Archive for August, 2010

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I’m gonna go restore some honor, be back in a minute…

August 30, 2010

This one says it all... (Credit due to the Washington Post)

Whenever people come into town for rallies they tend to stay at the hotels near my office, which gives me a great view of them as they walk by.  It’s lead to a little game called, ‘spot the nut.’  It’s not very hard, even from the 4th floor.  Here’s my cheat sheet of how to tell a rally nut from a normal nut:

1.  Tube socks, sparkling white and up to the knees

2.  Jean shorts, tight and well above the knees

3.  Pastel colored t-shirts

4.  An excessive amount of Americana emblazoned on their clothing.  Ex. the woman whose shirt was a full montage  of the Rocky Mountains, an American flag and a giant bald eagle, with a matching purse and shorts to top it all off.  Think the intro to the ‘Colbert Report’ but without the satire.

5.  Khaki shorts, off-color and heavily pleated and still well above the knees

6.  White sneakers.  Freshly polished.

And the kicker…

7.  A complete and utter inability to operate the metro fare card system coupled with an inability to discern the subtle meaning behind the metro announcement, ‘you’ll notice that most people stand on the right side of the escalator.’  Hey, Ralliers!  Get to the right where you belong!

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Jersey

August 23, 2010

They really should sell these at Victoria's Secret

This weekend I bought Chris a Men’s McNabb Jersey as an early birthday present.  She’s always been a McNabb fan (not an Eagles fan, calm down Dave!)  since he played at Syracuse and now that she’s a full-blooded Redskins fan (take that in-laws!) this was the perfect alignment of the moon and stars.  So off we went to the store to pick up a McNabb jersey. (side note:  The vast majority of women’s jersey were #47.  Big shock.)  It was awesome.  I swear, you can spend all the money in the world on sexy lingerie, but there truly is nothing quite as alluring as a hot woman wearing a MENS jersey.  I keep emphasizing the ‘mens’ part because it’s a great test of how dedicated a woman is to a sport.  Women’s jerseys are tailored and form-fitting to show off a woman’s body, and while they do that admirably, one can’t escape the part of your brain that is saying, “She’s just wearing that to get attention, she doesn’t really care about the game.”  On the other hand, a woman wearing a men’s jersey says, “She cares more about the game than about showing off for the crowd,” which ends up making her sexier than if she were wearing a woman’s jersey.  I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say there were a lot of holding penalties being called once we got home.  No?  That doesn’t work for you?  OK, how about, ‘there was a lot of pass interference!’  Hmmm…that doesn’t seem to work either.  Offsides?  No.  False start?  Definitely not.  Roughing the passer?  Maybe.  Lined up in the neutral zone?  OK, that one’s just weird.  I’ll leave it at this:  We can no longer host Redskins parties because there’s no way I’ll be able to make it through half time without taking a time out!  OK, I’m really going to have to work on these before pre-season ends…

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Jon Stewart interview with Dick Armey

August 19, 2010

I’m a fan of the Daily Show, more so when Jon Stewart interviews political figures rather than entertainers.  I like it even more when he goes on other shows and debates with other media personalities.  Sadly, Jon doesn’t normally win these debates although he definitely holds his own.  He’s usually very good at going punch for punch but he usually fails to deliver the knockout punch.  Fortunately, in his interview with Dick Armey on Tuesday (the full thing is available at www.thedailyshow.com) he reversed this trend and delivered a resounding blow, which is good because Dick Armey really pissed me off at one point when he failed to cite the source of one of his great ideas regarding the appropriate size and role of government.  Specifically, he was starting to explain to Jon that, ‘if you and I were on a deserted island…’, which was the set up to an explanation about how governments develop and what their original intentions were and how Obama has usurped that role.  Great idea, except for one thing:  It’s not his!  Armey was paraphrasing Thomas Paine’s ‘Common Sense’ and didn’t even have the good graces to quote the source material!  Here’s what it says in Common Sense:

“In order to gain a clear and just idea of the design and end of government, let us suppose a small number of persons settled in some sequestered part of the earth, unconnected with the rest, they will then represent the first peopling of any country, or of the world. In this state of natural liberty, society will be their first thought. A thousand motives will excite them thereto, the strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same. Four or five united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but ONE man might labour out the common period of life without accomplishing any thing; when he had felled his timber he could not remove it, nor erect it after it was removed; hunger in the mean time would urge him from his work, and every different want call him a different way. Disease, nay even misfortune would be death, for though neither might be mortal, yet either would disable him from living, and reduce him to a state in which he might rather be said to perish than to die.

This necessity, like a gravitating power, would soon form our newly arrived emigrants into society, the reciprocal blessing of which, would supersede, and render the obligations of law and government unnecessary while they remained perfectly just to each other; but as nothing but heaven is impregnable to vice, it will unavoidably happen, that in proportion as they surmount the first difficulties of emigration, which bound them together in a common cause, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other; and this remissness, will point out the necessity, of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue.”

Suffice to say, it goes on to explain how as more people are added to the society government will ultimatly take the form of representative government and that tyrannical government is bad, which in modern Tea Party terms translates to Obama is a tyrant who has corrupted the original intentions of the Founding Fathers and nature.  The point here is this:  If you’re going to invoke the Founding Fathers, at least have the courtesy to quote the material!

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Flat out Racism

August 16, 2010

Simply put, there is absolutely no argument that one can use to object to the construction of a mosque near ground zero whose fundamental premise can’t be shown to be anti-Muslim sentiment.  Here are the arguments I’ve heard so far opposing the mosque:

1.  It’s a threat to national security.

2.  It dishonors the sacred nature of ground zero by being too close.

Here’s why both of them are, at their core, anti-Muslim:

1.  It’s based on the assumption that all mosques are sources of terrorist indoctrination / activities, a sweeping generalization of a very large and diverse group that is used to justify depriving that group of their legal rights, also knows as stereotyping or racism.   

2.  It implies that a mosque is fundamentally opposed to American values and that Muslims are ‘lesser’ Americans who are not entitled to the same rights as non-Muslim Americans.  Furthermore, how does one define ‘too close?’  The proposed site is two blocks away with no direct line of sight to ground zero.  How close is to close?  What other structures are considered as defiling to ground zero?  Shopping malls?  Office buildings?  A Quiznos?  None are considered defiling, which leads back to a sweeping generalization being used to justify depriving a group of their legal rights, aka racism. 

Here’s another way to look at the issue:  Should churches not be allowed to be constructed near the site of the former Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, the one that was blown up by Right Wing Christian militants?  It seems to me that if one cannot construct a mosque near ground zero because the attackers were Muslim, then one should not be allowed to construct a church in Oklahoma City because the attackers were Christian. 

I suppose one could argue that since the people being attacked in Oklahoma City were Christian, churches are OK.  Except that it’s not true – Timothy McVeigh was attacking everyone in the building, not just Christians, just as the 9/11 attackers were attacking everyone in the World Trade Center, not just Muslims (if you don’t believe that Muslims were being targeted along with Christians and Jews, then you don’t know anything about religious terrorism, which clearly advocates that the only thing worse that an opposing religion are people from your own faith who don’t follow your particular interpretation).  So, yes, Muslims were being targeted by the 9/11 attackers, which means they have just as much right to seek solace in their own faith as do Christians, which in this case translates to the construction of a mosque.  If we are going to make the blanket assumption that the faith of the attacker overpowers the faith of the attacked, then we shouldn’t allow churches to be constructed near any place that has been targeted by Christian militants.  If it’s good for one faith, then it’s good for all faiths, otherwise you are applying a special set of rules designed to limit the rights of a particular group, or in other words, racism.

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cows always ruin my pictures

August 16, 2010

Chris and I went to a wedding last weekend where the woman getting married was the daughter of a dairy farmer.  Needless to say, there were cows.  As I was ‘developing’ my pictures I noticed that one cow managed to pop up in a couple of the pictures!  Here’s an example:

I call her 'Bessy Salahi.'

If you go to my website (www.maxwellphotographydc.com) and click on ‘Gallery’ and ‘Justin and Kelly’s Wedding’ you can see all the pics.  See if you can find the one’s the cow showed up in!

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Binary Stress Test

August 12, 2010

As part of my company’s health care plan I have to talk with a ‘health care professional’ a few times a year. My favorite question is always the stress one: “On a scale of one to ten, how stressed are you? One being no stress, ten being stressed.” That’s not a scale! When you only have two options, yes or no, it’s called binary! A scale means there are increments between the two end parameters! It’s like saying, on a scale of one to ten, how pregnant is your wife? So, I told him I was ten, since I am stressed (as are all human beings). I don’t think he liked that answer because that led into a long discussion of things I can do to reduce my stress. Step one: Stop talking to Webmd health professionals.

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Defining my religious views

August 4, 2010

I’ve been trying to come up with a working definition of my religious views.  Here’s what I’ve got so far:

I reject the idea of a monotheistic, anthropomorphic deity and its associated earthly manifestations, but accept that it is important people have faith in something greater than themselves, and that ‘something’ should have a spiritual element to it, preferably one that incorporates the idea that we are all in this together and that one’s actions should be considered in the context of how they affect others. 

Well, it’s a start.