Friday, November 25, 2005

Mr. Miyagi is dead

I told myself I wouldn't blog until after finals are over, this friday, but Mr. Miyagi died today. It truly is a black friday. Everyone who's as big of a Karate Kid I and II fan as myself understands why this is a sad ordeal. see the story

Another thing finally happened... I turned 104 tuesday, or at least it feels like it. It was my birthday, and I will post pictures and stories later. But I'm no longer the spring chicken I once was. Where does the time go?

I'll be back into blogging in a week. Come back and see me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

1st Grade topic: the "Birds and the Bees"

A new ruling has taken exclusive rights away from parents to tell their children about sex. Some parents of children in the Palmdale School District in California recently tried to sue the school for administering a "psychological examination" in which they asked 1st, 3rd, and 5th graders about their thoughts & feelings about "touching my own private parts," "touching other people's private parts," "thinking about sex when I don't want to," and "having sex feelings in my body," among other sexually related topics.

I now refer you to Al Mohler's Blog:

The parents sued the School District contending that the right to "determine when and how their children are exposed to sexually explicit subject matter" is a fundamental due process right. They argued that, as the children's parents, they have a fundamental right "to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs." ...

[The judge disagreed. He determined that the right of parents to control the education of their children "does not extend beyond the threshold of the school door."]

Note carefully the final paragraph of Judge Reinhardt's decision: "In summary, we hold that there is no free-standing fundamental right of parents 'to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal religious values and beliefs' and that the inserted right is not encompassed by any other fundamental right. In doing so, we do not quarrel with the parents' right to inform and advise their children about the subject of sex as they see fit. We conclude only that the parents are possessed of no constitutional right to prevent the public schools from providing information on that subject to their students in any forum or manner they select." ...

Embedded within those sentences are landmines of tremendous legal significance. The public schools are now declared to have a right to present matters of sexuality to students of any age "in any forum or manner they select." This sweeping statement represents one of the most devastating assaults upon parental rights ever encountered in our nation's history ...

This claim takes on an additional layer of concern when it is realized that these were seven, nine, and eleven year olds. The subject matter had nothing to do with human reproduction, science, or any direct education of the children. -see the full article

Before long, will the government be able to directly remove children from their parents, based simply on the fact that their parents are teaching them religious beliefs? Why not forcefully ship them all off to a school where they will all be brainwashed to think exactly alike? That's not much different than telling parents they no longer have the right to raise their children based on their religious values, but the school system does. Are we becoming a communist country? I forsee private schools becoming more and more popular in the future.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Comment Response: Exploring male/female Communication Values

Kari, a commenter on my last post, pointed out the following:

I think... communication is more important to girls in general. It's who we are and how God made us. I can send out an email to a good girl friend and then one to a good guy friend and it will take the girl friend a day or two to respond whereas the guy may take about 2 weeks to respond. Keeping in touch is just not as important to most guys. Not that guys don't want to respond, they just don't give it the high importance that we females do...please let me know if I am wrong guys. But for us girls it means everything....if you're not communicating through blogs, emails, IM'ing, phone, in person then there is no friendship.And while commenting on a blog doesn't necessarily equate to is a form of communication, which is probably the most vital part of a friendship/relationship for females.

My response was so long I decided to make this whole post about it. Basically, I've noticed in my life that often, females seem to be more relationship-oriented whereas males seem to be more task-oriented. In other words, girls often tend to be more "in touch with their emotions" and value friends whereas guys are often out trying to accomplish some kind of specific task, not usually as concerned with keeping old friends close.

This leads to men more effectively interacting when they are in-person or in actual physical closeness, rather than through alternate communications. This argument is horribly difficult to defend, because there are several cases of men who are good at keeping up letter-writing, emails, phone calls, chats, etc. In fact, I consider myself to be one of those men. However, I know that I have a harder time keeping in touch with my guy friends than I do with female friends. Other than Scott, the only responses I'm able to get from guy friends are usually when we're actually hanging out. I have a friend here at seminary that I never see, and that never answers his phone when I call, but whenever he runs into me, he invites me to go hang out with him.

Please keep in mind that I realize that my understanding includes a broad stereotype, and is NOT the absolute standard for human relations. I personally think that this stereotypical understanding comes from the fact that our society tells us growing up that as men we are to be "conquerers" and out accomplishing tasks whereas women are taught to value life and relationships more. I hate blaming things on "society" and hate when people brush problems off to "societal shortcomings," but let me offer you an example of what I'm saying. Last night I was thinking about how i've never been hunting, and that many of my guy friends would make fun of me for that, yet I don't know a lot of girls that go hunting. Therefore, it's as though my masculinity may be called into question, over such a simple thing.

How does all this relate to Kari's comment? Because I think that in a (perhaps ignorant, close-minded) way, it further considers this difference between men and women, this tendency for women to enjoy emailing, talking on the phone, keeping a "diary" and evaluating relationships more, while men are bad at responding to emails, don't like phone conversations, and don't often spend as much time discussing with their guy friends "what it was supposed to mean" when some girl said such and such. I hope that I don't sound like "Mr.Wild-at-heart" and I hope you all realize that I am saying all this from my presuppositions and that I don't believe that this is some absolute standard, I just think it tends to be a trend in gender stereotypes that is fairly accurate, given that there are always exceptions (the very fact that I've devoted already several posts to relationship-oriented topics proves to already weaken my argument).

In fact, I don't believe I've solved anything, but simply furthered the question. Blaming things on "society" is too weak. I need something more substantial. Readers: can you help me? Are girls more relational/relationship-centered than guys? Why are we guys better at communicating in person than we are on the phone and through emails?

Disclaimer: Please offer arguments that are fully void of attacking anyone's character or person, no matter how violently it attacks their argument itself. Any comments meant to slander another commenter will be removed.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Are there more girls in the blog world?

Someone pointed out on a former comment post that there are quite a bit of girls that comment on my blog. This brought up a question to me: Are there more girls in the blog world, or are my posts and my blog simply just more "female friendly"? Granted, there are a couple posts that I have specifically addressed to female readers, and this was largely because of the fact that I realized that some girls occasionally read my blog. However, I submit to you that it's simply a fact that more females than males are internet savvy.

Here is my defense:
1. At my school, I have many more male than female friends, yet almost none of my male friends have blogs, whereas almost all of my female friends have blogs.
2. The comments on my female blogfriends posts are mostly from females, and the comments on my male blogfriends posts are also mostly from females.
3. The female "buddies" in my buddy list are online throughout the day, but the male buddies are almost never there.
4. Internet dating sites always exploit women in their ads. Why are they so relentlessly targeting men with their ads instead of women? My assumption is that they have enough women enrolled in their services already.

These are just a few arguments. Please note that these are generalizations, and I realize that there are always exceptions to generalizations, but I personally think this describes a majority truth.

Another thought: is the blog world becoming the next meeting grounds for singles? To test this theory, I will post this picture of me and my girlfriend to see if it affects the number of comments on my blog left by girls.

Now, this post is up for discussion, and I will be back to respond to comments on a regular basis, but I won't be able to post again for a few days because of my workload. Oh, and add me to your facebook friends group. I just signed up.

PS: For all those who didn't know, YES I HAVE A GIRLFRIEND. She's a really sweet girl, she encourages me to be a better Christian, and I know that I'm very blessed to have her in my life. Actually, Scott and Bradley are about the only two people I have told. This weekend when I was in Georgia I had the opportunity to meet her parents, who are really kind and very fun people. I don't normally write about my personal dating life on my blog, but there you have it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Remembering the Civil War

"I'm A Good Ol' Rebel" - this is the song the bluegrass band belted out as I stood by a tent near the reenactment site. "I hates the nasty eagle, with all his brag and fuss; but the lyin', thievin' Yankees - I hates' em wuss and wuss." - the band performing it was named "Un-reconstructed." Tents were lined up selling all kinds of civil war era products. There was even a tent where you could buy clothes from that time period, and apparently it was the thing to do, to get into character. There were many men and women who came to the reenactment dressed as though it were still that time period.

It's so funny how into this part of their heritage these people are. I actually must say that I've never in my adult life been to a civil war reenactment (I went as a child, I think, because my elementary school took us on a field trip). But Saturday, I sat there watching this, looking around at all the families and honestly wondered to myself what kind of people these are. Are they all "rednecks"? Are some of them simply just bored and didn't have much else to do? Are many of them, like myself, just curious about what exactly a Civil War reenactment entails, and therefore present simply as spectators trying to observe this part of a dying Southern Culture?

I watched the Dixie Flag flying back and forth as the rebel troops hollered and charged forward. The flag waved ceaselessly until the end of the battle. It made me sad, because so many people died, hoping that this flag would fly over their land as a separate country. It was pointed out to me that dying to protect the flag's flying over a land is exactly what the North was doing also. But it's not the same. When we [the U.S.] declared independence from Great Britain, many of their soldiers died trying to keep us from seceding, from splitting away from the Motherland, but they failed. The United States seceded, and this victory has led to the blessings of all the freedom we have today.

In the same way, the South was fighting for independence from the North, but didn't get it. So many deaths only led to continued Northern agression, such as Sherman's March:

"For thirty-six days that army moved through Georgia, with very little opposition, pillaging the countryside. It was a sort of military promenade, requiring very little military skill in the performance, and as little personal prowess, as well trained union troops were deployed against defenseless citizens."

It's sad how many lives were lost in vain. The war was not only about slavery. Call it the war of the Rebellion, or the war of the Northern agression, but anyone who's studied it knows that slavery was only a side issue, and Northern agression and Southern rebellion have still survived, even though the war is supposedly over. Whatever region you're from, I recommend going to a reenactment sometime, it's a great history lesson.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Pae Mor Munee (or read this and save $5)

Don't buy the Chick-Fil-A calendar this year! This is a detailed list of what the coupons will get you: (with each coupon, you have to buy something, so ultimately you spend about $75 + tax and get about $15 back)

You Must Buy:
1. Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich
2. Fruit Cup
3. 4-piece strips
4. Any Combo
5. Cool Wrap
6. Any Sandwich
7. Chargrilled Chicken Salad
8. Any $20 purchase
9. 2007 Calendar
10. Nuggets Party Tray

This comes to about $75 before tax, not to mention that you've already spent $5 on the calendar at this point.

Here's what you get for "Free":
-Small Soup
-Bottle of Water
-Small Ice Cream
-4 Large drinks
-2 Chicken Salad Sandwiches
(cheapest sandwich on menu)
-2 Gallons of Tea

Notice that almost all of the "free" stuff is some type of liquid, which is the biggest markup in fast food. I like Chick-Fil-A, but I implore you, PLEASE do not buy the calendar this year.

Stress of Rumors

Jessica Simpson and her husband, Nick Lachey (AKA "that guy married to Jessica Simpson") have been under a lot of pressure from the media to have problems. It's like everyone wants them to have major marital problems and perhaps even split up. WHY? Why can't everyone accept that they're married? Because our modern media world has no respect whatsoever for the permanence of marriage. Once a celebrity marriage gets old, everyone wants them to split up so that they can watch the drama of the celebrity marrying someone else.

This pressure has sent Simpson to a psychologist. It's nice that she's seeking help to work through her problems. What's alarming is that she told Teen People magazine, "I respect knowledge of the psyche. I would be a therapist if I weren't an entertainer."See Article

Now I actually find myself hoping that she doesn't leave the entertainment field. Could you imagine going to her for counseling?