Archive for category The Politics

Follow-up.

So it sounds like waitresses in the news are 0 for 2 in actually receiving racist/off message notes instead of tips.  Which is cool!  It just means people are liars, and we knew that.

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Maybe That Wasn’t Such a Good Idea

This frustrates me.

Specifically, that either A: someone is just out to make Christians look bad (and if that’s the case, there’s balls we can do about it) or B: It’s us, and we don’t need help looking bad.   (I won’t even touch Westboro.)
“Why would you be frustrated by that, out of all the problems in the world?” you ask.
Because if we don’t take the time to assess ourselves, everyone else will, and their assessment is going to be “You’re a bunch of arrogant (insert naughty plural here).”

If you didn’t read the story, the gist is that somebody left a note instead of a tip for a waitress in New Jersey reading  “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life.”

Apparently spreading the Gospel now comes in second to “Offer a judgmental note with no redeeming value.”  I bet the first thing that waitress is going to do with that note is realize how terribly wrong she’s been and run to the nearest church.  No, wait, she’s going to post it on Facebook so a bunch of people who either haven’t had the chance to otherwise find out what Christianity is about or are too ignorant/bitter to care that the opinions represented in this note do not represent Christ’s actual message can moan about how awful we are.

As an aside, notice you never hear about people who mark receipts with: “I noticed you loved money too much, and I don’t agree with your lifestyle because the love of money is the root of all evil so I can’t tip you.”

We tend to view certain sins as some kind of barrier between us and everyone else, as if all the garbage we do is–maybe not more acceptable per se, but somehow it’s not as unacceptable as that.  Heavens, no.

And then, for some strange reason, people hate us.  Yes, I know there are obvious reasons why people would hate us, and that’s to be expected.  It’s less fun than having everyone love you, but whatever.  Just because we’re on a highway where hate is expected doesn’t mean we have to strap boosters to the car and make rude gestures at everyone we pass.  We (or whoever is responsible) need to stop shooting ourselves in the face.

Imagine Detroit.  Like Christianity, Detroit has image problems.  (Yes, for vastly different reasons, and yes the messages are in no way related.)  Anyway.  Having Ndamukong Suh as city ambassador would be a mistake.  In the same vein, when a woman’s contact with Christianity is limited to “You’re a bad person I’m superior because yeah end of story,” it feels like we’re botching the proverbial rollout, so to speak.

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One-eyed, One-horned Eater of Flying Purple People
-or-
The Necessity of Clarity in Nomenclature
-or-
How to Profit from Uncle Sam’s Dissipation and Survive on Marginal Writing Ability

So I’ve been back to Popular Politics and Such Science again, in part because there are still occasional science-like updates despite their best efforts.

Article one: Government Should Fund Unpopular Science

Article two: Imposing Restrictions on What Gets Funding Is Bad

The fiscally conservative part of me thinks the idea of cementing the continuation of funding for studies of duck genitals for the sake of whatever it is that studies like that will do for the common good (or for the sake of science, and as we all know part of America has a massive science-related inferiority complex entirely due to us #&$% creationists trying to make children hate all science and entirely not because of one or more systemic problems with America’s education system)–securing funding for that sort of thing seems, to put it quite mildly, frivolous.   Both the government and the American scientific machine have much more important problems to deal with; in the case of the government, funding studies of duck parts might be exacerbating (if only slightly) an increasingly problematic budget issue.

The rest of me has decided that funding that kind of silt is awesome, because I can make money from it.

How, you ask?  Simple.  By writing a grant proposal that somehow manages to stand above research on anatid anatomy.  I don’t foresee much difficulty.

So I will propose an expedition to Bora Bora to answer a pressing scientific question:  Are there suitable ways to distinguish between the varieties of one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eaters? 
As you may well know, in the song from decades ago the eponymous creature happens to eat purple people.  For most of us, this would not present any major trouble.  I am not purple, and I do not know any purple people.

(Why undertake the study in Bora Bora, you ask, though the answer should be quite obvious?
Because it’s for science, and science says exotic things seem to hang out in the tropics.  Also, coincidentally, Bora Bora is what happens when love gets landscaping priviliges.)

However…  The title of the aforementioned song suggests the existence of as many as five different creatures, all essentially indistinguishable by common name.   (I’m unaware of any scientific names for any of them-this would be rectified by the end of the study.   Everyone knows that scientific names for animals are nothing more than a couple of keyboard accidents with –us added to the end.  Unless you’re a toad, or a gorilla, or a bison, or never mind shut up.)

The creature could be:

1.  Purple, having one eye and one horn, known to fly and eat people.
2. One-eyed and one-horned, known to fly and eat purple people.
3. One-eyed and one-horned, known to eat flying purple people.
4. One-eyed, known to eat one-horned, flying purple people.
5. Completely unidentified, possibly amorphous, and known to eat one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people.

Clearly, the last four are unlikely to pose a danger to the general public.  Following the suggestion of Popular Science, however, this fact alone does not render further studies undeserving of public funds.

In fact, such a study could prove useful to society anyway.

A creature known to eat violet, airborne, cyclopean humans with keratin production disorders would have a great deal of trouble locating food.  Any child born in a developed nation with all of these genetic mutations would be sold to the circus; a counterpart in a developing country would likely be removed from the village and burned under a full moon.
The chances that one of these creatures (the specific subspecies of flying purple people eater) would be in the right location at the right time to feed on said child are ludicrously small.   A possible explanation for the creatures’ survival (that doesn’t involve ridiculous odds or the need to feed once every three-and-a-half millenia) would be an innate ability to smell genetic mutations over great distances.  This ability, if harnessed, could be used medically, to provide early cancer warnings or screen for late-onset genetic disorders.

On a separate note, imagine you’re a purple person with two horns.  If one of them is removed and you hop onto a Qantas jet and head to Sydney, are you then vulnerable to attack?
Maybe you’re simply a purple person, and your feet leave the ground.  Is this enough to provoke an eater of flying purple people?  ICBMs operate similarly, leaving under their own power and following a ballistic path back to earth, and I doubt anyone would argue against calling it flight.

Mind you, if that proposal falls through, I have more.

Is it possible to go back in time by standing at the north pole and spinning clockwise?  Would the south pole behave similarly, spun in an unnatural counterclockwise circle?

Maybe you’re still awake at this point.  You’ve no doubt concluded that these are all valid questions meriting public monetary support.
Maybe you’re busy scheming to write grant proposals of your own.   By all means, do so!  Share the idea with your friends!  Write until your hands wear thin from rubbing against so much tree matter or poking all of those keys.

I only expect a place on your expedition if you get funded.

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It all started when…

The following is an opinion I’ve held for quite a while, but was recently brought up again by an incredibly awkward discussion at a restaurant that I had to sit through involving racial stereotypes.  Could have been worse, but mercifully the topic was killed.

I don’t like the idea of race.  At all.  It’s a farce, and it’s been used as nothing more than an excuse, a weapon, or a means of propaganda.

I don’t care if you were born in New Guinea with three noses and hair the color of Ronald McDonald’s; I don’t care what color you are or your parents were.   It is an arbitrary part of who you are, and nobody is going to change it in any way.  And it’s woven into our culture beyond hope of removal, the same idiot culture that cries “racism” at the drop of a hat.

It’s my honest belief that most people could get beyond the idea of race if culture would let them do so, and simply abandon the use of race altogether.  Don’t snuff it completely, treating it like some sort of awkward elephant in the room–all that does is turn everyone’s focus upon it.  Try something rational.  Don’t give it unmerited attention.  Stop reporting on “The first Asian guy to win a gold medal in kickboxing”.  Who cares about his genes?  All you’re doing is reminding people that they’re inherently distanced from other groups by traits they can’t control!  It immediately turns the story from “good for him” into “good for them“.

The idea of a Them built upon the unalterable is dangerous and isolating.

If it’s a story about the first winner from China, fine! Go ahead!  It’s a matter of national pride, and half of the point of the Olympics is to win for your country, though the similarities could be debated.  Granted, like any system with humans involved, this system wouldn’t be perfect, but it’d be a chance for people to bypass color and assert an identity of their own, rather than ones that have been foisted upon them by repetition.

But no.  Culture continues to dredge race up like a bargeload of detritus.  People are supposed to be proud of it.

Why?

What kind of fool would consider himself better than others for things he cannot change and whose cause he had no part in effecting?  You might as well get a bunch of friends together and hold a parade based on your shoe size, or puff yourself up about the time you rolled three fives in a game of Yahtzee.  We’ll give out prizes to people with green shirts, and offer free dinner to patrons who were born on the first floor of the hospital.

It’s a completely nonsensical devotion to a petty ideal.

Maybe you aren’t proud of your race; I’ve heard the argument that you can’t “cover up” past atrocities.

Fine.  Don’t.

People do stupid and terrible things under the banner of both good and evil intentions; go ahead–remember their poor judgment until you stumble mindlessly into better things to do with your time.  But I’d rather suck a streambed of grimy rocks than live in a guilt-driven world where I’m held accountable for other men’s acts, ones which I would not commit in my foulest dreams.   I do enough stupid things on my own without having to bear the guilt of others.   I don’t belittle the crew at every Wendy’s in America or expect them to pity me because last month one of their employees in Tulsa couldn’t make a proper burger.  (That’s completely fictitious; I’m sure the Wendy’s in Tulsa has competent staff.)

Give up on pointing fingers, and let go of the grudges.  Let the divisions die with those who caused them, and stop treating people of any race like tools.  If this were a well-read site, I would be hammered with responses to the tune of “It’s easy for you to say”, but honestly, I wouldn’t care.  I don’t regret not having any credentials with which to lend force to my statements when the only means of earning them is outside of my control.

Society’s effort would be much better spent focusing on the present and fixing it.  It’s easier than solving yesterday.

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Throwing off them chains.

Went on vacation.  Got pictures of lightning, at night, in Florida.  Broke my phone.

Not the worst thing ever; it’s somewhat frustrating to not know if anyone (including work) is leaving messages.  Also the phone had a picture of a $3.79 can of “U.S. Senate Bean Soup” on it.

It’s a real product, and according to the internet a well-known one.  I learned this upon googling “U.S. Senate Bean Soup”, much to my confusion.  My initial impression was that with a name like that and a price of $3.79 it was some sort of joke, or possibly several jokes rolled into one.

Shoot, maybe it still is.

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There Are No Words.

Who am I kidding.  There are probably a stuffload of words in multiple languages to describe this guy, but many of them are likely inappropriate; others are undoubtedly very hard to pronounce.

After using the state news to claim that the United States’ Secret Earthquake Weapon (which in reality is governed by about 240 regulations and is subsequently seldom used; even then it’s unleashed only to mine for alien technology) was used to cause the earthquake in Haiti, he’s back at it.

Now it’s Capitalism’s Fault -(get it?) that the aliens aren’t still around to share that technology with him.

Maybe we could dig up Ayn Rand and have her argue with him about economics and such, though we’d have to put her back before she gets into too many other topics.

He’s quite a hoot, that Hugo.  I’d suggest he go on tour or write a book, but goodness knows there are people who’d take him seriously, not to mention that nobody understands Spanish anyway, especially from a guy who seems to stow his vocal cords somewhere south of his coccyx.

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Review:

Of things you haven’t studied yet, no less.

First, according to an authoritative source (I know, it’s the internet, but I’m not fudging anything) both of the school’s hockey teams have the toughest (based on opponents’ skill level) schedules out of every team in the nation this year. Odd coincidence, if nothing else. And while it may sound fishy; if we were that good, you’d think the other teams would have the tougher schedule- it makes sense.

On the national stage, while I didn’t catch any of the president’s words about the recent shootings, I heard many positive comments about his response.

Though living on secondhand news is a characteristic of sheep, in this case it shouldn’t cause any problems; if those who are so often against a man’s views are lauding his words, it’s usually a good sign.

Also, and this is an old story- Some genius group thought it’d be a good idea to invent a punctuation mark for sarcasm, and to sell it as an addition to your standard font. This is great news(Insert mark here.) Nothing is better than having a joke explained to you(Again.), and all the more when you and your social flock are being charged money to have it done!   It’s like paying some clown to stand next to a comedian and tell you when you’re supposed to laugh.

If nothing else, the children of the U.S. have enough problems with punctuation already.  (I’ve probably screwed up a few places here too; there’s your irony for the moment.)  Adding another unit to the system will not help.

And finally, the lists of top internet search terms for the year came out.  As almost anyone could have guessed, a large number of the top terms were names of celebrities.

My one question:  When people search these names, what in the name of Dolph Lundgren are they expecting to find?  Are they searching for music (when it’s applicable),  or do they have nothing better to stuff into their pathetic minds than statistics and hearsay on those who are famous?

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Housecleaning.

The state ousted our scuzzy representative today and replaced him with someone who probably won’t support large-scale bureaucracy over his home state. And that’s cool.

In related news, the website of the hometown paper had a giant headline shortly after calling the race declaring absolutely nothing new. “Man Man in U.S. House Race”. They quickly decided verbs were a good idea, added one, and made the story much more compelling.

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Somewhere a Vulcan Weeps.

Never really been a fan of the local paper; I’ve been even less so lately as most of the columnists have shown their stripes by boarding the anti-Sarah-Palin bandwagon and playing the same brain-dead tunes everyone else on board is playing.  Can’t fault them for staying together, but as even the local "humor" guy is on there, it’d be great if he’d either avoid the political scene altogether, or get some original jokes. 

Variations on "LOL SHE’S DUMB" are worn out.  Nobody touches things such as Obama’s "I’ve been to 57 states" comment (or to avoid singling him out, anyone else on his side of the aisle’s gaffes), but they’ll hang on her comments ’til either she’s gone or global warming claims us all.  I’ll admit to not going after her, and were I to write for a newspaper, I would probably question my job safety after any anti-Barack jokes.

I get it.  You don’t like her ideas, but she’s still acting all "uppity" and not getting out of the news fast enough. 

So it goes.  We’ve also got some brilliant folks who write in to the editor too.  I must confess that I missed the initial correspondence, a letter titled "Where’s (name of local representative)?", one which was questioning his job performance, I’d guess.  The rather angry response from some random defender (which I was able to view) detailed exactly where he’d evidently been, discussed how he’d been working to help the state and how great that he was, and implied by comparison that the Republican challenger was a pile of bison waste. 

Get an argument, fool.  That’s like arguing for a monkey.  It’s perfectly reasonable to expect a monkey to get things right 50% of the time on yes or no votes.  The problem with him is that, among the rest of his simian shortcomings, the guy voted yes on the health care bill, agreeing to start a new program operated by the same people responsible for managing Social Security and Medicare for the last however many years.  And if you’d bother to pay attention, monkey, you would have noticed that those programs aren’t faring terribly well and the organization mismanaging them has an abysmal record of rectifying said problems. 

Heck, a compassionate monkey can be expected to do better than 50%.  And I guarantee you, if the challenger gets elected, he’s not going to go to work trying to help California or some other pathetic over-budgeted state, he’d probably remember who elected him and go with the wishes of at least 64% of the state’s voters, (according to Rasmussen – the number of those who favor repeal, those who would have rather not had it in the first place are certainly higher, as few people are moronic enough to want something and then immediately want to get rid of it.)  But this is a Serious Issue and Washington is the perfect group to run this junk. 

I hate politics.  I’m not a fan of plagues, pestilence, or disease either, but last time I checked, none of those were about to disappear from the earth forever, so staying informed and fighting for a cause is pretty much the only option.

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