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Inaugural After Action Report

The big event is over for Obama, except for the actual "presidency" part. You know, the governing. Signing executive orders, running two wars, saving the economy, that kind of stuff. It won't be easy, but if he could survive the last few days, including all those old friends visiting from out of town, and a parade that didn't want to end, and ten inaugural balls, then he can survive the Republican obstructionists and snippety pundits.

He's already accomplished one of his most important goals, which was to look and act presidential from Day One. We saw two sides of Obama yesterday: Confident and calm as he delivered his inaugural address, and then loose and dashing as he made the rounds of the inaugural balls. He has more reserves of cool than the Saudis have oil.

The logistics of the last few days have been challenging for everyone in Washington. There was constant tension, for example, from trying to figure out if the person across the room was a famous Hollywood actor. On hundreds of occasions I've thought: "That looks like someone."

These events also reacquaint you with your feet, because they get cold and tired. I said it before but I'll say it again: Be good to your dogs. And remember that, even if the paper says it's not bitterly cold, don't believe anything you read by people sitting in an office.

The only thing that kept it from being bitterly cold was a positive attitude. It was DANG cold, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

A major Lesson Learned from the last couple of days: You don't need a ticket. Indeed, you might not even want a ticket.

Look at this satellite picture of the mall, taken shortly before Obama took the oath, and you'll see thousands of people with tickets who were stymied at checkpoints. The silver ticket line went for 11 blocks; many of the purple ticket holders never got in. But there was plenty of room further down the Mall, requiring no ticket and no security checkpoint. So my advice is, next time, go ticketless and see what happens. Just roll with it. And avoid Ticket Envy.

There were a lot of fancy parties in town, but it was fun just wandering into random bars, art galleries, coffee shops. I am pretty sure that if I had hung out a little longer at the Four Seasons bar, I would have scored a movie deal. And sure, Arianna probably had a swell party at the Newseum, but I doubt anyone there was having more fun than the kids dancing to salsa at the Lucky Bar on Connecticut Avenue.

My favorite inaugural story, a case of someone being given a lemon and making lemonade, involves Post editor Mary Hadar. She had a swearing-in ticket, but was among those stymied at the security gate, and so she began walking back to the paper. She noticed that a bank had turned an HDTV that was inside the building outward toward the sidewalk, so that people could watch the event as they passed by. A small crowd had gathered. Unfortunately, no one could hear anything -- they could only see the images. Mary, however, had a radio and an earpiece. She could hear everything happening on stage. And so, for an ever-growing audience, she loudly delivered the invocation, the oath, the inaugural address, and so on. She channeled Obama!

"I repeated verbatim everything that happened, from the prayer to the inaugural address. (I did not sing when Aretha sang, tho.) Whenever I said 'Applause,' my group applauded. At the end, two people tried to give me money, and we all took pictures together," she reports.


Boodlers are bloggers, too:

Here is yellojkt on the inaugural concert, and bc on the inauguration proper.

By Joel Achenbach  |  January 21, 2009; 7:14 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama's Inaugural Address
Next: Yo-Yo Milli Vanilli


Great vignette. It seems you could be anywhere and join in the spirit.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Pardon repost and channeling a bit of Kathryn

Mudge, I come from the "other" proverbial aisle possibly, but I too appreciate your concern. I have to say, for reasons of civil rights and long years of hard service (and not building mega-million dollar empires, I had a weak moment hearing Rev. Lowery and sort of lost it.

For the rest of them, If they have to, then limit it to 150 words, please. AND please don't feign an accent or religious affectations.

As a tangential aside, I had a memory of Mitch Snyder (and all those hard working folks from CCNV days) this weekend... possibly the cold weather. Mudge, please forgive this, but I hope we can all remember those who are less fortunate than we in this cold and sometimes lonely world.

Mudge, to your point, I think you might agree with me when I say that I prefer a person who quietly and selflessly gives one hour of service to their fellow man than someone who talks about it for a year.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 21, 2009 8:49 AM

Posted by: russianthistle | January 21, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Maureen Dowd today told how happy she was to see that helicopter take Dubya away. She even invoked a 50s sci-fi classic. My full synopsis and movie poster mash-up of said film here:

My final words to Bush: Don't get your hair caught in the rotor blades.

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | January 21, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Ticket envy, no. Frenvy of anyone who was able to get to DC, yes. MPR is running interviews with Minnesotans who made the trip. The one just before I read this post was of a guy who stayed in a Baltimore hotel and realized as soon as he got to Union Station that his plan to stand on the mall was not going to happen. Instead, he made his way to a friend's house in the district where he watched it on TV then returned to Baltimore and just enjoyed being with people who traveled from all over the country to see the inauguration (with varying degrees of success).

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 21, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

So did CNN fib when it said it commissioned that GeoEye image?

*RCA-Victor-dog-style head tilt* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 21, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Barack has a blog:

My wife tipped me off to the new site. Do NOT ever try Especially at work.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

The dead trees edition has a full page version of the satellite picture complete with Madden style annotations. Sometimes it's good to have stuff thrown on your lawn.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

JKT, was the tight end "blocking down" and the guard pulling?

Posted by: russianthistle | January 21, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Nice kit, Joel.

Oh, I agree entirely, Weed. I've always thought religion should be something private and personal, not something one wears on one sleeves and runs around proclaiming to the world. (I've always objected strenuously to "witnessing" and the priciples of evangelism in general for this reason. I don't care what people choose to believe; just keep it to themselves and keep it out of my face, and don't try to inflict any of it on somebody else.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 21, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Note to JA re saving your employer-the WaPo dead tree version needs to have a national edition like the NYT and WSJ.

Yello-please no more mention of home delivery, winter is depressing enough here without being reminded we don't have a decent paper in the entire state.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 21, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

There was something poignant to me about the final minutes of the parade. It became, for all intents and purposes, a private show for The President and First Lady. But watch it they did.

My daughter wanted to know when they got to go to the bathroom. We agreed that when they dropped by the White House to "warm-up" this had doubtless been a priority.

I only watched a couple bits from the Gala Balls. (To which I had, inexplicably not been invited. Have I mentioned this?)

Anyway, Obama was born to wear a Tux. And Michelle looked truly angelic in that dress.

The anecdote about Ms. Hadar is priceless. Did she accurately duplicate the bungled oath?

Well, the hard work starts today. And even though having a new boss doesn't really effect my job directly (at least not yet) it does fill me with an enthusiasm to do Good Work. As well it should.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 21, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to gloat. My wife spotted a Baltimore Sun in the grocery store and was shocked at how much it has atrophied since we canceled.

Barack did give a shout out to non-believers, but he mentioned them last. I dare say there are more of them in our country than Muslims, Jews, and Hindus combined. My mother-in-law is devout Buddhist, so I guess she gets overlooked.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I had a somewhat different take on the bungled oath. I saw that as a very human moment. Roberts and Obama did what two normal people do every day, they made some corrections on the fly in the course of work. Roberts apologized--but, if we got off the usual "poles-apart" mentality and to the world where we work together in our common interests, then, maybe, the chief justice did us all a favor in reminding us that we are not perfect.

I am thinking that we should look to Roberts to have the wisdom of Solomon (as it were) and to remember that we are all human.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 21, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

It did show the scrum of silver ticket holders completely blocked out.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Yello-apology most appreciated. Atrophy is a good description of what's happened to the Minneapolis Strib, a paper that was once one of our country's finest.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 21, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Scotty, did you like that Russian tank story I e-mailed you?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 21, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

On Justice and actions under Eric Holder...

Of all the stupid stuff that took place in the past eight years, the one that is most frightening, in my mind (short of the war in Iraq) was the case of Gov. Don Siegelman.

Whomever was involved in that, after review of the facts, should be chased out of town (if, indeed, what was suspected happened, did happen).

If FOX NEWS loses a pundit for a period of time, tough.

Like many Americans, this may be foreign news to you, but well worth a study of the facts and possible activities of folks running from the White House and into the Dept. of Justice.

We are better off without a Justice Dept. at all than one that can be abused like that.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 21, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The Post has a national tree-based version, the National Weekly Edition. It's even printed on newsprint.

The limited amount of advertising is a bit creepy. The do-it-yourself hearing aid is a regular. Why aren't there ads for luxury hotels, James Bond wristwatches or cars worthy of Jeremy Clarkson? Or even cars worthy of tenured professors?

We hit 32 degrees, briefly, this morning. Supposedly colder tonight. Yuk.

On the policy side, the New Yorker has "Getting There from Here: How should Obama reform health care?" by regular physician-contributor Atul Gawande. I like

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 21, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

RT, re your post in the last boodle about prayer - amen, brother, amen.

I will say Rev. Lowery made me weep. Rev. Warren, not so much.

Posted by: slyness | January 21, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge, please pardon my tardy reply -- Quite a tale!

Not terribly surprising, though -- Those T-34s were built to last.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 21, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Siegelman can get a pardon early in the Obama Admin for a true injustice as opposed to the Dubya crony pardons at the end.

Have we seen the full list of the midnight releases? I heard about two guys getting off the hook for shooting illegal immigrants, but not many others.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

How come the Merkins get a brand new President to play with and we have to keep our stinky old Prime Minister?
Just cause they're bigger they get to do everything!

Posted by: Boko999 | January 21, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Boko, we have a shelf full of slightly used Chief Executives that we can send your way!

Posted by: russianthistle | January 21, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

slyness, wonderful point. Warren is what he is. Like the rest of us, he is flawed. The key is, will he be changed by this experience or continue to do his little logical toe dance.

Intolerance as part of the church is always puzzling. Hundreds of Christians were fed to the lions in Rome under the gaze of religious statuary. I am sure that those gods were all fair and just. A Christian spared by a lion may have been considered a miracle--more likely, lucky, as some lions are human-intolerant.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 21, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Very bright here this morning, but *very* cold (3F before windchill). To top it off, we're out of coffee, my stash of whiskey ran dry and I've got a busy day ahead in a freezing shop.

A rude awakening after such a warm and fuzzy "feel good" day yesterday. Warm and fuzzy and "feel good" except, of course, that Obama just *had* to go and remind us that it's up to *us* to take responsibility and work to fix things. He said it well -- and we needed the reminder -- but still. Talk about a buzzkill.

Did anyone else notice that Beyonce looked like she was about to break out in tears as she serenaded the First Couple last night? I don't know if she lost it when she left the stage, but I sure did. I made it through most of the day with just a lump in my throat, but that moment got me.

To borrow a quote from Scotty... *sigh*.

Peace out :-)

Posted by: martooni | January 21, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse


This is Glenn Beck's take on Lowery and Obama (as reported w/ video on Crooks and Liars):

Glenn Beck helps lead the right-wing mewling about Rev. Joseph Lowery's benediction at President Obama's inauguration yesterday:

Good thing Barack Obama distanced himself from Jeremiah Wright. Is this how the post-racial Obama administration begins? I mean, I understand that he's an older gentleman, and that's fine, but, really? Someday brown can stick around, the yellow man can remain mellow? And white will embrace what's right? Can you imagine anyone else saying something like that? Even at the inauguration of a black president, it seems white America is being called racist.

Mr. President, I want to believe, I want to trust, I want to hope for change. But I am really failing to see how this is any different. USA Today reports something that I am actually shocked by -- that you smiled when he said this and shook your head. And it's not like you didn't know what you were getting yourself into. This is ...

Dope of the day.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 21, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Obama just looked so "old school cool" last night

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 21, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

DotC-Mr. F has suggested we get the national weekly edition but I fear it would not include those bits I miss online. With the regular dead tree edition I always find myself reading something I wouldn't otherwise stumble upon.

I'm holding out, but not holding my breath, for a daily or perhaps just the Sunday paper (just as someone in DC would get it).

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 21, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Careful for what you wish for boko, we just got a spanking new minister but I'd rather kept the stinky old one.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 21, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

RT, I'll call Glenn Beck ignorant of the history, and insensitive. I lived through most of the Civil Rights era, though I was too young to appreciate why the events were occuring as they did. I thought Rev. Lowery was being inclusive and very loving in his invoking of that old saying. Love, of course, is a moral imperative for action, not a nice feeling.

This Christian has a keen awareness of her doubts, limitations, and general lack of perfection, so that she cannot proclaim moral certitude, especially about the salvation or d@mnation of other human beings. It makes no sense to me that God would create us all, to d@mn most of us. Surely he will lead us toward salvation, in the next world if not in this one.

Posted by: slyness | January 21, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

SCC add "have" somewhere.

Ooooooh. Snow again. But the snowblower is back from the shop now. Bring it on I say so that I could hold my "Mission Accomplished" banner over the garage door once again.

Just for your info the open reliogisity of the American political discourse is quite the exception. You should have seen the roomful of rolling eyes at the good reverends yesterday when I was watching the inauguration with my group. And I'm sure eyes were rolling in the UK and France as well.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 21, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Interesting, isn't it, that the country which 230 years ago insisted on separation of church and state, has the most vigorous religious life in the West? The lesson is that when church has to raise its own funds, instead of depending on taxes, it tends to find a message that resonates with those it would serve. And I thank God for that.

Posted by: slyness | January 21, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

As long as the next one doesn't involve hosts or heavenly choirs. I hate heights and crowds and I couldn't carry a tune to save my life.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 21, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I started staring at President Obama's ears. How he kept his hands from warming those radiators I don't know. Probably says something about him. That reminds me of an Ernest Hemingway story I'll probably mangle: his son asked him how to be a man, and Ernest said simply "Keep your hands away from your face."

President Obama. That felt good

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 21, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

From a heathen perspective, or apatheticist (don't care enough to be an agnostic, not sure enough for atheism), it always feels like nothing cheapens religion like overt displays in civil settings.

The first time I went to a high school football game in Alabama (1984) just before kickoff everything stopped for the team, band, cheer leaders, pep squad, dance team, mascot, (who was left in the stands?) to pray. Despite growing up mostly in Virginia which was much more Southern then, it was as shocking as if they'd all stopped what they were doing to have public sex.

In the intervening years public prayer has found its way into so many more settings, particularly at military ceremonies, it no longer surprises me. But, like other things you see everywhere and all the time, it isn't really special either. Would anyone, except the critics and those honored by being selected to give them, have missed either invocation or benediction yesterday?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 21, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

When I was a high school kid, my mental category for football was "recreation". I never understood why there'd be heavy-duty prayer before a game, any more than there would be before playing pinochle.

Then again, neither did I understand that applicants to exlusive private colleges were judged on their ability at athletics as much as on grades.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 21, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

As a graduate of a suburban Florida high school in 1982 where every game still had an invocation, I would have preferred the public sex.

Glen Beck also qualifies as Dope of the Week, Month and Year. The competition is pretty tight for Decade and Century.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Religion is a large part of American life in part, I assert, because so many immigrants came to America for the express purpose of avoiding religious persecution.

Sometimes it crosses the line into a clear implication of American Exceptionalism ("merica is Jesus's favorite country), but as a non-religious person I just accept it as part of our culture. Like pretty women chosen to celebrate local agricultural products. (I knew the Daffodil Queen personally, BTW. Really. We worked together at McDonalds.)

But I digress.

The point is, we are largely a religious country, and I, personally, don't get too worked up over it.

For me the worst part of Warren's Invocation was that, as one raised Catholic, he added superfluous words to the end of the Lord's Prayer.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 21, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Gee, frosti - In these trying economic times, surely you wouldn't begrudge the sermonizers a few speaking gigs?

Posted by: bobsewell | January 21, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Can we table the public sex proposals, yellojkt?

BTW, this line made the Dowd report make my day:

"I'm not sure the post 9/11 mood is the right own to evoke unless she is comparing the Bush Administration to the planes that hit the World Trade Center. Well, maybe she has a point."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 21, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I begrudge them.

I have to disagree with your assertion about the connection between religion and immigration, Padouk. To a large extent the bulk of immigrants or their descendents are NOT the people who are running around doing all this religofying. (I also think this notion that immigrants came here to escape religious persecution is largely a myth. The people who came her to escape RP did so before we ever became a nation--in the 1600s and 1700s. The people who emmigrated here in the 19th century and later mostly did so for economic reasons.)

A pretty fair percentage of immigrants are/were Catholic (Irish, Italians, Poles). More recently, a vwery large group are Hispanic/Latino. Neither of these two groups are the people who are running around praying all the time at the drop of a hat, testifying, witnessing, and otherwise being highly evangelical.

So I think the immigration argument doesn't wash.

To me this religiosity DOES seem to track much more with Red States, and conservative/right-wing people -- who aren't especially known for their ethnicity, nor their tolerance. Ironically.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 21, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it's been changed since last time you've been in a church RD padouk.
When I went to mass last month, for the first time in 30 years or so, I was surprised by the changes. There was this hand shaking, thanking and talking back that surely wasn't there before. I mean, there were a couple of standard say something-answer something but not that much. It's all interactive now. It was all in Portuguese though so don't ask me what it was really about.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 21, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, your point is well-taken that much of the overt public forms of proselytizing are not a result of Catholicism or even Lutheranism and thus, cannot be linked directly to immigration. But my assertion is that a tolerance for religion in general is certainly something that many immigrants sought.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 21, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

for those of you who like puzzles and our new President.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 21, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

sd - my point - a characteristically lame attempt at humor - is that the Catholic version of he Lord's Prayer omits the final phrases that begin with "For thine is..." So to me, it always sounds odd when people add that.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 21, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Me too, RD, although I've gotten used to it in the C.o.E services.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 21, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Now that I think about it I believe it's called The Doxology. Anyway, it's part of the Catholic Liturgy, but not the Lord's Prayer per se.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 21, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Is that the (or, more properly, a) doxology? I have only heard two recitations that I thought were doxological:

Through Him, and with Him, and in Him, is unto Thee, God the Father almighty, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.


Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be. Amen.

Perhaps because the only church-stuff I know I learned from my grandmother, an Anglican.

Posted by: Yoki | January 21, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

No RD, your joke was OK. I just exposed the depth of my ignorance regarding religious stuff.
The prayer is called "Le Notre Père" or was still called Pater Noster (Our Father) back in the days. And the last line of the Lord's Prayer is actually missing in French version too.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 21, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

SCC add the. I'm even more disjointed than usual. I blame the snow.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 21, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all, and a fine day it is too. President Obama today continues the good work he began yesterday (some executive orders went out). Now, me, I might be tempted to start work pretty late or even take a day off after attending ten parties in one night, but that's probably why I'm not President. No work ethic.

I had a student ask this morning about an executive order halting agency action. I haven't found it yet but explained the issuance of recent Bush Administration agency regulations and why such an order would be prudent for any incoming administration. It was refreshing to know that the student was paying attention (better attention, apparently, than I was).

RD, I started out Protestant, sang for Catholics for years, then switched back to a Protestant church. I've spent years either saying too many words in the Lord's Prayer or not enough, depending on the location.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 21, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

My understanding is that the last line in the Lord's Prayer is a Protestant thing and omitted in Catholic reciting.

In my church, we ask forgiveness for our debts, as we forgive our debtors, instead of trespasses. Dunno why we use that terminology. I'll have to remember to ask.

Posted by: slyness | January 21, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Aaah! High Anglican. Here's a proper religion.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 21, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Yoki - I think you are right. I think this is "a" doxology not "the" doxology.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 21, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

The latin agrees with you slyness:

et dimitte nobis debita nostra

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 21, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I for one am in favor of separation of Beyonce and state.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 21, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

slyness, I don't know the origins, but when we used to have joint Baptist/Methodist services in the summer, the debts/trespasses thing always made me giggle as the Baptists finished the phrase, while the Methodists hissed their way through "those who trespass against us."

Posted by: Raysmom | January 21, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Another doxology in widespread use in English, in some Protestant traditions commonly referred to simply as "The Doxology" and in others as “The Common Doxology”[2], is "Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow". The words are thus:

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
This hymn was written in 1674 by Thomas Ken, a priest in the Church of England.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 21, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

et dimitte nobis debita nostra
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris
OK. I'm going for a walk in the snow. Uphill both ways as it is thhe tradition.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 21, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Indeed. Still regretting the Reformation!

Posted by: Yoki | January 21, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Did you all see the huge interactive picture of the inauguration at
Make it full screen and you can zoom in, and some names are furnished.

Posted by: nellie4 | January 21, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Ah ha, SD, that must be it. When I was a kid, our pastor was a great scholar who would have known and preferred the Latin.

Hmm, will have to check to see where the trespasses translation originated.

Posted by: slyness | January 21, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Book of Common Prayer uses trespasses. Anglican again! Cramner's hand again.

Posted by: Yoki | January 21, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Not that I have a dog in the fight, but of course it is trespasses, and none of this last sentence bit. It takes a good RC elementary education to raise an apatheticist with such strong preferences.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 21, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Wiki has a pretty good article on the Lord's Prayer:'s_Prayer

"Debts" in English is probably too narrow - as the article states that in Greek and Aramaic the equivalent is not necessarily financial obligation.

Posted by: engelmann | January 21, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

What inauguration hang over?! The Minnesota senate contest continues. You can watch the MN election contest panel, appointed by MN SC Senior Associate Justice Alan Page, today at 2:30 CST on

Franken's campaign has asked the panel to dismiss Coleman's election contest. My interpretation is that it's just a pro forma thing, like the defense asking the judge to set aside a verdict. But, some say they may just end it here. It's a three judge panel with one from each of MN's major parties (DFL, Rep, and IP).

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 21, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Hi, all.
Thanks for the link, Boss!

Busy days for me, and a bit of a new - and hopefully temporary - electronic gauntlet for me to run with regards to personal communications during business hours.

Was talking to a friend who wondered aloud how long President Obama's Honeymoon Period will last (after he gets done filling out the First-Day-of-Work HR forms and requests and such, of course).

I suggested 100 days (similar to they typical Congress, correct?), my friend listed some dependencies that might make it shorter in this case, not the least of which were the state of foreign relations (and the continually growing array of crises), the economy and employment figures.

It would be flip to suggest that he doesn't have a prayer, and equally flip to suggest that's *all* he's got.

President Obama suggests that it will take years of work to get things moving in the right directions, and he's right.

It'll probably take some luck, too.

I'd rather be lucky than good -- some might consider this a doxology of sorts, but I wouldn't.

I'm more of an "In God we trust," kinda guy.

Whoops, gotta run.

So, how long do *you* think the honeymoon will last, and how will President Obama spend his?


Posted by: -bc- | January 21, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I was going to make a veryverybad "doxy" joke, using the lyrics to "All the Young Girls Love Alice," but I found upon further review that many people seem to hear Elton sing "middle-aged [die-keys] in a Go-Go."

I could have sworn the album liner notes say "doxies," but I can admit to being wrong.

Am I?

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 21, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I must say that all the talk about public sex and common doxies is making me uncomfortable. The religion doesn't help either.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 21, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I admire your restraint.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 21, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

The French wiki for Pater Noster is impressive too.
It says that the final doxology is said only after the catholic priest has mumbled the "embolisme" to himself. The dastardly Protestants just skip over this embolism thing and go right to it.
I thought that an embolism was only a medical condition but I was apparently wrong, again.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 21, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

You are not wrong, Scotty. It's a great word, too.

Posted by: Yoki | January 21, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

You and I are really kindred spirits, Frosti: "an apatheticist with such strong preferences." But how did I come by mine? No RC childhood, just a couple of wishy-washy Methodist churches I was forced to attend just short of gunpoint.

The Meths were always in the "trespass" school, and it always bothered me, since I had a fairly simple-minded idea of what trespassing was: get off my lawn. Then as I got older and occasionally heard the debt/debtors version in somebody else's church, that just made it even more curious and odd. First, get off my lawn, and then don't worry about the 20 bucks you owe me.

One of my big objections was that nobody in church ever actually bothers to explain anything to you. Somehow you are supposed to just absorb the vocabulary and concepts from the atmosphere. What the hell is the Method that Methodism is all about? Anybody know? Because I'm darned sure 98% of actual Methodists don't know, and in all the time I spent in Methodist churches I never heard anyone breathe a word about it. Just. Did. Not. Happen.

Similarly, what the heck is a Presbyter? What's it got to do with anything? What is an Evangel? I know all about Martin Luther, and the 99 Theses and the Diet of Worms and the Reformation, and what not. But what has any of that got to do with the Lutherans/ What Martin-Lutheristic notions do Lutherans practice?
What is an episcope? Episcopal? Episcopic? Whatever the root word is. What has it got to do with the Episcopal Church (ex-Church of England/Anglican)?

Because I will tell you this: I have been in Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, and Presbyterian churches, and I can't tell a dime's bit of difference between them. I would submit that whatever doctrinal differences some scholar might propose between them, they don't mean a damn thing in the daily life and existence of these churches and their people. I would submit that they are all virtually the same, like M&Ms. They sing pretty much the same hymns, say the same ritual prayers, more or less, and get the same general run of (boring) sermons. They all put their buck in the collection plate, and go home. I think there are more significant differences between McDonalds, Wendy's, and Burger King and between Skippy versus Peter Pan than there are between major mainstream denominations of Protestant churches. (I'm not being critical of them when I say this: it's just an obervation.)

If somebody actually could define the differences, I'm sure I'd find them to be petty and meaningless nit-picking anyway.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 21, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

It's unfashionable to know anything about liturgical/theological history. Including Henry the Eighth's bishop's contributions to the English liturgy. The pop evangelicals have pretty much done away with liturgy, anyway. Not to mention no altars, no tables, no altar-tables.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 21, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear, just another way I'm unfashionable. #, what, 261?

Posted by: Yoki | January 21, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Interesting question, bc. My guess is that Obama will not have any kind of conventional "honeymoon" period at all, as we commonly know it, which is to say I don't think there will come a period where we'll hear someone say, "Well, the honeymoon is over." Or that the honeymoon period last 3 months, six months, whatever time period. I just don't think it'll happen that way.

Ask me in a year. (And my guess is we won't be able to say, "This is when it ended.")

But it's a very good question.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 21, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

LOL, Yoki. I think just about all of us here on the Boodle are "unfashionable" in many ways.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 21, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Mudge, I was also raised Methodist and was fairly content (though my questions tended to confuse the Sunday-school teachers) right up until teenage confirmation classes, when they did explain it.

Methodism was a way of life (darn near heretical to the Anglicans of Great Britain) which eschewed pomp, ceremony etc. No singing hymns not written by a Wesley family member, no elaborate ritual (Ivansdad refers to it as the "God, we hope we're doing the right thing, please let us know" ceremony). It also eschewed some finer points of Catholic and Anglican theology, but they didn't go into that.

I was fine with that, but it also eschewed a lot of other things, like dancing, drinking and playing cards. What? We held youth dances! We played snap and those other games! Granted, we had grape juice at communion but overall, I was deeply disillusioned to discover that most of the real tenets of Methodism were observed in the breach.

I guess I'm reassuring you that having the doctrine explained probably wouldn't have helped your confusion. It certainly didn't help mine.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 21, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

As best I can tell, the older Protestants in the US are pretty interchangeable. It still mystifies me that the ecumenical movement of some years ago failed to obtain greater degree collaboration among the various groups.

Historically, Methodists set themselves up (in Baltimore) after the Revolution as a distinctly American church.

Methodists edited "descended into hell" out of the Apostles' Creed, emphasized that everyone is eligible for salvation, and set up a semi-centralized organization that seems to have flooded the expanding country with mobile preachers in the early 19th century. Also adopted grape juice on the logic that Jesus would have used it, if only modern canning technology were available back then. There was a doctrine of Christian Perfection, but it seems to have gone into hibernation and never woken up.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 21, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Well Mudge, you've got your millenialists, and your pre- and postmillenialists, not to mention the prematuremillenialists. I don't know which is who and I don't care until they try to turn their jibber jabber into law and public policy.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 21, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The modesty-in-daily-life, stick-to-the-basics aspect of Methodism is indeed sometimes hard to find.

Sort of hard to visualize Methodists, circa 1855, joining the Baptists in not observing Christmas (which seems to have been a Catholic, Episcopalian, and German thing).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 21, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Ivansmom. The two Methodist churches I'm most familiar with don't remotely adhere to any of those theoretical idea. They sing and dance and do whatever, just like all the other mainstream Pro churches. Granted the rituals aren't very elaborate--but neither do they seem as modest an plain as, say, Quakerism or the Amish/Mennonite types. In short, the Method is meaningless and irrelevant. (And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Just...ironic?)

I know religious people who have moved to a new town, and they have said they started to look for a new church to join. So they go to the X church for a week or two, then to the Y church a couple of times, then they go to the Z church. They decide they don't like the minister at the Y church, and the Z church only has one service on Sunday at an inconvenient time, and while the Q church has a really nice building and a really big rec hall, they just don't like it there. So they decide to join the N church, where they feel comfortable.

And I'm fine with all that, every bit. It actually seems to me to be fairly rational. But what does it tell us about the theology of the X,Y, Z, P, Q, and N churches? Their doctrines? Their ideas? What it tells us is that all this stuff is meaningless and pointless. It means that X church has a cool, interesting minister, and that Y church happens to have a dull, stodgy one. This isn't religion. It's exactly the same difference as having a good, interesting algebra teacher and a bad, dull algebra teacher. It doesn't tell us one stinking thing about algebra. Or the school system. Or pedagogy. Or theories of education, or math education, or whatever.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 21, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

i was told authoritatively that by a methodist that methodists are presbyterians who don't drink.

raised as a presbyterian, i can attest to the fact that they are governed by committee.

the anglican communion started because henry the viii couldn't get a divorce. or something like that. (i'm sure ivansmom can give you a rundown of the episcopalians).

the martin luther theological core is salvation by grace through faith, not by works (or paying indulgences and whatnot).

by the way, the main post-resurrection command of christ is "go tell the world the good news," so evangelism is not going anywhere as long as christianity is around. ("good news" = gospel = evag(n)gelion).

that's all i got off the top of my head.

Posted by: LALurker | January 21, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Boko, you're right about all those millenialists, pre- and postmillenialists, prematuremillenialists, and the dispensationists, the Rapturists, the snakecharmers, and what-not. But the thing about all of them is that they aren't mainstream Prot. churches, but rather seem to fit into the rightwing/conserv/evangelical wacky wing.

And yes, I, too, think a lot of these people are dangerous (whereas the mainstreamers never are), both politically and socially. And I have a bit of a grudge against the Mainstreamer clergy for not standing up and fighting back against the Wack-Job extremists churches. It seems to me to be cowardice on their part -- and it kind of throws the fight into the hands of us non-believers/apatheticists, etc. to do the dirty work. The people who should be ridiculing The Rapture shouldn't be you and me, Boko-- it should be the Methodists, Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc. It's their damn fight. But they don't.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 21, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I thought "The Rapture" was one of Blondie's very best tunes.

What do yinz have against Debbie Harry?

Posted by: martooni | January 21, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The notion that methodists (or any other denomination) don't drink is utterly absurd. (Yes, people say it, but it is absurd...and of course untrue, and a kind of lie.)

I've always objected to phrases such as "grace through faith," LAL, because I have no clue what it actually means. I've been hearing all these churchy phrases all my life thrown about seemingly at random, and I don't know what they mean. I know the words, I know the definitions, but they just don't fit together into any kind of coherent pattern. "Grace through faith" makes as much sense to me as "truth through sandpaper." It's like a kind of white noise, a stream of buzzwords with no practical application. A good many religious phrases and ideas like this one sound that way to me: just white noise, without real meaning. I don't know why.

(And remember, I'm the guy who studied Buber, Tillich, Neibuhr, de Chardin, and all the other heavyweights in college...and I still don't have a clue what "grace through faith" means, or what to do with it.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 21, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

i've got to run to work, so this will be a bit rambly...

i think the problem with the divide between mainline and more fundamentalist churches is a lot more complex that it looks to outsiders and nonbelievers. for example, take all the categories listed related to theological views of the "end of the world." technically speaking, every denomination fits in one of these categories (millenialists, whateverists) because somewhere in the tradition of pretty much every denomination you're going to have the official views of the denomination outlined. it's more a question of being super literal about a lot of things and letting those views dictate other aspects or interpret current events. i think mainline denominations, while having official theological positions, have been around longer, tolerate a wider range of opinions as well as not knowing definitive answers to various questions. so it's not all that straightforward for a mainline person whose denomination technically believes x and y, but tolerates some ambiguity, to go after people who are taking certain things more literally. the liberal versus conservative divide is also happening within pretty much every denomination as well (mainline as well as more conservative ones), so that adds a whole other layer of complexity.

well, just my two cents.

Posted by: LALurker | January 21, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

You think we don't fight the wackos, Mudge? Oh, what you don't know!

There have been nuts around for all time, of course, and practically all of them go bad over time. Every once in a great while, one comes along who creates significant good - Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther, Charles Wesley, Roger Williams come to mind.

Separating to the good from the bad is difficult, and sometimes we have to wait for the verdict of time. The bad ones, who distort the truth for their own ends, eventually show their stripes.

Fundamentalism is one of the greatest curses of the present age. It arises from the fear of those who see endless change but who want certainty in their lives, who cannot distinguish anything but black and white. Herein is the fight, and perhaps the mainline churches haven't done enough. But it's hard to get people to change their worldviews when the one they espouse is comforting, and claims to be the only way.

Posted by: slyness | January 21, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, the lights you studied in college were not culturally protestant or low church.

Buber was a Jewish mystic
TdeChardin a Jesuit mystic

Tillich was a weirdo, despite his wisdom.

Jews and Catholics are focused on the community throughout all time. (Painting broadly).

And, focused on making the prophets' dreams come true:

A Promised Land (thank you, Moses and Aaron) and
Tikkum Olum (healing or binding up)
A Shining City of God (Augustine)
Mystical Body of Christ (Aquinas, based on Plato and Aristotle)

Getting to this dream is built on the back of works, specific acts of mercy, charity, sharing, and justice. Pardon me my confusion about the primacy of faith, but I have always thought that my act of faith is puny in salvation. God is huge and wondrous and capable of binding us all up, despite our belief, unbelief, non belief, anti belief, etc.

But my works, for my dear brothers and sisters here and now, this will bear fruit. Love it is. Love is what we should be about, double-time.

Back to the distinction between Jews/Catholics and Protestants:communal or if you will, tribal. Always about the community. The individual does not really matter, save within the tender bonds and nurturing snares and embrace of others. (painting broadly).

And about the rapture, the mark of the beast, anti-Christ, etc. Catholics get "witnessed" to (not so much these days) with a particular vengence. So, why would we take that on? No response has its rhetorical power also.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 21, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, as a non-drinker who attends a Methodist church, I'm always trying to push that "Methodists don't drink" line on my fellow congregants. I get a lot of quizzical looks.

I like the fact that we not only use grape juice for communion but also CALL it juice, or "the cup." There are many people who choose not to drink for the sake of their mental health, and I hate the idea of those people being excluded from communion. Some of the most spiritually evolved people I've known in my lifetime have been longterm AA members, people who have been to the edge, or even over it, and then learned a new way, one day at a time, and in daily meetings with other seekers.

Posted by: kbertocci | January 21, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I grant the possibility that I don't know, slyness, and if any of the mainstream clergy fight fundamentalism, and in particular stand up and declaim the Raputrists and all their ilk, I'm totally unaware of it. Seems to me all I've ever heard out of any of them is entering the debate (on either side) of the main issues: gay marriage, abortion, Terry Schivao, stem cells, etc.

I've yet to hear any one major TV or social clergyman of the Robertson/Osteen/T.D. Jakes/Rick Warren/Falwell or any of the other big timers stand up and say that the works of Tim LaHAye are a load of crap, and not worth buying; that they are theologically unsound, dangerous, and untrue. I've never heard a major condemnation of dispensationalism.

Maybe it happens--but if so (a) you guys are loosing the fight, badly, and (b) you need much better PR and outreach on it.

I've yet to hear a ringing denunciation of creationism and "Intelligent design" by anyone wearing a pastoral collar. It's always the scientists, the biology professors, who have to do the heavy lifting. I want to see some fire and brimstone coming from the mainstreamers, on a loud and sustained basis. And it isn't happening, as far as I can see. I would love to be wrong. But everything I've read says that the evangelical wing is growing fast, and that the mainstreamers are shrinking (and may not be mainstreamers much longer, if they keep loosing these battles for conbgregations).

I suspect I may be asking Protestantism to undergo a pretty ugly civil war within itself. Maybe I am, I dunno. All I know is the good guys don't seem to be doing very well, and I wish it were otherwise. I admit that, like Frosti, I really don't have a dog in this fight, being neither a Protestant nor even a Christian, but I *do* hold the mainstream, and especially the liberal wing, of Protestantism in reasonably high regard, and hate to see them getting banged around. Ditto the liberal wing of the Catholic Church. But I gotta have more cowbell.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 21, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, at the risk of sounding flippant, I think "grace through faith" is one of those know-it-when-you-see-it things. I think the whole idea of divine grace as a personal benefit, through whatever religious medium or tradition, is highly individual. This is particularly true of the Protestant and evangelical church traditions which emphasis personal redemption through communication with the divine, and originally stood in opposition to the Catholic (or catholic) tradition of a church hierarchy.

I know some people who fully understand the "grace through faith" phenomenon as they percieve it in their own lives. I don't doubt it. Some people may never experience it. Some of us may and it just hasn't happened yet. Perhaps we have and didn't recognize it, I don't know.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 21, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

On religion I do not have anything.

Great kit Joel - must have been quite the thrill to be in DC the last few day.

Since I missed that it was Beyonce singing (CNN cut away to quick) at the first dance last night, to make up for it I post the link. Still a great song and the Obama's looked wonderful together.

Posted by: dmd2 | January 21, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Being nice to Paul Tillich:

Christian existentialist, who grew out of Lutheranism within Europe. So, he did not have the Manifest Destiny layer that living broadly upon American expanses will do. Tillich owes his stuff largely to Soren Kierkegaard, that most unhappy and desperate seeker of solace.

(Tillich always had a retinue of young ladies in tow, or thrall to him...weird and worse, actually.)

Neibuhr? Not too qualified to speak. Studied him in a rush with Bultman and Barth and mix the three up completely.

Know more about Simone Weil and Edith Stein, because I wanted very much to hear what women (of faith) were trying to say to us.

And, have an abiding preference for liberation theology, which my goodness is works-focused.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 21, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Slyness wrote "It arises from the fear of those who see endless change but who want certainty in their lives, who cannot distinguish anything but black and white." Which is why Obama wasn't half wrong when he made that, in my mind not regrettable, comment about "clinging to God and guns."

I've long thought that one thing the more extreme evangelical types and Muslim nut cases have in common is an atmosphere that encourages ignorance and intolerance. That is why my favorite line in the inauguration speech was- "To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 21, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Let me throw this one at you: I don't know whose translation it is, but I often hear "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those that sin against us." Gets rid of the debt/trespass ambiguity at the expense of a little parallelism.

Down in western NC, where my wife went to school, the only real doctrinal difference between Baptists and Methodists is dunking versus sprinkling.

My wife has been speaking admiringly of a friend of hers Lutheran parish with married priest. Since the doctrinal differences between Catholics and Lutherans are pretty small (the fewer the splits, the closer the theology) I can see myself ending up at a Lutheran mass someday.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

CqP, I'm to the point that I just don't answer the door when those folks come around.

Here's my (limited) understanding of grace: God created us and loves us and wants to have a relationship with us. Being in relationship with him offers wonderful benefits: peace, hope, love, salvation, joy. But he made us free, so that we get to choose whether or not we want a relationship with him. Totally our choice, he's not going to force himself on us. But he will come more than halfway to meet us, to offer all that he has, and he asks nothing more than that we accept what he offers. That's grace.

Posted by: slyness | January 21, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Also, Mudge, from your 2:45, you may have your categories a little off. Where I stand, Robertson, Falwell, et al., are a slightly less flamboyant but just as conservative evangelical segment as the more extremist nuts. Sure there are differences of scale, but most traditional Protestants I know (Methodists, Episcopals, Presbyterians) don't consider the megachurch, evangelical or even conservative Southern Baptist tradition to be particularly mainstream Protestant. The megachurch folk and the Southern Baptists tend to have the largest or most visible media outreach, but they aren't mainstream in the sense of being a traditional Protestant denomination. Most of the megachurches seem to preach some kind of prosperity gospel or "happy Jesus" gospel, with little basis in theology. Granted the mainstream churches tend to ignore these folks (when they're not envying their collection plates), and perhaps they shouldn't. I've heard sermons against both those traditions, but they tend to be in-house in the sense of speaking to parishioners, not the press.

I can tell you that I've heard Episcopal priests denounce intelligent design and preach sermons on the value of scientific rigor and intellectual curiosity, and their relationship to faith. I'v also seen that sort of thing in national newsletters. I suspect that, like most religious doctrinal disputes, it just doesn't get a lot of press.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 21, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

It's really bad form to SCC someone else's post, but that Dowd Report quote should say "the right ONE to evoke". The original has been corrected.

Thanks for the kudo, Wilbrod.

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | January 21, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Way out of my depth so I'll just say my philosophy comes from GK and the Writers' Almanac "Be kind, do good works."

dmd-thanks for that link. I missed Beyonce singing last night, but had to smile every time I saw Pres. O and MO dance together. In fact I couldn't look away. Stayed glued to MSNBC until they'd covered every ball. (which meant more listening to Joe Biden than I would normally tolerate).

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 21, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Slyness. Cradle-catholic here, still showing up, still believing. Not sure I ever experienced grace. We could be tilting at definitions. However, I have on more than one occasion felt the deep and abiding presence of a most powerful and distinct and personal love. Love: no proof other than subjective experience, which means I understand the impulse in existentialism: lived knowledge rather than rationally-apprehended knowledge.

And, for those who think my brain is wired this way? So be it. Perhaps my hippocampus is god-producing. So be it. I welcome the studies of brains-on-spirituality, and what-have-you. Meanwhile, back at the ranch: I will be busy with the works thing: how about we live as if God notices how we treat others? Not a bad thing. People (me too) can be slugs of selfishness or accidents of anxiety. Basically, we need to step out of selves and see a bigger picture.

Take out God. How about we live as if Love matters.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 21, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

If God is love, CqP, then living as if love matters is the same thing as living a God-centered life. No?

"I have on more than one occasion felt the deep and abiding presence of a most powerful and distinct and personal love." YES! And once you have felt and known that, you can never go back to the life you had before. AND that knowledge sends you on the path to do the best you can, for your family and all the world.

Not that I've been particularly successful at that, but I try.

Posted by: slyness | January 21, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

They don't teach any of the folks that mudge mentioned in engineering trade school (unless one of them also invented a way to solve indeterminate partial differential equations, but I doubt it) so I can't talk to them, but I think "grace through faith" is one side of the grace-through-faith/salvation-through-works divide. I forget who is on which side, but it's one of the major schisms.

I've always felt it was about as important as the great tastes-great/less-filling debate. But they all pale in comparison to the aforementioned dunkers/sprinklers theological split. These are the burning theological questions of our day.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

In treading the waters around evangelical proselytizers I have learned which of the buzz words to avoid. I start closing the door or walking away when I hear one or more of the following:

personal relationship with Christ
accepted Jesus as my savior
If you died today...
***single raised hand swaying to a Michael W. Smith tune***

I have also seen some really slanderous Jack Chick tracts ridiculing Catholic dogma, so I get very nervous when people try to argue very arcane points of theology any more subtle than the general gist of the beatitudes.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Joel slipped some links in the kit to bc and myself. Nice little traffic boost. My thanks go out.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I somehow thought that Niebuhr, Barth, Tillich, Buber, et al. had been consigned to the rubbish heap of history, to be replaced by something like Christianity Today's list of the "Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals".

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 21, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

You know DotC when you lump the names together like that it kind of seems like the offensive line for a football team.

And yes after 13 years of RC schooling that is the best I can do :-)

Posted by: dmd2 | January 21, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

And doxycycline is supposed to treat all these schisms somehow? What??


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 21, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I was at the library yesterday, and picked up Al Gore's book _The Assault on Reason_, feeling that in an America presided over by Barack Obama, I can read it without becoming suicidal.

I got through the end of chapter one last night and I'm really enjoying the experience. Here's a quote from the book that today's discussion reminded me of, and which I would be happy to have engraved on my tombstone:

"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear." -- Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: kbertocci | January 21, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I have an entire working theory about why most RCs (myself included) are wholly unprepared to debate theology. A lot of it has to do with the structure of the Mass and the non-linear catechism method of religious education. We don't read and study the Bible the same way Protestants do. We are also completely unversed in their unique jargon even if it devolves from scriptural passages we are familiar with.

So much of RC theology has been debated by the finest minds over the centuries that the clergy doesn't see the need to confuse the laity with a lot of hand-wringing over concepts that have been resolved for hundreds of years. So when we are asked questions like "Can man achieve salvation through good works alone?" all we can do is look bewildered and shrug our shoulders.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Don't have much to contribute on the Christianity discussion, although I grew up RC. Just don't live it that way anymore. I see my relationship with God as personal so I like to keep it that way. Not real big on going to church and expressing it much.

On a different note, those pictures of President Obama in the Oval Office are stunning! He looks like he just belongs there, ya know? And, his desk is so clean and empty! I'm thinking it won't look like that after a little while. Must be the first-day-at-work desk top.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 21, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Very true yellow, of course there were alterior motives to having the finest minds ponder the questions kept the masses from thinking themselves - the horror.

My poor mom is so spinning in her grave at me right now - no fears I used to say the to her face - Oh dmd she would sigh.

Posted by: dmd2 | January 21, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

This is completely off on another tangent but so funny, dad give cordless phone to 11 month old to play with, baby dials 9-1-1- police come to discover...

Posted by: dmd2 | January 21, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Churches and their dogmas would be very interesting to look at from a evolutionary point of view. The One True Church is a large lumbering beast that has survived in one form or another for over 2000 years. There seem to be as many subdivisions of Baptism-ism as there are Baptists.

As generally befuddled as the typical Catholic is about theology (and I am using myself as the most pointed example) most of the smartest, best-read, intellectually honest theologians I have ever met are Catholic clergy, particularly Jesuits. Of course, my sample size is heavily skewed that direction.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Presbyter means elder. From "presbys" (Greek) "old man." Meaning, the rule of the church is by council, of Elders, who are elected. Very democratic; very Enlightenment. Also used in "presbyopia" condition of the eyes where they get too weak to focus. Ha! (I was raised in that faith so I get to make the joke.)

The word "sin" is what fascinates me, I can't find much background on the linguistic origins. I suspect, in lack of data telling me otherwise, that it is from the same word that evolved into the Spanish "sin" which means "lacking" or "without."

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 21, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

That's a great story, dmd. I've never understood why people give children phones to play with anyway. As this shows, they can dial. Every now and then we see a case which has begun after someone - occasionally the defendant - has called 911 for some other reason. Hereabouts, just being in the house wouldn't be enough to poke around, warrantless, after it had been determined the call was error; unless, of course, officers could see or smell something which raised the possibility of suspicious activity.

Of course, I don't see why people give children their keys either. Like little magpies, they are.

Yellojkt, Jesuits are something else again. I sometimes wish the Boy could have a Jesuit education, not for the religion but for the rigor. Those guys learn how to think in the old hard, classical sense.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 21, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Back when I studied Anthropology, I had a great professor (Dr. Solon T.Kimball) who analyzed the Irish countryfolk as if they were any other tribe. He got deeply into the economy of social obligations, i.e., barter of labor. It's endlessly fascinating to me. So in light of that, debts = obligations and infractions commonly require remuneration. I guess all this led to the crass commercialization of indulgences. And thus the Reformation.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 21, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Yello, I'm not sure RCs are necessarily theological dummies.

Protestant theology is all over the map and generally involves de-emphasizing or ignoring major parts of catholic theology. I would never try to debate protestant theology because it's like punching fog.

I've also observed that I'm often more informed on the bible from my RC masses than protestants are; those readings are not chosen haphazardly, but to reinforce points of doctrine and show the connection between the Old and New Testament passages.

Do it yourself theology might get you sidetracked all over the place, though. Many protestant churches do not even require their pastors have a degree in bible studies, and in those churches you just don't know what you will be getting fobbed off as "christianity."

And, salvation through good works alone? The bible says no very clearly, but it also says clearly that good works is necessary to support faith and is pleasing to the Lord.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 21, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

yello's comment about not wanting to confuse the laity is spot on. I so often hear Protestents enthuse about some conundrum or paradox, some question they want to debate, and I know that the matter was already endlessly debated centuries ago.

I liken this to people who read our Constitution but are somehow unable to proceed to read a history of Constitutional law or read the opinions of the Justices about these matters as they occurred.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 21, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Paging engelmann, would a warrent be needed here, if the household had dialled 9-1-1?

Posted by: dmd2 | January 21, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Wilbrod, are you a "metro" gnome?

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 21, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Wilbrod. That was part of the point I was making. There is a great deal of theology and philosophy woven into a Catholic service that is nearly invisible. I would say that over 90% of the RC Mass is biblical in origin but I wasn't aware of much of it until I had Protestants quoting things back to me that I recognized as prayers and rituals I had been hearing my whole life.

The weekly readings which are on a three year cycle emphasis the seasonal and thoroughly cover the liturgical aspects of the teachings, but Catholics rarely sit down and read the New Testament (and definitely not the Old Testament) cover to cover and study it textually in the way Baptists, et. al. do.

The do-it-yourselfers can lead to things like the Branch Davidians in Waco and other personality type cults. There is a reason a religion needs an infrastructure and an institutional memory.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

You may right, DotC, about Evangs consing the likes of Tillich, Barth, Neibuhr, et all, to the rubbish heap--that's exactly why I object so strenuously to them.

(Not that it matters, it appears Obama is a big fan of Neibuhr, and quotes him approvingly all the time.)

I'm willing to accept the notion that grace is a "know-it-when-you-see-it" thing, but I have two problems with that: first, it takes it into the realm of mysticism (and I pretty much hate all mysticism, on the grounds of it being not arguable, not demonstrable, and not transferable). Second, Christianity, for all its alleged piety, always attaches fairly horrible consequences to non-believers. So if grace is a "know-it-when-you-see-it" thing, then the personal consequences of failure to see it are eterbal damnation, roasting in Hell for eternity, blah, blah blah. Pretty dire punishment just because you don't the p[oint. And that simply isn't right. Period. You don't consign someone to eternal fire and brimstone, and condemn them as sinners, blah blah blah, because they are slow getting the point, which God has made obscure in the first place. That's the wacked way to run a cosmos, and I'm not having any of it.

The problem with the free will argument slyness proposed is the same. It sounds well and good at first blush for God to offer up the notion of free will, and if you accept it, He gives you peace, love, blah, blah blah. But there's the flip side: those same horrible penalties. If it's a question of free will, then there ought not be penalties for deciding to refuse or decline the offer. But Christianity again attaches all that fire, brimstone, eternal damnation jazz to it. And then I would argue that how "free" can this here "free will" be if its horrendously coercive? So basically what I hear from this argument (and I've been hearing it for something like half a century now) is God's offer of free will is "My way or the highway," and the highway ain't pleasant. That's just not "free will," and the Greek philosophers would laugh their asses off at it. It's stacking the deck, and it's a decptive argument. And because of that it is not only difficult to respect, it actually invites disbelief, because it's a bad argument. "You can believe what you want to, but if you don't agree with me you're gonna burn in hell" isn't a position worthy of respect.

And when this offer comes from an all-powerful, all-knowing, jealous, angry, deity, well...then it's just plain bullying, be it from on High. I don't like bullies, and I don't like being bullied.And for people like martooni, Boko, SD and me, among others, the worst thing you can do is threaten us, and we're sure to get our hackles up instantly. Ain't no way to run a cosmos. Tell me I'g gonna burn in Hell if I don't believe X, Y, and Z, virtually guarantees my non-compliance.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 21, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"Former French President Chirac hospitalised after mauling by his clinically depressed poodle"

Posted by: Boko999 | January 21, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Now here is the harder one: "Can man achieve salvation through faith alone?" Answer that satisfactorily and you have united about a dozen different denominations.

I have a book that I haven't read about how the Irish saved Western Civilization. Are you saying they also inadvertently broke up the Catholic Church?

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, Mudge. I do not know what to say other than.


God is very much a faithful lover and devoted parent. Not a judge or CandyLand gatekeeper.


Think on the mystery of Eros and life force, too, which knits up the notion (breath carefully here) that God is a lover. Think also on our need to empty out our selfish natures, sit up straight, share, sheath our weapons, etc. That would be God the daddy and mommy. (HEY, one nifty archetypal reason to be Catholic is that Mary is pretty darn important as the god-bearing woman.)

And my favorite image of God in the Old Testament translates as:

he pitched his tent with us (one scholar says PITCHES as in ongoing tense)

That gets turned into "dwell amongst us."

I'll take the go camping together image over the King Jamesian choice here.

I agree with YJ, which is why I keep casting my lot with a very old institution that is grafted upon Judaism.

And, very cool that Obama reads Neibuhr. I hope he also reads the liberation theologians, which I expect he has.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 21, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Must concentrate on Love, and the possible seriousness of the link Boko posted, will not smile, will not smile - so not working.

Posted by: dmd2 | January 21, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Ah, now, see, CP, I am much, much closer to you on matters of theology (esp. liberation theology) than I am to any of the Protestant denominations, by far.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 21, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I think that's illegal in most states CP

Posted by: Boko999 | January 21, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Only the lawyers, yello, only the lawyers. And they were English. And the royals.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 21, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, Ivansmom, YJ, WB,

What I am spouting came to me from years with the Jesuits. Hey, my grandfather was nearly a Jesuit. You are not fully vested until about age 43 or so.

Off to some works -- not reall "good," but having some laundry done and some evil gumballs raked will yield some goodness in the world.

And, the works conversation fits the volunteerism costs/prices/wages question of JA a few kits ago. Late but better than never.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 21, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Soon after the Big Bang, there was a Big Cigarette.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 21, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

What.... that wasn't a daily onion headline, and it was a maltese, not a poodle.

Poor Chirac. Now Obama's *NEVER* getting a poodle for sure. Or a Maltese.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 21, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Jumper and Boko -- y'll funnymen!!!!

I also say that funny is important too. Which is why the flying sphagettini monster has such truck.

Mudge -- you too, shall enter in. Worry thee not, oh my beloved and precious nautical son. Works!!!!! Your insurance. I have it on good authority that your works list is among the top 2,000 already.

And theologically, you are Jewish so we are cousins, really. Now can I say something like

Mudgela bubala.....? Pretty please?

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 21, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Hi Curmdugeon,
Just a lurker with a definition of grace, and I hope an explanation of grace through faith...

I teach in a Catholic school, and this year one of my duties is the 6th grade Religion class. We teach that the state of grace is living in communion with God, having a close relationship not impeded by the (free) choice to live in a sinful state -- sinful state defined as choosing to sin, not choosing to ask pardon for the sin and making no effort to avoid future occasions of the same sin.

It used to be that Catholic teaching stressed works as a path to Jesus. It used to be pretty legalistic, in fact, but that was in my Irish grandmother's time. The Church still teaches the importance of living faith by trying to do good every day (as in the corporal or spiritual works of mercy) and praying, but we also teach that works without faith won't cut it with God.

It's my understanding that the mainline Protestants believe that all one needs to do to get to heaven is to believe in Jesus' death and resurrection, and that belief alone puts one in a state of grace with God. You can be a jerk all your life but if you accept Jesus as your savior (or, as Baptists always seem to put it, "your personal Lord and Savior" which always makes me want to say, that would be selfish -- who'll save YOU?, which would go over about as well as the One True Church thing), you'll go straight up when you let out that last breath. I can see their point, but I kind of think those folks just might have to do a brief Purgatory rap first. I'm pretty sure that's what they mean by "Grace through faith"

Posted by: 99thfakeid | January 21, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

i was also impressed that obama read niebuhr. obama's former congregation in chicago is very much focused on black liberation theology.

love the discussion. wish i could do more than just pop in.

Posted by: LALurker | January 21, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks 99thfake for that well-explained comment.

Alas, with "purgatory rap" you have now given me a tune cootie of Eninem's "Lose yourself" against a Purgatory backdrop.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 21, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Coming in late and busy as can be for awhile longer, but thankful to scan this Boodle and not see the term "Recovering Catholic."

Jumper, not everyone believes it was a Bang, though there's been plenty of Whimpering since.


Posted by: -bc- | January 21, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

the appropriate response to the overemphasis on grace/faith is "faith without works is dead."

james was never a popular book with the protestants. i believe luther didn't like it all.

ok, really should do some work...

Posted by: LALurker | January 21, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"More cowbell."


Posted by: KathrynAPage | January 21, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I figure that if there's a god and it wants something from me it's perfectly capable of asking (not much of a god otherwise). I'll require some pretty convincing ID, of course.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 21, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Jumper's mention of the word sin is interesting. Etymologists have it from Old Norse "verð sannr at" (to be found guilty of) thence to Old German "sonde" and on to Old English, "synn" which was also trespass; no idea of debt but only moral wrongdoing.

Why did I know this? Because I spent months and months on the Chanson de Roland at one time.

Posted by: Yoki | January 21, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Congratz to Yello and BC for being featured bloggers. Actually congratz for good citizen journalism.

Posted by: Braguine | January 21, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I've not done a whole lot of backboodling, but I've read a buncha Mudge postings and CqP's and a few others.

I don't know if this has been posted before (or yet), but I'm gonna do it. AND, I mean absolutely no offense by it (and it's "sinfully" funny):

How do you know that Jesus was a Jew?
(1) He went into his father's business.
(2) He lived at home until he was 30.
(3) His mother thought he was God.

And those of us who know *all* about growing up in a Jewish family, that about says it.

I've also come across a fourth reason from someone -- (4) He thought his mother was a virgin. Actually, I think the first three do quite nicely.

As a devout non-believer, while it wouldn't occur to me to interfere with someone else's religious beliefs (except if they want to kill me for mine or the lack thereof), I am of the opinion that having a sense of humor about it all is really quite "faithful". I mean, I don't agree with being "God-fearing" as that concept does not comport with my general life-beliefs anyway (so I stick all that in the glove comportment for later use). God-loving? Okay, that's fine. God as parent? Especially evil parent? To me, that goes into the same category as treating teachers like either baby sitters or substitute parents (making sure the kids are clean and have eaten and are otherwise well taken care of).

One of the reasons I left religion (actually, truth be known, I never really got into it at all), is the way the so-called mainstream religions treat girls and women. If I'm intrigued or enamored of any religion, it might be Buddhism. But, it doesn't matter enough to me to embrace of any them.

That being said, I don't go around breaking laws (at least knowingly), I don't go around hurting people (gratuitously or not), and I am known to be a very generous person. Not to mention, cute as a button (but I digress).

And, now, time to nuke something for dinner. Let's enjoy and support this new administration with this new President, who is such a grown-up for a change.

Toodley-doodley for now.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | January 21, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Here I am at the Inauguration....

Posted by: rickoshea0 | January 21, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Theological discussions around the playground of All Saint's School invariably took the form of a game of foursquare. (We didn't have game theory quite down yet.)

All agreed that those who had faith and did good were admirable, and those who had no faith and did evil were dreadful. The other two squares caused confusion.

What if one had faith and did bad? Was such a thing even possible? We concluded it was not. A person with faith would naturally do good to avoid damnation.

And what of one who had no faith but still did good? This was the difficult scenario. For in our little world of punishment-based theology, we could not comprehend why someone with no faith would choose to do good. Wouldn't a person with no faith have no motivation to be virtuous? Without the fear of Hell why bother?

It was the dawning insight of the burgeoning possibilities of this square that filled me with disquiet. Perhaps there were other reasons to bother besides pointy sticks and burning brimstone.

But then the bell would ring and it would be time for math.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 21, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

13 years of RC school and I do not remember once thinking about those issues at recess - might explain a lot about my current lack of religion.

Posted by: dmd2 | January 21, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

RickO -- can you pick your fabulous mug out?

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 21, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

"Packs of Mutant, Drug-crazed Chihuahuas Terrorize Mexico City."

Posted by: Boko999 | January 21, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Excellent, rickoshea!

For some reason, I watched the end of the parade - it's on C-SPAN's website:

The final thing was The NASA Astronaut Crew and Lunar Module - with a couple of astronauts in moon suits. I can't understand the announcer, so I'm not quite sure what they're doing with the flag...The whole parade was a bit surreal to me. Michelle and Barack seemed to enjoy it. Colbert King had a sweet column yesterday about another inaugural parade, long ago.

Posted by: seasea | January 21, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

dmd - note that we totally bypassed the notion of justification through faith. As Catholics we had internalized justification through deed. It was the interaction between faith and deed that intrigued us.

And, of course, I eventually ended up on that last square.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 21, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

seasea - what I thought surreal about that final scene of the parade is that pretty much everyone had left except the President and First Lady.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 21, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Having been raised in the Episcopal church, attended Catholic church after my Mom died (dad was a Catholic, Mom an Irish Protestant; the Episcopal church was a compromise (grand)Papa was Irish Prostetant, from Derry), gone churchless for nearly fifteen years, returned to the Methodist church, and now in a Baptist church, the message is all the same: God first, family second, me last; treat others as you would like to be treated; live right; love; turn the other cheek; don't say ugly stuff, etc. I feel like you sow the seeds for your life hereafter right here. Do it right, 'cause you never know when your number is up. I like to think that we'll all be seeing a lot of each other on the other side.

Posted by: -jack- | January 21, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

In Reformed theology as I understand it, God chooses to save some particular individual persons, and there's no way other human beings can figure out why a particular person is selected, and they can't even figure out reliably whether a particular person is selected. The person him/herself can reliably know it, however, as this is part of the gift. Grace is God's bestowal of the the gift of salvation, and the individual receiving that gift is endowed with faith by the action of the Holy Spirit. However, even though you can't know if a good person is saved, you can be pretty sure that a bad person isn't.

The whole doctrine depends on the idea of the radical inadequacy of human nature to do anything at all that would satisfy God and tend to secure a person's own salvation. This is where Luther departed from Catholicism. Good works really are good, but they won't help save you any more than, say, bowling a 300 game will help save you. In view of the greatness of God and of one's own depravity, the idea that one can contribute any meaningful effort to one's own salvation is laughable.

Salvation has to come down from above because there's no place in human nature for it to come from. Again as I understand it, most variations of classical Protestant doctrine aren't too far from this, though details are controversial and are the things that divide denominations (or used to). The thing is, notions like grace and sin are technical terms, not poetic ones, and understanding any of these abstractions depends on having at least a nodding acquaintance with a whole slew of them.

I don't endorse this theology, by the way.

Posted by: woofin | January 21, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

This is one of those days your realize what a rare place this is, an entire day of civil conversation on religion.


Posted by: dmd2 | January 21, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Woofin, reformed theology sounds like Calvinism to me as I understand it.

I believe that the idea that salvation is a gift, not bought and paid for also occurs in Catholic theology.

However the idea that this excuses you from even trying to clean up your act is NOT found in Catholic theology.

Luther had some good gripes about how the church was run (mostly resolved long ago).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 21, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

It helps that none of us have money riding on this, dmd. But I do agree that this is just an amazing boodle, people sharing their understanding and opinions.

BTW, not keen on too much religion in politics, either.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 21, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

After reading the comments here concerning religion, faith, grace, and a sincere belief in Christ Jesus, you folks must find me a clown, and my prayers for all of you, the outfit I wear. Please forgive me for offending you. I certainly meant no disrespect, but did it all out of love to you.

Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 21, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

That is great, r-o's. I knew you had a great view. I bet you can even identify yourself. I'm in this screen capture, I think:

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, we are called to be fools for Christ. Never be ashamed of following that call.

And we know you mean it from your heart, not just from your lips, and that makes all the difference.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 21, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, how can you even think such a thing?! We love you, you are *ours* most profoundly, and well, we just love you.

Speaking only for myself, my morning doesn't start properly without your blessing.

Posted by: Yoki | January 21, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

No, no, no, Cassansdra! Not at all, nor offensive, not in the slightest. (And anybody who knows me knows I am your greatest defender. And I'm the one who coined the term "the Boodle Chaplain" for you.) And I always look forward to your morning blessing, not because I am a believer, but because you are. And best of all, you don't proselytize. You are most excellent just the way you are. And we really DO respect you, because of the way you live your life. And we, all of us, understand your movtive. This place wouldn't be the same without you, and I for one would miss you most of all. So please don't feel that way.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 21, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I loved this discussion with all of you today. And echo dmd: incredible.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 21, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Breaking news: Caroline Kennedy has withdrawn her name from the senate race in NY.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 21, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

What?! Why?!

Posted by: Yoki | January 21, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Here's your jacket Mudge.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 21, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

rickoshea, to paraphrase byolin this morning in celebritology you're the one with a hat and mittens, right?

Cassandra, you're the one with an honest religious faith, stay. Daft sods like me maybe should move along.

Boko, I love that crazed Chihuahua. A Mexican friend of Witch no.2 just got a Chihuahua puppy. The tiny dog is so frikking hilarious. The contrast with the VLP is just, so right and wrong at the same time.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 21, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the whole of Protestant theology moves between Calvinism and Arminianism. I'm on the Arminian side myself.

We don't study the Bible nearly as well as we should. I recently joined a study group and am fascinated with just reading and discussing. We're in II Samuel, working on David and Absolom.

Thank you, 99thfakeid, for that definition of grace. Most helpful, even to a Protestant.

Mudge, here's where I don't think you're right. God is not jealous or a bully or threatening. It's just that we can't escape the consequences of our actions. If we act in ways that are unloving, selfish, and destructive, we will reap hate, apathy, destruction. We will contemn ourselves, because our actions will take us farther and farther away from God. God wants us to be in relationship - in love and peace - with him. But he will acquiese in our decisions, because we have the choice to be in relationship with him, or not.

I agree with you, CqP. We will have a wonderful time together, when we shed these mortal bodies. (I, for one, won't much miss the body. It does have disadvantages!)

Posted by: slyness | January 21, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

99thfakeid welcome! (I should have done this earlier, but got distracted by work). 'Twould be a fine thing if you joined the conversation more often.

Posted by: Yoki | January 21, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, don't be silly. Even through the ether and in spite of distance, we can see the glory of the God you love reflected in your face and your actions.

Posted by: slyness | January 21, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

What Wilbrod said, Cassandra. And besides, in the story, Cassandra was *right* and no one listened (to their peril.)

RD, I knew that 4 sqare metaphor was you before I saw your signature.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 21, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, part of my incredible comment was because this discussion was held by people of great faith, people of no faith and people who are confused by faith, yet there was no accusations, or inflamed words. Respect was given to the various views.

You live the words you say and that too is so very incredible and much admired here.

Sleep well

Posted by: dmd2 | January 21, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I think God pretty much says he's a jealous god. As for his other attributes in my my bible he's a vain, capricious, blood-thirsty monster.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 21, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

This is an interesting discussion about religion and faith, and I have a couple of thoughts, filtered through my trusty Sieve of TragiComic Oversimplification:

First of all, I think faith is the belief in something in the absence of proof.

Which is not to say that faith - and those things believed in - are not real. To each person's relative experience, things they have faith in may be *very* real -- the experience may not necessarily be shared with others, though it *can* be.

I would say that faith - with regards to religion - also encompasses the human need for spirituality and connectedness to the universe, and to a creator thereof.

I think religions are codes of actions and beliefs based on faiths and ideas, and provide meaningful community and context to manifest those actions according to shared beliefs. We humans seem to be Wired for Community, don't we, Boodlers?

To paraphrase others here (and something I've said many times), even being able to *argue* about faith and religion would require more certainty about Anything and Everything than I've got.

For me, religious practices provide cultural touchstones for myself and my family and moral structures for behavior. I choose where I align my personal faiths, spirituality, intellectual pursuits, and community with those practices, and where I don't. But again, for me, those are personal choices, and I'm willing to accept the repsonsibility for being completely and utterly Wrong About Everything (In fact, I expect it).

Having said all of that, I typically enjoy theological discussions and religious practices. And I'm even willing to discuss faith and spirituality (such as I happen to have) over beverages and amongst friends.

But I'd never tell anyone that their faith is wrong - to me (and to many others here) it's an individual thing, and who am I to tell any individual what to think, what to believe. (Other than I believe I'll have another drink.)

I like to think that Love is an act of faith. We cannot prove it exists except by our lives.

But it is real.
As are many other things to have faith in.


Posted by: -bc- | January 21, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I hope we have advanced since the Old Testament in our understanding, Boko. Like CqP, I have been enveloped by that all-knowing, safe, peaceful Love. That is no monster.

Posted by: slyness | January 21, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

The four square problem is hard enough. Try sorting out the nine possible alignment combinations in D&D.

Posted by: engelmann | January 21, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I actually like the D&D alignment ethos. Good is acting for betterment of all people. Evil is acting for yourself at the expense of others. Lawful is obeying rules and codes of conduct. Chaotic is believing the ends justify the means. True neutral is a very zen yin/yang outlook. I've always been neutral good. Batman is chaotic good. Superman is lawful good. The Joker is chaotic evil. Lex Luthor is lawful evil. And I did not read this post before looking at this web page:

Posted by: yellojkt | January 21, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I just read that Roberts and Obama had a do-over on the oath this evening in the map room. I assume they used notes and possibly hand signals.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 21, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

That's really cute, Yellojkt. I have no idea how lawful/neutral/chaotic I'd be. I'd like to think neutral.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 21, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

How nice of the Chief Justice to run by after work, to make sure everything's legal! I'll bet his colleagues razzed him about it.


Posted by: slyness | January 21, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

On Olbermann, I heard that Obama said, "we're going to do this slowly", and he joked about the 12 inaugural balls they'd have to attend afterwards. And that Roberts was in his Chief Justice robes (aren't they kind of like priests, in that they always have them on - oh, here go with religion again!).

Posted by: seasea | January 21, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I hope my use of the word "laughable" didn't upset you. What I intended by it was to dramatize the stance of early Protestants like Luther and Calvin, who put such a huge stress on human inadequacy. I certainly don't think that people's moral efforts are in any way laughable. And I'm no position to look down on anyone's need for grace, as I feel this need deeply myself every day.

Besides, you write the best prose in the boodle, so please don't go away.

Posted by: woofin | January 21, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Another parade note, gleaned from GeneW's chat: Dave Barry was in town because he was part of the Lawn Rangers, the "precision" lawn mower drill team, who were part of the parade. I think they appear about halfway through. I'll have to watch on TV to see if I can spot Dave.

Posted by: seasea | January 21, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

this is another sort of drive-by (still behind at work).

the presbyterians are still divided into the p.c.a. (southern, more conservative)and the p.c.u.s.a. (northern, more liberal). perhaps there were other divisions that reunited, but there is still this division. i know this because i actually attended both when growing up. (there are now p.c.a. churches in locations other than the south.)

anyhoo, one of my reasons for not being presbyterian anymore is my disagreement with calvinism's view of free will. i'm definitely more on the arminian side now. the p.c.a. church was also more calvinist than the p.c.u.s.a. church, at least based on the ones i attended.

that's probably more than you ever wanted to know.

Posted by: LALurker | January 21, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

cassandra, please just be who you are. you are very much appreciated.

Posted by: LALurker | January 21, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

oh, and p.c.a doesn't ordain women, while p.c.u.s.a. is very pro the ordination of women.

Posted by: LALurker | January 21, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Bloodthirsty God? I suppose in an Old Testament, sacrifice your child kind of way. But, without that I think Boko and I are close in our feelings. Perhaps good works alone will not get you into heaven, but shouldn't the fact that we are needed be enough to spur us? Perhaps it does take faith, and accepting Jesus or some particular dogma to enter heaven. But, if it does, doesn't that demand for worship make the Almighty as vain and petulant as the humans he/she is supposed to be providing with salvation?

I suppose at the core of my apatheticism is the knowledge that certainty about eternity and the existence of a god would make not a bit of difference in my actions.

Cassandra-I was so sorry to backboodle to your post. Please don't worry that either your faith or prayers are considered a laughing matter, or offensive, by me.

I hope the frank sharing of faith, or lack thereof, here on the boodle can continue on occasion. If nothing else it gives me hope for some very troubled places where people are shooting at each other instead of talking.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 21, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

cassandra, your walk through life is one that amazes me. I've learned much from reading your posts and anticipate that I will learn more that can be used in my own walk. Thanks.

Posted by: -jack- | January 21, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 21, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Quantum time, magnified error, blurry holographic space

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 21, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

LOL! True love.

Posted by: Yoki | January 22, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

president obama is getting ready to order the closure of gitmo.

i think the best phrase in the inaugural address was the one about the false choice between security and american ideals. it took a lot of courage to say that with all the bushes and cheneys on the platform, but he needed to make a sweeping statement to set the stage for dealing with all of arbusto's crap.

Posted by: LALurker | January 22, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Hagee, Bad Jesus Movies and McCain: New Firesign Theatre CD?

Posted by: Boko999 | January 22, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

someone mentioned missing the hawaiian sign thing that obama gave during the parade. there's a brief clip of it in the "in the moment" video montage linked on the wapo home page. (watch the parade portion.)

Posted by: LALurker | January 22, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Yup, that was the shaka sign alright. They've got it down.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 22, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. He does a good shaka, does he?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 22, 2009 5:50 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Welcome to the Obama Administration, Day Three. (Well, 2 1/2). Didja see that terrifici frontpage main hed? "Obama Starts reversing Bush's Policies." Been waiting a long, long time to see that.

Dionne has an interesting column on Obama's radicalism. The rest of the op-eds look like the usual crapola.

OK, Dawn Patrol, let's get 'em flying.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 22, 2009 6:17 AM | Report abuse

So when does the NewPresident giddyness where off? I'm gonna go out and do some barrel rolls in celebration now that the flight area restrictions have been lifted.

I finally got around to watching the Anthony Bourdain DC episode and he let the Song Que secret out of the bag. This little Eden Center deli has the best banh mi this side of Saigon. Now everybody knows.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 22, 2009 6:24 AM | Report abuse

Ladies, please don't get any ideas.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 22, 2009 6:32 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Morning, friends. First of all let me say this. When one loves God and Christ, truly love, it is hard to hear and read bad stuff about the one you love. It just makes you sad, and you want better. You want family and friends to love God, and to love Christ.

Secondly, I know you folks were just having an honest conversation, and believe me, I wouldn't have it any other way. That is one of the assets of this blog, you folks tell us exactly how you feel. And that is clearly the best asset(honesty).

Thirdly, my heart will melt, and it does. I'm not perfect by any measure, but I do trust in Christ, although not what it should be, but my prayer always is that He will take it and use it, and make it what He will. And because of Him, I want family, friends, and everyone to know and love Him. I realize that everyone will not.

Please feel free to talk about religion and anything else that comes up, and not try to color it because of me. This not my blog, JA allows me to sit here on his porch and talk, as he does all of us. And I will alway thank him for that kindness. Thanks, Joel Achenbach.

Mudge, Yoki, Slyness, Martooni, Scotty, and all, good morning. *waving*

Have a great day, folks.

Time to walk.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 22, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

In this new spirit of change I hope incidents like this become rare (in both directions at the border).

Posted by: dmd2 | January 22, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodle!

Dawn Patrol under a clear sky and a new moon.

Ah, ban-me in the morning. The greatest French legacy in Indochina.

Have a great day, everyone.


Posted by: Braguine | January 22, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, please know that the REAL fool around here (pointedly doing the Anglo-French Marche Futile) knows that we're all better people for your being here and being exactly who you are.

That being said, I really MUST know who put the ram in the ramalamadingdong. I think it was 'Mudge.

*somewhat-delayed-but-not-terribly-cold-post-Dawn-Patrol Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

The latest NYT online version of the Caroline Kennedy saga is sounding more and more like the Hokey-Pokey... *rolling my eyes*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Yep dmd, I hope Obama will inject some sense into DHS so that we get a truce in the War on Trade and Tourism. I also hope that Foggy Bottom gets back to managing Foreign Affairs instead of DHS and the Pentagon. The military is a fine organization but there are a few good reasons why they shouldn't be in charge of everything, one of them being that they have to obey the CiC without fail.
The Arctic policy published a mere 8 days before the inauguration set my umbragemeter to 11, so I decided not to comment on it. This is a piece of paranoid militaristic sh1t, not a foreign affairs policy. One of the money lines:
"The United States also has fundamental homeland security interests in preventing terrorist attacks and mitigating those criminal or hostile acts that could increase the United States vulnerability to terrorism in the Arctic region.”
Beware those Icelandic terrists indeed.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 22, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse


Just spotted this on the Web site of a paper I used to work for. Talk about by-the-book reporting on a very sensitive subject!

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

One last footnote to yesterday's civil but intense conversation. I did not mention Karl Rahner, the Jesuit theologian who informs my faith life. Rahner developed the notion of Anonymous Christians. Read more here at the wikiP entry:

Basically, this piece of thinking says that anyone who lives the Gospel (twin) admonition of

Love your God (Love the something bigger and more mysterious than what is seen -- Universe and its patterns as Einstein said can work)
Love others as you love yourself (value others at least as much as you love yourself; which moves us toward justice and altruism)

whether they acknowledge or deny Jesus, can enter into eternal life.

(Now the argument is highly detailed and specific and will rankle those who do not like the idea of "Hey, Jesus saves you whether you want it or not." But, Catholic-Christian theology is ancient and is Talmudic in that it teases apart the words of laws; Aristotelian through Aquinas in its logical claims and warrants; and even mystical in a Platonic sense.)

This piece of theology remains controversial in Chrisendom and demarcates Roman Catholics from many other denominations. (Many Catholics do not even know about this detail.) Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, wrote this in

"Nevertheless, God, who desires to call all peoples to himself in Christ and to communicate to them the fullness of his revelation and love, "does not fail to make himself present in many ways, not only to individuals, but also to entire peoples through their spiritual riches, of which their religions are the main and essential expression even when they contain ‘gaps, insufficiencies and errors'". Therefore, the sacred books of other religions, which in actual fact direct and nourish the existence of their followers, receive from the mystery of Christ the elements of goodness and grace which they contain." (I, 8) of _Dominus Iesus_

ME again: I see the presumption problem here. But, I take heart that within the deliberations of scholars, place is made for the mystery and power and embrace of God.

Realistic note on Cassandra's observation about her feelings: in my life at a university, I have experienced feelings of otherness and mockery. The last acceptable prejudice in higher ed is directed at faith lives. My imperfect perception is that particular disdain is cast at practicing Catholics and confessing evangelicals. This is my experience. About twice a year, I do answer some version of the question: how does an intellectual believe this mumbo jumbo? As bc says, faith is not a rational act. Belief is a leap toward something unseen.

Thank you for the civil conversation. I am sorry when my community makes others feel excluded or less somehow. I know this happens.

Me? I like to lead with our common humanity and talk about how to build a better world.

Enjoy the day. Bless you all.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 22, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

The discussion here yesterday was a great example of why I was drawn to this place. Civility, kindness and love were abundant whatever one’s belief or lack thereof. You guys are the best!

Posted by: badsneakers | January 22, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

mrdr has been reading the boodle for a while now, but I'm not sure he was around the last time there was an indepth disscussion of religions. He was most impressed.

I have finally found my next novel, yellojkt. I stopped at the nice used bookstore, and there on the shelf before me was Master and Commander (with a pre-movie cover). Master and Commander it is.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 22, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Here's a procedural question for all: Can a person be sworn in as president of the United States without having her or his hand on the Bible?

I mention it because Pat Robertson, on the Morning Joe show, pointed out that in the do-over by Supreme Roberston and President Obama in Obama's office late yesterday there was not only no Lincoln Bible, but no Bible period. Obama's left hand was hanging by his side.

A painting of Cal Coolidge taking the oath in his father's law office in Vermont does not depict Cal's hand on any Bible--though who knows how accurate a painting is?

If the person coming in to office is an atheist, then certainly no Bible would be required or necessary, right? ...although I don't know of any occasion where one wasn't used. But could an atheist even get elected in this Christian-centric nation?

So if Gibbs or whatever other senior Obama advisor is interested in getting it just right--given than an adjective was out of place on Jan. 20, will there be a reredo of yesterday's redo?

Posted by: laloomis | January 22, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

The concept of anonymous Christianity makes perfect sense to me, CqP! Thanks for sharing that.

Yes, a wonderful discussion yesterday: Proof that people of goodwill do not have to scatter to different corners. As my church covenant so eloquently says, "Our differences will not separate us, but rather increase our understanding and strengthen the bonds of Christian love."

I love this place and am honored to know you all as my friends.

Posted by: slyness | January 22, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I would like Obama to explain what science's "rightful place" is, the phrasing he used in his inaugural address?

On issues like stem cells, climate change, sex education and contraceptives, the Bush administration sought to tame and, in some cases, suppress the findings of many of the government’s scientific agencies. Besides discouraging scientific pronouncements that contradicted administration policies, officials insisted on tight control over even routine functions of key agencies.

The latest round in a long-running battle over how evolution should be taught in Texas schools began in earnest Wednesday as the State Board of Education heard impassioned testimony from scientists and social conservatives on revising the science curriculum.

Posted by: laloomis | January 22, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

John Quincy Adams made his inaugural oath with his hand on a book of US laws, not a bible.

Good morning and see you later boodle. Busy day, but warm. Perhaps we'll see the mid 20s today before the cold sets in and we're back to a high of 0 to -10 tomorrow.

Have some fun today Wilbrodog, it's going to be a long uncomfortable weekend!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 22, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, you're watching Pat Robertson? And wondering if anything he says might have validity? Have you totally lost your mind?

People swear oaths all the time without having their hands on the bible, or any other religious book. Happens a gazillion times a day, in huge numbers. On the news the other day they showed a couple hundred police offiers from all over the country who were sent to DC to help on the inauguration. And they all had to be sworn in en masse into the local DC police force-- and they all did so by raising their right hands and repeating the oath. No books of any kind involved.

If you think about it, Loomis, you've seen people being sworn in all the time just by raising their right hands and repeating whatever oath it is. Further, you ought to know that if the Constitution doesn't specifically say to put one's hand on the Bible, nobody has to do any such thing. And you know darn well that while the text of the oath is in the Constitution, there's no such requirement for where to put one's hand.

A compulsive researcher such as yopurself could have Googled this answer in about 10 seconds.

Pat Robertson. Jeez. There's a top-notch Constitutional scholar for you.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

The Bible is not a Constitutionally mandated accessory. It sure would make the pesky First Amendment troublesome if it were. You can also substitute the word 'affirm' for 'swear'. According to Wikipedia, Franklin Pierce was the only president to exercise that option.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 22, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Article II, Section 2: ""Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

According to wiki: "According to the Joint Congressional Committee on Presidential Inaugurations, George Washington added the words "So help me God" during his first inaugural,[1] though this has been disputed.[2][3] There are no contemporaneous sources for this fact, and no eyewitness sources to Washington's first inaugural mention the phrase at all--including those that transcribed what he said for his oath.

Also, the President-elect's name is typically added after the "I", for example, "I, George Washington, do...." Normally, the Chief Justice of the United States administers the oath. It is sometimes asserted that the oath bestows upon the President the power to do whatever is necessary to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution."

Further, according to wiki:

"The Vice President also has an oath of office, but it is not mandated by the Constitution and is prescribed by statute. Currently, the Vice Presidential oath is the same as that for Members of Congress.

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."


I believe the only requirement for who does the swearing is that it be either a federal official, or at least a federal judge. When Lyndon Johnson was sworn in after JFK's assassination, they grabbed a local judge (who was a federal district judge) to do the job. They scrambled to find a bible, but that's because Johnson wanted one, not because it was required.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

(At work)

MUDGE -- LBJ was sworn in on JFK or Jackie's Catholic Missal.

This was likely the St. Joseph's Missal, which contained the order of the Mass and some prayers. Not bible-y by any means....

This factoid brought to you by a member of the Jesuit Mafia -- motto: Men for Others. (Wo-men too, I say. Besides, I would look splendid in a cassock.)

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 22, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I had read that Calvin Coolidge's father, a notary public, administered the oath of office to him upon President Harding's death. Wikipedia says that is true, but that Judge A.A. Hoehling of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia (?!)administered the oath to him again upon his return to Washington, because there was confusion over whether or not a state notary had the authority to administer the presidential oath.

Posted by: slyness | January 22, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Oath of office for Canadian Members of Parliament (and Civil Servants like me!)

“I, (Member’s name), do swear, that I will be faithful and bear true Allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.”
As an alternative to swearing the oath, Members may make a solemn affirmation, by simply stating:
“I, (Member’s name), do solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.”

It’s always fun to watch the Bloc Québécois MPs squirm and fidget while they take the oath (or solemn affirmation).
A number of religious books are available to the MP or Civil Servant but their use is by no means mandatory.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 22, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

How quickly we move from God to swearing.


Cassandra, hope I did not give offense in speaking so frankly of people's fraility in understanding God.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I thought it was, " Give them to us before they know any better and they're ours for life."
I may be paraphrasing.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 22, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

A missal? Now that's interesting. But of course, since there's no requirement for a book of any kind, it could have been a Marvel Comics, for all it mattered legally. (Or nothing at all.) I remember reading that they all scrambled to find something, but didn't remember what it was. Score one for the Jesuits. Cool beans.

That's also interesting, slyness. It sounds like there was enough doubt about the legality of a state official (in that case, a notary, insofar as any notary can be said to be a state "official"; my wife is a notary, fer cryin' out loud) that they went and got a federal one for the re-do. In that case, the judge was a DC supreme court judge, who qualified only because DC isn't a state but is under federal jurisdiction. A state supreme court judge of equal rank probably wouldn't have been "legal" because they are state officials, not federal. Somewhere rattling around my brain is the notion that the official has to be "federal" in some sense. It *does* make sense that only a fed can do it, not a statey, it being a federal office and not subject to state jurisdiction.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

That makes sense to me, Mudge. I suppose the need for the judge is to ensure a competent witness. Surely the president could say the oath without a judge? I will appreciate explanations from our legal eagles.

Posted by: slyness | January 22, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Would an oath taken on a PDA be valid if it wasn't turned on?

Posted by: Boko999 | January 22, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

In a box, with a fox,
On a bagel with lox.

All good.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 22, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Oh, sure, I'm a walking encyclopedia...I did find this morning the section of the Constitution that sets outs the text of the oath, and I'd read that it was Craig, not Gibbs, who wanted the do-over.

I did find this opinion piece at the NYT that wonders if Roberts, in his interpretation of the oath was being an@ally retentive, titled "Oaf of Office."

Among these fetishes is the prohibition against “split verbs,” in which an adverb comes between an infinitive marker like “to,” or an auxiliary like “will,” and the main verb of the sentence. According to this superstition, Captain Kirk made a grammatical error when he declared that the five-year mission of the starship Enterprise was “to boldly go where no man has gone before”; it should have been “to go boldly.” Likewise, Dolly Parton should not have declared that “I will always love you” but “I always will love you” or “I will love you always.”

In his legal opinions, Chief Justice Roberts has altered quotations to conform to his notions of grammaticality, as when he excised the “ain’t” from Bob Dylan’s line “When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose.” On Tuesday his inner copy editor overrode any instincts toward strict constructionism and unilaterally amended the Constitution by moving the adverb “faithfully” away from the verb.

Frankly, my mind is not much on the Boodle. I'm departing in a minute or two for the second half of a lesson that sorely tests my vision. The first half of the lesson on Dec. 30 ended in mixed results--and frustration on my part. I have to put magnifiers on top of trifocals--and I struggle mightily.

So, back off, Buster.

Posted by: laloomis | January 22, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

In his socks, on the docks,
Drinking whiskey on the rocks.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 22, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

In a house?
Up a mouse?

Posted by: Boko999 | January 22, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"Back off, Buster"? Geez, Loomis, you asked a question, several people answered it and it sparked an interesting discussion. Why be ugly? You may be about to undergo an unpleasant experience, and I'm sorry about that, but it doesn't entitle you to be rude.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 22, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

In a tunnel?
Through a funnel?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

It might be a couple days later that you would have liked, 'Mudge, but...


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

In a bog?
On a log?

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Boko, I would think the PDA or Blackberry would have to be turned on for it to be legal. Otherwise how would the vibes of the occasion be transmitted into the cybersphere? Otherwise it would just be a dead piece of electronics, like the Apple IIci in my attic.

I wonder what an electronic IM oath of office would look like for the Big O?

i BHO do solswr Iw fly xcut o-potus & wl 2 best o-m abil p,p,def con-us. SHMG

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Some faiths have a proscription against "swearing" they take literally. I'm not sure if Puritan Adams was following that but I suspect he was. I will leave it to the boodle to determine which sects still insist on "affirmations" - which is as I recall the reason the option is given in most U.S. legalistic situations.

In another matter, are there telephone confessions in Catholicism these days? Can you call it in?

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 22, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

With a whistle
Made from a thistle.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Jumper, I have a feeling Father Guido Sarducci would take IM confessions:

Confessor: fomefafo i hv snd. I hd impur thghts.

FGS: gmysn & sn nomo. 6 HMs

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Wait a minute, "Made from?"
Are we Seussing or playing the 'Preposition Game'?

Posted by: Boko999 | January 22, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Gud 1 mdg LOL

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 22, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

thx ju

My bad, Boko.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I wonder what a Cuba trade deal would do to help our economy?

Hey, I'm for it! (to quote Norville Barnes)

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 22, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Mudge. I would agree with your 11:33 post if the Dead Tree Oath required that the Holy Book be read aloud during the ceremony. I think we should regard the tome as on standby and set the E device accordingly.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 22, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

And I thought the wait to get in to see my opthomologist was long. Maybe if he had a good vision care policy....

Posted by: LostInThought | January 22, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if one could swear on a Kindle?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Brace of pistols
Gaggle of geese
Exultation of larks
Pride of lions

and, ta dah:

Kindle of kittens.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 22, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

That's way cool, ftb, but is there enough soft tissue left to make a determination? I'm glad there are scientific people in the world willing to do that kind of work. Not sure I could stand it, myself.

Posted by: slyness | January 22, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Here are more charming collective nouns:

gotta love
parliament of owls
unkindness of ravens
knob of pintails

husk of jackrabbits
dolt of swine
blessing of unicorns

hover of trout
glide of flying fish

faith of merchants
superfluity of nuns
glozing of taverners

rouleau of coins
bavin of brushwood
wing of aircraft

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 22, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I think it should be a kindle of firewood. Or matches. (or brushwood)

a habit of nuns

a cassock of friars

a faith of merchants? oh, that's so wrong. How about a swindle of merchants? Or would that be "a swindle of investment bankers"?

an exhalation of Certs (exhalation of breath mints)

a hassle of bureacrats

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

Nice to get a few moments to Boodle on this busy day.

LiT, cool article, thanks for that. Speaking of errors and questionable eyesightm a quote from that Galileo link you provided: "With his 20-power telescope and with his eyes in bad shape he might have mistaken Saturn's gaseous ring to surmise that it was formed of one planet with two moons as satellites."

Somebody better check the eyesight of the MSNBC editors -- Saturn's rings are mostly ice and rock with some dust. The *planet* is gaseous, not the rings.

Can't speak for the MSNBC editors, though.


Posted by: -bc- | January 22, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

a suppository of small-town (Mianus) Connecticut residents

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

A stealth of spies?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

a rectum of copy editors

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

CP, a quick clarification: I don't think I said that faith is not a rational act.

I think faith is belief in something in the absence of proof - I didn't mean to imply that I thought it irrational, though as you point out, that belief may require a logical or emotional leap.

Seems to me that faith can be quite rational.

Now, how about -

A nebula of astronomers?


Posted by: -bc- | January 22, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

A scope of astronomers

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all...

A little late to the Boodle -- trying to take advantage of our just-slightly-below-freezing weather. The shop is actually reasonably comfy today.

murder of crows
pod of orcas
suit of lawyers

(that's all I got)

Just heard "In a Goda Davida" on the radio (full version, no less) and had some very interesting flashbacks.

Happy Almost Friday...

Peace out :-)

Posted by: martooni | January 22, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

A storm of meteorologists?
A hail of meterologists?

Or would that be a cloud...?
Nah, too hard.

A bung of analysts?

Obviously, that's my cue to go back to work - when I've gone too far so fast.


Posted by: -bc- | January 22, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

A sheaf of fashion models

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 22, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Faiths for whom the "affirmation" rather than oath is more than lip service include Jehovah's Witnesses and Quakers. Some time back, I learned from an ACLU mailing (although I may have mentally jumbled it by now) that the ACLU's first litigation was a first amendment case on the establishment clause, on behalf of the J's Ws, regarding the Pledge of Allegiance. They considered/consider an oath made in service to the flag to be idolatry, and the oath is taking God's name in vain. The alternative was offered for J's W children in school merely to remain seated and abstain from the Pledge. This permitted thuggish children to identify the abstainers, resulting in a rash of severe beatings for being "disloyal traitors". Rocks were thrown through windows, death threats made to adults, and so on. Eventually, the pledge was removed from school activities and public observances, until it was stupidly reinstated in the 50's as actual policy: in its previous life, I believe it had become a custom but was not an official policy. Although I am told this was not mandated until later, I recall that the pledge as we said it in Maryland in the 70's did not include "under God." Perhaps it was our individual teacher's whim, perhaps our school district; perhaps I elected this on my own; I don't recall.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 22, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

A pox of houses.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 22, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

a nerd of engineers

Posted by: yellojkt | January 22, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Is it OK to tease the Obama Administration yet?

How about:
I thought this Administration was going to be more family-friendly than the last. There sure has been a lot of swearing by those folks lately.

(And not just because of the state of the computer systems there -- made me think of a House that's been robbed; the place is turned upside down and in complete disarray, and all the good stuff is gone.)


Posted by: -bc- | January 22, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Cooking challenge, Boodle.

My mother just called me to say that she had made jumbalaya, and followed the directions in the recipe faithfully (I says from experience maybe, maybe not) but now that it is done it is too spicy for either she or her husband to eat. She wanted to know if I had any ideas for toning down the heat. Since I've yet to meet a spicy dish that I found too hot, I've got nothing. And since the Boodle knows all, I turn to you.

I can imagine a couple of approaches, such as adding something bland like beans, or stirring in more cooked rice, but welcome anything you can suggest.


Posted by: Yoki | January 22, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

A collective noun for engineers is not required, as engineers are naturally repulsive and do not ordinarily congregate in one location.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 22, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

A synthesis of chemists.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 22, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

No other solution than to send it to me Yoki. We will dispose of it safely and in accordance with all applicable environmental regulations.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 22, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

A catalyst of chemists, surely?

Posted by: Yoki | January 22, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

FYI, A handful of signers of the Declaration of Independence were Quakers, who, as HistTim cites, "affirm" but do not swear. These include George Clymer, Joseph Hewes, and John Dickinson. Also, both the Dec as well as the Constitution were written in Philadelphia, a famously Quaker city (it's nickname, William Penn, and all ). Thus it would have been commonly and broadly known by all assembled that Quakers affirm, so it would have been written into Article II as "swear or affirm" in order to accommodate the Quakers, any one of whom might one day become president.

As it happened, they had to wait a while for a Quaker to become president, and ultimately two have been. Without Googling, anybody know who the two Quaker presidents were? Because one of them is sooooooooooooooo ironic...

Presumably these two "affirmed" when they took the oath.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

There is the old Mexican food solution: more Corona (or dos equis).

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 22, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

bc, you must forgive the disarray of White House computer systems. As I recall, the Bush Admin. were required to turn over their actual computer systems to the National Archives or some (I am inventing the name) Commission on Presidential Archives, or something similar. Of course, the motivation for requiring that the whole shebang be turned over is the proven track record of the Bush Admin. for "losing" important records, as well as pursuing government business in non-approved electronic channels, as well as the fact that they eliminated the automatic archiving system implemented under the Clinton administration. They forced this situation. Now, the computer forensics people need to go to work. I know someone who has become pretty good at this sort of thing, but she is a devout fundamentalist Republican and thus I question her objectivity.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 22, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, it's a bit counter-intuitive, but add something sweet, honey or sugar. Some sources recommend cinnamon. Others say sour cream (might just work in a jumbalaya). Others say add rice, which would also work.

a pocket protector of engineers, methinks

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

a circuit of electricians

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | January 22, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

a scare of zombies
a scar of plastic surgeon

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 22, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

A tank of shills

Posted by: Boko999 | January 22, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

This is simultanously sad and silly, if for no other reason than introdcuing us to a new acronym:

National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I know one of the Quaker presidents was Nixon. I would have to guess on the other--maybe Coolidge?

Posted by: ebtnut | January 22, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, stir in a little baking soda. Not much.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 22, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

My own federal government agency has strict rules about preserving emails and such for freedom of information act requests and administrative records. So much so that people send emails for purposes of leaving records.

I would have been surprised if the White House was anything other than stodgy.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 22, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

A bottle of beer.

Oops, silly me.

A gross of Republicians.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 22, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Correct, ebt-- Nixon was the ironic one. The other was Hoover.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I just realized I first proposed to famish Yoki's mother then to get her drunk.
Bad me.

A covert of Republicans
A crash of M$ software

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 22, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

a belch of Coronas, Boko

a burp of Heinikens

a wretch of Budweisers

an omni of Yuenglings

a poutine of Molsons

a reading of Rolling Rocks

a carumba of Dos Equis

a pudge of Guinness stouts

a puke of boilermakers

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

That's ok, shriek, I don't think she'd object too terribly much to the latter!

Thanks for all your suggestions, folks, they all seem worth a try.

Posted by: Yoki | January 22, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was:
a puke of pavement pizza (UK)
a puke of sidewalk pizza (US)

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 22, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

an embarrassment of Palins

an oilslick of Romneys

a darth of Cheneys (also, a bunker of Cheneys)

a corruption of Blagojeviches

a stance of Larry Craigs

a bid of senate replacements

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I may be the first person in history to have a flowerpotful of live arugula stolen off a front porch... sigh.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 22, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Maybe President Obama stopped by and just couldn't help himself. You know how expensive that stuff is at Whole Foods!

Posted by: Yoki | January 22, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

an elitist of arugula-snatchers

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

There's clearly a massive crime wave underfoot. My wife just called me to complain that someone has stolen our recycling container. It will cost us $100 to replace.

So if anyone sees someone with a suspicious large green wheeled recycling container please let me know.

And then get below ground quickly.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Them drones are handy, ain't they RDP.

People steal the darnest things. Someone stole my garden hose once. The strangest was somebody who broke into our well-used van to steal the rubber mats us Canadian-type use to keep the slush and salt off the vehicle's carpet. And the mats had been used in a previous car as well; they must have been 6-7 years old.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 22, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Wilbrod, I'm still savoring your use of the word "durst" from the other day. Might fine work, that.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

These people helped me when I over salted the mac and cheese. They're very nice.!&id=924406

Posted by: Boko999 | January 22, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

'Durst' is great Yoki. I'm sorry I missed it. Maybe now I can finish my "Ode to Processed Meats."

Posted by: Boko999 | January 22, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

OK folks, in case you ever get into an overspiced pickle, here is what the chefs at Chef2Chef say: Rince the food. Just dump it in a sieve, run some water over it, and then stick it back in the oven (maybe with some extra sauce ingredients sans spice, if that seems necessary). Doh!

Posted by: Yoki | January 22, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

boko, how hard is it to find a rhyme to listeriosis?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 22, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, did they also suggest the 'throw it out and make dinner reservations' option?

Posted by: LostInThought | January 22, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

How do you do that to a jumbalaya? I think you'll roux the day if you do.

"Ode to Processed Meats," Boko? Are you referring to the 12th century French classic, "La Chanson de Salami"?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

The real problem is the blind paranoid in the neighborhood. That is, me.

I moved it into the sun the other day and forgot it. I have no excuses. (red face) In my defense I will say I have some wacky neighbors and we did run off the sneak thief recently.

Arugula survives.

Even more noteworthy, the plumbers have torn up the yard. I marked my baby dogwood tree and mentioned it. They have not run over it with the backhoe yet. Crossed fingers.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 22, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

RD... I thought I spotted your recycling bin, but it was just one of those electric "Smart" cars.

The resemblance is uncanny.

(get it? uncanny? feel free to shoot me.)

Posted by: martooni | January 22, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse


licentious (?)


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

laloomis, since Obama did say "restore science to its rightful place", I infer that this is not a code word for science taking a back seat, but rather a reversal of policies that had placed science in the backseat in political decision-making.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 22, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Anyone want to try this experiment of mine?
The rules go like this: grab the closest book to where you now are, open it to a random page, start at the top left page, and write the first complete sentence, in the comments section. No cheating.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 22, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I agree with the rinsing do-over idea. It worked for me when I dumped cinnamon instead of chili powder on the ground beef destined for burritos.

a brace of adolescents
a twitter of tweeners

Posted by: Raysmom | January 22, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

For Jumper's challenge:

"Hence, a new active vent opened as a result of the impactor would only contribute about 1/2000 the value of the pre-existing radial nongravitational acceleration."

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 22, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

A futility of Creationists

Posted by: Boko999 | January 22, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Jumper- You should try marking your arugula the way you mark your trees. I wouldn't eat it...

Posted by: Gomer144 | January 22, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

For Jumper (And I so wanted to cheat):

In using a physical delay line, we have chosen the elements to have a cosine weighting.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"Use brackets to show that the material is a description of form, not a title."

--Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, p. 260.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh wait, the closest book was:

"Miss Johnson you shall surely catch your death of chill!"

Okay. That's not true. But it sounds so much more intriguing does it not?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Jumper's Challenge-

If you take the right actions at the right time, you can save yourself and your family from joining the ranks of the undead.

Posted by: Gomer144 | January 22, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"Slowly Suzy unzipped her..."

Oh wait, wrong bookshelf...


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse


I am a patient man, but you've borrowed that book quite long enough.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"Whether the regulator wants to give differentiated incentives on different activities hinges on the cross-partial derivatives [formula for which I haven't a font - Yoki]; these derivatives have a natural interpretation: [formula] measures the economy of effort on activity [k] per unit reduction in the efficiency parameter and determines how the firm's rent is affected by the efficiency parameter."

-- A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation --

Posted by: Yoki | January 22, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse


You know darn well the ILL slip specifically said "indefinite loan."

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Breaking news: "Mimosa" is named color of the year. (See Wapo front page.) I guess this is for all you fashionists, shoe mavens, Sunday morning drinkers, and FMP-wearers.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

You sure you still want it? Pages all stuck together...

Posted by: Gomer144 | January 22, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

She no more wanted to walk away from him than to eat her own limbs, but that most tedious of deadlies, pride, was preventin gher from springing back, from turning around and asking him if he'd like to come back for a slice of melon, as it were.

Posted by: Raysmom | January 22, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, no wonder no one gets any work done with all those books filled with such naughty prose sitting about.

I mean Yoki. Really. Gentleman are present.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Jumper's Challenge -

"If you had income from which tax was not withhed or did not have enought tax withheld during the year, you may have owed an estimated tax."


Posted by: Moose13 | January 22, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

SCC: withheld and enough

Posted by: Moose13 | January 22, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I know! Crazy, isn't it, RD? Such an exciting life I lead. Really, I do.

Posted by: Yoki | January 22, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Moose!!! *LTNS Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse


*Still around, just lurking waves*


Posted by: Moose13 | January 22, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Improve Your Financial Well-Being, Honolulu Federal Credit Union.

-- The Official Hawaiian Telcom Yellow Pages

I'm watching live feed on the WaPo and the music sounds horrible!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 22, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

See how out of practice I am?! I forgot to put the Grover in the Grover waves.

Must be all the tax-speak around here - ugh.

Posted by: Moose13 | January 22, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, you're reading Hardy's "Tess of the Cantalopes"?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Jumpers challenge:

Also mention the they're more adaptable than we'll ever be.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 22, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

If I had the one I was actually reading, it would be
"His pilgrim towels hung heavy and wet on his body and large red welts covered the exposed areas of his skin."

That's from a neat book by Marianne Alireza "At the Drop of a Veil," circa 1971 written by an American woman who married a Saudi in 1946 and went to live in his home there. I see the quote is about her husband who has gone on Hadj.

But the first nearest book I grabbed was an old textbook. Not even an interesting one.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 22, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness I backboodled enough to discover Jumpers challenge. I thought you'd all gone nuts. Or I had.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 22, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I think this is a perfect example of why "unnamed sources" are almost never worth the trouble...

*shaking mah pointy 'lil haid*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

For Jumper: The horizontal system is appropriate when judges are assigned their own courtrooms on a permanent basis.

From: Public, Municipal and Community Buildings

I'll be interested to know the context of the experiment.

Posted by: ebtnut | January 22, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

A third party notice may include interest paid or lost on bonds put up by way of security to the plaintiff: Davie Shipbldg. v. R. (FCA 1984) 4 DLR (4th) 546

Posted by: engelmann | January 22, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

ebt, let's just say that judges need love too, but are not particularly imaginative.

Posted by: engelmann | January 22, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Jumper's Challenge

The filth and muck of daily life were gradually abating.

Posted by: nellie4 | January 22, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Shipbldg is a funny name. Finnish is it?

Posted by: Boko999 | January 22, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"My, that's a big gavel," she said, running her hands over his Procedural Codes in the Civil Courts of the State of Wyoming.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 22, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, are you going to tell us what the experiment is and what are the results?

Posted by: Yoki | January 22, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

re: the Jumper experiment:

"Writing was a hazardous activity before the advent of the ballpoint pen."

Posted by: bobsewell | January 22, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

For Jumper--

If property was acquired by a corporation from a shareholder as paid-in surplus or as a contribution to capital, the basis of the property to the corporation is the same as it was in the hands of the transferor, increased by the amount of gain recognized by the transferor on the transfer.

Posted by: CLR57 | January 22, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

About to start my driving duties, but wanted to follow up on Mudge's announcement for color of the year: MIMOSA

May I say that in 1990, I painted the door of our bungalow such a shout of happy color?

People would say, wow, that works. I would say do you want the paint chip? Naw, they replied. I am prescient, however nearly 20 years early.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 22, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm home and it's not the book I'm reading (but a classic I read).
"Not for a moment had Bruno Bluthgeld taken his eyes off the new young teacher--if this actually was the truth; if this short young man dressed in khaki trousers and workshirt really was a teacher, as Bonny has said."

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 22, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The preliminary results of Jumper's experiment are in, and it appears that the filth and muck of daily life is back on the upswing.

Posted by: engelmann | January 22, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Davie Shipbuilding in Lauzon QC is the coldest place on Earth boko. Hinterland people may disagree but hades it's cold out there.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 22, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Jumper “Historical groundwater analytical results and historical groundwater elevations for select monitoring wells are attached at Appendix D.”

I have no books on my desk, just reports.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 22, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the groundwater will clean up the filth and muck.

Posted by: nellie4 | January 22, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Hope to finish backboodling tomorrow, but did anyone write "A pomposity of professors?"

Jury deliberations began this afternoon, the other alternate and I were dismissed. I'm not sure the deliberating jury realizes how lucky they were--the other alternate had 20+ questions she really wanted answers to, most of which began "Why didn't they . . . ," mainly questions about witnesses she felt should have been called or procedures she thought the police should have used.

Having listened to the judge on the first day, I realized we weren't there as mini-investigators, what was presented was all we had and went on to a wonderful lunch at the Thai place in the Reading Terminal Market.

Midnight tonight, back to work. Good to see you all!

Posted by: -dbG- | January 22, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I'm late to the game.

She grew absolutely ashamed of herself - of neither Darcy nor Wickham could she think, without feeling that she had been blind, partial, prejudiced, absurd.

Truly, it's the closest book at hand!

We made it up the mountain. So much fun to run the car flat out coming up the hill, with no traffic in the way.

Posted by: slyness | January 22, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I can see you are always ready for an Austen boodle, Slyness.

You must be appointed the official anti-book burner of the boodle bunker. Employ lethal force if necessary.

And if you can see fit to safeguard those Kinkades, too, all the better...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Hi folks...Sorry about no new kit today but had to scramble on a story for the weekend. New kit coming tomorrow.

In the meantime...I'm told the blogs will be down for a couple of hours tonight, apparently from 10 pm. to midnight...But fear not, the boodle will be back in operation after that in case anyone shows up for the lobster shift (that is a term, right? Or is there something wrong with my brain? Don't answer that).

Posted by: joelache | January 22, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

For Jumper-Never in my whole put-together life could I write down on paper a hard, fast definition of White Trash.

(I'm in the kitchen so it's from one of my favorite cookbooks, to read not really use, _White Trash Cooking_)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 22, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Ooooh, NPR reporting Caroline Kennedy had tax and household employee issues that came up in her vetting.

I will tell you all now, so as to have a record of this disclosure and it doesn't have to come as an unseemly revelation at a hearing, that in 1992 I paid a neighbor's girlfriend who was visiting from East Germany to help me paint our living room. She was on a tourist visa and not authorized to work in this country. In retrospect it was wrong, I shouldn't have done it, and learned from the mistake.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 22, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Boko, still waiting for that ode to processed meats. I'm sure it will be the wurst poem ever posted here.

Posted by: Yoki | January 22, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

The Utne Reader says it's a term, but they also made up "Utne" so who knows.

Posted by: engelmann | January 22, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Hoping we don't fall into one of those time travel gliches again with the blogs come back up.

Posted by: dmd2 | January 22, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

If that time warp occured, maybe we would get on the crayfish shift instead.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

No, no, a thousand times no!!!

Lobster shift, now and forever!!!!


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I had never heard the expression "lobster shift" before now. Evidently, it is a newspaper term.

Quite a colorful lot, those journalist types.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, your 3:20 post to Jumper was hilarious. It read like a submittal to the Bulwer-Lytton contest. Was it really from a book?

Posted by: badsneakers | January 22, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

You know how journalists are, RD_Padouk. Think they're so good with words, and all.

If it ever bothers you, you can just set out small tins of beer in the garden and the journalists come to them in the night and drown.

Wait a minute, that's slugs. Never mind.

Posted by: Yoki | January 22, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

The *closest* book to me at the moment? One I finished a few years ago:

"To force a Higgs field to have a value of zero - the value that would seem to be the closest you can come to completely removing the field from the region, the value that would seem to be the closest you can come to a state of nothingness - you would have to raise its energy and, energetically speaking, the region of space would not be as empty as it possibly could."

Brian Greene, "The Fabric of the Cosmos"

"Lobster shift," a term I can only ever remember hearing once, even though I've worked it a few times (not as a newsie, though). Cool.

Er, forgive me if someone's taken this one already (I have not completely caught up) - a Porch of Boodlers?

RD, $100 to replace the County recycling container? Hmmm. You might want to check your neighbors' houses, particularly if they have teenagers just learning to drive.

Just a thought.

Or, it could be a case of The Neighborhood of the Travelling Recyling Bin, sort of "Pay it Forward," only backward.


Posted by: -bc- | January 22, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I guess working that shift makes you shellfish.

Sad, really.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

"The graveyard shift" was already taken by the obit columnists, "the midnight oil" by the printing press crew, and "the witching hour" by the gossip columnists.

Probably Mudge had something to do with the start of the expression.

Or maybe it's recognition that just as with giant sea bugs, with enough butter and wine even working after midnight can be pleasurable.

Posted by: engelmann | January 22, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Hummmmmmm, horseshoe crab and garlic butter...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 22, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Winterfeast! It's a charity event, with local restaurants bringing good stuff and sharing small portions as a buffet. My faves: pulled pork over sauteed apples, steak with chocolate sauce. They said the pork variety was the equivalent of Kobe beef. The chocolate sauce has expresso in it and is a treat from a local chef. Yum.

We only ate one plate, so as not to be miserable for the rest of the weekend. It's a good thing it's only once a year.

Posted by: slyness | January 22, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Steak with chocolate sauce?

(I'm just letting that float in the air.)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

For Jumper:

"As they strode along at a good pace, Alois proceeded to supply Adi's head with so many new names and thoughts that before long the boy was twice breathless."

From _The Castle in the Forest_ by Norman Mailer. I haven't started reading it yet, but it's next to my bed. I will read it after I finish with _The Assault on Reason_ and _Crisis_ (edited by Michael Lewis; I'm reading around in it, I doubt if I'll read every word of it; the print is very small but the articles are each of manageable length.)

Sorry for the lack of sentence structure. I just wanted to participate in the game since it has to do with actual *books*. I have such fond memories of the days when books were the most important thing in the world to me. Nowadays they have competition. But inasmuch as books are not the center of my universe, I sometimes feel that I don't recognize myself anymore.

Sorry again: no grammar, no structure. Sad to say it's past my bedtime, but I have been up and at 'em for more than 16 hours.

I'm off to look for the text of a Virginia Woolf story I heard this morning via Librivox: "The Mark on the Wall." I want to read it and copy it and send off one of the paragraphs to somebody.

Posted by: kbertocci | January 22, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

For Jumper:

"No matter: The campaign would proceed against them, despite their protestations of submission."

from The Grand Idea, by one Joel Achenbach. It's been sitting by the computer monitor since we were talking about it a few days ago.

Posted by: seasea | January 22, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I think I don't have the nerve to send this to any specific person, for fear that it would be misunderstood. But this passage struck me when I heard it and it reminded me of someone who vacillates between egoism and self-loathing (is that most of us?):

===== ========= ======= =====
I wish I could hit upon a pleasant track of thought, a track indirectly reflecting credit upon myself, for those are the pleasantest thoughts, and very frequent even in the minds of modest mouse-coloured people, who believe genuinely that they dislike to hear their own praises. They are not thoughts directly praising oneself; that is the beauty of them; they are thoughts like this:

"And then I came into the room. They were discussing botany. I said how I'd seen a flower growing on a dust heap on the site of an old house in Kingsway. The seed, I said, must have been sown in the reign of Charles the First. What flowers grew in the reign of Charles the First?" I asked­(but I don't remember the answer). Tall flowers with purple tassels to them perhaps. And so it goes on. All the time I'm dressing up the figure of myself in my own mind, lovingly, stealthily, not openly adoring it, for if I did that, I should catch myself out, and stretch my hand at once for a book in self-protection. Indeed, it is curious how instinctively one protects the image of oneself from idolatry or any other handling that could make it ridiculous, or too unlike the original to be believed in any longer. Or is it not so very curious after all? It is a matter of great importance. Suppose the looking glass smashes, the image disappears, and the romantic figure with the green of forest depths all about it is there no longer, but only that shell of a person which is seen by other people--­what an airless, shallow, bald, prominent world it becomes!

--Virginia Woolf, "The Mark on the Wall"

Posted by: kbertocci | January 22, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I was going to go with "pocket protector" but I liked that "nerd" rhymed with "herd".

You may have subconsciously influenced the subject of my LOLPrez post. I had gotten the idea for LOLing the helicopter photo late yesterday afternoon and had to do a pretty exhaustive Google search for "bush inauguration helicopter" before I found it again on a MNSBC site. It's an AP photo and there are several similar pictures on many other sites.

But if future posts are inspired by your boodling, I will be sure to credit you.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 22, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

KB -- I love this story, and especially the phrase

modest mouse-coloured people

Of to finish the driving.

Here is the book at my beside:

The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton. This clip is available on line:
Endowed with a power that is as unreliable as it often is inexpressible, architecture will always compete poorly with utilitarian demands for humanity’s resources. How hard it is to make a case for the cost of rebuilding a mean but serviceable street. How awkward to have to defend, in the face of more tangible needs, the benefits of realigning a crooked lamppost or replacing an ill-matched window frame. Beautiful architecture has none of the unambiguous advantages of a vaccine or a bowl of rice. Its construction will hence never be raised to a dominant political priority, for even if the whole of the man-made world could, through relentless effort and sacrifice, be modelled to rival Saint Mark’s Square, even if we could spend the rest of our lives in the Villa Rotonda or the Glass House, we would still often be in a bad mood. END QUOTE

My other books there are

Rhetorical Figures in Science by Fahnestock AND the very good and practical book Frosti might like:

The Economy of the Earth by Sagoff.

Enjoy your evening, and boodle quick and spritelike for Ten PM approacheth...

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 22, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

a calculator holster of physics majors

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 22, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, kb. I had to read it a few times to be sure I got it.

Honestly, I just don't connect at all with " dressing up the figure of myself in my own mind."

Perhaps I am missing some context here, but this person sounds like the oil to my water.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

"In 1992 I paid a neighbor's girlfriend who was visiting from East Germany to help me paint our living room."

--from the Underground classic, "Tinker, Tailor, Carpenter, Interior Decorator," by John LeCarre.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 22, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

A Newton of physicists

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

A Java applet of caffeinated computer programmers.

This kind of groupthink could get addictive.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

A mark-up of building contractors -- there are 10% more than there appears to be.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 22, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Funny, LiT.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

10 PM indeed, CP.

I believe a new episode of "Burn Notice" is on tonight, might have to catch it.

How about a procrastinate of writers?

A toolbox of mechanics?
A setting of fathers? (Or a settin'. Or a doze. Or a nap.)


Posted by: -bc- | January 22, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Why does this all seem so familiar?

Posted by: LostInThought | January 22, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse


Lit, Franke-Ruta is either behind-hand or simply echoing the boodle. Take your pick!

Wouldn't you say we did it better?

Posted by: slyness | January 22, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

To give credit where credit is due, the "filth and muck" are also attributed to J. Achenbach, "The Grand Idea."

Posted by: nellie4 | January 22, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

For Jumper,
from the left side night table (Molecular Biology of the Cell):
"A mutation that promotes such selfish behaviour by individual members of the cooperative can jeopardize the future of the whole enterprise."

and from the right side night table (Analog Science Fiction and Fact; shared reading):
"Earthlings were coming to attack the cats this very afternoon."

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 23, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

To Cheney:
Don't go to bed, with no price on your head
No, no, don't do it.

Don't do the crime, if you can't do the time,
Yeah, don't do it.

And keep your eye on the sparrow.
When the going gets narrow.

Don't do it, don't do it.

Where can I go where the cold winds don't blow,

Well, well, well.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 23, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

my random sentence:

In doing so, of course, I may occasionally need to see some things as distinctly as possible (at times even within myself).

this translated sentence is only part of the original russian sentence (periods below would be colons or semicolons):

Or, for example, when I walk along the street, I am internally directed forward, I calculate and evaluate all my movements internally. In doing so, of course, I may occasionally need to see some things as distinctly as possible (at times even within myself). But this outer seeing during the performance of an action is always one-sided. That is, what I perceive in an object in such outer seeing is only that which is immediately relevant to a given action; as a result, such a way of seeing destroys the object's fullness as an intuitable given.

isn't early bakhtin fun?

Posted by: LALurker | January 23, 2009 3:01 AM | Report abuse

Our schoolyard version of that theme song was:

Don't go to bed with Baretta or Fred
No, don't do it.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2009 5:48 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. It's 22 here now, but supposed to go up into the 40s today-- downright balmy.We had 17 straight days of below-seasonal average weather here. We're do for a balmy. A friend of mine who lives in Denver said it was almost 70 there the other day. Jeez.

An average, somewhat uninspired Robinson column this morning, followed by the terrible troika: Parker, Gerson and the Hammer. Don't bother telling me what they said; I don't have a need to know.

Wonder what O-man will do today: perhaps reverse the NSA wiretap crap. Whatever it is, good luck, President O.

All right, Dawn Patrol. It's Friday: one last mission for the week. Brag, you got my six?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 23, 2009 5:56 AM | Report abuse

Back to the semester grind.

Mudge, here is Mr.Song's website:

Please sent requisition numbers. The boodleladies will be ordering hats for 2009. Good enough for Aretha, well good enough for us.


(Tis this or we paint the ready room in Mimosa yellow and hang op art curtains.)

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 23, 2009 6:12 AM | Report abuse

Zooming after Mudge.
"Got yer six covered."

Good morning, Boodle!

Posted by: Braguine | January 23, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Morning, friends. Where are you, Brag? Mudge has made the call. Wilbrod, it's okay.

It's suppose to be in the 60's here today, and I'm so looking forward to that. It wasn't bad yesterday. I have that awful test to do today. The one where they squeeze certain parts of the body, and boy does it hurt. I hope it turns out well.

Yoki, Martooni, Scotty, Slyness, and all, good morning.*waving*

I read the front page in regard to the Stimulus Package, and they're saying President Obama is getting pressure from the House Republicans. They reject this package, and are complaining that they have not been allowed to contribute. It would be amusing, funny, almost, if these same folks, when they're were in control, did not invite or accept any offering or help from this party. Congress seems to have forgotten that they work for the people. The country needs action, and these folks are up there "play acting" and preening. They've had a taste of people coming together in a nice way to express their dissatisfaction with them and their ways. I'm sure they don't want to see the other side of the coin. I know I don't.

Have a great day, folks. I'm going to try and walk this morning. My feet are hurting something awful. I attribute it to the walking, but may have to get it checked out.

Time to walk.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 23, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Morning all, just checked the weather and today we are supposed to go above freezing - that hasn't happened in a few weeks. Normally we get a warm spell in January this year it hasn't happened.

Have a good day all.

Posted by: dmd2 | January 23, 2009 7:15 AM | Report abuse

*really-wishing-it-felt-more-like-a-TGIF-but-scuttling-off-for-more-caffeine Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. The public transit company still on strike.
Ouch, and it's been cold too. She's nuts.
"The Survivor: She walks 12 hours a day to save job"

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 23, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

What a sad story Shriek, glad that the kindness of strangers is helping that woman. Towards OC Transpo I have very little nice to say but perhaps they have improved since I lived there.

Posted by: dmd2 | January 23, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

No dmd, they're still the same rude, selfish bunch.
Major crisis at home this morning: no coffee in the house. Not a bean of java, not a teaspoon of espresso; nothing. So I had to rely on a bucket of Tim's dishwater to get me to a proper cup. I'm slowly getting over the trauma.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 23, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. We have no water, which is really disconcerting. The plumber has been called; now we're waiting for notice of when they will come. Fortunately, I got my shower last night before the tank went dry. Mr. T did not, and he is not a happy camper.

But we do have heat! So I'll try not to complain. It's supposed to be warmer here today, also. I'm looking forward to that.

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

"She took it with her lips, but she pressed her old teeth for a minute on the child's palm, and at this trick, as old Velvet's childhood, Velvet thrust her arms over the sagging backbone and buried her face among the knobbles of the spine."

Heh. Without the "Velvet" in there, I bet that one would generate a lot of prurient comment.

Posted by: KathrynAPage | January 23, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' Shriek some fine Kona*

*faxin' Mr. T some Brut*


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod and Martooni, this is for you:

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Compared to Toronto and Montreal the Ottawa transit system is strictly third world and seems staffed by disgruntled postal workers. That said, I'm with the workers on this. If the Mayor didn't want to appear tough before his trial (and incarceration I trust) the strike could have been settled weeks ago.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Good one, slyness. Metronomes get their nails done and spend an inordinate amount of money and time on fashionable clothing and exfoliating creams. I am most definitely *not* a metronome. ;-)

We've got a heatwave happening here, too. Already at freezing and supposed to get up to lower 40's today. Of course, that all ends tomorrow when it dips back down to 18F or so.

It's been a crazy morning here. The company that hosts my website had an HVAC malfunction and the room where my server is located got up to about 120F, causing it to shut down. They say they'll have it back up by 9:15 -- I sure hope so. I can't complain though. This is the first outage I've had with them in over a year.

I think I'm sufficiently caffeined up to go play with power tools now. Better enjoy the relatively warm shop while I can...

Peace out :-)

Posted by: martooni | January 23, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Belated answer to badsneakers 7:11 p.m.

Yes, it's a real book--one I bought at the Fairfax Library's used book sale. The premise of the book (British girl loses job, boyfriend, apartment in a two-week timespan; moves to L.A. with a friend)seemed interesting. The writing hasn't struck me as that bad so far (only 50 pages in). But when I opened it at random, as Jumper instructed, I hit that particularly heinous passage. But then, I admit without shame that, while I read in great quantity, much of it is relatively lightweight.

Posted by: Raysmom | January 23, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

If Ottawa were in the US, it probably wouldn't have a transit system. Certainly not a train to the airport. The Bush Adminisration worked very hard to prevent train service to Dulles.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 23, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Don't make my boodle-life and real-life mixed. Server room HVAC crashes are the stuff of my nightmares. Ask your hosting service what Tier level data center they're in. They'll lie, but it would be nice to know the answer.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

My random sentence...

From the time we opened this grave, it's been a media frenzy; they all want footage of Europe's worst massacre since WWII.

'Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures,' a book written by three UN Peacekeepers about their experiences in the world's hotspots.

I gotta get some lighter reading. A little bubble gum for the brain every now and again probably isn't a bad thing. bc, what do you have over there? I've already looked through the stack of books Mudge left on the coffee table, but it's all boat stuff.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 23, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Early Bakhtin, LALurker? Isn't that an antibiotic spray?

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 23, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I have to say, I am deeply, deeply, offended by today's "Get uzzy." Ithought *everyone* knew that the "Who's on First" sketch was by Abbot and Costello, not Laurel and Hardy. Spreading such misinformation is not a public service.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 23, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Oooooh, inattention leads to typos: that's "Get Fuzzy" and "I thought."

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 23, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

A difficult day ahead, but I'm keeping my head up and moving forward with an open heart and mind.

LiT, you've read "Good Omens" and "Lamb" haven't you? Let me recommend something by Hiaasen, maybe "Double Whammy," "Sick Puppy," or "Strip Tease." [Hopefully you've not been tainted by Demi Moore's remarkably humorless film adaptation of that last. She really tried, just couldn't pull it off.]

Gotta go.


Posted by: -bc- | January 23, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Didn't mean to scare ya, yello. As for what tier they are, I have no clue. All I know is that they're very cheap, very reliable and have unlimited free live 24/7 customer support at their facility -- *not* in India.

For a little less than $100 a year I get unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, practically unlimited everything -- and their servers and connection are super fast (when they're not overheating, of course).

Back when I was doing the IT stuff for a living, I set up one of my customers with a very large, very reputable outfit I won't name that cost a few hundred bucks a month and had outages at least three or four times a week. And you had to *pay* for support calls. Wish I could figure out how to set up a racket like that. Cash flow down? Shut down a server, wait for the customers to start calling, turn on the timer, wait 5 minutes, blame the customer's code, turn the server back on, send bill for $80. Repeat.

Posted by: martooni | January 23, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I have no doubt that that is at least one business model out there. Kinda like the movers that lowball quote you and then hold your furniture hostage. You would hope word of mouth would drive them out of business but it doesn't.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Maybe their tier ducts were clogged, yello.

CP, love the hats. Which one(s) are you ordering for yourself? I'd be delighted to make a suggestion if you're torn betwixt this one and that one. And I have no objection to you painting the Ready Room a bright, cheery mimosa.

"Emergency sex"???????????? Well, lemme tell ya, I have about 46 inappropriate remarks stacked up like 757s over LaGuardia, where, alas, they'll have to remain. But co-inkydently, I am in the midst of editing a horrendous 900-page (!) document about EMT procedures (yes, it is part of our jurisdiction, oddly enough), and believe me, there ain't no emergency sex in it. Would that there were, cuz this thing is a snoozer.

*faxing water to slyness, and a second cuppa joe to SD for when the Kona runs out*

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse


I'll raise you a "brochure" written by some research types who've never heard of the active voice...


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I think there must be a course in graduate school that beats the living crap out of active voice writing. It is believed by me a master's degree cannot be obtained in anything other than passive voice. It is not known why.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

the jumper challenge...closest book:

laudable, laudatory. Occasionally confused. Laudable means deserving praise. Laudatory means expressing praise.

But I already knew that

Posted by: omnigood | January 23, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Serious reply to Jumper's challenge:

"The author concluded that a large monolithic-slope failure of the dimensions suggested by Ward and Day (2001) is unlikely."

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

second closest:

Some words work only in the plural state. A store seeking donations of school supplies for the poor asked listeners in a radio ad to "Donate a school supply." A school supply?

Posted by: omnigood | January 23, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

For some reason, the WaPo home page under "Nation" has a story about a marine sanctuary in the Bahamas. That's fine. It's just my understanding that we don't own the Bahamas, and they are a foreign country, and therefore don't belong under the "Nation" heading.

Perhaps we should invade and conquer them.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse


Don't depend on that.


Not that one, the other one

Posted by: omnigood | January 23, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the brut, Scotty, and for the water, Mudge. Mr. T is bringing in snow to melt in pots on the stove, so we can flush the toilets.

Just chatted with TBG. She and SonofG are having a wonderful time. We are planning to meet up tomorrow.

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The military, or the army at least, fights passive voice writing (it's true!). I fear the battle is always lost because it is harder to avoid saying "I was wrong" or "our unit screwed up" in an active voice.

I used to think this was primarily a gov't problem, then started spending time in the nonprofit world and discovered most people attended the Frostdottir school of writing. After taking the 3rd grade VA SOL she assured me that she had no problem identifying the complete sentences "they were the longest ones" (among the multiple answer choices).

Have been reviewing grant applications for a major federal education program this week and shudder at the thought of time and $ wasted producing carp. Education jargon cannot hide a program design that's ill considered and thrown together to chase the money. Hope my fellow reviewers are like minded.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 23, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

New kit coming momentarily...

Posted by: joelache | January 23, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Once upon a time in Science Class I was taught to never use the active voice when describing laboratory goings-on. I was instructed, specifically, to avoid saying "We turned the knob" in favor of "the knob was turned."

The explanation was that this was an attempt to take the investigator out of the scenario and stress the repeatability of the procedure.

I'm not saying this makes a lot of sense.

Or, rather, not a lot of sense was detected.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

That's a neat trick. New Kit is up already

Posted by: omnigood | January 23, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

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