I’m going to ramble and rant for a bit here. I really need to stay away from the news… It must be Saturday.

Look, insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence. You have rights, sure. But those rights are to protect you from the government. Not from me. You can say anything you want and the government can’t prosecute you. Me. I may punch you in the mouth, call you an idiot, or sue you for defamation, liable, or just to cost you the price of defending yourself. You can carry a weapon in public, but if you come into my home or onto my property, I can tell you to get the fuck out of my space. Your rights don’t infringe on mine. My rights don’t infringe on yours. You give me my rights, I’ll give you yours, and maybe this world will be better. But really, rather than worrying about rights, maybe the golden rule would be a better way for us to get along. You don’t want me to give you shit, don’t give me shit.

You will successfully unfuck the fucking fuck you fucked when you were trying to unfuck the other fucking fuck you fucked. The number of fucks and unfucks involved is un-fucking-believable.

rattrap2474

I don’t have an issue with politics, political parties, or politicians. What I have an issue with is dishonesty, xenophobia, and science denial. There is just something about either being ignorant of, or simply ignoring, constitutional norms and not caring about the role the U.S.A. plays in a hard and very complicated world that rubs me the wrong way. I choose not to support those who behave like criminals, traitors, and racists. Those things offend me and they should offend you. These people claim to love America, but that’s not a basis for anything. Lots of people love America. Their love of America is not a basis for their actions. The path that we’re on is basically removing our influence on the world, and turning over the power of that influence to other nations that will make different decisions than we will. When we don’t like those decisions, we need to remember that we made the choice to remove ourselves from the process.

Trump needs this pandemic to go away so he can get the economy restarted. So he has social media agents putting forth astroturf movements to reopen America as he announces a miracle cure that will be available “soon.” He doesn’t realize that reopening America right now will result in a second wave, just like with the Spanish Flu. He’d need foresight for that, and he has proven all his life that he refuses to think things all the way through.

Saborlas

This administration is absolutely, provably dishonest. I judge you not for your choice of political party, but for your fanatical support of the demagoguery at play here. We’re looking at a decided lack of morals, ethics, and humanity that reflects very poorly on this country. History will not judge us favorably during these times. Do we really seek to show our greatness by demonizing the press that keeps us informed, holds our politicians to account, and reveals to us the secrets our leaders wish to keep from us? Or is it the blissful ignorance of science denial that will lead us back to the greatness of a time before vaccines, peer review, and the scientific method? Because knowing a thing may tell us we’re wrong, we should therefore seek to not know? This is wrong thinking on such a enormous scale as to be certain to lead us to destruction.

How sad it must be – believing that scientists, scholars, historians, economists, and journalists have devoted their entire lives to deceiving you, while a reality TV star with decades of fraud and exhaustively documented lying is your only beacon of truth and honesty.

@christophurious

So the CDC has come out and said that the virus doesn’t spread as easily from surfaces as they first thought. Does that make them liars and part of the great conspiracy? Nope. That makes them scientists reevaluating the situation based on new research and findings. Besides, who cares about surfaces when this thing is also airbourne and nobody is wearing masks. Probably you’ll suck it in before you stick it in your mouth with a dirty finger. It also sounds like the increased humidity of the summer may not slow it down as much as hoped, given the large percentage of people still susceptible to the virus. You may think it’s over, but I’m not so sure. I think we’ll be living with this for a long time to come. I don’t have any answers to all the issues, but wearing a mask seems like a not unreasonable thing to do.

a scientific theory is not what you think it is

scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not “guesses” but reliable accounts of the real world.

Generally, I’m at the stage in my life where I don’t care enough about whatever you’re all hot and bothered about that I won’t argue with you. I keep myself out of that shit. You want to tell me 1+1=5, you’re absolutely correct. I may even nod along with you. I think you’re an idiot, but I’m not going to engage you on your nonsense. People are going to believe what they believe and I’m not going to change anyone’s mind. This is just me flying my flags. Stay safe. Don’t be a dick. Be good to those you come across. Enjoy the holiday weekend. Later.

I’ve had my first negative experience with an Amazon purchase experience. This is an actual Amazon issue, not a problem with one of their vendors. Which is impressive, given how often I shop on Amazon and how many years I’ve been using them. The issue was resolved, but it was still a thing. Here’s what happened.

I’ve been on Lady Ronn to upgrade her camera for a while now. The Canon Rebel she’s been using is nice enough, but it’s not professional quality and if she’s really going to go for this photography thing she needs something else. Her instructors agree. So, after much brow-beating, badgering, and bullying, I finally got a decision out of her. Which is all I was really waiting for; an excuse to spend gobs of money.

I loaded my Amazon cart up with camera equipment and made my purchases. Which went pretty much as I would expect. Flawless. Except that an hour later I received an email letting me know that there was a problem with my order, the purchase had been rejected, and I needed to change my payment information. Okay. That was my bad. I used the Amazon Store Card and the limit on that card wasn’t enough to cover the cost. I should have used my credit card, but I hadn’t thought about it. I don’t spend sums of money like this very often. And here’s where the problem starts.

There is a handy button on my order to change the payment source. And I have three sources to choose from, but it doesn’t matter which one I choose. Everytime I make a change it won’t take. The screen loads and indicates that the payment source has been changed to the Store Card… which is not what is supposed to be happening. I fought with that for 10-minutes before deciding that it didn’t matter how many times I repeated the process it wasn’t going to change. Because it didn’t!

My next idea was to raise the limit on the Store Card. So, I go to the website, request the increased limit, it gets processed immediately, badda-boom, badda-bing, and I go back to my order page and try again. It still says it has changed the payment source, but it still isn’t changing anything. It’s also not registering the new limit, so it’s still failing. Another 10-minutes of trying to make that work… didn’t.

At this point I was annoyed. Trying to find a customer service number for Amazon did not improve my attitude. Finally, I found a link to a text window that offered me a callback to resolve my issue. And that call was almost immediate, the lady on the phone was helpful and pleasant, everything seemed to be resolved. She told me that I’d get a message if there were any other problems. So I went to bed thinking things were fixed. Not so much.

I checked the order details when I woke the next morning and saw that the $8 screen protector was now paid for and shipping. The camera and the lens… not so much. Change payment source, please. Head explodes!

After cleaning up the mess and digging a bit more into the payment links, I found a place to “retry” a payment type. In case you fat fingered your numbers or made some sort of error while entering a card. With one click I was able to refresh the payment attempt, recheck the card balance, and complete the purchase. Success.

The camera and lens showed up today, but the process of getting them here was not a particularly positive one. Sorry for the long rambling rant. That’s my story. Later.

So I should probably stay away from Facebook. I mean, I usually do and that’s for the best. But I’m seeing a lot of really thinly veiled racism, political ignorance, and other shit that annoys the hell out of me coming from people who should just be better. Having said that, I’m about to piss everyone I’ve ever known off; friends, relatives, coworkers, neighbors, even people who don’t know me, pretty much everyone.
On the president, he got elected and that’s a thing. Okay. I hope it all works out for the best, but it sure looks like a shit storm at this point. Trump is a dirty business man, a slimy celebrity, and now a crooked politician. Yes, he’s rich and successful, but he’s not a good person. Politics aside, he’s just not. All the various scandals and outrages the media keeps pulling out and the outrageous, unexplainable things that Trump does… they’re all centered on one thing. It’s all a diversion and an attempt to take the focus off the fact that he has tripped on his own dick and put himself in a position to be exposed for all history as the worst, most corrupt president ever. The Mueller investigation isn’t a witch hunt, there have been 19 indictments so far and Trump hasn’t even been interviewed yet. It’s an ugly mess, but it’s a real thing.
Veterans, service people, thank you for your service, but remember you served this country. The whole country. Not just the part you agree with. Not just the part you like. Not just the people that look like you or go to your church. The whole country. Don’t use your personal biases and petty hatreds to shade your time in the military with bigotry, prejudice, and distrust. Thirty percent of the serving military is minorities right now. You’re a patriot. We thank you. But you might also be an asshole. Don’t be an asshole.
I know it’s a holiday and I shouldn’t get up on a soapbox today, but… Home of the free. Land of the brave. Every religion. Every color. Everyone can be an American. That’s supposed to include the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Am I ringing any bells here? History? Government class? Anything? Hello!
Based on the census data from July 1,2016 America is 76.9% white. White people get over it, you’re winning. There are more of you than all the other colors combined. Stop acting like you’re the minority and shit isn’t fair. You look like asshats.
Seriously look at this shit, blacks make up 13.3% of the population. Hispanics make up 17.8% of the population. Everyone else you don’t like makes up less than 10%. These are not big numbers. Probably, even if they wanted to (and they don’t) there’s not enough of them to take over. Just let people be people and recognize that given those numbers and human tendencies, they probably have a legitimate set of complaints. The human default is a clannish, tribal protectiveness, but we’re an intelligent race of beings and can work to quash our baser tendencies. And we should. Better, fairer, safer, and more inclusive; these should be our goals.
Sure, I’ll give you that the percentages may be different where you live, but I’d be willing to bet that even where you’re at, you don’t have an accurate idea of the population numbers. White privilege is a thing. It’s a thing because whites are ¾ of the population. They have a lot of influence. It’s real. And all you Christians, you make up 69% of the religious community. The same shit applies to you.
And as long as were talking about things that are annoying me, women make up more than 50% of the population (50.8% to be exact). You know men. You know how people are when they have power and influence. People can seem nice, but really be assholes. Men do a lot of dick-swinging to prove how manly they are and how important they are and how powerful they are. It’s a thing. These women are not in some conspiracy to bring down rich and powerful men. Rich and powerful men are abusing that power. It’s real. I’ve seen it. You’ve seen it. You know you have.
Look, you’re doing well. That’s great. You’re in the majority. Only 30% of the adult population has a bachelor’s degree in this country. The median HOUSEHOLD income is under $60,000. Which, just to put it in perspective means that (making some broad assumptions here with the numbers) 163,383,374 people in this country, the United States of America, who if you added up all their money as a household, are making less (possibly significantly less) than you alone. I don’t want to even get into the numbers for the rich because it’s just covetous greed.
Something like 62% of us think we’re in the middle class, but PEW research says that middle class income ranges from $43,000 to $125,000. Okay, sure. Whatever. That is an incomprehensible range that does not reflect reality. Two parents and a kid or two living on $43k, I bet they don’t feel middle class. The people at either end of that spectrum are living lives so different that they would be unrecognizable to the other side. I’m not advocating that the government redistribute everyone’s income to make things fair, and neither are any of the politicians (despite the fear mongering). But I am saying that there are a whole lot of people who are still struggling to make a living in this country and we should maybe recognize that the wealthy and the corporations do not have our best interest in mind. And, I just want to say, you don’t hear about a lot of poor politicians.
I recognize that this is becoming a rambling mess and that I can’t be bothered to do much editing to it, so I’ll wrap it up with this. America was founded by white, male, Christians. Who cares. Everybody has to be something. That’s what they were. But while they were all flawed individuals, just like you and I, the language they decided on—agreed to in compromise and put down in writing—embraced some very important ideas. Ideas that things can, and should, be better.
Freedom of speech. Where you can say whatever you want without fear of government persecution. But this does not free you from the opinion your words may engender in your neighbors.
Freedom of religion. You can be whatever religion you want. But don’t expect your beliefs to be those of your neighbors. You may love Jesus, but I don’t give a shit, I don’t want to hear about it. Probably, your Muslim, Jewish, and Wiccan neighbors just want you to stop telling them they’re going to hell and looking disapprovingly at them.
Lastly, no body gives a shit how things used to be. Times change. Ideas evolve. Ideally this will work to make the country and the world a more open, accepting, friendly place. Get over your shit and start working on making that happen.
Enjoy your holiday. Have a hotdog and a beer. Spend some time with the family. Kick off the summer with a bash. But recognize and remember all those who have given their lives for you and for your country. And recognize that all the brave men and women in uniform today are in danger of being on that list next Memorial Day. That’s what the holiday is about. Honor and Remember.