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

Saturday, November 08, 2003

New Links 

You may have noticed the new Alliance Blogroll. I'm still fiddling with the code, so some links are now repeated, but I can get that fixed pretty easily. Unfortunately, I have to go eat dinner now.

Status Report 

I tried to post this earlier, but the computer froze. Here's a tip: if you're thinking of getting an eMac...don't. Anyway, sorry about not posting anything else today. I don't really have much to work with right now. As for tomorrow, I can't post anything for most of the day. I have band rehearsal at 8:30, followed by a pep rally at noon and a football game at 1:30, and after that, I'm going out to dinner with my parents. I probably won't be back until after 7 PM, just so you know. Hopefully I'll have something by then. In slightly better news, the hit counter is at 600, with about 70 of those coming today. Thanks again to everyone who has visited and/or voted. Also, I spent most of the evening messing with the template code on my practice blog, and I now know how to change the colors of every individual section, heading, and title (I also changed Evil Monkeys a bit, for those who visit there occasionally). Therefore, if you have a suggestion for a new color scheme, feel free to leave a comment. I'm not definitely changing it, but I'm getting a bit bored with the current one, and I figure changing colors is easier than switching templates entirely. That's about it. Goodnight.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Showcase Votes 

Hey, as long as I'm talking about the showcase so frickin' much, here are my votes:

I Pray Daily. Am I an Extremist? From Patriot Paradox

Who Da Pope? from Rocket Penguin
A Halloween Story from Mr. Cranky.

I'm not just jumping on the Alliance bandwagon here. All these posts are really good.


Okay, if I did change the template, it would probably be to one of these:

Sample 1
Sample 2
Sample 3
Sample 4

I can't figure out how to have 2 polls at once, so just leave a comment if you have any opinion at all. Again, I will try to write a political post before the end of the day. Right now, I have to clean my dorm room. The guy in the room next to me thinks I'm going to attract roaches and raccoons, and he's coming by at 5 to make sure I cleaned it. He just wrote a message on my dry-erase board that says "5 PM: Doomsday!" (replacing the o's with bombs) so I should probably get to that.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Quick Note 

I put the guestbook back just for the heck of it. If you want to read/sign it, it's at the bottom of the page next to the Alliance banner.


That was my reaction a few minutes ago. I got back here in kind of a bad mood because I left my music at band practice and forgot to pick up an information sheet for a possible bowl game trip, but then I checked out my hit counter. It's currently at 512. Of those 512, 49 are from today, which completely obliterates the old record of 26. I'm really happy. I knew I would get some extra hits from entering the showcase, but...wow. I'm also getting some votes, which is good. The League of Liberals Lunatics is way ahead with their voting, so I'm still behind, but it looks like I may have a chance. A lot of Alliance members vote on Sunday night, while the LoL votes early. It's hard to tell right now, but...49 hits in one day...that may not seem like much, but when you've only been blogging for 6 weeks, it's an amazing feeling. Thanks to everyone who's voted for me so far (it's too tough to track them down and thank them individually), and I hope you'll come back. I've alluded to this already, and it may disappoint the original 4 readers, but I'm going to have to cut back on posting for the next couple weeks. All you new people can go through the archives, because there's over a month of material there. I suggest reading through the first week of posting. It'll help you get a feel for my style, and you'll find out why the blog is called Semi-Intelligent Thoughts (if you haven't gone to the "New to SIT?" link yet, you can also find out there). Also, I'll try to keep posting something new every day, but I really need to take a break. The next 3 weeks are not going to be easy for me, because I've got 4 essays due before Thanksgiving, and I have to start registering for Spring classes next week, so I need to limit my online activity. Sorry about being so self-absorbed here, but I haven't exactly had what you would call a good day, and this really helps. Thanks again, and I'll try to post something meaningful in the next 36 hours...I think that was the wordiest post yet.

Quick Update 

First of all, thanks to everyone who's voted for SIT so far in the showcase. I really appreciate it. Anyway, I don't think I'll be posting much today. I have to leave around 4, and then I won't be back until 9, so I obviously can't write anything during that time. I'll try to get something up here later tonight if at all possible, but I am kind of busy. Remember, if you happen to be a new reader, there's a lot of archived stuff, so be sure to check it out. I guess that's about it.

Affirmative Action 

Go here for an awesome post about affirmative action and why it's idiotic. In the meantime, I'm going to sleep. Goodnight.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

It Has Begun... 

Well, I just entered "No Offense" into the New Weblog Showcase. This is it. In a few days, I'll find out just how interesting people think I am. No offense (ha ha ha ha) to my 4 regulars, but I really need to expand my audience a bit, and this may be the way to do it. Even if I don't win, this should get me a lot of attention, as big, important bloggers like IMAO's Frank J. participate in the showcase. I hope I'm making the right decision here. Anyway, I just thought I'd let you know that I am officially throwing my hat into the ring, as it were, and I'm ready to take on the blogosphere with full force. Unfortunately, I have a lot of essays to write, so the archives may have to suffice for a while...like right now. Bye.

No Offense 

I paid a visit to Tongue Tied today, and their first post brought something to my attention that's been bothering me for a long time: the nature of political correctness. Here's the basic story: students in Orlando weren't allowed to enter two floats in their homecoming parade because they weren't politically correct. One featured the toppling of a Saddam Hussein statue, and the other basically recommended that people follow Jesus. I think both of those are great messages, but according to the article, they had the potential to "alienate" Muslims and young children, so they were banned. I don't know how either one of those would offend children, and Muslims can handle other religious messages, so one has to wonder why they're making such a big deal of it. It seems like they're giving preferential treatment...and that's the problem with political correctness.

The goal of political correctness is to make everyone feel safe and comfortable, and the cardinal sin in PC world is to "offend" or "alienate" somebody. However, this just doesn't work. Realistically, if the entire world was politically correct, we would have to live in a pluralistic, omniracial, androgynous society where nobody could use adjectives or make any statements implying the superiority of something. We are moving closer to this, as books like Diane Ravitch's "The Language Police" have illustrated (I really want to read that book next summer). However, there is a double standard involved. Political correctness is supposed to keep people from being offended, but what if this offends people? Why is nobody complaining that the students in this article may feel alienated because they can't express their beliefs? They're being stigmatized, which is supposedly wrong. The only way to keep people from being offended is to outlaw all expression of opinion.

Think about it. There are so many things people used to say that are no longer politically correct because they are considered offensive (this isn't to say that some of them aren't). However, if somebody is a racist, won't they feel offended and alienated if they are labeled and denied equal rights of free speech because they use derogatory language? Sexism is politically incorrect, so what if a manager who treats his female employees like objects and makes crude comments on a regular basis feels offended because he can't continue to do so? These things are wrong, of course, but the people who do them will still feel like outcasts if they aren't allowed to continue. When you break it down, political correctness is really just a concentrated effort to keep people's feelings from being hurt, but it is contradictory in this way because labeling behaviors and opinions as incorrect hurts feelings as well, even if those behaviors/opinions truly are offensive.

There is another aspect of preferential treatment in political correctness that people seem to forget. Certain groups are considered more important than others, which also alienates some people. In one of my other posts entitled "How to Mess with the Thought Police," I mentioned that I'm overweight, but I don't get special protection, and I can't go crying to the authorities every time someone makes a fat joke. Sure, it offends me, but I've learned to deal with it. In the same way, the Muslims who are supposedly offended by Jesus' name should learn to tolerate other religions, although I haven't seen evidence that they actually complained. It was just assumed that they would be offended. People need to learn that they can't live in a giant bubble of comfort and security. Every so often, something is going to offend you, and you should just learn to ignore it. If we make everyone so sensitive that the slightest hint of bias can be turned into a huge controversy, we'll have a lot more "Rush Limbaugh" type incidents.

I think that's about all I have to say on this issue. I just believe that it's impossible not to offend anyone, because everyone has his or her (I seem to be catching the PC bug!) own opinions. If someone's opinion is considered offensive or just plain wrong, they shouldn't be forced to change it under penalty of law. Civilized debate exists for a reason. If you have the right idea and are able to justify it with a good argument, your point will be made effectively. When political correctness is invoked, it shows that the people calling for it really haven't thought the issue through, and they're probably too insecure to make a rational case for their position.


Some Good News 

I just thought I would remind everyone that PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION IS NOW ILLEGAL! Children's lives have been saved, and we're on our way to eliminating this violation of human rights once and for all. This is why I support Dubya. He's not afraid to be controversial. On a side note, how low has our society sunk when someone who is AGAINST dissecting babies alive in the name of convenience is considered controversial, radical, and extremist? Think about it.

War Debate 

We had the debate, and the professor friggin' tricked us. He asked "who wants to be on the pro-war side?" and four people (including me) raised their hands. Then, he asked who wanted to be anti-war, and about 8 people raised their hands. Then, he revealed that everyone who raised their hand would be defending the opposing position, and he put the people who didn't have a preference on the anti-war side, which was originally the pro-war side. Confused? Good. So, I did end up having to argue against the war. I used the argument that it was nothing but a distraction so people wouldn't notice the economy, and I said that Bush is using the war to accuse people of being unpatriotic so they're frightened into supporting him. The professor did a very strange thing during this. He originally said, "I'm not going to say anything. I want to let you guys debate." Then, he started commenting every so often and said that he would be the "fact guy," but wouldn't support any one opinion. Unfortunately, this gradually deteriorated into arguing against the war. So much for being a moderator. First, he said that the justification (other words he used were "propaganda" and "rhetoric") for the war has changed in the last year. He said that when the administration couldn't prove a link to 9/11, they started looking for WMD, and when that failed, they talked about the humanitarian benefits, which, according to the professor, are not working. Of course, in the process, he made the mistake of claiming that Bush specifically mentioned Niger in the State of the Union speech (he called it "sleight of hand"), failing to realize that no specific country was ever named. He also argued that the economy is only improving because of the war, and that we're going to be in debt for years because we can't pay back $87 billion. In addition, he said that when Bush took office, there was a budget surplus thanks to Clinton, and he blamed Dubya for the current deficit. These people are really predictable. There was another fun incident with one of the students. He apparently is very anti-war, so he had to argue for the war. He was trying to make an argument, and he basically said, "uh....we had to invade...because...DAMN IT! I wanted to be on the anti-war side!" He later called President Bush a "nut-job" and said Clinton was better. I think I've written too much again, but war debates are always fun. I do like how the professor was open to all points of view, but it bothers me that he couldn't stay neutral for 60 minutes of his life. I have to go to band practice in about 15 minutes, but when I come back, I want to write some stuff about political correctness that's been bugging me lately. I may submit it to the new blog showcase if it's good enough. Until then, blog safely, and don't put words in the president's mouth.

In my rush to get this written before I had to leave, I left out a couple points. In addition to the statements I've already listed, my professor said a couple other idiotarian things. First, he claimed that Donald Rumsfeld supposedly started planning the Iraq war 3 hours after the WTC attacks. He also said that the U.S. funds more terrorism than any other country in the world (shocking, isn't it?). He gave examples of various covert military operations and assassinations, but I fail to see how that counts as terrorism. The U.S. doesn't attack innocent people. I'll remind you that this is the professor who thought Wesley Clark had already won when he announced his candidacy, and he thinks Bush is only president because he has more money. It was funny to hear him talking about last night's Democratic debate, though. He said he was very disappointed, and he found the candidates "uncharismatic and uninspiring." Well, maybe that's because they haven't told us any of their plans yet! As far as I know, their policy is to do the opposite of what Bush would do. In fact, I think I'll give that policy a name: WWDD--What Wouldn't Dubya Do? I doubt it'll catch on, but I still think it's pretty accurate.

Afternoon Update 

This hasn't been the best day so far. I slept late and missed Spanish AGAIN, and my sociology class was so boring that I actually can't remember 99% of what the professor said. Here's a tip for college professors: If you give the class a handout with all the necessary notes already on it, there's no point in having a lecture. Just email it to us and let us sleep. There's also less to rant about today. Nothing particularly stupid has happened yet. The only thing in the Daily Orange that I could talk about concerns the Public Safety officers and their new "Peace Officer" status, which would allow them to carry guns. A student said that he doesn't feel comfortable with armed Public Safety officers. Now, this is understandable, but what's strange is the reasoning behind that. The student who said this is black, and he cites this as the reason armed officers make him nervous. Does that sound slightly biased to anyone else? "If we arm the officers, they'll shoot minorities!" Seriously, all Public Safety does is break up frat parties when they get too loud. I don't think they'll need the guns much. SU has more serious crime that actual police officers should be dealing with (we have a lot of car break-ins and armed robbery). I may have something to write about later. We're having a debate in my writing class at 3 on the Iraq war. Now, here's the catch: we won't know which side we're defending until the debate starts. I may end up actually arguing against the war! My communications teacher actually did this last year, and the debate was about affirmative action. I ended up being on the pro-affirmative action side, and I was picked to start the discussion. I had to say something like, "uh...well, this is kinda hard for me because I actually don't like affirmative action, but maybe it will...um...eliminate racism that already exists?" The teacher just laughed and said that we shouldn't add "disclaimers" to our statements. I hope that doesn't happen again today. I actually have to do some research for said debate right now, so I'll be back later. By the way, check out that DU message board thing if you haven't already. Apparently they don't even like moderates now. Also, I want to thank Zero Effect and Nuns with Nuts (or whatever it's called these days) for linking to SIT. I have them both linked on Evil Monkeys, which probably doesn't help much, so I may add them here as well.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Is This Possible? 

I can't believe what I'm seeing. Somebody actually posted an intelligent response to a DU message board discussion talking about how the Democratic party is dead. Look at this:

We have the most inept(Hoover), incompetent(Carter), and corrupt administration (Nixon, Clinton) in history, led my a man whose only activities are lying(Nixon, Clinton), fundraising and vacationing(Clinton), yet who still enjoys approval ratings in the 50% range(Clinton).
Like it or not the economy is getting better and the jobs will return. Its a normal, historical economic cycle. This is the very attitude on why we have lost elections for the last 10 years. When you attack with such hatred of a sitting president you will get a loss in return. Don't you remember Clinton winning because the republicans attacked him for everything? The people dismissed accusations because there were so many minor ones.
If we remain only pandering to our far left extreme then we will lose more seats and the presidency again. Yeah I'm the new guy here but I'm an old dem. We have lost the great democrat base and losing more everyday with the rhetoric. So you can stand on your far left principles and watch things continue to go to the right. Its time correctly analyze our faults. Blaming the other guy only works on occasion.

I give him 12 hours before the "open-minded liberals" ban him from the board. Anyone else have a prediction?

*UPDATE* (posted at 1:25 AM)
Wow. This is impressive. They've already deleted all his posts and banned him from the board. If you want to see for yourself, go here. The person who posted the above message was named Virus, and their first post was #9. Seriously. It took less than 3 hours. IT TOOK LESS THAN 3 HOURS! From what I've seen, they may have actually deleted the post within the first hour. That's just sad. Guess they were offended.

Google is Cool 

Apparently, I'm in the top 10 on Google searches for "vondrook." I just thought I would post that.

The Song Incident 

A comment on my last posts inspired me to put up a few lines from the article about the students that were removed from a residence hall for racially insensitive music. I'll link to the article itself at the end, but it may require (free) membership for viewing. Here's the basic story from the DO:

"At about 3 a.m., a black resident heard three freshman girls in her neighbor's room playing music that featured derogatory lyrics and making derogatory comments considered racially offensive, said Kevin Morrow, an SU spokesman. The girls were singing along with the song's chorus, which repeated a racial slur many times, the resident said. Later in the morning, the same student overheard a conversation that was offensive in nature toward black people and little people. Overall, the incident lasted one hour and 14 minutes, she said...The university regards this incident as a violation of the student code of conduct because the students' actions could be considered threatening to the mental state of others...'We tend to see a fair number of cases of bias-related activity because first-year students aren't used to exposure to cultures different from their own,' Morrow said..."

I hope I'm legally allowed to post that much of it. Here's the link to the entire article

The Liberal Bandwagon (continued) 

All right, I'm back again, and I'm ready to fisk the asinine editorial in today's Daily Orange. If you haven't read the first part of this, I suggest you scroll down a bit and see what I'm talking about, because I already responded to an article. This piece I'm covering now is about the same incident, and it displays the classic liberal idea of collective guilt. You probably know what I'm talking about, but this basically rides on the coattails of socialism and blames entire groups for the actions of a few. This leads to things like affirmative action, and in this case, it may lead to "sensitivity training" or similar indoctrination methods. I'll start by giving you the title of the editorial, which really sets the stage for the uninformed idiocy contained within it. Here we go:

"Racist incident highlights need to fight ignorance"
First of all, they haven't necessarily proven that the blackface guy was trying to be racist, and second of all, since they pretty much arrested him on the spot, I'd say their work is done. Now, on to the actual editorial, or at least parts of it:

"On Friday night, in a stunt sure to pull the strings of SU racial tension even tighter, [the author (no name was given) describes the incident here, which I've already done]. The incident is yet another act of pervasive racism and ignorance on this campus - and it again indicates the need for increased education. More than that, it begs for SU students, administrators and organizations to push toward a common goal: to promote diversity and fight racism at every turn, together." See what I mean with collective guilt? They're basically saying, "If one person (who was allegedly intoxicated at the time of the incident, if I didn't mention that yet) does it, it must mean that the entire student body is full of hate and racism and has to be taught about diversity and tolerance! Never mind the fact that students are reacting to this with outrage and saying how "disgusted" they were! They're just covering for their blatant bias! We must KILL WHITEY! KILL THE WHITE MAN! KILL HIM UNTIL HE IS DEAD! take action to promote a safe environment." Strikethroughs are fun. Anyway, here's more. It begins with my personal favorite quote, which they chose to be displayed in bold letters in New York Times fashion:

"...we cannot underestimate the ignorance of the SU student body. This supposed 'Pacific Islander' costume only represents a public instance of racism. Imagine what goes on in dorm rooms, at parties, inside the heads of students where the torrents of racism swirl and grow unchecked." Uh, excuse me, Mr. (or Miss?) All White College Students Are Bigots, but would you care to give an example of this? I have yet to observe any racism on campus, and I'm sure that if it's as common as you say, someone would've slipped up and admitted it by now. By the way, I'm willing to bet the author of this piece is a white male. I may be wrong, but if Michael Moore has taught us anything, it's that white people can only be considered tolerant when they belittle their own race. The editorial continues:

"Though the university cannot hope to eradicate racism among its thousands of students, it has a responsibility to react to these situations in a timely and constructive manner...Students and faculty from across the university are rightly outraged by the incident, but should restrain their anger to effectively fight against the racist mentalities that surface here all too often." Okay, there is a major contradiction here. It says that racism is everywhere on campus and students are basically ignorant to it, yet a large number of people "from across the university" are aware of the incident and are upset about it. Pick one! Also, I still have yet to see one actual EXAMPLE of this racist atmosphere it so knowingly speaks of. This person must hang out with a really bad crowd. Here's another accusation of collective guilt/ignorance:

"Increased education on racial/historical issues...might lend some perspective to students otherwise unaware of the implications of blackface and other historically insensitive portrayals of blacks..........[long ellipsis=lots of words in between].....Friday's incident should spark the university community to enact change and stamp out collective ignorance. If we have learned anything from past incidents, it is that we can only stop racism if we do it together." I don't get this at all. Here's a fun fact: The minimum GPA for acceptance to Syracuse is 3.5. The majority of students here were in the top 10 or 20 percent of their graduating class, and most of them got over 1000 on the SAT's. Why would anyone assume that people who meet these criteria would be this naive? I'm sure they know plenty about racism and the implications of things like blackface, but I personally think that if we're willing to laugh at things like this when they're meant to be harmless jokes and take action if they're willingly hateful, we can do a lot more than we can by accusing the entire university of bias because of what one person did. And then, of course, it ends by referring to these phantom incidents that can't be named specifically because they don't exist, and it says we can learn how to fight racism by looking at them. I really like the fact that the author actually used the phrase "collective ignorance," because it reveals the problem with this thinking. Humans are separate individuals with free will. This isn't Star Wars. We're not all magically connected by some invisible unifying force. The actions of one person do not represent what the majority is capable of. Of course, this leads to the question, "when have liberals ever cared about the majority?" That's about it. Before I go, I want to direct you to Bowling for Truth. They've got a new section called "Dude, Where's My Honesty," and it's all about Michael Moron's new book. I think you'll enjoy it. Later.

The Liberal Bandwagon 

This is insane. It seems like every time I commend SU for not moving as far left as other universities, they do everything possible to make up for it. The Daily Orange has yet again given me something to rant about. This time, it's about racism. I've read sites like Tongue Tied and Critical Mass, so I know that colleges tend to overreact to anything they think is racist, but I didn't think we'd have an incident like this. Here's the story. According to the DO:

"For the third time this semester, the Syracuse University community is responding to a major bias-related incident, this time involving a student who dressed in blackface on Halloween." First of all, those other two "major bias-related incidents" were: 1) a gay student being physically assaulted, and 2) three freshman girls singing along to music with racially offensive lyrics in their dorm room (I believe they were forced to live somewhere else as punishment). I just thought I'd point out that the university places all three of these incidents on an identical moral level. There's your first hint of things to come. The article continues:

"The student had dressed as a 'Pacific Islander' by covering himself in dark body makeup, wearing a grass skirt and carrying a wooden staff...Public Safety officers (some of whom are now allowed to carry firearms -ed.) responded to complaints from students and approached the student...[who] was taken into the Public Safety office, where officers photographed the costume and questioned the student..." Is it just me, or does it seem like they could've just told him to change costumes? Did he actually violate any rules? I agree that this was an incredibly stupid costume, because this guy knew he was going to get in trouble when the Thought Police found him, but I still don't think this reaction is really necessary. However, it gets much better, and you'll see what I mean with this post title. Here comes the tolerance squad:

"SU's black community and other students have mobilized in response to the incident and are calling for action from the administration. More than 60 concerned students, including members of the Student African-American Society, met Monday night in Maxwell Auditorium to discuss the incident." First of all, SU has a student population of about 15,000, so I don't think 60 people can be considered a significant percentage of any community, but in any case, why should one person's actions lead to all this discussion? Just tell the moron not to do it again and move on! Now, we come to the really fun part. As other schools have done, Syracuse has decided that this one person represents the majority of students, and they want to eradicate the pervasive, overwhelming racism and ignorance that permeates student life. Here's a few quotes:

"Some of the students criticized the administration's 'lukewarm' reponse to bias-related incidents and brainstormed ideas they felt would strengthen the university's policy. Among the measures discussed was the establishment of a cultural education core requiring students to take a non-Western history course, the modification of the freshman orientation program to include a cultural sensitivity training session and institution of a zero-tolerance policy (that's ironic, isn't it?) which would expel students involved in bias-related incidents."
Okay, this is just scary. First of all, considering they had a friggin' meeting about the incident, I would hardly consider it a lukewarm response. Second of all, where is the evidence that any of these solutions are necessary? I've never heard anyone on campus use a racial slur in an intentionally offensive way, and the Halloween costumes I saw were fine. Oh, wait a minute, my roommate and his friends dressed up as the guys from Braveheart! That's insensitive to the Scottish community! Here's one more quote, and then I need to start a new post and fisk an editorial about the incident:

"A student in the audience said students need to take a more confrontational approach to tackle the issue of bias. His suggestion that anybody who spots a person dressed in blackface again should 'just whoop his ass' was met with applause..." So, beating up racists is okay, but beating up gays and offending blacks isn't? Wow, you people are so consistent. Anyway, that's the objective article. The editorial is even funnier, and I will be fisking it in a few minutes.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Lots O' Links 

I realize that I'm not exactly one of the most influential bloggers on the net, but I thought I'd do a favor for the Alliance members who bothered to vote in the showcase this week and include this list from Alliance Headquarters. These links go to every page that voted. Check them out if at all possible. Also, keep in mind that I may be entering the showcase one of these days, but I need a really good post (I should've submitted "Land of the Free," consarn it...) By the way, I have an easier day tomorrow, so I may blog more, but we'll see. I have essays to work on in 3 different classes right now, so that might take priority over blogging. Anyway, here's the list:

IMAO (539 links) - 3101 visits/day V
Blackfive - The Paratrooper of Love (148 links) - 910 visits/day V
angelweave (107 links) - 360 visits/day V
Anger Management (68 links) - 271 visits/day V
The Inscrutable American (63 links) - 215 visits/day V
Ramblings of Silver Blue (109 links) - 203 visits/day V
The Alliance (157 links) - 160 visits/day V
Bad Money (108 links) - 136 visits/day V
Madfish Willie's Cyber Saloon (66 links) - 121 visits/day V
Practical Penumbra (176 links) - 92 visits/day V
See The Donkey (16 links) - 85 visits/day V
Being American in T.O. (43 links) - 77 visits/day V
Irreconcilable Musings (56 links) - 73 visits/day V
The S-Train Canvass (27 links) - 64 visits/day V
Simon World (31 links) - 58 visits/day V
Curiosity (28 links) - 56 visits/day V
The Everlasting Phelps (32 links) - 55 visits/day V
Leaning Towards the Dark Side (28 links) - 54 visits/day V
the evangelical outpost (52 links) - 51 visits/day V
Civilization Calls (23 links) - 40 visits/day V
physics geek (35 links) - 39 visits/day V
CandyUniverse (35 links) - 34 visits/day V
BigStick (25 links) - 31 visits/day V
Elegance Against Ignorance (30 links) - 30 visits/day V
BigRedGiant.com (19 links) - 29 visits/day V
Five Wasps (11 links) - 25 visits/day V
All Encompassingly (19 links) - 24 visits/day V
Wince and Nod (39 links) - 22 visits/day V
A Life of Freedom (16 links) - 22 visits/day V
Homicidal Maniak (14 links) - 21 visits/day V
Not Quite Tea and Crumpets (27 links) - 18 visits/day V
Cannon's Canon (18 links) - 18 visits/day V
Peripheral Mind (55 links) - 16 visits/day V
Hoppings of Roxette Bunny (32 links) - 15 visits/day V
The Psychotic Rant (22 links) - 15 visits/day V
The Wise Man Says... (36 links) - 14 visits/day V
Single White Male (13 links) - 12 visits/day V
Hypocrisy and Hypotheses (20 links) - 12 visits/day V
Various Orthodoxies (27 links) - 10 visits/day V
Newmanisms (16 links) - 10 visits/day V
Interested-Participant (51 links) - visits/day V
Semi-Intelligent Thoughts (4 links) - visits/day V

I know I don't really need to link to my own blog, but the HTML didn't work when I tried to remove it. Later.

Another Religious Rant (warning: contains "homophobic" opinions) 

Coming up with new titles is hard. Anyway, you may have noticed that this is the first post of the day. I'm still a little short on material, and I have an insane amount of work that I should be doing (notice the word choice there), so I don't have that much time to blog. Fortunately, I do have some random stuff from today that I can write about. First, we have another fun quote from my sociology professor. We were talking about the war in Iraq and national defense, and at one point in the lecture, he compared our strategy to a "1950's" defense policy. I'm really not sure why he chose that specific decade. That was just strange. He also said something like "we haven't proven that Iraq had any direct connection to 9-11." Was anyone trying to prove that? That's not the issue. He called Iraq a "terrorist cell," which I don't really think is accurate. Iraq was funding terrorism. They weren't directly responsible for it.

Of course, now that Reverend V. Gene Robinson, the gay Episcopalian bishop, has been consecrated, our relativistic friends at the Daily Orange had to speak up with an editorial called "Approval of gay bishop a positive step for religion." Before I talk about this briefly, I'll clarify something: I'm not an Episcopalian. I'm actually not a member of any official Christian denomination. I was baptized as a Presbyterian and confirmed as a Methodist, but I just consider myself a non-denominational Protestant right now. However, I still think this gay bishop thing is not a good move. Naturally, the DO doesn't agree. I don't have time to fisk the whole thing, but here's a sample of some of the content:

"...a group of misguided conservatives is now likely to break from the church and form their own separate denomination...This reaction, though not surprising, illustrates the constant villification of homosexuality, particularly by inept religious conservatives."
They're so predictable. "Well, gays are being villified, so we'll counter that by villifying conservative Christians!" I don't get this at all. How is following the Bible and sticking to traditional values "misguided?" It seems to me that the people saying "homosexuality is not a sin" (actual quote I saw on TV; one of the other bishops said it) are the misguided ones. Doctrine exists for a reason. Here's another tolerant, unbiased observation:

"The Bible asserts all manner of ridiculous rules and regulations against homosexuals, those who consume pork, practice wizardry, and even wear wool-cotton blends."
There's a strategy they use a lot: taking different forbidden practices and making them morally equal. Here's my understanding: Consuming pork was forbidden because it was more dangerous in those days than other types of meat, and it wasn't sinful as much as it was unclean. I know that many Jews still don't eat pork today, so I may very well be wrong in my interpretation, but it seems to me that it's not the same thing. The wool-cotton blend thing was probably to make people's lives simpler, but it wasn't a sin either. On the other hand, homosexual relations are repeatedly called an "abomination." I don't understand how you could possibly go from abominable to acceptable just because 5% of the population decides that they want to live that way. Again, it's funny that you can call THE BIBLE "ridiculous," but you can't suggest that there's anything wrong with homosexuality.

Conservatives...if they are not comfortable with homosexuality in the priesthood, would do well to break off - and take their weak-minded followers with them. The last thing a progressive church needs is bigotry..."
More double standards! You people are hilarious! Why do you not apply the same standard of "bigotry" to your own opinions? In any case, I have heard this argument several times, and it's always been wrong. If a group of people decides to disregard a significant Biblical rule because they've been coerced by society, how are conservatives the ones that should break off? It seems to me that the people supporting Robinson should form their own church instead of trying to change beliefs that have been considered mainstream for thousands of years. From what I've seen, Robinson doesn't necessarily believe in the authority of the Bible, and he says that he worships a "living God." This is similar to people calling the Constitution a "living document." IT DOESN'T WORK THAT FRICKIN' WAY!

Here's one more: "Spirituality is a personal issue for many, so those who support gay priests in their church have the right to do so. Similarly, if certain factions within the church feel their retrogressive ideologies conflict with their religion, they should feel free to go off by themselves and redefine their own beliefs."
WHAT? The progressives are the ones who get to stay, and the traditionalists have to redefine their beliefs? That seems counterintuitive. Shouldn't the progressives be the ones who change themselves so they can apply that label accurately? This whole "personal spirituality" thing is another problem. If you personally believe in something, why should the entire church change to accomodate you? They have policies. If you don't agree with it, join another church! That's one of the reasons I don't go to church right now. I don't know which one most accurately reflects my beliefs, so I'm still looking. I'm not going to go to a random church and say, "here's what I believe, so you'd better make it a rule! Well, I don't care what God, the Bible, and Jesus think. It's the 21st century, and you should be trying to satisfy ME! It's all about ME!" Seriously. Religion is about God, not you. If you don't agree with God, don't believe in Him. You'll find out if you were right soon enough.

I had another dumb conversation with the guy who got Pakistan and Palestine confused, but I have to go to band practice soon, so I'll save that for later. This has been the homophobic, fundamentalist, "retrogressive" rant for today. Thank you.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

More Timewasting on the Blogosphere 

I don't know why I'm telling you this, but in addition to my original joke site, "Evil Monkeys," I'm working on another humor blog called "Form Fun" where I take online feedback forms and fill them out with weird responses (I don't actually submit them, just so you know). So far, I've done one from noindoctrination.org about a professor who thinks bulimia is a myth created by "digestives" to oppress women, and I just finished a response to an opinion survey on Laserwrx USA where I claim that the company is stealing my thoughts. I'm not linking to it, just like I don't link to Evil Monkeys, but if you want to see either site, let me know. I prefer to stay disconnected from both of them when I'm working on SIT because they may cause you to question my sanity, but if you're interested in finding out what a bizarre sense of humor I have, I may change my mind. I think I'm going to regret this post, but we'll see.

New Blog Showcase 

As a member of the Alliance, I'm now required to vote for in the showcase each week. I'm going with Peripheral Mind for this post:

Legalizing Illegals

You really should read this. It's good stuff. I'm still planning on entering the showcase at some point, but I want to get a really good post that will guarantee at least a couple votes. It has to have a good message but be short enough that people can read through the whole thing. I also want to submit it as early in the week as possible. I guess I'll have to wait and see what happens.


Good title, isn't it? I just wanted to mention that I now have 400 hits. It's been just about a month since I started keeping track, so that's pretty good. Thanks!

Are They Serious? 

As long as I'm posting in Instapundit style, I thought I would link to this article. I don't think this is accurate because they surveyed less than 3,000 people, but the fact that they could come up with statistics like this from any sample size is pretty disturbing. 52% of Jews? Is that supposed to say 25%? Hey, I just saw a commercial for the new Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode tonight. Nice.

Too Good to Ignore 

My post titles are really stupid lately. Anyway, I saw this on Fark. Now, read what the 16 YEAR OLD GIRL who decided to pull off this stunt and her MOTHER said about it, and tell me MTV doesn't send dangerous messages. This "teens are going to have sex, so they might as well be safe" crap (I typed "carp" accidentally there...) is a cop-out. I won't go into a big abstinence rant, but I just thought people should be aware of how some of us young whippersnappers are thinking these days.

Here's another fun article about this subject:

Students expelled for making sex video

Back in Business 

All right, I'm back with a brand new mouse. The other one did end up breaking, but that wasn't until late last night. To be perfectly honest, I didn't post yesterday because I had to get up early for career day at Newhouse and I was too tired to think of anything interesting. I didn't go to any parties, by the way. My roommate and his friends decided to go to a different party with some ESF (Environmental Science and Forestry) people, and apparently it really sucked, so I didn't miss anything. Now, to get back to important things, I'm a bit upset at the moment. I couldn't use the computer until I got a new mouse, which was about an hour ago, and when I checked the news, I saw this. It's hard to be pro-war at times like this. This is just going to give the Democrats a way to distract people from the improving economy. I don't even know what else to say. I hope this doesn't become a daily thing. I'm having trouble coming up with anything intelligent to write, so I'll stop now.

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