Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Beep! Beep! has a link to this on her sidebar (which works!) This one'll end up on my side-bar (which I hope doesn't mean, will be gone soon ..[and if I can get it to look right! .) cuz I just thought it might be good first aid to have around. You know, in case yer thinkin' 'bout a trade-in, or something.
But, if you think you may have an interest in the latest model magical pink flying fairies, take a stroll through Blue Girl's garden in our li'l Red State o' Ohio.
Monday, May 29, 2006
That's still more than enough time to imagine how we could do conflict differently.
How we needn't destroy lives, just because they signed on voluntarily, or happen to be geographically inconveniently intertwined with a goal of our own.
And, within my noodly noggin', a hope that some things can be swept away, as long as the lesson is learned. And, of course, that the lesson is learned.
So be it.
On that bright note:
I was feeling funny about reading on the deck as the sun went down, last night. So I just shut my head up, and listened. Turns out, I wasn't the only one.
Mannion's experience of Night Noises reminds me of all the little details which go into even the most silent of nights. Not that his was such a one.
I love how the description is so apt, of the birds and the dogs talking to each other. They're animals as we are. Intelligence for pets and wild critters is something folk either blow off as limited instincts or to which we impart too much of our own style of thinking, anthropomorphizing them out of their perceptory context; forcing our perspective onto them without really knowing of what they're capable. It's a working relationship for the short-term of the few thousand years we've been best friends with dogs, at any rate.
A night when sounds travel. Low clouds, air damp. Fire horn sounds and it's not the one from our firehouse. The next town over's three miles away but that's to the south and this seems to be coming from the east which would put it six miles down the road. The horn hoots for several minutes, calling the volunteers. No sirens follow it.
Dog noises do. Every dog has to answer the first dog that barked in surprise at the fire horn.
The fire horn stops. The dogs discuss it for a bit and then settle down. Traffic dies. Nothing now but the peepers, clucking high, then low. cheep cheep cheep CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP cheep cheep cheep CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP.
But in some ways, biological mechanisms in all active life, they are just like us; animals with brains and hearts and livers and mouths and feet and eyes, etc. etc. etc. Like humans, they're interactively alive in their environment, and aware of it, aware of each other and us and everthing else around them.
So, yah, the thing that moved me is how natural it is for animals, including humans, to have various magnitudes of intelligence. But it was also the fact that I wasn't the only one sitting out amongst the night sounds with both a good book and a quietly open mind.
It's got a really cool ending, too.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Just some silly quiz I found whilst commenter-link hopping off the CotG. Ya never know whatchyer gonna find on a Sunday in the blogosphere.
| You scored as Marijuana. The most beautiful, chill drug out there is.|
You want something that's not too harsh on your body,
and soothes the soul.
It's also not addicting, so smoke it up, baby!
And never have to go through withdrawls.
What's your ideal drug?
created with QuizFarm.com
Truth is, I'm more like 78% None!, with a tad o' Jack and a historically personal leeriness of cocaine. I'm a shroom and xtc virgin, too.
Besides, in the right setting, my personal Drug of Choice is Sex. Nature's High.
Addendum: And I just thought of something else that 'turbs me off: They don't include Cigarettes. Alcohol, but not smokes...
Sure, it's just a silly quiz, but that differentiation only exists culturally. Cig'rettes are the only drug I do have a freakin' problem with.
Alright. das ist alles
A good Memorial Day weekend to all y'all, anywhere you've gotta (or hopefully wanna) be.
What We Owe Our Soldiers
By Alex Epstein
Every Memorial Day, we pay tribute to the American men and women who have died in combat. With speeches and solemn ceremonies, we recognize their courage and valor. But one fact goes unacknowledged in our Memorial Day tributes: all too many of our soldiers have died unnecessarily--because they were sent to fight for a purpose other than America's freedom.
The proper purpose of a government is to protect its citizens' lives and freedom against the initiation of force by criminals at home and aggressors abroad. The American government has a sacred responsibility to recognize the individual value of every one of its citizens' lives, and thus to do everything possible to protect the rights of each to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. This absolutely includes our soldiers.
Soldiers are not sacrificial objects; they are full-fledged Americans with the same moral right as the rest of us to the pursuit of their own goals, their own dreams, their own happiness. Rational soldiers enjoy much of the work of military service, take pride in their ability to do it superlatively, and gain profound satisfaction in protecting the freedom of every American, including their own freedom.
Soldiers know that in entering the military, they are risking their lives in the event of war. But this risk is not, as it is often described, a "sacrifice" for a "higher cause." When there is a true threat to America, it is a threat to all of our lives and loved ones, soldiers included. Many become soldiers for precisely this reason; it was, for instance, the realization of the threat of Islamic terrorism after September 11--when 3,000 innocent Americans were slaughtered in cold blood on a random Tuesday morning--that prompted so many to join the military.
For an American soldier, to fight for freedom is not to fight for a "higher cause," separate from or superior to his own life--it is to fight for his own life and happiness. He is willing to risk his life in time of war because he is unwilling to live as anything other than a free man. He does not want or expect to die, but he would rather die than live in slavery or perpetual fear. His attitude is epitomized by the words of John Stark, New Hampshire’s most famous soldier in the Revolutionary War: "Live free or die."
What we owe these men who fight so bravely for their and our freedom is to send them to war only when that freedom is truly threatened, and to make every effort to protect their lives during war--by providing them with the most advantageous weapons, training, strategy, and tactics possible.
Shamefully, America has repeatedly failed to meet this obligation. It has repeatedly placed soldiers in harm's way when no threat to America existed--e.g., to quell tribal conflicts in Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. America entered World War I, in which 115,000 soldiers died, with no clear self-defense purpose but rather on the vague, self-sacrificial grounds that "The world must be made safe for democracy." America's involvement in Vietnam, in which 56,000 Americans died in a fiasco that American officials openly declared a "no-win" war, was justified primarily in the name of service to the South Vietnamese. And the current war in Iraq--which could have had a valid purpose as a first step in ousting the terrorist-sponsoring, anti-American regimes of the Middle East--is responsible for thousands of unnecessary American deaths in pursuit of the sacrificial goal of "civilizing" Iraq by enabling Iraqis to select any government they wish, no matter how anti-American.
In addition to being sent on ill-conceived, "humanitarian" missions, our soldiers have been compromised with crippling rules of engagement that place the lives of civilians in enemy territory above their own. In Afghanistan we refused to bomb many top leaders out of their hideouts for fear of civilian casualties; these men continue to kill American soldiers. In Iraq, our hamstrung soldiers are not allowed to smash a militarily puny insurgency--and instead must suffer an endless series of deaths by an undefeated enemy.
To send soldiers into war without a clear self-defense purpose, and without providing them every possible protection, is a betrayal of their valor and a violation of their rights.
This Memorial Day, we must call for a stop to the sacrifice of our soldiers and condemn all those who demand it. It is only by doing so that we can truly honor not only our dead, but also our living: American soldiers who have the courage to defend their freedom and ours.
Copyright © 2006 Ayn Rand® Institute. All rights reserved.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Friday, May 26, 2006
. . I figured I'd just post this.
Without even listening to 1 second of these clips, I think I'm gonna like this band.
What's the specific question?
--- Can I tell from the 1) Band's name, 2) album and 3) song titles if I'll like the music?
(I mean, come on...Serious Young Insects? Running from the Aliens??? lol!)
The Religious Right has designated Sunday, June 4th, as "Marriage Protection Sunday" and is mobilizing fundamentalist and evangelical congregations all across America, including those in the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, to try and pressure Congress to put forward an amendment to the US Constitution to ban gay marriage. The Senate is scheduled to take up the amendment on June 5th and vote on it the next day, so the push among conservative congregations is designed to show how much support there is for this change in our laws out in the heartland.