Thursday, June 18, 2009

As an addition to my previous blog entry…

This video clip is from the movie “Booty Call” (fair warning: it’s not one of Jamie Foxx’s finest moments) that pretty much captures the essence of the Religious Right’s hypocrisy. Props to the late, great Bernie Mac (he plays a judge in the movie).

The clip is from 1:32 to 3:38; watch the rest at your own risk.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Christians vs Pharisees

One of the big topics of the day was the aftermath of Nevada Senator John Ensign’s admission of an affair with the wife of one of his staffers. This sort of thing doesn’t surprise me anymore, and I’m apt to believe that this more than likely happens quite often amongst our political representatives at every level. 

But this is what pisses me off about this particular situation:

First, Senator Ensign publically and emphatically called for President Clinton to resign during the height of his scandal with Monica Lewinsky. Can someone say “hubris”?

Second, as noted in the first article, Senator Ensign was one of the toughest critics of former Senator Larry Craig during his own sex scandal in a Minneapolis restroom, calling for Craig to resign (which he ultimately did). According to Ensign:

“I wouldn’t put myself, hopefully, in that kind of position, but if I was in a position like that, that’s what I would do.”

Third, Ensign was an active member of Promise Keepers, a Christian organization aimed at making men more “godly.”

This is just another testament to the moral hypocrisy that seems prevalent within the Conservative ranks. Ensign is a walking, living, breathing representation of all that is wrong with modern-day Conservatism in America; an inflated sense of moral superiority without any sort of legitimate foundation to base it on. He ought to take his own advice and resign, because he has zero credibility left as far as I’m concerned (and as far as his constituency ought to be concerned).

Now, I’m not saying that Liberals aren’t hypocritical about things; they are, and I’ll be happy to discuss that. However, the problem is that many Conservatives are of the belief that they have “moral authority” (aka “Biblical Inerrancy”) on their side. A lot of Conservatives talk about morality and what not, browbeat and judge those people that they don’t feel are up to par, and then turn around and go against their own principles.

I already know the response - “Human beings aren’t perfect; they’re sinful, and are bound to fail.” Yeah, I guess. But riddle me this: why play the “God is merciful” card in situations like this, and then Bible-thump when it comes to gay marriage and abortion? Why wasn’t there an outcry when a man gets shot at church, even if he performed abortions? Why preach fire-and-brimstone unless it has to do with the glaring hypocrisy of one of your own?

It makes me absolutely sick to my stomach to hear any sort of argument on the grounds of “Christian” principles, and to me such arguments spit in the face of any sort of intellectual honesty. People like John Ensign aren’t Christians; they’re modern-day Pharisees. Maybe if there were more Christians and less Pharisees among Conservatives (especially at the top), I – and many other people – may take you and your principles a little bit more seriously.

Bottom line: if you’re going to make the claim to be a Christian, take your own principles seriously. Jesus gave you all a heads-up about this – take the log out of your eye before you take out the specks in someone else’s eye? Ring any bells? Obviously it didn’t ring any bells for John Ensign; maybe Promise Keepers ought to emphasize that a little bit more, rather than creating a sense of moral superiority in its followers.

“By their fruits you will easily recognize them. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from brambles?” – Matthew 7:16

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Trying to find a balance


I don’t know how people have the energy to do anything after a full day of work; when I get off of work, I am absolutely drained. As soon as I sit in my car after leaving my office, the last thing I want to do is…anything. I cringe if I need to pick up groceries, or if I need to get a haircut, or anything with any semblance of effort. When I get to my apartment, I suddenly sink into a state of laziness; it’s a struggle for me to even muster the energy to make dinner, and I often just order pizza or something along those lines.

As I’m chillin’ out, I turn on the news and get pissed off about whatever issue is going on. I think, “I should write about it.” But then I don’t. And those of you that know me get just how into politics and political discussion I am; I almost never pass up an opportunity to talk politics. This is just how drained I am, and I really don’t know how to avoid this post-workday state of mind.

Now, I don’t do hard labor or anything like that. I sit in a room with no windows, and spend the day dealing with IT issues. The phone rings constantly, to the point that I’m starting to have nightmares about the particular sound of the ringing of the office phones. 90% of the calls aren’t big deals per se, but due to the fact that my office specifically provides IT support to higher-level Air Force officers, every issue is a big deal. Most of these calls come from the higher-level officers’ executive officers, known in Air Force terminology as “execs,” and their desire to look good for their boss turns a number of them into unreasonable, scheming robots.

I don’t mean to bitch about my job; I realize that it could be worse (like working at my last office, the dreaded Help Desk *shudders*), and I have been the benefactor of certain perks, i.e. getting to do some extensive travelling this past year. Plus, my co-workers and supervisors are pretty cool and we try to laugh as much as possible throughout the workday. All things considered, it’s not as bad of a job as I make it sound (except for the part about the unreasonable execs - that shit is real) and I’ve learned a lot regarding IT in this job.

My struggle is trying to find a balance where I don’t come home completely drained, and where I don’t stay late everyday doing something that can wait until tomorrow, but also where I don’t go completely lax a-la Peter in “Office Space.” I think it’s possible – or at least I hope it is. A lot of other people are able to have a bunch of energy after work, and I envy that. I want it for myself. I definitely think it’s all psychological for me, and I need to change my mentality in order for me to not feel burnt out. But how? I’m strugglin’

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ahmadinejad won in a landslide? BS.

So perhaps you’ve been paying attention to the news regarding the results of the Iranian election. I think it’s safe to say that the world consensus is that the election was rigged. That’s what I think, given an 80% voter turnout in the Iranian election, and also the fact that there are rumors that Ahmadinejad's rival is in danger.

Of course, just the very controversy of this election throws a wrench into the foreign policy plans of President Obama. While I support the need for direct dialogue with Iran (hell, even the United States and the USSR had direct talks throughout the Cold War), the problem arises in whether or not the Obama administration will respect the legitimacy of the Iranian election results.

As such, the Iranian people have taken to the streets in protest. That has to mean something, right? Perhaps this is a tipping point for Iran…

Saturday, June 13, 2009

So this is my blog...

and I figure I'll have more energy and willingness to keep this up rather than posting notes on Facebook all the time (which I'll still do, of course). I've attempted to start blogs in the past (and I wrote like crazy on my Myspace blog - which I barely ever log into now by the way), but I've always given up after a while, for whatever reason - boredom, laziness, getting sick of second-guessing everything I posted. This time, I'll try to break through all that and broadcast my thought and opinions to all of you - unfiltered, uncensored, unapologetic - and not worry about whether or not you're all gonna feel it. Some of you will, some of you won't - it is what it is. I'd like to believe that my friendships and kinships are strong enough to withstand differences of opinion in regards to politics, religion, pop culture, sports, etc. We all are who we are for a reason, and we've arrived at our current positions in a very unique manner.

I use the term "position" rather than "conclusion" because I believe my points of view are always going to change in some varying degree or another. To me, there's always something to be learned, or a point of view to be considered. At the same time, I'm not afraid to challenge a point of view, and I welcome challenges to mine; that's how we learn and progress as people. The philosopher G.W.F. Hegel brought about the concept of "dialectic," where one idea (a thesis) is met by a counter-idea (an antithesis), and the two clash and conflict and eventually merge into a new idea (a synthesis). The synthesis, then, becomes a new thesis and the process repeats itself. That's how I like to view my process of education and self-awareness, as dialectical and ever-evolving.

So hopefully this will be the first post of many, and hopefully it'll get me back in the swing of things as far as writing is concerned. I used to write so much more when I was in college, and the year or so afterwards until I joined the Air Force. Has the Air Force made me worse as a writer? I don't think so, but it's definitely made it a lot less enjoyable with regards to the working hours and such. Frankly, I miss being a pissed-off college student; it just sparked something in me that made me want to write all the time. Now I'm slowly becoming a pissed-off Airman; maybe this will do the same thing.

Anyways, I'm still in uniform after working a 10 hour shift on a Saturday, so I'm going to change and enjoy my one day weekend. In the meanwhile, I'll have thoughts and ideas brewing to share with everyone.