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Showing posts from June, 2009

Unproductive Escalations

This evening I realized that this is the last day of June and I've only posted six times this month - a disgraceful output to say the least - especially given that it's summer! I began looking over posts I had never finished and published - writing saved as draft material on Blogger. The following was written on March 19th: For over an hour now I have been reading many of the short, amusing and sad anecdotes that are posted on the site http://www.fmylife.com/. As might be gathered from the site's name, it does have obscenities and the stories within cover a wide range of topics, but anyone could find at least a few of the stories worth the reading, whether for a laugh, some advice, or a view on how stupid people really can be. The purpose of the site is to allow people to lament unfortunate and unusual occurances in their life in punchline form, and all those who read the posting input their opinion as to whether the misfortune was something the person deserved, or whether …

Death

Little more than a week ago, a nineteen-year-old committed suicide in Ketchikan, Alaska. He was the second suicide here in just a few months, but more than that, he was an upstanding young man, intelligent student, valedictorian of Kayhi's class of 2008, a guy with a future - and a friend. Who knows how many classes I had with him before he graduated last year - two, three, I don't know. We never talked all that much, but in all the time I spent around him, I never saw him cause a problem for anyone. If there were two simple things that anyone could see in him, they were that he was funny, and that he was nice. Nothing more.

I remember near the close of my junior year after he had found out he had to write a speech for graduation - much the same way I would the year after. I think I remember seeing him hand in his speech for review to Mrs. Bowlen - all handwritten. The story goes that he wrote it all totally at the last minute - and then, of course, his speaking at graduation…

Conservapedia Ban Follow-Up

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Obviously this is not too important a topic, nor one on which to linger, but I thought that if any readers were at all amused by the events occurring in this post, they would surely be amused with the continuance of the story.
Almost immediately following my writing of the afore-linked-to-post, I wrote the following email to the administrator on Conservapedia responsible for my ban. (Note my utterly shameless concilliatory writing.) Dear "TK," I have been a member of Conservapedia for a long time. I am a regular visitor of the site and an occasional contributor to many different entries. A few times during my membership I have criticized news items on the main page. Just yesterday, I decided to do so again regarding what I saw as an innappropriate and ignorant news item on the four Uyghur men released from Guantanamo Bay. The article and the item on Conservapedia seemed to me to make the statement that injustice elsewhere in the world (China) justifies the clearly unjustifia…

Permanently Blocked By Conservapedia

As you may or may not know, I have been a visitor and contributor to the site Conservapedia for quite some time. In many ways, the site is an abominable example of all that is wrong with those who will do all they can to wrap themselves in so many lies that they can no longer differentiate their own pitiful reality from the truth. It is a wellspring of hatred and ignorance, and in many cases absolutely disgusting.
Now don't get me wrong - I am not talking about conservatives. There's no way I think they are "abominable" or living in a "pitiful reality" or wrapping themselves in lies or anything like that. None of what I said above is directed at the many people who are more cautious about changes in our society. Conservapedia, which claims to represent "conservatives," is in fact a conglomiration of radical and senseless individuals devoted to attacking all they see as "liberal" (which is far more than you could ever imagine), including…

One Hundred Miles

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I have found yet another way to show some of the privileges that I and most anyone reading this blog enjoy. Forget for a moment the fact that half the world lives on just a few dollars a day or that hundreds of millions have such limited access to food, water, health care, education... all those basic rights. Forget all those things for a moment and just look at this:

5.2 billion people, 80% of the world's population, have never traveled more than 100 miles from their home.



Admittedly, travel is incomprable to the importance of income, food, water, health or education, but just think about the statistic above. There may very well be people in developed parts of the world that never see much point in going far from their home, and they may stay near it their entire life. Just the other day though I completely underestimated the distance between Ketchikan and Salem, Oregon. I needed to know it for a questionnaire and I was thinking it might have been under five hundred miles, given t…

The Kite Runner and Communism

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Not to fear, readers - this post shall not consist of the fusion of my collectivist political philosophy and a hapless piece of modern literature. This is however a bit of a collectivist post, insomuch as it is one of my classic "combo-posts." My tradition has always been three subjects per combo-post, but this morning I guess I'll be a bit of an iconoclast and go with two.

About two and a half hours ago I finished reading Khaled Hosseini's novel The Kite Runner. While ruminating over it afterwards - specifically while wiki-ing the word "Lollywood" - I got to thinking about the diversity of languages on the Indian subcontinent. Although one might initially take it as strange that the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India have so many languages spoken within them, the truth is that the diversity really isn't all that strange. Take a similar area of Europe and you'll find a multitude of languages as well. It's just that this diversity is no…

Work

I feel very much compelled to make my first post of the summer - and my first post as a high school graduate. Here it is:

Working doesn't make people rich. Owning makes people rich.

This aphorism sprung to my mind just recently, and I believe it gets to the heart of one of the greatest flaws in today's economic system. For a long time, I always thought many people placed undue emphasis on the "value of work" and often I thought that the entire concept of work being honorable was a doubtful idea. Now, however, I think I am realizing that my doubts were misplaced. Before, I thought there was a problem in people thinking that work was in and of itself a good thing; now I realize that by and large, work actually is a good thing. The problem, it seems, is that there actually aren't enough people who do real work.

When I say "real work," I am not trying to make some distinction between hard laborers or people who sit at their computers all day. No, all of th…