Thursday, December 17, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
My real question is why has uninformed public opinion become central to the reporting on almost every story? Is this a national conspiracy to attempt to get every living American a chance for their 15 minutes of fame? For example, this evening ABC broadcast a story on mammograms and a medical panels recommendation they were not critical for woman younger than 50. As part of that report they must have asked 10 patients what they thought of a report none had read, but were only informed of by the reporter. The fact all 10 were about to receive their annual mammogram certainly can have no influence in their assessments and opinions, can it? Personally, I would rather have seen them interview 10 men who had survived breast cancer and asked them about how critical the mammogram was, at least that would have required some research on the part of the news staff. If this issue is worthy of national news coverage, why aren't recognized experts called in to discuss the reasoning and implications? Is it because it would not be as emotional as interviewing someone in a medical gown walking into the examination?
This same sense of fair reporting was evidence last night when they asked a series of New York city residents about Sarah Palin's new book. Certainly you can expect measured, well thought out positions from the average NYC person on the street. NYC is legendary for its central American view and as a bastion of conservative thought. Personally I can think of no compelling reason to report on Palin, but at the same time attempting to make her a cartoon only strengthens the argument the liberal press is out to polarize the American population into two camps.
Wait a minute! Maybe this is all like the Colbert Report. It is all a parody of an actual news report and their real intent is to make us question the statements and come to a conclusion buried deep in the false logic of their dialogue. My hat is off to you Katie Couric, Charlie Gibson, Bryan Williams, your subterfuge almost had me...
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Today President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. An award for which he was nominated roughly 2 weeks after his entering office. As I look at past winners they run the gamut from the Quakers to the UN Nuclear Energy Commission, from Le Duc Tho to Mother Teresa. I believe there have been two sitting Presidents who've received this award, Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Both received theirs for ending wars and moving toward peace. A third president, Jimmy Carter, was awarded the Nobel prize for his decades of efforts toward international peace.
We can only speculate on the discussions held in Oslo leading to this award but it appears the committee is awarding now based on potential. Let us all pray they are correct, and the President fulfills his potential and finds an end to the current terrorist threats and wars.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
As I watch society unfold before me I am struck, no distressed would be a better description, on how we have lost our ability to be civil to one another. Why is this? We have only to look at the almost daily news reports to see example after example of this. “Congressman Joe Wilson calls Obama a 'liar',” “Kanye West Crashes VMA Stage During Taylor Swift's Award Speech,” “In Toronto, Bike-Car Road Rage Escalates,” and the list goes on.
I believe we, as humans, are selfish, aggressive and violent by our nature. What has historically separated us from the other species is our ability to modify our base instincts to conform to the expectations of society. For example, rats are social, they live in ordered society and each is able to determine its place. They don’t seem to build unique cultures and I believe they play out their base instincts in the formation of those societies. We, on the other hand, are social beings, and build our societies for similar base goals, protection and furtherance of our race. We then train our youth to conform to those expectations so that society may evolve. Our history is filled with example after example of this, each eventually leading to a collapse and emergence of a follow-on civilization. Which brings us to today, and the question that is troubling me, what can we do to bring a sense of pride and civility back to our nation, and then the world?
Today it seems unfashionable to talk of cause and effect relationships, but I believe this is the only way to understand and address this decline. Parents of my generation began the process of trying to relate to their children and reinforce positive attitudes and performance in the belief if someone has positive thoughts about themselves they will fit better into society. My generation expanded on this to reinforce the idea that their child could do no wrong, and our children carry this to the next level where everyone must be a winner. I wonder if this could be a base cause for our failure to train the younger generation on the expectation for their role in society and the now prevalent belief they can say and do whatever they feel like and it is okay. The belief that their needs or ideas are more important than anyone else; debate and movement to a common approach is never an option.
As society embraces the idea that everyone can do, or say, whatever they feel like I am concerned with our ability to resolve the real problems that confront us as a society. With that inability to resolve conflict there is only one inevitable outcome. As uncivil behavior is spread, and more widely tolerated, what will be the next societal norm to be cast aside?
To my congressman, Jeff Miller, who rationalizes Congressman Wilson’s outburst, as emotions stirred by the health care debate, shame on you. I would hope, no I would expect, that Congressman control their emotions and do the nations business. What happened to the expectations of respect for your colleagues?
To rapper Jay-Z and all who rationalize Mr. West’s outburst as emotions to be understood and overlooked… shame on you. I don't expect you to condemn him, but you don't need to rationalize it away either. Perhaps this is one point where silence is a virtue?
Sunday, September 6, 2009
On the way home from church today there was an interesting observation which, I think, summarizes the "whatever I think" picture of today's society. My wife observed that the nation was more divided today than anytime in our past, and it must be a direct result of the Roe v Wade decision that limits the states ability to prevent abortions. I would suspect that most of our society may think the same way. My only comment to this -- it seemed to me the issue of slavery or states rights, and the resultant civil war was probably more divisive since we've not yet seen a state attempt to seperate.
Friday, July 31, 2009
In flying we had a saying. There was nothing more useless than altitude above you, runway behind you, and airspeed you don't have; for the Federal government it would be last years budget. Your money wasted last year should have no impact on the decisions we make this year.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I know of no endeavor the federal government has ever attempted where efficiency, accurate cost accounting, and effective management have been central to the success of the effort. We have acquisition professionals who believe that we should pay $100,000,000.00 for a fighter, that it is reasonable to spend $50,000 for each hour we fly that fighter, and since it isn't their money no cost is unreasonable. A government bureau once established, will do whatever it needs to further its own existence. Everything else becomes secondary.
Let's take, for example, Homeland Security. Once established, exactly what have they done to educate us, or tighten our defenses? Maybe it is just it is all so secret! TSA, a part of Home Land Security certainly has dramatically improved our air transportation experience with the security color code systems and all the gate checks.... Wouldn't it be a little better if we didn't have the same heightened state of alert for the last 7 years?
Medicaid is probably as close an example of what we can expect from government-run health insurance. Isn't this the same organization that is routinely found to have paid fraudulent claims costing American taxpayers millions and millions of dollars. Apparently, government bureaucrats are quite gullible.
It would be my hope we can find a way to provide a safety net to Americans without health insurance, but if we socialize medicine I expect we will see so many abuses of the system our overall ability to provide the finest medical care in the world will disappear.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Why is it so hard for us to admit to ourselves, or to others, we've made a mistake, we've forgotten something, or we didn't accomplish what we've set set out to do? Is it to protect our psyche, our reputation, or is there another motivation?
In my current job I find dealing with this is perhaps the hardest communication issue I have. If nothing is ever our fault then how can we affect change? How can we learn from our mistakes or not make the same mistakes over and over?
Wouldn't it be neat if we could teach our children to be responsible, to try their best, to recognize their mistakes, to find alternative approaches and move past the self pity that comes so naturally to our generation?
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
It seems the current fad is watching the disintegration of Jon and Kate's (?) marriage. A couple who have found a way to make a living off the exploitation of their eight children. Not only do you have the simple reporting of their problems, but you have the color commentators who allegedly have the inside line on who's done what to who, who is fooling around with who, and what are the odds for whatever. It seems like a lot of people talking about something that really is a "who cares?" issue.
Then it dawned on me... Is this all an orchestrated marketing campaign to set up a new show? Perhaps "Jon and Kate go Their Separate Ways," or "Jon and Kate; Who Gets to Exploit the 8?"
With Jon gone, who will Kate get to push around, her kids? Surely all the liberal woman of the world will band together to give her advice on why its Jon's fault.
Perhaps I need to go back to reading books again?