Thursday, May 19, 2011

De-constructing Arnold

They seem to get more attention than the killing of bin Laden, the sex "scandals". The latest, Arnold Schwarzenegger's admission that he fathered a son 11 years ago with a housekeeper, not his wife.

Why do we care, and why do we blame?

It would seem this "scandal" involves and affects a limited number of people: His wife, his kids, the "mistress", their biological son, and Arnold himself. But why is it getting more attention than that?

The answer is simple: We Americans love to be in charge of everyone's business. We love to judge, regardless of our own situation, holding others to a higher standard than we hold ourselves (or how we pretend to hold ourselves).

Pundits pontificate about how we can't trust someone who is "dishonest", yet we support folks who've abandoned more important and relevant campaign promises. We put a higher price/value on sexual dalliances, where a politician has followed his other brain.

No excuses, but whom would we rather have leading the country? One who rails against gays and for "family values", yet has gay clandestine and adulterous relationships, or a realist?

I like him. I like Maria.

Leave the 16th century religious mentality behind.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Can't Have It Both Ways!

For more than three years now the USA has been going through the most harsh economic conditions in recent memory plagued by unemployment, home foreclosures, economic recession & resulting stagnation, and mounting national debt (among other things). The causes are complicated (beyond my comprehension), but several thing are clear: we probably dodged a big bullet due to some questionable remedial decisions, we don't know for sure when the seed to this problem was sowed, that it probably started in the 1990s (during the Clinton years), but that the GW Bush administration. The latter group broke all records for running the country off the cliff, including the unprecedented move of slashing taxes while starting 2 expensive wars.

When the revisionists were quick to blame President Obama for the current economic situation, they cited the fact that he's the President now, he should own it, it's time to stop blaming Bush. They conveniently ignored the fact that the economy and unemployment are a lagging indicator.

But let's give them the benefit of the doubt, like they were acting in good faith.

Enter the location and execution of Osama bin Laden.

Now the Bush apologists are tripping over themselves to trot before the cable "news" shows about how the W agenda is directly responsible for the OBL killing. No matter he gave up on OBL in 2005. Responsible for getting OBL, not responsible for the economy. Hmmmmm....

And, with regard with the popular discussion on the torture thing, consider the following story on WaPo. We miss the point. Whether it works is only one of the 3 questions. Does it work (answered above), is there a more effective method (not torture), and do we want this to be what defines us. Don't forgot we executed Germans and Japanese after WW II for it.

Neighborly Feud

Courtesy of the Seattle Times
I'd bet a Hollywood screen writer could not write a storyline more incredible than the following real life story outlined in this recent one from the Seattle Times. Each development becomes more unbelievable than the last. Dozens of lives negatively impacted, hundreds of thousands of dollars of public funds needlessly spent, hundreds of thousands more dollars of private money squandered. All over a stolen and crashed motorcycle. If after reading the story you think there are no more surprises, take a gander at the website of one of the neighbors. Don't miss the "about us" page.

It's stories like this that make me wish that there was a higher power who could step in at some point, stop it, and say "ok folks, you obviously don't have the ability to behave like civilized adults on your own, so I'm taking over the day-to-day operation of your lives", sorta like this episode of Star Trek TOS.