Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The inaugural blog post.

I created this blog a while back, but never could find the motivation to post it. Since then I joined the dating site OkCupid, which relatively recently added a blogging function and offering ready and convenient access to several other people's blogs for me to comment on. I gradually went from commenting to blogging myself.

The problem with that site's blogging system is that ... it's pretty weak. It's buggy with a counter-intuitive interface and various other limitations and problems that I know your dedicated blogging site could never manage to survive with.

Hence, the move. To jump-start this blog, I'll include links to things I have previously written in my Cupid journal.

Checks and Balances? Rights? Who needs 'em? - Sept. 14th 2006
This entry relates to the National Security Surveillance Act, a bill which would grant agencies increased authorization to surveill with less oversight, that would be voted on by a unanimous consent motion that would leave no record of who voted for or against the bill.

Your tax dollars at work. - Sept. 18th 2006
Pertains to the Children and Media Research and Advancement Act (CAMRA) which charges the CDC with conducting a study on the impact of video games and other media depictions of violence on children.

Cheney admits that we're torturing detainees.
- Oct. 26th 2006
Vice President Dick Cheney admits that we're using a cruel interrogation technique known as "waterboarding" in an attempt to extract information from detainees.

Bush makes it easier to declare martial law.
- Oct. 28th 2006
President Bush somewhat covertly signs the John Warner Defense Authorization Act into law, eliminating some of the restrictions on an executive's ability to declare martial law.

A sad story of death and torture in Iraq.
- Nov. 2nd 2006
It is revealed that one of the first female casualties in Iraq, Alyssa Peterson, actually had committed suicide, following objections to the way her unit was treating prisoners and the manner in which they were being interrogated.

The "think of the children" mentality gone mad.
- Nov. 3rd 2006
A school bus driver is fired for giving President Bush the finger as his motorcade drives by.

Political telemarketing and deception. - Nov. 6th 2006
Just before the mid-term elections, the Republican Congressional Committee sent automated, pre-recorded calls out to households in several districts which give the initial impression that a Democratic candidate is calling them, violating campaign law that states that the caller must honestly identify themselves at the beginning of the call. If the person answering hangs up, the call is repeated, sometimes several times. Voters are lead to believe the Democratic candidate are making these incredibly irritating calls.

- Nov. 10th 2006
Various stories exemplifying self-censorship on the part of the media, where truth and accuracy are sacrificed to present a more sanitized story, as well as an instance of how copyright law is being used to demolish free use, making uncensored versions of these self-censored stories less available to the public.

Is separation of church and state important?
- Dec. 6th 2006
A lengthy reply to a couple other OkCupid bloggers regarding this question. I also wasted a lot of time writing follow-up comments in Lonewulf447's journal that diverged somewhat from the original topic to questions about evolution and scientific skepticism (or skepticism of science).

Religion, science and morality.
- Dec. 12th 2006
My transcript of a speech Sam Harris made at the Beyond Belief 2006 conference held by The Science Network concerning the titular subjects.

From this you can probably get a pretty good idea of what my political leanings are. My cupid blog also contains some non-political thoughts as well.

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