Author Archives: admin

Tick-Tock

The clock is ticking (biological, ethereal and actual) and it seems that the hands are moving ever closer to the moment when action outweighs inaction and something will have to happen to keep the world spinning.

How close that moment is one can only surmise, but I think it is closer than I think. We shall see (but don’t hold your breath, not yet).

Descent

And no I don’t mean that thing which one should always do to a skunk before inviting it into ones home. Today I’m more concerned with that journey into madness that you never realize you are taking until it is too late.

You know, that one day when you wake up and realize that the world no longer makes sense — almost as if the person writing the script forgot what genre they were supposed to be working in.  Well, we are now well past that day here in the United States of America (ha! that’s a laugh, UNITED, we’re about as UNITED as oil and water!).

I do really think that I may have passed away in my sleep one night in November 2016 and when I THOUGHT I awoke the next morning I was actually dead and had been relegated to spend eternity in hell (or at least four years, which, believe me is really seeming like an eternity!).

I really can only think of one reason why we have sunk to such a low point as a society… media, no, not television or the Internet, but, MEDIA in general.  The mass consumption of someone else’s truth (not necessarily lies) is what has ruined our society and our country.  Every man, woman and child has drunk the kool-aid (and how I bet Kraft Foods is totally conflicted about people using that phrase) and tends to believe what they see/hear/read in the mass media (and by mass media I mean anything other than ones personal diary).

Until people take back their thoughts and ideas and once again have the ability to think for themselves we as not only a society or country, but an entire race are screwed.  Truths are NOT self-evident, if they were we wouldn’t have ad agencies and hucksters trying to tell us what is truth.

But I digress and this was supposed to be about descent, so before I actually reach the bottom of where I am going I think I will sign-off again, maybe for a year, maybe two, or maybe only a few hours.  Until next time I will quote a very wise man that I once heard on the mass media.. “stay safe out there”.

 

Political Life

Okay, I admit it I have grown tired just sitting there and letting everyone else decide what goes on.  I have finally returned to an active (ish) political life.  In the 1990’s I stood as a candidate for the last appointed school board position in Arlington, VA but was not successful.  The following election cycle I was going to run for the County Board of Arlington, VA but got started too late to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot, so instead I got a few people to write my name in on the ballot.

Fast-forward twenty or so years.

Last spring I became active in the Democratic Party of Dona Ana County, New Mexico.  I filled the vacant spot of a Precinct Chair (100% of the winning candidates in my precinct totals were blue on election night) and I ran as a delegate for Hillary Clinton to the DNC.  I also did some volunteer social media work and app testing for the HRC campaign.  As well I helped out two state-wide candidates as the Dona Ana County Captain for their campaigns – one was successful, Julie Vargas, and unfortunately the other, Michael Vigil was not.

In December, I decided it was time to throw my hat back in the ring and I returned to my roots and filed as a candidate for the Las Cruces School Board from district 2.  Unfortunately I was not successful on election night in February, but now I was hooked.  In March I filed the paperwork with the FEC to form a committee to explore running for the US House seat from the 2nd District in New Mexico.  Exploring was fine for a week or two, but I think I wanted to run in any case, so on April 1st I filed the paperwork to officially declare as a democratic candidate in the 2018 election cycle.  I threw together a quickie website (http://www.ron2018.org) and am currently trying to decide how best to proceed from here.

Locally I am still involved with the local democratic party as a member of the County Central Committee and I did make a play for the SCC, but missed by a few votes.

In solidarity,

Ron

Two Years

Either I’m dead or I’ve been really, really busy as it seems I haven’t posted anything in two years now!

Welp, I just checked with my Apple Watch and it says my heart is still beating so I guess that rules out dead.  Been busy it is I guess.

Now I have to get back to work; maybe I will make it on again soon to post something remarkable 🙂

Not in this century

By now I’m sure everyone has heard that the drugstore chain CVS has announced that they will stop the practice of selling tobacco products in all of their stores by October of this year. Since they project that they will take a $2B hit in sales by dropping tobacco either that are really doing this out of a concern for people’s health, or they think they’ll make up for that loss by picking up new shopper who support this move.

One can only hope that CVS will be the first in a wave of socially responsible moves by health conscious businesses.  It has never made sense a to why a drugstore would sell tobacco products once they were determined to not be healthy?  It also doesn’t make a lot of sense about why a drugstore would sell alcoholic beverages (are you listening Walgrens?).  Oh, wait a minute, I forgot we live in a capitalistic society – money trumps everything.

irregardless of CVS’s motives I think we should all congratulate them on doing the right thing.  I think we also need to try to convince more retailers to follow suite.

I am a former smoker and I don’t blame anyone for my smoking other than myself and the society that made smoking acceptable.  Yes in recent years things have changed, no smoking on airplanes, in schools, bars, etc.  Smokers are no longer identified as being “cool”.  Yet, with all of this and the known health concerns it is still legal to smoke.  Crazy, right?  Wait, there is that capitalism thing again.  Tobacco companies make money, employ people and most importantly they spend money to lobby the government to make sure they can continue on in business.

Well, I for one think it is time to phase out smoking.  Yes, it means that eventually the tobacco companies will either have to cease to exist or they will have to find a new line of business.  Sad, yes, but it’s just too bad.

What I would like to propose is a way that I think will lessen the pain to the tobacco companies and allow those who are using tobacco products to continue to do such for the foreseeable future.  Is this the ideal method, no.  My proposal will mean many more years of health concerns and costs but I think it is a viable and workable solution.my proposal is also fairly easy to carry out and administer.

I call my plan the “Not In This Century” plan.  To put it simply; no one born in the 21st century will ever by legally allowed to buy tobacco products.  You all have seen those signs that say that you must have been born before a certain date to buy tobacco products right?  Well what I propose is that the last version of that sign will say “You must have been born before January 1st 2000 to buy tobacco products”.  These signs would go into effect on January 1st, 2018.

This would give tobacco companies several years to prepare for the effects of the new law.  It would also phase out their customer base over potentially 80 years or so.  This gives the plenty of time find a new business model or to just get out of business.

The time to act is now.  Who can join with me to push the concept of “Not In This Century”?

Fire vs. Air

Three days after the first Kindle Fire was released I received mine.  That was nearly two years ago and I’m still satisfied with the Kindle.

Yesterday I went out and got an iPad Air – it’s the first Apple product that I have owned in over 10 years.  The last were a MacBook and a Mac II (I think it was a 150 and a c – but that’s not really relevant at the moment).

After one day I’m happy with the larger screen of the Air and I’m happy with the greater choice of apps in the app store on the Air.  But that’s about it – screen size and app selection are the only things so far that are impressing me on a device that is two years newer (and cost more than twice what the Fire cost two tears ago).  Not cool Apple.

Both the Fire and the Air are in locked ecosystems, which really isn’t preferable.  Maybe Samsung really is moving into the lead as has been recently reported?

I also find it interesting that Apple named this version the Air – Amazon has the Fire – I wonder who’s going to release a water and an earth?

Given some more time with the Air I might start liking it better – but IMHO I’d say if you are an Android Tablet user I wouldn’t pick this time to switch to Apple unless you have a compelling reason other than the “coolness factor”.

Flu is Fun (sick/sic)

It may just be that getting older really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?  It’s not even what I consider to be flu season yet (Halloween hasn’t come and gone) and I’ve had a nasty go-round of flu!

I’m not one for flu shots (as in I’ve never had one) and before last week it’s probably been twenty years since I’ve had anything that I would classify as “flu”.  Now, I really have no idea as to whether getting a flu shot would have prevented me getting the flu this time, but as you can find flu shots as cheap as $0 I guess I can’t justify skipping them any longer.  Spending a full 48 hours confined to bed definitely cost more tan $0 in opportunity costs if nothing else.

Yes I do believe that getting vaccinated should ultimately be a personal choice.  However, I guess you really do need to factor into your decision-making those around you also.  Must remember that it really “isn’t all about you” in so may different ways!

It’s not always all about you

To paraphrase J.F.K. – “Ask not what somebody can do for you.  Ask what you can do for somebody.”

With the exception of one poor soul somewhere in the world you have to remember that no matter how bad off you are there is someone else out there in a worse position than you.

Online or offline there are a myriad of ways in which you can help others without hurting yourself.  No one is asking for you to give away a Cadillac a day or to feed all the hungry people in the world.  You can start with something as simple as a smile or a “good day”.  You can give up your seat on the bus or train.  You can let the person change lanes in front of you.

Anything positive you do for someone else is a good thing.  Take a moment every day to look around you (and I mean really look) and see what you are actually in the midst of as you move through the day.  How can you make a simple gesture to make someone’s day better?

As I heard today, “Always tip the musician”.  That’s good advice to follow.

Government Shutdown

We here in the US are now in the midst of the first real government shutdown in nearly 20 years.  I experienced that one first hand as I was working as a contractor at the Office of the US Trade Representative in DC at that time.  No, I was not considered essential so I did get a three-week vacation and yes I was a contractor so I did still get paid.  However stupid this or that shutdown is/was the world continued function then and I’m pretty sure it will continue again this time.

Of course we all must remember that on October 17th the government will run out of the ability to borrow money and no matter what they do about the current impasse if the debt ceiling isn’t raised we’ll be closed for business again on the 17th.

None of this is the fault of the Democrats nor the Republicans.  We can’t blame Congress or the White House.  The blame of this mess rests solely on our shoulders.  Yes, our shoulders, as in  the citizens of the US.  Those of us who through some action or inaction have caused the election of the current crop of politicians in Washington are at fault.  We are now stuck until the next election living with what we have done to ourselves.

Unless and until both politicians and the general population learn and understand that there is no place in politics for politics we will be cyclically screwed.  The founding Fathers designed our form of government (a representative democracy) as what they felt was the best workable form of government where the general population “felt” as if they were in charge without giving them the ability to hurt themselves.  Now, that is all well and good when those elected act in the best interest of the majority that they represent, but first they must understand whom they do represent.

The House of Representatives is elected to represent the people’s interests and it should vote in a way that represents what is best for the majority of the population.  Now you will notice I said, “what is in the best interest”, not “what they want”.  There is a big difference between the two and in the form of government we use “what the people want” has no place.  Congress is  there to protect us from ourselves, else we would have had a true democracy where every person had a direct vote in all matters.

Also since the Senate is elected to represent the interests of the several States they need to concentrate on that and stop trying to decide what is best for the people.  Why we ever had that stupid Amendment to change to a popular election of Senators I’ll never know (well, yes I do know, it’s all about money and power – neither of which have any place in governance).

We may not be able to sit back and enjoy this ride, but as a captive audience we need to hold tight and suffer it out.  History does tell us that eventually we’ll get past the shutdown; that nothing will actually be better; and that we the people will just elect more politicians who would rather play politics than to govern.

 

 

 

Hello world!

How many times has the phrase “Hello world!” appeared on a computer output device?  The first time I ever caused it to happen was back in about 1978 on the system console of a DEC PDP 11/34.  That day was also the first time that I ever laid my hands on a computer – and somewhere around here I still have the hard copy of my very first login session.  Maybe someday when I am famous it’ll be worth taking that piece of paper to the Antiques Roadshow for an appraisal!