So I’m writing today for one reason, and one reason only: because it is too cold to walk back to my apartment. Yes, despite global warming’s best efforts, it is 10 degrees outside, with -6 degree windchill. People always think global warming is such a bad thing; I think the grass is always greener on the other side. Except in this case, of course, because the other side is a world with no global warming and thus another ice age, apparently.
- Barack Obama’s inauguration (which is next Tuesday, finally. Doesn’t it seem like this whole coronation has been going on for years?) is going to cost a lot of money. For those too lazy to read the article, the figure is $160 million, according to this and a few other sources. (Interestingly enough, you can’t find a cost of the inauguration anywhere on CNN, NYTimes, etc. Weird, eh?) For a nation with an economy that “is in a crisis not seen since the Great Depression,” this seems a little excessive, particularly when the same Democrats who are okay with this huge party were not in the same free-spending mood when Bush took office in 2004.
The whole attitude with Obama taking office really disturbs me. Not only is CNN covering Obama’s rise to power like ESPN covered the Boston Celtics and New England Patriots last season (“Isn’t it great kids? Now you know that all it takes to have a winning team is millions and millions of dollars and a league that gives you the calls you need to win!”), but it’s almost like the nation is at a standstill while we wait for Obama to take office. And why wouldn’t we be, when when he states that all we need to do is wait and the government will bail us out?
The attitude should be completely different: if you’re down and out, work your way up. If you’re at the top, think of the people who are down and out and make sure you keep working so you stay up. I think the biggest stereotype of conservatives is that we don’t care about the people who are less fortunate than us. This is completely untrue: instead, we rely on ourselves and our churches and our communities to help out the less fortunate when they need it, instead of waiting for the government to do it. And unlike the government, we expect that our resources are used wisely, not squandered away before getting in line for the next check.
- In other “one-guy-is-treated-as-a-savior-when-really-he’s-not-all-that-great” news, Steve Jobs is taking a leave of absence from Apple. Coupled with modest sales in the holiday season, Apple is now without its leader at least until June (but who knows).
- It’s really cold outside. Like, really really cold.
- I don’t really follow the Cavs much, but its hard not to notice their impressive start: 30-6, after Tuesday’s win in Memphis. It would be really nice if LeBron stayed in Cleveland, but I honestly don’t see it. One benefit of the NBA vs. MLB, however, is the salary cap: LeBron, the Cavs, the Knicks, the Celtics, etc. know that there is an absolute ceiling, so if LeBron is able to win the eastern conference with the Cavs this year (or maybe win it all) he’ll know that Cleveland gives him one of the better (if not best) shot at being a perennial contender.
As an aside, I recently attended a Cavs game for the first time in a couple years (last Wednesday, against the Bobcats). It’s a completely different experience than any baseball game I’ve ever been to; baseball games, I think, let you just kind of blend in and enjoy the game, where the Cavs game (and maybe all basketball games in general) are constantly fighting to keep you engaged in the game. I have no problem watching the game with my full attention, but I don’t particularly like being shot at with T-shirts every timeout. And I think this is mostly a function of being in a smaller space indoors, but I left the Cavs game with a headache.
- Expect my pre-season report on the Indians soon, including my projected starting lineups, rotations and bullpens.
I think that’s all from the frozen tundra that is Cleveland, Ohio. Hope you’re all staying warm, wherever you are, and it’s good to be back in the blogosphere.
I’m going to try taking notes on this debate, or at least parts of this debate. At the end, I’ll upload my notes for your pleasure. For the record, I’m watching CNN’s coverage. (I’m not sure why, CNN has become so biased lately I might as well watch MSNBC.)
- 8:42 PM: I’m sick and tired of seeing Paul Begala’s face. Seriously, does anyone care what this guy thinks?
- 8:46 PM: I remember why I watch CNN – Campbell Brown is hot. She’s misguided, feminist and like most CNN anchors, biased, but still hot.
- 8:47 PM: The format is kind of weird this time: two minutes for each candidate to answer, and then five minutes as kind of a back-and-forth. CNN people are fretting (and I agree) that this favors McCain.
- 8:49 PM: Poor John King – they only let him talk about numbers. Indians are now down 3-2, by the way.
- 8:52 PM: $10 to anyone who gets inappropriate ASCII art on CNN.
- 8:54 PM: “Bill Bennett, how excited are you?” Yes, we really care that Bill Bennett is happy. I’m happy he’s happy. Are you happy he’s happy?
- 8:57 PM: Ted Kennedy had a seizure, went to and got out of the hospital on the same day? That’s kind of bizarre, especially for someone his age. Jim Lehrer has taken the stage.
- 8:59 PM: Who’s this Michael Ware guy, and how long has he been living under a rock?
- 9:00 PM: THEY’RE LATE!
- 9:00 PM: Anyone want to play a drinking game? You have to drink every time Barack Obama says “change”. And make sure its not alcohol, you might be dead by the end of the debate.
- 9:01 PM: Oh come on, CNN. Please don’t show that ridiculous bar at the bottom. We’re very impressed with your technology. We promise. Just don’t shove it in our face.
- 9:02 PM: Do they seriously use a coin?
- 9:03 PM: It’s GO TIME!
- 9:04 PM: One minute in, and the first cliche is in: Wall St./Main St.
- 9:05 PM: Bush proposed a regulatory overhaul in 2003. No one seems to remember this.
- 9:07 PM: The Wall St./Main St. phrase rears its ugly head again.
- 9:07 PM: Hehe. Package.
- 9:08 PM: Neither of them really answered the question, and McCain ended on oil. THE BAILOUT IS A BAD IDEA!
- 9:09 PM: ANSWER THE QUESTION! DON’T ASK YOURSELF ANOTHER ONE!
- 9:10 PM: That’s an interesting parallel – I never knew Eisenhower wrote two letters. And that was for a situation that he couldn’t be blamed for as easily.
- 9:11 PM: This feels a little contrived.
- 9:14 PM: These guys are basically blaming each other but saying the same thing, and the little Democratic bar goes up when Obama speaks and the Republican bar goes up when McCain speaks. Is anyone even listening to the other guy?
- 9:15 PM: McCain is throwing the Republicans under the bus and I’m okay with it.
- 9:19 PM: Early on, it seems like Obama is playing it somewhat cautious. McCain is going for the throat. Whoa, wait a minute, Obama just interrupted him.
- 9:19 PM: Why can no one get facts correct? Why can no one agree on FACTS?
- 9:20 PM: This format’s hysterical. The candidates can’t figure out who to look at. Lehrer’s trying to make them fight it out face to face.
- 9:21 PM: McCain just highlighted the difference between his and Obama’s tax policy: Obama fights for the everyman, McCain fights for the people who might not make the most money, but work hard (the small businessman).
- 9:22 PM: If only Hillary had won, this debate would have gotten interesting much faster.
- 9:25 PM: They should really let the audience cheer and boo.
- 9:27 PM: Increasing production at home? As in… drill?
- 9:28 PM: Education. Great. How do you intend to fix education?
- 9:28 PM: Not a single specific in that entire answer from Obama.
- 9:29 PM: McCain makes a joke and the Democratic response bar goes way down. Awesome.
- 9:31 PM: Neither of these guys answered the question. Maybe Jim Lehrer should be president…
- 9:33 PM: Early childhood education? Seriously? That’s not the government’s job!
- 9:33 PM: NUCLEAR POWER. YES.
- 9:34 PM: It powers the DeLorean time machine, now it can power your minivan!
- 9:36 PM: Wasn’t tonight about foreign policy?
- 9:36 PM: That’s the second time McCain mentioned taking care of the veterans – an important issue that we haven’t heard much about.
- 9:37 PM: “Orgy”. Good word. Obama continues to try to tie Bush to McCain.
- 9:38 PM: “Miss Congeniality” again. I see a Sandra Bullock movie night in these guys’ future.
- 9:39 PM: McCain should say, “my VP is hotter. End of debate.”
- 9:40 PM: Petraeus shout-out!
- 9:41 PM: Bin Laden is used a lot as an argument, that he’s never been found. Does finding him really end the War on Terror? Does it really do anything to the stability of the region? No.
- 9:43 PM: Yes, thank you. Let’s talk about what’s happening next, not what happened in 2003.
- 9:44 PM: I remember in 2006 when Petraeus was getting roasted by the Democrats… oh how times have changed. No one said it would be quick and easy!
- 9:49 PM: This is a pretty heated exchange.
- 9:50 PM: Everyone opposed a surge in Iraq because it would put more troops in danger. But everyone seems to support a similar surge in Afghanistan.
- 9:53 PM: Pakistan? Are you kidding me?
- 9:55 PM: Petraeus = hero unit?
- 10:00 PM: Yay, bracelet comparison!
- 10:02 PM: McCain is getting a bit more animated.
- 10:03 PM: Ooo, Iran. Here we go.
- 10:04 PM: It’s amazing how little we’ve talked about China and Russia so far, considering their issues this summer. Also North Korea.
- 10:06 PM: Hehe. “Iran”-ically.
- 10:06 PM: That’s a word I didn’t expect to hear tonight. Can you guess what it is?
- 10:08 PM: McCain just butchered Mr. Iran’s name (what, you think I can spell it?)
- 10:09 PM: McCain’s tone here is almost incredulous, it’ll be interesting to see what the reaction is to that.
- 10:13 PM: “I don’t even have a seal yet.” BAM!
And there you have it. I kind of quit taking notes as the discussion got more heated near the end. Overall, I feel like it was really too close for the media to admit John McCain won, but there were some spots where Obama was definitely ahead. We’ll see how it plays out. Now I’m looking forward to Sarah Palin vs. Joe Biden in round 1.5.
I should make this a daily thing.
Barack Obama is at it again, folks. This time, he has reversed his position on offshore drilling, saying he is “willing to compromise” as long as there are higher taxes on oil companies.
First of all, why do you think he changed his mind? Is it because he’s suddenly had a change of heart, and suddenly he noticed offshore drilling would be a good idea? If you ask me, I think he saw a recent poll which stated that 69% of Americans support offshore drilling as opposed to 30% opposed. Let’s say you’re Barack Obama: what would you pick? Perhaps you, like most Americans, know that offshore drilling isn’t a solution to the problem, but like most Americans, are sick and tired of paying high gas prices. Or perhaps Barack Obama, being the inexperienced politician that he is, is desperate for approval.
Barack has already tried to spin this as “Change? What change? I never change! I hate change!” (That article is where I pulled that poll from, too.) It’s one thing when you change your mind, it’s another term when you attempt to say you didn’t; the term I’m thinking of is “Orwellian“.
Let’s say now that we all agree with His Holiness, and that offshore drilling is a good idea as long as we tax the oil companies. Does anyone else believe the oil companies will cooperate with this strategy? Here’s a little economics lesson, from someone who has never taken an ecomomics class: when the price of oil goes up as a result of taxes, those friendly oil companies will pass those higher costs along to you! Obama doesn’t seem to get this. In fact, he must think those oil companies are pretty nice guys, overall, based on his plan to have the oil companies stimulate the economy they’re screeching to a halt.
By the way, you may have noticed I’m pulling these articles from CNN.com bloggers with the rare article from the main CNN.com. The bloggers, I’d say, are generally fairly liberal, and the article writers are definitely liberal. But even their liberal bias can’t mask this guy’s confusion over who he is, what he wants, and how he intends to do it.
Today I’m blogging from high atop the Nord building on campus, on the fifth floor with a comfy cubic meter of space in one of the hallways. I like sitting here sometimes when I’m bored because it’s quiet, it’s peaceful, and it makes me look like a hobo, which I’m a huge fan of.
- An executive decision from the offices of Jimmy Sawczuk: no more regular game recaps. They didn’t seem to be that popular, they’re kind of a pain to write because I usually have to adhere to that format, and writing those every day kept me away from blogging about other things. Never fear, if there’s a game I want to talk about, I’ll talk about it.
- While on the topic of the game recaps, I’d like to thank aimable for his comment on my last post. Part of his comment, the part before he starts spamming, reads:
Yankees are the best team in the MLB, as far as I m concerned, we have great fans, and really the whole city of New York will say that. In New York if you want to watch the Yankees in style good luck with that, all the Yankees premium seats get sold out and are highly priced.
Why, aimable, would you ever say that? They’re not even the best in their division, much less the rest of the league. I like the Yankees hitters (when they’re hitting anyway) and I like the back end of the bullpen, but most of that team is just old – and as much as it pains me to say this, Boston should wipe the floor with them this year.
aimable did manage to prove my point about Yankees fans and Red Sox Nation however: no matter what the numbers say, no matter what the facts are, their teams, to them, are the absolute best in baseball. Right now, the Oakland Athletics are three games better than the Yankees, and you don’t see them walking around saying, “worship the Oakland A’s!”. I don’t doubt the Yankees will make the playoffs this year (although I think I had them missing the Wild Card to the Tigers), but I can’t imagine them getting out of the Division series.
- I noticed something new on CNN.com today. Next to a few of the headlines, they have a little T-shirt icon:
I can’t make this stuff up, folks. Seriously! You can have a T-shirt with the words: “Smuggled workers turned into slaves.” At first, I had to look at my calendar, I was sure it was an April Fool’s joke. But no, this is completely legitimate.
Now, I chose a headline that is controversial to show the bad side of this little ploy. But what’s the good side? Are there some Democrats just sitting on CNN.com 24/7 waiting for the headline: “Bush says he’s an idiot”, or maybe some Ron Paul supporters waiting for the headline: “Everyone cheated, Ron Paul wins by default”, or maybe some Mitt Romney supporters: “Romney washes his hair”? I can’t think of one good headline for a T-shirt. And by the way, CNN.com charges $15 per shirt; if you’re really that desperate, make your own shirt and you can write whatever you want! (And put pretty pictures, too, from what I hear…)
- Today is the last day of classes here at Case, meaning that in about one week (my last final is a week from tomorrow), I’ll be exactly 3/4 done with college. It’ll be nice to get out of this place and become a productive member of society again, and with any luck I’ll find a company who picks a name and sticks with it, unlike
CWRU Case Case Western Reserve UniversityCase Western Reserve.
- By the way, someone needs to teach the Democratic party how to do math, because between Obama and Clinton, someone is absolutely wrong when they say they’re winning. I’d say Obama has the edge right now, because of, you know, 5000 years of mathematical knowledge, but maybe when Hillary is president she’ll pass legislation banning advanced math so her win is justified.
In either case, you can’t have two candidates who are both winning. You can have candidate A beating candidate B, meaning candidate A is winning. You can have candidate B beating candidate A, meaning candidate B is winning. You can have a tie, meaning that no one is winning. Or, and I think this is the case lately, you can have candidate A and candidate B slapping each other like two middle schoolers over the stupidest little things, meaning they’re both losing.
Seriously, if you’re the Democratic party, how do you possibly justify not giving the nomination to Obama? He’s ahead. He’s going to stay ahead. Clinton can debate it all she wants, but in the end, under the system of rules agreed upon before the primaries began, Obama will be the winner.
I wonder why the Democratic party has superdelegates anyway. Not to pick sides or throw cheap shots, but superdelegates screams “Republican”. The Democratic party is all about equality in every aspect, almost to a point of socialism… except when it comes to picking a presidential nominee. If you were to read the beliefs of the Democratic party, with things as they are, it should say “The Democrats believe all people are created equal… except not all people.”
- Thank God, the NFL Draft is over. Now ESPN can get back to covering sports.
- Quote of the Day:
It’s one of the oldest laws in security: the strength of the security should only rely on the secrecy of the key, not the algorithm. We’ve known this forever, and yet people still do it. Don’t be one of those people.David Singer, MATH 408 professor
Indians play the Yankees tonight, going for the series win against the Bronx Bombers – it’ll be Aaron Laffey against Mike Mussina, who’s not the same pitcher these days. Let’s get the win, guys… put aimable in his place.
And by the way, I just realized I used the word “slaves” in this entry. Thus, if Google Ads decides to try and sell you slaves a few days from now, I feel it is my duty to inform you that slavery is in fact illegal and you shouldn’t do it. I wonder what the penalty is for Google if those ads were ever run though? …
Hello from the first floor of Kelvin Smith Library in the “heart of campus” of Case Western Reserve University! It’s sunny, about 40 degrees, and baseball season is less than 36 hours away from getting underway!
- On that note, I was watching the Indians play their final exhibition game of the spring thanks to a free preview of MLB.tv (don’t get me started…):
It was raining in Atlanta (actually, thunderstorming, which was kind of cool) so rather than risk injury to players they put the game on rain delay. Now, for those of you who don’t know, MLB.tv basically rebroadcasts the local network’s broadcast over the Internet, so I was watching the PeachtreeTV (I don’t know either, I guess Atlanta is like that) broadcast, and they switched into the rain delay programming…which was a rerun of Cheers. That’s right: for a minute (until MLB.tv realized what was happening) I was watching a rerun of Cheers on MLB.tv. The irony is amazing.
- In other sports news, the latest “Cinderella Story” Davidson destroyed Wisconsin last night. I watched most of that game (from a random bar in Parma) – it’d be pretty tough to beat a team that was raining down threes like Davidson was. They play UCLA next, so that story is probably over.
- And now a message to the voters that will be deciding our next president: you’re not voting for the candidate’s pastor, you’re voting for that candidate. Look, what Jeremiah Wright said (and perhaps what he believes) is wrong, but that doesn’t mean a) that Barack Obama believes the same thing by extension, and b) that the guy doesn’t have other good qualities that makes him a guy Obama would have hung around with all those years. Obama’s been defending himself since those videos surfaced – and he’s not even in them!
- From the Clinton campaign, Chelsea Clinton defended herself the other day against a Monica Lewinsky question. Basically, it was a fair question, but in Chelsea’s defense (she’s not as evil as her parents yet, it’s easier to defend her) it was a fair answer. I don’t know that Hillary has ever answered that question, but it’s certainly not Chelsea’s responsibility.
- While the Democrats are bickering about seemingly everything, John McCain is, all of the sudden, becoming less annoying. The fact is that he shouldn’t even be close in this race – he supports a war that most Americans do not support and on the number one issue (apparently) to most Americans, the economy, he “doesn’t know that much”. But the longer the Democrats fight this out, the better he does.
That’s NOT to say that I agree with Howard Dean (YEAHHHHHHHH!), that we should end the “fight” before the convention. Even worse, there is speculation within this piece that if the Democrats don’t resolve this that Al Gore will be at the top of the ticket with Obama or Clinton as the Vice President. First, how does that solve anything? Then they both are still fighting about who gets to be the VP. Secondly…are you kidding? What’s the point of a primary if we can just choose a new candidate at the convention? It’s like Al Gore is the father figure of the Democratic party (I don’t really know why, he hasn’t held public office in eight years) and he’d be saying, “well, you kids can’t settle this yourself so I’m going to settle it for you.”
- Saw this article on the front of CNN.com the other day. Now, yes, you feel sorry for the woman in the article, but notice a couple things. First, she somehow can afford all of that nice furniture and lamps in the background but not food for her family? And how is it possible that you go from $70000 a year to, “weeks later”, having no money for food? This is the point of having savings accounts and not racking up debt! As we enter these hard times with the economy, make sure you know what you’re reading, what the angle of the reporter is, and think about it a bit before jumping to any conclusions.
- Finally, the quote of the day:
MICHAEL: We can no longer be friends and when we talk about things here we must only discuss,ah, work associated things, and uh, we can consider this my retirement from comedy and in the future if I want to say something funny or witty or do an impression I will no longer, EVER, do any of those things.
JIM: Does that include “That’s what she said?”
JIM: Wow that is really hard…you really think you can go all day long?…well, you always left me satisfied and smiling, so…
MICHAEL: That’s what she said!
Hope everyone has a happy Saturday and a nice weekend!
I always have an hour break between my first two classes on Wednesday, and I think typing this blog is the only way I’ll be able to stay awake, so a couple cool things from the past three days to discuss.
First, the Super Bowl. People are calling it one of the greatest upsets of all time, and while I’m not sure about that, I am sure that it’s the greatest Super Bowl game I’ve ever seen, and probably will see for some time. Good for Eli Manning, too. Finally, he can get some of the critics off his back. The play that defined it for me was the one that probably defined it for everyone, where three Patriot pass-rushers had Manning sacked, and he somehow wrangled away from their grasp, set his feet, and threw a perfect pass to David Tyree which he pinned against his helmet as he fell to the ground. What a game.
As everyone knows, Super Tuesday was yesterday. I didn’t get to watch much of the coverage (AI is gonna’ kill me), but I was able to tune in to CNN and Fox News last night as I was going to sleep. Both networks seemed absolutely flabbergasted that Huckabee won anything, much less pretty much swept the south. It was fun to watch, because the media is doing all it can to get the Republicans down to a two-horse race, and Huckabee pulled himself into contention again yesterday (it’s a longshot, but there is a lot of backlash against McCain right now and it’s building). Also, way to go, Romney, suggesting that Huckabee concede; turns out he might have been right. :) As for what happens from here on out, I think it may be too late for Huckabee or Romney to win the nomination outright, but I think what might happen is that they could combine for enough delegates so that no one reaches the target of 1191, meaning that the Republican nominee would be decided during the Republican National Convention this summer.
As for the Democrats, it was good to see Obama continue that momentum. He’s still trailing, but this race was supposed to be over by now, so the fact that he’s very much alive definitely has to be a postiive for the Obama campaign.
Personally, I’m just working through all of the coursework of being a junior at Case. The aforementioned AI assignment was a rough one; it involved implementing three types of path-finding algorithms on grids that have obstacles and may vary in size. A cool project, but I didn’t finish until about 10 PM last night, which, considering the fact that was due today, was cutting it a tad close.
Speaking of code, I finally got hosting over at DreamHost, and created my cool little homework repository last night, as well as a repository for my projects (non-website code and video-editing stuff). I’m still working on ways to utilize all of that space; right now, I’m using about 600 MB of about 500 GB that I’m given, so I’m open to ideas.
That’s all I got for right now; should have some interesting project-related news in the near future.
So we’re down to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the Democratic party, versus John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee in the Republican party (I guess we can count Ron Paul if you really want). I’ve already stated who I would vote for in the primaries, and last night’s debate really showcased Huckabee’s fantastic oratory skills. He didn’t get a lot of facetime, (why? Huckabee is clearly still in this race, but CNN has already chosen its favorites and didn’t give Ron Paul or Huckabee much time to speak at all) but the little facetime he got I thought he used very effectively. But that’s the short version, here’s the long version of how they all did last night:
- Mitt Romney: He got the most speaking time of any of the four candidates but didn’t really say very much. Whether he was bickering with McCain about word choice used in early April or trying to state that he’s definitely not pro-choice, Romney did nothing to make me think he’s less of a slimeball than I think. Also, when McCain is talking, SHUT UP. Grade: C+
- John McCain: McCain’s got the momentum, the lead, the support of Giuliani, the Governator, and, as Romney pointed out, the liberal New York Times. So what did he do? He spent the evening attacking Romney for the stupidest little things. He came across as petty and childish. His voice didn’t show much passion (it never really has) but instead talking to the voters as equals he was talking above them, as if he knows what he’s doing and no one is gonna’ change his mind. And also, when Romney is talking, SHUT UP. Grade: D
- Ron Paul: It’s too bad Ron Paul doesn’t have very much support, because the fact that he’s even in the race keeps the other candidates honest. There were a couple times where he kind of came in after a Romney/McCain exchange and said, “isn’t this a little ridiculous?” I don’t agree with a lot of his policies, but the guy has ideas. His problem is that no one seems to listen. Grade: B+
- Mike Huckabee: Huckabee’s performance last night was outstanding. His monologue comparing a governor to a president was outstanding and he did an outstanding job being humble and, to quote his campaign saying, like the guy you work with. The moderator asked him at one point “Rush Limbaugh has said you will destroy the Republican party if nominated”, but I liked his response: “I wish Rush loved me as much as I love Rush. He’s a great voice for the conservatives of this country, but he’s capable of error, and this is one of those times.” The one negative of his performance last night was that you could clearly see he was frustrated with how little time he was getting, as he prodded the moderator to give him more time and allow him to chime in occasionally. Grade: A-
Tonight it’ll be one-on-one, Hillary versus Barack. Should be pretty interesting to watch the fur fly.
I’ve kind of started thinking about how I will vote this fall depending on who is nominated, and I think the results may surprise you. I’ve arranged them into a matrix, Democrats along the top, Republicans along the bottom. Each cell represents who I would vote for if that column ran against that row.
Kind of surprising to those who know me, but there you have it.