Right Thinking From The Left Coast
No legacy is so rich as honesty - William Shakespeare

Friday, January 17, 2003

Oh, the Sweet Irony
by Lee

Take a look this story.

A Kuwaiti has asked a court to change his legal gender to female after he had a sex change operation, in the first case of its kind in this Gulf Arab Muslim country, a local newspaper said Thursday.

The Qabas daily said the unnamed 29-year-old transsexual, who appeared in court wearing make-up, submitted medical papers stating that he had undergone an operation in Bangkok.

“He approached the judge and demanded him to (accept) his new sex,” it added.

The newspaper said the court has yet to rule on the case, but quoted a lawyer as saying the request would probably be accepted if all the papers were in order.

Pro-Western Kuwait still remains conservative, with gender segregation applied to some aspects of society even though women can hold public office and head some major businesses.

Now this takes courage.  It’s hard enough to be a transsexual in America or Europe, let alone a Muslim theocracy like Kuwait.  This woman obviously has a lot of courage to stand up and demand her rights. 

Isn’t it ironic that the one person with the balls to attempt such a thing is also the one person who just had his balls cut off?

P.S.  Note the description of Kuwait as “conservative.”

Posted by Lee on 01/17/03 at 12:32 AM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Enduring Freedom
by Lee

I just caught this link on Instapundit.  It’s a four-minute film made by the Navy about the Navy and Marine Corps mission in Afghanistan and the war on terror.  It’s a 9 megabyte Windows Media (.asf) file.  Download it to your machine and take a look at it.  The film is put together well and I was quite moved.  You can find it by clicking here.

I was in the Navy during the first Gulf War.  I was about four weeks shy of graduating from sonar school and heading out to the fleet when Operation Desert Shield turned into Operation Desert Storm.  By the time I got orders to my ship the war was long gone.  I have to admit that I was disappointed about not being able to serve.  You train for war from the first moment you get to boot camp, and it’s natural for you want to put that training to use.  I still have that desire, and this film brought those emotions bubbling to the surface.  If I could pass the Navy physical (I can’t any more, my left knee is shot) I’d go back in for another hitch, even though I’m 32.  I believe strongly in the obligation of the individual to provide military service to the nation when it is requested of him, and I also believe in leading by example.  If I expect someone else to go overseas and put their life on the line then I should be willing to do so as well. 

I’ll be sitting this one out.  The most I can do this time is offer my support to the brave men and women who will be on the front lines.

Posted by Lee on 01/16/03 at 09:45 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sunday, January 12, 2003

I’m Smiling
by Lee

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  31
San Francisco 49ers:  6

Now let’s see if Oakland Raiders can lose it’ll make my weekend.  (Yes, I know this is petty, but screw it.  I have to put up with shit from the bleeding heart locals here virtually every day.  One of the ways I get a little payback is enjoying it when their sports teams lose.  Sue me.)

Posted by Lee on 01/12/03 at 02:11 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Cameron Diaz
by Lee

Just watching her on Jay Leno.  She’s one of these girls who thinks that everything she says is funny, so she giggles obnoxiously after virtually every sentence.  The problem is, nothing she says is funny.

Posted by Lee on 12/21/02 at 01:07 AM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, December 13, 2002

Trent Lincoln
by Lee

With all the brouhaha regarding Trent Lott’s racist statements currently occupyingthe blogosphere, a number of pundits have used the phrase “the party of Lincoln” to describe the Republicans.  Indeed, the GOP takes a great deal of pride in pointing out that it was the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, that fought the civil war to free the slaves.  It is a badge the Republicans wear proudly. 

I think, under the circumstances, a little education about Lincoln is in order.  Consider the following quote:

“I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the White and Black races--that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with White people, and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the White and Black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the White race. . . I give. . . the most solemn pledge that I will to the very last, stand by the law of the State, which forbids the marrying of white people with negroes.”

-- Fourth Debate with Stephen Douglas at Charleston, Illinois

Posted by Lee on 12/13/02 at 08:26 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

A Little Extreme
by Lee

Some drunk was running his mouth off about the president, according to CNN.

A man who made a remark about a “burning Bush” during the president’s March 2001 trip to Sioux Falls was sentenced Friday to 37 months in prison.

Richard Humphreys of Portland, Oregon was convicted in September of threatening to kill or harm the president and said he plans to appeal. He has said the comment was a prophecy protected under his right to free speech.

Humphreys said he got into a barroom discussion in nearby Watertown with a truck driver. A bartender who overheard the conversation realized the president was to visit Sioux Falls the next day and told police Humphreys talked about a “burning Bush” and the possibility of someone pouring a flammable liquid on Bush and lighting it.

“I said God might speak to the world through a burning Bush,” Humphreys testified during his trial. “I had said that before and I thought it was funny.”

Now, I’m all for laws against threatening the president, but doesn’t this seem a little extreme to you?  Consider that there are violent criminals who don’t get 37 months.  Some drunk running his mouth does not, in my mind, make a credible threat against the president.  Don’t get me wrong, the Secret Service should have drug his ass into an interrogation room and kept an eye on him while the president was in town, but sending this poor bastard to prison for three years is a tad over the top.

Posted by Lee on 12/10/02 at 10:09 AM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, December 09, 2002

Suck On This
by Lee

According to a new European survey, smokers would rather give up sex for a month than stop smoking.

Most smokers in Europe would find it easier to give up sex for a month than cigarettes and many view even bungey jumping or parachuting as less difficult than kicking the habit.

Nearly 80 percent of British smokers, almost 70 percent in the Netherlands, France and Germany and more than 55 percent in the Belgium and Spain would forgo sex rather than live without cigarettes for a month.

On the surface this would seem to indicate just how addictive cigarettes are.  However, unless sex was as easy to obtain as cigarettes the comparison is pointless.  If I could go down to the little Israeli corner store by my house and buy a pack of sex I might be a lot less tempted to give it up for a month.  And, let’s face it, unless you’re involved in a healthy relationship or look like a fucking movie star getting sex multiple times a month is a pipe dream for most people.  It’s a lot easier to “give up” something that you weren’t going to get anyway.  If it was a choice between giving up smoking for a month and, say, not winning the Nobel Peace Prize, it’s not much of a decision, is it?

Posted by Lee on 12/09/02 at 01:44 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Whither the Hot Chicks
by Lee

I just saw a new commercial for McDonalds featuring Venus and Serena Williams.

Does anyone remember when they used to put attractive women in commercials?  I’m just curious.

Posted by Lee on 11/21/02 at 10:20 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

A Reply for Andrew Sullivan
by Lee

Andrew Sullivan recently posed a question on his blog about straight men and their insecurities regarding gay men.  Here’s my thoughts on the subject.

Posted by Lee on 11/19/02 at 11:54 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

2:14a.m., August 29th, 1997
by Lee

Instapundit has blogged on a report that DARPA is creating a self-aware supercomputer.  While this may be an enormous benefit to mankind let us not forget the lessons from Terminator 2.

The Skynet Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug. And Skynet fights back.

On the day that the Homeland Security bill is passed, and with reports that the government is building computer systems to track every aspect of your life, maybe Hollywood has the right idea here.

Posted by Lee on 11/19/02 at 09:31 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Yet Another Gay Discussion
by Lee

Now that he has recovered from his Tip Jar Trauma, Arthur Silber has posted the latest volley in our discussion on gay baiting.  I have to admit he’s made a lot of great points, and I’ll probably end up conceding a few of them to him.

He also mentions a question Andrew Sullivan posed regarding the way that homosexuality inspired fear and panic in many straight men.  I was actually planning on answering this tonight myself, so Arthur and I will undoubtedly have much to discuss about that, too.

P.S.  Have you noticed how many posts over the past few days have involved homosexuality?

Posted by Lee on 11/19/02 at 08:26 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, November 16, 2002

How Do You Say “Gay” in Arabic?
by Lee

So Jim from Right Thoughts and I were just on the phone discussing various and sundry things, ranging from Brazilian hookers to eBay, when the subject of Alastair Gamble, the Arabic-speaking linguist who was kicked out of the military for being gay.

As many of you may know, I was in the Navy roughly 12 years ago.  During my time there I knew of two gay men who were serving, in secret, with distinction.  Most of the people I knew couldn’t have cared less if some of the men we were serving with were gay.  But the purpose of this post is not to debate the righteousness of the military’s ban on gays.  Let’s assume for the sake of discussion that the ban has a logical, rational basis.

Posted by Lee on 11/16/02 at 02:06 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, November 11, 2002

Dirty Bombs
by Lee

Here’s a follow-up to yesterday’s post on dirty bombs.  From the Washington Post:

In a computer simulation of a dirty bomb attack on New York, the detonation of 3,500 curies of cesium chloride in Lower Manhattan—about 50 grams or 1.75 ounces—would spread radioactive fallout over 60 city blocks. Immediate casualties would be limited to victims of the immediate blast, but the aftereffects, including relocation and cleanup, would cost tens of billions of dollars, said Michael A. Levi, a physicist and director of the Federation of American Scientists’ Strategic Security Project, which conducted the study.

“The financial costs, from the loss of property to business losses, could be huge,” Levi said. “People may refuse to return, and others may be unwilling to travel to the area. The threshold for scaring people away from some activities is very low.”

If it would cost tens of billions of dollars to clean up after one, not to mention the casualties or psychological damage involved, why don’t we just buy the stuff off the black market?  No questions asked, we pay top dollar, and the material gets off the street.  To me it seems like a win/win situation.

Posted by Lee on 11/11/02 at 02:10 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Why Not Buy It?
by Lee

I’m sitting down eating one of my world famous bachelor dinners of top ramen and a Pepsi One, and NBC news is on in the background.  They just did a story about the proliferation of nuclear material on the black market, the type of stuff that a terrorist would use in a dirty bomb.  It got me thinking… why doesn’t the US government just buy it ourselves?

With the exception of a few die-hards, I would imagine that most of the people who are selling this material are doing so primarily for financial concerns, and will sell to anyone who is willing to meet their price.  Why doesn’t our government make it known that we will pay five times the going street price for this type of nuclear material, no questions asked? 

Sure this could end up costing quite a bit of money, but wouldn’t it be worth it?  And surely the costs of buying the material and properly disposing of it would be significantly less than the costs of a dirty bomb going off in the downtown area of a major American city, not to mention the costs associated by fear of another attack.

Why aren’t we doing this?  If you can think of a hole in my argument (and I am sure there are many) please leave a comment by clicking the link below.

Posted by Lee on 11/10/02 at 12:58 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Words of Wisdom
by Lee

Last night I posted a goofy thing going around the blogosphere now called Which Founding Father Are You? Reader DougK left a comment to that post, a section of which I would like to quote below.

Recently I’ve been reading some of the writings of the more obscure FF’s and a great many of them would be top notch bloggers today but not much more. But when one goes back and reads Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, George Washington, and the other major players, THEIR writing shines like a beacon even after 200 plus years. No one writing today, blogger or main stream writer, illuminates and idea the way Jefferson and Company did or when making a point and defending it. It is good for us to go back and read the old dead white guys now and again for a solid reference point. It is also a humbling.

Truer words were never spoken. My girlfriend in Texas has a 12-year-old son named Clayton, and last night he called me for help with his homework. He’s in the 7th grade, and is beginning to learn American history. He had to write a paper on Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me liberty, or give me death!” speech. As you can well imagine I took a great deal of delight in introducing him to something that was so near and dear to my heart. I had to set the stage for him, explaining that the Founding Fathers were making the case to the people to revolt against the mightiest nation the world had ever known. We went through Henry’s speech line by line, and I translated his words into a format that Clayton could understand. He really seemed to start to get it, and it was truly a joyous experience for me to be introducing him to this aspect of American history. When we got to the last paragraph of the speech, I realized just how great a man Patrick Henry was. Read his words, and put them in the context of the war on terrorism.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

The arguments he used for taking immediate action against the British are exactly the same arguments being used today to justify action against Saddam Hussein. DougK was absolutely right. Their writing does indeed shine like a beacon, even after more than two centuries.

Posted by Lee on 11/07/02 at 10:58 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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