succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, January 16, 2004

Proud to be an Atlantan

Sadly, I didn't manage to get to the protests myself, but heard some great stuff about them on the local news last night. They actually said that the vast majority of those present were there to protest Bush's presence and that only a small minority were Bush supporters. Dare I hope that this is the turning of the tide? My favorite comment, from a poster over at Atrios: "I do think the constitution states that the whole contry is a free speech zone." Shortly after that comment someone made the good suggestion of making that the preferred sign slogan for future protests.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Had another one of those great days when I actually feel like I might be a statistician. Perhaps details to follow, for now, to Taco Mac!

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Amelia has a particularly satisfying post regarding the latest idea from the Bushies to spend millions of dollars convincing people that heterosexual marriage solves the worlds ills. I saw this headline in the Times this morning but was too aghast and depressed to say much of anything coherent about it. I like Amelia's post because it points out the hypocrisy of supporting marriage as a way to improve the lives of children (an admirable goal) yet simultaneously undermining programs that might actually improve the lives of children - it's difficult for a low-income parent to spend quality time with their children if they're on a welfare-to-work program that requires them to work full time, regardless of if they have someone reliable to care for said children. It's difficult for a parent to care for their children without adequate healthcare or overtime pay or a job at all or after school programs or any number of things for which the Bushies continue to slash budgets. It's this sort of hypocrisy which has been rattling around in my brain lately. I was all ready to post about it a few months ago when I saw (surprise surprise) a West Wing episode that slashed a lot of what I was thinking of saying. Ainsley and Sam are going at it, and Sam is accusing the Republican party of hypocrisy (though I forget the specific example he used) and Ainsley shoots back that the Democrats are guilty of the exact same thing - they trot out the Bill of Rights everytime there's a hint of infringement on the First Amendment, yet they want to do away with the Second (or whichever one ensures the right to bear arms). Which isn't precisely true, but the point is accurate. But then I got to thinking, it isn't so much the hypocrisy in idealogy that bothers me. It's understandable that people will be inconsistent in their beliefs - one might be in favor of small government for some things, and larger government for others; privacy rights under certain circumstances and security under others, etc. But it's the hypocrisy between word and action that I find so vile and unbearable. How can one truly claim to support "the American family" and "family values" yet stand in the way of orphaned children gaining two loving parents? If a child is loved and cared for, should we really care what sort of arrangement is providing that care? How on earth did Bush ever manage to run on the "morality ticket"? How can he enforce stricter penalties for the very drugs that he got away with doing in college? How can a political party that contains several dead-beat dads blather on and on about improving the lives of children? How can a president claim to be supporting our troops, then send them into war without vital supplies (like bullet-proof vests), cut funding for military family housing, and then ask troops to stay beyond their contractual tour of duty? If you're going to be an asshole, at least admit that you're an asshole.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Credit Cards

So I'm shopping around for a new credit card. I've had the same one since freshman year, through my formerly-local credit union in WV. There's nothing particularly wrong with it, but there's nothing particularly great about it either. And now that I'm in a frequent flyer program, I'd really like to earn some extra miles for spending money. Problem is, the delta flyer credit card comes with an annual fee. Call me stingy, but I'm not really up for paying $80 a year just to get to use a piece of plastic. And I don't run enough money through my credit card to make teeny tiny points programs worth it (AmEx offers a card where you can trade points for discount coupons on airline tickets, but you have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars before you get, like, a $50 coupon). I'm not too terribly worried about monthly and annual interest rates, as I intend to pay off the bill in full every month (yes, I can hear you all scoffing from here, but I've managed to do just that for the past 5 years and credit card debt scares the bejeezus out of me, so I think it's pretty likely that I'll keep it up). So, call me lazy, but anyone out there with more experience/knowledge in the credit card market have any suggestions? Or am I being too picky and should I just suck it up and pay the lousy $80 a year to earn 10,000 (!) bonus flyer miles?

More West Wing

In reference to the upcoming presidential election, Toby says, "And if we choose someone with vision, someone with guts, someone with gravitas, who's connected to other people's lives, and cares about making them better...if we choose someone to inspire us, then we'll be able to face what comes our way and achieve things... we can't imagine yet." When's the last time you felt inspired by this administration?

Episodes of The West Wing almost always make me want to be a better person. Tonight's is a particularly excellent episode.

"Now is a time for American Heroes."

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Just had way more fun getting gelato with Sanna than any two people have the right to have. Seriously, go here and check out Paolo's Gelato. Paolo actually runs the store and he's hysterical. Be sure to check out the commercial and store-webcam.