Friday, May 26, 2017

FIFA 2016 and Failure in Life

This is a bit of a weird post, but it’s something I’ve had to grapple with to some extent over the last year or so. Naturally, the idea came while playing FIFA 2016. In the game, they have career mode where you can start a game as a coach and manage a team or as a player and just be some person. In player mode, you create a person, design them to your liking, and then play as just them. It’s weird and I don’t like it as much, but I digress. In character mode, you specify things down to what your eyebrows look like as well as the birthday of the player. The birthday, however, is something only editable down to the month and day, but you cannot change the year. In this game, the birth year is set as 1997… and that bothered me.

In 1997, I was ten years old. I think that, deep down, I was frustrated that I was never going to be some all-star soccer player (not that I had a shot in hell anyway), but, on a greater level, it’s the realization that the odds that I’m going to do something great are somewhat diminished. I’ve joked before that turning a year older is annoying because I haven’t figured out my superpower yet. Think about it, pretty much every superhero which just GETS powers (Spider-Man, for example) does so when they’re a kid. This whole thought process led me to a weird conclusion: if I was going to do something fantastic or amazing, I have a strong feeling that I would have either done it by now or would be on my way to doing that right now. Not to say that it won’t happen. I know that there are a lot of celebrities who did amazing things for the first time further on in their lives.

When I was 16 years old, I remember thinking I would become a doctor and all that jazz. If you went back to 16 year old Chip and asked him what he thought 29 year old Chip would be doing right now, he’d probably say that he’d be a doctor, he’d have a wife and kids, he’d be living in a house, and he’d have a dog. WOW. Looking back on that, 16 year old Chip was a f*cking idiot. But having this revelation as to what I thought I’d be when I was 29 was a really interesting step for me. To this day, I’ve always felt like I was going to be better than I currently am. I think that, deep down, a lot of this residual feeling comes from some expectation I had for life when I was 16. Why do I compare my current self against what my 16 year old self thought I’d be doing at this time. My 16 year old self had absolutely no sense for what the world would be like, let alone my career path. I’ve had some inkling that I was some sort of failure because I didn’t get that wife, kids, house, and the dog. In reality, I think it’s a ridiculous idea to have. My 16 year old self didn’t know jack-sh*t and, in all reality, I love where I’ve ended up. I don’t want to be a doctor. I don’t want to be married. I don’t want kids. I SUPER want a dog, though. That sh*t is on me.

I guess the point of this is that I think it is weird how I have held on to random bits of my past and treated that as a success. There’s that ridiculously dumb saying of “Shoot for the moon. If you don’t make it, you’ll still land among the stars.” Personally, I hate that saying. It’s cataclysmically dumb. I do believe in shooting for the moon, but make sure you have a viable target planet for landing if you miss the moon. Drifting in space for an eternity is something we should leave to satellites and sh*t like that.

So I keep holding on to some idea of what success is from my past without giving much credence to where I’ve ended up. Like, randomly taking inventory of my own life (which is a weird thing to say), I’m pretty happy with where I am and everything. I mean, my job is the most stressful thing I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing, but I still enjoy where I am. I guess, in the end, perfection is a moving target. I tried so hard as a kid to focus on WHAT I would be rather than HOW I would be. Projecting what will make you happy down the road is an almost impossible task and it’s definitely something I’m coming to terms with as I get older. It’s just working to keep an open mind and focus on the HOW rather than the WHAT.

But seriously, I wanna get a dog.

Hugs and kisses,

Chip

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Texas?!



I took a break from writing for a long time… Like, longer than I ever have before. I guess that came as a result of a variety of reasons. I think somewhere along the line I forgot about how therapeutic writing could be for me. I originally used this as a bizarre form of a social experiment to see what I WOULD write about more so than anything. It was inspired by this guy who lived across the hall from me during my freshman year of college. Little did I know then that this guy would end up being my roommate for the last two years of college and a great friend with whom I still keep in touch. Regardless, I digress.

It was about a month ago when that same college friend reminded me of The Phish Pond and some of the stories I used to write about. Given the wide array of changes in my life, I thought it’d be nice to take up the hobby again.

I’ll skip to the gritty of it; I have left the state of Kansas… I have to say it’s one of the weirdest feelings of my life. I spent four years in college in Omaha, Nebraska but otherwise I’ve spent my life in Kansas. Like, 25 of 29 years spent in Kansas… and now I’m moving to Texas. I thankfully was able to find a job down in Texas which was essentially the same as the one in Kansas with a boatload more responsibility. We’ll see where this goes.

But holy mother of tacos, this place is extremely different from Kansas. I mean, I came down here expecting this to be some sort of adventure, kind of like a hastily-done, mildly interesting sequel to a movie that did surprisingly well. But yeah, I had these preconceived notions about Texas. Like what people were like, the kind of things that happened, and the general demeanor of the state. After living here for a third of a year, I can honestly say that I was pretty much spot on with that. I don’t want to say it, but stereotypes exist for a reason. Texas is Texas and they do Texas things with Texas people and if you don’t like it then you can go f*ck yourself.

They have more pickup trucks than they can count and more guns than pickup trucks. Oh, and big f*cking flags. I had a funny conversation with my parents when they came down here to help me move. They were getting close to my apartment, but didn’t know exactly where it was… I realize that my generation is overly dependent on navigation apps on phones, but c’mon mom and dad. You’re using navigation and I’ve only lived here for 3 days. Do the math. But when they were getting close, they asked me if the big American flag meant that they were close to my apartment. Yes. Totally. Absolutely. If you’ve found the big flag, you’re practically here. It’s actually insanely convenient because the state legislature passed the Patriotic Limitations Act of 2004 where there can only be one big American flag in the state of Texas. Super handy that it’s right outside my apartment… Sorry. Sarcasm. All flags are big here. Every. Single. One. I’m not talking like the size of a pickup truck. I’ve seen some that are easily the size of football fields. Patriotism is very much a thing here and if you don’t like that then you are a terrorist.

People have very strong opinions here. I am NOT talking about Pepsi versus Coke (which I’m sure is a raging battle anyway because if there’s something about which Texans can argue, by golly they’ll go at it). But I don’t know of anyone who is ambivalent towards anything. Like, people feel like they need to take a side on everything. I mean, the state’s motto is “Friendship,” but I feel like, in some respects, it’s more of a “Look, I know you didn’t ask for my opinion… but I’m going to tell you anyway.” “If you are not with me, then you are my enemy.” That was either said by a Texan or by Anakin Skywalker. Or both? I dunno. Maybe Anakin was a Texan. Or… maybe Texans are Sith Lords… oh sh*t. What are your thoughts on guns? Immigration? Marijuana? Pizza Hut or Dominos? Trick question because they’re both garbage. Which leads me to my next point.

There is a very popular phrase down here, to “Keep Austin Weird.” We don’t need to “keep Austin weird.” Austin is plenty weird. I moved here from Lawrence, a very liberal town in a very conservative state. I moved to Austin, a very liberal town in a very conservative state. So I guess I’m feeling a little more at home, but Austin is trying to appeal to the millennial population. Austin USED to be a much more hippie kind of place in Texas, from what I can gather, but things have changed. Austin has attracted a TON of tech companies and lot of them have set up regional headquarters in this area. Apple is one of them. While to many people this would be seen as a good thing, a lot of the hardcore Austin-ites are very against the tech companies moving in. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with how tech companies changed the bay area or if they’re just upset because the local goat’s milk vendor isn’t doing that well at the farmer’s market after the unpasteurized milk gave a boat load of people campylobateriosis infections… I dunno. Either way, with the culture of a tech city moving in, there has been an equally strong counter-culture that has come into play, birthing the “Keep Austin Weird” campaign. And it’s a small number of wildly adamant soldiers who are trying their hardest to scream the loudest and keep Austin as a town of people that celebrate the finer things in life, like campylobaterisosis infections.

People over-share… and I don’t mean online. Like, I feel as though you can’t get into a quick conversation with anyone in Texas. Not to say that there’s anything bad with that. I love talking to random people on the street. I just think that, in some respects, many people don’t have a filter. You’ll get into a conversation with someone and, within 5 minutes, you’ll know all their medical history, the reason they can’t eat green beans EVER AGAIN, and their top three most irrational fears. It’s super bizarre. Either way, it’s nice that people are willing to talk, but I can’t spend 45 minutes talking about your car accident that happened 7 years ago and how it causes you back pain when it rains… I just want you to scan my groceries.

Austin does have a cool scene, though. I don’t want to bash the place I live in too badly. I will be honest about it. Austin is a city where a bunch of people sat down and decided that they were going to try everything. I feel as though it’s a city where nothing is done exceptionally well, but a ton of things are good. The problem is that, with an expanding food scene and a bunch of people trying to make their mark, you HAVE to be weird. Are you looking for an Asian fusion restaurant that has an Irish flair? They’re probably got it. I just worry that, with so many people, restaurants, and organizations wholly embracing the extremes, there’s nobody left in the middle. Like, if I just want a cheeseburger, I don’t know if I know where to go… Except for Whataburger, which is really not as good as all my Texas friends made it out to be. It’s decent, but it’s just a standard fast-food joint. There, I said it.

I’ll try to keep up the posting and maybe something will come out of this. For now, you all be good.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Undershirts

When I first started this website in the second semester of my freshman year of college, I never thought I’d write about something so inane… yet here I am.

Christmas has come and gone and I must say that I enjoyed it. Spending time with family and such was good, but, as it always happens, really thought-provoking conversations surfaced. My most pointed one was on the topic of undershirts.

Every year, my mom asks us what we want for Christmas and my list is always random. I really can’t think of anything. My brothers, on the other hand, always seem to have a good idea of what they want. When I was perusing the list my brother had created, I noticed that he asked for a specific undershirt. I will repeat that. He asked for an UNDERSHIRT. Confused as all get-out, I went to the website of the manufacturer and read the pompous overblown bullcrap that was on the website. I’m sorry, maybe it’s just me, but if you’re spending your time bragging about how amazing your undershirt is, you might need to rethink your life… and ya know… maybe make some friends and go outside. But that’s another story. The manufacturer, Mr. Davis, boasts it has made “quite possibly the world’s best undershirt.” It gives a breakdown of the anatomy of the perfect undershirt and explains why they are superior and why their product will change your life forever. Let me make a paragraph break so I can collect my thoughts.

I have a doorstop next to the door in my office. It’s a small wedge of wood that keeps the door open and nothing else. It is far from anything which could be considered fancy, but it gets the job done. If I had a high-class, expensive, white collar doorstop, would I feel like I have more fulfilment in my life? Probably not. Would I sit there and think about the harsh days where I had to slave with my old wedge of wood which has tons of notches in it, denoting heavy use over the years? Absolutely not. Why don’t I have such pride in my doorstop? Because it’s a f*cking doorstop. I honestly can’t say that I have high expectations for my doorstop. “Do you hold my door open? Are you sized appropriately for your task so that others will not trip over you? Perfect.”

While I don’t understand the whole bit of the best undershirt, I got them for my brother because they were something he is really passionate about. Oh, if only undershirt problems were at the top of my life of things in my life I needed to get straightened out… Regardless, when he opened the poorly-wrapped gift (I suck something awful at wrapping), he got excited. I then decided this was going to be my best opportunity to figure out what’s so special about these shirts. Looking back on it, I really wish I didn’t ask what the big deal was… I only saw white collar problems… In all honesty, he repeated the bonuses listed in the “anatomy of the perfect undershirt.” 1) Color: the shirt won’t show under light-colored shirts 2) Fabric: It’s made of 96% bamboo and 4% spandex… I sh*t you not… 3) Neckline: the V-neck of the shirt goes below the collar for a button-up shirt so it won’t show. The collar is also flat enough to be worn under crew collars. 4) Cut: the shirts are tapered to minimize bulk and maximize comfort (I don’t 100% know what this means. I just assume it’s marketing bullsh*t). 5) Tuck: the shirts are longer in the back so they stay tucked in. WOW. Those days where we had to slave away with our cotton undershirts were just hellish. I can’t imagine going back there and being forced to wear cotton undershirts. Next thing you know, they’ll take away our quinoa and kale and we’ll be forced to eat like peasants.

Anyway, after this conversation with my brother, he said I should try it on. I threw it on and I gotta say… I didn’t give a flying monkey’s nutsack. I’ve never felt so inconvenienced by an undershirt that I thought it necessary to spend $25 per shirt. Seriously, they’re $25 each. I think my brother could tell that I wasn’t really sold on the idea of the expensive bamboo shirt so he kept singing its praises. I then got into the internal discussion of the hellish world where my brother lives. Clearly, he lives in a world where you will be mocked mercilessly for wearing your peasant garb cotton undershirt. That must be a rough world to live in if that kind of stuff is happening to you on a constant basis. Fear not, though. For every made-up problem, there is a bullsh*t solution. Now we just need them to leave our quinoa and kale alone.

Hugs and kisses,
Chip

Monday, November 24, 2014

Let Me Just Stop You Right There

Recently, there’s been a big stink in Kansas. For those of you not up-to-date with Kansas politics (which is probably a vast majority of you), I’ll fill you in. For those of you who didn’t think anyone lived in Kansas (which is probably a fair amount of you), yes, we have a few people over here. For those of you who don’t know where Kansas is, I can’t help you. See Google.

So we have this governor guy, Sam Brownback (R). He has made some decisions during the last four years of his governorship which not a lot of people agree with. These decisions that he’s made are an attempt to balance the budget. While I’m sure it’s a no brainer, the government should not spend more money than it is bringing in. If that IS the case, there are two options, make more money or spend less money. If the state wants to make more money, the main way they do this is to raise taxes. If the state wants to spend less money, they start trimming government programs and such. In the last four years, Brownback attempted to cut money from the budget to help everything balance. I can’t say exactly how much was cut, but to put it in perspective, the courts stepped in to say that the amount by which the state cut funding was unconstitutional. I’ll give you a moment to let that sit in. Oh, did I mention that Brownback was reelected into office this month? I was under the impression that a used tube of chap-stick could beat Brownback, but I guess that wasn’t the case.

Regardless, Kansas is economically experiencing some, ah, let us say “tough times.” Because the funding cuts to education were deemed unconstitutional, Kansas needs to come up with the money and balance the budget PRONTO. As said before, we either have to make more money or spend less. One of the measures that’s pretty much continuously on the table is to end the tax breaks for the wealthy. Kansas is a very red state with two blue splotches (Wichita and Lawrence). So, because two of the most populous cities are blue, there is a certain level of balance in terms of politics.  This keeps the tax breaks issue pretty much always on the board. Ending tax breaks would increase taxes for the wealthy, which would generate money for the state. By the same token, if the taxes are that outrageous, there’s not much keeping the wealthy people in Kansas. I mean, we live in a society where a certain individual (and by that I mean me) would go to Missouri to buy gas when I lived in Kansas City because gas was $0.07 cheaper per gallon.

Kansas used to be the aviation capital of the universe. While it’s still impressive (and Wichita State has one of the best aeronautical engineering programs in the region), many manufacturers are not in Kansas anymore. Like, I remember growing up that Raytheon, Boeing, and pretty much every other manufacturer had colossal airplane manufacturing facilities all around the east side of Wichita. Now, not so much. Especially around election time, candidates will talk about how they want to bring business to Kansas (without giving much in terms of a plan as to how this will happen… I’m looking at both parties here). How can we focus on getting bigger businesses here without creating an atmosphere for Kansas being nice towards businesses? I mean, yeah, land, rent, utilities, and the like are cheap as balls, but it’s KANSAS. I’ve lived here for 22 of my 27 years of my life; it’s magical and awesome, but it’s still Kansas. Public opinion of Kansas outside Kansas isn’t too magical. Most people associate us with Dorothy from “Wizard of Oz” or will crack a joke about Fred Phelps. Ugh. But I digress.

Now that Kansas is revamping the term for Brownback, there’s a lot of turning heads as to how Kansas will balance the budget. I mean, I feel like Kansas balancing the budget is kinda like the US paying off the national debt. We can talk about how it should happen and try to make strides in that direction, but I don’t have any expectation for anything to get done. Sorry, politics, but you don’t seem to promising when it comes to creating any kind of bipartisan resolution. In the spirit of getting ideas as to what people think Kansas could do to help balance the budget, they asked a few major politicians, like the heads of the Senate and House. Let me introduce a man named Ray Merrick, the Speaker of the House for the State of Kansas. He was first elected into the House in 2000 and was elected as Speaker of the House in December 2012. He’s from Smith, Alberta, Canada, though, which I did find interesting.

Recently, a reporter from the highly-acclaimed Wichita newspaper, The Wichita Eagle, asked about what Kansas could do to help balance the budget.  If Merrick was a good politician, he would give some basic no-shine answer and walk away. Don’t give specifics because, in all reality, you’re going to piss someone off to no end. Well….. luckily for us, he wasn’t in the walk-away mood and went off.the.handle. I’ll provide his DIRECT QUOTE as to how we could help balance the budget.

“Government employees produce nothing. They’re a net consumer. And you got that cost forever and ever and ever because they’re on the KPERS (pension) plan, they’re on all the government insurance and everything,” Merrick said. “That is employment to Democrats. Hire more (government employees). And that was Kathleen; she’d brag about her employment number, ‘Oh, I got a lot of people employed.’ Yeah, you got a lot more government employees employed. That doesn’t stimulate the economy.”

No, Representative Merrick, tell me how you really feel. Well, you can imagine the never-ending sh*tstorm this produced. This quote was picked up by a group (I don’t know if they’re a labor union or whatever), but they plastered this quote all over the news and now this guy is being harpooned from every angle. Personally, I think that it was an extremely ill-advised statement and the kind of thing that almost guarantees you don’t get reelected. I mean, I wouldn’t put it on par with the “legitimate rape” comment from the dude from Missouri, but it’s not lagging too far behind.

Why do I think he said it? Again, the answer lies in politics. So before the Republican leadership in the governor’s position, we did have a Democrat for a bit by the name of Kathleen Sebelius. She served as the governor for Kansas between 2003 and 2009. She ended her term in office when she was promoted to the US Secretary of Health and Human Services in 2009. When she was in office in Kansas, she created a lot of government jobs. In today’s world, your politics don’t matter as much as your affiliation. It’s sad to say, but if you have a political newcomer who comes out with the only platform of undoing everything that the previous opposition administration created, you actually have a good chance of winning. It doesn’t matter what the program was. By showing that you won’t stand for something created by the opponent, you’re going to get some traction. Right before the quote I mentioned before, Merrick blasted Sebelius with this statement:

He said that former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius “spent money like a drunken sailor” and argued that government jobs do not contribute to the health of the state’s economy.

I honestly think that it’s just an unfiltered political die-hard who wanted to say something moderately controversial.

But this raises a really important point. There is a translation for every bit of his statement. I’ll break it down for you.

            “Government employees produce nothing.” – I have no clue what government employees do.

            “They’re a net consumer.” – I don’t understand how government employees are paid.

“And you got that cost forever and ever and ever because they’re on the KPERS plan, they’re on all the government insurance and everything.” – I don’t understand how the government pension plan works.

“That is employment to Democrats. Hire more. And that was Kathleen; she’d brag about her employment number, ‘Oh, I got a lot of people employed.’ Yeah, you got a lot more government employees employed.” – I just want to make a political stance against the opposing political party.

“That doesn’t stimulate the economy.” – I don’t understand how the economy works.

In reality, I feel like an unwarranted attack against the opposing political party is kinda like a “bro” making “bro jokes” to his other “bros.” Like a guy wanting to fit in with his “bros” so he makes some comment about getting drunk, watching sports, blowing stuff up, or some off-color joke in order to gain favor with others in the group. “Maybe if I make a joke objectifying women, they’ll accept me as one of their own.” That wasn’t a dig at a political party, but rather the pervasive “bro” culture, which is detestable.

When Merrick says government employees don’t produce anything, I’m pretty offended. Government employees are actually fairly great in number. Furthermore, it’s not like we are all in one field. Technically, anyone who is on public payroll is a government employee. This includes infectious disease epidemiologists, childcare licensing supervisors, teachers, firefighters, police officers, and (oh yeah) politicians. State government employees are in place for a very specific purpose. If someone is willing to put forth some kind of comment that they produce nothing, it goes to show that he doesn’t understand the gravity of what he’s saying. I don’t honestly think that he thinks government employees produce nothing, but rather that he was just speaking from the tip of the tongue and didn’t think about what he said before he said it. As my grandpa would say, “Diarrhea of the mouth, constipation of the brain.”

By him saying that they’re a net consumer and don’t stimulate the economy, I treat that like filler words. It doesn’t mean anything, but rather provides a bridge between thoughts. I mean, we’ve all heard the political bullsh*t occasionally where someone talks about someone wanting to create jobs. Of course we want to create jobs. Can you think of any politician who would/could/did successfully run on a platform of us creating fewer jobs? State employees are… well… employees. We go to work and make money. We go home and spend money. And that, Merrick, stimulates the economy. If you’re really concerned with the stimulation of the economy, you’d really want everyone to have money. When people have money, they spend money. Cutting government employees is just going to put more people out of work and having more people unable to spend money. That is a problem for Kansas’s struggling economy. Going further, this also shows he doesn’t know how our funding works. A lot of government employees, especially those who work at the health departments, are funded solely through grant money.

As for the argument that we’re on KPERS forever and ever and ever (his words, not mine), a portion of my paycheck goes into the KPERS system every pay period. I put a fair amount of money into that. I really don’t think it’s up to a politician as to how my pension works when I’m only taking home a chunk of what I make.

It is worth noting that, since the original article, Merrick has faced a verbal thrashing from every corner of the everything. His office has released a statement that his comments were “poorly phrased and poorly contextualized.” While I do agree that they were poorly phrased, the fact that the original article was a direct quote from him and everything, I’m not giving him an out by saying it was taken out of context. If he just admitted that what he said was ridiculously stupid and ill-advised, I would brush it off.

Am I upset at Merrick? Not really, no. He just said something in the heat of the moment and it was extremely ill-advised. We’ve all said incredibly stupid things. The benefit to being one of us normal Kansas folk is that we rarely ever have a microphone in our face to collect our every thought. Yes, he will face backlash for saying these things and certain labor union people will freak out and have some murderous response to this, but I just hope that people can take this for what it is: an ill-informed “bro” talking to his “bros” about “bro stuff.”

Hugs and kisses,
Chip

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Midterms Election And The Cyclical Nature Of The World

Midterm elections happened the other day and they pretty much ended up as I had thought they would. While the Republican party only needed 6 seats to catch up in terms of taking control of the Senate, there was a resounding surge in Republican voting. In all honesty, Republicans gave Democrats a moderate beating at the polls and it happened pretty much across the country. We woke up this morning to the news blaring from every corner that the Democrats had faced a thrashing and Republicans not only maintained control of the house, but they also grabbed control of the Senate. In all reality, no surprise there.

First of all, here’s something to think about: our LAST FOUR 2-TERM PRESIDENTS, Eisenhower to Bush Jr., finished their term in office without either the House or Congress majority. I’ll especially drive home the point that our last 2-term president, George W. Bush, received a similar spanking in the polls back 8 years ago. People call it a second term midterm presidential curse, but I don’t think that this should be anything of a curse, but more how public opinion shifts. The fervor with which we support a politician or political party is going to wane, naturally. While people were shouting “Yes, we can” from the rooftops 6 years ago when Obama won the election, people are a little less convinced of the change which can be brought in the last two years of his presidency.

It’s interesting when I think about the trains that Republican (and some Democratic) politicians would run with for these midterm elections. There was a fair amount of “I’m not Obama” coming from Democratic senators and representatives coming out of purple or red states. In the state of Kansas, which is predominantly red, Republicans were really linking Democratic politicians to Obama. The campaign that so many of them ran on was If-you-vote-for-X-you’re-casting-a-vote-for-Satan. What were the main individual issues on which people were attacking the Democratic party? Ebola? ISIS? Affordable Care Act? IRS Scandal? NSA? Surprisingly enough, I don’t think I heard a SINGLE mention of the NSA in any political ad. Either way, there were plenty of issues to tackle.

Of course I have my opinions on the matters, but things are far from easy to run with when it comes to political environments. We don’t see things on the face value of the issues. What we look for is the scapegoat. Who is the highest up person to blame and how can we uproot the system to create something new? People have done this since..... forever. I know it was happening in 2006 just like it’s happening now. I can’t even begin to say how many things George W. Bush was blamed for which probably were only minimally under his control. When we look at what’s coming of the world NOW, we see things Obama was blamed for which probably aren’t really under his control either. Because of my field, I’ll discuss Ebola virus.

When it comes to Ebola, it’s really a sticky situation in which NOBODY is going to be happy. You really have several differing opinions and while they’re only marginally substantial, they’re all focusing on the wrong issue. With individuals coming back to the U.S. after being around individuals who are positive for Ebola virus, there has come the argument as to whether or not they should be quarantined for 21 days (for those of you who don’t know, 21 days is the incubation period for Ebola virus infection). If you decide to not quarantine them, people come to the opinion that it puts the public at risk and so-and-so politician doesn’t care about the American people. Then you take the situation that the nurse in Maine was experiencing. She came back from that area, was working with individuals who were positive for Ebola virus, and was refusing to obey the quarantine orders. If you make her stay in that individual quarantine area, you’re not respecting the individual rights of American citizens and so-and-so politician doesn’t care about the American people. Ugh. Makes my head spin.

There are two sides to every coin. I just hope that the American people were voting on the individual issues and not just as a knee-jerk reaction to get the flying hell away from the Democratic party. With the division of partisan politics, America really has been in this endless swaying motion towards one party and away from the other only to lose their balance and start having to sway back. Of course, we overcorrect and put our faith in politicians with an ideology more in line with party politics and things don’t always work out. To be honest, this is partly why I don’t like the two-party system. I know I’ve ranted about this before so I’ll leave this one alone.

As always, I’m optimistic about the future. I’ll always give some political party/movement a shot before I pass judgment (except maybe the Tea Party). If you go in the future 4, 8, 25, or 50 years from now, I’m sure America will still be around. Even if we’re not around, I doubt it’ll be because so-and-so politician got reelected. In all honesty, America is too big to let one politician or even one subset get enough momentum on their crazy whack-a-doodle plan to have it get traction. Moving the entire country requires everyone to pull together on something. Because the likelihood that something like this is going to happen anytime soon is slim-to-none, I am far from concerned that the country is going to do something radically stupid. The problem is that, by the same token, the odds that we’re going to do something ground-breakingly amazing are about the same.

In the end, I think the traditional Republican party is full of bad ideas but they follow through on all of them. The  traditional Democratic party is full of great ideas and they don’t follow through on any of them.

They are strong because of one another.

Le sigh.

Hugs and kisses,
Chip