Kelinci Hutan
19 January 2014 @ 12:44 pm
Our sermon today was about how God can make good things out of bad ones. "Every negative has a positive." Which is true. And the ultimate example of this is, obviously, Jesus' death. Definitely the most profound negative in history.

But that got me thinking. Because the positive out of that is, obviously, redemption and salvation. Which is the most profound positive possible for the believer. But what does God get out of this?


...And that's it. Other than that, I can't think of anything.

So, it isn't just that God loves you and it isn't just that He wants to redeem people to Himself. It's that God takes so much joy in His people that the most profound negative in history was deemed worth it because it brought us back to Him, even though it accomplished no other end.

If ever you need a reason to smile, I think that's a pretty good one.
Location: Ivy Manor
Music: "The Kraken" - Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest by Hans Zimmer
Kelinci Hutan
05 May 2010 @ 07:52 pm
So, [ profile] crisiks has talked me into doing a meme that involves actually recording me talking some. Now you will know what I sound like IRL! AUGH! Also, it took me forever to upload this file since I don't like LJ's voice post system and so I had to find somewhere to upload a media file. Blah. The questions for the meme are posted below.

Click on Me!

Voice posts are fun, right? You get to hear funny accents if your friends are from far, far away. All we really want is to hear your voice, we don't care what you're saying. So here's a list of typical meme questions that would otherwise be boring, but when communicated aloud - well, it's entertaining. Answer these questions in your post, and encourage others with voice-posting abilities to do the same.

1) What's your name?
2) How old are you?
3) Where are you from? Are you living there right now?
4) Is it cold where you are?
5) What's the time?
6) What are you wearing?
7) What was the last thing you listened to?
8) What was the last thing you ate?
9) What was the last thing you watched on tv?
10) What's your favorite tv show? Why?
11) Quick! Find a book, or something with text on it! Flip to a random page and read some of it! GO!
12) What was the last movie you saw? How was it?
13) Do YOU think you have an accent? Talk about that.
Location: Ivy Manor
Mood: good
Kelinci Hutan
26 March 2010 @ 10:45 am
I'm mostly sticking this here so I can find it again. Basically, these are a couple of good articles on the "who's getting the worse threats" political football that's being tossed around at the moment. Here and here.
Mood: interested
Location: Ivy Manor
Kelinci Hutan
20 March 2010 @ 01:58 pm
Okay, so after doing some reading around I have discovered this article which explains the Slaughter Rule in a better way than the previous links. Apparently, rather than entirely hijacking the governmental processes, it's more like a fantastically hilarious legislative gymnastic contortion.

Here is the problem: The Senate has passed its HCR bill. If the House passes the same bill, it goes on to the president; once he signs it, the bill becomes law. But House Democrats, when they vote for the Senate bill using the "Deem & Pass" dodge, also want to simultaneously pass a package of amendments to the law. Except HCR will not, at that point, be law. It will only become law when the president signs it. Congress can amend the law -- it does so all the time -- but can it amend something that isn't law?

So there you have it. And so that I'm being clear, this is a retraction of my previous statement of totalitarianism. Granted, I'm still frowning heavily in Pelosi's general direction, but the rule is not quite so bad as I had initially supposed.

Update, 2:55 PM - And apparently, the whole plan to use this rule is dead now anyway.
Mood: interested
Location: Ivy Manor
Kelinci Hutan
23 February 2010 @ 01:42 pm
I'm not going to post any further in this thread, but ZoZo, who I usually like fine, has managed to try and make the argument that "pro-choice" is also "pro-life" and "pro-life" is really "anti-choice."

As usual, it's just as stupid as always, but rather than posting further there, since that drama will blow over fairly quickly if I don't, I'll just vent my spleen in my LJ. Being as that's what it's for and all.

And no, I have no intentions of being nice here. Skip this entry if that will bother you. )

What this really boils down to? "It's okay when I do it, but not when you do." It's entitlement. Pro-choicers are mad that the pro-life movement has the audacity to continue to exist after they've repeatedly told us not to. Now--far too late, by the way--they're realizing that "pro-life" has a much better ring to it and is more rhetorically powerful, so they are desperately trying to redefine the movement. They're going to fail for two reasons. 1. Pro-lifers are in the majority now. 2. This focus on "choice" leaves the terribly serious charge of, "Dude, you're killing human beings." to stand unanswered.

This is not a road the pro-choice movement wants to go down. The obvious rhetorical retaliatiation to "anti-choice" is "anti-life," and it's cropping up more and more commonly as "anti-choice" becomes more firmly established. If they lost the last choice/life rhetoric fight, they're really going to loose this one, and loose it hard.
Location: Ivy Manor
Kelinci Hutan
19 January 2010 @ 08:28 pm
So, I'm watching the Massachusetts election results and Scott Brown is winning. Which is weird because Massachusetts is really, really Democrat. Even weirder because the last man elected to this particular Senate spot was...Ted Kennedy.

So, the news people are going on about how this is a referendum on the Obama administration and how people are Not HappyTM with what it's doing. In fact, it was described as "neo-monarchical" and "arrogant." The people in DC think they are smarter than The People, they know better than The People, and they will decide for The People whether The People like it or not. And I think that's a pretty accurate description of the attitudes that you see from some of the higher up politicians and their "progressive" supporters.

On the other hand, this same crew is applying this as a broader referendum on the Democratic party in general and predicting a wild swing back to the GOP. In this I think they are mistaken.

See, everybody knows that Brown is very much a "New England Republican." He's sort of Conservative, but he's not that Conservative. And people are mad at some of the Democrats, but not all of them.

I think this a referendum on politics in general. And I think the message is that people are freakin' pissed. There are two groups emmerging in politics lately that are going to change everything. The first is the Progressives. Progressives tend to be Democrats, but they aren't exclusively so. The second is the Tea Party. They don't tend to be politicians at all, but voters. And they aren't really voting along party lines. And lately, Progressives and Tea Partiers have been fighting like cats and dogs.

2010 is going to be a fun year.
Location: Ivy Manor
Mood: interested
Kelinci Hutan
24 November 2009 @ 03:36 pm
I was, earlier, looking at my copy of Switchfoot's Nothing Is Sound album and thinking about the lyrics to "The Shadow Proves The Sunshine." And I love that song because it's fun and all, but also because the title is kind of telling. Shadows can't exist without sunshine. Sunshine is totally fine without shadows.

Which is my whole problem with moral dualism, where you would say that "good can't exist without evil." This is something C.S. Lewis wrote about a lot, and even Tolkien slipped it into Lord of the Rings. But to boil the problem with this assertion down, everything morally wrong is a perversion of a moral good or moral neutral. Stealing is a perversion of just wanting something. Revenge is a perversion of justice. Hatred is a perversion of anger (which is not morally wrong on its own). However, all those good things can stand on their own. People can want and get things without being thieves. Justice is carried out without being revenge. Anger occurs without hatred. Evil's existence requires good to be present. Good's existence is under no such constraints.

But I realized today that the same problem exists with existential dualism, where you might say that "you can't truly appreciate being happy unless you've been truly sad."

Yes, you can.

This problem happens on two levels. First off, lots of people are happy without suffering to get there. In fact, people who go through episodes of major depression are more likely to go through another later on, not less. Clearly being sad does not help one to be more happy in the future.

Second, when you're really, properly happy, you're not thinking about how horrible [experience] was. It's a poor sort of happiness in which you must constantly remind yourself to enjoy it as much as possible because things have sucked in the past/will suck in the future. That's a buzz-kill more than anything else. It certainly doesn't make things more cheerful, or help you better appreciate good moments. To be properly happy, you don't need anything but to be happy. And if you've been sad in the past, a really, genuinely good moment won't be one where you're constantly bouying yourself up with subconscious reminders that this experience is so much better than that other experience. It will be one that drives the sad experience out of your head entirely for a time.

So no, you don't need sad to properly appreciate happy. You don't need depressed to properly appreciate joyful. You don't need evil to have good.
Mood: philosophical
Location: Underground
Kelinci Hutan
This evening, it being Spring Break, and me not having left Auburn yet, I ended up watching the pilot episode for the new NBC show "Kings." It was...well, read on.

Spoilers ahead! )
Mood: weird