Thursday, December 31, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
I guess what I'm saying is, I really want/need a job, and "Zoo Signpost Technician" fits neatly within my qualifications. Why is the person who crafted the text on these signs employed as a writer and I'm not? *Pout*
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
While standing in a room alongside the United States Constitution, Obama said, "...there may be a number of people who cannot be prosecuted for past crimes, in some cases because evidence may be tainted, but who nonetheless pose a threat to the security of the United States." So, for the past eight years, we have held prisoners without trial with no clear evidence of crimes committed.
He continued, "...my administration has begun to reshape the standards that apply to ensure that they are in line with the rule of law. We must have clear, defensible, and lawful standards for those who fall into this category." In order to deal with these (innocent until proven guilty) detainees, Obama says he will change international POW laws so that prosecutions can be made. Until then, these people will be held indefinitely without trial.
During the presidential campaign, both Barack Obama and John McCain were looking to align themselves with principles mandated by (arguably) our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln. Unfortunately, by breaking international law, Obama is initiating a wartime policy that Lincoln would have supported. In September of 1862, Lincoln issued the following statement:
"Now, therefore, be it ordered, first, that during the existing insurrection and as a necessary measure for suppressing the same, all Rebels and Insurgents, their aiders and abettors within the United States, and all persons discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting militia drafts, or guilty of any disloyal practice, affording aid and comfort to Rebels against the authority of United States, shall be subject to martial law and liable to trial and punishment by Courts Martial or Military Commission:
Second. That the Writ of Habeas Corpus is suspended in respect to all persons arrested, or who are now, or hereafter during the rebellion shall be, imprisoned in any fort, camp, arsenal, military prison, or other place of confinement by any military authority of by the sentence of any Court Martial or Military Commission."
Lincoln allowed all supporters of the Confederacy and conscientious objectors of the war to be imprisoned by the military indefinitely without trial for the duration of the Civil War. Now, without any evidence of crimes committed, Obama is circumnavigating international law and our own military courts in order to hold POWs in the War on Terror without trial.
It was wrong then, and it's wrong now.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Yes, I've completed my college education. Like millions of others across the nation, I, too, was forced to wear a black cellophane cap and gown while enduring extreme temperatures. I was packed into a football stadium, where I had to listen to faculty, students, and guest speakers drone on about how lucky I was to graduate during the worst economic climate since the Great Depression.
In fact, a terrible economy has been the signature motif of my senior year. In my final semester, I wrote a 26 page thesis comparing our time to the Great Depression. I wrote articles on how the economy was negatively affecting my part time job, how it was forcing my little sister to choose military service over a college career, and how my fellow graduates were moving home or incurring further debts in post-graduate programs because of slim job prospects.
I'm moving home. I have no job and no money. It feels a lot like the plot of a Broadway show or those stories that immigrant great-grandparents tell. "I arrived in New York with the clothes on my back and $12 in my pocket," they say. What will I tell my great-grand kids? "I arrived home with a fancy piece of paper and a mountain of debt," I'll say. It doesn't really have the same ring to it.
I sat near the back during the ceremony, right in front of a professor who has been a member of the department since 1958. Having to sit through the pomp and circumstance fifty-one times makes the whole thing a lot less significant, I learned, because he was whispering loudly to a fellow faculty member throughout the duration of the ceremony. "They should teach them how to fold their diploma into a paper hat," he chuckled, "Then they can use it when they apply at a fast food place." I turned to him and smiled. "I hope mine comes with instructions on how to fold a paper airplane," I said. Then I walked up and smiled for the camera.
Monday, February 2, 2009
The success of the Republican Party since the Reagan Revolution was made possible by the coalition of fiscally conservative bankers and socially conservative southerners. This unlikely team put Ronald Reagan in the White House in 1980 and 1984, took over the House and Senate in 1994 to combat Bill Clinton, and narrowly won George W. Bush the presidency twice, in 2000 and 2004. Partially in response to the failures of the Bush presidency, and partially due to the lackluster campaigning of John McCain and Sarah Palin, the coalition collapsed in 2008, forcing fiscal conservatives to jump ship as Republican rhetoric swung into the realm of racism and fear. The result was a Democratic sweep, putting Barack Obama in the White House with a near filibuster proof Congress.
The scramble since November 5th has been as entertaining as it is pathetic. Lacking the ability to block liberal legislation, the Republican Party has transformed into a party of socially conservative whiners led by Rush Limbaugh, a controversial conservative pundit. In a short article published just before inauguration day, Limbaugh wrote, “…I’ve been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are…I hope he fails.”
After a week of dodging questions related to Limbaugh’s treasonous remarks and his newfound central role in Republican policy, President Obama issued a statement. He said to Republican leaders in Congress, “You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done.” This was said soon after John Boehner, House Minority Leader, cited the funding of bike paths, Planned Parenthood and a cleanup of Washington DC’s National Mall as the reasons why Republicans refused to support Obama’s massive stimulus package. And, despite Boehner calling Republicans “the party of better ideas, better solutions,” recently on Meet the Press, their only contribution to the political process as of late has been the enigmatic SarahPAC, Governor Sarah Palin’s pompous tribute to herself.
The collapse of the Republican Party, as wonderful as that sounds, is dangerous for democracy. Since the bitter Republican/Federalist rivalries of the 1790s, America has maintained a balanced government with two viable parties keeping each other in check. As the Republican Party implodes and the Democrats enjoy their unbridled chance to lead, a strong opposition party with fresh ideas must rise from the ashes of neo-conservatism and provide Americans with their most important right. Choice.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Here we go:
1. When I was a kid, my bus stop was a quarter mile down the street. My friend and I would walk past several ranchers to get there, each with its own dirt or stone driveway. One of the dirt driveways had a deep hole that would always fill with water when it rained. During winter, the water would freeze, creating a miniature ice rink. Every day, we'd "skate" on it or smash the thin ice with our feet, at which point we'd pretend to drown. The water was just a few inches deep which leads me to believe that my 9 year old imagination was just like LSD.
2. Once, I challenged a kid on my street to a race to the top of the street and back. I lost the race...and my dignity.
3. I have a small mole on my right thigh that always grows a single black hair. It may or may not be cancerous.
4. I hold my cell phone in my front pocket. If I forget to put it there before I go out, my pocket periodically vibrates.
5. I brush my teeth the exact same way every time.
6. I often think about trying stand up comedy.
7. I don't know how to properly use a tissue. When I have a cold, I snot rocket into a toilet.
8. I shower with my back facing the water.
9. Though I owned and played Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 2, Sonic 3, and Sonic and Knuckles for several years, I never beat any of them.
10. I owned NHL 95 for Sega Genesis. Often I would create a character named Matt Brinn and give him maximum stats because I'm awesome.
11. I used cheat codes to beat Grand Theft Auto III, but not Vice City or San Andreas.
12. I think my favorite cheesy song from the 80s is Cum on Feel the Noize by Quiet Riot. Honorable mention-Sand Castles in the Sand
13. If all else fails, I have a great radio DJ voice.
14. And a movie trailer voice.
15. In a world...
16. I joined the internet community on July 1st, 2001 at the now deceased planetnamek.com with the username "MangaMan". I participated in lengthy Dragon Ball Z debates and text RPGs.
17. I say LOL out loud when I think something is only kind of funny.
18. When I did Tae Kwon Do, we had to memorize the meaning of each form that we did. I can still recite the meaning of the white belt form from memory.
19. Chun Ji means literally the heaven and the earth. It is in the orient and is interpreted as the creation of the world or the beginning of human history. Therefore, it is the initial pattern played by the beginner. This pattern consists of two similar parts, one to represent the heavens and the other, the earth.
20. My favorite movie is Amelie. I'm not afraid to admit that I bawled when the cat moved the beads. I still tear up when I see it.
21. No other movie has made me cry. Grave of the Fireflies came close.
22. I recently watched Firefly, the Joss Whedon show that got canceled after 14 episodes. It's the best show I've seen since Cowboy Bebop. I guess this means that one of my favorite things is sci-fi western comedy dramas that last a season or less before releasing a movie spawned from DVD sales.
23. Bad acting in a good movie stings my soul. Bad acting in a bad movie makes life worth living.
24. When I take my glasses off, I'm compelled to rub my eyes incessantly.
25. It's been thirty hours since I've consumed a food that isn't pizza.
Wow, twenty five things is too many. Until next time...