Monday, March 18, 2013

The Chavez Lesson




I haven’t written much lately.  Truth is, I have been writing other things.  Which is why I haven’t been writing here that often.  I’ve been more interested in reading, tinkering with old incomplete stories, writing letters to various folks, and making various home-art in photoshop.

That being said, I did have to share this one thought.  Well with me, it’s always more than one thought, but you knew that already.

Many people in the west laugh at the ridiculous claim by President Hugo Chavez that his cancer was caused by poison given to him by his enemies.  It is ridiculous.  And funny.

But maybe not.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

child in an oversized suit



I have been looking up some numbers around how we as a society have grossly stilted perspectives on where we should spend our money.  In particular, how half a million people can die of cancer a year, while less than 20 do as a result of terrorism. Yet we spend 3-4 trillion on anti-terror activities in addition to regular defense while we only spend 5 billion (that is .005 trillion) on cancer.

Monday, February 4, 2013

WTF, friend! KTF!



Pop quiz – WTF, friend!  KTF!  (Know The Facts)

Here's a pop quiz on how to be a good friend.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Aaron Sorkin predicted the future!!



In September 1999 a new pilot was aired on NBC.  The name of it was The West Wing and it was a show about the human side of the white house.  It was an Aaron Sorkin show.  Say what you want about his politics, he has a knack for writing dialogue that presents an excellent discussion on many topics important to those watching.

In the pilot they covered abortion, immigration, gun control, insulting an influential but radical Christian right group, and even mentioned Gaddafi.  And that was just the pilot.

I can only conclude that The West Wing had the uncanny ability of predicting the future.  I'm going to keep watching - maybe I can find out what the big issue will be next year!

Surely, it wasn’t talking about current issues of 1999.  That would mean we have been fighting over the same issues for 14 years.  And probably using those issues as political tools while the public allowed themselves to be placed on an emotional roller-coaster in order to keep them from actually participating in what could be a problem-solving society.

We aren't that foolish!  We are too smart of a country to be treadmilled!

He now is working on The News Room.  Another show.  Different premise.  But same discussions.  Perhaps The News Room will predict what we will be talking about in 2023.   So far it’s just about recent news, so it will probably be irrelevant by 2023, don’t ya think?  Maybe he's lost his touch.

Friday, February 1, 2013

time to talk about some bull




Sometimes I go looking for biased garbage on the interwebs.  Why not?  It helps to get all the stories being flung out there.  But other times I am reading legitimate news articles and somehow follow a path into the garbage.  It takes me a minute to realize, because my critical thinking defenses are not alert, but then the smell starts to be obvious.

When I find these places that are obviously disingenuous, I think about how most folks who are critical thinkers and realize its garbage simply ignore it.  If attention is brought to it then they win because they still get the publicity and traffic.

However,  I think it’s time we stop caring if we help them make money.  The short-term may win them some battles, but in the long-term we must start pointing and exposing these things.  Showing examples so that others can start to think twice when they stumble across warning signs that they are being bamboozled.  With that in mind, I decided to write today about a video on moneynews.com.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

the straw man's straw man



I was reading a philosophy textbook the other day (yes, I do that), and I came across the term ‘Straw man’.  I knew of it before, but I had never seen it actually spelled out in an education setting.  It struck me as the perfect way to describe a lot of what I have found most despicable about the republican party in the post 2000s.

I thought to myself, “Huh, I should write a smart frog about that.”

But I put it up on the shelf, thinking I would get to it eventually.  Once upon a time ago I wrote about what I called Counter Logic Arguments.  This was how many public figures (particularly on the right) would accuse the opposing side of something that they themselves were guilty of.  This diffuses the argument, making bystanders think that both sides are just two sides of the same coin.