I wish the real world would just stop hasslin me

Let's see --

  • You wouldn't know it if you get your news from, you know, the actual news media, but there's a recount going on in New Hampshire. BradBlog's all over it. Oddly enough, in addition to the normal mainstream media ignoring the entire event (meaning, of course, that it isn't actually happening), apparently the much renowned so-called progressive Daily Kos has actually been threatening readers with banishment from the blog if they dared to discuss the recount in the Kos comment threads. However, BradBlog doesn't back up those assertions with a link, and I don't generally read Kos, so I couldn't tell you if that's really true. Sounds pretty stinky, though.

    UPDATE: Okay, here's the link to the Kos diary in which BradBlog's recount coverage is denounced and those discussing it are threatened with banning from the Kos threads. Kos apparently has an iron-bound rule prohibiting discussion of 'conspiracy theories' on his site, which strikes me as pretty fucking stupid, given that 'conspiracy theory' is generally a subjective term that means 'whatever I don't particularly want to discuss right now, thank you very much'. Such a repressive, dictatorial policy is even more egregious on a popular website like Daily Kos than it would be otherwise, since the Internet is one of the few remaining mediums where such otherwise unacceptable and unpalatable ideas CAN be discussed openly. If this is really Kos' policy, then Kos is not only an arrogant asshole, but he's actively part of the problem, not the solution... and suddenly, like BradBlog, I once more remember why I don't frequent his site.

    As I understand it, BradBlog's position is simple -- about 80% of the vote in the New Hampshire primary was, prior to this hand recount, never reviewed by any human being. The votes are marked on slips of paper, and then fed through a Diebold machine that tallies them up. Brad's position is simple -- this is one fuck of a stupid way to run an election; if you've got actual paper votes available, you should get some actual people to actually count them, using their actual human hands and human eyes and human brains. Kos, the other candidates besides Kucinich, and the mainstream media seem to think that this is absolutely ridiculous and that to even discuss the concept of a hand recount is a hysterical 'conspiracy theory', and I cannot for the life of me understand why. What's so unreasonable about wanting to actually count the votes?

    Unless, of course, you know damn well that in a general election, your particular party is actually counting on hackable Diebold machines to swing some small but essential percentage of the vote their way, and you don't want anyone to notice how easy it is to hack these bitches?

    Kos is a big believer in using monkey wrench tactics for the greater good -- he's the guy, after all, that recently urged Democrats and progressives in Michigan to abuse Michigan's open primary laws by voting for Republican candidate Mitt Romney, as Romney is the candidate Kos feels is the most beatable in a general election. I have no doubt that Kos has no problem at all with hackable machines rigging the vote, as long as that vote is being rigged for the candidate he supports. Kos can no doubt find endless justifications for such undemocratic and Nixonian rat-fucking, ranging from "well, THEY did it first in 2000" (although wouldn't that be a 'conspiracy theory'?) up through "the world can't afford another Republican President right now, this is serious stuff we're playing at here, kids". And I might even agree with those, emotionally. But here's the thing --

    I believe that even the American people, gullible, foolish, lazy, selfish, overstimulated, spoiled, and generally punk ass as we are, are capable of doing the right thing when we have to. I believe the American people, in the midst of all their Wal-mart binging and NASCAR whooping, can still see when we've been used and abused to enact and empower evil men and evil policies. And I believe, given a fair chance, we are going to send all that shit packing in the next election.

    But the only way we are going to know is if we actually count every single vote. That's why Brad is right on this, and Kos is a fucking jerk.
  • General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner admits peak oil is a reality -- and we're there right now:

    "There is no doubt demand for oil is outpacing supply at a rapid pace, and has been for some time now," Mr Wagoner said. "As a business necessity and an obligation to society we need to develop alternate sources of propulsion."

    Most interesting to me is the graf from a little further down the article --

    GM has signed an agreement with a supplier who claims to have come up with a way of producing ethanol more cheaply and efficiently than refining oil. It has formed a partnership with a company that claims it can produce ethanol from materials such as agriculture and municipal waste, discarded plastics and old tyres.

    I find this interesting because I've long thought that ethanol was pretty much a dead end. However, if someone could find a way to economically turn organic waste and petroleum derived trash back into useful fuel, we'd be killing two birds with one stone -- solving not only the energy crisis, but the little noted problem of where we're going to keep stashing the truly astonishing levels of garbage we all generate each and every day. If we can turn a good proportion of the crap we just throw away into useful fuel, today's dumps and landfills will become tomorrows oil wells. It's a BIG win-win. So that's an area I'd like to see a lot more research done in.
    • Finally, on a more personal note, Julian Perez is, as of a month ago, still completely and scarily obsessed with me. Read the first entry. Check out the date. I know, I know, I have my only little thing with my old buddy Slappy sometimes, but hey, Slappy and I were actually friends once. We shared actual real life experiences. We dated the same women (not simultaneously, though). We were housemates, for the luvva Pete. And I don't mention him all that much these days, and when I do, it's generally something to do with his writing.

      Julian, on the other hand, is some guy I once exchanged a few frickin' emails with. And, what, three years later, he's still dropping my name as a virtual non sequiter into lengthy fuming rants about comics pros whose personal lifestyle decisions he apparently doesn't approve of.

      There are many, many reasons I'm happy I no longer live in Palmetto Bug Central; more distance between the obviously batshit insane Mr. Perez and myself is not at the very tippy-top of that list, but I wouldn't say it's fallen out of the Top Ten, either.
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