the original one-dimensional man's livejournal
most recent 20
monday, december 1st, 2008
[ Santana the Plagiarist ] monday - 12|01|08 - 10:24pm
Early morning in Irvine
November 30th, 2008

For those who care, I'm using a new camera. It's a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi.

I was sitting in a cafe the other day and being exposed to relentlessly mediocre easy listening music. A song came on and I immediately knew the tune and mentioned how terrible this version was. "Oh, you don't like Santana?" "This isn't Santana; it's Brahms." "...?" "Brahms after being bastardized.

So tell me; is this or is this not musical plagiarism?

1. Santana's "Love of My Life"

2. Brahms' "Third Symphony, 3. Poco Allegretto"

How do they get away with it?

tuesday, november 4th, 2008
[ Speech ] tuesday - 11|04|08 - 8:55pm
McCain's concession speech was very, very good. Where was he hiding this side of himself?

"These are difficult times for our country. I pledge to him tonight to do all that is in my power to help him lead us in the many challenges we will face. I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together."

"Whatever our differences, we're fellow Americans. Please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that."

"We fought as hard as we could and though we fell short the failure is mine, not yours."

"I wish godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president."

However, this does not mean it's time to say "Yes we did."

This is the beginning, not the end. As Jimmy Carter found out so painfully in 1976 election, inheriting a poor economy can plague an entire presidency. Carter, victorious over Ford (who was damaged by Nixon) was unable to lead the country out of the doldrums. Let us hope that Obama, victorious over McCain (himself damaged by Bush) will do better.

[ Elections ] tuesday - 11|04|08 - 7:07pm
A vote for change, Irvine, CA
November 4th, 2008

I may have walked to the polling place but I voted against the "clean energy" propositions. Anyway, what I'm really looking forward to is 18 months of not caring about politics. Portland, here I come!

monday, november 3rd, 2008
[ Venice ] monday - 11|03|08 - 3:36am
So I'll be in Portland from Wednesday evening through Saturday evening. Let's hang out.

Venice, Italy
June 19th, 2006

sunday, november 2nd, 2008
[ Huntington Beach ] sunday - 11|02|08 - 8:38am
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Huntington Beach, CA
November 24th, 2006

tuesday, october 21st, 2008
[ Venice ] tuesday - 10|21|08 - 3:18pm
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Venice, Italy
June 18th, 2006

saturday, october 18th, 2008
[ Beynec-et-Cazenac ] saturday - 10|18|08 - 6:06pm
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Beynac-et-Cazenac, France
June 12th, 2005

sunday, october 12th, 2008
[ Poorly-informed Politicos ] sunday - 10|12|08 - 5:52pm
I went down to the local Obama/Democratic party organizing center today, hoping to be convinced. For me, the decision was between voting for Obama or voting for Dr. Zoidberg. The place was well-stocked with HOPE posters and CHANGE bumper stickers but they need to train their staff a little better...

The lady I spoke to (small, intense, sharp eyes piercing through frameless spectacles) acted like a former hippy who'd rejoined the mainstream a few years ago. She was very passionate about Obama but had a little trouble articulating exactly what change Obama would bring. Her line was that by changing the political party in the White House, the promise of "change" would be fulfilled.

More glaringly, she made two misstatements in her rush to convince me. First she told me that Obama had voted against the war in Iraq. He certainly opposed it but he could hardly have voted against it since it started in March 2003 but Obama has only been in the Senate since 2005.

She also told me that Obama's policy was to bring all the troops home starting immediately. His actual plan is a withdrawal "directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government" and to "continue efforts to train and support the Iraqi security forces as long as Iraqi leaders move toward political reconciliation".

Trawling both campaign websites, I don't see a big difference in their withdrawal plans. Still, I'll give the edge to Obama.

Anyone know more about Obama's plan to cut taxes for 95% of households? Sounds a lot like Bush a la 2000. How is it different? I'm pretty sure he's too smart to advocate trickle-down economics but I don't understand this plan...

I guess I still haven't decided if/how to vote.

[ Irvine ] sunday - 10|12|08 - 5:44pm
Near my apartment, Irvine, California
November 21st, 2007

saturday, october 11th, 2008
[ Considering Abstention ] saturday - 10|11|08 - 12:57am
I just saw the Obama "Hope" poster today and, although it frightens me, I'm seriously considering not voting for a major candidate for President.

The "Hope" poster reminded me too much of a cross between 1930s style "voting for an individual rather than their ideology" exhortation and a Soviet propaganda poster. To me, the word "hope" or "change" underneath someone's picture is akin to sticking "good" or "happy" in the same place. What kind of change? Hope for what? Generalized feel-good words don't cut it for me.

This is not some spur of the moment decision; rather it is more of a personal tipping point. A rejection of federal matching funds and the concomitant limitations on campaign spending is part of it. Advocating the preservation of the Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives is either an attempt to woo religious voters (possibly alienating formerly "safe" Democrats) or a true conviction about the place of religion in American government. Neither of these is particularly palatable. I'm also still concerned about a relative lack of experience; Obama supporters point out that Sarah Palin has little executive experience but then neither does Obama. Neither of them has ever completed a term in federal office.

I also worry about precedent. Over the last 7 years, the executive branch has gained a lot more power than it was ever meant to have. It has essentially worked around the legislative and judicial branches, cutting them out of the decision making processes. I'd like to see the next Congress restore some of the checks and balances by taking a confrontational view to presidential prerogative. This is unlikely to happen with a single party in control of both branches.

I can't see myself voting for McCain/Palin but I also can't see myself voting for Obama/Biden. Before anyone decides to tell me how bad McCain or Palin are, please keep in mind that I don't believe in voting for the lesser of two evils. A candidate should shine on their own, not just in comparison to the murk of their competition.

P.S. I was in a children's bookstore today and was tremendously disappointed to see children's books based on each candidate. There was a saccharine McCain picture book and a vapid Obama book with pictures of his quotations as words in bold filling up pages. I'm all for educating kids politically but this was pure advertising. Neither of the books talked about policy, they just crowed about what a nice guy their candidate is.

All that said, I predict a win for Obama. Probably only for a single term because the average voter is going to be pissed off when they realize that simply electing a different party isn't going to magically return the economy to a boom. I also suspect nothing will get done on a national health care system because no politician has the balls to suggest increasing spending, especially on such a big-ticket item, after the past week. This is all assuming that we're allowed to have an election, of course.

Le sigh. I also made a Big Life Decision this week. More on that later, maybe.

[ Hassop Hall ] saturday - 10|11|08 - 12:53am
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Hassop Hall, Hassop, England
March 28th, 2008

thursday, october 9th, 2008
[ Chilkoot Trail ] thursday - 10|09|08 - 12:13pm
Chilkoot Trail (hike portion), Alaska
August 25th, 2008

wednesday, october 8th, 2008
[ Chilkoot Trail ] wednesday - 10|08|08 - 4:09pm
Rafting on the Chilkoot Trail, Alaska
August 25th, 2008

sunday, october 5th, 2008
[ Late Night ] sunday - 10|05|08 - 3:54pm
Prague, Czech Republic
December 19th, 2007

saturday, october 4th, 2008
[ Prague Opera House ] saturday - 10|04|08 - 8:42am
Prague, Czech Republic
December 21st, 2007

thursday, october 2nd, 2008
[ Hassop Hall ] thursday - 10|02|08 - 4:21am
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Hassop Hall, Hassop, England
March 28th, 2008

wednesday, october 1st, 2008
[ Venice ] wednesday - 10|01|08 - 10:23am
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Venice, Italy
June 18th, 2006

tuesday, september 30th, 2008
tuesday - 09|30|08 - 2:21am
Near Hoonah, Alaska
August 26th, 2008

monday, september 29th, 2008
[ Catpile ] monday - 09|29|08 - 7:36am
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Vernazza (Cinqueterre), Italy
September 19th, 2007

sunday, september 28th, 2008
[ Switzerland ] sunday - 09|28|08 - 7:00am
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Teufelsbrucke, Switzerland
September 29, 2007

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