Saturday, August 02, 2014

Apple MacBook Pro 2014 Review

It's been many months since I've blogged, I've been quite busy with a lot of cool things happening in my life, which have conspired to keep me away from the old BlogSpot.

Last week saw the launch of the refreshed 2014 Apple MacBook Pro, and I ordered one on the day of release.  As luck would have it I happened to be working in a state with a nice low sales tax, so I figured I could save some money too.

Specifically, I ordered the MacBook Pro 2.8GHz with 8Gb of RAM and 512Gb of HD space.  This is a bump over my 2012 MacBook Air of 1GHz of processor speed, twice the RAM and twice the HD space.

Back in 2012 when I ordered my first Mac computer I opted for the Air simply because I travel a lot with work, and was looking for lightweight.  Back then the MacBook Pro contained an optical drive and a mechanical hard drive, making for a heavier and arguably more delicate machine.  This, as well as the price, was the ultimate reason for the choice of the Air.

Fast forward two years and I am now a total Apple convert.  I now have my MacBook Air, an iPad Air, four Apple TVs (one for each TV!), and the iPhone 5S.  Apple really have won me over, big time.

The new MacBook Pro has thus far proven to be an excellent investment.  First off the Retina display is like going from DVD to Blu-Ray.  Everything is just smoother, faster, and more beautiful looking.  It really cannot be underestimated how gorgeous the display is.  Rich vibrant colors.  No pixelation.  Just beautiful.  Some reviewers whine about refections from the glossy display.  Not an issue unless you sit with a ton of light behind you when working (and why would you do that?).

Migration from the old Mac was perhaps one of the easiest I have ever encountered in the 32 years I've been using computers.  It was hampered by the fact that I am beta testing OS X Yosemite on the old Air, unfortunately making some of the migration tools throw a hissy fit due to backwards compatibility issues.  Had I been doing a more traditional upgrade from OS X to same OS X or newer, then the transfer would have been way easier.

Even with this little wrench in the works, the migration was still super easier.  I purchased a 3Tb external USB 3.0 HD for $129 (amazing how cheap those are now), and did the Time Machine back up.

From there I had to manually transfer folders over to get around the OS X incompatibility.  Many of the smaller apps just copied over.  I had to download the re-install Office, because it's not like Microsoft to make it easy to migrate anything ever.

Adobe were their typical evil money grabbing bastards.  I ran into issues downloading Dreamweaver CS6, when parts of their web site that happened not to be trying to sell me their stupid rip off subscription service mysteriously malfunctioned and then pointed me back to ads for their new products rather than allowing me to download software I already owned.

Adobe further annoyed me by ignoring my request for customer assistance via email.  Even when I did finally find part of their web site not returning error messages, and re-download my software it insisted that I track down my serial number for my older CS5.5 version, enter that, and then put in the serial for CS6.  I only purchased an upgrade last time, so they had to waste some of my time as punishment for not emptying my bank account in their general direction.

In fact, truth be told, installing three pieces of Adobe software was actually the most time consuming of all, even Microsoft beat them out.  Not because it was hard to do, but because Adobe was doing all they could to persuade me to ditch the software I have paid for in favor of simply sending them $30 every month FOREVER!

I have to say, I think this software subscription concept is bullshit.  I use Dreamweaver a handful of times a month for a few minutes; yet I am expected to pay $20 a month for it?  And if I refuse, I get stuck with old software that won't ever be updated?  Nice blackmail Adobe.

In fact if I bought into this whole subscription model nonsense it would cost me $30 a month for my Adobe products, another $10 for Microsoft.  So now I'm giving away $1440 every three years for the basic productivity tools I want, along with paying for a bundle of software I would absolutely never use.  Oh and Microsoft have not even bothered to update the Mac Office software since the 2011 release.  So much for the promise the subscription model has of always giving me access to the latest software.

The standout was Parallels 9.  I have some work software that will only run on a PC, so I run Windows 7 along with a couple of applications.  I remember it being a hassle to install originally, because I had to buy a DVD player since Microsoft insist on using old school optical discs.  After installing Windows, I had to configure it and install two applications and configure them.  It took a while to get it all working right, and I was dreading doing all that again.

Parallels saved me from all that work, it simply grabbed the Parallels datafile off my back up, wiggled around a bit, and before you know it, a fully working clone of my old machine.  Just incredible.  Windows 7 and the software I need for work runs fast and flawlessly.

In conclusion, I'm very pleased with the MacBook Pro with Retina display.  Just an outstanding machine, and weighing in at just a shade heavier than my old Air it's going to be great for travel, which I spend a lot of my life doing.

Apple have made it child's play to migrate a machine, and within a few hours I was reunited with all my apps and data, working just fine.  I've never had such a stress free experience with a PC ever.

Really my only beef is with Adobe being dicks about their software, which of course has nothing to do with Apple. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Don't You Mean Christmas?

A former Facebook friend recently commented derisively that I had named a photo album 'holidays' instead of Christmas, and inquired as to why.  So I thought I'd address that question here.

1) My friends include a wide variety of people with different beliefs and viewpoints.  The term holiday for me includes at this time of the year Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year.  However, my Jewish friends may choose to celebrate Hanukkah.  My British friends won't be celebrating Thanksgiving with me.  And this is all okay.  It is the holiday season and you can celebrate or not celebrate whatever you want.

2) Jesus was not born at Christmas.  Sorry Christians, but he just wasn't.  Look at the Bible; when Mary and Joseph went to give birth to Jesus in Bethlehem the shepherds were sleeping in the fields with their flock.  That's how they saw the magic star in the sky.  Well in that part of the world it was too cold to be out in December, so shepherds would certainly not be outside at that time of year.  Also, the reason Joseph and Mary were going to Bethlehem was because of the census.  Because of the extreme weather at that time of year they would never call a census in December.  Weather conditions would again be too harsh.  So just those two pieces of evidence alone shows us that Jesus was definitely not born in December.  Not to mention the fact that the Bible does not at any point claim that Jesus was born in December.

3) Christians hijacked Christmas!  The pagan festival of winter included the tradition of bringing a tree inside for good luck.  That's why we have Christmas trees.  It has nothing to do with Christianity or Jesus.  Early Christians simply repurposed a popular holiday and labeled it Jesus' birthday.  So let's not get all indignant that people with different beliefs do not capitulate and accept the incorrect notion that Christmas is the birthday of Jesus.

While we're on the subject of the supposed war on Christmas, I also wanted to mention that it is NOT an affront to Christianity to write Xmas instead of Christmas.  Xmas in fact is a historic abbreviation 'mas' coming from the Latin derived Old English for mass.  The X is from the Greek Chi, the first letter of the word 'Χριστός' which translates as Christ.

So it is a Fox News type of lie that Xmas is disrespectful or part of the fictional 'war on Christmas.'  It was in fact a historical term for Christmas dating back to the 16th century.

The bottom line here is that the holiday season means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.  But let's stop pretending that there is some kind of war on Christmas.  No one in the free world is prevented from putting up a tree, stuffing their face with food, and pretending that Jesus was born in a stable on December 25th.

Just enjoy the holidays, whatever they mean to you, and stop trying to heap your beliefs on others at this time of year.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The NRA and 3D Printed Guns?

In 2012 there were quite a few shootings in the United States, including several of the crazy guy goes on a killing spree type of situations.  In the wake of all this human suffering the NRA began putting out their usual message in their typically loud and obnoxious voice that no gun laws ever fixed a gun problem, and that the only solution is for more 'good guys' to have guns.

Of course the reality behind the NRA is that all they want to do is funnel massive amounts of cash into the hands of the gun industry.  They don't actually care about the Second Amendment, your rights, my rights, or anything else.  It's just about money and greed.  The fewer restrictions on guns, the more you can sell.  And if you happen to stir up some unprecedented fear you can create gun sales so high manufacturers literally cannot keep up with demand.

But a new technology is emerging fast, and that's the concept of the 3D printer.  A device capable of producing with incredible accuracy objects that have been designed on a computer.

In the future you will be able to produce a three dimensional object almost as easily as you can print out a letter today.  The technology has moved quickly and fast, and is already at a stage where people are producing usable weapons.

It is really only a matter of time before highly dangerous weapons can be produced by any person with a computer and a 3D printer, and that begs a very interesting question...

The year is 2016, I turn off the news after hearing with interest that President Hillary Clinton has just appointed President Bill Clinton to the Supreme Court.  I go online and order up a 3D printer from and the next day it arrives.

I set it up, and within a week, my printer has produced all the parts to create a fully working Glock replica.  I then proceed to print a dozen more over the coming weeks, and sell them to my friends for $200 a pop.

Now remember the NRA opposed background checks, restrictions on me selling my guns to my 'good guy' friends, and believe that when it comes to guns, the more the merrier.

So I wonder what position they will take when the source for those guns is no longer the gun industry who support them, but me and people like me, printing guns from a public domain design source.

This scenario isn't as unrealistic as it sounds.  Live testing has already taken place with real guns produced with a 3D printer.  As time goes on such printers will become more affordable, and have a wider variety of materials they can print with.

So the NRA have an interesting road ahead of them.  And I for one can't wait to see the self-serving arguments they make when we see that their true desires all along wasn't looking out for my rights, or pushing their second amendment interpretation as carte blanche for civilians to own whole gun arsenals.

My prediction is that when we can make our own guns cheaply and easily, and we no longer have to plonk down $600 to buy a Glock from a gun dealer, we might start to hear a different tune from the NRA.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Walmart Government?

When I woke up yesterday I was treated to the following post on Facebook, along with an endorsement of the sentiments contained in the post.  Needless to say my liberal head nearly exploded, leaving me no choice but to blog about it...

Wal-Mart vs. The Morons

1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day.
2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!
3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.
4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target +Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.
5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people, is the world's largest private employer, and most speak English.
6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.
7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only fifteen years.
8. During this same period, 31 big supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.
9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.
10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had five years ago.
11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at Wal-Mart stores. (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)
12. 90% of all Americans live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart.  

You may think that I am complaining, but I am really laying the ground work for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys 
who run Wal-Mart to fix the economy.

This should be read and understood by all Americans… Democrats, Republicans, EVERYONE!!

To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature, it is now official that the majority of you are corrupt morons:

a. The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.
b. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.
c. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.
d. War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more.
e. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.
f. Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.
g. The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get
it right and it is an abysmal failure.

You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.


We're "broke" and can't help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless etc. and the last months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile, and Turkey and now Pakistan ( the previous home of bin Laden). literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!!

Our retired seniors living on a 'fixed income' receive no aid nor do they get any breaks.

AMERICA: a country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed hungry, elderly going without needed medicines, and mentally ill without treatment, etc.

Imagine if the GOVERNMENT gave U. S. the same support they give to other countries. Sad isn't it?

*99% of the people receiving this message won't have the guts to forward this.

*I'm one of the 1% -- I Just Did BEING UNITED SAVES AMERICA!

My first issue was the Wal-Mart worship.  It doesn't take a lot of research to discover that Wal-Mart is pretty evil.  The documentary WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Prices is as good a place as any to start.

Wal-Mart have made their fortune on the backs of the poor.  Consider a pair of jeans as an example.  Someone had to create the denim, dye it, cut them to shape, sew them, rivet them, add buttons, quality control them, send them across the country to a port, send them half way around the world, offload them, drive them across America to a distribution center, drive them to the store, offload them, unpack them, add them into inventory and place them on a hanger in a Wal-Mart store near you.  And they have jeans for under $10!

Consider how many people got screwed in the process.  Don't believe me?  Go to a local taylor and ask them to make you some jeans.  Get back to me if anyone will do it for less than $200.

The savings didn't come from bulk purchase, buying power, or any other accounting magic.  The savings came from using slave labor in a sweat shop where they can get people to work for pennies an hour.  In fact at every point along the way people got screwed, right up to the staff at the Wal-Mart store.  Wal-Mart is famous for their militant efforts to ensure no unions are ever formed.  They exploit loopholes in the law that allow companies to treat part time workers like garbage.  Typically, they will hire people and give them the maximum hours needed to constitute a part time employee, but will then encourage them to work unpaid overtime, which the staff are willing to do in fear of losing their jobs.

By keeping their workers under the thumb in this way Wal-Mart saves a fortune in 'benefits,' that interesting American word for allowing people semi-reasonable access to health care.

In fact by paying poverty wages instead of a livable full time income Wal-Mart saddles the tax payer with around $2.66Bn a year in food stamps and more in other low income assistance programs.

Keep in mind as our original poster, and Wal-Mart fan, pointed out the company makes over $20K in profit every minute of every day, while expecting their workers to work an entire year to earn less than that.  Meanwhile the CEO makes more money in an hour than the average worker will earn in a year.

Our Wal-Mart fan wants us to apply this same logic to running our country!

We already live in a country where children go hungry, poverty is a rampant and serious problem, and our infant mortality figures are an embarrassment.  Yet we should apply some of this Wal-Mart logic to our government?

The most disturbing thing is that the people who post this kind of nonsense and agree to it, are very often low income people themselves.  This isn't the rich telling us this, but low information voters pass this kind of drivel around as if it was common sense.

They love to harp on about us giving 'aid' to other countries despite the fact that it is right around 1% of our Federal budget.  You never hear them whining about the 15% of our budget that is spend on defense.  But hey, what's a trillion dollars if it buys you an awesome big bomb?

Later this post starts banging on about how the government can't be trusted to run health care, even though that's not been proposed.  I guess it's the same logic as gun nuts equating a discussion about gun violence to Obama taking everyone's guns next week.

Ultimately the big problem that America has is that rather cunningly the Republicans have managed to use religion, guns and simplistic black and white wedge issues to garner support.  Then they get into office and shit on the 'little people' from a great height, slashing government assistance programs, investments in people, and leaving corporations to exploit their workers in any number of ways (your waitress still makes $2.13 an hour FYI).

Amazingly after all this abuse, the poor of America keep coming back for more and voting for Republicans, while distributing the kind of nonsense shown above among their friends, and calling it common sense.

I swear, if common sense were really that common, Republicans would have less votes than the Green Party.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Death of Thatcher

I was standing in a gun shop, looking at ammunition, and a complete stranger from some random American town started asking me about what I thought about The Iron Lady.

I've seen various comments on the Internet over the past few days in the wake of her recent passing on April 8th, and some of the comments have been excessively vitriolic in my opinion.  I've also read of some pretty violent protests in England, and that some websites have had to close comments sections because of abuse.

I think anyone who has read my blog will agree that Thatcher and I share very few political values.  She was a staunch right winger, and certainly far too hard line in many areas.  However, she was an elected leader, the first elected female leader of Great Britain, and her popularity allowed her multiple reelections over the years.

For me, the time to protest her actions and policies was way back when she was in power.  Using the passing of a frail 87 year old woman to spout nasty opinions or protest in the streets is frankly just sick, and has no place in civilized society.

And for those who want to bitch about all the mistakes she made, let me remind you of Neil Kinnock.  Neil was a balding Welshman, who shouted, and ranted, and never once showed any kind of potential as a replacement for Thatcher.

To use a modern example, when George Bush was reelected in 2004, Democrats only had themselves to blame.  Bush was deeply unpopular and a moron, but John Kerry was boring, lacked charisma, and actually managed to get his record as a military hero who saved the lives of his comrades in battle called into question.  He ran a terrible campaign and never captured the imagination of the American people.  Surely if the Democrats had produced a viable candidate, Bush might have remained a one term President, like his father.

I was living in England during the Thatcher era, and even as a young boy I could see the lack of appeal of Neil Kinnock.  He spouted outmoded ideas, and just seemed like an angry white dude versus the cool and calm Thatcher.

It was only years later that a young Tony Blair was able to seize power over the Labour Party, rebrand it, and finally make it a winning party again.

So for those Thatcher detractors, I say cast your mind back, and tell me that in all seriousness, Neil Kinnock would have done a better job at running the country.  And I also say to the Thatcher detractors who chose to mark the passing of this strong leader with violence and hostility; give it a rest.  She has not held a position of power for two decades, and for the last decade has been too frail to even speak publicly.

It's very easy to look back and try and judge a leader from another era, but the 80s were very different times.  For me personally, I think that Lady Thatcher did what she thought was right.  She was a strong and principled leader, who commanded much respect both domestically and globally.  She gave many years of service to the country, and demonstrated that you don't have to be a man to run a country.

I choose to remember the woman who stood up and fought for the Falkland Islands.  The women who went toe to toe with the old white men and would not back down.  She was a visionary, and an inspirational leader of her time.  It is time to forgive her mistakes, celebrate her achievements, and show some respect and compassion in the wake of her death.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Gun Debate

Before I offer up my opinion on the recent Newtown tragedy, I'd first like to offer my sincere and heartfelt condolences for the victims and their families.  It is impossible to imagine the kind of pain that such an event has caused.

A week after Newtown the NRA have broken their silence to tell us that the solution to the problem of gun violence in this country is to placed armed security guards in every school.  And the problem is access to video games and movies (as opposed to assault rifles with 100 round magazines).

It is really sad that this organization is so drunk on its own political power that they cannot say or do the responsible thing at a time like this.

We've heard all the lines before, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."  And all the other dross that they and the politicians they bought and paid for sing from the same hymn sheet.

Of course we all know that their lies are ridiculous right?  These evil video games and movies that we make here in America are shipped all over the world.  Other countries like Canada have plenty of guns, yet they don't have the same rate of gun homicide.  And countries like Australia and Great Britain laid down their arms and can count their gun homicide rate in the double digits while we'd feel like a miracle had happened if our rate fell into the four digit range.

But I don't believe that the gun violence problem in America is just about the guns; and I guess in that respect I agree with the NRA and Republicans who love to try and shift the focus away from talking about gun control.  I think the problem is far deeper than that.

In my experience living in the US, we have chosen to create a very divided society.  You have the haves, and the have nots.  And thanks to Bush wealth redistribution, the rich have gotten richer, and everyone else has remained stagnant or gotten poorer.  Sadly, we don't even seem to care.

Despite all the rhetoric about what a good Christian nation we have, and God has a special place in His heart for us, we are ironically very much ignoring the teachings of Christ.  Jesus it has to be said, was somewhat of a liberal hippie.  Take from the rich, give to the poor, love thy neighbor, turn the other cheek, don't persecute others, be tolerant of others, and so on and so forth.  Yet we don't do any of these things.

We have created a war-loving nation, we have troops stationed in over 150 nations, and while children in our country go hungry or lack the medicine they need if they are sick, we still maintain the biggest military budget anywhere on the planet.

When a person falls on hard times we begrudgingly given them food stamps (instead of money) and they are forced to shop in certain stores for certain food, and advertise the fact that they are poor in front of their fellow shoppers.  When you demean people in this manner it will erode their self esteem, thus making it even less likely they can nail a job interview.

If a poor person gets sick we take all the money off them we can and then ruin their credit, all while withholding from them the special health care that is reserved only for the well heeled.

My point is when you fail to educate the population well, when you dump on the poor, mentally ill, and vulnerable, you create resentment and the beginnings of dangerous people.

Once you give these disenfranchised people easy access to military grade assault weapons with 100 round magazines you are looking for trouble.

So as the NRA have told you, banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines won't ever stop every atrocity.  And maybe an armed guard at the school would give an extra layer of protection.  But fundamentally we have to become a more caring society, especially if we are going to use Jesus as the example for mankind.

If you walk up to a random person in Canada or England and ask them if they think that health care is a human right; they will probably reply "Of course."  They won't ask about whether the human being in the example is a good or bad person, rich or poor, or has a fancy insurance premium.  In other industrialized countries with universal healthcare a person gets sick and they are taken care of (and this would usually include mental health issues which are often associated with these massacres).

The debate about the effectiveness of various countries health care systems is a topic for another day.  Although it has to be said that America does spend about double what almost every other country per person on healthcare and yet leaves tens of millions out in the cold.

And to me this is what the problem is all about.  We have to get less selfish.  We have to accept that we need to pay taxes.  We have to insist that our politicians stop squandering the money on wars, guns, bombs, drones, and weapons of mass destruction.  We have to reach out to the poor, the mentally disadvantaged, the weak, the unemployed, the disabled, and extend a hand of kindness.

Until we start to show compassion for everyone, even the lazy meth addicts of this world, we cannot move forward.  The more we disenfranchise people and give them easy access to military grade weapons, the more we are going to see terrible acts of violence.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Four More Years

By sheer chance of schedule and a business meeting I got to watch the results come in at a country club surrounded by Republicans watching Fox News try to put a positive spin on the situation.  Was kind of weird.

All that said thank goodness that common sense prevailed and we can put this election behind us.  I think this country faced a serious test and as usual almost half of America (mostly old white dudes) did their best to kick out the black guy and 'restore' America.  These people were willing to ignore the flip flopping, the lack of substance or policy, the lack of tax returns, the bogus personal success narrative, and the false promises of 12 million jobs tax cuts for all; just by magically closing some unspecified 'loopholes.'  (I'm guessing these loopholes didn't include the ones where rich people hide their money in Swiss bank accounts and bogus foreign companies to avoid paying tax.)  Mitt Romney promised many things, and some people were taken in, others would have voted for a giant pig just as long as it wasn't black.

What I find interesting is that Republicans keep going back to the same watering hole that has worked so well for them in the past.  They go after the rich, the evangelical fringe, the old people (while oddly stating a desire to cut their benefits), the racists, and any other white redneck dudes they can find.

Sadly for Republicans (fortunately for the rest of us) this base is eroding at a speedy rate.  More and more people are turning away from extremist religion, homoprejudice, draconian social policies, gender discrimination, xenophobia and racism.  Admittedly these people tend to live in more enlightened parts of the country, but the movement is unmistakable, and I think unstoppable.  Because the fact is old whitey is dying off and being replaced by more progressive young people and people of color.  The draw to the silver haired white dude who is past retirement age is simply diminishing.

If there is one take away from this election for Republicans, it would be to take a cue from former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.  During the Thatcher era one of the reasons she spent 21 years in Number 10 is because her opposition was useless.  The British equivalent of the Democrats was the Labour Party, and they kept pushing further and further to the fringe of their party installing unelectable leaders and pandering to special interests.  In every election Thatcher trounced her opposition and went on to become the longest serving PM in British history.

In a move of political brilliance portrayed in the movie The Deal, Tony Blair secretly garnered support within his party and forced Gordon Brown not to step up to take the leadership of the Labour Party as everyone had expected him to.  With leadership now secured Blair went on to re-invent the Labour Party going so far as to call it New Labour, cutting ties with the extremist fringe and becoming more electable.  After leading his party to victory he led the country for about a decade, stepping down largely because the British public did not accept supporting the American wars in Afghanistan and more importantly Iraq.

I relay this story, because if I have one hope for America it is that Republicans take stock at this point and reset the direction of their party.  They must accept that their base of angry white men and old people are dying off or being superseded by people we once called minorities.  Women too are now less inclined to accept 77% of a man's pay for the same day of work, while being told what they are allowed to do with their vaginas.

I really believe that it will become increasingly hard to keep the applying same old strategies of warmongering, xenophobia, racism, and hard line stances on social policies, gender, reproductive and LGBTQ issues.  With a changing population they must find new less extreme leadership to be successful.  It is very hard to imagine that doubling down on such divisive issues and extremist positions can create a landslide victory for Republicans any time soon.

In watching this election it seemed like Democrats were occupying a centrist position, while the Republicans had left the building in order to see just how far to the right they could possibly move.  And I'm sure the most extreme of them all spouting about legitimate rape and similar can't have helped their case.

So in conclusion, America barely made the right decision, but the right decision was made nonetheless. Time will tell if Republicans learn from this and reinvent themselves as New Labour did, or will they simply keep peddling the same old same old.  I guess we'll find out in a year when the politicking and money squandering will begin all over again.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Facebook Fallacies

I read this incredibly ignorant post on Facebook, and felt the need to respond.  The original post is in blue.

A lot is being said in the media about Mitt Romney not being "likeable" or that he doesn't "relate well" to people. Here is the 'Top Ten List' that possibly explains Mitt's "unlikeablility".

1. Too handsome with a gracious, statesman-like aura. 

Or in other words he is an old white dude.  Since when is being ‘too handsome’ a handicap or a qualification to be President?

2. Been married to ONE woman his entire life, and has been faithful to her, including through her bouts with breast cancer and MS.

Okay.  Our current President has been married for 20 years today to the same woman.

3. No scandals or skeletons in his closet. (How boring is that?)

I’ve got one for you.  How about the fact that he hides his money in secret offshore bank accounts to avoid paying tax?  Or that he had the balls to picket anti war protestors, yet dodged the draft by spending three years in France on a ‘mission’ to recruit people into his cult.

4. Can't speak in a fake, southern, "black Preacher voice" when necessary.

I’m not quite sure what to make of that comment, although I assume it to be thinly veiled racism.

5. Highly intelligent. He graduated cum laude from both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School ... which by the way, his academic records are NOT sealed.

He attended an elite private school that costs $300,000 to send a kid there in today’s money.  With the benefit of that foundation; an education completely out of reach to most normal kids, how could he fail to get into a good college?  It's a little hard to fail when you are born into such unimaginable privilege.

6. Doesn't smoke or drink alcohol, and has never done drugs, not even in the counter-culture age when he went to college. Too wierd (sic) for today's America?

That’s because he is a member of a weird cult that believes even caffeine is evil and magic underwear is good.

7.      Represents an America of "yesterday", where people believed in God, went to Church, didn't screw around, worked hard,
and became a SUCCESS!

You mean the America where women couldn’t vote and black people had to sit at the back of the bus?  Institutional racism and sexism abound.  And the same good old days where Romney’s cult banned black people and other minorities from joining because they were not as important in the eyes of god as white people.

8. Has a family of five great sons....and none of them have police records or are in drug rehab. But of course, they were raised by a stay-at-home mom, and that "choice" deserves America's criticism.

I’m really not sure that anyone has critized him for having a loving family.  But is that really a qualification for President, or are you just clutching at straws to make your top ten?

9. Oh yes.....he's a MORMON. We need to be afraid of that very strange religion that teaches its members to be clean-living, patriotic, fiscally conservative, charitable, self-reliant, and honest.

Perhaps if you did any research on this cult you would be far less forgiving.  Have a look at and find out what real Mormons who escaped have to say about their lives in the Mormon church.  Heart breaking stories of cult like control and manipulation.

10. And one more point.....pundits say because of his wealth, he can't relate to ordinary Americans. I guess that's because he made that money opposed to marrying it or inheriting it from Dad. Apparently, he didn't understand that actually working a job and earning his own money made him unrelatable to many American voters.

Dreaming.  What more can I say.  As I mentioned in a previous blog article, the guy was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  That’s how his father was able to afford the kind of elite private education for his kid in the first place.  And without that expensive education, financial support, and business and political connections of his father who knows where he’d be today.

Take Mitt Romney and raise him in a regular family with a state education, don’t give him the three year vacation in France that enabled him to dodge the draft, and you really think he would be as rich or running for President?

I completely reject the narrative that Romney is a self made man.  He got the money and power he has in life because of an accident of birth.  Now sure, he may have worked hard, but so does the baggage handler at the airport.

This election is the most surreal I have seen since I moved to America.  The right are painting this picture of an evil socialist dictator as President, while there guy worked his way from nothing to millionaire through his sheer business acumen and hard work.  Both stories are total bullshit.

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