Posts Tagged ‘CNN’

When it comes to news sources, I use many. From the Huffington Post (a fabulous online publication with the good sense to employ my brilliant niece), to the Adoption Institute, from the the BBC to CNN and back again, there’s a world of info at our fingertips, and anything that must be known can … with a good salt shaker in hand, some common sense and a willingness to learn and listen carefully.

That said, I must admit that one of my daily “must reads” has little to do with learning, but everything to do with a shaker full and common sense.

Yes, that would be The Onion … the premier site for satire dressed in news clothing, and every bit as biting as such an animal should be.

Take, for example, this article, titled: Study: 38 Percent Of People Not Actually Entitled To Their Opinion.

Now if it’s not a sticky bit from my own brain extrapolated out into three paragraphs of undiluted poetic slap-upside-the-head-with-a-sackfull-of-nickels!

In a surprising refutation of the conventional wisdom on opinion entitlement, a study conducted by the University of Chicago’s School for Behavioral Science concluded that more than one-third of the U.S. population is neither entitled nor qualified to have opinions.

Well … yeah …

Living internationally, as I do, I personally wouldn’t limit the “study results” to Americans, but since The Onion is US based, I’ll leave them to it.

Read it and weep … and laugh … and question just about everything about the world making any sense at all.

And … when you’re done … eat a piece of my history with this vid of the Byrds, recalled with fondness — the moment I saw it can be placed in context — doing a TV version of bible verses with “Turn Turn Turn”.

Enjoy …

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It’s only been election day in the States for a little under an hour now, but on this side of the world the morning is heading toward afternoon and that has me thinking I should be sitting in front of the TV and listening to Wolf Blitzer yammer on about exit polls.

This is certain to be one of those days that I resent the hell out of whoever has yet to get around to inventing the beamy-uppy thing, as I would LOVE to be in the US for all of this particular Tuesday in this particular November.

I’ve not minded at all missing out on the hoopla of the last two Presidential elections … in fact I casually contemplated passing myself off as Canadian (or a Kiwi like Sis, but I can’t do the accent) … but this one brings such promise that I’m sorry to be missing the party … Democrat, of course.

My beautiful and bright daughter, Jenn, has been stumping for Obama in North Carolina, and I would love to be sitting with her as the results come in. Not that I’m counting unhatched chickens from way over here in the Indian Ocean … no way! I’ve been out of America long enough now to harbor no illusions about the potential of pinheads to rise like over-yeasty bread and take over the world, reminding me in no little way of the creature introduced in Michael Landon’s first film, “The Blob”.

Could it be, though, that this time around intelligence counts? Could smart and honorable and vital and committed and fresh and fill-in-a-positive-adjective-here carry the day?

Do the world a favor, and get out and vote today, and if you’re still undecided and of the mindset that a movie star should tell you what box to tick, feel free to let my brother influence you. After all, he’s a smart guy, too.

I’ll be over here waiting with fish on my tongue (baited breath … a groaner, I know, but it’s an inside joke aimed at a few) for the results to start coming in on CNN’s website … Anderson Cooper is cute, isn’t he just, and isn’t that what TV news is all about? … and hoping for the promise of a new and brighter world.

We all sure could use that.

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The title of this post is not one I expected to ever write nor an emotion I would experience, but this morning I am most certainly missing being in the loop of the US political scene.

My measly one hour of CNN consisted of commentary of Obama’s speech at the convention, and although it was conducted with more enthusiasm than I’ve seen from some of the folks at the network than usual, I get the sense that an historical moment passed me by … one that I would have enjoyed a whole heck of a lot, too.

As mentioned in my previous post, my daughter is stumping for Obama in North Carolina and thrilled to be doing so. Having not seen her jazzed about national affairs like this ever before, my 1960’s protesting soul is thrilled at her passion, and her choice of direction for aiming that passion pleases me.

I recently read “The Audacity of Hope”, my first introduction into Barack beyond soundbites, and found only one topic to disagree with in the entire book. (I’m not a fan of bio fuels, ethanol especially, and consider them an unacceptable compromise over fossil fuels that’s going to bite the world in the butt big time.)

For the past eight years, I’ve been living as an embarrassed expat apologizing for GW Bush and wondering how in hell such a stupid man got the job of President … TWICE … which caused no end of worry over what the hell my fellow Americans could possibly be thinking.

Finally, finally, there’s something I can understand happening, a process and a conclusion (so far) that makes sense on many levels, and a hopefulness in the air that’s not been detectable, much less breathable, in a very long time.

So, yes, I find myself missing the politics of today’s America, the hype, the groove, the zeal and wholehearted and hopeful commitment that has grabbed a generation with little example in living memory of happy days being here again.

I will, of course, be voting, as every vote DOES count, and following the campaign as I can from here with my limited TV and painfully slow Internet, and while doing so I’ll be envying all of you there the national frisson that’s taken hold, shaken things up and has so many so hopeful.

Enjoy the ride, and keep up the good work!

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Back in the days when I was still working for Adoption dot com, when a new and enthusiastic editor carved out yet another blog for me after noting my news-houndyishness and created the “News” blog, word came down from On High that I should take on the task of examining Presidential candidates and their positions on adoption.

Having worked with politicos during my news days, this seemed an easy assignment; after all, who in a big race would turn down a chance for free press on a topic so much less loaded than weapons of mass destruction and genocide, and to shine with some merciful light radiating from some innocent child?

Turns out, all of them.

After researching who was who and where, I sent emails to the people in charge of getting press for their candidates, for answering questions and sending out miles of column inches of controlled blather in hopes that someone, somewhere, will pick it up and publish at least something, but to no avail.

Yes, I did get on everyone’s mailing list and spend too much time trashing rah-rah bandwagon mail, but any direct adoption-related contact or offers to send position papers my way?

Nope. Not a one.

I was puzzled, to say the least, and since I still have a few contacts in and around the US political scene, some of whom have moved up the power ladder in the years I’ve been away and now hang with hopeful Presidents, I asked around.

In America it’s a ten foot pole, while the Brits say barge pole which must be about that long, but whatever you call it no one was touching me.

I’d been instructed to play the Adoption dot com card … huge Web site, thousands of hits per month, blah, blah, blah … which, it happens, slammed the door faster than if I’d showed up in black leather and asked to give spankings.

Seems the lawsuit the company had recently lost to a gay couple they refused to do business with put the kibosh on getting cozy for anyone with an eye toward not being associated in any way with homophobes.

A representative from one of the company’s advertisers even started a boycott movement, so apparently enough attention had been focused to staple a big “keep away” sign on anything coming that might look like a tie.

This all happened some months ago, and the field of candidates has narrowed a bit, and because of my early attempt at contact … and all the mailing lists that plastered me to … I’ve been following bits from the campaign trail I wouldn’t normally be paying much attention to.

I will vote in the general election when it finally rolls around … You bet I will! … but all the run-up hoopla usually ebbs around me like creek water around a midstream boulder. I’ve not lived in the US since the year after Bill Clinton came into office, so too many of the early posers are so new to me that I’d rather wait until it looks like I really should know about them.

I don’t vote in the Primaries, so it’s all done but the shouting by the time I get to say my bit, so burning extra energy on losers isn’t a hobby I take on.

I did see a tiny bit of CNN this morning, however … a tiny bit is all I get before Chinese State TV in English takes over to spout the wonders of the regime and the overwhelming joy of the people of China … candidate-related, as Florida was just finishing the voting there.

It was Mitt Romney on, spouting to his cheering and oh-so-well-groomed crowd, and I was very surprised to hear that his whole theme was change.

Change to healthcare. Change to education. Change to taxation. Change to war … and on and on. Rousing chants of something like “They didn’t fix it” followed each proclamation of what had badly needed change, but hadn’t been addressed.

Excuse me … but haven’t we had a Republican President for the last almost 8 years? And wasn’t, until recently, Congress also dominated by the GOP? So, wouldn’t they be they?

What am I missing? Really. I would love someone to explain to me how a Republican candidate can be running on a platform of change. (Not why … that’s clear … but how.)

Because he’s never held office in the federal government? Because he’s been a governor and businessman his GOP connection has been without pull … just a regular Joe hanging at the club and demanding better education for the poor?

Okay, you’ve probably gathered that I don’t usual vote the GOP ticket, although I am not a lock-step voter by any means, and I would be cutting him more slack if I thought more like he does, but even if that was the case, one line that got a huge and deliriously agreeable response stood out and had me suspecting that this guy hasn’t had an original thought in a very long time:

We will teach our kids that before they have babies they should get married!


Yeah. That’s new.

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Who is this guy?

I’m other-side-of-the-planet out of the loop, so may possibly be forgiven for never, until today, having heard of Steve Santagati, but I’ve just come across a blog post by him on the Huff Post.

He was apparently on a CNN program I’ve also never heard of, Showbiz Tonight, talking about a magazine I’ve never heard of, Maxim, and voicing opinions I have most certainly heard, but not for a while.

Divvying up what does or does not make the opposite sex desirable isn’t a conversation I’ve come across lately, so I was interested to learn what the buzz is in the real world late 2007.

Being some sort of expert on what makes women sexy in the eyes of men, he posts a Top Ten that addresses wardrobe (classy, but provocative), grooming (perfume should be present but not over-powering and it’s best if her hair is clean and of feminine length), temperament (can’t have a “sour puss” or get up on a soapbox and complain all the time), and humor (should be able to take a joke…even if it’s dirty), amongst other things.

Insisting that woman want “brutal honesty”, and admitting that 95% of us can “take it on”, he’s right tiffed by those who can’t … or possibly choose not to?

Because it’s his blog inspiring mine today, I’ll give him his Top Ten and a nod to the postulation that men find ‘sexy’ the quality most attractive, and since he’s never heard of me I’ll assume we’re square and turnabout being fair play I can join the game.

Not being a man, I would never assume to speak for my gender on anything, so my thoughts on what is hot on a man would be my own. Looks are part of the initial draw, but far too subjective, and a small part of the picture.

So, my Top Ten of what makes a man attractive looks like this:

1. He should look like he could care less about what he wears and not spend more than 30 seconds on his hair.

2. In reasonable physical shape, showing evidence of enjoying a good meal and the occasional ale is required.

3. He can be clumsy and goofy as long as he has a good laugh.

4. He must be good at listening AND hearing. (Eye contact is important, too.)

5. He shouldn’t smell like anything that can be purchased through Duty Free other than a good Single Malt.

6. He must be passionate about something.

7. He should not be whiny, ever have his mother do his ironing or freak out at the sight of bugs or snakes.

8. Loving kids and animals and being gentle goes a long way to making up for lost hair or other mere physical attributes that may be less than perfect.

9. An addiction to the written word is vital.

10. He must have honor, never lie, and be ready to protect those he cares for with his life.

Is this too much to ask? Not for me. And, by the way, this is not just the Top Ten for “What I looked for in a life partner.” This would also be the checklist for anyone looking to get laid.

Feel free to add your own thoughts …

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