Archive for August, 2008

John McCain picks running mate–Alaskan GOP governor Sarah Palin

August 30, 2008 Leave a comment
Going into John McCain’s announcement, I was expecting him to select Michigan native and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney as his running mate. Then I heard speculation about the female governor of Alaska. Had to look up her name. Sarah Palin.
Then came the news that McCain had chosen Palin as his running mate.
What’s there to like? She’s smart, articulate, tough, a “hockey mom” whose youngest child has Down’s Syndrome but is loved and adored. They say she also, during her tenure as Alaskan governor, cut wasteful spending and cleaned up corruption. Sounds like she has lots of moxie and street smarts, the kind of woman who’s not easily intimidated. To win the Republican nomination for governor, she had to beat out the GOP incumbent in the primary. She’s also an outdoors woman who fishes, hunts and is a member of the NRA. She’s also very pro-life and supports drilling for oil in Alaska.
Some conservative friends of mine are calling this a slam-dunk pick, one that will awaken the conservative base that sat out 1996, 2000 and 2004 and perhaps even women out there. My gut tells me that in November McCain will defeat Barack Obama 60-40.
What’s there not to like? She has served less than two years and, before that, she served as mayor of a town of about 6,000 people. I understand her bachelor’s degree is in communications. Not exactly a detailed political résumé.
Yes, she’s running for vice president and not president. But keep in mind that with McCain’s age (72) and health, it’s possible she could end up having to take over. I like to think that she’ll fare well in her debate against Joe Biden, but we’ll have to see. Biden has served for many years as a U.S. senator.
I did find it amusing how Obama at first derided her for her perceived lack of experience. He has since backed off it. I guess he figured he didn’t have much more, and he’s running for the big prize.
It’s hard to say how this selection will go, but my gut tells me that historians will look up on this as an absolutely brilliant move by McCain. We’ll see. All I know is this: I had been telling myself that I’d consider third party if a pro-abortion running mate had been chosen by McCain. Now, I know for certain in November I will vote for McCain.
Either way, this will be a historical election: we’ll either have our first female vice president or our first black president. I hope it’s the former.
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Controversy: Madonna’s hail mary for relevance

August 26, 2008 Leave a comment

We know what a hail mary pass is in football. You send your receivers into the end zone, toss the ball high in the air and hope one of them comes down with the catch.

Well, right now I’d say Madonna is performing a hail mary of sorts in her concerts.

In her “Sticky and Sweet” tour (something I probably would’ve thought was cool 25 years ago when I thought Madonna was hot), she flashed images comparing John McCain to Adolf Hitler.

Specifically, a video during her concert showed images of destruction, so-called man-made global warming, Hitler and McCain. Then, on the happy side the images showed John Lennon, Al Gore, Mahatma Gandhi and Barack Obama.

It reminded me of that classic line from Animal Farm: Four legs (Obama) good, two legs (McCain) bad!

McCain blasted the ad, but he really should’ve ignored it. After all, Madonna is doing what she’s always done–use controversy to draw attention to herself. I suspect she’s in hail mary mode when you consider all the pretty female pop stars out there (Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson, et al).

I find it amusing that Madonna would have such a strong opinion…hasn’t she spent much of the past few years (until the last several months) living abroad in England?

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Disappointed with National Treasure 2

August 26, 2008 Leave a comment
I loved the first movie, but the second one sucked and was far too formula driven. Here’s a rapid synopsis:
Cage and his girlfriend break up, and he moves out of the giant mansion. His friend’s sports car gets towed. So much for all the money they made. They now set out on a new adventure: to prove that Cage’s character’s ancestor didn’t conspire to assassinate Abraham Lincoln.
The “evidence” is a fragment of a single piece of paper, listing Gates with other conspirators. Truly underwhelming evidence, but nevertheless evidence. In the course of getting to the truth, they prove the ancestor’s innocence, get filthy rich again, Cage’s character and girlfriend reconcile, the assistant gets a girlfriend, and even Cage’s parents (played by Jon Voigt and Helen Mirren) reconcile after a bitter 30 years of being happily divorced. Once again, the man is the thoughtless pig that ruins the relationship.
See this movie only if you’re a big fan of Mirren (which I am) or if you like the cool riddles they have to solve.
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2008 Democratic National Convention thoughts

August 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Haven’t been watching it, don’t plan on it. Mostly because I am no longer a full-time freelance writer and now work full-time at a newspaper. My time is limited, and I don’t have the inclination to listen to Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama bloviate. I’m not voting for Obama.

Want a summary of what’s being said in Denver at the convention? Here’s an idea:

Bush is trying to send a message to Muslim extremists: don’t screw with America Bush lied, people died…let’s make it even harder for businesses to thrive end tax cuts to the wealthy…We need to regurgitate the same, tired old message change in this country…We need to become an international yes-man to Europe and the rest of the world, never mind that we often get called up on when some conflict arises undue all the foreign policy disasters that Bush has done…Get the troops out of Iraq…Let’s naively suck up to Iran try to have dialogue with Iran…

The cross-outs, of course, represent what they really mean.

Will I watch the Republican National Convention? Don’t know. I will be paying close attention to whom John McCain chooses as his running mate. If he picks a pro-abortion running mate, it will bother me enough to where I will consider third party. The idea, of course, is that the GOP is continually ignoring its conservative base to where it’s starting to show no noticeable difference from the Democrats. Sad.

My boss at work, a Reagan Republican, is going third party.

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Post-olympic thoughts

August 24, 2008 Leave a comment

The Olympics are gone. I must admit, curiosity led me to watch some, but I chose not to blog about it. Just my protest, I suppose. Next Olympics will be the winter 2010 in Vancouver and the summer 2012 in London. Chicago is in the running to get the 2016 games.

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Getting a chance to speak Chinese

August 24, 2008 Leave a comment

I’ve met a few people in Oxford who speak Chinese. One’s a teacher for Oxford schools (she teaches Mandarin Chinese). Then there are the Canton province-born restaurant owners who also speak Mandarin. Am told another Chinese restaurant in town has an owner who doesn’t speak English. This is actually great news and will provide me opportunities down there to practice my Pu Tong Hua (Mandarin Chinese).

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Sakartvelo, Sakaaaaartvelo…

August 24, 2008 Leave a comment

We call the country Georgia. Russia calls it Грузия (Gruziya). The Georgians call their country Sakartvelo. Odd, isn’t it? Funny how country names change. What we call China the Chinese call Zhong Guo. What we call Finland the Finnish call Suomi. What we call Germany the Germans call Deutschland. In return, the Chinese call America Mei Guo, the Koreans call it Mei Gook and the Arabs (if I remember right), call our country Umrika (when not referring to us as “The Great Satan”).

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