April 2008

March 2008 -- 2008 -- May 2008

April 1, 2008

So I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I really have to admit that Hillary Clinton is the better candidate. And so, from now on, I'm going to be posting pro-Hillary articles and links!

Like this video which is what really convinced me she's the best candidate.

Sorry Obama, I've got to go with Hill now!

April 7, 2008

So in case you weren't sure, the last post was indeed an April Fools joke. I just had put it originally on March 31st just to maybe catch a few people. I did end up fooling quite a few of my friends, including one who argued with me about it for a while before I mentioned that I felt that "This, the first day of April, was the day I needed to come clean with my new support for Hillary".

I originally thought about pretending I was going for McCain, but that just seemed to far out there.

Andrew Sullivan has an interesting piece about what it means if Obama lost the nomination not due to policy differences or genuine belief that Hillary is the better candidate, but due to smear attacks and kitchen sink strategies. Heck even I'll get somewhat cynical if for the first time in a generation we have a candidate who treats voters like adults and the other candidate wins because they could sling the most mud and win on fear instead of hope. It's also the kind of thing that drives away the very people that we need to have a strong voice in government. The kinds of people who don't want to delve into the messy pointless politics but that have great ideas on how to make the world better.

And I still don't like how long this keeps getting drawn out.

The general election also looks to be pretty interesting when Congressional race results lead to a Democratic win in a very Red precinct.

Here's the response from the rabbi at the synagogue across the street from Obama's church to the whole Rev Wright ruckus.

Here's a student's thoughts on having Obama as his law professor. "Professor Obama was constantly pushing us to take explicit note of the background context, to recognize the difficulties presented by complex details, and to understand as thoroughly as possible... the differences in perspective and emphasis in the materials we addressed." It just once again shows how he tackles problems pragmatically, looking for the best solution not based on dogma but based on reason.

Finally, there's been a few news stories I've come across talking about how much monday Obama has taken from the healthcare industry, or the oil industry, or law industry, etc etc. Which is true. However they often neglect the fact that this counts everyone who works for those companies. Meaning that if the guy driving the truck that carries equipment back and forth between two oil refinery sites donates to Obama, that counts as "donations from the oil industry". Or for instance, the money I donate supposedly then represents the technology lobby. What Obama is talking about is refusing to take money from lobbyists and PAC's. Even if it's a lobbyist for a non-profit.

And for some non-political writings, here's an amazing video of a Great White shark leaping entirely out of the water!

And then a video of NASCAR driver Michael Mcdowell slamming into a wall at 180MPH, and walking away.

I also went out to Brenham, TX yesterday to meet my parents and go look for some of the famous Texas wildflowers, and and take some photos.

April 8, 2008

So it only took a little over a month, but I finally have the Italy photos up!


My favorites are these of the Trivoli fountain, Colosseum, and St Marks Square. I'm so glad I took my SLR camera, that's the only way I was able to get such amazing night photos.

I really want to go back to Italy, and Europe in general, not only because it's so gorgeous and has so much history, but also because they do several things that America could really learn from.

The first one being they actually use a sane measurement system that is based on powers of 10. We were right in 1921 and I still think we should switch over. The government should just decree a day "Metric Day" and switch everything over at that point. It might be a little messy at first, but people would adapt quickly if they were forced into using it, and it really is a lot better. I've decided that from now on I'm going to start listing things in kilometers and grams.

Europeans also keep time on the 24 hour clock, instead of the 12 hour clock we use here. It makes it easier to keep time straight and as a bonus makes it easier to add and subtract hours in your head.

I also love their mass transit! We rode the trains all across Italy, and it was cheap, fast, and much better than driving. Texas is about the size of Italy and if we really wanted to we could do it, but instead we just build more toll roads and widen the freeways to 30 lanes.

The music channels over there also play real music videos during prime time hours. What a concept!

And finally, while there is so-called "gelato" here in the US, it pales in comparison to the real stuff over in Italy. I ate that stuff 3 times a day at least, it was so mind blowingly good. Also the pizza is much better too, but that's to be expected.

This Italy trip will definitely not be the last time I go overseas. I'm actively looking for other cheap flights to take week long trips around the world, and I've got a few already tentatively planned. My goal is to travel to a far away land at least once a year, and I think I can make that happen.

April 17, 2008

One of the coolest things about Italy was all the tiny ForTwo Smart cars around, which let you do neat parking jobs like this. I remember seeing a Mini Cooper and thinking "Wow, what a big car". But of course that's just not enough room for some people, and that's how the limo ForTwo got created.

So I'm off to Pittsburgh this weekend to visit my old college roommate and met his fiancee for the first time. I've never been up to Pittsburgh before, so I'm excited to explore a new city.

And I had a big long rant about how ridiculous the debate on Wednesday was but I accidentally deleted it. But suffice to say it took over an hour (and 15 questions) before the first actual policy question came up. And there was a freaking question ABOUT FLAG PINS! As a comment I read pointed out "I have no health insurance, I don't give a *#$#$ about a flag pin!". Even ABC knew how stupid that question was when they had a lady ask the question instead of believing that ABC thought it up. I just really really hope that she was an outlier because heaven help our democracy is wearing a label pin is any sort of consideration for who to vote for.

April 24, 2008

Pittsburgh was really cool, I was really impressed as it was much nicer than I was expecting. I've put up some photos of some of the stuff I did.

Everyone's favorite animal rights organization, PETA, announced a contest to spur the development of test tube meat. Using the same process that scientists hope to grow hearts and lungs for human transplants, this would be used to grow food to eat instead of slaughtering cows and chickens. Despite the Frankfood connotation that this invokes, it's actually the same exact same meat that you would eat coming for a chicken, it just doesn't grow on an actual chicken. Apparently there was quite a bit of debate within PETA about offering a cash prize to develop this technology, with many members being repulsed by the mere act of eating flesh, but I have to agree with PETA in this one. While I'll never be a vegetarian and have no moral issue with eating other animals, I also think we could do a lot more to treat cows and chickens better, and think it would be a great opportunity to be able to eat meat without killing something. Plus this could be another gigantic leap in food technology that we can use to help feed our ever growing world, much like the Green Revolution in the 60's enabled us to feed the 6.6 billion people alive today (and hopefully with less of the drawbacks).

Hillary won in Pennsylvania, with the pretty much the exact margin most polls were predicting (and with a MUCH smaller margin than polling a month ago). So after 6 weeks of kitchen sink strategy, she gains a net total of 14 delegates from PA, and thus cuts Obama's lead from 168 pledged delegates to 154 pledged delegates. Which means she still has absolutely no shot at winning the nomination. She would have to win every single remaining contest by more than 30 points, which she has only beat him by that margin exactly once, in Arkansas. Meanwhile Obama has beaten her by more than 30 points in 13 contests.

The most annoying thing that the media has tried to play up is how Obama just can't seem to get that white blue collar vote, which not only ignores all the white blue-collar states he's won, but also that this is a primary, not the actual election. It's more a question of if they will refuse to vote for Obama versus if they just prefer Hillary. Secondly there is no talk about how Hillary can't seem to get the young, black, or well, basically any other demographic that Obama doesn't do as well in. Using her same logic she would have no shot at winning in November either then. What keeps getting lost is that this is not a zero sum game!

There is also the constant criticism that Obama can't deliver the knockout punch to get Hillary to drop out. But yet he did this back in February when he won 11 contests in a row and made it impossible for her to catch up! You can't make someone quit, but this race was essentially over after Super Tuesday back in February when she didn't get a big enough of a push to overcome Obama. One of the more interesting facts that most people don't know is that at no point during this entire process did Obama trail in pledged delegates. He's been winning the entire time. And as this blog pointed out, why has the candidate with far more name recognition, with a popular ex-president as a husband, and who was winning by 30 points back in the Fall not put away Obama? This was her race to lose, and she managed to lose it. Yet no one in the mass media seems to pick up on that little fact. Instead it's just more stories about why Obama can't get her to drop out. But as long as the media can get great ratings by keeping the primary going, they don't really report on the reality of the situation, and that's how we get so many voters who don't even realize she has no chance anymore.

Of course if Obama wanted to play it safe, he'd drop out now and be basically assured the presidency in 2012. Or well assuming that the conspiracy theories aren't right and Hillary isn't staying in just to damage Obama enough so he'll lose and she can run in 2012 herself.

March 2008 -- 2008 -- May 2008