Wednesday, January 30, 2008

John Edwards Bows Out, Bides Time

When I read that John Edwards is pulling out of the Presidential campaign, I had a few thoughts. These possibilities seem remote, but not entirely unimaginable.

Hillary or Obama gets elected. They do a good job, but faced with a ton of problems (peak in oil production, ailing economy, global warming, nuclear war, etc.), don’t quite make things perfect. So the American public gets desperate. Edwards comes back. Rises to power. Ushers in Armageddon.

This theory is mainly based on the similarity between Edwards’ appearance and that of Sam Neill as Damien Thorn in “Omen III: The Final Conflict.”

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Bush vs. The Economy

I saw on “The Daily Show” that hours after George W. Bush announced an economic recovery plan, the stock market fell a few hundred points. I’m somewhat doubtful a quick fix will be enough to dig us all out. There was an episode of Saturday Night Live a long time ago when a guy impersonated Bush, and some of what he said seems incredibly relevant today. It was along the lines of, “That’s why I keep lowering taxes. Money going out, no money coming in, and it all evens out!”

I think the President has been operating under a similar process. Lowering taxes means the government has access to less cash, so it borrows to spend more and more. The American government is like a teenager with a credit card, no job, and an expensive appetite. Pretty soon that teen goes bankrupt.

I feel like even if we all get $1000 as part of the Recovery plan, we’ll hoard it due to continued fears and doubts regarding economic recovery, and it won’t do any good.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hillary vs. Obama

For a while, in some circles, the idea was (and is), "We need a black President."

In others, it was (and is), "We need a lady President."

I haven't heard too much of either goal in the media lately, though I'm sure many groups and individuals still hold onto them. I think what the media has been doing is taking each candidate as the sum of their accomplishments and capabilities (i.e., "We need a good President"), and not as someone defined by race or gender. However, it is still put forth that those two issues do carry some sway in the public consciousness (of course), both here and abroad.

Now, we've got two candidates, both highly attractive and capable, who fit the respective bills. And they're at war with one another? Weird...

I heard that some people are against the Hillary vs. Obama feud because they foresee the possibility of a Hillary-Obama joint ticket.

Could negative tactics on both sides weaken their power over voters, so that John Edwards and the Republican candidates get a better shot at victory?

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Yahoo Being Censored By Government?

About an hour ago, I read an article at this link that has since been changed.

At the time, the article seemed very scary, because it included the words "secret court" in both the headline, and the first paragraph. It was about how the Senate decided not to expand a secret court's power to keep sure the government doesn't overstep its bounds when surveilling U.S. citizens. Now the whole feel of the article is different! Why?

Could Yahoo! have offended someone from the government? Sure, you might say, "They were just doing a simple update." Well, I'm pretty sure the timestamp for when I originally read the article said, "2 hours, [?] minutes ago." Reading it a few minutes ago, it says, "1 hour, 3 minutes ago." If they wanted to post a new article, why use the old URL? Why the change?

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fred Thompson Is Out

Who is he endorsing?

I think it was the "Colbert Report" last night when I learned that Fred Thompson told one newscaster he would make an important announcement, and then failed to deliver. One theory as to what the announcement was had him declaring he's out of the race for President, and that he supports McCain.

Well, today we know that he is out, but he has yet to declare support for any of his former rivals. With him gone, maybe things will start to get a little more clear cut, as far as the Republican candidates are concerned.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

How To Solve Campaigning Budget Woes

Right now, the campaigning tactic seems to be: go to each state, and appeal to that demographic's voters. Change yourself from state to state, to suit each group of people's interests and attitudes. This takes a lot of money to do effectively, as it entails a great deal of travel, paraphernalia, and tons of in-person meetings.

Then, when the President is elected, he/she addresses the nation as one, on camera.

So here's my thought: A candidate could save money, and make contact with far more voters, by making daily video logs. He could say, "Greetings America," in one, and in another, focus on South Carolina, or New Hampshire, or whatever. It would be fairly inexpensive to add this tactic to a campaign, and yet it has the potential to produce massive results.

A poor candidate might focus solely on video campaigning. A wealthier one could simply add it to his/her arsenal. I'll bet this will be standard by 2012.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Economy And The Toilet - A Losing Combination

And yet, it seems you just can't separate the two. Or won't be able to pretty soon.

Every day I see ads for loans on TV. It makes me sick. With all the woes to our economy brought on by loan and mortgage scams, how can these people keep advertising this stuff? The people who go for it have already proven that they won't be able to make up the debt, what with the huge interest being charged. So the Fed will slash rates again. But for the benefit of what group? The middle class? Probably not.

What happens when we keep devaluing our currency? Will the Euro become the new world standard?

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Too Late To Enter The Presidential Race?

I think so.

I heard about Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg's possible bid for the White House, and it seems like a perfect waste of time and money. My mind's already set on a clique of candidates, and I'll bet that most people are in the same boat. Even if they're undecided, I don't think a new guy would have that big a chance. The current candidates are just too appealing to give a stranger a shot at mega-popularity.

But, to his credit, Bloomberg is said to have no plans whatsoever to run. Wikipedia says, "He has repeatedly denied any plans to run and says the news media has concocted his possible presidential bid."

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Is Change Really A Good Thing?

All the candidates are touting how capable they are of creating change. Anyone can change something. The trick is to make a good change.

George W. Bush changed a lot of things. Look where we are now. It took change to get us here!

We want a change from the way things are. Most American's feel we're on the wrong track. Let's change that. Let's change -- Presidents!

Candidate X could be elected, and then institute wide and sweeping changes that we all blindly asked for, simply because they are making things new and different. Trouble is, those changes might include implanting chips in everyone so the government can track us at all times. That qualifies as a massive change.

But in this case, a bad one. So do we want change? Or do we want good change?

Be careful what you wish for...

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

No One Supreme Candidate

I've encountered the sentiment that if one particular candidate is not elected, the world will go to Hell. I don't believe this is the case. Voters lose hope, faith, and the will to vote when there is no one "good" enough. If we had just one candidate who was good, and the rest were not, then it might be appropriate to put that one on a pedestal. But really, I think they're all good. All the headliners, anyway. The frontrunners, and silver and bronze guys too.

Then, when you go beyond that, you might be reaching. But the top-tier candidates aren't alone in their excellence. I think each could do a good job. They all know what's wrong, and they've got definite ideas on how to fix things. So to say "If you all don't vote for my candidate, we're screwed," I think is faulty.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

Tamper-Proof Biometric Documents

When I first heard, "tamper-proof biometric document," it was in reference to dealing with illegal immigrants. My first thought was, "Chip in your hand." But a quick search on google revealed that the phrase is being taken far more seriously that I thought. It looks like we're going to have to deal with chips in humans no matter what. Bummer.

I guess the idea is to catalogue all people, and track them with satellites. Once you do that, you can easily find lost hikers, kidnap victims, escaped convicts and illegal immigrants. But isn't it a fascist technique?

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Friday, January 4, 2008

Obama's Campaign Smothers Me Into Not Voting For Him

Maybe. Talk about backfire!

In the past, I've spoken with Obama supporters in person. They came a-knocking. And I've spoken on the phone. They came a-calling. A few days ago, one of them called again.

At 9:00 at night.

The young woman sounded like she was in college. She said, "You're an Obama supporter, is that correct?"

I said no, I'm not sure who I'm supporting.

She said, "Oh, well we must have you on the wrong list. What's your #1 issue?"

I said I didn't have one. No one issue matters most to me. There's a lot of them that are important.

She said, "Ok, well do you plan on voting in the Democrat Primary?"

I said I was undecided as to whether to vote Democrat or Republican.

She said, "All right, well one of the things I like most about Obama is that he's bipartisan, a uniter, and he can bring lots of different groups of people together."

That's the exact thing the previous caller had said, word for word. I'm paraphrasing what she said, but hearing it on the phone, it was apparent that the callers are instructed to read from a script. And here I thought the first conversation (that occurred a week ago during the day, and not at 9:00 at night) was legit. Guess not. How foolish of me...

Then she said, "Be sure to check out our website and let us know your questions."

And we finished up the call.

I had already been focused more on other candidates. After seeing Obama in the Democratic Debate, I decided he wasn't a powerful enough communicator to provide good representation on behalf of the U.S. in the eyes of foreign nations. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe what we really need is good ideas, and he seems to have plenty.

But now I've got something new to consider, and it hurts his campaign in my eyes.

It's the solicitations I've been getting. This last phone call really did Obama a disservice, because it happened late at night, and it was redundant. Absurdly redundant. I feel it was a waste of time, for all parties involved.

The Obama campaign is like a monster with a stick. You're trying to sleep, and every so often it creeps out from the shadows and pokes you. "Hey, don't forget me."

If Obama can't coordinate the lowest levels of volunteers on his campaign to do things right (and not be annoying and pointless), then how can we expect him to coordinate the lowest levels of government not to make our lives a living Hell?

People say, "It's not his fault. He's high up in the food chain, too high to make a difference."

Too high to make a difference? All he needs to do is delegate to good people, who delegate to more good people, right on down the line, until the bottom rung realizes that it is inappropriate to call at night, and it is inappropriate to pretend to be genuine and sincere when really you're just reading from a script.

Maybe the other candidates have this going on too, but they haven't made it apparent for me, so I say kudos to them.

Here's another theory. They say the more money you have, the more you'll fight to get elected. Well, what if some candidates respect us citizens enough to leave us alone and let us think for ourselves? I think (half-serious) that other candidates believe in me, and trust me to make the right decision. Obama just won't leave me alone, which means he doesn't trust me, and doesn't respect me. Why would I vote for someone like that?

It's like the unpopular kid wants to break into the cool clique so badly that he just keeps pestering everyone to let him join. "I can be cool, see? Look at me!" And it backfires. "Get lost, crazy."

Another theory I had was that I was too positive in previous encounters with Obama supporters, and they marked me down on their neat and tidy lists as being myself a supporter. I was just being polite. You've taught me a good lesson, Obama campaign. It pays to be rude.

Or how about this. Maybe they've got this plan to "go viral," and they hamper and pester whoever they think is trendiest. I don't know why they would think I'm trendy, but if that's the case, I'm honored, flattered, and disgusted. As William Shatner says, "Leave me the Hell alone!" I think political telemarketing should be made illegal.

Here's yet another theory. Maybe they think any press is good press. Here, see, their efforts to annoy (perhaps that was their intention after all) have caused me to write this post all about Obama! That's free publicity! Gee, I guess now that you've read this, you'll keep thinking about Obama until you forget the negatives and decide to vote for him. It's genius! No wonder he won Iowa. The mastermind... (Actually he does seem like a decent guy, I just hate the pestering).

Ok, all that aside, here's the oddity that I've been wondering about from the start. Is it cosmic irony?:

Obama B.
Osama B.

Barack Obama
Bin Laden Osama

Osama Bin Laden
Obama Barack

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Vote For The Underdog

If you like Candidate A, and you like Candidate B,

and Candidate A is powerhouse, a sure bet,

and Candidate B is great, but seems to be overlooked,

why not vote for Candidate B?

Vote for your favorite underdog. A vote for the candidate whose victory is a foregone conclusion has less potential impact than a vote for an underdog.

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