June 13, 2004

Kerry/Edwards 2004?

With the Presidential election stalking upon us within the next several months and John Kerry having not publicly decided/announced who his running mate in November will be, the Associated Press had a poll conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs, which found that a possible Kerry/Edwards ticket in November held a slight advantage, but still within the sampling error of 3.5%, polling at 47% versus 44% for Bush/Cheney.

John Edwards, the current senior Senator from North Carolina, was a relative unknown in the primary race, with the Dean Machine dominating headlines, until he placed a very strong second in the Iowa caucuses. Repeated strong performances helped to keep Edwards in the running until Super Tuesday, where several dominating efforts by Kerry's campaign led to a Kerry sweep and forced Edwards to bow out.

Edwards will not be seeking re-election to the Senate this year, creating a must-win situation for the Democrats in the state so that they may keep a slight balance of power in the Senate. Democrats currently hold 48 seats in the Senate, Republicans 51, and one Independent (Sen. James Jeffords, VT).

The popular notion of Senator John McCain (R) of Arizona running with Kerry, though very nearly impossible with Senator McCain's repeated assertions of loyalty to the Republican party and that he would not seek the Vice Presidency, sweeps away Bush/Cheney, 53% to 39%, perhaps reflecting a desire in the majority of America to see a return to bipartisanship.

June 12, 2004

Ronald Reagan: One Week Later

After all is said and done with the emotional knee-jerk reaction that the nation has had this past week upon the death of the 40th President, we're going to have to take a step back and review the true worth of Ronald Reagan's presidency... and it's not going to be pretty, either.

Elected in 1980, Ronald Wilson Reagan came into office when the United States was undergoing an identity crisis. Americans had been held in Iran for over a year after the fall of the Shah's government and installation of the Ayatollah Khomeini as Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the country had been suffering through an economic recession, and the peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia, apparently hadn't done enough to set our land back on its noble course in history. Now, the question is, did Ronald Reagan do that?

Ronald Reagan is credited with expediting the fall of communism, by playing hardball with the Soviet Union. We must recall, however, that in 1985 a reform-minded man by the name of Mikhail Gorbachev came into power. This is the same Gorbachev who instituted perestroika and glasnost. The same Gorbachev who began to lift the restrictions on freedom that had been in place from Stalin's years. Mikhail Gorbachev also wanted the Soviet Union to survive and, like Reagan, had the keen understanding that animosity between the two giants would benefit no one. Sure, Reagan should be credited with helping to bring the two countries together, but this is no situation where Gorbachev was an unwilling participant.

Ronald Reagan was a great cheerleader, with bright-eyed and bushy-tailed optimism that our country needs right now, but this man's policies led to what Dwight Eisenhower had warned against: the military-industrial complex. Under Reagan's administration, military spending ballooned and federal budget deficits became the norm. This fiscal irresponsibility set the path for the neo-conservatives, many of whom currently serve in the present President's administration, such as Donald Rumsfeld, Vice-President Dick Cheney, and Paul Wolfowitz.

Was Ronald Reagan a good president? Sure. Was he great? No. Eisenhower was a great president and a war hero on top of that. Reagan doesn't deserve a spot on any currency, and, if anything, Eisenhower is the one whose visage should be resurrected on our nation's currency. And this talk of replacing Alexander Hamilton with Ronald Reagan? Malarky. Hamilton was one of our great patriots in this nation's early years. To replace a great man such as Hamilton with Reagan would be the same kind of treason that Reagan's dogs accuse liberals of having.

June 11, 2004

Dave Matthews Bland?

Once upon a time in a place not so far from here, 6 men made their way to a small stage at a hole in the wall bar. That place was Charlottesville, Virginia, and the time was just over a decade ago. Leroi Moore, Peter Griesar, Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard, Boyd Tinsley, and some guy by the name of David Matthews played to the local crowd an eclectic mix of folk/jam rock with little hint of any ballad-driven pop in the future. They were able to take their songs and extend them, little by little and mount together a furious performance of unparalleled musical standards.

Travel down ten years down the road of time and you will find this Dave Matthews Band (minus Griesar) filling up amphitheaters, arenas, and stadiums, with college age boys and girls (the guys trying to get down the girls pants, using the music as a clever medium) and playing some of the more well-known pop songs of the last decade.

"Crash Into Me" is easily one of the most learned songs by frat boys who decide that an acoustic guitar is the best way to break down the door leading into some easy girl's box of love. So, with the guitar in hand, they go through the stretch of playing the chords and whispering the lyrics of stalking a girl from afar, hoping to one day have her, as in some sort of a boy's dream.

"The Space Between", the song which catapulted the band into the stratosphere in 2001, received tremendous radio airplay, and with this excessive airplay came a tidal wave of prepubescent little girls, giggling over what might Dave play next. Ooh ooh ooh. What's he going to play???!!! OMG, liek, he said he'd haev my babies, liek, OMG! Dave, the space between the wicked lie of "Everyday" and what should have been the band's best album, but only came out as the 2000 "Summer So Far" hijack, was the massive decline in your ability to write lyrics that require some degree of thought and the startling turn to writing pop song ballads, like "The Space Between".

So I'm going to see the Dave Matthews Band play at Blossom Music Center on June 29, for the third, and maybe final, time. My faith in the band that got my attention with "Ants Marching" a decade ago is now being weathered by "The Space Between". Yes, Dave Matthews, you "Did It". Guilty as charged.

June 10, 2004


So I write for BW's alternative campus paper, dead link and host their website on my network drive as well. maelstrombw@yahoo.com is where you should email if you're interested in submitting an article or have some feedback on the website for us. We always encourage constructive criticism and long-winded rants.

Our Editor In Chief, Selina, wants to bring Maelstrom to a higher level of parody and bring it out to the world, so we're counting on the many, the cocky, the zany, to help propel Maelstrom through the stratosphere towards Proxima Centauri!

But in all seriousness...

If you think you have an article worthy of the Maelstrom, you should send it her way... and make the world a better place.

Typical day...

It's one of those Clevelandesque summer days, yet again. A cool breeze, rain, and temps in the low to mid 70s. The rain's been coming on and off, but with any luck we'll be getting hammered with more storms, like yesterday.

I donated $50 to the Kerry campaign yesterday... even though I don't really think he's the best person that the Dems have to offer, he is, then, the obvious lesser of two evils.

I've been spending a lot of time posting at Omeletteville lately (well, actually down within the last week because of work...) and it's always fun to watch a soap opera evolve over the internet. Fun in that sad kinda way, but fun, nonetheless... and I fully encourage participation. Most of the "political" discussion that goes on there is inane babbling from both sides of the aisle... there are maybe four or five posters on there with whom my time is best spent debating.

Speaking of work (for those of you who don't know), I'm finally going to be getting the pay raise that comes with being a shift manager... whoo-hoo... to a whole freaking $7.50/hr. (Sigh.) I better get cracking on the guitar if I want more, I suppose. Not much else for now.

So... suck an egg.