Alpine Summit

Monday, May 29, 2006

In the Army Now

I leave for BCT (Basic Combat Training) June 7th. Since I am moving out of my apartment soon, I will have little more access to this blog and have decided to just put this blog on hold until I'm through with my training. I may decide to even start a new blog and shut this one down entirely. As it stands, don't expect any activity here for some time.

For those interested in what I will be doing for the next 23 weeks (roughly), you can go here and here. Feel free to check out the blogroll, each featured site has at least an occasional goodie to read about. It's been fun and full of thrills.

Until I have my bars... to all who have read my blog, thank you and I hope to hear from you again.


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Saudi Arabia and Islam

I was reading up a bit on the state of affairs in the Middle East as it pertains to religious freedom, and came across the statement that any religion other than Islam is prohibited in Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is almost entirely desert and contains 25 percent of the world's known oil reserves. The capital city is Riyadh. Mecca, the holy city of Islam, is also located here. Saudi Arabia is committed to its role as custodian of Islam and its holiest sites. All religions other than Islam, including expatriate Christian gatherings, are prohibited.

Surely a friend of the United States, a predominantly Christian country, would not be so hostile towards other faiths? Well according to the State Department, it is.

The government does not provide legal protection for freedom of religion, and such protection did not exist. Islam is the official religion, and Islamic law as interpreted by the government requires that all citizens be Muslims. Government leaders called for tolerance and moderation, and King Abdullah and other leaders made public pronouncements condemning religious extremism.

So while it is required that citizens be Muslims, non-Muslims should be tolerated. What is interesting is how the current Christian viewpoint (indeed, the Christian viewpoint in America for the past 200+ years) is that one cannot truly come to God without being free to do so (since love cannot be compelled). The thinking goes that one committed to finding the truth will come to Christ after looking at faith objectively. So it begs the question, why do Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia keep such a tight leash on its citizens concerning their religious beliefs? Could it be the only way to preserve the Islamic majority found in these countries is to suppress all other belief systems? If Islam was the only true religion, then school teachers would not have to drill that statement into its first graders' heads. Not only that, but the government would not take an official endorsement of religion.

A review of a sample of official Saudi textbooks for Islamic studies used during the current academic year reveals that, despite the Saudi government's statements to the contrary, an ideology of hatred toward Christians and Jews and Muslims who do not follow Wahhabi doctrine remains in this area of the public school system. The texts teach a dualistic vision, dividing the world into true believers of Islam (the "monotheists") and unbelievers (the "polytheists" and "infidels").

This indoctrination begins in a first-grade text and is reinforced and expanded each year, culminating in a 12th-grade text instructing students that their religious obligation includes waging jihad against the infidel to "spread the faith."

In some ways I'm glad that there are people like New Age Humanists in my country. Though I would wish they find Christ, it is the simple fact that they are allowed to practice their beliefs freely--something not found in many countries throughout the world--that makes me proud to be part of this country. While many other places such as Mauritania and other "less influential" Muslim countries are more tolerant of other faiths, they still have some kind of caveat or addendum attached to their form of "religious freedom." This is typically characterized by the "no proselytizing" rule and others that prop up Islam while denouncing or suppressing any other faiths.

Muslims may defend their respective countries by saying that there are no specific laws in Muslim countries prohibiting worship in other faiths, but when looking at the application of the law, the story is much more different. Instances of harassment, deportation, and imprisonment without habeas corpus are found in many Muslim countries--including Mauritania, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and others. If Islam really is the one true religion, then shouldn't it be able to stand against other belief systems by its own merits and not by the suppression of other belief systems?


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Hippies Turned Scientists

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, school busses are now contributing to our children's deaths. A quick look at their site shows they're nothing more than environmentalists looking to justify their viewpoints that the world is on the brink of implosion. The primary clue to this is the fact that they assume global warming is a simple fact. Indeed, this isn't the case and the jury is still out on whether or not we're even experiencing global warming--and so far, it doesn't even seem likely.

Anyway, their latest report shows that they are concerned for the well-being of children because the busses they ride to school are contributing to respratory problems. I'm confused though, I thought that busses were part of the solution to reducing pollution? Now they end up being ever harmful. the UCS' solution? Spend 13 BILLION dollars upgrading current, and buying new busses.

Given the tenuous nature of their so-called "scientific objectivity" I'm hardly convinced their opinion is worth much. To me, this is just another example of scientists overstepping their expertise and using their status as scientists to insert their opinions into the findings they decide to acknowledge.


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Here Comes the Bride

I went to a wedding for my friend from high school yesterday in Ft. Collins. It was a great service and I'm happy to see she found someone that makes her happy. After having not heard from my friend in over year and a half, I was a little shocked to get an invitation. I went anyway, and I'm glad I did.

The wedding was held at a Lutheran church in Ft. Collins. The service consisted of 3 bible verse readings: Gen 2: 18-24, 1 Cor 13: 4-7, 13, and John 15: 9-12. Each one dealt with marriage (duh) and what I especially liked was the pastor's pointing out that this is the type of relationship we should have with God. We are His bride, and He is our bridegroom.

Weddings are always joyous occasions where we celebrate the union of two people in a sacred bond. Where two hearts promise themselves to each other for the rest of their lives. At the reception, the maid of honor's toast included this line: "I hope this is the day you both look back on and say it was the day you loved each other the least." I really liked that because it's so true for Christians. Everyday we should grow in God's love in the same way. We should be able to look back and say that the day of our conversion was the day we loved God the least.

When we commit ourselves to Christ, we are "marrying" Him. Our efforts from that point on are not our own, but done with Him in mind the same way a married couple are no longer doing things for themselves, but for each other. I had never realized how Christian marriages are very symbolic of the relationship God wants with us before, and I think weddings are good not just for the participants but also to remind the witnesses what they're actually viewing--God's love in action.


Saturday, May 20, 2006

My Take on the Da Vinci Code

Well from what I've been reading, most people didn't like the movie. I, on the other hand, enjoyed it quite a bit. It was very true to the book though cut corners in some places. The girlfriend didn't like this part of the movie because it wasn't as suspensful. Also, that only one cryptex was used instead of the two mentioned in the book was also a bad mark on the film. Given that the movie is already about 2.5 hours long, I was willing to accept some cut corners and artistic license on the part of Ron Howard.

Though I still don't see Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, I thought he did a great job in this role. Audrey Tautou was more or less what I pictured as Sophie, and Ian McKellan was a bit thinner than I imagined Teabing to be in the book. The cast was great though and, despite the bad casting of Langdon, I thought the movie was well-done.

Seeing this movie really took away a lot of the aura of fact in which many claim "The Da Vinci Code" to be steeped. I was more reminded of "National Treasure" and the overall adventure story and riddle-solving associated with that, and less emphasis on trying to pass off the things stated as actual fact. Overall, a fun movie that stayed quite true to the book and certainly a good movie to see.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Paying the Price of Families

Massachusetts state Senators are proposing a bill that would force employers to pay their employees for a 12 week vacation every year. This is not a good idea, and only bolsters the view that liberal viewpoints are completely illiterate with regard to economics and free markets. The bill itself is here.

If an employer has to pay 12 weeks worth of wages with no reward for themselves, then they are going to hire single people since they will work for those 12 weeks. Not only that, but it doesn't violate title VII for an employer to ask if someone has a family. So instead of having working families that don't see each other very often, you will instead have unemployed families living in poverty becoming even more dependent on the welfare state to live. To liberals, I guess, that's a good thing.

If companies had to hire family members, then they would raise their prices and make everything more expensive to compensate for the money they are paying that isn't generating revenue. This means the cost of living will go up when you take this in the aggregate. This is just a bad law on all levels and will help very few people (if anybody), and hurt many more.

France is in such a dismal situation (partly) because of its constant stroking of a welfare state. Massachusetts' own welfare state is putting them in the same situation. Pretty soon you will have a government trying to support a state full of an unproductive population. This is what Communist Russia had to deal with, what France (and other European countries) is dealing with, and it has never worked.


What Would DaVinci Do?

Well the controversy has begun. "The DaVinci Code" comes out on Friday and people are already calling for the (figurative) heads of those involved with the movie. I'm sure if the movie involved Mohammed, someone would be dead by now. Anyway, I was reading this article and thought what Tom Hanks said to be very interesting.

"This is not a documentary. This is not something that is pulled up and says 'These are the facts and this is exactly what happened.' ... People who think things are true might be more dangerous than people who ponder the possibilities that maybe they are and maybe they aren't."

I like this quote because it reminded me of Silas from the story. The story and its contents are, of course, not true; but Silas, Dan Brown's villain personifies many hard-liners on both sides. The Opus Dei member cared more about supporting what he decided was true than finding the truth. Just like Silas, there are people in real life more concerned with trying to say Christianity is wrong than looking for the truth. Dan Brown, when I read "The DaVinci Code," caused me to despise Silas because he was more interested in propping up what he believed despite any evidence to the contrary. The story puts this level of ignorance on the Christian, but it can just as easily be applied to many non-Christians who simply hate the Christian faith. Which brings me to Ian McKellan's recent comments on the Bible.

"Well, I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying this is fiction. I mean, walking on water, it takes an act of faith. And I have faith in this movie. Not that it's true, not that it's factual, but that it's a jolly good story. And I think audiences are clever enough and bright enough to separate out fact and fiction, and discuss the thing after they've seen it."

His comments were meant to be a slam on Christianity and the Bible. What separates "The DaVinci Code" and the Bible from each other is that Dan Brown's book is a work of fiction. The Bible never makes claims to being fiction. In fact, it says "this is what happened." Just because Ian McKellan doesn't believe the Bible to be true, does not make the Bible untrue. Sure it takes faith to believe Jesus walked on water; but that doesn't mean he didn't. Nobody alive today was there to say one way or the other, and there is no way to prove he did other than taking the Bible at it's word. This is just yet another example of people like Silas who say "anything contrary to what I've decided is true, is not true." It is a very ignorant position to take and something I would expect a homosexual, who doesn't like being told his sexual decisions are immoral, to say.

I for one am excited about the movie despite the initial salvo of bad reviews. It should be a fun adventure full of thrills and hopefully cause people to look into the claims of the movie a little deeper for themselves. I know this book really sparked my interest in apologetics and knowing what the truth about Christianity is. I hope it has the same effect on others.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

United 93

I just got back from watching "United 93" with the parents, and it was outstanding. What was interesting (certainly not the only thing) was the one guy who, after learning there were 3 other suicide attacks had taken place, still thought the people could be reasoned with or wouldn't harm them if they just cooperated. In fact, he tried foiling their plan to retake the plane.

Hmm. Someone who thinks religious fanatics can be reasoned with? Someone who would rather help those same fanatics in achieving their goals than looking after their best interests? Someone who ignores the evidence proving them wrong? Someone who doesn't make any moral distinctions between those using violence to defend themselves and those who use violence to persecute and murder innocent people? That doesn't sound like any particular group in this country, does it?


Friday, May 12, 2006

The Abortion Issue Continues

Bear Hour posts a response to a Missouri abortion group that is whining that the govenor wants to stop abortions. It's pretty well done, and reminded me of my own experience with those calling me "anti-choice."

I wrote a letter regarding the moral reprehensibility of abortion in response to, I believe, the Women's Action Network on campus. In their initial letter to which I was responding, they referred to people opposed to abortion as "anti-choice." In my letter, I referred to THEM as "anti-life," needless to say the editors of the student paper decided to "tweak" my letter and wrote something along the lines of "those who value the choice of the mother over the right of the baby." It just goes to show that emphasizing a conotation that makes a moral position "negative" is okay while emphasizing a conotation that makes immoral (read: "liberal") position "negative" isn't.

Anyway, read bear hour's response. It is well written and makes some good points.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I've Had It

Michelle Malkin reports on something I absolutely cannot fathom: our own government is providing Mexico with information regarding the where and when of the minuteman project. Drugs, illegal immigrants, and loss of cultural identity are all major issues that can be easily solved if we took a better stance against people crossing our borders without our permission.

Now it turns out that the Border Patrol is officially providing intelligence to the Mexicans to presumably know where not to be when violating our sovereignty. Not only that, but lower-level border patrol members are told by their higher-ups, among other things, not to respond to the minutemen! Considering this is a federal agency, I can't help but think the Bush administration is behind this somehow.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman confirmed the notification process, describing it as a standard procedure meant to reassure the Mexican government that migrants' rights are being observed.

Liberals hate Bush because he's Hitler, or stupid, or whatever; and conservatives hate him because of his bowing to Mexico, his horrible economic policies, and other bowing to popular forces. As John Derbyshire says, "this is the last straw." Being criminally negligent makes me unhappy about "my" party, but being criminally complicit infuriates me--especially when MY government cares more for the "rights" of illegal immigrants than it does my own. What the hell is the point of even having a border patrol anymore? I would feel supremely betrayed if I were one of the border patrol right now. Here, I was tasked with a job of protecting the borders, and the people who hired me are doing everything to make me ineffective.

If I didn't think the Democrats would simply win through having a split vote, I would certainly vote for a Conservative party. There seem to be none in Washingtion these days.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Those Who Have Expired, Inspire

I'm moved by the handful of people (women in this case) who literally put their necks on the line to say what needs to be said regarding Islamic terrorism. Michelle Malkin's new show "Hot Air" outlines such women and should serve as an inspiration to the rest of us. My favorite was from Wafa Sultan, an Arab-American journalist.

The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the middle ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship, it is a clash between human rights on the one hand, and the violation of these rights on the other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings.

For this statement, she has received death threats. Tell me these people are just peaceful goat farmers, tell me this is just a matter of oil, tell me these people have a valid right to believe these things--I dare you. What Islamic terrorists have done is objectively immoral, and indefensible. What's more, it is with the full and unequivocal blessing from the Koran that these things take place. There are plenty of good people who follow the Koran and Islam. They have been deceived into thinking Islam is a religion of peace, yet fail to explain why nations built with Islam at their foundation are almost without exception totalitarian, human rights nightmares.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Castles in the Sky

In the investing world, there is a term called "castles in the sky." It is basically the concept that a given investment has no intrinsic worth and can reach any value regardless of the company. So the stock of a company can easily have a higher stock price, and be worth more on the market, than it actually is. This means that since there is no "baseline" value to draw from, a stock that has been going up continuously for months is just as likely to continue going up in value. Historically speaking, this is pretty rare, and gives rise to the concept that there is an intrinsic value with investments--typically around the physical value of the company.

I was reminded of this concept while reading Coco's complaints about the AIDS problem on my "AIDS Amazing" post. He (assuming it's a 'he') mentioned how it is criminal and morally reprehensible that the Catholic church does not condone the use of condoms. At the same time, of course, he offers no moral absolutes to back up his own claims of how condoms are a human right. He gives us no "baseline" from which to draw. I see this over and over again among liberals who like to think they have the moral high ground when they can't even define where that ground is. In other words, they are building a castle in the sky and making assumptions on morality with no solid foundation from which to be making the claims that they are.

Allow the Vatican to dictate the moral policy of millions of people is a crime, while they claim the condom "is a sin".
If we affirm the radical islam is medieval for how they treat women, what the Vatican is?...
More about what I think in:

As I mentioned on Coco's blog, it's always those “eeevil kkkapitalists” that are the ones that kill these people according to liberals. Please. This is about personal responsibility. AIDS is a disease people don’t get (usually) unless they are behaving in an immoral manner. We can sponsor AIDS awareness campaigns all we want, but it is ultimately the choice of the people whether or not to engage in this risky behavior. With regard to the those evil corporations, if it wasn’t for them wanting to make a profit, the drugs you have so much love for, the ones that should be freely distributed, would not exist. These drugs exist as a result of someone wanting to make money. Without that “greed” (for lack of a better word), we would be living a much different, and much more miserable, lifestyle.

The vatican outlines what it thinks is moral behavior, and the people who adhere to Catholic belief CHOOSE to accept those dictates from the church as part of their faith the same way you have a moral stance that says we should condemn them for their moral stances. By the way, I’m not sure I see how denouncing condoms is “anti-woman” the same way prohibition of educating, allowing to drive, or enforcing a clothing standard on women is, but whatever.

It’s important to note, also, that the Catholic church’s stance on condoms is based on conceiving children–not preventing the spread of disease. The way I see their position, from a wider angle, is that if you are obeying the tenets of Christianity a condom is unnecessary in any circumstance–which certainly makes sense.


Favors for Friends in High(er) Places

My friend asked me to put a link up to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Though I'm increasingly unhappy with the Republicans on several issues, I still think the failings of the Republicans are a far better better option than the successes of the Democrats. Besides, the NRSC is full of good people and provide a lot of good insight into the hypocrisy of the left. So check it out on my "various links" section titled "NRSC."


Friday, May 05, 2006

Circumstances With A Bit Less Pomp

I will be graduating from college tomorrow. It's been a day I have looked forward to since graduating high school. Now that the day is finally here, I'm a little sad that I'll be leaving one part of my life behind. The silver lining, of course, is that this marks the beginning of a new chapter of my life in the Army. I'm leaving Laramie for basic training ("BCT"), and for good, on June 6th, D-Day, and that following Monday will begin reception at Ft. Jackson, SC.

I am going to miss all my friends, especially my girlfriend, who will have to deal for the (at least) 9 months I will be away training. Ahead lie new challenges, most pressing being my physical fitness test which hasn't gone well yet since I started training. I'm welcoming these challenges. How does one grow as a person without challenges? The answer is that they don't, but it doesn't make leaving any less difficult.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Cool Person of the Week

I often find state politics to be a much more pleasant endeavor than federal politics. It usually has to do with the nature of the politicians and their demeanor. If anything, they're a lot more principled. That probably explains why my state (overwhelmingly Republican) has a Democratic govenor. So kudos to this guy.

State Representative Todd Rutherford has found a way to fight higher gas prices.

The Columbia Democrat uses his new golf cart to go from his home to the State House, as well as his downtown office and courthouses. Rutherford says he bought the electric vehicle last fall when Hurricane Katrina sent gas prices to around $3 a gallon.

I'm not sure how effective this would be for most people on an economical level, but it's nice to see this man leading by example as politicians should. Anyway, it's cool; and so is he.


The Brain is Already Shutting Down

Tonight I went running at the gym. On my way driving back, I stopped at a 4-way stop intersection... and waited for the light to turn. Ugh.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Heroism Still Alive

While little girls are whining about people seeing their boobs (after showing them to the world), the truly heroic are putting their lives on the line for this country. Case in point, Lt. Smash's link to this story about 1SG Kasal, USMC.

The Marines said Kasal earned the honor while fighting in Fallujah, Iraq,
in November 2004. Kasal was going door to door, visiting houses where insurgents
hid. Kasal learned that three Marines were trapped inside one of the

"It was a death trap; it was set up for one purpose -- to kill United
States Marines," said Michael Lehnert, of the U.S. Marine Corps. "Sergeant Kasal
went into that building for one purpose only: to take care of his Marines and to
lead from the front. When insurgents threw grenades in an attempt to eliminate
wounded Marines, he rolled on top of his fellow Marines and absorbed the
shrapnel with his own body."

Kasal lost 60 percent of his blood while fighting insurgents and absorbed
40 shrapnel wounds from the exploding grenade, according to the Marine

I doubt you would see this kind of self sacrifice among the general population of America. I am glad to see, though, that it is still very much alive.


Weeping Pitchers of Water

What is wrong with people? No, strike that. What is wrong with girls who act like sluts, then get offended when they're called on it?

Five years ago, when Monica S. Pippin was 16, she entered a wet T-shirt contest during spring break at Daytona Beach. The Plant City High School junior exposed her breasts as men doused her with $5 pitchers of water, she said.

She won the $100 grand prize.

Then one day, a neighbor saw Pippin in a Playboy video on cable television and called her parents.


"I find it disgusting and embarrassing," Pippin, now 21, said in a sworn statement as part of her 2002 federal lawsuit. "I think it makes me look like some kind of prostitute or porn movie star, almost like I am trying to show my body to the camera, which I was not."

You don't say! Tell me something, if you weren't so concerned with looking like a "nice girl" when you did this, why are you now? Oh that's right, because mommy and daddy found out and now little Monica is in trouble. Honestly, what did she think it would make her look like; the next nobel prize winner? I will never understand how a girl can expect to shake her boobs in front of a faceless crowd (KNOWING there were cameras there, by the way) and demand people don't see her as a piece of meat?

Seriously, I weep for the collective intelligence of the future; especially if the courts find her case holds water (even though she was operating outside the law to begin with) since she isn't just suing Playboy, but also "Anheuser-Busch, Deslin Hotels, and several other entertainment companies." Settling with Playboy and Anheuser-Busch.

What do you want to bet this "good girl" settled with Playboy on terms of royalties? I wouldn't be surprised in the least.


Monday, May 01, 2006

Revelations on Revelation

Trackedback at: Common Folk Using Common Sense

For my New Testament class, the teacher had us compare the Book of Revelation to the Sci Fi genre of storytelling. I got a good grade on it, and found the exercise quite enjoyable. So, you all get to read what I wrote! It's pretty self-contained, though, so enjoy!

The reason the author or revelation (from here on to be referred to as “John”) would have chosen the sci-fi genre is because it provides for settings and situations outside of human experience to describe an all-to-human scenario. Many times, Sci-Fi is also used as a prophetic vision for the future—whether it is good or bad. One difference in Sci-Fi from the apocalyptic account in Revelation, though, is that of symbolism. Regardless of how sci-fi is used, the genre itself provides a much wider and deeper canvas for storytellers to express themselves.

An example of something John would have come up with if writing Sci-Fi in this time would be “Lord of the Rings,” or “LOTR” for short. It is the story of a society on the same land that has banded together—despite their differences—to destroy an ultimate evil. The idea behind LOTR is that everyone on the good side bands together to destroy the ultimate evil once and for all. Ironically, but keeping with a more biblical account, the least among them has the greatest task—to cast the source of evil’s power into a river of fire. LOTR has many fantastic creatures: some good (giant eagles), and some bad (orcs). Similarly, Revelation contains plenty of ‘fantasy’ in the form of dragons (12:3) and unnatural creatures (4:7).

Another Sci-Fi story would be “Equilibrium.” It is an apocalyptic piece about a society that has eliminated all emotion. The story itself concentrates a lot on how the society became the way it did. Paraphrasing one of the characters, he says: “its symptom is hate, its symptom is war, its symptom is sadness… by eliminating the dizzying highs of emotion, we have also eliminated its abysmal lows.” We learn the society is a result of accepting emotion as part of our policies in the world. It takes place after an extremely destructive war where only a select number of people survived for the ensuing “utopia” which turns out to be nothing of the sort. Revelation does this extensively in the first half of the book when writing the letters to the various churches. He follows their behaviors through to their logical conclusion and sort of plays a thought experiment asking “what if” to each church in the form of a message from God. By the end of the story in “Equilibrium” the corrupt society is destroyed, and the proper “emotions allowed” (i.e. “good”) society is reestablished for all time.

Where Sci-Fi may be lacking when compared to Revelation, is in the idea of symbolism. Revelation uses so much symbolism that it’s sometimes hard to understand exactly what John is trying to say will happen. One reason for this is that the terms were widely known at the time and the symbols were self-evident during the time Revelation was written.

Just like Sci-Fi, Revelation is a much more creative and attention-grabbing way of getting a point across than simply telling people things the author feels they need to know.


Volkswagen Controversy

Diana Hartman at Blogcritics talks about the new VW commercials where they show graphic car crashes from inside the car.

The prevailing question seems to be, do the Volkswagen crash-n-carry sudden-impact ads sell cars?

I'm not sure if they sell cars, I don't see much utility for ads other than letting people know about your product. I certainly don't think people (above the age of 16) seriously say "Celebrity X uses product Y, so I absolutely have to have it too!"

The controversy, though, is much more interesting to me. I'm wondering if this has to do with an attitude and behavior on the road people have when being ensured of a car's safety. I see this especially with SUV drivers. They feel invincible in their suburban tanks, and feel it gives them license to drive fast on ice, cut people off, speed, etc. Regardless of VW's effectiveness with this campaign, they have certainly started up conversations about good driving, and actually showing the violence that takes place inside the car is a good way to show how people are, 1. completely helpless in a car crash--even in the safest of cars (which we are led to believe is VW), 2. wrong to be complaicent with how they drive because the car is "safe."

VW has done an outstanding job in showing people that while their car is really safe, the underlying non-marketing theme of the commercial shows that it's still no picnic to be in any kind of wreck. I could easily see this as an Ad Council campaign for seat belts. This is precisely the kind of shock-advertising people need to see that while a car is safe, it's not a substitute for good, attentive driving.