a faulty analogy

"one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." that, or something like it, was a fairly popular expression among the left near the beginning of the war in iraq. i believe michael moore even compared the suicide bombers and militia thugs we're facing in iraq to our own minutemen during the revolutionary war... which i'll forgive him for, because when you're thinking about twinkies, it's hard to think about anything else.

you could, i suppose, define both terrorists and freedom fighters as very similar things, but their methods are very different. both groups tend to be weaker than their opponents, and as such would rely mainly on guerrilla tactics; which, while cowardly, are effective. plus, in their defense, attempting to stand toe-to-toe with the american military at this point is pretty much suicide.

the most noticeable difference between the two groups is the target of their guerrilla attacks. both will attack military targets; and while i regret every soldier lost to the barbarians we're fighting, i do consider soldiers to be a legitmate target for attack. but the terrorists don't stop there... in fact, they really don't spend much time there at all. instead, they attack the civilian population... the very group that freedom fighters would be working to liberate, terrorists are trying to blow up. there's no "cultural relativism" or "gray area" here; intentionally targeting and killing civilians is always wrong.

do as i say, not as i do

seems to be how algore rolls. as in, his home uses roughly twice as much energy in one month as the average american home does in one year. bush's ranch at crawford, however--and this actually surprised me--is incredibly eco-friendly. who knew?

h/t wizbang


yarrrgh... (updated)

so, i'll be out of commission for awhile... my computer is currently hating life (windows won't load, which makes anything else a bit tricky). i can use the family computer (which i'm doing now), but since that's shared, i'll be spending much less time online.

on those notes, how tricky is linux to pick up? and if i decide to switch to that, will i have many compatibility issues?

well, i feel stupid. i called a friend of mine who's fairly good with computers, and when i turned my computer back on (this is after it had been restarted at least dozens of times) so i could tell him what the problem was, everything worked just fine. so for now, my goal is to not turn my computer off, ever again, unless absolutely necessary.


America, f*ck yeah!

U.S. seniors fight off muggers, killing one

how's that for a headline, eh?

h/t dave barry (some of the comments are well worth reading)


the media loves to do it. rob is basically making the same point i would have, but his is already written and sourced, so you can just read it instead.



with a little help from william d. mounce, i am attempting to teach myself greek. biblical greek, specifically; it doesn't really differ from "regular" greek, but is completely focused on the new testament. so it won't make me fluent by any means, but it should give me a pretty decent grasp of the language, which will hopefully free up some time in grad school (which is still "somewhere, some time") for all the other reading i'll have to do.

i'm just starting on it now, working on the alphabet and pronunciation. most of it isn't too bad, but some of the letters don't sound anything like their transliteration looks. wish me luck.


amen, brother

i never thought i'd see this day, but i find myself agreeing with steve jobs over michael dell. dell seems to believe that unions are for the protection of employees from their employers (which seems an odd stance, given his position as company CEO). jobs, on the other hand, realizes that unions--at least in the case of teacher's unions (not sure what he thinks about the rest of them, though i'd assume it would be similar)--are bad for education.

and the economy seems to agree, at least according to this LA Times article. somehow, even though union membership has shrunk drastically, workers are better off than they were before. this doesn't mean lower union membership leads to the workers being better off, but it does mean that we can get by just fine without them.

h/t say anything for both stories


well, i'm never eating there again

"there," in this case, being arby's. partly because i don't like it, and partly because of one of their latest radio commercials. in it, a man comes home and is surprised to find his wife wearing fishnet stockings... which causes the little voice in his head to remind him that fish sandwiches were on sale at arby's. in my case, however, i was reminded of a rather disturbing sight from the glasgow train station back in 2004, which definitely ruined my appetite.

awesomeness of the day

the "opening a beer bottle with a helicopter" contest, USA vs. Japan.

h/t dave barry


a valentine's day haiku

inspired by jeff goldstein, who pretty much rules at them.

eating valentine's
candy makes my dentist hate
me. poor, lonely man.

i think those last four syllables could have been better, but i'm feeling lazy. and tired.

huh. that's cool, i guess.

apparantly capital one is pleased with my early payments every month, because they've jacked my credit limit up by $5k. which sounds pretty nice, but i really don't need it. the only times i've ever even come close to my limit were when i bought my new camera, and when i was buying pieces to put a computer together. this would have been nice to have last fall, though... i could've got hellas air miles for putting the down payment of my car on the card. oh well.


we have the technology...

the only question is, do we have the money for it? i've been looking at computer pieces lately, partly because i'm hoping to build a new computer (probably sometime this summer), and partly because, lets face it, looking at computer pieces can be really fun. right now i'm mainly focused on the case; these two are some of my top picks. i'm hoping for the latter, but thinking my budget will probably put me somewhere closer to the former. my RAM and possibly PSU will be migrating to the new system, and i think looking for a mobo, CPU and graphics card this early is fairly pointless, since those will probably have made several advances by this summer.

do i really need a new computer? no, not especially. i've had this one for about a year and a half now, and it's still treating me fairly well. but i would definitely like one.


i'm starting to agree with jim gaffigan about hot pockets:


it's more than just the way you say it

as defined by Jim Cannon of wenatchee valley college:

"Naked is when you have no clothes on. Nekkid is when you have no clothes on and you're up to something."



Al Jazeera got WTF pwn3d.

wow, the comics that people have written on that article are... interesting. it's amazing to me, a) how little people actually know about the various groups they're writing about, and b) how pitiful the grammar/spelling is. that may seem a little odd coming from someone who types almost exclusively in lower case letters, but i'm actually a fairly good writer when i put my mind to it. those comments are just plain sad.


Groundhog Day Press Conference

Reporter #1: So Phil, let me get this straight: you voted for a longer winter, before you voted against it?

Punxsutawney Phil: That is correct. See, I really enjoy snowboarding—that is, as long as some son of a bitch isn’t busy knocking me over and making me look bad in front of reporters—so I figured a longer winter would be great. But then I saw Al Gore on TV and remembered global warming—which, by the way, happens to be caused by humans—which would obviously cause the snow to melt off sooner than usual, leading to an early spring. Not wanting to look like an idiot, I changed my tune.

Reporter #2: Some folks have noticed that you’ve done this sort of thing in the past, Phil. How do you explain your flip-flopping?

Phil: I prefer to think that I’m being nuanced.

Reporter #1: Prominent black leaders Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have also come out in favor of the early spring position, claiming that winter lacks diversity. Snow, they argue, only comes in white, and is thus inherently racist. While Jackson has admitted that yellow snow “could possibly represent Asians,” and snow that has been blackened by exhaust, while “more like an Oreo” and “not as good as chocolate snow,” could potentially “represent people of African descent,” they are sticking to their position. It has also recently been espoused by none other than the “first mainstream… articulate, and bright and clean and… nice-looking” African-American, Mr. Barak Obama. What’s your take on this argument?

Phil: I agree completely. Just like the white man, winter has oppressed the colored people—or, in this case, the colors—of the world. It’s long past time for the workers of spring to rise up and show their true beauty, casting off the oppression of the West. I mean winter. Because let’s face it: if you study hard, and apply yourself, you can find yourself surrounded by flowers, rainbows, and happiness. And if not, you end up stuck in a snowbank.


There was originally going to be more to it than that, but somewhere between the fact that I started writing it at about 09:00 this morning during a slow moment at work (after which it got put off until now), and the rum & coke I had a little while ago, I kind of lost track of where I was going with it.


i love math

well, not really. because i usually manage to find the hardest method for solving any problem, which means i'll get the answer, it just takes about five times as long as it should. but every now and then, math proves itself to be quite useful: an indian economist has proven that putting down the toilet seat is inefficient.

at home, i usually use slightly different arguments, but i think we agree in principle:

1) look before you leap. i have to look to make sure the seat is up before i begin urinating; why is it so hard for you to see if it's down before you start?

2) majority rule. when everybody is home, the "balance of forces," as it were, stands at 5 guys to 1 girl. said girl should either: a) put the seat up when she's done, in consideration of the five guys who would have to do so, or b) at least not complain when we leave it up. in case of a tie, the advantage should go to the female, out of politeness.