friends from New Haven. We were some of the only women doing international security stuff, which meant we bonded for life over the fact that the boys wouldn't take us seriously until we proved we knew our stuff about weapons systems. She's still fighting the boys over national security matters, while I'm safely ensconsed in the world of academia, but she is one of my only friends with whom I can seriously discuss both theories of state collapse, responses to terrorist attacks on a major port, and serious fashion dilemmas, like what to wear when an invitation says "evening casual."
Have the Clintons realized the reality of it all?