Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pie. Pie Is Delicious.

I don't normally do this, but a minor cable TV celebrity has petitioned Congress to declare a Pie Week. This is because pie is awesome and tasty and there are many varieties.

I say, "Why not?" Please, people, let's get pie it's own week. Sign the petition. Do it for pie. If not that, then do it because if there 50,000 signatures, Olivia will wear a naughty French maid outfit on "Attack of the Show."

Please?

Your I Like Coconut Creme leader.

UPDATE: I'm aware of GoogleImages. I want to see the naughty French maid!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

We'll Choke On Our Vomit, And That Will Be The End

Time for me to bitch about more just plain awful ads on TV and radio.

Comcast has been pimping its digital cable and high-speed internet lately. During football season they had an ad about how one guy was way better at fantasy football than another because of his internet. The loser whines, "You always know how to crush my hopelessly pathetic defense." OK. I don't play fantasy football. I have my own nerdery to partake in. But even I know that who someone plays has nothing to do with your teams defense, because your defense just goes against the real-life team. Also, generally you play different people each week. Then the winner replies, "Because I use Comcast. And I am your lord and master!" Here's where the writing sucks. If you're trash talking someone, you go with the lord and master taunt before revealing your secret. As a commercial, it would better segue into the sales pitch by having the Comcast line last. Fail on two counts.

The current commercial for Comcast cable involves a 30-something woman who looks like an older Hillary Duff talking about her misspent youth using satallite TV. "We all go through that phase," she says smugly. "Then I realized that I could lose my picture in bad weather." Now, I actually find this a legitimate point. However, the wording suggests she never actually lost her picture. If I had satallite for 5 years and never lost the picture, I wouldn't be spending $50 more a month for cable on the off chance that it might still happen. Then she continues, "Of course, when you have kids, everything changes." Damn straight. Once you have kids TV is your only escape from the soul-crushing reality that your life no longer belongs to you. If the picture goes out, you're liable to go sit in the garage with the car running.

I wouldn't get upset about this type of ad if I didn't know there were talented writers out there who could craft ads worth watching. On a side note, anyone can pay me $50 to listen to an ad and tell you why it sucks, and how to fix it.

Now, I turn to AM1280 The Patriot for an ad I only hear on that station. The first involves Ty Coughlin, a so-called "beach bum" from Hawaii who has created a system to make millions of dollars on the internet without actually doing anything. First off, this seems antithetical to the conservative work ethic. Getting money for doing nothing is exactly what all of those talk-show hosts are against. But even worse is the commercial itself. It starts out with Ty laughing and asking if the commercial is live. He's told it is. He then starts with, "OK, I guess we're live ..." Someone really should have stopped the commercial at that point to say, A. It's a taped commercial, not live and B. We don't need to mention the process of taping. Of course, I suppose that fits into Ty's easy-going image. But then, there's the follow-up commercial, which putitively features one of Ty's many minions who have used the program, but sounds suspiciously like Ty Coughlin just lowering his voice in a clever attempt to disguise it. This commercial includes an English problem that's been spreading recently.

"Actually" is a word that should be used to purport something as true that has been called false. More and more, people throw "actually" in to modify their sentence for something no one thought was wrong to begin with. I heard a news guy say he was "actually" going to be somewhere the next day. No one had suggested he wouldn't be there. Here's a hypothetical where actually is used correctly:
Me: "Nickleback is just a plain awful band."
Some Idiot: "Actually, Nickleback puts out some wonderful music."
Me: *Shakes head sadly*
See, Some Idiot was trying to refute my statement that, in fact, all music would be better if Nickleback never played another note.

So, anyway, at one point the "Not Ty Coughlin" guy says, "I've met Ty, and he's actually a pretty cool dude." At which point I think to myself, "I hadn't thought for one minute he wasn't a cool dude, but your defensive wording has me a little wary now." So then I thought maybe there's a whole group that is opposed to Ty and his money making schemes. So I googled anti-Ty Coughlin. There are a couple of sites attacking him, but not really a concerted effort. Then I thought maybe they have a clever name, like Productive Citizens Against Beach Bums. No dice. Then I got bored.

Then it hit me; Ty Coughlin and his henchmen are using their internet ability to shut down any organized effort against him on the web. And they're using their vast internet fortunes to buy up any open radio commercial slots to keep dissenting folks from getting any air time to air their grievences against him. This is because he is running a scam.

And that's why I support the fairness doctrine.

(Not really)

Your Now I Can Sleep At Night leader.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Life Finds A Way

This is why I shouldn't have children.




Wednesday, January 14, 2009

He Was Not A Number! He Was A Free Man!

Patrick McGoohan 1928-2009

I first saw McGoohan as King Edward I in "Braveheart." Then "The Simpsons" did the most bizarre episode I had ever seen, which turned out to be a play on "The Prisoner," which became one of the more bizarre TV shows I had ever seen.

Your Be Seeing You leader.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Changes Aren't Permanent ... But Change Is

Al, Al, Al; settle down and wait for the court to issue a ruling. I'm sick of people thinking they are the most important thing in the country, and the Senate just can't function without them.

After all, even "hyper-partisan election thief" and known kitten-eater Mark Ritchie says he can't confirm the results until the court challenge is done. It's right there in state law;

209.12 CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE.
When a contest relates to the office of senator or a member of the house of representatives
of the United States, the only question to be decided by the court is which party to the contest
received the highest number of votes legally cast at the election and is therefore entitled to receive
the certificate of election. The judge trying the proceedings shall make findings of fact and
conclusions of law upon that question. Evidence on any other points specified in the notice of
contest, including but not limited to the question of the right of any person to nomination or office
on the ground of deliberate, serious, and material violation of the provisions of the Minnesota
Election Law, must be taken and preserved by the judge trying the contest, or by some person
appointed by the judge for that purpose; but the judge shall make no findings or conclusion
on those points.
After the time for appeal has expired, or in case of an appeal, after the final judicial
determination of the contest, upon application of either party to the contest, the court administrator
of the district court shall promptly certify and forward the files and records of the proceedings,
with all the evidence taken, to the presiding officer of the Senate or the House of Representatives
of the United States. The court administrator shall endorse on the transmittal envelope or
container the name of the case and the name of the party in whose behalf the proceedings were
held, and shall sign the endorsement.
(Emphasis mine) Let the court make its ruling.

Your Take A Deep Breath leader.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

All My Sins ... I Said That I Would Pay For Them

(Closed Circuit to Bruce: I'm still OK. The excessive posting means nothing.)

I've added a link on the right for people who might think this site needs more bacon. You're welcome. I've also added a couple of humor blogs to the ol' 'roll; The Comics Curmudgeon who reads and mocks the funny pages (so you don't have to), and The Bloggess doesn't seem to have a purpose, but is pretty fuckin' funny.

We're still senatorless. The recount has been long and ugly. The Republicans have done nothing but claim fraud since well before the election. They call Democrats "elitists," yet say that unless you filled in your oval perfectly on the ballot that you are stupid and, contrary to state law, your vote shouldn't count. They claim that only Democrats are stupid enough to not follow the rules on the ballot. They yell about illegal votes, yet there's is the only party to receive a bona-fide illegal vote.

Every attack of the Franken campaign's tactics during the recount could be aimed at Coleman as well, especially when it came to challenging ballots. Remember when Coleman said if he were losing at the end of an election he'd concede? It was a stupid statement then, and when the wind changes, it's challenge time. I have no problem with election challenges brought under state law. That's a good thing in an election this close. It's just nice to see Coleman finally thinking state election law is good. Too bad it's only when it benefits him.

I spent most of 2 hours earlier today listening to paid Republican operative Michael Brodkorb claiming that SOS Ritchie stole the election for the Democrats. I say claiming, because he didn't actually give any evidence to the point. In fact, when someone challenged him for evidence, he said a few things about irregularities in the precincts and then hung up on her.

Yes, there were irregularities. There was 1 (not 23, as the WSJ claimed) precinct with 31 more votes than those who signed in. It's an acknowledged mistake involving absentee sign-ins. And there was a precinct where there were fewer ballots than votes counted on election night. Michael says there was a double standard because they accepted the ballot count in one place and the machine count in another. Pay close attention: These are two different issues. If two precincts had fewer ballots than votes and they were treated differently, that would be a double standard. What Brodkorb's outraged about isn't.

It has also been claimed that there may have been double counted ballots. No one can prove which ballots these are, and I am wondering why Coleman's camp assumes they were all for Franken. If they can show who the double votes were for, then remove them. If not, then something needs to be put in place to stop it from happening in the future, but you can't just throw random votes out without some assurance they were the double votes.

Brobkorb was also very holier-than-thou about Franken that he "doesn't want to count all of the votes." Nevermind that Coleman didn't want to count them all before the recount started (Franken should have waived the recount, remember?); he doesn't want to count them all now. There were 12,000 rejected absentee ballots. Coleman brought 650 to court. If he's so interested in every vote being counted, where were the rest? I'd like to see every legal vote counted, and would have no problem with all of the rejected ballots being re-evaluated. All of them. Not just the ones that might benefit a particular candidate.

I've also heard a lot of complaints because someone saw ballots with the circle filled in and and X through it that were counted for Franken but the same looking ballot was not counted for Coleman. If the entire ballot had a filled circle with an X through it, that's clear voter intent, unless you think the voter decided after filling out the ballot to not vote for anybody, but still submitted the ballot. On the other hand, if only one vote had an X through it, that's less clear. I would think without another filled circle in that race it should count, but the officials decided otherwise. That's not fraud. State Law says you must look at the voters intent. Looking at the whole ballot might show a pattern. A pattern shows intent, don't you think?

Here's a test: If I write the letter "C," and that C is the first letter of a word, tell me what sound the C makes. The correct answer is "I don't know, because it depends on the rest of the word." The same is true of voter intent. (By the way, the word is circumnavigate, and therefore it makes an "S" sound)

Now the right wants a run-off election. They didn't want that when Coleman was ahead. Conservatives attack Instant Run-off Voting because they think it will lead to Democratic victories in close races. Now they want to change the rules when they lost and immediately have a run-off election. I agree with run-offs. Michael, you've got some pull in the Republican party. Why not get them to change the law for the next election. But you can't do it for this one.

Again, Brodkorb is a paid Republican operative, and his side has been claiming election fraud since before the election. Republican Sarah Janacek came on the show and basically said Ritchie has done the best job he could. Yes, there have been problems in the election. Ritchie deserves some blame for these problems. Can you prove that Ritchie intentionally influenced the recount to favor Franken, rather than simply having run a poor recount? Can you prove that every problem you have brought up was not dealt with according to the best interpretation of state election law? If not, your accusations of cheating and fraud are crap.

In closing; I didn't vote for either candidate, Lizard People seems to have some good ideas on the economy and the DFL needs to drastically change how they choose their candidates in the future so they can avoid these problems in the future. I don't much care who the Republicans run.

Your Focus On The New Blogroll Stuff leader.

P.S. (Closed Circuit to Bruce: I hope you figured out the secret message)

... And I Feel Fine

Have you ever been talking to some guy who says, "You know, this isn't PC to say, but ..." and you're thinking he's going to say something innocuous like "Why do black people like fried chicken and watermelon?" but instead he says, "I bet Barack Obama is going to wear Grillz and put spinners on the presidential limo and stock the White House with 40's and treat the cabinet like a street gang"? And then that guy insinuates someone else is racist?

Your What The Fuck? Over leader.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Just Enough Knowledge To Know I Don't Know Anything

I've been watching the old TV show "Sliders" on my X-Box Netflix queue. I've been a fan of the parallel dimension idea since I was young, and traveling to different Earths was a great concept. Of course, they often landed on Earths that were very similar to ours. I am curious why they never landed on any other Egyptian worlds that were almost-but-not-quite the Egypt world from the 3rd season.

On a side note, my next cat will be named Schrödinger.

I enjoy reading right-wing blogs and listening to right-wing radio (which can be the same thing here in Minnesota). I do it for two reasons: I've learned that knowing the opponent's argument helps solidify your own; and it reminds me that the "liberals" the right are railing against aren't me.

I've realized that someone with my beliefs couldn't be elected to office by either political party. I've often said I'm not as liberal as some people think I am, and not as conservative as others think I should be. People on both sides of the isle consider "moderates" to be wishy-washy morons who can't decide on an issue.

That may sometimes be true, but a political moderate can also be someone who doesn't know why being against gun control must also mean being against abortion or believing gays should be allowed to marry also means you must accept smoking bans. I am against strict gun control and pro-choice. I am for allowing gays to marry and against smoking bans. Who would have me?

There are so many issues that have nothing to do with each other that somehow seem to fall in party line. There are those of us who think that both raising taxes and cutting spending are the way out of our budget crisis. Let's face it, Minneapolis, the Target Center green roof is a bad idea. The library green roof was a good idea, though. The difference being that theoretically the library should be around a lot longer than the Target Center. On the other hand small business is booming in MN due to layoffs. Jason Lewis et al would have you believe that no one would ever start a business in MN due to taxes.

I accept that government has a role in America, and for that I would be called a socialist by some. The problem is that business does nothing except for profit. There are benefits to society that aren't profitable. There are also luxuries that may and should not be available to all. Success should have some rewards, after all. It is what we think is which that makes us a "moonbat" or "wingnut."

I also know that entrepreneurs built this country. We often over-regulate business, and then complain when they flee to other nations. We can be business-friendly without screwing employees and the environment, but that means picking our battles. Just banning everything isn't the answer.

I believe in paying for public college for anyone who wants to go. In return, those students must maintain a "B" average or the grant turns into a loan. Those students who should be in college will be, and those who shouldn't will be less likely to bring down the rest. I also think that mandatory secondary school needs to keep the needs of all the kids, not just the lowest achievers, in mind. High achievers are harmed by being mixed with average and below-average students, and so are the rest of us when the best don't live up to their potential. Failure is important to learn, and some kids are smarter than others.

I believe that people (excluding children) receiving public benefits from the government should work to the best of their ability. Welfare shouldn't be a simple handout, and someone in genuine need should be more than willing to work for pay.

Today I heard someone suggest that investment and savings should be tax free. It sounds nice, until you point out that those who already have billions would pay no taxes. The already rich don't need work income. Meanwhile, those making very little don't save or invest, so there's a loss in revenue with no benefit to the majority of people.

My Brother is an actuary at a large firm. Whenever his managers complain about "Taxes on the rich," he offers to exchange salaries to relieve their tax burden. They never accept. The higher your salary, the more you go home with, regardless of the tax rate. Now, I'm not advocating a 90% tax rate, but saying that a progressive tax means there is nothing to work harder for is a lie.

On the other hand, perhaps there should be a minimum tax rate. Everyone should have a stake in where their money is going. They say there's a large portion of people paying no income tax, but when I was making $25,000 a year I still paid income tax, and I was a single guy paying no rent. But since I've always taken a standard deduction, I don't know what kind of tax breaks are available. I know most people are paying property taxes, and everyone pays sales tax, so saying someone pays nothing in taxes isn't true unless they get all of that back in deductions. I'm no financial expert, so help is always appreciated.

As for health care, there is a difference between single-payer and government-run health care. We have the benefit of seeing what works and doesn't work in other nations. I'd like to see legislators realize that what's good for them should be good for everyone. It's easy to complain about a longer wait for an MRI when you can get one right away now. It's different when you can't get one at all.

I'm for decriminalizing drugs. I'm also for lowering the drinking age. Let people make some mistakes. It's a healthy lesson to society when some people screw up.

I don't hate President Bush, and I don't have "Bush Derangement Syndrome." I've disagreed with much of what Bush did in office. I also don't think he is dumb. I've come to realize he's even worse; he plays dumb so a Harvard/Yale educated son of a former president can be liked by the large segment of Americans who think "elite" is a bad word and think "learning" is for pussy nerds who don't like sports.

I also don't think Obama is the second coming. The right made fun of "The One" and "The Obamessiah." I don't know anyone who thinks that way about Obama. Those that do aren't really political minded people. My decision was based on seeing a guy who is intellectually curious, and not afraid to show it.

You can call Obama corrupt because he comes from Chicago, but show me a politician who isn't corrupt and I'll show you a politician who hasn't been elected to much.

I am moderate enough to not like one party having all of the power. I'll be going after the Democrats a lot more in the next 2 years. Not because they're elite socialists, but because full governmental power tends to make people overstep their bounds. We are a moderate country. Not center-right (whatever that means) but center. Few people are represented by either party. I certainly am not, and calling me a moonbat doesn't make it more true. Yes I lean left, but not so far as to not recognize the other side isn't always wrong. Except on religion.

Part 2: The Blogosphere! Coming soon.

Your Sorry About The Lack Of Humor leader.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

FRAUD!!!!!!!

Illegal vote counted in MN senate election ... for Norm Coleman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For all of the talk of illegal Franken votes that was spewing from the right-wing blogosphere, the only proven illegal vote was for Coleman. Heh. Damn you, ACORN! You cheated for the wrong side!

More on this developing story as it develops.

Your Wait, ... What? leader.

Smile!

This quite unlike me, but I saw this sweet video and thought I'd share it. It's 16 minutes long, but if you're having a bad day it will cheer you up. (Yes, that's that guy from Bones)

Validation

(via Kevin Pereira)

Your You Are Awesome leader.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Everbody Wants A Rock To Tie A Piece Of String Around

Actually, while I would like a rock, what I'd really like is a quarterback for the Vikings. And not one of the Heisman Trophy winners coming out of college. Cassel would be nice if he's available, but I hear he may be leading the Patriots to another non-playoff season next year.

Any other suggestions?

As a side note, the other team I usually cheer for lost, so now I have thing to say: "Go Chargers!"

I Don't Feel Any Different

Happy 2009, everybody!

I've been working a spell, but when I'm done, I've got a doozy of a post planned. I'll be spelling out my views on some political matters and some blogosphere matters. It should be fun and illuminating.

Whilst you are waiting, check this out. I have met guys just like this. They're out there!

Your Keep Bringing It leader.