Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A Thought Question about Opinions

Here's something to think about. You don't have to answer out loud, and there are no right or wrong answers:
What opinions do you hold but you are embarrassed about?
This isn't about "heretical" opinions, or "iconoclastic" opinions, or "dissident" opinions. People are quite often proud of those sorts of contrary opinions. The sort of opinions that people are embarrassed to hold are opinions that would
  • diminish you in the eyes of people you respect

  • make you seem to be in agreement with people who you despise

  • offend or hurt those you care about

  • imply terrible things about you that are not true

I will admit to having a number of such embarrassing opinions, but of course I'm not going to tell you what any of them are.
Permalink 10:52 PM

Misunderstanding Satire

Digby's blog, Hullabaloo, has an article about a line of "humorous" conservative t-shirts, including this one about journalists:

Other shirts for sale by the same organization make similar jokes about killing liberals and French people. I'm sure the people making these shirts would say that these sentiments are satire, but I think that they're confused about that word. As I understand it, in a satire, one makes fun of a person or an idea through exaggeration. So talking about lynching journalists (or liberals or Frenchmen) counts as a satire if it is making fun of those who hate those groups. It isn't satirizing those groups, however.

I always forget what the technical term is for the type of humor that goes: "You better run, because I'm gonna punch your lights out." Whatever it is, I don't think it's satire.
Permalink 10:15 PM

Oil Company Profiteering

I have very mixed feelings about the subject of price-gouging on the part of oil companies. On the one hand, I'm sympathetic to those who are outraged that these companies are making record profits off of the misery of consumers who are paying $3.00 per gallon. But on the other hand, it seems to me that high gasoline prices are actually the quickest way to get Americans to curtail their dependence on oil and to encourage them to look for alternatives. So there is a part of me that is glad the prices are so high.

On the other hand, both Democrats (Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer) and Republicans (President Bush, in particular) have given "I feel your pain" speeches about gas prices and have promised to do something. The Democrats want to make price-gouging illegal, and force the oil companies to lower their prices. The Republicans want to lower prices by (1) weakening environmental regulations, (2) opening up ANWR for oil drilling, (3) cut back on our contributions to the strategic oil reserves. Bad ideas all, in my opinion.

I'm not sure what is the right policy. Perhaps let the oil companies whatever they like, and then slap a huge windfall profits tax on them, the proceeds going to energy independence efforts?
Permalink 10:03 PM

I forget, which war are we protesting?

I was invited by an activist friend of mine to go to New York City this weekend as part of an anti-war protest. For a full two days after receiving her message, I was thinking of the wrong war. Not Afghanistan, not Iraq, but Iran. Who knew that there was a war with Iran to protest against? I can't keep up...
Permalink 9:57 PM

My 700 million children

According to the New York Times, if a man believes himself to be the biological father of a child, then he is right over 98% of the time. On the other hand, when he believes himself not to be the biological father of a child, he is wrong 70% of the time.
Using the most extensive data on nonpaternity rates assembled to date, the researchers tentatively concluded that men confident about their paternity are usually right: they are biologically unrelated only 1.7 percent to 3.7 percent of the time.

Those who insist they are not the fathers, on the other hand, are in fact the biological fathers in more than 70 percent of cases, a figure derived from data released by paternity testing laboratories.
Okay, so there are approximately 1 billion children, worldwide, who I would insist are not my biological children. If I'm wrong 70% of the time...
Permalink 9:49 PM

Monday, April 24, 2006

In New Orleans, Nagin and Landrieu Headed for Runoff

Mayor Ray Nagin

Challenger Mitch Landrieu
Permalink 9:55 PM

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Civics Question

The phrase, "[a]s policy, we don't discuss ongoing legal proceedings within the courts," is to the Bush Administration as this is to a typical thug:
  1. The fifth ammendment
  2. "I want a lawyer."
  3. "F*** you."
  4. All of the above.

Permalink 10:16 PM

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

John McCain Is A Liar! -Again

At an AFL-CIO's Building and Construction Trades Department event McCain offered anybody in the crowd $50 an hour to pick lettuce in Arizona.
Shouts of protest rose from the crowd, with some accepting McCain's job offer.
"I'll take it!" one man shouted.
McCain insisted none of them would do such menial labor for a complete season. "You can't do it, my friends."

Let's get this straight. He says that no one would do something that most people would gladly do. (Can he be so out of touch with the average American that he actually believed that in the first place?) To prove his point, he makes an insincere offer. Then, rather than simply admit that he wasn't serious, he lies again. Telling his critic that he cannot do something that thousands of people do every year! Liar. Liar. Welching liar.
Permalink 11:10 PM

Monday, April 03, 2006

As A Matter of Fact, We Did Get a Trophy

From The Poor Man Institute:

Kaye Grogan, Friday:
Let me say a big AMEN! . . . to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, for suggesting that prisoners pick the crops in the United States. This is an excellent idea to make prisoners productive.

Since the taxpayers are already footing the bill for thousands and thousands of incarcerated prisoners — we wouldn’t be burdened with billions of dollars (draining our economy) adding millions of illegal immigrants (trying to take over our country) if we put prisoners in the “picking” crops’ business. […]

“We are all immigrants” has just about run its course. Every country started with immigrants, and they would not put up with millions of Mexicans or any other nationality trying to invade and take over their territory — so why is America expected to take in everybody from rogue nations?

Are we getting a gigantic trophy for being the most stupid country in the world?
Permalink 3:20 PM