Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Quick Hits - October 23, 2012

For technology junkies - today was the day that Apple announced the iPad Mini, a 13" MacBook Pro with Retina display, and updates to the Mac Mini and iMac computers.  The new 7.9" iPad Mini seems to be a smaller form factor iPad 2 (2nd generation iPad) - and the base, 16GB WiFi model is going to sell for $329.

This price is a bit of a surprise - as it's primary competitors, the Nexus 7" tablet and Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7" tablet both sell for $199.  Apple is going to make the case that the slightly larger screen, the aluminum body (vs plastic for the others), iOS, and Apple's reputation are sufficient to talk consumers into spending $130 more for their product.

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD is going to be the main competitor - while only 7", it's screen is better quality than the new iPad Mini.  Amazon also offers a complete infrastructure / support solution that rivals the iTunes store.  And if screen size quality is really an issue, the 8.9" Kindle Fire HD - also with a better screen than the iPad Mini, is only $30 less than the Apple offering.

Ultimately, its going to come down to the consumer, what they need, and how much they are willing to pay.  I think if Apple had hit that rumored $249 target - it would be a no brainer - but for me, since I use both iTunes and Amazon - that price differential might be hard to look beyond.

For political junkies - today we got far more opinion, bloviating, and analysis of the final Presidential debate. Some of the viewpoints are very humorous - 

 - which leads me to one of the better rants from the last couple of days... this one from NJ Governor Chris Christie who was campaigning for Mitt Romney in Virginia....

You may not know this, but the president loves me. He really does. He loves watching me on TV. He loves the stuff I say, he loves me. And so, since he loves me, I want to help the president. … You’ve been living inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the last four years. If you don’t think you can change Washington from inside the White House, then let’s give you the plane ticket back to Chicago you’ve earned. I mean, that is a scary thing for the President of the United States to say, isn’t it? … It shows his arrogance. See, ’cause if he really believes that, if he believes that, then what the hell is he doing asking for another four years? You can’t just Washington, D.C. from the inside? That’s fine, we’re happy to give you a bus ticket to the outside, Mr. President. … What he’s saying is, ‘It’s not my fault. … It’s G.W. Bush’s fault, it’s Dick Cheney’s fault, it’s big oil’s fault, it’s the coal company’s fault, it’s the gas company’s fault, it’s the fault of the Republicans in Congress… For God’s sake, it’s anybody’s fault but mine,’ he says. ‘Please, give me another four years, and I will figure it out.’ You know what, Mr. President? I am tired of waiting for you to figure it out. …He doesn’t know anything about leading. He’s never led anything in his life. Until we made him president of the United States, he’s never led anything in his life. … Blindly walking around the White House, looking for a clue. …
If I were still an undecided voter, that logical question raised by Governor Christie would definitely make me lean towards Mitt Romney.  It just makes sense - Barack Obama has spent the last 45 months trying to fundamentally change Washington DC and the country.  But if he can't change it from the inside, why would we give him 4 more years inside to try?  Isn't that Einstein's definition of insanity?

The other rant comes to courtesy of 'Tingles' - Chris Matthews, one of the primetime hosts for MSNBC - or as it's website is now known, NBC News.  NBC News is clearly damaged goods - pretty much a farce when it comes to 'serious' journalism or journalistic ethics and integrity.  They've decided that in order to get any viewers, they are going to lock up the Democratic Underground, Daily Kos, hard core rabid far left progressive Marxists - and appeal directly to that subset with a lineup of Matthews, Ed Schultz, Laurence O'Donnell, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Rachel Maddow.  Even the so-called 'serious' journalists like Brian Williams, Andrea Mitchell, Chris Jansing, and Chris Hayes regularly embarrass themselves with their bias.

The network features the tag line - 'Lean Forward' - just to fit right in the Obama campaign tag line -

Matthews, who I heard is a legend in his own mind (quoted today saying he would be one of the best Democrat Senators if he actually decided to run as he considered doing late last year), seems to believe that the only remotely possible reason why someone would consider NOT voting for Barack Obama is because that person. in particular conservatives, is because they are racists who can't stand an African-American President...

“I think they hate Obama. They want him out of the White House more than they want to destroy al Qaeda. Their No. 1 enemy in the world right now, on the right, is their hatred, hatred for Obama. And we can go into that about the white working class in the South and looking at these numbers we’re getting the last couple days about racial hatred in many cases … this isn’t about being a better president, they want to get rid of this president,” he said.
Isn't it interesting that there is only really one group that dwells on racism and racists....and they do it all of the time.  Far more subscribe to the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, to judge one on the basis of the content of their character as opposed to the color of their skin, but to the deranged hardcore progressive left - it's all about race.  So, who really are the racists?

The vapidity of buffoons like Matthews is hard to understand - along with their palatable hypocrisy as they seem to surrender common sense for love of their political ideology.  On Breitbart.com's Big Hollywood site, as well as Michelle Malkin's Twitchy.com - some of the absolutely dumbest comments, even dumber than those from MSNBC, came from the usual collection of vapid and clueless Hollywood 'stars'.

I wonder when they will begin to realize that their wealth / earnings come from the very people who they insult for holding a different political viewpoint?  I think their arrogance and hubris is such that they will not.  They will be as confused as the NY Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Air America, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, and others are now as they lose subscribers, viewers, and ultimately money because their customers no longer see they are getting a quality product for their dollar - and that these media / entertainment / news personalities and organizations are taking them for granted as well as insulting them.

Another example...  Last night, Brian Williams was giddy with excitement over that devastating Obama zinger about horses and bayonets - wishing that it would have the legs to turn the race around.  In reality, this was a line that only appealed to the moronic progressive base - and ensured that Florida and Virginia would be won by Mitt Romney - and probably weakened the President's efforts in elsewhere.  On top of this, GOP Senate candidate in VA, George Allen, is also going to win his seat back.

Do you remember the movie 'Broadcast News'?  It starred Holly Hunter, Albert Brooks, and William Hurt.  Brooks played a very smart and ethical reporter who played by the rules - advancing on merit - wanting that spot in front of the camera behind the anchor desk.  But he was, shall we say, television unfriendly.  William Hurt, on the other hand was very telegenic, but otherwise vapid....needing Hunter to spoon feed him lines and then cutting ethical corners to move ahead.  But he got that big anchor spot.  Brian Williams is the real life Tom Grunick.

Newsbusters.org had a story where someone from the Obama campaign told a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch [Columbus, Ohio] that he was not allowed to speak with voters attending an Obama campaign rally that featured Vice President Joe Biden....
Reporters NOT ALLOWED to talk to voters at Biden/Canton event," Byers quoted a Vardon tweet, "Saddled up to two 'Scotts' — both white, mid-50s — campaign tapped me on shoulder, said I wasn't allowed." In an update subsequently filed a mere eight minutes later, Byers noted that "Amy Dudley, a spokeswoman for Vice President Biden, emails" the following:

This was a miscommunication on the ground. Any reporter is entirely free to speak with event attendees.
Perhaps the Obama campaign staff were afraid the reporters would find more supporters of the President like 'Cinnamon' - who thinks that Mitt Romney would enact Chinese-style communism in the US and explode the national debt...

For all of those who are political or new junkies - who take the time to read their sample ballots, to educate themselves on the issues, and apply all that they've learned - and their own values, in order to pick the right candidate to support - there are those who don't do any of those things and still vote - maybe even voting multiple times...like the 40,000 plus who are known to have voted in both New York and Florida - once for each address in each state.  Or this example of voter fraud highlighted by Brietbart.com's Big Government site....
North Carolina voters roll shows that the Tar Heel State has 2,214 voters that are 110-years-old. Most of these voters are democrats and most seem to live in four democrat-controlled counties. Some of these aged voters have already voted absentee.

Many are even older than 110. In fact, it seems that NC has an awful lot of voters that are 112, too. The Carolina Transparency project did a review of the voter rolls this year and found that there are 631 Democrats who are 112 or older. By contrast, the Republicans can only find 229 over 112 voters in the state (and "unaffiliated" found 39).

And it gets worse. Two voters -- and, yes, they've already voted in early voting -- are over 150! One in Gaston County is 154 and another in Granville County is an astonishing 160!

This isn't necessarily evidence of vote theft. It could be a massively failed voter registration system, although it is notable that the largest number of these voters just happen to be Democrats.
It is examples like these that have so many Americans, more than 70% in the last poll I recall, calling for and supporting Voter ID laws to supplement the laws already on the books that define voting eligibility and casting ballots.  But one group of like minded people do not want Voter ID requirements or even strict enforcement of election laws. [Isn't it a little interesting that this same group of like minded people are the ones hip deep in voter fraud too?]  They will cite the rare prosecutions for voter fraud as evidence that there is not a voter fraud issue - but this is as much of a strawman argument as we saw offered so often last night by the President [Horses & Bayonets].

Perhaps the solution that we need is to no longer look askew at these cases - and that counties begin to aggressively investigate and prosecute cases of voter fraud.  Ensure that the first cases are prosecuted at the highest levels to send a clear message...that voter fraud will not be tolerated because the United States is not a banana republic.

Today in History

1921 - In the French town of Chalons-sur-Marne, a US officer selects the body of the first 'Unknown Soldier' - who will be transported under full honors to the United States where he will buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Solider at Arlington National Cemetery.

1941 - The Chief of the Soviet General Staff, Georgi Zhukov assumes command of the Red Army in an effort to halt the German advance as it approaches the Soviet capital of Moscow.

1956 - Thousands of Hungarians protest against the Soviet presence in their country, seeking more freedom and democracy, but are met with armed resistance by Soviet military units.  Over the next few days, fighting would escalate in Budapest and other Hungarian cities where hundreds of protesters would be killed.

1983 - Terrorists from the Islamic Jihad, the forerunner to Hezbollah, drive bomb laden trucks into the US Marine barracks and a French Army barracks in Beirut, Lebanon where they are detonated.  241 US Marines are killed the terror attack at the US Marine barracks - the largest one day loss of life of US Marines since the 1945 battle on Iwo Jima during WWII.  In the separate attack on the French barracks, 58 French soldiers would be killed.

2002 - 50 Chechen Islamic rebels seize a Moscow theater - taking 700 people hostage during a sold-out show of a hit musical.  This would begin a 57 hour hostage crisis...

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