Browsing Posts in Culture

This is the only Tea-Bagging I want to see!

I am not one that typically likes to involve themselves in issues or social movements that anyone with moderate intelligence could deduce to be completely irrational and/or counter intuitive to one’s well-being. But lately I’ve been barraged by the “small government is better” crowd, not necessarily a part of the tea party, but coming from the same philosophical ilk nonetheless. Hell, I’ve even talked with some “liberal” democrats buying into to some of this toxic rhetoric from the ill-informed.

To give them a simplified critique: the oppressive taxes you pay (the lowest Americans have paid in over 60 years) go toward building and maintaining roads, schools, fireman, policemen, protecting us from foreign invasion, making sure our food and water is (somewhat) safe to eat and drink and on and on and on….

Again, that is a very simplistic analysis — don’t worry, it’ll get more pedantic as the caffeine kicks in. This leads to the clever title; when will, if ever, cognitive dissonance kick in for those of the belief that government is always the enemy no matter what? For those who aren’t up on social psychology, cognitive dissonance is simply holding two contradictory views at once. continue reading…

i SO mad i USE THEM capitol LETERs

I was checking out a few videos about Arizona’s new immigration bill on YouTube last night. Typically, I have used YouTube merely as a means of watching the occasional “guy getting hit in the nuts” video–who doesn’t love that–and also finding something relevant to my bizarre fetishes. But being the pillar of political commentary and journalistic integrity that I now am, I decided that YouTube might be better used as a medium of intelligent discussion and commentary with like-minded individuals.

While viewing some videos relating to Arizona’s recent immigration bill, I checked out the “comments” section below the videos. Let me tell you valued readers, it was a veritable smörgåsbord of racism, intolerance, ignorance and just plain bizarre ramblings. I thought I would highlight some of these gems of enlightened commentary for everyone’s amusement and/or horror. These are all taken verbatim, no change whatsoever. I am not giving their particular YouTube user-name though; they don’t need any more attention than I am already giving them. I do have to give some credit to the Free Republik Website. They have a “twitter nut of the day” post that they do, highlighting some of the more “reasoned” tweets from the right-wing, which inspired today’s post. continue reading…

Originally written on May 6, 2010

Since I published this on my other blog the other day, I have since got my new site set up as one can see. Ironically, my new advertisements are a bit on the bright, shiny side; not to mention the ‘word-highlight-hover-over’ type  I approved (and can unapprove). But hey, if Porsche wants to advertise on a godless pinko site, so be it:) -Todd (5.8.10)

I am in the midst of the most serious case of what one refers to as “writers block” since my college days. It was my intent to write on modern Utilitarianism and how this is somewhat counterproductive to the development of a modern and rational philosophical thought process in regard to the reality of political economy within a dialectical context. But…I just don’t want think too hard today.

I then had the idea of writing about the decline of the labor/union movement since the Carter administration. I do have some amount of expertise on the subject, but to fully explain the dynamics at play and the policies affecting the decline could not be neatly summarized in a brief two to three-thousand word article. Perhaps a series of articles on that issue sometime in the near future is a possibility. But today, I can’t go there. I can’t even focus enough energy on writing a letter of recommendation requested by a former colleague. continue reading…

Originally written on April 27, 2010

Just last night I was watching my local news and heard about how some local Wal-Marts are now offering in-store medical clinics for shoppers. These clinics–or convenient care clinics–are supposed to be a quick alternative to having to make an appointment with your Doctor and then waiting, who knows how long, to see your Doctor. I did a little research and found that this is not unique to Central Pennsylvania. Wal-Mart has already opened several of these clinics around the country, with 400 total, scheduled to be opened this year.

This phenomenon of quick health care in a large retail store is not unique to just Wal-Mart. Many large grocery store chains are doing the same thing. What is interesting about these clinics is that when one drops in to perhaps get a sore throat looked at, they are not seeing an M.D., but rather a CNP; Certified Nurse Practitioner. I have no problem with CNPs, in fact, the CNP I see on regular basis is more competent and knowledgeable in general medicine than just about any M.D. I’ve ever seen.  The problem is, a CNP is not bound by Hippocratic Oath, therefore they can refuse treatment to any patient that comes in. continue reading…

Originally written on April 25, 2010

On Friday, April 24, Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a new immigration bill requiring local police officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants. What the actual reason is that police would suspect someone of being an illegal immigrant is not stated in the law, but is left to the discretion of the officers. The reality is every single resident of Arizona of Latino descent–about 30% of the state’s population–is a potential target for police interrogation.

This bill is the culmination of a decade’s long attempt at fear-mongering that spreads false information about the actual costs–fiscal and social–of illegal immigration, all in an effort to use the already racist inclinations of a white population duped into the belief that “American” culture, language and identity is threatened by illegal immigrants. Of course, the illegal immigrants they speak of only pertain to Latin America–Mexico at the forefront–and do not mention immigrants from any other part of the world that come to this country every year, just like Latinos, but whose skin is not dark and whose native language is not Spanish. Fear-mongers like Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck, among many others, manipulate their audience into a belief system that re-enforces racist stereotypes, perpetuates lies about the actual costs of illegal immigration and presents hypothetical scenarios about the downfall of white American culture at the hands of these immigrants. continue reading…

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