Saturday, July 23, 2005


hi. sorry i haven't blogged. i was with shannon in london when the junior varsity terrorists tried their thing on thursday. we were not affected, other than that the police asked people to stay home or nearby, which we did. went to a very cool street market in roman road, bow.

now i'm in bath, which is in western england. chris mcmains is getting married, and i'm helping out. i'm off to sheffield tomorrow.

more soon. but connie and me and my sister and the others here are all okay--as it happened, there were almost no casualties. the hope is that either these guys were the b-squad, terrorists on training wheels, or that this next team was feeling the heat from the police closing in from the july 7 big blast, and rushed the job this time, and consequently botched it. well, i don't know. but figuring out how to make enemies friends is still, whenever possible, i think the best way to get rid of your enemies. i wonder if it's possible here, and if so, how.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

O Mossy Canadian Feet

Jonathan left this morning for Toronto. Okay, so I'm fine. I'll be fine. Just fine. No prob. Yep. Everything's okey-dokey here.

He'll do great. God, just give creepy people something else to do while he's there.

Incredible, Allyson and Adam! The mossy foot project--to come up with $2,500 to buy mules and bicycles for people being treated with this gross-out foot disease in Ethiopia--in Lower Greenville is to wear a one-dollar bill pinned to your shirt, and get people to give you a buck to help. So I went with Tony from Corpus to Legal Grounds, and pulled in $13 in just a few minutes. Is that cool? I'll get my $50, I'm sure. Rarely have I been this psyched about something like this. Adam, even while you're in the pit of desp--er, first year residency--know that you've done a good thing getting this ball rolling. And is our sister Allyson not the person to make it happen? She so never got the memo that says you're sposed to talk stuff to death and then never actually do anything. Yay, other people.

Anybody heard of any plane crashes? I gotta go check the news til Jonathan's scheduled to arrive. But he'll be fine. I'm sure.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

little joys Tori Amos may, sadly, never have had


Good reunion. Fifty or sixty people, of all generations (four and maybe five). How cool and rare is that? Me and several cousins also began working on a plan to fix the family cemetery for the long haul: clean it up, get it secured, and then deed it over, if the other families buried there agree, to the state of Missouri, which owns the land around it (for a state park, thankfully).

God keeps bringing people we haven't seen in years, people from the early part of our time in Dallas, back up into our lives. Sort of eerie, but also kind of encouraging. This spring I was ready to just write off a bunch of relationships that had petered out in one way or for one reason or another. But now half those relationships seem to be surfacing again, maybe for us to learn something, maybe for Dawn and me to have one last chance at some kind of worthwhile influence for Jesus's sake with them.

Apropos of "emerging church" hooha. There are more loops than one can be in, and the Tip O'Neill version (i.e., that "all politics is local") for us is being sure that the loop I'm in is more cool than the loop I'm not in. No problem liking where you are and being content with that. But contentment in America is often expressed in competitive terms--as if "I'm more content being content with my situation than you are being content with your situation" were a coherent comment. But ego stalks leaders like a vampire: it is an attack we both fear and secretly relish.

So in any case I at least had a big helping of Powdermilk Biscuits and sent emails out to a number of emerging "names." We'll see what happens. Those of you who pray can pray that when elephants talk, as the Africans say, something better will happen than when they fight (since when they fight, the grass gets trampled...).

I'm trying to decide whether to take "The Scarlet Pimpernel" or Stephen Lawhead's "Avalon" as my leisure reading on the trip to England. I've been reading "Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing" by Kierkegaard in my devotional time, and Hill's anthology on the doctrine of the atonement for my serious reading.

Little hopes and happinesses:

Steven finished his summer school courses in good shape. yay!
Dawn and I beat up on one of our monsters in the closet by getting some medical reimbursement applications off today. Yay (ugh) yay!
I hope Ruben and I get to go into Bath and see the ruins of the Roman baths for which the town is named.
I hope Dixie, the only German Shepherd on the block with a sports injury (torn ACL, no less), gets better without a surgery we can't afford.
Lovely Lucy McCauley took (unpaid!) time and effort to edit my next article for the organic church movement website. She is so fabulous. May her printer's paper feeder never jam.
My lawyer cousin in Missouri advised me of an urban legendary English headline: "74 degrees forecast again for tomorrow, with no relief in sight!" yukyukyuk.
I hope Jonathan's trip to Toronto is free of creepiness, is confidence-building, and produces worthwhile data for his senior thesis.
I've blogged for a couple of whole months now fairly regularly. yayish.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Family Reunion

Nothing useful to add on the bombings. Sigh.

On the pleasant side, I'm quite privileged to have several families that practice family reunions. The Thameses meet every other year in even numbered years, so it's quite convenient that the Easley-Hall clan meets in odd numbered years. This being 05, we're going to Missouri to hang out with farmers and their descendants. See yall next week.


Granted. Outlawing guns won't absolutely keep them out of criminal or terroristic hands. After all, when guns are outlawed, only outlaws' children will accidentally shoot themselves at home.

Thus I head off at the pass the bad-guys-will-be-bad-guys response to the following brief rant.

You know, there are potholes the size of bomb craters in the main streets of Lusaka. I think we would really be better served using concrete for building new and better roads in Africa, rather than for repairing bomb damage in London and New York. And may I say the "we get to use guns but you don't" approach only works, and just barely then, if you're the police.
What the neocons have gotten the US into is being the cops of the world, but as a rogue department that refuses to cooperate with or acknowledge the legitimacy of city hall (the UN). This is done in low-brow and high-brow ways. The low-brow ways include the impotence of the UN--which we guarantee by not cooperating with it--and "American national interest," about which more in a moment. The high-brow way is to appeal to our moral role in the world.
Appeals to higher ethical authority, accompanied by violent implementation, are very hard to distinguish from appeals to "higher ethical authority," accompanied by violent implementation. There is a difference, but it's in the nature of self-justifying rationalizations to mimic or counterfeit actually justifying reasoning. And getting shot for a good reason presumably looks rather similar to getting shot for a fallacious reason.
As for American national interests, economically our national interest is in keeping China safe for WalMart. Oh, and although people are having trouble figuring this out, it's also in spending all our road and gasoline taxes on getting fuel cells here tomorrow, so we don't depend on oil.
Why are the free trade people so often also the free fire people? I don't think it has to be that way.
True, guns rarely kill people by themselves. It takes people armed with guns to kill, with guns, other people. But if that's what you're interested in, there are, historically, other ways to kill people. In fact, I think there'd be an advantage in using other methods. After all, if we had to do it with machetes, like they did in Rwanda, rather than with AKs and IEDs, then even if it didn't make people hesitate, which I think it would, it still at least would take longer.
Now, to quote Dennis Miller, I don't want to go out on a limb here, but just maybe, ways to kill people could possibly not be what the "love your enemies" crowd should be focusing our attention on. Not to be Christian about it or anything, and not to shortchange the world's investment in getting rid of Hitler, but may I just say I have never heard a response or a better answer to this comment I make from time to time: that if you can, ideally, just at least as the thing to try first: the best way to get rid of your to make them your friends.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Not an Angry Blog

I've been out squandering my substance in riotous...grading.

Summer term ends this Thursday. It really pays absurdly little, but Dawn thinks it was worth it. She says the teaching looks good, keeping an employment record looks good, the cash doesn't hurt. Mostly, she thinks people deserve good teaching, and that that is intrinsically worthwhile.I always end up thinking of opportunity costs, which is one of those pasttimes that, if it doesn't turn out to be helpful, really isn't helpful.

Personal note: Kiara Miller has the hair that has the most fun of all. First pigtails, and now hangy-down, dread-like braids. Wow. Oh to be three again. When my hair did that...not.

Soooo much logistics getting ready for July. In Missouri this upcoming weekend for the Easley family reunion. We'll stop by and see Jon Willie in St. Louis as well. Then I'm off to England on the 20th.

Finished Ian Barbour's "Ethics in an Age of Technology" and Alister McGrath's "The Science of God." Amazing my way through Kierkegaard's "Concluding Unscientific Postscript," including the part about how to be a "good Christian" and a lecturer at a private university...

must restrain blogging impulse and finish work due tomorrow...