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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Speak Cherokee or Die

Depending on how you look at it, border security has been a problem in this country for quite some time...

Friday, June 29, 2007

iWant

You know what I want? An iPhone.

You know what I want more? The six hundred bucks it'll cost me to get one.

The Rabbi on Stem Cells

Rabbi Gellman has a few words on the stem cell debate, and he starts with these:
The way we discuss the big moral questions has got to change. We yell too much and listen too little, and demonize those with whom we merely disagree. We need to practice critical thinking that recognizes good and bad reasons for tough ethical issues. Let's practice some forced reasonableness today on the roiling debate over embryonic stem-cell research.
Okay, Rabbi. Let's do it. But first, he's gotta take me down a notch.
(T)hose who oppose embryonic stem-cell research....argue that once a human cell possesses a unique DNA code, it is a bearer of basic human rights, chief among which is the right not to be killed. Their argument may not be valid, but it cannot be ignored. Also, trying to diminish this rational moral argument (which of course may be true or false) by calling its supporters ignorant religious fanatics who oppose the advance of medical science is not only a bad argument, it is an act of unwarranted antireligious prejudice.
Antireligious prejudice? Guilty, your honor.

But unwarranted? Not hardly.

Unwarranted would be burning down their churches or pissing on their bibles. But as soon as someone says, "No, you can't do that," well, then it's warranted. At that point, they must explain why and then defend it.

That's reasonable, no?

Of course, I have no problem with Gellman's conclusion. I'm with him 100%, well, except for that antireligious prejudice part. You know why? Because Gellman puts my view on the subject nice and neat into a handy-dandy bullet point.
A human embryo is not a bearer of moral rights until much later in its development.
Read the whole thing because Gellman gets published in Newsweek. Me, I just blog.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Immigration Reform: RIP

No, I'm not going to be one of those liberals cheering for the humiliating defeat of the President's immigration plan in the Senate. As much as I dislike the man, his methods, and his policies...on this one, I think Bush was right.

I just hope Lou Dobbs, Mickey Kaus, and Tom Tancredo are happy.

But we still have 12 million undocumented workers/illegal aliens/goddamn Mexicans living in this country off the books...so in the end, not much was really accomplished, was it?

Just a Little Snark

Hey, did you hear about the 20 beheaded bodies they found in Detroit yesterday? No? Well I can understand. That kind of thing happens all the time in Motor City.

The car bomb that killed 20 people? A slow day in our country's Murder Capital.

I'm being facetious, of course. Despite what they say on the radio, Iraq makes Detroit look like Candyland. I mean, where would you rather be? Detroit Rock City...or the Sunni Triangle.

Speaking of ridiculous Republican talking points, now that scientists have figured out a way to extract stem cells from unfertilized eggs (as opposed to embryos), will the religious right back down from their vociferous opposition to stem cell research?

We'll see. I mean, it's not like that position was ever very coherent. Like most religiously motivated taboos, it was always somewhat arbitrary and unabashedly silly. Research on adult stem cells is okay...embryonic though, that's a no-no.

It's easier to hold this position if you consider an embryonic zygote to be a human life. The only problem with that is that a zygote is a single cell, and while it may be alive, it's not yet human. It has the potential to become a human life, but that's not the same thing as being a human life.

And if we were going to expand the defintion of a "human life" to include all single celled organisms that could potentially (one day, hopefully, if the conditions are right) become a human life, let's not do it only when it's politically convenient.

Will churches perform funerals for tampons after a woman's monthly cycle? Should we go through the trashcans of teenage boys looking for suspiciously wadded Kleenex? Should pornographic actors be indicted as mass murderers? Should we say a silent prayer every time we see a used condom lying in the parking lot?

Of course not. That's absolutely ridiculous, and it's no less ridiculous (ie, deserving of ridicule) when we're talking about embryos either.

Kind of reminds me of religious prohibitions on killing or sex. Thou shalt not kill....unless it's an infidel or, on the other foot, someone from Al Qaeda. Sex for procreation is entirely acceptable, but sex for fun...just don't do it. I mean, who can keep track of all these prohibitions and exceptions? Not me.

Me...I don't have religion. I have principles.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Beware the Riffage

Oh, one more thing about that deftones show from Friday. This crushing part from Beware sounded even better live.


Come on, you know you wanna hear it again. It's okay. So do I. Go ahead and click it.

Here's a little video too.

The Dentist and Chris Benoit

I just spent three hours getting tortured at the dentist's office. Oh no, not the drill and poke torture, but the sitting around staring at a wall torture. They pulled a tooth and gave me a prescription for vicodin. They want me to come back next month for some fillings.

Only if it takes less than three hours!

See, they get paid to be there. I don't. In and out, man, in and out. That's my style.

At any rate, I wanted to throw up (figuratively, unless of course I swallowed enough blood to make me puke) a comment or two about Chris Benoit's death. I heard about it this morning before work and of course, at work I was subjected to the CNN treatment. This is what I wanted to say about Chris Benoit:

His death isn't a tragedy. Chris Benoit killed his wife and son and then took his own cowardly life. You want me to hang my head in sadness? Forget it.

Chris Benoit was no hero or martyr. He was a murderer. A child-killer. To quote Christopher Hitchens, it's a pity there isn't a hell for him to go to.

PS. I had to tone this post down from my original rant. Originally I had lamented the fact that Benoit wasn't married to Paris Hilton, but then I reminded myself that wishing for someone's death is in poor taste and a bad reflection of character. So I cut it out.

But then I started wondering how we, as a society, were ever going to extract Paris Hilton(tm) from our culture like the dentist just extracted my rotten tooth? Can she just go away now?

Obviously not. She's going on Larry King tomorrow and no matter where she goes, there'll be some stalkerazzi hiding in the bushes to take her picture. There will be more parties and publicists, more brainless, breathless reports in the media, and there will be Paris, with her slutty face and her skanky body, mugging at the cameras with that crooked little rich girl grin.

But you know, fuck it. Paris, honey, do us all a favor: Live fast and die young.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dive Bomb Alley

Remember how I told you my Mom rode the Dive Bomb Alley ride at Six Flags with my brother? Here is the promised video.

Tubing and Other Stuff

I've been a busy boy this weekend. Uncle Jim's girl turned 8 and we celebrated with a BBQ. Afterwards, we hit the river for some tubing action. Then we went to another BBQ.

And finally, we saw Raiders of the Lost Ark at Sloan's Lake Park, a free outdoor movie the city runs every week during the summer.

That was yesterday. Today, I went to the Pride parade and then back to the river. Here's a video of some of the tubing action. I'm the one in front.



With today breaking 100 degrees, I got a glorious sunburn. It's been fun.

One more day of my "vacation," then it's back to work.