I saw Saw last night. It would have been a pretty cool movie (creepier than Seven, but slightly less clever) with the following major exception:

Cary Elwes in Hot Shots! – Classic
Cary Elwes in Robin Hood: Men in Tights – Hilarious
Cary Elwes in Saw – F’n terrible

If Cary Elwes had been replaced with a better actor… say someone like Edward Norton, and if they’d tweaked a few stupid parts, I think this movie would be mentioned in the same breath as some other great thrillers.

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The Onion's Election Day Guide

The Onion’s Election Day Guide is pretty amusing in some cases.

If your election official hooks you up to a machine via a needle in your arm, you are actually donating blood.

And then, they slide in a shot at the Libertarians!

You might think it’s funny, but it’s disrespectful to submit write-in candidates like “Don Knotts,” “Mickey Mouse,” or “Michael Badnarik.”

O'Reilly, you Dog

I have read a number of excerpts from the Bill O’Reilly harassment suit and they’re simultaneoulsy some of the funniest yet most disturbing things I’ve ever read. If even a fraction of this is true, O’Reilly should be finished. This flies in the face of everything his public persona stands for. Some of the most odd comments were from the “Carribiean Shower” portion of the lawsuit.

… we would order up some room service and uh and you’d definitely get two wines into you as quickly as I could get into you I would get ’em into you… maybe intravenously, get those glasses of wine into you…

…you’d have to do it really light, just kind of a tease business…

I have to admit, it reads so old-school and bizarre that I can picture O’Reilly saying it… and it’s incredibly disgusting. “tease business”? Oh man.

John Kerry is Borderline Retarded

I must admit that when choosing between watching the Red Sox game and the debate, I’ve chosen the Red Sox game. I don’t regret it either. At least with the game I’m watching people who are actually the best in the country at their particular profession compete against one another.

During commercials, I’ve flipped to the debate just to get a feel of what’s going on. Maybe it’s just my timing, but Ive heard a few social issues talked about – like gay marriage and abortion – and neither candidate really took a stand to differentiate themselves from the other. A few times now I’ve caught them talking about economics, where Kerry has without a doubt proven that he would do nothing but further the damage to this country’s economy.

Raise the minimum wage? Hey great idea. Sure, you just force companies to pay people more, they pull that magical money out of the air, and voila people making minimum wage earn more money. I didn’t hear anyone (including Bush, who probably doesn’t know any better) bring up how many jobs are lost when the minimum wage gets raised. No mention either of how, if a company can’t cut jobs, a raise in minimum wage simply results in increased prices on goods and services. So, the struggling single parent is working at a fast food joint. The minimum wage gets raised and one of two things happen: 1) The restaurant has to clamp down on hiring, since every employee must be paid that much more money (ie. fewer jobs), or 2) The restaurant simply raises the cost of the food it sells. The landlord of that single parent now has to pay more for his/her hamburger. Stuff costs more. Time to raise the rent!

Then I went on to hear Kerry’s equally simplistic solutions for health care costs and social security. Honestly, these are the two best candidates America has to offer?

What a nuisance

Kerry is getting blasted by Republicans, mostly out of context, for referring to terrorism as a nuisance.

“We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives but they’re a nuisance,”

“As a former law enforcement person, I know we’re never going to end prostitution. We’re never going to end illegal gambling,”

Now, I really don’t think Kerry is referring to terrorism as a “nuisance” right now. I think it’s clear that what he’s saying that he’d like to supress terrorism completely, but is conceeding that it will probably never totally disappear.

My main issue is that he’s comparing this stuff to gambling and prostitution. So, we have no social liberals running for office? As a social liberal myself, I want to see gambling and prostitution made f’n legal. Apparently the supposed liberal candidate thinks they’re a nuisance – on the order of terrorism going forward, I guess.

Tonight's upcoming debate

Tonight’s debate is going to suck. As I mentioned in my VP debate post, what we’re going to hear tonight is more talk from two politicians who think they are responsible for creating jobs, improving the economy, and spending the private sector’s money to solve the private sector’s problems.

What might possibly be interesting is Badnarik’s claim that he’s either going to debate tonight or be arrested. That article would be more appropriately titled “Badnarik will be arrested tonight.”

I’m not sure if this story will make the news, or it will just be a small-time unmentionable story, dismissed as a sideshow – like most third parties.

Debate #2: The VPs

I have to admit that I didn’t see this whole debate (I missed about the first 40 minutes) but from what I saw it was -as I expected- entirely more fulfilling than was the first presidential debate. There were some great shots taken at one another’s expense. In addition, each participant was much more well-spoken than the presidential candidates.

Some parts ticked me off, namely:

  • Cheney kept moving around and muffling his microphone. They should have just given them mics on a stand or something.
  • Edwards’ mouth moves in bizarre ways. Tell me that’s not aggravating.
  • Damned if I know where all of those statistics are coming from. At one point I think Edwards mentioned the number of domestic jobs lost was one-point-something million, and then said there were over two million manufacturing jobs lost. Beats me. Wouldn’t manufacturing jobs be a subset of the domestic jobs? Maybe I misunderstood. Then Cheney comes back with millions of other jobs created. It’s ridiculous and confusing.
  • The “outsourcing” issue. Kerry and Edwards sound more afraid of outsourcing than Pat Buchanan. I know it sounds great that they want to close all of these “loopholes” but let’s see what happens then. Oh, well, the fact that labor is cheaper in other countries still doesn’t change. Take that away from our companies and chop us off at the legs. After competing on a non-level playing field with the rest of the world, I can’t imagine any company wouldn’t seriously consider up and leaving the US and it’s heavy corporate taxes and regulations, and take even more jobs with it. The outsourcing argument is, in my opinion, such an outrageous scare tactic that it really bothers me when people bring it up as this big evil operation. If you want to keep jobs in the US, buy US products. If you hate outsourcing, don’t buy from companies who outsource. There are plenty of watchdog groups out there (as well as the media) so it’s no secret who these companies are. Having the government prevent outsourcing will do nothing but cost us jobs.
  • Job “creation.” Here’s something you’ll never hear in the debates – the government does not create jobs. Hey, I’ll go even a step further – the government does not make the economy good. I don’t want the government to try to do either anyhow – they inevitably screw it up. Every stupid interest rate change announcement throughs the economy in a tailspin. The government should make sure we have an adequate framework for conducting business – not overtax, not overregulate, and let the private sector do what it does best. That is to create and destroy jobs as needed to cater to the needs of consumers worldwide. Cheney seemed like he almost wanted to say it, but if a former CEO is afraid to say it, then I can only assume we’ll never hear a politician make that case. They’ll both continue to take credit for creating jobs, and blame each other when jobs are lost.
  • No one seems to have a reasonable solution to health care (where reasonable is defined as the solution I’d most like to see). It’s more of the same – throw government money at it. If we keep this nonsense up, I’m going to have to start punching every smoker and fat person I know. Hey buddy, pay for your own unhealthy lifestyle.

On a similar note, I read this article today about the FDA letting Vioxx out the door even though it had dangerous side effects. Now let me ask a question – what do you conclude from reading a story like this? My hunch is that politicians, and maybe even most Americans, think that means “we’d better give the FDA more money, possibly even pass some ‘reform’ because they’re not doing a very good job.” How many people look at that and think – “what a useless piece of garbage the FDA is? Why are we still throwing money at them? Drug prices skyrocket as companies go through years of federal regulations and hoops to get drugs to market, only to have this happen?” I don’t think many people think that way. I don’t hear many politicians talking that way. It’s more of the same – we’re not doing a good job, but if we spent more money everything would be great (hmmm… I believe that’s their answer to education also).

Okay, so it turns out the debate got me fairly fired up. I think that’s a sign of a good debate. Again, on most of the important issues I think neither candidate is for me. Cheney’s line about saying the first time he ever met Edwards was on the stage, calling him out for not showing up on the job, was f’n great. I was hoping Cheney would drop the f-bomb during the debate, but since that didn’t happen I think at least that comment was pretty close.

I think Edwards’ strongest technique was in appealing to the American people – talking directly to them at times. At first I thought it was annoying, but it grew on me and I think it was pretty compelling in the end.