Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

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the worthless bastard award

March 15, 2009

my freshman year of college we (somewhat lovingly) gave out the worthless bastard of the week award. this award was normally given to one of the guys on the floor when they did something stupid. it was done out of fun and everyone who received it took it in stride.

a showed me an article this afternoon that has prompted me to break out the award again. this time it’s not given in jest. it’s not funny. it’s not awarded lovingly. i am awarding this again because the recipient is, as proven by their actions this week, a worthless bastard.

and the award goes to [insert drum roll here]

…edward m. liddy, the government-appointed chairman of aig. this week aig revealed that they were contractually obligated to pay out $165 million in bonuses to executives within the company even thought they had to accept $170 billion from you and i just to stay afloat.  i know i’m not the only person who is incensed by this.  according to the nyt article, the agreements for the bonuses were agreed upon before all the poo hit the fan and that lawyers have looked at it and said that the company must pay out.  many average joe’s (not joe the plumber) are having their pay frozen or losing their jobs completely, but these bums who almost ran the company into the ground and helped cause this wonderful recession are raking in the cash that you and i paid for.

really, this isn’t all mr liddy’s fault.  there are so many more who he can accept this award on the behalf of, but as the head of the company, everything that happens under his watch is his responsibility.

congratulations mr. edward m. liddy.  you are this week’s worthless bastard.

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new years resolution: going green

January 8, 2009

ah…

the holidays are over and it’s time to get back to life as usual.

you did indeed read the title correctly, i’m going green.  it’s time for me to jump on the green bandwagon and do my part to help save the planet.  i’ve resolved not only to live in a greener fashion, but to help promote green living to all my readers as well.  so here is lesson one:

SAVE THE EARTH!  DON’T SEND HOLIDAY CARDS AND LETTERS!

chances are that if you are reading this you spend a decent amount of time on the internet.  i’m betting that you’ve seen e-cards, e-mail, and v-mail.  studies* show that pictures of children, families, and pets dressed in holiday outfits are just as cute through a digital format as they are when ink is wasted and trees are killed to place an identical image on a piece of paper.  the tragic truth is that your christmas letter, the one that you spent three nights writing instead of spending time with your loved ones; the one that you sent out to everyone else that you love – but not enough to talk to more than once a year – each letter/card is read and then tossed right in the circular file.  just like that.  right in the trash.  if the recipient “really” loves you, they will put your letter on the refrigerator and wait until january 3 to throw it away.  it’s hard to read.  i know.  i’m sorry, but the truth must be told.

try as best as you can for just a second to stop your crying, rid yourself of the intense emotions i have just evoked and think about this logically.  if your clever letter and cute pooch are going to be added to the top of a giant heap of holiday hogwash, couldn’t you just send an electronic version of it?  if your electronic letter is going to be trashed, at least it won’t take up space in the landfill.  furthermore, if you send an electronic holiday greeting there is a better chance that your greeting will be saved to the recipient’s hard drive or saved in their email account.  if your letter is going to take up space, shouldn’t it be junking up someone’s hard drive or server than an actual junk heap?

i beseech you.  please follow my advise and help our dying planet by sending your holiday greetings through an electronic medium.  mother earth (and future generations) will thank you.


*  i asked three people and they agreed with my “pictures of …are just as cute…” comment.  for this blog, that is as good as “studies.”

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kanye on snl

December 14, 2008

so i have snl on as background noise as i eat second dinner and catch up on some internet reading/surfing.

is kanye always this bad?  i’ve heard some really bad performers on snl before, but he is terrible.  wow.  i’m not sure what else to say.  i’ve really only seen kanye on tv twice – tonight and the most ridiculous live television performance ever:

i can’t get enough of watching mike myers and the look on his face as kanye deviates from the script.

also, speaking of fun comments on tv, an infomercial just started after snl.  they are featuring four actual coins with barak obama painting on them.  these things are always really lame, but this features some salesman and montel williams and they sound like they are ad-libbing.  almost no script, or at least they haven’t rehearsed it.  it’s just terrible.  they are really working to come up with some exciting reasons why you have to collect these.  they are excited about the hawaii coin because “many people don’t know that president obama is the first president born in hawaii.”  is there anyone who would want to collect obama anything that does not know that he’s from hawaii?

in montel’s intro i caught a line that i wish i could hear again.  he’s talking about history being made.  he’s trying to stress the historical significance of the election and he said something to the effect of “…for the privileged few who have been fortunate to go to a museum…”

apparently having visited many museums so far in my life, i have unknowlingly reached the elite level of “privileged few.”

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a sad day for illinois

December 9, 2008

i’ve decided that i will never run for governor of illinois.  i’m starting to think the office is cursed.  apparently you have to sign a document saying that, regardless of party affiliation, you will promise to use your office to force businesses and/or constituents into illegal activity.

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how dare they? indianapolis buys 85 camry hybrids!

December 9, 2008

the indianapolis star posted a piece on friday that i would like to comment on.  the mayor’s office announced on friday that they had contracted to purchase 85 vehicles for the police department.  they are to be used by “police detectives and administrators.”   after narrowing down their options, the two choices they chose from were the malibu hybrid from chevy and the camry hybrid from toyota.  the mayors office chose the camry.  with the well documented problems the “big 3” are going through, vocal locals have been very loud with their protests.  since friday, many folks from the area are livid about the decision to go with the foreign vehicle that has a higher price tag.

there are two main arguments that i’ve heard and i intend to comment on them.

first, the lesser of the two arguments, and the one that i’ve heard less about.  local democrats are upset saying that the mayor’s office is frivolously wasting taxpayor’s money.  the basis of their argument is that the camry is costing upfront $1,700 more than the malibu would.  their calling for a formal inquiry to see if there was any misconduct.  they are also alleging that purchase was made because the dealership’s owner has been known to give to the republican party.

the second indy star article that i linked to spells out the “defense” pretty well and i don’t really have anything to add.  it’s just so stupid that some people find it necessary to try to discredit members of the other party.  there is a time and a place for that sort of thing, but not in this situation.  i’m sure that before it’s said and done, mayor ballard will try to do something that will be much more controversial than this.  when he does, then go after him.  but when he chooses a vehicle that only costs $1,700 more, but gets much better gas milage, has a lower cost of ownership, can be delivered quicker, and looks better (of course the last one is just my opinion), what is there to complain about?  why don’t they work on something else.  there is plenty of work that needs to be done on the mass transit proposals, city infrastructure, crime prevention, etc.  indy democrats – stop wasting your time and do something productive.

second, and much more vocal, is the mass of people who are up in arms about the government purchasing foreign vehicles and therefore not supporting american and hoosier workers.

seriously?  really?  you are mad at the mayor because he made a fiscally responsible decision, choosing the better deal on the better car?  local friends of the automakers are mad because gm has a plant in indianapolis that makes parts for the malibu.  they contend that by not purchasing the malibu, the mayor’s office is contributing to the uaw workers losing their jobs even quicker than what is at this point inevitable.

here is my take plain and simple – there are lots of americans who like and are loyal to the american brands.  that’s great.  but there are even more who have owned an american car, have fussed with an american car, have hauled their car to the shop, paid for unnecessary repairs, and have experienced a higher price of ownership on a car that depreciate faster than many foreign cars.    for years the big 3 had produced the better car and americans responded with the purchasing decisions.  when the big 3 became complacent and decided they didn’t need to try any longer, the american consumers responded with their purchasing decisions.  it’s that easy.  instead of complaining that people won’t buy your cars, build better ones!  this is consumer based capitalistic economics 101.  apparently, it is easier for the big 3 to rely on their employees’ ability to bully rather than their employees’ ability to think innovative.

i thought it would be fun  to play a quick math game (i love being a nerd!).  the uaw workers in indianapolis are upset because their companies are in such dire straits that they must ask the government for $25,000,000,000 and the local government thinks that now is the time to buy a foreign brand.  they talk as though those 85 vehicles are essential to keeping gm afloat.  so i got to thinking.  let’s say, for arguments sake, that all of the $24,000 from the sale of the hybrid malibu goes straight to gm’s bank.  let’s see what that would do.  85 malibu’s at $24,000 per totals $2,040,000.  at that rate – again assuming that each of those dollars goes straight to gm – it would take only 12,255 more purchases of the same size to give the big 3 the amount of money they are asking for from the federal government.

wow.

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important political poll from zurcher pollsters

October 19, 2008

please vote.  the future of our country may depend upon it.  i’m attempting to gauge interest in a possible last-minute entry into the political fray.  my platform would include many things, but my main message would be one of “change.”  listen to this song as you vote.

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janice in the economist

October 19, 2008

sarah palin was at verizon wireless music center in noblesville (indiana) on friday.  my mother-in-law was given tickets to go to the rally.  while there she started talking to a magazine reporter.  turns out this magazine reporter works for the economist.  she asked my mother-in-law a bunch of questions and is going to be calling her back soon to follow up on some of the questions.  i honestly don’t know much more than that.  but all the same, i’m quite excited that she might/probably will appear in the article.  how exciting.

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clinton in kentucky

May 22, 2008

every once in a while i try to catch up on a little bit of politics. i don’t follow political activities as much as i used to. i’ve become too much of a skeptic and cynic. that’s a whole other post at a whole other time. tonight i saw an article on cnn.com discussing senator clinton and her refusal to concede defeat in the democratic primary. i’m all for sticking to your guns and finishing what you started. if there is still a mathematical chance that she could win, then i don’t fault her one bit for not conceding. i might be heard harping on senator clinton’s politics, but i won’t be heard faulting her for not conceding.

okay, so in this article they quote sen. clinton as saying to a gathering in kentucky after her win there, “you’ve never given up on me, because you know i’ve never given up on you.” enter brad the skeptic. really?! what exactly have you done to demonstrate that you’ve “never given up” on kentucky? this is exactly the type of hyperbole that politicians spew like babies do poop and puke. i’m not making the case that she would or wouldn’t be a solid president. i’m not arguing her intelligence or her presence of mind under pressure. what i am saying is that she is full of it. she makes insinuations that she has done what she hasn’t. how can i trust her and feel comfortable taking her at her word when she makes statements like this?

she has been a corporate lawyer, a first lady (state and federal) and a senator representing new york. she has done many wonderful things for many people, but what, i ask, has she done for the people of kentucky? surely if she is going to make this statement she must have something in mind. if i had an audience with her this might be my first question for her. to be fair, this quote could have been taken out of context. she may have been talking to a group of attorneys that she has been personal friends with for years. this seems unlikely, but it is possible. also to be fair to her, i don’t think i would have to work very hard to find similar statements from sen. obama or sen. mccain, i just happened to see sen. clinton’s first.

is anyone else tired of politicians who make ridiculous statements and promises? does anyone else feel that most politicians treat us “common folk” like herdable idiots who will believe anything told to us? i don’t trust people who make statements like “…because you know i’ve never given up on you” because they are playing me as a fool. they insult my intelligence and assume that because they said it, while i haven’t seen it, i will believe them when they make these statements. please. these people are a far cry from president washington. he was concerned with the survivability of the thirteen newly formed states. he was nearly forced into the role of president when it was the farthest thing from the most powerful person in the western world. he did it because his country needed him. today the country doesn’t need these candidates, these candidates need this country. while washington’s main objective was to sustain the great republican experiment, our current selection of candidates seem to be more worried about the power of the office then fighting a good fight and bringing peace and prosperity to our nation.  i am farsighted. i want a leader who makes decisions (unpopular if necessary) that will strengthen our country now, but more importantly in the future.

senator clinton, you haven’t done anything for the people of kentucky. i would be willing to bet that most of your actions have been selfish and self-preserving. when your actions are for the greater good, they are in the best interests of your constituents in new york, not kentucky. don’t lie, don’t exagerate. find another way to rally your troops.

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things i’m tired of

May 4, 2008

sorry i haven’t posted in such a long time. i thought about telling you all of my reasons (read excuses) for why i haven’t posted, but the truth is i’ve just been lazy.

so here we go. none of these are going to be overly in depth, but these are things that have been driving me nuts. who knows. if i get going on these, you may see them in a longer, more detailed post soon.

  1. oprah. i get tired of seeing her everywhere. it drives me crazy that she puts her face on each and every one of her magazine covers. how vain?! i also get tired of her power over the world. as a bookseller, i see her affect on the world as much as any non-oprah worshiper does. i find her fake, repulsive, power hungry, and having many qualities in common with the anti-christ. i hate the fact that she endorses and promotes rediculous books like the secret and the new earth . these books are nothing short of ridiculous and gullible women around the world are buying and buying in to these books. it’s pathetic. it’s disturbing.
  2. political campaigns. i wouldn’t mind them so much if i felt that they were productive, but i don’t. i find them an incredible waste of money on propaganda. these candidates aren’t telling us how they will actually act in office, they are over-promising and pandering to the crowds. they are telling us what they think we want to hear. i know that i am over-simplifying this and that i am showing off my incredible cynicism, but still. look at the promises they make. there is one candidate who says on a commercial that as a rookie state representative, he will end the war in iraq, make health care affordable, and “undo all the mistakes make by the bush administration.” seriously? you actually think that you can do any of that, yet alone all of it? even if congress and the new president can do those things, for you to assert that you will be the driving force behind each of these agenda items is a joke. you don’t have the power to do that. those promises would be a bit of a stretch even for the presidential candidates, but you? a rookie state rep? get real. i don’t know much about this guy. reading his bio, he sounds like a great guy. he obviously is educated and has spent time doing many wonderful things, but he is kidding himself making these promises during this campaign.
  3. national sports shows/announcers, etc constantly talking about the cubs 100 years of futility/bad luck. every time the cubs play a nationally televised game, the announcers spend WAY too much time talking about the well documented championship drought of my beloved cubbies. okay. we get it. it’s been 100 years. call the game. why don’t you talk about rich hill not being able to throw strikes, the merit (or lack there of) of leaving soriano in the leadoff spot, or the fact that big z and demp are on pace to win a combined 44 games this year. the game of baseball is fun, exciting, detailed, and strategic. there is so much more to talk about that the non-story that is 100 years. when the cubs are in the world series and they are one game from closing it out, then we can talk about it more.
  4. dw saying “boogity, boogity, boogity! let’s go racin’ boys! enough said.
  5. the kentucky derby. this doesn’t bug me nearly to the extent as the previous four. i just don’t get the obsession of it. granted i don’t really like horses, nor do i “bet the ponies” so i am at an interest disadvantage. i consider myself a fan of most sports, but i just can’t get into it. it seems to me that if the sport were really that wonderful, there would be more than three races a year that the average american could name. everybody knows what the derby is. many know what the preakness and the belmont stakes are, but besides those, name a horse race. people only care about the later two only as long as the winner of the derby keeps winning. if the derby winner loses the preakness, then no one seems to really care about the belmont. again. it seems to me that if the sport itself was so great, then people would care about all three races just as much regardless of if there is a possibility of a triple crown winner or not.
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does anyone else find it funny…?

February 29, 2008

…that we’re possibly on our way to a national recession and our congress is consumed with roger clemens and the patriots’ video sessions, not ways to cut federal spending and reduce taxes?

i’m a huge sports fan and i really want my favorite sports to be clean and fair, but isn’t that the job of the commissioner, not congress?  doesn’t congress write laws and find ways to improve their constituents’ quality of life?

just wondering.

also my burpo brother, wick, has a well stated blog entry about a couple of topics.  note the well played, below the belt comment aimed at oli-tech.