Thursday, December 29, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Monday, December 26, 2005
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Oh ok… this all makes perfect sense, we can slap frivolous restraining orders on people based on our own delusions. That’s it, first I’m filing a restraining order against Bill O’Reilly — I swear every time he raises his eyebrows, he’s sending me the coded signal “I want to rub a falafel on you.”
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
One reason was that Congress' cumbersomeness, which is a function of its fractiousness, is a virtue because it makes the government slow and difficult to move. But conservatives' wholesome wariness of presidential power has been a casualty of conservative presidents winning seven of the last 10 elections.Good stuff. I encourage you to check it out. And another thing, why weren't news opinion shows talking to more legal analysts, or say law professors about the legality of Bush's actions. The question for me was "Is this even legal after the PATRIOT act and various other pieces of legislation?" I don't have that answer, I'm not a law expert. But this question went largely unanswered.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Well no need to dwell on Pat Robertson, this isn't about him. If you read on in this piece, you'll see that the ACLU is suing the state of Georgia for its supposed imposition of religion in textbooks:
Robertson was reacting to a ruling by a federal judge that it was unconstitutional for Cobb County, Georgia, to require the placement of stickers in biology textbooks, reading:
This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.
That decision is currently under review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. The suit that led to the decision was initiated by a group of parents -- in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) -- who argued that the sticker constitutes an endorsement of religion in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
I'm not sure that I read that right at first... "Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered." what to make of this.... Let's start from the beginning
1. "Evolution is in fact a theory." Any scientist in his or her right mind would say so. Why? Because a scientific theory is testable, observable, and disprovable. If you want to speak in real terms, you cannot disprove a fact. ALL SCIENCE IS BASED ON THEORY.
2. "...regarding the origin of living things." We'll come back to that in a second.
3. "This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered." Last time I checked, every good scientist, knowing that fact is not easily attained in any science, is already ethically inclined to act in this way. When a scientist strays from the pursuit of knowledge for the pursuit of data-fitting and personal opinion, he ceases to be a scientist.
So guess what? I blame the Cobb County School System for not better preparing its science teachers. They wouldn't even have to put this sticker on the outside of a single book, if the teachers were properly presenting what's on the inside. Obviously, fact vs. scientific theory vs. religious belief has not properly been taught to the children of Georgia. Ethics of proper scientific pursuit of knowledge have not been taught to the teachers or students.
I see no religion in that sticker's statement. What I actually see there is cold, hard fact. The real shame is that this obviously isn't coming through in Cobb County Schools.
I've already said what I need to say on the origins of life, so I'll leave it at this:
However, we must divide the disprovable from the unprovable. Most creationists want to include their beliefs in science based on the question of the origin of creation, not a living, breathing theory of how organisms adapt and change form. This argument is just off-base. When it comes to the question of the origin of life, most scientists wish not to include it in any curriculum because of the difficulty it provides to scientists. One pro-evolutionist, commenting on the hearings, spoke on this issue, saying, "It's not in the (school board) standards because the scientific community has not reached a consensus." What the scientific community has come to a broad consensus on is that evolution, whether fully accepting it or not, is the standard by which to judge its competitors. Creation is not even in the scientific ball park.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
I Really Hope We Lose This War
Cause ya know, I never supported this war. As it turns out that fact coupled with the fact that I like science to be taught in science classes is enough to warrant my being labeled a high-minded left-wing liberal (scroll down to "Apparently Creationism isn't a Theory"). So basically the point is that it seems nuance is lacking on the right on this issue. So I thought why not give them what they want? A full-out admission that we do not in fact support our troops and we want them all to die fiery and painful deaths. Here's a few ways libs and non-affiliated anti-war-in-Iraq politicos can give the conservative in his or her life a little something to bitch about. I offer you response buttons. I highly encourage you to copy and paste these:
So I mean obviously since I don't support this war, and I believe it was started on false pretenses that were not even investigated enough to even serve as solid cover-ups, I'm standing with the terrorists.
And every time al-Sadr opens his mouth I get that tingling sensation down between my thighs cause I know it's gonna be easy gliding to Congressional majority as soon as the Shiites start killing off Sunnis in genocide-like numbers. Oh I can't wait til the entire country just falls apart right into the laps of our godforsaken troops.
And you know whenever I get myself involved in something I strive for failure at all points. I don't expect anything less from my government:
And let's be honest, nobody likes a braggart:
Nobody likes an unpatriotic turncoat, especially when they share opinions with the French!:
But I've decided to help out the "pro-victory" side by giving them a few more positions they can unswayingly salute:
Well let's be honest, these are troubling times that require determination and unity. Resolve is the most patriotic front we could put forward against the enemy. With us or against us my man...
Nothing says freedom like being roped up and forced to fake oral sex on your Arab brethren while a vicious German Shepard bites your nuts. And remember, torture doesn't radicalize Muslims, it gets them to confess so we can avoid large scale human tragedy. Why don't we talk to Sayyed Qutb and al Zawahiri about the healing power of torture...
Let's not lie to ourselves here folks. We know it's true. Kanye, my nigga Kanye said it man.
But let's be real for a second. Bush spoke tonight in an attempt to get his peoples back on base. The thing is he actually sounded like an in-touch human being for the first time since the war in Iraq began. We have to stay the course and finish the job that we started. It hasn't been easy and it won't be for quite some time. The election on Thursday showed us that Iraqis, at some level, are ready to take up their own responsibilities and do what they can to mend the wound that is their country. But cut-and-run defeatist or "pro-victory" (or those unchartered waters of "somewhere in between"), I think we can all agree on one reality that hung in the air while Bush urged us not to leave before victory was assured:
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
Welcome to The Strategerist
The order to prepare for a possible attack went through the Israeli defence ministry to the chief of staff. Sources inside special forces command confirmed that “G” readiness — the highest stage — for an operation was announced last week.
Mr. Williams has always maintained his innocence of the four murders, and the governor said in a statement this afternoon that "without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings, there can be no redemption."
I am not saying he didn't have a life-changing experience in prison, it's just that he didn't go to prison for the life he claims to have reformed. He went to prison for killing.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
De Tocqueville brought forward
Let me first say that this essay in particular is very amusing in that here we find De Tocqueville and his travel companion trying to get as far from the civilization they had come to study as possible. They take off for Saginaw, Michigan; across the most uncivilized, untouched parts of the new Michigan settlement. De Tocqueville would play the role of potential settler and ask for the best locations to buy land. When directed to the newest, best locations he and co. would ride off in the exact opposite direction, looking for the deepest woods possible, the furthest from white settlers as possible. No one could understand why they would want to go off into the untouched forest...
Anyways, what really struck me was a section where he discusses human nature and culture in a time where a number of cultures were beginning to intersect and interact. French settlers, the natives, English settlers, the half-caste native-French mix who stood between two worlds claimed by neither-- they were converging. But De Tocqueville makes a very interesting statement about this new situation:
Something inflexible emerges at the heart of human flexibility... I sat on that line for quite some time. Keep in mind that DT wrote this essay before any major acceptance or knowledge of theories of evolution, natural selection, or anthropological studies on the spread of mankind across the globe. Despite this, he makes some very good points that imply a certain level of malleability in terms of cultural identity and practice. Customs do change, prejudices do appear and disappear.
Philosophers have thought human nature to be the same everywhere, changing according to the institutions and laws of different societies. That is one of those opinions that every page of the history of the world seems to contradict. All nations, like individuals, display an appearance which is their own. The characteristic features of their faces keep occurring through all the transformations they undergo. Laws, customs, religions suffer changes; power and wealth move around; the external aspects vary, clothing alters, and prejudices disappear or change places with others. Amid these diverse shifts you can still discern the same nation. Something inflexible emerges at the heart of human flexibility.
But it is this last phrase that really stuck to me. It is so easily applied to our world today. The world IS getting smaller. More cultures and peoples ARE coming in closer contact, just like the natives with the French and British settlers. What we see in a lot of cases is adaptation, an acceptance of the new world, fit to meet our cultural norms. But very similarly, we see the inflexibility of our human nature. We see the resistance to change, be it conscious or not. DT saw the resilience of the native's stare. Their eyes burnt holes in his chest no matter where he came upon them. He felt this was innate, this was a primordial aspect of the native peoples. They had the gift of vision and insight.
Without getting into a debate about primordial versus constructed, it s very interesting to see this come up in DT's writings. The humans' ability to move and change has brought out a desire to do neither, a desire to resist change (once again be it conscious or not).
Friday, December 09, 2005
My answer is to take care of the problem at its root. Politicians are almost like rock stars anymore. They're faces are all over the news. Their lives are the subject of rampant gossip, maybe just more so in D.C. They're automatically looked upon, or FEEL THEY ARE, to solve all of our problems. But the fact of the matter is, the more power you give them, the more times a Cunningham is going to walk up to the podium and admit to taking bribes. But actually, eventually that will stop too, the better they are able to get away with it.
It's very hard in a democracy of this size to keep tabs on the actions of all out representatives. Furthermore, the training many members have in law doesn't hurt their chances of escaping embarrassing charges.
Basically it comes down to this: Do you really think the Democrats are going to do any different than the Republicans if voted into a majority? I encourage you to visit opensecrets.org to catch up on the wide array of corporate donors listed with Democratic members. If you think the Republicans are the party of corporate interests, you're only half right. It's more like one of the parties of corporate interests. The Democrats are not going to change any tone in Washington. If you think that's true, you've been watching the wrong channel for far too many years. Ask a Libertarian what s/he thinks about economic regulations, CORPORATE WELFARE INCLUDED. You're not going to hear a call for a million dollar tax break for wal mart, that's for sure.
So what is to be done? You VOTE LIBERTARIAN. If you're worried about wasting a vote on a losing candidate, I pose one question; Do you honestly give a fuck who comes out with the majority in Congress in 2006? They'll be dealing with a lame duck president that can't get out of Washington fast enough, while doing nothing but positioning for 2008. Their interests are not your interests. What the Libertarians aim to do is to knock down the priority of law makers' interests in the first place, basically, through less options. The government is NOT there to solve all your problems. It's not there to save your brain-dead daughter after the courts have consistently ruled out of your favor. The government is not there to make sure you have a cushy job in the steal mill until you can retire with a decent retirement package. The Federal government is NOT the first place you turn to resolve gay marriage issues, marriage itself being a state issue in the first place. And more than anything, the government is not the subject of automatic deference and respect. The people are the subject of automatic deference and respect. The individual rights and freedoms of the people are the first to receive attention. Asking me not to speak against government because it is unpatriotic or makes me a coward goes against everything this country was built upon. The people begin by questioning their government, not the government its people.
For further reading, check out this article about the lack of difference between the two major parties and Libertarians' inability to allign with either major party.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
While I believe it unfair to call Bush a ruthless killer, instead of an ignoramous that can't control his house, Pinter is making some good points here. Take it for what it is; a brilliant, rational, reasonable man with a solid understanding of how the world works that has a background in theater and knows how to deliver an emotional speech...
Monday, December 05, 2005
Friday, December 02, 2005
Steve Bell from The Guardian
Thursday, December 01, 2005
I encourage you to check out this film when it comes out on DVD Januray 10, if you haven't already seen it. While it sounds like a lefty's conspiracy-theory haven, it actually has some good things to say about world politics and even the war in Iraq. Besides all that, the camera work is amazing and Meirelles is a very gifted director.