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A commentary and journal site for the author. Topics will include Christian issues, gaming, comics, cartoons, news, and anything else I feel like talking about at the moment. Send comments to stranger894@yahoo.com


Friday, January 31, 2003

After that, I feel the need to be less serious

New York Times to English Translator

They're Losing Her!

Can't say they ever HAD me (see below the quote), but Carol Johnson is losing faith in her party. I was there in 1992, I know the feeling (I voted for Perot but even after the 8 years that resulted I can't say I regret it). Follow that link and scroll down/search the archives for Jan 29, 2003 -- or read the quote here.

I am a dyed-in-the-wool Republican-hater, coming from a long line of Democratic Party supporters, and YOU ARE LOSING ME. I am a white, not-quite-40 mother of three who lives in the suburbs, and YOU ARE LOSING ME. I care about Education, Social Welfare, and the Environment, and YOU ARE LOSING ME.

You have become the Haven of Celebrities; you elect self-righteous, power-hungry hypocrites like Hillary; and your current pool of 2004 front-runners reads like a Who's Who list from Losers R Us. But that's not the worst of it. You don't seem to understand that the vast majority of Americans support the War against Iraq. That we see the quibbling re: the UN Resolutions for what it is. You cannot see the threat that Iraq poses? Where have you been for the last decade? The best you can come up with is parodying the damn French and demanding 'more proof'. One can only conclude that it is because you feel you have to oppose the Republicans on war because they are Republicans -- and this lame reason is the best you can devise. There are real issues with the current administration that would resonate with your fellow democrats (you know, us small 'd's' who don't live in Hollywood or NY) -- the economy is tanking, the President's stimulus plan is a joke, pension funds are going bankrupt, the War on Drugs is a corrupting influence on our police forces and an insult to civil liberties, corporate malfeasance is getting a pass as the SEC investigative body is rendered toothless, the States are in financial freefall and ya' know what? it hurts back here at home...The list goes on. And you are doing NOTHING.

Nothing. You have nothing to offer. You can oppose, but you do not propose. You have no new ideas, no leadership. You come off as a bunch of politically-correct, dithering wannabes. I read more good ideas in one day surfing the blogs than you can formulate in a year. It makes me sick.

It makes me sick, because I Really Don't Like the Republicans. But, unless something astounding happens, I'm going to vote for Bush in 2004.


It's not about who you like, Carol, it's about what's right. Ever hear that old wag about how, "If you're not a (socialist/communist/liberal/democrat) at age 20 you have no heart, if you're still one at age 30 you have no brain" ? I'm proud to say I went through my (socialist/communist/liberal/democrat) stage when I was still in short pants, and had outgrown it thoroughly before I needed three hands to count my age. Thankfully I also got over the stage where I was arrogant about my 'maturity' sometime around age 23.

So things aren't going too well in your neck of the woods? Carol, it would take a miracle-worker six or seven years just to get the country over the damage Clinton did (please note I didn't say "back to where we were in 1992" or somesuch, insert nostalgia rant here). Frankly, I have no doubt we will still be suffering the aftershocks well into the 2020's.

It's not Bush's fault your 401(k) is in the tank -- that's happening because the market is correcting five or six years of outrageously inflated value when Bush got into office. That's happening because people got into mindless speculation into Internet products that were all promise and no delivery. Mark Twain had a point when he said that there were only two times when you shouldn't get into speculation -- when you can't afford it, and when you can. Frankly, there's not a nice way to put it so I'll be blunt -- if Bush wants to do what's good for the economy, your 401(k) is going to continue sucking for a while and may never get back to the outrageous levels it got in the late 90's.

Same goes with the job market -- something that hits home because I have a couple of friends that are having job-hunting problems, and my own job situation is WAY less stable than I'm comfortable with. While it's not a complete picture, take as an example what's happening to McDonald's, especially around where I live. When I was in college there were 4 in the Hamilton/Fairfield area, and 1 of those had just opened. Today, I could drive passed 5 before I got halfway to work, and that total includes only 1 from the previous total. Lots of jobs, right? Except for the fact that they've discovered they're not really getting any new customers -- they've just subdivided their existing base. I won't be one wit surprised if one of them finds themselves closed in the next couple of years, and it won't be much of a surprise if 2 or 3 meet that fate.

Of course, the local (dying) market in the SW Ohio area probably isn't typical -- still, I can't help but believe the mistake I see the Arches making and made by a previous employer that shall remain nameless are isolated. They overexpanded, thinking the capital was there to back it up. They discovered their mistake -- and are faced with looking like they made a mistake or making a bigger one. You'd be amazed how many people make the wrong choice when that happens.

You don't like the Republicans, Carol? I'll let you in on a secret -- neither do I. There's a reason I started calling myself a "conservative" several years ago, and it has more than a little to do with several of the Republicans in office in Butler County Ohio that I've had the displeasure of meeting (not all of them, I respect Boehner for example). I could not in conscience vote for Piper, for example, after the mud that flew in the early part of that campaign. Yes, he was the one who prosecuted the man convicted of my aunt's murder (legalesse sucks, doesn't it?), but I was there and I remember only too well how much he contributed to the case.


That turned into more of a rant than I expected.

Be Afraid, be Very Afraid...

I let a buddy talk me into Magic: The Gathering Online.

I've already spent a little over $20 (besides the $10 voucher).

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Passed time I talked about this one

The HEROman Ad

Um, who is this Chris Stevens character, and do I have any chance of CON-stunning him with my measily 8 STR? I'm a long-time HERO player, and I'M insulted by this.

Say it with me, children -- you don't win people over by insulting them. Now repeat it like a mantra.

You don't win people over by insulting them.
You don't win people over by insulting them.
You don't win people over by insulting them.

I stink, soundly, at persuasive writing -- always have. Even my meager (not up to a 8- familiarity) skill, however, is enough to point out the IDIOCY required to think that's a good advertisement. Same goes with the "Get Saved or Go To Hell" billboard posted on a major highway near my house a couple of years back. Or the church down the block from my place of employment with the sign that says "Sinners you are welcome here!"

You only THINK you're being cute. Your target audience won't see it that way.

EDIT: Hmm, a grammar error and two spelling errors. Maybe my regular writing skills aren't too hot either...

France is as incompetent at the bargaining table as they are militarily? I'm shocked... SHOCKED!... at the very suggestion.

Er, not exactly shocked...

Found It!

Had to look for this one for the second time, so I'm creating a link here.

Probably the best description of the McDonald's McFatso Decision I've seen.

Where are the Irony Police when you need them?

Marvel trying to avoid tariffs by claiming X-Men aren't human.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Criticism of the Union :-PPPPP

Working off the text LINKED HERE.

"Our fourth goal is to apply the compassion of America to the deepest problems of America. For so many in our country — the homeless, the fatherless, the addicted — the need is great. Yet there is power — wonder-working power — in the goodness, and idealism, and faith of the American people."

My God. Did the President of the United States just QUOTE A HYMN!?!?!?!?!? What does it say about the last twelve years of American Politics that I'm surprised? What's more, he managed to work the quote into a statement that in many ways is the core of the conservative ideal in America; that the solution to the problems of America is the American People, not the American Government.

"I have sent you a Healthy Forests Initiative, to help prevent the catastrophic fires that devastate communities, kill wildlife, and burn away millions of acres of treasured forest.

I can hear the Green's cringing already. He may have tried to sugar coat it, but I think all involved know what he's talking about hmm?

The fuel cell car statements.

My opinion of that whole "better living through technology" thing has long been -- and will likely long remain -- that I'll believe it when I see it. I'm still very dubious of how safe this technology is. Remember that whole thing about exploding Pintos? Imagine that in a car carrying a supply of hydrogen.

Then there's the whole air bag comparison. Air bags were supposed to replace seatbelts (that have the potential to trap the passenger/driver) -- but in the real world, an air bag without a seat belt is more dangerous than the seat belt alone. If you follow technology much at all, you know that this is FAR from an isolated example. I'm no Luddite (far from it, I wouldn't survive a season), but I'm a firm believer in patterns. I'd love it if fuel cell technology actually delivered -- just remember, 15 years ago room-temperature fusion was supposed to be 5 years away...

Then there's that whole "dependence on foreign oil" claptrap. Folks, let's be honest here: the USA needs foreign oil like I need a box full of Little Debbie(tm) Fudge Rounds. The only reasons we're buying foreign oil at all are a> to reduce the political clout of the domestic oil companies, and b> to give us a political wedge in the countries we buy from. All the fuel cells in the world aren't going to change "b" -- which is overrated in effect anyway, but that's a rant for another day.

"To improve our health care system, we must address one of the prime causes of higher costs — the constant threat that physicians and hospitals will be unfairly sued. Because of excessive litigation, everybody pays more for health care — and many parts of America are losing fine doctors. No one has ever been healed by a frivolous lawsuit — and I urge the Congress to pass medical liability reform."

That's partially nonsense, of course -- at least it's an understandable form of nonsense. The high cost of malpractice insurance is due in no small way to excessive litigation -- but that's not the only reason, and may not even be the biggest one. Ugly fact political types don't like to talk about much is that malpractice is one of the leading causes of death in this country. The lack of federal controls here contribute to that GREATLY. I'm all for "smaller government", but this is one area where an expansion of federal powers is way overdue.

Monday, January 27, 2003

It's nice to know there are lawyer's even in Barbie's World


Score one for freedom of speech! In a much better decision than that Eldred fiasco, the Supreme Court let stand (without comment) a lower court's ruling that the song "Barbie Girl" by an obscure group named Aquamarine was parody & social commentary, and therefore constitutes protected speech.

The song, for those that don't remember it or may not have heard it, ranks with the greatest parody songs of all time in my opinion -- up there with Weird Al's "I think I'm a Clone Now".

Sad flip side -- a song about the absurdities of the Barbie image has more protection under the law than the American Flag.

Revisionist History

I've had to make an edit to a below post because I wasn't aware of the full connotation of one of the statements. I've marked it in the post as well, but I prefer to be clear.

What can I say, I like personality tests.

EDIT: Link not working, apparently. I came out as the Palm OS.

Hmm, except for the part about my mother, that's actually pretty good. Of course, the fact that it's 100% accurate on the good stuff and 100% accurate on the bad stuff means it's about par for most "psychology tests"...

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