Sunday, April 25, 2010

Boortz the Boor

Listening to the Neal Boortz show on the radio the other day, I was yet again reminded of what a jerk he can be.

He mentioned being in the supermarket and seeing a large, fat woman with her nine year old little boy and how their grocery cart was filled with junk food. He proudly informed the listening audience that he went up to the little boy and told him that if he ate the type of food in the cart that he would end up big and fat like his mother.


I don't know how he was raised, but I was raised to believe that you never direct criticism of a parent to a child, especially one that young. In my book, what he did was totally reprehensible; hurting a child's feelings with his rudeness about something the child had absolutely no control over.

First of all, what business is it of his what strangers eat? Last time I checked, this was a free country and people are free to eat whatever they can afford to pay for, even if their choices are not the best ones.

Secondly, I highly doubt if he'd have meddled into what was none of his business if the woman had been loading up the cart with booze and cigarettes.

Thirdly, what kind of a fucking coward goes up to a little kid and vents his spleen about a problem he has with the child's mother? Wasn't he man enough to state his opinion directly to her? Was he afraid she'd be better able to defend herself against such cattiness than a defenseless little boy would? Did it make him feel like a big man to hurt a child's feelings?


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Telltale Smarminess

I spend a lot of time in my car so I hear quite a bit of radio advertising. One annoying commercial is for Andy Willoughby's 3 Step Plan for work at home businesses. Every commercial starts off with him saying, "How in the world are you, anyway?" in a smarmy tone of voice that oozes fake sincerity, akin to that of the stereotypical used car salesman.

My instant reaction when I heard his smarmy presentation for the first time was to think, "This guy must be a fundamentalist Christian", even though he never mentioned anything religious on the commercial. I'd never heard of this guy, so when I got home I Googled him. And, sure enough, he's a fundie.

This type of image is common among the fundamentalist set. Many of them try to present an image of golly-gee-whiz wholesomeness, complete with the squeaky-clean Howdy Doody haircuts and deer-in-the-headlight expressions. This is combined with a forced earnestness in their tone of voice, that ends up coming across as smarmy, rather than sincere. I don't know why this is so common among fundamentalists, but I'm always able to spot it in a minute, as I did with these radio commercials.

I have news for them. God doesn't like smarmy.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

China's Demographic Crisis and Foreign Adoptions of Its Children

I recently heard of an old acquaintance who adopted a baby girl from China. I've heard of others in the past who have also done this, with the sex of the child always being female.

After reading several recent news stories about the lopsided sex ratio that China is facing with the current generation coming into adulthood because of the widespread one-child policy and China's traditional preference for boys with the resultant practice of sex-selective abortions, this left me scratching my head. China's rising marriageable generation will have a surplus of 30 million males who will be unable to find brides in a monogamy-only society, yet China is allowing and promoting foreign adoptions of baby girls.

I did a bit of research and China has allowed foreign adoptions since the mid to late 1990s. In 2005 alone, 7000 children were adopted by Americans, and who knows how many more from other countries. Ninety-five percent of the children adopted are female. I can only see this as widening the sex ratio, rather than repairing it.

Does this make the least bit of sense to anyone?

I'm not knocking those from other countries who adopt such baby girls; after all, they do deserve loving homes. But one would think that China would want to do anything in its power to alleviate the current demographic crisis. In previous blog posts, I've suggested polyandry as an immediate solution to the problem, which is highly unlikely to be seriously considered. But I would also think that their government would give incentives for Chinese couples to have preference in adopting these baby girls, in that they'd be doing a patriotic duty by helping to alleviate the demographic crisis.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

An Excess Of Accommodations

Today, I went down to the county offices to pay the property taxes on my house. My county has a new building, opened last year, to conduct most business with the county. This new building is rather spacious, with about fifteen windows for people paying whatever fees applicable. I've been in this building a few times since it opened and there is never a long line.

One thing I immediately noticed the first time I went in there was that every one of the fifteen windows was at dinner table height, so that patrons have to bend way over in order to write out a check, with their butts poked in the air.

I figured that the reason was to make county offices more accessible for those in wheelchairs, an assumption that was confirmed when I asked the clerk about it.

I'm all for building alterations that make public buildings more usable for those with physical limitations, but the way it was done in this particular building was ridiculous. I saw no need to make ALL the windows at wheelchair height; three or four windows would have been more than sufficient, in my opinion. After making this comment to the clerk, she told me that they were obliged to do it this way in order to get federal funds to build the building.

Curious, I looked up demographic statistics once I'd returned home. Out of a total population of about 310 million, only around 2.7 million Americans are in wheelchairs, which tends to support my assertion that far fewer wheelchair-height windows would have been more than sufficient.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Individuality and Political Philosophy


Last night, when listening to Neal Boortz' latest rant-a-thon on the radio, I heard him assert to a caller that most individualists were conservatives and that most liberals were the type to herd with the crowd.

Say what?

In my experience, it's conservatives who tend to be cautious and most concerned with conformity, sticking to traditional ways of doing things and who are suspicious of innovation and new and different ways of doing things. It's liberals who tend think outside the box, to color outside the lines, who look forward instead of back. That's why it's liberals who are called progressives, and not conservatives.

Conservatism tends to be reactive and not proactive. That's why you hear more about what Republicans are against, rather than what they are for. Nearly all innovation and progress in our country (and in many others) has been inspired or generated by liberals who were not satisfied to merely conform to the way things were, but questioned and stepped out into new directions.

It's a conservative spirit that answers "That's the way we've always done it", when someone asks why and wonders why it couldn't be done differently. It's most often a conservative who believes there is one "right" way of doing things that everyone should adhere to.

But of course, Boortz wasn't actually speaking of individuality, per se. He was speaking of a person's focus in what they put first in their lives, as his next words indicated. He jeered at liberals for being concerned with the well being of groups of people, rather than being concerned mainly for themselves. To him, "individuality" doesn't mean having a unique personality, lifestyle, or outlook, but rather, in simply being primarily out for oneself, rather than being concerned with the well being of communities and different groups of people.


If anyone is at all interested, today is my sixth anniversary as a blogger.