Archive for September, 2002

September 30, 2002

I’m a bad Tennesseean

I have lived in Tennessee since 1982. I am currently 30 years old and this past Saturday was the first UT football game I’ve ever been to. My few observations about the experience are as follows:

Man, UT fans are harsh when the Vols are playing poorly. Favored by 41 points, the Vols got no sympathy from their fans at the half when they were trailing. The fans let them know when they suck and, I guess, the players pick up on that since 107,000 people are screaming it at them.

The intellectual capacity some Vol fans is questionable. The guy behind be kept referring to the opposing team as ‘The Rutgers.’ I suppose he thinks a Rutger is some sort of ferocious, small, furry animal.

Apparently, you don’t tip the service people at these games. I had a couple sodas and a few hotdogs and the vendors never stood around long enough for me to tip them. Oh well, their loss.

People have no respect for children at these games. I’m all for the freedom provided us by the First Amendment but at the same time I think adults should watch their language around small children. There were kids every where, but that didn’t refrain some loud fans from telling the players, referees, and ‘The Rutgers’ what they could do with themselves and to some goats.

And the most important observation: There is no beer sold at these games! I repeat, There is no beer sold at these games! Someone explained to me that, since it was a dry campus, UT would lose funding if they sold adult beverages. So, I did some quick math. Here goes:

Per Kegworks, a keg of beer holds roughly seven cases of beer. Or 168 12oz beers. A keg costs roughly $40 bucks (and that’s retail). So, the cost per beer is $0.24. You could probably sell a 12oz beer at a UT game for $3.50 (hell, I’d buy them). That yields a profit margin of $3.26 per beer sold! We’ll round it to $3 even since we’ll probably have to hire more service people (who surely will now want tips) to carry this beer to the fans.

Also, per NWBA, 56.7% of us drink beer. Also, I know that NWBA didn’t limit their study to ‘people who attend football games.’ So, we’ll assume about 60% of the fans will drink beer. Now, I drink a lot of beer. I could drink 10 or so during a game. Some folks pass out at about one beer (the lightweights). I find it reasonable to conclude that most of these 60% will drink four beers. The stadium (I read somewhere) holds about 107,000 fans. So, 64,200 people drinking four beers is 256,800 beers, at a profit of $3 per beer. That is $770,400 per game. This year, UT will play seven home games. Total annual profit is $5,392,800. Gentlemen, I have a business plan.

It seems to me that maybe UT needs to stop kowtowing to the Bible Belt mentality, embrace the 21st Century, and give adults their choice in beverages. $5.3M could buy a lot of education.

September 23, 2002

SayUncle Newsbrief

Knoxville, TN – September 23, 2002 – UT Vols quarter back, Val Kilmer, suffers from a case of the butter fingers. During a recent interview, Val’s game day difficulties continued as he couldn’t keep hold of the microphone. Val couldn’t comment on the logistics error as he couldn’t speak directly into the mic, since it was on the ground. He also couldn’t comment on the Vols drop out of the top 10 rank. A frustrated Val then left the interview scene.

Tooting my own horn

A while back I speculated that Europeans were buying oil from Iraq. Apparently, Bill O’Reilly and the NYTimes are saying that France has been doing exactly that. Word.

September 20, 2002

Speaking of the NRA

SayUncle believes in the Second Amendment and that gun ownership is an individual right. As evidenced by the following:

Second Amendment: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

USC Title 10, Sec 311: The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States …

Now assume that since then certain laws prohibit discrimination based on age and gender that it would also include the elderly and women. Note all the National Guard and section 313 stuff was added later. So, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the original intent of the Bill of Rights and the law. That has been perverted by the anti-gun folks in recent years.

On to the NRA: I am not a member of the NRA. But I support the individual right of the Second Amendment. See the NRA has a few issues. One is that it refuses to draw a line. For example, if you asked most folks ‘should citizens be allowed to own nuclear weapons?’ most would say not, as would I. But where does one draw the line? The NRA hasn’t taken a position on where to draw the line. The NRA simply opposes every law that may possibly interfere with someone owning a weapon anywhere. No one should have nukes in their basement obviously but what weaponry should citizens have? The NRA won’t make a distinction. I recall the NRA opposed the licensing of fertilizer that was proposed after the Oklahoma City incident. So, seems they’re intimating that bomb making is protected by the Second Amendment. Now, where do we draw the line? Well, start with US v. Miller. The most wrongly interpreted Supreme Court Case ever, in my opinion. See, the justices decided that because a sawn off shotgun resembles no militia type weapon, it was not protected under the Second Amendment. Mr. SayUncle, are you intimating that we the people should have assault style, military weapons? You betcha, I am. The reason is that the Second Amendment is there for ‘we the people’ to be able to defend ourselves against our government in the event that it becomes corrupt. The anti-gunners like to say that ‘we don’t know what they meant by the Second Amendment.’ Poppycock! Our forefathers wrote volumes on what they meant. Read the Federalist Papers if you doubt me. It’s the only amendment we ‘interpret’ instead of taking at face value. But I digress. We can’t defend ourselves if we can’t keep up with our government’s arsenal. Our hunting weaponry is no match for M-4s. To that end, I would propose the line be drawn at weapons that serve no defensive purpose, within reason. Nukes, tanks, fighter jets, and other various types of military weaponry serve a minimal defensive purpose. So, a citizen in posession of said items would likely be a bad idea. However, a citizen owning an AR-15 would be fitting. Said weapon serves the criteria established in US v. Miller (at this point, it should be said that I am not a lawyer) and can be reasonably used to defend one’s property, borders, and life. Until the NRA recognizes that a line should be drawn, I can’t support it.

Another issue with the NRA: Too political. Politicians like to say that they are members (and some like to say they are not). So, certain politicians get unwarranted votes by the large contingent of single-issue voters that comprise the gun lobby based entirely on membership to the NRA (Hilleary?).

Another issue with the NRA: Opposed attempts at registering, licensing, training requirements, and tracking gun sales. Well, the Amendment says clearly ‘well regulated.’ I suppose the NRA takes issue with how much regulation means well regulated. Licensing, registration, and training do intimate (in my opinion) an attempt to regulate the militia. Of course, well-regulated may also imply that the government should provide the militia with weapons. That, of course, will never happen for the citizen militia.

Once the NRA establishes clear outlines, I may reconsider a membership.

Adieu!

Education Woes

I’ve read that the quality of education in the US is not as good (at least prior to college) as it is in other ‘developed’ nations. Perhaps the reason is that school officials spend too much time being thought police instead of educating. The NRA is suing a school that made a student turn his NRA Sports Shooting Camp shirt inside out. Another student is suing her school for not allowing her to form her Anarchist Club and for her anti-American T-Shirts. And don’t forget the Pledge of Allegiance nonsense.

Seems to me if more resources were devoted to actually educating instead of policing our student population, then maybe our students would get a better education. See, if one less teacher was looking for steak knives in the beds of students’ pickup trucks, that teacher could be, I don’t know, say teaching or something.

September 19, 2002

SayUncle News Brief

– September 19, 2002 – New York, New York – Rosie O’Donnell announced at a press conference today that she was the new front man for the band Flock of Seagulls. Rosie will replace long time front man Michael Score, who says he’s leaving the band over differences in artistic integrity. Rosie, who took a queue from Score’s hair stylist, is ecstatic to have a new platform to speak with all the soccer-moms. Flock of Seagulls Guitarist Joe Rodriguez says ‘I think Rosie will add a great new level of intensity to our band.’ Drummer Albert Cruz said ‘Nah, we’re just doing it for the publicity.’

Funny as poo

Apparently, Dubya has his own blog!

So Disillusioned

Fluffy over at the Metroblab shed some light for me on one of my favorite journalists, Bill O’Reilly. Apparently, Mr. Bill is fallible. Now, I am not a die-hard Mr. Bill fan but what I’ve seen of his program, I have liked. I also agree (and disagree) with some stuff he as to say. Mr. Bill is also susceptible to misinformation.

The UNsmart

Seems the UN will give Iraq a year to get its collective shit together (more accurately, for the UN to investigate its shit). I suppose they don’t realize that time is all Saddam needs? I’m all for giving a deadline. But I’d shorten it by about 358 days.

It’s been a while…

… since a bomb went off in Israel, until now. I hope this is not sign that these will continue. I think it noteworthy that the temporary slow in terrorist bombings seemed to coincide with Israel arresting that Hamas leader a while back and killing that other one. Also, this bombing occurred after Israel said ‘no’ to a peace proposal, the more likely cause I’m certain.

September 17, 2002

Ernest, the final chapter

Florida gubernatiorial candidate Ernest Borgnine calls it quits.

And there was much rejoicing!

There are some good people

There are some good people

SKB gave credit to sheriff Tim for his quick response during the recent toxic train wreck that occurred in our fair city. In that same light, I heard on the radio news yesterday that a Loudon County official was allowing residents to meet sheriff’s deputies to escort them to their homes to rescue their pets from toxic chemicals. Good for Loudon County. Also, Norfolk Southern (per the same radio report) is reimbursing residents for costs incurred due to the evacuation. At least they’re attempting to right a wrong. Kudos to both!

Kinda funny, in that sad sort of way

Apparently, our five detained terrorists from Buffalo were all born in America and are citizens. They have families, regular jobs, and are soccer players. They are all also registered Democrats. Hmm, I wonder why terrorists would support a party that is largely for gun control and a society dependent upon government? I realize it’s a stretch and the Democrats are asking about the relevance of releasing such information.

Edit: As friends have pointed out, McVeigh was a registered Republican. He was also a nut, like these guys. Whackos are whackos, irregardless of political affiliation. That was kinda the point but I didn’t clarify it enough.

September 16, 2002

The boys who cried wolf

There once were a group of boys tending a flock. They got bored and ran to the town and cried wolf. The townspeople went to investigate. They discovered there was no wolf. The boys confessed that it was a joke resulting from their boredom. So, the townspeople beat the shit out of them. Ok, actually the were just denied acceptance to medical school.

September 14, 2002

Ernest goes away, part 2

Ernest goes away, part 2

Looks like Florida gubernatorial candidate Ernest Borgnine is out of the race. Good.

September 13, 2002

Oil and the invasion

Apparently, the tree huggers now refer to themselves as the progressive community. And, the progressive community is reporting that attacking Iraq will cause a World Recession. This was reported back in August. Now, EIU is reporting the same thing. It’s all of course based on oil prices.

I take issue with economists in general. See, they never produce results. They rarely actually predict recessions, depressions, or economic indicators. And any political candidate can always seem to find an economist that supports that candidate’s view. They’re opinions-for-hire, so to speak. Yet, when economists get on the horn and shout ‘the sky is falling’ peoples’ investments start to tank. Economists should maybe display a bit more care and do some actual analysis to support their forecasts. Bah!

Oh My God, I am so scared!

Turns out that if we invade, Iraq will ‘teach us a lesson.’ Well, maybe we should rethink our feelings about this. Our feelings are apparently undeterminable by the KNS according to the Great SK Bubba.

Ernest Update

Al Gore’s camp set a huge precedent. If you run for office and lose, you can apparently whine and cry enough to draw national media coverage. Then, when you run for office again in the future, it may help your odds (guess we’ll see in 2004). Well, apparently Florida Gubernatorial candidate Ernest Borgnineis up to the same thing. Now, given Florida’s problems in the 2000 election, her claims could be valid. However, I think this could be another political ploy. Her opponent (at last count) was up by 8,196 votes. I don’t know if there really is a Floridian Conspiracy to keep the Democrats down or if Democrats are just sore losers. I bet Democrats are hard to break up with.

Now, why is that I don’t like Ernest Borgnine. It’s because she as AG was up to some questionable antics: WACO, Elian Gonzalez, her refusal to disclose her investigations of prominent Democrats to the public, and the fact her catch phrase is ‘no comment.’ I must say her loss in Florida kinda makes me happy!

September 11, 2002

God Bless America


It has been a year. To sit around and mope is to concede to the enemy. Please, America, continue doing what you do. Go to work, tell your family you love them, go shopping, but never forget.

September 09, 2002

How stupid are we?

First, slow updates today due to a busy life. However of note is this crap! It’s a load of politically correct crap. See, a student’s mom was offended when her kid’s teacher said a word that was a synonym for stingy. The word is the infamous niggardly. Now, the PC police have decided that we can’t say such a word because it is similar to a racial slur.

September 07, 2002

If pro is the opposite of con, then

Okay, Congress (whose main duty per the Constitution, is to attempt at all times to appear important) is convening near ground zero. My problem with this is that it’s not because they care. If they cared, we’d have a solution to Iraq and the war on terror. But we don’t. Why don’t we? It’s because the schmucks in Congress want to appear to be the ones making the decisions. It’s branch politics (instead of partisan for once). The Congress wants to appear as though it’s calling the shots instead of the administration. I guess the title Commander-in-Chief is just for show. See, if it appears that Congresspersons are calling the shots, then a bunch of political careers are strengthened or get started.

But I digress, back to the convening in NYC. It could actually be a nice gesture. But it’s about appearances. Kind of like when they have Julia Roberts testifying before them regarding trade relations with Mozambique. Or other celebrities speaking of their various causes (where’s Bono when you need him?). Now, this celebrity thing is just a public relations thing. It’s Congress saying ‘Ooh, look at me. I’m chatting with a pretty and famous actress.’ Now, if I wanted and audience with Congress, it’d never happen. I’m not famous and no one cares what I think, much less Congress.

Sometimes, I love that he’s a Texan

Dubya has given the UN an ultimatum: Help us or we go it alone. I think going alone is a bad idea. However, I think kowtowing to the UN and the Eurowheenies is a bad idea. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

Clinton Says

Get Bin Laden before Iraq. Well, Mr. Clinton, wasn’t that your job after 1993? Side note: I think Bin Laden is dead. We haven’t seen a video in a while and I read he suffers from kidney disease. Seems to me a cave is not the best place to run a dialysis machine. I hope he did die and, if so, I’m glad it remained an undignified and un-public display.

We’re bombing stuff

100 jets took part in an attack on Iraq. Why do I have to get my news from the UK about this stuff!

September 06, 2002

The Perils of Three-Dimensional Reading

SKB made a good point on his blog the other day. It was about trouble following the A-List bloggers. He stated that it seems some folks blogged away and only a select group could follow any of it. I say it has more to do with a sign of the times.

The sign of the times being that we net-savvy types need to become more adept at our three-dimensional reading skills. Back when people read books, you had two fundamental directions: Left to right and front to back. Now, a great deal of folks (ahem, me) does most of their reading online. The result is an added dimension, the infamous hyperlink. See, by hyperlinking something, the writer adds another place for you to go with respect to reading what they’re am trying to say. These links are usually facts, sometimes humor, or stuff that only serves to waste your time.

The process of 3D reading does not come easy to some. My dad for instance is not the most computer savvy guy on Earth and I have regretted on many occasion giving him my old computer. He’s come a long way and the phone calls to SayUncle’s tech support have dwindled. He double clicks everything and is often visibly confused by his computer. So, in order to become effective at this 3D reading, one must have a few basic skills and a smidgeon of technical knowledge. The skill sets include knowing when to not bother clicking on a link and when to click on a link. Kind of like wading through the New York Times, the reader must decipher what is crap and what is actually relevant. In SKB’s sample paragraph alone, one would have to read 13 pages to fully read the entire thing. Now, did I click on all the links? No. But I understood the point he was making. The technical skills are easy to master, such as right click to open in a new window. I’m sure I’m not the only person suffering from information overload these days, but I do it to myself and how could I not?

Slow day, kinda busy

It’s kinda funny looking at my webstats. I have received two hits from search engines. One hit was someone searching for child leashes and the other was for someone searching for big fat willies. Who the hell searches for big fat willies? Thought it was funny!

September 05, 2002

Recipe

Red beans and rice is very tasty and keeps for a week or more (indefinitely if frozen):

2 cans red kidney beans (light or dark to taste)
1 – 3 jalapeno peppers sliced (again to taste, you can control the heat of these by removing the seeds. More seeds means hotter flavor)
2 table spoons of minced garlic (or to taste), that’s 4 cloves for you purists
1 package of kielbasa (or Italian sausage)
2 – 3 small sirloin steaks sliced thinly
1 large red onion, sliced
Cayenne pepper to taste
Salt & pepper to taste
3 – 4 large tomatoes or two cans of diced tomatoes
3 – 4 stalks of celery, chopped
2 – 3 green peppers, chopped

In a large pot, sauté onion & garlic in light olive oil. Add cayenne, salt and pepper to taste. Allow to sauté lightly.

Add kielbasa, sliced stake, green peppers, celery and jalapenos and cook covered until meat is done, stirring regularly.

Once veggies and meat are cooked, add both cans of tomatoes (do not drain) or add sliced (preferable squished) tomatoes. Continue until tomatoes are cooked.

Add beans (do not drain) & simmer on low hit for 30 minutes to an hour to cook the beans.

Pour over rice and eat.

Seriously Unnecessary Victimization

Apparently, people take issue with SUVs. Our local liberal following over at the Metroblab is in on this hatred too. They blame SUVs for (1) being dangerous to other drivers and (2) for destroying the environment.

Regarding SUVs being dangerous: I fail to understand the soccer-mom doctrine of blaming inanimate objects for the evils in the world. This mentality of trying to ban everything that could be dangerous is seriously flawed. Lawn darts, guns, three-wheeled ATVs, SUVs, action figures that shoot small pieces of plastic, etc. are not the cause of all problems in the world. It’s what people do with them. To use the old pro-gun rhetoric: ‘guns don’t kill people, people do.’ For example, if I throw a lawn dart up in the sky and try to catch it, then I am an idiot. It’s not the lawn dart manufacturer’s fault nor should lawn darts be made illegal because of a couple of idiots. Yet, in the US society of the minority oppressing the majority (the basis for political correctness), one person can screw things up for everybody.

Regarding SUVs destroying the environment: Global warming is real in my opinion. Here in East Tennessee we now get maybe one good snow per year. However, the world frequently has changes in temperatures (you know, ice ages and stuff). My problem is that there is no evidence that the acts of humans are causing this temperature increase. I challenge anyone to show me scientific evidence that humans, their actions, or their vehicles are the cause. Green Peace doesn’t count since their data have been proven wrong several times over (like the picture of the fjord, which I’ve unfortunately lost the link to). I find it kind of self-centered that we think our actions impact the planet so much, particularly since there is no hard evidence of it.

SUVs in general: Let’s take a not so untypical East Tennessee family for example. Mom, dad, two kids (who we’ll call Susie & Bobbie), and a couple of dogs. Well, one weekend Susie and Bobbie want to go to the lake. So the family loads up the Ford Expedition with ample seating. Mom & dad in front, Suzie & Bobbie in the second set of seats, the dogs in the back set of seats, various lake toys in the back, and a boat in tow on the trailer hitch. This scenario is fairly normal. What should this family do? Take two vehicles for every trip or use an SUV? I don’t think said trip would happen if this hypothetical family had, say, a Saturn or Honda Civic. So, SUVs serve a very practical purpose in some cases. Now granted, most SUVs haul a 110 lb woman and a bag of groceries at most. But, it’s the 110 lb woman’s right to do so.

On to the whackos: A group exists (the whackos) that makes bumper stickers that people (the other whackos) can put on SUVs that say ‘I’m destroying the environment, ask me how.’ The solution proposed by the anti-SUV crowd to the perceived environmental destruction caused by SUVs (though not proven) is the willful destruction and labeling of other individuals’ private property. No wonder a group exists advocating vehicle choice. I heard on the radio recently that some group in California (I know, you’re shocked) proposed a $0.50 tax per gallon of gas on SUVs only. Let me be clear, these people are irretrievably stupid.

Now, my opinion on the heart of the matter: See, it’s mostly party-line towing, extreme environmentalist, liberal, whackos who behave so irrationally. In my opinion, it boils down to haves and have nots. A SUV has a certain aesthetic appeal. It’s also a symbol of prosperity and affluence. These vehicles (though practical) are not cheap. That’s why there’s a market for inexpensive SUVs. Now, given what the party-line towing, extreme environmentalist, liberal, whackos think of personal wealth, it boils down to jealousy and classism to an extent. See, your average party-line towing, extreme environmentalist, liberal, whackos likely can’t afford a Hummer (no, not the sexual kind, the vehicle, silly). Thus, from a simple functional vehicle, a class war has emerged.

September 04, 2002

You don’t say

Clinton apparently has said he will not be doing a talk show. Really? You don’t say? He’s not going to open himself up to a forum in which people might ask him questions, such as:

What were you thinking when you pardoned Marc Rich?
Why did your wife’s law firm records disappear and show up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
Why didn’t you enforce weapons inspections against Iraq?
Why did you order the military to bomb an aspirin factory?
Why did you lie to Jim Lehrer and the American people?
Why did you cheat on your wife (oh, never mind we’ve seen her)?
What was that Whitewater nonsense all about?
Why did you sign into law the highest tax increases in the US since WWII?
Ad infinitum.

Of course, Bush won’t do one either for the same sense of accountability he may be held to. I do have to give Jimmy Carter props for releasing his documents to the public early. Other presidents won’t do it. Carter, the greatest ex-president ever. Too bad he didn’t do that good a job in office.

Political Science 101

With November creeping up on us, both parties are struggling for an issue to rally the American people behind. For the Republicans, the issue is the war on terror. For the Democrats, it’s the economy, stupid.

Republicans: The American people seem to be in agreement on invading Iraq but the Eurowheenies want to have none of that (see other rant). The disagreement among Americans only seems to be when. The camps of thought on that are (1) do it now, (2) wait until Iraq does something stupid, or (3) give them an ultimatum to submit to inspections, then invade when they don’t. But these options aren’t good for Dubya’s political career. He learnt from Daddy (who had the highest approval rating ever during the Gulf War yet still lost to Bubba) not to take such an action until closer to reelection time. So, the timing isn’t quite right to do it now. It could likely happen in mid 2004. This line of thinking does not bode well for the American people. Of course, it’s speculation on my part.

Democrats: What can I say? The economy is actually doing Okay. Economic indicators are actually good. The problem is that the stock market (which unfortunately most Economists equate as being the economy) is kinda shaky. Hell, my 401(k) lost $5,643.30 this week. So, the Democrats are in the process of talking down the economy. It’s all they can do since they really have no issue that they can rally the American people behind. All of this, despite the fact the economy is really not that bad. People are buying cars, houses, interest rates are down, and our economic indicators are up. Why do they do this? Well, they learnt from Clinton that it’s the economy, stupid. And if the economy is bad then we must have a bad president. Now, here’s my problem with this line of thinking: The government can’t control the economy. Though the Clintonistas would have you believe that the 90s boom was due to Clinton, they are wrong. See, if the government could control the economy, we’d never have recessions or depressions. But we do have them, irregardless of government action. All the government can do is add or remove governmental barriers to the economy. In other words, their only controls over the economy are taxes, subsidies, fines, and a few other things. These things, however, do not decide if we have a recession or depression. Now, the stock market is a different issue as investors are uncertain due to the recent corporate scandals. So, the Democratic strategy is to mention corporate corruption and Bush & Cheney in the same sentence. Again, this line of thinking does not bode well for the American people.

So, bear these things in mind as you read your news. The end result will be that each party will take their stance on their respective issue. Then, each side will develop their plan on the other party’s issue. Both sides will then focus on making the other party look bad and nothing will get done. And whoever can hire the best PR people will get elected by the people of the Divided States of Embarrassment (to use an Eminemism). It’s truly a pity.