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

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Showcase Vote 

There's not very much to choose from in the showcase this week, but I'm giving my vote to Politics Trumps Morals from Joe's Thoughts. It's kinda short, but it's got a great message.

If you're an Alliance member and you haven't voted...
VOTE NOW, DANG IT!

Template Change 

Thanks to a tip from Alliance headquarters, all blockquotes will now appear in boxes. I just thought I would point that out (check out yesterday's fisking for an example).

Friday, November 28, 2003

This is New 

I was checking the 3 referrals I got while I was working on that fisking, and one of them led me here. Apparently, I've been quoted on a message board! Go down to the third post and look for "Beyond Tolerance: Forcibly Legitimizing Immorality." I have no idea who the person is that posted that, but thanks!

Fisking Another DU Moron 

Once again, I realize that the tinfoil hatted fools at Democratic Underground are extremely easy targets and shouldn't be paid too much attention, but some of the stuff they write over there is so funny that I can't let it go to waste. The article I'm about to tear apart (metaphorically, of course) is a good example, and it once again proves my theory that the liberal definition of "patriotic" is "dissent." Here comes the lunacy:
America: Land of the Free, Home of the Chickenhawks
November 25, 2003
By John Cobarruvias

We recently celebrated another Veteran's Day. It was good to see Americans, as always, honoring our Veterans by attending parades, flying our flag, and taking time to reflect on their sacrifice. Our Veterans have sacrificed to give us the freedom we now enjoy and especially the freedom to question our government. But to continue to honor our Veterans...
Okay, why did he capitalize the word "veterans?"
...Americans must now have the courage to ask questions and demand answers from our elected leaders instead of silently hiding behind the red, white and blue.
Here's the first indication that this particular individual has some sort of brain problem. He goes from praising the veterans and those who honor them to criticizing people for being scared. Somehow, that doesn't surprise me. By the way, stuff like this indicates that people are asking questions, but will also indicate that many of those questions are totally asinine and a complete waste of valuable time.
Our men and women of the armed forces have been sent into battle based on false pretenses, yet many Americans are hiding behind their flags, lapel pins, and bumper stickers without once asking why are soldiers are dying.
Actually, many people did ask why the soldiers are dying. It's not like this was an arbitrary decision. Do you think President Bush was just sitting in the Oval Office twiddling his thumbs, and all of a sudden he thought, "hey, why don't I start a war with some a-rabs!" Yet again, this person proves that some liberals can't grasp the concept of people disagreeing with them.
Silently waving a flag or displaying a "We support our Troops" sign is no longer a sign of patriotism. It is a sign of cowardice.
REALLY? So, unless you're against the war, you're a coward? That's the most entertaining logical leap I've heard in quite a while. If we "chickenhawks" are afraid of anything, it's the thought of a Democratic president taking office, appeasing and/or ignoring the deranged, soulless murderers we're trying to wipe out, and inviting another attack on our country. If supporting national security makes me a coward, I don't want to be brave.
After 9/11 the entire world rallied behind America. We sent our troops into Afghanistan to bring justice to Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network who were responsible for the attack on the United States. Few, if any, Americans questioned the administration. We were united as a country and we supported our soldiers.
I should point out that this is the ONLY passage in the article I agree with. I just thought I would be "fair and balanced."
But with a job unfinished in Afghanistan, attention was directed towards Iraq. Over the next few months Americans were led to believe Iraq had nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and the means to distribute their devastation on American soil.
"Led to believe?" I'm sorry if your selective thinking mechanism is in overdrive, but Hussein did, in fact, have weapons of mass destruction. Look at this. If that isn't mass destruction, I don't know what is. Oh, wait, I forgot that if Americans aren't dying, it doesn't count. 5000 Kurds are less valuable that 1 soldier. Silly me.
Americans were scared with stories of "smoking guns" in the form of mushroom clouds.
I have no idea what the F this means, so I have to assume that, if it is based on reality, it had nothing to do with my personal reasons for supporting the war. Sorry to burst your bubble there, chief.
The Secretary of State, Colin Powell, waved pictures in front of the United Nations of mobile biological weapons labs.
Yes, he WAVED them. He didn't present them. He leapt off the podium and shoved it in their faces. OOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Scary, you guys!
We were told Iraq was purchasing uranium from Niger...
NO. WE. WEREN'T. YOU were TOLD that that's what WE were told. In actuality, we were told that Iraq SOUGHT to purchase uranium from AFRICA. Get your facts straight, arsehat.
...and aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium were recently discovered. We were convinced Iraq was an imminent threat to America, our security, and to our Allies. Therefore our troops were needed to wage a war on Iraq.
Repeating...of...previously...refuted...misconceptions...hurting...brain! This is friggin' great. We were not "convinced" that Iraq was an imminent threat. In fact, Dubya specifically said that we had to act BEFORE it became in imminent threat. Fascinating what a reality check can do to your argument, isn't it?
And they did. Thousands of Iraqi women and children were killed or horribly injured.
I have yet to see a conclusive report of this, but I will concede that it's at least 3000. However, you have to remember three things. Pay close attention. #1: It's war. People die in war. There's no way around it. #2) Many of the civilians were killed by Saddam loyalists attacking American forces. It's not like there are U.S. troops randomly executing Iraqis. #3) When Hussein was in power, however, his party DID randomly execute people. Hundreds of thousands of 'em. I've seen estimates up to 500,000, and that's just the ones they know about. Would you rather have kept that going? Oh yeah, I forgot another piece of liberal logic: when civilian deaths do count, it's only because Americans were involved. If Iraqis are killed by their "president," it's part of their culture and we shouldn't try and change it. Hooray for humanitarianism.
The cost to American taxpayers is over $150 billion. And over 400 American soldiers have lost their lives serving our country.
Apparently, our alarmist friend here doesn't realize how amazing it is that we were able to oust a dictator and liberate a country that had been oppressed for 30 years with less than 500 casualties. Compare that with WWII and Vietnam. It's incredible. Again, people die in wars. Get over it. It's not like I don't feel for the soldiers and their families, but they volunteered, they knew what to expect, and they did their jobs.
Yet months after the end of major combat operations not one single allegation used to justify the war has been found to be true.
Heh...heh...HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...sorry. That was the only appropriate response.
Iraq had no nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, or any weapons programs in development.
I'm glad you're able to assert that so confidently, despite the fact that you only think it's true because you believe it.
The so-called mobile biological labs were for helium production for balloons.
That's news to me. Balloons? Maybe they were having a party because Hussein was such a swell fella.
The uranium purchase from Niger was based upon forged documents, detectable by a novice, but apparently not by the CIA.
There was no mention of a uranium purchase. In fact, from what I understand, Hussein did try to buy uranium from other African countries, and the British government stands by its intelligence, so it's inconclusive at worst.
The aluminum tubes were for artillery shells, not uranium enriching centrifuges.
Uh, yeah...read this. I'm sure that was just to see how fast balloons can spin (I'm aware that the centrifuge was buried in '91, but it shows that Hussein wanted nukes. I don't think he had a Grinch-like change of heart between then and now).
There were no mushroom clouds. No smoking guns. Iraq's imminent threat to our country and our Allies simply did not exist.
STOP...SAYING...IMMINENT...THREAT! What Bush actually said was: "Some have said, we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike?" (from CNN.com) There was no imminent threat. There never will be any imminent threat. Do you know why there will never be an imminent threat? BECAUSE WE GOT RID OF HUSSEIN! Now kindly shut up and crawl back into the dank pit from whence you spawned.
The justification for war against Iraq, on every single allegation, was a complete, 100% failure of the United States intelligence community...
Uh, that's a negatory there, good buddy (I don't know where that lingo came from).
...and yet there is still unimaginable silence.
With the exception of singers, actors, directors, news reporters, professors, protestors, authors, webmasters...you get the idea. It's not dissent until 100% of America jumps on the bandwagon.
We have silence from our elected officials...
It took me less than a minute to find this by searching for "anti-war elected officials" on Google.
...our media...
You've gotta be kidding me. Please tell me you're being sarcastic.
and from those who waved a flag, wore a lapel pin, and shipped our soldiers out to battle with a salute and a cheer of "Bring 'em on!"
CAN YOU NOT FATHOM THE IDEA OF PEOPLE HAVING DIFFERENT OPINIONS FROM YOUR OWN? THEY AGREE WITH THE WAR BECAUSE THEY ASKED INTELLIGENT QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF RELYING ON CONFRICKINSPIRACY THEORIES AND LIES!
There is silence from too many citizens hiding behind the flag claiming to be a patriotic, instead of asking hard, unpopular questions of our elected officials.
All right, I've had enough of that statement. Here's a fact that may cause a bit of "shock and awe" for people like you: I was against the war when it started. I thought the economy was going to be affected, and I didn't know how important it was to get rid of Hussein. However, instead of grabbing a "No war for Nazi oil" sign and running out onto the street, I did some research, and I found out how disgusting and depraved Hussein was. That's why I'm pro-war now. Letting him continue his reign of terror would be almost as bad as helping him carry out his mass executions. I support the war because I figured that out, not because of some knee-jerk right wing reaction. Want to go another round, jackass?
Why did we attack Iraq?
I already explained that.
Why are our soldiers dying?
So others won't have to.
Why are we not handing control of Iraq over to the United Nations?
Because the United Nations is a bunch of pansies who would surrender at the first sign of trouble and personally reinstate Hussein to avoid offending Muslims, that's why.
Why have we not gained the cooperation, money, and troops from our allies?
WHAT?
Who in the intelligence community is responsible for the complete, total intelligence failure leading to the war?
IT WAS THE LEPRECHAUNS! THE LEPRECHAUNS, I TELLS YA! IT'S ALL THEIR FAULT! No, wait, it was nobody, because the intelligence was good. Ha.
Who is responsible for the deaths of our soldiers?
I'll take "Iraqi insurgents" for 6,000, Alex.
And why are these questions not being asked by our elected leaders of this country?
Are you saying that the Democratic presidential candidates have never held elected offices?
Over 400 men and women of the Armed Forces have been killed in Iraq.
To take a line from Happy Gilmore: "Oh, you can count."
They served their country with honor, not questioning their duties as soldiers. These questions are left to those at home who have the courage to ask questions and demand answers while proudly flying the flag. For the rest of America, it is time to come out from behind the flag and start raising your voices.
Translation: until every single, man, woman, "transgender," and child in America is against the war, I will continue to believe that there is no dissent, because I'm a liberal, and reality does not apply to me.

(insert sarcastic applause here)

All right, that took me over an hour, so I think I'm about done for now. My drums are calling me again. Later.

Celebrities are Funny 

I still have another DU fisking in the works, but I want to briefly mention something that caught my attention yesterday. I was watching MTV, and during one of the commercial breaks, they did an interview with Pink. They were talking about her campaign against fur and the people who wear it, and she said she doesn't understand why anyone would need to wear fur when there are so many other choices.

Sounds like a normal celebrity, right? Well, the next part of the interview was what made it hilarious. She said that she was "furious" about the partial birth abortion ban, and she even wore a "pro-choice" hat to an event she went to that night. So, let's recap: fur is murder, but abortion isn't.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU IDIOTS?! DO YOU VALUE FUZZY ANIMALS MORE THAN HUMAN CHILDREN? YOU MAKE ME SICK!

Okay, now that I've gotten that out of the way, I can move on with my life.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

New Self-Indulgent Pics 

Hey, happy Thanksgiving! I decided to take most of the day off, but I do need to post something right now. I finally got around to taking some new pictures of myself so I could get rid of that crappy one on the intro page. I'm linking to them this time so my bandwidth doesn't disappear. The pictures will open in a new window when you click them. So, with that said, here are some more recent pictures of CD, your SIT webmaster:

This is me attempting to smile for a few seconds.

This, however, is what I usually look like.

This is the expression I usually have when liberals are talking.

I'm not sure what to say about this one...

I think that's about all I'm going to do today. Tomorrow, I'll have another DU fisking, along with whatever else I can come up with. I might also have some more pictures, but this is enough for now. Later.

Doing My Part for the Alliance (+ updates) 

All right! The Donktionary® is now an official Precision Guided Humor Assignment. I'll be going through the best entries and making a special collection, and I may use them for the other blog I'm working on.

As long as I'm posting, I'll give you a brief preview of coming attractions. I realize I didn't really write anything meaningful today, but I wanted to enjoy being home. Of course, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so posting will be light again, but I do want to try and get a couple other items blogged before the end of the week. I got a new picture hosting service with unlimited bandwidth (as far as I know), so I'll be putting up some new self-indulgent photos in various sections. Also, there's an article on Democratic Underground that is in serious need of a good fisking, so I'm probaby going to do that as well.

One more thing: I still haven't gotten anyone to sign the guestbook, so you're welcome to do that. Also, I added a guestmap if you want to go that route instead (Bravenet is cool). They're on the right under the links. Check 'em out.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Why WE Fight 

Sorry I haven't posted yet today. I was getting re-acquainted with my drumset. There are a few things I could write about, but it seems like other bloggers have already covered them. For example, Harvey Fierstein wants to portray a gay Santa Claus in the Macy's parade. Also, University of Chicago activists want bathrooms without gender. I can actually hear the very fabric of society being ripped apart. It's not good.

Like I said, other bloggers have covered these issues already, and they're so ridiculous that I don't think I even need to say anything else. However, I did find an interesting link via Patriot Paradox that everyone should see.

Remember this cartoon by Ted "Traitor" Rall that shows a bunch of coffins and says "This is what the war in Iraq looks like...so far?" Well, this is what Iraq looked like before the war (warning: site contains images of mass graves. May not be suitable for everyone). Now, was the war really a mistake, and is Saddam just "misunderstood?"

I think not.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

I'm Back 

All right, Semi-Intelligent Thoughts is back in business. The blog is now coming to you from Plum Borough, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh known for being unbelievably boring. I'll be here until Sunday, and then it's back to Syracuse for final exams and such.

I just spent 6 and a half hours in a van, and now I'm back at my own house for the first time since August 14, so I don't particularly feel like posting right now. I'll have plenty of new stuff tomorrow, but I'm probably taking the rest of the night off. I'll leave you with an anecdote. My Communications lecture today was on public relations, and the TA teaching it (it was her special "pretend to be professor for a day" day) used Dubya's landing on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln as an example of a failed publicity stunt. She said that he appeared "arrogant" and it was unnecessary to fly to the carrier because it was so close to land. I just thought I'd let you know that the liberal propaganda machine that is college is still alive and well.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Road Trip 

Okay, I'm still procrastinating working hard on that paper, but I decided to post this now. I'm leaving SU tomorrow around 2 PM to go back to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving. I will be bringing the computer with me, so SIT will still be available for the rest of the week. Unfortunately, I have to unplug the computer and pack it up before I leave, so I've decided that this will be my last Syracuse-based post this week. Unless there's a really important event, I won't be updating the blog again until I'm set up at home, which should be around 8:30 or 9 tomorrow night, Eastern standard time (I'll post something as soon as possible; I recommend checking frequently after 7, because I might be early, and I'll get more hits if you come back a lot. HA!).

Once I'm home, I'll be able to do a lot more blogging. In addition, I'll have access to my digital camera, so I'm planning on taking a few photos for SIT. I want to get a picture of myself that's less demeaning than the one I'm using on the intro page (my head looks bigger than it really is in that photo), and I also want to post a couple pictures of my cats. Why? Because I like cats, and because I can. I hope the little fuzzballs remember me after 3 months.

Until then, I will once again recommend that you check out the archives. Also, try visiting some of the pages I've linked. They're all really good, and they need traffic too. So, until tomorrow night, blog safely, and don't let Glenn buy any more hamsters.

P.S. Nobody's signed the guestbook yet, so feel free to do that if you want. Okay, now I really am done.

Showcase Voters 

All right, I'm back once again. I'm a little scared right now, because Syracuse is having a Lewis Black weather experience (snow with thunder and lightning), but I do have to post links to all the people who voted in the TTLB Showcase this week. We're still losing to the League of Lunatics. That's just not right. VOTE, PEOPLE! IT'S NOT THAT HARD! Here are the people who did take the time to vote. You'll notice that Frnak is strangely absent. Hmmm...maybe the monkeys had something to do with it...

Flying Chair (41 links) - 746 visits/day V
Blackfive - The Paratrooper of Love (178 links) - 736 visits/day V
Anger Management (105 links) - 391 visits/day V
Leaning Towards the Dark Side (31 links) - 332 visits/day V
Patriot Paradox (115 links) - 171 visits/day V
The Alliance (163 links) - 161 visits/day V
Madfish Willie's Cyber Saloon (149 links) - 157 visits/day V
Bad Money (117 links) - 154 visits/day V
Practical Penumbra (200 links) - 142 visits/day V
BigStick (44 links) - 118 visits/day V
the evangelical outpost (69 links) - 115 visits/day V
angelweave (109 links) - 113 visits/day V
Pardon My English (55 links) - 111 visits/day V
See The Donkey (26 links) - 101 visits/day V
Left Coast Conservative (102 links) - 83 visits/day V
Being American in T.O. (42 links) - 76 visits/day V
physics geek (34 links) - 64 visits/day V
The S-Train Canvass (28 links) - 58 visits/day V
An Englishman's Castle (9 links) - 45 visits/day V
CandyUniverse (50 links) - 43 visits/day V
Civilization Calls (31 links) - 35 visits/day V
Wince and Nod (46 links) - 34 visits/day V
curi's domain (12 links) - 31 visits/day V
The Patriette (47 links) - 30 visits/day V
Five Wasps (15 links) - 29 visits/day V
Semi-Intelligent Thoughts (32 links) - 22 visits/day V
Cavalier Attitude (6 links) - 21 visits/day V
Intergalactic Capitalist (23 links) - 17 visits/day V
Cannon's Canon (19 links) - 17 visits/day V
Hypocrisy and Hypotheses (22 links) - 12 visits/day V
Shameless Self-Promotion (16 links) - 11 visits/day V
Interested-Participant (62 links) - visits/day V
eTALKINGHEAD.com: Political Commentary (56 links) - visits/day V
The New American Revolutionist (34 links) - visits/day V


 



I'll be back later with a very important message, but I have a paper to put off write.

My First Filthy Lie 

Okay, I'm back, and I've got a filthy lie totally true story to tell about the most evil being in the blogosphere, Glenn Reynolds. Here's what happened:

I wanted to write something about Evil Glenn's Thanksgiving plans for the new Alliance assignment, but I was having trouble coming up with good ideas. I decided that it might help if I took a walk to clear my head. After a few minutes of walking around aimlessly with no good ideas, I saw a pet shop on the corner that I had never noticed before. Since I had no filthy lies in mind, I gave up on that and went inside to see if they had any monkeys that I could mail to Frnak.

Well, they didn't have any monkeys, and when I said I wanted to send them to Frank J., the guy at the counter gave me a funny look and pressed the red button next to the cash register. I figured that was probably a bad sign, so I backed away and started looking at other animals. They really weren't that interesting, although one of the parrots looked mysteriously like a ninja, and he kept giving me an evil look and brandishing a tiny samurai sword. Other than that, everything seemed normal, but as I came to the puppies, I noticed that they were all cowering in fear.

That's when I saw him. Glenn Reynolds, the puppy blending communist, was standing at the counter and arguing with several employees. I managed to catch some of their conversation.

"What do you mean they've all been reserved? Do you understand how important this is to my evil plan to eliminate all dogs...I mean...my...charitable plan to...give dogs to starving...LONELY children?"

"I'm sorry, Mr. Gorecinichton (that's right, he uses an ultra-liberal alias), but we can't sell you any more puppies. You've already bought ten in the past month. I'm afraid that you'll have to look somewhere else."

"Hmmmm...no puppies...BLAST!...I mean...okay, then give me two dozen of your finest hamsters!"

"Two dozen? Are you sure?"

"YES! GIMME GIMME GIMME...I mean...why, yes, that is indeed the number of hamsters I would like. Indeed."

"You already said that."

"Indeed I did."

"You're scaring me. Here's a dozen hamsters. It's all we've got. That'll be $50."

"Hmmmm...that's a lot...do you take GlennBucks?

"Uh...I don't think we do."

"WHY NOT? ALL STORES MUST BOW BEFORE THE EVIL GLENN-PIRE...I mean...here's fifty dollars. Now GIMME THE HAMSTERS...I mean...please complete the transaction at hand by exchanging those small furry creatures which, although they are named as such, are not made of ham and cannot stir. I have tested that theory many times, and..."

"Just take them and go."

"Indeed."

So, Evil Glenn took his dozen hamsters and walked out of the store. Now, I don't know if it was the sadistic look in his eyes or the way he kept looking at the hamsters and laughing in the most evil way imaginable, but something made me want to follow him. He didn't seem to be heading in any particular direction, but he eventually wandered into the woods with that same evil look in his eyes.

I continued to follow the evil one through the woods and into a small clearing in the middle of nowhere. It was then that I noticed a small shack in the distance, and I realized that he was heading there. This turned out to be the case, although Glenn managed to shoot a poor, defenseless hobo that was hiding in the bushes before he went into the shack.

Once Glenn was inside, I looked into a window on one side of the shack. What I saw horrified me beyond words. He had hundreds of hamsters inside, and many of them were being forced to run on giant exercise wheels. If they stopped for even a second, he shocked them with a cattle prod! I couldn't just stand by and watch this, so I burst in the door to stop his evil plans.

"What do you think you're doing, you commie freak?" I said as I entered.

"Why, I'm exercising these hamsters, of course. What's so strange about that, comrade?"

"Don't you ever call me comrade again! You're not even exercising them! It just looks like you're making them tired and then shocking them! That's evil!"

"Well, if I can't shock hamsters, then why do they make cattle prods at all? If they would stop getting tired and do their jobs, they wouldn't have to be punished like this."

"What jobs? They're just running!"

"Oh, really? Then what's this?"

He pointed as he said this, and as I looked in that direction, I realized that Glenn is even more evil than we ever imagined. The hamster wheels were all connected to wires, and the wires were connected to...A GIANT BLENDER!

"You see, the hamsters generate power for my ultimate puppy blending device. I call it 'The Glennder!' It can blend up to six regular puppies at once, and up to a dozen Scottish terriers! Do you realize how much energy that is? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!"

"Okay, but what's up with that hat you're wearing? It looks like a giant hamster with dragon wings and fangs. Does it generate power too?"

"HOW DARE YOU! DO NOT EVER QUESTION THE HAMSTER HAT! NOBODY QUESTIONS THE HAMSTER HAT! THE HAMSTER HAT IS THE ULTIMATE SOURCE OF POWER! IT WAS GIVEN TO ME BY SATAN HIMSELF MANY YEARS AGO AFTER I RAN AN ERRAND FOR HIM!"

"An errand? For SATAN?!"

"Indeed. You see, back in 1992, Satan realized that Republicans were starting to gain too much power and inject morality back into the nation, and Satan doesn't like morality, so he and I devised the ultimate evil plan."

"You mean..."

"That's right. I RIGGED THE ELECTION AND MADE BILL CLINTON PRESIDENT! DID YOU THINK ANYONE ACTUALLY VOTED FOR THAT ADULTEROUS HILLBILLY? MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!"

"YOU rigged the election? Then what did Satan do?"

"Satan married Bill Clinton! Don't you know that Satan has the ability to assume any form? Even now, Satan is planning on completing the evil scheme by running for president in 2008!"

I couldn't stand any more, so I did what any God-fearing, flag-waving American would do. I ducked just as the ninja that had been stalking me sent a throwing star in my direction, and it hit Glenn's hamster hat. I didn't want to stick around after that, so I ran out of there as fast as I could while The Evil One roared in anger. I don't know what happened after that, but hopefully he'll think twice about messing with me again. So, to sum it up:

GLENN TORTURES HAMSTERS
GLENN HAS A GIANT BLENDER POWERED BY THE HAMSTERS
GLENN GOT BILL CLINTON ELECTED
HILLARY CLINTON IS GOING TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2008

We must stop this robot-dancing murderer before he can come up with another evil plot. Also, I just realized that the word "hillbilly" can be made from parts of "Bill" and "Hillary." Coincidence? Of course it is.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

One More Stupid Post 

I need to post one more totally random entry here to finish off the day. First of all, having a roommate who talks on the phone a lot can lead to random entertainment. For example, I heard him saying this a few minutes ago: "Crab people...Crab people...CRAB...PEOPLE! I don't know, maybe..." I assume he was talking about South Park, but you never know. I also happened to hear someone yell "F**K YOU, GREASY!" outside my dorm. College is fun.

Okay, on to important things. I still have a filthy lie about the evil puppy blending, hobo-murdering, robot-dancing, Satan worshipping communist, Glenn Reynolds, but I have to clean up my room, proofread a couple papers, write something about my summer media log, and do some Spanish homework right now. I haven't actually written the lie yet, but I have some of it worked out in my head. I'll give you a preview of a couple lines I'm planning to use just to get you interested:
"Everything seemed normal, until I realized that all the puppies were cowering in fear..."
"If I can't do this, then why do they make stun-guns at all?"
"Do not question the Hamster Hat! Nobody questions the Hamster Hat!"
More on that when I invent remember the rest. Goodnight.

Today's WTF Moment Brought to you by Amazon.com 

I somehow managed to stumble across this in the course of my daily procrastination surfing. The guy on the cover of that book looks almost EXACTLY like my father, although I don't think he's ever been much of a juggler. Weird.

Showcase Vote 

My vote this week goes to Free Market Fairy Tales for Europe Hates America. Check it out.

The Essay 

I may be making a really dumb decision, but I'm posting the entire philosophy essay here instead of taking excerpts or breaking it up (read the previous post for an explanation of what I'm doing). I have other work to do, so this should hold you for a while. Feel free to read it piece by piece on separate occasions. I probably won't be posting anything of this size again until I go home next week. I don't think I really need to set this up too much. I'll just let it speak for itself. Readers of SIT, I give you:


A CASE FOR MONOGAMY
In today’s society, people are gradually losing respect and appreciation for traditional values. Many social practices that were once considered honorable and proper are now largely ignored and often ridiculed. Among these is the practice of monogamy. Due to developments in birth control and other sexual safety techniques, some people consider it unreasonable to go through life with only one sexual partner. In addition, from an evolutionary perspective, monogamy appears to contradict the very design of human beings. Although these arguments may seem convincing at first, they do not necessarily prove that monogamy is not preferable. On the contrary, there are several reasons that it can actually be beneficial. This can be shown from both an evolutionary and a psychological perspective. Therefore, I intend to prove that monogamy is the most rational form of sexual behavior for human beings to practice.

Obviously, survival is important for any kind of life. Therefore, one can assume that the human desire for sex is a beneficial and necessary one. Some have suggested that monogamy is irrational from an evolutionary perspective because it decreases the chances of passing one’s genes on to the next generation. One argument is that people should have as many sexual partners as possible to improve these chances. The question is whether or not this is beneficial to the offspring and the parents. One downside of having multiple partners is the danger of sexually transmitted diseases. These diseases have several long term consequences that are detrimental to survival and evolution. First of all, the number of STD cases in the United States is increasing rapidly. According to recent statistics, approximately 65 million people in the U.S. have an incurable STD, and approximately 15 million new STD cases are reported each year. In addition, two-thirds of these cases occur in people under the age of 25 (ASHA). Since the chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease increase with the number of partners one has, monogamy is a safer option. If a large portion of the human race is infected with incurable diseases, survival and evolution will suffer.

Sexually transmitted diseases are not only detrimental to one generation; Children can also be affected. Many diseases can be transferred at birth, which immediately lowers the chances of that generation’s survival. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Harmful effects on the baby may include stillbirth, low birth weight, conjunctivitis (eye infection), pneumonia, neonatal sepsis (infection in the blood stream), neurologic damage (such as brain damage or motor disorder), congenital abnormalities (including blindness, deafness, or other organ damage), acute hepatitis, meningitis, chronic liver disease, and cirrhosis.” Because evolution is dependent upon healthy genes being passed on, these effects greatly reduce its success rate. In addition, many of them can lead to genes not being passed on at all. From an evolutionary perspective, reproduction is useless if the children do not survive long enough to have children of their own. Conversely, if a couple practices monogamy, they improve their chances of producing healthy offspring who can then continue the process.

An argument against this is that the success rate will improve if people reproduce with a diverse variety of partners, which may cancel out some of the effects of disease. However, even if one grants that this is true, there are still problems. For example, higher reproduction rates can lead to overpopulation. Even if every human being on the planet is born healthy, they must still contend for limited resources. As a result, the quality of life will decrease later, but the effect will be the same. This could also lead to more competition, which seems to support the idea of “survival of the fittest,” but human nature is slightly different. People normally worry more about everyday concerns than the future of the species, so there is no guarantee that overpopulation can lead to a balance. This is an extreme example, of course, but many areas are already overpopulated due to excessive reproduction, and the results usually do not favor evolution.

Monogamy is beneficial to survival and quality of life from an evolutionary perspective, but the psychological and personal aspects of this practice are also important. Many of the most common arguments against monogamy are related to this area of reasoning. Some argue that one cannot possibly be happy with a single sexual partner, and they cite many reasons for holding this view. At this point, one must look at the subject of immediate gratification versus long term satisfaction. While it may be true that sex with any partner can result in physical pleasure and satisfaction, it is not necessarily true that this will have any long term benefits. Casual, meaningless sex can, in fact, have negative consequences on the individuals involved. As mentioned above, one argument is that casual sex provides relief and satisfaction and must therefore be a good thing. Unfortunately, the nature of this act can lead to greater stress and more serious problems. Sexually transmitted diseases apply here as well. If one has to constantly worry about disease, then one cannot fully enjoy the sex act itself. Instead of relief, this can lead to greater tension. In addition, there is always a risk of pregnancy, and in casual sexual relationships, this is rarely the intention. Therefore, the risk of pregnancy will also weigh heavily on the minds of the participants, and it will undoubtedly make the act less satisfying. In contrast, sex between two people who know that there are no immediate health consequences can be much more fulfilling, and if a pregnancy does occur, the child will have a greater chance of growing up in a loving environment.

A second consequence of casual sex with many people is the loss of respect for oneself and one’s partner. Some have said that the ability to have a fulfilling sexual relationship without any emotional baggage is a positive trait that will improve one’s self esteem, but it can, in fact, have the exact opposite effect. For example, an issue that is often discussed is the objectification and subsequent devaluation of women for sexual purposes. When women are viewed as a method of sexual satisfaction rather than human beings with emotions and needs, this can occur. However, many fail to realize that men can suffer these same consequences. It is possible for a man to eventually view himself as a simple sex object, and he may build his entire identity on his sexual abilities. When these abilities are based on meaningless sex, a man’s identity may become meaningless. Basically, even if one has superb sexual abilities, it is difficult to develop self esteem based on physical skills alone.

Another argument against monogamy is that sexual relationships will not be as fulfilling when both partners are inexperienced. This relates to the problem of basing an entire relationship on sex, but there are other problems as well, as it can also lead to the decoupling of physical and emotional satisfaction. In order to have a truly successful relationship, both of these must remain intact. In resisting monogamous relationships, most often marriage, people employ arguments such as “I don’t want to buy the cow if I can’t milk it first.” Although it may provide comic relief, this analogy does not properly address the issue of monogamy. The problem with this view is that those who hold it view sex as something that people give them, just as a cow would give milk. However, one has to ask if these same people would feed the cow before buying it. The answer should be no, because this act would assume a certain responsibility. When sex is treated as a free gift rather than a mutual exchange, its purpose is lost, and relationships suffer. In addition, this view rests on the belief that people should not commit to a long term relationship until they have had enough sexual experience to know what they are looking for in a partner. This can also lead to problems. If a person has a string of casual relationships before finally making a serious commitment, those relationships can surface again. The person will constantly be making comparisons between current and past sexual partners, and the emotional and personal aspects of the relationship will not fully compensate for the fact that the relationship as a whole is not unique.

At this point, the argument about experience becomes a factor again. The couple in the previous example may have a better sexual relationship due to past experience, but the fact remains that much of this experience comes from other people. In monogamous relationships, however, the partners will gain a better understanding of each other and learn everything together, which will ultimately bring them closer. They will not need to compare everything to past relationships or worry that they made the wrong decision. In any case, this once again raises the question of what is truly important in a relationship. It seems that the physical and emotional aspects should complement one another rather than being totally separate.

This is, incidentally, another decoupling that occurs with casual sex. A positive emotional relationship makes sex more fulfilling, and this will then improve the emotional aspect even further. In this way, monogamy is still preferable if one truly wants to be happy. It is even possible to build more trust through monogamy, and trust will result in a greater sense of satisfaction and happiness. By entering into a monogamous relationship, two people place a certain amount of trust in their partners and expect them to remain faithful. This can build confidence and respect in both partners, and it gives the relationship an even more unique aspect. Casual sex cannot have the same result. By avoiding committed relationships, people concede that they do not trust themselves or their partners enough to share a truly fulfilling bond.

Another common argument against monogamy is the reality of sexual desire. Some say that because humans always have a desire for sex, they should act on that desire whenever possible. The issue of immediate gratification once again becomes a factor in this case. It cannot be the case that giving in to every single desire in order to avoid temporary discomfort is an intelligent response to life’s challenges. After all, if people never resisted desire, the majority of the world’s population would be dead or in prison. In reality, the power to resist extremely strong urges is a virtue few possess, and if one can successfully overcome sexual desires until the proper time, then one can apply those powers of resistance and dedication in other aspects of life. These abilities can also help to improve relationships. If both partners are aware of their ability to resist temptation, they will trust each other even more.

Much of what has been mentioned here about trust and emotion can be applied to reproduction as well. Monogamy is beneficial to evolution from a purely biological perspective, but it has positive effects from a psychological perspective as well. In the proper relationship, children are viewed as a blessing rather than a burden or an accident, and parents who are ready to provide a positive environment for their children have a better chance of raising them well. In addition, the values and strengths gained from staying in a monogamous relationship, such as trust, love, and the ability to set long term goals, will be transferred from one generation to the next. At the same time, parents who instill negative values in their children increase the risk of failure in the future. If a child does not learn self control or experience a loving relationship, that child will have a poor understanding of these concepts. The consequences of this have already been discussed. Overall, given the biological benefits of monogamy, one can assume that the psychological benefits will further assist the human race in its survival.

Even though modern society does not cherish the same values it once did, it can still benefit from the results of those values. Monogamy is beneficial from an evolutionary perspective, as it decreases the risk of disease, controls overpopulation to some extent, and ensures that some members of future generations are able to continue the process. In addition, monogamy is beneficial from a psychological perspective. When monogamy is practiced
properly, emotional relationships improve, sexual relationships are more fulfilling, and children grow up in a better environment. This practice also builds character, self control, trust, and respect. Casual sex may feel good and provide immediate relief, but in the end, it is not as rational as a committed, monogamous relationship.

Works Cited:

“Facts & Answers about STDs.” American Social Health Association. 11/10/03. http://www.ashastd.org/stdfaqs/statistics.html
“STDs and Pregnancy.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 11/10/03. http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/dstd/Fact_Sheets/facts_stds_and_pregnancy.htm


A couple end notes for blog readers who managed to get all the way through:
1) I'll remind you again that this took 3 hours to write with only a half-sheet of notes to help.
2) I did all the research as I was writing.
3) I really do believe in all the arguments I made here.
4) Any time I used the word "evolution," it really means "survival," because one of the requirements was to cover how your argument is and is not at odds with evolution, but I think evolution is crap.
5) Have I mentioned I'm religious?

Updates & Explanations 

Sorry I haven't posted anything interesting this weekend. I was really tired yesterday and couldn't summon up enough energy to write. However, I need to post something now that I've been meaning to include all weekend, then I have some more "real world" stuff to do. First of all, I'm now officially blogrolled on IMAO. Not the best timing, since I recently sent the monkeys from "Evil Monkeys" over there to harass Frank, but a good thing nonetheless. As Frank has stated, permalinks don't get you any extra hits, but it's good to be on there anyway.

Now, on to more important business. Remember that philosophy essay I mentioned a couple weeks ago? The one that I turned in literally 4 minutes before it was due after spending less than 4 hours writing it? The one that I wanted to keep confidential because it sucked so much?

Apparently I'm not a very good judge of my own skill, because the TA who graded it thought it was, in his words, "the best undergraduate essay" he'd ever seen. Okay. So, to sum things up, I thought it was possibly the worst thing I'd ever written, and the TA thought it was the best thing one of his students had ever written. I don't want to go off on a huge tangent about my personal life again (that ADD post was more than enough for one week), but this kind of thing happens a lot. Every time I think I've done something really terrible, a teacher invariably acts like it's the greatest thing in the world. I mean, he wrote comments on there like, "excellent point," and, "absolutely brilliant!" This has happened so many times, I almost feel guilty when I get an A. I even told him, "yeah, I wrote it the day it was due, but...I thought about it for a while." Of course, that "thinking" was a handwritten quasi-outline that I made between classes that same morning. It took about 40 minutes, and a lot of that time was spent staring out the window.

This could actually be an addition to the ADD rant, because it demonstrates another part of the disorder that you don't hear about: low self-esteem. I've read accounts of people with ADD who classify themselves as "lifelong failures" and say that they've never done anything meaningful with their lives. They always think that they haven't accomplished anything because it was all so easy, even if people appreciate their work. I feel the same way. For some reason, nothing I do is ever good enough, and I really do feel guilty when I get good grades for doing so little work. I feel like I should be putting more time into things, but since I don't need to, I usually don't. The same goes for larger things, like getting into college. You may be aware that Syracuse is a fairly prestigious university, and the Newhouse school is the most competitive. In addition, TV-Radio-Film is the most competitive major. As my peer advisor put it, "everyone who isn't in Newhouse wants to be in Newhouse." When I somehow got in, I thought there must have been a mistake. It didn't seem like I had done any work at all in high school, but I managed to do what many people have only dreamed of and get accepted as a TRF freshman (many people have to transfer later because it's so hard to get in the first year). I don't get it. I always wonder if my work would actually suffer if I spent more time on it. It seems like it would be kind of artificial and overedited, which is why I never write rough drafts if I don't have to. I think I mentioned this before, but everything I post for SIT is off the top of my head. I've never spent more than an hour on anything I've written here. That's the same way I do assignments. I sit down, start writing, and somehow pull an "A" paper out of nowhere. Strange.

Okay, I've probably bored you again, so I'll go ahead and wrap this up. I'm going to post the text of the philosophy essay I just mentioned, and you can judge for yourself whether or not it's any good. It does make a decent argument for a subject people usually don't bother to pay attention to, so maybe it'll make you think. Or maybe it will just make you drowsy. We'll see. My next post will be either some or all of the essay. Later.

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