Friday, February 29, 2008

And now, for something completely hateful???



Don't ask me where this came from...  it just finergled into my head.




Along with countless (millions?) conservatives, I do not claim the current buffoon sitting in the office of the President of the United States as the representative of my party.  In fact, I dearly hope to god that he and his moral-minority (without even the formality of a made-up litmus test that even they couldn't pass) are an aberration on the party rather than the wave of the future.  (As a Reagan Republican, I find myself a moderate democrat now, not a republican, it tears me up to see what one uneducated man can do to an entire party...)

That being said, I do not hate him, only the things he has done.  It’s the same way I don’t hate a puppy for shitting on the floor, until they are taught not to.  I’m just not sure this guy could be taught how to not fuck everything up?  I don't hate Dick Cheney either, in fact, I respect him for being able to either a) be the puppet master or b) be the guy who is keeping the government running while the bull lays waste to the china shop.

In recent memory, from the republican view, the last time I saw such vitriol landing at the feet of a President was when Bill and his traveling road show were in the office.  Please understand,  I think Bill Clinton will ride through history as a great president who had some bad advice now and then and a few personal troubles.  But of course, as the out-of-power party at the time, I heaped as much scorn and vehement disgust at him as I could.  I mean, really, blowjobs in the oval office?  Why couldn’t he have had a little decorum... or at least silence the bitch like a real man (money people... money...  Sicko’s).

As I see the shoe change feet, the democrats now smell the blood in the water and are able to (rightfully) throw much hatred at the current office-holders.  I am reminded of the relief I felt as Clinton started his last year in office.  Trouble is, I don't ever recall this being the case until the Clinton/BabyBush era.  This hatred, scorn and disrespect seems, at least to me, to be relatively recent.

Question - Are we, as a nation, so polarized now that every time a president is elected, the other side will become more and more hateful?

I truly feel bad for Obama, as much as I like and respect the man.  He looks to be the winner now, and will most likely sweep McCain under the rug in a Reagan-esque landslide.  His problem will be a totally tanked economy and a war he cannot win to deal with.  Unfortunately, he’ll be branded with both and he might be a Carter/Bush Sr. and just give up on a second term.

I just hope if 5 years, we aren’t looking forward, with a nation half hateful and half mirthful as the impending inauguration approaches.  Are we that far apart?








9 Comments





Tony



As much as I abhor what W. et al have done, I don’t hate them; at least I try not to hate them. I continuously remind myself that had I lived the life of someone else, I could never say with any certainty that I would have made any different choices than they would have. I would ask on a side note; however, are there any world figures of present or past that you do hate, for example, Osama bin Laden or Adolph Hitler?
The Christian right has been a steadily and effectively growing demographic in the Republican Party since Reagan came to office. In fact, he ushered much of that initial influence into the party. They wrested control from big money, and built a remarkable grass roots political base after getting trounced from backing Robertson as a an independent presidential candidate in ’88. What we are seeing now is big money taking the party back.

I’m not a democrat. I don’t have a great deal of love for Clinton either, although the image of him getting a blowjob in the oval office while talking on the phone to Newt Gingrich will always bring a smile to my face (btw, I’m alone as I type this, I assure you.) I do believe that the two parties have abandoned everyone without the money to keep them in office (read: virtually everyone.)

To my mind, This hatred and scorn comes from a core feeling of have lost control of our lives, dehumanizing those with opposing viewpoints, and something I refer to as Identity, which I’ll elaborate in a second post. Take the events and names off of politics, speak hypothetically about them, and nearly everyone will acknowledge that politicians lie as a matter of course, money keeps them in office, and their vote doesn’t account for much.
This hatred and scorn is a smoldering fire, fanned certainly by presidential elections, but there all the time.

Don’t write McCain off just yet. As I recently heard mentioned on the air, people aren’t voting for a black president just yet, only the chance to vote for one. Once the nominees are in place, a 71-year-old white man may be all the change the voting public may need.

PS. Thanks for the blog. I miss these discussions.



Friday, February 29, 2008 - 03:46 AM







Tony



Identity in context with your post, “and now for something completely hateful…”

There is a corollary to this from the antebellum south. The cotton economy of the time benefited a small minority of wealthy white families. Most of the southern population was quite poor. The majority of the white population; however, vociferously defended this way of life. Why would so many people suffering under such a society defend it? Because no matter what, no matter how poor they were, no matter how miserable or hopeless their lives were they could still say that at least they weren’t slaves. Being white meant something special, and for the above mentioned, it was probably all they had.

Cut to today. People are losing control of their lives; their economic prospects get bleaker every year like some fatal disease. The American dream as we are presented with it has become at best an anachronism. But, however bad our lives may be, however hopeless they may seem, however out of control they may have become, we’re still Americans. We’re still part of something that we were brought up to believe is the greatest thing this planet has ever seen since sliced bread. For many, it is the last positive thing to hold on to, the last thing from which dreams of a better life may come.

This makes criticizing America or its institutions, the oval office or military in particular, not a critique of those institutions per se, but rather an attack on one’s core identity. This leads, for example, to accusations of betraying the country for criticizing the war or the president in time of war. When I say the war is wrong and we should get out of there, I’m not criticizing the war, I’m attacking you (“I” and “you” being hypothetical subjects and objects.) In many ways, Identity has co-opted patriotism.
The only way out of this mindset in the short term that I can see is to strip us down to our most fundamental non-negotiable beliefs. Once we do that, we will find out that we have more in common, re-establish ourselves as human in the eyes of each other: removing the dehumanizing masks of despised labels. Then we can slowly layer back on our secondary, tertiary beliefs and so on, and find out where our differences truly spring from, and, more often than not, how those differences represent different paths to getting to the same place.

This solution is a cultural one, not a political one.



Friday, February 29, 2008 - 04:24 AM







Tony



...speaking of scorn. You have pictures of W. and Obama straight out of their press packets and Clinton's straight out of the National Enquirer. What's that about?


Sunday, March 2, 2008 - 09:27 PM







Tony's Straight Man



Ok,ok, you got me.  Hillary frightens me on several levels.  Also, if we're going to change, let's change.  She is just more of the same old money and owed favors as the last 4-5 Oval Officers.  Methinks Obama might be a fun change... if he can survive/outlast the Bush breakdown.

And yes, you're right, these discussions are sadly missed.  I think you and the whole gang should move to New Mexico.  The weather is better here :)



Sunday, March 2, 2008 - 09:44 PM







Tony



Alright…

Any other thoughts on the above blather?



Monday, March 3, 2008 - 12:06 PM







Bob



Can any of that happen under the existing power monolith that is capitalism?
Which is, I suppose, partly what Tony is saying.

tangential notes:
-A co-worker and I were discussing Clinton and I was chagrined to say that I thought she would be in a very different place right now if she did not have the public speaking voice she does.

-Don't feel bad Bill.  In an interview this morning on CPR, a news editor from RI kept referring to to Senator Obama, Senator McCain, and Mrs. Clinton.  I wondered if he even knew he was doing it.

-Tony, expanding on your point about Obama, if he is elected, (and I hate even putting this in print, but since nobody reads Bill's blog anyway ;)...), I just hope down to my marrow that the secret service can keep him safe for 4 years.

-The weather is different in NM.  Not better.  And 5 years from now, we should still have some water left in CT.  Pffffftttthhhhhtttttt!!!!  Now excuse me whilst I wipe the spit off my monitor.

-None of this will matter anyway when this planet shakes us off like the painful, disease ridden, infestation of fleas that we are.

-Can we please find a way to get together sometime?



Monday, March 3, 2008 - 08:23 PM







Tony



To be honest, I no longer consider lasting solutions complete-able in my lifetime. The cultural solution I have mentioned takes place on a one-on-one basis (I inititally typed ‘none-on-one.’ How’s that for a Freudian slip.). Btw, I’ve thus far only gotten one person with significantly different views to engage in that exercise. He was a bail enforcement officer/ Army Reservist (a.k.a. bounty hunter with a hobby.) It was over the Iraq war, and even then we didn’t get down to our most basics. I’ve also had little joy with the left.

Can any of that happen under the existing power monolith that is capitalism?

Unlikely, and it’s those who’ve evolved to the top of that food chain that will make sure. We (I) talk about how many of the present-day systems have failed. This is not entirely true. For a very small minority, these systems work quite well and this minority has accumulated over 90% of the assets as its reward. Are people who’ve accumulated so much power and wealth the type who would simply let it go? Even if the electorate were to suddenly stand up and demand from it’s politicians what is truly needed, would those behind the throne simply slap their foreheads and say, “Oh my. What ever have we been doing all this time. Oops, I guess you’ve caught us?”
No.
Ironically, it’s activist circles to whom I’ve mostly posed this question, and most people have never even considered it, well enough posed a solution.
Would Clinton or Obama live through one term? Both are targets for those who cannot live with the prospect of a black or a female president. The Secret Service has been hemorrhaging since the expansion of the air marshal program; they pay a lot better. If either became the sort of president I would actually vote for, someone on the inside would off them. But, as Aragorn often proclaims, there is always hope.
The first time I went to NM, there was snow on the cacti, which really messed with my visual sensibilities. Btw Bob, CT has had how many stage-three drought emergencies in the last eight years? You may want to carefully collect that spit and put it an airtight container.
My image of the earth clearing up its flea problem involves a tanning salon.
I’ve an idea about getting together. Why don’t we meet someplace in the middle. Danbury is in between Danielson and New Mexico, so…problem solved.



Tuesday, March 4, 2008 - 01:03 AM







liberal lawyer



Workers of the world unite! For you have nothing to lose but your chains


Wednesday, March 5, 2008 - 12:45 PM







Tony



Dear Liberal Lawyer,
What do you think of today's US unions?


Wednesday, March 5, 2008 - 08:42 PM




Sunday, February 24, 2008

How Sony got slapped by Micro$oft... and Nintendo... all for Blu-Ray

Balmer gloats and drinks the Champagne of sweet victory...

"Ohhhh, we so sowwy abowt PS3" Chairman apologizes for PS3 recalls...

I can’t believe the war is finally over.  Sony wins!!!  Blu-Ray is the new heavyweight CHAMPEEEEN of the Wooooorrrrrrrrlllllllldddddd.

WRONG!!!!!

You know who won this fight?   really?  MICROSOFT!!!

And everyone who bought a Blu-Ray disk, player or sticker helped them do it.  The best part is, they don’t even realize how they were duped, manipulated and used so that MS could pump up the XBox 360 and demolish the PS3.  Sorry, legion of  Sony fans.  Even as you bought your Blu-Ray PS3s you were lining the coffers of Micro$oft.  Well done!

Lets forget the fact that the format of HD-DVD was better.  Blu-Ray has ALOT going for it, and it won the war because it was the better technology.  Since the release of the two specs, the only thing HD-DVD had going for it was it’s cheaper format and easier structure.  In every other major category, Blu-Ray kicked it’s ass.  So why did it take over 2 years of constant fighting to bury HD-DVD?

Well, set your way back machine to when both companies were announcing the new 3G video game machines.... Xbox 360 and PS3.  MS knew it needed to do something incredible to make a dent in Sony’s market domination with the PS2.  Then Sony offered them the greatest gift the business world has ever seen.  They trumpeted how the PS3 would have and be a Blu-Ray player.  Instantly, Balmer and Gates were hugging and crying in their champagne brunch!

They knew they would go with the abortive format from Philips called HD-DVD.  They knew they could leverage a format war, that Sony would spend BIG money on Blu-ray, all the while, developing the XBox 360 download service and getting a LEGION of fanbois to embrace the digital delivery method.  (Can you say, Apple TV, NetFlix, TiVo etc)

And just like the dupes they were, Sony POURED money into Blu-Ray, spent HUGE money to woo the major studios and bought off major game developers all in a vain attempt to win a format war that they had won at the starting gate.   And the side effect of all this?  MS was able to market the 360 way ahead of Sony, they had great games at the rollout, all while Sony and it’s developers tried desperately to get killer games onto the system.  (Meanwhile Nintendo walks in and slaps both of them, but that’s another story.)  As Sony poured money into Blu-Ray, they had to slight something, and it was game development.  Sony even went so far as to buy the Blu-Ray equipment for some smaller game developers.  What a bonus if you’re a small developer.
“My favorite iteration of the HD DVD campaign was the negative push whereby all you heard was how Blu-ray disks would scratch easily and be ruined by a single thumbprint, or how they are hard to manufacture, and on and on. This was an orchestrated attack and none of it was true.”, John C. Dvorak

So here’s the scoop...

  1. MS never intended to back HD-DVD

  2. Blu-Ray was better from day 1

  3. Sony poured capital into backing/hyping Blu-ray

  4. MS didn’t spend a dime on HD-DVD

  5. 360 rolls out with network that works and people get behind digital delivery model for stuff

  6. PS3 rolls out with lousy games, network flaws and some very Un-Sony-like problems

  7. MS “loses” the fight and Sony wonders why it cost them so damn much to win

  8. Phillips/MS/HD-DVD people all giggle and watch the latest Blu-Ray copy of “The Office”


It truly has been fun to watch this fight.  I’m kind of proud of Steve Balmer, he managed to win a fight like this without buying another competitor.  In fact, he showed more style than Bill Gates.

Oh, and congratulations to all you PS3 / Blu-Ray buyers.  You’ve got some great hardware there... <snicker>  But just think... 2008 is going to be the year of the PS3.  (Unless of course, they roll out some more clunker games...)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Rethinking AIDS in Africa - mind blowing....



Wow, I like this lady alot.  She really makes you think about things in a new way!  By looking at AIDs from an economic standpoint and re-examining the assumptions made already, she really turns the epidemic upside down.  Her points were validated when the UNAIDS foundation revised it’s estimates of the number of world-wide AIDs patients way down.  But like she says, growth of the epidemic is still way up.  I love how she addresses policy issues, without trying to say who should do what, she just says we need to think again... long and hard, about how we need to fight this scourge.


Here is a link to her talk at TED... it’s a VERY good watch.

TED | Talks | Emily Oster: What do we really know about the spread of AIDS? (video)

And here is some links to her other works;

TED | Speakers | Emily Oster

Check this out, you won’t be disappointed.  (Well, maybe you will if you think we should just ignore AIDs.)

Friday, February 22, 2008

I am so tired of Mac Haters



As many of you know, I have switched my focus and effort from the PC world to the MAC world.  This was all brought about by the abortion known as

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition 64 Bit Edition.


After installing this bloated piece of software crap (designed by Micro-tards, marketed by scumbags) I started a several month long journey into the depths of MS-Hell (Version 6.6.6).  Drivers that did not work, were not signed or simply sucked so much ass that an 8th grader in Hoboken could have done better.  And those great Apps.  WOW... holy shit, look at the great updates there... ummm, solitaire is fuckin cool now and Mah Jong comes STANDARD baby!  Too bad networking was broken and User Account Control was implemented so poorly that you had to be asked every 8 seconds if you really wanted to do anything at all??????  They managed to break everything of value that was in XP, or move it to some incomprehensible new menu structure.

In my humble opinion, Mac’s are just better.  Easier, faster, able to do things intuitively etc.  Are they perfect, nope, far from it.  Are they a damn sight better than XP or Virus... you damn right they are.  When you start up your mac, you just start to get things done right away, no searching for disks to insert, no begging for the latest signed driver file to download, you just do it.  To me, one of the biggest things I notice on the Mac is the style.  Yes, on a Windows box you have 967 choices of programs to get a certain task done while the Mac world may only offer 2.  I will tell you one thing though, in the mac world, you’re going to use one of those two programs and wonder “Why doesn’t the PC do it this way?  It’s so much better,easier,faster...etc...”  Even during my switching period, where I didn’t know how to accomplish certain things, as I learned about it, I found myself saying “wow, that’s awesome” ALOT!

What is really starting to kill me is the constant tirade of Mac hate out there.  It’s easy to see where it comes from.  The Microsoft flag wavers got their asses handed to them with Vista and they are seeing the market share numbers creep ever so slowly up for Apple.

This is not to say that Apple will ever dominate the marketplace, far from it.  The will however, command respect in the marketplace and the decades long dearth of software will begin to ease as developers realize they need to support this market.  So instead of droning on and on, let me just present my list of things and some answers.  Trust me, if you want to get the measure of your life back that MS and PCs are snarfing from you, SWITCH!  Ask me how!

  1. Macs are toys - show me a computer that isn’t... JP Getty made a fortune without a PC

  2. The Mac OS won't run games - Ok... so far I must agree... mac gaming is lame

  3. Mac’s are too simplistic - And there is a problem here?

  4. There’s no software for it. - Have you looked?  MS Office is on the Mac, dolt!

  5. Microsoft bought Apple - I love that one...

  6. If you want a REAL computer use a PC - Otherwise you can’t have your viruses and spyware

  7. No Macs on the network, they are a security risk - And Windoze isn’t? - eeegads

  8. Macs are so expensive - You get what you pay for

  9. 95% Market Share for Windows, Game Over, Game Over, (repeated ad infinum)

  10. I can build a windows system for 1,000 dollars cheaper - assuming the OS is of equal value

  11. Apple stole GUI from PARC - Which MS then promptly stole from apple...

  12. Macs are for artsy people and not getting real work done. - Me? Artsy?  My ass

  13. Mac's don't work with the internet. - I love that one...

  14. “Mac's are slow. d00d, I can get a 3GHz PeeCee for $150, but MAC'S are only like 2.0GHz at $5,000. OMG Tahts stoooopid!11!!.” - UGH, where do I start??

  15. Mac's are only good for working with graphics - <cry> old habits

  16. Mac's crash every 2 minutes. - My iMac has been uptimed for 3 months... (Not even a reboot)

  17. Mac's don't even have USB or FireWire. - WHAT?

  18. Macs don't have solitaire - 

Monday, February 18, 2008

President's Day

It’s Presidents’ Day, a holiday which itself has a weird and winding history. In honor of all of the U.S. Presidents who have graced the White House and fearlessly led our country, here (in no particular order) is a list of 10 of the weirdest things you (probably) never knew about some of our Commanders-In-Chief.

1. Franklin D. Roosevelt (President #32) was related in some way to 11 former U.S. Presidents.

2. James Garfield, the 20th president, was a professor of ancient languages; he was also ambidextrous. He is said to have been able to write in Latin with one hand while writing in Greek with the other.

3. John Tyler, the 10th president, fathered an impressive 15 children. He was in his 70s when the 15th child was born.

4. The tall stovepipe hat that Abraham Lincoln (President #16) is usually depicted wearing was, in fact, a useful wardrobe device. He stored important papers inside of it.

5. Our 17th President, Andrew Johnson, was born poor and could not read until the age of 17, when he met his future wife and she tutored him in reading, public speaking, and mathematics. He was later very nearly lynched in Virginia and forced to flee his home in Tennessee when he opposed the South’s secession from the Union.

6. The 22nd and 24th president, Grover Cleveland, was drafted in the Civil War but paid a substitute $150 to take his place so he could stay behind to care for his mother and sisters. Cleveland wasn’t widely criticized for this move: the Conscription Act of 1863 expressly permitted such a substitution.

7. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president, was reported to be a very interesting character. When not having his head massaged with Vaseline during breakfasts in bed or riding his own mechanical bull, he was ringing the White House doorbell and then running off to hide.

8. So far, all American presidents have claimed ancestry limited to one or more of just seven nationalities: Dutch, English, German, Irish, Scottish, Swiss, and Welsh.

9. Grover Cleveland was the only president to openly admit that he had fathered an illegitimate child. When the allegations came out during his presidential campaign, he instructed his staff to tell the truth about the child. In reality, it was never determined whether Cleveland was the child’s real father; he paid child support because he was the only single man among the mother’s suitors.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Farewell, Roy Scheider



Well, it was a day of mixed emotion.  Odd, I guess.  One of my personal favorite actors, Roy Scheider passed away Sunday afternoon.  He may not seem like a hollywood notable to many, but I was always impressed by him.  When I was younger, probably 12-13 I saw him at the Godspeed Opera house in a production of “Richard III” and he was really good.  He then, of course, went on to do other things, all with reasonable success.  I have to say, I really enjoyed 2010 with him as the lead.   Anyhow, all my best to his family in this sad time for them.

Roy Scheider, Actor in ‘Jaws,’ Dies at 75 - New York Times

Saturday, February 2, 2008

There is no intelligent life...

Ok, this really chapped my ass on Friday, so it must be big since I am still pissed! I was in a major bookstore (Borders) and about to checkout with my purchases. (I know, how weird, going to a store for books... who knew?) At the little magazine rack is a copy of US magazine. Now, I have seen this magazine before, and I may have once been desperate enough to leaf through the pages at a doctor’s office, but I am not a reader of said rag. On the front cover of this rag, is a picture of some chick driving a car. Looks to me like the photog was in front of the car shooting into it. Anyhow, the picture of the chick is huge, takes the whole cover. At the bottom is some “headlines” that state in bold letters what this chick is up to, and how “Amber “ does something and “Lynn” does something else. No last names, no way to identify who this person is.

How much gall does it take for the publisher of that rag to ASSUME that I know who the tramp on the cover was???? The saleslady told me it was Brittany Spears and the people that are being talked about are her mom and sister. But truly, how dare they assume I knew who it was and with even more temerity, they ASSUMED I GAVE A SHIT. Or at least cared enough to know the little tramp’s mother’s name and her sister’s name. ARGGHHHH.

Has it really come to this? Is America so engrossed in the tribulations of this twisted family that we know and recognize them like that? Dear god, when the classic movies and rock stars were huge, I didn’t who their family was, I don’t care. I REALLY don’t care that Ozzy has a family. All I really care is that he has a band and enough drugs to stay on stage!

I know it’s silly, and unimportant, but it really bugged me. When I see all this “reality” TV and dance wars and CRAP that is being shoveled and consumed by the unwashed masses, I get sick. It’s just more of the dumbing down of world. No wonder the internet generation hangs out online. There is no intelligent life in hollywood!