Friday, August 29, 2008

It’s Palinmania!

In case you have been hiding in a cave with OBL, you have heard that Sarah Palin was named the VP pick for the McCain ticket. What do I think?
Palin is 10lbs of AWESOME in a 5lb bag.

I spent the morning watching the news reports and also watching the Intrade site (called a prediction market) and it was pretty amazing to watch.
Romney was up. Then Pawlenty was up. Then Romney was back up. Then Palin started killing it. As the news reports came out, you could see it in the Intrade table and people were going crazy making bets on who the next VP will be.

I like Palin. She’s someone I have known about for some time. And when Barak decided not to take Hillary as his VP (which would have ruined McCain’s chances), I saw Palin as the ideal choice for him to take some middle ground female voters that were disenfranchised with The One.
Funny thing is this: I can already see the Democratic supporters sharpening their knives. I have already been seeing their line of attack, and people on the Right are also practicing their shields.

Things such as:

Left: She doesn’t have any experience. She was the mayor of a town and then she was governor for less than 1 term in a small (population wise) state.
Right: She has more executive experience than any of the 3 people in this race. You say she has no experience? Neither does Obama. Your ticket should be heavy on the TOP with experience.

Fun Huh!?

Here’s one that I came up with:
Left: She is one heartbeat away from being the next President. Do we really want her running the country?
Right: Biden is one heartbeat away from being the next President. He’s run for the office twice and the American public has already shown they don’t want him running the country.

Man, this is going to a kick ass two months.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Press Release from the Obama Campaign

Press Release from the Obama Campaign (A Savior, Ltd. Company)
Saturday, August, 23 2008
Re: Vice Presidential Nominee

My Fellow Citizens of the World. I would like to take this opportunity, through the Medias of Earth to discuss something weighing heavily on my heart. As you may have heard, Media reports have surfaced stating that Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware has been selected to by the Democratic Vice-Presidential Nominee. Nothing could be further from the truth. Joseph Biden has stated in the past that does not want the job. Therefore, it would be incongruous for him to be selected as my running mate.

What you are seeing is another Republican trick. A transparent attempt at the politics of fear that I have sought to Change in Washington. We will see other such trick through this election from the Republicans. Tricks that will play to your innermost fears of an Obama/Biden Whitehouse. But don’t be fooled by them! We can only defeat these Washington insiders by changing the old guard! And one way you can be part of that change is to donate, nay, do your duty as a patriotic American, to our cause. We are strong, we are now! Your spare change (neatly bundled into socks worth up to $2,000) can be the catalyst for REAL CHANGE in Washington!

My campaign never intended to announce my running mate via Txt message. That is the type of Swift Boating rhetoric that is the essence of the Republican Party. So, if you are angered, as I am, to have received a Txt message at 3 in the morning, then you know for whom you should vote in November.

Thank You, and God Bless America.

P.S. To the Sigma Chi Fraternity at the University of Virginia, please stop replying to that Txt message requesting pizza. Really, we know it was 3 a.m. and all, but seriously, it stopped being funny after, like, the 20th time.

So, who's winning this thing?

Interesting Article on Yahoo Sports about the Olympic Medal count. The article talks about how there is a divergence in how different countries count “success” in the Olympics. Is it the number of Golf medals won? Or Is it total medals?

The article goes in a different direction from there, but what I want to look at it the concept of “Olympic Success”. It seems that the rest of the world values Gold above all. And perhaps it is just Americans who look at the total medal count. And is it because we are looking for a way to claim “victory” by any means?

Since the boycott of 1980, the US has dominated the Gold medal count. And it looks that this year, that dominance is over. China, with 48 Golds thus far, seems ready to claim the title of Olympic Champions. The US, with 103 total medals thus far, would rank 2nd with 31 Golds.

So, this is what I have been asking…how do you determine which country has done the best?

Is 1 Gold more valuable than 2 Silver medals? Is it a bigger success than 3 Bronze?
As an example, let’s take a look at two countries. Now, between today and the end of the Games, things may change. But let’s look at one case that jumped out at me.
Panama has won exactly 1 medal thus far. It was the Gold in the Men’s Long Jump. On the Beijing 2008 web site, this places them in 50th place overall.

Armenia has won 6 bronze medals. According to Beijing 2008, this places them at 74th. If we look at the American view point, we would say that Armenia has had a more successful Olympics. They have not dominate a single event, but they have been competitive enough across enough disciplines to medal in multiple events. But if we look at it from the viewpoint of the International Media (based upon how they are displaying the rankings, we can see that Panama has been more successful than Armenia.

Cuba has won 19 medals with 2 of them being Gold. Yet, they rank 2 spots behind the 5 total medals of Ethiopia because Ethiopia has 3 golds.

This just doesn’t jive with me. You would have a hard time convincing me thata country which wins just 1 Gold medal has been more successful than another country which may have one 12 Silver medals and 10 bronze medals. This isn’t an actual case, it’s just an example.

It has been discussed that instead of just relying on the number of Gold medals, or total medals, we could use a system where we assign point values to the medals. 3 points for Gold, 2 for Silver, and 1 for Bronze. And I like this idea. It puts emphasis on both quality and quantity.

So, let’s look at the standings if we were to to this:

China would be #1 with 205 points. The USA would be 2nd with 201. The rest of the rankings would remain the same as the American system until we got to 10th place and Ukraine…In the American system, Cuba would come next because they have 19 medals. In my system, the next country would be the Netherlands because after Ukraine’s 39 points, the Dutch team has the next highest total at 35.

And in the 1st example I gave you…Panama would have 3 points and Armenia 6.

It’s just a thought…


Just for fun I crunched the numbers, and this is how Michael Phelps did during these Olympics:

"International Ranking" = 9th, just ahead of Italy and Holland, and nearly every other nation on earth.

"America Ranking = Tie for 23rd with Romania, Kenya, Norway and Turkey

"My Ranking by points" = 17th place, which is ahead of Brazil

Monday, August 18, 2008

American Ingenuity at its Finest!

'Porn inspector' wants freebies

And nobody noticed?

Hong Kong - A "lonely and disturbed" Hong Kong man had to call police to try and free him after his penis got stuck in a park bench he had apparently tried to have sex with, reports said.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Making something stupid sound even dumber.

There is an interesting article over at Pajamas Media about Bob Barr. If you are like the 299 million American who have not heard about him, read the article. Yeah, he's running for President. For the Libertarian Party.

There wasn't much about the article that was new to me, but as is my wont, I continued down and into the comments section where I read things that again, were not new to me.

The basic debate in the comments basically revolved around this idea: A vote for Barr is a vote for Obama. Now, anyone who has paid any attention to elections history will hearken back to the days 1992 when Ross Perot (that magnificent pie-chart toting bastard) is believed to have tipped the election in favor of Clinton over Bush.

Now here is the thing that annoys the crap out of me...we have become so fatalistic about our political system that we actually engage in this type of lazy thinking. It the endemic nature of our two party system that we actually believe in the concept that we only ever have an option between the lesser of two evils.

And this is why it pissed me of:

1)The guy who gets the nomination isn't the guy that the supporters of his party want. If it was, then there would be no primaries. And in primaries that run all the way to the final day, you generally have one candidate getting slightly more delegates than the other candidates. Think about that for a second. The guy (or girl...Jesus you guys are annoying in your gender equity linguistics) who is nominated only got just over half of his party's supporters. Think about that for a second. No really, stop reading this and go back and think about it.. ½ of a party's supporters were fully confident in nominee. And with the voting populace split into two parties, you do the math and it means that really, only 25% of the population has any faith in your candidate.

So we take two guys, each of them each only having 25% full support from the voting populace, and then put them out there to the world saying “This is the best we can come up with.” It's F'n crap and we should be ashamed.

2)If you look at the mechanics of the Constitution, our government can function just as well with 3 parties as it can with two. There isn't anything in there that delineates that we must have 2 Craptacular groups of people to screw our lives up. The only benefit I see in a 2 party system is that it will often keep Congress from doing anything (which is a good thing).

3)We have so little respect for the privilege of voting, that we have lost sight that it is our most powerful tool. Your vote is what makes this whole thing work. It represents what you believe. And the second you engage in the thinking that you should vote for someone you don't believe in, just to keep someone you believe in even less out of the White House, then you have sold yourself out as a person.

Vote for who you believe in. Be able to look yourself in the mirror.

A vote for Barr isn't a vote for Obama. It's a vote for Barr. And yes, it is that simple.

Weekends are for people with watches

As Jeff over at Protein Wisdom would tell you:

What you should have learned is that an author’s chosen language can provide clues to intent, but that it can also distract from intent, if people give undo weight to the wrong bits of language, or if the author is lying.

Much in the same way, as humans tend to find ritualism and accepted societal norms in the cultures that they are part of, a human's actions can be viewed such that they can provide intent as to the motivations of the action. And, as noted above, giving undo weight to an incorrect context can distract from the intent of the action.

Case in point. Drinking beer at noon on a Saturday can be considered socially acceptable. Given that it is accepted that people work Monday through Friday, the idea that the weekend is a time to relax in ones' given way is not considered out of the norm.

However, drinking beer at noon on a Tuesday would be considered outside of the societal norm, and by that measure, be frowned upon by people within the given society. The problem in which is not the drinking part, but the undo weight placed upon the timing of the action.

However, if we look at the rational of the action, the fact that our person in question works from Wednesday to Sunday, and thus has Monday and Tuesday off, we could be excused to find acceptance in this behavior. The intent is just relaxing within the time frame dictated by personal circumstance.

Or not.

I don't care, as I am halfway through a 12 pack and could care less that my neighbors have never studied Criticism and Linguistic Theory...the proletariat bastards..

Monday, August 11, 2008

My take on that place I had never heard of before...

So, let me get this straight...on the night of the opening ceremonies, Russia takes a slow stroll across the border and defends South Ossetia...

I know what they are thinking:

1) South Ossetia has been a largely self governing (and ineffectual) government for about 12 years now.
2) Its population is largely Pro-Soviet
3) That pipeline that is bypassing Soviet territory isn't putting rubles into Russia coffers.
4) The world will shrug and do nothing because the only nation willing to stand up to Russia is tied down in other countries.
5) Said country is war wary and tired of seeing its soldiers dying in foreign lands.
6) It holds most of Europe by the balls because it provides it with much of its energy.

On the surface, I won't quibble with points 1 and 2. Had Russian troops just gone into South Osettia and held the territory, I think that we would have seen negotiations and some type of resolution to the entire thing.

And I don't want to jump the gun using anything provided by the New York Times. But if this has any truth to it, then my thinking will change. And this is what I will think:

There are only 3 outcomes to this:

1) We admit Georgia into NATO and then invoke article V. Thus putting Russia on watch against the combined military of NATO. But I don't think this will happen. There has already been some hesitancy from our NATO allies against bringing Georgia into the fold. And those hesitant bastards have no desire themselves to want any responsibility for having to remain true to their word.

2) We don't admit Georgia to NATO, and we steam a couple of battle groups to the Black Sea, and put the Russians on notice. We basically tell them that it ain't over until the babushka sings and put them to the test. We also run a couple of flight groups into Turkey (which has much to lose if the Russians take the pipeline away) and wait for Russia's response.

3) We do nothing.

If you can't understand the ramifications of #3, please Google “Soviet Satellite States.”

The way things are going, if the Soviets don't back down. I see Bush going route #2. Because really, the consequences of not doing so, with 5 months left in office, do nothing for his legacy. I would see us parking a couple of Virginia class subs behind every Russian ballistic missile boat, and at the first sign of Russia bowing up to us, putting them on the bottom of the ocean. A couple of air sorties and a couple of Russian plains down later, a quick call would be made to “encourage” the Russians back to the border.

In all realism, this is the first real militaristic test we have seen between the former Cold War opponents.

Someone will blink.