What’s your slant?

Monthly archive

August 2018

Finicum’s Fable – who shot LaVoy?

in The Political Slant by
LaVoy FInicum

*Having owned a 1965 and a 1967 Ford Mustang convertible and Ford celebrating 10 million Mustangs produced, I don’t understand why Ford stock is hitting a 52-week low. I thought the cause might be a Ford truck that dodged an FBI sniper bullet in the Finicum trial, but it’s a Dodge.

Reviewing the video the shooting, the Oregon State Police (OSP) ordered LeVoy Finicum’s party out of the truck at a particular location near the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Finicum keeps shouting,

Go ahead and shoot me.”

••••••

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Silent Screams – the Pressure of Masculinity

in The Life Slant by
Masculinity

*It is not good for man to be alone…we don’t do alone well. A few days ago, I saw a Facebook message from a friend who had thought about taking his life. He woke up the next morning to learn that an acquaintance had committed suicide several days ago.

I don’t know the details, nor did I have any knowledge of what this man was battling. I only knew this man in passing, but our interactions we’re always polite and respectful. Whenever we stopped and chatted, the conversation consisted mainly of superficial things, but he still was genuine nonetheless.

My heart goes out to his family and all of those who hold him dear to their hearts. The challenges we face as men are very real, and they’re heavy. Keep Reading

400,000 Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises Destroyed Annually

in The Life Slant by

*The fate of our brethren, the highly intelligent and sensitive cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises), is very grim. The hideous man-made Sixth Mass Extinction is accelerating more than 1,000 times faster than the previous five others.

Legendary biologist and animal activist Farley Mowat meticulously documented the human destruction of cetaceans in Sea of Slaughter. He estimated that humans murdered in excess of five million whales in 18th, 19th and first half of the 20th centuries.

Whaling in the Faroe Islands - Denmark
Whaling in the Faroe Islands, Denmark. Photo credit: Wikimedia

A more recent account by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) workers found that 2.9 million whales were slain between 1900-1999.

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The Complexity of Capitalism

in The Political Slant by
Capiralism

*Capitalism is a complex, dynamic, adaptive and non-linear system because it has elements or agents in large numbers that interact with each other – forming one or more structures that originate from the interactions between such agents.

Complex systems are characterized by their dynamism, whose fundamental characteristics are their sensitive dependence on the initial conditions, whereby minimal differences at the beginning of any process can lead to completely different and/or opposite situations over time. The opinion of Ervin Laszlo, Ph.D. of the Sorbonne and president of the Budapest Club, presented in the book O Ponto do Caos (The Point of Chaos), is that a dynamic system, in society or in a computer simulation, is governed by attractors. Keep Reading

Policing for Profit – the Abuse of Civil Asset Forefiture

in The Political Slant by

*The seizure of assets, or asset forfeiture, by government agencies (FBI and local police agencies, among others) without proper legal proceedings, has become intolerable. In case after case, government officials confiscate cash that citizens are carrying, and it is up to the citizens to fight to get it back. Essentially, if any police or law enforcement agency finds that you have a lot of cash, they seize the money, under the assumption that it was obtained illegally, whether or not they even charge you with a crime.

Forfeiture - Handcuffs

This behavior of confiscating assets is nothing more than theft, abuse of power, and denial of the rights of citizens. Only an out-of-control police state would do such a thing. Keep Reading

Facebook’s Fickle Finger of Fate

in The Money Slant/The Tech Slant by

*Some years ago, there was a comedy show that had as a part of its weekly bits, the “Flying fickle Finger of Fate” award, which went to people in the news who accomplished “dubious achievements.” From The Wall Street Journal, Friday July 27, 2018: “Facebook shares fell 19% to $176.26, erasing about $119.1 billion in market value, after the Menlo Park Calif., company warned late Wednesday about slowing growth. Facebook’s loss in market value Thursday is larger than 457 of the 500 companies in the S&P 500. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg alone lost almost $16 billion in the value of his stock holdings.”

But Mark Zuckerberg is a genius.

Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg poses a question during the CEO Summit.

Perhaps Zuckerberg will have to skip the Wadyu steak Friday night, and just have the regular filet mignon. Keep Reading

Real News, Fake President

in The Political Slant by

*Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!  It’s funny how things stay with you.  Vietnamization will end U.S. involvement in the war.  Even if you’re a kid and you don’t really understand, if you hear something often enough it becomes part of who you are.  Never has it been doubted that everything’s better with Blue Bonnet on it, or what kind of kids eat Armour hot dogs or that Jesus died for our sins or that America is the greatest nation on Earth.

Some of these are ingrained in us before we have any chance to understand what they mean, never mind question them.  Whether we hear them on TV, in church, at school or at home, if words are repeated often enough, long enough, they become part of who we are; and we believe them.  How else can you explain prejudice?  Kids get along fine until someone important in their life tells them why they shouldn’t.

BTW: Fat kids, skinny kids, kids that climb on rocks.  Tough kids, sissy kids, even kids with chicken pox love hot dogs.  That old commercial could never run in 2018 because of the words used to describe the kids.  Try calling a child fat, skinny, or a sissy and prepare to deal with an onslaught of anger from whoever happens to be standing near!  The words matter.  Now more than ever before.

Insidious: proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects.  treacherous; crafty.  

The two most important words in the American lexicon are Fake NewsFake News - Real News, Fake President

The president repeats them more often than beer commercials during a football game.  Keep Reading

Endless Hideous Heatwaves

in The Life Slant by

*Unrelenting heatwaves and hellfires are raging around the globe. August has commenced where July’s fury ended, more furnace-like heat.

This weekend Spain and Portugal may set an all-time European heat record eclipsing Athens, Greece, at 118.4 Fahrenheit (F), recorded on July 10, 1977.

Heatwaves in Europe
A humongous deadly heatwave is blanketing southwestern Europe. Photo credit: Met Office

It’s not just that a North African high is pumping scalding bone-dry air and mega tons of dust over the Iberian Peninsula. It’s also that the fire risk is extreme. 20 percent of Portugal is tinderbox dry.  11,000 intrepid firefighters and 56 water-bombing aircrafts are on emergency standby to combat forest fires.

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DeVos on American Education: Mortgage our Future

in The Political Slant by

*Aaron Rodgers may be the greatest of all time, Tom Brady may be the greatest of all time.  Mohammed Ali told us that he was the greatest of all time, and who wants to argue with him – even from beyond the grave?  But to lead my team down the field with 85 yards to go and 1:40 on the clock – with all due and considerable respect to Elway, Brees, Rivers and the Mannings –  Joe Cool is my first pick every time.

Watching those 49er teams matriculate the ball down the field was like watching an infantry unit doing drills; methodical, sharp, quick and precise, yet fluid and graceful.  The dynasty of the 80s provided entertainment the likes of which we can never see again.  Once the NFL implemented a salary cap the owner kept on spending on star players, ‘mortgaging the future’ to win today by delaying, deferring and derailing payments.  When the wall tumbled, it fell into rubble as the 9ers of the new century are only now appearing to be in recovery mode.

Mortgaging America’s future is what Betsy DeVos and her geniuses at the Department of Education are doing currently.

As one of the mindless trumpions currently running the show she is once again seeking to cut several discretionary programs, including federal funding for the Special Olympics and a grant program for college students with “exceptional financial need.” Keep Reading

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