Saturday, May 03, 2003

The Meatstack: New Blogger, New Problems

Blogger is rolling out a new verison of their on-line publishing software, and I signed up early as a beta tester. We are using "Dano" Blogger.

What does that mean to you, the readers of The Meatstack? Nothing. But you may notice a stray Mexican letter here or there. I'm going back through my work trying to clean up the problems generated by the transition, but if you see one I miss, email me and let me know.

The Meatstack: Color returns

It's as good of a time as any to return the blue back to the stack. I've actually changed the color scheme slightly, getting rid of the tan in replace of a dark blue. Easier to read the posts that way.

Let me know what you think.

Tax Laws: Ironically asinine

Here's the plan.

1) Falsify earnings reports, causing stocks to soar, and allowing executives to make a windfall.

2) When it crashes, fire millions.

3) Submit a Plea to the IRS to reclaim "overpaid" taxes on our falsified earnings statements.


Thursday, May 01, 2003

Polls: Bush After War

The Gallup Group has released their latest poll numbers on how the Bush Administration is doing at their job.

How much attention is President Bush paying to the economy? 54% say not enough, while 43% are saying just the right amount. 1% say too much.

Following along those lines, 47% of the people surveyed said that the proposed tax cuts are a bad idea, and 57 percent said that they would hurt, or have no effect on the current economic climate.

Even more surprising to me was the response regarding the companies given contracts to rebuild Iraq. 44% believe the companies were picked to reward those firms with Republican ties. 45% said they were picked on merit.

Overall? Bush is still floating on post-war numbers, only dropping one point to 70 since the last time the poll was taken.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Media: Race Games

One of these kids is not like the others,
One of these kids doesn't belong.
Can you tell which kid is not like the others
By the time we finish our song?

1) Elizabeth Smart
2) Ashleigh Moore
3) JonBenet Ramsey

Did you guess which kid was not like the others?
Did you guess which kid doesn't belong?
If you guessed this kid is not like the others,
Then you're absolutely...right!

Oddly appropriate that the lyrics to the Sesame Street song works here.

If you guessed 2, then you are right. The bigger question is why did you guess two?

Just like the other two, Ashleigh has been kidnapped. Just like the other two, she's been missing for quite some time.

Unlike the other two, there has been no media outcry about her. Unlike the other two, she is African-American.

Are those two things related?

Bonus Question:

Supply the name of the missing Mexican-American pregnant women from the Bay Area of San Francisco who washed ashore lately. (Hint: it's not Laci)

Correct answer: Evelyn Hernandez was pronounced missing on May 1st of this year. Police suspect foul play.

Unlike Laci, there has been no national media outcry about her. Unlike Laci, she is Mexican-American.

Are those two things related?

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

The Meatstack: Wake Up Call


You may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything in about four days. I even had big plans about the Topeka Kansas group coming to town.

Well, I didn’t get to it. Working night shift like I do, it was far too difficult to peel myself off of the mattress after 3 hours sleep to cover them. For that I’m sorry. The wife and I ended up going to the zoo instead.

The truth is: I burnt out. Posting daily for the last three months, it is easy to get frustrated. It’s easy to feel that I’m performing a primal scream into a black hole. It’s easy to feel that my words are falling on deaf, or closed ears.

Add to the fact that this nation is, in my opinion, barreling down the wrong road at breakneck speed. This administration is increasing spending on one end, decreasing revenue on the other side. We have squandered the world’s goodwill towards America, and turned it into contempt. Senators are making comments not only questioning the legality of homosexuality, but questioning the right of privacy of any couple. For that, it gets 48 hours in press coverage, and forgotten.

So, I let loose my daily barbaric yawp. Internally, my anger grows.

About 8 years ago, I returned to Johnstown, PA after attending Penn State. I went to work for the newspaper, setting forth on my career path. I was 21, just out of school, and forgetting a lot of the issues that I had campaigned for in college. I was looking to have a good time, to meet women, and to just not worry about the world around me.

When I made my career change three years ago, I took the good economy for granted. I stepped into a tech job with very little experience, and no technical education. I thought nothing of the world around me, I lived in the moment…in my own little shell.

I refer to those times now as my cloistered age. Unfortunately, most of society enters this stage, and never returns. Politics are boring. Politics are dirty. It takes a time commitment to educate yourself in politics. That is far too much for a lot of people.

Politicians know this. They prey on it. An ill-informed voter is their best friend. Speaking in sound bites, they push their idea. Further research is left up to the voter, knowing full well that they won’t do it.

Citizenship in a democracy is more advanced than that. It takes work. If you enjoy the freedoms of this nation, then you have to pay for them by being educated in your government. Failing to do that puts us in the situation we are in now. It’s not a Republican or Democratic issue. It’s an American issue.

But, back to the original topic. It’s easy to fall back into a cloistered age. I did it this weekend. Plopping in Civilization III, I lived in a fantasy world for four days. I went to the zoo with my wife, and awed at the cute animals. I went out for nights on the town. I watched something on TV other than news.

It’s about finding a balance. Each person must reach an equilibrium between their internal world, and the external one. I don’t have the answer to that balance. I haven’t found it for myself yet.

But, I feel I’m heading in the right direction. I’m back at the meaty helm, and posting again. Sorry for the break.


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