Archive for October, 2003

Following Glenn Reynolds’ example on Instapundit, I put a 609-word blog entry of mine through the GENDER GENIE. The results were:

Female Score: 341
Male Score: 1521

I guess I’m not surprised by this. I’m frequently mistaken for male on the internet, and was accused of being a bulldyke in high school (and assumed to be one in college, although in college it’s a positive thing). And with hobbies like cars, guns, military strategy, and an interest in pornography, one might be forgiven for making the assumption. Even my mother thought I was going to be a boy before I was born.

I am, however, heterosexual and happily married. Go figure.

I tried a different blog entry to see if I could get a different statistical result, this time with a 568-word entry.

Female: 1245
Male: 1425

Now that’s a little more like it. Although, an examination of the word table results indicates that the majority of the “female” score was derived from 6 instances of the word “him”, which is to be expected in a political post about Grey Davis.

Now, shoving through a passage out of one of my works of fanfic (1397-word chunk) yielded this:

Female: 2558
Male: 1783

I dunno. Is there really something to this? The authors of the Gender Genie say it should be accurate approximately 80% of the time, based on occurrences of specific words that have a “male” or “female” value.

Personally this looks kinda like a simple parlour trick. Not sure if there is any relevant psychological conclusion to be drawn from this.

Naomi Wolf has penned a rather humorous analysis of how pornography has affected relations between the sexes. She doesn’t intend to be humorous, but that just makes it funnier.

Just the idea of someone writing yet another essay on “how pornography has destroyed civilization” made me check the date on this current essay. October 20th, 2003. Hmm. Should I laugh or cry?

Pornography happens to be one of my hot buttons (no pun intended) in the context of relations between the sexes and its relationship to human sexuality and sexual politics (if there is such a thing).

Normally I don’t comment on specious trash like this, but Wolf makes a number of claims and assertions that she doesn’t back up with any meaningful evidence, and which directly contradict my own experience as a woman and a consumer of pornography.

I encourage reading Wolf’s entire essay, but here I will excerpt portions of it for discussion.

But the effect is not making men into raving beasts. On the contrary: The onslaught of porn is responsible for deadening male libido in relation to real women, and leading men to see fewer and fewer women as “porn-worthy.” Far from having to fend off porn-crazed young men, young women are worrying that as mere flesh and blood, they can scarcely get, let alone hold, their attention.

I feel stupid even pointing this out, but I don’t think it’s especially flattering for a man to comment that a woman is “porn-worthy”. Among other things, a lot of women (and men) are extremely turned off by the pencil-thin, ribs showing, boobs-defying-gravity kinds of women that typically show up in porn aimed at straight men.

Speaking for myself, I’m not interested in trying to hold the attention of a man who is so shallow that he would rather stay home with a magazine and his own hand than go on a date with me.

Here is what young women tell me on college campuses when the subject comes up: They can’t compete, and they know it. For how can a real woman—with pores and her own breasts and even sexual needs of her own (let alone with speech that goes beyond “More, more, you big stud!”)—possibly compete with a cybervision of perfection, downloadable and extinguishable at will, who comes, so to speak, utterly submissive and tailored to the consumer’s least specification?

The assumptions being made here are interesting. 1) Young women want to compete with porn women. 2) All men want women who say ridiculous things like “More, more, you big stud!” all the time. 3) All men want a woman who will arrive and vanish at their least whim. 4) All men like “utterly submissive” women and prefer it to other dispositions. 5) All men would prefer a woman who is physically to their taste, regardless of her other qualities, over a real woman who may have other traits.

The reader may wish to digest this information for a while.

I can say from experience with many men I’ve met (and the one I married) that there are lots of men who hate submissive women. They want a partner who can challenge them intellectually and/or physically. They don’t want a servant. They want an equal.

I can also say with a fair degree of certainty that the vast number of men I have encountered truly enjoy women who have their own sexual needs. It’s a turn-on for most men to have a woman enjoy herself at their hands, to be able to give a woman pleasure. Even to have her demand more is, at least, an ego boost.

For most of human history, erotic images have been reflections of, or celebrations of, or substitutes for, real naked women.

I dispute the claim of “substitute” here. Specifically, I think that erotic images have a role of their own as objects of admiration and pleasure. Are there not many famous paintings and sculptures of nude women (and men) that are magnificent in their own right, and for which a real human being would not be an acceptable substitute?

For the first time in human history, the images’ power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women. Today, real naked women are just bad porn.

You mean they have a lousy soundtrack and grainy production quality? Obviously you are unfamiliar with the many niches of pornography that feed into the desires of real men and women consumers. There is a significant market for “fat chicks” (aka “gonzo”), “average lookers”, “amateurs” (aka “home movies”), “mature” actors, and other non-Playboy-like material.

When I came of age in the seventies, it was still pretty cool to be able to offer a young man the actual presence of a naked, willing young woman. There were more young men who wanted to be with naked women than there were naked women on the market. If there was nothing actively alarming about you, you could get a pretty enthusiastic response by just showing up. Your boyfriend may have seen Playboy, but hey, you could move, you were warm, you were real.

Um, yeah. That’s a really positive, women-empowering, feminist ideal to look up to. “Hey boys, look over here. I’m naked and I’m willing to fuck any of you who asks. No previous relationship required.”

Thirty years ago, simple lovemaking was considered erotic in the pornography that entered mainstream consciousness: When Behind the Green Door first opened, clumsy, earnest, missionary-position intercourse was still considered to be a huge turn-on.

Is it not still? And anyway, I think a lot of you folks were pretty stoned a lot of the time back then. That may sound like a flippant remark, but your comments above suggest that you were into that whole “hippie flower child free love” scene, and the moral benchmark there was pretty skewed.

Well, I am 40, and mine is the last female generation to experience that sense of sexual confidence and security in what we had to offer.

That’s a rather insulting thing to say, considering that you know nothing about my generation. I have the innate certainty that I am entitled to be a sexual creature. Unlike previous generations of women in the 20th century, I didn’t have to fight for it. I was born enjoying the fruits of the labor of real feminists who made society a place where I can work on my car, get a job, own guns, vote, wear pants, take the lead in bed, cut my hair short, speak my mind at a conference table, and not have anyone think it’s unusual.

Our younger sisters had to compete with video porn in the eighties and nineties, when intercourse was not hot enough.

I never felt the need to compete with porn when I was dating boys and young men in the 80’s and early 90’s. The kinds of boys who interested me (and who were attracted to me) were more enthralled by real femininity than the hollow shell of porn.

Now you have to offer—or flirtatiously suggest—the lesbian scene, the ejaculate-in-the-face scene.

We do? First I’ve heard of that. A woman with any self-respect won’t stoop to such tactics just to get a man’s attention, nor does she have to. And what about the non-sexual period of courtship, anyway? That still exists, you know.

Being naked is not enough; you have to be buff, be tan with no tan lines, have the surgically hoisted breasts and the Brazilian bikini wax—just like porn stars.

I’m not buff. I’m not tan. I don’t have surgically altered breasts, nor do I have a Brazilian wax. The most you could say for me is that I trim my pubic hair, but that’s for my own comfort and not anyone else’s. I didn’t have trouble getting dates.

(In my gym, the 40-year-old women have adult pubic hair; the twentysomethings have all been trimmed and styled.)

You spend a lot of time looking at the pubic hair of women in the locker room? Sorry, cheap shot. You were saying?

Pornography is addictive; the baseline gets ratcheted up. By the new millennium, a vagina—which, by the way, used to have a pretty high “exchange value,” as Marxist economists would say—wasn’t enough; it barely registered on the thrill scale. All mainstream porn—and certainly the Internet—made routine use of all available female orifices.

What exactly is your point here? That other orifices are inappropriate? That a vagina is a form of currency in a sexual barter economy? Theoretically the entire thrust (again, no pun intended) of your position is that women are not commodities, and yet you persist in referring to them as such and lamenting the “off the lot” depreciation of their body parts.

And I feel compelled to remind the reader that porn is not addictive. That issue is settled and I don’t beat dead horses (much).

The porn loop is de rigueur, no longer outside the pale; starlets in tabloids boast of learning to strip from professionals; the “cool girls” go with guys to the strip clubs, and even ask for lap dances; college girls are expected to tease guys at keg parties with lesbian kisses à la Britney and Madonna.

Most of the men and women I know consider Britney and Madonna to be vulgar, trashy, attention whores. Girls who try to be like them are similarly viewed. Perhaps like attracts like, and such girls draw exactly the kinds of men they deserve. A girl does not go looking for a serious life partner at a strip club or a keg party.

The young women who talk to me on campuses about the effect of pornography on their intimate lives speak of feeling that they can never measure up, that they can never ask for what they want; and that if they do not offer what porn offers, they cannot expect to hold a guy.

What kinds of modern, liberated women are these, anyway? What a bunch of whining losers! “I can’t get a man, I’m not sexy, I’m not allowed to ask for what I want in a relationship.” Bah! I thought the point of the feminist movement was to give women power, not take it away!

The young men talk about what it is like to grow up learning about sex from porn, and how it is not helpful to them in trying to figure out how to be with a real woman.

They could, you know, read (or maybe not, considering the state of public education these days). There are a zillion and a half books on this subject that men could turn to. Talking to a real women might also prove enlightening. What woman would turn down the chance to educate a man this way, even if purely platonically?

Mostly, when I ask about loneliness, a deep, sad silence descends on audiences of young men and young women alike. They know they are lonely together, even when conjoined, and that this imagery is a big part of that loneliness. What they don’t know is how to get out, how to find each other again erotically, face-to-face.

Boo-frickin’-hoo. Welcome to college. College kids are lonely. They’re scared. They’re idealistic, ambitious, and poorly prepared for the real world (largely because of people like you). Does it occur to you that the people who attend your lectures are a highly self-selecting, biased group?

. . .a conversation I had at Northwestern, after I had talked about the effect of porn on relationships. “Why have sex right away?” a boy with tousled hair and Bambi eyes was explaining. “Things are always a little tense and uncomfortable when you just start seeing someone,” he said. “I prefer to have sex right away just to get it over with. You know it’s going to happen anyway, and it gets rid of the tension.”

“Isn’t the tension kind of fun?” I asked. “Doesn’t that also get rid of the mystery?”

“Mystery?” He looked at me blankly. And then, without hesitating, he replied: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Sex has no mystery.”

You talk to one doe-eyed, ignorant bozo at a lecture and suddenly he’s the embodiment of his whole generation? Supports your thesis nicely, but it isn’t valid or relevant. This boy is obviously missing out on a lot of the fun of courtship, and that’s his loss. But can we blame pornography for this? That is the equivocation you are trying to make, right?

If this is the best that Naomi Wolf can do, I remember now why I don’t usually pay any attention to her or her colleagues.

Find something new to talk about, Naomi. This horse has been dead for two decades.

I’ve just finished watching this recently released video allegedly showing Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris “practicing” for their murderous rampage, which took place about 6 weeks after the events in the video. As a gun owner and a recreational shooter of targets, maybe my viewpoint will be useful in tempering the hysterical remarks I’ve been reading in the media about the contents of said video.

The session takes place in a wooded area, obviously not very near any homes or other human habitation. Taking guns into the woods to shoot at trivial targets such as cans or rocks (“plinking”) is not unusual. This is a perfectly common practice in many parts of the world, including the United States.

The weapons in the video that I recognize include a sawed-off shotgun, an AK-47, something that might be a mini-Uzi, and a large caliber semi-automatic pistol. They appear to have brought only bowling pins to use as targets. Everything else they shoot at is in the area; trees, rocks, etc.

The Fox News story includes remarks like:

“The videotape is important,” said Randy Brown. “What’s really important is did the sheriff see it, did the school see it, or did the parents see it? How many opportunities were missed to stop these two killers?”

Frankly there is nothing remarkable about this video. It’s some young people in the woods with guns, having fun shooting at stuff. They don’t exhibit any pathological or disturbing behavior.

They can be heard laughing, joking and making cavalier comments about what it would be like if the bowling pins were human heads or bodies.

Which is a perfectly natural thing to do. I daresay most recreational shooters do this. The bowling pin at one point got a large shotgun round through it, which splintered out the back. It’s an impressive display of firepower. I own a shotgun myself and I have often joked at the gun range about the large holes left in paper targets and the enormous mess that would have made if it had been through a human body.

Clad in a trenchcoat, Klebold at one point holds a sawed-off shotgun and shoots from the hip at a bowling pin wedged between two tree limbs. He and Harris then look at a bullet-shredded tree trunk.

The trenchcoat I don’t assign any significance to other than that it was obviously cold outside at the time (as evidenced by snow and fogging breath) and that it was something Klebold obviously wore a lot. I happen to own a black trenchcoat, too. That doesn’t necessarily make me psycho.

With respect to shooting from the hip and other experimental Hollywood-style postures (with the sawed-off shotgun in particular), what I really learned from that is that neither of these guys knows jack shit about how to correctly hold a firearm. If they were trying to aim at all, they couldn’t have hit the broad side of a barn. When someone finally got a shotgun round through a bowling pin, this was cause for celebration and a camera close-up. Pathetic. They were only shooting from about 25 yards away. I’m not an expert marksman and I would have put a dozen rounds through that thing without missing.

Ironically, the one person in the video who appears to be correctly holding a weapon is the girl, who takes her time with the shots as if she’s actually aiming at something. She’s also the only one I noticed wearing any ear protection.

This wasn’t a “training” video. There we no set up targets, paper or otherwise, suitable for this purpose. There was no real attempt to be accurate. This was just some people in the woods plinking at bowling pins. I don’t know about the laws in Colorado regarding the weapons they were using, although at one point the boys show the camera the injuries sustained to the webbing between their thumb and forefinger, caused by the powerful recoil of the sawed-off shotgun (which they fire one-handed a few times, which is pretty dumb). Someone remarks, “This is what happens when you saw off a shotgun and make it illegal”.

One of the boys attempts reloading the pump shotgun in what he calls “Linda Hamilton style” (From Terminator 2), one-handed and jerking the gun in a vertical motion. He appears to discover two things: 1) It’s not a very effective way of reloading a shotgun, and 2) It’s extremely awkward (not to mention extraordinarily foolish). It also happens to be a good way of damaging the shotgun mechanism.

At another time, one of the boys holds the muzzle of the shotgun up to his mouth to blow the smoke away cowboy style. I view this as evidence of stupidity rather than chic. I wouldn’t put the muzzle of a shotgun anywhere near my mouth, especially not a loaded one. During the display of the hand injuries, someone is holding the shotgun upside down horizontally to show where the illegal pistol grip is mounted. This weapon changes hands a couple of times as someone takes it back, and the barrel is pointing every which way. If it had gone off during that, someone would have been shot. Usually this kind of behavior results in auto-Darwination, sooner or later.

If there is anything “cavalier” about this video, it is the careless handling of the weapons by the boys. This is not the way people with firearms training would act when it comes to gun safety. The joking around is perfectly normal and is not as prevalent as some news stories suggest. I clearly heard only three comments concerning the destructive potential of the guns on a human body, and the video is several minutes long.

Klebold and Harris were mass murderers, that is certain. But I dislike the way the Columbine incident has been turned into a crusade against gun ownership and guns in general. These kids were not legal, trained, or responsible gun owners. The attempt to make gun owners (and these kids) seem creepy just because they were joking around is a mischaracterization of gun culture. Maybe this is to be expected, since few journalists show any sign of having actual experience with firearms.

In sum, there is nothing about this video that would have set off alarms about the future rampage of Klebold and Harris. Nothing they do is creepy or strange. Their remarks are not “chilling” or “disturbing”. It’s just a video of four guys and a girl in the woods plinking.

This is an interesting twist on a natural phenomenon that may be responsible for the mysterious vanishings of various ships in the world’s oceans.

“Methane bubbles from the sea floor could, in theory, sink ships and may explain the odd disappearances of some vessels, Australian researchers reported on Tuesday. . .”

“‘A recent survey revealed the presence of a sunken vessel within the center of one particularly large eruption site, now known as the Witches Hole.'”

This is very intriguing, if true, and there seems to be a decent amount of evidence to support the idea. I have always favored natural explanations for things such as the Bermuda Triangle legends (and upon research, many of those “mysterious” disappearances are not really that mysterious), even though I am open to more mystical explanations. I don’t want to say supernatural, since to me everything is natural by definition, including human civilization.

Some people are fond of the “Atlantis” theory behind the Bermuda Triangle, although I’ve never understood exactly how a sunken city would be devouring ships without a trace, or why. Even if you accept the premise, it breaks down upon further analysis.

The earth is capable of some pretty weird stunts. For centuries people have observed that many animals appear to be able to sense an impending earthquake. This was considered supernatural in some way, some inexplicable sign of animals’ attunement with nature that humans lacked.

As it turns out, earthquakes are typically preceded by shifts in the earth’s local magnetic field, which we know some animals can sense. The shifts appear to be caused by intense pressure of deep shifting soil against mineral deposits, such as quartz, creating a piezo-electric pulse that can be detected on sensitive electronic equipment.

This is just one example of how modern science finds reasonable explanations for things that seemed to be inexplicable or magical in nature. I’m confident that science will continue to discover more such fascinating tidbits. Our civilization is in its infancy, especially technologically speaking. We shouldn’t be that surprised that we haven’t learned the answer to everything yet, especially with only about 50 years worth of recorded data on things like climate phenomena.

One of the signs that an organization has fulfilled its function is when it starts grasping at reasons to exist. The United Nations comes to mind. But today’s example is PETA, who seems to have a neverending supply of these entertaining shenanigans:

“Animal rights activists want the East Bay town of Rodeo –and pronounced ro-day-oh — to change its name to Unity.”

Why? Because it sounds like “ro-dee-oh”, the sport where guys on horses rope calves and ride bucking broncos.

There’s a curious stipulation to this request, as well. PETA says that if the county Supervisors vote to change the city name, PETA will donate $20,000 worth of veggie burgers to local schools.

Isn’t that, you know, a bribe? The kind of thing that special interest groups and policians are not supposed to participate in? “Do this thing that advances our group’s niche activities and we’ll give you something of value in return”.

Just wondering.

Normally I’d say there’s no chance in hell of school kids eating that crap, but honestly it’s probably not any worse than the deep fried Tater Tots and corn dogs they’re already eating.

This morning I observed another typical asshat on the freeway nearly kill himself and two other vehicles pulling some kind of “I must get in front of you at all costs” maneuver. Normally I don’t think about these incidents too much beyond cringing, but this one turned on the Philosophy cells in my brain.

As individuals going about our daily lives, we have thousands of moments every day where the actions of another person make an imprint on our consciousness. An instant of gratitude in a motorcyclist’s handwave, the tacky bumper sticker on the car in front of us, the person who holds the elevator door at work. Even more subliminal things, such as the name some company has chosen to give to its newest perfume, the additional millimeter by which the length of a shirt has changed, the sight of wild hawks in suburbs.

These perceptions, these fragments of information that get scattered out from other people’s lives, all collectively have an influence on us, however minor. In fact, it’s the minor nature of them that is important, as an aggregate. We may recall such powerful incidents such as the car accident we got in once, the cruelty of a friend, the pleasure of a lover who discovered a particularly nice technique. But for each of those are countless others we have forgotten in our conscious minds.

Perhaps the car accident was caused by someone yakking on the phone (as happened to me last year). I found the man to be self-absorbed, and he had a history of wrecking cars this way (according to a friend of mind who, through a wild coincidence, used to work with the guy).

Perhaps the lover’s skill was the result of conscious attentiveness, and a desire to please his or her partner. Wild hawks may still exist here partially as a result of human endeavors to preserve their habitat. The tacky bumper sticker is a reflection of the owner’s attitude toward not only the subject of the sticker, but toward the people who will read it.

It is these things which make up culture and civilization, the moral nature of us as individuals with free will. This is what culture is — this aggregate of tiny moments, some far removed from their original causal implementation, spreading out and intermingling with vast others.

This is why ideas are important. They are the genesis, the seed from which these moments come. We are bombarded with this information all the time, but we choose how to respond to it based on our personal values. We also choose the nature and character of our own actions, which go out and affect others in immeasurable ways.

This is why principles are important. They are the rules that guide the actions we express, the way in which ideas are promulgated. Whether in kindness or cruelty, or simple indifference, this is what shapes our species.

So the next time someone says that ideology and principles aren’t really relevant to ordinary, everyday life, you’ll know what to tell them.

So I’m reading today that Congress has voted to turn half of the money Bush wanted to rebuild Iraq ($20 billion) into a loan.

That’s right. A loan. To be paid back later. A brand new country that isn’t even formally recognized yet is being loaded down with a $10 billion debt to the country that liberated them.

But wait. It gets better.

Bush (who argued against this stupid idea) is allowed to forgive the debt if other creditors to Iraq, such as France, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, waive 90% of the debt (about $130 billion) they are owed by Saddam’s now-defunct government.

It’s not your imagination that this is a plan whereby the United States frees Iraq from an artificially imposed financial burden at the largesse of creditor nations who have absolutely no vested interest in forgiving said debt, and everything to gain by continuing to try to collect on it.

Seems to me that once Saddam and the Baathist regime are gone, any deals they made with other countries are, ipso facto, null and void.

Or at the least, we have the right to say they are, being the ones who actually did all the work (and still are).

Is this some kind of special cruelty thought up in the back rooms of Capitol Hill by people who are high on something? You can’t rebuild a country from ashes while it has a $10 billion debt. That’s asinine. It’s a debt that they did not ask to assume — we are imposing it on them at, essentially, gunpoint.

Evil, evil, evil. Anybody who blames this on Bush automatically gets pimp slapped.

My co-worker, Holly, has a 3-1/2 year old son named Gabe. The rugrat is about to enter a preschool, and Holly has been chatting with me on AIM regarding the paperwork. I tell ya, childhood ain’t what it used to be:

Holly: These school entry forms are nuts. One question is “Would you let your child be photographed by camera or video by anyone but yourself?”
Me: wtf
Holly: that never crossed my mind
Me: What’s the point of that question? School photos? Or freak teachers?
Me: I mean, is there a wrong answer?
Holly: School photos were taken last month
Holly: I guess they take pics of class parties and stuff
Me: Huh.
Me: Why would parents be weird about that?
Holly: I don’t know
Me: People are insane.
Holly: pedo’s
Holly: or maybe they think someone will make money off it
Holly: The forms ask me when Gabe wakes up, goes to bed, if he sleeps well, if he naps, what he has for each meal and at what time….
Holly: food dislikes, eating concerns, if his bowel movements are regular
Me: None of their goddamn business what his bowel movements are like.
Holly: they ask me what his words for a bowel movement and urination are
Me: jesus
Me: Sounds like fishing for evidence of child abuse.
Me: Insulting.
Holly: lol
Holly: I think it’s funny
Holly: they ask for my evaluation of his personality
Me: Man. As far as I know the only thing my schools cared about was whether I’d been vaccinated and what level I was reading at.
Holly: yep, same with me
Holly: His school is a peanut free zone
Me: *rolls eyes*
Holly: yep
Me: Peanut allergies are not that common.
Me: You might as well ban all wheat too.
Holly: and dairy
Me: Yeah
Me: Retarded.
Holly: they have an interesting page for me to sign…
Holly: it has to give all the info on anyone working at the facility that has any criminal history
Holly: it’s blank
Holly: another page I have to sign states that I have the right to come in unannounced at any time.
Holly: I like that
Holly: I’d come in anyway though. lol
Me: lol
Holly: everything is so complicated for a 3 year old to spend 5 hours a week in a classroom
Holly: oh wait…7 and a half
Me: yeah
Me: The results of many tedious lawsuits I’m sure.
Holly: 267 dollars a month….
Holly: not Montessori but better than nothing
Holly: he walked into a class in session and introduced himself. lol
Me: lol
Holly: No costumes allowed on halloween
Me: duh?
Me: God, aren’t kids allowed to be kids anymore?
Holly: They think three year olds might get scared
Me: What. The. Fuck.
Me: that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.
Holly: Anyone that would put a 3 year old in a gory costume is a sick puppy
Me: Kids that age are more afraid of their own imaginary monsters under the bed.
Me: Yeah. At that age it’s superheroes and animals.
Holly: yeah
Me: And occupations, like firefighter.
Holly: Gabes costume is a glow in the dark skeleton….but it’s a cute one, not a scary one
Me: lol
Holly: and they’ll have a party….
Holly: but no candy containing peanut products
Holly: everything is so regulated
Me: When did childhood get so lame?
Holly: it’s like…communism
Me: ๐Ÿ™‚
Me: Indeed.
Holly: serious!
Holly: Gabe is oblivious
Me: You should blog about that.
Holly: YOU bl;og…lots of people read yours and they will comment
Me: I could just post this convo.
Me: Self-explanatory.
Holly: ok

Now THIS is priceless. Apparently the spotted owl is trying to pull a California condor. I’m not sure why viros can’t get a grip on the fact that species come and go as part of the natural order. I mean, dinosaurs, woolly mammoths, and sabertooth tigers aren’t around anymore, and that had nothing to do with human civilization.

The money shot:

Author Ron Arnold said this discovery vindicates the loggers who claimed all along the owls’ precarious position wasn’t their problem. “What’s happening is a natural process,” he said. “You can’t turn nature into a museum even though environmentalists try. But I think they should be very apologetic and do some reparations — put the loggers back.

Oh yeah, that’s gonna happen.

See this blog entry and comments section that spawned this. Yellow text is the commenter. Green text are quotes I took from source material.

Yes, Illegals should get driver’s licenses. Nothing against the mexican community, but they are the ones who work most of the LOBOR jobs out there.

So? Why should we reward illegal aliens with a document that validates their illegal entry into this country? Is that even allowed under Federal law? That one might wind up in the courts soon.

Lets be real how many citizens actually work the fields, constuction jobs, janitorials, etc. Not very many.

BZZZ. Wrong, but thanks for playing. Actually, legal residents appear to comprise more than half:

No one knows exactly how many unauthorized aliens are illegally employed in the United States or what percentage of the total workforce they represent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 132 million people were employed in the civilian labor force as of October 1998. Even if all of the estimated 5 million illegal aliens residing in the United States as of October 1996 held jobs in October 1998, they would have represented less than 4 percent of the nation’s workforce. The results from INS inspection of a random sample of the nation’s 6.5 million employers in fiscal year 1997 indicated that about 195,000 employers (or about 3 percent) had employed unauthorized aliens.

Illegal alien employment has been shown to be more significant in certain industries and locations. For example, Labor’s National Agricultural Workers Survey estimated that 37 percent of the agricultural workers in 1995 were illegal. There is also evidence that the meatpacking, construction, and garment industries have employed large numbers of unauthorized aliens. For example, in February 1998, we reported that in 1996 and 1997, INS found that about 23 percent of the workers at seven Nebraska and Iowa meatpacking plants had questionable documents.

INS inspection of 89 construction businesses in Las Vegas, NV, starting in March 1995 found that 39 percent of the approximately 6,000 employees for whom a Form I-9 was completed appeared to be unauthorized to work. Similarly, inspections of 74 Los Angeles area garment contractors in March 1998 revealed that 41 percent of the 7,100 employees at these worksites were unauthorized to work.

All were giving them is a little bit more freedom to have access to the NECCESSART things that we need to survive. We dont need to be citizens or legal resdents but we do need driver’s licenses.

Nobody needs a driver’s license. Driving is not a right.

And yes you do need to be a citizen or a legal resident alien. You have no specific right to enter this country. Nobody does. We, as citizens, have a vested interest in what happens here. We have embraced it as our home, not just our meal ticket.

First of all transportation is neccessary.

*cough*public transportation*cough*

Plus I’m tire of all you STUPID IGNORANT WHITE PEOPLE AND EVERYONE AGAINST THIS BILL. IF a terrorist really wanted to bomb the US he’d do it with or with out a driver’s liscense.

And there’s no reason to make it any easier, now is there? And terrorism is not the only reason I oppose this issue. You might try reading my other blog entries before wasting your time.

To all you FUCKS

Do you have anything to offer to persuade me aside from obscenities and insults?

who oppose this bill you dont even know the situations behind these people. IF these immigrants actually had a better life back to at there homeland, do u actually think they would actually leave there country?

Well duh. If Mexico’s economy (and Vietnam’s and China’s and the Philippines’…) didn’t suck so much, they wouldn’t have any incentive to barge into our nation like rude party crashers who drink all the beer, eat all the chips, and then tell us to go fuck ourselves because we don’t speak their language and we refuse to give them the keys to the car.

Common now And for all you who say it’s not fair for other WELL “FUCK YOU” because society is not fair anyways. Do you actually think the government is fair.

Ah yes. “Rules are for other people”. Wondered when that would make an appearance. You don’t happen to like it, therefore it doesn’t apply to you, and if it is unjust to someone else, you don’t care. So screw the rich gringos and give the paisano a chance, huh? Is that what this is about? Suppose the paisano makes it big in America and gets rich. Does he become one of the hated upper class who’s holding his mestizo brothers down?

BULLSHIT! Politics is a bunch of bullshit and these fucken politicians are only looking out for there own ass. Do you actually think that the Gov. cares about YOU? common now!

Total change of subject here so I won’t bother trying to analyze it.

Plus for all of you who say illegals should go back to there countries then DON’T EVER STEP FOOT INTO ANY COUNTY BECAUASE THAT WOULD MAKE YOU A BUNCH OF STUPID IGNORANT HYPOCRITS. The United States is a hypocritcal county. They use other countries for there resources

Well yeah. The United States doesn’t have a limitless native supply of everything. We buy stuff from other nations, and export stuff to other nations. It’s called international trade.

and have established government offices in other countries and is allowed to go to any country because your a CITIZEN.

It’s called a diplomatic embassy. Most countries around the world have them. You know, that thing called a passport or a visa that legal citizens can get that lets them travel to other countries?

Then the GOVERNMENT and the FUCKEN PEOPLe of this society have the fucken nerve to say “GET THE OUT OF HERE YOU DONT BELONG IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” Well FUCK ALL OF YOU WHO THINK like this because you dont fucken belong in any fucken part of this world.

Your vocabulary seems to be getting smaller.

What if you stoopid WHITE AMERICANS were to step foot in Mexico and the government threw you back out. I’m sure you stoopid fuckers wont like that.

Why would I want to go somewhere I wasn’t wanted? Anyway, last time I checked Mexico was eager to get tourist dollars (and pounds and euros).

Let’s make a better example how bout EUROPE. The world would be a better place if all you stupid racist as motherfuckers didnt exist. The truth is you stoopid bitches still have racism embedided in your brain. SHIT that has been passed down from your ancestors.

You just finished calling me a stupid, ignorant, white bitch motherfucker and I’m the one who’s racist?

And which of my ancestors are you referring to? Would that be the Cherokee and/or the Powhatan Indians? Or maybe the Irish? Or possibly the Greek guy?

Tell me how I’m racist. I oppose illegal immigration, and I oppose giving citizen benefits to illegals. I don’t care where they’re from, what color their skin is, or what language they speak. Is being a non-citizen some kind of new downtrodden ethnic group?

C’mon. Gimme something better to work with here. I’m bored with reading the same accusatory trash over and over.