Thoughts & Observations on Life, Society, and the Times by Al E.

Archive for June, 2011|Monthly archive page

Another “Offensive” Comment

In Politically Correct or Just TOO Sensitive? on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Here we go again!  It seems that more and more, thanks to Political Correctness, no one can say not’in about no-how, without worrying that it may offend someone – God Forbid – (Yes, I’m sure that may offend someone) and their point, the reason they spoke in the first place, will be lost – caught up in a whirl-wind of controversy and criticism – even though their comments may be important, ligament, a valid observation, or of genuine concern over an issue.

I remember a time when “free thinking” was not only respected but encouraged.  A person’s well intended, sincere comments may be of deep concern – to them – and should be viewed as nothing more than their sincere opinion.  How is it we’ve gotten so pompous, righteous and “sensitive” that thoughts, concerns and points of view no longer matter, but must take a back seat to concerns that someone’s “feelings” may be hurt?  Oh, boo ho, this is the real world – DEAL with it!

It is distressing that, in today’s society, no one appears to “care” about what is said, whether it’s truly right or wrong, good or bad, noteworthy or nonsenseIt has become far more important HOW something is said NOT what it is that is being said.

Recently, Tracy Morgan, a “shock” comic, was held to the Politically Correct Standard, so prominent in every aspect of today’s Society, again.   No, No, No, I am NOT condoning, justifying or in any way defending WHAT he said – just his RIGHT to say it!  He’s a stand-up comic who made his comments during his routine.  If the audience didn’t laugh, he’d have gotten the message that maybe he’d overstepped.  Then, maybe he’d think twice about including such blatantly rude comments in his future routines.  Maybe he’d stop if the Media – my old friends – didn’t continue to give his comments credence or “power” by blasting them over and over and over again over the airways, internet, talk show commentaries – everywhere.

Doesn’t anyone realize the ONLY people who heard the comments – initially – were the ones in his audienceThey are the ONLY ones who had ANY worthwhile input to Mr. Morgan.  If they didn’t laugh or better yetbooed – that would have been the end of itDone! Over and Outperiod!  Now, thanks to the Media and all the Social Commentators his comments have taken on a life of their ownoffending everyone, not just the few hundred in attendance.

Was that necessary or responsible NEWS reporting?  What effect did his comments have on the World, the Economy, Unemployment, or any of the other tragedies, injustices and ills of the times?

Come on America – let’s get over it!  Bad enough that Society is becoming more wimpy every day, overly concerned with germs, gossip, the “N” word, bullying, and Political Correctness; while morality, compassion fair-play and TRUTHFULNESS have fallen by the wayside.

Shouldn’t  Political Correctness REALLY mean HONESTY and INTEGRITY from our candidates, our representatives, our government and in our treatment of each other; not some disproportionate response and over reaction to someone’s crass miss-step?

That’s MY opinion, and I’m sticking to it!

Thank You NBC Nightly News

In A Refreshing Moment of Sanity on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 at 11:18 AM

It is almost unbelievable when, on that rare occasion something redeeming happens that renews my faith in humanity.  The Monday, June 20, 2011 NBC public apology was one of those times.

During a Sport Segment aired Sunday, the 19th, NBC admitted that they had consciously edited out the words “…under God..” from the Pledge of Allegiance recitation montage, by school children, included as part of the overall broadcast.

I was truly surprised that there was such an overwhelming response by angry viewers to, what I initially thought was a very subtle “oversight”.  In reality, even if I had seen the original broadcast, I probably would not have caught it.  Not because I don’t care about God, the Country or Good Sportsmen-ship, but simply because I don’t waste my life looking for “stuff” to offend me – a practice that, unfortunately, seems to be becoming more and more the norm than the exception.  (Topic for another post.)

The fact that so many people not only “caught” it, but took the time to forcefully make their resentment, anger, frustration and disappointment known is encouraging!

I am impressed that NBC did not choose to ignore it, but actually chose to do the right thing and accept the responsibility is not only refreshing but noteworthy and commendableIt took courage and commitment to admit that they made a mistake and apologize.  

In light of my previous post, (Weiner goes Flaccid) and the usual, blatant, disregard for accountability by the Media, in general, I’ll gladly take their apology as a flicker of hope that all is not lost.  Even if they did so only when they “got caught” and in response to an indisputable cry of outrage.

THANK YOU NBC for stepping up; THANK YOU Bryan Williams for all your outstanding reporting, and most of all THANK YOU to all the Good People who took a stand for God, Country and humanity!

Weiner goes Flaccid !!!

In What's it matter?? on Friday, June 17th, 2011 at 5:55 PM

The MEDIA strikes again and the public, like blind sheep, are off and running to mass-hysteria in Stupidville.

NO!  I am NOT condoning, approving, poo-pooing or in any way attempting to justify, defend or minimize Representative Anthony Weiner’s actions – any of them – the photos and texts; the denial lies; the attempt at sympathy for his illness that requires “treatment”.  His actions are HIS doings and were openly, blatantly, inconceivably stupid!  But…..

What really concerns me is how the Public, all of us, have more and more over the years allowed ourselves to be led, swayed, drawn away from any sense, Common or otherwise, and to react, think – believe – what we’re TOLD to think – believe.   The problem with this is, what we’re told to believe may not, necessarily, be what’s right, just or better.  Easier and safer, yes.  No arguing, no defending one’s ideas, no banishment from society’s approval.  No attention drawn to yourself – you’re one of the gang.  So what if it is another step toward social downfall, it’s not my job to save humanity.  Isn’t this the type of mass social brainwashing and hysteria that allowed countless despots and dictators like Hitler, Stalin, Mubarak, and Bin Laden to gain power and control over large groups?

Now in the case of Mr. Weiner, the apparent consensus of the public – according to all the hype in the Media – it that he should be, if not shot, or drawn and quartered, than at the least stripped of every shred of decency, branded with a Scarlet Letter and banished forever to a place of shame and dishonor, never to show his face again.  Why such cruel and inhumane punishment?  Did his lack of good judgment or “lewdness” really cause that much harm?  To whom?  Are any of those women, who apparently willingly participated, being forced to resign their jobs, hang their heads in shame, publicly apologize to any and all that were effected by their participation?  I think not – but WHY NOT?

Yes he screwed-upBIG time.  But did it really change the job he did or is doing for the people he represents?  I have read and seen in the responsible Media, that for the most part his constituents don’t want him to step down, and feel he’s done and will continue to do a good job representing them.  Why aren’t those in support of Mr Weiner given at the least some, if not equal voice in the Media?  Why don’t we hear more from his supporters?  Maybe because it wouldn’t perpetuate the controversy and boost ratings.  Those in the Media would have to actually work, getting news, investigating issues, not just keep on the band wagon.  Any attempt at fairness, accuracy or a different perspective would have quickly become boring and put an end to the “dog fight”.

It is my understanding that it was the relentless drip, drip, drip of revelations, eagerly blasted over the airways by the blood-thirsty Media, as more and more unwilling “victims” shouting “Hey, me too…,” seeking their 15 minutes of fame that began the erosion of Mr. Weiner’s tenacity, culminating with the interviews of Miss Lee being the last straw that broke down Mr. Weiner’s resolve, leading him to his decision to step down.  How can any civilized Society justify or accept that a porn star, (Ginger Lee) has ANY credibility or POSITIVE Social Merit worthy of our time??  Why are this woman’s comments and ex-posie, given any semblance of newsworthiness by the Media by giving them a minute of our time??  The fact that Miss Lee, who makes her living not showing, but doing dirty, is getting any, let alone positive, publicity is further testimony to the travesty of  the Media doing more harm than good.  Since when can the pot call the kettle black and get away with it – and to their advantage?  (Rachel Rose Hartman reported in her Yahoo News Blog: The Ticket that “(… Lee hired celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred to make her case to a national audience and multiple news outlets report that an Atlanta strip club was already using the scandal to promote her appearance at their venue Wednesday night.”)  How sad!  This Porn Slut is profiting while a man’s reputation, livelihood and family are in a shambles because no one is willing to come forward and say “wait a minute, ‘there but for the grace of God…’ and open themselves up to ridicule, especially any of the Media.

I, for one, like to “think” about things, apply some logic and put them into prospective.  Only after I’ve had the opportunity to look at an issue, any issue, ponder it, kick it around, look at the pro’s and con’s and apply some values, do I come to my own conclusions, not some reporter’s biased, personal (get the ratings up) conclusions.  I’m not a sheep, I’m a human.

Well, we’ve only got a few more days of Weiner-itis while the Media milks every last drop of blood from this story before they’re on to the next “Victim”.

Let’s hope they once again adhere to that old tenet of  “let he who is without sin …” after all it’s only right.  P.S. Can anyone say Bill Clinton?

Painted nails, Bling, Tattoos, a BIG Car and – Food Stamps

In This makes me nuts!! on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 at 11:41 AM

The other day, I was in line at the grocery store, behind two very attractive and nicely dressed women and their shopping cart full of food.

I couldn’t help but notice: one was older – maybe 58-60-ish and one was in her 40’s.  The older woman had a number of tasteful tattoos; on her upper chest, wrist, leg, ankle and foot.  She wore a stylish strapless sundress and nice shoes.  She was obviously style conscious as she also had her finger and toe nails painted to match, in the latest fashion with delicate designs on each.   The younger, perhaps a daughter, had an equally stylish tank-top, matching shorts and nice matching sandals.  Both had very nice jewelry, not too gaudy or flashy but, I’ll say, appropriate.

I’ll admit I was admiring the view, as they were attractive, neat, clean and polite – somewhat unusual in today’s society – I’m sorry to say.

Anyway, there I was, loading my groceries on the belt, hoping the deposited checks had cleared and there would be enough money for me to “debit card it” come checkout.  This was one of those “tight” weeks and I had gotten just the bare essentials.

“That will be $78.57” the cashier said as she totaled the woman’s order, to which “Mama” whips out her Food Stamp Card to pay, without a blink of her mascaraed eye!

Suddenly my admiration and respect turned into anger and frustration.  Now before you get all defensive of her for me attacking this sweet little old lady – stop and think.  I AM NOT denying that she may have a very legitimate reason to be eligible for assistance.  Nor am I implying that she should not have nice cloths, shoes and jewelry.  After all, her jewelry could be family heirlooms, and she could have sewn the dress herself, and had a friend or her daughter do her nails.  I doubt it – but maybe.  No, why attempt to justify it?  She was working the system!

The issue I have is her needing me and you – fellow tax-payers, to buy her and her family’s food,  while “Mama” had beautiful cloths, jewelry and at least 5 tattoos that I could see, and she could NOT have tattooed herself.  Nice cloths, jewelry, and tattoos cost money!  Considerable money.

If it wasn’t for the economy being in the mess it’s in with so many people and their families struggling; forced to reluctantly turn to “assistance,” I might not have felt the urge or necessity to “post” this observation.  However it is this blatant, obvious abuse of resources – intended to provide temporary help to those in dire circumstances, basically through no fault of their own – that’s becoming more and more and more common place, considered a right, not a privilege by the abusers.

Well, maybe I was having a bad day, or maybe it was the fact that these two “ladies” loaded their “free” groceries into a newer, big, beautiful, fully appointed Cadillac that slammed it home!

Neighbors who needs ’em

In Uncategorized on Monday, June 6th, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Ever had a GOOD neighbor?  I mean a really good, mind-their-own-business, neighbor; one that doesn’t want to control you and your property?  Doesn’t try to tell you what to do, when to do it and how often to do it?  Doesn’t feel the need to approve each and every change you make?

I haven’t.  Mary and I have lived in our quaint little house over 37 years and it’s been the same running battles from day one!  In fact the family we bought the house from told us, just after the closing, “…by the way, your neighbors are real pieces of work.  They’ll try to tell you everything you can and can’t do with YOUR house, YOUR property, YOUR life.  Don’t mind them they’re just nosy and bossy.  It’s YOUR house, YOUR tree, YOUR yard so, just stay on your side of the fence and tell them to stay on their side and you’ll be fine.”

Since the house needed, shall we say, considerable cleaning and refreshing, both inside and out, we assumed we would be a welcomed change from our chain-smoking, non-up-keeping, rather odd predecessors and thought that it might take a little time for the neighbors to – adjust. It would just take a little time.  After all, the former owners were, ugh – strange.

We were just married and full of optimism, with big plans to make the place a little doll-house.  Of course, being newly married the enthusiasm exceeded the money and we realized we were in it for the long haul.  But, since we are both “people” people we were sure that once we met our neighbors they would appreciate the potential we represented, be refreshed with our ideas and understand that the changes would take time.

“Your tree has to go, it makes my house too shady”, was what we were told just after, “Hi I’m Nan, your neighbor.”

“Hi Nan nice to meet you” was our automatic response to the stern looking little women at our door, “But we really like our tree, it keeps our house cool with its shade and it’s really pretty, it’s a red maple you know” I said somewhat surprised at hearing voice in reply.

“Well it makes my yard too shady and I can’t get anything to grow.” Nan said.  “I hope you can understand that and co-operate – cut it down!”

“Well, right now we don’t have the money or plans to do anything outside”, we said as “neighborly” as we could.  “Besides” I asked, “what do you want to plant that you feel won’t grow, the tree really doesn’t block all the sun all day?”

“I want to plant a tree!” Nan said very matter of fact, “and your trees’ too big for it to grow!”

“Well how about that” I said, “we’ve already done it for you.  We’ve got a tree that we will share with you” hoping to ease the tension with a little humor.  “You can take all the shade you want – for free!” I said with a chuckle, “enjoy”.

Nan abruptly turned on her heels and began to stomp off.  “I can see there is going to be trouble with you two!  And here I was just trying to be nice!” she growled over her shoulder as she went.

“Thanks for the basket of home-made cookies and warm Welcome, Nan” I shouted, “come again soon!”

That’s how we met and, Oh Ya, the trees still there.

How did I get this old?

In This makes me nuts!! on Friday, June 3rd, 2011 at 4:40 PM

I ask this question every time someone does something silly – like using “hand sanitizer” before or after using a shopping cart; or tossing out a perfectly good piece of meat or cheese, just because the “use by” date was yesterday.

When I was growing up we’d come in from playing outside, (no “X-Box or video games for us, fresh air and sunshine) pet the dog, grab a cookie or two and still be alive to go back out and continue playing.  When Mom, or one of us for that matter, took something out to eat, if it looked good, wasn’t greenish or slimy, and passed the “sniff test” – we ate it.  If it fell on the floor or the ground, there was the 5 second rule, (if it was under 5 seconds) – kiss it to God – and eat it.  We used our heads not some “date” to decide when something went bad and “knew” you have to eat a peck of dirt before you die.

We rode our bikes without helmets, played with toys that may have had a “sharp” edge or two and were probably painted with lead-paint, played with the mercury when a thermometer broke – and still were alive to go to school the next day.

Yes, times were different – and I’m still alive to remember.

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