Archive for the ‘ Common Sense ’ Category

Using “tags” to filter TV shows, like ratings!

Imagine as parent you don’t want your young child watching any television programming that is tagged with let’s say “realistic violence”.  You power on the web-enabled TV, cable provider set box or ISP modem and enter “Tagging” mode with a password.  Once into the system, we browse the selection of tags and choose just realistic violence.  Other options could include animated violence, sex, nudity, partial nudity, frontal nudity, swear words, drugs, to name a few.  You accept and walk away, knowing that your child will now not be able to view ANY video on-line or ANY specific television show through cable that has this specific tag.

We live in a world where this is possible, yet why isn’t it being done?  We have this “ratings” system that gets plastered everyone, is usually with most television shows, but doesn’t really get used by the end user with tangible results.  It’s more about being a visible but yet invisible safety net, giving comfort to the masses.  I strongly dislike things done for pretense and appearances.  If effort and time is spent on ratings, they should be used and not taken for granted.

If television series were asked to take it a step further and if we made a more detailed set of tags to be used, I think something like this could have practical and positive results, almost immediately.  We already have data that is piped down the cable line with TV shows and videos online.  I can’t say for certain if say, Comcast or an ISP would need more involvement to make this work transmission wise, but obviously on the set top boxes there would need to be a more configurable system for parents.  Same with ISP modems or operating systems and any TV’s that have tuners.  Modems, for online content, may be a bit more tricky to achieve, so actual television broadcasts would be a better first step.  It shouldn’t take much overhead, not even though warrant any fee increase or the like I’d say, but I’m sure all interested parties would find a way to see that happens.

I however feel strongly this wouldn’t be all that hard to implement.  Once a detailed set of tags has been created, and agreed upon like the current ratings, it would be easy to tag shows properly.  There could be self-moderation as long as there was no outcry, and heck, we could even use SMS technology to better improve the system through customer feedback and engagement.  Feel a tag is wrong or missing?  Send a text to ” “!!

I should really patent these ideas I have.  Though, if you get rich off it, a little hush money would be appreciated.  Or…I’d be more than happy to help make it a reality and would just need board and meals paid for!  What can I say, I’m cheap.  🙂


Happy Meals getting the Ban Hammer?

According to this article on CNN, the city of San Francisco is going to try to ban any children’s meal that doesn’t meet certain nutritional standards for healthy food and has a toy from movies, possibly any kind of toy.

San Francisco’s board of supervisors is expected to formally approve a ban on most of McDonald’s Happy Meals in current form during a meeting Tuesday.

Under the proposal, McDonald’s and other restaurants would have until December 2011 to improve their meals’ nutrition with fruits and vegetables — if the chains want to keep offering Captain America figurines or toys tied with latest films.

Personally, I think this is a great idea and here’s why.  My father is constantly using fast food as dinner for his eight-year old son that he raises alone.  We could sit here and argue about how he could do things different to avoid fast food joints, but that is not the point and another discussion, so don’t be sidetracked.  The point is, he does and so do a lot of parents just like him for various reasons, justifiable or not.

Parents and some organizations are going to whine, cry and bitch about this potential ban without actually thinking about it, simply citing it as a “Parenting Issue”.  They will have a knee-jerk reaction to trying to be helped, for some of them simply because it’s “The Man” trying to help them.  For others, because they truly believe it is a parenting issue.

Those who have a knee-jerk reaction, ignore them as usual.  They never bring their own ideas to the table and any good points they do bring probably came from some other source.

Those who truly believe, are important.  They deserve to be heard, listened too and reasoned with.  Here’s my reasoning, quite simple, too:  This ban isn’t saying you can’t buy your child these meals that don’t meet the nutritional standards, it is saying you just won’t get a toy with them, instead.  Is that really so bad?

If you want the toy still, buy the unhealthy meal and pony up for the toy, because you care for your child, right?  I hate making an attack statement next, but it has to be said:  If you really cared for your kid, you wouldn’t be feeding them unhealthy fast food.  Only option you say?  Funny, San Francisco seems to be trying to do something about that without preventing you from still feeding them poorly and what was your first reaction?  Stop them from trying!

If you truly think you are a good parent, ask yourself honestly – does that sound like good parenting?


America, Land of the Hypocrite

I’m going to keep this simple, because getting to deep or emotional is how people lose sight of a problem that needs correcting.

Oregon health inspectors, following the law, enforce it and tell a seven-year old girl in Oregon she needs to close up shop because she has not followed the law.  (The support she received later made the inspectors get told to back off.)

A mosque is trying to be built on/near the grounds of the 9/11/2003 World Trade Center attack in the United States, and people are stunned that the President of the United States is supporting it, and they want it stopped, which would require breaking the law.

I’m not going to elaborate further, because if you don’t see the crystal clear point that I just made – You are letting your emotions get in the way, plain and simple.

Freedom for all, means even those we don’t like or agree with.  If you have an issue with that, move.

545 People

I came across today, through Twitter, if you can imagine, an article simply titled “545 people vs 300,000,000” – Huh, I thought.  I read it, realizing it wasn’t even the original article.  Did some digging and came across the truth that the original had been WRITTEN in 1985 by Charley Reese and first published by Orlando Sentinel Star newspaper in 1995 – W.T.F.

I am going to quote the full text here myself, it is WELL worth the read by any American, regardless of political affiliations.

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.”

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The president does.

You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason.. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.
What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall.. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi… She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red ..

If the Army &Marines are in IRAQ , it’s because they want them in IRAQ

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems..

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

I’m not going to sit here and type out what I believe we should do to fix the problem, I am not going to get on a high horse and start shouting at the top of my lungs that I have the absolute answer – I don’t.  What I do have, however, is the simple ability to read the above quoted words and realize they are true without going any deeper into specific issues.

Do I really need to start talking about how much I hate that our troops are in Iraq, getting killed for something I don’t believe in?  No, for that leads to serving our country, blaming of the past President of the United States, big oil, etc ad nauseam.  What’s that have to do with those 545 people misrepresenting my best interests?

Do I need to whine about how the Social Security Tax I am paying with my hard work, isn’t going to be around when it’s my time to collect it?  No, for that leads to the defensive talks of having to help our elderly, disabled or otherwise entitled people of age survive while unemployed.  Personally, that’s what they call a SAVINGs account and oh, I’m a big fan of Soylent Green.

We need not discuss any of that distracting nonsense.  We should not blind ourselves and clutter the field with items that are irrelevant to the above quoted truths on the 545 people who should be serving their country but by all appearances, are only serving themselves, their careers, their interests and agendas, etc ad nauseam.  They want us, the American people, to focus on the specific issues so we forget the larger truth.  They want you to zoom in on the minor cracks in the foundation, the ones that will take years and years to do real harm, while completely ignoring the rotting, termite infested regions that are causing the cracks to begin with.

545 people are acting like that brown-nosing co-worker who always blames other employees.  Shirking away from responsibility.

545 people are saying they stand for Truth, Justice and Liberty….while blatantly taking a piss all over the words.  Hypocritical.

545 people know exactly what the left AND right hands are doing, but choose to ignore them.  For if one hand isn’t help them, it’s helping someone who can help them!  Selfish.

545 people only speak out against those hands, when they aren’t doing anything for them.  They only speak up when it seems to make them look good.  Manipulative.

545 people are spending taxpayer money that we already don’t have and saying they will lower taxes.  Lying.

545 people are making every single United States citizen a chump.  545 people are being copied and mirrored.

Sure, we all need to better ourselves but when these 545 people make the decision to be in their positions, they have to rise above the blame game and take responsibility for their actions and live with the consequences; maybe next time they will learn.  When these 545 people say they stand for and believe in something, they need to make their votes, the ONLY actions that matter from them, represent their words.  When these 545 people see one hand being naughty, they need to make sure it gets slapped and punished accordingly, even if it means taking a little heat or getting nothing in return themselves; maybe next time they will learn.  When these 545 people open their mouths to speak, the words that come out should make sense, for they should be common sense, the words of the people, for the people they serve.  And when these 545 people say they want to stop spending, they need to simply stop spending; yeah, it’s not that easy but they know this – so why continue to make the claim when these people know they cannot make good on their promise?

So this 1 citizen is asking why these 545 people seem to have the same qualities and attributes that he normally sees in other every day average citizens, even himself sadly at times and he is asking himself, can we do better?

Charley Reese

If only money spent fixing mistakes, was instead spent helping others

BP states Gulf Oil spill to cost more than $6 billion and I have to ask, ignoring the emotion, the outcry and just focusing on that number:  How much good could that much money do elsewhere in the world, if this spill hadn’t happened?

I think about stuff like this, far far to often, but just imagine for a moment, if one day a company announced that they were going to assist say, country X with $1 billion dollars.  After the world media stopped the kneejerk reaction of “What are they after, what are their real motives?” and started to focus on the GOOD in the action, can you imagine just how GOOD that much unsolicited money could do?

I’m not talking like, donating it to the Red Cross, a local charity or the government.  I’m talking walking down the streets, getting personal and making the money COUNT for something.  Going house to house, giving people just a little bit more than needed to help them get out over their heads, to lift their quality of life a little bit in a way that would makes sense for the recipient.  There would sadly, need to be a LOT of safeguards in place to prevent abuse or individuals from taking advantage, but does that mean something like this isn’t possible?  No, just highly unlikely, sadly.

In my mind, I envision this sort of thing happening – I want to see a company, or even a very wealthy individual, take this sort of action and really help people out.  I want to see the people being helped not try and “get as much as possible” but take what’s given and make it count to their situation, their life.  If someone from this imaginary company contacted me, I knew they were on the up and up, I would gladly show a representative my needs, explain my situation with facts, and be happy to accept whatever they were willing to help me with, without complaining that “that guy over there got twice as much!” as, I believe a lot of people would end up doing!

You know how you dream about winning the lottery?  My dream includes helping my family, my friends and those I have met in life whom I know really need a helping hand.  I don’t know why more people don’t truly think like that, and I don’t mean specifically when dreaming about winning the lottery.  I mean in life in general, from the big things to the small things.  Opening doors for people, helping little old ladies across the street!

But, anyway.  A pipe dream, of course.  But, if it ever happens I would like to think my will to make it so helped someway, somehow.

So, what company with billions of dollars, wants to help some people out?  Contact them, make it easy, ask for bills, send a person by.  Heck, send me by..I would LOVE to be the guy helping like that and I would DO IT FOR FREE as long as my travel, room and meals were covered!

A real news story from Fareed Zakaria about the BP Oil Spill

No matter what side of the political aisle you reside, if you do not agree that this gentleman is making sense you are a part of the problem too.

Holy…am I dreaming?  Do I detect, common sense??  Is this a story from a news outlet that is actually WORTH listening to concerning the BP Oil Spill!??  And it has NOTHING to do with it.

This reminds me of an episode of Lois and Clark:  The New Adventures of Superman.  Bear with me one moment here, you will see the relevance of my statement.  One of the minor recurring characters, Dr. Klein from S.T.A.R. Labs is injected with a truth serum and the weekly baddie, who is basically an oversized kid with an innate distrust of adults because of their lying ways, alludes us of how much nicer it is dealing with the drugged Doctor Klein because of the truth serum and how it removes the layers of lies that adults perpetrate on a constant basis.

The common citizen, the ones who get their “facts” from the media and don’t do any of their own research or thinking, want the Government to be cleaning up this BP mess.  You also want the Government to be less controlling and generally smaller.  You can’t have both.

Nor can you have, should you EXPECT or even think of asking for, the President of the United States of America to show outrage and emotion over this terrible incident.  And yet you also want someone with a cool head, not going to fly off the handle and make unprofessional remarks or comments about a situation, they need to be in control.  Again, you can’t have both.

You demand the President remain in the country to “take care of this mess”, to show you that he cares and is on top of the situation.  Yet you also want him to be overseas, being diplomatic and trying to persuade other countries to help us solve all the worlds problems.  You can’t have both.

Instead of complaining because the media tells you too, instead of wondering why the President isn’t showing emotion but is being a solid foundation for us to lean on, why don’t you think about the consequences of the things you are demanding of him?

If you want a smaller Government, you cannot turn around and complain when they don’t appear to have been on top of the situation enough according to the media.  If you can’t take the Government at its word that they are doing the best they can, yet you have no qualms about listening to what someone is PAID to say, you need to get a reality check.  For the Government to have been in a position to prevent this unfortunate mishap, they would need to have been bigger.  Yet you don’t want that.  They would have needed to have more rules and regulations in place, things that may have increased the price of oil and hence gasoline at the pump.  But you don’t want that, either.  The Government would have to have been in a position to tell the Environmentalists off.  To tell them that drilling in shallow waters is safer because of the inherent dangers associated with drilling deep underwater are just to risky.  But, you didn’t want that, either:  “Those ugly oil wells on the horizon, ewww.”

You either accept a Government big enough to ensure these problems never happen or one small enough that leaves it up to individual companies to prevent these problems.

You need to make up your mind, citizen.