Tag Archives: Christians

Big Oil = Small Penises

I recently screened part of the film “Bag It“, an entertaining documentary that examines the role of plastics in our lives.  There is great information about how human’s use of plastic is impacting our greater environment, but one portion of it is especially interesting from a framing perspective. The film discusses the impact of plastics on human health which brings up some complicated chemistry, but the bottom line is not good for any human, side effects from plastic usage can mean anything from asthma to cancer. One side effect hasn’t got as much play, but it should, it’s a side effect that might unite environmentalists with conservatives.  The side effect is endocrine disruption.

Endocrine disruption happens because very small amounts of certain plastic chemicals – like bisphenol A (BPA) and pthalates – can seriously interfere with our hormonal health. They can cause sterility, early puberty, reproductive problems, and small penises. That’s right, higher rates of exposure to endocrine disruptors in the womb correlate to shorter penis size. Continue reading

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Big Business, Big Religion, or Status Quo

The choices look like they’re boiling down to three right now, Romney represents wealthy business interests, Santorum speaks for conservative Christians, and Obama, the known entity that not many are super stoked about. It looks like another race heading into the “not voting for _______” (fill in the blank with objectionable politician) instead of being proud to vote for our preferred candidate.  This is a terrible position for a politician to be in, it means that their best traction comes only as a knee jerk response to an opponent. There is no inspiration, only revulsion.  As was demonstrated in George Lakoff’s book, Don’t Think of an Elephant, you cannot successfully run against an entity by only calling attention to that entity. Or, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Just try it now, do not think of an elephant. I’ll bet you failed. The fact is that when we were itty-bitty kiddies, we learned “elephant” at some point, probably through a cheerful picture or visit to the zoo. When you learn the word elephant in this country (where elephants do not roam around), we strongly tie this noun to an image of an elephant. We memorize the greyness, the long nose, the big ears, all of the distinctive features at the same time that we hear the word and later learn to read the word.As parents we repeat these simple lessons multiple times to insure our children can identify their animals, words, and sounds. All of our senses coordinate our visual, audio, and cognitive information and file them in the same folder. Later, every time we hear the word “elephant”, it does not matter what words surround it, we will briefly recall our own generic image of “elephant” that we have on file. Just adding the word “don’t”, “no”, “bad”, “crazed” or any other word will not prevent us from first recognizing and acknowledging the animal as we know it. Continue reading

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Pillow Fight!

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Around these parts, we have a new tradition for the holiday, we beat the heck out of each other with pillows; it’s so fun. The news is cycling through what is now the same old stories – Republican jockeying for position, Obama trying to please the majority, and a tangled ball of religion, birth control, women’s issues, and gay rights.  It does seem like control over women and traditional family roles are central to much of the discussions. One side wants to fight to preserve a traditional nuclear family where the man of the house calls the shots, the other wants to live in the present where the head of household can be of any gender and is free to make choices for themselves. It is easy to understand why we all sometimes want to lash out or beat our head against the wall. Sometimes the other side seems so far away that talking to them is impossible. I call for a national pillow fight. Continue reading

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The Right Fears, The Left Loves

The Left are lovers, the right are scared; that’s the short story from new study came out recently from the Political Science Dept. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A test group of established conservative and liberal subject were hooked up to machines that measured physiological responses and found that conservatives fixated on images they found fearful and liberals were relatively unfazed.  Continue reading

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The Facts Always Fit the Frame

“Speak truth to power!” – a common mantra to any justice seeking, accountability lovin’, truth teller out there. A typical scenario would go like this, Citizen A decides to get active around a certain issue, maybe they have a personal experience with it, maybe it just strikes their passion. No matter; Citizen A usually tries to get at least a bit educated about it. Citizen A then often tries to spread awareness and information about their selected issue. They have a laundry list of facts and figures that support the necessity to change the behavior of others – let’s say they want you to write a letter to Congress or stop buying bottled water. Citizen A might have an exhaustive list of facts derived by the best of scientific methods and all information points to the need for you to do this change in behavior, what is it that could actually make you do this new behavior? Continue reading

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