Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wednesday Quick Hits - Primaries, Racism, and Lawsuits

There's too many things I want to opine on today to confine my post to just one topic. Let's start with yesterday's primaries.
-Obama's win streak continued and McCain all but wrapped up the GOP nomination. On the Republican side, the combination of his pledged delegates and Romney's gifted delegates put him over the top. Huckabee is still blowing some smoke, but now is the time for him to shut up and suspend his campaign. The Democrats are still in the midst of a no-holds-barred steel cage delegate death match and the longer they are and the longer McCain has to bring the Republican party together, the better the chances of the GOP holding on to the White House. McCain is actually a very good candidate for them and they should be happy that he won. He's more electable than anybody else, in part because his Hispanic vote totals won't plummet towards the dreaded 0% barrier. On the Democrat side, it's going to be either a tough slog or an easy win for Obama. With Hillary Clinton pinning all her hopes on Ohio and Texas, those become make-or-break states for her. If she wins, the contest continues. If she loses, Obama's the nominee. The interesting thing with Obama is that he is the first Presidential candidate in over a generation to capture people's interest like he has. Since everybody loves comparing current candidates with past Presidents, Obama is akin to Ronald Reagan or John F. Kennedy, depending on which party you belong to. He's a big ideas and feelings candidate. Sure, he doesn't have a lot of real concrete ideas and proposals yet, but he's an incredibly captivating person. I love listening to him and as I have said many times, I wouldn't be disappointed if he was our Commander in Chief, even if I'd prefer McCain for the job.
-I'd like to get rid of the excessive cries of racism that the NAACP feels they can throw out if you misspeak at all. I'm surprised that the term Dark Lord in reference to Satan and/or other relatively evil people hasn't been hammered into the ground yet. We have a State Senator here in Utah named Chris Buttars and I don't know a lot about him - he's not my Senator. They've been discussing a bill up on Capitol Hill and everybody was saying it's some Senator's baby (in the same sense that my car is my baby and so forth). He said it was a black baby - a dark, ugly thing. Well, that meant it was time to sharpen the knives and go forward with some serious personal attacks. In reference to that, he then mentioned that he felt like he was being targeted by a hate lynch mob, which took it up another notch. Here's a story from the Salt Lake Tribune with a bit more background on the subject. In light of his comments combined with the golf magazine fiasco with the noose on the cover, it's abundantly clear that you can't refer to a lynching without it having racial overtones. Since when did the NAACP become the arbiter of what was and was not racist. Next thing you know, refering to separating your white and colored laundry will become a racist statement, never mind that you need to do it so your whites stay white (or in the case of some of my older whites, greyish). I fully expect something from them any day saying "Sorro's a racist - he's segregating his laundry!
-The Wall Street Journal had an article on the front page today about how stores are now siccing lawyers on people who have only appeared to have possibly shoplifted. It's an incredible article that equates these lawsuits to legal shakedowns. One instance of a man who had an $8.03 pack of drill bits that he had purchased earlier and happened to have in his pocket at a Home Depot was particularly appalling. He was nailed for shoplifting, they pulled the drill bits from him, and he had his wife produce the reciept for the earlier purchase. They dropped charges against him, but he then got a letter from a legal firm they retained for over $3000. He didn't pay and they sent a second letter for fees and penalties north of $6000. For $8 worth of merchandise that he didn't steal to begin with. Where will this end, because that's just ridiculous. The bigger problem is the lack of recourse against these companies. You have to hire a lawyer and start pushing back. If you don't have access to the WSJ story (which I hope isn't the case, because I got the URL through Google News to try and get around the paid WSJ walls for you), try to find it through something syndicated. It's one of the more incredible stories I've seen with a real potential to change something that could affect anyone who shops anywhere.

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