Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Democracy in Action

Ah, the American Dream, getting to vote and choose your leaders.  Wanting to avoid long lines on election day, today I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to vote early.  Not exactly confidence inspiring...

I wandered around the Lincoln Park Library for a good long time before finally finding the small room in which they had the voting machines set up.  The room was overcrowded, but luckily there was an eighty year old Hispanic lady there to point me in the right direction.

She pointed me towards the registration desk, saying "si, si," where I interrupted three more old Hispanic ladies telling a joke.  I smiled, but they somehow knew I didn't speak Spanish.  I filled out a form they tossed at me--name and address--, gave them my driver's license (which incidentally has my name and address on it...guess they wanted to make sure I wasn't up to anything), and waited for 15 minutes.  

In order to get to vote, you had to receive a keycard from the old ladies, and in order to issue you your keycard, they simply had to enter your address and name, and find you on the roll.  Unfortunately, it seemed that none of the four ladies had ever operated a computer before.  When they lucked out and got someone a keycard, the eighty year old would do her Bob Barker impersonation, and say "Step on up."  Every time.  And laugh every time.  Like it was a new joke.  Please never let me get old.  Or Mexican.  Just kidding.  We all get old.  Okay, really, just just kidding all under and I'll stop.

So apparently, my name was unfindable!  
"Aye Chihuahua.  Meeeeeester?" she said looking in my direction.
"Are you registered to vote?"
"Aye Chihuahua.  No, I can't find you in the system."
"I know that I am registered."
"Aye Chihuahua.  Well lemme find my supervisor, she can do a trick to find people."

Her supervisor arrived 5 minutes later, performed some of sort advanced trick, like, I dunno, searching by social security number, and there I was!  Hurray, I get to vote.

"Now just lemme know if you need any help with that machine.  It's tricky!"  
"Um, I think I'll be okay."
Jesus Christ!  If these ladies had a clue, I'd be worried about voter fraud.  As it is, I just worry that if an old person shows up to vote they may spend the whole day trying to operate the touch screen.

Anyway, having been deemed to be a real person by the computers and the old ladies, I began my democratic journey.  Page one contained the presidential ballot, and two ballots for congressional elections.  Great, knew who I liked in all three.  Page two: state senators...hmm, heard of one of them, sounds like a plan, state supreme court...well, don't trust people with androgynous names like Pat, so he's out, easy enough.  Page three:  water commissioner....seriously?  Gotta go green party.  City garbage supervisor?  Green party.  Roads commissioner?  Don't care, green party.  State senate again:  shoot me now! But wait, this fucking ballot went on for a grand total of fifteen pages!  I probably had the opportunity to vote for 150 positions.  I think I cared about 4, voted for about 10, randomed 20, and left the rest blank.  Because I skipped so much, it took less than 2 minutes.  But an old person who couldn't operate the machine too well?  And didn't realize that there was nothing interesting to vote for past page 2?  They're fucked!  I'm willing to bet people pass away in front of those machines.  

Also, I can't see a single good reason that you can't vote online.  If you really wanted to commit fraud on the current system, I'm willing to bet you could hack into it.  Fuck, with the room being policed only by the four Mexican ladies, I'm willing to bet I could plug my laptop into the LAN and go nuts.  If only I could hack.

So in summary...I dunno, I guess get your ass out and vote, or if you don't at least don't complain.  I realize my presidential vote couldn't matter less (thanks, Electoral College) but I think I might be the only person who voted for the 12th judge on page 14, so he definitely owes me.  Overall though, it's pretty scary.  I bet at least 10% of people vote for the wrong candidate by mistake.  Statistically that should even out to have no effect, but you know statistics...  

But what will be priceless, though, is when that retarded Luddite McCain accidentally votes for Obama.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The war and occupation of Iraq has, thus far, cost the American taxpayer $800 billion.  Thus far.  Do we have anything to show for that money?  Not really.  Is oil cheaper?  Nope.  Hmm.  It's like Chris Rock says, If I invade a KFC, you'd better believe that wings are going to be cheap at my house.  

The proposed bill to help financial firms deal with bad mortgage exposures, if passed, may cost the American taxpayer up to $700 billion.  What would we have to show for that money?  Well, a functioning credit market would be nice.  More lending between banks would reduce the burden on the Federal Reserve as lender of last resort.  And, get this: it might well end up making the taxpayer money.  This isn't a black hole that money is going to be poured down.  The Treasury proposes to use the money to purchase bad mortgage debt and derivatives.  If those perform, the taxpayer reaps the benefit.

If you're opposed to the Iraq War, and opposed to the rescue bill, I can understand that.  What I can't understand is the legion of fuckwits in Congress who refuse to support this bill, yet support flushing hundreds of billions into the sewers of Iraq.  If you have one red cent invested in a 401(k), IRA, pension plan, 529, house, gun, dog, truck, really anything that isn't FDIC guaranteed, there is no logical explanation for not supporting this bill.  

There are few things I dislike more than government spending.  Stupidity and ill-reasoned dogmatics though, are a few of those things.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I've been taking some time off to help manage the financial crisis, just like John McCain. 

 "Honey," my wife asks, "won't you take out the trash?"  
"No sweetheart, the future of our country is at stake!"

I wanted so badly to like McCain and vote for him, but I absolutely can't.  He is such a cynical, old, tired, old, same-old, same-old, typical, old, Republican, old, douche bag.  If President Obama sends me a bill for a bit more in taxes than great-grandpa John would, so be it.  

Clearly, McCain realized he was going to get chewed up and spit out at the debate this Friday, so he had to find an ingenious way to get out of it.  This is pathetic.  Perhaps his 100 year old mom can write him a note:

"Dear United States of America,
Young Johnny wasn't feeling well today.  He had quite the fever.  Reminds me of when my sister got the plague and George Washington healed her.
Please excuse him from the debate.  
Oh look, I've pooped my pants!
Yours Truly,
John's Mom"

Had McCain taken the time to figure out the internet and discover email, perhaps he'd realize that he could communicate with Congressional leaders that way.  Instead, he just yells, "Hello?  Operator?" at a laptop someone put in front of him to make him look like less of a dinosaur.  But really John, that LCD light makes your botox pretty obvious.

I think the reason that I am so frustrated and upset with McCain's performance, from picking Palin, to blatantly stealing Obama's "change" platform, to excusing himself from debating, is that I really wanted to like him.  I wanted to be a Republican just like most of my peers.  But John, your lackluster display leaves me no choice:  GO OBAMA!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Best of Chinglish

A friend of a friend took these on a recent trip to China.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm Back...

Nothing much has been going on,  but hey, when has having nothing to say ever stopped me?

The Olympics have become much less interesting since Michael Phelps hauled in his eighth gold.  I had hoped that the track and field events would be good, but since Tyson Gay flamed out of the 100m in the semis I didn't even get to make any bad jokes about him and Walter Dix.  I know you share my disappointment.  At least I got to use "flamed".

The IOC seems to be disappointed with the lack of competition in the 100m and 200m races as well, where Usain Bolt smoked (he's Jamaican) everyone while setting new world records in both events.  The IOC president complained that Bolt didn't have the Olympic spirit because he didn't congratulate his fellow runners.  What should he have said?  Congratulations on getting absolutely scorched?  Congratulations, now no one will want to sign you to any endorsement deals because you got crushed?  Congratulations, maybe next time; oh wait I'm 22 years old, I'm going to be dominating your sorry ass for the rest of your miserable career?  So stupid.  I always thought that congratulation implied the loser complimenting the winner, but I guess that's not the Olympic spirit.  Doesn't the IOC have better things to do, like bury its head in the sand while China clubs some Tibetans?

Friday, August 15, 2008


Being a parent gives you a brand new perspective on lots of things. Like air shows. Last year I remember watching the show from my deck while grilling out and drinking wine. Tough work, but someone had to do it.

This year, here it is 8:45pm on a Friday, and I've just put my daughter back to bed for the fourth time because she keeps getting awoken by some World War II era shitbox that sounds determined to land on my roof.

Okay, I know that air shows are public goods, people like them, etc. But I have to believe that at 8:45pm noisy biplanes are at least as big of a nuisance as a good. It is dark. They're not emitting trails of flames or anything cool like that. Go away!

What sucks for me is that they'll be doing this again tomorrow. Luckily, I think I saw that Home Depot is having a sale on anti-aircraft guns, so I can probably have one mounted on the roof by tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another day...

...more goofy Bush pictures.  They look related.

At least it's not upside down, like when he tries to publicly read a book.

Some more grabass

U, S and A!!!