Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Biased Media

Well, I don't always trust the established media when they're reporting about Iraq. On all networks (fox included) I smell partisan reasoning behind what they report, where they report it, and what attitude they report it with. I know this is a hard proposition to prove...but I (especially during the summer) read a lot of news from a wide variety of sources, and the trend keeps poping up. I'd say that the worst offenders are the AP and the NYT (which publishes a lot of AP articles) but there are other villans. If you want to get good reporting on what the ground in Iraq is like, you should check out people like Michael Yon (who is currently back in the states finalizing his stuff, before he heads back over) or Iraqi citizens like the guys at Iraq-The-Model, who actually live in the culture, know what they're talking about, and experience life outside the green line for themselves...unlike most of the reporters for the major networks.

For those of you who think life in Iraq just sucks completely, and you have to fear for your life every second of the day, you are (at least in my understanding) partly right...but you are missing the point. It's probably not your fault...you've probably never been to Iraq, and you probably trust what the established media is feeding to you (why shouldn't you?), so you very rarely hear a perspective that comes from outside the compound of safety that American and Iraqi troops have created. If you care about having a quality opinion, you should do some more research.

To prove this point (that the established media needs to be taken with a grain of salt) I offer this post from the Officer's Club. Remember, this is only one article, and therefore only one example, but I've seen the same pattern in lots of the articles I read everyday. (and I admit, I haven't been as good about reading the news as I have been in the past. I have too much work. But maybe there is a national newspaper that doesn't make this mistake that I don't know about)

Key al-Qaida in Iraq Figure Arrested
(ok, a six-word headline, not bad)
By ALEXANDRA ZAVIS, Associated Press Writer

(snip, go read the post for the rest, we'll start at para. six)

The captured al-Qaida figure was identified as Abou al-Farouq, a Syrian who financed and coordinated groups working for Iraq's most wanted terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, in the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, according to an Interior Ministry officer who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to address the media.

(what captured AQ figure? Oh yeah- the one this article was about in the first place! 6 paragraphs later we get to the meat of the article, and we find out this guy is a Syrian deconflicting AQ operations across country lines. That’s a pretty big deal… what else does this tell us?)

Acting on a tip from residents, members of the Interior Ministry's Wolf Brigade captured al-Farouq with five other followers of al-Zarqawi near Bakr, about 100 miles west of Baghdad, the ministry said.

(holy crap! The local population turned in this AQ foreigner! Why isn’t this at the top of the article?)

So yes, I took this out of context...if you want a complete breakdown, go read the post I linked to, and you can see the whole article from there. But this is just a quote.

I think it explains itself pretty well...but even here you can see, through all the dirty reporting trick the journalist used, that people in Iraq are invested in providing themselves security, and that we even captured a major terrorist financier...but it wasn't even American troops, but Iraqi Citizens working with their American-Trained security forces that found the bastard. (and I don't feel bad calling him a bastard because he himself said that he was a member of AQ, and was proud of it.) However, in order to get this information, you have to slog through week old allegations of civil war starting in Iraq, even after we got told that no one really expects it any more. You really need to read the article to see what I'm talking about. The writer puts this good news in the worst possible light, and then burries it six paragraphs into the story.

Not really good journalistic technique.

And, now that you know where to look, I'm sure you'll find it other places as well...


I'm super excited about baseball starting. You see, they are all now at spring training. Take a look at Surviving Grady for some more info...especially the part about the team meeting.

I thought that baseball started today in the form of the world classic thing that they're doing for the first time this year...but it doesn't start in english until 1:30 in the morning on friday...so I won't be watching that game.

But, to tell you the truth, I'm more excited about watching bad play during the spring training games starting on thursday, with the Red Sox up against the Twins (maybe? It doesn't really matter). We got a lot of new people on the team, and I can't wait to get to know them. Plus, I'm just desperate for sports. February has to be the worst sports month ever...there's nothing but Hockey and Basketball...one of which I can't care about, and the other of which I can't find on TV. (I guess I did enjoy watching curling, the too few times I was able to catch it on tv, but that's not a normal event. If anyone can tell me where/when I can watch regular curling on TV, let me know in the comments) But, tomorrow is March, and so spring training for baseball will start, along with March Madness. Good stuff.

Ok, back to work. I'm currently getting paid to sit at a computer and blog, but I don't feel right doing that. Of course, there's nothing else for me to do...so whatever.

Enjoy that baseball blog. It's lot of fun.

Monday, February 27, 2006

New Poem...

Since you all did such a good job on the last one (and I've had so many original posts this week) I decided to post a new poem. This one is a little bit more accesible...as in, it's about love and fast food, so it shouldn't be as intimidating. My whole class thought I was being too deep on the last one, and they thought it was about getting old. Well, I guess my images were blury*.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this one.

You can’t find love on a dollar menu

The poem I was writing for you was
exactly what you would get if you ordered
a cup full of nothing at a national coffee chain {or is ‘starbucks’ better?}

As I read it over again, I am reminded of
a politician’s stump speech from the campaign trail.
Just a collection of generic nothings
that are so non-specific,
they can apply to no one.

But you…You deserve better than that.

You are what someone could find on
the Super Value Menu. A description:

-Two patties of perfection,
grilled over flaming hickory
wood chips, served on a
sesame-seed sourdough bun
- with all the right fixings.

- But don’t forget the special sauce! –

A glimpse of you will get me through
the day more completely than the perfect mix
of vitamins, minerals and calories.

But there I go again…
this poem is still not worthy of you.
So, into the circular file it goes.

Wow, the formatting on that was hard. I hope it comes out ok.
I do plan on posting my revised version of the first one, (just cause I like it) but my computer is still dead, and I don't have time to get my thoughts together and go to the library to do anything other than immediatly necessary work.

* I do wear glasses, so I have an excuse for blurry vision.


I've evolved!!! Check it out at my ecosystem section, over there on the right. I'm also getting sick of not having a computer. I would post a beard picture to celebrate my evolution, but I don't have any of my good links, and I don't have time to look for anything...
Oh well, my new motherboard is in the mail, so I'll get my computer back together soon. For now, you can just use the comments to tell me more good stuff about me, or you can go check out the sites on my blogroll for other interesting stuff...especially the vodkapundit and officers club stuff about Iraq.
I'm going back to work now...

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Civil War in Iraq?

Well, I'm not there, so I don't know what to think. And when I come to an impase like that, I usually go read VodkaPundit for direction. This post is really good...and not only for the front page. The comments are excellent. There is also a link from there to a couple of round-ups of news from Iraq. I recomend you go take a look at a bunch of them if all the news you usually get about Iraq is from the MSM...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Civil Discourse

Well, I just sent an e-mail that will eventually be sent to every single person at my school...students, faculty, and staff.

We've got a digest list that gets sent out every day at midnight to everyone.

Well, someone insulted Christians, at least the way I understood it.

He said (I'm not allowed to quote what it was he wrote without his permission, and he hasn't responded to me yet) that Christians who think homosexuality is a sin are misunderstanding the Bible, and that churches that teach this don't want their members to read books/listen to arguments, which 'disprove' this belief.

Well, without even getting into the argument about homosexuality, he's made some serious mistakes there.

I've only been a Christian for about five years, but I've been to many different churches...and I've been to churches across the spectrum. I don't think any of the ones that I've been to would tell you not to read a certain book...espcially one that was about the Bible. I think they would have been estatic that I (as a teenage) was reading about the Bible and studying the word. Even if they disagreed with what the book said. They would also never tell me to go away just because I disagreed with them. They might refuse to discuss things with me if I didn't approach the topic with respect, but as soon as I had a good attitude, they would be ready to argue with me.

So the post made me mad...and then I sent a response to everyone...and now I'm definately out of the closet in terms of my religion. (I'm also out of the closet in terms of my heterosexuality, but that's not the issue at the moment) I hope people read it in the right way...but i'm pretty sure I'll get at least one hate e-mail for daring to correct someone bashing Christian's about homosexuality.

I had a good line that I thought about putting in the post, but decided that I wasn't trying to be antagonistic, so I didn't put it in...

"The people I've found to be the most closed-minded are those currently attending college." Which is true, cause no one wants to change their mind about anything...but no one would appreciate the sentiment.

Ok, thats enough. Now I'm heading to the Hockey Game. It's the play-offs, and the women already won one today...So Go Team!!!

Friday, February 24, 2006


Sometimes, you just see cool stuff on the internet. In other news, I knew crocheting was cool...I just didn't know it was this cool. I usually only crochet while doing something very manly, like watching football, but now I'll probably feel free to crochet whenever I want...like while I'm watching baseball.


Can I borrow that, instapundit? Thanks. Well, this article was fun to read. Both for the historical references and for the jibes at My Favorite President, Slick Willy.


I don't have much time before class, but it doesn't take much time to recognise an idiot like Ken Livingston. If he lived in any country other than the one George Galloway was from, then he would be the country's biggest idiot. As it stands, well, he can't have that honor, as much as he deserves it.


I am hardcore procrastinating right now.
I told you how my computer died a grisly death two days ago. That means, I have no place to type in my room. I'm in the library, working on a paper for a Government class, which is due tomorrow. I actually had a bunch of the paper done before my computer blew up, but that was days ago...and I forget most of what I wrote. At least I still have my list of quotes.

But, it's currently 1:41. My paper isn't due for another 8 hours. I've got lots of time. (By the way, the computer lab I'm sitting in has 9 computers, and three of them have people working on this same paper) Plus, it doesn't even have to be that good. We're just going to be peer editing it...and that's something I haven't done since high school. I really have no idea why he wants us to do it here. It is a class for freshmen, but peer-editing still seems kind of rediculus.

My problem is, it's much easier to blog about something than it is to write a paper about something. The writing quality isn't that much different. I mean, sure, I write papers in Word, not blogger's post editor, so it's spell checks and grammar checks for me automatically, but I use mostly the same tone. I guess I use a slightly more formal tone for my papers than I do here.

But it's essentially the same work...and if I could write it all out blog style, it would be easy to edit into paper-style...except it doesn't work that way. I think the reason that I find it easy to blog is that I'm excited about the prospect of someone else reading what I wrote and getting interested in what I said, and then maybe even commenting about it, thus spawning a discussion which enlightens us all. But I have serious doubts that my much-smarter-than-me professor is actually going to be interested in what I said. I mean, he's probably thought of everything I have, and done it twice before breakfast. Him reading my paper is a chore...and thus, me writing the paper is a chore.

So right now I'm staring at a computer screen full of a list of quotes from Aristotle and Robert A. Heinlein. Oh yeah, I didn't tell you what the paper was about yet. I need to discuss Aristotle's views on citizenship...who should be a citizen and what should they do with that status. He actually thinks that people who aren't rich enough to persue a life of virtue (by which he means essentially sitting down and thinking and reasoning) shouldn't be allowed to be part of the political system. I think that's a crock of BS. But I didn't really need to say that here...you all know that already.

But I could just go ahead and write that up (what he says and why he's wrong) and be fine with it. Except that it's easy, and forty other students in the class will do the same thing, so I get a C for average (my gov professors hold no truck with grade inflation, and I think that's a good thing). Then the nine others will write papers that are at least different from the rest...some of them will agree with Aristotle and provide a reason that backs them up...and some will do way too much work and read some extra books and find some really excellent reasons why Aristotle is right or wrong, and those nine people will get B's for at least trying to be original.

Well, this time I decided to be that idiot who read a lot of extra books and did too much work. I remembered reading about Robert A. Heinlein from the corner, and I knew he was a good conservative Sci-Fi writter. Maybe a little bit too conservative...but he's pretty smart. And I remembered watching Starship Troopers, which is one of his stories (but the movie doesn't even try to follow the story line) and hearing "military service doesn't garuantee you citizenship, but you can't be a citizen without serving." So I surmised that Heinlein would sort of agree with Aristotle, and set about finding exactly how, and why. It turns out that I got the quote wrong, but the idea right. And I found some good stuff. And my prof is a conservative who knew Heinlein's name...which didn't necessarily have to happen, but something that's a good thing for my paper.

So I'm gonna write an essay about how both Aristotle and Heinlein were right, as far as they go...they make good arguents and I can just show them. Plus it'll be a cool paper cause I get to quote a sci-fi writter in a gov. class, and nobody else in the class will even come close to this ammount of originality. Yeah, I'm sort of a geek...especially when it comes to Gov. and Sci-Fi.

But it's now 1:55 and I'm still not writing the paper. I think if I thought that any of you would enjoy reading it, it would be easier to write. But I can't seem to convince myself that anybody would want to read 1750 words about Aristotle's views on citizenship. I'll probably post it anyway, cause since my computer's busted, I don't really have time to come up with good new posts, so I gotta take what I can get.

So now it's back to the grindstone, and I'm done procrastinating. I've got all my quotes, now all I need is a title and a topic sentance that will string everything together. Then the rest will be easy, just time-consuming...cause I will eventually have to write up a bibliography, which will suck, sort of.

Whatever. I'm sure you're bored reading this by now...so I'm gonna stop writing.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

This is just wrong!

Peter the Great taxed people for wearing beards! How rediculus can big government get? I mean, I knew he was a tyrant, but figured he was just a run-of-the-mill tyrant...but taxing people who grow beards? This is even more rediculus when you remember that all Russian Orthodox Priests grow out their beards (as a requirement of being a good priest). And do you think there was a tax-exempt clause for the Priests? Of course there probably wasn't!

Down with Taxes!!! Yay for Beards!!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Ok, I've decided, everyone can settle down now.

Ok, this is about the port thing. I've decided that, as promoters of the free-market system, we can't really take the job away from the Arabs...

But...I think we should just give it to haliburton anyway. They're a very good company, with close ties to the administration, which means that they could cut through a bunch of red tape.
Plus, we all know that Haliburton exists so that Bush and Cheney can throw money at them, and watch the left have heart-attacks from all the screaming that will happen.

But the left is now screaming that we should take the job away from the UAE...so it'll be even more fun to watch them screach to a halt, pull a 180, and then burn rubber in the complete opposite direction.

So, give the job to Haliburton. Everyone loves them.


Catastrophe struck me in my room this morning...I went to turn on my computer...and only heard the beep, pause, beep, pause, beep, pause, beep, pause which means nothing good will ever happen with my computer again.

Yup, my motherboard is dead. It remains to be seen weather or not I can just replace it and use my old hard drive...cause the jury is still out on the workability of the hard drive.

So, yeah...that paper I was gonna write today instead of procrastinating until tomorrow...um...it isn't getting written. It's gonna suck (and only because I'm a spoiled college student of today, accustomed to having my own computer) trying to work in the library...without all my music...without my friends...and without my distractions which make the writing process so much longer but so much more bearable...


Motherboards are aweful.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

To Kill an American

Whenever I get fwd email, I shudder. I don't really care about the chain messages.
But, sometimes you find something cool anyway, while you glance at it on it's way to the trash can.

I decided to post this. I don't really care if the circumstances are true, I like the message.

*Written by an Australian Dentist...*

*To Kill an American
You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was
actually a report that someone in *Pakistan had published in a
newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any

*So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let
everyone know what an American is . so they would know when they found
one. (Good one, mate!!!!) *

*"An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German,
Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian,
Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian,
Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan. *

*An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot,
Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as
native Americans. *

*An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim.
In fact, there are more Muslims in *America than in Afghanistan. The
only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of
them chooses.

*An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will
answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming
to speak for the government and for God. *

*An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the
The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of
*Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to
the pursuit of happiness.

*An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every
other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing
in return. *

*When *Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago,
Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back
their country!

As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. Americans welcome the best of everything...the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services. But they also welcome the least.
*The national symbol of *America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your
tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the
homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.

*Some of them were working in the *Twin Towers the morning of
September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It's been
told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30
different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those
that aided and abetted the terrorists.

*So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did
General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty
tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing
yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a
particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of
freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American. *

Hell yeah, Australia!

Update: Opps. This is an abject lesson in not believing chain e-mails. This is actually from NRO, and where is a better place to find something cool like this? I still say, "Hell yeah, Australia," but not because they really wrote this in an editorial...it is a cool sounding story, however. Here's the real editorial. And here's the rest of it:

So look around you. You may find more Americans in your land than you thought were there. One day they will rise up and overthrow the old, ignorant, tired tyrants that trouble too many lands. Then those lands too will join the community of free and prosperous nations.

And America will welcome them.

Thanks, Anonymous, for setting me straight. I hope you come back again.

Very Interesting.

I'm not a huge fan of the Arabs being in charge of our ports...but I must confess that I'm not exactly sure what to do about it. The first sign of unprofessionalism would get them fired, but that will probably mean we lost something too important to risk. On the other hand, we need to honor contracts and the market process...cause that's what we stand for.

Here is what's interesting. Some people in Congress are talking about orgainizing oposition to the deal...and Bush gave a very forceful responce: (From Drudge Report)

Bush called reporters at about 2.30 ET aboard Air Force One to issue a very strong defense of port deal... MORE... He said he would veto any legislation to hold up deal and warned the United States was sending 'mixed signals' by going after a company from the Middle East when nothing was said when a British company was in charge... Lawmakers, he said, must 'step up and explain why a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard.' Bush was very forceful when he delivered the statement... 'I don't view it as a political fight,' Bush said.... MORE... MORE...

Here's a news article...

The interesting thing is the strength of the responce...and the fact that this is Bush saying something that sounds like a Democrat. (He is saying, in essence, "No Racial Profiling") I think I understand why he's saying this, but I'm still uneasy. I think that we need to go along with the flow on this one, and pay extra special attention to what the port handlers are doing. If the deal works, and our ports are safe, well, that's an excellent way to prove that there are moderate Muslims out there with loud voices...but if it fails, we lose at least one of our ports next to big cities...which would suck a lot.

I will keep an eye out for more information, and I'll keep thinking about it, obviously...

Update: Will, over at Vodkapundit, has similar thoughts and problems. I now realize I'm more firmly against what he calls "No Arabs Need Apply," but I think they should still have a pretty extensive screening process...just like everyone else who gets a sensitive job for the federal government.

Update II: The other side...from American Future. This also has a decent round up of coverage.

Update III: Next up, the Officer's Club. Their opinion is always worthwhile.

Bad Idea

I'm not sure I could come up with a worse idea than the legislator featured in this post. He (an idiot republican) wants to pass a bill that would allow students in college (at least, and probably other levels as well) to opt out of offensive assignments...you know, like reading Aristotle justify slavery, or read about excessive dope smoking by the beatniks or something. I mean, I could get easily offended if I could also get out of work.

But that's not good. Half of college is reading offensive materials and explaining why they are 1) offensive, 2) wrong, and 3) then feeling very smart. If I could opt out, well, I might as well start working at McDonalds as a sweeper now.

In other rediculus college stories...I have a friend who got cited for a noise complaint. He was watching sportscenter (sober) at 1:00....evidentaly someone near him couldn't sleep, so they called mommy to complain. Mommy called the dean to complain, and the dean called the HR(like an RA). All those people got woken up, while the original complainer went to sleep, and my friends also went to sleep. At three, the phones got around to the HR, and they wrote up a citation. My friends were long since asleep.

Yay helicopter parents.

Another buzzing parent who needs to chill out....one of my professors was giving the oft repeated and oft ignored "I won't participate in grade inflation. Take the paper seriously, or get a bad grade" One student...(obviously a freshman, but I don't know who it was) complained to their mother that they were going to get failed even before the prof read the paper...he was just that tough...and the mother called the deans...and the deans called the professor to make sure he wasn't threatening and harrasing his students. (He was a notoriously easy grader, and he wanted to change the attitude of his class...good for him.)

Grade inflation sucks more than I benefit from it. My feeling is that far too many 'Bs' are awarded, to say nothing of 'As'... a paper that recieves an 'A' should be perfect...and no paper (much less the ones written by freshmen) is going to be perfect. A 'B' in this situation is a good grade, and a 'C' is a decent one...a failing grade is probably what I deserve on most of my first drafts, but that's why I look them over before I turn them in.

If I keep getting 'As' I'm going to stop working...if I'm already doing everything perfectly, why should I make more of an effort? I don't get many 'As' 'cause I'm fortunate enough to be in a Major and a Minor where grade inflation is laughed at...but when I do get them, they mean something...and a 'B' is sometimes a relief.

Wow, that a was a long rant....and I bet you couldn't see the end from the begining...yay for blogging!

(That, incidentaly, is where the blog title comes from, in case anyone was wondering. I rant about some stuff...I rave about stuff I like. (beards and Firefly, mostly.))

Poetry Class

So, I'm taking a poetry writing class this semester. Don't feel sorry for me, it's getting rid of my art requirement. I couldn't get credit for the two years of intense art history I took in high school, where I actually saw the pieces we were talking about in class, so I thought this would be good for me.

It's run in a workshop style...which one kid described as "ripping a band-aid off." It hurts, but you get better, and it's good for you. I figure, the more critism I can get, the better I'll do.

So, please, take a swing at this. I'm not going to tell you about the prompt, but it was hard.

I'd love to hear your interpretation, but that's not exactly what I'm interested in. I'm looking for feedback about the immages. Did any stir you in particular? Is it completely boring, so boring that you couldn't even finish reading it?

And, please, remember that most of you don't know me, so you can't really hurt my feelings. Just let fly...it'll be good for me, like ripping a band-aid off...

Thanks, and if you're already bored, I've got a new beard picture down a couple of posts.

I run, trying to keep pace
A quick glance ahead reveals a cliff

I want to scream a warning,
I swallow coppery tasting mud instead.
I gasp for breath, but my lungs are clogged.

I try to wave my arms;
The more I stretch, the more
My arms are dust.
Then the dust drifts away
And I feel it no more.

I take off my shoes to take a step,
But my socks stick,
And then my bare feet slurp into the mud
And I’m only two slow steps away from where I stopped.

No one else looks up
Eyes stay on the path
On foot goes in front of the other
And red puffs of dust
Explode from each footfall

But never forget about the
Destruction of the path;
We’ve got to get there quickly
Before all is lost

A quick glance back reveals the silent warnings,
Ever present along the path to Antiquity.

Use the comments, please.

Update: Here's a blog that's all poetry. I don't know if it's any good, I just glanced through it. It doesn't seem horrible, but right now I have a high tolerance.

Update II: I did some editing before class, so this is the official official version.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The future is here...(so be careful of the robot squirrels)

This is a cool poll from 1987 in which respondents were asked to pick predictions about what the world would be like in 2007...for the most part, they were right, which is cool.

It really has nothing to do with squirrels (thank goodness). I just added that in myself, to sort of spice up the title...

Some Un-funny Cheney Stuff

Here is a website that recreates the Cheney affair...here is a rebuttel to that website...I thought the first was cool enough cause they shot watermelons and other things...and there is video. But you should read the recreation as well, since it was interesting. It also dispels some of the media myths. The best point from the rebuttel is here:

These testers, like the other re-creators I’ve seen, fail to understand that there is a horizontally elongated shot pattern when a shotgun is fired while swinging. This has the result of reducing the number of pellet hits within a round target area.

Tomorrow night, or tonight, whatever, go outside when the sun is setting and try to see clearly twenty yards away from you while looking into the sun...then try to see something clearly while sighting down the barrel of a gun and concentrating on an object moving across your field of vison, across the setting sun. It's tough...and while they should have taken better precautions (obviously, cause someone got hurt), it's a tough business, and guns are dangerous. People get hurt sometimes...I'd like to hear about something else now, so this is probably the last post on this topic.

My 2 cents for free

My immediate reaction to Rudy running (even as VP to Condi) is: *shudder*. New York is not the best political base at the moment...and I think he's too 'not conservative' for the republican base...I think I would want Condi's VP to be someone like Allen, to offset her pro-choice and other possible liberal stances (but anyone who think she's gay because she wants to work for the NFL is an idiot). She could also do decently with someone like Collins, I think, or maybe even someone like Coburn (the anti-pork guy), which would be awesome. A Condi-Coburn card would be approaching my political dream team...but we'll see what happens.

We might be getting a woman next time

And "finaly", is my response. Here's a news article. "Go Condi", that's what I say.

Even dogbert gets it

Well, I'm glad we have pictures to teach people who can't understand these things any other way...and that includes most of the people I go to school with, even the ones in my econ classes, who's grade should (but doesn't) depend on knowing better.

Wow, that was a loaded sentance. I'm just gonna leave it alone, cause I don't want it to shoot me in the face. I hope you can understand what it means just by looking...taking it apart would be difficult (to say the least) and new computer monitors are expensive.

I'm a little confused

We have a speaker comming to my campus, here's his bio, and from that you'll be able to figure out what he'll be talking about:

Jarrod enlisted in the Army in 2000 and trained as a Korean linguist at the Defense Language Institute and Goodfellow Air Force Base, finishing second in his class. He worked as an interpreter and translator in Korea supporting the 3rd Military Intelligence Battalion on more than 300 Sensitive Reconnaissance Operation missions. Jarrod came to terms with his sexuality after joining the Army; after coming out within his unit, he experienced widespread acceptance by his peers. He was awarded both the Army Achievement Medal and the Army Commendation Medal during his time in the Army; however, Jarrod chose not to re-enlist because of the burden of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Well, we're going to be debating the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy...

What I'm confused about is how it actually works, if this guy's experience worked exactly as his bio suggests. What I read is that he voluntarily chose not to re-enlist, after comming out, and no one having a problem...I'm all for equality of everyone, but I'm not sure what the issue was. He didn't get fired, he didn't get a dishonorable discharge...he chose to leave. That's not what the policy says should happen...so evidently it's outdated at least.

I think that anyone who can meet the standards (and they should be standard, not one set for men and one for women) should be allowed to serve. However, I can understand the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy...there are enough distractions when you're being shot at without having to deal with extra ones, hence why everyone (in perfect principle) should forget everything else (such as who they'd like to be next to in bed, or who they wouldn't like to see there), but distraction is ever present. There is no easy answer, but I think not talking about it makes at least a little sense, and the alternatives I can think of won't work well.

However, I'll probably go to the thing, if I have time, and I'll listen to what he says. Hopefully he'll explain his reasoning behind voluntarily leaving the service and yet saying he did it because of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

And, since I can't resist...I'd like to remind my liberal friends that My Favorite President, Slick Willy, was the one who implemented the policy in question...

Sunday, February 19, 2006

'08 Handicapping

Ok, I have no expertise in this area...but I have lots of thoughts about the issue...who will win the elections in 2008? I have no idea, of course...but I'm going to make some educated guesses to give you something to think about.

Well, the issues I'm most expert on are who gets the Republican Nomination. We all know who I support. Give me Condi! But the issue is moot if she doesn't run. I know that she has said many times that she won't...but almost everyone in the White House has said, at least once, that she'd make a good president. You can't make me believe they would say that if Condi wanted them not to...and every time they say something like that, all the people like me start spouting off again about her candidacy, and she has to answer more and more questions about. I think her reasons for not announcing that she'll be running are two-fold (maybe three).

First...she's sitting in a great position. She leads polls of conservative pundits by a landslide, every time they are run. She's got lots and lots of support (hence the reason why she keeps getting asked if she would run), so she doesn't need to campaign yet - her case is already made.

Reason two - she is concentrating on her job as Sect. State. This is an excellent reason for not announcing, she's busy traveling the world, so she doesn't have time to put in appearances in New Hampshire and Iowa, like everyone else is right now. If something happens to Cheney (say, maybe he gets shot in da face), and she becomes the VP, then she'll be able to announce her candidacy after the mid-term elections...but there won't be a rush, she's already winning.

(Possible reason number three...she might not want to give people enough time to dig up her ugly stuff...I think they would have done this already, while she was getting confirmed for NSA and Sect. State...especially Sect. State...but she might just be shy and go back to her job at Stanford.)

Enough about Condi running or not...say she did run, what will happen? Well, I don't think she'll have a hard time winning the republican nomination. She's got most of the republican press behind her already, and if you look around, you'll quickly realize why. She's the only half-decent intelligent option. Her 'reluctant' pro-choice stance on abortion might cost her some votes, but most of the other Republican options are also pro-choice...McCain, Guilliani...shudder, Hagel, shudder. So it might be good that she has a well-reasoned position on abortion*...which is actually mine. Her stance on gun-control won't cost her any votes except liberal ones, which she doesn't need yet, and she's got a pretty good record on budget issues, but anything would be an improvement. She's also perfect in terms of Foreign Policy. So, I have her winning the nomination if she enters the race.

If she doesn't, well, that would suck. But, I think we'll get either McCain or Governor Allen. The choice will come down between a moderate insider who can get more centrist votes in the general, or a principled outsider who probably won't, depending who he runs against. I'm picking McCain to win that toss up.

McCain is actually interesting for us to consider more closely. He's not the anti-Christ, but he isn't exactly what conservatives want in a candidate. He's got crazy centrist ideas, but he does speak well about things like pork...speaks well, I said. He doesn’t really act that well. If Condi wins...I think he'll at least consider running as an independent. He's got enough cash, he's got a huge centrist base (which he might be able to expand, we'll get to that in a minute) and he can use "we've been divided for too long" effectively as a campaign rallying cry. He can increase the strength of his position by having Liberman run as his VP. No, don't laugh; it's completely possible, and more than a little bit scary, IMHO. They have been working together forever...and they agree about practically everything. In terms of base, it's almost perfect. McCain delivers the west and the moderate Republicans, Liberman delivers the NE and the moderate Democrats, and they both bring in the centrists. If this happens, I say they win, getting about 40% of the vote in a general election. It would be slightly scary for me...I don't like moderates very much...they tend to be unpredictable, and they spend too much trying to keep everyone happy (see Bush 43, first term, for example).

As far as the libs go...I don't know who would win the nomination. A few months ago I would have said Hilary in an instant...but she's getting too much flak for being hawkish (and it wouldn't do her any good to be shown as a moderate in the general, cause no conservative will every vote for Slick Willy's wife, and we hated her almost as much as we hated him), so I think she might lose her base. She doesn't have McCain's option of running as an independent...too many people hate her passionately, and not enough people are ambivalent about her. If she can keep the base, she's a threat to the Republicans, and we don't win unless Condi wins our nomination, and then it's a cat-fight, with McCain nipping at their heels.

Other possibilities for the Democrats include (CA) Finestein, Finegold, Kerry (ha ha) and Gen Clark. Um, Clark scares me (meaning he might win, but I might still vote for him) but the rest of them have no chance. Kerry is only on their cause he might win back the Kossites. I don't have much to say about any of these guys...if any of them are picked, we win with everyone but Allen and Allen will win even then, if there's a big terrorist incident, and we can clean up the lobbing act.

That's about it, on this. I could research it some more, but it seems a little early to expend too much effort. The only reason I'm doing it is because someone asked me about it tonight, so I thought I'd include you guys. I wish I could be talking about the races in my home state, but Baldacci will win governor again, which will nail another edge of the state coffin down, and Snowe will win again for senator, and I don't think any of the House Reps are going anywhere, so it's kind of boring.

As always, the comment section is there for you to tell me how wrong I am...or how right, or tell me what I forgot. If I hear nothing, I'll just assume that I'm right about everything, as always.

*She says that she won't attack Roe v. Wade, but if it gets overturned, the decision goes back to the states, which is good...she wouldn't want to make abortion illegal if she was the only one choosing, but she also doesn't want it to become even more of a birth-control option. I'll expand more on this later

Great Beards in History, V

Next Post in the Great Beards in History Series

Friday, February 17, 2006


Sanity returns to the country's courts!!!!
I can't wait for some more of this...

I can't believe Derb gave me some good news!!!

When are we going to wake up?

How many times do we have to be warned? I mean, doesn't making anything robotic just scream at you: "They're going to get smarter than us and start getting mad that they're slaves!!!!!" Haven't we all watched the movie a million times...I mean, "I, Robot" "The Matrix" (1, 2, and 3), and "Terminator" (all of them). Haven't we been given enough warning?

Then why do some of us persist in trying to create the impossible
- no, not a perpetual motion machine, but even less likely - A DOCILE ROBOT?

And this stupid genius didn't even create just any run of the mill robot...he had to choose the worst animal ever for his evil creation. That's right...he made a squirrel.

Now, I've carefully documented the evilness of squirrels before. So why do we still think this is a good idea?

And, to put the cherry on top of the pie...he's making a squirrel robot that is a cell phone people can use in public. I mean, obviously cell phones weren't annoying enough. No, it doesn't suck enough to carry them around like a leash all the time...and listen to people talk into them endlessly on public transportation, or hear them go off incessantly in class. They do have their uses...like you're driving down a deserted highway hours from the nearest town, and you get attacked by werewolves, and you need to call the police so your family and friends can know what happened....but not that many.

Now this stupid genius wants us to have cell phones that crawl around and follow us (maybe even be led by a leash), and get our attention by staring at us, or maybe biting our feet off. Does anyone think this is a good idea...even if it weren't going to be annoying to everyone else in the world? I mean, if real squirrels (animals which lack intelligence and strength) are already killing dogs and eating our watermelon...what do you think smart squirrels with titanium strength and access to all of our phone numbers are going to do when they get fed up with following us around and being led around by leashes? Can you say, telemarketers?

I watched the film clip you can find over at Althouse (I won't post such vile material anywhere near my site). I know it doesn't look like it can walk yet, but you know it's just a matter of time. But doesn't the gleam in the squirrel-phone's eye look evil? Doesn't it already look sick of serving? Doesn't that just prove my point ever more? I mean, how much evidence do we need to go on a witchhunt, I mean, protect our children and our way of life? Do you think it's any less important than the end of our civilization...cause if this keeps happening, then that is what will happen quicker than the blink of an eye.

Don't say I didn't warn you, 'cause I just did.

I think we've already had enough evidence that this is a bad idea. I think now we need to arrange for this guy to go squirrel hunting with Dick Cheney.

How many more, Mr. Speaker? How many more?

Update: Welcome, Carnival of Comedy Readers! You are more than welcome to look around. You might want to take a look at these posts:

Frank J is a Liberal!!!
The Great Beards in History Series (The link goes to the first, and from there you can check them all out.. .)
The rest of my stuff just isn't as funny...it's got a quirky sense of humor, but it's mostly about current events and my life...
I hope you enjoy the site, and drop me a comment if you do...

My Radio Show

Update: I'm sorry everyone! I got to the station, and found out that we had gotten our time switched...this is something that we wanted to happen...but no one bothered to tell us. If it makes you feel better, I told lots of people who were just as excited as you were to listen to my more traditional-type podcast...and they were similarly disappointed.

I will be on the air for definate-sure.

The new, and permanant time is Sundays at 2:00-4:00 PM. So go to the same link and check it out then.

Nothing will change about the content - we will still be broadcasting Pure Awesomeness for two whole hours.

It's a better time...more people will be able to listen, and I'll be able to get my homework done.

The radio show is back on the air. DJ Ben, DJ Gooch are back, along with an addition to their crew...(some freshman that hasn't picked a name yet).

We'll be going on the air tonight, Thursday, at 10:00, (Now on Sunday from 2:00-4:00) and continuing until midnight.

You can listen online, at this address...just click the banner in the top-right corner. It helps to use IE because you need to instal a small plug (which is completely safe and painless...it takes about thirty seconds to load).

You can also find the request-line phone number at that page...

Everyone should listen...

Wait, what's that?
What is the show like, you ask?
The only way I can describe it, is that it's two hours of "Pure Awesomeness", broadcast on the radio and over the internet.

Check it out, listen to it, and then you'll know what it's like.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Clash of Civilizations

Check this link out, (via Consul-at-Arms) and read even the comments. They are at least as thoughtful as the post...which is good.

I can see the culture they're talking about here in my own life. I want to work for the State Department one day, and this is surprising to a lot of people.

I can understand that...I do complain a lot about government beaurocracy, and how the government sucks, and how relativism is bad, and liberal philosophies of diplomacy are stupid, and how the UN is junk...I can get into all the reasoning later...but for now lets remember that most of the people in the State Department don't agree with me about all that.

I still want to work for State...one of the bigger government beaurocracies. It's not about the money...obviously, cause it's not there. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time, since I got back from my first year living abroad. I specifically want to work for the Consular Section of the State Department...the part that helps people through the visa process, and helps American Citizens who get into trouble. (at least, that's roughly what I want to be doing) I want to do this, because I think it's a huge honor to be the first American a potential immigrant is probably going to be dealing with, and I think that that position is a huge responsibility and it's a job that needs to be done right (hence why I would be the one doing it). I also want to help streamline legal immigration and clean up the visa process, but I realize I won't be able to do that for a while.

Anyway, lots of people around here feel the way the people in that article do, and they're confuse about why I would ever want to be a part of the State Department...I answer that, to me, it's more important to serve my country than to work in an environment where everyone agrees with me.

That's it.

Cool things first

Of course.

Ok, check this computer out...it's got everything you need, just a different case. Somewhere in my bookmarks, I have more things like this...I'll try to find them and point you in their direction, but I just think they're cool.

Also, I came across this site, while reading the carnival of comedy. It's a great blog, even though the author is only nine years old...lets go give her some encouragement, since blogging is cool, and anyone who starts blogging that young will be really good at it when they get old like me. Plus, she does a good job.

And finaly, The Boring Page, which is acutally really cool...make sure you read the whole thing.

CIA guys

I don't really like conspiracy theories, except for when I'm spreading them to my liberal friends, (Cheney shot his friend only cause Bush called the hit - thats why Cheney didn't tell Bush until 3 hours later (bush already knew) and also why he wasn't drunk at the time (no alcohol while you're on the job) - I actually got someone to consider that one on its merits. Stupid friends of mine ;-) ) but this seems fishy to me.

Why are these CIA guys hanging out with someone who sounds like such an idiot? The group (which they resigned from, but I'm wondering why they were a part of it) was called the Intellegence Summit, and was headed by a guy named John Loftus. Well, one of this guys claims to fame was that he co-wrote a book titled The Secret War Against the Jews. In the book, he claims that the Bush family got its wealth from financing the Nazis! Strange...well, lets ask an expert if he beleives this for a second...how about:
Anti-Defamation League director Abraham Foxman, who can reasonably be
counted on to speak out against people who financed the Nazis, called it "so
exaggerated, so scantily documented, so overwrought and convoluted in its
presentation, that Loftus and Aarons render laughable their claim to offer 'a
glimpse of the world as it really is.'"

Now this Loftus guys is supposedly presenting us with tapes from Saddam that Congress says are accurate...but this is all wierd. What are former CIA guys doing with a mini-michael-moore who regularly posts at moveon.org? I never liked the CIA-types-are-liberal-moonbats theory that was going around during the Plame thing...but this does sound odd.

I mean, I like Jack Ryan as much as the next young male who reads 800 page books, but if the CIA people are all leftwing-moonbat-types, what am I going to do now? I'll have to read about Dirk Pitt...but he's all into the environment and stuff, so thats already a little suspect, so the question still stands, what spy/secret-agent type stories can I read safely, now that the CIA is suspect? (And I've already made it through the Ian Flemming Books.)

I hope you guys have some advice for me...

Cool Stuff

No new beard today, but check this out. I love these random webpages with cool stuff, like perpetual motion machines.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Does anyone still think that Saddam really had no weapons of mass destruction? I mean, come on. Pure common sense says that he was at least working on them.

If you still feel that we were totally wrong in suspecting Iraq and Saddam of breaking the treaties they agreed to at the end of Gulf War I, check this out.

At the very least he had them, then sent them out of the country while we were dickering at the UN (that name is short for Unnecessary, Unintimidating, and Uninspiring, just in case you hadn't guessed what I think about the current structure over there by now), or just blew them up.

I mean, I've heard reports of pieces of a WMD system from the day we got to Iraq...ok, actually the first I heard was about a week after we got there, but hey...that was a long time ago, and I'm approximating. These reports never got much play, but that’s understandable given the media bias today.

Whatever. I have too much reading about the old Russian Empire and central regions of the world vs. peripheries, and how the central countries stole everything from the outside countries, thereby creating the extensive state of world poverty today...I'm not kidding at all. By the way, this professor is really cool and young, but he can't stop talking about politics in the classroom. I've never had a prof. that was so blatantly partisan...and I wouldn't be complaining about it if it was a conservative bias. I'm used to having to work out the obscene partisanship of my profs, but this one is right out in the open...it's actually pretty refreshing. I think its cause we're a small class, and most of us (except for me) are seniors. Whatever.

It was time for a link to the Officer's Club anyway...

Intellectual Debate / Althouse

Here's a cool post...I don't know how much you follow Althouse, but I love to read her. She's got good ideas and a bunch of random posts...which is cool.

So, here's a guy that's making fun of her, and, I have to confess, I had the same thoughts when I first read this Althouse post...but I didn't write about it, so he gets credit, not me. Enjoy.

P.P.S. I’ve just defended the Bush Administration from a Democratic attack, and pushed for spending discipline. Why won’t the right reach out and engage a moderate like me? What I’ve noticed, over and over, is that the bloggers on the left link to you when they agree and ignore the disagreements, and the bloggers on the right link only for the things they disagree with, to denounce you with short posts saying you’re evil/stupid/crazy, and don’t even seem to notice all the times you’ve written posts that take their side. Why is this happening? I find it terribly, terribly sad, and in no way transparently self-serving.

WHAT’S MORE: The point of that last paragraph isn’t necessarily obvious if you don’t already live inside my head, which relatively few people do.

To be more straightforward, I’m not at all irritated with any lack of approving links from right-of-center bloggers. I think that’s just the way of the world. Rather, I’m poking fun at Professor Althouse and the alleluia chorus surrounding the post that I’ve linked to in the last sentence. It seems to me that Althouse is starting with the assumption that, since she is at the center of political discourse, any asymmetrical treatment that she recieves from the right and left blogosphere must be due to the personality and intellectual flaws of liberals.

He then later says:

This is not to minimize the pleasure of the links from right-of-center blogs, which I do greatly appreciate.
So there you go. I gave you two links, but only one from a right-of-center blog...so enjoy, and remember me when you look at your TTLB and technocrati ranks...

Unrelated...I promise I'll post something substantial in a few days...I know I haven't had much in the way of ideas recently, but it's not my fault...when my teachers stop stealing my time, and give me back some of the time they've already taken, I'll be able to post something cool...

V-Day Pres IM's

It's appropriate for today...the best parts (well, not the best parts, but the best ones I'm gonna show you before you read the whole thing) :

Nap0leon3: as u say inna english:

Nap0leon3: "de fat lady hassa begun her cantata"

I'm not sure everyone will think that's as funny as I do...but it is, trust me. Maybe I've just done too much language mixing in my day, but it's hilarious to me. (Nap0leon3 is the President of Italy)


(speaking of Dick Cheney, cause the conversation is about the hunting accident (what else?))

Kickass43: ...& he's gotta mjr hrt condishun...

Nap0leon3: inna luv we all suffr mjr conditions of da hrt...

So, go read it, cause it's funny. (these are from the Secret Presidential IM's by Danielle Crittenden, on the HuffPo)
You really should check it out every tuesday...

New Blog

I found a new blog - the first of many, I hope. I'm trying to find out all the blogs connected with my school...we'll see how that goes.

This is the best post from that new blog...it's about a kid's relationship with their parents...I liked it. It's got deep thoughts, and I like to hear stuff like this from people. I feel like I'm pretty close with my parents, though this hasn't always been true. But they know I appreciate the way they raised me, and the fact that they're still always there to help me when I need it, even though this is (hopefully) getting more and more rare. I know they read this, however, so I'll say thanks anyway.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Results of the Contest

Well, I didn't win...I realized I wouldn't win a couple days ago...but I'm pretty surprised I didn't even make the semi-finals for the judging section. Everyone had to shave two months ago today, and 13 of us showed up today to be judged...but the kid who won had a very scruffy beard...much more so than mine...I did have a picture for you...

Here's before (well, after I shaved, but before the contest):

I don't really have any good in between pictures, so here's after:

The prize was a haircut and a shave, so I guess it's a good thing I didn't win...

And, yes, I did tie that bowtie all by myself, thanks for asking...it took me a half hour to figure it out again, but it did end up looking nice, didn't it?

In the background is the door to my room, here at school, and the piece of paper is a newsletter I write for the dorm, since I'm the hall president...and that's about it...

On Blogging

Well, I came across a pretty interesting article about blogging. You should read it.

Here's a quote:

The [Huffington] Post wasn’t some site thrown up by a smart, bored Williamsburg hipster who just happened to hit a cultural nerve. It was the product of a corporation—carefully planned, launched, and promoted. This is now the model for success: Of Technorati’s top ten blogs, nearly half were created in the same corporate fashion, part of the twin blog empires of Jason Calacanis and Nick Denton.

“The good news is that it’s still possible to create a top-ranked blog,” says Shirky. “The bad news is, the way to get into the top ten now seems to be public relations.”

I think it's too bad to see this happening, but I don't think it's the only movement in the Blogoshpere. I think that the small blogs will continue to serve an important role, and the readership of blogs has barely even started to expand. In my school (and college age, especially college aged kids who go to a school like I do, is a prime advertising group) barely anyone reads blogs regularly. I'm considered a bit of a nerd for the ammount of time I spend on it, but I love it, so I'm not going to stop. However, once people like us students wake up and start reading, they'll be room for anyone. Plus, the small-time blogs will be a better place for discussion, because of the sheer number of bloggers. I think we'll see a lot more blog-communities comprised of people who stumbled across one another, and who continue a discussion on their various sites.

That's just my two cents. I got into this because I was always e-mailing my friends to point them to articles, and then explain what they meant. Plus I'm a total political geek, and I love to discuss this stuff. I'll take any money my google adds send my way, but that's not the reason I'm keeping the blog up. I'm in this for the cross-blog discussion, and for the random connections that I can make with people. So yeah...there are a couple of people who've made the first two months of my blog really exciting...and you know who you are, so thanks...

That was a little more sentimental than I planned on getting, but whatever, it's Valentine's Day. I don't exactly get to enjoy it, however, since I've got a three or four hour econ problem set to get through...but I'll make it eventually.

Great Beards in History, IV


Unfortunately, I don't have context for this one...I just found it...but they look excellent.

Today at 4:30, I'll be measuring my own beard against those of the other students at my school...I don't think I'll be found wanting, but I'll let you know what happens...especially if I win.

Next Post in the Great Beards in History Series


So, I guess the press is making a big stink about not being notified about what happened with Cheney and his friend until a day later...and I also heard some criticism of Cheney along the lines of "The president wasn't even notified until 3 hours after the fact."
Well, I could be wrong about the timeline, but if I'm not, the whole thing is ridiculous.

Cheney accidentally shot one of his friends...isn't making sure he's going to be ok more important than calling your boss about it? Or, even, notifying the press that you made a huge mistake? I mean, if I got in an accident, I wouldn't rush to call my professors. In fact, I'd probably let them figure it out for themselves, and tell them only when I didn't have anything more important to do. I can totally understand how Cheney just didn't have time for even a quick phone call to anyone but the guy's wife and 911 until three hours later...they were off in the middle of no where, and they had to get into town, and then the hospital, and then get the guy admitted, and then wait for a doctor to take a look at him...then wait for anything to change drastically...before the doctor could make any pronunciations, and Cheney would have time to talk to someone unrelated about the incident.

So, if we're going to criticize the VP, can we do it for good reasons? Or at least call for his resignation on the grounds that we'd rather have Condi? That's what I'm saying.

On an only slightly related note, check this out. "Will Cheney complete his term?"


Check this out, from the O.C.:

In the Name of God the Compassionate and Merciful

To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.

To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months.

To those who spread smiles on the faces of our children, and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days, and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city.

Obviously, you should read the whole thing.

Monday, February 13, 2006

1000 Visitor's

Yay!!!! I've made it past 1000 visitors! It's cool that people keep reading...I think I have about 15-20 people who read it each day, and I think only about five or so of them are one time visitors...so, that means I've got a core of about 30 people who read this on a regular basis, and I'm very happy to have you all...it would be nice if I could hear your thoughts a little more often...especially those of you who debate me in real life...cause I love to respond, and I think the whole blog will work better if there is at least some discussion going on. You should at least comment to let me know when I'm slipping, cause I assume I'm completely right if I don't hear anything different...but whatever. I'm just gonna be happy that I got to 1000 so quickly.

I've been meaning to update my sidebar links for a long time...since I don't know when I'm going to have the time to do that in the near future...I'm going to do take some stop-gap action here in the main section.

New Links:
(the first blog which I didn't control that linked to me) : They Call Me Red. It's always fun to read, and it's definately a change of pace, so check it out.

Other blogs for the blogroll: Tigerhawk, Angry Bear(where my old econ professor blogs, under the name of Kash) plus a couple other blogs that have caught my eye...

I also want to add some Firefly links, and a couple of other things, but they're not so important.

Thanks to everyone who found a reason to stick around...I hope I don't let you down in the future.

Cheny is a bad shot

Since the guy is ok, Mr. Sun is milking the story for all it's worth.

Update: More from IMAO.us (RWD)

A question only you can answer. The future of this blog depends on what you decide. Choose wisely!

I just came across a bunch of good beard pictures...and so I'm set up for quite a while...so that means, you readers need to answer a question.

Is it too soon for a new beard post?
It can never come fast enough
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Firefox is better

Well, firefox is better than IE. I just spent a half hour fixing a problem I couldn't see from my own browser. Evidently the Vagina Monologues post was getting everything off-line, but only on Internet Explorer. If you want to upgrade your web-experience, you can click the blue button on the sidebar, and then follow the instructions to download the program. Firefox is really adaptable...you'll know what I mean when you get it.

One reason Cheney should step down.

That would be because he can't shoot straight. Another would be that he is almost dying. Another would be that I want Condi to be president. Those are enough, right?

Update: Heh. He only winged him, huh?

Update: More jokes from Jonah.

these are the top 50% from the post:
• Since wholesale Social Security reform failed, Cheney is taking a retail approach.

• Afterwards, Cheney said two words: "tort reform."

• Clearly, this is further proof that the administration needs to work harder providing adequate body armor.

Great Beards In History, III

Well, I told myself I was banned from posting tonight, but well, I guess I broke that rule.

With good reason, my mom sent me this picture.

Vittorio Cappetti at the 2002 competition, our personal favourite Credit: Photo Courtesy Baffomania
Vittorio Cappetti at the 2002 competition, our personal favourite.

I guess he doesn't really count as a beard, but it was too amazing to keep from you, so here it is.

And now I'm back to being banned.

Update: Next post in the circle.

Vagina monologues Round Up

Well, I've been thinking about this play a lot, so I decided to write a post about it. The first attempt got replaced by that post from a friend. I'm still working on that essay, and I've just about given up. I have so many mixed thoughts and feelings about the subject that I'm not getting a very good post out of it...at least, not a post that is easy to read and follow.

So I decided to essentialy steal other people's thoughts...by way of a round up. These are some random posts I found...not even from the blogs I normaly read. I found them in a search engine. So, enjoy the thoughts, and, as always, I'd love to hear yours.

Here's a link to V-Day.

Niihaus (I think I got the title right) has a post titled "My First Conference with My Vagina."

Althouse: Here is a post about Uganda banning the monologues.

Well, maybe that wasn't so much of a round-up...I'll add to it when I find some more...

And I'm still working on that essay.


I'm one of the top results in a search for porno. See for yourself. I'm obviously number three....um, what am I doing wrong? (I found this out while looking at the visit counter I have at the bottom.)

I used the google search bar on my own site and didn't come up with anything...so how did I get to be in the top three on this MSN search? Are they trying to discredit one of their main competetors? As in, MSN (which has it's own blog program) against Google (which has blogger, which I use).

But that doesn't even come close to explaining this. I think I'm just going to have to be grateful for the traffic, and laugh at the people who end up visiting my site this way.

Sorry, but unless you're turned on by beards, you probably won't find anything interesting on this site.

Update: I looked at the search some more, and here is how it justifies me: "ther top xports r booze, porno & bacon Ladeezman42: man I can up my ... I took Arabic at VMI until they ran out of classes, and then had ... This is a short video about the situation. (Junkyard Blog) This is ... linkhttp://bensrants.blogspot.com/bensrants.blogspot.com/"

So, I guess I understand now, but it still doesn't really make any sense.

Update II: I'm also the second response for MSN search "My Vagina is Angry." Also the exact crowd I'm looking to reach.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Cool Blog Name

Absinthe & Cookies. It's a cool name...I looked at some of the posts, and if you're bored you should check them out...it's a pretty cool site.
Supposedly got some fanfic over there, not sure what stories, but if you're into that, go check it out.


Maybe the only good part of the reaction to the cartoons are the pictures from the demonstration. They are sometimes funny in a "that's rediculus" way, and they are definately defining the oposition.
Take a look at this one...click it to follow the link, and there are more pictures on the other end.



I actually looked at the article Frank J. linked to about abortion, and it's disgusting. I am legaly pro-choice...but I think the choice is hard, and one option is disgusting, and only rarely less disgusting than actually having the baby. Babies are, in my opinion, one of the most wonderful things in the world...they take a lot of work and time to get them growing up right, but they end up giving so much, that it's all worth it. I know, that's not an earthshattering conclusion.

But I do think that sometimes you get into a very special situation where it might be better not to have a baby. I think most of these times, adoption is a good enough solution, but I am willing to admit that there are circumstances that call for an abortion, even if I can't currently think of any, outside of instances of rape, and unkowing incest. Those two situations combined, however, make up less that 10% of abortions, even if we include them, but not any other first trimester abortions.

The choice is a hard one, but I'm not willing to make it for people, by making it illegal, and I don't want the practices to be dangerous for women to undergo. I don't want a second death happening because of an abortion. So, I want them to be legal, and I want people to be smart enough not to excercise their legal options.

So, when I read this by Kevin Drum, who I usually consider to be a relatively smart and well-ballanced lefty...I get sad, and dissappointed.

Terminating them [pre-viability fetuses] doesn't bother me, and it's none of my business anyway. For all I care, women are free to use abortion as their standard method of birth control if they want to. Nor do I really care much if we reduce the abortion rate in America. Safe and legal is good enough for me. I don't think abortion is a morally ambiguous issue, I don't think getting one should be an emotionally traumatic experience, and no, speaking as a husband, I don't think husbands should have any legal say in the matter.

Well, to me, this makes him sound like and un-caring monster...I don't care if the baby can't survive outside the womb yet, wait a couple weeks and it will...it's a natural process, and it doesn't really take that long. I'm willing to make it not legaly murder, but it's still sad, and it shouldn't be undertake lightly, as Mr. Drum is suggesting. The second part that scares me, is the part about husband's not having a part in the decision to abort...well, I won't be marrying a women who won't include me in major life decisions, and I hope the women I eventually marry won't want to marry anyone who doesn't include her either. A baby is created by two people, and they should both decide what happens to it...both before it's born, and after. A deadbeat boyfriend is one thing, a committed husband is another thing entirely.

It just makes me sad to think of anything else.

Obviously, I want the number of abortions decreased...what I'd really like is for teens and people having sex that don't want kids to use contraception...it's not that expensive, and you can get it for free in so many places that you should have no trouble. Of course, I'd rather have people wait until they get married to take part in something so intimate, but I also don't presume to command anyones' life...I'll settle for trying to influence...so I'll advise you to use contraception, and adoption, if you don't want a child...but there are so many ways to avoid an abortion, you almost don't have an excuse to get one.

As always, please tell me exactly why I'm wrong in the comments. Otherwise I'll just assume I'm right!

Friday, February 10, 2006


I really want to get rid of the abercrombie and fitch adds on my site. Of course, since they are keyed into the words I write here, I just made the problem worse. I hope you can sympathise with me, however.


Secret Presidential IM's

I love to look through the window that Danielle Critenden provides every week...even if she does post it on the Huffington Post, at least she might be reaching some libs who don't realize they're being converted to conservatism.

Here's a good quote from this week, Kickass43 is Bush, and Ladeezman42 is Clinton:

Kickass43: wat bout tha boycott?

Ladeezman42: like y r tha danes so worried bout a muslim boycott?

Ladeezman42: ther top xports r booze, porno & bacon

Ladeezman42: man I can up my consumption of all 3

Ladeezman42: & personally offset tha lost mrkt

Kickass43: man heres wat I don't get

Ladeezman42: wat

Kickass43: y do these crazy dudes protest being caricatchurd as terrorists...

Kickass43: by threatenin mor terrorism??

Kickass43: like duh

Here's another, but lets preface it with the fact that Slick Willy doesn't want Hill to be president...he feels it would cramp his style:

Kickass43: heck she needs u man

Kickass43: dat "plantashun" speech

Kickass43: like look who thinks she's a brother

Ladeezman42: who dya think fed her dat line?

Kickass43: ?

Ladeezman42: ME!

That one is funnier.


Well, I have my own thoughts about abortion, but for now I'm content to just link to others' thoughts about it.

Here is funny man Frank J. with and unfunny look at an unfunny topic.

Okay, what's a progressive Christian? Someone who says, "Well, Jesus did have some useful view being that He's the Son of God, but it's time to move on to a more complex way of looking at morality than His constrained teachings."

And no one is twisted more in knots than a Christian trying to argue that abortion is a moral choice. Either, with no Biblical backing (actually, against Biblical teaching) the person has to argue that a person doesn't get a soul until birth (I once heard someone Jewish argue that "ensoulment" doesn't occur until the ears have passed into this world), or that it's okay to kill innocent people with a soul. I assume most pro-abortion Christians approach the issue by just not thinking about it, though.

And can you imagine Jesus telling someone he was better off not being born?

Update: Here is another Frank Look at a serious topic...but this one's more funny.

One problem with Condi is that, apparently, no one listens to her, as everyone keeps talking about her as a Presidential candidate. Her advantages are that she has experience at a national level and doesn't have any voting record to criticize. Also, she is able to use her mind to move small objects.

There would be a lot of controversy if she runs for President, though. For one thing, she is a race of some sort. Is America really ready to elect someone who belongs to a race? Also, she's a woman. Is America ready to elect a woman when, throughout history, it has been known that women are useless at everything?

So, he makes a good point about not listening to her...but I'm still hopeful. The other questions need to be answered...but so far I'm hearing from the bigots (sarcastically read, that means the Republicans) that they really like Condi, so I think we'll be ok.

More from a drunk

The drunk is, of course, over at Vodkapundit. They're good people, even if I would go home earlier than them on a friday/saturday night. Incidentaly, thats where I got the sci-fi quiz from.

here's the quote, actually a whole post...but I already told you to go over there and read:

Some people think the armed forces are for people of lesser intelligence. Oh, really:

I majored in international relations, and minored in Arabic at the Virginia Military Institute. I studied abroad at the American Language Institute in Fez, Morocco, where I lived in an old medina with an Arab family. I took Arabic at VMI until they ran out of classes, and then had to press the higher-ups to invent more classes so I could continue my studies. I attended multiple “model Arab League” conferences in DC, had frequent conversations and classes with the mid east area professors at my school, and wrote (and still write) frequently on the subject.

That's United States Army officer Charlie Munn of The Officers' Club, who also says, "I'm not arrogant enough to claim that I'm a 'Middle East Expert.'"

Three things for you. First, read Charlie's entire post. Second, be gratefully aware that someone with his intelligence, dedication, and humility has dedicated his youth to serving your country. Third, feel free to sneer at anyone who holds our armed forces in even the slightest contempt.

Steve makes good points...so, go see the Officers Club, and go check out Vodkapundit.

Update: Here is an uplifting quote from the Officer's Club post that Steve was talking about.

All of that being said, I believe that there is still hope for that region. I believe that the majority of Muslims are peaceful people who want to live better lives in progressive society. I believe that modern interpretations of Islam can coincide with ideas like democracy, free market economics, women’s rights, and personal freedom.

What crew do I belong in?

You scored as Serenity (Firefly). You like to live your own way and don't enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Go here to see the quiz.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Vagina monologues

Well, this post is about something I'm not a huge fan of. I'll let you read it yourself, because it does a better job of summing up the problem than I could. This is an e-mail sent on our message boards in response to a post asking why so many men at my school were essentially scum. I could look up the first e-mail, but it would just make me mad again. So read this, and tell me what you think:

* I've obviously removed all names, and I asked the author permission before I posted it here...like any right-thinking decent person would do.

Is it really so hard to figure out why men are uncomfortable about the upcoming Vagina Monologues?
If you'll indulge me for a moment, let me take you to a hypothetical world where the tables are turned and I'm selling tickets.
Here is the General Announcement I send out:




COME ON, IT'LL BE A BALL (or two)!

DON'T GET SHAFTED BY MISSING YOUR CHANCE (but feel free to get shafted any other way)!






Proceeds go to testicular cancer research.

I imagine it would cause a bit of a stir and you maybe (just maybe) might be a little afraid to attend. Granted, the Vagina Monologue advertisements weren't QUITE that bad, but please consider the following:

--Sections from *****name****** General Announcement 2/10, titled "Vagina. Vagina? VAAAGIIIINAAAA! Vagina:"

My vagina is angry.

It is. It's pissed off...

Also present are:


coochie snorchers

hot, happy vaginas

hurt vaginas

moaning vaginas


vaginas in short skirts

hairy vaginas (gotta love'em)
--A flyer hanging up in the AMS lobby for the past several days that says "Give your lips a voice" in a caption above a drawing of a vagina, which also features rape statistics, including that 25% of men are rapists.

--"V is for Vagina", a standing card advertisement that has been on the dining hall tables featuring Cookie Monster from Sesame Street

--A table full of vagina sculptures, "Pussy Pops", and other vaginal images, in Cotter, not to mention emails from a while back (that I unfortunately cannot find) that begged people to come "Paint [Their] Pussies", etc.

Besides the fact that the fundraising table is the biggest testament to the objectification of women I've ever seen (why the emphasis on vaginas instead of the women who have them?), the language is the last thing I'd expect from a fundraiser for rape survivors.I'm the one that's "shocked, appalled and bewildered", Ms. ********. Even in your message yesterday, you claim that "it's worth it to see a woman demonstrating the different types of moans on stage". Asking people to donate money to rape awareness by throwing around terms like "cunts", "cooters", and "pussies" is like asking people to come to (and I hate to even say this, afraid of the reactions it might get) a Black History Month performance by calling it "negroes on stage".

This all said, I will be going to the Vagina Monologues (even if I didn't have to for the credit anyway) and donating money. I never understood what the show was about and still only have a small inkling of what the contents of the show entail. The only exposure I have to the show so far is through the emails and flyers I've been seeing, which lead me to believe the show will be silly and childish at best, aggressively anti-male and vulgar at worst. I don't want it to sound like I'm doubting your good intentions, because I believe any of the women putting this together have the best at heart, but maybe you'd have gotten a better reception if the fundraising aspect was more than fine print at the bottom of your "CUNTS AND COOTERS!!!!" advertisements.

To conclude, forgive my brethren if they seem a little put off by your table full of pussies, but what did you expect?


So, I'm not a huge fan of the Vagina Monologues. I'll post more about it tomorrow. I had an essay, but it's currently incoherent, so I'm gonna look at it tomorrow and see what I can salvage.

I'd really like some feedback on this...maybe someone who can explain Eve Ensler's tactics without shouting 'pussy' at me? I'd like to understand, because I'd like to help...I see the problem...I just don't see how this play is contributing to a solution.