A Menagerie of Outspoken Opinions on Science, World Politics, and Geek Culture

Monday, August 02, 2004

Monday Linkfest

Hi all. Well, I had intended a special surprise over the weekend: Photos of my roommates and their new baby boy! Leo Gargagliano - that's his name now that he is officially adopted - arrived from Korea last Friday night. I never mentioned it before now because I didn't want to jinx his arrival. Anyway, it turned out that this weekend was a lot of sleepless nights, continuous phone calls, and a non-stop stream of visitors. Taking photos just didn't end up high on the priority list, and as such I didn't have anything to post. Not to worry though; we'll take some pictures soon enough and I'll post them. In fact, if some get e-mailed to me today I'll post'em immediately.

The first Monday link is Michael's post about obesity over at Fukiblog. As someone who exercises regularly but doesn't really enjoy it (except during those couple months of spring and fall when the weather is especially nice) I have little patience with the "it's my glands" crowd. I have even less for the "it's McDonald's fault" crowd; I'm not sure how they run things in the other 49 states, but here in Florida we aren't rounded up by jackbooted McThugs and forced to slurp down super-sized value meals. I myself drive past a dozen fast food joints every day without stopping, and I've watched one of my roommates loose over 70 pounds in the past year via the revolutionary method of eating healthy and exercising a lot.

The problem here is whiney and weak jellyfish-people who won't control themselves so want the government to do it for them. They are similar to those who won't earn a living (so want the government to do it for them), won't raise their children properly (so want the government to do it for them), and won't stand up to protect themselves and those they love (so want the ... well, you get the idea). I'm personally in favor of letting natural selection see to the welfare of such people instead of the government ... Darwinism is quick, fair, and doesn't suck a single penny out of my pocket and put it into a crackhead's.

Sorry if that one sounds a little harsh, but I just don't like people who refuse to take responsibility for themselves. And I don't like those who enable them to go on doing it at the expense of the hardworking majority, either.

Next up is Frank J. and his apparently expensive trip to Vegas. I'm not a gambler myself; I've only been to a casino once and came out $40 ahead ... I wasn't that impressed with the "rush" everyone talks about. I'd rather spend an evening drinking good Irish whiskey, smoking expensive British cigarettes, and talking about politics or philosophy. Strangely, I do enjoy playing Uno for a buck a hand ... we did that on one rainy camping trip and it was a lot of fun.

Sorry about the bad luck, Frank. Here's some advice to all you fine readers from someone who's been around the sex, drugs, and rock & roll block a couple times: Keep your vices firmly imprisoned in a glass or an ashtray, and keep them occasional. If they start to involve cards, dice, sex, any type of powder, or, Goddess forbid, a needle, you are on the road to a hospital bed, a jail cell, or a coffin. Believe it.

And last is this post from SDB over at USS Clueless. As usual, it's hard to add anything to what Steven says; his analysis here of the difference between terrorism and guerilla warfare (and how this stage of the Iraq war is an odd combination of both) is spot-on. Right now anything that seems to support the insurgency actually does support the insurgency, because winning has largely become a matter of who the average Iraqi believes will win.

The only thing that Steven really didn't get into is the far left's outright support of the insurgency (as opposed to the center-left only seeming to via their opposition to Bush). The more I look at it the more it seems to be truely pathological. Not politics - not even dirty, partisan politics - but a full-blown mass mental disorder that drives people to hate their own leader so much they're willing to cheer on genuine mass murderers and fascists just to spite him. I suspect it is largely brought about by their frustration over being wrong so often (really often ... really, really often). It's disturbing (and a little embarrassing), like watching a drunk up at the bar who is just making an absolute ass of himself but keeps insisting the drama is really that guy's fault.

BPCP update later today or tomorrow.