Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Not a Post

I’m still on blogging break and am enjoying being merely a consumer for now. However, I thought I’d throw out a list of some of things I haven’t blogged about but would have. You know, for future reference. Maybe I’ll get to them later if I’m still interested. Again, this is not a post, so stop saying that!

- My son engaged in an important male rite of passage last night when he climbed over his first chain link fence by himself.

- Frontline’s Bush’s War is the best documentary on the Iraq war and it’s run-up I’ve seen.

- Hillary Clinton is really starting to piss me off (too many reasons to link to).

- I’m not the only one who recently downloaded Lust, Lust, Lust by the Raveonettes and was glad I did.

- A Taco Bell on the west side again?

- Someone please sponsor Dan. I’ll throw in another $20 if your message includes a swear word.

- Given the millions we see flying overhead, why aren’t there more dead birds on the ground? Do other birds bury their dead at night?

- Jericho is done (and cancelled) and I’m satisfied enough with the ending. I say Hawkins lives.

- 4000. For what? And now this.

- There are inflatable spacecraft orbiting the earth right now that are prototypes for a possible future space hotel.

Note that none of the above should be construed as actual blogging.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hiatus or More

I need to take some time off from blogging. Maybe for a short while. Maybe forever.

Update: Not trying to be mysterious, I just need a break. I don’t know how long that will be and there’s always the chance I’ll get used to it.

Live Blogging Abe

Ha-ha. If wingnut bloggers had been around in 1863 to live blog the Gettysburg Address, here's what the likely result would have been.

Yes, where was your lapel pin Mr. Lincoln?

Paint Balled

You know, if people were allowed to carry concealed paintball guns, this wouldn't be happening.
The Springfield Police Department is investigating 10 reports of someone shooting paintball guns at people and property throughout the city on March 8 and 10. The damage has been minimal, but in at least two cases the perpetrators aimed and shot a paintball gun at senior citizens walking on the sidewalk.

The acts appear to be random, police said.

The men are described as white, one with brown hair. They are in a dark-colored Pontiac, possibly a Grand Am or a Grand Prix.

Of course, any paintball conceal-carry legislation would have to mandate extensive training and background checks ensuring no one would bother with it.

Seriously though, I did see a group of paintballers this weekend creeping around a neighborhood just off of Veterans Parkway. Not saying they had anything to do with the above paintball crimes against humanity but I did think it a bad idea for them to be practicing their warcraft so close to real houses and people and cars.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Headlines That Scare Me

From the SJ-R online:
U.S. Supreme Court case may trigger handgun battle in Illinois cities

Damn, handgun battles might kill a lot of people. If you live in an Illinois city, look out. Also be careful of handgun puns like "may trigger".

Misplaced Apostrophe’s

There's certain subset of our society that consistently misuses the apostrophe. Then there is the subset that is constantly mortified at the frequent misuse of apostrophes.

I’m not solidly in either camp. I know I occasionally, and inadvertently, goof on apostrophe placement and I often catch others doing the same but without becoming apoplectic over it.

Anyway, everyone should enjoy this misuse of an apostrophe on the side of a northern Illinois school bus.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis is Teh Bad

Reason 452 why my life hasn't been entirely fabulous (despite what a grossly uninformed and judgmental "friend" thinks): I have Eosinophilic Esophagitis. I've suffered with it for a long time and am now, finally, getting some good treatment for it.

I wish this on no one, it can be hell.

Of course, this thing will not prevent me from laughing at the self-proclaimed Po' Man over gas prices while simultaneously being a bad parent, bad blogger, bad voter, owner of an evil truck, occasional typo scofflaw, someone completely undeserving of my income or the home in which I live, racist white-flighter, etc, etc. Cuz, you know, I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth.

Note: Sorry about that last paragraph but I'm using my blog (arrogantly and because I'm filthy rich) to call someone whose been acting like a complete asshole lately an, well, asshole. I'm sure he can take as well as he dishes. Apologies sincerely welcome.

Update: Yes applying for sympathy before going on the counter-attack is a cheap ploy but this blog, like the Bush administration, is not bound by the Geneva Convention.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Voyeur Nation Revisted

Good lord, do we have to be subjected to this crap endlessly? Who the fuck cares?
NEW YORK (CNN) -- He says it's true. She says it's not.

Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey says he and his wife Dina Matos McGreevey used to engage in three-way sex with his ex-aide and driver.

Dina Matos McGreevey has denied the allegation.

The former aide, Teddy Pedersen, told the New York Post and New Jersey's Star-Ledger he began having threesomes with the McGreeveys -- a routine "hard-core consensual sex orgy" they called the "Friday Night Special" -- in the late 1990s during Dina and Jim's courtship, and that the trysts continued after the couple's marriage in 2000, the papers reported online Sunday. [Blah, blah, sex, blah, sex, blah]

Who cares? Oh yeah, the voyeur nation. We pay good money to elect and support these people, we should get some titillating payoff, right?

Step right up folks, see Vitter, see McGreevey, see Craig, see Spitzer, and observe The Blue Dress! Politics and war and the economy and health care are boring, but naughty sex is the most awesomest. Media whores indeed.

Update: I no more than publish this post when I see this.
NEW YORK - Gov. NEW YORK - Gov. David Patterson who took over the state's top job Monday after Eliot Spitzer resigned amid a prostitution scandal, has admitted he and his wife Michelle had affairs during a rough patch in their marriage several years ago, a newspaper reported.

Great Illinois Corn Fake

The so-called Great Illinois Corn Flake (it’s actually a Frosted Flake!) doesn’t really look all that much like Illinois if you ask me.

In fact, if you rotate it, I think it look more like South Carolina.
And if you're trying to market the flake as the splitting image of Illinois, why would you provide size perspective using a dime instead of the Lincoln side of a penny? With Lincoln’s mug right next to it, state by association might help in suspending disbelief.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Family Politics

Very interesting exchange between Eric Zorn and the eldest (and liberal!) daughter of conservative Jim Oberweis. Excerpt from Jenni O. [Oberweis] Roberts:

Being the daughter of Jim Oberweis has not been easy in the last few months. Some might think that would be related to the differences in our political beliefs (I am very liberal in a family that thinks liberal is a bad word). Others might think that it's never easy being his daughter, according to what has been published about him. Still others would assume that my life has always been easy and I just don't appreciate that. All those assumptions are wrong.

Any of you who think your dad is a great guy, please try to imagine how it would feel if people who share your values continuously berated hm and made comments about "hating" the "Milk Dud". If you had a heart, you'd probably feel the need to stick up for him.

I must preface this by saying that I realize my dad put himself out there. I also realize that he has some political views with which you--and I --disagree. That being said, you don't know my dad. He's a good person with a lot of integrity about doing the right thing.

He and I don't always agree about what the right thing is, but he can debate his position with logical, fair arguments. So can I. So we don't frequently change each other's mind. But we do help the other see both sides of issues more clearly.

I was raised to stand up for what I believe in -- even when that meant standing up to him. And today I am standing up because I believe in him. I believe that you don't know him like I do, and that news coverage has made him seem to be a lesser man than I know him to be.

The personal attacks serve no purpose, and I promise they are hurtful to his family. And how do you make a case to stop the political negativity when the press generates such personal negativity?

Go read the whole thing, it's well worth your time.

Political divisions within families are always tricky but when one of the family members is running for office it makes things particularly difficult. I'm glad I'm not in Jenni's situation.

I personally loathe the politics of many of my family and friends, but I love them all the same. Even for political junkies, people are more important than positions.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Floating an Idea

Dan has a great one: Spfldbloggers puts together a float for next year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in Springfield. I envision something like this.

Nothing fancy, of course. And I get to be the beer drinking rabbit.

Friday Beer Blogging: Obligatory Green Beer Edition

First let me insert my little protest and say the the best Irish beer isn't green at all, and shouldn't be:

Having said that, 'tis a fine American tradition to turn the rivers of Chicago and all beer everywhere green for a day.

And how does one make green Beer? It's not as easy as you think. Well, yes it is. Courtesy of Slashfood:
No special process is involved in producing this St. Patrick's Day novelty drink. Simply add 5-6 drops of green food coloring to your beer and gently stir. Go for a bright color because a yellow-ish green is off putting no matter how fast you plan to down your drink. It is also best to go with lighter ales as opposed to a dark stout, like Guinness. To get a green color out of a Guinness, you would have to add enough food coloring to turn your teeth green when you take a sip.
Yeah, leave the Guinness alone. Pollute the Miller Lite, no harm done there. Speaking of Guinness, le's looka t some more.

Oooooh yeah. But this post is about green beer.

OK, done with that. Well, one more.

Have a great weekend! And don't drink until you're green.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Vomit-ware of the Whale Variety

Last week, I put up a post about how I’m not upgrading to this new version of some software at work because it’s been declared bad news by other users around the world. Today, an official from the company that makes the software sent out a message to the online user group stating that they were very sorry about the problems and they’re working on it and there’ll be a new release soon, yada, yada, yada.

Well, one of the users took the opportunity to express a dissenting opinion and responded to the company man, in part, this way:
Yes there are some entertaining bugs here and there in [the old] version 4.5…

These v4.5 buglets are about as annoying as a pet that sometimes steals your socks; the problems with…v5 are more like coming home from work and finding your doors and windows missing, whale vomit in the living room, the roof half off and a smoking hole where the washer and dryer used to be.

Displeased software users are so bitchy.

Stipulated: Bloggers Are Nerds

Atrios says what few of us want to confront:

I long ago stopped really caring about how those weird creatures called bloggers are caricatured in the media, but I do find one aspect of it fascinating. There is a complete inability of writers to get beyond a decades old stereotype of the "computer nerd." You know, bloggers use computers! Nerds use computers! Bloggers are nerds!
This stereotype really does exist, and I think it’s worse than that. I sometimes avoid the fact that I blog because blogging has gotten kind of diminished reputation among the very large non-blogging and non- blog reading populace. Sure, part of it is the “nerdy” aspect, but I also get this blogging-is-stupid-and-egotistical-and-who-really-gives-a-fuck-what-you-think-about-anything vibe too.

Maybe I’m just self-conscious, but I get the feeling friends and family indulge the crazy blogging thing and just roll their eyes when I leave the room. I feel like a Civil War reenactor walking around in my Confederate uniform. Its viewed as hobby by mental illness. Hey, crazy Uncle Dave has a blog, tee-hee.

The Making of a Blog Post

Now if I could make a living off blogging like Atrios, I’m guessing it would be more respectable. But since I get no compensation, it’s just a silly waste of time.

The Wires

See, the electrical problem at the state fair gounds isn’t all bad for Springfield; a local company gets to fix the problem for $1.8 million!

But seriously, how do you Blago/Chicago paranoids figure that happened and the contract not given to a Chicago company?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New York Has All the Luck

It looks like New York governor Eliot Spitzer was not well behaved and has now resigned. Just think, all this talk of recalls and impeachment here in Illinois wouldn’t be necessary of Rod were a little less judicious with his rod.

On the other hand, he would probably still be too politically tone deaf to think he might have to actually quit under such circumstances.

Obama Really Was Here Pt. 2

MSNBC last night had a fawning one-hour documentary on the political career of Barack Obama. It looked like it was part a series and I’m guessing that there will be similar shows on both Clinton and McCain. It would be as easy to fill an hour with nice stuff about both of the other contenders and I hope that’s what they do (have done). Otherwise the Obama piece comes off as little more than political propaganda. The Obama campaign couldn’t have put together a more appealing piece for their candidate.

Anyway, a good portion of the show focused on Obama’s time here in Springfield, and it, among other things, indicated he did participate in the legislators’ card games as reported by my lobbyist acquaintance.
There was also plenty of footage from the morning Obama announced his candidacy from the steps of the Old State Capitol. Considering the trajectory of the Obama candidacy, I’m now glad I endured the unbelievably cold temperatures that morning to be part of that crowd. It was history in the making.

Look What Just Flu In

Great. For the first time in years we have plenty of flu vaccine and it turns out not to be of much use.

…this year’s flu vaccine, formulated by drug companies far in advance of flu season, doesn’t seem to be as effective in targeting the influenza strains running rampant in Illinois and nationwide, according to Dr. Craig Conover, medical director of health protection for the state Department of Public Health.

I’m not blaming anyone, it’s just too bad. But why this later in the story?

It’s not too late to get a flu shot, and the Sangamon County Department of Public Health has plenty of vaccine available at 2501 N. Dirksen Parkway and 1415 E. Jefferson St., according to department director Jim Stone.

But the shots take two weeks to begin producing benefits and at least six weeks before reaching peak effectiveness, so Stone said people should consult their doctor on whether getting a flu shot will be worth the effort.
Are we expecting another strain of the flu to hit? If not, why bother?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mary Ann, Meet Mary Jane

Another Gilligan’s Island cast member loses their way and succumbs to the demon weed.

DRIGGS, Idaho - Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann on "Gilligan's Island," is serving six months' unsupervised probation after allegedly being caught with marijuana in her car.

She was sentenced Feb. 29 to five days in jail, fined $410.50 and placed on probation after pleading guilty to one count of reckless driving.Under a plea agreement, three misdemeanor counts — driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance — were dropped.

On Oct. 18, Teton County sheriff's Deputy Joseph Gutierrez arrested Wells as she was driving home from a surprise birthday party that was held for her. According to the sheriff's office report, Gutierrez pulled Wells over after noticing her swerve and repeatedly speed up and slow down. When Gutierrez asked about a marijuana smell, Wells said she'd just given a ride to three hitchhikers and had dropped them off when they began smoking something. Gutierrez found half-smoked joints and two small cases used to store marijuana.
Wasn’t Bob Denver (Gilligan) busted for pot too? Yes he was, in 1998. And later he died. Let that be a lesson to you, kids. You too, May Ann.

Stealth Fighter Retired Today

I didn’t know this.

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- The world's first attack aircraft to employ stealth technology is slipping quietly into history.

The inky black, angular, radar-evading F-117, which spent 27 years in the Air Force arsenal secretly patrolling hostile skies from Serbia to Iraq, will be put in mothballs next month in Nevada.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, which manages the F-117 program, will have an informal, private retirement ceremony Tuesday with military leaders, base employees and representatives from Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

Fifty-nine F-117s were made; 10 were retired in December 2006 and 27 since then, the Air Force said. Seven of the planes have crashed, one in Serbia in 1999.
Huh. It doesn’t seem that long ago that the mystery and secrecy surrounding the F-117 was finally revealed after years of rumors and speculation. Model airplanes were even sold that guessed as to what it looked like while it was still top secret and being kept from public view. Now it’s just junk.

I had a great picture of the pilot of an F-117 getting out of his plane’s cockpit after its arrival for the first ever visit of a stealth fighter to Springfield’s (then) Capitol Airport. It was in the very early 90s IIRC. The plane was here to participate in that year’s Air Rendezvous air show. I even took the day off of work to watch the Stealth's arrival. That picture is forever lost, however, thanks to some messiness associated with my divorce some years later. Bitch.

I think I also remember there being some rumors that the F-117 that came to Springfield that year had been improperly guarded after hours while in a hanger here. Supposedly, people, including civilians, were allowed to walk on the plane, potentially causing damage to its radar absorbing (and expensive) skin. I don’t know if those rumors were true or not but it sure feeds into the notion that we can fuck up anything in Springfield.

Since then I’ve seen the F-117 at several air shows, but I guess I never will again. Wow.

The Venting Section is Open

From the SJ-R online. Awesome.

Consider my comments link below a path to the “Bitch the Fuckers Out” section.

Old Hair Days

I got nothin’ this morning except this: Remember the good ol’ days when our biggest gripe against Rod Blagojevich was his hair?

(Also see this from Mr. Dope). Don’t hear much about that these days.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fate Not Accompli?

Could it be that representation by Schock the Monkey is not inevitable?
For reasons I have expressed before, I don't think [Aaron] Schock is as strong as his supporters think he is. And I also do not think opponent Colleen Callahan is a weak candidate in the least. And I agree that if Barack Obama heads the ticket, Callahan is is really good shape in November.
The odd thing about the 18th Congressional District race for me is that it largely has nothing to do with our little corner of Springfield. This a Peoria district. Therefore, it's hard to know the main characters in this play or even to know much about the plot. So when a Peorian throws me a bit of hope like this, I'll take it. Go Callahan, whoever you are.

Living in Another Era

When I saw this headline…

Report: Beatles , Apple Reach $400 Million Deal
..I thought there had been some lingering and decades-old legal action between The Beatles (half of whom aren’t even alive anymore) and Apple Records.

But it turns out I’m just an aging dumbass:

Multiple UK news outlets are reporting today that Sir Paul McCartney has reached a deal with Apple to offer the Beatles catalog on the iTunes Store. The deal, reportedly worth $400 million, comes after months and months of speculation and relentless torrents of rumors. As best as we can tell, this is the real deal, and will lead to the most popular band of all time finally finding its way onto an online marketplace.
Oh, that Apple.

Obama Really Was Here


I’ve be puzzled by the lack of antidotal tales of encounters around Springfield with the once State Senator Barack Obama. I mean, he was here quit a bit for years, someone must remember him. Well over the weekend I finally heard of an Obama encounter.

A friend of a friend is a lobbyist here in town. I’ve met this lobbyist a number of times through my friend, but he’s little more than an acquaintance to me. Anyway, this lobbyist told my friend that he once played cards with Barack Obama. That is, Obama was part of a larger card game in which this lobbyist was also involved. The lobbyist told my friend that Obama smoked alot of cigarettes, but did not drink. And I have to assume there was plenty to drink at the game or this lobbyist would not have been there.

That’s it. Obama played cards, smoked but didn’t drink. Not the juiciest of all tales but, geez, considering the dearth of such stories I have encountered, I’ll take it.

Where’s the Corned Beef?

Lots of Springfield eating establishments are going to be cooking up corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day, and that’s great, I love good corned beef. What I want to know is, beyond St. Pat’s Day, where can you get the best corned beef in Springfield. D’Arcy’s Pint has a good year ‘round corned beef and cabbage dinner but is there somewhere better?

When I lived in Chicago, good corned beef was not hard to find in delis and bars (the latter often had particularly good corned beef on St. Pat’s). The “corned beef” you get a most grocery store delis around here is crap. It has little resemblance to real corned beef. So what say you; where can I get the best corned beef in the area?

Bonus question: I also like corned beef hash, so what restaurant around here sells a good plate of that? The stuff in the can is just not very good.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

IRS: Irrational Rebate Statement

We got our Dear Taxpayer letter yesterday! How 'bout you?

WASHINGTON - At a cost of nearly $42 million, the IRS wants you to know: Your check is almost in the mail.

The Internal Revenue Service is spending the money on letters to alert taxpayers to expect rebate checks as part of the economic stimulus plan.

The notices are going out this month to an estimated 130 million households who filed returns for the 2006 tax year, at a cost $41.8 million, IRS spokesman John Lipold confirmed.

That works out to about 32 cents to print, process and mail each letter. It doesn't include the tab for another round of mailings planned for those who didn't file tax returns last year but may still qualify for a rebate.

Democrats accused the Bush administration of wasting time and postage.

"There are countless better uses for $42 million than a self-congratulatory mailer that gives the president a pat on the back for an idea that wasn't even his," Sen. Charles Schumer said Friday, arguing the IRS could more effectively spend the money to catch tax cheats.

Or they could have just tacked that extra 32 cents onto my check. Seriously though, why not just include the info sheet with the check?

Oberweis Extends Losing Streak

Yeah, maybe the Dems are on a continuing roll.
CHICAGO - A longtime Republican district [in Northern Illinois] fell to the Democrats Saturday when a wealthy businessman and scientist snatched former House Speaker Dennis Hastert's congressional seat in a closely watched special election.

Democrat Bill Foster won 53 percent of the vote compared to 47 percent for Republican Jim Oberweis. With all 568 precincts reporting, Foster had 52,010 votes to Oberweis' 46,988.

Or maybe Oberwiess just can't ever win a fucking thing, ever.

Friday, March 07, 2008

MacArthur: I Shall Return

I may write some more on the topic later, but for now check out the Illinois Times article on south MacArthur Blvd.

I grew up near there and it was the place our family conducted the majority its business in the 1960s and 1970s, from fast food to banking, from toys to haircuts. Even as recently as the late ‘90s, I frequently used the retailers on the stretch of road from South Grand to Wabash. It’s sad to see it in the state it’s in.

There Are No Bad Applications, Only Useless Ones

There is a particular piece of software that I rely heavily on at work. A new version of the application came out recently but I held off upgrading until I was sure the new version was relatively bug-free.

I belong to a user group that shares experiences, problems, and solutions with other users. The feedback on the new version has been overwhelmingly negative. But to be fair, there is the occasional bit of positive feedback that shows up. I was particularly interested in this glass-half-full comment that came across yesterday:

"I like the new version too, I just can't use it because it doesn't work."
See, just cuz it doesn’t do what you want it to do, doesn’t make it BAD.

Friday Beer Blogging: Belt Buckle Edition

After reading, and then blogging about, the Southern Illinois thieves whose crime spree included stealing belt buckles, I wondered how belt buckles could be considered valuable enough to steal. I have no information on the recovered belt buckles, but I think I have anclue on what might make a belt buckle theft-worthy: Beer Belt Buckles!

A really valuable beer belt buckle would have to include a built-in beer opener.

This is what it looks like when worn. That's hot! The buckle not the dude.

I'm not sure I'd want to be seen wearing a buckle advertising a lame beer. Maybe George W. Bush could wear this after inauguration day next January.
This one is more my style and it has the opener.

Have a great weekend! Buckle down and pour yourself a cold one.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Years Old, But Worth Worrying About

Sure, and when everyone really does die, we're going to wish we had listened to the bathroom wall.
Police have determined that a threatening message reported a few days ago on the wall of a bathroom at Lincoln Land Community College is several years old.

The message, found in a women's bathroom in Menard Hall, read, “Everyone dies,” and was followed by the number “15.” The message was reported to police in late February.

The Springfield Bathroom CSI Unit cracks, er, figures out another one.

There’s No Crying in Football

Brett Favre was blubbering all over my TV a little while ago while formally announcing his retirement.

Somehow when (if ever) I retire I don’t think those will be tears of sadness.

Are We Done With Snow?

A few notes on the snow we got Tuesday:

First, the winner of the latest forecasting throwdown was the National Weather Service. They beat The Weather Channel in snowfall prediction. I haven’t kept a running score on who got right most often, but my sense is that, at least for this season, it’s been about even.

Having said that, if I was blogging just a few minutes north or west of Springfield, it would have gone the other way. We got over four inches of snow here while in places like Athens, Petersburg and Pleasant Plains, they got nothing.

March snow storms like Tuesday’s aren’t exactly rare but they usually tend to stand out in one’s mind because it is so late in the season. With this storm coming on the heals of a snowy February, it didn’t seem so out of place, just more of an almost continuous winter. Although having a brief surge of warm temps the 70s just two days before still made it hard to take.

My guess (hope, really) is this was the last measurable snow event of the season. Or at least the last one where I need to use my shovel. Get your lawn mowers ready.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Swag-itude

You might be a redneck if...
CARBONDALE - The arrest of a suspicious driver and his passenger led police to a trove of stolen property last Friday and in the process, police say, "resolved" the investigation of 43 auto burglaries committed throughout Carbondale.
...police recovered a haul of stolen property large enough to more than cover the tops of two full-length folding tables. Stereo decks, sub-woofers, belt buckles, CDs, laptop computers, textbooks and hunting gear were just a few of the items police recovered.
Always keep your valuable waist-ware in a secure place.

Barack Obama is the Antichrist

I don't believe that, but according to this, saying so is a good way to pump up the hit count.

Besides, everyone knows Prince Harry is the real AC. Duh.

The Obama Zombie Cult

I also, as per usual, agree with Atrios:

I don't have a problem understanding why some people support Obama and some people support Clinton. It really puzzles me why lots of people don't get that simple fact. The point is not that the candidates are identical and no one should be a supporter or care who wins, it's that you should recognize that the other person's supporters aren't necessarily deluded or stupid. You may disagree with their reasons, but they have them.
I haven’t said anything about this yet because I was thinking this primary would be ending soon. But since it isn’t, let me weigh in.

Yes, I’m more of an Obama supporter than a Clinton supporter. There are a number of carefully thought out reason for that. However, I have no especially strong feelings against Clinton. I just think Obama would be a better candidate and president. Not by much, but better. And I certainly hold nothing against anyone who would see things the other way.

Nothing against them, that is, until they start bashing me, not personally, but as an Obama supporter. And, man, there have been a ton of vicious attacks from the Clinton camp against Obama supporters. Apparently, we are all zombies in a cult. We have handed our free will over to Mr. Obama and are mesmerized by his shininess. Sorry but that’s just bullshit and for the Clinton folks to continue along this line of attack isn’t going to help ingratiate an Obama supporter to your candidate now or later. Oh wait, we’re all cultist and couldn't rethink our position or rally to their side in November anyway.

I’m sure there’s some degree of nastiness going the other way as well, but it seems to me most of it has less to do with attacking Clinton supporters as it does with the usual and expected attacking of the candidate. Going after the supporters of your primary rival accomplishes exactly nothing good in the long run. Cut it out, everyone.

Primarily Bad

As per usual, I agree with Digby:
I realize there was once a time when delegates and conventions were the way the big boys decided the nominee but I don't actually get why, in the modern world, the party doesn't just hold primary elections under the same rules everywhere and then count the votes and declare a winner. Why all these arcane rules that end up making democracy look like some kind of parlor game? I don't think it's good for the country.

We could either go to having the primaries on one day nationally or keep them spread out, but use the running vote total to pick a winner. Screw caucuses. Screw delegates (especially super delegates). Hell, screw the conventions; just let the winner be chosen by popular vote. If no one gets a majority of the votes (over 50%), the candidate with the most votes wins, or devise a national run-off system between the two top vote getters. Anything but what we have now.

God is a Bullet

The Sangamon County sheriff’s office is running out of ammunition? Wow, I didn’t realize they went through so much of it. The SJ-R article doesn’t say how the ammo is being expended. It can’t be from frequent shootouts; we’d of heard something about that. I suppose it’s attrition from target practice.

Oh well, just one more wonderful side effect of the glorious war in Iraq.

I do have give Sheriff Neil Williamson the Analogy of the Year award for this gem:

“Ammunition is one of our basic tools. It’s like a carpenter and nails. If a carpenter doesn’t have nails to build a house, then they’re out of business. This is one of the tools we have to have.”
Thanks Neil, now I understand! Although I think you could still provide basic services without ammo. I understand having guns gives your guys a certain amount of credibility in violent matters, most of the police work done by the sheriffs police is done without guns. Again, not that they should have to do without, but they need to take that up with the war nuts in Washington. My guess is that Neil, a good Republican, voted for George W. Bush. That makes it hard for me to have much sympathy for Williamson’s dilemma. He should have been more concerned with the community he serves.

And since I brought it up, God is a Bullet by Concrete Blonde here.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Supplemental Beer Blogging: Facebook Edition

Richard Roeper observes Facebook and finds:

Women who are in relationships almost always feature a photo of themselves with their significant other.

Regardless of relationship status, guys often feature a photo of themselves with a mug of beer.

And his point is??

Waste Cutting Zealots in Action

Following up on my post below, I am reminded of an actual experience I had with crusading waste-cutters.

Several years ago, I was part of committee assembled to promote the passage of a school referendum that would raise taxes in the district for the operation of the schools. At one public hearing, a group of waste-cutters wanted to go over the budget line item by line item so that they could find the waste they were sure was there and head off any tax increase. The schools district’s superintendent agreed to discuss any budget item. I don’t think they found much of anything until they hit one vaguely-worded item that even the superintendent was unable to explain without looking into it.

It was a fair amount of money but nothing even close to what was going to be needed to close the gap. It didn’t matter, the crusading waste-cutters seized on this –AH, HA, WASTE! So the item immediately went on their list. Turns out, after the superintendent dug into the matter and got back to everyone via e-mail, the vaguely worded line item was something like liability insurance. Not really waste. Oh well.

I guess my only point is, it’s easy to cry “WASTE!” but when it comes down to it, there often isn’t that much there. Add to that, one man’s waste is another man’s indispensable program and you really can’t count on getting rid of “waste” to solve governmental financial problems. Note that the federal budget, I think, has more openings for charges of “waste” (for example, Iraq) than does a local governmental body, but in general I think the same dynamics apply and you are never going to balance the budget through elimination of “waste”. It’s really time to face that fact.