T-rev's Blog

36 2011-08-17 12:36 Ron Paul rant


thank you, jon stewart. and wtf, "mainstream news media".


any time somebody in washington is willing to talk some sense (and back it with their votes in congress, and btw ron paul is not the first, though he is one of the best in my lifetime), they get discounted because they're out of the mainstream. hello?! the mainstream sucks! freaking party line republicans and democrats digging the hole not just deeper but faster. is ANYBODY still satisfied with the status quo our federal government?

when i voted for ron paul last time around (in the primary, which he didn't win) i had people telling me it's a wasted vote because "he can't win" because he's not mainstream. folks, A.) mainstream sucks, B.) "he can't win" doesn't have to be true; it's a (collectively) self-fulfilling prophecy. all we have to do for it to stop being true is stop saying it.

seriously, people.

just look at what's going on! it's been clear for a long time that real change is needed, and it's become exponentially more clear lately.

WHAT THE HELL IS IT GOING TO TAKE for people to stop the self-fulfilling self-destruction and start voting on principle? voting for principled candidates, not crafty politicians!

PLEASE, folks, please don't be duped into voting for more of the same. Ron Paul may be a "republican" but he is not a party-liner. you can certainly vote for him on principle. heck, at this point, i'd say you can even vote for him pragmatically as the best chance we have of saving this grand experiment.

please, plan to vote, and vote for the best. please look into ron paul.


32 2008-11-03 00:00 A word about the upcomin'

The other day I was talking to my mom about the presidential election. I asked if she thought a person ought to vote for the candidate they believed to be best or for the lesser candidate who stood more chance of winning. Her stance--or at least her reasoning for it--was the pragmatic one: that a vote for anyone other than the two major party nominees was a vote wasted.

I have been leaning the other way. There is a lot I like about both MPNs (major party nominees). Obama is very inspirational and has some good goals. (Of course, his strategy for reaching those goals is debatable.) McCain is an American hero and seems very principled, not one to go along with the crowd. (A McCain-Lieberman ticket, or Lieberman-McCain would have been totally awesome to think of, a bipartisan pair of rebels.) But I really can't back either one of them wholeheartedly.

I've never affiliated myself with a party, so I had never participated in a primary until this year, when I decided on principle I needed to go vote for Ron Paul. I thought it was "my one chance" to vote for him, assuming at the time that I'd take the pragmatic route and pick one of the two MPNs later.

But now I think I will write in Ron Paul. The line of reasoning that it's a waste to vote for other than the MPNs assumes too much. Basically, it assumes that we know from the polls who's going to win. But if we already know that, then my vote is wasted anyway, as far as actually deciding the winner of the election. Even from the pragmatic standpoint, I might as well use my vote for something else, say, helping legitimize a third party.  Or making a statement.  Or just taking a stand.  (Or, heck, electing the right candidate.)

I say down with the defeatist attitude of picking the lesser of two evils. Everyone should vote for someone they can really get behind. Actually, everyone should vote for Ron Paul.

The reason our government is a mess is that we have two dumb political parties that are too alike and don't do what they say they stand for. If you are voting for just another Democrat or Republican, you're part of the problem. It is your fault. So don't do it anymore.

Now, it would be disingenuous of me to deny the partial validity of my Mom's point of view. I guess if you live in a state where the race is close, it's easier to see my stand on principles as a wasted vote. The winner of my state's electoral votes is supposedly a foregone conclusion, so I don't have to worry as much about "making my vote count".

But I say again, it doesn't have to be this way. The only reason it has been this way is that everybody says, "well, everybody is going to do this, so I might as well do it too." Maybe tomorrow everyone will vote their conscience. It could happen.

Anyway, specifically about Ron Paul:

Faithful, consistent, principled.

He was a flight surgeon in the Air Force.
He is an obstetrician who has delivered more than 4000 babies.
Still married to his wife; they have five kids.

He has served in Congress since the 1970s. (Between 1984 and 1997 he returned to his medical practice.)
In all that time, his record is consistent (these points from ronpaul.org):

The man practices what he preaches, and I think he has it right.  Ron Paul.

So, update: I'm told that I, the uninformed citizen, actually do not have the option to write-in my vote in this state. I have also learned that Ron Paul has endorsed Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party. That's good enough for me.

8 2004-12-08 11:58 traffic lights

finally (for now), here's an easy way we could make the world a slightly better place. at night, traffic signals should flash. some here used to, but no more. i suppose it's just easier to have them always function the same way.

i frequently drive at night and find it silly that i'm expected to sit through a traffic signal's cycle that is optimized for rush hour when there is not another car in sight. i sort of think "traffic lights" should only be in force when there is actually traffic. the purpose of traffic lights is twofold: safety and traffic flow. why should it be against the rules to run a red light if neither safety nor traffic flow is compromised? i always try to drive safely, of course. but why waste gas (thus increasing pollution), brake pads, and my time for nothing? i don't necessarily think we need to change the traffic law, but i don't necessarily think it's bad to violate the letter of the law if you maintain the spirit.

anyway, here's my idea: many old signals have sensors under the pavement. most all new signals have optical sensors. why not have the lights go to flashing mode after a given length time in which traffic flow is below a given threshold? it seems like this would be easy and very inexpensive to do at the manufacturing phase at least. i suppose it would be less strategic if the sensors were unreliable, since you wouldn't want flashing lights during rush hour due to a failed sensor.

4 2004-12-04 23:58 improvements

1) i like this year's Christmas light setup better than what i did last time. last time it was a single string of white around the top railing of each deck. it was anemic looking, too spread out. this time it's more concentrated. it's almost a little strange to have only such a small part of such a large house lit, but it is the right part, the front entrance. and it has the advantage that it is plugged into the existing light sensor, so it's automatic. the way i used to have it there were two separate sections each on a timer, and the timers would occasionally require resetting. one advantage of the other way: it was unobtrusive (also relatively inconspicuous except for the extension cords in front), so i left them up for over 2 years (3 christmasses)--more effort-efficient. these will have to come down after christmas. but overall, i like it a lot better.

2) two weeks ago i checked out a book from the (public) library for the first time in a long time. i got unfinished tales of númenor and middle earth (basically more details on the world of lord of the rings, compiled and commented on by j.r.r. tolkien's son). but what's up with having to return it in only 2 weeks. i read a couple hundred pages (pretty good for me for two weeks, a lot was over thanksgiving), but had about 300 to go. i wonder what the fine would have been. anyway, they have the option to extend the due date, but not if someone has it on hold, which they did. no one wanted it before, it was just sitting there on the shelf, but as soon as i'm in the middle of it, someone just has to have it. oh well, at least it's not some suspenseful story, just filling in historical/narrative details etc. anyway, the point is they should let you keep the books longer and the world would be a better place.

3) i have hardly played my guitar all year because a) it's in crappy shape, and b) i've had my dad's guitar which is nice and in good shape. in january i finally got the frets leveled, and it seemed a bit better, but still certainly not good. the first and second strings still buzz a lot at most of the frets, especially badly at a few. also, they replaced the bridge (i'm not sure why, but it seems slightly lower on the treble side than another 1997 410 (same make/model/year). it's clearly a plastic bridge instead of the ivoroid one that i had filed to reduce my string breakage. so yeah, $100 for not so much. they didn't change the nut at all, which is the main thing that needs changed to match the lower frets, and the bridge they made even lower which makes the buzz worse. so today i took my guitar apart for the first time. i had never had all the strings off. pulled the bridge out. there's a little shim already on top of the pickup (or whatever you call piezo-electric film things). maybe jake will instruct me. anyway, in a way i'm glad the guitar is old and worn enough now that i'm not afraid to mess with it.