Political Parrots

Who do we have representing us in Washington:  Unsullied Parrots or Brave Generals? Who will stand up for the conservatives who want limited government, who want a competitive democracy where working hard gets you somewhere, who want the government out of their private lives.

 We are so close to socialism it is really becoming scary. The government watches our emails, listens to our phone calls, looks into our homes, and now has taken control of our healthcare. Healthcare is not the government’s decision nor should it be.

 Obamacare will cause us big trouble because it is not self sustainable. The Insurance companies will raise their premiums because not enough is being paid into the system to cover treatments.

 Gone are the days when a group of retailers, a school system, or a manufacturing segment can pool their resources to provide group insurance at a moderate costs. Good insurance too!

 Instead of supporting the unemployed and low income folks with government entitlements we should get them work. Help these folks make a better life for themselves. Provide Mental Health Care for those on the streets who need it. Give control to the communities and the state.

 The Federal government should be spending its energy and investments on National Security.  It has no right to be in the education of our children, the selection of our doctors, listening to our conversations with friends and families, denying us of the freedoms given to us in the second and third amendments. The third is important too. Check that one out and note that no one talks about it!


Financial Responsibility

Bankrupt shop, signes.

Bankrupt shop, signes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Detroit’s bankruptcy bothers me although I knew it was going to happen. Financial failure is part and participial to the invasion and war within Illusions. A Republic Lost.

When educated and responsible people begin their married and familial lives, they know and understand that you cannot spend more than you make. You must keep your debt within managerial limits or nonexistent, and safe for the future.

We middle class know if you don’t pay the electric bill your electricity will be cut off. If you default on your mortgage you will eventually lose your home.

Now can anyone explain to me why some cities do not understand this?

Detroit has $18.25 billion of debt half which calculates to $26,838 per person living in Detroit. This amount is unsupportable.

When GM declared bankruptcy in 2009 it had been losing money for years in unfunded liabilities, the largest of which being pensions. Half of Detroit’s debt represents the unfunded retirement benefit program for state and local government employees. Note the word unfunded.

There never was enough money to support the pension programs that Detroit retirees may lose.

This is irresponsible financial responsibility. If you have a checkbook you know how it works.

At WordPress, Happiness is Automattic

Now that sounds like a surprising turn of events. I like when your job brings glad tidings. Writing for me is a soul search, both engaging and entertaining. I hope it is also exsercising my brain.

Unencumbered by Facts

On the first of May, I started a new job at Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com. I was hired as a “Code Wrangler,” but to date I have not written a lick of code. This is because for the first three weeks new employees must participate in a customer support rotation. I know what you are thinking: “Let the software engineers communicate directly with customers? I saw Office Space, so I know that’s a bad idea!” or maybe “Bummer, customer service is a thankless soul-sucking quagmire of loathsomeness.” Surprisingly, neither one of these normally valid assumptions is true in this case. So what makes working at Automattic so special that software engineers can enjoy communicating directly with users and customer service ends up being rewarding and fun? Quite a few things actually.

The customer service team is known as the “Happiness Team,” and its members are “Happiness Engineers.” When I…

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Sympathy for the Cannibal: Archaeology, Emotion, and Cannibalism

This is important. History repeats and changes some but continues to drive foward in the same vein.

Archaeology and Material Culture

Today the Jamestown Rediscovery Project reported on the archaeology of a teen girl who was apparently butchered and consumed by fellow colonists in the winter of 1609-1610.  Most of the instant press coverage revolves around the evidence that the body was butchered, with mandible cut marks and skull fragmentation reflecting a somewhat clumsy dismemberment of the body during a winter in which about 80% of the settlement’s residents died.  Our collective fascination with this girl’s fate obliquely humanizes her even as we paint a sympathetic if uneasy picture of the fellow settlers who cannibalized her.  The story of “Jane,” as Jamestown refers to her, paints the emotional incomprehensibility of human nature while simultaneously rationalizing the desperation that would have led these first settlers to consume one of their own number.

Cannibalism holds a powerful grip on human imagination for perfectly understandable reasons: to consume another human’s body is nearly always…

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The Romance of Crete

When we ride our Harley I see, smell, and hear life around me. I feel blessed and honored that our creator loved us enough to sacrifice for us.

Cretan Chronicles

March 20th 2013 – I’m sitting in a shady spot on a stone wall in the Agia Triada monastery courtyard.  After the short, easy 15-minute bike ride to this peaceful green oasis I wonder why I don’t do this more often.  I’ve been here many too many times to count but usually, on a nice warm day the sea beckons me and I find myself on the beach instead.  Not too bad a dilemma, I know.

Today I find my favorite shady spot to do some reflection and writing.  I have my favorite sunny bench, too, but anywhere within these ancient walls is a good place to sit among the scores of potted flowers, blooming fruit trees and cheerful birds.  And, of course, there’s always a stray cat (or ten) looking for a lap to sit in.  Unlike the harsh world outside these walls, the strays are taken care of…

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