Friday, January 30, 2004

Democracy's One Flaw?

It seems to me democracy discriminates against a group of citizens. Currently it is a very large group in this country, quite possibly the majority. Notice I said citizens and not voters. No it's not minors, not criminals, not illegal aliens and not women (oh wait, 19th amendment passed in 1920. I keep forgetting).

I'm talking about moderates. People whose nature is to not get too excited about the issues and in general keep a cool and reasonable head. The problem is, their head is so cool, they don't get out to vote to put their moderate candidate into office to represent their reasonable ways. The best we can do is threaten the candidates during election time so that when we get polled, only the ones we think best represents our moderate ways will see the polls in their favor and think that they have a better chance to win their party's ticket. But this isn't a country created on polls, that's not even an official system so it's dangerous to rely on as the primary means of getting someone elected. (Topic for another day: Elected celebrity officials).

If you think about it, democracy favors the extremists. If you're radical enough to be so emotional on an issue you'd do something stupid to defend it, then it certainly doesn't put you out to get registered then drive somewhere and flip a switch (touch a screen, punch a card, drop a marble). Unfortunately, that's too much work for a lot of people in a country that depend direly on remote controls, online banking and oil change stations. Technology is what created this discrimination in democracy and it will have to be the one to remove it. When online voting becomes standard, democracy will be back to near perfection.

Political parties are a bad idea anyway. It's a way of packaging a candidate. Political parties are for the lazy and if you just read my last paragraph, that would be the majority in this country. Although that kind of lazy is a horse of a different color. There are lazy extremists. They have the energy to support whatever cause they see, they're just too "lazy" in the brain to figure out that what they believe in could be bad; physical strength but no common sense to see the consequences.

So democracy might have a flaw. But it's really the people's lack of desire to use democracy that is to blame not the system itself. But then again the very definition of democracy is "of the people." If we don't exercise to use democracy, isn't that democracy? Probably not. But having the choice even if you do nothing about it might be.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

General Wesley Clark A Closet Case?

Democratic presidential candidate and four star general Wesley Clark appeared in a recent issue of The Advocate, a magazine with a target market of a primarily gay audience.

General Clark was also endorsed recently by Madonna, a musical artist known for employing flamboyant dancers and being somewhat of an icon in the gay community.

Clark is married but we hear very little about his wife. In fact when Clark's wife was asked if she sees him much, she said she does not. Beard. *cough*.

And for the clincher to make you go "hmmmm," General Clark was fired from his post as Commander of NATO for undisclosed reasons neither side wants to elaborate on. The only thing mentioned about the affair is that the firing was for "integrity issues." Now what kind of integrity issues does the military fear most?

When the story breaks of General Clark's sexual preference, you heard it here first. But there's nothing wrong with it. Wesley Clark is fully qualified to execute the responsibilities of President of the United States and certainly has the experience to serve as Commander In Chief. You go boy, uh I mean General, sir. You have my endorsement.

UPDATE: General Wesley Clark has admitted that his favorite music album of all time is Journey's Greatest Hits (which is only technically an album).
L-I-M-P Is Not S-T-R-A-I-G-H-T

Since I'm on the topic, let's discuss another man so deep in the closet he's hit drywall. A man who is trying desperately to tell the world he is gay but no one is listening (except me). Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst.

* Read my headline, interpret it literally.

* Pretends to gay bash. We all know what latent feelings homophobia truly represents.

* Claims to have dated two of pop's attractive ladies Christina Aguilerra and Britney Spears, both deny anything happened. Supposedly had a fling with Halle Berry too. Sure you did Fred. Try to make it believable when you lie. Say Missy Elliot or Wayne Newton.

* His lyrics constantly complain about relationships with women. I wonder if he's speaking from experience?

* The song that put him on the map, a cover of George Michael's Faith. You remember George Michael.

* Title of his first album Three Dollar Bill, Yall as in "Queer as a..."

* Title of his second album Significant Other. Note: Not girlfriend, not boyfriend. Could have just as easily have been Life Partner.

* Title of his third album Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. Think about what a chocolate starfish is especially when used in the same phrase as a HOT DOG! If you don't know what a hot dog represents, well, I'm not sure how you made it this far in life.

* I can think of only two other Freds in rock and roll. Queen's Freddy Mercury and B52's Fred Schneider. Enough said.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Throw That Junk Away Man It's An Antique

I just ordered a book from Amazon called Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui. The theme of the book is the discussion of "pack rats" and how keeping useless possessions around the house can have an effect on your behavior. It's part of a philosophy I happen to personally subscribe to, probably one I am near obsessed with so I wanted to get the author's take on it to see what I agree or disagree with on certain points.

What struck me as funny, for those of you who are familiar with Amazon's Free Super Shipping Savings policy, (if your order is over $25, shipping is free), the book only cost $8. I happen to have another personal philosophy where I do not like to pay for something if there is an option out of it, even if it means buying more items to avoid the "fee." It's more about getting value and not so much about minimal spending. So after shopping for about an hour, I threw the Terminator 3 movie into my virtual cart to get my total above $25 to avoid the $3 shipping fee on the $8 book that talks about not buying stuff you don't need. Oh well.

Some personal examples of me throwing away stuff I don't need: I cancelled my phone line; cancelled my digital cable (although kept basic); paid my electric bill off for the year to avoid monthly bills; I avoid buying too many movies and video games only getting what I really really REALLY want; my wardrobe is minimal; bought a Tivo DVR to replace my VCR so I didn't have to keep tapes around. Consolidation is an important aspect for clearing your clutter, I'm sure it will be a major theme in the book. I subscribed to a monthly service that lets me download and play many video game titles without having to buy the box. Yahoo Games On Demand lets you play titles like Splinter Cell, Age of Wonders and Freelancer completely online. You don't need the CD or any license keys. That's right up my alley to support my consolidation moods.

There's a great line in the Simpsons where Homer gets upset at Marge for making him buy all those fire detectors for the house even though "we never needed them!"

Friday, January 16, 2004

Blogs, Money and Zingers. Oh My!

Blogs, Money and Zingers. Oh My!

A major topic on Meet the Press (with Tim Russert) this past Sunday was blogs, yes blogs. He had some journalists on discussing Democrat candidate Howard Dean and how important the Internet was for his campaign. They talked about his blog and General Clark's blog and journalists blogs which are actually just online articles, not blogs really. One of the journalists during the show defined a blog as "I got up, I ate breakfast, I took a shower." And I thought, hey that's me. I have a blog! Blog stands for We(b log) for the clueless.

So today I got up, I brushed my teeth, I got dressed, I .... ah forget it. Here are some random ramblings.

My finances continue to roll. In my personal investment project, the $2k I put into Ameritrade in October and invest in whatever looks good (sort of like day trading, more like week trading though) is going good. I just sold 100 shares of FEIC for a 7.2% profit. I bought this Monday - four days ago. The week before I had some shares of CRAY (yes the supercomputer Cray) which netted me 10% in one day! I've got my balance up to almost $2800 now. Forty percent in three months pleases me especially since 20% of that came in the last two trades/last two weeks. I hope I can keep it up so that I may owe much tax.

In other non-news, I was chatting with a friend of mine about the Iowa primaries coming up. He went into his IM archive and pulled quotes I made earlier last year regarding political discussions we were having, well he was having. I was goofing off. I actually don't remember saying these (I'm not saying I don't believe I said them, they do sound like me) but since I don't remember I have the luxury of cracking up like I was hearing it for the first time.

Regarding President Clinton's Oval (Oral) Office hobby with Monica Lewinski:

lock: Dereliction of duty? It sounds like he was multitasking to me!

On candidate waffling:

lock: He didn't forget. He knew he had pancakes.

On a gay bishop being elected into the Episcopalian church:

lock: Elect the guy already. Religion needs an interior decorator!

God bless IM message archiving and short term memory loss.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

What I Had To Unlearn

My parents, on occassion, would feed me crap to get me to do what they wanted. Here are three (of many) things I remember my mom telling me as a kid.

1. Eating raw sugar will give you worms.
2. The dirt in the tub after a shower is your skin in it's basic form (ashes to ashes, dust to dust rule).
3. You can get AIDS drinking from a public water fountain.

I remember getting into a heated argument with her one day at a Dairy Queen because she was convinced the public water fountain I drank from would give me AIDS. I remember drinking from it just to spite her. I didn't think I couldn't get AIDS from it, I just wanted to push her buttons.

Since I'm in childhood memory mode, I do remember eating bars of Ex-Lax I would find in the towel closet thinking of course it was candy. I can't say though that I remember the outcome.

Good times.
Collected Sayings

Once in a blue moon, I'll post something that I think might be witty. Once I get it on (blog) paper, then it looks dumb but it's too late, it's already out. So here is my archive of my own posted quotes so far starting with a new one at the top:

Lock Originals

People who believe in absolutes, break. (01/13/04)
Sure ignorance is bliss but it's also incredibly boring. (12/12/03)
A person who dares question their government is the ultimate patriot. (12/09/03)
Every perception is based on limited information. (05/13/03)
You cant tell the idiots from the intelligent because they both have a great sales pitch. (03/27/03)
I'm old enough to be your brother. (03/26/03)

Friday, January 09, 2004

"I'm not into the bling-bling. My people spent 400 years getting out of chains."
-- Kyle Grooms
Rising Sun

I haven't posted in a week. I've been busy at work setting up a couple of Sun Ultra 5's. They're old machines, probably equivalent of a Pentium PC, but it's a good way for me to learn the Solaris operating system. I upgraded one of the machines to Solaris 8 and did a full install on the other. I was impressed with myself that I was able to get one of them hooked in to the Internet and I actually loaded my home page. Surfing the net on a Sun! I felt like a geek, but in a good way. Sun gave us Java so I'm a supporter. They're in financial trouble now so hopefully they get that resolved and keep from going under.

In other news, the market is on a tear. I'm not sure if it's going to stop going up. That's good for my retirement but may be bad when it decides to correct itself as the prices of stocks surpass the company's actual value.

My instant messenger for work wasn't working properly all week. I use Trillian because my machine has trouble staying connected with my native instant messenger, Yahoo Messenger. Trillian is a neat program if you want to consolidate all of your IM accounts into one interface. I have my YM, ICQ, AIM and MSN all running at the same time although I must confess I created the AIM and MSN accounts for Trillian just to have them all.

So Trillian was having trouble this week with the YM aspect. I could only see other Trillian users and never anyone who was using the YM client. I could go to another machine, load YM on it and get logged in without logging out my Trillian YM session. Anyone who uses instant messengers know you can only be logged on in one place at a given time. So this was odd that I could be logged in to 2 YM sessions at once. I could message myself and only receive the message in one place so something was definitely wrong. A friend figured out a solution. Just change the Trillian YM logon server from to That got me on the right server and now all is well.

Friday, January 02, 2004


Here it is, the first post of 2004. Wow, everything looks so... the same. Here's to hoping the new year is as good as 2003.
"If I can make just one person laugh, I am already doing better than Tony Danza."
-- Emo Phillips