Hammer Time…

Fukuyama Fuking Nails It:

I’m voting for Barack Obama this November for a very simple reason. It is hard to imagine a more disastrous presidency than that of George W. Bush. It was bad enough that he launched an unnecessary war and undermined the standing of the United States throughout the world in his first term. But in the waning days of his administration, he is presiding over a collapse of the American financial system and broader economy that will have consequences for years to come. As a general rule, democracies don’t work well if voters do not hold political parties accountable for failure. While John McCain is trying desperately to pretend that he never had anything to do with the Republican Party, I think it would a travesty to reward the Republicans for failure on such a grand scale.

McCain’s appeal was always that he could think for himself, but as the campaign has progressed, he has seemed simply erratic and hotheaded. His choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate was highly irresponsible; we have suffered under the current president who entered office without much knowledge of the world and was easily captured by the wrong advisers. McCain’s lurching from Reaganite free- marketer to populist tribune makes one wonder whether he has any underlying principles at all.

America has been living in a dream world for the past few years, losing its basic values of thrift and prudence and living far beyond its means, even as it has lectured the rest of the world to follow its model. At a time when the U.S. government has just nationalized a good part of the banking sector, we need to rethink a lot of the Reaganite verities of the past generation regarding taxes and regulation. Important as they were back in the 1980s and ’90s, they just won’t cut it for the period we are now entering. Obama is much better positioned to reinvent the American model and will certainly present a very different and more positive face of America to the rest of the world.

(Found via The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan.)

A Kick In The Teeth…

Hitherto A Fortnight
It’s been two full weeks of no caffeine and no soda for me. The cravings are gone, with mornings being rough only based on the amount of sleep I got. All I miss is having something else to drink during the day besides water. Now if only I can burn off this weight.

Along with that benchmark, I had my first dental appointment in two and a half years. Just a cleaning, but I haven’t been since I moved to the Midwest permanently. I walked in not knowing the clinic (I just picked the one nearest to my house) and knowing that I was in for a rough time.

So I was totally thrown when the hygienist told me that I am a good flosser.

What the hell? Really? Granted, I went through most of my youth avoiding flossing, partly due to never building the habit because I had braces, and partly because I was a lazy fool. But since trying to woo my wife, I started flossing. And I found the best trick: flossers. I whip out one flosser in the morning and don’t have to worry about stuffing my fingers and losing my grip on strands of floss. Boom, done, on to the mouthwash.

The benefit of the once a day flossing? I didn’t bleed when the hygienist tore into my tartar. I was a little sensitive in some parts, but she was kind enough to keep checking that I was okay since I admitted at the start that it had been so long. She initially told me that I can take ibuprofen, but later said that my gums are in great shape. I’m living pain-free tonight because I floss daily. There’s your lesson there, kids.

I didn’t get off scot-free, however. So much tarter buildup did erode my enamel, so I have a couple of soft spots. No full-blown cavities, but places where the dentist will be filling in next week. However, I got some good advice on what to do to rebuild my enamel.

Bust out lots of fluoride. That’s the extent of it. Get Act fluoride rinse, use it before bed, it’ll help. And just use normal Crest or Colgate. The whitening? The tartar control? All marketing. And tonight, looking on the backs of boxes: the extra stuff usually means less fluoride. I replaced all my stuff with the highest active ingredient amounts possible. I’m now nerdily excited to keep my teeth in perfect shape.

Lastly, I think I really lucked out on a place to go. I liked the staff. They were really welcoming and very professional at the same time. And really good. I felt the hygienist and the dentist were good and thorough, and I really appreciated being talked to about what was going on in my mouth as the hygienist was working. My learning-is-a-drug mind dug it.

Off to brush and go to bed.

I’m Sad That I Think…

I’m going through training for maintenance on new printers. And attached to the toner cartridge is a drum. So to get just the toner cartridge out, you depress a lever that releases it. To depress the lever, you tell it that it sucks and will never accomplish anything in life.

The Final Considerations…

In one week, campaigning will shut down across the US and we will all head to the polls. Most likely more people will vote on that single day than has ever occurred in our history, perhaps even the history of the world.
A great many of us do see that we are at a crossroads in history. And we are. For our own citizenry, we have decisions to make about our governance: How much surveillance is too much? Does habeas corpus still have meaning? Do we accept fear over reason? Do we continue defining ourselves by the various battles of the 1960s?

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