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This morning I said hello to my next door neighbor, Inalim. She is an immigrant from Ethiopa. She was wearing a t-shirt with what looked like Sanskrit writing and a simple illustration of Obama. Last week I saw one of the African American teenagers from down the street decked out in red, yellow and green gear – literally, from head to toe. His outfit included an Obama t-shirt. The day before that, my 8 year old Ethiopian neighbor, Rosie, came knocking on my door to ask if my kids could play. Her Obama shirt laid his profile over an illustration of Africa.

I still wish Hilary was going to be the nominee. But, I claim to care about the marginalized, the stranger. I claim to believe in an upside down, backwards kingdom. I claim that my God looks after the oppressed first. I claim He drags the underserved and outcast into his house to eat at his feast. Those claims mean I have to care about some other things, too. No, I don’t have to care about Obama or McCain. I’m still not excited about Barack. I really couldn’t care less about political “hope” or “change”. I don’t think he is the answer and I don’t think he will save America.

But, because of what I believe about Jesus, I have to care about my neighbors and vote with them. I do not believe Obama is the right, best, or Christian choice. However, my vote for Obama is a vote for Inalim, Rosie, and the teenagers in my neighborhood – walking with pride about where they come from and who they are. My vote for Obama is a vote for hope for the oppressed (in my culdesac) and freedom for the marginalized (in my neighborhood).

So, I’ve decided to vote.

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When I wake up in the morning my primary objective is getting a cup of coffee. Unfortunately, I usually have to delay that gratification in order to make room for said cup of coffee by emptying my bladder. This morning was no different.

Why didn’t I just lock the door?

I had barely gotten in position and started my engines when the sound of little feet came thundering down the hall. Before I could react, she was there. Ione. Wearing only her underwear. The two handed “maybe-I-can-physically-hold-this-stuff-in” crotch grab. Jumping up and down. Squealing. “I gotta go pee! I’ve been holding it alllll night!”

“Ummmm. Why don’t you go downstairs?”

Dance, dance, dance. Grab, grab, grab. “I’ll just wait.” And, watch.

I don’t know about you, but my bladder can actually hold a fair amount of liquid. And, it can take a good 20 seconds for that liquid to make it’s way out the exit. This morning, that 20 seconds felt like an eternity.

Dance, dance, dance. Grab, grab, grab. “Hurry UP!”

“I can’t just…. stop!”

Now, I’m not only being watched while I urinate – but, I am being judged on my speed and technique. I remember the good old days — before kids — when I was actually uncomfortable with urinating in public.

Why didn’t I just lock the door?

You probably didn’t notice this, but I had taken a break from blogging. It wasn’t so much the writing of a blog that I needed a break from. It was more the reading of blogs that I needed a break from. Apparently, and I didn’t know this before… but, apparently, the interwebs are FILLED with crazies. Well, that’s not exactly the right choice of words. I should have said, “the series of tubes which form the interwebs are FILLED – virtually clogged – with crazy people and their crazy-making, crazy ideas!”

And, dammit! Like a Dungeon Master walking by a comicon, they suck me in every time. I’m like the little housefly who is inherently and uncontrollably attracted to the bright light of the bug zapper – only, in this case, it is a brain-zapping bug killer utilizing utterly asinine (emphasis on ass) political and religious ideas as the bait.

Did you know that “jackassery” is a real world? And, the only place I have ever seen it was in a scholarly work of theology. Ironic, huh?

Every time I go to wordpress.com to log in so I can write a post, I am distracted by the left 7/8 of the log in page which shows random “hawt” posts. These fantastically “hawt” posts are segregated into categories – my favorite being “religion.” You are probably wondering where the crazies come in, aren’t you? Well, it seems the only religious folks currently blogging fit into one or (usually) more of the following categories:

  1. I despise Todd Bentley (and will write on my blog for days, weeks, and months about how wacko he is even though it would only take 30 seconds of youtube video to figure that out)
  2. I despise Barack Obama (enough to compare him to baby sacrificing Old testament kings or come up with borderline-racial nicknames like “Barky”)
  3. I care only about how many unborn babies are being killed (and, subsequently, killing those damned slaughterers of the innocent)
  4. I love President Bush, the military, the Iraq War, the nation of Israel, and all things which help me count down to the rapture in a scientific and methodical manner

Right. Now. I can feel it. As I type. Right. Now. My heart rate has increased. My chest is tightening. See? Just typing that list! SEE what they do to me?!?! And, I know they do it on purpose. Day after day, hour after hour, post after post – they blog. Creating and repeating absurdities. Why. Why do they do it?!? To drive me crazy. They’re out to get me. Them and their crazy little ideas. Caring so much about being right that they’ll manufacture “facts”. That is CRAZY!

They’re trying to GET me. They’re OUT to get me! The crazies are out to get me!!!

I received an email from a loved one today. Now, I know the truth. Before, I had been told that Obama was a secret Muslim (over and over) by trustworthy journalists such as Stephen Colbert and every one on FOX News. And now, I want to break the biggest story of the year. Obama is no longer a secret Muslim. He has come out of the closet and can now properly be classified as a “Muslim extremist.” When you want truth, go straight to the monkey.

So, when you receive the following email, just hit reply and pull a Fox Mulder… “I want to believe.” (Please, read allllll the way to the bottom – or, just skip to the bottom if you get bored)

Can this be so??? Remembering helps!

These events are actual events from history. They really happened!!! Do you remember?

1. IN 1968, BOBBY KENNEDY was shot and killed by Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40.

2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.

3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.

4. During the 1980’s a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.

5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.

6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.

7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.

8. In 1988 , Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.

9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.

10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.

11. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take down the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by Muslim male extremists between the of 17 and 40.

12. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.

13. In 2002 rep orter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by– you guessed it– Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.

No, I really don’t see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you?

So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people…

Absolutely No Profiling!
They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents who are members of the President’s security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winner and former Governor Joe Foss, but leave Muslim Males between the ages 17 and 40 alone lest they be guilty of profiling.

According to The Book of Revelations:
The Anti-Christ will be a man, in his 40s, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal…. the prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace, and when he is in power, he will destroy everything.

And Now:
For the award winning Act of Stupidity Of all times…
the People of America want to elect, to the most Powerful position on the face of the Planet — The Presidency of the United states of America

A Muslim Male Extremist Between the ages of 17 and 40.

Have the American People completely lost their Minds, or just their Power of Reason ???

I’m sorry but I refuse to take a chance on the ‘unknown’ candidate Obama…

Now, I’m no Obamaniac, but c’mon! If people who think like this are against Obama, I’m inclined to think he might just be the only rational choice!

Thelonious took me to see Prince Caspian today. I have to admit that I thought it was a pretty darn good movie. Of course, like all of C.S. Lewis’ writing, the movie is way better than the book – it was actually entertaining. I’m still waiting for “The Problem of Pain” starring Tom Hanks and an equally annoying actress. But, I digress. The real point here is thatPrince Caspian set a new standard for “Christian” movies.

I already know what you are thinking. But, if it isn’t a Christian movie, why do they advertise, sell, and merchandise it at Christian bookstores?

Apparently, Christian movies don’t have to have ANYTHING to do with following Jesus or kingdom values any more. Sure, Prince Caspian did communicate important moral values – such as women should always wear dresses (even while surrounded by blood thirsty enemies in the middle of a medieval battlefield). There was also the valuable lesson of how to determine good from evil – evil has dark hair and eyes and speaks with an accent. And, maybe most importantly, I also learned that even just looking like Keanu Reeves can make you a bad actor.

Seriously. I’ve played games of Dungeon & Dragons that had more Christian values than that movie! At least Üdo the 5th level half-orc cleric/fighter actually got punished for senseless violence by his deity – and it was chaotic neutral!!!! Wait. What does D&D have to do with religion? Oh ya, the apostles decided who would replace Judas by rolling a 12 sided die.

I didn’t even bother asking…

Ione\'s Mustache

Ione's Mustache

They almost never use the actual word. Fired. They prefer more sanitary, dignified phrases like “terminated.” At least that’s what Mrs B. said when she unwittingly destined me for a lifetime of unfulfilling employment (for both me and my employers). I’ll never forget that day. The very first time I got fired. I walked into work one day, and there it was – the pink slip. Literally. My head began to swim. This can’t really be happening, can it? My eyes scanning the page for the words “final warning,” but to no avail. This was the real thing – terminated. I was suddenly aware of the presence of a dozen or so coworkers. 28 eye balls mercilessly burning unspoken shame into my very soul. Now I understood why silence had dropped as they all watched me walk to my work station.

What do I do now? How will I survive? Who’s going to hire someone who’s been fired? What will my family think? I felt my future crumbling. The humiliation. The embarrassment. My life will never be the same.

I felt flushed. I felt faint. What’s that near my eye? Is that a tear? I’m crying?

Deep breath. Breathe, Jim.

Right then and there, I pulled myself together and I told myself, “Enough!” Never again will I allow someone else to infringe on my dignity. Never again will I allow a “superior” to determine my value as an individual. No corporation is ever going to determine my worth!

I sat on Mrs B’s garage floor and I folded those papers like I had a purpose! Each rubber band surrounded the neatly creased newsprint with a defiant SNAP! I filled up my paperboy bag, placed it on my handlebars and I peddled like HELL! I was in the zone. I was perfect. I would show them! I porched each and every delivery on my 36 subscriber paper route – which I had worked up from 32 just 5 months earlier!

As I rode home, I consoled myself with one thought. “I’m the best damn newspaper boy the Chronicle has ever seen. They’ll miss me. I’m going places. They’ll see. They’ll see.”

I can’t quite remember what I was fired for. But, who remembers details when they are 11 anyways? Gimme a break.

My wife thinks I’m a wacko. She tries to persuade me rationally with “facts” she’s heard on the radio or read in a newspaper. I feel sorry for her.

It all became very clear to me while I was shopping in Safeway yesterday. Coke products: buy 2, get 3 free. Supply and demand. Voodoo economics. All that crap. It’s prime soft drink season – their peak, you might say. And, what are they doing? Giving it away.

Allow me to explain the high price of gas. No matter what Obama or the “news” or my wife says, there is no reason why gas couldn’t be $3.00 per gallon. Oh, just slow down, “Mr. I’m an expert on the price of oil because I watch CNN” and let me explain. The cost of gas has not gone up because of the war or because of limited supply. There is virtually just as much oil in the ground as there was 9 months ago when I was furious about gas prices pushing up past $3.00 per gallon. I used to think the prices had gone up because the oil industry was evil and our corrupt government was part of the evil oil industry and they were all just greedy and wanted to make a few bucks and thought killing a bunch of brown people was a good way to jack up the prices. Now, I know better – because John McCain is trying to sell me on the idea of off shore oil drilling – and, hell, if it will lower the cost of gas, I might even want it.

It all became very clear. Record profits. Even higher prices for the consumer. This whole damn thing has been an elaborate test market set up by the Coca-Cola corporation so they can charge me $27.89 for a 6 pack of Diet Coke next summer!

Bastards!