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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Random Thoughts

I haven't thought much about a new blog posting for the last couple of weeks as things have been busy on both the work and home fronts.  Aim has been working many late nights as her job requires her to work several special events during the year.  The children are enjoying school and soon will be taking their first field trips to the pumpkin patch.

During the last few weeks there has been an expansion to the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement which began last month in Lower Manhattan. Now there are Occupy movements found in many, many cities both in the USA and around the globe.   I read an article recently which compared the occupiers to those individuals living in the 1930's Hoovervilles.  I think this is off the mark.  The OWS people today are composed of mostly young individuals.  The depression era Hoovervilles had a cross section of Americans living there. 

The OWS movement has provoked me to ask two important questions.  Why did this movement start now?  Also, who is providing the money to support their efforts? 

For the first question, I find it interesting that President Obama today commented on the "frustrations that the American people feel" when describing the protest that Occupy Wall Street represents.  Next year, we will be close to the end of Obama's re-election campaign.  The occupy movement mobilizes his left base and can only be a benefit to the President.  Also, the movement has been very vauge in regards to its wishes and leadership.  They are positioned on the opposite side of the Tea Party which is firmly to the right.

Obama: "Occupy Wall Street" reflects "broad-based frustration"

The Occupy movement reminds me of the anti-war groups and MoveOn.org, which was financed by George Soros.  Soros was also a big backer of President Obama.  How this will play out is anyone's guess.  My take on it is somewhat supportive of it but at the same time a bit skeptical.  Yes it's important to point out the fact that a small proportion of the population has amassed a great deal of wealth, it doesn't provide concrete ideas and the creative thinking needed to get our economy back in gear.  Unemployment is still too high, homeowners have seen their property values fall and the US consumer is saddled with a great deal of debt.  Until these economic problems are addressed, I feel our economy will continue to sputter.

This week saw another debate with the Republican party candidates who seek to defeat President Obama.  I didn't see it until it was over and CNN presented at least 10 talking heads discussing the proceedings.  I enjoyed the comments made by comedian Patton Oswalt on Twitter they were hilarious.  So far, its a pretty uninspiring with this cast of characters looking to oppose the President.

Finally, I wanted to comment on the death of Apple's Steve Jobs.  He had quite an eye for style and he was a superb marketer.  I remember a friend from elementary school who had an Apple IIe in 1984.  Even then that computer was something special.  When the Macintosh computers were introduced they were revolutionary and today they have kept up their prestige.  Also, the Ipod/Ipad/Iphone are "game changers" and are attached to many people as though it was an appendage.  Remember Apple's cool 1984 SuperBowl commerical, an instant classic.


Thanks Steve.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Evidence of Autumn

Yes it's here.  The calendar reported it on my birthday last week.  On September 23, Autumn or Fall (take your pick) has returned to my part of the world and to the Northern Hemisphere: The New York Metropolitan area.  Already the days feel shorter as the sun sets earlier and earlier until the winter solstice in December.  The leaves are beginning to turn several shades of red and orange and drop from the trees.  The process will accelerate further as the month goes on.

Here at the homefront, my son started Kindergarten and my girls began Pre-K at the same school.  In the few short weeks since they started they have adjusted well to their new surroundings and new classmates.

As we continue our annual trek around the sun which defines a year, the race for the Republican nominee to oppose President Obama continues with an underwhelming cast of characters.  Texas governor Rick Perry has fizzled out as he seems to show fatigue and a lack of knowledge regarding the issues during last month's debates.  Mitt Romney has not appealed to a large segment of the party.  Due to this uninspiring field of candidates, there has been a call for New Jersey governor Chris Christie to enter the race.  He has downplayed these calls, quite strategically in my opinion, most recently during the past week at the Ronald Reagan library. 

Governor Christie has governed his state from a combative stance since his election.  He routinely battles with the press and when one reporter asked about his son attending private school as he was ripping the teachers of NJ, he said it wasn't any of their business.  There was questions regarding his use of a helicopter and its cost to attend his son's school baseball game. 

Governor Christie appears to be severely overweight and he has been treated while in office for his asthmatic condition.  I find that he is a combative, fat blowhard who by playing hard to get keeps his visibilty level high at the national level.  This is reminicent of former NY governor Mario Cuomo, who played this dance of "will he or won't he run" most notably in 1991.





Well enough about politics and onto the arts.  I've enjoyed some new shows this season along with some returning shows.  One new show I've enjoyed so far is Revenge.  It's a drama which centers on a young woman seeking revenge against a Hamptons family who ruined her father.  The show uses flashbacks and flashforwards, popularized by LOST, to propel its story.  I am also looking forward to a show called Once Upon a Time, which will debut at the end of the month.  This show was created by several of the LOST writers.  Also in January, another show created by a producer of LOST will begin on Fox, Alcatraz and one of its stars in the cast is Jorge Garcia, LOST's Hurley.

Finally, I wanted to comment on an article which ran in the New York Times on Friday September 30.  The article reported a study on Twitter usage and Twittwer users moods by Cornell University sociologists.  I found it interesting that the researchers found that positive tweets trended upward around the Spring equinox in late March and downward around the Fall equinox in late September.  It's almost as though our own biological bio-rhythms anticipate the shorter days and a diminshed sense of positive emotions.  Perhaps we realize that there is only three short months until the end of the year and all of the things we wish to do may not be realized.  Whatever the reason, as a Twitter user, I hope to buck the study and try to stay positive this autumn. 

Twitter Study Tracks When We Are : )

That's all for now and I would appreciate your comments and suggestions.