Sunday, October 26, 2008

the polls are not wrong

Let me just rant real quick.

First of all, the handle of Kahlua ready-made White Russian is heavier on the vodka than the airplane-bottle kind. This strikes me as backward.

Secondly, I've been reading a lot of right-wing denial regarding the current Obama vs. McCain polls, i.e. they are skewed, they are biased, they don't take into account that America is racist (really! that's a right-wing argument...that America is racist, and that they lie to black pollsters because they'd feel bad about voicing their support for McCain), etc., etc.

A gentleman over at Wizbang (a right-wing blog) lays out a very calm, reasoned argument for this being the most incorrectly polled race since we've really started polling in 1936. Here's the link for that:

Wizbang says the polls are wrong.

But, it's like this. And I could be wrong. Polls, overall, are normally very correct. Here's a bit of a crushing link:

Record of polls from 1936-2000.

And that doesn't include the results of the '04 election, so I looked them up:

2004 polls.

My point is this: even if the polls are inaccurate numerically, which they have been (NBC News's poll in 1980 for example, was 14 points off [that's both ways, now, don't get it twisted]), from 1936 to 2000 the polls picked the correct candidate 54 out of 62 times (87%). It should be noted that, with the exception of Truman v. Dewey (in which there was only one recorded poll), the polls have never been more in favor of the wrong candidate. And just fucking look at that 2004 compilation of polls from Real Clear Politics...I think I counted Kerry three times among a fucking overwhelming onslaught of Bush.

You can rationalize it all you want, but unless this is every single poll doing, quantitatively, far worse than the worst job since polls (sort of) began, Obama's headed for a victory.

Hell, David Frum, Bush's former speechwriter/neocon radio talkshow host, said it best, here:

"Sorry, Senator. Let's salvage what we can."

I have to go eat tacos. More on this later.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Today was the first truly cold day of fall. The air had that blue tint that I love. The porch was wet from the sprinklers coming on over night. In the winter the sprinklers still come on, and it makes my stairs slippery. When I left the house for school this morning, it wasn't cold, and despite the overcast blue of the day I didn't figure rain would come. Oklahoma's a big tease when it comes to rain. One of its favorite tricks is to give you three overcast days, and on the third day to give you fifteen minutes of rain and then to just fucking unleash the sun, which is one of the things I hate the most. An overcast day is calm and introspective, and then the sun comes out and warms the back of your neck and the skin under your clothes and suddenly your shirt is too tight and you want to punch something. So what I'm saying is fool me once, etc., so I wore a T-shirt and shorts. I got to the OU parking lot, which I might have mentioned is a seven minute walk from my class. It was pouring down rain. Icy rain.

I walked to class and was fucking soaked when I got there. Sat through Spanish and then walked back to my car and cranked the heater. I got home and fell back asleep and when I woke up it felt like someone nailed a rail spike through my head. Kahlua was interested in giving love, which she shows by curling up next to you and jerking her head backward like a spaz, so that she can recieve kisses. This is cute, except you get smacked in the teeth 100% of the time. Normally my jaw takes the abuse in stride. But today I had to make a mad dash for the Advil.

I'm afraid I've inherited my mother's migraines. These things are cripplers, man. My legs felt hollow, and I experienced nausea and this crazy dizziness. I think I'm going to upgrade to Advil Migraine, even though these aren't clinically diagnosed. The regular Advil brought this beast down to a normal headache, but didn't do much past that. Hot shower helped.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

god (with plenty of parentheticals)

Regarding God, people are allowed to believe basically anything they want to. As long as it doesn't manifest as, well, you've heard this spiel before. I'll spare you.

There's two options when believing in God: one, that He (or She, or Them, or whatever... for the sake of brevity let's assume I'm talking about the Western God, more specifically the Christian God) is something that is separate from the reality that you and I, assuming that you and I aren't fucked in the head, see every single day, or two, that He is in fact everything we see every single day.

There's the archetype: God has a big beard, and he has agendas. He exists...I don't know, he sits on a cloud and is constantly thinking, sort of Atlas-ish, but at the same time he's doing shit, so he's like an Atlas/Shiva hybrid that occasionally comes to Earth and impregnates (un?)willing young women. He loves Republicans, because they love him the most, despite the fact that Democrats CLAIM that they love Him just as much, but God knows your heart, donkey fuckers. He will always favor the team that wins (and those teams, let me tell you, they'd better fucking thank him when they win [or at least give a point at the sky], because without his help, I mean, for God's sake, he could put their asses down, I'm telling you). He loves Christians and hates Muslims and Hindus, but he makes them by the billions, just to give the good guys someone to hate. He hates gays. He hates abortions. He's at the very least amused by Sarah Palin.

What's wrong with this isn't any of God's positions (I mean, he's God, FGS, and since he's right, then I'm wrong), it's the idea that God would even ever HAVE positions in the first place. That He (It) would have opinions, that it would really care either way about anything at all.

Rain doesn't intentionally fall on people it hates. Wind doesn't blow your hat off because it thinks that it's ugly. Your family member didn't die horribly because God was testing you. Reality doesn't do things to TEST you. It just. does. them. Rain, wind, disease, shoes, dogs, couches, computers, beer bottles (several of them, I need to move the trashcan over here) don't do anything to intentionally influence your opinion in any way whatsoever, except maybe dogs. Reality = God, and reality is something that happens to you, not something that cares what happens to you.

But I'm fine with people going with the first option. That God is some person-like being that somehow exists outside reality and everywhere inside of it. That's fine. God exists. Woo-hoo. Thing is, you have to accept that anything you can't prove, must be real, on some level. Can't prove Bigfoot exists? By your logic, it's more important that you can't DISPROVE his existence. So you have to err on the side of him existing. I'm sure there's clever rebuttal to this somewhere, that would lead to an perhaps less-clever retort from me, which would end in some very tired (much like this whole post, now that I think about it) argument that we should all save ourselves from by just accepting that, at least on a hypothetical level, what I'm saying as true. Being positive is more fun than being negative, anyway.

I was going to follow this up with an argument that my disbelief in this type of God gave me a better bullshit detector, but in a way, this would be a false statement, as someone would be completely capable of recognizing shit for shit and truth for truth, the only difference being this "other" would believe that some force was behind the shit and the truth, which said force I don't believe in, neither of which position can be proved, etc.

However, I can POINT to God. I can prove that the God I believe in exists, because He exists right in front of me. Hey, there's a chair. God. There's a bird. God. This is reality. This is God. There is nothing outside of It, though It's boundaries are ever expanding. It's what I believe in, I guess. Seems rather like a matter of semantics, but not once you get into the whole heaven/hell/Bible/Jesus thing. Cause that, dude, that stuff is bullshit.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I can't sleep. Something about laying down really fucks with my lungs. I got this sickness about a week ago. First symptoms were dizziness and slight out-of-body-ness, with a little cough. Now all the scary shit is gone, and I'm left with a pain-in-the-ass cough. Big, hacking, roaring coughs. Retching coughs. Lovely stuff. I left the room because, although Rios covers herself with a blanket, I can tell that she has trouble sleeping with all the noise. I'll probably sleep on the couch.

I've been on a steady diet of Robitussin, but the cough persists. I wonder what this would be like w/o the Tussin...wonder if there would be any difference. My chest is shiny, slathered in Vapo-Rub. I'm sucking on a cough drop. The tingle is fading, a little.

Found out today that I have 10 days of vay-kay saved up, which is fantastic news. I'll be able to get some good writing done, catch up on school, clean the house, and have some real quality time with the wife and dog. Which is great, because now it feels like everything is half-assed. There is so much going on that everything is last minute.

I just read the new graphic novel written by Jonathan Ames, "The Alcoholic." I love Jonathan Ames. His writing is straightforward, and I think that's why it's so compelling. The point is never far away. The art is by a guy named Dean Haspiel, and it's very good.