Category Archives: Four For Friday

If You’re Old Enough to Fight a War, are You Old Enough to Drink Booze?

So at my former boss’ and friend’s blog, he does this meme thing called the Four for Friday. It is the thing I look forward to the most, second only to the fact that Friday also means the weekend is upon us.

Anyway, question #3 from last Friday asked what we thought of lowering the drinking age to 18. Respondents seemed split down the middle about whether they were okay with it or not. Here’s a summary of my answer:

I don’t think it matters much what the drinking age is. An 18 year old irresponsible punk is likely to “grow up” to be a 21 year old irresponsible punk. Unless we can show that statistics for drunk-driving accidents and deaths went down post 1984, then I don’t see any reason not to lower the drinking age… except to say all those 21 year olds in nudie bars are gonna have to start putting up with a bunch of high school students joining them.

Anyway, a popular argument for lowering the drinking age is, “If they’re old enough to fight a war…”

I just wanted to publicly state, right here on my incredibly popular blog that strongly influences many of the world’s most powerful people (pay attention Free Mason lodge leaders… I’m talking about you! Oh yeah, and you too Pres. Bush!), I think the “old enough to fight a war” argument is weak. Here is my reasoning.

I can no longer do military service because of a physical disability. Since I’m not expected to fight a war, does that mean I also shouldn’t be allowed to drink? Or are we saying that only military personnel should be allowed to drink?

You can actually enlist at 17 these days (which is a far cry from the days when 14 year olds were allowed to fight). When I was in boot (1994), there were at least two 17-year olds in my platoon. My own brother enlisted when he was 17 (around 1986). He did boot over summer vacation and returned to finish off his senior year of high school. Think back to those days. Those people you knew. Still okay to let them drink at that time?

But consider this most of all. When you turn 18, you aren’t just shipped off to a war and expected to fight. You are given formal, highly intense, strongly disciplined training to prepare you to go fight that war. The training, in part, prevents you from pissing yourself and running off like a cowardly dog when the bullets start to fly and you see your buddy’s head get splattered all over your lap.

Now, if you are saying 18-year olds should receive intense formal training on how to “drink responsibly” — so you don’t piss yourself and hump your buddy’s dog on his lap when you get a little too hosed — well then, the argument makes a little more sense.

So even though I’m okay with lowering the age limit, let’s at least be sensible with our arguments shall we? Since you can join the military at 17 and be issued a fully automatic weapon without requiring that you hold a federal license, should we go ahead and make it legal for everybody age 17 and older to own fully automatic weapons? They allow that in much of the Middle East and many war-torn African nations. Umm… no. Let’s not do that.

Taking Advantage of My Freedom to Be Crazy

This July 4th, I remember all the normal things you are supposed to remember. Like the fact that New York held out for 5 days before signing the Declaration of Independence, that South Carolina refused to provide soldiers to General Lincoln to defend their very own Charleston from the British, that it took those geniuses in Congress 165 years to finally make the nation’s birthday a legal holiday (guess they just wanted another paid day off), that it took nearly 90 years to open freedom to every American… uh, oh yeah, and the sacrifices of our forefathers that make it possible for me to pursue happiness.

To show my gratitude, I’m going to repost my response to my friend’s 4th of July special Four for Friday meme here on my own blog. Please enjoy!

Q1 – Holiday Travel: Retail gas prices rose overnight to a record high for the fourth day in a row, ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend — one of the nation’s busiest weekends for travel. Have you changed your July Fourth plans because of rising gas prices?

My plans were to drive to the local Burger King and get me a Whopper combo. But now, I’m not so sure I can afford the gas to do so :(

Q2 – Neighbors: On the afternoon of November 14, 2007, 61-year-old Joe Horn shot and killed two men burglarizing his Vietnamese-American neighbor’s home in Pasadena, Texas. Despite how you feel about Horn’s actions, would you choose to defend your neighbor’s home in the same way?

Well, if I were in Texas (where it’s legal to lethally defend property) and assuming I didn’t hate my neighbor (in which case I’d probably join in on the burglarizing), yes I would. In Utah, the laws make it much more difficult to defend yourself (much less your property or your neighbor’s property), so there’s no way I would. Hey, Texas being Texas, I figure if you try to rob a man’s house you better be expecting to get shot.

Q3 – Gobble Up: Now that the European Large Hadron Collider is completed and ready to fire up in August, a slew of articles have popped up on the Internet and in newspapers around the world quoting doomsayers. An AP article from last weekend was the most recent example of critics warning that the 17-mile, $5.8 billion supercollider–which will slam protons together in an attempt to learn more about the building blocks of the universe–will inadvertently create a black hole that will gobble up planet Earth. Are you worried?

A black hole? I’ve always wanted to see one of those things close up! Actually, I’m more distressed over Schrodinger’s cat. Where’s the Humane Society when you need them?! I’m pretty sure it’ll take more than a couple of protons colliding to create a black hole. And if it does… man, what a way to go!!!

Q4 – You Choose: We all know that there only 12 months in a year. But what if I gave you the ability to add a 13th month to the calendar! What would you call this 13th month and where in the calendar would you place it?

I would call the month “Stusmember” and make it the first month of the year. It would be the AWESOMEST month EVER… every year!

So there you have it folks! I edited the questions for space. To see the full, unedited version, visit Mikal’s BeliBlog and answer the Four for Friday yourself.

How to Win Lunch from Your More Popular Friends

So my blog gets somewhere on the order of about 20 page views per day on average. That probably translates to 5 or so actual visitors. My best day ever was 90 page views.

Then one day, I agreed to host a post on behalf of my friend Mikal. You may recall the Four for Friday from a few weeks ago. I told him, “Great! Maybe I’ll actually break my old record of getting 90 page views!”

Mikal’s reply? “I doubt it.”

Then this fiasco happened:

Stu's WordPress blog stats

Yeah. His blog is just a tad more popular than mine. Thanks to him, my record was blown out of the water! So I told him about the 205 page views the next day. He apologized for sending me more traffic than I’ve ever received before and told me he owed me lunch. That’ll teach him to mess with my blog stats!!! Why, I oughta send him tons of traffic in retaliation, see how he likes it! Sheesh!

As you can see, since that time my page views have gone back to normal, and all is well. Okay, I’ve been out from under my rock for entirely too long now. The light is making me tremble. Back I go.

Belicove’s Four For Friday

Due to the Beli-Blog being in the midst of updates that will make it more powerful than Superman (literally, being that Superman is not real… sorry to break it to you), Mikal has asked that I, Stu, host today’s Four For Friday, an honor for which I am more than happy to oblige to.

And now, the venerable FFF!

Q1 – Big Oil, Big Spill: The U.S. Supreme Court agreed earlier this week to decide whether Exxon Mobil Corp. should pay $2.5 billion in punitive damages to fishermen and other victims in connection with the huge Exxon Valdez oil spill that ruined more than 1,200 miles of Alaskan coastline in 1989. Exxon’s position on the matter is that a ship’s owner should not be “vicariously” liable for the reckless behavior of a captain, and that punitive damages greater than $25 million are not justified because the spill resulted from an accident. Attorneys for the fishermen and other victims contend that Exxon bore responsibility for the accident because the company knowingly put a drunk in charge of an oil tanker. What do you think? Based on what you just read or know from the longstanding case, should Exxon Mobil be made to pay the $2.5 billion in punitive damages?

Q2 – Racism: Do you think you could be friends with a racist?

Q3 – Criminal Background Checks: Most cities and towns have their fair share of controversy, but Eagle Mountain, Utah, seems to be a magnet for suspicious characters. Back in the late 1990′s, voters learned that a candidate for Mayor had previously been convicted of tax fraud and served time in a minimum-security prison.
In 2003, the town’s Mayor told his police and his wife that he had been forced to drive to California at gunpoint. After learning he lied about the incident, police charged the then Mayor with filing a false report to police. Last year, Eagle Mountain’s Mayor was charged with seven felony counts of misuse of public funds. Now, someone whose Real Estate license was recently pulled by the State of Utah over allegations of Real Estate Fraud is running for Mayor, and a sitting councilwoman was recently charged with a second-degree felony for apparently accepting a $10,000 gift without reporting it to the city. Do you think candidates for public office should be compelled to submit to criminal background checks, with the results of such checks made publicly available; or is a candidate’s previous criminal prosecutions and adjudications no one else’s business?

Q4 – Food: Can you eat something with a texture that is visually unappealing. What about food that smells bad but taste good?