Wednesday, April 28, 2004

A lot of bloggers are commenting on
this story.

I wonder if the Secret Service is bound to investigate every threat to the President's life - because I hear at least once a week (sometimes daily) wishes that someone would assassinate Bush.

Most of my colleagues, when I have asked, say that they would never advocate killing Bush, and they just hope that ol' "Shrub" is voted out of office (or impeached) - but, it would be nice (they say with a wistful look in their eyes) if someone were to kill the bastard?

I have a new tip for the Secret Service - investigate the English faculty of all the major Universities!
Rather than waste your time on immature 15 year olds, investigate immature thirty and forty somethings.

Of course, in my more cynical moments I might think the 15 year old has more influence on the "real" world than the increasingly irrelevant English profs who are radicalizing themselves out of any possible sphere of influence.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

According to the latest talk in one of my classes, the Pope should just shut up.

After several members of the class blamed the Pope for the spread of AIDS in Africa (due to his anti-condom stance) and the death of women in third world countries due to back-alley abortions, I replied:

"So you're saying that Catholics should disobey the Pope?" and I was told, well yes, but even better - the Pope should just shut up.

One thing, the Pope did not give those people AIDS or force those women to have abortions. Plus - he's the spiritual leader of millions of people. It seems he has a religious compulsion to speak out. People don't have to agree with him or like him or even listen to him. But to claim he should be quiet is ludicrous.

But I have learned there's nothing most liberals fear like actual debate. They prefer sound bites and a fascist like crushing of the opposition. (To be fair, conservatives have behaved just as badly in the past. But conservatives aren't running the academy now - and in either case, it's still wrong).

Saturday, April 17, 2004

I really should post something, but I also have 60 plus pages to write in the next two weeks (not to mention the research involved).

Expect posts to be short and sporadic (just like they have been so far, just more so).

Happy crunch time!

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Over at Erin O'Connor I noticed this.

This is addictive. My contributions:

The Book of the Brave New Sun: Severian the Torturer, after becoming Autarch, introduces to his subjects the wonders of Soma.

A Connecticut Yankee in Muad'ib's Court: Paul Atreidies finds his rule of Dune upset when a colonial Yankee arrives and begins teaching why the aristocracy is a bad idea.

A Canticle for Moll Flanders: A group of Monks in a post holocaust world discover the memoirs of Moll Flanders and manage to get her canonized as a saint.

The Left Hand of Fanny Hill: After discovering her Gethian heritage, and thus her ability to change her gender, Fanny has even more memoirs to write.

Do the Brothers Karamozov Dream of Electric Sheep?: Convinced that the Brothers are not really humans, the Grand Inquisitor wages a crusade to rid the world of kipple.

Emma's Game: Emma thinks she's playing Cupid, but in reality her attempts at matchmaking are being used as battle plans for the military.

Friday, April 02, 2004

I am not making a biblical argument. I can read New Testament Greek, but I do not know very much Biblical Hebrew, so I have no idea what the words behind these verses are, or what the Talmudic commentaries on them might say. They can be read literally (if you're a Mormon) or figuratively (if you belong to pretty much any other Christian denomination - and please no emails about how Mormons aren't Christian - I will ignore you because I don't really care about that issue).

Again, I am not trying to interpret these verses or make any argument about their content beyond what I will discuss after I list them to give some context.

Exodus 33:11a (KJV) And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.

here are a few other translations: (I prefer the NASB myself):
Exodus 33:11a
(REB) The Lord used to speak to Moses face, as one man speaks to another
(NASB) Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.
(NIV) The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.
(Amplified) And the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.

Okay - why am I listing this verse? Not to make any argument about whether God has a literal face or not, but because I was told THAT THIS VERSE DOESN'T EXIST!!!!!!!!

Why? Well, a particular theorist (who is an atheist or at least agnostic anyway) we were reading was making a point about how truth is unattainable. This quickly descended into relativistic tripe, but the main example this French theorist used was Moses. And this theorist said that Moses could never (and by extension we can never) look God in the face. Looking God in the face was tantamount to discovering the truth and if we ever did that, we would be destroyed.

I said "but wait - the book of Exodus says that Moses spoke with God face to face - even if that was symbolic, it shows this theorist either 1) knows very little about scripture, or 2) ignores evidence that contradicts her point."

The response from my teacher and a fellow classmate? "You must be mistaken. If that verse exists this theorist, and Levinas whom she is borrowing from, have no philosophical legs to stand on. You must be wrong. That verse can't exist."

I insisted it did, and the teacher said "well, lets just move to another topic."

I also recall that a few weeks ago another classmate insisted that Abraham didn't sacrifice Isaac because he saw the ram in the thicket and so decided that was a sign from God. I seem to recall an Angel appearing there and stopping Abraham, but my classmate was adamant that if that ram had not been there, Abraham would have killed Isaac.

Yep. And if Lazarus hadn't died, Jesus wouldn't have raised him from the dead.


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