Conversational Haitus

Hey guys, Derick here. I realize it has been a week or so since I’ve written anything new –actually, more than week since we had Chris guest bloging. Anyway, I have been sick since halloween, and then just when I was starting to recover, I think I got a little worse Novemeber 3rd (for obvious reasons). Something about being sick really fuddles with my mind, and it becomes a real nightmare for me to concentrate and form cogent sentences. With that said, catch me in a few days.

.. when I get better

Stewart On CNN

In my opinion, one of the smartest men living is the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart. Stewart recently went on CNN’s crossfire and bashed the hell out of the hosts. My goodness, this has got to be one of the best moments in television. I have the clip here (64mb). You need Quicktime to view it. If you don’t have Quicktime, GET IT! You can’t miss this.

Another website has a low resolution clip here

If you can’t see the clip for some reason, at least read the transcript

Referenda Splenda!

November 2nd is only a little over a month away and as you all know, in addition to being able to vote Dubya and life partner Dick Cheeney out of office, we Rhode Islanders will also be asked for our opinion on various referenda. This election year there are 14 state-wide questions being asked, 12 of which deal with bond approval for state projects involving arbitrarily large sums of money. And, for someone like myself that has never had more than a 1000$ at once at my disposal, how am I supposed to know whether a 14,000,000$ bond for an undersea exploration center to the Pell Library is a good deal or not? I mean really. But, regardless, it’s important to make a somewhat informed decision so in case you haven’t looked at this year’s voter handbook, I’ll list the questions for you that actually mean something:

1. Amendments to the constitution, Seperation of Powers:
A good thing for us. Bad thing for John Celona. These ammendments will prevent officals from serving more than one govermental branch at the same time.

2. Constitutional Convention:
Our RI constitution is about 20 years old since its last makeover. This is asking for a convention of politicans to comb through and bring it up to date. I’m gonna go with ‘No’ on this one. The basic laws that were instilled 20 years ago are still applicable today– and I personally thing it’s just another way to extort more taxpayer money…a cool 2 Million (hidden cost).

3. 60,000,000 Transportation bonds
Money for roads? Why not…

4. bleh

5. 50,000,000 Higher Education Residence Halls Bonds
Hell no! URI does not need more money. That university spent a ton of money on the Ryan Center which serves absolutly now educational purpose besides LOSING money. Now that the poorly planned behomoth is a fiscal weight to the school, URI has added an extra 200$ in required fees for every student (starting next semester) to ameliorate this burden. So, I’m with a vehement ‘No’ on this one.

6..7..8..9..10..11..
I have no idea, more arbitrary state expenditures, Yes? No? Flip a coin 🙂

13. 50,000,000 For URI BioTech and life sciences bonds
You kidding me?

14. bleh
no opinion

Guest Speaker!

Next week, I’ll be putting a little wrench in the way we do things here at Ariyam.Com. I will be having a guest author all week– Chris Simpkins from Millsplace.com, another great blog site. Chris is a well informed fellow pundit like myself :-), and a good friend. I’m certain you will enjoy his writings.

You can catch Me at Millsplace.com. I will be guest writing on his site Millsplace.com and Chris will be writing here at Ariyam.com. Feel free to throw your comments and heckles at Chris (he can take it). And of course, check ME out at www.millsplace.com from October 25 through 29th. The format is still mostly up in the air at the moment but will probally go something like this.

1. We will pick a topic of differing opinion to write about each day.
2. I write about it on his blog, he writes on mine.
3. So simple, this third bullet is meaningless

So there you have it! Be sure to check us both out!

Kevin on Electoral Colleges

During a converation yesterday with an old friend from high school, my friend brought up this really excellent point regarding our nations current election process, specifically about the equivicol “electoral college”.

In this day and age, haven’t we moved beyond the electoral college? A democratic vote in RI is almost insignificant in the realm of national elections. Rhode Island contributes only 4 electoral votes out of the 270 needed to win the election, and since the state has been consistantly noted as a democratic state, our 4 democratic votes are merely an expectation– requiring little to no effect to earn. Why are those living in some of the countries ‘swing’ states like Ohio or Florida the key to determining the outcome of this year’s election? Is this really fair? Why seperate states as though they are different countries, but instead, pool all the votes from every citizen regardless of which state they come from, and determine from this number who wins the popular vote. I was under the assumption that every citizen was equal and had an equal share in determining who is president, but I’m afraid this is really not the case. Rhode Islanders, as well other predisposed, low population state residents, have little to no effect on national elections, individually.

I Think thar be some “amending” to be done!

Time Magazine ran a poll (10/14/2004) asking people “Do you think the U.S. should keep the Electoral College or should we amend the Constitution and elect as President whoever gets the most votes in the country?”.
37% Keep the Electoral College
56% Amend the Constitution
7% Don’t Know

Blanche

Yesterday was rather interesting. For years my friend Mark Laboss was labeled amoung us as the ‘Whitest White Man We Know’, but last night, through a unanimous decision, his title was recinded and cast upon me. I’m not sure whether this is a good thing, being now the “whitest white man’ — which in itself is ironic because, I’m NOT white, I’m Indian (okay fine, to be pedantic…. “Sri Lankan”, joyce)

Laboss’s new job with inner city kids was his vindication, and as I pleaded with this panel of friends to reconsider, or at least provide just cause and reasoning, I was dumbfounded by the list they produced, which I couldn’t deny, was pretty accurate. So, I guess that’s it. Until someone else joins the group with greater whiteness than myself, or if Laboss decideds to become a Tenor, or buys a yacht, I’m now “The Whitest Man They Know”.

Mid Terms

Ahh… the drudgery of student life is beginning to reach its peak. The syllabus comes out from hibernation; plastic seals are torn off new textbooks, recreational beverages are sipped instead of funneled. Yes, mid-terms are upon us. It will be a grim and gloomy two weeks.

Presidential Debates round II

“Ladies and Gentelman, what he said is just not true” -Kerry

“I own a timber company? Need some wood?” – Bush (Dubya)

At this point in the race, with this level of acrimony between our contenders, I’m sorry, but you can not solely rely on content . I was reading an article on Saturday’s journal that bulleted all the content that each opponent used to bolster his position, and then compared this against what in fact is true, and lets just say, you would be shocked at the results. When Bush says ‘98%’ of small business will lose out on Kerry’s plan, his definition of ‘small business’ is so loose that it even covers the 15 year old kid that shovels your driveway every winter. However, the format of these debates leaves your opponent with little if any time to set the record straight.

When Dubya (W) says we increased the child tax credit up 1000$ common sense will interpret this phrase as whatever the current child tax credit is, 1000$ has been added to it but it also increased the corporation tax. However that’s not what he meant, he means that the credit was once 500$ and is now 1000$, an increase of 500$. Sure this is a small example, but candidates will twist anything to sound better than it really is. So when Dubya’s ratings took a dip after the first debate and the conservative media is pissed off that the rest of us are more focused on oratory style, poise, and who “looks more like a president”, you can’t blame us for doing it. If we were to actually listen to what our candidates have to say, you would have absolutely no clue who to vote for.

Now, Doesn’t Kerry look more like a president to you?

Bush Phone
image from www.youforgotpoland.com

The Debates

Kerry vs Bush

K vs B

Rrrrround

One

Fiiight!!!

Wow. To anyone that saw the presidential debate last week and is still considering voting for George Bush next month, I have one question for you: What are you a moron?!

Suffice it to say, Round 1 went to Kerry. Kerry punctuated the evening with an (al-yu-kan) uppercut to the jaw that hurled Bush half-across the room.

I think I have the clip�

Haduken!