sylvar: (Default)
First, consider this:
"Hundreds of thousands of Americans file for personal bankruptcy each year because of medical bills—even though they have health insurance, according to a new [2005] study by Harvard University legal and medical researchers."—Study Ties Bankruptcy to Medical Bills, by Reed Abelson, New York Times

And when so many people are forced into poverty by the absence of universal health care, mortgages fail. And that's a major cause of this financial crisis:
"None of this would have happened if the housing market had not imploded, leaving all these firms with staggering losses from their investments tied to mortgages."—How we got here: It's housing, stupid, by Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer
sylvar: (Default)
OK, I'm sure that McCain would do much, much better than me on this quiz. I got only 10 points. 11, depending on your margin of error for "a rough guess".

Take the quiz and see if you know more than the politicians you poke fun at.

Hint: "Byzantine" is not a correct answer.

So how'd you do? Post here and/or on your own blog.
sylvar: (Default)
This article from Time Magazine is a pretty good outline of how Alaska is the ultimate welfare state: it receives more federal tax dollars than any other state in the union. It gives its residents handouts, thanks to a windfall profits tax on oil (a tax supported by Obama and opposed by McCain!).

And Sarah Palin has been at the forefront of making all of this happen:

Sarah Palin's Alaskanomics
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1839724-2,00.html

I've compiled a list of a few other things not mentioned in the article... with links to sources backing it all up.

- She was in favor of the "bridge to nowhere" before it become a national embarrassment; then she turned against it. But guess what? She kept the money, and spent it on other road projects (including the "road to the bridge to nowhere", which currently leads up to an empty beach).
Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB122090791901411709.html
Boston Herald
http://news.bostonherald.com/news/2008/view.bg?articleid=1116208&srvc=2008campaign&posit ion=12

- She didn't sell the previous governor's plane on eBay. It was posted a few times, but no one bought it. Ultimately, state officials sold it at a $600,000 loss.
Washington Post
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/09/05/plane_not_sold_on_ebay.html

- She didn't even fire the governor's personal chef! She just transferred her to another department in state government (where she is still a chef).
Voice of the Times - "A Conservative Voice For Alaskans"
http://www.voiceofthetimes.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=96&editoria l=1
Anchorage Daily News
http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/288561.html

- She billed the state for a "per diem" travel allowance, for nights spent at her own home.
Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/08/AR2008090803088.html?hpid=topnew s

- She talks about being opposed to federal pork-barrel spending. But as mayor of Wasilla, she hired a lobbyist who raked in $27 million in federal dollars for the town of 6,700 residents. (That's $4029 of our taxes given to each Wasillan.)
The Political Chase
http://politicalchase.com/2008/09/02/palin-hired-lobbyist-to-get-millions-in-earmarks/

- When she started as mayor of Wasilla, the town was debt-free. When she left, the town had $20 million in debt.
Politico.com
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0808/12987.html

Almost her entire record as a "reformer" and a "fiscal conservative" is sheer fiction. No wonder they are not letting her do any press interviews...

(via)
sylvar: (Obama: Illegal Wiretaps We Can Believe I)
Obama's campaign usually gets it right, but this is just bad. It would be better as its own blog. The joy of Google Reader is the serendipity of letting other people read blogs I don't, and trusting them to share just what they think is cool or important. The Obama for America Google Reader shared items feed makes a mockery of this personal connection.

If anyone from the campaign reads this: guys, pick a few staffers to scour the media for articles that help you make your point about why we need Obama's policies, and KEEP IT PERSONAL! Nobody wants a stentorian advisory that further information on the subject is available elsewhere. Inject an on-message bullet point with some genuine personality and move on to the next item.

For example, when linking to the story about the 2,000,000th campaign donor, your comment on it was: "Listen to Barack Obama's phone call to the 2 millionth donor at http://my.barackobama.com/twomillionth".

How about: "Turns out it was a small-business owner who said business is terrible. I guess he considered his donation a strategic investment in the American economy."
sylvar: (B5: The B5 Mantra (Ivanova is God))

Seriously, look at these guys.

Rand Knight, Senate candidate (D-GA)



Mr. Morden, unofficial ambassador (S-B5)

He's got the same smile.  To quote season 1's horrific non-accented idiomatic Ivanova, "This, to me, is not a good thing."
sylvar: (Obama: Illegal Wiretaps We Can Believe I)
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has marked as possibly inappropriate for anyone under the age of 18. )

My credo

Jul. 11th, 2008 10:36 pm
sylvar: (Default)
I tinkered with the look of my LJ tonight, and decided to use a style that allows custom text. Here's what I put there:

I believe in humanity: our indwelling capacity for good, our insatiable desire to make ourselves known to one another, our coruscating passion for knowledge, our ability to handle the truth, and our capacity for learning from really dumb mistakes.

I believe in humor as the universal solvent of ignorance, grief, and fear.

I believe in public libraries.

I believe in using intellectual property rights to establish a sustaining wellspring for the creative endeavors of others; I believe in the Creative Commons license.

I believe in putting final punctuation outside the quotes unless it was present in the original.

I believe in the Oxford comma.

I don't believe in rigid gender lines, violence as national economic policy, or any particular religion (though I'm congenial to many).


A friend of mine took a religious education class at a Unitarian Universalist church. No, seriously. One of the products was her own personal credo. This is mine.
sylvar: (Default)
John McCain hates me--I'm doing SOMETHING right!!!"I hate the bloggers!"

Wait, what?

Jul. 3rd, 2008 09:28 am
sylvar: (Default)
Did someone else (perhaps Israel or Iran) bring up the topic of Israel bombing Iran, or did the Bush administration just start talking about the topic by denying that they wanted it to happen?  I wouldn't put it past them.

What would your reaction be if a coworker said, out of nowhere, "I really don't think Joe should sucker-punch you as you come out of the meeting"?  You'd start to think that maybe Joe was up to something, wouldn't you?

Reminds me of Wag the Dog.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: And it's most certainly NOT about the B-3 bomber.
John Levy: There is no B-3 bomber.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: I just said that! There is no B-3 bomber. I don't know how these rumors get started!

In related news:

I deny that I want gorgeous women to start coming up to me and kissing me without warning.  It would threaten to destabilize my whole region.

Damn.

May. 20th, 2008 09:58 pm
sylvar: (R&J: Methinks I need a stiff drink)
This is the most eloquent and heartbreaking political speech I've ever seen. And while I'm shocked that he won't be in it, I totally understand his reasons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x20v9F-sWHQ&eurl=http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/05/20/obama.quits.presidential.race/index.html
sylvar: (Default)
I'm okay with that. 

Well, as long as it depicts God accurately:
sylvar: (Me: Ignatius J. Reilly)
Let's just skip the intermediate steps of hyperbole and go straight to calling it

The Only Tuesday That Has Ever Mattered In The Entire Universe—And The Only Tuesday That Ever Will
sylvar: (Clerks: Um... yay.)
Here's a little video comparing Hillary Clinton to Tracy Enid Flick (from Election):
sylvar: (Default)
I read a bit of Mary Wollstonecraft to Jodi tonight, since I read faster aloud than she does at all, and man oh man. It's like getting a tattoo†: there *is* a good point involved, but it gets used over and over and over again until you become somewhat accustomed to the pain and just wait for it to be done with.

On the positive side, there's always a bit of hilarity involved whenever she says "In short, ..." or "But let me return to the subject at hand...", and you could make a drinking game‡ out of observing how often she says "private virtue" and "public virtue", or "duty", or "baneful", or alludes to Paradise Lost or Shakespeare.

She really does have some excellent points, but they can be made quite briefly (see the "Very Squashed version"). Mostly, she's saying that girls ought to be taught in the same classrooms with boys, because if you don't stimulate a young woman's intellect, you can't expect her to be anything but an airhead. She's also saying that parents and tyrants demand, rather than earn respect, and that they should instead teach their charges to follow the dictates of reason and not of those in authority, if the two conflict.

There: now you don't have to actually *read* her Vindication of the Rights of Women.

†I've never gotten a tattoo, mind you, so I could be wrong about what THAT experience is like.

‡Some people, in fact, HAVE made a drinking game out of this. It's more commonly known as grad school.
sylvar: (Default)
So here's a neat site: Finetune. You pick songs for a playlist and the whole world can listen to your taste in music, streaming for free.

Here's my first: Air Force Bake Sale.


Got any suggestions for songs to add? I accidentally added two copies of "Peace, Love and Understanding", and I'd like to at least replace the duplicate...
sylvar: (Default)
I went to the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Wesley Chapel tonight with a shopping list including beer.  In the Valrico store, the beer is behind the soda, but not in this one.  So I asked an employee: "Pardon me, where's the beer?"

"We're across from a church and next to a school."

"Um... I'm sorry, I was asking where the beer is.  You know, like Michelob."

"We're not allowed to sell beer because we're across from a church and next to a school."

"But religious people don't HAVE to buy beer, and the schoolkids CAN'T buy it, and the teachers probably NEED it.  What gives?"

"It's against the law."

"???... Stupidest law ever.  OK, thanks very much."

It's bad enough that SuperTarget and Publix were closed today, but sheesh.  Preventing Wal-Mart from selling me a 12-pack of Michelob Ultra Amber is not only dumb, it's just wrong.  Who the hell do I talk to to get this law changed?!

I'm pissed because I can't get pissed.

(Well, okay, I have liquor, but jeez.)  
sylvar: (Ignatius J. Reilly)
According to a radio news story I just heard, the World Health Organization is estimating that there will be 900,000 Lebanese people displaced by the end of the day due to Israel's dirty little war.

Israel is considering an invasion by massive ground forces, and refuses to stop until Hezbollah is completely disarmed.

I grew up learning about the history of the people of Israel (Am Yisrael) and the country of Israel (Eretz Yisrael), and I was led to believe that they were one and the same. But groups like Neturei Karta (Orthodox Jews United Against Zionism) seem to offer a different view -- that there should be no country of Israel until the Messiah shall establish it.

Perhaps Jews do deserve a country after the Holocaust. But I think Germany would have been a more appropriate choice than Palestine. And I think that Israel has lost any claim on the world's sympathy.

I don't have any solutions. I don't know what I want. But I think that GWB's advice to others would be a pretty good idea for the Israeli government and military: Stop doing that shit. And maybe we shouldn't have sold them all those weapons.
sylvar: (Oh purr!)
It's time to renew my registration -- so that's an ideal time to think about a new license plate.

According to this link (via [livejournal.com profile] tregoweth), I could have a plate that says SYLVAR, or one that says CØG1TØ. But I think what I'd really like is an Imagine license plate that says:
IMAGINE
NO GOP

It's easy if you try.
 
sylvar: (Default)
This is the best idea for celebrating Easter that I've seen in a long time, maybe ever. I wonder if I'll have the balls to participate? Probably not. That sucks.
sylvar: (HIMYM: Barney/Ted Shared Moment)
It says something about Jodi's brothers that this joke got a big laugh:

"You just rolled up something stupid! Wait, it's cousin Dubya! Ohh! Stop getting in the way!"

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