Saturday, August 28, 2004

Calling all Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, Krishnas, and everyone but Jews, Muslims and Christians

Dear Diverse Bloggers;

I am very interested in knowing what all the other major religious groups think of the current problems raging in our world in regards to religion and getting along with each other. Do you see one particular religious group really stepping out of bounds and antagonizing another? Do you see one of them using religion as a crutch to allow them to do other things? What do you think?

I ask because I wonder what someone would think who does not subscribe to Islam, Christianity or Judaism about:

  • Bin Laden
  • Al-Sadr
  • Chiroc
  • Putin
  • Castro
  • Blair
  • Bush

What do they think of infidels? Who are infidels? Who are hypocrites? Do you think a huge holy war is brewing? I really want to see how things might be explained from another perspective.

Is it time to say H-O-L-Y G-U-A-C-A-M-O-L-E Batman save us?

Friday, August 27, 2004

Remember When...

Remember when you were in school and you were learning of all our past Presidents? Men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln? I don’t know about you, but I always had a sense that these men were upstanding citizens who wanted to provide leadership to a young country without furthering a personal agenda or resorting to slanderous character bashing.

Fast forward to the past several elections. Think about your impressions of men like Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, John Kerry, and George W. Bush. Do any of these men fall into the same category as our forefathers? Not in my mind.

I can’t imagine that the famous Lincoln - Douglas debates remotely resembled what we have today. Did Abraham Lincoln call John Douglas a liar and a traitor? Did John Douglas make fun of Lincoln because he was a country boy and didn’t pronounce words exactly right? Who knows? Maybe the history books didn’t paint an accurate picture. (Aside – If he were still around, I’ll bet that Lincoln probably couldn’t say “nuclear”)

My point here is that this election has already gotten ugly, and WILL continue to get uglier as we get closer to November. I don’t believe either candidate or their campaigns are acting presidential in their tactics. How refreshing it would be to have some dignity and decorum!

As Uncle Buck always says, we get what we deserve!

You're a poopy-pants.

I must start by acknowledging that this post was partly inspired by comments in a blog currently called Blonde Sagacity, which is linked over on the side there somewhere. So, props to Ala71.

I was having an email exchange with some family members regarding one of those things circulating around about what it takes to be a Republican today. I've read some similar ones, about both parties, but this one was over the top. It was saying things like:

to be a Republican today you have to believe that
> Government should limit itself to the powers named
> in the Constitution,
> which include banning gay marriages and censoring
> the Internet.

I have a hard time with things like that as I (and all my Republican and Democratic friends) know that gay marriages and censoring the internet are not addressed in the constitution. It may be argued that it was intended as humor, but it would have to be funny to qualify as humor. I'll admit that humor is in the mind of the beholder, but statements like that are so factually flawed that I can find no humor; sooner or later some idiot that read that list is going to tell me that he hates me because I want to censor the internet.

I indicated via email to the rest of my family that I didn't believe any of that shit and I was still Republican and that the list was boring. Some additional emails were exchanged and it helped me to formulate the Poopy-pants argument as used by many people to support their positions.

Which I now inflict on the unsuspecting blogosphere:

a very intelligent but politically inert family member said:
Yeah, there's a lot of poor logic and sweeping statements here, but isn't
it meant to bring light to some inconsistencies? By using exaggeration? For me, as someone who doesn't have much time at all to really evaluate what's going on in politics, it rings true in a lot of intuitive ways. By intuitive, I don't mean to be lazy or give credulance to pure "feelings". I mean whatever I've been able to glean
just by living and observing without being an "expert". Yeah, you could probably hammer out the falsities of each statement. It's the general tone that I agree with. And believe me, I don't think democrats are any better.

Frater Bovious replied:
No, they aren't meant to bring light to some inconsistencies, they are meant to sway the uncritical mind, since factual arguments are unavailable. The intellectual equivalent of saying, "You're wrong because you're a poopy-pants."

The earth is flat, intuitively. Anyone who says different is a poopy-pants.

a very intelligent but politically inert family member said:
But when I travel away from something, I notice that it sinks and disappears. And things I travel towards seem to rise up and get larger. Intuitively, this suggests that the surface of the earth is curved convexly. In fact, it seems entirely possible that if this curve extends across the surface of the whole earth, then the earth may well be a sphere. Guess I’m a poopy pants.

Just as a point of conversation, is there any real difference between "bring light" and "sway"? One seems to have a positive connotation, and one negative, but aren't the meanings essentially the same?

Frater Bovious replied:
That is a good question. Sway has some negative connotation due to some of the various legitimate definitions. For example, a hammock can sway in the wind. Indicating that its position is dependent on some outside force, and no proclivity on the part of the hammock. Sway can also mean to exert force or control over within that context.

"Bringing light", as a phrase, implies to me that some hitherto unknown fact or aspect of something is brought out into the open for all to see and evaluate.

You could technically argue that the terms are interchangeable within certain contexts, but you would never say that a tree branch blowing in the wind was having light brought to it. You would say it was swaying in the wind.

There are people that are easily swayed in their opinions by the baseless statements of others. You gave some observations in your example above of reasons why the earth may be curved. The observations you gave are capable of being evaluated. A person who thought the earth was flat could look at your reasonable argument and draw
his own conclusion. He could, for example, walk away from things, and toward things, and see if his observations matched yours. You may have brought light to the issue, and caused someone to rethink their position on the flat earth theorem they've been working on, lo these many years. If they changed their mind, some might say the person was swayed by your argument. But in reality, he wasn't swayed. He reevaluated his position based on newly considered information.

Or they might respond to your observation by saying "You're a poopy-pants." And someone else may hear this argument that you are wrong because you are a poopy-pants, and decide that you are wrong also. Never mind that the "poopy-pants" argument didn't address your actual observations or provide supporting facts against the concept of the earth being round. Just, "you're a poopy-pants" and someone else was swayed into the belief the earth is flat.

For some reason, the poopy-pants argument is extraordinarily compelling to a lot of people.

So there you have it. If you think there is something wrong with the above scintillating exchange and brutal display of logic, then you are a poopy-pants. Ψ

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Illegal Immigrants

Some people can get to the core of an issue, and just lay it out there. Witness the link below which will take you to Maddox, a person that writes with no false modesty.

Oops! You're racist.

I connected to this site from the Xiaxue site (link on the right side over there somewhere, and no, it's not porn.) Someone, or her, came from Singapore to The Screaming Monkey's head blog which you can link to by clicking on the screaming monkey's head up there.

So I went looking at her site, and just let me tell you, there is a whole wild weird world out there.

This guy Maddox is right about immigrants and illegal immigrants, and his argument is unimpeachable.

Plus, it ties in nicely to a future article of mine on Walmart. (Waiting on double nought secretspy photos.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Here is a fascinating excerpt from Fox News online. Frankly, I wonder how many other Democrats will cross over and vote Republican this time around. See below:

A First Time for Everything
Speaking of New York voting, former New York City Mayor Edward Koch (search), a lifelong Democrat, says he will, for the first time in his life, vote for a Republican presidential candidate this time
around, insisting, "the Democratic Party just doesn't have the stomach to go after terrorists."

Koch, in an interview with World Net Daily, says, "While I don't agree with Bush on a single domestic issue, they are all trumped
by the issue of terrorism, where he has ... proven his ability to fight this war. ... Kerry [has been] surrounded by radical politicians like [former president Jimmy] Carter and [Senator Ted] Kennedy. ... I know Kerry will succumb to their pressure if elected."

Enraging vs Engaging

As a wise man I know named Uncle Buck commented in a comment elsewhere in this corner of the Blogosphere, we get the president we deserve. This seems one of those terse statements that people hear and then move on. Not a lot of thought is expended. It's too short a statement. Our oddly short attention spans seem to need a minimal stimulus to even react long enough to get bored of something. Otherwise it is ignored.

We get the president we deserve.

We as in The Nation. A collective if you will. A collective that allows its life to be run by less than half of itself. As in the percentage of eligible voters that actually vote.

We get the president we deserve.

Voter apathy has driven the various political pundits to forgo the non-rewarding (as in non-interest generating) aspect of engaging the voter in favor of enraging the voter. But, like pumping a system full of steroids, there are unintended side effects, and ultimately system failure.

It seems to work better than having restrained honest debate, doesn't it. People like James Carvelle seem to understand the target audience, and he tailors the message for maximum impact. Eventually though, overstimulated neurons simply stop firing, and the rage transforms into lethargy. And it takes something like 9/11 to get anyone's attention again. For a little while.

This circle of enrage and collapse has to stop. The mental fortitude to look beyond the shiny things of this world must be cultivated. We need farmer mentalities. They think in terms of months and of seasons. They have faith in hard work and keep tilling the field and weeding and watering even if the seeds don't sprout before their very eyes. There is a calm and a reserve and a quiet resolve to see things through. And if the bugs come and eat the crop, they start all over.

Because the alternative is to starve to death.

They are engaged in their farms and their crops. You will seldom see a true farmer enraged. They recognize wastes of energy. They recognize non-productive use of their and other people's time. Raging accomplishes very little in their world.

Their world is our world. We must engage our country. We must reinstill long term views and patience and resolve. We must listen to that which truly matters, and not gum up the works with nonsensical provocation. We have a country that needs weeding and watering. And protection from the elements. And care. And faith.

We get the president we deserve. Engage your fellow Americans.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Touching Letter

Found this very touching letter over in comments on moxie

I hadn't really thought about this aspect of Democratic Concern vs Republican Detachment.

I am a senior citizen.

During the Clinton Administration I had an extremely good and well-paying job. I took numerous vacations and had several vacation homes. Since President Bush took office, I have watched my entire life change for the worse. I lost my job. I lost my two sons in that terrible Iraqi War. I lost my homes. I lost my health insurance. As matter of fact I lost virtually everything and became homeless.

Adding insult to injury, when the authorities found me living like an animal, instead of helping me, they arrested me.

I will do anything that Senator Kerry wants to insure that a Democrat is back in the White House come next year. Bush has to go!!

I just thought your readers would like to know how one senior citizen views the Bush Administration.

Thank you for taking time to read my note.


Saddam Hussein


Neoconservatism (United States) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This term gets thrown around a lot. I am convinced that it is used by many to mean something other than what the origin of the word is, specifically:

"Neo-conservatism" is a term almost exclusively used by the enemies of America's liberation of Iraq. There is no "neo-conservative" movement in the United States. When there was one, it was made up of former Democrats who embraced the welfare state but supported Ronald Reagan's Cold War policies against the Soviet bloc. Today "neo-conservatism" identifies those who believe in an aggressive policy against radical Islam and the global terrorists." - David Horowitz (emphasis mine.)

It is mostly used as a pejorative as I've seen it in various postings, kind of a backlash against the demonizing of the word 'liberal'.

My thanks to someone named Paul for providing the Wikipedia link. FB

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Enough about the damn swift boats!

I may be alone here, but I am sick of hearing about John Kerry and the swift boats. Was he a hero, was he not? Did he save the guy, or did he not? Was there enemy fire, or was there not?

Big freaking deal!! I am much more concerned about what he did during the last 20 years in the US Congress. How about his voting record? Why doesn't anyone care about that? Want to find out his stance on issues? Look at how he voted or didn't vote.

How about the fact that he supposedly is attempting to get the publisher of Unfit to Command to pull the book, or trying to get bookstores to stop selling it? Hey John, ever hear of freedom of the press and a little document called the United States Constitution?

Imagine the public (media) reaction had President Bush tried to stop Michael Moore's interesting take on reality called Fahrenheit 9/11. I am sure that all hell would have broken loose.

What really happened? I don't know and neither do you. Only the men who were there know what truly happened. Sadly, we will never know for sure, as it appears that the Democratic veterans claim what Kerry says is true, while the Republican veterans have another story.

Let's move on and talk about something a little more relevant.

By the way, I saw a Kerry commercial where they claim that Kerry has a better plan for fighting terrorism. Does anybody know what it is? I would like to know.