why I would've voted Republican

In case you haven't noticed, I tend to keep my posts generally unbiased politcallly. It's not to say that I'm apathetic or unaware, but I'd rather not alienate the views and beliefs of others. Sure, one should stand up for what they believe in, and defend their position to the end, but I like to observe before I strike. And besides, I believe I don't know enough to effectively debate people on the current election campaigns, but I definitely stay informed. As I've read somewhere before, my knowledge is 4 miles wide but only 4 feet deep.

So I figure since it's about a week before the biggest, most influential and historical election of most people's lives, I'll give my 6 cents and a button(that's all that's on my desk right now).

Gentlemen, let's be frank. I am a left leaning Independent and that's where my vote's going. But I've always respected John McCain. He's my absolute favorite Republican (behind Bill Clinton, of course). Had he won the primaries in 2000, and then proceeded to win the general election, I believe we'd be in a hell of a better position. But at the time, he had difficulty winning over the staunch extremely conservative Republican base, and his racial remark about the Vietnamese diminished his support among the few (if any) minority Republicans (McCain's response in 2000 to a question about how he feels about his captors during the war: "I hate the gooks.")

Most elected government officials claim to "reach across the aisle" or "work along party lines" or some other cliche that implies they'll work with a rival party. But McCain actually did that. Over the past 8 years since I first heard his name as a possible Republican candidate as a somewhat uninformed 14 year old, McCain truly deserved his self-entitled maverick image. What most people would view as "switching sides" was really just a man voting on his fundamentals and not necessarily blindly following his base. He has sided many times with his party (on the war), but answered that with voting for and even spearheading many bills involving traditionally liberal policies on Alaskan oil drilling, generic drugs, emission rules and other issues.

Many people don't remember, or failed to notice, that in 2004, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry first offered the position of vice presidential running mate to John McCain. A New York Times article on June 13, 2004 refers to John McCain as the 'independent-minded' Republican who was offered the rare chance to be on a bipartisan presidential ticket. The article also later mentions that a possible Kerry-McCain ticket would be unstoppable, with polls giving the dream ticket a 14 point advantage over the W campaign of 04. Imagine that.

However, McCain refused, stating to Kerry on "Meet the Press" that as independent minded as he comes off, he's a Republican loyalist, and can't turn against his own party. However, many believed that he only turned down the prospect of that ticket simply because he didn't want to be the Number 2 guy. He's quoted:

'As recently as last week Mr. McCain made clear his lack of enthusiasm for the vice president's job. On a late-night television show he said, ''I spent several years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, in the dark, fed with scraps. Do you think I want to do that all over again as vice president of the United States?''

Same article I referenced earlier.

But that was all then, far off from any of McCain's prospects to run yet again for the most powerful job on the planet. Learning from his roadblocks in 2000, McCain started early in beginning the courtship of the Republican far right in 2006.

And that brings us to today. Rewind a little back to when McCain first clinched the Republican nomination and Hillary Clinton was still on the news. While the Dems continued their back and forth mudslings and attacks and primary recounts that was slightly reminescent of the 2000 Gore re-counts, McCain seemed to be in a terrific position. Hell, he even had my vote back then.

But the lack of support from his own party's base was truly a problem, and unfortunately and even reluctantly, he would sell his soul to court the conservatives who would be key in securing a victory. It all started with the his choice of Sarah Palin as VP. From that moment on, I feared the worst was just beginning (or had it just occurred?) He will deny it until the end, but early reports proved he wasn't even considering Sarah Palin as a serious candidate for a running mate. In fact, he wanted former Democrat and 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman as his future partner. Imagine that. A bipartisan ticket, two independently minded candidates, unafraid to break from their home party on key issues willing to work with each other to lead this nation.

That would've had my vote.

But instead, McCain went the "safe" route, and chose a candidate he knew would fire up his conservative base. Some would call the choice of Palin as a gimmick, others still claim it was a genuine pick, but we all know now that McCain was too independently minded for his own party. And as such, his values were compromised and his soul sold in the name of winning the election. You can even see it now in his interactions he's reluctant to allow the hate-mongering his campaign has rode on to continue. I'm sure you've all seen this:

He probably realizes the monsters he's created in the past month of relentless negative advertising are finally rearing their ugly heads, and it makes him uncomfortable.

There has never been such a resurgence of hate and racism in this country since the Civil Rights Movement, and the possibility of an Obama presidency are scaring the hell out of everyone. For example:

I kid you not. But thankfully, the search no longer brings you to that result anymore.

His campaign's attacks have begun to focus on the economy as opposed to the "danger" of an Obama presidency, but the damage has been done. Now, if only his running mate would have as much of a heart:

And a brain, too.

As of this moment, the polls are predicting an Obama landslide, yet I have always been wary of the accuracy of polls. As of right now, anything can happen, so ultimately it's up to us to determine what happens next (though since we're in California, we're leaning left no matter what). So, vote or die.

In conclusion, I'd like to argue the case that we shouldn't hate John McCain, like many uninformed voters do nowadays. He's not your typical evil Republican and he has the record to prove it. He was simply weak in character and buckled under the pressure of his own political party in the hopes to win the election. My only hope is that if McCain and Palin do take the presidency that McCain rids himself of his demons and turns back into the real independently minded maverick he was before.

But let's not get our hopes up.

I guess my next move should be to write a whole post on Mr. Obama as well, but I'll be honest. I don't know shit about him. (the 4 mile 4 foot thing, ya know).

And in my further asssertions that all politicians are bullshit, I give you 'Synchronized Debating':
Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

open for debate. feel free to start in the comments...

"wow, the moment you said that, I imagined you about 30 years older."


flying too close to the sun

Ladders are ancient tools and technology.

So how hard would it be to use, right? More difficult than I hoped.

At the Santa Monica Pier, where my company picnic was, there's a sort of carnival area complete with a ferris wheel, carnival games, and a fairly lame roller coaster. I'm just saying, if the operators let you go twice on the roller coaster, even THEY know it's fairly crappy.

Anyways, in the past few months in which I have frequented that place, I have been acquainted with a certain game that manages to rob me of my dignity in seconds at a time. And yet I still go back for more. That game involves climbing a ladder.

It's simple really. Climb this short ladder on a much less than vertical angle, reach the top, and you win one of those oversized novelty stuffed animals of whose purpose you will no longer find a few weeks down the line.

My first attempts at this happened in April of 2008. I must have made at least 7 or 8 attempts to conquer this game, and at $2 an attempt, well, you can do the math. My unlucky first attempt (and an indicator of how the rest of the night would go) is shown here. I'm the second guy, obviously.

Despite the hundreds of onlookers watching me fail time and time again, I continued my futile attempts, until finally giving up and yelling "no more!" as the ladder spins me one last time onto the inflated rubber.

So that was then. 6 months later, on October 25th, I'm back, and I'm ready to regain my confidence. This time around I can do it. I know what to expect, and I'm ready to win. What happens when I finally do make it on there?

Closure and defeat.

Rather than drop the dollar bills in attempt after attempt, I decide to walk away with no shame, and before the crowds begin gathering around. But lo and behold, I am called that same evening, and where do my friends wanna go? None other than the Santa Monica Pier. And what do I decide to do while I'm there?

Come on, Mark, you can do it!

Ooh. Ouch.

"you don't need to use all these facial creams, just eat bananas...have you ever seen a monkey with a pimple?"


my stream of consciousness

Since I have nothing coherent or even kinda interesting to write about (since my life has been consumed by work, eating, sleeping, eating some more and then more work), I've decided instead to just list a random list of things I have found at least slightly amusing.

A couple of weeks ago I got trapped in my elevator. On Taco Tuesday, of all nights! And learned that the alarm on the elevator only works when you don't need it, and never when you do.

I hit a bicyclist while driving the other day. I didn't realize she was crossing the street and before I knew it, she rode right into the side of my car. She didn't fall off, just flew forward a bit. I tried to ask her if she was alright, but she just kept on riding away.

I read on some random blog somewhere that one of the things the blogger hates about some blogs is that their authors don't put up a profile of themselves. So I put up a profile of myself. Take a gander.

So according to experts, boxed wine is better for the environment than wine that normally comes in bottles. 90% of the country's wine production is on the West Coast, but a majority of the consumers live on the East Coast.

Thus, the amount of emissions that are emitted while transporting wine across the country are great. Boxed wine is better for the environment, since generally boxes of wine are lighter than glass bottles, thus putting less stress on the freight that transport them, leading to less fuel that is needed, and thereby reducing greenhouse gases. In other words, keep it classy!

If any of you received a call in the past week or so from a website named "wakerupper.com" and it told you some sort of message such as "you need to re-evaluate your life," well, I'm to blame for that, thanks to this website. Yeah, so in my boredom at work (and thanks to a website that offered numberous office pranks I could play), I decided to randomly send messages to people through this website. Luckily for you guys, the website banned the computer's IP address from my workstation, and I am no longer allowed to use the website from work. But they didn't stop me from my laptop (yet).

This has become one of my favorite websites to get quotes. Here's one of the good ones:
"Almost everyone in the world watches television, and millions of people are involved in television production, and yet there is not a single show on TV that accurately depicts real life. This will doom you to a life of shatter expectations as you have already spent about 30% of your existence watching sitcoms."

oh so true.

if you get it, you can't say you didn't at least laugh quietly to yourself. More here.

"we may suffocate, but at least we won't starve. at this rate, we'll run out of oxygen before we run out of tacos"


some days we don't let the line move at all...

Have you ever been to the DMV? Of course you have, anyone with a driver's license or ID card has had to sit through the purgatory that is known as the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Deciding I was in desperate need of a picture and information update on my license (I don't look like "cholo" Mark anymore, you'll have to see the picture yourself to understand) since the last time I tried to buy beer at Ralph's and liquor at Pak n' Save, the clerks seemed skeptical of the picture on the ID and the face looking at them. I mean, look at this guy, he's not 5'7" or 145 pounds (anymore).

Anyways, I'm sure that if there is a hell, waiting in line to get in will be much like waiting in line at the DMV. It doesn't matter where you come from, what your background is, how wealthy or poor you are, whether you're a single bachelor or married with children, the DMV is the ultimate equalizer. You've got the guy in the suit, waiting patiently while reading over some paperwork. You've got the mother on the cell phone, trying to keep her restless kid from shuffling around. You've got your young couple in the obvious stage of "let's do everything we can together," including that trip to the DMV you've been dreading. You've got your studious student, skimming through a reader while time passes by. You've got your biker clad in leather, clutching his helmet and obviously bored. You've got your senior citizen, slouching, eyes closed and head facing down, but is actually the most alert person in the room.

And it doesn't matter who you are because we're all there for the same reason (there's something wrong with my vehicle registration and/or driver's license), and we're all subject to the same punishment (now serving G269, in window number 19...now serving B413, in window number 2).

Time seems to stop since nobody ever seems to move, but you know that time is still passing, since your afternoon is slowly disppearing with every number called.

Still think us car owners have it easy?

"no I'm not gonna pick you up right now, I'm at the DMV! go get up and find yourself a damn bus!"
-overheard at the Department of Motor Vehicles


diversity day

Although much of my working history has been spent in offices, I feel as if I've been lacking "The Office" -like experiences. For the most part, my jobs have been very "Reno 911"-ish or similar to "Clerks" and some with a hint of "Real World."

But I figure I was due, and today I finally got a Steve Carrell situation. So today at the office, lacking tasks to do in the morning, I was given a huge, very important project. Apparently my supervisor and his boss had some sort of conflict over what the difference between a memo and a bulletin was (apparently one had believed one was for information and the other for policy, and vice versa).

So me, being the innocent little intern, was commissioned to discover and research the difference between the two. How? I was given 3 huge binders-worth of all the memos and bulletins from the past 3 years, and was told to read every single one and take note of the differences between the two. Super.

So I read a few, don't take note of anything, fall asleep for half an hour on my chair, and spend the rest of the day on yahoo and digg. Later I make up some BS venn diagram explanation of the differences between the two (using only my common sense), and leave 15 minutes early.

Such is my life.

"today, I am going to research the average lifespan of yellow highlighters."