7 things @ 11 o’clock (11.25)

1. “And the gates of that city were as azure, and as lapis lazuli, and Ichabod revealed that he had been friends with Benjamin Franklin, whose name was not Benjamin Franklin at all, but Nostradamus, and that he had discovered a method for turning wheat into jam, which was not as useful an alchemy as he had originally hoped but you had to admit was kind of interesting.”

2. Here ya go:

3. Oy, what are they teaching these kids at Harvard? The Harvard Ichthus, a “journal of Christian thought,” published this sentence: “The Jews, rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die.”

I couldn’t afford Harvard, but the school I went to had heard of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire hung criminals on crosses. Crucified means killed by the Roman Empire. Jesus was crucified. Jesus was killed by the Roman Empire. Period.

The confusion (and internalized anti-Semitism) of this Harvard student parallels a similar confusion represented by that movie poster above. The book of Revelation, like the crucifixion, is bound to be confusing if you’re looking at it without seeing the empire at work.

4. Alexander Hamilton (the guy on the $10 bill) didn’t think much of legislative rules that could be twisted into something like the routine-filibuster trainwreck of the past five years.

In Federalist No. 22 (via) Hamilton explains that democracy ought to mean the majority opinion carries the day, not the opinion of an obstructionist minority:

To give a minority a negative upon the majority (which is always the case where more than a majority is requisite to a decision), is, in its tendency, to subject the sense of the greater number to that of the lesser.… The necessity of unanimity in public bodies, or of something approaching towards it, has been founded upon a supposition that it would contribute to security. But its real operation is to embarrass the administration, to destroy the energy of the government, and to substitute the pleasure, caprice, or artifices of an insignificant, turbulent, or corrupt junto, to the regular deliberations and decisions of a respectable majority. In those emergencies of a nation, in which the goodness or badness, the weakness or strength of its government, is of the greatest importance, there is commonly a necessity for action. The public business must, in some way or other, go forward. If a pertinacious minority can control the opinion of a majority, respecting the best mode of conducting it, the majority, in order that something may be done, must conform to the views of the minority; and thus the sense of the smaller number will overrule that of the greater, and give a tone to the national proceedings. Hence, tedious delays; continual negotiation and intrigue; contemptible compromises of the public good. And yet, in such a system, it is even happy when such compromises can take place: for upon some occasions things will not admit of accommodation; and then the measures of government must be injuriously suspended, or fatally defeated. It is often, by the impracticability of obtaining the concurrence of the necessary number of votes, kept in a state of inaction. Its situation must always savor of weakness, sometimes border upon anarchy.

5. I wasn’t the only one who was appalled by the nasty attacks on the poor disguised as “financial advice” in the “20 Things Rich People Do Every Day” nonsense promoted by Dave Ramsey. Rod the Rogue Demon Hunter also weighs in with “20 Things the Working Poor Do Every Day.”

Rod also links back to this thoughtful post from John Slattery: “A Theological History of Private Property.” Summarizing Slattery (and St. Ambrose), Rod writes, “the history of private property rights cannot be neatly severed from the history of enslaving other persons.”

6. Michael Kimmel: “America’s angriest white men: Up close with racism, rage and Southern supremacy

So, who are they really, these hundred thousand white supremacists? They’re every white guy who believed that this land was his land, was made for you and me. They’re every down-on-his-luck guy who just wanted to live a decent life but got stepped on, every character in a Bruce Springsteen or Merle Haggard song, every cop, soldier, auto mechanic, steelworker, and construction worker in America’s small towns who can’t make ends meet and wonders why everyone else is getting a break except him. But instead of becoming Tom Joad, a left-leaning populist, they take a hard right turn, ultimately supporting the very people who have dispossessed them.

7. Okra and Ecclesiastes: In Friday’s Left Behind post, we discussed tribalistic Country songs — those odes to dirt roads, trucks, and real ‘murkans that come across as less of a celebration of country living than as an accusation against everyone and everything else. Grant Peeples takes the form of such songs and plays with it constructively in “My People Come From the Dirt,” which includes one of the best explanations I’ve heard of this phenomenon: “pride is the only card left to play when it comes to saving face.”

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(That link to Peeples’ website features more of his music, including a nifty rendition of “Things Have Changed” with Ruthie Foster.)

  • MarkTemporis

    I’d have reason to doubt Jihad Watch, but I’m pretty sure they mean something like this WWII era anti-tank tactic. It was…less than efficient, really.


  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Honestly, the last three episodes are the best so far. They finally start expanding the other characters, and throw in a neat twist the expected Skye/Ward romance.

  • Darkrose

    Tom Mison would look good in sackcloth, is all I’m saying.

  • Mrs Grimble

    “The revelation about the Brotherhood’s cruel tactic used two weeks ago at Tahrir Square during demonstrations against the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi’s was made known by Robyn Urman, a pet rescuer in Tenafly, New Jersey, as reported by CBS 2.
    Urman, who works with Pet ResQ Inc., was contacted by Mervat Said, an
    animal rescue volunteer in Egypt, and flew the puppies to New Jersey to
    find homes.”

    So, in an article published on a pro-Israel website, somebody from New Jersey says he was told about this by somebody in Egypt. Which of course makes it *totally* true.

  • Lori

    I’m really behind and frankly the words “Skye/Ward romance” are pretty much enough to wipe out all thought of trying to catch up. I have zero interest in any romantic storyline focusing on Annoying Girl and Captain Cardboard II*, Electric Boogaloo.

    *A reference to Riley on Buffy. AKA, Jane Espenson works out her issues by writing her imaginary boyfriend and it’s exactly as much of a bad idea as it sounds.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    That’s the twist! It’s looking like there won’t be a romance! Ward’s got his eye elsewhere.

  • Daniel

    If he’s had a disappointing bowel movement, Buck’s face suggests he’s dealing with the aftermath. Chloe’s getting all sensitive cos her dad’s going off the deep end and soiling himself in public, and Hattie’s casting a disdainful glance across to wonder how she ever considered letting that man ever stop never touching her.
    “Rayford Steele’s mind was on a toilet he’d never reach”

  • Daniel

    Rayford Steele’s mind was on a bottle of Just for Men he should have never touched.

  • Lori

    If the twist was that they replaced him with an actual character, that’d be exciting.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    I really like the development he’s gotten, but YMMV.

  • Daniel

    I’ve seen it, a long long time ago.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird


  • Daniel

    Well, eight…

  • Ben English

    Honestly I liked Riley in season 4… season five, not so much.

  • Lori

    I’ve obviously been asking the wrong people all these years.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    Of course not. Children are property of their fathers (not their mothers; mothers are property of their husbands). Property doesn’t get a say.

  • Lori

    I think he started out as a good idea, but when the show started working overtime to convince us that he was so totally Buffy’s One And Only things went very wrong.

  • Ben English

    I’m sure there’s no coordinated ‘game’ of these sorts, but that Australian guy was shot dead and there does seem to be a racial motivation. It’s not surprising to me, either. In the last five years since Obama was elected, all the race-baiting and hate that’s been thrown about terrified me, 20-something white guy. How much worse must it be for teenage people of color?

    Combine that with whatever other causal factors there are–access to weapons, radicalization via the internet, whatever, and you’ve got powder kegs little different than people like Paul Ciancia except in their choice of targets. One of the most frustrating things about White Supremacists aside from, well, white supremacy, is that their attitudes do more to encourage violence against other whites than any bullshit Fox News wants to blame for it.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    I think I’m done with SHIELD. I can’t get past (*spoilers*) that an organization of this size and scope- a mostly secret one no less- would keep allowing Skye to remain a part of it despite everything she does and would give Coulson’s group such freedom in the most important matters with a mostly rookie/criminal crew.

    Oh, and almost every episode features a one-off non-white character who I keep hoping will join the team because they’re way more interesting than the main cast but it never happens.

  • Mark Z.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the footage that exists was security cam footage of gang activities

    Some of it definitely is (you can tell from camera angle and the absolute stillness of the camera), and that’s a huge problem with the “knockout game” legend, because the “game” supposedly involves the attackers posting their own video on YouTube for the amusement of their friends. That part is clearly meant to amp up the depravity: this isn’t just a street fight or mugging, this is some Clockwork Orange shit.

    Except the YouTube videos don’t exist. Search for it and you get a lot of panicky news reports about it, which all show one of about three clips of supposed “knockout game” attacks. Two of these are clearly surveillance video. The third looks to me to be staged (which is easy, certainly much easier than knocking someone out with one punch, and socially rewarding now that this is a thing on the news, as you said).

  • Daniel

    It’s actually shown quite a lot on Channel 5 in the UK, I don’t know why (not that it’s not good, it’s just C5 have a pretty set roster of films that they show at certain times of day- mostly old 50′s westerns that aren’t very good with names like “Son of Tomahawk” and “Lonesome Eyebrow” and heart wrenching films about beautiful people with odd diseases and/or horses that really need to win races. But every so often at three o’clock on a Sunday afternoon- Princess Bride or What’s Up Doc? comes on, and knocks you for six.)

  • http://politicaljesus.com/ h00die_R (Rod)

    Hi Fred, thanks again for the link love; by the way, you can call me Rod, and I go by h00die_R now post-Trayvon Martin trial; here’s why: http://polisyfyjesus.tumblr.com/post/63147145389/why-h00die-r-changing-twitter-handles-such

  • wendy

    #5 what all these rich people advice to poor people columns seem to ignore is that while yes, “anybody” can get rich, not *everybody* can. Even if we were all of identical intelligence, talent and persistent effort, it remains a Math Fact that the top 10% is only ever going to have 10% of people. The top 1% is 1%. The top 40% is only going to have room for 40% of us, and the other 60% still need to eat every day and buy the occasional schoolbook or asthma inhaler for their kids.


  • Daniel

    It’s just sad to think of all those people who have failed to be saved by not watching it. I just hope the money they saved not buying tickets will give them some consolation when they’re in Hell.
    In a way, it’s probably quite consoling that it hasn’t broken through into the larger culture- part of the appeal is believing that it’s for the select special few, and if the masses ignore it it just confirms the devil has them, and there’ll be much more room in heaven. “But we tried!”