We use "slow" to describe people who aren't smart. Perhaps we're being hasty?
A recent study in Chicago demonstrates this. One researcher, Harold Pollack conducted a "social autopsy" on every homicide in the city. He did it to determine if homicides were, in fact due the "usual reasons:" gang violence, burglary, assault, domestic disputes.
At the core, the homicides weren't really related to that at all. According to Pollack's findings, which were rather anecdotal but nonetheless brilliant, included this basic idea:
"Young men + disagreement + impulsivity + gun = dead body"
It was the impulsivity - the lack of control - that controlled the moment. Jens Ludwig, who continued Pollack's research, cited the case of one young man who shot another over his backpack and water bottle and was sentenced to 120 years:
"If they thought about it for even one second...it's very hard to imagine that anyone would think it was a good idea to shoot someone at point-blank range in exchange for a book bag and a water bottle that would surely have a resale value of not more than a couple of dollars at best." (emphasis added)
These decisions weren't driven by thought - quite the contrary. These decisions were a result of a decided LACK of thinking in a heated moment and they resulted in stupid, stupid, senseless deaths.
Pollack also argued that both liberal and conservative arguments on violence reduction have serious limitations. Seriously, his slide 6 is pretty badass:
–Violence fundamental outgrowth of economic inequality, blocked opportunities, segregation, and discrimination.
–Violence fundamental outgrowth of adverse cultural trends including family breakdown, adverse media messages, and more."
That's a nice synopsis of the opposing viewpoints, isn't it? But that's a rather complex argument that needs to be unpacked elsewhere. Were focusing on THINKING here, and Jens Ludwig's research in Chicago had important insights on that too.
Gimme the ball
Ludwig's research consisted of following 2800 at-risk high school boys in Chicago. Half went through a training course called "Becoming a Man," which focused on Cognitive Behavior Therapy. One of the activities involved two boys and a ball.
The exercise was simple: one boy was given a ball. The other boy was told to get the ball out of his partner's hand. As simple as this sounds, the result with teenage boys was easy to predict: invariably, the activity ended in a brawl with the two boys fighting with the ball. The instructors noted that no one ever asked for the ball. This was rather the point, and discussion centered around that possibility: asking and thinking, rather than acting.
It's crazy that NO ONE ASKED, but there you go. Impulsivity ruled.
With number of arrests as the study's endpoint, the group that went through the behavioral class(n=1400) had 44% fewer arrests. That's a significant argument for the power of taking a moment to think before you go off half-cocked, literally. The year after the 44% decrease the group of kids who went through the training were back on par with their sub-par arrest-prone control group friends, suggesting that while the program was helpful, those darned teenagers need to be trained how to think EVERY YEAR. Sounds like, I dunno, maybe something they could learn in school?
Stupid acts fast, smart acts slow. It's as simple as following the adage "think before you act." In our world of instant gratification, on-demand programming, internet memes, sound-byte politics, and fast food, that's difficult advice to follow, isn't it?
With apologies to Bill Maher
New rule: if you don’t understand the difference between the federal budget deficit and the national debt, you are not allowed to have a checking account or a credit card. Look, Daddy left 5 years ago with the Corvette he put on a credit card, and he also left mommy to take care of us kids AND pay for that car every month. Does that help explain it?
Republicans love to parade the ballooning debt in front of us in graph memes as a dramatic statement of Obama’s failure, rather than placing the responsibility on the guy who financed the wars – er, Corvette – in the first place.
Democrats, for their part, aren’t helping. The Corvette is down the road. And we have to pay for it. Whining about Daddy, in the end, doesn’t help, but neither does the Democrats’ latest strategy: praising Obama in a counter-meme with a graph about how the debt is going down. That’s great. We’re paying our bills and we’re still not solvent. We have too much credit card debt and we're still using our credit card for groceries, but we’re making the minimum payment every month. Super. *Golf clap*
Here's the real problem: this is one of those nuanced issues that Americans aren’t grasping because both parties are stomping around with their pet graph as proof positive that they are right, rather than looking at the larger issue: our budget sucks and the process of making it is a joke. Until we are able to see through this crapstorm, we will continue to be baffled by the bull our elected officials throw at us, claiming they are right and the other side is wrong.
We love Daddy and we love Mommy, but let’s face it, in this analogy, they’re not just spending our inheritance to buy a car they can’t afford – they are spending our ACTUAL MONEY.
Personification is IN.
At least for commercials. The AFLAC duck, Geico Gecko, Joe Camel, the Cheetohs Cheetah, Honey Nut Cheerios Bee, Golden Crisps Bear, Honey Smacks Frog, the Taco Bell Chihuahua, Trix Rabbit, Serta Sheep, Kraft Macaroni's Cheeseasaurus Rex, The Nesquick Bunny, Snuggle Bear, Charlie the Tuna. And who could forget the Tootsie Roll Pops Owl. There are probably a bazillion others, and I'm not exaggerating.
Those are just the ANIMALS. Nevermind the creepiness of Fruit-of-the-Loom Fruit in your underwear or the at-risk-for-assault M&M characters(date rape is so cute when it's chocolate).
Still. STILL. Nothing seems so eyebrow-raising as the latest Geico pig commercial. Apparently the little British Gecko wasn't cutting it, so now we're to pigs. In this commercial, we have a pig playing with his iPhone(cute) while a woman suggests they fool around.
It has come to this, Dumbericans. This. Where this happens and we chuckle. And then realize what we chuckled at and we take a shower.
I don't really care that GoDaddy's superbowl commercial has an obligatory Danica Patrick appearance and "flips the script" by having a hot blonde frenching a well, with all due respect let's say the guy is unattractive. It's a nasty lil commercial bit of shock jockeying, it's memorable in a "why-would-I-do-business-with-a-company-that's-doing this-without-Danica-Patrick" kinda way. I get it. We're supposed to remember it, think "ewwwwww!" but GoDaddy is in our minds. Howard Stern, thanks for this.
That isn't the intention of the Geico commercial. The main story is the pig's obliviousness, the cute Fruit Ninjas reference at the end; but it's punctuated with a supposed-to-be-clever bit about a woman who apparently wants to have sex with a pig.
Anyway, I remember it, fo sho, and I'll remember that the marketing team at GEICO is a bit disturbed. That's what I'm looking for in my next auto insurance policy - a team of freaks behind it.
Way to hit your target market.
Overall, America has an overalls problem.
Every day, overalls are talked about in the media. The media would have us believe that people are wearing overalls too much and that overalls are wreaking destruction on our country. We are bombarded with images of people in overalls. The horrible damage overalls cause to our country is obvious to anyone paying attention. It’s time we told the truth about overalls and proposed overalls control legislation in our country.
Overalls ownership has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Studies show that Americans continue to kill fashion with overalls more frequently than the next 10 civilized countries combined. We would expect overalls in Mexico, or in Guatemala – or even in Switzerland, where overalls are plentiful but very tightly regulated. Sure, Switzerland has similar clothing restrictions, but they also have mandatory fashion training and limit the number and type of overalls per household. Despite the mandatory training, they also have two-thirds of the number of overalls we have in the USA.
The Swiss also have the sense to never wear overalls in public. That’s really an important point.
For the really civilized countries, overalls are banned from the general population. As a result, overalls are rarely, if ever, seen. The damage caused by overalls decreases. Can you imagine wearing overalls in the British House of Parliament? On the runway in Paris? It’s preposterous to even think of a single reason overalls would exist in these countries, so they have proceeded with strict overalls regulations despite the supposed lack of freedoms it entails.
(Critics of the international overalls violence statistics counter with the claim that in countries like the UK, “overall” violence has increased despite the prohibition of overalls. It’s an absurd claim, and please note the deceptive use of the word “overall” instead of “overalls.” This kind of misleading with statistics is a common tactic, but it does little to further the debate.)
In the United States, overalls are a “throwback,” aren’t they? In the early days of our country, overalls were important, even necessary. We did a lot more pig farming back then. And we had less fashion shows.
This is America, consarnit. Of course we have the right to wear overalls. You have the right to smell like horse manure anywhere you want to. But it offends my nose, and they are horrible to look upon. if your overalls-wearing happens outside of sport-mucking the pig pen, do you still have the right to wear overalls? Do we still want people out there destroying decorum in malls, theaters, and even in schools?
Overalls “truthers” go too far. They suggest overalls are not a problem at all, or that people criminally wearing overalls are “staged” by anti-overall activists. This is a despicable and horrifying strategy, a clear denial of reality – and an additional reason overalls regulations must be imposed and strictly enforced. After all, if we live in a country where a segment of the population is capable of denying the truth at this level, do we deserve to have our right to wear overalls?
Some say it’s the type of overalls, and that we should limit the types of overalls available on the market. The question isn’t really about the type of overalls, is it? Do we care if you are wearing overalls with six pockets or thirty? If you are wearing overalls in public, the damage is already done. When it comes to overalls, ONE PAIR IS TOO MANY.
In today’s America, there is really no good reason for overalls. Sure, we protect our right to wear overalls, and some flawed logicians go so far to say that overalls can protect us from the mud and muck better than other types of clothing. The more paranoid among us say that fascist dictators throughout history have banned overalls, and therefore subdued their populace. Please. If Obama’s America/ some future fascist dictator wants to take your overalls “over your dead body,” then get ready to have a dead body. They will get your overalls, using overwhelming force if necessary, and your puny pair of overalls will not stop them. You’ll be dead - and wearing overalls. Is that really how you want to go out?
If the job is really mucky and dirty, no amount of overalls is going to protect you from getting filthy. I guess what I’m saying is for those conspiracy theorists that believe that some fantasy police state of nature in the future might exist and come after your overalls, restricting your right to protect yourself from mud and dirt, give it a rest. Your puny overalls are never enough for nature’s greatest drone attack: an entire pen of pig crap.
This is America, and we vigorously protect our personal rights. The problem is that overalls are very difficult to pull off. Most of the stories we hear of in the news, for instance, are about people who lacked any kind of fashion sense, indiscriminately purchased overalls and then wore them everywhere, without regard to decorum, absolutely killing fashion.
As the saying goes: your freedoms end where my sense of fashion begins.
Do overalls matter so much to us? Do we cling to our banjos and our poor dental hygiene, our obesity and our right to marry our cousins so much that we must defend our right to something so inane as overalls? Is there a place for overalls in a civilized society? Do they serve any real purpose outside of an imagined threat of future overall terrorism?
Pro-Overalls activists would have you believe that the solution is more overalls. Yes, it IS counterintuitive, isn’t it? It’s as if their love for overalls is so blind that they insist that they must kill ALL sense of propriety. What’s most odd about this is that they can’t seem to see the perversion of the argument. “Overalls are just an article of clothing,” they say. “Just because someone wears them inappropriately doesn’t make overalls bad.”
People. Is there really a “good” way to wear overalls?
Obviously I'm on one side of the overalls-control issue. But I welcome the opposing viewpoint. Will you be the one to articulate it?
Let’s continue the debate on overalls, by all means. But let’s avoid knee-jerk reactions that equate the wearing of overalls to some hallowed and unassailable human right. Remember, our forefathers wore dickeys and wigs. They had wooden teeth. Do we really want to take fashion advice from men who wore breeches, periwigs, and stockings? Fashion was far different in their time. It’s difficult to even say this, but it’s probably true: every one of our founding fathers would have been laughed off of project runway.
And that, well, that is about as un-American as it gets.
Author’s note. This is not meant to belittle violence or minimize the subject in any way. This is a serious issue. If you are on the other side of the issue, I welcome your reasoned opinion, and in many cases I agree, despite some of my satirical points in this post. The intention is that both sides should be able to find space in this analogy, and perhaps it will also allow us to get past veiled threats and intimidation. After all, no one likes a discussion with a pair of overalls held to their head, or even with the threat of overalls violence.
When I'm not trying to conceive of the entirety of the universe(or some other worthy purpose, like pouring cereal into a bowl or trimming my dog's nails), I'm on Facebook. Which is to say, I'm on Facebook fairly often.
Okay, let's start by exposing the lie. Us Facebookers are on it a whole heckuva lot more than we'd admit. It's like reading comic books or a dirty cheap novel - you can't really admit liking it, that would be awful. It doesn't pay well. It serves little in the way of "higher good." It's a dalliance, it's a time-waster. We know this. We may not stare at Facebook 8 hours a day, but it's a great rabbit hole, and trying to pass it off as "well, I only check Facebook once a day" or some other bullcrap is just lying to yourself. And me. Stop. (See Own Your Sh*t.) We're on the Facebook, we are Facebookers dangit, and for people like us who have, you know, lives, we sure let it suck from us, don't we? Take heart, though: while some studies have correlated the amount of time spent on Facebook to productivity and grades, a study at Lock Haven University found no correlation between grades and Facebook if users were casual, not intensive users.
So here's to having a life AND a Facebook account. Simultaneously.
That is not to say that Facebook isn't fun. For my part, I enjoy posting a monochromatic picture of a 19th-century gentleman with some witticism as much as the next person. Okay, or jokes about cat farts, those are also good. We put up pictures, observations on political ideas we agree or disagree with, or just rants, and it's all good. It's part of who we are, and we're sharing all of that with our friends/kinda friends/people we haven't seen for 25 years/guy we met on a bus. It's fun.
But Facebook, for most of us, is about as useful as a box of crackers in a house fire. Somehow, we've been duped. We're spending time on a "social network" that is barely social and networked with people that frankly, most of us probably wouldn't miss if they fell off the earth. No offense to you dear reader. OF COURSE NOT YOU. I mean my other less important friends. No, NOT YOU EITHER, second person reading this.
What's also comical is the failbook-ness of just about all of us. Few people get Facebook "right." I have friends who appear perfectly sane in the real world, but on Facebook they act like churlish, maniacal bottom-feeders who can barely string two sentences together. Or their sarcasm gets so deep or comments are so cryptic you can't even tell what they are saying. "Yeah, I always thought that about Lance Armstrong," they'll post with an article that covers the story. THOUGHT WHAT? Others, quite interesting people to talk to in the realz world, post on Facebook about their lives in a way that makes you think they must be on the verge of boredom-induced suicide:
"Ron and I ate spaghetti for dinner with the kids tonight. Chris had garlic bread but Ricky didn't. Then we went upstairs and watched MASH reruns until bedtime. It feels good to be home at work after a long day at the office." Oh my GOD, is that the Xanax talking?
If it's attention you want, however, Facebook can deliver in a way some people just can't access in the world of actual people, where you must "talk."
I went to high school with, oh say "George." George was the kind of awkward kid with coke-bottle glasses and bad breath that could barely speak, spittle flew out jumpin jiminy Ken was a mess. I mean George. Anyway, George couldn't engage people by saying "hello," or "hey, it's great to see you!" No, he didn't really have "normal" stuff in his vocab, though he was uber-geeky and you'd think he could have used his brain to conjure something pseudo-normal-sounding. He couldn't. But he was desperate for attention. So he'd walk up to you and say something I'm sure he thought was engaging, like "I'll bet you like the movie Rikki Tikki Tavi." And you're all "What George?" <Pause> "Okay. I'll bite. What are you talking about?"
And George had you. He'd then go off on some dopey tangent that no one cared about, including George, but he'd wend it into something that garnered your attention for 3 or 4 minutes. It was the best he could do, all the attention he got, and it was sad. If George is on Facebook today, I'm sure he's posting polls, pictures of his rice bowl for lunch, ANYTHING he can find.
(Confession. FB being what it is, I decided to look up George on FB just now. He's there in full force. His third post of today, I kid you not included this sentence: "...the druid summoned a Large Pteranodon, who picked up my Big Blond Viking With a Sword..." So you'll get a bit of a picture about who I'm talking about here, though from this description I might have gone to school with Will Wheaton. Being a nerd is cool today, but man we were picked on 20 years ago. So maybe that's not illustrative enough. In perving his FB profile, I even find myself agreeing with him. This is kinda freaking me out. Anyway, Hi George)
It's about attention. George, you see, almost "fits in" on Facebook, in a weird way. I have another old friend from elementary school who is on FB in this way, like a chronicle of his life, talking to an audience he could never reach from his Asperger's or whatever(that is not a joke, I really think he has a touch of something). But we know what he eats. We know those little pictures he posts everyday from his bike ride, or his lunch, and his snappy shoes. I guess it's cheaper than therapy.
In addition to the "please pay attention to me" attention-seekers, there are those who love Facebook as long as it serves their purposes, which are generally either to a) promote their company or b)multilevel, or c) garner support for their upcoming divorce proceeding("he took the children!" I do not lie, I have seen this post. Dirty laundry anyone?). Sometimes it's just to spread the drama in their lives, or even worse, to relive some horrifying event in front of everyone on a monthly, semi-annual, or annual basis: "44 years ago today my great-grandmother Meemaw died in a carrot-peeling accident, and I have missed her every day since. I am crying today remembering the lilacs you grew and how wonderful you were. Good-bye Meemaw." Hey, we know, you've gone through hell. We get it. We REALLY get it. Because now we're going through your hell with you. Neat. For your next tragedy-rerun friend, I encourage you to click "like." No? Chicken.
Facebook is an attention-whore's paradise. It's a great way of jumping up and down to get a false sense of importance. Isn't it neat that 18 people liked your post? Even my children, indoctrinated by he oh-so-accurate portrayal of the ideal child's life on "The Suite Life," get excited when I post something about them on Facebook. Dummy that I am, of course, I let them know about it, and for hours afterwards, every 15 minutes it's "Dad, how many 'likes' do I have NOW?" None, you little bastard. No one likes you. If I had more guts I would say this, but I actually spend time trying to convince them it doesn't really matter and it's just for fun. (It doesn't really matter... right?)
Isn't there something about being here on the Facebooks(oh, and I'm here, make no mistake. I'm here. Like me! Share me!) that just feels like we're being suckered into playing the Lottery with our time? Isn't it just slightly, a teensy-weensy bit like a ponzi scheme, where we hope to invest a tiny bit of our time and parlay it into some more significant, famous-making event that will add significance to our desperate existences? I'll post on Facebook and everyone will like me!!
Shouldn't we be asking, at some level. what our desire to post these things on Facebook says about US and our desire/ability to engage others in the real world?
Oh- Don't be offended by this ramble. By "our" foibles, I totally mean "mine," of course. Because only I feel this way. I'm the only pathetic loser that feels this twinge sometimes. Everyone else is totally noble about it. It's just me.
"Like" and "Share" if you agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Princess Bride and Government Inaction
In the classic 1987 movie The Princess Bride, the main character Wesley, as “The Dread Pirate Roberts,” chases Vizzini and Fezzik up the “Cliff’s of Insanity.” With all this talk of fiscal cliff, it’s natural to compare the two.
Actually, the comparison fits better than you might think. The cliffs are dubbed “The Cliffs of Insanity,” replacing the descriptor “fiscal” in our modern kidnapping of the budget –er, Buttercup- of the United States of Florin, er, America.
It really is insanity, isn’t it? Our elected officials are spending December jousting over a budget crisis they created, all the while insisting that the other side is intractable. It’s like our country has somehow granted two children the right to “defer” their argument on the piggy bank’s contents until December, but they’ve been able to spend money all year. Fiscal? Not very. Henceforth, everywhere the word “fiscal” or “budget” appears, it shall be replaced by the word “insanity,” for crazy it is. By royal decree I make it so, like Prince Humperdink’s decree to marry Princess Buttercup.
The Players and their roles:
John Boehner: shall play the slow but gentle giant Fezzik. Boehner proposed a plan that cuts Medicare and Medicaid, healthcare, and social programs. “What we're putting forth is a credible plan that deserves serious consideration by the White House and I would hope that they would respond in a timely and responsible way.” I really wish he had added “That’s all I have to say.” That would have been perfect. As speaker, Boehner is taking the issue entirely upon his shoulders, and he has the strength of the Republican party to do it. Unfortunately, the proposal of cutting needed programs is the equivalent of dirt dumb. Fezzik does his job as “heavy” for the plotting and scheming by the privileged in the story, but his position is flatly wrong, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know it. Boehner, unlike the loveable Fezzik, seems to do it willingly.
Let’s not forget the six-fingered man’s part in all of this. Count Rugen, portrayed in our merry play by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, leads with sarcasm, laughing as Geithner’s proposal is outlined. Of course, he says he meant “no offense.” Isn’t it a bit disingenuous to burst into laughter when someone is speaking, and then claim that you meant no offense? Mitch McConnell is practically channeling Christopher guest, the actor who plays the sneering Count Rugen.
Another odd parallel: Count Rugen made a mortal enemy in Inigo Montoya by cheating Inigo’s father of the money he promised him. We might consider our future generations in casting Inigo, but this is a play, so we’ll have to cast someone relevant to today.
For Inigo Montoya, the Spanish Swordsman extraordinaire himself, we cast two characters: Timothy Geitner and Jay Carney. They’ve alternated their fencing duties so far, as Inigo himself alternated right and left hands. Geithner outlined the proposal, beginning the fight with McConnell, and Carney continued the fight in his press conferences. Boehner said his plan was “credible.” Carney might well say “Credible? I don’t think that word means what you think it means.”
Guilder and Florin, the nations involved in the plot Prince Humperdink arranges, the reasons for all the drama herein, are words for former dutch currency, now the Euro. Seriously? Yep. It’s about the Benjamins, even in the world of The Princess Bride. Well, the Dutch Benjamins. I suppose that makes it all about the “Lars”, or the “Hans,” perhaps.
Barack Obama plays the brilliant Vizzini. I know, this one hurts a bit, but it’s just a play so you’ll have to suspend your disbelief. Vizzini is all smarts, all knowledge, but he outsmarts himself. He thinks too much. He doubles back on himself, and in the end, fails to realize that the person he’s outwitting, the trap he’s sprung, has been set by the person he’s arguing with. Congress created this Cliff, it’s a trap they’ve built up an immunity too, taking it in tiny doses for years, like iocane powder. The fact that Obama has to play this game is a plot device designed to move the story along in an interesting way, nothing more. It is “a play told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” We like Vizzini. We’d like to play chess with Vizzini, though he would certainly win. But despite his delusions and his title as gang leader, he is little more than a pawn in a great game.
Miracle Max: Jack Lew, White House Chief of Staff. Lew won’t be the headliner in negotiations, but he will be present, and he’s reportedly a hardliner against cuts to entitlement programs. We’ll need Republicans to swallow that giant pill. This isn’t “true love,” Max. You can be rough about it. Though it’s a “bit” part, let’s face it, nothing gets fixed without Miracle Max.
Who will save us from the plotting of the arrogant Prince Humperdink and his minions? Who will be our Wesley?
It’s clear that Wesley, our hero, is played by us, the American people. It’s clear that without our intervention, the budget will be kidnapped every year and taken, unimpeded, up the Cliffs of Insanity. Without our efforts to require that the budget be worked out properly, without our insistence that the social safety net, Medicare and Medicaid, be brought back to our country safely, we could be overpowered and continually subjected to this budgetary torture, with years removed from our American lives by the Albino and Count Rugen’s cruelty. The American people must demand that our vital social programs be kept intact. Without this action, our government will continue to scheme against us, devising outlandish fool’s errands, up to and including inventing scapegoats for war. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
We, us, Westley, must climb the Cliffs, sleeper hold Fezzik, out-fence Inigo, and out-wit Vizzini. Only then will we finally hold Buttercup in our arms again.
AS YOU WISH, America.
Regardless, let’s hope these guys can accomplish something before the end of the year. If there is good news, it is that tax cuts will automatically expire. Even inaction is action, as the budget Buttercup will be returned to America/Florin without the expense, without making such a drama about it.
And without all that yucky kissing.
I keep hearing in conservative anti-gun control circles this ultimatum:
"The government can have my guns when they pry them from my cold, dead hands."
Let's go over what you just said.
You just said that the government, which is apparently coming after you and using extreme force to remove deadly weapons from your person, will have to kill you to get them.
Do you think that threat will stop them? Or might it actually hasten their desire to remove the gun?
Do you think that will stop the government you obviously hate? In your paranoid delusion, where the government of the United States is beating down doors to remove weapons of mass murder(which in your mind must include plastic forks, since they are just a 'tool'), do you think your lone gunman standoff will stop them from escalating?
Do you think your posturing makes the evil, corporate controlled government worried that you might be a bad person and oh we should never mess with that individual?
What if your worst fears are realized and the government decides to come after your guns?
What then? You barricade yourself in. They knock your door down. You start firing. They retreat. They tear gas you. You have a mask, and laugh as the smoke rolls through your house, firing at the next cops dumb enough to come in the door. They retreat again.
With a "nice" government, the best you can hope for is a nice long standoff ending with your arrest or death. With the meany mean government in your reality, however - a reality, mind you, where the police arm themselves against the rest of the law-abiding population - why wouldn't they just set your house on fire and wait an hour or two?
What makes you think your impotent standoff, your "cold dead hands" argument, is worth a flying flap to anyone in the government, police, or military - except as proof of your insanity? If there is a test for sanity, you just failed it.
If you utter the words "cold dead hands," I would suggest to the world - and Dumberica - that you may not be the kind of person who should own a gun. The ideology behind that phrase conceals an extremism that has little place in any law-abiding society.
This is not a Quentin Tarantino film. This is not Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid. This is not you nobly holding to your ideals and fighting off your oppressors. This is you being a Jackass and threatening to hold your own personal armed revolution against a government that doesn't exist - and if it did, would crush you anyway.
200 years ago, when the 2nd amendment was passed, we were fresh off of revolution. We were, understandably, worried that people needed a weapon against a potentially dangerous government. The most powerful, fastest shooting gun you could own was a musket. A MUSKET. The rate of fire was roughly 4 shots per minute, max, and the interim was spent re-loading, not looking for the next victim. Seemed like a good idea that the American people should have one of those, so our "Minutemen" could be called up again if necessary.
I'm not going to argue against all gun ownership, but hasn't the world changed a tiny bit?
Stop using the "cold dead hands" argument. It's the pro-gun equivalent of the nuclear solution. You are essentially saying that if our government passed laws making your weapon illegal that you would shoot them. Is there another country in the world - another civilized, non-extremist country - where that statement would be tolerated? Is there another country in the world where such a comment wouldn't lead to some sort of eyebrow-raising?
Worst of all, understand this: When you say the government can take your weapon when they pry it from your cold, dead, hands, you are daring them to.
What happens when they say, "Okay"?
Lots of problems with this meme and the ideology behind it. I should state I am no fan of McDonald's. It's just an icky place, and I don't trust anything that comes out of it.
People on who saw this meme posted on a FB page were quick to point out the grammar mistake, but its no big deal. See what I did there. Okay, the real problems...
1) The math: if 14,000 locations increased the pay for 10 employees each from $8 per hour to $25,000 per year, that would be a total increase in wages of $1.26 billion, an amount 84 times the CEO's salary.
2) Like Papa John's, we're talking about franchisees. McDonald's can't dictate that they raise employee pay, and asking franchisees to swallow another $90k in expenses per location ain't gonna happen.
It's a good try, but really just a "if wishes were horses" kind of solution. The blame is on the McDonald's model, the darling of business for decades. the franchise model is duplicated by anyone who can duplicate it. It's taught at every business school in America. The idea of duplicating effort with minimum wage employees, of breaking jobs into tiny components that are replicable by low wage earners, is the holy grail of practically every business model. At some point, increasing the bottom line includes cutting wages. It's practically Business 101.
Franchisees won't pay more than they have to for workers. It's not in their DNA. It's not a part of their business plan to increase wages for no reason, to pay more for squirting ketchup on a bun. Asking a company to raise wages? That's anti-business, my friend. Trying to get McDonald's to force franchisees to raise wages by this amount is like asking the President to renounce freedom.
Of course, we could just try to STOP EATING THIS CRAP. Go somewhere locally owned and healthier. But it's easier to ask companies to stop being fat cats than it is to make societal changes like that.
Years ago a very popular business book was "How to Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive." It's a fairly appropriate analogy, sharks and business. Let's say McDonald's is a shark. You don't stop a shark by asking it to give back the arm it swallowed, or stop swallowing so many arms.
All told, it's a rather Dumberican idea that we can force change on a system we created and applauded.
I was a huge comic book fan growing up in North Pole, Alaska. To be fair, there was little else to do. On a dark winter day with the temperature around minus 40, we had plenty of time for reading, and television was still a lame three-channel affair. Comic books in general, with their splashy graphics and hyperbolically important storylines were part of what kept me going as a reader in my youth. My favorites were the giant-size comic books. They were about the size of a newspaper, folded once.
One such comic book included the Superman-Flash road race. Fellow Justice-Leaguers watched as the two heroes sped around the globe, competing in what would be a photo finish. As the “Man of Steel” competed against “The Fastest Man Alive,” as one gained a slight lead in one part of the globe, the other would make up ground somewhere else. The heroes raced across the finish line, but there was no clear winner. People standing on the side of the finish line closest to Superman thought he won, and those standing on Flash’s side believed that Flash had triumphed.
In science this is called the “parallax effect,” where an object in the foreground appears to move at different rates versus an object in the background. You might notice it, for instance, when you are driving and the sun appears to go behind a tree. Of course the sun doesn’t go behind a tree; you are moving in relation to the tree, and the sun is stationary. Astronomers use the parallax effect to help measure stellar distances. In our club-headed American political system, we use it to confirm our own beliefs.
Comic book fans would call this either a supercool handling of the stories of two heroes or a lame cop-out ending for what should be a decisive victory for either Flash or Superman. I was always in the second group. Pick a winner, DC writers, dangit!
Today we see this kind of photo-finish in our political system. If you watched MSNBC’s coverage of the fiscal cliff in 2012, it was the Republicans who were holding up the works. If you watched Fox, the fiscal cliff was another example of Democratic intransigency. Both sides, standing closest to their representatives, see the opponent in the distance, and it’s clearly our guy who crossed the tape first.
Superman-Flash races have a long history in DC comics – it’s interesting to see two titans competing. In one of the classic matchups, the two crossed the line at the same time intentionally. The heroes did this to make sure gamblers, who set up the race, couldn’t collect on their bets. How like Dumberica, where the left and the right wager heavily with their emotions as two goliaths of our political system entertain us in a zero-sum game. The media love it too – photo finishes are always more interesting than landslide victories.
Perhaps this is what we should expect from our polarized political system. After all, Superman, born on planet Krypton, would be ineligible to run for President, even if he was a naturalized American citizen. That’s right. The rules of our political system would deny Superman from the highest leadership position in the country. The guy with a singular goal to save the planet from evil, who has more ability in his pinkie than any of us have in every muscle in our body, a man with only one weakness(and it ain’t Lois Lane) isn’t good enough to be President.
Now that’s irony. Or maybe that illustrates the parody in our political system better than any true-to-life explanation could?
I am a bourgeois spiritualist.