Archive for September, 2009

I wonder why it is so easy to get most Americans to work against their best interests?

September 30, 2009 2 comments

To me it would seem that it would be a great benefit for most of us to have a health care system whose primary purpose was to serve the health needs of all our citizens.  Instead we have one whose main purpose is to make large amounts of money for a few of us.  Now the current system does provide adequate service to enough people that there is not open rebellion against it.  Still I wouldn’t think that it would take much imagination to realize how vulnerable most of us are under the current health care system.  Most of us are not so wealthy that we could afford health care if we were to lose access in one of the many ways that one can be shut out of the current system.  So to me it would seem like it would make sense to come up with a system that would lessen or eliminate that vulnerability. And until someone comes up with a better mechanism to make such a change we will need to look to the government.

And it seems like it is this look to the government that gets many people agitated.  I have heard many say that they do not want the government making decisions about their health care.  Like somehow that would be worse than the current system where large insurance companies are the ones making the decisions.  It seems like an odd situation where people have come to think they can trust people whose main goal is to make a profit off your illness over our government.   And when i say “our government” I think I am pointing out something that many of us seem to have forgotten.  And that is that our government is not some alien object that has attached itself to our society to do us harm.  Instead from the start of this country we have formed various units of government to do collectively things that we couldn’t do as individuals.  And such collective actions did bring many improvements to our lives.  Sticking to the area of health care the government funded research in the field of infectious disease probably has done more to improve health and lifespan then any other advancement in treating illness. Yet today many never hear about the many benefits that we enjoy today because of the collective action that those before us took through their government.  Instead it seems to have become a reflex in many to see government involvement as bad.

I wonder who benefits from this negative view of our government?  If our government is the means where we come together to decide how to accomplish goals that benefit most of us, then who would see that as a negative thing?  In the area of health care I think it is clear that the ones who benefit are those few who are making a lot of money off of our need for health care.  They know that they would lose this source of easy wealth if Americans ever were to wise up.  So they have been spending large amounts of money to scare people about change.  And it seems the easiest button to push is the fear of having government involved in health care.  And I think how easy it is to trigger this fear is the result of one of the most successful marketing campaigns in history by those who benefit by blinding most Americans to their real interests.  I don’t suppose that is surprising since it is those who have the most money who can most often make the best propaganda.  And the idea that the government will always be ineffective is an idea that they have done well at getting many to believe.  And so while it would help most of us to come together to create a health care system that we all can rely on many are convinced that this is the road to ruin.

Categories: Opinion Tags: , ,

25 Vintage Christmas Photoshop Brushes

September 29, 2009 2 comments

These brushes were made from old newspaper images. You may use them as you like.  Download If you would like to make your own brushes I found the instructions here to be helpful.


Men and their attachment to clothes

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

I saw a headline saying that the fact that men continue to wear clothes once they are past their prime condition shows how attached we are to clothes.  And that maybe we enjoy the subject of clothing more than many of us would like to admit.

I suppose I would hesitate to make many generalizations about a group as large as the male population.  I can only speak for myself.  I do tend to wear clothes once they are long past their prime.  I think my reason is that I do not like to shop for clothes so once I find something that I like that is comfortable I want it to last as long as possible.  And that is so I can avoid the task of looking for an item of clothing again.  Probably I have at times done this to the point of extreme denial.

I imagine this dislike of the process of buying clothes goes back to my experiences as a youth.  Then it seemed like getting clothes was an endless ordeal.  Especially getting a pair of paints.  Often we went to this place that never seemed to have pants that were the correct length.  So I had to stand there and be measured so the pants could be altered.   And then sometimes the pants had to be altered after they were altered.  To this day I am not sure that I understand what forces were at work there.  I just know that I found it very unpleasant.  I had a lot of other things I would rather be doing then making sure that may pants were the perfect length.  So now I take some pleasure or at least relief in picking out my clothes as quickly as possible.  And when one of these choices works out to fit well and be comfortable I do form a bound of loyalty to that piece of clothing.  Still I think I will always see the process of getting that item as being a necessary evil rather than an anticipated pleasure.

Categories: musing Tags:

Once famous

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment

I saw this picture of Bebe Daniels as a promo for the 1926 silent movie The Campus Flirt. Since I had never heard of her I did a search on her name.  She does appear to have been fairly famous at one time.  She appeared in dozens of silent movies.  Her bio says that she was dropped by her studio when talking pictures started because it was believed that only trained actors from the stage would be successful in talkies.  She did however sign with another studio and had some success.  She retired from the movies in the mid 1930’s when she married and moved to London.  She did continue to have an eventful life.  If you would like to know more you can read her bio at Wikipedia


Photoshop Brushes to download

September 23, 2009 Leave a comment

I got curious about the boxnet widget so I made some photoshop brushes so that I would have something to offer for a download.  These were made from images taken from old newspapers.  I don’t make brushes very often, however maybe someone might find them useful.  There are ten in the set most of which I was able to get into the image below.  If you want to try them out you can download them from this link or the one on the sidebar.


Categories: Images, Photoshop Tags: , ,

Image tells some about the times

September 22, 2009 Leave a comment

I do believe that I am at the moment a visually oriented person.  One evidence of that is I have posted regularly to Flickr for over three years, while my blogs die from neglect.  So today while thinking of something to post I got to thinking about the image below and how I could post it and make some probably obvious comments about it.


The image is from a 1919 ad for a Fountain Pen being marketed to college students.  The first thing that strikes me is how well-dressed and groomed these students are.  The only place that I have occasionally seen students close to this well-dressed in my time was in a law library.  Judging from photos that I have seen from those days it probably is true that students did attempt to dress like this.  For all I know it may have been a requirement.

Maybe the most obvious thing is that the woman is holding an open book, however her attention is on the man and his pen.  That the pen could be seen as a phallic symbol probably wasn’t an intention of the ad.   I don’t think that Freud became widely read here until the 1920’s. Although it does seem like large pen. Anyway, even up until my youth many believed that the best reason for a woman to go to college was to find a good husband.  So the young woman giving the young man an appraising look while neglecting her studies is what would be expected at the times.  She definitely wouldn’t be shown being the one holding the phallic symbol  Instead she is the one impressed by it and the industrious male.  I imagine some more messages could be found here, however it does do a good job of appealing to the likely buyer of this fountain pen.

Categories: Images Tags:

Posting on Sunday

September 20, 2009 Leave a comment

While I don’t have a religion that forbids blogging on Sunday, my mind is not being helpful in the effort.  Still I have imposed this discipline of posting every other day.  So today is one of those days.  So far I haven’t once ended up posting what I had intended to before I began to write.  Once I had an idea of doing a comparison of Bush II and Bertie Wooster, however maybe the time for such thoughts is past.  I do think that at one time the British had a good system in place to channel their mentally challenged rich into idle pleasures.  In the US it seems many families feel that such children should make a show of running a business or being in politics. It is unfortunate that George Bush couldn’t have been the President of the Drones Club instead of the USA.  I think instead of Bush and Wooster I posted about Crickets.

I have a few other drafts for posts. That is a handy thing about Live Writer.  I don’t have to go and login and look at some web form when I want to post.  Probably it hasn’t made me more creative, however it had made it easier to collect ideas.

So now due to lack of inspiration I will give a few links to blogs that I do read sometimes.

Resource Insights has what I think are some of the most intelligent posts on the issues facing us like declining resources and climate change.

Informed Comment I read this one a lot before the Iraq war started and then while it was turning into a disaster. Anyone that followed Cole’s writings during that time wouldn’t have been surprised by how things turned out.

Parsnip Is one of the greatest cats on Flickr. She doesn’t have a blog however there is a new picture most everyday.

Categories: Scattering Tags: