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Member since: Sat Dec 16, 2017, 01:51 PM
Number of posts: 837

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Just went to see Apollo 11

Awesome movie (more like a documentary). I was in high school and glued to the TV for the whole thing. Different times back then. Hard to keep a dry eye.

Do "challenging questions" always need answers?

Getting away from the upcoming elections for a moment...

I've had several cases recently where someone has asked for my views on diversity as part of an interview, in one case asking how I feel about discussing issues about diversity. In another instance, someone asked for my views on empowerment, as in, does being, say, white or female, empower someone to do something and why or why not?

Granted I'm from an older generation and some of this stuff is beyond me, but I have to wonder whether there's even a need to answer these questions. I can sling BS along with the best of them, but, just because I may consider it important that Icelandic fishing fleets are having a huge effect on the price of kumquats in Outer Mongolia, do I really have a "right" to expect someone to tell me how they feel about this? Just yesterday someone referred to these as "challenging questions."

This whole thing about diversity seems like such a PC bunch of BS to me. When I was in school, we were always taught that the U.S. is a melting pot and proud of it, and that that's what's made it such a great country. Now you see people and organizations treating it like it's such a new and novel concept, even to the point of having training sessions. Of course, I can guess that in some cases it's just a way for the organizations to cover their asses.

Maybe it's just a factor of the places I've worked and the caliber of people they've hired, but I have not run into any issues with people being from different places or having to talk about it. Yes we've had arguments and nasty ones in some cases, but place of origin or personal insults never came into it.

Ah, this new-fangled world we live in.

"If he goes down, we're going down with him."

I coudn't get myself to watch the Cohen hearings, or even to read all that much about them. I'm just overloaded and sick of the whole thing.

But, from the little I read just now about the Republican strategy of discrediting Cohen instead of defending T, and the words used, and the drama, I get this sneaky feeling that some of these people must be thinking, "Shit, if T goes down, we're all going down with him." Discrediting a witness is an old courtroom trick used to remove attention from potentially damaging testimony. Magicians call it misdirection.

Why do so many people seem to fall for "opinion as news?"

I can make snide remarks too, but I think it's fascinating that so many people nowadays seem to let others tell them what to think, especially when it pisses them off. It's like they have a need to get pissed off.

Have some people lost the ability to think for themselves? And why is that? Are we getting spoon-fed so much material that there's no room left for thinking? Is it information overload, or being addicted to TV pundits?

I know the media focuses on stuff that's controversial or that gets people to keep coming back; it's part of what they do to increase revenue. I can live with that. But why do so many people insist on swallowing it?

Or is it just that people get addicted to stuff that gives them a distraction from their everyday lives? Soap operas. So-called reality shows. So-called celebrities. Is it just a need to experience life vicariously because they don't have one?

Not making any value judgements (or snide comments) here. I just think it's fascinating, especially when you consider how it's splitting the country apart.

Any thoughts?

Global warming, Green New Deal, and stupidity

Okay, so traditional energy companies, run by very rich people, want to stay in business, and our supposedly very rich person in the Oval Office is siding with them. So they're all opposed to the idea of recognizing global warming because it could impact their businesses. But it's not just the top people at these companies -- it's also their boards of directors.

Which brings back a story about the Winchester company. They hit it big on rifles and ammo during the Indian push-back period, the Civil War, and the expansion west. But then people didn't need rifles and ammo so much. So, although it's possible that their board was pushing like hell to continue the Indian battles and the expansion, they also came up with an idea: retool and start making tools and stuff that the settlers now needed. And that's what kept them going for years.

It's like a horse-drawn carriage and buggy whip company opposing the car industry. Which I'm sure they did.

But it makes me wonder about some of these traditional energy people fighting like hell to hang on to technologies from one or two centuries ago instead of gradually switching to new technologies. In my book, and IMHO, that's absolute stupidity and useless stubborness. Is it because they're too old to understand new technology, or did they all somehow manage to not learn anything in business school?

Meanwhile, the argument (the politicized argument) is about global warming instead of about some of these people just being damn stubborn and hanging on to buggy whips. Sure, that makes a lot of sense.

Or maybe they don't know that there are very rich people running "new technology" companies too?

From The New Yorker: "Does Congress Care About Trump's Emergency?"

Personally, I think the only thing Congress cares about right now is the upcoming elections and keeping their jobs -- doing whatever they think is going to get them re-elected. The emergency is just one more thing to spin in different directions depending on which way the wind is blowing.


Okay, not to derail the dogs thread: what kind of pet would suit T?

My first thought would be something like a weasel.

Please don't say a cat. I'm sitting here with our rescued Maine Coon and he has his paw on my arm.

Thank you for the hearts! Again!

I don't know who you are, but hearts right back to you!

Thank you for my heart!

Wow, I sure wasn't expecting that!

How do you feel about "cultural appropriation?"

Long story short, the more I think about this term, the more it seems it's being used by many as a a way of saying, "we're different." IOW, we're in different groups and you can't use my stuff because it disrespects my group. It seems like a way of dividing people.

So, can cultural appropriation extend to, say, having Chinese or Indian food if you're not either? Many years ago we attended a Seder, and the host, who knew I was Catholic, asked me if I'd be offended by wearing a yarmulke. I said absolutely not; actually, I was honored that he would invite me to wear one.

Has this whole concept gone too far? I find it especially interesting in the U.S., which was traditionally seen as a melting pot.
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