“A house called America”

“I grew up in a house called America,
There was a crack running clean down the floor,
I played soldier on guard over my half of the house,
Because the wings of the house were at war.

“I’m writing this letter to you: America,
The millions like me who feel like a waste,
I’m writing to say that I love you;
I can’t recall when we abandoned that phrase.

“Yes, you reading this poem,
Yes you whom I may never see-
You are America and I cherish you,
For who you are and who you were born to be.

“I still dream of what we may become:
A land that is both just and free,
Though at times it seems that the dream is undone,
When I wake up in reality.

“Still, I will never reject you,
There is nothing that won’t make you home to me;
Because by the living God who holds you,
You are my family.”

— reblogged from Binky’s Desk http://logresshallriseagain.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-house-called-america.html

my mom <3

I always post when I’m head up about something, so I figured I should post when I’m happy.

I’m just realizing now how much I took my mom for granted. She’s a lovely person, and an awesome mom. She’s quirky, and earnest, and a tad over-dramatic about everything (sorrow and joy). It used to annoy me.

I visited home last weekend — and she danced (in a little hop-skip-jumping) way when I walked in the door, just because she was pleased to see me. She has done that all my life as far back as I remember (e.g. when I was 3 and she would come home from grocery shopping, and see me). And now I’m 28 and she hasn’t changed that a bit. She never did. I always took it for granted. I smile when I think of it now.

She’s a good mom.❤

Taking stock

I can’t go on like this.I have spent the last 10 years in academia, and I am so afraid. For ten years, I’ve been afraid of expulsion, of ostracism, of being “discovered” and thrown out by people I care about.

Because according to the current Intellectual Cultural Consensus — and every age has one — I know they would think me despicable and/or repulsive. I’m a traditional Christian, of the evangelical and neo-Conservative (e.g. George W Bush) variety, anti-communist, anti-statist, and anti-progressive, which, as far as the Intellectual Cultural Consensus  is concerned, makes me some sort of equivalent of a Nazi or worse.

I’ve watched others be silenced, fired, intimidated, and ostracized. They say it isn’t happening, but it is. I’ve seen the intense contempt that loving, nice, smart people will pour indiscriminately on my kind. I feel sometimes like Samuel ibn Naghrilla, or the token Jew in the court of Xerxes, or the beloved house slave on the plantation, who will — as long as I remain likeable and deferential — maintain my friends & station, but that loophole begins and ends with me. Period. And — at any moment — it could change.

Look. For all my mixed emotions and complaints, I love Academia. I love the books. I love the nerdy pursuit of truth through questioning, debate, and analysis. And I love some of the people very much. But I can’t live in this constant state of tension any longer. I wish I could say it was all a misunderstanding, or my own paranoid fears, baseless. But it is not. And I am very afraid. And very tired.

And I’m tired of currying favor at the court, and pretending to them that I do not mind, and pretending ‘yes I am fine, and I am so fine yippee.’

I can’t go on like this. Maybe it is time to quit. I would like find a place far away, a place with a farm or an orphanage. Maybe Africa, somewhere, I don’t know. A place where, if the people who liked me knew everything about me, they’d still like me. I would like to be with people who will always see me as a person who is free to think what I think is true.

Please pray for me. Please pray that God will give me wisdom.


Jonah’s language is a tad off-color on occasion, but he is a brave and honest man that says it exactly true:



There aren’t enough tears in my body to hold the amount of my grief over my beloved America. Conservative America has sold out so completely… as if partisan hatred is all we ever were (!).

Rightly we will be judged, and in the rubble all that is left in America is well-meaning lies. And lies can never heal, but only harm all the more.

God judge us and save us all.

Scattered Sermon Notes

Objectifying people isn’t usually sexual. We objectify people the most when we demonize with self-righteous indignation. Look people in the eyes. Never forget they are a person.


You are one piece of yarn, and God is weaving a Navajo rug. Remember you are a piece of yarn.


Make plans and go for it….but it may fail. Hold on to your future with an open hand.

It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.…

Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

Good news

The person I love with the subchorionic hemorrhage is still pregnant. The baby’s heart beat is strong. And while the large hematoma has not shrunk yet, it has stopped growing. And best of all — the hematoma (blood bubble) is not behind the placenta. This means that placental abruption is less likely, and not only are the baby’s chances of surviving much better, but that the mother’s life will not be at a significant risk (that comes with hematoma/placental abruption –> maternal shock).


Thank you.

Prayers please

I’m sorry the past few posts on this blog have been so upsetting. I’ve been anxiety dreams every night, here’s a sampling:

(1) I’m teaching and then I realize I’ve wandered out of the classroom and am arguing with a hippie on a motorcycle about the Cold War, while my students are running wild back in the classroom. I realize I will soon be fired. Also, the hippie rides away (after winning the argument).

(2) Several officials from my university (including some whom I involuntarily revere as father-figures) follow me around, telling me how ashamed they are in me, how disappointed they are in me, and how I am an “intolerant hater” who they can no longer respect as a human.

(3) My sister is being wooed by an incredibly charming, Californian billionaire. He has a castle and robots and everything. And I think he’s actually married already, but I have no proof. He has a beard, by the way, though it is not blue. I am in deep distress — I alternate between wondering if I am judgmental and paranoid, and panicking that everyone else is conned. Oh, and a robot resembling a knight in armor is chasing me and stinging me (it hurts, an electric jolt).

(4) The American Government is funding the Taliban to invade & subjugate the entire Middle East. The Taliban is doing to people what the Taliban does to people. And I am watching, and there is nothing I can do.

Well, this would be funny if I wasn’t so afraid. I’m taking aspirin to take away anxiety-induced chest/heart pains, and listening to evangelical contemporary pop music 24/7.

Anti-Interventionism is damnably misguided

Anti-interventionism (an ideology that flourished in protest to the Cold War’s interventionism) is so rigidly dogmatic that it has lost touch with realities across the globe — the human suffering it so carefully ignores. They think they are the heroes as they turn a blind eye on things they could prevent, if they had the guts to do so. Even 19th century British Imperialists were better than this.

From here: http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/29/opinions/syria-further-from-peace-than-ever-lemmon-opinion/index.html

Aleppo: Where children die, but the world does nothing

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of The New York Times best-seller “Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield.” The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.

“If you think thousands of Yazidis stuck on a mountain is terrible, wait until Aleppo falls.” Those words came from an Obama administration official focused on Syria policy. Back in 2014.

Right now the world is watching the metastasizing humanitarian catastrophe known as the Syrian civil war unfold in real time. But this disaster should surprise no one: It is the natural result of a series of policy decisions that led to the current diplomatic standoff.
Step by step, humanitarian access has been turned into a weapon. As an aid worker with the International Rescue Committee told me last month, “the very nature of humanitarian access has almost been redefined in Syria.”
The Syrian civil war has laid bare a great deal, including the world’s unwillingness to intervene to stop civilians from being killed in their beds and on their streets in a conflict that has pinned them down in their homes. Every time those close to the war think things have sunk as barbarically low as imaginable — from bombing convoys to starving towns — things get even worse.
“Before, when Aleppo was being bombarded by the regime, people used to go to the basement to hide,” says Kholoud Helmi, a founder of the Syrian underground newspaper Enab Baladi. “Recently the regime is using missiles that can reach down into the basement.”
One of Helmi’s friends in Aleppo said that he used to tell his children they could not go into the streets to play with other kids because he feared he would have to shuttle them down to the basement to escape the bombardments at any moment.
“Since the missiles are being used to dig down and then kill in basements, he is letting his kids go play in the streets because he wants them to go have fun because they are going to die in a minute,” Helmi says. “At any minute a missile is going to hit them either in the street or in the basement. The situation is terrible and people are dying in large numbers in Aleppo and no one is taking any further steps.”
For many of those in the United States who have worked on Syria policy for years, the overwhelming sense of frustration has made the bloodshed nearly impossible to watch, in part because of its predictability.
The ghost of the Iraq War looms large in Washington, but the question is what lessons has it offered? What is without question is that the conflict has prevented the Obama administration from committing sustained resources to stopping the carnage. Officials in Washington who for years argued for greater intervention could never prove the counterfactual: that further American action would make things on the ground in Syria better, not worse. And so the status quo prevailed. And that status quo was to do little to address the conflict’s root causes, but a great deal to fund help for refugees who were suffering the war’s effects.
Meanwhile, the carnage has continued. And we have reached the moment the administration official and I spoke of two years ago: the siege of Aleppo, the place to which so many Syrians had fled seeking safety during the last years of conflict after being forced to flee other towns and cities throughout the country.
Picking up the pieces in Aleppo
The United Nations once spoke of a responsibility to protect. In 2009 it said that in the face of war crimes, when a state was “manifestly failing” to protect its population,” then the international community was prepared to take collective action in a “timely and decisive manner.”
Yet there is nothing either timely or decisive about the world’s approach to Syria, which has become the theater in which global and regional actors pursue their own goals, with Syrian mothers and fathers trapped in cities under attack paying the price. But this piece is not about dueling political aims; it is about shared misery of those on the ground and an international community that has failed them.
What is life in Aleppo like now? Bombing in plain sight. Hospitals crushed under the weight of the injured and the dying. Food and water supplies dwindling. Medical supplies limited to almost nothing, leaving anesthesia near nonexistent and babies dying without functioning ventilators on the dirty floors of the few overwhelmed facilities that remain standing.
And all of it is happening in real time as the hell of the city’s life and death is captured on social media and shared with the world.
Only the world seems to have stopped watching. And the international community is now shown to be impotent in the face of what the British ambassador to the United Nations termed “war crimes.”
 German Chancellor Angela Merkel now wants to see a ceasefire as she speaks of a bombardment that “is very, very brutal and clearly targeting civilians.” But even Merkel says she is “skeptical that in the current situation we can enforce an immediate no-fly zone; it clearly now is up to the Assad regime and also Russia to take a step to improve the chances for a ceasefire and humanitarian aid.”
That has been the pattern for years, only now the death toll is growing even higher and the “barbarism,” to quote Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, has grown more bold.
For those on the ground in Aleppo and other areas under siege, it is clear that no one is prepared to stop the carnage everyone can see and many had predicted. The pictures may be on phones and screens within easy reach, but a solution to ending the bloodshed remains much further away.
“Most of us, we don’t want to lose hope, but in the end if you look at the situation it is hopeless, and you can’t do anything, so we are just watching,” Helmi says from her home in southern Turkey, where she was forced to flee after friends and fellow citizen reporters were detained and killed. “People are dying and the situation is getting worse and worse.”
With no end in sight. And no plan to help those children in Aleppo from facing death the next time they go outside to play on their streets.
—By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon  http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/29/opinions/syria-further-from-peace-than-ever-lemmon-opinion/index.html

The Republicans have already lost

This is a quote from someone’s facebook wall that says it all:

“Trump’s latest handlers finally got him to shut up and become simply the ‘not Hillary’ candidate, so Republicans are getting excited as Trump rises in the polls. But they’ve already lost, even if Trump wins. If Trump wins, does Clinton watch her life’s work unravel? To the contrary. She gets a president who supported a healthcare mandate that was her idea originally. She gets a president who thinks Bush lied and duped her about WMD. Who takes her “Russian reset” to a whole new level. Who protects budget-busting entitlements as well as any Democrat. Who publicly humiliates and threatens actual conservatives. Who wants to negotiate with her party on “everything” while still making them look like the competent and responsible ones. Who parrots and validates the Left’s rhetoric on everything from eminent domain to campaign finance to abortion. Who will divide the Republican Party. And who will be an albatross around the GOP for years to come: “see, the Republicans never really cared about [gay marriage/entitlements/free markets/abortion/flip-flopping/competence/insert issue here], they were lying the whole time; they nominated Donald Trump after all!” What will the new centrists look like when the Republican president is pushing entitlement spending and de-gendering bathrooms, while the Democrats stake out positions even further to the left? The Republicans have already lost, even if they win.”

— F. Sampino