I link to this every year, and I will again. Even though it makes me feel older and older, it’s always interesting. For those who came in late, every year Beloit College helps their faculty understand the incoming freshmen class by preparing an annual mindset list. Here’s this year’s list.
I was feeling burned out and meh about politics. I felt like anything I said here wasn’t going to matter one microbe to anybody. If I had my way, I was just going to blog about comics, blu rays, and stuff like that. After all, when it comes down to it, this blog is ultimately about keeping me interested (BTW, thanks to Gordon Dymowski and Alan David Doane for the comments left. See, I don’t ask for much. Just a sign somebody’s reading this thing) I was content to leave politics alone.
And then came the news that Romney selected Ryan as his running mate. Goes to show how fast things move on these internet tubes. It’s only Saturday, and the announcement was made this morning, but it took some digging to find a link to the original story, before both sides dug in.
Where to begin? How about Ryan being such a believer of Ayn Rand. Yes, you got me. Most of what I know about Rand is that Spider-Man creator Steve Ditko is another devotee (which is reflected in a lot of his work) and that another devotee tried to keep Maggie Simpson away from her pacifier on The Simpsons. But I’ve read up on the philosophy, and I think there is a world of difference between giving hand outs to undeserving and ungrateful people, and a hand to those who need it. As the old PSAs said, they’re not asking for a hand out just a hand, and all they ever wanted was a chance. I don’t believe that people who need help want to sponge off of the able-bodied workers. Have you ever been to a welfare office? Okay, neither have I, but it’s hardly the Monty Hall giveaway some would lead you to believe. Anybody applying for welfare or food stamps realize how frustrating it is, jumping through all the hoops, and figure getting a job is easier. Problem is, those who need this help can’t get a job. And that’s before you factor in the deck being stacked against them. The other day I posted about the Civilian Conservation Corps over at Hey, Martha! which was a jobs program set up during the Great Depression. I read a lot about how there were so many abandoned houses due to the housing meltdown and so many homeless, and you factor in the unemployed and the fact that there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to fix things in this country, I bet that if they launched a similar program today, how many people who are homeless, facing foreclosure, or unemployed would sign up? I’ll bet a lot more than those “on the dole” who would yawn and pass it up, wanting their free lunch, as those on the Right would claim would be the response. Maybe even add in the so-called undocumented workers who are supposedly getting all of this good stuff for free? I would also wager they would jump at the chance to earn citizenship in this great country, not just here for the free stuff (another right wing claim).
And then you factor in Ryan’s voting record on women’s rights. Last I checked, there were more women than men in this country. Could somebody point out why our representatives are mostly white guys?
But what spurred me to write this post was ComicMix pointing out a post they did last year pointing out the similarities between Ryan and “The Smiler”, a politician from the DC Comic Transmetropolitan. But they know there’s a difference: as they pointed out themselves, “One of these individuals has good looks and a certain amount of charisma, but has no empathy for the lower classes of society. He has designs on the presidency, and will cut odious political deals to make that happen, all while being fawned over by right wing pundits and a segment of the voters who are convinced that he will save us from ‘the Beast’.
“The other, of course, is a character out of the comic books.”
And the fix is in, brothers and sisters. How are the Repugnicans going to win the election? The same way they did last time. By cheating. You’ve no doubt read about the voter fraud laws that as Jon Stewart pointed out are like leash laws for unicorns, that what a coinkydink affect those that tend to vote Democrat. And Ohio is in their sites again, this time curtailing hours in the districts with high Democrat votes while expanding the hours in the Republican districts.
Getting back to political discourse not changing anybody’s opinion a microbe, if there’s only one thing you take away from all this, let it be this: ultimately the election will be decided by people like you going to vote. Yes, you will be bombarded with messages from groups that basically say “_______ is the greatest menace out there, and we’re fighting to stop it, and we need some money to do so”, but after all the campaigning and commericals, in the end, it will be you going into the voting booth and casting your vote. All the money spent won’t matter at bit. And no matter how you vote, make sure your vote is counted the way you voted. I don’t want my side’s votes counted, I want all the votes counted.
Amazing how this whole thing about Chik-Fil-A has blown up…
I was wondering if this story was going to die down, but it looks like it’s got legs. Something to take our minds off of all of this drought, I guess. On thing that’s amazed me about this whole mess is that I think it’s people using it as an excuse to magnify their opinions and thoughts, and less about the actual issue. There’s people who aren’t that clear about First Amendment rights, with some people thinking that those rights are being infringed up because it’s something they don’t agree with. The First Amendment only protects against government intervention, such as when officials in Boston and Chicago rattle their sabres about letting Chik-Fil-A conduct business in their towns. And I wonder how many people who are weighing in on this issue are familiar with what Dan Cathy said originally, that got this all started?
Paul Harris made some good points about this issue. What bothers me about this issue is that a company is the one donating the money to these groups. If it were Cathy and other executives and employees doing it, it wouldn’t bother me as much. After all, if we boycotted every company that did anything wrong, I think a lot of us would end up eating grass in our backyards (my original thought about writing about this was to do a satirical piece about not doing business with anyone who did anything I disagreed with or didn’t like. I only went as far as the penultimate step, where I didn’t buy seeds to grow my own food because the guy at the hardware store told a dirty joke. Couldn’t do much more beyond that.) and living in a tent I wove myself. But I guess people will only avoid doing business with people and companies they disagree with when it’s conveeenient, as the Church Lady would say. I saw a Condenscending Wonka picture that pointed out that those boycotting Chik-Fil-A aren’t boycotting buying gas for their cars, as the petroleum is coming from parts of the world that put homosexuals to death.
So just do nothing and give in? I don’t know, I don’t have the answers. I know I would be uncomfortable patronizing Chik-Fil-A in light of these recent developments. Maybe its like this one picture I saw on Facebook said: can’t feed 100 people? Then just feed one. You can’t change the world, but you can change some things. We can’t win all the battles, but we can win some. I don’t think doing nothing is the answer.
Mark Evanier points out this article by Fred Kaplan about the military budget. A few things concern me. One is that a lot of the budget is for items that aren’t needed or obsolete, or somebody thought they were cool. Second, that a lot of that has to do with our elected representives getting some of the jobs or a piece of the pie for their area. Third, that trying to fix it would result in that person being painted as soft on terror and defense. Basically do a Cleland on them.
Like a lot of you I’ve been reading and watching the latest developments in the Trayvon Martin case. I hadn’t written anything because like a lot of you, I don’t know exactly what’s going on or what to think. I don’t have an agenda or want to benefit from this situation, so I’m like a lot of you left to think. As unhappy as I am with our justice system, I am even more unhappy about any appearance of taking the law into our own hands, even if people don’t Tweet the right address. Spike Lee did make amends, and at least I can be glad about that.
But all too often, things like this happen every day in our America. While people are wearing hoodies and echoing cries for justice, other injustices occur and nothing is said about them. There isn’t as much attention about things like the death of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr. a 68 year old Marine vet who was killed by police officers who responded to an accidental activation of his medical alert pendant. If that pendant didn’t record what was said, we wouldn’t have known what happened, and the unknown officer who killed Chamberlain wouldn’t be on paid leave while the investigation is going on. It’s a good thing we have people like Kristen Wolfe to pass along this information.
Or Howard Morgan, an African-American off-duty cop who was shot 28 times and left for dead by white Chicago police officers. And Morgan is the one facing charges after the incident.
And I got frustrated because nobody noticed my April Fools post a few days ago?!
So the MegaMillions jackpot is $500 million dollars. And as usual, people who don’t usually play the lottery (i.e. those who consider a million or two a mere bag of shells) are coming out and playing, driving the jackpot even higher. Indiana is one of the states participating in the MegaMillions lottery, but I was put off by the odds of winning the jackpot at around 175 million to 1. In contrast, the odds of winning the jackpot in the Hoosier Lottery are a mere 12 million to 1. Less money, but better odds. But I enjoyed reading the Fark thread about this story, as a lot of the posters have the same thoughts as I. That buying a ticket allows for some fun dreaming, that (like all lotteries) the jackpot is what you get if you get payments over 25 years with the lump sum option being less and debating which way to go with that. I’ll tell you, I’ll probably buy some tickets because while the odds are very, very high; the odds of winning are zero if I don’t play.
And what if you win the lottery? Here’s some helpful advice.
Bill Maher has an idea: how about we have one day where we’re not offended by something? He proposes this Sunday be a National Day Of No Outrage where if something bothers you, you quit dealing with it and go on. Don’t organize boycotts or whatever. It might make some groups that make a good living with outrage less money, but whatever.
Even before all the talk about governmental budgets and cutting back, the question’s always been there: why spend money on NASA? There’s so much that needs to be done here on Earth, why spend billions to send an astronaut to hit a golf ball in space? I even wrote a letter to the editor of the Kokomo Tribune addressing this very issue. But I think you should take a look at this article that explains that 1) any actual spending we do for NASA is a very tiny part of the budget, and 2) we’re getting so much more in return, even here on Earth.
The South Bend Tribune learned of a call placed to the Department of Child Services’ hotline describing child abuse that was going on in someone’s home. I would say horrific, but one, they say to write you must avoid unnecessary modifiers because, really, is there any other kind of child abuse? Degrees of abuse I’ll grant you, but when all is said and done. This call came months before one of the children Tramelle Sturgis was found tortured and beaten to death. The South Bend Tribune obtained a court order to release the DCS records of the call and published the story on their website last Friday. The story was up briefly until they were ordered to remove the story. Steve Hammer wrote about it and linked to a cached version of the story. Fortunately, the case was resolved today and the story is back up on the South Bend Tribune’s website. Yes to information not being supressed, no to what happened to the children of the Sturgis family.
I was woken up Monday morning by Kathy wanting to get on the computer to find out about Kirk Cameron’s outburst on TV, but was surprised to find out he was just saying he was against the gheys marrying on TV, which is what every good Christian should oughta believe. But as I pointed out there and here on the blog, I believe that the Christians will believe that is the irrefutable Word Of God until they see enough members (and more important, contributions) leaving the church, where their stance will be softened to turning a blind eye on it (at a minimum), same as they did with their stances on interracial marriages and divorce.
I like on the Fark thread talking about the reaction to Cameron’s statement, a poster that goes by the nome de web of Mr. Coffee Nerves writes: “I can’t wait to read this story as a FW:FW:FW:re:RE:FW;fw;RE:FW with the subject line ‘Kirk Camaran’s first amendmunt rights taken away by LSM'” But I must confess that I am facing a similar problem to my wife’s on Monday morning: I keep seeing mentions of Cameron’s crucifiction, but I have searched all over the internet, and see nothing about him getting nailed to anything. Maybe I’m looking at the wrong news sites, which can be easy to do, since the news is controlled by the liberal media. And let’s take a look at that phrase, the liberal media. Of the broadcast networks, CBS is owned by Viacom/Paramount, NBC is owned by Comcast, ABC is owned by Disney, and Fox is, well, Fox. And on cable, you’ve got Fox, MSNBC (Comcast and Microsoft), CNN (Time Warner). As Bill Maher once said, if the news networks were more right wing, they’d fly in circles. Yeah, there’s Al Gore and Current, but again Maher sums it up as “a TV station that you only get if you order the “Just Give Me Every Damn Channel in the World” package.”
Yeah, Liberal media.
But as far as Cameron being crucified, I haven’t seen anything like that. And you’d think it would be on the news. But since I’m not a member of the secret club and know all the handshakes and attend all the meetings, my remarks are dismissed. Unless the tide of public opinion turns against them, and a new spin has to be done on their remarks. Like with Kim Novak comparing the similarities of the soundtracks to The Artist and Vertigo to “a rape”. Well, The Artist went on to win all those awards and her remarks went nowhere, even turned back against her. So here comes the trump card: she says she used that analogy because she was actually raped. Its hard to respond to something like this. The deck is stacked against you. And in the light of the Rush Limbaugh thing, this is an area that must be tread carefully. Fortunately, what I have to say is succinct. An accusation like this shouldn’t have used the term “rape” in the first place. And I would think if anyone would believe that, it would be Ms. Novak.
Finally, there was another old chestnut that popped up on my Facebook wall yesterday. It’s the “Dear God, Why do you allow violence in schools?” and God replies “I’m not allowed in your schools.” Again, missed the memo where religion was banned in school. Let’s go over this one more time: God and religion is allowed in schools. But since schools are paid for with tax dollars and run by the government, therefore being part of the government, the first amendment preventing establishment or mandating of religion thereof kicks in. They can’t tell students when and what to pray. I know you want to say that taking prayer out of schools has caused our downhill slide and will only end up in the whole country’s destruction, but as the old joke goes, as long as there are tests, there will always be prayer in schools. And isn’t that when most of you do your praying? When you want something? Or want to make a big show of it and impress people, contradicting what is said in the book of Matthew about it?
And there’s all this talk about how all the problems are caused because “we ain’t a Christian nation no more”. Ask the Jews in the United States around December with all the talk about Christmas and anyone who wants to acknowledge any other faiths is declaring “war on Christmas”. Ask the athiest who has to keep his beliefs to himself, or the athiest the reactions he gets when others find out about those beliefs. Yeah, we’re not a Christian nation, all right.