The Gentlemen Revolutionaries

Dedicated to the Preservation of the First Amendment

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Blame Canada! OR get blamed by Canada

So they Canadians have lost it, it seems they dont like shooting deaths too much up there. Toronto has had its 52nd gun death this year. WOW! 52, that is TERRIBLE. I am sorry for the sarcasm, it is terrible and it is twice as many as they had last year, however, they have only had a total of 17 more murders than last year. So one can make the assumption that many of those 52 would have occured anyway, just would have been bloodier, more violent stabbings and beatings. They arn't killing more people. they are just killing more efficently.

So in light of this huge swing in murders the mayor of Toronto blames, who else, but the United States. Apparently nearly 50% of the guns come from the United States. Ok so we are less than half to blame but it is all our fault. Oh also apparently it is our responsibility to stop them at the Canadian border. Well then Canada it is your responsibility to stop drugs from coming into the US.

Here is a real answer, Canadian youths, similar to urban youths here, and well everywhere, are upset because they are poor and marginalized and the "social programs" shall we call them, do not work.

So here is my solution. GET USED TO IT. I am sorry Canada but things are not really what you wish they would be. There is violence and poverty and crime. Do something about that rather than blame.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

So Bill Gates is most likely evil... but goddamn it, you have to forgive a man that makes a product this good. 360 is sick

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
not a creature was stirring except a blogger, and his mouse
All the stories had been researched and written with care
To monitor the politicians and their actions that he found unfair
No one was safe not matter what side
They were all fair game, for he knew they all lied.
Yet they country was not as bad as some people thought
for he knew that no civil war needed to be fought.
He wrote and wrote about failed legislation
and did little to hide his own political aspirations.
Friends talked of great acts of collusion
while he did his best to relieve their delusion.
For he knew there was no great new world order plot
simply dirty politicians trying to line their pockets and buy their yacht.
"But Washington is not invincible," he yelled
"With our support a quality politician can excel!"
So he read and read all he could find
Until finally he was able to make up his mind
"By McCain, Lieberman and Hilary too,
I have found the perfect candidate, its true!"
A man from named Bayh from Indiana
would be perfect for the White House, that piece of Americana.
But that was years away and Christmas is tomorrow
So celebrate with you and yours without any sorrow.For dirty politicians may be in power
but 2008 will be our hour.
Nothing can be done on these holidaysSo Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and all the other cliches.

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Failure of War on Drugs

I am in no way advocating for legalizing drugs, especially those that I will be mentioning below. However, these events illustrate a very clear negative effect of the war on drugs.

Bolivia's recent elections have been confirmed and Evo Morales has been declared the victor. First I must say that I am always glad when there is a free, fair, and open election in Latin America. Democracy has been slow coming to Latin America, as it has always been in the battle grounds of the Cold War, and any time there is a election there I am please. Yet the results of the election are somewhat stunning and show a disturbing trend taking place in South America. This trend is the increasing movement to fairly hardline socialist states. The root of this problem is is United States itself and a complex system of programs. In no way am I advocating removing these programs because we do have to look out for number one, but we must modify some of them to make them more globally friendly.

The programs facilitating this are the War on Drugs and the vast farm subsidies. Basically what happens is we go into areas in South America where they have no economy and support themselves by growing Coca for the drug trade, we destroy the drugs (rightfully so in my opinion), leaving them with nothing. Their other options are to go back to traditional methods of living (which from our selfish perspective, would be the best) or to grow cash crops for export. Now unfortunately the cash crops they can grow are fairly limited. It is almost impossible to be competitive with an crop that is grown in the US, so that leaves coffee. I spent a number of weeks in Ecuador. I spent an afternoon harvesting coffee; let me tell you it is back breaking work for only a few dollars a day. So here are these people who are dirt poor because we fly over in our Blackhawks every few months and burn their crops to the ground (Though I am sure it is coming across as if I am against this, I really am not). So these people have nothing and it makes it very easy for a charismatic leader that comes from their background come to power. This is exactly what Evo Morales came to power in Bolivia.

So what does his election mean to the US? Well, a lot to be frank. He is most likely going to align Bolivia with Venezuela and Cuba, chances are he will nationalize more private industry, and most importantly the middle class will be forced out of the political system. Though this wont have as disastrous an effect as it is having in Venezuela, due to the fact that Bolivia has a much smaller middle class, the end result is the same in that the long term political stability of Bolivia will be questionable at best.

In other news:

Nancy Pelosi is the freaking devil. Dems, watch yourself, she will drag you down.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Here is a great article on the Dungy situation.

Lots of stuff

"Jenn B." left the following message regarding my comments on the NYC transit strike: "FYI-it's illegal for government workers to strike because they're considered a vital government service. Instead they have other ways of negotiating contracts. So really, they should be jailed. I can't say I feel that sorry for them. " Well Jenn B., though this may be the case, you missed my point. First the idea that they are a vital government service is ludicrous. The only vital services are the ones that would result in death and not an inconvenience. For example the police, firefighters are vital services. Unfortunately a union has little other recourse for negotiations when the best deal they are being offered is a 4% pay cut for new hires and a 3% pay raise for current employees. Lets think about that 3% for a bit; the current inflation rate as of today is 2.7% and that shifts and can change day by day, but that 2.7 is pretty standard. So that 3% raise has suddenly become .3%... Still think that isn't worth striking over? The Mayor and the MTA forced the union into this because the Mayor thought he could get a political gain from it. So the strike lasted 3 days and New York is still there, the "terrible results" that Mayor Dickweed predicted didn't happen and once again NYC failed to do it right. Hell when we had the OG of transit strikes earlier this fall did it for 8 days. Now thats a strike I respect!

Now on to today's news.

Rick Santorum has started with the duck and cover routine after placing all of his eggs in one basket in the recent Intelligent Design fight. Santorum has, until today, been affiliated with the Christian Rights Law Center (right like Christians need a law center because its not like we haven't had every President... ever). The Christian Rights Law Center was at the heart of the recent intelligent design fight in The Great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ( great trivia by the way, there are really only 46 states in the United States and 4 Commonwealths!). Santorum is a year off from reelection and is slipping in the polls every day. Santorum said he was pulling out because "Santorum told The Philadelphia Inquirer he was troubled by testimony indicating religion motivated some board members to adopt the policy." What?! Intelligent Design is religiously motivated? You have to be freaking kidding me! I could swear that it was a legitimate scientific theory! Santorum apparently thought that too when he wrote his 2002 Washington post article that said just that.

Apparently Santorum had expressed his displeasure with the law center as they have become involved in this case, but surprise surprise, he stayed on board so he could make the political move AFTER the decision was reached. Potentiality smart move that ended up being stupid.

On a more serious note I wanted to comment on the death of Tony Dungy's son. Tony Dungy is one of the few men in the NFL who is really respected by pretty much everyone. He is a great guy that has been hit by something terrible. The preview of the Superbowl will be played on Saturday, though it will be extremely different when it is played in February.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I think I threw up in my mouth

Today my life changed. I have read the absolute worst auto review in the history of mankind. First I have a feeling it may have been written by a 14 yearold. Why do I say that? Probably because it is written poorly AND I really have a feeling that this is the first time this person has driven a car. Secondly, the article is overtly opinionated, something you all know gets my blood boiling. So in honor of how much this has effected me I have decided to institute a new system of THE ANGER METER. Basically I will use this to illustrate how pissed off I am getting.

So now I want you to take a minute and read the article and then come back and join me as I take pleasure in ripping this article to shreds:

Done? Ok good. Now I know that many of my readers would either consider themselves "car people" or "environmentalists." This obviously does not cover everyone, but it includes many of you.

So where are we at with this article. First I am approaching it as a car review so lets go at it from that angle.

"The stubby Honda two-door cut through Manhattan traffic like a skateboard. It accelerated smoothly, braked quietly, and-best of all-consumed no gasoline and generated no greenhouse gases."

Ok not withstanding that the skateboarding comment, which fits well with my guess that it was written by a 14 year old, an auto review is not based on the car being good for the environment, it should be based on THE FREAKING CAR.

Anger level: Cut off by 17 yearold in Japanese Car

Ok so the next paragraph is all about more environmental BS and how hydrogen works. So lets move on.

Anger level: Skunked Beer

So now we have a paragraph that is ALMOST a car review but the ignorance still manages to shine through when the writer says "The FCX makes hardly any noise and accelerates smoothly, with none of the gearshifting that you feel in a gas-powered car." So basically you are telling me that gearshifting is a bad feel and you dont want to be able to hear your car? Basically you are saying the two things that help you know what your car is doing, be one with the machine, the road, what you are doing to your equipment, how you are treating your investment, is a bad thing? Well sir I say that you are an idiot.

Anger level: Forced listening to a jam band

Moving forward we come across the claim that the author "felt a decent surge while starting off, though getting to 60 mph takes as long as 13 seconds." Hey Chief, you didn't feel any surge if it took you 13 seconds to get to 60, that surge was you farting from your tofu and starbucks you had for lunch. Oh and its good that you probably dont have any friends because that 80 horsepower motor probably isnt enough for two.

Anger level: Cable out during an Eagles Game

So finally the author decides to end this god awful article but he ads a nice quick little piece of turd in at the end saying "Regardless, it is reassuring to know that the technology is available to free us from dependence on imported oil and asphyxiating ourselves with greenhouse gases. Now if they could just work on that seven-figure sticker price." Oh that and it costs 20 dollars for 190 miles work of fuel... that is a real price savings (or not you morons).

Anger level: Dallas Cowboys win the super bowl.

So here we are at the end of a review of a CAR and we have maybe a paragraph about the car itself. I really dont know what to do with myself right now but I can tell you this: car people, be pissed, you know why to be pissed, this steaming pile is being passed off as an auto review. Environmentalists, be pissed, this steaming pile makes you all look like idiots.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

New York say hello to walking

So NYC in its constant quest to be more like Philly they have decided to have a transit strike. Unfortunately they don't know how to do it right (they are closer to Connecticut, dont be suprised they are screwin up) and it has devolved into a nasty leagal battle with an dick of a mayor creating even more of a mess than there needs to be.

The result is that the transit union is being held in contempt of court and being charged 1 million dollars a day for striking. Good old fashioned American Strike busting. Nothing like trampling the rights of the American working class because what they are doing is inconvient to you.

New York, send me a self addresed stamped envelope and I will send you a dollar and a clue. Is it inconvient? I am sure. Are you losing hundreds of millions of dollars a day? I would not be suprised. Should you bully other people just because you are bigger than them? No.

It is funny I use the word bullies, this is the first word that came to mind when i was thinking of the tactics that Mayor Bloomberg was using and in a press conference today he said

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg lashed out at union leaders for "thuggishly" turning their backs on the city, vowing there would be no further contract negotiations until the strike ends.
"You can't break the law and use that as a negotiating tactic," he said at an afternoon news conference. "This is unconscionable," he added.

There is only one thug here Mr. Mayor and that is you. Oh and nice photo op walking across the bridge this morning. I wonder how long that will last untill you start traveling by motorcade or helicopter? My guess is that the strike will still be going on when you make that decision (so it probably did that on the way home today).

So New Yorkers, I am sorry, but simply because your Mayor is a dick, I think the city is getting what it deserves.

So although I said earlier that i would probably be posting on certain subjects that may change with this afternoon's development in the NYC transit strike

Remeber, everytime you say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" the terrorists win

I will probably be writing about this later:

Bush keeps on slippin slippin slippin into the future

The Washington Post has a nice article about yesterdays press conference with Bush commenting on the wire taps.

Check it out:

Monday, December 19, 2005

Lets make a deal

The ground is shaking in DC with rumblings of another impeachment. This time it is seeming like it may be deserving, though in my opinion, probably not. That said, it doesnt mean that it wont happen.

This whole impeachement thing has gotten out of hand. The Republicans are clearly to blame for creating this situation and impeaching Clinton when he shouldnt have been but at this point I blame the Democrats too. We get it, you hate Bush, 70% of America does too, but just because he is disliked does not mean he should be impeached. The Democrats should be ashamed of themselves, this petty revenge politcs makes me freakin sick.

They must be very careful in approaching this situation, if he deserves to be impeached, get it done and do it right, dont talk the rehtoric and play the game, just do it. This talk just makes you look bad. (weird that it is Boxer that is up to this)

So I am starting a pool if Bush will make it to the end of his term. I am giving 3 to 1 odds. For every dollar you bet, if bush doesnt make it, you get three. This only applies to impeachment and nothing else that can happen, INCLUDING resignation. I am offering 1.5 to 1 odds on resignation.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Yup GW Is being a dick

So I turn on Fox this evening at 9 pm planning to see the dumbest man on television let me share in his zany adventures for another week. But instead it turned out that the President was on. So I guess this was still the case but it was hardly the Family Guy. Ok we get it. You are the President, you are doing your thing, you had your whirlwind day on Thursday that got you a whole lot of no where so now you have to go to the Nation and spout some BS to try and get people back on your side. I got a little tip for you... YOU ARE NOT RUNNING AGAIN and YOUR LEGACY IS ALREADY SHIT. You are toast big boy, stop interrupting my Sunday night.

Though this is very big in my life it is not the biggest media news of the past few days. The biggest is clearly the departure of Howard Stern from terrestrial radio. Now I am not a huge Stern fan, though I do enjoy him, but his impact cannot be denied by anyone. He has changed the face of media as we know it and shame on the government for forcing him off. Stern may have lost his edge in recent years, but that can only be blamed on the fact that he has been so restrained by the FCC.

Hopefully the new age of radio personalities (Kid Chris) wont be forced off by the bullying of the FCC.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

What are they up to?

The White House is up to something. I mean seriously, what the hell or they doing. They are doing everything that I thought they would never do. He accepted some blame for the war, he wants 3.1 Billion for New Orleans (an extra zero there than I expected), and most amazingly he has let McCain have his way on the torture bill.

Now there are obvious reasons why he did these things, for example even if he vetoed McCain's bill there would have been a veto override and he would have looked like an ass. But why did he do all of these things in the past two days? It all has to do with, surprise surprise, Iraq. The administration was padding the deck for today. They were counting on the election going to hell and wanted some good news on a day that they thought it would be all bad.

Also they know they are about to get nailed on the Patriot Act...

I think that Mitt Romney really maybe the Republican party candidate. Wouldn't that be ironic? A Massachusetts Conservative against Warner, a Virginia Liberal.

Bob Novak says the President knows who it is...

I say Bob Novak is a jack ass and if anyone knows he does...

Meet the Republican Candidate for President

Look up Mitt Romney

He is it.

More on this later

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Super long book post.

I’ve been thinking about Howard Dean’s comments about the war last week. For those of you that may not know he said “"The idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is just plain wrong." Not surprising coming from Dean, but interesting none the less. Dean is an interesting character. I personally thought he was never suited to be President and think he played a spoiler role for many more qualified democrats than Kerry. Yet he convinced many people, who he was ultimately simply hurting, that he was the best man for the job. The result is that the party felt bad for him, overestimated his popularity and fund raising capabilities and made him head of the party. Now the Democrats are lead by a man who does not have the party’s best interest in his heart but is instead motivated by his own desire to eventually become President (a similar set of circumstances is leading the Republicans now as well, except that the person causing them harm already is President). Both parties, but especially the Democrats have been hijacked by their extremes, the Republicans were more so for a period of time by the center has fought back and regained a large amount of control. The moderate Democrats have yet to make a stand against those that are acting against their interests.

Dean, however, is a representation of something much bigger, a problem much deeper, than simply the party becoming more extreme. This can be seen in the fact that the congressional delegation (those that should really be controlling the party when there is not a party representative in the White House) cannot keep Dean under control and in line with what will help them get reelected. The Democratic Party structure is crumbling and this will have a very large impact on the way the 08 election is run and its results.

The current reaction of some Democrats to their current state of affairs is interesting and I believe that many are approaching it from a completely incorrect perspective. Democrats are failing to take the first step towards regaining power. They first must admit that the reason they are failing is due to themselves. It isn’t the Republican’s fault, it isn’t “stupid rednecks” fault, it is their own fault. The only thing that can get in the way of your own success is yourself. You cannot blame others for your own short comings. Let us say that the Republicans did rig Ohio in the 2004 election (which I strongly believe they did not). In that case, are the Republicans responsible for cheating? Of course! Are they responsible for the Democrats losing? No! If the Democrats would have run a quality campaign they would still have managed to win. The Democrats’ message simply is not working. The public knows the war is wrong; they used to know the economy was bad (it isn’t anymore and it was never Bush’s fault); they know everything the Democrats are telling them, however, they are not buying the part of the story where the Democrats say they can change things. To be frank, I am not buying that part of the story either. I have yet to hear a convincing argument about how they will change things. Clearly they will approach things differently than the Republicans will but different is not necessarily better. They will still be for big government and irresponsible spending just like Bush

There is a great juncture for the Democrats. It is their choice of which direction they choose to go. It is not a simple choice. The decision will be made if they depending on the result of the 2008 election. Another loss or two like 2000 and 2004 the party will disintegrate. The middle will break and join with moderate republicans to form a truly powerfully third party (except it will become a dominate force, not a third party like we know them now) and the far left will take the remnants of the party, fall by the wayside and will join various other special interest parties (though this may seem to be doom and gloom to those on the left, it is anything but, the movement to these parties will increase overall political competition, additionally if this truly does occur, the converse will be occurring in the Republican party, however this is all driven by the difficulties that the Democrats are having). Though this may seem to be unlikely one must remember that the current static state of the parties is uncommon, to say the least.

This may seem like a lot, and you may very well not believe it but, especially if you are a Democrat, I encourage you to think about it. Realize what is happening to the party by allowing the extremes set the agenda. There are many quality candidates in for 05, encourage them to run! Pick someone that you agree with but who will not turn off the middle. Be Smart and win.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

If you build it, they will come

The blue collar sector of the American economy appears on the verge of another hit thanks to the American Automobile industry. Just weeks after GM announced massive layoffs, Ford Motor Company has taken the similar steps. Current reports show layoffs in the range of 30,000 hourly workers in the United States. Though this is not official this estimate seems to be fairly accurate. The American automakers are hemorrhaging, this is not a slow gradual death, this is screeching tires and flaming exhausts, this is a Pinto being hit by a truck and bursting into flames.

Streamlining production and updating plants will certainly help with cost savings but it will not help to increase sales. Just when the Japanese model appeared to be taking hold in the American motor companies, the game, predictably so, changed and American companies are again dropping the ball. GM has missed the mark ever since appointing Bob Lutz head of the American Motor Group division and Ford has been in trouble for just as long. The key to success are the fundamentals that the American Manufactures started ignoring in 1980s. In my opinion those fundamentals are styling, reliability, and quality. They must all be present in order for a car company to be successful. I have intentionally left one thing out that should draw your eye. Price. Price is not a fundamental with which auto manufactures need concern themselves. I promise I will explain later.

So that leads the discussion to styling, reliability and quality. (Note: I am defining quality and reliability as two different things. Quality refers to the quality of the materials used to build a car, the leather, how quite it is, the stereo etc. Reliability however refers to just that, how reliable a car is.) Reliability is the only one of the three where Ford and GM have made any sort of significant improvement in recent history. If anything was learned from the Japanese model that will remain it is that a crappy car is a crappy car and consumers will see it as such. The old statements such as Found On Road Dead and Guaranteed Malfunction are generally no longer true. However simply having a car that will last as long as something that you pay tens of thousands of dollars for should last is not enough; it also must be a car that people want to buy in the first place. Reliability is a cost of entry, without it, you can’t play the game.
Quality and styling seem to go hand in hand. When was the last time you saw a car with leathers and plastics as nice as those in a comparable Japanese or European car? American cars tend just to look cheap, even when they may be more expensive than their counterparts (price, its getting closer!). Speaking of looks, when was the last time you saw a good looking American car that was not a full-size truck or a Cadillac? The Mustang is the only one that comes to mind but everything else looks like it was drawn on the back of a Wendy’s bag after a hard night of drinking.

So what do they do? Well first step; unfortunately they must continue with the layoffs. Without profitability they will never make a car that is profitable. Make sense? Probably not. BUT they need capital to undertake new projects so profitability is a must. Second they must not take the lead of what is “cool” at the time. The Focus is a perfect example of this. This car was based upon popular Japanese designs and therefore was ultra hot for about two years, but now its sales are plummeting along with its popularity. They must blaze their own path, do their research, determine what people want and go for it. Be unconventional, be exciting. Lastly they must diversify. American car companies are wonderful at doing one thing for a period of time when it seems profitable then moving on to the next. But in that movement phase they get screwed. First muscle cars, then trucks, then SUVs they focused on one of those at a time and were burnt in between. They do those three types better than anyone else and the key is to do them all at the same time. Instead of having 14 SUVs, 5 trucks and a muscle car they should have 6 or 7 of each. If they balance their lines, do it with a flare and do it well, they will be back in the game.

Why Price doesn’t matter.

Price should not be a driving point for the manufactures. Obviously they cannot price exorbitantly but if they prove they have a comparable product they can use comparable pricing. I do not know when American manufactures took over the job of producing low priced cars but it is not a job they are suited for. Other companies (Kia, scion etc.) will always do it better, let them do it and do your own thing. Otherwise you will sink and not swim.

Why not to say you have a bomb and run from the police in an airport.

Why to be careful BEFORE you start advertising. People do not usually get mad if you don’t do something, they do get mad if you change your mind.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Being mean never won anyone any friends.

I wasn't planning on writing another blog on the media today but I was watching last night's Colbert Report rerun and got very upset. His guest, Katrina Van Den Heuvel, a columnist for The Nation. To her credit, she has been a constant victim of attacks from the right, and to her credit she is a smart woman, but I wonder sometimes how a smart woman can be so blinded by partisan views. Her attack on the Bush Administration for its handling of hurricane katrina completely missed the mark simply to take a shot at bush. Van Den Heuvel missed the fact that FEMA was a bloated governmental organization that never was suited for a major disaster being blinded by her hatred for Bush.

FEMA was originally structured to take over the Federal Government in the event of a nuclear attack. It never made the transition to anything else. Was this Bush's fault? Absolutely, he should have led the charge for this transition during the changes that were happening to FEMA post 9/11, HOWEVER, attacking the Bush administration for its incompetence rather than attacking the SYSTEM that was incompetent is fundamentally flawed.

This attack nature makes her no better than when Rush Limbaugh called her names. When will both sides learn that taking the high ground will immediately give them credibility that the other side does not have?

Other stuff:

I have a bunch of new links on the side, check them out. More will be going up in the next few days as well. If you have any sites that you read and think I or my readers would like then let me know.

I am thinking about changing the look and feel of the site. It definitely has the feel I want but I do not know how reader friendly it is. Let me know your opinions.

I will most likely be writing a webpundit article tonight as well. Check over there for an update.