Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway
Source: Haiku Deck

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Reason Magazine: Nick Gillespie Interviewing Joseph Campbell- 'Walter Cronkite Wasn't the Most Trusted Man in America'

Source: Reason Magazine- Joseph Campbell-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS FreeState Now

Whether Walter Cronkite was the most trusted man in America or not, who knows, Walter Cronkite was the most trusted news anchor in America. Which was more important and easier to judge. He had this saying at the end of the CBS Evening News, “and that’s he way it is”. And people believed that, we don’t have that today where a lot of our media is determined by which side of the aisle controls that organization.

The three national network newscasts, on NBC, ABC and CBS, as well as PBS, which people tend to forget or not even be aware of, still report the news based on what they report. “This is what we found and these are the facts in the story, as best we can determine”. And I believe they still carry out the Cronkite legacy as I would call it that way. Where most of the rest of the news operations, except for C-SPAN and CNN as well, cover the news from a slant from either the right or left.

Opinion news mix in lets call them targeted facts, they’ll give you half the story if that and the rest of it will be commentary. And most of the people they interview share their view of the news and what that means and they’ll interview them to back up their perspective. And when they interview someone from the other side, they do it to contradict that person. With Walter Cronkite and with the PBS NewsHour, you get, “these are the facts”, their reporters are reporters whose job it is to find out what’s going on in the country and around the World.

The network news divisions will interview analysts, a lot of times people without political slants who are there to explain what the facts mean. Which is much different from Fox News that’s in the business to give right-wingers a voice in the country and be the spokespeople for the Republican Party. Except for Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace, where you get real reporting and real interviews. And with MSNBC, especially in the prime time, but you can go back to 3PM with Martin Bashir, what you get from them is voices of the so-called progressive movement. They go after Republicans, as well as Democrats when they believe they aren’t progressive enough.

One of the problems with today’s news and why someone like Walter Cronkite wouldn’t be nearly as relevant, if even successful, is that today news is not only mixed in with commentary, but with also entertainment. People much rather know what Kim Kardashian wore at the last event she went to. Or about Paris Hilton’s latest run in with the law, and not how well the economy grew in the third quarter or April’s jobs numbers. So hard news is a lot harder to sell today with news organizations under the pressure to report everything, not just what’s important.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

ESPN: The Fallen Champ- The Untold Story of Mike Tyson

When I think of sports tragedies, I think of baseball players like Darryl Strawberry, Jose Cansesco, Pete Rose, Dwight Gooden, Denny McClain, etc. And In Strawberry and Cansesco's case, both five-tool players who had all the ability to be First Ballot Hall of Famers, but who weren't very disciplined off the field. And both had drug problems as well as injury problems, which had something to do with their lack of discipline as men. In Pete Rose's case, had an incredible great career, because of what he accomplished on the field by that alone, is a First Ballot Hall of Famer.

But of course because Pete placed bets on baseball, has put into serious doubts, of whether he'll ever be inducted into the Hall of Fame. In Denny McClain's case, the former Detroit Tigers pitcher, who is a former Cy Young Award Winner, in 1968 who won thirty games in a season, who was on course to being a First Ballot Hall of Famer, but again had drug and gambling issues and his career was cut short. Because of trouble he got into outside of baseball. Dwight Gooden's case, probably the best National League pitcher of the 1980s. A former Cy Young Award winner as well. Again on course to becoming a First Ballot Hall of Famer, but again addicted to cocaine that kept him out of baseball for a period.

When I think of boxers who had tragic endings to their careers, who never lived up to their potential, I think of one boxer. Iron Mike Tyson, who dominated the heavyweight division in the late 1980s and that says a lot there. He wins the World Heavyweight Championship in 1986 and was dominant that year, as well as 87, 88 and 89, but loses his World Championship by 1990. To a journeyman, but talented boxer in James Buster Douglas, but never showed the discipline to be a great boxer. Who wins the World Championship by beating Mike Tyson in February, 1990, but loses his championship by November, 1990 to Evander Holyfield. And his career was basically over by then. Mike Tyson, by far the most dominant heavyweight of this 3-4 year period, but loses his championship to an unknown undisciplined boxer in 1990. Who loses the championship just nine months later.

And of course Mike Tyson makes an attempt at a comeback in 1991, with a couple of solid fights against Razor Rudduck. Wins both of them, setting up a potential fight with Evander Holyfield, by 1992. But was no longer the dominant boxer that he was a couple years ago, even though he's only in his mid 20s at this point. But of course that fight never happens because of Iron Mike's rape case in 1992. Where at the very least, Mike is guilty of poor judgement and shouldn't of put himself in that position to begin with. Which makes Mike Tyson's career, what could've been, which is how he'll go down, instead of what a great career he had.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Talking Points Memo: Richard Mourdock- Accidentally Releases Response to ACA Supreme Court Decision

Source: Talking Points Memo-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS FreeState Now 

Without Maine and Indiana, as a Democrat I would be worried about Senate Democrats chances of retaining control of the U.S. Senate. Just because of the numbers, 23-33 Senators that are up for reelection are Democrats, tight presidential election mostly likely either way. But thanks to the Tea Party and the GOP nominating Tea Party candidates to replace safe Republican Senators, as far as them being able to get reelected in Maine and Indiana, Senator Olympia Snowe not bothering to run for reelection in Maine, because of fears of a Tea Party challenger in the primary. Thanks Tea Party! A lifetime of Christmas cards are in the mail for you.

And Richard Murdock a Tea Party candidate knocking out Senator Richard Lugar in Indiana, instead of Senate Republicans having to pick up 3-4 seats to take the majority depending on the presidential election, its more like 5-6. Because they will lose Maine to either a Democrat or a Democratic leaning Independent. And Indiana which is a swing state to begin with, will now have a Tea Party candidate, going up against a Centrist Democrat. Far-Right or Far Left candidates don’t get elected statewide in Indiana. This is not Mississippi where its common for people to believe that gays are responsible for 9/11. Or Barack Obama is a Socialist-Muslim illegal immigrant from Kenya. Hoosiers tend to be Independent and Centrist and sound mind.

Just to cover this video, lets call him Dick Murdock. Because I like how that sounds, instead of Richard Murdock. It makes him sound like a TV private detective or a pornographer. Which could cost him votes in today’s neoconservative GOP that’s been sleeping in a cave since 1955. And hasn’t figured out yet that it’s actually 2012. But not only will Indiana have a Far-Right Republican to consider, that believes Americans aren’t qualified to determine who represents them in the US Senate.

Dr. Dick supports a Constitutional Amendment that would take our vote for Senate away from us. And give that vote to State Legislatures, while speaking about the importance of the US Constitution. A Constitution that he wants to amend for U.S. Senate. But a Far-Right Senate candidate that’s also a physic and just had a vision that the Supreme Court will rule that part of the Affordable Care Act is constitutional and only throw out parts of it.

I’ve never had the opportunity to vote for or against a physic before. To tell you the truth a physic would have more than a leg up on his or her colleagues that they would serve with. They could say, “look we shouldn’t do that, I had a vision that wouldn’t work. And it would be horrible for the country. Or you should vote for this because I had a vision that this bill would be great for the country.” And the physic would be correct, because they can see into the future. But the truth is the Supreme Court won’t officially rule on the Affordable Care Act until next week.
Talking Points Memo: Richard Mourdock- Accidentally Releases Statement on ACA Ruling

Friday, June 15, 2012

Talking Points Memo: The FOX Report- Chris Wallace: Calls Presidential Interruption by Neil Munro Outrageous

Source: Talking Points Memo- Shepard Smith & Chris Wallace-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS FreeState Now

There use to be a day in American journalism when reporters were reporters and commentators were commentators. Reporters would write facts that they found and share them with who they worked for and their audience. Commentators and columnists would write about what they thought of the news that was reported and what that meant. In today’s media it’s a little harder to tell the difference between news and commentary. Even though the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal still do a very job of reporting.

Even though these three news giants clearly slant in one direction or another, when it comes to their editorials, but you can tell the differences between their reporters and their editorialists. With today’s online partisan media, with “news organizations” clearly slant in one direction or the other. Talking Points Memo on the left and The Daily Caller on the right, who don’t hide from their partisan leanings, but they do it to the point that most of their stories, benefit their side of the aisle ideologically.

And rarely do partisan publications report something that’s negative towards their side of the aisle. Which is why I believe if you are going to follow one of these partisan news organizations”, I suggest you follow them on both sides. Because many times, you’ll only get one side of the story from one of these groups. But follow both of them and you may get the full story, or at least half of it. Some of these “news organizations” are so partisan to the point that they’ll send their columnists and analysts to press conferences, as if they are reporters and not commentators, to ask questions that are intended to benefit or hurt the person that’s giving the press conference.

David Corn does this for the so-called progressive Mother Jones Magazine and Neal Munro does this for the right-wing The Daily Caller. But Neil Munro took it to a different level today at President Obama’s press conference on immigration reform. Where he literally heckled the President, interrupting him as he was giving his speech. Its one thing to not like a President, as Mr. Munro clearly doesn’t, or be against him or even feel that the President is not worthy of the office and feel disrespect for him. But it’s another to disrespect the office, which is what Neil Munro was doing today.

I have no problem with aggressive journalism as its called today, as long as its intended to report facts. And not designed to make the case for one side of an argument or another. But it’s another thing, just to be rude and classless and not just disrespect the person that’s holding the office, but disrespect the office itself. Which is what Neil Munro did today and proved that the right-wing is more than just against President Obama on philosophically.
Talking Points Memo: The Fox Report- Chris Wallace: Calls Interruption by The Daily Caller's Neil Munroe Outrageous

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

HBO Docs: HBO Documentary Films- The Weight of The Nation 2012

Source: HBO Docs-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS FreeState Now 

I’m all for cutting our healthcare costs, but doing it in a way that encourages personal responsibility and protects individual freedom. Two reasons why I’m against the NYC soda ban, which is an example of the Nanny State on steroids. It fails both tests, personal responsibility and individual freedom. Because of instead of leaving it up to the people to decide how to take care of themselves, it essentially outlaws a bad habit. Doesn’t eliminate it, just outlaws it. Two different things.

When you outlaw something, you are telling people who you can’t do, whatever it is you are outlawing. Doesn’t mean it goes away, it just means whatever has been outlawed, is now illegal. New Yorkers will still drink those large sodas, but take their tax dollars outside of New York City. But when you eliminate something, well guess what happens, I’m speaking basic English here, it goes away. Because you eliminated it. Progressives have this notion, that you can automatically eliminate bad behavior, by outlawing it, through prohibition. They’ve tried this with alcohol, organized gambling and now caffeine and sugar. Guess what those things still continue , just done in different places or done illegally.

As a Liberal I believe in individual freedom, as long as you are not hurting innocent people with your freedom. As well as personal responsibility, that is to say we all make choices in life, for good and bad and have to deal with the consequences of our decisions. So if someone wants to drink soda pop all day, eat nothing but junk food and doesn’t exercise, that’s on them as an adult. But that I and others who don’t make those bad choices and take better care of ourselves, shouldn’t be stuck with cost of John and Jane or whoever who made poor choices with their health.

That people who make good decisions with their lives, should be rewarded for them and that people who make poor choices, should be held accountable for their poor decisions. Including the health costs of those bad decisions. Thats what comes from living in a liberal society and not a Nanny State. We’ll never have a health care system, where people who can’t afford Healthcare, won’t get it, at least at the Emergency Room. Americans will always get health care, at least in emergencies. The question is how is it paid for.

As much as Libertarians may want so-called free health care to go away. But what we can do is force people who have chosen to live unhealthy, a choice they didn’t have to make. To pay for their bad decisions up front. It’s very simple, you tax people for living unhealthy, not prohibiting it, so they can pay up front for the health care that they are going to need later on. As a result of their bad decision-making and you reward people for living healthy. Thats one good way to control our health care costs.
HBO Docs: HBO Documentary Films- The Weight of The Nation 2012

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Talking Points Memo: 'The War on Everything'- How Words Lose Their Meaning When Overused

Source: Talking Points Memo- CNN- 
Source: Talking Points Memo: The War on Everything

There are several words that are overused to the point, that I would almost like to see them disappear. Like a hot song, that sounds great for a the first couple of weeks, but then you get tired of hearing it and a song like that generally comes from a one-hit wonder. Someone like the group Dream, that was big ten years ago or so. With their song Love Me or Love Me Not, I think was the title. But if I had to put a list of lets say the top 5-10 words that are overused in America, going from 1-5, it would now be war, which just recently replaced awesome to me as the most overused word in America.

When I think of war, I think of combat, where people can get hurt or even die. Where lives can even be saved. The Iraqi War comes to mind, the Civil War in Syria would be a another one, the Vietnam War. But if you are not familiar with military combat, but somehow familiar with American politics, which would be really odd, you would have to be the ultimate political junky to meet that criteria, where all you are interested in is politics, you only follow campaigns and speeches and don't see anything else in the world, you would think war is purely a political term. The war on this and that and so-fourth. The War on Women, the War on Capitalism, the War on Freedom, the War on Religious Liberty, first of all most of these things are fabricated.

The War on Women, thats not a war. Now you can make the case that House Republicans are making an effort to limit females access to certain health care. But thats not a war, its a campaign at best and they sound funny and perhaps clever and easy to remember, make good sound bites etc. But these aren't wars, they are campaigns at best. I've been guilty of this myself using the word of war with my blogging. I wrote one blog that I called the Neoconservative War on Freedom, but I was half-joking. Perhaps I should've said the Neoconservative Campaign Against Freedom. Which would be accurate and would also be easy to remember.

But a lot of times when people say The War on This or That, they generally aren't talking about a War on This or That. They are generally talking about something specific. Just to round out my list of words that are overused in America top 5-10 that I mentioned earlier. That hopefully may end up on the Late Show Top 10 List.  (Perhaps as soon as beach houses go for sale in North Dakota or just after that) War would be at the top of the list for reasons I've already explained.

Followed by awesome. If everything is awesome, nothing is awesome. It seems like every time someone sees something they like now it's, awesome!!! When I think of the word awesome, I think of something or someone that's really amazing, good or bad, that there is no other way to explain it. Most of things in the world don't meet that criteria. A team isn't awesome just because they won the championship, they might not be awesome at all. A good meal or movie, band, song, whatever, aren't always awesome, they may just be good at that particular time.

Two other words that thank goodness have died down over that last few years, perhaps with Paris Hilton being in the news less (or in jail) are hot and fabulous. For the same reasons as awesome and I said top 5-10 and I've only done a top 4, or how about Fab 4, number five and then I got to wrap up. And I'm sorry if I offend any valley people, girl or guy here, but you guys and gals are big targets of mine. But like and totally, especially when they are put together. Like totally! That is so annoying to me!

And oh my God, especially when they are put together, thats nine and WTF. (Hopefully you know what thats short for) All for the same reasons as awesome. And there you have it my top now list of words that are overused and I'm tired of hearing. But look I understand lazy when it comes to language in America is in and thinking for one's self especially when it comes to expressing themselves and risking standing out, is not really in especially if you come as different. But being a person an individual is exactly that. And with that comes the freedom for people to be themselves, even if they are different from the pack or group.