A handful of men sitting in a hot room. Pondering the rights of man. The role of government. And a concept of freedom.
It’s revolutionary if you think about it. Pardon the pun.
Fifty six people representing 13 British Colonies. Their punishment for their treason would have been certain death. But each put their lives on the line for the chance, just the chance that they could break free of the chains that England demanded.
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Thirty five words to change the world forever. The ideas were not obvious to the people of the time, though we do consider them so now. But at the time, the concepts behind life and liberty were rarely spoken outside philosopher’s papers.
Reflecting back upon those men sitting in that hot Philadelphia courthouse, it’s hard to imagine the depth of their actions. Their punishment was certain. Their success was doubtful at best. The outcome of their actions was unforeseeable. All they knew is that they must try.
I think they would like this nation they birthed.
I take this opportunity to offer my thanks to a group of men, who used the courage of their convictions to change the world.
I have a hard time explaining sometimes. I’ve told some of my friends. I told my girlfriend. But I really don’t think I can really convey it.
High school sucked. A lot of teens say that, so it gets drown out in the noise. But for me, it really did suck. I lost count of the number of times I was beat up in 6th through 8th grade. It was a lot. I remember getting suspended for it once, because the bully (6’1”, 210lbs), caught in the act of kicking me while I was down, claimed I started it (5’5” 125lbs). By the way, for any reading in similar situations, make friends with the heavy metal, biker guys. It made high school somewhat easier.
I remember being told that I needed to find Jesus and get my life in line with his plan for me. By teachers as well as students. I remember taking 20 minutes of assignment time in physics class to be preached at by other students about the perils of being outcast in society if I didn’t tow the line. I remember the rocks thrown at me from across the football field during gym class with whatever insult they felt like adding to them. I remember losing myself in heavy metal music every morning on my drive to school just to prepare myself for the trials of the upcoming day, and to unwind at the end. I remember sitting alone in my room with a knife wondering if today was the last straw. I remember thinking that the best way to end my life would be to take as many of them with me as I could.
By senior year, I began to revel in being ostracized. I took freak as a compliment. Smiled and laughed as they insulted me. Fought back, and usually won (thanks Dad both for believing me and teaching me how to fight dirty), when they came after me. When my chemistry teacher started in on me, I responded by lecturing her on the perils of telling a student about what religious views he should have. I recall telling the Catholic students about the perils of assuming that their God would stop me from causing them great physical pain. I recall telling them in no uncertain terms that if damnation meant escaping them for eternity, I welcomed the hellfire.
They were vile people. Brought up that way by vile parents. Fortified by vile teachers. And it made me sick. In a graduating class of 200, I can honestly call none of them friends. A few fellow misfits. I won’t miss any of them.
I tried to skip graduation but my mother wouldn’t hear of it. I threw my yearbook away. Mom saved it. I told her I’d burn it if I ever got my hands on it. 10 years later, I stand by that.
I have done a good job of trying to forget that place. Today, it all came rushing back when I loaded up Fark to read my daily does of hilarious news.
There was a story on my school. It was a story about a Jewish student who suffered at the hands of her fellow students. Apparently her experience demonstrated the same tolerance that I had come to expect. She was left alone in class while the rest went to bible study. There were numerous school prayers (separation? Not in God’s country!). Numerous class assignments to discuss Christianity, but no other religion.
Complaints did not fall on deaf ears. It might have been better if they had. Her parents attempted to talk to the school board, but received little feedback. Afterwards, they were called on the phone several times and informed that the KKK was around and watching.
A former board member suggested that the mother might "disappear" like Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the atheist whose Supreme Court case resulted in ending organized school prayer. O'Hair disappeared in 1995 and her dismembered body was found six years later.
The final infamy came on graduation day. A day I’m sure she was excited about turned to ash. The pastor, in his invocation, issued the following statement.
I also pray for one specific student, that You be with her and guide her in the path that You have for her. And we ask all these things in Jesus' name.
Since then, the family has moved away. The father still lives there, because he needs the job, but the mother and children now live over two hours away. The threats scared them away.
Now, the school board says these are all lies. They have made claims saying the entire thing is made up.
I’ve lived through my hell there. I don’t have any trouble seeing the account as true. Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t. But if I had to bet, I’d say it did. Every word.
I’ll carry my scars for life. With time, I’ll forget. I’ll haze over it. I’ll put it out of my mind. The four years that were supposed to be my greatest, are just a stretch of time I do my best to forget. But from time to time, stories such as this will cause it to all rush back. My anger and hared for them have been pushed into the background, but I don't really think the fires have dulled over the course of a decade.
To my young Jewish friend, I can only offer you this. It will get better. The rest of the world is not like those bigots down there. Be strong. Don’t be afraid to approach new people. They’re not all vile. Don’t let the minds of small people hold you back from your true potential.
So, from time to time, I must unleash my exasperation with a product. Well, not really. Maybe it’s with the people who provide the reason for it’s existence.
Most people in the country like Oreo cookies. They’re simple. Easy. Great to dunk in a glass of milk. Twist them apart and chow down on the filling.
Over the past few years, Nabisco has been putting out a bunch of new varieties of Oreo. I don’t mind this in general. I can honestly say that I never really got into mint, peanut butter, or white fudge or any of the other odd things they’ve done with the filling over the years. To me, there are Oreos and Double Stuff Oreos. Extra filling is good, sue me. But hey, to each their own I guess. No skin off my back.
Anyhow, I was going along today, and came across a little review of their newest product. Oreo Dunkers. Basically, they change the shape of the cookie to resemble a Vienna Finger, if you’re familiar with them. And oblong shape, more narrow than a traditional Oreo. The idea being that this shape is easier to dunk.
Now, my question is simple. Who had a problem working out the process involved in dunking an Oreo before? I mean, there had to be a target audience. I want to know how these people managed to survive. Seriously. Glass, milk, cookie, dunk, munch. If this process isn’t one of the easier things you do in your day, maybe you need to reexamine the world you live in. Do we really need to reshape the cookie to make it easier?
Apparently the answer is yes. Still, it’s kind of disturbing that there was a call for this product. In all my Oreo dunking, I can’t say I’ve ever once thought “this is really inconveniently shaped for dunking. They should fix this!”
But that’s just me I guess
A few years ago, our government, in one of its most useful moments, created a telemarketer's "Do Not Call" list. It's wonderful. I've had hardly a moment's peace interrupted since.
However, this does not mean I don’t get to hear about it from time to time around the proverbial water cooler (otherwise known as the giant open area I’m forced to sit in for 12 hours a day). Take today for example. Some lady, who wasn’t bright enough to put her name on the ‘do not call’ list, so she got a call from a telemarketer. After saying no thank you a few times, the guy just wouldn’t give up. He asked to speak to the “man of the house”. So, she blew up and yelled at him until he hung up. She’s… umm… a bit of a militant feminist. So, today at work, she relays this story.
Her coworker attacked her for doing it. He said that while the comment was perhaps inappropriate, she shouldn’t abuse the telemarketer. It’s just a low paying job and it’s mostly done by people that are not very well off. It’s not like most people want to grow up and sell stuff over the phone. Then he went off into an analogy that basically said that you wouldn’t behave that way to a clerk in a store.
So, I’m taking a moment to rant here because if I stand up and take up this conversation, there is a good chance I’ll bash his larynx in with a baseball bat. Bear with me.
Telemarketers are different from just about every other class of people on the planet. The few other groups I can think of that are similar religious missionaries, and door to door sales. You’ll note the lack of sales clerk in there.
These things are similar because they all want something from you. But, because you don’t generally want to give it to them, they must aggressively seek you out on your own time. In your own homes.
They don’t want you to think about it, and come looking for their product. They want to push it on you. To force you to defend yourself against their sale. They don’t want you to think about it. They want to confuse you, pressure you, and take advantage of you.
For all of these reasons, I can not just let them be. They’re not just doing their job. They’re involving themselves in MY life. They’re taking MY time away from me. They’re refusing to allow me to make choices for myself.
Maybe life didn’t deal them a happy life with a condo in Honolulu, but I’m still waiting for that myself. There are a number of career options that require the same level of expertise as telemarketing. Most pay about the same. These people that try to take my time from me CHOOSE to do this. No one held a gun to their head. They just decided no to do more honest work. The penalty for that is that the people you annoy, get to abuse you until you go away.
My life is complicated. Well, not really. But there are aspects of it that are not obvious to outside observers.
I've been dating the love of my life for a long time. In about 2 weeks, it'll be nine years. The first four years or so was back in college. We’ve been living together for most of the time, to one degree or another.
That’s a long time. Well beyond the time most people stop dating and get married.
This isn’t to say we’re not committed to each other. Nor should it imply that we don’t want to get married. We do. We’ve discussed it many times, and I’ve asked her to marry me several times. She always says sure, but we never really get around to doing anything about it. There are a lot of reasons for that. I don’t particularly want to go into them, but let’s just say there are a number of issues that have helped us procrastinate. Not because we don’t want to, but because we consider the whole affair damned annoying.
Now, for the cheap seats, I’m going to say it real loud and clear.
NO! I DO NOT KNOW WHEN WE’RE GETTING MARRIED. NOR DO I FEEL LIKE LISTENING TO YOUR OPINION OF HOW LONG WE’VE BEEN DATING.
Thank you. Additionally
NEITHER OF US HAS EXPRESSED ANY DESIRE FOR CHILDREN, SO BACK THE FUCK OFF ALREADY
All clear? Good.
I don’t know why people feel the need to talk to me about this time and time again. I don’t feel pressured to get married. I don’t particularly feel that a ceremony will somehow make our relationship different in anything but legal status. Our commitment is already as cemented as it will ever be.
As for the child issue, I’m closer to 30 every day and damn if I feel like I’m mature enough to raise a child. Plus, they’re a serious hassle! And I’ve been told that should we find ourselves saddled with a tiny monster, it might be a good idea to cut back on drinking. And frankly, that’s a deal breaker for both of us!
Back on point, I’m tired of it. Don’t tell me what to do. Don’t offer snide comments about your preconceived notions of how a relationship should work and when I’m supposed to ‘move along to the next level’. No, I don’t actually think it’s just a matter of time before we start really wanting a child.
Thank you for you opinion. Next time you feel the need to offer it to me, consider me well informed on the issue and capable of making my own choices. Also, consider that the next time I hear this crap; I’m going to spend the entire conversation contemplating the best way to smash your larynx in.
Movie magic. I love it. And I hate it.
When you sit down to watch a movie, you knowingly suspend your disbelief to immerse yourself in the story. However, there are times that my mind just steps back and refuses to accept.
The funny thing is that the more fantastical the concept, the less likely it is to set off my alarms. A sci-fi movie wants to accept that all aliens are humanoid? The Matrix? I’m on board baby. I’ll forgive the counter always running down to 1 second left before it’s stopped. Want the ship to go past light speed? No problem.
The problem I’ve got is when things you know are incorrect are crucial building blocks to a movie. I have dozens of examples.
Why do sci-fi movies always show troopers standing up firing in lines? Didn’t that go out of fashion with muskets? Somehow, the future involves forgetting that firing from cover is smarter than standing up in the open.
I saw one on the sci-fi channel. There was a black hole. On earth. In a laboratory access tunnel. It was sucking wrenches, loose equipment, and people in. But the wall right next to it? Oh, that’s fine. Elementary physics surrenders.
Why, in Die Hard 2, don’t the planes all land in other airports around the region? There are about 60 bazillion of them within an hour of DC. The other traffic controllers in the area would certainly have no problem redirecting them. The movie kinda goes to hell unless you ignore that glaringly obvious flaw.
I saw Blade. I’m not proud. The vampire used sun block to prevent himself from frying in daylight. What? No vampire before him ever tried that? None? Really?
Remember the Core? Yeah. That film killed my disbelief in about 30 seconds flat. And that was the commercial. Sure it’s sci-fi, but for whatever reason, it fails to help me suspend my disbelief.
Gone in 60 Seconds. The guy out runs a HELICOPTER because he clicked his nitrous. Down a drainage canal. Right. Sure pal.
In Indiana Jones, they jump out of a plane on a raft. They hit a mountain side. Slide down it, and land in a raging river rapid. No injuries. Okie dokie.
I don’t mind a mild reversion of reality to help drive a movie home. I gotcha. And as a viewer I should be willing to surrender to the enjoyment of the film. But I swear there are things that my mind will not accept. Movie magic allows me to grant leeway. But somehow I’m incapable of ignoring something that should be realistic but becomes blatantly unrealistic.
I've yelled about this subject until I'm blue in the face. I've screamed so long and loud that I'm starting to hear the echoes of my words repeating time and time again.
The most important part of our democracy is encapsulated in the first amendment to the constitution. I honestly believe that. The second portion of that amendment in particular, derives the basic premise of democracy. I feel it’s more basic than the freedom of religion or the press. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say those rights are both derivative of the freedom of speech.
Our ability to stand up and speak our minds is the most basic concept in a republic, such as ours. We must be able to speak or we can not inform our leaders how we want them to run the country. We must speak at length about our religious, moral, political, and social values. In order to allow ourselves this right, we must allow everyone this most precious of rights. In order to speak about issues important to us, we must allow those that speak against us their right to speak, no matter how repugnant that speech may be.
That’s the problem with speech. Many people don’t seem to understand that speech is not just things we agree with. It must also be things we are repulsed by; things that cause us to stand up and take offense.
The shield of that freedom is wide. And we all stand behind it. There have been numerous attempts over the years to push people out. To say that certain things shouldn’t be said. They justify these claims by making claims against the speaker. By claiming the speech harms others. It hurts our children. It offends this or that minority. It’s treason to speak against the government. We don’t stand for that kind of talk. It's not American.
On top of that, we have tried to say that certain mediums do not apply as speech. Books. Photography. Movies. Music. Art. Clothing. Pornography. Games. Through the ages, one medium after another has come under fire.
It all seems to be a never ending quest to preserve some image of society as constant. To silence critics and radicals. To suppress ideas outside the mainstream. To brand groups as subversive. To protect society or our symbols. To isolate it from the changes in the world.
Our ability to speak our views is powerful. It’s not just my right to say this is my opinion. Or yours. We must stand up for our rights by allowing those we hate the most to have the right to speak their mind as well.
If we can’t do that; if we won’t do that, we’ve already given up our most precious possession.
To reject the word is to reject the human search. ~Max Lerner
SO, I got this email glurge from one of my friends. For some reason, he just doesn’t understand that I don’t pass them along to five of my friends. In fact, I very rarely do much more than look at the title before pressing the delete key.
For some reason, something about the title made me open it. I wish I hadn’t. I really do. Because now, I’m ranting about it. And despite my love of ranting, I would honestly prefer not to have a reason.
So, what did it say? Well, it told me to prove I’m an atheist. At this point, I cocked an eyebrow and moved forward, curious to see how the intended to prove something like a religious belief, or lack thereof.
The basic premise is that if you’re an atheist, you’ll have no problem standing up and saying the Lord’s Prayer loudly and clearly. Doesn’t have to be in a crowded room or anything. Just the next time you’re alone, say it out loud three times. The idea, I’m assuming, is that if you’re an atheist, they’re just meaningless words and you shouldn’t have a problem saying it.
And since that is just a collection of words, they suggest you follow that up with the following, also three times:
SATAN, IN THE NAME OF JESUS, I COMMAND YOU TO LEAVE MY MIND, BODY, LIFE, AND SOUL TODAY IN THE NAME OF JESUS!
YOU HAVE NO DOMINION OVER MY LIFE!
I SUBMIT MY BODY, LIFE, AND SOUL TO GOD, IN THE NAME OF JESUS!
THE BLOOD OF JESUS! THE BLOOD OF JESUS! THE BLOOD OF JESUS AGAINST YOU SATAN!
I APPLY THE BLOOD OF JESUS OVER MY LIFE!
I APPLY THE BLOOD OF JESUS OVER WHERE I LIVE AT!
I APPLY THE BLOOD OF JESUS OVER MY FAMILY!
I DO IT ALL IN THE NAME OF JESUS
THE BLOOD OF JESUS! THE BLOOD OF JESUS! THE BLOOD OF JESUS AGAINST YOU SATAN!
IN JESUS NAME I CALL IT DONE! AMEN AND AMEN!
IN JESUS CHRIST'S HOLY NAME I PRAY, AMEN!
Now, I made several attempts to describe to you the amount of eye rolling I did upon reading those words. There just aren’t words. If you can figure out some way of describing your reaction, I welcome it. I’m simply unable to capture it into words. What the hell is with the Blood of Jesus bit in there anyway? Seems a little overused in there. Maybe it’s just me.
Anyway, back to the rant, I’m curious how saying or refusing to say those two chants would offer any effective prove of religious beliefs. I mean, from a generic stand point, an atheist that stands up and spouts those two little ditties hasn’t proven his atheism. In fact, anyone hearing him might incorrectly assume he’s found religion, if only briefly. And there is always the problem that some people, even atheists, have a problem with screaming vows and prayers into the heavens that they don’t believe. Not because they’re afraid that God will smite them down for it, but because they consider it a LIE.
Finally, who gives a rat’s ass anyway? Prove you’re an atheist? That’s just about as reasonable as proving someone is Christian. Sure, he says he is and goes to Church, but it could all be a clever ruse. He could be a Buddhist, but you never know. He could be faking it. Why would we assume atheists are any less sure of their beliefs? If someone tells me they don’t believe in God, I tend to believe them, much like I believe those that tell me they believe in Allah, God, or Zeus. You believe what you believe.
There is no proof. And even if there was, I sincerely doubt it would take the form or reading prayers (and whatever that other thing was) out loud.
He’s out there. Somewhere. Among the great masses of humanity, he’s out there, among us. I know he meant to be helpful. He meant to stride forward and improve the world.
What he built was one of the more annoying communications devices ever. The users love it. They have no problem using it all damn day long. The problem is, those users bring the rest of us along for the ride.
What do I speak of? Oh, it’s the Walkie Talkie phone. In an ideal universe, these things are wonderful. Cheaper. Easier. The works.
But in practice, some users need to be shot. On sight. No warning. Just all of the sudden, shotgun to the face.
You see, the problem these people have is that they are DEAF. They must be. Because the volume on these things is high enough to block out jet engines. They’re holding them are arms length screaming back and forth. They bring all of us into their conversation. To make matters worse, every sentence ends with that even louder CHIRP! As if the 120 decibel conversations wasn’t enough to piss you off.
It’s another wonderful advancement that is destroyed by the inconsiderate wretches that use it.
Oh yeah. I heard Sally was sick.
Yeah. She’s out not at work today
Has anyone called her?
Don’t think so
So, what’s the plan for lunch?
Wanna grab something?
Fine. You pick.
I swear, they must die. Horribly. Something very slow, and painful. I’m open to suggestions.
In Northport NY, graduation time has come. And with it, high school year books have arrived. Like many schools, Northport allows seniors to post a little blurb about themselves. Quotes, memories, meaningful tidbits, a brief bio. That sort of thing. However, two students decided to put in something that has stirred up a bit of a controversy. So much so, that the school is rushing to find a means to cover up their quotes. Right now, they’re thinking stickers or replacement pages.
What could these horrible quotes be? They must be really bad, right? Well, see for yourself:
Strength lies not in defense, but in attack.
The great masses of people ... will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.
The problem with the quotes is their origin. They are taken from a translation of Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. And he was a very very naughty person. One might say he was an evil bastard.
However, despite his insanity on many things, nearly all historians and politicians agree that on some issues he was a certifiable genius. This is particularly true when you examine his ability to manipulate the public as a mass.
Look at the first quote. That quote, in all of its glory, is not Nazi propaganda. It’s a statement of strategy. Hitler’s view was clear. Regardless of the situation, military, or politically, you’re better off attacking your opponents then defending yourself. From a military perspective it was very successful for a very long time. Politically, his attack-first strategy got him in control of a country and eventually much of Europe (via the military use of this ideal).
Now, the second quote. It’s a clear cut example of how Hitler manipulated his people. It’s a famous quote that is as true today as it was when Adolf wrote it down. Many have even said it’s truer now and that the US government is a master of its usage. I have no doubt in my mind that this is the meaning intended by out little high school students here.
What I’m getting at is this: just because an evil bastard said something doesn’t mean it’s not true. In fact, I think the words of such evil bastards should be closely examined and given due thought. I would hope graduating students would be mature enough to look upon those words and recognize their meaning. I mean, they are mature enough to graduate, vote and join the Army. We should trust them to see a mass murdering bastard’s words and take them for what they are: a brief lesson in history. A lesson we should know well, lest that history repeat itself.
You may say that a yearbook is not the appropriate place for such statements. Perhaps that’s true. But the students thought enough of those quotes to include them under their senior pictures. Maybe their neo-Nazi fucks. Maybe they just wanted a chance to be controversial one last time. Or maybe they just wanted people to think about it.
I refuse to name the bitch. I refuse to give her the space in my rant. She has no respect for the dead or those they left behind.
You may or may not figure out my rant. I don't care. She wants the notoriety. The infamy. I refuse to name the bitch.
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.
I refuse to name the bitch.
And don'tcha come back, No more no more no more no more
God I wish it were that easy. Sadly, Jack Thompson doesn't go away that easy. I need some jack be gone roach killer or something.
Our intrepid explorer made his voice heard in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. You see, in a sad case, two boys, ages 16 and 17 killed a man. They shot him and beat him with the butt of the rifle. All because he wouldn't lend them his car. Nice, eh?
Anyway, good old Jack Thompson told the sheriff's office to look for M rated video games in the suspect's homes. You see, Jack has a theory. It’s a doozy. You see, the injuries sustained by the victim ‘raised a red flag’ in Jack’s tiny miniscule little mind. He says that the manner of the killing is “the same scenario in ‘Grand Theft Auto.’”
But he’s not done. He goes on. In what I think will go down as the stupidest thing anyone in the world has said this week, Jack followed that up with this one: “Nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you’re a hit man or a video gamer.”
I’ll give you a second to reread that a few times.
Take a few more. It’s alright. I know your brain is doing it’s best to pretend it didn’t read that.
Everyone ready to move on? Good. Yes, Jack has taken every murder that involves shooting someone in the face, and boiled it down to one of two simple causes. Professional assassin, or UT addiction. One or the two. A or B.
My buddy Google takes "shot in the face" and turns up 751,000 entries. The 3rd one amuses me. Do you think Cheney is hitman or video gamer? Heh.
Of course, what if I played the video game ‘Hitman’? Does that make it a little bit of both? No wait, I don’t shoot people in the face that, I garrote them. Hmm. Tough call. I can honestly say there is one person I want to shoot in the face though. I'd go for the kneecaps just to prove him wrong though.
The sad part is that the sheriff actually followed this guy’s advice. Executed a warrant and seized several M rated games. From a 16 year old. OOOOO. Pardon me if I don’t get excited. Motive, it is not. Besides, what the hell is the sheriff doing listening to a Florida lawyer who has been disbarred from Georgia and is under investigation in Florida? I mean, the crime happened in Louisiana. If it were me, I’d have told the fucker to sod off and stay out of my investigation.
I swear. Every time this guy opens his mouth I want him to die in a fire just a little bit more. Fucking idiot.
Hit the Road Jack and don'tcha come back
No more no more no more no more,
Hit the Road Jack and don'tcha come back no more
I swear to God, I'm sick of it. I'm so fucking sick of it, that I'm breaking my long standing moratorium concerning politic-centric posts.
When I discuss politics, I'm pretty moderate. I fully support come conservative motions, particularly small government motions. And some liberal, particularly social values. In general, I actually think about an issue before I step into it. Part of my thinking about it is actual genuine discussion about it. Get opinions, facts and impressions, take them and use them to guide my thought process.
Of course, over the last six years, many of the political discussions have focused on Bush. I don’t like Bush much. I won’t lie about it. I don’t think the country has improved because he’s our leader. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say I think we’ve taken a few steps back.
When I discuss whatever the political flavor of the day is with my neo-conservative friends, we seem to fall into a pattern. I bring up a topic, say... the NSA wiretapping, and within a few minutes, the only thing they want to talk about it is Bill fucking Clinton. Cries of ‘But Clinton did’ this and ‘Yeah, but Clinton did’ that. Drives me up a fucking wall.
My goal is not to discuss the previous 42 presidents and particularly not the last one. I could give a flying rats’ ass how Bush’s support of Terri Schiavo was much like something Clinton did. Nor did I feel like comparing current military recruitment levels with those of Clinton’s era. Likewise, there is not a single iota in my body that sees the relevance of the Lewinsky perjury when compared to a discussion of Bush’s claims about WMD.
Quite frankly, I’m sick of it. So, here is my official rule from here forward. Any attempt to derail an discussion of the current President’s policies by comparing them to non-similar policies of ANY former President will result in my immediate and total discounting of your point of view on the subject. If the Presidents involved are Bush and Clinton, that brush off may overflow into all of your political views and not just that lone topic. Further, I will strongly recommend, to your face, that you should perhaps consider dying in a fire. For the good of the species.
They want to stop porn. They think pornography leads to rape and sexual assault, so they want to stop it. That's the theory behind some folks in Jackson County, Indiana at least.
They’re a pretty conservative group. They have been unsuccessful stopping the businesses from getting licenses and permits. Not luck preventing the sale of porn in court. So they have decided to fall back on an old classic.
They take pictures of people going into and out of nudie bars and porn shops. Then they post the pictures online so that the community can see who frequents the place. In theory, he’s so ashamed, he stops going to said establishment, stops buying porn and because of that will never rape a woman.
First off: people go to porn stores still? Heh. Silly non-internet using fools.
Secondly, shame is a good tool. It works really well. But only if your victim... I mean… target is actually ashamed. Me, I’d give them the middle finger, put a big smile on may face, and hold up my porn for the picture. I’m not ashamed of porn, or my porn collection. Thus, their efforts would be wasted on me.
Finally, even ignoring all of the above, the entire concept is based upon a misconception of the cause of rape. Rape is not a crime of lust. People that are horny all the time are not driven to rape. People that masturbate all the time aren’t serial rapists waiting to happen. Rape is a crime of violence and control. Not of sexual attraction. It’s enforcing your will over others. Control and domination. Not sexual gratification. Removing porn from your community will not somehow make women safer from rape or sexual assault.
But hey, maybe the people buying porn out there are more ashamed of their porn than I am. I know I’m not as risk for raping someone, despite… ahem.. years of experience. I also know that I don’t care if someone takes a picture of me. Maybe I’d be slightly annoyed if they attached my name, but that’s just because I don’t like my name on the internet in any form. But I’d have no special annoyance because they attached my name to a picture of me buying porn.
Maybe I’m just not ashamed.
Our parents love us. It's a basic precept that most people would agree with. Parents may get angry. They may say hurtful things. But for the most part, it's unconditional love. Or it’s supposed to be at least.
Which is why I don't understand the backlash so many people receive when they come out to their parents. Why does this affect mothers and fathers so greatly that they would say and do things so heinous as to irrevocably damage their relationship with their children? More than that, that rejection often leads people to seek out therapy to help them deal with the damage caused by their parents.
The topic comes up as I read a thread that has horror story after horror story about parents’ reaction to discovering that their child is homosexual. More importantly, regardless of why you believe it’s a sin or disgusting or whatever, why would you ever go so far as to cast your child out of your life? More importantly, what do these parents seek to accomplish?
Has a parental screaming fit ever made a lesbian suddenly become attracted to men? Or has a gay man, upon being told he was damned, ever decided the home decorating isn’t his thing anymore (I kid, I kid). I have a hard time imagining anyone’s sexual preference being altered by parental decree. I can see some people deciding to hide their preference again under the terror of parental alienation. But I have a hard time picturing a case where Bobby really decided that he wasn’t interested in Jimmy anymore because his parents told him so.
Part of it is, no doubt, that my parents were some of the best parents in the world, so I can’t see them reacting that way were I to decide to switch teams. And that blind spot prevents me from totally understanding many of the problems other people have with their parents. But even more than that, I try to put myself in their position. I try to envision the position these parents are in, and why they make the choices they made. And then I try to envision my child coming to me and announcing they were gay.
No matter how many times I run through the scenario, I never come up with ‘demand my child go away and never return’. Maybe I just don’t fully understand the parents. But if you want them to change their ways, I don’t see how ostracizing your child helps that. It just takes away the influence you might have had on them.
Maybe this is just their way of expressing their unconditional love. Maybe they really think screaming and banishing their children will somehow correct them. Maybe they think that correcting a child is more important than being there for them. I don’t think a parent has to support or condone the choice. But I think a parent needs to be a part of their child’s life if they really love them.
But apparently, not everyone agrees with that.
Video games are a form of entertainment. Some games are intended for youth audiences. Others are not.
The ESRB ratings are an industry standard that rate games to make it easy to determine which games are appropriate for what audience. They offer the parents the ability to quickly and easily determine if a particular game is right for their children. Clearly marked on the container, the rating indicates both what rating the game has been given, and why that rating was assigned.
Now, many people, particularly legislators, have focused on video game legislation recently. The goal seems to be to make it illegal for stores to sell violent products to minors. There are a number of problems with this concept from a legal perspective including First Amendment issues stemming from the idea that violence should be treated as obscenity. I’m not a lawyer and I can not speak on that idea authoritatively, but it seems to me that violent video games aren’t the same as pornography. Clearly, it’s not treated that way in other entertainment industries. I have trouble imagining a relevant difference that should apply to video game violence as opposed to other types of media, such as books, music, movies and television. If you apply that same standard to those media, the restrictions on the free expression of the citizens seem obvious.
The average age of a video game player has been increasing for years. Already, that age has passed 30 years old according to the Federal Trade Commission’s study on the subject. Nearly half of all Americans play some form of video game. These adult gamers have expressed, through their purchases, a desire for games that include violent content. The industry has responded by creating titles that cater to these desires. If legislation is passed to enforce ESRB ratings, I think the industry will react by reducing the number of games available for these adult consumers. It will do that because the producers and retailers will be leery of frivolous lawsuits stemming from this type of legislation.
Parents have asked for legislators to do something about these violent video games. In truth, the problem is not the law. It’s parenting. It is not the role of government to play the part of nanny to the children of this country. The role belongs solely to the parents. Those parents need to step up and take responsibility for their children, their purchases and their recreation.
I support the concept. I don’t believe that children should be able to buy games that are rated for mature audiences. However, I sincerely believe that the best way to achieve this goal is not legislation. The best method would seem to be the model that the TV and movie industries have pioneered already: self regulation by the industry.
Already, parental controls are being built into the next generation of game consoles. These controls allow parents to prevent their children from accessing content based on the ESRB ratings in much the same manners as the television v-chip. Most of the major video game retailers have policies that prevent the sale of games based upon the ESRB rating. In my opinion, this is the direction that we must follow to preserve both the parental protection of children and the freedom of expression for adult gamers.
In closing, let me just reiterate my position. This type of morality legislation is unwarranted. The industry is moving rapidly toward self regulation, just as other industries have done before it. Legislation restricting the sale of media is a bad precedent, and damages both the industry, and the consumers.
Thank you for your time.
Heh. I thought the ad was a spoof. No one could be that stupid.
Let me back up. There is a little non profit organization called CEI or Competitive Enterprise Institute. Basically, they’re a conservative mouthpiece. Limited government, free market type deal. Pretty boiler plate stuff that is unworthy of scorn or rantage.
But you see, sometimes groups do stupid stupid things. This group decided it was their time.
They made an environmental awareness ad. Normally such things are no big deal. Talk about what corporations are doing to keep the environment clean. Plant a tree. Search for new alternative fuels. Right? That’s what I expected.
That would be… worthwhile. I failed to grasp that this little organization was going to be a corporate shill.
No, the ad they put out had a stream of images of national parks and kids playing, and such things. The voice over went along these lines:
There is something around you, that you can’t see. It’s essential to life. Plants breath it in. We breath it out. The fuel it gives us help us get away from back braking manual labor. It’s called Carbon Dioxide. CO2. Allowing us to create and move the things we need. Now, some politicians are trying to label it a pollutant. Imagine if they succeed. What would our lives be like then? They call it pollution. We call it life
What the mother fucking hell. Then the other one:
You’ve seen those headlines about global warming. Glaciers are melting. We’re doomed. That’s what some studies say. Others say the exact opposite. You never hear about those studies. The glaciers are growing, not melting. These environmental alarmists blame carbon dioxide from the fuels we use. They want us to cut back. But we depend on those fuels. We use them to light up our lives and protect our families. As for carbon dioxide: it’s not smog or smoke. It’s what we breathe out and plants breathe in. Carbon Dioxide. They call it pollution. We call it life.
I’m almost at a loss for words. First off, they call it a pollutant because it IS. If they doubt that in some manner, I welcome them to close there garage, turn on their car and hang out for a few hours. Or hang out on top of a smokestack.
If they want to argue that CO2 doesn’t lead to global warming, go for it. I disagree with those studies that they claim prove otherwise, but I welcome their input. But it’s pollution pure and simple either way. Calling it LIFE, is bullshit. It’s certainly part of the natural cycle of life. Plant need it to live. But you know what? They don’t need the god-awful amounts that the industrial nations of the world put out. And seeing as we’re chopping down forests, there are fewer trees there that can convert it into oxygen. Hence, more and more CO2 in the air. And that’s BAD. Even throwing out global warming, take a tour of downtown L.A., and ask yourself how those CO2 emissions are effecting your breathing. Can you feel it there in the back of your throat? I know you used to corporate cock there, but this time, something else tickling your tonsils.
Not a pollutant? Not a pollutant? Are you fucking insane? I mean seriously, do you have good elbow pads? Because you certainly bent over for the oil industry here. I suppose they at least give you lots of KY, right?
Secondly, the ad is filled with bullshit imagery that has nothing to do with CO2 production. Lots of panoramic views of huge forests. Some brief glimpses of people cycling in a park. Some close ups of people and dogs breathing. Not many huge industrial complexes. Not so much on bumper to bumper traffic jams.
There are a million ways to put out a pro industry ad about global warming. Show some proof that global warming isn’t as bad as they said. Put up some information showing what is being done to curtail pollution.
Telling the customer that pollution is good for them? That’s fucking wrong. It’s unconscionable.
You call it life? I swear. Fuck you. Just… fuck you.