Audio Attitude Exploring situational influence on attitude and behavior.

October 7, 2008

Myths of McCain – Only Five?

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , — Brian @ 8:12 am

Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson lists five myths of McCain. Amazing how myths of a “brand” can live so well nourished by the short attention span of our western culture. Click on the graphic below to go to Rolling Stone and watch the video – presuming you have the requisite fortitude of a few minutes worth of mental focus.

October 2, 2008

You Voted for McCain

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , — Brian @ 6:41 am

Homer Simpson tried voting for change, but…

September 28, 2008

Apple Sauce Values

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Brian @ 9:19 pm

Today I decided to make apple sauce and a pie from scratch. The urge felt primal – more than merely a hunger for homemade food. I thought about it while I started to make a huge mess in the kitchen. Was it a silly investment of time and energy only to make two jars of apple sauce and a humble looking pie?

A few days ago we met a semi-retired farmer and his wife from Paw Paw, a little farming town in southwest Michigan. They were parked in a parking lot of a vacant building not far from here, having brought a flatbed trailer loaded with fresh apples and other fruit from that wonderful part of Michigan known for its delicious fruit.

I used to live in Berrien Springs, not far from Paw Paw, and I remember the area’s abundance of fruit and vegetables. The farmer picked out an apple and said “Try this,” as he handed it to me. The crisp tartness woke fond memories as I grabbed some bags and filled them with food from the land I once called home.

The aroma of cooking apples in my kitchen brought with it memories of simpler times living in Michigan’s fruit belt where I would pick tomatoes by the bushel and devote a day to canning them for chili during the winter. The canning equipment, meanwhile, rests under a thick layer of dust somewhere in the basement having lost its shine long ago.

In 2002 I returned to Michigan’s Alaska where apples are sometimes found in an old orchard but few grow much bigger than the berries scattered around the wild. Until grocery stores began to stock fresh produce people living in this part of the north survived on wild game and a few root vegetables kept cool in the root cellar.

Alaska has been in the news lately. The state with a view of Russia isn’t the only place where Americans learned to make a home out of the wilderness. Moose live here, too. I know because once on a walk in the woods I almost walked into a mommy moose and her baby (cow and calf, I think may be the terms). There is something primal about living in a place where “modern” is a concept that depends on keeping the one road open.

Today, while the smell of cooking apples filled the house and as I struggled to renew my pie-crust-making skills I thought about the amount of time I was spending to make what I could buy at the grocery store for the same price. Something about making apple sauce and pie felt good but what was it? I wondered if maybe the complex information I accumulate from media sources every day is cheating me out of simple?

By making our lives easier do we lose the point of life? Had I lost the connection between earth and my tummy? Certainly its’ size would suggest otherwise. At what point in our simplified lives where we never need to lift a finger to feel what matters?

I stared at the sticky sauce dripping from my fingers as I turned the wooden mortar – forcing the cooked apple through the mill. I drew my hand to my mouth and licked off the steaming apple sauce and started to feel something. A connection.

Our world seems accessible yet is as limiting to the touch as it ever was. We physically must go and do to touch it – to feel it. For us to internalize a culture or a moment is to physically take it in – eat its food, drink its water, touch its people, and feel their breath on our skin. Television and the internet transports our imaginations to the ends of the universe and introduces us to people and cultures we might otherwise miss. But it cannot substitute first hand experience.

I made the connection. I could easily get apple sauce from the store. But these apples fed my soul.

September 16, 2008

Truth or Republican?

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Brian @ 10:03 am

Unless one is extremely wealthy and completely selfish voting for Republicans this year is an indefensible idea. The only people who don’t understand this are the ones seduced by the Republican machine to believe Republicans care about abortion, gay marriage, or fundamentalist Christianity.

Republicans want one thing. To eliminate all regulation or oversight of big corporations.

But don’t Republicans care about social issues like protecting marriage and the sanctity of human life?

Please. Sanctity of human life? Show me what Republican policies actually do to human lives.

Republicans since the 1970’s act on behalf of environment-be-damned corporate earth plunderers who would sell out their own mothers before giving up a penny of profit.

How do Republicans get away with it?

By pandering to a group of social conservatives who care only about a few issues. These voters are suspicious of so-called “liberal elitists” and windbags like yours truly. and Republicans know how to stir the pot of anger and distrust by telling this group that Republicans care about their “values.” Republicans give their well-meaning religious pals keys to the club and even call them “Republicans” before stepping out back for a smoke and to snicker about tricking yet another election.

Republicans know the sizable portion of social conservative fundamentalists tend to be a very loyal group. Once they make up their mind, there is almost no changing it. So what better group to have on your team? And ever since the 1960’s and 1970’s Republicans have been feeding to this narrow (but significant) band of the electorate empty rhetoric about protecting marriage, stem cell research bans, and abstinence training for randy teens. Nice. Whatever works.

Republicans when in power are then more able to stay in power by turning government over to what it euphemistically calls “the private sector,” otherwise known as big business. So, 99 percent of Americans grow more dependent on deregulated corporations to get mortgages, provide health care, and deliver energy. Guess who profits? The 1% of the population who need you to vote Republican.

As corporations get stronger and bigger and take over more of the responsibilities of government the little businesses have a harder time competing and the private citizen has less recourse when getting screwed by power.

Simply put, Republicans want corporations to run your lives. Democrats want government to referee the game between corporate America and the little guy. And, libertarians are just Republicans who didn’t manipulate religious fundamentalists to gain power.

The new symbol of rural America is Walmart, who comes to a little town near you and gets to pay little or no tax because it creates jobs. Good thing, because the neighbor kids will need a place to work when Walmart closes the local grocer.

Exxon Mobile made more money this year from high gasoline prices than any corporation ever has. Yet, Republicans want to eliminate taxes and regulation from the oil industry so it can drill everywhere it wants like some kind of stud on an island of virgins who never cares for the kids that later come.

Republican single-minded focus on enabling corporate greed and misdeed is huge. They distract with social issues, which they care nothing about except to trick enough voters to keep them in power.

We may never get the Republican social conservatives to join the social conservatives in the Democratic party and vote with their brains instead of their feelings. But, if we do it will be in no small part because we learned how to talk with them.

September 15, 2008

Does Integrity Matter?

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , — Brian @ 7:45 pm

If so, this latest political ad was made for you.

Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin (SNL Season Opener)

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Brian @ 7:41 pm

I enjoyed this.

by Hishighness
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