If You Vote, You Have No Right to Complain

Imagine that you made a bet with someone. It doesn’t matter what the bet is over–it may be the outcome of a football game or the toss of the dice. But whichever game, and for whatever reason aside, you and a rival enter into a wager. The stakes are as follows: The loser’s house will be burned to the ground. Now, assuming that you take the bet, you are aware that you are entering a wager where someone’s house will be burned down. To such a bettor, the desired outcome is a house burning down. Of course, you will surely wish that it shan’t be your house, but you will wish that a house burn down. You’ll just wish it’s the house of your rival. Notice I have said nothing of intentions or motives. Morally speaking, it does not matter why you are taking the bet. Maybe you need the winnings for emergency surgery or to make your car payment. But the reason does not matter. No matter what the outcome, someone’s property will be destroyed for the benefit of a short-term gain by the winning party.

It is despicable to take a bet where you know that no matter what, someone’s house will be destroyed. What would be more despicable still would be to delude yourself into thinking that your rival will be better off, and/or that the destruction of his house is either secretly benefiting him or the charred rubble is just an illusion. Of course, if you were the loser you would not fall for this assurance; you would recognize the lie for what it is and you would want your house back. If this situation seems absurd, it is only because I have substituted the words “house” and “wager” for “liberty” and “vote.”

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Genesis 1:9-1:13 Commentary

Genesis 1:9

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֗ים יִקָּו֨וּ הַמַּ֜יִם מִתַּ֤חַת הַשָּׁמַ֙יִם֙ אֶל־מָקֹ֣ום אֶחָ֔ד וְתֵרָאֶ֖ה הַיַּבָּשָׁ֑ה וַֽיְהִי־כֵֽן׃

way-yō-mer ’ĕ-lō-hîm, yiq-qā-wū ham-ma-yim mit-ta-ḥaṯ haš-šā-ma-yim ’el-mā-qō-wm ’e-ḥāḏ,

wə-ṯê-rā-’eh hay-yab-bā-šāh; way-hî- ḵên.

On day one the Earth was just water, on the second day it was water and air, and on the third day there was land. Step by step the Earth was coming closer to habitability. Rather than have the earth burst forth from the sea, God commanded the waters to asswage and the let the Earth appear from under it. This act was repeated during the flood (see Genesis 8:1). The waters had to be gathered together so that the land could appear. But where did this water go? Well, some of it went into the seas, of course. The rest was brought below the crust.

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Genesis 1:6-1:8 Commentary

Genesis 1:6

And God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters; let it divide asunder (or “a space between”) the waters from the waters.

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֔ים יְהִ֥י רָקִ֖יעַ בְּתֹ֣וךְ הַמָּ֑יִם וִיהִ֣י מַבְדִּ֔יל בֵּ֥ין מַ֖יִם לָמָֽיִם׃

way-yō-mer ’ĕ-lō-hîm, yə-hî rā-qî-a‘bə-ṯō-wḵ ham-mā-yim;

wî-hî maḇ-dîl, bên ma-yim lā-mā-yim.

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Excitebike [1984] |Nintendo Famicom| HONORABLE MENTION

So there haven’t been many appreciation articles for 1984, and the reason for this is simple: it was the middle of the video game crash. Americans made a few notable games for arcade and home computer, but the console was basically dead. Across the pacific, however, things were just beginning to heat up. In 1983 Nintendo released their first console, named the Famicom (ファミコム) (short for Family Computer) and immediately started putting out a decent variety of games. Let’s take a look at one of the games from their Sports series.

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Marble Madness [1984] |Arcade|

Did you ever play with marbles as a child? I did, but one day I lost all my marbles, and now I write about video games on the internet. Anyway, I’m going to show you Marble Madness today, as you no doubt surmised by the title of this article. Atari had a really good year in 1984, pumping out tons of instant classics such as Paper Boy; I, Robot; and many others. If only such innovation had come in 1982 or ’83….

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The Vernal Spring

Palm trees swaying in the breeze.

The clouds drifting through the tropical sky.

The spring winds are pushing them along,

As they push time into the summer.

Reef, sand, surf;

all of these clichéd staples of this climate.

I see them; I hear them.

For me the most exciting goal is not the excitement of the beach.

It is the quiet contentment of this spring day.

Or rather, not the quiet, but the symphonic sounds of nature.

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Genesis 1:3-1:5 Commentary

Genesis 1:3

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֖ים יְהִ֣י אֹ֑ור וַֽיְהִי־אֹֽור׃

way-yō-mer ’ĕ-lō-hîm yə-hî ’ō-wr; way-hî- ’ō-wr.

And God said… Now begins the creation proper. The presence of the conjunction “waw (and)” informs us that God’s speaking occurred in the next step of a linear account. “1:2 The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 1:3 AND God said….” Such a usage of “waw” to attach consecutive events also happens in Genesis 5 and 11, both of which are genealogical accounts. After God had laid down the great waters of the Earth, He now went to work shaping it. He made light first, meaning that it is so important as to be given preference over any other thing.

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My Funeral: A Request

When I typed in the title of this post, I immediately thought about how if I were still a minor, some authority figure would find this post, misconstrue its title to mean that I’m suicidal, and then there would be a big hullabaloo about it. I feel an odd mixture of relief that no one cares because I’m an adult, and sadness that no one cares because I’m an adult. Anyway, when I do eventually kick the bucket, this is what I want my funeral to be like.

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