Wednesday, June 30, 2010

West Wing Latin

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
I wish I learned this one back in PHIL202. After, therefore because of. Tangent: I can't stand misuse of therefore. People do it all the time here. Anyways, post hoc, ergo propter hoc is a logical fallacy. It makes me think of psychological egoism. Just because I feel good after I help someone doesn't mean I helped them to produce that good feeling. Same would go for ethical egoism. Ayn Rand is a real biatch. She's a good novelist, sure. Her writing was definitely empowering. At the same time, the level of indifference her heroes display for society (read people) goes beyond contemptuous. Disdain is more fitting. She even goes to length to describe how indifference is even crueler than disdain. She takes individualism to a sinful level, which brings me to...

Vox populi, vox dei
The voice of god is the voice of the people. Some of you may know I go to church about once a week... maybe three times every four weeks. I grew up a staunch atheist, started slipping into a more agnostic but still highly skeptical position around the age of 18, and became very entrenched in that position by the time I graduated college. So how can I go to church and stomach all the god and Jesus talk? I substitute dei for populi. The messages all come out quite empowering, actually. I think there's something to this. I'll definitely be writing more about it later.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


It's been years since any of us knew what the fuck was going on in Congress. We've heard our candidates dubbed cancer supporters when they voted down a bill budgeting $100 million dollars for cancer research, only to find out after the election that the same bill allotted $500 million dollars in tax cuts for oil companies. That is why I am proposing some full-time, non-partisan scribe or page or whatever, who is takin' notes on that 'dem bills and can post 'em up on C-SPAN's website (SOME website, ANY website). We need it in a format that doesn't take more than 5-10 minutes to digest (because that's how long I can pay attention for). At least this way, I can check it out if I want to. As is, you can tell me Nancy Pelosi votes for mandatory abortions and Joe Wilson voted for literacy tests at the voting booth, and I will never know any better.

On a Tuesday...

Ray (6 years old) told me this morning that Chris (12 years old) said he has AIDs. Ray told me that he told Chris that he is going to die if he has AIDs. Then Ray told me that Chris says he has AIDs and that's why he can drink rum. Smiling, I told Ray that Chris does not have AIDs, while Jen (mother of Ray, grandmother of Chris) told Ray to ask Chris where he got AIDs and who gave it to him. Chris once told me that he can't wait for me to leave Dominica so that he can drink rum again.

So there is this band, Lady Antebellum. I hear they are good. I thought the name was a red flag, so I looked 'em up. I think any Lady Antebellum fans should read this blog entry. I also think the band should change its name. Robert Wagner comes to mind.

In other news, this July 2nd, I will be celebrating Independence Day with my fellow PCVs. I was somewhat disappointed that we would not be celebrating on July 4th, until a friend pointed me to this article. I will be pretentiously celebrating Independence Day on July 2nd for the rest of my life. I'm not sure what we're gonna do for fire works, but I'm sure I'll figure out how to blow something up.

Yesterday I got word that a proposal I wrote for a community center and capacity building program was approved by the Basic Needs Trust Fund. This is quite exciting. The first floor will house a kitchen to be used by the Penville Society of St. Vincent de Paul to run a feeding program for the vulnerable (needy is no longer politically correct enough, gag with me). It will house office space and computers for other local groups, such as the Penville Women's Club, and the Penville Farmer's Association. There will also be a bar for the Village Council to sell food and drink from while running fundraisers out of the kitchen. The second floor will be a large open area to be used for community meetings and events (such as weddings) and as a classroom from which to conduct educational sessions.

Some Jehovah's Witness ladies stopped by today while I was hand washing some clothes. A year or so ago, I would have relished their visit more than I did today. Theological debate is a favorite pastime of mine. Jehovah's Witnesses are the ultimate indulgence. They come right to your house! Today, though, I have lost some of this enjoyment. One lady was blind and the other was old. They were very sweet. The thing is, they think what they are doing is a moral imperative. That defense could be used for the KKK, too, except that the Witnesses don't actually harm anyone, unless you consider door-to-door visits so annoying as to constitute harm. I don't think you would get to far with that in court. I'm sure people have tried. Anyway, they think its a moral imperative, and all they want to do is talk to me for a minute or so about god. This is tolerable when god ≠ lynching homosexuals, blowing up abortion clinics, or pushing obscene images of mutilated fetuses in my face, as it does where I come from. Here it usually just means live a better life, free from substance abuse. I generally encourage kids to go to church here. The impulse to tear proselytizers' minds apart and convert them to atheism kinda fades when they aren't so malevolent. It is still there though... I recently heard a rumor that a girl was discouraged from going to the hospital for some ailment because the real problem was that she was possessed. Reconciling that situation is on today's to-do list.