Monday, September 26, 2016

Truth in Advertising

A TV commercial for an Over 50's dating site has fine print at the bottom of the screen:

               "Must be over 18 to join." 

     -Ya think?  True!

And what about all of these new mascara products on the market? They advertise how thick and long your luscious lashes will be if you use their latest innovations in the highly competitive cosmetic industry, but have you ever noticed the small print under the picture of the gorgeous model:

               "Model is wearing eyelash extensions"

       -So ... unless you have an extra three or four hundred dollars a month to spend on lash extensions, there is no way that your lashes will look like hers, no matter how much mascara you put on. False!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Techno-Challenged Mom Rant

I am a little late sharing this think that I thunk about the iphone 7.  This most recent permutation of phones that are way smarter than most of their owners was launched September 16, 2016.

That was a whole week ago!

In a market that thrives on the principles of planned obsolescence, a week is like a lifetime.By the time I get the packaging off a new gadget or gizmo, the next generation is already on the market.

So ... the main innovation of the iphone 7 is water resistance. That is a good thing. My flip phone died a tragic death in a pocket of my jeans. It didn't survive the rinse cycle. But I would not have flopped my flip phone when it was still functioning just to get a phone that is water resistant. I had this old fashioned notion that a phone was for making phone calls, and if it does that successfully then why do I need a new one? I've just finally figured out how to use this one.

My mother taught me that you don't buy something new when the old one doesn't need to be replaced yet. I tried to pass this value on to my kids. When we did buy them new stuff, I would strongly encourage them to try to sell their old stuff on our next garage sale. Despite their frustration at selling the 'old' for far less than what they cost (if they could sell them at all), they never seemed to catch on to the idea that if something old still works, they don't need the new. It's like buying a new car and driving it off the lot - the new depreciates as soon as you pay for it.

But for the kids, a phone is not just a phone anymore. It's the internet connection, GPS unit, TV remote, and Pokemon finder, with apps for doing everything anyone could ever think of getting a phone to do. I have read some reports complaining that the new iphone 7 is lacking a headphone jack. Apparently word from Apple is that there wasn't space for the port.

I am thinking that one of these days, smart phones will have to leave off other familiar functions in order to prioritize space for new ones. Like maybe in a couple more generations your phone will be able to save your life with an onboard defibrillator. You just won't be able to call 911; there wasn't room for an app to make phone calls.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Meanwhile Over in Canada -- Our Freedoms are Killing Us!

       They say that you can't legislate morality. Passing laws against pornography or prostitution, or gambling will not prevent the behaviour. People will just find a way to get around the law.  You can't make people stop drinking, smoking, or doing drugs. There is no way that you can try to stop people from having sex outside of marriage, or from getting a divorce or an abortion. You especially can't even suggest that homosexuality might be even considered to be immoral. Any government that puts limits on any of these behaviours is repressive, backward, ignorant, tyrannical, and just plain bad. 

      A progressive society, then, is one in which moral issues are deregulated, and any laws that have been attempting to legislate morality are revoked. 

      We as a society in general are still okay with having laws to protect children, animals, and the environment. We hate pedophiles, rapists, and people who hurt animals or children. 

       Not that there is anything wrong with having laws to prohibit or limit behaviours that hurt people (especially children), or animals or the environment. For example, in Canada, you can smoke all you want, if you can afford all the hidden taxes; but recently our government passed laws to no longer allow smoking inside many restaurants and even bars in some jurisdictions. It is no longer legal to smoke inside a car if children are present, and stores are not allowed to sell cigarettes to minors. 

      Smokers are not complaining quite as much anymore about having to butt out in public places. My dad used to say that he paid taxes on the air so he should be able to smoke wherever he wanted. But after my mom died from lung cancer, he no longer smoked in the house, and he even quit for the first time since he was a teenager. When he started up again, he still went outside or in the garage to smoke. My dad was a stubborn man, so for him to stop such an embedded habit even for a couple of months, and to change his attitude about his right to smoke wherever he pleased is a sign that anyone could do the same. So it is possible for new laws to limit harmful behaviours such as smoking.

       There are other behaviours that are also harmful to children and families but are still legal.. It is incredibly difficult to change laws that people view as freedoms and/or entitlements. In Canada, it took several generations of teaching school children about the damaging effects of smoking and regular exposure to second-hand smoke, especially in the undeveloped lungs of children, before it became socially acceptable to ask people not to smoke in front of their children. Once it was socially acceptable to ask people to butt out or go outside, then it was possible to make laws against smoking in public buildings. 

      Pregnant women who want their babies have been butting out and requesting those around her to not smoke in her presence for decades now, but this cannot become a legal requirement in a country in which the preborn are not granted any human rights. There is no legal precedence to require a pregnant woman to quit smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or having risky sexual relations while she is pregnant. There have been many advertising campaigns to educate  the public about the risks of fetal alcohol syndrome, a birth defect that could significantly and permanently impact a child's health and brain functions, but in a society with no abortion laws at all, we cannot pass a law to require a pregnant woman to seek treatment for her addictions. Even if she has had previous children removed from her care by Child and Family Services, they have to wait until this baby is born before any intervention can be taken to protect him/her from the dangers of life in a uterus. A mother's freedom to choose death for a child ends the moment he/she emerges from the womb. One second it's an abortion, the next second it is murder. 

        Canada is one of the best countries in the world to live in. We have much freedom here. We have rights and privileges that I am extremely grateful for. Freedom of speech, for example. We have made progress in so many beneficial ways. But morality only flows in one direction, and that is a downward spiral. Once a freedom is granted, it is very difficult to repeal. But just because something is legal, that doesn't mean it is safe. Almost every liberty has two extremes: lawlessness, and legalism. If you have read this far and disagree with me, please leave a comment. You can leave a comment if you agree with me, too, but that goes without saying, literally. The people who agree with me don't need a special invitation to leave a comment.