Framing the Dialogue

Archive for January, 2011

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat

If ever there was an intriguing title The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat has to be in the top ten.  Author Dr. Oliver Sacks provides numerous tales of unusual behaviors caused by neurological disorders.  Yes there was a man who mistook his wife for a hat though the title is more provocative than the actual tale.  I found the tales interesting, but the book was written for someone with a much higher interest level than I have.  To that end Dr. Sacks provides deeper discussions of the physiology behind the stories.  Most of this was way over my head so I enjoyed the first half of each story. 

Ooh That Smell

I am often torn about posts like this.  My inspiration was a trip to the rest room at work and you can imagine what it may be about.  Since I really don’t know most of you or why you visit FramingTheDialogue I worry that these posts will drive you away.  At some point Framing will have multiple sites depending on the content; Framingthebooks will primarily be book reviews; Framingthedebate will be a forum for debates, Framingthedialogue will probably be mostly current events, and Framingthebizare will be for posts like this.  Unfortunately I don’t really have enough traffic to justify spending the amount of time necessary to keep that many sites current and work full-time.

Up In Your Business

There is perhaps nothing government likes better than getting in your business.  I am mostly thinking of government “leaders” and elected officials.  Having worked off and on in government for many years I rarely have seen the vindictive low level government bureaucrat of the stereotype that many talking heads like to vilify.  I don’t doubt that many exist and I have only worked in one segment, but it is a regulatory agency where one would think the vindictive would flourish.  What many people forget is the process…elected officials pass laws, the laws require that regulations be adopted, lawyers and politicians help write the regulations, many policies have to be developed to explain the laws written by lawyers and politicians, people then have to adhere to these edicts.  Like them or not, government workers are often in the middle and seemingly in your business.

The Alienist

I read a book many years ago by Bill Bryson where he detailed a trip hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail.  One thing that stuck with me was that sometimes hikers happen to find “trail magic” or some unexpected treat.  I’d like to coin a new phrase “discount book magic.”  I have had to fortune to find some pretty interesting books for as little as a dollar.  The Alienist’s title caught my eye at the Book Train, the cover description pulled me in and the $1 price tag sealed the deal.

Headline Humor – Volume V

I know many of these stories are serious, but the headlines removed the restrain from my brain and we get headline humor. These are the actual headlines as I found on-line. When you click on the headline you will be taken to the original story which more often than not has nothing to do with my vision of the headline.

Helen Thomas returns to journalism

UFC Fighter Jacob Volkmann Calls Out President Barack Obama, Gets A Visit From the Secret Service

‘Mother,’ ‘Father’ Changing to ‘Parent One,’ ‘Parent Two’ on Passport Applications

Dem ID down five points

Elderly Swedes bloodied in snow shovel brawl

Global Warming Prediction: Dire Outlook by Year 3000

Are the Czars Out Tonight

Much has been written about Obama’s use of “Czars” by his administration.  These extra-Constitutional advisors had been used by other presidents, but never before had so many had so much power in our government.  That is the trouble that many of us have with the Obama czar explosion when he took office. He appointed around thirty highly paid advisors, gave them big budgets, gave them staff, and in some cases gave them lots of power…unchecked power.  None of Obama’s czars were confirmed by the Senate.  Their power was not balanced by any other branch of government.  They enjoy nearly cabinet level status in this White House.  Quite a few of them are controversial because of their views and/or statements.  Perhaps the most infamous was Green Jobs Czar Van Jones who had to “resign” because of some of his views.

Three Words

“Disabled Vehicle Blocking”: This phrase struck me as I drove to work this morning.  I start early (7:00 am) and leave early to avoid backups.  When things are smooth I can get to work in about 30 minutes or less (sounds like Dominoes pizza) in the morning, but if I get a later start, even by 10 minutes, that can add 20 minutes to my commute.  Part of my morning routine is to listen for traffic conditions along my commuting route and I have come to believe that the news brief reads the same script each day depending on the time.  I have on numerous occasions been driving through the “congestion” as it was reported yet experienced none of the traffic described.  The phrase “disabled vehicle blocking” sends me in a panic as that can turn my 30 minute commute into a 90 minute commute.  This happened to me on my second day back to work after a layoff.  A vehicle broke down right where I turn off of the main thoroughfare.  When I finally crawled to the spot, the disabled vehicle had been moved to the side, however, a truck had run out of gas while stuck in traffic (they were filling it up as I went by) and still blocked one lane.  Unfortunately it does not matter on this stretch of road which side of the road the incident occurs as “rubber-neckers” back everything up the opposite direction. 

Update – Pale In Comparison

For some reason I happened to open the “fanfare” section of my local paper.  This is where our self-described beautiful people primp and pose at various high society events.  I do occasionally peruse looking for any name that I may recognize, but unless they are sports celebrities (or their spouses) the names are unknown to me.  I guess that I run in lower circles.  Within this section was “This Just In” that contains media short pieces.  It’s kind of like an unsexy People section about stuff most folks don’t care about.  A tidbit caught my eye as Sarah Palin’s name was highlighted in the body of the story.

The New Road to Serfdom

Nearly two years ago I crowned Daniel Hannan a True American Hero.  He was my forth Hero and my second in a row who were not American.  What strikes me most about Daniel Hannan is his deep love of the United States;

“Truly, I thought, America is an extraordinary country.  Every time you think you’ve got it sussed, it surprises you.  It is the sheer diversity of the United States that makes anti-Americanism so perverse.  All humanity is represented in one nation, rendering the dislike of that nation an act of misanthropy.”

True American Hero – Rep. Allen West

I first heard Congressman Allen West about a year ago when he was a guest on a local talk radio show.  In an election year it might not be too surprising to have someone running for office appearing, but the show originates from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Rep. West was running for office in Florida.  The radio hosts; Quinn and Rose, were enamored by West and I soon shared their enthusiasm.  His matter-of-fact style and forthright message is, unfortunately, refreshing.  It’s only unfortunate that an elected official (he won!) is so open and honest; that he is the exception rather than the rule.  Even the politicians that I like often seem to care too much about appearing civil when confronting the other side.