Saturday, November 29

adventures in pumpkin land

So we were planning on having a pumpkin pie for thanksgiving, but 1, i don't think i ever made a pumpkin pie myself before, and B, we were making it out of an actual pumpkin. So we were given some moderately trustworthy direction that we should peel the pumpkin, cook it in the microwave for 20 minutes, and put it through the squeezo (the device we use for turning tomatoes into tomato sauce.) Well after going through the squeezo, what was left looked pretty much like orange tomato sauce. Really it looked like extra pulpy orange juice. The point is it was super liquidy, and certainly not what pumpkin from a can looks like. So i figure this is clearly no good, you can't possibly bake a liquid and hope to get a pie out of it. That would be like putting a pie crust filled with milk in the oven to try and get ice cream cake. Anyway, i had already made the pie crust, and it was clearly too late to get a pumpkin pie someplace else so i figured what the hell i'll try to make it anyway, what's the worst that could happen. (also instead evaporated milk we had condensed milk.) So i finished mixing the ingredients, and we put the pie in the oven. It's supposed to bake for 55 minutes. After 55 minutes i look at it, all liquid in the middle. So leave it in for another 20 minutes, still liquid in the middle. Another 20 minutes, still liquid. Then i stop timing it, i figure just leave it in indefinitely, it's not going to over cook. Check maybe an hour later give or take, still liquid in the middle. So i figure it's just about time to either toss this thing, or start drinking some pumpkin pie. That's when we look at the oven and realize it's not on. Not sure exactly when it was turned off, but at some point after the turkey was taken out, and the pumpkin pie not being cooked, the oven was turned off. Possibly when the turkey came out, possibly when the temp was supposed to be turned down for the pie, possibly some other time. Anyway, turn the oven back on take it out an hour later and eat it. It was perfectly cromulent. So despite some early uncertainties we did ended up embiggening our thanksgiving with delicious pumpkin pie, scrumptious sausage stuffing, and other alliterative foods for thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25

I'm still not sure how he caused the meltdown. There wasn't any nuclear material in the truck!

This is about mini nuclear reactors that can be buried in the ground and support 20,000 homes. This certainly sounds like the way to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, lower energy costs, and cut back on any possible global warming. It sounds like a win, win, win situation. Of course if democrats and envirnomantalists, hadn't block it, we could have half the country powered on nuclear plants by now, like France. This has no moving parts, and no weapon grade material, so as far as i can tell there should be very few worries. I guess there still could be concern about ambiant radiation put out by the reactor, but i gather that's why it is being buried under ground. Also while the material may not yet be weapons grade, it is probably on the way there, and may be easier for people to dig up and steal, than to get on their own. Or what happens if someone digs up the nuclear material and then just blows it up in new york with a couple sticks of dynamite. So not without concerns, but i am fully in support of this project, and would be all for durham/middlefield/some other nearby town buying one to support our energy needs.

Me fail english? That's unpossible.

Here's an article out of the Daily Northwestern. Basically the evanston school system has canceled honors english classes, and instead integrated all the students. They have repeatedly failed to meet guidelines for no child left behind and this is their solution. I guess their hopeful theory is that being an a class together with the smart kids will help the slower kids learn more. Appearing in broad daylight with police everywhere, ladies and gentleman there's only 1 word for that: idiocy. How could putting kids who are different levels in the same class possibly help either. The smart kids will be bored and goofing around, while the dumb kids will not be able to receive the same attention from a teacher who is trying students with very different abilities/motivations. It seems to me that this project is less about bringing the bad students up, than dragging the good students down. There is a big disparity between the success of white students, and minority students at the school. It's better to have everyone performing badly, than have white students performing well and minority students performing badly. If you can't have equality with everyone doing well, equality with everyone doing badly is the next best thing.

instead of chewing gum, chew bacon

This is just another case where if the results are what we want then they are important and everyone must take notice, but if they aren't then the study is inconclusive. This particular study was on the intake of sugar by high school kids in high schools where sugary drinks were banned, and those where they weren't. The study finds that kids in both schools lowered their sugar intake. Just like every single large scale study on health/food intake they failed to reach the conclusion they desired. All clinical studies that i'm aware from whether or not fiber helps prevent colon cancer to fat and breast cancer have failed to prove what we are constantly told about food. We are told all the time that certain things are healthy, and others aren't and if you feed kids this at school and make them exercise this much, then they will be healthier. Every single large scale clinical trial has failed to demonstrate anything. You can bet if this study had demonstrated significantly lower sugar intake by the kids at the schools without sugary drinks they would be making a big deal about it. Here's another article about new research into the pointlessness of taking vitamins

Sunday, November 23

I laugh because it's hurts

I don't know if anyone else read these articles, but i read several articles leading up to/after the election about the fact that late night comedy shows were much harsher on republicans than democrats. The claim they made was that the republicans were simply more interesting, but that after the election they were start sharpening their claws and go after obama. Well i don't watch i huge amount of late night tv, but so far i haven't heard a single joke at Obama's expense. There are still plenty about palin, McCain, and bush, plus plenty about hilary/bill, and even a couple about biden, but i haven't heard a single solitary joke at Obama's expense. Stewart has been making this claim for years that he doesn't make fun of democrats because they aren't in charge, and they never do anything. Well i guess Obama's not president yet, so we've still got some time. But i believe that a year from now we'll still be hearing more jokes about Palin being stupid than we'll be hearing about Obama.

Friday, November 21

attempted birdhouse, one

This is not exactly surprising, but it is certainly disturbing. Now this is clearly the work of a right leaning group, which you can see from the questions asked. The questions about obama don't bother me. That very few connected Obama to bankrupting the coal industry, that's a little factoid that came out very late in the election process, and McCain didn't do a good enough job promoting it. The various other questions likewise, maybe it's not great, but it doesn't really bother me. Here's what bothers me 94% knew that palin had a teenage daughter, 86% knew that her wardrobe cost 150,000 and 81% knew that McCain said he didn't know how many houses he had. Okay, that's fine being aware of those things. But if you are going to know that McCain couldn't answer how many houses he owns (he does have some excuses having to do with real estate investments and his rich wife) you ought to know that Obama claimed to have campaigned in 57 states, which is at least as big a gaffe. only 23% said that was obama while a combined 22% picked either McCain or Palin. Clearly they were under the impression that only a republican could be stupid enough to say that, but they'd be wrong. And the piece de resistance, only 42% could accurately say that the democrats controlled congress. Repeat please. 58% of people who voted for Obama could not name which party controlled congress. So you everyone know's about palin's daughter, and McCain's house, but less than half can name the party controlling congress. This is a double indictment of the media and the electorate. Clearly the media focused so much on personal non-issues of the republicans that, is what most stuck in people's mind. But it's not like information isn't out there. People have nobody to blame but themselves if they aren't interested enough to figure out who is in charge. This is an isolated poll, and may be incorrect, but polls all the time show the shocking ignorance of the american people. I believe a similar 40% know that there are 3 branches of government. I don't remember other statistics, but there are plenty just as bad if not worse. All i can say, is it's about time we had some exams for voting. Who is the president, who is the vice president, what party is in charge, who is your governor. The concern is in disenfranchising voters. First off, i have no problem with disenfranchising voters who can't answer those questions, and secondly, if there were questions, i think the main impact is that more people would read a thing or 2 about politics, if for no other reason then to pass the test and get their vote counted. People ought to be ashamed and embarrassed, and there in lies the real problem, we live in a society where nobody is ashamed or embarrassed of lacking this very basic information, they just laugh it off.

It's people. Soylent green is made of people.

This is an article about assisted suicide in switzerland. The article is nothing super duper special just reminded me of the issue. Washington approved assisted suicide for terminal patients this month if i recall correctly. I just find it mind boggling, that anyone would think that you shouldn't have the right to kill yourself. I don't want to live anymore and society decides, no, we are going to require that you keep living. I don't care if people are terminal or not, the right to not live anymore is at least as inherent as the right to live. In nature no animal actually has any right to live, you must fight, you must work to live, if you don't then you die. But yet in our society if you don't want to be alive anymore, then the government will force you to continue living. To who's benefit could this possibly be. Certainly not the person's he doesn't want to be alive. Whenever you take choice away from a person you can only make them worse off. Clearly it's not better for society because now they have to spend the money to keep the person alive. I guess in some religious context you could prevent someone's soul from going to hell, but that would be an awfully goofy way to run the system. I know you wanted to kill yourself, and had you, you would have gone to hell, but because you were physically prevented from doing so, now you get into heaven. That would be a hell of a deal. If they want to have some sort of waiting period before you can go through official suicide channels, that's okay with me. Make sure someone isn't killing themselves on a drunken whim, or have just broken up with their girlfriend, etc. Of course conventional methods would still be available to such people. But whether i'm dying or not, what right does anyone else have to tell me that i must continue my existence.

Thursday, November 20

Let's elect a king.

State governments are asking for federal money left and right. And as if that's not enough, now cities are asking for money too. Here's an idea, less government. If you can't afford so many services and wealth redistribution systems, then cut some of them. Most of these states were running deficits during the best of times, never bother to save money, or plan for the future, and they will all do the same again. There in lies the main benefit with a king. A king is in it for the long haul. Maybe when he's very old, he may lose sight of long term goals, but certainly when he is young he would be better able to prioritize and not mortgage the future for the president. Elected officials have no insentive. They want to give the people everything possible right now so they can get re-elected. It's the same thing now. If their state/city runs up a huge deficit, that looks bad for the politicians in charge, but if DC bails them out, and then there's a huge federal deficit, well that's not their fault. The entire system has become way too bloated with government spending at every level. It's a good thing we don't have a president and congress coming in that have vowed to vastly increasing government programs. At least on the plus side they will cut taxes on 95% of americans. There's a good plan, that worked out really well for bush, cutting taxes while increasing the size of the federal government. A king wouldn't have that temptation because he would realize that he would have to pay the piper some day, whereas politicians figure they won't be around when the piper has to be paid anyway.

Let them eat oil.

So people are most likely familiar with the plight of the big three. I don't mind the government helping them out, but clearly it must come with some conditions. Now before they gave any money to the financial sector the government insisted on limiting the pay of top executives, presumably because they were at fault for the problems. Certainly if we believe that the problems existed and could have been made much worse if not for the brilliant work of the top executives, there would be no need to limit their pay. Well in the case of the car companies it's clear that the fault rests with the Union. The workers kept demanding more and more money and eventually drove their employers out of business. People are saying left and right that we can't let the automakers go bankrupt because we'll lose so many good jobs. You know why they are good jobs, because they are being paid too much. One article claimed that they are paid 30 dollars an hour more than their japanese or european counterparts. another said that they have to pay 2,000 more into pension funds per car than foreign automakers. My father told me (i don't where he got these figures) that when pensions etc. is figured in they pay 73 dollars and hour for employees (it was my understand that applied to factory employees) meanwhile toyota has plants in the US and they pay only 48. That's not a small difference. So clearly if it is the pension and the greediness of the workers that is to blame than penions/salaries/benefits of workers needs to be the first thing that is cut in any bailout. GM said they needed money because they are burning through 5 billion a month. How is a 25 billion dollar package going to help if GM alone is burning through 25 billion a month. The government is going to end up paying the union workers with tax payer money, which will then be donated to the campaigns of democrats who will insist on more payments to the automakers so the money can keep going to the unions.

My father also told me the story of someone representing the union who claimed that their workers needed to be paid well because of their high skill level. In fact they were so skilled they could (and did) do their job drunk. They would go out to a bar for lunch have several beers, come back to work, and finish their shifts. So for work that could be done by a drunk person the companies are required to spend $73 and hour. No wonder they need help. I say let the big 3 go bankrupt. Then let's see how the workers feel about their Union. There was a meatpacking plant in a small town someplace (i forget) and some of the workers complained about not being paid extra for working overtime/unsafe working conditions. There were a bunch of fines levied against the plant, and now it's going to go under. In a small town, it provided the jobs for everybody. Now it's gone. Should people have to work in less than safe conditions, no, should they be paid extra for overtime work if that's what the law says, yes, but that's not always how the world works. I think most of the people who worked at that plant would rather have a crummy job than no job right about now. That entire town is going to die now. And the people working for the car campanies would probably be willing to take a pay cut to keep the company from going under, but their union won't ever let them, beside which it is probably too late anyway. Let them go out of business, and maybe some other industries will learn from their lesson.

Monday, November 17

Females taking over the planet.

This article is certainly bad news for the human race. It's basically about declining male birth rates, the increase in male birth defects, and lower male sperm quality. A decline in the number of quality men, will be good news for the quality men because they will be more in demand. If the trend continues, it may also cause people/governments to rethink their policies on polygamy. It may actually not matter because far fewer men are required now than in the days of old. Back when a lot of hard labor was required to grow food/stay alive, a population deficient in males wouldn't last very long. But maybe now it's better to have more girls, and the human race is just adapting to a lesser need for men. There are studies that indicate that environmental triggers could make a difference in whether a girl or a boy is born. I don't remember but i think when triggers indicate hard times boys are more likely because they will be more able to fend for themselves, so maybe the abundance of food/heat/etc. is a large factor in any decreases in male birth ratios. In any case i thought it was an interesting article.

That's how i was raised, and i turned out tv

Interesting issue brought up by an episode of boston legal. This is a show written by david e kelly, a big time liberal. It seems that the show is about abortion rights because a 15 year old wants to get an abortion but in MA she needs a parent's signiture, and her mom refuses to give permision. So the main character, a champion of liberal causes, immediately takes the case, and goes on about how outrageous it is that she needs a parents permission. But we find out that in fact permision is virtually always granted, and the real issue of the episode is that this girl is the daughter of a chinese immigrant, and she is aborting the child because it is a girl. According to the episode (which i believe is accurate) abortion rates of girls is significantly higher in chinese immigrant populations in the US, and of course in china. So should she be allowed to have an abortion simply because she doesn't want a girl. Of course there are no laws regarding why you want an abortion, nor could they be possibly be enforceable. This is of course an interesting question, and one that we are just scratching the surface of. The gay community for instance was in an uproar earlier about attempts to tie gayness to some genes. They were afraid that people would start testing their fetus for gay genes, and aborting potentially gay fetuses. Gayness is not as simple as some gene because identical twins don't always have the same sexual orientation, but as we move further towards decoding genetics, and assuming abortions are legal, we could easily be moving closer and closer to a gattica type situation. Even if you couldn't choose for the perfect baby, you could choose to abort a baby because of specfic charactersitcs. From what i understood they already do it for down syndrome, which is why it was a big deal that sarah palin did not abort her down syndrome baby. In gattica they fertilize several eggs (the number of total fertilized is not clear, but there were 4 to choose from at the end of the process) beyond simple abortion this could be fairly close also. Fertilize a few dozen eggs, get genetic tests and then implant the best one. If you don't believe that life/soul/rights start at conception then it's not a huge deal, but what should parents be allowed to choose. What if people all start choosing to have only straight children. Or what if lesbians get sperm donors and decide they want to have only gay children, etc. you decide your child should be a concert pianist and so you have him born with 12 fingers (gattica) you are entering some troubling moral territory.

Thursday, November 13

sense from the left.

Camille Paglia is a liberal who supports Obama, and a feminists, but at least she can be logical and make sense unlike the vast majority of so called feminists. Maybe it's because she considers herself a libertarian, but what i've read of her has been at least well thought out. I obviously don't agree with all her opinions, but i do think she is worth reading.

Economic Waste

So Obama's team is concerned about ticket scalping to his inauguration. It is my contention (economic fact) that illegaling ticket scalping is anti-economic. If the ticket is more important to someone else ( they are willing to pay more for it, than it is worth) then by definition they should have it, they buy it from you and both sides are better off. Ticket scalping has been slowly becoming legal in some states but not all. Anyway In general inauguration tickets are parceled out to VIPs and campaign supporters, but Obama's staff is worried about tickets being auctioned of on Ebay/craigs list, so they are trying to quickly scrape together a federal law making that illegal. I don't see how they can do that without bush's signature, which he is probably unwilling to grant just to be a nice guy. Anyway, the main point is that they have speculated that the tickets could be auctioned for as much as $40,000. there are close to 250,000 tickets available to this event. If they could really sell tickets for $40,000 each, that would make $10,000,000,000. I'm not saying 10,000,000,000 could really make a big dent in the federal deficit, but it certainly wouldn't hurt. If Obama were to say auction off tickets to the highest bidder and then give the money to the big three car companies (which are now begging for money from the democrats) i'm sure they would appreciate it. 40,000 is based on not many tickets being available for sale, but even if they could sell 100,000 tickets at 10,000 each, they could rewrite the campaign finance laws, and use that money to support public campaigns for years to come. instead of a paltry 80,000,000 or whatever it is, they could give enough public money to force campaigns to take it.

Wednesday, November 12

The media's job is to unquestioningly support Obama

It's exactly a surprise to anyone that Chris mathews considers it his job to make sure Obama's presidency goes as smoothly as possible, just as he considered it his job to make sure Bush's went as badly as possible. What is a little surprising is that he would admit it out loud. Mathews never made any bones about being literally in love with obama, so we should only expect him to do all in his power to defend and promote him. It is a little odd that some people are still willing to take him seriously as a journalist. He has all but officially declared his intention to run for the senate on a democratic ticket, he should stop the pretense of being a journalist and just become a democratic spokesperson. I'm sure MSNBC wouldn't mind, they are practically declare from the rooftops that they are the channel of the democratic party. People say the O'reilly and limbaugh are bastions of the republican party, but they really aren't, they are bastions unto themselves. O'reilly is a populist. He'll take the most popular position from both parties and support them, although he certainly does lean right. Limbaugh has repeatedly ripped McCain, and the republican party, he is only interested in himself, and 400 million dollar contract, the republican party can go along for the ride if they want to, but they would be following him, not the other way around. Mathews and MSNBC on the other hand, seem only interested in promoting the democratic party, with nary an ill word. What really boggles the mind is that many people in the US still don't believe there is any liberal bias in the media. They just can't fathom the idea that the media could really lean politically one way or the other.

All i want is what's fair.

Schumer, not surprisingly, started raising the issue of the fairness doctrine as soon as the election was over. In this article he is clearly being an idiot (which i assume goes for everything he says and does.) First he complains that people who are against the fairness doctrine are nonetheless for limiting pornography on the air. His claim is you can't say the government should have the power to do one thing and not the other. So essentially he is say if we agree that the government should have any power at all, then by definition we can put no limits on it's power? How can someone possibly say such a thing with a straight face. It's been well established that freedom of speech does not cover pornographic or vulgar statements, but generally we like to think it does cover political speech. Obviously schumer considers conservative radio to be both vulgar and pornographic.

Then he makes the more defensible comment that americans are in a better position when they hear both sides of the story, except that he omits the fact that this is exactly what the fairness doctrine would prevent. As has been established by several scientific studies (all that i have ever heard of) both television and print journalism lean significantly to the left. The radio is the only media outlet to leans to the right. The democrats are trying to kill talk radio, leaving only the left leaning media outlets. Then there is the internet which leans everywhich way. Whatever you want you can find. There's is certainly no danger that people aren't hearing the democrats side of the issue, so his contention once again is utterly foolish to the core, although at least i could understand someone saying it with a straight face.

Tuesday, November 11

for laughs and giggles

So as i can gather from this article, this guy has not resigned, and plans to keep his job as a councilman. Hell all politicians piss on us, at least this guy is honest about it. He's got my vote (when i move to new jersey, which is never.)

Damn the people!!!

So arnold swazzenegger is already calling on the california courts to overturn the ban on gay marriage. So it's not good enough that they overrule the referendum, and then they put in a new bill to change to constitution which also passes. Why don't we just do away with democracy in this country. Clearly nobody likes it anymore. We'll just have the judiciary be in charge of everything. We can still elect congressmen and presidents, but their only job will be to appoint judges who will then rule from on high. Clearly america is yearning to go back to it's younger days when it was controlled by edicts from the king of england. I believe i've heard in the past that something like 5% of people are gay. So now they are protesting because the other 95% of straight people voted to take away something that they feel is rightfully theirs. I hope when Obama enacts tax increases on the top 5% of earners they protest also and sue the supreme court to declare the tax increase unconstitutional, because they don't like the decision. As i've noted before, i am pro legalizing all forms of marriage between consenting adults, but i am not pro overturning the will of the people. It's about time for america to decide who's in charge of this country anyway. Is it the people, or is the judges. Judges have been overturning the will of the people and the legislature (elected by the people) left and right on made up pretenses. Meanwhile they have let plenty of clearly unconstitutional measures (McCain feingold comes to mind) stand. Obama will be appointing several new supreme court judges as the old and decrepit retire, and i have no doubt that within 10 years the supreme court of the US will declare it unconstitutional to ban gay marriage. Nobody cares what the people want anymore.

Monday, November 10

Creative ways to throw away your career

So a professor from ST. Olaf who stole McCain signs has been fired, and charged with theft. This is funny for many reasons. First because MN never would have gone for McCain, he was just wasting time. Not really worth it to get yourself fired over that. second because my younger brother goes to St. Olaf, i wonder if he ever had any classes with this clown. Third because this is a prof who is supposed to be promoting learning among the nation's youth, and instead is so closed minded that he has to steal and vandalize the signs of people who express opinions other than his own. And foruth because the way he got caught is by confessing on a national blog. I doubt that this will preclude him from working at another university, he may well be able to wear it as a badge of honor at the majority of universities, but this guy is a doofus, and i hope they hit him with the full punishment (90 days in jail) for stupidity.

Nothing new here, just another case of the environmentalist turning on anyone who doesn't subscribe to their theory of global warming, even one of their own.

Friday, November 7

More election thoughts

So i've got 2 more thoughts here. The first is just something i heard about christopher shays (the last republican congressman from CT and from new england according to media outlets although i don't know how they define new england.) Anyway the point is christopher shays was a resident of bridgeport, and had brought a lot of federal money to help bridgeport. He was running against a democrat from grenwich (one of the richest areas on the country.) So naturally bridgeport would be the difference in this election and they would vote Shays out of office. Why keep around a guy from your own city who brings oodles of federal money, when instead you can vote in a guy from the richest area in the country who won't give a damn about bridgeport. Of course they really had no choice because shays had an R next to his name, and the other guy had a D. The same thing happened to simmons (my old congressman) in 2006. The fact that these republicans were very moderate, if not left of center, and did a great deal of good for their communities was irrelevant.

2. The ballot was a simple scantron. One line has all the republicans, and one line has all the democrats. Next to each is a bubble to fill in. So first off i was a little surprised to see directions on the back of the ballot. I figure, if you can't figure out a ballot this simple you shouldn't be allowed to vote. But what was truly disappointing was that they also had directions in spanish. If you can't read english you shouldn't be allowed to vote. I'm sorry, i know that literacy requirements (and other tests) were used to keep black people from voting in the past, but that's no reason to do away with intelligence requirements at all. There is an age requirement because we think that people under the age of 18 aren't mature enough to vote. But senile senior citizens, and even retarded people are allowed to vote? Not to mention women. I don't know who came up with that idea. Obviously i don't have any problem with people speaking languages other than english because i do it myself. But the federal government's documents and votes should all be english. There are reports out of minnesota that somali interpreters were telling somali's how to vote. So they people can't even understand english and yet they are allowed to vote in the election? this is just silly.

Thursday, November 6

Election thoughts

So i voted, it was pretty easy. Bob Barr, the libertarian, was not on the ticket. I had been debating with myself on who i should vote for, but ultimately i did not feel that any of the real candidates deserved my vote, (same as 2004) so i voted for John Galt. I guess he didn't win, but it was worth a try. As i was looking at my ballot, i noticed that 2 of the candidates were listed twice. Joe "the douche bag" Courtney, and some other goofus were listed under 2 parties. They were listed as members of the democratic party, and members of the working families party or some other such nonsense. What kind of a deal is this. First off i don't know what the working families party is, except that it doesn't exist. I take it this is someone for them to have one last advertisement for themselves. In case you are aren't sure you want to vote for the democrat or the republican, it turns out that the democrat is also for working families. I don't have a problem with that, as long as their vote totals from their 2 separate parties don't stack. If their totals from either side are the highest then fine he gets elected, but he can't add his totals from 2 different parties to beat out someone else. What kind of a deal is this. I never would have voted for joe "the douche bag" courtney anyway, but i will certainly never be voting for anyone who has the gall to put himself down as a member of 2 different parties. So on to my other thoughts.

First off, it is highly unlikely than anyone will be accepting public financing again. One easy way to encourage public financing is to say that if you don't take public money, and your opponent does then he gets your share also. (i.e. instead of 85 million he gets 170) This would make the decision to skip public financing much harder. Unfortunately it is far too logical, and therefore could never be accepted. Secondly Obama was receiving massive amounts of untraceable funds over the internet. This includes both money from foreign nationals (illegal) and probably money from people exceeding their giving limits (i don't know if any concrete cases of that were confirmed.) In either case if you are going to allow untraceable online donations in amounts of $200 then you might as well not have any limitations at all. I would suggest no limits except that where you got your money must be made public knowledge. If you got 20 million dollars from the oil company, then it has to be a matter of public record, and if the public doesn't like it they can vote you out. I consider limitations on funding for elections unconstitutional as a violation of freedom of speech.

Voter fraud. There were multiple investigations into ACORN for possible voter fraud. The thing that makes no sense to me, is why are all these registrations being sent through the mail. People should be required to show up to register to vote. When they show up, you can also take a photo id, just like for a drivers licence, and that can be your voter id. Would this eliminate all concerns about fraud? certainly not, but it seems a pretty simple way to ease most of them to me.

Mandate. Some people are already talking about the sweeping nature of this election being a mandate for the democrats. The republicans were wrong in claiming a mandate in 2004, and so are the democrats now. Both of these elections have been closer than most of the elections in the past hundred years. Obama got just over the number of votes that bush got in 2004, factor in the growth in population Obama is no more popular now than bush was in 2004, only could not draw anyone.

Obviously i was not rooting for Obama, but there were state ballot issues that turned out well. washington okayed assisted suicide, which was good. Michigan legalized marijuana, and masacheusettes decriminalized it. nebraska made affirmative action illegal. I support all those initiatives. California amended their constitution to make gay marriage illegal. That will appeal to some conservatives, not me. I believe all forms of marriage between consenting adults should be legalized (polygamy/gay marriage/incest (under the stipulation that at least one person is sterilized to prevent children)) But as long as people who support gay marriage refuse to support other choices of marriage, it doesn't bother me if they don't get their way either. (i consider it completely hypocritical to support gay marriage and not support polygamy.) MA also failed to pass an elimination of their income tax which was a shame. Such a measure almost got passed in 2000, then instead they passed a measure reducing the income tax on a yearly basis, and after a couple of years the legislature refused to honor it, and stopped reducing the income tax. It was hoped that the extra outcry over the legislatures audacity would get the bill over the edge, but it got crushed instead. Various unions raised millions of dollars to oppose it, and i guess it turned out to work. Jack "the double douche bag" Murtha managed to hold onto his seat. Which was was a real shame. I would have been happy with any outcome as long as that double douche bag lost, but he managed to hold on (his constituents ought to be ashamed of themselves.)

I think i had more thoughts, but i don't remember now. In any case, obviously the election didn't go the way i had hoped, but i will choose to be optimistic, and focus on the few things that did increase people's choices, seeing as how i am one of the few truly pro-choice voters.

Tuesday, November 4

democralypse now

Anyone who has been following the election news closely should be aware of the recent comments that have come out from Obama (that is old comments that just recently came out.) Talks about bankrupting of coal power plants, coupled with Biden's early comments about not building any coal power plants in the US, and the democrat's general distain for coal, could push coal producing states (PA/VA/OH) to McCain. Despite some recent polls which showed McCain picking up ground, i have maintained that he has little chance of winning because he needs to hold onto basically every swing state. But if this latest flap were to put PA in his camp, then it would be a whole different ball game. If Obama wanted to lose himself the election, the surefire easiest way to do it would be to piss of coal workers/ reagan democrats in PA/VA/OH. I don't know if McCain will be able to spread these comments fast enough, or if it's not enough to sway people away from Obama, but it does seem like the democrats are giving one last push to lose the presidency.

side note, anti coal/anti nuclear i guess obama thinks he can power the country on his own sense of self-satisfaction

Monday, November 3

Just one more reason to root for McCain.
Funny note. If obama wins, his family in Kenya will sacrifice a bull in celebration. Maybe they are short on virgins. I hope the PETA people are happy.

Let's enslave the rich people.

I could not be more tired of Obama's claim that the middle class should vote for him because he will only raise taxes on the wealthiest people. That is not in itself a justification for raising taxes. Why doesn't he just argue that he will raise taxes on the top 49% of earners, and give all their money to the bottom 51% so they should all vote for him. What if we proposed to enslave 25% percent of the population and force them to do all the work, while the rest of sit back and relax. You can choose the 25% percent however you want, ethnicity/race/creed/education/wealth/etc. the point is we'll only make 25% of them slaves and so the other 75% of you should vote for me. I forget what the numbers are, but if i remember correctly, the top 5% of earners pay 60% of taxes, and more than 50% of the budget is just wealth distribution. So that means that the top 5% of earners already in effect fund the entire federal government (minus wealth redistribution.) Now in fairness wealth redistribution includes programs like social security, which is a bit of a gray area, because people who are now retired were forced to pay it way back when, and it would not be fair to completely cut their legs out from under them. But if we were to stop all wealth redistribution, we could cut taxes on everyone below Obama's 5% and still fund the federal government. (maybe it was medicare and social security combined which was over 50%, i don't remember exactly.)

when you come to a fork in the road, take it.

It would be nice if once in a while Obama would make up his mind about something. His most recent stance is that he is against gay marraige, but he is also against a constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage in California. What does that mean? I think mostly it means he would rather not ever have to say or do anything for fear of upsetting someone. I don't follow California craziness closely, but my understanding is that there was a referendum, and the citizens of california voted to make gay marriage illegal a couple years ago. Then California's supreme court decided that was unconstitutional, so now there is a referendum to change the constitution make gay marriage illegal, and while Obama is against gay marriage, he is also against this constitutional amendment.

P.S. this is a whole different issue, judges thinking that it is up to them to decide for everybody what is right and wrong. It's not their place.