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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Casual Friday Edition

Bureau of Labor Statistics will release unemployment data for the month of February.  Initial reports are mixed, but let's hope that we see some movement in the right direction.

Employment in my household has now reached 60%.  The beautiful Dawn, after the recovery from her winter of discontentment, has begun dipping her toes in the labor pool, but has yet to plunge in.  My seven year old son is contemplating an offer to drop out of 2nd grade to become a video game pro.  We are encouraging him to maintain his amateur status for Olympic considerations (I'm aware that the restriction against professionals no longer exists, but he doesn't - after all, he's only seven).  So far, he is sticking with school, which he will need if he ever hopes to become a video game scientist.

Speaking of unemployment, it seems that the cast and crew of "Two and a Half Men" are soon to join the ranks of the unemployed.  CBS has shut down production of the show following Charlie Sheen's "bi-winning" interview this week on ABC.  That's a great job by ABC - top ratings for the interview and shutting down the competition in the process.

I do not know whether Charlie is going through a phase, needs serious help or if this is just who he is.  But as I was driving in to work today, KFTK 97.1's Dana Loesch was playing a game of "Charlie Sheen or Omar Gadhafi?"  It sounded fun so I'll try it here.  I'll give you a quote and you decide who said it - Charlie or Omar.  Let's play.

  1. "I have defeated this earthworm with my words. Imagine what I would have done with my fire-breathing fists."
  2. "Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body."
  3. "Life without dignity is worthless."
  4. "Every great movement begins with one man."
  5. "I woke up at 4 a.m., before dawn. You should be asleep. You're all tired after a sleepless night."
  6. "I am like the Queen of England."
  7. "I'm different. I have a different constitution, I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man. Dying's for fools, dying's for amateurs."
  8. "...it is our planet and they can go to another planet."
  9. "Do not believe these channels—they are dogs."
  10. "I closed my eyes and made it so with the power of my mind, and unlearned 22 years of fiction"
  11. "and people can't figure me out; they can't process me. I don't expect them to. You can't process me with a normal brain."
Go ahead and try before looking below for the answers.  It's harder than you would think.

After this week's SOTUS ruling on the Westboro group, I wrote Common Decency is Not a Law.  In it, I take up the notion that shame is our weapon against actions that fall outside our common decency.  The law exists to prevent and punish the actions of those who would act against the right's of another.  Murder, theft, arson, assault are crimes for this reason.  But we should not make it a crime to operate outside our common decency.  Our society must use the tools available to us, in order to bring citizens into voluntarily heeding this unwritten code.

Shame can be a powerful weapon.  When you see someone look around before telling an offensive joke, they are operating under the effect of shame.   To paraphrase Gordon Gekko,
"Shame, for lack of a better word, is good. Shame is right, Shame works. Shame clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of our common decency.  And Shame, you mark my words, will not only save your community, but that other community called the USA."
Our children are being taught that shame is bad.  They are encouraged to take a stance that says, "This is who I am - deal with it!"  They see shame as someone else's problem not theirs.  They couldn't be more wrong.

Shame is what powers us forward when we fail.  Shame is a signal to look inward and see if an adjustment needs to be made.  Shame is the converse of pride.  When we lose a sense of shame in our actions, we lose the opportunity to feel pride also.  Self-esteem is built in moments of pride.  Self-esteem is lost when pride loses its meaning. 

Shame is a basic building block for a civil society.  We watched Charlie Sheen's interview this week and we were shocked by him.  What we saw was the excess of a man who lives without the presence of shame in his life.  We've seen this before in countless celebrities, from Hugh Hefner to Lady Gaga.  But because we have fallen in love with the characters Sheen has played, perhaps we expected better from him. 

Sorry, if that went too long.  Remember, shame like any weapon in the wrong hands or used without caution is dangerous.  I'm also sorry if my mockery of Sheen offends anyone.  In truth, I feel very sorry for him - in a way that would immediately cause him to laugh if he became aware of it.  Sorry Charlie, I was looking forward to another Major League movie, too but get some help, dude.


My favorite nut, Chris Matthews goes off on Newt Gingrich saying, "He looks like a car bomber.....He looks like he loves torturing."  [h/t Geoffrey Dickens at Newbusters]

Documentary director Michael Moore said recently about wealthy people, "They're sitting on the money, they're using it for their own ... That's not theirs, that's a national resource, that's ours."  [h/t Newsbusters]  I would personally like to accept a check from Mr. Moore, on behalf of the nation's poor, which I will use to buy a new oven, then distribute in like manner to others.  Just email me with your request.

Remember back in the 1970's when we had those crazy scientists telling us we were headed for an ice age.  Quotes like this were commonplace, "This number seems small until it is realized that a decrease of only 4°C would probably be sufficient to start another ice age... A final push in the cooling direction comes from man-made changes in the direct reflectivity of the earth’s surface." - Dr. John Holdren.  It's good to know that President Obama can rely on good competent scientists instead, like his Advisor on Science Technology, Dr. John Holdren.  Hmmm...that name certainly sounds familiar.  [h/t Hotair]

From US News & World Report, in a new book, President Obama spoke candidly about race & his opposition,   "In May 2010, he told guests at a private White House dinner that race was probably a key component in the rising opposition to his presidency from conservatives,".  Sorry, but my opposition to Russ Carnahan, Dick Gephardt, Mel Carnahan, Bob Holden, Claire McCaskill along with everyone else I've ever voted against has never been held against me as a sign of racism.  I thought living in a color blind world meant that we judge people by their actions and not the color of their skin.  But even when a group of people choose to act as a result of his actions, the President feels that's racist.  I suppose by the same token, that would make the union groups protesting in Madison, WI racist, too.  or maybe I just don't know what words mean anymore.

[I include this next one with a disclaimer.  Clicking on the link included will take you to a story that is a bit more graphical than mine with links that will continue to up the ante.  Just sayin.]
Northwestern University professor John Bailey used sex toys for a demonstration for his Human Sexuality course.  The unusual exhibition included the use of the an "item" on a naked woman.  h/t Hotair 
What makes it worse is that the university has defended the professor (another example of no shame).  I only included the link because you will find a reference to a scene from Monty Python's Meaning of Life.  Remember, those skits were funny because they were so preposterous.  They're a little less funny today.

Here are your answers to the quiz:
Sheen - 1, 2, 4, 7, 10, 11
Gadhafi - 3, 5, 6, 8, 9

That's it today.  Have a safe weekend.  Spend it with your family if you have one.  If not spend it with your goddesses then, I suppose.

One final question - Are we bi-winning the future yet?

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