Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Can you spare some change?

So, Barack Obama has been President of the United States for about twenty three hours now, and it seems to be going well so far. I would hope so, anyway. But oddly, the thoughts that stick out about the last 48 hours for me are about George W. Bush, the outgoing President.

And you know, it really bothered me that he got booed as he was introduced at the Inaguration. I don't care if you like him or not, if you think he did a good job or not - you respect the Office of the President. I'll be the first one to cite all the things were I think he didn't do a very good job over his 8 years, but I would never just boo him because I believe in the deepest part of my heart that he honestly tried his best. I think history will look back at him with a rather unfavorable assesment of his Presidency - as will I. I think we are FAR worse off than we were 8 years ago, in every way you can imagine. But there is a big difference between articulating one's disdain for something and simply saying "Boooooo".

It's debateable whether or not he actually won the 2000 election - in either case he got less popular votes than his opponent. The 2004 election was handed to him via mudslinging and fear mongering ("It's too risky to elect John Kerry") and even that came down to a relatively thin margin in Ohio. And if you read some of the interviews he gave in the last few weeks, it's clear he knows he made mistakes and would do at least a few things differently. Look, my biggest beef with W was how he interpreted the Constitution, something I strongly disagree with and will always disagree with. And perhaps even that is misdirected, since a lot of what I had issues with could be attributed to what people around him were telling him and advising him to do, but I don't think so. He's the man responsible because he's in charge. I could write for an hour about where I think he went wrong, but I won't. His time has passed and I don't see the point of piling on.

It's your right to boo. It's guaranteed in the Bill of Rights under "Free Speech". But just because it's your right doesn't mean you can't show some respect as well, especially while the world watches. Just turn the page, America.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Overdoing it just a * tiny * bit

So, in less than a week, Barack Obama gets sworn in as President of the United States. And to commemorate this fine occasion, Federal and local governments have decided to screw things so royally in terms of traffic that it won't even be funny.

The Washington Post has a nice summary of this.

But I guess I'm some sort of Anarchist, or Un-American. To me, if the threat to "security" is so great that this is what is required, then MOVE THE DAMN THING. Seriously. Have it at the front door of the White House. Obama says "So Help Me God", they change the "Welcome" mat from Red to Blue, hand him the keys, and get the F*** to work. No parade. No parties. He can give his speech from the White House press room or the Oval Office.

And why the hell would you want to go stand a half-mile from someone giving a speech in 29 degree weather with a 25% chance of precipitation? To say you where there? Honestly, that doesn't impress anyone. Ok, maybe when Buzz Aldrin says "yeah, I was there, I saw the First Man step on the Moon" or something along those, then I think "being there" was impressive. But the orderly and voluntary transition of power, while pretty amazing, does not require 4 million eyewitnesses. Go home and watch it in High Def.

My friend Steve is leaving town for a few days. Personally, I think it's as much of a protest as it is to avoid all of this, and I'm still trying to figure out how he got leave approved (given his job). I won't be going anywhere - there's no need I figure. If there was a legitimate, credible threat I'm hoping he would tip me off and since he hasn't then there isn't one or he's pissed at me.

Look, I'm not oblivious to the importance of the first black President. But effectively walling off half of the city and shutting down traffic on this scale? Nope, sorry.

Now get to work, Obama.

Monday, January 12, 2009

It takes brass ones, baby

Stargate Atlantis ended last Friday, with the Wraith (the show bad guys) figuring out where Earth is and showing up, but getting destroyed just in the nick of time by Atlantis (they flew the entire city from one galaxy to another in like 30 minutes. Riiiiight). The show ended with the City of Atlantis floating off the coast of San Francisco, invisible to everyone outside of it. So they moved the setting to Earth for any follow up movies they decide.

It's the biggest wimp out ending of all time.

What they SHOULD have done, if they had ANY balls, is have the Wraith show up at Earth and kill everyone. Period.

How great would that have been? I liked the show, but, talk about a ballsy ending. No happy ending, no feel good. Just "Wow, we lost". It would have been the most talked about TV show in a very long time.