Neo-Hippie Ramblings - I'm a Non-Conformist Just Like All My Friends

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Trying something out

If you scroll to the very bottom of the page, you'll find some text that's almost invisible, just below the page counter. This is being generated randomly, and will change every time the page is reloaded. I figure, if the government is going to treat us all like suspects, we might as well make them feel useful by acting suspiciously.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Please Support Laura in Relay for Life

Laura at Can't Keep Quiet is participating in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life this year. Please stop over and lend her some support.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bake Sales for Body Armor

Cross-posted from Bring It On:

In the next couple of weeks a new site will be launched called Bake Sales for Body Armor, it is a not-for-profit site that will be dedicated to rasing money to buy body armor for the less fortunate men and women of our Armed Forces that cannot afford to buy it on their own. This not-for-profit is being endorsed by Bring It On! because we feel it is a disgrace that our own government cannot properly equip our brave men and women of the Armed Forces.

Bring It On! also felt that this is something that cannot wait and have decided to raise money in advance of the launch of Bake Sales for Body Armor. Please click on this link to donate and get a bumper sticker or shirt to show your support for this cause, all proceeds will be donated to Bake Sales for Body Armor. This is a non-partisan issue, the lives of our soldiers are at stake, please donate now!

After donating you can use this to put on your site and help get the word out.

And now a word from the creator of Bake Sales for Body Armor, Tammara Rosenleaf, who is a member of Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), Helena Peace Seekers, Just Don’t Go and the Prairie Chapel 12. Tammara’s husband Sean is currently serving in Iraq. Tammara can be reached at:

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Monday, January 16, 2006

(Self) Censorship, or, Feel Free to STFU

Cross-posted to Bring It On

I had something totally different in mind for this post. (Sorry MLK Jr. — someone else will have to talk about the state of racial equality in America today. Pretty sure it’s covered, dude.)

Today at the Roller Rink

Something that happened this afternoon got me thinking about the fundamental difference between ‘thou shalt’ and ‘thou shouldst’.

We took the girls to a birthday party being held for a five-year-old cousin at a local roller skating rink. The parties (there were four being held simultaneously) were supposed to start at 2 pm and the rink owners had no intention of letting anybody into the rink even a moment beforehand. It was also very cold here in Dreary Erie today.

The net result of all this was that about three dozen annoyed parents and their little kids were crammed into a small entry foyer at 1:55 pm waiting for the rink to open.

One of the parents whose kid was having a birthday party (not our group) went up to the window to talk to the owner about something. I was too far away to hear the conversation, but the parent was obviously ticked off as a result. Pushing back through the crowd, he said loudly, “that guy is a fucking asshole”.

Now, I’m a big fan of the F word. I love it. I use it daily, if only in my head. It fills a niche where no other word could ever fit. It’s also quite possibly the most versatile word in the English language.

‘Fuck’ conveys, through subtle inflection, the entire range of human emotion. Anger: Fuck You! Bemusement: Fuuuuuck!?! Agreement: Fuckin’ A, Dude! Disbelief: What the Fuck? Disgust: What. The. Fuck. Amusement: Fuh-huh-huck! Horror: Oh. Fuck. Panic: Fuck Me. Passion: Fuck me. Excitement: Oh My Fucking God! Despair: Oh, Fuck. Emphasis: I Mean Fuck

That said, it’s also not a word that I use around my kids. And it’s certainly not a word that I want for my three-year-old add to her vocabulary just yet.

So anyway, some guy at the roller rink is acting like an obnoxious dipshit in front of a group of little children. Obviously not what the majority there wanted. So what’s the answer?

This is where the difference between ‘thou shalt’ and ‘thou shouldst’ comes into play.

What could we do? We could pressure the owner into adding a ‘no obscenity’ rule. Kick the guy out. Ban him for life. Sorry Jack — hit the street — no refunds, no returns. Thou shalt not say ‘fuck’.

Or, we could take it a step further. Send angry letters to the town council. Pass an ordinance. Levy a fine. Throw his ass in the klink. Thou shalt not say ‘fuck’.

Hell, we could take it even further than that. We could beat our breasts crying, “Protect the Children — Amend the Constitution”. Thou shalt not say ‘fuck’.

On the other hand, we could take the ‘thou shouldst’ approach — which is exactly what someone in the crowd did. “Watch your mouth — there are little kids here”. End of story. The guy wasn’t happy, but he didn’t say anything else offensive, either. He already knew better — someone just had to remind him.

If we’d been in a bar the situation would have been different. There’s no law to say that I couldn’t take my kids there, though I shouldn’t and never would. But if I did, I’d have no right to yell at the guy for cursing. Different environment; different social norm.

One size does not fit all.

The Big Picture

Every few years now, some genius in Congress has had the brilliant idea that the Internet needs to be censored in the name of decency and/or protecting children. News flash: it ain’t gonna work. Trying to do so will inflict harm and waste a buttload of money. Child pornography is evil and despicable. And it’s already illegal — no new legislation necessary. If you know where to find the scumbags publishing it, nail them to the fucking wall. Period. It ain’t rocket science.

Regarding for the garden variety ‘bad stuff’ on the Web: as a parent, it’s my right and responsibility to protect my children from exposure to images or ideas that are likely to harm, corrupt or traumatize them. My right. My responsibility. Not the federal government’s. (For Christ’s sake, if you feel the need for the government intervene on behalf of children, push to fund something like WIC, Head Start, or school lunches.)

The ability to self-censor exists in every television now being produced. It’s been that way for years. Chances are excellent that it’s in the TV already in your home. Likewise, software is available for free, or a very low cost, to self-censor Internet access. When my kids are older, I’ll enable it.

Far more importantly, though, I make a point of knowing (and limiting) what my kids are watching on television — and when they’re old enough to start Web-surfing, I’ll also make a point of knowing where they’re surfing, what they’re downloading and who they’re talking to. That’s my right, my responsibility. Not the federal government’s.

I suspect that the ’save the children’ line is a grade A load of crap, anyway. It’s more a matter of “the social norms ain’t what I believe they ought to be. Quick, Jethro, we better legislate!”

More ’shouldst’. Less ’shalt’. I mean fuck

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Stupidest Coupon Ever

I think I may have found it: the world's stupidest coupon. Am I reading too much into it, or does a late fee coupon say "Our late policy is so incredibly shitty that we have to give you a break just to try to lure you back in here!"

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

At least she gets it honestly

I'm starting to think that our 5-year-old might turn out to be a bit of an iconoclast.

She recently made a few 'enhancements' to the Barbie Dress Up Kit she had asked for for Christmas.


Monday, January 09, 2006

Weaning America from the Oil Teat

I just got the February issue of Discover in the mail today. One of the featured stories this month is an article by Amory Lovins, who has a lot of sound, practical suggestions for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

This isn't a tofufest either -- it's very pragmatic stuff that doesn't rely on either exotic, undeveloped technologies or unrealistic changes in the way that we live. Rather, it's a lot of small, workable suggestions that add up to big differences in a number of different arenas.

The February content isn't out on Discover's website yet, but you should be able to pick up a print copy at any newstand now. Do check it out; it's worth a read.

Amory Lovins
Discover magazine
alternative fuels
hybrid engines
SUV fuel efficiency
carbon fiber composites
foreign oil dependency
energy policy
fossil fuels

Bring It On 2.0

At long last, Bring It On 2.0 is online. All the good stuff is still there, but we've ditched Typepad, moved to Wordpress and added some really cool features like a comment rating system and 'red and blue' diaries to encourage users of all political persuasions to participate.

Be sure to check it out.