Friday, September 07, 2012

In reply....

..to yet ANOTHER post about the Evil that is Obama on a social media site.

Those that know me, know that I am wan to get involved in the current political discussions of the day, and that I'm no fan of any candidate. But frankly, I've read/heard enough about the EVIL Barrack Hussein Obama that I can hardly be blamed for taking it to the next level.

Actually I thought it was pretty funny. So much so I'm posting it here.



Enjoy:

(Article/Video/Report/Blog about Obama and his motives)


This really doesn't explain it. Actually I think what everyone means is the President wants to take your guns and is a socialist, foreign-born, Muslim moron. Also, while he doesn't cheat on his wife, beat his kids, drink, or do drugs (excep
t for cigarettes), he is the lowest form of scum, a terrible example for future generations, and the USA is in the worst shape of any country or civilization ever; if you support anything he does, says, or has even thought about, you are probably as awful an example of humanity as he is. Hitler, Chairman Mao, or Stalin would have been a much better and more democratic President, and a lot fewer people would have died if all of them were in power simultaneously for a millennium, than have given their lives in service in the 4 years President Obama has been in "Power". If elected to another term, he will surely suspend the constitution, dismiss the congress, implement martial law, and appoint himself as ruler for life. Internment camps will be opened for those who cross him and we will be thrust into a literal Hell on earth as he summons Satan himself to sit at his right hand and punish all of humanity with sorrow, flame and, tortuous mental anguish for eternity.


See that explains it much better.

If you're going to promote the rhetoric, don't be a pussy about it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Japan, Its People, The Leadership, and Nuclear Power

 
Watch this video. If you're looking for a joke here, there is none.

It is an impassioned group of people in an area of Japan directly affected by nuclear radiation over the last year pleading with their leaders to rethink bringing a possibly unsafe Ooi Nuclear Plant back on line. From what I've read, no new safety procedures have been implemented and there are still leaks occurring as a result of the tsunami and earthquake from last year.

For those of you that know Japan and their culture, to see women argue so fervently with authority is stunning and fretful and in a way unnerving. This is not their way. These are women that are trying to take care of their families and keep their children safe.  And this is them laid open and passionately letting the government officials know that there is a terrible price here to pay for their failures.
 I pray for the people of Fukushima, and I hope there can be some humane resolution for this.
To quote one of the women:

"It's a sin to do it [Restart the Ooi Nuclear Power Plant] without preparations! And if an accident occurs, that will heap sin upon sin!"
So poignant and so important.
 Thanks for reading.

--WAD
 

Saturday, May 05, 2012

WTF does a Sci Fi writer know about Human Rights?

(NOTE: Thanks to modern HTML, all links to sources cited are embedded in the text.  You're welcome. --WAD)

Ok, on may 8th, 2012, the citizenry of the state of North Carolina, USA are voting on a new amendment to their state's constitution.  Here is the actual Amendment One wording as it will appear on the ballot:

Tonight, a friend of mine on the Book of Face (Yes I have Facebook, and if I don't know you, no you may not add me), posted this from the Huffington Post. It is a piece about how one of my favorite Sci Fi authors, Orson Scott Card, has written an Op Ed piece for Greensboro's The Rhinoceros Times concerning this vote, and how it affects gay marriage.  Now, while we all know The Huffington Post has their axe to grind, I was actually really upset by Mr Card's absolute ignorance of what the amendment was proposing. His piece was really aimed at one specific thing, confusing signs, but it expounds into the land of fallacy and misinformation; the very thing he's decrying in his piece.

I'm not one to jump into the political realm, as it's just all noise and stupidity for the most part.  But this time, I had to write something. Card is just so talented, and usually so thoughtful and knowledgeable, and his piece just shook me.  So in response to him, I wrote the following.

(Note again: I whipped this up in about an hour  at about 3 am EDT after working all day and driving 4 hours to my home.  Please try to just accept the miscues and typos.  There is a coherency in here, just look a little harder for it. --WAD)
 

An open letter to Mr Orson Scott Card

"Orson, I'm a fan of your work and have been for a long time. Ender's Game actually changed my life. But I'm sort of shocked how you glibly deny the facts here.

What's on the ballot is clearly worded:

“Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”

Your argument that "There's no need to legalize gay marriage." is a moot point. The amendment isn't about legalizing gay marriage. Same-sex unions are already illegal in North Carolina. If it's voted down, gay marriage will be no less illegal. This amendment is specifically calling for a clear removal of rights for a group of people by taking away the rights of same-sex couples that wish to be married, AND then giving that same couple no other alternative for legal recognition by the state.

Let's be clear: The yes vote on this law is specifically designed to take rights away from gay people, and the no vote will not give rights to anyone.

Regardless of anyone's morality, this is obviously a way for government to control a segment of the populace it deems less "acceptable", be it for moral or other reasons. After this is ratified, how long before those same couples you wrote about who now have “the same rights as a heterosexual couples” will no longer be allowed the right to do the very things you point to as evidence that, "(t)here are no laws left standing that discriminate against gay couples"? They will have no legal standing under the Constitution of North Carolina to care for their loved ones, make sure they have proper medical insurance for their partner and their family, or any of the other rights granted a spouse. I don't think it's a stretch of logic to think once laws are in place and rights are removed, that these things could happen. And if one of the couple passes away, imagine the legal battles that will ensue just trying to get the property in order; or to deem custody of a child. As they weren't married, according to North Carolina law, the estate will be taken by the state if there are no other living biological relatives. And the child? Who can say, but the guardianship could be dragged out in the courts for years as there is no mandate from the state to allow the partner to keep custody, as there would be in a marriage. Not very family friendly, is it? How is this beneficial to anyone?

Sure, I'm speculating, but so are you, the difference is, I'm basing my logical speculation on the letter of the proposed amendment, while your argument seems to stem from another place.

While I have to respect the right of the state to pass such legislation based on the majority vote of it's populace, its popularity doesn't make it any less bigoted. If a heterosexual couple in North Carolina chooses to live together and not get married, so-be-it. They have a choice to do so and they can accept the legal ramifications therein. The gay couple does not have this same choice; the only right they have are those allowed them tacitly by the state. And if this amendment passes, they may not have them for long.

On another note, for someone like you, who has been a presence online for many years, and who is savvy in print and new media and now has many avenues to reach people, be it on your website, in your books, this op ed piece, or on book tours, frankly I find your piece irresponsible for ignoring the facts and going on with the fallacy that gay couples have every right availed to them as straight couples. You base your arguments on anecdotal information from your perspective. Mr Card, people trust what you write is well researched, thought-out, and intelligent. You've based your work on being historically accurate to the depictions of times you represent by painstakingly researching the era. If you choose to throw your opinion into the political realm, many people that are your fans will take what you write as fact, not just mere anecdotal speculation. The fact that your own state already has legislation on the books prohibiting same sex marriage, and you have the nerve to write that “(t)here are no laws left standing that discriminate against gay couples” is proof that you neither researched or thought out your statement.

I don't care one lick about anyone's feelings on the left or right, or about conservatism versus liberalism. And if you ask me, I'd agree that the sign you mentioned is silly and stupid, but not just because of an obfuscation, but also it insults the intelligence of those that read it. This is a simple question of a state trying to legislate morality and control a minority group.

I just don't understand why allowing two people who truly love each other to be married with the official mandate of the state in which they live is so disruptive to people's everyday lives. No one is trying to take away the rights of those already married, or disallowing anyone from doing anything they would normally do under their own moral code or belief system (except of course if you're gay). People are still free to believe what they want, raise their family how they wish, go to the religious building of their respective faith, and worship in communion with like minded individuals in almost any way they wish. Even if you don't agree with the idea of same-sex attraction, and go so far as to see it as sin, you're free to think that. But according to what I've read in many religious books, God allowed man free will, and for any man to attempt to take free will from another man is to go against the divine. And for the secular humanists or those that wonder what our founding fathers had in mind, I seem to recall something in the Declaration of Independence that read:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

And I'll float this out there for some historical perspective on things, and how morality can change depending on the times. What if someone proposed this same amendment, but changed it to read,”...one man and one woman of the same ethnic heritage...” Today the idea seems not only incredibly bigoted, but to most it would seem absurd. Who would either present this to be ratified, or would vote to add this to the state's constitution?

Folks were a mere 45 years removed from the Loving v. Virginia 1967 Supreme Court Ruling. In 1958, Mildred Loving (a woman of African and Rappahannock Native American descent) married Richard Perry Loving (a white man). They were residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia who married in the District of Columbia, having left Virginia to evade the Racial Integrity Act, a state law banning marriages between any white person and any non-white person. Upon their return to Caroline County, Virginia, they were charged with violation of the “Racial Integrity Act of 1924”. They were found sleeping in their bed by a group of police officers who had invaded their home in the hopes of finding them in the act of sex (another crime). In their defense, Mrs. Loving had pointed to a marriage certificate on the wall in their bedroom; rather than defending them, it became the evidence the police needed for a criminal charge, because it proved they had been married in another state. Specifically, they were charged under Section 20-58 of the Virginia Code, which prohibited interracial couples from being married out of state and then returning to Virginia, and Section 20-59, which classified "miscegenation" as a felony, punishable by a prison sentence of between one and five years. On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pled guilty and were sentenced to one year in prison, with the sentence suspended for 25 years on condition that the couple leave the state of Virginia.


After many lesser rulings, in 1967 the Lovings had their day in front of the Supreme Court. In a unanimous decision, the Court overturned their convictions. The court ruled that Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute violated both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In its decision, the court wrote:

“There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy.”

And more importantly:

“Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”

Seems as though this is just another label wrapped around sort of a similar product.

Mr Card, I truly hope you reconsider your stance. The idea of singling out a group of people, (regardless of what you think of them, their lives, how they came to be who they are, etc.) that are law abiding productive members of society and removing the rights granted to everyone else, goes against the grain of everything this country is supposed to stand for. And I hope that you can at least accept that this may be bigger than how we as individuals see morality.

 And remember folks, agreeing with me is not mandatory, but it does save you the trouble and embarrassment of being wrong.  Thanks.

(Note: Comments are now ON --WAD)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Out of step....

....and really just disconnected. You know for a while, I was feeling ok, and all seemed well, but this last week....  I just can't shake this awkwardness in everything I do, again.  Work, interpersonal relations, and just life in general seems to be wrong.  Everything, just wrong. It's not as though I'm going to stop being myself and I do keep trying to figure it out, but I don't get it, and just can't seem to figure out why.


It probably boils down to people. Most of the time I'm very comfortable in the knowledge that I am different from 99% of them. Not better or worse, just different.  I am not in touch with this collective idea that I need to impress, or best anyone, or that I need to be a sycophant, like so many of these people feel compelled to.  I'm usually good with the fact that whatever the BS is they spout or live through, it's not part of my world.  I can usually go through my day being exactly who I am without concern for the "fall out" they conjure in their need to complain, because they just can't wrap their head around me. I'm called mean, brutal, uncaring, and evil by those that don't really know me. And, like I wrote, most of the time, this is ok. But....


In this world full of people, recently I have become very cognizant that I am alone.  Not that I don't have people I care for, and who also in return care for me, but my actions in dealing with these people are foreign to them.  They sense I'm not at all the same as say someone that can really and truly be there for them.  I can see it in their faces and I know they can't imagine who would behave like this.  I feel like the character in the Camus novel; not in that I'd ever dismiss someone I honestly cared about, but I just don't think I feel the connection that so many others claim to have with those they love.  In a way, I suppose, it hurts me.


Why can't I connect? 


I've read that it's better to be feared than loved.  THIS is utter shit. In my day to day life, I am highly respected and even sometimes revered not only by my coworkers and peers for my work, but in my social circles as well. I think people admire what I've done and how I conduct myself, but they don't treat me like a friend. I struggle mightily to reach out to them, like it's something everyone else does with ease, but for me, it's nearly impossible. And when I actually make an attempt to reach out to them, there are pleasantries exchanged, and sometimes excuses made, but I can always feel how ill-at-ease they are.  As if an alien from another world is trying to communicate with them. They are unnerved, and they are afraid. And if I can feel that, then so could anyone.


Many reading this probably think I'm paranoid or narcissistic, but I think both of these are far too simplistic and dismissive. I'm not depressed, suicidal, or delusional about myself; in fact I'd posit that I'm keenly self-aware and knowledgeable in exactly who I am. I just wonder why I can't have that feeling so many others just get. They just seem to find their place in the big puzzle of the social structure and fit right in. I just stand on the outside and wonder why it's so easy for them. And if I'll ever get it.



Friday, February 24, 2006

LAWS (To Be Taken Seriously By Only Those With A Sense Of Humor)

Read these. LIVE these: They are here for your enjoyment. But also reflect on the meaning of each one. They may give you insight on your makeup, but more importantly on MY makeup.

These are 10 “LAWS” for living that I have come up with in my short time here on Earth. The reason that they are LAWS and not rules is self-evident; we all know that rules are made simply to be broken, while we hope that LAWS are upheld and esteemed by those in our society. Also, broken rules rarely have serious repercussions, while LAWS can have grave consequences for those that ignore them. They are, as they are now, incomplete. I’m sure that there are MANY other GREAT ideas for living, but so far these are the 10 that I am quantifying as LAWS. I’m sure that in the next 10 seconds, I’ll come up with some others.

I was torn on how to present these. And through a long process of thought (riiiiiggghhhttt) here is what I’ve decided: I will give you the Main Treatise, and then explain a bit, but hopefully not too much. When I can, I will try to give examples, as I have always found this to be the best way to learn anything. These LAWS are not meant to be over-analyzed, but a mild analysis of each one will hopefully show the IQ’ed out there an underlying meaning more important than the words written. They are interpretive. You should really think about them in your own circumstance. While the denotation of each may be clear-cut, look for the nuances in the connotation of each to help guide your life.

Unlike everyone else in the world who will try to tell you that to find happiness, “YOU MUST FOLLOW MY DIRECTIVES! THESE WORDS THAT I HAVE WRITTEN ARE THE ONLY WORDS THAT MATTER! EVERYONE ELSE IS FULL OF SHIT!” I’m a bit different. While I know that everyone is full of shit, and I’m pretty sure that I know more about what’s better for you than you do, I prefer to think of guidance like this: Here is some good information; I’ve used it with success; I hope it helps you. If it’s not for you, fine. Continue to proceed in the reckless fashion that you have, and don’t blame me. If you follow MY LAWS, and you still screw it up, again, don’t blame me. It is still your life, and YOU screwed it up. While it’s not in the list, the phrase, “Do what thou wilt,” comes to mind. It’s your life to mess up as you see fit. But in general, if you try to conduct your daily life by these LAWS, you’ll not only improve yourself, but it WILL have a direct affect on everything else in your world.

Those that know me have heard me recite many forms of the following for decades. They are important only on how they make you think. They will offend. They will enlighten. They will stir your passions. They are NOT open for debate. Trust me; there is something here for everyone.

And as I will write for the “Sub-Mental” (I know that I will type this same phase over and over, and most still will not be able to comprehend), I don’t care if I hurt your poor feelings! I don’t care if you agree or disagree with what I’ve written! As with all things seen on “The Brass Tacks”, your input is neither appreciated nor expected. Anything you read here is solely mine. There fore I’m right and you are wrong simply by the fact that you are reading these words.

1) Go big or stay home!!

This is something that I heard repeatedly in college from a man with whom I wasted many nights playing cards. He used it in reference to bidding out your cards in particular situations. But after thinking about it for a few years, and hearing/reading different variants applied to many other aspects of living, I came to the conclusion that THIS above all else is “THE LAW”. Encapsulation: If you are going to do something, do it all out, within reason, and do not do anything “half-assed”. If you are not doing something to the best of your ability, then don’t bother doing it! (E.g., you ‘re a dad? Be the best father to your kids that you can possibly be! You’re an Analyst? Be the best fucking Analyst that you can be! Get it yet?) This applies to most everything that everyone does. BUT use this in conjunction with the other laws.

2) You and only you are responsible for your actions!

As simple as this seems, you HAVE violated this law on many occasions! If at ANY time you have tried to deflect ANY blame/culpability/responsibility for ANYTHING that you have had even the slightest involvement in (mostly in reference to NEGATIVE situations), you have violated this law! A simple rule of thumb: If you’re not staring at serious jail time, accept the blame sometime when you are only tangentially involved in something. (E.g., you rear ended the car in front of you not because the sun was in your eyes, or your wife called, or because the guy stopped short. You hit him because YOU were following too close, AND you weren’t paying enough attention to your driving. You didn’t finish the report on time not because you’ve been too busy at home, or because you don’t have the right tools to do your job. But it’s because you procrastinated and spent time surfing for the Paris Hilton porn) Most of the time it’s much easier to proceed when you shoulder the responsibility of a problem then when you try to wash your hands of the situation.

3) DON’T BE SHITTY! DON’T BE SHITTY! DON’T BE SHITTY!

“Wow! Did I just read that?” Yes Virginia, you did. I think of all the LAWS, this one is the only one that ALWAYS applies in EVERY situation. PERIOD!!! I’ll repeat that: “This LAW ALWAYS applies in EVERY situation!” The repetitiveness is for stressing how important this law truly is. Really. Don’t be shitty to anyone in any situation, EVER! While I know that this LAW is important, I know that with the sheer volumes of “mentally-deficient humanity” (herein referred to as MDH) that most of us come in contact with, it is almost impossible not to break. I have the hardest time trying to uphold this law in my own life. BUT THIS IS NOT AN EXCUSE!!! Strive every day to observe this law.

4) Never fuck a stripper!

“WHAT?! Huh?” Of all of the LAWS, this is MEANT to be the most cryptic, esoteric and parablic (made up the word myself, thank you). Other than being generally a REALLY GREAT idea for men (and possibly women), there is a more veiled meaning here. Do you see it? Well lift the veil, dumbass! This hearkens to the “Look before you leap” ideology as well as encompassing the "sensitive dependence on initial conditions" model. Still unclear? Good! That means you may actually spend some time mulling this one over.

5) Humility: Or how I love the sweet taste of Humble Pie!

I remember a speech given to me by a guy I was going to lose a fight for. He told me, “Night of the fight, you might feel a slight sting. That's pride fuckin' with you. Fuck pride! Pride only hurts, it never helps. You fight through that shit. 'Cause a year from now, when you kicking it in the Caribbean, you gonna say to yourself, ‘Marcellus Wallace was right.’” Wait, that wasn’t me, that was from a movie, sorry. But seriously, when in doubt on a particular matter, try taking the humility route. Being proud of what you’ve accomplished is fine, being an unbearable prick about something you may or may not have done all by yourself a decade or more ago is the sign of poor character. The corollary of this is that ZEALOUSNESS in ANYTHING is a negative. Zealots are by definition faithful ignorant of fact, and therefore NOT humble. It stands to reason then that the Humble are not Zealots.

6) Don’t believe anything you read or hear about, and only believe half of what you see!

My father imparted this knowledge on me when I was young. My father is the smartest most non-complex person I have EVER met. Therefore most of what he has to say is important. This is more a measuring stick than a hard and fast LAW. Scrutinize everything with objectivity and without cynicism.

7) The truth is much easier to remember than a lie!

Really. Tell the truth as much as possible. Do I need to expound? If so just stop reading and go away.

8) You are your brother’s keeper!

This doesn’t mean you are responsible for everyone else’s well-being. It simply means that you are to take in to consideration the situation of those around you and try to be there as support for those that you care about. And for those Zealots that will point to this as my tie-in to their own personal religious vindication, please see #5 above.

9) Why do you think patience is a virtue? AND, The Art of Closing your Mouth!

I’ve put these two ideas together into one LAW for two reasons. One: this is LAW #9 and I wanted to get them both in before getting to LAW #10; and Two: they are interdependent. There is a considerable amount of reference material regarding keeping your mouth shut, so I don’t feel the need to delve into it here and take the adventure of learning away from you (look for quotes from Mark Twain, Nietzsche, et al). As for patience, all I will say is that for most circumstances, patience tends to lead to greater understanding, and therefore a better ability to handle a problem. One of my favorite quotes on patience is from an Old Dutch proverb, “A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.”

10) You know nothing!

If you count the finite knowledge you have against the infinite knowledge that there is and can possibly be, the sum total of your knowledge is nothing (x/∞ = 0). If you don’t believe this, then why are you reading these words now?


Now, if you still have a problem with me and my brilliant insight into your realm, it is because you are too afraid to face the truth. You’re probably someone that doesn’t take advice about anything well (i.e. When warned of a safe speeding down toward you from the sky, you want to correct the person warning you as to how they present the information, not even thinking of the impending doom that will wrest life from you in seconds. Actually though, this is a very good thing, as people like this perish so that I may have more stuff. For this, I thank you) and you should really surf over to the PETA or NRA homepages now, and really stop reading these words.

My tongue is not only in my cheek, it’s in yours as well.

--W.A.D.

Monday, February 13, 2006

THE OPENING VOLLEY

Enter here: All the disenfranchised; All those who feel that their voice is being left unheard.

This is a spot for those who still feel that personal freedoms are sacrosanct; and who also know that with those freedoms comes great personal responsibility. Those willing to no longer ask any state sanctioned body to legislate common sense, as it is understood that those who suffer from their own poor judgment and stupidity are entitled only to the things they reap from being so ignorant in the first place.

I promise nothing of any value from anything read or gathered here. I am simply one man in an ocean of sheep; Making attempts to persuade nobody about anything. I will present some facts, some truths, and many opinions, all of which will be mine (or those of people that I agree with at the time, not wholly but only with specific ideas that I post. Everything else that they say may be and probably is tripe).

I make no excuses or apologies for anything that you read here. All stylistic decisions on how I present ideas are approved only by me. Some statements may be inflammatory; some may be intelligent; some may be just wrong. Tough! This is my blog. I don't care what you think, and if I do at some time decide to allow responses to topics, respond with the knowledge that I will not read what is written as I know that my opinion/truth/fact is actually the only one that matters here.

If you are offended by ANYTHING you read or see here, TOUGH! You are probably not prepared to deal with anything that anyone says or does that you don't agree with. Feel free to write the owner of the site, the local legislature, the Governor, the President, or the Pope. I don't care.

Cut and paste anything you get from here at your own risk. As I stress personal responsibility above all else, you should understand that if you use, say, copy, or in anyway take anything gleaned from this blog to put on your website, blog, billboard, corkboard, argument, report, or whatever, you immediately take ownership of its use. I absolve myself in advance for your use of my words/thoughts/opinions/ideas. I don’t care if you credit me or not; these things are tools, and I am no more responsible for their use, good or bad, than if I were to hand you a spoon. (Analogy: I didn’t invent the spoon, and whether you use it to feed yourself, or stab yourself is entirely up to you.)

I will not update this site on any schedule except as I see fit, and I will talk about anything that I wish.

If you are someone that kowtows to the lowest common denominator of the society, if you're someone that makes excuses not only for your behavior, but for others' actions as well, if you care so much about others’ plights that you are irresponsible to yourself and to those in your sphere of influence/support, then please go away. Look here to find someone like-minded: http://www.google.com. There is nothing here for you and you are wasting your time even reading this (even as I type this, I realize the irony of those same people now being unable to stop themselves from proceeding to the detriment of themselves and their families and friends).


Pleasantries aside, my only hope here is that one person will read one thing here that makes them think for one second about something larger than themselves, and maybe he could get to one other person and do the same.

I realize that I am nearly nothing. But I also know that the path to wisdom starts by the admission that I know nothing.

--

W.A.D.