Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Microsoft Works, Government aid...

Great title for a book: "Great Decisions of the Supreme Court and Other Oxymorons."

Also, here's a little joke I thought of this morning while I was mowing my lawn:

Q: Why don't gay people mow lawns?
A: Because they can't do it straight!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Gasoline and global warming

I know it's irrational of me, but everytime I pump gas I get pissed at George Bush. I just stand there helplessly watching the counter rise (...$10...$20...$30...) and think to myself, "George Bush had a plan...George Bush had a plan...some plan." For sure the Clinton administration and late 90s Democrats are partly to blame for not really promoting alternative energies and hybrid engines back when they were first becoming viable technologies, but I feel like the Bush administration's energy solution is so typical of the Republican platform when it comes to issues concerning the environment and natural resources: don't worry about it. Gas prices? Don't worry about it. Global warming? Don't worry about it. Polluted air? Don't worry about it. Logging? Don't worry about it. Overpopulation? Don't worry about it. Failing education standards? Don't worry about it. The national deficit? Don't worry about it. The war in Iraq? Don't worry about it. Maybe if we ignore it long enough people will just stop caring. Our country is one giant ostrich with its head buried in the conservative sand. There's no preemptive effort here. The great advances in modern medicine didn't happened when doctors figured out how to treat the flu; it happened when they figured out how to PREVENT the flu. It's the tragic tale of a life lesson clearly not learned.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Restatement of Maxims

I really enjoy how we try to summarize unacceptable behavior through quaint maxims which thereby attempt to render said behavior acceptable. Example: "Boys will be boys." This is like saying "Criminals will be criminals." "Well, sure, he smashed the window and ripped his new khakis and broke his arm falling off the rooftop...but boys will be boys." That's not really a good a excuse, though. Stating your opinion as a truism doesn't magically make it an argument. It's like when people who are anti-capital punishment say the death penalty is bad because "the government should't execute people." That's not really an argument. That's just your opinion restated. It's like reading one of those Internet chatboards where the person writes, "This clip wasn't funny because it makes racist jokes and therefore it's not funny." That's A-to-B logic, all right; the problem is it's also B-to-A.

I also enjoy the phrase, "It's just business." This is the first and last resort of people who are attempting to justify their complete lack of scruples in their professional life. Sure, you may have evicted a poor immigrant family of 7 from their home to build yet another mini-mall; sure, you may have backstabbed your friend of 20 years; sure, you may peddle a product that has a tendency to kill the consumers who use it; but hey, that's okay, because it's all "just business."