October 27, 2009
Some guy was making friendly talk with me at Walmart and I gave him my digits. Afterwords I realized he was probably gay; and I shouldn’t have gave away the digits.
He called me for three weeks before I accidentally picked up. I put my foot down and told him I didn’t want to hang out with him. I gave myself a pat on the back. I handled that well.
October 3, 2009
On my way home from the city of Harrisburg, I noticed a massage parlor was open at 2am. I was curious so I walked into the unmarked door. I entered an empty dilapidated lounge filled with ruffled pornography magazines.
I was intrigued by this establishment. As I explored I read a bulletin on the wall. It stated very explicitly and graphically what services were NOT offered by the spa. Yikes.
My solitude was disrupted when a scantily clad women appeared. The tall black women flirtaciously identified herself as “Angel.” I asked her some polite questions about her profession which she avoided. I had a funny feeling that something was off with this place so I left.
August 4, 2009
Dinesh D’Souza, a Christian apologist and conservative author, has gone around the country debating prominent atheists. His best debate thus far has been with the very face of atheism – Christopher Hitchens. Watch this debate that took place at CU Boulder in Colorado. They really go at it.
If your interested you can also watch Dinesh D’Souza debate other atheists; Peter Singer, Dan Barker, Michael Shermer or Daniel Dennet. To see these debates or the full debate above click here.
August 3, 2009
So what is the deal with Jesus? C. S. Lewis, the well-known novelist and religious skeptic, tried to simplify this question. Based on the premise that Jesus claimed to be God Lewis argued there are only three possibilities to the character of Jesus.
(1) Jesus is lying (Bad)
(2) Jesus is delusional (Mad)
(3) Jesus is God.
Lewis goes on to argue that the first two possibilities are inconsistent with Jesus’ character. He was too altruistic and noble to be a liar or delusional. Thus Lewis came to the conclusion that Jesus was in fact God. This argument has been made before but was popularized by Lewis. It is commonly referred to as Lewis’s Trilemma.
Which possibility do you consider most likely? Or is this a false trichotomy?
July 31, 2009
I’ve played a good amount of chess in my day. I used to dominate high school dorm students regularly; an accomplishment I’m quite proud about. So when a homeless guy named Jorde challenged me to a game of chess I thought I was a worthy opponent.
But I thought wrong. We played and I lost game after game. All the while Jorde kept offering me better odds to win. By the final game Jorde proposed a preposterous handicap in my favor: he would play with only 1 minute of clock time and only 1 rook. Onlookers gasped. Veterans quipped that they had never seen such uneven odds. A crowd gathered to watch in anticipation. I accepted the challenge.
I knew I had to win. Not only was my dignity on the line, so was 20 dollars. My plan was to play deliberately and patiently. But this never materialized; instead I played with a clumsy incompetence and impatience. After each move I could feel the crowd wince in disapproval. After what felt like an eternity in chess hell, I lost. The crowd shook their head in disbelief. This was unbelievable.
With my ego in shambles I walked home in shame.
July 30, 2009
Obama is hosting a beer summit for Harvard Professor Henry Gates and Police Sergeant James Crowley. Rumor has it the beers will be Blue Moon, Red Stripe, and Bud Light.
I couldn’t think of a better beer combination to ease the nation’s racial tensions. Obama has scored a few points in my book.
July 29, 2009
Obama has demonstrated his commitment to job creation. The trillion dollar stimulus creates all sorts of new government jobs. That’s what we need – more jobs. I love jobs don’t you? Well I fear Obama has erratically changed his mind on jobs. He is ordering his administration to destroy jobs.
Yes I’m serious. The Obama administration recently made budget cuts for a total of over 100 million dollars in savings. These cuts included deleting inactive e-mail accounts at the Navy, using double sided paper at the Justice Department, and eliminating unused phonelines at the Office of Thrift Supervision. Has Obama gone mad? What about the paper mills, the e-mail providers, and the phone companies? Who will buy their products to give them jobs? Obama actually went as far as to fire a few people at the Labor Department in his budget-cutting frenzy.
How are we to trust Obama is serious about job creation when he is literally firing people? His 100 million dollar savings may be a nice PR move but jobs are no trivial matter. You can’t create jobs while simultaneously destroying jobs. It is amazing how shortsighted some people are. Not me – I’m getting ready to break some windows. Glaziers need jobs too.
I apologize in advance for my smug sarcasm…
July 28, 2009
On my walk home today a man started limping behind me. “OC-80s,” he incessantly muttered. I kept walking. Two more people approached moaning the same thing. It dawned on me something was wrong. As I continued I saw a large assemblage at the corner. They were watching me in feverish anticipation. Then it hit me – these were zombies! I had accidentally stumbled into the Tenderloin District, the place where people buy, sell, and use lots of drugs.
Upon realizing my unfortunate circumstance I looked behind for a retreat; too late, 2 zombies were trailing me. I was surrounded front and back. “OC-80s… OC-80s… OC-80s…” they chanted as they circled in. Instead of taking my chances with the zombies I decided to take my chances with traffic. I diverged on to the street narrowly missing speeding automobiles. The zombies reluctantly held back at the curb – they knew better than to challenge the long established territory of cars. I sighed with relief. I had escaped.
July 25, 2009
A difficult question parents ask is whether they will raise their kids with religion. When considering such a question we should consider how religion shapes a person’s character. This has been the subject of numerous sociological studies:
A study at UNC of 2500 adolescents revealed that those with religious influence are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as drugs, violence, shoplifting, vandalism, and robbery. Another study of 1600 Canadians found that those who believe in God value interpersonal virtues — such as patience, forgiveness, and friendship — more than atheists. Another study of 1000 adults found that evangelicals were less likely to engage in profanity, pornography, lying, adultery, and other questionable behaviors.
These studies indicate that religion can mold our ethical character. Perhaps the reason why is because religions emphasize deontological ethics – or in other words – rules to follow despite the consequences. These rules include the 10 commandments, but also other religious ideals such as forgiveness, humility, tolerance and the golden rule. The religious are taught to act a certain way regardless of consequences. Thus the biggest obstacle to such lofty aspirations is ourselves. This sets the groundwork for a life of personal introspection and reformation – the hallmark of a religious lifestyle.
These principles are difficult to arive at from a secular viewpoint. Why should one antagonize themselves? Especially if there is no obvious connection to personal benefit. While being religious or non-religious does not determine our moral character, the studies suggest that growing up around religion fosters a higher moral standard – something parents should think about.
July 22, 2009
Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, wrote an op-ed to the Wall Street Journal about his ability to reign in inflation if necessary. In particular he touted a new policy tool: which is basically paying banks to keepe extra funds in reserve accounts at the Federal Reserve. This way the Fed can more easily manage the money supply. It all sounded like a simple matter of fine-tuning and calibration. Well it’s not that easy.
Economic planning is difficult – just ask every socialist who has tried it. Yet Bernanke is boldly trying to manage the entire money supply. He is pumping in trillions of dollars into the economy to make credit cheap. With so much money floating around it is inevitable that inflation is around the corner. Everyone is bracing for it – especially investors (just check the price of Gold). But Bernanke thinks he can subdue inflation. He claims the Fed has the policy tools to contract the money supply to offset inflation.
I’m not convinced. Its always a wall street party when the Fed puts money in – but it will be a fiasco trying to take it out. I suggest we ease the credit spigot now to mitigate the inevitable splashback.