I did watch the debates

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:04 pm

I did watch the debates last night. I thought it rather nice of the Cardinals and Mets to hold their scoring to the inning before and the inning after the debate, though I’d have preferred the opposite result. In the debate itself, I found this one much more enjoyable to watch over the third. The thing that struck me most was both candidates rush to endorse hate crime laws. I think their proponents have good intentions, but I am very much against the idea of hate crime laws, and lobby against them when I can. The concept of all the hate crime legislation I’ve seen is if you commit a crime against a person because of the feelings you have about a group that that person belongs to (race, gender, sexual preference, religion, political affiliation, etc.), then you can be punished more harshly. For example (just to be absolutely clear), if you kill a man, you get one sentence. If you kill a man because he’s Catholic and you despise Catholics, you get a harsher sentence. I strongly oppose this concept because it punishes thought. It punishes what you were thinking alongside what you did. Even if the mere idea of legislating thought wasn’t repugnant enough, there is no possible way to fairly apply it to everyone, short of a device that invades your “brain wave matrix” or somesuch and retrieves your thoughts. And who wants that?

The other night, I was

Filed under:General — eric @ 11:42 am

The other night, I was walking through downtown Athens. Despite what Austin, Texas, might claim, Athens really has more music per capita than anywhere else. On any given night, you can find several dozen bands playing throughout downtown. They’re not all REM wannabes, either. There’s a wonderful mix. The other night, I saw on the street corner a grizzled old bluesman, his electric guitar plugged into a tiny amp on the sidewalk. He looked and sounded like a true delta bluesman. His song had a familiar melody, though I couldn’t quite place it. The lyrics were an epic retelling of the Georgia-Tennessee football game from the weekend prior. I smiled, thinking of days gone by when folk songs were written to commemorate an important event. As I walked closer, the verse ended and he began the chorus, still singing and playing in classic blues style . . . “Who let the dogs out? Who, who, who, who? Who let the dogs out . . .”

The Libertarians have gotten my

Filed under:General — eric @ 11:23 am

The Libertarians have gotten my vote in every presidential election I’ve been eligible for. They’re not this year, as my views on social responsibility have shifted to the left over the last three years, but Harry Browne, Libertarian for President, expertly points out the fallacies in the Gore-Bush debate arguments. Who am I voting for? Even though I don’t agree with everything on his platform, it looks like it’s going to be Ralph Nader.

TiVO’s here! And, instead of

Filed under:General — eric @ 10:37 am

TiVO’s here! And, instead of the 14 hour old model I was supposed to win, they sent me the new 30 hour model. Sayeth the TiVO people: “You just got lucky.” I’ll say!

It takes 270 electoral votes

Filed under:General — eric @ 2:35 am

It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidential election. There are several interactive pages that let you assign to states to candidates and come up with an electoral vote total, based on polls or your own whim. Here’s one of the best I’ve found, from MSNBC. Like several others I’ve done, based as best I could from current polling data, my results show both candidates receiving 269 electoral votes. Exciting! If this happens, Congress gets involved. It hasn’t happened in a long time, though people thought it a possibility when Perot ran the first time. Three strong parties would make getting a majority much more difficult, but it’s exciting to see the same thing can happen with only two candidates.

Another thing that bothered me

Filed under:General — eric @ 2:13 am

Another thing that bothered me in the debate last night. This quote by Bush:

“[Africa’s] an important continent. But there’s got to be priorities. And the Middle East is a priority for a lot of reasons, as is Europe and the Far East and our own hemisphere. And those are my four top priorities should I be the president.”

Let’s see… if you take away the Middle East, the Far East, Europe, and the Western Hemisphere, you’re left with Africa. And Australia. And Antarctica. So he tells Africa that should he be elected, he’s going to put virtually the entire world ahead of them. Sure, terrifying numbers of people are dying from AIDS and other diseases, governments are being forced by Western nations to spend more on loan interest payments than on all social programs combined, the absolute poverty leads to wars over resources with killings and conditions more horrific than you can imagine. But that’s not “in our interests”. No, I don’t have the answers. But I know telling them they are our lowest priority is not right. It offends me.

I’ve got five pockets in

Filed under:General — eric @ 1:16 am

I’ve got five pockets in my overalls

Got five pockets in my overalls
I got two on the back, one on the bib
and two in the ordinary, everyday, regular place
In the front.

In the one on the right in the back
I got a dollar from my old Uncle Zak
It’s so special, got an Indian on it
With a great big buffalo on the back
Got a great big buffalo right on the back…