Sunday, November 25, 2007

TeaParty07 Predictions

Some thoughts on the upcoming "Ron Paul Tea Party" (December 16th):

-Already over 20,000 subscribers (11/25).

-It'll be interesting to see whether it's going to keep losing steam (decelerating) as it is doing now, or whether there'll be a spike or at least an acceleration upwards in the days leading up to the deadline.

-Since Ron Paul supporters haven't disappointed me yet, I'm going to throw my weight behind the idea that we'll see a pretty strong upward trend as it gets close to detonation time. The campaign is putting a bit of a damper on things, however, with its plea for IMMEDIATE donations and its warnings that we cannot "afford to wait for bursts of press activity.

-I think people will donate now, to please Mr. Money Bydlak at the campaign, and they will still donate again come money bomb time. I feel like the supporters still have a lot left in them. This fight is not nearly over.

-As for the numbers: If we see some sexy polling numbers in the next 2 weeks (like a 10% in N.H., 10% Nevada, and maybe a few 7% national poll results), I think people will money bomb the HELL out of December 16th to a level that will blow people's minds. Like, maybe the graph will show something exciting like 35,000 subscribers, but the event itself will drop an even more boggling 7 MIL into the campaign's coffers. Optimistic? Sure. But realistic, considering how passionate supporters are.

-The snowball is accelerating down the mountain. The question is: "can we fix global warming so that it won't melt before it gets to the bottom?"

Monday, November 05, 2007

On being a "Ron Paul Shill", the 5th of November, and more

As I watch Ron Paul's fundraising ticker go through the roof today, the 5th of November, I'm searching for the media's reaction. Here's one article (from the National Ledger) that I felt inclined to vocally disagree with, being the Ron Paul Shill (or SpamBot, take your pick) that I am.

Ron Paul: Cash is King, On Pace for a $2M Day, But Will it Matter?

Here's what I wrote to Mr. Jackson, the article's author:

I would disagree with you that he's bad on television and in speeches. I would certainly agree with you that in general we've grown used to Obama-rhetoric as the model of what it means to be a good speech giver. But "audacity of hope" is nice, but boy is it unspecific. Have you watched the democratic debates? Have you heard Hillary attempt to give answers that will alienate her from no one? Would you call those "good answers?" Is she "good on TV?" The "rabid" and "wild-eyed" supporters that WE are, we actually prefer simple talk." Simple talk with a dose of historical awareness, two tablespoons of directness, a pinch of politeness, and a generous heapful of courage. That's all Ron Paul provides, and for many people, it's the best thing they see.

The author also believes that Ron Paul "won't crack 2.4 million" by the end of today. Hah. The mediaman has just become the Ron Paul fundraising analyst. Sir, I think I'm a bigger Ron Paul stat whore that you, so leave the projections to me. :-P It's currently 1:46 PM, and the day's total from 00:00 (midnight, 11/5) is above $2033K. We're 14 hours into this bomb raid, boys. Typically, Ron's donations pick up in the afternoon hours, all the way until 7 or 8 PM at least.

A lot of the RP SpamBots excitedly dropped their payloads last night at midnight, so we probably won't see the same proportional acceleration towards the evening, but it's going to move along at a healthy pace. I'm guessing, by 12:00 AM tonight CST there will be 3.5 to 4.0 mil. Which would easily be the biggest one day fundraising total for the primary cycle.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

12 Army Captains: Bring back the draft, or leave Iraq ASAP

I have been asked some tough questions regarding my support for Ron Paul. The toughest of these is regarding the Iraq conflict. Ron Paul's "just come home" message sounds great, but people ask me, "How can we let the country fall into total chaos? What will happen when we leave?"

I don't have a good answer, because there is no good answer in Iraq. I can't promise them that Iraq will begin calmly moving towards order and functional government when we pull out.

The Real Iraq We Knew

Increasingly, military people have come out against the war. In this article from the Washington Post, 12 Army captains flatly state that we should get out now.

From the article:
U.S. forces, responsible for too many objectives and too much "battle space," are vulnerable targets. The sad inevitability of a protracted draw-down is further escalation of attacks -- on U.S. troops, civilian leaders and advisory teams. They would also no doubt get caught in the crossfire of the imminent Iraqi civil war.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Cheney in 1994: AGAINST an Iraq invasion

It seems that Cheney was a lot smarter 14 years ago, or at least a lot more honest.


On a related note, here's what one of our generals makes of the situation in Iraq, and what the recent 400-person-killing insurgent bomb means for US "stabilizing efforts":

Attack that killed over 400 might 'unite Iraqis,' general says

:) :(

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bleeding Guns

U.S. cannot account for 190,000 guns in Iraq

From the article:
"US commanders often accuse foreign powers such as Iran of supplying arms to illegal militias fighting in Iraq, but the report shows they cannot fully account for the hundreds thousands of weapons they brought in themselves."

RawStory is a great news source, btw -- my dad got me into it :)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Congressman Ron Paul for President 2008

Yeah, I'm coming out and saying it.

I can't wait to say it any longer on this humble Blog: The guy is a godsend. He is SO dedicated to the Constitutional principles of this country and he speaks like a founding father. Watch this video from the Congressional debate about the troop surge in Iraq. Ron Paul lays out everything I believe to be true about America's duties to itself and America's role in the world.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Christian Fundamentalists disrupt Hindu morning prayer at the US Senate

Crazy fundamentalists. Boy, yeah, that Hindu man is WICKED. Wicked wicked.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hurray for a real journalist! (she refuses to cover Paris Hilton)

I give a lot of credit to this woman, Mika Brzezinski*. Her producer and her cohosts expect her to kick off the newscast with a Paris Hilton clip. She refuses, on camera, and (unsuccessfully) tries to light the story on fire. Eventually, she feeds the sheet of paper into a paper shredder. You go girl!

Finally, a journalist with some inner strength!

* Mika is the daughter of Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to Carter. He's widely known for his reasoned foreign policy insights, and also for giving hope to all of us awkwardly-named citizens.

I came across INSURGENCY , a soon-to-be-released computer game that lets you fight insurgents in the middle east. The visuals look GREAT. That being said, do we really need this? Far too many kids (some of them now soldiers) have already fallen in love with warfare and the terrorism narrative thanks to Counterstrike.

Friday, June 29, 2007

What's YOUR "News IQ" ?

It's a quick quiz about current events. At the end, you get to make demographic comparisons: How'd I do compared to other men? People age 18-35? High school grads? Kinda cool.

Pew research has more statistics than a person would ever want to know. For stats whores like me, it's great! ;)


On an unrelated note, I found this iPhone video review from the new york times. I didn't know the ny times were doing much video, but this was a high-quality, entertaining clip, well-suited for the web. The print-era dinosaur! New York Times! Making web videos! I must say, I'm surprised and impressed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ron Paul: an interesting legal/moral issue

Watch this debate featuring Ron Paul (GOP Presidential candidate) and FOX News anchor Neil Cavuto. It has to do with the IRS and income tax, which Paul wants to eventually abolish from government (we didn't have it before 1913).

This is such an interesting debate. On the one hand, Cavuto makes a plausible point... What if everyone stopped paying taxes? The country would come to a standstill. I wouldn't have known how to answer that question. But Paul's answer is the answer that I didn't see: If everyone stopped paying, then politicians would start paying attention and change things.

I wonder how the government did get on without income tax back before 1913...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

This guy is me! except better!

This guy is from a Latvian A cappella boyband called Cosmos. This is all stuff that I do, except way better. I was so relieved to find my clone out there in the performing world.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Google listening in via your PC microphone? No, thanks.

This scared me.

Google developing eavesdropping software

Google is developing a way to use your PC microphone to find out what TV show is on air in your room. The company's reason for doing this? If you're watching a basketball game on TV, Google can serve you better by identifying this viewing habit and then providing basketball-related advertisements in your browser.

When Google's suite of online applications and services first emerged, I was incredibly excited. How convenient! How revolutionary! But I'm starting to worry about what can happen if all this data gets into the wrong hands. Companies like Google forge ahead with new services so quickly that I wonder whether they have worked out all the security issues.

I'm having similar second thoughts about Facebook.

Rereading 1984 this summer.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Affirmative action along economic lines! Brilliant!

Heyyy... long time no post. sorry.

I came across this article in the New York Times today:

Elite Colleges Open New Doors to Low Income Youths.

Apparently, in the "last few years", elite colleges have been noticing that they barely have any students from the bottom income quartile! So now, they are starting to offer grants to low income students, AND are

"[...] recruiting them and taking their socioeconomic background — defined by family income, parents’ education and occupation level — into account when making admissions decisions."

This trailblazing new admissions philosophy was prompted by recent research that has cast doubt on the leveling power of traditional affirmative action admissions policies. Apparently, schools have been winding up with a lot more upper class minority students than lower class minority students.

DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH Where's Carlos Mencia when you need him DUH DUH DUH....

I can't stand it when a serious publication writes about a blatantly obvious point (that race-based affirmative action helps black people, not poor people) as if it's some sort of staggering new conclusion, brought about only by years of research.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

You should name the monkey scooter!

So Scooter Libby got a guilty verdict. Prison sentence to follow. On almost the same day, Cheney's health problems make the news (blood clot in the leg). If Cheney resigns for health reasons, we'll know the real reason -- he's feeling the fallout from the Libby perjury trial.

And speaking of Scooter, here's a clip for your enjoyment :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow Day!!

So school was canceled at U of I yesterday and today. Two days off! That's not a bad school week:


This is a car in our alley. The wind was causing crazy drifts everywhere. Most snow I've seen in years!

Happy V-Day to all -- If you don't have a date, don't sweat it. This is just Darwin's way of reminding you that if you don't find a mate, your genes will not be passed on. No biggie!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Billy Joel -- Tuning Up a Broken-Down Legend

Did anyone else hear Billy Joel singing the national anthem during the superbowl?

I've spent close to 200 hours with Xtension Chords studio work, and its made me very aware of the pitch correction in music. Pitch correction (AutoTune is one brand name of software, but i'll use the general term) is an algorithm that analyzes the sound coming from a microphone, figures out which pitch you're singing, and if you're not right on a note it will drag your pitch up or down to the nearest neighboring "official" pitch. If you need an extreme example, listen to "Believe" by Cher, and listen to her voice. It sounds "synthy" because it has an extreme amount of pitch correction applied to it.

Listen to Billy Joel sing (actual singing starts at 1:00 into the clip, so FF). Keep pitch correction in mind. First phrase: "Oh say can you SEEEeeE": Can you hear how he overshot "see" and Autotune pulled his pitch up to the next note up (the wrong pitch)? I all could think about while listening was autotune, autotune, autotune, JESUS BILLY JOEL SOUNDS LIKE A ROBOT.

The superbowl shouldn't have hired him. No one should hire him, and if they do, they should let him sing with his real voice and see if people will like it.