Archive for August, 2010

On Hypocrisy And Other Things (August 30, 2010)

Posted in Abortion, On [Traits/Characteristics], Perjury/Dishonesty on August 30, 2010 by

. . .

?          “There was probably a little alcohol involved.  Remember the observation:  ‘In whiskey veritas’.”

!          “We were young.”

?          “Seems we were all young when we were young.  That is all part of being young.”

!          “I was too young.  And so was she.  . . .  God knows what I said.”

?          “Someone shared a not atypical anecdote about two desperate young kids.”

!          “Who was there?”

?          “Everyone.  Hard to contend that the disclosure was in confidence.”

!          “I didn’t know if I would be killed by my dad or by her dad.”

?          “Where is she?”

!          “No idea.”

?          “Most political contributions are a matter of public record.  Our friend the Internet is revealing.  Your contributions do not reflect your convictions, at least not your actions.”

!          “I think about it occasionally, but I have never had a second thought about our decision.  I have sent money.  They know how to play me.”

?          “And it’s not living a lie?”

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

Keep your laws off my body

Balls and Strikes and Perjury: America’s Pastimes (August 23, 2010)

Posted in Perjury, Perjury/Dishonesty, Society, Supreme Court on August 23, 2010 by

. . .

K          “Hear about the perjury charges against the retired baseball pitcher Roger Clemens for lying before Congress?”

J          “Is that an offense or a sport?”

K          “His sport was throwing balls and strikes and pitching and batting.  As far back as 1998, I suspected that some if not most of the home run leaders were juiced on steroids.”

J          “Seems so.  A player who was not juiced may not have gotten off the bench.”

K          “Do you recall when John Roberts testified under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2005?  He swore to three duties – to tell the truth, to tell the whole truth, and to tell nothing but the truth.”

J          “When he was trying to get on the bench.”

K          “Right.  He told the Committee that his job is to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.  He knew all along that he would be a tendentious ideological technician for the reactionary right and misled the Committee.”

J          “Sounds like perjury on steroids.”

K          “To say nothing of the tobacco company executives who lied before Congress.  Seems that everyone in power gets in power and stays in power by fibbing a little.”

J          “Roberts should be aware enough to realize that his decision to close the front doors of the Supreme Court says more about him that any of his written decisions to close the doors of the Supreme Court.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Roger lied, but no one died

Clemens?  What about the tobacco company executives?  What about Rumsfeld, Gonzalez, Cheney, Bush et al.?

U.S.A. 1945 – 2005 R.I.P. (August 16, 2010)

Posted in Economics, Military, Peak Oil, Society on August 16, 2010 by

. . .

K          “The last three score years have been a remarkable run in the history of mankind.  Sixty years of unprecedented growth and prosperity in America.  The Great Expansion was unique because the bounty was spread widely among the American populace.  The Middle Class was created in a young country built by indentured servants, former serfs and slaves.  Yet things have been declining particularly during the Decadent Decade.”

J          “Look at the score.  There are too many strip malls, too many strip mines and too many strip joints.”

K          “During that period of time, the America Experiment transitioned from a Republic to an Empire and is now transitioning to a post-Empire nation in a world of other rising powers and the emerging megamonopower in China.”

J          “America transitioned from a country to a market and from a search for the public weal to the aggregation of private wealth.  More affluence has only lead to more effluence.  A new pill that supplants natural processes and possibly saves a few hundred lives is produced in a factory that maims, cripples and kills thousands downstream from the outflow.  Prosperity came at a great cost.”

K          “We went to the Moon in ’69.  Geopolitics aside, that was quite a feat with many ancillary benefits.”

J          “And back on Earth the next year we challenged the assumptions and consequences on Earth Day.”

K          “Thinking progressed.”

J          “We conquered consumption, yet consumption conquered us.  We as a society need an antibiotic to protect us against our consuming consumption.  Those who say that small is beautiful today are not proclaiming a goal but rather are predicting the future.  But we as a country will not voluntarily downsize, we will be downsized.”

K          “Americans have not had to deal with any privation and are not emotionally prepared to deal with declining economic opportunity.  When we were prosperous, we were generous; as America’s fortunes decline, we are becoming hard-fisted and mean spirited.  The next decade will be ugly.”

J          “America’s military mission will need to downsize significantly to follow America’s changing role and options.  The real battle continues today on the battlefield of global climate change.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Question consumption

On Settling (August 9, 2010)

Posted in On [Traits/Characteristics], Society on August 9, 2010 by

. . .

M          “Not the West or a building foundation.  Settling.  In life.”

S          “I hear you.”

M          “Nine out of ten.”

S          “Really.  A quick guess or a settled belief?”

M          “Ten out of ten, really.  I am rounding down to factor in a margin of error.”

S          “Another buddy with some perspective said that he suspects the figure is around seventy percent, although the percentage is dependent on age, income and geography.”

M          “For most people, it’s a matter of time.  It’s time to do it.  The music is stopping.  Who is available?  That’s about it.  Okay, the process is subconscious and more complex.  Think about it.  Did you get into the college of your choice?  Are you working at the job of your choice?  Every day and every decision in life is a series of compromises.”

S          “You must go to college.  You must work.  And you appeared smitten, you didn’t settle.”

M          “Curly blond hair and straight ivory teeth.  Tolerated my sense of humor.  It was the right time.  And she said yes.  An uncle passed up his college sweetheart and never found another person.  There are ups and downs.  Your take?”

S          “I’ve collected data and generated a few hypotheses.  Market forces are at play.  In today’s market society, the decision to marry and the decision to stray are primarily a function of options and/or perceived options.  Costs and benefits shape character and drive behavior.  Hard to generate interdependent utility curves in a pop market of individuals ruthlessly maximizing their own utility.  Character, commitment and integrity are secondary.  Raw yet realistic.  Public Choice theory underpins the ultimate private choice.”

M          “At some point, you look at your options and go for it.  That’s life.”

S          “Say someone shares seven of eleven essential tenets, convictions and interests?”

M          “Bingo.  Eureka.  Game over.  That’s life.  That’s as good as it gets.”

S          “Or the game just changes.  Seems that it could lead to the ‘Original Resentment.’  Can’t do it.  Still not enough.  I understand the logic, sort of, yet it does not seem to be the healthiest approach in the long run.”

M          “You compromise and settle every day.”

S          “Every day brings another dose of disappointments.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Was the West unsettled?

Why not build the foundation slightly lower?

Boycott Facebook? (August 2, 2010)

Posted in Boycott Series, Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Facebook, Google, Internet, Privacy, Society, Technology on August 2, 2010 by

. . .

X          “There is something troubling about all that information available to a small group without restraint or oversight.”

Y          “I want absolutely nothing to do with Facebook.  I concede that we really cannot elect not to use Google because it has a monopoly on a necessary and now fundamental service somewhat akin to a public utility.  However, Facebook is a luxury and participation should be voluntary.”

X          “Look at the growth.  Each year, Facebook captures another decade.  Three years ago, everyone under 30 was a Facebooker; two years ago, everyone under 40; a year ago, everyone under 50.  Now everyone under 60 is a Facebooker.”

Y          “I question whether some individuals participate voluntarily.  I received a request to be a friend on Facebook and, without opening it, was able to view it in a quarantined screen.  The e-mail from the Facebooker was able to access the names of individuals in my Contacts file that also are in the Facebooker’s Contacts file.  The offer to befriend him included a list of mutual e-mail contacts who are also on Facebook with an offer to befriend them.  Facebook is able to invade one’s computer without notice or permission or recourse.”

X          “A Republican Party official observed with an envious smirk that Facebook may have amassed more information on individuals than even the Republican Party.  He noted that the Republicans collect massive amounts of detailed information on individuals and households and target each person and household with a specific campaign message.  The Republicans may have more information than the NSA and the hundreds of public and private sector entities free to collect private information about us.”

Y          “A few days later, although I never activated a Facebook account, I received a message:  ‘You have deactivated your Facebook account.’  I did not activate an account and do not believe that it was ever deactivated.”

X          “Facebook is able to collect lots of partial information on many friends and then use the information to sketch a complete picture of a person.  Snippets provide a complete portrait.”

Y          “More and more organizations are using Facebook as the vehicle to connect with members.  That leaves me more disconnected from others.”

X          “And by next year, everyone under 70 will be a Facebooker.”

Y          “A class action lawsuit should only take a few weeks to resolve and could provide both injunctive relief and damages.  Developing the privacy protection implicit in the Third Amendment in the contemporary setting has potential, although the greatest threat to us may not be from agents of the state.  However, the legal game would permit the lawsuit to be delayed and drawn out for over a decade.”

X          “Face it, in the end, the lawyers would take everything.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Facebook: Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide

Driver doesn’t have a tattoo, an i-phone or a Facebook page