Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hope and Change

Eh, not so much. For the Dems, it's more like Fear and Loathing.
Democratic candidates across the country are opening a fierce offensive of negative advertisements against Republicans, using lawsuits, tax filings, reports from the Better Business Bureau and even divorce proceedings to try to discredit their opponents and save their Congressional majority. [ . . . ]

As they struggle to break through with economic messages, many Democrats are deploying the fruits of a yearlong investigation into the business and personal histories of Republican candidates . . .
In other words, with nothing positive of their own to point to, they have resorted to childish name-calling. The piece goes on to describe how many of the Republicans come from a business rather political background, and so have a more lengthy paper trail:
This year, as Republicans work to gain at least the 39 seats they need to take control of the House, many of their nominees have never run for office and come from business backgrounds, which often include a trail of documents.
For tolerant, respectful, and diversity loving Americans, these Democrats have a nasty streak a mile wide. And how did they manage to dig up all this dirt? They worked awfully hard at it, for a long time.
For more than a year, a large team of researchers at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has been digging into the backgrounds of potential Republican candidates. It is political detective work, with every piece of a candidate’s past fair game, so long as it is a part of the public record. [ . . . ]

Some of the material is rooted in policy, including the “Fair Tax,” a national sales tax pledge signed by many Republicans, which Democrats say would raise sales taxes by 23 percent. Many of the findings, however, are not rooted in legislation or policy.
If it means being subject to this sort of withering scrutiny from people this judgmental and mean spirited, what sort of decent individual would want anything to do with running for office?

Friday, September 24, 2010

What a disgrace

Steven Colbert makes a travesty out of a government hearing. Too bad Stuart Smalley wasn't available to ask questions.

This is our tax money at work?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Texting while Lifeguarding

Here's a New York Times article about how texting is becoming a problem not only with drivers, but but now with lifeguards.
“This issue has really come out for us this year,” Mr. Fisher said, adding that he had heard several dozen complaints about the practice this summer, compared with none in 2008. “Lives are being endangered, if not already lost, because of text messaging.”

The threat is not hypothetical. At a public pool this summer in Duncan, Ariz., a child panicked in the water and was rescued by an adult visitor. Others at the pool said the lifeguard had been texting, and he was fired, said John Basteen Jr., the town manager.
Back in my lifeguarding days at Graydon Pool, this never would have been a problem. The head lifeguard, who was also my dad, had a strict prohibition against distractions in the stand, and the cell phone of the time, which was a portable transistor radio, was banned while on duty. Dad was afraid somebody might drown while one of his guards was changing stations or adjusting the volume, and that was not acceptable.

I have no doubt that iPods and cell phones would have been similarly banned had they existed at the time.

As an odd aside, I still have a fairly regular dream in which I am sitting in the stand, and I am aware that my eyes are closed. The dream then consists of my struggle to get them open, because I can hear the little villagers playing in the water and I know I should be watching them.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A New Toy

I got a good deal on this today. It's a used 2008 Harley Dyna Wide Glide, with only 160 some-odd miles on it.