Monday, September 24, 2012

Why Blog

Why do I blog? Good question but an easy answer. I blog because I want to keep learning; I want to learn how to write, learn what is going on the world around me, laugh at the world around me, and communicate with those who read my efforts.

To me blogging is not to share a personal point of view but to take a more general or subjective stance to the world while still remaining, in most cases, personal in nature.

There are four types of blogs:

Distraction blogging: Sometimes our motives are purely self indulgent. “It’s all about me”. We are inherently narcissistic and alarming to the observers of social media. We are driven to blog for selfish reasons by our troubled situation. Our “real life” is bringing us down or trapping us in oppressive obligations.  Have you heard of Twitter and Facebook?

Archive blogging: Sometimes we are motivated by our own expertise and continuing, passionate pursuit of those subject areas. We want to share what we know in ways that help other people. We have found our expertise functions as solutions and effective strategies in many contexts. We build up an archive of our wisdom and watch it get searched long after we wrote the postings. We offer our gifts generously and unilaterally for the good of anyone who can benefit from them.

Conversation blogging: Often our motives are reciprocal. We get by giving. Our sharing comes back around. We are growing, changing, learning and creating in the process of giving. Mutual benefits abound. Everyone involved is affected by our exchanges and collaborative explorations.

Democratic blogging: Our motives may be political and grounded in the realities of particular circumstances. By blogging, changes are occurring in the social dynamics, distribution of power and control of outcomes. We are motivated by our envisioned future and the signs of progress in that direction.

My blog is a combination of all these with a personal touch. As I am well into my third year of blogging, what have I learned this far? That writing is not easy, sharing is not easy, and sometimes I can take things way to seriously. So we move forward, learning, communicating, and laughing. To those who read this effort every week or now and then. I thank you and always welcome your comments and critiques.

"WHY OBAMA IS WINNING," So Far: "Unemployment is over 8 percent. Nearly 60 percent of Americans ... believe the country is on the wrong track. The number of people on food stamps is at a historic high and the median net worth of American families is at a 20-year low. If it was true that winning elections is mostly a matter of numbers - as some political scientists and campaign operatives like to argue - Barack Obama's reelection as president should be close to a mathematical impossibility. ... But 2012 is proving that politics isn't just about numbers ... With Obama holding a narrow but so far sturdy lead over Mitt Romney in polls, many incredulous Republicans sound like the Michael Dukakis character in a 1988 Saturday Night Live skit: 'I can't believe I'm losing to this guy.'

"The phenomenon is the result of three powerful factors, according to interviews with some two dozen political veterans from both parties. ... 1) A Democratic landscape: The state-by-state polls this fall make it clear: The 2008 presidential election was no anomaly. The Upper South and interior West are now competitive terrain and will be in future White House races. That means Democrats have more margin for error than Republicans ... 2) The incumbent's staying power ... Obama ... remains in the minds of many voters a historic figure - not just another embattled incumbent. ... 3) The challenger's flaws."

FIRST LOOK - Sunday's N.Y. Times Magazine, "'A BORN POLITICIAN': Joe Kennedy III is trying to follow in the steps of his father (and grandfather and great-uncles and so on)," by Edith Zimmerman: "When Patrick J. Kennedy relinquished his Rhode Island House seat in early 2011, it marked the first time since 1947 that there was no Kennedy in national elected office. ... Joe Kennedy spent the summer traveling in Massachusetts' newly redrawn Fourth District - the one that Barney Frank has represented since 1981, a year after Kennedy was born. Last winter, after Frank announced his retirement, Kennedy moved into the district and soon began his campaign. During the past few months, he has visited senior citizens at bingo night in Taunton, eaten gluten-free cupcakes at a bakery in Millis, cheered at a tractor pull in Rehoboth and greeted Green Line commuters. Through individual donations and about $200,000 from various PACs, he has taken in nearly $3 million, about six times the total of his nearest opponent. He clinched the Democratic nomination on Sept. 6.

"Part of Kennedy's appeal is that ... he has led a decidedly drama-free life. Joe and his fraternal twin, Matt, grew up in the Boston suburbs and went to the prestigious Buckingham Browne & Nichols school. ... He went to Stanford, where he co-captained the lacrosse team, then to the Peace Corps and then to Harvard Law School. After graduation, he became an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, in eastern Massachusetts. In mid-January, he resigned from the district attorney's office. A few days later he announced his engagement to his longtime girlfriend, Lauren Anne Birchfield, whom he met at Harvard (they've been together for six years - 'I was on borrowed time,' he told me). A month after that he declared his candidacy. He also adopted a puppy."

HOT CHARTS: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SURPLUSES? - what happened to the Clinton-era budget surpluses: "From 2002-2011, about three-fourths (73 percent) of the $12.7 trillion growth in federal debt was spending and tax legislation, the rest being the product of projection inaccuracies-such as expecting higher growth, increased revenue, or lower spending. ....

The shortfall in tax revenue-caused by legislation such as 2001/2003 tax cuts, the tax relief implemented as part of the stimulus bill in 2009, and the Tax Act of 2010-accounts for about a quarter (24 percent) of the shift from surplus to deficits. However, spending increases over the 10-year period is the main factor contributing to the current deficits. ... 49 percent ... comes from increase in spending [including] the defense budget, Medicare, and the stimulus bill of 2009. 

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Lou Dobbs (67), Michael Douglas (68), Grant Fuhr (50), Joe Greene (66), Joseph Kennedy II (60), Meat Loaf (65), Cheryl Tiegs (65), Catherine Zeta-Jones (43).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 9/29, 3:30 PM ET ABC: #14 ranked The Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0) visit the #20 ranked Michigan State Spartans (3-1). Big game for the Big Ten since so far this season the critics have been all over the quality of the football; this should be a good one. MSU 28 OSU 24.   Season to date (2-2).

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 9/29, 1:00 PM ET, Bravo: it is a battle of the New England preppies, Colby White Mules (0-1) entertain the Middlebury Panthers (1-0). The best thing about this game will be the fall scenery in Waterville, Maine. The Panthers hold on to the Preppie of the Year, Middlebury 35 Colby 21.    Season to date (4-0).

NFL FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 9/30, 1:00 PM ET, Fox: San Francisco 49ers (2-1) at New York Jets (2-1). It comes down to what quarterback does not stink as bad as the other one. 49ers 20 Jets 10.  Season to Date (2-1).

THE SWAMI’S TOP PICKS – MSU 28 OSU 24, Middlebury 35 Colby 21, SF 20 Jets 10, U.S. to win a close Ryder Cup this weekend over the Euro Trash 15 to 13.   Season to Date (10-5).

DRIVING THE WEEK - Paul Ryan begins the Romney-Ryan ticket's Ohio bus tour today with event in Lima at 3:10 p.m.EDT ... Romney and Ryan meet up in Vandalia, Ohio on Tuesday ... ... Romney has an event in Pueblo, Colo. today around 1:00 p.m. MDT ... President Obama will also be in Ohio this week, heading to Bowling Green and Kent on Wednesday to urge voters to take advantage of early voting, which starts Oct. 2 in the state ... Obama will campaign in Virginia Beach, Va. on Thursday ... Both Romney and Obama address the Clinton Global Initiative in NYC on Tuesday. ... Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner also speaks to CGI on Tuesday ... Senate to join the House in recess until Election Day ... POLITICO's Manu Raju reports a new idea for the lame duck is a spin on the sequester idea that would require a long-awaited overhaul of the tax code.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaks at the Peterson Institute on Monday ... IMF on Tuesday releases it latest report on the safety of the global economy with commentary expected on the potential impact of the U.S. fiscal cliff ... S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday expected to rise 0.8% ... Conference Boar consumer confidence at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday expected to rise to 63.2 from 60.6 ... New homes sales at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday expected to grow 2.2% to a pace of 380K ... Final revision to Q2 GDP at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday expected to be unchanged at 1.7%.

Next week, movie and Jack Ass of the month.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
September 24, 2012

#III-22, 127

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