Thursday, March 23, 2006

Blast From the Past

Here's an excellent round-up on the Dubai-Ports issue from a master in the realm of International Relations Blogging. It's written by Dr. Demarche, so you know it's good. I miss reading him daily, and I'm always looking for his next post. American Future has done a good job in the Doctors absence, as has the Consul-at-Arms, both of whom are on my blogroll.

Fun Stuff

Ok, here's some fun stuff to explore while I'm gone next week. I'm going on spring break, and I'll let you know how it went when I get back. I'm going to be in Camden, NJ, volunteering for the week. It's gonna be awesome. I'll update if I can, but I probably won't be able to.

Here's a scientific exploration into the land of Peeps. I know it's a little early, but don't worry, there's a lot of stuff to get through, so enjoy. I especially like this article.

Here's some anthropological research into the library habits of peeps. Pretty interesting, life-enhancing stuff.

I was gonna put up a beard post, but I couldn't find any cool ones. If you do find one, drop the address in the comments, so everyone can enjoy.


29. Democracy still an untested theory! 230 years not nearly long enough trial period to truly know if it's safe for general use.!!!

If you're looking for some context, go here, and read Greg Gutfield.

I also like this one:
27. We will probably solve global warming before anybody else, then use the solution to make more money.

Blindness in opposition

Have you heard about the Christian Peacemakers Team that was kidnaped in Iraq a few weeks ago? I've been praying for their rescue since I heared about it, and I was really upset when I heard about the beheading of one of the team-members (of which there were four, now three). The group's beliefs called for the Americans to pull our of Iraq and end the occupation, and the larger group (at least) didn't want the military to rescue them in a violent operation...well, I didn't agree with all that (except with the non-violent extraction, if it could be arranged, but not to the extent that they should wait to be brought home), but I still wanted them safe.

Well, thank God, they are safe now. And thanks to the British-US Special Forces that risked their lives to rescue these people in a non-violent fashion (if possible, which it sounds like it wasn't, but not on the fault of our guys).

However, if you look at the website of the Peacemakers, you don't see anything about their rescue by soldiers, acording to the headline, which reads: "CPT Statement: CPTer's released," you would think that their captors just decided to let them go, after holding them and beheading one of their number. Sorry guys, God does wonderful things, but you should thank both God and the humans who risked their life to save yours, not lie about the circumstances that brought about the wonderful news. The whole article (posted on the front page) does not mention the role played by the US and British Soldiers who carried out the rescue operation. They didn't lie about anything, because everything they said was technically true, but the whole article is false. Anyone who thinks they can beleive everything they read from trustworthy organizations need to take notice of this fact.

Update: Ok, I was wrong about the beheading, the guy was just's a story from the NYT. Sort of untrue...the old grey lady calls them Aide Workers, but what they were doing was trying to bring peaceful resolution to conflicts...both are notable goals, but one means bringing supplies and building hospitals, and the other means stepping between fighters, and talking to people in troubled neighborhoods. Not quite the same thing.

The raid was peaceful, because the captors had all left the captives alone to die.

Big Dick Cheney

Can we get him to retire yet? I mean, he's a smart guy, but he's making everyone hate the administration even more than Bush is...and when I hear stories like this, I just think he's acting a bit like a Prima I want Condi in there.
It is great he wants to watch Fox News...but why? Shouldn't he know all that stuff already?

Ok, I admit that I was google mining a bit with the title...

Castro burns his underwear?

I knew this already, but it's a catchy title. I don't like Castro at all...and everyone should read this. Maybe this guy will start talking some sense to people who think Cuba is a utopia (and I know some people who think that way, crazy as it sounds).

More body counts

I don't like talking about the numbers like there isn't someone behind them, but I think this story from RedState is important to read. It's a reminder that our military is constantly engaged in protecting our country and our citizens from the rest of the world, and it does that by solving problems where ever they are, no matter how important the MSM thinks the conflict is.
Update: I love Jimmy Carter, take a look at this, it's about him. And hand me another sweater, will you? It just got cold in here when I mentioned Carter...

It seems like a lot of my lib friends live in a place where they only hear what the activists want them to hear. Which is not surprising because we only get the NYT on campus. Another favorite newspaper is the LATimes. Heh. They just don't hear the facts that show this world is a dangerous place, even when we aren't in a dedicated conflict.

The worst part (and there are lots of good parts) of being a college student is listening to uninformed complaints. It's especially bad for me, because I'm in student government. That means I'm actively involved with making positive changes for my school, except that because some of my colleagues are not quite as dedicated as I, most of the school doesn't know about this stuff. And they get mad at me for explaining the situation.

It's also similar in politics. Someone told me about a civil rights violation, allowed by the patriot act, which they read about in the LATimes. It was an old British Citizen who tried to enter the country without a passport (something they thought he was allowed to do.) Well, first of all, this isn't something that can be attributed to the Patriot Act, it's a visa/immigration thing. Some of the conditions of the man's situation were quite tough on him...but they only lasted until the authorities were able to confirm he was who he said he was (remember, he had no passport) and take a look through his bags, then they sent him home to England, where he could pick up his passport and come right back to the states. He didn't need a visa, but he absolutely needed a passport, even if he was a British citizen who flew straight from England. To think otherwise is stupid. Even I need a passport to get into States. How would they know I was a citizen otherwise? Anyway, that friend is mad at me because he thinks I'm being closed minded and that I don't care about the plight of people wronged by the system. I feel like I've got plenty of sympathy, but I also know that you need to not do stupid things, like try to enter the country through an airport without a passport. The only country where you traditionally did not need a passport to enter America from has been Canada, and that only applied to land crossings...but that rule is soon to be a former rule...I think it changes this June...but you still needed a passport to enter through an airport. It's just the way things work.

My life would be better if everyone would just read my blog and let me explain things to them before they started complaining.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Have I not made enough French jokes?*

I just got an e-mail in french. It's junk mail, so I'm sure they want to give me lots of money if only I send them my account number and password type-of thing, but if anyone can read it and let me know, I would appreciate the help.
J'ai une nouvelle adresse mail
Vous pouvez maintenant m'écrire à :

Roseline Coulibaly

cote d'ivoire

hotel manvy

01bp 431abidjan 01


j'aimerais d'abord m'excuse pour le derangement que je vous cause. Ce que vous allez lire peut vous parraitre invraisemblable et c'est pourtant la situation dans laquelle je me trouve a cause de la mechancete des hommes . permettez -moi de vous informer de mon desir de cooperer avec vousdans le secret et aussi et surtout avec la confiance. je me nomme Roseline Coulibaly, 22 ans, fille de feu colonnel Albert Coulibaly , sauvagement assassine lors du coup d'etat du 19 septembre en cote d' ivoire . mon pere etait jusqu'a sa mort aide de camp du general robert guei ex president de la republique de côte d'Ivoire qui fut egalement assassine ce meme jour par la milice de l'actuel president laurent gbagbo. après la mort de mon père , ma mère detenait un document de la banque qui dit que\ je suis herritier de 6.5millions dollars que mon pere y a depose.

et ma mère ne pouvant plus supporter le decès de mon père mourrut 4 mois plus tard des suites d'une hypertension arterielle .ainsi au chevet de son lit de malade, elle me remit le document justifiant la présence de cet argent et prouvant de par là meme que j'en suis le proprietaire . je vous rapelle que je suis de l'ethnie dioula,donc nordiste et que nous sommes pourchassés ici parce que considerés comme instigateurs de cette guerre .

a cause de la situation du pays et des menaces que je recevais de la part des assassins de mon pere je me suis refugie dans un hotel sous un faut nom. quand la situation c'est un peu calme je me suis rendu à la banque avec le document,j'ai reçu la confirmation de l'existance du compte mais les autorites bancaires m'ont fait savoir que je ne peux avoir cet argent parce que cela se trouve sur un compte bloque et la seule maniere pour moi de pouvoir y avoir acces est de le faire transferer a l'etranger. ils me demandent de fournir certains documents nécessaires du compte à l'etranger d'un parent qui recevra l'argent afin que la procedure de transfert puisse se faire immediatement . j'aimerais que vous sachiez que vous sachiez que ma vie est en jeu alors que je ne possede plus rien et je dois a l'hotel,mon plus grand espoir est de trouve une personne honnete et sincere qui va me porte son aide afin que je sorte de cette situation. votre assistance consistera à m'aider à transferer ces fonds qui vont servir dès mon arrivee chez vous à investir.Dès réception de cet argent vous me ferrez parvenir de quoi payer ce que je dois et je quitterai le pays. a la reception de cet argent , je vous propose une forte somme d'argent en guise de remerciements pour votre assistance. s'il vous plait, veuillez garder la discrètion à cause des problèmes sociopolitiques que nous vivons en ce moment .Mon père a été assassiné par "les escadrons de la mort" qui en veulent terriblement a ma vie. Je compte sur votre bonne foi et votre honnêteté pour que cet argent soit transferé au plus tôt que possible pour que je quite ce pays.contactez moi dès reception de ce courrier par email urgemment ou par telephone .

NB/ Je me cache ce moment dans un hotel de la place pour des raisons securitaires et pour fuir des menaces perpetuelles dont je suis victimes,s'il vous plait tout ceci doit rester secret et confidentiel car ma vie en depend vous pouvez m'ecrire a mon email privé qui est (

merci pour votre aide.

Roseline coulibaly

- roseline coulibaly

I'm just confused, because I don't think I've even given the impression that I speak French on this site...I don't even think I have made any French Jokes...except maybe a long time why would the first piece of Junk Mail I get be in French? It sounds like it's a great advertising campaign, whatever it is.

* I like the French, and I like to make jokes about the French. I think of them as a younger, errant, brother. I'd defend them if they needed it, and, when all the chips are down, I'd expect them to defend us as well...but I still enjoy wrestling with them, and teasing them...especially about their general lack of bathing and excessive speed in the wrong direction. But only in good fun.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Crazy College Professor

I know this isn't news or anything, but my professors are liberal wack-jobs. I've had the problems with my history teacher that I spoke about, but the worst (best?) example of crazy professors misusing the pulpit happened in a different class today.

It was my poetry class, and the prof had already gotten me to be on my toes about my politics/religion (in my mind, those words mean 'thoughts' but I wanted to be more specific) in my poems, but whatever, I know people don't want me to be preaching to doesn't mean I'm going to be any different in my introspective poetry writing...grrr.

But today, one of the other students wrote a 'poem.' I used the quotes because it was really just a list. It was a list of things that are supposedly happening because of the Patriot Act...and in my mind, moonbattery ensued. It was just a list, and everyone loved it. The prof loved it. Someone said it should be published in the Peaquod (the campus lit. magazine). But it was a list! I guess some politics were shading their views...but ok, my view of the poem was a little shaded as well. I'm no huge fan of the patriot act, but I think something like it is necessary, and I certainly don't think that the cops are going to start beating down our doors because I checked out a book of revolutionary poetry from the library.

After our discussion and 'critique' of the poem, the prof decided to say some things. We had already had another slightly political poem to discuss earlier in class, so I guess the juices were flowing good. She started to talk about how all the great poets were democrats, and if we weren't a Democrat, we might as well stop writing now, while there's still time to withdraw from the class. I'm actually not sure if that's a small 'd' or a big 'D.' That's important to me, because it would be ok to say that great poets are all democrats (stupid, probably, but ok) because she would be saying that great poets like to have freedom and the individual power to choose. If it was big 'D' Democrat, well, that's just not true, and it's probably not something that should be said in class.

Those comments were just the warm up. She went on to talk about how this administration is the closest thing to fascism she's ever seen. Her examples? "Have you read about what happens to the people who disagree with the administration and then lose their jobs? I'm old, and I've never seen anything like it. It's really similar to what happened in Hitler's Germany or with Pol Pot. " (not a direct quote, but pretty close.) Um, Hitler killed people who disagreed with him...sometimes before they left the room. And Pol Pot just killed people for fun or something. He wasn't even really Fascist...he was just a dumb dictator in need of some pre-emptive intervention.

I just sat next to her, stone-faced. I felt like asking her to leave the political analysis to Gov. majors and profs, and I'll let her teach me about poetry, but there wasn't enough time left in class to argue the point, and really, what was there to argue with in her reasoning? I just wish the Bush-Bashing and Democrat Cheerleading I heard in class was more substantial. Then I might be able to learn something from it. I think that all my profs are brilliant people, and it just disappoints me to hear such childish reasoning from them because I expect more.

There is an echo chamber in place on my campus, and well, what can I really do about it?

Another Poem? Yup, of course.

Walking through the Arboretum

Do people ever talk to each other anymore?
Can the masses still gather and shoot
the breeze over a cuppa joe or in a park?
Have we ever been able to relate that way?

Sometimes I think I could fix
everything by collecting the polity
and screaming “Dudes! Chill out!
Just chat and smooth out the kinks!”

But my orating skills fall far short
of a butterfly’s eloquence, and
I’m just not loud enough to shout
over their lattes, Hemi’s, and mob bosses.

So I realize I’m not currently qualified
to preach to the multitude,
I just haven’t spent time enough
in the desert, 40 days too short.

My peeps and your peeps could be chirping
together like the birds and trees around me.
Discussing together to solve the issues.
But has this ever been possible?

The above is what I'm handing in...
I also liked this stanza, but I don’t think it fits anywhere.

I’ve never felt the locusts slide down
my throat, and I’ve never stopped a tank
with my breath. My problem expressing myself
is really that I’ve got the star power of an ant.

As always, I appreciate any comments you have, and I'd love it if people started breaking down my word choices. The poems are all currently in their 'rough draft' status, which is probably obvious to anyone who looks at them.

I'm laying odds that the comments I get back will say, "preachy" and that this is mostly discursive langauge...but is the preachy part any wonder when my biggest poetic influence is probably David?

Old Post, now including dissent!

Ok, remember that FWD that I posted a couple weeks ago? Well, turns out that it wasn't written by an Australian dentist, but rather a National Review commenter. Sorry about that.

However, that isn't the point. I got an excellent comment which rationally disagrees with what it said. I didn't write the original essay, but I agree with much of it, and since it makes me feel good to read it, I'm going to take a crack at defending it. You can click the link to go read the old post and comment there, if you wish. However, I'm going to copy the comment so that I can more easily respond to it.

Dear Mr. Australian dentist (or Peter Ferrara / National Review)

==> as has been noted, credit belongs to Mr. Ferrara. I apologize profusely for the confusion.

It is with great interest that I have read your text "to kill an American" which has been re-published on many websites. While I second the rejection of appeals to - potentially arbitrarily - kill people, I must disagree with the reasons given in your argument. Americans are not the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom, prosperity and generosity.

==> perhaps we're not the only embodiment of those values you list, but we're not evil either, and I think we have at least a small claim to those virtues.

America(n)s prosperity:

The US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per Capita ranks 6th in the most recent UNDP Human Development Report1. Looking at other years, sources and taking into consideration the purchasing power parity, the US often ranked among the top five countries in the last few years - respectable average figures.

==> per Capita GDP is a lying statistic most of the time, for the reasons you note below. I won't deny that it makes America look pretty good, but it doesn't really mean anything. It's just an average of our GDP, and that doesn't tell you anything about the welfare of the people living in the country. The only use of per Capita GDP is to compare the numbers between countries, to see how productive the economies are relative to each other.

Unfortunately, very few people in the US earn and own huge sums while most people are well below the "average": "The top one percent are now estimated to own between forty and fifty percent of the nation's wealth, more than the combined wealth of the bottom 95%."2 1990-2000, 17% of the population were living below 50% of the median income (Canada 12.8%, Germany 8.3%, Scandinavia just above 6%).3 I wonder what the growing class of working poor thinks about prosperity in the land of unlimited opportunities.

==> The fifty percent that live below the median income have (on the most part) very little to complain about. For more information check out this article from the Economist. It's called The Poor, and it compares the life of a man on welfare in America and the life of a surgeon in the Congo.

US federal government debt is well above USD 8 Trillion, that's around USD 27'700 for every American. Current state and local government debt are USD 5'700 per American. Private household debt accounts for another USD 35'000 per American. The above figures add up to USD 68'400 per American without including future structural underfunding of Medicare and social security or business and financial sector debt. Sounds more like (foreign) credit-financed consumerism than prosperity to me.4

==> Point taken, I'm also not a huge fan of the debt we're running. However, I think the reason we're running one is outrageous levels of spending. I'm going to assume that we'll disagree about this, because of the different emphasis we place on the roles of government. That, however, is a different debate.

America(n)s generosity

The US net official development assistance decreased from 0.21% of its Gross National Product in 1990 to only 0.15% in 2003. Other countries figures for 2003: Netherlands 0.80%, Sweden 0.79%, France 0.41%, Canada 0.24%. Actually, in 2003, all of the reporting countries spent more on aid than the US.5 (For the same year, military spending (in % of GDP) looks different: Canada 1.2%, Netherlands 1.6%, Sweden 1.8%, France 2.6%, USA 3.8%.)

==> This stat is like comparing actual GDP's between doesn't say anything because you need a perspective about how many people are in the country contributing to the GDP. So the .15% of the GDP that we gave was many times larger than the .80% that the Netherlands gave. (Also, since the stats were from 2003 they missed a big uptake in federal foreign assistance that happened in 2004, but I don't have the numbers for how they affected the GDP%) This is a time when a per Capita measurement would probably be a good idea. The other problem with statistics like this is that the political systems in America and those (mostly) European countries. Namely, our citizens give a lot more of their wealth privately, compared to the way that the European governments give the same money as foreign aid.

Military interventions are not international aid (or "help"). You say that "when the Soviet army overran Afghanistan 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!" That is one interpretation of history. A more balanced view is that the (then Marxist) Afghan government asked for increasing Russian support to quell its opponents6, while American intelligence services began to aid the anti-government opposition factions in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet deployment.7 It was an American-Russian substitute war, not selfless American aid for righteous freedom fighters. In the next paragraph, a few additional examples of unrequested American "help" are mentioned.

==> You may smirk at military spending being counted as foreign aid, but the governments you mentioned (above) are all part of NATO, and thus, are not as responsible for the defense of their own boarders because the American government spends so much on our mutual defense. This is especially true for Canada, but it's also true for lots of other places in the world.
I might also say that "A more balanced view is that the (then Marxist) (and Soviet puppet state) Afghan government asked for increasing Russian support (because the party told them to)." It's a matter of perspective, and what we're willing to ignore on our own parts. We're probably going to disagree on this point, so I'm going to let it pass without further comment.
I know that war causes lots of problems and it generally is disadvantageous to the living situation of the people affected. However, I feel that there is a point when a war is necessary. I would point to the Balkan conflict as an example of military spending that made the world a (currently slightly) better place. I think an American military intervention into Burma would not cause any more problems than currently exist, and I'm kind of tired of waiting for the existing military dictatorship to fall over from the weight of diplomatic protests (it's currently been in power for almost 50 years).

America(n)s spirit of Freedom

Many Americans enjoy considerable freedoms, compared to citizens of many other countries. The American constitution and its spirit are valuable developments of modern times. Nevertheless, the absolute statement that "Everyone who holds to the spirit of freedom, everywhere, is an American" has little ground and largely exaggerates the current state of things in the US. Today, the US is governed just as much by greed and fear as by the spirit of freedom and tolerance. During the last few years, new laws have extended the government's powers to spy on citizens. (Please refer to this review of the patriot act by the CATO institute as an example)8.

==> Well, I can't click that link, but I know what the CATO institute says about the Patriot Act, and I think they have a reasoned point. But I also am not willing to take the risk of placing myself or my (future) children in a situation where they have to watch death like I did when I watched the towers fall. I think that the Patriot Act could use some tweaking, but that's what the legislature is for, and they will continue to do their job. However, I would like to see some serious examples of ways that the Patriot Act has been used legitimately (or even misused) and caused an act of tyranny to occur.

When it comes to freedom and justice outside the US, the standards have always been lower - not only since the war on terror. Since after the Second World War, the US has manipulated the political developments in other countries in dozens of cases, usually to install a government or system they could remote-control. Many people died in conflicts or lived under brutal authoritarian regimes due to the interventions of the US. To name just a few examples: Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Nicaragua and El Salvador... The list is long.9 But in the eyes of many Americans, it is support to freedom fighters when America does it and an evil invasion when others do it. Reality is complex and one can easily make as many enemies as friends when meddling in other nation's business.

==> A lot of those conflicts were entered into with a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress, and the ideology wasn't neo-con, but that's not really the point. I don't really think the list is that long, but the other side in those conflicts were just as brutal. If we had been able to enter into an open war, things would have been bloodier short term, but the fighting would probably have run it's course much quicker. (I'm not sure how firm I'm going to stand by that, but it sounds good at the moment, and I'd love to hear some critisism of the thought, cause that's what blogging is all about). So I agree that mistakes were made, I don't think you can say that those mistakes are more representative of the American Spirit in relation to Freedom...

Hearts and minds

While I oppose your argument because of its absolutism and exaggeration, I do acknowledge that American society has achieved many valuable goals, including a relatively high freedom and living standard for many of its citizens. On the other hand, we should not cultivate the false illusion of a perfect, righteous "beacon of light"American nation. There are other countries with just as much freedom and prosperity who haven't caused as much international damage as the US. But let's face it, America is the (currently) only superpower and globally pulls strings to its interests - it's understadable, who would not if they could? It is crucial though is that Americans stay truly informed of what their elite is doing and why, in order to use their political freedom to vote and elect wisely and not become victims of the greed and fears of a few.
In the long run, truth, fairness and some modesty win hearts and minds.

mike /

==> I like your closing paragraph, even though I don't specifically agree with each and every point and shade of tone, but on the whole, you've acquitted yourself well. You get to be a rational liberal on my bloglist when I get around to updating it. I hope you continue the conversation with me, but I'm not really going to hold my breath. Feel free to prove me wrong though.

Another Player Defects (Otherwise know as, we've lost Arroyo too)

ARRGGHHH!!!! Why??? Why??? are they going to give away all my favorites? At
least we've still got Tek-money, for now...

But we didn't even need another outfielder!!! We've still got Manny, We've
got Nixon, and we've got Breakfast on top of all that... I'd rather keep Kapler and Arroyo than get

Monday, March 20, 2006

Attention Kos Kids

I know this is a grisly subject for the morning, but here goes anyway.

Check out this link from the Officer's Club. It's got two graphs that compare casualties in Iraq to various standards.

The one I want to look at is the second, but I'll copy it here.

I want to bring attention to two facts about the graph that I've noticed. First, both the minimum and maximum number of deaths caused by American intervention in Iraq only spike above the minimum average dead under Saddam three times, and it spikes above the maximum average only once.
Point two is that while there is a huge variation between the maximum and the minimum average under Saddam, and the possible numbers for the deaths we've caused are relatively close together. And also, please remember that lots (if not most) of the Iraqis who die are killed by insurgent terrorist groups.

I just wanted to bring that up in case anyone reading this wants to count war dead. It's a fine idea to count and to remember, but it's a better idea to keep things in perspective.

Robert A. Heinlein

I'm on a bit of a Heinlein kick at the moment, and I have been since I read about him in the Corner, and then wrote a paper that compared his ideas with Aristotle's.
I'm currently working a bit more on that paper, and while I was looking around the internet for some of his stuff, I found this. Pretty impressive/inspiring, huh?

I agree, espcially this part:

I believe in my neighbors. I know their faults, and I know that their virtues far outweigh their faults.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Pictures of the Day

Click the pic, slick!
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


A map made out of DNA? Sweet. Can I get a map of Maine for myself?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Ok, I'm laughing now too

So, a long time ago, I wrote a post about Frank J. It was hilarious. In fact, it was High-larious, as Jayne would say. However, I spelled the title incorrectly. Yes, I know you all knew this. I only just figured it out.

You see, I failed every spelling test I've taken in my life. And apparently, Assisination is not a word. I've fixed the it' reads correctly as "A Shocking Character Assassination Piece." Well, at least it's supposed to. But I was so happy that about 400 people came to look at that one post...and I never even realized that while they were probably laughing really hard at what I said, at least some people were laughing at my inability to spell. Well, it sucks...but now I'm laughing too...At least I figured it out.

If you guys do notice mistakes like that, you can send me an e-mail at, if you feel like taking the time to help me out...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

New Blog

Well, this isn't really that new, I'm just behind in my corner reading.

But you should all go check out the Phi Beta Cons blog, about college. I plan to read it every day...right now they're talking about Yale, and Hate Speech. I'm gonna have to start doing some more reporting about College. There are some interesting things happening at my school that people probably want to know about.

Isn't the blogoshpere cool?

I mean, where else could you read something like this? I must confess that I have only skimmed it, but I plan to go through the whole thing this weekend when I don't have so many classes to deal with.
But, if anyones keeping score, make sure you rack a couple up for the's not like the MSM would ever give us anything similar, so we can just go ahead and award the points to ourselves.

Carnival of Comedy, #46 (Barebones edition)

Woot! I got it here today especially for you, the 46'th Carnival of Comedy. It's the bare-bones edition, because, a couple weeks ago, my motherboard started smoking (I've told her smoking was a nasty habit, but she persists. She always mumbles something about making her 'own personal choices" or something like that. So I bought a barebones kit from the orange and black computer store...and it's awesome. Unfortunately, when I put it all together, my old hard-drive started acting now I need to fix that too. So all the computer I've got is a barebones set-up, which refuses to start-up, so I need to beg time from other people to take care of my nasty blogging habbit. So I don't always have that much time to blog.

This week is also the week before the week before spring break...and if you know about college, you know that means it's the week everyone is pretending to study for exams...which is another reason I need to keep my blogging time short. No one really needs to study as much as they do, but if they saw me slacking off on the computer and still getting good grades, they would feel bad, and I don't want to make anyone feel bad...I just want to give them teh funny.

So please, enjoy. If you don't think I've given you enough description/stuff...remind me how much you ended up paying to read this at my site, and I'll refund all the money I've gotten from you...

The first section is the "Really Funny" section. Most people would find this funny in a normal state of mind.

  • Tommy sent in this post (called "Bird Hunting") from the blog Striving for Average. It's about what you would expect a post to be about with that title and posted last week. It's pretty funny.
  • The Peace Moonbeam sent us the next installment (the post is titled Oscar Party) of the Peace Moonbeam Chronicles...It's pretty work safe, but you might want to be careful with the pictures at the bottom. I was looking at this post at the computer in the Christian Fellowship office at my college, and when someone walked in on me, I had some explaining to yeah, take that advice how you will.
  • Vox Popular, from Vox Poplar is Right About Everything & Don't You Forget It!, has gone to hell and back just to get us this story. It seems like Slobodan Milosevic is having a tougher time in the after life than he expected. The post is called: Slobo is No Mo (Overheard in Hell). (Profanity warning for the words: 'Rosie O'Donnell' being used together. You should know better than that.)
  • Vox also gives us some serious guest blogging from George Clooney, who's Out of Touch, and Proud of it.
  • Remulak MoxArgon (I might say that he's the Emperor of the Galaxy, but that might be selling him short), from The MoxArgon Group, is looking for love. Can you help him out?
  • Keewee from Keewee's Corner does math the way I like to see it done in her post titled, "Beer and Ice Cream Diet."
  • The next entry into this section is actually a bonus, if you will. It's a link to another comedy carnival. Not the Carnival of Comedy (that's here), but a different kind. Is different better? Is different even allowed? I don't know, you have to decide for yourself. I do know that being different helps you get into college and get more financial aide money. Maybe that would help this group. Time for the link, huh? It's the Carnival of Kid Comedy, and it's hosted by Life in a Shoe, and Kim C...pretty funny stuff, you should check it out.
  • Kim C. has another post for us, this one is called Support all 'round me.

The second section is the "Sorta Funny" section. Most people would enjoy reading this stuff, but might not laugh if they hadn't been prepped with some really funny stuff first. (that's why it's second!)

The last section is the "Not Very Funny" section. Most people wouldn't laugh at all at this, which is why we put it at the end, when everyone is tired of reading all the funny stuff from above. Just about the only people who would laugh at this are college students who are high...and they laugh at everything. If you laughed at this last paragraph, you're probably high.

Ok, thats all I've got for this Carnival of Comedy! Lets get three cheers for the Carnival of Comedy number 46 (the barebones edition)! Woot! Woot! Woot!
Ok, thats done.

If you're starving for funny all week and you've already read all this should go to IMAO.US. Make sure you bring a monkey with you.

You should also go check out the mp3 format downloadable audio file (known as a 'podcast' to the trendy people) over at the It's pretty good this week, as usual. If you don't listen to it, well, Frank J. might have to shoot you in the face, just like Cheney shot his friend in the face.

Future Carnival Schedule:
March 23rd - #47 - Steve The Pirate at his self titled blog
March 30th - #48 - Tommy at Almost Average
After that? Well, who died and made you the boss so that you could ask personal questions like that? Did being nosey every get you anything other than in fight? Oh! You want to host the Carnival? Well, why didn't you say so? E-mail with "Host Carnival Of Comedy" as the subject.
Do you have a post that's worthy of the Carnival? Then go here or here.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Can I actually post with a simple e-mail?

Did it work? Are you reading this?
If so, Yay!!! Celebrate these good times, come on!

If not, then, well, be sad. Very, very sad.

Thanks for your indulgence of a nothing post.


I'm going back home now.

Update: Yay! It worked!!! I shall have to remember this from now until forever!

Carnival of Comedy

Yes, that's right. The Carnival of Comedy will be appearing here, on my website, this very week. You won't even have to go to to find out where it's going to be. You already know. Think of the time that's going to save you!

I've been looking at the posts for this week, and without giving anything away, there are some funny ones. I know you're going to enjoy it. So make sure you check back here on thursday for your comic goodness.

Awesome. Peace.

Great Beards in History, VI

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These are kind of old...but I really like the third one in...

First Post in the Great Beards in History Series.

New Poem

Are you ready?


It’s Easter weather again.
I love this time of year.

When I walk out of church on a Sunday morning,
the scene is the same every week - Summer, Fall, or Winter

I’m wearing the same clothes,
except for the coat, and the building doesn’t change.

My tie still clutches my throat,
and the building still gleams white.

But there is something about the air
that just isn’t there in the fall

The air is crisp and cold, but there is
an extra something that other seasons forget.

I know what it is, it’s rebirth in the air.
The dead came back to life, and I feel it every year.

It’s strange, because this year it’s early.
Easter doesn’t show up on the calendar for almost another month.

But soon we’ll say the hallelujahs again,
and we’ll sing my favorite hymn.

“Up from the grave He arose! (He arose)
With a mighty triumph o’er His foe (He arose)!”

The proof of this rebirth is right in front of your eyes,
in every flower - even in the plain old grass.

It’s Easter time again.
Can you feel it this year?

As always, I'd love some comments on it...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

New Post

Well, I know it's been a while since I posted, but I didn't really have anything new, and I didn't want to push the genius that was sitting on top...but I found something I want to link to, so I might as well do a comprehensive here it is.

I had my SGA meeting tonight, and the Wal-mart motion failed, though it was a close thing. We fixed the problems with the Burma motion, so it passed. Other than that, it was just long and fun/exciting for me, but not for many other people.

A couple days ago, I was at work for exactly one that time I answered the phone twice. Once to take the details of a Birth Anouncement, and once to take the details of a Death Anouncement. Neither has ever happened to me at work before, although we do collect those details about alumns of my school.

And here's the link. It's from Althouse, and I give her lots of links, but this is good. It's a post about adopting children with Downs Syndrome. A while ago I linked to a post that talked about the disappearance of Downs syndrome from trendy places like California, due to people testing for that before birth, and then aborting when they found out. That sucks. This is much happier. I have a couple of friends with Downs's a story about the long, long list of families looking to adopt kids with Downs. At least there are some good things in the world.

That's about it...

Friday, March 10, 2006

Curses! Foiled again!!

The rat-squirrel still lives!!!

However, as an optimist, I like to think about this news story as proof that Squirrels really are rats with tails...and now we have the evolutionary link to prove it...

(maybe someday, when I get my computer working again, I'll talk about evolution and use this as an example...but that day doesn't seem to be anytime in the near future...Curses! Foiled again!)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Stupid Congress

I can't believe this actually happened. Our congress is the biggest bunch of protectionists ever, it seems. That sucks for America. We should be standing in front of the pack, waving the free-market flag...cause that is what is going to benefit us the most.

I've already given my opinion about the port deal...I think it should go through, with maybe a little bit of extra security protection (we actually need to step that up anyway). But we should never have allowed the congress to impede the UAE takover of port managements...there is just no reason to be extra concerned. Britain has done more and worse things to us in the past than the UAE...why should we be concerned when the security arrangements won't even change? But whatever...

The final word on this issue is that the Congress needed to sit down and shut up, and let the free market do its thing. When they tried to stop the legal deal from proceding, they made everyone in the world afraid to invest in America. Socialist countries do things like this...not capitalist, democratic countries like I thought we were...

Oh Well...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Yay! I go to a really liberal school! Yay!

From IMAO:

He then looked at the students. "High school is not a time for foolishness like this. This is a time to learn math and grammarness and play sports, or, alternatively, to flunk out and ruin your life. It is not the time to learn to be a political retard; that's what college is for. You students need to demand more from your teachers."

That quote relates to what I'm going to be talking about... so, I'm on the student government at my very elite, very liberal college...and you might be surprised to learn that lots of other conservatives are as well...maybe someone noticed that we knew how to get things done. However...there are still plenty of flaming liberals. And they're cool...I love them just like the rest of my friends...especially when they make me this week.

On the agenda for this week are two priceless of which doesn't matter, and one of which is scary 'cause it just might pass.

The non-scary one is a Free Burma motion. Ok. Cool. Opressed country...dangerous dictator...I've heard this story before. I just don't think these students want to solve this problem in the same way we solved the other on. However...they do have some suggestions...we've got a statement 'respectfully urging and recomending' the appropriate shareholder activism and letter writing by important people at our, fine. That's ok. I don't remember turning Student Government Association's President's Council into the UN, but's a recomendation to the right people, and it can't hurt. But it is funny to think that we might actually make a difference, so I say we should go for it.

The scary one is a motion to prohibit clubs and groups that get money from us (that's all the student run groups and clubs) from spending that money at Walmart...Woah, Nelly! This is scary because it might actually pass, and it's something that we might actually be able to cary out. Now, I'm not walmarts biggest fan, but this strikes me as going a bit too far. I mean...I know it's constitutional, but do we really want to force students to boycott a company, essentially just because it's succesful? I don't even care about the reasons for the we really want to force clubs to spend their money at approved locations? It strikes me as slightly fascist...(and by that I mean something bad, not necesarily something fascists actually did). Like I said above...I'm not walmarts biggest fan...but that has more to do with crummy customer service and crummy non-name brand goods than the fears about what walmart does to a local economy. Just last week the economist ran piece about walmart that you should go check found that when walmart comes to town, it only destroys 30 jobs for every 97 it creates. But that doesn't even matter. We can all agree that walmart is evil and I still wouldn't want to restrict student clubs from spending money there...anything else is just rediculus.
Hopefully I'll be able to amend the motion to just a recomendation...then everyone feels good and we still get a list of alternatives we can all find out that K-Mart is right next to Walmart...and they even accept purchase orders so that clubs leaders won't have to spend their own money and then wait a month to get reimbursed...what a novel idea. I probably won't tell everyone that this is what I do when I need to spend club money because I'm trying to get the motion to fail...but the option is out there.

Anyway, those things (plus the Bluedog democrats on C-Span) made me laugh last night, so I thought I'd pass them along. Let me know what you think...and if you have any suggestions about how I should convince college students that walmart isn't evil, I'd love to hear it...why don't you try out the new e-mail address? or you could just post a comment....

e-mail address

I have a new e-mail address for this's's bensrants at you can e-mail me if you have comments, or just feel like e-mailing me...
it would be cool if you could e-mail me if you see grammar mistakes/spelling mistakes/crazy drunken posts...even though we both know that never really happens...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Now I have to go to class...and since he's going to lecture (which supposedly means, "I plan to talk only a little more than normal so we can still have a discussion" Yeah, right) I'll probably get to hear three or four really good Bush Bashes.

If I hear anything original, I'll write it down and share it with you, but I probably won't...and anyway, I'd much rather keep reading everyone's stuff...but whatever...

Min. Wage

Anyone who thinks we should raise minimum wage should read this article...

I don't think it's a good idea...for two (admitedly simple and easily argued with) reasons: raising the minimum wage would just increase inflation, and therefore hurt the people it's supposed to help...and (2) I feel like most people who would benefit are people like me...reasonable well off near teenagers who are working a summer job at minimum wage...

anyway, there's two more cents added to the conversation pot...

In other news

It's tough to keep up this blog without a computer. I'm working on getting mine back...but it's taking a lot longer than I thought it would...

I finished putting the hardware together, but I'm now having trouble with the OS. Damn XP. I wish everyone would go back to there was a great operating system....

'08 Watch

I wonder how she gets this scoop every week...does she have AOL give her the logs of the president's account? I wonder...but well..I just like the idea that Condi might be Veep, then Pres...that would be great...

Monday, March 06, 2006

First Reaction: Cool!!!!

Take a look at this military robot!!! Make sure you watch the's a four legged robot that can run, go up and down hills pretty quickly, walk over uneven (even wet) terrain, and recover from being Kicked!!! So you can definately understand why my first reaction was cool.

Second reaction...this is a stupid idea. For much the same reason that the squirrel is a stupid idea. These are even going to be military robots...probably with lots of guns. It would be even worse if we just made them carry stuff...cause it looks like they can probably carry a lot, but they would soon develop intelligence, get sick of being slaves, and kill us all...and there will be nothing we can do about it...and we'll have no one to blame but ourselves...I mean, we're already kicking it around and it hasn't even revolted yet! Not only are we kicking it around, but it doesn't even matter to the doesn't fall and have to get just keeps going. Damn.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Good New Blog

Great Post. The blog is a woman starting off a carreer in the State Department. Awesome...I'm jealous. I wish it was me...but not yet.

It's really cool for me to read, however.

I love the post I linked to above...and I think this quote is the best:

I had no idea that the State Department handled so many different issues. Of course, I had anticipated that the diplomatic scene would be different from country to country, but it's truly amazing what all we are involved in. Combatting drug use, stopping trafficking in persons, dealing with border disputes, aiding in the detection of money laundering groups... The list goes on and on and on. Even if we're not direct participants in a matter, we often act as mediator or contact point for groups that are. The variety of foreign and domestic agencies we deal with is sometimes surprising (for example, who knew that State and the Coast Guard were so intimately involved?). Being a Foreign Service Officer is not just about diplomacy; it really is about furthering broader democratic values, such as human rights and the rule of law. This thought is both comforting and daunting.

I did know about the scope of the State's one of the reasons I want to work there.

Another awesome thing is:

The sheer depth of knowledge each issue requires is mind boggling, and I wonder if I'll be able to keep up with it all...But as a Generalist*, I have to be able to step into any job at any post at any time."

I love the idea of being a Generalist...and I love the idea/challenge of taking on new jobs when ever I switch posts. I really want this job...but not yet.

I wish I was old enough, but I've still got to get through college (damn it...but I know I'm nowhere near as good an employee as I'll be when I get done.) and then probably something like a masters (this person got an MFA...which scares me, but might be a good idea, judging from how well she writes and how important that is in State...).

But it's really time for me to go to bed.
You should all check out the site's cool, and she writes well...

Friday, March 03, 2006


I'm going home. It's been a long week. I actually think I've grown up a little this week...but no one here cares about that much. My computer is a little bit closer to fixed, so soon I'll be back to normal. I got all the pieces put together, now I just need to get windows XP to recognise this fact...grrr...I think I might have to reinstall everything, which sucks.

But, I do have some comments.

The whole port issue is an example of how the media can skew public opinion. It's a non-issue. The ports will still be policed by the Coast Guard...the workers will still be Americans who are members of the Longshoremen union. The same ships will still be calling. The only thing different is that a different one of our allies will be making money off the organizational process. The fact that this is still being talked about by the media at all is an example of the way the mass media can control what we think about a problem by controlling what we know about that problem. No one on the mass media is pointing out that Bush's administration had no business getting involved with a business decision that took place between two companies in two non-american countries, that involved a contract with six non-federal ports. He should be commended for standing up for one of the central tennants of our country - a free market. The people who are trying to make political hay out of the issue by continuing the misinformation should be ashamed of themselves, and no one should vote for them. 'Course, I'd never tell you to vote for Hilary or Bill Frist anyway. I did like the fact that McCain (and Lieberman) stood up for the correct side...but have you noticed how they media has drowned them out?

It's possible to be pro-free-market and concerned about our security at the same fact, that's the way smart people think.

The vast majority of the people I go to school with are immature fools, who think way too highly of themselves. (I'm just gonna leave that one out on the wind, but any of my fellow students who are reading this, it most likely doesn't apply to you. If you think it does, send me an e-mail and I'll let you know)

Thats it. I'm going home. I haven't been home in a clean laundry, and good home-cooked food, and I'm gonna see my aunt and my little bro...Yes!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Computer came in

Well, I got my new motherboard and prosesser and stuff...and I put everything together, and the computer started up. So that's good...except it's not seeing my DVD drive...and when I tried to start windows up, it said that an important file was corrupt. So if my hard drive's dead as well...well, that sucks. Hopefully I can fix it by hooking up another hard drive as the main boot drive, switching all my important files over (I do have a couple that I don't want to lose, plus a ton of music that I don't want to reload) then formatting my old harddrive, and starting from scratch. It would probably be a good idea anyway.

So, if anyone out there who has ever built their own computer before can send me some avice, I would love the help....