This is Calvin Yahn

The above video is a video taken in 8th grade at a field trip in Washington in DC. The "fights" depicted were more or less staged as we only did it at the request of the camera man. And we didn't get in any sort of trouble for it.
Below is a picture of me at the prom earlier this year at a local meeting center in my hometown, Johnstown PA. The link is a link to a forum which covers a game that I have enjoyed playing.

.external image War Forums
Right and Down

Well, there's a political spectrum. Often, it's a single line from left to right. It simply goes from what might be called radical to liberal to moderate to conservative to reactionary. Now some wierd things occassionally show up on such a one dimensional graph. Rightwing Pinochet and Hitler are opposite of left wing dictatorships such as Stalin and Pol Pot; but obviously, they were rather similar many aspects. So some group invented another type of spectrum with two axis. One along an economic spectrum where the left side indicated more control and the right less control. The other axis is vertical and the top is more authoritarian and the bottom is more libertarian. There are other types of charts in 2D, some with traditions vs control and various others but the libertarian and authoritarian chart was the one that is in this story.

Back in Sophomore year of high school, I was taking government for my first semester. We talked about many things and did several activities. One such activity was doing the above mentioned quiz. When I completed it, I was a little above the center of the graph. One reason why I wasn't that extreme was because I simply agreed or disagreed but not strongly.

Several days ago, I took the same test and appeared moderately far to the right and down a little bit. Clearly a bit had changed. While not ridiculously changed, it was fairly substantial; though some of the origins of it lay before I even took government.

In late February of 2005, my Aunt Betty fell and broke some of her fragile bones. Although they later healed some of her bones, more complications arose and her lack of her ability to walk meant that she eventually lost morale and eventually died. As we inherited much of her stuff, we brought many items home. As she read a lot, we brought some books home. A few months later, I eventually looked around a few of them and came across one called "Skeptics Answered". It was a apologist book about Christianity that tried to prove it to be true.

Confident in my newfound knowledge, I asserted it in some conversations and it was somewhat convincing. However, I wanted to see how well it stacked up against atheist arguments. Naturally, the internet was a place where people argued back and forth about various topics and the existence of God was and is a common topic. During the summer after her death, I began looking around and I saw all sorts of arguments for and against his existence.

As time went on, I eventually became less and less sure of God's existence. While still Christian, I was a lot less sure. Eventually, that unsureness would show up in later instances.

While that issue has yet to be resolved, others came up over time. One of them actually came up as a result of English class.

Back in December of 2004, I remember reading an article in Wired about why nerds were unpopular. It basically stated that they were unpopular because they had better things to do than to try to be popular. Regardless, in English 11 Honors, we were supposed to read it but I'm pretty sure that during that day, I didn't have the sheet for it. However, I remembered the title so I could find it over the internet.

After having found it, I read through it but I began looking around the rest of the site. Much of it was how to start up web businesses such as google or amazon. However, I remember one article that seemed to talk about their economic views and they talked of how despite inequality in income, the alternatives were worse and that it wasn't necessarily a bad thing as the wealthy made wealth rather than stealing it as in the previous centuries.

As I pondered over that, I began thinking of taxation as theft as it was wealth that a person legitimately acquired that had been forcibly taken by the government as that would happen if that person refused to pay it. Of course, some taxation was needed to keep some essential services running but tax on unnecessary things was unjust. And then, I realized that being more consistent with views would be a good idea.

Around the same time, I made another realization, more out of self interest than anything else. As I was a non-speaking role in the musical, I just sang and danced. For the few scenes that I was in, we did a lot of that but there was a good bit of time where we weren't doing anything so we simply talked. Well, I remember finding this one girl rather attractive at the time. And I think I was talking to her as well as a number of other people. One of those people was joking around that he was gay and I realized that as a heterosexual male, that was a good thing. I reasoned that the more males that were gay, the less competition that I would face for any girl. Unfortunately, it didn't help but the idea that the existence of male homosexuals would help me as a heterosexual male changed a few things.

Another idea that had altered my view on some of those issues was a book I had got out of the library during some summer during high school. It talked about the faith that some of America's founding fathers had. Eventually, it was talking of not only how religion controlled governments but how much religion was corrupted by the power of government and that the separation of them was generally good for both.

Adding that view to the already changing views of gay marriage created a new one entirely. Figuring that government and religion generally weren't good for each other, marriage as a government recognized institution wasn't something that really should have continued. Perhaps if it was simply an unrecognized institution and if the government simply issued civil unions, the whole gay marriage debate would be largely moot.

Of course, the view that marriage wasn't really any of the government's business largely penetrated into other views such as sexualities unless they were actually harmful. And that is why I opposed and still oppose abortion as it killed people. At least in my view, my views had become a lot more coherent.

That's pretty much the story of how I moved right and down on that version of the political spectrum. While I have pretty much remained unsure of God and still remained Christian, it helped spur the movement to those views. In the future, my political views could change as I'm still a bit torn between neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism but as of now, the've become much more coherent and more distinct than the views that I more or less inherited from my parents.