Thursday, September 22, 2005

Just A Thought

If any of you are ever mowing the lawn and come upon a mysterious bump in your yard, it might be a good idea to check out what that bump may be. I, like the fool I sometimes am, decided to be gung ho and went right over it with the mower. Unfortunately for me, the little bee colony did not appeciate being disturbed in such a way and voiced their displeasure by stinging me. On the upside, after the first sting, I immediately realized my mistake and went ruinning inside the house (only sustaining about 4-5 stings).

It stung for about 2 minutes but it went completely uphill from there. The bees home was at the corner of the house, so I quickly grabbed the mower, got away from there, and finished the job (without finishing the corner which is the momentary peace treaty I made with the bees). After the nice, cool shower I took, my roommate had dinner ready for the both of us; that was the deal, I cut the grass and he cooks dinner. When I had finished my yummy steak dinner, it was time for the best show on TV to come on, Lost (if you have never seen it, I highly recommend it... I even have the first season on DVD if you want to borrow it). When that was over I soon went to bed and had a nice sleep. It just would have been better if I had followed my initial idea in the first place.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hypocrisy At Its Finest

As many of you already know, the confirmation hearings of John Roberts has started. I have been fortunate enough, through the internet, to be able to listen to most (and watch a little) of the hearings live. For the most part it has been fairly predictable: the liberal senators trying to pick holes into him but failing, and Roberts staying away from answering certain questions. I am also especially pleased that I had taken certain law classes with a wonderful professor because I was able to understand practically everything that was being said. Now there were a few instances where certain senators went overboard trying to ridicule Roberts but none were nearly as bad as one.

That would be Senator Joseph Biden (D-Deleware). If any of you do not know who the man is, I am very envious of you. It wasn't so much the questions he was asking but the ways in which he did and why. It became clear over the past 2 days that Biden wasn't asking these questions as to stump Roberts but for his own personal image. There is now not a doubt in my mind that he will seek the presidential nomination for the Democrats.

He had this arrogant air around him in which his questions were entitled to be answered and how dare Roberts try not to answer them. Biden said the American people had a right to know everything about what he would do, just like him and his fellow senators. Roberts countered by saying that congressman are elected by the people and they had a right to know while he would be appointed and should not be swayed by public opinion but should judge according to the law (and not make laws, which is the job of the legislative branch). He ended his questioning of Roberts by saying how upset he was that his questions were not answered, how other senators should be wary to vote for him, and how, if Roberts could not answer all the questions, he could not vote him into the Supreme Court.

The next senator in line for questioning was Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ). He began his questioning by stating just how many questions had been asked (somewhere around 150) andhow Roberts had been more forthcoming than any person he has known. He then stated how Ruth Bader Ginsburg had been appointed even though she answered far fewer questions than Roberts. He said that a certain senator said it best by quoting him from the last hearings, “Judge, . . . you not only have a right to choose what you will answer and not answer, but in my view you should not answer a question of what your view will be on an issue that clearly is going to come before the Court in 50 different forms, probably.” Senator Kyl then turned to Biden and said that he should appreciate Roberts following that quote since it was Biden who had said that to Ginsburg.

Now, fortunately for me, I was watching the hearing at the time and caught the look on Biden's face. It is something that I will never forget and it had completely made my week. Kyl then ended his questioning early by saying that Roberts has been asked enough and gave his extra time to Biden as to comment on the previous quote. Biden then backtracked and said that all of his questions from Ginsburg were not answered that he wanted. And when pushed, said that he stuck by his initial position that he could not vote for someone who did not answer all his questions.

Now a real good question for him is why, then, if Ginsburg did not answer all his questions and, in his heart, he could not vote for someone who was reluctant to answer any question, did he end up voting for Ginsburg? Ah, I love it when people get caught with their foot in their mouth (especially when its more than once within minutes of eachother).

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Dumbing Down of Children

In our society today, children (for the most part) are not as bright as they use to be. Now before you say that I am just saying this because I think that my generation was so brilliant, statistics have shown that test scores have gone down all over the place. Why is this? Well, there are several reasons, for instance lack of proper education in the school system, lack of parential guidance, among other things. But my beef in this post is aimed at a certain annoying little cartoon character, SpongeBob Squarepants.

Yes, I know there are a lot of other things more important than just a cartoon, but hear me out. Remember back in the day when we had cartoons which were wholesome and had at least some sort of morals that you could learn. Well, not anymore. If you have ever seen that sponge show (which I highly recommend staying away from), it has no sort of redeeming values to it whatsoever. It uses anything it can to grab attention to kids and have them latched to it for hours. This sort of low budget, easy to make, kid addicting type of show has spawned dozens of shows that its sole purpose is to entrap kids and get them to buy their merchandise. It also shortens their attention span so that the only thing they will be able to understand is the pointless dribble of their show.

Case in point in Australia: take a guess at who made the most money in that country? Maybe some wealthy businessman... nope; how about a famous actor or actress, they make a lot of money, right... not enough; the answer is The Wiggles. The who you ask? Well, they are a group of 4 guys who have their own children's show. They use loud noises, flashy lights, and all sorts of other things to grab children's attention for the purpose of... (nope, not teaching them valuable life lessons) giving them more of their attention and their parents' money. But some may argue about shows like this, "hey, it makes the children happy and that is what matters". True enough, but so does shoving crayons up their nostrils and eating hand-fulls of mud, but parents need to know that just because they like it doesn't mean it should be allowed.

One of the main problems is that some parents don't make time to for their children so they just plop them down in front of the TV and let it patrol their kids. This means that many of the television shows can get away with being lesson-free and use the time to get the kids addicted. Now is there hope for them (at least in the entertinment aspect). Yes, just look at Pixar and their most recent movie, "The Incredibles". Great movie, many lessons taught, and something the parents can enjoy with the children, which is missing in many of the cartoons. So, in conclusion, down with SpongeBob Squarepants and up with wholesome cartoons that both entertain and educate children.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Blame Game

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there are several questions that are left unanswered. These are questions about food, water, shelter, and clothing for refugees, how quickly can they rebuild, etc. These questions are being asked but the question that is being brought up the most but is not the most important at this time is who is to blame for all of this? This answer is not as clear as the last major event that took place in this country, September 11th. On that day it was very clear who was to blame, the terrorists who hijacked the planes and flew them into buildings. With this most recent event no one caused the hurricane to form and hit the Gulf Coast. People are upset at the tragedy that has occurred and want someone to blame, and the media has latched onto an easy scapegoat for them, President Bush.

But is he really the cause of this problem? Once you look at the facts, the simple answer is no. The first attack came shortly after the hurricane. A few people blamed Bush for global warming and that is what caused the hurricane to be so big. They said if only he had signed the Kyoto protocol we would not have had to deal with this. The problem with this argument is that any competent scientist will say (and they have said) that, like many things in nature, the weather works in cycles and we are in a heavy hurricane cycle. Nothing can be done about the weather.

The next attack on Bush is the fact that the main reason the city flooded is that the city is below sea level. The only thing saving the city is the leeves that keep the water out. When the hurricane hit, they broke and nothing could stop the city from being flooded. People put the blame on Bush for this because he cut back spending for the city. First off this has been a problem for New Orleans since the 70's and secondly what makes them think that pumping money into the system would equate to the problem being fixed.

The most prominent attack is that Bush did not react quick enough to the problem. Shortly after the hurricane, Mayor Ray Nagin made a moving speech in which he expressed his dissatisfaction with the lack of effort from many; Gov. Kathleen Blanco specifically called out Bush and blaming the federal government for not doing enough quickly. What rarely gets brought up is the fact that the local government is the first step to solving this problem and did not do too much to help. Only 24 hours before the hurricane hit, they local government called a mandatory evacuation of the entire city. They had hundreds of school buses at the ready to deploy those who had no means of transportation out of the city. But did they make any effort to get those people out? Nope. Not a thing. They failed in that aspect and expected the federal government to swoop in and make everything better.

The problem is the government does not work that quickly. Even Bush said that they did not react quick enough. But Bush has the right mindset. He said that he will worry about who is to blame later, the important thing now is to help those who need it. I could go on and on about all sorts of groups who put blame on Bush. But let me follow the example of our great leader and end by saying say donate what you can to help the relief effort and pray for the safety and well-being of all those who were affected by this tragic event.