It's not about the fetus(6-Nov-2002)
I've officially changed my stance on abortion.

I'm getting ahead of myself.

I was talking with someone recently about evidence that the Capital Times is slanted, even in the non-opinion articles. This has been something I've talked about before, mentioning the time that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia came to give a speech to the UW Law School, and at the end of the article, the Cap Times mentioned where people could go to protest.

This time was about abortion. The topic was the (very clear) differences between Tammy Baldwin and Ron Greer in the 2nd district congressional election. The title was, "Choice: The clear divider".

Now, if you can't see how that's biased, remind me to verbally slap you the next time I meet you, because you're incredibly dumb. Or remarkably biased. Same thing.

Regardless, I'll tell you why it's biased anyway: Phrasing the discussion as being about, "choice" means that people are either pro-choice or anti-choice. Now, there are not many pro-life(or, anti-abortion rights) people out there that would say, "Yeah, I'm against people being able to choose." It's ridiculous.

Which is roughly what I said to this person with whom I was talking.

Well, the conversation went something like this, "Yeah, there was this article, and they phrased it as, 'choice'"

"How is that biased? It's about the women's right to choose, and Greer is pretty obviously anti-choice."

I responded, in typical fashion, "Just like you're anti-life."

Boy, she didn't like that...

Needless to say, I attempted to clarify my position, and in thinking about this, I'm changing my viewpoint on abortion.

Previously, it was no abortion after 14 days, as that's when the brainstem forms(which allows for stem cell research, as well as a greater selection of birth control).

Now, it's primarily that I don't care. Yes, I don't think there's a constitutional right to have an abortion, but that's a separate issue. Primarily, I could care less where people are on the abortion debate, as long as they understand that the other side has a perfectly reasonable viewpoint.

Now, if you use the terms, "anti-choice" or "anti-life", well, you're dumb, and you're wrong. I will work against you as much as humanly possible.

Stop Voting!(28-Oct-2002)
First, a disclaimer: I'm eliteist(not that I can reliably spell the word). Eliteist, meaning that I believe in representative democracy, with the emphasis on representative.

But the "Direct Democracy is a uniformly dumb idea" is the next rant. In this one, I'd like to encourage you to not vote.

Or, rather, to get you to understand that there is nothing inherently good about voting, at least in the USA. There IS something inherently good about informed voting, however.

Frankly, most people don't have the interest in politics and current events that I do. That's fine; to each their own. I'm okay deferring to them when we're talking movie or music knowledge, as my knowledge there isn't all that great. But why is it that uninformed people feel a need to express their right to vote when they haven't bothered with their responsibility to be informed?

They shouldn't vote, and I shouldn't be ruled by people who got into office on the backs of people whose votes were influenced by television.

So, please, if you're not informed, don't vote. And don't feel guilty about it, because you're saying that there are other things in your life that take a higher priority than figuring out which buffoon is less irritating.

Oh, and if you're wondering if I consider you informed, try this simple test: Name as many Supreme Court justices as you can(either state or federal is fine.). If you can't name any, or can only name one, I would encourage you to not vote, as you haven't been paying that much attention. If you can name three or four, you're probably fine. If you can name more than that, you'd probably be offended if someone called you uninformed. Mind you, there are the occasional exceptions, and the test starts failing once people start practicing, but it's a pretty good rough test.

So, please, don't vote unless you're informed, and don't feel guilty about not voting.

Pointless Education(9-Oct-2002)
Hello, friends, and welcome to the ol' rant page. It's time again to randomly make fun of various groups(without naming names and risking reprisal, of course.).

Today's topic is education. More specifically, the point of it. Now, obviously, a large part of the reason schools exist is to impart knowledge about such important things as 2+2=4, or what the capital of Vanijkstan is(or, even better, the ability to be able to figure out that Vanijkstan doesn't exist.)

Certainly, that sort of eduction is important, but the other importat thing about education is socialization. You're bringing kids into school in the hopes that they'll come out of school well-adjusted and able to be a productive member of society.

Now, it's much harder to be a productive member of society when you have weird viewpoints and ideas, because they're inherently going to run against the grain enough to cause problems. So, brainwash those kids at school.

This is the reason why I'm annoyed when people try to say that we should have a viewoint-less school. This fails, not only because it's not actively attempting to get kids to grow up into functional adults, it's also failing to understand that putting forward a viewpoint-less school is an impossibility; it's putting forward SOME viewpoint, which is even worse, as no one really knows what that viewpoint actually is.

As for what I'd do to make schools better, I'd suggest more moralizing. It can be religious or not; that point doesn't really matter to me. But we should brainwash our kids into believing that there is right and wrong, and preferably give them a way to figure out which is which.

If every viewpoint is equally valid, then there's no reason to condemn the murderer, the terrorist, the wacko, or the non-voter.

Voting. Ah yes. That'll be my next rant.

Inherent Contradictions(13-Aug-2002)
Okay, I realize I need to update my webpage on a more regular basis, but since I can't think of anything Earth-shattering that I'm willing to spend the time to do correctly(such as, oh, telling everyone where I currently am as far as school and work goes.), I'll just launch into one of my familiar rants, and fail to do it justice.

Anyway.

The rant for today is about hypocrisy. Or rather, people who hold viewpoints that almost directly contradict what they actually do.

For example, urban sprawl. Personally, I'm not against urban sprawl. It's not that I think it's a good idea, but I want to be able to move where I want to, and the idea of having an acre or two of land out somewhere where I have my house... Well, that appeals to me. Mind you, I'm not for urban sprawl, either, but if I ever actually act on that want to own land, it's obvious that I'm more concerned about my own wants than keeping nature preserved and human-free.

That's logical, and consistent. You can reasonably argue that I'm being shortsighted, but you can't reasonably argue that it's logically inconsistent.

However, if a person says they're against urban sprawl, and they moved out to the country two years ago... Well, they're dumb. Because it's obvious that they're not against urban sprawl; they're against more people moving into their area.

It'd be nice if we could have both freedom to move wherever we want to and contain urban sprawl. But we can't. So choose one.

Another example is people who consider themselves pro-environment. Which is virtually everyone. Unfortunately, some of those people drive SUVs.

Now, if you're driving around an SUV and not actively destroying nature by driving off-road, you're underutilizing the vehicle, and basically carrying around extra weight, which wastes gas and causes pollution at a higher rate than a vehicle that would more reasonably fit your needs.

So, in other words, if you drive an SUV, you are NOT pro-environment, you want to use the environment freely, and you'd prefer it to remain nice for you and your kids in the future. Which is all fine and good, but you're obviously not willing to make sacrifices to improve the environment.

And you're obviously more concerned about your own wants than you are the needs of the forest animals. Which is fine. But don't think that you're in the same category as the people who actively do things, such as bike to work when most people would take the car(and I'm an exception to that idea; I'm not biking because I'm environmentally friendly.)

And... Other stuff. I'm sure I'll come up with a few more things eventually, but I'm guessing the attention span of the average person reading this site probably isn't much longer than mine is. So I'll stop now. But feel free to e-mail me and rant at me at spam@claybusker.com.

Gardening nightmares(1-Aug-2002)
I live in a house that's more like a condo, where the Anchor Management Company maintains the property, both inside and out. For the most part I've been happy with the service they've provided, as they haven't been unrelentingly evil like the last management company I dealt with (Smith Management, I believe, and the property was the Dayton House, owned by Rick McKy. May he burn in Hell, the law-breaking, idiotic bastard(and I can back up the law-breaking and idiotic; I'm only assuming the bastard part.)). So it's a reasonably good company.

Except when it comes to mowing gardens. One of two things must be happening. Either, a) the mowers are generally idiots who don't ever actually look where they're going, or b) they have something against my garden.

Let's recap the events: Previously the garden wasn't really established, and had only a few plants in there, along with some tiles, and lots of weeds. The mower mowed right over the rhubarb plant, and took care of most of the rest of the garden. But it seemed as though they realized halfway through, "Oh, wait a sec, that looks like someone didn't WANT it mowed off." and promptly stopped before entirely destroying the garden.

This time, the garden was fully laid out, with many plants that were roughly 10 inches tall, surrounded by large swaths of dirt. Yes, my second year parsley plant and second year carrots did look a little weedy -- I wanted to watch them seed. But it was pretty obviously a garden, especially considering the a) tiles b) rhubarb plant c) tall, lonely plants and d) lots of barren ground.

But that's not the end of the story. Not only did they mow over part of the garden like last time, they went over EVERYTHING. They took a nice circle around the potted Rosemary plant and mowed EVERYTHING down to a half inch. I swear they must have taken extra special care and consideration in their attempts to entirely destroy my garden, rather than, oh, taking down the thicket of weeds 10 feet away.

But life goes on, and as far as crushing blows go, this isn't one that I'll shed a tear over. But it's annoying to have spent as much time and money I have on the project, and not even get a science experiment out of it, much less food.


This page last updated on Wednesday, November 6th, 2002