Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Loosely Organized Rant

I complain about a lot, but I firmly believe that anyone should be able to do anything that does not harm the rights to life, liberty, or property of anyone else.

However, that doesn't mean that I cannot say that certain things that certain people do aren't just plain stupid.

There's a difference, you see, between that and what the neo-national socialist republicrats do and say. I say, "That's stupid." They say, "There should be a law against that."

It's not really such a fine line. There's a big difference between disapproving something and utilizing the coercive power of government against it.

To wit, if I don't like smoking in restaurants, then I will either not patronize restaurants that allow smoking, or I will begrudgingly go to one because I value the food above the tobacco haze.

Others, however, who dislike smoking in restaurants would seek to harness the violent power of the state to prohibit said practice.

Let's get this straight. Restaurants, bars, or any other businesses are not public. They are private. They are owned by a person or people, which makes them, by definition, not public. Public places would be defined as street corners, parks, or any buildings owned by government on any level.

As the owner of any establishment, any man or woman ought to be able on his or her own to decide whether or not to allow patrons to smoke. If you don't like it, then don't patronize the place. As for workers, no one has to work at any given business. If you don't like smoking, then don't apply for a job at a bar, nightclub, bowling alley, etc.

As for banning smoking in actual public places, that is ridiculous. The argument that second hand smoke is harmful is merely an hypothesis. No actual data exists to prove it. Even if it were, in open areas like parks or sidewalks, the amount of second hand smoke actually inhaled by non-smokers is so negligible that to make it an issue is as silly as to argue--as the old theologians did--if angels could be small enough to dance on the head of a pin.

All this said, I'd like to mention something that I found stupid.

I took my family to Burger King (some national socialist republicrats would like to prevent such a meal, of course, but I digress). Both kids ordered kids' meals, and they were delighted to find that the meals came in a Simpsons bag with Simpsons toys (Mark got Barney, and Natalie got Apu).

What I thought was stupid was that on the bag, in smaller print, below The Simpsons, was printed something like, "This film is rated PG13--Some content may be inappropriate for anyone under the age of 13."

As if anyone under 13 is ordering kids' meals! The reason that Burger King had to place that warning is that they wanted to promote The Simpsons to kids, but they also wanted to be able to say, "Hey, we said that it's not for kids."

What's next, a Paris Hilton Sex Video kids meal--some content may not be appropriate for anyone under age 17 or with an ounce of taste or conscience?

I, as a free thinking, rational, good parent will allow my children to eat their kids meals and even play with their Barney and Apu toys, but I will not allow them to watch The Simpsons movie.

The opposition, however, will try to say that Burger King should not be allowed to market the movie to children. It should be against the law, they say. Which is tantamount to saying that violent force should be used (or at least threatened) to prevent them from doing so.

If that is your opinion, then keep your kids from the theater and leave me alone. Sure, you can tell me that I shouldn't allow my children to watch such material, but you should not be able to forcibly prevent me from doing so (pardon the split infinitive). Take care of yourself and your own. That's your job. Leave me and mine alone. If you're better, then the results will become obvious. However, every time in history that the puritans have taken over, we've gotten more problems then we started with (e.g. witch trials, prohibition-era violence, the drug war, etc.).

If you truly believe in freedom, then you cannot advocate anything that prevents anyone from doing anything as long as it doesn't harm anyone else. Pay attention to the main verb of that last clause. "Harm" is not synonymous with "annoy" or "bother" or "irritate." If something pisses you off, then create a blog and post your whinings (as is my preferred method).

Ron Paul for president.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Bobo--a.k.a. Robbie--is doing well. Here's an updated photograph of him.

Just look at the size of that ear!

Monday, July 16, 2007

I Like Women

So my recent praise of Jack Johnson and the picture of him surfing has led my friend, Murdock, to the conclusion that I might be just a little on the fruity side.

I'm not the least bit fruity.

Not only did he tease me in person, he set aside time to conceive of and execute a spoof so grand that I'm actually honored.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Some Jack Johnson Lyrics

I wrote earlier about how much I enjoy Jack Johnson's music. It's art done in such a way as to reflect the soul of the artist--as Don Maclean saw the tortured soul in Van Gogh's paintings. However, in this case the soul is at peace. Johnson is not pretentious, nor is his music. He doesn't dress like a dandy or act like a thug. He just plays his music.

What appeals most, to me, is the relaxing nature of his songs and the pleasant story-likeness of his lyrics.

To wit:

Do You Remember

Do you remember when we first met? I sure do.
It was some time in early September.
You were lazy about it; you made me wait around.
I was so crazy about you; I didn't mind.

So I was late for class; I locked my bike to yours.
It wasn't hard to find; you'd painted flowers on.
Guess that I was afraid that if you rolled away
You might not roll back my direction real soon.

Well, I was crazy about you then and now,
But the craziest thing of all: over ten years have gone by,
And you're still mine; we're locked in time.
Let's rewind

Do you remember when we first moved in together?
The piano took up the living room
You played me boogie-woogie; I played you love songs.
You'd say we're playing house; now you still say we are

We built our getaway up in a tree we found.
We felt so far away, though we were still in town.
Now I remember watching that old tree burn down.
I took a picture that I don't like to look at.

Well all these times they com.e and go,
And alone don't seem so long.
Over ten years have gone by.
We can't rewind; we're locked in time,
But you're still mine

Do you remember?


The light was leaving
in the west it was blue
The children's laughter sang
and skipping just like the stones they threw
the voices echoed across the way
its getting late

It was just another night
with the sun set
and the moon rise not so far behind
to give us just enough light
to lay down underneath the stars
listen to papas translations
of the stories across the sky
we drew our own constellations

The west winds often last too long
the wind may calm down
nothing ever feels the same
Sheltered under the Kamani tree
waiting for the passing rain
clouds keep moving to uncover the scene
stars above are chasing the day away
to find the stories that we sometimes need
Listen close enough
all else fades
fades away

It was just another night
with the sun set
and the moon rise not so far behind
to give us just enough light
to lay down underneath the stars
listen to all the translations
of the stories across the sky
we drew our own constellations

Better Together

There's no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard
No song I could sing
But I can try for your heart
Our dreams, and they are made out of real things
like a, shoebox of photographs
with sepiatone loving
Love is the answer,
at least for most of the questions in my heart
Like why are we here? and where do we go?
And how come we're so hard?
It's not always easy and
sometimes life can be deceiving
I'll tell you one thing its always better when we're together

It's always better when we're together
look at the stars when we're together
its always better when we're together
Yeah, its always better when we're together

And all of these moments
just might find there way into my dreams tonight
But I know that they'll be gone
when the morning light sings
and brings new things
but tomorrow night you see
that they'll be gone too
too many things I have to do
But if all of these dreams might find there way
into my day to day scene
Ill be under the impression
i was somewhere in between
With only two
Just me and you
Not so many things we got to do
or places we got to be
We'll Sit beneath the mango tree

It's always better when we're together
Somewhere in between together
its always better when we're together
Yeah, its always better when we're together

I believe in memories
they look so, so pretty when I sleep
Hey now, and when I wake up,
you look so pretty sleeping next to me
But there is no time,
and there is no song I could sing
and there is no, combination of words I could say
but I will still tell you one thing
We're Better together

Friday, July 13, 2007

Harry Potter is Coming! (At Last, for the Last Time, Alas)

The seventh and supposedly final Harry Potter installment is due in a week and a few minutes.

I started reading the Potter books two years ago with my daughter. I read the first three and a half to her. Halfway through the fourth book, she took over to read on her own, and I decided to blaze on ahead.

While the books are neither exquisite literature nor poorly written, they are extremely entertaining. The major problem that I have with them is a bit of characterization. Perhaps someone else has (probably has) written or spoken of this, but I've neither read nor heard them.

Here's the problem.

The good characters tend to be dynamic. Harry and his friends are not perfect. They have moral highs and lows; but while they can be immature, tend to break rules when convenient, and occasionally cut corners, they do not turn to evil. They are realistic characters: good, but not perfectly good.


The evil characters are terribly static. There are no moral highs for the evil characters (Voldemort, Draco & Lucius Malfoy, Pansy Parkinson, Crabbe, Goyle, etc.). They are unrealistically evil in that they are perfectly evil.

The evil characters even have evil sounding names. The good guys get either regular names or irregular but charming names: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ronald Weasley, Albus Dumbledore, Neville Longbottom, Colin Creavy, etc. But the evil guys apparently must have evil sounding names.: Lord Voldemort, Draco (Dracula?--also I think that it's Latin for dragon) Malfoy (Malum /Malus is Latin for evil or bad, and we use it as a prefix to indicate evil or unfitting: malevolent, maladapted, malfeasance, etc. ), Lucius (Lucifer?) Malfoy, Goyle (Gargoyle), Delores Umbrage (i.e. offense, annoyance, displeasure), Severus Snape, etc.

The only good character with an evil sounding name is Sirius Black--and it had to be an evil sounding name because the first three quarters of The Prisoner of Azkeban required the reader to think that Black was a mass-murderer who sought to add Harry to his list of unfortunate victims.

On an artistic level, this is author J.K. Rowling's worst offense. It's to literature what bubble-gum pop is to music, or what "I'm Being Eaten By a Boa Constrictor" is to poetry. Still, I've always been able to get past it and enjoy the stories. You should too.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Jack Johnson - Sitting, Waiting, Wishing


Banana Pancakes Jack Johnson Band Live

The audio's a bit skippy in the beginning, but it straightens out soon enough.

Jack Johnson Fan

Lately, I can't get enough of Jack Johnson's music. My favorites are, in no particular order: Sitting, Waiting, Listening; Constelations, Do You Remember, Banana Pancakes, Belle, and Better Together.

The two above posts are of Jack playing live.

Even those titles omitted from my overly brief list are worth a listening.

Monday, July 09, 2007

An Apology and a Reiteration

I stand rebuked and humbled by a mentor and a friend. My most recent post on Global Warming was riddled with foul language and a non sequitor reference to George Carlin's Seven Words that You Can't Say on TV (which is, by the way, a really funny bit regardless of utterly necessary foul language).

My argument is strong enough without the vulgar language, but my problem comes with trying to speak to vulgar people, for these are the only people who can believe the eco-fascist agenda.

Sure, there are plenty of smart eco-facists, and they are certainly not vulgar, but I don't think that most of them actually believe their arguments. Instead, they use the issue as a springboard to power. Look at Al Gore. If the man truly believed what he professes, then would he lead such a carbon-rich lifestyle?

I resort to foul language out of frustration. It's easy for the climate change people to demonstrate that global temperatures have risen. The problem is that the connection to human activity is hypothetical. In fact, the connection is ridiculous, since the global temperature has risen for eons, completely independent of man-made carbon emmissions.

Suppose a man was riding a bus (see how I cater to the green-folks?). Let's say that the bus is crowded with people who had been to an "All You Can Eat" special at the local Mexican restaurant.

Our hero did not eat at the Mexican restaurant, but all of his riding companions had.

Needless to say, these people have gas, and they let it out.

Just after a 350 pound Samoan dude rips a big one, our hero clutches his chest and falls to the ground.

The bus stops, and paramedics arrive, but they pronounce the man dead.

The global warming crew would say that this guy died because everyone else in the bus farted--especially that Samoan dude (who must be a metaphor for the U.S.).

However, let's look at the dead guy's history. Since he was a young boy, he had eaten four twinkies a day. He never exercised. He smoked three packs of cigarrettes a day for forty years, and he was born with a congenital heart defect.

Knowing the dead guy's past history, how do you think that he really died?

That's right. It wasn't the fart. So why do you believe Al Gore?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Lincoln Humor

I was reading the paper today, and I came across a quote so good that I cannot help but post.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

It reminds me of another joke that I modified to be more historical:

What was the last think to go through Abraham Lincoln's mind?
A .50 caliber bullet.

Global Warming: Rated "P-13" for Moderately Foul Language

Live Earth: musicians pool their talents to convince people to think, preach, and act counterintuitively to the truth.

It reminds me of the failed "Vote for Change" tour of musicians (e.g. Bruce Springsteen, John Mellancamp, etc.) who tried to convince us that John Kerry was a statesman.

Neither is true. It doesn't matter that Springsteen and Mellancamp are responsible for great lyrics like

Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas lines of the refinery
I'm ten years burning down the road
Nowhere to run, ain't go nowhere to go


Life goes on
Long after the thrill
Of livin' is gone.

They are musicians. They act like philosophers and they try desperately to speak like poets, but in the end they hold a guitar in one hand, a joint in the other, and talk as if recording a hit album was the equivalent of walking out of Plato's cave.

How many times do I have to say it? The earth has been warming naturally since the end of the Ice Age. Let's talk scientific facts. There was an Ice Age. Everything was really freaking cold. Tens of thousands of years ago--before factories, cars, etc.--the Earth started to warm. We have been warming ever since. These are freaking facts, and still these freaking (choose one) a. fascist b. communist c. retarded a-holes are running around like chicken little because data shows that the climate is warming.

No crap, Corky. If the climate wasn't warming, then my ass would be frozen on a glacier. Thanks for the info, dude.

I'm sorry for the use of such crass language, but I'm at the end of my wits here. Are people so freaking stupid that they follow this crap? The global warming 'tards say that we need to listen to them because it concerns the future for your children and grandchildren, etc.

I say this, if we do listen to you, then there's not much hope for our children and grandchildren, etc.

By the way, if anyone ever says "and et cetera," do me a favor and call them ignorant. the et in et cetera already means "and."

Bill of Rights