Saturday, October 23, 2004

The Grudge

Yes, I went and saw the Grudge yesterday afternoon. It was thrillingly scary. What does that mean you ask? Have you seen The Ring? I give the Ring a ten in scariness. The Grudge was a close nine. Yes, that scary. It would have scored higher but the movie takes place in Japan and only in a certain house. The Ring is in the US and could happen anywhere. It's much more personal. I definitely recommend this movie if you would like to be scared OR if you want your female friends to be grabbing at your arms in fear. My friend Joe suggests going to the gym before hand.

For those of you who have already seen the movie: There's a little boy standing behind you.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Catholocism and Orthodoxy

The Catholic Pope is returning two relics of saints to the Orthodox church in Istanbul after 800 years of ownership. It's seen as a sign of goodwill between the two churches. It also seems that they may begin theological talks once again. I like to see the various Christian churches working together to make the world better. We may all have theological differences but that shouldn't get in the way of Chrisitian service.

That said, I don't see why the Catholic and Orthodox churches would begin theological negotiation. Let's look at it logically. The Catholic church believes it is the true church descended from the church began by Christ and the apostles. They claim that their authority has been unbroken over the 2,000 years. The Orthodox church broke off for many reasons, but foremost being the strength of the Pope. I don't know if the doctrinal changes between the churches occurred then or later, but they exist now. Basically if any side concedes to change, that shows that it is incorrect. I don't think either side is really ready to change their doctrine. And then logistically, let's say the Orthodox church merges with the Catholic. Would all Orthodox members agree? Would all Orthodox members automatically be Catholic? And you know for sure there would more schisms because of the changes. Lastly, the Orthodox church is poor. I can't see the wealthy Catholic church taking on such a liability.

My opinions are mostly one-sided. I lived in Romania for two years. They are predominantly Romanian Orthodox. And I only know one Catholic.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Posting up!

Get yer dukes up! My nine-year-old nephew could beat him. LOL

If that doesn't get you laughing, try the following:

Strong Bad strikes again.
And for more fun and humor check out William Shatner's new CD.

Thursday, October 14, 2004


That is, uppercut to the RIAA or Recording Industry Association of America. I just read on Instapundit's blog about this:

The Supreme Court handed Internet services providers and privacy advocates a crucial victory yesterday when it decided to pass on an important Internet piracy case. . . .
"The recording industry may not agree, but the U.S. Supreme Court thinks personal privacy is far more important that music piracy," Red Herring reported. "On Tuesday, the high court refused to entertain an appeal of a unanimous 2003 decision by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals that held that copyright holders cannot force Internet providers to identify file sharers using a mere subpoena. Industry watchers see this as yet another blow that the recording industry has taken in its fight against online file sharing -- a fight it is slowly losing. The lawsuits in question were between New York's Verizon Internet Services and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), headquartered in Washington, D.C."

Yes that's right. Personal privacy is more important than music piracy. Blow after blow the music industry will be forced out their 'evil lawyer' cave.

A smart idea.

I just read an article about the European Union threatening to put sanctions on Israel until they resolve their conflict. Much like the Europe did to South Africa until apartheid was eliminated. I was just thinking, why doesn't the United States place sanctions on Israel. Effectively, we could place a 'famine' on Israel until they comply. With the EU and US putting up a blockade, it could seriously harm Israel. I told my roommate this and thought that Israel would be even more stubborn than Cuba in the face of sanctions. I think I'd have to agree with him. But I still think it would be a serious push for peace in Israel.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Star Trek vs. Kerry and Bush

And the winner is... Star Trek! Yes, the Star Trek: Enterprise season premier is tonight. And it is on during the second Presidential debate. Yes, Enterprise isn't the best Trek series and it can be disappointing at times... But the debate will only be more so. Perhaps I'll catch the third one. I'll read the articles on it afterwards. If anyone does watch it and would like to give their comments, please feel free.

"Beam me up!"

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

An Abortion Surprise!

Okay, so that title is not very appealing. But I just read an article that clinched the already sure vote of mine for Bush. Apparently five of nine Supreme Court judges support current abortion rights. But if Bush is re-elected he will be able to appoint a new judge. This could upset the balance and allow the Roe vs. Wade ruling of 1973 to be overturned. Exciting! The article goes on to say that twenty-one states are at high risk for banning abortion, nine in middle risk, and twenty at lower risk. This surprised me. All 50 states are at risk for banning abortion. I had no idea that most of the nation's legislation actually want abortion banned.

This news definitely clinches my vote for Bush.

Monday, October 04, 2004


Apparently the pick for the CIA's third highest position has withdrawn from the nomination because he was caught shoplifting twenty-three years ago. With the full background check, Michael Kostiw was cleared to be a CIA employee and see high class information. The article I read made it seem as if it was the Washington Post that did its homework and brought that up. I could have misread it. If that is the case I don't think that Mr. Kostiw should remove himself from the running. The fact that he passed the CIA's own requirements is enough for me.

That brings me to my question. Should government officials resign for any infraction in their past? I've been taught that the personal lives of government leaders should not be separated from their careers. I agree with that. But where should we draw the line? Should all officials be above reproach and never have made a mistake? Men and women are able to change themselves and leave behind past mistakes. I only wonder where the line should be drawn.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

True to Its Name

1. One who attacks and seeks to overthrow traditional or popular ideas or institutions.
2. One who destroys sacred religious images.

The Lonestar Iconoclast claims itself as President Bush's homestar paper. And true to it's name, it is seeking to overthrow tradtional or popular ideas by now endorsing Kerry. Now I will admit, everything I know about Texas I learned from Fox's "King of the Hill". But apparently life in some parts of Texas is close to that of Arlen in "King". Check it out.

Apparently the Iconoclast only has 425 readers. And that is in a serious decline now. Once endorsing Kerry, the paper lost many of its advertisers. I'm left wondering if the paper was in a decline before declaring Kerry their candidate. Seems this could be a good way to get under people's skin. Any publicity is good publicity.

I won't be looking to the Iconoclast for political knowledge. But it is a portal into small town Texas. I wonder if I might see Hank Hill featured in an article.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Fun in two easy steps.

Would you like to have some fun? Here is my two step process:
  1. Read any one of my blog entries below. I might suggest "Serious Wisdom..." or "The Debate" For extra credit actually write a reply to one of them. (I love when people do that.)
  2. Follow the link I am about to share. Remember, until you do the first step, don't do the second. This is important. Link.

Come back after you're done. Comment.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Gay marriage in Spain

Shocking fact: 1 in 10 Spaniards is gay. Literally. Spain has now passed a bill that will allow homosexuals to marry. It is the third in the European Union. Of course the Roman Catholic Church (which has a lot of power in Spain) opposes the move. "'It would impose on society a virus, something false, which will have negative consequences for social life,' Juan Antonio Martinez Camino, spokesman for Spain's Episcopal Conference, insisted in midweek."

At the heart of this conflict is the new ability of gay couples to adopt. Some 60% of Spaniards favor gay marriage, but only around 40% favor adoption by gay couples. A 20% difference is a big thing. I would guess that most people (including myself) oppose it, not because the child wouldn't have good parents -gay parents can be as good as heterosexual parents- but because the child would think that homosexuality is normal and natural. It's fine to have adults make those choices but children shouldn't have that choice forced upon them. One Spanish gay activist said, "Most Spanish people think what is important in adoption is the well-being of the child quite apart from the sexual orientation of the parents." That is true only when you believe that sexual orientation doesn't matter.

But in closing, a whole TEN percent of Spain is gay!! I will be more wary if/when I should meet any Spanish.

The Debate

Yep, I watched the Presidential debate tonight. No I didn't watch it all the way through. I watched forty-five minutes of it. (Did it go an hour or two?) I'm sad to say that I didn't learn an awful lot from it. No I'll rephrase that. I didn't learn as much as I had hoped I would. But here is the basic rundown of the debate:
Kerry believes that the war in Iraq is not a just cause and should not have been started. He does however believe in getting our troops home as soon as possible and in giving them the supplies they need. (Ironic.)
Bush believes that invading Iraq was a good choice. He believes America needs to have a strong, unwavering stance against terrorism and to root it out wherever it may be.

Now here is what I learned. Kerry focuses on the past. He kept on reiterating that we should have entered Iraq. He didn't focus on the now. And that is that we are in Iraq... saying again and again that we shouldn't be there won't change that we are. He also stated that by voting against giving our troops the needed money for supplies he was in actuality voting against invading Iraq. That seems a little convoluted.

Bush is committed to this war on terrorism. He believes that removing Saddam Hussein has made the world a better place. He doesn't like sending troops into harms way, but there are causes that justify the loss. It seems that Bush does not want to rely on foreign intervention or help to achieve the goals he has set out. He will go to them the first time, but after that he will take matters into his own hands.

I could go on and on about their motives and details I saw in the debate, but I'll say a little bit about how they spoke in the debate. Kerry is a polished speaker. Bush was a little slower and not as smooth. But Kerry is a senator and I think that oration and speech giving comes with the territory. But it seemed that Kerry's words were made to tug on heart strings and persuade the audience to his side. Bush seemed to be more sincere. Time will tell if he is right or wrong. But you can tell by the way he speaks that believes he is right.

What are you thoughts on the debate?

Monday, September 27, 2004

I just *love* easily offended Mormons.

"I can't... I'm Mormon." These are the words which have raised the ire of BYU students and faculty. In the Daily Universe there was an ad for the t-shirts with that slogan on it. I read the article today after seeing a short ad on television about it. Here's some quotes from the article that show both sides:

"Many Latter-day Saints living outside Utah, he [Ramos and t-shirt creator] noted, utter the phrase every day when asked to partake of activities - such as drink coffee or watch racy movies - that violate church standards."


"I don't like it when people perpetuate these Mormon stereotypes," [Steve Brady] said. "I'm not a big fan of Mormon movies like 'Singles Ward' and 'Home Teachers' for the same reason."

I'm going to stand by Ramos. So many LDS here in Happy Valley (most of them grew up here) don't understand or think that LDS humor is appropriate. Unfortunately they have very shrill voices and like to make those shrill voices heard. I think the slogan is humorous and not offensive. So I'm okay... But people who find mild humor offensive need to ignore it. I'm going to trot out a term again... Utah Mormons. You can find them the quickest just by uttering that phrase. They'll be the ones who are standing up and getting red in the face. I've lived here in Utah myself about fifteen years and I have succumbed to some Utah Mormon ways. But I can see it in myself. Anyway, to the point: Utah Mormons will find shirts and slogans like this offensive, but ignore a lot of the more important things.

So I will happily proclaim: I can't... I'm Mormon!

Sunday, September 26, 2004

What would you do?

I was just reading an article on US bombing insurgents in Iraq and having success. By success, I mean that they were eliminating insurgents against the US and Iraqi governments. This in turn has caused in-fighting amongst the rebels. Iraqi hospitals have reported civilian and child casualties with these attacks. The US gov't says that that is only propaganda. It is possible there were casualties outside of the rebels, but that the hospitals are exaggerating the numbers.

"'We've seen reports from the hospital about dead and wounded within 45 minutes of airstrikes,' Lessel said, which, he said, was too soon for victims to have been transported from the site of the attack. He also said wounded people shown on television could not have survived the airstrikes."

The article also quotes a Abu Thar as saying: ""They [the US,] are saying they want to kill al-Zarqawi, but instead they are bombing innocent families," Abu Thar said. "Iraqis' hatred is growing, which means the resistance is growing."

That I can understand. Whether you're a rebel or not, hearing your fellow citizens being killed would not make you happy.

So what do you do? If we leave the country all together and let them govern themselves, there may be a civil war. We would be responsible for that. If we stay, we are probably increasing the hatred some Iraqis have for the US and we will lose more soldiers to terrorist bombings and activities. It seems like a lose-lose situation both ways. I don't know what the solution is. I want the Iraqis to govern and police themselves. I don't want to lose more of our soldiers to cowardly terror attacks. Perhaps there is some way to have both. I hope so.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

A Call to Legalize File-sharing with Taxes

The title and the article tell it all, so I am going to let you read it. Please feel free to comment. This is a novel idea, but it's still an idea. There may be others that are better.


Monday, September 20, 2004

Responsibility & Government

I was reading an article on the Israel's pull out from Gaza and their expectation of more attacks by Hamas as they do so. I am very critical of Israel and their tactics. Most Americans in my experience, sympathize with the Israelis. I sympathize with the Palestinians. They have no course of legal action, no representation in their government, nothing. So they do what they do. They attack the Israelis. I don't think that the way they do it gets them any closer to their goals. No strong government is going to give terrorists power or representation. So I do see current Palestinian tactics as futile. But I don't expect responsibility from small militant groups. I do however expect responsibility from a government. Throughout the rest of world, civilized nations find ways to deal with racism and hatred. Israel has too. They use missiles and their military to enforce it. I guess what I'm saying is, I expect more from Israel than their military-enchanced form of terrorism.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Hurricane Ivan is now making landfall. My good friend 'Sobek' of SobekPundit has made it out with his family safely. I hope that everyone else in Ivan's path has evacuated safely and will suffer minimal losses. My prayers go out to everyone who is involved.


Sunday, September 12, 2004

Serious Wisdom from a Play

The following are quotes from a theatrical production David Hare's "Stuff Happens," now playing in Britain.

From the character Colin Powell, "If anyone is stupid enough to think this is payback time for whatever grudge they happen to be nursing against the U.S.--be it Kyoto or the Criminal Court or, I don't know, how they hate McDonald's--then what they'll be doing in effect is condemning Iraqi women and children to the sort of bombardment which is going to make them wish they had never been born. ... That's what I'm trying to avoid,"

And from an Iraqi character, "Iraq has been crucified. By Saddam's sins, by 10 years of sanctions, and then this," the man says. "Basically it's a story of a nation that failed in only one thing. But it's a big sin. It failed to take charge of itself. And that meant the worst person in the country took charge. Until this nation takes charge of itself, it will continue to suffer."

Check it out.

Friday, September 10, 2004


Yes. That is an arrow. What is it pointing to, you may wonder. It is pointing to the newest entry to my blogroll. SonarBison, welcome to the hallowed halls of the BigRedHammer Blogroll. Your post on how to get a girlfriend at BYU deserves acclaim.

Any of you readers who have ever attended BYU, lived near BYU, know someone who lived by or attended BYU, or have been or had a girlfriend should check it out. You'll laugh.

Update: SonarBison has begun to get results. Follow the link above and find out the hilarious aftermath.

News to me: Many professors are liberal bigots

Okay, I just found more evidence of my 'bubbled' life. I just read an article on Yahoo news. In it I learned that in Colorado Universities conservative students are being discriminated against. I'll share a few of the examples given in the article:

"University of Colorado law student Mario Nicholas said a professor called him a Nazi after Nicholas complained when the professor told the class that "the `R' in Republican stands for racist." The professor was chastised by the dean but not suspended. "

"Metro State student William Pierce said he filed a grievance after a professor accused him of spying on the class for Republicans intent on enforcing the new policy. "

I go to Brigham Young University. It is a religiously funded university. As such only members of the LDS Church can be tenured professors. Which means that we have a very conservative faculty here. Well, comparatively. Many LDS people are ultra conservative and might disagree. So all I am used to is moderate professors who respect all ideas. But until today I didn't know this was not so of all colleges and universities. And I'm not referring to the conservative point. I'm talking about professors being moderate and respectful of all ideas.

The article talks about a professor that was forced out the classroom with death threats. He now sleeps with a rifle under his bed. I do not condone death threats or getting results through fear. And the 'conservative' students who did that not only hurt their cause, but hurt their lives.

But, such comments as calling a student a Nazi for any reason is not acceptable. The employers of such faculty need to evaluate their performance and if they cannot come to acceptable terms, let them go. That kind of environment is not conducive to learning for any type of student. Perhaps it is just my own experience, but professorship is not supposed to be a platform for expressing political views. Unless of course it is political science. And then it should be unbiased.

Students should not be judged on their political views.

Hurricane prognostication?

I predict that the next hurricane will be named, Jeanne. And let's up it one notch... the next one is Karl. Scary huh? Well, doing a little research, I found out that there is a hurricane name list for the next six years. 2005 will start with Arlene and end with Wilma. Interestingly enough, hurricane names can be 'retired' if they cause enough damage and a country requests it. Then a new name is selected and the replaced one will remain 'off-duty' for ten years.

So now you know more than you ever wanted to know about naming hurricanes.

But if that wasn't enough, find out more here.

Monday, September 06, 2004

No Time, Good Quote

"After voting for the war, but against funding it, after saying he would have voted for the war even knowing everything we know today, my opponent woke up this morning with new campaign advisers and yet another new position,"

--George W. Bush, 6 Sep 04

Seems to me that Kerry's advisors should run for President. Kerry is only their yes man. Oooh, here's an idea. What if I could infiltrate his campaign advisors? I could control the Democratic candidate. I'd have to slowly bring my friends in too. Eventually we could oust his advisors and if we won, we'd be in charge of the most powerful nation in the world. The biggest puppet government ever!

Friday, September 03, 2004

Terrorist Brutality

I just read about the attack on the terrorist-held school in Russia. The other day I was watching a music video that had children in school portraying the way we treat enemy combatants (blindfolded and arms tied). And I thought perhaps that is a brutal way to treat them. All people need a certain amount of respect.

Well, I was wrong. When anyone does something as heinous as kill innocent children for their own political purposes, they deserve to lose respect and most of their 'human' rights. These terrorists in Russia didn't just have children hostages by accident. No, they chose to hole up in a school. And now there is a possibility of over 150 children, parents, or teachers dead. The article said an explosion went off inside the school. The hostages took that as a sign to escape. The terrorists shot them down as they ran. You do things like that, you had better not expect any mercy or any rights when you are found. It's cowardly. And I know they will get their reward.

Now I have to applause Russia for standing strong against terrorism. Many people may say, "Just release the rebels so you can get your children back." But I don't think that they realize the danger that that response will put the entire nation in. If you give in even once the terrorists win. They now know a way to get what they want. Next time they want something all they have to do is march into a school and hold them hostage again. It's a cycle of fear that won't end. At least someone in Russia understands this. Earlier this year I was sad to see that Spain doesn't understand it. Rather than stand against terrorism with us as brothers, they chose to cave to terrorism. Sad.

It is strong language, but I hope those terrorists burn in hell.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Feminism and Inferiority

This past year I've noticed a prominent trend in the media (especially television). So often men are portrayed as being stupid brutes. Examples abound from any sitcom you care to name to television ads and movies. The first that comes to mind is a Carl's Junior commercial. A mid-twenty-something male is standing in front of an aisle of food in the supermarket. He stares slack-jawed at the many different brands of some product. The commercial closes with the statement, "If it weren't for Carl's Junior some men wouldn't eat." Most examples actually contrast a neanderthal-brained man with a clever and well-put-together woman who can show him the error of his ways or how to operate something.

It was only tonight that I thought that perhaps this is the liberal media's attempt at embracing the feminist movement. The first paragraph of this entry is obvious once it's been pointed out. My guess that it's part of feminism is only supposition. I notice as well that most instances of this are meant to be humorous. It's considered comedy to have stupid men and clever women.

It's interesting because it seems like the writers of this kind of comedy believe they are appealing to both genders. Eh, what do I know... maybe it does. But if you have a more refined sense of humor (like me) you won't find it funny. LOL I'm kidding of course. Just keep your eyes open, you'll see this humor all over.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Lithographs and missionaries

Yesterday I went to Salt Lake and worked for my Bishop for thirteen hours. He works for a sports memorabilia business. This Saturday BYU will be honoring the 1984 football team. They won the national championship. Bishop Larsson's business would be selling a lithograph (fancy poster) with the signatures of the starting line. It was a long day. Each athlete had to sign 1,200 lithographs and in the thirteen hours we did six athletes.

Overall, I'm very glad I did it. Shayla, a girl I know worked with me as well. For lunch we went with Kurt (I forget his last name, but I know it's Hawaiian.) to a sports bar. He was a very nice guy. He had been in two superbowls. I saw and held his superbowl ring as well. The thing is HUGE. Like the head of a baby.

One of the football players was in prison for a time and he couldn't sign the lithograph. So they allowed his mother to sign for him. While we were helping her the Olympics were on the television. I mentioned something about Romania and how I always root for them. Sister Larsson told the woman that I had served a mission there. She didn't know anything about missions or missionaries so I got to explain it all to her. I mentioned that we did a lot of street contacting. And she asked, "Well, how would you contact me if I were a Romanian (don't speak in Romanian though.)?" Ah, such a prime answer. So I gave her a shortened introduction. I didn't bear my testitmony of anything like that. But now this woman knows who the missionaries are and what they do. That is a large step right there. Perhaps one day she will invite them in. Perhaps.

It's not often here in Provo that I have any opportunities to do missionary work. But the opportunities exist. You merely have to have the courage to act and be able to recognize the opportunities too. Anyway, it felt good.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Student Suffrage

Yes it has been eighty-four years since women won the right to vote. And now in 2004, students are working for that right. I just read an article which really enlightened me. It seems that many states won't allow their out-of-state students vote in local and national elections. They can only send in absentee ballots to their home state. This was news to me. Students in some states are rallying and have formed a federal lawsuit pushing the issue. I applaud them. Students should vote. Students should be able to make their voices heard in local elections. It makes sense.

Here in Provo, I don't think that we have the same issue. Students here don't want to vote. When weighed in a scale against losing their residency, most students here choose to give up their rights to vote. Sad. There are approximately 30,000 students at BYU alone and nearly that at UVSC. As of 2000, there were 105,000 residents in Provo. If even half of us voted in local elections we could own this city. As it is, the Provo City Council passes anti-student laws. I am a native Utahn so choosing between losing residency and voting is not an issue for me. But I am an independant when it comes to taxes so I don't think residency would matter much to me.

Voting is important. Visit for more information.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

West Virginia: No Lifeguard at the Gene Pool

Statement: The Big Red Hammer does not like the political correctness movement.

I am tired of this country's 'offended at the slightest knock' mentality. This country is founded on democracy not on oligarchy. We should not have to conform to whoever is most offended. This stated, we will move on.

West Virginian Governor Bill Wise (isn't that an oxymoron?) is offended by a line of Abercrombie & Fitch shirts "which has an image of a boy and girl in a kiddie pool superimposed on an outline of the state" with the captioning stated in the title of this blog. You can read about it here. Here's the gist. He is offended and has written Abercrombie & Fitch and asked that they discontinue the shirt.

In his spokesman's words, "It is unfortunate that Abercrombie & Fitch continues to perpetuate stereotypes rather than positive things like the number of residents serving in the military or the state's PROMISE scholarship program."

Now can you see a shirt that has an outline of West Virginia and soldiers in the background with the captioning, 'West Virginia has a lot of people in the US Army' selling even one shirt? Well, maybe one shirt. Apparently Governor Wise does not understand marketing. I personally hope that Abercrombie & Fitch continues selling this line. Be offended Governor Wise. I'm sure that will bring more tourists to your state.

PS - For those of you who don't get the joke: West Virginia is known as being the only state that doesn't have laws against first cousins (perhaps even siblings) marrying each other.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Swift Boat Accounts Incomplete.

I just finished reading this article from the Washington Post on Yahoo news. This is the first time I've known in any detail what the swift boat accounts and accusations were about. The article was written by Michael Dobbs of the Washington Post. I am pleased to say that the article presents both sides of the arguement fairly. If you don't know about the significance of the swift boat accounts to the Kerry campaign, here is the short of it: Kerry served in Vietnam on boats (swift boats) patrolling rivers. He received several awards for his service during this time. He has made that service a defining point in his campaign against Bush and used it to rally support. This article goes through the evidence from both Kerry's side and his detractors.

Read it! You'll learn a lot and be able to form your own opinion.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Communist? No.

So about an hour ago I was watching the Olympics. I watched a woman make a world record in some sort of swimming event. I also watched the women's 100m and some men's medley swimming race. The US won in one of those events I saw. But for the way the broadcasters and announcers went on, you'd think the US had won all of them. If one competitor beat the US, then the announcers would say "He was ahead of the US by 1.35 seconds." Everything is merely a comparison to how the US competed. And I don't think I'm too far-fetched with this scenario: Let's say the US basketball team didn't happen because of some scandal here. I bet that basketball wouldn't even be covered at all.

And you may say, what do you expect from America? If you were watching from Bulgaria, the Bulgarian broadcasters would be doing the same thing for their teams. True. However I am sure that they would not be as strong as it is here. I can't expect an impartial showing of the Olympics, but I can expect them to at least show foreign competitors when they win. I can expect them to show the competitors' fans, and congratulate the winners.

This is Scott with a larger world view than most Americans, signing out.

MPAA Propoganda

While clicking to get to a Yahoo game I came across one of their sponsorship ads. I've become so accustomed to web ads, I don't even see them anymore. However, this one caught my attention. It was made by the MPAA or Motion Picture Association of America. The basic premise of the ad was to scare 'pirates' into stopping downloads of illegal movies. You may have not have seen this ad yet, or their accompanying site,, but I am sure you have seen the ads before movies in the theater. They generally show some average joe who begins by talking about what joy he gets working on movie sets or special effects. Then he makes the transition to piracy and how it's costing him his job. He will actually purport that illegally downloading movies only affects the small guys like him and not the big movie execs. Could this be any further from the TRUTH? Let's assume for a moment, that one movie loses $1 million in ticket sales due to illegal downloads. (I have no idea if that is even close to the real number, whether high or low.) All of the men and women who work on the movie from set builders, special effects artists, animators, stunt doubles, actors and actresses, and extras are paid some negotiated fee. The set builder does not receive a percentage of ticket sales or the like. He did his job, he got paid and now he's working on another movie already. Those ads are absolute hogwash. "Hollywood Hogwash."

Now I've had the chance to argue and debate this topic often. I am on the anti-MPAA and anti-RIAA (music industry) spectrum of things. I am not an extremist. But I believe that a change needs to be made in both industries. Whenever I read articles in which the courts rule in favor of downloaders or the programs that facilitate downloading I give a big Wahoo! The way I see it, technology has opened a new avenue to get your media. And it's free! At the MPAA site, they purport that your downloading habits are easily tracked and thus copyright law is easily enforced. I'd have to say that is more a wish of the MPAA and RIAA than actual fact. P2P (peer-to-peer) software are very aware of their customers. 'Pirates' want privacy and security and they want their movies and music free. So P2P programmers stay one step ahead of those who would take away your ability to pirate. The fact of the matter is, there are more people working for piracy world-wide than against it. And the pirates are much more ingenious.

The piracy issue has been around long before the internet, P2P software, and even VCRs. It isn't going to be eliminated or even curbed. Now whether your ethics say that is right or wrong isn't currently the issue. It is a simple fact: piracy is growing. I wish I could guess how this will effect the music and movie industries in the end. But change will be needed. Technology has outpaced big business and is leaving it in the dust.

So I leave you with two points:
Recognize the music and movie industries' propaganda. Not everything they purport is true, right, or unbiased. Use your head, reasearch it, think about it. Find your own stance

Once you've found your stance do something about it. Voice your opinion, write it down, share it. And the most powerful of all, vote. Copyright law is not an issue in the presidential election this year. But it is always a congressional and senatorial issue. Find your representatives and senators' stances on the issue and vote appropriately.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Et cetera

Today was the first day of BYU Education Week. I had an excellent time. I went to several Book of Mormon classes to get ideas and learn more for my Gospel Doctrine class. Let me tell you I learned some incredible things. But I will save another blog spot for Ed Week. I also have lunch with my mother every day at the Morriss Center. Free food and talking with my mom, that's always great!

I ought to get to bed soon so I don't sleep through more classes than I'd like. But before then I will refer you to some of my favorite sites.

Sluggy Freelance comic A lot of fun and very creative. Joe referred me to it, so you know it has to be good! If you don't know this pull your head out of the oven and go look!

Dr. Devious vs. Lincoln High Spies, supervillians and mayhem in high school. Devious!

And on a closing note, Romania's women gymnasts took gold! Yeah that's right! In your face pompous Americans! Go home and cry on your gilded pillow. (For Kate and those other Romania haters.)

Monday, August 16, 2004

John Kerry's True Story

John Kerry's military service:

My friend Joe just sent me this link. Seems our good friend Kerry has not been very honest about his military service. That makes me uncomfortable to have a military commander in chief and leader of the free world dishonest about his own military service.

As Reed would say, "BAAAAAH" (buzzer noise).


So call me unpatriotic... I root for those who oppose the United States. And if it's Romania... I'll even trash talk. The way I see it, the US is in the spotlight all the time. It pleases me to see other countries win. It please me to see the US currently places seventh in overall gold medals. I like seeing the underdog win. Now when it comes to gymnastics Romania is not the underdog. They are the team that all the other teams are judged by. And a wonderful quote I heard twice today, "If you leave the door open even a little bit the Romanians will come in and eat you alive." Yeah, that's right! We'll eat you alive! (Notice the use of the pronoun 'we'.) And I'm proud to see Romania is a serious competitor in many other events. But they need to win in gymnastics.


Friday, August 13, 2004

Where are the whip lashes?

The California court decided that the rule of law is worth considering. Actually, it decided that San Francisco's Mayor Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority by issuing homosexual marriage licences. Nearly 4,000 marriages were nulled. Of course Mayor Newsom has the enduring respect of gay and lesbian people across America. And of course the disdain and anger of those against same sex marriages. But I think another large issue is forgotten behind all the controversy of same sex marriages. We have a system of law here in America. We do not live in the feudal ages where a lord could make and break his laws at his whim. Newsom ignored that system and did what he felt was right. Whether he declared marijuana legal, Saddam the King of America, or leash laws unconstitutional, it's all the same. He doesn't have that right! Mayors don't have that ability. So what I'm wondering: What is the punishment for breaking the law? You law people, is there precedence? I'm thinking that he should lose his position as mayor and perhaps serve jail time. If there is no punishment, then there needs to be one appointed. 'If there is no punishment, there is no law.' People need to know that choices like that have consequences.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The Village and Other Things

Yes, I went and saw the Village tonight. My cousin Stephanie invited me to go with a few of her friends. We were supposed to see Napoleon Dynamite (and no, I have no clue what it is about). But it was sold out, so we went and saw the Village. Which by me, is a much better choice. Now I won't give anything away... but it is different from the other M. Night Shyamalan movies. Still some twists and surprises, he doesn't ever disappoint when it comes to that! I will give it four stars out of five. Rated against his other movies, it falls behind Signs and Sixth Sense but way ahead of Unbreakable.

Now for our trenchant political commentary: Several days ago I was reading some critics' reviews of The Village. (How's that for a tie in?) And one critic said that the political commentary in the movie got in the way of the plot. What political commentary you ask? Well, I would suggest you only read the following if you have seen the movie so that you won't be looking for it and thus ruin the movie. You have been warned. This critic believes that the movie was a commentary about Bush and how he leads the country. The leader of the village is named Walker, George W. Bush's middle name. As well the colors yellow and red play an important part in the film. This critic believed that just as Walker ruled his village through fear, Bush does the same thing with us. The war in Iraq must be a diversion to keep us from looking at the shortcomings of this presidency.

First of all, I will disagree that M. Night meant to have The Village be a parable for current American politics. It's too far of a stretch. Secondly, I disagree that this war is a political ploy. If it is, it failed miserably. Watching CNN which I often do, (and I am told is more on the democratic side of things, but which I find much more unbiased than the step-above-a-tabloid Fox Network) there are a lot of stories talking about other pressing issues outside of the war. Same sex marriage, the economy, employment rates and the like seem to be very important. Fear is something we've put upon ourselves, not by Bush.

I believe that companies (especially airlines) have seen this new demand for security and are taking advantage of it. The safety precautions are merely to make customers feel safe. I (half) jokingly suggest we have pre-9/11 and post-9/11 flights. And I will tell you truthfully I would ride the post-flights if it meant I can forgo all of the 'needed' security measures. And I will also hold my opinion even if there is another large terrorist attack on this country.

On a lighter note, I think I have found Kerry's long lost twin brother. Ironically his twin is President. In fact, he is president of a planet, Planet Neutral. Their motto is: 'Live Free or Don't.' And when in danger, they go to Beige Alert. Yeah, so I watch Futurama, what of it?

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Kerry's approved! (sort of).

Fast Sunday

As the title states, today was fast Sunday. And it was a beautiful one as well. Many testimonies were born on missionary work and missionary experiences. It reminded me of how good it is to have someone you know learning about the Gospel and accepting it step by step. It is a faith and testimony building process. But not only for the investigator, but for the members involved. I would like to share the Gospel with someone. I'd like to feel those feelings again which were so strong on my mission.

Sunday School went very well too. Kate taught the class I was in. It was in Alma, around chapter 40 I believe. Alma was giving advice to his sons. This lesson included my favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon, chapter 38. I chose that as my favorite scripture on my mission. It seemed like the perfect advice from a father to a missionary son. But the lessons learned there apply to me at all times. It was very good to hear it again. It's prompted me to seek some positive changes in my life.

We had break the fast after Church and it went very well. There was plenty of food and lots of people showed up. And then started raining. Beautiful summer rain. We moved into the laundry room. But the rain is so nice. Cooling and beautiful. I like this. I wouldn't want it all the time, but summer rain is pleasant.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

The moon is full and beautiful.

Yes. Yes it is. Well here I am. Today has nothing of merit to report. My roommate Matt did not renew his contract for fall/winter. Kyle (sr.) has bought it. Kyle's a good guy and I look forward to him living here. However, I was hoping some new guy would move in... breath some new life into this apartment. Ah well.

And tomorrow is August. My how time flies. Matt and I need to get our hometeaching done as well. It should be easy... we have one girl to get, and the two men are also our hometeachers, so we'll just do it together. It just has to get done.

I need to get on a better sleep schedule. One o'clock would be an excellent time to go to sleep. Generally I get caught up in something stupid like playing Halo with the roommates or something of that nature.

Well folks, have a good night, I know I will.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Kerryopoly - Can You Afford to Live Like John Kerry?

Kerryopoly - Can You Afford to Live Like John Kerry?

I was referred to this site by a friend. He's the same friend who got me politically active and actually voting. Anyway, Kerry must be very very glad to have Heinz-Kerry as his wife. I had no idea what kind of salary a senator would have. But apparently it's six figures. So that $9.18 million vacation home among other things must have been from Heinz-Kerry's dowry. Now I do think marriage is very important and I'm sure the Kerry couple love each other very much. But this is the first time that I've seen how he lives and how well, he cannot afford even a quarter of it by himself. I wonder how he will balance our nation's checkbook.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


So, I've been working on writing my own murder mystery.  I think I started this thing about two years ago but just put it away till now.  I've gotten pretty far with it too.  I have all the characters' backgrounds and motives finished.  Now I have to figure out the sequence of events, the clues, and the acquaintances.  I look forward to getting it finished and trying it out.  I don't know, I enjoy making new creative things from stuff I see.  I did it as a kid and I continue to do it now.  I think my biggest problem is sticking with it.  I'll get far in a project and then get bored and put it away for a long time.  But eventually they get done.

So the weather here has been very interesting.  We've had overcast days, rainy days and cooler temperatures.  My mom told me that we haven't had a day over 100 yet.  All this is good for my garden though.  The plants are really taking off.  Jill needs to get a lead testing kit to make sure that we can eat the onions.  The garden is right next to the house so we're afraid of the lead paint.  But the peppers are still good.  (and the best part of the garden anyway.) 

Monday, July 26, 2004

Democrat Unity

Senator Clinton claims that the desire to remove Bush from office has "has united Democrats from all ends of the political spectrum."  Democrats from all across the nation are gathering for the Democrat National Convention.  There has been an effort to make the overall theme of the convention more positive in order to sway undecided voters to the Dems.  I find this hilarious!  I know that a lot is possible through the magic of acting and computer graphics (look at The Day After Tomorrow as an example).  But how can you make a campaign that is based on one great negative, 'I am NOT Bush' into something positive?  I don't think Hollywood (and don't think that they wouldn't do it) with all it's power could even achieve that. 

I'm as well finding out that Kerry is a good representative for the Democratic Party.  It seems the speakers at the convention are split on how critical they should appear of the current administration.  This is certainly a chicken and the egg question:  Does Kerry's indecision reflect that of the Democratic Party or vice versa?  It seems at least someone moderate won out as the Democrat National Convention's theme this year is:  "Stronger at Home, Respected in the World."   I would have expected something like:  "Stronger than Bush, Slave to the World."  It will be interesting to see if the desire to draw more voters to the Democratic vote through moderacy will prevail over the unifying hatred of Bush.  I'll place my bet on hatred.

Trenchant Political Thought

So I've been challenged by my friend Aaron to write some "trenchant political thought" on my blog. Coincidentally Aaron started his own blog on this site just days before I did. I was recently looking at some political cartoons on Yahoo. They suggested that Bush wants to go to war with Iran. Talking to Aaron I found out that Bush has promised that if he is re-elected Iran will be next on the list. He gave me an article from the Times about that.

The United States would not use military force, as in Iraq, but “if Bush is re-elected there will be much more intervention in the internal affairs of Iran”, declared the official, who is determined that there should be no let-up in the Administration’s War on Terror.
Now if this statement remains true and we don't use military force, I can handle that.  But I fear that if the first intervention does not prove fruitful that our President will use military force to achieve his goals.  And truth is, I (and many other voters I'm sure) are tired of war.   And I'm quite sure that if there were a vote as to whether we started a new war, America would vote NO. 

Bush is looking less and less appealing.  Don't get me wrong, there is no way I will vote for Kerry... 

The article talks about striking at Iran's nuclear facility before they receive fuel rods from Russia so that we can avert an environmental disaster.  It also speaks about France, Germany, and Britain wanting to defuse the situation through diplomacy.  That sounds typically European.  I don't think that diplomacy will succeed.  But if they are going that route, you can be sure that they will be most upset when the US rushes in and uses "aggressive negotiations" to solve the problems.  Kerry would allow the French president to move into the White House.  Bush on the other hand ignores the world community and does what Bush wants to do.  I'd like to see a more moderate approach.  I'd like to have the support of the EU, I'd like to be a little more friendly.  Right now we're the inconsiderate neighbors who play the loud music at odd times in the night and whose dog craps in your lawn.  I think that needs to change.

Well, I don't know if that is trenchant by any standard (forceful, effective, and vigorous).  But it's a start. 

Saturday, July 24, 2004

My first blog

Okay, so this is my first blog entry.  This came about because of a game of Halo about half an hour ago.  I did the best I have ever done.  It was team slayer and I was with Joe.  Anyway, my score was 30 of 50 kills.  Dan was with Kyle and Dan only had 6 kills!  I was dang happy.  I said something that if I kept a journal of Halo, this would definitely go in it.  Anyway, here I am starting my first blog. 

Now what else.  Finished cleaning checks today.  I did the bathroom.  And well, it was really easy.  Last month Matt had the bathroom and was all complaining.  I personally don't think it was that hard at all.  Probably easier than the fridge (which is what I normally do.)  I ended up going to bed at 5 am.  Kristen called me at 10.  So only five hours of sleep...  It'll hit me tomorrow.  Kristen likes this guy and has been hanging out with him a lot.  She wanted some advice.  It's hard though to judge a guy when you've never met him or aren't around him though.  But it was very good talking to Kristen.  She said that she's needed me.  And well, that felt really good. 

Well today is the 24th:  Pioneer Day.  Chris and Franzis were over yesterday to celebrate that and their two year anniversary of meeting.  They met in the parking lot to the west of our house.  That was a lot of fun.  Now they and Chris' family are on the way to Zion and the Grand Canyon.  I'd like to plan a trip to Vegas and the Valley of Fire.  Now that would be fun.  Hot.  But a lot of fun.  I really don't mind the heat though.  Just as long as I am prepared.  Which in general I am.  Well, I don't have to tell everything in my first blog, so I'll log off. 

Thanks for reading.