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Archive for July, 2011

New stuff is coming

I haven’t posted in a few days but I would just like everybody to know that yes, new stuff is coming. I’m currently working on four(!) very different blog posts. Why that many, you may ask. Well, the short answer is because I saw something that made me think of each topic and felt I had something to say about them all. And since I have a tendency to forget things I’d really like to remember, I figured it would be best if I at least write the ideas down and start thinking about them. Needless to say, my brain is a bit full right now.

In the meantime, enjoy my “Hitler has to take the DLPT V” inspired by my 1 1/2 year stint at DLI:

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I’ve spent some time since last night in the midst of a political debate that hasn’t exactly been the most civil that really started to bore me somewhere around the middle. To be honest I start to get bored with a debate when it’s clear nothing I’ve said is even remotely being taking into anything that can be described as consideration by the person I’m debating. Which is usually evidenced by a rehashing of every single point they’ve already made that I’ve already gone over. I don’t mind spending the time to research old articles – which can often take hours – but why would I want to waste my time doing so for somebody who has already made up their mind so thoroughly? I guess my take on it is that the information is out there and if they really want to find it, they will.

I’ve said before that I’ll admit when I’m wrong – albeit grudgingly. I’m stubborn, what can I say? But I’d rather actually be able to admit – no matter how difficult it may be – that I’m wrong than be the type to stick my fingers in my ears and scream bloody murder until the other person either gets sick of it or ends up with sore fingers/raw throat from trying to continue on with the debate. The only problem is that in order for that to happen, I need facts. I need numbers. I need the person debating me to not be condescending, not insult my intelligence, and not assume that just because I may hold beliefs that they don’t it doesn’t mean that whatever I say is automatically suspect. That last one is especially galling because it’s an incredibly unfair stick by which to measure anybody.

For instance, if I want to know about physics, any kind of physics, I’m going to look up Einstein, Hawking, or any number of brilliant physicists. However, when it comes to philosophy and religion, I’m going to turn to other people. People who have studied philosophy. I’m not going to judge Einstein’s intelligence based on any of his philosophies, some of which I know I disagree with. The man was brilliant with numbers and theory. I can call him all the names I want based solely on his philosophical leanings, but that doesn’t in any way tarnish his incredible and overall history-changing contributions to the many fields of physics. What it does do is make me look like a petty jerk who can’t get over my own dislike for just a part of who the man was, as opposed to pleasantly disagreeing with it while respecting everything he has done for modern science. People are the product of multiple inputs; you can’t assume they know nothing about one subject based solely on the fact that they may not know – or have very limited knowledge – about another subject. I, for instance, don’t know jack about trains and don’t particularly care to remedy that ignorance, but do I know much more than the average person about firearms. I would hope that my overall apathy toward anything having to do with trains wouldn’t somehow inform your perception of my knowledge of firearms.

Which of course feeds into one simple fact: everybody has a bias and they judge people by that bias. Even people who tell you they don’t care one way or the other do. If you break the big issues down into the smaller ones and ask them whether they agree or disagree, nine times out of ten they’ve got an opinion, they just don’t like talking about the big picture. It’s either overwhelming or they feel they have better things to do with their time. And that’s ok. I think if there weren’t any people who were apolitical we’d probably all have killed each other by now. Especially in today’s political climate.

I’m fully willing to admit I have a very strong bias against the left in general, to include Obama. Unfortunately, much of it is the result of name-calling and ad hominem attacks on me that have left a somewhat sour taste in my mouth toward people on the left. I’m a fairly intelligent person, so it does irk me to some degree to be treated like an idiot simply because the logical conclusions I’ve come to based on years of reading and observation are different than that of another person. I’ve found that over time it has made me far more likely to want to jump down somebody’s throat than listen to them and that has been an extremely difficult urge to temper.

Much of that tempering was done in the past (and will be done in the future) by blogging. Where some people use physical activities to expel anger, frustration, or a flood of adrenalin, I use writing. By focusing on the logical flow of ideas that is needed in order to write a coherent post or story, I’ve found that I can use that excess energy, whether positive or negative, to hone what would normally be only a so-so piece of drivel you could find anywhere into razor-sharp, biting prose that is distinctly mine. Not all of it is perfect, true, but it is absolutely amazing to take something I’ve written while in a calm state of mind and look at it when I’m in a more ramped-up emotional state and see precisely where I can make changes that will add that extra bit of oomph that will keep somebody’s attention. When I stopped blogging, I lost my outlet and began internalizing everything, which ultimately has left me to deal with a flood of angry, frustrated, adrenalin-fueled energy I do not control very well. The kicker? At the time I was blogging I didn’t realize just how much being able to blow off steam through the intense focus it took to produce something I was happy with contributed to my own sanity. Now I do and I think it will do wonders in reigning me back into a more civil – and even coherent – tone when I’m debating or even just discussing any of a number of topics with other people.

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We will have to make tough decisions about Defense spending, or even on programs that I like.
-Barack Obama

Emphasis mine.

After the tragedy at Ft. Hood and the Jug-Eared Jesus decided to spend two minutes on giving a shoutout to a guy in the audience (in which he erroneously attributed a Medal of Honor to the guy – deciding to not just rub salt in the wound, but used an Abrams tank to really grind it in there) and telling jokes instead of first acknowledging the fact that 13 of his charges were shot dead by some fundamentalist Muslim asshole screaming “Allahu Akbar” I knew the man didn’t care much about the men and women of the Armed Forces of which he is the Commander-in-Chief. I’m still livid about it, which I know some people don’t understand. I’ve been told it’s not personal so I should basically get over it. The person who told me to do that can go fuck himself because he doesn’t know shit about the relationship between the military and the Commander-in-Chief. But that’s neither here nor there at the moment since Barack the Magic Suit decided to top even that shining example of antipathy towards the troops the U.S. Constitution has placed in his care.

Now we’re confronted by a Freudian slip of epic magnitude regarding President “I Won” in which he would be hard-pressed to be more clear about his disdain for those in uniform. Hey, I can agree that the DoD could certainly stand to go to a few budgeting classes and do a complete overhaul of its financial system, but Christ on a cracker, acting like you’ll only consider cutting funding for your little pet programs if Congress takes a chainsaw to the defense budget makes it look an awful lot like you’re chomping at the bit to cut funding out from underneath the guy sitting in a foxhole.

Look, we get it: you hate the military’s collective guts. To anybody who’s been paying attention, that’s been apparent since before the nationwide case of temporary insanity that put you in the White House. But, at this point why not just unburden yourself and come right out and say exactly what you mean: People in uniform make you feel even ickier than anybody else in the nation (even the one’s who get down on their knees and worship you as their Lord and Savior) – who make you feel quite icky anyway. Hey, even after telling them you need a shower to wash their filth off of you, there will still be a large contingent of the asshat-wearing super-achievers who will have their lips superglued to your ass – and as a bonus, a few will actually add more superglue for that extra hold so they don’t end up in the shower drain. I’m not one of them but, then, when everybody lost their mind and decided to re-enact the ass-kissing scene from The 10th Kingdom (from about 9:05 on), I thought it would be more prudent to start an exciting new tradition: buying myself a gun every Christmas. Call me crazy, but I kind of like my Second Amendment rights and the delightful toys they mean I can possess. I certainly like them more than Dumbo’s smaller, more effeminate, mom-jeans wearing dumbass of a brother. Even better is that when I plunk down my hard-earned money for another liberal nightmare chambered in .40 S&W, I don’t have to worry about Sportsman’s Warehouse sending a cashier to my house to tell me they were just kidding, I didn’t actually get to keep what I paid for.

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I’m currently playing around with Google+ and I have to say, even at the testing stage, I’m much happier with the functionality than I am with Facebook. Google has simply done Facebook better than Facebook.

I knew I had to try G+ as soon as I saw their “circles” idea. I like what the circles bring to the social networking sphere because it is very true, there are some things you share with your adult friends you don’t necessarily want your much younger siblings seeing (such as swearing) or maybe you’re an amateur political pundit and you’ve got friends who just don’t want to hear about your latest political grievance. They’ve made it ridiculously easy to share things with everybody or with just one circle or, heck, just one friend. And I love how they’ve made the interface so easy to use. It’s not cluttered like Facebook is. I imagine that will unfortunately not be the case over time, but for now the screen is a nice, clean setup. Also, they have the comment button (which Facebook so rudely disposed of) so you don’t get into a big epic comment, then hit enter only to have it post in the middle of the awesome point you were trying to make.

If you get the chance to try it, do. Even if you don’t like it, you can still hang out on Facebook. I’m thinking I’ll keep my Facebook account to keep in contact with friends who won’t switch, but I’m pretty much on the Google+ boat from now on.

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… I was a braindead little teenager that was absolutely convinced that the big bad world would only get better if those evil rich people would just give all their money away to people more deserving – or at least more likeable. Because rich people, by virtue of the fact they have a lot of money they are obviously hoarding, are unlikeable douchebags who would be perfectly happy if us little people disappeared and they didn’t have to deal with the riff-raff.

Then I grew up and it occurred to me: Just as I work for what I get, and groan when my paycheck is turned into a shadow of its former self by the various taxes that are involuntarily withdrawn from it, people who have spent their lives sacrificing and working for more must really feel the pain watching the results of that effort be plundered by an entity that constantly demonizes them, but can’t survive without them. I don’t know about you, but I’m less than pleased to watch money I’ve earned be taken by the government only to have them waste it on programs that don’t work, have no hope in hell of ever working, and keep us all in indentured servitude to them. I can only imagine what it must be like to earn enough to be stuck in the top tax bracket and watch it happen.

Thus began my transition from braindead progressive teen to brain-using libertarian adult. I’m grudgingly willing to admit when I’m wrong, but that means you’ve got to be on the top of your game and convince me with facts, not feelings.

Now that I’ve put that out there, you know what you’re getting into should you decide to read my blog. And it IS my blog. With that in mind, I’ll let you know that I reserve the right to delete comments I find inappropriate or ban you if you insist on leaving such comments. That said, I plan on keeping a rather loose comment policy. Just don’t test me.

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I’ve come to the conclusion that I desperately need to start blogging again. Not so much for everybody else as for myself – I need to blow off steam and writing is cathartic for me. So be on the lookout for some upcoming updates. I can’t promise there will be updates every day (I’m no Althouse), but I’ll definitely be posting at some point. And I’ll even be pulling an Instapundit and posting non-political things.

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