Baltimore or Less

Just got back from a quick trip to Baltimore and unfortunately didn’t see much. I was working non-stop so mostly all I saw was the inside of a warehouse, cab, and hotel. I was there while they were having a freezing rain storm and everything was covered in a sheet of ice. I’ve experienced freezing rain before when I lived in Illinois, it is as I remembered. The drive back to the hotel was white-knuckle and there were crashes every 1000’ or so.

I was there to train a large live sound company in the use of our software. I don’t want to get too deep into it since software training is one of the most boring topics in the world. I’ll just say that it went quite well and all of my goals were accomplished.

I was introduced to Old Bay Spice, a pub called Monaghan’s, and The Salsa Grill. We went to Monaghan’s twice, I had the dry-rub ribs (off-menu) and the beef stroganoff, and both were quite good, nice and home-style. The Salsa Grill was interesting because I’d never had Peruvian-style food before. I had the Goat Stew and it was quite good, but the tapas plate was outstanding. They have stuffed and grilled papas that I could eat all day long.

I got into a political discussion that was quite surreal. I was talking to a self-described Baltimore Liberal. The odd thing was all of his positions were what I would consider to be very Conservative. He wanted to close our borders, he wanted to have a strong military presence in Iraq with no withdrawal timetable, and he wanted lowered taxes. He was also spouting some free-market rhetoric while at the same time contradictorily talking about universal health care. I innocently told him that his positions sounded much like McCain’s and he just about had a brain embolism. I haven’t seem someone get that angry during a political discussion for a long time.

Once he calmed down he asked me who I was going to vote for and I told him that I didn’t like any of the candidates for the following reasons:

    • Obama is anti-gun. I’m not a one issue voter, but Obama’s 2a position is abysmal. IMO if you are anti-gun you are anti-Constitution; no quarter.
      • Hillary is a champion of the Status Quo. She also recently quoted from Marx’s manifesto in a speech. “Each would pay according to their ability.” Sorry Hillary, that isn’t only ideologically suspect but also just plain stupid. Also, the nation rejected her health-care plan the first time around, why are we re-considering it now?
        • McCain sold his soul to Bush. Bush’s hit-squad smeared McCain up one side and down the other and what did McCain do? He kissed Bush’s ass. All his talk about being independent, all his hot-air about the “Straight-Talk-Express,” when it got down to it, he kissed the establishment’s ass.
          • Huckabee is a christo-fascist whack-job. Need I say more?
            • Ron Paul is actually my favorite and he doesn’t have a chance in hell. Despite the fact that I like a lot of what he has to say, he is totally in la-la-land when it comes to foreign policy. If the past 8 years of Bush and 9/11 hadn’t happened, then maybe a more isolationist stance would work. Now? Uh-uh, no way.

              I added that IMO if you are socially liberal (and I am for the most part), you can’t lose with the front runners. All of them (excepting Huckafreak) are quite socially liberal. However, if you have concerns about the right to bear arms, privacy/domestic spying, free association, the increased militarization of the police, property rights, basically the entire Bill of Rights and other semi-important stuff; then all these guys suck. Hard.

              He said he wanted Bloomberg to run and I just smirked. I told him that being a Westerner has given me a strong dislike for smug coastal urban meddlers like Bloomberg. I am tired of guys like Bloomberg and Guiliani making their crime, race, and poverty concerns national issues. These are local issues that require local solutions. Clean up your own house before trying to tell me how to clean mine.

              I’m not saying I’m right, but I really resent urbanites condescendingly telling me how to work within my community. Your immediate five blocks of crime-ridden over-crowded paved-over blight is not a microcosm of the world. In other words: You don’t know shit.

              I could tell he wasn’t used to people contradicting him, but he’s not my boss, and IMHO if you are gonna ask, you should have the stones to take the answer.

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              ~ by Cram on February 20, 2008.

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