Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Presidential Debate #1 Recap: The President is Cut!

I wonder if anyone will blame the thin air for something...
Well...the first presidential debate is in the books. In one corner, you had Mitt Romney, of Massachusetts, Bain Capital and the most patronizing facial expressions of all time. In the other, you had Barack Obama, who has become so embattled at this point that it is hard to remember this is the same guy who has been compared to Cyrus from The Warriors on numerous occasions (here's the link, for those who missed it: Link).

Let me quickly say that I'm not voting for either of these guys...naturally. But...I have to say that I was not prepared for the unbelievable smackdown Mitt Romney laid on the President tonight. At one point, Barack Obama actually asked Jim Lehrer to move onto the next issue. I think he was hoping we'd think that it was because they were beating a dead horse - unfortunately, I think he was the dead horse at that point.

I honestly don't know what to think, at this point. I have predicted that no one could beat Obama since last year, and I stood by that prediction without any question until tonight. I don't know...I'm not sure if I'm ready to call it the other way, but when I think I read the President's lips at the end to say, "I'll win in Danbury," it's pretty clear how this one went.

Romney was clear, decisive, logical, prepared and at one point, successfully compared the President's policies to the lies his sons tell him. The President kept smiling to himself, almost ironically, as if he wanted to simply scream back, "F*** YOU! ANY OTHER QUESTIONS? I THINK I KNOW WHAT THE ANSWER TO THOSE WILL BE, TOO!!!" 

So I guess we're going to see if this turns out to be an election after all. None of the polls had Mitt in the lead before tonight - I'm wondering what they'll say tomorrow.

Lastly...does anyone know when Jim Lehrer turned into Milton from Office Space? "Excuse me, Mr. President...I believe you have my stapler."

Friday, August 24, 2012

In Defense of a Dope

Lance: This post should not be taken to mean that I like you.

Good morning, everyone! Your friendliest of all deranged political nuts is back from hiatus. As with many good things, work intruded.

Anyway, I noticed in the news that Lance Armstrong has decided to cease his opposition to the USADA's investigation of doping during his 7 Tour de France wins, and that his decision will likely cost him his medals. Regardless of the veracity of the charges, this investigation breaches onto a larger issue at work in sports today.

Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera were both recently given 50 game bans by Major League Baseball due to violations of the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. Sports as disparate as baseball, American football and professional wrestling (if you can permit me to call it a sport) have all endured scandals over the years due to performance-enhancing drugs.

My take on PEDs is, I believe, a bit different from the mainstream.  Quite simply, who cares?

PEDs should not be banned or punishable at all. They should not be subject to criminal charges. They should not be subject to Congressional hearings. And, they should not keep athletes out of their respective Halls of Fame.  Here are the two reasons why:

1) Athletic achievement is athletic achievement. Athletes excel not only because of their genetics, but also because of the efficacy of their training regimens. It is unclear to me what makes taking a drug any different from doing a certain kind of exercise more than your competition, or more importantly, simply eating right and taking your vitamins. I'm not saying that they are the same things...but I am saying that it's all a matter of degrees.  

2) The deleterious effects of PEDs on the human body are well-documented. Scores of athletes have died early of heart attacks or other ailments usually reserved for older people. As I have mentioned about those who choose to take narcotics, if these people want to take the risk and shorten their lifespans for some kind of glory, then that is their business. If this means that we have an entire generation of athletes who are juicing or that it becomes the norm, so be that, too. I'm okay with being the old guy in the bar talking about how it was purer in my day.

To be clear, I think PEDs are terrible and I think no one should ever use them. But, part of being competitive is always seeking the edge on one's competition. If these people want to endanger themselves and risk breaking down like a racehorse, then that's their business. Maybe there will be records set while people are using drugs. There's no reason to suspect records in place already haven't been.  It's still impressive, regardless of the path taken to get there.  No amount of steroids would ever make most people world-class athletes...myself included.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Break

The Friendly Libertarian is on hiatus for right now.  Sorry if you've been wanting more of my witty political stylings, but I've not been able to give it my full attention.  The posting will return early in 2012.  Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Got Better...

Only his brother calls him Rebecca.
Newt Gingrich is now the favorite in the Republican primary. Desperation, thy name is Newt. I'm just not sure that anyone in the Republican Party (including its constituents) is really thinking straight. They actually want to put a guy with both adultery and questionable ties to major organizations (including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) against one of the most charismatic Presidents in recent memory.  Jeez...I even think Mitt Romney is a better idea.

Look...there's no denying that Newt is probably the sharpest tool in the Republican shed. He always has been. But he's got some crawling skeletons in his closet, and the Republicans are nuts if they think that President Obama's team won't open those doors during the general election.  

Of course, for that matter, Mitt has his own skeletons, though they mostly surround his predisposition for trying to always choose the winning side of the issue.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

No Debate Recap This Time

I'm done with the debate recaps.

Seriously, what more is there to be said?  I understand that Rick Perry threw up on himself again.  Whatever.  I don't care.  Enough is enough.

Look...after, what, ten debates or something (and we're not even to election year yet), what more do we need to know?  I mean...yes, I'd like an informed opinion about who I'm not voting for this year, but I don't have to have a deep personal relationship with any candidate.  I know some of these guys better than I know some of my own friends.

Anyway...I've had it.  No more debate recaps.  To do so would be enabling to them.  Maybe if nobody pays attention, they'll call off the rest.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Remember, Remember

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot.
I know of no Reason the Gunpowder Treason
Should Ever Be Forgot.
 - traditional English poem

Roundup of Occupy Protests

The last week has seen the Occupy protests becoming less and less civilized.  Arrests in several places, blockades of shipping ports and other disruptive activities have generated much media attention, if not actual change. The protesters continue, as did the Tea Party, to lack a fully-coherent belief set, but are more than compensating with sheer tenacity.  But...given the general unrest and the fact that today is Guy Fawkes Day, commemorating the man who tried to blow up Parliament and has been immortalized in the masks worn by many protesters (yes, I know about V for Vendetta), it is important to realize what is and is not effective for change in this country.

I am a libertarian, and many believe that as such, I am an anarchist.  Not remotely.  I absolutely believe in government.  I even support government oversight.  I simply don't believe that the humans in government will behave more nobly than others, and that yielding to them unrestrained power will necessarily lead to corruption, waste and misery.  Despite maintaining solid purity of principle, I cannot say with 100% truthfulness that I would do any better.

I believe similar situations exist on Wall Street. I don't believe that the "1%" is evil in the slightest...just human. Humans are selfish and self-interested, and generally speaking, do not act altruistically.  Given this assertion, is it so surprising that presented with gobs of largely other peoples' money, the bankers acted irresponsibly?

The solution is not to blow up Parliament, nor is it to link arms, get arrested and swallow tear gas.  We must simply realize that people, absent of supervision, are going to act like matter what their title is.  Many say that libertarianism requires undue trust in others.  Well, I say that libertarians want a system that expects people to act like people.  Does massive government intervention aid people in their quest to be themselves, or hinder them?  I leave it to you to decide.  But leave the mask at home...because pushing the reset button ends the conversation.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Stand Up and Be Counted

I do this blog for my own edification.  It allows me to express my opinions on things as freely as I want.  However, one of the most gratifying things for me is to see that people are stopping by on a regular basis.  I'd like to recognize those of you who find my work intriguing.  So...if you find yourself checking this little corner of the internet pretty regularly, leave me a comment so I can extend my gratitude.