Fear is power, part 1

I caught most of Obama’s speech tonight (the nerve of that guy, interrupting The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother), and largely was not surprised. Some tidbits:

  • Even the NBC anchors knew beforehand that Obama would “play up the fear”. Using dramatic language, Obama’s idea of the future without this bailout plan slightly resembled the future portrayed in the Heroes episode Five Years Gone, where Peter had exploded and the world changed forever. The thing is that even with the bailout, the future isn’t that much better. Obama conceded that 2009 was going to be tough, but by 2010 we might be seeing things start to turn around. Maybe.

    If you really want to fix the economy, you should do what Ronald Reagan did: inspire people to work hard and get out of it yourselves. That’s what Obama did during his campaign, for most of it, and now he’s just a normal politician again, striking fear into the hearts of everyone and making sure they trust the government to get them out.

  • He mocked those who disagree with him, saying that people who don’t think the New Deal worked are stuck in the past. Here’s the thing: this stimulus he’s proposing might as well be called “The Newer Deal”. It makes sense to look back in history and see what has happened in similar situations – we do it all the time. And honestly, The New Deal failed. There was only one thing that brought us out of the Great Depression, and it was World War II, when men had to go fight and women stayed home to produce unprecedented amounts of American-made products to ship to our troops and Allied troops overseas. The New Deal was passed in 1933 and was active until 1938 – but in 1939, we were still in the Depression. I believe that FDR was a great president, maybe one of our greatest ever – but this idea failed. The Newer Deal is probably destined for the same result.
  • He feigned bipartisanship, by claiming that he’s willing to work with Republicans on the little details, but ultimately, it’ll be what the Democrats want. They’re in power; they’ll do what they want, and that’s spend money on renovating government buildings to make them more green (“How could anyone call that frivolous? People can be so naive, don’t you think?”), improving roads, etc. He mentioned improving schools – that’s really the first part of the stimulus I agree with. Here’s the thing: you improve schools, and you’re making a long-term investment in our future. Instead of simply burying the next generation in debt, you’re giving them a mortgage – a way to get out.
  • You could tell the media was a little nervous here – after all, here was Barack Obama not speaking about peace, hope and happiness. So they asked him about Alex Rodriguez. (And by the way: I give A-Rod major props for coming clean like he did. If he’s telling the truth, and he hasn’t used steroids since 2004, and he’s admitting his mistake, I’m ready to forgive the guy. As for calling him a Hall-of-Famer, that’s another story. I’d like to see his numbers minus his steroid years when his career is over, and then I’ll make my decision.)

What’d you guys think of his speech? Was it another gold mine? Or are we finally starting to see the real person we voted for?

Election night

So for those of you living under a rock, tonight is election night. Almost two years of campaigning and literally billions of dollars has all led up to tonight, where we will choose a new President. A couple thoughts:

  • It’s amazing how patriotic people can suddenly be on election day. On Facebook today, at least 20 friends had “donated their statuses” (yeah, I was impressed too. I wish I had that kind of status that I could just donate it so freely.) to either Obama or McCain. I wonder how many people made their decision based on the Facebook poll – probably depressingly too many.
  • It’s always interesting to watch the technology evolve over the years. Think about it: four years ago, most TVs were not high-def, most computers were not hooked up to broadband Internet, and most people didn’t really need constant updates via text message to their cellphone.
  • CNN brags that their political team is the best political team on television. Most of them are morons.

And in other news…

  • In an unprecedented common sense move, the Browns are starting Brady Quinn, even though ESPN’s Trent Dilfer doesn’t like the idea. Seriously, if Trent Dilfer knew anything about quarterbacking, he might still be playing for the Browns. I like the move – Anderson, while not completely at fault for Sunday’s epic collapse, definitely made some major mistakes.

I hope everyone voted today. Our veterans and forefathers have made sure you’re not obligated to vote, but at the same time have fought for your right to vote. The very process that takes place today (in this year’s case, choosing the lesser of two evils) is the essence of democracy – it separates us from every other nation on earth.

Just another way to survive…

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:


    Being the inquisitive soul that I am, I clicked it, and was directed to this page:


    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 University Case 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? …