Charter Member of the Sub-Media

December 31, 2004

Happy New Year « Social Issues »

May all your troubles remain in the passing year. May the New Year bring you all you wish: happiness, good relationships, health, material comfort, salvation, peace.

Choose from any three of the above. Heh.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:27 PM | Comments (0)
Quoting Movies « Kidblogging »

I found a Power Rangers movie for $5.50 at Wal-Mart and got it for my son. I didn't want to spend more than that for what I anticipated would be a lousy movie.

Well, the kids have watched it at least once a day since Christmas Day. Three times in one day! I think I would have gotten my money's worth even if I had spent more, so we'll probably end up buying more of 'em. It may be lame, but at least it is a lame movie with decent martial arts, unlike Clifford, Caillou, or Jay Jay the Jet Plane.

But despite all the children's movies we own, this is the first one the kids have started quoting. Brady can quote a dozen lines verbatim (including his favorite, "Talk about a splitting headache!" including the accompanying arm gesture), and Noel remembers two of the Pink Power Ranger's lines ("You make me sick! sick! sick!" and "Gotta love it!").

Of course, I consider it really cute.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:42 AM | Comments (0)

December 30, 2004

Predictions for 2004 « Humor »

I predict George W. Bush will have won the Presidency.

I predict that a huge terrorist bombing will have been perpetrated in Spain just before their elections.

Despite fears to the contrary, no huge terrorist attacks will have been executed in the United States before our own national election.

I predict there will have been an election controversy for the office of Governor of the State of Washington.

Wow. I'm 4-for-4! Who would have predicted that?

Well, except for me, of course. So I guess I'm 5-for-5.

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Posted by Nathan at 03:57 PM | Comments (1)
Science! II: The Sequel « New Thinking »

Kevin quotes Rand Simburg and muses on how science, as a discipline, seems to have lost its roots. Science apparently now rejects philosophy as being beneath it, yet Mr. Simburg says it underpins all that science (again, as an entire discipine) does.

I'll take it a step farther and point out that because scientific research has progressed so far, all the low-hanging fruit has been harvested and it is nearly impossible to have independent research these days. Everything comes from government (and some private) funding. That means social and political agenda are driving what sort of research can even be done.

Thus, it's impossible to get funding to even do the initial stages of research to test the extremely weak theory that HIV causes AIDS.

Thus, it's impossible to get funding or be published in the main journals if you don't embrace Evolution Theory as the origin of the species.

There are other examples I don't choose to enumerate at this time. It all results in a pseudo-factual consensus that I call Science!, as opposed to actual scientific inquiry. Heck, that term says it all, doesn't it? Science is no longer about inquiring into matters, it's about getting a result that you can bludgeon your socio-political opponents with.


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Posted by Nathan at 11:09 AM | Comments (1)
Favorite Movies « Stuff Important to Me »

Thanks to El Capitan, I've remembered four more movies for my list of all time favorites:

Ones he didn't list that I thought of:
A Fish Called Wanda
Karate Kid II

Ones on his list I forgot:
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Die Hard

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Posted by Nathan at 10:45 AM | Comments (5)
HIV Causes AIDS... « New Thinking »

...or does it?

Meticulously researched and described, Dean Esmay questions conventional wisdom effectively. I'd like to see this get widespread coverage from the Mainstream News Media, Instapundit, Drudge.

One thing Dean does quite well is crunch all the reports and look at all the numbers and boil them down into a tight argument that any layman can understand. As such, it sometimes confounds the experts... But always well worth reading.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)
Predictions For 2005 « Stuff Important to Me »

Inspired by NRO's Symposium, I predict:

-Iran will detonate a nuclear device.

-Shortly thereafter, North Korea will detonate a nuclear device.

-Iraq's elections will occur, with more than 90% of polling locations proceeding without incident. The other less-than-10% will be in Sunni-dominated portions of Fallujah, Ramadi, and Baghdad. Moderate Sunnis will panic and split from the extremist at the imminent probability of being shut out of a stable, functioning government. Terrorist attacks will drop off in number but increase in lethality until early- or mid-summer, when increasing numbers of terrorists arrested or killed as well as a broad lack of success in meeting objectives will result in mass defections from terrorist ranks.

-Afghanistan will remain stable and grow more peaceful. Terrorist attacks will be largely nuisances only, at a rate and effectiveness less than that of the various IRA split-offs in Great Britain.

-At least two US State Supreme Courts will mandate the legality of same-sex marriage over the expressed popular wish of the state's residents.

-Saudi Arabia will experience a growing insurgency that may flame into an open Civil War. The main issue will be that the House of Saud is no longer trustworthy to be the protectors of the Holy Sites of Mecca and Medina.

-China will have at least two large-scale anti-corruption riots resulting in 10-20 people dead.

-Fidel Castro will die. I have no idea what might happen after that. Other than an outpouring of grief and tribute from liberals dwarfing that of conservatives for Reagan's funeral, I mean.

-Senate Democrats will lose a battle to confirm an extremely conservative, strict constructionist to replace Chief Justice Renquist.

-I will finish a novel.

-There won't be a single movie worth watching put out by the US film industry.
Even if they make another installment of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Or even if they remake "Red Dawn".

-Michael Moore will lose 40 pounds on the Atkins' Plan, then do a scathing documentary blaming Atkins for not convincing him to try sooner.

-I'll go another 365 days of blogging without getting linked by Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.

-Michelle Malkin will discuss immigration issues (Hey, I gotta make sure I get at least one right, don't I?)

-al-Zarqawi will be located and killed (not arrested). Osama bin Laden will remain unlocated for one more year.

-Taiwan will agree to allow direct flights to/from Mainland China.

-President Bush will attain an approval rating of 55% by the end of September and maintain it throughout the year.

-No major terrorist attacks will occur on US soil.

-Drilling an ANWR will be approved.

-Congress will attempt to address "Zero-Tolerance Policies" run amok in public schools, but will fail to resolve the issue.

-The national homocide rate will be near the lowest levels in 20 years. Automobile deaths will be near-record levels. The mainstream news media will have hundreds of articles decrying the "assault weapon" ban sunset, and the high vehicular death rate will be blamed on SUVs, if mentioned at all.

-Preparations to reduce US troops in Iraq to 10% of current levels will begin by December.

-My friend Jo will start socio-political blogging again.

...and I'm way beyond "reaching" with some of these predictions. Still, I predict I'll add at least 3 more by the end of the day.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:48 AM | Comments (3)
Word Associations « Stuff Important to Me »

I got some email spam the other day. No big deal, I get spam every day.

But since I have my email program set to "aggressive" in spam-blocking, I usually scan the titles and addresses to make sure I didn't miss a friends' email.

One title caught my eye: "Restore your drive!" What does it say about me that my first thought was that my computer's hard drive was fine and didn't need restoring? Because the address then made it clear that it was for a type of herbal viagra or something.

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Posted by Nathan at 05:54 AM | Comments (0)

December 29, 2004

Helping Out « GWOM »

Ace links to Michele trying to understand the magnitude of death from the tsunamis in South/Southeast Asia.

I've got an easy way to understand it!

100,000 people dead. That's a mere one tenth of the number of babies aborted each year in the United States alone.

One Tenth.


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Posted by Nathan at 02:25 PM | Comments (6)
Halliburton! Halliburton! Bush, BUSH BUSH! « Politics As Usual »

This article got me thinking:

President Bush has endured a great deal of criticism for some of his decisions and actions. Some of the things he did made it more difficult for him to get elected. So, clearly he is making decisions on the basis of motivations other than his own personal benefit.

So, among all my 200+ daily readers, I'm absolutely certain several of you have expertise in psychology, pathology, and criminal science. Is there a single, valid psychological model that explains how a person could be so strongly motivated by the potential of financial benefit to former business colleagues (or even friends) that he would wage a war resulting in the deaths of hundreds (now thousands)?

I cannot conceive of the possibility. If the field of psychology can be so accomodating to the trauma of Democrats losing a national election, can they not also respond to the mistaken beliefs regarding President Bush's motivations?

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Posted by Nathan at 10:41 AM | Comments (5)
Sex Education « Social Issues »

The debate right now is between "abstinence-only", "abstinence-plus", and "safe-sex" education in the classrooms, right?

But since the discussion is about classroom teaching, itsn't that already a defeat for morality?

One of the tenets of morality is that sexual intercourse is a private, personal, intimate, modest issue. Discussing it in a classroom betrays all those aspects immediately. The teacher most likely does not have a relationship of trust with the children, and the students certainly don't have that level of relationship and trust among them.

One of the natural obstacles to kids engaging in sexual intercourse is the difficulty in bringing it up. Classroom education sure takes care of that, doesn't it? Having an adult talk about it implicitly tells the kids that it's okay for them to talk about it in graphic terms, as well. Talking is a sort of exploring, as well, and so classroom sex education erases natural boundaries and expands the envelope of sexual activity right there.

Now, I'm not advocating ignorance. But if we can have national campaigns urging kids to talk their parents into not smoking, if we can urge parents to talk to their kids about drugs, why can't we start a national campaign to get parents to take responsibility for their children's understanding of sex? At a guess, I think the biggest problem with it is that all those conservative parents wouldn't be teaching their kids that's it's okay to "explore their sexuality", making it the field that much less fertile (pun intended this time) for Planned Parenthood's message of "Go ahead and have sex, cuz we'll help you get abortions whenver you want one!"

Right now, it seems like liberal society wants parents to talk to their kids about drugs, and schools to teach about sex. It should be the opposite.*

Read More "Sex Education" »

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Posted by Nathan at 10:05 AM | Comments (3)
Abortion Pushers (Get the Teenagers Hooked Early) « Social Issues »

Dawn Eden has a quote from NARAL's Pro Choice America blog by Jessica Valenti:

They also are hoping to push at least two bills through the next Congress...One would make it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines to circumvent state laws requiring parental consent for abortion.

Sigh. When will the f---ed up logic ever stop? How is a minor not old enough to make the decision to have an abortion, but old enough to have a baby? Please.

This statement is wrong on so many levels, I hardly know where to start.

1) Obviously, physical and mental/emotional growth happen at different rates. She most certainly is old enough to physically give birth to a baby, but there are several options regarding having the baby, including adoption.

2) The statement is a deliberately false dichotomy. The minor would not have the baby without advice and support from her parents, but the law the writer is attempting to block specifically excludes parents from advising and supporting or even providing any input into the decision whether or not to abort.

3) Since there are approximately 30 million women who have had abortions to date, it is at least conceivable (pun not originally intended, but I'm running with it) that a parent's objection to abortion might be due to actual experience. Therefore, this attempt to end-run around parental involvement/advice represents a truly evil attempt to "get 'em on-board" while they are young and easily-influenced. How do you get someone to commit to a depraved ideology? Separate them from those who care about them and pressure them into doing something they would otherwise consider morally repugnant. Then they are forced by shame into defending the evil ideology.

It would be extremely interesting to cross-index post-abortion women's pro-choice/pro-life views to their age when they had an abortion...

4) The original question is wrong in the first place: the choice of having the baby or aborting is actually a choice of "bad" and "worse", respectively. The real crisis point was at the point the girl decided to engage in intercourse. Ms. Valenti would be serving our society much better if she worked as hard to convince girls to wait for marriage to have sex* as she does to convince pregnant girls to have an abortion.

Read More "Abortion Pushers (Get the Teenagers Hooked Early)" »

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Posted by Nathan at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)
Mis-Heard « Humor »

It's funny the things your mind will fill-in when you don't quite comprehend what your ears just heard.

For instance, I could have sworn the Bee Gees were singing about a "Bald-Headed Woman". And what did the Beatles think was songworthy about a "He's a Black Writer"?

You got any?

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Posted by Nathan at 07:54 AM | Comments (5)
» Sharp as a Marble links with: RE: Did I Hear That Right?

December 28, 2004

Violating the "Laws" of Physics « New Thinking »

Okay, snide comments about the overwrought scenery-chewing of journalists aside, the Southeast Asian earthquake and tsunami was awe-inspiring and terrible in its power.

The news has said that:

1) the island of Sumatra has moved 100 feet. That is truly amazing.

2) It possibly changed the Earth's orbit. Now, my limited understanding of physics says that is nothing short of nonsense.

First, we are kept in orbit by the Sun's gravity, so it would take a huge force to alter that...I think this earthquake did not expend enough energy to overcome both the gravitational pull and the inertia of the track we are in. No matter how hard you bang glove compartment door, you aren't going to change the path of your car.

Second (and more importantly), for every force, there is an equal and opoosite reaction. All my hard science fiction (based on tangible, proven laws of physics) readings indicated that once you established your own orbit (lost contact with the ship/station), no amount of wiggling or jerking or anything could do anything to alter your orbit to regain contact. The only way you can adjust your orbit would be to actually cast mass off into space, in a reaction-type drive. A meteor striking the earth could change the orbit, but nothing inside or on the earth itself that didn't involve ejection of matter or conversion of matter to energy could change our planet's orbit one inch.

So what gives?

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Posted by Nathan at 06:02 PM | Comments (3)
So What, Exactly, is a Culture Blog? « Rhetorical Questions »

Because the three of them that are cited here all seem to have lots of socio-political commentary and even an essay or two, as well. Not to mention isolated cases of war-blogging.

I mentioned some movies I like and some problems with potty-training my daughter. Does that make this a culture blog?

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Posted by Nathan at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)
HIV Hornet's Nest « Link O' Admiration »

Dean stirred one up, this time by questioning the scientific consensus on the relationship between HIV and AIDS.

It's a point I've been wanting to make, but never quite able to think of the angle from which I wanted to approach it.

In any case, it's a good discussion, with good stuff on both sides. There are also some good (bad? ...well, egregious) examples of people using semantic or rhetorical techniques to try and put some weaker aspects of their argument beyond debate...

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Posted by Nathan at 03:03 PM | Comments (0)
Carrots and Sticks « Parenting/Leadership 101 »

One thing that struck me as I was driving to work with the kids*:

If something is important enough that you hammer a mistake with a punishment (even if merely a "don't do that"), then it is certainly important enough to hammer the success when they do it right. In fact, you should aggressively praise correct behavior quite a bit.

Much of good parenting and good leadership is catching someone doing something right so you can praise them for it.**

If leadership is the art of influencing people to do what they don't naturally want to do (and it is), then your tools fall into two groups: positive reinforcement of wanted behavior and negative punishment of unwanted behavior. You should have a much heavier toolbox for the positive reinforcement side. It boggles my mind that so many would-be leaders don't actively seek out ways to positively motivate their subordinates. It is inexplicable to me that someone who would sweat blood for 5 hours over an award package won't spend 5 words to praise a good performace. I understand the idea is that if one person gets an award, the rest will work harder to try to achieve that same award...but their are problems with that concept:
-awards don't motivate everyone
-awards only go to the person who did "the best"...thus a person gets the same reward for coming close as they do for not trying: nothing
-when one person wins a few of the monthly or quarterly awards, it actually demotivates those who feel (rightly or wrongly) that reputation may matter more than actual achievement

Consider how much a pat on the back can mean to someone who has been sweating and laboring without expectation of anyone costs 5 minutes of time, and maybe 30 minutes of observation to know who deserves it and when it would have the greatest effect. Compare that with the 5 hours of pain/frustration in trying to write an awards package, and a good leader should easily be able to tell where the time is better spent.

...not that writing awards packages aren't important. But if you spend more time observing your troops to know when/where pats on the back will do the most good, then you have a better idea of what your troops are doing all the time, which makes awards packages easier to write. While a leader certainly can't be expected to remember everything that 15-20 subordinates did over a full year, it is disheartening to a subordinate if the leader has no idea what you accomplished at all...

Simply put, if you don't know what your people are accomplishing, what exactly are you leading?

Read More "Carrots and Sticks" »

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Posted by Nathan at 09:03 AM | Comments (2)

December 27, 2004

Whom Do You Serve? « Media Distortions »

Great minds think alike, or so they say. I'd say I happened to be musing on a subject that a truly great mind was also considering. But he was considering it a day or so earlier, to be able to produce this, today.

The question is: Whom do the journalists* serve?

The military serves the US Constitution first and foremost. Politicians ostensibly serve their constituents. McDonald's serves hamburgers. But whom do the journalists serve?

The question first struck me as I was working out this morning and watching CNN. A quote from a print journalist regarding the tsunami hitting SE Asia/SW Pacific was on the screen, "Where the wave hit, there was total and complete devastation." But in the pictures they showed, while there certainly was extreme damage, the devastation was neither complete, nor total. Another quote was given, "All the earth is vibrating..." (which can also be seen currently over at the Drudge Report as of this writing). Well, duh. That happens with any quake large enough for the shocks to hit the earth's molten core. From what I understand quakes as small as 4.9 (considered "small") can be felt by sensitive instruments around the whole world.

So why are these dramatic quotes being broadcast around the world?

It occurred to me: most journalists want to be the one to memorialize a disaster in a single line. Most journalists want to be the guy who said, "Oh, the humanity!" in the same way that most athletes want to make the last-second, miracle, game-winning score, the way most businessmen want to make the sale of the century, the way doctors want to find the miracle cure. It's beyond garnering of recognition, it's immortality.

So why don't they break out the dramatic and poetic language for our success in Iraq? Or for the successful election in Afghanistan? Why do they reserve their best efforts for the horrible news, the tragic, the sad?

Whom do they serve?

Not the government, of course. They want to be a check on government, and I can't disagree with that sentiment. The power of sunlight on corruption is an amazing thing.

But not the people, either, really. If they served the people, they wouldn't by hyping junk-science global warming, or pushing the Kyoto treaty. They wouldn't have endlessly returned to rumors of President Bush's possible AWOL while all-but-ignoring Kerry's service record, credulously accepting as gospel truth whatever Kerry chose to say about himself.
No, they don't really labor to serve the people, because they actively work to deny the people full access to some information streams.

They serve their employers, to an extent. Except that does anyone think Dan Rather's actions with the forged memos were in the best interest of the CBS corporation? Or even that he deliberately ruthlessly removed anyone who might have the skills and charisma to replace him? No. There is a symbiosis between journalists and their employers, in that greater circulation meets both their goals, but when push comes to shove, journalists serve themselves.

Sure. That's no big surprise. Cynics would say we all are selfish and looking out for our own good, that we all serve ourselves first and foremost.

Except that it seems to be different in journalism. Every profession has "ethics". One way to define ethics is they are a guideline for what you should do so that you don't merely rely on self-interest. Journalistic ethics seem to place a high value on the Truth. That becomes problematic, however, when Truth stops being a collection of facts and starts being an ideology that can be supported or denied depending on how you group or what order you present the facts.

So, yeah, I think even journalistic ethics tend to focus journalists on burnishing their own reputations, rather than serving the people.

Could you say that journalists serve the nation, perhaps?

No. In fact, I wish we had a news media/journalism profession that did serve the nation. The nation is served by protecting it from harm. Harm can come from the government itself, and from dangerous ideas arising from among the people. The news media/journalists are fine at exposing (and hopefully disarming) those threats. But our current news media only helps our enemies in attacking the US.

Some of the methods are obvious: semantic shifts in which terrorists in Iraq and Palestine are "militants" or "freedom fighters". Negative reporting from Iraq that implies the whole country is in chaos instead of showing all the progress that reveals the instability is contained and shrinking. Calling Afghanistan a "quagmire" beforehand, but eliding over the progress the nation has made in the last 3 years and never admitting a mistaken prediction.

But some methods aren't so obvious. I think most people would agree that one of the ways journalists help protect against a tyrannical or corrupt government is by exposing lies and shady aspects. I, at least, am convinced this is so. But the way they go about this is by encouraging leaks "off the record", then pleading immunity from disclosing their sources. This has led to all sorts of journalistic improprieties, including making up quotes just to score political points.

But the real effect of this is to cause the government and all its organs and branches to clam up even tighter, to be even more careful about classifying information and closing potential leaks.

It's roughly analogous to killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

One of the main reasons information is classified in the US security system is to protect the source of the information and the means of collection. If information is in the open (unclassified and non-governmental) news streams, it can be discussed openly. If our news media would spend its resources investigating what our enemies were up to, it would provide plausible sources for otherwise classified information. That makes it easier to disseminate the information not only among government bureaus to the people that need the information, but also to the people of the United States.** For instance, how much would it help the security situation of the United States today if our news media had sniffed out that North Korea wasn't holding to their agreement over nuclear weapon technology? But our news media unfortunately was too busy trying to find something to cover besides Bill Clinton scandals, and so it took until US Intelligence agencies discovered the problem several years later.

Our news media thought a drunk driving arrest from 30 years ago*** was more important than investigating the extent of Chinese attempts to influence our Presidential election process.

Can we get a news media that cares more about the good of the nation than its own agenda? Is that too much to ask?

Read More "Whom Do You Serve?" »

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Posted by Nathan at 02:48 PM | Comments (2)
Closing the Circuit « Parenting/Leadership 101 »

One thing you hear time and time again from military leaders is "Loyalty flows both ways." I must assume it is a promise from a leader that if he receives loyalty, he'll give loyalty in, if the leader feels supported, he will provide top cover to the troops (or troop, as the case may be); conversely, if the leader feels a lack of loyalty from subordinates, he will allow "crap to roll downhill, and add a little of his own to it."

That really isn't the way it works.

Loyalty is a closed-loop circuit, just as in electrical matters. The only way for loyalty to flow at all is if it is coming down from above just as much as it is rising up from below.

This is one of the reasons "take care of your troops" is such an important maxim; if you don't, they won't take care of you. It's not a selfish decision as much as it is a natural result.

But the thing is, it is the leader who has the lead. Every breakdown of loyalty I've ever seen came from the top first, when someone in charge started caring more about their own promotion bullets than taking care of the troops or the mission. That creates a vicious cycle in which people start scrambling to cover their own butts, and the resulting train wreck is a sight to see...but not good for anyone involved. Unfortunately, it is usually not the leader who pays the price, because leaders have ways of deflecting blame for their own failures onto subordinates.

And you know what? It's amazing how much similarity there is between leadership and parenting.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:45 AM | Comments (3)
Sneering Atheism « New Thinking »
Like an art critic who proclaims the genius of a blank canvas and then stands sneering as the millions pass it by for yet another look at the Sistine Chapel, scientific atheism seeks to proceed from nothing when human experience is the only reasonable place to start. This world of pleasure and suffering will be as it is either way, and we may each of us face it as we choose. But as one can legitimately see design in the chaos of evolution and recognize providence behind the mask of history, so God undeniably may be known to live in the experience of being human.

Read the whole thing.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:33 AM | Comments (0)

December 26, 2004

My All-Time Favorite Movies (Updated) « Stuff Important to Me »

Not necessarily in any particular order.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Princess Bride
Red Dawn
Mystery Men
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Groundhog Day
The Magnificent Seven
Star Wars, Episodes IV and V (only)
Big Trouble in Little China
All of Me
Eat, Drink, Man, Woman
Monster's Incorporated (or maybe A Bug's Life)
So I Married and Axe Murderer
Real Genius
Better Off Dead
This Is Spinal Tap
Rio Lobo

These are my favorite because they inspire my imagination, make me laugh the loudest, provide the best quotes, and have the best stories.

In my opinion, of course.

Late Additions:
The Terminator
Office Space (I can't believe I forgot that one)

More coming soon, I'm sure.

Update II:
And here they are:
Blazing Saddles
The Life of Brian (sorta tied with Monty Python and the Holy Grail)
Robin Hood (animated)

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Posted by Nathan at 09:11 AM | Comments (9)
» evolution links with: natural selections

December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas!!! « Blogging »

I have 54 hits today already.

What's wrong with you people??? Go spend time with family. Or friends. Or co-workers. Or find someone else alone and you reduce the number of people alone by at least 2.

Give something of yourself to someone.

Then again, I'm writing something on my blog... And I was pathetic enough to actually check my sitemeter.

Um, What's wrong with me, people?

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Posted by Nathan at 01:27 PM | Comments (3)

December 24, 2004

Nice Strawman « Social Issues »

Can you spot the deliberately-introduced fallacy?

...actually, there are more than just one.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)
Merry Christmas! « Stuff Important to Me »

May God touch your heart today and tomorrow, and give you peace.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:36 AM | Comments (3)

December 23, 2004

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon « Stuff Important to Me »

I think it is quite possibly the best movie ever.

Watching the night-time chase/fight scene right after the sword is stolen always gets my blood racing.

It's absolutely perfect for what it is: an exciting, twisty action movie with a rather deep message...yet with lush visuals to boot.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:31 PM | Comments (6)
Go Read « Link O' Admiration »

I love socio-political epiphanies like this.

Meaning, I already held many of the attitudes and assumptions described, but was unable to articulate them because I hadn't ever consciously considered them.

Nice stuff, Dale!

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Posted by Nathan at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)

December 22, 2004

Break (UPDATED) « Blogging »

I'm going to take a break until after the New Year's.

I've been blogging very consistently since I started up this blog, often blogging through the weekends. The only thing that stopped me at all was when I physically couldn't get to a computer in transit.

But I think I need a break for a few days, so I'm taking one.

I may end up posting at times, but if I do, I'll be as surprised as you!

Read More "Break (UPDATED)" »

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Posted by Nathan at 12:36 PM | Comments (8)
Looks About Right To Me « Stuff Important to Me »

Jeremy responded to my whining and made a GI Joe card for me:

Thanks, Jeremy!!!

Read More "Looks About Right To Me" »

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Posted by Nathan at 11:23 AM | Comments (9)
A Cry For Help « Link O' Admiration »

Learn of the hidden shame of Closet Addictions.

This is why SaaM is one of my first stops every morning.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:50 AM | Comments (0)

December 21, 2004

Suggestion « Blogging »

If, by some chance, I ever become an important enough blogger that my links result in significant spikes of traffic, I suggest that you refer to it as a "Brain Storm".

That is all. Go about your business.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:24 PM | Comments (1)
Why Did the Red Baron Die? « Link O' Admiration »

Very interesting post here about a near-fatal head wound that may have resulted in delayed mortality.

Check it out.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:45 PM | Comments (1)
New To The Blogroll « Blogging »

Joe Huffman of The View from North Central Idaho.

I saw his comments on someone else's blog, followed 'em, and whether or not I agree (and I think I largely do...give me time to consider), his thought process was good enough that I'll be interested in seeing what else he comes up with.

Particularly since I hadn't seen this bit o' nonsense by King County anywhere else.

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Posted by Nathan at 03:05 PM | Comments (2)
Sorry About Not Posting-- « Blogging »

---been having a rough day. I'll post more tonight after work.

xoxo, Nathan

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Posted by Nathan at 02:52 PM | Comments (2)
Bush's 2nd-Term Fiscal Conservatism « Politics As Usual »

In the months leading up to the election, I heard dozens of people express dismay at spending in President Bush's first term. Some were Democrats looking to find anything they could that was negative to justify voting against him...some were Republicans who reasoned that if we had a President who spent like a Democrat, why not just have a Democrat?

I always responded (maybe a total of more than a dozen times) that Bush was allowing increased spending for a number of specific reasons: the safety of the nation (with Homeland Defense spending), the successful prosecution of the Global War on Terror (with military spending), and to offset the recession brought on by the Clinton-era bubble and made worse by 9/11. I predicted that part of his plan was to let people complain about the deficit enough that cutting in spending to rein in the deficit would nearly be mandated. A rope-a-dope strategy for all the people who reflexively criticize everything he does.

When pressed, I admitted I had no proof it was going to happen, but that it was a valid assessment based on his typical strategic moves, character, and political history.

Guess what? I was right:

President Bush said Monday he will submit a federal budget that will cut the deficit in half in five years and maintain strict spending discipline.

Now, I'm not so naive as to think I was the only person saying this. I was the sole individual pushing this view in the comments of several different blogs, but I'm sure there were plenty of other people saying the same thing in places I didn't see. I hope this gets me some 'street cred' in the blogosphere. [grin]

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Posted by Nathan at 05:40 AM | Comments (4)

December 20, 2004

Pseudo-Blogging « Link O' Admiration »

Or Reynolds-Blogging, maybe.

Basically, I can't think of much to say myself today, so I'm letting everyone else say it for me with bunches of linky-love.

This time, it's Zombyboy pretty much exactly how I feel about the Holidays.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)
Republican Rock Stars? « Link O' Admiration »

Michelle Malkin asks, Question: Is there a Republican out there whom the media would ever label a "rock star?"

Yes, there is. Unfortunately, it is John McCain.*


Read More "Republican Rock Stars?" »

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Posted by Nathan at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)
Good Advice « Link O' Admiration »

So, you ask. How can I gain the ability to wear shorts in freezing weather?

A good question, and one that finally been answered by Farm Accident Digest.

It's only fitting.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:17 AM | Comments (0)
Response to Schwarzenegger « Politics As Usual »

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger suggested in a German newspaper interview published Saturday that the Republican Party should move "a little to the left," a shift that he said would allow it to pick up new voters.

I don't think the GOP should really be in the business of making your wife happy, Arnold.

So I suggest you shift a little to the left, allowing you and your whole dang state to drop off into the ocean. Except for Monterey, of course...I like that town too much to lose it to the fishies.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:02 AM | Comments (0)
She Makes a Good Point « Link O' Admiration »

...about little bloggers breaking news stories, too. And yet, she inexplicably doesn't mention my breaking the all-important news of my daughter's potty-training progress. Strange, no?

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Posted by Nathan at 05:57 AM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2004

Kansas City Embarasses the Denver Broncos « Kansas City Chiefs »

Wow! I expected the Denver-KC series to be a home-and-home split, but sheesh! --I didn't expect the Chiefs to make the Broncos look that inept!

A coupla thoughts: between the resurgence of Eddie Kennison and the development of Samie Parker, I think KC may be set up okay at wide receiver. Bennie Sapp is an excellent cornerback, despite being pretty dang short. I expect him to be the #3 next year. We still need a good #2 CB, and it looks like McCleon, Bartee, and Battle are all no better than a #4. We need a quality CB in the off-season.

And a couple of fast, rangy linebackers. Three players and we have a defense strong enough to match the offense to get us to the Superbowl next year. Now we just gotta find 'em.

But when you look at Dalton, Biesel, Allen, Sapp, Harts, and Pile, you see that KC can find good players. IF these guys improve at all by the start of next season, we'll have some difference-makers. We'll see.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:26 PM | Comments (1)
Because I Haven't Insulted SaaM Yet Today « Link O' Admiration »

You installed SP2! Nyah!"

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Posted by Nathan at 09:34 AM | Comments (0)
Because I Like Piling On « Humor »

I'd say the next step is Andrew Sullivan* being offended that people don't recognize he isn't easily offended.

Read More "Because I Like Piling On" »

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Posted by Nathan at 09:28 AM | Comments (2)
Because I haven't Caused Trouble Lately... « Social Issues »

I've said several times before that both my best and worst commanders have all been female. A dream last night helped me realize that the "best" have all been at least 2 levels higher, the "worst" have all been direct commanders.

And it struck me: in my experience, female commanders tend to "judge" the person quite a bit more, whereas male commanders tend to "evaluate" the performance. Under the female commanders I've served with, it doesn't matter what you do as much as what she thinks of the person doing it. Under female commanders, once you get in the doghouse, there is nothing you can do to get out of it.

I'm sure that happens under male commanders, too, but I haven't seen that.

...and yet, I have no problems with female peers. You can try to convince me this is some sort of sexist discomfort working under a female if you want; I don't think you'd be right, but I'd prefer an uncomfortable truth to a comfortable misapprehension, so I'd be willing to listen.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:12 AM | Comments (4)

December 18, 2004

Great News! « Stuff Important to Me »

My sister's scan came out clean! No sign of cancer anywhere but the lump. They probably won't even have to do a full mastectomy!

Thanks for your prayers!*

Read More "Great News!" »

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Posted by Nathan at 09:37 AM | Comments (4)

December 17, 2004

This Just In « Blogging »

Kris of Anywhere but here has the best-looking site I have ever seen. Bar none.

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Posted by Nathan at 03:27 PM | Comments (2)
Brainfertilizer's Assertion « Quotes You Can Steal »

"Arguments about Belief Systems invariably reach equilibrium by aligning in antithesis."

Example? I thought you'd never ask.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:50 PM | Comments (5)
» Sharp as a Marble links with: A Note About Intelligent Design
Brady-isms « Kidblogging »

My son recently got on this kick of worrying about who he can marry.

I'm not sure why he's so obsessed with this idea. For a while he was saying he was going to marry his sister, because she's younger than him. I think that was borne out of realization that all the kids in the cul-de-sac are older than him. I'm not sure why age is also such non-negotiable issue.

But in daycare, Wonder of Wonders! Several girls are younger than him! But one girl he likes has a birthday a few days before his. She's off the list.

I keep telling him that he really shouldn't worry about marrying yet at the age of 5...

So yesterday he comes out with, "Can I marry _______?"

I respond, "Well, aside from the fact that you are too young to worry about marrying, I see no reason why not."

"But her skin is darker than mine."

Daddy sensed an opportunity to slip in a subtle lesson. "What difference does that make? Mommy's skin is darker than Daddy's, right?"

"But her skin is really dark."

"Brady, the color of the skin is probably the least important part of marriage. What matters most is how you treat each other and your friendship." I'll get into how the love in a marriage is a reflection of God's love for us when he's a little older.

He didn't continue the discussion from there. We were driving home from work/daycare in the dark during the conversation, so I couldn't see his face to see how he was taking it, but he thinks for himself and is a pretty stubborn kid: if he thought I was wrong or misleading him, he wouldn't have let up.

Just doing my part for racial integration.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:02 AM | Comments (0)
Noel-isms « Kidblogging »

My daugher, that is.

1. When we go into a burger establishment, she often asks for a Happyburger.

2. We got those water-based tattoos for them the other day. After I gave her one, she walked around saying, "I got a too-ta! I got a too-ta!" of these days I'm going to get around to submitting these to the Carnival of the Rugrats.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)
UN Exceeds Expectations « Politics As Usual »

...if you thought they couldn't be any more of a joke than they already were.

The U.N.'s European headquarters is probably riddled with listening devices.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:25 AM | Comments (0)
What Is Wrong With Some People? « Social Issues »

This is happening far too often lately...and the frequency is increasing.

A 23-year-old woman who was eight months pregnant was killed Thursday and the fetus was taken from her body, authorities said.

I first heard about this sort of occurrence happening about 5 years ago. I've heard of at least three this year, I think.

...and what connection does it have to the number of children available for adoption at any one time? From there, what connection does it have to the rate of abortion?

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Posted by Nathan at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)
More On The Atheist Who Recanted « Stuff Important to Me »

This article by Jonathan Witt goes to a greater depth and intelligently discusses some of the reasons Flew changed his mind.

[Evolutionists'] prior commitment to see only material causes forces them to "produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that Materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door."

Not that Flew is a Christian or anything:

Such evidence has drawn Flew from atheism to a non-specific theism. He isn't ready to accept the God of a particular religion, nor does he believe in an afterlife. The change is, nevertheless, significant. He no longer inhabits a worldview where the miraculous and the irrational are synonymous.

H/T to Dean.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:23 AM | Comments (4)
» BrainWacker Blog links with: Live Deathbed Conversion
Dichotomy « GWOM »

So Matthew Shephard is still in the news.

But have you heard about Jesse Dirkhising lately?

Part of the reason Matthew Shephard's death is in the news again is because indications are growing stronger that the crime had nothing at all to do with sexuality.

Not so with Jesse Dirkhising.

Never Forget.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:20 AM | Comments (0)
» Yippee-Ki-Yay! links with: It's a Hoedown!

December 16, 2004

Yes, Virginia, There is a Campaign Against Christianity « GWOM »

The only surprising part is how freely they admit it:

They asked the city council to remove the tree because it represents Christmas, which is a Christian holiday.

Stock says city hall should: "Act as a place where everybody feels welcome. It is impossible for everybody's religious belief to be displayed and non-religious belief to be displayed, so therefore, no religious beliefs be displayed."

On the plus side, it is encouraging that the largely liberal/atheist news media considers this worthy of reporting.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:57 PM | Comments (0)
Setting Up Your Subordinates « Parenting/Leadership 101 »

One of the things I hated about the Army was its over-emphasis on rank. Many times, it seemed like an E-2 just wasn't worth as much as an E-5. An E-7 was allowed to verbally abuse an E-4 at will. The Army as a whole didn't seem to care at all about junior enlisted.

But the Army seemed to excellent at growing leaders. Is there a connection? Could you develop top-notch leaders without having a rigid class structure based on rank? I'm not sure.

However, one thing I really liked about the Army was one pair of phrases I heard enough times to make me sick (at the time): "Setting up for success" and "setting up for failure".

The idea is, you don't just give a subordinate a task and let 'em go. Your job as a leader was to assess what your troop needed to succeed, and get it to them along with the task. Much of it was based on the level of experience of the troop, of course. A younger troop would need task, standards, detailed instructions, training, supervision, and follow-up. The more experienced the troop, the more you could drop.

The interesting thing was that if a troop failed at something, the first place they looked was at the troop's first-line leader: did you set up your troop for success, or for failure?

Where I work now, that's not really an issue, unfortunately. If your subordinate screws up, a "good leader" gives them negative paperwork. Enough negative paperwork, and the person is fired. That's doing a good job. I guess the best "leaders" must either be lucky enough to have self-motivated troops, or they are better at wording the negative paperwork to be inspiring rather than discouraging.

I wish I had some really profound insight to give on this subject. But simply put, if your subordinates aren't doing a good job, the first place to look is at yourself. Are you giving adequate and appropriate feedback? Are you ensuring the task and standards are fully understood? Are you providing adequate training for the task?

Not every subordinate is a good worker, of course. If you are setting them up for success, and they still fail, then perhaps the problem is with the subordinate. But that should be the last place to check, not the first.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:30 PM | Comments (0)
The Story of My Life « Stuff Important to Me »

I've brought up, implicitly or explicitly, that I've been having problems at work over the last few months.

One way to put it is that my contributions aren't being noticed, and those that are being noticed aren't being appreciated. Even worse, the things that irritate my superiors the most in my workplace are lack of professionalism and selfishness, and I am one of the most disciplined and professional, and a great team player. I take the worst jobs and assignments without complaining or asking for favors in return. And one of the most trusted workers in the office is one of the least professional and most selfish and apt to complain about being overworked.

But perhaps an anecdote explains it more ably:

In Hawaii, on the North Shore, there's a really big rock, larger than house-sized, just off the beach in the water. On the ocean side, then, there's a spot where you can jump in the water from about 20 feet up. At low tide you might have to time your jump to land in a swell, just to be safe.

I have a minor fear of heights.

But when it came time back in the day to re-enlist the second time, I considered it as a place to do the ceremony. My Company Commander was all for the idea and encouraged me to re-enlist there. I'd seen some pictures from other re-enlistment ceremonies, and the pictures are pretty dramatic. So I agreed.

The day came, we did the ceremony, and then at the precipice, my fear of heights kicked in. I had visions of hitting the water, then having my femurs splinter from the impact of landing in a trough. I could see the last thing going through my mind being my spine.

So I froze. A few of the people there yelled at me to jump, but I couldn't. I made a few abortive tries, but couldn't.

However, after I saw the second person jump, I was good and jumped.

I went back immediately and jumped again, just to reduce that fear as much as I could.

I felt proud of myself. I had challenged and conquered a fear (at least in this context). A few months later, though, I found out that much of the people in my unit had lost respect for me because I hadn't jumped immediately.

That seems to be typical for me. When it comes to my accomplishments and actions, it seems like my peers and superiors usually take it in the most negative way possible.

I'm still not sure why.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:07 PM | Comments (0)
Oregon: The New True Granola* State « Social Issues »

At least, they keep on pumping up their wacky-ish liberal credentials.

This is truly hilarious:

The ASUO Women's Center is reworking the casting process for this year's production of "The Vagina Monologues" in response to protests that last year's production underrepresented various communities of women.
Instead of holding auditions, the producers will solicit nominations from several student groups, as well as the Women's and Gender Studies Program, to assemble a potential cast. The final casting decision will be made by a volunteer selection committee.

"The queer community, the women of color community and the plus-size community did not feel represented last year," producer Nicole Pete said.

In addition to securing a more diverse cast, the selection committee will also be looking to include activists and community members who are involved with women's issues.

Pete said the committee will select people who are "not necessarily drama-oriented" in favor of "people who work (toward) 'The Vagina Monologues' mission of ending violence against women."

Women's Center spokeswoman Stefanie Loh said the de-emphasis on acting ability will provide a "down to earth" feel to the production as well as allow the producers to be more inclusive in their casting.

"The fact that they had auditions means that some people are automatically excluded," she said.

The primary concern of the selection committee will be "fitting the person to the part," Pete said, adding that all parts in the script calling for women of color will be played by women of color.

Read More "Oregon: The New True Granola* State" »

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Posted by Nathan at 03:14 PM | Comments (1)
When Pork Levitates « Politics As Usual »

Peggy Noonan vamping on the Dems' recent commitment to try and fake sincerity.

I know something the Democratic Party can do right now that will improve its standing and increase its popularity. It can be done this week. Its impact will be quick and measurable.

It is this: Stop the war on religious expression in America. Have Terry McAuliffe come forward and announce that the Democratic Party knows that a small group of radicals continue to try to "scrub" such holidays as Christmas from the public square. They do this while citing the Constitution, but the Constitution does not say it is wrong or impolite to say "Merry Christmas" or illegal to have a crèche in the public square. The Constitution says we have freedom of religion, not from religion. Have Terry McAuliffe announce that from here on in the Democratic Party is on the side of those who want religion in the public square, and the Ten Commandments on the courthouse wall for that matter. Then he should put up a big sign that says "Merry Christmas" on the sidewalk in front of the Democratic National Committee Headquarters on South Capitol Street. The Democratic Party should put itself on the side of Christmas, and Hanukkah, and the fact of transcendent faith.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:39 AM | Comments (0)
Asia By Blog is Up! Go Read! « Link O' Admiration »

Really good stuff over at the weekly Asia By Blog at Simonworld. This guy has the best round-ups of news from all over Asia. Check it out!

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Posted by Nathan at 05:38 AM | Comments (0)

December 15, 2004

Rachel Lucas: Blogging Again « Link O' Admiration »

And dead-on in this assessment.

It's all over my workplace, too,and not only does it violate regs, it's ugly.


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Posted by Nathan at 11:25 AM | Comments (0)
» Sharp as a Marble links with: Why I'm Thinking About Boycotting
Reasons to Move Away From Eastern Washington « Stuff Important to Me »

An unusually smooth and swiftly growing lava dome within the crater of Washington state's Mount St. Helens volcano is an extraordinary and perplexing event with an unknown outcome, geologists said Tuesday.

I can't help but think there may be a few good double-entendres in the title of the piece, though:

Scientists Amazed at Mount St. Helens' Growing Dome

This post is a Companion Piece to this post.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:34 AM | Comments (2)
» The LLama Butchers links with: King's county democrats find new hidden source of ballots
Mickey Kaus Agrees With Conservatives Again « GWOM »

I don't see how he could have voted for Kerry, because he keeps on making excellent arguments against Democrat and liberal values and thought processes.

Scroll down to the part about Marc Rich and Clinton. Excerpt:

Here's an instance where the convenient case for public figure privacy in matters of sex--made most conveniently by Clinton himself, but also by Jeffrey Toobin***, Andrew Sullivan, etc.--completely breaks down. It turns out to be fairly important whether Clinton was or wasn't not having sexual relations with Denise Rich, Marc's glamorous ex-wife, who lobbied for the pardon. It's hard to explain Clinton's gross error any other way.

... P.S.: Do Democrats really want to elect the woman who let all this happen under her nose? Just asking! ...

*** When defending Clinton, Toobin ludicrously declared that a politician's sex life "tells you absolutely nothing about their performance" in office. Marc Rich might disagree. ...

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Posted by Nathan at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)
Wondering « Humor »

Just what is the exchange rate on awkward pauses, anyway?

Cuz I've got a few saved up.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:31 AM | Comments (3)
Trolling for Links From Deb of Accidental Verbosity « Politics As Usual »

So I'm posting this article bashing John McCain.

How could anyone support a politician who does stuff like this?

McCain threatened to hold up every piece of legislation in the Senate while House leaders refused to go along with McCain’s pet project of establishing a national boxing commission.

Too big for his britches, I say.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:51 AM | Comments (0)
» Accidental Verbosity links with: He knows the way to my heart.
Reasons to Not Move To Hawaii « Stuff Important to Me »

Or, at least, the North Shore.

This might be a good time to pray for Venomous Kate, too. She was having big problems with property erosion just last year, and this won't help any, I can tell ya.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:12 AM | Comments (6)
A Request « Music/Guitar »

Looking at my Ecosystem chart, it nearly looks like a visual representation of sound. Is there anyone who could actually chart that as a sine wave and see what it sounds like?

Let me know.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:11 AM | Comments (8)
» Sharp as a Marble links with: Why I'm Thinking About Boycotting
» CatHouse Chat links with: Just Silliness....
Truly Un-Amazing « Stuff Important to Me »

So I had a little denouement the other day.

Nothing big. Most of you, if not all, will scratch your head and say, "How did he last 36 years on this planet without figuring that out until now?"

What can I say? [shrug] I'm pretty stupid sometimes.

Read More "Truly Un-Amazing" »

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Posted by Nathan at 06:09 AM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2004

Unfortunate News « Stuff Important to Me »

In the "Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?" department, a lump in my 2nd-eldest sister's breast turned out to not only be malignant, but also the fastest-spreading kind. The doctor thinks they can shrink it with chemotherapy and then do a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy.

Prayers for her would be a good thing to get me for Christmas.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:10 PM | Comments (7)
I've ALWAYS liked Jay Mohr « Stuff Important to Me »

Interestingly, about as much as I currently dislike John McCain, but that's another issue.

The point is, I now have another reason to like the guy.

It had me choked up. I always like success stories, especially about people I like and respect as much as Ace.

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Posted by Nathan at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)
Ear Worm « Stuff Important to Me »

Those of a certain age will be transported to a different age and time by this:

"C & H" C & H
"Pure Cane Sugar" Pure Cane Sugar
"From Hawaii" From Hawaii
"Growing in the sun" Growing in the sun!

Feel free to hate me. My parents do.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:54 AM | Comments (3)
The Hippopotamus vs the Canary « Social Issues »

Sure, Jon Henke uses a different animal for the big one, but I want to avoid the political party association with that animal.

In any case, there are some very good points made by Mr. Henke in his article discussing Social Security reform, and the 600-pound gorilla sitting on its back (if you don't mind me blowing the metaphors all to heck in an orgy of metaphorical references).

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Posted by Nathan at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)
Amen! « Link O' Admiration »

A list worth reading.

I don't agree with all of it...quite.

But the last line is particularly appropos:

I'm just getting started. But I've probably bored you already with my list of gripes. No one wants to listen to a whiner.

Maybe that's another reason George W. Bush was re-elected by a record number of votes.

H/T to Michelle Malkin, who also explains why we still don't have a Governor in Washington.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:07 AM | Comments (0)
Up-Armor, the Nightmare Continues « GWOT »

I think this article has the situation essentially correct, particularly this point:

Mr. Rumsfeld stirred up a hornet's nest last week by saying, "You go to war with the army you have. They're not the army you might want or wish to have." He's right. We cannot afford to make the mistake George McClellan did in the Civil War, endlessly preparing for war but not doggedly going after the enemy. Our soldiers deserve the best equipment and training money can buy. And that includes the best equipment they can use now, instead of waiting around for something better. Sometimes what's good enough today is better than what would be perfect sometime down the road.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:34 AM | Comments (0)

December 13, 2004

Science! « Link O' Admiration »

Dean points out that people making claims of proofs in science might be better off watiing until all the information is in, and that the scientific claims are usually less definitive than the layman might assume.

So, check it out.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:56 PM | Comments (2)
Monday Night Football Update « Kansas City Chiefs »

Win or lose (and they've done a bad job of stopping much on defense but a good job of keeping on offense), I like the way the KC defense has stepped it up in the 4th quarter. They got a good stop by hustling on each play, gang tackling, hitting hard and not letting 'em get an extra inch.'d be nice if they could play like that from the first and keep it up for 4 quarters. But since KC has had the lead or been tied in the 4th quarter for 12 of 13 games, including 7 of 8 losses in which the offense usually couldn't do well enough to pull ahead and the defense often was unable to stop a late, game-winning drive, seeing this sort of intensity in a close game is good.

But Bartee, for all his good, strong tackles, is still getting burned too often as a cornerback. He'd be an awesome free safety, though. Am I the only person who can see that????

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Posted by Nathan at 09:21 PM | Comments (0)
Kansas City In-Game Observation « Kansas City Chiefs »

I missed the 1st quarter and a portion of the 2nd. Obligations to the kids...

But when Eddie Kennison got open deep, if Trent Green had hit him in stride, it would have been a touchdown. Since it was badly underthrown, the defender, Waddell, had time to catch up and take position away from Kennison, and it was an interception.

The next series, Trent Green avoided what looked like a sure sack (he's good at that, you know). The cornerback defending Johnny Morton (Waddell again, I think), was looking into the backfield...maybe being ready to step up if Green decided to run for the first down, and Morton blew past him and was wide open. Trent Green lofted another pass...and it was only that Waddell was beaten so badly that Morton was able to catch the pass on the 1 and roll in for the touchdown. Again, badly underthrown...but an easy TD if Green had hit him stride.

So what's up with Trent Green underthrowing passes? Maybe his ribs still aren't 100%?

And I'm not surprised about Volek. I saw him playing against U of Hawaii about 5 years back and expected him to be an eventual starter in the NFL. He's got a great touch.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)
I Have No Confidence In McCain « Militaria »

This guy is getting too big for his britches. He apparently thinks he is the only person with any military judgment.

I'm getting more and more happy he didn't win the nomination over President Bush back in 2000. The saving grace of President Bush has been his humility. McCain is demonstrating a clear superiority complex and tendency toward self-aggrandizement.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:55 PM | Comments (2)
» Accidental Verbosity links with: Have I mentioned lately that I loathe John McCain?
Inebriation Fare (Updated) « Stuff Important to Me »

Or, What Do You Like To Eat When You're Drunk?

Personally, I prefer Whataburger's Whata-Chicken myself. They make it hot and fresh, and with fresh, crisp tomato and lettuce and a little mayo, it always hit the spot. My preference for that sandwich may be because a Whataburger restaurant was just over the pedestrian bridge from my dorm room my freshman year of college...

So. What's your favorite?

The question came up during an equally intriguing discussion of what type of things you'd need to know if you ever ended up suddenly amnesiatic.

Update: Yep, I may cover important issues of the day...but ZombyBoy makes 'em fun!

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Posted by Nathan at 01:49 PM | Comments (6)
» resurrectionsong links with: Pre-Amnesia Blogging, Part 2 (Updated)
Just So You Know « Stuff Important to Me »

Anyone who ever uses the term "Speaking Truth to Power" in my presence will automatically lose all credibility on just about any issue imaginable. Forever.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:30 AM | Comments (7)
Chastity Panties??? « GWOM »

I'm not sure what good they might do with just a lock design, rather than a real lock. Is it sarcasm? Irony?

In any case, I don't think I'll be buying any for anyone I know.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2004

Kansas City Chiefs « Kansas City Chiefs »

I won't have anything to say until after the Chiefs lose to the Titans.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:06 PM | Comments (1)
You've Heard Spy vs Spy? « GWOT »

Here's Rifle vs Tank.

Via Q and O Blog's sidebar.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:20 AM | Comments (1)

December 11, 2004

Instant Messaging « Humor »

Ever have someone randomly message you on one of those instant messaging systems?

Chris did.

The results are quite amusing. Laugh-out-loud funny, at least to me.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:04 PM | Comments (2)

December 10, 2004

Maybe the Evidence for the Existence of God is More Compelling Than Some Would Have You Think... « New Thinking »

Leading Atheist Recants.

H/T to One of the plethora of Kevins in the blogosphere.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:19 AM | Comments (7)
Audience Participation Time « Quotes You Can Steal »
I once thought I was schizophrenic, but something inside me said that was crazy.
I once thought I was paranoid, but later realized I was probably overreacting.
I once thought I might be a kleptomaniac. I have no idea where I picked that idea up from.

Your turn.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:56 AM | Comments (11)
From an Email Correspondence « Quotes You Can Steal »

Yeah, I'm paranoid. But worrying gives me something to do with all the extra energy from the upside of the bipolar disorder one of my personalities has.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)
Thoughts on Chastity « GWOM »

I have nothing to add to this. Well, for now, at least.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:15 AM | Comments (2)
James 3: 3-6 « Stuff Important to Me »
3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Pretty smart guy, that James.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)
Where Are My Commenters? « Blogging »


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Posted by Nathan at 09:46 AM | Comments (7)
One of the More Amusing Google Hits « New Thinking »

Someone did a search for quantum schrodinger cat jpg.

If you understand the concept, you understand you won't be able to have a .jpg picture of it...

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Posted by Nathan at 09:30 AM | Comments (1)
Thoughts on Scott Peterson « Social Issues »

On the news yesterday, they were relating one of the Defense's arguments as to why he should get Life Imprisonment With No Chance of Parole.

To me, there are basically two reasons for the death penalty. Vengeance has nothing to do with it.

First, if you have already given someone a punishment that cannot be altered by anything he does, i.e., there is nothing he can do to make it less or worse, then you've lost any control on his behavior at all. A prisoner could then murder guards, rape fellow inmates, etc. You must always retain the right to end their life as the ultimate punishment, or you risk creating a monster by placing him beyond any further penalties. If that's not clear, I can expand on that somewhat.

Second, there are some actions by which a person forfeits their right to continue living in this world. Murder is one of these: If you consider someone's life (and all that entails: personality, hopes, dreams, accomplishments, etc) to be less important than your own convenience, then you are capable of any evil and should not be allowed to continue polluting the earth with your presence. Manslaughter isn't quite so cold and heartless. But right along with that, I would assert that serial, violent rapists have also forfeited their right to continue living, based on the amount of long-term damage they cause in pursuit of their own twisted urges. And right along with that, serial child molesters also forfeit their right to continue living.

It should be obvious, this is just in the theoretical case. There can be mitigating circumstances. Maybe only 10% of rapists should be executed, or maybe only 1%. I'd be open to arguments that if Michael Jackson is convicted of sexual abuse of children, that he should be at least subject to the possibility of the death penalty, because it would mean he used his money, fame, and power, not only to get the opportunity to abuse innocent children, but to conceal his guilt in order to continue doing so.

If you are sick, you have the responsibility to seek help. Willfully and consistently avoiding that responsibility is just as bad as willful and premeditated murder.

None of those arguments can be applied to a fetus. This is how someone can be pro-Life and pro-Death Penalty.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:51 AM | Comments (0)
A Point* « Humor »

I have several sisters, and several good friends who are female, and one thing I've learned is that self-esteem is very important to women. In fact, I've heard several times that one thing that motives women is the desire to feel attractive, pretty, and even sexy. It's been said that a man will sleep with a woman if he thinks she's gorgeous, and a woman will sleep with a man if he thinks she's gorgeous...

I'm coming to understand that sometimes a woman will stay with a real jerk only because she lacks the self-confidence to leave him, perhaps fearing she'll always be alone or no one else will ever want her.

With that in mind, I've decided that I will no longer try to stop undressing a woman with my eyes or looking down her shirt. After all, that may just be the little jolt of self-confidence she needs to leave a real jerk.

I know what you're thinking: Nathan, how can you be so tough on yourself? But if I can just do this one small thing to make someone's life better, I guess I'm willing to sacrifice.

Yeah, I got nothing worthwhile to post this morning.

Read More "A Point*" »

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Posted by Nathan at 08:31 AM | Comments (6)

December 09, 2004

OH. MY. GOSH. « Media Distortions »

Heard this story about the specialist who asked about armoring vehicles in Iraq?

It turns out the question was a plant from a reporter.

It absolutely violates journalistic ethics.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:22 PM | Comments (1)
Euphemisms And Their Misuse « Politics As Usual »

Interesting item in yesterday's Best of the Web.

Mr. Taranto talks about Lakoff and his recent re-invention of the wheel in regards to repackaging old Democrat messages.

He makes the good point of:

It's not as if the Dems don't already do what Lakoff is recommending. Indeed, the supposedly groundbreaking insight this professor of linguistics and cognitive sciences is offering is nothing more than a commonplace of political rhetoric: Generally, it is good to describe things you're for in favorable-sounding terms and things you're against in unfavorable-sounding ones.

But the point I'd really like to highlight is this:

By contrast, what do you think of when you hear the phrase "baby tax"? It's hard to imagine an infant writing a check to the IRS, so a "baby tax" would more likely be a levy on new parents, or perhaps a consumption tax on diapers, baby food, cribs and other items for newborns.

The national debt isn't even a tax. A tax brings money into the government, while debt obliges the government to make expenditures in the future. Calling the debt a tax makes as much sense as calling a mortgage a salary. Taxpayers provide the funds to service the debt, of course, but babies generally do not become taxpayers until long after they stop being babies.

The emphasis is mine, and my point is this really reveals a basic truth about Democrats, doesn't it?

The reason Lakoff considers it a the tax cut and resulting deficit to be a tax at all is because it takes money away from the "rightful owner". Yes, it's because he considers the money to actually belong to the government, not you. Okay, that's been pointed out before many times by better writers than me. The reason I consider this admission so significant is I'm surprised at such a blatant lapse of a Democrat revealing his basic assumptions so clearly.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:25 PM | Comments (0)
Yeah « GWOM »
Politicians, especially Democrats, are now trying harder to appeal to people of faith. But people of faith are not just another interest group, like gun owners. You have to begin by understanding the faith. And you can't understand this rising global movement if you don't meet its authentic representatives.

Not Falwell, but Stott.

I don't know, necessarily, about John Stott. I've only heard the name myself, I don't think I've knowingly read anything he wrote. I'd hold up C.S. Lewis as an example of an authentic version of a thoughtful traditional Christian.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)
Must-See « GWOT »

Really good video here.

Better than the Paris Hilton pr0n tapes, anyway.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:37 AM | Comments (1)
More on Abstinence Education « GWOM »

From one of the links in the previous post:

...many social science studies link beginning sexual activity at an older age to higher levels of personal happiness in adulthood.
...governments spent $4.50 on "safe sex" programs aimed at teens for every $1 invested in abstinence.

These spending priorities are the exact opposite of what parents want. In a recent Zogby poll, 85 percent of parents said the government's emphasis on abstinence for teens should be equal or greater than the emphasis placed on contraception. Only eight percent said teaching teens to use condoms is more important than teaching them abstinence.

For example, in the government-sponsored program "Focus on Kids," middle- and high school students are told about the joys of bathing together, watching sexually explicit movies together and reading erotic books and magazines. The "Be Proud! Be Responsible!" program promoted by the Centers for Disease Control asks teens to "think up a fantasy using condoms" then "use condoms as a method of foreplay." Kids as young as 13 are taught to "act sexy/sensual" while putting on condoms.
(emphasis mine)

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Posted by Nathan at 09:34 AM | Comments (0)
Must Read « GWOM »

An email exchange between Andrew Sullivan and Annie of After Abortion.

Some of the best parts:

Even worse data was provided here: "Research conducted in the United States by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory revealed that the HIV virus is 60 times smaller than a syphilis bacterium and 450 times smaller than a human sperm. Analyzing test results conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control which tested leakage rates of latex condoms, doctors discovered a 78% HIV-leakage rate. As one U.S. surgeon put it, "The HIV virus can go through a condom like a bullet through a tennis net."

it's already BEEN "government policy" to "spend 12 times more [government money] promoting so-called 'safe sex' than it does encouraging people to wait," so why not level the "playing field" since abstinence is being credited in many places with success?
Why do you think that only 4 years ago, there were 226,800 post-abortive women in National Right To Life Committe and only 39,000 of them in NARAL?
if you're so worried about hysteria and spending taxpayer dollars: " the parents-not-allowed "Nobody's Fool" conference running yearly since 1990, Planned Parenthood has taught children as young as nine how to masturbate, have sex and gave them nine reasons to have abortions. [It also] makes 93.5% of its money from providing abortions and dispensing 633,756 Morning After Pills a year...[and] they also sell a 6-inch ruler for schoolkids emblazoned with the question, 'Does Size Matter?' directing them to their sexually-fixated website, TeenWire. [And] in FY2003, Planned Parenthood received $254.4 million in taxpayer money, an all-time record that surpassed tax dollars received in FY2001 and FY2002 combined (it's all in their Annual Report). The Bush Administration, on the other hand, is now having to give multiple millions to counteract the promiscuity education efforts of Planned Parenthood for at least a decade, maybe two or more."
(emphasis in this blockquote is mine and mine alone).

Hat tip to Dawn Eden.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)
For My Atheist Friends « Humor »

Ace has a top-ten list for you.

Scroll down to see it.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:49 AM | Comments (0)
Thoughts on Immigration Reform « Social Issues »

Mickey Kaus has some very interesting thoughts regarding ID cards for illegal immigrants. (you may have to scroll down because his blog is one of the least easily-navigable/linkable)

The most intriguing point he makes is:

A national ID card would help solve 1) the terrorism problem and 2) the illegal immigration problem. Comrade Kuttner points out today that it would also help solve 3) the voter registration problem and 4) the underage drinking problem. A fourfer! It's very un-American, but it also seems unstoppably useful.

Please note, he's not saying he supports the idea, he's just pointing out some of the most compelling arguments for a national ID card... I find them hard to refute, myself, and yet in complete agreement that it's very un-American. Anyone got any better suggestions?

Ms. Malkin's got some links, too.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:08 AM | Comments (0)
Advances in Warfighting « Militaria »

Precision-guided munitions, satellite assistance, advanced radars, stealth technology, Light Armored Vehicles...all have had an impact on how we fight, and have made the US military the most effective in the world, if not in all of history.

But here's an interesting article on another advance: the ratio of wounded who survive compared to those who die is far higher than ever before, right around 90% of those who are injured survive.

By mid-November, 10,369 American troops had been wounded in battle in Afghanistan or Iraq, and 1,004 had died — a survival rate of roughly 90 percent. In the Vietnam War, one in four wounded died, virtually all of them before they could reach MASH units some distance from the fighting.


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Posted by Nathan at 05:40 AM | Comments (0)

December 08, 2004

Looking To Next Year « Kansas City Chiefs »

There’s still four games left to play in the season for the Chiefs. But it’s never to early to slap an ill-formed and ill-informed opinion out there for anyone to deride.

So here goes with my opinion of what the Chiefs’ need to accomplish in the offseason:

Read More "Looking To Next Year" »

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Posted by Nathan at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)
What? I Don't Get It! (UPDATED) « Social Issues »

Well, Duh. It's as simple as 2+2=5!

Read More "What? I Don't Get It! (UPDATED)" »

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Posted by Nathan at 06:07 AM | Comments (0)
» IndustrialBlog links with: Why can't people understand that 2 + 2 = 5?
Cry Me A River « Social Issues »

Morgan Freeman ignores what he's told in order to do what he wants, receives normal consequences for it, but believes he's being "censored".

The actor explains, "I'm being censored by the FAA and they're going to ground me. The hardest thing about flying is holding altitude. It's a three-dimensional effort."

If it's so hard to follow instructions, Mr. Freeman, perhaps the FAA is exactly correct in grounding you. If you cause a crash, it's not like anyone would say, "My loved ones died in a fiery crash so that we wouldn't censor an important artists like Morgan Freeman by holding him to standards we hold every other pilot to? Well, censoring is wrong so I'm okay with them dying for Mr. Freeman's artistic freedom."

Just don't call him unpatriotic, okay?

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Posted by Nathan at 05:42 AM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2004

Flattery Will Get You Everywhere « Link O' Admiration »

Craig demonstrates a good way to get a link back.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:05 PM | Comments (1)
Too Provocative to Post in Zombyboy's Comments (Slightly Revised) « GWOM »

I wanted to and nearly posted the following comment to this post by the intelligent and reasonable Zombyboy:

Taken as a single event, I would agree with you. I think part of the reaction by Ms. Malkin and other Christian commenters is this is right on the heels of the ACLU succeeding in getting the Boy Scouts barred from military bases, the "Jesusland" map circling the internet, Democrats complaining about President Bush's use of the word "Jesus" and "faith" even though Bill Clinton used those words more without a peep, the derision of blue-staters of what they felt was typical red-stater Christian-based morals, extreme language from secularists about not even being able to be in the same room as a monument to the 10 Commandments, an attempt by an atheist to get "Under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegience, the White House "Holiday Tree" (rather than "Christmas" tree), attempts to scrub the Thanks to God out of Thanksgiving history, etc, etc, etc. Pro-abortionists react just as strongly to anything that might weaken abortion rights. Gun owners react just as strongly to things that might weaken gun rights.

Personally, I'm getting in a mood to fight things like this, because I'm tired of "when there is a controversy, complaint, or problem, it should default to secular/atheism". Too many of these disputes are being resolved by "Fine, NO religious expression, then". And if that happens too many times, you actually shift the center point.

I'm tired of people being told to "deal with it" or "change the channel" or "it's no big deal you repressed prudes" when Janet Jacket flashes people in a prime-time TV event, but atheists think "Under God" establishes a religion and is therefore an affront to their sensibilities. I'm tired of a society in which nudity in gay pride parades is considered more of a right than a privately-funded nativity scene. I'm tired of the only expression not allowed is morality and decency.
I'm tired of the idea that "religion" is somehow more corrosive and dangerous than any other belief system, and must be restricted to inside a person's home as long as it can be proven that no tax dollars whatsoever were used in any way in any possible connection to anything Christian at all (but to support Wiccan/Gaiea studies is fine).

But since ZB is so reasonable and intelligent, I felt he didn't necessarily deserve such an unreasonable and unintelligent response. [grin] In any case, I'm sure I'll write more posts in the near future decrying this assault on religion. It seems to be the Topic O' the Day since the election.

And an assault it surely is, even if most of us are late to recognize it. It is a Global War on Morality by certain liberals, as the category title says, and I've entered the fray. I won't fight every battle to the death, because that does no one any good. But I also won't be afraid to express my opinion. Last time I checked, the 1st Amendment still guarantees me that right, despite the best efforts of a number of secularists and atheists.

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Posted by Nathan at 03:43 PM | Comments (1)
» resurrectionsong links with: Happy Holidays and the Parade of Lights (Updated)
Some Linky-Ness « Link O' Admiration »

Classic brilliance from Liberal Larry. The hyperlinks I followed were worth it.*

Dawn talks about two types of loneliness. I think this perfectly illustrates the feelings of the woman at the well who answered Jesus, "I have no husband." She knows that quenching her thirst with earthly water (casual sex) will invariably leave her even more parched. She thirsts for the love of her life, and knows once she finds him she will thirst no more. A love consummated and dwelling in Christ cannot fail. Add her to your prayers.

The Artist Formerly Known as Juan Gato makes an interesting point:

Thinking is easier when you don't have to do it.

Jon Henke points out yet another case of fundamental (but entirely unsurprising) hypocrisy from the liberal pundits and spokespeople.

Read More "Some Linky-Ness" »

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Posted by Nathan at 08:50 AM | Comments (2)
Hate Crime? « Social Issues »

I see his point, but I think the way he goes about demonstrating it is rather immature and stupid, and weakens the point he is trying to make. He seems like kind of a jerk, for a Doctor (I'm assuming PhD-type, not MD-type).

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Posted by Nathan at 07:54 AM | Comments (2)
I Have Mixed Feelings About This « Social Issues »

According to a new FCC estimate obtained by Mediaweek, nearly all indecency complaints in 2003—99.8 percent—were filed by the Parents Television Council, an activist group.

This year, the trend has continued, and perhaps intensified.

Through early October, 99.9 percent of indecency complaints—aside from those concerning the Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl halftime show broadcast on CBS— were brought by the PTC, according to the FCC analysis dated Oct. 1.

On the one hand, if 99.9% of the complaints are coming from an activist group, they probably don't represent anything like a mainstream view of what is appropriate, and I'm a little irritated that they would waste people's time and taxpayer's money in frivolous complaints.

On the other hand, however, what other choice do parents have if they'd like to resist the crassification of the airwaves? Things seem to always slide toward the least common denominator, i.e., someone who wants to see boobs during children's shows is eventually going to have their way unless the current trend is reversed...

But thinking it over further, I guess I'd prefer to see people stop watching television or boycott advertisers rather than using this method. I believe the free market of capitalism is a better method. More effective, more lasting, more fair, and less subject to manipulation and excess than 'govt control', which tends to just oil the squeaky wheel.

Okay, I'm against it.

This open thought process was brought to you by: "Brain Fertilizer: Dullness...Ready to Eat, Right From the Can!"

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Posted by Nathan at 06:07 AM | Comments (0)

December 06, 2004

Fun With Search Hits, III « Blogging »

I'm not sure I want to know why my blog comes up for this search.

But I'll bet there's an interesting story motivating the search. I hope it isn't also tragic...

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Posted by Nathan at 06:48 PM | Comments (0)
Vocabulary Expansion « Stuff Important to Me »

I pride myself on having a fairly extensive vocabulary. It's not often that I encounter a word that I'm sure I've never heard/seen before at all.

Thanks to Dale Franks of Q and O, I now know the meaning of the word Pelf.

Brain Fertilizer: Serving up "Mediocre" Daily. For the Children.

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Posted by Nathan at 02:38 PM | Comments (1)
Choices and Values and Priorities, Pt II « Social Issues »

Because aside from possible inobvious consequences, male homosexuality has other tangible unfortunate side effects besides just HIV:

Los Angeles-area broadcasters said the ad is in poor taste, but the county health agency said it is simply trying to reach gay men - the group at greatest risk of getting the sexually transmitted disease, which has been on the rise in recent years.

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Posted by Nathan at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)
Pathetic (UPDATED) « Stuff Important to Me »

Is there anything more pathetic than someone airing their dirty laundry in a public forum, including hundreds of complete strangers?

Well, if you feel this way, don't read the extended entry.

Read More "Pathetic (UPDATED)" »

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Posted by Nathan at 12:08 PM | Comments (4)
New Slogan « Humor »

As I wend my way through the blogosphere, I notice that some of the people getting the biggest hits actually put out the least amount of content. Or, at least, not copious amounts of humor and insight and crunchy blogging goodness. In fact, some of the bigger names in the blogosphere are either masters at coming up with memes to get people to link back to them, or they have one good article a week and coast the rest of the time.

Looking at my own blog, I put out LOTS of stuff. I blog in the weekends, I blog in the evenings, [sings] all over this town! Ahem. But then, I do realize I rarely, if ever, hit the home-run of clever, snarky brilliance that scoops everyone else.

In light of all that, I've got some new slogans:

"Brain Fertilizer: Mediocre, but Lots of it!"

"Brain Fertilizer Professional-Grade Inanity. It's not more than you need, just more than you're used to."

"Brain Fertilizer: Quantity, not Quality."

Feel free to use them in every-day conversation without fear of lawsuit from me.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:52 AM | Comments (2)

December 05, 2004

Fun With Search Hits, II « Blogging »

I'm #1 in a Google search for You keep using that word -- I do not think it means what you think it means."

How cool is that?

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Posted by Nathan at 05:27 PM | Comments (6)
Hm. The Chiefs Actually Win. Huh. « Kansas City Chiefs »

I should be excited, but it's hard to get very happy when there is no hope for the playoffs.

However, I did see some good things.

First, Larry Johnson is an excellent running back. If we have to trade him, and can trade him, we should get a 1st-round pick for him. But I think it's more likely we'll let Blaylock go in free agency, which would hurt, because Blaylock is better as a receiver and as a blocker. Running well is only 1/3 of the RB's game.

In any case, with Priest Holmes almost retiring this last year, and being injured for much of this year, we really need to think about who will be our next featured back. My hope is that Holmes will consent to being the Red Zone back, and letting Blaylock play the rest of the field (trading Johnson for a top-notch WR).

Second, Willie Pile is a big-time player. He may lack some experience and veteran savvy, but he's a good hitter, not bad in coverage and most importantly, he tackles well. It's a shame Curry's foot was hurt on that tackle, but it really looked like Curry was going to slide through the tackle and go for a big gain...we've seen it all season, and the last half of last season. But Pile broke down, didn't leave his feet, and took him down. Lots of good tackling in the last two games, and much of it because Harts and Pile and even Bartee hit well. Bartee had 7 tackles! I'd almost rather sit Jerome Woods with Wesley and Pile as my starting safeties, and bring in Harts and Bartee for the nickel and dime. But to do that, we need a quality corner to play opposite Warfield, and neither Bartee nor McCleon are good enough. Nor is Julian Battle, and I doubt Bennie Sapp will get that good...although Sapp is an excellent tackler, too.

Third, just when I say Kennison has lost a step and is washed up, he has a game like this! Sheesh! Why can't our guys turn in a 16-game effort? Different players have been pro-bowl level in different games, but we can't find any consistency!

But it was a good win, on the road, and they showed some heart and desire by not folding at the end of the game. I think it also showed them what happens when they are ahead with less than 2 minutes to go, and how it makes things so much easier for the defense.

The run defense was good. Maybe the best players, aren't? Meaning, maybe some of the guys considered "starter" quality in terms of quickness and coverage and skill had "scrub"-quality tackling skills? We are definitely tackling much better. Maybe the team on the field this weekend gave up a few more first downs than with the season-starting players, but this group seems to give up less 4th-quarter 80-yard TD runs to 2nd-tier running backs. I prefer that, myself.

Jared Allen got another sack, showing he's for real and increasing the chance he may reach double-digits by the end of the season. He's got 6, and there are 4 games left. Even just 8 sacks from a guy considered undersized and a Div I-AA overachiever gives lots to build on for next year. He's showing me enough to convince me he's got potential for 15 sacks and pro-bowl after a full offseason of NFL-quality strength and conditioning programs.

Tomorrow I'll give you my early predictions for off-season roster moves.

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Posted by Nathan at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)
Fun With Search Hits « Blogging »

I got a search hit from google on this string: "Is a Yorkie right for me?"

The answer: I don't know.

Oh, and the search led the seeker to this post.

A Yahoo search on this string, "Christian Sexual Mindsets" led someone to this post, which is always a good read and a good reminder. Especially if you start with this post where it started.

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Posted by Nathan at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)
Kansas City Loses Again! « Kansas City Chiefs »

Note the time stamp. The game against the Raiders today hasn't started yet.

After much thought, here's what I think is going wrong with the Chiefs this year.

Pride. Wounded pride and the avoidance of wounded pride.

What do I mean?*

It's a combination of things. First, everyone knows that Kansas City's offense is excellent, and no defense wants to be embarassed. It's also a challenge to see if you can stop KC's top notch players. So even though Kansas City isn't a contender this year, everyone wants to be the ones to shut KC's offense down. While it's not the biggest game teams will face all year, going up against the Chiefs this year gets everyone motivated. Even when KC is 3-6, no one wants to get humiliated by a 3-6 team. So the opposing defense is up for the game to prove they can stop the Chiefs, and the opposing offense is up for the game because they want to outdo the Chiefs' offense, and because they realize they might need to score early and score often to win a shoot-out. That's what I think happened in the loss to Tampa Bay, San Diego, and New Orleans.

But the other half of it goes back to the concept I first encountered in Steven Brust's Jhereg: that reputation is the best protection and the worst chink in the armor. No one will dare try to challenge an opponent's strength very much, especially if the few times they try they come up empty. But if someone succeeds, everyone else will try, and people will eventually succeed.

Kansas City's run defense is often quite good way into the 4th quarter. If an opposing team were down by two touchdowns**, they'd have to pass; but with fairly close games, you can still choose to run. Teams going up against KC choose to run more often, it seems, believing that if they keep pounding away, they'll eventually catch a KC defender out of position and it'll go for a long TD-run. That's true for just about every team, but with KC's reputation, they stick to the run longer. And it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, in that running extensively wears down the opposing defense. If teams didn't believe they could break a big one against KC's defense, they'd give up a little more quickly, and that weakness wouldn't be exploited...making KC's ren defense look better, and thereby making teams less likely to stick to the run against them.

Look what KC did against Jamal Lewis and LaDanian Tomlinson, two of the best backs in the league: they shut 'em down. Bad run defense teams can't do that. But teams still keep trying to run on KC, and so two RBs (the ones I know of) have the longest runs of their career against KC's defense this year. Michael Pittman's long TD run that helped clinch the win against KC came only because pass-happy Jon Gruden kept trying the run at a point that most other teams would have switched into pass mode.

Incidentally, this appears to be why Champ Bailey of the Denver Broncos is no longer a shut-down corner. Shannon Sharpe said he's never seen any team challenge Champ as much as they have this year, and as a result, he looks human and beatable, thus ensuring more teams to keep challenging him.

The last piece of the puzzle of why the Chiefs are losing so much, I think, is that KC's pride on both offense and defense is wounded. Theythemselves no longer believe they can get it done. Last year, they felt that somehow they'd get the long TD catch or the stop they needed when the game was close. And that sort of expectation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, too. You hold your blocks that split-second longer, you put on that little extra burst to get to the opposing QB, you juke with a little more fervor...and you succeed. Confidence makes a huge difference in a game of microseconds and millimeters, which football most definitely is.

Can Vermeil help them believe again? I don't know. That's one reason they shouldn't give up this year, even though I would if I were coach. If they can win the remaining games by at least 2 touchdowns, with the defense holding opposing rushers under 100 yards and less than two TDs scored, that would work wonders for building confidence next year. I just don't really think they can do it, and I no longer believe Coach Vermeil is the guy to help them get that swagger back.

Read More "Kansas City Loses Again!" »

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Posted by Nathan at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2004

Welcome To The Blogroll « Link O' Admiration »

It's always cool to find yourself on someone's blogroll that you didn't know about before. Well, at least for me, despite blogging for more than 2 years and working my way up to a tentative Large Mammal status, I still think it's cool that someone I've never heard of before thinks I'm good enough to add to their blogroll.

I try to link reciprocally, so if you have me linked on your blogroll and don't see yours in mine, let me know and I'll come check you out.

But it's even better when the blog itself is a pleasant surprise. Preston Ledger is doing some good blogging over at Consternations. He's got some articles I haven't seen linked on most other blogs, and his insights are good. This is one I saw nowhere else at all. Go check him out.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:59 PM | Comments (0)
Just So You Know « Blogging »

Appparently, you can get hits by having references to Erica Durance, particularly if she's talking about Clark being nude in the first episode of Smallville, because then searches for "Erica Durance nude" or "Erica Durance without clothes" will get you hits.

Hey, works for me.

Get the whole story on getting hits from "Erica Durance nude" here.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2004

It Looks Like There IS a God « Stuff Important to Me »

How else can you explain this? (scroll down for the final update)

Okay, that wording was specifically chosen for the potential to annoy secularists...[grin]

It's interesting how when secularists get their way, it's the proper function of public opinion, but when Christians get their way, we're all dumb hicks who are trying to ensure only our belief system can be expressed. Pot, meet kettle.

Merry Christmas, ya'll!

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Posted by Nathan at 12:45 PM | Comments (1)
Another Reason to Never Retire « Social Issues »

There are lots of reasons, including keeping your mind/body active for a more healthy and enjoyable life, but one is simply that it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to accurately predict what your future expenses will be.

I have a relative-by-marriage who has a fairly large tract of land that has been in the family for generations. Unfortunately, it is near enough to Houston to be caught up in the urban sprawl, and they will soon be unable to afford the taxes as the value of the land is assessed ever higher. Their only choice is to sell the land, and that seems to me to be an injustice and a travesty.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)
» resurrectionsong links with: Closing for the Weekend
This Just In « Cat Blogging »

My cat's breath smells like cat food...

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Posted by Nathan at 10:17 AM | Comments (1)
» Accidental Verbosity links with: Your Friday evening roundup.
Taiwan-China War in 2010 « China/Taiwan »

Everything is falling into line with 2010 being the optimal year for China to invade Taiwan.

Sure, It might be a little earlier. They might go right after the Olympics are completed, depending on some residual good-will to temper criticism. It also might be a little later.

But there are two essential problems facing China: securing Taiwan militarily, and keeping the US out of the fray until they can accomplish said securing of Tawain.

The United States has agreed to the One China Policy. We don't act like it, because we sell arms to Taiwan and otherwise treat them as the separate state they are (does China collect any taxes from Taiwan? No? They aren't one nation then, are they?). But faced with a forcibly re-united Taiwan and a piece of paper signed by the President and approved by Congress that says Taiwan is a part of China, what could we do?

Our main strategy in earlier tense moments was to send a carrier fleet into the Taiwan Strait, betting that China couldn't do anything without infringing on our personal space, which would give us the pretext we needed to get involved on Taiwan's side.

But now they have Sunburn Anti-ship missiles, Su-27s and Su-30s, advanced attack submarines, and are increasing the accuracy of their short range ballistic missiles.

And now this.

All of the new and advanced weapon systems will be ready to go, on-line, and integrated into their battle plan between 2009-2012. I'm picking 2010 as a nice round figure.

Hopefully, some things can be done to defuse the situation before it gets that far, but not with the way Chen Shuibian has been acting...

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Posted by Nathan at 08:22 AM | Comments (4)
» The LLama Butchers links with: Well, That sucks

December 02, 2004

Because, You Know, Basing Your Entire Theory On Singular Examples Just Makes Evolution Theory More Credible « Social Issues »


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Posted by Nathan at 01:39 PM | Comments (0)
Standing Up To China « China/Taiwan »

As much as I like the Chinese people, I hope he's right and this will be yet another reason why Sec State Rice will be more effective and better for US interests than Colin Powell in that cabinet position.


If her writings of four years ago are any guide, Ms. Rice does not share Mr. Powell's sentimentalism about the rise of China. That offers cause for optimism that America's new secretary of state will work quietly, but determinedly to counter Beijing's rising influence, and arrest the slide in America's prestige and influence in Asia.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:04 PM | Comments (0)
Another Female Teacher Charged With Having Sex With 14-Year-Old Student « Quotes You Can Steal »

In related news, Planned Parenthood released a statement praising her actions as "providing a valid alternative to abstinence-only sex education."

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Posted by Nathan at 01:00 PM | Comments (7)
2004 Weblog Awards « Stuff Important to Me »

I didn't really want to make much of this, because I didn't want to reveal how badly I wanted to make the final cut for nominations.

But now that I am nominated, I can ask you to stop by and vote for me for best of the top #500-1000 blogs.

Thanks for nominating me, and thanks for voting for me! (I've got 3 votes already)

Honestly, it would truly be an honor to even come in 15th out of 15 in this group!

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Posted by Nathan at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)
An Informative Encapsulation of the Rise and Fall of the Political Left « Link O' Admiration »

By Michael Ledeen at National Review Online.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)
Govt Workers Not Allowed to Wish A Merry Christmas « Social Issues »

I didn't have an actual example at the time I mentioned it. I've heard of it happening, but admit that it may have been an urban legend.

Well, mere days later, here's the example.

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper recently announced that next year the phrase "Merry Christmas" will be removed from the city building and replaced with "Happy Holidays."

I realize that's not exactly the same as barring govt employees from individually expressing wishes for a Merry Christmas. It's darn close, though, and makes that next step a short one. If we don't have news of it this year, we will before Dec 25th of 2005, I'm 99% sure.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:11 AM | Comments (2)
Interesting Reading « Social Issues »

I found this .pdf file regarding homosexualist indoctrination techniques at

It was described as a "document that demonstrates the strategies and tactics designed for use in public schools to eliminate "heterosexism" from your children's tender, impressionable minds." [I just fixed the missed "close tag". Oops! heheh.]

I don't know, but that strikes me as an over-reaction. I mean, I consider myself fairly sensitive to indoctrination attempts, but this was a sample lesson plan from an organization formed to provide such lesson plans. Just because this was developed and promulgated doesn't mean it will actually be used, anywhere. And even if it is used somewhere, the problem would be with the teacher, administration, and school board, not with this lesson plan.

Sure, there are homosexualist assumptions that I consider misguided (at best) all through the lesson plan, but isn't that what you expect? I'm sure there are equivalent lesson plans with an opposite slant from conservative Christian organizations.

It seems a non-issue to me. Everyone does have a right to promote and advocate for their own point of view. I only linked these pieces so you can read and form your own opinions.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2004

Hawaii. Yes, Hawaii. « Rhetorical Questions »

I'm really starting to look forward to moving there next year.

Am I nuts?*

Or am I nuts for thinking I might be nuts because I'm looking forward to moving there?

Read More "Hawaii. Yes, Hawaii." »

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Posted by Nathan at 03:50 PM | Comments (0)
Okay, Uncle! « Blogging »

Okay, that's enough heavy stuff for one day.

I look forward to the hate mail. [grin]

I'll blog again today, but expect much lighter fare.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:18 AM | Comments (2)
Changing Attitudes Toward SSM « Social Issues »

In this article by Joshua K. Baker & Maggie Gallagher, they ask the questions:

Will young adults who currently favor gay marriage continue to do so, even as opposition to gay marriage continues to be voiced and as they move through the lifecycle, marrying and becoming parents themselves? Will teenagers’ current high levels of opposition survive the college experience? The answer to both questions is: We don’t know.

I disagree. I think we do know the answer. I can all but guarantee that support for homosexual marriage decreases within a population as that population ages.

Churchill supposedly said, “If you are young and not liberal, you have no heart; if you are old and not conservative, you have no brain.” I think I’d prefer to re-state that as, “If you are young and not idealistic, you have no passion; if you are old and are not pragmatic, you have no sense.”

The young are always going to be more excitable, more willing to fight for “unjust” causes…but also more self- and ego-centric. Make no mistake, having children changes your perspective. Most parents are incapable of remaining so narcissistic, so unaware of the prerequisites for a stable society, so blissfully unconcerned for future generations. Having a child (not just adopting) makes you aware of grandchildren, and even the possibility of seeing and helping raise great-grandchildren. That often has a profound impact on attitudes toward social tinkering.

And while you can make the argument that heterosexual support for homosexual marriage is “caring about the needs of others, it is based on the twin self-centered attitudes of “it doesn’t affect me, so why should I stop it?”, and “I can’t imagine being legally barred from marrying someone I love, so how can I support legally barring someone else?” When you have children, if you are a good parent, your priorities switch to “What needs to be done to ensure a happy, successful life for my children and their children and their children?”

That is a significant difference. Not everyone adopts that attitude, no, and there are other arguments for homosexual marriage that can be made that are equally valid. But many will see it the way I described, and that will reduce support for homosexual marriage among the currently-young as they age.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:15 AM | Comments (4)
Choices and Values and Priorities (UPDATED) « Rhetorical Questions »

Yesterday, I nearly told someone that if they found a cure for AIDS, my opinion of homosexuality would probably change somewhat.

I didn’t say anything, though, because I needed time to consider the ramifications of that idea.

You see, I realize that the HIV/AIDS issue is only tangentially connected to homosexuality. On the one hand, HIV/AIDS afflicts a wider population than just homosexuals, even in the United States. On the other hand, female homosexuals don’t really face a significant threat from HIV/AIDS.

But this morning I had a flash of insight that helped me understand my own reaction to the impact of a cure for AIDS.

It was related to the previous post on judgment. Before, I might have said I question the judgment of someone who would consider sexual intercourse important enough to risk their own health and life, and even more importantly, consider their own sexual satisfaction more important than their partner’s health and life. But with the idea that it really is foolish and unfair to question someone’s judgment, I had to try to understand it a different way.

If you have been reading me for very long, you’ve probably encountered some of my feelings about “Choice”. Remember, to me, “Choice” means “opportunity”, not “control”. And one other thing I believe but perhaps haven’t articulated: you can determine someone’s priorities by the choices and decisions they make. A corollary to that is you can determine someone’s priorities by the sacrifices they make. In other words, very few goals are impossible if you are willing to make the sacrifices to achieve those goals.

And so, if you turn this around to the original question, what does it say about a person’s priorities and values if they are willing die or kill for the sake of a certain type of sexual satisfaction? What does it say about the priorities and values of a person who, faced with an urge that is condemned by society and tradition, seeks to change society and tradition rather than change their own urge? What does it say about someone who places their own romantic desires above the needs and/or well-being of every other person in the nation? Are we, as a society, making a mistake by showing tacit (and not-so-tacit) approval for the immaturity of Romeo and Juliet (and Tony and Maria)?*

I’m not going to get into my own answers to these questions right now, and I don’t expect you to, either. In fact, I’m closing comments on this thread. I would like you to consider the questions for yourself, and most importantly, what this philosophical approach might mean in your life, regardless of your sexual orientation, because while the issue is coached in sexuality, the idea that your values are clearly demonstrated by what you choose, what you sacrifice, and what you risk applies to every aspect of your life. If you have something to say, you can email me at the address found in the sidebar about 3 inches above the little guy with wings. I’ll respond to civil comments and questions.**

Choices, values, and priorities, indeed.

Read More "Choices and Values and Priorities (UPDATED)" »
Posted by Nathan at 08:28 AM
Faulty Judgment « Parenting/Leadership 101 »

I think that perhaps the cruelest feedback you can ever give someone is: “You are having a problem due to faulty judgment.”

The problem with this assessment is that it is both the height of arrogance and impossible for the receiver to do anything about.

It is the height of arrogance, because the only way you can criticize a person’s judgment is if you completely understand the circumstances they were in and the information they had available and still think that you could have used better judgment. It is an automatic assumption that in almost any given situation, you would do better.

It is also impossible for the person to do anything about it because if they truly try to do something about it, they are put in the position of having to second-guess every decision they make, a recipe for certain failure. Moreover, unless you expect them to continually come back to you to make decisions for them, they will be using the same judgment you criticized as being faulty to decide what normal reactions are the result of faulty judgment. If not actually an impossible situation by definition, it is at least an untenable situation that will ruin self-confidence.

If you ever find yourself wanting to criticize someone’s judgment, it would be well worth the time to attempt to determine exactly what mistaken assumptions are held that might be leading to bad decisions. Assumptions can be changed, and decisions will be improved accordingly. Forcing someone to question their own judgment is a form of torture, I think.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)
Understanding China « China/Taiwan »

Simon Says:

Hu and Wen have one main priority above all else: to keep the CCP in power. Everything else flows from that.

Yep. But it goes farther than that. I'm going to take this opportunity to get up on my soapbox and reiterate what I've come to understand about Mainland China's government.

See, if you look at the history of the world and even the United States, every government's top priority, number one function, and prime directive is to keep itself in power. You can see some of that motivation even in the way AG Reno handled David Koresh and the Branch Davidians.

China has a few aspects that make their situation unique.

First, as a people, it seems to me like the Chinese are more obsessed with getting rich than any other people on earth. I'm not sure why that is, but I'm working on some theories. Some definite elements are:

a) China was established as an empire and a conceptual single entity before any of the world's major religions sprang up. And while Buddhism had a deep and profound impact on China, it isn't responsible for China's growth and greatness at all, the way Islam is associated with and drove the rise of the Middle East, the way Hindu is associated with and drove the rise of India, the way Christianity is associated with and drove the rise of western Europe.

b) China has a centuries-old mechanism for allowing the intelligent to elevate themselves and enrich their family through the civil service examinations. If a family could scrape enough money together to educate an intelligent son enough for him to even pass the first of the tests, they could free themselves from toil and trouble. Sure, royalty and nobility were out of reach to the common person, but wealth and comfort was not. Just as the periods of starvation can be seen in Chinese attitudes toward food and how they are willing to eat just about anything that will hold still long enough to add seasoning, the method of "getting rich through education to attain a level involving govt kickbacks" has really seeped into the national consciousness.

Going back to how this makes China's government situation unique, in more modern times, the Chinese really believed that Communism could make them all rich. Not just comfortable, not just enough to eat, but actually rich. And they were willing to make sacrifices as an entire nation and an entire people in order to achieve that goal. They toiled in near (or sometimes actual and abject) poverty for more than a generation, waiting for the windfall. When it never came, Deng Xiaoping had no choice but to allow "modified" socialism, i.e., some elements of capitalism, and once that "wolf" was in the door, it has relentlessly gobbled up the elements of socialism. And the more it has excreted wealth, the more people are eager to let it in to their homes and lives.

Wonderful, right? The people are getting rich like they always wanted, and the govt is responsible for helping it along. What could be the problem?

Well, the legitimacy of the govt of China is based pretty much only on the original mandate to bring about communism. They kind of played a shell game to stay in power while abandoning that original goal. Still, no real problem. But it does seem to mean that they can't figure out how to transform the govt structure and methods as deftly as they've transformed the economy; they still use force, rule of whim, and opacity to protect themselves. And if the people ever did tire of communist party rule and want them to step down, they have a less sturdy basis on which to refuse. Hence, the over-reaction at Tian'an Men square in 1989...

And the way that Mao Zedong maintained his power was unfortunate: anyone who threatened his power and position was branded as a corrupt capitalist. It might have kept him in power and maintained his hero status in the People's Heart, but while it was good for him, it did some permanent damage to the People's Trust of the govt. After all, they had been sacrificing for years to be able to get rich, and that day of enrichment was being delayed by govt officials who selfishly lined their own pockets.

And in that is the element that makes Chinese politics so wacky: for millenia (literally!), the accepted and respected way to get rich was to educate yourself, get a position in govt, and let your whole family live off the sweetheart deals you could make as part of the govt system. Nearly every current communist party official got his position by getting an education and working his way up through the party system. His family members then demand to use his position and access to enrich themselves. He's fulfilling the national dream! He's carrying out the historical imperative!

...but if the People ever found out that he's getting rich on their backs, they'll have him executed and throw his family in jail.

(When you understand how important the family is in China, you'll see how the second part of that is probably the most devastating)

And so the difficulty of every government official is getting down off the tiger with life, wealth, and family intact. When Jiang Zemin had to step down from his position, he tried to retain power...Li Peng was the #3 most powerful guy, but wanted to totally retire. He threw his power to Jiang Zemin to protect his family, kind of leaving Zhu Rongji's protege, Wen Jiabao, in a weakened position. But then Jiang Zemin tangled with his putative successor, Hu Jintao, and apparently lost. Hu was apparently able to use a threat of a corruption charge on Jiang or one of Jiang's family members to get Jiang to back off, and once you show weakness in China's govt system, you are dead in the water.

So that's the additional element that makes China's govt so schizophrenic: By achieving what they are supposed to achieve (as they are pretty much told from's in all the literature and history), they find themselves in the situation that all they are doing is considered a betrayal that they must keep secret to continue living, and they have to find a good exit strategy to keep their family and comfort. And the first sign of weakness brings a feeding frenzy of other Machiavellian officials who want to burnish their own star at your expense...

It's messy, to be sure.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:20 AM | Comments (0)
» Simon World links with: Asia by Blog