George Washington: A Guide for Immigration Policy (or is he?)


crossing-the-delaware-web-2

I’m currently reading Ron Chernow’s biography of George Washington, and it is astonishingly good (I believe the proper word is “magisterial”). In the book, I’m currently in the late 80s (the 1780s, that is), in the odd period after the War, but before he was drafted into Presidential politics. He’s having old friends visit him at Mount Vernon while he’s doing renovations after its long wartime neglect.

One of those friends was Washington’s first real biographer, David Humphreys–an aide of Washington’s during the War. He liked Humphreys so much that after the British defeat at Yorktown, Washington had him take the British flags from the fort and deliver them in person to Congress as the sign of victory.

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Good News! I have a new & improved Twitter user name!


twitter-home-paulLast week, I put up a post asking for some help. For the past few years, I’ve had a terrible Twitter user name. I told the story of this previous name, and asked for some feedback on getting a new one. Well, that was a real help, because most people confirmed that using my full name (or some mixture thereof) was certainly the best, and I had totally forgotten than Twitter accepts underscores (“_”) (thanks, Jake Belder). So here is my new Twitter handle:

http://twitter.com/PaulBurkhart_

Profound, I know.

Anyway, for some reason, i end up posting more on Twitter than I do other places (and being a little bit more honest and blunt than in other venues). So let’s follow each other and become best friends, 160 characters at a time.

Oh, and if you notice any of my other sites that I haven’t updated to this new user name, please let me know. Thanks!

I need a new Twitter name, and I’m at a loss. Help? (casual friday)


twitter-Good-BadHey, if you don’t care about the rest of this post, feel free to skip it and just follow me and Twitter!

Yeah, I feel a little narcissistic writing this post (that’s why I save posts like this for Fridays!), but I’ve finally reached the point of annoyance that something has to happen.

When I first went to seminary, I went to Westminster Theological Seminary, which is a Presbyterian school. I had a really good (who is recently engaged) friend from Lancaster, Pennsylvania that I had met in Richmond. He moved back to Lancaster around the same time I came up to Pennsylvania myself to go to school. And so, naturally, I made some visits to Lancaster to see him and meet his friends.

And so naturally, he had to give his friends a heads up as to who I was, and naturally, he said I was going to a Presbyterian seminary. And so, they just started calling me “The Presbyterian”. And then it became “Presbyterian Paul”. And then “Presby”. And then “PresbyPaul”. There was just one problem:

I have never been, am not, and will never be a Presbyterian. And that’s what made this funny.
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Okay, election: done. Time to get this blog back on track. [casual fri]


Well, on this blog we’ve contemplated electing Romney, electing Obama, each of the election debates, laughing at the election, the election foreign policy, the election domestic policy, reminded ourselves it’s all going to be okay, votedlaughed on voting day, partied on election nightprayed for the election, and we prayed for the elected officials.

Now we’re all election’d out.

It has now become almost as cliche as election-season Facebook politics posts, to complain about those election season Facebook politics posts. In fact, I think my Facebook feed was filled with more complaining about political posting than actual political posts. (This is not to discount the very real experience that many of us had, to be sure, with those one or two people ib our feeds that would put 12 to 15 posts up a day and carry on endless vitriolic arguments in the comment section.)

I wonder if our malaise wasn’t even as much about other people posting as much as it was the campaign itself. With all the politicking having already wearied us, seeing anything more on Facebook surely just put many of us over-the-top. For any ways that I may have been “that guy”, please forgive me. I had hoped I would be a more clear-headed voice in the political wilderness.
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according to Klout, everyone’s mom needs to look out for me [casual fri]


As you can see in the screenshot below, according to my profile on Klout, the website that monitors your “influence” online, I am by far more influential about moms than I am any other topic. A while ago, when “crazy home sex” was the main search term leading people to this site, I had a theory. This time, I’m absolutely stumped. Anyone else have any ideas?

Untappd: Beer lovers unite! [casual fri]


Today, as people embark on the weekend, I want to plug an amazing app that has made beer a little more fun for me, and I’m confident it’d be even more fun if more of my friends were on it.

It’s called Untappd. [Website] [Android] [iTunes]

It’s fairly straightforward. When enjoying a beer, simply open the app (or the web app for you Blackberry or Palm users), search for your beer, and “check-in” to it. At the bare minimum, this is it. But there’s much more you can do, if you like.

  • Share your beer check-in on Facebook and Twitter as well, so your friends there can comment on your beer taste and such.
  • Check-in on Foursquare wherever you’re enjoying the beer, so others can keep track of what bars have what beer available.
  • Add tasting notes, reviews, and ratings along with your beer check-in so you can keep track of what you like and what you don’t. You the app will also keep a running list of your highest rated beers.
  • Get full profiles for each beer and see where else in the world people are drinking that beer.
  • The app will suggest other beers that taste similar.
  • You can “follow” breweries to see what other beers they make, what new beers are coming out, and where you can find their beers.
  • Add pictures to the check-in. This can sometimes lead to fun contests.
  • You can keep a running Wishlist of beers you want to try.
  • And.. you can get badges. If that’s your thing.

So go download the app, make an account, follow me, and start drinking!

Weekly Must-Reads {05.24.11} | theology & politics edition


As promised, this week’s weekly must-reads tend towards the theological. We do have some political “leftovers” from last week that you all should find interesting. So, as usual, read to your heart’s content and please comment and let me know what you think about these! 

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More Like Prayer 5 | Jesus Creed

Fascinating and oh-so-brief introduction to a whole new way of looking at the gospel, politics, and the church. Wow.

Mercifully Forsaken | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Wow. Simply wow. Such a beautiful and powerful piece of writing on the mercy of God in his forsaking of us. Did not expect this from Christianity Today (front page, no less!).

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