Political Labels: Conservative vs Liberal – Side Notes

 

Side Notes

This is the first post in my “Side Notes” subseries of the broader “Political Series” of posts on this blog. “Side Notes” will be for when I give my flat opinion on an issue that I don’t believe requires a great deal of dissection and debate.

Is it odd that my first post after the “Rights and Role of Government” post is in the “Side Notes” subseries, rather than something like the “Economics” subseries or the “Race” subseries? Yeah, maybe, but I feel this particular topic should be addressed before going forward. Let’s get started, shall we?

Where I Stand Final

There is something pleasing about putting things in a box. By putting something in a box, you know what it is and where it is. It is either safe and treasured, or it can be forgotten and stored away in a closet. It is compartmentalized. Its contents will not mix with other materials. It is clean. Things can’t get messy, and pieces won’t become lost.

This is not too dissimilar from what we feel happens when we define a concept or term. By putting a box around something, we feel we have solidified it in some way. We have control over it. Fortunately or unfortunately, that is not how language works. Instead we find that the box is made of cardboard, and our concepts and ideas are liquid and leaking through.

So when it comes to terms like “Conservative” or “Liberal,” we may feel we have put a really solid definition on these that are immutable. They aren’t messy, surely. There is always air space between them. If a politician or a policy fails to fit the definition, then that just makes them a bad “X.” However, that just doesn’t work. The definitions of these loaded words change from person to person.

When you think of the spectrum of political thought, the two terms that tend to represent the different sides of the middle point are “conservative” and “liberal,” and they are also often referred to as “right” and “left” wing. But what exactly do these two opposites mean?

Continue reading

Rights and the Role of Government – Political Series 1

Blog Segment - The Voters Booth copy

I will begin by once again providing the disclaimer that the political series is my opinion on how things should be, and not necessarily a reflection of the way things are. I say this because it is inevitable that someone will read something they will say is impossible in the current political climate, or unrealistic to change because of who controls the yadda yadda. That’s not my point. I’m merely stating my personal beliefs on the matters at hand as I feel they should be.

That said, please comment! I want to know what you agree with, what you don’t and why. I consider this an evolving set of beliefs, and not something set in stone. I want multiple viewpoints so I can adjust when needed, or polish and strengthen my own beliefs. Without dialogue there is no growth.

It took me a long time to get this particular post off the ground. Not because I had nothing to say. Quite the contrary. Rather, I have been struggling to find ways to organize it and present it concisely. Furthermore, I had originally planned on introducing topics slightly differently. My new plan is to write each post as one of my “Fundamental Political Beliefs” until I have covered the wide variety of topics I set forth at the start of this thing. We’ll see if it all pans out.

No matter. Let’s just get started!

Continue reading

Planning for my Blog and a New Post Series

Hey everyone,

So, while I’ve revived my reviews site (look forward to a review of “The Stanley Parable” sometime soonish) my main site has remained fallow for some time. There are quite a few reasons for this. A lot of my previous material was either gushing over nerdy news or ranting about politics and religious topics. That’s fine and all, but so many other people already do that, often better than I. The Young Turks is a great source for news and political opinion that often (though not always) reflects my own. There is a mountain of entertainment news and opinion sites.

So what can I offer? My personal life is either too personal, or not exactly brimming with entertainment value, and my reviews site is where I give my opinions on the various things I like. So what’s left?

Well… I will be trying a couple of things. Continue reading

A Wedding and some Gaming, a Returning and a Parting

I’m making no bones about it. It has been AGES since I last posted. And I have excuses! Boy do I have excuses, let me list them: Wedding, Honeymoon, Moving in/out,Student Teaching, The Holidays, etc. It’s not like they took up all of my time, but they jammed it packed. And posting about the wedding was a little daunting to me because I wanted to give it justice, but time kept slipping away and…. *sigh*

The fact is, these excuses are not really good enough. It’s time to get my lazy butt back to work, so here is my first new post. I’ve got a lot of ground to cover, of course, but I won’t be going into depth about everything. No need to recount the holidays. No need to look back on the year that was. I’m going to keep it breif-ish, though who knows how long it’ll get once I get to the personal stuff, so let’s get started, eh?

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

So when I say I haven’t blogged in a while, it was actually sort of a lie. I’ve actually kept up blogging through my reviews, which I know doesn’t really count for readersof these posts as much, but hey! I’ll take my bonus points where I can get them. All of my recent reviews have been on video games, which is something of a shame, seeing as how I saw some movies I would have liked to review as well (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Sherlock Holmes 2 being the most notable of these.) But for those of you who live life on the gaming sie, you migth be interested in my reviews of ICO (from the HD PS3 collection), To the Moon, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. It has definitely been a good year for games.

Of course, that’s not all I’ve been playing. League of Legends is something of a habit. Of course that’s largely because it’s one of the main ways I hang out with my friends. But lately there have been some lousy bits that has discouraged me in my time with the game. First off is the fact that two of my friends are more or less tired of it and want to play other things. Now this isn’t so bad, but finding those other things that we all enjoy on a regular basis is difficult. I’m not really an MMO guy, for instance, and the only one I want to try out (Star Wars: The Old Republic) is a monthly payment, which is blah for everyone. I’m kinda hoping the recently announced new additions to the Co-op versus AI mode in League of Legends will draw those friends back. Even if for a little while.

The other major drawback though is that Riot has more or less nerfed Jax a whole lot in the recent rework.

Poor little Jax

It’s not that his new kit an’t do a lot of damage. Goodness yes it can. Pop that steroid ulti and Surge, leap in and clean some clocks. … For six seconds. And if you didn’t already die in those six seconds, you’re pretty much screwed once the buff is gone. The main issue is Jax’s survivability. He has no health bonus, no magic resist and no armor without seriously adjusting his build to practically remove his damage output. I’ve been experimenting with some builds, and I’m getting better results than I’ve feared, but there’s no escaping that Jax just isn’t as viable as he used to be. He’s so item dependent now it isn’t even funny.


And that’s not even taking into account the terrible construction of his Counter Strike ability. The stun is almost worthless for the cooldown time, especially since using the ability telegraphs the oncoming stun 1.5 second before you can actually use it. Any self-respecting player can dodge the stun 75% of the time, and that 25% is because Jax used it before leap-strike, which negates the whole dodge mechanic’s use entirely. – Dyrus said it before, and it’s true. Jax’s kit is hypocritical. Is he an assassin? Is he a brawler? Both and neither. He simply isn’t good enough at either one, and two crappy halves don’t make a complete whole. He’s still playable at least, and I keep trying out new builds. Hopefully they fix some of these problems in the future.

Meanwhile I discovered a new mini passion for minecraft. Building on my single-player fortress was fun, and all, but it’s also lonely and boring at times. So when Scott invited me onto the PandemicCraft server as a villager in Westphalia, I thought it would be a neat way to give the game new life. And let me tell you, it’s working. Now that I have a community to live in, my scope has shrunk (no giant fortresses at the moment) but my artistry has grown. The house I’m building across two plots is going to be really cool when it’s completed. I feel like I own a part of a larger world, now. It’s sort of addicting. This tiny little outpost in the winter biome is steadily growing. There’s a town square. Houses, and an Inn. And somewhere out there is an Empire that is pressuring other settlements to join with them. Thankfully our Baron is tough in the face of such pressures. We Westphalians live free out in the wilderness. ^_^

Part of what makes it all worthwhile is the economy system, where people actually do own pieces of the town, and these towns can expand. And people have jobs and specialties. The Innkeeper and his assistant actually grow food, buy meat off of hunters, and sell it to the villagers and travelers at low cost. It’s fascinating and fun. I think the system needs some expansion, though. It’s far too easy to become rich, with little to show for it. I don’t know if the server’s mod can be modded further or not, but it seems like cool things could be done with it.

Well, I’ve been yammering on about what I’ve been enjoying lately, so let’s take a detour into some less pleasant waters…

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Of course, less pleasant waters doesn’t mean it can’t be funny at the same time. How about those Republican Primaries, eh?

I tell you, watching this circus has been at least as fun as it is depressing, which makes it ok in my book. I mean seriously, these are the nominees? THESE are the nominees? The idea of any of them as president is stomach churning. Even Ron Paul, who at least is the most honest and least-politically corrupt of them all, would be a terrible president. Romney would be predictable, boring, and dangerous in his own right, but could you imagine Newt Gingrich as president?

Oh my sweet lord. The question would be whether we bomb Iran right after the inauguration, or if we wait a day. Don’t get me started on Santorum.

Of course Obama hasn’t been a particularly good president either, but at least he’s a little more inclined to do what’s right than these jokers. And that’s really all I have to say for now. Until the end of this, I think I’ll just buckle up for the roller coaster ride and hope there’s a smooth stop at the end, and not an abyss.

Abysses aren’t fun.

Which is why, thankfully, the internet was able to keep us from jumping into another kind of Abyss entirely. The SOPA and PIPA legislation are currently falling apart (woo-hoo!) Of course that doesn’t mean they won’t come back in some sort of new and deadlier form. (Why is it that legislation acts so suspiciously like Final Fantasy boss fights?) It was pretty cool to see so many internet powerhouses throw their weight against the bill, though. I guess sometimes the people can win. Fancy that.

But that’s enough of the entertainment an the political, let’s move on to the personal…

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I’m married guys! 😀

Of course I have been for 3 or so months now, and should have said something on here sooner, but let’s not dwell on that…
While this topic deserves a full on recounting with details, descriptions, emotions, chronology, etc. I think I’d rather keep it simple and say it was a beautiful wedding. And I had a top-hat!
I plan on putting up a picture gallery eventually, but that will take more time, unfortunately. Until then I will leave you with two things. The first is our vows to each other. Me and Katie wrote them out (though I must admit I wrote most of it with her input >.> ) and we alternated speaking the different lines to each other. It worked out wonderfully. The second thing is a picture of the little wedding-decoration place we mad in our Duplex. It’s not finished yet (we’ve got to get a picture to put in the frame) but I think it’s already very nice.

Our Vows –

From all the times together, thick and thin,
We found a bond in our joys and rest.
The grand adventures shared through paper, pen
And dice, or pages turned, or buttons pressed
Were just the start. Beneath the fun and play
was deeper love. A love that waits beside
Your sick bed; Love for which we pine and pray.
A love that age and death cannot divide.
This love’s worth more than worldly wealth, or woe
Its lack may bring. May God look on this love
And smile, as when he sparked all life to grow,
Or when he woke the galaxies above.
My hand’s outstretched to you and my heart’s doors
Are wide. All I have, all I hold, are yours.

I, Edward Lee Cheever II, and I, Katie Michelle Guth, in front of family and friends, before God and man, do pledge myself to you.

This is how we read them:

Me: From all the times together, thick and thin, we found a bond in our joys and rest.
Katie: The grand adventures shared through paper, pen and dice, or pages turned, or buttons pressed were just the start.
Me: Beneath the fun and play was deeper love.
Katie: A love that waits beside your sick bed;
Me: Love for which we pine and pray.
Katie: A love that age and death cannot divide.
Me: This love’s worth more than worldly wealth, or woe its lack may bring.
Katie: May God look on this love and smile,
Me: as when he sparked all life to grow,
Katie: Or when he woke the galaxies above.
Me: My hand’s outstretched to you and my heart’s doors are wide.
Katie: All I have, all I hold, are yours.
Me: I, Edward Lee Cheever II,
Katie: and I, Katie Michelle Guth,
Me: in front of family and friends,
Katie: before God and man,
Both: do pledge myself to you.

Married life has pretty much been great, as well. Of course there are the little things, like chores and such that things can get tense over, but otherwise, living with the person I love the most, whom I can both have fun with and be serious with, has been wonderful.

Settling into the duplex has been a process of course. As has mashing two lives together. Finances are particularly… fun… But we’ve got some of it sorted out now. Still lots to do, of course, but when isn’t there? Job-wise I haven’t been doing the serious job-hunt that I probably need to do. Part of my hang-ups are all around the certification test I’m supposed to take at some nebulous time in the future. At least I FINALLY got some information abut it out of the education department and I can start preparing for it (by the way, could this material be any more dull and lifeless? Or useless for that matter? I think the people behind this live in a fantasy world somewhere between Mathland and MotivationalSpeakervania.

In any case, I still have my job as a writing tutor, which I am very thankful for, and I’ve been doing a rather lot of substitute teaching over at CTA. So finances are better than they otherwise would be if I didn’t have a job. I think the bills would really start eating away at us if not for that promise of my soon-coming paychecks and Katie’s recent raises and long hours.

I’ve been trying to think of a way to segue into this final topic, but I really can’t think of one. It’s much like asking the question, “When is the best time to hear the news of a death?” There isn’t one. No time is ripe, and no segue can ease the issue.

My friend, Jarret Wade, is dead. He died of cancer some time ago, now. I’m honestly not entirely sure because time seems to flow so swiftly. Has it really been a week and a half?

To say I knew a lot about him would actually be a lie. I didn’t know his family, I didn’t delve into his personal life much, and we only really interacted at school. And yet I have little hesitation to say he was a great friend. Part of that, I believe, is because there was nothing about him that wasn’t genuine, and completely open and honest. He was completely himself at all times. A few conversations would be all it would take before you felt like you knew him for life. Like he was a friend from your earliest days.

So unlike other acquaintances I’ve known who have died, I felt a real shock at the news. I learned about it early in the day during a time I was substitute teaching at CTA, and it was difficult not to break down when I would mention him during prayer requests at the start of every class period. My voice would falter, and I can only imagine how red my eyes grew over time, holding back tears that blurred my vision.

I knew it was coming of course. We’ve all known for some time of the cancer that was eating away at him. I last spoke with him over the phone while on my honeymoon. We were in Seattle, and though he said he would call, and show off his beloved home city to us, we never heard from him. I called him up to see how he was doing, and he had just gone through another serious treatment. He didn’t sound good, then. He apologized for not being able to show us around. Of course I said it was nothing, and that his health was more important. He said he’d make a trip down to visit Keene soon. That he looked forward to seeing us all again, and to meeting my wife.

It was a trip he would never make. And while I know that there was no real way I would have been able to, I constantly think that I should have made time to go see him again while I was there…

I’m not the poet I once was. I have a tendency to write them far less than before, and I usually make them boring and emotionless for trying to make them structured or fancy. But occasionally, something happens that gets that emotion stirring again. It’s not the greatest poem I’ve ever written, but I feel like It has my heart in it. Here’s to you, my brother, Jarret Wade.

Jarret

I see the rain on the western shoreline
Pouring into a hole that never fills.
I know the shadows of those blackened clouds.
I know the brim of that endless cold cup.

Like the echo of a distant tempest,
The strong vibrations of thunder long since
The blinding light of the lightning strike,
Your going shook me, and my earth stilled.

Till the trumpets ring from the mountain tops,
Till the silvered bells toll at sea.
Till the bright cloud comes from the east.
Till then, rest ‘neath the trees.

You found the deepest roots of all our hearts.
You could see their dark gnarls, their twists, their cramps.
You always knew how to water them,
With smiles, and hugs, and conversation.

The world was not a stranger to you.
It was a lonely friend in desperate need.
Not an unknown mist of vague statistics,
But a painting of minds, faces and eyes.

Till the trumpets ring from the mountain tops,
Till the silvered bells toll at sea.
Till the bright cloud comes from the east.
Till then, God holds Grave’s Key.

His hand hovers over the sepulcher
Holding out that golden metal Work,
Trembling with desperate impatience to swing
Wide those black and silent gates that stand closed.

And past that unknown date, what triumph waits?
A son of heaven comes home! You will ride
His chariot, And wear a crown of gold,
bejeweled for lives you’ve touched. A friend of God.

Then the trumpets ring from the mountain tops,
The silvered bells toll at sea.
The bright cloud comes from the east.
And then, at last, be free.

For now, there are dark clouds out to the west.
No rain, no tears, no grief, can fill torn hearts.
You lit so many candles on your way,
You left your light in all of us.

Edward L. Cheever II

Sorry to leave it on such a low note, everyone. But sometimes, the world gets serious. And laughter is a little far away. Good-bye, friends. I hope to have you here again soon.

Women Play League of Legends in Pakistan With Global Warming

Don't I Wish My Days Were Stuffed With Relaxing


It’s amazing how much STUFF has been packed into the past few weeks. How much things change. How fast they move forward. I’ve barely found time to breathe, much less write a blog post. Thankfully, I’ve found a spare minute or two to put this thing together so, let’s get started shall we?

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The amount of entertainment I’ve been able to consume has been cut drastically short lately for a variety of reasons which I will get to. However! This has not stopped me from enjoying certain elements of popular culture.

First of all, League of Legends continues to be my primary time-sink for my off-work hours. Not that I have a lot of time to sink, mind you. This is for the usual reasons of course. It’s one of the few times I can hang out with all my friends and do something that is usually fun. The game is as fantastic as ever. Yadda-Yadda.

But what it has really done to capture me lately is the introduction of the Dominion game mode beta. I rarely ever get a chance to try out this fantastic new mode, but my word how fantastic it is. It is blazing fast compared to your bread and butter Summoner’s Rift, with all sorts of nuances and strategies that are in their infancy stages. Right now every game is chaos. Players running in all directions, getting lost in the jungle, picking fights hey shouldn’t. It’s a good time to be a Jax player, like myself. Tanky DPS champions are kings of the hill right now.

Of course I’m hoping that as players grow more experienced with the mode, and as complex team strategies and maneuvers develop, the dominance of the Tanky DPS will lessen and go back to merely carrying like normal. The most shows tons of promise, and most importantly it is FUN. I just can’t wait till I can play it any time.

In other news, Minecraft has been grabbing what time I don’t give to League of Legends. My stronghold gets more stronghold-y every day, and I’m looking forward to going and exploring the world around me when I’m done. Or mostly done. You’re never really all done in Minecraft.

As for Doctor Who, we’ve caught up to the most recent episode and we’re having to wait week to week for the new ones to come out. I’ve grown so accustomed to marathon television shows that these week long gaps are especially painful. Otherwise, we’re enjoying it as much as ever.

On a side note, there’s a rather funny and interesting article on Doctor Who mania over at Cracked.com right now that draws some fascinating parallels and differences between the Doctor and the concept of a god (or rather “God”). At the very least, it’s an interesting read.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

There are so many things to commentate upon in politics. I could talk about how ridiculous the Republican debates are (and if you’re watching the debates without simultaneously following the commentary tweets by @RepublicanDalek and @ASupremeDalek then you just aren’t doing it right). Etc. Etc. But I’m going to focus a little on foreign relations and politics for a moment.

First on the docket is King Abdullah, of Saudi Arabia, giving women the right to vote and run in local elections. Now, let’s make no mistake, this isn’t some sweeping change in the fortunes of Women in that country. If I’m not mistaken, they are still not alowed to drive. But this still represents a solid step in the right direction. The Arabian Spring has provided many people of the Middle East with new opportunities, and Women in this, one of the most conservative countries in the region, have gained some valuable ground. I applaud the king for being as revolutionary as he is, even if his government won’t let certain reforms through (Seriously? Driving?).

In other news, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has called for consideration of military action against Pakistan. The argument goes that the terroristic attacks on American troops in Afghanistan is being funded and aided by the Pakistani government directly. As these are hostile action, hostility is the best response.

This is ridiculous. For a number of reasons.
1. Unsubstantiated ideas concerning the military power and actions of foreign nations is what got us in this Middle-Eastern mess in the first place.
2. Your best plan to get Pakistan to stop killing American troops (if this is even happening at half the scale that is being assumed) is to send more troops over to get shot? Good job Einstein.

Good news, guys! We've got a new plan to stop the violence! Shoot more people! 😀


3. You really think you’ll get support for this when everyone is appalled at shooting a couple missiles into Libya in a genuine attempt to help a rebellion against a vilified power, not to mention get American interests in the region (oil) back up and running again? What, do you know a guy who knows a guy who likes the idea?
4. Hurray for more government spending? – You’re more than happy with the idea of Government size and power when it comes to killing people, but helping people… oh no. oh NO nono!

I really have nothing more to say about that. I frankly see this being burred soon and never being heard of again *knocks on wood*.

Finally, and probably most controversially, the attempt for Pakistanis to gain their own independent state. Needless to say, the bold steps being taken in the UN right now are popular amongst the Pakistanis, and needless to say, it’s not popular in Israel or in America.

I say controversial because I think I’m coming down on the side of the Pakistanis. Israel has ever right to exist and defend itself after some fifty years of existence. I am not suggesting otherwise. But we are hypocrites to say that self-determination is a good, noble thing to desire, and then deny this to the Pakistani people. I think that concessions should be made on both sides to achieve this. Perhaps not all of the land that Pakistan wants should be given (I know there are concerns about opening up Israel’s heartland to artillery range from the border). I also think that it is right and proper to let the Pakistanis have their land for themselves. Surely there is a middle ground in there somewhere.

Of course this will not happen. At least not for a long time. Hostilities are far from ending in the land of Abraham’s descendants.

Now, on to my latest bog section…

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

This section will be dedicated to any scientific articles that I find the urge to comment upon, or social issues that are more or less dominated by the science that inspires it.
Oh, and I’ll probably talk a lot about Robots and Lasers too.

But the introductory topic and article I’m going to focus on today is This One Over at the Associated Press About America’s Allergy to Global Warming.
I have long felt that I needed to see more proof that Global Warming was real before I made up my mind. I always stood by my decision that the reason why we should care for the environment was because we should want to keep the planet beautiful, and if that also kept us from disaster, then great! But this reasoning isn’t enough and never will be enough for oil barons and other captains of industry who simply won’t be able to ad another level to their Scrooge McDuck Money Bin if they don’t keep the profits rising, so screw the environment.

I find that I can’t just sit in my comfortable “keep nature beautiful” mindset anymore. It’s not a motivation for most people. And this is becoming serious. I’m convinced of Global Warming.

Two of these things are looking pretty familiar right about now.


It’s not the record setting number of days with hundred-degree weather. It’s not the momentary discomfort of a too-warm backside on my car’s leather seats. No. It’s the statistics of the greater whole. Even taking into account the cyclical nature of the world, the changes in temperature are too swift and too convenient (post industrial revolution). On top of that, 98% of climatologists are on board with this. 98%! That kind of consensus is ridiculous in the scientific world. Sure, I’ll concede that the majority of the scientific world has been proven wrong before. It might even happen again. But we have no reason to ASSUME that they are wrong. And we certainly have no reason to assume that 98% of climatologists are on some sort of quest for money in some scheme (that makes no sense if you think about it – who would be paying thee people?).

So I think we should take this as seriously as life and death. If they are wrong, what’s the worst that could happen? That we live in a prettier, less polluted world? Oh the horror!

Now, I was going to move on to talk about personal stuff, but I think I’ll save that for another time, when I have more information about what is coming up. Instead I’m going to finish off with a story that I find perfectly hysterical.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

So apparently Nicholas Cage was, at some point in the past, woken up by a mostly-naked man with a fudgesicle. There really is no better way for me to put it. Apparently the man was mentally ill, and somehow found his way into Cage’s house, bedroom, and closet, where he took Cage’s leather jacket. He promptly wore it while eating a fudgesicle by the side of Cage’s bed.
That would have been terrifying.

Though I'm not sure who felt more terrified, now that I think about it...


I can understand why Cage moved away from that house. I wouldn’t be able to sleep soundly again.

And on that note, it’s time I left you for today. There’s a lot of stuff to do yet. Have a great one, everybody!

Edward L. Cheever II

Stewart Gives Perspective to the Income Gap in America, and Rick Perry Rips the Constitution.

Today’s post is going to be smaller than the normal monster posts you’re used to, but that’s just because I had to write this up and get it up now. Sometimes something is too important to bury it amongst a bunch of other stuff.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I’m usually a pretty calm guy. Most people who know me know this. But there are rare cases where I get legitimately mad, and no I don’t mean when a League of Legends match is going poorly (my exclamations there are just to blow off steam). The situations I’m talking about are those when injustice, ignorance and ignoble acts of disseminating misleading information are perpetrated to the detriment of the innocent.

And I’m mad as hell right now.

Hulk Smash!


The source of my anger stems directly from the two clips at this link and I do not provide these links lightly. Please, please watch them. I know they are meant to be humorous, and they are. Humor is a fantastic way of piercing through the facade of the monstrous. The reality of the situation behind these funny videos is what appalls me.

And to all the Class Warfare stuff? It’s like a guy pulling the trigger on an AK-47 into a crowd going, “What do you mean war?” More like Class Massacre. Yeah, it could be worse, but it damn well should be better.

Nine Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy Two Golden Bullets... Nine Thousand Nine Hundred and...


I am not poor. Well, I am, but I don’t fit the definition of the poorest of the poor that inhabit the lowest 50%. I feel like I will have a hard time making ends meet in my life but… damn. I don’t have HALF the problem that half of Americans do. What the hell is wrong with this country? Fifty percent of our population is living in near third world conditions. OMG 99% of the poor have a refrigerator THOSE FAT CATS! Good GOD! (and yes, I am appealing to God here) How dare they get a free ride, eh? How dare they feed their children unspoiled food that they can barely afford.

How dare they live their posh lifestyles on the backs of the poor billionares?


This blows my mind. I really don’t have anything to say. I’m not even putting up a poll for this shit. I am done here. If you feel like the 50% of Americans who hold a whopping 2.5% of America’s total wealth are getting a “free ride” so that they, I don’t know, don’t starve to death, then I don’t want to hear from you. Your ability to show compassion is so minimal it’s inhuman. Get off my site.

What I will post a poll about is this little article I found about seven ways Rick Perry wants to change the constitution. There are all sorts of topics I could talk about here. From his hypocrisy about the Constitution being a near-holy document that is wrong to change, and then he is okay with all of this, to the hypocrisy about big government in some areas (abortion, gay marriage) and eviscerated government in others (healthcare), to his strides to eliminate checks and balances in Washington and other problems I have with just about all of these, but I’ll leave that alone for now. I want to hear what you think.

That’s my rant for today folks. If this has made you at least half as mad as it made me, remember this come time to vote. Good-bye for now!
– Edward L. Cheever II

Bioshock Teaches Libertarianism to Coyote Who Doesn’t Learn Anything.


Oh don’t you worry, we’ll talk about those Libertarian kitties shortly. I didn’t choose that image for nothing. But today I’ve also got some musings on a book series I’ve been reading recently, and a few observations regarding my recent transition of jobs. Oh, and there’s some news in here somewhere about another expansion of the family, but we’ll get to that too. Let’s begin, shall we?

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

As you no doubt have noticed by a review I posted over a week ago, I’ve started a new science fiction series lately by Allen Steele by the name of “The Coyote Trilogy” recently. We’ll I’ve got the second book’s review up and ready to read right here – “Coyote Rising”, and I’ve already finished the third book, “Coyote Frontier” and I’ll be plowing through “Coyote Horizon” shortly, I hope. I know this seems like a sudden burst of reading activity, and it sort of is, but really, I read through book series’ at a decent clip, I just have a hard time starting. Once I’d read “Coyote” it was a done deal, so long as it was good, which it was.

This segment is mostly a plug for my review of “Coyote Rising”, but as I’ve finished “Coyote Frontier” already (keep an eye out for that review sometime this next week), I thought I’d share a few of my opinions of the series as a whole. This will be lightly spoilerish for the series, and I’ll be assuming your familiarity with the material. Some of this will be reiterated in the “Frontier” review, no doubt, but I might as well explore those waters now.

Speaking of exploration, if I have one great disappointment with the series, it is the lack of the exploratory sensations of the first book being carried into the rest of the series. There were brand new horizons, uncharted waters, strange new life forms, etc. in “Coyote.” You get glimpses of new places and terrain in the following books, but never anything particularly exciting. There is a notable exception if you count the native inhabitants, but it is a small serving that doesn’t satisfy my hunger. Perhaps I shouldn’t have come into the second book with expectations, but then that upsetting of expectations is consistent across the whole series so far.

And that is at the heart of what I wanted to say here. These books, for all that they build off of the of one another, and for all that some mysteries or threads get tied up, never feel like a “Trilogy” so to speak. What I mean by that, is that each one wraps itself up very nice and tidy, except for some particular strings that never get satisfactorily followed up on in the next installment. The overarching plot of the three books, the theme so to speak – if perhaps more appropriately called tone, is different from one book to the next. I’ve not been really disappointed with the sequels, as you will discover in my reviews, but neither have I been truly satisfied. Steele has create a great new world here, and in some ways I wanted to step through the pages and turn aside from where he was taking me, to explore this world myself.

I just noticed that I essentially complained this series wasn’t a video game. That actually sounds like a really interesting idea.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Speaking of Video Games, have I got a story for you. See, apparently, the founder of Pay Pal, and one of the early investors of Face Book (aka a super rich guy) by the name of Peter Thiel has taken up the cause of creating A Wholly Independent City-State in the Middle of the Ocean Based Entirely On Libertarian Theory of Government. The idea is essentially to build an oil-platform type of construction in international waters where like-minded individuals can come and escape “the laws, regulations, and moral codes of existing countries.”

And really, aren’t these people entitled to the sweat of their own brow? No, says the man in Washington, it belongs to the poor. No, says the man in the Vatican, it belongs to God. No, says the man in Moscow, it belongs to every…
Wait…

Sound Familiar?


Really the only significant difference between this and good ol’ Bioshock as of this point in the story is that it isn’t the 1950s, and they aren’t wanting to build this thing underwater – just on top of it. I really recommend going to the article link, and their sources, to read this entire thing. It’s truly creepily familiar.

These people have either played too much Bioshock, or not enough. As I’ve said elsewhere, the game clearly depicts the idea that this sort of scenario simply doesn’t work. It breaks down somewhere. Part of the problem is that you’re asking a bunch of people to come and live out in the middle of the ocean on a political whim, which basically restricts it to rich people, and then you’re inevitably going to need people to keep this place running from a mechanical standpoint.

There's Also The Basketball Team to Think About


So you’re either going to have to force some of these rich fops get to work, or you’re going to begin importing workers from elsewhere. Either way, you’re creating a working class that serves the rich, without any hope of upward movement, thus creating the perfect environment for a dystopic, dysfunctional society.

Oh, and one of the values they are trumpeting is looser building codes. Looser building codes? On a floating platform in the middle of the ocean? These people WANT to die in a terrible accident.

Paradise!


This thing is, in my opinion, destined to fail. They’re either extremely lucky, or extremely unlucky, that plasmids won’t be involved (man, this makes me want to play that game again.) But I want to know your opinion on these shenanigans. Vote below! After all, this is the Voters Booth. 🙂

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Finally, I want to talk briefly about my recent change of occupation, in a sense. I’ve gone from working on the Burleson Star to working (I use the term loosely, as I’m not paid) at Chisholm Trail Academy as a student teacher. Now, I miss the paper. The work was rewarding, and not too tough if you’re a reporter, and a number of the people I worked with there were great (though I think I’d have had some serious arguments with most of them if I ever brought up politics), but the job was creatively taxing in a way I didn’t expect. Writing articles may not be my favorite kind of creativity, but it uses the same brain muscles, and so I was always too worn out to write anything, despite the fact that it wasn’t too hard of a job. Also, I had issues with some of the management decisions, and the way certain employees were treated, but what are you gonna do, right?

I can’t speak to it through a lens of experience, but student teaching already feels different. I don’t feel exhausted by the idea of work. In a way it’s energizing. If working as a reporter was going outside and getting your hands dirty, then this is like staying home. I’m a school kind of guy. I always have been. The learning process is refreshing. Dwelling in ideas and subjects that I love is thrilling, as is working with old friends. It won’t be easy, necessarily, but I think I’m going to like it.

Of course I say that now, while I;m in the observing/planning stage. Put me in front of a class of students more or less by myself three times a day and we’ll see how that changes.
I’m counting on you, my boundless charisma!

My Inevitable Results


Oh, and being on the other side of the door, say when the faculty meets in the mornings, is a very alien experience to me.

Anyways, I’ve got one last piece of news. A bit of excitement. You see, my sister, Kimberly, recently got engaged to Chris. *Cheers* I called it, I have to say. I’m able to gloat when I want. If he’s taking her home to meet the family…. in CANADA – land of the lush and beautiful landscapes – then it was, I said, almost certain that he was going to propose. Well, they did, and his parents were hiding in the bush to give us photographic proof.

I’ve got to say, though I haven’t met him much, out of all the guys she’s dated or been chased by, Chris is the nicest – the best overall choice – of all of them. Here’s hoping it works out! *crosses fingers*

Oh, and really guys? Trying to steal me and Katie’s thunder? Classy. /Sarcasm. The only real loser here is my parents who have to plan a whole new wedding only six months after mine. Those poor, poor people.
Anyways, that’s all for today, folks!

Thank you, come again,

– Edward L. Cheever II