Patrick's Rants



11/21/2008

Important Court Opinions

Filed under: It's funny,Politics — site admin @ 9:00 am

I’m certainly glad this judge was awake when he ordered this lawsuit dismissed.

11/11/2008

Ruminations From the LTSP List

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 8:11 am

The mailing list that I follow, and occasionally reply to, for users of the K12LTSP software turned up a discussion of how hard it is to get schools and school districts off the Microsoft tit:
(more…)

11/6/2008

Hate Boils Over

Filed under: General — site admin @ 9:16 am

I knew yesterday would be a tense day at work. Obama had done what no other black man has done, win the presidency of the United States. I cautioned my daughter1 to not talk politics nor to discuss the election; she accompanies me many days. What I didn’t expect was the level of hatred that I encountered. As I walked up the stairs to the dispatch office I passed the AM dispatcher. She told me she was on her way to MVD to get plates for her car. She was leaving a full hour early. No one begrudges her the time, she often is answering the phone when drivers call in sick or dealing with an accident on the weekend remaining essentially on call even when she’s not at work.

Leading up to the election, I heard how Obama was going to be assassinated, that there would be riots in the streets and gun sales were up. I dismissed most of this as ramblings of conspiracy nuts. At least one plot appears to be true with the arrest of two hate mongers. I was not prepared for the full on ignorance and roiling hatred that I would encounter once I got to work. One of my coworkers listens to Rush at an obnoxious volume. On some days I tell him there is a squeal on the radio and he changes the station. Some days I mean the feedback because the station doesn’t come in very well, some days I mean the bile that spills from Rush’s mouth. Yesterday, at least two coworkers were immersed in the Limpbaugh hot tub of hostility. Limpbaugh, gnashing and baring his teeth like a rabid hyena, started before Obama takes office by ripping apart his acceptance speech.2

“There will be setbacks and false starts.”

Limpbaugh’s excitement can barely be contained,

“he’s backpedaling and telling us that he can’t do the job!”

He next dissects

“But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree.”

flubbering and blustering about with that line. No Limpbaugh, even if you think that you speak for god, or that your talent is on loan from god, you do not. If your talent is on loan from god, then your god is an idiot. Obama will rightfully not listen to hate speech as spewed by festering pustules such as yourself. No discussion with you will be productive.

Another coworker, near tears of anger, professed that she couldn’t believe that that communist won, gas prices are gonna go through the roof. I’m surprised she didn’t call him a terrorist while she was at it. The GOP was slandering Obama with that.

Whether McCain quietly weeps into his wife’s shoulder over his defeat or he truly believes his own concession speech3 I do not know. McCain has called for us to work together,

“I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.”

While I stoically watched both speeches on election night, I refused to believe that Obama had actually won – my skepticism that the Help Americans Vote Act would turn out a clean election tempering any elation that I could have had. Now, thinking back on the hope of Obama’s speech, I get misty-eyed and a little choked up much like I imagine Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s followers must have done. It’s too bad McCain’s rabid, bigoted, self-righteous and venomous followers could not hear the inspiring words of McCain’s speech. They certainly did not hear the optimism of Obama.

  1. Sixteen years ago, when she was less than 20 hours old, George HW Bush called Bill Clinton to concede the election – something that I only recently told her. There were two things to celebrate that night.
  2. Transcript
  3. Transcript

Waiting to Exhale

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 6:50 am

I nervously watched the early election results come in Tuesday night. The first results ticked in: McCain 6 Obama 3. The electoral votes were painfully slow in the age of the instant internet. My wife was far more optimistic than I. She hasn’t been reading stories of tampered or tamperable voting machines for the last eight years like I have. I watched Florida get counted for Gore, then Bush, then too close to call in 2000. I read the allegations of tampering in Ohio and promises from the CEO of Deibold, the voting machine manufacturer, to deliver Ohio to Bush. I didn’t care that Obama was the projected winner on every network with 338 electoral votes. I was not going to believe an Obama win until McCain gave a concession speech.

So what happened? Was John McCain ready to be President or ready to retire? He’s 72. Did he really want to be the next President of the United States? Did he purposefully pick an unknown, untested, politically immature and inexperienced woman as his running mate to throw the election? McCain’s mother is still alive at 96, but there are surely doubts about his potential longevity. If he didn’t really want to win what a great way to play the age card – by pulling a joker out of the deck. If he chooses, he can say he picked the wrong running mate, although he stands behind the choice for now. He might have drawn more votes with Joe the Lieberman, but he didn’t pick him, did he? Heck, at 72 I’m gonna be driving a motor home Willie Nelson style around the country, maybe me and McCain (by then 150) might share a beer at a KOA somewhere while we compare our Good Sam Club stickers.

He didn’t get mad and act unstable like he did in 2000 to prove that he’s not ready, but he didn’t remember how many homes he owns when asked either. This time, McCain had to lose through no fault of his own. He even suspended his campaign temporarily to “fix” the economic meltdown. The first draft failed to pass making McCain’s move less than stellar and causing people to wonder if McCain was overestimating his own self importance.

Fools Rush In

Limpbaugh pushed his listeners to vote for Hillary in the primaries where they could cross the party line. In fact he was happier than a lipstick wearing pig in the stinky black stuff – scratch that – he was happier than vacationing with his he-man woman haters club, as long as Clinton and Obama were butting heads. What if Limpbaugh was so focused on his seething hatred of Clinton that his extremist listeners who might have voted for more right leaning Huckabee or Romney were instead suckered into throwing their support – if only temporarily – behind a “feminazi” thus causing destruction of his own purported party? In truth, an Obama win keeps the hate-mongering Limpbaugh on the air for a minimum of another four years.

11/5/2008

Referendum Review

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 9:05 am

Arizona propositions, 2008.

  • 100: Passed. Prevents imposition of new taxes on the sale or transfer of real property. There was no advertising against this, but major advertising paid for by the Arizona Association of Realtors intended to scare the voters into believing that transfer taxes were inevitable.
  • 101: Too close to call, in my opinion. There is only a difference of .1% between the Yes and No votes. This would amend the AZ constitution regarding health care. Analysis is not in agreement on whether this would be good or bad based on wording that is subject to interpretation.
  • 102: Passed. Amends the AZ constitution to define marriage as one man and one woman. Disheartening to me as it serves to limit rights instead of expand them and forces someone else’s religious views against homosexuals.
  • 105: Failed. This would count registered non-voters in AZ as if they bothered to go to the polls on certain referendums. It was called majority rule by the proponents. Tell you what, if it bothers you that 15% of the registered voters make it to the polls maybe you should get off your own butt and encourage people to vote. That would be true majority rules.
  • 200: Failed. This would allow the pay-day loan industry to continue past its current expiration of 2010. It would have made some other changes. Major funding for this Pay-Day Loan Reform as it was called came from the pay-day loan industry itself, much like the AAR supporting 100 (and if this was sleazy, then so was the AAR raising the tax issue when it didn’t exist in order to protect their industry)
  • 201: Failed. Homeowner’s bill of rights. This would have required home builders to respond to complaints about shoddy workmanship and change some of the builders’ responsibilities from optional to required. Unfortunately, there was major funding against it that misconstrued it as increasing lawsuits by anyone off the street whether they bought a home or not. This little sliver that was advertised this way would have only required the builder to supply disclosures to a prospective buyer.
  • 202: Failed. Called Stop Illegal Hiring, the law it would have modified should be thrown completely out.
  • 300: Failed. Would have raised AZ legislators’ salaries for their part time job from $24,000 to $32,000. They haven’t had a raise in ten years but no one wants to give them one while the country and state are in bad financial shape.

What Does The Win Mean?

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 8:32 am

McCain gave a somber and gracious concession speech. I’m sure that most people watched as he handed the victory over to Obama. I was almost proud to hear him speak. The commercials being run by the GOP were equating Obama with terrorism – so classy.

It’s time to look forward; Obama has his work cut out for him.

  • He has to reshape the war on terror. Clinton struck at Al Qaeda with precision. Small forces against a hidden enemy – a single missile strike against a single terrorist training camp, not rolling into countries for revenge becoming the terrorists ourselves. This is what Obama needs to do as well.
  • He must attack the economy aggressively. The $700b bailout needs to be reconsidered. Keeping homeowners in their homes will keep banks from failing and keep our neighborhoods from becoming a swath of crack houses. It has to be done sensibly. Second and third homes, fraudulent mortgage applicants and investors cannot be the beneficiaries of any homeowner support plan. Close the loophole of unregulated products and let those companies that chose to play in the waters where no lifeguard was on duty drown. You cannot have it both ways.

    While we are on this topic, let’s revisit the unrealistic expectation that we can significantly raise the homeownership rate. Alan Greenspan has recently stated that he believes that he may have been part of the “housing bubble” by keeping interest rates too low for too long. Rates should be sensible, but the Fed must remain independent. Trying to shoehorn anyone who wants to buy a home into a loan has to be stopped. Banks, mortgage companies and brokers must be held to a higher standard. They know more than the average home buyer and the onus is on them to be responsible.

  • He must aggressively attack our dependence on foreign oil. This means funding for what he has called the green collar worker. Wind power, solar power and garbage to crude conversion plants. Drilling won’t do it – that only delays the inevitable. Solar, through photo voltaic and solar concentration has huge potential. It’s time to turn the potential energy into kinetic energy and stop wasting it. Supporting alternative electricity means rebuilding our infrastructure to handle the loads – that means jobs.
  • He must undo the damage to our reputation around the world and here at home; restore our rights ripped away under the so-called Patriot Act. Return unjustifiably held “enemy combatants” to their homes. Give them a check for their “troubles” and ask their forgiveness.

Once those things are done, he can look at the rolling back the Bush tax plan and comprehensive health care.

11/4/2008

#57

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 10:21 am

I voted this morning at my usual polling place. Normally there are fewer than ten voters ahead of me. Today, I was #57 on the Scantronic count. I did change a couple of my votes from my previous posting.
Based upon others’ dissection of Prop 101 I changed my vote to no.
Decided to vote a solid no on 202.
These are the only two that I changed my mind on based upon more information.

10/30/2008

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 6:54 am

Come on Palin. I know you are wearing your best consignment digs these days – after being called out on spending more on a few outfits than most of us make in a year. But, according to CNN.com, Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday said Sen. Barack Obama has ties to a Columbia University professor who she said is “a former spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organization.”

Palin said her assertion “is not negative campaigning to call someone out on their record.”

“It seems that there is yet another radical professor from the neighborhood who spent a lot of time with Barack Obama going back several years,” Palin said at an event in Bowling Green, Ohio.

If you never travel, never leave the country and sit diligently watching Russia across the Bering Straits you will never meet a controversial person. And this is how Sarah has lived her life – when she wasn’t firing her ex-brother-in-law or having the state pay for her kids’ travel expenses.

Exxon Mobil Earns Another Record Profit

Filed under: Money,Politics — site admin @ 6:25 am

Exxon Mobil reports another record profit. CNN reports that it partly due to the high price of oil. It’s time to push the oil companies into heavy research mode. There are alternative methods of creating crude oil, but Exxon and its cohorts would rather sit on the profits. At a time when the stock market is melting down, people are worried about their jobs, spending less and housing is set to go into free-fall, big oil needs to be working on a way to keep our money here instead of sending it to the Middle East. This is the company that Jeff Flake wants to reduce corporate taxes for.

What’ More Important?

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 6:18 am

John McCain took another swipe at Obama yesterday. He said, “when I’m President I won’t interrupt the World Series with an infomercial”.
First, in the Bush Dukakis race in 1988, both candidates ran 30 minute prime time blocks. Ross Perot was running everything he had. Second, if McCain really thinks that baseball is more important than the future of the country he is even more out of touch than just thinking the middle class extends to $5 million per year income and not knowing whether he has one house or eight. His explanation of his miscount is reminiscent of asking the definition of “is”.

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