Sunday, October 20, 2013

If It's Obama's Idea - It's Bad

President Obama has had to endure unprecedented opposition during his years in office.  Republicans can't agree on one single idea or agenda.  Several weeks ago it seemed we were on the brink of war with Syria.  President Obama tried in vain to convince Republican leaders that military action was necessary to stop chemical weapons from being used against their own people.  You read that right - President Obama failed to convince Republicans to go to war.  Republicans love war - they make obscene profits off of war - so why do they oppose it so much now?  Because it's President Obama's agenda.  Only history will show if this is correct or not but I suspect the President is actually using that opposition to his advantage.  If he had argued against military action - you can sure bet the Republicans would have argued in favor of it.  If this type of physiological governing is real - I think it's brilliant!  But it depends on total opposition - the kind that President Obama has had to deal with.

This is not the only example either.  If you think back on the first election, President Obama argued against  more off shore oil wells.  Then, once in office and facing the total opposition - President Obama suggested we drill offshore.  This was met with strong resistance from the GOP - even though they fought for it during the election.  It sounds crazy but it just might be true.  Again, only history will tell and even then it would be clearly debatable.

Perhaps President Obama should have strongly opposed the Affordable Care Act - maybe then it would have been fully supported by the GOP.  After all, it was their idea to begin with.

Fox News (Head) Spin

If you heard explosions last week - it might have been frequent views of Fox News heads exploding.  I only saw re-caps on The Daily Show with John Stewart, but the message was clear - er I mean unclear - wait - what??

You see over the last several weeks the Government was "shut down" over budget battles and Obamacare.  One could argue who was causing the problem (Republicans!) but the entertaining part of it was on Fox News.  There they somehow had to juggle the idea that Government is bad - while also showing the outrage at things that were closed.  They tried to convince viewers that the shutdown wasn't real by calling it a "slim down" (actually correct) at the same time blaming Democrats for closing the National Parks.  If it's just a "slim down" then it's not really that big of a deal - right?  But those darn Democrats caused this horrible mess!  They also had to convince viewers that Republicans were correct in not negotiating on a compromise - while at the same time blaming the Democrats for the very same thing. If anyone is still considering Fox News as a legitimate news source they are crazy.  But they do - and they are.

The thing Fox News didn't likely report on were the actual Government services that real people depend on that stopped.  There was outrage at Veterans not being able to see a memorial - but no concern for those that might not have a meal - including some of those very same Veterans.  People went without paychecks, necessary food recalls were not done, the FAA was not watching over your flight and the list goes on and on.  All this from just a "slim down" - imagine if the Government actually had shut completely down.  But that would be good - right?  No bad - isn't it?  Arrrgh!

If this were an isolated incident on Fox News it might actually be funny - but it wasn't an isolated incident.  They twist, turn, and fabricate "news" into something that supports their agenda on a daily basis.  It should be illegal.  Yet somehow they manage to keep going - and the people still watch - and the people vote the way they were guided.  Except in this case they might not know where they were supposed to be guided!  Once your head explodes it's difficult to vote anyway.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

You Can Bank On It

There seems something wrong when there is a bank on 3 out of 4 corners at a major intersection.  It occurs a lot on major intersections here in S. Florida.  Another thing that is bothering me about the banks is that that shortly after the "too big to fail" crisis, we suddenly started seeing a LOT of small banks with names - or just letters - that were not familiar.  The marketing behind this must be that we now like "little" banks and feel safer putting our money there.  However, I suspect that all these little banks are all owned by just 2 or 3 large bank corporations.  So many are fooled by marketing - it's sad.  I'll stick to my Credit Union where I don't necessarily feel my money is any safer - but where I don't pay any fees.  Your marketing magic has no effect on me.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Marriage Equality

Marriage equality is now in the hands of the US Supreme Court.  Equality is easy and if the court rules on the US Constitution and not on any religious document then these cases should be easy as well. Let's hope they do the right thing.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Slippery Slope

Over the last election and the coverage of the deciding issues, one thing stands out to me when it comes to the GOP - they fear the "slippery slope".   To them one thing will certainly lead to another and soon we all end up in Hell.  Allow gay marriage?  What's next - marrying your dog?  Legalize pot?  What's next - cocaine? Meth??  You get the picture.

I'd like to put their fears to rest.  There is no slope - slippery or not.  In fact it is more like a staircase - and the best news is that the stairs usually go up - not down.  You deal with one issue at a time and then you move on. Go ahead and have that discussion about gay marriage - and when it is settled hopefully we have taken a step up.  Everyone is still standing - it's OK.  You can even rest on that step for a while - relax, it's safe.  Now you say you still want to marry your dog?  Ok - let's discuss that.  When the discussion is over we can either take a step down, a step up, or even stay right where we are.  It's not slippery - it's very stable.

The important thing to remember is that equality means we are all standing on the same step.  When progress is made we all step up together.  If failure occurs we all take a step down.  The only time we slip is when we have inequality. 

If you live in the world of the slippery slope - you cannot advance forward because you will always slip back.  The stairs, however, make progress quite easy.

WHEN it happens again.......

Harry Reid removed the assault weapon ban from the gun legislation being proposed because he didn't think he could possibly get the votes to pass it.  Perhaps not - but when (not if) the next unfortunate mass shooting occurs, we COULD have said we tried.

I believe in the right to bear arms.  I am from a family of hunters and also believe in self defense.  We can have rights and limits at the same time - they can co-exist.  When the gun lobby is more powerful than the government - we have a problem.  America slips further into the darkness when Senators value their jobs over the lives of their fellow citizens.  This is wrong.  Terribly wrong.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Words that Ire

I find some words or phrases irritating - and sometimes I don't even know why.  In the recent past it was the phrase "reach out" - as in "reach out to Accounting and see if they have processed the payment".  Why use more words than necessary?  Isn't it more direct to say "Call Accounting....."?  I cringed every time someone said "reach out...."  Then came the word "chipolte"  I don't like it.  It doesn't sound right to me.  Is it a real word?  I believe some marketing "genius" just made it up one day and now it's everywhere.  It seems to be trending.

And that brings me to my current irritating word - "trending".  The irritation factor is magnified by the fact that the word itself is trending and the cause of the word - social media - is also trending.   It is all a big stupid fad.

Bangs are trending, Air Jordons are trending (or was that last decade?), skinny jeans are trending (last week?), the Kardashians are trending- fads fads fads.  I've never been impressed with keeping up with the Jones' - or the Kardashian's.   Fads come and go all the time - you might be cool now with those Michelle Obama bangs but next week you are gonna need a beehive or you are so uncool.  Spare me (a trending phrase from not long ago).

Sure - I like to be "in style" as much as possible on my very tight budget - but I'd rather buy something based on it's usefulness, it's quality or it's cost / feature ratio.  I don't buy what is trending.  But the word trending does mean something to marketers.  In fact they rely on what is currently trending to make the big sales. Trending equals dollars.

So now I've said the stupid word a lot in perfectly reasonable context.  Does it bother you?  It still bothers me.  Why?  Because it is the same as another perfectly good word that didn't need to be replaced.  That word is "popular".  Go back and read the last 2 paragraphs using the word popular instead of trending.  Same difference.  Apparently "popular" is no longer trending. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

President Obama Makes History Again

I finally had the opportunity to watch the Presidents inaugural speech for his 2nd term and it was wonderful!  I couldn't let this historic week pass without mentioning in my blog how proud I am to be a gay American in this time and how proud I am to have a sitting President recognize our struggle for equality.  The Stonewall riots were indeed the beginning of the gay civil rights movement and we have come a long way - but we can't be equal until we share the same rights as every other American.  President Obama has taken a gigantic step in that direction and with the support of others like him I'm certain that one day soon we will find equality for all - including gays, women, and minorities of every type - to be the undisputed American way.

Thank you President Obama!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

World Peace - NRA Style

The National  Rifle Association (NRA) has stated - quite vehemently  - that the answer to gun violence is to put more guns in the streets, classrooms, theaters, churches etc.  The theory is that the good guys would then be able to shoot the bad guys before they inflicted as much damage. 

Let's see how that logic applies on a global level with regard to weapons of mass destruction (WMD's).  Using NRA logic the answer to the threat of rouge nations with WMDs is to ensure that every country is fully armed with equal WMDs.  Then, when a terrorist decides to launch an attack on an innocent country, all the other countries could use their WMDs in a counter attack.  So lets start shipping some WMDs to Libya, Pakistan, N. Korea (as well as Canada and Switzerland of course) and then we can all feel very safe - right?

I wouldn't feel safe at all in that scenario.  

There is a big problem with this type of logic - it is not logical.  The first flaw is that a tragic incident would still have to occur in order to trigger a counter attack.  So either way - armed or not - the incident would still occur first.  The other argument the NRA uses is that weapons don't kill - people with weapons kill.  It is a fun catch phrase and it is actually true but the flaw in that logic is that a powerful weapon must be present in order for a tragic incident to occur.  If no powerful weapon existed then mass causalities would not be likely.

WMDs do exist and therefore must be somehow controlled.  America's current strategy is to keep the police state (America) armed and the rouge states unarmed.  That seems to have worked out fairly well so far - except for those countries America has had a feud with.  We spend massive amounts of borrowed money to ensure that America remains the single most powerful country in the world.  The same people who support the "guns for everyone" theory also support keeping WMDs away from rouge nations.  Contradictory principles are typical to this type of thinker.  A rational logical thinker is not so easily contradicted. 

Rational logical thinkers can apply their principles on both small scales and large scales.  The answer to gun violence in America should be the same answer to WMD's in the world.  Real logical thinkers  realize that all people (and all countries) have the right to protect themselves but that WMDs need to be controlled on both a world scale and in America. 

Real logic tells us that bad people will always eventually get what they need to accomplish their terrorist goals.  Real logic also tells us that an abundance of weapons makes that goal very easy where a lack of such weapons makes that goal more difficult.  The terrorist may have to settle for a less powerful weapon if their weapon of choice is not available.  That's where logic tells us that we are safer with fewer and less powerful weapons in open circulation. 

I believe in the the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.  I choose not to be armed myself but most of my family are avid recreational hunters.  However, if you need a semi-automatic weapon to hunt you are not a very good sportsman.  In fact I've never heard of a hunter using this type of semi-automatic weapon for recreational hunting.  There is simply no need for typical Americans to own this type of weapon.  Fear and paranoia drive this type of backward logic.  Excessive fear and paranoia are also symptoms of mental instability.  Mentally unstable thinkers should not be making rules and laws for the rest of us.  The NRA is very wrong on this topic and they are losing credibility.  Americans should - and do -  have the constitutional right to bear arms - they do not however, have the right to be terrorists with WMDs.