Thursday, May 26, 2005

you know that saying...

that you get what you pay for? well, you also get what you over-pay for, too. and you are stuck with it.

Monday, May 23, 2005

triple-XXX consumption

i was thinking over the weekend how easy it is to just buy things that bring pleasure, i.e., food, movies, stereos, cars, entertainment, alcohol, tobacco, etc. essentially, the purchase of those things is what consitutues much of our economy. if you think about it, all of the "base" pleasures are legal to purchase illegal to buy that one.

i wonder why? that one would make billions for companies/corporations for a long, long, time. i would say that morals are involved, but then i remember that we are talking about making lots of money, so it can't be morals, has to be something else.

in any event, you read it here first; someday, probably soon, buying sex will be legal.

Couple of weeks ago in my Sunday school class, one of the members called the apostles, "knuckleheads," because they never really got what Jesus was really all about. They kept thinking that he was going to get rid of the Romans for them.

I started dwelling on this and soon imagined a scenario with the apostles standing around Jesus, after his resurrection and Thomas saying, "That's pretty cool that I can stick my hand in your side, and you know, all the miracles were really neat, but when are you going to do something about these Romans?" And Jesus going, "Forget about the %$#@! Romans, okay??? I'm freaking God, do ya get it??? You're talking to God right now, in the flesh! So, forget about the ^%$#@! Romans!!!"

That would've been a hoot.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

when i grow up and am called before the senate...

i hope i can deliver just like George did.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

A suggestion for ending “frivolous” legislation

(I sent the following to Common Dreams, but they didn't publish it)

Recently in Texas there was a state bill introduced by Rep. Al Edwards (D) to ban “overtly sexually suggestive” cheerleading. The bill passed the state House, but apparently is not going to make it out of the state Senate this year.

Now, as a parent with daughters, I am not in favor of “sexy” cheerleading either. I think there is plenty of time to be “sexy” in one’s life and I support anyone being so when they have reached adulthood, not when they are eleven or twelve.

I don’t, however think that the state legislature needs to pass legislation to ban it. There are many more pressing issues in Texas than cheerleading (believe it or not). I think that communities can set and enforce standards of behavior just as well, if not better than legislation, and in this case, I would be much more in favor of communities advocating for “clean” (or whatever the opposite of “sexy” is) cheerleading than the state legislature passing legislation banning it.

As such, I think that this bill constitutes “frivolous” legislation.

That said, I think that we need a sure-fire way of reducing, if not completely eliminating frivolous legislation (given that our current state and national leaders are pressing for banning frivolous medical lawsuits, I am sure that this will be an easy sell).

Here is my suggestion: Anyone proposing legislation banning and/or regulating specific behavior needs to sign a sworn affidavit stating that she or he has not ever in the past, does not currently, nor ever will in the future, engage in, support, nor advocate the behavior proposed to be banned. This would, of course, be a public document and would become public record along with the proposed legislation. Anyone voting in favor of the bill would have to sign a similar affidavit. Those legislators that base their proposals and/or their votes on religious grounds, would, in addition to the affidavit, be encouraged to swear on the Holy Book (of their choice) to the same. Their swearing to same would also become public record.

I know what you are thinking. Brilliant! Why didn’t anyone think of this before? Why didn’t any legislators think of this before? Darned if I know. I would think that anyone in public office, local, state, or national would be thrilled about affirming their virtuosity in such a public, tangible manner. Maybe they just needed an affirmation from their public. If so, here it is.

Monday, May 16, 2005


i realized the other day that life, including the life that we experience, has been going on, on our planet for who knows how long. an unbroken chain that we are inextricably linked to and are a part of. consider that it doesn't really matter how it began. the fact that it has been around, and we are the direct descendents of whom/whatever, is just amazing. even more amazing thinking that we started out as one-celled organisms.

that same life that started millions of years ago is the same life that we experience today. my ancestors came from the sea and the life that they had, they passed on to their descendents, etc., until that life became my grandparents, my parents, and then me.

just amazing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

the secret memo...

i have posted a couple of things to a sociology list on the "secret memo" from MI-6 that documents the Bush Adminstration already having determined that they were going to invade Iraq in July of 2002. Note this was before they told us, "we have no plans to invade Iraq." In sum, they lied to us and there is hard, tangible evidence that they lied to us.

some other thoughts about the memo that i posted today:

My last word on the memo…I think I would have more respect for politicians and their minions if they would just admit that they were lying. Like, “yeah, we lied, and chances are, we’ll probably continue lying to you when we see fit, so get over it.” The fact that they lie really wouldn’t be news; what would be news is that anyone of them would admit openly that they are lying. At least then we would know where they stand. And at this point, given the apparent national apathy, most people wouldn’t care enough to do anything about it, anyway.

One other thing along these lines; I also think that it would be nice for death penalty proponents to admit that what they really want to see is the SOB who did the crime die. We have enough evidence to know that the death penalty doesn’t deter murder. Case in point…the man who shot his way out of the Atlanta court room in March. GA is a death penalty state, and he is going to be prosecuted with the hopes of getting the death penalty. Now, was he deterred by thinking about the death penalty when he was pulling the trigger and killing those four (?) people? No, he was thinking about getting away; I’m sure that the notion of the potential consequences of his actions didn’t come into play at that particular point in time. Consider, he is in the courtroom, he gets the gun from a police officer, he shots people in the courtroom, he is in the very place where someone would sentence him to the death penalty and he is NOT DETERRED BY THE DEATH PENALTY!!!!!!!

As I have mentioned before, of all of the felons I worked with, there wasn’t one that was deterred by the thought of potential consequences when committing the crime (obviously or they wouldn’t be felons!!!). They all thought that they wouldn’t get caught, that’s why they did it. Most felons aren’t stupid. Careless, arrogant, maybe, but they go to some length not to get caught. In that sense, the “law” had no deterrent effect. Others have argued that laws, in all likelihood, have a deterrent effect on people who are less likely to commit crimes in the first place.

Maybe some day we will have a rational and reasonable society. If evolution determines this, it doesn’t bode well for the human species.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

extreme apathy

Post to a sociology list...

I think I posted on this list sometime back an analysis I did, before the Iraq War, of how the reasoning for the war didn’t make any sense; it just didn’t add up according to what the CIA, FBI, and others were reporting (and the lack of finding any WMD’s by the UN). Now, of course we know that there were no WMD’s, thus invalidating the original stated reason for the invasion.

Turns out, the reason that it didn’t make sense was because of something that was not known to the public…the Administration had already decided to invade Iraq to remove Saddam by at least July of 2002. All that was needed was some reason for doing so; apparently, at least according to the memo that was released to the British press last week, terrorism and WMD’s were the reason(s). It all becomes clear when the facts are known.

See this article here.

Now, this memo has been made public, I don’t know to what extent, since I don’t watch TV, but I know that I have heard reports of it on the radio and on the internet. Curious, isn’t it? If the memo is indeed real, then the decision to invade Iraq was already made when statements about using diplomacy, giving Saddam one last chance, etc., were being promulgated on the airwaves. In other words, it seems pretty apparent to me that we intentionally were not being told the real reason for the invasion and this deceit/manipulation was deliberate. Sad, yes? Of course, we are jaded, we KNOW that the gov’t lies, it has done so for years.

I have a feeling that this memo will blow over (I guess it already has since it is NOT front page news anywhere, except maybe in the UK) and life will go on. IMO, this is evidence for something that is truly disconcerting about the American population. I know that some will say that we were mislead and we continue to be mislead by the media, the gov’t, etc., and that the population isn’t to blame. True, I suspect we are. This does not mean, however that we cannot find out things about what is happening if we really want to…obviously the release of this memo is tangible evidence of that.

I think our collective lack of response to this really quite devastating information is indicative of something even sadder than the fact that our gov’t wasn’t truthful with us about a war that has cost thousands of lives. We, as a nation, as a collective, don’t care. Sure, there are large numbers of people that do care. But, apparently, there aren’t enough because this is NOT front page news. We have tangible evidence that we were mislead, and there is no significant collective response. It is a blip on the news, nothing else. We just don’t care.

I say this not to provoke anything. I say it because it is an observation I am making about what in the future, I am sure, will be a critical point in history.

This is really interesting to me as a sociologist, and as a member of the collective that we know as America. The former because of the social dynamics that may be driving this indifference and the latter because this is not the America I was raised in.