Monday, December 15, 2008
For 15 years, Larry Elder has stood out as the conscience of America (for those who would listen, anyways). I've listened to him for years on KABC and found his calm demeanor and no-nonsense approach to political and economic issues refreshing. While I didn't always agree with him, he always made sense and I could always see his point of view - even if I occasionally disagreed with it.
There are many out there who won't be sorry to see him go. These individuals are those Larry termed "victicrats" - people who feel sorry for themselves and feel they got a raw deal in life and its out of their control. Larry preaches that the road to success or failure begins and ends with the self. Do you see the world as a place of opportunity where high moral values and hard work get rewarded? Do you see the world as a dark place riddled with hatred where only certain select fortunate people get the advantages? One of these points of view will lead to success, the other to failure.
If you've never seen it, take a look at Larry Elder's Personal Pledge.
Also, take a look at his weekly articles at TownHall.com
Larry, I will miss your daily broadcast. I don't know why you had to leave so suddenly but I wish you all the best in whatever endeavors you pursue.
Monday, December 01, 2008
President-elect Obama's actions perk up stock market
Today, the Dow lost 7% of its value by plunging 679.95.
I'm sure, President Bush will get the blame for that.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
[Our organization] views the 2008 elections as a tremendous opportunity to defeat the policies of the right-wing Republicans and to move our country in a new progressive direction.
The record turnout in the Democratic Presidential primary races shows that millions of voters, including millions of new voters, are using this election to bring about real change. We wholeheartedly agree with them.
[We] endorse and join in the anti-Bush/anti-right wing sentiments that are driving so many people to activism. The fact that the Democratic frontrunners are an African American and a woman speaks volumes on how far the country has come. Hillary Clinton’s campaign has attracted large numbers of supporters, especially women. Other Democratic contenders presented some excellent proposals to reverse the devastation caused by the Bush administration’s policies. Barack Obama’s campaign has so far generated the most excitement, attracted the most votes, most volunteers and the most money.
We think the basic reason for this is that his campaign has the clearest message of unity and progressive change, while having a real possibility for victory in November.
We will work with others to defeat the Republican nominee and to end right-wing control of the new Congress. The activism growing out of this election will help guarantee a progressive mandate no matter who is elected. It is critical to our country’s renewal and future. We think this election is a great opportunity to bring an early withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. It can mean job creation and relief for those who are losing their homes or unable to pay their bills. This election can set the stage to advance the interests of working people; of those excluded because of race, gender, sexual orientation and immigration status. This election can begin to turn the tide: it can help bring universal health care, save the environment and start the restoration of our democratic rights.
Friday, October 31, 2008
There are five guys who went to high school together and remained friends long after. Arnold became a very successful businessman and makes a very good living. Benny owns his own small business and works very hard to keep it and manages to make a decent living. Charlie is an employee of Arnold and makes a nice living as a manager in Arnold's company. David has struggled and is also an employee of Arnold albeit a low end one. Edward has been in and out of work since high school.
Now in their thirties, the five of them get together once a month at Clinton's restaurant. Through an agreement with the owner Clinton, the bill comes to $100 which Arnold, being the most well off, pays $60 of it. Benny and Charlie each pay $20 and David and Edward pay nothing. This arrangement goes on for some time and everybody is used to it.
Eventually, the restaurant is taken over by new management. Bush, the new owner decides he can increase business to the restaurant by lowering prices. This includes making a new arrangement with the five men who come every month. The total food bill at Bush's restaurant is reduced to $80. Bush decides that since the bulk of the bill had been paid by Arnold, he should get the biggest break. So the new arrangement is Arnold pays $50, Benny and Charlie each pay $15, while David and Edward still pay $0.
Arnold is delighted with the price cut. Benny is also very appreciative. Charlie is unsure how he feels. Yes, he is paying $5 less but is somewhat jealous of Arnold paying $10 less. "Why does the rich guy get the biggest break?" he wonders. David and Edward are frustrated as to why they didn't benefit from the price cut at all. For the first time, there is an uneasiness in the group as three of them felt they got the short end of things. Benny tries to explain that it's only fair that the people paying the bulk of the bill deserve to benefit the most. Charlie, David, and Edward refuse to see it that way. They feel the new arrangement is unfair. Meanwhile, Bush's lower prices attracts a lot of new business and the restaurant booms profits for years.
All good things must end and it is discovered that some staff at the restaurant made poor investment choices with the restaurant's profits. Instead of the restaurant being a model of financial stability, it is a wreck and Bush and his executives struggle to keep the restaurant in business. What's more, this occurred just as Bush was ready to hand over the restaurant to a new owner.
There are two prospective new owners. One of them is McCain. McCain has similar philosophies as Bush. He tells the five men he will maintain the current pricing and the breakdown. He also knows he will have to keep a better eye on what the staff is doing than his predecessor if the restaurant is to stay in business.
The second prospective owner is Obama. Obama has his own ideas on how the restaurant should be run. He is going to "change" things. He talks to the five men and tells them that he will return back to the $100 total price of the Clinton era, but, he will offer the majority of them a better break. Arnold will pay $90, but Benny and Charlie will now only pay $10 each. This allows David and Edward to actually receive $5 each.
David and Edward are thrilled about Obama and passionately hope he becomes the new owner. Charlie likes Obama too as he relishes paying less and feels good about the thought of how David and Edward would benefit from this. "So what if Arnold has to pay more, he can afford it. It's only fair that he share his wealth."
Arnold and Benny, both with business experience shake their heads at what Obama is attempting. Arnold can't believe he will be required to pay such a huge percentage of the bill and be outright paying David and Edward as well. Benny, being the smart small business owner recognizes that even though he is paying less, Obama's vision won't work. Bush already demonstrated that the restaurant does better with lower prices so why does Obama want to go back to the Clinton price? Also, Benny realizes that Obama's plan will hurt Arnold and if Arnold is hurt, he will be subsequently hurt also as he will get less business from Arnold and people employed by Arnold, like Charlie.
In the end, Obama becomes the new owner - much to the delight of Charlie, Edward, and David. Unfortunately, Arnold leaves the group leaving the $100 bill to be paid by the four of them. Benny, Charlie, Edward, and David can't pay. The harmony the five men once had is shattered and the restaurant is eventually shut down.
Monday, October 27, 2008
A young teenage girl was about to finish her first year of college. She considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat but her father was a rather staunch Republican. One day she was challenging her father on his beliefs and his opposition to taxes and welfare programs. He stopped her and asked her how she was doing in school. She answered that she had a 4.0 GPA but it was really tough. She had to study all the time, never had time to go out and party. She didn't have time for a boyfriend and didn't really have many college friends because of spending all her time studying. He asked, "How is your friend Mary." She replied that Mary was barely getting by. She had a 2.0 GPA, never studied, but was very popular on campus, went to all the parties all the time. Why she often didn't show up for classes because she was hung over.
Dad then asked his daughter why she didn't go to the Dean's office and ask why she couldn't take 1.0 off her 4.0 and give it to her friend who only had a 2.0. That way they would both have a 3.0 GPA. The daughter angrily fired back, "That wouldn't be fair, I worked really hard for mine and Mary has done nothing". The father slowly smiled and said, "Welcome to the Republican Party"."
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I wonder if Torre mouthed "maybe we should walk Stairs" right before the big hit.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
And I think that this problem has become so severe, as you know, that we're going to have to do something about home values. You know that home values of retirees continues to decline and people are no longer able to afford their mortgage payments.
As president of the United States, Alan, I would order the secretary of the treasury to immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America and renegotiate at the new value of those homes -- at the diminished value of those homes and let people be able to make those -- be able to make those payments and stay in their homes.
Is it expensive? Yes. But we all know, my friends, until we stabilize home values in America, we're never going to start turning around and creating jobs and fixing our economy.
First of all - Welcome to the Democratic Party Senator McCain. You know, the party that makes all sorts of pledges of ideas that sound good to some people but are really bad ideas? How is "renegotiating at the new value of those homes" going to "do something about home values" other than lower them? Or is that what you meant? Then why did you say "stabilize home values"?
This is exactly what I'd expect from a Democrat. You're promising lower payments and stable home values. Add to that a big government expenditure. It doesn't add up and I am speaking as one who owes more on his house than what its worth. Yeah, part of my brain likes what you said but I'm no hypocrite.
So here's what I would do. If you've got health care already, and probably the majority of you do, then you can keep your plan if you are satisfied with it. You can keep your choice of doctor. We're going to work with your employer to lower the cost of your premiums by up to $2,500 a year.
If you don't have health insurance, you're going to be able to buy the same kind of insurance that Sen. McCain and I enjoy as federal employees. Because there's a huge pool, we can drop the costs. And nobody will be excluded for pre-existing conditions, which is a huge problem.
So what's to prevent an employer from offering the worst health care out there to basically force all employees to go for option B and then not have to worry about dealing with employee health care? After all, the employer is offering health care so he or she can't be fined, right? Raise your hand if you'd like Senator-level health care. Mine's up. I guess we'll have to stick the doctor bills to GE, Microsoft, and of course, Exxon/Mobil.
And one of the things I want to do is make sure that we're providing incentives so that you can buy a fuel efficient car that's made right here in the United States of America, not in Japan or South Korea.
In case you didn't know Senator, fewer and fewer cars are being built in America and one of the reasons why is that American car companies are taxed much higher than those in Japan, South Korea, Germany, and China. And you want to raise them higher, right? This is spoken like a true Democrat. Say what we want to hear even though your policies contradict the result you promise.
McCain was less than brilliant in this debate but he won it, nevertheless.
Friday, October 03, 2008
Moderator: Senator Biden, how do you see the bailout situation?
Biden: We need more oversight and McCain is bad.
Moderator: Governor Palin?
Palin: I just want to talk about the economy in general. McCain is good.
Moderator: Senator Biden, what do you think about being Vice President?
Biden: McCain said the economy is strong. Then he changed his mind. McCain is bad.
Moderator: Governor Palin?
Palin: Stop playing politics. That's not what McCain meant. McCain is good.
Moderator: Governor Palin, whose fault is the subprime meltdown?
Palin: We need to stop greed on Wall St. McCain will do this because McCain is good.
Biden: Obama knew this would happen. McCain didn't. We need healthcare. Oh, and McCain is bad.
Moderator: Governor, would you care to comment about health care too even though it wasn't asked?
Palin: No, I want to talk about taxes. Obama wants to raise taxes. Obama is bad.
Biden: Obama is not bad. Obama is good. McCain wants to raise taxes. McCain is bad.
Palin: I'm a straight talker and McCain is good.
Moderator: Since you two want to talk taxes. Say more.
Biden: It's just simple fairness. Rich people should pay more taxes because like John McCain, rich people are bad.
Palin: Bad people like Obama want unfair re-distribution of wealth.
Moderator: Governor, do you support McCain's absurd health plan?
Palin: Yes, McCain is good.
Biden: I'd rather talk about the good people in Scranton Pennsylvania. John McCain wants them to pay Exxon/Mobil's taxes. McCain is bad. ... Oh and about health care, John McCain wants to tax health care. He really is bad.
Moderator: I'm going to ask you a tough question Senator. What promises can't you keep?
Biden: None. It's all good because Exxon/Mobil will pay for it all. They, like McCain, are bad people.
Palin: How is Obama going to keep the promise he made to one group and the contradicting promise he made to another? See, I don't have to answer the questions either.
Moderator: There's no promise you can't keep?
Palin: Well if you insist. I don't have to worry about keeping promises since I have made none.
Biden: Let me take 10 more minutes to repeat everything I have already said about taxes. Obama will lower them and give us free healthcare and clean alternative energy. McCain will raise taxes and we will all choke on oil exhausts.
Oh, and I support windfall profits taxes. They have been proven to be horrible for the economy and is really the stupidest idea ever, so I hope Governor Palin will convince McCain to support them too.
Moderator: Governor, what about legislation regulating the mortgage industry?
Palin: McCain said two years ago that Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac would be in trouble. McCain is good.
Moderator: Senator, didn't you disagree with Obama on this?
Biden: Yes, and Obama predicted the mortgage crisis two years ago. McCain was unaware. McCain is bad.
Moderator: Governor, is that so?
Palin: Let's talk about energy and not boring old mortgages. It's a subject I really know. I am good. Energy independence is good.
Moderator: Okay, screw that last question. Let's just skip it and move on to climate change. Governor, what do you think?
Palin: Yeah, we feel it in Alaska more than anywhere else. We can help this by being energy independent. Did I mention that I like talking about this subject?
Moderator: Senator Biden, as a leading climate scientist, what has your exhaustive research on climate change led you to conclude?
Biden: All scientific evidence leads me to believe that climate change is McCain's and Palin's fault because they want to "drill, drill, drill".
Palin: We have oil, gas and coal. We believe in using it. Obama and Biden want to keep it in the ground.
Moderator: Governor do you support clean coal?
Biden: Me to, but McCain is bad.
Moderator: Senator, do you support rights for same sex couples?
Palin: Yes, but not gay marriage.
Biden: I agree, no gay marriage.
Moderator: This is no fun. Let's move to foreign policy. Governor, you said you believe in an exit strategy in Iraq, is that true?
Palin: The surge is good. Petraus is good. McCain is good.
Biden: Obama said we will be out in 16 months. McCain wants to keep troops in Iraq. McCain is bad.
Palin: Our troops have come too far to throw up a white flag now. If McCain is so bad, why did you support him initially and call Obama "not ready to be Commander-in-Chief" Senator?
Biden: McCain voted against funding for troops. McCain is bad.
I'll end it here and just say that Palin looked particularly strong early and really challenged Biden well on the economic and energy questions. Biden looked more comfortable in the foreign policy arena. He obviously wanted to do what Obama chose not to do and that is to continually attack McCain on every single issue. It was too incessant if you ask me.
My other comment is that the Moderator revealed that she was pro-Obama when she asked Palin if she supported McCain's healthcare plan. She never bothered to ask anyone about Obama's. The climate change question had a similar tone. It also appeared that Biden knew what questions were coming and Palin did not. Maybe he is just gifted at this but Biden had every answer prepared and sounded like a speech giver. Palin 'ummed' a few times and appeared to think about how to answer. She may have diverted some answers but she came across as much more genuine.
Not all that interesting of a debate. I'll call it a tie.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
1. I was almost spot on last year and I want to continue to bask in that (no, not really).
2. (The real reason) This is the best I have felt about the Dodgers in years so I can't be anything but biased. Dodgers all the way and will crush the Angels in the Series.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Why did McCain resort to calling Obama naive and dangerous? Just state your cause McCain. Let us make those determinations for ourselves.
McCain will never win the battle of stage presence. Obama projects his voice like an old-time orator with his eyes outward and his voice strong and steady. McCain always comes across as a bit shifty-eyed and uncomfortable.
Democrats like to argue that Obama comes across as "more Presidential" and I can't argue with that.
However, when it come to content...
It appeared that Obama resorted to simply agree with John McCain several times. Nothing really wrong with that but it also seemed that this tactic just confirmed McCain's superior experience.
Obama, like most Democrats, relies on the ignorance of his audience. He is always stating what he thinks people want to hear.
Listen to his message.
- He stated that Al Queda operates in 60 countries now and we need to devote our attention away from Iraq and focus on these other areas.
- He is going to drastically increase funding for the development of alternative energy.
- He is going to promote American good-will around the globe (with the possible exception of a certain 60 countries).
- He'll get us all free health-care.
The punchline is - he is going to accomplish the above and still lower the taxes of 95% of us. I have a bridge for sale to anyone who is buying this load.Still, by a small margin. Obama edges McCain in debate number 1.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
2001: The Blog
I've been focusing more attention there than here. 2001 averages 50 hits a day. Pure Drivel averages 1.
My blog statistics indicate a shift in 2008. My blog received a lot of attention earlier this year because of my experience in the Ride and Drive event. I guess a lot of people were curious about what people thought of comparisons between Ford, Honda, and Toyota sedans. That entry was in early 2007 but it was early 2008 when a lot of people Googled and found it. My What is an American Car? article got a lot of attention from web searchers even though that was written in 2006.
I'll probably spend most of the next two months expressing my opinions concerning the election. I may have a thing or two to say about baseball, energy, the economy, or the auto industry. What comes after that may be related to who gets elected.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Gloria Steinem, the founder of the modern feminist movement has a few things to say about Vice-President nominee Sarah Palin.
" even the anti-feminist right wing -- the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party -- are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president"
"Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters"
In Ms Steinem's editorial, from an after-convention discussion of reporters on CNN, and from Al Sharpton, I learned a few new rules on feminism I wasn't aware of:
A woman who runs for President or Vice President must be viewed as heroic, ground-breaking, and tough to break into the males only club. As long as she is a Democrat.
If a Republican woman runs for Vice President, she must be endlessly scrutinized. Surely she must be involved in some scandal. Other women should question her poor choice of being a Republican. A Republican woman's place is in the home so she can take care of the kids.
Men and women, who have no foreign policy experience can run for President and be considered bold, fresh, and ready to "change" the status quo and our perceptions on foreign relations. As long as they are Democrats.
A Republican woman with no foreign policy experience can't seriously run for Vice President because she obviously is strictly being used to attract the female voters. She, in fact, should be condemned.
A female politician making a speech and talking tough about standing up to fight for what she believes in is lauded for having strength of character as long as she is a Democrat.
A female Republican politician making a speech and talking tough about standing up to fight for what she believes in is accused of secretly being a man.
It is completely understood that all politicians have their speeches written for them by a professional speech writer. Exception: Republican women must write their own speeches. Otherwise, they are just a mouthpiece for a man.
I guess I'm anti-feminist after all.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Alright Erik, you asked for it. You called me out in your blog so I will return the favor.
In the simple world of Erik:
- All Conservatives are racists.
- All Republicans are psychopaths.
- If you are against Martin Luther King Day being a national holiday, you are a racist.
- Republicans are responsible for killing the planet and if you don't think so, you are stupid and don't believe in science.
- Any reference to an article or a link that has something to do with Erik's point of view establishes Erik's argument as "fact" and "proof" that he is right.
- Any article that Erik does not agree with is published by a right-wing nut member of a biased conservative media.
- All Conservatives and Republicans are in lock step with each other so that the actions or statements by one apply to all.
In his black and white, simple views of the world, he attacks my character and wonders why I don't post comments on his blog as often as I used to. Unlike Erik, I see the world as complex. Every issue has many variables and I simply won't break them down to an A vs B point of view. When I do respond to his point A comment, he shoves me over to the full point B because he can't handle the idea that an issue may have more than two sides. If I don't agree with him, I'm a "Bush worshipper" or something like that.
Let's look at some examples:
This was a slam-dunk for Erik. Since an ousted reporter happened to be black, that was the reason he was kicked out. Plain and simple since it perfectly fits in with Erik's view that all conservatives are openly racist. McCain must be really stupid too, to commit such an obvious racist act.
Erik says that a man who killed the Arkansas head of the Democratic Party did so because people like Bill O'Reilly said it's okay. We conservatives all think alike. I wonder who I should kill today? Ann Coulter said I can.
On a similar note, here's another gem from Erik:
"This sick individual who shot and killed two people and wounded others in Tennessee is pathetic but he is in the same mindset as a lot of conservatives"
Yes Erik, there is a big difference between us and it has nothing to do with our politics. I'm not questioning your intelligence but I do accuse you of being mentally lazy. Issues and problems should not be broken down as simply as you want them to.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Barack Obama continues his strategy of saying the things his particular audience wants to hear. John McCain went to Michigan and told the people he's not going to bailout the auto makers. McCain dismissed calls to help Detroit make the cars they should have been making in the first place, or should be able to make now on their own damn dime given all the profits they banked during the SUV and pickup boom.
McCain, in doing this, pretty much blew off his chance of winning Michigan. At least he was courageous enough to make a stand. Good for you McCain!
John McCain: No Federal Loan Guarantees for Detroit
Thursday, July 31, 2008
These are not those times.
General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler are all in serious trouble. They are losing billions of dollars each quarter. As in the 1970's, they didn't have the foresight concerning their slant towards large vehicles - large cars in the '70's and trucks and SUV's now, would come to an end. GMC Yukons, Chevy Silverados, Ford Expeditions, and Dodge Rams and the like were big moneymakers for these companies. So much that even Nissan, Honda, and Toyota began building behemoth vehicles to grab a share of the pot of gold. They are suffering for this action too, now. Not as much though since these companies have their Prius', Civics, Sentras, and such to fall back on.
What do the so-called domestic companies have?
Chevrolet has never had a highly rated small car. Chevettes, Cavaliers, Aveos, and Cobalts are typically at the bottom of most lists. They weren't any better in mid-size either until the current Malibu came out. Dodge had a decent small car in the Neon. They had good compact cars in the Stratus and Cirrus in the mid 1990's. However, Chrysler, under the control of Daimler at the time, utterly failed to update these vehicles and they eventually diminished. Only Ford isn't completely hopeless. They have had a competitive fuel-efficient vehicle in the Focus. The Fusion and Escape Hybrid indicate that they have a clue, but it hasn't been enough.
"The big 2.8" (Daimler still owns 20% of Chrysler) are losing billions of dollars and want the federal government to get them back on their feet. Translation; They want us taxpayers to fork over the bill for their inadequacies meaning we're supposed to pay the price for not buying Fords, Buicks, and Dodges. They argue, of course, that if they go under, thousands of jobs will be lost, not just by their own employees, but in all the dealerships, mechanics, and smaller companies that contribute to the makeup of their vehicles.
It's time to cut the cord and force these companies to fend for themselves, despite the consequences. If they work smartly, these companies have a good chance to survive and grab back what they had lost. Otherwise, they will fail because they deserve it. I believe Charles Darwin's theory of "Natural Selection" applies here. If the government bails them out, why should these companies change their ways when they know they have the taxpayers as a safety net?
Unfortunately, both Presidential candidates are trying to get votes from Michigan by promising aid to the auto companies. They are both wrong and this is really very un-American. America is the land of opportunity, remember? That means one company's failures are another company's opportunities. Maybe it's time for some other company that's is driven and is better able to plan to fill the void. If the 2.8 fail, that's a lot of talented people out of work. Opportunity knocks.
I feel the same way about the bailouts for Fannie May and Freddy Mac. Let these companies die if they made such bad mistakes.
That also applies to people who made bad choices concerning their mortgages. Let them foreclose. Let the housing market stabilize because of free-market balance, not because of artificial, tax-payer paid bailouts.
This is all about responsibility. If we don't exercise it, future generations will pay.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
We are driving less.
We consolidate our shopping - no more going to the supermarket to get a loaf of bread. Also, more of us use carpools, take buses, ride on rails, or even simply decide we had no reason to drive in the first place.
We are dumping our over sized vehicles
Suddenly, small, fuel efficient vehicles are in vogue again. Monster pickup trucks, candied-up SUV's, and V8 sports sedans have suddenly lost their allure. For those who want or need a pickup truck or SUV, these are good times too since dealerships are overstocked and are offering tremendous deals (I've seen 1/3 off of sticker on some).
We are polluting the air less
All these smaller vehicles and less driving add up to less air pollution. For those who consider carbon dioxide as a pollutant, we're even spewing less of that.
We are looking at alternative fuels
Natural gas, bio fuels, hydrogen, and pure electrically powered vehicles are being developed. Everything is still in a pre-larval stage but we have reached that point where the "gas is cheap" argument has finally gone away.
So I ask the question. Isn't this what we wanted? Isn't this all good? Shouldn't we be dancing in the streets since we are finally getting what we've been demanding for 40 years?
So, why all the misery?
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Person A is a citizen of Pakafgahnistovania. He is hard working, law-abiding, and pays his taxes.
Person B is also a citizen of Pakafgahnistovania. He is a slimeball malcontent. He decides that the fault for his discontentment lies in the policies of the United States. Person B goes out to attempt to kill Americans to satisfy his twisted need for his version of justice.
The U.S. Constitution protects and gives rights and privileges to Person B. Person A is at the mercy of his home country.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Now I'm telling this because as we all know, the recent sharp increases in the price of gasoline affect us all. Nobody is happy about it. The economic impact it has on us is real and we are reminded of it every time we go by a gas station. We cringe as we sneak a peak at how high the price has gone up since we last looked. We look down at the fuel gauge and hope that the needle is still on the F half.
Then we hear about house foreclosures, food shortages, and massive layoffs in the auto industry. Indeed, the economic news has been virtually 100% negative in the past few months. It's no surprise then, that polls show that most Americans believe we are in a recession.
But here's the rub; A recession is explicitly defined as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. Well, as it turns out, the GDP (that's gross domestic product) of 4'th quarter 2007 and 1'st quarter 2008 were positive, that's right, positive. Yes, they were the lowest in six years but when you think about recession, you have to realize it's about negative economic growth for two consecutive quarters. We don't have negative growth for even one!
Why is the news so negative?
Well, it just happens to be an election year. Our friends of the main stream media are up to their usual tricks. They repeatedly pound in our heads that the economy is sagging. On top of that, they tell us that the Presidential election is focused on the economy. No wonder since that's all that seems to be reported now a days.
When was the last recession?
Look it up and you'll find the last recession (or two consecutive quarters of negative GDP) was in 2000 to mid-2001 during the Clinton administration and the beginning of the Bush administration. Remember all the negative news about the economy then? No, I don't either.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Now I know what it would have been like to have been a Patriot fan in early 2002.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
For those of us who have visited Disney parks many times, It's a Small World has always been the charming, somewhat hokey, but classic ride that carried a simple, yet beautiful message of world-wide harmony. It featured all the children of the world in their national costumes and decorum singing together. This ride has been adored for decades by generations, young and old.
Why Change it?
Is putting an animitronic Alladdin in the Arabian section, or Mulan in China, going to attact more riders? No, but Disney thinks it might sell more dolls (action figures for the boys) and DVD's. I could go on about what I think about the lack of integrity this whole idea represents, but I, instead, will provide a link to what professional animators say about this compromise of vision.
The World of Animation Speaks
Thursday, May 01, 2008
To any of you who are going out to protest your employer today for treating you unfairly or because you don't believe in Corporate America, remember that once upon a time, the U.S. had steel workers, welders, automobile assemblers, clothing manufacturers.
Where will we all be working in the next ten years? How about 20 years?
John Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN) for 6 am. While his coffeepot (MADE IN CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG).
He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE IN SINGAPORE), and tennis shoes (MADE IN KOREA).
After cooking his breakfast with his new electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA), he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN MEXICO) to see how much he could spend today. After setting his watch (MADE IN TAIWAN) to the radio (MADE IN INDIA), he got into his car (MADE IN GERMANY), filled it with gas (from Saudi Arabia) and continued his search for a good paying job.
At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day - checking his computer (MADE IN TAIWAN), John decided to relax for a while. He put on his sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL), poured himself a beer (MADE IN HOLLAND) and turned on his TV (MADE IN INDONESIA).
And then wondered why he can't find a good paying job in AMERICA!
Look at the clothes in your closet. Did you think about who put them together? Did you think about the Americans you put out of work when you bought the cheaper toaster? As for that Toyota in your garage, do you ever think about all the unemployed auto workers in Detroit?
Obviously, you didn't. So why are you protesting now that your own job is in danger?
I am reminded of a poem.
First they came for the Communists
and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn't a Catholic.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Some quotes from some favorite movies of mine. Do you know them? Most of the ones here are pretty easy especially if you know the movies I like. (No cheating allowed. i.e. don't go to http://www.imdb.com/)
1. "I have vision while the rest of the world wears bifocals." Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
2. "I am in a world of shit." Full Metal Jacket
3. "Not an easy thing to meet your maker." Blade Runner
4. "Call the FBI, the CIA and the Pentagon. Find out who won that game!" The Pink Panther Strikes Again
5. "[Tequila], it's like beer." Three Amigos
6. "Even in the future, nothing works." Spaceballs
7. "Its origin and purpose, still a total mystery." 2001: A Space Odyssey
8. "I refuse to kill another human being in cold blood. However, in deference to your cultural traditions, I would be willing to have sex with him." Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death
9. "I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here." The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
10. "Marines! We are leaving!" Aliens
Sunday, April 13, 2008
"When you have finite resources, you've got to define your goal rightly and modestly." - Barack Obama
"The U.S. must reject, as we did in 2007, the calls for a reckless and irresponsible withdrawal of our forces at the moment we are succeeding." - John McCain
"It's time to begin in orderly process of withdrawing our troops and rebuilding our military and focusing on other problems." - Hillary Clinton
The three quotes above are from our three main Presidential candidates' responses to the report by General David Petraeus concerning the Iraq situation.
I see two responses that are carefully worded. I see two responses that indicate the tone of fear and surrender. There are two candidates willing to leave a nation to the wolves (Iran) in order to serve their own self-interests. These two responses are representative of candidates who will say what they believe is what the majority of people want to hear.
The other response outlines a more difficult path, one that sticks to the principles of our nation even if it goes against the grain. This is leadership.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
One by one he would conjure up the world's major electronic papers, he knew the codes of the more important ones by heart, and had no need to consult the list on the back of his pad. Switching in the display unit's short term memory, he would hold the front page while he quickly searched the headlines and noted the items that interested him.
...yet in a few milliseconds he could see the headlines of any newspaper he pleased. (That very word "newspaper," of course, was an anachronistic hangover into the age of electronics.) The text was updated automatically on every hour; even if one read only the English versions, one could spend an entire lifetime doing nothing but absorbing the ever-changing flow of information from the news satellites.
excerpt from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Arthur Charles Clarke died last week. It was only December when I acknowledged his 90th birthday. As I blog on my personal computer, I realize that activities like this were envisioned 40 years ago. Note the quote above, it reads like someone using his iPhone and accessing cnn.com or something similar.
If there was ever a person I wanted to meet, it was Arthur Clarke. Of course if I had ever met him, I'm sure I would have been a bumbling fool without any idea of what to say to him so maybe, it's best that I didn't. Years ago, in reading his autobiographical book, The View from Serendip, I felt I had met a kindred spirit. He said things and did things that I imagined I wanted to do and say.
He was certainly the right man for his time. He grew up at the dawn of the modern technological age. Airplanes and automobiles were just entering the scene. Computers and spaceflight were in the minds of dreamers. Imagine how different the world was between 1917 and now. Never before in human history did an entire generation witness such change.
Clarke served in the second world war. Apparently the RAF recognized Clarke's extraordinary intellect and he was assigned to help develop a budding technology called radar and use it to aid aircraft in landing in poor conditions. Clarke became one of the first air traffic controllers. His novel Glide Path is about this work.
After World War II, Clarke turned his interest back to an earlier love; outer space. In 1945, he published a small paper on how a satellite placed at an altitude of approximately 22,000 miles would remain stationary with respect to the Earth below. Arranging a ring of such satellites would allow instantaneous global communication by sending a signal to one satellite and having it relay around the globe to its desired destination. 17 years later, this speculation became reality with the U.S. launch of Telstar.
Most of Clarke's speculations and extrapolations would come from his short stories and novels. In addition to the Internet-like technology I mention above, his works speculate such ideas as:
Atomic Engines - spaceships powered by controlled nuclear explosions (2001: A Space Odyssey)
Mass Drivers - using the inherent energy in matter/plasma to propel spaceships (2010: Odyssey Two)
Space Elevators - An efficient means of getting payloads into space (The Fountains of Paradise)
I should note that none of Clarke's short stories or novels, with the exception of 2001: A Space Odyssey, used the convenient science fiction ploy of "hyperspace". Clarke strongly believed in stories that were based on science and true speculative science, not fantastical science that breaks laws of the universe.
While Clarke never made it into outer space, he was able to do the next best thing. He became an avid scuba diver in the 1950's. He and his then partner Mike Wilson (no relation) explored the Great Barrier Reef off of Australia as well as other places, primarily in the Indian Ocean. It was here where Clarke came upon the island of Ceylon (formerly Serendip and now Sri Lanka). Clarke lived the rest of his life on that island just south of India. It provided him with a great base in which to conduct his scuba diving expeditions. Clarke wrote some works concerning scuba diving (The Deep Range for one), but still concentrated the bulk of his writing on space.
Producer/Director/Screenwriter Stanley Kubrick decided to create a film concerning outer space. Someone told him to look up Arthur Clarke to which Kubrick only knew of as a "hermit who lives in India". Kubrick met Clarke while Clarke was visiting his homeland of England. They apparently took a quick liking to each other. For most of the year 1964, Clarke and Kubrick shuttered themselves in the Chelsea Hotel in New York to work on Journey Beyond the Stars. When they departed, a large part of the screenplay and novel for 2001: A Space Odyssey had been written. Kubrick would go on to tweak the screenplay further while Clarke added some polish to the novel so each got credit for one specific work.
In watching 2001 and reading the novel, it is fairly obvious where Kubrick went with it. The film's prominent mysticism is not in the novel. Yet the film obviously has Clarke's influence. Clarke, even then, was well known for his scientifically-grounded fiction. 2001 is to this day, is the most scientifically accurate space film ever made.
A Philosophizing Atheist
Clarke was always, paradoxically, the atheist who often wrote about God. He discarded any and all religious beliefs at an early age and strongly believed that science was ultimately the answer to everything. God, religion, and religious themes permeate his entire opus, however. My favorite short story of his is The Star. It's about a Jesuit priest who is losing his faith due to the discovery that an entire intelligent race had been wiped out by a supernova. The priest is on the edge of despair when he suddenly realizes that this killer supernova had served as the star of Bethlehem. I often think about this story, its incredibly irony, and what I'd think if this really had happened this way.
Childhood's End is my favorite novel. It is about a supreme entity, The Overmind, and the cast out creatures complete with horns and barbed tails who visit Earth to bring about the end of the human race. These creatures, known as The Overlords even inform the human race that they are not destined and not permitted to explore the universe. It is literally a story that portrays the opposite of Clarke's philosophy. Those who think that obviously didn't read the fine print. At the front of the novel, there is a disclaimer saying "The opinions expressed in this book are not those of the author."
An Aged Cynic
I remember interviews of Clarke where he believed he would walk on the Moon within his lifetime and possibly even go to Mars. In reflecting on those thoughts later, he lamented that humans were too fond of warfare and their own self-interests. It is really sad that on his 90th birthday this past December, his dreams were a bit more mundane. He wished for evidence of extraterrestrial life, for an end to the use of oil as fuel, and peace in perpetually war-torn Sri Lanka. At least he was fairly upbeat as it were. I remember recent interviews he gave where he came off as bitter and frustrated with humanity.
Clarke certainly got frustrated with the world's religions. It showed in all his recent writings, including his many collaborative efforts. Note that Clarke in his later years, suffered from Post-Polio Syndrome and couldn't move about very well. He wasn't able to do much writing himself so all his recent works were in collaboration with other authors. Clarke became convinced that religion is the cause of much, if not most of the evil in humanity. Personally, I disagree with him here as I think that religion is just used as a shield to justify an evil that is already in the heart of the evildoers, but I digress. Clarke went as far to say that he didn't want any iota of religion at his funeral.
For a man who was right on so many things, I hope he was wrong about there not being an afterlife. I'd hate to think he was really gone.
I'll re-post the link to his 90th birthday speech here.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
This is a little strange but somebody at CNN decided to research the 11 lowest scoring cars at Consumer Reports and write them up as the "11 Worst Cars".
Anybody who has read auto evaluations from Consumer Reports should know that they have a narrow view of what a car ought to be. Consumer Reports loves mid-sized sedans that have proven themselves reliable, affordable, and get good fuel mileage. If you have a family of 4 or 5 and drive them around on family picnics in addition to driving to work, then, by all means, take Consumer Reports to heart. Obviously, many do.
Consumer Reports, for the most part, hates sports cars, SUV's, and trucks. They like luxury sedans but often wonder why anybody should buy one when a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord can do the job. Speaking of the Camry and Accord, Consumer Reports for years has considered them the benchmarks, not just against other mid-size family vehicles, but everything else as well.
Knowing this, it's clear as to why the following vehicles fared as the worst.
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited: Never mind that this is a revered vehicle amongst off-road enthusiasts. Never mind that it goes places that others cannot. In fact, the article states "Consumer Reports performs off-road testing at its Connecticut proving grounds, but off-road ability doesn't factor into the final scores." Keep this in mind.
Hummer H3: Another off-road vehicle that, like the Jeep, is unique. Like the Jeep, it's not for cruising across the country on the Interstate. It's a special-purpose vehicle and certainly won't be mistaken for an Accord or Camry.
Jeep Liberty Sport: Now I'm biased here because I own a Liberty Limited (an upscale version of the Sport). Liberty's can out-tow any other small to mid-size SUV. That's valuable to some folk. Obviously not Consumer Reports, though. I wonder how well an Accord climbs over boulders.
Chevrolet Aveo5: The article doesn't bother to point out what's so bad about this car. I can only assume that it's not worth considering because its so much smaller than a Camry. It certainly costs less and gets better fuel mileage so what's the problem?
Dodge Nitro: It's actually hard to argue against this one but I have to laugh where it states the Nitro has no high points. In R/T form, it's quite powerful. Can't they at least point out its one of the fastest SUV's out there?
Toyota FJ Cruiser: Back to the off-road crowd. See Jeep and Hummer.
Toyota Yaris: Obviously, like the Aveo5, it's too small.
Suzuki Forenza: A valid entry here. It's a family sedan that doesn't come close to the Accord or Camry.
Jeep Patriot: Obviously Consumer Reports hates Jeeps. If the Patriot is so bad, why isn't the Dodge Caliber on the list? The Caliber is basically the same vehicle but it's not meant to go off-road. Apparently since Camrys and Accords don't go off-road, nothing should.
Chevrolet Trailblazer: Another valid entry here just because its on an aging platform.
Mercury Grand Marquis: This is a beloved, although aged platform. They are relatively cheap, powerful, comfortable, and are easy to find parts for and can run almost forever. All Consumer Reports likes is the large trunk.
With my disdain for Consumer Reports, I'm not really faulting them here. As I mentioned above, they have their particular criteria for judging the value of an automobile and anything that falls short of that criteria, regardless of what other strong points it has will fall short in their eyes.
I fault CNN for taking a quick and easy route of just taking results from another source and creating a headline stating their own conclusion based on those results. Shame on you CNN.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I think this is something we all should read!!!
Look this up on Snopes if you doubt it.
Who is Barack Obama? Very interesting and something that should be considered in your choice.
If you do not ever forward anything else, please forward this to all your contacts...this is very scary to think of what lies ahead of us here in our own United States...better heed this and pray about it and share it.
We checked this out on "snopes.com". It is factual. Check for yourself. probable U. S. presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a black MUSLIM from Nyangoma-Kogel, Kenya and Ann Dunham, a white ATHEIST from Wichita, Kansas. Obama's parents met at the University of Hawaii.
When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced. His father returned to Kenya. His mother then married Lolo Soetoro, a RADICAL Muslim from Indonesia. When Obama was 6 years old, the family relocate to Indonesia. Obama attended a MUSLIM school in Jakarta. He also spent two years in a Catholic school.
Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim. He is quick to point out that, "He was once a Muslim, but that he also attended Catholic school."
Obama's political handlers are attempting to make it appear that he is not a radical.
Obama's introduction to Islam came via his father, and that this influence was temporary at best. In reality, the senior Obama returned to Kenya soon after the divorce, and never again had any direct influence over his son's education.
Lolo Soetoro, the second husband of Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, introduced his stepson to Islam. Obama was enrolled in a Wahabi school in Jakarta.
Wahabism is the RADICAL teaching that is followed by the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western world. Since it is politically expedient to be a CHRISTIAN when seeking major public office in the United States, Barack Hussein Obama has joined the United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his Muslim background. ALSO, keep in mind that when he was sworn into office he DID NOT use the Holy Bible, but instead the Koran.
Barack Hussein Obama will NOT recite the Pledge of Allegiance nor will he show any reverence for our flag. While others place their hands over their hearts, Obama turns his back to the flag and slouches.
Let us all remain alert concerning Obama's expected presidential candidacy.
The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the US from the inside out, what better way to start than at the highest level - through the President of the United States, one of their own!!!!
While this makes interesting reading. I can't endorse such a tactic to sway my vote. First of all, the statements about Obama disrespecting the flag are suspect. Yes, I've seen the photos out there but I am not so quick to jump to a conclusion.
What I really object to, though, is the dangerous notion that one can make determinations about someone because of the beliefs or actions of a family member. In other words, if a certain individual is a terrible person, therefore his son or daughter must be a terrible person as well. It is wrong to judge Obama by the actions of his parents just as it would be wrong to judge anybody by anything other than an individual's own actions and words.
I am not going to vote for Obama but that is because I don't agree with his politics, not because I disapprove of his parents.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Like many, I have yet to invest a single penny into anything regarding high definition television. The biggest reason of course is due to financial limitations. Another reason, though, was that no distributable media format had established itself. That obstacle appears to have been hurdled.
I posted an article, The DVD Situation over two years ago mentioning the format battle primarily between Toshiba and Sony with their respective HD-DVD and Blu-Ray DVD formats. HD-DVD had the initial support but over the past year, it seems that Blu-Ray was taken over. That now appears confirmed. Too bad for those who invested in HD-DVD players and disks. You should have known you were taking a risk (just like those who invested in BetaMax 25 years ago.) Of course, your equipment still works and I'm sure HD-DVD disks will still be produced for a while. It does appear that Blu-Ray has the brighter and longer future, though. This will dismay some as there are those of you out there who don't like certain business practices of Sony. One of these business practices was incorporating rootkits - a form of spyware into its media.
With all this said, we have to also realize that things will never be as stable as they once were. Our standard-definition TV's are based on a standard developed in the 1940's. Yet, high definition television standards that were set less than 10 years ago are already being set up to be replaced. In the past, people often held on to their TV's for many years, decades even. Not any more. The industry apparently wants everybody to buy a new TV every 8 years or so. Think about it. To stay reasonably up to date, we need to purchase new computers every 3 years so this is nothing new.
What's more is that people (myself included) still have piles of VHS tapes that we never bothered to convert to or replace with DVD. Now the original (1996) DVD standard is dying, our tapes are going to be two generations of formats behind.
Just like in Men in Black where Tommy Lee Jones laments that a new music format will force him to buy the White Album again, I wonder how many times I am going to feel the need to re-buy 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Blade Runner, etc.
Friday, February 08, 2008
I found this little goodie and thought I'd share it. It's author is unknown.
If Bush resigned today, this is what his speech would be.....
Normally, I start these things out by saying "My Fellow Americans." Not doing it this time. If the polls are any indication, I don't know who more than half of you are anymore. I do know something terrible has happened, and that you're really not fellow Americans any longer. I'll cut right to the chase here: I quit. Now before anyone gets all in a lather about me quitting to avoid impeachment, or to avoid prosecution or something, let me assure you: There's been no breaking of laws or impeachable offenses in this office.
The reason I'm quitting is simple. I'm fed up with you people. I'm fed up because you have no understanding of what's really going on in the world. Or of what's going on in this once-great nation of ours. And the majority of you are too damned lazy to do your homework and figure it out. Let's start local. You've been sold a bill of goods by politicians and the news media. Polls show that the majority of you think the economy is in the tank. And that's despite record numbers of homeowners, including record numbers of MINORITY homeowners. And while we're mentioning minorities, I'll point out that minority business ownership is at an all-time high. Our unemployment rate is as low as it ever was during the Clinton administration. I've mentioned all those things before, but it doesn't seem to have sunk in.
Despite the shock to our economy of 9/11, the stock market has rebounded to record levels and more Americans than ever are participating in these markets. Meanwhile, all you can do is whine about gas prices, and most of you are too damn stupid to realize that gas prices are high because there's increased demand in other parts of the world, and because a small handful of noisy idiots are more worried about polar bears and beach front property than your economic security. We face real threats in the world. Don't give me this "blood for oil" thing. If I were trading blood for oil I would've already seized Iraq 's oil fields and let the rest of the country go to hell? And don't give me this 'Bush Lied; People Died' crap either. If I were the liar you morons take me for, I could've easily had chemical weapons planted in Iraq so they could be 'discovered.' Instead, I owned up to the fact that the intelligence was faulty.
Let me remind you that the rest of the world thought Saddam had the goods, same as me. Let me also remind you that regime change in Iraq was official US policy before I came into office. Some guy named ' Clinton ' established that policy. Bet you didn't know that, did you? You idiots need to understand that we face a unique enemy. Back during the cold war, there were two major competing political and economic models squaring off. We won that war, but we did so because fundamentally, the Communists wanted to survive, just as we do. We were simply able to out spend and out-tech them.
That's not the case this time. The soldiers of our new enemy don't care if they survive. In fact, they want to die. That'd be fine, as long as they weren't also committed to taking as many of you with them as they can. But they are. They want to kill you, and the bastards are all over the globe. You should be grateful that they haven't gotten any more of us here in the United States since September 11. But you're not. That's because you've got no idea how hard a small number of intelligence, military, law enforcement, and homeland security people have worked to make sure of that. When this whole mess started, I warned you that this would be a long and difficult fight. I'm disappointed how many of you people think a long and difficult fight amounts to a single season of 'Survivor.'
Instead, you've grown impatient. You're incapable of seeing things through the long lens of history, the way our enemies do. You think that wars should last a few months, a few years, tops. Making matters worse, you actively support those who help the enemy. Every time you buy the New York Times, every time you send a donation to a cut-and-run Democrat's political campaign, well, dang it, you might just as well FedEx a grenade launcher to a Jihadist. It amounts to the same thing.
In this day and age, it's easy enough to find the truth. It's all over the Internet. It just isn't on the pages of the New York Times or on NBC News. But even if it were, I doubt you'd be any smarter. Most of you would rather watch American Idol. I could say more about your expectations that the government will always be there to bail you out, even if you're too stupid to leave a city that's below sea level and has a hurricane approaching.
I could say more about your insane belief that government, not your own wallet, is where the money comes from. But I've come to the conclusion that were I to do so, it would sail right over your heads. So I quit. I'm going back to Crawford. I've got an energy-efficient house down there (Al Gore could only dream) and the capability to be fully self-sufficient. No one ever heard of Crawford before I got elected, and as soon as I'm done here pretty much no one will ever hear of it again. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to die of old age before the last pillars of America fall.
Oh, and by the way, Cheney's quitting too. That means Pelosi is your new President. You asked for it. Watch what she does carefully, because I still have a glimmer of hope that there are just enough of you remaining who are smart enough to turn this thing around in 2008. So that's it. God bless what's left of America .Some of you know what I mean.The rest of you, kiss off.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
They are usually wrong.
Of course, I've been mostly wrong this whole season. I would love to be wrong again.
Friday, January 18, 2008
I Am A: Lawful Neutral Human /Ranger (3rd/2nd Level)
Lawful Neutral A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code directs him. Order and organization are paramount to him. He may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or he may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government. Lawful neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you are reliable and honorable without being a zealot. However, lawful neutral can be a dangerous alignment because it seeks to eliminate all freedom, choice, and diversity in society.
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.
Monks are versatile warriors skilled at fighting without weapons or armor. Good-aligned monks serve as protectors of the people, while evil monks make ideal spies and assassins. Though they don't cast spells, monks channel a subtle energy, called ki. This energy allows them to perform amazing feats, such as healing themselves, catching arrows in flight, and dodging blows with lightning speed. Their mundane and ki-based abilities grow with experience, granting them more power over themselves and their environment. Monks suffer unique penalties to their abilities if they wear armor, as doing so violates their rigid oath. A monk wearing armor loses their Wisdom and level based armor class bonuses, their movement speed, and their additional unarmed attacks per round.
Rangers are skilled stalkers and hunters who make their home in the woods. Their martial skill is nearly the equal of the fighter, but they lack the latter's dedication to the craft of fighting. Instead, the ranger focuses his skills and training on a specific enemy a type of creature he bears a vengeful grudge against and hunts above all others. Rangers often accept the role of protector, aiding those who live in or travel through the woods. His skills allow him to move quietly and stick to the shadows, especially in natural settings, and he also has special knowledge of certain types of creatures. Finally, an experienced ranger has such a tie to nature that he can actually draw on natural power to cast divine spells, much as a druid does, and like a druid he is often accompanied by animal companions. A ranger's Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.
Lawful Good ----- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (22)
Neutral Good ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (16)
Chaotic Good ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (18)
Lawful Neutral -- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (28)
True Neutral ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (22)
Chaotic Neutral - XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (24)
Lawful Evil ----- XXXXXXXXXXXXXX (14)
Neutral Evil ---- XXXXXXXX (8)
Chaotic Evil ---- XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Law & Chaos:
Law ----- XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Neutral - XXXXXX (6)
Chaos --- XXXXXXXX (8)
Good & Evil:
Good ---- XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Neutral - XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (16)
Evil ---- XX (2)
Human ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXXX (14)
Dwarf ---- XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Elf ------ XXXXXXXX (8)
Gnome ---- XXXXXXXX (8)
Halfling - XXXXXX (6)
Half-Elf - XXXXXXXX (8)
Half-Orc - XXXXXXXX (8)
Barbarian - (-21)
Bard ------ (-25)
Cleric ---- (0)
Druid ----- (0)
Fighter --- XX (2)
Monk ------ XXXX (4)
Paladin --- (-21)
Ranger ---- XXXX (4)
Rogue ----- (-6)
Sorcerer -- XX (2)
Wizard ---- (-2)
Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus
Monday, January 14, 2008
The Chargers Just Ruined a Great Game
Thanks to the San Diego Chargers, the Superbowl that would have been played next week in Foxborough, Ma between the two best teams in the NFL - The Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots won't occur. I guess it shows you have to actually play the games instead of figuring it out on paper.
The Patriots must be happy because the one team that had a decent chance of killing their perfect season is gone.
Meanwhile, in the NFL's version of Division 2 - also known as the NFC, Packers' fans around the country should write [G]iant thank you notes to the New York Giants. New York's upset in Dallas yesterday all but put the Packers in the Superbowl (although, as mentioned above, they will have to go through the actual process of playing the game).
Saturday, January 12, 2008
I never had anything against the Patriots before this year. They are the team of the decade and I've had great respect for Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. I've lost much of that respect this season.
No, it's not because of the whole "cheating" thing. I'm sure just about every team does some form of play stealing that the Patriots got caught doing. I am talking about the pouring it on and the stat-padding.
They've been on TV quite a bit this year, obviously. Why do they never take Brady or any of their starters out in the last 5 minutes of the game when it's 42 - 10 or something like that? Why do they go for it on 4th down in these situations? Bellichick is showing he has no respect for the rest of the NFL. This team has no class. They don't deserve the acclaim.
I think Jacksonville has a small chance (really, I do). However, assuming New England wins today, I am looking for Indianapolis to end it next week.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Actually, I think I am mostly going to stay away from the election nonsense - at least directly. I have no idea of whom I want to win the next election. Just please let it not be Clinton or Obama.
I want to talk some more about the whole climate change subject. I will continue to assert that humans have very little to do with the Arctic ice melting and such until I read something really compelling and not fudged up, cherry-picked nonsense from ex-hippies and politicians. There's a lot more to this than whether or not it exists or is caused by humans. I intend to explore the benefits of global warming, (yes, there are benefits.) I also want to address the whole "sky is falling" mentality that is eroding our collective consciousnesses.
Ethanol is a good topic to discuss in 2008. It's ludicrous to think that it will take place of oil. At least, with the technology we have today. We may be substituting "Big Oil" with "Big Corn" but we will be paying more and polluting no less.
If not ethanol, then what?
Are hybrid cars all that?
The biggest problem in the world is people.
Guns, do they really kill people?
Health care. Raise your hand if you think the federal government could possibly provide it efficiently and with quality. Before you raise your hand, think about all the other wonderful government programs that are run well and within a reasonable budget.
Radical Islam. Is 2008 going to be the year they hurt us again or will they keep infiltrating and hold on for a bigger strike?
I'm wondering if Joe Torre will make any bit of difference to the Dodgers. Are we just in for another slightly above/below .500 year again?
With Georgia Frontiere not expected to live out the year, will Chip Rosenbloom move the Rams back to Los Angeles?