Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas

I just received an email from my church office, letting me know a fascinating fact: that the classic Christmas song "Twelve Days of Christmas" actually encoded some of the basics of the Christian faith.

My BS meter immediately started ticking.

So I went to that bastion of truth and otherwise, Snopes.com. Thirty seconds of research -- more accurately, typing into a search bar and pressing send -- proved my meter was well-calibrated.

This shows either that we Christians blindly accept anything that comes our way without analysis, or we knowingly sacrifice truth for the sake of a good and uplifting story. Either is utterly unacceptable.

Four thirty-five

About a year ago, I discovered a site called thirty-thousand.org. It was basically a site focusing on how those who considered and wrote the Constitution of the United States intended there to be a Representative for every thirty thousand citizens. One does wonder if they ever pictured the United States having three hundred million citizens, thus requiring ten thousand members in the House. But even that aside, it also pointed out the gross discrepancies between House districts, where some actually have twice the residents of others.

Flash forward to 2010. The Supreme Court just denied an appeal aiming to double or even quadruple the number of Representatives. One of the stated reasons for this original appeal was to more fairly divide the existing districts.

Unfortunately, everywhere I look I find only the same three or four brief paragraphs on this. It seems to be treated as a non-issue, when I personally feel it's anything but. The choice to have 435 Representatives -- no more, no less -- seems nothing but arbitrary to me, and though I don't deem 10,000 Representatives necessary, an expansion to make the picture of the American people the House is supposed to be less grainy seems anything but a bad idea to me. Maybe I'm missing something. I hope it's not just a dedication to a needless status quo that caused the Court to deny it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Truth be told, I absolutely believe in an individual's God-given right to be stupid. Do whatever you like; as long as it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, I'm okay with it.

But in that statement comes the flip-side: you are not entitled to my help to get you out of the trouble your poor choices cause. You can ask; I just might say yes. But my time and money used to fix your self-caused problems is not your right. What is mine is yours only if freely offered. If it is not freely offered, you're on your own.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Life and Choice

On the one side, you have those who call themselves pro-life. On the other, pro-choice. And to hear these two camps talk, you'd think "life" and "choice" are antonyms. But that's a bit like responding to someone who says "I like football" by saying "I like basketball"... and then, of course, burning down the football stadium.

Is there room to be both? Certainly. You can be strongly pro-life, saying that to destroy that little life growing inside a woman's womb would be a terrible mistake, one with the potential to haunt her for a very long time... but still defend her right to an abortion. It gets down to the status and rights -- if any -- that the fetus/baby has, and that can tend to be an extremely sticky question.

Incidentally, the concept of being anti-life and anti-choice tickles at my mind. I wonder how that would work.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Holidays

Some people are infuriated by the phrase, "Happy Holidays". As you may have guessed, I am not one of them.

People have actually stopped doing business with a company simply because the use the more generic well-wishing, instead of specifying a certain holiday -- yes, usually Christmas. (For that matter, heaven forbid you should use the abbreviation "Xmas". No; we must keep Christ in Christmas!) Seriously, though. Why in the world would you stop associating with a business because they choose to acknowledge that Christmas isn't the only holiday in December? I can think of three right of the top of my head! Do we stop doing business with a Canadian company because they dare celebrate the birth of their country three days too early?

So, though I will be celebrating Christmas, though I have celebrated Christmas and no other holiday my entire life, and barring some really surprising development in my future, will celebrate Christmas only for the remainder of my life... Happy Holidays! Or if you prefer, Happy Holiday of Choice.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Not-So-Personal Appeal

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is asking me (yes, me) for money. Why I've been singled out for this honor eludes me.

Apparently my good and personal friend Jimmy feels that it would in some way taint his vision for his website to include ads, so naturally he puts a "personal appeal" up on his site. I admire him for having a vision and wanting to stick to it, but honestly, it wouldn't bother me if the website did have ads, as long as the content remains the same.

Similarly, I could have ads on this blog to make a little something off it. I'm considering it, but given that I've had maybe three dozen hits so far, I just don't see much point in it.

So, enh. If Wikipedia had a banner saying please donate to keep this site ad-free, I probably wouldn't donate anyway, but that's mostly because I'm poor and only give to those causes I'm extremely passionate about. But for Jimmy Wales to frame his asking for money as a message just for me makes me even less enthused, and makes my opinion of him drop. Given I had no idea who Jimmy Wales was before he started asking for my personal money, that's rather sad.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Who Cares?

Yesterday, it made the AP Political News wire that President Obama bought some pastry at a bakery. I'm sorry to say, I don't care.

I don't care if the president buys pastry, or drinks Bud Light, or smokes. I don't care if his wife thinks children should eat more greens and exercise more. I don't care where his kids go to school.

I don't care if the president is black, or brown or red or yellow or green. I don't care if he's a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Buddhist, an atheist, or paints himself blue and bays at the moon. I don't care if he's older than God or barely legal. I don't even care if the president is female, homosexual, or even both.

Can the president govern? Will the president show wisdom, an even temper, a faithfulness to the Constitution? That's all I care about.

So can we please shut up about the president's pastry choices?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Evidence of God

The question is often raised: if there is a God, one who created the universe and set all things into motion, and who occasionally intervenes in the affairs of mere mortals, why is there no evidence? Sure, the existence of the universe is cited as evidence, but then you have people like Edward Tryon saying the universe may simply be one of those things which happens from time to time. There are those pesky miracles, but they can be explained away. Whence God, then?

Consider this, however. Philosophy demands the universe have no boundaries -- after all, boundary implies inside and outside, and whatever term you use to encompass everything, there is no outside. Science demands the universe be finite, due to the darkness of the night sky and such. Observation of the highest technological form has implied the universe to be Euclidean, topologically flat, uncurved. Any two of these conditions are easy to fulfill. All three together...

But there is a way.

Take a piece of paper. Draw a triangle on it. Roll it into a tube, so that opposite sides meet. Behold: a cylinder with a triangle on it, a triangle with angles still totaling 180 degrees.

Picture a video game: a side scroller where if you fly off in any of the four cardinal directions, you appear in the opposite direction. This is in the four-dimensional shape called a duocylinder.

The universe is a tricylinder. It is flat, finite, but with no boundaries: fly far enough in a direction and rather than hitting an edge, you just keep going.

Also, this seems to indicate there is a creator. A tricylinder seems quite unlikely and artificial. Thus, someone seems to have made it.

This aforementioned creator also seems to have a wicked sense of humor, to leave intelligent beings no evidence of his existence except the massive glaring neon sign that is the universe itself.


I felt something last night I haven't felt for a while: a sharp pain directly below my heart at the realization that I wasn't going to see a certain someone that night. This made worse by the fact that our time of separation had only been ten or so hours at that time, and we would most likely be together again within another nine (actually, it ended up being only eight).

Had I missed it? Yes and no. Yes, it was thrilling. No, the pain was not welcome. Being in love is wonderful and exciting. Once the initial thrill wears off, though, and you find yourself simply loving, it is no longer exciting, but all the more wonderful.

But the one I speak of is a new experience, by definition unlike anything before. I am eager to see how this develops.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Revoking the Right to Life

I really do believe that if I run over a person crossing the street fifteen feet away from the crosswalk, there should be no punishment. After all, a person not taking the extra ten steps to cross at the designated spot is either too stupid or too self-important to live, so why not save Darwinian forces the trouble?

But then, I also believe that the solution to the issue of the death penalty is to revoke the right to life of anyone who takes the life of another. Government does nothing to end this person's life, but neither does it prevent another person from taking it. I also think the same argument can be expanded: violate the rights of another, have the same right denied of yourself.

But that's just me.


I mentioned previously that I could not guarantee this blog would be truthful. There are two main reasons for this.

One, truth is not that interesting. I already know a great deal about my life, and unless you're a part of it, very little of it is your business. For that matter, I spend far too much time in my own life, and I find an active fantasy life helps me get away from it. Truth is dull; fiction is compelling.

In addition, truth is overrated. If I perceive the world, or choose to perceive the world in a certain way, what business does truth have coming to screw that up? Enough of truth! I get truth enough in this pesky real world I seem to live in. If I lie, if the world lies to me, if there are hidden things... I'm kind of okay with that.

Let there be lies and fiction. Let them be expected. Perhaps someday I shall tell the truth, but almost certainly not.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Empire Begins

Hello, and welcome to the Homoplasmate Empire. I cannot promise it will be interesting, truthful, or frequently updated. Just remember, the Empire never ends.