Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Another GOP win in Georgia

It's been a week since the republicans won another special election in Georgia. With the benefit of hindsight, it's easy to see why. The democratic candidate was presented as an outsider to the state, and by objective accounts, he was. He didn't live there until he decided to run for the seat. The voters of Georgia didn't like that, and they chose the republican instead.

What fascinates me about the election is how much money was spent on it-by both sides. I have a rule. You lose the right to complain about money in politics if you spent 50 million dollars, win or lose, on an election. Everyone is against money in politics until your candidate has more of it, and wins. It's not about you being a republican or democrat, it's about how our standards and rules change to suit our views. In politics, the ends always justify the means.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Adventures on a lazy Sunday

I was pretty unmotivated yesterday. Didn't have the energy to go to church in the morning and barely got off the couch during the day. My life partner was away for the weekend with some friends-and she took my motivation with her. However boredom plus laziness has it's limits and I decided to do something I haven't done since last October. Go to the movies. I'm not big into movies so I didn't know what was playing. A quick search of Fandango changed that. Out of all the movies playing, the only one that I had even the slightest interest in seeing was 47 Meters Down. Someone online said it was like Open Water (2003), a movie that I love. So in the battle between laziness and the desire to see a movie I knew nothing about-desire won out.

It's nothing like Open Water. I wasn't expecting a cinematic masterpiece and the movie is not one.  The relationship between the two sisters was the best part. I liked watching them interact and thought it was entertaining and believable (their relationship, the entire movie was not so believable) . It's not a movie I'd see again but I didn't regret going either. That alone makes it a win, I guess. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Scripture Sunday 2 Nephi 31:21

All Christian denominations are exclusionary. So are all Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and every other major religion in the world. If I claim that Muhammad got revelation from the Koran and you claim he did not, one of us is right, one of us is wrong. Someone being "exclusionist" in society today is considered wrong. I understand why. Inclusiveness is the buzzword of todays culture. Some people find exculsionary views offensive, which doesn't make sense to me. If you don't believe in something, you generally don't find it offensive, you just find it wrong.  

For LDS, we should avoid embracing the belief that all other beliefs are true. This passage clearly says that there is only one way to salvation, and that is through Christ. It is the only way through which we are saved and it'll continue to be the only way through which we are saved. While some people might take offense to that, scripture is fairly clear. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The battle against air conditioning

From time to time you'll see some rich elitist babble about how evil air conditioning is. It's delusional of course, and it's to be expected. When you have all your needs taken care of and don't have to worry about comfort or rent payments you'll begin to become deluded and totally out of touch with reality. I live in Florida, where air conditioning is basically fundamental to life during the months of June-September. Without it, I'm confident that no one would live here year round.

You can Google "Air conditioning" and see some people rant about how it's a "luxury" and how we should "learn to live without it, because people before us didn't live with it and they survived!" In reality, modern technology has made out lives drastically, amazingly and stupidly better. Modern technology is like the girlfriend you broke up with even though she did everything for you, like bringing lasagna for you at work. Eventually you'll wake up and realize you took her for granted but by then it'll be too late.

My rule of thumb is this: don't lecture me about caring for the environment or my modern conveniences unless you personally aren't living with them. It's easy for newspapers to make editorials about how to live without air conditioning (click here) when you work in an air conditioned building. It's easy for the Pope to lecture us about "consumption" when he also lives in a....air conditioned building (click here).

Do as I say, not as I do.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Album of the Weekend

The Velvet Underground-Loaded

The Velvet Underground is a band you will either love or hate. I've met very few people who don't have strong opinions about them, but I don't think that they have the cult following that the Grateful Dead have. This album is a bit more commercial for such a avant garde band and it's one that people who have all sorts of music tastes can enjoy.

I've heard Lou Reed didn't like the final cut of this album. I'm not sure why even though he did leave the band shortly after. You've probably heard the the songs "Rock and Roll" and "Sweet Jane"-those are two of the more well known songs. "Sweet Jane" is one of my all time favorites, it's one of the most played songs on iTunes for me.

The Velvet Underground is loved by the music geek set for their unique and innovative style. While still having that, this album is much more approachable for a mainstream audience.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Supreme Court free speech ruling

The supreme court ruled that the government can't refuse to trademark terminology that some find offensive.  It started out with a band called "The Slants" - an Asian American rock band, and they wanted to patent their name. The government refused to do so because some people might find the name of the band offensive.

I do find the name of the band offensive. It's a racial slur and no matter what nationality you are it's in bad taste to use the terms. Sure, these people are Asian themselves and are using the term, but it might be offensive to other people and it's best sometimes to go with a less controversial term in order to further your career. To each their own of course.

Just because I find the term offensive does not mean that it should be banned. I strongly support the supreme court ruling and I think it's a landmark for free speech. Free speech doesn't care about what I think, what you think, or what the band itself thinks. Free speech is so important that it should be given the benefit of the doubt in 99.9% of cases. The supreme court was absolutely right here. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Michelle Carter update

Michelle Carter, the woman who convinced her "boyfriend" to commit suicide has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Here is the link to the original blog I posted about her.

Evil exists in this world, and sometimes (actually, often) it doesn't get punished. I'm glad she is getting punished because I still feel she committed involuntary manslaughter. No matter what the court punishes her with, she will forever be known as "that girl" whose actions pushed her boyfriend into suicide.  I have a feeling she will have to move to another state at the very least-maybe even another country. She clearly doesn't have a conscience, so praying for her won't get us anywhere.

I've been hearing that she had "free speech" rights and she shouldn't have been charged for what she did. It makes sense. After all, she didn't turn the car on or pull the trigger. In the end, you are accountable for your own actions. I have a lot of sympathy for that point of view, even if I disagree with it. I don't have free speech rights to yell "Fire!" in a movie theatre. I don't have free speech rights to put you in immediate danger. She did just that.

I'm a big believer in free speech, for sure. There are limits though. The second amendment makes it clear you can't own a nuclear bomb in your basement, and even free speech has it's limits as well.