December 29, 2006
So, even if Darth Vader's motives seem righteous to him (which they tried explaining in Episode 2), it is apparent to the audience who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. So, in world conflicts today, even though the sides aren't decked out in white and black uniforms to make it easy, why is it so difficult for people to agree on who the good guys are. And I'm not saying 1 side's perfect and 1 side's morally inferior. I'm saying, when you see a conflict going on in the world, and you learn why it's going on, it should be fairly easy to see who has the best case. Why is this so difficult?
December 28, 2006
December 27, 2006
The first Muslim elected to Congress, Congressman Keith Ellison, a man who converted to Islam in college, plans on swearing in to office on the Koran, the holy book of Islam. This to the outrage of many people who claim that confirming the divinity of the Bible is necessary for governmental appointment. The problem is that there is no law saying that an oath needs to be made on anything other than the man's word. So, instead of just saying "Any book will do," how about saying "Your word is all we ask for". After all, swearing on the Bible sure hasn't made for any less corrupt of a government, now has it? An often contributor to this site, Jeff Philips, brings up an interesting viewpoint that I wanted to mention.
"If the scientologists manage to elect 1 Congressman, so be it. Let him swear in on that Dianetics book. If a Nazi fascist somehow wins election and wants to swear in on Mein Kampf, let 'em! Watch as the outrage pours in, watch him become absolutely isolated by his fellow memeber, and watch, most importantly, as the level-minded Americans in his/her distrcit oust them the next time around."
That is indeed an interesting point. And for the Bible bangers that think this is the worst thing to happen since they banned the word Christmas from Target's greeting cards, read this.
36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:37 AM
December 26, 2006
December 22, 2006
Does everyone remember the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho from Sunday school? I was reading this the other day, and a particular verse of the passage struck me as very interesting from the book of Joshua, Chapter 5.
13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?" 14 "Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come."
Neither. An angel of the Lord was a Switzerland to this whole conquest.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:29 AM
December 21, 2006
December 20, 2006
So, let's say scientists started coming out and saying that the damage we've done to the Earth is irreversible and that our sea levels are definitely going to be one meter higher in 40 years, putting several coastal U.S. cities underwater. Wouldn't that dramatically alter the real estate market? And since, we're not really on our way to changing our production/consumption/emission habits, would it be a smart investment to start selling off beach front resorts now (just in case)?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:31 AM
December 19, 2006
As I raced to Target at 8 AM yesterday, because I forgot to pack my dress shoes in my gym bag, and had to buy new shoes, because I didn't feel comfortable wearing beaten up sneakers with my dress pants and white sweater, I had an epiphany. Well, epiphany's are probably more important than this...but an idea nonetheless. What if we invent a shoe color that can be worn with both brown and black pants? It would have to be a black shoe with a maroon/brown shine or something like that. But, if you could find that ideal color that would go with dark dress pants as well as khakis, that would be nice. And they would have athletic soles of course.
December 18, 2006
At Dunkin Donuts the other day, I witnessed an obvious language barrier between a customer and the cashier. The person was trying to point at the donuts she wanted, and I thought it was strange that no one behind the counter could speak Spanish. Turns out, the customer was actually deaf. And while holding up 2 fingers when you want to order the number 2, two cheeseburger value meal at McDonalds is probably easy, having to point at the particular donut you want when they're all lined up right next to each other a few meters away is rather difficult. I started thinking that there's got to be some sort of device where a deaf person could type into it what they wanted to say, and the device could say it for them. After sharing this idea, a co-worker of mine suggested that a pen and paper would do just as well. Touche.
2nd story. I was at a Long John Silvers (my body is my temple), and there's a cashier who works there that has some sort of mental disability, but is fully-functional. Standing in front of me in line was a huge, Harley-looking guy with long hair looking up at the menu board. The cashier, in a lisped, broken voice, then called out, "Whenever you're ready Maam."
I think that the long hair must have confused him, but I was really waiting for the customer to go nuts on him. He took it very well, what a Teddy Bear. In conclusion, eat poorly. You'll get some stories.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:41 AM
December 15, 2006
December 14, 2006
So, I recently got to hear the story of my friend's brother-in-law who has been in Iraq for most of the last 4 years. I'd heard stuff similar to his story in the news a while back, but coming from him, it made it more real for some reason. So, this guy was a tank driver. And a couple of years ago, another U.S. tank driver was driving through an Iraqi city and an Iraqi threw his 2-year old son out in front of the tank. The tank came to a stop so as not to injure the child. And six men jumped out from a building with machine guns and shot the men in the tank. So, after that day, U.S. tanks were ordered not to stop for anything when going through cities. So, my friend's brother-in-law informed me that several times as a tank driver over the last two years, he has run over infants and small children thrown out in front of his tank. Someone else listening to this conversation stated, "That really says something about the moral character of those people over there." I don't think that could possibly be it. Bad people don't intentionally slaughter their children. This is something far worse. And even though recent Iraq study reports have suggested that President Bush have civilized, diplomatic peace discussions with the leaders of Iran, Syria, etc., perhaps there is not a universal interest in peace.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 7:58 AM
December 13, 2006
So, if you watch the film, The Patriot, you will see that the rules of war used to maintain somewhat of a gentlemen's approach. Often, the two sides lined up at a specific field, fired shots and then the second in line (the survivors) moved to the front. It was a battle of numbers as well as aim. When watching this, I'm screaming, "You guys are morons! Sneak attack!!! " They beat me to the punch and war became more strategic. But, there was still a venue, a 'wrestling ring' if you will, to separate the soldiers from the civilians. Lately in Iraq, we have been giving the Iraqi civilians warnings of the places we are going to attack before we attack, in order to give them enough time to evacuate their families. However, some civilians have recently been going to these buildings that we have warned about, and surrounding the building with a human shield, knowing or hoping that a civilized country like us would not destroy the lives of "civilians" in order to destroy a target. So far, they have called our bluff correctly. But, if these civilians are protecting an enemy, are they really merely civilians? And do our rules need to change?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 7:47 AM
December 12, 2006
So, my friend nicely told me the other day that the emission results of my penguin-hating consumption habits were ruining the world, and that I should give my money away. So, naturally offended, I thought that over. Let's say I give 50% of my income away. And we all willingly redistribute our funds so that no one's rich and no one has need. Will total consumption change? I will just be consuming less, and other people will be consuming more. I don't see how that solves his environmental concerns. Isn't he really looking for a production decrease? Or a population control mandate?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:23 AM
December 11, 2006
So, I watched Al Gore's biopic, "An Inconvenient Truth" this weekend. What the heck were with the flashbacks to Gore's life throughout the film that had nothing to do with the science being promoted?
Anyway, if I read between the lines right, the movie's point was that tree frogs TRUMP tree beetles, and that polar bears TRUMP humans.
When asked about the economic downfalls of America signing progressive emissions legislation, Gore answers the question by saying "Actually, it would increase jobs, because we have to remember that doing the right thing is always a step forward." Ok, but, you're not a muppet and I'm not a 6 year old watching Sesame Street, so that answer doesn't appease me.
The film did indeed open my mind to the fact that the tripling of the population in the last 45 years has indeed skyrocketed CO2 rates and IS a problem, but the film almost made it seem like the world is already working extremely hard to produce cleaner energy, so it didn't make me want to vote for Al Gore in order to get it done, which is clearly what the film is about.
December 08, 2006
Alright, I have it...the tipping point for illegal immigration. First, this is based off the premise that illegal immigration is indeed an epidemic that needs to be addressed. So, if you can't concede the problem, then obviously no solution is needed. For those who are looking for a solution and don't like the financial repercussions of a Great Wall of Mexico, how bout this? If an American corporation knowingly hires an illegal or undocumented worker, the worker responsible for the hiring receives 6 months in prison.
December 07, 2006
From the same History Channel Lincoln special referenced a couple of weeks ago, they also talked about Lincoln's obsession with finding some way to be remembered, which he was obviously successful in doing. Does this bother anyone else? The media was equally obsessed with this question regarding our current President's legacy, asking questions like, "What legislation can Bush push in the next two years in order to leave his mark...etc." I don't understand this. I understand the notion that everyone wants to be liked and thought of positively. But, the idea of people standing up and fighting for legislation that they don't really believe in, in order to have a positive mention is the next generation's 4th-grade history book is mystifying to me. If these people are making decisions based primarily upon how history will judge them, and not upon whether they truly believe it's the right decision or not, these people should not be in office.
December 06, 2006
Let's tip AIDS. Instead of an epidemic for this one, we want to go in reverse. Since unprotected sex is far and away the leading cause of the spread of AIDS, let's start there. Condom distribution, 6th grade sex ed videos, abstinence teaching, stricter punishment for adultery...The forum is open:
December 05, 2006
New Advertising Campaign for Coke:
quick :15 second spot
cut to (bunch of guys sitting at a table in a sports bar/restaurant)
guys begin to order sandwiches and fries
cut to guy ordering "I'll have a burger, fries and a coke."
cut to waitress saying, "Is Pepsi ok?
cut back to guy ordering (offers a blank face and blinks a few times, then sighs)
"No. I'll go without liquids."
cut to later, guys eating meal (guy w/ no Coke smacking lips to pronounce his dry throat)
December 04, 2006
Why do government officials get to vote on their own salaries? That's just as ridiculous as a boss letting their employees decide their wage. I for one, would definitely give myself a raise, just as they continuously tend to do. But, since they are representing us, shouldn't we as a people determine what that job is worth, and we'll get what we pay for?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:21 AM
December 01, 2006
So controversial question, why are locker rooms same-sex only? (The controversy's coming, don't worry). Get an answer to that question before reading on by the way... Ok, so, I came up with two. Either A) Locker rooms are same-sex because we want to avoid the temptation of staring at the opposite sex in their underoos. OR B) We don't want people who may be sexually attracted to us staring at US in our underoos.
So, does the existence of homosexuality mean that our locker-room etiquette needs to be changed? Because unless there's another reason that I'm not thinking of (please correct me), homosexuals break both of those reasons for same-sex only locker rooms. So, perhaps we need to change the policy of public nudity allowed in these locker rooms?