Archive for June, 2008

The Captain Stages A College Protest

Monday nite Barack Obama was down the street from my home at a private event at the Renaissance, and he spent Tuesday morning pretending to be a nurse at the hospital closest to me.  The purpose of his Monday nite visit was fundraising, and the purpose of the hospital stop was to show his concern with working Americans.  However, both events point to a much larger purpose.  The Democrats have decided to make winning in Missouri a priority.

This was not the case during the last election cycle.  Despite the fact that Missouri has the best track record over the last 100 years for picking Presidents, the Democrats effectively ended their Missouri campaign in September 2004, two months before the election.  Predictably, Missouri went solidly Republican that year.

Despite my love for Missouri, I still have a hard time believing that the state plays such a critical role in selecting the President.  Less than 2% of the population in America lives in the Show-Me State, yet we will probably end up seeing more Presidential television adds per capita than California, Texas, and New York combined.

Thanks to the Electoral College, only a small portion of our nation is currently able to select the President.  While the Electoral College system has always been flawed, it never seemed like a big deal until 2000.  The last two Presidential elections were decided by a very narrow margin, and this looks to be the case again in 2008.  Now more than ever it seems ridiculous to me that we use a winner take all approach to voting for President.  Using the winner take all approach has virtually assured that conservatives in California and New York and liberals in Texas will never be able to select a President.

This approach has also led to one of the most dreadful creations in modern politics:  The Electoral Map.  These maps have allowed the news media to summarize entire portions of America by assigning them a color.  Texas is red.  California is blue.  These are now treated as facts.

Yesterday CNN released the first of many Electoral College Maps to come.

According to the map, only twelve states will decide the outcome of the election this year.  And according to CNN, the race looks neck and neck, with only five months to go!  While this is ridiculous, it’s not quite as ridiculous as the map created by Fox News in May

With only six months to go, McCain is in the lead!

The primary process really highlighted the flaws of the winner take all system.  The Democratic primaries assigned delegates based on popular vote, which was the main reason Obama was eventually able to win the nomination.  Barack minimized his losses in states won by Clinton, and maximized his gains in the States that he carried.  Hilary’s plans largely revolved around winning as many states as possible on Super Tuesday, basically a winner take all strategy.  It did not work.

The Electoral College system is allowing McCain and Obama to ignore large portions of the country this election and focus on a handful of states:  Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Missouri, and a few others.  Besides begin grossly unfair to several states, this seems like an archaic way to select our national leader.

Depending on the outcome of this election, I think 2009 maybe a prime opportunity to start a realistic conversation about amending the Constitution.  Replacing the Electoral College with a popular vote for President seems like something a majority of American could get behind, if for no other reason than to get rid of Red and Blue Electoral Map.

Ciao,

The Captain

The Captain Would Rather Be In Denmark

For several years now, the item in this picture has brought me extreme happiness.

I was introduced to Carlsberg Beer by my bohemian roommate Scottie back in college, and I have been in love with it ever since.  It has a nice, smooth medium flavor that I find irresistible.  Since this beer is often quite hard to find in the Midwest, I look at it as a rare treat to be enjoyed whenever it is available.

I recently discovered a bar down the street that has Carlsberg on tap.  Ciceros on The Loop has Carlsberg bottles, but The Dubliner on Washington actually has it on tap.  For years I have been clamoring for a St. Louis bar to serve Carlsberg and it has finally happened.1

My reacquaintance with Carlsberg made me rather curious to learn more about my favorite beer.  I decided to look it up on the Wikipedia, which turned out to be a big mistake.  I ran across this picture

Which immediately had a pavlovian effect on me.  My favorite beer comes in seven new flavors!  That’s like having an open relationship with your girlfriend, and then meeting her seven equally hot sisters who are also in open relationships!2

After reading the Wikipage, I was amazed about how little I actually knew about Carlsberg.  I was vaguely aware that they sponsored European Soccer, which I support.  I knew it was brewed in Denmark, and that’s about it.  I won’t bore you with the details of the beer, you can check out the page if you are interested.

I have decided that I now must try every Carlsberg brand beer I can find.  Luckily, I was able to find the first one down the street from where I work.  Friar Tucks, a new liquor superstore that recently opened up in Crestwood, had one six pack of Carlsberg Elephant.  I scooped it up and I will be sampling it in the near future.  Look for the Carlsberg Taste Test to be a reoccurring topic in the future.

Ciao,

The Captain

1  The Black Thorn Pub in South City has a gigantic neon Carlsberg sign over the bar, but does not serve the beer.  How cruel is that!

2  Actually, it’s nothing like this.

The Captain Is Going Where You Do Not Need Roads

The future is officially here.  Need proof?

That’s right, Nike has recreated the shoes Michael J. Fox wore in Back To The Future II.  They don’t have the automatic lacing that is seen in the movie, but this is still amazing.1

With the release of these shoes in July, how far can we be from recreating the best part of the movie, the hoverboard.

And allow me to drop a shameless hint regarding my 30th birthday:  I wear a men’s size 8.

Besides the future daydreaming, my weekend was not as eventful as I had imagined.  I hit the New Music Spotlight on Friday nite to see Sted Fast, who were actually rather good.  They were preceded by 13 Days, a band that helped remind me why I hate Metal.

On Saturday nite I tried to see the High Fidelity musical with Meg, but it was sold out!  Apparently there are more music geeks in St. Louis than I realized.  We hit Pin-Up Bowl instead, and wound up missing Spaceballs as well.

I’m still planning on the Zombie Double Feature on Tuesday nite.  Anyone who loves Zombies and Beer2 should come join me.

Also gonna try and check out my sisters new band, The Paper Dolls, on Thursday nite at Off Broadway.  And Friday, it’s time for this:

Ciao,

The Captain

1  Or as Marty would say, This is Heavy.

2  i.e. Bill

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