Friday, December 31, 2004
As we all know, the death toll from the Tsunami is now well over 100,000 people. This event is terrible and extremely unfortunate. However, some people, (namely Jan Egeland the U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs), have tried to paint the United States and other nations as being "stingy" in their giving for relief. Initially, the U.S. gave $35 million to help victims of the tsunami (Australia gave $27 million and Great Britain gave $62.5 million). But apparently the U.S. contribution wasn't enough for some people. *cough* *Jan Egeland* *cough* So what do we have to do now? We've pledged an additional $350 million. That brings our total up to $385 million. Great. We've pledged over 1/3rd of a billion dollars to help these people out.
However, I still have a couple of questions. Namely, how much of that "relief money" will be used to line the pockets of "officials" in the countries where aid is needed? But more importantly I ask Jan Egeland and the rest of the world where they were when Florida was hit by 3 hurricanes earlier this year? Where was the worldwide contributions to help the victims of that natural disaster? Or is there a double standard? Do American disaster victims not rank as high as other victims around the world? Where are we supposed to get this money from? Does it grow on trees?
The rest of the world expects the United States to bleed money. They expect for us to open up our national checkbook every time something shitty happens somewhere. Well guess what? Israel alone receives $662 million dollars in Economic Aid from the U.S.! That also doesn't account for all of the military supplies and other things that we send to them. In the year 2003 alone, we gave $2.7395 billion dollars in aid to the rest of the God-damned world! How can you people even begin to call us stingy? It makes me want to puke.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 1:37 PM
Friday, December 17, 2004
You know I'm hot, just tell me already!
I saw this on one of my friend's IM away messages. So I answered her version of the survey. now, she's apparently pissed off at me. Go figure. I mean, it's called BLUNT TRUTH. What did you expect? A spin-off of High Times?
Don't ask the questions if you don't want to know the answers.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 9:46 AM
Friday, December 10, 2004
Ever notice how some companies will take oldies songs and use portions of them to promote their products? Well, I was thinking the other day and I came up with the perfect oldies song for Enzyte. (You know, the penis pills.)
The song would be the Four Seasons' "Stay".
You could have the music play and then have the vocals come in on the line "Just a little bit longer." Then, fade out the vocals and have the announcer talk some more. Then you bring up the vocals on the lines "Now, your Daddy don't mind; and your Momma don't mind." Fade out vocals. After the announcer promotes the product and dances all around the issue of what it actually does, you could bring up vocals on the line "Won't you say you love me all of the tii-i-i-i-i-i-ime." Then just repeat "Just a little bit longer" as needed.
I have too much free time on my hands.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 1:17 PM
Monday, December 06, 2004
I don't have kids. The problem that I find is that anyone can have a kid. There are no rules or guidelines about parenting. Oh sure, you have some laws that say that you can't abuse or neglect your kid. But it still amazes me to no end that people are required to take a competency test to operate a motor vehicle, but are allowed to raise children with no education, experience, or guidelines. And we all know that raising a child is infinitely harder than driving a car. (You can't put parenting on cruise control.)
Therefore, I would like to propose that there be either state or nationally mandated educational classes for all parents who are pregnant or have had a child within the past year. The classes would incorporate basic home economics, including but not limited to: Balancing a checkbook and the effective use of funds, basic culinary skills, basic nutrition, child psychology, basic child-rearing techniques (survey course of different methods), and effective communication techniques (both with your child and with other family members).
Balancing a Checkbook/Effective use of Funds
This course would guide parents and parents-to-be in basic economics. This is not talking about the Gross Domestic Product. This is guiding people in how to effectively manage their paycheck so that they do not accumulate more debt than they can handle. It would advise people of the pitfalls of credit cards and how easy it is to get in debt with them.
Basic Culinary Skills
This course would teach people how to cook basic meals for a family. It would include all the necessary skills to be able to cook simple, low cost food for your family. Some of the parts of the course would include portion management (how to cook just the right amount), stove-top skills, using a microwave for more than just T.V. dinners, etc.
This course would go hand in hand with the cooking course. It would be a guide for choosing foods that meet your families nutritional requirements.
This would be a very basic course in how children think and act. The goal would be to give parents and potential parents an idea of why their child acts they way that they do.
Basic Child-Rearing Techniques (Survey Course)
This would range from changing diapers to helping with homework. This course would give people practice in the necessary skills required for raising a child. Also covered in this course would be different methods of raising a child. (Spanking vs. Timeout, etc.)
Effective Communication Techniques
This course outlines how to be able to better communicate with your child and family without resorting to yelling and screaming. Also included would be effective tips for disarming hostile situations that could lead to yelling. This course would probably be helpful in reducing the number of divorces every year.
One problem that I can foresee is scheduling. How do you fit all of these classes in with a job? That will be a difficulty in the early years of the licensing process. The solution is to incorporate the classes into the required courses for high school students. Once the student has completed the courses, then he or she will be given their license and allowed to have children.
Now I know that this will not cure all of the problems that our society has, but it will enable our parents to be more prepared for the arduous task of bringing up a well-rounded, polite child in today's world.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 3:42 PM
I give up.
Friday, December 03, 2004
I give up on women. I'm tired of constantly having my heart stomped on. Hey, I've been living a celibate life (not by choice) for some time now, why not make it my decision? I'm thoroughly burned out on the whole process. I'm not just going to stop looking for a relationship, I'm going to start actively avoiding any type of relationship. Maybe I'll go back to being the "Mr. Stoic" that I was in high school. We'll see.
I've been told that it's when you stop looking that you find someone. Yeah, you find them, become smitten, then they go off with someone else. No thank you. I can do without that.
I'm not bitter because I'm single, quite the opposite.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:11 AM
I think that I'm going to get a Vasectomy.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Last night I saw something so horrible that it made me want to never procreate. If you have never seen Fox's show Nanny 911, then count yourself lucky. This is a show where Nannys are called into homes where the parents have no control over their children. Then, within a week, the Nanny turns the entire family around and they are one big happy entity.
The only problem? I wanted to give those brats an ass-whooping of Biblical proportions only 5 minutes into the program. For Christ's sake, how can you let your kids get this bad? This program is the most effective form of birth control that I have ever come across. watching this show for the limited amount of time that I did only made me want to go get a vasectomy. That way, I won't have to ever deal with that particular form of hell.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 2:04 PM
Friday, November 26, 2004
Ender's Game Series
This is a book about a child genius who is sent to Battle School when he is 6 years old. He is sent because it is believed that he may be humanity's hope for survival against the buggers, an alien race that has tried to wipe out the human race twice. The book chronicles Ender's life as he is rapidly promoted through Battle School and the on to command School. Card does a great job of describing the battles that these armies of children go through. This series is truly one of the staples of any sci-fi reading experience. Although unconfirmed, I have heard that this is now required reading for some high school students.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 8:45 PM
Happy National Civilization Steamroller Day!!
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Just think, if the Native Americans (or at least more native than we are) had realized how much they were gonna get screwed by us being here, things might be very different. I'm thankful that the Natives didn't look at the beads in their hands as they were paddling away from Manhattan Island and decide to scalp everyone that didn't have a tan. Oh well, progress is progress.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 9:00 AM
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
I need some advice on what could be a life changing decision. Thanks in advance guys.
I've suspected for some time now that my girlfriend has been having an affair. The usual signs. Phone rings, I answer, someone hangs up. She started going out 'with the girls' a lot recently although when I ask which girls it is always "Just some friends from work, you don't know them". I always look out for her taxi coming home but she always walks down the drive although I can hear a car setting off. As if she has got out of the car round the corner. Why? Is it not a taxi? I once picked her mobile up just to see what time it was and she went beserk and screamed that I should never touch her phone again and why was I checking up on her.
Anyway, I have never approached the subject with my girlfriend. I think deep down I just didn't want to know the truth but last night she went out again and I decided to check on her. I decided I was going to hide behind my car which would give me a view of the whole street so I could see which car she gets out of. It was whilst crouched behind my car that I noticed rust around my rear wheel arch.
Should I take it into a garage or should I buy some stuff from the local AutoZone and try to repair it myself?
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 4:15 PM
As we all know, the first settlers of America were rejects from England. To paraphrase Robin Williams: The puritans were too uptight, even for the British. So what did the Brits do? They kicked 'em out.
Flash forward to the present day. We have a bunch of people, mostly über-Christians, who are trying to censor everything. The whole Janet-Jackson boob incident? Need I say more? Now, I'm not trying to bash on all Christians, just the ones who can't live without inflicting themselves and their way of life on other people.
I guess the question that I'm getting at here is: Do you think that we will have another puritanical-type deportation? Will enough people get fed-up with having to deal with this stuff that we round them all up and send them packing? Maybe.
P.S. - The best way to evangelize? Just be as good a Christian as you can be. Don't go shoving it in other people's faces. Trust me, they'll see what you are doing.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 4:00 PM
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
I recently came across something called "Machinima." Apparently, this is the using of video game engines to create short movies. The word Machinima is a combination of the word "Machine" and either "cinema" or "animation." According to the entry on Wikipedia.org, Machinima may have gotten started in the "late 1970s and early 1980s."
I encourage everyone to go to Rooster Teeth Productions and check out Red vs. Blue and The Strangerhood. Red Vs. Blue is made using the Microsoft videogame Halo and now also Halo 2. It's a very funny series that is well done. (Actually something more along the lines of medium rare.) The only problem is that the series is on a rolling archive. This means that not all of the videos are available at the same time. However, there are several sites, such as RedVsBlue.net that host all of the episodes at once. Incidentally, RedVsBlue.net also is the home of a homage to the Red Vs. Blue series called: Sponsors Vs. Freeloaders. The Strangerhood is a machinima made using the Sims 2 videogame.
Go check out the great work that these people are doing.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 5:00 PM
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 4:53 PM
This is an idea that came from my friend Daisy. Yes, the same guy who came up with the Personal Reality Deceleration Device. We were sitting around the other day talking about the holidays and he told me his thoughts on Santa Clause. I have basically gotten the gist of them here:
Santa Clause is Buddha for Christians. He's a big, fat guy who we welcome into our houses and present with food. Also, Santa Clause, like Buddha, tells us to just be good to one another. We're rewarded when we're good and punished when we are bad.
Yes, I know that this is not an exhaustive proof. Yes, I know that there are several "holes" in this theory. Guess what? It's a joke. Take it as such.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 1:03 PM
Funny stuff that you can find on the Internet
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
This was originally posted on The Chaser News. The emphasis on the title and the last line are mine. Enjoy:
Teen's dying wish for Cameron Diaz blow job not granted
PHILADELPHIA, Monday: The parents of 15-year-old leukaemia patient Josh Morten, who last night passed away after a four year battle with the illness, said they were sorry not to have fulfilled his dying wish to get a blow job from Cameron Diaz.
The courageous teenager told his family two months ago that the one thing he'd really like before he died was to be sucked off by the successful Hollywood actress and former model.
"Josh never asked for much," his father confided. "He never complained about his illness, or made unrealistic demands. So when he requested fellatio from the star of Charlie's Angels and There’s Something About Mary we thought, sure, that’s the least we can do for him."
But attempts to grant Josh his dying wish proved much more difficult than the family had initially thought. Formal requests inviting the star to perform oral sex on their dying son were repeatedly declined.
"We wrote, we rang, we faxed," Mr Morten explained. "And every time it was the same answer: 'Sorry, Ms Diaz is currently unable to comply with your request.' I mean, how unsympathetic can you get? We're talking about a dying kid here! Would it kill her?"
Mr Morten even made a special trip to Los Angeles, to try to talk to the movie star personally outside the premiere of Gangs of New York. "The crowds were ten deep," he said, "and I'm there yelling out to her from the back: 'Will you go down on my son please!', but she didn’t want to know."
With hopes diminishing by the day, Mr Morten placed similar standby requests with the agents representing Catherine Zeta Jones, Jennifer Lopez and Salma Hayek, but in each case the stars refused to co-operate.
"Who do they think they are, these women!" railed Mr Morten. "They earn millions of dollars and swan about at fancy parties, but when they get a simple request to bring a smile to a young boy far less fortunate than them, they turn their back on you. What kind of world do we live in when a dying teenager can no longer get his cock sucked by a celebrity?"
Indeed, what kind of world do we live in?
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 3:20 PM
I think that if I had the money I would buy myself a 20ft. schooner and sail to Australia. Perhaps this is all because I've been listening to the song Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young. I've even thought of getting a job on a boat to Australia after I graduate. Work on the boat for passage. I think that would be great. ROugh winds, storms, blistered hands, and all of the other things. I think that is one of the experiences that can really turn a guy into a man. Well, We'll see what happens.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 1:45 PM
I've decided to start a new feature entitled How To Be A Bastard. These are just things that I've thought of. I don't recommend that you do any of them and I don't take any responsibility for any repercussions of your actions.
The Great American Smokeout
This Thursday, Nov. 18th, is the 28th annual Smokeout. You can check out the website here. This is when the American Cancer Society encourages people to quit smoking for one day.
On Thursday, I'm going to smoke a cigar in celebration of the Great American Smokeout. Just to be a bastard. I even made a sign for you to use:
Inspired by a sign at my local cigar shop.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 12:30 PM
Goldschläger is defined by DrinksMixer.com as "A clear swiss cinnamon schnapps, containing 24 carrot gold leaf flakes." This is why the rest of the world hates the united states. We are so filthy rich that we have drinks with gold in them. People starve in other countries and we find new ways to consume more. Yes, I know that Goldschläger is a swiss made drink, but I'm pretty sure that a lot of it is consumed here in the U.S.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 12:30 AM
Police and the Use of Deadly Force
Monday, November 15, 2004
We have been discussing the use of force by police officers, deadly and non-deadly, in several of my classes. Then this morning I heard Mike Gallagher talking about a 6 year old boy in Florida who had been tasered. Here is an exceprt of the article from the Miami Herald:
Posted on Thu, Nov. 11, 2004It's stuff like this that makes me want to make changes to the way that policing is handled here in the U.S. I know that right now some of you are saying "Yeah, our officers shouldn't do stiff like that!"
Police used Taser gun to subdue 6-year-old student wielding piece of glass
BY SUSANNAH A. NESMITH
Miami-Dade police tasered a 6-year-old boy who was wielding a piece of glass in a school office and threatening to hurt himself, officials confirmed Thursday.
Police say they followed their own guidelines and only tasered the child because they were afraid he would hurt himself. But the incident has raised calls for the department tighten its policies regarding the use of the stun guns, which shoot 50,000 volts of electric current through a subject.
The incident happened on Oct. 20 at Kelsey Pharr Elementary School. The principal, Maria Mason, called 911 after the child, who has not been identified, broke a picture frame in the assistant principal's office. Then the boy began waving the piece of glass around, holding a security guard at bay.
Two Miami-Dade police officers responded, followed by a school police officer. When they got there, the boy already had a cut under his right eye and another on his hand from the glass. The three officers talked to the boy, trying to get him to put down the glass, according to a police report.
One of the officers slid a trash can to him, hoping he would throw the glass away if he didn't want to give it to any of the five adults there.
Then the officer contacted a supervisor to see if there was a policy specifically prohibiting the use of a stun gun on a child. There isn't, and the officer was told to do what she felt was necessary.
The two officers continued to try to talk to the child, who didn't respond.
Then he cut his own leg and the officers acted. One officer shocked him with the Taser while the other grabbed him, preventing him from falling on the ground.
There used to be what was called the "Fleeing Felon Rule." Basically, under this doctrine, a police officer could shoot a felon who was running away in order to stop them. As you can imagine this angered some people. Namely the people who were getting shot and their families. In the case of Tennessee vs Garner, that rule was changed. Now, the police officer has to have a reasonable belief that the felon will harm either themselves of someone else before the police officer can shoot at them. Yeah, I see the irony in hurting someone to stop them from hurting themselves.
You may be wondering how these two cases are related. Well, in my opinion, we should repeal the Tennessee vs Garner requirements, but we should give police rubber bullets instead of real ones. We should also expand the circumstances when police can fire their weapons. This way the police officers can just shoot someone in the ass with a rubber bullet. It would be cathartic to the officer. It would also reduce caseloads. More than likely after popping someone in the ass with a rubber bullet, the officer(s) would more than likely be lenient.
We could also have similar things for traffic violations. Say that you get pulled over for speeding. The officer gives you the option of taking the ticket or getting shot in the ass with a paintball gun from 15 feet away. I don't know about you, but I would take the paintball gun. We could even have the officers give you a towel to clean off with. Also, if the officer misses, then you get off without any warnings or anything. I think that it's a great plan.
If we had the "Shoot 'em in the Ass" plan that I just described, then the police could have just shot that uppity little 6 year old with a rubber bullet and it would have been over with. Teach that little punk about screwing with the police.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 3:23 PM
As you may have noticed, the GeorgeWBush.com news feed is no longer up. This is because it was no longer being updated. It's kind of pointless to try to bring you news from a source that doesn't update. But now we have something better. The News4sites.com people have come to my rescue. We now have a new section on the sidebar entitled "World at a Glance." This news feed brings up info from around the world. There are many options for what types of news feeds that I can put up. Let me know if you want me to change what type of news you get here.
Update: I forgot that I had requested another news feed. This one is at the top of the page, just underneath the title box. Enjoy.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:30 AM
I'm not bitter because I'm single, quite the opposite.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:15 AM
I still don't like Freud.
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Freudian Inventory Results
|Oral (33%) you appear to be stubbornly and irrationally against receiving help even when it might be the more intelligent option. |
Anal (40%) you appear to have a good balance of self control and spontaneity, order and chaos, variety and selectivity.
Phallic (73%) you appear to have issues with controlling your sexual desires and possibly fidelity.
Latency (60%) you appear to have a good balance of abstract knowledge seeking and practicality, dealing with real world responsibilities while still cultivating your abstract and creative faculties and interests.
Genital (36%) you appear to have a conventional, closeminded, and regressive outlook on life. Change is an inevitable and positive part of life, learn to contribute to it, not fear it or oppose it
personality tests by similarminds.com
You make what you want out of this.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:57 AM
New Site Feature
Thursday, November 11, 2004
As you can see I have now decided to add a links section to the sidebar. This is so that you can see all of the people that I have met through Blogshares.com. If you want to be linked on my site, then let me know by emailing me or by messaging me at Blogshares.com.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 9:31 PM
Nostalgia is a thing of the past.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 4:20 PM
Warning: Adult Situations!
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
The other night I was watching T.V. and I saw a warning come up on the screen for a movie. It was rated "R" and one of the reasons was that it included "Adult Situations." And I sat there and thought "Adult Situations? What's that, paying the bills? Going to work?" Those are the kinds of things that I think of when I see "Adult Situations." Especially because people in almost every age group have sex. These kinds of thoughts force me to keep only a select group of a few friends.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 3:30 PM
Let me preface this post by saying that I feel sorry for the suffering that anyone feels when they lose someone close to them. I am not a heartless bastard, just a bastard. With that being said, I have some comments on suicide.
To let you know what the impetus for this post was, you can see the articles here and here. Basically what happened is that a kid on the Texas State University campus committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a pistol. The campus "newspaper" (and I use that term loosely), published an article in the following edition that included stuff that his friends said about him.
First of all, the guy threw away his life. He decided that his life was no longer worth living and so he voluntarily ended his life. Now, if he had been killed by a drunk driver, a serial killer, or even possibly by a natural disaster then I would be supporting the vigil that these people held for this guy. Hell, I would even support a scholarship in his name. But not because he decided to wuss-out on life.
The second point that I have is about all the things that the campus "newspaper" wrote that his "friends" said about him. You may have noticed the quotes that I used around the word friends. This is because if all of the things that these people said about him were true, then you would think that one of them might have noticed that he was feeling suicidal.
When I die, I don't want people to say nice things about me. I want them to say truthful(mostly) things like "He was an incorrigible bastard who only did anything nice if it would get him laid." Let's be honest people.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 2:45 PM
PETA hates Schrödinger.™
My stats/research professor brought up the thought experiment designed by Schrödinger that is commonly called Schrödinger's Cat. The basics of the experiment are that a cat is placed in a box with a 50/50 chance of a poison gas being released into the box. The problem is that we won't know whether or not the cat is dead or alive until we open the box and observe the cat. Now, apparenty, this has somethign to do with Quantum Mechanics but I think that the Wikipedia people do a better job of explaining it than I could.
Anyways, I was thinking about the experiment and then I thought "That would really piss off the people at PETA." Thus is the tale of the birth of my new slogan.
Also, my friend Aubrey had a great away message up the other day. It said: "Support the Search & Rescue Team: GET LOST!"
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 2:30 PM
As you may have noticed, my sidebar is growing. I have now added a link that looks like this: . This is because I recently Googled my website's name and found it listed on the BlogShares.com website. So, being the rampant competitor that I am, I have decided to try and increase the value of my little blog on their site. Should you have a desire to help me in this endeavour, then please include the following HTML code at the bottom of all of your webpages:
<a href="http://bastardisms.blogspot.com" target="_blank">Bastardisms."></a>
Also, if you would like to help out, you can click on the link on the sidebar, which will say that I refered you to their website. Thanks for putting up with this tripe.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 2:00 PM
Monday, November 08, 2004
George Carlin's "When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops".
George Carlin brings us his unique brand of witicisms and sharp observations on our society. Carlin is extremely critical of the usage of the English language as practiced by most of us. He spends a significant part of the book solely on euphemisms or "soft language" as he calls it.
As you read the book, you can almost imagine George standing there next to you saying all of the words on the page. Although, for me personally, the book takes a while to get up to speed, by the end of it George is in full swing.
This book has only been out since October 12th, but it is already controversial. The funny part is that the controversy isn't from anything inside the book, but what is on the dust cover.
As you can see, the dust cover depicts Leonardo DaVinci's "Last Supper" with George right next to where Jesus should be. Mega-retailer Wal-Mart has refused to carry the book. You can read more about it here.
From George Carlin's website: www.GeorgeCarlin.com.
I whole heartedly recommend this book to everyone. Just remember that you need to take it with a grain or two of salt. And, preferably, a shot of tequila and some lime.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 11:00 AM
As you can see, on the right hand side of the site, just under the link to Help me buy an island is a news bar with updates from the www.GeorgeWBush.com website. I know that the news is only from Nov. 3rd. I don't update the script, their website does. However, if the news script is not updated by the end of the week, then I will try to find a new news script to place there. I hope that you enjoy the little news blurbs that you see, or at least enjoy the effort that I went through to cut and paste someone else's code to keep you up-to-date.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:30 AM
Hail to the Chief!
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Well, the elections results are in. President Bush has been reelected. That means that once again he will have to preside over a country that is deeply divided. I hope that everyone will try to work together for the next 4 years so that we can accomplish the things that we need to. That being said, I have one thing to say to all of those people who voted for Gore in 2000: This time he IS your President.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 2:54 PM
Occasionally I get stuff in my email that makes me laugh out loud and then go "That's a good idea." This happens to be one of those things. I got this picture as part of an email from the www.joke-of-the-day.com people. I'm thinking about gathering together all the required pieces to play this and then trying to get a game going with some of my friends.
I've noticed that there seems to be the inkling of a beginning of a theme going on here. Please note that I encourage only people who are of legal age in the place where they reside to drink and when they do so, to drink responsibly. And under no circumstances should they risk their or anyone else's life by drinking and driving. That being said, have fun.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 2:02 PM
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
The day after my birthday, my mom took me to go see the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar". It was my first time seeing the musical. We lucked out because it was a Broadway cast. It was a really great experience. During the show I absolutely loved the song "Everything's Alright". It was Natalie Toro who sung as Mary Magdalene in the performance that I saw.
Now I bet you are wondering what does this have to do with arbitrary requirements. During that show I decided that I would have an arbitrary requirement in the selection of my next girlfriend. She would have to be able to sing "Everything's Alright." But then I reflected that all our requirements for who we date are arbitrary. If you say to yourself: "I'm only going to date a 6' tall man who can sing bass lines and is 90 lbs.", then you'll end up liking someone who is 4'7" tall, sing alto, and weighs 300 lbs. It just works out that way. And even if you did find your dream person, you probably would find out that you didn't really want what you thought that you wanted. All of these artificial requirements go right out the window when life plops somebody in front of you.
So, keeping all of that in mind, I have now decided that the ability to sing "Everything's Alright" is no longer a requirement, it's just a really good bonus!
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 5:00 PM
Hello everyone. Today we drag our tired asses off of our couches and participate in the democratic process. We get to choose who it is that represents us for the next 4 years. And you know what? Whoever wins this year is going to have the same problems that they had in 2000. They are going to have to try to unite, or at least work with a country that will still be sharply divided on Wednesday. So, to have a little fun with the election night, I came up with this drinking game. The rules are as follows:
Take 1 drink when:
-A talking head or some other news reporting agency mentions that this will be a close race.
-Someone on TV mentions the 2000 election.
-Anyone mentions Terrorism, Osama bin Laden, Iraq, or Saddam Hussein
Give 2 Drinks when:
-The candidate of your choice wins a state.
Chug a beer(or other drink) if:
-Your candidate loses the election overall (you may have to wait a month or so to do this one)
-Every time Michael Moore is on screen, everyone must drink until he is no longer on screen
-Also, everyone must take a drink if someone mentions Michael Moore or Farenheit 9/11
Well, I think that these rules will suffice for now. If you have any suggestions, please email them to me or post your comments here. Enjoy and remember my motto: "Four more beers, Four more beers!!"
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 1:40 PM
This space to be used soon.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Just letting you know that I had something that I was going to write here. It wasn't a particularly revolutionary, life-changing, reshape the world kind of thing, but I thought it was interesting. And woudln't you know, my damn brain won't remember what it was I was going to share with you. So, until then, enjoy this filler.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 3:00 PM
Happy Birthday to me!
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Today I turned 22. Yay!! I came to several realizations recently. One is that I appear to be older than I am. I've had several people seem shocked when I told them that I was turning 22. The usual response was "Wow. You look older than that." The second realization that I have come to is that I tend to think in bigger words than the average person that I associate with. For instance, I tell people that "I have reached my second palindromic age." They usually stare at me with a vacant expression and slowly utter "ok."
Anyways, here's to having made another trip around the sun on this wild and crazy ride that we laughingly call life! Cheers!
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:00 AM
Monday, October 25, 2004
I've been thinking recently about what could be termed "taboo language" in our society. Namely, I've been thinking about ethnophaulisms, or racial slurs. My opinion is that it is only a word. Stick and stones comes to mind. While research has shown that verbal assault can be detrimental, I think that it is because we give words so much power. Yes I understand that some words or slurs have been used historically to denigrate certain populations. In particular, the slur that I am talking about is the word "Nigger". Holy shit, I said it. Look at the picture of me. I'm white and I said nigger. God help us. I must be racist. But I'm not. It's only a freaking word, people.
The problem that I have is that a lot of black people get up in arms when a white person says nigger. They say that it is "a hateful word" and that it "brings down the black community." Really? Then why do I hear it said by black people almost every 5 seconds? If you really believe that a word is doing harm to you, then don't bandy it about like it was nothing! What's more, if you're going to persecute a group of people (white people) for saying something that is a racial slur and jump all over them, calling them racist, then don't turn around and refer to them as "honkies," "whiteys," or "crackers." It kind of hurts your position that you are victims of racism if you engage in the same activity. In fact, I think that there's a word for it. It's called hypocrisy.
Please just think before you open your mouth and claim that someone is racist and is persecuting you. Remember it's not reverse racism, it's just plain racism, no matter who does it.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 3:10 PM
Thursday, September 30, 2004
I was thinking about statistics that we come across everyday in our lives and this came to mind. Do you ever stop and think about when an advertisement says 9 out of 10 doctors/dentists approves brand X? What about that 10th doctor/dentists? What's up with them?
Jay Leno recently said in his monologue that
"According to the New England Journal of Medicine, 9 out of 10 doctors think that 1 out of 10 doctors is an idiot."This made me stop and think. Do 90% of doctors really like brand X? Or is it just 10 doctors sitting around reviewing products. And why does that 10th doctor not approve of brand X? Is he just being contrary? Is it the same person everytime? Why doesn't doctor number 10 approve of this product? Does he have some sort of hidden agenda against the makers of brand X? Maybe he knows something that the other 9 doctors don't know about brand X.
These are the kinds of questions that kept me out of the really good schools.
By the way, there is a great comic over at JoeCartoon.com that makes fun of the very theme of this post. Enjoy.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 9:33 AM
Goals and Aspirations.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
I was thinking about what I would like to write about today. Several ideas came to mind. There are a couple of books that I am reading that I could talk about and probably will. I could talk about my classes and what they entail. I'm even thinking about starting up a new blog about my experiences as a pledge in the Alpha Epsilon Phi chapter of Lambda Alpha Epsilon. But I decided to tell you why I started this site.
It started with watching my friend and co-worker Jarrat update his blogs, Blinded by Intoxicants and Due Requiem. I read through his posts, laughed my ass off, and realized that you don't actually have to have deep philosophic thoughts to have a website. This last point was driven home when I started randomly reading other people's blogs. I read things that ranged from an online diary to cooking tips. So, I decided that I would pollute the internet with my thoughts. And that was the birth of Bastardisms. I think that my first post showed my nervousness at undertaking this auspicious (or is that audacious) task. Upon re-reading that first post, I realized that I have branched out further than my original plans. This is no longer a strictly political site; this is a melting pot of all the things that I find funny, amusing, irritating, or irksome. I want to show you the world as I see it.
And so I have. I have shown you the webcomics that I read. I have shared with you my favorite poems and even some of my own. I have talked about politics, books, movies, and linked to just about everything that I can think of. I have crackpot schemes here as well as witty (or half-wit, depending on how you look at it) ideas. And all of this has been with a goal in mind.
That goal is to write over 100,000 words. At the time of this posting, I'm about 13% of the way there. Yes, this is prideful and it reeks of hubris, but it is a goal nonetheless. I would ideally hope that they would be words that shaped the world, but alas we all fall short of our dreams. But let us not allow that to deter us from those dreams. There I go, waxing poetic again. Anyways, I am rededicating this site to those of you who read it regularly and even those of you who accidentally stumbled here.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 9:50 AM
Jesus, Christianity, and Religion in general.
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
I usually try to leave religion out of this site, but today I thought I would write some of my feelings on the subject. Please remember that these are merely my opinions and if you don't like them, then that is ok.
I like Jesus. Jesus is cool. Jesus liked everybody, no matter who they were. Some of the people around Jesus [Pharisees] didn't like the stuff that he did [eating with sinners, healing on the Sabbath, etc.], but Jesus didn't care. Just about everybody thinks of Jesus in terms of his divinity. Yes, the big J.C. was the son of God, but he was also the Son of Man. He was divine and human at the same time. I like the moments that slip out and show Jesus's human side. It reminds me of the imperfection inherent in all of us. For instance, my favorite passage in the Bible is:
12The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.
I love this passage because Jesus gets pissed off at a tree. A tree. And He gets pissed off because He is hungry and the tree, which is out of season, has no fruit on it. That's like me getting pissed off at my bank for my not having any money in my bank account. This is one of those passages that shows Jesus's human side. Another passage that I like and that shows Jesus's human side comes right after the fig tree fiasco:
15On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written: "'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?' But you have made it 'a den of robbers.' " " 18The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. 19When evening came, they went out of the city.
This is another passage that really shows Jesus's rough edges. One of the best versions of this scene is in Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ. In this movie, Willem Dafoe plays Jesus Christ. In the scene that is mentioned in the passage, Willem shows us the anger that Jesus had at the moneychangers had. The best description that I have heard is from my friend Daisy, who said "Jesus is having a shit-fit!" The other thing that I like is that right after Jesus throws tables and tells everyone how they're screwing up, he and the disciples high-tail it out of town.
There is a book that I just finished reading, called "The Prostitute in the Family Tree" Discovering Humor and Irony in the Bible". The book is written by Douglas Adams. No, not the Douglas Adams of Hitchhiker's Guide fame. This Douglas Adams is the Professor of Christianity and the Arts at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. Adams is a great comedian and wonderful theologian. His book is full of sharp observations and quick wit. One of the basic themes of his book is that it when read in their entirety, many of the passages in the Bible are quite humorous. Also, Adams makes a distinction between what he calls "parent stories" and "grandparent stories." "Parent stories" are the kinds of stories that parents tell their children so that they will behave. "Grandparent stories" are the kinds of stories that grandparents tell their grandchildren about what their parents did when they were the same age as the grandchildren are. The Bible is full of these types of grandparent stories that show us that even the people in the Bible were human and had their failings. However, most people will only take a small portion of the stories and make them "parent stories." I highly encourage everyone, Christian or not, to read this book. Trust me, you'll get a good laugh out of it.
Another good book to read for both men and women is John Eldrege's Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul. This book is about rediscovering your masculinity (and understanding what is happening to your man). This book is really hard to describe, but it has helped me tremendously. I feel like a new man even though I am only halfway through the book. Trust me, read this book.
Unfortunately for a lot of people, Christianity has screwed them over. Too many people in the Church and especially in groups like The Texas Wesley Foundation have too many members who are ultra-conservative in their views. These people are the "uptight" people that you hear so many people referring to when they talk about Christians. These are the people that frown upon swearing, drinking, smoking, sex, and the open discussion of any of the topics that I just mentioned as well as a host of others. Please do not misunderstand me, there are a lot of really good people associated with this organization. I won't name any of them here because I don't want to leave anyone out. But, most of the participants in this group and others like it simply cannot take a joke, they can't make light of themselves, and what's more is that they are very cliquish. Somehow, I don't think that Jesus was very fond of cliques. From my experiences with some of the members I would highly doubt that they have the capacity to forgive someone in their heart.
Speaking of what's in a person's heart...
Religion has been called "the opiate of the masses." It has also been used to do some pretty shitty things. (Crusades anyone? Indulgences?) One of the things that bothers me the most about modern religion is marriage. I have gone round and around with my pastor on this one and unfortunately, never the twain will meet on this issue. Marriage has been around for a lot longer than Christianity. If you take the evolutionary view point, then the first cave man who went up and smacked a cave woman and dragged her to his cave was the first marriage ceremony. If you take the creationist viewpoint, then Adam and Eve were the first married couple. Either way, Christianity has only been around for a little over 2,000 years. The argument that my pastor makes is that marriage is a lifelong commitment that has to be public before god and the community. I say that marriage is a commitment in your heart to love someone and not to screw around on them. If marriage was only about being a public commitment, then it would be a lot easier wouldn't it? But it has to be about what is in a person's heart. How do we explain the high number of divorces, even within the Church? These people made public, lifelong commitments to each other before the community and before God. Where is that commitment now? It's been flushed down the toilet because the commitment was not in their hearts. I know more people who are not married who are more committed to each other than most couples who have been married for a long time. Also, if marriage is about a lifelong commitment between you and your loved one before God and the community, then what about the people who go to the Justice of the Peace to get married? According to our society's laws, they are married. But did they make that commitment before God? Before the community? According to the Church, are they married? These questions are all related to one big question that a lot of people have and that they have to answer for themselves. Is sex before marriage wrong? I used to think that it was. Then, I redefined my views on marriage. I'm not to keen on having sex with someone that you have no commitment to, but I can't tell you how to live your life. I can only offer suggestions. It was because of the views on sex before marriage, that caused me to deeply hurt the only woman that I have ever loved. I can never take away that pain that I caused her by not being able to express my love for her physically. And to you, A., I am very sorry.
Another thing religion that bothers me is the tactics that some people use to get others to join. I'm talking about the churches that use Scare-Tactics to frighten people into believing. I'm going to just come out and say it. THIS IS WRONG! YOU NEED TO STOP IT! Even Niccolo Machiavelli said that it is better to be loved than feared. If people love you then they will be more apt to see things your way because they want to, not because you want them to. Scare-tactics are the bullies way of keeping people in line. Jesus didn't preach a message of damnation and suffering, he preached a ministry of loving and caring. Take a page from his book.
Evangelism and Praying
I severely dislike evangelists with a passion. Not just the televangelists. All of them. I dislike them, not because of who they are, but what they do. Here is a quote from the Bible that I like:
5"When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6 "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 7 "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 "So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him."
Basically this passage says two things: One, you shouldn't be advertising everywhere that you are Super-Christian, because you're not. Two, that you should keep your prayer short and simple. I have listened to so many Christians drone on and on for five and even ten full minutes about every little thing. Like it says, God knows what you need before you pray for it, so keep it short. There is no need to thank God for every single blade of grass. Thank Him for His creation and move on. Don't "heap up words." I have a simple blessing that I use for meals. I will share it with you here so that you may use it too.
"Dear Lord, thank you for this food. Please use it to nourish my mind, my body, and my spirit so that I may do your will. In your son's precious and holy name. Amen."
Simple, yet effective.
While I know that this passage is not exactly an indictment against evangelists, I think that it comes close. Jesus tells us to go to a private place to pray to God. I think that we should be examples to others by how we live our lives, but I don't think that we should be passing out pamphlets on the street corner.
In the end, only you can decide what you believe and what you think is right. I hope that you will see things the way that I do, but if not, then that is ok. Remember there are many paths to Jesus Christ, but only one path to God, and that is through Jesus.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 3:22 PM
New and improved HTML.
Thursday, September 09, 2004
In my effort to keep this site as reader friendly as I can for you, my loyal readers, I have now switched to using a newer, better, more friendly HTML link for all of my external links.
Previously I was using the HTML code:
<a href="URL">Text to be displayed</a>This is your basic HTML code that changes the entire page to the url that is being linked to. Simple, great, but I want to keep you on my site for as long as possible. So it's not practical.
Then I was lead to use the HTML popup code:
<a href="URL" onclick="window.open(this.href, 'newWin', 'width=300, height=450'); return false;">Your text goes here</a>This is a little more advanced HTML code that creates a "pop-up window" that is defined by the parameters 'height' and 'width.' This is also a highly effective HTML tool that, when used appropriately, can be a great resouce. However, the window that this opens up is limited to the size that I set and cannot be changed by you the reader. So, again, this is not practical for my site.
The new and improved code that I am using is:
<a href="URL" target="_blank">Your text here.</a>Now, this will enable you, the reader, to click on a link on my site and have a new window open. A window that you can resize. A window that will display everything. Huzzah!!
I will try to go back through my posts and change the link codes to fit with whichever code is appropriate for each link. However, I cannot guarantee that this will be done in a timely manner, because I have other stuff to do. I do wish to thank you for sticking with me through this change.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 8:41 AM
Thoughts on life.
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Life is a wonderful thing. It must be because right now there are 6,391,301,056 people on the planet. So, since so many of us are doing this thing called like, I thought that I would share my thoughts on it.
I recently came across this in my friend Aubrey Sutton's
profile on AOL Instant Messenger. * I am working on getting a picture of only her up, so be patient.
The goal in Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "holy shit...what a ride!"While some people may have bodies that are more well preserved than others, I think that the meaning behind this passage is to enjoy life to the fullest of your capabilities. Get out there and take a chance. It's the only way you will know what you can do.
In this life, it is not the journey from birth to death that is important. What is important is who you share your time with. It is how you affect them and how they affect you and how you reconcile that. Don't ever live life with regrets. Rather, treat everything as something that you can learn from and hope that you do better the next time. Always try to learn something from every experience you have, that way you are better able to adapt to similar situations. LIfe will throw curves at you from every direction. Things that you thought were stable will become shaky, people that you thought were your rock will surprise you when they are not as solid as you had thought that they were. Now, this is not saying anything bad about that person, but they, as well as you, will change as you go through life. You just have to be aware of that.
I remember something that my pastor said about marriage, but it also applies to relationships. He tells young couples before they get married that they are like branches on a tree. Unless you spend time together, then eventually you will grow apart. Take time out of your day just to spend talking with the one that you love. It will do wonders for your relationship. Talking enables you to rediscover things about each other that you never knew. Just because you talked a lot at the beginning of the relationship, doesn't mean that you know that person completely. It also doesn't mean that you know who that person is now. They may have changed their mind about something that you took for granted (like whether or not they stiil think you are the greatest thing since sliced bread). The only way that you can know that is to talk with that person regularly.
Please note that this is not a comprehensive analysis of this mixed up, wild ride that we call life. It is just general thoughts about it. I will update this as I go along.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:01 PM
How many times have you been looking at a woman and said to yourself "Wow, she looks easy?" I bet that I could score with her. Unfortunately, this is all too common. Yes, it reveals a certain characteristic of the male mindset, but it is not entirely the guy's fault. Today we are bombarded by millions of signals that say "Sex, Sex, Sex." From shampoo commercials to soft drink ads, sex is everywhere. The rallying cry of advertisers is "Sex sells!" And this is absorbed by all of us.
I said earlier that it is not entirely the guys fault. People portray a certain image to those around us. Often times, it is because of this image that we get stuck in the same cycles of bad relationships. If you dress like a prostitute, then people are going to treat you like you are one. Unfortunately the first perceptions of people around us are formed by external appearances.
A friend of mine told me recently that we attract people who have the same qualities as we do. If you have poor self esteem, then likely you will attract other people who have poor self esteem. We get stuck in those same cycles of relationships because of how we look, dress, and act. If you are in a spot in your life where you are unhappy, take a look around you. Are people treating you like you are "easy" because you dress and/or act like it? Maybe you need to change how you act or how you dress or where you hang out to get the cycle to stop.
I don't think that there is a one-size-fits-all solution to the problem, but I do think that there is something that will help. Instead of going after a person because they look "easy," wait until you find someone who looks "special to you."
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:47 AM
Help me buy an island.
Thursday, September 02, 2004
I want an island of my own. I think that we all need a place where we can "get away from it all." For some people that may be as close as the bathtub, for others (like me) that place is a villa on Gallinaro Island, just north of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea. An Italian villa is just what I need. Unfortunately, due to the cost of the island and villa (14,000,000.00 Euros = 17,043,986.45 United States Dollars) I cannot buy this island by myself. That's where you come in. By donating money to me, you will allow me to buy this wonderful piece of real estate. And as a thank you, I will send everyone who donates money towards me buying this island a postcard from the island. Just think about it. Your very own postcard mailed to you from an island off the coast of Italy. We both win. So, please donate today. To help you out I have provided you with a link at the bottom of this post and one on the right column under the archives.
I have included some pictures of the island that I wish to buy. Please note that all pictures are the property of Private Islands Online.
Here is the first picture of Gallinaro Island:
This is a picture of where I would love to be swimming right now:
And in case you were wondering, here is a map of the island:
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 3:46 PM
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
As you can tell by my profile, I live in Austin. In Austin we have a lot of coffee shops. Not an overabundance, but there's always one when you need it. One in particular that I like to frequent is Ruta Maya. This place is indicative of the atmosphere that most of these little local coffee houses convey. It's the "screw-corporate-establishment-yadda-yadda-yadda."
This is the root of the only problem that I have with these types of places. The people who work there. Apparently there is this notion that if you look nice at work, then you are part of "the corporate machine" or something like that. I tell you now that there is nothing wrong with looking like a professional at work.
I want to start a coffee house here in Austin that isn't corporate, but where all of the employees dress professionally. They would wear khaki pants with polo shirts. Professional, yet comfortable. It could be thebeginning of a new paradigm here in Austin. Professionalism in local coffee houses. So many places could take a page from Starbuck's. There's a reason why they are everywhere. The coffee is nothing spectacular. It's nothing that anybody in any other coffee house couldn't make. The main thing that Starbucks offers is a professional staff with a clean environment, not a staff of tattoo parlor test subjects and couches that look like they were thrown out. But if you want to go on with your "Screw corporate coffee" shirt, go ahead.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 3:17 PM
How to increase participation in blood donation organizations.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
I've had another one of those all too often misfirings in my brain that results in crackpot ideas. This time the idea happened while I was donating blood at The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas. When you donate blood, after they've stuck you with the garden hose size needle, they have you squeeze on some little foam ball every five seconds.
Well, I was sitting their thinking about how I have to squeeze this thing and about how I don't have a girlfriend right now. I thought about how if I did have a girlfriend I could bring her to the blood and tissue center with me while I was donating and I could squeeze her one of her butt cheeks instead of the foam ball. Then it hit me. If the blood and tissue center wanted to get more people to donate blood regularly, then they should hire cute girls and guys to come in and "be squeezed" by the donors. Think about it. They get a pint of your blood and you get to squeeze a cute person's butt cheek for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. Everybody wins. Good Lord, just think about how much fun you could have if they did the same thing for the people who sold and/or donated plasma. That's about 3 hours of cheek grabbing goodness.
I told my idea to the phlebotomist who was helping me, but she didn't think that they would do it. The reason she cited was that many guys and/or girls might lie on the questionnaire just to get to the booty grabbing. I thought about this and decided two things. The aforementioned objection is invalid for two reasons. One, most people wouldn't go through being unnecessarily stuck with a needle just to get a booty grab. Second, even if there were people lying on the questionnaire, the screening processes for the blood would eliminate them as donors. And, the increase in the number of viable donors who are donating blood would outweigh the costs of the screening. Besides, can you put a price on saving a person's life? (If you are a doctor, don't answer that question.)
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 4:14 PM
Apparently the neurons in my head will occasionally misfire and an idea such as this one will manifest itself as the result. The result of this latest particular misfire was Neutral Karma. Think about it. Karma is like a scoreboard on a scale the size of the entire universe. All the good things that you do are added in the positive category and all the bad things you do are added into the negative category. Then, at the end of this life, your total is reached. If you got enough points in this life to add to your total score, you reach the next level. But, if you did enough bad things to detract from you total score, you go down a level. I can imagine a bunch of semi-deity accountants comparing your credit/debit columns and telling you that in the next life you are going to be a lawyer.
But where my own personal oddities come in is in the idea of maintaining a neutral karma. For example: I eat meat (a form of killing), but I give blood (a form of life-saving). Wouldn't these two acts neutralize one another? I wonder if it is possible to live life in such a way as to maintain a score of zero on your karmic scoreboard.
I think it's thoughts and questions like these that require me to limit myself to having a select group of friends.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 3:45 PM
After having recently been engaged in a debate with some people over whether the Swiftboatboat Veterans for Truth(SVFT) claims have any merit, I decided to write my thoughts out here. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the group, here is a breif summary of their mission:
"Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has been formed to counter the false "war crimes" charges John Kerry repeatedly made against Vietnam veterans who served in our units and elsewhere, and to accurately portray Kerry's brief tour in Vietnam as a junior grade Lieutenant."John Kerry has three Purple Hearts awarded to him. That is an undeniable fact. His website has the pertinent info and documentation pertaining to the awarding of the Purple Heart medals. Recently, however, the above mentioned group (Swiftboat Veterans for Truth) has called into question the events surrounding the awarding of the Purple Heart medals. According to the Vietnam Service Timeline on Kerry's website he recieved wounds in his left thigh, right arm, and another in an undisclosed location that was a "combat related injury."
I believe it would be both rude and unnecessary to request that Kerry show us the wounds to prove that he was injured, although I'm sure that the thought has crossed the minds of people on both sides if the issue. "Why do I believe this" you may ask? I believe it because it doesn't matter whether or not he recieved any medals. There has been a long standing belief with the American people that apparently a person who was a good soldier would make a good Commander-in-Chief. While it is true that we have had soldiers who have made good Presidents, the correlation is not infallible. President John F. Kennedy is a prime example of how being a solider does not necessarily make someone a good Commander-in-Chief. I need only remind the reader of The "Bay of Pigs" Invasion. So, whether or not a person was a war hero or not, doesn't necessarily play into their ability to make a good president. Also, most wars are led by generals in the Department of Defense. It is the job of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to advise the president on matters of the military.
Back to the Swiftboat Veterans. Both sides (Kerry and SVFT) claim that people who served with Kerry either support him or don't support him. Kerry has several people who served with him on PCF 94 who support him for his bid for the presidency. The SVFT organization also claims to have people who served with Kerry in Vietnam, but don't supprt him for President. One of the main beefs that SVFT has with Kerry is the use of a picture of Kerry and other swiftboat commanders from Coastal Divison 11 in his ad campaign entitled "Lifetime." The ad spot is available for viewing on Kerry's TV Spots section of his website. According to SVFT, only 3 of the people pictured in that ad suppport Kerry. Two of the other officers are dead and two are neutral.
I have heard several arguments about Kerry and his Purple Hearts. One of them includes the bullet-proof logic of "Kerry has 16 guys who were on his boat that say that he did deserve to get the Purple Heart, while only 1 guys who was their says that he doesn't." This is the we've got more people that agree with us so we're right argument. The counter-arguent? No matter how many people you have saying something is true, won't make it the truth.
The whole point behind this issue is character. Is John Kerry the kind of person who uses the awarding of medals under circumstances that mey or may not have been like they were presented? The fact is that Kerry is using his war record to promote himself now while having campaigned against the war shortly after he got back.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:45 AM
Same stuff, new name.
Monday, August 23, 2004
Can't come up with something original? Why don't you just rehash what everyone else is saying, but call it something different. This is what happens in John Sperling's The Great Divide: Retro vs. Metro America. Instead of coming up with new ideas on politics in America, Sperling merely says what every other Pro-Democrat writer in America says. The only difference: instead of saying liberal, he says Metro and instead of saying conservative, he says Retro.
In taking a stab at some form of credibility, there is a Dupometer on the books web site. This "test" is supposed to see what your political gullibility is. The only test it provides is whether or not you can spew up everything that any liberal has said in the past decade. For instance, the first question on the Dupometer is about higher education:
"Preferential treatment is given to minority students for college admission through affirmative action, and there is no preferential treatment given to white students. True or false?"The answer on the site is false. The reasoning behind this is "The practice of giving preference to alumni, known as 'legacies,' is legal and widespread." Now, they could have stopped their and left partisanship out of it, but no. It goes on: "The Bush family receives legacy admissions at Yale - George Bush, Sr., George W. Bush, and daughter Barbara Bush are all graduates." Just because something is logically true, does not inherently make it factually true. (A lesson that Michael Moore needs to learn.) Yes, some universities do engage in "legacy" admissions in which students whose parent(s) attended said university are granted admissions to that university. What the people at RetrovsMetro.org are not telling you is that:
- Most of the universities that have "legacy" admissions are private institutions.
- Regardless of the institution or applicant, there is no one factor in giving students admissions. (The exception to this is the Texas Top 10% Law.)
- More schools engage in affirmative action than have "legacy" admissions.
- "Legacies" are only considered after "all other things being equal" in the applicant.
One of the other questions on the Dupometer that pissed me off is the one on economics. The question was:
"Shopping at Wal-Mart saves consumers money due to their 'Always Low Prices.'True or False?"Again the answer on the site is False. Their reasoning: "Though Wal-Mart's appeal is its low prices, costs are passed on to consumers in other ways. A recent congressional study has determined that a Wal-Mart store with 200 employees costs taxpayers $420,750 per year for social services delivered to its $8.23-per-hour employees." Since they obviously couldn't be bothered to explain themselves, I looked through the chapter that pertained to this question. The "social services" that they refer to are in that "society is again picking up part of the tab by having to provide unemployment and other benefits to workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas." Stop the presses, we have a page-one headline here. Taxpayers have to pay for unemployment when workers lose their jobs? No! Say it isn't so! But guess what? That's true for every other job. There is nothing special about Wal-Mart in this regard. Wal-Mart hires people, just like any other company.
Part of me wishes that these people would stop writing stuff that is so easy to disprove with facts, but another part of me is appreciative of the easy fodder for my posts. However, please try to come up with something original.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 9:20 AM
Thursday, August 19, 2004
If you are not familiar with PETA, they are a group of activists that champion "animal rights." At least that is what they say. PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is a group of people that use misinformation, threats, and shock-tactics to force people to do what they want.
Here are a couple of things that I found on their website:
Never, ever let a fur-wearer pass by without voicing your disapproval. If you know someone who still wears fur, show him or her this article. He or she may not realize that no federal law protects animals on fur farms or that typical killing methods include electrocution, poisoning, neck-breaking, and gassing.This is pretty innocuous. What this blurb advocates is voicing your opinion, hopefully in a polite manner, without being overbearing. Congratulations PETA, I applaud you for this advice.
Again, a very nice, dignified, and polite way of expressing their opinions.
In order not to detract from our campaign, it is imperative that all correspondence be polite and dignified.
[Found at the bottom of an alert.]
Both of these represent what PETA would like you to believe that their methods are. However, the ways that they actually operate are very different. They use double-standards, shock value, misinformation, terror, and assault to intimidate people into believing/behaving the way that they want them to.
PETA has repeatedly asked that "the book be thrown at" people who harm animals:
In South Carolina
In each instance, PETA has urged that members write to the judges, mayors, and law enforcement officials in those areas asking that the maximum sentence be imposed for the offender. This is all fine and good. But, what about when it's PETA's members who are committing the crimes?
A PETA member assaults the son of a fur store owner.
Read this statement at a capitol Hearing about PETA's tactics and tell me that they are a peaceful organization.
CAPITOL HILL HEARING TESTIMONY
Usually, I don't equate people with terrorists. However, I think that some of the tactics used by PETA would classify as that. Terrorism is defined as:
The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.What is the root of terrorism? Terror. The intent is to make the recipient scared of something or someone. What would you do if someone was scaring your children? If they were being shown mutilated bodies and other horrific pictures? Wouldn't you be upset? Wouldn't it upset your kids? Possibly even make them scared or terrified? Couldn't it possibly even scar them for life? This is what PETA is doing with their new ad campaign that targets people wearing furs when they go to the theater. They are distributing comic books to children that depict horrible acts being committed to animals and they blame the children's parents for it. PETA's new comic book. This is a despicable act by a group of deranged people. What concerns me is that in PETA's overwhelming concern for animals, they seem to be inflicting harm on humans, both physical and psychological.
Another tactic seems to be "Shock Value". PETA has run several ads in Canada that exploited the brutal killings of 15 women in British Columbia. An article about the ad campaign and reactions to it can be found here. Even a member of the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres called it (the ad) "grotesque and exploitative in the extreme." Let me be clear on this. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has said that it is ok to use the fact that 15 human women who were killed on a pig farm to further their own agenda. ETHICAL treatment! Where are the ethics? Where are the ethics in an organization that routinely exposes people, including children, to softcore porn ads. Am I being to harsh? Maybe. Yes, my choice of words is meant to convey certain meanings and to place their ads in a certain context. You decide what they are.
Misinformation. This is one of the best used tactics by PETA. They claim that they are "dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals." Also, "PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in laboratories, in the fur trade, and in the entertainment industry." They also advocate a vegetarian diet. Mostly this is based on the Least Harm Principle. This is discussed in depth in the book The Case for Animal Rights. Hmm, let's think about this for a minute. Studies have shown that the harvesting of fields for grains such as wheat kills off a significant portion of the native animal population. This article details why a vegan diet causes more harm than an omnivorous one. Another article to read about the impacts of vegetarian diets is "The Uneasy Conscience of the Animal rights Movement". Yet another article documenting the affects of harvesting on indigenous animal life is "OSU Scientist Questions the Moral Basis of a Vegan Diet". In giving credit where credit is due, I was first alerted to this issue by Maddox at The Best Page in the Universe, particularly his page Guiltless Grill? Is there another kind?. I also provided the links to pages that he had already linked to.
I could write more about PETA and why I dislike their methods and why I think that their resources would be put to better use if they were the People for the Ethical Treatment of Humans, but I think that you can discern for yourself what they do. Also, if you want to read more of their propaganda check out their Frequently Asked Questions page. I particularly like the interpretation if the Bible in response to the "dominion over animals" question. Please do not interpret this post to mean that I support being cruel to animals. I don't support PETA, their tactics, or some of their goals. In this case, I don't think that the ends justify the means. I do support the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
*Note: Forthcoming will be a similar article on the tactics used by the N.R.A. and maybe even some discussion on the similarity between these two groups.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 12:26 PM
Politics, The Election, and My Two Cents.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
The hot topic today is the election. Who will be the leader of the free world for the next four years? Will we continue to have Bush or will we opt for Kerry. You're going to have to decide.
There is a danger in the platform that many Americans are supporting. It is called "Anyone But Bush." Technically, this would mean that they would prefer Hitler to Bush. Now try pointing this out to almost anyone who suports the ABB platform and they almost immediately compare Bush to Hitler. Sorry guys, but Hitler was far left-wing, not right. This is not to say that I am cmparing Kerry to Hitler. I am merely using hyperbole to express concern over the lack of scruiny that the Democratic Candidate is undergoing. It seems that a lot of people are merely bucking to get the current president ousted without looking at who they are replacing him with. The thing that frightens me the most is that in trying to remove President Bush, they may be putting someone worse in his place.
People have also called into play, senator Kerry's "flip-flopping" on certain issues within the Senate. This doesn't bother me. I don't think that a person should be criticized for changing their mind. The only time when this would come into play is if the "flip-flopping" was so constant that the person was unable to make a choice and stick with it. Indecisiveness is not the same thing as changing one's mind.
Bush has been called every name under the sun that can be thought of to insult someone. Well, so has every other president. Someone, somewhere isn't going to like the current leader. President Bush has engendered more hate than any other President in recent history, maybe with the exception of Richard Nixon.
President Bush has engaged America in an unpopular war with an enemy who are going to be difficult to defeat. But, remember that only Congress, according to Article I, section 8 has the power "To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water." However, it is the War Powers Resolution of 1973 that gives the President a 60 day grace period in making war, provided that he advises Congress that he is doing so.
Many people blame the President for the state of the Economy and the Budget. However, it is again Congress that has the power to "To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States", "To borrow money on the credit of the United States", "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes", and "To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures". All of this means that the President has nothing to do with the budget. That's Congresses bailewick. The economy? That's been under the watchful eye of Alan Greenspan for the last couple of decades. People are acting as if the President has a Mastercard and is spending America's money at the mall. He's not. It's Congress that has to approve the appropriations of money for the President to use. It's Congress that has to come up with the Budget for the country for the next year. Yes, the President does get to have his say so in what he thinks would be best, but ultimately Congress still has the final say.
Ultmately, what I think is that this election is going to be between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, to paraphrase Michael Savage. No matter who we put in office, there isn't going to be any major change in the way things are done.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:17 AM
Monday, August 16, 2004
"Just because you love someone doesn't mean you have to be involved with them. Love is not a bandage to cover wounds."
Hugh Elliott, Standing Room Only weblog, February 16, 2004
Everyone thinks about something different when you say "Love." It's like looking into a kaleidoscope. Everyone is seeing the same bits and pieces, but no one ever sees exactly the same thing. So, it would be impossible to define love in such a way that everyone everywhere would know what you were talking about. But, it is possible to share one's feelings and interpretations on love.
If I were to try and list out all the different types of love I could be here for quite a while. Since I have neither the time nor the inclination, I will be as brief as possible in describing the types of love. According to a Psychology Today article from the March/April Issue of 1993 entitled: "The colors of Love" there are 6 ways in which humans commonly love.
This refers to all-encompassing love of everyone. Selfless love. This is the type of love that is often attributed to the Holy Trinity in Christian religions. This is not to say that other religions don't attribute this type of love to their deities, I'm just not as familiar with other religions. This type of love is one in which the person who loves, does so with no expectations of the person(s) that they love.
This is passionate love. This is the love that they write about in the cheap "romance" novels that you find at the supermarket. Lust. Sexual love. This is one of the most primal feelings that we as humans can feel. The desire to have sex. Also, one of the most beautiful and dangerous forms of love.
This is the game-playing form of love. Love is meant to be shared with a lot of people without any deep emotional attachment being made. This makes me think of the men and women who are merely out for "conquests." This type of love is usually short-lived.
This is the type of love that develops between two friends. It is usually a long-lasting type of love that develops slowly over time. Depending on how you look at it, this is probably the best type of love if you are interested in making a relationship last.
This is where places like EHarmony.com, Matchmaker.com, and SingleMe.com make their money from. This is the 'Laundry-list' type of love where the participants are looking for particular qualities in their potential loves. This type of love can be long-lasting.
This type of love is the possessive, jealous type of love. It usually stems from insecurity on the part of the lover. This can be a very dangerous type of love and can lead to abusive relationships. This can be short-lived or long-lived depending upon the people involved.
These are only a few of the types of love there are. I have decide to include a few of the types of love that I see that were not included.
This is the type of love that parents feel towards their children. It includes the maternal and paternal instincts. This, usually immutable, love is prevalent throughout most of our lives. The parallel of this is the love that the child or children feel for the parent(s) or caregiver(s).
This is the love that is felt between close friends. The love that you feel for those men and women that you share a bond or other close tie with.
To say that love is only between two humans is to deny a whole range of emotional attachments that we have. There is a love that is felt, sometimes strongly, for a person's material goods. In men this is usually associated with a car, boat, or other means of transportation. However, it is not limited to men. We all have those certain goods that we love and would feel saddened if we were ever to lose them.
Note that, as I said earlier, this is not a complete list. Some types of love I have included because I have not thought to include them while others I have deliberately left out.
Love is so many things to so many people. There are people in my life that I love in each of the ways that I have described. Some of my feelings are fleeting, while others, no matter how hard I try, will not go away. Some I have no control over, some I do. Love is a wonderful thing. It can lead us to the brink of sanity and then push us over.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that I love someone, but I am not in love with them. This feeling is a mixture of so many of the types of love that I listed that I cannot begin to classify it. I don't have that "oh the world is great" feeling of being in love. I merely love this person regardless and I love spending time with her. Even if she doesn't love me back, it doesn't matter.
There are many great quotes on love and I think that Robin William's character had one of the better ones in Good Will Hunting:
"I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself."Here's to all the people in my life that I love. If you don't know it, then this is to tell you that I love you.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 1:48 PM