Tuesday, September 28, 2004
I find this really upsetting, and have received it four times in the past two days.
Subject: How one can become a terrorist? Welcome to our web site [deleted] Please use http://[IP address deleted] in case of our domain outage. You\'re invited to shop for large selection of bombs and different kinds of rockets such as surface-to-air, surface-to-surface and weaponry available at reduced price. With the following types of rockets you will be able to commit terrorist attacks, destroy buildings, electric power stations, bridges, factories and anything else that comes your mind. Most items are in stock and available for next day freight delivery in the USA. Worldwide delivery is available at additional cost. Prices are negotiable. Please feel free to inquire by ICQ # [deleted] or contacting us directly: [three phone numbers deleted] [list of weapons deleted] Our clients are well known Al-Qaida, Hizballah, Al-Jihad, HAMAS, Abu Sayyaf Group and many other terrorist groups. We are well known supplier in the market and looking forward to expand our clientage with assistance of Internet. Do not hesitate to contact us via ICQ # [deleted] Impatiently awaiting for your orders, ShadowCrewI assume this is somebody's idea of a joke, but it's about the least funny thing I've ever seen. Is there somebody I can report this to?
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Monday, September 20, 2004
Joe pointed out to me a fun piece of college football trivia. There are only two Division I games this coming weekend that feature two undefeated opponents. These are (1) USC @ Stanford and (2) Rice University @ Texas. Go Owls! You're still on course!
Sunday, September 19, 2004
I was very sorry to hear, via Savoynet, that former D'Oyly Carte baritone Kenneth Sandford passed away today at the age of 80. Ken Sandford may very well have been my greatest DOC hero -- I've studied and idolized his recorded roles -- particularly, his Despard, his Pooh-Bah, his Grosvenor, and his Private Willis. I was already sorry that I was unable to attend his talk in Buxton this year -- now I am doubly sorry never to have met the man.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
I've never been more proud of a St. Louis Ram, not that that's saying much. Offensive tackle Orlando Pace fired his agent, Carl Poston. The Poston brothers are notorious for making rediculous demands on behalf of their NFL clients, and encouraging team-damaging contract hold-outs. 49ers fans are well aware of Postons' ill effect on football -- 49ers badass linebacker Julian Peterson held out almost the entire preseason this year, rejecting the biggest defensive contract offer in 49ers history, at the Postons' suggestion. Pace, who was in a similar situation to Peterson, did not state a reason for firing Poston, so far as I can tell, but I can only assume it's because he realized the hold-out was damaging his career. Neither Pace nor Peterson got the absurdly unreasonable long-term contract they wanted, and both had to settle for one-year contracts. All parties want to sign these players to long-term contracts, and the Postons were getting in the way. I can only hope that Peterson will follow Pace's lead, get a reasonable agent, and sign a long-term contract with the 49ers, giving him a stable and very wealthy life, and giving the 49ers a long-term, fair contract with one of the best linebackers in football.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Christian Conservative Tony Perkins' Washington Update from today included discussion of one of the most important current issues in American democracy:
Making references to the results of the 2000 presidential election in Florida, Kerry said that Republicans are attempting to disenfranchise African-American voters by suppressing their vote. After his recent heart surgery, Clinton was making similar claims.One might expect the conservative Perkins to dispute these very important allegations. Right-wing forces in Florida are being accused of illegally disenfranchising a group of mostly black, mostly Democrat, would-be voters. One would expect Perkins to disprove those allegations, or to claim that the liberals are the ones being bad, or to point out that the people raising the allegations did drugs when they were in college, or *something* to assure voters that conservatives in Florida are not the reprehensible criminals they're being accused of being. Instead, he says this:
Normally, this basic move out of the Democratic playbook works at this point in the "game". However, this time the odds that it will work have changed. The issue of marriage has opened up a tremendous amount of dialogue between white and black evangelicals in this country who are in agreement that marriage must be protected. When the focus stays on marriage, there is unity, so other issues have not been discussed. More and more black pastors are taking bold stands for marriage and refusing to support Kerry and other Democrats who refuse to protect marriage. This does not necessarily mean a windfall for Republicans, but it does create a turnout problem for Democrats.So to summarize, Perkins' is telling us that although conservatives are allegedly attempting to illegally disenfranchise African-Americans, evangelical African-Americans aren't really very serious Kerry supporters. That kind of seems to miss the point a lot.
If this guy takes Tom Delay's job away, it'll be the best thing to come from the Texas political world since I've been paying attention to it. Check out blog coverage of Richard Morrison here and here, and his campaign page here. If you're able, go help out his campaign. And if you live in Sugarland, vote for him.
Monday, September 13, 2004
Blogging has been light because I've been busy. Schoolwork, you know. That was a hell of a show the Niners put on yesterday. It left me rather emotionally spent. Signs of life are good, though. Also, NFL congratulations are in order to former Forty-Niners Steve Mariucci, who led the Detroit Lions to their first road win since the Taft administration, and to Jeff Garcia, who pretty cleanly spanked the Ravens on behalf of his new Browns. Likely, I'll resume my discussion of politics, philosophy, and everything else sometime soon. In the meantime, it's time for me to go back to work, thinking about promise-keeping and Hume's Law. another FBC post on the topic is possibly imminent. Also, in case anyone's wondering, I'm TAing this semester for Jamie Dreier's The Nature of Morality.
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
I read today about a New York Times advertisement in reaction to rhetoric by the Christian Right. The advertisers are unhappy about statements by people like Jerry Falwell to the effect that lots of people have religious duties to vote for President Bush. I think they're right to be unhappy about that, but I don't know that I agree with the direction they took. The ad begins:
God is not a Republican. Or a Democrat.The idea, which is a popular one in some circles, is that religion and politics should be kept seperate. This quote typifies the attitude:
"We don't think God has become a Democrat," Campolo said. "What we want to make clear is that Jesus transcends both political parties."Now I have to say, I just don't get this. Jesus *transcends both parties*? What does that mean? It might meant that God is indifferent between a George Bush administration and a John Kerry administration -- God considers them to be equally good outcomes. But given the sorts of things that God IS supposed to care about, this would be a surprising coincidence. Or maybe it just means He wouldn't vote, even though He knows one candidate is better than the other. But I don't see why that should be the case. The Presidential election is a moral issue. For people who's moral beliefs are informed by their religious ones (a practice that I think is mistaken), religion *does* have a place in determining whom to vote for. I've heard some great arguments that a Democratic administration would be likely to stand for Christian principles better than the current Bush one. And like everyone in American, I've also heard a lot of arguments with the opposite conclusion. I think those arguments *are* important. I wish they were more balanced (well, I wish they were balanced heavily in the opposite direction), but I don't think they should go away.
I know I sound like a broken record here, but the latest Fafblog is the greatest thing ever. The super sneaky double-entendre is extra-clever today.
"Well we agree to disagree," says me. "Like we do whenever we talk about Coke™ versus Poison™." "It may taste bad an curdle my blood an kill me," says Giblets. "But at least I know where Poison™ stands."Read it.
Monday, September 06, 2004
I think there may be a few people reading this blog who both (1) at least slightly care about Rice athletics and (2) don't follow them terribly closely. For anyone who meets that description, the Owl football team surprised a lot of people by winning its season opener against the University of Houston 10-7, in what Ken Hatfield described as the best defensive statement his team has ever made. A Rice football fan's lot is, as a rule, not a happy one, but this was a very nice start to what I hope is a very nice season. Rice is 1-0 and undefeated. If the trend continues, the team will finish 11-0, and the sports pundits will be arguing about whether Rice deserves a BCS bid.
Thursday, September 02, 2004
Ok, this is just really, really weird. I noticed a number of Google hits coming into this entry from searches like "voting my values". I wondered how high I was on that list, so I ran the seach. I'm number one. Of one. I'm really, really confused by that. Am I overlooking something dumb? Am I accidentally limiting the search to my blog? Go to google.com and type in that phrase, with quotes, and tell me if I'm the first and only hit. In other Googly news, I'm the fourth hit for dreaming in color, between a Christian music song with that name and a discussion of ESP ("For both sexes, the incidence of color in dreams was generally associated with ESP success.") In other Jonathan news, I'm busy moving into my new apartment.