April 30, 2006

One relatively amusing factoid

about the Immigrant Solidarity Day:

It's being held on International Workers' Day.

Does anyone know if this was intentional?

Hat tip: Hit & Run

Immigrant Solidarity—Monday, 11pm: Be There or Be a Jerk

Okay, let's clear up something. Joe reported this morning on the Immigrant Solidarity March/Rally that is happening on Monday and also on this signage incident. (Someone graffiti'd a flyer with the word "ILLEGAL" over the top.) Joe accuses supporters of immigrant rights of being both ignorant and misinforming, a common tandem in conservative-speak whenever the writer is about to put one over on you himself (or herself).

The first trick Malchow and his ilk are trying to play is to highlight Bush's moderate guest-worker program while ignoring the actions of groups like the Minutemen (NH website here) and the House in passing HR 4437 (which didn't have a guest worker programs) and the general nuts who babble about national purity and keeping our English language sacrosanct and safe from all that Mexican. These groups and efforts are not insignificant. HR 4437 actually passed the House.

The second trick these duplicitous fools are trying to play is to cast all supporters of a more liberal immigration policy as open advocates of illegal immigration. This is false. The people marching on Monday (and I hope to be one of them) are not encouraging illegal activity. They are encouraging a saner, safer, and more practical policy of dealing with the 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants that are here already and a better, more effective package of legislation and policies that will find ways to structure the process of immigration in such a way that both America and the immigrants benefit legally. On top of that, these staunch "lawfulness" advocates miss the point—this is a human-rights issue as well as an issue of law.

Thirdly, Joe downplays the level of anti-immigrant animosity on campus. This poster, put up by the Dartmouth College Republicans should give you a different view:

Also, I must mention this: Joe states: "Anyway, do I want that representing my school? Yes, m’aam [sic]. No one ever said good grammar... is bad for a fine little New Hampshire college." Well, Joe has an orthographic error instead of a grammatical error there, but how is grammar related to protesting for the rights of immigrants? Is writing well then related to counter-protesting? Because if so, Joe's efforts will surely doom the counter-protest crowd.

Colbert @ White House Correspondents' Dinner

Simply, the funniest political commentary you'll hear/see all year.

Edit: I didn't see this before making my post, but Joe unsurprisingly asserts that Colbert "bombed," while the President soared. Actually, I agree that Bush also did well. After all, it's not like there's only enough material for one. But I do find it rather sad that cons can only laugh at the President if he's the one telling the jokes.

Here's a joke for all you cons, though:


More: I guess the Crooks & Liars didn't catch everything, because this report has some comments that I don't remember.

April 28, 2006

Sorry for all the Text

Speaking of backlash, this bitch has been making the rounds lately as well- I don't know who wrote it, holla at me if you do.
Monday, April 24:
"There are an estimated 109 rapes a year on campus. This
means that if you are a woman at Dartmouth, there is a 17
percent chance that you will be raped on campus before you
graduate." – Tim Andreadis
Tuesday, April 25:
Andreadis receives 55% of number-one votes a preliminary
SA Poll. 43% of respondents say Rape/Sexual Assault is an
issue they would like to see their SA president address,
making it the most important issue for respondents.

Tim Andreadis takes a noble stance in his opinion piece by
aiming to use the Student Assembly to combat the problem
of rape on Dartmouth's campus. However, the statistics
that Andreadis cites are being used to mislead and
misinform the campus. Andreadis cites a Daily Dartmouth
article to say that there are 109 rapes per year at
Dartmouth, and that there is a 17% chance that a female
undergraduate will be raped during her time at Dartmouth.
("Many rape incidents occur yearly at College," Feb. 6).
There is no factual basis for Andreadis' numbers.

The article Andreadis quotes reviewed a poll of a
stratified random sample of 4,446 college women who were
attending 2- or 4-year colleges. It was not a study of
Dartmouth College, of Ivy League schools, of small
schools, of private schools, or of New England colleges.
The study did not discuss between-school differences.
Andreadis presents no evidence that Dartmouth's rape rate
is the same as the national average.

Even if one were to make the heroic assumption that
Dartmouth's rape rate was the same as the national average
reported in the study, there is a further problem. This
study took place almost ten years ago and used only one
year's worth of data. Using a single year's data to
predict the rate of a major violent crime ten years later
can lead to incredible inaccuracies. For example: In
1990, the murder rate in Washington DC was 77.8 murders
per 10,000 people. By 2000, the murder rate was 41.8 /
10,000, nearly one half of what the 1990 value would have
predicted (if we can even call it a prediction). There is
good evidence that rape rates have also declined.
According to the Rape Abuse and Incest Nationwide Network
(www.RAINN.org), sexual assault has plummeted 64% since
1994. Given this evidence, we should not assume that the
rape rate for US College Women has remained constant since
the study was conducted.

Even if we believed both of these assumptions, there are
good reasons to doubt Andreadis' numbers. The study he
cites indicated that 1.7% of college women were raped and
1.1% of college women were victims of attempted rape in
any given academic year. That adds up to a 6.8% chance of
being raped over the course of four years at an college
which is at the nationwide average rape rate, and a
further 4.4% chance of being a victim of an attempted
rape. If a college campus has 2,000 women and the average
national rape victimization rate from 1996, one would
expect 34 rapes and 22 attempted rapes. Even his study
does not support either of his statistical claims.

Even rape victims advocacy groups would not agree with
Andreadis.. According to RAINN and the Rape Treatment
Center at UCLA Medical Center (www.911rape.org), one in
six (16.7%) women will be a victim of either attempted or
completed rape at some point during her life. Andreadis
claims that the rate of completed rape during four years
at an Ivy League college is greater than the rate of rape
and the rate of attempted rape combined over a woman's
entire life. Even if the rate of rape at college is
higher than during any other four year period in a woman's
life, Andreadis' suggested 17% statistic is absurd.

The only actual rape victimization numbers at Dartmouth
come from Safety and Security's annual report. According
to S & S, there were 3 rapes reported in 2003, 8 in 2004
and 8 in 2005. These numbers are probably lower than the
true number of rapes at Dartmouth in any given year. But
no one knows what the rape reporting rates on this campus,
this year are. Rape Abuse and Incest National Network, a
victims-advocacy group, estimates 42% of rapes in the last
five years were reported. The Sexual Victimization of
College Women study estimated only 5% of rapes were
reported in 1996. Using reporting rate numbers to
determine the true rate of

Statistics are one of the most powerful persuasive tools
for a relatively educated population with little time to
read deeper into the issues. They provide casual readers
with a factual, quantitative basis for making informed
decisions. Those who provide the numbers, journalists,
opinion columnists, and in this case, electoral
candidates, have an ethical responsibility to ensure that
they are providing accurate representations of the
underlying phenomena they attempt to describe. The rate
of rape at Dartmouth has serious psychological and
practical consequences for students and prospective
students alike. I hope this review of some of the
relevant facts will encourage skepticism of some of the
more extreme claims about the rate of sexual assault at
Dartmouth College and induce individuals to review the
relevant literature and formulate their own, independent
opinions about the prevalence of sexual assault at
Dartmouth. The subject of rape is too significant to
allow anything less.

This is deliberately misleading: the article in question does quote the study this dude mentions, but it uses it as counterpoint/background to the following:
A perhaps fairer estimate is 109 completed rapes per year at Dartmouth, a number that was considered accurate by the Coordinator of the Sexual Abuse Awareness Program Leah Prescott.
This begs the question: do these bags think that Leah Prescott, who gets paid to think about and deal with sexual assault at Dartmouth, is lying, or do they think she is incompetent? Do they think she is out to get the fraternity system? Do you really think the College is going to make up violent crime statistics just go get a few drunk guys off their lawns? What the fuck kind of movie are these people living in?

Today's D:

Did anyone read this shitball of an op-ed purporting to be a sort of admonition to Dartmouth about Tim's presidency and campaign?

Well, if not do, and in the meantime, I'll sum it up: 'Don't take Tim's campaign or his victory seriously now and you're stupid if you ever did.'
It seems as though all of his supporters fell victim to popular rhetoric and empty promises. Let's face it, our new student body president is not going to be able to solve sexual assault and diversity issues on campus. In fact, he hardly presents coherent plans for any of the problems that he identifies. To those of you who voted for him based on the hope that he would make our school a much more tolerant place, I am sorry you were so thoroughly deceived.
This type of argument is the most insidious form of conservatism—'I recognize the utter seriousness of this horrible, horrible problem. But it's so serious that we can't address it, and supporting people who try is a worse option than just letting it go because doing so would "waste resources."'

I'm going to personally mail this Nicholas Martin 10 copies of the report when it's published and he can just shove the "wasting resources" excuse up his ignorant ass.

Sure, there may be a better strategy to prevent sexual assault than Tim's, but that better strategy will not be found by refusing to address the issue and accusing those who do of "fear-mongering" and ridiculing those who support the effort as "disappointing" and duped.

Nicholas Martin is the only one here who is trying to dupe anyone, selling negligence and irresponsibility as a snakeoil form of caution.

April 27, 2006

Throwbacks for Jesus

Christian Throwback Jerseys

The best part? The subtitle for the brand is "a proud sponsor of Jesus Christ"

April 26, 2006

I Hope This Makes a Goddamn Bit of Difference

The election went just the way we hoped it would- Andreadis by a landslide, followed by Zubricki, Patinkin, and Chick.

Hopefully the country will follow our example here in a coupla months.

Results elaborated upon here.

It is my belief that somewhere there exists some '10 girl who will go to some frat one night and NOT get raped, based on what we've done here today. How can you put a price on that shit?

The other thing to keep in mind is that this is the 09 class's first experience with an election, and it was actually worthy of an institution of the caliber we've supposedly got going here. Hopefully they won't go back to running on vending machines and supporting the Greek system EVEN MORE.

April 25, 2006

Dartmouth People Read This


You need to vote for Tim Andreadis for SA President. It actually is important that you do this. At this point it shouldn't be necessary to go over why. All you libby kids who read this blog should at some point stop by Robo 107 and see what you can do, if only for like half an hour. It will be as easy as taking your laptop to collis for 45 minutes and hanging out and yelling "have you voted?" a lot.

If you are like me, you'll be somewhat anxious at the thought of people's dirty hands all over your business. But I bought some rubbing alcohol today at Topside, and I will hook you up. Your computer will actually be CLEANER when you're done than it was when you started, and you'll FEEL better, too, cause you're preventing sexual assault!

And trying to keep your minority professors!

And sticking it to the D!

Your penis will probably grow an inch or so, unless you are a girl, in which case your partner's penis will probably grow some, unless your are a lesbian or possibly even bisexual girl who is currently involved with another woman, in which case your penis growth will be donated to that place in the world where there is the most need.

Please stress that you need to write Tim in. Also, if any of your filthy friends wish to vote for Patinkin, tell them to put Timmy second, on the grounds that Patinkin is probably gonna be out pretty quick, so a 2nd place vote for Timmy should be just as good as a 1st in such cases.

April 24, 2006

Are nuclear "bunker busters" really a good idea?

This simulation by the Union of Concerned Scientists details the potential problems of adding a nuclear element (depleted uranium) to conventional bunker busters. One key point is that if the penetration depth of the bunker is at all uncertain, the repercussions could be unconscionable--this simulation claims that up to 3 million people could die from the explosion and radiation effects if a nuclear bunker buster were dropped on the Isfahan nuclear facility. Aside from the potential fallout, cost-benefit analysis of these weapons reveals that they are developed at great expense even though they may not even be effective. Shouldn't the government be more certain to develop a weapon that clearly works rather one that only might work? Be sure to turn up the sound to hear the commentary.

April 23, 2006

Review 25th Anniversary Issue

Just caught this: underneath Linsalata's editorial runs the following:
This edition of The Dartmouth Review, coinciding with out Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Gala (the program for the even appears on the back page), memorializes the accomplishments, trials, and tribulations of the paper with a collection notable articles [sic] culled from our archives, with original publication dates noted for each. Most articles also appear in our newly-published anthology. Sensitive readers should be forewarned that the articles reproduced herein are presented solely for the sake of historical appreciation, and may not reflect the views of the current editorial staff.
Depending on your point of view, Mr. Linsalata is either much more circumspect than his predecessors, or gutless. I vote circumspect, but I nevertheless hope Ingraham, D'Douche-a, et al. feel a little betrayed by this slight dissent/pandering to "sensitive readers."

But Ellis has to win some sort of prize for this line: "It is with irony that we note that the same people who once attacked the Review for its supposed offensiveness now attack it for not being attacked by them enough." So we (people like Connor, Niral, and I) attack it because we don't attack it (enough)?

With new staffers like Mr. Ellis, you can bet the White House will be pulling out of its little funk very soon.

April 22, 2006

"P.S. I sing in the shower. Don't tell my wife"

Helena Keeffe put out a challenge to write a speech that shows a kinder, gentler President Bush.

The winners? Five students from Rooftop Elementary in (well, okay, this was kind of inevitable) San Francisco.

April 18, 2006

This is what can be great about blogging

The Nata Village Blog: "A unique opportunity to witness the battle to control the spread of HIV/AIDS in an African [Botswanian] village"

April 17, 2006

This Shit is Backwards

So these guys hate gays so much they actually came around the other way and started hating America and the troops too. I think it's fucking awesome that there's actually one group standing up actually saying shit like "Thank God for IEDs" and they're hard-right bible-thumpers.

I sort of blame gay people for not being big enough in the public eye right now to make these people all explode. I want to see some shit outta the Castro in the next month or so that I've never even heard of.

The Beautiful People's Club

I've been doing a bit of reading these days on the underlying concepts of creating welfare states, with a lot of dialogue on just what the sources of inequity in society are, and which of them are worth correcting. Even the borderline-pyschotic, willful ignorance of libertarianism can grant that any form of discrimination is bad, if an individual is not being granted opportunities based on merit. Of course, what happens if the discrimination is just a bit too ingrained in our culture?

"For instance, the essential difference between a ranting lunatic like Ann Coulter - who at a national GOP event last month gave a speech in which she referred to Arabs as "ragheads," and who has opined that "we should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity" - and the schizophrenic bag lady who wanders the downtown mall is that Coulter is equipped with a law degree and long glossy blonde hair."

Now, I'm sure Ms. Coulter's law degree counts for something, but we all know that its not the main reason she has an audience. That quote is from a wonderful little op-ed column by Paul Campos titled Heed the Fat Bald Guy Rule that's been getting links and mentions about the internet lately. It might not change your opinion of fairness in society, but at least you've got a good conversation piece now.

April 15, 2006

Blogging "relieves me of the need to be right...and demands only that I be interesting"

Stanley Fish didn't exactly say the above about blogging (he said it about deconstruction), but it works even better for blogging.

According to Wonkette, Stanley Fish is blogging at the Times, and she has some quotes up about him, but I must remain agnostic, as the whole blog is TimesSelected.

Wait, doesn't that mean that the TimesSelect users community is actually the author of the blog, Mr. Fish? I hope you're not getting paid for it.

April 12, 2006

Secrets from Inside the White House

Something Awful thread from "a White House insider" detailing small quirks and embarrassing anecdotes about many of the top brass. Funny, even if it may not be true. Amazing if it is.

Regardless of the truth of these anecdotes, the original poster makes some very good points, like this one:
Democracy as a government relies upon the ability of factions to compromise on divisive issues through rational debate instead of violence. The current political power brokers have figured out how to short circuit this process by focusing national attention on issues which are based on differences of non-negotiable, irrational moral sentiment, and are thus not subject to resolution through rational reconciliation. They've broken democracy.
Not really original, but well and succinctly put. If you want to waste some time, just browse through the thread reading Martin Random's comments. You'll also find additional anecdotes like this: "Wolfowitz in the office, clutching a cellular phone with white knuckles, slamming his set of personal pictures face down on his shelf one by one, each time screaming, "CUNT! CUNT CUNT CUNT CUNT!""

This one was great too: Someone asked, "Do you have any insight on the enraged walrus that's been unleashed upon the UN, John Bolton?" and Martin Random replied, "Before he eats something, he fixates his eyes on it intently as if he is willing it to die."

April 11, 2006

Good post on Iran

Via Majikthise, I found this very good, very perceptive post on the situation with Iran.

Today, if you haven't heard, Iran has claimed a breakthrough in producing enriched uranium. This is coming on the heels of a burgeoning debate over the suitability and viability of using American military force to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

One interesting part of all this is the by-now standard conservative assertion that anyone who challenges or questions the President's military policies, or now even the policies he may or may not be contemplating, is aiding our enemies by making our will seem less resolute, our threats less credible. This marvelous paragraph shows just how idiotic that kind of argument is—the President has beaten every critic to the punch-line!
the US doesn't appear to have the resources to make legitimate threats to Iran. This is the problem of leverage. Ahmadinejad has been gambling on this being precisely the case: that the threats are empty. I, for one, think he's right. Note the Hersh article again. There's a line that says an attack on Iran would make southern Iraq "light up like a Christmas tree." An attack on Iran would likely mean the final defeat in the Iraq War. And don't think the UK, the only ally dumb enough to follow the US wholeheartedly into Iraq, doesn't know this given its presence in southern Iraq. The inability to defeat enemies in Iraq that the US doesn't really even know does not inspire confidence.
C'mon you cons: Bush doesn't need critics to make his threats look empty; he has Iraq.

What We're Dealing With

in those who take a hardline stance against immigration [this was Andrew Sullivan's Malkin Award nominee today]:
"Every day now, it seems, hundreds of thousands of ungrateful human parasites rally in American cities condemning their host country's lack of hospitality... They have taken advantage of loopholes in our laws by dropping babies in this country who automatically become U.S. citizens, despite the illegal entry and presence of the parents ... They have forced Americans to spend hours a year listening to voice-mail operators give them language options. They have forced Americans to pay the cost of bilingual ballots and for Spanish translators at thousands of government agencies. The very character of our once-cohesive English-speaking country is threatened...

"I'm afraid most Americans have been successfully fattened up for slaughter... Brave men gave their lives for over two centuries to defend our Constitution, our independence and the right of the people to govern themselves under the rule of law. For what? So that a slow invasion over 25 years could take away everything Americans had so gallantly fought to protect?...

"They are darn lucky I am not running the country. I would order mass arrests at these events, forcing every single participant to prove their legal right to be in this country or face deportation. I keep hearing about how expensive it would be to find all of the illegals and deport them. They are making it very easy for us with these rallies. The fact that no one is even suggesting roundups shows just how far gone our country is."

-Joseph Farah, World News Daily

April 9, 2006

More on Iran

The British press (The Times, The Telegraph, Apr. 9) is reporting that the Bush Administration has already decided to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities before it relinquishes power in 2008. The attack may be delayed until 2007, when "Big Blu," a 15 ton conventional "bunker buster" bomb, is ready. A nuclear strike is also in contemplation. The idea is to present the nation and world with a fait accompli rather than to attempt to secure UN approval or to wrangle together another "coalition of the willing."
Leiter Reports

Here is a thorough analysis of all the reasons why invading or even just bombing Iran would be utterly self-destructive. This is really important reading for anyone who is concerned even a little that there is a possibility we may bomb Iran, and should be required reading for people who brush that possibility off.

People like Joe Malchow, that is. Here is Joe, the condensed version:

Seymour Hersh is a horrible journalist and always wrong, but I'm going to affirm everything that he accused Bush of doing and call it responsible leadership. And if you don't like the ideas of imperialism and using nuclear weapons on a country that poses no immediate threat, you should shut up, because that might make the President look bad in front of his enemies.

O, one more thing: Israel's plan for taking out the Iranian nuclear sites includes the use of explosives-carrying dogs.

Manliness at the Review

From Weston Sager's quasi-review of Harvey Mansfield's book, Manliness:
While men are more naturally suited for leadership positions with their brazen self-confidence and desire for recognition, women succeed in positions where nurturing and verbal skill are more important than manly assertiveness.
Ahhhh. So this explains why the Review can't write well anymore. Verbal skills are womanly.

Go play some badminton, Weston, and try not to over-exert your "preverbal muscles," whatever those are.

O, and just as an aside, I think I spied Review editor Dan Linsalata sporting what appeared to be a white woven belt the other day. Whatever "manliness" is, it is not white woven belts. Unfortunately, the "womanliness" of the belt didn't do very much in helping Mr. Linsalata write an editorial. YA GET IT?

April 8, 2006

Not good news

A must read article from Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker detailing the current preparations for war with Iran.

Hitchens had a column up on Slate early last month calling for Bush to follow Nixon's example in American-Chinese relations and personally open up the dialogue with Iran. Sounds like that's what most sane people are recommending.

April 7, 2006

Plugging Into a Dubious Venture

The idea behind “plug-in hybrid” vehicles seems to be spreading like wildfire. Hailed as a solution to the petroleum problem, advocates point to the seemingly attractive potential of having vehicles that can achieve more than 100 miles per gallon of gasoline, on currently available vehicles, no less! Indeed, a tiny group of enthusiasts in California say they are able to do so. The basic idea is that current production hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, can be modified or “hacked” to accept a extra batteries and a power cord; this would allow for one to plug in the car overnight to fill up the batteries and allow this extra power to be used the next time one drives her vehicle. Toyota is quick to point out that although the idea is intriguing, it’s not ready for prime time.

Many proponents argue in favor of plug-in hybrids under the guise of energy independence—as Marc Franke states in EV World: “Americans would be thrilled if they could ‘Plug-in’ each night and charge their PHEVs for tomorrow's commute. I know during the oil shocks of the 70's (when we only imported 28% of our oil) with their long gasoline lines and shortages, we'd have been highly relieved to have a source of fuel at home in our garages!” This line of logic makes it sound as if we had a free source of energy coming into our houses without any environmental repercussions. However, this may be environmentally disastrous.

The inherent beauty of standard hybrid technology (i.e., not plug-in) is not that hybrid vehicles emit fewer emissions relative to their non-hybrid counterparts. This is just a very positive externality, albeit a corollary. The true beauty lies in the concept of efficiency. That is, if I put in X units of fuel, how much work can I get out of my vehicle? From an energy input/output standpoint, the simple fact that for a single gallon of gas that I put into a hybrid, I will be able to go farther than if I did not have a hybrid, ceteris paribus. Any engineer, environmentalist, or economist must appreciate this fact—there is less waste in the system. Clever technologies have resulted in socially beneficial results, and should thus be supported.

However once plug-in hybrids add an extra energy input, the net impact and net energy balance requires a much deeper analysis. Contrary to popular belief, the straightforward miles per gallon figure becomes a whole lot less comparable, for one has to measure the individual impact of each energy source. This calculation is not easy, and perhaps one may discover that on net, plug-in hybrids benefit society. However, if we think about just how that plug will charge the batteries, the argument becomes a lot less convincing. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 49.8% of electric power comes from coal. Compounded with the fact that coal-fired electricity is the top carbon dioxide emitter per unit electricity (by a large margin), the implications for global warming are mixed at best.

Cost-benefit analyses should be conducted to the fullest extent for all supposed “energy independence” solutions. Yet, we must measure the benefits accurately so that we do not proceed down a potentially devastating path. Conventional hybrid technology has innovatively recaptured energy that otherwise would have been lost (for example, friction from braking used to be lost as heat). Messing with this success by plugging-in these hybrids may not be the miracle that will alleviate transportation’s energy problem.

April 6, 2006

Hey Christians:

So I'm in a class on the Protestant Reformation right now. Here is your boy Martin Luther on marriage. I think it makes an interesting parallel to the issue of gay marriage today:
Now we read nowhere that the man who marries a wife receives any grace of God. No, there is not even a divinely instituted sign in marriage, or nowhere do we read that marriage was instituted by God to be a sign of anything...

Furthermore, since marriage existed from the beginning of the world and is still found among unbelievers, it cannot possibly be called a sacrament of the New Law and the exclusive possession of the Church. The marriages of the ancients were no less sacred than are ours, nor are those of unbelievers less true marriages than those of believers, and yet they are not regarded, as sacraments. Besides, there are even among believers married folk who are wicked and worse than any heathen; why should marriage be called a sacrament in their case and not among the heathen? [...]

[T]hey [Christian dogmatists] clung to the mere sound of the words, no, to their own fancies. For, having once arbitrarily taken the word sacrament to mean a sign, they immediately, without thought or scruple, made a sign of it every time they came upon it in the Sacred Scriptures. Such new meanings of words and such human customs they have also elsewhere dragged into Holy Writ, and conformed it to their dreams, making anything out of any passage whatsoever. Thus they continually chatter nonsense about the terms: good and evil works, sin, grace, righteousness, virtue, and wellnigh every one of the fundamental words and things. For they employ them all after their own arbitrary judgment, learned from the writings of men, to the detriment both of the truth of God and of our salvation...

"There shall be those that give heed to spirits of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, forbidding to marry." ( 1 Timothy 4:1 ff.) What is forbidding to marry if it is not this to invent all those hindrances and set those snares, in order to prevent men from marrying or, if they be married, to annul their marriage? Who gave this power to men? Granted that they were holy men and impelled by godly zeal, why should another's holiness disturb my liberty? Why should another's zeal take me captive? Let whoever will, be a saint and a zealot, and to his heart's content; only let him not bring harm upon another, and let him not rob me of my liberty!
So marriage isn't really instituted by God at all, it depends on the fancies of sanctimonious asshats for its divine pretensions, and liberty in marriage trumps zealotry. And this was all in 1520 CE. And you haven't learned.

Well Thank God

Notre Dame President, the Rev. John I. Jenkins, decides to let the university's Vagina Monologues and Gay Film Festival continue.

Jenkins had earlier announced his intention to sack the events, but now says that he has learned something since he made those earlier statements. Like Saul/Paul, he has now seen the light, and is redeemed.

He said, "What I learned was we do really need to find ways to advance discussion about issues that have to [do] with women."


April 4, 2006

'Don't Be Wavin' no Hispanic Flags Around Here, Ya Hear!'

DailyKos post aggregating the conservative furor over the presence of Mexican flags at protests about, well, the conservative furor over the presence of Mexicans in America.

My favorite quote has to be John McCain: "the Hispanic community risks a backlash if it become unruly or too many Hispanic flags - and not enough American flags - are at these protests."

A) They are protesting an already occurring, irrational backlash
B) What is a Hispanic flag? Can John McCain not say the word "Mexican?"

Also, I don't watch CNN that often, so I had no idea that Lou Dobbs has turned into a zealous hatehead. Wow is he a prick.

More: Read this post from VoxBaby—the extended quotation from Real Clear Politics does an admirable job approximating how I think a lot of people actually feel about immigration.

Then read the first comment to the post—it shows why that notion of immigration is historically inaccurate and therefore, I would say, dangerous to apply to the current situation.

April 2, 2006

More or less surprising results

from a study seeking a bias against conservative students in college.
* The more liberal students are, the more likely they are to take courses in fields like sociology and American studies where “questions of social justice” are a focus. Conservative students are more likely to enroll in departments like economics and business. This is a key fact, Kemmelmeir said, because the fields conservatives tend to study are fields where average grades are lower — across all political groups. So when conservative students complain that their grades are lower than their liberal friends, they might be right — but it has nothing to do with bias.

* In disciplines that tend to attract more liberal students, there was no relationship between students’ politics and the grades they received. The disciplines examined here included sociology, American studies, African-American studies, cultural anthropology, education, nursing and women’s studies.

* In disciplines that tend to attract more conservative students (economics and all of the disciplines in business schools), conservatives have a slight edge — the equivalent of 0.25 on a 4-point graduate point average scale.

Indoctrination Rules! Bonus: It's Dax!

The Los Angeles Times did a totally kickin' article about how some plucky teens in Missouri are, like, totally rebelling against the sickeningly entrenched Evolutionist establishment! They use radical church resources like DVDs to combat the specter of empirical knowledge!

Fuck, man, at least the burnouts in my high school rebelled by buying giant pants, doing three hits of E every day at lunch, and gnashing their teeth all through Regular Chemistry, which I of course took. (Not to brag, but I received a B-.) They at least had the decency to be awesome, which these fuckheads don't.

Unrelatedly, the D recently ran a movie review of the movie "V for Vendetta." The headline was "R for Retarded." Quickly! Someone please explain to me how this is at all acceptable. The D has recently come under the leadership of one Dax Tejera who, by all accounts, is a giant asshole. (It should be noted at this point that I am more than a bit biased, as my youngest brother Jack, age 8, has Down Syndrome.) I am certainly not implying anything but the question is begged: if I had a newspaper, and I decided to run a headline "P is for Pretentious, Drunk-Driving Prick" would he be okay with me publishing it?

[edit] Seal makes the valid point that I was also being a dick.

April 1, 2006

"Pin All Your Romantic Hopes on Google"

Google Romance:

"When you think about it, love is just another search problem. And we’ve thought about it. A lot. Google Romance™ is our solution.

Google Romance is a place where you can post all types of romantic information and, using our Soulmate Search™, get back search results that could, in theory, include the love of your life. Then we'll send you both on a Contextual DateTM, which we'll pay for while delivering to you relevant ads that we and our advertising partners think will help produce the dating results you're looking for.

With Google Romance, you can:

* Upload your profile – tell the world who you are, or, more to the point, who you’d like to think you are, or, even more to the point, who you want others to think you are.
* Search for love in all (or at least a statistically significant majority of) the right places with Soulmate Search, our eerily effective psychographic matchmaking software.
* Endure, via our Contextual Dating option, thematically appropriate multimedia advertising throughout the entirety of your free date."

Note today's date(?).

(via Metafilter)