Archive for April, 2006

End of an era

April 29, 2006 Leave a comment

After more than a year and a half, my six month free trial of The New Republic Digital has finally expired.

Sometimes computer glitches are actually good.

Categories: Personal

Jeff tries to understand the Jews

April 28, 2006 2 comments

I think I need to understand Jews better. I bear them no ill will. Some of them are good, kind and charitable people, and I have no desire to debate or convert them. I do think they are wrong about the biggest question and I will admit to occasionally viewing them with the kind of bewilderment often shown to me by Christians who can’t quite understand why the Good News of Jesus’ death and resurrection has not reached me. However, there is something I am missing about Jews: what I simply do not understand is why they’re so greedy.

So we disagree about religion. I’m sometimes at odds with Yankee fans, people who like rap music and people who don’t like animals, but I try to be civil. I don’t know many people who wake up thinking of new ways to keep the Jews out of the economy, but many people who believe in the Torah seem to find their neighbors terribly oppressive, particularly if the folks next door are Christians. I just don’t get it.

This must sound condescending and a large generalization, and I don’t mean it that way, but I am tempted to believe that behind Jewish greed there are oftentimes uncomfortable personal histories. Even the history of the people as a whole may have something to do with it. Perhaps their greed is the result of a past where Jews have been occasionally victimized without good reason. Perhaps it’s become genetic after being so insular throughout history. They had to become unscrupulous in order to survive. They thought they needed to ensure their survival against perceived aggressors by controlling the banks. I would ask for forgiveness from the angry Jews who do these things, but I doubt it would help. I fear it’s become too ingrained. We can’t apologize for wanting a stake in our own economy and we must remain vigilant in fighting the attempts of those who would take it from us.

Some of our leaders obviously betray the ethical code they claim to live by, but that code remains a critique of them and also of every thing we do to betray the better part of our nature. But our world is better and kinder and more hopeful because of the efforts of those who fight for our economic rights.

To be called to a level of goodness and vigilance in the face of such cunning and deviousness may seem a lost cause and an attack on the followers of the Jewish faith. However, such a vision need not be seen as a red flag to the people of Moses. I can humbly ask whether my Jewish brothers and sisters really believe that their lives are better, richer and more hopeful by clinging to their desire for more money and more power. I can agree to make peace with Jews whom I believe ask too much for their place in life here on planet earth if they will agree to make peace with me and with others who they perceive as oppressors. I believe that if we all treat each other with respect, we can work towards a fairer world for all. I urge my Jewish brothers and sisters to conduct themselves as the golden rule urges: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

And to try a little positivity. Last week I met up with a Jewish friend of mine to talk about school and life. He runs a bank here in town and we discussed some of the policies he has regarding his gentile customers. He told me “I think the difference between us is not so great. We are all human beings, we are all God’s creatures, and we should treat each other with fairness and respect.” Now there’s a Jew I can believe in.

So, think I can get that published in Newsweek?

(via The Secular Outpost)

Categories: Religion, The media

All done!

April 28, 2006 2 comments

No more classes for me. At least for a while. Because I know you care, this how the semester has gone:

Embedded Systems: Turned out to be pretty interesting. I got an A in it and I don’t have to take the final.
Intro to Logic: Slightly harder than American Pop Music. But not much. Unless I bomb the final (not likely), I’ll get an A.
Bones, Apes, and Ancestors: I liked this class, even if it was boring at times. I also did surprisingly well. Unless my final paper sucks and I bomb the final, I’ll have an A.
Software Engineering 2: Useful, I guess, though I can’t say I enjoyed it. There’s no final and I have no idea what grade I’ll be getting. B- is my guess.

There you have it. Two finals and I’ll have a degree in Computer Science. Now I just need a job.

Categories: Personal


April 28, 2006 1 comment

The “oh my god it’s my last day of class ever” edition.

The Crown – [Possessed 13 #03] Deliverance
Porcupine Tree – [The Sky Moves Sideways #1/03] The Moon Touches Your Shoulder
Tool – [Opiate [ep] #04] Cold and Ugly [live]
Vehemence – [God Was Created #05] Lusting for Affection
The Haunted – [The Haunted Made Me Do It #10] Under the Surface
Evergrey – [Monday Morning Apocalypse #06] In Remembrance
Dead Can Dance – [Aion #09] Wilderness
System of a Down – [Toxicity #14] Aerials
Anathema – [Alternative 4 #09] Feel
Neutral Milk Hotel – [In The Aeroplane Over The Sea #03] In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

Categories: Music

My lord

April 27, 2006 Leave a comment

Ali G interviews Noam Chomsky. Hilarious.

(via Mixing Memory)

Categories: Silliness


April 27, 2006 Leave a comment

And here I thought no one was this dumb:

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — A financial planner who lost more than $250,000 in a Nigerian scam and helped pay for part of it by stealing from his company and its pension plan has been sentenced to three years in federal prison.

Still, I like Nigerian email scams. Comedy gold. I’m partial to this attempt (though it’s not a Nigerian scam, really), mostly because I contributed the occupation listed at the end.

(via F-Words, through 4&20)

Categories: Silliness

Political philosophy

April 27, 2006 6 comments

My discussion with Budge has spurred an interest in the subject. I’ve been meaning to read some stuff on it anyway. At the moment I’m planning on reading:

  • A Theory of Justice
  • Anarchy, State, and Utopia

Any other recommendations are welcome. I think I should grab some sort of introductory work, too.

Categories: Personal