On page 148, the stop and think box has a blurb from Michael Shermer and why people beleive weird things. The last bullet point says
“we tend to remember those instances that confirm our beliefs and to forget those that reject our beleifs.”
I’ve learned in my psychology course that this is a naturally occuring psychological phenomenom. Although everyone does this, I still find it frustrating. I feel its the main reason we are in Iraq. They were able to weed through and forget about all of the contradictory evidence for invading Iraq, and find the things they wanted to beleive. Thats why Rush Limbaugh has his audience and why The Daily show has its audience. They both tell people what they want to hear, and what they already beleive. Its very rare that anyone goes out and looks for information that contradicts their strongest beleifs.
I really, really enjoyed the story in chapter 3 The ones who wald away fro Omelas. There were times when I even laughed at the story, until I got to the end. The discription of the child in the basement room creeped me out immensly. It made me think a lot. I wondered if the author was drawing a very extreme comparison to our own society. That the rules of economics say that there always has to be poor, and there always have to be rich. That it does not work having everything and everyone be equal. I also wondered if I would walk away from Omelas. I like to think that I would. Its easy to see a situation and consider yourself noble and think that you would be to enraged to let one person suffer for your own happiness in such a direct way, but I can’t help but wonder if I lived in such a happy place, that I would just pretend that child didn’t exist or make excuses to feel better about the situation.
I would say my strongest virtue of the 13 he has listed, would be silence. I have never been much of a talker or gossiper. That doesn’t mean I havn’t been guilty of listening closely to gossip though. My weakest virtue is probably Industry. I am the worlds biggest time waster. I procrastinate (confession….I am writing this blog in class) on most of my assignments, waiting until the night before to get them done. I can see a benefit of tracking your virtues if you are an organized, list keeping type of person. I however am not and would forget the list in less than a week. I give credit to Franklin for his effort.
I enjoyed Eva Paus account of what she felt the day she became a US citizen. I can imagine that there is some kind of excitment and expectation at the end of the long process of naturalization. I was disappointed when she was a little let down with the limited idea of citizenship she was hearing. I’m sure the peice gave others something to think about. Some people do see being actively critical and voicing a strong opinion as part of the responsability of a citizen. Certainly any protestor would agree with that. Many people excersize this right without even realizing it. When George Bush wrote that voting was essential to being a citizen, what Eva may not have realized is that we do express dissent, through the voting process. Thats what we do everytime the government lets us down, we vote them out of office.
I was immediately drawn to the graphic on page 22 from the consumer freedom group. While I do not feel it is ok for the government to tax certain kinds of foods, I also get the feeling that this consumer freedom poster may have been funded by the fast food industry. Of course thats just speculation on my part but who else would care this much. I think the point of this poster is to offend you and hopefully you will direct that offense toward the government that wants to tax foods that will clog your arteries and give you diabetes down the road. In fact, what this poster does is make me mad at fast food and the so called Center for consumer freeedom. I feel like they are talking down to me and using very harsh and direct language to make me feel a certain way, instead of giving me the facts and allowing me to make an informed desicion. I’m sure this will work on someone, somewhere. I don’t doubt this has enraged people who are sensative about government oversight of things. I know it made me think though. I hope everyone would stop and think about this message instead of blindly reacting to the initial feeling about being called stupid.
I watched the inauguration closely, not because it was an assignment, but because I am excited about the start of a new presidency. As I watched, I was struck by a number of historically significant things. I felt a great sense of awe and pride when the first female Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi walked the first African American First Lady through the greeting line. What a radical but over due time in America. I learned that President Obama (that feels good to write) and former President Bush (that feels better), have developed a strong mutual respect for eachother. I also caught a couple of moments on Fox news after Senator Kennedy fell ill and I thought they blew it out of proportion. I suppose this is their job, though it still irritates me. President Obamas speech really gave me perspective on being a citizen as he pointed out the importance, now more than ever, for a sense of responsabilty for everyone. I am excited and proud that we elected Barrack Obama, and I am looking forward to a new era.
A few years ago, as I stated in my “about me” comment, I was deployed to Iraq. Before reaching Iraq, we spent a few months in Kuwait adjusting to the weather, and wrapping up some training. My job, while I was there, was to escort busses of soldiers too and from training sites throughout the country. As I drove around Kuwait, I felt like I was in another world. There is not much in Kuwait. More sand than any one person needs too look at, and a sky that stretches for miles. We would drive for miles, and never see a single soul, only dead camels. It was eerie and I felt very, very out of place. Our base, was in the middle of nothing but pure desert. Although there were usually people around me, I felt like I was the only person in the middle of no where. It was uncomfortable and sometimes lonely. Although I have traveled quite a bit, and have felt out of place before, this was probably the most bizzarre experience I’ve had.
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