By Way of Introduction

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him vote. They would have to modify the booth to accommodate his horse shape.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Things to Come

For the two people out there who are reading this, I would like to apologize for the e-n-o-r-m-o-u-s length of time between my first two posts.

Now that that's out of the way, I have a few ideas on which I'd like some constructive criticism.

1) I want to start a website where I post my invaluable political opinions and ask readers to argue me out of them.  If your argument sways me, it gets posted, as it is now MY opinion.  I may even claim it was mine the whole time.  Who knows?
    a) This idea was an offshoot of the above, so it doesn't count as its own idea, even though it may be a far cooler idea.  And I know this line is supposed to be indented, but it won't let me do that in the intuitive way, and it just doesn't matter enough to me to find out how to do it.

Hold the phone, Joan.

I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, "Why don't you just use the bullets option.  It's RIGHT THERE AT THE TOP OF YOUR STUPID PAGE."  Well, it just so happens that I hate using the bullet formatting, because, inevitably, I want to change something about the accepted format and can't.  At least not without doing more research, which brings us right back to the same issue we had with bullet formatting.

Laziness.

And don't yell.  I'm way too old to be yelled at.  This has gotten too convoluted.  I'm going to start with a brand new letter.
    b) I think I just figured out how to do the indenting.
    c) Yep.  I did.
    d) Here it is:  You take these opinions, which we discussed way back in the first paragraph, and
        you run for President. Seriously. On no money. Try and get some donated time from some
        webbies, get yourself a huge volunteer force, and see if we can't get rid of the old idea that you
        need a ton of cash to run a real campaign. If it takes off, the free publicity alone would probably be
        enough exposure to make some waves.

We need to make it so our lawmakers don't need corporate money or special interest money to get elected, or re-elected. Truthfully, I think term limits would be in order for Congresspersons, but I think that the most immediate threat to our democratic system is the issue of We the Peoples' representatives in government being bought. In no way was that part of the deal, and it has got to stop.

The Wall Street occupation is refreshing, but I think they need to evolve to be truly meaningful. Focus. Consolidate. Vote. Abstaining from a vote is not a meaningful form of political action. Write someone in if you don't like any of the candidates on your ballot. Hell, write me in.

I heard a law prof from Harvard speaking on the radio the other day about his new book, in which he discusses the idea of calling a new Constitutional Convention. Apparently, the States can call such a convention, if Congress has grown too corrupt. He thinks that the ideal result from such a Convention would be an amendment regarding campaign financing. While he makes some good arguments, and I like the idea, there are too many ways for it to go wrong.

Horribly wrong.
What if this convention gets together and decides they have a different agenda? Think of how much money and effort would go into buying the States' votes. I guess it could solve some State budget issues.

Now post me your thoughts on these ideas.  Separately, and as a matched pair.  Maybe the first part is viable, but the second is cuckoo.

And keep it clean.  Words tell us a lot about each other.  Pun intended.  But seriously, they do.

And yes, I know you can't have a "1)" without a "2)." But times are tough, and we just couldn't afford a "2)."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Inaugural Edition

I wrote this last Monday night, got busy, never posted it.  So, for what it's worth, here is my first actual post.  Fittingly, it is late.  "Why is that fitting?" you might ask.  "Mind your business." would be one possible response to that question.

My wife has recently begun blogging. 'Nuf said. I had to launch my own blog out of necessity, as it's the only way I'm ever going to be able to get her attention again. Truth is, I've been meaning to do this for some time, and seeing how much fun she's having with it kind of lit a fire under my rear end to do the same.

I have plans for this blog to have a decidely political slant, but for now... a rant. Rant #1 of many is about the NFL™. Specifically, Monday Night Football™. More specifically, Jon Gruden™. Now, Jon went to high school in my hometown, and I liked him all right when he was at the helm in Tampa Bay, but his game-calling is atrocious. He'll say things like "You've got to look for anything here." when describing what the defense should expect on a particular play.  

Thanks for breaking that down for us, coach.

Then he started firing off a bunch of the Bucs' salary numbers.  10 million here, 52 million there, etc.  I'll bet the NFL loved that junk.  All these poor and/or jobless peeps out there watching some football to escape the reality of plenty-o-bills, but not plenty-o-bucks, and this guy is nonchalantly talking about the obscene salaries of these guys who get paid to play a game.  I could just imagine Grudey's boothmates cringing every time he opened his mouth.

And why do we need three people in the booth?


If you can't find two guys who can perform that job, you're just looking in the wrong places. Stop giving jobs to every retired coach or athlete who can form a semi-coherent sentence and start giving them to qualified broadcasters. The best thing you can do is find the game on the radio and mute the television.

I particularly enjoyed hearing Jon struggling to make it sound impressive that his beloved Bucs were hanging with the Colts. The Manning-less Colts. The Bullitt-less, Bracket-less Colts. The 0 and 3 (now 0 and 4) Colts. The Jim Caldwell Colts. "Who?" you ask? He's the coach. Not that you'd know it. It's like he's trying not to get noticed out there. It must be working, because it took ESPN's camera crews about three quarters to find him.

I also liked hearing Jon complain about every penalty against Tampa Bay being a bad call. Apparently, only Grudey is allowed to criticize officiating, and only when he's calling a Bucs game. Maybe he should recuse himself from future games involving his former teams, like a judge recuses him/herself from cases in which their impartiality could be compromised.

Unless you sit on the Supreme Court, in which case you can do whatever you want to with impunity, including making it legal to purchase elections outright.  Thank you for making sure the little guy out there remains in his rightful place at the bottom of the heap.  If I thought there was any chance that you know what shame is, I would tell you that you should be ashamed of yourself.  But you don't.  Know what shame is.  Obviously.  I'm talking to you, Just-Us Thomas.  And thus, this bloviation does end up at least flirting with politics.  Hmm.  You just can't get away from it, I guess.