December 11, 2007
Expectations are so powerful that we often live up to them. I remember being in college one day, thinking how did I get here? Well, I had the means, and it was expected of me. So, mostly, I just followed that route. I was expected to drink socially. I was expected to never do drugs. I was expected to get good grades. I was expected to abstain from sex. And I just kind of followed these expectations. So, while I understand the argument that kids are going to have sex and that we better do whatever we can to make it safe for them to do so... I also believe that by schools providing free contraception, we are saying that we expect you to have sex. And expectations are powerful.
December 10, 2007
December 7, 2007
December 6, 2007
"Welcome to America, the land of the she-males." That has to be what many immigrants thought when they entered New York Harbor. Their greeting given by this half-Grecian, half-Amish, giant muscled statue that they want us to believe is a lady? Granted, in our coinage, we got it a little bit closer. But, these immigrants are accustomed to sculptures of Athena, Venus and Aphrodite...and we give them a female version of Hulk Hogan? That's not the America I watch people die for.
December 5, 2007
December 4, 2007
December 3, 2007
Roughly ten years ago, I walked into a public men's room and there was an old man in there standing in front of a urinal, with both arms raised and pressed against the wall, as if taking advantage of this downtime to take a brief upper-body nap. Frightened, I quickly left the men's room and told the story to all my friends. We laughed at the weird old man and his old man ways. A decade passed, and last Friday I walked into the empty men's room at work and stood before a urinal. It had been a tough week. And I was exhausted. Before I knew it, my hands were raising and I slowly leaned against the wall in front of me. Quickly realizing what I had done, I lowered my hands and became instantly ashamed. I have become that which I scoffed.
November 30, 2007
Hypothetical: A man is walking down the street and sees a girl about to be hit by a car. He jumps in front of the car and pushes the girl out of the way. She lives. He dies. Was the sacrifice worth it? The problem is that we only get to see the consequences of the reality and not the alternative hypothetical. What will she do with her life compared to what he would have done? How will his death affect others compared to how hers would have? So, what about Iraq? This logic clearly can not justify the reasons for our intervention. But, it does bring up a interesting thought regarding what we should do now, and pondering whether our sacrifice was worth it. Saddam Hussein, a man who was ethnically cleansing his country through mass rape and murder is no longer able to do so. How many people would have been killed had we not intervened? Could it possibly be more than have died in this war? Would he have bartered his way into a nuclear weapon by now? Would he have used it? Or, let's say we walk out now, claiming that we can not stay in a situation we entered due to faulty information. Muslims around the world call it a religious victory awarded by God. The appeal of Islamic fundamentalism grows. What would be the outcome of that? Unfortunately, we won't really know whether or not any of this was worth it. Because, we'll only get to see the outcome of one side, whichever one happens.
November 29, 2007
So, we're sitting here waiting for the people of Cuba to overthrow Fidel and start a democracy. And we're not going to trade with them until they do, right? But, here's the problem. Let's say the people complain. Fidel replies, "It's America's fault. They won't trade with us because they're the great Satan. That's why you're poor." That's a good argument, right? So, we're sitting here hoping for the populace of that country to want to emulate us, but they might just think we're big jerks. And while this is happening, we're still trading with China, even though they're a Communist country. Maybe just because the lead paint on Hot Wheels tastes so good.
November 28, 2007
Read the following discussion, and choose the Beatle that best represents your view. (note, this was not an actual conversation had by these Beatles. The real names were changed to protect the idiots.) John: do you think it's a contradiction when someone wants to raise taxes for their own tax bracket to a certain level that they think is "fair", but does not currently willingly give that much to charity? Ringo: no. John: was jefferson wrong for owning slaves while he was trying to pass legislation to free them? Ringo: this was talked about recently on Bill Maher's show. I forget the exact argument, but he said that no, it wasn't wrong for jefferson to own slaves while doing that. And I'm not sure if I agree. John: well, judging by your above comment, you would? Ringo: think it's wrong? John: you would not. it's the same contradiction i gave above re: charitable giving. someone thinks something is right, but will only do it when it's illegal NOT to Ringo: charitable giving goes to a specific cause. raising tax revenue is expecting to get something back. ie: raise taxes so that everyone has health care John: ok, then why don't they willingly give that extra money to hospitals every year until they make it illegal not to Ringo: the goal is that there's a national effect, to raise the quality of life for everyone. giving to one hospital or one charity, by one person isn't enough. John: but if you believe it's the RIGHT thing to do, enough to make it MANDATORY for everyone to do it, why aren't you doing it right now? Ringo: the belief that it will have very little impact. John: does that really make sense to you? Ringo: yep.