December 31, 2003
Atlanta Journal Constitution: 'Dumb' cross-burning botched from the get-go
There are so many things wrong with this story. I mean, damn, people. What else can you say about this? Oh, I have a few ideas, you betcha.
Let's consider the events as they unfolded the night of November 5th. These men were so enraged at the thought of an interracial couple that they decided to burn a cross. To start, they crept into the yard with the cross, doused it in transmission fluid, and tried unsuccessfully to light it. They left and came back and tried again, this time successfully. But one of them got worried about starting a forest fire that he called the authorities. They were arrested and could face up to 10 years in prison.
One, transmission fluid? Are you joking me with this? Most people think that transmission fluid isn’t flammable. In fact, it is flammable. *pause* At like 400 degrees Fahrenheit!!! Do you think your pocket lighter is going to set it ablaze? I know that the concept of specific heat is probably beyond the grasp of these chaps but come on. Be real.
Then, they called the cops on themselves.
This is why I’m not a criminal. I’m just not stupid enough.
Ok Ok Ok Now, before we talk about some of the idiotic notions held by parties involved in this case, let’s discuss Dade County, Georgia.
Dade County, in the 2000 census, had 96 black residents out of a population of 15,154. The county has sometimes been called the "state of Dade" because of its remote location in the extreme northwestern tip of Georgia. Local lore has it that the county did not "officially" rejoin the Union until 1945, 80 years after the end of the Civil War.’96 black residents?’ That is .6% of their entire population. I am not a person who thinks that there’s anything especially bad about this obvious statistical outlier. I mean, Dade County by this illustration is certainly not a place I’d want to live. But Dade County is clearly one of the poorest areas ever. It looks to me like their racism is paying off and they really can’t afford it.
Officials in Trenton, the county seat, raised eyebrows last year when they adopted a version of the old Georgia state flag, with its dominant Confederate symbol, as the city flag
And I am also pretty Federalist about things so it won’t be a surprise that I raised an eyebrow over the sentence that reads “the county did not officially rejoin the union until 1945.” Is that so?
Also, I’ve not really talked about it on my site yet, but the confederate flag should not be used by any civilized, rational person here in the 21st century.
Now, the fun stuff.
The victim says
"I was raised around the Klan," Hurst said. "The Klan had morals. If a man was drinking up his paycheck and abused his kids, the Klan stepped in."Full stop.
Hurst, 53, knows some of the families of the suspects and says that most are good people. "I really hate it for those old boys," she said. "But you just can't say, 'Don't do it no more.' There are laws and all that."
The Klan certainly had some kind of morals. They were irrational, bigoted, animalistic, collectivistic, anti-American morals. That’s why they did all those hateful things. And the contradiction between her implied statement that what they did is ok but because it’s illegal they should be punished is beyond my comprehension. Do you or do you not have any rights, woman?
I find that I am curious about whether or not these fellows will be tried under our brand-new hate crime legislation. Oh, the irony that would be!
Here’s another gem from the victim:
Hurst said her father, Sam Brandon, would not have stopped his granddaughter from dating a biracial man. "He would have treated him like a man," Hurst said. "He's half white and half black. Do you divide him like that?"So, because one bigot chose to see the “good” (*PATOOIE*) in people, these racists are in the wrong because they’re pessimists?
I’m also astonished that the relatives of these criminals apologized to Hurst. They didn’t do anything wrong. They are not in any way accountable for the actions of their kith and kin. Maybe they said, “I’m sorry this happened to you,” but that probably should not be taken as an apology. That’s just an expression of sympathy; support. That’s a way of saying, “This should not have happened to you and as a person who understands this, I stand by you in this time of difficulty against those who would wish ill toward you and yours.”
I have a feeling that some of these guys may experience a little “miscegenation” themselves when they get to prison. No one likes a hypocrite so, unfortunately, they’ll have to burn crosses in their own cells for it and that can’t lead to anything good.
December 30, 2003
On Boulevard, a 38-year-old man said that about two years ago, he and his former lover got into an argument. The lover got upset, took the 38-year-old's pet to the veterinarian and had the animal put to sleep voluntarily. After that ordeal, the 38-year-old moved out. Last month, the 38-year-old relocated to the Boulevard area, and he saw the lover in the area. The lover started sending e-mails saying he knows the 38-year-old's whereabouts. The 38-year-old believes the ex-lover may try to harm his new pet.I don't recommend reading anything else in that paper, but the blotter is a regular feature and is often filled to the brim with such amusing tales.
A man walked into a convenience store on Metropolitan Parkway. He threw a bottle of Seagram 7 whiskey on the floor and said he wasn't going nowhere until the police showed up. He also threatened to harm himself and others. The reporting officer noted, "When police arrived, nothing violent occurred, but the suspect did state the government is out to get him, but he will get them first." The man was arrested and taken to Grady Hospital's 13th floor for a mental evaluation.
A 57-year-old woman said her former daughter-in-law threatened both her and her son. She said the ex-daughter-in-law knows that she has chronic pain. The daughter-in-law left a threatening letter in her mailbox, which read, "Death death, I hope you and your Mom! Tell the old broke dam [bizzle] that Papa just wanted to speak to her before we got to the mall and movies. He know that she was at the door, that's why the [bizzle] is in pain right today where her hands can't open and won't open up all the way, I could care less about you'll slow-ass family. But my son wanted to see you and your mama slow special ass. But that's why she is paying with her health and so is you. Until you do right by Papa, your luck will be forever [F!Bombed] up. And your mama, God is dealing with her as well. Do be blessed and always remember Papa knew your Mommy looked out that door that really did hurt him not me, because I care less about both of you sick-ass people. Die Die Die Death Death Death must come upon [the 57-year-old woman]." On the back page: "[Bizzle], you is a old [bizzle] that will forever be in pain, your health must fell soon. Die [bizzle] because you make [the letter-writer's ex-husband] the sorry-ass man that he is, you should be ashamed."
On Lanier Street, a 23-year-old woman asked her male friend for money to get an abortion, and he said, "[Bizzle], I ain't giving you [shizzle]." Then he slapped her face, pushed her against a brick wall and threw beer on her. She wasn't injured and refused medical attention. The friend's occupation was listed as "drug dealer."
December 29, 2003
My advice to most of these children is to change their name as soon as they possibly can.
First of all, I hate it when people violate common rules of spelling and pronunciation for the sake of having an "interesting" name. It's not so interesting as it is irritating, banal, and stupid.
There will most certainly be many-a discussion about standard pronunciations in the lives of these children who have double X's and apostrophes and strings of consonants in the middle of their names thanks to their very special parents.
I realize that English has lots of tricks and exceptions when it comes to pronunciation, but guess what. I can’t pronounce the word “Espn” in English at all. Any pronunciation I do come up with will be as arbitrary and no less wrong than the one you’ve come up with. So, you’re going to have to deal with the fact that I just might refer to your baby as “L’excreta D’maggot.” Why not?
And what’s with apostrophes in names anyway? What is being contracted there, Mr. A’lexus Hold? Perhaps your first name is actually “Ahdlikemydaddytoteachmehowtodothesuplexus.” We’ll never know will we but I, for one, may just write a letter to the WWF in thanks.
Secondly, when you name someone after some thing you evoke images not the virtues of that thing but images of the thing itself. Take the child named Hennessy, for example. Am I the only one picturing him wrapped in a brown paper sack and snuggled up to a homeless man?
It’s not that I have any particular objection to naming a child for places or things, but whether anyone likes it or not, names do bring to mind ideas, scenarios, virtues and vices; the image of what sort of person has this name.
For instance, I know some nice ladies named Ursula and they are far prettier than that name suggests. Ursula is the Sea Witch in the Little Mermaid by Disney. The same is true for women named Helga, Magda, Mergatroid, and Fugly.
It’s no wonder to me that years and years ago people named their children things like “Patience,” “Love,” “Charity,” and “Felicity.” Those are abstractions; virtues, but they aren’t concrete objects. I do have to question names like "Ocean" and "Godhelpmegetawayfromallthesepuritans," though. Pilgrims work in mysterious ways, I suppose.
What sort of characteristics do you think most people ascribe to an individual when they hear the name Buffy? It’s not a Vampire Slayer, I promise. How about T’Keisha? Skippy? Sh’nay-nay? Lemonjello? Hemorrhoid?
When I meet children with stupid names, I judge the parents first, though. I mean, the child can’t help that.
Trey: Hi! What’s your name?
Trey: No. No. What’s your name?
Child: Co-Cola, but you can call me “Coke.”
Trey: Right. So, is your mommy on a leash somewhere with a nice doctor?
Trey: Hi! What’s your name?
Trey: Do you know that the sound coming out of your mouth does not match the words appearing in the speech-bubble over your head?
Child: No. I can’t read yet. I asked my dad to teach me but he can’t read yet either. We’re going to learn together!
I do judge adults who haven’t changed their name already, though, because they totally can help that. At the very least they should have the decency to lie to me about what their name is.
Trey: Hello! It is a pleasure to meet you. I’m Trey. And your name is?
Leukemia: Sally. How do you do?
Because I’m feeling inordinately snarky, here are things I think of when I hear some of those names:
Dakota - You were conceived in a minivan at the Bed, Bath & Beyond so your mommy could get out of a parking ticket. Shh! Don’t tell daddy!And finally, if you name your child a real name or at least something everyone thinks is a real name, it doesn’t matter if you insist that it was named after your favorite enema manufacturer. You got lucky and neither you nor your children should be second-guessing the brush with your idiocy.
Lexus – Your mommy was on welfare. You are a prostitute.
Gucci – You will cut Lexus if she even looks like she’s going to work your corner on more time, you swear to god and your dead mother.
Delta – You may be famously hideous or of an average level of attractiveness. You’ll likely get pregnant by your PE teacher and end up working at the 7-11 just 4 credits shy of your highschool degree, but it’s really a coin-toss between that and settling down with your hubby and raising your daughter Dakota.
Disney – Touched yet you still maintain a career as a drag queen or a palm reader.
Ikea – Cheap but smart enough to use condoms. That is until you’re convinced at age 14 that it’s love after you and 24 year-old Hennessy split a 40 and some reefer in the tenement parking lot. Your son’s name will be Courvoisier.
Evian – Possessed of a long neck and large nose you are the life-long companion and care-taker for Disney.
Delmonte – Pimp or used car salesman. You may harbor a crush on Disney even after you find out she’s not actually female.
Several notes specifically to the AJC and those listed in the article:
- The name Mercedes is older than just “decades.” Be a real journalist would you?
- Whether it’s a line of demarcation, the name of a town in Mississippi, or a telephone, please just spell the name out when people ask and stop being a smartass.
- The plural of Alexis is not “Alexises.” We’re talking about proper names, remember?
- To all those who named their child Alexus because of the brand name: You'd better be careful. Your neighbors may get jealous and name their child TuLexus or Mo'Lexii just to prove they're better than you.
- You do realize that naming your child after products doesn’t really constitute “an overall trend toward name creativity,” right? It’s actually really the opposite. Instead of being an individual with a cool sounding name, you’re a boob.
Special thanks to Precious for finding the link that inspired all this vitriol.
Update: Although consensus doesn't necessarily equal truth, it's something more than a coincedence that Ilyka thinks the same thing.
This latest vignette in from the “Frailty of Humanity” News File reports that in the United Kingdom the glorification of alcohol consumption causes something bad.
The article doesn't name exactly what those somethings are except the generalization of "hangovers, alcohol-related illness and aggressive behavior." Unbeknownst to me, every time I enjoy glass of Habersham Vineyard’s Scarlett or Sabastiani’s Pinot Noir, I turn into a Viking, a Hun, or a street trollop. I guess it depends on the vintage.
My gripe here is that alcohol consumption along with bad television is a symptom of the "disease" and not to be mistaken for the problem itself or as a cause of the problem.
Can the choir hear me from here, I wonder?
What we have here is a bunch of people who don’t feel like they’re capable of dealing with Reality. In Real LifeTM it is just too hard to be an individual; to be independent; to mind your own.
So, what do they do? Well, ugly has endless permutations, so they have lots of options.
The simpletons among these gnats resort to drugs or alcohol. They’re actually the least nefarious of the second-handers out there in my opinion.
Alcohol Concern may just “call” upon television stations to have “more scenes showing hangovers, alcohol-related illness and aggressive behavior linked to drinking and fewer storylines portraying drinkers having a good time.” But I doubt they’re very far from calling for government intervention. The worst are those in groups like the Alcohol Concern or those who want to actually outlaw Grand Theft Auto and Motley Crue. They want everyone to help them live their lives because they can’t do it on their own.
This is the root of things like social security, gun control laws, movie/song/video game ratings, anti-tobacco lawsuits, fast food industry lawsuits, and a host of other nanny-state programs.
I have a novel idea: Let’s just let people face the consequences of their stupidity. It’s a lot cheaper to let people fall face-first on the pavement than it is to manufacture all these pillows. It’s also tons easier to drop them into a giant bug-zapper than it is to feed, clothe, house, educate, and pamper them in prison – and even more so than when they’re left as free-range leeches. It’s simply far less expensive in all cases to mind your own business than it is to mind that of others.
For some reason, people on both sides of the pond seem to be unaware of this basic principle of economics. Those same people have missed the moral principle here as well.
And you know what? CNN & Reuter’s, I’ve got both of your numbers. Blackguards.
December 26, 2003
Special thanks for the tip to the Alihoo Experience!
December 19, 2003
It's kind of sad that the governor of a state should feel the need to defend himself by saying he has an invisible friend who says he is good. One might almost suspect he hasn't got a real argument and is just exploiting the idea of God for political purposes...From Elegance Against Ignorance.
December 18, 2003
Sooooooo... 19 bug bombs, eh?
Baby, if you have so many bugs in your house that you need 19 bug bombs, you should just move.
Thanks to Mama Laverne, whose house does not have bugs.
NEW YORK (Billboard) -- Jane Carter, the mother and former co-manager of 16-year-old Aaron Carter, is denying allegations that she mishandled the pop star's funds.If you read the article you'll find that Aaron is seeking legal emancipation from his mother and that his mother and father are involved in divorce proceedings at the moment.
In a statement, Jane Carter says she has been accused of "false allegations designed to hurt me, my family and my son's career. I am confident that the truth will come to light in a court of law."
I have no idea what is going on with them, but the appearance of this is most unbecoming.
December 17, 2003
It will break. This is a rule. It is a rule for a really good reason: because watching fish tanks break in movies is really, really fun.
When I saw the movie Mission Impossible and Tom Cruise entered a restaurant that was built completely of fish tanks, I knew something super-cool was about to go down.
The people of Denmark should take note of this rule because the fact is that sometimes life imitates art.
December 16, 2003
I'll be honest, I don't really care about football much. I don't know who the teams are, who the players are, what bowls they play, or anything like that. But I do loathe things that don't make a bit of sense.
Four 18-year-old women at Florida Atlantic University had been studying into the early morning hours when they decided to take some cereal, fruit and other snacks worth about $25 from the University Center Marketplace kitchen, according to a police report.Mm hm. Ok.
The university is making the four students spend 20 hours helping the food service employees as part of their punishment.
"It will be during the 'prime time' of the cafeteria," said Kaitlin Sjostedt, one of those arrested. "It's cruel and unusual punishment."
I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but stealing is a huge pet-peeve of mine; especially the kind that involves taking things that aren't yours.
So, let me get this straight, princess. You're up late at night trying to wrap your brain around some, like, really hard stuff for your finals. You're hungry, so you decide to, not order pizza, not go to the all-night grocer, not visit one of your dorm buddies and raid their fridge, not try a drive-through, but burgle the dining hall. Is that about the sum of it?
And so, the University, rather than expelling your petty thieving bottoms obliges you to work for 20 hours in the dining hall during the busiest shifts. And you think that's cruel and unusual?
First of all, it's not that unusual to have to work off a debt. I'm sure everyone has seen that episode of Leave it to Beaver when Wally has to work to pay off a window he broke while playing baseball.
Second of all, cruel would be cutting off your hands or subject you to public caning, not that we know any civilized places that would do those things. Sweetheart, you don't know the meaning of cruel.
These sort of snot-nosed self-righteous brats make me absolutely sick. They need to face the fact that they STOLE. And not that it really matters, but they did so out of no better motivation than the munchies. They're lucky someone doesn't turn them over their knee.
And the fact that this Ms. Sjostedt has the gall to whine about the relatively easy punishment being handed to her by the University is beyond the pale. Just for that, I would triple her punishment and extend it to assisting the janitorial staff in equal amounts.
Don't like it? Get your whining, punk, cry-baby, stealing selves out of here. And by the way, all of your course credits are null and void.
I swear kids these days act like they ain't got no mamas.
December 15, 2003
One might think that it would now be appropriate to call off the hounds. I, being the meanie I am, would still hasten to point out that he didn't have the good sense to know not to do that in the first place. My sensibilities have still been offended and it would actually be an injustice to desist in deriding him for it.
And I wasn't able to find the apology on his site anywhere.
December 12, 2003
MULTAN, Pakistan -- A judge has ruled that a Pakistani man convicted of attacking his 17-year-old fiancee with acid be blinded with acid himself, police said Friday.Now, you just think about that before you go and throw acid on someone in Pakistan.
Mohammed Sajid, 19, poured acid on the face of his fiancee Rabia Bibi on June 24 in Bahawalpur, a city in the eastern Pakistani province of Punjab.
Link courtesy of Precious
Makes sense to me. Of course, I'm the guy who thinks we should have left the joint in shambles and taken enough oil to pay for the effort. But what do I know? I'm just a guy who doesn't like the US taking any lip from baddies.
Despite America's overwhelming military power, Operation Iraqi Freedom was a gamble, a large one, for there has never been a successful war of liberation in the Muslim Middle East. The gamble continues to this day; the strikes against our servicemen by Islamic terrorists and Baathist reactionaries are the proof. The game will not be completely over until we've reduced such sniping against our occupation forces and the infant Iraqi republic to a trivial level, or have withdrawn in ignominy. The Weasels, and those nations that have sat neutral through the drama, are betting on the latter outcome.Rock on!
America is not merely a bettor in this game. Through our reconstruction pledge, we have become one of its proprietors, who will pay other winning bettors from our own kitty. So the choice to penalize those who bet against us, at least to the extent of denying them any payoff for their stance, is both rational and necessary.
The Weasels and the other neutralists played a minimax strategy. Not participating in the liberation of Iraq guaranteed they would suffer no casualties and no military expenditures from it. More, should the Baathists return, non-participation would absolve them of any odium for the strike. They could pose as mere businessmen, willing to buy Iraqi oil from whoever emerged dominant.
Under the most benign view, granting them the status of non-players, they should expect no return. Under the harsher view appropriate to geopolitics, they deserve to be penalized, perhaps by explicit American abrogation of any remaining treaties of mutual defense.
You bet against the United States, ladies and gentlemen. Thinking you were playing it safe, no less. You will not be allowed to play further; your account with this house has maxed out. As we uncouth Yankee cowboy imperialist warmongers like to say, get over it. [emphasis added.]
December 10, 2003
'I voted for what I thought was best for the country. Did I expect Howard Dean to go off to the left and say, 'I'm against everything'? Sure. Did I expect George Bush to F!Bomb it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did.I know that Kerry is of the liberal persuasion, and naturally I hold that against him.
But you'd think he went and slapped Nancy Reagan AND her mama the way some folks are reacting.
First of all, it's the F!bomb. Not a real bomb. It's just a word.
Second, it's Rolling "F!Bombing" Stone.
Third, the F!Bomb really ain't what it used to be.
Has GW Bush dropped the F!Bomb? Absolutely.
Has Trey Givens dropped the F!Bomb? This blog is brought to you F!bomb free but I live in technicolor. Watch out.
It may seem like I'm saying it's ok to drop the F!bomb and I am. Like almost everything, it's acceptable in certain contexts to communicate the meaning and emotion of the F!bomb.
That meaning and emotion is vulgar and overwhelming, however. I think it's best to restrain F!bomb usage whenever possible. In writing, it is unwieldy because writing requires much more consideration.
So, what do I think of Senator John "Gee, I wish I was crazy like Dean" Kerry dropping the F!Bomb? Not much at all. In fact, this post is the most thought I've given to it to date.
As fond as I am of righteous indignation, some folks just need to chill about this. Really.
Because when I'm president, I can guarantee there will be F!Bombs dropped from time to time. You all should just get used to it now.
UPDATE: I was reading the Commonsense & Wonder site, which I LOVE by the way, and Jerry Scharf makes this point about swearing:
Cursing is the sound of an ignorant mind trying to express itself.It includes a post about an "X-rated fund-raiser." This is likely a case where the liberal use of vulgar words was improper. A fine example of my point above. However, the categorical dismissal of some words as "out-of-bounds" is somewhat reckless, in my opinion.
What if that's exactly what a person means? Cannot intelligent, informed people express ideas that require strong language?
I'm not so sure that cursing is a sign of ignorance. I would say that cursing in the wrong context or for lack of finding a more precise expression is a sign of poor mental capacity, sure, but not always.
I suppose the lesson to learn is that everything has its time and place and those are few for words of such force and color.
December 09, 2003
That's really the calmest, most collected thing I can say at this moment regarding that man.
Go to Bad Money, read his post, then (if you can stand it) check out the link to the Kucinich site and find out why.
I'm saving this post now because a stream of explitives is about to pour onto my site...
December 06, 2003
The mayor of a small Brazilian city has issued a decree to ban homosexuals from other cities moving into his ownApparently, queers not only hurt family values but also prevent the population from growing, so he doesn't want them in his town. The goal is to increase the population above 9,000, so I'm guessing even you infertile folks need to get out of the way.
It is not by accepting homosexuals that the population will grow, he said. Berti has proposed distributing packets of peanuts to residents, because they reportedly have an aphrodisiac effect.In related news, organizers of the annual Freak-Nic Street Party have written a strongly worded letter to the mayor for ruining the surprise location of next year's festival. Foo'!
The mayor Elcio Berti also had plans to build a spaceport in the city so extraterrestrials will have a place to park. Makes sense. Aliens are well-known to be sex-starved as evidenced by all the probing they do. This fits right in with the population growth mission.
Now if only we can teach ET that THAT is the wrong orifice for breeding with our species. Sheesh. Even I know that.
But the worst news is that gay trend setters had already named Bocayuva do Sul as "The New Red." You should recall that red was the new pink (a la Legally Blonde until the second one bombed) which was the new orange which was the new brown which was the new black. This last minute news has forced fashion mavens to recycle Orange as the new Red, much to the relief of classicists but to the chargin of many others. See your local Banana Republic for details.
Seriously, have you been there lately? What's up with all the orange? (As if I can talk with this website.)
December 05, 2003
Hasn't someone tried this before?
Anyway, I think people should be allowed to sell their body parts if they want to.
Also, Thomas Sowell has an articles on this topic as well. Check out this highlight from Organ Donations, Egalitarian Envy, and the High Cost of Busybodies:
You know the words and the music: How terrible that the rich can buy other people's body parts -- and that the poor are so desperate as to sell.
If you think that you have a right to forbid other people from making such voluntary transactions, then you are saying that your delicate sensibilities are more important than the poverty or even the deaths of other people.
The Conservatives whine about Liberal Media Monster.
Everyone seems to at least have the sneaking suspicion that our favorite news sources play host to the Bias Demon. (Someone call Buffy! QUICK!)
In all seriousness, I've seen lots of references lately (perhaps it's only recently caught my eye) about media bias. And they're always made as if to say that this is a bad thing or at least beyond the pale of acceptable reporting.
Personally, I think it's stranger that anyone thinks this is strange.
My mom taught me no small amount of skepticism when it comes to things you see on TV. You just have to take such with a grain of salt because OF COURSE they're going to make their perspective look better than the alternative.
But people think this shouldn't apply to politics or the news in general. Odd.
I'm (still) reading Les Miserables and a while back I read The Count of Monte Cristo and both of them among other works from days gone by make references to certain newspapers as having well-known particular political leanings. I happen to know that early American newspapers did the same. I feel pretty sure this has been true the world over throughout time.
So, this whole idea of having unbiased news, I think, it purely a modern convention. Having bias in the news only makes perfect sense. I don't think erasing bias from the news is even possible. And why should we expect unbiased news anyway?
First, reporting is selective. They can't show you everything, so they have to pick and choose what you'll see when you come to them. No matter what the news source of your choice is showing you, they're showing it to you over something else.
Second, content decisions are made based upon two factors, money and opinion. All media sources have to make money, so they show what they think will get them the most viewers, readers, listeners. Isn't that obvious? How they decide what will get them the most is based partly upon market research and mostly upon their own judgment about what's important. Liberals will think that they're more popular (Gore won the election, remember?) while conservatives will think they've cornered the market on the noteworthy.
In spite of these two acknowledged facts about the nature of the media, people still seem shocked that there is bias in their news. How exactly do they expect to have unbiased news? Turn it over to the government? Sheah! Right!
And then there's the crowd that belabors the idea that the news is full of gore, violence, and scandal rather than news of a more substantial nature. This is a bit of a digression but refer back to the first goal of media companies. The news is trying to make money. If those things didn’t increase ratings, then they wouldn’t be in the headlines. I suppose we might think that indicates a sad state of affairs, and I could speculate about the reasons for this but that’s not what I want to talk about now and it is simply the state of things.
I actually think it's worse overall that anyone tries to make the news agencies be unbiased because that obliges those same agencies to be more sneaky about the spin they can't possibly avoid due to the two points made above.
Sean Hannity the other day commented on this topic as well, saying something to the effect that no one would buy unbiased news. I don’t really agree with that, but he did bring up another point about CNN making the claim that it is a completely unallied international news agency. Hannity alleged that CNN has said plainly that it would refuse to reveal its sources even if it gained information that threatened national security. I’m sure that can’t be a good thing.
Media agencies can’t lie because the agency that gains a reputation for false reporting (New York Times, is that you?) would certainly lose business in the long run. (Compare it to the company that produces consistently faulty products.) So, they have to be honest about the facts that they do report.
But even as I’ve demonstrated on this site with CNN, they can be, and are selective in which facts they present and how they present them. And being honest about their bias will allow consumers to make better choices about who and what to watch. (Fox News, I see you!)
So, spin me ‘round like a record, baby. I like media bias!
"For me it's a question of values, it's not a question of science," said commissioner Sam Schuchat. "I think selling genetically modified fish as pets is wrong."Oh really? Well, I think he's wrong. Does that mean I can sell them now?
This particular individual is frighteningly honest about his convictions. He values stupidity over money.
I am astonished and nauseated by people like this. Let's scratch the surface of this comment a little bit.
Science is a method of discovering the material facts of reality. It is from the material facts of reality that we develop concepts and abstractions. It is based upon the material facts of reality that we (rational folks anyway) establish our values and determine what is good; what supports and nourishes our lives as human beings.
This person, however places their values apart from science. Their values lie somewhere outside the set of things that exist; reality.
To the point: This person values the nonexistent over the existent.
That's some rough and dirty philosophy-talk to say this person is an idiot and the statement that there is a question of values that does not at some point involve science is offensive to those who hold life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as inalienable rights.
So, for the sake of misguided values, this person would violate the rights of Californian consumers and businesspeople.
And it's all because too many people have more faith than reason. *patooie*
December 04, 2003
One post I came across is about Michael Moore and contains the following statement:
Should such an ignorant people lead the world? How did it come to this in the first place? 82 percent of us don't even have a passport! Just a handful can speak a language other than English (and we don't even speak that very well.) ...I know I'm late in commenting on this, but can someone explain to me why what he’s described is a bad thing?
I am of the mind that America is the best country in the whole wide world. If you want something, chances are you can get it here. If it isn't here, you can have it delivered. So, is it any surprise that most people in the grand ol' US of A don't want to leave? I don’t even want to get started on how the US is bordered by only two countries, and Americans aren’t required to have passports to enter either.
I wonder what percentage of the world population has passports now.
And what about not speaking a foreign language? So? I think that learning new languages is excellent mental exercise and is very useful in conceptual development. However, if you don't plan on leaving the US, you can probably get by with English alone.
I wonder if Mr. Moore wrote the original letter in German. Hmmm….
That crack about not speaking English well is as clichÃ©d as it is foolish. Tell me, does everyone in South America speak perfect Castilian Spanish? Do our friends the frogs offer erudition in flawless French? The fact that we do communicate with one another clearly and effectively in American English illustrates that we use it well enough for most purposes.
In short, the reason most Americans only speak American English and don't have passports is because they like it here well enough to not intend to leave. There is simply no incentive for them to look away from the shining sun of human civilization that is America for even the shortest period of time.
Now, let me comment on this "ignorance" thing. I am ignorant of the details of the movie Howard the Duck. I am ignorant of the dietary practices of the northern Maori. I am ignorant of the physics that allow Michael Moore's body to support such prodigious weight without the use of a spine. My ignorance, I assure you, is profound indeed. What's more, most of the things of which I am ignorant, ignorant of them, I intend to remain. Does this disqualify me as a leader? Does this make me less worthy than the Germans, French, British, or Spanish? Don't be ridiculous. It’s actually my awareness of those things about which I need to remain ignorant that allows me to be successful.
That’s right. The contents of my brain are selective.
Let's cut to the chase, now. The answer to how America became the leader of the entire world is because of our gloriously free society, which allows people to remain ignorant of the useless and unprofitable.
I shall now relegate Michael Moore once again to the realm of things about which I am ignorant.
Thank you very much.
December 03, 2003
Did I mention that on my way back from Peru I was busted for attempted smuggling? It's true.
Y'all better be careful. I'm a hardened criminal here.
Link courtesy of Precious who seems to scour the very depths of the Web for the absurd and amusing. I don't know where she gets this stuff!
December 01, 2003
I don't know if everyone has missed this point, but marriage is a contractual relationship. Further, law in every state of the Union restricts this contractual relationship to two people and almost all of them restrict either explicitly or implicitly the relationship to a man and a woman only.
I don't think any of these restrictions are necessary or legitimate from the perspective of ideal governance, actually, but that's not really what I want to talk about here.
I’m not sure what terms are outlined explicitly in the marriage contract from the government’s perspective. I’m only familiar with the ceremonial vows. Nevertheless, it is usually understood that one of the terms of the marriage contract is monogamy. This is why adultery is grounds for termination of the marriage contract in divorce.
In basic terms, adultery is already “illegal” because it is illegal to break the terms of a contract. (And actually, adultery is actually a crime in some places. The District of Columbia, for example, calls it a misdemeanor.)
This is also why it is also proper and legal to award “damages” to the injured party in divorces that result from adultery.
Treating adultery a crime, punishable by jail time or fines or, I suppose in Texas, execution, simply isn’t realistic, let alone proper jurisprudence. It ought to be taken out of the books wherever it is written. (The preceding is actually only a half-joke considering that Massachusetts, according to this article actually DID consider adultery a capital crime at one point in history.)
First of all, it's nearly impossible to enforce such laws without invading the privacy of every consenting adult engaged in sexual activity. And what if a married couple decided that they didn't want a monogamous marriage? As offensive as that may be to some, upon what legal precedence or argument could anyone claim that such couples must be divorced? Further, criminal statutes against adultery really aren't and couldn't be uniformly enforced.
And there's also the question of punishment. What punishment is appropriate for adultery? I see what some states have done but, typically, punishments are based upon how bad ther crime is or how much damages are inflicted. So, how exactly would one prove how hurt one is by another's infidelity? If someone committed suicide when they found out about their spouses extramarital hoochie hunting expeditions, would murder or manslaughter charges be in order?
Anyway, I hope that foolishness Hannity alluded to doesn’t become a more widespread phenomenon.
Note: I fought very hard not to make any Bill Clinton jokes in this post and you should be proud of my restraint.
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