Mugged Man: “You Might As Well take My Coat”

A teenager steals a man’s wallet by knife-point in the subway. The man offers the thief his jacket as well. Next thing you know the victim is taking the mugger out to eat and eventually gets his wallet back. Then he gives the teen $20 and asks for the knife in exchange.

That’s the story of Julio Diaz as told on NPR (link via kottke).

It’d be an incredibly cheesy sermon illustration if it weren’t true. Luke 6:27-38—them’s some hard words.

89.3 The Current Playing More Repeats

OK, enough politics.

Apparently my favorite radio station, 89.3 FM The Current—which extols listeners to “expand their playlist”—is shrinking their playlist according to City Pages. With falling ratings songs are getting played more often. In March 2007 one song was played 17 times in one week, while in late 2005 a single song was never played more than two or three times.

What City Pages doesn’t report is how often other stations repeat songs. Cities 97 has been repeating the same songs for as long as I’ve listened, which is close to 10 years. When I do happen to listen I’ll hear songs they over-played a decade ago, and they’re still doing it. (I will say that the Current totally overplayed “Knights” by Minus the Bear a few months back. The song was OK,  but now I hate it.)

It’s a little discouraging to see more repetition on the Current, but it’s not yet worth jumping ship. I hope the Current figures out what they’re doing. I love their eclectic mix of music. I’ve discovered more new bands that way (and went on to buy their CDs/downloads).

Barack Obama & Jeremiah Wright: Weirder & Weirder

Presidential candidate Barack Obama said if his pastor Jeremiah Wright wasn’t retiring and didn’t acknowledge that his comments were offensive, Obama would have left Trinity United Church of Christ:

“Had the reverend not retired and had he not acknowledged that what he had said had deeply offended people and were inappropriate and mischaracterized what I believe is the greatness of this country, for all its flaws, then I wouldn’t have felt comfortable staying there at the church.”

This announcement comes with the revelation that Wright had published articles in the church bulletin that were potentially anti-American and anti-Israel. At the very least, they were in poor taste and a little nuts. Obama denounced the articles and said they were “outrageously wrong.” Who knows what further damage this will do to Obama, but it really makes me wonder about the church.

Continue reading Barack Obama & Jeremiah Wright: Weirder & Weirder

More Secret Service Protection for a Black President?

My Twitter friend Anjuan Simmons posted an interesting blog entry wondering if more Secret Service protection would be needed should Barack Obama become the first black president. The answer seems like a resounding ‘yes’ to me, which is basically what Simmons concluded. Seems to me the level of security should match the perceived threat, and simply as a candidate there’s already plenty of threats against Obama. Therefore increased security is warranted.

But if you read the comments on Simmons’ YouTube video when he proposed the question for a debate, you’ll see a lot of opinions all over the map (yikes—why is it that YouTube commenters seem to be crazier than any other commenters?). Some of these opinions are clearly off the deep end, but I’m a little confused by the people who seem to think Obama should get the same security as any other president, as if it’s a matter of fairness. As if you determine the size/capabilities of your fighting force based on the last battle, instead of the size/capabilities of your current enemy.

Aside from the psychos, it’s an interesting ‘what if’ question. What would it do to America if the first black president were assassinated?

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

It’s time for a little education. Just because you see something on the news, hear it in a politician’s speech, find it on the Internet or even read it on my blog—that does not mean it’s true.

NPR messed it up, by way of an interviewee.

Politicians of every stripe have been known to mess things up, from George W. Bush’s 2003 State of the Union speech to Hillary Clinton’s sniper fire.

And the Internet—yikes, where to begin? From e-mail forwards, to uninformed blog entries, to out-of-context YouTube videos, there’s plenty to distrust.

The lesson is to have some healthy skepticism.

Continue reading Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

Jeremiah Wright is Not Anti-Gay

This Jeremiah Wright thing just gets weirder and weirder. Today I was listening to NPR and heard a story about Barack Obama trying to raise support in Pennsylvania. Reporter Joel Rose interviewed one person who said they wouldn’t be voting for Obama because of his ties to Jeremiah Wright:

“That actually really upset me, being a gay man and hearing like anti-gay and anti-all kinds of things … it disappointed me that he didn’t get up and go, ‘You know what, I just don’t want to be a part of this.'”

At the time I thought, “Wright is anti-gay on top of everything else? Wow, this is nuts.” But then I started doing some more research on Jeremiah Wright. And I found the opposite.

Continue reading Jeremiah Wright is Not Anti-Gay

A White Easter & A Sad Snowman

Sad, Melty SnowmanThis is my sad, melty snowman. I made him a few days ago with Lexi’s help (sort of help). Then he melted to the point that his head shrunk. Then we got about five inches of snow. So it’s a white Easter and a sad snowman.

And not only is this a rare white Easter in Minnesota, but it’s also one of the earliest Easters in a while. The earliest Easter can ever come is March 22, and the last time it came this early was 80 years ago. It won’t come this early again for another 150 years. There’s your random trivia for the day.

Five Years in Iraq

So five years ago we invaded Iraq. Nearly 4,000 U.S. soldiers have died, more than 29,000 have been injured and the war has cost us roughly $500 billion. And the stat often left out of the news is Iraqi casualties. They’ve been estimated at over 1 million, though they vary wildly depending on when and where you get your numbers.

President George W. Bush has been speaking about the progress in the war on the anniversary:

“For the terrorists, Iraq was supposed to be the place where al-Qaida rallied Arab masses to drive America out. Instead, Iraq has become the place where Arabs joined with Americans to drive al-Qaida out” (Star Tribune)

Nevermind that if al-Qaida is in Iraq at all, they’re there because we invaded.

Continue reading Five Years in Iraq

What Kind of Blog Are You?

I’ve been blogging for nearly 10 years and read a lot of blogs. Over those years I’ve been and read a lot of different types of blogs. Many of those types have been explained before, like the political blog or the niche blog or the insult blog. But I’ve seen quite a few other, much less famous types. So the question becomes, what type of blog is yours? (a not-so-complete list)

The Cat Blog
The blog that covers the mundane, like what your cat is doing.

The Bitch Blog
The blog that’s nothing but bitching, damn it!

The Mom Blog
Much like a cat blog, this type covers mundane things your children do.

The Introspective, What the Hell are You Talking About Blog
The blog that no one understands, except maybe the writer.

The I Have an Opinion About Everything Blog
I think the title says it all.

The I Haven’t Blogged in a While Blog
The blog with infrequent updates, all of which apologize for not blogging in a while.

The Ooh Shiny Blog
The blog that posts every new video, link or web trend, with no original thought of their own.