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random bits - Jim Huggins
October 9th, 2008
11:29 am
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random bits
  • The Turkey Artichoke Panini at Panera Bread is extremely yummy.
  • Speaking of food ... a few weeks ago, I had a slice of mushroom pizza for the first time in a long while.  I'm pretty much convinced that ham-and-pineapple is the One True Pizza ... but that slice of mushroom pizza made me pause and think about it for a minute.
  • I am now a Sun Certified Java Associate.  Yippee.
  • With a little bit of work, I may actually be able to close the books on last term today or tomorrow.  Granted, I'm already a week into the next term, but who's counting, really ...
  • Politics is depressing.  I'd like to think that McCain has a chance ... but things don't seem to be breaking his way.  And I live in a blue state, which McCain gave up on a few weeks ago.  Lousy time for the entire financial market to go poof.
  • Falling behind on lots of other stuff, too.  I'm in one of those moods where I've gotten so far behind in stuff that I end up staring at the screen blankly for long periods of time because I can't figure out what to tackle next.
  • But the first day of class went exceedingly well.  Both classes had good interactions.  (They like me!  They really like me!)
  • Scatterbrained?  Me?  No.  Why do you ask?  :)

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(13 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 9th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
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Good luck with the new term Dr. Huggins!
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From:wildirishrose80
Date:October 9th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
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What about pepperoni pizza?

agreed about politics, with the exception that this is an aggressively red state.

Glad the term got off to a good start! here's to a better one than last term *downs another cup of coffee*
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From:jkhuggins
Date:October 9th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
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Pepperoni tends to give me heartburn. Always has.
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From:wildirishrose80
Date:October 9th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
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ah, this I can see.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 11th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)

Confused

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Can you explain what it is about McCain that you think is worth supporting. Or are you one those that finds Obama a bigger evil?

Do you have any concerns over Palin being in office?
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From:jkhuggins
Date:October 11th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)

Re: Confused

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Well ... I tend to start from a conservative worldview (both from an economic and a moral point of view), which means I tend to start Republican by default.

I also tend to view the presidency as more about foreign policy than domestic policy. As much as we would like to think that the president has influence over the budgeting process, it seems to me that in practice he has quite little. Budget bills are hashed out in the Congress first, and all the president can do is sign or veto the bill, after all the compromises and pork has turned the thing into an unsightly mess. Foreign policy, on the other hand, is just the opposite: the details are worked out by the executive branch, with the eventual concurrence of the legislative branch.

And on foreign policy, the differences are pretty clear between the two candidates ... and I agree with McCain much more than Obama.

Palin doesn't concern me. The importance of the vice-presidency is really overblown, in my opinion. The vice president has two jobs: to break ties in the Senate, and to succeed to the presidency if the office goes vacant. Voting to break ties is easy, and it's been over 30 years since we've had a vacant presidency for more than a couple of hours. And it's not like Palin would suddenly start changing all the policy positions that a McCain presidency would have in place.

Sure, Palin doesn't interview well. But the last time I checked, being able to interview well isn't a relevant skill for the vice president.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 12th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)

Re: Confused (different anonymous)

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Anything concern you regarding McCain and the Keating 5, or Palin and Troopergate, or Palin's comments during the VP debate about how much "flexibility" the founding fathers put into the position of VP?

That and if I'm not mistaken, MI is a fairly strong blue state, right? You might consider Bob Barr ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Barr http://www.ontheissues.org/Bob_Barr.htm ) or, possibly closer to your beliefs, Chuck Baldwin ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Baldwin http://www.ontheissues.org/Chuck_Baldwin.htm ). Giving a third party candidate a vote, especially in a state where the election is essentially already decided, helps them get the 5% of votes they need to stay on the ballot in future elections.

McCain and Palin both scare me, as do Obama and Biden, just in different ways. As a CA resident, where our votes are going to Obama no matter what anyway, I'm voting for a third party candidate that is extremely closed to me in political beliefs. I'd encourage you to at least look into a third party candidate and consider casting your ballot in favor of one of them if it turns out you'd rather have one of them as president than McCain
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From:jkhuggins
Date:October 12th, 2008 07:57 pm (UTC)

Re: Confused (different anonymous)

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On the Keating 5 & Troopergate ... if there was something to be proved, they'd have proved it and kicked 'em out of office. No, neither situation makes them look pure as snow. But Obama doesn't have great associates, either.

And actually, this whole "guilt by association" thing bothers me a bit. I'm voting for McCain (or Obama), not for their list of friends. And yes, I know that who one chooses as friends and associates can tell you something about them. But I don't agree with all of my friends about every single political, social, and moral issue. In fact, it's probably better for me that I have friends with whom I disagree. We ought to extend the same privilege to our leaders.

On Michigan's status ... in the past, it's definitely been a battleground state, though drifting blue. (Kerry won by 3% in '04, Gore won by 5% in '00.) So there's a chance that Michigan might still end up being in play. The current electoral system doesn't make third parties viable ... so I'm unwilling to cast a symbolic vote or a protest vote.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 13th, 2008 05:17 am (UTC)

Re: Confused (different anonymous)

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Fair enough, I was unclear on the exact political climate in MI.
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From:jkhuggins
Date:October 12th, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)

Re: Confused (different anonymous)

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Oh, and I forgot ... I didn't hear Palin's comments about the flexibility of the VP, so it wouldn't be fair to comment. But given than the VP only has two defined duties (breaking ties and having a pulse), there would seem to be a great deal of time available for the VP for other duties ...
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 13th, 2008 06:04 am (UTC)

Re: Confused (different anonymous)

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Palin basically stated that she was in favor of exercising her powers as vice president, a la Cheney. At which point Biden stepped in and reminded the country that the VP should be limited in their powers; that the VP is part of the executive branch.

Not to beat a dead horse, but i will :)

Ayers is apples; Keating 5 and TrooperGate are orange. One is pertaining to the associates that one keeps - the other is pertaining to ones ACTIONS.

What did you mean by your stance on foreign relations is more with McCain than with Obama? Do you believe/agree that McCain/Palin wish to invade Russia & Iran?

Some may claim this next point to be shallow but I think its better described as symbolic: do you think that the fact that a non-old-white-man president will do more good in term of foreign relations than it is to have an old-white-man-affiliated-with-the-last-8-years president? I have this feeling that the general view of the US is not good - and if all things are equal (both are untrustworthy and both have some scary potential) then what better way to make a statement than by electing someone unlike anyone else before him?
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From:jkhuggins
Date:October 13th, 2008 11:29 am (UTC)

Re: Confused (different anonymous)

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I don't think McCain/Palin want to invade anywhere. This notion that the neocons are actively looking to start wars is, IMHO, preposterous. War is awful. One only engages in war when the alternatives are worse. And I don't think anything with Iran (much less Russia) is anywhere near that point yet.

I don't buy the last argument, either. Symbolism is important, to be sure, but only as a starting point. I mean, the Republican party nominates a woman as a VP candidate for the first time in its history, and it's soundly criticized for being a shallow attempt at attracting women voters because of the symbolism involved. You can't turn around, then, and claim that electing Obama would be a great symbolic victory for our image on the world stage.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 14th, 2008 06:42 am (UTC)

Re: Confused (different anonymous)

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We will have to agree to disagree because I think the intent is as important as the action. I think Obama was nominated because he campaigned well and convinced enough people that he was the man to trust and "stole" it from Hillary. Obama spoke at the previous DNC and has been somewhat just out of the limelight for several months, if not years. Palin is a governor of a state that typically receives little to no attention and was nominated after a single phone call lasting a few minutes? She has been in the running for the high office for about 4 months now?

Had Hillary been selected as a nominee, that might be worthy of some praise because she has been working and in the large area for quite some time now; however, it would probably be brought up that her husband has helped her achieve the status she has now.

But that is besides the point, your argument of regarding the symbolism only makes sense to me if both candidates are of equal stature. I find it hard to believe that a US Senator is on par with the governor of Alaska.

While this is somewhat amusing/interesting to see how and why you think the way you do - this is likely the last post about this from me unless you direct a question at me and I remember to check back and read it. Otherwise, I will leave you the last word since this is your little piece of the tubes.
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