Thursday, January 31, 2008

In which I witness Barack Obama's dream firsthand

If you have ever listened to Barack Obama speak you know that race is a big theme. He talks about what can be accomplished if we bridge the racial divide between blacks and whites in this country. He even asks if such a divide actually exists or is it just a construct of the media. Well, in a progressive city like Seattle, Obama's dream of racial harmony is closer than one might think. Take a ride on the bus for example.

Anyone who has rode on a bus in an urban environment knows the "hoodlums" usually congregate towards the back. This creates a dilemma in many public transportation riders. Do you stand towards the front of the bus or do you sit in back with the gang bangers? I usually choose to sit. Recently, while sitting in the back of the bus, I was witness to a middle aged white man trading a couple black teens a bottle of Tanqueray for two buds of marijuana. Today was no different. As I boarded the bus I noticed many standing in the aisle while several seats in back remained unoccupied. I made my way through the standing cowards and sat down. Before the bus had even left the stop a young white male, his growth obviously stunted by early cigarette smoking, began talking about how his car was impounded recently. Of course, he blamed the President. He went so far as to cite Bush as the reason he has resorted to selling drugs to make ends meet. At this comment I could actually see the ears perk up on several of the black teens sitting within earshot. It occurred to me that drug deals happen more often than not during my bus trips. A few phone numbers were exchanged and as far as I know everybody is stoned right now. Will Obama get this young man's car out of the impound lot or will Obama embrace this newfound entrepreneurship of racial harmony? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Have you ever tried to make the physical universe less real?

Justin Cooley is Vice President of Research and Development for Federalcheese and he does a damn fine job. Recently I put Justin to task developing a criteria for building the Federalcheese Nation. Turns out the Church of Scientology already had exactly what we were looking for. Sure, they use these questions to determine if your body is inhabited by the alien gods that came to earth 75 million years ago, but they work for us too. Are you up to Federalcheese's (or Scientology's) standards?

  • Have you ever enslaved a population?
  • Have you ever debased a nation's currency?
  • Have you ever killed the wrong person?
  • Have you ever torn out someone's tongue?
  • Have you ever been a professional critic?
  • Have you ever wiped out a family?
  • Have you ever tried to give sanity a bad name?
  • Have you ever consistently practiced sex in some
    unnatural fashion?
  • Have you ever made a planet, or nation,
  • Have you ever made love to a dead body?
  • Have you ever engaged in piracy?
  • Have you ever been a pimp?
  • Have you ever eaten a human body?
  • Have you ever disfigured a beautiful thing?
  • Have you ever exterminated a species?
  • Have you ever been a professional executioner?
  • Have you given robots a bad name?
  • Have you ever set a booby trap?
  • Have you ever failed to rescue your leader?
  • Have you driven anyone insane?
  • Have you ever killed the wrong person?
  • Is anybody looking for you?
  • Have you ever set a poor example?
  • Did you come to Earth for evil purposes?
  • Are you in hiding?
  • Have you systematically set up mysteries?
  • Have you ever made a practice of confusing
  • Have you ever philosophized when you should have
   acted instead?
  • Have you ever gone crazy?
  • Have you ever sought to persuade someone of your
  • Have you ever deserted, or betrayed, a great
  • Have you ever smothered a baby?
  • Do you deserve to have any friends?
  • Have you ever castrated anyone?
  • Do you deserve to be enslaved?
  • Is there any question on this list I had better
   not ask you again?
  • Have you ever tried to make the physical
    universe less real?
  • Have you ever zapped anyone?
  • Have you ever had a body with a venereal
    disease? If so, did you
    spread it?

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are the half-time show at the Super Bowl (Packers v. Patriots, FYI). Guess what songs they will play and win a Federalcheese t-shirt. I'm guessing a medley involving:

American Girl
I Won't Back Down
Runnin' Down A Dream
Mary Jane's Last Dance

Monday, January 07, 2008

Some political stuff

People who know me know that I am vocal about my political leanings and this has both distanced me and drawn me closer to those I know. There are friends I truly care about who completely disagree with me when it comes to ideas of where our country needs to go. I care about them because we have conversations and not arguments about what is the right path. That being said, the question of whom I plan on supporting in the primaries has come up a lot in conversation lately as I am sure it has for many. My own personal answer has evolved quite a bit in the last few months as I also hope it has for many. I’ll admit I fell under the charm of Barack Obama after reading his books¹. I bounced around playing the “Chris Dodd is very progressive, but annoying while Joe Biden is refreshingly honest, yet annoying as well” game. John Edwards has some good ideas, but his Christianity holds him back from being truly progressive in the social realm. I’m confident Bill Richardson will be the Vice Presidential candidate and so I have taken him off my list. Many times I found myself saying, “To hell with it, I’m voting for Dennis Kucinich!” But, one candidate I have never really considered is Hillary Clinton. Maybe I listen to too much Air America radio where Clinton is seen as the centrist “politics as usual” candidate. Maybe it’s because any Clinton supporter I ask answers that she has their vote, “because she can win.” Maybe I just like underdogs. In the last few months I have really felt a dislike for the Clinton juggernaut almost as if she were in a rival party. After Clinton’s third place finish in Iowa, I felt a strange relief. If she does win the nomination, she will have my support despite the lame campaign she has run.² But all of this has left a bad taste in my mouth. That bad taste is a result of the realization that the Democrats are getting closer and closer to choosing that one person to send forth. One person to embody all our hopes and dreams. One person to be our salvation. I had thought that person was pretty much chosen, but then all that changed. Now it may be someone else and am I prepared for it? It’s all starting to scare me. The next President will inherit a world in which many have either vowed to kill us or simply abandoned us. Many pundits have said that the next Presidency will be one of the most important in our history. Maybe they say that every four years, but somehow I think this year it’s true. Are the Democrats up for the challenge? I’m not so sure.

New Hampshire Primary Predictions:

1.John McCain³ 1. Barack Obama

2.Mitt Romney 2.Hillary Clinton

3.Mike Huckabee 3.John Edwards

4.Rudy Giuliani 4.Bill Richardson

Ah, it's over dude. Fred Thompson

¹The Audacity of Hope was written from the standpoint of someone who plans to run for President and therefore lacks a certain inspiration, whereas Dreams of my Father was written prior to Obama’s political career and is much more telling of who the author really is. I also admit I listened to his books which might have added to the mystique as Obama reads them himself and his voice is really dreamy.

²Hillary did show some emotion at a recent event in New Hampshire, which did inspire me. I know she is better than her campaign portrays her and hopefully a national campaign, if there is one, will show the “I’m a smart woman with some good ideas, but I’ve got problems just like you such as how to raise an upstanding daughter and have an independent career while my husband is a bit of a scumbag” side of Hillary. She needs to play up her relationship to the new ‘silent majority.”

³44th President of the United States, John McCain