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Hyperion November 12, 2000

#11 Tomato, tomahto...Let's call the whole thing off

“It doesn’t matter who votes. It matters who counts the votes.” -Joseph Stalin

The history of victimhood is a long and storied one. Dating as far back as Genesis-where Adam was accused of sinning and he told God “Eve made me do it! She batted her eyes and then gave me this LOOK!” (My paraphrase).

Since then, people have been continually coming up with excuses why they are not responsible for their behavior, why they should get another chance. I think, however, that the residents of Palm Beach County in Florida may have set a new standard with this whole ballot fiasco. You have to hand it to them, though. For starters, they are rather hemmed in with who and what they can blame. They cannot say the ballot was used only in their county to confuse them-butterfly ballots are used in many places around the country, including Chicago-the home of Gore’s campaign chairman, Bill Daley. [Note: it is beyond ironic to me that Bill Daley yells at America every night from behind the microphones about “fair elections”. Bill’s father, Richard Daley, is the most legendary vote-stealer of this century, and quite possibly rigged the last contested presidential election in 1960.] The Palm Beachers cannot claim the ballots were created by an evil Republican; they were created by an elected Democrat- to make the print easier to read! They cannot claim they have never had a chance to vote this way before; the same style of ballots was used last time in that county. They cannot claim they were not warned this time around; the ballots were published before the election in the local papers, and every registered voter got a copy in the mail beforehand. They tried to claim the ballots are illegal, but I went to Florida’s government website and looked it up; the illegality of butterfly ballots only pertain to paper ballots; this was electronic. This leaves the complainers in Palm Beach County only one claim: “We’re Idiots!” I have to respect anyone with the temerity to tell the world that. I might feel a little bad for people who voted for Buchanan on accident. Although there is no way to prove this, I believe them. After all, to vote correctly, you had to follow the arrows, and I have seen Palm Beach County drivers; I have no faith in their ability to follow directions. Ask I stated, I might feel bad, but that does not mean they should get to do it over again. This could lead to untold misery. I can just imagine the scene…

Police Officer: “Ma'am, do you realize you were doing 95 in a 55 zone?”

Palm Beach County Resident: “The sign said 95.”

Police Officer: That sign was for INTERSTATE 95, not the speed limit. It is clearly posted.”

PBC Res.: “Oh, no! I followed the wrong sign! I COMPLETELY meant to follow the right one!”

Cop: I am sure you did, ma'am, but I am still going to have to write you a ticket. Now, if I could see you license and …”

PBC Res., breaking in: “Wait! I deserve another opportunity. Let me ride down the freeway again so that I can follow the correct sign, which I wanted to do the first time!”

Rules are rules, whether you are intelligent to understand them or not. The people who voted twice are beneath contempt, as far as I am concerned. As I stated, I can buy sheer idiocy. I see that every day. What I cannot excuse are the people who voted twice. All over the polling booths, and even written on the ballot, are instructions to vote for ONE candidate. If you make a mistake, all you have to do is tell one of the poll workers, and they will tear up your messed up ballot and get you a new one. These people have no excuses, in my book. I have heard of heading one’s bets, but that is ridiculous.

Well, since we do have this impasse I decided I would take the time to sound out some of my “feel-good” issues. I have Education and the Justice System in the pike, but like Mick Jagger said, timing is everything. Perhaps some not-so-serious concerns are just what we need to think about at a time like this.

Vending Machines: Caveat Vendor

Where I work there are several vending machines, which, like most vending machines the world over, regularly take your money. The routine is: first the person will put in their 65 cents, hearts full of hope and mouths salivating at the Pork Rinds that have dominated their thoughts for the last hour. The selection is made, and the machine kicks into life; whirring the selected slot enough to get right to the end, hanging over the chasm, ready to fall, but not yielding to economics and gravity. The Swindled, in disbelief, will watch the scene silently for a moment, hoping that patience will be rewarded. When it is clear it will not be, he then proceeds to gently tap the machine, still hoping to get the paid for treat. As this is equally effective the poor sap is eventually reduced to shaking machine with the same force that brought down the Berlin Wall, and just when it seems things cannot get worse, his fellow workers will shout out helpfully “Put some money in it!” Then laugh like Li’l Rascals.

I am ashamed to admit this, but I have teased the poor souls who have been robbed by the Vendor Barons. I have also lost money, and more importantly, needed sugar and starch, at critical times. It is a horrible experience, and to those who have experienced it I tell you this: I feel your pain. When I am in charge, all Vending machines must post a sign that will read: “We intend to rob you of all your money without giving you your snack. Any food you get is utterly coincidental with the money you put in. Thanks, the Vending Pirates.” If the machine does not have this sign, any and all merchandise that can be gotten by shaking, tilting, reaching-basically anything short of broken glass-will be considered legally obtained.

College Football: The scourge of Big Bowl

I love college football. I hate that they have no playoffs. Every other sport has playoffs. All other divisions of football, from Pop Warner to other college divisions, to the pros, have playoffs. This is the only fair way to decide the national championship. The public is for this, except for a few paid-off columnists and “old-schoolers” who were probably against fire when it came out. The Conferences, and the Bowls themselves, are the ones holding on to this antiquated system. The reason: they are evil. Okay, money plays a big part too. While in general I think the quest for money brings the world good things, this is an exception. I was in a dilemma, however, because I value freedom and staying out of people’s way too. Then it hit me. When I got up off the ground and dusted myself off, I realized something. All of these colleges receive money from the government, in the form of aid to students’ tuition. That, in effect, makes the government, (ruled by the people but led by me) a stockholder in the college football system. Well, I am no longer voting by proxy, baby. If colleges want their precious money, and I think we all know that they do, they can come up with a playoff system. And everybody is happy (except the Bowls and the Conferences, but nothing is perfect).


We are too dependent on oil in America. We are really too dependent on Foreign Oil. I want to look for other energy sources. I also do not want to hamper us from developing oil of our own in the meantime. Cold Fusion and an end to oil problems forever, could come within ten years, or never. Until something like that happens, however, we need to have more of our own oil and not be so dependent on OPEC. Under Clinton, we have made it illegal to go out and look for oil. That policy is history. I want people to understand that we are looking for other energy sources, but we are not going to suffer in the meantime. I would make this section longer, but it really is that simple, for once.

Expansion: Relaxed Fit Borders

If we look at history for a moment, we find that every dynasty died after the following happened: they stopped getting bigger. Maybe you do not want a Dynasty. Maybe you are happy with Falcon’s Crest. Maybe you are an idiot. You see, when the dynasties died, not only did the power and influence died, the whole countries died, or slid into obscurity and got drunk (see the Spanish Armada). I do not want to slide into nothingness. Thus, I want to expand.

I am not suggesting we roll up the military and go conquer. That is soooooooo last 10,000 millennia. What I want to do is convince people that America is a good thing to belong to. Kind of like the popular crowd in Junior High that you always envied (ok, I always envied. Maybe you were in it). The best place to start is Madagascar. Just kidding. They come third. We need to start with our neighbors to the north. To start with, most Canadians already think they will be assimilated into America in the next fifty years anyway. Second, Canada has only fifteen million people (give or take three), but has a boat-load of land, which could be used to farm for the world, put future people, or have really kick-ass game of “Capture the Flag”. Besides, they have some oil up there, and we could put that to good use. In return, we would get the collective chips off the Canadian shoulder; for now they would no longer be the little brother of the continent, but would be “in the club”, so to speak. There are downsides, but I will deal with Celine Dion later. From there, we could add Mexico. This sounds stupid at first, until you think about it. This is a country poised to go off, and make waves. They remind me of us about a hundred and thirty years ago. They have a manufacturing base, and a large work force, willing to do manufacturing. This is something Americans are increasingly unwilling to do. I guess we think we are too good to do these jobs. I guess we forget what made this country great: manufacturing. I guess “we” are, at times, idiots. Besides expansion, all great countries in the last 876 years have built and made things. We need to get back to that. Adding Mexico would help us with the infrastructure, and give us a huge work base willing to work. In addition, Illegal Immigration along the border would be wiped out like that.

After Mexico, Madagascar, and the world. (Wait, I said the loud part quiet and the quiet part loud).

Until next time, keeping the faith,

November 12, 2000


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