Thursday, March 31, 2005

Confirming The Obvious

Another link found on the arguably farther-right-than-I-like Frontpage

1981 Pope Assassination Attempt Planned By Soviets

According to adherents.com, nearly 1 billion people identify themselves as believing in the Doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church (such as myself) and (occasionally if not always) looking towards the Pope for moral clarity. Where does that put a nation who planned on assassinating an important figure to over 1/6 of the Earth's populace (at that time)?

Now, this has been rumoured for years, and I've always thought it to be true, and it looks like the rumours were in fact true. You won't hear many people crying about it though, because it was "for a greater good, honestly" or something like that. Maybe there would be an outrage today if the CCCP had tried something equally stupid as assassinating the Caliphate (which would deservedly* evoke an outrage in its time). I guarantee we'll see a poll saying 65% of Europe still doesn't believe it, with Poland and the UK making up the most of those that do. Seriously. 1 billion people. A number the USSR would have done great harm to and probably executed afterwards anyway. Can we PLEASE stop showing that abomi-nation love and affection?

* - Even if you don't buy the Religion of Peace in general (like LGF), assassinating someone that 1.5 billion people look up to would be an incredibly stupid thing to do, and the USSR probably would have tried to do it had it existed.

I Hope Someone Is Pulling A Hoax On Horowitz

Or else now the same group that caters to the environment and nature is now trying to deliberately superimpose its will on it. Again.

This. Is. Preposterous. And had better be a hoax.
Yes. You read that right. Looksism.
No. Seriously. What. The. Smurf?!

And naturally, who's blamed for it? HETEROSEXUAL MEN!

Oh, give me a f*cking break. Where's the story of women oppressing men under 5'6 in height(What about 5'9, for that matter?), by not choosing them over the 6'1 guy of equal everything else? Oh- it's discrimination against men: doesn't matter. Then again, it shouldn't matter at all. Nature tells these women what kind of guy they want, just as nature tells men what kind of woman they want. And you can't tell me there's not at least one guy who finds anything moving attractive seeing as how they're so often portrayed as "humping anything that moves" (feminist student from AP Bio class, 2003-2004 school year, grade 12)

If being rejected hurts your self-esteem, so be it. I know being rejected nearly killed me when I was 16 (a parade of cuts along my right arm can prove that), but I got over it.

"Many people are valued for their looks." - Yes. Look at the rest of the animal kingdom. That's how it works. You love nature, so embrace it.

"Women are persecuted by looksism through objectification, fat oppression and the media's message, Aufenthie said." - No. Please tell me they did not just use the phrase "FAT OPPRESSION". No. Seriously. What the f*ck. The only country where fat people are being oppressed is North Korea. Look around there - don't see any, do you? Come on - if Michael Moore can make a $100 million documentary (you knew that was coming), and (insert grossly overweight Republican) can become a famous politician/celebrity, what Fat Oppression is occurring in America now?

Naturally, (if real), this was sponsored by the school's "LGBTA-Q community". Every time you turn around, they add another letter. I'm really starting to miss GLAAD, which by now probably has a LGBTAQSFNBD-division, or at least "The Artist Formerly Known As" division.

Quote to remember:
"I don't care if you're white, black, purple, gay, straight, sheep-f*cker, christian, jew, satanist, republican, democrat, liberterian, fat, skinny, male, female, whatever. As long as you're competent and you don't f*ck children, you're good for the job."

All Hail Diversity! (as Acidman loves to say)

If someone can tell me that this is in actuality a hoax, I will be greatly relieved.

There.

Terri Schiavo has died.

Like I said before I deleted my (conflicting) post earlier, I was divided on the subject. On one hand, I disapproved of what I saw as Congressional Overreach (by both parties) and Republicans crying "Activist Judiciary" at rulings they didn't like. On the other, I also disapproved of Michael Schiavo's adultery/bigamy (gotta pick one), and I still think that anyone who says that starvation/dehydration was the most humane/ethical way she could die is a dope. But that's just me.

And both families should be ashamed for fighting over her corpse. That's just unnecessary.

Let's all give a moment of silence (or pray, if that's what you prefer), and also get back to more non-Sensationalist issues (as the press portrayed it, anyway), and heal that Libertine/Conservative split, shall we?

Gonna Be Waiting

Sent an e-mail to Congressman Simmons (R-CT, 2nd district), approximately two weeks ago. Still waitin' for a response. First letter to an actual elected representative. Any idea how long it takes them to get back? Juss curious.

Friday, March 18, 2005

What The?

I received THIS e-mail in my university inbox this evening.

Congratulations on being elected as an undergraduate student senator for 2005 - 2006. You will be a key person in bringing undergraduate student concerns and initiatives to the attention of the Senate Executive Committee and the Senate.

I look forward to working with you during the next Senate year, which begins officially at the Senate Transition Meeting on Monday, May 9, 2005. You will soon be receiving a formal letter from the Chair of the Senate, Professor Arthur Popper, inviting you to serve on a Senate standing committee. Please review the list of committees available to undergraduate students and seriously consider investing time in service to one of them. Most of the Senate business is researched and developed in its standing committees.


This would seem to be a pretty neat thing. It's rather odd though, seeing as I recall absolutely nothing leading up to this. Maybe someone nominated me. Better find out who that was. Should be an interesting experience.

Anyone have any experience with this sort of thing?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

How Much Do You Know About The US?

From http://www.factmonster.com/spot/quizzes-us.html:
(found via "Kryponite For The Stupid", who I found via Laurence Simon)

Go to that website and take the following quizzes
American History I, II, III
Citizenship Test I, II

There should be 52 questions (American History III has 12), and the site says there are 54 (maybe American history II has 12 and I missed it)

Add up the total number of right answers in your first 50 questions (to make math simple) and multiply by 2. That's your percent score.

For example, out of the first 50 questions, I got 43 right. That makes 86 percent. (shameful for me). Out of the 52 I took, I got 45 right. If you've got a calculator on hand, that comes out to around 86.54 percent, I think, so not too much difference.

How'd you do?

After you do that, take World History I and II. There are 20 questions. If there's one thing I really fault America for, it's our generally abysmal knowledge of ancient history. Note those kids at school who are Neo-Gothic but never once sacked Rome...

I got 13 out of 20, which is 65%. Passing, but dismally.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Asian Century: Delayed 100 years?

C'mon - you all know that you've used this phrase at least once. Googling it brings up approximately 8.91 million hits, most of which are speaking of the demise of the "American Century", and that the Asian economies (most notably China and India) will be overtaking us by 2050. In an earlier post, I mentioned that the population of the world by 2050 will be about 9.1 billion. Guess where between 3.5 to 4 billion of those people could be - that's right. China and India.

Now, we've seen what the Authoritarian dictatorship of China is willing to do to a tiny island wishing for Democracy (that would be Taiwan, peoples) - what happens, when 2050 rolls around, when the oppressed in China begin attempting to flee to a democratic nation en masse? What democratic nation would that be? Probably India.

So we're looking at a Democracy projected at about 1.75 to 2 billion people, and an authoritarian/totalitarian regime numbering just below or at that mark? I don't know about you, but a war involving two countries armed with nuclear materials, who are right next to each other, with a total population possibly exceeding 3.5 to 4 billion only brings one word to mind. (Warning: Foul Language) The word is cata-fucking-strophic.

Look at a map of Asia or two. If anybody is in the business of freeing Tibet, you should either A) make a move within the next 45 years, or B) Start selling nukes to India and hope they can do it. China will not sit back and watch democracy spread from India as its economy eventually overtakes China. This thing is going to be extremely ugly. If the 20th century was the Century of Totalitarian Genocide (except in Sudan), then the 21st century will have to receive a name all its own. At lowest estimates, I would guess the demise of 50 million people in a war like this, assuming Nepal hauls ass out of there and Tibet decides not to free itself. Somehow, the United States and Europe would have to create a "Mutually Assured Destruction" policy for these two nation-states, or it's going to be even uglier.

Time for some math:

In World War Two, the death total of Soviet Troops are unknown, but most estimates put the number of Russian dead at about 13.6 million. The population of the CCCP of that time was between 125 and 150 million. Let's average those out to 137.5 million. That's greater than the death toll by a factor just over 10, so let's say 9.89 (or 10) percent of the Soviet populace died.
Now let's take a Democratic country that fought in WW2 - say, Britain. Approximately 300,000 Brits died in military combat during WWII (source here). In 1940, the population of Britain was about 48.22 million (source here), so we have .62 percent of people's deaths' in a democratic country.

Extrapolating, worst case scenario
India: Populace: 1.85 billion * .0062 = 11,470,000 military deaths
China: Populace: 1.85 billion * .0989 = 182,965,000 military deaths. (!)
Sounds unlikely, doesn't it? I agree. Looking at any estimate of military dead between 50 million and 200 million(!) raises concerns of accuracy, but remember - these are best* and worst case scenarios. Another thing you should note: These are the totals of deaths from men and women in uniform killed in battle. I did not take disease or anything of the sort into account here.

Using WW2 estimates that about 1/2 as many people died out of battle as in battle, that would be placing a 17.21 million toll on India, and a preposterous 274.4 million total on the head of China. Don't those seem a little off? Wouldn't you expect that more Indians die than 17.21 million? I would too. Seeing as India's not separated by a body of water (the mountains can be bypassed from other routes), the total would be raised upwards.

The winner** of that war will then get to be the competitor for the United States, and we can finally begin truly speculating about an "Asian Century". The loser of that war... well - there's two ways to look at that.

India wins: Tibet is free (yay!), Taiwan gains independence (yay!), China's population is cut by 10 percent. India's is cut by 1 to 2. United States makes sure India doesn't go all Soviet-Union on us. That would suck.
China wins: Authoritarian dictatorship basically continues invading into India and takes it over, making Pol Pot look like a sissy man. Expect unbelievable death totals if this were to occur. (Think 250 million+ here) Mao never really appreciated the Hindu (or Sikh) religions, after all.

What will the United States be doing? Well, despite having a huge vested interest in making sure India wins that, we'll be down in Latin America and South America fixing the mess that Hugo Chavez and two following generations left us. Thanks, Hugo. Asshole.

That is assuming, you know, that we don't elect Democrats 7 times out of 10 leading up to 2050. In that case, we're screwed.

*-In this scenario, "Best Case" is really a misnomer
**-As is the word winner

Update, 3:00 AM - I was directed to this site during the course of my research (note that it's from 2001): It seems a tad optimistic, and I do believe that this will make the war of 1962 look like Child's Play. Seriously. Even if the US somehow does not outlast it, the Sino-Indian war is basically set in stone. There is no way that these two countries will be able to coexist forever. It may be pessimistic, but I believe that it's coming.

Post Script: For all you older bloggers: Be glad you won't be around to see this. In 2050, I'll be 64. (begins humming Beatles' music)

Heteronormativity Alert!

I, along with the rest of the University of Maryland student body, recently received this e-mail:


The University community has been considering how best to protect faculty, staff, and students at Maryland who potentially face discrimination on the basis of gender expression or gender identity. Specifically, the University Senate discussed and unanimously passed a proposal to amend the campus Human Relations Code by adding "gender identity and gender expression" to the protections outlined in the Code, and I approved the Senate's action.
After extensive review, the State Attorney General's Office determined there is no legal necessity to amend the Code to include these categories, and the University may interpret the Code, without revision, to include both gender identity and gender expression.Based on the Attorney General's advice, I am writing to make it clear that members of our campus community will have recourse for discrimination on the basis of gender identity or gender expression under the University's Human Relations Code as it stands without amendment. The Code and Enforcement Procedures are available online at http://www.ohrp.umd.edu/compliance/hrc/intro.html

I have two and-a-half questions about this update:

1) For a "bastion of tolerance" such as a public university, shouldn't this have been made clear before? I mean, shouldn't a student body comprised mostly of left-leaning people already be fully tolerant of the gay community, as we're led to believe? My roommate last semester was a gay guy. Sure, we differed in sexual orientation, race, religion, and political affiliation, but I wouldn't trade the stuff my old roommate taught me about college life for anything. We were actually going to make it into a sitcom before we decided "So we're different - who cares? We're Americans, aren't we?!" Damn - that guy was cool. Is it really conservatives who despise the gay community, or is it closer to being represented on each side then we're led to believe?

2) Okay, I digress - but secondly, is this in any way shape or form related to the infamous Jada Pinkett Smith Heteronormative "fiasco" a few weeks ago? Something about the time frame makes me think that "Indeed. Yes it does." I ask you to question other university students who may read your blogs and ask them if they've seen anything like this in their e-mail inbox?

2.5) I'll probably tick off a lot of people with #2.5, but the whole transgendered/unisex bathroom thing really irks me. I don't know about you, but I have a very difficult time using the lavatory if I think a female (even if she believes herself to be a man) could walk in there at any moment. Please. If you do not have male organs, no matter what you believe yourself to be, please do not use the men's room. I have had this problem at least 3 times. You are not the only one who can become uncomfortable, you know. However, this does not apply to single-person bathrooms, which, even in my high school, were used by members of either sex. But if it is a multiple-person lavatory, no, you should not be allowed to use whichever you please. The question is, are they going to take this and establish these bathrooms?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Idiotarians 1

Well, today I happened to stumble upon a little display set up outside of the North Campus Diner. Who was it run by? My good buddies the International Socialist Organization! To make things even better, they had a sign proclaiming their want for "Justice in Palestine" - hoo-boy.

If you didn't already know, the ISO's motto is that The ISO:

IS DEDICATED to fighting for a world free of all exploitation, racism and sexual oppression— a society whose productive resources are democratically owned and controlled by the working-class majority, and where human need replaces capitalist greed.

Let's define exploitation first, shall we? According to dictionary.com, one can define exploitation as:
1. The act of employing to the greatest possible advantage: exploitation of copper deposits.
2. Utilization of another person or group for selfish purposes: exploitation of unwary consumers.
3. An advertising or a publicity program.
Well, if I didn't know any better, I'd say that these people would be exploiting the very workers they claim to be representing. Don't get me wrong - it's on behalf of the common good, of course. Note also that they want to have "human need [replace] capitalist greed." I don't know about you, but do we really NEED more human need? It's not like this worked when they tried it in Russia. Or North Korea. Or Vietnam... or Cuba... or...

So the first thing I notice was that they had several books lying on the table. Of course, these all cost 5 to 15 dollars apiece, which, if the ISO is true to its word, would eventually get back to me anyway. I had no money on me, so I just stood around. One of their members finally noticed me.

Instead of pulling a charade and inquiring about the ISO, which I knew I would be unable to do with a straight face. Instead, I took my heed from the "Justice in Palestine" sign, and asked for a "dissenting opinion" on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Right, so first he explained that the Israelis were occupying land that rightly belonged to the Palestinians. (Nothing about the UN Mandate or the Spoils of War). He followed that up by explaining how the Israelis were in charge of a racist, apartheid state, and that people who lived in South Africa had gone there to say that the conditions there were even worse than what they had gone through. When pressed for such a source, he could not name one.

He then explained that the Israeli Security fence was being built through Palestine, separating the Palestinian houses from their farmland. While it does pose a couple problems to a select group of Palestinians (the terrorists trying to get into Israel to kill people), this statement is utterly false. Go here and here to get the facts on the Israeli Security fence. (thanks to LGF). However, the man seemed like a genuinely concerned fellow, and felt that he was doing the right thing. He would fall under the title of "naive" left, as opposed to the next group, which would tend to fall under the "nefarious" left.

In recent months, the ISO has become more closely associated with the Students for Justice in Palestine, as the poster noted. The SJP's main goal seems to be causing the divestment (the opposite of investment) of all American Companies from Israel because of the "Apartheid" wall. Such a solution would cripple Israel, whether these students know it or not (they probably do). This divestment would cause most of Israel to become very poor, and the poor have a tendency to vote in line with socialist goals. Thus, the alliance benefits the two groups. They would like to ruin the lives of millions of citizens to further their own goals, while simultaneously jabbering on about the "power of the people". Instead, a better idea would be to invest in both Palestine and Israel, thus giving LESS people reasons to vote for Socialist parties. I like that idea. ^_^

The SJP is hosting an event at GW on March 11 entitled "Who shot Mohammed al-Dura?". If you're a frequent reader of the blogs in the blogroll-agannouj, you'd probably have a pretty good idea. This should tell you a lot about them.

This isn't the last you'll hear of these two groups, trust me. With the second anniversary of the War on Iraq looming during Spring Break, these people will certainly be organizing rather large protests. It's a shame I won't be there to counter-protest. I'm sure there'll be some back home in Connecticut.

Meh. Enjoy the baba gannouj.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Liberal Bias and Conservatism

Okay. Quiz question.

Q:The most "IN" thing in the Conservative side of the Blogosphere is what?

A: Apparently, exposing liberal bias in newspapers and media.

It works when those in the know, like Patterico and Hugh Hewitt do it. However, when COLLEGE NEWSPAPERS feature one-third of their paper on the subject of "Exposing the liberal bias in the school's regular newspaper.", I feel we begin to border on ridiculous.

Last month, our university''s conservative paper (The Terrapin Times) ran a 3 page "exposee" on the Diamondback, our university's major newspaper. Is the world of conservatism so devoid of news that we must discuss biases in the other newspapers? We SHOULD know by now that the major newspaper on ANY university will lean to the left without a disclaimer. Give up - they aren't going to give one. This is a newspaper full of the future of journalism, which, we should all know by now, doesn't really have a true future anyway. Perhaps Mr. Hewitt could write a letter to the faculty explaining why the book BLOG must be required reading for any journalist-in-training. (As a side note, it really should)...

There's not really much substance to be had, but I should hope the message is clear: Can we please do something other than paying attention to the liberal bias in the newspaper? We have better things to do.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Dear Democrats

We know you oppose the Iraq war. Note that this isn't exactly helping your standing among the American public.

However, if you use this to rationalize your opposition:

Do you think they're the guys to--do they understand what they've unleashed? Because at a certain point, I almost feel like, if they had just come out at the very beginning and said, "Here's my plan: I'm going to invade Iraq. We'll get rid of a bad guy because that will drain the swamp"--if they hadn't done the whole "nuclear cloud," you know, if they hadn't scared the pants off of everybody, and just said straight up, honestly, what was going on, I think I'd almost--I'd have no cognitive dissonance, no mixed feelings. (Jon Stewart of the Daily Show) (h/t, Right Wing News)

instead of this:

"It was WMDs, period" (Barbra Boxer, D-CA)

then A) You will seem much more sensible, and B) People will appreciate your views and commentary on the subject more. From this, it would lead me to think that they could even like you more, and this could help you at the polls.

However, it does not seem that most of the party agrees with Mr. Stewart. That's a shame.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Meanwhile... back home

So the eminent domain fiasco of New London has finally reached the national press over the last couple of weeks. (By national press, of course I mean blogs). I've been reading about this thing in Fort Trumbull off and on since I was about 14 years old. No Land Grab has the timeline, taken from the good old regional paper The Day. I don't really want to post about it, seeing as it almost makes me homesick.

As of right now, it looks as though the Supreme Court is leaning in favor of the NLDC, who haven't done anything right - ever. Downtown New London is still basically a mess. And we know from experience that the Supreme Court hasn't exactly been on the side of fairness and justice recently. (Conservatives can look at the atrocious ruling the other day preventing capital punishment for 16-17 year olds, while Liberals can nod their head in agreement while thinking of Bush v. Gore).

Now, most bloggers are saying this is a matter of principle, and it really is. If we say that the city can take private land for this private property just to make more money, then we've basically abolished rudimentary property rights. It would be absolutely shameful, though right in line with earlier decisions, for the SCOTUS to do such a thing.

Will they? Stay tuned...