Posts filed under ‘Ranting’

The McPalin Conundrum

Four years ago, a vote for Ralph Nader essentially represented a vote for George “W” Bush because a vast majority of Nader’s supporters would have chosen Kerry if given no better alternative. If Nader had had more than a snowball’s chance in hell to win, I would not have had an issue with his running against Kerry: Besides being the first Arab American and Lebanese American (holla!) to run for President, Nader espouses refreshingly progressive ideologies and has an impressive résumé of activism (not the least of which includes his efforts to pass the 1966 National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act).  All that said, I have to agree with The Atlantic Monthly‘s 2006 article on the most influential Americans of the 20th century: “[Ralph Nader] made the cars we drive safer; thirty years later, he made George W. Bush the president.”

Now we sit in the same quagmire…except that this time the threat comes from-of all places-a vice presidential candidate. A vote for John McCain is a vote for Sarah (I call her “Scarah”) Palin. Besides opposing Democratic nominees, Ralph Nader and Senator McCain have something else in common: Both men are septuagenarians. At 74, Nader has aged relatively well, but 72-year-old McCain looks like he’s been on Medicare for several years. Statistically speaking, he could very feasibly die in office if he wins. This does not bode well for the American people.

While I disagree with most of his positions, I respect McCain’s refusal to subscribe to a hard-line conservative platform. He has reasonable views on immigration, such as expanding social programs for legal immigrants, and his work on campaign finance reform is commendable. Unlike his running mate, McCain believes that abortion should be legal in certain circumstances (e.g. rape, incest). And while he’s not the greenest candidate (in more ways than one!), he supports the further development and use of alternative energy. Over the past few months, McCain has come across as a clone of George W., but his voting record says otherwise.

Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is an absolute terror! I’ve dubbed her “Satan with a Snatch.” She thinks schools should employ abstinence-only education (which clearly worked for her unwed 17-year-old). But the pro-life label would be a misnomer because she does, indeed, support the dealth penalty. According to Governor Palin, we should teach creationsim in our public schools (wonder if she’s ever heard of separation of church and state?). She opposes stem cell research, which  McCain supports to an extent, and she feels that global warming is not man-made. With an estimated net worth far exceeding the seven-figure mark, Sarah and Todd Palin have no right to constantly identify themselves as middle Americans. The list goes on and on, but I am becoming increasingly nauseated.

Obviously I’m voting for Barack Obama, but I advise so-called moderates to consider the fact that Palin is literally and figuratively “a heartbeat away” from the presidency. Without Governor Scarah fettered to his wrinkly ankle, John McCain wouldn’t be the worst man in history to enter the Oval Office. But because the Arizonan senator chose the incompetent Alaskan to campaign by his side, the possibility of an electoral victory for the McPalin package is more horrifying than finding a bloody razor in your Halloween candy.

October 17, 2008 at 7:11 am 1 comment

The Wet Frog

I’m sure it’s not scientifically-proven, but have you ever heard the story about the frog in the boiling pot? Apparently, if you put a frog into a pot of water and gradually turn the heat up, the frog will not die, even once the water has begun to boil. The poor amphibian has become acclimated to the water’s temperature, thus surviving the ordeal. If, however, you were to quickly turn the knob, causing the water to boil much sooner, the frog would die.

The fate of the wet frog serves as a metaphor for the current socioeconomic climate. I acquired my driver’s license less than 10 years ago and could fill up my Toyota Tercel on about 10 bucks. Gas prices have almost quadrupled, but wages have not risen accordingly. We should have seen this coming: Over the last 8 years of Bush’s flawed reign, gas prices have – for the most part – risen incrementally until topping out at over four dollars a gallon. We only began feeling the “heat” in a big way when prices crossed the three dollar line. And it’s been less than a year since car companies across the board began airing commercials geared toward fuel efficiency. As figurative frogs, we have been sitting in boiling water for months now with no real plan for hopping out.

Fuel prices are the easiest thing for me to point out, but the temperature is rising in multiple arenas. The problem is that we’ve learned to stand the heat, so we are not getting out of the kitchen anytime soon. Until the pressure cooker boils over, things will continue to worsen before they get better. In the meantime, the wealthiest five percent of Americans will sit on their lily pads and watch as the rest of us suffer second-degree burns.

September 30, 2008 at 6:53 am Leave a comment

I Hate MySpace

For the past handful of years, my MySpace page had been the epitome of anonymity: I had one friend (Tom, the founder, who is friends with everyone) and no information about myself other than an old email address. Today, I uploaded a pic, filled in a few “about me” blurbs, and even added a couple of friends. Mixing one part truth with two parts myth, I concocted a minimalist profile with absolutely none of the bells and whistles. I felt that embellishing my profile a bit and navigating the site as a bona fide patron would allow me to become further cemented in my hatred for MySpace. And here’s why:

MySpace is sleazy. Many of the profile pictures (including my own…to prove a point) depict scantily-clad women or people in the midst of something illegal or profane. A lot of men in the 18-25 age group post pictures of themselves exhaling smoke from an unknown source or kissing a nameless chick at a frat party or bar. People I know have lied about their relationship status or have hooked up with someone they met on the site. If MySpace had a scent, it would smell like a brothel in violation of health code mixed with the sweaty floor of a nightclub.

MySpace promotes idiocy. Poor grammar and spelling seem to have found a home on MySpace: I feel dumber just reading a profile or two! My friend recently posted the following repugnant conversation she had with one of her MySpace fans:

him: Hi
him: how are you?
him: asl?
her: You must have looked at my profile or you wouldn’t be msging me but 21.f.Gainesville
him: yeah i saw your picture
him: your gorgeous (notice the misuse of “your”)
him: looking good enough to eat out for a few hours [drool smiley] [smiley]
her: well… i was actually going to talk to you until that…

A note of caution to those who use MySpace as a dating site (and, by the way, there really are too many of you): If you are going to post information about yourself or write a message on someone’s publicly-read wall, please spell check and have a few buds proofread it before exposing it to the World Wide Web.

MySpace is going out of style. Just like Friendster, MySpace used to be “the” site for social networking. Now that Facebook has opened its doors to all people, regardless of collegiate status, it seems to be on its way (or already there) to becoming the most highly-trafficked site of its kind. But even Facebook has gotten out of control by offering an annoyingly large array of groups to join and programs to add. The beauty of all of these sites is their ability to reunite people and to allow easy access to useful information. On the flipside…well, I’ve already gone over that…

All this said, I still cannot deny the inherent fun of logging in and browsing for a bit. Hate it or not, I guess that’s what keeps us all hooked!

June 15, 2008 at 12:54 am 3 comments

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