Cherry-Picking Politics: Barack Obama & Jeremiah Wright

Wow. The craziness is flying over comments made by Barack Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright. I’ve read reactions from people stronly opposed to Wright, and from people defending Wright (or at least giving some helpful context—Knightopia links to several more).

Some of what Wright says is clearly off the deep end (i.e., the government invented AIDS to wipe out people of color). But I think some of his comments are right on. Like the “God Damn America” comments:

“The government gives them the drugs [referring to the Iran-Contra Affair], builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people … God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.” (Seattle Times)

The ABC News story left out the last sentence, which I think helps give some context. Wright is preaching prophetically, like the prophets of old, who spoke out against injustice. I love America and the freedoms we have, but it’s not anti-American to speak out against injustice committed by America. That’s patriotic. (I wish Obama would have made that point.)

And America has some injustice going on when there are more black men in prison than in college.

Continue reading Cherry-Picking Politics: Barack Obama & Jeremiah Wright

Economic Downturn is Opportunity

Waking up to see the falling stock market as the main article on CNN is getting old. Hearing the NPR newcasters skirting around the r-word (that which must not be named—recession! Gasp!) is beyond tiring. Watching the federal government throw money at us in order to fix the economy is a little backward.

I’m happy to finally see someone talk about the up side. And of course, it’s Seth Godin:

“Change (and the fortunes that go with it) is almost always made during the down part of the cycle. It might not be fun, but it’s exciting.”

Losing your job is never easy, but it is an opportunity. Despite what everyone is saying, recession isn’t the end of the world.

It’s Official: I’m Dot Com!

Kevin D. Hendricks is now officially dot com. After nearly 10 years of having my blog hosted on other sites and being stuck in a secondary directory, I’ve finally moved out on my own with my own site and my own url:

It’s a little new, a little scary.

I’ve also switched from Movable Type to WordPress in the process. So far so good, though I’m sure much will be broken (and ugly) for a while until I get it all sorted out.

Update: And I hope the RSS feed works. It should subscribe you to my FeedBurner feed, So far I can’t tell if it is or not.

Yes, We’re Still Waiting

Lots of folks have been asking how our adoption process is going, and the answer is the same as it was two months ago: We’re waiting. We’ve been approved, we’ve filled out all the paperwork and we’re officially on the waiting list. We’re down to something like 4-7 months to go.

The only thing to do is wait.

And if it sounds like nothing has changed since my last adoption post, well, you’d be right. Except that we’re two weeks closer.

Shave Your Head to Fight Cancer

St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven fund raising program where people shave their heads to fight cancer. We’re such an image-based culture that I love the idea of putting our image to work for a cause (I was going to say ‘forsaking your image for a cause,’ but I realized some consider a bald head pretty fashionable). It’s kind of like Locks of Love (for those not eager to go completely bald).

While I love the idea, it’s clear some have more to sacrifice than others. (via DJLitten)

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer Gives ‘Em Hell

Apparently a number states have balked at the Department of Homeland Security’s attempts to require nationwide standards for ID cards, known as the Real ID Act. It sounds like a fairly boring story, though maybe an interesting case of state’s rights vs. national security.

Boring, that is, until you hear Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer weigh in on NPR:

“We’re putting up with the federal government on so many fronts and nearly every month they come out with another harebrained scheme, an unfunded mandate to tell us that our life is going to be better if we’ll just buckle under on some other kind of rule or regulation. We usually just play along for a while, ignore them for as long as we can. We try not to bring it to a head. But if it comes to a head we’ve found that it’s best to just tell them to go to hell and run your state the way you want to run your state.”

Hilarious. Check out Wired for more background on the Real ID debate.

My House is Broken; or I’m Inept at Home Improvement

My house hates me. Since we moved in last April things have been systematically breaking.

  • The guys who installed our washer and dryer hooked them up wrong. Didn’t help that I didn’t properly install the drain hose on the first try. That was messy.
  • The overflow drain in our jacuzzi tub failed, sending a ton of water seeping through the ceiling and dripping into the living room. We got it fixed easily enough, but we still have some stains on the ceiling that we don’t care enough about to fix.
  • While removing wallpaper in the bathroom we had the window open and the hot water running, and were soon smelling gas. We thought it might have been something dangerous with our instant hot water heater, but turns out it’s normal. I suspect the exhaust may have been located too close to the window.
  • Our doorbell stopped working.
  • The toilet in our basement started leaking and soon we realized it was the main drain backing up to the toilet, the tub and the floor drain in the basement. It got to the point where nothing was draining at all. One Roto Rooter visit later we were back in business.
  • When it got cold and we turned on our gas fireplace only to discover it wouldn’t stay lit. Definitely not a necessity, so we opted to ignore it for a while.
  • Of course then the furnace went out. Those were a cold couple of days.
  • Then our wood burning fireplace (yes, we have two fireplaces) decided to clog up. I can only assume the chimney is in desperate need of a cleaning (I suggested we call that friendly chap from Mary Poppins). Another expense we decided to forgo for a while.
  • And now the toilet in the basement is leaking again and this morning I determined that it is in fact the main drain clogged up again. The Roto Rooter man said the guy who came out six months ago didn’t have a big enough machine to fully clear out the roots. But he supposedly got it. We’ll see in six months (when his guarantee expires).

So basically we’ve had a problem with every major appliance in our house, except the dishwasher. And if the dishwasher goes, well, then I give up. Have I mentioned that sometimes I hate being a homeowner? Yeah, I guess I have.