Thursday, October 30, 2008

Is America the Villain?

One thing that has been on my mind lately: Is America the villain?

When we watch movies and TV we often come across a story in which the big governing body is being a menace to other nations, like The Alliance in Serenity/Firefly, the Empire in Star Wars, and even in real history, Germany in WWII, and Britain during our fight for independence between the years 1776 and 1783.
Do other nations envision our soldiers as Storm Troopers?

Reasons for Past Conflicts

All one really needs to do in this case is look at what we have fought for in the past; WWII, to stop the spread of evil in Europe and (while also protecting our own interests) liberate nations conquered by the Nazi War Machine; Vietnam, to quell the spread of communism; Gulf War, to protect a small country while also protecting our oil interests; the War in Iraq, to liberate an oppressed people and to fight terror.


One must remember also that occupations are often present after a war. This is to ensure that utter chaos does not ensue as a result of an overthrown government and the establishment of a replacement government. If, when Germany was defeated in WWII, we left them to fend for themselves, we would have done little to prevent the wrong person from coming to power in a time of chaos... this gets complicated.

Unfortunately, occupations can also yield some of the worst sides of people. Murder and vandalism often result after the conquering soldiers become more relaxed and less disciplined. They will drive tanks over cars and do other unspeakable things. One must remember that these are the actions of individuals who make bad choices, not the government itself.

The Good Side of America

Despite our more selfish (so to speak) reasons for becoming involved in some past wars, I find it hard to imagine the U.S. as a villain. We have liberated people and countries, we have helped to spread democracy and overthrow murderous dictatorships, and shielded other nations from falling into the hands of people such as Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein (let's be clear that these were bad people, killing innocent people for ethnic cleansing or for sport is bad. No matter where you are from, this is wrong). We are the most generous nation on the planet. We give more to foreign aid and relief efforts abroad than any other nation and that is a fact.

The Other Side of America

So why do some countries label us as the villain? Some things that come to mind are Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we dropped the atomic bomb on both of these cities in August, 1945. These were cities populated with non-combatants. In the mind of most of the world this was terrorism. Although this was not one of the proudest points in American history, many point to the idea that WWII would have lasted much longer and claimed many more lives if it did not happen. Slavery in America is another issue, although the nation was at one time completely divided over it, some nations still scoff at America for having practiced it. Is there slavery in America now? We have sad points in our history yes, but so do all nations.

My Conclusion

After contemplating various issues on the subject, I have decided that our Marines are not the equivalent of Nazis or Storm Troopers, and our leadership is not (not yet) the same as Hitler or Darth Vader. I think an unbiased look at the facts of history and where America currently stands will show, America is not the villain.

I think that pretty much covers it.

Two Different Posts in One!

So as I logged in to my blog this morning I noticed something unusual at the top of the page. My adsense was no longer present. Confused, I quickly checked my E-mail to find that google had disabled my account. The reason was unspecified, but I think it was because it was doing rather well this month, bringing in about $25-$30. I had feared that this may happen; I had read the testaments of several people who were very upset at the fact that their accounts had been dissabled right before their first check would be sent to them. I guess that's is what happens though.... Maybe it was because I mentioned my ads in the last post... I didn't think that was illegal, in fact, it isn't.

Anyway, what I was going to blog about was, of course, political. It is that time.

I think at the top of my list of reasons not to vote for Barrack Obama would be because of what we like to call National Security, as demonstrated in the following video clip.

That's about all I can say there... but wait, theres more.

1. Obama is sympethetic with our enemies.
2. Our enemies like Obama and want him to win the election.
3. Obama want's to disarm America and Americans.
4. Obama is not a fan of America.

Why would we let him become president??
CHANGE! Yay, let's change!

Please define this change Mr. Obama.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sociological Thoughts

Yeah so, I don't really know how I got body armor ads up there, but I think it's cool anyway.

Anyway, I wanted to take the time in this post to address things that were in my head from last night sociology class. For the most part, I think sociology is common sense, for example, things like, "We change our behavior based on other peoples reactions to it." If I were to pass gas loudly in public, people would make faces or get mad at me and that would indicate to me that passing gas loudly in public is not the best thing to do. I therefore refrain from doing so again... common sense stuff right?

The things that don't seem to make as much sense are these; "there are no absolutes", "right and wrong are relative to the culture that defines them", "Even murder, child rape and stealing have their respectful place in certain societies."
Is this true?? Of course I know it is false, but I would like to get more involved in it than just saying "that's wrong."
Let's address murder, shall we? Killing is not necessarily murder although murder is killing. If I were to kill in self defense, the law would be on my side (for now). When I brought this up, my professors first response was to brig up the disarming tactics used in martial arts such as Judo. (for the story of judo) He claimed that in the country where judo originated, killing in self defense was considered murder and the citizens used Judo to disarm and subdue an attacker. He therefore conceded that maybe all killing was really murder. I quickly brought up the fact that most westerners do not know Judo and therefore often have no other reliable means of self defense other than using deadly weapons.

If I were to kill out of jealousy or hate, that would be murder. Killing enemy combatants in wartime is not murder, killing civilians is. "So what about armed civilians?" my teacher is a tricky guy. My question is, do the civilians become combatants when they are armed? Is it therefore justified when they are killed? This is tricky business.

It seemed as if the issue was being slightly skirted. "Is killing out of jealousy or hate or whatever universally murder?" This question was largely unanswered. For myself, I cannot think of an exception to this rule.

As for child rape, the practice of arranged marriages was the reason child rape is not universally wrong. Arranged marriages are the cultural norm for some cultures and therefore, child rape must be accepted as well. This is the reasoning of my sociology professor. Respectfully, I must disagree. I feel I need not explain the reasons for this.

Stealing... is stealing wrong when one steals to survive? Or to feed a hungry child? Even the Bible makes an exception for this rule. In the book of Proverbs it states that we are not to punish the man who steals to feed himself or (I would assume) somebody else; however, they are expected to repay whatever was stolen when they are able to do so.
The Bible is not relevant to (according to my professor) 2/3 of the worlds population so what it has to say is not sociologically relevant... I would disagree with that. Here is why... briefly.
The Bible has a lot to say about good and bad, right and wrong, truth and lies, and much more. Would one be so bold as to say that any one of those things the Bible describes as right or wrong is... well, wrong? What makes them so sure? Are you right in saying there is no right or wrong... or are you wrong?

This has turned into more of a rant than I meant for it to be... but I hope you get what I'm trying to get at.

At the epitome of sociology there seems to be a theory that everything is relative... nothing is absolute. Can you think of one thing that is a universal truth for all societies? it is hard when one is to rule out things such as murder, rape, stealing, and even terrorism. According to sociologists, terrorism is an accepted way of doing things in certain places and it is therefore right to those who accept is (no way).

I might continue this later... then again, I might not.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hopes and Aspirations

After learning that my good friend Josiah Slocum has some writing talent of his own, we have decided to write a series of short books/stories for all to enjoy and for us to enjoy writing. I am hoping that this doesn't turn into anther one of our many failed endeavors (such as making short movies... we still don't have a camera for that), and I also hope that we can both find some spare time to come up with fantastic ideas and good characters.

Some of Joe's writing here:

"as the sun grew hotter and the flowers scent filled the air i look towards the sky and..."

"with a look of mischief between 2 friends and the imminant departing that soon would follow."

"as winter approaches one must reflect on a summer of fun and new memories as well as the possibility of the sunburn that i prolly had"

So that's just a sample of the writing style of Slocum, it's a little different than mine, but that's what makes it so that the combination of our writing techniques will be the awesomest thing ever!


So I re-started writing a screenplay for a story that's been floating around in my head for the last few months and I'm hoping that it turns out super spectacular... oh it will, it will. Anyway, I found out that one of the hardest parts is writing the personalities of my characters out on paper... well, virtual paper. In my head, I know what all of their various personalities are like, but trying to write them out is a challenge as I have to describe things that they do ei: hobbies, quirks, favorite foods, as well as ages, names (wich is hard for a sci-fi/fantasy story), hair color, and clothing preferances.
All the little details in between major plot points is also a tricky thing. I had always thought of only the big picture of the story and not as much about the fillers, but the pace needs to slow down sometime, otherwise the audience will get overwhelmed.

Anyway, that's all for now, I'll catch up on other blogingtons now, so peace out everyone!

P.S. Happy birthday to Bethany!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Post post post, that's all I'm good for.

Anyway, I have moved (mostly) from Dave and Leta's abode to Beth and Adams. It's closer to school and stuff so that will be good. My cat and louis will have to learn to get along... surprisingly it's my cat who is the meany-head.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Refined Narrative, YAY!

Here is my refined story of bees and stuff for all to enjoy! :)

Recklessness; it’s what makes young boys tick. For me being reckless was a part of everyday life, whether it was jumping off of a garage roof onto a trampoline (not agood idea), or stopping the inner tube in the middle of a water slide so that the person behind me could catch up. The thrill of being reckless was often too much to resist and I would often suffer the consequences, and they would almost always hurt.

When I was 12, my friend Kadan and I decided it would be a good idea to try and take out some wasp nests by throwing chunks of dirt at them. Were there better ways to get rid of wasp nests? Yes, there were, but this was definitely one of the more adventurous ways to do it. I don’t think we started out that morning saying to each other, “Hey man, lets throw chunks of dirt at wasp nests and get a huge adrenaline rush!” But as the day wore on and we got more and more bored, things just fell in place.

Kadan lived on a sort of miniature farm with goats and chickens and such, and was surrounded by corn fields. There were several barns scattered randomly across his property and each one of them had about a dozen wasp nests attached to it. As we were moseying along outside wondering what we could possibly do to pass the time, we spotted some of these wasp nests on a couple metal storage units for his family’s tractors. “Hey,” I said excitedly, “can we get your BB guns and shoot those down?” Kadan wasn’t too enthused about the whole idea, probably because we really weren’t supposed to shoot at the buildings. He promptly shot my idea of a good time into a billion pieces with a harsh, “NO!” I felt like a whipped puppy. But I wasn’t going to let
his dreary attitude dampen my spirits for long. I meandered over to the corn fields and sat
down. Kadan soon followed and sat down next to me. I think we were both pondering the
prospect of a lackluster afternoon and how neither of us wanted to live through one of those.

I reached into the cornfield next to us and pulled out a hard chunk of dirt. I fiddled with it for a little while, breaking pieces off and crumbling them between my fingers. I threw a piece off into the grass where it exploded with a small puff. “Hey,” I thought to myself, “that’s kind of groovy.” I picked up another piece and gave it a toss with the same results. Kadan picked up on what I was doing and joined in the fun. Soon we were seeing who could throw farther while sitting down. I would like to say I could, but in reality I think it was a tie. I started to cheat. I stood up and let a few fly. Kadan did the same and soon we were going crazy, letting chunks of dirt fly in all directions. It wasn’t long before one of them hit a barn quite close to one of it’s many decorative wasp nests. The wasps responded by buzzing passionately around their abode trying to discover what had disrupted their calm lives. I looked at Kadan and we both smiled sadistically as we rushed to get more ammunition from the corn fields. We scooped up as many chunks as we could and rushed back to the barn where we lobbed a continuous stream of dirt at the humble wasps who began to get very irate at our meanness, although they couldn’t figure out it was us. We tried several different tactics to get the best shot at the nests; direct hits, shrapnel, they were all fun and exciting and very spectacular. We eventually knocked the nest down. We didn’t hesitate however, to locate another nest and begin to assail it with the same barrage of weaponry and tactics we had so skillfully employed on our last endeavor. These wasps responded with the same frustration as the last ones, and understandably so. We laughed devilishly as each missile exploded and the fury of the wasps raged on.

Knocking down nest after nest never seemed to get old until we decided to end our mission by taking out the biggest nest of all. We thought it similar to fighting the end boss in a video game. The nest was located inside an overhang right above a tractor tire. At first we employed the sniper method; standing far away as we sent our projectiles sailing through the air toward our target. We did have good aim but our weapons were not causing any damage. “That armor’s too strong for blasters!” I said in my excitement. Unfortunately, my little joke went unnoticed by Kadan, who had never seen Star Wars.

Soon we realized that we had to rethink our strategy for this particular “enemy installation.” Kadan decided to implement a sneak attack approach: we would sneak inside the building and climb on top of the tractor’s right tire. Standing up slowly, our plan was to launch a huge chunk of dirt at the nest by hurling it straight up. The get away was the fun part: after our massive bomb had exploded, we would jump down and crouch in the corner of the building, hoping that our enemies wouldn’t detect us, and then when the timing was right we would rush outside to safety. We had to take turns for this tactic, as it was too dangerous to go in full force. I was a wimp I guess, because I volunteered to go first. I sneaked inside the building and slowly scaled the massive tire. Ammo in hand, I cautiously stood up and prepared to fire. Mustering up all the foolishness I had in me, I let my ordnance fly. It exploded directly next to the wasps base and sprayed it with dusty shrapnel. Kadan howled with laughter as I quickly jumped off the tire and crouched in the dark corner. The wasps were buzzing viciously around the nest trying to uncover the source of the disturbance. I stayed crouched in the corner and waited for my adrenaline to tell me when to make a mad dash out of there. I ran. I didn’t get ambushed on the way out either.

Ahh, safe again, but now it was Kadan’s turn. He went about his duty in much the same way as I had, slowly scaling the tire, only his mission was a lot more hazardous than mine was: the wasps were already buzzing with ferocity! I watched from what I thought was a safe distance as Kadan released his bomb into the nest. It was a direct hit and no sooner had his dirt chunk exploded than I finally felt the wrath of an angry wasp. It dove at me right from the nest, swooping down like a dive bomber at an air show. The nerve of that bug! He didn’t even bother to land on me, he just swooped down with his rear end pointed right at me and stung me, stung me right above my left eye. I hollered and ran off through a trail that lead down the corn fields. I wasn’t wearing any shoes and some of the plants were hard and stabbed my feet but I didn’t care, all I knew was that I got stung by one wasp and for all I knew the whole nest was after me. I’m sure I broke a sprinting record of some kind that day, I don’t think I’ve ever run faster. Once I thought I was far enough away I stopped running and sat down, rubbing my eye which both itched and stung terribly at the same time.

Soon Kadan came trotting up the trail to where I was sitting. He was laughing, laughing! How could he be laughing? Didn’t he know that I got stung? Didn’t he know that getting stung hurt? The more I thought about it, the more I realized why he was laughing. We had been
bombarding wasp nests for an hour and a half straight, aggravating so many bugs and I
got stung; I got stung and I couldn’t take it. I felt like such a pansy. I stood up and laughed with him. “I guess that wasn’t really a safe thing to do” I muttered.

Kadan just smiled and said, "Do you want to go play with rusty bear traps and find some evil snakes."

I stopped rubbing my eye and grinned, "That sounds like fun." I replied, and off we went down a dark wooded path.

Friday, October 03, 2008

For Sale

For sale: Broken computer peices, $100.00.

Playstation 2 without controller, $300.00.

Wonderful coin collection, $10,000.00!

Yeah, I only wish I could get that much for useless things. Any takers? :D jk