Not Cease from Exploration

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"The Donald" is an idiot

From today's edition of the Financial Times...

Trump maintains Obama birth challenge

A select quote:


“Nothing’s changed my mind,” Mr Trump said on Tuesday during his regular appearance on the CNBC business cable channel, referring to his “birther” claims. “I walk down the street and people are screaming, ‘Please don’t give that up’.”

Oh really?  What street is that?  Oh, maybe the imaginary street he walks down where people give a rat's rear-end what the Hell this guy thinks.  Yes this is Donald Trump, a man who decries the bailouts of the Obama Administration (never mind that the auto industry bailouts were originally proposed by the BUSH ADMINISTRATION) yet has had companies of his declare bankruptcy 4 times. Reference HERE.

Yes, let's not talk about issues of the economy, foreign policy, the need to balance energy production with environmental protection.  No, that would be just silly.  Instead, let's talk about something that doesn't even make the "stupid urban myth" department, right up there with the "John McCain fathered a black child" rumor.

Anyway, Mittens should heed these words of wisdom spoken over the years:  when you lay with dogs, don't be shocked if you get fleas.  And "the Donald" is riddled with fleas.

Comment, Posting "Intolerance from the Left"

Justin Vacula took the time to comment on one of my recent postings, so I was kind enough to email him a reply.  Never being one to let go an opportunity to recycle content, I'm going to turn both comments into a new post.

Original Posting HERE.

Justin's comment:
I think you missed a joke that was going on here. "I believe" is a song from "The Book of Mormon" (musical). :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR_EILTrhmo

My reply, via email:
Justin...I am not sure if this will make it as a blog comment but so be it as I haven't had the chance to get online yet.  Anyway & to your point, I was well aware of the reference to the Broadway play...but...it doesn't matter. Period.  

Sure, used solely within the context of "art" (quotes on purpose) I get it.  What I don't agree with is this kind of thing being used within the context of political discourse.  Come on my friend, you do know that is the purpose here.  Simply put, mocking someone's religious beliefs to score political points is just wrong...and...it would be just as wrong if someone mocked your lack of religious beliefs if you were running for office.  

This graphic hasn't just been used to get chuckles...or promote the artistic work of songwriters...it has been used to not-so-indirectly say that Mittens is disqualified for office because of his religion. I say that is BULLS***!  His religion isn't that much more messed up than that of others...and I say this as someone who has read extensively about the LDS church (and actually spent time in Salt Lake City and interviewed members of the Church).

Keep blasting...Steve

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Top 10 Things About Blogs and Blogging that Annoy Me

In no particular order, for no particular reason.

1.  Advertising on blogs, part 1
Yeah, I know, some people actually do like making money off of their blog...I get that.  But honestly, something inside of me says that earning money to blog is like getting paid to moon someone.

2.  Advertising on blogs, part 2
While I get annoyed with advertisements on blogs in general, seeing "contra" advertisements on blogs REALLY annoys me.  What do I mean by a "contra" ad?  Well it's when, say, Peter the Progressive has his blog going and low and behold, and advertisement for someone like Phil Davison appears. It's just not right.

3.  Posting for comments
I know bloggers who write postings specifically to be controversial and generate comments.  As if somehow their tenure in Purgatory will be reduced if they can only get 'X' number of comments on some silly posting that probably doesn't really reflect their feelings anyway.  By the way, if you don't get the reference to "Purgatory" don't worry...it just means that you probably didn't grow up in NEPA.

4.  Referencing stats, page views, etc.
Now I do have a page counter on my blog, but it's more for amusement (my own) than anything serious.  What's more, I have never...not once, ever...referenced page views, page counts, or any blog stats for that matter on any NCFE posting.  This seems to be the Geek equivalent of "my car/house/spouse/job is nicer than yours".  In reality, unless you are getting serious Samolians to blog, then really no one gives a crap how many page views you get.

5.  Blog categories
As if blogging were this art form that needed to be categorized like music genre.  As I've noted many times, this is the Internet.  People spend hours watching 12 year old boys swallow cinnamon on-line.  Is this really so important as to warrant analysis and classification?


For the record, this video, all 23 seconds of it, received 16,575 hits as of 05.23.2012/4:17pm. Anyone want to argue about the real relevance of page views (sans compensation)?

6.  Professional blog critics
My blogroll (damn, I sound too "hip" saying that...) has blogs on a variety of different topics, from politics to fashion to religion.  If it is on my blogroll then I actually read the content myself.  While I don't necessarily agree with everything I read in these blogs, I respect the authors for having the guts to put what they think out there in the public domain.  People who needlessly flame (there I go again using "hip" terminology...) and criticize other bloggers are morons.  Note that I can disagree with content that someone creates, but you will by and large not find me being critical of another blog author.  Kind of like "hate the sin, love the sinner".  I do make exceptions for things like Holocaust deniers and flaming racist swine.

7.  Blogs about blogging
Trust me, there is nothing that I've seen in blogs that convinces me that this sort of thing requires extensive skill to pull off.  Creativity?  Maybe.  Opinions?  Definitely.  A certain need for attention?  Quite possibly.  Extensive training?  Absolutely not.  Want to blog?  Find a host, buy a URL from Google if you want and start writing.  There you go...I just created a blogging class.

8.  Wordy blogs
If it takes me more than, say, 5 minutes to read a posting, then I pretty much give up on the content.  Note that I am 48, not 18, so I actually do possess something of an attention span (despite my own comments to the contrary).  It's just that the nature of the Internet is such that points need to be made quickly, else I will end up getting bored and watching more videos of 12 year old boys swallowing cinnamon.

9.  Blog cards
I have business cards, but I will never have blog cards.  Could I afford to get blog cards made?  Sure.  I just don't want to.  It gets back to the whole nature of blogging I guess:  I want this to be a kind of grass-rootsy endeavor, not something that looks like what business people do at the beginning of a meeting in Japan...




...and my pet, all time, most annoying peeve?

10.  Referencing without credit
Nothing cheeses me off more than when someone uses or references something I wrote without giving me credit.  While shocking for me to even consider the fact that anyone would actually want to use my stuff, this has actually happened to me a few times over the years.  This is, however, just one of those laws of the Internet that should never be broken.  Seriously, even if you think something I wrote is full-o-crap, at least have the common decency to attribute the crap to me.  It's my crap damn-it!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Top 10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage Should Be Illegal

From Christwire.org.  I normally don't copy and paste content in its entirety, but I'm making an exception for this piece.  If the folks at Christwire.org object I will gladly take the post down.  Anyway, this is simply excellent.

You can link to it HERE.

Enjoy...

*******


This article was submitted by a subscriber of the ChristWire Community, therefore it may contain an ordained message or veil lies. Please use reader’s discretion. You may also submit your own article on today’s important news or headlines at ChristWire’s U-report feature.

You might have seen this before, but I figured I’d put it here just in case~
(not by me)
01) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.
02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
04) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all like many of the principles on which this great country was founded; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of marriages like Britney Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.
06) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.
07) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
08) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.
09) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.
10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Road Apples, #126

Home Improvement Mission Creep...I doubt that this is unique to me, but whenever I start a home improvement project I inevitably have to fight the urge to let home improvement mission creep set in.  Case in point:  I decided to paint my kitchen door.  This caused me to want to remove all the hardware from the door.  Then I figured that I should remove the molding from around the glass on the inside.  Then I figured that I should get new molding.  Then I figured that I would need to use my table saw to cut the molding.  Then I figured that, well, I really needed a new outlet on the back patio in order to run the table saw.  Detecting a pattern here?  Anyway, the door is stripped down for the most part and I now have a new outlet and light on the back patio.

Conversation with my Conservative Brother...Brother:  "...but George Soros!".  Me:  "Tell me, when it comes down to brass tacks, how is George Soros any different than just one of the Koch brothers?".  Brother:  "Who?".  I guess Rush doesn't mention the Koch Brothers all that often (put another way, million/billionaires are only a problem when they support the other side). Personally it bothers me that million/billionaires of any political leanings can pump so much money into elections.  But hey, if a corporation is really a person (thanks Supreme Court) that can make contributions, then so too should million/billionaires.

Blogging Units...seem to be in short supply these days.  Same old story:  I actually have something of a life, and when I am not busy living it, I am usually too tired to write.  There could be worse problems afflicting me these days.  You know, like THIS.  All told, I'll gladly accept my lack of blogging productivity as a cost of doing the business of life these days.

Proud Father Department...I have a daughter staring a new job in Kansas City, MO.  I have another daughter starting a paid internship at Johns Hopkins University this summer.  I have a daughter working her butt off on a full time job over the summer break.  All told?  I think I've participated in some okay parenting.

Corey Booker...a somewhat over-blown but still up-and-coming mayor, is learning the hard way that big time politics is no place for amateurs.  Story link HERE.  I want to like Corey Booker.  I really, really do. I think he has some great ideas, and he is a guy who really does get his hands dirty on the job.  But you know something?  Newark is still an unsafe place, and there is still a ton of blight in the city.  In the end results count.

Speaking of Results...I am sick and tired of hearing politicians such as State Senator John Blake talk about how devastating the Corbett administration budgets cuts have been on social services and education.  Talk is cheap, but unfortunately it seems also to be the chief product of politicians.  It's time to hold the feet of politicians to the fire:  produce some results, period.  Off the ideology bandwagons, work together across party lines and get some $hit done!!  I get it Senator Blake, the budget cuts are doing damage.  Now can you kindly do something about it?  We pay you an awful lot of money...far too much to simply tell us what we already know to be true.

Silly Milestone Department...I finally have 100 Facebook "friends".  Quotes on purpose.  Yes, so what if half are politicians...and businesses...and small northeastern Pennsylvania cities.  They still count as friends, right?  Now one of these days I have to get to work on sprucing up my LinkedIn profile.  Next step:  get Ms Rivers on LinkedIn.

Alboscov - An Interesting Website...Link HERE.  Lesson #1:  If you are in the public eye, it is probably worth the investment to buy the URL that is also the same as your name.  Just saying.

Monday, May 21, 2012

This speaks for itself.

From Wipe Out Homophobia on Facebook.

 (click on the image to magnify)

The similarities between homophobia and opposition to interracial marriage are frightening.

Oh and to those who say that "well you choose to be gay but you don't choose to be black", I ask you the following:  Is there anything that could make you choose to be gay?  If not...if you could never, ever see yourself being gay...then perhaps it's not quite the choice you claim it might be after all.  Who would choose to be ridiculed, ostracized, and marginalized in society?

Me?  Hell, I'm as straight as a guy can be and there is no way I could ever choose to be gay.  That noted, for the life of me I don't understand why anyone would possibly give a crap if two consenting adults want to get married. Just note though that with gay marriage will come gay divorce...but that's a different post for a different time...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Intolerance from the Left

It makes me cringe when I see things like this...


...as if believing in a god that was born in the form of a poor Jew via a virgin is somehow less fantastic?

I'm not knocking Christian views here, but rather making a point:  trying to point out the more fantastic elements of Mitt Romney's religious beliefs can take one down a path where there are no winners or losers.  What's more, it's just plain wrong.

Yes, Democrats rightly bristled when Republicans tried...unsuccessfully...to say that Barack Obama was somehow un-fit for office because of the preachings of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  Or because was actually a Muslim.  How is this whisper campaign conceptually any different?  Is this not trying to say that Mittens is somehow not fit for office because of the more fanciful elements of his personal belief system? Newsflash:  every religious belief system has some fanciful elements, period.  Acceptance of that which may be hard to swallow under any other circumstance is part of the very notion of faith.  I applaud the fact that Mitt Romney has a belief system, period.

For the record, LDS beliefs are a bit more complex than "God lives on a planet called Kolob".

So yes, be vehemently opposed to Willard "Mittens" Romney because of his elastic policy nature.  Be opposed to him for any one of his policy stances.  Be opposed to him because he believes that the roof is an additional seat in a vehicle (at least for pets).  But opposing him because of his religion?  That's just pain stupid...and un-American...and hypocritical.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Do you want news or affirmation?

As I think about our hyper environment these days...instant access to news and information in particular... I am am amazed at how many people confuse the very basic concepts of "news" and "affirmation".

Now before I go any further I will say right up front that every source of information has a bias. Hell, as human beings I don't think that we can help ourselves when it comes to bias. It permeates just about everything we do, and that's okay. No (specific) slam against Fox News intended, but there really is NO SUCH THING as a truly "fair and balanced" news gathering organization. Period.

Given my point that all news reporting is biased, I contend that there really are only two kinds of current events information consumers out there:

Those who seek to be informed
Or
Those who seek to be affirmed

And there isn't much in-between these two camps.

How are these two groups differentiated? I think the easiest test lies in where each group gets its information. Those seeking affirmation seem to almost always rely on a single source for information. My younger brother is a great example: he would not even consider geting his news from any source other than Fox News. Conversely, my mother rarely moves the news dial past MSNBC. While both organizations may occupy different ends of the news spectrum, they both have something in common: a certain predictability that those seeking affirmation find appealing. With predictability comes comfort...comfort knowing that orthodoxy isn't going to be challenged...comfort knowing that the effort required to be informed is greatly minimized.

Personally I seek news, not affirmation. I want my conventions and suppositions to be challenged. I don't want comfort in my information gathering...I want information. I recognize and embrace the bias I see, read and hear in the news. Here is a typical news gathering cycle for me, roughly in a daily chronological order:

NPR/ Morning Edition (radio)
Drudgereport (web)
Fox News (web)
MSNBC (web)
Scranton Times (print)
CNN (web)
CNET (web)
Varoius Blogs (local and national)

It seems like a lot, but it really isn't, and in point of fact I don't spend hours reading the news each day. I do find, however, that somewhere between the reportiing of each news organization most likely lies the truth, whateverr thar truth might actually might be.

Am I claiming that it is better to be informed than affirmed? Not necessarily. I am claiming though that seeking affirmation instead of information represents a different perspective. Oh, and being affirmed does not make you well informed.
posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bullying In Hanover Area

I received an email about a potential bullying incident yesterday from John Dawe and read the updated article on the incident in today's edition of the Times Leader.  You can link to the article HERE.  A few thoughts from my end:

  • Like death and taxes for adults, some degree of bully and humiliation simply comes with being a teenager.  I get that part.  That part I don't get is allowing it to be institutionalized through actions or inactions on the part of adults.
  • No teacher, administrator or para-professional in any school should ever...ever..participate in or knowingly condone any form of bullying or harassment.  Period.  It's easy to get the perception, based on the article and reader comments, that there may be a pattern of tolerance for this kind of behavior in Hanover Area.  Shame on them.
  • Communication is a funny thing, as I tell associates at work all the time - there is the message you intend to send and then there is the message that is actually received.  Adults are, for better or worse, always responsible for both ends of the transaction when dealing with children and young adults.
  • Regardless of what message the teacher intended to send...be it innocent or potentially malicious...the fact is that is was received as being bullying and harassment.  At a minimum, even assuming non-malicious intent, this teacher exercised poor judgement and should be formally reprimanded (and she should apologize to the student in question).  At maximum, assuming malicious intent that can be proven, the teacher should be fired.  Period. Let's see the teacher's union try to defend that one. 
  • Some will claim that the individual making the accusation has a "thin skin"...which may be true.  But I'll argue that skin does get thin after repeated beatings.  "Skin" being of the physical or the psychological type.
  • I'd argue strongly that Hanover Area may not in fact be even capable of investigating itself.  
  • If this was Science class, then outside of discussing the Physics of dancing, why in the hell were videos being shown in class in the first place?
I am not advocating that children be protected from any and all hardship and that bullying is some kind of crime punishable by death.  I am advocating for the fact that children will act like children, but that's why in schools we have adults to be in charge.  When the adults refuse to act like adults, well, then that's where I really have a problem.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fox News

The original headline on Fox News "Fox Nation" after President Obama declared his support for gay marriage:


Yes, the "Fair and Balanced" network declared that the President "Declares War On Marriage".  Now I realize that other media outlets are slanted left and Fox is the conservative alternative, but seriously, "declares war"?  On what planet is this even rational?

I know, in the minds of Fox News editors this is a better headline than, say, "Murdoch Declares War on Phone Privacy".


Courtesy of the coolest guy on Facebook, George Takei.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

From the "Some People Really Suck" Department

Cat set on fire in Sacramento park.

Anyone who would harm an animal like this is perfectly capable of doing far worse to a human.  I hope they find this swine.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

On the road

I am traveling this week, so I expect even less in the way of blogging productivity. No worries though, as I am sure the world will continue to spin. Sure enough though, there is plenty to talk about and yet I have to fight with a clunky Android blogging app. Oh well! If I had a more produvtive way to communicate I would write about...

...the gay Romney campaign spokesperson who resigned (but according to the campaign not because he is gay). The calls for his resignation from social conservatives was just a coincidence though.  Yeah, just a coincidence.

...the Newark Lockdown Hilton I find myself staying at these next few days. They benefit from basically being the only game in town.

Speaking of traveling, my rental car this week is a brand new Hyundai Sonata. Very nice handling ride with a very impressive cruising range. If I ever decide to upgrade from my current basic golf cart then this will be on the list.

Lastly in the unrelated news, local blogger Gort42 recently celebrated a milestone, which you can read about on my blog roll (how is that for a fancy blog term?). Gort was incredibly supportive when I started this blog in October of 2008. The man is also the Dean of the local blogging scene and a must read for anyone even mildly interested local politics. Congrats Mr. G!