Monday, December 05, 2011

Tis' the Season to Be Dreadful...?

According to a recent Consumer Reports poll, this is what people dread most about the holiday season.

1. Crowds and long lines: 68 percent
2. Gaining weight: 37 percent
3. Getting into debt: 37 percent
4. Gift shopping: 28 percent
5. Traveling: 25 percent
6. Seeing certain relatives: 24 percent
7. Seasonal music: 23 percent
8. Disappointing gifts: 19 percent
9. Having to attend holiday parties or events: 16 percent
10. Having to be nice: 15 percent
11. Holiday tipping: 12 percent

Some of these I can see.

Having to be nice? Really? Have we become that cynical?

So much for holiday spirit. Ho Ho Ho!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reasons Sarah Palin Scares Me: Part 4-Her Fans

Note: Even though she has announced that she is not running for President, Sarah Palin is still a prominent voice in the political arena today. Therefore, I still feel this is worth writing about. Also, I committed to this series of posts, and I will see it through. It's who I am.
I’m just going to come out and say it; her fans scare the living daylights out of me. (Yes, they are correctly called fans, not followers or constituents. She is no longer nor shows any interest of ever being a politician again. She is a celebrity now, pure and simple; a celebrity in the political arena, but a celebrity not the less.) These are people that DO NOT take even constructive criticism of their idol kindly. The way they react you would think someone was threading something truly unthinkable of their children. (And, in my opinion, I think they actually care more about her than their own children.)
They have been referred to as Palin-bots, the flying monkeys & zombie bats. These descriptive nicknames definitely don’t inspire any feel good feelings.
Anyone who is perceived as an enemy of one Sarah Louise Heath Palin is subject to the wrath of fans. What this entails is extremely nasty and poorly written emails at best, and death threats to you and your family & friends while broadcasting your personal information at worst. Just ask David Letterman. Or Alaskan bloggers Mudflats, Gryphen or Shannyn Moore. Or Alaskan State Trooper Mike Wooten. Or Levi Johnston and his family. Or Sen. Leland Yee (D-SF), Alicia Lewis & Ashley Briggs.
One of the better known and best documented display of how bad her minions can make life for someone who would have something less than flattering or myth-busting to say is journalist and author Joe McGinniss. He describes his time in Wasilla in his book “The Rouge: The Search for the Real Sarah Palin”. He recounts how the atmosphere got so bad that a number of residents offered Joe weapons so that he could protect himself, including the Mayor, Verne Rupright. As someone who has loved Alaska since researching his book “Going to Extremes”, he could not share that love with his kids and grandkids for fear for their safety. He wrote on his blog about the experience before the book was released.
Disagreement, debate and compromise have always been an important part of our political process. What has been brought forth by the likes of Palin is something completely different and frightening.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Anonymous Random Quotes I've Liked Lately

"Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person." ~Unknown (saw on a t-shirt)

"Why is it easier to believe that 150,000,000 Americans are being lazy rather than 400 Americans are being greedy?"~Unknown

"Don't like gay marriage? Don't have one. Don't like cigarettes? Don't smoke one. Don't like abortions? Don't have one. Don't like sex? Don't have it. Don't like drugs? Don't do them. Don't like porn? Don't watch it. Don't like alcohol? Don't drink it. Don't like guns? Don't buy one. Don't like your rights taken away? Then don't take away someone else's."~Unknown

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I'm Back, Baby!

After an unexpected 2 week exodus from the online community, I have returned from the wilderness called "offline". I have not been idle in my time away, and will be posting the fruits of my labors. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WTF Rick Scott!!

Today, Rick Scott basically told all liberal arts majors that you are wasting your time and money at college and “we don't need them here [in Florida].” Wow. Governor Alien Head is alienating yet another voting bloc. Not even a year into his term, he has pissed off just about every demographic in the state. One has to wonder if he really wants to be re-elected. Hell, one has to wonder if he even wants to make it to the end of his first term. (Mother Jones has an excellent article on his attacks on liberal arts programs on right-wing radio.)

In his emphasis to push to reduce funding for liberal arts and push more funding toward the “STEM” disciplines (science, technology, engineering & mathematics), I think he should have taken the time to check out what is defined as liberal arts. The Encyclopedia Britannica defines them as “The term liberal arts refers to a curriculum that imparts general knowledge and develops the student’s rational thought and intellectual capabilities, unlike the professional, vocational, and technical curricula emphasizing specialization. The contemporary liberal arts comprise studying literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, and science. (Hey Governor, I believe two of your STEM disciplines are in here. Di d you know that? Here’s the Wikipedia link if you don’t believe me.)

Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for more people getting science, technology, engineering and math degrees. Personally, I feel we really need to step up our game in this country regarding these subjects because we have been falling off our game in recent years. We need to get our competitive edge back if we want to keep up with the rest of the world. But this doesn’t need to be done at the expense of other degrees. There is a place in the world for everyone, and not all people are called to be scientists, IT’s, engineers or mathematicians. To dismiss the liberal arts (or at least the one’s he doesn’t like) as “soft” degrees and not worth state funding is arrogant, ignorant and downright inhuman.

He claims it is to have more of our young people to “get education in areas where they can get jobs.” Well, let’s take a look at this statement, shall we? Over here on the Space Coast, we have over the past year LOST over 10,000 jobs. The people who held these jobs held science, technology, engineering & mathematics degrees. When you turned down 2 billion dollars in federal money for the Sun Rail project, that was a potential 17,000 jobs that would have been created, and many would have been held by people with science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees. Here’s the thing, a college degree is only as useful as your ability to get a job. If you can’t get a job, or the jobs just don’t exist, it is only a fancy piece of paper.

Then there is the impact that cutting funding that goes to the liberal arts programs. For these departments in the larger state universities and liberal arts colleges, this could be a death knoll for them. This would be another economic blow for our state for two reasons. 1.) The loss of these programs & colleges would mean that the jobs of the faculty and staff would no longer exist, therefore more lost jobs. (I thought your campaign slogan was “Let’s get to work,” not “Let’s cut the jobs.”) 2.) The students who would be majoring in these programs would attend colleges elsewhere. When you factor in that these cuts would affect school such as Florida State, University of Florida & University of Miami, the impact is huge. These are schools that not only attract in state student, but a large number of out of state students too. If these students are forced to go elsewhere, they are not spending those college dollars in the Sunshine State.

All I’ve got to say is whoever thought it would be a good idea to vote for this guy, how’s that getting to work-y thing working out for ya?

Friday, October 07, 2011

3 Absolutely False Talking Points

All you hear from politicians nowadays is talking points. Really? Don’t these people have college degrees? You would think with all that higher learning, they could actually express an idea with full sentences, much less actual paragraphs. Let’s be honest, there are many issues that are too complex to be summed up in 10 words or less. This is our country, our way of life we’re talking about here, not a game of Name That Tune.

There are three talking points that particularly annoy the hell out of me. Particularly because they are so absolutely MISLEADING AND DEAD WRONG!!!


These are the folks that don’t believe that any woman should be allowed to have an abortion. This is not necessarily a bad position to hold. Let’s be honest, I have not met a person who is pro-abortion. I seriously doubt you have either. (If you have, this goes against every instinct we are hard wired with to continue the species and they are just not wired right.) And let me make this clear, pro-choice is NOT pro-abortion.

Now, there are a number of politicians and their constituents that have taken the stance of being pro-life, when it would be so much more honest to say they are pro-fetus. When I hear the term pro-life, I see it as meaning someone who respects all life and believes it is all sacred. Those in the modern pro-life movement ONLY the unborn is sacred. Once you’re out of the womb, or not human at all, you are fair game and on your own folks. Most people who are “pro-life” are for:

  • Continuing wars in foreign countries and starting new ones
  • The Death Penalty
  • Hunting for sport and trophies
  • Denying health care to those who can’t afford it
  • Fighting and all attempts at reasonable gun control

Not very pro-life, is it?

~Abstinence is the only safe sex

I have been hearing this one going on a quarter of a century now. We were taught this in high school on up ad nauseam to repeat it to our kids and grand-kids till the day we die. Abstinence is a concept with merit. It is the only 100% way of preventing STD’s and unwanted pregnancy. There is just one thing wrong with what we have been taught. Something cannot be a version of the something it’s not.

Basically, abstinence is NO SEX; therefore it cannot be a safe version of sex.

It’s like saying that the best diet is starvation. A diet is the usual food and drink of a person or animal consumes; starvation is depriving the body of food. There are exact opposites. And so are sex and abstinence.

The correct way to state this would be “Abstinence is the only 100% way to prevent pregnancy and STD’s.”

~Job Creators

This is the newest talking point born just in time for the upcoming 2012 election season. If you make over $250,000 a year, you, my friend, are a job creator. And for this reason, many politicians are saying that you don’t need to pay more taxes. Hell, we should cut them more. Why? So you can take that extra cash, and create more jobs. Sounds good, right?

Here’s the catch, when viewing the figures for the last 30 years the taxes for the $250,000 and above crowd have pretty steadily have gone down, but right alongside it the number of jobs created have gone down too. Actually, the only thing that increased is the number of jobs that were cut. (Facts, the politicians don’t realize apparently, you can find with a mere 5 minutes of research.) So the question becomes, what did they do with all that money they weren’t paying in taxes while the unemployment numbers are at all time highs and the country’s infrastructure is falling apart?

Just today, the CEO for Bank of America defended their new $5 debit card fee that will start next year as people understand that banks “have an inherent right to make a profit.” So how much is enough? At what point is it just plain old fashion greed? And with this profit, will you be creating more jobs at your banks, or will you be cutting jobs to fuel your “inherent right to make a profit?”

The old adage is that you need to spend money to make money. It’s time they put the money where their mouth is and re-invest it in the American people. It’s a very simple equation. If no one has the money to spend on your product, you will cease to continue making a profit. Money needs to keep moving, not be stagnant. That is Economics 101. I think it’s time for these “job creators” to go back to school.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Tim Tebow Controversy?

I was watching/listening to Sports Center the other day, (it was on where I happened to be at the time), and they had dedicated a story to the fact that Tim Tebow was the most controversial figure in sports today. Hell, it was their headline story. The first thing that popped in my mind when I heard this was, “Tim Tebow, really?”

It’s laughable, really. Sports today are filled with players that have committed just about every crime on the books, and some have even served prison time and come back to the game, but the evangelical Christian is the most controversial out of all of them. I’m not saying that he is not controversial, because anyone with an extreme point of view on anything will be. I am saying to call him the most is a bit ridiculous.

I will admit, I watch football, but I really don’t pay that close attention to who the players are, unless I am involved in fantasy football. The only reason I know anything about the few players off the field that I do is because it is plastered all over the news, as if the actions of Michael Vick are of equal if not greater importance as world affairs. (Hint to all the sports fans out there, THEY’RE NOT!!! Not even close.)

So, Tim is a Christian who wears his religion on his sleeve for the entire world to see. Big deal. Last time I checked, he was an American citizen, and as such, his right to do so is protected by the First Amendment. So you don’t like what he is saying. Guess what? The First Amendment works in your favor to, by saying that you have every right to express your disagreement with him, or just completely ignore him.

I know one of the big things that people went nuts over was the Focus on the Family commercial he did that aired during Super Bowl XLIV. Yes, the commercial had a “pro-life” stance. But did anyone really WATCH the commercial? His mom told the story of her pregnancy, which was a difficult one. I found it rather touching. Also, the pro-life message was not forceful, and not once was the word abortion said. I am pro-choice, but I did not find the commercial offensive, but more of a story about one mother's love for her unborn child despite the odds.

And let’s address the folks who tried to tell us that Super Bowl commercials are not the place to get political. Really? Did I miss some unwritten rule that states this? I mean, it’s not like there is much that they won’t allow. Why is that? Because if you can come up with the money to pay the EXTREMELY overpriced per second fee to have your commercial shown during the Super Bowl, they will be happy to let you. The truth of the matter is not the content that mattered to the programmers; it was that Focus on the Family could come up with enough money to pay for a 30 second ad of which they were happy to accept.

On the Sports Center piece, they had a Denver Bronco’s fan say that they just didn’t know if they could support the team because Tim Tebow and how he expresses his beliefs. I have a question, how can you call yourself a fan of the Denver Broncos then? If one player's lifestyle/beliefs can throw you like that, were you really that into the team to begin with? Especially one that isn’t even in the starting lineup; he’s the friging backup Quarterback. I know true football fans. For 21 years I lived in a house of dyed in the wool hard core Jets fans. They stuck by them through crappy seasons, terrible players, bad couches & couching. They never stayed, and love them just as much today as they ever have. Hell, they could draft Hitler, Charles Manson, & Satan himself, they would still stand behind their team. They would question the management decision behind it, but they would be there, every game, decked out in their Jets attire cheering them on. So, Mr. Easily Offended, you need to turn in all your Broncos gear at the door, because sir, you are not a true fan.

I may not agree with his approach on expressing himself, and I do find the message to go to extremes. (Dude, telling your fans that they are going to hell if they don’t believe what you do is not good PR.) I will, though, defend his right to believe what he does, and say how he feels. To defend speech and beliefs that you do not agree with as well as that you do agree is to know the true meaning of free speech. Freedom of speech and religion is a two way street.