February 26, 2010

Why Herbert Hoover Sucked: The Song

#31. Herbert Hoover

Am, Em, G, D
Started to feel a little under the weather
But before we’d gotten fully depressed
the Hawley Smoot bill came along
Promised to put us back to work, couldn’t have been more wrong

C, G, D/F#, Em

Hoover shot the first bullet
In the global tariff war
Tried to protect us from overseas
And instead he bankrupted our citizenry

it raised the tariff to 42, the highest we would do
tried to protect our  business
forgetting they’re made of Americans
that don’t just buy American

the other countries raised tariffs high
said, I’ll show you mine
I’ll show you mine
boy I’m feeling depressed

Why Calvin Coolidge Sucked: The Song

#30. Calvin Coolidge

Capo 5
Am, C, G, D/F#

no birds
no planes
no you can’t fly without me, Calvin

air commerce act
put flying under my wing, Calvin

‘cause man can’t be in charge of flight
Who do you think you are? wilbur wright?
It’s too scary
You need a mommy
that’s what we’ll be

Make the rules and regulate
License pilots out the gate
Certify the planes
And paint the yellow on the lanes
Make the routes and navigate
Radio to keep ‘em straight
You need a mommy
that’s what we’ll be

‘cause man can’t be in charge of flight
Who do you think you are? wilbur wright?
It’s too scary
You need a mommy
that’s what we’ll be

8 hours later on the tarmac at O’hare
1 bag’s at JFK, the other lost along the way

you can thank me for it all
just think of where you’d be without me
probably on time

February 25, 2010

I Want to Become More Masculine

When I was younger, I saw that most men were idiots. Selfish. Oblivious to the world around them. Completely emotional insensitive.

So, I decided not to be like that. And I get along much better with girls for precisely that reason. I notice haircuts. I pick up on emotions. But, I watch a show like "Man vs. Wild" and want to be that guy, too. Mr. Testosterone. Because it's just so freakin' cool. And isn't THAT what a real man is?

Now, please refrain from the "you should love yourself exactly the way you are" speech. I believe that idea resigns ourselves to the idea that we are, without regard to anything we do, already perfect. Whereas my worldview says quite the opposite. I am in a quest to become better. And that quest now leads down the path of being able to tackle and kill a cheetah in mid-pounce.

February 24, 2010

Why Do Bands Break Up?

For the record, I have absolutely no desire to disband my current band. I think my guitarist is a genius. But, it got me thinking, why do we work so well together? And what makes bigger bands - some at the height of fame - disband?

Any thoughts?

February 23, 2010

We Can No Longer Choose to Do Nothing

In one voice, we cry out, "Yes, we can."

Here's the problem with this statement that's so recklessly thrown about in the political realm. The implication is that absolutely any policy created would be better than the status quo. That's simply untrue. There are millions of policies you could create for healthcare, global warming, taxation that would be much more universally destructive than our current ones.

Let's take global warming. If you follow this political issue, you would know that their are two majority schools of thought in the political realm. 1) Impose a $90/ton tax on carbon emissions. 2) Ignore the problem and hope it goes away. Now, we naturally assume this second group of people are idiots. But, that's also assuming that the $90/ton calculation is somehow appropriate.

The Copenhagen Consensus, which I cite often on this blog, because of their economic results-driven policies, claims that the best possible economic end-game would be to tax carbon emissions $0.50/ton today and increase this by 5% each year until 2090. They also claim that this is nearly the only way for regulation to produce a net gain in benefit.

So, if you're on the $90/ton bandwagon yelling at the opposition that doing nothing is not an option, it's simply not true. It is actually a better economic option than your proposal. It's simply not disguised as "progress."

February 19, 2010

...And The Two Shall Become One

I am a big believer that the healthiest marriages start from healthy friendships - simply because that's how my own began. But, it makes sense. Because loving her is not a sacrifice when I understand that what's best for her is best for me as well.

You take her hopes as your own. She takes on yours. If she succeeds, you win. If you're victorious, she celebrates. There's no competition, because there's no separation of spoils (we'll talk about the pitfalls of "separate bank accounts" some other time.)

In Mark 10:8, there's a record of Jesus talking about marriage by using the poetic phrase, "and the two shall become one." I don't think it's just poetry. I think it's a brilliant understanding of the reciprocal, mutual-beneficial awesomeness of a "sacrificial" marriage.

February 18, 2010

Why I Am a Bad Friend

While I am truly happy for my friends when they have good news, there also comes a measure of jealousy along with it if they're celebrating something that I don't have.

For example, when I hear of a friend's pregnancy, I'm slightly disappointed, as it reminds me that I am not in that same situation. When I hear of a friend's financial success, I am slightly jealous, knowing that being in that same situation could make a lot of my future ambitions come a lot faster.

If I truly loved these people as much as much as I love myself, wouldn't their happiness be my own as well?

...which is a perfect lead-in to tomorrow's final chapter of our accidental "week in friendship".

February 17, 2010

How to Know Who Your Real Friends Are

E-mail a bunch of your friends and graciously ask them for their help moving you to a new residence. The ones who agree are the special ones.

February 16, 2010

I Can't Say That! They're My Friends.

Let's say your friend has a really bad habit. They're making a poor lifestyle choice or they're being socially insensitive to the world without even realizing it.

Shouldn't we, as their friends, be the ones telling them to quit it? Or at least help them understand the perception the world has of their action?

But, no. We don't. Because...we're their friends, and we don't want them to get mad at us. After all, it might be awkward. But if we can't be honest with our friends, who else is going to do it?

February 15, 2010

At What Point Do You Give Up on a Friendship?

I've had friends for a long time now... that I get absolutely nothing out of.

And I'm aware that friendship is not solely about how the relationship benefits me. Frankly, that's the only reason I've lasted this long - the idea that I'm offering some sort of benefit to these people.

But, their personalities simply don't match mine. I don't enjoy talking with or being with them. So my question for the day is, have you ever intentionally cut ties with a long-term friendship, and how did you do it?

February 12, 2010

Let's Speed Up the Learning Curve

Yesterday's post is a great example of how a site gains popularity. I found a new site that I love, and I wanted everyone to know about it.

Since this site is only as effective as the quality of the opinions that debate here, the more we can spread the word about it, the smarter we'll all become.

So, I've tried to make it as easy as possible for you to share particular posts you find interesting on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. If you look at the bottom of each post, you'll see a "Share" toolbar. By hovering over this toolbar, and clicking on your site of choice, you'll instantly post a link of that particular post to your wall or microblog and help recruit new opinions for that day, and hopefully for the long term.

I love the brains we currently have on this site, and I'm grateful to how much I've learned in the past few years because of you all. Now, let's make this place even better. Next time you like a post, click the "Share" toolbar, put it on your Facebook wall and let's get some new opinions in the mix here.

February 11, 2010

The Bored-Again Christian Podcast

"For Christians who hate Christian music."

Now, I've talked about this idea for a long time. In fact, that's the real point behind my band, Relevant Reverence. I often received compliments of my music along the lines of, "I wish more Christian music was like this."

And my response was always, "I'm sure there's a lot of guys like me in their basements making awesome stuff. There's just no way to hear it."

Turns out that show-runner Pete has been introducing the world to independent artsy Christian music through The Bored-Again Christian Podcast for years now. I just found about it a couple days ago, and can't recommend it highly enough. If you like the "idea" of great Christian indie-rock, but assume it must suck, give this a listen.

February 10, 2010

Don't Buy Albums....Buy Singles

Yes, as a musician, I'm saying that.

My friend made fun of me when I told him I only make concept albums -  as if a "concept album" is simply some weird experimental leap at trying to tell an entire story through a series of songs. But, what's the point of an album if that's not what you're doing? Giving your listeners a small price-point break? 14 songs for $10 instead of $14 to buy those $0.99 songs separately.

But how many of those songs do you really love? 1 or 2 on average? Just buy the singles. Because with most bands, there's no bigger story being told. Of course, if you want to learn the entire story of the prodigal son, you better buy the whole thing.

February 09, 2010

I Left My Gideon's Bible in My Hotel Room

On a recent flight, I accidentally left a Timothy Keller book called "The Reason for God" in the seatback in front of me. Now, let's pretend it was an Organic Cooking magazine instead. If someone on the next flight sat down and had some vague interest in cooking, they might have taken this as a sign from God that they were to read/explore the benefits of organic cooking.

But, no one's going to think "The Reason for God" was an accidental leave-behind. And likely, the person on the next flight is going to assume that I'm trying to silently solicit them.

How does this example effect how you might try to persuade people?

February 08, 2010

Public School Teacher PR

"Those who can - do. Those who can't - teach." H.L. Mencken

Is it possible that we don't value public school teachers enough as we should because we don't pay directly for their services?

Because if we did, I'd argue that we'd instantly love them. Otherwise, we'd have to blame ourselves because we're the idiots paying for shoddy work.

February 05, 2010

Obama Just Lost Me

Not to say he ever had me. We disagree on many things. But, I really liked the guy. He looks good and sounds great. But, for all of the rhetoric about changing the game in Washington, the dude is absolutely playing it. Just a few days after the State of the Union address, Obama met with the GOP directly to answer some of the questions they had.

First, massive kudos for him agreeing to this. It is in situations like this where the truth really comes out. That's why my ideal presidential debate during the campaign would have been for Al Franken to have interviewed McCain and Rush Limbaugh to have interviewed Obama. You get to the heart of things a lot quicker.

I had been under the impression (based solely on Obama's rhetoric during and pre-SOTU address) that the Republicans have posed no solutions to the healthcare debate whatsoever, and were simply the party of "no". Sound familiar, right? After listening to this speech, Obama admits that the Republicans have written and submitted countless comprehensive healthcare proposals over the past year.

Feel free to listen to this if you have a free hour some time. It's great stuff. But, it absolutely enraged me at the same time.

What Obama is really interested in is NOT Republican ideas, but what they need changed in one of the working democrat proposals in order to actually VOTE for it. And this makes total sense. The Republicans are the minority party. They don't get to call the shots. But, I feel like Obama could provide the whole country with some insight to this debate with a 2-minute HONEST monologue. But, for some reason, he thinks this game makes more sense.

February 04, 2010

Black History = American History

In 1926, it started as Negro History Week. Since then, it's grown to become Black History Month. When will we stop separating black America's achievements from our country's history? Watch this quick Morgan Freeman clip on his thoughts about Black History Month. Then, let me know why I'm wrong to agree with him.

February 03, 2010

Why Warren G. Harding Sucked: The Song

#29. Warren G. Harding

Capo 3
A, C, G, D/F#

names warren g
like the rapper
Im a gangsta
Underneath this tweed and the powder in my hair
Administration entourage the death of me
Their costly choices, my legacy

Talking about low friends
In high places
Talking about me and my home-slices
Run the gambit crime and more disgraces
Teapot dome scandal tops these cases

Secretary of the interior, albert fall
Was my homey, my boy, and the worst one of all
He took a 100 gs on the side
Leasing out our oil reserves in Wyoming
Something he couldnt hide
this temptation led to litigation a great great stain upon this great nation

February 02, 2010

The Illusion of Cuban Cigar Preeminence

Are Cuban cigars really the best cigars in the world? Or is it the simple fact that they're illegal that makes us want to enjoy them so much? ...like the sweet sweet taste of bootleg liquor.

February 01, 2010

Is All Faith Blind?

a quick continuation from our conversation before the break.

Our last commenter said, "I thought faith was belief WITHOUT evidence. I thought that was the point."

That's exactly what I'm arguing against.  I think the reason for this definition, particularly from those within the church, stems from a misunderstanding of the verse from Hebrews 11: 1, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

First of all, whenever you read the English word "faith" in the New Testament, the original greek word is a form of the word "pistos", which really means trust.

And by "what we do not see", I do not believe this means trust in the physically invisible, but trust in things that have simply not yet come to pass.

So, rather than confidence in a promise from one who has proven themselves trustworthy, that verse could become a full rationalization for believing in any claimed supreme being/tooth fairy. I don't believe in the resurrection because I would like to believe in the resurrection. I believe in it because I am convinced it occurred.

A Christian Approach To The End Of Life

 Note: This post has been contributed. Unsplash - CC0 License Talking about the end of life isn’t a popular topic. But it is something that ...