chief justice john roberts botches the presidential oath of ofice

so the question is: who botched the presidential oath office? on a nearly flawless inauguration day, which leader of two of the three branches of government botched the constitutional presidential oath of office?

the answer: it was chief justice john roberts.

the oath is as follows:
‘i do solemnly swear (or affirm) that i will faithfully execute the office of president of the united states, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states.’

roberts forgot the word ‘faithfully,’ placing it after the words ‘united states’ instead of before the word ‘execute.’ president obama, who must have practiced the oath a thousand times, politely paused and allowed chief justice roberts to correct himself. the chief justice caught his error, and corrected himself, but only after president obama began to say the altered oath.

roberts also said ‘to the unided states’ instead of ‘of the united states.’ 

it was a bad day for the chief justice. thirty-five constitutional words, and the chief justice mixed them up. talk about rewriting the constitution…

the beginning was no better. president obama may have started a little soon, beginning after his name was spoken by the chief justice, instead of waiting for the line ‘do solemnly swear.’ it is unknown if president obama spoke too quickly, or if the chief justice forgot to pause.

i also found it clever that the chief justice asked, ‘so help you god?’ at the end of the oath, which allowed president obama the option to say the line, which is not in the constitution. however, it would have been awkward had he not repeated the line. president obama said that he would indeed conclude with the line ‘so help me god.’

if this isn’t a snl sketch by this weekend, i’ll be surprised.


JAN 21 2009 UPDATE – president obama has retaken the oath of office. because of the botched oath of office taken yesterday, the president has retaken the oath of office despite the fact that the constitution understands the president elect to become president at noon on jan. 20th.

it also could be an attempt to extend the inauguration celebration just one more day… ;-)

author jailed for insulting thai king, and cnn plays along

i find this story fascinating:

An Australian author was sentenced Monday to three years in prison in Thailand after falling foul of a Thai law that makes it a crime to insult the country’s royal family.

first of all, it is utterly ridiculous that laws like this still exist in modern nations. however, those are the laws of the land, and writers and journalists criticize authorities at their own risk.

what i find to be the fascinating aspect of this story is a near throw-away line in the middle of the article:

CNN has chosen not to repeat the allegations made by Nicolaides because it could result in CNN staff being prosecuted in Thailand.

what? seriously? cnn? this is perhaps the greatest form of journalistic cowardice i’ve seen thus far. or perhaps it is sheer hypocrisy. cnn is holding back on reporting the whole story for fear that they too might face sanction. really? would cnn do this if they had a story on president bush? would they hold the story if they were facing retaliation from rahm emanuel? i’d guess that were there political waves to be made, cnn would report the whole story.

‘well,’ you might say, ‘pres. bush and rahm emanuel live in the united states, where freedom of the press is guaranteed.’ true, but if cnn were to face retaliation for reporting a story on israel that involved palestinians in gaza, i don’t think they’d pull the story. cnn makes a name for itself by exposing stories in the face of retaliation. the question is, why is cnn playing nice with the thai government on this particular story?

Smart Power = Stephen Colbert

Smart Power (Stephen Colbert)

Smart Power = Stephen Colbert

here’s something i put together after hearing sen. clinton talk about ‘smart power’ at her senate confirmation hearings. i’ll be back with something clever to say to go with the pic shortly. -bc

i officially have my first isbn number

here is the word from my publisher, gorgias press:


1/7/2009 A New Series from Gorgias
The Bible in Technology (BIT) is a series that explores the intersection between biblical studies and computer technology. It also includes studies that address the application of computer technology to cognate fields of ancient history. The series provides a forum for presenting and discussing advancements in this area, such as new software or techniques for analyzing biblical materials, online projects, and teaching resources. The series also seeks to reflect on the contribution and impact of computer technology on biblical research and teaching methods.

Information Technology and Egyptology in 2008 by Nigel Strudwick
Publication of the proceedings of the 2008 meeting of the Computer Working Group of the International Association of Egyptologists (Informatique et Egyptologie), including papers on databases, complex systems, 3D modelling, textual analysis systems, the uses of the internet for sharing photographs, and bibliography.
ISBN 978-1-60724-068-6, Hardback, $106

Also in the pipeline: Qumran through (Real) Time: A Virtual Reconstruction of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls By Robert Raymond Cargill
This book proposes a new occupation model for the remains of Khirbet Qumran, the site associated with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Using the latest in virtual reality technology, the author reconstructs the site of Qumran and demonstrates that the site was initially built as a Hasmonean fortress, and was later expanded into a residence for a self-sufficient community responsible for the Dead Sea Scrolls.
ISBN 978-1-60724-058-7, Hardback


so apparently i have an isbn number. i guess that makes it official. the book is an expanded revision of my 2008 doctoral dissertation. i had better get to revising. :-)

on the teenage birth rate report released today

new data on teenage pregnancy rates were released today. i shall limit my comments to the following:

it has been said that the greatest form of birth control is a middle class income. that is, middle class families tend to think about and plan pregnancies around their budgets. meanwhile, the ends of the bell curve – wealthy families that can afford several children and poorer families who tend not to budget or have learned to live within their limited means – tend to have more children. this may explain the elevated teenage pregnancy rates in the south and bible belt, which tend to be poorer. by comparison, look at the teenage birth rate for new hampshire, which can be said to be the mecca of middle class incomes.

of course, one might also explain the elevated teenage pregnancy rates in the south and bible belt as a product of conservative and religious values (as the article does), such as a de-emphasis on birth control and a focus upon hope, prayer, abstinence.

i was frankly surprised that california was as low as it was.

i could not agree more

i could not agree more. rick reilly has nailed it on the head.

why not use the bowl games as the playoff? rotate the bowl that serves as the national championship game like we do now. top 8 teams play in four bowl games. the winners play in another two. then create a new, real national championship game to decide the winner. this way, we’d preserve bowl games *and* we’d have a playoff system. the only thing standing in the way is the bowl boards and major universities, who monopolize the cash and use their size and influence to invite lesser teams that draw higher ratings.

enough already. time for a playoff system. besides, the old argument that football seasons would be too long and student athletes would be taken out of too much class is moot now anyways. they are, in fact, professional athletes, just not paid in cash.  oh wait…

just hanging out

it is simply perhaps one of the funniest things i’ve seen this year or last. someone is getting sued (or a free vacation back to vail). and i cannot help but think of the copious amounts of comedy that will come from this. think about it:

this redefines the concept of ‘hanging out on the slopes.’
does it stick to a frozen pole like one’s tongue?
what gold medal winner would tanner hall call this x-games move?
a rush of blood to the head?
this is why we wear undies on the slopes.
good thing he didn’t drop his pole.
i thought jim west went to england, not vail. 

seriously, this is hilarious.

Beginning the Shift to WordPress from Facebook

happy new year all!

i am in the process of shifting from facebook to this blog for all of my online activities. as many of you (on facebook) know, i regularly post peculiar news items and original thoughts and commentaries on the protected realm of facebook. this will continue. but i shall begin to post these items here primarily, and then import them into facebook, thus mirroring as best as possible the two sites.

until such a time as this, enjoy the remainder of the quite that has been emanating from this space. because soon, there will me lots less of it.

%d bloggers like this: