Friday, July 25, 2008

McCain makes a huge campaign blunder...and CBS attempts to cover it up

As I'd predicted, I haven't been keeping much track of this campaign at all. Along with being too busy, the issue of PO has made elections like this one more irrelevant to me than ever. But what I do find striking about this election is the GOP nominee, McCain. This guy is a trainwreck, and if elected, he could rival Bush in his ineptness as our occupant of the Oval Office, From what I see, it seems that barely a day goes by without him making some kind of blunder or verbal miscue. And it may not necessairly be due to age, although if it is, I feel terrible for the guy, and it's certainly nothing to make light out of.

Besides, my big problem with McCain, and him being the age that he is and serving in Congress as long as he has, is not his mental faculties (or possible lack of them), but the tendency of people his age, and in the same position for a long time, to be extremely set in their ways and to fail to realize different points of view. Because we've had a guy with a similar mindset for the past 8 years in office, we've gotten in a big mess, and we don't need 4 or 8 more years of the same.

Well, that's enough of that. Now, as to why I wrote this post. The other day, in a CBS News interview, McCain made a huge blunder that could seriously undermine his campaign (if reported enough, which seems to not have been the case so far). He said in the interview that the "surge" of troops into Iraq was responible for the "Anbar Awakening", which were the coalitions of Sheikhs in the Anbar province who formed coalitions to ensure security by driving extremists like Al-Qaeda in Iraq off their lands. However, the "Awakening" was first announced by a U.S. general in Iraq on September 2006, at least four months before the new "Surge" policy was announced by Bush. McCain is running his entire campaign on foreign policy experience, as his positions on other issues (economy, health care, etc.) suck. And, judging from such a big-league gaffe as this one, he's even screwing up on foreign policy.

But that's not the end of the story. CBS News, who conducted the interview with McCain, left his exact quote on the cutting room floor. It can be found on their official transcript online, but their decision has already impeded this important statement from being viewed by the millions of people who turn to CBS as a news source. What's also interesting is that the question in which McCain answered by saying that the surge came before the Awakening, was still aired on the program, but an answer from McCain to a different question was aired in its place.

This is from the same network behind Rathergate, the controversy over Bush's Air Force Reserve records on 60 Minutes. Over questionable typography, there was a huge uproar from bloggers, investgations were conducted, and careers were ended. And there was never any proof that the allegations made in that report were false. Yet, here we have an interview that was edited to substitute a different answer to a different question, a serious breach of journalistic ethics (if such a thing even exists anymore), and yet no one's talking about it, and nothing will come of it. For shame.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Home Depot Honors Fallen Soldiers With Great Prices On Tools

This is a funny video from ONN (Onion News Network). This isn't for everybody, the subject matter involved is very sensitive, but if you have gallows humor, you'll enjoy it.

Home Depot Honors Fallen Soldiers With Great Prices On Tools

My favorite part is when the woman interviewer asks the soldier's mother, "In your last phone conversation with Andrew, did you talk about home appliances or repair?"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's been awhile (again), but I have good news

It's been awhile because I've been very busy. I started an overnight job around 3 weeks ago, and last week, I was hired as an assistant for a community land trust (I will explain the concept in a later post, but for now, it basically promotes affordable housing). I start next week, and I am currently researching it whenever I have time. I also start school next month, in what will hopefully be my final semester. My online class is finished. So, I'll have 2 jobs, be going to school full-time, and have been approved for a federal work study, in which case I will have to work an additional 10 to 15 hours either at my college or in some other public service.

So, I'll be a busy boy. But I was very excited when I was invited to the office last week and told that I had the job. I had a really good feeling about it from the moment I applied and received the letter inviting me to the interview. I read about CLT's, thought they were a novel and unique concept whose time, I feel, will be coming (in light of our real estate market, as well as other problems in our society) and I'm glad that I got the job. I even saw the piece of office space that's reserved for me; for someone who's spent most of their working life lifting cases and doing other kinds of menial labor (not that I look down on it, it paid my bills and you always have to do what you can to survive), it's nice to have a position in which I can use my brain.

Another big part of my life has been continuing to read about peak oil. Lately, I've been reading about survivalism. While most of what I knew about survivalism to this point came from pop culture (in which they're largely marginalized as being religious extremists, I find), from the little I've researched, most of them just seem to have a "be prepared" mentality. Over the past few weeks, I've been thinking of starting a new organization, one tentatively named The Peak Oil Society. I believe that community-based solutions to PO will be much more effective than all of us going it alone. My goal, if this gets off the ground, will be to initally educate whoever wishes to take part (perhaps by showing them the documentary "The End of Suburbia") and then try to invite guests and speakers who can teach us about survival skills, ranging from being able to grow our own food, medical training, self-defense, and other methods.