Thursday, June 25, 2009

A pox on both houses

Time after time I get the same question from people: am I a Republican? Because I'm critical of Obama and the Dem leadership, I must be, right?
Wrong-o. I was a Dem -- a happy unquestioning one -- for, oh, what's 53 minus 18? {thinking}....
25 years!
I'll probably never join the GOP, tho, as it presently stands. Only if they lighten up a bit on the social issues and the almighty worshipping of business. Now, see, that right there USED to be my niche in the Dem den. No more. They are too far left now.
Wacamole My Week
I just finished one of the weirdest, saddest and pissiest weeks of my life.
Yup, I don't want the hassle of having to explain my feelings.
Here's to better days. :-)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Spin Cycles

Would you like some bul*sh*t with that climate change?
The Obama administration released this week a climate impacts report that was ready for the public in April, but has been in the hands of a San Francisco consulting firm that specializes in ecologic campaigning, allegedly in order to make it more digestible and understandable for the public.

Hmm. Given this administration's track record, I am going to take that as code for letting the consulting firm edit the report to make it back up what Obama and the Dem Congress want to shove down the public's legislative throats.

Even if the content wasn't "massaged", how credible or uncredible does it make that report to go through the promotional rinse cycle, a report of such importance mandating changes of such immense costs?

Once again, this administration's brazen play on the public's trust proves breathtaking but consistent. I mean, why let people read a record stimulus bill? Nobody needs to know what's in it, right? Same with this report. Better to just let us tell them what they need to know.

Even if you are a total Obama backer and green citizen who believes 100% in global warming, just think about this for a moment. Everything we've been told may well be happening. Let's assume that. The one big question I have is this: the facts are that we are in a warming trend, but why does everyone assume that our behavior as mandated by this report will reverse any of this warming, or even have a positive effect on it?

See, my beef is not with the spotting of this trend or climate phase. I do not dispute it one bit. My beef is, no one can prove conclusively that immediate, intense, concentrative, disruptive, expensive behavior change is going to make a good gawd-dang in the end, so why are they constantly trying to shock and scare us, and blatantly intimate that our behavorial changes will save us and undo these climate trends? Because, that's the hinge the entire argument rests upon, otherwise, why bother.

Oh, I'm not advocating doing nothing. Not at all. I'm just saying, why throw the baby out with the bathwater? Why rearrange the entire economy so quickly and intensely that people, sectors, industries are decimated and economic recovery threatened, when a slower, more steady approach delivers us to the same destination eventually.

This report's scare factor is huge, from what I read. So, could they be using this to scare us into adopting the political reforms of their agenda? Ask yourself this: how deep is your ecological resolve when your electricity bill in the summer is $1,000 a month, when it's $400 now? Or if you can only get electrical power intermittently?

I write this to force readers to just think twice before buying all this lock, stock and barrel. My take is, if the warming trend phrase we are in is causing heavier rainfall, rising tides and temps, and more violent weather storms (and I believe it is), we may be chasing quixotic windmills thinking we can control a Heat Age. Don't fall for it.

Let's Play Spin the Letterman Bottle
I'm sure you've all heard about David Letterman's latest attempt at spin. I would love to see Dave versus Sarah on Wopner over this, wouldn't you, heehee? At first, he tried to apologize for his series of tasteless jokes without really apologizing at all, and fruitcakes like Joy Behar echoed his denials.

Then, the American public got involved and suddenly it became all about money being lost, advertisers pulling out, and Dave's real heartfelt sorries came out (as did Joy's 180 reversal now making him guilty).

LOL, yep, probably alot of the same American public who were belittled and insulted as "tea baggers" and idiot hapless hacks of the GOP, people not even worth listening to, according to the Obama administration. I bet a lot of them were, so isn't it odd that when money's involved, they suddenly have a point?

Newsflash: that's only the tip of the explanation iceberg, see, because to many who are calling for Dave to be fired, his recent junior-high-immaturity-gone-old-pervert behavior was the last straw, not the first. Many who protest Dave have cited his plan to entrap McCain during the campaign (along with "hard-up-news" anchor Katie Couric), and employer CBS's unequal treatment of Imus in similar situations as factors requiring some tough consequences.

Palin accepted the second sorries, but this thing ain't over til the fat citizen lady sings.

If you are so inclined, there's actually a lot you can do to make your voice heard. Go here to sign the protest letter, get advertisers' numbers and addresses to inform them via letters of your intent to boycott their products, and see where other protest rallies are being held.

Make the little no-longer-funny immature brat in his 60's uncomfortable for as long as possible. Personally, I think he should be fired because he hasn't been funny in years, but that's just my opinion. If this accomplishes that, so much the better, means and ends and all.

Senility or Spinning Sin?
We learn that AmeriCorp Inspector General Walpin, whose job it was to protect the public's interest against wasteful spending in that agency, was fired for successfully doing just that. And when Walpin fired back to defend his good name, he was told it was because he was senile. If so, why would he be asked to represent the agency at a huge meeting and speak extensively the day after the board meeting where he supposedly exhibited the senility? Gee, wouldn't he have been immediately suspended and not allowed to so this? And, if this was truly exhibited (I doubt it), it was only on one occasion. Walpin couldn't have just had a bad day? Come on, this smells. Even worse, ACORN seems to be intricately tied to this agency as well. San Francisco, too.

My favorite headline on this was the Youngstown Vindicator's "Obama's transparency goal undermined by opaque acts". Ain't that the truth?

I continue to wake up each day thinking it can't get any weirder or more dangerous to our present way of life. But every day I am proven wrong...sheesh!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Honest Aimes

Emily presented me with this neat award, so thank you very much Em!! Please visit her blog.

There are a few requirements to accepting the Honest Scrap Award and they are as follows:

A). Here are 7 honest things about myself:

1. I desperately need to go get an eye exam and some new glasses. So much so that I've worn a pair of broken glasses for the last year that I've taped back together.

2. I have what I guess you might call a bit of a talent for naming things. I would probably have done well in an advertising firm creative department (which is what my daughter will be doing once she graduates college in a year, if the economy cooperates).

3. I just signed up for two online summer workshops, one in creative lettering and the other a study of techniques in Gwen Diehn's book, The Decorated Page.

4. My favorite hot breakfast cereal is Malt-o-Meal.

5. A neighbor gave us a sack of home-grown tomatoes last week and I sure did enjoy slicing them and eating them.

6. In the summer I combine Aveeno Moisturizing Body Wash with St. Ives Facial Scrub on my wash cloth in the shower, and it gets the dead skin off, plus it moisturizes and invigorates my skin all over.

7. I just got my hair cut off super short. I went to my usual hair salon, but began using a new stylist who gave me an old-fashioned razor cut, which is perfect for my hair type. I haven't had this good of a cut in years.

Thinking of 7 things that I haven't already blogged about was hard! So, these may seem obscure things about me. I am in a mood not to repeat anything, though, so, whatchya gonna do?

B). I must put a copy of The Honest Scrap Logo on my blog which I have proudly done!

C). I must select at least 7 other worthy bloggers and list their links. Well, I recently decided that while I refuse to refuse to do tags and quizzes, I am going to refuse to hunt down new recruits. This is entirely my fault as I am very slow and it takes me forever to do that. So, if you are reading and want to do this quiz, consider yourself lovingly tagged by me, okay? And, if you have tagged me, please accept my thanks for understanding. :-)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Laid Bare

{digital art by me using Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 and a Dover clip art image}
Recently, I've stumbled into a series of eye-openers that have left me feeling as if I've been laid bare for all the world to see...if the world knew how to see it. Luckily, most of the world is blind to these matters.

It began innocently enough. I can't remember exactly now what led me there, but I began reading online about a new book called A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H. Pink. I read an article about it, an interview with its author and I even read a little of the book itself thanks to Amazon's Look Inside feature.

Pink's book, in a nutshell, is supposed to be one of the so-called Library of the Age of Obama -- books which explain what's going on and why and how everything's changing. And it intrigues me so greatly that I bought it and am waiting for it to arrive later this week. I'm intrigued because this left brain / right brain thing appears to be a pendulum swinging back and forth, guiding our technoconomy. I was born in a right brain age, saw it shift to a left brain age about the time I reached adulthood. And if Pink is right, I'll see it swing back to right brain soon.

From what I've read so far, my hunch is that he may have it about right, because when you consider the other attributes he describes that are needed for this to happen, you can see them already influencing the changes we've been experiencing, if you are paying attention. I'll report more on this as I read it.

My journey doesn't stop there, though. A local reporter's newspaper's column linked this NYT column that asserts that our moral foundations explain our political leanings. With a title like "Would You Slap Your Father? If So, You May Be a Liberal", I had to read the column, which led me to the Moral Foundations Questionnaire.

Here is the graph of the results of my questionnaire answers:

According to the website, the questionnaire "...measures your reliance on and endorsement of five psychological foundations of morality that seem to be found across cultures. Each of the two parts of the scale contained four questions related to each foundation: 1) harm/care, 2) fairness/reciprocity (including issues of rights), 3) ingroup/loyalty, 4) authority/respect, and 5) purity/sanctity. The idea behind the scale is that human morality is the result of biological and cultural evolutionary processes that made human beings very sensitive to many different (and often competing) issues. Some of these issues are about treating other individuals well (the first two foundations - harm and fairness). Other issues are about how to be a good member of a group or supporter of social order and tradition (the last three foundations). Haidt and Graham have found that political liberals generally place a higher value on the first two foundations; they are very concerned about issues of harm and fairness (including issues of inequality and exploitation). Political conservatives care about harm and fairness too, but they generally score slightly lower on those scale items. The big difference between liberals and conservatives seems to be that conservatives score slightly higher on the ingroup/loyalty foundation, and much higher on the authority/respect and purity/sanctity foundations."

I was generally not surprised at my results, as a whole. I have always said that I am a Moderate, meaning between Liberal and Conservative. You can see that in 2 of the 5 foundations my results (in green) came out in between the 2 extremes of Liberal (blue) and Conservative (red). Those foundations were Fairness/Reciprocity and Ingroup/Loyalty. On Authority/Respect, I am fully Conservative, which is a little strange and probably over-stated since I support legalization of pot and I think our Drug War has failed miserably. And on the Harm/Fairness foundation, I'm even more to the right than Conservative, which I also question, since I am a fairness freak at heart. So, given that the last two foundations are a tad off, that would make the results be Moderate all the way.

I should stress that the way the questionnaire is designed, its quite tempting to answer in the most compassionate manner, as that puts one in the most charitable light. But if these are answered completely truthfully, it really can show you where you are on these matters.

But you will feel a slight draft. Feeling naked does that to a person...winkwink