Archive for August, 2012

There are 23,000,000 reasons to get off your ass today.

Friday, August 31st, 2012

So yesterday I made a pretty passionate post about the treatment of Ron Paul and his delegates at the RNC, and the extraordinary lengths the Republican establishment took to disenfranchise him.  I went as far as saying I would cast my vote for Obama in November if the absurdity didn’t get some real attention from the VIP’s of the current Republican party.  Hindsight being 20/20, I’ll admit I couldn’t in good conscience cast a vote for the current President’s re-election bid.  That left me to question though – what is there for an American like myself to do?

I can stand beside the current Republican platform in its entirety, I’m a lifelong Conservative like my father before me.  I’m not sure where my grandparents stood on political issues, they weren’t alive to tell me.  On my father’s side, his parents died comparatively young – he grew up in an orphanage – and stepped out into the world with a fierce work ethic, and a belief that anything was possible, anything was achievable, as long as you worked hard enough to earn it.  That’s the biggest thing I took away from growing up in my family.  Anything was possible if you were willing to work hard enough to achieve it.

There is never going to be a perfect President.  They will always have flaws.  As far gone as our country has become, its constant shift from Left to Right and back again has kept us moving forward while the people stand back and watch.  Some of us get involved, devoting our time and effort into a specific candidate or ideaology, putting all of our hopes and dreams onto the shoulders of one person that isn’t ourselves, and then have the audacity to write them off when they couldn’t do what we were not willing to do ourselves.

It’s easy to redirect our hopes and dreams on another… to mistakenly shed the weight of our world onto their shoulders and cry foul when they don’t live up to expectations.  The current administration strolled into power on a wave of hope, change, and empty promises to a society that has put more value in instant gratification than in the value of hard work and its rewards.  People are so hell bent on the promise of what could be – that they’ll willingly blind themselves to reality and vehemently defend the one who made the promise instead of getting off their fat, lazy, self-entitled asses and fulfilling the promise themselves.

With 23 million Americans out of work, is it Obama’s fault?  No, I don’t blame him in the least.  While his policies and ideas fall astonishingly short when it comes to inspiring our society, and make achieving the American dream more difficult for everyone – there are nearly 300 million other Americans who are still working to achieve that dream despite the failings of our elected leaders.  Yes, there is an official ‘8.4%’ unemployment rate which doesn’t account for the so called ‘underemployed’ or those who have simply stopped looking for work… but that also means that at least 90% of us are fully employed, and moving forward despite the action or inaction of our Government.

One of the big campaign slogans of the day is a question… “Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?”

Truth be told, I am.  Sure, I’m in debt up to my ears.  Sure, I’m in the middle of a divorce.  But I’m a homeowner, drive a 3 year old car, have a full time job that pays my bills, and most importantly a work ethic that has taught me the value of earning what I have, and what I want, without expecting someone else to give it to me.  There are no cheat codes in life like in a video game.  I can’t wave my hands in the air and immediately wipe out my debt, or increase the value of my bank account.  I have to work for it.  If some blessing comes along the way – I don’t stop to think that it happened because of some government program, or because some politician kept a promise to cut my taxes… I stop to thank a higher power – God if you will – for letting me live in a place that despite so much hardship still allows me the opportunity to succeed and improve my lot in life if I am willing to do whatever is necessary to make it happen.

I don’t look to Government for solutions or answers.  I look to Government to keep the bad guys from taking my ass out when I’m in my office, flying, driving, or just walking down the street.  I look to my government to for no purpose other than to protect the freedoms granted to me by a higher authority.  Our Government, for as long as it has been in existence, has never gotten smaller.  It has never taken less.  It has grown to its current size and weight, built up such an astonishing amount of debt, limited our freedom, taken actions which inhibit (but not eliminate) our ability to work and earn and achieve our dreams – because we let it.  I don’t know when the shift took place, maybe it has been this way all along, but it started somewhere…  Someone, somewhere thought that there was a shortcut, a cheat code, a way to cut a few corners to make their dream come true… and that my friends began a near viral infection of the idea that Government is the highest authority in the land and it – not ourselves – is solely responsible for whether we sink or swim in this life of ours.

Things are the way they are, not because of the Government, not because of Barack Obama and his gaggle of elitist peckerheads, its because of us.  It’s because we have collectively forgotten that our destiny is decided by the choices we make and the actions we take.  There’s nobody to blame for the current state of our nation other than ourselves.  No one American can right the course of our country if we aren’t willing to stand up and do it ourselves.  We have just as much opportunity to hand our freedoms over to an all powerful bureaucracy as we have to stand up and take them back.

Lets say for a minute that all Republicans are racist, woman hating, close minded bible thumping idiots and all Democrats are lazy, drug addicted, homosexual Communists.  Good, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

What the fuck are YOU going to do with YOUR life?  It’s time to shit or get off the pot people.  Make the first thought you have when you wake up in the morning “What can I do to make today MY day?” You do that, and you take the actions necessary to make any day YOUR day, and you’ll see that there are more important things in life than waiting for your life to start.  Make it happen.  No Democrat or Republican can stand in your way if you don’t let them.  No government can stand in your way if you don’t let it.  There are 23 million reasons in this country to get of your ass, and unless you want to be number 23,000,001 – today is a good day to start.

I’m going to vote for Romney and Ryan – because when it comes to those 23,000,000 reasons to get off your ass, I think they’re going to be the ones that can put enough foot to ass so that maybe enough people will only need 1 reason… themselves.

Where’s the Tea Party? Barack Obama just got this Conservative’s vote.

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

So last night I tuned in to the coverage of the RNC via my Xbox again, and I have to say – the coverage provided by NBC was some of the best I had seen… as long as it was the non-prime time coverage that had no commentators there to spin the Liberal talking points and disenfranchise speakers who happened to be female (as in using coverage of the rain showers in Louisiana to pre-empt the first few minutes of Condoleeza Rice’s speech, and completely ignoring another female speaker in favor a morose discussion of inane crap by the fossilized pundits of NBC).

I’ll also say – from an objective point of view – Paul Ryan’s speech was an absolute knockout.  We’re not talking about content here – we’re talking about delivery – he had a message to deliver and he did it very well.

The big story here though is the blatant and downright disgusting disenfranchisement of the grassroots Conservative movement by the Republican establishment in charge of the RNC.  The big networks seem to be ignoring the story that even Sarah Palin (love her or hate her, she’s a valid voice of the Conservative movement) blew her stack about during an interview.  This is the thing that has always irritated me about the mainstream media – aside from their lock-step spin favoring the Left – you get a real good example of the Republican party fucking up exponentially – and instead of reporting on THAT – they stick to the talking points of Todd Akin, Hurricane Isaac, etc…

Basically what happened here is that the RNC made some rule changes which allows them to replace a state’s delegates to the convention on the fly and without contest.  There’s video footage out there today of the ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ votes which passed the rule changes with a loud YAY from some and a deafening NAY from just about everyone else.  The NAY’s came from true Conservatives, and they were blatantly ignored by the audience.

Now the people who are only complaining that this was deliberately done to keep Ron Paul from speaking aren’t seeing the big picture.  Ron Paul not being able to speak, or not getting a nomination was a side effect.  We didn’t nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki just to get a postage stamp 60 years later commemorating the attack.  Ron Paul was collateral damage.  This move had less to do with Ron Paul than it did with the establishment drawing a line in the sand and handing the real grassroots Conservatives their hat.  This move was made by people who most likely aren’t on the friends list of the Tea Party’s facebook page.  This move was made by a deep rooted political establishment that is no better in my humble opinion than the ones who helped Barack Obama get elected and further the deterioration of our constitutional republic in favor of increased government control at every level.

This rule change, and the despicable actions taken by the RNC in order to enact it are no different than the millions of us whose voices were silenced and ignored as Obama’s health care laws were passed.  There’s a war in this country, today, and it is between the people and those in our government ALIGNED WITH EITHER PARTY who are more concerned with maintaining their power and their privilege instead of preserving, protecting, and defending the American way of life.

What fries my gonads more is that apparently officials behind the Romney and Ryan campaign were complicit.  Now does this mean Romney and Ryan were directly involved in the decision?  Perhaps.  After this play though, I almost think that the ability of the Tea Party and the grassroots Conservative movement to directly affect the outcomes of enough elections to change the majority in the House of Representatives could have been calculated from the get go.  It was either that the establishment had been caught off guard by the efficiency with which they were attacked, or they were behind it from the start just to allow us to THINK we could regain control of our government.

My own decision to vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket was more because they weren’t Obama than because I truly believed they were Conservative.  I decided that they would cut the rate of how quickly our nation goes to hell in a handbasket.  Right now though, I can tell you with absolute conviction that if neither Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan come out against this disgraceful action and not only overturn it but also politically eviscerate the officials involved in its creation and passing – in November of 2012 I will cast my vote, as a life long Conservative, for Barack Obama.

Obama disgusts me.  The direction he is taking this country in is horrifying.  His arrogance and elitism makes me sick.  I will vote for him.

I will vote for Barack Obama because at least if I vote for him, I know what I am getting myself in to.  I will not cast my vote to support an establishment which has corrupted the Conservative movement.  I would rather see the party go down in flames than carry on the same old establishment bullshit that allowed Bush 43 to start a deficit cascade and explosion in the size and strength of our Federal Government which just about guaranteed the ascendancy of Barack Obama to the highest office in the land, and made it even easier for him to continue the policies of Bush 43 as well as build upon them.

I will not vote for Romney/Ryan because unless they prove otherwise pretty damned quick – they aren’t Conservatives, and I will not support them in the name of the Conservative movement.  Not Romney.  Not Ryan.  NOT IN MY NAME.  Barack Obama, you’ve got my vote.

The 2012 Republican National Convention Has Begun…~yawn~

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Ok, I’ll say it now to get it out of the way – I’m a registered Conservative, and in November I’ll be voting for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.  No, I’m not completely sold, but I believe that generally they will be capable of improving our current economic crisis as well as put an end to Obama’s efforts at transforming the US of A into ‘just another former British colony.’

Thankfully, the NBC News app on my Xbox 360 offered a live stream of the event – and for the first hour or two did so without inane commentary from the incurably indoctrinated meat sacks at NBC news.  A lot of the speeches were from successful business owners in the US who built their businesses from the ground up with a steady series of jabs at Obama’s “You didn’t build that” remark (which was also replayed in its entirety as to mitigate the expected ‘playing it out of context’ attacks).

I do like that there was such a strong focus on Americans building a business and realizing the “American Dream” from scratch through desire, hard work, and sacrifice.  That’s something which I think has been lost on much of the current generation… the generation that will see others enjoying the benefits of hard work… that wants to enjoy those benefits as well… but either does not realize or flat out ignores just how much time and effort was required to get there.

Several speeches were made, the weakest of which IMHO was by Ted Cruz who is running for the Senate in Texas… a lot of cliche, famous quotes, and completely scripted pauses for applause (that wasn’t quite rousing at least from my POV).  To me, he came off more as plastic than passionate.

A side note – I’m not sure exactly how many folks were in the crowd at the convention yesterday – but it seemed that there was a lot of focus on the speakers and the stage and while the place did appear packed from the limited pans through the crowd, and that the feedback from the crowd (cheers, applause) was overly subdued.  This is something I’m going to keep in mind when I watch the 2012 Democrat National Convention… because I’m going to fire off a guess here that there will be tons of cameras on the crowd, and that the applause will be near deafening.  Call me a tin-foil hat conspiracy theorist here, but with NBC in charge of airing the event – I wouldn’t be surprised if the folks at the control boards did this on purpose… meaning that the audio levels from the crowd were deliberately lowered in order to make it appear that they just weren’t that “in to” what was going on.  I surely wouldn’t put it past NBC to pull such a shenanigan.

Eventually the ‘big show’ portion of the convention began, with broadcast dinosaurs like Brian Williams and Tom Brokenjaw (Brokaw) commenting.  At the onset, Williams had a face to face with Marco Rubio where he repeatedly tried to steer the discussion towards how Rubio felt about the “language” of the convention as well as the fiasco stirred up by Todd Akin.  The efforts were poorly executed and obvious to the point that I almost felt bad for Williams as well as NBC for blowing an opportunity to actually ask legitimate questions of Rubio in what was a blatant attempt at fishing for soundbites that could be used to illustrate a rift between the party and one of its all stars.  In stark contrast, Rubio handled the half-assed effort like a pro – a pro who knows how the mainstream media works and absolutely refused to play into their game.

Anne Romney seemed alright, even though at least initially (and at a few spots during her speech) – it wasn’t so much that she seemed insincere but she definitely needs to work on her delivery.  A majority of her speech focused on her relationship with Mitt, as well as stumping for him and his plans.  She definitely came off as ‘first lady’ material, and didn’t creep me out like Laura Bush or Michelle Obama did.

Definite high points were the speeches by Scott Walker of Wisconsin who highlighted the achievements and successes of his efforts in Wisconsin, and of course Chris Christie who had the keynote and also touted his successes in the Garden State while stumping for the party platform as well as Mitt Romney.

Overall I believe the message was delivered, but beyond the speeches given by ordinary Americans who built successful business and the current all-stars of the party who highlighted the success of their Conservative ideas, it seemed reserved – but genuine.  In contrast, I’m sure that the DNC will likely be an all out party from day 1 full of softball questions, character assassinations, and the false sense of substance we’ve all grown accustomed to over the past 4 years.

What I can say though is that if the Republicans are hoping to steer more votes their way – they need to take a page from the DNC playbook and back up their substance with a bit more flash.  “Stuffy, but genuine” isn’t going to cut it.

NBC’s Brian Williams Obnoxiously Presses Rubio About GOP’s ‘Rape Debate’

It’s not selling because you’re charging too much… no pun intended.

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

GM Said to Halt Chevrolet Volt Production for Four Weeks

If you ever wanted a metaphor of what is wrong with the current state of our country – it’s the Chevy Volt.

Originally, it was touted as a car whose gasoline engine would only run in order to keep the electric motors running.  In the end, it turned out to be just another hybrid, only with a price-point that could put you behind the wheel of a more proven hybrid such as the Toyota Prius – with just about every single option available.

Even the Chevy site which offers a ‘compare’ option that puts the Volt up side by side with its competitors lacks a key component – gas mileage.  Not to mention, looking at the list of competitors that are offered, the only car which comes close in cost to the Volt is the Nissan Leaf.  In fact, you could get a ‘competitively equipped’ Lexus Hybrid for $10k less.  When I look at the list they’ve provided, it almost encourages me to look elsewhere.

Now I won’t say that the Volt is a bad car – in actuality is a technical achievement for Chevrolet.  That said, Toyota accomplished the same 15 years ago and has spent the time since refining the car into an affordable reality for most buyers.  That’s easily one of the contributing factors involved in GM going belly up to the extent it needed a government bailout to rescue its unions it.

Another big problem with the Volt, besides the fact that it lacks the cult following of the Prius, as well as the price point of the Lexus, is that to achieve the fuel efficiency that has been touted since day one – there are restrictions on how you use the car.  Take a Prius on a short trip, or a long commute – there’s no question as to the mileage you’ll get.  The only way you can get 100mpg from a Volt is if you drive it less than 50 miles per day and fully charge it at night.  Travel beyond the limits of its EV only range and your fuel efficiency will drop into the mid 30’s as far as miles per gallon.  Still good mileage, but not for a car costing $40k.

What we’ve got here is history repeating itself.  During the oil crisis of the 1970s, Japanese automakers and their fuel efficient products absolutely pimp-smacked Detroit and their thirsty V8 driven catalog.  Even when fuel prices started to rise dramatically, the most fuel efficient Chevy you could buy was a brand-engineered and re-badged econobox from the Pacific Rim.  Given the choice between an Aveo or a Civic – which would you have picked?

Now with Chevy stopping production on the Volt again because it hasn’t reached the sales numbers they expected – who knows what is next for them.  Personally, being a shareholder under duress, I think they need to continue refining the car and get the price point down by about 50%.  Sure, they’ll take it on the nose, but one thing we know about General Motors is that operating at a loss is nothing new to them.  If they decide to make the same decision as when they scrapped the EV1 in 1999 (which came out at the same time as the original Prius) I can guarantee that whether or not they actually pay off the loans stolen from my tax dollars – they’re going to end up right back where they started.

My biggest problem with all of the American manufacturers, besides Ford, is that they’ve got the attention span of a goldfish.  Instead of creating the best car possible, they create an OK car and slap different levels of trim and options across multiple brands, then try to save money by eliminating the brands that aren’t selling well (see Plymouth, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, etc…) instead of realizing like the rest of us that IT’S THE CARS, STUPID.  They stretch out the life-cycle of their products to minimize cost and maximize profit, all the while not taking the opportunity to innovate.

They give us the Chevy Volt, or make it so their cars can run on Ethanol as well as gasoline while the rest of the worlds manufacturers focus on stronger, lighter materials and more efficient drive-trains.  Imagine where Chevrolet could be today if in 1999 instead of putting the most technologically advanced creation they had into the crusher they decided to add the engine from a Chevy Cavalier to it?

There has always been a market for fuel efficient vehicles, and until Chevy starts taking that market seriously – they’re always going to be lagging behind the rest of the world…instead of leading it.

 

Re: Akin

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Continuing my tradition of commentary on the hot topics of days gone by…

I’ve read, reread, and yet again reread the comments made by Rep Todd Akin regarding the effects of rape on the human reproductive system.  Now as far as verbal diarrhea goes, this gaffe should have had him calling up Joe Biden for advice.

Can a “legitimate rape” shut down the human reproductive system?  With all my Googling, I haven’t been able to find a conclusive opinion either way – making such a blanket statement as he did – while stress has been proven to affect the ability to get pregnant – was one hell of a stretch to make during a very contentious election cycle.  Whether or not he could have stated it better, he (obviously) would have been better not making that point at all.

The bigger problem here in my opinion is the reaction of politicians (more specifically those in his own party) to the statements.  The fact that everyone right up to the top called for him to take a hike seemed like overkill to me.  That’s the thing with the Republicans though, big spending is OK… massive government expansion is OK… (if your party has the keys to the castle that is)… but say something off the cuff that either is or could be interpreted as completely daft… Everyone shuffles away from the person who said it like they just farted in an elevator.

Take a look at the contrast from the other side, Democrat politicians who say some equally ridiculous things are rallied behind… encouraged to stand their ground whether or not they’re repentant… the thought of stepping down is only echoed by right-wing radio hosts and pundits.

I think the reaction from the “right” was a massive over-reaction – you don’t hunt deer with a howitzer.  Did it weaken the party at a critical time?  Sure.  Did the over-reaction make that rift worse?  Absolutely.  I think the real fallout of this is yet to be seen…  Should this guy win the election in his state, the Republican establishment may have just created their own Joe Lieberman. Back when Lieberman expressed a strong national-security stance in the face of party-line Democrats, their reaction was to kick him out of the party in favor of another Democrat more likely stick to the party-line.  Lieberman fought back by changing to an Independent, ran against the DNC approved replacment, and soundly pimp-smacked the contender back to the chow line.  Now Lieberman is still a Liberal – but he’s a free agent.  His voters shouted loudly respect him even more for standing his ground when the rest of the establishment threw him under the bust.

Now as far as Akin, do I think he should have stepped down?

This is where my opinion diverges from the average wrapped in the flag of 13 stars Republican – I don’t think he should have stepped down, and that he was right to stick it out.  He could still win the election, and once that’s taken place – he’s a free agent.  Tea Party support or not, foot in mouth or not, he can’t be expected to blindly side with the establishment now.  They threw him under the bus just like the Democrats did with Lieberman.  The story will likely get shelved once the election has passed, and before the next it’s entirely likely that he’ll make an even bigger name for himself (as long as he avoids similar off-the-cuff statements).

Another angle to all this, and this is the part that makes me think this all could have been contrived from the start – is that the overreaction has put the annual abortion debate on the table for the mainstream media and the Statist candidates they support.  Now while not all pro-lifers are Republicans, it’s safe to say that the vast majority of Republicans are in fact pro life.  It’s a topic that they can approach with little hesitation, and its a topic they can easily use to put a few more holes into the election aspirations of their opponents from the left.

Take a fairly no-name candidate, get him to say something that’ll shift focus away from the whole “if we just convince people that Romney is insanely wealthy then they will overlook how bad we’ve screwed things up” angle of the Left, respond in a well calculated overreaction, and make the Left smell blood in the water…  By the time the Left zeroes in on the target, it’s too late to realize that Roy Scheider is laying in wait with an exploding scuba tank and hunting rifle.

Intentionally, or unintentionally, Akin’s statement and everything that followed put an issue on the table that the Republicans can easily knock out of the park while Akin fades into the background.

A broken record by any other name…

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Was listening to the news on the radio this morning, and they played a clip of a recent stump speech by the President where he yet again called out his opponent in regard to disclosing more of his tax returns.

The President has no record to run on as far as most Americans are concerned.  Record debt, record deficit, record unemployment, an economy that requires the accounting department from Enron in order to appear healthy, a string of actions that serve to level the playing field between the United States and former victims of colonialism by eroding the hill behind our tarnished but still shining city.

Romney is wealthy and privileged, it’s no secret.  All that will be accomplished by releasing more returns is adding more fuel to the mainstream media’s fickle and meandering character assassination machine.  I’m absolutely certain that Obama’s campaign can find other things to attack him on, but generally speaking I can’t see too many attacks that won’t come off as inane if not hypocritical pandering.  One ad / interview with Obama even had him accuse Romney of not having what it takes to be president.  To be perfectly honest – I don’t see a single candidate on the horizon that does.  I see a lot of people with a lot of ideas – but nobody that screams to me “THAT IS THE ONE.”

I haven little doubt at this point that come November, America is going to massively reject another 4 year term for Obama… but I’m not sold on Romney OR Johnson yet.  Just because one of them will get my vote, in my head its just because I think they’re more capable of cutting the rate of how quickly this nation goes tits up than turning the tide.

Apple V Samsung

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Samsung didn’t copy iPhone design, court in South Korea rules

I’ve been following the whole Apple V Samsung fiasco since the beginning.  Cliffs notes version: Apple created the iPhone.  Numerous manufacturers created other smartphones to compete.  Samsung’s products, while nearly indistinguishable from just about any other smartphone today, was similar enough to Apple’s design that Apple is suing them everywhere possible to make bank as well as an example of Samsung (one of its biggest competitors) on why they should control the patent on innovation.

First of all, I like Samsung’s products, as well as the Android OS used on them.  I also like Apples products.  The simple fact here is that if Apple produced a product at a price point which was favorable to consumers – they wouldn’t have to worry about Samsung.  IMHO – they’re both great products, but when it comes to this whole argument which has resulted in both companies reputations being damaged, they’re both to blame.

Any time someone produces a product, you can guarantee that there is someone else out there who is trying to make a better one.  While Apple’s mobile device catalog has gotten faster and more streamlined over the years, they really haven’t done anything that I would call truly groundbreaking since the first iPhone came on the market.

The problem with the iDevice market can be explained very easily by looking at another product from a manufacturer in an entirely different industry… the Chrysler PT Cruiser.  From the moment of its introduction in 2001 to its death in 2009, the Chrysler PT Cruiser was effectively the same car, reproduced ad infinitum, will various options added and improved over its lifetime in order to keep it fresh.  Personally, I’m a fan of the PT Cruiser as I’ve had to drive one for the past few years.  Sure, its gas mileage has never been stellar, but it handles well, has plenty of pep, and as far as utility goes – I love it.  Still, just as if you hold an original iPhone side by side with an iPhone 4, the new iPhone may look nicer, have a crisper picture,  more features and options, it’s still just an iPhone.  Whether you have a base model PT, a Turbo PT, a fully loaded PT, or the convertible – it’s still just a PT Cruiser.

After nearly 10 years on the market, even Chrysler knew when to move on.

As for Samsung, whether they stole ideas, infringed patents, or outright slapped a Samsung logo on an iPhone and said ‘BUY IT’ – instead of innovating, they built the rough equivalent of a Chevy HHR.  Both the Chevy HHR and the PT Cruiser could be cousins (although the HHR looks like that cousin who was conceived after a party full of cousins) – and while the PT has gone out to pasture, Chevy still pumps out HHR’s because the original formula established by Chrysler is still valid.  Chevy didn’t innovate a damned thing when they created the HHR, Chrysler didn’t innovate a damned thing over the lifetime of the PT Cruiser.

What Samsung needs to be doing right now – and they may very well be doing so – is to get the jump on the iPhone.  To hell with making another traditional smartphone.  INNOVATE.  Apple has gotten lazy, that more than anything is why it is suing Samsung.  Samsung started out lazy, which is why it is getting sued.

Samsung should make something drastically thinner and lighter, with greater features, insane battery life, portability and make it in a way so that it can’t be confused with any product currently on the market… then in 5 years, if they do a good enough job – they can sue Apple.

 

http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/index/~3/tXwG5ns1bxc/

The other side of school prayer…

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Valedictorian fights for diploma

To be perfectly honest, I don’t care that the pledge of allegiance says “Under God.”  I don’t care that the phrase was added in the 50’s.  I don’t care if a single student, or a group of students want to pray while on school grounds.  As far as I’m concerned, the school should not – and constitutionally can not stop them.  On the flip side, a school can’t make you pray.  They can’t require you to say under God.  They can’t sanction prayer.  I also don’t believe in the so called ‘separation of church and state’ that is shouted down from the rafters by so called ‘free thinkers.’

When I was growing up, there was a kid down the street from me, seemed like any other kid, any other family.  There was an exception though, the word “Hell” was a vulgarity to them.  You couldn’t say it.  You might as well say “fuck.”  Ok, didn’t make sense to me as my parents (who were devout Roman Catholics) never aired an opinion either way on the word “Hell.”

Now here we are, Oklahoma, buckle of the “bible belt.”  A girl works her ass off to become valedictorian (and surprisingly enough in this day and age was the ONLY valedictorian) and gives her speech.  During the speech however, she deviated from her “approved” script and instead of saying “How the heck do I know” said “How the Hell do I know?”  Now you might notice if you’ve taken the time to read the linked article, that even the report on the channel 4 website from Oklahoma City has “Hell” written as “H***.”

When she said it – the crowd laughed – and when she was done, they applauded.  Afterwards, the principal denied her the diploma unless she writes an apology for saying what she did.  Now she didn’t quote George Carlin here, nor did she go off on a racist tirade – she used a word that some folks find offensive.  I hold those people in the same category as people who laugh at my jokes, then later on complain.  If you don’t like it, don’t laugh.

Now you don’t bust ass through high school and obtain valedictorian status if you plan on going on to manage a Sonic.  No, you’ve got higher aspirations, a drive to excel and succeed that going by the number of people on unemployment these days, a will to transcend your peers despite whatever is holding them back.  What I think should happen here is the following:

1. Ask again, nicely, to have your diploma.  If that fails…

2. Call the ACLU, if anything, that will get some more attention on your plight (beyond a tiny link from the Drudge Report), and add pressure to the Principal to stop being a flaming douchebag at the behest of his or her own personal religious beliefs.

3. Go viral.  This is the sort of thing that the Internet community will absolutely eat up.

There’s a big country, and a bigger world outside of Oklahoma,  one that needs people like this girl who survived high school at the top of her class.  Now is her chance to seize the moment and prove to her school, her community, and future employers – that she’s got what it takes to get what she’s earned despite any road blocks thrown in her path.

I titled this post “The other side of school prayer…” because this is the sort of close-minded bullshit that really chaps my ass.  As much as I agree with the concept (as described at the start of this post) – the school can’t make you pray, and they can’t control what you say.  Hers was not a religious statement, but someone who has a bit of pull in that district thinks it was, enough to deny her what she’s rightfully earned and attempt to publicly embarrass her.

In the end, they’ve publicly embarrassed themselves – this will bring real negative attention to the district – the kind that won’t be shaken off easily if they decide to fight it.  If they just let it go, give the girl her diploma, and move on – it’ll just be one of “those” stories, told from time to time and remembered like the time Bobby Joe got drunk and decided to do donuts at the 50 yard line.  I hope for their own sake, they give the girl her diploma before meme’s start…

As a side note – I just tried to visit the district’s website at http://www.prague.k12.ok.us/ and it isn’t loading.  ~giggle~

 

Not sure about Romney / Ryan 2012

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Here’s the thing, when Obama was up and coming on a wave of media hype with very little mainstream media vetting (beyond the thrill Chris Matthews felt running up his leg) – and the best counter the Republicans could come up with was John McCain I knew we were absolutely fucked.

I was in the same boat as 99.9% of Americans who were either sick of Bush relentlessly spending in the name of Conservatism, the tireless expansion of government power during his tenure, or the endless vilification of the guy for everything BUT what he was actually doing wrong.  I wanted a break, a reprieve, and what I got was a well spoken community organizer with a questionable past whose leadership experience was about on par with Bush’s public speaking skills.

In the nearly 4 years since Bush left office, we’ve seen politics as usual when a ‘popular’ (read: Liberal) president is in office… Broken campaign promises, general malaise, high spending, high unemployment, vilification of anyone who is successful and not a party donor, and overwhelming class warfare meant to keep the general populace arguing with itself so much we completely ignore how screwed up things are.

When the new crop of candidates came up for the Republicans, my guy quickly got shot down (Herman Cain) by a media incapable of supporting a minority candidate that doesn’t walk in lock-step with their supported ideology and the remaining candidates really didn’t peak my interest much.  Sure, Ron Paul had some great ideas – but he just seemed a little too kooky for me and his unshakable hesitance and lack of direction on foreign policy in this day and age left me very weary of what could come about should he get the keys to the castle.

Eventually, Mitt Romney came to the forefront and got the nod.  In my mind, what he had going for him was his business prowess and decision making ability.  He knew how to make money, keep money, build business and most importantly – when to cut his losses.  The converse of this is that his state implemented socialized medicine.  Now keep in mind, I have no problem with a state – at the behest of its voters – implementing such a plan.  While the federal government IMHO has no business there, the states have the right to do so.

Once he was a lock, the big question on everyone’s mind was ‘who will he pick as a running mate?’  The answer we got after much vetting and rumors was Paul Ryan, a representative from Wisconsin.  Paired up with that choice was a flood of damned entertaining YouTube videos showing him going head to head with Obama, and caused the predicted Conservagasms amongst the voting public who are starving for real leadership and real recovery.

I’ll admit – I was quickly absorbed by the hype – but then I started to find out disturbing things about Ryan that had me weary that the next 4 years could bring us some marginal improvement but more ‘politics as usual.’  Ryan’s voting record (at least the portion that is getting the most attention right now) shows a party-line Republican who worked his way up the ranks by voting with the party and supporting decisions that were wholly detrimental to the Conservative movment…  TARP, bailouts, DHS, Patriot Act, etc…  Where was his passion for fiscal Conservatism in those decisions?  Where was his passion for smaller government in those decisions?

That string of votes easily groups him in with the class of Republicans that the Tea Party has been greatly successful in identifying and voting out of office… but they apparently are very supportive of Ryan and his being picked for the VP slot on the ticket.

Now I’m confused, and when I’m confused – much more research is needed.  Ryan is an establishment Republican just by looking at his voting record.  As far as I can tell, he has had a hand in many of the decisions which lead to our current debt and economic crisis – while much of the positive publicity he has gotten very recently is due to decidedly Conservative actions such as putting the screws to Obama over his healthcare plan.

Is he a flip flopper?  Did he see the tide of Conservatism taking root and decide to jump on the bandwagon for no more than self preservation?  That’s what it seems like to me, and it has me very weary – as I need to know that when it comes down to voting in a way that pushes forth the Conservative agenda, will he be a willing lapdog to his establishment ilk or a guide-post in the form of a pro-Conservative pit bull that will put ideas ahead of establishment, and the people ahead of the government?

All I know is that drastic change is needed, and recovery from the enormous mistakes made by those in Washington over the past 12 years needs to be swift and consistent.  I don’t need a moderate shill, or someone who is going to change tack under the slightest ripple, but someone who is going to declare all out war on every aspect of our government that is holding our nation back from the prosperity it is capable of achieving – a predator drone of Conservatism that will obliterate anything that threatens the freedoms guaranteed to us by our constitution without hesitation.

I’m cautiously optimistic here, but my eyes are open – and that the Tea Party – a group which I have supported – has so willingly accepted a man with such a questionable past makes me wonder whether i’m being handed my hat or a future where I can afford to buy my own.

NYC, Then and Now

Thursday, August 9th, 2012