John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Over Analyzing

When I was in my early 20s a friend and priest told me that I had a tendancy to over-analyze thing.

He said I am the type person who has to “understand first” before I will experience life.

He said I had it backward.

That with life, we experience it first and, if we’re lucky, we understand a little of it.

He was right.

I just listened to the song Kodachrome by Paul Simon. I didn’t understand ut but thoroughly enjoyed it.

I’m not sure that Paul Simon understood what he was singing about–but glad he sang it anyway.

Today I will try to experience more and worry less about understanding it.

Michael Steele: 1 is Not the Loneliest Number; 5 Trillion is

After 10 days of discussing women and the role of women in the home, the workplace or just about any other space you could think of, a number of friends began to boast (or lament) about the presidential election turning on “social issues.”

No doubt such issues are important and will be as much a part of our national debate as health care or the War on Terror.  But there is one issue, perhaps not as politically hot as contraceptives but just as potentially life changing: $5 trillion! That’s a number that doesn’t roll trippingly off the tongue too often, but that’s how much the federal debt has increased since January 2009.

To be certain there have been a lot of fingers in that pot to make it grow to be as big as it is.

During the course of the Bush administration Republicans found their mojo for Big Government Republicanism. For example, in 2003, President George W. Bush announced his administration would spend “up to $400 billion” over 10 years to add prescription drug coverage to Medicare.

Problem was by 2008, that Medicare drug entitlement program was projected to cost $783 billion over the next 10 years. And then there was the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) from which funds were used to bail out the banks and General Motors. As Rep. Tom Price (R-Georgia)noted at the time, “It is now clear that the creation of TARP was a rueful mistake which has failed to provide urgent market stability, yet has put our country perilously in debt for the foreseeable future.”

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Michael Steele: 1 is Not the Loneliest Number; 5 Trillion is

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Laughter

The Politics of Laughter

You gotta do what you gotta do. [gif]

“I told you I’d do it” [picture]

I hope my baby never chokes. Two CPR jokes in one week! [picture]

How did that get in there? [picture]

They say some dogs and their owners look alike. [picture]

 

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Bad Ass Toothbrushes

Some guys are into souped up, pimped out cars. Others are into collecting sophisticated or rare guns. Me? I’m into bad a** tooth brushes.

I just picket up a new tooth brush with—get this (forgive me for geeking out)

Sonic technology, slimmer than Sonicare Essence. It creates Sonic vibrations and a dynamic bristle cleaning action that removes more plaque than a regular manual toothbrushes.

Two Brushing Modes and two Oral-B replacement heads (Pulsonic and Precision Tip) meet my unique teeth cleaning needs. And will leave me with a radiant smile.

I asked the store clerk if this was essentially the AK-47 of toothbrushes. She wasn’t sure what I was talking about. But I clarified that I didn’t want to hear about another –even more powerful toothbrush being available—if I bought this. She assured me that would not happen.

I asked her if any of the toothbrushes were Taser-capable.

She again acted confused.

But I think she was secretly very impressed and was merely trying to conceal it.

If I pull up to a Ferrari I’ll look over as if to say to the driver “Nice car” while holding up my toothbrush for the driver to see and reciprocate with a look back of “Nice toothbrush.”

Can’t wait to get home and brush tonight!

Artur Davis: The Culture War Begins

Hilary Rosen’s put-down of Ann Romney has operated in a remarkably generous manner for all sides of the dispute. For Republicans, the incident has been galvanizing, sympathetically raising the profile of Mitt Romney’s strongest validator, and reviving familiar arguments about liberal condescension toward traditional family structures. For Team Obama, the lightning fast denunciations of Rosen were an opportunity to claim solidarity with non professional married females who have lagged in their enthusiasm for the president in most surveys; and to simultaneously highlight the wealth gap between the Romneys and those same non professional marrieds.

Even for Hilary Rosen, while her 33rd visit to the White House has been indefinitely postponed, she is now another previously interchangeable DC consultant whose business will thrive from the glow of 15 minutes of fame.

So, spare the ritualistic outrage over the Rosen comment, and the dissection of whether she was an aberration or just speaking out of school, long enough to consider the following: an election that seemed destined to be about job growth and consumer confidence is taking on broader dimensions. 

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Artur Davis: The Culture War Begins

Abigail Miller: As A Jew, I am a Zionist

I can proudly say, as a Jew I am a Zionist.

All my life, the happenings of the Holocaust have been driven into my head, time after time, school year after school year. It surprised me greatly that many of my classmates didn’t know the tragedies the Holocaust brought to the Jewish people during World War II. 12 million were killed in the Holocaust, half of them being Jews.

So when we learned about the Zionist movement in AP World History class this year, it made sense to me that the Jewish people should have their own homeland to go to.

Before this year, I can honestly say I haven’t really taken much interest in Israel. But now that I’m going to spend half of my summer there, I started to pay attention more closely to the history and the current events going on there.

Sadly, I know that Israel has much criticism. The other day, I was filling out a worksheet for my history class. I had to look up what the term “Displacement of Palestinians” meant. I plugged the phrase into the Google search bar, and I have to say, I was appalled at what I found.

I found an article talking about Israel in the most negative manner I have ever heard. The article described the Zionists and Israelis as cruel perpetrators that celebrate 60 years of Palestinian torture every year on Yom Ha’atzma’ut, Israel’s independence day.

That claim didn’t seem right to me. I’ve always been taught that the whole message of Israel was to be a welcoming and peaceful place. Of course I knew that the war between Israel and Palestine had been unending, but to say that it was all Israel’s fault, that for some reason the Jews and Israelis would purposefully want to see the Palestinian’s hurt, as if Zionists had evil masochistic motives.

Confused by this article, I asked my dad the next morning what his stance on the issue was. His answer made a lot more sense to me than the article I read online. My dad said that Israel had always tried to negotiate peace with Palestine, but Palestine always refused. When Israel gained independence, Palestine was the country that declared war on Israel, not the other way around.

So why are there so many misconceptions about Israel? Why are so many people passionate that Israel shouldn’t exist, and that it was created with the destruction of other people? If anyone bothered to crack open a history book, they would see that the United Nations granted Israel to the Zionists. The Zionists didn’t just savagely take territory from Palestine, they did so peacefully.

It bothers me that so many people, including people of the Jewish faith, criticize Israel continuously. But if those people bothered to listen, they would see that all Israel wants is a peaceful state that grants all Jews citizenship and a safe homeland.

Especially with the recent occurrence of Yom Hashoa, Holocaust Remembrance day, we need to think about the tragedies of the holocaust and why Israel came to be. As a Jew I am Zionist, because I find it crucial to have a Jewish homeland in a world where many people of our faith were persecuted unfairly.

As a Jew I am a Zionist because I think it’s necessary to have a country where anti-Semitism is completely absent, and we can feel free to express our Judaism among other people of the same faith. As a Jew I am thankful to have a Jewish homeland, and have something to say at a Passover Seder.

I am a Zionist because I am hopeful that Israel will still be there, when we all say, “Next year in Jerusalem.”

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Our Deepest Fear

I heard the most inspirational and insightful quotation the other day and have been trying to recall it specifically. It’s called “Our Deepest Fear” and goes something like this.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate or will fail.

We may fail, we may be inadequate, or even a loser.

But that’s not the important point. Not by a long shot.

Something else–another point that is eluding me at the moment–is an even more important point. And it’s very inspirational too.

Oh yeah, it says we’ll succeed even if we fail.

Why?

Because to simply believe in yourself is …. while not technically “success” per se…. it is something we can all do that is positive and makes success more likely over time.

We should do this daily. And if we want to tell others, that’s probably OK too. But tell ourselves for sure. In the mirror each morning.

Most of all don’t fear failure because….it’s just wrong to. It’s wrong. Don’t even think about it. OK?

It’s not even important to know why you shouldn’t fear failure. Just know that you shouldn’t –and I remember that part of the message in the quote very clearly.

(If you have to know, email me and I’ll try to find out the answer. But for now please just go with it. This is the best I can do and I’m on sort of a roll now…and I do remember the last part verbatim.”

Main point: Don’t fail–or fear failure –because you are really afraid of success. That’s the absolute worst. Just terrible. Don’t do it.

And one last thing: The capacity we have for fearing failure because of fearing success even more—which is really true for a lot of people. really. I’m serious. Well, that fear is a powerful force beyond all measure.

I mean we have the ability to overcome that fear because of a powerful force beyond all measure. That’s inside of us or something.

OK, I didn’t remember the last part verbatim.

But you get the general idea, right?

Isn’t it great? Just what I needed this morning. And if you’ve read this far, probably what you needed too.

Don’t thank me. Just “pay it forward.” Share this with a friend. That’s thanks enough for me.

Look out world. Here I–no, here we— come!

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Fashion

Politics of Fashion

A new male model reality show is coming to a TV near you. Will you tune in? [The Cut]

Nigel Barker, J. Alexander, and Jay Manuel get the axe from Top Model, which can only mean one thing: Top Model is here to stay. Sigh. [The Cut]

Life after fashion school. [National Post]

Trouble in Groupon paradise?   [Fashionista]

 

The RP Unveils His Fourth Title Front Page

The RP’s proudest display — the front pages of the Lexington Herald-Leader from each day after the University of Kentucky Wildcat basketball team secured an NCAA Championship in his lifetime — just got supplemented.

At a moving ceremony, featuring the woman who sits in the desk across from the RP’s office, the lawyer in his office next door, and former U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali, the RP unveiled a frame of the Herald-Leader front page from April 3, 2o12, the day after the Cats’ 8th national championship, and 4th in the RP’s lifetime.

The assembled crowd broke into sustained applause at the remarks of keynote speaker Boutros Boutros Ghali, who concluded:  “Yo Yo Ma, what a team!”

Jason Atkinson: Bikepartisan Politics

Contributing RP Jason Atkinson was recently featured in an article in the Portland Mercury entitled “Bikepartisan Politics.”  Enjoy this excerpt:

HERE ARE FIVE simple reasons why Jason Atkinson is more badass than you liberal dweebs: He’s an Oregon state senator. He’s a Republican. He’s a bike racer. He shaves his legs, which shows a profound sense of masculine confidence. And he once got shot by a gun while repairing a friend’s bike (there was a loaded gun in the saddlebag).

Now he’s (tentatively) back on two wheels after that 2008 accident—but even when he’s been kept off the roads, the Southern Oregon legislator has never quailed from a fight for bike rights statewide.

Senator Atkinson jumped into the absurd 2007 debate over requiring extra brakes on fixed gears and, more recently, tried to boost bike funding from its measly one percent of the state transportation budget.

MERCURY: How does bike advocacy jibe with your Republican ideals?

JASON ATKINSON: I fell in love with bicycles when I was a kid, long before I knew what Republicans or Democrats were. I was lucky in that I had a modest amount of talent in racing bikes, which took me all over the world to race. When I got into politics, I didn’t see bikes as a partisan thing at all. I’ve been very supportive of everything from velodromes for economic development to jumping into the middle of the fixie debate a few years ago. I think people don’t really understand what bicycle culture is.

What do your colleagues get wrong about bike culture?

Well, like, when we got around to doing the fixie bill, no one knew what a fixie was. I don’t think a lot of folks have a full grasp of the health benefits of biking. I’m not going to pick on my fellow politicians on either side of the aisle. If you ride a bike, you get it. If you don’t, you usually don’t.

Click here to read the full article.

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