Saturday, May 10, 2003

Adulthood at 26?

Apparently a lot of people think so. I really question the validity of the idea that age has a direct impact on how much of an adult you are. There are some teenagers and young adults that can be incredibly responsible and mature. There are also a lot of people older than 26 that are total assclowns. They have jobs, educations, a marriage, and kids, but they're still idiots.

Also, it fails to take into consideration the fact that someone could meet all of those "requirements" well before they turn 26. They could also be prepared for it, too. The whole idea that age is necessarily a factor in how much of an adult you are is just terrible. "Adulthood" should be based on a person's general ability to reason and make decisions, not about whether they married and knocked their spouse up, while still being able to get up in time for work.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Gambling? Why, that's terrible!

It's hard to believe that so many politicians are still pushing bans on things like gambling. Then again, they also push bans on smoking, tools of self-defense, and the right of two consenting adults to interact with each other as they please on their property. Specifically, the ban is on video-gambling machines at race tracks. According to Rick Perry:

"I've made it abundantly clear I'm not for the expansion of gambling in the state of Texas, but vetoing a bill that will not allow the Lottery Commission to continue its work is another thing altogether,"

This statement is fairly self-defeating. Governer Perry is opposed to expanding gambling, but doesn't explain why. The assumed position is that he thinks gambling is a bad practice and ethically wrong. However, if it were, then what would make the lottery so acceptable? In fact, under the idea that gambling is immoral, a lot of things we do are immoral. Gambling is taking "a risk in the hope of gaining an advantage or a benefit." Buying health insurance is a gamble. Getting into your car to go to work is a gamble. The stock market is a huge gamble. Do any of anti-gambling proponents propose to ban these things as well? The fact is, they don't have a reasonable argument on their side, as shown by this statement:

"I don't see it happening," said Rep. Kino Flores, D-Mission. "It's just a personal deep down belief (among other legislators) that it's wrong, it's not the right thing to do."

A belief. Wonderful. A politician admitting that the government is run by a select few's whims and emotions, no longer by reason and objective law. Feelings are not a valid means of cognition. Anyone can feel something, and anyone can most certainly be wrong in their feeling. The Athenians felt it best to get rid of Socrates. There was no good reason to execute him beyond "I don't like what he's saying." That's because emotions, whims, and beliefs don't prove anything, other than that you feel something, which of course deserves a frickin' medal.

The fact stands that there is no real ethical reason to outlaw gambling. Gambling doesn't violate anyone's rights- it's a voluntary exchange, a risk taken by one person, made possible by another, both in the hope that they'll profit. What's so unsavory about that? Probably the fact that people are free to do what they want and would ultimately end up being held responsible for their actions.


And I thought they were dead.

Well, we all knew it was probably going to happen somehow, someday, and it looks like that day is creeping ever-closer. Dammit. Think about it- it's Limp Bizkit. Or, as they're so cleverly renamed now, limpbizkit. That's just terrible. Bands like limpbizkit remind us why teenagers are always so damn depressed.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

At least I'm impressed

Just a few minutes ago, I finally passed the Max 300 on heavy. On double, that is. All ten feet of it. [For the non-DDR players, ten feet is the highest difficulty rating.] I got a C on it, which I suppose is pretty good. I have only been playing double for about a month now.

Now that I've done that, I do believe I'll have to try doing the same thing with Paranoia Survivor, tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

In Defense of Enemies

I figured I'd post that link, because it's a well-written article, and is a pretty insightful review of why having enemies is a good thing. Good job, Mr. Laren.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

Even more bullshit from smoking-ban proponents

Just read this.

Ms. Burkett (who, on a side note, really looks like a dude) starts to really fall apart right about here:

Now the time has come to protect those who work in restaurants and bars. They, too, should be rescued from the health hazards of second-hand smoke. If smokers don't have the "right" to impose their dangerous habit on those in other workplaces, why should those who serve food and drinks not be equally protected?

Smokers don't have a right to impose their dangerous habit on others, I agree. If a smoker came to my house and I didn't feel like smelling smoke, they'd be morally obligated to stop. But if I decided that I didn't mine, the smoker would not be imposing his "dangerous habit" on me. I, by my choice, decided to allow him to smoke on my property. Why shouldn't restaurant owners be allowed to do the same?

In much of Texas, they already are. From Austin to Dallas, from El Paso to Corpus Christi, from Fort Worth to Del Rio, Texas cities have passed smoking ordinances. In fact, 231 Texas cities have done so.

Thus, San Antonio comes late to the table. It's about time for this city to embrace a smoking ordinance. It's a no-brainer, as they say.

Now she's just appealing to popularity. If other cities had decided to pass a law allowing everyone to steal, it wouldn't be a "no-brainer," it would be a bunch of bullshit. The number of cities that institute a smoking ban is absolutely irrelavent to the issue of whether it's right to do so.

Yet, given that information from within its own industry, the San Antonio Restaurant Association is opposing the smoking ban for restaurants and bars. What they really are saying is that their concern about business — a concern proven to be overblown in other cities with such bans — is more important than the health of their employees. That is a shameful position.

That's not shameful at all. The employees aren't total dumbasses. Just about everyone over the age of five knows the dangers of smoking. No one's forced to work at a restaurant where people smoke. They're free to quit, or not take a job there in the first place. Ms. Burkett's position is tantamount to "People can't make their own decisions, so the government should initiate the use of force against its citizens to protect them from the dangers of having to exercise their free will."

The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce in the past opposed such a ban, calling for voluntary action. That approach obviously has been a failure. Surely, the chamber will not this time take such an unscientific stand. That would be equally shameful.

She fails to specify how voluntary action was a failure. Clearly, no one thought that the effects of second-hand smoke were bad enough to stop eating/working at the restaurants that allowed it.

Maybe, one day, when Ms. Burkett is living in a nursing home, she'll be happy that she finally has someone to make all of her decisions for her.