Thursday, October 30, 2008

Racism and blue bins

I'm going to suggest something controversial.

49er's Premise #44: There might not be as much "racism" running rampant through the US as some pundits believe. Furthermore, it may turn out to be "racism" is a little analogous to "blue bins".

OK. You want me to explain? Consider this. By "bin" I'm speaking of what you might call a dumpster. Real "G-men" [garbage picker-uppers] don't often use that term, but that's not important. They call most larger bulk trash containers designed to be emptied by mechanical devices "bins". [The smaller ones, usually plastic, are often called "tubs"]. Bins are usually metal, but they can be plastic. And they are everywhere. Here's a 3 yard capacity front load type.

Recognize it? They come in various sizes, and the larger ones look and are handled differently, but "bins" similar to the one pictured are so common that almost no one pays them attention. They just "are". If you commute three miles to work in almost any city these days chances are you'll pass over a hundred of these babies located at businesses and apartment you drive by while going to work, and the same number traveling home. So why are bins like "racism"? It's because if you look for them, you will see them. And that's the point of premise #44.

Years ago our family lived in a rural area and traveled to a medium-sized city regularly to shop, etc. Usually all of us traveled together in a van. "Us" included a disabled foster son, I'll call him "Charley". Over the years he taught us many valuable life-lessions. Though "bent" Charley's not "broken", and seeing life through his eyes has been a journey unto its own.

Charley is almost a savant when it comes to knowing where he is, how he got there, where to turn to reach his destination, and also which is the quickest or best way home. Being male, I don't need this talent, but when DW travels afield she frequently takes him along "just to be safe" and not end up lost. This was once merely a family joke but over the years has turned into a useful benefit.

Another of Charley's skills is "eagle-eyed-ness". Before he fully matured he knew where everything was, or where it should go, or where I had left the car keys, or flashlight, name it. He was particularly useful when we were in a hurry to leave and couldn't find something critical to the trip! He could - and did - spot anything. And remembered it. This has all been prelude, of course, but the nub approaches.

One of my earlier careers involved managing a local garbage company. And we had bins. Lots of them. Charley knew as we traveled around the community that when I saw an overflowing bin I took a special interest in it because of service considerations. Soon he knew where all the bins were and would spot them - and their condition - before I would. But those bins were brown. Or rusty. Or ???

After a few years I graduated into a better position with a branch of an international garbage company headquarted in the medium-sized city mentioned above. And all our new bins were blue. The competions' might be brown or green or tan, but ours were blue. Henceforth when our family traveled through that city Charley soon learned I was only interested in blue bins, and so he would loudly call out "blue bin" every time he spotted one. Or two. Or twenty.

Then on lengthier trips he noticed blue bins in other cities. His joy was complete. Did I mention he was basically "non-verbal"? Didn't speak much at all, and could not - for the life of him - answer direct questions. His brain was wired in a way that when he tried to answer a question he switched to a "blank look" stare". So when he was able - without coaching - to call out "blue bin" he was proud that he could speak and prouder still of his scouting skills. He - and we - thoroughly enjoyed those times.

Charley's "blue bin" spotting skillset exists still today, decades after I no longer care if a blue bin has been emptied or not. Whenever we travel to a new city Charley always remembers those earlier days and can't wait to call out "blue bin" whenever he spots one. You see he's looking for blue bins. The same ones you drive by everyday without noticing.

I'm not equating the evils of racism with the smelliness of blue bins. Well, that is an apt comparision, isn't it? What I'm saying is that if you look hard enough you will probably find whatever it is you are looking for. And that search and resultant discovery will effect you. But if you know some something is there and choose to ignore it, driving by it blindly every day as it were, the thing will not damage you. It's only when you stop and get too close to a bad thing that the harm occurs. Calling attention to it only means its impacting you. Ignoring nastiness means it end's up rotting out onlu the one who's nasty.

Yes, I know the analogy ultimately breaks down. But the heart of the premise still holds. At least in my view. You see what you're looking for. Have your kids watch for the "blue bins" next time, and see if you agree.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More sad than funny

Here's a link to a whole slew of Michael Ramirez cartoons. Spend some of your time and open up a few. He makes very telling points. Thanks to Investors Business Daily for sharing his work.
H/T to Powerline

Monday, October 27, 2008

Could this really occur? MN thinking of adopting CA air standards?

Ran into this post from Minnesota Majority concerning two local bills currently being considered there, HF863 and SF481. I simply could not believe it. After shaking my head and laughing mirthlessly for ten minutes decided to post on it a bit further.

Accordingly, in my view one of the silliest things Minnesotans could do would be to tie their own vehicle emissions standards to those of Californians. I AM a native Californian and since I'm older than dirt have some insight into the evolution of CA's standards.

They were implemented year ago solely to partially resolve an environmental crisis in the Los Angeles air basin. A crisis caused more by manufacturing and processing plants, than by autos, and a crisis that local government at-the-time would not deal with and fix. The remainder of the state, like Minnesota, did not actually need those restrictions, but politicians at the time looked at the overwhelmingly huge voter block in SoCal and as is their wont in a panic felt they "had to do something", so they did.

Years later the fed's standards "caught up" to CA's, but once started down this path the ARB could not let that minor trifle stand in the way so EVEN THOUGH THE PROBLEM WAS SOLVED emission standards in CA became even further constrained, until today they make no sense and cause Californians to pay 5 to 8% or more for extra transportation associated costs than do residents of other states.

If Minnesotans fall for this silly idea they will join CA in spending needless extra funds merely to go shopping or commute to work. That is their free choice to do, but where is the "common sense" most Minnesotans I've known display?

Unbelievable. Or it should be.

On capturing wild pigs - a fable

Apropos of "free" stuff from the government is this post from Yankee Cowgirl. Significantly to the point, I believe.

We are already up to the fourth rail, in my view, and I think I see some Obamiacs lurking in the woods who intend to quickly close the gates.

It's time to flee to the swamp or trample down the posts.

So HERE's what we're looking forward to?

Scroll down just a bit to get to the meat of this scathing piece posted by Mark Steyn over 10 years ago pointing out not only the abject and foreseeable failure of Canada's highly vaunted nationalized socialized health care system, but also the leading part that very system played in worsening Toronto's public health - to the point of shamefully causing several needless deaths. And Canadian politicians, of course, then sprung to the system's defense rather than try to "fix it" in order to protect it's users - our northern neighbors, real Canadians.

Is this what we have to look forward to in solving the "health care crisis"? On that point, here's a post by statistician William M. Briggs - accompanied by an eye-opening chart - that posits there may not even actually be a "crisis" per se. It might all simply be a change in perspective. Boggles the mind. For another perspective see this.

Here's what I do know about "free" things. They are considered to be not as valuable as those for which we pay, and thus are more easily or casually wasted. I'm concerned that a so-called "free" health care will absolutely turn out by itself to cost more than the system we have now. Without being "better".

Add to that the administrative cost of the system being run by a bureaucratic government entity and things can only become worse. Tell me again. Why is this a desireable "change"?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More liars called out - by a 'journalist', no less

Here's another person ranting about media lies and liars, and this one's a "journalist".

Read the entire thing. Extremely perceptive point of view.

Be still my heart!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Who is the Liar? Or does truth no longer matter?

16 proven lies from the lips of Senator Obama

For at least seven years - or maybe even more - literally thousands of bloggers [including a few friends] and commenters from all over the world have with virtual impunity and a straight face been calling president George W. Bush a "liar".

Now it looks like the shoe may have moved to the "other foot". A writer from McLean, Virginia, has written a thoughtful and well-documented piece that highlights well over a dozen outright lies from the democrat's presidential candidate. But nobody on a national level seems to care.

Apparently, all this time the tactic of calling the oppostion leader a "liar" has been a well-thought-out strategy meant to immunize the vox populi against the next truth denier to come down the pike. The opposition's own. And it's working! People no longer care if politicians lie. They are almost expected to do so. As evidence, here is the cited letter listing far too many proven outright lies and almost again as many factual distortions from the lips of the current democrat candidate, senator Barack Obama.

Read the entire missive, please, but here's my partial summary:

Lied about relationship with Bill Ayers

Lied about relationship with Tony Resko

Lied about what was heard from the pulpit of Rev. Jeremiah Wright

Lied about what he had said earlier re: foreign leaders and meeting preconditions

Lied about what he had forecast earlier as the "failure" of the surge

Lied about what he said about voting against funding for the troops

Lied when he claimed to have a record of “working with republicans”

Lied in February about talking to an army “captain” “the other day”

Lied when he claimed to have been a “professor of constitutional law”

Lied when he claimed that John McCain voted for a tax increase on those making as little as $42,000 per year

Lied when he said he had “always” been for more oil production and nuclear power

Lied about the reason for changing his mind about public financing for his campaign

Lied about John McCain supposedly voting against additional funding for troops

Lied about John McCain voting against funding for alternative energy sources

Lied about John McCain voting “with” George W. Bush 90% of the time when he knows most democrats also voted that way 90% of the time. In fact, the only reason he does not have a similar record is because he has been missing from the Senate so much while "running for office"

Lied about the reasons for his failure to take an active role in the recent financial rescue plan.

Regrettably, there's but one conclusion. The junior senator from Illinois is a

Now I'm perfectly prepared to give the senator the benefit of the doubt on most of these items, if only he'd say he's changed his mind, or "misspoke", or give any other rational or logical explanation. But he can't bring himself to be forthright or humble enough to do that, apparently, and none of his bedazzled supporters seem inclined to worry about that character flaw at this late date. Furthermore, no one entrusted with media responsibilities seems to give a "fig", either. So we're likely in for another term of a US president being called a "liar". Better get used to it.

Monday, October 06, 2008

This is really troubling. Does anyone care?

On September 27 I posted on a bothersome, to me, quirk of Senator Obama's personality.

Today I ran into this and this, both [WARNING] very lengthy, thoughtful and in my view well-documented analyzes of what the senator allows to be seen of his public persona. The named examples of individuals virtually "worshiping" the senator, provided by Sam Vaknim, Phd, are eerie and creepy reminders of previous NPDs known through history and raise extremely worrisome issues. Is anyone still listening?

My conclusion? Senator Obama displays enough of the symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder for me to raise this question. Why should we not be concerned? What checks and balances do we have in place to prevent an NPD sufferer from assuming an elected public office? I can't think of any and I'm finally frightened. Can anyone clear this up for me?

Throw da bums out!

The idea is growing. It didn't start here, but I totally agree with the viewpoint.

Others have been more creative, and here's the link to prove it. Enjoy!