Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Freegans or freeloaders?

Thank you! Someone finally pointed out the absurdity that can generally be found among the new age, hippie-types that think they're actually doing the world a big favor by living like capitalist-consumers by mooching off of capitalist-consumers:
The Noble Scavenger on the Living-room couch

"The reason American Indians had no horses before Europeans arrived was that their ancestors ate them all—along with numerous other large mammals, whose extinctions coincided with the spread across the Western Hemisphere of the humane two-legged foragers with their commitment to sustainability. And that's not all they killed (and sometimes ate); as Jared Diamond notes succinctly in "The Third Chimpanzee," genocide, far from being an invention of the industrial nation-state, "has been part of our human and prehuman heritage for millions of years.""
This sums it up nicely right here:
"The freegans' Edenic myth is seductive, but there is no way to put the technological genie back in the bottle, or the demographic one either. Six billion people, however much we may deplore their impact on the environment, cannot sustain themselves by foraging for nuts and tubers. The way out isn't backward, but forward, by using our wisdom, and even our much criticized technology, to forge a better and more humane society."
Also see this Newsweek article

I've had encounters with this type before. No job, no income, no car, no money, nowhere to stay once you get there but still wanting to travel about 2000 miles to go 'be free' with like minds. Or whatever it is that those 'free' from the capitalist-lifestyle do. Such a thing is not a big deal, though, when you can catch a 'free' ride with someone who does have the transportation and the money to afford the gas it takes to drive such a distance.

He and I didn't see eye to eye on the fact that, whether it's hitching a ride with an acquaintance, a trucker, or stowing away on a train, someone has to pay for this mode of transportation. It doesn't, in fact, come for free. And without capitalists like us, people like him wouldn't be getting from A to B in less than 3 days, virtually for free...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Suck it, William Donahue!

E! News story on Kathy Griffin

article in Newsweek

That pontificating Irish Catholic bigot, William Donahue barked, "Hollywood laughs when she says 'Suck it, Jesus,' but if she'd said 'Suck it, Jews,' or 'Suck it, Muhammad' ... they wouldn't be laughing, would they?"

"Around that same time, a group of college students in Hawaii, sitting around voraciously reading the news, "got a giggle," as 20-year-old Carlos Uretta puts it, out of the controversy. So they did what any atheist-minded group of 21st-century college students would do: they registered as a domain name and, a few days later, put up a petition in support of Kathy Griffin, which now has more than 2,500 signatures. "We got an e-mail from someone in Italy, and we thought—really? People are concerned about this in Italy?""

Monday, September 24, 2007

New effort at welcoming more qualified citizens

Interesting article in Newsweek

Some excerpts:
"Gone are many of the old trivia-style questions such as "How many stripes are on the American flag?" They've been replaced by queries that focus on concepts rather than facts—for instance, "Why does the flag have 13 stripes?" The new test, 10 years in the making at a price tag of $6.5 million, will also cover subjects such as "checks and balances," "inalienable rights" and other constitutional ideas."

"Driving the change is the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services, which wants to create "patriots" and not just naturalized residents out of the more than 500,000 immigrants who become citizens each year. "What's at stake is really the survival of our democracy," says Alfonso Aguilar, head of the Office of Citizenship. "If we don't strengthen our assimilation efforts, then 20 or 30 years down the road we may have a dysfunctional society." The rationale behind the test tweak is that immigrants who understand the most appealing qualities of life with Lady Liberty are more likely to fall in love with her—and less likely to turn into security threats. "After 9/11 we realized even more the importance of these kinds of efforts," Aguilar says."

"But some people are already nervous that the test will discriminate against applicants with weaker educational backgrounds. "You can get most people to learn the colors of the flag, but getting someone with an eighth-grade education in a language other than English to answer conceptual questions makes me worry that this will reduce the pass rate," says Columbia University professor Michael Schudson, author of "The Good Citizen," a history of American civic life."

This isn't about the "pass rate" or passing as many people as possible, it's about welcoming in only qualified people to become citizens. If they can't learn English and the basics about our government and our society then they shouldn't be becoming citizens. That's being practical & prudent. It has nothing to do with xenophobia.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Republican mayor supports same-sex marriage!

Mayor of San Diego supports same-sex marriage

I thought that this was a very principled stand. Especially coming from a Republican! My hat's off to Jerry Sanders, Mayor of San Diego, for overcoming his own personal quandaries with same-sex marriage, as well as bucking with his party to take the side of equality for same-sex couples. We need more of this sort of soul-searching among our political leaders.

If one has/had any questions about the sincerity of the mayor's conclusion, one need look no further than the level of emotional response he gave. The feelings that he feels, and the personal wrestling he obviously has done over this issue is apparent.

I'm not sure about the rest of the man's political stances, but after this I would personally find it difficult not to vote for him if I were his constituent.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

If today were election day...

I think I would vote for a Joe Biden and John Edwards ticket. Biden clearly has the most experience and best ideas when it comes to foreign policy. I also like John Edward's for his domestic notions about cleaning up the corrupting influence in politics, the special interests, and doing more for the middle/working class. Well, that's my thoughts for now, anyway.

I do like Barack Obama, I'm just a bit concerned about his lack of experience & that his ideology might be too socialist for my tastes.

One thing is mostly certain — I will not vote Republican. They've screwed up too much already, they've been completely hijacked by the neocons & theocons. Even John McCain has sold his soul. I also will most likely not vote for Hillary Clinton. Of course, I suppose I might depending on the Republican nominee. Some of these guys are pretty scary.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Go get 'em, George Will!

I am no fan of bowtie wearing George Will, he's often too conservative for my tastes and he can be very, very anal retentive about some things, like proper grammar for instance. I thought he was off base when he blasted Jim Webb for displaying the testicular fortitude to make it known to Bush, in person, that he has no desire to suck up to him and firmly requesting that Dubya bring the troops home.

Nonetheless, there are times that I do strongly agree with him, and one example of this is his recent article in Newsweek, where he detailed some examples of indecency, lack of respect and integrity to be found these days, particularly among certain folks in the GOP.

Some excerpts:
"he presidential candidate he supported quickly pounced, issuing a statement devoid of human sympathy. Craig, said Mitt Romney, seizing yet another opportunity to stroke social conservatives, "reminds us of Mark Foley and Bill Clinton" and, "frankly, it's disgusting."

"If Romney fails to translate his intelligence and accomplishments into the Republican nomination, one reason will be the suspicion that there is something synthetic and excessively calculating about every move in his increasingly embarrassing courtship of those who are called "values voters." If they can be courted that way, their values need a tuneup."


"speaking of the tone-deaf, Alberto Gonzales could not even leave high office without advertising his unfitness for it. As he habitually has done, he reminded the nation that he has "lived the American Dream," which he evidently thinks is epitomized by his success in attaching himself to a politician not known for demanding quality in assistants. Gonzales then demonstrated how uncomprehending he is of essential American values. He said: "Even my worst days as attorney general have been better than my father's best days."

"Well. His father married and had eight children—nine wonderful days, days even better, one would have thought, than any of the days his son spent floundering at the Justice Department. Furthermore, Gonzales's father had the fulfillment of a lifetime spent providing for his family. But what is any of that, Gonzales implies, compared with the satisfaction of occupying, however unsatisfactorily, a high office? This implicit disparagement of his father's life of responsibility and self-sufficiency turns conservatism inside out. It is going to take conservatism a while to recuperate from becoming associated with such people."