Wednesday, January 31, 2007
A town in Canada posts what they call their "Standards and Norms" explaining to immigrants that they are welcome to move to Herouxville as long as they don't stone women in public, or burn them alive or throw acid on them. They explain that "We wish to inform these new arrivals that the way of life which they abandoned when they left their countries of origin cannot be recreated here.." I listened to an interview with one of the town councilmen on BBC tonight and he tried to defend the policy as not being racist or prejudiced. As I look at the town website, many people have written in to support the Council and praise them for writing and posting this declaration. http://municipalite.herouxville.qc.ca/
A rape victim in Tampa,FL was placed in jail for two days rather than provided treatment because she had an outstanding warrant dating back to 2003. As it turned out later, that outstanding warrant has been reported to be a mistake. http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/01/30/jailed.rapevictim.ap/index.html
Finland's Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen broke up with his girlfriend by sending her a text message. http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/ptech/01/25/sms.novel.ap/index.html
There are 78 open investigations into mis-appropriations and fraud in Iraq restoration projects. GW wants Congress to approve another 1.2 B for Iraq reconstructions efforts, but millions have been misused to date. The Baqhdad Police Academy cost over $70M but has not been used. The plumbing never worked in the building. The US paid DynCorp Internation over $40M for a police training academy that has also never been used. Over $36M in equipment cannot be accounted for. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6316057.stm and http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/31/iraq.waste.ap/index.html
A woman in NYC accidently killed her baby while trying to protect him from the rats in her apartment. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16891842/ She slept with him in her bed and accidently suffocated him in her sleep. I'm not questioning her - I'm questioning the landlord who despite being cited over 300 times said he was unaware of any rodent problem.
A father killed his daughter in Jordan because he questioned her honor. Tests performed before and after her death proved she was still a virgin. He didn't believe her though and shot her four times in the head. She only came home because he signed a pledge not to harm her. At least Jordan has changed their laws to make honor killings to be like other homicides. Previously, penalties were as light as six months in jail. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070125/ap_on_re_mi_ea/jordan_honor_killing
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
- The Kooks - "Ooh La"
- Ed Harcourt - "Last Cigarette"
- Martha Wainwright - "These Flowers"
- Editors - "All Sparks"
- Rachel Fuller - "Blue"
- The Raconteurs (feat. Pete Townshend) - "The Seeker"
- Death Cab For Cutie (feat. Pete Townshend) - "Photobooth"
- Pete Townshend - "Acid Queen"
- The Fratellis (feat. Pete Townshend) - "Got Ma Nuts from a Hippy"
- The Magic Numbers - "Long Legs"
- Regina Spektor - "Musicbox"
- The Zutons (feat. Pete Townshend) - "Mary Anne with the Shaky Hands"
- Simon Townshend - "Soul Searching"
- The Flaming Lips (feat. Pete Townshend) - "Baba O'Reilly"
- Rose Hill Drive - "Brain Novocaine"
- Razorlight - "What's it All About"
- Mikey Cuthbert - "Misery"
- Foy Vance - "Homebird"
And then a few short days later, it is the Attic show again at Joe's Pub. It will be third time at Joe's and I am really looking forward to it. I am planning a romantic weekend in NY followed up by Joe's. Sounds like a perfect week!
I have also booked my flight to the SXSW festival in Austin, March 14-18. We've RSVP'd to three parties in Austin and are planning on going to the Attic show there.
Also found this interesting article on Eel Pie Island - great history, I knew nothing about Eel Pie.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
As Rachel would say, "Rock the Fuck On!"
Sunday, January 21, 2007
As I walked into the gym, several thoughts occurred to me. The people I saw around me are people I am very close to. I know very personal things about many of these other parents. I know who has lost their job recently and the stress that has placed on their family. I know the mother who is fighting depression, refusing to get help for it and trying to put on a happy face for her family. I know who is worried about a sick parent or a sick child. I know who I can call upon to help me - whether it is to watch my kids, to carpool with, to give me a hug or a kick in the butt.
The gym roared with parents cheering on both teams. The sound echoed throughout the gym. When two players collided and both fell to the ground, the gym was quiet as we waited to see if both would spring to their feet. We clapped for the player who had to walk off the court for a few minutes. Parents yelled encouragement to their children when they had either a good or a not so good play. Parents yelled (in a good manner) to the refs when a bad call was made. We have high school refs who may not be as experienced as we would like. But we have a good sportsmanlike attitude in our small town. We sign a pledge at the beginning of each season promising good behavior on the sidelines and our athletic association enforces that mutual agreement.
My son's team was down 18-8 in the first quarter. They had not won a game so far this season. They re-grouped and actually ended up winning this time, 24-20! It was a close game for the last five minutes. The parents of his team cheered and hugged each other. It was a good feeling, but as I think back on other games, even the losing ones, we have a pretty good thing going on in our small town. Football, baseball, soccer, or basketball - they bring our community together in a positive way. I look forward to attending many more games, even those 8:00 Saturday morning games!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
I've recently been elected to my Church Council. Church in America has changed so much over the last 50 years. I listened to an interesting videotape at our first council retreat. The speaker illustrated some major trends/changes in our country over the last 80 years. He referenced, I think, Daniel Yankelovich (not positive, if I'm misquoting someone, I apologise!)
In the 1930's and 40's, it was the time of Deferred Pleasure. If you wanted something, you waited until you had enough money to buy it. If you wanted dessert, your mother told you you had to finish your vegetables. People deferred their lives for World War I and World War II - they put off their schooling and their marriages for the good of the country. Same with religion - you deferred your pleasure on earth until later. You sublimated your desires, your needs, and your originality in many ways to fit in with everyone else, to make sure that the needs of the many were met rather than your own.
Something was invented in the 1950's that changed our lives and our culture. The Credit Card!
Now you didn't have to wait for things! Forget deferring pleasure, the 1960's became the Now Generation. If you wanted the Dean of the school to listen to you, you got other people who wanted the same things you did and you went and sat in his office until he heard you. The Civil Rights movement, Women's Lib, anti-war protests - they all happened in this timeframe. We knew there were inequalities in the world before. Why did we wait until the '60s to deal with it?
The Now Generation turned into the Me Generation in the 1970's. And the 1980's turned into the Greed Generation. I'm unhappy with my life - a new car will make me feel better!
Generation X signifies the people that were in their 20's during the 1990's. I'm a Gen Xer. They say that Gen Xers don't believe in Christianity, in the traditional family model, in company loyalty as they are the first generation to experience offshoring and downsizing, and are facing the burden of solving problems created for them by previous generations. Gen Xers grew up in families where divorce is the norm, inherited social problems such as homelessness, AIDS, federal deficits, unemployment and racial strife.
Generation Y, the Millennial Generation, is those people born between 1984 and 2001. These people came to age in the world of technology. They grew up with the Internet, with instant messaging, cell phones, and multiple cable televisions throughout the house. Gen Yers are more tolerant of racial differences and lifestyle choices. They are more spiritual and religious than their parents, but are searching for different ways to express and fulfill that personal need. On a positive note, Gen Y seems more interested in volunteering, in giving back to the community.
Watching the evening news, I wonder sometimes if my children, my Gen Yers, will grow up to be able to have their own families, to start a new generation. We have much to fix in the world, but I see that consciousness awakening in many people. I see ownership and people starting to take accountability for what we've done. There's even a rumor that GW will admit that global warming is a threat to the environment and to the world in his State of the Union address. Unfortunately, he's one I don't see taking much responsibility for his decisions.
Monday, January 08, 2007
I'm starting to use Wikipedia a lot. From Wikipedia, within the subject, Public Relations, the definition of spin techniques ( spin (public relations) ) include:
- Selectively presenting facts and quotes that support one's position (cherry picking)
- Non-denial denial
- Phrasing in a way that assumes unproven truths
- Euphemisms to disguise or promote one's agenda
- Rejecting the validity of hypotheticals
- Appealing to internal policies
Another key item is "managing language", using faith-based rather than religious, climate change vs. global warming, and partial birth abortion for pro-choice.
I'm on my knees praying that the change in political control will not be like
" There's nothing in the street looks any different to me. And the slogans
are all replaced, by the by. The parting on the left is now a parting on the
right, ..." -- Pete Townshend