Monday, February 27, 2006


Today I saw a girl walking across campus in shorts and a t-shirt and what appeared to be leather grain moon boots with fur coming out the top. In conclusion, I hate fashion.

Monday, February 20, 2006

True Freedom

In Austria a historian, David Irving, was sentenced to three years in jail for denying the Holocaust happened. I think this is ludicrous. How can a country claim to value freedom when people are jailed for a personal belief? Especially one that is just a dispute of facts. I do not in any way agree with this man or think that what he represents is good or right in any way. However, he is not even saying that something like the Holocaust is permissible, he is simply denying that it ever happened. It is something like a US citizen denying that slavery ever happened, or that the Japanese internment camps ever existed, or that American Indians were forced onto reservations and sometimes slaughtered for no reason. Anyone denying these facts is either ignorant or in denial -- but they are not jailed for it. Furthermore, one could go as far as to laud any of those acts as good and right and not face jail time (although they may be sued in civil court). That is true freedom of speech/press/expression -- we are allowed to believe what ever we want and we are free to share those beliefs in a peaceful manner. How can you claim to be on the side of justice and freedom when you sentence people to jail for their beliefs, however ridiculous or offensive they may be? In the US, acting on inappropriate beliefs (like the belief that incest is okay, for example) can lead to legal ramifications, but simply holding the belief cannot. That is the only way to ensure that the government cannot force people to have a certain religion or set of personal beliefs. That is how we protect the individual from tyranny. By their actions today Austria has aligned herself more with the principles of her disowned son who was the driving force behind the atrocity in question than with those dedicated to freedom who stood against him and his oppressive movement.

See other accounts at Reuters, ABC, FOX News, CNN

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Plato on America

I was reading through some quotes by Plato and found one that I really like:
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Blowing Stuff Up

Does this sound familiar? I can't imagine a full scale invasion of Iran -- I can't imagine the cost in money and lives that such an operation would involve. But I have to admit, this parallels almost exactly the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq -- Bush talks to the people of the country in his State of the Union and affirms that we think they are ruled by a corrupt government, a UN watchdog reports the country, the country maintains its right to do what it wants and makes threats... all that's left is blowing stuff up. I guess I wouldn't be that surprised if there were bombings and missile attacks against Iran, but I cannot imagine trying to invade that country. Its several times the size of Iraq and has a better military and most of the "insurgents" in Iraq are probably funded if not supplied from Iran anyway. So... no matter what happens things are probably going to get ugly in Iran pretty soon.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


I had the startling, but not shocking, revelation that most of the atoms in my body have probably been part of someone else's body. Not only have things passed through my body that have been part of another human, but the very atoms that make up my body made up someone else's. Its very interesting to me. I began thinking about it because someone mentioned the question of whether people who have been cremated can be resurrected. I find it mostly a silly question, but modestly interesting. However, my new revelation makes that line of thinking utterly ridiculous. If God needs elements of a physical body to resurrect then we are all in trouble. Who gets claim to the atoms that we share? I imagine that few people today have many atoms that they can call their own -- meaning they haven't belonged to another human. And this is another interesting thought to me. We can't really lay claim to the atoms in our bodies because they once were part of someone else's body, and one day they will be part of yet another's. This in turn brings up some interesting thought about the separation of body and soul. I reject the Western dichotomy between the two and believe that they are impossible to separate. So what do I do with this idea that each atom in my body is not unique to me? I think that it affirms that although body and soul cannot be separated, we are still more than the sum of our parts. One does not gain part of another's soul although they main gain part of their body. I'm still not sure exactly how I can now describe the fact that soul and body are one in light of this, although I am sure its possible and that I will be able to one day. I don't think that it has very profound implications for how we live our lives, but it is interesting to think about none the less. At least I find it so.