Monday, November 01, 2004

Bush and Bin Laden: Long Lost Brothers?

Well, it's the eve of the election and I'm cautiously optimistic, with the operative word being "cautious." Despite the polls, I think Kerry is peaking and will win the election clearly, if not convincingly ... I'm thinking he'll beat Bush by 6-8 points in the the popular vote and get at least 290 electoral votes. That's my story and I'm stickin' with it.

But guess who came in from out of the shadows? Yes, your favorite mass murderer and mine, Osama Bin Laden. Surprisingly, he left the fire and brimstone at home and instead offered eerily well-reasoned rhetoric that should scare the bejeezus out of anyone who knows their history. For anyone who thought this guy was an insane wacko, his newest speech shows that maybe he's crazy like a fox ... neocons may not want to admit it, but Osama may be playing Bush and the U.S. like a fiddle ... and he's crafting a masterpiece.

The real crazy thing is that Bush and Osama actually have a great deal in common (Michael Moore notwithstanding). Think about it ... both of them are former self-indulgent, hedonists from rich families with heavy oil connections who, after partying themselves guilty, became stubborn, dogmatic religious zealots fighting holy wars against great "evils." Yikes!!! Were these guys seperated at birth?

I say we get rid of both of them, one far more authoritatively than the other. I'll leave it to you to decide which one deserves the worst fate. With the blood of a thousand troops and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians on his hands, the choice isn't as easy as you'd think.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Kinda Quiet

Hey folks,

I know I haven't posted anything in a minute but, to tell you the truth, I've been a bit busy. Besides, I've been posting a lot about the election and, as of now, I'm just frustrated with the whole deal. You'd think I was political with all of my ranting but the simple truth is I'm more concerned with what folks are going through under the current administration than I am the presidential candidates themselves. Bush makes me edgy ... I think he's done more harm than good. Kerry talks the talk and I think we should give him a chance ... Bush has already had his shot.

Right now I'm trying to get my hands on some of Mark Cuban's money. I'm completing some documentation that I'll be putting up on a web site with the hopes that he'll be willing to go into business with me. It's a long shot, but it beats nothing. If he knew me personally, he'd know that it would be money well spent ... hopefully I can grab his attention. If not, it didn't cost me anything, so that's a plus.

At first, I was thinking that it must suck to constantly have people hounding you for money but, after thinking about it, I'd still rather be in his position than mine. The freedom to live your life however you see fit and help people without having to worry about your own security would be worth almost any inconvenience that I can think of. I'm sure Mark wouldn't want to trade places with me ... money may not be able to buy happiness, but it can rent a hell of a lot.

Tonight, I saw the season finale of "The Benefactor." The last show was definitely the best, I felt like I finally got a glimpse into the real personalities of the last two characters and I was pleasantly surprised. The show ended on a really great note and I honestly think it would have been a hit if "The Apprentice" hadn't come out first. As it is, I doubt it'll be back but it was pretty good while it lasted. If it does come back, then I'm giving it my hearty endorsement (for whatever that's worth :) ) . If it comes on again, WATCH IT, you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Sign of the Apocalypse I: Joy in Beantown

Somewhere, right now, a shocked Beelzebub is hunting desperately for a winter parker ... Hell must have frozen over because the Boston Red Sox have finally succeeded in conquering their long-time arch-enemies, the New York Yankees. Not just conquering but HUMILIATING them as well by doing what no baseball team has EVER done, coming back and winning a seven game series after being down 0-3. Whatever ghosts living in mighty Yankee Stadium have been exorcised and sent careening ass-first into oblivion. It's as if all the greatest Yankees in history were lined up and collectively bitch-slapped senseless.

Congrats Beantown ... an end to The Curse is finally in sight.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Voices of Reason

Just when I thought the U.S. was skipping to hell in a handbasket, I get pleasantly surprised. It's great to see that common sense does indeed transcend political boundaries. Keep up the good work fellas and tell all your friends!

And for those of you who still refuse to see the truth regarding Bush, here's a reality check.

Sometimes It Sucks to Be Right

Just as I predicted, Bush has gotten major support from the "ignorant" contingent and has actually opened up his lead against Kerry. He was just as inarticulate and his arguments were just as empty but the fact that he remained calmed and looked like he knew what he was talking about was enough to gain support. This guy is one of the worst presidents in recent memory and he actually has A LEAD going into the election. What is it going to take to convince people he's ridiculous, a nuke in downtown Manhattan? I bet that would actually HELP his poll numbers. The U.S. is falling more and more into the hands the ultra-conservative, ultra-ignorant right ... Rome wasn't built in a day and it didn't fall in one either. But the signs were there for those willing to look. And the writing definitely seems to be on the wall now.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

The Argument for Kerry II

Bet there are a lot of people out there right now who miss the hell out of Bill Clinton. Hmmm, let's see ... trillion dollar surplus, 22 million jobs created, booming economy, no major acts of foreign terrorism, etc. Now we have this. Damn, I miss him.

"Threepeat" for Kerry? Depends on Who You Ask

While most of the American media is once again claiming a tie, our European buddies are naming Kerry the victor in the third and last debate and a "threepeat" overall for Kerry. I agree and I also think Edwards put spank on Cheney. While most of the "scientific" polls have given a slight edge to Kerry/Edwards for the debates, outside of the first Kerry/Bush debate, the results have fallen well within the margin of error. However, practically EVERY online poll had Kerry and Edwards throttling Bush and Cheney for every debate. Not surprisingly, the media has remained largely silent about that latter fact.

The simple truth is that Kerry has been consistent and strong in every debate. He has more than adequately addressed every criticism leveled at him and his plans for America, at least from a domestic level, are supported by billionaires, Nobel Laureates, and many others who can do more than just spout partisan rhetoric. The fact that Kerry is not completely running away with this election is a testament to the ignorance and partisanship that is slowly eroding this country.

Zen and the Art of Managing Kobe

I think this is something many people suspected but few were willing to admit ... Kobe Bryant doesn't seem to be a very nice guy. Besides pissing off Shaq, it seems that his childish behavior was irritating enough to penetrate the Zen-like calm of Phil Jackson, a man noted for his ability to manage the personalities of even the most "sensitive" superstars (if you think managing Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Shaq was easy, I have a bridge in Brooklyn with your name on it). "Dr. Phil" has even written a book detailing the trials and tribulations of managing His Heirness and, to put it mildly, he seems to have a pretty low opinion of Mr. Bryant. C'mon, the man needed THERAPY from managing Kobe, and not afterwards but DURING his last season in L.A.

I've never thought of Kobe as a particularly pleasant guy and, for all of his talent, he always struck me as arrogant to the point of disdain. Jordan is arrogant but he has a way of masking it behind an affable smile and regal disposition. Kobe always seems like he is a few seconds away from throwing a temper tantrum. Despite his apparent faults, I didn't think he was capable of rape, but now I'm not so sure.

In any case, I'm buying Phil's book ... hey, it beats watching the soaps! :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Bush Brings His "A" Game

After watching the third debate, I have to admit that G.W. Bush brought his "A" game. He was eloquent, he was insightful, and he stayed on message without appearing testy or combative. As always, his "facts" were nonsense and Kerry was, once again, more substantive and accurate. Many people don't realize that Kerry's various plans regarding domestic policies are indeed VERY SOUND and have the general support of many economists, including many Nobel laureates. But Bush GAVE A GOOD SHOW and appeared very presidential ... I think that will be more than enough to solidify and energize his base.

I wouldn't be surprised if the media claims a victory for Bush ... his performance was excellent. I don't think it will matter that he has already had four years to prove himself and his record is spotty at best or that most of his statements were pure unsupported rhetoric. He acted presidential and I think that's all it will take to get the bandwagon going.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Media Center PCs: Neither Fish Nor Foul

People have been trying to do this for over six years ... the Media Center PC. Today, Microsoft unveiled it's Media Center operating system, version 2005 and it looks as pedestrian as every other attempt to create the "holy grail" of computers, one that is suitable for the living room as well as/instead of the study. Too bad Bill G. and everyone else doesn't get it ... it's the SOFTWARE that creates the experience not the hardware and Microsoft Windows, in any iteration, IS NOT SUITABLE for the job. Windows is a cludged-together compromise representing over 20 years of computing history and, from a useability standpoint, it's a nightmare. By it's very nature, it is a legacy product ... it'll take a completely new and modern approach to successfully introduce the media center PC concept (or, for that matter, the "tablet PC" concept, but that's another post). Sony's PSX is closer to the ideal though it also has received little market acceptance. When someone finally gets it right, it'll look a lot more like a gaming console than a PC or consumer electronics device. Trust me.

Bill G., if you really want to know how to get this thing going, contact me.

The Working Class as Sport

I had originally intended to write a review of a new show called The Benefactor; the premise of the show is that several contestants must complete tests which supposedly represent skills necessary for successful entrepreneurship. Contestants, upon failure of any of the tests, are subject to elimination until one person is left, who will win one million dollars. The show is sponsored by Mark Cuban, former Internet mogul turned sports team owner; he created and hosts the show, and put up the loot for the prize (probably amongst other things ... I'm not sure how much of the bill he's footing for the entire venture). The show has gotten a bit of flack and is often compared unfavorably (and, in my opinion, unfairly) to The Apprentice, Donald Trump's slick homage to his own ego.

My opinion about the show, in a nutsack, is that it's pretty well done; while many of the contestants suck and have pretty rank personalities, Mark Cuban seems pretty cool and the tests do represent a relatively accurate, though basic, assessment of the skills necessary to succeed from a business standpoint. As a budding entrepreneur with one failed business under my belt already, I can definitely attest to the fact that chance is a major component in business success ... Mark's tests have been panned for being too simplistic and random, but I feel like they accurately represent, at least from a microcosmic standpoint, the challenges entrepreneurs face. Supposedly, 9 out of 10 businesses fail in the first 5 years and 50% of those left standing fail after the next 5 ... do all of these people have ideas that suck or is chance a major factor? I can't say for certain but, in my experience, chance can make or break you.

That being said, the more I watch The Benefactor, the more I'm reminded of the gladiators of ancient Rome. Slaves, criminals, and members of the lower-class often fought to the death for a chance at fame and fortune in games staged by the elite. Sound familiar? Life may no longer be the price, but dignity is and words like "You're fired" or "You're eliminated" harken back to the days when a turn of the thumb was all that stood between fortune and an ignoble end. In the case of The Benefactor, there seems to be nothing to indicate that any of the contestants were chosen for their entrepreneural spirit, but rather because they might make entertaining television. Indeed, none of the competitors seems particularly intelligent, creative, personable, or compelling. As a person striving for entrepreneurship, I'm vexed that opportunities are being given to people strictly for entertainment value when legitimate potential entrepreneurs like myself likely couldn't get a guy like Mark Cuban's attention no matter how hard they tried.

Oh well, I guess I'll just have to wait for my turn to step into the arena. I don't care how my opportunity comes as long as I get it. But, if any of you rich folks out there have some spare change hanging around and you'd like to make another fortune, contact me.

The Revolution Will Be Branded

Maybe conspiracy theorists are on to something. This is a clear sign of the worm eating away at the core of America. If these institutions, responsible for BILLIONS of dollars of revenue, aren't paying taxes, guess who's responsible for the bill? Yep, that's right, John Q. and Jane Public. No "class war," huh? If thing's keep going like this, no Perrier-swilling, cavier-eating corporate fatcat will be safe from a public bitch-slapping.