Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Teachers Union Gone Wild video, Gov. Christie responds

(Much like the New Jersey teachers union, I can't get this video to behave itself. So apologies for the miles of open, useless space. For a writer, that's like unintended radio silence.)

Gov. Chris Christie comments on 'teachers unions gone wild'

If you haven't been enlightened yet, enlighten here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

What does your Google say about you?

When people use to talk about Big Brother watching you, I assumed they were talking about mine. He likes people watching, as do most artists. They're looking for inspiration and a Xanadu moment courtesy of a passing stranger's steel-toed boots, an older woman's vanilla perfume, or the teenager's gum whose flavor just lasts and lasts. There's no telling what might take an artist on a journey, a series of Alice experiences where they wake up in unfamiliar rabbit holes.

Later in life, about the time I understood that I understood nothing, I understood the Big Brother reference. I'm still unsure, however, why we insist on referring to the cold, institutional, impersonal federal government in familia terms: Big Brother, Uncle Sam, Mother...forget that one.

Private eyes (clap, clap) are watching you. Or me. Catchy song. Government eyes, however, are not cool. But there's a more unseemly character on the playground these days. Their toilet paper roll/duct taped binoculars are trained on you and your everything, from the questions floating around in the alphabet soup of your brain to whether or not you're watering your rhododendrons.

It's Google. Grandpa Google, to you.

They not only want to know where you live, where you work, what football game scores you're most interested in, but how to be that fatherly shoulder when you can't remember the name of that place with that song about that movie that one time.

Google it.

Also, they think they can read your mind.
"We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”
That's Eric Schmidt, Google CEO. You can call him Cuz. He's gotten a bit lost in the strings of power wrapped around his fingers. They have affected his tongue, and maybe a little bit of his frontal lobe.

That isn't all he thinks, according to Wall Street Journal's Digital Daily columnist John Paczkowski, whose name I spelled accurately on the first try. Schmidt might actually have a God complex. A "creepy" one.
In the past year alone he has:

- Addressed criticisms of Google’s stance on privacy by saying, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.
Every morsel of food, every libation, every slice of pie entering Schmidt's mouth should be known to the world. Or he shouldn't be eating.
- Claimed people want Google to “tell them what they should be doing next.”
And thus, should equally share in the consequences of those actions.
- Said this: "One day we had a conversation where we figured we could just try to predict the stock market. And then we decided it was illegal. So we stopped doing that."
That forbidden fruit term you're searching for is 'Black Friday.' Ask the ghost of Jay Gould and James Fist to explain it to you.
- Suggested name changes to protect adults from the Web's record of their youthful indiscretions.
You were named after your great, great grandfather. Big deal. Try 'Herbert' on for size.
- Said this: "What we're really doing is building an augmented version of humanity, building computers to help humans do the thing they don't do well better."
Then an orb of electric pulses crackled on the pavement and a naked Arnold Schwartzenegger appeared.

Since Schmidt enjoys talking far past the filter mileage on his brain, he told the viewer(s?) of CNN's "Parker Spitzer" show last week that people not overjoyed about having their homes photographed and uploaded onto an international database "can just move."

Wise words, Grandpa. Wise. Words.

I like Google as much as the next gal. Well, their products, anyway. But Schmidt. Ego much?

I wondered what my Google searches said about me. So I took a look. Here are a few key word searches in the last 48 hours: mess hall, John Bonham, humpty dumpty, Boca Raton, Tropic of Capricorn, lead products, Peruvian people, bullet speeds, The Great Escape movie.

There Schmidt. Read my mind.

If you have any trouble, try Binging it.

Who misses this guy?

I do!

No, I didn't agree with everything he did. I don't know a person on this planet who does what I want them to do 100 percent of the time. I'm willing to play puppet master. I simply can't get anyone else to play along.

What he was is what we do not have now, an honorable President. A man who loves his country. A leader with his nation's success a priority. A confident spokesman for American values of freedom, individual liberty, and the potential of every citizen.

President Bush was an encourager. A man on our side. Shouting in the bullhorn. Ralling the citizenry. Leading when no one else wanted the job, which is the true definition of leadership.

He didn't whine. He didn't complain. He never pointed a finger at a predecessor. He simply did his job.

That's what I miss, a professional. A President without malice. A man of substance and few words.

Steven Crowder, ladies and gentlemen

He's back. And so am I.

His excuse? I have no idea.
My excuse? I had a cold. And I don't believe in fever blogging. Or drunk dialing. Or alphabetical filing.

What I do believe in is the Toothfairy, wishing on a star, and small business. Not necessarily in that order.

Dang. Wish I was rich like that guy and borrowing six figures so I could pay interest on a tax payment.

Teachers Union Gone Wild. The video.

James O'Keefe, of the ACORN undercover video fame, is at it again. Darn that kid and his tiny, unseen cameras. Not even the New Jersey Teachers Union - dedicated servants and slaves to childhood education - are allowed to let their hair down, have fun, and laugh about how their degrees place them in a position of power to really #*@#$ with children.

Looks like good, clean, family-friendly fun to me - except for the language, which is graphic, and the mindset, which is offensive.

I'm shocked anyone would find this shocking. These are professionals, people. Leave your children in their very capable hands. And rest easy. These are government employees. They're the good guys.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Buyer's Remorse: bringing bad things to life

Besides the overacting, the other thing I notice about this commercial is the extreme hypocrisy between 1986 GE and 2010 GE. They don't always bring good things to life. In fact, you can thank them for those over-sized, mercury-filled, screwy florescent light bulbs that we're being forced to buy. Personally, I think the light they give off is substandard.

But since Americans love to hug GE and love GE and pet GE and squeeze GE and call GE our very own, we paid them $25 million in stimulus funds to lay off 18,000 workers in 2009.
In addition to the $24.9 million it received in stimulus grants, GE was also awarded $5 million in federal contracts under the economic stimulus law.
So to stimulate jobs, we've now paid GE $30 million and received 18,000 fewer employed Americans and ugly light bulbs for our expense. Time to sit down and revise the family budget. This isn't working.

At least Jeffrey Emelt, GE CEO and close Obama pal, will be having a good Christmas this year. That thought, I'm sure, will keep the American taxpayers warm at night while sitting under the depressingly dim glow of their GE florescent light bulb.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Secretariat: American values movie gives liberal reviewer hives

Hollywood has made another family-friendly, American-spirited, hard work, "you can do anything you set your mind to" type of movie again. And that just ticks some people off.

"Although the troubling racial subtext is more deeply buried here than in 'The Blind Side' (where it's more like text, period), 'Secretariat' actually goes much further, presenting a honey-dipped fantasy vision of the American past as the Tea Party would like to imagine it, loaded with uplift and glory and scrubbed clean of multiculturalism and social discord. In the world of this movie, strong-willed and independent-minded women like Chenery are ladies first (she's like a classed-up version of Sarah Palin feminism), left-wing activism is an endearing cute phase your kids go through (until they learn the hard truth about inheritance taxes), and all right-thinking Americans are united in their adoration of a Nietzschean Überhorse, a hero so superhuman he isn't human at all."

In other words, according to reviewer Andrew O'Hehir, the movie sucks because people are too optimistic. Women are classy. The horse makes history. And there's a happy ending.
If only there could have been more profanity, explicit sex scenes, drug usage, an ignorant and blatantly racist white man who was also a military veteran, a whimpy priest or pastor, and a burning picture of Richard Nixon.

Those in the dark, love the dark. And despise the light.

Here's what the conservative reviewer Carl Kozlowski at said,
"That rich cast is a testament to the strength of Mike Rich’s screenplay, one in which Rich builds on his record of uplifting sports movies such as 'The Rookie.' He also pulls off the impressive feat of not needing a single swear word or other impressive element to tell his tale, making it a perfect family film, while in no way making the film seem sugar-coated or condescending. He also gets in some solid digs against the hippie and anti-war movements of the film’s time frame. Put it all together, and 'Secretariat' shows that sometimes a solid, sturdy ride can still beat the flash in the pan entertainment around it by a country mile."

A movie worth the money to watch it, a rare quality. I'll be sitting in the seventh row with my popcorn.

The Socialist Network

The Social Network. It's a movie. About Facebook. The curly-head of Justin Timberlake is in it. See it. Don't see it. Your choice won't, in any way, affect the outcome of your life.

The Socialist Network, however, is real life.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It's a hard-knock life for...never mind

Birdie loved Keebler elves cookies. The Fudge Stripped ones. They have the hole in the center, perfectly positioned to hoist the cookie on your finger and devour it in circles.
I never forget that about her. Or her hugs. Or her red hair. Or the kindness of her spirit. You wanted to be around my Grandma Birdie. You wanted to be close to her, in the same room, the same moment, the same air. You wanted to feel the warmth of her smile on your face, a statement I have only ever made or could ever make about my Grandma Birdie or my mother.
Personally, I always wanted to sit on Grandma Birdie's lap but her legs were too short so I kept sliding off. Instead, I leaned on her, snuggled in next to her, stood in her proximity so she'd wrap an arm around me every once and awhile. Since she died when I was eight, the childlike weight of my not-yet-fully-developed-tall-frame-self wasn't yet laden down with my full-milk fortified bones. So, hopefully, my leaning, snuggling, hugging wasn't too much. Then again, if I'd been too heavy, she still wouldn't have said a word.

Another thing I remember about Grandma Birdie is that her life was hard. Terribly hard. She lived in a home that consisted of one bedroom and a kitchen. There was never any indoor plumbing, though she always kept it clean. Water was pumped from a spring. The bathroom was an outhouse. Baths were taken outside. And that was only her home life.

To survive, my grandfather farmed and she worked at the local restaurant, shedding her joy and cooking around. She worked. She worked hard. She also wrote a column for the local newspaper, including very detailed, personal, and historical stories of her family as Oklahoma Dust Bowl survivors. She was a gifted writer, a talent that attracted friends and family to send letters in hopes she'd write back. Unlike me, she never got the chance to make a living at her passion.

It wasn't until the day she died that anyone, anyone in our family, anyone at all, knew her cancer had returned. She suffered in silence.

She was a cancer survivor and eventually a cancer victim. But she lived her days without complaint. No complaint. None. And when we came to visit, she always had Fudge-Stripped cookies to send back home. They were, no doubt, one of her rare expenditures, rare guilty pleasures. And she gave them away.

I didn't think about her at all yesterday. Not when I was slaving away on a deadline. Not when I was dealing with a health issue. Not when I was gritting my teeth at my house chores - iron clothes, do laundry, pay bills, make chili. Not when I sat in my vehicle turning the key over and over again with no response. And not when I walked into town to deposit a check and then back home again.

It wasn't until the last half mile of my journey, with my body overheated, my hand cramping from carrying my purse and sweater, my feet ready to see home, the thought "dang, cars make everything so much easier" running over and over in my head, that I thought about my pampered existence. That thought always leads me to Grandma Birdie.

The week hasn't been great. The year, really, hasn't been so fab. The same issues I struggle with today I've been struggling with for years. The wars are the same, only the calendar dates change. In the middle of it all, I often wonder why life has to be so hard, why God - like Samantha on Bewitched - won't wiggle His nose and make everything all better.

Then I remember Grandma Birdie. In her kitchen sat a large metal bowl, a drinking ladle hooked on the side. The water was always cool and unbelievably delicious. As a kid, I'd gulp down an entire ladle and wonder why water didn't taste like that back home. Then I'd run outside and forget everything except for exploring the woods, sneaking past the barbed wire fence, and discovering a dinosaur bone, which always turned out to be a cow.

The water came from a natural spring, a spring across the property and down the dirty road from Grandma's house. That was her water supply. That was where she hiked everyday for water, water to clean the dishes, water to bathe, water to fill that metal bowl with the ladle so I could gulp it down at my leisure.

I have no freaking concept of living a hard life.

Monday, October 4, 2010

UK Advice Columnist: Good mothers smother their hurting babies with pillows

I hadn't planned to make today about abortion. But after posting the inspiring audio of Gianna Jessen's testimony, literally minutes later, I received Glenn Beck's subscriber newsletter with this video.

It's Virginia Ironside, a British advice columnist, who believes the compassionate thing to do with a suffering child is to shove a pillow over their head and hold it down until their body stops thrashing about fighting for oxygen and they die.

Watch the face of one of the program hosts, Susanna Reid, who seems a bit shocked, while Ironside just continues on as if killing your child is the most natural thing a "good mother" would do.

"If a baby’s going to be born severely disabled or totally unwanted, surely an abortion is the act of a loving mother. If I were the mother of a suffering child – I mean a deeply suffering child – I would be the first to want to put a pillow over its face… If it was a child I really loved, who was in agony, I think any good mother would."

Virginia Ironside

First, I think it needs to be asked. Did Virginia Ironside have any children who died mysteriously?
Second, as she grows older, should she be in pain, what kind of pillow would she prefer shoved over her head? Foam? Down? Ruffles on the edges?

Compassion it compassion, Virginia. You shouldn't go without.

Abortion is the act of a loving mother? Killing is now love. Well...that's what Hitler thought, too.

Survivor, Warrior, Princess: Gianna Jessen

I listened to this thinking of Deborah, the biblical judge and prophetess, who inspired an army of men into victory. And I thought of Ester, who faced certain death to defend her people.

That's Gianna Jessen. An abortion survivor and warrior for the unborn. She survived a saline solution abortion, an abortion technique which burns the baby from the inside out. We don't even treat our serial killers to a death like that.

The culture speaks of humanity, of arguing against capital punishment, of sympathizing with captured terrorists, while silently killing babies by any means possible, even if that means cutting them into pieces. That seem upside down to anyone else?

Gianna Jessen has a testimony. It's the example of her life. And it's not only miraculous and charming, it's delightful, funny, encouraging, and joyful. You might remember her from this:

Recently, a video has been circulating of a speech Gianna gave in 2008 where she spoke at Queen's Hall, Parliament House, in Melbourne on the eve of a debate to decriminalize abortion in Victoria. I finally got around to watching it. Now I wonder what I could have been doing that was so much more important than finding the time.

Here's Gianna.

What I wonder is if feminists truly are for empowering women, for women who face insurmountable odds and yet survive and are successful, women who brave opposition and even persecution for their beliefs and rights, women who fight for other women, shouldn't Gianna be their poster child?

I'm sure they're getting around to it. Any day now you'll see Gianna as a guest speaker at a NOW Convention. Any day....

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What does Bin Laden and the Climate Change crowd have in common?

They both believe in global warming. And, apparently, they both enjoy the sight of blowing up innocent people and children. In graphic detail. With sound effects. Without emotion.

I have this little life motto, it goes something like this. "If you think death is funny, I don't like you." I tweak it a bit from time to time. But that's the gist of it.

Then I usually follow it with, "If you think people should die if they don't do what you want or think like you do, I really don't like you." And I stress the really part, holding out the first syllable so they can feel the weight of my really.

Does that mean I'd make a video where I blew them up into bloody messes, snuffing out their life? That I'd joke about killing them? Nope. Because I can disagree with someone and still not want them murdered or find their murder humorous, like the rest of the sane, compassionate, free-thinking population.