Sunday, November 05, 2006

Stories That Got Lost in the Pre-Election Havoc...

These are some stories that I wanted to post about, but something more pressing kept bumping them...

No Grunting in the Gym:
This story is absolute insanity IMO. Maybe people that have never engaged in weight lifting (not machines, actual free weights) don't understand that "grunting" isn't a show of manliness or some strange testosterone affectation...but a release of air, adrenaline and pain. Most of the time it's an involuntary sound... Yet one gym owner decided that "grunting" intimidated other gym-goers and banned it at his Wappingers Falls, New York's "Planet Fitness" (people should have known by the name it wasn't a real gym). Planet Fitness advertises as a "judgment free zone" -oh Lord, I'm going to puke.
But they seemed to be judging corrections officer Albert Argibay when they POLICE ESCORTED him from the gym for engaging in the innate act of grunting.

"..."When somebody's in there and they grunt and they grunt loud, it's trying to bring attention to themselves to show everyone how strong they are," Grondahl said.

"He was looking directly at me and he did it four times," she said. "I'm not a doctor, but as far as I know, a grunt is a noise that comes out of one's body that is loud and is intimidating."

"It's an embarrassing situation to be in, over a grunt," Argibay said" (source)

It seems like this facility is a glorified "Curves"...and this dude needs to go to an actual muscle head gym where grunting is not only accepted, but expected.

Not All Monsters are Acceptable on Halloween:
Walter Petryk went to school on Halloween dressed as Adolph Hitler. He refused to take off the costume when asked and now may be facing disciplinary action by the Department of Education. Parents and students of the Brooklyn, New York school, Leon Goldstein High School, plan to march to the Holocaust Memorial Park on Monday to denounce the student's costume choice.

My first reaction was the same as the students, teachers and principals. How insensitive to dress as the Furor -especially at Goldstein High... but then I thought about it more. Isn't Halloween about dressing as the worst and scariest monsters? People are Osama Bin Laden (my brother's friend dressed as him the Halloween right after 9/11), John Wayne Gacy, child molesters, flashers, and various other movie monsters and serial killers? The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was a bit hypocritical to allow other killers and veto Hitler. Why is Hitler off the table in the scary monster costume arena?

I don't know the kid's motive (though his father is Jewish so it would seem his intention wasn't nefarious) and I personally wouldn't dress as Hitler (unless maybe the theme was a "scariest monsters party" where it was clear you were disgusted by him and not glorifying him), but as far as free speech and Halloween goes --it seems inappropriate to single this costume out for punishment.

Political Leaning Determined by Genes?:
John R. Hibbing, a political science professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is involved in research seeking to find a genetic link to explain political leanings. This story sparked my interest because the study is using identical twins --and the only two liberals in our family are my younger brothers...who are indeed identical twins.

"Genetic researchers are trying to prove that social attitudes can be inherited, and have discovered strong correlations between the two.

So far, the political connection has relied on studies by Lindon Eaves, professor of human genetics and psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University. About 8,000 sets of identical and fraternal twins answered a series of questions on topics such as school prayer, nuclear power, women's liberation and the death penalty.

Identical twins, who share their entire genetic code, answered more similarly than fraternal twins, who are no more similar than non-twin siblings.

If you assume that both identical and fraternal twins share an environment, then the disparity between the results must be genetic, Hibbing and colleagues conclude.

Some scientists, however, are not ready to embrace the theory." (source)

If it does turn out to be more a product of nature than nurture...then maybe we can use genetic counseling to cure liberalism! ;)

Saddam's Hangin':
And last, but certainly not least... Saddam has been sentenced to death by hanging.

"Saddam Hussein was convicted and sentenced Sunday to hang for crimes against humanity in the 1982 killings of 148 people in a single Shiite town, as the ousted leader, trembling and defiant, shouted "God is great!"

As he, his half brother and another senior official in his regime were convicted and sentenced to death by the Iraqi High Tribunal, Saddam yelled out, "Long live the people and death to their enemies. Long live the glorious nation, and death to its enemies!" Later, his lawyer said the former dictator had called on Iraqis to reject sectarian violence and refrain from revenge against U.S. forces." (source)

Any liberal that may have sympathy for Saddam, just remember that children were often hung as a result of his "Revolutionary Court".

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