Category: rant


It is shortly after midnight on what is now the morning of Wednesday, October 13th, 2010. As usual, I’m not tired. If I go upstairs now, I will find myself playing either Minesweeper or Sudoku to tire myself out.

A one-night fling from years and years ago appears in my IM (Damn, I never discard anything) I haven’t shared words with her pretty much since that one night. I contemplate saying hello. I type into the IM window:

‘I would say, “hello.” But I don’t know if it was garner a response. And honestly I don’t know to what purpose it would serve starting a conversation.’

I don’t get more than a few characters into the word honestly; contemplate the rest of my sentence; and then discard the text and close the window.

It’s another one of those nights where I’ve been looking at legal proceedings between large companies and individuals. I’ve been reading how laws have been very carefully designed to protect the large companies from the individuals. I’m saddened by how few laws protect the individual.

This always leads me back to the pipe dream of going to Law School. This is of course pardoning the irony that Law School itself is one giant corporate machine masked in higher education and the only people that really succeed at it are the ones willing to get into bed with the large companies that are destroying the individual one-by-one.

Of course there’s also the personal limitation that to get into Law School they expect you to at least have a Bachelor’s degree, which to this day I am still blissfully missing. I wish that Education and I hadn’t had such a hate-hate relationship when I was in my 20s. I see the point now. I’m also pleased that both fields I studied in then have a more solid grounding for people with degrees now.

In college I studied two disciplines (more than any other) Theatre and Computer Science. My Theatre department was wonderful. Unfortunately, like many small colleges it was also very incestuous and driven to powerful cliques. I of course was a social ignoramus, so I fell out of the clique fairly quickly. There were also so many specific topics that I did not excel in that made me feel inferior in the department. My costuming and makeup work was second to last to none. Also, there really wasn’t a large call for Degrees in theatre in the real world. Granted, in college I also discovered that I really didn’t have the chops to pursue Theatre professionally.

I discovered that the performing arts (as well as other media) is a very cutthroat field where the manufacture of your business self often supersedes your professional self. It’s more important how you sell yourself than what you’re selling. (Art isn’t easy) And with that dripping level of cynicism by age 22, I knew I didn’t want to wait tables.

My other field was computer science. At my college this degree was an absolute mess. The chair of the department (who rumour has it has since been incarcerated) was an absolute egotistical tyrant who taught classes by giving unsolvable problems to weed out anyone he felt was undeserving in the major. Which was everyone. He actually tried to charge me for his time when I asked him for some information on a topic I wanted to pursue on my own time. (Object oriented Pascal for the interested) I was shocked at his pretentiousness and went to the Provost. She told me that not a lot of people understand her job and that she was pleased I came to speak with her. She explained that her job was to remind the tenured faculty that they were in fact mortal. The department chair wanted nothing to do with me from there.

So, with one major filled with people that I didn’t get along with terribly well (including my Theatrical advisor who told me to my face that he considered me his greatest academic failure) working towards a degree that would only help me if I wanted to pursue Dramaturgy, publishing or teaching in college, on one hand; on the other a major that was downright hostile to me because it was busy teaching the chairs pet classes that were antiquated to say the least (VAX/VMS and no compiler design classes)… I dropped out.

Amazingly in less than 5 years I would go from Welfare to a position as a software architect at a Major University.

In those 5 years I did try to return to college; I went to community college to prove I could pass a class with something higher than a C. I then went to the local university in my hometown. (Yeah, that narrows it down)… Actually I went to the Dramatic conservatory in the city first and auditioned for their directing program and got top recommendation yet wait-listed. Which is a story that could fill another huge post. The local university took me as a student in my vain hopes to complete my CS degree. Within 1.5 years I was hired on because of the information I’d specialized in on my own time.

It’s now been 15 years since that University hired me. That doesn’t count the 5-7 years of odd work I did with computers before getting hired on. Co-workers in my company often refer to me as the Sr. Guru. I appreciate that. I’ve spent a long time not just studying the technology I work in, but the company that makes it. Its business practices as well as its technology practices. I’d work for them someday; but I’ve actually come to like the idea of settling in Pittsburgh.

But despite that… no BS. I guess just a lot of BS that really wasn’t BS after awhile. And despite this, I have the AUDACITY to believe I could go to Law school, especially now that I have a family and am the primary income source. And my reason? The vain hope to help legislate to help people. This unto itself is very funny for someone who was more interested in doing theatre than the job of selling oneself. Which seems to be all that legislators are really interested in.

We’re nearing election time. You can tell this because the “them vs. us” attitude is at an all-time high. Once again issues dissolve away into spin about how, “THEIR SIDE IS EEEEEEEEEVUL” Well, let me assure you… Politicians are not EEEEEEEVUL. I’ve read “Fahrenheit-451” and “Liber Al vel Legis” Those books are EEEEEEEVUL. Why? Because they change you, they make you think, they make you better the more you take them into your life. The hypocrisy of elected officials who feel their job is to make you hate the other person more so that they can stalemate government long enough to make you hate again two years later. That’s not EEEEEEVUL. That’s not even evil… It’s just sad.

I have issues I truly believe in that come from issues championed on both sides of the aisle. By both sides I mean Democrats and Republicans. I will state that I do not believe in the current Republican Agenda which really seems to boil down to, “Vote the ticket” which of course is completely destructive to the Democrats which boil down to, “Vote with your heart”. Then there’s the tea party, which seems to boil down to, “Vote with your passion, because God decided to omit your brain.”

And all the while… the corporations take more and more away. There’s so little left. And so few who really want to change it… even fewer who actually have the power to do it.

It’s disheartening. Maybe enough for me to message someone I slept with one night years ago… Or at least get my mind churning in a direction that is better to afford sleep.

Law School, pipe dream or potential. *shrug*

Bedtime I guess.

-Night.

I am reminded of two commercials… Libby’s and Smuckers. Both finally were honest about the nature of brand-based advertising. In the case of the former the jingle went, “If it says “Libby’s, Libby’s Libby’s” on the “Label Label Label” you will “like it like it like it” on the “Table table table.” Smuckers took the direct approach; “With a name like Smuckers… it’s got to be good.”

Is the name really sufficient to identify something’s worth or quality? The classic “Saturday Night Live” had their response to the name making the Jam But in the 1970s… SNL had a driving and vicious look at the world that has only been rivalled of late by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.

So in this worlds where we are seeing the war of Gay Marriage vs. Equal Marriage for all … words as always become weapons of mis-definition and weighted egregore. The great saint George the 14th (For those not keeping count that is George Carlin) said it best that…”There are no bad words… Bad thoughts… but no bad words.”

We use words to define and refine who we are. This can be either by single words that we try to master, own, re-direct, or any other number of verbs. My personal favourite will always be ‘slut.’ This word contemporarily still carries with it darkness or often an ugliness directed at a woman who enjoys having intercourse; often times with more than one partner. There is no gentle word for this behaviour for a woman in English. There is no gentle or even not-so-gentle word for the behaviour in a man. Though sadly, in a man it’s just behaviour that is expected and underwhelming when revealed.

These words can also be sentences, phrases, or oaths. Promises we make to ourselves or to others. I will be this way. I promise to do that thing. I resolve to lose twenty pounds in the New Year. And in truth we find ourselves fixated on the guilt when we either don’t live up to these phrases or worst condemn ourselves when we unconsciously or worse yet consciously break them with intent.

Sometimes we seek definitions to hinder, soften, or deflect other definitions. I am a heterosexual, white, and married male. Each of those words carry the weight of an entire polar opposite group who have members that avidly resent me just for having one of those. For each group represented by one of mine descriptors there are members that have committed (and still commit) great injustices. So, I deflect by finding comforting terminology that subdues each one. I actually consider myself a Queer, Jewish, Pair-Bonded, ummm… err… Okay… Now I mis-quote Meatloaf: “Three out of four ain’t bad.” Well, two out of four.. It’s never okay to admit Judaism… there’s still groups out there that think Semitic Genocide is still a good plan.

Queer? But you said you were hetero?!?! While I’m not going to go fully into my sexual views in this posting (as thanks to the Facebook revolution I now have active co-workers reading my blogs 😉 but suffice it to say; that I tend to view my views as avant-garde and often times challenging to the norm. This ability to see both sides of the line and to try to pull both sides closer has served me well as an ordained priest. Especially when offering pastoral counselling.

Priest? But you said you were Jewish!!! (And now I see the old Giggles and Goggles routine from the Electric Company. And please… This is a show that ran in the 70’s and 80’s. Any programme you saw from the last 5 years calling itself “The Electric Company“… Wasn’t even close. But look… we come back to the power of names and words.

My last post was about the change of my name. It’s interesting how people have reacted to it. There have been the obvious two camps. Those that knew me by my birth name and those that never knew me by that name. Society seems to not really have a strong acceptance for men changing their names at marriage. As I said before, it’s an interesting argument with civil servants who ask for my wife’s birth name but not mine. Of course there is one subset that does stand out, those that were there when the transformation began.

My name change happened outside before it happened on the inside. This is similar to the Watchman character of Rorschach who put on the name until one day something changed inside of him that made him change from being a man calling himself Rorschach to becoming Rorschach even out of costume. I can say with all honesty, The Greg calling himself Andrei was not a great person. He kind of sucked in many, many ways. There are those that probably would never be able to really accept the Andrei I am as I wear Greg’s face and carry the name Andrei. Again, the reference here is to an amazing two-part Doctor Who. The 2nd part “Family of Blood” really hammers home the idea of “The Doctor wearing an identity” while the identity itself has a life of its own.

Doctor Who also gives me another inspiration for this twisted web of the value of a word or name. In one episode we meet creatures that use the power of words to build, control, and destroy. Yet, when they try to use the name of a contemporary woman to kill her, it fails. She is merely rendered unconscious while the creature exclaims that ‘the name has lost its power and meaning to these people.” We’ve come a very far way from the worlds of “Earthsea” where people used public names because their secret names carried so much power over them.

Perhaps in reflection this is a possible reason why the Jews were so hunted and hated. Their entire language and alphabet is built on the Thoth-ian concept of the power of the word and the letter. The Hebrew alphabet is often referred to as the “Alephbet of Flame” as each letter looks like it was breathed out by the Old Testament God him-(white, male, straight)-self. The Hebrew Torah itself is copied by hand so that every letter looks and is placed exactly where it always is required to be. The deepest layers of Hebrew Mysticism come from the power of words and the numbers they represent.

So, while we wish to control words, we must also understand that words have power. A name can be as powerful an identifier as an epithet or slur. But power comes from within as well as from without. We can take on the power of a word as quickly as we can let ourselves be crushed by its weight.

Words are magickal creatures. They have a life and a power of their own. We keep them, we wield then, we use them, and we abuse them. But we have no choice… Words are the doorways to the unspoken magic that transcends the voice of creation and destruction. This is the magick that exists without sound or form. And when we unlock that power… maybe we won’t need words to cause each other harm.

Agape-

(With all due respect. Please forgive the 15 second preceding commercial)

So, Friday started with me flooding the Internet with unwanted spam. As of yet I have not worked up the cojones to attempt to turn on that faucet again.

While I do offer Internet services this comes at a price. I maintain a business-calibre level of data throughput. My ISP has an average priced package for this. It is “Average” in my opinion insofar as considering the cost of service compared with the speed of the connection compared with the quality of service and support. Actually, putting it down that way may make me have to reconsider my rating.

Part of this package includes a strip of static IP addresses. Most people with Internet get dynamic addresses. What this means is that you have whatever address you are allocated and that’s fine. The reason for Static is because you need a permanent address that people can get to. This is why you can get to Google or Yahoo, but people can’t necessarily find you when you’re on a chat client.

One of the problems that I’ve been suffering is slow download speed and intermittent download “drop-out.” This sounds horrid for my customers, but their download is my upload. My upload has always worked as good if not better than advertised. This download issue has basically been presenting itself as getting 40-60% the download speed I’m paying for.

I had a tech come out early last week. He was running late. No one called to tell me. This was a bit of an annoyance. I do run my business out of my house; so it’s not like my IT department is meeting with the CEO randomly. It does however mean that 3pm – 5pm cuts into my toddler’s dinner when you show up an hour late to start. (Without calling)

45 minutes later. The line looks okay but the speed problem must be internal. “Shrug” says the tech and shuffles off. On Friday another tech shows up to swap out my DSL modem. Normally this will only create about 10 minutes of downtime. He says it might be 15 if the tech in the home office in Kentucky doesn’t do his job quickly.

Actually, the tech in Kentucky does the job in 5 minutes. Of course now my internal network has to be reset. This of course is my bailiwick so I send the tech on his way. Now, the nifty part of this is that my publically served sites are on external static IP addresses. Anything on my internal network shouldn’t affect them.

This is about the time my wife tells me that the internal network has failed. I explain that I have to reset it. Thirty minutes later it’s not working. Internally, I have a DNS server. The internal network is effectively one of my static addresses served via secure WiFi via NAT. For some reason, the WiFi Network has stopped talking to the DNS server altogether. I can ping the server. I can even do NSLOOKUP on the server. I just can’t get the network to do the resolving.

This situation also inconveniences my wife who’s trying to get information and files from our server for her web site and for an art project she’s trying to muster the energy to do for a colleague. The network is frustrating her and in turn really p*£&ing me off! I’m getting short of patience because I just don’t know why things aren’t working.

This disaster proceeds to burn the better part of 3 hours. I reset all the WiFi devices at least 10 times. I reboot the server (3 minute down times) at least 3 times. I finally change all the internal IP addresses and in doing so, make a bizarre mistake. I let the main WiFi unit choose it’s own address. DNS starts moving. But there’s a problem. Now the web server won’t come back up. Ah, there’s a conflict. The WiFi has decided it WANTS one of my served domains. (My wife’s gallery and blog)… Fine… I give her domain the old WiFi Address. Web Server is coming up. DNS is working. Another hour shot to hell.

It is now about 3 pm. I still have no clue what went wrong. I put my wife’s IP address into the server but that takes at least 30 minutes to propagate for me. I go to see if it’s propagated and I can’t hit the site. The network refuses to let me go to the server. (This is a situation we refer to as ITWTF) Then it hits me. I ping the domain’s IP address (this is effectively a “Knock knock…anyone home?”) The ping cannot go to the address. This address does not resolve.

Oh for heaven’s sake. I proceed to ping every one of my Static IPs. Of the n addresses I control. I can ping the first n/2 – 1. So, if I had for example 25, I can now reach 11. The mis-provisioned my account and dropped half of my addresses. I’ve killed the past 4 hours diagnosing a problem that one idiot tech screwed up by transposing ONE DIGIT.

The saving grace is that I prioritize my sites. The paying customers are on the lowest (smallest) IP cluster. As a result, those servers never even blinked at the networking mis-configuration. Some of my personal and favour-domains… those got knocked off for the better part of 4 hrs. I called up my ISP’s ‘elevated support center.’

I have access to the elevated support center because I have a problem that’s been open for the better part of 2 months and I mouthed off on Twitter about the problems I’d been having. When ESC (an ironic acronym) heard about the mistake and the amount of time both my wife and I lost… they were QUICK to fix it. They also offered me a token credit on the bill for the month.

Since then I have put all the IP addresses back where they are supposed to be. My internal network is still ‘renumbered’ because that wasn’t the problem and I just don’t want to put it back again yet. (Maybe later in the week) Less-Than-Humourously, the original problem still exists.

On the upside… on Saturday and Sunday despite this entire disaster happening, I picked up a new hosting customer from GoDaddy who’s been VERY happy with the level of service since joining my server.

Hopefully, I can bring in more paying hosting clients while I’m at it.

I’m going to start today with a web site’s “Civility Pledge.” Towards the end I will circle back to my comments about the group site that created this pledge:

“As a member or guest of ***, I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful towards people with whom I disagree. I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process”

The existence of the above pledge makes me absolutely sick. It thoroughly offends me that this pledge exists. Now, before every person I know grabs pitchfork and torch while trying to find out who scrambled my brains… allow me a clarification.

The pledge sickens me. Not the sentiment. The pledge sickens me because frankly it should NEVER be necessary to codify this sentiment into a pledge in relation to the governance of the USA. Americans are a nation of people founded on the concept that ALL ARE CREATED EQUAL. You may remember “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Admittedly, from a Thelemic philosophy, everyone has the right to hate, lie, disrespect, and manipulate.

The above pledge is from the new counter movement called the “Coffee Party.” I’ll talk specifically about the group later but first their raison d’être.

The group formed as a result of one Facebook member ranting about the current obstructionism in the government. Friends ranted, someone made a joke about the Tea Party… and then there was a ‘Coffee Party.’

I very specifically in a recent post said that I was not interested in discussing politics. Well, it’s been 24 hrs; I’ve had a bad day; and I haven’t come up with anything better from Formspring.

Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY)

Sen. Jim Bunning

The Bunn Ultimatum has come and gone. Bunning tried to suggest he’d filibuster (without the support of his party) and the opposition positioned itself to make him actually stand up and filibuster. In response he offered a solution that undermined something else the opposition was working on and inevitably ran and hid.

Current obstructionism. I have to highlight current because it’s the same obstructionism that’s been going on in our government on both sides for a very long time.

Now another comment to make you again wonder if I have suffered an ‘alien brain scramble.’ “I don’t want to be a Democrat.” (amaransezwha?) For what it’s worth, “I REALLY DO NOT WANT TO BE A REPUBLICAN.” I did. For a while I really was up for ‘fiscal conservatism’ and ‘Keeping government small and keeping the fed out of the state’s business.’ Which was great… until Trickle down economics didn’t. Which was great… until the Fed marched into Florida to help with their 2000 election mechanics.

The Coffee Party and I see eye to eye on one major topic. Finding a bipartisan solution is not the problem. Bipartisanism is the problem. Three houses to form checks and balances fail if the entire game becomes a race for one of two parties to take over all three houses. The concept that independents are asked which of the two parties that they will caucus for makes no sense to me.

Hearing that tertiary candidates are not allowed in the current debate because they don’t have the level of representation which is decided on by the parties that do makes no sense to me. Continually, I hear stories of tertiary candidates being taken forcibly from debates by police because they aren’t allowed in.

Our current government is a football game of “We Good, you Evil” So much for civility towards ‘the other party.’

I don’t want to be a Democrat. I am currently watching the “Rachel Maddow” show on MSNBC. (And don’t get me started on the concept of NBC plus Microsoft equals news.) Rachel Maddow is like watching Jon Stewart without the occasional laugh at his own side. The current rant is over the hypocrisy that the Republican representatives are doling out. And it doesn’t take much effort to see it. Unfortunately, I cannot stomach the other side of the debate enough to watch a “Glenn Beck” or a “Rush Limbaugh” give examples of the hypocrisy of the left because they are too busy playing the “Incite to Riot” card (See previous two links).

So, on one side we have the Conservatives. These are the people who during the Bush Administration said, “You don’t like the president? Suck it up or you’re a treasonous traitor to the country.” These are the same people who are painting pictures of Obama to look like Hitler (Godwin Points) and calling for “Revolution.” Of course they don’t realise that the Pacific Northwest is defined as “Hippies that want their guns too.”

The Right is running on fear. Terrorize the masses into believing the Left is evil, destructive, villainous, and planning the downfall of Apple Pie and Mom. (Remember, Health Reform is socialism; but SOCIAL security isn’t)

The left. There’s the dove. At least that’s the visual message they offer. We love everyone, we want to bridge the gaps, and we’ll meet you half way in that Zeno’s paradox kind of way. (What, halfway more? But if I keep cutting the distance in half; I’ll never get to you.) The problem is that the left wants to play by the rules up until they are pushed to break the rules and then … well, they don’t admit they’ve changed their tone either.

Let’s face it. From the moment that the Left lost 60 in the Senate; they knew Health reform Reconciliation was on the table. The fact that they still haven’t “Said it” is just an olive branch being held by a fist.

Personally, I think the Democrats right now are far more dangerous than the Republicans. Not for what they want to do; but for how far they will be pushed and compromise before they decide that all bets are off. Let’s look at historical examples of behaviour that is pushed over the edge: Road_rage, John_and_Lorena_Bobbitt, Going_postal.

I will hand it to the Left for trying to hold out as far as they have. But I really think that before things go much further… it’s going to become a figurative blood bath in Washington. Honestly, I have never felt as close to the history of the Civil War as I did in the run-up and aftermath of both the 2000 and the 2004 election.

So we have the Bully and the Conscientious Objector. Pick your side. That’s what Washington really wants. As long as they can keep this country torn down the philosophical center (no matter where the lines are) then their pundits will keep putting them back into office and they will maintain their 50/50 split of only handling issues that most people are too apathetic or untrained to see.

Let me comment about some of the changes I want in the US government:

  1. A bill must pertain to one topic.
    • How the hell the Port defense act garnered bank control for online Poker is beyond me.
    • The idea here is as follows: Take a bill that overwhelmingly is going to pass both houses from both parties. (Typically this would be something like… oh I don’t know… shoring up unemployment). One rep has a pet peeve that she/he wants to nip in the bud. Worse, they are under pressure from a lobbyist to fix something that’s causing them to lose money. In the 11th hour when no one is paying attention, the amendment to the bill is slipped in. Exploiting parliamentary procedure loopholes may do this. Wording the amendment in a manner that is innocuous to those that haven’t spent time studying it may do it. The committees study the bills, not the amendments.
  2. Committees are transparent and your representative listens to you about issues that aren’t on their committee.
    • I used to write my congressional representatives and senators. I do not anymore. I am not a lobbyist. I am just the person that either did or more likely did not elect them. One law that passed in Washington I was very unhappy with. I contacted the state reps that voted against my opinion and was told that I should contact my own representative. I contacted my federal representative from my own district concerning a bill I wanted to see supported. I was told, “That bill is not in my committee.” I honestly don’t care if it is or isn’t in your committee. You can talk to your ‘friend’ the representative from “where-ever” and tell them that your constituents care about this bill.
    • Since the activities of committees are done so secretively to the public, we really don’t know which elected official is supporting a bill, discussing it in committee, or even aware that the bill exists. And when we do contact them; if we aren’t talking them out to dinner or golfing or creating a trust fund in their name; our opinions don’t seem to matter.
  3. Hare Clark. Hare Clark. HARE CLARK
    • For the rest of you: this is “Single_transferable_vote.” This system eliminates “Wasted Votes”, “Spoiler Candidates” and, “Blowing off the good candidate because he can’t win.” I’m not going to explain how the system works. It is a bit on the complicated side.
  4. My favourite one. Hypocrisy and self-serving abuses of power in the Federal positions of the Legislature, Executive, and Judicial are treasonous acts against the country and should result in public execution. Said execution will be pay per view with the proceeds going to pay back the deficit
    • I guarantee you, hang one Democrat and one Republican on PPV; you’ll easily knock ½ trillion off the deficit and the rest of the gov’t will get REALLLLLY HONEST REALLLLLLLLY FAST.
    • A note: I am not condoning killing our elected officials. I’m not a fan of the death penalty. I often float this idea more for the reaction than an actual desire to see it enacted. Please do not call the FBI, the CIA, or the ASPCA on me.

Now, there are countless other things that could contribute to fixing our problem. One of course is remembering that just because a corporation is a legal entity; doesn’t make it a person. Corporations have far too much power in this country and this alone is a topic for another post.

So let’s stop for some coffee.

I digress. I resent the Tea Party; not just because they are primarily composed of people that I view as alarmists and the easily manipulated. I resent them for co-opting tea. I love tea. The Tea Party doesn’t even connect to the Tea Parties of history no matter how hard their leaders and representatives try to shoehorn the definition. These Obama-as-Hitler mobs are the same people who decried arguing with the president 2 years ago. I’d use the more apropos ‘objurgate’, but I’m pretty sure less than .01% of them could define it before the other 99% accuse me of using some gay-socialist code word.

Right… coffee. The founder/leader/talking-head of the Coffee party is Annabel Park. As far as I can tell, the Coffee Party extols olive branches to both sides with the hopes that they will play nice. If they don’t play nice, the Coffee Party will hold their representatives accountable.

The Coffee Party currently has just over 75.5K ‘fans’ on Facebook. I don’t mean to doom say here. But if we divide that number by 50 we get a number that winds up being just over 1500 per state. This number doesn’t represent enough people to get a referendum on most state election boards let alone the strength to remove a 6 term senator who plays the politics game very well.

You don’t organize a movement by ranting politely and offering olive branches. You don’t affect change without a much larger mass. You can tell how seriously the mainstream media takes them when CNN entitles their story with the pun, ”Coffee Party gaining Steam.” My biggest concern with the future of the Coffee Party is that Ms. Park has very little charisma to inspire anyone to stop being inevitably apathetic about government.

And here (in my less than humble opinion) is the root of our problem. Washington polarization and gridlock has led to our general apathy with the whole problem. And here is proof. How many of you knew/know the following:

  1. How can one senator stall a bill without majority support? Without even minority support?
  2. What was the actual bill that was stalled? Do you know the H.R. number? Where can you find the text of the bill? Where can you find the text of the laws changed by the bill?
  3. What amendments were added to the bill? Who added them? Who supported or didn’t support them? Why?
  4. What have your representatives voted for or against this session? How in line with their, your, all parties was it?
  5. How many of you know how to get a referendum on your own local ballot?

American Civics is a joke for the places that even still bother to teach it. We have been raised and continue to raise our young to follow the status quo and trust someone else to tell us how to think and what to do.

Sure, I want to believe the Coffee Party has some legs on it. Granted, I also want tea back from the radical jihad of the intellectually conservative. (I guess now that the intelligent Christians have wrestled their religion back from the extremists and the Republicans; the Republicans need a new group that they can find a stupid sub group within to be their voice of fear and doom.)

I remember about 9-10 years ago trying to deduce what a Democrat and a Republican stood for. After asking moderates on both sides all it really came down to was, “Don’t trust the other side.” The tenants of “Fiscal conservatism”, “Social evolution”, “Government regulation” all became talking points that you used to identify which ‘team’ you ‘played for.’

None-the-less (with some exceptions over theTea Party members, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh) I have tried to comport myself within the confines of the “Pledge of Civility.” I suppose I rule the aforementioned out because they do not come to the floor with opposing ideas. They simply come with the words of hate and mistrust based solely on either their own imaginations (as in the talk show hosts) or the imaginations of others without seriously giving consideration to what is going on.

I want to see cooperation in government. I think the Coffee movement has its heart in the right place. I just don’t see government really worrying about the hearts of the individuals of this country. I really don’t see government as a whole really worrying about major changes to the status quo.

…because the status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just… need to blog it.

This is taken from my IM profile on AIM.. I’d been meaning to write this down.. Here’s an early draft

I don’t actually expect anyone to read this but here are my basic rules for IM. The problem is that the average person who has a personality that messages me out of the blue will either not violate these rules in the first 3 femtoseconds of the conversation and I won’t be motivated to send the link. OR… The person will violate at least 2 in an even shorter amount of time and is probably too damned stupid or illiterate to make it through this paragraph let alone the rest to figure out why I just don’t have time for their waste of space on the internet.

The list so far…