Saturday, October 24, 2009

Smoke gets in your eyes...

Qiviut/wool smoke ring:

Cashmere/silk/alpaca smoke ring: (I can't remember what pattern this was)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Whoever isn't working...

So after reading one too many health insurance thread on Ravelry, I got to thinking (yeah I know, scary thought). I've seen several health insurance arguments against a robust public option or other public health insurance, usually based around the following: "Health insurance is important enough to me that I've always made sure I was in a job that had good health insurance." The implication of course being, "if it were really important to you, you'd have good health insurance through your job too, and if you're too lazy to go out and get a job with good bennies, that's not my problem..."

That got me thinking about 2 Thess. 3:10, which says: "While we were with you, we gave you the order: 'Whoever doesn't want to work shouldn't be allowed to eat.'" (GWT) This has become a popular verse among conservatives opposed to government-funded social service programs. It's been cropping up in the health insurance debate.

But what does that verse mean? What did it mean when 2 Thessalonians was written?

I've been reading through The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church's Conservative Icon by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan. Borg and Crossan argue that Christian communities in Paul's day were "share communities," that is, "communities in which there was a sharing of material as well as spiritual resources" (Kindle loc. 2756-58). The author of 2 Thessalonians, according to Borg and Crosssan, was addressing the problem of freeloaders. They write that freeloaders are a problem that "often occurs in share communities" because such people think it's a good deal - "hey I don't have to do much and I'll get taken care of." (Kindle loc. 2773-76.)

Read in context, the statement "whoever doesn't work, shouldn't eat" makes more sense:

[W]e worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”

We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.

2 Thess. 3:8b-13 (NIV) (emphasis mine). The author is saying, "Dude, some among you are taking unfair advantage of the rest of you. They're perfectly capable of working but they're too darn lazy. They need to get off their duffs and help contribute to the good of the community." But listen to what he's NOT saying. He's NOT saying, "Dude, there are some people who don't have it as good as you because they can't work or their jobs aren't as good as yours. You don't have an obligation to help those guys out 'cuz they're no better than the free-lunch crowd."

Elsewhere in the letters traditionally attributed to Paul, there are references to the community being charged with helping those who can't do for themselves. E.g., 1 Tim. 5:3, 5, 9-10. So 2 Thess. 3:10 really shouldn't be read to say that those who can't earn their keep, shouldn't be supported by the community.

There are plenty of people who work hard, work long hours, but can't get ahead because their pay is low and their benefits are negligible or non-existent. There are plenty of other people who can't find a decent job in the current economy. Should society refuse to help these people just because, for whatever reason, they're not working at a high-paying job with great benefits? Should society punish their children because the parents aren't riding the gravy train? How is it consistent with Jesus' word to say, "I got mine, you best work harder to get yours, if you don't it's your own damn fault, and I have no obligation to help you out"?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Respect the Spindle - Update

I ordered a copy.

The Swine-ish Flu Chronicles

OK. I don't know for sure that I had swine flu. I wasn't tested. But my doc said my symptoms were consistent with novel H1N1.

That was nearly a week ago.

I'm still tired, sluggish, somewhat nauseated, and completely unmotivated to do anything.

So here's the symptoms, as I experienced them: really really tired (do I have to open my eyes? That takes so much energy), achiness (someone get the number of the freight train that hit me), nausea and loss of appetite, headache, and a lovely dry hacking cough. Apparently the nausea and the dry hacking cough were what made the doc decide it was most likely novel H1N1 and not seasonal flu.

I was too tired to knit, much less spin.

I fell asleep watching Sprint Cup practice on Friday. And again during qualifying.

I think I fell asleep sometime during the UW-New Mexico game.

It's been a week, and I still have the cough. Sounds like I may have the cough for awhile yet.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Disaster Porn!

OK, so after a Ravelry thread about Conservapedia's misbegotten plot to rewrite the Bible to make it, um, not liberal (huh?) which got threadjacked into a sort of discussion of Roland Emmerich's latest disaster porn 2012, I went searching for 2012 trailers for fun watching.

This parody is made of win...

I ganked that video from this automotive blog post that advises that, when California falls into the sea, you'll be wanting a Lincoln Town Car. I dunno. Seeing some of the actual CGI-enhanced footage from 2012, I'm thinking you don't want a real long vehicle that could potentially slide into a huge crevasse. You want something small and mean and bad fast. Or at least you want a Sprint Cup driver behind the wheel. Or the best of both worlds, a small, mean, bad fast car with a Cup driver behind the wheel. Oh Tony...

BTW the music from that parody is "Okey Dokey" and "Bongolia" by Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band.

You're welcome.