RantFever 4

I pontificate but not in the pejorative sense of the word.

Archive of Rant Fever 3, 2, 1, & Beta

Posts in March 2004

The Highest Form of Poetry

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-03-25 00:00:00
I wouldn't go so far as to say that I'm in love with words, or that I've had an affair with them or anything "new-agey" like that. I don't really enjoy vainglorious hyperbole. I do, however, like to read. I can read all day long and sometimes I do. Lately, I've tended to fantasy fiction. Usually, they are quick reads. For true inspiration, however, I always turn to the classics. I really like poetry. I used to read it a lot. I especially enjoy Alfred Lord Tennyson. Every once in a while I'll reread "The Lady of Shalott" and wish I could memorize it. I used to really be into Edgar Allen Poe, but eventually I grew out of my interest in the macabre. I still can't get enough of "The Raven" or "Annabel Lee," though. When I feel nonsensical, no one beats Lewis Carroll. "Twas brillig and the slithey toves..." You get the point. I think that the highest form of poetry is, of course, the Limmerick. Its structure, scheme, dexterity, and genius cannot be matched. i.e.
There once was a man from Nantucket
Who kept all his cash in a bucket
His daughter named Nan,
Ran away with a Man.
And as for the bucket, Nantucket!

The Founding Fathers, the Left and the Right

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-03-25 00:00:00
I've been reading a book by a guy named Cleon Skoussen in which the premise includes twenty-eight ideas that the fathers of our country used in writing the constution. One of the first points he makes is a delinneation of our view of what is politically right and left from what the founding fathers felt was right and left. The idea intrigued me. Traditionally we view the left as being more liberal and the right as tending toward the conservative. Skoussen argues that the founding fathers viewed left and right in terms of the size and involvement of government. Extreme left would thus be complete absense of government (anarchy) while extreme right would encompass total governance in every aspect of life (dictatorship). The idea was to have as little government as was necessary in order to ensure that it didn't overstep its political boundaries and infringe on our 'inalienable' rights as the citizenry while still mainaining order and law. Like I said, interesting idea.

He Wrote Poems Like Lighting One Cigarette From Another

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-03-25 00:00:00
Almost two years ago I met my very good friend Marisol. She was in an American Studies class with me at the time. We had a lot of essays to write, and I was lost. My grammar was atrocious. I couldn't tell a comma splice from a split infinitive. My writing skills were tested and found lacking. The teacher recommended that I visit the writing center on campus. She said that one of my classmates worked there. That's right, it was Marisol. She wouldn't admit it now, but in our first few meetings she was the picture of timidity. As she got used to me, we would talk more. When I mentioned to her how difficult writing was for me, she leaned in and told me something I'll never forget, "writing," she said, "is nothing but blood and tears." For me, nothing could be more true. My writing has improved a bit, largely due to Marisol's careful evaluations and critcisims of my work. I am astounded at those to whom writing comes so effortlessly. Yeats once said that he wrote "poems like lighting one cigarette from another," but for me, for now, it's still just blood and tears.

Lots and Lots of Hollywood Republicans

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-03-23 00:00:00
I told one of my friends, during the recent California gubernatorial recall election that "my heart says McClintoch, but my head says Schwartzenegger." I wanted McClintoch to win because to me, he seemed more conservative. I figured, however, that Arnold, being more popular, had a much better chance of winning. Reason instructed that it would be better to accept someone who agreed with some of my political persuasions who could win rather than side with someone in complete agreement who would lose. My philosophy was essentially that you fight the fights that you can win. Since his win and subsequent inauguration into the gubernatorial office, however, Schwartzenegger has proven disappointing --- especially on social issues. This should come as no surprise. We knew the color of his spots when he was running. I learned a valuable lesson. My new political philosophy is that you fight the fights that need fighting. You must stick to your convictions. You must vote your conscience and never compromise your standards. Even if you lose, it is much better to be true to yourself.

Al Qaeda and Spanish Elections

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-03-23 00:00:00
Recently, Al Qaeda set off a bomb in Spain. They were trying to influence the elections so that the socialists who oppose the war on terrorism would come into power. This should have served as a wakie up call to the Spanish people and the world. But the Spanish decided to put the socialists into power, effectively doing exactly what Al Qaeda wanted them to do. At what point, do you think will Al Qaeda stop their terrorist activity? Make no mistake, Al Qaeda hates us and everything that we stand for. Were we to stop the war, they would still hate us. Were we to put Saddam back in power so he could resume killing and torturing people, they would still hat us. They will not be satisfied until our economy is decimated, our political structure is demolished, and every last man, woman, and child in the western world is dead. Thus, the only way to appease them would be to commit suicide. I tell you right now, I'm not killing myself for anyone -- especially not a group of crazed extremists. So what can we do? Well, we can let the killings continue. We can give in. I think the best bet is to fight back. It is either kill or be killed. The idea is sad and macabre, but if we do not act strongly, I fear the alternatives would be far worse. How much better would it have been if the spanish had used the unfortunate tragedy as a wake-up that increased their resolve in defeating the terrorists instead of capitulating. It must be done! Letting the terrorists have their way only strengthens them. It shows them that a) you can be controlled b) you are weak c) killing people works. Thus it will not stop the bombings, it will only increase them. We will continue the fight. Join us, Spain or you will be your own undoing.

If The Third World Desires The Prosperity of The First...

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-03-23 00:00:00
I have lived about five years of my life in third world countries in Centralamerica. I love these countries. They are rich in culture and beauty. Economically, however, they are not rich at all. What puzzles me is their attitude toward the United States. Some long to come here while others hate it. Some conveniently blame the US for all of their political or economic problems. "O Evil, I have seen thee, and thy name is the United States!" The economic prosperity that the United States enjoys is not a cornered market. It makes sense that if the Third World desires the prosperity of the First, it should emulate some of the practices that made the First what it is. Here's what I'm saying: don't point and scream about how big and bad the US is while your own country is backword, riddled with corruption, and fiscally irresponsible. Take a page from our book, then maybe you'd be in a position to criticise -- or, even better, to prosper.

An Enduring Moral Order

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-03-07 00:00:00
When Jesus Christ was teaching his followers of false prophets that would come in future days, he gave an efficient method for distinguishing the false prophets from the true ones. Specifically, he said, "by their fruits shall you know them." If you want to know the character of a man, or even of an organization, all you need to do is look at its fruits to know its nature. The people of the United States seem dichotomized into liberal and conservative groups. It seems to me that if I am to attach myself to one or the other, I had better understand their respective characters. Sometimes this can be discouraging. I am discouraged to hear of liberals courting special interest groups. I am discouraged when I read of conservatives spending more than we have. I am discouraged to hear of scandal after scandal on both sides of the political spectrum. I tend to the ideology of the right, but I am discouraged. Conservatives must believe in an enduring moral order. Conservatives must remain on solid ethical ground and stand up for their beliefs. If we do not do this, all we will have left is discouragement because the right and the left will have no differences.

Reincorporation

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-03-07 00:00:00
Why in the world would a corporation leave the United States, the greatest country in the world, and make camp in the carribean? Some people feel that we should punish corporations that leave the US. That is, give them "incentives" to stay. That sounds good, right? After all, its not very patriotic and down-right un-American to leave your home country. Somehow, however, I don't think this a good idea. The reason so many companies are reincorporating in foreign territory is because it is fiscally responsible to do so. We have taxed these corporations excessively, and now they find it financially beneficial to escape the high taxes. Isn't that in harmony with what American fore-fathers thought. Isn't US history riddled with patriots fighting over taxation? Why are we so dumbfounded when we notice that corporations are leaving us? It is obvious, really. It's as if politicians feel like they are "entitled" to the earnings of said companies. Thus, they prohibit some of them from leaving by forbidding them US contracts. So companies stay and endure the heavy taxation. A few months later, the company is forced to let go 1000 people because it needs to make a profit, and the same politicians who created the problem begin to critcize their political opponents for the problem. The companies are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Not only that, but when they stay in-state, we the consumers end up footing the bill for the high taxes the companies must pay. Why don't we help these companies out some? In the end, we all win. Well, all but the politicians who have less money to offer pork to their constituencies. But hey, since when has a lack of money ever slowed down how much a politican spends? I say lets tax companies less so they'll stay here, so that jobs will stay here, so that things will cost less, and, hey, to stick it to greedy politicians. We have the power, baby.

When the Gov't Grows Faster Than the Economy

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-03-05 00:00:00
Anger. The federal government keeps spending more money than they take in. For some reason, politicians feel they deserve the money that hard working Americans earn. Pork barril spending is out of control and something needs to be done. The constitution enumerates the checks and balances that the brances use to keep each other in check. But who keeps the politicians in check? We do! Our "in" is with our congressional representatives. I am sick of hearing about new programs that are federally funded. About forty percent of my paycheck goes to taxes and I'm tired of it. I am sick and tired of politicians thinking they can manage my money better than I can. Sick and tired of watching my friends struggle to get ahead while Politicians selfishly spend on Pork for their re-election. Sick and tired of seeing the seperation of conservative and liberal shrink while the gulf between Politician and citizen widen. The states have changed. Its us against them. Politicians vs. the citizenry.

Why Should the Subsidization of Art be a Federal Function?

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-03-04 00:00:00
For a long time I listened to NPR every morning. I enjoyed the time and effort put into every story -- there are no commercials, so they can take their time. I especially liked 'All Things Considered' and the Taverly Brothers from Boston. I understand that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) gives money to National Public Radio. Thus, although NPR is primarily funded through donations from its listeners, some of their capital comes from the federal government. This, however, begs the question, "Why should the subsidization of art be a federal function at all?" In how many facets of our lives should the government involve itself in? Does government have the responsibility to ensure its citizenry have sufficient "culture" in their lives? The function of government is to keep the peace, to ensure domestic rights, to keep us free, and to maintain order, NOT to ensure we are "hip" to the latest art or poetry or even news. The smaller and more efficient the government, the better. Recently, someone bequeathed ten million dollars to NPR. It would be wise for them to use the money to start a venture toward independence.