On a somewhat unrelated note, I just realized that I’ve been the victim of comment spam. I shouldn’t be surprised really. I naively opened up the comments to anoymous posters sometime last summer and promptly got comment spam that I hadn’t noticed until now when I went back to look for that Outfoxed posting. I thought my obscurity combined with my somewhat uncommon CMS/blogging software would keep me safe. What a sweet kid. Anonymous comments are off once again. You’ll have to register to post your casino spam from now on.
Remember that bogus reporter that I mentioned last week?
Well, somebody did an amazing amount of detective work to nail this guy in a lie on CNN last week. It just goes to show that the Internet never forgets and if you’re going to affiliate yourself with a party that is diametrically opposed to one of your chosen professions, you’d better have done it all via some medium other than the Internet. Everyone please join me in a gleeful Nelson laugh.
The Wife was out of town from Thursday to Sunday, so I got to play Mr. Mom for a few days. The Band had a gig Friday night and I also decided to take the opportunity to try and see a movie with a friend Saturday night.
The gig went fairly well, although the venue wasn’t very friendly to our type of music. We were also short a man as one of our guitar players was out of town on business. Andy took some pictures, so perhaps something good will come out of it.
I reserved tickets via the Web for Ong-Bak on Saturday morning. Since it’s such a production to get babysitting, etc., I’ve learned not to leave a weekend-night movie at Alamo to chance. We’ve been burned a few times. The problem was that The Friend’s cell phone wasn’t working all day. I’d leave messages and he’d never get them. I got a call from him at 2:30pm saying that he’d tried to get tickets, but they were sold out, not knowing that I had already bought tickets earlier. I tried unsuccessfully to get in contact with him for the rest of the day. I guess this is one of the drawbacks to only having a cell phone. I ended up seeing the movie by myself. It was pretty good. It had plot elements of Return of the Dragon and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. There are some Jackie Chan-style stunts minus the Charlie Chaplin/Buster Keaton elements that he favors.
I checked out a new bar, Sidebar, which is between Red River and I-35 on Seventh Street. It’s owned by some mutual friends. The interior is fairly non-descript. There’s a nice patio in the back which edges up to the side of the Red-Eyed Fly. The sound bleed is enough that you can clearly hear whoever is playing there, but you can still talk. I recommend it as an alternative to the Red River, Emo’s-Lovejoy’s-Casino triangle.
I heard that some version of the 9/11 Commission report had been declassified on NPR. What I didn’t hear was that the release was delayed until after the election by the Bush Administration. Color me shocked. Not. Sean make an appropriate comment at the end of his post on the same article. I haven’t seen much from Mr. Rotten in the past couple of years. I imagine he must have a few interesting quotes about the last 4 years. Time to Google.
Oh, the state of things. Where to start?
It appears that we’re on the way to pulling the same thing in Iran that we did in Iraq. I was half joking with some friends today that I’d be willing to bet that we’ll have attacked Iran in some for or fashion in the next 18 months. Seymour Hersh has a recent article in the New Yorker that basically says we’re gearing up. I realize that he has an axe to grind against this administration, but I don’t have any other reason to doubt him.
Be sure and mention all this to the war-boosters, who are, dorkily, coating their fingers with blue ink as a sign of solidarity “with the Iraqi people.” Hm. I don’t remember them doing that for Afghanistan… Why don’t they just ‘fess up and say they’re giving the finger to us doubters? This is not solidarity; it’s a taunt along the lines of, “We were right, nyah nyah!” instead of a celebration of democracy. Make no mistake: Sunday was not a validation of Bush’s policies. Most Arab states would like to have democracy, yes, but not at the barrel of a gun, which is how it came here. If the choice is being invaded, occupied and force-fed controversial elections that might lead to civil war versus working at democratic reforms at their own pace and in their own way, I suspect most Arabs would choose the latter. And who could blame them? Iraq is not an example to emulate.
Allegations of the GOP and/or the White House either paying reporters/commentators or making up reports continue (remember that fake Medicare report that was circulated to many local news outlets?). Apparently, there’s been a fake reporter from a fake news service lobbing softball questions to Scott McClellan during white house press conferences (JuliusBlog, DKos and others).
Lastly, I head this story on Morning Edition on the way to work this morning. It touched on many themes relevant to current foreign and domestic affairs: China’s rising influence on the world, the inevitable gap of supply and demand for oil and their effects on our foreign policy. Of course, I’m 100% certain that, for the next four years, we’ll do exactly the wrong thing, screwing us for years to come. I hate to resort to the old parental cliche, but I’m really scared for what things will be like in 25 years for my kids. Am I just succombing to the fear mongering or is it really that bad? My suspicion is the latter, but I’m not generally the most optimistic person.
I been having trouble reaching this site and the others that I host for the last couple of days. It seems to be an intermittent DNS problem that my hosting company hasn’t yet managed to track down. Anybody else having trouble getting my site to load?
If I keep doing this, we might as well call me the Rude Pundit echo blog, but damn if that guy doesn’t just keep saying what I’m thinking. If I was a paranoid person, I might be inclined to get some tin foil.
And just so I don’t devolve into Rude Pundit v2.0, I did some reading up on all of this Social Security nonsense. Here’s the e-mail I sent to a few friends:
I’ve done some reading on the Social Security issue. Here’s a few links:
If that table on Atrios is right (and I’ll admit I’m going go have to re-read some of this so that I actually understand it), we don’t see any reduction in benefits because of the “crisis”. However, if we implement Bush’s plan, which is supposed to currently follow the Graham Plan fairly closely, we’ll see an 18-27% decrease in benefits.
You can see from the same table that people younger than us start losing benefits because of the “crisis” (those born in 2000 get $19,900 instead of $26,400), but it’s still better than where they’ll be if the Graham Plan is implemented (they’ll get $13,092).
Of course, just like Bush’s numbers, this is all an “educated guess”.
You can follow it from Atrios, but here’s the full analysis of the Graham Plan:
It’d take you or an entire afternoon to try and understand all of the implications in these plans and, as you pointed out, no average person is going to take the time to do it. They’re just going to listen to the talking points and go with Bush because “he’s a good, moral man” and because Social Security is in a “crisis”.
As for this plan giving you more control over your own money, it’s bullshit. You’ll be limited to a very small number of investment options chosen for you by the government. If you are, in fact, lucky enough to make the optimistic returns that they’re projecting, when you retire, your money will be placed into an annuity by the government so that you’ll get payments from it. This is to avoid you deciding to spend all of “your money” in the first few years of retirement and ending up destitute for the rest of your life.
And none of the talk I hear from Bush addresses what happens to the current disability and survivor benefits in all of this.
I keep asking myself what Bush gains by pushing this so hard. He’s not up for re-election. All I can come up with is that he’s been indoctrinated into the conservative viewpoint that social security itself is inherently bad. Of course, he thinks that, he was born into a privileged family.
On top of that, this puts millions of dollars to which Wall Street traditionally had no access into their hands to collect fees and whatever else they’ll get for administering the funds. Once again, the rich get richer and we get screwed. Yay.
EDIT 1:31pm CST: After all that, Jesse does a pretty good job of explaining it succinctly.
I thought I wasn’t going to have problems with birthdays making me feel old until I turned 40. I neglected to take into account that some else’s birthday might do it. The Boy turned 6 yesterday. I can’t be the father of a 6-year-old.