Showing posts from July, 2012

If someone with a clue was running Romney's campaign

Sheesh. These guys are supposed to be the smartest people in the room, right?

It is now an accepted part of the new normal that we are a 50.1% / 49.9% nation when it comes to left and right, right? Well, we didn't start out that way. As few as 30 years ago, presidential elections were competitive, but not super close. Now, armed with vast computing power and the methods by which they can slice and dice data, the cognoscenti know which 6 or 7 states are in play. They then hone their message to speak only to the demographic of the specific 'undecided' voter. (How ANYONE could be undecided in this election still boggles my mind...)

It occurred to me today that we are in this razor-thin margin situation precisely because of the ads and the polling and the scientific manipulation, not the other way around. Like any scientific observation, sometimes the reason things are the way they are can actually be caused by the scientific observation, and not so much on the static environm…

Right to Vote vs. Voter ID

I have had several long discussions on the subject of Voter ID lately. It seems that the left sees any attempt to ensure 'clean' voting as an attempt by Republicans to disenfranchise 'brown' people from their God-given right to vote. Those on the right see it as a way to make sure that Democrats do not gather up a busload of illegal aliens and street bums on election day and drive them from precinct to precinct to vote for Obama. "Vote early, and vote often..." goes the mantra.

Even our good friend Garry Trudeau is jumping into the fray with this week's Doonesbury series.

It is so easy to poke fun at right-wingers, isn't it? I mean, why fix a problem that isn't a problem?

Here is the snag with that argument. If there isn't a problem, then why is something as simple as pulling out an ID to vote such an issue? Do white liberals really care that much about some random poor guy in Erie, PA that makes his way to the Ebeneezer Baptist Church on Tues…

Open letter to my two Senators

There is a lot of buzz in the conservative community (hey, if gays and African-Americans can have a community, so can we) about the proposed signing of the UN Arms Trade Treaty. The rumor is that if this treaty is passed, it gives the UN the right to audit and to control even the existing weapons within the borders of a sovereign nation.

I understand the desire to disarm the world, but guess what? It ain't gonna happen. Sorry folks... reality check. We tried it with Wiemar Germany, we tried it with alcohol during Prohibition, we have tried it with illicit drugs. How's that prostitution thing working out? To think that anyone can voluntarily remove the singular item that allows any man to control any other man is ludicrous. Laudable, yes. Attainable, no.

With these thoughts in mind, here is the text of a message I sent to my two senators, Senator Mark Warner and Senator Jim Webb.

SNAP! I overwrote my cache, so I lost my text. So, here is the jist of it:

Senator, we can be truste…

I see Venus, but where is Uranus?

It has been a crazy season for tomatoes, so far this year. We have quite an eclectic blend of varieties and the giant yellow, Mr. Stripey (which is the size of my hand) lying next to some other tomatoes gave me an idea.

Yes, folks, this is my tomato solar system. Does this count as playing with my food?

What to do, part deux

I will try to keep this post pithy.

Another thing that hinders progress, both politically and socioeconomically in the US is our Constitution. Whoa, whoa, whoa... Wait a minute and hear me out before everyone on the right lynches me (wait, we don't lynch anymore, do we???)

What I mean by that is that the Constitution of the United States specifically spells out powers of the federal government. These powers are also known as the Enumerated Powers. And, according to the 10th Amendment, if it ain't in the Constitution, it is left up to the states, therefore the federal government cannot (and should not) do it.

So, if we as a people want to fund local education using federal money, the Constitution needs to change. If we want to fund companies to develop and manufacture solar panels, the Constitution needs to change. Heck, the Constitution really doesn't give the federal government the power to build an Interstate Highway System,  provide a retirement fund, or provide medical…

What to do, What to do...

For those of you who do not get involved in politics, good for you. Your life is much simpler than those who are. All you really need to worry about is either having a job or getting enough government benefits to make it through to the arrival of the next check (or direct deposit.)

Sure, you have to worry about the normal things, like getting Madison to soccer practice and picking Bryce up after his karate class, but existential issues are pretty much not on your radar. (By the way, please DO NOT vote in the next election since you are not paying attention to what is going on.)

For those of us who follow politics, it is a pretty depressing time. The left is lining up behind Barack Obama because keeping him in charge means that they have a fighting chance at pushing their doctrine on America and the right is reluctantly lining up behind Mitt Romney because electing him means that they will have a fighting chance to push their doctrine on America.

The left feels that the right is a bunc…

What to do with a $3 Million find...

We found out this week that a family in Ohio stumbled onto a cache of baseball cards from 1910 (hopefully not from the 1910 Fruitgum Company) while cleaning out their deceased grandmother's attic. The find is estimated to be worth as much as $3 Million. The proceeds will be divided among the 20 heirs to the woman's estate.

So, here is my question (and I have posed this question in a previous post), if these people are committed Democrats... i.e., left of center, should they sell these cards at an obscene profit, or should they sell them based upon their actual cost, which is ZERO?

Sure, they could justify the gouging of committed baseball card collectors by saying that the collectors don't actually need the cards.. the cards are not a necessity of life, like, say, gasoline, water, Big Macs, chain saws after a tornado, or iPhones. But what if the collector's need to collect can be proven to be some sort of mental deficiency as defined by the Americans with Disabilities …

Does BlogPress do good graphics from an iPad?

I was presented with a question today about how to blog and include pictures, all from an iPad, so I am checking out my BlogPress app that I have rarely used, but which seems to work quite well for text.

So, here is a picture I took just after the derecho tore through Virginia in late June. This is a telephone line that was prompted by a falling oak tree into slicing an aluminum sign almost in half. As far as I could tell, phone service was not disrupted.

As for BlogPress, adding a photo from my iPad was as simple as adding one in Tweetdeck. Only complaint, is that I had a hard time positioning my cursor after the picture. Since Steve Jobs left the arrow keys off of of the keyboard in iOS, I don't quite know who to blame for this annoying glitch.

Oh, one other thing. The text at the bottom of the post is hard to edit, because the virtual keyboard flies up to cover the text I want to point at. But wait. This just in... I was using landscape mode. If I flip the iPad into portrait mode,…

Nature Makes Her Own Rules

This evening I went up on the roof to unclog my gutters before it (hopefully) rains. Today it was around 90 degrees F, but for the past week it was over 100 degrees in the shade.

I climbed up past my chimney and as I looked over at it, I saw 9 maple seedlings and 3 pine seedlings thriving in the little holes and cracks in the brick masonry. I wish I had taken a picture before I plucked the little guys from their foothold.

I thought about how we must water our potted patio tomatoes every day, lest they shrivel up and die, yet these young plants thrive in minute gaps in intensely hot bricks, exposed to scorching sun without rain for at least two weeks.

Go figure.

The New Normal?

When the children who were born during the past decade grow up and find that temperatures are dropping, they will bemoan the fact that "global cooling" is a problem.

Normal is what you are used to. The problem is... Mother Earth didn't get your memo.