Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hints of Darkness

Oh my, what a busy week for political junkies. Junkies on the right think they've finally proven what a horrible man President Obama is, and junkies on the left think this is all much ado about nothing. The truth, of course, is always somewhere in the middle. But, as always, life happens outside the media, especially outside the Washington media, and there are always, always, always questions. Not all the questions life has presented to me this week have anything to do with government scandals, but some do.

1. Why do people keep talking after they claim to be speechless? There is no real answer for this one, but lots of theories. So, the question stands.

2. What have we done to man's best friend? The reason I'm asking is, of course, Abigail. Three times in the last year I've seen her predatory instincts take over, and she killed something that dogs in the wild would certainly eat if they killed it. These were two birds and a rabbit. In both cases with the birds, she killed them, and then, holding the lifeless body in her mouth, looked at me as if to ask, "Now what?" She wound up dropping the birds and leaving them behind. I really would prefer that she eat what she kills so that she isn't behaving like humans, and killing for no good reason. But she has no need to eat what she kills-she never lacks for food. But what I want to understand is this; have we so domesticated dogs that they no longer understand why they are driven to kill?

3. I've been involved in many conversations about cosmetic procedures, and how freaky some of them make women look. I guess the thing that baffles me about it is that many of the women who do it are gorgeous to begin with. Which both confuses and makes me sad as it hints to me that they have spent their lives feeling validated only by their looks, and it they lose their looks to age, they no longer have anything to offer. But that's not my question this time. The question is this; I've heard that botox and lip injections only last about six months. So, if someone...say, a famous movie star, has them, and then all the press and/or opinion say that she really looked better before, can she stop? Would her lips go back to normal if she skipped the injections next time, or would they look weird and deflated?

4. Okay, so here's my tree-hugger question of the week: The past two weeks we've seen all kind of stories about these cool 3D printers that can create plastic stuff, including a gun that fires and can't be detected by airport security systems. But mostly they are being used to make little plastic figurines. These printers will supposedly rewrite the book on manufacturing in this country, make it possible for small business entrepreneurs to skip the lead-filled Chinese stuff. But remember, plastic is a petroleum product, and it will pretty much never decompose. Are they using recycled plastics for any of this stuff? Is the technology too "Gee-whiz!" yet to think about long-term consequences of all this plastic mania? Every piece of plastic that has been created since the 1920s still exists, much of it lying in landfills never to go away. This is pretty scary stuff to me.

5. There has been much talk this week about the Department of Justice tapping the phones of several Associated Press reporters. The story is apparently that the AP was about to break a story that the CIA had stopped a second terrorist panty bomber. The DOJ asked them to hold the story, which had been leaked to the AP for national security reasons. But apparently the DOJ was so pissed about the leak that it decided to secretly try to find out who leaked the story with these secret wiretaps. Yes, this is petty and supremely unconstitutional. Freedom of the press in this country is sacrosanct, and necessary to prevent the government from acting is secret and doing terrible things to citizens. The government has been known to do such things, and not one party or the other, but liberals and conservatives have abused power in this way. But the story for me, just a couple of weeks after the big, fancy party in which the government and the press dress up and party together for all of our entertainment. I have never, ever liked the Correspondents Dinner, and have said for many years that it breaks down the tension that should exist between the media and the government. So the question in this story for me is, what did you expect? The government is not your friend!!! Your job is to keep them honest, and expose them when they are not. Stop the chummy act, and do your job.

6. I'm watching a story right now on "60 Minutes" that only supports and enhances my next question, which is basically, again, what do we expect? To all my friends who take a different position than me in the gun argument, I promise you, the government taking your gun is not the place in which your freedom is being taken away. It's in their ability to follow you everywhere. And it's not just the government, it's also business and marketing. And we are complicit in the giving up of our secrets. The government has basically been told that it's okay-we don't care about our own privacy anymore. We are on Facebook, and Twitter, and on and on. We all want a reality show to follow us all the way down to our ugly bathrooms and physical limitations. We can't have it both ways-either we want our privacy, and we will act to protect it, or we will have no idea who out there has access to our every meal, and where we ate it. We have GPS on our phones, other people post pictures of us and put our names on them. I've done it-and I've only had a couple of friends who asked me to remove posts that included their information. Why so few? NOW we want to be upset that the government can tap into our phone calls and emails, and all of our internet accounts? One cannot be the next reality TV sensation AND keep their private information safe. None of us are very good at seeing the road ahead-we only know that the idea of a road trip sounds cool and fun. But if we aren't careful, when we get to the end of whatever journey we're on,  it may be too late to keep Big Brother from having hidden in our trunk.

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