Frustrating Paradox

The debate left me annoyed. But it also left me with these little contradictory boils that have been festering for the last couple days:

  • People blindly recite that Kerry has no record, yet turn a blind eye to Bush’s record over just the last 4 years.
  • Fundemental Christianity seems to be the biggest proponent for, and biggest threat to democracy.
  • Republicans are interested in Foreign Policy
  • John Kerry is Far-Left (see political compass ).
  • The security of America lies overseas.
  • The Democrats look like fiscal conservatives.
  • Bush wants to know how Kerry is going to pay for stuff

It appears to me that the ditto-head is still very much alive and well.

Winged Migration

Though there was very little said during Winged Migration, I’m fairly certain its one of the best movies, of any genre, ever. Not the kind of best you can watch over and over, but for it’s cinematographic feats, the incredible editing and direction, and variety and beauty.

Its also one of the most telling arguments for an E.P.A. – the scene of absolute industrialism over Eastern Europe is possibly the most vile and desolate location I’d hope to see.

Arguments for Measure 36 or Comedy Gold

We were all huddled in a discussion (celebration) after the debate last night, and to top off the evening, we read aloud the first “for” arguments for measure 36 in this year’s voter’s pamphlet.

The Bible says that marriage is for procreation. God made Adam and Eve, and Adam and Eve made Cain and Abel, not an empty nest … Marriage is for procreation. If you’re not pro-Creation, you’re anti-God …

If you’re not smirking, I’m worried. If you are, it only gets better.


Hulk Hogan from Bushgame

For a while, I only suggested this game to friends because of the somewhat grotesque collection characters and story, but the actual in-play lessons are startlingly accurate glimpses of what the Bush White House (and the others since 1984) has done to our country. It primarily focuses on economic issues, but spices things up with Stem Cell research, etc.

Plus, it has cameos from Hulk Hogan, Howard Dean, Mr. T, and others. If you’re not much for absurdity, I’d suggest passing on this one.


In a brilliant fusion of public campaign contribution info, database querying, and internet mapping, the folks at FundRace have created a great source of curious entertainment.

You can browse by neighborhoods, cities, or the country. Or, you can search by name. My neighborhood is very pro-Democrat, but my parent’s is quite the opposite. Heck, it appears that most of the midwest is the opposite.

Environmental Determinism

This previous week’s readings sought to develop a background for the history of Geography both in the larger world sense and in the strictly American realm. It included a brief introduction to early Greek thinkers like Herodotus and Ptolomy, Arab geographers like As Idrisi, and more recent folks like Kant, Ratzel, Vidal, and Penck. The most humorous, and most easy to read, was a bit on Environmental Determinism by Ellen C. Semple. It was completely unscientific, anecdotal, and racist. Yet it was a very predominant way of looking at, if not justifying imperial behavior at the turn of the 20th century.

Though the basis for Environmental Determinism is rather simple, even elegant, it takes much larger and sweeping generalizations about peoples based on the environment in which they live. One of my favorite generalizations was that peoples from the mountainous regions of the Alps were incapable of creating art because of the abundance of beauty in Mountains. It was people from the lowlands of France and such that were creating the poetry of the day because the less aggressive landscape allowed their minds to create purely aesthetic works. I’m paraphrasing, but not by much.

This way of looking at peoples was naturally misused to defend the treatment of indigenous peoples, and justify expansion and other imperial practices. Many subsequent geographers have felt that this simplistic and unscientific theory is part of the reason that Geography as a discipline lacks a clear picture in our minds. In other words, Environmental Determinism did for Geography what Fascism did for Khaki.