The Collected Thoughts and Musings of an Aspiring Political Philosopher

Friday, February 27, 2009

Binge Consumerism: Shhh! Not supposed to say that!

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OK, so let me get this straight... the most important thing in a 376-page document produced by the White House Middle Class Task Force was one page left out of the summary that went to the decision-makers... because it's a political hot potato??? What, like the brain-dead obvious fact that unless we (as in the human race, but we as Americans specifically) don't tone down our crazy binge consumerism and planned-obsolesence mentality and start living more frugally and more thriftily, we're doomed to a withered dead Thunderdome-like non-Green planet no matter what technologies and methodologies we employ. Am I somewhat close here?

I gotta say this much. At least the wording got in the full report. First time it's been stated so plainly in a highly-visible government document that I can remember. It's a start. But come on, guys! What happened to The O's promise of transparency and facing up to the challenges?

Meantime, go put in your CFL bulbs and your water-saving showerheads. Unless they include the missing text in a revised remit and give it a good public discussion, it won't make much difference, but it'll make you feel better as the world starts to look like a Kevin Costner movie.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mama, don't let your sons grow up to be...

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There's an old joke, slightly modified:

Four mothers are sitting around a table discussing their children.

Mama 1: "My boy works for the sanitation department. It's a dirty job, but he earns good pay and has city benefits, and in 20 years he can retire with a good pension."

The other ladies agree this is a good thing for her son, and congratulate her for raising such a hard working man.

Mama 2: "My daughter just finished veterinarian school and is opening up her own clinic. She's already got a string of people waiting to bring their pets in, so she's expecting to be a big success."

The other ladies agree this is a good thing for her daughter, and congratulate her for raising such a talented woman.

Mama 3: "My daughter just got promoted to vice president of her company's division in the Northeast. Her salary doubled and on top of that, she caught the eye of some pretty important players in her industry, so it looks like she's really going places."

The other ladies agree this is a good thing for her daughter, and congratulate her for raising such an industrious woman.

Mama 4: "My son completed college and immediately got involved in politics. He's in the state legislature now, and thinks he's got a good chance of being elected to a high office someday, maybe even as the next Republican President."

The other ladies comfort the crying woman, congratulating her for being so strong in the face of such humiliation and pain.