Some Thoughts on Free Speech

My brother†Adam posted something on his blog yesterday that spurred me to write down some thoughts I’ve had about free speech lately.

Adam often comments on the Opinion Talk blog run by our local newspaper, The Fresno Bee. Recently, one of the editors posted a request that people who participate there refrain from using personal attacks in their discussions. This prompted a comment from someone named Brian Murray, who wrote, “Sounds like suppression of free speech,” and thus precipitated a lengthy conversation in the comments on the post about free speech and the proper methods of argumentation, among other, subsidiary topics. Not all of the comments were friendly, but Adam correctly points out that he stayed civil and rational where others failed.

After reading that conversation, I had some thoughts, which I posted as a comment on Adam’s blog. But they were so lengthy and substantial that I decided to share them here, too. Without further ado:

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A Tale of Two Races: 2008 Great Race 10K and Chamber Classic Half Marathon

It was the best of races. It was the worst of races.

On September 28, I ran a PR in the Great Race, finishing in 50:49. That’s more than 3 minutes faster than last year’s 53:56. The only way I could have been happier is if I’d broken 50 minutes.

The Chamber Classic half marathon was a different matter entirely. I’d hoped to run the Ikea HM, but the blessed event of my son’s birth prevented that. I figured the Chamber Classic would be an adequate replacement race. My next HM opportunity won’t be until late March. Training has been going well, as have races. I’d hoped to break 2 hours and felt ready and able to do so.

I was wrong. I did terribly. The race started out fine and through 8 miles I was on pace for a 2:00:39 finish. Something happened during the 9th mile, though. I hit a wall…hard. I completely ran out of energy and my legs felt like lead weights. I jogged occasional and forced myself to run through the finish, but I had to do a lot of walking. I finished in a dismal 2:14:30. Hopefully I’ll be able to set a PR and break 25 minutes at the Race for Pace 5K tomorrow.

Marriage, Sex, and Childrearing

Since both Funky Dung and Jerry have recently entered the world of parenthood, I thought it fitting that my first guest post for this blog should discuss parenthood Ė specifically, attitudes toward parenthood in different religious groups.

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Profanity is Useful

Profanity is useful. People need those words to express things that cannot otherwise be expressed. There are times when the artful use of non-profanity works better and there are times when you simply must have the quick punch of a “bad” word. And to have profanity, you need to maintain at least a loose taboo on certain words.

But this is ridiculous:

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Palinoscopy

Sarah Palin was not a train wreck in the Vice Presidential Debate last night, but three things stood out for me.

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