Blue McCaws

DW BannerI have to say that Disney World does it right. They go out of their way to insure that everyone has a good time. One of those unique experiences was the McCaws at Animal Kingdom. A dozen birds seem to land on command so these smiling young ladies can tell us about them and of course so we can take pictures. Then a few minutes later they all take flight only to return a few hours later for more guests.

Disney McCaws.jpg

Risk Taking…

2016-03-06_09-29-51.pngThere is a big portion of our population who are just risk averse. They shutter at the very idea of risk or almost any other change for that matter.  Risk to them is to be avoided at all costs.  Most of these risk averse people are conservative in nature and politics.

When I was in the corporate world I worked for such a company. They stated “We want you to take risks but just don’t ever fail!” I could never understand how they could not see the absurdity of that statement?

Trying something  new is basically going against the grain of common day knowledge. Risk taking is the fodder of innovation in the the world and it is equally important in each of our personal lives.  Doing what is always comfortable is soothing to some but it almost always leads to stagnation. Making mistakes is just part of life, it is part of living. To learn from those mistakes is what life is all about.

If you never fail then you really aren’t taking any risks….

The World of Pretend…

2016-03-26_12-51-39.pngA good portion of my life was spent around someone who lived in a world of pretend. My mother was that person. She abandoned me, my brother, and her husband when I was about ten years old to marry someone much richer who could provide her with the luxuries she so wanted in life.  I would not have any sort of relationship with her again until twenty years later when that husband divorced her to marry his much younger secretary.

It was not until this re-introduction that I realized that she primarily lived in a world of pretend.  Reality had little to do with her mentality. She lived in a dream world of her own making. Since she left school at the age of fifteen to bare her first child it is unlikely that she ever graduated from high school. But to her that was not her reality. Throughout her life she made up stories about how she was a doctor, a head nurse at a prominent hospital, and a myriad of other occupations and circumstances.

She was pretty much a bigot and did not have much room for empathy in her life. But to show that she wasn’t she would occasionally “adopt” a person of lower standing than she perceived herself to be.  But then she would drop them as quickly as she adopted them. In reality she very seldom looked beyond herself for any reason.  I would later learn that she was the epitome of a narcissist. She lived in her own world of pretend throughout her life. Tragically, in the end she became an extremely spiteful person who looked down on everyone and everything around her. I was the only one of her four children that had any kind of a relationship with her and even that was very limited in the final year.  I think she finally discovered that the world of pretend was a cage, not a cocoon and that was devastating to her ego.

In a way I am thankful that she was in my life, it gave me a perspective of what I didn’t want to be. To counter her narcissism I went the other direction and became an empath. I purposely try to always tell things as I believe them to be. I probably do this to a fault. I just don’t want to ever want to live in a pretend world.

The world of pretend is in itself not a bad place, but when it invades and even takes over the real world it becomes a strangling cage.

 

The Most Important People in Cable News…

2016-03-26_11-33-18It seems I have been hearing a lot of background talk about the cable news anchors. Many seem to be troubled by all the young females who are now figureheads in that media. I don’t have a poll to prove it but I hear most of these comments coming from women.  They just seem to be the most disgusted. Maybe its because too many guys just like watching the eye-candy instead of trying to listen to a knowledgeable source.

I personally have never been that very impressed with any of the talking heads of news, even the network variety. The main skill for that job position has always seemed to be to look good and to be able to read a teleprompter.  But, even I have noticed the drastically lowered bar in this area.  The graphic to the right show I am not the only one, especially but not exclusively for Fox News.

I am old enough to remember when most news organizations both print and video attempted to remain unbiased in their reporting. It was a shock to hear ABC’s David Brinkley say to what he thought was an off mic how little he thought of President Clinton.  It sent shock waves throughout the industry.  But then Fox News, owned by a very conservative Rupert Murdock came upon the scene and changed everything.  They aggressively fought to become the news rather than just report it. Since their ratings went up because of their bias others quickly followed. Now it is rare indeed to NOT hear a Brinkley type comment come from every “reporters” lips.

Things have changed drastically of the last couple of decades in how and what we receive as news.  The cable news networks now seem to be more of a beauty contest than anything else.  Every anchor and most reporters are young and mostly attractive women who have probably had little or no experience in investigative journalism or any journalism for that matter.

Maybe all of this is what has been driving so many to the Web for their daily news. I admit that I spend probably an hour a day perusing my pre-chosen websites to see what is happening. I just can’t stomach the video version much any more. That is except for the PBS Newshours.  I just prefer my news without all the eye-candy.

Now to get to the opening question of this post, who is the most important person in cable news today?  The answer seems to be the makeup artists for the talking heads and all those young blond reporters.

2016-03-26_11-28-47.png

The Reincarnation of Paul Ryan??

I’m glad to see that the newly minted Speaker of the House Paul Ryan it finally shedding himself of the Take/Maker mentality and seems to have some compassion for those less fortunate in our society.  Now if his action back up his words something might actually be accomplished by this GOP do nothing congress.

Nobody does fear quite like the GOP, whether it’s fear of criminals, fear of terrorism, or fear of foreigners. “People with different ideas are not traitors”? Tell that to the Republican politicians and conservative media figures who have been saying for the last seven years that Barack Obama is intentionally trying to destroy America because he hates it so much.

So good for him for making that clear. But then Ryan went even further:

I’m certainly not going to stand here and tell you I have al2016-03-25_18-18-37.pngways met this standard. There was a time when I would talk about a difference between “makers” and “takers” in our country, referring to people who accepted government benefits. But as I spent more time listening, and really learning the root causes of poverty, I realized I was wrong. “Takers” wasn’t how to refer to a single mom stuck in a poverty trap, just trying to take care of her family. Most people don’t want to be dependent. And to label a whole group of Americans that way was wrong. I shouldn’t castigate a large group of Americans to make a point.

In case you weren’t aware, Ryan was once an Ayn Rand acolyte who made all his interns read Atlas Shrugged, and who used to talk not only about makers and takers but about how safety net programs are “a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency, that drains them of their will and their incentive to make the most of their lives.” You see, when the government pays a wealthy person’s mortgage interest, that’s just promoting home ownership, which is good for America. But when it gives out food stamps to poor people so they can feed their families, it’s allowing them to become leeches whose very spirit has been diminished.

I’m glad that Ryan no longer uses that language and has the courage to admit that using it was wrong.But the natural question is, how many of his policy ideas have changed? And the answer is that most of them haven’t. Ryan does want to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is great. But he also still wants to turn programs like Medicaid and food stamps into block grants that would allow states to slash benefits. And he still wants to turn Medicare into a poorly-funded voucher program that could leave vulnerable seniors unable to afford health coverage.

That’s not to mention that despite his more expansive thoughts about Americans who are struggling, Ryan remains the firmest of friends to the wealthy.

SOURCE:  Paul Ryan has seen the light on Republican divisiveness. There’s only one problem..

Since this is a long quote I will for the most part let it speak for me except to say that I am thrilled that Mr. Ryan is backing away from his Ayn Rand adoration and the “maker/taker” philosophy. He is finally growing up it seems but maybe too late to save his crumbling party.