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  • New Evidence Proves First Flag Made By Betsy Ross Actually Shirt For Gay Friend
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  • New IL Law Requires Photo ID To Buy Drain Cleaner
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  • Your end of the season Vikings comment thread
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  • Kelly Clarkson criticized on Twitter after singer endorses Ron Paul for President 
  • Political Predictions for 2012
  • We're All Doing The Best We Can
  • Video Of Little Girl Getting Pissed Off About Pink Toys Will Make Your Heart Swell
  • The 10 best sports-related Hitler Reactions of 2011
  • Happy Endings on the housing crisis
  • Why You Just Got New York Times Spam
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  • The Most Hipster State In The US
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  • On islamic fashion
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  • 5 social network predictions for 2012
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  • Why Iowa Shouldn't Vote First Anymore
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  • Charles Barkley: Skip Bayless Has Surpassed Peter Vecsey As The Biggest Jackass In The History Of Journalism
  • Handicapping the 2011 NFL MVP Race, 2.0

     

  • July 31, 2010

    You're not fooling anyone

    [Posted by kris]

    So the same friend of a friend who posted the charming Press One for English video on Facebook, has a new one:

    I'm no fan of Obama, but seriously? Do they really think they're fooling anyone? "The Great Reneger"? You're not being cute or clever, you're being racist.

    It's funny, because I agree with a lot of the points in the video about Obama's broken promises, but it doesn't matter because every point you make is wiped out when you winkingly call a black President a "reneger".

    Actually, it's not funny. It's sick and wrong and I am ashamed by it.

    Posted by kris at 07:26 AM | Comments (22)     
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    July 29, 2010

    When will it stop being okay to be ignorant about technology?

    [Posted by kris]

    During his appearance on The View President Obama remarked that of course he doesn't do his own tweeting, but rather some "20-year old" does it. He's also made comments about how he doesn't know how to work his iPod. I get that he's trying to be glib and self-deprecating, but at what point does that attitude and those comments turn into the perception that he's hopelessly out of touch?

    I remember when George H.W. Bush was roundly mocked for apparently not knowing how a grocery scanner worked. There are over 500 million Facebook users, about 15 million Twitter users and the iPod hit the 100 million sales mark back in 2007. These aren't "new" technologies anymore. Maybe our leaders should simply get with it.

    And I'm not just talking about Obama or some other blowhard politician. I see the same thing in business. Some 50+ executive will make a comment about how he doesn't know anything about this internet stuff and he's never been on Facebook and blah blah blah. I want to yell at them and point out that they're in marketing or communications and how can they be in the field, much less a leader in the field, and be so ignorant. It's not cool. It's downright scary.

    I was in a meeting the other day and saw some data about the gap between Americans' media usage and how advertiser's spend their budgets. Even though (at the time - the stats are a couple of years old) 37% of media consumption was online, only 14% of ad spend was. Likewise, newspapers accounted for just 4% of media consumption but 24% of media spend. The ignorance of out-of-touch marketing leaders leads to bad decisions like this.

    The ignorance of political leaders will likewise lead to more poor decisions. Maybe if you're going to be President of the United States or President of a company, you should play a few less rounds of golf and spend a little more time learning about this "whole Internet thing". It's not going away.

    Posted by kris at 03:18 PM | Comments (29)     
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    July 28, 2010

    Pull shapes

    [Posted by kris]

    So, I'm currently obsessed with Sporcle geography quizzes. Perhaps this obsession is what made me interested in How the States Got Their Shapes on History International last night. In any case, lucky me, because the show was a fascinating look behind the forces that made the states look the way they do today. For example:

    • Idaho and Colorado owe much of their shape due to the fact that the states around them gave up their land because they didn't want to be bothered with wild & rowdy gold prospectors
    • Missouri's boot exists because one guy held that land and decided that he wanted to be in Missouri rather than Arkansas.
    • Once the Erie Canal was opened, borders changed all over the place with states wanting "their" share of land on the Great Lakes

    So that's why Chicago isn't in Wisconsin, huh? Those damn FIBs needed a coast. In light of the ongoing fight to keep Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes it's interesting that a single state with just a sliver of the lake can affect the entire region. Would things be different if all of that land was in Wisconsin? It's hard to imagine Chicago politics and the Progressive movement existing in the same state, so which would have held sway? Would we still have the Wisconsin Idea or would we be like more Illinois? And speaking of Illinois, what would it be like without Chicago? Would it basically just be the South? Would people still drive like crap?

    These are the questions that keep me up at night (not really, but it's better than thinking about bats).

    Posted by kris at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)     
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    July 27, 2010

    Ideas from the crazies

    [Posted by kris]

    Yesterday I came upon the Driftless Rivers site, which highlights Bryan J. Stanley's book about trying to turn the Driftless Area of Wisconsin into a National Park. I was moderately intrigued by the idea as that part of the state really is beautiful. But on the other hand, the estimated cost was $900 million, the best parts of the area are already preserved as part of Wyalusing State Park and, while the land is lovely, it's no Yellowstone or Yosemite. But, the point is, I really did think about it. To the extent that I did a few more web searches on "Driftless Rivers" until I came to this article:

    In the spring issue of the College of Natural Resources news for UW-Stevens Point, the alumni update included a note about 1977 soils graduate Bryan J. Stanley.

    It announced the publication of "The Becoming of Driftless Rivers National Park," a "280-page hardcover book, which Stanley spent six years writing and researching."

    The book, described as a cultural and natural history of southwestern Wisconsin, could be ordered from Stanley at 301 Troy Drive, Madison.

    That is the site of the Mendota Mental Health Institute on the north side of Madison, where Stanley has resided since he murdered a priest and two others in an Onalaska Catholic church in February 1985.

    Off his medication, he claimed to be the prophet Elijah and a "soldier of God" on a mission to save the church and the world from sin and communism. Judged mentally ill, a chronic paranoid schizophrenic, Stanley was eventually tried for the killings and found innocent by reason of mental defect. He has been at Mendota ever since.

    I could practically hear the record screeching to a halt inside my head.

    On one hand, it's kind of encouraging that with the help of medication this guy could produce a book like this. On the other hand, it's kind of hard to take a proposal seriously from someone who's up at Mendota. I mean, that's where Ed Gein was!

    So, this whole incident made me think of a few questions:

    • Are there any areas of the United States that really should be made into National Parks?

    • Is a place "just" a state park to you? By that I mean do you think of state parks as less special and appealing than National Parks? Is the fact that something is a National Park by itself an incentive for you to visit?

    • Does the source of an idea influence your feelings about the idea beyond its own merits?
      Posted by kris at 08:58 AM | Comments (1)     
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    July 26, 2010

    Five things the military & government can learn from sound marketing techniques

    [Posted by kris]

    I was reading this article about the Afghanistan Wikileaks and this quote stuck out:

    Labour leadership candidate David Miliband, said the "war logs" showed that the war could not be won by military means alone.

    "We cannot kill our way out of an insurgency. Instead, the battle for power is fought in the minds of the local population, insurgents and western publics. The purpose of military effort and civilian improvement is to create the conditions for political settlement.

    "There is now a race against time to persuade the Afghan people that the correct strategy is in place and show our own people it can succeed. Better Afghan security forces, better police, better schooling and economic opportunities are all vital but not enough. None of them are durable or possible without a political settlement."

    Miliband, the former foreign secretary, said any peace settlement "must include the vanquished as well as the victors" and urged the government in Kabul to involve Afghans in "defining a political endgame".

    I'm troubled by this quote. Not because I don't believe it, but because I think it shows why we're going to join the ranks of countries who've failed in Asian land wars: not only don't we know how we're going to win, we don't even actually know what "winning" entails. How in the world do you know if you've "created the conditions for political settlement"?

    As is my custom, I'm going to fall back on marketing. Thinking about the war as if it were a marketing campaign helps to further highlight the mess we're in and see if there's anything we can do about it.

    • Understand your target market. If you're selling shoes, you need to understand the mysterious female psyche. While war is a little bit different, knowing your target is just as important. Typically the target market in a war would be something like: Germans and the goal would be to kill them. Simple enough. The problem with Afghanistan is that there are multiple target markets and we have different goals for each. For example, we want to get rid of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. We want moderate Afghanis to like us. These goals can conflict, so it's important that we determine what's the primary goal and what's the secondary goal. In the early days of the war I think it was clear that the primary goal was to get rid of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. But what is it now? If our goals are humanitarian and trying to win the hearts and minds of the people, is the best way to do that with the military? Couldn't we just open up Afghan Disney or literally employ a slick marketing campaign instead?

    • Have a measurable objective. What exactly are we trying to do? In Marketing, if you're trying to make sales by the end of the quarter, you don't measure your related advertising campaigns to see if you've raised your awareness. You measure sales. Sales sales sales. Likewise, if we're truly trying to create better schools and police in Afghanistan, we don't measure success by territory gained or al-Qaeda captured. If the war is just some giant P.R. campaign, then really couldn't we measure success via public opinion polls. Or maybe it's as simple as the using the ACSI ("How likely are you to recommend America to your friends?").

    • Test & learn. Great marketing organizations always have a place for test & learn. You try new campaigns on a small scale and then roll them out if they work. Maybe going into Asia's graveyard of invaders wasn't the way to go. Perhaps we should have invaded a smaller, but equally hostile, country first and applied those lessons to Afghanistan. Alternatively, within Afghanistan itself, we could employ a test & learn atmosphere. Perhaps in one region we concentrate on humanitarian efforts, while in another it's all about military objectives. We don't have to just "go big" all of the time.

    • Give things time to work. American marketers are now a week or two into BTS (Back to School). Somewhere, some executive is freaking out about results already and forcing his or her team through fire drills to make changes. Elsewhere, there's another executive who trusts that his or her team's months of planning shouldn't be undermined by a single weekend in July. In the long run, the latter team is going to be more successful. Reactionary management kills morale and momentum and creates confusion. From a War on Terror perspective, imagine the poor soldier who doesn't know from day to day whether he should be fighting the enemy or kissing babies, because the orders change.

    • Cut & run. That's not to say that sometimes things aren't working and you've got to make a change. The best marketing example I can think of is New Coke. Sure, Coke spent a lot of time and money developing New Coke. They had the resources to spend even more money to continuing to market the product. However, to their credit, they saw the writing on the wall and didn't put more money into a sinking ship. Maybe Afghanistan is our New Coke. We can keep pouring money into it, but the people are never going to want to drink it.
    Posted by kris at 12:27 PM | Comments (3)     
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    July 25, 2010

    A totally speculative look inside the head of Lance Armstrong

    [Posted by kris]

    I've been watching Versus' coverage of the Tour de France at times with my mouth agape. Their adoring coverage of Lance Armstrong is frankly shocking and offensive. It's as if they have no idea that he's likely going to be exposed as the biggest fraud in the history of sport. I understand that they say what the network and the sponsors want them to say, but I would expect a little bit of realism or at least a few mentions of the news swirling around Armstrong. But no.

    With the risk of sounding like I love cancer, I should confess that I can't stand Lance Armstrong. Even if he really was clean as the driven snow, he's still a dick.

    Dick.

    Anyway, I've thought about what's the psyche behind the Armstrong myth. Here's my take.

    1. In the mid-90s, Armstrong was a great one-day racer. The type of guy that'd be a favorite in classics and things like the Olympic road race. Then, all of sudden, guys on r-EPO started winning. r-EPO was undetectable, so Armstrong, like other cyclists were faced with a big moral dilemma. To dope or not to dope. I have some sympathy for Armstrong at this point. If he didn't dope, he'd likely lose his livelihood. It's easy to understand why so many riders chose to dope and just makes those who didn't all the more admirable.

    2. Armstrong got cancer. The interesting thing is that his level of beta-hCG (the indicator of testicular cancer) should have been detected in routine doping tests months earlier. I'd imagine Armstrong felt two things: a) the cycling authorities weren't serious about catching dopers, so they were tacitly approving the practice and b) it was partially their fault that he almost died. If Armstrong had any moral doubts about doping, it's easy to see how they could have been erased. The UCI didn't care about doping and furthermore, they owed it to Armstrong.

    3. So Armstrong went on to dominate the Tour de France rest assured that he wasn't a cheater because a) he had the moral high ground given his cancer and b) everyone else was cheating too. That attitude helps explain his issues with Christophe Bassons. Bassons' clean riding picked away at that moral high ground. Everyone wasn't cheating. Armstrong wasn't really an innocent victim of a dirty sport - he was part of the problem. Bassons mere existence must have irked him.

    4. Armstrong kept winning the Tour. He got rich and famous and had a fabulous image that opened lots of doors with sponsors, celebrities and even politicians. That image had to be protected at all costs. Hence his attack of Filippo Simeoni, his feud with Greg Lemond, and his attempt to portray himself as a victim of the nefarious French.

    5. At some point, I think Armstrong started to believe his own lies, kind of like O.J. Simpson. How could react with his typical level of indignation if he didn't? I think Armstrong thinks he's owed something because of Livestrong. It's a get-out-of-cheating-free card. If all else fails, he could fall back on cancer.

    Eventually, I suspect Armstrong will have to deal with confession, contrition and rehabilitation. It's not pretty to imagine how a man like Armstrong is going to deal with his coming fall from grace. If he's running down innocent pedestrians now, just imagine who he could take down with him in the coming months.

    Posted by kris at 11:27 AM | Comments (6)     
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    July 22, 2010

    What's a masterpiece and what's a 'meh'

    [Posted by kris]

    I've been watching Bravo's new reality series, Work Of Art. It's billed as the "search for the next great artist" and as such it's pretty delightful. Like Project Runway, it gives you a glimpse into the creative mind, but unlike Project Runway, there are no limitations like making something actually wearable. The artists are relatively free to follow their whims.

    It's fun to watch what they come up with, but the whole concept of judging art seems wrong to me. How can you objectively judge art? I know there are generally accepted masterpieces (although I'm not really sure how even that has happened), but isn't the greatness of art determined by the emotional reaction you have to it? Is the idea that a great artist has the power to draw out that reaction from anyone who sees their work?

    I think that's probably the answer, but again, so much of the power of the work is derived from the viewer rather than the artist. I can't help but think of when I first saw Sarah Ruhl's play
    Eurydice. I saw it just a couple of months after my Dad died and basically sat through the play in tears. I loved it and it clearly touched something within me. My sister was sitting next to me and had no real reaction at all, despite our identical situation. One of us thought Ruhl's play was a masterpiece and the other just thought "meh". It doesn't make the play any less great to me because other people didn't share my reaction. I don't think greatness is consensus.

    In general though, I find myself usually agreeing with the judges' decisions on Work Of Art. Why is that? Is it because of the general manipulations of reality television or is it because I'm wrong and that part of what makes a work of art great is a consistent reaction to it? Or maybe this show at its best is just producing middling art - so it's the equivalent of Top 40 radio - nothing truly great, but it's got a beat and you can dance to it. It's not challenging enough to produce anything but a consensus. So then really, it's more the equivalent of the politician who's for jobs, clean energy and against those fat cats in Washington. :)

    Posted by kris at 02:06 PM | Comments (6)     
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    July 20, 2010

    Your guide for who to hate

    [Posted by kris]

    Looking back at old immigration laws, it occurred to me that it might be handy to build a chart to show the evolution of American prejudice over time. Based on immigration laws and general sentiment, I came up with an arbitrary "hate index" of 0-10 and applied it to various groups over time.

    While this is pretty tongue in cheek, it's also interesting to think about Latin American immigration in terms of the history of Asian immigration. Is the way Americans thought about the Chinese in the mid 1800s that different than how we feel about Mexicans now?

    Posted by kris at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)     
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    July 13, 2010

    I'm sick of being a political hobo

    [Posted by kris]

    Every once in a great while, I read something that says exactly what I think. This article in Reason: "Where Do Libertarians Belong" is the latest.

    We've debated libertarianism on this site for awhile now, but it's always been about economics, the so-called "right" side of libertarianism. That's bothered me, because I know that's not all it's about. As Brick (nice name!) Lindsey says:

    Declaring independence from the right would require big changes. Cooperation with the right on free-market causes would need to be supplemented by an equivalent level of cooperation with the left on personal freedom, civil liberties, and foreign policy issues. Funding for political candidates should be reserved for politicians whose commitment to individual freedom goes beyond economic issues. In the resources they deploy, the causes they support, the language they use, and the politicians they back, libertarians should be making the point that their differences with the right are every bit as important as their differences with the left.

    The first step, though, is recognizing the problem. Right now, like it or not, the libertarian movement is a part of the vast right-wing conspiracy—a distinctive and dissident part, to be sure, but a part all the same. As a result, our ideals are being tainted and undermined through guilt by association. It’s time for libertarians to break ranks and stand on our own.

    That feels right to me. Saying you're a libertarian shouldn't be something you say rather than admitting you're a Republican. There's a fundamental difference between the two. As much as I'd like it to be, the Tea Party isn't a socially liberal/fiscally conservative group - it's a bunch of people angry that the economy sucks and looking for someone to blame.

    In a rebuttal to Lindsey in this article, Matt Kibb says:

    the Tea Party movement is a beautiful chaos, or as F.A. Hayek would put it, a spontaneous order. Ours is a leaderless, decentralized grassroots movement made up of people who believe in freedom

    Would that it were. But how can you believe in freedom but oppose gay rights and liberalizing immigration? Isn't that freedom? Or do you only believe in freedom for you and your kind? How is that any different than the liberals who passionately support the 1st Amendment, but back speech codes and limiting the 2nd Amendment?

    The Tea Party doesn't stand for anything new or even anything concrete anymore. This isn't another Republican revolution of 1994. It's just more of the same dressed up in populism. But they're going to win because they're the only "viable" alternative right now. So why shouldn't libertarians go after the center and appeal to the social left? Shouldn't Americans have a choice other than "more of the same, exactly" and "more of the same, this time with religion!"?

    Lindsey says:

    The blunt truth is that people with libertarian sympathies are politically homeless. The best thing we can do is face up to that fact and act accordingly. That means taking the libertarian movement in a new direction: attempting to claim the center of American politics. If that move were successful, ideas of a distinctly libertarian cast would define the views of a critical swing constituency that politicians on the left and right would have to compete for.

    I'm sick of being a hobo. I can't even play the harmonica and don't want to live in a train (although I would kind of like a mangy dog and a red bandana knapsack). I want, for once in my life, to feel like my vote actually matters. Wait, that's not even it. For once in my life I want to feel like I'm voting for someone or something that I actually believe in.

    Posted by kris at 11:49 AM | Comments (1)     
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    July 12, 2010

    The 14 Types of Concertgoers You Know & Hate

    [Posted by kris]

    I go to a lot of concerts. I always optimistically think that if I like a band, then the other people who also like that band will be of a similar persuasion and the concert will be full of awesome people. I'm always wrong. Regardless of the band and how cool they are the crowd inevitably has those people in it. You know 'em and probably hate 'em:

    The 14 Types of Concertgoers You Know & Hate


    1. The Drunk - seems surprised that there's a band at this bar. The Drunk is mostly annoying due to their clumsiness that can result in spilled beer. They also have the potential to turn into Whooo!, the Bump & Grinder or Everybody Dance Now!. In truly revolting situations, they could also end up as a Smelly Cat.


    2. The Bump & Grinder - shows no respect for your personal space, whether it's general jostling or more inappropriate touching


    3. The Sibling - remember when you were a kid and your mother would admonish you to leave your siblings alone? You'd respond by almost hitting them and taunting them with a "I'm not touching you!!". The Sibling won't actually touch you, but they'll still invade your personal space by waving their arms or bobbing their booty in your face.


    4. The Stoic - is almost always a guy. You can easily spot him by his crossed arms, slightly closed eyes and nodding head - that's he makes sure you know how into the music he is. The Stoic is basically harmless on his own, but he can be combined with the Stick In The Mud or Smelly Cats.


    5. The Stick In The Mud - likes to treat a rock concert like a choral symphony and is willing to tell other people around them to sit down for the show too.


    6. Everybody Dance Now! - the opposite of The Stick In The Mud, these concertgoers are just as selfish in their demands that you experience the show exactly like they do. They'll harass you to get up and dance with them and will act as if that's the only way to enjoy the show.


    7. The Conversationalist - these folks are more interested in talking to each other rather than in listening to the band. They have to shout to hear each other, which means you get to hear them too. Yay!


    8. The Lead Singer - you might think you're going to a show to hear the band, but if you're stuck next to this person, all you're going to hear is them singing along to every song at the top of their lungs.


    9. The Requester - will loudly scream for his favorite song throughout the show, not noticing the carefully placed setlist at the artists' feet. This person is especially bad if they're requesting something obscure (show off) or requesting the big hit (clearly, they're saving it for the encoure).


    10. Freebird - you know how it was funny when people would randomly shout out "Freebird!" at concerts? This guy still thinks it's funny.


    11. WHOOOO! - even more annoying than the Freebird! people, they'll keep up a loud and nearly constant stream of "Whooooos!" throughout an entire show.


    12. The Groupie - they're really into the band. When they jostle in front of you, at first you'll think they're just another bump & grinder, but look carefully and you'll notice the glazed, lustful look in their eyes. They are completely unaware of the existence of anyone other than the band and as a result may accidentally cause harm.


    13. The Dancing Girls - these girls are like The Groupie, but instead of the band they're trying to pick up other concertgoers. They give themselves away by constantly checking to make sure that others are noticing their dancing and how cute they are.


    14. Smelly Cats - it might be patchouli, pot or just bad B.O., but you can smell these concertgoers before you see them. Be on the lookout for baja ponchos, girls in braids and old baseball tees.

    Posted by kris at 12:28 PM | Comments (0)     
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    July 06, 2010

    Illegal immigration: what else can Arizona do?

    [Posted by kris]


    Now that the state of Arizona is busy coming up with ever more ingenious ways to make the lives of illegal immigrants less comfortable, I thought I could help them out with some suggestions of my own:

    • Without power, illegals will be without air conditioning in the summer heat. But, they can still cool off at public pools, right? Not-so-fast my Mexican amigos. Why shouldn't pools require proof of citizenship too? Those illegals are extra bodies that overworked lifeguards have to watch over too. How would you feel if your child drowned because a lifeguard was busy giving some illegal or even some anchor baby mouth-to-mouth? Outrageous!

    • So, without pools and A/C, will the illegals just go home? Not as long as they have ice cream they won't! I hereby beg the state legislature to require ice cream, yogurt, custard and gelato shops to check immigration status before they sell their tasty treats to any suspicious looking customers. Just think, those damn illegals will no longer be hogging that last scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream! Not only that, grocery stores should also be required to check IDs. Oh sure, illegals won't have A/C, but that won't stop them from putting their store bought ice cream into their liberal friends' freezers, will it? And the rules above should also apply to ice. No more ice, ice (anchor) baby!

    • Of course, comfort isn't just physical, it's emotional too. I have no doubt that far too many illegal immigrants cling to their Mexican allegiance by watching Telemundo. No mas! This is America and it's time we let these people know that if you want to watch something in Spanish, you should go back to Mexico. I call on all Arizona cable companies to immediately remove Telemundo and any other Spanish station from their lineup. I mean, really, why are the American people in Arizona paying a cable bill that includes service for Telemundo? Why should we subsidize their viewing of Mexican soccer and Rosalinda? How ridiculous.

    • It goes without saying that our emergency services are being impacted because our brave police and firemen have to respond to emergencies involving illegal immigrants. This is bullshit. If some illegals' hovel is burning, I say let the mf'er burn. Just imagine the poor widow whose husband died fighting a fire of someone who shouldn't even be here. If that doesn't make you sick, you're not really an American.

    • Finally, let's get serious for a moment. It's a lot to expect lifeguards, gelato scoopers, cable companies and fireman to be checking IDs all of the time. To simply things I propose that every man, woman and child in Arizona head to their closest DMV, show their birth certificate and get outfitted with a special Arizona flag armband. That'll make it so much easier to tell who's a real American and who we should send back through the border.

    Hope this helps!

    Posted by kris at 12:39 PM | Comments (2)     
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    July 03, 2010

    Deep paddling thoughts

    [Posted by kris]

    I miss my beautiful, choppy Lake Monona more than I can even express, but, one of the nice things about paddling the Chain of Lakes, is that it is a chain, and so while one lake may be so wavy that you quickly realize you're a moron for not having a bilge pump, another lake is just a calm, reflective pool.

    It's a nice combination, because when you're paddling in waves, you're literally just thinking about the waves and focusing on the effort it takes to navigate through them. It's an exhilarating way to clear your mind. Which is perfect, because when you return to calmer waters, your emptied mind is ideally positioned to wander. I thought I'd share some of today's paddling thoughts as launch pads for discussion:

    • Don't you hate it when a song you love is used to promote a product you hate? In this case, I was thinking of Santogold's Lights Out, which is used in Bud Light Lime commercials. It's ironic, because Santogold is delightful & refreshing, while Bud Light Lime is...not

    • When there's a great sale on a product you love, do you secretly worry that it's because it's being discontinued and you should stock up like it's the apocalypse or are you just content with your good fortune?

    • How did the Germans become the adorable, fun darlings of the World Cup? Is it the influence of the Poles on the team?

    • Does anyone else think that they can tell the month by the particular contrast between the blues of the sky and the water? I'm pretty sure that I can.

    • Are you better off having short hair or a ponytail in the summer?

    • One of my favorite things about one of my former employers is that I can look on Facebook and see that, for example, the Marketing VPs are friends with one of the maintenance guys and the cook in the company cafeteria. HR people want to use social media to screen candidates, but wouldn't it be nice if candidates could screen companies like this to get a better idea of the culture and personality of the company leadership?

    • I always feel a bit depressed this time of the year because I feel like summer is half over already. Of course, it's not. But, when I was a kid and going back to school in mid-August it was. Will I ever fully adjust to adult time, rather than student time?

    • I just bought some 100% DEET bug spray and now I feel vaguely guilty about it, but I shouldn't should I? I mean, the natural bug spray doesn't actually work. You've gotta go with DEET. As much as we many not like it, I'm convinced that there are quite a few things (antiperspirant comes to mind) where the natural product is just a waste of money.

    • I saw a Jeep (estimated mpg 15-20) with a "FUBP" bumper sticker. You know, I'm pretty sure BP didn't blow up their oil rig (killing their own workers) just for fun. It was a horrible mistake, which I'd think someone driving a Jeep could relate to.

    • Is there any holiday celebrated more perfectly than a typical 4th of July? You grill, drink, watch a parade and then blow stuff up. We often torture ourselves trying to decide what the Founding Fathers would think of our modern world, but I think we can rest assured that they would fully approve of Independence Day. And that's without even showing them the inspiring movie speech!
    Posted by kris at 04:41 PM | Comments (1)     
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    July 02, 2010

    Best of Dummocrats - 101 Presidential Quotes

    [Posted by kris]

    In honor of the 4th of July holiday weekend, I thought it'd be fun to revisit a post from 2005 where I listed my 101 favorite presidential quotes. Some are inspiring, some are funny and some are just plain odd, but they're all worth reading again, I think.

    Since it's been awhile, I'd consider amending the list to include some of these more recent quotes from Barack Obama:

    "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

    "I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. "

    "One of the great strengths of the United States is... we have a very large Christian population - we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values. "

    "There is not a liberal America and a conservative America - there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and latino America and Asian America - there's the United States of America. "

    I like that 2nd quote a lot - it's sharp & to the point without a lot of flowery rhetoric.

    Anyway, here's the original list. I hope they'll help you enjoy celebrating our great nation this weekend!

    101. I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times.
    -Jimmy Carter

    100. I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. I am President of the United States, and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli.
    -George H. W. Bush

    99. Give me a one-handed economist! All my economics say, ''On the one hand… on the other.''
    -Harry Truman

    98. Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.
    -John F. Kennedy

    97. Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself.
    -Woodrow Wilson

    96. Boys, I may not know much, but I know chicken shit from chicken salad.
    -Lyndon Johnson

    95. For this is what America is all about. It is the uncrossed desert and the unclimbed ridge. It is the star that is not reached and the harvest that is sleeping in the unplowed ground.
    -Lyndon Johnson

    94. It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquillity and occupation which give happiness.
    -Thomas Jefferson

    93. A radical is a man with both feet firmly planted in the air.
    -Franklin Roosevelt

    92. Don't foul, don't flinch. Hit the line hard.
    -Theodore Roosevelt

    91. There is no victory at bargain basement prices.
    -Dwight Eisenhower

    90. We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.
    -Ronald Reagan

    89. If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that 9 will run into the ditch before they reach you.
    -Calvin Coolidge

    88. If you want to make enemies, try to change something.
    -Woodrow Wilson

    87. History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.
    -Dwight Eisenhower

    86. If you want to make beautiful music, you must play the black and the white notes together.
    -Richard Nixon

    85. How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.
    -Ronald Reagan

    84. No one ever listened themselves out of a job.
    -Calvin Coolidge

    83. In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
    -Dwight Eisenhower

    82. Yet we can maintain a free society only if we recognize that in a free society no one can win all the time. No one can have his own way all the time, and no one is right all the time.
    -Richard Nixon

    81. Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
    -John F. Kennedy

    80. Socialism proposes no adequate substitute for the motive of enlightened selfishness that to-day is at the basis of all human labor and effort, enterprise and new activity.
    -William Taft

    79. There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit.
    -Ronald Reagan

    78. For of those to whom much is given, much is required.
    -John F. Kennedy

    77. There is nothing wrong in America that can't be fixed with what is right in America.
    -Bill Clinton

    76. The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest.
    -Ronald Reagan

    75. Pessimism never won any battle.
    -Dwight Eisenhower

    74. When they call the roll in the Senate, the senators do not know whether to answer ''present'' or ''not guilty.''
    -Theodore Roosevelt

    73. Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.
    -George Washington

    72. The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.
    -Thomas Jefferson

    71. There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live.
    -John Adams

    70. We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.
    -Abraham Lincoln

    69. We are not deceived by their pretenses to piety. We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions -- by abandoning every value except the will to power -- they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way, to where it ends: in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies
    -George W. Bush

    68. I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.
    -Thomas Jefferson

    67. Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America is the only idealistic nation in the world.
    -Woodrow Wilson

    66. Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders.
    -Ronald Reagan

    65. Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth.
    -George Washington

    64. To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
    -Theodore Roosevelt

    63. There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.
    -Ronald Reagan

    62. I not only use all the brains I have but all I can borrow.
    -Woodrow Wilson

    61. The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
    -Thomas Jefferson

    60. As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.
    -Abraham Lincoln

    59. Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
    -Ronald Reagan

    58. Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels -- men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.
    -Dwight Eisenhower

    57. In politics the middle way is none at all.
    -John Adams

    56. No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!
    -Ronald Reagan

    55. Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
    -John Adams

    54. Towering genius disdains a beaten path.
    -Abraham Lincoln

    53. In matters of principals, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current.
    -Thomas Jefferson

    52. Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.
    -George Washington

    51. No man needs sympathy because he has to work. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
    -Theodore Roosevelt

    Oh, we're halfway there. Oh! Oh! Living on a prayer. I hope you enjoyed that short musical interlude. Now it's time for the top 50.

    50. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
    -Abraham Lincoln

    49. My country owes me nothing. It gave me, as it gives every boy and girl, a chance.
    -Herbert Hoover

    48. Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.
    -Thomas Jefferson

    47. Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.
    -Calvin Coolidge

    46. Do not think you are going to conceal thoughts by concealing evidence that they ever existed.
    -Dwight Eisenhower

    45. The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away.
    -Ronald Reagan

    44. Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.
    -Calvin Coolidge

    43. I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.
    -John Adams

    42. Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
    -Theodore Roosevelt

    41. What I do say is that no man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent.
    -Abraham Lincoln

    40. The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'
    -Ronald Reagan

    39. Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race.
    -William Taft

    38. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
    -Theodore Roosevelt

    37. 9 times out of 10 the best thing that can happen to a young man is to be tossed overboard and be compelled to sink or swim.
    -James Garfield

    36. Were we to be directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.
    -Thomas Jefferson

    35. You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.
    -Abraham Lincoln

    34. How far would Moses have gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt?
    -Harry Truman

    33. When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike you, do not wait until he has struck before you crush him.
    -Franklin Roosevelt

    32. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
    -John F. Kennedy

    31. Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.
    -Ronald Reagan

    30. The sky is no longer the limit.
    -Richard Nixon

    29. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
    -Thomas Jefferson

    28. Government is not reason and it is not eloquence. It is force! Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.
    -George Washington

    27. I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery at Tombstone, Arizona. It says: ''Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest.'' I think that is the greatest epitaph a man can have.
    -Harry Truman

    26. How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.
    -Abraham Lincoln

    Still with me? Here's the top 25.

    25. Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.
    -Calvin Coolidge

    24. I can hear you, the rest of the world can hear you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.
    -George W. Bush

    23. I've often said there's nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse.
    -Ronald Reagan

    22. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
    -Ronald Reagan

    21. I have found out in later years that my family was very poor, but the glory of America is that we didn't know it.
    -Dwight Eisenhower

    20. No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause.
    -Theodore Roosevelt

    19. Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought. Let us have faith that right makes might and in that faith let us; to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.
    -Abraham Lincoln

    18. Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
    -John Quincy Adams

    17. It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    -Andrew Jackson

    16. The government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
    -Ronald Reagan

    15. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
    -Franklin Roosevelt

    14. You cannot become thorough Americans if you think of yourselves in groups. America does not consist of groups. A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American.
    -Woodrow Wilson

    13. The buck stops here.
    -Harry Truman

    12. Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.
    -Theodore Roosevelt

    11. Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly.
    -Thomas Jefferson

    10. Man is not free unless government is limited.... As government expands, liberty contracts
    -Ronald Reagan

    9. What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog.
    -Dwight Eisenhower

    8. The business of America is business and the chief ideal of the American people is idealism.
    -Calvin Coolidge

    7. One man with courage makes a majority.
    -Andrew Jackson

    6. America lives in the heart of every man everywhere who wishes to find a region where he will be free to work out his destiny as he chooses.
    -Woodrow Wilson

    5. In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
    -Theodore Roosevelt

    4. We, and all others who believe in freedom as deeply as we do, would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.
    -Franklin Roosevelt

    3. The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.
    -John F. Kennedy

    2. Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.
    -Ronald Reagan

    1. We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…
    -Thomas Jefferson

    Posted by kris at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)     
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    July 01, 2010

    The internet is also full of annoying people

    [Posted by kris]

    Because most of my Facebook friends are sane (and because I know how to use the "hide" button) I don't get to see a lot of Facebook crazy drama. So, I have to supplement with daily doses of STFU Marrieds and STFU Parents.

    These sites usually chronicle the posts of stupid and/or annoying people, but today they highlighted a hero:

    YES!

    Can we get the Wisconsin Supreme Court working on this? Stat!

    Also, I think this brings up an interesting question. What is more annoying? Women who use their baby as their profile picture or couples who share a joint internet identity?

    What's more annoying?
    Couples that share a joint Internet identity
    Women that use their baby as their profile picture
    They're both equally annoying.
    Neither are annoying - why you gotta be so angry?
      
    pollcode.com free polls
    Posted by kris at 01:33 PM | Comments (2)     
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