By user12615793 on Nov 08, 2006
Random thoughts, observations, and comments. I'm not creative, so deal with it.
Get out and vote!
That's the way our system of government works. I'm not happy about the results, but that's the way that it goes. The thing that I keep in mind about the whole process, and that a great many people seem to forget, is that the United States is one of the few countries in the world that could have this much of a division and have this close of an election and not have tanks rolling down the streets.
The part that annoys me right now are those on the Right going around claiming that they have a mandate and that the Left doesn't have a clue and should simply be quiet.
Sorry folks, I've got news for you here. Even though the Right won the election, it doesn't mean that you have a mandate. 55 million voters do not agree with you. Senator Kerry got the second most votes of any Presidential candidate ever. (President Bush got the most obviously.) You can't discount that.
I'm also finding it interesting that people were writing into the editor complaining that MN went blue during the election when clearly most of the state (and the country) was red. Well... since half of the people in MN live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and we're decided by total vote count, that's the way that it works. Don't think that just because you live in the country/rural area that you're more American and have more say that I do. Be happy that popular vote decides individual states and the electoral college decides the President... otherwise Bush would have lost the first election based on popular vote. You just happen to live in a state. I'm sure that folks living down in Iowa that voted for Kerry can agree with this since Iowa went red.
So, the election is done with. My guy lost. That's the way it goes. I just hope that all of the bad things that were being talked about by both sides never happen.
As for myself, I was out and voted when the polls opened at 7am. Not too bad. It would have taken probably about an hour to get through the line at that time (because my wife were there at 7am and not before so there was a nice line). We got lucky though, the voter sign-in was broken up into 3 or 4 lines, based on last name. Luckily, no one was in the T - Z line. Only took about half and hour to get through the line and vote.
Minnesota, for the most part, uses the optical scan readers. Either complete the arrow for who you want to vote for or do like my precinct does and have flashback to taking the SAT and ACT with the fill in the bubble.
Now if we can just stop listening to the dang campaign commercials on TV. I wonder how many will still be playing at 9pm tonight after the polls close in MN at 8pm. Very good use of campaign dollars.
If you get a chance, take a look at http://www.electoral-vote.com/ for a pretty nice break-down and history of how things have been looking throughout the campaign.
The big wager now is not who will win... its when we'll know. I haven't heard of any major irregularities yet, but I'm sure with 10,000 lawyers on EACH side (accoring to the local news this morning), we'll find some problem somewhere.
Of course election day is tomorrow in the US. Go out and VOTE! Only one more day of election ads to go!
So I had an opportunity to go listen to Michael Moore talk on Friday at the University of Minnesota. He spoke at Williams Arena. Actually, I should say that I had the opportunity to watch the presidential debate on Friday with Michael Moore and a couple thousand of similar-minded people.
Moore started out by saying that he doesn't contribute to any political campaigns and that all politicians basically can't be trusted and inhale severely. He said that for this election he was going to make an exception and donate to the John Kerry campaign. It wasn't that he particually adored Kerry, its just that things are getting so severe and that too much is on the line if Bush gets re-elected.
He pulled out a wad of $100 bills, and some $50's, and some smaller bills. He said that during the debate that he would donate $100 for each outright lie that Bush told. He'd donate $50 for each questionable claim that Bush made, and $20 for each dumb look or expression or dumb thing that Bush said. He'd donate up to $2000 as that was the limit of a donation that an individual could give under the law.
He hit that $2000 within the first half (45 minutes of the debate). It took him a bit longer than the 30 minutes that he had expected to take. (I'm not sure if that's a compliment to Bush or not.)
After the debate, he started talking about the election a bit. Most of it was encouragement to get people to register to vote. He's doing this "Slacker Uprising" tour to get out the vote and encourage people to vote. (Mostly to encourage you to vote against Bush.) His big thing is that he's giving away clean underwear and Ramen noodles to get the slackers that don't normally vote to do so. This has apparently gotten him into a bit of trouble in Michigan.
Moore didn't really have all that much to say that I didn't know. (Actually, as a speaker, he wasn't very good though that may have been due to him stating that he had a case of walking pneumonia that he was trying to get over.)
The part that kinda surprised me was listening to him rail a bit on Ralph Nader and those that are supporting him. He talked about how Ralph isn't listening to people. He's not listening to his own party and not running and how it should be pretty obvious that he's been reduced to a Republican tool, especially since Nader needed Republican assistance to get on the ballot in Michigan.. Moore then went on a little enactment of how it felt to be in that voting booth on November 2nd voting for Nader. It had some subtle sexual overtones to say the least. Moore said that voting for Nader would make only you feel good and that we should have had that talk when were 14 from our parents discussing that 5 minutes of pleasure can result in a lifetime of consequences.
In any case, it was somewhat interesting to hear his views on things. He had some pretty funny commercial spots that he wanted to donate to the the Bush campaign for free. One of them was about Kerry's injuries during the war and claiming that Kerry was a coward because he ducked the bullets and didn't die for his country.
On a somewhat different note. Upon getting home that night and flipping through the channels I stumbled accross the first televised presidential debate between JFK and Nixon in 1960. (I think that this was the first televised debate ever, but that's a side note.) I listened to Kennedy's opening statements and was surprised at how much his speech paralleled today. He talked about the dangers from the cold war and how America's economy was falling behind. He also talked about the failing of our education system and how the Soviets were turning out more engineers and scientists and that this was a battle of good vs. evil. His solutions sounded a bit like Kerry's today.
Lets hope that the outcome is the same.
When I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 at the urging of my in-laws I pulled two things out of it. They were:
When you think about it a bit, the second point really is quite obvious to me. We've got this wonderful color chart put out by The Department of Homeland Security that is supposed to tell us what the risk terrorist attacks is. My question is, what good does this do outside of scaring people? Isn't that the definition of a terrorist? I'm not implying that the Department of Homeland Security is involved with terrorism in that sense.
What i'm saying is that when you look at the warning level, most people would think that when its high that we should do something different. Gee, when its Red, maybe I should avoid going to the mall. Maybe I should cancel that vacation. This is exactly what is wanted by terrorists in general. They want to disrupt the lives of the people. They want to make them afraid to do things they would normally do and therefore appeal to their leaders to remove the threat and through that cause the governments to do what the terrorists are wanting.
Keeping people in a constant state of fear is not good. It will cause them to do anything, and support anyone that says that they'll make things better. Hmmm....
Listening to the news coverage of Republican National Convention in New York earlier it became pretty apparent at what the whole GOP is banking on. Fear. All I heard was 9/11, 9/11, Kerry flip-flops, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11. 9/11 was a terribly thing that happened and it opened the eye of the US that the large puddles that separate us and the rest of the world don't mean that we're not part of the worlds problems. It is, however, not a campaign slogan. It seems that some people just don't get that.
Take the VP Dick Cheney for one. He recently made a statement down in Iowa that:
"It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States"
Gee... sounds to me that he's not saying "Vote for us because we're better" but more "Vote for us we'll have another 9/11" Sounds like fearmongering.
It seems that the IOC (International Olympic Committee) had banned blogging and posting of pictures or video by the atheletes until after the games concluded. Seems they did this in an effort to protect the broadcasting rights.
I wonder what they're going to be doing for the next games in which people will likely be able to stream pictures and video directly from the venue using their cell phones! You can't really go about and ban cell phones, can you?
Considering that the broadcasting was pretty much terrible, IMHO, this is really annoying. They'll talk about a Gold Medal match and "take us there" (As if it was going on right now, but in the States its delayed by at least 8 hours). Then they show the match starting at least halfway through the match.
Come on, I watch football that way, not the Olympics. Give me the full match, without the commentary.
I also have to agree with my wife on this. Quit showing ONLY the US competitors and sports that the US dominates. My wife is from the Czech Republic and likes to see how they do occasionally. I like to see the rest of the world compete too!
So why the politics category? Well, its a policy made by someone in authority so it sounded like a good place to put it.
Here's an absolutely wonderful site. http://www.jibjab.com
You'll like it if you're a "liberal sissie" or a "right wing nut job" (to borrow from the site's song.)
Unfortunately, it appears that some people fail to see the humor in the site and think that its damaged the meaning of the song.
Is there no hope for some people?
Phil is an Area Technical Engineer in the Central Area of Oracle's Field Service in North America. He has 15 years of experience supporting Sun's entire product line.