Random Thoughts

August 16, 2012

- See all 763 of my articles

No Comments

Crunchy doesn’t have an article today.  She does, however, have a new baby boy.  He was born yesterday morning.  That’s 4 little boys in her house now …

I don’t feel like writing an article about one particular thought this week, so I’ll bounce around a bit.


I didn’t get the chance to watch nearly as much of the Olympics as I would have like.  I did make an effort to keep up on what was going on, though.

My personal highlight was Jake Varner’s wrestling gold medal.  Jake and I share an alma mater – Iowa State University.  I’m very proud to have Varner add his name to a collection of Iowa State wrestlers who have gone on to win gold – including living legends Dan Gable and Cael Sanderson. 

London organizer Sebastian Coe caught some flak for failing to state that Michael Phelps was the greatest Olympian ever.  While Phelps is definitely one of the greatest ever, Coe was caught in the difficult position of trying to compare athletes from different sports.  Swimming (and track) afford an athlete more opportunities to medal.  Let’s take boxing, for example.  If a boxer were to match Phelps’s record of 22 medal, it would require medals in 22 consecutive Olympic games, spanning 84 years.  While in raw numbers, this would simply match Phelps, in reality it would be a far more impressive feat.  If we only look at raw medal counts, this would mean that only athletes from a handful of sports could ever make the claim to be “great” Olympians.  It’s simply not feasible for boxers, wrestlers, basketball players, or hockey players to win 10+ medals.


Melky Cabrera was one of the feel good stories on 2012.  He was hitting .346 for the year and was the All Star game MVP.  After years of struggling, Cabrera was putting up good seasons in back to back year and appeared to be turning into a very good major league player.  The dream season came to a crashing halt Wednesday, when Cabrera was suspended 50 games for using testosterone.  The loss of Cabrera puts the playoff chances of the Giants in serious doubt.

Paul Ryan

Mitt Romney selected Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate.  Expect the budget to become a major issue in debates.  Ryan’s budget plan was the one the Republican congress pitted against Obama’sd budget.

Aside from a stint as driver of the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, Ryan has worked in the political arena his entire career.

What are you watching?

I managed to get a chance to see Avatar this week.  I found the story very enjoyable.  While I usually don’t dig too hard to find a deeper meaning in a movie (I prefer to simply be entertained), it’s pretty hard to misss the point of Avatar.  It’s a sci-fi movie, but also has an interesting love story.  I definitely recommend it.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Is All Political News Biased?

August 13, 2012

- See all 164 of my articles


Over the weekend, the presumptive Republican nominee for President announced his perspective vice presidential running mate. Mitt Romney named Paul Ryan in a well staged introduction ceremony. The press were mostly upset that they did not figure out who it would be, although some claimed to have known and uncovered the choice before the announcement. I am not sure why this is important, but being first is apparently much more important than being right. I am surprised that more people did not claim advanced knowledge since so many names were bandied about including Ryan.

You may like the choice or you might not. You may be one of those people who would like the choice so long as an “R” followed the name, just as you many be someone who hates the choice for the same reason. One of the telling facts is that Ryan is one of the so called Tea Party candidates. He also presented a budget that would in theory balance the budget (a budget that the majority leader of the Senate refused to receive than stated that the house was not participating in the budget process).

So now, the pros and cons will be broadcast long and loud. If you want to know how Ryan is demon spawn, just tune in MSNBC. If you want to know that he was anointed by God to save the world, turn in to talk radio around noon. If you want to know what Ryan is running on, watch the full coverage from CNN or PBS. Don’t expect to learn anything from the advertisements, they will continue to define the positions of the opposition. Eventually what each candidate wants to do will float to the top.

So how important is this announcement? First and foremost, it provided a financial stimulus to the Romney campaign. It also provided the Obama campaign some much needed air time on all of the major networks. The President will not have the same opportunity since his running mate is assumed to be Biden again. Of course he could make some big news by choosing someone else at the convention.

It is actually unfortunate that the two major candidates are already set. This just extends the time the bitter partisan commentary must be endured. On the other hand we only have to here the sins of two sets of men.

The best way to find out about these candidates is to do your own research. If you have already made up your mind, you have little or no work to do. If you still are open for debate, check out each candidate’s web sites. If you let their opponent define their position, you have already made your choice. Once you have actually determined what the candidates claim that they want to do, you can do further research on what each of them have done in their careers. All four men have extensive public records to review. Always note the source. If it is the Huffington Post or other such site, you can be assured that the President is the hero and Romney is the arch-villain. If the source is World Net Daily or similar site, the President will be the anti-Christ and Romney the savior.

Please take the time to be informed. Please vote. This freedom and responsibility are what make our country great. It makes the common man equal to the elite and maintains our republic for our children.

The Fall of the Birthers

April 29, 2011

- See all 34 of my articles

No Comments

A funny thing happened on my way to getting to my column here this month, President Obama released his full form birth certificate. I was all ready to go with discussing the response to the Ryan budget when House members went back to their districts, and then this happened. Mind you I will get to that as well this week, but I thought my thoughts on this “revelation” deserved the top billing this time around.

Now the release of the long form version won’t change the minds of those almost half of Republicans that don’t believe that Obama was born in this country or likely the attitudes of the other almost quarter that pander to their cause with the I don’t know or we’ll take him at his word game. Mainly because the birth certificate that was already available was a legal document and they didn’t believe that one either.

No, they are likely to continue to believe that there was some conspiracy back then between the newly entered state of Hawaii, the hospital and the newspapers with this baby born in the early 60’s, to a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya. You knew obviously he was going to be President one day.

Or on the other hand the panderers like Speaker John of Orange will likely take similar suits to the ones they are already doing now. That is that the whole this is and always was the fault of President Obama. It is the usual mantra for the Republicans afterall. Really Crying Man? It’s the President’s fault that half your party are insane idiots. Yeah let’s see you continue to roll with that one.

Then there is what I feel the most disgusting response that the birther crowd has had with moving on to their next delegitimizing of the President conspiracy theory. How could a black man possibly be smart enough to go to Columbia and Harvard? How can he have written those books without help? Show us the transcripts? Prove you didn’t have a ghost writer for your novels Mr. Obama it that really is who you are? At least with this new conspiracy theory the birthers true reason existence is clearly defined, they just can’t stand that a black man was elected President and are moronic racists with nothing more than agenda of trying to find a way to delegitimize his election in their minds. However I would love for more than nothing for the Republicans in office to start panderering to the crowd on this issue as well as it is going to hurt them so much more.

It is pretty funny though that the ring leader or carnival barker have you of the birther nation, The Donald would question these things about the President. Afterall he did not write the books he has “written” in the past himself, and has also paid money to allow or people to be admitted to Ivy League schools that did not deserve to be there.

Though I’d love to see them continue on this course for my own entertainment and their demise, I find it sad and hurtful for our society. I am not taking a stance here for or against affirmative action, but that is not the exact point of the birther’s new “argument” here. It is that a non-white person could not ever have the qualification or intelligence to attend these schools over a white person so something must be fishy here. So now the President must prove with his transcripts from high school on to prove otherwise. Have we really gone so far back as a society that we need some sort of preface to prove the literacy and intelligence of a black man to a white audience to believe his worth? Then again they won’t believe anything you say Mr. President, so I wouldn’t grace this issue with any dignity and let the dig their own grave.

Bad Nuts of the Month:


It has been quite amusing to see the House Republicans at their town halls after passing the Ryan, Path to Poverty budget try to defend it and their vote to their constituents. There has been some heated arguing, screaming and sometimes swearing, but I have not heard of threats of bodily harm or asking who is going to kill the President because of this at these town hall reactions. Nor is the outrage been entirely from the left or being bussed into the meetings with prewritten scripts to follow. Although I think the Republicans as whole will likely take Florida Rep. Allen West’s lead and only answer prescreened questions asked by a staffer and not a constituent and any dissent to his thoughts will be met with arrest. He obviously takes New York Rep. Mike Grimm’s view of representative democracy that your constituents you serve are only those who voted for you, well that and those like the Koch Brothers who line your pockets and campaign coffers. I am happy though that Harry Reid has decided to bring a vote on this budget to the Senate to allow for the Senate Republicans to join their House party members in defending this budget or pave their way to be teabagged in the primaries next time around.


Prior to announcing their 69% profit increase on Thursday, Exxon tied to play themselves as the victim in all of this. It’s not their fault they made a huge earnings increase for the fifth quarter in a row; it is the local station owners fault. Now I have worked plenty in gas stations while I was in college and it is not ever going to be their fault. As there are laws restraining just that and I know that gas stations make mere pennies of profit on each gallon and their profit comes from mark up on items in the store.


For some reason the overwhelmingly Democratic House in Massachusetts has decided that Scott Walker is a role model and passed their own bill stripping collective bargaining rights on healthcare for state workers. Granted they have Romneycare there and the Senate isn’t likely to take action on it there and the Governor has already said he will never sign such a bill if it did. So moot point aside it still deserves note for the stupidity of Massachusetts state Democrats to think it was a worthwhile issue.

Does Michele Bachmann Have A Clue?

January 27, 2011

- See all 34 of my articles


Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, besides many other things, is proving the need for education reform. At a Iowan for Tax Relief event this past Sunday showed a complete lack of basic knowledge of history by saying that slavery ended with the founding of the country. “The very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States….Men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country” Bachman said to the crowd at the Iowa event. For one John Quincy Adams was not one of the founding fathers, and two, slavery ended with the 13th amendment in 1865 and John Quincy Adams died in 1848, so he was not even alive when it was abolished.

Then again it is not really a surprise that Bachmann or any of her Tea Party friends would think such a thing, because as much as they wrap themselves up in the Constitution and worship the founding fathers, they really don’t respect or believe fully in either. So why would they be bothered by knowing basic facts? After all, they have an issue with changing or abolishing almost every amendment to the Constitution to fit their needs. Must have made for some good discussions at the first Constitution Class that Bachmann led on Monday as well.

Bachmann is so far to the right now that she only looks to the right when talking. In one of her other newsmaking events of the past week she gave the official Tea Party response to the State of the Union address she looked off to the right of the camera the entire time. All kidding aside that is merely the most comical thing about her insane rant that night. One of the most hilarious pieces of crap hurled forth from her mouth was about the government telling you what light bulb you can buy. Actually this is the most true statement to come out of her mouth that night, but only because it is in reference to a 2007 legislation signed by President Bush and done further under President Obama in 2009 dealing with bringing efficiency to the manufacturing of lightbulbs. No where in either document does it actually talk about the Government telling you which lightbulbs you can and cannot buy. Then again there is no language of death panels in the healthcare legislation so why bother with actual facts when we can spread falsities until your idiotic masses believe them to be truths. In the words of New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, Michele Bachmann has clearly lost contact with the mothership.

The other response to the State of the Union was delivered by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.  Unlike most republicans in either chamber of Congress he actually does offer his own plans for things, only he was not allowed to speak of them during his response, probably because they would scare the living shit out of the electorate. Part of Ryan’s Roadmap to Americas Future calls for eliminating Social Security and Medicare for everyone currently under the age of 55.

As for the response itself it seemed to be just more of the same. As the President talked about the problems we face and possible ways to take care of them, the Republicans continued to basically say the only problem with the country is Obama himself and that they have no real solutions to anything. The whole time I was watching Ryan I thought to myself, “When did Joel Osteen lose the mullet”, as the whole thing sort of had this weird televangelist vibe going on where I didn’t know if I was watching a response to the President’s speech or being asked to call in and donate money.