Friday, June 24, 2011

Pasta Origins #4- 9/11 Conspriacies

I think I can more competently argue the point now. However, that's not the point of these posts. Anyway, I don't even bother with the loons anymore. When people bring up their crazy theories I just blame it on Voldemort until they leave me alone*.


Original Post Date: August 8th, 2006

9/11 conspriacies

Current mood:cranky

A poll came out recently that showed that 1/3 of Americans believe that their was government involvment in 9/11 attacks. The number is high, but really isn't that suprising to me. We're in an enviroment now with incrediable mistrust of the government and a very unpopular President. Also it seems that the American people cannot believe horrible things can happen without government involvment. People can't believe that a crazy guy with a rifle can kill the president by himself.

I don't believe the 9/11 conspriacy theories at all. I think 9/11 just fell into this administrations lap and they've managed to exploit it perfectly. The problem before 9/11 wasn't an intentional government plot, it was bureaucracy and ignorance. Their also was a lack of Arabic translators before the attakcs. There were lots of people that had little bits of information that could have possibly prevented the attacks, but they were unable to get that information to the top of their organization. Also some important messages went untranslated until after the attack. The Bush Adminstration was so blinded by their desire to go into Iraq that it ignored the terrorist threat. People like Richard Clarke and George Tenet were in the White House screaming at people in the White House that there was a imment threat of Terrorist attacks. On August 6, 2001 President Bush was handed a Presidental Daily Briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US" and still the adminstration did absoletly nothing about the threat from Islamic Extremists until September 10, 2001 at the urging of Richard Clarke and that really wasn't anything significant.

Bush was only made President elect in December of 2000, Therefore his adminstration would have only had 9 months to get all pertinent government agencies to go along with such a horrible plot. There's no way that an adminstration could get something this henious through the government without people stopping it or going public with it. I don't see what this adminstration really had to gain through the 9/11. Their goal was Iraq and they would have just lied their way to get it anyway. All other benifits they got from 9/11 were just them getting lucky.

Anyway, do any of you believe these conspriacy theories about September 11th?

Thanks for reading.

-Past Michael

*Pro-tip from Present day Michael

Friday, June 17, 2011

Pasta Origins #3- Immigration: The Dirty Little Secret

Another installment, this time about a ridiculous bill. I've come to feel this way about a lot of issues. They're not there to actually be fixed, but just to be talked about. So, I take you to 16 year old Michael:


Original Post Date: March 28th, 2006

Immigration: The Dirty Little Secret

Current mood:peaceful

Last week the House passed an Immigration Bill that I think is just horrible. It does things like build a 700-mile long foot fence along the U.S. Mexican Border, which is just stupid. Also It would punish orginazations who feed and cloth the poor if they give food, clothing, or basic things needed for living to illegal immigrants. This Bill also would make it so illegal immigrants would be deported no matter whether or not they are being productive.

Yesterday the Senate Judicary Committee approved what will be the Senate version of the Bill, which I like. This bill creates a Guest worker program that will allow for 400,000 Immigrants a year to enter the country a year to hold low paying jobs that American Workers. Also it will allow for Illegal Immigrants in America now to be able to gain citizenship and remain in the country. Also this will allow 1.5 illegal immigrants to hold jobs in the agricultural field, and gain citizenship. Both the House and Senate version increase the number of Border Patrol.

Here's the Secret about Immigration: No Immigration Bill will ever actually pass. You see the Senate and House versions are so very different that they won't ever be worked out in Conference Committee. Immigration is one of 2 issues that politicans don't really want to touch, the other being Social Security. The problem with Immigration is simple Americans hate Immigration, but love the Immigrant.

So by Congress doing this they'll be able to get what they want for the elections and that is being able to say they tried on Immigration, without actually having to do anything.

Thanks for reading.

-Past Michael

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Two Concerts, One Weekend

Last Night, I went to see my favorite band, Okkervil River. I managed to start off the night with a major derp. I ended up walking many, many blocks out of my way. I thought I had parked at a different garage than I actually had, so I ended up crossing the street and going left, which was the wrong way. In fact the venue was only half a block from where I parked had I gone right.

There were a lot of hipsters at the show. I mean the concentration of them was just sort of ridiculous. When I got into the hall I found myself standing behind the most frightful hipster of them all. He met every criteria I can come up with for a hipster prototype. He was telling the guy next to him, who I don't think he actually knew, how awful religion is. It was just so pretentious. Fortunately I was shuffled to the left and out of earshot.

I try my best not to hold it against the opening acts that they aren't who I'm there to see. It was particularly hard given that I had waited almost three years to see Okkervil River. The first opening act was "Future Islands." I didn't really enjoy their set. Their lead singer was over the top ridiculous in his intensity. The 2nd opening act was "Titus Andronicus." I liked their tunes much better. Their fans wanted to most though, which I didn't particularly enjoy. I had to try my best to not smash into the girl standing next to me. Their songs did have the tendency to drag on or maybe their songs were just indistinguishable from each other. The biggest problem they had is that they weren't Okkervil River.

I was very excited once Titus Andronicus' set was finished. I knew I was minutes away from seeing my favorite band for just the 2nd time and the first time where I actually knew who they were beforehand. They came out at almost exactly 10pm.

The opening song was "White Shadow Waltz." After that I'm having a hard time remembering the exact order. Here's a rough set list. I'm pretty sure these are all the songs played, but I'm equally sure the order is wrong

White Shadow Waltz

A Hand to Take Hold of the Scene

The Latest Toughs

The Rider


Starry Stairs

Wake and Be Fine

John Allyn Smith Sails

The Valley

No Key, No Plan*

So Come Back I Am Waiting

Your Past Life As A Blast

For Real

Our Life Is Not A Movie or Maybe

Lost Coastlines


The Rise


Unless It’s Kicks

*Acoustic with only Will and Patrick

I really loved the set. Okkervil River is such an awesome band live. They used loads of bone rattling, eardrum bursting feedback in their set. Will Sheff played with an Electric Guitar a lot more than I've known him to do. He switched his acoustic for an electric during "So Come Back I Am Waiting" and "Lost Coastlines." Hooray for rambling swoons.

The highlight of the set for me was the Acoustic performance of "No Key, No Plan." It was just Will and Patrick.

Okkervil River 6/11/11 Columbus, Ohio

I wasn't out of the concert hall until about a quarter till midnight. I was basically deaf, very sore and tired, but I couldn't have been happier. I had sung and danced and I didn't care about the horrified hipsters. My pics weren't brilliant, but here they are:

Okkervil River 6/11/11

Enough with that Muggle stuff though.

Today, I went to a Wizard Rock show with my Mom. Armoured Bearcub, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Lauren Fairweather and The Whomping Willows played. It was really fun. The two times I've seen these guys before it was at a house shows. Today it was definitely a different dynamic, but it was just as awesome. I'm excited to see them again in July!

Wizard Rock in Akron 6/12/11

The rest of the pics.

I'm really excited about Lauren Fairweather's upcoming Album, "The Prince's Tale." Everytime I hear a new track from the album, I'm amazed. I think that it may become the standard for Wizard Rock. You'd better believe I've got that sucker pre-ordered.

The Akron-Summit County Public Library is definitely the coolest Library I've every been to. I wish it wasn't such a long trip away. I didn't even get to explore it that much, but I could tell it would totally awesome to have as a local library.

That's about all about my weekend. My ears are still ringing from Saturday night. I'm pretty exhausted and kind of sore all over. I don't really care though, because it was the best weekend I've had in a very long time.

Thanks for reading


Friday, June 10, 2011

Pasta Origins #2- What's The Matter With South Dakota

I'm back again with another old post. This is about the an abortion ban passed by South Dakota in 2006. It seems almost quaint now given the full on assault on Abortion Rights going in many states right now.


Original Post Date: March 8th, 2006

What's The Matter With South Dakota?

Current mood:sick

So, South Dakota's Legislature passed a Ban on nearly all abortions and On Monday the Governor of South Dakota Signed it. This law bans all abortions except in cases where childbirth will result in the death of the mother. The punishment for performing an abortion would be up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine. This law will(but probably won't) take effect on July 1st.

As the Governor put it, this is a "direct frontal assualt on Roe v. Wade." This law most likely will not take effect, because a Judge will suspend the ban before it takes effect.

This move by the State Legislature and Governor is just plain stupid. This case will not be viewed by the Supreme Court, and the Precedent of Roe v. Wade will remain strong and be reaffirmed. Here's how it should go:

This law will be challeneged at the Federal District Court level and be struck down, and then the state will appeal the to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and they'll strike down the law as well citing the Precedent of Roe v Wade. The state will try to file in the Supreme Court, but Court won't want hear it, and will let the ruling of the 8th Circuit stand.

You see I don't think the Supreme Court wants to hear a case on Abortion. Already everday outside the court there are abortion protestors, and could you imagine if their was Abortion Case that could overtturn Roe v. Wade. It would be madness. I would seriously fear for the life of the Justices. Also I don't think they'd take a case to just reaffirm Roe again. Thats already been done enough and doing it again wouldn't prove anything. I don't think even with the 2 recent appointment to the Court that the court has moved far enough to the right to even consider overturning Roe v Wade.

A number of other states are considering similar bans(including our great state of Ohio) and I suspect if any of them pass their fates will be the same as South Dakota's will be. But if Banning Abortions becomes a trend and lets say 20+ states do it, then the Supreme will review Roe v Wade and consider overturnig it, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon. So, don't worry my Pro-Choice friends for now Roe v Wade is safe.

Thanks for reading

-Past Michael

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I Feel Like I'm Being Melodramatic

I took my last final today. The Professor Emailed us a "very generous" review that was just a copy of the final exam, so it was ridiculously easy. He tried to tell us the exam was a verbatim copy of the review, but it was. The questions weren't rearranged nor were the answers. I took 20 minutes to do 100 questions and then I was out of there.

I feel bad for complaining about the review just being the final exam. It did certainly make my life easier. However, it's almost insulting to me as a student. One thing is that it's super lazy. Also, I feel almost like my intelligence was insulted. I know how to study without having the exam in front of me. Also, I think the people who saw me studying thought I was big cheater. It is kind of conspicuous studying from a paper labeled "Final Exam" with all the questions on it.

I really had a rough time this quarter. The classes weren't even that challenging; last quarter was much worse in that department. I just lacked motivation, focus and willingness to do a lot of the things I normally do to do well. I just didn't do important stuff. My mind kept slipping throughout the quarter and it's basically gone at the moment.

As I said, it wasn't that the classes were really hard. I even dropped one, so the load was minimal. The problem was that my living situation became super stressful to me. It's just a big mind-fuck and it took its toll in the classroom. I don't really want to go into detail about the situation I speak of, because I don't even feel that comfortable talking about it with those I trust with information. Suffice to say it's bad and I don't have the means to change it right now.

Another thing that happened during this quarter was that all the Semester schools had their graduations. This shouldn't have affected me, but it did. A lot of the people I went to high school with graduated and it just ended up making me feel bad. I feel like I'm so far behind where I should be. I'm also afraid that I'll never be able to catch up.

I'm just really glad that I'm not going Summer Quarter. I may take an online class if I have the money for it to make up for the class I dropped. I don't know exactly when I'll be back to being a full-time student. It may take a while to get my financial house in order to make the big move to Ohio State. It's tough right now especially, because I can't help, but feeling that getting out of my living-situations is more important than continuing to go to school. I also now that's self-destructive and not at all prudent.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend though. As I've stated many times before, I don't really have a life, but when I do it comes in spurts. I'm going to two concerts this weekend. I'm going to see Okkervil River on Saturday night. I've been excited about that one for a while. On Sunday*, I'm going to a Wizard Rock Show in Akron with my Mom. It's Lauren Fairweather, The Whomping Willows and Justin Finch-Fletchley.

I'll be missing two important soccer matches for these things, so my twitter followers will be getting a reprieve.

Question of the Day: What are your thoughts on going to a concert by yourself? I've done it twice and both times made temporary friends, which is impressive considering how socially inept I am. Is it better or worse than going to the movies by yourself**?

Thanks for reading and please comment.

*This plan isn't exactly set in stone yet.
**Something I've never done

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pasta Origins #1- SotU Rebuttal 2006

Hello All! I'm starting a new series. This isn't my first attempt at blogging. I have already started and quit several blogs here on Blogger. However, my first blogs were on Myspace*, which were almost entirely political. Inspired by Britt5091's (Zaxy and Blonde Nerd) origin posts, I'm going to post some decent/interesting posts from my old Myspace blog on Friday nights until I run out. Why Friday night? Because no one's around on Friday nights to read these. Also, keep this secret, but it's easy** content.

So, I'll start off this series with one of three rebuttals to George W. Bush's State of the Union Addresses. This is my rebuttal to his 2006 speech. A bit of context. It was still just months since Hurricane Katrina had hit New Orleans. President Bush had attempted to get both Immigration and Entitlement reform and it hadn't worked out well for him and his approval was plummeting. I think most notably I wasn't as cynical as I am now.


Original Post Date: February 2nd, 2006

SotU rebuttal

Current mood:peaceful

Mr. President, Is the State of the Union actually strong? We have 150,000 troops abroad fighting a war that was based on poor intelligence. This has over-stretched our military. Americans phone calls are being monitored without a warrant, which violates the law and is unconstitutional. There are thousands of Americans who still don’t have long-term temporary housing after Hurricane Katrina. Our Economy is being slowed by increasing inflation, high energy prices, and competition from countries who allow people to work for mere cents an hour. Health Care costs are out of control, not allowing many to afford the treatment and medication they need, and there are millions of Americans with no health insurance at all and that needs to change. Their are ethical concerns in Washington both on the hill and in the White House.

Mr. President you lack a true plan for victory in Iraq. We need a real exit strategy, not just saying when the Iraqis are prepared and when the military leaders say so. First our large military presence in Iraq is strengthening the insurgency, and second our indefinite military presence will cause the Iraqis to be dependent on us. I believe we should begin withdrawing our troops immediately from Iraq, with all of them home by Christmas.

Domestic Intelligence gathering is indeed necessary to help defeat Islamic Extremists. But gathering Intelligence illegally is dangerous to our civil liberties, and puts all in danger of an over-zealous executive. Also violating the constitution in the so call ‘War on Terror’ is dangerous as well, because betraying our rights is exactly what they want us to do, and we should not give it to them.

Hurricane Katrina was a terrible event in the past year needs to not be forgotten. The people on the Gulf Coast, who were affected by this storm, in many cases still lack a place the can call home until they are able to rebuild their homes. Getting these people semi-permanent housing needs to be a national priority and should be addressed immediately. Also we need to not forget the rebuilding, it will be a long road, but we need to continue to provide funds to rebuild the Gulf Coast, so that it can be returned to what it once was. Also as you said in your speech, we need to address the problems with the area prior to the storm. There was much poverty and we need to make sure that this region is made economically strong after being rebuilt.

The Economy is growing at a rapid rate, but it still has problems. The gap between rich and poor is growing as rapidly as it has since the 20’s. Also the new jobs being created are not nearly as good as the jobs that are leaving for other countries where workers can be paid less that 5 cents an hour. I believe we need to level the playing field by only trading with countries with good human rights, and an acceptable minimum wage. Also our dependence on foreign oil has made our economy temperamental and fluctuates with happenings in the middle east.

Mr. President your statements about the need to end Americas addiction to foreign oil are absolutely true. It needs to be ended by developing new sources of energy and I commend on saying that we need to get that done.

Health Care Costs in this country are out of control. Americans are either losing their health insurance all together or taking massive benefit cuts from their health insurance provided by their workplace. I believe that it is absurd that there are around 40 million Americans don’t have health insurance. In a country of our wealth I believe it is the governments responsibility to make sure everyone is able to get health care whenever they need it. That’s why I am calling for an new nationalized health care system.

The ethical problems in Washington need to be dealt with as soon as possible. There needs to be lobbying reform passed that will close all lobbying loopholes and prevent a person like Jack Abramoff from gaining that type of power in Washington. In the White House there are major ethical concerns from leaking a CIA agents name, and some dealings with Jack Abramoff. Government needs to be cleaned up and it needs to be cleaned up now.

Mr. President you make a lot of claims about HIV/AIDS but you truly have not fulfilled any of your prior promises about this issue in the past nor do I think you will this time.

In your speech you talked about strengthening our education system. I agree with you, for Americans to be able to compete with foreign competitors we need to teach more math and science and make sure more kids stay in school and are able to graduate.

No Child Left Behind has harmed schools and needs to be reformed. It cuts funds to failing schools and therefore hurts those schools and prevent the students attending those schools from receiving a quality education, and hurts Americas future.

Social Security does need to be changed, and I believe in your calling for a new commission on the matter is great step in that direction. I believe that privatizing Social Security is a risky idea and should not even be considered. I think the best way to help extend the life of this program is to both increase social security and have small cuts in social security benefits. There needs to be a solution on this and both sides just sitting and staring at each other will not achieve that.

The tax cuts passed by congress should not be made permanent. Our nation is in massive debt and it is continuing to grow largely because of these tax cuts. Having a massive debt and deficit will hurt the economy more in the long run, than an increase in taxes. Also these tax cuts do not benefit the people who need it. These tax cuts give 88% of the benefits to the top 1% of the population.

I must say that the State of the Union is not strong. It can be made strong but much must be changed and I hope that you, Mr. President will work to make it that way.

Thanks for reading.

-Past Michael

*Remember Myspace?

**I'm not even going to edit out any of the errors. I'll say to change anything would be unethical. That sounds good.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gaming Tuesday

It's Thursday again. I don't think you guys should expect a post calling "Gaming Tuesday" to come out every Tuesday :p

I'm a pretty big fan-boy of the NCAA Football video games. It's probably the only game I can actually fit the bill of fan-boy for. I've enjoyed the College Football games much better than the NFL games for many years. Last year's edition was the best so far and I think it far surpassed Madden 11*.

So, as you might expect, I'm excited about the upcoming edition of NCAA Football. There are visual and mechanical improvements that seem like they'll improve the game play. However, that isn't why I'm so excited.

Dynasty Mode is the reason I'm such a fan of the NCAA Football video games. It has been lacking a few features that I would've liked to see, but it has been much, much better than Franchise Mode in Madden. This year there are going to be additions to Dynasty that will make it even better. These are things I've wanted to see for a long time.

The coaching carousel is going to introduced in NCAA Football 12. The absolute lack of any overturn makes the game feel pretty static. I don't know exactly how this is going to be implemented, but I look forward to seeing how this change is going to break up the monotony. Also, with this addition you don't start off as the head coach at your dream school. You have to work your way up from a coordinator and take job openings to advance. Maybe I'm odd, but I think that will make it more fun.

Another addition to Dynasty Mode will be fully customizable Conferences. In the past you could do a straight swap between conferences, but you couldn't, for instance, add Nebraska to the Big 10 without putting a team in the Big 10 into the Big 12. The place where this will be most beneficial will be in the Online Dynasty Mode. This year you can create a super conference to compete in with your friends rather than being stuck in a conference specific-dynasty.

Something that will be interesting is how the Ohio State situation is handled by the game. Since it seems likely that Terrelle Pryor and others won't be on the team next season will they still be in the game? They aren't allowed to do roster updates like Madden, because they aren't really supposed to be who they represent. I expect that QB #2 and company will still be in the game. Last year, Jeremiah Masoli was still in the game as Oregon's QB even though he had been booted off the team long before release.

This will be the first year in a long time that I will only be getting NCAA Football. I'm done with Madden for now. I don't believe them anymore when they say it's improved and I don't trust reviews because they always seem to give the Madden brand a pass.

Thanks for reading and please comment.

*I absolutely hated Madden 11. I don't understand how it go so much critical praise. I might be an NCAA fan-boy, but the world is a Madden fan-boy.