Saturday, January 31, 2009

Emotions: A Weird Kind of Spectacles

I don't even know why we have the word "objective." I don't think objectivity exists as anything other than an imaginary concept.

Can anyone name one thing we don't do from emotional prompters? In stories about aliens, they invariably call humans "flesh-apes" or something similar. That is the least of what we are. It amazes me we can even fit all these emotions into our bag of skin.

What prompts this is last Wednesday looking at my savings and checking balances and sinking into despair, "OH NO! We're DOOMED!"

Then yesterday I looked at the exact same balances, not a penny different and I feel all rosy, "God is so GOOD!"

Do you ever do thought experiments like "come up with a sixth sense (seventh if count kinesthesis as a sense). What would it be like?" I always draw a blank. Electrical sense that sharks have... no that exists. What's a completely new one?

I've decided it's emotions. You don't see, smell, taste, hear, or feel (in the traditional sense) them, but they color every one of those senses. I doubt there is a sense they ever fail to color.

Think about it; the only people who don't have emotions are sociopaths and they kill people. Maybe subjectivity isn't such a bad thing...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Accessory to Commit...

I struggle with the idea of of making abortion illegal. Not because it isn't a horrible thing but because it would be in inadequate law, unenforceable, and ineffective.

That is not to say that select abortion laws shouldn't exist. Late term and partial birth abortion should be illegal. If there is a danger to the mother's health, C-section the baby if it's viable, and tragically abort if it's not. There is no excuse for partial birth abortion and I don't see how anyone could think otherwise. That is flat out criminal.

Further, because so many people are divided on the issue, no tax dollars should support abortion.

Obama has reversed the ban on tax funded abortions. Two days into his presidency and as far as I'm concerned, his administration is a failure on moral, ethical, representative, and intellectual grounds. He has made all tax paying Americans complicit to murder and genocide.

Shame on anyone who voted for this person.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Irony in Racial Memorials

Today is Martin Luther King Jr.'s Day (or, as our India employees said it, "King Martin Luther Day). It is also Robert E. Lee's birthday (observed and in fact). So, we honor a civil rights activist and good man, and celebrate the birthday of a man who would see him still in chains.

Lee is observed as a hero on Stone Mountain, a college is named for him (Washington and Lee University), and he received a full pardon and eventually a return of citizenship after he died (should have been granted before, but an administrative error prevented it). He has a memorial in Washington D.C., or maybe it's Virginia...

Lee is a struggle for me. He was, quote, a "good man." Lincoln asked him to lead the Union Army and he refused. When Virginia seceded, in loyalty to Virginia he led the Confederate Army. A Christian man, he owned slaves. Some say he was against slavery, but that wasn't true. After his relative died, he was executor instructed to free the 150 slaves within 5 years, as soon as it was "safe" to free them. Financial issues raised their heads, and he worked and hired out those slaves -- who knew they were supposed to be freed -- to shore up his finances. He hunted down escapees and dealt with them in "military fashion." True, after 5 years he release those left alive, but the law commanded it.

Most of all, though, he led armies that killed Americans. Thousands upon thousands of Americans, both as enemy and as soldier, died bloody deaths and more were maimed. He called the orders and as much as pulled the trigger.

Robert E. Lee was a terrorist. His vision of the US was different the rising tide. In his mind he was not a traitor, but anyone who kills Americans, no matter what their personal belief, is a terrorist. He was responsible for more deaths than 9-11, the Gulf and Desert Storm wars and he did it on our soil.

There may have been political expediency that prevented him from being executed, but in no way should his memory be honored today.

How's that for a strong opinion?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Marley and Me... NOT

Boring, poorly written, poorly directed... good actors with nothing to do. Snoozefest 2009. Plus, no one told me it was a horror movie. Kathleen Turner, former beauty, now runner up to the Roseanne award, oh the pain!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cruisin' Down the Highway

Or the seaway...

It was a wonderful trip made better by wonderful companions. I've had several people ask me what the highlight of the trip was, and truthfully, it was all a highlight. From amazing food (far too much of it, I gained 8 pounds in 4 days -- already lost three of it, but still) to fun excursions. We spent a day in the waterpark of Atlantis, another snorkeling and Hobey-catting on Castaway Cay (my thanks to Dan Gracey's patience with land-lubber me).

Some things I found bizarre:
1. A cruise ship celebrating pirates. Seems counter-intuitive.
2. A showing of Wall-E, in which humanity has devolved into fattened cruise freaks. Seems too close to home.
3. Phenomenal chefs who are polite and approachable. Seems like an oxymoron.

Okay, I guess the highlight for me was the 3-D viewing of Bolt, which is a fantastic movie--best I've seen in years--set off beautifully by playing with the minds of children sitting in the row in front of us. One child thought I was crazy, her cousin (the quiet one) understood me completely. While we waited for the movie to start, I'd lob a comment over the head of the first child eliciting a predictable outraged response while the cousin grinned knowingly, getting the fact that I was pushing her cousin's buttons. That put me in just the right bizarre mood to make me laugh hysterically throughout the movie. Rhino is now my favorite Disney character. :)

Thursday, January 08, 2009


The government is insisting TV goes digital to free up bandwidth. No problems, here, and not just because I don't watch television. It's a wise move and we have to move forward, after all.

What's outrageous is that the government is GIVING OUT $80 VOUCHERS to anyone who doesn't want to buy a digital TV so they can purchase a converter.

When did TV become a right instead of a privilege? Why should our tax dollars go to buy an upgrade for consumers? It's not like we didn't know the day was coming. If you can't afford a converter, maybe, just maybe, you should spend some time at a second job instead of watching Survivor 35.

And much to the government's surprise, everyone's applying for these free vouchers, so they're running out of them. So Obama is trying to hold off the conversion.

Clearly, the voucher program is Bush's, not Obama's, so no blame to the O-Man; government excess is bad whether elephant or donkey.

Can these vouchers be used to buy express card tuners for laptops? Hmmmm....