American News is Fundamentally Warped

We live in a fast paced media filled world.  Sometimes it’s hard to forget the rest of the world doesn’t really have access to the same outlets we do.  As Americans sometimes it seems like the latest story about Bieber or Britney is the most important thing going on in the world right now.




The following TED talk by Alisa Miller is only 4 minutes and has some pretty good illustrations of how and why America’s view of the world can be so warped sometimes:

NOTE: if you’re reading this in a feed-reader and the above video is not displayed, please view the original post.

Even if you don’t watch the video, I think this is an important take-away:


Is this distorted world view what we want for Americans in our increasingly interconnected world? ~Alisa Miller

While this TED talk was from 2008, today at TEDx Rochester is the first I’ve seen of it and it struck a chord.  Not that I didn’t already know our news coverage is warped, but I think this is an excellent illustration to drive home the point.

Illegal Alien Costume

illegal alien costumeSomeone came up with an Illegal Alien Costume that’s pure genius.  Some people seem to be offended by these illegal alien costumes (it IS America, aka the PC nation).  I say who cares!? Who’s offended, Illegal Immigrants? Oh No! What are they gonna do to protest? Crawl back across the border? That’s a shame, yeah we should definitely ban these costumes.  Wait, you’ll leave if we wear these? Sweet!  I’m ordering mine right now…

For the record, nobody is saying you can’t come into our country.  We’re just saying you need to come in legally like everybody else.

Seriously though… I’m really considering the costume.  We do have a couple costume parties to go to.

Religion in the Courtroom

bibleThe recent story of a Texas jury who consulted the Bible before sentencing a man to death got me thinking.


I agree when people complain about the 10 commandments in the courtroom and when they demand ‘in god we trust’ be removed from our money or ‘under god’ be removed from the pledge of allegiance.  All of that stuff creates a direct tie between our government and a specific religion which I don’t agree with, regardless of my political or religious beliefs.  I just don’t think a country founded mostly due to religious discrimination has any right to associate itself with a specific religion when it claims it’s open to all people regardless of belief.  That’s like saying “Sure come on in, but we’re better than you.”  It just doesn’t jive.

Religion is a moral guidance tool.  People lean on it when something happens they don’t understand or if they don’t know what to do about a situation.  Whether it’s the Christian Bible or the Muslim Qur’an, It defines right and wrong and the consequences for those who believe its lessons.

To me, this Jury story is different.  The people in the JURY consulted the bible, not the JUDGE.  They were looking for moral guidance.  I don’t have a problem with this.  A jury should be made up of your peers.  It’s pretty safe to assume that a certain percentage of your peers are going to be Christians or have at least grown up in a Christian household.

The Jury would be leaning on its’ teachings whether they actual read a passage during deliberation or not.

You can't fix stupid (Headlines)

Some hilarious headlines my friend Emily sent me.

Alton attorney accidentally sues himself

County to spend $250,000 to advertise lack of funds

Volunteers search for old civil war planes

Army Vehicle disappears

Caskets found as workers demolish mausoleum

I wouldn’t do it again, she’s been a pain this week

Ten Commandments – Supreme court says some ok, others not

Utah Poison control center reminds everyone not to take poison

Please, if you’ve seen this man

Federal agents raid gun shop, find weapons

Statistics show that teen pregnancy drops off significantly after age 25

One armed man applauds the kindness of strangers

Wegmans Henrietta

Wegmans just opened a new store in Henrietta NY replacing one of their oldest remaining stores.  My Mother-in-Law Karen is the Floral manager and has worked at the Henrietta store for over 30 years. naturally the local news wanted to know what she had to say about the new store.

For those of you who don’t know what wegmans is it’s a grocery store.  It’s a grocery store that people will drive hours to get to.  It’s a grocery store that’s privately owned.  It’s a grocery store that college kids hang out in at 4am.  It’s a grocery store that’s a small European market in one building.  I could go on, because I have worked there just like most Rochestarians.  In fact I met my wife there.  It’s a community staple.

So you can see that it actually is a big deal when they open a new store in the area and close an old one.

RIP Store #21.

The Solution is Simple at 350 ppm

The web is abuzz today with two things. One, has been down for hours. Two, the story of Alain Robert (aka spidey) and Renaldo Clarke who both climbed the 52-story New York Times Building.

Renaldo Clarke climbed to draw attention to childhood malaria.

Alain Robert climbed to draw attention global warming and was carrying a banner which stated:

Global Warming kills more people than 9/11 every week.

I took the bait. I don’t have a clue how something like that could even be measured, but his banner alone isn’t why I wanted to look into this guy. I don’t think it’s shocking news that I’m somewhat interested in the developments of Global Climate Change. I like to see what new stuff is happening and what different movements there are. Perhaps one day I’ll even find one that I feel I can contribute to, who knows?

Alain’s T-shirt during the stunt read “The Solution Is Simple .org“.  While I thought this would be nothing more than another meaningless organization that asks you to buy coupons to offset your carbon emissions The Solution Is Simple turns out to be Alain’s personal website and it appears he is very much in the midst of the whole Green Shift. The notion of “Greener is Better” really seems to resonate with this guy.

I have a lot of respect for Alain Robert. It seems everything this guy does has something to do with going Green and he really walks the walk. His site is even hosted by a green company.

Something I found on The Solution Is Simple mentioned twice interested me. 350. As it turns out there is an organization claiming that 350 parts per million is the magical amount of CO2 in the atmosphere which we need.

350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth.

I’m not sure if this is the magic number or not but it’s something to strive for I suppose. At least it puts a goal in mind rather than just the blanket statement most organizations seem to make of “we need to be greener.”

With his stunt and his website Alain is urging everyone to send a message about global warming to world leaders who are meeting next month at the G8 conference in Japan. You should too. There is a simple form you can fill out to do so on his website The Solution Is Simple.

I’m Randy Aldrich and I Approve this message.

NOTE: I am simply pointing out organizations and companies which have claims to being ‘green.’ I have in no way verified the validity of these statements.  Please let me know if you find anything different.