August 2004 Archives

Only Bush could make a man's voting record that is consistent with his stated philosophy seem like the opposite. Kerry wants to increases that taxes on the most powerful, me and those who are richer, to support some semblance of social justice. As a progressive, i.e. just left of center, I'm down with that.

FactCheck.org Bush Still Fudging the Numbers on Kerry's Tax Votes

Apple's Squeeze Play Part II

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Apple announced the new iMac G5 today and true to Apple form it's sleek and "enchanting" and has the predictable "wow factor" that boost sales and to delight of Apple's investors, the share price.

This cycle is not new and this is why the market always corrects itself after a new product launch. Apple is a product company and thus must innovate to be true to its brand and simply survive. The media and the usual pundits (talking heads really) conveniently forget this, perennially predict the company's demise, and then, wonder of wonders, a new product launch arrives and they claim that Apple is once again on the road to riches. You'd think somebody would have caught on after almost 3 decades!

Actually, the financial industry has. Invest when the demise predictions invariably come and sell when the going gets good. Make a tidy profit.

As recent entries indicate, I'm back after a short hiatus. This summer has been an eye opener and a rejuvenator. I was losing my desire to speak or write because I didn't have much I really wanted to say. I felt I hadn't really read enough or thought enough about certain issues, but all that has changed.

I've become much more impassioned, mostly because of Bush and his neo-con antics. For most of Bush's presidency, it was about disagreeing with the Republican agenda, but now it's much more personal. I don't just disagree with his ideology, I think the the man is wrong.

A recent conversation with a good friend highlighted this for me. He is a staunch Republican whose opinion I respect because he is extremely intelligent and a good person. We talked about Iraq and he gave me a persuasive, reasoned rationale for regime change in Iraq. None of his argument had anything to do with WMD or any subterfuge to execute the American agenda in support of those interests.

I thought to myself, "Why didn't Bush say this to the American people?" The answer came in short order: too complex and strategic. Gathering the political will would be difficult, but at least it would be based on truth. So the administration's solution was one of political expediency: to layer a false, surface agenda (the so called "immediate threat") on top of what I view was the real agenda in Iraq: the neo-con agenda. When spelled out, this agenda doesn't garner much public support because of its blind ideological support for moneyed power to the exclusion of just about everything else. Hence, the lies, half-truths, and the constantly changing reasons for going into Iraq from the Administration. (See transcript and video of Rumsfeld on Face the Nation getting caught in a lie.)

And this is where Bush broke faith with America. You simply do not lie, dissemble, or distort facts to move a people. You make a persuasive, truthful case like my friend did. This is where I was done with Bush as a person who doesn't have the integrity to take the hard road, as all great leaders have. That may not make him a bad person, but it does make him a weak one. Too weak for his Office and these trying times.

Weapon of Choice

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My Apple - PowerBook G4 15-inch laptop is my weapon of choice for computing for one simple reason: it gets out of my way and let's me accomplish what I want to do. Unlike the Windoze machines I use or have used in the past, descriptions like "plug-n-play" and "it just works" actually apply.

The best part is how it takes care of the mundane stuff for me while allowing me to concentrate on details I care about. If I want Apache to launch, I can do it in as little as 4 clicks of my mouse. Now, that's easy computing! I have the option dig into the Unix minutae to configure the web server and have done so when necessary. This is power of the platform: I'm not forced to use "wizards" that always seem to complicate rather than simplify or edit text files and memorize countless options.

Apple is that company that makes "Insanely Great" products, which is great for us users. Unfortunately, for Apple as a business this is not the standard by which profitability is guaranteed. In the business world, he who markets best gets to laugh...period.

These days, it's still a matter of ideology. There are people who will run Windows no matter what pain they must endure and there are people who think that Apple will save the world. The more pragmatic of us, simply use the the tool that best suits our needs and tastes...in that order.

Why the GOP is SOL with Me

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In the article, FactCheck.org Radio Ads Accuse Kerry Of Not Helping Blacks, I got a good strong dose of why I think supporting the GOP is misguided at best, at least in this election.

The 527 behind the ads, the so-called People of Color United, exemplify the mudslinging that's become so distasteful in this election cycle. I assert that both parties are definitely supporting this behavior for short term political ends. Many of the ads contain so many distortions of the truth that I can't really say they convey the truth at all, even a slanted version of it.

The worst example of this was the ad about how Kerry failed to save a measure to extend unemployment benefits. Words can't convey my anger at the ad itself, which drips with hypocrisy and lies by omission of key facts. How insulting is it when a party is willing to (indirectly) blame an opposing candidate for not saving a measure that they themselves killed? I will quote the FactCheck.org article for proof [bold emphasis mine]:

However, the main reason the measure failed was that most Republicans voted against it, and because Republicans raised a point of order to ensure that 60 votes, rather than a simple majority of those voting, would be needed for passage. (The vote was 40-59: 60 votes were needed to pass because the measure required a waiver of pay-as-you-go provisions of the Budget Act.) There were 39 Republicans and one Democrat voting against,  with 47 Democrats and only 12 Republicans voting in favor.
My problem here is not one of ideology (although I disagree with much of Republican ideology), it's one of decency and integrity: simply telling the truth.