Maybe I'm an Asshole After All...

The other day I was watching one of those strange food shows where some guy goes to some exotic place and eats good that most Americans wouldn't. This show happened to be set in Saudi Arabia. During the course of the show, the host explained some of the things that the locals do for fun. Since it's an oil-rich nation, the gasoline costs less than $1 per gallon. Because of this, it is no problem for people to go riding over sand dunes in off-road vehicles.

As I watched this, at first I was outraged to see these people wasting gasoline when it costs so much here. I also felt a little bit hypocritical because I knew for so long that Americans had done the same things.

Then, as I thought about it more, my feelings changed. I realized that these people were using the natural resources of their country for the benefit of their people. If they had the resources to either produce or to purchase what they wanted, then I had no right to say that they could not use those resources in whatever way they saw fit.

Knowing this, I turned my thoughts to my own culture and realized that if Americans have the ability to produce and or buy food products to feed our people, then there is no problem whatsoever if I want to go to McDonald's to buy a hamburger and only eat half of it while there are people in this world that are starving.

Some people would say that there is a difference between gasoline and food, but I say that there is not. If the price of gasoline in America were to double tomorrow, then that would cause so many people here to be unable to afford to go to work. That would then cause them to be unable to purchase food.

If the United States is going to be held morally responsible for the feeding of other nations in the world because we have the ability to grow food, then OPEC nations should be held morally accountable for providing fuel assistance to countries as well.

Or maybe I'm just being an asshole.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 2:15 PM 0 comments  

What's the Big Deal about Creating a Black Hole?

The Large Hadron Collider at CERN was turned on this morning. Some people think that it might create a Black Hole that will swallow up the Earth. I say that's BS. Besides this LHC is old news to anyone who has read "Angels & Demons" by Dan Brown.

Besides, think about it this way. If if does create a black hole that swallows up the Earth, it will start right in the vicinity of France.

If you're still concerned about it, here is a link to the security cameras that they have at CERN.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 7:00 AM 0 comments  

French Taliban?

Before I even get started, let me say now that I am saddened by the death of the 10 French soldiers and I send my sympathies out to their families.

That being said, let's rip into some people...

Outrage has been sparked over a magazine spread in Paris Match magazine that shows Taliban soldiers "wearing French uniforms, helmets and using French assault rifles and walkie-talkies."

Personally, I think this is great. Our enemy is using French equipment? We'll have the whole country subdued by Christmas! Just like the old joke goes: "French rifle for sale. Never fired, dropped once." The person in the picture is holding a French FAMAS rifle.

All I have to say to the Taliban is:

Bon chance!

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 7:00 AM 0 comments  

The Drinking Age.

Recently, some of the presidents of universities and colleges got together to raise a debate on whether the legal age for drinking should be lowered from 21 years to 18 years old. Personally, I think that this is an excellent idea.

American culture has very Puritanical roots that run very deep. It is an indication of the longevity of the ideas that were around at the founding of this country that certain businesses are not legally allowed to operate on Sundays.

Part of this culture is treating alcohol as a taboo and shunning it instead of educating people about it. If people treat alcohol as something mysterious, then it will be a mystery to them. But if we allow people to experience alcohol at younger ages, then it takes away the wonder that it holds.

This, in turn, will lead to more responsible alcohol use. Take, for instance, the data on traffic fatalities from the EU and the United States for the year 2006. The data for the E.U. shows that there were about 40,000 traffic fatalities for 2006. Out of these 10,000 were alcohol related. (About 25%) The data for the U.S. shows that there were a little over 40,000 traffic fatalities for 2006. Out of these 17,602 were alcohol related. (About 41%)

Two similarly developed areas of the world had nearly the same amount of traffic fatalities. The difference is that in the area where alcohol is taboo, the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities is nearly double that of teh area where alcohol is accepted.

The answer is to treat adults like they are adults, but to educate them as well.

As I was reading up on this, I came across a "letter to the editor" in which the writer had several suggestions for alternatives for the college presidents. One of these suggestions was to raise the taxes on alcohol to "contribute to the excess costs of alcohol-related health consequences."

Why is it that for some people the only solution to a problem is to tax it? This course of action is tantamount to me suggesting that the government levy a tax on running shoes to defer the costs of broken ankles and other running-related injuries. The tax will not prevent people from drinking and will disproportionately affect people of lower incomes.

Education, not taxation is the key to safe alcohol consumption.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 7:00 AM 0 comments  

The Snowglobe Effect

I have a good friend who routinely goes through periods where she won't be with this guy that she likes. Then, she'll get back together with him. Everyhting will be nice and happy for a day or so and then she will go back to not being with him.

I call this the snowglobe effect. Every now and then she will shake up her life (i.e. get together with this guy) and things will be nice and happy like the snow swirling in the globe. Then things will settle down and everything goes back to the way it was.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 7:00 AM 0 comments