Tuesday, May 27

Things that annoy me.

Why is it that for some drivers the purpose of the left lane seems to be a riddle wrapped in an enigma smothered with secret sauce. It's as if they can't figure out why there is more than 1 lane, so they just figure all the lanes must have the same use and purpose. They don't. The left lane is the passing lane. That means that if you are not passing anyone you should not be in the left lane. You know what is annoying people who sit going slowly in the left lane with no cars anywhere near them. So you pass them on the right and they get the idea right? No. They stay in the left lane even as multiple cars pass them on the right. You know what's even more annoying? people who drive in the left lane going the exact same speed as the car next to them in the right lane. Now it's impossible to pass in either lane. If you want to go the exact same speed as the car in the right lane, get in the right lane. It doesn't matter if you are going 60, or 90. If you want to go the same speed as the cars in the right lane, then there's good news for you, there's an entire lane going that speed, it's called the right lane. If you aren't passing somebody stay out of the passing lane.

Saturday, May 24

Good news for once

I've been meaning to write more about the polygamist case for a while, but never got around to it. So first a quite update for those not following the story. The polygamists petitioned to have their children returned pending the results of the states investigation. The court refused to return the children even temporarily. They claimed that girls were raised to accept early marriages to older men. Therefore even if they were of age, and willingly agreed to a marriage they were being abused. Essentially they were being culturally abused. Unlike in our superior culture, where there are outside influences inhibiting the free will of children. Then what about the boys you ask? They were also being abused. They were being abused because they were being raised in a culture that encourages them to become future abusers of girls. Which is abusive to them. That's right. So essentially the court ruled that if you are a member of this religion you are not allowed to have children. It doesn't matter what you do personally or how you raise them (as evidence by some parents who were not polygamist and did not encourage their children to be polygamists.)

The state continues to argue that they were just despite the fact that the initial complaint of abuse at the ranch came from a woman in colarado who also called in to complain she was being abuse by a catholic priest, and that she was being held in the basement and sexually abuse by her grandfather. The state didn't feel it necassary to investigate that call before seizing all the children. Also more than half the girls who were originally claimed to be underage mothers have now been classified as adults and one of them is 27. The state maintains that there are 5 girls who got at 15, and 16. First off It is entirely legal to marry and be pregnant at 16. Secondly 5? out of 250? I wonder how that compares to the rates of teen pregnancy in the country. And how it compares to the rates of teenage among minorities in the inner city. Maybe the should start taking away all the minority children from inner cities.

Well the Appeals courts of weighed in and essentially told the judge and child services that they were full of shit and had no right to seize the 450 children in the first place. Even if we were to buy all of the states arguments, there is still no evidence of immediate danger, the only condition under which it is legal to seize children. They appeals court ruled that they had not demonstrated that there was any danger to the prepubescent children, or even that any of the pregnant girls had been impregnated by older men (had they been impregnanted by boys it would not have been abuse.) And critisized child services for not trying to come to an arrangement short of complete removal of all children. If there were any justice, the officials and judge involved in the seizing of these children would be sent to prison for kidnapping/fired/suspended/or at least docked their wages, but i'm confident there will be no consequences whatsoever.

Thursday, May 22

Harmless Prank?

As it turns out harmless pranks no longer exist. Any prank is by definition an attack on society and as such must be punished. Some highschool kid wanted to ask a girl out for the prom, and wanting it to be memorable, he got some of his friends from the laccrosse team together, and wrote out the invitation on their butts, and then mooned the girl. The girl was so unfazed so managed to answer immediately by slapping the butt of the guy with the word yes? written on him. She thought it was cute, as did her parents. Luckily the athletic director, a woman, knew better than this girl, that in fact this was disrespectful to women. she wants to send the message that "what may be fun to them isn't necassarily fun to everyone else." How true. Like you know how some people think it's fun to judge and condemn other's actions whether or not anyone cares what they have to say. That isn't fun for me. The students were suspended forced to perform community service, and the team was suspended. Now maybe we can end this blight of childhood once it for all. It's about time children and teenagers started acting like the middle aged puritans who founded this country in the first place.

Thursday, May 15

The senator doth protest too much, methinks

President Bush recently speaking on the 60th anniversary of Israeli statehood had this to say...

"Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," the President said to the country's legislative body, "We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is –- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

It seems like a fairly bland statement defending his foreign policy for the past 8 years. But that would only be because i am not a politician. Politician Barak Obama immediately saw for what it was, an attack against him. And all other democratic politicians have jumped on the bandwagon accusing president bush of playing partisan politics and with politician Joe Biden calling it bullshit, and politician nancy pelosy saying it is beneath the dignity of the office of the president. I must assume it has not escaped the notice of these politicians that Bush never mentioned Obama, so they must be intentionally ignoring that detail. Before anything else, Obama saw that quote and saw something of himself in that 1939 senator, or he wouldn't have jumped up to defend himself. Secondly it has been noted by news organization that Bush has expressed very similiar convictions throughout his (we don't negotiate with terrorist) presidency. So once again they must be ignoring that detail to jump to the conclusion that this isn't just another one of his speech but a calculated attack against a single individual. And finally i'm sure that they are all aware the a certain ex-president has recently gone and met with Hamas (a move denounced even by Obama) in an effort to negotiate some sort of truce. But obviously the president couldn't have been talking about the person who had just met with the Jews current mortal enemies when he referenced someone who had previously declared his desire to meet with the jews mortal enemies. These Democratic politicians must all be much smarter than me to see through all of Bush's possible meanings to realize that whole thing was meant only as an attack on politician Obama. No politician as far as i can tell has anything negative to say about the quote itself, only that it was a cheap shot directed at their peer Obama. No qualms with the substance of the speech, which politician obama likes to pretend is important, only the unwarranted use of this speech to attack him.

In case anyone was wondering why i am emphasising the use of word politician it is because i would like to remind the handful of people who read this blog that Obama, despite his protestations is a politician. He likes to pretend that he wants to leave behind all of lowly squabbles of day to day politics and discuss the really important issues, but he has repeatedly shown that he will stoop to the opportunity to bloody a rival through political maneuvering. He simply doesn't appreciate it when others do it to him. I don't have a problem with political attacks about trivial speeches, just don't pretend that you are better than everyone else, complain about people harping on your trivial speeches, and then jump on someone else's back for the same thing.

Tuesday, May 13

Am i in the twilight zone?

So on Saturday i turned on the tv to see what was on, and checker one of the cable networks (TNT or USA) and they were having an Indiana Jones marathon, showing all three movies. Well that sounds like a good idea. The new Indiana Jones movie is coming out soon, maybe I'll watch some to reacquaint myself. I had noticed in time to watch all three, so i put on the first one, and who do i see but Sean Connery. Sean Connery? in the first Indiana Jones movie? That's weird. So i look closer, and even though they are playing all three movies one after another, they are playing Indiana Jones and the last crusade first. That's right. For some reason the last crusade comes first. So i look to see what is second and naturally it is the temple of doom. Leaving the original Indiana Jones movie for last. And this wasn't a one time occurrence, they did the same thing at a different time of day on Sunday. Leading me to the inevitable question. Am i in the twilight zone?

Thursday, May 8


4,000 american's have died in Iraq. This is seen as an outrage by many people and a terrible waste of life. There are other factors including money and iraqi lives that people could argue about, but usually when people talk about getting out of iraq it's to save the soldiers. Bring our boys home and get them out of harms way. (3,000 people died in 9/11). Now originally my source of perspective was deaths from drunk driving. I could be misremembering, but as i recall 20,000 Americans die a year from drunk driving. Now i could be wrong, but it seems to me that 20,000 is a larger number than 4,000. In fact it is much larger. And if you factor in that the iraq war has been going on for 5 years, that makes it 4,000 vs. 100,000. Before all the cries for the safety of our soldiers maybe some people should think about the safety of our streets.

But another event has occured recently which gives us even more perspective. A cyclone hit burma. Burmese officials were warned 2 days ahead of time that this cyclone was going to hit. Their response was to do nothing. After the cyclone hit international agency and countries around the world begged the burmese government to allow rescue workers to help out. Their response was no. After days of begging it finally seems the burmese may be willing to allow some international rescue efforts. It has now been estimated that the death toll may pass 100,000. While the deaths from this cyclone certainly weren't completely preventable I do believe they were largely preventable. Just like that 100,000 people are gone, and not only did their government do nothing to protect them, their government actively prevented others from coming to their aid. So for all the people who are upset about the state of america, or the iraq war, or the democrats, or the republicans, or any other nonsense, maybe take a second to think about how lucky you are to have been born in the united states, and not in burma.

Tuesday, May 6

Bubbles are fun

I don't entirely understand this entire mortgage crises. I read an article that claimed US homeowners had lost 6 trillion dollars in wealth. But in fact everything they had is still there. Every house is there in the same condition it was in the first place. All that has been lost is some made up number of what the house was worth. yeah, that sucks for the people who bought houses only to find out they weren't worth nearly what the paid. But the house is still the same house they bought in the first place. It's like you bought a tv for $100 and then you found out you could have gotten it for 50. Yeah that sucks, but nobody forced you to buy it for a hundred. If it wasn't worth $100 to you then you shouldn't have bought it. If it was worth $100 to you in the first place, then you can still keep it and be happy.

The other thing is, that it seems to me this is a 0 sum game. That is as the housing market expands rapidly prices go up and if you sell your house just before the bubble burst you make a lot of money, and if you buy just before the bubble burst you lose a lot of money, but as a society nothing is lost or gained. The house is the same, the only question is who loses and who gains. So it seems to me the total loss to society of this entire mortgage crises ought to be 0. For every person who overpaid for a house, there is someone else who got overpaid for his house. Given the lack of any loss to society (as far as i can tell) it seems like there has been a huge over-reaction to this mortgage crises.

Also while we are on the topic of bubbles we were looking at toys for a certain someone who likes bubbles... (vytenis.) Anyway i saw a bubble toy that was a bubble lawn mower, which i take it blows bubbles as you pretend to mow the lawn. I thought that was weird enough, but then they also had a bubble grill. We left before i could carefully exam it, but it was definitely a bubble grill. So i guess you pretend to grill something and bubbles come out. I don't know how that can possibly make sense. They also had some sort of electric turbo bubble guns for those who want to coat their entire house in bubble mixture which they were selling in gallon jugs. Whatever happened to just using that little blower you stick in that little bottle.