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Obama and the Apple iPad

Posted by Robyn on Feb 3, 2010 in Politics, Technology

Anyone else notice a lot of funny parallels between Obama’s first year as President and the unveiling of the Apple iPad last week? Both faced unreasonable expectations for success, and neither one has truly delivered on those expectations… yet.

But the structure is there, and with a few tweaks, both still have amazing potential.

 
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Political Debates are Fun…

Posted by Robyn on Mar 23, 2009 in Politics

… but that’s not what I’m doing here. I’m actually saying that neither side is really looking at this issue the right way.

The liberals been trying to get all of us to “save the planet” for decades, so when they realized they had finally convinced nearly everyone that global warming was real, they started tripping over themselves to make environmental practices the solution. Meanwhile, conservatives have been fighting regulations for so long that once they realized there wasn’t any rational argument against the reality of climate change, they started trying to convince people it wasn’t humans that caused it.

Here’s how that whole thing is going to play out.

The right wing is beginning to realize that so-called “environmental” policies aren’t such a bad thing. There’s big money to be made in new energy development, and most “sustainable” practices are actually good for the bottom line. At the same time, the left wing is kind of like the unpopular kids finally realizing they outnumber the popular kids. By a lot. So, environmentalism is becoming very “fashionable”, not to mention a whole lot easier, and usually cheaper, too.

And that’s what I’ve been saying all along. Most people want to do the right thing, but we’re also very lazy and very greedy. If you make “doing the right thing” difficult and expensive, then we’re going to do the easy thing. If you force us to “do the right thing” through regulation, then we’ll get really mad. But if you make “doing the right thing” easy and profitable, then we’ll do it all day long.

And love it.

And again, that’s great. I’m all for living sustainably. But none of that is really to the point. I don’t care if the primary cause of climate change is carbon emissions, sun spots, deforestation, the tilt of the Earth’s axis, or your deity of choice declaring his or her wrath on humanity. Whatever the cause, let’s figure out what we can do to stop it. Because it’s not the planet that’s in peril, it’s us.

Somehow, I don’t think buying a hybrid is the solution, but some scientists already have the right idea.

 
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The Whole Global Warming “Debate”

Posted by Robyn on Mar 23, 2009 in Politics

Imagine there was a giant asteroid headed for Earth. It’s not the first asteroid of this size to strike Earth, but it’s the first one since humans have lived here. This particular asteroid is not big enough to destroy the planet, but certainly big enough to do serious damage to the humans who live here, especially if it strikes in a populated area.

Now, imagine there was a huge debate over whether this giant asteroid had been knocked towards Earth by a piece of space junk created by humans. Some people think we caused the problem, and others think we didn’t. They like to argue about it a lot. Meanwhile, I’m over here thinking…

HEY! LOOK AT THAT GIANT ASTEROID! SHOULDN’T WE MAYBE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!?

Global climate change is real, and to be frank, it’s not “saving the planet” we should be worried about. Planet Earth has survived far worse, and it’ll probably be here long after we’re gone. We should be worried about how our coastlines will be flooded if any more ice melts.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for living sustainably. Reducing carbon emissions, recycling, and conserving energy are all fantastic things for us to do. But those are also money-saving things that we should be doing anyway, for our own sakes. Sure, taking those actions may have an impact on climate change, but it’s probably too little too late at this point. When it comes to climate change, we should be building sea walls around New York and LA.

I’m just saying.

 
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Welfare

Posted by Robyn on Nov 19, 2008 in Politics

With all the talk of corporate bail-outs, I just have a few things to say about this issue.

Obviously, we shouldn’t let giant companies who employ millions of people go out of business. This would just raise unemployment, and push us even deeper into a recession. And of course, there have to be conditions attached to the assistance given to those companies by taxpayers. When executives show up on private jets to ask for a bailout, I agree that sends the wrong message. Here’s my take.

1. If you take money from the government, you shouldn’t be allowed to lay off more than 5% of your workforce over the next five years. You can re-organize, consolidate, re-assign labor, or whatever you have to do to stay afloat. But if the whole point of the bailout is to save jobs, you don’t get to take the money, then cut the jobs anyway.

2. No employee earns a salary more than twenty times what the lowest-paid employee earns. That doesn’t prohibit performance-pay contractual bonuses and so forth, but I don’t see why any executive could “deserve” more than TWENTY TIMES what their workers make without proving their worth.

3. Quitcherbitchin about taxes. Seriously. The next time I hear some corporate fat-cat pundit on Fox News blathering about socialism and welfare moms, I’m going to freak. The amount of money taxpayers are spending on corporate bailouts is so much more than we’ve ever spent on social programs for the poor. Just STFU already.

4. What about the middle class? We just sit here, working away, paying taxes, and driving the economy. Meanwhile, all the handouts go to the rich or the poor. Meanwhile, we walk a tightrope. If someone gets sick or laid off, there’s no help for us. They’ve even made bankruptcy nearly impossible. Where is our safety net?

Okay, that’s it for my rant. It just seems like the people who work the hardest, take the most risk, and pay the highest percentage of their income in taxes are forced to make it on their own, while they watch others reap the benefits.

 
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Marriage

Posted by Robyn on Nov 12, 2008 in Politics

I just read Keith Olbermann’s very eloquent argument on the subject of marriage equality. I have posted a couple of passages below, but I strongly encourage you to read the full article. This is an issue that will become an embarrassment to our country.

Think back throughout the brief history of our nation. Every single time we challenge progress and support hate because we cannot face change, the change always wins in the end. Those who fight for change write the history books, and those who fight against it are always left behind. Always.

Link to original article

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don’t want to deny you yours. They don’t want to take anything away from you. They want what you want—a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

Only now you are saying to them—no. You can’t have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don’t cause too much trouble. You’ll even give them all the same legal rights—even as you’re taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can’t marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn’t marry?

This part really does interest me. If you oppose the right for gay couples to marry, please help me understand why. I hear over and over again that it would “weaken” the institution of marriage. HOW!?

There are plenty of issues I don’t agree with. For example, I don’t support the Iraq war. But I would never dream of taking rights away from our troops. Yet, it seems that many of the same people who cry out against abuse of our troops are also waving signs of hate against “Adam and Steve”, just because they want to get married. I don’t understand.

I keep hearing this term “re-defining” marriage. If this country hadn’t re-defined marriage, black people still couldn’t marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn’t have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it’s worse than that. If this country had not “re-defined” marriage, some black people still couldn’t marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not “Until Death, Do You Part,” but “Until Death or Distance, Do You Part.” Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are gay.

I think this is one of those generational issues. Unfortunately, it seems there is only so much change that any single generation can tolerate. But this is a CHOICE. You have a choice to fight change, or to embrace it.

So the next time this issue comes up on a ballot, please don’t vote for hate. Please don’t become obsolete. Please don’t become an embarrassment to history. Support marriage equality.

 
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Should, Continued

Posted by Robyn on Oct 24, 2008 in Politics

I was deliberately vague in my last journal because none of us are ever exempt from thinking about our choices. But what brought on this thought process was the chain of events which led up to our current economic crisis.

Should I buy a house when I have no down payment and can’t really afford it?
Should I sell this house when I know this family can’t afford it?
Should I lend someone money for a home, when I know they will eventually lose it?
Should I design deceptive and predatory mortgages whose payments are likely to double?

Should I repackage bad loans into securities, then rate them AAA (the highest rating), just because there is no regulation?
Should I run a hedge fund based entirely on these crappy investments?
Should I take the money and run when it all starts to go bad?
Should I beg for the government to bail my company out, when I caused the problem?

Should I keep shorting stock when the market starts to crash, even thought it makes everything worse?
Should I start laying off employees, to prepare for a recession?
Should I scale back my spending, in case I lose my job?
Should I point fingers at everyone but myself?

If you take no responsibility for your actions, then you are part of the problem. If you could put yourself in the shoes of a CEO, and honestly say you would never “take advantage” of anyone or any situation just to make money, then you are a better person than I am. IMHO, the entire psychology of humanity needs an overhaul.

 
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Should

Posted by Robyn on Oct 24, 2008 in Politics

As I sit here watching global markets crash all over the world, I have been thinking about the word “should”. I don’t think people stop to think about what they should or should not do. This isn’t anything new, just something that has been brought into sharp contrast lately by the devastation of our global economy.

We all think about what we “can” do. We are programmed to think in terms of what benefits us personally. Unfortunately, we don’t always look ahead to the possible repercussions of our actions. Even when we do, we often ignore potential consequences if we think the personal gain is too great.

And yet, at the core every world religion (that I’m aware of) there sits a lesson on morality.

More than ever before in history, we are all connected. Regardless of who you are, or what your religious affiliation is, please stop to think about what you are doing before you do it. And remember, the more wealth and power you control, the greater your responsibility to the rest of us.

 
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The “Bailout” Package

Posted by Robyn on Oct 3, 2008 in Politics

Let me give you an analogy for this “bailout” package.

“I lost my job because I was gambling with my employer’s money, but I took out a payday loan against my son’s paycheck to pay the rent. We’ll still probably get evicted next month, but hey, we had to do SOMETHING, right?”

Thanks, Congress. I really appreciate that.

 
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Does McCain Have a Snowball’s Chance?

Posted by Robyn on Sep 26, 2008 in Politics

I don’t know if you guys have been following the news lately, but McCain’s poll numbers are slipping again — a lot. The “Palin Effect” is wearing off, and nobody is quite sure what to make of his reaction to the economic crisis. Obama hasn’t handled it perfectly either, but his numbers are going up. Why?

What do you guys think about McCain’s chances vs. Obama? Regardless of what candidate you support, and why you think people should vote one way or another, what do you think will actually happen on election day?

 
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Bomb Iran?

Posted by Robyn on Sep 24, 2008 in Politics

Yeah, I know. Too many journals. Sorry about that $1 coin thing last night, but I HAD to post this!

My amazing mother cut together this totally awesome video! Check it out!

Bomb Iran?

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