Saturday, December 6, 2008

Whackos on parade: Fight to prove Obama is really foreign-born. Morons

Here's a story about pretext racism.

A group of whackos is attempting to derail Obama's presidency by having the Supreme Court declare him ineligible since he was born outside the U.S.

Every time someone points out the evidence showing Obama was born in the U.S., it is dismissed in favor of the conspiracy.

It's very difficult to respond to a conspiracy theory, not because the conspiracy is true, but because the conspiracy relies on faith, so any evidence to the contrary is dismissed, while evidence supporting the conspiracy takes on added importance.

Here's a problem for the conspiracy theorists: If they manage to win (which they won't) then John McCain has a similar citizenship problem, viz., he was born in Panama.

Between Obama and McCain, Obama has the stronger claim to U.S. citizenship since he was born in the U.S. to a native-born mother.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Family is what works for you, not some stupid ideal.

This story on Live Science reminds me of a discussion I had a few years ago with a friend of mine.

This friend is the same one who goes with the political winds. At the time, he was a Bush supporter and was advocating for the "traditional family" as promoted by the religious right.

His argument was that it's better for a child to have both a mother and father in the family unit. He noted that children are much better off that way.

Of course, I objected saying that was bullshit because a child just needed at least one loving parent and the particular shape of the family was immaterial.

He kept to his guns. I pointed out that I grew up in a single parent household and for the right to impugn my single parent upbringing was rather insulting. I, for one, don't see myself as deficient or a scourge to society because my father wasn't around.

He tried to demur, but it was too late to remove that foot from his mouth.

All this points to the utter stupidity of imposing ideals onto people. People rarely meet ideals, but that's what makes us so interesting---we don't fit into neat little conceptual boxes.

Idealized concepts are like cotton candy: Their cool to look at, but they are too much when you get into it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bush: Neo-Hooverian

This op-ed sums up pretty much what I think about Bush and the economy.

Bush has been true to his trickle-down philosophy in the bailout. He chose to provide financial help to the marge corporations, the well-connected, and the well-heeled (although not so well-heeled as well-connected currently).

The problem with trickle-down economics is that it doesn't work. The current economic fiasco should finally put the nail in the social darwinism of corporate welfare.

The best approach, in my opinion, for bailing out the economy should consist of pumping money toward the lower end of the socio-economic level.

Why would this work better than the current screw-up?

The poor are less likely to save and more likely to spend any resources directed their way. Considering that one-third of our economy depends on consumption, we should encourage that consumption by giving resources to the those most likely to consume.

Who would that be? The poor.

The trickle-down approach has failed and it cannot nor should it be resuscitated.

Of course the rich will have to suck it up and actually participate in this economy that has provided them with such largesse.

Bush isn't a neo-con, but a neo-Hooverian.

Let's give it rest.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


One of my biggest pet peeves is affectation.

What is that? Well, it's where someone presents themselves in a way so as to appear somehow superior, when in fact they're being full of crap.

(You'll note that I'm watching television)

While watching "Everyday Italian" I noticed the host mispronounced a couple of words. I wouldn't normally think it a big deal except that her mis-pronunciations were obvious and intentional.

I really like this show and I think the host has an engaging style, but she got on my nerves with her pronunciation of the words "bechamel" and "pancetta".

The host is Italian, so of course the argument will go that she probably knows how to pronounce "pancetta". I disagree. I speak English and I mispronounce words all the time, so for a native Italian who grew up in SoCal, I think she's being affected.

Anyway, she pronounced "bechamel" like this: bee-sha-meel.

That's obviously incorrect. It's pronounced: bay-sha-mel.

It's real simple.

She pronounced "pancetta" like this: pahn-chee-ta.

That's also incorrect, even in Italian. It's pronounced pahn-chay-ta. Look it up.

This little diatribe may qualify me as a prig or an idiot, but I don't care. It's the little annoyances that I hate.

Scientists develop a way to eliminate batteries by using sound waves. Awesome!

How's this for a cool idea? Powering small electronic devices by harvesting sound waves from the environment.

Using plain old basic research and good old fashioned scientific principles, scientists have managed to devise a plan that could virtually eliminate the need for batteries.

The benefits are enormous: No toxic waste, no buying of replacement batteries, lower overall cost of operation.

Cool stuff. I want it now...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Britney Spears documentary a vacuous piece of nothing.

My significant other has this morbid fascination with reality television. So, when she decides to watch some trainwreck on T.V., I'm forced to watch it also.

Last night, MTV aired the Britney Spears documentary. I use the word documentary loosely because it had few features of a documentary; it resembled a p.r. video.

Here's what I learned about Britney from Britney:

1) Britney is sad.

2) Britney hates the paparazzi.

3) Britney loves her kids.

4) Britney likes to drive around.

5) Britney wants to go out without being followed by cameras.

6) Britney likes to work.

That's about it.

MTV chose to up the stakes before the show by displaying a text prologue saying "Nothing was off limits, what we see is the real and raw truth."

That load of bullshit was designed to give people the impression that we'd be watching a real nitty-gritty, hard-hitting documentary where all warts and foibles would be on display.

The problem with nothing being off limits is that someone must actually ASK the appropriate questions. No one did.

Now, don't get me wrong. I feel sorry for Britney. I think she's been unfairly maligned as a result of her life circumstances.

This so-called documentary was nothing but a load of crap that provided no more information than what was already out there.

In essence, a total waste of time and footage designed to be an hour long commercial for Britney's record label.

MTV was punked.

They tried to convince their viewers to buy the bullshit to cover their butts for passing off some asinine puff piece as real television.

Can't we go back to the days when MTV was actually about music?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Opposition to gay adoption is opposition to child welfare--plain and simple.

Here's an article that highlights the real agenda behind the push by some groups to deny homosexuals the right to adopt children.

There is absolutely no evidence that children suffer any harm from growing up in a family consisting of a homosexual parent. ZERO!

To advocate keeping a child in foster care just because some people have issues with homosexuality is to put one's agenda ahead of what's best for children.

Any group that advocates denying homosexuals the right to adopt to protect the children is nothing more than bigotry and is not really in the best interest of the children.

Too many children need loving and stable homes. To ignore a whole population of willing and capable potential parents on the grounds of sexual orientation is morally outrageous.