Friday, November 30, 2007

What do you know about Sarcasm?

So I've been a bad boy for the past three weeks. Somehow, I failed to post and every day I feel more and more guilty.

So I had this thought two weeks ago but I wasn't ready to write it yet. Well now I am and I hope you enjoy....

My mother is fond of saying that the word Sarcasm comes from a Greek word that means 'to tear flesh'. So of course this has become a favorite joke for my wife and I, since we are never sarcastic people.

Now I've already professed my love for my wife (see my post about the Zorse) so I suppose it's time to publicly acknowledge that I also love my mother. But I have to say, I always thought she was a little off her rocker with the whole tearing of the flesh thing.

So here is my public apology...not. But in case you're interested read about sarcasm here. Be sure to check out the notes at the bottom of the page!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Follow Up the Tip

I was just going to respond to Guy's comment but I think it warrants a separate post...

I wasn't specifically accusing the Clinton campaign of lying. Rather I feel that Hillary has a knack for taking advantage of a person, for political gain in a disingenuous way. See, I feel that if someone would like to lead this country and make daily decisions that affect us all, then they should exhibit personal integrity. And I would argue that neither Bill nor Hillary Clinton demonstrate personal integrity when they campaign using a strategy of the ends justify the means.

I also happen to think that as part of the political process it is incumbent on us all, to hold up our public officials to close scrutiny and reveal mediocrity when it exists.

Now it may be true, that most, if not all politicians fail to exhibit high standards of conduct. But that doesn't mean that we should elect a candidate who refuses to debate issues in a primary election because she feels that it weakens her party's position against the Republican opposition. Nor should we revere a candidate that has such little regard for the very people that she wishes to govern.

As noted by Obama's campaign "Senator Clinton has clearly decided based on political calculation that her campaign strategy is to tell the American people as little as possible, avoid the difficult issues and try to blur as many differences as possible."

Is that what we want, a win-at-all-costs candidate who will then try to restore our national reputation?

And so now, back to Anita Esterday, the waitress in the original story. Hillary's campaign has made a big show of setting the record straight. Apparently they did leave a $100 tip for sure, on the credit card, and if it wasn't on the card then it was paid in cash. Just ask the manager, who wasn't there. The campaign staffers who haven't been identified and who won't come forward will vouch for it.

And if you don't believe that, then for sure you might want to know that according to the Associated Press, almost the exact same incident occurred during Hillary's 2000 Senate campaign.

So I'll just cut to the chase, Don't Elect Hillary Clinton! She doesn't deserve to be President, even if the image of Bill as First Lady is humorous for a minute.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Campaign Stop

I heard a story on NPR this morning about a campaign stop on Hillary Clinton's tour of Iowa where a waitress complained that "Nobody got left a tip". I noticed that as I was writing this, a note had been added on the NPR site that the campaign not only paid, but also left a $100 tip.

Now, I have no idea what really happened, but it seems to me that just because Hillary has lunch somewhere and meets a mother (the aforementioned waitress) that has to work two jobs to make ends meet, that doesn't give her the right to insert that individual into her campaign speeches and take advantage of the story.

And I can't understand how the subject who obviously had contact with Hillary to relay her story, could have failed to know about the tip. Further, I would think that Hillary would go out of her way to make sure that the person who's story she hijacked for political gain would at least have something positive to say about the meeting, other than, she's glad that she got her 15 minutes of fame.

Now call me crazy, but this smacks of the classic scene from Primary Colors where the character of Jack Stanton, rumored to be symbolic of Bill Clinton and played by John Travolta, leaves a campaign meeting where he told a tearful story about an illiterate uncle, only to reveal that he has no uncle.

The message that I got from the movie was that the political character of Jack Stanton was willing to lie in order to further his political agenda and that the ends justified the means. Likewise the character of Susan Stanton, ostensibly Hillary Clinton, was as politically ruthless as her husband. Forgiving even her husband's extra-marital affairs for the cause...

So if you believe that the roman à clef story was a realistic portrayal of the Clinton's' political strategy then it appears to me that it's politics as usual on the Clinton campaign trail. Only this time someone went back and dug a little deeper. Now the Clinton spin machine is hard at work to counter the bad publicity and I have to wonder, will we experience the same type of ends that we did the last time a "Stanton" plied their political means?

I'm also wondering how long before Hillary starts claiming that NPR is part of right-wing media conspiracy to discredit her.

Everyone Needs A Zorse!

Well maybe not a Zorse. Although, they are kind of cool looking.

But seriously, everyone needs pets. Believe me, we have dogs (4), cats (3), Cockatoos (3), other birds (?), rats (?) and hamsters (2). At least those are the ones I know about. And as much as I hate to admit it, I love them all and I wouldn't get rid of them.

I can't believe I'm actually writing this cause I'm sure my wife Melodie, will read it and I don't want to imply that it's OK to bring any more animals home. But I have to say she's great about taking care of them and as much as I joke about it, I am sort of offended if someone asks me why I go along with having so many pets.

First, let me just say "Happy Wife, Happy Life!" I know that Mel loves all her animals and the kids totally dig them too.

Second, I heard that kids that live in houses with pets, have stronger immune systems and are less likely to develop asthma. The good news there is that none of my kids should ever get seriously ill and I don't think inhalers will ever be an issue!

Third, it may not seem like it all the time, but I love my wife... and did I say "Happy Wife, Happy Life?" After all, she's the crazy bird/dog/cat lady, not me.

Now my lifestyle may not be for everyone, but there is something special about the unconditional love of a dog that will lick your face even after you just scolded them for something they did wrong. I'd just prefer if they didn't do it after eating from the cat box!

So if you've never had the pleasure of being a pet owner, please call me. I'll get Mel to hook you up. She even knows where you can get a Zorse, if you want one. But don't think I'll be giving up any of ours.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Quick Prison Follow-up

I don't intend to make this blog solely about my experiences working as a Corrections Officer, however, my dad did request that I comment about the average intelligence of inmates.

My personal experience was that inmates were difficult to categorize on a group level and that as is the case with almost all other prison metrics, the inmate population tends to be a slightly skewed mirror image of society.

Overall, I would say that the majority of inmates lack formal education beyond the high school level. According to a report I found from the National Institute for Correctional Education, during Fiscal Year 2001 25,648 inmates were identified as needing some sort of correctional education program. The inmate population for 2001 was not listed, however, the 2005 figure of 32,753 inmates was provided. Based on the recent rate of incarceration and summary reports I have seen, I would estimate that the 2001 inmate population was between 27,000 and 30,000 inmates. So roughly between 85 to 95 percent of inmates required educational programs in 2001 and at least 7,918 (roughly 31%) of those failed to meet 8th grade equivalency.

I would say that is pretty good evidence that, at least in the case of Arizona, a significant portion of the inmate population is not as well educated as the public. However, I personally knew many inmates who were extremely bright and I suspect there are a great number of very intelligent prisoners in the system. So how did they get there? I would be willing to argue that intelligence is not what keeps people out of prison, rather, opportunity does.

Unfortunately for Arizona the rapidly growing prison population is putting such a strain on the State's budget that we are 49th out of 50 in per pupil education spending. Which means that opportunities for the next generation are being squandered to pay for prisons today. That being said I think the situation is bound to get worse before it gets better and "we" smart people on the outside better figure out a way to fix it soon.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Shame on Wal-Mart

So I take my son to Wal-Mart to buy a bicycle for his third birthday and what do I hear? Christmas Music on November 2nd???

I thought there was a law that said that Christmas season doesn't begin until after Thanksgiving? If there isn't, there should be.