Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Politics of Bullshit

When, exactly, did politics become so goddamn ridiculous?

Yes, I understand that the Democratic race is at its boiling point. Hillary SHOULD concede as she has no chance of winning, but she won't. Not because she really feels that she can win but because her ego won't let her quit. The woman is down by 200 delegates, she pretty much has to win every state left out right and by decent margins (hooray for convoluted delegate-splitting, Democrats!), and she cannot seem to capitalize on Obama's mistakes because she's too busy putting her foot way past her mouth and down her goddamn throat.

Obama's nowhere near perfect; he's got no experience, he's more talk than substance, and he has a penchant for phrasing his words in a way that makes him out to be an arrogant prick. But Hillary, you can't pounce on his imperfection if you're lying about Bosnia, apologizing for lying without actually saying "I lied", and then saying that fatigue caused the "misspeak". You can't say you lied and then say it was a mistake in the same breath.

An aside: when 2008 is all said and done, it will be known for the worst butchering of the English language by public figures, EVER. Between Clemens' use of "misremembered" to Hillary's constant use of "misspeak", we're headed for a world where anyone can make up any word they want by adding enough prefixes and suffixes to suit their needs. Hillary, just suck it up and admit that you anti-truth-itioned; maybe then you'll get back the respect you've been hemorrhaging over the past two weeks.

And enough about the goddamn Flag lapel pin that Obama won't wear. Would it make the jingoistic fuckheads in rural West Virginia happy if he wore it? Of course it would. Should he wear it if he doesn't want to? Fuck no! He makes a great point when he says that he doesn't need a lapel pin to show that he loves his country. There are so many assholes out there with fifty American flags strewn about their house. People have hundreds of those retarded magnetic ribbons on their cars. Those people are being spoon-fed patriotism by the government and getting Star-Spangled enemas by every moronic talking head on Fox News. Wake the fuck up, people!

If you focus on a two-dollar piece of metal on someone's jacket you are missing the real issues. The economy, health care, education, military morale, our standing in global's all in the shitter and we're focusing on a goddamn PIN and how terrible it is that Obama rhymes with Osama! Those backwoods fuckfaces who can't see the forest from the trees make me ache with anger.

And in the other corner, John McCain is laughing his face off. Literally. I mean, have you seen the guy lately? He looks like someone just opened the Lost Ark in front of him. The man will be 73 years old in January 2009. This man has a temper that rivals Yosemite Sam's and he wants to keep our troops in Iraq for at least the next four years. He doesn't know the economy from his ass and he about-faced so quickly from what he stood for in 2000 that he looks like Mel Brooks after his first teleporting experience in Spaceballs.

Is McCain ready to run the county? Possibly, but if I were to place a bet on it, I'd say he dies within the first two years. Do you really want the most powerful politician in the world to be a man who was alive during FDR's first term? You may not have a choice. He's been preparing to face the Democrats as the presumptive nominee for over a month now. The Democrats have been pulling out all the stop to discredit one another, unwittingly giving him all the ammo he needs to blow away whomever is chosen as the Democratic nominee. No matter how the Democratic convention goes this summer in Colorado the winner is going to have to deal with a two-fold problem: putting together a fractured party and facing a nominee who has had the time to both convince the doubters in his party to stand behind him and to build a strategy for whomever comes his way.

I'm afraid we're in for Bush Light if McCain wins the election. While he is much smarter than Dubya he has adopted the same mentality as Bush on a lot of key issues since he had his ass kicked in 2000. Is he a strong man? no doubt. Can he lead people? Sure. Can he steer us away from the idiocy of the last eight years and stay healthy enough in mind and body to do the job to the best of his abilities? I have a hard time believing he can.

Then again, I have a hard time believing that either one of the Democratic nominees could tie their own shoes if elected President. The bottom line: we're fucked. All of us. Royally. Sleep tight.

License and registration, Chickenfucker!

I'm not sure I have anything interesting to write, but sometimes the best stuff comes from pure crap. Like Good Will Hunting. Or Back That Azz Up.

My birthday came and went. I'm now 27 years old which feels, not surprisingly, just like 26. Only I've lost a little more hair, a little more weight, and I'm engaged. And speaking of engaged, am I supposed to feel different now that I've popped the question? Because I don't; I feel the exact same way as I did before I asked her. Maybe I feel a little more relieved that I don't have to listen to any more "ring talk", but that's about it.

Maybe that's a good thing, the fact that I don't feel differently. If I did, would it mean the way I felt before wasn't as strong, or maybe even phony? Why should I feel different? I don't love her more or less than I did pre-ring. Isn't that a good thing? Doesn't it validate the fact that I didn't need to do it to feel "more in love", but that I did it because I actually wanted to? It's not like she said anything to the contrary, but I tend to make up conversations in my head and for some reason I think she might have a problem with me telling her that I don't feel different. Oh well.

Today was my first day back at work since last Thursday. I didn't have a good reason to take the week off; I just felt like it. Well, that's not entirely true. I took last Friday off for Opening Day/my birthday, and Tuesday I had to fight a speeding ticket, which I won.

And that reminds me of something I was thinking about Tuesday: what percentage of police officers are complete douchenozzles? 85%? 90% What is it about the profession that attracts such dickweeds? I know the power over other people and the ability to make someone's life miserable is enticing to say the least, but why does this power have to attract the biggest dillholes among us in society?

I used to work with cops back when I was a Head Supervisor of Security at UMass, so I know not all cops suck fat ones. However, it seems like a vast majority are either hung like fruit flies (men), are bitter because they're not hung at all (women), or just give off that vibe because they were beat up a lot growing up. Officer Retardo, I get that playing D&D growing up didn't make you any friends or get you laid in high school. I know that getting cut from varsity football didn't exactly boost your self-esteem or make you a better person. But really, I'm just trying to get home from work and I wasn't even speeding; could you pull the plunger handle out of your ass for five seconds and listen to reason?

In my case, I was pulled over for speeding in Waltham. The cop had no way to "catch me" going 50+ when he was parked on a side street and I was taking a left less than 500 feet down the road. i didn't skid, smoke my tires, or swerve. He later tells the magistrate at my first appeal that he'd been following me for a quarter-mile before he pulled me over. BIG FAT LIE. So I appealed the appeal and won my second time around, thankfully; he told the second judge that he HADN'T been following me. Yeah, thanks for telling the truth the second time around, guy.

Maybe the cop really did think I was doing 50+, even if I don't see how. He didn't seem to want to listen to reason at the time he pulled me over. Maybe as he walked into his house later (presumably to heat up a Hungry Man dinner, pop in a schoolgirl/alien anime porn DVD, and beat it until he fell asleep in his La-Z-Boy) he figured out that I was right. He couldn't have estimated me at 50+ MPH. There goes his ticket. But wait! He could lie! He'll be under oath in the courtroom too, but he has a badge! Of course the judge will believe him! Cops never lie! I'm using too many exclamation points!!!

Anywho, I won, he lost, and then he stormed out of the courtroom and slammed the door. Oh, and as an interesting tidbit, out of the seven different cases on second appeal to be heard that day, he's the only cop who showed up. The other six couldn't be bothered to waste another minute on an appeal for a lousy ticket. I guess this particular officer had solved all the crimes in Waltham and therefore decided to come to court to pat himself on the back.

Hey, maybe he's not a bad guy. Maybe he was doing his job and became confused. All I know is that if I'd lied in court and had been caught, I'd have been found in contempt and would be seen in court for perjury. But he's got a badge, so all it took was a "my bad!" and he gets to pull over some other poor bastard who won't know what the hell is happening.

Alright, I've been halfway paying attention to the Sox game so I'm going to get back to it. Just me, some music on shuffle from my new iPod Classic (black of course...a gift from the future Mrs. Boncoddo to replace my beat-to-shit blue Mini), and a bottle of Wachusett Blueberry. It a phenomenal beer and I highly recommend it if you like beer and you're one of the five people in Massachusetts who have never tasted it. I was going to get the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat (always a good decision) but with the bottle recall in effect I'm going to hold off on Sam bottles for a while (ok, maybe not always).

And if you don't know what I'm talking about, Sam Adams had to recall a bunch of bottles because tiny pieces of glass were breaking off and floating around in the beer. It's probably not enough to hurt you; then again, I've never shit out a chandelier before and I don't plan on finding out how that feels.

Good night, everybody.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

For once, I don't want the money.

Note: This post is not going to be funny. If you're not into economics or the potentially disastrous outcome of the stimulus package, please just stop reading now and head over to Perez Hilton or something. I hear someone famous whom you have no emotional attachment to might be pregnant and/or gay, and who doesn't want to know about that?

I've been discussing the stimulus package, slated for this summer, with several people over the last few days. I've gone back and forth with co-workers, family members, and friends over pros vs. cons, when the package means for the people who receive them, the government that doles it out, and the economy it affects in both the short and long terms. I guess it all boils down to this:

People are going to be happy when they open up their mail and see $600 "free" dollars staring them in the face. Until they realize (IF they realize, I should say) that the $600 is more than just a free check.

The government is going to have to come up with this money out of thin air; the country simply does not have the currency available to dole out that much money to that many people. They're going to have to print more money to accommodate everyone. Printing more money means more currency is out in the market (duh) and therefore the dollar will be worth less.

"But Andy", you might say, "what does that matter?"

Glad you asked.

Let's say you buy a bottled water for $1 today. Your dollar right now is worth enough to buy a bottle of water because the company who bottles it decided that they can afford to sell the water at that price and make an acceptable profit.

Now, imagine there's a stream of currency that flows into the market 3 months from now and then your dollar is worth 85% in June of what it was in March. This affects that bottling company in a couple of ways which in turn affect you: the profit they make at the current price of $1 is no longer worth as much as it was in March; and now that the company is getting less value out of their profit, they're likely to raise prices because it knows you have $600 more in your pocket and can afford a price increase.

So what happens? The most immediate effect is that prices go up on nearly everything. Food, clothing, gas, recreational activities, name it, the cost of it is most likely going to go up. Secondly, the money you have stored in savings accounts, stocks, and retirement benefits is worth less thanks to the influx of money into the market. This may not affect people my age all that much because we'll still live through several more economic cycles. Who it will affect are our parents and grandparents, as well as others who are planning to retire soon and have found out that their nest eggs aren't worth what they were worth a few months ago. My dad retired in January and I shudder to think what's going to happen to his standard and quality of life as he gets on in years and his savings is devalued over the next 6-12 months.

So basically the government is going to hand out checks in the hope that you'll just forget about the fact that we've flushed 750 BILLION into Iraq over the past 5 years, mostly after Saddam has been hanged (which last time I checked was the reason given to the American people for getting into this mess in the first place, not to fight Iraq's war for them). That $600 dollars will make us feel good about our government for about a week, maybe a month; then we'll see the dollar become even more devalued than before. This means that long after your $600 has been spent the prices that went up on the goods you buy will not be going down any time soon.

The bottom line: economics is all about cycles. There are always going to be periods of economic booms and busts (that's some good ole' Econ 101 for you; I won't charge tuition) and we're all going to have to ride the bone rollercoaster. But this package seriously messes with the cycle and extends the recession portion of the ride which can, and most likely will, mess with the upswing of the economy we would have normally expected in a couple of years. How much will the cycle be affected? No one really knows, but the leading theory is that we either will not see a turnaround until five years from now as opposed to two, and/or the upswing that occurs will not be as large as it has been in the past. Either one of those two scenarios are definitely unsettling and potentially disastrous.

But hey, $600! OMG! Now I can get that iPod/TV/cell phone/complete set of TMNT action figures I've always wanted!

Enjoy it while you can.

The beginning of the end. Or vice-versa.

I haven't done any blogging in years, if you count LiveJournal as blogging.

I guess I made it to bounce funny ideas off of myself and other people; namely you, my soon-to-be-loyal readers. I mean, shit, at this point my life consists of spending time with the fiancee, working, watching sports, playing the Wii, hanging out with my friends, drinking beer, and...well, that's about it.

I used to be a lot funnier, a lot more creative. I'm not sure where that went but I'm hoping to get it back if I can just ramble semi-coherently once I get an idea in my head. It's just hard to do that without an audience or feedback.

That's not to say that this blog will be written solely as a vehicle for humor; I'll probably write about life, sports, work, etc. until the clamoring for me to shut up from the millions (and millions!) of my fictional readers forces me to focus on something.

Hell, most likely I'll end up thinking about something funny while I'm at work, out with friends, or just not at my computer and I'll decide to run with it here instead of in my own head. This way, I'll be less likely to lose something when it's here on the web than when it's rolling around in the hollow bowling ball that is my skull.

Who knows where this blog will go? Maybe I'll decide tomorrow that this idea is completely, pants-shittingly dumb and I'll just delete it. I have as much of an inkling about the future of this blog as you do. Except for the "being able to delete it" part...I don't think you have the ability to do that no matter how much you may will it to be so.

So that's it, I guess. Carry on with your normal lives while I point out another blog that you must read if you're at all a fan of sports. The site is Great posts by editor Will Leitch as well as others and the comments/commenters (including yours truly) are hysterically funny. Note: if you get offended easily, I'd probably stick with and skip Deadspin altogether.