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Until Again   
10:04pm 06/05/2004
mood: nostalgic
Well, I haven't updated in quite awhile... and I think that it's a fitting time to catch up.

This will most likely be the last Live Journal post that I will be putting up for a very long time. Summer break is in a week and I doubt I'll be updating all summer.

So, I guess this is sort of a "goodbye post." It's been one hell of a year. When I look back on that first day I came back for my sophomore year, and I cannot believe that it was less than a year ago. So much has changed, so much as happened - so many good things... and a few bad ones. I am sure it sounds pretentious, but I honestly believe that who I was 290 days ago, is not who I am now. I believe that in this one school year, I matured leaps and bounds, began to escape my very deeply naïve view of the world... and I know it sounds dorky and cliché.... but I found myself this semester.

Looking back and trying explain it all to you - I'll be perfectly blunt. I lost the love of my life this year... and I am more confident with every day that goes by, that indeed..... she was the love of my life. It was probably one of the most painful things I have dealt with. There are still moments where I feel as though my heart will never heal over, I miss her so much that sometimes it hurts, I have dreams about her (it sounds nuts but I promise it’s not!!), and then there are days when the only thing that would make me feel better would be in her arms. Sometimes I wish I could go back and stop it from happening, but I know thinking like that does not help at all, and I accept that it happened - and I think I made the best of it. This last semester alone has been incredible. On the friends level - I've met new ones, repaired bridges of old ones, and to be fair - there are some I wish I tried harder with. On the school level, I’ve done far better than I ever thought I would do. I've learned a lot about myself and I did things I don't think I would have ever bothered with before. My ex-girlfriend was incredible.. is incredible... and my time with her was amazing, but also things needed to change. As much as I hate the situation at hand with her, I am not sure if I would go back and stop it if I had the chance. It is the irony of "something bad brings me many good things." I am proud of who I am, and what I’ve accomplished.

I do not know what the future holds with me... and I have to be honest, everyday that passes, any hope that I have with her - slowly slips away. If you remember, I wrote her an all-out, heart pouring letter and delivered it to her (also recall that the timing was completely horrible!) and that was the last time that letter was ever talked about. I don't blame her for not wanting to talk about it... it was the wrong time, wrong place, wrong delivery style. I wouldn’t want to talk about it either. And I guess... I don't need a response, because it felt great saying everything that I felt and wanted to say! The purpose wasn't just to start a dialog... but so that I could never regret that I never said what I had always wanted to say. I love her... unbelievably so... and I am always going to love her. And... I think that is a great thing. No matter what happens.

And, if there is one thing I've learned to do this past year - it's to be more optimistic. I do not know what the future is going to hold... but that brings me to my other topic.

This summer.

This semester has been one of huge changes - and I can't help but feel like this summer is going to be one of even bigger ones. As it is now... I am standing a huge crossroads.

I've been offered the chance to go to China this summer... yes the real thing... China. 5 weeks, with no one I am familiar with, and to teach English. It's an absolutely amazing opportunity, the scale of which I am now only beginning to comprehend. Yet... it is scary. A world completely devoid of anything I have ever known, and people I have never met... yet that strangely seems so attractive. I have not made my final decision, I am not required to do so until the end of May, but it's something I need to think fully about. Also, I've been offered an internship for the NH State House, unfortunately I cannot do the two things together and I have to choose.

So much has changed, and it promises to keep changing.

I guess before I go for the summer... I want to get even a little sappier here (if that's possible)... and just say I'm sorry to those of you that I wasn't particularly kind too, or stepped on. I feel really bad and I am sorry. Also - I want to say thanks to those who have been there and who have given me a lot of great times!! It’s been a great semester!

So I guess I'll spare you from this "yearbook" sappiness... and go on my way. It's going to be... an interesting... summer........... but I have a good feeling about it.

So..... until again.
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Awesome quote.   
12:30am 29/04/2004
  "So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You're a tough kid. And if I ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. You're a genius, no one denies that, but you know nothing of life."

... what an awesome quote.
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Long time no post   
09:10pm 13/04/2004
mood: energetic
Ok - so I guess I'll update.

Today was actually a really great day. I, along with my friend Lee, were both invited to a private dinner with a few school administrators, faculty and the guest of honor - Reverend Gene Robinson. A person who has been in the news a great deal lately regarding his ascension to the Bishop of New Hampshire... the controversy being that he is openly gay.

It was great to be able to converse not only with the Reverend but the school officials who attended as well. It kind of reminded me of the time I went with the president of my college to see President Bush - sitting at a table with these "higher up" people... and having them talk to you as... well... an equal. It's exciting, it has a lot to do with the reason why I love politics so much - the flesh pressing (shaking hands).

After the dinner we attended a lecture by the Reverend (which was opened to the entire community). I have to say - he truly impressed me and I left with a greater respect for the man. He is very... personable. It was particularly great for me - a person who is completely void of any religious influence - and at one point he summed it up perfectly about his goal: "My goal is to at minimum have a person say to themselves, "I do not agree with what he is saying, yet I can understand how he believes it."" Tolerance was really the message. I think the whole thing goes far beyond him being the "gay bishop," he's representing an entire social restructuring - and it's interesting to listen to the person at the very front of the movement.

Secondly - President Bush. Have you ever seen a time in history where we, as a nation, have become so politically polarized? The division between people is so clearly set - it's actually quite sad. I think I've said this here before - 20 yrs back, you may have disagreed with your political opponents, and your argued and debated about issues, but when you boiled it down - you both shared a set of core beliefs. It's just not the case now. The atmosphere is poisonous. It really is a shame, because it does nothing to attract the average citizen to participate and becoming involved. Especially since this country has been so equally divided - informed and engaged citizens are crucial.

Anyway - the President has been getting a lot of flack about Iraq. I think it's a very difficult position to be in. And just focusing on the war in Iraq, he not only has to combat the enemies abroad, but is forced to combat the media slant here at home. It's terribly unfortunate that the media focuses so narrowly on the deaths and attacks. That news is certainly important for the public to know - but so much is be drowned out. Today in Iraq, thanks to American assistance - bridges that have been destroyed since Gulf War 1 are now rebuilt, more schools are open than ever, hospitals now have electricity and actual stores of blood for patients, today Iraqi children no long have to fear of dying from the simple threat of the flu, Iraqi GDP has grown an average of 23% since liberation, more Iraqis are employed than ever and probably most importantly - they are free of the shackles of a totalitarian despot. 90% of Iraqis believe that the US should stay in Iraq and 73% think that the US is doing a good job. The road is long, but President Bush is holding steady and he is offering new and ideas and working to better Iraq - not simply criticize everything happening over there (unlike John Kerry.)

I completely agree he has poor public speaking ability. However, as important as words are - actions weight equally, if not more, heavily. President Bush makes occasional blunders, as any person will, however his motives are clear. And what I said above speaks far greater of his ability as a leader than any speech he could ever give. And I only spoke briefly on Iraq - the economy is an entirely different subject!

The debate needs to focus back onto the issues at hand... this politics of personal attack are tearing us apart.
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10:49pm 04/04/2004
mood: aggravated
I have not updated in quite awhile. Honestly, aside from being to busy to post - I am kind of getting sick of LJ.

LJ sucks. I am getting really bored with it. I feel like all I do here is complain. Who wants to listen to me whine a lot? I also feel like I get nowhere with this thing... I started out hoping that I could sort things out in my head by putting them down on paper. However, I just reread my first post and my last post. I am still in the same damn situation. I met some cool people through this thing... which is a very cool thing. I also met some really shitty people too! I feel like I accomplished more with my political posts than those talking about something close to me. Political ranting was not the reason I started this thing.

I really am unsure to my next step with this thing. I've got a feeling that this is going to be the norm from here on out - posting once every month. I dunno... we'll see.

Life is just great. Busy, but great. I really do not have anything to "complain about" :-p

I went to the Nashua Soup Kitchen a few weeks ago... it was a very sad thing. I am really in an strange situation... a conservative who "cares." It really tore at my heart being there. 40% of all homeless people in NH are children. There was one gentleman there who had a sweat shirt wrapped around one of his feet.... it was his shoe. The food that we served was quite frankly horrible. It looked worse than the food you use to get from school lunches. Yet, they ate every ounce and where extremely thankful for all of it. What I saw there - well it did not fit well with the "picture of America" that I have in my mind. The riches nation in the world, a country that can put men on the moon, end the suffering of millions overseas, achieve unthought of economic and social achievements... cannot take care of ALL of it citizens. It was really sad. No one should have to live like that. No one.

I was at work the other day and a friend from HS was there. and we talked for a really long time. He was on leave from the Marines. He just got back from Iraq. I was so impressed by him.... and I also felt completely and utterly inadequate to him. He was risking his life for an ideal. His dedication was obvious and he was so humble about it all. I really wish I had joined the armed forces. He is my age... and yet he is years ahead of me in life experiences and lessons. I feel selfish about it too. I decided to take the path that would best serve my own best interests. I could not be bothered with a career in the military.

What really summed this all up was that he had all these amazing stories to tell, and when he asked me what I had been up to since HS.... I was speechless. How could I even say anything after he told me about almost being killed, about friends who he saw die, about saving innocent Iraqi's from gun battles....


You see this is what I was talking about. Why would anyone care about what I just wrote about above!??!? Everyone has problems/issues in their lives... why do they want to listen to MINE!? lol! Have I been self-pontificating all this time? I dunno... I just do not know.
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The End of Vacation   
01:48am 22/03/2004
mood: blah
So the vacation is over. Damn.

I was not really excited to head back home... if you could call it "home." The first few days I felt like a guess in the house. It is so strange to see how life continues on even though you're not there. My family has all of these stories and memories... and it is THEIR stories, not mine. Very sad. But after a few days I got use to it, and began to like it. I did a lot of homework. Yeah... homework on Spring Break. Fun. While 75% of kids my age are off on some hot beach having a blast during their S.break... I was in rural NH, doing hw.

I did go out to a really really really REALLY awesome Italian restaurant with my family. It was a birthday gift. The bill for 5 people was over $170!!! Wow. After that we went to a Hockey Game. I love hockey. I love LAX too... I need to pick that sport up again. I also bought a new bike over break. I am stoked, it's really nice and there are a lot of local trails and I am going to be picking up biking riding a lot more in the near future. Also over break... I learned to cook! Yeah, before I went to college I had never cooked or done laundry, my mum always did it. Apparently I am a good chef.

Most importantly though... I was able to see J!!!! Actually a few times!!! It's funny... well not funny... but... I do not know. I see her and..... WOW. Sometimes when I am with her.... I wonder if she realizes that I am staring at her. I just stare at her and I am amazed at how beautiful she is. I talked to her many times on the phone and I never wanted to end the conversation. We could be talking about Lichens and I would be perfectly content. The small amount of time that I spent with her was awesome. I would be beaming with happiness on my way to see her... the entire time I was with her I would be all smiles... and when I left I would be extremely happy. Genuinely happy.

People tell me that I need to start to "get over her," but I just cannot... and I do not even know if I WANT TO! Because when she is around, I LIKE the feeling I get! Why would I want to "get over" that!?

Maybe I am just beating myself up here, because I am almost certain she does not want to get back together with me again... but yet I still "pine" after her. It's crazy. I even have dreams, and when I wake up... I am disappointed that it was only a dream. How can life be so ironic? I spend years looking for happiness, I find it, and it slips away. Why does this tear me up so badly? It's been almost 3 months, and I can honestly say that my feelings have intensified. I can be doing something, not even thinking about her, and then something will spark a memory of her. I might be going down some road that her and I had traveled down one day long ago... and that memory will come rushing back. I miss her. I miss her A LOT. I miss everything about her... I especially miss her smile. Even on my worst of all days... her smile would somehow brighten everything up. Even in the worse of fights... her smile was so disarming. There was something about it that made me feel like everything was perfect. Now... all I have is the void.

I need to stop this. This is the exact thing I am talking about. It consumes me.

It was a great vacation, and I am sad to be back.

Back to reality and responsibility.
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How to be a Democrat   
05:06pm 17/03/2004
  Twenty Ways to be a Good Modern Day Democrat

1.) You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.

2.) You have to believe that the same teacher who cannot teach 4th-graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

3.) You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-bidding Americans are more of a threat than US-nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese and North Korean communists.

4.) You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.

5.) You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical documented changes in the earth's climate and more affected my soccer moms driving SUV's.

6.) You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party fundraising by the Chinese government is somehow in the best interest of the United States.

7.) You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on demand.

8.) You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.

9.) You have to believe that hunters do not care about nature, but loony activists who have never been outside San Francisco do.

10.) You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

11.) You have to believe that the military, not corrupt politicians start wars.

12.) You have to believe that the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.

13.) You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.

14.) You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Ronald Reagan.

15.) You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.

16.) You have to believe that Hilary Clinton is normal and a very nice person.

17.) You have to believe that the only reason socialism has not worked anywhere it's been tried, is because the right people have not been in charge.

18.) You have to believe that conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and a sex offender belonged in the White House.

19.) You have to believe that killing animals is wrong, but putting metal spikes in trees for loggers to get killed by when their chainsaws hit it, is ok.

20.) You have to believe that this list is nothing more than a part of a vast, right wing conspiracy.
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Today I went to lunch....   
09:42pm 11/03/2004
mood: rejuvenated
Today I went to lunch....

Today I had lunch with my best-friend. The same friend that a mere 2 days ago I thought I would probably never get to see again thanks to my stupid little stunt.

It was so great seeing her again. She has a new haircut... and by george, I never thought it possible... but she got even MORE beautiful!! I was really nervous at first, but it all melted away and I felt exactly like I should have... like I was with a great friend I have known for years.

I miss it though... A LOT. I do not think I stopped smiling the entire meal... no... the entire DAY! I miss feeling that way. That sense of "being whole." Imagine my life as a pie. She was a piece of that pie. When it went away, I was no longer whole. Since then the pie has grown in overall size - but there is still that piece missing. And what is strange, is that I was always vaguely aware of this fact... but it was not until today that I became acutely aware of it.

However, I do not want to sound "doom and gloom." Not at all! I am EXTREMELY happy that I have even this much!!!! And I do not even know if there is even anything I can do to fix that sense of "imcompleteness" ... so why fret? I am happy that things are well, and have room to get even better.

So... yes.... I am VERY happy indeed.

PS: check out my post about ENVIRONMENTALISM below!!!! :)
Environmentalism = Doomsday cometh   
08:56pm 11/03/2004
mood: content
I was talking with a good friend today, and the subject eventually came around to the environment. Although we did not delve too far into the matter... the subject has been bouncing around in my head sufficiently enough to compel me to write a post regarding the up and coming "Doomsday."

Ecology and economics should push in the same direction. After all, the "eco" part of each word derives from the Greek word for "home", and leading experts of both fields claim to have the improvement of humanity's general welfare as their goal. Yet environmentalists and economists are often at loggerheads. For economists, the world seems to be getting better. For many environmentalists, it seems to be getting worse.

I visited a few of the leading environmentalist websites and I was able to identify 4 chief issues that they view as endangering the planet's future. These environmentalists, led by such veterans as Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University, and Lester Brown of the Worldwatch Institute, have developed a sort of "litany" of four big environmental fears:
--- Natural resources are running out.
--- The population is ever growing, leaving less and less to eat.
--- Species are becoming extinct in vast numbers: forests are disappearing and fish stocks are collapsing.
--- The planet's air and water are becoming ever more polluted.

In other words: human activity is defiling the earth, and humanity may end up killing itself in the process.

However, the more I investigated... the more I raised issue with those 4 arguments listed above. You see, the trouble is, the evidence does not back up this litany. First, energy and other natural resources have become more abundant, not less so since the Club of Rome published "The Limits to Growth" in 1972. Second, more food is now produced per head of the world's population than at any time in history. Fewer people are starving. Third, although species are indeed becoming extinct, only about 0.7% of them are expected to disappear in the next 50 years, not the 25-50% that was predicted by PETA a mere 4 years ago. And finally, most forms of environmental pollution either appear to have been exaggerated, or are transient-associated with the early phases of industrialization and therefore best cured not by restricting economic growth, but by accelerating it. One form of pollution - the release of greenhouse gases that causes global warming - does appear to be a long-term phenomenon, but its total impact is unlikely to pose a devastating problem for the future of humanity. A bigger problem may well turn out to be an inappropriate response to it.

Can things only get better? Take these four points one by one.

FIRST, the exhaustion of natural resources. The early environmental movement worried that the mineral resources on which modern industry depends would run out. Clearly, there must be some limit to the amount of fossil fuels and metal ores that can be extracted from the earth: the planet, after all, has a finite mass. But that limit is far greater than many environmentalists would have people believe. Even the more liberal Environmental Agencies of European countries (their version of America's EPA) have been compelled to dispel the claims of environmentalists. They have even felt the need to publish reports that show strategic resources are far from being exhausted.

Environmentalists far over-estimate the abilities that mining companies have at locating and extracting minerals from the earth. Reserves of natural resources have to be located, a process that costs a huge amount of money. That, not natural scarcity, is the main limit on their availability. However, known reserves of all fossil fuels, and of most commercially important metals, are now larger than they were when "The Limits to Growth" was published. In the case of oil, for example, reserves that could be extracted at reasonably competitive prices would keep the world economy running for about 150 years at present consumption rates. Add to that the fact that the price of solar energy has fallen by half in every decade for the past 30 years, and appears likely to continue to do so into the future, and energy shortages do not look like a serious threat either to the economy or to the environment.

The development for non-fuel resources has been similar. Cement, aluminum, iron, copper, gold, nitrogen and zinc account for more than 75% of global expenditure on raw materials. Despite an increase in consumption of these materials of between two- and ten-fold over the past 50 years, the number of years of available reserves has actually grown. Moreover, the increasing abundance is reflected in an ever-decreasing price: The Economist's index of prices of industrial raw materials has dropped some 80% in inflation-adjusted terms since 1845.

SECOND, the population explosion is also turning out to be a bugaboo. In 1968, Dr Ehrlich predicted in his best selling book, "The Population Bomb", that, "the battle to feed humanity is over. In the course of the 1970s the world will experience starvation of tragic proportions-hundreds of millions of people will starve to death."

That did not happen. Instead, according to the United Nations, agricultural production in the developing world has increased by 52% per person since 1961. The daily food intake in poor countries has increased from 1,932 calories, barely enough for survival, in 1961 to 2,650 calories in 1998, and is expected to rise to 3,020 by 2030. Likewise, the proportion of people in developing countries who are starving has dropped from 45% in 1949 to 18% today, and is expected to decline even further to 12% in 2010 and just 6% in 2030. Food, in other words, is becoming not scarcer but ever more abundant. This is reflected in its price. Since 1800 food prices have decreased by more than 90%, and in 2000, according to the World Bank, prices were lower than ever before.

The predictions of modern day environmentalists echo that made 170 years earlier by Thomas Malthus. Malthus claimed that, if unchecked, human population would expand exponentially, while food production could increase only linearly. He was wrong. Population growth has turned out to have an internal check: as people grow richer and healthier, they have smaller families. I checked out the UN's website and studies on world population growth. (Yes... not only did I visit the UN's site... I am taking some of their figures to support my case!) Indeed, the growth rate of the human population reached its peak, of more than 2% a year, in the early 1960s. The rate of increase has been declining ever since. It is now 1.26%, and is expected to fall to 0.46% in 2050. The United Nations estimates that most of the world's population growth will be over by 2100, with the population stabilizing at just below 11 billion.

Malthus also failed to take account of developments in agricultural technology. These have squeezed more and more food out of each hectare of land. Environmentalists often allow themselves to get so caught up in attacking humanity that they often underestimate the human predilection to ingenuity. It is this application of human ingenuity that has boosted food production, not merely in line with, but ahead of, population growth. It has also, incidentally, reduced the need to take new land into cultivation, thus reducing the pressure on biodiversity. Ouch - that has to hurt the environmentalists at their core.

THIRD, that threat of biodiversity loss. I will without any shame admit that I see this as a very real issue, but the argument is far over exaggerated by environmentalists. This time I take my figures from studies conducted my a consortium of the world's finest zoos, aquariums, wild reserves, and also with National Geographic. Environmentalists cite many facts and figures regarding the lost of biodiversity, however these are early estimates which used simple island models that linked a loss in habitat with a loss of biodiversity. A rule-of-thumb indicated that loss of 90% of forest meant a 50% loss of species. As rainforests seemed to be cut at alarming rates, estimates of annual species loss of 20,000-100,000 abounded. Many people expected the number of species to fall by half globally within a generation or two.

However, the data simply does not bear out these predictions. In the eastern United States, forests were reduced over two centuries to fragments totalling just 1-2% of their original area, yet this resulted in the extinction of only one forest bird. In Puerto Rico, the primary forest area has been reduced over the past 400 years by 99%, yet "only" seven of 60 species of bird has become extinct. All but 12% of the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest was cleared in the 19th century, leaving only scattered fragments. According to the rule-of-thumb, half of all its species should have become extinct. Yet, when the World Conservation Union and the Brazilian Society of Zoology analyzed all 291 known Atlantic forest animals, none could be declared extinct. Species, therefore, seem more resilient than expected. And tropical forests are not lost at annual rates of 2-4%, as many environmentalists have claimed: the latest UN figures indicate a loss of less than 0.5%.

FORTH, pollution is also exaggerated. Many analyses show that air pollution diminishes when a society becomes rich enough to be able to afford to be concerned about the environment. For London, the city for which the best data are available, air pollution peaked around 1890. Today, the air is cleaner than it has been since 1585. There is good reason to believe that this general picture holds true for all developed countries. And, although air pollution is increasing in many developing countries, they are merely replicating the development of the industrialized countries. When they grow sufficiently rich they, too, will start to reduce their air pollution.

All this contradicts the litany. Yet opinion polls suggest that many people, in the rich world, at least, nurture the belief that environmental standards are declining. Four factors cause this disjunction between perception and reality. One is the lopsidedness built into scientific research. Scientific funding goes mainly to areas with many problems. That may be wise policy, but it will also create an impression that many more potential problems exist than is the case. Secondly, environmental groups need to be noticed by the mass media. They also need to keep the money rolling in. Understandably, perhaps, they sometimes exaggerate. In 1997, for example, the Worldwide Fund for Nature issued a press release entitled, "Two-thirds of the world's forests lost forever". The truth turns out to be nearer 20%. Though these groups are run overwhelmingly by selfless folk, they nevertheless share many of the characteristics of other lobby groups. That would matter less if people applied the same degree of skepticism to environmental lobbying as they do to lobby groups in other fields. A trade organization arguing for, say, weaker pollution controls is instantly seen as self-interested. Yet a green organization opposing such a weakening is seen as altruistic, even if a dispassionate view of the controls in question might suggest they are doing more harm than good.

A third source of confusion is the attitude of the media. People are clearly more curious about bad news than good. Newspapers and broadcasters are there to provide what the public wants. That, however, can lead to significant distortions of perception. An example was America's encounter with El Nino in 1997 and 1998. This climatic phenomenon was accused of wrecking tourism, causing allergies, melting the ski-slopes and causing 22 deaths by dumping snow in Ohio. A more balanced view comes from a recent article in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. This tries to count up both the problems and the benefits of Enough for all the 1997-98 Nino. The damage it did was estimated at $4 billion. However, the benefits amounted to some $19 billion. These came from higher winter temperatures (which saved an estimated 850 lives, reduced heating costs and diminished spring floods caused by meltwaters), and from the well-documented connection between past Ninos and fewer Atlantic hurricanes. In 1998, America experienced no big Atlantic hurricanes and thus avoided huge losses. These benefits were not reported as widely as the losses.

The fourth factor is poor individual perception. People worry that the endless rise in the amount of stuff everyone throws away will cause the world to run out of places to dispose of waste. Yet, even if America's trash output continues to rise as it has done in the past, and even if the American population doubles by 2100, all the rubbish America produces through the entire 21st century will still take up only the area of a square, each of whose sides measures 18 miles. That is just one-12,000th of the area of the entire United States. Ignorance matters only when it leads to faulty judgments. But fear of largely imaginary environmental problems can divert political energy from dealing with real ones. The table, showing the cost in the United States of various measures to save a year of a person's life, illustrates the danger. Some environmental policies, such as reducing lead in petrol and sulphur-dioxide emissions from fuel oil, are very cost-effective. But many of these are already in place. Most environmental measures are less cost-effective than interventions aimed at improving safety (such as installing air-bags in cars) and those involving medical screening and vaccination. Some are absurdly expensive. Yet a false perception of risk may be about to lead to errors more expensive even than controlling the emission of benzene at tyre plants. Carbon-dioxide emissions are causing the planet to warm. The best estimates are that the temperature will rise by some 2°-3°C in this century, causing considerable problems, almost exclusively in the developing world, at a total cost of $5,000 billion. Getting rid of global warming would thus seem to be a good idea. The question is whether the cure will actually be more costly than the ailment.

Despite the intuition that something drastic needs to be done about such a costly problem, economic analyses clearly show that it will be far more expensive to cut carbon-dioxide emissions radically than to pay the costs of adaptation to the increased temperatures. The effect of the Kyoto Protocol on the climate would be minuscule, even if it were implemented in full. A model by Tom Wigley, one of the main authors of the reports of the UN Climate Change Panel, shows how an expected temperature increase of 2.1°C in 2100 would be diminished by the treaty to an increase of 1.9°C instead. Or, to put it another way, the temperature increase that the planet would have experienced in 2094 would be postponed to 2100. So the Kyoto agreement does not prevent global warming, but merely buys the world six years. Yet, the cost of Kyoto, for the United States alone, will be higher than the cost of solving the world's single most pressing health problem: providing universal access to clean drinking water and sanitation. Such measures would avoid 2m deaths every year, and prevent half a billion people from becoming seriously ill. And that is the best case. If the treaty were implemented inefficiently, the cost of Kyoto could approach $1 trillion, or more than five times the cost of worldwide water and sanitation coverage. For comparison, the total global-aid budget today is about $50 billion a year.

To replace the litany with facts is crucial if people want to make the best possible decisions for the future. Of course, rational environmental management and environmental investment are good ideas-but the costs and benefits of such investments should be compared to those of similar investments in all the other important areas of human endeavor. It may be costly to be overly optimistic-but more costly still to be too pessimistic. John Kerry may appeal to our "touchy-feely" side and speak to our green side, but his closeness to environmentalists is something to be fearful of. Being environmental is good... but it has gone way too far.
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12:07am 10/03/2004
  S: "You know, there was a time when I would not hurt a fly... but then war came to my village. That showed me that if there is one constant in the whole universe... it is death. Afterwards, I began to realize that it did not really matter. We're all going to die sometime, it is just a question of how and when. You will too my friend. Aren't you beginning to feel time gaining on you? It is like a predator... it's stalking you. Oh, you can try and out run it with doctors, medicines, and new technologies, but in the end time is going to hunt you down... and make the kill."

T: "It's our mortality that defines us... it is part of the truth of our existance."

****************** some years later, talking to someone else about getting older****************************

T: "Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives..... But I rather believe, that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey. It reminds us to cherish every moment - because it will never come again..... What we leave beind is not as important as how we've lived."
07:48pm 09/03/2004
mood: listless
So yeah....


Yesterday was my birthday. I didn't end up going to Boston due to the weather.... but I still went out to a local bar to buy my first legal drink. My first drink was Magarita on the rocks. That was pretty good. I also got an appitizer (you'll see later that it was a mistake) I also had some Sambuca which was VERY strong... and I dunno whatelse there was.... but then I do remember the bartender brings a shot over to me and he told me that the guys across the bar had found out that it was my birthday and had bought me that shot. So I took it... it was wiskey. I never have had wiskey. I thought my mouth was on fire. You know that burnt feeling your get on your tongue after a sip of really hot coffee? Yeah that's what I got from that drink. Ouch. After that drink I was a lost cause.

I HATE being drunk. I very rarely ever drink and last night I was the most drunk that I have ever been. I hate it so much. Why people find losing complete control of their own bodies is some sort of "fun" elludes me. And the after effects.....

yeah... hang overs.

Which I have right now! YAY! This is worth the few hours of fun yesterday! Ugh.

So I have had my yearly "drunkeness." And what else comes with 21? I get to gamble... gotta have money to do that, so that's out of the question. OH! I do get to buy a handgun now! But I would need money for that too. Oh well. 21 is no big deal, and is highly overrated.

Other than that... a few more days until vacation. Which I am surprisingly really not looking forward too.

The whole thing with the other night is still pretty depressing. I have no idea how it was interpretted/thoughts/comments etc... Like I said, I am going to give it as much time as need be.... but that certainly does not make this any easier. Who knows maybe what I am looking/hoping for will never happen, and I need to stop hoping all together. It was almost like - the harder I tried, the worse things got. Go figure. Caring (or caring TOO much to be more precise) drove me to fuck things up. And of course, I cannot help but think about what I potentially have lost here. Ugh... all of this sucks indeed. I miss the old days... when I felt like I had a true friend. Maybe I could still feel that way if I had not been so eager and so gun-ho. I really screwed things up. I had the best intentions... I really did... but damn it.... here I was saying that so many things had changed, that I had grown up, matured, and I go off and make such a stupid move. The thing that really gets me is that, I think what I had to say was extremely important, and very meaningful....but damn it.... all of it got lost in the stunt.

Also thanks to Spracker. I dunno know who you are, but what you said was very nice. Thank you. Also - thanks to everyone who wished me happy birthday yesterday! :-D

With that I am going to drink some coffee... and take an asprin. YAY!
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It's My Birthday!   
03:45pm 08/03/2004
mood: cheerful

Last night we went out and tried to buy my first LEGAL alcoholic product... but apparently in NH there is a law that saw alcohol cannot be sold after 11:45 PM.


I am going to Boston tonight!!! It should be a good change of pace.... especially lately.

Speaking of that... she's speaking to me. Which I suppose is a good start. It's hard to guage her reaction to the whole thing, but I am not going to be pushy and I will give it as much time as needed.

I cannot believe I am 21.... so damn old!!!!!!

I will update about tonight later!

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Thomas's Most Monumental Disaster   
01:02am 06/03/2004
mood: crushed
Tonight... wow... tonight........ **sigh**

Perhaps tonight I was able to achieve my most monumental disaster. My hands literally shake as I right this....

Lately, current events in life have driven me to do a lot of thinking and soul searching in regards to my ex-girlfriend. This was compounded by one of the most incredibly powerful dreams I have ever had. I had a dream about her that is indescribable in words, it was the most "real" dream I have ever had. It was not sexual, or even touch-intensive, but the emotions that I felt were as real as the ones I feel while awake. In the dream we kissed......... and I swear to you that it was as real as it could ever get.

I immediately awoke from the dream... and I realized that it was only a dream. Then I was filled with an intense emotion... I was terrified. I was terrified that it was only a dream. Because I was filled with something that since that day that we broke up, I had never truly and completely felt........ I felt utterly alone.

All of this caused me to constantly think about everything and about her. I was sleeping poorly, and then one morning I was shuffling through my desk when I came upon a very old letter that she had written to me. I read it..... and it completely consumed me. Everything that had been going on lately, in tandem with this, shook me at my very core.

So I sat down to write her a letter of my own, which I finished tonight. I felt so passionately in what I had written that I could not wait another minute to give it to her. I was going home that night, and I decided that I would make a small detour and deliver the letter to her in person...... however mind you......... This was at 12:15AM.

I pulled into her driveway and I threw a small snowball to her bedroom window to get her attention. And then it happened..... she came to the window.

I lost it.

Only a mere 5 seconds prior, I was so sure of what I was doing, so sure of what I had to say and so sure of my resolve.... But I lost it. I lost everything - my resolve, my sureness in what I had to say and I also lost WHAT I wanted to say. Because at that moment, as I looked up at her.... I could only think of one thing..... Just how beautiful she truly was. Before I could pull myself together and say something, she beat me to it, "What the hell are you doing here!? It is 30 past Midnight! Have you lost your senses?!?" I was so damn nervous, and already off to a bad start, that I was barely able to utter ANYTHING... let alone what I had planned to say.

She reluctantly came to the door and told me I had 90 seconds to explain myself because this was extremely sketchy and creepy. I not only had to explain just how earnestly I wanted to give this letter to her, but also that it was in no way "crazy or creepy."

I failed miserably. I stammered and stuttered through my words and I lost all chance of saying the heart-felt words I had down cold not 2 minutes prior. I gave her the letter, but it only made me look crazier. I tried to explain that I was not being crazy or nutty… that I had never felt more sure of something in my life. But I don’t think any of that came across.

I left her house feeling like not only had I made an unbelievably monumental failure of myself... but that I had just lost the one thing I had hoped to save - her love.

Maybe it was extremely nutty of me... maybe it was crazy of me to do it. I certainly understand how she could see it that way. When I drove there I was so sure of this decision. I knew that there was a time when she knew me, that I could go to her and tell her that something was extremely important and I needed her to listen. Not only would she listen, but she would never question my sense of urgency or intensity. I had hoped that this would be another one of those times..... I do not think it was.

I drove home and I am here writing this now.... and I can think about is how horribly I managed to destroy this. I promise you, I went there with no intention to make it some dramatic stand! I did not go there to win back her heart and to be able to love her again! I did not go there to be creepy or crazy. I only went there to express everything that had been accumulating, building and intensifying. I did not want to make it some giant drama scene... but not only did it probably come off that way, but as a crazy dramatic scene.

The entire ride home I was forced to think about this, to question everything and to think of the "what-ifs?" Every possible pathway, every possible decision... all of them had to be explored. As I sit here, I realize that, in all probability, I just completely lost not only a chance at her love.............. but her friendship.

I monumentally failed tonight.

I told you that when I awoke from that dream, that I was filled with an intense sense of loneliness..... Not only do I feel the same way now................... but it is joined with the crushing emotion of despair.
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Incipit Vita Nuova   
01:14pm 04/03/2004
mood: contemplative

I was reading poetry for class, and I came across a line that took my breathe away... how true it really is....

"In quella parte del libro della mia memoria, dinanzi alla quale poco si potrebbe leggere, si trova una rubrica, la quale dice: Incipit Vita Nuova." -Dante Alighieri

English Translation:
"In that book which is my memory - on the first page, of the chapter that is the day I first met you; appear the words, "Here begins a New Life."

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Health Care Crisis!!!!   
10:25pm 03/03/2004
mood: productive
To: Presidential-Hopeful John Kerry
From: Thomas F. Whiting
Re: Health-Care Reform
Note: Confidential Memo/For Your Eyes Only!

Senator Kerry,

Bad news. Forget about health care reform if elected.

I learned a great deal over the last several weeks about our so called health-care crisis in America. I will share my thoughts, but be warned that you may not like them.

Ok, 35 million Americans do not have health-care insurance. But guess what? That is misleading. Of that figure, 10 million do not have health-care plans because they are rich enough to not need it, 5 million are temporarily or illegally here in America and thus ineligible, 3 million do not have health-care plans because they believe in "natural herbal medicine." So there are 17 million truly without health-care plans in America. However, this does not mean they are without health care. Through government-supported health-care facilities, poor people do get treatment. They often line up in crowded emergency rooms, but they get treated, and the overall quality of the care is good.

One the other hand, 235 million Americans do have health-care insurance. Hope this does not get out, but some Democrats question the wisdom of scrapping a system that performs fine for 85% to "save" the other 15%.

Another thing: Gallup Polling in unison with Zogby Polling finds that only 20% or 25% of Americans cited health care as a primary concern; most cared more about the economy. But now polls show a majority of Americans concerned about health care. Could it be that CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN and CNBC’s "health-care crisis" bombardment stirred up dissatisfaction with a system most people liked? Odd that the same poll found that people were quite satisfied with their current doctor. (Nobody likes Congress, but people like their congressperson. Our schools stink, but parents love their own kids’ schools. People!)

Something else. Remember that analogy between the Canadian and the American health-care systems? Yes, Canada does spend less than 8 percent of GDP on health car vs. our 14.5 percent. But we spend more on our elderly population than the Canadians do. This kicks up the cost because 30 percent of health-care dollars for an individual are spent in the final years of life.

We have 6 million regular drug abusers, 30,000 homicides yearly, 200,000 diagnosed cases of AIDS, 13,000 crack babies are born yearly, and alcohol abuse costing more lost work time and money than any other drug. Twenty percent of adults smoke, and among young women, cigarette smoking is increasing.

With hundreds of thousands of Jane Fonda work out tapes sold and Jenny Craig outlets popping up all over the place, Americans still overeat. Our consumption of fat, cholesterol, and sugar remains the highest in the world. Most Americans get no or inadequate exercise. These are behaviour-conscious acts that have precious little to do with greedy doctors, drug gouging companies, or an "indifferent government."

Another thing. Why in a society of nearly 260 million Americans, are there only 500,000 doctors? We have twice that many lawyers. Well, it seems that the American Medical Association, with the support of overzealous state lawmakers, have artificially and intentionally limited the number of doctors produced by medical schools. For every med school applicant who gets in, there are four qualified applicants turned down. Even crazier, a lot of medical students who are accepted are from foreign countries. Med schools like them because, unlike American students, they pay full tuition - no grants or loans. Better yet, they graduate, they go home - at least they’re supposed to - posing no competition to the Yanks. Imagine what would happen if we dumped another 500,000 docs on the population. Next thing, they’d advertise, drive down prices, and end up taking cabs to work, just like some lawyers have to do! Democrats also clip the wings of nurses and physician assistants, who, if law allowed, could fix broken bones, prescribe drugs, conduct annual check-ups, and all at lower cost.

Democrats talked about price controls, but it is hard to find an economist who agrees with them. The only one I can think of is Dr Laura Tyson and she worked for you! How can price controls work? When you tell people they can only earn so much, they ration their services, lower quality, or both. Limit what drug companies can charge, and they will spend less on research and development rather than cut their profit margin. This could kill one of the few American industries that still leads in the international marketplace.

Besides, the gov’t already plays a huge role in health-care. Did you know that through Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs, the gov’t already pays nearly 40% of all health care costs? Some even say that this heavy gov’t involvement in health-care has caused much of the rise in health-care costs. What about the dreaded malpractice-fearing "defensive medicine?" It adds maybe 1% to the bill. Ditto for "skyrocketing drug prices" 3% at most.

See, when people don’t pay for things, demand soars. Last month somebody said, "When you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul, you can always count on the support of Paul." Democrats don’t find that funny. Well here’s more bad news, it turns out that last year health-care costs rose only about 4 percent-just slightly higher than the inflation rate. Trends suggest that our health-care costs are going down, not up. In fact, many big companies and smaller companies have already joined to pressure doctors, hospitals and drug companies to reduce prices, lest they take their business elsewhere.

So there you have it. An aging, health-care consuming population with bad health habits, an artificially depressed supply of doctors, and 40% of health-care dollars paid by the taxpayers. Given this, what’s the best possible health-care plan? I’m afraid, John, we’ve pretty much got it.

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With a Bounce in My Step!   
11:11pm 02/03/2004
mood: loved
I was feeling kinda down. School has been so demanding lately and I am getting sick of it. Anyway, just as I am about to throw something across the room.... I get an IM from the best friend. It was so great to hear from her again. We've both been so busy. I miss her. Go from seeing a person every weekend during school - to NEVER seeing them... it's tough. :(

But it was such a "pick-me-up" to hear from her!!!!!

lately, she's been showing in horse competitions. I'm so proud of her. She's come such a long way since 2 years ago. That girl is going places =) Her and I are gonna hang out over vacation! YIPPIE!

Today I did something very irresponsible today - I "screwed" homework and went to Bingo. lol. It was fun as always, but none of us won. :( Surprise surprise.

My parents are moving - they are going to build a new house in Alton. lol - just as I was bemoaning that everytime I go home, I feel more and more like a stranger... this house... this house will not even be MY house. Sadness.

I am going to see the Strokes in concert! YIPPIE!

Ok - I really need to ace tomorrow's test!
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Tossin' & Turnin'   
11:59pm 01/03/2004
mood: awake
I have not updated in awhile...

Today I went to Boston. I went to a Food Expo. You pay $25 to get in (The Hynes Convention Center) and your mouth has access to over 250 food venders, all offering different types of amazing food. I have never had so much food in my life. Incredible. Absolutely incredible.

Everything has been going well lately... I am going on spring vacation in two weeks, and strangely enough... I am NOT looking forward to it at all. Going home, well I do not know if I can even call it "home" anymore. At least that's how I feel. I feel like more of a guest in that house than anything else. A guest who still has chores though. lol. But things between my parents and I have been getting considerably better lately. Still, I don't even have the same room I grew up in. I am tucked away in a tiny guest room. I really want to go somewhere... but cost. It is all about cash.

Speaking of cash.... a new car. Yes, I have sat down and figured out the way to the new car.

2004 Mazda 3 - final price (the one I am looking at) = $15,000
1.) I need a higher paying job
2.) I would like roughly $2,000 in the bank for a down payment (which will be saved primarily during summer)
3.) I am going to have to have $$ for registration and inspection
4.) Monthly payments would be $150-200. I would be forced to pay half of my insurance = $100.
5.) That means $300 a month for car bills.
6.) Working during school I do not want to work more than 18hrs a week. A $9 per hr job is $648 a month.

However - there is a problem. I am not going to able to buy this thing until senior year. Spring semester of Junior year I am going to England. Not only would it be suicide to save up all summer, and not be able to spend it in England, I would paying for a car I was not driving! So the summer after studying abroad I will save and at the end, I will buy the car. At which point I would also be eligible for $500 off the price of the car from a student program they have.

Other than that - hw. HW. HW. HW. Just as you get caught up, you fall behind.

Lately I have not been sleeping well. Waking up at all hours, having strange dreams, tossing and turning.... **sigh** Been doing a lot of thinking... anyway

I'm gonna cut out b/c I am tired and not very chipper.
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This one goes out to Captain Ahab   
10:24am 27/02/2004
mood: pensive
"And he piled upon the whale's white hump, the sum of all rage and hate felt by his whole race. If his chest had been a cannon... he would have shot his heart upon it." - Herman Melville

In the mid-nineteenth century a fairly obscure writer wrote one of history's most powerful and insightful books. Herman Melville's Moby Dick, dealt with issues of hate, ambition, control, power and most importantly, revenge. Melville wrote of Ahab who was captain of a whaling ship. Many years prior a great white sperm whale attacked Ahab as he and his ship attempted to harpoon it. The attack left him badly injured and he spent over a year in an infirmary. Once back on the sea, Ahab spent years hunting the white whale that had crippled him. His quest for vengeance drove him to the ends of the earth in search of his nemesis. Yet, in the end, it destroyed him and his ship.

Moby Dick's examination of the human predilection to seek revenge was poignant. In the end, revenge was not a part of Ahab - Ahab was revenge. It embodied him and defined him. Ahab was so motivated by his quest to extract pain onto the whale, motivated to gain dominance on his perceived rival... motivated to place revenge before all else to win. The book raised the important questions of - what role does the desire to win have on a person? When does the need to overcome a misdeed turn into a need to extract revenge? Can revenge consume you to the point that you are no longer whole without that need to beat your rival?

Indeed - it is easy to argue that Ahab had to die. The need for revenge was so entwined in the very fiber of his being, that had he successfully killed the white whale, he would had no longer had anything to live for. Assuming that Ahab achieved his long sought after victory - would it not have been a hollow victory at that? In fact - is there victory in revenge? To fulfill your revenge - are you not allowing the same hatred done onto you, to consume and drive you? The desire to get, "one up on your opponent" can be so great at times, that not only do you lose sight of your original purpose... you lose yourself. I am most certain... there is no victory in revenge.

However, I do differ on one issue with Melville. One of Melville's core arguments is that once revenges roots itself - the individual is lost and consumed by it. Melville was highly skeptical of a person's ability to change. He believed that it was nearly impossible for a person to change their true self. I tend disagree. I believe it is not only possible, but human nature. The ability to change, grow and evolve is one of Humanity's most admirable qualities. That a person, who has said or done such horrible things, cannot only recognize this fault, but take steps to change it, is most incredible. Evolution is not restricted to the species level... no.... it most certainly also occurs on the individual level. Those consumed with revenge, are not necessarily destined to follow in the steps of Captain Ahab... but only after they see that revenge is a negative sum game.

With that - I end my "deep" thought of the day.

Go hunt your whale Captain Ahab.............. go hunt your whale......
"The Power of Christ Compels Me!" PART 2   
11:15pm 26/02/2004
mood: rejuvenated
Today was AWESOME!!!

Ok I'll start off first with Passion. I went and saw the movie.

Here is my review:

***** 5 Stars out of 5

Passion certainly has been all of the media and the topic of a lot of conversations. There was certainly no shortage of controversy sounding everything from the title, to the subject matter, to percieved anti-semetism, and especially the extreme violence. And if there was one thing that i was "dissappointed with" was the LACK of controversy. I am not a religous person. I know very little of the Bible's teaching, and I resent a lot of religous implications in society. Yet, Passion transended all of that. I cannot remember any time during the movie that I felt like I was being preached too. Not once did I role my eyes at some comment made. Although there are some historically famous religious lines spoken, "Father, why have you forsaken me?" They're in there to add to the plot and quality of the movie - not to preach the benifit of any religion over another. The argument that religious movies somehow do not belong in public - and should be resticted to viewing in religious meeting places only is crap. Indeed, this movie's focus had everything to do with god, religion and Christ. Yet, they are only ideas. Only beliefs. It is important for society to debate this and for each person to come away with their own beliefs. I went into this movie knowing that the only way to "get something" out of the movie - I needed to be open minded. I was not offended by the subject matter. The claim that this was an "anti-Jew" movie, as never really materialized. Granted the people that condemned Christ were Jewish - but EVERYONE was Jewish, including Christ. Some sent Christ to his death... while others helped and comforted him. The Jewish characters were not potrayed in a needlessly negative manner. Those negative Jewish characters were balanced by the positive ones. This was one of the most artistic movies I have ever seen. The acting was amazing. The directing, amazing. The soundtrack, amazing. Everything worked together perfectly.

Lastly - the violence. Is it appropriate to say that this was the most violent movie I have ever seen? Yes and No. The movie was violent like in Braveheart where you see arms, legs and heads chopped off. The movie was not filled with violence... well for violence sake. All of the violence if the Passion added to the movie. But yes... it was horribly violent. It was incedible to see how people could be so violent to one man... so immune to pain and suffering. In one scene the Romans are whipping Christ. The whip has hooks at the end of it. The end of the whip literally hooks into the skin and rips flesh out. The nailing of Christ to the cross... all unbelievably violent and heart renching. Certainly not a "feel good" movie.

The movie was a must see. True or not; believe in it or not; it was one of the most brilliantly directed movies ever. There is one sceen where the screen goes black... I have never heard a movie theater as quiet as that one. Incredible.


Ok I also had a blast cart wrangling tonight **wink** ;) LOL!

Tomorrow I am heading to Concord to bring the sis out to lunch for her B.day. Should be fun. This weekend is going to be crazy - I want to go home but I don't think I am gonna have the time. I am working tomorrow night and Sat afternoon. Other than that - nothing. I might go to Boston Sunday.

I was suppose to post that political rant about "Job Loss" - but not tonight. It's coming... and it's good. Anyway - great day! :)
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All I can say - wow.   
11:00am 26/02/2004
mood: impressed
Wow - yesterday was absolutely flat out crazy.

83 comments were posted. Good God! That has to be some kind of LJ record or something!

Although it ended in a rather negative and disappointing manner (those of you who did not see it at the time will never see it - I was forced to delete the last 3 posted comments.) Although the ending sucked, I think over-all something was accomplished. However, the price of getting there was far too much - but live and learn.

I doubt I will ever be able to drum up such passion on my LJ again... and I do not think that is a bad thing.

All I can say.... wow.
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You Offend Me   
05:15pm 25/02/2004
mood: cynical
I am going to ask you all to give your honest opinion on something....

With all joking and silliness aside - are the comments below truly racist or are they "only humorous observation on society?" You decide:

- "I hate nigger hair! It's so gross! It's like pubic hair!"

- "So I was talking on AIM to my friend and when she told me that she had a friend in the room who was a midget - I started typing in big letters "MIDGET" "DWARF" "FREAK" and so on! It was so funny! Midgets are freaky!"

- "Black people are monkeys!"

- "How many Jews can you fit in a sedan? 2 in the front, 3 in the back and 25 in the ash tray!"

ALL of this was said by a person I know. I thought they were all extremely hateful, bigoted and RACIST - so I spoke up said something. Mind you - the above is a SHORT list of the racist jokes I was told. Some of these comments were said in a high voice in my room - with two African American males two doors down the hall.... the person making the comments was FULLY aware of that fact. I was told that the comments were only jokes and that they were not serious. "I like saying the word "nigger!" Because I love the shock value it causes! It's just a stupid word - why do they get so bend out of shape!?" Yeah - that statement was actually made by this person. Also... the two guys down the hall HEARD this. Now I look like a complete asshole.

So... was I over reacting when I told this person that I thought they were racist? Were the comments just "jokes" and I am being far too serious? Or, am I correct in my thinking that what was said is not only racist - but it is truly some of the most hatefully ignorant slander a person could speak? Am I being idealistic when I wish for a world when finally race does not matter?

Personally I think that those comments are HORRIBLE. I cannot believe that people like that still exist. It was surreal... almost like a KKK member was right before me saying this shit. We've all said off-colored jokes or comments... but the difference is, this person MEANT IT. They believe that it is ok to say comments like that... that is ok to completely tear another human being down b/c they do not have your skin color. And they have the gall to claim that it's only humor. Can you honestly justify it as only humor? And even if it is only humor - does that make it right? Can criticizing something that another person has no control over really only be chalked up to humor?

Those comments were serious - no matter what they say. They were evil and unbelievably cruel. The reason they were told was not out of humor - but out of complete ignorance. It is disgusting. Completely disgusting. I just can't help wondering if this person is so insecure in themselves - have so low self-esteem - that the only way to feel "better" is to be the biggest bastard to others that you possibly can be?

But that is what I think - all of you are free to make your own decision.
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