Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I've moved!

Please find me over at The New Rambling Rambles!Publish Post

Not Sure if anyone is still following here, but...(last post on Blogger)

if you are, please note that I am moving over to

There are several reasons for this. First, and foremost, I have been invited to participate in a collaborative blog, A New Leaf Emerging that happens to be hosted on and it is just easier for me to have just one Dashboard to contend with.

Second, while I have not been to most consistent poster in the past, I hope to change this and Wordpress is simply a better platform.

Third, I hope to eventually move to having my own full site, and using the Wordpress protocol to do this seems like my best option at this point, so I am keeping an eye to the future.

So, I hope that explains it. I am going to import all the content from here to, but I am going to leave this site up for the time being.

Finally, my new address is

I look forward to seeing you over there.

Carter McNeese

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sad day in the Antarctic.

This is really sad. The Ady Gil was previously the Earthrace. As the Earthrace this boat set a world record for circumnavigation, making it around the world in 60 days, 23 hours and 49 minutes, beating the previous record by two weeks. All of this while it was totally run on bio-Diesel.

Whether you agree with
the actions of the Sea Shepherds or not, the loss of this world class boat to such a petty and preventable attack from the Japanese fleet should make any one who has ever enjoyed boating or anyone who cares about promoting a clean-energy future sad indeed.

Rachel Maddow covered this story tonight with the one and only Bob Barker (yes, THAT Bob Barker):

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

RIP Ady Gil. The boating world will miss you.

If you would like to support the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, please donate here.

**For the record, I have NO idea why the first line is dropped like that. I can't seem to fix it.**

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Here is a little treat for Xmas Eve from the Flobots.

Merry Christmas! Remember that this is the celebration of the Rebel Jesus!

Lyrics (These are from the Flobots website. The links are theirs):

Somewhere between prayer and revolution
between Jesus and
Huey P. Newton
that’s where you find Jonny 5 shoot shootin
water guns at the audience while ya scootin’
your gluteous max due to the fact that I’m tootin’
on the horn gonna warn you that I’m rootin’
for the other team in the
culture wars
so I stab the beast belly while the vulture roars


let it blow with convulsive force
til walls fall off their false supports
Jericho’s aircraft carriers alter course
and all brave young Americans are called ashore
cause we’ve already lost the war they keep wagin
splattering the streets in battles that keep ragin
bloodyin each page of the story that we’re studying
each day the same just the names keep changin


saying the same things over again
repeatin the same slogans we don’t know where we’ve been
We’ve been all over the globe on our government’s funds
leavin man woman and child dead bloody and numb

saying the same things over again
repeatin the same slogans we don’t know where we’ve been
we’ve been overthrowing leaders with legitimate views
democratically elected but we didn’t approve….

verse 2

How many times can the line divide
how many wars to uphold some pride
fears uncontrolled just swoll the tide
of blood in the streets while the people die

Ima keep on tryin
longs as suffering’s multiplyin
and why not
souls get tossed and left out to rot
my backs broad enough to help left your cross

as long as you help with mine
the process of healing will take some time
to see the pain on your face is the same as mine
not a game or a race but the stake is high
we maintain our mistakes for the sake of sides
as long as it takes I”ll say it one more time
as long as it takes I’ll say it one more time
as long as it takes I’ll say it one more time


verse three

we need money for healthcare and public welfare
free mumia and Leonard Peltier
human needs not corporate greed
drop the debt and legalize weed

we say yes to grassroots organization
no to neoliberal globalization
bring the troops back to the USA
shut down guantanamo Bay

the same things over again
my throat’s so sore from shoutin
no war for the soldiers again
lookin for cloud cover when the explosions begin
lookin the crowd over wonder if you where we’ve been
we’ve been all over the globe
Iran to Nicaragua
guatamala Angola grenada

Dominican republic Haiti chile

It don’t stop and it won’t stop unless we keep
Who let’em overthrow
Jacobo Arbenz

Who let’em overthrow
Mohammad Mosaddeq

Who let’em assassinate Salvador Allende

I didn’t let them but they did it anyway

Who let’em overthrow Kwame Nkrumah

Who let’em overthrow Aristide

Who let’em assassinate Oscar Romero

I didn’t let’em but they did indeed!
don’t let them assassinate
Hugo Chavez

don’t let them assassinate Evo Morales

bring back Martin, Malcolm, Medgar,

Hampton, Goodman, Schwerner, Chaney

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

When it comes to banks, Pete Seeger had it right

In all the excitement and hoorah about the healthcare debate, other business is still going on in the the US Congress, most notably legislation that would put regulations on banks and other financial institutions to ensure that they don't walk us off the cliff again some time in the future. Problem is, these banks don't want to be regulated. Screw the fact that we just bailed them out. They have "us" over a barrel and they know it.

Anyway, there is much "ink" that has been spilled today about the various incarnations of this little bit of drama. I will leave it to others to tell you what is going on. I just wanted to share this little gem with you. (Lyrics are below)

I've traveled round this country
From shore to shining shore.
It really made me wonder
The things I heard and saw.

I saw the weary farmer,
Plowing sod and loam;
I heard the auction hammer
A knocking down his home.

But the banks are made of marble,
With a guard at every door,
And the vaults are stuffed with silver,
That the farmer sweated for.

I saw the seaman standing
Idly by the shore.
I heard the bosses saying,
Got no work for you no more.

But the banks are made of marble,
With a guard at every door,
And the vaults are stuffed with silver,
That the seaman sweated for.

I saw the weary miner,
Scrubbing coal dust from his back,
I heard his children cryin',
Got no coal to heat the shack.

But the banks are made of marble,
With a guard at every door,
And the vaults are stuffed with silver,
That the miner sweated for.

I've seen my brothers working
Throughout this mighty land;
I prayed we'd get together,
And together make a stand.

Then we'd own those banks of marble,
With a guard at every door;
And we'd share those vaults of silver,
That we have sweated for.

Yep, Pete got it right!

Semester is almost over!

So the semester is almost over, which means that I hope to work through a back-log of stuff that I have to get through and get it up here.

Until then, tie yourself over with this clip of Vermont Senator Bernie Sander from the Colbert Report:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Fed's Dead - Bernie Sanders
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorU.S. Speedskating

Whose with me for a "Draft Bernie '12" campaign?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On Contextualizing and Authority

This is another post that was originally written for my Christian Theology class at WFUSD. As I have done previously, I will include bibliographical information at the bottom of the post. Word of warning: this is the least favorite of the posts that I have written for the class to date. There was something about it that just didn't quite come together for me.


This past week readings from both Migliore and Ford touched on the place and authority of scripture in Christian theology. These readings grabbed me became the focus of my thought this week. I mentioned last week that I grew up in churches that, while they belonged to a mainline denomination, could very easily be considered “conservative evangelical” in their outlook. Like many similar churches a great deal of emphasis was placed on “scripture.” I place this in quotes due to the loaded way that this term was used in the churches of my youth. Often this emphasis was rooted almost entirely in certain passages that served to reenforce the conservative/fundamentalist doctrine that we were getting from other places. The truth be told, while I am sure that this is not true, I don't remember a sermon other than Christmas and Easter being preached from the gospels. There was a lot of Paul and a lot of “Old Testament,” but not a whole lot of Jesus.

The other side of my religious upbringing was what I got at home. Both of my parents were “progressives” before we ever heard that word. They certainly served as a counter-weight to the indoctrination that I was receiving at church. However, even at home the scriptures played a large role. Until I went to High School and there simply ceased to be time, every morning was started sitting around the table, reading the Upper Room devotion for the day with the scripture being read out of the red family RSV. When we would visit my great-grandmother in West Texas every meal was started by handing around little slips with different Bible verses on them. I knew that I had “grown up” when I was able to have my own to read to the table. Beyond these family rituals I saw both of my parents spend time every week preparing for Sunday School reading, studying, and pouring over whatever the passage was for that week. Thus, even from the two disparate strands of my religious education I saw the scriptures take a central role.

As I have gotten older and matured, both in life and in faith, a central struggle has been what role do the scriptures hold in my life and my theology. Can the scriptures be more than the literally read club that I saw in church, used to beat up people that don't fall into whatever orthodoxy the church tries and limits them to? After first leaving the church altogether and then spending time in the Unitarian-Universalists, what I have gradually come to believe is that the scriptures must hold a central place for us. They are what makes us, us. They are what roots us to the story of Jesus more than any tradition, doctrine, or creed. Without the scriptures the church becomes nothing more than an ethical debating society and a poor one at that, with no central narrative to tie us together. It is this centrality of the scripture in my faith that has lead me back to the term “evangelical” as a word that I feel more and more comfortable with to describe myself. I have often been told that I am being “too biblical” when making a point or having a discussion.

One place this position takes me is the tendency to quote and use scripture to frame my arguments. For an example of what I mean, look back at my entry from last week. Thus, when Craig pointed out the danger in “proof-texting” this week in class, I was forced to have a nice hard think about if that is what I was doing. Was I guilty of pulling passages out of context to “make my point?” This is not the first time that I have been confronted with this question. I have certainly been accused of doing it before, normally when the person that I was engaged with didn't like the conclusion that I was drawing! However, after the readings this week and reflecting on my use of scripture, I would make the argument that this is not what I do.

By definition, mine at least, proof-texting is taking a small passage out of its greater context to support or “prove” a theological point. Both Migliore and Ford give us hermeneutical guidelines that, while different, both revolve around that pesky old concept of context. Both Ford and Migliore make the point that there are multiple contexts of which the student of scripture needs to be aware. After recognizing and honoring these contexts as best she can, the student can begin to pull meaning from the texts. The recognition of these contexts creates a place where the meaning of the text gets deeper, richer, and more full, turning it from a cold, flat, black-words-on-a-white-page text into a text that truly speak to us about the fullness and wonder of G-d.

As we make the scripture central to our lives, both as individual people of faith and as members of a wider faith community, we need to ensure that we continue to honor these contexts, placing passages into their context and not stripping them out in such a way that the true import and meaning gets lost. This is what I try and do when ever I approach, use, and quote scripture. I recognize, and am fulling willing to admit, that I make mistakes. That I give passages meaning that someone else might not. I, like Migliore, am predisposed to seeing the greater context of scripture to be one of liberation and hope for all people and I admit that this might create a set of blinders that closes me off to other meanings that reside in the text. However, what I do know is that it is in placing scripture in its context and letting its Truth shape and form us as individuals and as a church to its “liberating message” (Migliore, 44) that we allow scripture to have its full authority.


Books Cited:

Ford, David. Theology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford Univ. Press, 2000

Migliore, Daniel. Faith Seeking Understanding, 2nd edition. Eerdmans, 2004.

Also, I just wanted to give a shout out to my professor, Dr. Craig Atwood. He blogs at The Flaming Heretic? In case you are wandering, the name of the blog is reference to Jan Hus, the founder of the Moravian Tradition, of which Dr. Atwood is a part.