A blow to the "You’re Special" generation

A very interesting article over at “The Journal” (anyone still missing Imus in the morning?) about the challenges of the “tell-me-how-great-I-am” generation.

Can anyone on here relate to Mia?:

Some young adults are consciously calibrating their dependence on praise. In New York, Web-developer Mia Eaton, 32, admits that she loves being complimented. But she feels like she’s living on the border between a twentysomething generation that requires overpraise and a thirtysomething generation that is less addicted to it. She recalls the pre-Paris Hilton, pre-reality-TV era, when people were famous — and applauded — for their achievements, she says. When she tries to explain this to younger colleagues, “they don’t get it. I feel like I’m hurting their feelings because they don’t understand the difference.”

You mean, some people were famous because they DID STUFF?

No doubt the “you’re special” tendencies, where everyone gets a trophy, papers are graded with purple pens, and people are praised just for showing up has its downfalls. Apparently corporations have tried to accommodate this ridiculousness. Bank of America even has a “Senior Vice President of Recognition and Rewards.” But some feel that it’s not enough; that there needs to be an adjustment in the praise philosophy:

In the end, ego-stroking may feel good, but it doesn’t lead to happiness, says Prof. Twenge, the narcissism researcher, who has written a book titled “Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable than Ever Before.” She would like to declare a moratorium on “meaningless, baseless praise,” which often starts in nursery school. She is unimpressed with self-esteem preschool ditties, such as the one set to the tune of “Frère Jacques”: “I am special/ I am special/ Look at me…”

I’ve always felt that the constant praise felt better for the parent, teacher, or employer than it did for the praisee. Meanwhile I grabbed a book the other day (at a library sale) titled, The Road to Whatever: Middle-Class Culture and the Crisis of Adolescence, which takes the opposite tack: that the middle-class culture of meritocracy and “tough love” is ruining our young people. Aaaah…the search for balance, it’s never-ending.



Chinese batteries lethal?

Chinese Youth Killed By Cell Phone Battery Blast
Jul 3 03:10 PM US/Eastern

Chinese Youth Killed By Cell Phone Battery Blast beijing , July 03 (qna) – A 22-year-old Welder In North-western China Died When His Cell Phone Battery Exploded As He Was Working In Hot Temperatures, A Newspaper Reported Tuesday.

The Battery Exploded While The Phone Was In The Man’s Pocket As He Was Welding At A Factory In Shuangcheng In Jinta County In Gansu Province, The Lanzhou Chenbao Reported, Adding That The Death Was Believed To Be The First In China Caused By A Cell Phone Battery.

The June 19 Blast Broke A Rib And Drove It Into The Man’s Heart And He Collapsed In A Pool Of Blood, The Report Said. He Was Taken To Hospital But Died There.

The Manufacturer Of The Phone Was Notified And Dispatched Experts To Jinta To Conduct An Investigation. qna 1906 Gmt 2007/07/03<


Posted in China. 2 Comments »

Ozzy and Taiwan

Can’t think of a better spokesman and representative than Ozzy Osbourne for the cause of Taiwan membership in the U.N. As much as I’m not a fan of the U.N. and sometimes wish the U.S. would just say “Go to hell” and kick them all out of NYC, I can certainly understand the symbolism of belonging to the U.N. and the effect that would have on China’s precarious control of the country.

Wasn’t aware that Taiwan was ever a member of the U.N., but apparently they were and were kicked out in 1971 due to (big shock) Chinese pressure.

The Scotsman

Posted in Taiwan. 2 Comments »

The MMR-autism theory? There’s nothing in it’ by Dr Michael Fitzpatrick

The MMR-autism theory? There’s nothing in it
by Dr Michael Fitzpatrick

Michael Fitzpatrick talks to Stephen Bustin, whose devastating testimony in
a US court demolished the last shred of evidence against vaccines.



This is going to start an avalanche. The liberal speaks and I can just hear you guys cocking your guns…

Butch’s posting about Moore was not purposeless gossip. It was designed to tarnish Moore’s image and name. At the onset of Sicko’s release conservatives have worked themselves into a tizzy, outraged that, once again, this man is criticizing the system, any action of which conservatives have branded to be wholly un-American, even anti-American. Say what you will about Moore and his comments on Steve Jobs (which I too found ridiculous, but that’s hardly the point), it’s his film that deserves attention. However, his critics and dissenters (not excluded from this blog) follow the typical route of attacking his character in order to discredit the content of his film and distract people from it altogether.

The idea of “character assassins” is something I’ve wanted to elaborate on for a while. This aggressive and malicious form of coercion has become rampant in the news media forum, particularly among, though not limited to, the right-wing press. This vicious behavior is typical of Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Anne Coulter, who’ve been defaming critics of the Republican Party for years now. There might be a tendency among their sympathizers to say ‘well, look at how many fans these guys have’ not only to somehow credit some veracity to their shows but to also justify their libel. Smack-talk is smack-talk and whether political or not it is sensational, attention-grabbing and attracts viewers and listeners like flies to shit. People didn’t consistently watch Jerry Springer, for example, because they actually believed everything they were seeing—most people knew it was largely fictional—but because of its audacity and entertainment value. O’Reilly and Limbaugh retain their audiences for similar reasons and to great appeal: there are countless Americans who respond enthusiastically to bullying. Really, can you imagine O’Reilly having the same popularity if he were genteel and polite?

The only leftist in my mind who is arguably comparable to these guys in terms of celebrity is Michael Moore, though he releases a film once every few years (big deal) versus Limbaugh, O’Reilly, et al, who do their mud-slinging on a daily basis. And while the character assassins on the Right have little purpose other than to defame in the form of “commentary,” Moore composes two-hour arguments that address problems–business moving overseas in “Roger & Me,” gun violence in “Bowling for Columbine,” ineffective HMOs in “Sicko”—and offer insight (our widespread violence is linked to widespread fear, “BFC”) or proposed solutions whether you like them or not.

How does the conservative right respond to Michael Moore? The way they respond to anybody who criticizes Republican policy: namecalling. The anti-Moore website “Moorewatch.com” calls the man a “fat bastard.” Fred Thompson in this YouTube video suggests Moore is mentally disturbed: “a mental institution, Michael, it might be something you ought to think about.” Google “Sicko” and “Michael Moore” together and you’ll find a slew of conservative websites that howl and call Moore a liar and yet offer no evidence of lying. The “Business & Media” website started their review of the film with “Michael Moore is a documented liar” and proceeded to not only state zero examples of Moore lying but rather accused him of failing to acknowledge the bad points along with the good of the Cuban healthcare system (yet B&M themselves failed to acknowledge the good points of the film along with the bad, choosing instead to focus on calling Moore a liar). This weblog “Truthdig.com” reviews “Sicko” and accuses Moore of not telling the truth. The reviewer spends three paragraphs criticizing the film’s music (!), though never points out any lies. What’s up with that, guys? Why would conservatives do that? Just being old-fashioned? Tradition? Anything anti-conservative must be a lie!

The slandering is so unchecked on the Right that I agree with my friend Steele: the Left needs more character assassins of their own. Fratboy neo-cons have been waging war on Democrats for the past two decades. What do you think? Do you think the pinkos ought to start calling their opponents faggots, liars, wackos, fundamentalists, and pedophiles ?

Back to where it started. Michael Moore and “Sicko.” Indeed, Butch, you didn’t even mention his movie or its implication before you chipped in to the right wing smear campaign against Michael Moore. This is the problem. You guys are throwing sucker punches at Moore himself so I’m going to call you on it. You’re passing judgment on this guy and affecting your opinion of his film before you’ve even seen it, if you ever allow yourself to see it. I don’t expect you or anybody on the right to knock off all the belligerence that has run amok in our public forums. The problem is so advanced that it’s not going to change. In the meantime I hope you can at least recognize this as a major setback in social discourse and effective communication in general whose fundamental component is fact not opinion.

As for the film itself,
here’s the best review I’ve seen of SICKO
. For anybody too skiddish to watch the film, this article sums up quite well its strengths and weaknesses, commenting not just on Moore as both filmmaker and subject, but also on the issues that the film addresses.

Michael Moore whines about iPhone launch

Hat tip to “Let Freedom Reign

Michael Moore is whining about the debut of the Iphone as a shameless capitalist distraction from his precious little documentary. Talk about someone who reads his own press clippings:

“Apple and AT&T obviously don’t care about fixing America’s healthcare system. They only care about how many iPhones they’re going to sell.”

Um…yeah, that’s right. That’s typically what phone companies are worried about. Shame on them. And Michael Moore is not at all concerned about how many of his movie tickets are sold…right?


Bad Chinese tires

Avoid buying these brands of tires: “Westlake, Compass, Telluride and YKS”. These are manufactured in China by the Hangzhou Zhongce company. The gum strip is not installed and these tires can fly apart at any time. The importer, Foreign Tire Sales, is claiming they can’t afford to recall these tires, so we’re on our own here.