Friday, July 30, 2004

Political Survey
Survey floating around OD.  I saw it on Zombywoof and Popeyechicken first.
Abortion: Though I have reservations concerning the concept of men's rights, and although I personally have a bit of a distaste for it (but, truth be told, if we were confronted with a pregnancy right now we would consider abortion.  We truly don't want more kids and are taking precautions to stop that, but if it happened anyway...) this issue is between a woman and her doctor.
Age of Consent: Uh, I think a parent is responsible for, well, parenting.  And each individual is different.  However, for legal stuff I think 16 is reasonable.
Animal Testing: If we are talking medical research to cure disease, test away.  If it is to test the latest hairspray, well that is pretty sad.  However, I don't think animals have rights like humans do so I am not exactly for banning it.  But it wouldn't bother me if it was banned for frivilous testing.
Death Penalty: It's murder.  It's no deterrent.  The State shouldn't be murdering people.
Downloading Music/Movies: Read Zombywoof's opinion on intellectual property.  I agree with him.
Drug Decriminalization: Should be legal.  And taxed.
Factory Farming: Fine by me.  Regulate their waste disposal so as not to destroy the environment, but factory farming is fine.
Free Trade: The free-er the better.
Funding of the Arts: Sticky one.  The arts are a worthy cause, it does improve our culture.  I think the arts function better on their own however.  But really, I don't care very much.
Gay Marriage: Fine.  I think marriage should be a religious ceremony and civil unions for everyone.
Gun Control:There has to be some, or your neighbor can get his own ICBM.  This really depends on where you are talking.  We have gun control here in Norway, and since nobody has handguns, there isn't a lot of crime involving guns.  However, I think the US is way beyond the point where gun control will have any effect on crime.
Immigration: Free and open borders.
Hardcore Pornography: I'm for it! 
Human Cloning: Lots of ethical questions here, but that shouldn't stop science from pursuing it.  Leave the science to scientists and ethics to politicians (that was a joke).
Military Draft: No.  It's slavery.  If there is a situation where the country is in grave, mortal danger, then it would seem logical that there would be plenty of volunteers and no need for a draft. 
Minimum Wage Laws: As much as I would like to say that corporations should be allowed, in a free, capitalist society, to set the price of their labor I quite frankly don't trust corporations to act ethically. 
Prostitution: Legal, regulated and taxed.
School Vouchers: No. 
Taxes: Necessary to provide the things that people want from their governent.  As much as a libertarian paradise of everyone paying for services as they use them sounds nice on paper, I believe that there are things that only the government can provide.  We can debate what those things are of course, but we need taxes to pay for them.
United Nations: Has been a wonderful organization for helping the third world.  Not so great as a political body (indecisive and idle threats with no follow through in some cases (and yeah, I know they are at the mercy of the member states so much of the blame for inactivity is the member states fault)).  Good idea in theory, needs some work.
Universal Health Care: Cheaper and more efficient than the American system (You can talk all day long about waiting lists and such, but what it comes down to is that the US spends more than twice as much per person on healthcare and tons of people have non at all.  And US health care is rationed as well: it is rationed on the ability to pay).  I do think, however, that the scale that it would need to be implemented in the US is too large.  Perhaps if it was done by state or region. 
War on Terror: Let's just say it's a nice slogan, but what George Bush is doing is not eliminating terror.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Thought I would add something from my personal journal here.  I don't know what the future of this blog will be, I just don't have enough time to update very often.  Anyway, I am posting this, and probably the only reading this so I am talking to myself, so that this blog doesn't get deleted or anything. 

So this morning I was down taking the trash out at work and I saw something that sparked a memory of someone I am not sure I have mentioned here before.  I saw a heavy nurse eating a hotdog.  At nine in the morning.  Now let me get the disclaimers out of the way before I go on.  I have nothing against heavy people, primarily because I could stand to lose a pound or 30.  And I certainly don't have a problem with anyone being overweight if they like themselves the way they are.  For all I know, this woman is the most centered person in the world, so more power to her.  What this did, though, is remind me of a person I used to work with back in the States.
We called her The Mustache.  It was so descriptive of her, because she did in fact have a yucky black mustache, but also because she carried that ugliness into her personality as well (in fact, I describe her as ugly more because her personality was so offensive, even though she wasn't very physically attractive as well).  She was just the most horrible person to work with.  She never smiled, she always complained, and every conversation with her felt like you were destroying her life with your petty requests for her to, gasp, do her job.

Anyway, she was overweight.  This was at a time where I had been about 40 pounds too heavy and had used a combination of dieting and massive amounts of time spent on my bicycle to get down to a pretty respectable 178 pounds.  She was also trying to lose weight and constantly came over to talk to me about it.  She gave me advice, advice she received from her personal trainer.  Advice I didn't really need because I had lost the weight I wanted to lose and was back to eating sensibly and still exercising like mad (I found that if I rode my bike for 45 minutes a day through the week, I could eat most of what I wanted without gaining anything).  But half the times that she came to me in the morning to waste my time and irritate me, she was eating a donut, or a Butterfinger (Mmmmmm....Butterfinger) or any other really bad for you food. 
And that is what irritated me the most.  I wanted to yell at her, "Hey!  If you are so concerned about losing weight, how about laying off the donuts???"  Basically, if you are going to complain about how heavy you are, and that you want to lose weight, it is hard to fathom why you are always eating fattening food.  Right now, I am overweight again (fat, married and happy as the saying goes), and I eat plenty of bad food.  But I don't complain about being fat.  Well, only in the sense that I want to lose the weight but I haven't chosen to do anything about it yet.  I know that, and thus I don't moan about being overweight.

Now I know that some people have a hard time losing weight and all that.  But eating donuts is not gonna make you thinner, no matter genetics or psychology.  And I know I shouldn't apologize for anything I think or write, but if you are heavy and were offended by any of this, fuck off.  No, that was a joke.  Seriously, I don't mean to offend anyone who is overweight.  Just this woman who irritated me so.  She can be offended all she wants.  (and by the by, her sister also worked for the company, and she was really, really fat combined with really poor hygeine and the same aforementioned toxic personality.  You can be really big and be plenty beautiful, but she wasn't at all.)

And this sort of reminded me of this girl in high school.  She was heavy, and really shy and not very pretty and probably just wanted to be left alone or treated nicely.  And to make matters even worse, once in class, for whatever reason, she peed her pants sitting at her desk.  Of course, this was really amusing to 16 year old boys and she got mocked quite a bit for this (I have to say that I did no mocking to her face, but laughed inside at the same time that I felt really bad for her).  And to make matters even worse, for her, was she had the biggest asshole sitting right behind her.  he would poke her, flick her hair, kick her chair.  It was terrible to watch, and I sat there and did nothing. 

So this asshole is behind her.  One day, he uses most of the class time to tie her shoelaces to the legs of her chair.  She didn't notice until she stood up to leave in a hurry, like she always did, and fell flat on her face.  And god help me, I laughed.  Couldn't help it.  The whole class laughed and I am sure she was absolutely humiliated. 

And now I wonder whatever became of her.  Hopefully she went on to be something really great.  I hope she has a husband and kids, if that is what she wants.  Or a great career.  Either way, if I ever saw her again I would apologize for not doing something about that asshole.  Or at least helping her up.  And for the laughing.  Sorry about that.

God, I hope my kids don't end up on either side of the kind of nasty shit that takes place in high school.