Wednesday, December 17, 2008

News Nits

"All the news that's fit to reprint."

For those of us who got tattoos of Al Gore's face on our backs like Mt. Rushmore, when, after inventing the internet, he convinced us all that our polar bears would be sleeping with the fishes -- or something like that -- breathe easy! Or easier. Looks like at least our cars aren't really to blame after all. But it would be nice if Coovo would stop cooking his grilled cheese sandwiches over his coal oven.

Although there is pretty consensus evidence that the earth has warmed by just over a degree in the past 100 years (although even that has been debated by some due to changes in measuring techniques), it's still a bit of a debate as to exactly what is causing that warming and what the effects will be. But let's not actually have a discussion on this -- Guilt is the new American complex, and Fear our newest motivator.

From one computer modeler to another, take the predictions with a grain of salt.

And here's a nice little twist on an old idea. Tired of all that ink your printer uses? I know Roller is. Why not use a new font that has tiny holes in it? Apparently, you'll use about 20% less ink, and you can't even see the holes! How I love the Dutch.

The world is falling apart, right? O'Bama is Time's Man of the Year, already (should they just give it to him for the next 4?). Layoffs are adding up and most major religions are having our main celebrations coming up soon. Maybe the drop in spending will remind us what this season really is about?

When I think of China, I think of poisoned milk, cheap products and a positive, slim version of the internet. Censorship has always struck me as a weird way to go. But what do I know? "Hey China, your breath stinks! What are you gonna do about it?" (Don't worry, this will be censored.)

That's it from News Nits. Talk amongst yourselves, and be respectful... Word to your Moms.


kevin! said...

ry - how can you talk about such topics when 'brain piercings' are just coming into style? oh my...

drain bramage

Roller said...

"Aw crap... we better stop production on the coal-burning Hummer."

-Dick Wagoner

Rye, I was a little confused by the Obama / Time MOY quip. Did you think he didn't deserve it or are you just mocking the adoring press? Either way, I'd have a hard time finding a better candidate.

I love, and while I do trust them, there are so many studies/reports/findings about Al Gore and "The Hole in the Ozone Layer" (whatever that is) that I don't feel it's possible to harden any of my beliefs on the subject yet. But I do appreciate you passing on the info (seriously).

And while we're on the subject of questionable green theories, you many have heard of blackle a Google-powered (and I think Google side project) that has a black background so as not to use as much energy by lighting your monitor with a white background. Well there is actually skepticism that blackle does more good than harm.

So I guess the moral of the story is, trust no one, plant a tree, then burn it, then mash the ashes into coal, wait 10,000 years - the coal is now a diamond! - build a house out of diamonds. The diamonds reflect the sunlight, which repairs the ozone layer, causing Coal Hummers everywhere to break down. Now you're back where you started.

This may have been a little disjointed, but I have been enjoying the Trader Joe's 2008 Select Ale. Brewed by none other than Unibroue.

Ryan said...

Rollz, first off, I dig the self-reference to the loop and the lou. I should try to reference our work in my thesis and see if it gets caught. I already have over 100 references, so I'm guessing they won't check every one.

This hole News Nits came upon me suddenly, so I mean nothing serious by it. News is cool, but most of "news" is pollution, either the gossip of IL governor or super trivial stuff. I tried to encapsulate some stuff I thought was a little interesting.

I think by now you know I hope O'Bama is nothing more than a big joke. If we are lucky, he will be as he has indicated by all of his staff picks -- a continuation of Clinton/Bush business as usual, even endorsed by Cheney! If we are unlucky, he will turn out to be a radical socialist as he was during the primaries, which he won't.

So he's a joke then, but a democratic, black joke, so that makes him cooler and more important, and a man of the year in spite of accomplishing literally nothing to date.

Whatev. And Al Gore is another favorite punching bag of mine. I'd like to think I admire his heart, but he always just seems to go too far, over-reaching his own knowledge but not in the BS way we all do, in a public policy way! His stammering beliefs become laws! What an A-hole.

I've been enjoying some Surly Furious, Rogue Dead Guy, Rogue Shakespeare Stout and some of my home brewed Oktoberfest.

I highly recommend happy blogging. And here's to Nit-Picking in the future...

Roller said...

I'm not sure if you just like picking fights, but...

I would hardly equate being elected the first African-American President in our nation's history to accomplishing nothing, much less call the man a joke.

Time's (and most major news media's) criteria for Man of the Year may differ from yours or anyone else's. They are probably more concerned with who was the most discussed, most newsworthy. There is probably a person or two thousand, who spent 5000 hours this year developing a cure for cancer or something who may be the REAL "Man of the Year". But arguing who Time picks is pointless, it's just a conversation topic.

Coovo said...

Ive been out of "the loop (and the Lou)" so long I don't even get the self-reference. Who is Dick Wagoner?

As for my coal-cooked grill cheese, I can't live without it. And Rollo, I tried cooking over diamonds. It's not the same.

Kevin, your brain damage link didn't work. I was looking forward to seeing a frontal lobe stud.

Austin said...

Mick, why would you hope our President is a big joke?

Ryan said...

"But arguing who Time picks is pointless, it's just a conversation topic."

That's why I brought it up... conversation and arguing purposes. I think never before in my life has the press played as big a part of an election as they have now. To give this award -- whether or not it means anything or anyone cares -- to O'Bama seems self-congratulatory and pre-emptive. So, Rollz, to answer your question this is a press issue AND I don't think he deserves it. He is nothing more than a celebrity right now who has won a popularity contest. He has less public office track record than Sarah Palin (ouch). This headline from Time itself agrees with the pre-emption because so many are just blindly in love with the man:

I wish our Presidents in general weren't jokes, but I hope O'Bama specifically is because he will do the least harm that way. If he is an ambitious and effective liberal, he will do more harm.

Coov, I don't know who Dick Wagoner is either. But never forget, diamond-cooked grilled cheese sandwiches are a girl's best friend.

Gene said...

Sounds rather close-minded, Ry.

Ryan said...

Geno, c'mon, you need to do better than that. "Close minded" is one of the naughty words of our age, used to intimidate people into either shutting up or changing their tune, but it really doesn't mean much as its used, eh?

I'm surely not close minded any more than I could accuse you of being gullible or indifferent, but again, those aren't opinions, just name-calling reactions. I don't hold the traditional press in high regard, so I think the award itself isn't worth much. But I stand behind the pre-emptive and self-congratulatory comments. Comparing O'Bama to world leaders like Putin is silly (although Time also gave the award to "You", which shows how lost they are).

And I do think that the main criteria to use these days when picking presidents is who will do the least harm? They should take the hippocratic oath themselves.

Unfortunately, my opinion is formed on a ton of information and whatever little experience I do have. I would enjoy hearing your opinion all up in these comments.

Gene said...

You're right, I do need to do better than that, so let me briefly clarify. In my five word incomplete sentence, I never called you anything. All I stated was that your statements (implied) sound close minded. That IS an opinion, and it is not intended to be name-calling.

What I failed to state clearly was what in your words I found to be that way. I have no qualm with your premise that the media is quite liberal as a whole, and your belief that media outlets had an important, even deciding factor in the election is interesting. I could care less about the Time Man of the Year (insert your "indifferent" name-calling here,) but your complaint of basically anointing Obama as the Man of the Year prior to making a single Presidential decision is fair.

What I find close minded is your view that Obama is a joke. By doing so, I feel you are dumbing down every person who voted for him.

Ryan said...

Geno, thanks for clarifying, now I understand your point.

I must just say, it's a tough point, though. Do you hold that anyone who ever criticizes O'Bama or any other President also is dumbing down anyone who voted for that person? I think that's a little unreasonable, because it turns it all personal and restricts debate.

At the same time, I guess I do think a lot of people will prove to be fooled by O'Bama the same way a lot of people were fooled by Bush. Calling O'Bama a joke was just a reflection that he appears to be going against everything he ran for -- at least in the primaries -- the same way Bush did, and Clinton. O'Bama the chameleon. A major difference, though, is that no one held Bush-elect as highly as they are holding O'Bama-elect. This man is a meta-savior to many in our country, and again he has done nothing but win a popularity contest so far against a very unpopular opponent/party.

I think our whole nation is dumbed down by this process, yes, not just O'Bama supporters.

Gene said...

No, I don't think that anyone who criticizes a President is necessarily dumbing down his supporters. I agree that would be unreasonable.

I meant to comment on the sound, or tone, of your argument. I think one could make the argument that calling him a joke also restricts debate because you are potentially judging him prior to any substantive action by the man. Just as chiseling a fifth head with big ears in South Dakota is rash and premature, calling him a joke seems the opposite end of the spectrum.

You know me. I like to hang out the middle and be friends with everyone. I just need a hug, Ry.

Gene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan said...

Ah, Geno, your point is well taken. I certainly do not mean to end debates, quite the opposite.

As for hugs, there will be plenty of them available at the Sports Attic tonight. And by "hugs", I mean beers and MU basketball.

jimbarn99 said...

Oh, Ryan. I've known you for too long. You are funny. But very smart and well informed. I actually agree that I think a lot of people will be "fooled" by how Obama actually governs. I think almost anyone who is elected President will "fool" some of his supporters. It is the difference between making statements during an election process (where one has no responsibilities and the whole point is to craft the words as carefully as possible to capture the most votes) and actually governing and having your words and actions carry real consequences (like people getting killed, losing their jobs, countries taking over other countries, etc). I must say your comments have the tone of rooting against the American President, which frankly I think is wrong. My dad - a straight ticket Palin Repub - isn't even rooting against Obama. But your certainly entitled to that view.

Coov: think it is Rick Wagoner - the CEO of GM.

Oh, also - is the Illinois governor thing really "gossip"? Maybe I didn't understand this comment, but a governor of a major state is accused of attempting to sell a senate seat to the highest bidder. And oh, by the way, the vacated senate seat used to belong to the next President. Seems like a pretty big story to me. Now, if you are talking about the way the main stream press covers such a story, then we are probably in agreement. Generally, CNN gets a conservative and a liberal on and let them yell at each other for 5 min and that is delivering the news.

How about the Yanks huh? Pretty amazing. I read that they have 9 guys making more than $13MM/year. Which, in total, these 9 guys have the highest payroll in the majors. And they probably still won't win the WS.

Merry Christmas.

Ryan said...

Jim, to be clear, I couldn't care less about Barack O'Bama succeeding or failing personally. He seems like an interesting and nice guy. But in that sense, I'm not "rooting" one way or another for him.

To the extent I hold the health of our nation higher than the personal political success of any politician and to the extent that as far as I can tell, any "success" by our president-elect will be measured in terms of greatly expanding our federal government and our debt, then I am against him.

But my original point here was that it is a shame so many people, including the "media", are holding O'Bama up as this sort of meta-savior.

The harder they come...

Your points on CNN "news" are dead on, and a huge source of my personal frustration with the status quo. The fact that so many people in our demographic get their news from the Daily Show is not as much a testament to John Stewart but a sad revelation that he actually handles the news better than the news stations.

Blago is gossip in the way it is handled. Some years ago, the media made a switch in approach that dramatically altered the way news was fed to us. Everything had to be a "human interest" story, which has laid the foundation for gossip style reporting.

The fact that Blago comes from a long line of corrupt IL politicians makes the story less newsworthy than it is. It's not exactly front page news. No one's getting better off for following it closely.

I really hope Roller puts up a baseball post soon....

G. Smith said...

I've been out of the loop and lou for a spell - I think there needs to be a specific word for that...

Ryan I appreciate your cynicism - I agree that we're not likely to see radical change in overall Democratic policy over the next 4-8 years, and who knows how successful these recovery packages will turn out to be...but I don't think he'll turn out to be a joke. I think we will see a very large health care reform package pass, and I also think that creating 3 million jobs building infrastructure will be a massive, but possible, undertaking.

Regardless, I wanted to suggest that one of the things Obama has accomplished, and possibly one of the reasons Time put him on the cover, is putting together a powerful movement of people. The Obama campaign to organize an unprecedented number of people. Two weeks ago there were 10,000 Obama house parties across the country - this was 2 months after he's already won. The challenge now is to see if he can keep up that excitement with his team of mainliners.

anyway, I'm ready for baseball,(or beer - I've been on a seasonal tour lately, Pyramid's SnowCap ale is still at the top, but I really enjoyed Schlafly's Christmas Ale - BTW - is InBev going to leave STL high and dry?)