Framing the Dialogue

Archive for May, 2011

Camel’s Nose – Libya Style

I am starting to feel more and more like a conspiracy theorist these days. The timeline and events in the Middle East and Libya in particular have me wondering. We have so-called popular uprisings in Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and Libya. None of them have been particularly peaceful yet the World Order chose Libya in which to intervene. Why Libya? They do have oil, but from a geopolitical standpoint they are less disruptive than Syria (though the fact that they hate Israel like most U.N. members may be a factor). Egypt under Mubarak had been a decent ally to the West and fairly peaceful so you would think that would be a better place to try and influence even though Mubarak didn’t use his military to attack the protestors.

Everything But Money

Sam Levenson grew up in a time and place where money was in short supply and immigrant families had to struggle to survive. There were no welfare systems, no government handouts, and no free cell phones. Levenson and his family had to rely on each other, their family, and neighbors to survive. To use the book’s title they had Everything but Money.

Tangled Web

Many media/political pundits love to make fun of Glenn Beck calling him many name from clown to chicken little.  There is little doubt that Mr. Beck gives them pleny of ammunition as with his frequent reports on “spooky dude” or George Soros.  The media seems like they want to portray Soros as this wealthy grandpa figure who has nothing but good intentions.  Beck and his staff have done yeoman’s work compiling information about Soros’ behind the scenes machinations as he seeks his goal of a global economy headed by his inner circle.  Soros the billionaire certainly has the resources to pursue this goal and Beck seems to have convinced fellow Fox host Bill O’Reilly of Soros’ intents.

Fear Itself

Many articles that are meant to be “sensational” really just convey facts that play on many of our mostly irrational fears or the “gut” reaction described beautifully by author Daniel Gardner in his book The Science of Fear. These articles attempt to grab your “gut” long before providing more rational data (i.e. boring stuff) to your “head” that counters that fear they hope to exploit.

I’ll try to identify the “irrational” fear and please note that some of the fears may be somewhat rational until you look at other risk factors. You’ll have to decide whether the media just wants to attract consumers or have a real political agenda. I’ll opine – you decide.

No Such Thing As A Stupid Question?

How many times have you heard the phrase that “there is no such thing as a stupid question?” You have probably heard it a hundred times and we generally agree that if someone doesn’t know about a subject the question cannot be stupid. The following comment was posted on a website and while you may allow that the question is not stupid, the person asking is either stupid or lacks intellectual honesty by not doing a little homework before expressing his opinion in the form of questions.

Aunt Sammie’s Day Care

I ran across a wonderful daycare service recently that many my age would have appreciated when our children were in need of day care. Aunt Sammie’s Day Care provides care, food, and education services to your child and best of all it is FREE. I was interested to find out that Aunt Sammie offers care to children from “prenatal to aged three” in one of their programs. Child care before they are born! You’ll be pleased to know that Aunt Sammie’s is in fact a non-profit corporation with nearly 2,900 locations with over 56,000 classrooms and served over one million in 2009-2010. Did I mention that it is FREE?

Update – Up In Your Business

A few months ago I wrote about how government likes to all up in your business. They just cannot help themselves. One of the examples was how the City of Pittsburgh through its Urban Redevelopment Authority used eminent domain to seize a local theatre in Pittsburgh. The Garden theatre had suffered from the decline of city theatres and the proliferation of suburban multi-screen venues. They somehow survived by catering to the XXX movie crowd. I obviously don’t know the details of their finances, but they stayed in business for decades screening those flicks. That is until the City of Pittsburgh decided that the area would be better suited to a retail development.

The Science of Fear

My first thought about how to describe The Science of Fear was “Wow.”  It is a fascinating look at fear, risk, risk perception and the psychology and marketing behind it all.  Yes marketing.  News outlets offer sensational stories that often give us misleading information to get us to watch, read, and listen.  The recurring theme is how our “head” is often at odds with our “gut” when we filter information about risk.  You’ll have to read it to find out which wins most often. 

End of the World Commencement

We recently had the good fortune of attending the graduation ceremony for our oldest as he moves from university life to working life. This is even more gratifying for him as he has secured gainful employment in a field that he loves. Congratulations Kevin!

The ceremony was full of pomp and circumstance befitting the achievements of the now former students. Professors in robes, loud trumpets blared, and around 250 graduated in their blue cap and gowns. Speeches were made and diplomas (really just place holders until the real ones are mailed this week) were handed out. The university is a Catholic school and I would say fairly conservative for a college these days and this was the graduation from only the business school which, in general, is even a little more conservative.