Monthly Archives: February 2008

Guns

I’m a gun man. Well, not really, but I completely support a citizen’s right to own a gun, given that he or she proves that they’re mentally right and able to own a gun without needlessly slaying others.

I am horrified whenever a school shooting happens, but I am also appalled when the day after, liberal nutjobs call for laws banning citizens from owning guns. They seem to think that simply making it illegal to own a gun will prevent criminals from obtaining and ultimately using them. Criminals break they law, that’s kind of their whole deal. So breaking one more law may actually make them happier.

One year ago, Australia forced its gun-owners to turn in their guns. In total 640,381 guns were destroyed and cost the government over $500MM. The Aussies thought that by destroying guns, they’d get rid of their problem. I wonder how that turned out.

Actually, I don’t because I could have told the Australians what would happen before they decided to go through with their stupid little plan.

  • Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2%
  • Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6%
  • Australia-wide, armed-robberies are up 44% (yes, FORTY-FOUR PERCENT)
  • In the state of Victoria, homicides-with-firearms are up 300%
  • Figures over the previous 25 years show a steady decrease in homicides-with-firearms (changed dramatically in the past 12 months)
  • Figures over the previous 25 years show a steady decrease in armed-robbery-with-firearms (changed dramatically in the past 12 months)
  • There has been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly
  • At the time of the ban, the Prime Minister said “self-defense is not a reason for owning a firearm”
  • From 1910 to present, homicides in Australia had averaged about 1.8-per-100,000 or lower, a safe society by any standard.
  • The ban has destroyed Australia’s standings in some international sport shooting competitions
  • The membership of the Australian Sports Shooting Association has risen to 112,000, a 200% increase, in response to the ban and as an attempt to organize against further controls, which are expected.
  • Australian politicians are on the spot and at a loss to explain how no improvement in “safety” has been observed after such monumental effort and expense was successfully expended in “ridding society of guns”. Their response has been to “wait longer”.

Surprise, surprise. Here’s a quote from Keith Tidswell, from the Sporting Shooter’s Association, Australia’s version of the NRA:

“…The best organization you’ve got there, the biggest organization you’ve got there is the NRA. We don’t have an organization that size. We didn’t have an organization that size, and as a consequence, we suffered. And we hope that you don’t suffer…”

I’ll present you with two scenarios now.

Scenario 1: Mentally troubled young man wants to commit suicide and take some people with him. He gets some loser adult to buy him a gun and goes to his school. He takes out 5 of his classmates before killing himself, knowing that none of his law-abiding classmates will have a gun.

Scenario 2: Mentally troubled young man wants to commit suicide and take some people with him. He takes his gun to class, but sees two other students carrying legally licensed handguns in his class. He just goes home and takes his own life.

Now this won’t stop every crazy lunatic from playing Scenario 1, but if it stops just one innocent murder, it’s worth it. Now I’m certainly not advocating selling a gun to anybody and everybody, in fact, I support tougher and more intense screening before a gun is purchased. All medical records should be considered (both physical and mental) and background checks must become mandatory. If it’s a little more inconvenient, so what? Owning a gun is different that owning a TV or some other trivial item.

Oklahoma is headed in the right direction. A bill that would allow students to carry firearms on campus if they are at least 21 and are licensed to carry a concealed weapon passed 14-2 on Monday by the House Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. The bill would only apply to public colleges and universities, and is its status is being tracked by schools like Oklahoma State University.

I’m actually headed to Stillwater, OK in May to attend a national conference of student government leaders and I’m looking forward to discussing this bill not only with students from OSU, but with students from colleges and universities from across the nation.

Guns don’t kill people. Pathetic and crazy losers kill people. And liberals don’t want honest Americans to be able to defend themselves from these crazies.

That’s A Lot Of Age

It’s a video of England citizens aged 1 through 100. Some of them look pretty ragged, and they’re more in the 20-50 range. The 80+ group look pretty good.

Today’s Idiot: Unidentified Cake-maker

So, imagine you’re a low-intelligence Walmart employee and your job is to decorate cakes with whatever words or phrases Walmart patrons want on their cake. Birthdays, graduations, weddings and every other occasion you would ever need a cake for. So today’s idiot is whoever did this cake:

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The lettering on that cake says:

Best Wishes Suzanne
Under Neat that
We Will Miss You

Okay. At first I didn’t get it. You may not have either. Just think about it for a little while. I’ll wait.

Still don’t quite understand it? I’ll explain. Let’s go back to imagining we’re a low-IQ Walmart bakery employee. A customer calls in with a cake request and you answer the phone.

“Hi this is (blank), what would you like your cake to say?”

And the customer tells you:

“‘Best Wishes Suzanne.’ Underneath that, ‘we will miss you.’”

“Alright,” you reply, “we can totally do that.” So you take your icing-squirter thing and do the cake.

‘Best Wishes Suzanne. Under Neat that, We Will Miss You.’

Torgos Basketball: Game 4

MBAA 46, TORGOS 39 – F/OT

Having clinched a playoff berth in Week 2, and MBAA needing a win to make the playoffs, the Torgos let up a little and suffered their first loss of the year. Jaryd again led the team in points with 11 as the Torgos battled through a very physical battle. MBAA racked up 20 fouls, a RecSports record. The Torgos struggled on the boards and were heartily out-rebounded yet stayed in the game. With under a minute left in regulation and MBAA leading by one, Logan had a shot swatted and MBAA made an easy layup. With time winding down, Roberto hit a huge three with under 20 seconds left. MBAA held for the final shot and missed, sending the game to overtime. MBAA hit two quick baskets in overtime and never looked back, outscoring the Torgos 7 to 1 in the extra time.

My final line was 15 minutes, 5 points (1-2 FG, 2-2 FT), 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal.

My regular season averages were 11 minutes, 2.3ppg, 5rpg, 2.3apg and 1.8spg

A New Look

Thought it was time for the blog to undergo a makeover.

Nothing new really going on with me. Found this new, sweet room for RHA meetings. It seats 61 people (always with the “1” in Cornell). The seats are arranged in 5 rows of a stadium-seating, semi-circle with an aisle down the middle. There’s a sound system, projector and a camera projector. It’s ideal for Congress meetings and Tanner and I instituted a seating chart to improve efficiency.

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Just mirror-image this and picture a sweet projector in front

Good night.

2008 RHA Election Results

A win for Bobby Wood and Nathaniel Ballance! For the second year in a row, I was part of the winning slate in the Residence Halls Association elections. Two weeks of frantic campaigning culminated this week with voting on Thursday, February 21. The following day brought the annual RHA Banquet. After a delicious dinner and some delightful speeches (keynote: Kirsten Kennedy) the results were announced. This year’s results were to be close, we were told, and there was a distinct possibility that we would lose. But that wasn’t the case. Bobby and I won and dancing ensued. We stayed for awhile, but left around nine or ten to go out and celebrate three generations of RHA Presidents. Finally putting some pictures up on this blog.

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Justin & I

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Myself, Marissa and Justin

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Just after the election results announcement

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Bobby and myself. Where’s his jacket?

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Justin and I are fans of awkward middle school slow-dancing

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Traipsing through the snow to Tellers

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Celebrating

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Current VP and Pres. At least for a little while longer…

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Buncha Executives Past & Present

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Where’s Justin’s striped tie?

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Emily and her boys

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Perhaps a Perplexing President?

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I love our treasurer

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Hm…Greg you often time confuse me.

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I moved seats sometime during the night

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Emily said something stupid. Laughing ensues.

All around, it was a great night, albeit a bit nerve-wracking early on. If there’s one thing in college that I’ve thrown myself into head first and come to love, it’s student government. And tonight was a celebration of that love.

Pre-Spring Training Picks

I’ve decided to relent and make picks before Spring Training really gets underway. I want to preface this post by saying that no one should look back to these picks after the season and call them my preseason picks. I will publish a new set of picks a few days before the season starts and those will be my ultimate picks, for better or worse. Things happen between mid-February and Opening Day. People get hurt, players get traded and personnel decisions are made. Therefore, I reserve the right to change any or all of these picks. This is a very premature set of picks based on how the teams are set right now. I will change them. But here’s my take as of February 21.

AL East
Boston Red Sox: 97-65
–World Series champs who didn’t do anything wrong. Losing Curt Schilling hurts only if someone else goes down. Lester and Buchholz are probably better bets now anyway.
New York Yankees: 94-68
–Putting a lot of chips on The Big 3. This is a team that could easily win 100+ games, but also struggle to win 90. They’re counting on rebound years from Giambi, Damon and Abreu.
Toronto Blue Jays: 83-79
–They’re in a tough place. I think they should have made a move in a year when Boston’s getting old and New York’s banking on unknowns. Rolen helps the defense (and in turn, the pitching) but I have doubts as to how well he’ll hold up on the turf.
Tampa Bay Rays: 82-80
–What? Over .500 for the never-good Rays? I like the young talent they’ve accumulated and I love the young talent that hasn’t quite reached the bigs yet. They’re definitely moving in the right direction.
Baltimore Orioles: 67-95
–They did what they needed to do. It’s not going to be pretty, and it’ll hurt pretty bad this year, but they’ll be glad they did it in a few years.

AL Central
Cleveland Indians 90-72
–I still stand by the old truth that pitching wins. And I like Cleveland’s pitching 10x more than I do Detroit’s. I really think they need to add a bat before the trade deadline to put them over the top, but the division is down a little.
Detroit Tigers 89-73
–Dontrelle had a 5.17 ERA in a NL pitcher’s park. Maybe he’ll be more motivated in Detroit, but I wouldn’t count on it. The offense is scary, but the rotation is paper-thin and the bullpen is ravaged by injury.
Chicago White Sox 77-85
–Bought when they should have sold. They wasted a lot of money and a lot of young talent to finish third. I didn’t understand the re-signing of Uribe after the trade for Cabrera. Normally I like Kenny Williams, but he confused me this winter.
Kansas City Royals 73-89
–Didn’t like some of their moves (trading for Callapso) but Moore’s doing a good job bringing the Royals back slowly.
Minnesota Twins 71-91
–Overplayed their hand with Johan Santana and then swapped their next best pitcher in Matt Garza. Also lost innings-eater Carlos Silva to Seattle. They’ll depend on some promising young pitching, but unlike the Yankees, they don’t have the offense to bail them out.

AL West
Los Angeles Angels 92-70
–Stacked with pitching and outfielders. They should easily win this division
Seattle Mariners 77-85
–Bedard helps them a little this year in the fact he replaces Jeff Weaver. He’ll probably leave after ’09 and they traded a bunch of prospects to get him. Carlos Silva was dumb though.
Texas Rangers 73-89
–Like the direction and the farm system. Still a few years away from contention, but making forward progress
Oakland Athletics 72-90
–Yuck. Got a ton back for Dan Haren, but they certainly aren’t going to win this year or anytime soon. Moneyball is nice, but hasn’t really paid ultimate dividends for Beane and his A’s.

NL East
New York Mets 96-66
–Johan Santana is worth about 8 wins or so for any National League team. I expect Santana to completely dominate the National League and the Mets should be the favorite to play in the World Series.
Atlanta Braves 86-76
–There should be some concern about how well the rotation will hold up, but the offense should be a go once they settle on a centerfielder to replace Andruw Jones.
Philadelphia Phillies 84-78
–They got hot at the right time last year, and I don’t think it’ll hold over to this year. Brad Lidge must return to pre-Pujols form to balance the bullpen.
Washington Nationals 76-86
–There’s not much to get excited about with this team. They made some moves bringing in questionable character guys, but they certainly could pay off if they shape up.
Florida Marlins 72-90
–No Willis, no Cabrera, no chance. They’re making strides for a new ballpark, but we may see more 325-attendance games.

NL Central
Chicago Cubs 89-73
–They’ll feast on pathetic division competition and then be knocked out in the first round of the playoffs, just like last year. Fukudome won’t be anything special and they certainly won’t make Ryan Dempster look smart.
Milwaukee Brewers 85-77
–The pitching is hit or miss most days and they’re moving their players all over the diamond. They’ll be right around where they were las year.
Cincinnati Reds 79-83
–They’ve got some great prospects that will spend this year learning and adjusting. Just not contending.
Houston Astros 74-88
–The stripped their farm system for this? They didn’t address their pitching enough and after Roy Oswalt, there’s nothing.
St. Louis Cardinals 74-88
–Their starting pitching might be thinner than even Houston’s. If Pujols needs Tommy John surgery, this season will be a complete waste of time. I am excited to see Rasmus in person though.
Pittsburgh Pirates 71-91
–Need a long time and a lot of moves. They should move Jason Bay and start rebuilding. Again.

NL West
Los Angeles Dodgers 88-74
–They underperform so frequently and consistently, it’s almost painful to pick them. But when their pitching gets hurt in Spring Training, I’ll pick someone new.
Arizona Diamondbacks 86-76
–Haren upgrades the rotation, but they gave up a lot for him. They had a lot of luck on their side last year, and will probably fall off a little in 08.
San Diego Padres 86-76
–If only Chris Young could pitch at Petco every time out. Jim Edmonds is a downgrade from Mike Cameron in every facet of the game. Except steroid suspensions.
Colorado Rockies 81-81
–Another team rolling the dice on young pitching. Another team that probably won’t have the same amount of luck as they did last year. Beatdown in the World Series will probably take a toll on them.
San Francisco Giants 70-92
–They’ve got some great young pitchers, but no hitting. They overpaid to see Aaron Rowand’s offense fall off the map and are stuck with Barry Zito for six more years.

What Nate’s Reading Now – Feb. 20

I peruse the the news every morning to see what’s happening in our world and thought that for those of you who don’t, I could share with you what I’m reading. What’s Nate’s Reading Now will be reserved mostly just for things I find interesting. Nothing earth-shattering or controversial, just short, fun little things I find on my daily excursions over the World Wide Web.

I love Gary Hubbel. He’s a columnist for the Aspen Times Weekly and is a certified journalistic and satirical genius.He writes about a group being ignored in the 2008 Presidential race. While every candidate is pandering over special-interest groups, one is being ignored and overlooked.

Here’s a nice, upstanding Mexican man. He’s a hard-working 22-year old that was arrested the other day for human trafficking. Unfortunately for him, he’s been arrested and deported 14 times previously. Hmm…perhaps 1, 2, 15 strikes and you’re out?

This mand found a surefire way to deter his smoker girlfriend. How, you ask? Well, when his girlfriend lit up in his apartment he simply grabbed his fire extinguisher and emptied it in her face. I’m going to start carrying a fire extinguisher around with me and utilize this practice on the many smokers here. The man managed to put out the cigarette.

Bet you know a lot about the Presidents. Here’s a few things you may not have known. Bet you don’t know which President had an annoying habit of ringing the White House doorbell and then running off to hide. (No, it’s not Dubya…)

ALBINO MOOSE!!!
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What is Barack Obama?

I’ve been talking on and off again with people about Barack Obama lately. As a Republican primary voter, I’m not paying a whole lot of attention to the Democratic candidates or thoroughly researching their policies and plans. I only know surface information on both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, more so Hillary. This note isn’t intended to berate either of the candidates, it’s simply a fact finding mission.

I read the other day that there have been several faintings at Barak Obama appearances over the past few weeks. I assume it’s the same thing that happened with the Beatles or Elvis. Women get so overcome with emotion upon seeing their idol that the excitement just gets the best of them and they faint. But I don’t get it, apart from being an energetic and charismatic public speaker, I can’t seem to see anything of substance that Barack Obama stands for.

  • What does Obama stand for? And don’t say “hope and change.” Those are non-answers. They don’t count. They’re vague ideas that wan’t actually do anything
  • Can you tell me two specific policy initiatives Obama has proposed? See if you can get past national health care and higher taxes on the evil rich, that’s nothing new from Democrats.
  • Name 3 Obama accomplishments – and being elected Senator doesn’t count .. there are 99 others in office right now who pulled that one off.

So tell me, my democratic and liberal friends, what exactly is Barack Obama? At this point he’s not much more than a campaign speech.

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Torgos Basketball: Game 3

TORGOS 44, GARVEYS 35

The Torgos were down a player tonight due to an illness to Tepper, but still managed to pull out a tough win. Jaryd led all scorers for the Torgos with 12 and the Torgos had three players grab at least nine rebounds. The Torgos came out hot with Mike dropping in the game’s first four points. The Torgos built a 10-point halftime lead, saw it cut to 4 with back-to-back threes early in the second half then pulled away near the end. The Torgos held a 16-2 second chance points advantage and out-rebounded the Garveys 50-22. The Torgos look to end the regular season on a strong note with a win against the MBAA team next Tuesday at 11pm on Court 10.

My final line was 14 minutes, 2 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 personal foul.