Latest Blog Posts

Because We Know You Can Never Get Enough Information, Here is Some More For You

April 20, 2005 at 11:35pm By: Mr. T Posted in 625 Elm Street

The new USDA food pyramid is now here! However, instead of a one size fits all pyramid, the feds have gotten “internet-savvy” and allow you (member of the unwashed masses) to enter your age, gender, and activity level online at their new website to obtain your own personalized pyramid. Some of the information on the website is useful, but after repeated attempts to get my personal pyramid, the site timed-out. Apparently so many people are trying to get their personal pyramids that its overwhelming the system or something like that. Its a pyramid overload!!! Anyway, why the hell didn’t they ask you to enter your weight as well?

Free Will vs. God’s Will

April 20, 2005 at 8:33pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I read an article over lunch that generated some questions for me. In the article, the Pope’s brother said:

“I am very concerned. I would have thought [Benedict XVI’s] advanced age and his health which is not very stable would have been reason enough for the cardinals to pick someone else,” said a visibly moved in an interview on German television after the election of his 78-year-old brother.

“But the cardinals made their decision and that is the will of God,” said Ratzinger, himself a prelate.

It was the last line that got me. How does Mr. Ratzinger know the will of God? In his mind, his brother being selected Pope is the will of God by definition. The Pope is the Pope because, ultimately, God chose him.

That’s all well and good—well, except for the fact that it’s all incredibly tautological—but what does that say for the notion of free will? I’m not familiar with the ins and outs of Catholic doctrine, so maybe somebody can explain to me the Catholic church’s position on free will. Mr. Ratzinger is saying that God enacted His will through the actions of the cardinals. That, to me, seems antithetical to the notion of free will.

More generically, are free will and God’s will compatible? Is it possible for free will to exist in a universe in which God can superimpose His will on humanity?

In one sense the notion of God’s will is comforting. It implies a God active in our daily lives. It means He is watching (or looming) over us, ensuring that life goes according to His (hopefully benevolent) plan. And it means we are all living out God’s purpose.

On the other hand, if God’s will supercedes human free will ... well, that’s a little freaky. It implies a world in which humans are little more than God’s playthings. Am I really writing this stuff on my own, or

rather am I writing exactly what God is commanding me to write?

Any thoughts, anyone?

Hey, Why Does Everybody Have the Munchies Today?

April 20, 2005 at 2:52pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Today is 4/20.

I stopped by Mr. T’s office this morning; he’s already “hard at work” with a towel stuffed under his door.

Domino Theory

April 20, 2005 at 3:11am By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Bets are now on: $5 that the French people will get their heads out of their asses and realize that the upcoming constitution vote will be passed.

- notice that was in US dollars and not euros wink

No Mo’ Joe

April 19, 2005 at 3:36pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Joe Dailey is moving on. As glad as I am to know that he won’t be running the Husker offense this fall, I’m still disappointed to see him go. Dailey is a fine athlete and he could have made great contributions to the team. But not at quarterback.

I don’t blame the guy one bit. Dropping from top dog to runt-of-the-litter isn’t easy, and it’s especially hard for somebody who has already taken as much abuse (deserved and undeserved) as Dailey has.

Best of luck to you, Joe.

No More Blight in Lakewood

April 18, 2005 at 2:28pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

A while back I posted several blog entries about an eminent domain battle in Lakewood, Ohio. (I’m too lazy to go find the entries right now.) Anyway, I missed this news from last month: the property owners couldn’t convince the city to buzz off, so they went to the voters. And nearly 2/3 of the voters said ‘Up yours, Lakewood! We value our fellow citizens’ property rights!”

Something to remember here in Lincoln.

Deuel: “Fatso. Lard ass. Egg on stilts.”

April 17, 2005 at 6:08pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Today the Lincoln Journal Star published the first of a 3-part series on Pat Deuel. Our Deuel Watch research staff has sifted through the article to bring you the juicy highlights:


“He sits on a love seat supported by cement blocks….”

“...some of his favorite foods: Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Lays and Chef Boyardee; Blue Bunny, Milky Way and Little Debbie….”

“...so bloated with fluid his wife avoids touching him, fearing his skin might tear under the pressure. He can move only one arm and partially rotate his head.”

“In fact, the bulge is a panniculus, a sheet of stretched skin and fat that would form a mound of a belly if not for gravity.”

“A yellow pallor tints his loose, almost shapeless face. Semi-circles the color of partially healed bruises hang under his eyes.”

“The rechargeable vacuum draws drainage from three wound sites on his torso.”

“Finally he snatches a tiny wastebasket off the floor and retches. ‘Sorry about that. Normally I can tolerate burritos, but not today,’ he says.”

“Drivers and passengers stare. They laugh and point. Some speed around the block for another look.”

POD VIOLATED

April 16, 2005 at 6:38pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A nightmare come true?

EU fears

April 16, 2005 at 5:12pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Important vote coming up in France!

How smart are dogs?

April 16, 2005 at 12:06am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

There’s no way to know for sure if ... dogs are in fact thinking their way around life’s problems, but if not then one thing is certain: They’re extremely good at fooling people into thinking they are.

Read the whole thing.

Should I change to a new CMS?

April 14, 2005 at 6:34pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Here’s a matter few people besides me actually care about: I’m thinking about converting Lincolnite.com to a different content management system (CMS). Currently I use Expression Engine (EE) by pMachine. It’s a commercial product, and it is relatively powerful. Best of all, the support is great. But progress toward new versions has been slow, and EE is missing a few features I would like to see.

Enter Xaraya. I started playing around with Xaraya because my employer may use it as a CMS for its websites. Xaraya is incredibly powerful, very extensible, and totally customizable. The more I play around with Xaraya, the more amazed I become. And it’s free.

The downside is there is a huge learning curve. I still don’t have a clue how Xaraya’s templating scheme works. I have printed off and read about 100 pages of documentation, and I’m only just beginning to apply that information to test pages for what could become a new—and much improved—Lincolnite.com.

Anyway, I’m probably just talking to myself here. If anybody has any thoughts, let me know.

Shallow Rewards

April 14, 2005 at 2:27pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

From an AP dispatch:

The House voted Wednesday to eliminate federal estate taxes in 2010 and beyond, a repeal that Democrats said would reward the richest families at the steep cost of deeper federal deficits.

Since when is it a reward for individuals to keep their own money?

Republicans and the Rule of Law

April 14, 2005 at 2:07pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

In a nice piece over at Reason Magazine that links Terri Schiavo, Bush v. Gore, and Carla Faye Tucker, Jonathan Rauch describes one of the (many) reasons I don’t get along very well with President Bush and congressional Republicans these days.

Lombardi: Winning isn’t everything

April 13, 2005 at 10:27pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

U.S. Has No Exit Strategy for Iraq, Rumsfeld Says—AP Article

“‘We don’t have an exit strategy, we have a victory strategy,’ Rumsfeld told soldiers during a surprise visit to Baghdad.”—Second paragraph, same story.

First ever Lincolnite.com international law hypo! Woohoo!

April 13, 2005 at 1:25am By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I would like to gather some input on the following hypotheticals for a little side project I am working on. By the way, this is based on a real series of cases issued by an international court recently! (to be disclosed later)

Hypo 1:

Country A invades Country B. For purposes of helping to visualize this hypo, lets say Country A is the USA and County B is Canada. The US unlawfully invades Canada but only takes over Quebec, where they set up an unlawful US colony. The rest of Canada continues to be governed by the Canadian national govt. The US begins committing human rights violations in Quebec against Quebecois, but the Canadian govt can do nothing to stop them because of the presence of superior US military forces in occupied Quebec. Instead, after brief fighting, Canada “gives up,” concedes to the US, and tries to negotiate with the US to normalize relations. Legally, who should be responsible for the human rights violations in Quebec?

A) The US, for invading Quebec and committing human rights violations
B) Canada, because by NOT finding them liable, leads to bad intl human rights policy because all nations should always do their utmost to use whatever means necessary to stop human rights abuses and Canada did not try hard enough
C) both US and Canada, for both reasons above

Why?

Hypo 2:

The US invades Quebec and sets up an unlawful US colony. The rest of Canada continues to be governed by the Canadian national govt. The US begins committing human rights violations in Quebec against people living in Quebec which the Canadian govt does nothing to stop, even though it could attempt to do so. The Canadian govt does nothing to stop the human rights violations because the majority Canadian govt wanted to eradicate the minority Quebecois people anyway. Legally, who should be responsible for the human rights violations in Quebec?

A) The US, for

invading Quebec and committing human rights violations
B) Canada, because by not doing anything to prevent the human rights violations by the US, basically acquiesced and allowed it to happen.
C) both US and Canada, for both reasons above

Why?

Hypo 3:

The Quebecois revolt against Canadian rule and set up an unlawful separatist nation. This new government then begins persecuting its residents and the government of Canada does nothing
to stop it. Who is liable for these human rights violations?


A) Canada because the “separatist Quebecois” are not a distinct entity but still lawfully Canadian, and Canada has failed to protect its own citizens
B) Both Canada and the new separate nation of Quebec
C) Only the new govt of Quebec - if they can be apprehended - for committing human rights violations against Canadians in Quebec
D) No one, because Canada is not responsible for crimes committed by the separatist Quebec nation and Quebec is an unlawful entity

Why?

Hypo 4:

The Quebecois revolt against Canadian rule and set up an unlawful separatist nation. This new government then begins persecuting its residents and the government of Canada tries to stop it but cannot because the separatist forces are too strong. Instead, after brief fighting, Canada “gives up,” concedes to Quebec, and tries to negotiate with the Quebec to normalize relations. Who is liable for these human rights violations?


A) Canada because the “separatist Quebecois” are not a distinct entity but still lawfully Canadian, and Canada has failed to protect its own citizens
B) Both Canada and the new separate nation of Quebec
C) Only the new govt of Quebec - if they can be apprehended - for committing human rights violations against Canadians in Quebec
D) No one, because Canada is not responsible for crimes committed by the separatist Quebec nation and Quebec is an unlawful entity
E) Canada, because by NOT finding them liable, leads to bad intl human rights policy because all nations should always do their utmost to use whatever means necessary to stop human rights abuses and Canada did not try hard enough

Why?

Hypo 5:

The govt of Canada and separatist Quebecois begin bloody fighting on the physical territory of the province of Quebec after Quebec declared its independence, with numerous human rights violations committed by both sides and absolute chaos in Quebec. Who is liable for these human rights violations?

A) Canada because the “separatist Quebecois” are not a distinct entity but still lawfully Canadian, and Canada has failed to protect its own citizens
B) Both Canada and the new separate nation of Quebec
C) No one, because the fighting has rendered the territory of Quebec “lawless”

Why?

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