Monday, November 26, 2007

Maher On Religion

One of my Hero's on religion

Bill Maher:

When you were a kid and they were telling you whatever you believe in religion, do you think if they had switched the fairy tales that they read to you in bed with the Bible, you would know the difference?

Do you think if it was the fairy tale about a man who lived inside of a whale and it was religion that Jack built a beanstalk today, you would know the difference? Why do you believe in one fairy tale and not the other? Just because adults told you it was true and they scared you into believing it, at pain of death, at pain of burning in hell

see full article of transcript from scarborough country

Australian Greenpeace

Recent elections have caused quite a stir in regards to US-Australian relations. With the election of Labor party candidate Kevin Rudd, the Australian voting public have sent a strong message to the US by electing an environmental politician who will not stand next to the US with the Kyoto Protocol. The British Greenpeace Blog reported also about the Australian government working to heavily lower their dependence on coal energy by shutting down many plants and have started trying to use new reusable energy as a source for their country. This seems to be just another step in the downfall of America's reputation around the world.
Many other countries have stopped their support for the US either by publicly criticizing us or by pulling out their troops from Iraq. Much like Iran did with the election of a figure who was very disliked by Americans, Australia seems to have followed step. You have to wonder how President Bush sees this, or if he even chooses to see this at all. History will vindicate him is his train of thought, but we may be hated for many years to come and this could strongly effect the policies carried out by future administrations. I have to believe in the latter, as this seems to be a continuing trend in the way we are viewed.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

All the President's Men

I recently had the opportunity to view the film "All the President's Men" starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. Based on the real life story of the journalists behind the Watergate scandal, this movie tells the story of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's quest to get to the bottom of the scandal. The movie tells the story quite superbly as it shows the reporters going through painstaking research as well as getting involved in some action scenes. Relating this film to current day media may be difficult, but we can see aspects of this past story of investigative journalism in what many reporters do today.
Although newspapers are no longer that popular with the younger generation, and seem to be getting even less, that does not mean that the style of reporting we saw in "All the President's Men" is not there. It is simply harder to find. Most of what we find would be seen on television, as major stories are hardly ever broken on the newspaper anymore now that we have around the clock news channels. Although people like Dan Rather claim that they are just a tool to read the news, there are people like Edward R. Murrow who will put themselves on the line to lead investigations into problems in the political arena. There are still Edward R. Murrow's' out there just as there are Bob Woodward's and there are Carl Bernstein's', it's just more difficult to find them.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

America's Next Top...What?

At a certain Point in Wednesday's Episode of America's Next Top Model, I said to myself "What am I watching and what would my 14 year old sister think". Within the first ten minutes of the episode, all the girls were in skin tight body suits, crawling across the floor on kneepads (so they would not hurt themselves), seductively glancing at the multiple cameras in the room. I just don't understand how this passes for actual prime time television. Maybe the fact that the show is followed up by an episode of the CW's newest teenage hit Gossip Girl. The title says it all. Coming out of a commercial, the girls (still dressed in skin tight body suits that look an awful lot like skin) jump up and down in a huge huddle screaming "America's Next Top Model". This is followed up by a celebrity encounter with Enrique Iglesias as he puts them all in his newest music video, choosing one based solely on looks as his counterpart in the video.

Midway through the episode, one of the top females in the competition (heather) becomes sick and very pale on the set of the music video. She is told basically that she needs to eat more and needs to drink being as skinny as she is in the hot atmosphere. Isn't this the dealer preaching to the addict. Sure you have a plus sized model on the show, but that does not make up for the fact that you are blatantly exploiting females strictly on their bodies. When half the show is based on near nudity and sexual positions, 2 lines in the middle of the show does not make up for this. All but one person on the show is extremely skinny and that is unhealthy. Other models acted surprised when this happened to Heather, but I am pretty sure that many of the viewers at home could have seen this coming.

I believe it goes without saying, but my thoughts are that this has a terribly negative impact on the socialization of girls. It is nice that they seem to care enough to put in an "overweight" model, but that overweight model is still the same size as many normal sized girls in today's society. Girl's will be seeing this and likely dressing flashily like they did in the music videos, or dancing like rap video girls as many of the background dancers did when Enrique walked by. While parents should be monitoring shows like this from their children, the fact that a show about modeling and dressing very provocatively is on at 8 pm on a Wednesday says something about society today.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


The Sullivan Times recently posted a report by Andrew Sullivan himself on the candidacy of Barack Obama vs. that of Hilary Clinton. He tells of Barack's many positions that differ from that of Hilary, then discusses why he is a better candidate. I am sorry Mr. Sullivan, as I appreciate a great deal of the posts you make, but this one I feel is wrong. The reason Mr. Obama is not afraid of the conservative right is because he has not been in office long enough to be afraid of them. Obama is not the one fresh face because of what he believes. Heck No! He is one fresh face because he is new to it. Hilary is a seasoned veteran when it comes to the political life, and she knows how to deal with criticisms along with praises.

I don't think the Republican wing really wants to fight against Hilary Clinton like they did early in this campaign. She has come on very strong as of lately, and on top of that, none of the republican candidates could likely stand a chance against her. Be that as it may, they could likely use the experience factor against someone like Barack Obama. The major problem with these two candidates is that neither can likely win in the south, Hilary Clinton having a much smaller chance then Barack.

What disturbs me about this essay is that Sullivan did not even mention the candidate who is only a few points behind Obama...John Edwards. John Edwards seems to be the best bet for the democrats if they wish to have a chance in some southern swing states, and if they really want to win an election. His beliefs are more moderate then most of the other candidates, yet still very liberal with a major platform of his being universal health care. This is why I am supporting John Edwards for president.