Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Titleist Scotty Cameron Golf

I've recently started a collection of headcovers and putters from the famed Scotty Cameron company and may throw out some pictures here and there of my recent acquisitions.

Fired Aide of Ron Paul's Speaks Out

Eric Dondero, an aide to Ron Paul from 1987 to 2003 has decided to speak out about Ron Paul's personal and political habits and foreign policies.  Eric, a travel aide to Dr. Paul from 1987/88, National Organizer 1991/92, Campaign Coordinator 1995/96, and lastly former Senior Aide 1997/03.  One can assume that he has been around Dr. Paul enough to give us a general idea of his habits and feelings outside of media speculation and Paul's speeches/debates.

Let's take a look at what he has to say:

"Is Ron Paul a “racist.” In short, No. I worked for the man for 12 years, pretty consistently. I never heard a racist word expressed towards Blacks or Jews come out of his mouth. Not once."

Media outlets such as New York Times simply surmised non-factual ideas of newsletters relating to Ron Paul that were anti-Semitic and racist.  Ron Paul has many staffers of all different ethnicities, namely African American and Mexican.  I'll go into more detail on these newsletters in a post later in time, but for now one can safely say that Ron Paul is in no way racist, and this media assertiveness is nothing more than a smear campaign.
"One caveat: He is what I would describe as “out of touch,” with both Hispanic and Black culture. Ron is far from being the hippest guy around. He is completely clueless when it comes to Hispanic and Black culture, particularly Mexican-American culture. And he is most certainly intolerant of Spanish and those who speak strictly Spanish in his presence, (as are a number of Americans, nothing out of the ordinary here.)"

Not much to say about this.  He's right in saying that many ordinary Americans are somewhat out of touch with Mexican-American culture and Hispanic/black culture; however, he gives no events or details as to why he says this, so we can dismiss this as unnecessary speculation, which is what he says he's 'trying' to dismiss.

"He is however, most certainly Anti-Israel, and Anti-Israeli in general. He wishes the Israeli state did not exist at all. He expressed this to me numerous times in our private conversations. His view is that Israel is more trouble than it is worth, specifically to the America taxpayer. "

Saying that Dr. Paul believes that the Israeli state should not exist is a real stretch; but to say that Israel is more trouble than it's worth is spot on, and I think most Americans can agree with him here.  Mr. Dondero writes like a typical GOP Anti-Paul media outlet acting like any normal-thinking American would balk at the idea of ending billions in foreign aid to Israel.  But this just isn't the case.  The American government already gives 25 Billion dollars in foreign aid every year, and 3 billion of that goes to Israel.  2 Billion of that is used for military purposes, then split the remaining into public services and aid.   The money could be spent going into our public services and aid, or otherwise deducted out of the already OUTRAGEOUS budget that the government currently has, which is what Dr. Paul wants to do.  This angers many Israelis, considering 12 Israelis currently hold a Senate seat, and 26 are currently Representatives.  It's no wonder why we give so much to them in foreign aid and are tolerable of their foreign policies and actions, which some may consider terrorism.

"Is Ron Paul a homo-phobe? Well, yes and no. He is not all bigoted towards homosexuals. He supports their rights to do whatever they please in their private lives. He is however, personally uncomfortable around homosexuals, no different from a lot of older folks of his era."

Dr. Paul supports homosexual's rights, that's great!  Adding the following sentence, ". He is however, personally uncomfortable around homosexuals, no different from a lot of older folks of his era." is meaningless.  He supports gays and lesbians rights, and won't be prejudice towards them, and finding that in a GOP leader is rare enough, but to go further and say he's uncomfortable around them is needless hearsay.  This shows that Mr. Dondero has some unresolved feelings towards Dr. Paul firing him back in 2003.  He quoted an instance in which Paul may have been uncomfortable in the home of a gay couple (which you can read, Here) and refuses to use the bathroom there, but in all honesty, so what?  Even if that were to be true, and no one can say for sure (unless you truly believe Mr. Dondero), what bearing does that have on you and the quality of a politician that Dr. Paul is?  Moving on.

"Ron Paul is most assuredly an isolationist. He denies this charge vociferously. But I can tell you straight out, I had countless arguments/discussions with him over his personal views. For example, he strenuously does not believe the United States had any business getting involved in fighting Hitler in WWII. He expressed to me countless times, that “saving the Jews,” was absolutely none of our business. When pressed, he often times brings up conspiracy theories like FDR knew about the attacks of Pearl Harbor weeks before hand, or that WWII was just “blowback,” for Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy errors, and such."

Now this may require some speculation, since, yet again, no one can or has yet to prove these statements.  He did not believe that the United States had any business getting involved with fighting Hitler in WWII, and might I add, the United States government and public wholeheartedly agreed with him back then (Agreed with him in the sense that they shared the same philosophy on the war).  Yes, what happened to the Jewish people is horrific and a crime against humanity, but the same could be said about Stalin or Adi Amin (Leader of Uganda); and the ironic part of it is, we were Stalin's ally during WWII.  And even before we entered the war, we supplied them(Russia/Stalin) with millions of dollars of weapons, which one can possibly argue were used to help deprive and kill the citizens under him.  Even the history channel has speculated that the sonar technology we had watching Pearl Harbor's coast back then was purposefully misread with prior knowledge to the attacks.  Along with the US's oil embargo on Japan, surely knowing that there's a very good chance that they could retaliate against us.  And of course, after everything was said and done, the American public was entirely, 100% for backing the US entering the war.  These aren't simply conspiracy theories, they do require some thought and not simply to be overlooked - and that's not even to say that Ron Paul believes them, again it's nothing more than hearsay.

"Ron Paul was opposed to the War in Afghanistan, and to any military reaction to the attacks of 9/11."

Here's a big one for many of you, should we have entered into a war with Afghanistan in retaliation to the 9/11 attacks or not?  Dr. Paul openly disagrees with the war and says we should bring our troops back, but that's not what's being asked here: should we, or shouldn't we have entered the war to begin with?  It's common knowledge that Ron Paul disagrees with even entering the war; a quote from him, "We should recognize that American tax dollars helped to create the very Taliban government that now wants to destroy us. In the late 1970s and early 80s, the CIA was very involved in the training and funding of various fundamentalist Islamic groups in Afghanistan, some of which later became today's brutal Taliban government."  The United States did fund the now Taliban, for some lesser known reasons.  Russia (Read previously the ironic part of allying with the USSR during WWII) had wanted to invade Afghanistan for oil, and we supplied the local gangs and militia there to prevent that, which was successful; however, it soon backfired and they created the now widely known 'Taliban-ring' which we are fighting today.  Another ironic part of this war is that we went to Iraq first, where Saddam Hussein(The leader then) had a non-tolerance policy towards the Taliban and quickly removed the vast majority of the militia-rings from his country.

"On the eve of the vote, Ron Paul was still telling us staffers that he was planning to vote “No,” on the resolution, and to be prepared for a seriously negative reaction in the District. Jackie Gloor and I, along with quiet nods of agreement from the other staffers in the District, declared our intentions to Tom Lizardo, our Chief of Staff, and to each other, that if Ron voted No, we would immediately resign."

Mr. Dondero says that he and many other staffers would immediately resign if Ron Paul had voted against the Afghanistan/Iraq war, and this could be true.  For all we know, many staffers could have looked negatively towards Dr. Paul's views about the war.  But where would our society be if no one spoke out against any war, be it 'practical' or not?  Bloodshed is bloodshed people; a select few hijacked planes and flew them into the World Trade Center, so we go to war with two ENTIRE countries because of this?  We didn't even know if the leaders were behind this(we knew for sure Saddam Hussein wasn't) and yet we still invade them, risking our soldiers lives and the lives of innocent people in those countries?  So yes, maybe Dr. Ron Paul would have been looked down upon for voting no, but I wouldn't have looked down at him for it.  It's been proven time and time again that during large attacks on innocent people, the public effected wants some sort of revenge or repercussions for such acts.  This is understandable, you can't blame people for having these emotions, but governments can use this to their advantage. 

"If Ron Paul should be slammed for anything, it’s not some silly remarks he’s made in the past in his Newsletters. It’s over his simply outrageously horrendous views on foreign policy, Israel, and national security for the United States. His near No vote on Afghanistan. That is the big scandal. And that is what should be given 100 times more attention from the liberal media, than this Newsletter deal."

Horrendous to you, Mr. Dondero, but not to the VAST MAJORITY of Americans that want to balance the budget and are paying much more attention to where their tax payer money is going to.

 Balance the Budget, Ron Paul for America!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

ASUS G74SX BBK7 Review

This Behemoth of a laptop has everything you could want for gaming with a moderately low price-tag.  I've had it for two weeks, so I think I can summarize the pros/cons fairly well.  At a first glance, it's very big - and if you know the popular alienware laptops, it's comparable in size to the m17-m18x.

It has an edgy look to it, the keyboard is vertically inclined as for the convenience of the user.  When you rest it on your lap, the CPU/GPU's airflow is intelligently blown out the back air vents, away from the user so you rarely ever feel it overheat.  I have gamed all the newer names, such as Skyrim & MW3 for multiple hours on end, and have only once felt it needed to cool down a bit.  Otherwise, there's really no need for a cooling pad, unlike the need for ones on most Alienware names.

When you rest your hands on the keyboard, you'll notice the mousepad is surrounded by a rubber padding; think of the basic mouse pad for desktops with a rubber padding to rest your wrist on, and then picture it on 1/4 of your keyboard.  Only, it's very flat and not inconvenient at all.  I don't get the sense that it will wear down after long use either; it seems like a very high end material, just take care of it a bit more than you would  a normal laptop.

Now, down to the specs:  The GPU (Graphics card) is a GTX 560M 2GB.  The graphics card is a high end Nvidia card, which is a + for the price you pay for the notebook.  The cons to this, however, is that you can't change out your GPU down the road.

Next up, the CPU:  It's an Intel i7 2630 QM, not as high as the Alienware m18x's Intel i7 2920XM, but it really isn't a noticeable difference - and that's saying a lot when you compare the prices of the two.  2Ghz turbo moded to 2.9Ghz automatically depending on how much use it's getting.  Asus bloatware conveniently has a tab on the desktop that shows how hard your CPU is working.  You can eventually change your CPU down the line, but it's not an easy task.

Next, the 2 500 GB HD's:  You can't really complain about never having enough memory with this laptop.  1 TB of space is plenty for just about anyone.  And Asus, for your convenience, already assigns one as master/slave so you don't have to do any of the BIOS drudgery.  And, if you really wanted to, you can pop in an SSD just so the already super fast start-up speed will be that much faster!

Last, but not least:  8 GB of RAM upgradeable to 16 GB of RAM.  Even on my desktop, which plays any game on Max settings with high resolution rates has 8 GB of RAM.  But to have the option of upgrading that is awesome!  It's DDR3 1333 MGHz, so it's not as high as the 1600 MGHz that you'll find in the m17/m18xs, but I don't mind one bit.

The cons:  When comparing to Alienware, you can't change the colors of your backlit keyboard.
Can't upgrade GPU.
Large (May be / may not be Con)
Some Bloatware, may want to reinstall Win 7
(This doesn't happen for mine) Audio may create a small screeching noise in the background, but it's supposedly rare in most of these laptops.

The Pros:  Price efficient
Power House specs
Large & Mobile
Backlit keyboard
Doesn't overheat
Asus (duh!)
Sharp, unique appearance
Runs all of my games on max settings

Also, for those that may be looking for a carrying case for this, look at the Alienware m17x or m18x Cases, the Asus one designed for this is very basic and dull.  I don't think any of the Swiss backpacks will fit this (the Pegasus will not).  Some Targus bags will, but when flying they may be required to go through luggage and not carry-on because of the size.  Also, when considering buying a carrying case, bear in mind that the Alienware logo makes your bag more apt for theft; keep a sharp eye on it whenever traveling.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Professors with PHD's

Out of my few years in college, my professors never cared whether I called them Mr./Professor/Dr. _______.  It was never an issue.  Recently, I ran into a professor I vaguely knew but never had before and asked him for directions to a classroom.  I addressed him as Mr. ____, unknowingly that I was about to get my butt chewed out.  He looked at me with a very I'm-better-than-you gauze and said, "You will address me as Doctor, and nothing less, is that clear?".  Taken aback, I stood there for a few seconds and just stared at him; do you really have that much of a superiority complex that you need students to address you as "Lord Pretentious Dr. ____"? It's an informal setting, I was simply asking for directions - I wonder what he says to students who may not even KNOW his name to begin with?  "Address me as Yoda, inferior one, for I know your destiny in life". Mmm... perhaps not my best Yoda impression.

I walked away from him without a response, but I started thinking about it more next class (Eco 101, it's not a very entertaining subject for me...) when you think of Doctors, do you think of them as someone with a PHD in whatever subject, or as someone in the medical field with an MD?  I think of them as someone who has medical background, with an MD, not an English major with a PHD who is self-centered and insecure without his title in front of his name.