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When it started…

November 14th, 2016 Comments off

Shortly after the invasion of Iraq was when I became more aware of it. I knew there was bias in the news, could handle watching CNN, MSNBC, Fox – they were all slightly unique. They covered the events that eventually led to the war, they covered the congressional approval debates, that authorized the President to use force to expel Saddam Hussein . They covered when Bush sought UN Approval, citing all the times Saddam violated the sanctions against him without repercussion. They covered the coalition of the willing that created a joint force to do what needed to be done, oust one of the most horrific dictators in the world.

Then the protests started, then the news began to change. The biases solidified. That’s when it started.

It got worse, the longer the war dragged on, there were calls to support our troops, but they started maligning the President. Comparing him to Hitler, over and over again. When Bush won reelection the bias got worse. The Republican congress got bold, and started spending, budgets started to burst, and conservatives sat back a bit shocked. When the mid-term of Bush’s second term started, the power shifts, Republicans were no longer in power in either house. Bush was a true lame duck.

The bias got louder. It wasn’t just the news shows, it was Comedy Central, Late night television, pretty much piling on the sitting President and denouncing the conservative party as dead.

The run up to the 2008 election it got worse, dissent became “racist”, you couldn’t have a thought that wasn’t “correct” without being labeled as racist. President Obama ran on a platform of unity, of trying to bring us together. Days if not weeks into his Presidency it was apparent that unity meant only the unity of those with the proper thoughts, not ones opposed to the agenda of the Democratic party. We were going to get a healthcare bill.

Dissent, was shouted down. The Tea Party, that started up as a conservative response to Republican overspending, started to protest the healthcare bill. I attended a rally in my town. I got home from the rally, glad to have put my voice into a political movement. I came home and turned on the news, what would they say about this protest, after so glowingly covering the war protests.

I was called a racist. The whole tea-party movement was coalesced into that one phrase, “racist hate mongers”.

That was when it became apparent to me that the narrative on the nightly cable news shows wasn’t ever going to be fair.

So I tuned out. I retreated from being political. My voice didn’t matter. The new wave was upon us.

Then the primaries for this year started. Trump was all in the news and the news was all bad. The chorus was “he was a hate filled bigot that hated women” – sounded familiar. I was never a fan of Trump. He never earned by vote. But I could understand there were people like me out there, that would want to vote for him. People that had been told repeatedly by Cable News, Comedy Central, Late Night TV, SNL, that their views and values were outdated, they weren’t enlightened. People told through the summer of BLM, that they were racists. Then in the final weeks of the election, oh the social media… being told how to vote by all sorts of celebrities. Respected directors and actors, putting out videos shutting down one side of the country.

I just wanted to crawl into a hole, I was silenced, I gave up ever trying to be understood.

That’s how I felt when I tuned into election night coverage. I don’t think my story is singular, nor do I think it fair. I don’t think my views are always correct. I need to have my narratives challenged, I want to see an issue in its entirety. I hope that this election will start to change the conversation.

Though it feels like all the places that silenced me, are doubling down in their aggression for the “one true thought”

Now you talk.

 

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I drive by a food desert everyday!

May 21st, 2014 Comments off

Prompted by this post on Instapundit, I went to the USDA map, and inserted my street address to see where I might find a Food Desert near me.

If you don’t know what a food desert is, let’s head to Wikipedia and find out.

In general, there is no specific agreed-upon definition for the term. An initial definition counts the type and quality of foods available for purchase and the neighborhood residents being impoverished and unable to buy such foods. A second definition takes into account “access, or the degree to which individuals live within close proximity to a large supermarket or supercenter”, which offers “consumers a wider array of food choices at relatively lower costs.” Such a definition weights “the number, type and size of food stores available to residents.” One study counted food deserts as “urban areas with 10 or fewer (grocery) stores and no stores with more than 20 employees.” The existence of multiple definitions which can even change by country and the uncertainty over the exact measures by which a food desert can be recognized have fueled controversy over the existence of food deserts.

Maps, showing the distribution of food deserts in the United States can be found in Morton and Blanchard’s 2007 article.[5]

So I found think link to the Morton and Blanchard’s article and found these measurements.

  • Rural areas risk becoming “food deserts” as young families move away and market pressures continue to squeeze small grocers and retailers. Food deserts are defined as counties in which all residents must drive more than 10 miles to the nearest supermarket chain or supercenter.
  •  The Great Plains are especially lacking in easy-access grocers.
  • The residents of food deserts tend to be older, poorer, and less educated.
  • Health can be compromised by lack of food access. Many do not consume adequate amounts of fresh fruits or vegetables, and they often lack adequate dairy and protein in their diet.
  • Wal-Mart and other superstores are not always cheaper on all food items, leaving room for a competitive advantage for smaller grocers.

Fully armed with knowledge I peaked at the map to see this:

FOODDESERT

If you don’t live near me this might not mean anything, but my route to work starts on Independence Pky, turns onto Renner along the north end of the green zone, I dip into the green zone, and drive right through the middle of the Food Desert until I reach Custer Parkway and continue on my way to work.  So I know this area pretty well.

Off the top of my head, I know there is a Wal-mart and a Sam’s Club to the northwest side, a Target a stones throw away from the southwest corner, and a Tom Thumb just north of the northeast corner. But those fall outside of that roughly 3-mile wide – one mile high swath of food desert that we worry about. Though just to the south of that curved green line (that’s a railroad line, and to the north is industrial parks and a new retirement community) is a Central Market grocery store (H.E.B.’s answer to Whole Foods). Also in that swath of green is the University of Texas at Dallas Campus, a Driving Range and a large swatch of heretofore undeveloped land. The developed land to the east of UTD is some upper middle class neighborhoods, as well as a country club with a golf course.  I truly worry about the population in this deprived area.

In short if that area is a food desert, please find me a house there (preferably the one near the 18th fairway with the nice view of the green).

Just for giggles, plug in an address near you and see what the USDA is considering a food desert near you! I’m sure glad tax-dollars went into making this map. To see a non-tax payer funded map of the area with indicators of where to find “grocery stores” click here.

 

Categories: Life, Politics (ugh) Tags:

So, lets talk about schools and learning…

September 26th, 2013 Comments off

Let’s start with this little piece of inanity:

LAUSD halts home use of iPads for students after devices hacked

Following news that students at a Los Angeles high school had hacked district-issued iPads and were using them for personal use, district officials have halted home use of the Apple tablets until further notice.

It took exactly one week for nearly 300 students at Theodore Roosevelt High School to hack through security so they could surf the Web on their new school-issued iPads, raising new concerns about a plan to distribute the devices to all students in the district.

“Outside of the district’s network … a user is free to download content and applications and browse the Internet without restriction,” two senior administrators said in a memo to the Board of education and L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy. “As student safety is of paramount concern, breach of the … system must not occur.”

Okay, so the district spent a good portion of the education budget on new technology. Then assumedly more money on trying to add security to the devices for … safety … from downloadable content from the internet.

While I agree that there are dark places on the internet that should be avoided and worried about, it seems that locking down a school distributed device only keeps them from doing that on a tax-payer supported device. Because none of these kids has internet at home. Surely.

The problem, as I see it, isn’t that the technology is being circumvented, but that the administration has no idea about how to use the technology in the first place, or no real plan beyond, “hey! let’s give the kids iPads!” Because I can think of several ways to enhance the learning of the students using wide open and unobtrusive internet technology. Indeed, it seems that at least 300 students learned how to circumvent the security of the device without any intervention from the administration.

How completely unacceptable! Kids (teenagers, not elementary school kids) have access to a device (probably much like the phones in their pockets, or the pockets of their friends) and want to use it like they normally would, to get onto social networks (Hey! I though Facebook was for the old parent like people, not teenagers, teenages use Tumblr!) and interact with their friends. And when the technology is clearly capable of that, but is disabled… they’ll get a bit frustrated and either a) not use the device at all or b) go geek and fix the bug that is keeping them from using the device as it is intended!

So, instead of putting on the breaks, why not adjust the curriculum, teaching styles etc… to USE this newfangled technology and embrace social networking and collaboration?

Okay, now it’s your turn, scream back at me.

Categories: Gadgets, Politics (ugh) Tags:

Tax Day Tea Parties

April 14th, 2009 Comments off

From: http://taxdayteaparty.com/about/

The Tax Day Tea Party is a national collaborative grassroots effort organized by Smart Girl Politics, Top Conservatives on Twitter, the DontGo Movement and many other online groups/coalitions.

The Tea Party protests, in their current form, began in early 2009 when Rick Santelli, the On Air Editor for CNBC, set out on a rant to expose the bankrupt liberal agenda of the White House Administration and Congress. Specifically, the flawed “Stimulus Bill” and pork filled budget.

The big one’s gonna be in Dallas but for us North Dallas types, here is a list of places to let your presence be seen.

City: Plano
When: April 15, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Park & Preston/2201 Preston Rd.  and Parker & Preston/3301 Preston Rd.

City: Richardson
When: April 15, Noon
Where:Richardson City Hall, 411 W. Arapaho

City: McKinney
When: April 15, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Eldorado & Craig/ 2950 Craig Dr.

City: Frisco
When: April 15, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Gaylord & Preston/ 3100 Preston Rd. and Lebanon & Preston/ 5049 Preston Rd.

City: Carrollton/Farmers Branch/Colleyville
When: April 15, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Where: Intersection of Josey Ln. and Trinity Mills (President George Bush Freeway)

Source: http://taxdayteaparty.com/teaparty/texas/

Oh and hey, there are sites for other states too, not just the great state of Texas.

UPDATE: My twitter feed has links to photos from the Richardson noon hour teaparty.

UPDATE Teh DEUX: My Flickr set of both the lunch time Richardson and the rush hour Plano teaparties

[flickr album=72157616743148211 num=20 size=Square]

Categories: Politics (ugh) Tags: ,

God Bless the U.S.A

November 5th, 2008 1 comment

The Constitution of the United States begins, “We the People…” and since it was ratified in 1787 this great nation has conducted 55 Presidential Elections (220 years/4).  Fifty-five times we’ve voted to either re-elect a standing President, of elect someone completely new.  For 220 years our nation has lived on the knowledge that at least every 4 years, we have a chance at making a change.

Since our Constitution was ratified, it’s been amended 27 times, each amendment embracing the themes of the Preamble that we all learned in school, and now sing to the tune from a Saturday morning cartoon show.  Our country is founded and has continuously trod down the path of forming a, “more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” Since that time our Constitution has recognized that our citizens have the right to cast a ballot, regardless of race, color, status of servitude or sex.  The wisdom, or perhaps just dumb luck, of the founders of this great nation have withstood the test of time, and the United States of America is still the beacon of freedom for the rest of the world.

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched peacefully into our nation’s captial and delivered a speech.  His ‘I have a Dream’ remarks have inspired generations for their clear enuciations of the promises of our country’s founding documents and applying them as ‘promisary notes’ to future generations.  Dr. King looked forward to the day where people could, “live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”  Its wonderful to see that dream played out once more today, as our Nation, in 51 separate elections have elected someone not based on the color of their skin, but on the ideals that he enuciated in his campaign for this country’s highest office.

President Elect Barack Obama has a steep road ahead of him, many challenges face our nation, both domestically and internationally.  When Mr. Obama raises his hand on January 21st, 2009 to become our 44th President, even though he did not have my vote, he’ll have my support.

The Congress has also been chosen as well, and for the first time since 1997, the Democratic party hold all the reins of the government.  This isn’t a catastrophe, but a challenge.  A challenge that the Republican party failed when they had the same opportunity in more recent times.  The houses of Congress are responsible, not only to their constituents at home in their states and districts, but also to the country as a whole.

In the past eight years, there have been some horrible things said about our current President.  I have no doubt that the ire felt by the fringes for Mr. Bush won’t wane easily, but I’m glad to see that comparisions of our honorable President to that horrible beast that waged war against the world 60 years ago will cease.  As Mr. Obama begins his planning for his administration, it is my hope that those that oppose Mr. Obama’s policies and positions will do so with the decorum and respect that the office of the President of the United States deserves.

Regardless, we live in a great Nation, that has and will continue to be blessed by God.

Let freedom ring.

Categories: Politics (ugh) Tags: , ,

Things I heard

September 23rd, 2008 1 comment

They said that the vice-presidential candidate was unprepared and would make a lot of mistakes, and they were right.

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Newt on Sarah’s experience

September 3rd, 2008 Comments off

Most likely MSNBC will squash this YouTube video, because Newt is spot on in rebutting the argument that Obama’s experience in running a campaign is larger than Sarah Palin being a governer.

Newt on the Thrillah from Wassila – Sarah the Impaler

The reporter asking the question, and getting Newt’s response was golden, “um-er, back to you Keith.”  Making Keith say he’ll look into it.  Okay, great because Olberman is fair and balanced… and remember when the question was posed to Obama, he skipped the top of Governor Palin’s resume, and skipped down to her two terms as Mayor of Wassila, Alaska.

Dude, she’s Governor.  Of Alaska.  That big state up there with a whole heck-a-lotta oil, and not to mention CRAB. (Sorry, shoutout to my Biggest Deadliest Catch hommies — If Sarah get’s elected can she put Edgar Hansen in the Department of kicking uppity Senators’ asses?)

hat-tip ( Kim@Wizbang )

Why I like McCain’s pick

August 31st, 2008 1 comment

I’m gonna be positive.  I’d rather not wade into the muck of leftist hypocrisy (I’ll leave that to Jeff G at Protein Wisdom — warning, not a good link if you want to avoid rough language, Jeff’s a bit um, colorful)

There are a lot of cruel things being said of the Governor, (most of the horrid ones are rehashed by partisans posting on twitter using the ‘Little Know Facts’ meme ) and sometimes you get a whisp of something substantial, somethings like experience (which is something she lacks in about the same proportion as Mr. Obama), or quality of eductaion (University of Idaho isn’t an Ivy league school).

But what intrigues me, the more I read and know about Sarah Palin is what she’s done with the little bit of time she’s had in office.  She is an anti-corruption warlord on par with Xena.  She went against the former Republican governor of Alaska in the primary, then after beating her Democratic challenger in the general election, sold the tax-payer paid for luxury jet on eBay, and flies commericial*, even favoring coach.  She also pretty much ended the pork-barrel funding of Ted Steven’s ‘bridge to nowhere’, and realigned any funds to other needed infrastructure in her state.

That fact is one that effects my vote, let states make funding decisions, stop earmarks at the federal level that only invite corruption and cronyism as people send money to home districts to keep getting elected.  I would rather pay more state taxes than to have federal taxes go to pork barrel projects. Because even though the capital of Texas is Austin, a hot bed of liberals, they know better what Texas needs than anyone in Washington (even though I’m sure KBH and Conyrn are fiscally responsible).

The one thing I do like about McCain is his refusal to send home pork money to his state, and I’d absolutely love it if he sent a bundle of veto’s back to congress telling them to trim the fat.  I don’t see Obama paying close attention to that, since his political philosophy is more of a centralized economy that a free-market, states-rights type of economy.

This isn’t a single issue election, but it seems that the GOP seems poised to start charging down the path to ‘change’ with the unorthodox pick of Ms. Palin as VP candidate.  Much more leaning that direction than picking a 35 year veteran from Deleware (which by the way has the same number of electoral votes as Alaska).

So as you read the scary stories of the gun-packing, moose-hunting, basketball-shooting, salmon-fishing, child-bearing, miss congeniality, consider the source, research it a bit, and listen to what McCain and Palin say they’ll do, and reflect on what they’ve already done.

Peace.

*There is even a blog post out there that has this story and debunks the horrible ‘Sarah Palin’s son is really her daughter’s baby’ rumor, where in writing the post the author parenthetically comments on her being pregnant.  One of the wonderful thing about internet diaries is they record these details, which are easily overlooked by nefarious smear machines.

Categories: Politics (ugh) Tags: , ,

Palin / Quayle comparisons

August 30th, 2008 Comments off

They seem to be rife throughout the internets…

Some little remembered facts about Quayle… (from Wikipedia)

  • Bush was trailing by as much as 15 points to Dukakis before the Republican Convention in 88.
  • Senator John McCain, said of Quayle “I can’t believe a guy that handsome wouldn’t have some impact.”
  • Sure enough, post convention the Bush/Quayle got a bump, and never trailed.
  • Despite the well remembered gaffe in the VP debate (“You are no Jack Kennedy”), Quayle wasn’t remembered for being compared to Lloyd Bentsen in the experience question.
  • The Bush/Quayle ticket went on to win the November election with a 53–46 margin by sweeping 40 states and capturing 426 electoral votes.

So, be careful with the Quayle comparisons… Remember Bush/Quayle won.  It was Bush Sr. that killed his re-election chances with the ‘No New Taxes’ flub.

Categories: Politics (ugh) Tags: , ,

Hold your nose…

October 2nd, 2007 2 comments

We haven’t even had the first primary, and people are going teh crazee…

The rest politics so I’m stuffing most under the fold.  Click on more to get it all

Though I think The Anchoress has a point (maybe three):

Read more…

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