The Anti-Fashion

Dear God, I knew it would happen. When leggings started popping up on campus last spring, I could feel that something wasn't right. Sure, they look cute now under those denim miniskirts, but what if this is just the calm before the storm? I could just feel a fashion disaster looming in the air. And how right I was.
I want to bleach my eyeballs. Today, I saw 3 girls wearing leggings as pants. That's right; leggings without the additional coverage of a skirt, dress, or tunic length top. Even on skinny girls with no body fat, leggings are just not kosher by themselves. And on girls like me, who come with built-in padding around the hips and butt, it is even worse. Please, if you are going to do the trend, do it right. There are so many cute things you can wear with leggings, why not invest in them?
-The Quartermaster


Dirty sluts and decent men

When I got back from work yesterday, hauling chinese food home with me, I sat down to check my email, and found one from an address and name I didn't recognize, with the subject line "modesty." My first assumption was that it must be a response to something I wrote for the George Street Observer (of which I am opinions editor). But my last few op-eds had been on national or international politics, not social and cultural issues. So, even though I had exams to study for, and usually save all non-essential email for when I have time, I went ahead and opened this one. I'd like to quote in full the text of her message to me:

Dear Quartermaster:
I happen to have a boyfriend who is attending a class with you this semester and something about his behavior disturbs me greatly: I recently overheard a phone conversation he had with a friend of his where they used less than decent language in commenting on a woman. I am certain they were referring to you because another girl I know attends the same class and said that he often stared at you and usually was distracted from the class material.
I know him to often be led away from my attention by seeing women who are not modestly dressed (wearing tight-bottom clothing, visible pantylines, etc. which he has a weakness for) and act in a flirty way, as my friend has confirmed about you. I am only asking you to please dress and act in a more modest manner because even though you may be an attractive girl, you should not flaunt it in a way that leads decent guys like my boyfriend to say these things about you. I am sory if you did not realize the effect your behavior has on young men, but I do hope you could learn to deal with this issue in an appropriate way.
Sincerely, Paranoid Girl

My first thought was that this girl must be either joking or mistaken. I'd like to think I'm a pretty cute girl, but I'm not exactly homewrecker material, nor do I dress in any particularly unique way. Obviously, warm weather lasts pretty long here in Charleston, and I dress for comfort. When it's 90 degrees and so humid you feel like you're breathing in water, I wear a tank top and a shorter skirt. Or a tank top and a long flowy skirt. But so does every other girl in Charleston, so how did she (or her friend, to be more precise) come to the conclusion that I was guilty of dressing inappropriately? I nearly drowned in my Catholic school induced guilt before I realized that this email had nothing to do with me.

I don't have to defend my choice of what I wear to anyone, especially someone who I've never met. I don't have to apologize to her because she thinks that her skeezy boyfriend was checking me out and talking lewdly about me. And I certainly don't have to change my behavior based on her assessment of me.

As my last post alluded to, I take issue with the idea that women are responsible for the sexual morality of men. In this sense, I have more in common with feminists than with the stereotypical "religious right." My conservative world-view says that people are responsible for their own choices and actions, and that blame should not be shifted to others.

This girl decided to blame me for her boyfriend's bad behavior. She essentially stripped him of all moral responsibility, and in her own mind, turned him into a passive agent, who was acted on by me, the slutty immodest girl. If he's talking about a girl in less than decent language, it's because that girl forced the sight of her exposed flesh on him, and he couldn't help himself. If he can't concentrate on his coursework, it's because that hussy is distracting him. If he strays from his girlfriend, it's because he was tempted by me, not because he's an unfaithful sleeze.

This attitude leads to all kinds of problems. For example, "He only hit me because I made him angry." Or, "He wouldn't have raped her if she hadn't been asking for it."
You can't improve the behavior of a group of people unless you hold them responsible for that behavior. I'm not going to deny that immodesty can be distracting. I'd be the first to say that women should show respect for themselves by dressing in way that celebrates them as a whole person rather than just a piece of flesh. But hello, 90 degree heat! And did I mention humidity? The fact that I'm showing shoulders and some thigh isn't a justification for someone else's bad behaviot. Do I notice when extremely cute guys go running shirtless past the store where I work? Obviously. Do I look? Duh. But that doesn't mean that if I rang up a customer wrong because I was lookibng, I'd blame it on that slutty boy immodestly showing his chest.

Culture and setting also determine what is modest and what isn't. Here in Charleston, short skirts and skimpy shirts are pretty much par for the course. Just like all the guys wear shorts and t-shirts. What's appropriate for me to wear to the beach is different from what's appopriate to wear trudging around in the Charleston heat, which is different from what might be appropriate for wearing to church.

Now, this post wouldn't be complete without a little bit of pop psychology. It's fairly clear that this girl is deeply insecure about her relationship. She's actually gone through the trouble of tracking down some random girl that she thinks her boyfriend might have been talking about, based on who her friend thinks dresses inappropriately. Doesn't that seem like a lot of work to you? She says that her boyfriend's behavior disturbed her. If that were the case, why not take it up with him? Were I in her shoes (and I thank God I'm not, because her problems are far larger than a single inappropriately dressed girl), I'd have a talk with this boy. But she goes through a lot of trouble to find herself a scapegoat, then goes through a whole process of insecurity-driven logical contortions to absolve her "decent" boyfriend of all blame, and even make him a victim to my overpowering sexiness (I'm cracking up as I write that).

I also love that she couches her criticism in terms of being concerned for me. At the same time that she castigates me for my behavior (which I would like to point out, she has never been witness to), she tries to make it sound like she's looking out for me. Poor QM, must not realize tha horrible things she drives innocent, decent guys to do. And her final sentence, asking me to deal with the issue in an appropriate way, is just too much. I'm sorry, my friend, but I'm not the one with issues to deal with, and I have no intention of running out to buy myself a nice wardrobe of Muu Muus in order to protect your boyfriend.

I'll say one last thing before signing off to study for my midterms: her boyfriend sounds like an ass, but she sounds like a paranoid freak, so maybe they deserve each other.
-The Quartermaster


Let's talk about sex...

...because everyone likes sex.
Inevitably, a Catholic all-girls high school education will lead to discussions about chastity. I remember being subjected to a lot of these in four years. All of our theology classes eventually touched on sex, and why good Catholic girls don't have it.
And while I can appreciate the religious aspect, that God meant sex to remain within the bonds of marriage, where it is a sign of mutual commitment, there were two points that made me angry.
The first is that our brother school never talked about chastity. I've questioned several people who went there, including my own older brother, but none of them could remember it coming up to the same extent that it did at my own school. In their theology classes, someone would ask if a certain sex act was ok, the teacher would say it's fine as long as you are both married, then move one. But we girls had entire class periods devoted to sex (specifically, to chastity and virginity). Essentially, the message is that it's always the woman's job to ensure the sexual purity of men. This is the same attitude that in Islamic countries translates to women being beaten for showing their ankles. If you assume that chastity is important in Christian relationships, than it should be taught equally to both sexes.
The second point, and even more disturbing to me, is the shame aspect. I'll share one anecdote. Sophomore year, two or three of the Juniors gave us a talk about sexual purity during lunch. It consisted of showing us three roses. One had all its petals gone; the other had a few stripped away, and the last one was intact. They then asked us which rose we wanted to be, which rose a man would like more.
At the time, I was just annoyed. Now that I think about the message we were being sent, I'm furious. We should maintain sexual purity not for ourselves and our relationships with God, but because no man will want us if all our petals are gone. In other words, you can either be a slut or a nice pure wife.
This message ignores the Catholic model of forgiveness. If our sins are washed clean when we confess them to a priest and do penance, then does it matter if you made mistakes in the past? If God, who is perfect, can forgive your sins, than your (imperfect) husband shouldn't be complaining about it. I would hope that any man I marry is willing to accept me as I am; human, with a whole list of past mistakes. Being a virgin doesn't increase my worth as a person, and not being a virgin doesn't make me unsuitable for marriage.
The idea that a woman's worth is tied up in her purity, while it doesn't really matter for a man bothers me. Double standards are morally repugnant, and my high school didn't do anyone any favors by spreading this one.
-The Quartermaster

Update 2

Also, we need to get those links changed. Ignore them, please.
-The Quartermaster



Posting is only sporadic because I barely have time to shovel down chinese takeout before dashing off to class or one of two jobs. Also, I've enabled comment moderation, and anonymous comments will not be allowed.
-The Quartermaster


But I Love Cupcakes...

This truly makes me want to cry. The solution to childhood obesity is not banning birthday cupcakes. What sick, sick parent or administrator really believes that the best way to keep kids thin is to give them a school medal on their birthday instead of allowing them to bring cupcakes to share with the class?
Americans have an extremely unhealthy way of looking at food. I'm sure there are all kinds of intelligent and scholarly reasons why this is the case, but I have not researched the topic extensively, and make no claims to know a great deal about it.
What I do have is personal life experience, and observation. Food has a place in society that extends far beyond mere nourishment. Family traditions, gatherings of friends, special occasions; all are marked in some way with food. Everyone has food memories. The favorite drink you make with friends, the Thanksgiving turkey and murky peas from a can, the birthday cake, the pancake breakfasts on snow days; there is shared love and happiness and memories in these things.
But we live in a society where thinner is better, and where fast food is the only option for families on the run. So, while we turn up our noses at the food traditions that make us happy, and deny ourselves in the name of being svelte, we ignore the real problems.
Cupcakes are a school ritual; part of the fun of a birthday is the sugary goodness that comes with it. When school administrators and parents decide that they are going to deny their children cupcakes for birthdays, they set them up to develop an unhealthy relationship with food.
A cupcake on someone's birthday isn't going to make kids fat. If they go home, and their parents were too busy working late to make a healthy dinner, so they feed the kids pizza five nights a week, that might make a kid fat. Or if they end up sitting inside playing video games all afternoon, and all day on the weekends, because their earliest babysitters were the TV and the computer, then maybe they'll get fat.
Childhood obesity may be a social problem, but it is really a parent problem. Parents need to train their kids into healthy eating habits, and enjoyment of physical activity. And some parents have a harder time; a single mom who works two jobs so that she can pay the rent obviously isn't going to have time to prepare a healthy, balanced meal every single night. And if she and her kids can only afford to live in a dangerous area, then they obviously can't go play outside when they get home from school everyday. But that doesn't mean that the answer is to ban cupcakes, because doing so isn't going to take away from the underlying problems.
There is nothing inherently wrong with a cupcake. And we shouldn't train children into believing that there is, because then we train them that certain foods are guilty foods, and they are bad people if they indulge. There is nothing moral about eating broccoli versus eating a cupcake. That doesn't mean that cupcakes should be a staple in every diet, but we shouldn't pretend like they are the root of all evil, either.
Food is a serious issue for me, not only because I like it (I am vehemently pro-cupcake), but because I have seen so many women in my age group (and, frighteningly, younger) who have extremely unhealthy relationships with food. They believe the ability to deny themselves the pleasure of eating something they like is a moral accomplishment. They believe that to have worth has women, they must be of exactly the right body type, and to acheive this, they must not eat the evil cupcake! There's nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy, but there is something wrong when you equate your self-worth with your ability to deny yourself. Down this road lie anorexia, bulimia, and frantic dieting of women of all age groups.
We don't need to teach young children that they should fear cupcakes. We don't need to instill in them a fear of occasional indulgence; I truly believe that letting yourself have what you want sometimes is far better for the state of your soul than always saying, "oh no, I really shouldn't. I need to watch my figure." So let them have a damn cupcake.
-The Quartermaster


Damned swine

Recently Pope Benedict(Ave!) referenced a medieval text about how Mohammed was evil and inhuman, especially his commend to spread the faith by the sword. So in protest, a bunch of ignorant primitive missing link candidates bomb churches in Gaza and the West Bank.

Please explain how this is a sane rebuttal to the entirely valid point that Byzantine scholar made. How do bombings prove you are not violent and primitive? Or that that swine you call a holy man wasn't evil?

The Pope should not have apologized. He should stand firm by his remark, which did not even endorse that text, and said that further violence would only vindicate him. Because that's the truth. I'm tired of these savages continuing to exist because we tolerate them. We work to give them better countries than their own racist ignorant imams can, and all they do is repay us with violence. End them all. I'm not going to restrain my opinion on this any more. If you want to prove me wrong, don't waste your time attacking me, denounce and reprimand the people who legitimize the increasingly accurate stereotype of Mohammedeans as violent Neanderthals.

Ideaman out.


I Rock

I finally got something of mine published in a space other than a blog or a school newspaper. You can check out my far more coherent than normal rantings at Human Events Online
Go read. You know you want to.
-The Quartermaster


I heart Israel

Maybe it's just because I love underdogs, but I really do love Israel. Yes, their attack on Lebanon is borderline extreme. Yes, civilians are being killed. But let's get some context, folks. Israel has essentially been under constant threat of attack since Great Britain pulled out in the 1940's, and practically every country in the Middle East decided to attack at once. They've been dealing with Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists for years, groups who have no compunction about murdering civilians. These groups had been firing rockets into Israel, deliberately targeting Israeli civilians. Not to mention the fact that they fire their rockets from civilian locations, so when Israel targets the rockets, they end up hitting civilians. Terrorist groups use their fellow men as human shields and publicity stunts.
So, France and the rest of the UN need to stop whining about an unconditional cease-fire. They may not like Israel's tactics, but if they had stepped in to help, Israel wouldn't have been pushed into attacking Lebanon. The Lebanese government has been letting Hezbollah, with their funding from Iran, run Southern Lebanon with no interference. Israel's strategy isn't that radical; make the people realize that harboring terrorists is a bad, bad idea. I wish people would get that the conflict isn't as simple as the Washington Post and other MSM sources make it out to be with their constant undertones of "Israel is being a big bully just because of some stupid little rockets." Israel is essentially surrounded by countries that would like to see its people all murdered, and the government is doing what it must to ensure the safety of its people.
-The Quartermaster


MTV is the nadir of western civ

I hate many things, with a venomous passion that often makes normal people uncomfortable around me. But a special place in my pantheon of evil is reserved for the commercial behemoth of corporate, market-tested, sugar-coated calculating shock jock crap that MTV represents.

What brought on this recent bout of hate, you might ask. An article in the Washington Times on the 25th anniversary of MTV in which it recounted the many "achievements" of MTV over the years. While many of these were idiotic things like the Real World, TRL, and countless other bits of intellectual garbage, I couldn't help but think of the impact they have on what music is funded, promoted, and produced. MTV is a large force behind musical acts such as Yellowcard, the perpetually un-original John Mayer, the whining transvestites of My Chemical Romance, and of course MTV's own personal Frankenstein's monster, O-Town.

The one thing that all of these so-called artists have in common is their shocking lack of talent or original thought, and that none of them could exist without the money teat that MTV provides.

Of course, MTV couldn't stay in their own backyard. For years they've been creating IQ-killers for the unwashed masses, but their latest offering is still remarkable. Not content to let idiot-infested "The O.C." rule the airwaves, they actually made it worse. Laguna Beach is the perfect blend of different brands of crap, reality tv and 90210-esque crybaby nonsense. I am unable to actually watch it, as exposure to pop culture in that pure of a form would weaken my powers from your yellow sun, those who have watched it have described it to me as everything you don't want to want to see in modern television.

Ah, the many achievements of MTV. Crap music, crap tv, and here we are just waiting for the next pile of fecal matter to hit the atmospheric oscillator.

Until next time.



Sincerest apologies & Ann Coulter

First off, I apologize both to anyone who comes here, and to myself. In the last two months, I have failed to efficiently utilize my summertime by blogging and reading, infact, I have barely even picked up the paper. This is indeed a failure on my part. Actually, I have felt fairly politically apathetic recently. Not in the sense that I don't think the same things I used to, but I didn't really feel like using any of my energy to try and educate myself and stay on top of current events at all, I left that to the QM. But the times they are a changin'.

I just got back from what can only be described as a spiritual awakening. A Street Dogs concert. Actually, that was last night, and while that was the most fun thing I've done this summer, this afternoon's event was also excellent, though in a very different way. I got to hear Ann Coulter speak at a Q&A session and book-signing. Many folks, liberals, and even some "conservatives," can't stand the woman. She's a witch! Burn her! She turned me into a newt! You get the idea. They find her outrageous, offensive, bitchy, etc, etc whine whine. What many people can't handle is actually her lightheartedness. She's really quite funny. And when she's speaking you can really tell that while she is serious about what she's discussing, there's a very jocular element to her presentations. She's funny, gracious, and by golly, she is as smart as a whip(smarting, at times as well). But I really think that if liberals would pull the beanpoles out of their buttocks, they might relax, and enjoy. Not agree, but at least loosen up a little and look at what she's really saying. They might learn something.

Here are some amusing Coulter-isms you may enjoy:

"I prefer my opposition not to be retarded."
"We must enter their temples and destroy them." (referring to public schools)
"'If the world hates you, remember they hated me first'....that's Christ, not me speaking."(in response to an aspiring Christian journalist asking advice)

I found her to be highly entertaining, and she brought up some great points which I'll discuss later. Oh, and I'll get the site banner back up, at long last.

Also, I got two copies of her new book signed. Hell yeah.

The Talent


Stem cell research

From the Family Research Council:

Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) announced unanimous agreement for votes as early as mid-July on a package of bioethics bills--two on stem cells and one on fetus farming. The most dangerous bill, S.471/H.R.810--sponsored by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA)--would fund stem cell research that requires the destruction of human embryos. Please make sure your two U.S. Senators know you oppose this destructive legislation. A second bill, S.2754--authored by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)--would encourage scientists to seek ethical stem cell alternatives. FRC has not taken a position on this bill; while it does not violate ethical principles and such research is currently allowed, Senators should vote for this bill instead of the embryo destruction bill. A third important bill, S.3504--sponsored by Sen. Santorum and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS)--expands protections against scavenging fetal organs by prohibiting gestation of human fetuses for exploitation of their body parts. The bill, known as the "Fetus Farming" bill, is a crucial piece of legislation to prevent the further abuse of scientific research and to preserve human dignity. Let your Senators know you support these ethical bills.

Why does the government keep insisting on funding medical research? The fact of the matter is, private investors are more likely to search out companies that have a chance of curing something, because they want a return on their investment. This is why adult stem cell research is so well funded-because it is actually producing cures. Embryonic stem cell research has trouble finding funding because the only thing it has produced are rats with strange growths. Ergo, no one wants to privately fund the research, so they have to beg the government to step in. If embryonic stem cells were as promising as advocates would have us believe, there would be private investors all over the place looking to drop money on it. Instead, these scientists have to get federal funding in order to keep their jobs. Because that isn't at all self-interested.
-The Quartermaster


Musing on Life

I usually try not to blog about my personal life, because to be frank, it's pretty boring, but several different things have got me thinking about my own life direction a lot recently. The whole Linda Hirshman controversy of stay-at-home moms vs. working moms prompted me to read a couple of books on the topic, and think more about what I want from life.

Short term goals are easy: I want to get the most out of my summer internship, maybe get a few articles published. I want to do well in my classes next year, and keep my GPA up so I have a shot at grad school. I want to be a kick-ass opinions editor for the school paper, and hopefully get more people involved in writing. I want to actually learn how to salsa dance, instead of just clumsily following along. I want to date a Citadel cadet (only half-joking on that one; I have a serious weakness for military types).

Long term, though, things get slightly more blurry. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to get married and have kids; I've also always wanted to be involved in politics. I am a hard worker as long as I feel that what I'm working for has some greater goal or value, and have every confidence that I could really make a difference working in politics. At the same time, I also know that I want to raise my own children. That means actually being at home with them when they are young, being the one who shapes their morals and their characters, being there when they get back from school so that they don't come home to an empty house.

My friends joke about the fact that I would be a great housewife/mom (mostly because I actually love cleaning and cooking; they give me such a sense of satisfaction), and perhaps because I am such a perfectionist, I don't think anyone could do a better job of raising my kids than I could. To Linda Hirshman, though, my goal of wanting to raise kids means that I am wasting my education and my life. The real question that I ask myself is where I could do the most good, where I could have the greatest impact. Generally, I come to the conclusion that both are equally important.

I've read too much on the effects of daycare on children, and seen firsthand the issues of kids I babysat, to really believe that you can work full-time and not have it take a serious toll on your family. On the other hand, I know that working on concrete projects is a very fulfilling experience for me, and that it would be hard to just give up a career, even for a relatively short time.

Basically, I am faced with the same problem that most women face; where am I going to place my priorities? At this point, I lean towards family. I realize that being a stay at home mom will require sacrifice (older cars, less money to spend, subjugating self to others), but isn't that what life is really all about? It's somewhat out of fashion to acknowledge the necessity of making sacrifices, especially if you are a woman. After all, staying home with kids, changing your last name when you get married, aren't those concessions to the patriarchy? Shouldn't we be able to have it all (kids and career), if men can? This, of course, is ridiculous, as most men also make a sacrifice. They give up experiencing much of their kids' childhoods in order to work to provide for their families.

When/If I get married, I want kids. I understand that this will mean cutting back work or quitting entirely for a time, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. I'm not betraying a greater feminist ideal by wanting to be the one who oversees my children's development from incessantly wailing infants to incessantly whining teenagers; I would be lying to myself if I convinced myself to let someone else have that valuable job while I pursue a career.

So, that's my ramble. I've been told I plan things too far in advance, that I shouldn't try to figure out my life when I'm just a sophomore in college, but it can't hurt to be prepared. If I know what I'm to get out of life, I have a better idea of where I need to go and what I need to do. I already have the internship, now I just need to find that Citadel guy.
-The Quartermaster


North Korea

Now North Korea is testing missiles. Seven of them, to be exact. According to the Washington Post, five of the six smaller missile tests "appeared to go smoothly", while the long-range one (the only one that really endangers the US) failed after only 35 seconds. Somehow, I am less than reassured. I am less worried about the actual results of the tests than I am about the fact that they are testing them at all. Because what we really need is a crazy dictator with nukes. President Bush's reaction was rather restrained, for all that Democrats like to paint him as a gun-slinging cowboy (I might add here that it was a former Clinton aide who suggested that we do some preemptive bombing).
He said, "It's my view that the best way to solve this problem diplomatically is for there to be more than one nation speaking to North Korea, more than America voicing our opinions."

In other words, would Europe and the rest of the world stop acting like a bunch of pansies and grow a pair? Don't expect America to keep doing everything for you! Really, the biggest problem that the world faces, in terms of dealing with countries like North Korea, is that everyone turns to the UN for help. The UN has no real power and too many competing interests, so nothing of substance ever gets done. I still think that fact that every country gets the same say is ridiculous. Why should US money, paying 22% of the UN budget, be used to give legitimacy to crackpot dictators who rule by murdering everyone who disagrees with them? Peacekeeping forces, when used, have been either totally ineffective, or served to make problems worse. Finally, when things get bad enough, the US steps in to actually get shit done (being an action person myself, I appreciate this attitude far more than "let's have more sanctions"). Then, the rest of the world (read: France and Germany) starts slamming the US for its arrogance and imperialism. As far as I can tell, the UN has yet to solve any world problems. It has yet to prevent people from killing each other. And don't even get me started on the sex abuse scandal (for the record, it's interesting how little press this got compared to, say, the Catholic priest sex abuse scandals. For that matter, a larger percentage of teachers than priests have been accused and/or found guilty of molestation and statuatory rape, but no one likes to talk about that). Basically, the UN serves very little purpose, except to involve the US in treaties that will eventually be used by small minorities of radicals and their friends in the federal judiciary to overturn the will of the people. Needless to say, I'm not sure I trust the UN to solve our North Korea problem. On the funny side, this whole thing makes me think of Team America, which is a hilarious movie.
-The Quartermaster


NOW is at it again

Yes, I fail at posting often. I'll chalk it up to the fact that, due to my internship, I spend 9 to 5 inmmersed in politics (and some paperwork), so by the time I get home, I just want to sit on the couch and read the latest issue of InStyle Magazine. Got a flat tire on the way to work today, and amazed my (all female) office by changing it myself.
So, today I bring you a round-up of all the latest liberal hijinks of the National Organization of (some) Women:
Here, they complain that it is unfair for the press to raise questions concerning the claims and credibility of the stripper who accused the boys of the Duke Lacrosse of raping her. Never mind the fact that her story has pretty much fallen apart; any objections to pushing the case forward, no matter how well-founded they are, are racist and sexist. According to NOW, the media are responsible for:
promoting racist and sexist stereotypes; dismissing the seriousness of rape while belittling survivors; and treating the case merely as entertainment.

Or maybe, after having had their fun casting aspersions on the characters of the lacrosse team, they are doing the same to the accuser. While I agree the premise that we shouldn't be dismissing her because of her profession, I also don't think that we should believe her without question simply because she is a black woman. They also object to:
the constant use of the word "stripper" to describe the woman (when she could have as easily been described as "student" or "mother")

While it's true that she is also a student and a mother, she was at the party in her capacity as a stripper. It makes since to use that term to describe her, for the same reason that when we discuss Hillary Clinton's latest posturing, we describe her as "Senator Clinton (D-NY)" rather than "Mrs. Clinton, mother of one".

In her weekly column, Kim Gandy whines about "sex-segregated" schools. I have news for you, dear Ms. Gandy: single sex education works. That's why people are proposing it. And you know where it works best? Inner city schools. Why would any well meaning feminist want to deprive young women of a chance to focus on academic pursuits in a friendly, sexual pressure-free environment? Because to say that women and men have different learning styles and optimum learning timelines would be heretical and destructive to the notion that men and women are exactly the same.

Finally, proving why international treaties are a terrible idea, we have the NOW Foundation issuing a shadow report to the UN claiming widespread sex-based employment discrimination. Basically, it digs up every favorite feminist gripe of the past 30 years, and submits it to the UN Human Rights Committee, saying that the US is violating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. These issues include women in the military, the gender wage gap, low minimum wage, lack of tax-payer subsidized childcare, etc. Basically, this is the reason that we can't ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women; the radical feminists would use it to push through a radical agenda that most Americans don't agree with, in order to remake our country in the image of Europe.

So, once again, my thanks to NOW for always giving me something to blog about.
-The Quartermaster


Not surprising

Patrick Kennedy Pleads Guilty to DUI.
Anyone surprised? I'm not. Libs whine about how the Bush family is a power-grasping political dynasty. What are the Kennedy's if not just that? They go into fits of hysterics over Bush having had a DUI when he was younger; where is the moral outrage?
-The Quartermaster


Idiot of the Day

I meant to post this yesterday, but Blogger was down, causing me to delay my take on this momentous occasion.

Our Idiot of the Day is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, for being a terrorist piece of rat feces.

Oh wait. What's that? You got bombed? Blown up? Covered in rubble?

Make that, our Idiot of the Day is the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, for having been a terrorist piece of rat feces.

And apparently, he was still alive after the bombs hit his hidey-hole, and then died a bit later from his wounds. A slow(er) death. Nothing he didn't deserve, and in my own humble opinion, a bit kinder than what he deserved.

'Nuff said.
-The Talent

(And yes, now that I am out for summertime, I will be revamping this joint a bit. You're excited, don't lie.)


Idiot of the Day

Maybe Idiot of the Week would be a less ambitious way to do this; if I adopted a policy of trying to do it weekly, though, I might lapse into monthly, then yearly, and God knows there are enough idiots to find 365 in a year. Anyway, onto the idiot: Sebastian Mallaby of the Washington Post, whose borderline hysteria-induced ravings can be found in their entirety here, which I will quote extensively for those of you who don't like to click the links. He starts out in the classic liberal "if you don't agree with me you're an idiot" manner(which should only really be employed by snarky bloggers):

It doesn't matter if you are liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican.
There is no possible excuse for doing what Congress is poised to do this
Abolish the estate tax.

No possible excuse? We'll see about that one, Sebastian. Next, he explains that our government's situation is precarious already, chock full of mounting deficit and even more projected spending for the future. Even worse than looming economic disaster, our country is Marx's worst nightmare:

Since 1980 the gap between the earnings of the top fifth and
the bottom fifth has jumped by almost 50 percent. The United States is by some
measures the most unequal society in the rich world and the most unequal that
it's been since the 1920s. What is the dumbest possible response to this?
Identify the most progressive federal tax and repeal it. The nation faces the prospect that inequality will damage meritocracy.When the distance between top and bottom widens, it becomes harder to traverse the gap; people of low birth are stuck at the bottom, and human talent is wasted.

He has revealed to us what liberals mean when they say progressive: socialist. Let's begin with the assumption that inequality of wealth somehow runs contrary to meritocracy (which, I might add, it a terrible term for what we're dealing with here; the -cracy part refers to ruling). Isn't it possible that in some, if not most situations, wealth is a direct result of talent and/or hard work with perhaps some luck thrown in for good measure?

The United States is supposed to be a country that values
individuals for their inherent worth, not for their inherited worth. The estate
tax, like a cigarette tax or a carbon tax, is a tool for reducing a socially
damaging phenomenon -- the emergence of a hereditary upper class -- as well as a
way of raising money.

Funny, I must have missed that part of the Constitution. Valuing someone's inherent worth is not the same as saying that we need to punish the rich by taxing their income twice (or even three times, as would be the case if they earned the money then invested it and received dividends, then tried to pass it along to their children when they died). And who said that being rich was socially damaging? If I'm not mistaken, the Rockefeller Center was not payed for by the bums who sleep on benches around the city, but by the man who got incredibly rich and then engaged in tons of philanthropy (which sounds a little bit dirty if you say it out loud).

If the abolitionists succeed, some other tax will eventually
be raised to make up for the lost revenue. So which tax does Congress favor? The
income tax, which discourages work? A consumption tax, which hits the poor
hardest? The payroll tax, which is both anti-work and anti-poor? Really, which
other tax out there is better?

Well, we could consider cutting spending....nah, that's just too crazy. Seriously, maybe if we didn't have a government commision, department, center, or subsidy for everything, we could cut a whole lot more than just the estate tax. Now,this may be the first time I've ever seen a liberal actually admit that our income tax discourages work, but notice how he avoids mentioning that the estate tax also penalizes you for working hard, it just waits until you die. And I love how quickly he writes off the consumption tax, which is far more viable than he is obviously willing to give it credit for.

Most people just don't know that, under the law's current
provisions, a couple can bequeath $4 million without paying a penny to the

To be fair, they've already payed taxes on it, as I already pointed out. And why are we starting from the assumption that they owe part of their (already taxed) fortune to the government. If you want to start a discussion about meritocracy, let's say that from now on, only government programs that can prove their worth get our money. Finally, his conclusion (I can almost see him tearing at his hair as he writes, distraught that those damn rich people are actually going to get to keep their own money):

Repealing the estate tax is like erecting protectionist
barriers around the hereditary elite. It is anti-meritocratic and unfair -- and
antithetical to this nation's best traditions.

He seems to assume that there is only so much wealth to go around, and if the rich get to keep it, then no one else will ever get any. The quintessentially American Horatio Alger stories were written about men who pulled themselves out of poverty with hard work and talent, not about Uncle Sam doling out entitlement programs. His whining about the unfairness makes him sound like a kid on a playground crying to his mom because the other kid has built a bigger mud pie and won't give him a slice. And I might also point out that our Founding Fathers were largely of the "hereditary elite", so I doubt they would be too concerned that the wealthy are being allowed to hold on to what they've earned. Sebastian, not only is your argument lacking in any kind of logic or fact, your tone brings makes me think I shouldbe pulling out the smelling salts before you collapse entirely into hysterics (though I may be too late). I'll tell you what's unfair: that you get paid to write this drivel.
-The Quartermaster


Idiot of the Day

An Idiot of the Day, for those of you who need them pointed out. I've found that, like the NOW homepage, the Democratic Caucus is a great place to find rampant stupidity. Today, our Idiot is James Clyburn, Chairman of the Democratic Caucus. On May 18th, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert made the following remarks:
Well, folks, if you earn $40,000 a year and have a family of two, you don't pay any taxes. So you probably, if you don't pay any taxes, you are not going to get a big tax cut."
I'd say that makes perfect sense; after all, if you only make $40,000, you aren't in one of the extremely punitive higher tax brackets. If you are a family of only two, then you aren't trying to raise children with child credits that in no way reflect the cost of actually raising the next generation. Naturally, Clyburn doesn't see things that way:

"To this point, I have been baffled by Republican budget and tax priorities that value millionaires and billionaires above working families, and sink this nation’s budget deeper in debt every year. But Speaker Hastert crystallized GOP budget philosophy—working families don’t pay taxes and don’t deserve a tax cut."
All I can say is "huh?" Actually, I can and will say a lot more than that, but 'huh' seemed like a good place to start. Following that, let's start with the assumption that anyone who makes over $40,000 is a millionare; Republicans aren't favoring the rich, they are giving tax cuts to working men and women who pay disproportionately large tax percentages. Following that, tax cuts have historically boosted the economy and correspondingly increased tax revenues (think Reagan, people), while big government spending is what really sinks the nation into deeper debt (what, kids are shooting each other in schools? Throw money! There's an endangered worm living in Kansas? Throw more money!). Finally, since when are people who make over $40,000 a year not working families? Isn't it even remotely possible that these people (millionares, to use Clyburn's loose term), are also working families, who put a great deal of time, money and effort into their education and subsequent work? Nah, that's just crazy. What was I thinking. Obviously, if you are making money it's because you are a greedy capitalist or a privileged white male, or worse, both. And, if you are so foolish as to believe that you can decide how to use your money better than the federal government, then shame on you, you dirty Republican. There is no room in the Democratic Party for you grasping upper middle class child rearing types.
-The Quartermaster


AOL blows

I really miss my internet connection at school. Oh well.
I will go ahead and admit that while the feminist in me is supposed to be suspicious of the motivation of men who give up their seats for women, I always enjoy little displays of chivalry. I've heard all the arguments for why opening doors or giving up seats for women is just an offshoot of the patriarchal attitudes which suppress women, and none of them really ring true for me (for an example of what could really be termed "the patriarchy", see the article below, and note that the woman was jailed). I would also argue that even today, in our world of equality, men should give their seat on the Metro or train or whatever to a woman, and not just because he respects her. He should give it up because men's shoes are a hundred times more comfortable than women's. Seriously, look at the shoes deemed both work appropriate and stylish for men versus those for women. This observation especially holds in an office environment, where men get to wear relatively comfortable shoes, but women's shoes come with a heel as a standard feature. Even if the heel isn't that bad, the shoe will inevitably rub strange spots on her foot and produce blisters. So, gentlemen, please offer the woman a seat. Her feet are probably killing her.


This is just awesome. Bravo for self-defense. I just wish they hadn't reattached it.
-The Quartermaster


Hillary again

You know Hillary Clinton is the wrong person to run the country when the New York State United Teachers endorse her. Please, New Yorkers, don't re-elect her. Teacher's unions are the perfect example of the damage unions can do; should we really be listening to an organization which essentially protects incompetence? It looks like 2008 could come down to Clinton and McCain, and while I don't have a great deal of admiration for McCain's political fence-sitting, I would vote for a trained monkey before I put Clinton in office to bring about her socialist utopia, complete with government day-care for everyone, so that parents aren't weighed down with raising children, which as we all know, should really be left to professionals. I mean, look how well public schools are doing; what parent wouldn't want their child in public daycare?
-The Quartermaster


The Mommy State

Once again, proof that Canada sucks. This article outlines the possibility of cars which have a GPS system which will not allow drivers to surpass the posted speed limits of the road you are traveling on, currently being tested in Canada.
As in a conventional GPS-equipped car or truck, the system knows which road you're on, as well as the direction you're traveling. This information is continuously updating as you move. But in addition to this, the system also acquires information about the posted speed limit on each road, as you drive. Once your vehicle reaches that limit, the car's computer makes it increasingly difficult to go any faster.
Ten vehicles equipped with this technology are currently being tested in the Ottowa area; if the trail is "successful," a wider series of tests is planned. And it's a sure bet the entire thing will eventually be the object of a very strong-armed push aimed at making it mandatory equipment in every new car.
That's exactly what we need; cars which uphold the bureaucratic idiocy forced on us by the mommy-types of our government, who feel the need to protect us from an extra 10 or 15 MPH. I would bet, though, that the low speed limits which seem so pervasive despite their impracticality are not so much for our safety as for the ticket money which can be collected by the state becaused everyone (except for a few old people and some mothers) exceeds the speed limits. 'But QM', you might object, 'the state really does have our best interests at heart!' Take a quick look at the state of Social Security and you will very quickly be disillusioned with the idea that the government is really just looking out for us.
That's all for tonight, and possibly for a few days. I'm sitting in my empty dorm room now, with nothing but a computer and a bed and a roommate patiently waiting for me to go to sleep already so we can turn off the light. Tomorrow, I'm outta here.
-The Quartermaster


Back to the North

A week from now, I'll be back in Arlington. I'm happy to go home, because I have an internship that I am incredibly excited about, but I'm really going to miss Charleston. I'm especially going to miss being able to walk everywhere (except Target and the beach), now that gas prices are crazy.
So, before I head home, a little bit of local news: a bill recently introduced in the South Carolina legislature would make sex toys illegal. It is based on current laws which prohibit dissemination and advertisement of obscene materials.
Not to rain on Rep Ralph Davenport's parade, but this is the kind of law which honestly gives the conservative movement a bad name. I'm sure he has good intentions, but the fact is, there isn't a decent precedent for upholding this law, and nor should there be one. I'm pretty damn conservative, but my overall philosophy could be stated thusly: the government needs to keep it's hands out of that which does not directly concern it. John Stuart Mill's philosophy on liberty rings true for me when he states that men are only responsible to society for those things which concern society. Maybe more later, but right now I have a final paper to work on, and I need to be at work in an hour.
-The Quartermaster



Oh, QM, what will we do with you? With your frequent updating, smart analyses, and witty descriptions of cockroaches. I fear you have dominated the blog and made it less of a triumvirate and more of a... univirate? No. Definitely not a word. In any case, the time is fast approaching where I will cast aside the bonds of AP classwork and plunge headfirst into the blogosphere and retain my rightful place by your side. Now to get a new image hoster (our free one, walagata, decided it didn't like not charging people, so that's why our banner is AWOL) and to light a fire under Ideaman's ass. Speaking of AP work, I have an overdue paper to write, but before I go....nah, I'm screwing with you, I have nothing to say at the moment. Oh Wait! I lied again, I do!

I recently attended a punk show, headlined by such bands as the Casualties, Anti-Flag, the Unseen, and a few others. The main event was Anti-Flag, the most mainstream of all the bands, and arguably the least talented. Not only do they lack any real musical talent (and the vocalist is unforgivably nasal) but they believe that in order to be a true punk rocker, one must flaunt your disdain for Evil Rethuglican Politics with such subtle and clever images as the one featured on their homepage. Not only THAT, but they also felt the need to tell us poor citizens how we can fight back, by having activists from Military Free Zone and some anti-uranium organization come and tell us how evil the military and uranium are. Oh joy. If I wanted to hear your drivel, I would go to a protest, or I would read your website. I did not come to a punk concert to hear it, I came to a punk concert to crash into people and jump around. The last thing I want is for some unwashed, overweight, poorly-dressed, ignorant goombah to come and tell me how the EEEEvil military can *GASP* send a recruiter to talk to me if I got to a public school. Oh, the horror! Please. Go sell your shit somewhere I didn't pay money to get into. The only real disadvantage to being part of the punk scene is that the majority of punks have the political sense of fetal pigs. No disrespect to the little unborn oinkers. Anyway, enough for. Back to work. Damn.

-The Talent


Freakin bugs

These were not in the brochure. When I thought 'hey, Charleston sounds like a pretty sweet place to live', no one warned me about the roaches. Huge, disgusting, crawl over your feet while you are trying to blog and scare the crap out of you roaches. I now have roach traps in the corners and a defensive perimeter of Raid around my baseboards. Of course, while I freaked out, my roomie from Alabama just laughed at me. Apparently, if you're from the South, you're pretty much used to them. Yeah right. I declare room 313 a roach-free, zero tolerance zone; anything with more than two legs gets a phone book dropped on it, no questions asked.
-The Quartermaster


I'm not just mean; I'm evil and heartless as well!

My applause and appreciation go out to Representative Charles H. Taylor (R-N.C.) for taking a stand for true conservative principles, which I sum up in the following philosophy: It's not the government's job, so why is the government doing it?
My complaint against the Republican Party is this: they have long ago abandoned what really separates them from Democrats, the idea of small government. We might actually be able to afford the Bush administration tax cuts if so much money wasn't just getting thrown away on pet projects and useless organizations (National Endowment for the Arts has really got to go. I'm totally serious here). But instead, our senators and representives just keep spending money, and allowing the liberals to spend money.
So, here we have Rep. Taylor, the chairman of the House Interior Appropriations subcommittee (which oversees funding on government acquisition of land), putting his foot down. The issue? Families and friends of the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 want the government to spend $10 million to buy the field where said flight crashed on 9/11, so that they can erect a memorial.
First of all, I would like to point out that this land is in the middle of Shanksville, PA, so exactly how much land do they want to buy? I have trouble believing that they really need $10 million dollars worth of farmland to properly commemorate the heroic actions of the passengers of Flight 93. But of course, they can't just put up a statue, they need a whole bowl, which they propose will require 1,200 acres of land. The proposed memorial is expansive, and therefore also expensive. Of course, the same people planning this memorial have also pledged to raise half of the $60 million which the entire project would cost, but have so far reached only $7.5 million. This means that the government would pay $30 million, assuming that the memorial project people even manage to raise their share of the funding.
I'm not saying that I don't think a memorial is appropriate, but I don't think that it's appropriate for the federal government to be spending that much money on a memorial which, let's face it, is probably not going to be getting a whole lot of visitors. The war memorials is DC are not only more conveniently located for tourism (which is a very important American industry), in purely practical terms far more people have sacrified themselves for their country in wars, and more people have been affected. If the family members of Flight 93 want a memorial, they should really be a little more realistic in terms of the cost-benefit factors, and plan the memorial accordingly.
Naturally, all the other Republicans are more than willing to criticize Taylor for daring to actually make a substantive effort to cut federal spending, rather than following the preferred strategy of rolling over and keeping their mouths shut whenever someone says "we deserve money too!"
Alright, I need to cut this short, I was just violated by a giant cockroach, and feel a trip to the beach would aide my recovery.
-The Quartermaster


No, I'm not dead

My sincerest apologies to anyone who reads my little bit of cyberspace. I've really been terrible with keeping updates frequent, but circumstances are conspiring against me. Firstly, I had to go home for Easter, which meant twelve hours on an Amtrak train each way. It was only supposed to take 8 hours, but this is what you get for entrusting your transportation to the government. If Amtrak isn't an argument for privatization and competition, I don't know what it. On my way to Washington, I had the misfortune to be seated next to a young man, probably around my age, whose ambition in life was apparently to be a "gangsta", complete with pimp chains, clown size sneakers, pants which were held up by sheer force of will alone (which was obviously waning), and body odor which can only be described as unwashed miscreant. I can only assume that this was a statement against the oppresive prevailing standards thought up by evil white men, which demand regular use of such items as soap and deoderant.
For the train ride back, I saw the same man boarding my train. Fearing that I might by some sick twist of fate end up seated next to him again, and therefore not wishing to leave anything to chance, I spotted a guy in the crowd who appeared to also be close to my age, but with a much cleaner look to him. I practically hurled myself into the seat next to him, and breathed a sigh of relief when I realized that he had the scent of someone who believes in showering. It only got better, when the conductor asked where he was headed, and he replied that he was going to Charleston, in what was unmistakably a British accent. I had just died and gone to heaven.
Being an opportunist by nature, I immediately struck up a conversation, which continued in between my intervals of reading for the entire trip.
The moral of this story, of course, is first not to take Amtrak. Even the acquaintance of a cute Brit "traveling 'round the States" is not enough to ease the utter torment of sitting on a train for 12 hours. Secondary to that, don't trust luck to get you where you want to be; inevitably, fortune will be a total bitch and put you next to Smelly McGangsta. Instead, create your own good circumstances, and you'll have a much pleasanter time of it. Unless of course you're traveling by Amtrak.
Once back in Charleston, I had to go to class in the mornings, and work in the afternoons, which meant that my evenings where reserved for mindless activities, of which blogging is not one. Yesterday was my first day off since getting back, and the weather was absolutely perfect; 85 degrees, no humidity, cool breeze. Let's face it, if I don't come home with a decent tan, there's really no point to having moved all the way to Charleston for college, so sitting inside and staring at my computer was simply out of the question. Now, I am headed into finals week, which means that I'll have plenty of things I'll want to procrastinate on, so that should be incentive enough for me to blog. Perhaps I'll finally get around to a well-constructed rant on college idiocy and why I hate entitlement. That is, if I can't convince my roomie to drive us to the beach.
-The Quartermaster


On Why I'm a Mean Conservative

The other day, I was sitting unsuspectingly in the library courtyard, soaking up some afternoon sun on one of my two days off that week (I work 20 hours a week, in an attempt not to sponge off my parents for the rest of my college life), when I was accosted by a student activist. This bleeding heart was trying to get people to join the ONE Campaign by signing a card that they would then mail to Congress, lobbying for a larger portion of the US budget to be spent on helping with AIDS and poverty worldwide. I think I gave the poor girl a heart attack when I said that I wasn't interested.
Let me explain: aside from the fact that the campaign has numerous highly odious people behind it (George Clooney is one example), I also feel that it goes against my conservative principles. The job of the government, in my own opinion, is a very limited one: to create the basic conditions necessary for its citizens to thrive. This means providing for trade, national security, transportation, regulation to protect the vulnerable members of our society, and ensuring that basic human needs (food, clothing, shelter, medical attention) are provided for those who cannot provide for themselves. Notice that this list does not include the following: making sure everyone is equal, legislating purely moral decisions (for the record, while I have religious issues with gay marriage, I have yet to hear a good argument for why the government should have the right to intervene), funding the arts (why are we still funding the NEA for God's sake?), etc.
In keeping with this principle, I don't think that it is our federal government's job to be making charitable donations (I don't count development loans in this catagory). No, that doesn't mean that I want children in Africa to starve, but charity should be a personal choice, not something legislated by our government, which should be solely focused on its own citizens. I truly believe that it is necessary for people to make some contribution to charity; I think we need more awareness in this country of the dismal conditions that people in other, less fortunate nations suffer under. I think we all need a better idea of how blessed we are in this country (then maybe people would stop whining about this "relative poverty" crap). Taxing citizens to pay for foreign aid is not a valid use of government power, and let's face it, most government programs are wildly inefficient, so we're much better off not relying on them anyway. So, yes, people need to be charitable. It is one of the responsibilities of every human being to do their part to end suffering, but the government should not have a place in it. So, no signing a ONE pledge for me; it's all well and good for George Clooney to make donations, and encourage us to do the same, but let's not get the government involved, shall we?
As always, feel free to disagree, or leave a comment. I looooove comments.
-The Quartermaster


Idiot of the Day

I would just like to say that I have found myself a conservative idiot. That's right folks, I don't just pick on liberals, I am an equal opportunity slammer of idiocy. David Yeagley, writer for Front Page Magazine, is my idiot of the day. I will quote some of what he said here, but you should really read the whole article.
"It’s racism at Duke, all right. Racism against white students. Members of the Duke University Lacrosse team may have abused a black party girl, but, without any proof or trial, the Duke Lacrosse team was punished by the university, suspended from further games. So terrified was the administration of being charged with “racism.” The black female wins again. She is truly an ace on the field and in court."
Let's take this time to make it truly clear: this is not about race, this is about rape. I think some of the feminist lobby have been making the mistake of focusing on the fact that a black woman was raped by white men. I honestly don't care that much about the race of any of the parties involved, the crime is just as horrible. If it is proven in a court of law that they did it, they should be punished accordingly.
"So, that black woman said, “No,” eh? First, she’s in a profession where she’s expected to do tricks for clients. Second, she’s walking into a house full of young, drunken athletes, who happen to be white. Third, she called the police and complained once; then she went back, but then left. And then she went back again! That’s a peculiar way of saying “No,” it seems to me. These racist black people just want a role model victim, with mistreatment wreaked upon the weakest of the weak: the black woman. All she has to do is cry, “rape by white male!” and she rules the world."
In case anyone was wondering, it doesn't matter if she is a stripper, or a nun, or a prostitute or a virgin; rape is always a crime. It seems like what David is trying to say here is that she deserved to be raped because she made a mistake, or had bad judgement. Does that mean that if I went walking around my campus late at night, and I got raped, it would be ok, because I wasn't making smart decisions? He also makes it sound like reporting being raped is an easy thing women do to get back at men they don't like. The fact is, most rapes go unreported because women are afraid to report them, or feel ashamed.
I am a strong believer in personal responsibility, which means two things in this case. First, while I would have a moral problem with being an exotic dancer, I'm mostly just glad that she has a job and is trying to put herself through school. That shows an admirable amount of personal responsibility. Second, I hope that if she was raped, the men who did it are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And I am a strong believer in harsher penalties for sex crimes like rape. The minimum prison sentences we have are not nearly good enough, and ought to be raised.
So, David, you have the honor of being my first conservative idiot of the day, for making the rest of us look like assholes. Thanks a lot buddy.
-The Quartermaster


A few quick bits of randomness

Yet another reason not to own a snake. Just get a donkey instead, they're much better than wives.
In other news, the state of Massachusetts legislature has approved a bill which will require all residents to purchase a health insurance policy, or face fines. While I like the fact that this does require people to take some personal responsibility and buy health insurance instead of simply not being able to pay and having the entire burden shifted to taxpayers, and I prefer this to the idea that the government will provide universal health care, it still seems like a slippery slope to be on. First, the government will provide subsidies to help people buy health insurance, it seems like this is the kind of policy that will lead into a socialist style healthcare system. That said, my sense of social responsibility recognizes that something does need to be done to insure that the less fortunate can get access to a baseline level of necessary health care. This seems like an issue that I am going to need to do some more research on before I can really form an opinion. Which ties in perfectly with my desire to put off any other kind of school related work.

And once again, Kim Gandy pisses me off, in an editorial she wrote for USA Today on why single sex education is a bad idea, and manages to completely miss the point. Gandy says that separation of the sexes is based on the idea that because men and women are different, boys and girls should be educated differently, and proceeds to point out that "the degree of overlap in girls' and boys' math skills was computed at between 98% and 99%, while in verbal skills the overlap was 96%."
Kim, no one is saying that their skills are different (and if they are, I'd like to take this moment to beat them over the head with my SAT scores), but research has consistently shown that learning styles tend to differ greatly along gender lines, a problem which single-sex education addresses. I am the product of all-girls high school education in a private school setting, and one factor that Ms. Gandy fails to address is the fact that when hormones are raging practically out of control, there is something to be said for separating the two sexes so that they can concentrate more easily on what they are in high school to do. I'm not saying that single-sex ed is the answer to the teen sex problem, but it does help keep the focus where it ought to be.
Ok, that's it for now. Back to my increasingly boring paper. Maybe later I'll blog on why college kids (and I include myself here) are mostly idiots.
-The Quartermaster