Saturday, June 25, 2016


I've always had problems with authority, from the time Dad kicked out of the house for disappointing him in my first year of engineering college when I wasn't meant to be an engineer in the first place, and later went on to get BA and MS degrees in Geography.

What triggered this reaction was when I enlisted in the US Air Force March 7, 1969, after the University of Denver asked, but not prohibit, me not to return to enroll, and passing my Army physical and being classified 1-A, knowing the draft lottery would be too late to avoid the draft.

In preparation to starting basic training I went to the barber and got an "approved" military haircut, but after getting to basic training at Lackland, AFB, outside San Antonio, TX, they gave me another haircut which I had to pay.

Yeah, that's the rule, but something struck a dischord against the authoritarian manner how the rule was applied, and while I got through basic training just putting my head down and minding my own business to get through it, the feeling never went away.

I was not cut out for any organization that was so authoritarian. Later in my military service I went through the initial proceedings to determine if they should initiate the court-martial proceedure against me for making an off-hand comments to a senior NCO who was in another organization.

I won't comment on what I said, but a full colonel, the unit commander, who had 2 years in Vietnam, represented me, and they decided against the court-martial process, but imposed a 6 month ban for consideration for promotion, which I accepted because I didn't qualify for the cycle to be promoted.

The irony there was that I did make the next cycle for promotion, unfortunately I would be discharged before I could actually be promoted, but then the same people offered me the promotion and a $10,000 bonus to re-enlist because almost all the lower rank NCO's in the unit were leaving. Hey it was the early 1970's.

Anyway, I went on to get the degrees on the GI Bill and have a good, but could be better, career with USGS, but I never lost the "Question Authority" attitude I had, even when I retired, choosing my own date than being forced to accept one made by my boss.

You see my boss threatened to demote and reassign me for disagreeing with him over my job performance. I always had excellent evaluations and promoted as soon as I was eligible, but I got a boss who was 15 year younger and never worked in the part of the USGS I spent my career.

Yeah, old senior technical, often supervisory, manager with a new, inexperienced senior manager. Not a good fit for me, and we always disagreed over my job and work, which I had been doing and was respected by regional and headquarters, even being on national commitees and an organizational "resource" person.

The issue reached a head when I appealed the evaluation to the region, going over the head of the boss for the water resouces division in the agency in the state. That engaged the ire of our boss too, but the region personnel office reversed the evaluation, changing it to excellent and chastising my bos and our boss for their actions.

His boss had to accept the reversal and apologize for it, or face reprimands for their actions against me. It was a good feeling knowing I won, but it effectively ended my career for the last 2-3 years I had planned to work, but decided to retire earlier on my schedule than theirs.

Anway, after retiring, I joined a few messsage boards to stay connected to a variety of personal interests, and while message boards are often privately run, not Yahoo-type just administered under company rules, I often expressed views counter to the administrator or moderators. Yeah, deja vu all over again.

I'm not outspoken or extremist. I just believe members have the right to question the rules and the moderators and administrators. But they don't think so, and so I got ejected from one message board for proving the hypocrisy of the administrator for allowing some members more freedom of speech than others.

And now I've been effectively censored by another for questioning why a thread on guns and the shooting in Orlando where everyone was civil and respectful was closed shortly after it was started and many members didn't have the chance to post their view.

I posted a general statement against these types of arbitrary decision on the personal judgement of the administrators, which as promptly removed and was sent an e-mail, "this message forum is not a democracy..." And so I posted again with a note I'm taking a hiatus from the board.

And I did the old George Burns and Gracie Allen exit and left the board, but keeping my membership to come back sometime in the future, which is the second time I've left, the last for about 3 years only to find nothing changed when I returned.

And as the old adage goes, there's no third time, because you will almost always succeed, meaning leaving the board by removing my membership which I'm keeping in mind to do if/when return. I only visit it every few weeks so it's not that important to me.

And the exit? At the end of the show there was one short exchange:

George: "Say goodnight Gracie."
Gracie: "Goodnight Gracie."

Yeah, best ending there ever was by two of the best.

Monday, June 20, 2016


Before people get on their political high horse about Islamic extremists hating the US and Americans, let's remember our government has supported corrupt, oppressive governments around the world since WW II, such as the Shah of Iran, Saddham Hussein in Iraq, President Assad in Syria, the Saud family in Saudi Arabia, two presidents in Afghanistan, governments in the Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, President Marcos in the Phillipines, General Pinochet in Chile, governments in Argentina and others in Central & South America, General Park Chung-hee in South Korea, the government of then South Vietnam, etc.
The US has a history of talking democracy but financially and militarily supporting repressive government around the world. We didn’t care about the government’s actions toward their people as long as the country was stable and liked the US government. The CIA often funded coups overthrowing democratically elected government by military force. The DOD often supported those governments with weapons and training to further suppress the people.
This was our foreign policy under Republican and Democratic Presidents and administrations. We talk about democracy but rarely support it, especially when those countries elect governments who don’t like the US government. History is full of examples of this policy, so we don’t have the right to be indignant when we’re held accountable or have the privilege to lie about it. It’s our reality

Saturday, June 18, 2016


The fundamental flaw in the Republican’s foreign policy and about diplomatic relations is that no one fears the US government or our military anymore, and in fact, most enemies love to challenge us and want to fight us, for they know we’re a formidable enemy, but wins, no matter how small, are worth gold in their recruitment and propaganda program. 
They don’t fear our words, they don’t fear our threats and they don’t fear our leaders, regardless of who’s president and which party is in power. Democrats know this, but Republcans ignore it, for they know talking tough is good campaign rhetoric, despite it being meaningless and worthless in reality. It sells to voters and exaggerates our importance in the minds of voters. It’s an illusion. Democrats know this, and Republicans exploit it, because it wins votes, even after the reality proves the rhetoric wrong.
If you don’t believe this, just look at the word where US forces are fighting terrorists. Do you see any enemies fearing the US military? Do you see any of their leaders cowering in fear against our government’s statements? Do you see them running in the face of our military forces? You won’t because they aren’t. It’s that simple. It’s the new world where they have no fear of us or anyone, and will fight anyone to prove it, especially us.

Friday, June 17, 2016


Does Amazon suck or what? Really. I went to buy some nibs for my Wacom Bamboo (2nd gen) stylus. Wacom was out of stock and Amazon was the only major on-line supply store with them in stock. Ok, I order a few packets of 3 nibs per packet, and it comes back I can’t buy it because the order isn’t over $25 and I’m not enrolled in their primier shipping service. 
So I raise the order so it’s over $25 and they charge $8 for shipping for a product that costs all of $2 at most for shipping via USPS. Then it says it can’t complete the order because the product isn’t eligible for shpping. So I order a 2nd generation pen for $9 and the nibs for the stylus I have and the one I ordered.
Ok, it accepts it and still charges $8 for shipping that now costs $3 at most for shipping, but it took it the order and my credit card. At least I get the nibs. And then I do what I always do after buying on Amazon, and recommend to anyone, delete your credit card(s) on your account, so they don’t have it. You may trust them but I don’t because of a bad experience with a third party market company which did a bait and switch on a product that took a month to resolve and credited to my card for the charge. So I always remove it after every confirmed order.
So, to me, that’s why Amazon sucks.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

For What

Today I spent two hours travelling to a doctor’s appointment, to get there early as they demand, and then meet with the doctor for 10 minutes, half of the time was a lecture about what he wanted me to do, dismissing what I came to talk about and get help resolving a medical problem, to hear, “Thank you, follow the advice, and come back in a month.”, and then pointed at the front desk. For what I kept asking myself driving home. For what. Nothing resolved and advice I already know won’t work, but you have to prove it because some doctors don’t want to listen to their patients. They’ve already decided what’s best without hearing them. And for this you pay. For what I keep asking myself.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Just a Thought

The media is calling the mass shooting in Orlando as an act of terrorism, despite the FBI clearing the shooter three times of connections to terrorist groups. He was a devout Muslim who was against homosexuality taught by several, and often extreme, sects of Islam, but no different than many Chrisitan faiths which preach hatred and violence toward LGBT people, especially gay men.
He was offended by gay men, and acted on that hate killing innocent men and women, many who were straight. The club wasn’t the main gay club in Orlando and was frequented by many straight people, some of who were killded or injured. It was, in short, a hate crime, not terrorism. He acted no different than other mass shooters who expressed their hate with a gun, whether it was the Aurora theater, Sandy Hook elementary school or wherever.
While you can argue the San Bernadino shooters were terroristsbecause of their history and actions, the Orlando shooter had nothing in common with them except their religion. The Orlando shooter had more in common with the many mass shooters when you take out race out of the argument.
We have become a country where the media demonizes people of middle and central Asia heritage (his family was from Afghanistan) or Muslim, while they give white people and/or christians a free pass on any connection to terrorism. This is xenophobia, disguised as news, when in fact, the media is creating the news than just reporting it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


The hardest thing when you have a medical condition doctors and specialists can’t identify - meaning no cause, no diagnosis, and no treatment - is being so angry at them you can only take out on yourself for feeling so stupid to trust them to cure the problem and heal you. And you can’t express your anger with them because they can’t, and sometimes won’t, do anything and only treat you worse because you expressed your frustration at the whole medical system and them. 
Don’t they understand and follow the Hypocratic oath to first do no harm, when doing nothing is harm, and to keep trying is what they’re supposed to do, to help the patient become better? So you take your anger out on yourself for feeling so stupid to trust them, and violate the same oath about yourself to yourself, first do no harm, because you’re the only person who’ll listen and understand. They won’t and don’t. 
You’re the only one your anger sees. You’re the one who expresses it and receives it, knowing how misplaced it is, but who else is there? 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Will we get to the day after the election and Hillary Clinton is the president-elect to discover the whole process of the last year-plus was a totally waste of time, energy and money, where the media created news and inflated everything and everyone, the political parties blew more money than any previous election, and the campaigns were the nastiest ever? 
Will the majority of voters and Americans feel completely drained of enthusiasm and interest in politics and only the political geeks were energized by the issues and drama? Will it finally show the whole election process needs major overhaul, not just about money, which can be remedied, but with the time spent, a year and a half gone for what, something that could be done, like all the other countries in the world, in 3-6 months, which would limit the money spent as part of campaign reform?
The question will remain, that was asked back in the summer of 2015, can Congress pass meaningful legislation to reduce the time between the first primary to the convention to 3 months and the general election to 3 months, and only have to put laws in place for complete transparency for all the money spent by political parties, candidate campaigns, issues campaigns, PAC’s and SuperPAC’s, define any money spent on political parties, candidates and issues as covered by the transparency law, require all money and donors be reported openly to the public at least monthly, and require the FEC get the funds to do it job to monitor and report violations.
Can Congress do what the American people and voters want, get it done in a timely, cost-effective manner with full public disclosure of all money, organizations and donors? They can, because it will reduce the time they spend raising money and with meeting lobbyists, but will they, now if ever? The people want it and given the voice, would demand it. It’s time for the people to take back our elections.