Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Another Milestone

On Tuesday, at 12:24 p.m., someone in Juneau, Alaska did a Google search on "drugs" and became the 200,000th hit on my blog. Amazing! I added a hit counter to my blog a year and a few months after I started blogging. Two years later, I reached the milestone of 100,000. Now, a year later, I have doubled that. And I might have reached this milestone sooner if I had not privatized my blog for a few months late last year to prevent my former employers from reading it.

May has also broken other records. There's still a week left in the month and I already have more than 13,000 hits this month (only a couple times has my blog passed the 10,000 mark). A lot of this has to do with my anti-drug post, which is still the most popular post I've written in over a year. I have no clue why this post has attracted such attention in people's Internet search, but I saw a disturbing thing a week or so ago when I looked at my statistical data tracker. Someone in Montpelier, France (a university town where I once dreamed of doing a semester abroad during college) did a Google search on a phrase that turned out to be a word-for-word phrase from my anti-drug post! Then, a few hours later, there was another hit on the same phrase from someone in Mexico. These were the only two incidents in the thousands of hits that this controversial post have snagged. How is it possible for someone to do a Google search on an exact phrase that came from my mind? The obvious answer is that someone might have lifted my post for a paper and a professor was doing a check on the Internet for plagiarism. This has happened before with a blog post of mine and the only reason why I knew about it before was because the person had found my blog post through a plagiarism check website.

If people are lifting words and ideas from my blog for papers they are submitting to professors, I'm more flattered than anything else. After all, I ghostwrite for someone and that person truly needs my writing ability to have a coherent paper. Since so many people are coming across my anti-drug post, I hope my thoughts and ideas will have a good influence on people. There were some nasty comments that various readers have left, which baffled me that drug-users are so defensive about their habits. I know marijuana users like to think of their drug of choice as being relatively harmless, but the facts are undeniable: regular use can contribute to memory loss, lack of ambition, increased appetite (especially of junk food), poor judgements, and even impotence in males. Who wants any of that?

Above is a photo that I found in a Google image search of Juneau, Alaska, which is a popular cruise line stop. It is also the capital city of the great state of Alaska, where Sarah Palin once worked. An Alaska cruise is on my list of things to experience before I pass on to the spiritual realm. Its the #1 cruise I would like to experience (the Panama Canal Zone is #2).

So, here's a happy congratulations to my blog for passing the 200,000 mark. The next major milestone will be 250,000 and I predict that I will cross that mark by September.

In other news, another person de-friended me on Facebook. This came as a shock, because we had an interesting dialogue on spirituality / religion just last week. He did not like my comments about how the Republican Party views Affirmative Action. Here's what he said: "you sound like an old school white-supremacist Nicholas. run-of-the-mill fake Republican, not an original thought in your bow-tied body. I posted a few weeks ago on my wall "if you think like the Klan, defriend me now, please". You didn't defriend me! So I'll have to do that for you."

Okay. Weird! My friend Michael, though, posted that I shouldn't consider it a loss that this guy had de-friended me. I agree. I don't know the guy. He had friend-requested me several months ago, aparently because he liked what I wrote in comments on someone else's Facebook wall. In all our dialogues in the following months, I never could get a handle on the guy. He seemed like a chameleon to me or a shapeshifter. He had no consistent message and made arguments out of both sides of his mouth. He would write something, then something opposite and then delete his previous statement. Even more odd, he would make comments that did not relate to what was being discussed, which did not make logical sense and were hard to understand. He was a strange guy, so it's not really a loss to have him de-friend me. His final comment only proves how strange he is, because he didn't seem to understand what I was saying in my comment.

It was about Herman Cain's announcement that he was running for the Republican nomination for president in 2012. I had written that Cain couldn't even get elected as senator in Georgia, so how would he get the 270 electoral votes that it takes to win the White House. Since I'm from Georgia, I think I have a clue about the politics of that state. There is no way that the conservative Republican voters of Georgia are going to vote for a black man or woman to the Senate or the Governorship. The Confederacy still lives on in Georgia. Teabaggers might like Cain's views, but a part of that could be their need to prove to the country that they aren't "racist" like their protest signs portray them as. Its that whole defensive, "Some of my best friends are black!" Yeah, right.

My point about Affirmative Action is that Republicans have always criticized it as "promoting an inexperienced minority or female over a more qualified white person." This is a real fear that many people have and it is an issue. The Democratic Party believes that Affirmative Action helps correct the mistakes made when minorities and women were denied promotions in favour of white males. Its not a perfect system. The 2008 election illustrated perfectly how the two parties viewed Affirmative Action, because it was an "Affirmative Action election." On the Democratic side, there was the usual lineup of white male politicians, as we've seen in every election since the establishment of our government. In addition, there was a Hispanic candidate who had the best resume of any presidential hopeful: Bill Richardson. There was Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was considered the first viable female candidate for president. And then there was Barack Obama, who only won his Senate seat in the previous presidential election year. He was inexperienced and the Democratic primary voters and caucus goers made him the nominee (bypassing more experienced white male candidates).

On the Republican side, John McCain selected the least qualified female politician to be his running mate (bypassing such qualified female Republicans as Condoleezza Rice, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Elizabeth Dole, and Christine Todd Whitman). The competence of Palin is highly dubious, yet it didn't matter. Strange, isn't it, that a political party that claims that Affirmative Action promotes the inexperienced minority (which female candidates are, by the small numbers they occupy in politics despite being a little over 50% of the population) over the qualified male candidate (in 2008, all of the primary candidates were white males).

After Obama got elected as president, in which Americans endorsed Affirmative Action by choosing an inexperienced minority candidate over the experienced white male candidate, the Republicans selected Michael Steele to be the Republican National Committee Chairman. Call it the Obama-effect. Because the Democrats "went black", the Republicans had to prove that they weren't racist (in spite of the evidence taken from the McCain and Palin rallies with their Curious George dolls wearing Obama buttons and the race baiting comments in stump speeches) by selecting an unknown black Republican. The tenure of Steele proved disasterous, as he was incompetent and often had to backtrack on his comments to appease Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. The replacement RNC chair is another white guy.

Now, Herman Cain is running to prove that the teabaggers aren't "racist." What political experience does he have? Nada. Funny how the teabaggers take issue with Obama's "inexperience" but their support of the equally inexperienced Sarah Palin and even less experienced Herman Cain is irrelevant. Cain is best known as the CEO of Godfather's Pizza. Sorry, but that's not enough of a qualifier for the job of president. Try again. Besides, like the teabaggers and Republicans are really going to want a presidential election in which they have to choose between two black men. I just don't see them as that liberated.

In the interest of disclosure, I will state here and now that I am pro-Affirmative Action. However, competence matters. Inexperience is an issue, but it needs to be balanced with other criteria. For me, Obama's inexperience was a small issue of concern in the 2008 election, but the combination of his life experience / personal narrative, his intelligence, and his vision, I thought he was the best candidate for this challenging period. I also loved his 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention about ending the culture wars and not letting political issues divide us from each other. I thought Hillary was too divisive (not her fault, but it would still pose a problem in getting things done), but I heard several Republicans liking Obama. I had no idea that as soon as he was sworn in, an astro-turf movement would pop up with all kinds of lies and obsessions about his religion, birthplace, and political views. I look at the whole of a person and I also knew that Obama's election wouldn't just be good for the country, but also for the world. Hundreds of millions of people around the world were hoping and praying for Obama to win. So many people want to claim him: Kenyans, Indonesians, Arabs, and even the Irish!

The point is that Obama's fast rise to the top of the political world represents exactly how Affirmative Action should work if its done correctly. By contrast, the Republican scheme is nothing more than "tokenism" similar to how the apartheid government in South Africa created "African homelands" to show the world that they do allow black people to "vote" (in sham elections of no real consequence). The Republicans cynically use a person's race or gender to supposedly give voters what they want, but don't think that voters can tell the difference between a Hillary Clinton and a Sarah Palin or a Barack Obama from a Michael Steele (or Herman Cain). As their beloved president once loved to say: "Bring it on!" Bitches.

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