Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Category: Alaska

Palin’s Emails

Jon Stewart’s take on the dump of Sarah Palin’s 24,000 emails.

And, may I just add, since there was nothing in them, what the hell took two years?

 

Freedom of Speech

When I go up to Green Bay to visit my beautiful grandsons there are some words I have to leave behind. Naturally, all words that are classified curse words are gone. Little ears have big mouths that repeat everything adults say. They, also, pay a lot more attention to me when I speak. I slipped a few months ago and said, “Son of a bitch” in front of Alex. Without missing a beat, he said, “Don’t you mean son of a biscuit, Nana?” (I say son of a biscuit quite a bit, I guess.)

There are other words I need to leave behind: Hate – hate is a naughty word according to Danny. You’re not allowed to say hate about anything, even that dumb AT&T commercial. Oops, there goes another one – no, not AT&T – dumb. Dumb is a naughty word so says Alex.  Nothing and no one is dumb. Not even those people who are (You know who you are). I must say these impositions on my free speech have made me more aware of what I say and how I say it. Instead of saying I hate that book, I need to say that I dislike it. It softens the tone. Instead of insulting someone with an insult by calling them dumb, I need to say something creative, like “You’re not the sharpest tool in the shed, are you?”

There are some who would say that I have the right to say what I want, when I want to say it and damn all of the consequences. But, I think that all changed just over two weeks ago in Tucson, at least for those of us who think for ourselves. Even though the shooter didn’t see any of the targets or crosshairs produced by both sides of the aisle (supposedly he didn’t, according to friends who had stopped seeing him months ago), the shooting brought attention and set our violent political discourse front and center. A quote from President Obama on the “Chicago Way” about bringing a gun to a knife fight (quoted from the movie The Untouchables) when taken out of context is sinister sounding. Cross hairs over Congresswoman Giffords’ AZ location seems erie and ill-advised.

Some people have taken to swinging the Constitution and the First Amendment around like somehow it is a blanket of protection.  “But, I have a right to say that.”  “Don’t criticize them, they have a right to say that.”   And, my favorite, “I would defend your right to speak.”  (No, no you wouldn’t.)

Moving to a nicer tone in our politics, coming together to meet in the middle is not a sign of weakness.  It isn’t some bad political correctness gone bad.  Neither side is completely wrong and neither side holds the ball when it comes to being right.

We are literally so caught up with listening to the pundits and the talking heads that we have forgotten what makes our country great – compromise, tolerance, acceptance of those who are different.  And, I’m guilty myself.  I hate dislike Sarah Palin’s politics and the way she turns everything around so that she is a great victim in all of everything, but I will do my best to not say anything that would be un-politically correct about her.

I’m not giving up my freedom of speech, I’m being more responsible with it.

When I was younger and my father was smarter, he once said something to me:  “Kid, swearing just shows your ignorance.  If you can’t root around your head for a better word, then you’re not smart enough to have the conversation.”

Come join me in a conversation.

My Own Cross hairs

The whole way the right wing people and their media, Fox News, have been handling the shooting in AZ would be laughable – if a nine year old wasn’t dead.  I love how the very first thing the Palin camp said was that there wasn’t a target on Congresswoman Giffords’ district – they were cross hairs, like you would find on a map, according to SarahPAC staffer Rebecca Mansour.

While Mansour is correct that cross hairs are “common in optical instruments used for astronomy and surveying”, they are “Most commonly associated with telescopic sights for aiming Firearms,” according to Wikipedia.  I don’t know about you, but whenever I see cross hairs, I think of gun sights.

Anyway, while the right (and especially Palin’s camp) claim that their violent rhetoric had nothing to do with sending a mentally disturbed person off the deep end, I decided to try an experiment that some might consider in poor taste.  Below is my hit list of people who should be eliminated from the public eye.  After all, according to the right wing, I can’t be blamed if a mentally unstable person takes my words out of context, right.

  • Sarah Palin
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • Glenn Beck
  • John Boehner
  • Michelle Bachmann
  • Scott Walker
  • Rebecca Mansour

Feel free to comment below to add to the list.  Because we’re just enacting our freedom of speech and there’s nothing wrong in doing so.

Sarah Palin’s Alaska

It must be Sarah Palin’s day here at Top Of My Head – three articles in one day.  But, the Palins are headline grabbers, so here goes.

According to an article on MSNBC, the ratings for Sarah Palin’s Alaska are down – a lot.  I’m not surprised.  The show received a lot of hype, a lot of attention, Palin is a name, so ratings would be high for the original broadcast.  It isn’t unusual for any reality show to lose viewers.  I was speaking with my friend, Preston, this weekend and he said he couldn’t believe that I wasn’t watching the show.  I told him I wasn’t interested in Sarah Palin’s Alaska.  It isn’t my cup of tea.  To be honest, the show could be called Katie Couric’s Alaska and I still wouldn’t be interested.  I’m not a nature show watcher.

But, the article mentions Andy Almon, Willow’s boyfriend.  I guess he appears on the show, which makes me a little confused.  I thought Sarah Palin’s show was all about Alaska.  A travelogue, if you will, about what to see when you’re in Alaska.  I thought it would show forests and ice flows or whatever it is they have in Alaska.  So, what’s Willow’s boyfriend doing on the show?  How does he work into this?

So, if I’m reading the article right, the show is like “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” mixed with a pretty, woodsy outdoors?

I’m a little more than surprised. I would think that Palin would keep her children out of it as much as possible. A nice nature – come see Alaska – show would probably serve her better than to show family meltdowns and drama.

Am I wrong?

A Nation of Lemmings…

I saw this video (see below) on CNN regarding Sarah Palin’s mistake on rising grocery prices. Anderson Cooper says in the video that this is a minor issue, but I’m going out on a limb here and say that this is a huge issue. Often times, when Palin gets a fact wrong, she blames the “lamestream media”. Her followers believe that mainstream media is consistently wrong and unfairly picks on her. She encourages this belief.

To me, that makes her attacks on a reporter (Sudeep Reddy) who points out Palin’s mistake threatening to the ability of the American people to separate fact from fiction. We’re becoming a nation of lemmings. We pass on emails filled with errors and outright lies without checking their facts and figures. We pass on “information” without researching it ourselves.

By not doing our own fact-checking, we are fast becoming a nation of non-thinkers. Worst, I read about a series of studies conducted by the University of Michigan that “when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs.”

That scares the Hell out of me — does it do the same to you?  People who can be told a fact do not change their beliefs to match that fact.

Which brings me back to Sarah Palin…

She stated the following:  “everyone whoever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so.”

Sudeep Reddy pointed out that “Grocery prices haven’t risen all that significantly, in fact. The consumer price index’s measure of food and beverages for the first nine months of this year showed average annual inflation of less than 0.6%, the slowest pace on record (since the Labor Department started keeping this measure in 1968).” Instead of admiting her mistake, as Anderson Cooper points out in the below video, she went on the attack.

This means, to me at least, that Sarah Palin is one of those “misinformed people” who, when confronted by the facts, cannot change their beliefs to meet them.

This woman wants to be President of the United States.  She ran for Vice President, for pete’s sake.  And, yet, when confronted with a fact that goes against her beliefs, she attacks the messenger.  She cannot wrap her head around the idea that she might be wrong.

Isn’t the sign of a good leader someone who can admit that they were incorrect and adjust accordingly?

Isn’t that the sign of a good employee?  And, doesn’t the President of the United States work for us?

Have you ever worked with someone that attacks back when a mistake of theirs is pointed out?  I have.  I wouldn’t want that person being President of Dog catching, much less President of the United States.

In the next two years, I believe Palin has a long way to go to prove to the American public that she could, indeed, run this country.

That is, if someone can convince her she’s wrong.

Palin vs Schwarzenegger

Did you hear about this?  When flying over Alaska, Governor Schwarzenegger tweeted “Over Anchorage, AK. Looking everywhere but can’t see Russia from here. Will keep you updated as search continues.”

Well, Sarah Palin who apparently can’t take a joke, fired back: “Arnold should have landed; I could have explained our multi-billion dollar state surplus & US energy security efforts. What’s he been up to?

When I read about this last week, I just rolled my eyes.  It was just Palin being Palin – attacking instead of just shaking her head; grabbing for yet another headline.  And, that’s fine.

Until I read this line from Republican Senator Candidate Joe Miller: “40 percent of our economy in Alaska is somewhat derived from the federal government.”  How hard is it to have a state surplus when you get 40 percent of your economy from the Federal Government?  And, then, I was mad.  Alaska gets $1.82 for every dollar they send to the feds.  I realize that Alaska is one of those states that requires more federal defense dollars then the rest of us, but it also means that it shouldn’t be all that hard for the governor of Alaska to keep their budget in a surplus.  Throw in a $1.5 billion tax increase on oil companies and a budget surplus is almost guaranteed.  (The oil company tax increase was a done deal when Palin was governor.)

What Governor Schwarzenegger has been doing is holding his state together by a thread.  At least, he didn’t resign from office to go seek out money elsewhere like a certain governor did.

Former U.S. senator killed in Alaska plane crash, staffer says – CNN.com

Just saw this on CNN – RIP Senator Stevens.

via Former U.S. senator killed in Alaska plane crash, staffer says – CNN.com.

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