Thursday, October 18, 2012

"The Return of HNT"

Sounds like a b-movie horror flick, doesn't it?  Appropriate, I suppose, for the season.

Yes, there's going to be a return of HNT!!  Don't get insanely excited though.  It'll just be a one-time appearance, marking the first anniversary of its retirement.

It'll be just like it always was, complete with the "I'm ups", the blog-hopping, and insightful comments. 

"But Os," I can hear some of you saying.  "I don't have a blog anymore!" or "I haven't blogged in so long I don't remember my password!" or "I've become a respectable mommy-blogger.  I don't do that anymore!".  Not to fear.  I'll post over on OHNT too, for this one-time return.  And you can do it anonymously over there like the old days, or you can have your name posted so that we know you joined in but can't do it on your own for whatever reason.  And if you want (need) to do both, I'm certainly not going to talk you out of it!

So circle the date--Thursday, December 27th.  This gives you two months to remember how to do all this again.  And be sure to make mention of it on your own sites (for those of you who still blog), as there's quite a few who don't stop by here anymore to get the word.  And because many of my friends on FB allowed me to be friends over there because "HNT" would never be mentioned, I can't make a general announcement there.  So spread the news! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Long, overwritten post about politics...

I really loathe politics.  I don't understand why someone would want to be President.  Or Governor.  Or Mayor, for that matter.  Too many people that you have to play nice with.  On the other hand, being a king or a dictator is appealing, since you don't have to worry about getting voted in.  You either are born into it, or you kill the person and take over their position.  No campaigning, no ass-kissing.  Pretty much black & white.  No room for shades of gray.

What we really need is a group of space aliens to come attack Earth, like in "Independence Day" or "The Day the Earth Stood Still".  Nothing will bring groups of people together like a good fight against a common enemy (as opposed to each other).  However, I'm not anticipating anything like that. So during this obnoxious time, I've decided to state some opinions and observations.  Comment if you'd like, but don't try to sway me if you disagree.  :-)
Disclaimer:  I plan to vote both sides of the ticket.  I've done my homework.  I even have a third-party candidate I plan to vote for.  Don't attempt to figure out who I'm voting for--you'll probably be wrong!
No one person is going to enact change at any level of government on their own.  Nor can any of the woes or successes be attributed to one person.  I'm tired of the ads that say "I'm going to do this" or "I'm going to repeal that".  No you're not.  You might lead a fight, but don't claim that you're going to actually be the one to "save" the free world.

Negative ads have gotten so out of control that they've become fairly ineffective, I believe.  Sure, the hardcore party members and the ignorant will eat that stuff up, but it means nothing.  I'd much rather see ads that focus on what a candidate believes he can bring to the table.  Don't dwell on the "mistakes" of the opponent's past, but focus on the traits/beliefs that make you a better candidate for the position.  On a side note--the Republican candidate for MT governor has done that.  His ads are so damned positive that you'll actually listen.  His ideas are bunk, and his economic plan is all screwed up, but damn, his ads are a nice twist!

I'm also not a fan of the tactic of tying the name of the presidential/v.p. nominee to opponents in state or local races.  Believe it or not, those presidential candidates have never heard of either of you, nor do they care.

The Republican Party has lost control.  The ultra-conservative Tea Party has run amok and now is the "face" of the party.  No one in the G.O.P. has the balls to rein them in.  I seriously doubt that most Republicans (candidates or voters) share many of their views.  The Democrats have at least splintered into smaller liberal groups that will run their own candidates, making them a stronger party.

People spend too much time looking at charts and graphs and listening to statistics, figures and polls.  All of which are manipulated in such a way that it best suits the situation.  Any one report can be twisted and analyzed to benefit both candidates at the same time.  By the way, anyone can make a chart or graph and plug in their own numbers and post it on the internet.  For God's sake, don't believe anything you see on the internet!!!

Conservative commentators seem to have a more hateful approach towards issues and individuals.  To the point of focusing on nit-picky details that have no real bearing on an argument, and then not letting go of it.  Sort of like the snotty junior high girl in the hallways.  While Rush Limbaugh might be the biggest blowhole on the airwaves, he's far from the most offensive.

The incredibly high dollar amounts being thrown around when discussing the economy are beyond the comprehension of most people, including the top politicians.  Dollar amounts have become meaningless.  It's similar to a poker game.  Most people will have no problem throwing a blue chip into the pot, but if they had to throw the actual cash in, they'd give it some thought.

There is no such thing as the perfect candidate.  No single person will ever satisfy the characteristics of the "perfect" candidate.  And because of that, too many people focus on singular issues when it comes to the candidates.  Some focus on the economy.  Some focus on health care.  Some focus on women's rights.  Some focus on immigration.  Environment.  Military.  Education.  Science.  Arts.  Racial issues.  World domination.  Whatever.  Focusing so narrowly that any other issues become moot.  This is no way to elect your leaders.

After saying that, I do believe that the economy is the biggest issue in this presidential election.  It's a fairly no-win situation for whoever wins.  (At this point, let me say that anyone who thinks that this mess could have been fixed in four years is delusional.) I think that if Obama wins again, he needs to spend more time dealing with an economic/jobs plan than he has.  We could be far worse off than we are, but there's plenty of room for improvement.  If Romney wins, I hope he's not so naive/narcissistic to think that he'll fix things in four years.  And that he gets a mega-dose of social conscience. 

While there's not really a two-party system in our government, you wouldn't be able to tell by the media.  Case in point--why are the presidential debates between just two candidates?  Personally, I would very much like to hear the same questions asked of some of the others.  As long as other parties are treated as unimportant, we'll never have a third-party candidate make a credible run for positions in the higher levels of government.

Anyone who votes a straight party ticket simply because of party affiliation should have their votes voided.  Doesn't mean that it couldn't turn out that way, but base it on research and knowledge.  Stupidity and ignorance should have no place in the polling booth. 

It's sad that non-Americans seem to know more about the political nuances than many "average" Americans.

I find it interesting that there are so many in Congress and state legislatures who will fight tooth and nail for the unborn, yet are just as eager to cut back on funds to support them once they are born.

I also find it interesting that, in a country based on a separation of Church and State, so many people are trying to force their faith into the process.  There's a difference between believing in or voting for "right/wrong" or "good/bad", and claiming to do it as part of "God's will".
Regarding things around the state of Montana:
Montana passed a law over a century ago limiting corporate campaign contributions to an individual.  This was because of the influence the mining companies in the state had over the political process.  In other words, elections were literally purchased by mine owners.  The Citizens United case that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of recently effectively overturned that law, stating that corporations are people, and money is free speech.  As a result, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent in negative (and usually incorrect) ads over the past six months.  From both sides.  The sad part--these ads are made without the approval of the candidate they're supporting.  The people of Montana don't need some super-PAC based in Virginia telling us whom to vote for.  Let US pick the person that represents Montanans!  Not who YOU want to see in D.C.!

Interestingly, for a party who believes that there's too much government intrusion, the Republicans seem to push for an awful lot of completely unnecessary laws.

They also despise the federal government imposing its will on the state.  Keep the feds out, dammit.  Except don't cut back on my farm subsidies.  And be sure that the FBI/DEA comes in to take care of them pesky pot growers.

There's an initiative/referendum on the ballot that would keep illegal aliens from receiving any sort of state services.  That's scholarships, driver's licences, food stamps, etc.  I'm not sure I know any illegal Canadians living here, but most of the Canadians I know are pretty decent people.  Not sure who they pissed off to get this on the ballot.  But it amounts to using state employees to do federal record-keeping.  Funny that the party that despises federal intrusion wants to push this thing.

In 2004, there was a citizen's initiative passed substantially to legalize medical marijuana.  The legislature dropped the ball and didn't come up with any decent regulation.  Things got out of control.  So rather than fix it, the legislature tried to overturn the citizen's initiative (a.k.a.--the will of the people).  Fortunately, the governor vetoed that.  So the Republicans passed over-regulation that, in effect (and admitted by their leadership) made it impossible for the law to continue.  It's been sent to the people to either overturn the legislature and go back to the 2004 law, or accept the unworkable regulation.  This is a Tea Party push, along with the backing of some very vocal "family values" groups.

There's a couple of other things on the ballot.  All unnecessary, all hopefully losing.
So there you go.  Vote early and vote often!  I refuse to say anything more.  Other than this...  In my family, we never discuss politics (or they do, and I'm never around, which is entirely possible).  But Mom has already sent in her absentee ballot, so I asked how she voted on the five state initiatives/referendums.  I'm happy to report that she voted exactly the same way I plan to (NO on all five)!  I am my mother's son!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


With the spiraling demise of social blogging (at least among the circles I used to visit on a regular basis), I've been finding myself going back to old posts.  I miss it.  I miss it all.  I miss the different styles we each had.  I miss reading about the day to day stuff.  I even miss the trolls, to some degree.  Hardly needs saying that I miss the half-nekkidness.  I miss the comments most of all, I think.  Which means I really miss the 4+ years worth of comments that were lost when I was using Haloscan and they went tits up.  Ah, well...

Speaking of reminiscing...  Today (Tuesday) marks the 3rd anniversary of my near-death experience and subsequent health changes.  Fortunately, I haven't dwelt too much about the whole diabetes thing on here, but I suppose the three or four of you still reading might want to know how things are going.  Obviously, I'm still here, so that's a good thing.  And after three years, I'm still a diabetic.  However, I'm learning things on a regular basis.  Due to taking better care of myself (as well as support from my meds), all my tests have come back with progressively good results.  Blood pressure is finally back to an acceptable level after decades of being at a high level.  Not take-some-pills-and-relax high, but higher than doctors would like.  My cholesterol is quite average.  It's always been in the "average" range, but now I'm lower in the average range.  My triglycerides are also quite normal.  The blood sugar numbers have finally stabilized at an acceptable range.  After a year of being on the low side, I think we've gotten things to a happy place.  I still have some high spikes, but they work themselves out within 12 hours, so all is good.  My only bad numbers are my weight.  I've fought that for all my life, so it shouldn't be any surprise that I'm still fighting.

As for my lifestyle, I've found that I'm not going to go into a coma if I have a piece of candy.  I can go out for pizza and beer (in moderation) and not have to worry about it.  I've even found that I can have a meal or two without taking insulin, and not have any ill effects (though I've only done that maybe twice).  All in all, life is continuing on fairly normally.

Let's talk football.  It's not the year that any of my teams have enjoyed over the previous five.  In fact, they've had more losses combined this season already than they had combined for the previous three!  The good news--they should all end pretty well.  Not sure if my Griz can make the playoffs this season though.  They pissed away two close games in the closing minutes, knocking them out of the top 25 for the first time since 1998.  But I think they'll come back.  Gucci and I will probably still have a bet this year.  I hope.

I'm a bit more interested in the high school team this year.  My nephew, a junior, is playing varsity this year, and has done very well.  I went to see him play last week (the last time I went to watch this team play was for the state championship in '09--they lost).  I was excited to see him, as he's a kick returner and wide receiver.  The short story--they got hammered, 41-7.  The worst defeat since 1974 (my senior year).  Happy to report that things turned around this past weekend, as they won 54-31 (taking a 41-0 lead into halftime).  The nephew ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown, and added two more receptions for touchdowns.  I'm not going to be allowed to watch him play...

At this time in years past I would have been encouraging everyone to support the annual Boobiethon.  They announce last year that it was to be their last.  Well, that's not quite true.  "They" were convinced to continue, but it's under a different format than before.  From their site:
"We are no longer pledging for Komen. If that is who you want to donate to, that's your choice.  Our choice is to promote Breast Cancer Action. I think we all can agree that everyone is aware of breast cancer. Now it's time to focus on prevention and the cure."
It's now also a month-long thing, so there's still time for you to check it out if you're so inclined.

Does anyone have any interest in doing a one-time HNT to mark the passing of a year without it?