Monday, July 27, 2009

Memo to various everything

Dear life: please start sucking less, and please do it soon. Dear rut: I'm tired of being in you. Dear God: please help me find a steady, enjoyable and adequate-paying job. Dear graduate schools...I'm looking at YOU. Be afraid! Mwhahaha.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Interesting political article, and my thoughts on it

The following comes from The American Spectator, and is written by Ben Stein. Yes, THAT Ben Stein.

"We've Figured Him Out
By Ben Stein on 7.24.09 @ 9:45AM

Why is President Barack Obama in such a hurry to get his socialized medicine bill passed?

Because he and his cunning circle realize some basic truths:

The American people in their unimaginable kindness and trust voted for a pig in a poke in 2008. They wanted so much to believe Barack Obama was somehow better and different from other ultra-leftists that they simply took him on faith.

They ignored his anti-white writings in his books. They ignored his quiet acceptance of hysterical anti-American diatribes by his minister, Jeremiah Wright.

They ignored his refusal to explain years at a time of his life as a student. They ignored his ultra-left record as a "community organizer," Illinois state legislator, and Senator.

The American people ignored his total zero of an academic record as a student and teacher, his complete lack of scholarship when he was being touted as a scholar.

Now, the American people are starting to wake up to the truth. Barack Obama is a super likeable super leftist, not a fan of this country, way, way too cozy with the terrorist leaders in the Middle East, way beyond naïveté, all the way into active destruction of our interests and our allies and our future.

The American people have already awakened to the truth that the stimulus bill -- a great idea in theory -- was really an immense bribe to Democrat interest groups, and in no way an effort to help all Americans.

Now, Americans are waking up to the truth that ObamaCare basically means that every time you are sick or injured, you will have a clerk from the Department of Motor Vehicles telling your doctor what he can and cannot do.

The American people already know that Mr. Obama's plan to lower health costs while expanding coverage and bureaucracy is a myth, a promise of something that never was and never will be -- a bureaucracy lowering costs in a free society. Either the costs go up or the free society goes away.

These are perilous times. Mrs. Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State, has given Iran the go-ahead to have nuclear weapons, an unqualified betrayal of the nation. Now, we face a devastating loss of freedom at home in health care. It will be joined by controls on our lives to "protect us" from global warming, itself largely a fraud if believed to be caused by man.

Mr. Obama knows Americans are getting wise and will stop him if he delays at all in taking away our freedoms.

There is his urgency and our opportunity. Once freedom is lost, America is lost. Wake up, beloved America."


Sounds like Ben Stein used his "Clear Eyes" today.

And before you read any further, keep in mind that I respect those who disagree with me. If you do, you are welcome to comment. This is simply my personal insight, and is not meant to be inflammatory towards any of my Liberal (or Conservative, for that matter) friends.

So here goes. Obama's just a figurehead for a bigger agenda. It's "party politics" gone awfully wrong. There's a bigger picture here, and it involves the Democratic Party as a whole. Democrats are not all bad, and neither are Republicans...but they offer very different viewpoints. Too much of one side or the other spells trouble. Yeah, Bush made some mistakes...and who was there to call him on it? Democrats. Clinton messed up. Who called him on it? Republicans. Checks and Balances, the basis for a multi-party system and the foundation of the American government.
But the Democrats seem to have decided that they know best, and that they are no longer content to be only part of the system. They want to BE the system.
So how do you get a majority in the House/Senate, and get a President in office to seal the deal ? Step 1? Get the media to talk about you. More importantly, get the media to say nothing but bad things about your opponents.
That’s politics...and the Republicans are just as guilty of it, right or wrong. Remember the Clinton scandals? The media loved that, because it was interesting and marketable. It also hurt the Democrats.So as not to let it happen again, the Democrats essentially took the reins of the media, and used it to slam the Bush administration every step of the way. Bush won a second term, and that infuriated the Democrats even more…but they’d already planted the seeds. No matter what Bush did, right or wrong, it was criticized in the media. The major news outlets, the music industry, and Hollywood all did their part. You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing “Bush is bad”, or “Republicans are bad” or “The War is Bad”. Surely, because Katie Couric or Wolf Blitzer said so, it MUST be true.
To the Democrats, it really didn’t matter if it was true or it wasn’t…because they had a not-so-secret weapon. They knew that Bush was on his final term anyway, and wanted to cut the legs off his party by using him as a symbol. What was wrong with Bush MUST be wrong with the entire Republican Party, right? The media asked us “If this cartoonish cowboy who mangles the English language in every speech and compromises our freedom by wire-tapping us is in office now, imagine what they’ll do for an encore!” What they offered for an encore was John McCain and Sarah Palin…and they never had a chance. From the moment they entered the picture, they were ridiculed. “Because they DESERVED it!” some of you are thinking as you read this. But read on.
The Democrats, on the other hand, offered a slicker package. McCain was an old white guy…just like all previous presidential candidates. (Ok, some of them were young white guys, but if you average their ages …eh, just hear me out.) So the Democrats went with a young black guy. Nobody would argue with THAT, would they? Except, perhaps, those “ignorant and possibly racist rednecks most likely to be Republicans”. He was also young, charming and an excellent public speaker…so, naturally, the media talked him up. To make the “old white guy” contingent happy, he brought on Joe Biden as a running mate. It helped that if anybody had anything bad to say about Biden, they were few and far between…and even if he had a lot of detractors, the media wouldn’t relay their message anyway. They had the media behind them, the prospect of having the first black President in history, and a weak opposition.

John McCain was old, cranky and had about as much charm as a hunk of stale cheese…and of course the media made sure we judged him on those counts, and heard little of what he had to say. Sarah Palin was a cartoonish soccer-mom with a royally screwed up family, and got the exact same treatment. Nobody was going to listen to her, and just for insurance, the media silenced her anyway.
Obama won. People celebrated. Now, though, people are starting to rethink that victory. We as a country were given a choice between two products. The usual choice between a lesser of two evils. But we chose based on the packaging and not the contents. Like being on the cereal aisle at the grocery store, given a choice between corn flakes and frosted flakes. One box is very colorful. It claims to taste good AND be good for you. It has a TONY THE TIGER on it, and he says they’re “GRREAT!” You saw its ads on TV too, didn’t you? The other box is pretty bland, and looks pretty silly next to all the modern, flashy boxes on the rest of the aisle. It’s plain white, with a straightforward picture of the product and a blandly colored silhouette of a rooster, who doesn’t say anything. Yet both boxes have a nutrition facts panel on the side that tells the truth. The flashy box contains sugar-coated cereal that looks and tastes sooo good that it’s hard to resist. But eventually the enjoyment passes, and what’s left are the unhealthy after-effects of too much sugar and not enough substance. The blander box has something that doesn’t have much of a taste to it, and may make you feel self-conscious for eating something so bland. Not very appetizing. But it offers nutritional value without harming your health.

We’re coming down off the sugar high. And now we’re discovering that because of the overwhelming support, we’ve made our choice and we have to stick with it. Until we go back to the store in 2012. By then, though, Tony the Tiger will OWN the store…and he’ll be offering double coupons. “Sure”, says the tiger. Eat all you want…we have that nationalized health care now, don’t we?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Ever had one of those weeks where nothing electronic/mechanical worked for you? That's me this week. I got back to Austin from a 4th of July weekend in Fort Worth on Monday morning to find that there was still no word on my next work assignment. Figuring I'd make the best of it, I decided to beat the boredom and the 105-degree heat by finishing my ongoing project of putting all of my old VHS tapes onto DVD. Tuesday, I went out and got some new DVD-R discs. They didn't work, or at least, 6 out of every 10 didn't. Figuring it was probably the machine but worth trying a different brand of discs, I went out to go get some. My car would not start. The closest car repair shop was closed for the day.

Wednesday, I called the auto repair shop. Since I could not start the car to get it there myself, I asked if they would tow it for me. They could, but the towing service was busy and couldn't take any more work orders. Today, to the tune of $398.00 and a whole morning worth of to-and-from hassle, I have a new starter for my car. I also have new DVD discs...and they do not work. The machine is no longer under just 3 months. Oh least my car works again. My fraternity had a saying: "Perge!", meaning "press on". As my life has moved ahead that has become less of a saying and more of a necessity, because whatever obstacles I encounter, the best way I know to deal with them is to keep going. I figure if I get knocked a few steps backward, they can always be regained.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Whatever happened to the Songs?

I was listening to the radio on the drive back from Fort Worth to Austin today, and even though I skipped between radio stations a million times, I kept hitting on the song "the Climb" by Miley Cyrus. Now, I have nothing against Miley Cyrus. But she's a 16-year-old girl. What does she know about "The Climb", as in, life experiences and conquering life's challenges? I am sure some anonymlus songwriter will forever remain anonymous because they sold their song to her record company. A spoiled, un-educated Disney kid has become a chart-topper for singing someone else's song. I'm reminded of a song by Blue October, a Texas band fronted by Justin Furstenfeld, a guy with serious mental issues who keeps himself in control by writing songs.

i'm like a storm cloud eager when you go out
calm again
i'll ask permission for the wrong to win
drop the bomb and get your story out and get it on
in a haze the beginning of your days
gonna fall down
got to get back up but at your own pace
got to fill your cup and find the way
out of your own maze
yeah boy what you said now

and hide the rule book throw it in the waste
look strong
like you belong cause you do belong
whether right or wrong you belong

i'm on your side if you fail atleat you tried
to keep your aching celebrating wonder making heart alive
yeah and pride don't keep it all inside
don't keep your aching celebrating wonder making heart alone
write you own song

whatever happened to our inner glow
whatever happened to the song the soul the me i used to know
whatever happened to my radio
whatever happened to my song
it is my song

so here's a preview shove it under old-new
or call it rock or pop or bach or fuck
goddamn where did we go wrong
now there's a catergory for every song

yeah we only want to sing when we want to
yeah we only want a dream we can flaunt to
yeah we only want to fly by the side making love to the rhythm be a jeckyl and a hyde
yeah we only want a field we can run through
yeah we only want a beat we can drum to
yeah we only want to fly by the side making love to the rhythm be a jeckyl and a hyde

so stride if you fail atleast you tried
to keep your aching celebrating wonder making heart alive
and pride don't keep it all inside
don't keep your aching celebrating wonder making heart alone
write your own song

whatever happened to our inner glow
whatever happened to the song the soul the me i used to know
whatever happened to my radio
whatever happened to the song

gonna wake up strong ya we're all gonna wake up strong...

That's all I have to say about the subject...or, rather, all Blue October had to say 6 years ago. It still holds true.