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North Carolina is NOT a swing state

I don’t know why CNN and the rest of mainstream media keep pushing poll numbers with McCain trailing and with Virginia and North Carolina as possible swing states.
Anyone that knows me well, knows which way I’ll vote in this election, but I find it amusing as hell that the rest of the nation has not had anyone look at historical voting trends within states. In fact, it’ll just be much more apparent in this election what was in the Bush/Kerry election of 2004.
First off, registering voters means… well… not too much when it comes to where it’s coming from. Most of the newly registered voters are in urban counties. Unfortunately, what pollsters are not accounting for is that urban counties only account for 10% of this state. That means that 90% of the counties are considered rural and the majority of them have a consistent history of voting red. Solid South, anyone?
On top of this, the last election proved that the counties with urban areas were all blue, but by slim margins. This time around with the new influx of voters, it might be greater margins in those counties but overall, Obama would still need to take the small towns. And that’s where the polls I have a feeling are inaccurate. Pollsters don’t bother with actual historical trends nor do they look at how geography divides up the states. They just go by wherever they call (which happens to be urban areas if you ever take a look at their dialing patterns).
Come November 4th, take a look at the state’s county divisions and if the state doesn’t go red, I’ll be seriously surprised. With three major military bases, and a strong Bible Belt backing, I can’t seriously even buy into the whole “North Carolina” is a swing state garbage. Propaganda at its finest.
Maybe I’ll just eat my words come election day. But unless NC bucks a huge trend they’ve set in the past, I don’t think it’ll happen. Not here.

iTunes Saturday

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Movie Review: Forbidden Kingdom

I have to say that this movie is truly a kid’s movie. It’s got that cheesy Zathura type feel which isn’t bad…. but it’s something that you don’t really think about Jet Li doing. Jackie Chan on the other hand, definitely. The story arc is basically a spin on the whole Journey to the West story line.
I have to say that Jet Li as the monkey king is a bit far stretch for him. The part was more suited for someone like Jackie Chan. So when the monkey king was frozen in stone at the beginning, I was actually pretty happy. Later on, Jet Li appears again as another character (a fighting monk) that is looking for a way to free the monkey king. Jackie Chan’s character is the one that guides the young American boy through the land by teaching him kung fu and assisting him in finishing the Seeker’s quest.
The Forbidden Kingdom could have been a better movie in my opinion, but it was one of the teen type CG and wired action instead of what you’d really like to see like the things in Fearless. However, I did enjoy the film enough being that it brought the two major action stars together.

Is the Triad ready for loose leaf tea?

Tea Market I’ll have to say no. Not ready by any means.
Here’s the thing about it. Asian tea, especially loose leaf is a pretty high end, and low volume business. At least the really nice stuff that I’ve seen in Chinatown on the west coast. And we’re not talking about Chinese restaurant tea. This is the primo stuff. Stuff where a little bag can cost upwards of $100USD.
Now I don’t know if Tea Market in the Hanes Mall sells this type of tea or not, but judging by the asian markets around the Triad, I don’t have high hopes. Here, the restaurant business almost must be fusion or have hibachi to survive and few can do without. I still haven’t encountered an authentic Chinese food place although the few fusion places are actually close enough to make my mouth water without MSG.
I wish them all the business they can muster up and perhaps it might actually make good on changing my thoughts since personally I think that anyone that is trying to infuse the Triad with more Asian things really has some things going. Let me put it this way…. bubble tea, anyone? I remember briefly there was a stand in Hanes Mall, but the most successful operation currently would still have to be Phoenix Asian Cuisine. In any case, as of current, I just believe there to be enough Asians in the area to warrant a special tea place, nor if there are enough non-Asians that are willing to try loose leaf teas to make it worthwhile as a business venture.

The game that liberals and conservatives play

Here are two definitions that never stood well with me.
conservative – disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.
liberal – open-minded or tolerant, esp. free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.

Here’s my beef. Conservatives basically want their way to not be changed. The rock. The unmovable. There is obviously one way, and that’s the best way regardless of any new methodology. Liberals on the other hand want change. This way and that way, like water. While choice of path is everything, apparently there is no actual set thought.
So if this is the case, then why is it that when it comes around to guns, they flip sides? Suddenly conservatives want the right to bear arms, the choice. Liberals however push for a no gun equates to greatness type law. Basically, you get a sort of conservative liberal versus liberal conservative. Personally? It never made any sense to me.
I mean, these are the same people that hold down party lines and must have things a certain way. Guess on some issues, you can pick and choose if you want to be left or right even though the party stands for either left or right. It’s definitely crazy stuff.
Of course, I’ll never understand politics since it seems to just sway towards whomever will benefit the most instead of what would be morally or ethically correct. Go figure that one out.

iTunes Saturday

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Movie Review: Mr. Brooks

When it comes to Kevin Costner, it’s sort of a hit and miss these days for his movies. I have to admit that ever since Waterworld (of which I didn’t find all that bad, but it sure wasn’t worth the budget that it cost), I really haven’t seen him in too many movies. Nothing spectacular at least.
Mr. Brooks definitely showed that the guy’s still got it. As a successful businessman, he’s got everything that anyone could ever want. But yet, there’s some sort of genetic disposition that has created a side of him that no one knows about. Marshall (William Hurt), is that other personality that functions independently almost like two people. What’s interesting is that Marshall knows that he’s a part of Brooks, but they still remain pretty separated. And Marshall has a lust for killing.
In any case, over the course of the film, you find that there are actually two or three different sub-storylines that are running at the same time. The plot twists and turns, unexpectedly, which definitely made me give it the full and undivided attention. Overall, both Brooks and Marshall were a sort of calculated psychopath type genius, somewhat similar to the Joker in Batman. Always thinking multiple moves ahead and even when in a bind, they are able to get out of it by reconfiguring their thoughts on the task at hand and playing it out.
If Costner’s hinting at the film being the first in the trilogy, then I would be happy to see what more is to come. Definitely one of those films that I didn’t expect that it would be so good, but very happy to know that it was better than I expected.

Rate cuts keep giving traders that safety net

Rates were cut yet again in an effort to jump-start the economy. By both the Federal Reserve and some of the Central Banks.
I have to admit that while it’s definitely unheard of usually, but on the flip side, it just guarantees that everyone will just look out for cuts and try to predict the outcomes. Which is why the markets go up on the “prediction” news and down when they want more to happen.
If given enough times, we’ll just keep expecting federal bailouts and help. It’s like a grownup, asking help from mommy and daddy. Sure in the time of crisis, your parents are there to help but when all things are said and done, Wall Street is a big boy. They can handle it themselves.

Now, Bernanke’s message may have less power because traders already anticipated for weeks that policy makers would need to make that move, and because of rising concern even rate cuts may do little to immediately help banks scrambling to reduce their vulnerability to loan losses.

Interesting isn’t it? Seems like traders expect the bailouts, and expect rate cuts. And when it comes to the stock market? There shouldn’t be that sort of safety. It is after all a bull or bear market. Not one that’s like a greedy little piglet.
Photo Credit: (epicharmus)

Feds just don’t get it as they spiral economy into deeper hole

I really don’t get it.
Actually? Let me rephrase that thought. I really don’t get why the feds don’t get it.
And by that I mean, politicians (eg. Congress) that voted in that $700 bailout including another $150 billion in tax breaks via earmarks, and why they thought that it would fix anything as the DOW tanked and global markets keep tanking on any news they make.
Seriously. Get your hand out of the cookie jar. Right now. Not later, now.
Here’s the problem that they don’t seem to understand. Wall Street tanked because banks don’t want to be limited to the bailout money (which had restrictions) which in my opinion is basically because they’ve liked living outside of boundaries for too long. Hey, whatever. If they can survive, great. If not, tough cookies. Life cycle of corporations. But don’t forget that the we’re still in $850 billion in the hole.
Then there was the news that feds was going to buy US commercial paper and create a new federal paper facility where they back the financial institutions. That is an another expense that taxpapers eventually in some direct or indirect manner pays for.
Here’s the thing. Feds keep throwing around “X” billion or “Y” billion numbers back into whatever markets in hopes that it’ll actually do something while as taxpayers, we just eat the cost. But even a fifth grader would understand the basic principle of economics here.
If you already owe someone money, then spending more just means that you’re going to owe someone a lot more money.
And how that particular statement above doesn’t actually sink in, considering we’re reaching into the tens of trillions in debt is beyond me. The more you’re in debt, the less value the dollar is in global economics. And obviously since appointed individuals don’t seem to understand that, the American people have to be proactive in stopping the bleeding.
Otherwise, we’ll all be singing, “Hi ho a cheerio… down the toilet we…. go…”
Photo Credit: (freemarketmyass)

Republicrats

republicrats.jpg It’s the last day to register to vote in many states, and with the economy in the toilet and the wars pushing our national debt into the ten trillion mark, it’s time for many people to make their stand.
Great that there are parodies such as the Republicrats. With everything out down right serious, it’s nice to sit back and have a laugh about it from time to time before November rolls around.
So if you’re getting sick of the whole negative campaigning and this or that between Obama and McCain, or Biden and Palin, then it’s time you sat down and took a breather. And chose the political party that’s right for you.
The Republicrats. Coming to a ballot near you.