Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Gone again: I will be on vacation for the next week and a half. I probably won't be able to update the site much -- if at all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Now what is it? Here's an interesting tidbit from Slate:

According to figures released by the Office of Management and Budget in 1999, the recovery from the 1990 recession started in April 1991, nearly two years before Clinton took office. Furthermore, the Dow Jones Industrial Average didn't begin skyrocketing until Republicans captured Congress in 1994. The Dow gained just 538 points during the two years in which Clinton enjoyed a Democratic Congress. The Dow then soared nearly 7,000 points in the six years during which Clinton faced a Republican Congress. And the nation's Gross Domestic Product didn't starting recording annual increases of 4 percent until 1996.

I only wish this would permanently dispel the myth that President Clinton created economic expansion and that President Bush created a recession.

The President of the United States cannot turn the economy on and off like a switch. Yes, he can indirectly influence the economy through policies, but many other factors come into play. In the 1990s, the biggest factor was the dot-com and technology boom. When that fizzled, so did the economy.

People need to remember that the recession started in March of 2001, a mere two months after Bush took office. The economy was slowing down for the year before that, while Clinton was in charge. Yet Democrats still blame Dubya. Sen. Hillary Clinton gave a speech in September of 2001 blaming Bush for the shrinking surplus of the federal budget. She goes on to state, "The Administration has begun to destroy in less than eight months what it took our nation, on a bipartisan basis, eight years to achieve."

The surplus was shrinking because the economy was in a recession, not because of the paltry tax cut Bush had just passed. The recession was caused by the dot-com implosion, not by anything President Bush or President Clinton did.

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Act of God: Since I made a big deal of this, I feel compelled to share this interesting article from that states that Al Qaeda takes credit for the massive blackout. As a gift to the people of Iraq, operatives secretly cut the power in the entire northeastern United States. Of course they wouldn't say how they did this, because they plan to do it again.

In the message, Al Qaeda cites the chaos that followed, "where looting and pillaging rampaged the cities ...". Of course, we all know that none of that happened (Jon Stewart of The Daily Show on Comedy Central even made fun of newscasters who were surprised that the Northeast didn't revert to anarchy).

So it looks like Al Qaeda is so desperate that they will take credit for fluke accidents. This is quite a change. Even when they were celebrating 9/11, they chose not to take direct credit, instead saying it was the "Will of Allah." Now I wouldn't be surprised if they claimed to have spawned the latest e-mail worm.

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I told you, "I'll be back." When something is forced upon me, my first reaction -- for better or worse -- is to push it away. As interesting and notable as the California recall election is, I'm choosing not to follow it closely. I figure I can keep up with all the latest developments passively -- by simply overhearing what's going on.

I visited Los Angeles a short time ago and asked the natives their thoughts on the recall. Interestingly enough, few people seemed to care about it. They were more interested in talking about Kobe Bryant -- another news item from which I'm hiding (is it so wrong to wait and see the results of the court case before forming an opinion?). I did talk to one woman who was happy Gray Davis was being recalled. She felt the governor is much too conservative.

A few questions later, she informed me that she's a communist. She didn't seem to grasp that communism hasn't worked so well anywhere else and that the recall would most likely install a politician who is more conservative than Davis.

So it looks like it's too soon to see where the recall will take the Golden State. For the sake of the citizenry, hopefully a couple frontrunners will emerge so voters can concentrate on them instead of electing the next governor with 15 percent of the vote.

But here's an idea. If the Democrats want to beat Schwarzenegger, they should draft a candidate, a political nobody who represents the everyday man, so long as his name is John Connor ...

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Friday, August 15, 2003

I'm off to enjoy a three-day weekend. I'll return Tuesday.
So long.

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Best Since King Kong vs. Godzilla! Today's movies keep getting worse and worse. But, on the bright side, the movie reviews making fun of them keep getting better and better. I have no plans to see the just-released "Freddy vs. Jason" movie (not even on video). But I thoroughly enjoyed how the critics slashed the movie to pieces (links here, here, here, and here).
The Washington Post skewers both Jason ("Though he moves with the speed of a man checking out a buffet spread, Jason somehow always manages to overtake his younger, fitter quarry ...") and Freddy, outfitted in his trademark tattered red and green sweatshirt ("It's possible that a generation of teenage boys has related to Freddy primarily because of his slacker duds and problematic complexion."). Maybe somebody should make a movie about a movie critic.

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Rain, Sleet, Snow, Blackouts ... You have to admire those industries that carry the "no excuses" mantra. Despite the massive blackout, the financial markets kept churning, newspapers were out the next morning to shine some light on the subject, and of course a host of other services, including fire and rescue, continued to operate as normal. From pictures, I could see many people were still able to use their cell phones. But most of all we should recognize the genuine good will that springs from people in difficult situations.
01:37 PM UPDATE: Apparently the Internet was working as well ...

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Thursday, August 14, 2003

Osama Yo' Mama: I'll add one thing, however. Nothing seems to make the news without an explanation that the incident is or is not terrorism related. Whether it be a blackout or a computer virus, people need to know if this was part of Osama's grand master plan.
People, Al Qaeda isn't concerned about making us late to the ballet or turning our milk sour by inconveniencing us with a blackout. Their goal is the complete destruction of America and Western Civilization. They will try to do that by killing as many people as possible, as we saw on 9/11.

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Here we go! This blog will let me publish opinions, albeit anonymously. So, I'll take my first crack at it: The massive blackout in the northeast U.S. is a bad thing.
WHOO! That felt good ;)

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In the beginning: This is just the start. I have nothing to say as of yet ...

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