Saturday, October 06, 2001

in response to my quoting of geov parrish, someone wrote:

"Here's another 'fact' for your site...99.9% of the world think geov parrish is skewing statistics (or just making them up) to support a weak argument." he then pointed to what might be the gallup poll parrish referred to in his article (though this reference is vague), which doesn't appear especially supportive of what parrish said.

all of this brings up a good point about reliability of sources. nothing i write here is intended as "fact." it's all my opinion, except when i quote someone else - and then it's that person's opinion. i would never intentionally point to something i thought was untrue (at least without appropriate comments), but of course i don't know everything. so if you see something false (or if you just disagree), point it out.
it's time to post some responses. about a week ago i wrote something about my friend's views of gay pride events. he wrote me to say his views have changed in the last couple years:

"I don't mind at all that you posted what i said or wrote in the
past, but i thought i'd give you an update on how my feelings have changed on the subject since then.

IF (and i want to be very clear that this is an 'if') homosexuality is a
sin, then i don't think that it's my problem to deal with or even point out.
I think that some people think that if a person is confused about their
sexuality and their emotions about members of the same sex, liberals may perhaps tell them to embrace that feeling- coming out of the closet, so to speak. Since this is oft the case, conservatives have often decided that it is their duty to purge them of their homosexuality- therefore creating hatred toward the homo and bi-sexual members of society.

As a conservative, IF i believe that homosexuality is a sin, i still have no
right to hate, or even think that homosexuals are any different than i am ... My only reason (at the present) for disliking 'gay rights' parades or other celebrations, is that it draws distance between homosexual members of society and myself. It puts a label on them, that i cannot label myself. And I see no reason to celebrate the distance between them and myself."

good point about exclusive labeling. but gay people didn't originally apply such labels to themselves - the labels were forced onto them for the very purpose of separation. so do gay pride events do more harm than good by widening this gap in our society? perhaps more importantly, can anything be done to show support for gay people and the particular problems they face without being exclusionary?

Friday, October 05, 2001

jamie mcintyre at CNN writes "President Bush presented the broad outline Thursday morning of a proposed $320 million humanitarian aid package for the people of Afghanistan, as the administration continued trying to broaden the schism between that nation's ruling Taliban and its general population." good. here's an idea: how about after removing the taliban, rather than replacing them with an equally represive and dictatorial regime as we normally do, why not promote democracy and representative government? just an idea.
dave on davenet writes "Today, I don't feel much like being an American. I'd rather be free." it's a shame when that's a choice to be made, but i feel the same way today.

Monday, October 01, 2001

the following is all from innessential. i'm browsing through the archives - good stuff.

9/26: "I don't like the word 'meme.'" i do - so much so that i named my blog after it.

9/17: a cute kitten.

9/15: i find the inability to find humor retrospectively funny.

9/14: "Gandhi was fighting opression with civil disobedience, with peaceful means. But his enemy was the 20th century British. They could be shamed into being their better selves." i said it before and i'll say it again: i think terrorists have souls. but regardless of that point, we could look at the nonviolent work of king and the civil rights movement and see that it's not always necessary to shame those who directly commit injustice into changing. sometimes it's good enough to shame people who tacitly support injustice into changing.

"This time the boy is almost glad, because he deserves it. He knows he's guilty of something, he's just not sure what." america is hardly analogous to an innocent boy being beaten up. we have done wrong. that doesn't mean we deserved what happened, but pretending we're perfect doesn't help anything.

: "What fierce power makes human hearts such foul lumps?" great words.
the nando times reports "Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammed Omar took a hard stance in a radio address Sunday, telling Afghans not to fear U.S. strikes, because 'Americans don't have the courage to come here.'" hopefully we won't be drawn in by this grade school taunting.

also: "Zaeef said the Taliban, who have rejected a series of appeals to hand over bin Laden and avert a military confrontation, were willing to talk. 'We are thinking of negotiation,' he said, adding that if direct evidence against bin Laden were produced, 'it might change things.'"

it would certainly change things for me. this is what "justice" means in america when a crime is committed: (1) we find out who we think did it, (2) we find out where they are, (3) we put them on trial, (4) we punish them. if (2) is currently impossible, we can move on to (3) - that's what we've done before. in trials, we present evidence. if we have it, what motive would we have to withhold it?
michael ratner and jules lobel on alternet (last alternet today, i promise) write "Suffice it to say that military force 1) kills civilians; 2) has the potential to destabilize countries such as Pakistan; 3) widens the divide between the United States and Islamic nations; 4) sews the seeds of future terrorism; and 5) will not make us or anyone in the world safer." and "We see great danger in ignoring the [UN] process that provides a path away from violence and toward peace." so there you have it - yet another nonviolent plan.
geov parrish on alternet writes "An international Gallup poll released Sep. 21 found that 46 percent of Americans were either undecided or opposed to military action. In 29 of 30 other countries polled (Israel being the exception), the public was opposed to military action, preferring extradition and legal remedies. Margins against war were in the 80-90 percent range in Europe and Latin America." i suspect the longer we go without military action, the less support we'll see.
martin a. lee on alternet wrote "13 Questions for Bush about America's Anti-terrorism Crusade." i'd like to hear the answer to even one. maybe this one: "Adept at manipulating real grievances, terrorist networks breed on poverty, despair, and social injustice. Do you think you can wipe out or even reduce this scourge, Mr. President, without seriously and systematically addressing the root causes of terrorism?"
yahoo news reports:"'I'm an old-fashioned woman,' Sen. Kay O'Connor told The Kansas City Star. 'Men should take care of women, and if men were taking care of women (today) we wouldn't have to vote.''" (via unknown news) have to vote? i guess she's entitled to her own (crazy) opinion, but the idea that a senator would willingly sacrifice the rights of half our citizens just because she personally doesn't want to be bothered to vote is outrageous.
ahmed rashid writes "Former CIA agents have said that in the past seven years Western intelligence organisations have failed to penetrate any of the extremist groups which have joined al-Qa'eda, the global network led by bin Laden. Now we know why: the organisations do not have people who even speak the languages used by the terrorists." (via unknown news)

my girlfriend is studying at the monterey institute of international studies and she got this email a couple days ago. maybe this is the real reason why we won't negotiate.

oh yeah - my girlfriend is also a foreign student (via unknown news). biting the hand that feeds us?
heather also pointed to a thousand origami cranes, a nonviolent reaction to war started in japan after hiroshima. we're doing it at my university on wednesday.
these are the days:

tomorrow is a palindrome day: 10/02/2001. the next one won't be until 01/02/2010. so i've been pretty excited about that.

heather champ points out that today is a binary day 10/01/01 (via scripting news). though not technically. using a four-digit year, we haven't had a binary day since 11/11/1111, and won't have one again until 01/01/10000. just so you know...
cnn reports: "'This is not a time for further study or vague directives,' Giuliani said." i think this is precisely the time for further study.