May 222015

Worked a little on my thoroughly slobbed out garage Monday night. More of that on deck for the weekend.

Sang karaoke Tuesday night. There is video of it, but no one has sent me any. I sang Del Shannon’s “Runaway,” which I’m told I did a good job with, but everyone was drinking, so you’ll have that. It was in the correct key, which helps.

Made meat loaf Wednesday night. Kinda winged it, but it worked out. Used the rest of my Heartbreaking Dawns 1542 chocolate habanero sauce on it.

Watched Wayward Pines last night, slightly delayed so I could zap the commercials. Lea watched the pilot with me, and alas, that’s it for her. “Too creepy.” Started losing her in earnest when Nurse Pam threatened Ethan with the syringe. I quite like it so far.

Going out to review a restaurant in a little while. Watch for it.

Enjoy your weekend.

 Posted by at 3:55 pm
May 182015

Back when I was on Facebook, a family member saw The Help and posted about it. She praised the film, and then ended her post with the declaration that this kind of racism was still around; it just went by the name “Tea Party” today.

At the time I actively supported a local Tea Party group. Being thoroughly unaware of any racist activities we had undertaken, I asked her how she got that idea. From “the news,” came the reply. I said I was active with a local group and had seen no evidence of racism in it, nor had I seen anything substantiated in the news.

“Well, maybe you’re not watching the correct news.”

So, here’s a comment on my perceived editorial diet, from someone I knew used Jon Stewart as a major news source.

I was reminded of this exchange reading comments on this article, in which a citation from Breitbart is derided as “not credible.” (The cited article contained references and links to Time magazine, as well as the Armed Services Committee web site.)

The first step to digesting information effectively—critically—is understanding that there is no such thing as a neutral source. Does Breitbart have a point of view? Yes—a stated conservative one. Does this point of view somehow excuse it from supporting what it says? Of course not. If anything, it intensifies the need for such support.

The classic case of dismissing the messenger is Fox News. Many people who have been conditioned to reject as propaganda anything appearing on Fox find no inconsistency in turning to CNN or other network news. They won’t be sucked into all of that biased crap, by God. And they’re the very worst ones: people who believe they have a “balanced” diet of news and opinion but in fact do not.

To get closest to the truth, you need to find an opinion source that’s as close to your political opposite as possible, and consume it regularly. I have used The Nation for this for years. It is straight, down the line, liberal red meat. If you want to look for liberal bias in an ostensibly mainstream news source, compare its coverage of a story with that in The Nation. Is the message different? Or is the only variation one of degree?

To be sure, there are sites and publications out there with well-deserved credibility problems. However, when it comes to more mainstream news and opinion sites, they’re closer to each other than you may realize in how well they’re researched, whether they have a point of view, and so forth.

Take a regular walk in an ideological neighborhood you don’t like.


 Posted by at 1:14 pm
May 142015

I encountered a truly bizarre motorist last night: a woman in a red Fiat 500 driving around flipping people off. I saw her do this nearly continuously for two to three miles, with no discernible pattern. Last night was probably it for the 50s until the fall. Too bad. I love window fan nights. You […]

 Posted by at 6:42 pm
May 132015

“My name is Lucifer! Please take my hand!” So sang Ronnie James Dio as I dug Black Sabbath’s Live Evil on my commute recently. I got to thinking about the anti-rock crusaders of my childhood railing against the devil in heavy metal music, and considered that a Black Sabbath album was a place that you […]

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