Merry Christmas from Molly the Reindeer-costumed dog and Ms.ExceptionToTheRule!
On Friday, July 25th 2014 the much loved Mushu Mu Mao took her final breaths at home with myself and her dog-friend Molly by her side and then went over the “Rainbow Bridge”. I will always remember the sound of her meows – like she was on fire and being swung around by the tail. I can say that the time she got trapped in the bathroom wall and required me to take down all the drywall to get her out (earlier that day I was convinced that she’d somehow managed to get outside and would never be found) is one of the most entertaining memories from the 15 years that ‘Mu-mang’ and I spent together. Molly and I will miss our pain-in-the-butt cranky cat, but know we’ll all see each other again someday.
Warning: This post contains material that may be offensive to some persons
Let me just start this post by saying that both the paternal and maternal sides of my family had come from Europe and settled in America by the early 1700’s, and even I find this political ad offensive. Not only that, but at this point it also appears to be yet another attempt to light the match so as to start what is hoped will become an inferno of irrational hate with fear to sustain it. Should we be expecting a third ‘Red Scare’? Is the CAGW Fear-mongering in politics is far from new:
The Paranoid Style in American Politics is an essay by American historian Richard J. Hofstadter, first published in Harper’s Magazine in November 1964; it served as the title essay of a book by the author in the same year. Written at a time when Senator Barry Goldwater had won the Republican Presidential nomination over the more moderate Nelson A. Rockefeller, Hofstadter’s article explores the influence of conspiracy theory and “movements of suspicious discontent” throughout American history.
…The Enemy reified
In the politics of paranoia:
The enemy is clearly delineated: he is a perfect model of malice, a kind of amoral superman — sinister, ubiquitous, powerful, cruel, sensual, luxury-loving. Unlike the rest of us, the enemy is not caught in the toils of the vast mechanism of history, himself a victim of his past, his desires, his limitations. He wills, indeed, he manufactures, the mechanism of history, or tries to deflect the normal course of history in an evil way. He makes crises, starts runs on banks, causes depressions, manufactures disasters, and then enjoys and profits from the misery he has produced. The paranoid’s interpretation of history is distinctly personal: decisive events are not taken as part of the stream of history, but as the consequences of someone’s will. Very often, the enemy is held to possess some especially effective source of power: he controls the press; he has unlimited funds; he has a new secret for influencing the mind (brainwashing); he has a special technique for seduction (the Catholic confessional)…
CAGW’s ad contains elements of political paranoia while those behind the ad hope it will be blindly accepted without any research on whether or not what is said is correct:
…“Yet by a variety of financial measures, China is figuring less prominently than in the past. China holds 10 percent of the U.S. public debt today, compared with 12 percent two years ago. What’s more, the amount of interest the government pays to China each year has declined significantly as a result of declining interest rates.
U.S. taxpayers paid about $30 billion to China last year in interest, compared with the average of $33.5 billion in the previous five years, according to a calculation by The Washington Post based on data from the Treasury and Commerce departments. The figure is likely to fall even more this year.
Eswar Prasad, an international economics professor at Cornell University, said it’s natural that people would worry about U.S. obligations to China, but that the real problem is the debt, not who owns it.
“It’s fear about China’s rising dominance, and it’s one way to focus additional attention on the U.S. debt levels,” Prasad said. “The real issue here is the runaway U.S. borrowing, not really China.”
China’s smaller share of U.S. government securities is being offset as other countries increase their holdings. Japan has bought $215 billion in U.S. government debt in the past year, bringing its total holdings to $1.12 trillion. Japan was long the largest foreign owner of U.S. debt until China eclipsed it in 2008.
The reason for the shift is related to how China and Japan are managing their currencies. When foreign governments buy U.S. dollar-denominated securities such as Treasury bonds, it has the effect of making the currencies of these countries cheaper relative to the dollar. That tends to boost exports and economic growth of these countries.”…
A recently released ad from the pro-Romney Super PAC Restore Our Future appears to have considered those facts when it claimed “Obama has added more debt than the first 41 presidents combined.” That revised version of the claim conveniently leaves the 42nd and 43rd presidents — Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — out of the comparison. A little more than $6.4 trillion in debt was accumulated under Clinton and Bush, slightly higher than the amount projected to be accumulated under Obama (though we should note that’s four years of Obama compared with eight years each for Clinton and Bush).
The Romney ad’s claim that “over 30 cents of every dollar Obama spends is borrowed,” is accurate — the CBO estimates that in fiscal year 2012, the nation took in receipts of $2.45 trillion and had “outlays” of $3.54 trillion. So just over 30 cents on the dollar was borrowed. We should point out that the 30-cent figure has come down steadily under Obama. We borrowed over 40 cents on the dollar in fiscal year 2009.
And actually, China hasn’t been lending more to the U.S. lately. On the contrary, it unloaded $165 billion in U.S. Treasury securities in the 12 months ending July 31, according to the latest figures. Of all the money borrowed by the U.S. government over the years, China now holds 10 percent — still a substantial amount. But that’s down from 13.4 percent a year earlier. Overall, foreigners own $5.3 trillion, or about 47 percent, of the public debt, which means Americans own 53 percent of it.
…Do the research, and remember that if you don’t vote – you’ve got no right to complain about how the country is being run.
New Ad Campaign for GoGurt – Recognizing Fathers’ increasing numbers in the role as primary or equal share of caretaking for their children, too little and possibly too late, or requires more time and evaluation to decide?
GoGurt is a portable, low fat yogurt introduced by General Mills’ licensed Yoplait in 1999 marketed to children. Time Warner Cable subscribers living in the Southern California region recently may have noticed that the back-to-school advertising for GoGurt is a little different this year. This year, the commercial features a father in the kitchen and putting together a lunch to send out the door and off to school with his child. Yes, there’s still the implication that fathers need some guidance (Really, dad’s don’t need every surface from the hall and actually inside of the refrigerator to be plastered with post-it notes to remember things. My dad and every dad I’ve known/met through the present time hasn’t required more than two reminders at most – it drove him crazy when my parents were having their kitchen gutted and remodeled some years ago because even though they weren’t for him, seeing all the post-it notes my mom wrote saying the same things twice; one in Spanish and another in English and stuck to the appropriate places or items before she left for work were everywhere he looked until it was time for him to leave for work. All those little yellow post-its, with their tendency to get moved or fall off a surface weren’t the best option to my dad, and of course he was the one that my mom complained to when something hadn’t been done right – part of his job in their marriage is to see that mistakes and issues in everything from car repairs to work during a kitchen remodel are fixed. It’s not important to him to choose which pattern or color a new couch is, so he always tells my mom to pick whatever one she likes – all he cares about is having her there with him, which is far more important than the couch being striped, floral, or plaid). It’s not about the product in the advertisement that’s interesting to me – I hope that putting dads in more commercials will grow and quickly start reflecting fathers as competent parents who can handle the caretaking needs of their children just as well as mothers. The family structures in the United States have changed from what those from the baby boomer generation typically had when growing up and then sought to ‘escape’ from – divorce should never be anything but a last resort with the real emphasis on couples making sure that they really want to get married, which takes time to truly determine. But we can’t go back and change the past, the only thing we can do is put things in place to support our single fathers and our single mothers that honestly focus on what’s best for children; at the same time we should put serious effort into preventing future divorce by changing how people approach marriage – taking time before entering such a major commitment or marrying despite doubts/it’s expected of them/all of the arrangements are made and invitations mailed out (and any other trivial reason).
From General Mills’ website:
“General Mills is proud of its reputation as a “family-friendly” advertiser. We will not produce advertising that would undermine the role of parents and family, or respect for community authorities. General Mills will air advertising only on programming it deems suitable for the family-oriented nature of its brands and products. Special care also is taken to ensure that all marketing messages are inclusive and respectful of ethnic and religious affiliations.”
What do parents, especially fathers who have the role of primary caretaker for their child(ren) – single parent or otherwise – think of this new approach in marketing? Is it a good start towards recognizing that women aren’t the only gender reshaping and redesigning roles? Does it demonstrate that dads are equally important as parents and encouraging them to take an active part in the day-to-day things that are involved with raising their children? Or, is it too little and too late for many – perhaps it needs more time to determine where this approach is going? It could be the start of something truly inspiring on many levels, or it could end where it’s at right now – it’s up to us to decide what kind of future we want our children to live in.
(*note*: the author of ‘the anti’ blog recognizes that T.W. cable provides service throughout the United States, and advertising may or may not vary in a substantial way depending on the region. For information on the policies and advertising practices engaged in by other cable/communications providers in the course of delivering services to subscribers, contact the company operating in your area)