Priorities

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The McCain campaign has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to cover up the fact that he picked someone completely unqualified for the office of Vice President as his running mate. Meanwhile, the Obama campaign has emphasized what Obama plans to do to aid the economy. Who would you rather have in charge?

Compare and Contrast

Two choice quotations from two articles in CNN.com today:

“Exxon Mobil: Biggest profit in history
The largest U.S. oil company surges past analysts’ estimates with a posted net income of $14.83 billion and sets a national record for quarterly profit.”

“As of September, 760,000 jobs have already been lost this year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And a quarter of U.S. employers expect to make layoffs in the next 12 months, according to a recent report by consulting firm Watson Wyatt.” read more

Autumn Weather Report

This entry is partly intended for my own future reference. A few weeks ago we were trying to remember what the autumn weather in 2006 was like. 2006 was the year in which a blizzard dumped quite a lot of snow on us. We both had a vague recollection that the autumn weather that year was somewhat like the weather this season, and wondered whether that means that we might be in for another snowy winter. I figured that I probably said something about the autumn weather in my blog that year, but it appears that I didn’t mention the weather at all until it snowed in earnest. So, for future reference, I’m writing about this autumn’s weather now. read more

Palin’s “Going Rogue”

I was going to try to stop blogging about the presidential candidates because that seems to be all I’m blogging about these days, but this is just too good. As related at CNN.com, it seems that things are quite a mess in the McCain/Palin camp. I particularly like these statements:

A second McCain source says she appears to be looking out for herself more than the McCain campaign.

“She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” said this McCain adviser. “She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else. read more

Quote of the Year

“If it’s true that Barack Obama really is a terrorist, then we have the worst Department of Homeland Security in the universe.”

–Bill in Portland Maine, Daily Kos

Thank You, Mr. Powell

There’s a nice editorial in the NYT here about why Colin Powell endorses Obama. It contains some very relevant reflections about the principles that America is based upon, and how despicable it is that McCain is trying to turn these principles on their ear in an attempt to win votes by rumor-mongering and spreading fear.

Severe Gadget Lust Leads to Nostalgic Retrospection

I might have to have a Rovio. See http://www.meetrovio.com/. It’s a robot with a webcam and web-based control interface. You can drive it around and look at stuff with it. It looks like it’s the ultimate weapon for terrorizing the cats.

Yeah, okay, it’s pretty geeky. Time for some personal history. I became interested in computers in the first place because I wanted to build a robot when I was a kid. I figured out pretty quickly that the robot needed a brain of some sort, and that meant a computer. So I started learning about computers, mostly from books at the public library. read more

Don’t Forget to Vote

Things are looking good for getting Obama into office, but let’s not get carried away yet. Forecasts and polls don’t win elections–votes win elections. (Well, sometimes courts win elections, but let’s not go there right now.)

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In Colorado you can vote by mail, so we’ve already done so. If you’re not already registered to vote by mail it’s probably too late to do so, so don’t forget to vote on the polling day.

Quote of the Day

The Republican campaign strategy now involves sending their candidates to areas where everybody is a die-hard McCain supporter already. Then they yell about Obama until the crowd is so frenzied people start making threats. The rest of the country is supposed to watch and conclude that this would be an enjoyable way to spend the next four years.

–Gail Collins, columnist for the New York Times

That quotation is part of a longer and fairly humorous op-ed, but I think that she makes a valid point. The McCain campaign seems to be largely based on the strategy of telling us (with lies) that Obama is evil. Even ignoring the issue that none of these accusations actually stand up to close scrutiny, isn’t this a really dumb strategy? I mean, c’mon Mr. McCain, don’t insult us. We already know that you don’t want us to vote for him. Isn’t that a given, since you’re running against him? read more

Top Floor, Please

There is some interesting info here about the possibility of building an elevator that lifts stuff into space. (Yes, “stuff” includes people.) A Japanese research group thinks that they might be able to start building it around 2030, and NASA has put up $4 million in prize money to encourage design development.