Tag Archive: politics



Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You ThinkFactfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love books that make you think. This one certainly does that! It took a while to get through it. As you probably know, my reading is done at bedtime. This was not that kind of book. Though it was nonfiction, a lot of it kept me up at night.

There were eye-opening statistics that one might not have thought of before. Predictive statistics that the book talked about were even more eye-opening. One of the most striking was made clear to me, showed that like the chart of a newborn baby can’t predict with the same growth later in life. We don’t expect a baby to continue to grow as much or as fast as a school child as the newborn. If a person kept that same growth rate we’d all be giants. So predictive charts need to look at other aspects during different times, incomes, health and wealth influences. I know I’m not saying this the way the author did. But the points he made similar to the example I tried to put forth, were equally stunning.

My friend recommended this book and I am glad I followed through. On the other hand, I must admit that I would have gotten a lot more out of the book had I had the paper book. Since I have trouble reading tree-books for the eye-sight and font issue, I listen to the text-to-speech. The problem was that I didn’t take the moment to read the charts and graphs presented to help the reader understand how things really are as opposed to how we think they are.

Even so, I found this a super interesting book that in the future I might just try to find the paper book just for the illustrations. Maybe I don’t agree with all his perspectives, it seems I have read somewhere that statistics are rarely pure. Most are bent to reflect the person’s paid position to research to the paid end. Still closing one’s eyes to the possibilities presented in this book are so much more destructive than paying attention and learning what we can from it all.

Give it a try. I picked my copy from the local e-library.

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Open Letter to MSNBC


 

Women hold up half the sky give or take a hundred thousand. But who’s counting?
World:
6,895,889,018   3,477,829,638   3,418,059,380
Total                           male                    female

But in the United States we hold up more:
310,383,948         153,139,563         157,244,385
Total                          male                       female
From http://www.geohive.com/earth/pop_gender.aspx

And it seems that might just be part of your target audience. It should be.
Maybe your only demographic is young (30 to 45-year-old) white males. That appears to be who you cater to. Even though I believe there are more baby boomer women around than those spoiled white boys.
I realize 66-year-old white women like me are a minority. Many my age are not computer savvy or politically independent. It is time to speak my mind. I am the parent of three of 30 to 45-year-old white males in your demographic plus a genius daughter who is 34. And they don’t get their news from you. Neither do their friends. The Internet, podcasts, etc. are their choice for news and information. One son does customarily listen to NPR. Take that however you like.
So what is my point? We’ll get there. Patience young Grasshopper.
Here are some names:
Keith Olbermann
Martin Bashir
Krystal Ball
SE Cupp
Abby Huntsman
Touré Neblett
Ari Melber
Edward Schultz
Steve Kornacki
Alex Wagner
Karen Finney
Joy Reid
Oh, and above all Melissa Harris-Perry.
What do they represent? Diversity. Independent thinking. Something I had grown to expect from MSNBC. And all have left or be minimized on what used to be my favorite political news station. And yes, I know many were fired for speaking their minds often given the boot for being exactly who they are. Really? Do you know how angry and insulted your viewers are by this? How much was MSNBC paid by FOX, Drumpf (Thank you, John Oliver, for that affectation. You know who I mean) or some other Republican money bags to lead to this moment?

Oh, I know some of them are still with you, usually only showing their faces too early on the weekend mornings or small bit parts here and there. Some even try to speak on the screaming, yelling ‘Hardball’ with Chris Matthews, who is the rudest to all his correspondents but mostly to those that don’t agree with him (which means you need to say exactly what he wants to hear or he will say it all himself). No, I don’t want him fired either. He just needs to start having manners and letting his guests speak their minds, too.

And don’t even think I want to lose Lawrence O’Donnell, even though I am offended by his constant flirting with younger female guests. I believe his heart is in the right place and his good far outweighs that rudeness. After all, he is a pacifist from California (YAY! Someone not from NY!) Oh, and a Boomer!
And, of course, leave my Rachel Maddow, who is an equal favorite of mine to MHP. And Chris Hayes who feels to me like Rachel’s younger brother must stay. They are respectful, intelligent and creative in their ways to present the news. But those in the above list were all that, too.
What do you have that I hate? ‘Morning Joe.’ It is named for the white male who has a smart woman, Mika Brzezinski, whose name isn’t in the title of the show and is treated with the least amount of respect from the white men. It should be her show or, at least, demonstrate that she is important enough to include her name in the title.
Then there is the cute guy, Thomas Roberts, with the “weather girl.” You deserve recognition that you included someone with his diversity, but still he looks like Ken to the ‘weather girl’s’ Barbie-ness. Frances Rivera. Yes, she is a woman of color. But she is also knowledgeable and deserves her own show or at least allowed at the table because she has a lot to say and her voice is astounding!
If the above is enough to raise my blood pressure to a dangerous level, what is the worst? I said his original name above. I refuse to join in your constant coverage of that name. But let me give you a rundown on how it happened that MSNBC will be blamed for the next Hitler of this country. It started with the grin. Then the secret smile. It ultimately morphed from the “Biggest Clown in the Clown Car” to becoming “Took all the oxygen out of the room.” (Seriously? You couldn’t come up with a better catchphrase than the one FOX used?)

This sensationalism has grown out of proportion, and it is due to YOUR OWN STUPIDITY! Any parent worth their salt knows that attention is attention, good or bad. And the more attention for inappropriate behavior, the more the inappropriate behavior increases.

Using that logic, MSNBC has failed miserably. In worrying about perceived insults from its own family, it lost the voices that were trying to teach about the good people that are running on the Democratic, Progressive, Independent side of this debate. I thought that was who MSNBC was supposed to stand behind. How many of Hillary’s or Bernie’s speeches have been interrupted by the Drumpf show?
Many of those in the list above could have steered the conversation back to the classroom that you should take seriously, as seriously as O’Donnell does his desks. No, this side isn’t as exciting, or funny, or sensational as the clown-car. You could have made information available for the waste of time you’ve presented lately. And we may very well have a Hitler on our hands. And Hitler wasn’t wasn’t taken seriously in the beginning, either. Can you imagine how much worse it all could have been had FOX and MSNBC been in charge in that era of history? You can’t? Well, there’s the proof I needed to show that you don’t listen to the people who used to like your station best.
You have little time but a lot of previous employees who could turn the tide. Let the verbal slights go. There is something far more important at stake. And remember there are still 24 hours in a day and 7 days a week and most everyone has DVR’s. Stop wasting our time with prisons and clowns. And know that more than half of the people that hold up the airwaves watch your station.

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Shafter


Shafter Shafter by Margaret McGaffey Fisk
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Twelve year old Darlene would have LOVED this book. Yet at 64 I love it even deeper. As a kid, reading about Trina’s adventures on her home world while dreaming of space travel would have captured my heart, as that was my dream. As an older adult, I can see the fuller picture that includes the choices Trina and her sister, Katie, must make as they grow to become adults.

 

Feminism embraces these choices. The old world explorers knew some of these choices. Stay with the family you know or explore. Meeting new people and finding yourself in new family happens, our population wouldn’t be so large if that wasn’t the case. But then which dream to do you follow? Do you stay or do you go? Can you live without your loved ones? Would they want you to? All these questions are addressed within a tight, well-written story I didn’t want to leave.

 

You know those tales you leave with sadness, that make you read slower to savor your time with the characters but the plot won’t let you? Yeah, that’s what happened to me with this book. I am so glad to know Margaret McGaffey-Fisk! Maybe I can put peer pressure on her to make this a series? What an excellent read!

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CWin Post


CWin Post. Is out! politics AND PopSci!

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