Monday, July 28, 2008

I don't think they really Considered All Things

From Rush's daily email last Thursday:
For two 400-pound people hurt by the economy, meat is out of reach. Didn't anyone at NPR think to leave the photo of these ladies out?
Here is the picture:

The post at Sweetness & Light has a copy of the transcript from NPR's "All Things Considered" on 17 July where they gush about how tough this family has it and how they just don't know what they're going to do now.

Just a sampling of their tribulations:
[They live in a] subsidized housing complex in Fostoria, Ohio...
Nunez, 40, has never worked and has no high school degree...
Nunez and most of her siblings and their spouses are unemployed and rely on government assistance and food stamps...
The only one with a car is Irma Hernandez, Nunez’s mother...
How did this happen, when "Her father worked at General Motors for 45 years before retiring. Her mother taught driver’s education. Nunez and her six siblings grew up middle class."?

Sounds to me like somewhere along the line, someone got lazy and decided that someone else will have to take care of them. The union took care of their father, so it looks like they decided that the government will have to take care of them (with money from you and me).

I have no sympathy here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cooking Impliments "Racist"

Apparently, cooking equipment is now regarded as racist, too.

I just happened to stumble across this post about the phrase "the pot calling the kettle black" from Miguel Cervantes' Don Quixote, which happens to dovetail very nicely with yesterday's post about blackholes' apparent racism. It's a little wordy, but it's worth it:
...not long ago I was delivering a training module on conflict resolution to the staff of a large government agency. In my talk, I included the time-honored saying, "the pot calls the kettle black." Afterward, the African American woman who was the leader of the training program (a good friend of mine, incidentally), came to me in something of a dither. "Do you realize what you said?" she asked. "That is very offensive to black people." I was taken aback. I explained to her that this little saying is from Miguel Cervantes' Don Quixote, one of the most famous novels of all time, and that it is the perfect metaphor to use in discussing conflict resolution, in which a principal objective is seeing the other person's point of view. She was unmoved by my explanation, saying "I don't care where it came from, this is clearly a racist remark, and I know it offended many in our audience." I said, "Look, Linda, the saying refers to a pot and a kettle hanging on hooks over a fire. That's the way they cooked in medieval times. It means that both pot and kettle become blackened by the fire. The analogy is that when you criticize someone else while ignoring your own faults, this is like the "pot calling the kettle black." Both pot and kettle are black. Of course, she simply responded that it doesn't matter what the real meaning of the saying is, it is the perception of the audience that counts.

I'm not even sure what to say, but it does make me a quite sad that there are people out there, in our great country, that have been afforded the same opportunities and liberties as everyone else, who still choose to remain ignorant to the facts and continue to play the victim.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Change, North Korean Style

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

Black Holes "Racist"

A special meeting about Dallas County traffic tickets went pear shaped this past Monday when county commissioner Kenneth Mayfield (who is white) described the central collections office as a "black hole" because paperwork routinely gets lost there.

The Dallas Morning News describes what happened next:

Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, interrupted him with a loud "Excuse me!" He then corrected his colleague, saying the office has become a "white hole."

That prompted Judge Thomas Jones, who is black, to demand an apology from Mayfield for his racially insensitive analogy.

Mayfield shot back that it was a figure of speech and a science term.

Apparently, certain black democrats in the Dallas County, Texas (namely Commissioner John Wiley Price and Judge Thomas Jones) are either totally ignorant of some basic principles of science or are unapologetic, bigoted race-baiters.

A black hole is
...a region of space that has so much mass concentrated in it that there is no way for a nearby object to escape its gravitational pull. ... Incidentally, the name 'black hole' was invented by John Archibald Wheeler, and seems to have stuck because it was much catchier than previous names. Before Wheeler came along, these objects were often referred to as 'frozen stars.'" (source).
This seems like a pretty reasonable description to apply to an office where paperwork goes in and is never seen again. And I am pretty sure that replacing the non-catchy and less correct term "frozen stars" with "black holes" was not racially motivated.

Some people's kids. Sheesh.

*Update (18 July 2008): 850 KOA radio host and Rocky Mountain News columnist Mike Rosin expanded on this debacle in a column in today's paper. Mike's much funnier than I am, but he does get paid for this kind of thing. I'm glad this story got some national attention. Stupid people need to be called out into public once in a while.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

New (to me) photo activity: Jowling!

This is called "Jowling." I saw this on the digital Photography School blog the other day and it looked too fun not to try out. However, a self-portrait at eight in the morning, at work, with a headache, it proved much more difficult than previously indicated.

As you can see, I just end up looking like Cletus The Slack-Jawed Yokel. Not attractive.

The idea is that you relax all of the muscles in your face so everything just hangs and then shake your head back and forth as fast as you can while someone takes a picture - with a flash, of course - trying to catch the motion. I am sure this would be much easier after a drink or four to loosen up the muscles a bit.

I'm going to see if I can find a few victims, er, volunteers, tonight and we'll see what happens.

( via dps)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Hehe... What will Obama say next?

I probably shouldn't laugh at things like this, but when Mr Obama does an about-face on one of his cornerstone issues, it is kind of humorous.
...Obama stands poised to adopt the three major elements of the Bush-administration foreign policy — staying the course in Iraq, endorsing the doctrine of preventative war and the strategic expansion of executive power to fight the war on terror.
Apparently all is not so well in Obamanation.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hawaiian Shirt Day

Tomorrow, in honor of Independence Day, a.k.a., the 4th of July, my office is bumping up our normal weekly ritual of Hawaiian shirt / "Fish shirt" / casual Friday, and I just thought that this clip from Office Space was all too appropriate.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Single Payer Healthcare, eh?

Sick with ovarian cancer, Sylvia de Vires, an Ontario woman afflicted with a 13-inch, fluid-filled tumor weighing 40 pounds, was unable to get timely care in Canada. She crossed the American border to Pontiac, Mich., where a surgeon removed the tumor, estimating she could not have lived longer than a few weeks more.

The Canadian government pays for U.S. medical care in some circumstances, but it declined to do so in de Vires' case for a bureaucratically perfect, but inhumane, reason: She hadn't properly filled out a form. At death's door, de Vires should have done her paperwork better.

Sound like a good situation to you? It sure doesn't to me, but if it does, make sure you vote Obama this November. (haha)

Claude Castonguay, "the father of Quebec medicare," and consequently, the entire Canadian single payer healthcare system, now advocates giving a greater role to the long-shunned private sector. "We thought we could resolve the system's problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it," says Castonguay.

Apparently, they were wrong. But don't tell liberal legislators and lobiests in the States that -- don't even try to break the delision that Big Government can fix everything for everyone, even when it has been demonstrated (in Canada and elsewhere) that it cannot.