You are now entering the realm of semi-intelligent thoughts. Keep your mind open and your mouth shut!

Friday, October 17, 2003

Marching Band Rant 

I can't come up with a better title, but I do want to post, so here goes. I got back to my room about an hour ago, and I immediately took a couple puffs of my inhaler (asthma is a fun disease, I'll tell ya...) and collapsed on my bed. Why? Because I just went through one of the most physically demanding experiences of my life. If you don't mind me projecting my problems for a while, I'll tell you about my night. I left at 4:50 to go to the Dome, and the walk took about 10 minutes. I got there and put on my uniform, and a few minutes later, the drumline walked back up the hill from the Dome and all the way to the student center, which is about 5 minutes away at that speed. That may not seem so bad, but keep in mind that I was carrying a bass drum the whole time. Them things is heavy (actually, it's only about 10 or 15 pounds, but it puts all that weight on your back). We then warmed up for about 20 minutes and got in line for the parade. Once that got going, the real fun began. We marched from the student center back up another hill, which took about 5 minutes because we were going so slow, and then we marched over to the quad. We marched all the way around it, and then...we marched all the way around it a second time. Now, I'll once again remind you that I was carrying a bass drum the whole time, and the drumline has to play the songs and the cadence, so we never get a break. Therefore, by the time we were done going around the quad the second time, we had been playing non-stop for about 15 minutes. After that, we marched from the quad down to the Carrier Dome, which took another 5 minutes or so. By the time we got there, most of us had such bad finger cramps that we couldn't release our grip on the mallets. The girl next to me (have I mentioned I'm SU's only male bass drummer?) actually had to have someone else pry her fingers off because she couldn't move them herself. That's scary. Luckily, we got to put the drums down and sit for about 15 minutes, and then we once again had to pick them up and go into the Dome for the pep rally. After standing and listening to some guy talk for awhile, we ran...RAN over to the audience area to play (if you've never seen the SUMB perform, we start our pregame show by running onto the field. We had a vote to decide whether we should do this for the pep rally instead of marching over, and the idiots actually decided to run. Can you say "band geeks," children?) Then, we had to stand there...again...and play. This lasted about 20 minutes, although we got to put the drums down in between songs. When the pep rally finally ended, it was 7:55, and the fireworks were scheduled to start at 8. We all wanted to see them, of course, but we still had to run through our halftime show. This took another 15 minutes, and we could actually hear the fireworks going off as we played. When we finally got finished, the fireworks were still going on. I mentioned before that I'm a fireworks fanatic, and I had to see them, so I ran up the stairs to the equipment room (with my bass drum on), put the drum away, then ran down to the exit. As I said before, you have to go up a hill to get from the Dome to the quad, and I ran up the hill, through the alley between the Dome and the gym, and all the way to another alley between the gym and the physics building (or something). I was gasping for breath by this time (I think I mentioned before that I have a bit of what you might call a "weight problem"), but I managed to get over to the quad to see the last 3 minutes of the display, so I consider that a victory. The grand finale alone lasted a good 80 seconds or so, and it was really awesome. Unfortunately, I still had to get home. I started walking very slowly in that general direction, and a couple guys came up to me and tried to get my attention, but I didn't recognize them. Then, one of them said, "hey Chris, I didn't know you were in marching band. What do you play (I was still wearing my uniform at the time)?" I still didn't know who these people were, but I just said, "bass drum." Then one of them said, "drums are cool." I noticed they were going in a different direction, so I said, "hey, I've gotta go this way now, so I'll see you later," while trying to figure out how they knew my name. I'll come back to them in a bit, but I need to talk about my next fun adventure. I was still really tired and a little short of oxygen, but I wanted to get home so I could take my uniform off. Unfortunately, in order to do this, I had to climb "the never-ending stairs." Once again, you probably aren't familiar with Syracuse, but I live in Day Hall, which is one of two residence halls at the top of Mt. Olympus, the highest spot on campus. To get up there on foot, you have to climb about 100 stairs (I counted them last week), and they're not little ones either. They're big wooden ones that are about 8 inches apart, so you have to take huge steps (I also should mention that I'm only 5'7". That makes stairs a bit more difficult). By the time I got to the top, I was literally gasping for breath, and then I suddenly remembered where I had seen those two other guys before. They had actually been part of the big group I went with to see Jim Breuer at the beginning of the month, and I think they actually live on my floor. I still don't remember their names, but at least I know why they recognized me (I may be wrong about this, though). I was still really tired at this point, but I managed to get back to Day and climb up ANOTHER flight of stairs to the second floor, where I subsequently went to my room, and I already described that part. So, now I'm sitting at the computer typing. I think that one's pretty self-explanatory. I still have to wash my socks and memorize the closer for our halftime show, so my day isn't done yet. I just needed to describe my little ordeal, because I'm amazed I survived. I really need to get in shape. Anyway, that's about it for today's edition of SIT. I may post more, but I don't think there's a lot of other stuff to talk about. One more thing: I don't know if everyone's local area will have it, but the football game between Syracuse and Boston College will be on regional ESPN stations tomorrow, and you should really watch it. It may be the last time SU and BC ever play each other, since Boston is leaving the Big East next year. You probably don't care about this, but if you're watching the game and they show the band, you may be able to see me. They usually show us on and off during halftime. I'm the fourth bass drum from the top (small to big), and I already mentioned that I'm the only male bass drummer, but that may be hard to determine on TV. I understand if you don't care, but I just thought I'd point that out. If you do get the game, you can at least see the band when a team kicks extra points or field goals on our side. We're right behind the endzone. Remember, the game starts at noon, so check your local listings and see if ESPN is going to be showing it. It's the biggest game of the year so far, and other than our game against Notre Dame in December, it's probably the biggest home game of the entire season. Well, now that I've typed way too much again, I think I'll go. I have socks to wash. Remember: ESPN, 12:00 p.m. Not everyone will get it in their area, but if you do, be sure to watch. Later.

Very Little Time 

That title says it all. I'm doing laundry right now, and then I have to go to the store and buy some food. After that, I have to memorize a song and eat dinner, and then I need to get to the Carrier Dome by 5:15 to perform in the parade/pep rally they're putting on for homecoming. THEN there's marching band PRACTICE, which will cause me to miss the fireworks display at 8 (I'm a huge pyromaniac; I don't think I mentioned that yet), and will probably go until 8:30 or 9. When I get back to my dorm, I have to do more laundry, and I have to get up at 6:45 tomorrow morning, so I'll probably want to go to sleep. Tomorrow's agenda includes band practice at 7:30, drumline warm-up and full band pep rally starting at 10, and a football game that starts at noon and will probably go until 3:30 or 4. THEN, I have to go home and work on a paper for my writing class, and I have to call home at some point. How's that for a relaxing weekend? Needless to say, I won't be blogging much for the next couple days. Fortunately, I think there's enough content. For now, I'll post a few more quick updates. First of all, I had my philosophy discussion section, and the TA said that he "couldn't say enough" about how good my argument was, but he still disagrees with me. Is there no convincing these people? In any case, I get 25 extra credit points on the next test, so it works out in my favor even if they don't accept my argument. I'm fine with that, by the way. If everyone agrees with you, you're probably wrong. Also, I want to point out something interesting about SIT. I won't give away any names because they know who they are, but all four of my regular readers have names that start with the letter J. I know it's just a coincidence, but it strikes me as a bit strange. And, since I'm pretty much out of content now and I'm talking about names, I want to write about something that I noticed a while ago and haven't told anyone, but it's really interesting (DISCLAIMER: you may not find this interesting. Do not expect to be entertained). Here's what I noticed. In the Rocky movies, his first big nemesis is a guy named Apollo Creed. Apollo Creed was played by an actor named Carl Weathers. Now, my favorite band is Creed, and their last album was called Weathered. Apollo Creed=Carl Weathers, CD by Creed=Weathered. Coincidence? Probably. But I thought it was cool anyway, and I'm wondering why nobody else has mentioned it. I think the fact that I just spent 3 minutes writing about that proves that I'm wasting time, so I should go now. Remember, you can still read the archives if I'm not posting much. The first 2 weeks have some pretty good stuff in them, although it isn't as focused. Okay, that's enough. Blog safely (that's another thing: I used to put a new tagline on every post, and now I just say "later" or "goodnight" or "blog safely." I need to start coming up with new ones again).

Sports Rivalries are Still Frightening 

Holy flurking schnit!!! I just witnessed possibly the most insane thing I've ever seen in my life. As I've said before, I just happen to have one of the biggest Yankees fans in the country as my roommate, so a few people gathered in our room to watch the game, and more were in and out as the night went on. It was frickin' incredible. They were trying to make everybody stand or sit in the exact same position they were in when good things happened, and they made some...interesting comments about Boston fans. I won't go into too many specifics, but one guy's comments included hitting people with a hockey stick and finding a place to bury a large number of bodies. I think he also mentioned hiring Osama Bin Laden at one point. Scary. I was especially scared when he mistakenly identified me as a Boston fan. He was on the phone with someone and said, "when are you sending the gun?" Then, a few seconds later, he turned to me and said, "you got two days, b*tch!" Now, understand that I'm not a Boston fan or a New York fan. I'm from Pittsburgh. I lost most of my interest in baseball a long time ago thanks to the magnificent suckitude of the Pirates. However, I think I'm going to be a Yankees fan for at least the rest of the World Series. I think to do otherwise would put my life in danger. Anyway, when the Yankees won, the dorm went crazy. People running up and down the halls screaming, jumping, banging on doors, etc. I don't think I've ever seen people celebrate that much in response to an event that means so little in the grand scheme of things. They're still at it now, actually, although they've quieted down a bit. The Boston fans on this floor were pretty quiet, but on another floor, a couple of them went into a room with two NY fans in it, TP'd the place, and basically dismantled the beds. That's too much. Really. I don't think I can write much more about this, but I thought I should get away from the whole abortion thing for awhile. Incidentally, there still haven't been any real challenges to my position on that issue since the T.A. one, so at least I made a really strong case. I've decided to stop trying so hard to defend it, because I realized nobody was reading my messages (see previous post). I'm going to let someone else try this. I'm tired of casting pearls before swine. Anyway, that's about all for today. Thanks for stopping by SIT.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

People are Idiots 

I'm about ready to give up on this abortion debate. I don't think the other students are even reading my responses or those of others. They just keep using the exact same arguments to try and justify abortion: "If you make abortion illegal, people will find ways to do it;" "It's the woman's body! She can decide what to do with it;" "Why should a rape victim be forced to carry a reminder of her experience for 9 months?" Really, are these people capable of free, conscious thought, or are they just listening to some barely audible moonbat waves that only pro-choice people can hear? The only people who are actually challenging my position are the professor and one T.A. The T.A. tried to say that a plane makes up for man's inability to fly, while contraceptives make up for man's inability to have "safe sex." Now, it seems to me that people can't fly without planes (at least not for very long), but they can still have sex without contraceptives. Just because you decrease the risk doesn't make it okay. Also, he says that contraceptives and planes are both ways of challenging nature, but that's not my point. Sex is designed to reproduce, and planes are designed to fly. No matter what you add or take away, they are still designed for the same thing. I'm about ready to give up on this, because the other students aren't listening and the professor is just arguing in circles. Any suggestions?

The Result 

Well, class was indeed quite interesting. However, the professor still hasn't necessarily refuted my arguments. He just argued, using Judith Jarvis Thomson's piece, that you aren't necessarily responsible for taking every precaution against something. I still don't think that proves anything based on my design argument, but he left it up to the class to decide who is right, so obviously I made a decent case. In fact, he started off the class by looking at me and saying, "your sh*t is tight!" (college professors seem to enjoy profanity) So basically, he thinks I have a good argument even though he disagrees, but neither point can be conclusively proven as true yet because of the nature of morality. Of course, I detect a hint of moral relativism here (i.e. "that's true for you, but not for me"), but I'm glad the debate is at least a draw for now. Also, I want to thank the people that left comments about this situation. I really appreciate your taking the time to contribute to my insignificant little corner of the Internet. So that's it for now. The debate isn't necessarily over yet, and my section discussion should be interesting tomorrow. None of the people whose arguments have been used on quizzes have been in my section so far, so I don't know how that goes, but it should be fun. One last thing: I have to get up before 7 a.m. on Saturday. Hooray for marching band!!!!

A Semi-Victory for CD 

I just checked my e-mail, and Professor Thomas apparently still disagrees with me. However, he says that it is because good philosophy depends on "quality of argument" in addition to agreement. I have no idea what that means, but this whole ordeal has still helped me in a way, because I get extra credit on the next quiz for taking the time to explain my arguments. Also, there will be questions about my messages on the quiz, but I'm not allowed to answer them (obviously). Again, I'm not sure exactly why the professor disagrees with me, but I think I at least made a pretty strong case for my position. The lecture starts in about 45 minutes, so I'll probably find out what he was talking about. I don't mind telling you that I'm a little nervous, but it's not like I can lose points if he comes up with something better. I'm just glad I finally got a chance to debate about abortion (I've been studying methods of argumentation and various cases for and against abortion for the past few months), and I'm definitely not done yet. This was just about the plane analogy. We still have to finish talking about "A Defense of Abortion," and I've read "Unstringing the Violinist" by Greg Koukl (excellent work; you should definitely read it now. There's a link in another post), so I know where the faults are in Thomson's justification. Also, I got a comment saying that sex has other benefits, like endorphins and such, but I'll quickly respond to that by saying that it still serves the fundamental purpose of reproduction. After all, this computer I'm using could work pretty well as a paperweight, but it wasn't designed for that purpose. I just thought I'd clear that up. I'm not arguing that some actions don't have extra benefits. I'm just saying that those are accessories to the main purpose. By the way, I'm still not sure why I'm spending so much time on philosophy when I'm a communications major. I guess it's just a good change of pace.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Yet Another Post About Abortion 

I think I just blindsided my opponents on the listserv. I posted a refutation of challenges to my argument, and it hasn't been posted yet, but I think they're going to be hard pressed to challenge my position again when they see it. Because I think this is such an interesting topic, I will once again post the text of the message I wrote for the listserv:

I wrote an explanation of my position on this issue last night that I think was needlessly complicated, so I've decided to try and clarify what I meant. Again, my view is that a couple who conceives through consensual sex (Professor Thomas was referring to this and not rape) is always morally responsible for the child, because they caused the pregnancy despite their attempts to prevent it, and since sex is designed to produce children, they have no excuse. I've decided to temporarily set aside the plane analogy, and instead present an analogy of my own that demonstrates moral responsibility on the part of the parents. (note to SIT readers: I used this analogy yesterday on the blog, but this is a more detailed version of it)

Let's say that you and your friends are bored one day, so you decide to play a game of Russian roulette, which you find extremely entertaining (even pleasurable). You've done this several times before, and nobody has ever "lost" a game, so you have a good track record up to this point. Now, imagine that it's your turn to point the gun at your head and pull the trigger. You know there is only a 1 in 6 chance that the gun will fire, so you have a reasonable amount of confidence that you will be safe. However, it turns out that you got the chamber with a bullet in it, and when you pull the trigger, you die.

Now, would anyone deny that you are morally responsible for your death? You knew the risks, and you knew that your safety wasn't 100% guaranteed, but YOU, and only YOU, chose to pull the trigger anyway. Because you were directly responsible for the action, you are morally responsible for the consequences.

Let's take it one step further. Imagine that, to make the game even safer, you used a special bullet that only has a 10% chance of firing. Therefore, you not only know that you may not get the chamber containing a bullet, but you know there is a 90% chance that you will survive anyway. Unfortunately, when you pull the trigger, the bullet fires. You are still responsible! Unless you are 100% certain that you will be safe, you have moral responsibility, because you are in control of your actions and are the direct cause of the event.

This takes us back to the plane example. If you put your son on a plane, you have a reasonable expectation the he will be safe. If the plane crashes, however, it is not your fault, because you didn't cause the plane to crash. In the roulette example, and in instances of consensual sex, you are in control the whole time, and you always have the option to prevent pregnancy from happening by abstaining from sex or to prevent death by not pulling the trigger.

This also comes back to my argument that planes are not designed to crash, but sex is designed to produce children. Think about the roulette example. If you pull the trigger and the gun doesn't fire, then that's an accident! You may be happy with the result, but the reality is that if that gun had been working properly, you would be dead. The point is that if you take an action that is designed for a specific purpose while simultaneously trying to prevent it from accomplishing that purpose, you are morally responsible if your attempts fail.

On the other hand, if you use something for its intended purpose and it fails, you are not morally responsible, because you were not misusing it. I think this is where [my opponent] was confused. I am trying to prove that sex, and not failed birth control, is the cause of pregnancy. As the roulette example shows, decreasing the risk involved doesn't make it morally neutral. Guns are designed to fire, and if you happen to shoot yourself, you are responsible because you knew that ahead of time.

Just to avoid confusion, I should point out that I reject Kant's theory that motivation dictates whether an action has moral worth. I would say that motivation can add to or subtract from the net worth of an action, but that doesn't change the action itself. Sex is the same thing whether or not it is done for the purposes of conception, so the fact that you may not want a child does not exonerate you. After all, if you fail a test, you may not be happy with that outcome, but you are still responsible for the failure. I'll leave it at that for now, and I'm looking forward to your feedback.

So, do you think I have a solid argument? This just got posted on the listserv as I was copying it (I had to transcribe it, actually, which took a few minutes), so I expect the responses to start coming in about an hour or less. Again, I would really appreciate comments from readers about this argument.

I realize that you may not understand some of the concepts I mention (Kant, for example), but the point I'm making stands on its own. If you think I could improve this analogy, or if there is a problem with it that I'm missing, please leave a comment and let me know. Remember, when you write comments, I will see them. I get notified by e-mail every time someone posts to the comments sections, and I will read whatever advice you give me. Your input is appreciated. I think that's it for now.

By the way, they're cleaning the men's bathroom in my dorm at 8:00 in the morning now, which is when I get up. That's strange to begin with, but it's also a female custodian cleaning it, so you can only brush your teeth or fix your hair. You can't take a shower or anything. That's just strange. Later.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Another Update On the Philosophy Discussion 

I'm back! I couldn't get access to the blog (or any other BlogSpot page, for that matter) for about 2 hours, but I'm here now. I just want to write another brief and pretty much meaningless update on that philosophy listserv I talked about earlier. Basically, the pro-lifers are destroying the pro-choice...ers. They tried all the classic arguments, like "the child will grow up in poverty," and "if a woman is raped, she has no responsibility to take care of the child (one person even went so far as to say that a mother could not have any love for a child conceived by rape)," and "if you use birth control but you still get pregnant, abortion is okay because you didn't want a baby," and so on. We've basically cut down all those positions, and it's slowing down a bit, but I think abortion has lost the debate for now. I'm a little disappointed because we didn't get to the plane crash analogy and my response, but we'll probably talk about that in class on Thursday. Anyway, I just thought I'd let you know that the pro-life postion has prevailed in Syracuse University's PHI 191 class...for now. By the way, the class itself is really interesting, and I may talk about it more in the future. It's taught by Laurence Thomas, who has written 3 books and dozens of articles on moral philosophy, and he really knows how to keep the audience interested during lecture. Plus, if you get lucky, you can point out a flaw in one of his arguments like I did and make yourself look really smart (I'm getting a bit too egotistical these days). So, now that I've given another free advertisement for SU, it's about time for me to go. I do have work to do...eventually. Later.

The pro-choicers are fighting back! They're trying to refute my arguments, at least. I just spent 40 minutes responding to a couple challenges, particularly one that said IN THE TITLE that I was wrong. This guy tried to say that my "planes aren't designed to crash" argument was inaccurate because contraceptives aren't designed to fail, but he missed the point of my argument, which is that sex accomplishes its true purpose without contraception, and planes accomplish their purpose when they don't crash. You don't need to add anything to a plane to get to your destination, but you have to add to sex to prevent pregnancy. This guy called contraceptive sex an "alternative purpose," and I'll grant that, but it isn't the original purpose. Again, crashing a plane into the WTC could be considered an alternative purpose, but it's still harmful. I really need to go to sleep now, so...goodnight (it's currently 1:11 in the morning).

Internet Advertising Sucks 

I don't really have anything to talk about right now, but I just want to say that I am sick of popup and popunder ads. They're horrible. You're just reading a page, minding your own business, and then this big frickin' window just pops up in your face. Popunders are even worse, because you don't see them right away, and they sometimes spawn more if you let them go. The worst ads are popups that turn into popunders. You try to click the "X" in the top corner, but the ad jumps under the other windows, and you end up closing the one you were actually looking at! That's wrong. What makes these people think I want to give them my business when they just made me close the page I was trying to read? Idiots. That's all, I guess. Deport Michael Moore to Canada.

A popunder from another page just spawned under the Blogger publishing window as I was proofreading. What did I tell you?

More Abortion Stuff 

Wow, the listserv discussion is heating up. Someone said that tadpoles and chicken eggs are not frogs and chickens, so they are not the same thing. I just reminded this person that those animals are still in the process of growing, but they don't need to be fertilized or altered by any outside force. They just need to rely on nature. I also pointed out that you could use this logic to justify murdering toddlers, since they aren't adults. I'm not going to post about everything that happens in this discussion, but I want to make up for the boring crap I've been writing for the past few days. Also, click on the "Michael Moore Hates America" link and go to the filmmaker's journal. There's an interesting commentary there on how "tolerant" Moore is, and it points out that he is an anti-American socialist hypocrite. I have to go eat dinner now.

Gettin' Philosophical 

I just had a rather interesting time in my philosophy class (Ethics and Value Theory). We were discussing Judith Jarvis Thomson's "A Defense of Abortion," and we looked at several of her arguments. I don' know how many of you have read this, but it uses some incredibly flawed analogies to try and justify abortion. I don't want to take up a lot of space explaining all the points, but I'll cover a couple of the main ones and why one of them has put a lot of pressure on me. First of all, she uses an argument that fetuses are not human. I think this is a load of crap (pardon the "attacking your opponent rather than their argument" tactic, but it is a load of crap), but let's see why she thinks this is true. Apparently, in her view, an acorn can potentially become an oak tree, but it is not an oak tree yet. Therefore, she says, a fetus is not human even though it can become human. This isn't right. I actually just posted a message to the class listserv about this (which hasn't been sent to my mailbox yet for some reason), and I'll just repeat it verbatim here:

Thomson says that an acorn is not an oak tree, and therefore a fetus is not a human. I think this is a flawed analogy. I realize that an acorn isn't an oak tree, but I'm assuming that said acorn hasn't been planted yet. It has fallen from another tree, but it isn't growing. Once it's been planted and fertilized, it becomes a tree, no matter how small it is. Thomson thinks that an acorn is analogous to a fetus, but in reality, it is analogous to an unfertilized egg. The acorn can't become a tree until it is fertilized, and an egg can't become a fetus until is is fertilized. Once the egg and sperm combine, the result is a fetus, just as an acorn becomes an oak tree once it is planted. In my view, the fetus is human in any stage once the egg and sperm combine, and I'm no expert on plants, but I don't know what else you would call a tree that has started growing. That's why the analogy is flawed.

Now, that wasn't the topic of much discussion in class, because the professor decided to just accept it as true (which surprised me, because he's usually very intelligent with these things). Later, we were discussing the issue of responsibility in pregnancy and what role that plays in abortion rights. The professor gave us an example in which a couple has consensual sex with as much birth control as possible, but still conceives a child. He then asked us whether they are responsible for that child, or if it can be aborted because it was an accident (not his exact words, but definitely his point).

Before we discussed it, he gave us an analogy. In his example, he puts his son on a plane from New York to Los Angeles, taking every precaution to ensure that the child is safe and comfortable, but the plane crashes and his son dies. Then, he asked if there is a degree of moral responsibility on his part for putting his son on the plane. I have a problem with this analogy, and I actually spoke up about it in class (FYI: this class is held in an auditorium and has several hundred people in it). I said that the analogy doesn't make sense because of the intentions of the parties involved. In the professor's view, the child is an accident in the same way that a plane crash is an accident.

I'll grant that you may not want a child or a plane crash, but look at the situation. Sex is designed to produce children. There's no way around it. You can use all the birth control you want, but sex is still meant to cause pregnancy in its empirical form. On the other hand, planes are not designed to crash. Planes are designed to take you from point A to point B. Therefore, if you get to your destination, you have accomplished the purpose of flying, whereas with sex, if there is no conception, then you have not fulfilled the original purpose of the act.

If my professor's analogy were accurate, it would mean that every time a plane crashes, it has done the thing it's designed for, and when it safely reaches its destination, it does so by accident, and everything that keeps it from crashing is just to prevent it from doing what it was built to do. By his logic, the 9-11 terrorists were some of the best pilots in the world, since they figured out a way to crash the planes by themselves.

Something is wrong with that view. Pregnancy is not a plane crash. Birth control isn't meant to accomplish the real goal of sex, it just prevents one possible result. Sex that doesn't result in pregnancy isn't a plane crash either, but it certainly isn't analogous to safely reaching the airport.

Incidentally, I'm a protestant, so I think birth control is fine (within marriage, of course). I'm just saying that sex is meant to cause pregnancy, so if you fail to prevent it, you're still responsible for engaging in an act that is meant to accomplish exactly what it did.

Here's an analogy for you: imagine you're playing Russian roulette. You pull the trigger, and you don't get shot. Guess what? That was an accident! Guns are meant to shoot things, but since you got lucky and got an empty chamber, you lived. Just because something is good doesn't mean it can't be an accident. This doesn't entirely relate to my professor's analogy, I just thought I'd give another perspective.

I hope this is a valid argument, because I now have to defend it. We're going to be discussing it further in class on Thursday, as well as on the listserv. Also, it'll probably be on a quiz. If anyone has anything to add to this, please post a comment and let me know. I don't want to look like an idiot.

By the way, just because this is my blog and I can talk about myself, I think I should point out that I got a round of applause from many people in the class when I gave my "planes aren't designed to crash" argument, so apparently they thought it was good. I'm rambling, so I should stop. I'll keep you up to date on how the discussion goes, and again, please let me know if there's something I should change about my argument.

MORE INFO-To read Greg Koukl's refutation of Thomson, click on the following link: Unstringing the Violinist

Monday, October 13, 2003

How Do Some People Get Into College? 

I have another quick post for this afternoon. I'm having trouble focusing because my roommate is watching TV, but I'll try to put the words together. There's a guy in my writing class that makes me wonder what the college admissions people are thinking sometimes. First of all, we were looking at some citation tips in one of our books, and he was looking at the book of the person sitting next to him. The one with the book asked him if he forgot his, and he said something like, "I didn't buy any books. F**k books." That's serious dedication. It makes me feel like an overachiever. That was great, but he said something later that topped it. We were looking at the conflict between Israel and Palestine to study different points of view and claims vs. evidence, and we were each supposed to bring in 3 articles about it. When we were told to get them out, the no-book guy said something like, "I got mad articles on Israel and Pakistan!" Pakistan?! I thought maybe I misheard him, but then he said it 2 MORE TIMES! How can you find 3 articles and not even know the name of one of the countries? PAKISTAN? The best part of this is that when I was walking back to my dorm, he came up to me and said, "Claims and evidence. You'd better get those straight. Start paying attention" (I got claims and evidence confused during the discussion). I just said, "That's good advice coming from someone who doesn't even have the book." That shut him up...for about 2 seconds. I'm not going to go into the rest of the conversation because it wasn't as ridiculous. I'm just wondering how this moron got into a place like Syracuse. He's not even a minority! He actually had to have a good application (that's not racist; it's reality)! What were they thinking? Anyway, there's another rant. I have a four page paper to write for communications that I haven't started yet, and it's due tomorrow morning, so I'll probably be working on that tonight instead of blogging. Also, here's a tip for readers: don't play Curveball. I know I told you to play it, but now it controls my life. It's so incredibly addictive, and level 9 is impossible, so it makes you keep coming back. Don't get hooked on it unless you have some time. That's all. Nothing to see here. Move it along. Go back to your homes. The hounds will be released in 4 minutes.

Clinton and Terrorism 

I was just posting to the comments on Right Wing News on the topic of 9-11 and the roles of Clinton and Bush in causing/failing to prevent it, and I think some of the information there proves how horrible Bill Clinton's policies on foreign affairs and national defense were. To see for yourself, go to RWN and click on the comments under "Five Things Other Conservative Websites Do That Annoy Me." The comments labeled "CMD" are mine. You'll notice that I posted a rather uninformed comment at the beginning about how Bush and Clinton both failed to act on intelligence, and a few people came along after that and set the record straight. So (insert cheesy piano music here), I've learned something today: don't post comments on a big site like RWN until you know what you're talking about. I'll definitely do my research from now on. The positive side of this is that I now know just how incompetent Clinton was, and how lucky we are to have Dubya defending our country. Yes, I'm still calling him Dubya. Later.

Linked Again (+ status report) 

I was checking my referrers once again, and I eventually found out that I'm now linked on JawsBlog. I'd like to thank Jaws (I don't know his name) for that. I have a link to his blog on SIT. Check it out. There's more good conservative stuff to read, and he has over 4,000 hits, so he must be doing something right. As long as I'm posting, I'll briefly give a status report for SIT. The hit counter is now at 110, so apparently people are still coming here. That's always good. I'm going to keep posting on a regular basis, but I'm trying to get motivated to work a little harder for my classes, so I may be updating a bit less in the next couple weeks. I will be writing about any examples of liberal bias or socially offensive things that happen on campus, and hopefully I'll be able to keep up with the news. I thought I was going to get a social rant out of, conveniently enough, my sociology class today (with the professor who thinks we invented reverse racism), but he didn't say anything that particularly annoyed me, so I'm out of luck. I will say, however, that I've noticed something about sociology/social studies teaching types: they're boring. My sociology teacher last year could put the entire class to sleep in 5 minutes, and my professor this year isn't much better. Is there some kind of rule that says sociology has to be taught as blandly and unemotionally as possible? I think there is. I'm not going to say too much more about this, because it would just take up space. I'll be back later.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

100 Hits!!! 

All right! The counter's at 101! I feel really happy right now. They were both from the Blogger page (I republished a couple times in the last few minutes), but that doesn't change the fact that I've got over 100! That makes me feel a bit more professional. I don't want to seem like I'm bragging here, but over 100 hits in 8 days is something to talk about when you've been blogging for less than a month. Thanks to everyone who came here, and keep checking for more.

Another Racism Rant With Related Link (say that five times fast) 

Once again, I apologize for the overall lack of posting this weekend, but there seems to be a lack of interesting stuff happening around here (incidentally, I'm glad I didn't have to be at the football game, because Syracuse got annihilated), and there aren't a lot of good news stories to write about. There's plenty going on, but it's all about stuff that I don't really care about. I like writing about social issues, and it's been nothing but politics and economics and things. I want to write social rants!

Anyway, I did come across an interesting post on the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, and I followed Misha's link to the main article by Michelle Malkin (how's that for name dropping?). It's all about Cruz Bustamante and how the media completely ignored the fact that he belongs to a racist organization. I'm sure all you conservatives out there are aware of this fact, but apparently the "unbiased" media decided to completely ignore it. You'd think they would at least make fun of it on the late night talk shows or something, but there was nothing! They made fun of his weight and made up stories about him gambling or something, but nothing about the fact that he belongs to a "bronze" supremacy group! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!

You can read about this in the article, which I have linked below for easier...linkage, I guess, but I'll give you a paraphrased overview of one of the most interesting parts. Bustamante belongs to an organization called MEChA (I'm not going to bother writing what that stands for), which, among other things, treats latinos as a superior race, wishes to topple authority, and intends to conquer the southwestern United States because of historical claims.

Does that sound familiar to anyone? Superior race...anarchy...conquering land you say is rightfully yours anyway...did the media screw up and attribute this to Schwarzenegger, because they were calling HIM a nazi while completely ignoring Bustamante, who actually belongs-repeat-BELONGS-as in present tense, at this moment, right now, etc., to an organization whose goals can be compared to Hitler's!

"Well, he's a Democrat, so the First Amendment allows him to belong to that kind of group, but since Schwarzenegger decided to betray his country and run as a Republican, he doesn't get the same rights. In fact, since he is a LEGAL immigrant, we're not giving him any sympathy at all! How dare he become a 'naturalized citizen' and speak 'English?' Plus, he's white. That's a dead giveaway! If he's white, speaks English, and is in this country legally, then he must be evil! Bad Arnold! Bad!"

Okay, that got silly, but I guess I did manage to crank out a short rant this weekend. Anyway, you can read it in slightly more logical terms in Michelle Malkin's article. Since I'm a college student, I'm basically not allowed to speak up about this kind of thing (they might call me a racist if I criticize a latino group), and I'm in New York anyway, so it probably wouldn't do much good, but I urge anyone out there who's living in the free world and/or California to speak up about this. I really think conservatives need to take action and put an end to ridiculous double standards like this.

Just to make sure you get the point, I'll break it down once more: Arnold=related to a Nazi, may have praised Hitler for his speaking skills. Bustamante=Currently a member of an organization that wants to conquer part of the U.S. and take away the rights of non-latinos. Media=Criticizes Arnold, ignores Bustamante. There, is that clear enough? Seriously, do something! Talk to someone! There's gotta be a way! This is for the good of the nation!

Even if you'd prefer not to take orders from an eighteen year old, you should try and make a difference with this issue. That's the end of today's rant. Before I stop, however, I want to add another update about the blog. The counter is currently at 97. 97 hits in 8 days! I'm really happy about that. I want to thank everyone who has come here, and I realize that many of those hits are from the same 2 or 3 people (you know who you are), so I want to thank you especially. Hopefully, I'll eventually get more attention and become a part of the mainstream right-wing blogosphere, but I know that takes longer than 3 weeks. I don't expect to be blogrolled on Right Wing News or Instapundit after less than a month, but a blogger can dream. Anyway, thanks again for coming back, and I will post again soon. Later.

Bustamante, MEChA and the Media by Michelle Malkin (article is from August, but is still very relevant)

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