Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bob Conners retired today

"The Morning Monarch" turned in his headphones today, ending a 33-year morning-drive shift on 610WTVN.

We'll not see his like again -- he was the best, period.

Thanks for all the good mornings, BC, and safe travels.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Look who's talking

My indictment of talk radio for its lack of independent critical thought is a recurring theme here on KintlaLake Blog. Each and every day, crackling AM frequencies serve up a toxic brew of fear mongering and disinformation to support positions that don't require that kind of nonsense, credible conservative positions that stand on their own.

It annoys the hell out of me.

Then, every once in a while, I hear something that annoys me even more. That happened on Friday when "Adam," a high-schooler from Illinois, called Rush Limbaugh asking for advice. I've edited the transcript a bit here for brevity's sake, but I believe I've preserved its essence. Here's how the exchange began:
ADAM: "I have an economics teacher, Mr. McCoy. He's a screaming liberal, and I challenge him in his class, so he plans his lesson around me, and he tries to set little traps for me. Is there anything you can help me say just to shut him up and put him in his place?"

"He says, 'Like Adam, all conservatives hate public good. They want the lower class to suffer because they don't have enough money.'"

"He actually is a really good teacher and I do learn things from him, but his classes --"

LIMBAUGH: "Okay, wait a minute, now, why is he a good teacher, then?"

ADAM: "I've learned things in his class."
If you're even the least bit familiar with Limbaugh's modus operandi, you think you know what's coming next -- but read on:
LIMBAUGH: "You know, it sounds to me like you're doing pretty well in this class, because what's happening here -- I know you've called me and asked for assistance, and I know millions would like to get that from me, but you're out there, you're thinking that whatever this guy is doing, whatever he's teaching he's still inspiring you to think critically and that's the most important thing.
Excuse me?
LIMBAUGH: "I don't care what else you get out of school with, whatever grades you get in classes and so forth, but if you get out of there with the ability to think critically and challenge things that don't make sense to you off the top, that's good. Critical thinking is what is not taught anymore."
Ok, now that just pisses me off.

Limbaugh is pompous, self-absorbed and (arguably) megalomaniacal, ideologically hamstrung and shamefully dismissive of facts. He cranks out bogeys faster than Hershey churns out chocolate bars.

And yet, in this case, he's absolutely correct. So what's my problem?

If caller "Adam" takes Limbaugh's counsel -- and again, on its own it's excellent advice -- he'll learn to think critically about everything he encounters. Naturally, that'd include what he hears on conservative talk radio, which probably isn't what the host had in mind.

Case-in-point, the "Four Corners of Deceit." Limbaugh warns his listeners that government, academia, the media and science are in the business of lying to the People, hopelessly co-opted by liberal ideology. Anything attributed to these sources should be presumed false (at best) or sinister (at worst) until proven otherwise.

That's reactionary cynicism, not critical thought. It's anchored in political ideology, an approach which makes independent critical thought quite impossible.

If Rush Limbaugh truly subscribed to independent critical thought, Dittohead Nation would cease to exist. He'd never again utter the words, "Don't doubt me!"

So what makes me cranky, ultimately, is that he encouraged "Adam" to "think critically and challenge things that don't make sense" -- that is, as long as it's not applied to him.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

First Amendment moment-of-the-week

The opening of last night's Country Music Awards show was, by any measure, priceless. I hope you enjoy this clip as much as I did.

(If you don't know the story behind Hank Williams Jr.'s cameo at the CMAs, click here. The awards show was broadcast on ABC which, like ESPN, is owned by The Walt Disney Company.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NRA: 'Fire Holder'

My family and I saw this commercial for the first time during dinner last night. Give it a look and, if you agree with us, click here to sign the National Rifle Association's petition demanding that Pres. Barack Obama fire Attorney General Eric Holder.

Election Day 2011

The hottest measure on Ohio's ballot today -- Issue 2, which asks citizens to decide whether or not the state may limit certain collective-bargaining rights for public employees -- has drawn national attention, and for good reason.
The tone of the campaign has been dishonest, often downright ugly. The outcome, I suspect, will be more of the same.
"All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters."
Those are the words of Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt, penned in a 1937 letter to the National Federation of Federal Employees. Supporters of Ohio Issue 2 have quoted the passage often in recent weeks, noting the irony of a liberal icon explicitly opposing collective bargaining for government employees.

In point of fact, FDR's position wasn't anti-union -- it was pro-People. Every bit of ugliness surrounding the Issue 2 debate -- and neither side may claim the high ground -- can be traced to confusing the two.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Gallup: Appetite for gun control at all-time low

According to a Gallup poll conducted early last month, support for Second Amendment rights continues to grow among The People.
Public opinion is in our side, 73% to 26%, in opposing a handgun ban. Likewise on banning so-called "assault weapons," 53% to 43%.

Even more important, in my opinion, a record-low 43% favor stricter laws governing the sale of firearms, with 60% preferring that authorities enforce current gun laws rather than passing new ones.

In an analysis of its findings, Gallup notes that Americans may be "moving toward more libertarian views." I hope that's true, but it doesn't relieve us of our duty to remain vigilant.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Well done, Sheriff

(Admittedly "aggravated" Sheriff Chuck Wright of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, making an articulate case Monday for being an armed citizen.)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

On channeling Glenn

Back in the warehouse at work, I keep my desktop radio tuned to a local all-talk station. I'm no one's disciple, mind you, nor have I changed my opinion that conservative talk radio is an intellectual desert. Still, since I'm armed with independent critical thought, what I hear often serves as a useful starting point.

Glenn Beck -- still crazy after all these years -- fills the 9am-to-noon slot each day. And while he's more apocalyptic and decidedly Goddier than I am, the truth is that we share many of the same views.

The difference, simply put, is that I get there without melodrama, precious metals, right-wing social ideology or reliance on prophecy.

One morning last month, Beck devoted an hour of his radio show to personal and family preparedness, recapping a webcast he'd done the night before. I present his stream-of consciousness notes here, unabridged -- I'll come back with my observations on the other side.

Grow your own food.
Live near people & Begin to make alliances-of-skill. (barter)
Live near farmland.

Paper copies of important documents.
Know where your deeds are. Take them in an emergency.
Russian gangs in trouble.

Apprenticeships are the future.
Discuss the value of school for what you can earn.
Do not look for labels -- they will become meaningless. (Yale)
Find other forms of school. (online)
Teach young children now that college is not a given.
Demand merit for school & student or pull your time/$.
Educate yourself at all times. Always read.
Have a hardcopy of all important books/documents.
Learn old and/or lost practices.
Learn to fix an engine.
Re-learn reading a map.
Know the news. Life can change quickly.
Be able to defend your positions by knowing the other side.

Preserve what is important. Shed all others.
Conserve & preserve. Reclaim & restore.

Gold, food, cigarettes, liquor, sugar, ammunition, guns, seeds, skills. (barter)
Have 30 days' cash-on-hand.
Buy a house.
Stop all excess spending. Buy quality only. Forget fashion-only.
Measure twice, cut once. Do not waste.
Consider a fuel-efficient SUV/truck.
Consider something prior to 1979. Fix yourself.

Live near like-minded people. Texas, mountains or where God still plays a role in real life.
If you cannot move (no place will be untouched), create network.

Be the best you can be. Be the one employee no one can fire.
Small biz -- be the product or service no one can cancel.
Conserve & preserve.
Learn from the Depression.
Advertise when no one else is: Chevrolet.
Stay in business, but downsize & preserve. (arch)
Honesty, integrity & charity.

Spit yourself out of the system. Turn upside-down now.
Put your money where your heart is.
Do business in symbiotic ways -- we need each other.
Do not try to put others out of business -- let them do it.
Gimbles & Macy's.
Never be the smartest man in the room.
Take care of your employees the best you can.
Take less & give more.
Read Franklin & Washington.

Do not plan your life & then move. Plan, listen & obey.
Practice at least Franklin's American religion.
Honor all of your obligations.
Preserve -- food, time, money, energy.
Teach your children the basics. Values/principles.

Do with less now. Less of a shock if it comes later.
Join a 9.12 group. Link online. Phone & locations.
Have a meeting place established for family.
Read the Bible.
Have a gun & know how to shoot it.
Resolve those issues that are holding you back.
Stop all behavior that does not expand you or others into good.
Make amends for what you have done.
Find peace & get to work.
Teach children work ethic.
Tolerate nothing that you feel is wrong by remaining silent.
Let your children see you stand.
Be honorable in all of your dealings.
Understand that anger is a part of life but never feed it.
The first look is not a problem. It is the second look.
Never be the best man/woman in the room.
Be happy & optimistic. Life will go on. Make plans for the future. Get married. Have children.
Does any of that (minus the obvious) sound the least bit familiar?

Flip back through KintlaLake Blog, especially my posts on urban resources and preparedness, gardening and canning, frugality and keepers and more. Notice the striking similarity between Beck's mindset and my own.

I'll admit that appearing to channel a talk-radio klaxon bugs me a bit. The point, though, is that Glenn Beck and I are, at least in this regard, on the same preparedness page -- and that's a good thing.