The Counterpoint

October 30, 2004

Lost cause

The election is three days away and I am no closer to finishing Plan of Attack than I was when the bet was made. The lack of time left combined with the amount of work that has to be done this weekend (as well as my poor time management from the start) leaves me in a deep hole that I doubt I will be able to escape. My prospects for winning this bet are not looking promising.

This weekend I will be watching the Anoka parade, as we are known as the Halloween capital of the world; going to a haunted house; and watching the Mini-bowl, the Super Bowl of pee-wee football. Mix in some hardcore studying and writing a paper, and you've got a jam-packed weekend.

October 28, 2004

Terror tape authenticated

Drudge says ABC has a new tape that warns of impending attacks that will "dwarf" 9/11 has been authenticated by the CIA and the FBI. ABC won't air it yet because they are considering the political ramifications of running the tape in the week prior to the election:

This is not something you just throw out there while people are voting, the ABC source explained.
I am left to wonder how an authentic terror warning qualifies as something that the public doesn't need to know about in the midst of an important election, yet they (the mass media) have no trouble running with half-baked stories on missing weapons (h/t Power Line).

Make sure you go check out that Power Line story. They're doing a great job of deconstructing yet another media attempt to influence the election.

Election predictors

You want a time-tested method of predicting presidential elections? Look no further than the Washington Redskins:

The Washington Redskins have proved to be a time-tested election predictor. In the previous 15 elections, if the Washington Redskins have lost their last home game prior to the election, the incumbent party has lost the White House. When they have won, the incumbent has stayed in power.

This election year, that deciding game takes place on Sunday, October 31 ... vs. Green Bay.
(h/t: Sports Guy)
Polls can be a helpful guide, but the Redskins have accurately predicted every election since 1932. Is there any method of prediction that has been more accurate?

October 27, 2004

The end of an era

It's about time. Seriously.

I will admit, though, that a sick and twisted part of me was hoping for a comeback in the bottom of the ninth followed by three consecutive St. Louis wins, but I also realize that the complaining and moaning that Red Sox fans participate in would grow exponentially.

Still, there is a part of me that is disappointed the Red Sox won. Watching Boston lose is part of baseball tradition; each year we get to hear all about the curses and the missed opportunities and all of the fans who won't get to see their team win the Series in their lifetimes. It's part of the nostalgia that makes it fun to love the game.

Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled for people like Bill Simmons who have devoted their lives to this team while getting nothing (in terms of hardware) in return. I still remember the way I felt when the Golden Gopher hockey team won their first national title after a 23 year drought. That's 1/3 as long as the Red Sox drought was, and it was still incredible. It's a feeling that I hope every sports fan gets to experience at some point. There isn't much like it.

Of course, that doesn't apply to fans of teams like the Yankees, Lakers, etc. If you win too often you start to lose appreciation for the feeling. It's called habituation; the more it happens, the more desensitized you'll become.

Anyway, congratulations to the Red Sox organization and, more importantly, to their fans. It's a long time coming. Now shut your mouths; no more complaining about curses, bad luck, stupid managing, etc. I don't want to hear it anymore. Understand?

You're up, Chicago.

October 26, 2004

Kerry favored by media

A new study has found that the mass media has been portraying Sen. Kerry in a more positive light than President Bush:

In the final accounting, 59% of stories that were mainly about Bush told a mainly negative story, while 25% of Kerry stories played out that way. One in three stories about Kerry were positive, one in seven for Bush.

What a surprise.

A thought on voting

We are less than one week from Election Day. Aside from my deadline to read Plan of Attack, it is also the date we will elect the next president.

Don't let the naysayers fool you: this is possibly the most important election of our lives, and your vote does count. George Bush won Florida by a little more than 500 votes in 2000; that is possibly fewer than the number of people in your neighborhood. The gap seems even smaller when you consider that Bush received 50,456,002 total votes. Get out there, because if you don't vote then you don't have any right to bitch and moan about the direction our country begins to head in January 2005.

And let's be clear: we're looking at a fork in the road. This country will head in two very different directions depending on who wins on November 2. Bush is committed to destroying terrorism all over the world, whether we go it alone or not. And due to the vastly underreported Oil-for-Food scandal, that is the way it's going to be. OF COURSE the UN is going to stand against us with regards to Iraq - they were practically on Saddam's payroll (read those articles for a background). But even if that hadn't been the case, do we honestly believe that foreign leaders would to jump to their feet when Kerry gets elected to support the "wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time?"

And that is what counts -- homeland security. Kerry has historically bailed when it comes to our protection (Gulf, Vietnam, etc). I wish I could believe that he would change his ways if elected, but the risks are too great for that. Like it or not, domestic issues like gay marriage, taxes, and stem cell research have to take a back seat right now. What good is it to talk about space policy if half of the nation is obliterated? We have to worry about protecting ourselves first and foremost.

Now that I am off my soapbox, I have one final thing to say. Though I care for whom you vote, I am certainly much more concerned that you actually do vote. Citizenship hinges on whether or not you participate in the process. Like I said before, if you abstain then you have no right to complain about how things go later on.

It really isn't a difficult task, especially if you simply pick a single issue and decide based on that. But please, inform yourself. I don't really want to encourage you to read the platforms of the various candidates, because it probably won't help you very much. But it's better than nothing. Just do a little research and make an informed decision. Don't base your vote on what your friends or family are doing; only what your mind tells you.

Here are some sources that may help you out:
George Bush
John Kerry
Michael Badnarik (Libertarian)
Ralph Nader

October 25, 2004

Ashlee's flub

Back from an extended vacation to the St. Johns/St. Bens campus'. The getaway was planned to photograph some churches that are just north of the area, but we ended up getting some nice shots of the campus as well. I'll have some of the pictures up later.

For now, go read about Ashlee Simpson's SNL screw-up if you are one of the five people that haven't heard about it yet. My Rock and Roll History professor likes to tell everyone that the majority of popular acts these days actually do lip synch on stage, but few want to believe him. Maybe this will change some minds.

See the video.