Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Obama Said What!?

I recently started a project where I track the news headlines related to the economy.  One day the news is good, the next day it is bad.  I've recorded about a week of headlines so far and will post my findings sometime soon.

One headline that made my list: "Economic Experts put an official date to the end of the recession!"

Of course I expected the current administration to take credit for this "success".  I was actually pleased at President Obama's comments regarding the end of the recession:
"Obviously for the millions of people still out of work, people who have seen their home values decline, people struggling to pay their home bills every day, it's still very real for them ... I know how frustrated people are. I know in some cases how desperate people are"
"I am confident that if we stay on a course that gets us back to old-fashioned values of hard work and responsibility and looking out for one another, that America will thrive."

A while ago when I was in a more critical mindset, my wife reminded me that Obama deserves some respect as our President.  He has my respect for this comment.

If you read my posts, this isn't the first time I like what our President has said. [Click]

Friday, September 17, 2010

Homophobic Hemophiliacs and Racist Mathematicians

I avoided donating blood for years but I've been trying to make up for it lately.  This week I gave my tenth pint of blood.  I actually enjoy giving and will continue giving even though this last was a bad experience (It was a needle problem).

Homophobic Hemophiliacs

One of the questions on the paperwork to donate blood that always surprises me is specifically for men: "Have you ever had sex with a man?".    While homophobia is frowned upon, is it okay for a hemophiliac to be afraid of a homosexual man's blood?

In an attempt at civil discourse, it is important to identify the strengths and weaknesses of any position.  It is true that many people have unfair prejudices related to other people's sexual orientation.  It is also true that even with full acceptance by society, there would still be negative consequences of homosexuality.  When the LGBT community is willing to have this discussion and not intimidate people into silence, then we will be closer to having civil discourse.  (Note: I'm referring to the recent California hearing on Prop. 8 where many witnesses backed out when the plaintiffs fought for a televised hearing).

Racist Mathematicians

Have you ever thought about how mathematicians are racists?  Actually not all mathematicians, just the ones that figure out your credit score.  They claim to be objective by using information such as:
  • How good are you at paying off your debt?
    • Have you been late on payments?
    • Have you defaulted on any loans?
  • How much debt do you have as a percentage of the credit available to you?
The problem is that Blacks and Hispanics have lower credit scores than Whites and Asians.  Is this racism?  Is it a justification to be racist?  If "they" are credit risks, then I do have a right to discriminate against them?  The answer of course is no, no and no.  The reason is that:

"All ________s are not credit risks.  All credit risks are not  ________".  

(Feel free to insert White, Asian, Black, Hispanic or your own race/gender in the blank.)

The credit score formula does not include skin color.  Low credit scores, however, could be a manifestation of systemic racism.  Racial preferences in education and with job opportunities could in the long run result in lower credit scores.  But even here there are counter examples:

"A ________ can be more qualified than a non-________".

(Once again, insert White, Asian, Black, Hispanic or your own race/gender in the blank.)


Once again, civil discourse requires us to look past race.  If there is a group of Whites (or any other color) with low credit scores, shouldn't we desire to provide resources (training, education, job opportunities).  Wouldn't society as a whole benefit from higher credit scores?  Of course not everyone will respond to our efforts, but that doesn't mean we don't try.
  
"All ________s deserve the opportunity to succeed.  
Some ________s will succeed with help from others.  
Some ________s will reject our best efforts to help them succeed".

(Once again, insert White, Asian, Black, Hispanic or your own race/gender in the blank.)

*Inspired by Thomas Sowell

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kagan-Obama Connection

Updated 9/14/2010 (Thanks to my friend Laura B.):
Apparently I was duped by the Kagan-Obama Connection story.  I'm usually better at filtering info.  To my credit, I didn't fall for the Kenyan Birth Certificate story (see below).  I was tempted to delete the rest of this posting, but have left it as is.

Original:
This post is from what I like to call "the underground blogosphere", which is basically forwarded emails. You never know where they come from, and most of the time they can be easily debunked. I thought this was actually noteworthy since it included links to a valid source: the Supreme Court Docket website.


I mentioned this connection between Obama and Elena Kagan to my neighbor and he said (playing devil's advocate) "So what?".  My simple answer is that in a true separation between the Executive and Judicial branches of government, I would prefer that the latest appointment to the Supreme Court not be quite so cozy with the sitting President.  To be fair, I should probably research any similar connections between Bush and his appointments.


BTW, I believe the Kenyan Birth Certificate is fake.  You don't put $5000 on the counter and say "Give me Barack Obama's Birth Certificate".  I'm still waiting for someone to do this and get his birth certificate from several different hospitals.


The rest of this posting was copied from an email:


PAYBACK TIME FOR ELENA KAGAN?? 
I’ll bet you thought that Snopes never lied!!
Can they be trusted from now on???  I don’t think so!!   Pass this around, share the light!
The Supreme Court sites don’t lie……!  At least for now we should be able to trust that site, don’t you think?
Nice to see that others are finally beginning to realize that snopes.com cannot always be trusted.
Why wouldn't we think that the corruption is rampant in this administration?
I went to Snopes to check this out and they said it was false and there were no such dockets so I googled the supreme court, typed in Obama/Kagan and guess what?   Yep, you  got it.    Snopes lied.   Everyone of those dockets are there.  So here is what I wrote Snopes:
WND article about Elena Kagan and Barak Obama dockets.  The information you have posted stating that there were no such cases as claimed by WND and the examples you gave are blatantly false.  I went directly to the  Supreme courts website, typed in Obama Kagan and immediately came up with all of the dockets that WND made reference too.    I have long suspected that you really slant things but this was really shocking!
Thank you.
Kagan was representing Obama in all the petitions to prove his citizenship. Now she may help rule on them.
             Folks, this is really ugly. 
Chicago Politics, and the beat goes on and on and on...
Once again the Senate sold us out.  Someone has figured out why Obama nominated  Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court.... Pull up the Supreme Courts website, go to the docket and search for Obama.  She was the Solicitor General for all the suits against him filed with the Supreme Court to show proof of natural born citizenship.  He owed her big time.  All of the requests were denied of course. They were never heard. It just keeps getting deeper and deeper, doesn't it?
The American people mean nothing any longer.. It's all about payback time for those that compromised themselves to elect someone that really has no true right to even be there.  We should be getting so sick of all of this nonsense.
Here are some websites of the Supreme Court Docket:  You can look up these hearings and guess what?
Elena Kagan is the attorney representing Obama!!!
Check out these examples:
http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/09-8857.htm
http://www.supremecourt.gov/:wbr>Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/09-6790.htm
http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/09-724.htm
http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/08-10382.htm