Eff's Rambles (Archive)

12/21/2005

It is done.

After I sign out, I will have lost access to this account. There was a delay, but I have decided to implement this now. I have kept it so that I can receive any comments this blog might get, but that is it.

12/13/2005

And finally

This is post 160 and the last hurrah.

On some issues I shall give my position and briefly why I hold it.

Abortion: I am pro choice because I have faith in most women to decide the issue with a good heart. I also think fighting it is futile.

On immigration: I believe it should be controlled, but not based on race. Objective controlls based on economic need and the capacity of the nation to absorb the immigrants should be the main reasons for limiting it. I also believe immigration laws should be simple enough to understand.

On gay right: I am pro gay rights. I do understand the offense felt toward gay marriage, considering that many people faithfully believe it is improper, even sinful, or nearly so, but I think that secular societies are not beholden to their concerns on the issue. And I believe it the individual, so theories about the downfall of society do not hold water for me. I have no reason to hate homosexuals, and so on.

On the Iraq war: While I am undecided on when and how to leave. I was not for it. I might not have agreed with all of the arguments people made against it, but my position I do not agree with having gone to war; I was unconvinced of Saddam's ability to be a viable threat, and think domino democracy is idealistic and dangerous. I also felt it could endanger regional stability. The moral questions of how right are sanctions, and what kind of government the status quo before the war would have been ruling Iraqis had the war never began are other issues, and very subjective ones.

Conspiracy theories: I do not like them. That is mainly because I need major convincing to call the intent of accused conspirators, or the supposed puppets of theirs, false, and proclaim only one theory as the truth.

The environment: I believe in balance, but I lean mostly pro environment, believing corporations should be regulated, punished strongly for violations, and made to reason very well why they cannot follow a particular guideline.

Guns: I have no specific position on most current laws about guns. My supporting principle for my pro gun position is that the right of self defense against intended harm is more important than the counter hypothetical of random harm, and that guns fall strongly and objectively within the capacity to effect decent defense. I do not claim this will always be the case. But I also do not believe in circumstantial data that attempts to refute the claim of defensive effectiveness. I think such use is fallacious and unethical.

The death penalty: I oppose it. I believe killing may only be justified in war, depending on the justness thereof, as well as the manner of killing, and self defense. I think it is unethical to kill contained people, and for economic reasons. I also do not want innocents killed.

On religion: I support its existence as a means of bringing some people comfort. But I am an agnostic whom leans atheist. But I do not blame religion for most of the world's evils and pain. I choose, instead, to blame irrational nature in people.

12/12/2005

Three years and the last week

I have decided to end this blog. By the twentieth of December, it shall be deleted, and I shall save none of the content. I have come to accept somethings, about others and myself, at least enough to know that this is the right decision. So if I have regular readers, or if you are just curious, save what you want to.

Bye.

12/11/2005

3 years

Tomorrow marks my third year as a blogger. K.

12/09/2005

I have an archive and a guest book at the bottom of this blog. Say hello in the latter and leave a comment somewhere in the former. Go to it, for I think I might be starting to repeat myself.

12/08/2005

Pertinence!

It's time to learn what that is.

You have a complicated situation in which the lives of many people could be effected.
You need to decide on which course to take, and who should lead it.

Do you, a, study the legitimacy of the issue, the necessity of a given course option, and the viability of each candidate to lead the action, or, b, do you make a contention about one of the candidates moral authority while ignoring the viability of the other candidates, and the rest of the aforementioned issues?

It's really not that hard of a quiz.

Also, what is with some people calling things paranoid? Do people fully understand what that implies? Some examples are fine, but the term is so often used that it seems applicable to anything someone cannot grasp the need for. According to some, or so it seems, anything not certain to happen more than once a week must be a false issue, and only paranoid people are concerned about them. Dictionary.com says, "often strenuously defended with apparent logic and reason." That claims that even with apparent rationality behind a given concern, that does not preclude it from being delusional. Of course, that's an escape, since it is still on the burden of the person making the claim that someone is paranoid to refute his logic.

12/07/2005

Damned preview

Maybe it's just on my end, but the preview function in the template editor is not working properly. Reverting to the default number doesn't fix the alignment problem with my test numbers.

The cynicism in me says I'm not the only one with this problem.

12/06/2005

Journalism: Consequences and Standards

Consequences

There are two issues I want to briefly comment on. The first has to do with recent revelations that CIA rendition flights have been occuring in Europe, and that the US Military is using especially dubious propaganda in Iraq.

To be fair, there are uncertainties ( objectively speaking) as to the extent and specifics of these cases, but I am not here to offer much debate on the merits of what these US government branches are alleged to be doing. It is, however, true, I believe, that these policies can have a protective value. But they can also have negative repercussions. In either case, the supporting side argues negative consequences are likely to occur. This puts the media, the opposition in this case, in a difficult position: On the one hand their journalistic ethic compels them to report facts and keep the public informed despite suppositions as to what might negatively result from reportage of sensitive information. But, on the other hand, there's the belief that some duties of citizenry obligate deference and self imposed silence when reporting might cause harm and hinderence to military operations and national security.

From the perspective of outside observers, the question of which side is correct may be presumed as fifty/fifty, where the general public is divided as to who is right. But I shall attempt to speak from the perspective of journalists, and I hope I do not offend actual journalists in attempting to do so. Still, I think it should be all right, because I am going to use a general principle that I believe is broadly applicable:

I contend that it is the first and foremost loyalty of journalists to follow the ethics to which they assigned themselves as journalists, and that it would be an unreasonable burden to apply abstract bases for exceptions to adhering to said ethics. The abstract bases are those theoretical negative consequences which might come about as a result of reporting on sensitive militarily related information. While not all cases of proclaimed national security interest are illegitimate, the use of such a proclamation has an undeniably excusatory effect, wherein it can be said that various actions must be kept silent because of the potential to harm national security whether or not the probablity of doing so is high. Consideration should be given to national security interests, but it should not preclude all reportage, even in the name of deference.


Standards

What are the standard for determining what a legitimate story is?

I must admit that, while mainly boring, like it or not, the debate over where Christmas is said and not is an actual news story.

First, it brings up a constitutional issue; even if that matter is settled for some, it is not for all, thus it remains as a story, especially if court cases about it exist.

The second reason is more important to me because I mean to refute the notion, or at least the implied one, that a story needs to have multiple and widespread occurences to be legitimate if it is not large in scale or particulary unique. Perhaps in some cases, but in the case of Christmas vs. Happy Holidays, that should not be the case. Given that most people in the US are Christian, many of which are practicing, there, established, is a clear majority which presumably favors scenes and signage which are pro Christian and might not be secular, or who are not inherently opposed to them. If there are individuals and groups intending to prevent religious specific advertising and inclusion in public places, the issue of whether or not that is an overstepping of bounds by the minority, as well as, going back to the constitutional debate, whether or not the some cases might exemplify respecting an establishment of religion is important. It is also a matter that goes deeply into the moral core of many Americans. Whatever side you are on, whether secular or in favor of Christmas displays, et al, the story is valid. As for me, I am an agnostic whom leans athiest. I might comment further, but I do not have much to say on that matter.


12/01/2005

Blog Against Racism Day

I wish I could think of creative, emotionally compelling words to express my disdain for racists, but, in truth, advocacy posts, whether for or against something, are difficult for me. So I shall let my feelings be clear yet expressed in my own peculiar way, with, as I have been accused of using, strange logic, or good logic.

Some people say racism and associated evils like bigotry and xenophobia comes from ignorance. But I do not accept that explanation. Ignorance gives some understanding to initial fear but not long term hatred. It is idiocy which fosters racism. It is stupidity which presumes the inferiority of others. And it is moronism which condemns an entire race based on the fallacy of guilt by association, wherein the action of one person or even many makes all of similar appearance deserving of, according to racists, hatred. Racism is for the incessantly mentally lazy. And non of this understanding of how senseless racism is takes great intelligence to comprehend. Indeed, it takes so little thought that the laziness needed to understand it means the person unable to is far more likely evil than simply ignorant.

11/29/2005

Arrogance, disingenuousness, and independence

Each has in common an aspect of my principles on blogging, etc.

I try to be modest, though I am not without certitude as to the correctness of some of my arguments arguments and conclusions.

I try not to present my blog as more than it is, and especially not as what something else is.

And, while my overall opinions might not always be independent, I do try to practice one kind of independence (the kind most important to me), that of coming to a conclusion based on my own unique reasoning. Though I am not free from the influence of others, I am the type, and have done this, to debate the arguments of people even when we agree upon the contention. I suspect that can lead some to think my overall opinion on an issue is the opposite of theirs. But that is not necessarily the case. I might just think his argument is bad.


 

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