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Archive for the ‘Politcal: Just a Little or A Lot’ Category

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  I love seeing pictures of friends and family and learning what they are up to.  I love funny jokes, videos and shares of memes, podcasts and things gone viral (whatever any of that means).  But I hate, and I mean HATE, drive-by opinion sharing.  If you are reading this, yes, I get the irony.

Clinton sucks!  Trump supporters are idiots!  Don’t believe this!  Don’t believe that!  It all sums up to “I’m screaming my opinion so that everyone can know where I stand!”  So, as I write this “scream of my opinion” I ask the question, “Why must so many of us do this?”  We have basically all turned into virtual bumper stickers, and I don’t want to be a bumper sticker (roll credits).

There isn’t nuance online.  We lose the often necessary emotional attachment of our words online (which sometimes is a good thing).  We can be lost in sarcasm online.  But most importantly, in these short sound bytes, we lose the particulars/details that can drive a point home properly.  It is the thing I struggle with the most when I teach biology to undergraduates.

For example, evolution is a complicated subject.  You can take an entire year of class on the subject, but yet many will make opinions, strong opinions about the subject because of what they learned online, TV, or quite frankly in a classroom.  I teach evolution in all of my classes, but it is difficult to to teach it in its entirety when its practically impossible to do so.  So, students are left with the best that they can make out of it, and unfortunately, they will have gaps in their knowledge, but think they do not have gaps.  Heck, I have gaps, and I teach the stuff, how can they not possibly understand that they too have gaps?

So, what’s the answer?  I don’t know, but I know it’s not Facebook, nor instagram, or whatever the kids are using these days.  I believe in relationships.  I believe in time.  Strangers are way less likely to listen to my words than friends.  I believe in talking over dinner, beer, or coffee.  I believe in being open-minded.  My mind must be able to listen to others with the real possibility that my mental framework can change based on what I hear.  It may not, but I must believe that it can change.

Here is the bet I am willing to make every single time.  If you vote for Trump, you didn’t do your research.  If you vote for Clinton, you didn’t do your research.  If you vote, you didn’t do your research.  I won’t win that bet everytime, but I am winning it more than 75% of the time.  But I guess the main point of my blog is that research is not a bumper sticker.  Whether read on a car, or read on a post, it’s still just a bumper sticker.  The volumes of information available on multiple subjects, simply can’t be summed up in a blog, a post, nor a sound byte (yes, I know I am spelling it this way).

I’m a pretty smart guy.  I know a lot about a lot of things.  But the most important thing that I know, is that I don’t know a lot about a lot.  I find the bumper stickers of life, politics, Facebook, etc., dangerous to society.  How important is it to believe in certain things?  In other words, if I disagree with you on a subject does it hurt society?  It’s not the disagreements that bother me, it’s the us versus them mentality that bothers me.  The bumper sticker, the post, the tweet, the politcal sound byte tells the world which team you are on.  It’s not about sharing.  It’s not about opening discussion.  It’s about declaring sides.  I’ll talk to just about anybody about anything, but it needs to be in-person, or at the very least on the phone.  So, give me call.  (Terrible ending for this blog.  Oh well, what you going to do?)

On a related note.  Vote!  Because what else you going to do?


My son and I drove passed some cotton fields two days ago.  Cotton fields are HUGE!!  Do you have any idea how big cotton fields are?  Also we passed by bales of cotton.  They were HUGE!!  Do you have any idea how big bales of cotton are?  Cotton is also very prickly.  Dangerous for the hands and there are millions of bolls of cotton in the field.  My perspective on “picking cotton” has never been more adjusted.

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So, my son was reading a book online about winter activities.  Keep in mind, we are not those kind of parents.  We don’t have a family where the son is reading a book online and the daughter is in her room playing with dolls.  Of course, at this time, that was exactly what was happening.  Even a blind squirrel finds a nut.  Anyhoo, my son reads a book online, then listens to the program narrator read the book, and then takes a quiz on the book.  I know.  Kind of nerdy, right?  He loves it!  He gets points for books read and quizzes correctly answered.  It is called Raz Kids.  I highly recommend it.  Besides, if you met my son, you would know, he is anything but a nerd, not that there is anything wrong with that.

In the book, the narrator kept referring to building a snow person.  A snow person?  You mean building a snowman?  I am not exactly anti political correctness, but sometimes I think we go a little overboard with being politically correct.  Are people truly offended by the term, snowman?  Are little girls not growing up to their full potential because of the lack of snowwomen examples in their lives?  Give me a freakin’ break!

I believe in gender issues.  I will be the first person to tell you that images on TV and movies are ridiculous.  I hate the fact that any girl clothing I buy for my daughter is pink.  My daughter doesn’t like pink, and that should be OK.  I think it is disappointing that the only images of women on TV are thin blonde, overly ethnic aggressive, or too jolly fat women.  The reality is that people like female stereotypes.  If you don’t believe me, look at the money made by movies in which women are not played as stereotypes, i.e., Princess and the Frog (see previous blog on this subject).  My three-year-old daughter wanted a doll house for Christmas.  The doll house options made me want to throw up in my mouth a little bit.  You know what I got her?  Scratch that.  You know what Santa brought to our house?  My daughter received a Doc McStuffins Clinic.

Best dollhouse EVER!

Best dollhouse EVER!

It looks just like a house, but it is really a doctor’s house with a female black doctor.  You can’t beat that!  My point is that I believe in gender equality, but I refuse to support the term, snow person.  Why?  Because of the simple fact that all snow beings are male.  How do I know?  Snow balls. I rest my case.

 

 

 

 

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Can you imagine if we take this to the next level?  Hey everyone, let’s go outside and have a snow genitals fight!  Talk about a sign of the apocalypse.  I’m just sayin’ …

Then again, maybe they are gender neutral.  Anatomically correct?

Then again, maybe they are gender neutral. Anatomically correct?  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

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So, first of all, “Hello, it’s been a long time.  How have you been?”  I have not blogged in a long time.  It is not because I have not had things to blog about, I most certainly have (e.g., when my five-year-old was singing the “My Friend Penis” song, or recently when a stranger tried to talk to be about politics on the tee box.  I don’t care if we were planning on voting for the same person, totally uncalled for), but I have not had the energy or motivation to blog.

I don’t know if my lack of motivation is related to the recent passing of my father, but I have definitely been off since the summer.  I am not crying and wailing every night, but something is definitely different, a new normal if you will.  It will be interesting when I return home for Thanksgiving.  Regardless, your continued prayers and well wishes are always appreciated.  Now, without further ado, on to the blog du jour.

So, I am convinced that people have lost their minds.  If you are super excited and overcome with joy because your man got re-elected, then something is wrong with you.  If you are super depressed and think the world is going to end and everyone is stupid for re-electing the president, then something is wrong with you.  The world has not ended.  The apocalypse is not upon us, nor is Jesus coming back today, or at least not since I last checked outside.  I refuse to be left behind, although I have mixed feelings about whether or not Kirk Cameron gets left behind.  The beauty of the American political system is its resiliency.  The checks and balances, for the most part, prevent any one person from destroying the country.  And if you are reading this and immediately thinking how wrong I am, then pick up a newspaper and read a little about just about any other country in the world and tell me I am wrong.  Feel lucky that you got to vote without fear of danger.  Feel lucky that you get to be pissed and angry and complain to anyone who will listen to you about how bad you think of our country’s leaders.  Because if you lived somewhere else and did that, you would be pulled from your home in your sleep and no one will ever hear from you again (You know, now that I think about it, maybe that is not such a bad idea for some of you).

So, for you right-wing conservatives, here is a little message from a book that you might have heard of, The Bible:

Romans 13:1 – Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

And for added measure:

1 Timothy 2:1-4 – I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Now I realize that all of my readers do not read nor care about the Bible, but I know those that do.  And for you non-Bible readers, the word according to Brett is, “Don’t be stupid.  You don’t know every damn thing.”  So, let me leave you with a few thoughts that I had about the election and the whole process:

THINGS I THINK

You can’t be anti-government and brag about how you built your business without any help.  Because if you don’t need the government, then why do you care who is in office?

Law of Unintended consequences – Encourage voting, and guess what, people vote, but not always the way you want.  Now you can begin suppressing voters, especially, minorities and women.  Go ahead, I dare you.

On a further note, I am bugged by the pundits saying that Obama won just because of minorities.  It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that people preferred his ideas, would it?

Regardless of side, no one is 100% right.  It just isn’t that simple.

People are way too comfortable about making political comments on Facebook and in public.  I really don’t care what your opinion is, and I certainly don’t like the way you are expressing it.  That is why I like blogs, you can read my blog or not, but it is hopefully not in your face.

My sons are Obama fans.  They both predicted that he would win.  It makes me wonder if anyone can be raised unbiased.  They are likely to vote the way we vote, possibly without seriously considering their decision.  Are most people like this?  I am afraid it is probably the case.  It kind of makes me sad.

My sister just texted me. “Barack to the Future.”  I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.

As I watched the different campaigns, and this includes the democratic and republican conventions, I thought to myself, if I go to a party, I hope it is a democrat party.  ‘Cause ain’t no party like a democrat party, cause a democrat party don’t stop.

I watched Fox News during the election, and I liked their coverage.  I was shocked.  It was surprisingly balanced.  And then I watched Fox News in the morning.  Is it me, or are they racist?  I am sorry, but I have watched the morning show multiple times, and I am usually offended either by their words, their tone, or both within the first five minutes.  I first thought it was the entire network, but maybe it is just the morning crew.

One thing that the election and Wesley Snipes has taught us, “Always bet on black.” – I’m just sayin’ …

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Happy Christmas!

So, supposedly there is a war on Christmas, at least if you believe  anything that Fox News says.  Of course, I don’t believe Fox News for  most things as they make more news than they report on.  What is even a more cruel twist of fate, evil irony, or just plain devil incarnate (Can  you tell how I feel about Fox News?) is that they report on the news  that they make up.  If you pay attention, you will discover this for  yourself, you do not have to believe me.

A war on Christmas? Really?  Here is the big issue, they hate the fact  that people are saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas.  So,  freaking what!?!  Are you telling me that if people suddenly begin to  say Happy Holidays instead of Christmas than the United States of  America will suddenly become a Muslim state?  Seriously?  Do you think  the Jewish people are complaining that people are saying Merry Christmas?  Find me one, just one! They don’t care.  What about the  Muslims?  Contrary to what Fox News might tell you, the Muslims that  live here, want to be here and like it here.  As a matter of fact, go  to your local Muslim owned gas station, and you know what will be  written on their windows?  That’s right, Merry Christmas.  They are not stupid, they know that their culture and belief system will not be  destroyed by experiencing the local culture, which is Christmas.

Santa the God Destroyer

The funny thing is, you know what is really killing Christmas?  Fox  News, no, just kidding.  Seriously, the killer of Christmas is Santa  Claus.  For those of you that may not be aware, Christmas is the  celebration of the birth of Baby Jesus.  Santa and the shopping season  as so destroyed that concept that many people who I know make comments like, “We don’t have Santa with our kids.  We are not Christian.”  That is an actual quote from a person that I know.  The idea that people  equate Santa and the commercialism of gifts and Christianity is the  real killer of Christmas.  If you know me, or read my blog, you  probably know that I am a Christian and we celebrate the birth of Jesus in our home and I don’t give a flying Fahrvergnügen if you say Happy Holidays or not.  Why should I care?  You can say Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, or Rad Ramadan (you like that? Just made it up) to me and it won’t affect my beliefs.  The biggest lesson that most people need to learn is that “What you do ain’t got nothin’ to do with me!”  So, don’t let Fox News convince you that you are doing something wrong by saying “Happy Holidays”.  Since when did it become wrong to care about not hurting other people’s feelings.  As a matter of fact, it sounds like something Jesus would do.

Oh, and you left-wing, tree-hugging, liberals, I got something for you  too.  Chill out!  Do you know what the most popular holiday in the US is?  That’s right, Christmas.  And that’s a fact.  Well, I don’t know if it’s a fact, but I do know that if you are off of work right now, it is because of Christmas.  You know why?  Because you live in the United States of Frickin America, that’s why.  If I lived in Israel, do you think I would be complaining about Hanukkah?  Like it or not, if you live in the US then deal with the fact that Christmas is popular.  So, say Merry Christmas!  If you are offending someone, just say “Sorry, my bad, I did not realize that by saying Merry Christmas I was rejecting your culture, or claiming that your religion was wrong.  Or maybe you are just a little too sensitive about what I say as a greeting?  Maybe you need to reevaluate what you believe in if a two-word salutation by me is going to rock your faith or lack thereof.  Or maybe, just maybe, you need to be worrying less about what I am saying and more about how you can spend more times with your kids and wife instead of worrying about what other people are saying or doing.  Now, get out of my face before I go Bad Santa all over your ass.  Oh and by the way, Merry Christmas!”

So, the moral of this story is do what you got to do.  Say Happy 
Holidays if you like, you will not destroy Christmas.  Say Merry 
Christmas, and if someone is offended, then say sorry and move on, or try my suggestion above.  Regardless, I hope you have a great and loving time with your friends and family this holiday season.  And I believe that Gumby said it best, “Merry Christmas Damn It!”

Eddie Murphy as Gumby. Awesome!

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Over Thanks giving, my got mad because I hated the fact that I had to wait in line as a kid at the grocery store while she ran off and got something she forgot.  She pointed out that I didn’t mind it when she waited in line at Disneyland so that me and my friends did not have to wait going from ride to ride.  She is right, but I still hold to the fact that I hated it.  But it makes me think of my own kids as we take them to Mall of America for Christmas Eve, spend hours upon hours looking for the items that we know they want, or drive from place to place so they can go sledding, see friends, or go to the mall with friends.  And they have no idea what we go through to make them happy.  Just as I did not appreciate my mom waiting in lines for me at Disneyland, neither my kids will appreciate until they have kids.  Nonetheless, as parents, it is what we do.  Thanks Mom!  And Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.  I’m just sayin …

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I’m in Minneapolis right now, and it is the freakin’ ice age up here.  There is like 2-3 feet of snow on the ground and it keeps snowing.  What amazes me every year is the number of black people who I see living here.  Black folks and snow? Who knew?  I get the white folks.  They are crazy, but the black folks?  What is the world coming too?  I’m just sayin (Part Deux) …

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So, yesterday was election day.  I wish I had more time to give this post the attention it deserves, but it is either a quick post or no post at all.

Our neighbor has a “Vote Pro-Life” sign.  I hate it.  I hate signs in the yard in general.  I also hate bumper stickers.  Not the funny ones, but any bumper sticker that tells me any information about you.  I don’t care about you, and I especially don’t care how smart your kid is or who you plan on voting for, but I digress.  The reason I bring up the sign is because I think voting for anyone because of ONE issue is asinine.  I will NEVER vote for a person because of their stance on abortion, but people do, and I don’t get this.  First of all, no one, neither Republican nor Democrat has touched Roe v. Wade, but most of all, how can an entire politician be summed up by one political stance?  I also find it fascinating that many that are pro-life are also pro-death penalty.  People say, “I’m pro-life because murder is wrong and I am pro death penalty because murder is wrong.” WHAT !?!?  This kind of hypocrisy sickens me.

The other issue I hate are people who vote their party.  How does this make sense?  Are you telling me that ALL Republicans are right and ALL Democrats are wrong, or vice versa?  This is stupid.  If I told you I was Democrat and pro-life (a stupid phrase by the way) would your head explode?  Think about it, who isn’t pro-life?  We are all pro-life, unless we are psycho, just differ on the role of government in the woman’s womb.  Huh? I wonder if we can call pro-choice people Tea Partyist, because they want to reduce government in the womb?

My whole point is that the system is broken, people are crazy and stupid, and no one truly knows what is going on.  This makes me sad, because at the end of the day, people are either voting with little information about the candidates, voting blindly for their party, voting based on who Fox News tells them to vote for, or are not voting at all.  And one wonders why things get so screwed up in this country.

And why does running for election require so much money?  Are you telling me that with the “free” technology of the internet, one could not get their message across to millions of people without spending millions of dollars?  Here is a simple campaign reform: No one is allowed to spend more than $50,000.  Third party commercials/advertising is illegal.  Major parties can still hold conventions to select a candidate.  Anyone found to accept money from outside sources will be disqualified.  Debates are paid for by a government fund and each candidate gets to run ONE 20-second commercial also paid for by a government fund.  Simple.  How would this NOT work?  Eliminate money, and maybe, just maybe, we will get politicians that will do what is right and not try to placate their money sources.

I’m sick, just sick with our current system, and no I am NOT a communist, I just think we are smart enough, we have the technology, and have evolved to do better.  Just my opinion.

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Do you read the Harry Potter books?  Remember when there was a new Minister of Magic (or something like that) and when he got in office there was this talking painting that told him all the secrets of the previous Ministers?  His response was like, “Why wasn’t I told about this before I took office?”  And the talking painting asked him “Are you going to tell the next guy all this?”  I think there is a talking painting of George Washington in the Oval Office that tells each President secrets.  Remember when Obama said he would make government transparent.  I think painting George has told him some crazy stuff, and Obama’s reactions was, “Shoot, I can’t tell people this.”  What other explanation is there for EVERY president NOT doing what they said they would.  There is a talking painting in there, I know it!  What other explanation can there be?  I’m just sayin …

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