The financial crisis

I would write something long and inspired about the current financial crisis that faces our country…but Mike Huckabee did it for me. For those of you who are too lazy to read it, or averse to clicking on a Republican’s website, I’ll summarize: you cannot possibly give almost a trillion dollars to the SAME people who proved they are incapable of handling such large amounts of money without telling them how to use it.

Actually, I’m still not convinced a bailout is a good idea. If our government is supposedly out of money…where are we going to get $700 billion? China cannot be this stupid (or this rich, for that matter). Eventually they’ll see the pattern: I can’t see any politician ever paying those loans back. They might promise to not borrow any more from China, but paying it back is not probable.

And will it even work? Ever since this recession began, we’ve been hearing all this talk about stimulus packages and government spending to stimulate our economy. If those solutions had worked…would we be here right now, in “the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression”? In baseball terms, if you throw a fastball down the middle and the batter hits a home run, would you throw him a fastball down the middle the next time he came up? What about the next time?

And just like you, I’m wondering why…

I know, I know, I’m slacking in my non-baseball-related posts of late. The good news for you is that hopefully that means I’ll have quite a bit more to say than usual! (According to my calculations…)

  • …alright, so maybe there’s still some baseball stuff. But come on, we’re only a week into the season and there are some huge things happening already!
    • My favorite story thus far has been the Kansas City Royals, who are 6-2 and in the lead in the AL Central. This is a team that is perennially picked to finish last, and until a few years ago, with good reason. Lately though, the Royals are becoming less and less pathetic, and it’s my belief that if they were in the National League, they’d be a playoff team.

      And heck, they might be a playoff team this year. The 2008 Royals remind me very much of the 2004 Indians: young, inexperienced but quality pitching, a career DH who does nothing but hit (Indians: Travis Hafner, Royals: Billy Butler), and a budding franchise player who might blossom into one of the game’s all-time greats (Indians: Grady Sizemore, Royals: Alex Gordon).

    • I picked up Brian Bannister for my fantasy team a couple days ago; that kid looks like he’ll be good.

    • Another interesting story in the central is the surprisingly bad start by the Detroit Tigers. They started the year with the second highest payroll in the major leagues, and they won their first game yesterday.

      I’ve said all winter that good pitching will always beat good hitting; and if you don’t have good pitching, you better be outslugging your opponents all the time. The problem is, if your offense goes into a funk (like the Indians did last summer, like the White Sox did last year, like the Yankees did last year), and your pitching is bad (unlike the Indians, like the White Sox and Yankees of ’07), you’re not going to win many games. Not only that, but the Tigers opened the season against the aforementioned Kansas City and Chicago, both of whom are off to hot starts.

      I fully expect the Tigers to win a lot of games this year, but I don’t think they’ll get out of the first round of the playoffs.

    • Actually, a lot of teams predicted to do bad are off to great starts, including the Baltimore Orioles (who I expect to regress pretty soon) and the St. Louis Cardinals. I read a book last summer about Tony LaRussa, manager of the Cardinals, and I refuse to believe he’ll have a bad team. They may not win the division or make the playoffs (although anything is possible in the NL Central), but they’ll win some games.
    • The Red Sox and Yankees revive their rivalry tomorrow night at Fenway Park. Count me interested. It’s always fun to watch these teams play because their fans are so obnoxious and when two teams of obnoxious fans get together, hilarity ensues. Plus, they’re two great teams with two great offenses and watching them play will feel a lot like postseason baseball. Unfortunately it appears ESPN will be covering the Cavaliers and the Bulls tomorrow night.
    • The Indians have signed Fausto Carmona to a 7 year contract for up to $43 million, with $15 million and 4 years guaranteed. Fantastic move by the Indians, especially with C.C.’s free agency looming near. Carmona was dynamite last year and I have no reason to think he’ll be any worse this year. You might not find a cheaper Cy Young candidate in baseball.
  • And in non-baseball related news, The Office is back tonight! I have some theories about the rest of the season, which I might post tomorrow after they’re all proven wrong tonight. It’s really weird actually being excited to watch tonight, because I kind of got used to it not being on.
  • Has anyone visited MikeHuckabee.com recently?
  • I would write a quote of the day, but I can’t do this one justice by just writing it, so enjoy:

Hope everyone’s enjoying the weather, and enjoy The Office tonight!

Global warming can kiss my…

Isn’t it too late in the year for it to be this cold? According to the spyware-laden, ever-annoying Weather.com, the average for this time of year is about 45 degrees. Today’s high? 35 degrees. At least it’s sunny. Better save the snow for 10 days from today, Opening Day against the Chicago White Sox! On to the links then:

  • Our favorite Cupertino corporation, Apple Inc., is in talks with the major record labels to create a one-time premium alternative to iTunes, allowing a user to download all they want for a one-time fee. Can you say cha-ching? The thinking behind this logic is that the average user buys 20 songs on iTunes, meaning that charging a $40 premium on top of the purchase of a new iPod is a win for Apple.

    There are two things wrong with this statement, the first is that I’ve purchased over $300 worth of music from iTunes in the last 18 months. If I get access to a plan that allows me unlimited access, I think I’d pay up to $150 on the spot and I’d still beat the system.

    The second problem with that is that Apple assumes that removing a per-song fee will not change users’ downloading habits. Let me ask you something: if you go to a restaurant like Don Pablo’s or Max and Erma’s, do you usually get dessert? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. I don’t, because normally I’m full and paying $5 for a small piece of cake turns a $10 meal into a $15 meal pretty quickly. An extra piece of cake when I’m already pretty full isn’t worth a 50% bump in the check (at least). However, if I go to a place like Hometown Buffet, not only will I get dessert, I’ll usually get three. Why? I’ve already paid for that dessert whether I eat it or not; why not enjoy it?

    The same goes for music. If I have the unlimited plan, any questioning I have about “eh…will I really listen to ‘KISS: Live In Detroit’ enough to purchase the entire 5-disc set?’ If I’m paying $40 for it, probably not. But if I’ve already paid once…wait for it…keep waiting…

    You pull the trigger of my…. LOVE GUN!

  • Barack Obama gave a speech on race and the influence it’s had on this campaign. I’ve read and watched it; probably top five of all speeches I’ve heard in my lifetime. Without coming out and saying it, Obama essentially said it was ridiculous that race was even an issue in this race, and he’s completely right.

    But he’s missing another aspect of diversity: the role religion still has in politics is pretty sad. “But Jimmy,” you say, “how could you say that after supporting Mike Huckabee?” I think religion is pretty unimportant when it comes to choosing a President. Ultimately, you’re not voting for your God, because if God were running for President I’m pretty sure he’d win every time. You’re voting for the person and how he will run the country. If that doesn’t make any sense, I’ll put it another way: I would have still supported Mike Huckabee if he wasn’t Christian but was still the same person. Of course, your religion generally tends to define who you are, so it’d be very hard for Huckabee to be the same candidate without his religion.

    A more relevant example is the allegation that some have made that Barack Obama is a Muslim. My response to that is: so what? What’s he going to do, call up his buddy Osama and say, “hey, I’m on the inside, they’re trusting me with everything! We’re so in!”? Of course not. The view that all Muslims are terrorists is ridiculous in this day and age.

    When you’re electing a president, you shouldn’t elect someone who follows the same religion as you because they follow the same religion as you. You should elect someone who will defend to the death your right to follow whatever religion (or lack thereof) you want to follow.

  • I realize as I type that that I’ve never typed my interpretation of “one nation, under God” in a place that everyone can access; at some point, I’ll have to do that.
  • Onto the wide world of sports. The NCAA March Madness tournament has begun, and right now I still have no idea who’s won any games. I find that I really don’t care this year, for whatever reason. My pick is for North Carolina to win it all, but I haven’t filled out a bracket. “March Madness” seems like its getting dangerously close to “April Fever”, doesn’t it? Every year it seems to start later and later. Why is this? Why can’t basketball just go quietly into their offseason like the rest of the sports? NBA playoffs last like a month and a half, and March Madness keeps getting later and longer. Basketball is, to me, nothing more than a filler between the end of football season and the beginning of the baseball season.
  • I have been watching more of the Cavs games lately, and I came to a realization. You know that guy LeBron James? He’s pretty good.
  • Both Jeremy Sowers and Aaron Laffey especially pitched well last night. Dear Mark Shaprio: Take advantage of the lack of starting pitching around the rest of the league and please, please, please trade Cliff Lee to someone who is desperate.
  • Onto the quote of the day:
    Just remember, when you control the mail, you control… information.
    Newman, Seinfeld

    If George is the best sitcom character of all time, Newman has got to be in the top three. How anyone kept a straight face when he was in the room during shooting is beyond me.

Finally, I’m looking for a new travel coffee mug. I’d prefer one that is mostly metal (I’m not a big fan of plastic) and one that’s constructed well enough to not let any coffee drip out inadvertently. I’m willing to pay considerable cash for it. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Just kidding, one more thing. I’m noticing that I’m getting viewers from all over the country now, but I’d like to know more about who’s reading this blog. So if you’re reading this blog and you like (or hate) what you read, leave a comment somewhere with your first name and location.

Until next time.

Keepin’ it real on spring break!

Hello blogosphere! Today I’m writing from high atop Strosacker auditorium because I’ve noticed that Strosacker is about 10 degrees warmer than any other building on campus. That’s right: even though my title says its spring break, it’s about 20 degrees outside and blustery. Let’s get to some tidbits:

  • Okay, so its not quite spring break yet. I have one more class and one more assignment to turn in, a theoretical computer science assignment that five of us worked through last night. It was, shall I say, an interesting assignment. The logic went completely over our heads (either that or we did actually disprove the pumping lemma), but it’s done and ready to turn in in about an hour.
  • I guess PHYS 121 meets in Strosacker in the timeslot before this because when I walked in to start eating lunch, our favorite homeless physics professor Pete Kernan was giving some students some help after class. I’m looking at the board – looks like they covered conservation of momentum today. I remember when this was my hardest class, and looking back on it…wow. I was an idiot.
  • In case you’ve been stuck under a sports-world rock for the last few days, Brett Favre has retired (and if you didn’t know that, sorry to spoil it for you). Say what you will about him, Favre was always fun to watch, but I completely don’t blame him for retiring. I wish him the best and I hope that he does come back to football at some point to do TV work or maybe be a coach or something. I was thinking about this on Tuesday though – ESPN always joked about how Favre could be mayor of Green Bay, which isn’t actually funny because if Favre decided he wanted to be mayor, he could be mayor. My question is could he aspire to something higher, like a Congressman or even a President? He has so much widespread support I wouldn’t put it past us.
  • And speaking of sad retirements, Mike Huckabee has officially been eliminated. Watched his concession speech; you won’t find a classier guy in the political world. As said before, I hope he decides he has another run in him in 2012. Even though other blogs may have you believe Huckabee is only a religious social conservative, the fact is that he had plenty of other ideas that make a whole lot of sense, like the Fair Tax. His idea on how to stimulate the economy was better than any idea I’ve heard too, from a Democrat or a Republican: instead of borrowing money from China to finance these tax refunds, we should look for other ways to create jobs and prosperity in this country. As I said, say what you will about him, but he ran probably the first completely non-negative campaign I can remember, even though he was attacked by Romney, then by McCain, then Romney again, then McCain again.
  • On the democratic side, Hillary is back. From my calculations (and they may be off, I don’t have one of those nifty multi-touch flatscreen TVs like CNN’s John King) no candidate can win the required amount of delegates, meaning that your Democratic nominee for President will probably be decided by politicians. “For the people,” eh? I still don’t quite see the appeal of Hillary Clinton – maybe its because I have a job and am somewhat well educated (and that’s not being stereotypical, that’s according to a CNN Exit Poll).
  • But then again, Ohio is a stupid state – we just reelected Dennis Kucinich as our representative for the 10th district of Ohio. Dear democrats: What has Dennis Kucinich done for you in his 12 years in office? NOTHING! The city of Cleveland is STILL in the toilet, and yet you keep electing this guy.
  • I feel obligated to write that while I bash Democrats regularly, I’m not a hard-line Republican. Yes, I’m a registered Republican because I voted in the Republican primary, but that doesn’t mean I’ll vote Republican in November. You should vote for the person, not the party.

I’ll probably do a little more later but my battery is about to die and I have class fairly soon. Until then, that’s the news from Case Western Reserve – where all the men are strong, all the women are good-looking, and all the children… well, we don’t have children here.

Blogging from virtual reality

Today I’m blogging from the Virtual Worlds gaming lab from the fourth floor of Olin. Has anyone else noticed that a lot of college campuses seems to have at least one building named Olin?

  • The Indians are 1-0-1 against the Tigers, with a tie on Saturday and a win Sunday. Some good signs:
    • Ben Francisco seems to be opening some more eyes this spring, with a home run on Saturday. The opinion here is that he should be on the Indians’ Opening Day roster, but we’ll see how that goes.
    • 1B prospect Michael Aubrey seems to be hitting everything in sight – might be an option down the road.
  • Conflict is starting to brew once again in Somalia. A lot of people have said, and I totally agree, that by the time Barack, Hillary or John is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States in January of 2009, there will be another armed conflict that’s more important or more at the forefront than Iraq.
  • It’s about 55 degrees in Cleveland today, and the sun is shining. It’s supposed to get cold again tomorrow, but for today we can pretend it’s springtime, right?
  • The big day is tomorrow in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont. If Huckabee isn’t defeated once and for all tomorrow, John McCain has a lot more work to do than he thought. Actually, here’s a telling statistic as to why Huckabee might not quite be done yet:


    McCain doesn’t even have 50% of the Republican vote! That’s a huge problem for him at this point in the election season. As stated before, McCain doesn’t have my vote. I am a conservative, but I don’t think being a conservative means you have to automatically believe conservativism is necessarily best for the country in every given situation. Remember, our founding fathers were a bunch of left wing nuts. More on that at some point.

  • As for the Democratic side, Hillary’s done if she doesn’t win both Texas and Ohio tomorrow. Even if she doesn’t withdraw from the race immediately (which I think she will if she loses both of those states), she’s done.
  • It pains me to say this, but Hillary Clinton does actually win one thing: the funnier sketch on SNL this weekend:

    Here’s Rudy Giuliani:

    …keep your day job, Rudy.

  • This is the first time in…well, ever…that I’m looking forward to football season in March. This mostly relates to the Browns picking up ex-Patriot WR Donte’ Stallworth, as well as acquiring some much-needed help on the defensive line. I was lukewarm on the Derek Anderson signing – I think the guy can play, but I don’t think he’s a championship level quarterback and I certainly don’t think he’s worth $8 million a year for 3 years. If it were me, I’d let him hopefully boost his trade value this year while starting, and then start shopping for a trade and put Brady Quinn in.
  • I decided a while ago that this summer it was my plan to visit Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium in New York City before they close this year. I decided yesterday that I’m expanding that goal a bit: my goal now is to visit at least seven baseball parks this summer:
    1. Progressive Field (home of the Cleveland Indians)
    2. Yankee Stadium (home of the New York Yankees)
    3. Shea Stadium (home of the New York Mets)
    4. Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs – yeah, I’ve already been there but I liked it. Sue me.)
    5. Busch Stadium (home of the St. Louis Cardinals)
    6. PNC Park (home of the Pittsburgh Pirates)
    7. Comerica Park (home of the Detroit Tigers)

    Obviously the idea is to not spend a whole lot of money, so these trips would be on weekends, by car with maybe one overnight at a campground or somewhere equally inexpensive.

  • Baseball Tonight was on for the first time this season yesterday – good stuff. Looks like not a lot has changed: Steve Phillips is an idiot, John Kruk tells it like it is, and Peter Gammons is the man, but unfortunately secretly roots for the Red Sox. Something kind of interesting too – if you search “kurkgems” in Google, one of my blog entries from last fall is the first result.
  • I’m starting to see some weird viewing trends for this blog thanks to Google Analytics. There are people visiting this blog from Mountain View, CA (hello, friends at Google!), Brooklyn, NY (hello, Rudy Giuliani!) and Washington, D.C. (hello, and my apologies, Senator Clinton!) Of all of the locations that have viewed this blog, Cleveland is obviously the first (me) but in second place? Rochester, NY. Weird…

No coffee this morning, but as said earlier, its almost 60 degrees outside and I just don’t need it today. Have a good day everyone!

Blogger vs. Blogger

So it looks like we’ll have another platform war, albeit this time we’ll probably be arguing about Linux vs. Windows, Democratic vs. Republican as opposed to vJournal vs. McJournal. Anyway, welcome back to the blogosphere, Mike. (And you’re welcome for linking my 11 visitors/day to your site, by the way.)

Watched the debate last night. As our favorite Stanley Hudson would say, “This here is a run-out-the-clock situation. Just like upstairs,” and that’s what Obama did. It was pretty interesting to watch Hillary try to feel out her best strategy kind of as she went – she came out swinging but pulled back a little bit later on. Another thing I noticed, when Tim Russert asked Obama about the anti-Semintic supporter who “endorsed” Obama, Clinton tried to take that opportunity to make Obama mess up but Obama was able to correct himself in time. (For the record, he was right – it’s a free country, whoever wants to support him should be able to support him, he can’t stop them.)

I’m getting pretty sick of these endorsements, on that topic. I read today that Senator Sherrod Brown is not going to endorse a candidate. What a huge loss! First of all, anyone know who Sherrod Brown is? If you do, does anyone care who he supports for President? Are we all on pins and needles like, “Whoever Brown endorses is sure to work directly with him every day to make sure what Sherrod Brown wants gets done…this could be huge”?

Maybe for some of you the answer is yes, but for me, I couldn’t care less who Sherrod Brown, Oprah Winfrey, Jon Stewart, or Chris Rock wants to be president, and it must be annoying to CNN and Fox News to analyze these meaningless trivialities. That’s not to say there aren’t meaningful endorsements: Madeleine Albright (Bill Clinton’s former secretary of state, supporting Clinton), Ted Kennedy (Senator, supporting Obama), Rudy Giuliani (ex-presidential candidate, supporting McCain) or Chuck Norris (Dr. Awesome, supporting Huckabee… okay, maybe that last one is a little meaningless, but still cool). My point is that I don’t care who Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, 50 Cent, Terrell Owens, or Peyton Manning wants to be president.

Insomnia

My sleep schedule has been incredibly erratic the last few months… and I’m not really sure why. A few tidbits while I try to get some sleep:

  • I think this week I’ll be able to post my official pre-MLB 2008 blog. I’m really looking forward to it, as I am looking forward to the start of the 2008 MLB season.
  • Caught a bit of the Pro Bowl today. Nice to see some Browns on the field again, even though none of them had particularly standout games. If it were me I would start shopping Derek Anderson for some defense – we’ve seen what Brady Quinn can do, and I think Anderson’s best value to this team may be in the form of a trade. With the offensive line the Browns now have, even a mediocre quarterback could do the job, especially with a good defense, and I doubt Quinn will be mediocre.
  • The strike is over. Looks like some of my favorites will be back, including The Office, HIMYM, and House (Heroes and 24 are probably goners for this season).
  • Huckabee continues to fight. He’s making it an interesting race – if things go well for him in the “Potomac Primaries” it’ll be much less of a longshot than it is today. As for the Democrats, Obama continues to make strides and Hillary Clinton is shaking things up.
  • It’s nearly 4 AM and I have class at 9. Good thing I bought some Starbucks Breakfast Blend today, I’m probably going to need it.
  • It was this time last week that I remembered why I love sports. Week 1 of the “Sports Blackout” is over, and by the end of this week baseball will be more or less underway.
  • Temperature check:
    Are you kidding me?

A Super 72 hours

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.

And then there were five (or six…)

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:

  1. 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+
  2. 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
  3. 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+
  4. 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.

Clinton Obama
Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee
McCain McCain Obama
Paul Paul Obama
Romney Romney Obama

Kind of surprising to those who know me, but there you have it.

Musings

Hello blogosphere! After what I know must feel like forever, I’m back and writing some stuff on this thing. So much to discuss, so I’ll just kind of go down a list.

  • “You Decide” 2008: Please, please, please, please do not vote for Hillary Clinton. I’ve determined that if you are absolutely inclined to vote democratic, that Barack Obama might actually be your best choice. Here are some reasons why the other two (anyone actually believe Gravel and Kucinich have a shot? Stop reading this blog immediately):
    1. John Edwards has absolutely no idea that the campaign is a competition. Has anyone seen this guy? He’s lost every state he’s run in, and invariably, after the votes are in and its determined he’s lost, he CELEBRATES! I think we can predict what would happen if he were elected: something would eventually happen that would tick China off, they would attack us, they would win in a war. But President Edwards would say, “It’s okay America! We came in SECOND! YEAAAAAAAH!”
    2. Hillary Clinton lies like her husband. I wonder if anyone in the Clinton family has ever told the truth (voluntarily, anyway)…
    3. For all of you liberals who complain that by this time next year, we will have had a Bush in office for 12 of the past 20 years, there is a conservative that feels the same way about the Clinton family. Regardless of your beliefs, regardless of how much you hate one party or the other, you cannot possibly argue that having the country run by two families for 24 years (or more, if, God forbid, Clinton gets reelected in 2012) is good for this country.
    4. Of the three candidates, Obama has been in politics the shortest amount of time…which is a good thing. The longer you’re in politics, the less likely you are to do what is right over what is popular.

    A few of you might recall that I’ve supported Rudy Giuliani for president for a long time. I liked his national security strategy and his record on crime, as well as a lot of his social and economic views. However, when it comes time to vote on Super Tuesday, my vote will go towards Mike Huckabee. Let me tell you why:

    1. No negative campaigning. The fact that Huckabee has not released any ads attacking his peers has greatly helped his campaign, and for me has increased his likability. One of his main mantras is “Americans want their president to remind them of a guy they work with, not the guy they work for.” That’s a great attitude to have. A lot of other candidates say they “work for the American people”, but I like the idea of a team setting from the beginning. It’s a fantastic vision of what American can be. And the fact that he hasn’t gone on the offensive and attacked any of his peers shows his difference from the other candidates.
    2. No more IRS! This idea is probably the main reason I’m voting for Huckabee. The IRS has become a bureaucratic mess. Here’s a question: how many of your tax dollars go directly towards funding the effort to collect taxes again next year? I do not have an exact figure, but getting rid of that from the budget leaves more money for more important things. But the main thing is that it doesn’t tax Americans on their INCOME. It encourages more conservative spending, and could help to fix a lot of things wrong in the economics of the basic American family.
    3. Accountability. Huckabee has already admitted several mistakes he has made and has held himself accountable. His weight, which was astronomical just a few years ago, has gone down because he started watching what he ate and exercising, not because of a miracle drug or liposuction. His policy on Iraq has also changed. He was not a supporter of the surge earlier in the year but has admitted that he was wrong and that the surge is working. For the record, he also believes the war in Iraq should be WON, not just ended.
    4. Social issues. Pro-life, against gay marriages but for gay rights, against amnesty towards illegal aliens.
    5. The most important issue: endorsed by Chuck Norris. Need I say more? His Chuck Norris commercial was pretty humorous, and he’s said some pretty funny stuff in debates as well which only increases the guy’s likability.

    Apart from Huckabee, I would still support Giuliani and McCain in a general election (against Obama). But if it were Mitt Romney… I actually think I would cross party lines and vote Obama. I don’t agree with everything Obama says, but I think he would be a much better president than Romney.

    And those are some of my political views of late.

  • Technology world: A few random ramblings:
    • Since November 26 (my last post), I’ve tried Fedora 8, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Debian, Ubuntu again, Fedora 8 again and Linux Mint. Clearly I had some issues with a few distributions :). I stuck with a Fedora 8 installation on my desktop and and going to install Linux Mint on my laptop at some point fairly soon. I’ve really liked Fedora thus far, I only had some minor issues with graphics and sound, and Linux Mint seems like a great distribution for my laptop because it comes with a lot of codecs and drivers preinstalled. I may try an openSUSE installation on my laptop too, it seems like that offers some interesting new features as well.
    • The MacBook Air. At least its not the iPhone (in terms of hype). I would seriously recommend against getting this, even if you are a Mac person, even if you really need an ultra-light computer. It’s overpriced, it’s underpowered, and I imagine the first models will overheat like no other laptop ever has.
  • Had some free time, so I wrote a sleep timer app for Windows PCs. Check it out if you want.
  • I’ve also checked out some new languages, including Python, which I am already a huge fan of.

In other news, I’m in Operating Systems as I finish this post and we’re talking about process control. The C function for creating a new process is the system call fork(), the professor is Asian… so he pronounces it as “f***”. The result is pretty hysterical, I’ve about lost it a couple times already:

“How do you create child process? Call fork(). The parent process will fork() and create a child process.”

The slant rhyme makes me wonder if the designers of C had this in mind when they were choosing what to call things.

I think that’s all I have for now. I’ll post more when I can.