May 31, 2007

THE PROOF IS IN THE DONUTS

CaliValleyGirl said she often wants to run off and start her own country. Here's another reason to join her:

Presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton outlined a broad economic vision Tuesday, saying it's time to replace an "on your own" society with one based on shared responsibility and prosperity.

The Democratic senator said what the Bush administration touts as an ownership society really is an "on your own" society that has widened the gap between rich and poor.

"I prefer a 'we're all in it together' society," she said. "I believe our government can once again work for all Americans. It can promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all and special privileges for none."

That means pairing growth with fairness, she said, to ensure that the middle-class succeeds in the global economy, not just corporate CEOs.

"There is no greater force for economic growth than free markets. But markets work best with rules that promote our values, protect our workers and give all people a chance to succeed," she said. "Fairness doesn't just happen. It requires the right government policies.

Great googily moogily. That's an extremely scary worldview.

Of course "fairness doesn't just happen," because what people like Clinton want is fairness of result. And that requires that the government rig the system so that overachievers can't get rich and dumb people don't get poor. What's "fair" about the United States is that anyone who works hard can get rich, or at least move up the economic scale. Just ask the Combodian donut makers, who own upwards of 90% of donut shops in California. They came to this country, invested in a business where they could be successful, and work their tails off:

“It’s not easy work at all. As a family we are working seven days a week, the store is open 24 hours, and we have no family time. It’s tiring,” said a 26-year-old Chinese American who requested anonymity.

No one offered to make things more fair for these people. They came to the US and worked, instead of expecting the government to help them live. And they did it "on their own." I know several people from countries like Poland and Bulgaria who came to the US with the money in their pockets and worked like the dickens to earn every cent they have. If they can do it, anyone can. On their own.

They tried the "'we're all in it together' society" before; it was called the U.S.S.R. And it failed miserably because not everyone wants to work as hard as a Cambodian donut cutter. Is Hilary Clinton really silly-brained enough to think that this is the direction the US should take?

Hey, Cali, if we start this new country, I want the Cambodians to come with us.
Donuts rule.

Posted by: Sarah at 12:56 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 477 words, total size 3 kb.

May 18, 2007

LOSING TOUCH

My husband and I have been discussing parenting constantly since we decided to start a family. Our philosophy is that our job as parents is to turn babies into adults. Our child will be a child for about 1/5th of his life, so the real goal is to mold him into a good adult. Thus we constantly discuss which ways we think we can best achieve this goal.

One thing that does worry me is handing the kid over to a school. I know enough Neal Boortz and John Stossel to be completely disillusioned with public schools. But we also don't want to homeschool, so we generally discuss ways we can supplement our future child's education.

This story about elementary school kids using calculators is just sad. I think technology is great, but it's also taken us far away from the fundamentals. I remember getting a pizza one night and the cash register girl accidentally typed in $200 instead of $20. She couldn't for the life of her figure out how much change to give us without the cash register doing it for her; she had to hunt around for a calculator to do the math. Of course, at my job in college I also saw one girl count on her fingers how many hours her 12-8 work shift was. Sigh.

It's not only a problem with math though. Spell Check has killed our ability to bother looking words up. I had another blogger ask me how I could stand Movable Type since it doesn't have spell check, but if I'm unsure about a word, it only takes ten seconds to open m-w.com and look it up. That's way better than Back In The Olden Days when I actually had to do my homework sitting with a dictionary and a thesaurus. When I was teaching college English, I was just happy if students' papers didn't look like they'd text messaged them to me! Yeah, LOL is not appropriate for a college paper, folks.

We have so much power at our fingertips these days -- to be able to find cosines, definitions, and historical figures with a touch of a button -- but as wonderful as this technology is, I can't help but think sometimes that we're losing our grasp on basic smarts.

Of course, this is coming from the girl who patted herself on the back repeatedly a few weeks ago because she used the Pythagorean Theorem instead of a tape measure to figure out how big her knitting project would be. Look at me, I'm a flippin' math genius.

Posted by: Sarah at 08:20 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 434 words, total size 2 kb.

May 09, 2007

AMERICANIZING SHELLEY

After the conference Saturday night, CVG and I went to see Americanizing Shelley, a movie I had learned about through Andi's World. It was a cutesy little movie, at times a bit corny and formulaic, but I've never been one for romantic comedies anyway. Plus, this formula is no different than The Girl Next Door or Maid in Manhattan, and those are blockbusters, right? I did like a lot of the jokes because my husband and I have many Indian friends, so I felt like I was part of the in-group for the humor. It was just a nice little movie.

But apparently they had a heck of a time getting anyone to buy it. I bet you don't even need three guesses as to why:

One "well-known producer," Miss Gujral says, watched a short work-up of the movie and liked it — for the most part. There was that pro-American element: Must Shelley, the titular foreigner, lose her anti-American stance by movie's end? The producer, shaking his head, said, "Some people never learn."

Another producer, a female, reacted this way to the short film's dedication to "our troops who laid their lives on the line for our freedom": "We can't have that; that's ridiculous. In this climate" — Iraq was going south, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal had erupted — "I'm ashamed to be an American."

I had read this article before I saw the movie, and the entire time all that kept running through my brain is "This, THIS, is what they consider nutty American propaganda?" An Indian girl doesn't like Americans until she gets to the US and finds out we're not all that bad. Sheesh, I've lived that scenario more times than I can count with people from France, Switzerland, etc. I can't tell you how ridiculous it sounds when someone says, "All Americans are X, well, except you...and him...and all the students here in our group." So all Americans are greedy/rude/stupid, except for every single American you've ever met? Riiight. Americanizing Shelley captured that reality perfectly, and that's considering Red State Advertising?

The main character didn't end up hating the US, so the movie pitchers had to "pull a Mel Gibson" and start their own film company. Is every movie supposed to be flippin' Syriana these days? You can't say anything good about Americans without having to resort to selling your own movie?

Even if this movie sucked, I'd tell you to go see it because I want American Pride Films Group to make money. We should all want them to make money so we can at least take steps toward loosening the stranglehold liberalism has on Hollywood. But the movie didn't suck; it was just a decent romantic comedy. With one line about how Americans aren't really so bad. The rest of it is jokes at the expense of white and brown people and everyday ridiculous romantic comedy scenarios. I can't even believe this movie is supposed to stand out for being too kind to America.

I swear, Crocodile Dundee couldn't even get made today.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:27 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 515 words, total size 3 kb.

I WEEP FOR THE FUTURE

Professor Forced Out for Citing George Washington:

A tenured college professor is set to be fired for simply sending out an e-mail to colleagues containing George Washington’s "Thanksgiving Day Proclamation of 1789.”

Already professor Walter Kehowski at Glendale Community College in Arizona has been placed on forced administrative leave and the school’s chief has recommended his termination.

I can relate to this story. In the days after 9/11, I made the naive mistake of forwarding Gordon Sinclair's "The Americans" to my grad school email list. Yeah, not such a good idea on a college campus. While I didn't have a job to lose over it, I sure did bring the heat. One student went off-her-rocker mad, saying I was a racist and disrespectful for sending such garbage around. I was lucky that a couple of other students came to my defense. And, as I've written about before, my favorite professor took me aside and taught me a valuable lesson: "The last place it's OK to be American is in an American university."

What in the hell have we come to when quoting George Washington is now considered "'hostile' and 'derogatory'”?

Posted by: Sarah at 05:54 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 200 words, total size 1 kb.

May 04, 2007

GODSPEED

I turned on the radio yesterday and heard the very tail end of a news report that included a quote from Gene Cernan. I wondered what he could be giving a quote for, but I soon forgot about it. This morning I realized what I had missed: Wally Schirra passed away. Lileks gives a fitting tribute and a lesson in courage.

He's already been to heaven three times, so finding his way now shouldn't be a problem. Godspeed, Mr. Schirra.

apollo7.jpg

Posted by: Sarah at 02:54 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 82 words, total size 1 kb.

<< Page 1 of 1 >>
61kb generated in CPU 0.05, elapsed 0.1575 seconds.
50 queries taking 0.1286 seconds, 187 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.