Monthly Archives: November 2012

Not all _____ are like that

Women, Muslims, Blacks, Immigrants, Jews. Pick a subgroup of people and you can find a complaint against them and also someone who will defend them undoubtedly saying “Not all (insert group here) are like that”(NA?ALT).

Since Muslims probably come up the most in general society today for this argument, we’ll use them as the example.

“Muslims are all terrorists and want to destroy America. They’re happy when bad things happen to us”

“Not all Muslims are like that. I know lots who are very patriotic.”

However what is missed by the NA?ALT person is that some Muslims are like that. So when somebody generalizes about Muslims, and they in turn generalize that it’s not true, their response includes all Muslims simply because they are defending them and therefore aren’t going to pick who does or does not qualify.

The bad Muslims have to love this. These people will argue and fight to defend all Muslims regardless and try to get them a pass so they receive less scrutiny for being Muslim, allowing them to move about and do their thing more freely.

In the “Not all Muslims are like that” frenzy, they group all Muslims together because by the nature of their position they can’t exclude anyone. They’re so intent on proving that most Muslims are actually good and decent people that they’re not willing to point out the bad ones.

What could be better for a person of a questionable lifestyle than to have people arguing that it’s wrong to classify you as representative of all of your group and therefore gets you off the hook.

While it may be true that NA?ALT, that doesn’t mean that behavior doesn’t happen and it should therefore be pointed out.

Rather than saying, not all muslims are terrorists, not all women are sluts, not all Jews are greedy, etc. it would be smarter for the people who want to defend these groups to do so while at the same time going after the actual bad ones. Help these groups by pointing out the more unsavory members as being unrepresentative, rather than giving them a blanket to hide under with everyone else.

 

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A republic, if you can keep it

I returned bottles and cans to the grocery yesterday. As I waited in line at customer service to cash in my slips I noticed something on the counter in the back of the customer service area.

It was a belgian waffle maker. It’s no surprise to see a belgian waffle maker at a grocery store, but there was something about this one. The box was turned so that the words I saw were in spanish. You could still read belgian waffle maker, but the smaller print about its features was all in spanish.

First I wondered how many mexicans(cause that’s who we’re talking about) make waffles at home. I’m sure they eat them, but make them at home just seemed a stretch. Then I thought, whoever does probably understands english good enough that they don’t need the box half in spanish to understand.

Most of the Mexicans around live in the trailer parks. They live there cause it’s popular for Mexicans but also because they can’t afford much else. However that’s not how all the mexicans are, mostly the more newly immigrated ones. So not the ones likely to be buying Oster belgian waffle makers.

The ones who are probably likely to buy one are the family of my friends in-laws. Because their father is in management at a good size company they have a nicer house than me. Though they’ve since gone back to Mexico his job.

This coincides with a book I recently finished reading called, Unmaking of Americans: How multiculturalism has undermined the assimilation ethic.

The book provides a history of immigrants to America being assimilated into American society and how America was stronger for it and that under the current methods of multiculturalism the newest immigrants to America(mostly Mexicans) are being ill-prepared for life in America.

The book, which is from 1998, makes a strong case for Americanization. That a unified America of individuals is immeasurably stronger than an America divided by groups. One passage stuck out especially for me, it was a speech by President Woodrow Wilson speaking in Philadelphia at the first ever National Americanization Day on July 4, 1915.

You dreamed dreams of what America was to be, and I hope you have brought the dreams with you. No man who does not see high visions will ever realize any high hope or undertake any high enterprise, and just because you brought the dreams with you, America is more likely to realize the dream you brought. You are enriching us if you came expecting us to be better than we are, I certainly would not be one even to suggest that a man cease to love the home of his birth and the nation of his origin — these things are very sacred and ought not to be put out of our hearts — but it is one thing to love the place where you were born and it is another thing to dedicate yourself to the place to which you go. You cannot dedicate yourself to America unless you become in every respect and with every purpose of your will thorough Americans. You cannot become thorough Americans if you think of  yourselves in groups. A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American, and the man who goes among you to trade upon your nationality is no worthy son to live under the Stars and Stripes.

This from the man who gave the world the League of Nations, he can hardly be called a nationalist.

Despite what some people think, America does not wish to force it’s culture upon its immigrants. It wants to absorb them into itself because it and they will be stronger for it. It does not want to denigrate their personal history, but to make it a part of its own history. I say this from a room in which I have souvenirs from my travel in every corner and still I would not trade those countries for my own.

I enjoy travel and I am at times frustrated with my country, but I still believe in it. I still believe because it is a country built not on an ethnic history but on an idea that all men have the opportunity to create their own lives, that is what unifies us in these United States of America.

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Now I have to go satisfy my urge for waffles.

Technology Makes People Dumber

I’ve seen this brought up a few places the past day or two and finally just saw it as a friends facebook post.

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berne Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!

(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place

them under protection of copyright laws. By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 11-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates

What makes people think that posting something on facebook has any legal precedence? I’m no lawyer, but posting something on facebook has as much legal precedence as does writing a post-it note for your spouse and calling it a contract for them to do whatever you wrote.
These things come up all the time on facebook, it seems like every other month at least. What’s surprising to me is that the person I got this from(the first person I saw post it from my friends list) is actually a law student!
To make the whole situation even more comical the UN wants to take control of the internet. Do people really think that doing a copy & paste of some chain letter is going to stop anything they post from being usable as evidence should it be pertinent? Do you really think an international body that has determined what should and shouldn’t pass as legitimate gives one hoot about your preference for your privacy? Do they even honestly think facebook itself would stand by that preference if asked to turn over all the information on said person?
You have free speech, but can’t shout FIRE! in a movie theater. You can own a gun, but you can shoot people at a whim. Laws are laws but they have applications. Things you say on facebook are public domain. Fessing up to a murder on facebook doesn’t exonerate you simply because it was only intended for your friends to hear. Part of the Miranda rights state “Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law”, that of course refers to what you say while in the custody of the law but it also applies to anything you say in general whether you’re saying it to your friends or just talking to yourself in public.
This brings up something that I wanted to write as a separate post in the future. That people who think the internet and all it’s applications have made people smarter are wrong.
It has not made anyone smarter, it has merely made them have instant access to information they didn’t have before. However not all information is created equal and just cause you can find it on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true. The internet does not make people smarter, it allows them to wallow in their ignorance and stupidity more than ever before their justifications are just a fingers reach away. As such it allows people who should have at least average intelligence, to post things on facebook and expect them to be right.
I’m not expecting anyone to bother researching the law as listed in that post, but I would at least think they might bother with the common sense aspect. Television hasn’t made anyone smarter, and neither has the internet, because neither pushes humans to explore things when they can sit comfortably on their couch and simply assume that everything is right because that’s what they read.

Person of the Year vs Nobel Prize

What’s more telling of phonyness, the TIME magazine person of the year award or a Nobel Peace Prize?

The Nobel Peace Prize hasn’t gone to anyone who’s done anything for peace in years, but TIME, though less of an official award is also worthy of mockery.

I ask because there is currently voting up at the TIME website for the person of the year. The staff of TIME will apparently make the official pick in the Dec 31 issue, but the reader vote comes out in mid December.

I found out and went by and voted, then looked at the running results. They were impressive so I took a small screenshot.

Impressive that a democratically elected President who just apointed himself dictator of Egypt has a commanding lead of voters, while the already established dictator of Korea has a commanding grip of 2nd, with the Pakistani girl who was shot in the face holding on to 3rd.

It would be quite a coup, if Bashar Assad could pass Malala for 3rd and round out the dictators podium.

I included the top 15(out of 39/40) to show just how serious this award is. I personally expected to see the Clintons and Obama much higher, but there’s only 4 candidates who even have a positive vote ratio, with the Mars Rover being the only one outside the top three.

Expectations in Black America

I saw a story over the weekend that said black leaders are expecting the President to return the favor. Basically because we voted for you, you owe us some freebies.

First of all the logic seems shaky. Were blacks ever really going to vote for Mitt Romney in large numbers? Was there some rallying  point that caused them to vote for Obama? No, it was always a foregone conclusion and if anything, insignificant because of that.

But let’s say black Americans are owed something from the President. What would they want or what could they get? Collectively black Americans are already government dependent. One could say they control the rate of government. Because in America everything has to be acceptable for everyone and not overly challenging for anyone, everything is done with minorities in mind, and not simply what’s the best way to do this. More simply put, everything the government does has to take into account the lowest common denominator, which is minorities.

Of course that’s a path to failure but that’s what we insist on, never challenging, always giving up. This is because as a cultural group, the black community in America has set the bar for itself as low as possible. The bar for blacks in America is so low it might as well be on the ground because they are not asked to challenge themselves or really even try in any way.

If you are black and simply drop out of school and do nothing your whole life but sit around watching tv while collecting government checks, that’s considerd a perfectly acceptable life by far too many blacks. It’s not entirely blacks as the liberals do tend to encourage people to study useless things like art and then try to throw money at them for “stimulus”, but it is within the black community that it really shows itself.

A team is only as good as it’s worst performing player.  A country is only as good as it’s worst performing sub-group. America can and has done well without high expectations for it’s minorities, but it would do better if those expectations were increased. However as long as it’s white conservatives asking to increase the effort and expectations of blacks and minorities they will be met with cries of “Racist!”. Even a black leader who dares to suggest that idea, is probably head for excommunication.

Which makes it all the more unfortunate that it seems like things are going the opposite direction, that the standards are loosening, if that’s even possible.

I have higher standards for black people. It’s not enough for a black person to simply meet the standard average. They have to outperform to meet the standard and then use that little bit extra to erase prejudices.

Jackie Robinson is not a civil rights hero, because he was the first black player in the major leagues. He was a hero because he overachieved. He was an outstanding player and it couldn’t be denied, a black player was just as good and even better than many white players.

If Robinson turned out to be a flop who hit .200 and was a clumsy base runner and fielder, he would’ve been dropped out of the league and black people would’ve been set back because it would have vindicated the idea that black people simply couldn’t perform as well as whites.

Unfortunately today, black people don’t care to apply themselves. A great many have no education and no prospects in life, put simply they’re quite hopeless. Still many more have little education and only minimal prospects and still more have sufficient education and adequate/decent prospects.

However, a small portion of the entire black population being able to support themselves(and probably less and less as generations pass), is no means to success.

As long as a large portion of black Americans are unwilling to raise their collective standards to challenge themselves and instead have minimal to no standards term it success, they will be nothing but the bottom of society. Most white Americans are not overly concerned with race in general today, but if a growing black underclass continues to act as an anchor for the rest of American society, it will only earn itself more derision and hatred until it can be pulled along no more.

Sergeant York

I’m not a huge fan of television but one of the channels I do enjoy is the military channel. Saturday nights that showcase a film in a segment called An Officer and a movie with Lou Diamond Phillips as the host.

Tonight’s serving is Sergeant York starring Gary Cooper from 1941.

I like war films and I like some old movies, but I’ve never been much of a fan of black and white films cause they usually just seem a bit cheesy to me.

However in my mind this is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. I don’t know anything about Gary Cooper, but he’s a tremendous actor in  this role. When I compare his acting in Sergeant York to what we get served up today it’s a night and day difference between quality and crap.

I’m familiar with the story of Sergeant York, but have never read or seen anything extensive about him. Cooper portrays a hillbilly hero who won the Medal of Honor at age 31, who killed 28 Germans and captured 132 more by himself behind German lines. And by the way, York was a pacifist who initially applied for conscientious objector status in the draft.

What stands out to me is that Cooper made the film as his contribution to the war effort in WW2, because he was too old and had a previous hip injury that prevented his service, but still wanted to do something. Also, apparently Cooper won the Oscar for his role as York and said that the award belonged to York and left it on the podium.

Can you imagine an actor today wanting to portray not just America, but a religious, hillbilly from Tennessee as a hero? Matt Damon? Ethan Hawk? Alec Baldwin? Don’t hold your breath, sure they’ll take the role and the money that comes with it but you better believe they wouldn’t take it if there wasn’t some dig at America, it’s people, or what they believe in.

Blind devotion is never a good thing and it’s reasonable to question what we’re told, but Hollywood doesn’t really question things so much as they just mock it, and make fun of the rest of us. That’s why I don’t go to the movies anymore and I’ll stay away as long as they keep up the poor workmanship and the poor attitude.

Attention Shoppers

Lots of talk this week about the Walmart v Union protests.

Walmart filed with the NLRB to get the protests cut out on legal grounds but being a political entity they’ve decided to do nothing about the matter yet. No time like after the smoke clears for the appointees of this administration.

Anyway I’m interested to see how the unions will behave Friday and how the whole situation will shakedown.

There are two undeniable facts. One, that black friday is always chaotic and getting between Americans and their shopping is a hazardous choice. Two, that Unions are well known for nefariously conducting their affairs against those they don’t like.

Walmart could easily lose the public opinion battle. Going up against the liberal Unions, academia, media, and the administration puts a lot of weight against them. However, billions of dollars in annual revenue shows most Americans don’t care and the decline rates of Unions recently shows they’re being called out by many more Americans.

The Unions aren’t playing for their own money and have nothing to lose, which is why they keep up their campaign after all these years of declining returns.

Here’s what I think will happen.

The Unions will come out swinging at everyone like they always do, and likely end up clocking quite a few people square on the jaw in the process.

Unfortunately for them, the people most likely to be hurt by their actions will be the people in the middle, the customers.

If the Union can get Walmart employees to walk out, which I might doubt in itself, it doesn’t hurt Walmart more than it does the customers.

Walmart will still rake in the cash all Christmas season long. The customers will still get their stuff and if the lines are too long cause some people walked off the job, the customers will go to Target or another similar store, also being non-union, or simply buy their wares online, also being non-union.

My overall prediction. IF the Unions can muster the strength to get enough Walmart employees to walk off, it’ll hurt them more than help them. Also, and this is more likely, the Unions prove to be nothing but a nuisance and pain in the ass to regular shoppers and business, further diminishing their already shabby reputations.

Talk is Cheap

Yesterdays news cycle was big on Hillary Clintons visit to Jerusalem and press conference with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

Here’s video of the statements she made;

Luckily the Israelis are not so easy to fool, because I for one can’t help but feel that her statements are nothing but a bunch of phoney baloney talking points.

Why would Israel think that America would support it based on some going through the motions statement that clouds the actual situation. Clintons words are hollow, there’s no value to them. I don’t mean that as a dig at her personally, but that the support America has shown Israel has been tenuous at best and has come without a real display or commitment to that truth in four years.

If I were Israel I would not only prepare to do whatever I must without any American assistance, but even be prepared to face the possibility of America finally denouncing me. If they can’t make a clear statement, why would their actions be any clearer?

Which brings me to this point. If their was legitimacy or value to Clintons words, why does she have to read them from a piece of paper. This is not a new issue, she’s not reporting statistics, rather she’s making a bland, emotionless statement without any feeling or conviction and therefore has to read it off a piece of paper. Again it’s no personal dig at her, rather I mean to say that far too many of America’s leading politicians can’t make serious statements without reading a prepared piece which makes you wonder how serious they are.

Whether you’re the Secretary of State, President, Senate leader, House Speaker, whatever, you should have enough of a familiarity with the issue that  you can speak on it off the cuff without prepared statements. The greater your responsibilities are, the greater your familiarity should be.

Listen again to her statements in the video, there is no Kennedyesque speech there, just bland and empty words from someone who wants to sound like their saying something while saying nothing. That’s why I don’t believe her and that’s why most of what politicians say is nothing but crap today.

If the Secretary of State can’t stand at the podium and say straight from her mind/heart/soul “the USA is going to give full economic/military/diplomatic backing to Israel” and instead has to read the most boring and dull statement of active neutrality, than what business does she have even being there and making that statement and why would anyone believe her?

If your leaders can’t make clear and determined statements on the most obvious issues, what can you really expect from them?