Rant for Reason

Friday 3 April 2009

Justice Prevails

Filed under: Marriage,News — couchand @ 8:10
Tags: , , ,

This morning the Iowa Supreme Court made a strong statement that the people of Iowa are fair and ethical. They have unequivocally disallowed the ban on same-sex marriage. A fine day.

the first article I saw this morning

Take that, Sioux City.

Thursday 26 February 2009

Some may disagree…

Filed under: Uncategorized — couchand @ 0:36

I usually think PETA’s as crazy as anybody else does, but here they’ve got it right.

We should be taxing meat, plain and simple.

From PETA’s letter to Oregon State Representative Ben Cannon:

Meat is the number one cause of climate change, which threatens the U.S. with billions of dollars in damages from rising sea levels, worsening storms, and increased droughts. According to a 2006 United Nations report, the meat industry produces 40 percent more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, SUVs, planes, and ships in the world combined. A tax on meat would help recoup some of the environmental costs associated with its production.

Meat is a leading contributor to many of the worst health problems that Americans face. According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians have lower rates of obesity heart disease, certain types of cancer, and diabetes than meat-eaters do. Just like the excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol, a meat tax could be used to promote health and well-being through educational programs.

Friday 6 February 2009

Steve King strikes again…

Who is this guy? Seriously Steve-o, listen for a minute and you might just learn something.

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Screw you hatemongers

Well Sioux City has shamed the rest of the state. Their City Council voted last night to pass a symbolic measure in opposition to same-sex marriage. This is the most hateful thing anyone in Iowa has done since the last time Steve King spoke.

By the way, Sioux City, in case you are unaware of the history of bigotry and homophobia in your town, please read this book. The definition of homophobia is that gay witch hunt.

Tuesday 27 January 2009

Biggest Nontroversy of 2009

Filed under: Reggie — couchand @ 23:18
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As if shedding pages and sections, shrinking page size, and letting go of beloved staff wasn’t enough, now Iowa’s esteemed daily The Des Moines Register has resorted to inventing stories. I’ve been following this one from the beginning, and the fact is that far and away the majority of discussion of the sale of the lottery has been by Register reporters themselves, especially Iowa-loathing columnist David Yepsen.

The Reggie isn’t new to nontroversies, either. Remember just last November when they “caught” Mari Culver smoking?

Not Again?!

Filed under: News — couchand @ 22:58
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So Dave Ferris is at it again. The Sioux City Councilman has said he plans to reintroduce his motion next week to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Apparently he wasn’t satisfied with either the actions of the council members (asking city attorney Andrew Mai for legal advice) or Mai’s disregard for the issue.

Please, Ferris, this is Iowa. Love your neighbors already.

Six Days of Glory

Filed under: Obama — couchand @ 8:35
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Obama, proving how much more capable he is than his predecessor, has already made major strides on a number of issues: global warming, auto emissions, torture, and peace in the middle east. It probably shouldn’t surprise us that we finally have a President who can DO THEIR JOB.

Tuesday 13 January 2009

Subjugation Magic in “Legend of the Seeker”

Filed under: Uncategorized — couchand @ 0:02

For those that are unaware, Legend of the Seeker is the television adaptation of Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. I haven’t read any of the books, but I’ve been obsessed with the show for a few months. Watch it on hulu.

[Spoiler Alert: talking about this week’s episode “Denna”]

The most recent episode has got me thinking about a few things. Several forms of control magic have been elaborated on in the series. Primarily is the well established ability of Confessors to “confess” someone. Here the victim, at a single touch, falls instantly in the throws of a deep and undying “love” for the Confessor. Someone under this spell is outwardly indistinguishable from anyone else. The only real proof is their willingness to follow any request of the Confessor, up to and including throwing themselves onto a sword.

In contrast to this is the ability of the Mord’Sith, over time, to “train” an enemy. This is a long and involved process, requiring many hours of physical torture (assisted by the agiel, a rod of pure pain) and intense psychological torture, in the effort to break a victim. It seems the Mord’Sith use some amount of magic in their “training” but this is clearly not as strong as the Confessors’ “confessing” as it requires so much additional “classical” effort. Although, perhaps the physical effort is merely the method of casting the equally powerful spell, and its outward similarity to torture simply coincidental.

So my question is what happens when a Confessor and a Mord’Sith go head to head, such as at the end of “Denna”. Unfortunately this was not a fair fight as Denna had all the D’Hara guards and archers and Richard was there as well. So let’s think hypothetically about a one-to-one match up.

I can picture a few possible scenarios. First it may be that either or both of them have some magical protection from subjugation magic. So far the series has not mentioned a Confessor confessing another Confessor or a Mord’Sith training another Mord’Sith (except their initial training). But let’s assume that they are both susceptible to their own and each other’s magic.

Assuming the Confessor has any sort of jump on the Mord’Sith, she should be able to confess her in short order, ending the battle. If the Mord’Sith has good advantage, however, she could take the Confessor captive and conceivably train her as well, all the while needing to be cognizant of the Confessor’s ability.

One thing that muddies this: the Mord’Sith have the power to redirect magic used on them to its caster. I am curious if this could be applied to a Confessor attempting to confess a Mord’Sith. If so, would it be the opposite or the converse of the spell? That is, would the Confessor become under the control of themself (probably essentially fizzling the effect) or would the Mord’Sith be able to fully capture the power and become the new master of the spell?

Another wrench in the works: Confessors are notoriously unable to control their powers. If the Mord’Sith is actually able to successfully train her, what’s saying the capitulated Confessor wouldn’t accidentally confess her mistress? What would happen then?

Even if we can figure all this out, I have one more serious question, and that is one of hierarchy. If one of them succeeds in subjugating the other, do they somehow “inherit” the slaves of their new slave? I could see this going both ways. It does seem ridiculous for a slave of the slave to have to be ordered around by the slave, but who knows.

Thursday 8 January 2009

The Presidential Oath

Filed under: Bush — couchand @ 13:25
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All this talk about the Obama inauguration reminds me of an old topic I wanted to mention: the oath of office taken by every President.

I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Now take the converse of that statement. Does it remind you of anyone you know?

Wednesday 17 December 2008

Congrats, Tom!

Filed under: News — couchand @ 18:48
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Oh, wow, Obama has picked Vilsack for Ag Secretary.

I guess that means we won’t see maize-based ethanol eliminated from our energy pantheon any time soon.

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