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7:22 pm EDT        56°F (13°C) in Claycomo, MO

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This update finds me waiting to get into the Detroit Diesel shop not far outside of Kansas City. For the last couple of weeks, I've been noticing a pretty nasty odor of diesel exhaust inside the cab, and this morning was my first chance to get it looked at. A company shop not far from here only took half an hour to determine that I had a "massive" exhaust leak at the EGR cooler; before sending me to Detroit Diesel to fix that, though, the mechanic replaced my cab and engine air filters to help eliminate some of the odor. (The air intakes for both the cabin HVAC and the engine are located in the same unit under the hood, not far from the EGR cooler. The engine air filter, a large cylindrical unit about the size of a five-gallon bucket, is first in line; whatever air bypasses that goes into the cab air filter, a smaller rectangular unit about the size of a box of macaroni. Both of them were, in the mechanic's words, "blacker than I've ever seen before" from all the exhaust they were sucking in.)

I commented on Wednesday night's final presidential debate in my update here yesterday, but since I made that update, yet another piece of conservative hypocrisy has become too significant to ignore. When asked a question about whether he believes homosexuality to be a choice, John Kerry gave this correct, decent, and commendable answer: "I think if you talk to anybody, it's not a choice. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was. She's being what she was born as."

Within hours of the time I made yesterday's update, the Cheneys went into full crybaby mode. "You saw a man who will do and say anything to get elected," said the veep himself. "And I am not just speaking as a father here, though I am a pretty angry father." His wife Lynne's remarks were even sharper: "This is not a good man. What a cheap and tawdry political trick."

Even ignoring the fact that Dick Cheney himself has brought up his daughter's homosexuality before, in an ill-fated attempt to make the Repub-a-dub-dubs look less like the party of uneducated, inhuman bigots that they really are, there is still a mountain of hypocrisy here. Many of you may remember my update here from September 4, in which I mentioned Alan Keyes' idiotic and incorrect comments about Mary Cheney at the Repub-a-dub-dub convention. One would think that if such a positive, gay-affirming response from the opposing party were so strongly condemned, that hit men would probably be hired to kill Keyes, right? Amazingly, the Cheneys had nothing to say in response to Keyes. I guess it's better to be called a "selfish hedonist" by members of your own party than it is to be referenced in a positive, correct manner by the opposition. Now do you see why we MUST elect John Kerry to the White House?

In all honesty, I really don't like to come off looking so political. I am not one of these political junkies or partisan hacks whose well-being is entirely dependent on the results of an election. However, I have a duty as an American citizen to oppose dangerous, irrational, and unconstitutional policy decisions made by those who win said elections, and on top of that, I feel that a part of my calling in life is to expose and battle hypocrisy in any of its forms. I'm not all that thrilled with John Kerry or the Democratic Party either, but in this 2004 election cycle, the Republican Party has taken the art of bullshit and hypocrisy to heights never before imagined. As such, it is the duty of not only myself, but Americans everywhere, to remove Republicans from power by voting against them.

I think it's time to call out for pizza and (hopefully) watch the Boston Red Sox destroy the New York Yankees. (If there is one thing more evil in this world than Repub-a-dub-dub hypocrisy, it is the Yankmees.)