Last updated 6/18/09

Friday, January 30, 2009

New RNC Chair

Michael Steele, an actual pro-life Catholic politician, has been named chair of the Republican National Committee.  You can read more about him at these links:


A very (I think) powerful argument on the pro-Israel and anti-destruction-of-the-world side of the fence:

And some of the stories are really fishy. Remember the claims from certain sources, including the UN, that Israeli mortar fire had destroyed a school and killed civilians? Apparently not.

Guest Opinion: Youngsters Today

Sorry if the title is inadequate - I had to pen it on the fly.
I'd just like to share a post made by Jeff.  It's well-written, and it has the word "boobs."
Thanks much, Jeff. If you have any more writings you'd like to share, please let me know.


First of all, yearning for some kind of sexual freedom is nothing new -- look at the flappers of the 1920's (rowr, check out her ankles!), and the drug-happy hippie generation of the 60's. At least the roaring 20's had a depression (I hear it was great) to knock some sense back into people, and tell them "Hey, stop screwing around and go work in a coal mine for 18 hours a day." We hit a lull in the 70's, as well. I was born in '79, so I don't remember much of it. What we need to remember is, their behavior back then was just as shocking at the time, compared to all the crap these kids are doing now. Back in the 20's, women were going to bars, smoking cigars, prostitution was everywhere and they were starting to bare more skin. In the 60's, people were having unprotected orgy sex in the mud, high as hell off LSD.

A big part of the problem now is that hippie generation went and had itself a whole bunch of kids (we fall close to this category), and as parents, they're afraid of being hypocritical. How does a generation that was defined by free love and experimentation now turn around and have to play the role they were rebelling against? And so, maybe they're a bit more lax in their parenting. This isn't the case EVERY time, but it's pretty common, at least based on what I've seen. And now those children, who had more lenient parents, are becoming parents themselves -- parents who were never truly disciplined, and therefore, won't be nearly as hard on their children.

Take all that, and combine it with the fact that we now live in a society of instant gratification. When I was a young, curious lad, I stumbled upon an old Playboy in one of my dad's old shoeboxes (his storage system of choice), and THAT was my source of sexual material. A few years beyond that, once cable TV was a part of our household, I'd have to sneak out into the living room at 4 in the morning to see boobs. Volume on mute, of course, lest I wake the folks. Today, any 12 year old boy with a computer and an internet connection (which nearly every house now has) knows what "Yahoo" or "Google" is, and can find pictures or videos of hardcore sex acts with a few clicks of the mouse. And most kids today have computers in their room, or know a friend who does; it's TOO easy to obtain porn.

Along with instant gratification, we're also escalating. Paul, you may be a bit too young to remember, but when Madonna came out with a new video in the 80's, it was cause for alarm. Compared with the music videos of today, she's almost tame. Same for TV shows and movies. Shock value keeps increasing while attention spans keep decreasing; I think the internet (again) is to blame.

Humans have always tried to top one another. It's what we do. With the internet, there are now millions (billions?) of people all trying to top one another at once. Remember when you were a kid -- if you were the best at Street Fighter II in the local arcade, you were THE best. Now, everyone's hooked up to the internet, out to top one another. Same with sexuality and shock value. Except before, when only "artists" - singers, actors, painters, and what have you - could join in, today, ANYONE can. Hell, a good 3/4 of YouTube is all one big pissing contest. "Oh yeah? I can top that."

With the exception of "Jukin' Japan," of course. I find that guy delightful.

So...we live in a world where sex is at our fingertips, and almost everyone in America is broadcasting their lives on the internet, trying to be the most popular...and we're SURPRISED morals have hit a steep decline? If anything, I'm surprised things aren't much worse right now. I hear some of the people around me at work talking, and I just don't "get" it. Bragging to one another about their drunken, meaningless sex with "what's-her-name," as if sexual conquests were medals of honor. But then, the braggarts will keep bragging, and those of us with a bit more moral fiber will keep silent. And in our silence, society will keep shining the spotlight on the voices it CAN hear, in the name of entertainment. Nobody's going to pay a $10 movie ticket to watch a bunch of high school seniors NOT try to have sex with the hot cheerleaders.

And for all the young kids growing up today, looking at that spotlight...well, you know the old saying. "Monkey see, monkey do."


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The trouble with kids today...

Well, more so adolescents than kids, I suppose.

This article focuses more on girls and young women, but of course the problem is just as wide-spread among young men. The problem is, I think it's a lot easier for girls to act out and dress in exhibitionist ways. 

The older folk lamenting the way times and trends have changed is nothing new. However that doesn't make it any less legitimate. Indeed, I'm not exactly "older folk," but I've decried this kind of behavior before, as have friends of mine. I think one thing that girls need to realize is that there are plenty of good men who are not impressed by this culture of sex, and I know many guys (myself included) who are turned off by women who dress and act in the ways discussed in this article. Sure, they are attractive and may turn our heads, but they're not the kind of women we'd want to be involved with.

I wish I had more of a readership so I could ask for a sound off of opinions...

Watch out for zombies on the road


The Onion gets it right on Israel


Japan joins the war on pirates

Indeed, all nations must band together if we are to have any hope against the blight of the seas.

Edit: Pirates +1 (for being such a threat)

Jukin' Japan: Episode 7 up!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cameraphones and you

I was a little surprised by the general reaction to this article. As noted, there's already a similar law in place here in Japan, and it seems to make sense. Its purpose is to discourage voyeurism and pictures taken of people in places like dressing rooms. I've never encountered anyone here who thinks it's an unfair law or unduely protective. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the comments made in response to the article, though...Americans are so scared of giving up their "rights." Even their "right" to have a silent cameraphone shutter. I guess the value of privacy is in the eye of the beholder.

Any thoughts?

Credit where it's due

He has yet to prove that he's willing to work "in the spirit of bi-partisanship," however I give Mr. Obama some credit for at least looking like he is

At least he's urging the Democrats to drop the spending on "family planning" from the stimulus. What was that doing in there in the first place? This spending package sounds frightening...

New York's stand-in

So Caroline didn't get Hillary's vacant seat, although she probably could have had it. She withdrew at the last minute, and Gov. Paterson appointed Kirsten Gillibrand, a pro-gun, anti-amnesty (maybe) Democrat. As you can imagine, many people who wanted a more, choice...are upset. It seems that she's under heavy fire now.

Of course, many (or most?) of the attacks are unjust. From a recent NYTimes article:

"El Diario La Prensa, the Spanish-language daily, described her as 'a disappointing choice.'

'If Gov. David Paterson wanted to deliver a slap to immigrant New Yorkers, he effectively did so with his appointment yesterday of Representative Kirsten Gillibrand,' El Diario said in an editorial on Saturday."

Really? I've always been of the impression that legal immigrants often disapprove of illegal immigrants, because they don't do the same hard work to obtain citizenship. And besides, illegal immigrants don't vote or pay why on Earth should they be represented by our government officials?

Double Standard

A valid observation, I think.

I don't wish failure upon President Obama. I do hope against hope that he has a change of heart regarding certain issues. I do hope that some of his policies are challenged.
It's amazing, though, how posh it has been in recent years to dislike or even hate Bush; to berate him and "bravely" challenge his decisions. Considering that fact, look at how things have changed. Now it's unpatriotic to be critical of our commander-in-chief.  

This just in: obvious is funny

This short article is slightly old, but I come back to it every so often. I don't know what it is; I guess I'm just a sucker for anything that states the obvious, hashing and rehashing in a clever way.

Anyway, do you like turkey sandwiches?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My favorite websites: American Papist

I'm adding a new link on the sidebar for a website that I frequent. It's not for everyone, but if you are Catholic and like to stay up-to-date on Church matters or are looking for an insight into how we Papists think, I highly recommend American Papist.

The blog author, a theology scholar who is currently living in Washington D.C., is, in my humble opinion, a highly intelligent individual and a good writer. He also has a good sense of humor, as he frequently throws in humorous pictures and holds mini caption contests.
AmP has been a good source for me in terms of Pro-Life news, especially. Feel free to have a look.

MSNBC: The Obama Network

So says CNN

Save the...frogs?

I wasn't aware of their plight, but apparrently frogs aren't doing so hot. I didn't realize they were such a popular food item.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I don't have a problem with airstrikes carried out by the Obama administration, but indeed, where is the reaction?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My sister, the Frenchie..

Well, we can't all be Japanophiles.

They've had enough sh#@

Very interesting. These dung beetles have become carnivores, no longer subsisting on poop.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Whoa Whoa Whoa

Is this the kind of politics we're going to see throughout the next four years? Corruption masked by incompetence? 

This guy, Geithner, is going to be confirmed soon as our U.S. Treasury secretary.  It has come to light that he didn't pay his taxes for several years. WHAT? How is this excusable for any public official (or any individual), noless someone being considered for such a responsibility-intensive position? He forgot, he claims. TurboTax messed him up. This guy is either very stupid (which I doubt) or a corrupticrat who has been caught. Unfortunately, our country is at a point where it doesn't even matter if you get caught. If you're playing for the right team or if your constituents don't read the news, you're golden. 

He will be confirmed, and I only pray that he doesn't further screw up the economy. He doesn't deserve this position, but given that he's going to get it, I suppose America deserves him.

Biden -1, Obama +1

A class act, as always. I sometimes wonder if Obama regrets choosing Biden as his running mate.
That's -1 for Biden, although I already respect him about as much as I respect Alfred E Neuman.
That's also +1 for Obama, although he has a lot of climbing to do to gain any trust from me. Considering his aggressively pro-abortion priorities, I don't know if I'll ever be able to like or respect this guy. 

Mr. Obama, you're making it very difficult...

I want to be supportive. I want to give the guy a chance.
But his first 24 hours in office, the economy still in peril, and he decides it is a priority to make some changes in favor of abortion.

Not looking good, Mr. Obama.

PA's Murtha: I'll take the terrorists!

I honestly don't know how this guy keeps getting reelected. This cycle it probably had something to do with the (D) next to his name. In case you haven't follow him, Murtha previously said that voters in his district are rednecks and racists, and he also wrongfully criticised our soldiers for murdering Iraqi civilians in cold blood.

If the terrorists are indeed relocated to his district, I would fear for the safety of his constituents...however I don't think the terrorists would last long in a civilian prison.

Imagine Spot 1

Not going to change anyone minds, I'm sure, but this is a very well-done commercial.

Common sense +1

And I thought idiocy and corruption were going to win this one.

Looks like Caroline isn't going to take NY's throne seat after all.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Staying on

Just had my evaluational meeting with the principal. He gave me A's and B's on all the points, so I guess I'll be staying on here another year. After that we talked a little bit about the winter vacation and America's new president. To borrow a word from Jeff, the principal is a groovy guy. I think I'll miss him and the vice-principal when they leave in March/April.

Learn from example..

I agree. Those people who did not vote for Obama, or even those that did and find themselves disagreeing with him in the future should take a look at this:

I, for one, intend to follow this list to the best of my ability. As Americans, we should possess a certain dignity. Let's not develop a new strain of Bush Derangement Syndrome. 

The pitfalls of pedogoguery

So I just said goodbye to my first group of graduating third years (akin to senior high school students - high school is three years here). They won't graduate until March, but I won't teach them anymore from here on in. They'll have their hands full with a round of final exams and then about a month of break before graduation. I know every teacher (who has a heart) must deal with this, and I know there'll be other classes, but...I'll miss those kids.

Out with the old, in with the new

I have yet to watch president Obama's inaugural address, but I have read some of it. It seems well-written but unspectacular. Probably a wise move not to heighten expectations even further.

I am rather disappointed by how the crowd treated Bush and Cheney as they left. Disrespectful and unclassy. Too bad Obama's supporters can't be as dignified as he is.

I've been back and forth on the fence about whether or not I actually like Bush, but I think all this has tipped me in favor of liking him. He's put up with a lot more than he should have had to. He could have sat back and done nothing, like Clinton, but instead he took action that would have had to be taken eventually. It made him unpopular, but he protected his country.

I leave you with two links:

Don't explore them if you're a Bush-hater.

...Can you see?

Looking at articles like this, I hope it's evident why I'm so skeptical of Obama's new administration. Yes yes, I'll give him a chance...but just as it is premature to judge him inept, evil, or misguided, isn't it a little early to be making him out to be a hero? He hasn't done anything yet except win an election. So why don't we all just chill? He's not a failure or a savior (yet, anyway). Why can't we judge the tree by its fruit instead of calling an unidentifiable sprout a great oak?

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Episode Coming Soon

For those of you who keep up with Jukin' Japan, I apologize for the lack of recent episodes. Last week I came down with a nasty cold...strangely the only symptoms were a slightly achey ear and a low fever, but it was enough to dissuade me from extracurricular pursuits.  As well, on Thursday and Friday I had a "business trip" to Kobe - basically teacher training. It wasn't awefully interesting or productive, but I did come away from it with a few good teaching techniques that I picked up from other ALTs/JTEs. And as much as I like this program, these gatherings always remind me how much like high school it is (thanks for giving words to that feeling, Dylan).

P.S. Maybe I'll explore this further sometime, but Japanese doctors give craptons of pills and stuff for even a cold. And they say America is over-medicated.

What he said..

I know, I know, I am biased.
Look, Bush screwed up on some things. He took us to war under false pretenses. However, Congress approved - he should not shoulder all of the blame (which he has not even tried to deflect). He appointed officials who did not look out for us economically - but then, Congress didn't look out for us, either. But of course everyone knows Bush...the (Democratic) leaders of Congress are significantly less well-known.

Of course I'm not going to change anyone's minds, most likely. Most of my friends and people I discourse with regularly are either part of the choir or are almost diametrically opposed to my views. But that's not to say that everything is black and white.

It's a harsh reality, but prevention and preemption are not looked upon too kindly by many people, it seems. Now I don't believe it is warranted in all cases, but Iraq was one in which it was, in my mind. For those who don't like Israel and think they are tyrants or meanies, I'm sure this means little...but I agree with Peres:,7340,L-3658858,00.html

Ok, so what if the OTHER guy(s) had won?

Interesting thoughts have fallen along the same line, but not as nicely layed out or explored as this:

Friday, January 9, 2009

Requiscat in Pace

A holy man has passed away. In the tradition of great men like Sir Thomas More, Fr. Neuhaus advocated religion and morality in government and politics. He will be missed.

Edit: An overview of his life.

Yumm Foot!

Sometimes you just wish politicians knew when not to talk. I think this is one of those cases. Whoever was concerned in Japan about having a Catholic prime minister has nothing to be worried about. I've met ten year-old's that were better at exegesis than him. Maybe he just really likes the taste of his own foot?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Interesting Suggestion

I think Ryan Harkin's suggestion makes a lot of sense...but I just wonder whether Israel or any other (sane) country would opt for that while they are being fired upon.

Petition to Block Tax-Funded Abortions

Saw this over at American Papist and figured I may as well post it here since I have a handful of Pro-Life readers (if anyone is still coming here):

What's with the slant?

I just can't tell if it's all politically motivated or if it's something that some people are eating/drinking/breathing. I understand that certain nationalities/ethnicities relate to other countries differently, but I can't understand any rational (keyword) support for Hamas. To make this clear, it is a tragedy that Palestinian innocents are dying, but it is not Israel's fault.
If Mexico were constantly firing rockets into Texas, even despite ceasefire agreements, how long do you think we would wait before retaliating? The fact is, we wouldn't care if the rest of the world denounced us for fighting back. If Mexico were firing missiles at us from Tijuana, for example, and we killed some civilians by firing back, we would ask what the hell the Mexican military was doing with missiles in a non-military zone or what civilians were doing in/near a military base.
In my mind there is little doubt that Hamas is using its civilian population as a shield to hide behind.

Even Palestians know this:

Two summarize the above two bits of reporting, two Palestian witnesses contacted the Associated Press and told them that soldiers were firing mortars from near a school.
A grieving Palestinian mother who lost her daughter cried out for HAMAS, not Israel, to be exterminated by God.

How is it, then, that we have demonstrators decrying Israel? Even now, as third parties are trying to set up 3-hour ceasefires in order to deliver food and humanitarian aid to the embattled civilians in Gaza, peace is failing. Why? Because Hamas fires at Israel and Israel retaliates. But would you just sit there while being fired upon? 

Meanwhile the UN and the EU are worthless, as usual.

About the school mentioned above, from which Hamas soldiers were firing mortars:

"We are 99.9 percent certain that there were no militants. There were no militant activities in the school or in the school compound," said Gunness of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency."

What? There are reported witnesses! Someone is pushing an agenda, and it stinks.


Another example of what I perceive to be an unfair bias, from

"But minutes after the three-hour truce was set to begin at 1 p.m., Israeli forces fired at militants in the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory.

The strikes came after militants targeted Israeli forces "almost immediately," Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Peter Lerner said."

Note how the construction of these sentences implies that Israel broke the creasefire. Three hours into it, "Isreali forces fired at militants in the Hamas-ruled...territory." THEN the article says that Hamas struck first. Here's how I would have worded the same idea:

"Only minutes after the three-hour truce was set to begin, Israel responded to an attack made by Palestinian militants."

I think the qualification of self-defense is a crucial point that many media (and government) sources are failing to make.  If we agree not to fight and you hit me, YOU broke the agreement, not I when I hit you back.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Jukin 6

Next episode should be up shortly...

Edit: Yes, it's up.

An appropriate song

I wouldn't go so far as to say distance doesn't matter at all, but it's becoming more and more true each year that passes, isn't it?
With the internet, it's a relatively simple matter to stay connected to friends and family back home or to strangers around the globe. On that note, here's a song by a vlogger I've taken note of in recent months, worldismarble. Having been working on my own "international experience" vlog, I've checked out some others, and I'm quite impressed by the musical dabblings of this vlogger who up until recently was studying abroad in London. Anyway, here's her latest music video, guest starring her sister: Simple Promises. I really dig the harmony.

Edit: Here's another of her songs that is quite catchy and well-done.

P.S. As some of you may know, it is not easy to write songs. Gah.

Monday, January 5, 2009

What's to come in 2009

No one knows, but here are some thoughtful (and some amusing) predictions by the denizens of the American Catholic.

Darwin Catholic and John Henry predict that the FOCA will not pass; I pray they're right!

Minnesota's Machine?

Corrupt Politics: IL, NJ, and now MN? (Stupid Politics: NY, at least)

Looks like Al Franken is being declared the victor of Minnesota's US Senate seat race. These things don't surprise me anymore, but they continue to disappoint. I suppose it's just coincidence that every decision by election officials (and pushed by Democrat Mark Ritchie, MN Secretary of State) has favored Franken, and that while it was initially important to make sure ALL votes were (re)counted, certain Coleman-leaning counties have not yet performed their recounts...yet Franken is already being declared winner!

Another clown for the Senate. After Caroline and Burris, this comes as little surprise, however. 

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New York, Old Families

I liked living on Long Island, but in some ways I'm glad to be out of New York (not that MD is a hell of a lot better, politically). 

Took me a while to stomach (or forget about) Hillary riding Bill's tails and carpetbagging her way to one of New York's US Senate seats. Now New York is about to be paid the honor of allowing Sweet bumbling Caroline to take Hillary's place. Seriously, though, what's with the aristocracy? 

I guess Americans just love to be ruled represented by celebrities.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Yay Romance!

It really does exist. According to science, that is. And as we all know, if science doesn't prove it, it probably doesn't exist. [Rolly eyes]