Saturday, August 18, 2012

We hold these truths to be self-evident

I think you are full of crap. And I can prove it. Yet I am astonished when you think the same of me.

How could you be so wrong? I get most of my information from the Internet. We have video of you guys dragging your knuckles whenever you venture out of the caves.

What do you mean the Net is where you get your information, too? No. We are not scum sucking pigs.

Hold it. See the problem? The Internet is the vehicle that is fertilizing the polarization of America. The philosophical divide is deeper and meaner than ever before. Most Americans read only what they want to believe – and they dismiss opposing views.

Lies are too easy. In this 24/7 news cycle, most everything burns off in a day or two.

Government is at a standstill. Congress feeds off setting Americans against Americans.

And our political class is getting rich selling hate and fear. They protect their benefactors. Did anybody on Wall Street go to jail after the trillion dollar scandal?

The problem is too entrenched for one president, no matter which political party.

The people need to help.

And one place to start would be to use the Internet as an instrument of good.

Friday, August 17, 2012

No answers. Just questions.

How does the old expression go: “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” Or some-such.

Let me mangle that thought into this: “That which does not enlighten me makes me dumber.”

We’re talking the Internet and the slow gurgle from dying newspapers. I am becoming more and more convinced the Internet is aiding and abetting the polarization of America. Not “causing” but certainly “helping.”

Quick, easy test: check your browsers. How many liberal sites to you plumb on a daily basis? How many conservative? Full disclosure: I have six liberal and two conservative aggregates.

Seriously, how often do you read stuff from the other side that you dig up on your own?

Switch to newspapers and how we read them. I’m no longer active in sports, don’t have a favorite team and (heresy!) could give a damn whether the Longhorns win or lose. But I glance at the sports section every day just to keep my testosterone tank topped off. Lots of men pay the same cursory homage to the sports pages.

Now, switch back to the Net. Research shows that once you switch to online readership, you rarely – if ever – click through the sports news again. (Hat tip to Dr. Brad Wilson for that nugget.)

Same logic applies to politics. Once online, most of us get comfortable reading what our good guys have to say and nothing from those evil bastards across the divide.

Ergo, the Net isolates us. Entrenches us. Enrages us.

Is it worth it?

Sure, our nation has always entertained differing viewpoints. But this stuff is getting serious. The gunfire is both literal and figurative.

Really – is it worth it?

I don’t have the answers. Just questions.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Political spending a national shame

Raise your hand if you already know whom you are going to vote for. Now look around. Ninety-six percent of your friends also have made up their minds.

Me, too.

So, in the next 80+ days the hundreds of millions about to be spent on political advertising is aimed at only four percent of Americans.

Let that sink in.

The terrible waste of money, time and resources aside – this means I’m not going to change your mind and you sure as hell are not going to change mine.

Not only that, I think the aforementioned four percent is lying.

Want a beer?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Paul Ryan is Sarah Palin without the testosterone

“They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants.” – That’s what writer George R.R, Martin calls  Republican who disenfranchise voters:

Finally, the Republicans have a woman on their presidential ticket: Ayn Rand. A sociopath.

And a blogger wants to know about Paul Ryan: “How does a 42-year-old who's been in congress for 13 years and worked in government since graduation have a net worth of between 2 and 7 million bucks?”

Another blogger writes: "I haven't recovered from the shock that Romney picked someone who "never had a real job" as his running mate. Now, to find out Mr. Small Government's family fortune was made by doing business with Uncle Sam is just too much!"

David Letterman: "How many of you have the Paul Ryan fever? They say that Paul Ryan, what he will do is humanize Romney. They say Paul Ryan will humanize Romney. And I thought, 'Well hell, an amoeba could humanize Romney.' Who are we kidding here?"

SIREN -- "GOP pros fret over Paul Ryan," by Alexander Burns, Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin : "Away from the cameras, ... there is an unmistakable consensus among Republican operatives in Washington: Romney has taken a risk with Ryan that has only a modest chance of going right - and a huge chance of going horribly wrong. In more than three dozen interviews with Republican strategists and campaign operatives - old hands and rising next-generation conservatives alike - the most common reactions to Ryan ranged from gnawing apprehension to hair-on-fire anger ... [The more pessimistic strategists] are worried that Ryan's vocal views about overhauling Medicare will be a millstone for other GOP candidates in critical House and Senate races. ... [GOP strategists are] worried about inviting Medicare - usually death for Republicans - into the campaign. They're worried it sidetracks the jobs issue. They're worried he'll expose the fact that Romney doesn't have a budget plan. ...Mike Allen, Politico.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Before Tweets there were Post Cards

Now that I am through with paying taxes, I’m doing my best to keep the Post Office afloat.

How? By sending postcards. Especially if I know you are sick. I can’t cook or crochet, so I send postcards to shut-ins.

Both magic and joy are easy to share if you’ve got a Forever Stamp. Do you still have a clothespin on your mailbox? Hardly a week goes by without using a clothespin to hold a postcard on the mailbox until the dog starts barking.

Spoiler alert: if you get a postcard from me, neither the picture on the front nor the message on the back has a damn thing to do with anything. Often, I wonder who I’m really trying to entertain – the patient or the postman.

Once I sent a postcard to a friend living in the reddest part of Florida that whispered: “Mr. Postman, did you know David was a Democrat?”

Sometimes I plagiarize from famous writers. My favorite is brief: “Use no hooks.” Followed closely by: “This side up.” Puzzles some people no end.

I try not to talk dirty but it is difficult to play straight when the picture on front is a bear in the woods. “Yes.” Before you even ask, “Yes.”

People ask where do I get such a variety of cards. The Mystery Woman had a treasure trove of old, old postcards in a cigar box. I am glad she no longer smokes cigars.

In summary, if you get a lot of post cards from me, maybe you should see a doctor.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Kharma -- the fifth season

Some of the more reputable polls show Obama trending toward losing the popular vote by a narrow margin but winning the electoral college vote by a good margin.

Kharma is coming.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quote of the Day

"I do ride this horse, but not in competition," Ann Romney said. "People say, 'Well you can ride at that level,' and I say, "Well…" It's like being the country club pro in one place, and then going to Wimbledon. You don't understand how professional these riders are that are riding at this level. It's quite competitive."

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