Thursday, June 25, 2009

Governors Should Govern, Right?

Today, I looked at an article about Mark Sanford, and I started to read the emails between he and his mistress. Then I stopped. Those aren't any of my business.

I don't care who he's sleeping with, I don't. I do care that he disappeared for several days when he should have been in contact with, oh, say, his OFFICE. He's governor of a whole state. That's his job. He should do his job, or else he becomes unworthy of keeping it.

What he does with his private life matters only to he and his family, and anyone else directly involved with those parts. When he neglects his public duty, then it's the absolute right of the public to get all uppity about it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

In Which Jazz Solves the Condom Crisis

Some of you fans of the One True Tami (blessed be Her name) may not be aware of this, but when I'm not hanging out with Tami and solving the world's problems, I publish the odd article here and there on a variety of subjects, largely political in nature. This has, on occasion, resulted in my being asked to weigh in with a comment by some of the major news services. I've been interviewed over the last few years by NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and Fox, for example. This weekend I added another outlet to my resume, but not for a subject which I would have liked.

While I generally try to write about serious topics, I'm rather playful and snarky by nature and I will, on occasion, write some light hearted, humorous pieces. Such was the case this weekend when I tossed up what was essentially a throwaway piece on a new NIH study on condoms... specifically why guys don't like wearing them. (Duh.) It seems like a rather silly subject to spend taxpayer money on.

Well, getting back to the original premise of this entry, you'll never guess what happened next. ABC News contacted me and wanted to do an interview. About what, you might ask? I've published recent pieces on Iran, Iraq, health care reform, the economic crisis and NASA. But what did ABC want to talk to me about? Yep. Condoms.

Because I am, above and beyond all else, a narcissistic media whore, I agreed to the idea at once. I should also note, in a lame attempt at self defense, that I had a double root canal last week and was on codeine this weekend for a fair amount of pain in my jaw. This is not, as you might imagine, a good combination for critical thinking and wise judgment.

During the course of the interview I also forgot one of the key rules of such engagements: you never get too comfortable with the interviewer and begin joking around. If you do, that's the one quote they will snag out of the whole thing and run with.

To bring this tale to its tragic end, you can read the full article ABC did from our interview at the ABC News web site. When you skip forward to page two of the article, you will find this quote from yours truly prominently displayed.
"Men wear them because they are slightly more desirable than a combination of embarrassing diseases, 20 years of child support payments and death," Shaw said. "And if you took the death part out of the equation, a frightening number of us would probably still roll the dice on it if the lady was willing."

There isn't the least indication that this was something of a tongue in cheek comment.

But hey... they spelled my name correctly and got the right link to our news portal. According to the basic rules of media, that's all you're allowed to hope for anyway.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Post in Which I State the Obvious - Again

I state the obvious whenever I think people are missing it.

Public Health Plan = great idea.

I want everyone to be able to get medical treatment without bankrupting themselves or the doctors. I want it to be possible, and I do NOT understand why it can't be.

I've been reading this: Holes remain as Senate panel crafts health bill. I'm not going to quote it, it lists a lot of costs, and the fact that many people don't like the plans that have been presented so far. There, it's like you've read the article.

Here's my opinion on what should be happening (remember, OBVIOUS):

Congresspersons should come up with the best, pie-in-the-sky ideas, ever. Then they should figure out what the different parts cost. Then, after people are treated for the heart attacks, they should hold committee discussions deciding which parts can reasonably be offered to the public without causing financial disaster. The people they should focus on are those who are not insured through their employers, up to a certain income level (which doesn't count the same for families as it does for singles, DUH), and those who have no employers to receive unemployment benefits *through*.

Anyone think this is really happening? I read in the MSNBC article that companies are worried that "...the plan requirements will be so robust that our members' plans won't meet those requirements" (Jeri Kubicki, the National Association of Manufacturers' vice president for human resources policy). There should be requirements, and they should be reasonable.

Make a plan, then make it as affordable as possible without taking it to the "does no one any good" level. There, you have your orders Congress, get to it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

More News That Affects Me Personally is a web site created by FedEx. UPS is supporting legislation that would reclassify FedEx truck drivers as truck drivers instead of airline workers. Business Week has an article on it, which kind of slants towards the legislation, but pretty much gives the facts.
The dispute involves the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009, which contains a provision that would change the labor law covering FedEx workers. Language introduced in the bill by U.S. Representative James Oberstar (D-Minn.) would subject FedEx workers to the same rules as those performing similar work for Atlanta-based UPS. The measure affects employees of FedEx Express, which along with FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, and FedEx Office comprises FedEx, but not the status of FedEx Express workers who are air-based, such as pilots and airplane mechanics. The bill passed the House on May 21 and is now in the Senate, where a similar House measure failed in 2007.
Personally, I think that unions serve a purpose, and that the worker needs to look out for his/herself. If I was driving a truck, I'd want the option of joining a truck driver's union. That's just me, though, and it's all theory. I make computery thingies for a living, and I'm management. There's no drive to organize here, nor do I expect one. Tech-nerds are like housecats, we don't band together for the common good all that often.

I know that UPS is supporting this bill because it will cost FedEx money, but isn't that what rival companies do? This has nothing to do with the government handing taxpayer money over to UPS to cover their losses, UPS is still earning profits. Yes, lower profits than last year, but that's not running in the red by any stretch of the imagination.

Whether or not this bill passes is for our legislative representatives to decide. I can see that there are two sides to the story, and the issue merits discussion. Calling it a "bailout", though, that's just slinging mud. It feels to me like crossing a line.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Still the "Chosen People"?

This morning I got an email pointing me to, and a poll there asking whether a person supports Palestine or Israel. Palestine's winning. I don't put much stock in this, it's a "create your own poll" site, and what does that actually mean? What's the sample? Who's voting? There's only the condition that you cannot vote more than once an hour, and that's not very restrictive. The email claimed that CNN was "pushing" this poll, which I saw no evidence of, and that annoyed me, but it annoys me that the poll is out there in the first place.

In my opinion, the reason that there isn't a cohesive Palestinian state is the Palestinian people, and their extreme leadership which rules by oppression and teaching children violence. I admit I'm biased.

Also this morning, a friend pointed me to an op-ed story at the NYT. It's a very sad tale of Jews who were forced to leave Egypt. It sounds like a bible story, but it was in the 20th century. It makes me think about all the people who lose everything in wars, and how sad that is, and unfair, of course. The author of the op-ed piece, though, was not a war refugee, he was just a refugee. Persecution exists every day and in every country. I read about how the Jews control things, and how Jewish influence is unfair, and how the U.S. plays favorites for Israel, but there are so many more nations out there that spread the idea that Jews are enemies, Jews are inferior, Jews are bad - because they're Jews. The prejudice remains pure for much of the world.

I feel that tolerance makes the world a better place. Personal conflicts are unavoidable, but can be kept personal - it's a big world, and we can avoid individuals in it. I wish that the word of acceptance and living together was spreading, but it's not what's being taught to children across the world, and that's going to keep the cycle of hatred growing.

How do you reach millions of people spread across thousands of miles? One person at a time, I guess.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

In which Jazz has an epiphany on food

And you know, the epiphany market is a bit tight at the moment. They're coming few and far between, which is kind of disappointing because I think Skynet is supposed to take over the planet in a couple of years, and I still feel like there's so much that I don't understand. But at least I can scratch one thing off the list.

You see, as people get older, you often hear complaints about how they are "losing their appetite" and just "not eating like they used to." These are frequently taken as detrimental signs of the aging process and harbingers of worse to come. As it turns out, though, that's not the case. As you get older, it's not that you're less hungry or not as excited about food. It's that you fall into a pattern of eating the same stuff over an over again. I think we decide on some things we don't like, and some things that we do like and we do it earlier in life. Then we whittle down the "like" list based on things that are too expensive to buy regularly, take too long to prepare, or are seasonal in nature. Eventualy, you're just eating the same eight to ten meals over and over and over again.

Finally, one day you realize that the list of things you really like to eat has turned into the list of things that you're so freaking sick of you could just CHOKE THE EVER LOVING CRAP OUT OF SOMEBODY. And the other stuff is still just as expensive, complicated or seasonal in nature. So now you either need to go exploring for a whole new set of foods you like, or sit and stare at the foods you've burned out on.

And the older you get, how much time do you really want to expend on experimenting on foods that might leave you sitting in the john all night?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I do not believe that abortion is murder. Not everyone agrees with me, but it is what I truly believe. My reasons are not important, right now.

I do believe that gunning down an unarmed doctor in a church is murder. No one should disagree with me.

My new, clear theory goes like this: People who gun down unarmed people are murderers.

That's all I've got. Well, besides this crushing sadness about people's inability to live peacefully with others.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Jazz Solves the Maternity Crisis

Just at a quick glance, I can think of the following things I've said regarding some people and their children over the years.(Paraphrased for brevity, convenience, and to make them fit my premise regardless of accuracy.)
  • There really should be a test you have to take before you're allowed to procreate.
  • How does anyone that stupid even find somebody to screw them, say nothing of have a kid?
  • They should do that kid a favor and send it to a sweat shop now.
  • We've clearly run out of chlorine for the gene pool.
  • How has somebody not just buried you in cement by now?
Ok, I think that last one was actually for my sister, but you get the point. I've often felt that some people were probably too stupid to be raising children, but our system of laws really doesn't allow you to do anything about it. But even with that opinion, I don't think I was talking about this woman.
Mother too stupid to keep child

A MOTHER is taking her fight to the European Court of Human Rights after she was forbidden from seeing her three-year-old daughter because she is not “clever enough” to look after her. The woman, who for legal reasons can be identified only by her first name, Rachel, has been told by a family court that her daughter will be placed with adoptive parents within the next three months, and she will then be barred from further contact.

The adoption is going ahead despite the declaration by a psychiatrist that Rachel, 24, has no learning difficulties and “good literacy and numeracy and [that] her general intellectual abilities appear to be within the normal range”.
This should probably make me feel bad about all of the heartless things I've said about parents and their satanic spawn over the years, though obviously it doesn't. It does give me pause, though. I don't want the government jumping in at the drop of a hat and saying that somebody needs a special degree in order to keep a kid or a dog or a kitten. That's not right.

It should also be left to those of us in the mocking classes to make fun of them if they venture out to the movies.