Monday, May 26, 2008

Quick Late Memorial Day Post

No earthshaking entry here. In part, trying to get in the habit again. Recently, family members have been sick, weather has been good for working on the house and property, and I am taking some time for me. Anyways, lots of people post touching sentiments for this day, so all I ask is that you take some time to remember the sacrifices they have made and continue to make on our behalf. Find a way to say thanks, whether it is actually helping a veteran who needs the lawn cut because they no longer can, sending a care package to troops overseas, giving to the USO, or whatever works for you. They put themselves in harms way so we didn't have to do it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Why Should I Care About Politics?

I am at home this morning with a sick child, as the wife is on the road for a job that she loves. This gave me a bit of time to reflect on things again, much as an intellectual individual should do every now and then. Some browsing of the Internet had me reviewing this Open Letter to the RNC on Shakey Pete's site (thanks to IMAO for posting the link!). As a conservative, I agree with what was in the letter, but what can I do about it? Our country is becoming weaker because everyone is getting bailed out of their self-made circumstances (see anything related to bad mortgages as a start), and people are taking no responsibility for their actions. Poor me! Why didn't anybody warn me about variable-rate mortgages?

The RNC always sends me surveys asking my opinion about things, but

A. They are always loaded with leading questions, like are you in favor of curbing spending, or are you a liberal hippy?

B. Anything I want addressed is never done, like curbing spending because the RNC is trying to pander to other groups to look more sensitive to the needs of constituents.

C. The party has no moral high ground, as they have almost as many members as the Democrats with a broken moral compass.

I hold a faint hope that people will support a third party candidate, but for as bad as the county's economy has become, that hope is flickering because there isn't anywhere near the public outcry like in other places. Yes we are in better shape than other third world countries, but how long before people eventually get fed up and act out, such as the food riots (courtesy happening around the world.

I'm not advocating people burn stuff and tear things down. But complaining to TV people that things cost more as they drive off in their Hummers isn't the reaction I am looking for. More action, especially in the voting arena, would be the trick. The percentage of people registered to vote, let alone those who actually vote, is a sin. And as I have said before, if you don't vote, you don't have the right to complain.

I have been behind non-party candidate before who appeared to have my best interests in mind. And I would be willing to bet that the non-voters who complain could spring a third party candidate in. I am starving for the someones that can put our country back on track, and I don't care what party they belong to. But until that happens, I fear my desire to care about change in politics is being swept away, due mostly to the ever-growing apathy that is like an overwhelming tidal wave that will eventually consume me.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Go read this now.

Obama Has Contempt For America.

Wow, this guy is worked up, but he articulates very well all the reasons I feel squeamish about Obama. I actually have an opportunity to go see Obama speak today, and while I always believe you should go hear what the opposition is saying, I fear I will come back from his speech depressed that so many Americans support such an unqualified candidate who seems to loathe the average American. I can see it now, if he is the nominee and loses in November, not only will the American voters be stupid (as has been stated REPEATEDLY by the left since 2004), anyone who did not vote for Obama will be racist as well. People have to pull thier heads out of their asses and stop demonizing anyone who does not agree with them, be willing to engage in dialogue and admit when they are wrong. I see Obama doing none of those things, and if he wins the Democratic nomination we are in deep trouble.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Spring Is Here and The Brains Are Gone

I just got home from work today, and you would think winter was still upon us. It is in the 60s in our part of the world today and there isn't any snow or ice anywhere. Yet as I attempted to get home, lines of kids walking five to eight abreast in the street were frequent sights (and I have a five minute commute!). Furthermore, kids on bikes were riding without care of, well, big iron machines that could smush them flat.

I could say more about it, but it won't fix the problem as most of you reading this aren't walking in the streets. However, use it as an alert to remind yourself to watch the corners and driveways to help out those without any brains, lest it happen to them for real.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Not that it matters, but....

I went out with some of my coworkers once the time in the mines was done today. The Mrs., who is very generous with letting me get out, again allowed me some time to socialize, especially since my powers of estimating the time of arrival home are extrodinarily poor on Friday afternoons. Anyways, on Thursday at MANDITORY staff meetings, our leadership pretty much said our jobs, and by extension, are lives were not as tough as others we serve. I'll just leave it to say I am doing social service related work, and the specifics need to be general to protect someone, I guess.

To continue on, we were told our work is challenging, but not as hard as, say working construction, or being a single parent trying to make ends meet, etc. These are almost direct quotes, not exaggerations. The irony here is that many of my coworkers are part of single parent households, or have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. Talk about slapping someone in the face. Also, a lot of us, include yours truly, worked factory and/or construction jobs before our current positions. Unfortunately, the economy being what it is led to a lot of those places closing for parts south (Mexico) or west (China). Generally speaking, our health was better then, and hypertension never entered into our vocabulary. Age could be a factor, but most of my friends who are still in those fields have less health problems than myself and my current coworkers.

One of my current coworkers took stock in reviewing this situation, and said "If we don't do much and are viewed as something just above pond scum, what does it say about them and what they do?" In a related topic, I believe our political leaders are just like the management where I work. They ignore the realities of our lives, in favor of pitching whatever point they find favorable to advance their careers in politics. Even when we tell them what our lives are like, such as suffering the results of higher fuel prices (i.e., everything goes up), some speeches are made and prices continue to rise.

We finally made it to a level of what I thought would be "comfortable, but not extravagant" recently. Like before oil prices complete went off the ranch of reality. Granted, the Mrs. and I are both working, but I am no longer working three positions. Now I have to consider getting into something additional, in part because we send our monkeys to private school because our public school district isn't fit, well, for anyone. And we got used to doing a few more extravagant things, like going out to nice restaurants and participating in wine tastings.

We can pull back and go back to our past roots, like hosting more gatherings for our friends at our domicile. This is more cost-effective and probably more user friendly, but after being told I was on my way to the American dream, the rug once again is yanked out by jackassery by those who can. I am all for Capitalism in its purest form. I accept that I probably won't be on top at the Millionaire club because I don't intend to sacrifice my family and their time for more money. That's why I only work one job now. But why do I have to pay more for gasoline and everything that gasoline helps to move and produce (oh, wait...that is everything!) because of the speculation that someone is going to fart sideways in the Middle East.

And since I'm on my soapbox, why are consumers blindly paying prices and consuming at the same levels before gas went waaayyyy up? We don't drive as much, and we try to plan our trips out better, especially for shopping. Emergency outings to the store are no longer for extra butter or ice cream: they are for things like medicine or something the kids need because we don't have it. I learned my lesson and try to minimize wasteful spending: where are all these other Dee-Dee-Dees (explanation via Carlos Mencia on AOL video) coming up with the extra cash? Oh wait. They are charging like mad again. I guess when they can't pay their bills, the government will bail them out like the Wall Streeters. Oh wait again. We don't have the standing that the Streeters do. And rightly so, individual debtors will have to learn the hard lesson reality. Too bad the Streeters got off from having to learn as well.

I don't know if this will lead to anything that matters, but I think it is worth noting that common sense is mostly dead in mainstream America. And as Carlos Mencia so aptly points out, people don't think and want exceptions because "it's too hard". Those who are working harder will end up taking the non-thinkers stuff, especially any sense of pride and self-worth they might have had.

EDITORIAL NOTE: There were a few Labatt Blues consumed in the preparation of this post. Please excuse any irrelevant material as remnants of having too good a time with coworkers. Also, this post may be revised with additional relevant hyperlinks once good sense and judgement return to the Professor.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Why I Love Rachel Lucas

Besides the fact that she posts awesome dog pics, she also posts stuff like this:

Technically, you can say it’s “wrong” for me to have preconceived notions about people of other races. Of course it is, but no more wrong than for a black person to have them about me. If we’re all doing it, which we are, it’s utter bullshit for Whitey to be the only one held responsible or raked over the coals for it.

You want equality, then take it, on all levels.

That means when Obama uses the phrase “typical white person”, he deserves to have his figurative ass kicked just like Whitey’s figurative ass would be kicked for saying “typical black person”. It means Reverend Wright is an asshole of a racist just like David Duke. Play fair or don’t play at all.

After some job hopping, I now have a stable position which I love very much, working for an organization that most would consider pretty liberal in tilt. Today I received an e-mail about a diversity program that is being held for employees, which I pretty much ignored. I sincerely hope I am not asked by my boss to attend because at that point I will be compelled to explain exactly why there is no way I will go. The bottom line is, as Rachel points out, no matter how many different skin colors, ethnicities, and countries are represented in the room, the whites will be the only ones that will have their "preconceived notions" challenged and asked to change their "faulty" thinking about other cultures. It's been that way with every diversity program I've attended, and there is no way I am going to subject myself to that again. Oh, I've been called a racist many times. Here are a few reasons my typical white racist ass needs "re-educated":

Mistakenly calling a classmate by the wrong name (called him Troy instead of Craig)
Refusing a man's advances
Telling someone they had to wait their turn in a line
Threatening to call the cops when people were trespassing on my property, after asking them three times to please leave
Being born in and growing up in a mostly white town
Not having any black friends (gee, wonder why?)

And, of course, being white automatically makes me a racist. But somehow that's not racist at all. And the fact that people Just Don't Get the whole Reverend Wright problem is really frightening. I guess that whole "not for the color of their skin but for the content of their character" stuff was just a bunch of crap.

I believe that all people are born with the capacity for ultimate goodness, and that we need to look for the beauty in each individual. And I am the first one to tell others that we need to give folks the benefit of the doubt, judge other people on their merits as individuals based on their actions and not on their appearances, but when I live my life in that manner and a certain subset of the population consistently turns my words and deeds around and seeks ways to demonize me, well golly gee I might just begin to have "preconceived notions" about those people. Kinda like some folks have preconceived notions about me being rich, priveleged, and the spawn of the most oppressive race on the planet. Go fig.

The whole episode is frightening because of the fact that neither Obama, his handlers, nor a good chunk of the American population recognize that using the term "typical white person" in a speech, and attending a church where the pastor utters hateful speech, indicates Obama's own racism, his blindness to it, and thus a very worrying likelihood of racism in this country being further institutionalized, rather than marginalized, should he be elected President.

Back Again? But for how long.......

Life is a funny thing, and not like ha-ha funny. Well, it is if you want to get through it. When I last posted, it wasn't terribly significant. Here's the general, short description about why I haven't posted in eight months: LIFE.

As you know, if you read our palaver at all, we train monkeys. Two of them anyways, and they bear a surprising resemblance to children at times. Their development has been part of it, between sports and scouts and school, and, well, those of you with children will understand. Also, I have endure more illness than I can remember, causing the guesswork in white coats, known as doctors, to test me for reasons that I flat don't feel good.

The job has been, well, um, uh, it pays well enough for now. The steadiness in pay has allowed me to begin the discovery of joy with an i-Pod, which also keeps me partially sane on the job, so long as my phone doesn't ring non-stop. Fishing wasn't as prominent as last year, but there were some stellar outings with my nephew and the monkeys. Wii is also fun, especially because the monkeys get physical activity while playing.

The family also took in a professional ball game, the home team won (HURRAY!), and we received free fleece blankets to commemorate the trip (DOUBLE HURRAY!!). We did some short day trips. Time was spent with friends running a gaming convention. And most recently, I was the designated driver on St. Patrick's Day for friends. Although there is not much more annoying than a bunch of tipsy friends constantly thanking you for making the 'ultimate sacrifice' for their safety and pleasure, unless they happen to be vomiting on your shoes.

Anyway, I have been doing this to the avoidance of the world's troubles, political and otherwise, and it has been pretty darn good. I hope to improve on my time on, but also to be more uplifting, because if I can find joy, so can everyone else who looks for it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What day now?

Valentine's day. Blar. I went shopping yesterday evening and the poor schmucks running around the store looking for cards, candy and flowers were truly, truly pathetic. They all had that deer-in-the-headlights look. And the crap that gets sold? Teddy bears and little cutesy-wootsy things... I think I saw one poor bastard walking around with a large red and pink dragon holding a lacy heart... who WANTS this crap? I mean yeah, I used to get into it and do the cards and flowers thing and get all pissed off if whoever my One True Love that year didn't get me the perfect gift that he had no clue whatsoever that I wanted...gah.

Part of my thing with Valentine's day is that I'm married to one of "those" guys, you know, the one that says "I don't need any Hallmark holiday to tell MY woman how much I love her." For the first few years we were married, he "got away with it" because, well, he *doesn't* need that crap. He's a great guy, sweet and kind and fun to be around, and he is always finding ways to let me know I am loved. Cuz that's what grownups who are married, you know, *do*. The fact that many couples seem to forget that simple fact continues to astound me, but that's another post entirely.

The other part is that over the years I have just grown a lot more practical. I don't want any more crap I don't need that is only going to clutter up my house. There's only so much jewelry I can wear, and greeting cards just get read and tossed frankly. (Now electronics...that's love right there...HD and Wii and RE4...oh my!)

Even kids - seriously, I have two, and there's really only so many stuffed fluffy whatevers they can keep in one house. I try to "do" Valentine's day for them, because it's expected and part of their socialization at school, and they're too young for me to be getting all cranky about it. I dressed in red today, and got them a treat for their "Valentine" -- a chocolate flower. We're spending a happy evening together as a family playing "Guitar Hero 3." Youngest Son seems to be really taken with the Slipknot song...must take after his mother. Hee. Good times. And we don't need a special day to do it.