2009: A Year of Growth

So as I've been reading Twitter the last couple of days, I've noticed that a lot of people are bidding "good riddance" to 2009. I'm a little surprised, to be honest. It was actually a pretty awesome year for me. I really feel like I grew a lot this year as a person. My horizons were broadened on a number of levels and my eyes were opened to new points of view.  I fell in love with technology all over again. I really embraced my geeky side more than ever before. I enjoyed more genre TV and movies than I ever have. I recorded hundreds of podcasts. I made dozens of new friends. And I took some pretty big steps on my journey towards a new media career.

I'm very thankful for the experiences I had this year. Between the awesome classes I've been taking in school, the dozens of podcasts I listen to, and the tweets and blogs I read every day, I've become even more aware and interested in new media and emerging technology than I already was. It's been an incredible year.

Most of all, I'm thankful for the great friends I've made this year, especially on Twitter. I was always skeptical about making friends over the internet. I didn't understand how a friendship could really develop if two people weren't spending time together. And yet, I'm now a big believer. Some of the people I've met on Twitter are as close or closer to me than some friends I've made "in real life". So thanks to all of you. You know who you are. Of course, I'm just as thankful for old friends as I am for new ones. My long-lasting friendships grew and became closer in 2009 than in previous years too. My sincere thanks go out to those friends as well.

Overall, 2009 was a huge year for me. It's a year I'll remember for a long time. I feel that I grew more as a person in 2009 than in any other year of my life to date. I look forward to the amazing ride that will be 2010. I'm really excited to finish my Junior year of college, to start working at a new job, and to experience all the new challenges that are headed my way. I can't wait to look back on 2010, and when I do, I hope I will remember it as fondly as I remember 2009.

Obama's Victory--A British View

Thanks to my friend Andrew for bringing this to my attention:

An editorial from the London Daily Mail 1/6/09

Obama's Victory--A British View

A victory for the hysterical Oprah Winfrey, the mad, racist preacher Jeremiah Wright, the U.S. mainstream media, who abandoned any sense of objectivity long ago, the Europeans who despise America largely because they depend on her, the comics who claim to be dangerous and fearless but would not dare attack genuinely powerful special interest groups.

A victory for Obama worshipers everywhere. A victory for the cult of the cult. A man who has done little with his life, but has written about his achievements as if he had found the cure for cancer, in between winning a marathon and building a nuclear reactor with his teeth. Victory for style over substance, hyperbole over history, rabble raising over reality.

A victory for Hollywood , the most dysfunctional community in the world. Victory for Streisand, Spielberg, Soros, Moore, and Sarandon. Victory for those who prefer welfare to will, and interference to independence. For those who settle for group think and herd mentality rather than those who fight for individual initiative and the right to be out of step with meager political fashion.

Victory for a man who is no friend of freedom . He and his people have already stated that media has to be controlled so as to be balanced, without realizing the extraordinary irony within that statement. Like most liberal zealots, the Obama worshipers constantly speak of Fox and Limbaugh, when the vast bulk of television stations and newspapers are drastically liberal and anti-conservative. Senior Democrat Chuck Schumer said that just as pornography should be censored, so should talk radio. In other words, one of the few free and open means of popular expression may well be cornered and beaten by bullies who even in triumph cannot tolerate any criticism and opposition.

A victory for those who believe the state is better qualified to raise children than the family, for those who prefer t eachers' unions to teaching and for those who are naively convinced that if the West is sufficiently weak towards its enemies, war and terror will dissolve as quickly as the tears on the face of a leftist celebrity.

A victory for social democracy, even after most of Europe has come to the painful conclusion that social democracy leads to mediocrity, failure, unemployment, inflation, higher taxes and economic stagnation. A victory for intrusive lawyers, banal sentimentalists, social extremists and urban snobs.

Congratulations America !


Obama Gave Biden Choice: VP or Secretary of State

Jill Biden let it slip on the Oprah Winfrey show that President Barack Obama gave Joe Biden a choice between being Vice President or Secretary of State. This would indicate that Obama wasn't particularly enthusiastic about having Biden or Senator Clinton filling either of their respective roles in his administration.

The 30 second version for the impatient...

...and the full version for those with a bit more patience. The relevant part begins around the 0:45 mark.

But here's the best part. Though Biden didn't deny his wife's comments on the air, a spokeperson released a statement denying Jill Biden's remarks just three hours later. Change we can believe in?


Franken, Sit Down and Shut Up

Apparently Democrat politicians with the first name Al have no concept of when to give up. We all remember the 2000 Presidential election between former Vice President Al Gore and then-Governor George W. Bush and the month-and-a-half-long recount that followed it. Gore simply would not concede defeat, recount after recount, to the point where the only way to salvage his reputation was to become a spokesman for global warming and gain public approval through rock star status. Well, former SNL comedian and liberal radio talk show host Al Franken has thrown his hat into the political ring by running for US Senate in Minnesota. The problem is he lost. True, it was a very small margin - literally a couple hundred votes - but he lost. But SHHH! Don't tell him!

It is required by law that when an election is that close, there must be a recount to verify the results. The recount has only recently begun, as it took weeks for the first count to be finalized. As the first count wound down, the gap suspiciously began to close up in Franken's favor. This sounds normal when taken at face value, but it is interesting when you consider that no new votes for Republican incumbent Norm Coleman were found towards the end of the initial count. In other words, as the counting process reached its end, all the votes were for Franken and none were for Coleman. That's extremely suspicious. One would think that there would be votes in both directions, but no, they were only for Franken. There are many Democrats in the state government who have expressed their desire to see Franken win, and it is believed by some that they are "helping" him now.

When a vote is too ambiguous to interpret, a candidate can request that it be reconsidered. Here is one vote that Franken has deemed to ambiguous to be counted:
Yeah. Real ambiguous. No foul play there! The claim is that there appears to be an X through the vote. Does Franken really think the people who would vote for him are stupid enough to accidentally vote for his opponent, cross it out, and then drop it in the ballot box? Does he give his voters that little credit? I'm not arguing with him, if he is saying that. If anyone really thought voting for a bigot like Al Franken was a good idea, I would question their soundness of mind too.

The point here is that Franken is clearly intent on stealing this election. That ballot was undoubtedly a counscious vote for Norm Coleman. No one can deny that. Even calling it into question is ridiculous and dishonest. Franken needs to face the facts. He came close, but he didn't make it. Let the recount continue as per the law, and then GO AWAY.


Burger King Has Dropped Their Wallet

From sogoodblog.com via Digg:

Burger King Has Dropped Their Wallet

by Eick · November 19th, 2008 · 3 Comments

A handful of bloggers have been abuzz in the past week with news of the latest under-the-radar Burger King promotion. The fast food chain has dispensed agents across major U.S. cities (indications are it’s just been Chicago and Orlando so far) to “lose” wallets. However, when unsuspecting passersby find these wallets and open them, they discover an interesting message:

Yep, the wallets include notes telling the individuals who find them to go ahead and keep the wallets. Time Out Chicago reported on November 12th that Burger King planned to drop 5,000 of these wallets around urban hot spots in Chicago. According to reports from bloggers, the wallets contain actual cash, ranging from a $1 bill to a $100 bill, a gift card to Burger King, a “Drivers License” featuring The King, and a map of Chicago or Orlando area Burger King’s.

Several bloggers have posted about their experience, or their friend’s experience, finding one of these wallets. See HERE, HERE and HERE for more on their stories. A couple of PR and marketing bloggers are weighing in as well, praising the promotion and calling it “unexpected and well-timed” given the current state of the economy.

This story hasn’t even bubbled up to the mainstream media yet. A Google News search for “Burger King” + “wallet” yields only one mainstream media story, from an NBC station in Chicago. Nor have stories about this promotion appeared yet on major marketing sites such as Adage or Adfreak.

This is a brilliant marketing move, and the mainstream media is obviously lagging behind on discovering it - but creative and unique marketing ideas like this one don’t go unnoticed forever. I expect much more widespread attention for this promotion as the word-of-mouth affect begins to trickle up the mainstream media.

This is one of the most interesting viral marketing campaigns I have seen in a while. Going a step further than your standard "secret" website where you can download your very own free wallpaper or buddy icon (oh boy!), BK has decided to actually give out cash. Literally. That's a pretty bold move. I know I'd see them more favorably if they gave me $100. Heck, I'm seeing them more favorably just hearing about the idea. It's really a great plan. I hope they bring it to New York. Doubt it, but I can dream, can't I?!


A Time for Choosing

Ronald Reagan addresses the 1964 Republican National Convention on behalf of that convention's nominee Barry Goldwater. In this excerpt, he describes the political situation of the time, both at home and abroad. It is eerily similar to the present-day. For the full speech, scroll  down to the bottom of this post and play the second video.

Full Speech:


Biggest Post-Election Stock Plummet In History

For those not yet convinced that President-Elect Obama's economic policies are bad for the country, consider this. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 486 points, or 5% today in the biggest post-election stock market slip in history. Observe:

(Repeats to widen distribution)
 NEW YORK, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Wall Street hardly delivered a
rousing welcome to President-elect Barack Obama on Wednesday,
dropping by the largest margin on record for a day following a U.S.
presidential contest.
 The slide more than wiped out the previous day's advance, the
largest Election Day rally ever for U.S. stocks.
 The following table shows the percentage rise or decline in the
Dow Jones industrial average .DJI, Standard & Poor's 500 index
.SPX and Nasdaq composite index .IXIC on the day after a U.S
presidential election and who won the Election Day vote.
Year   Dow    S&P    Nasdaq  President elect
2008  -5.05  -5.27   -5.53   Barack Obama
2004  +1.01  +1.12   +0.98   George W. Bush
2000  -0.41  -1.58   -5.39   No decision: G.W. Bush v Al Gore*
1996  +1.59  +1.46   +1.34   William Clinton
1992  -0.91  -0.67   +0.16   William Clinton
1988  -0.43  -0.66   -0.29   George H. W. Bush
1984  -0.88  -0.73   -0.32   Ronald Reagan
1980  +1.70  +1.77   +1.49   Ronald Reagan
1976  -0.99  -1.14   -1.12   James Carter
1972  -0.11  -0.55   -0.39   Richard Nixon
1968  +0.34  +0.16    ---    Richard Nixon
1964  -0.19  -0.05    ---    Lyndon Johnson
1960  +0.77  +0.44    ---    John Kennedy
1956  -0.85  -1.03    ---    Dwight Eisenhower
1952  +0.40  +0.28    ---    Dwight Eisenhower
1948  -3.85  -4.15    ---    Harry Truman
1944  -0.27   0.00    ---    Franklin Roosevelt
1940  -2.39  -3.14    ---    Franklin Roosevelt
1936  +2.26  +1.40    ---    Franklin Roosevelt
1932  -4.51  -2.67    ---    Franklin Roosevelt
1928  +1.20  +1.77    ---    Herbert Hoover
1924  +1.17   ---     ---    Calvin Coolidge
1920  -0.57   ---     ---    Warren Harding
1916  -0.35   ---     ---    Woodrow Wilson
1912  +1.83   ---     ---    Woodrow Wilson
1908  +2.38   ---     ---    William Taft
1904  +1.30   ---     ---    Theodore Roosevelt
1900  +3.33   ---     ---    William McKinley
1896  +4.54   ---     ---    William McKinley
* George W. Bush ultimately was determined the winner of the 2000
Source: Reuters EcoWin

Interesting, isn't it? Incidentally, last Saturday, CNBC's Larry Kudlow predicted a 1000-point Dow rally the day after a McCain victory. While this prediction doesn't necessarily mean that's what would have happened, it is interesting to note that upon the election of the candidate who promised economic stability and prosperity, the market took a historic turn for the worse. What does Wall Street know that we don't know? Hmm? Or maybe we do know, but were so mesmerized by a man who never says anything that we voted foolishly. Yeah, maybe that's it.