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Archive for October, 2007

Grammar, Guiliani-style

Posted by Brian on October 31, 2007

Here’s Senator Joe Biden on Rudy “America’s Mayor” Guiliani peculiar grammar tics:

And the irony is, Rudy Giuliani, probably the most underqualified man since George Bush to seek the presidency, is here talking about any of the people here. Rudy Giuliani… I mean, think about it! Rudy Giuliani. There’s only three things he mentions in a sentence — a noun, a verb, and 9/11. There’s nothing else! There’s nothing else! And I mean this sincerely. He’s genuinely not qualified to be president.”

I know Joe Biden has his detractors, but from what I’ve seen and heard from him he comes across as quite intelligent, experienced, and reasonable. Unfortunately for him, the SCLM has deemed him a 2nd-tier candidate so he doens’t get as much exposure as the likes of Clinton and Obama.

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Flag Football

Posted by Brian on October 28, 2007

So I signed up for our school’s co-ed flag football team for a bit of exercise. We played our first game last weekend and let me tell you, it was a huge physical challenge. I don’t remember the last time I put my body through the ringer like that over the course of an hour. I was stiff, slow, and out of shape. So bad, in fact, that I spent most of the game just rushing and blocking, two roles that don’t require a lot of speed. My personal highlight moment was when I called a specific play for a successful TD pass to myself. As I spent most fo the time blocking on offense, I figure if I faked blocking for a moment than drifted out for a short pass into the TD I would be ignored… and I was right. Our QB lobbed me the ball and I caught it for 6 points, falling down in the process, of course (something I did alot of that day). We ended up losing that game though. For the next day or two, I could barely walk.

We played again today and this time we had an excess of players so I was only able to play for about 6 minutes. I know I’m probably something of a liability to me my team because of the shape I’m in, but I signed up for the league for exercise. It was a bit disappointing to have to stand on the sidelines and watch. But still, we barely won today after some very sketchy play calling on our part late in the game.

I showed up early today to exercise and practice a bit before the game. Even just lightly warming up, I could feel the strain it was putting on my body. Even a simple jog and catch would leave me limping and out of breath. It sucks getting old.

THe age issues reminded me of one of the challenges being a grad student at my age: a distinct age gap between me and most of my classmates. It’s a bit awkward getting to know everybody.

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Bumper Sticker of the Day

Posted by Brian on October 22, 2007

Seen in Downtown Seattle yesterday:

Bipartisanship: I’ll hug your elephant when you kiss my ass

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My Wallet…

Posted by Brian on October 19, 2007

As I posted about earlier, my wallet was stolen 2 days before leaving Korea and after after I resigned myself to never seeing it again, I received an email message from the American Embassy in Seoul telling me that someone found it on the street and returned it to the SHinchon police station, who gave it to the embassy people. Well, to finish the story, I received it in the mail today.

What’s in it?

Too my surpise and great delight, everything was in it except for the money. I got back all my credid cards (cancelled now, of course), my social security card, my collection of stamp cards from a number of businesses, and, most importantly, my pictures of my wife.  As I thought, someone simply swiped the money and tossed the wallet aside.

Another bit of good news is that I finally received the final box that I sent from Korea. I’m always a bit nervous when I ship stuff home from Korea, but I’ve had good luck so far with everything arriving in pretty good shape.

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Congrats, Al Gore!

Posted by Brian on October 12, 2007

Congratulations to Al Gore for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s a well-deserved feather in his cap.

Now, if he’ll just run for president…

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Dump the Electoral College

Posted by Brian on October 12, 2007

Salon has a clear, well-written, persuasive article in favor of getting rid the electoral colleg system here.

Of course, we all know that any sort of reform is a pipe dream as it would require the smaller states to give up their disproportinate influence over our presidential elections. Am I being partisan? Hardly… I just want the candidate who gets the most votes to win. What’s so wrong with that in a democracy?

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Just when you thought…

Posted by Brian on October 11, 2007

Just when you thought the American conservative movement could sink no lower than mocking people with disabilities and wearing fake “Purple Heart” band-aids, they’ve proven there is even lower to sink through their swift-boating of a frickin 12 year old.

Graeme Frost thinks the SCHIP program is a good thing, as it helped him and his sister survive a horrible car crash.  The right’s response? If you thought they might respond to his arguments with facts and reason, you’re sadly mistaken. Instead, they turned to their usual methods of character assasination by ripping the poor kid, his family, spreading lies about them, and – and I mean this most literally – stalking them. 

Crooks and Liars has a quote from an individual involved in the story:

“What these right wing bloggers and some of their Republican friends in Washington have done to this family is simply unconscionable. Instead of attacking the issue, they decided to attack a 12-year old boy. This entire smear campaign by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin and their allies has been a perverse distraction from the issue at hand – the plight of millions of uninsured children in this country. It also needs to be remembered that the Frosts were viciously attacked for simply speaking their minds and voicing their support for the SCHIP program that was so instrumental in saving the lives of their children. From the Frosts’ perspective, what could be more American?

And note we’re not talking about behavior by a few anonymous online commentators; according to Think Progress, “serious” conservative voices such as Michelle Malkin, The National Review, Wizbang, Powerline, and the Weekly Standard have all contributed to the shit being thrown at this family. Ms. Malkin herself has descended to the level of a stalker and has harrassed the father’s co-workers as part of her effort to crack this “story” wide open. Unfortunately for this unhinged mob of haters-of-12-year-olds-recovering-from-comas, the “dirt” they dug up was shown to be false. Time magazine reports:

It turns out, however, that not everything about the Frosts’ life pops up on a Google search. While Graeme does attend a private school, he does so on scholarship. Halsey Frost is a self-employed woodworker; he and his wife say they earn between $45,000 and $50,000 a year to provide for their family of six. Their 1936 rowhouse was purchased in 1990 for $55,000. It was vacant and in a run-down neighborhood that has improved since then, in part because of people like themselves who took a chance. It is now assessed at $263,140, though under state law the value of that asset is not taken into account in determining their eligibility for SCHIP. And while they are still uninsured, they claim it is most certainly not by choice. Bonnie Frost says the last time she priced health coverage, she learned it would cost them $1,200 a month.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by this turn of events. After all, I’ve seen all sorts of offensive behavior, from Rush mocking a person with Parkinson’s,  to Ann Coulter accusing family members of the 9-11 attacks as “enjoying” the deaths of their husbands, to Kerry getting swift-boated by a pack if liars and Rethuglican delegates mocking his Purple Heart medals by wearing Purple Heart band-aids. They engage in such behavior because their side accepts it, because they hate liberals, progressives, and democrats, and even 12-year old kids who probably don’t even have their own established political philosophy, but just want to be an advocate for a program that helped them. It’s like the 2-minute hate, only 24-7.

There’s a real ugly streak in the American conservative movement as demonstrated by the moral degenerates who are at the forefront of it, and frankly, I’m glad I’m not a part of it. I will happily accept the fringe elements of the left, who at their worst might be guilty of holding up some offensive placards at some small rally on some obscure college campus somewhere; just keep the likes of Rush, Coulter, Malkin, and O’Reilly far, far away from me.

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Brokeback GOP

Posted by Brian on October 9, 2007

In light of the GOP’s recent bathroom problems, a caller on the Mike Malloy Show last night reported that he has started seeing “GOP HQ” stickers pasted up on men’s bathroom stalls. Too funny…

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