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A return to God????? August 29, 2010

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That’s what the central tenet or theme of Glenn Beck’s little honor get together was all about.

Watch here:

Watching Beck admit he’s a moronmon is great. The cult of Moroni is replete with examples of demented thought. And of course it’s pretty easy to prove it’s all bovine effluent.

But his trying to distance himself from the things he’s said about President Obama falls on deaf ears at least in this abode.

You do realize that liberation theology also has roots in the Second Vatican Council aka Vatican II. That’s when I went through Catholic schools, and JP II became pope when I entered high school. It took him well over a decade to reverse the reforms of Vatican II.

And I think the Catholic church suffered for the evangelical mis-steps of JP II.

But beside the point, I don’t ever want to live in a society where people abdicate their responsibility to participate in society to an invisible sky fairy. It offends me on so many levels and scares me to death.

We’ve seen how this works in Iran where religious leaders regularly condemn women who’ve been raped, gays, and other disfavored minorities within the Islamic Republic.

Imagine if the Christian fundamentalists got their way here in the United States? I know they’re trying their damnedest with such ludicrous claims such as the one that the United States is a Christian nation.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the founding fathers had a general disdain for organized religion. I cannot for the life of me think of one who truly embraced Christianity.

This is a a SECULAR nation. One in which you are free to practice your religion, but one in which religion shall not and will not enforce its views over the majority.

And for those that didn’t feel like reading through all of this I give you two editorial cartoons that sum up my feelings in a rather precise way:

King and Clown

Equal but divided

My Review of the new Digg August 28, 2010

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Digg recently upgraded its site. It looks as thought they’re trying to be the next Facebook with all their social media bent now. I hate it.

Then of course their upgrade BROKE all their RSS feeds. So now I don’t read Digg anymore because if it doesn’t do RSS (Like the rest of the god damned world) I don’t want to deal with it.

National Grid rates heating vs. non-heating August 28, 2010

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So in preparation to call National Grid I did my homework. Do you know for example that they charge heating customers a $12 customer charge vs. $10 for non-heating? Or that the per therm rate is a full 5 cents more per therm than non-heating?

Yeah – guess what phone call I won’t be making.

It’s Thursday – that day between Wednesday and Friday! August 26, 2010

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So I’m watching this whole Ken Mehlman thing with interest. There ought to be a gay scarlet letter for people like him. I mean really, suppress gay rights for years and surprise, surprise he steps out of the closet NOW?

You couldn’t do this when you were a Bush crony?

In other news had my first hectic day at the new job. Got spoken to about an issue where a customer was trying to do something that wasn’t proscribed with the software being used. I seem to run into that a lot. Last time was in the late 90’s with the POS software we were selling. The client couldn’t wrap their mind around the fact that the software would not do what he wanted it to do.

I guess you have to get one of those every now and then you get one of those and you grow.

Had to add some Toto tracks to my iTunes library. It’s interesting because I had been reading the Questionable Content comic strip. It’s a group of Indie/Hippie kids (Young adults I guess) and they’re having a discussion of their favorite Toto songs. That lead to a download of “Hold the Line”, “99”, “Africa” and “Georgie Porgy”

In other news the house is completely torn up. They’re updating the heating system from something circa late 19th to early 20th century to one that’s clearly from the 21st century. They ripped out all sorts of asbestos covered piping, boilers, etc. without any protective barrier, or no protective clothing.

But it’ll be nice to be rid of that expensive steam system. A 275 gallon tank at $3 a gallon gets pricey when you’re buying one about every month to month and a half in the winter. The new system is forced hot water and natural gas. Much better. The gas bill should run about $250 a month during the winter. I can deal with that, I just can’t deal with the fracking process used to extract natural gas here in the U.S.

But the place is a complete mess. Everything had to be moved away from walls so baseboard could be put in. Allegedly it will be finished tomorrow but I’ll believe that when I see it. They haven’t even run the PEX line into our baseboards.

It’s going to be interesting to see this new system. I almost asked them to zone it. During the winter why heat the southern side so much, heat the bedrooms on the NORTHERN side. Yeah, who builds a house with the bedrooms on the NORTH side? In 1900 they built this one.

And tomorrow is TGIF. So this weekend we can put the house back together. Oh and I have to call National Grid to switch us onto a heating rate plan vs. cooking/hot water plan.

Bits and Pieces August Edition August 24, 2010

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So I finally decided to buy another food processor. My criteria, sub $100 and decent capacity.

I happened by Wally World today and they had this one in stock

14 cups, 500W, suction cups so it stays fast on a smooth surface. Not bad for $50. If it dies a year or so from now I’m not out a fortune. 14 cups translates to 2.5qts liquid volume. Pretty good.

Then of course I realized I was rather light on Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio tracks. You probably know him from the theme for Ghostbusters but he also did the following:

Work is going well. I got a notice to change my password on my WinXP box at work and I’ve been there two months now. This every two month password thing will get old quickly but otherwise it’s pretty good. Doing user adds, event mapping, and database stuff.

Franken throws down regarding Net Neutrality! August 23, 2010

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If you’ve been reading for some time you know I’m a supporter of net neutrality and the FCC’s move to put the ISP’s into the common carrier column. It makes sense since in addition to data, video and telecom services run over the net. That makes them common carriers.

If you don’t understand net neutrality I’ll do a what-if for you.

What if Cox decided tomorrow to seriously degrade port 5060 TCP and UDP traffic. That’s the port used by SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) to setup VoIP calls? To me that would be a big no-no but Cox has a vested interest because they too offer phone service, overpriced phone service at that.

Or it could be Comcast blocking BitTorrent traffic, or any number of egregious behaviors by ISP’s who sold us UNLIMITED connections and are now trying to renege on the deal.

Franken really rips em’ though.

He begins with his usual deadpan:

“I believe that net neutrality is the First Amendment issue of our time, unless it’s freedom of religion, which, until last week, I thought we had kind of worked out.”

That last part in reference to the mosque they want to build NEAR the WTC disaster site.

But my absolute favorite part, which you must read even if you don’t read the source article:

“The FCC would publish an annual report on the effect of these additional services,” the proposal recommends, “and immediately report if it finds at any time that these services threaten the meaningful availability of broadband Internet access services.”

Franken had choice words for this plan, none of them good.

Google and Verizon’s scheme empowers the FCC to, “get this—’publish a report’,” he dryly commented, while his audience laughed again.

“But there’s an even bigger issue here. It’s that when government will not act, corporations will. And unlike government agencies, which have a legal responsibility to protect American consumers, the only thing corporations care about, the only thing that they have a legal duty to promote, is their bottom line.”

“We can’t let companies write the rules that they’re supposed to follow,” Franken added, “because if that happens those rules are going to be written only to protect corporations.”

So true. We cannot trust a corporation to police its own activities. It’s sort of like the two foxes and the chicken discussing what to have for dinner tonight.

Look at the past abuses of corporations. I was speaking with a co-worker today and she and I both expressed the same level of outrage about the dominant energy distributor/provider here in RI, National Grid.

For natural gas they use a ‘therm’ factor which is cubic feet times something. In other words this translates to a “Because we can” fee.

Once you de-regulate, be it energy, net services, phone services, etc. you can see what happens.

So regulate the net. It’s about damned time that we got a regulation for net neutrality.

Target Ain’t People! August 17, 2010

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I love this. For once Moveon.org gets it absolutely right. We need to stop the corporate plutocracy in this country once and for all.

You have the racist politicians talking about abolishing the 14th Amendment. Part of me says let them succeed because even corporations would lose their rights. But instead I’ll offer that we insert a few words that in effect say corporations ARE NOT people.

People in RI really can’t drive August 15, 2010

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Ok so I rented a car for the weekend. Got a Hyundai Sonata GLS. Not a bad vehicle. The thing is loaded with every creature comfort including power everything, a sun roof, XM radio, the works.

Anyhow driving in RI for the past two days I’ve noted a lot of stupid behavior by drivers.

During one of our trips today I went down Vinton St. to get onto Atwells Ave. There was a dump truck in front of me. We get nearly to Atwells when I see the trucks reverse lights come on.

I pop the car in reverse, nobody behind me but the truck is accelerating backwards towards the car. Even though I took the LDW insurance imagine explaining that one. I laid on the horn and the truck finally stopped.

Let me set another scene. We’re driving back from Narragansett this evening and we’re on RI-4. The highway dumps out onto I-95N but there are signs for at least five miles that point out that I-295 exit is to the left. Yet you get right on top of the exit and people try to merge over even though they were WARNED about it miles back.

Height of stupidity. That and the fact that you’re in the LEFT lane of a highway moving right along until you come up on a vehicle doing 40MPH in the LEFT lane. Talk about having to jack on the brakes!

Then coming home, I took the Dean St. exit off RI-6/10. I get to the intersection of Atwells and Dean. if you want to continue on Dean you get in the right hand lane. Dean is offset to your left but trust me, get in the right lane because the left is for turning east on Atwells, and there’s a turn-off to go west before that.

The light is red. I’m in the right lane and a car pulls up next to ours. I start going to do the jog left to continue on Dean and the guy on the left cuts me off.

I’ve come to the conclusion that RI drivers are the rudest and most oblivious on the planet. It’s been some time since I drove around in the state but I have to say it, RI drivers are the worst.

The Lack of Legislative Leadership in Rhode Island and how it impacts gay rights August 15, 2010

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So this past Thursday night we went over the the Bell Street Chapel to see a series of LGBT short movies as part of the RI International Film Festival.

After the movie they had a panel comprised of some people I know: Rep. Frank Ferri, Sen. Rhoda Perry, Marriage Equality Executive Director Kathy Kushnir, and MERI board member Paige and her partner Sarah as well as the Director of the movie “We”, Carl Rashad Jaeger.

They all echoed how close we are to achieving marriage equality here in RI. But Keyron has an interesting perspective on it. He sees the inertia present in our legislative leadership as well as I do.

What really prompted me to write this is this following paragraph from the Courage Campaign Prop 8 Tracker’s recent post on As NOM’s tour sputters to a finish in nation’s capital, a city celebrates the freedom to marry

UPDATE BY ADAM (12:12 PST): On that theme, DC Councilmember and straight ally Phil Mendelson, who did a great deal of the legwork in sponsoring the marriage legislation, rounding up the other 10 votes in support of it, and pushed back on the Catholic Diocese’s effort to torpedo the bill, is now speaking at the Freedom Plaza rally:

I must give props to DC Council Member Phil Mendelson for rousing the troops on marriage equality in DC. But it influences what I am about to say greatly.

The population of DC is a bit over half a million people. Population of RI hovers around a million. So the DC council is a powerful body.

Here in RI we COULD HAVE HAD full equality LAST year. Look, if we could get a funeral rights bill passed, then vetoed by Governor Don “The Asshole” Carcieri, and finally have that veto overridden by the legislature, we could get a marriage equality bill to do the same. But there wasn’t even a hearing for the bill this past year, excuse being the economy.

Yes, if you too are saying “What the fuck?” you understand exactly where I’m going with this.

Let me state clearly that our Speaker of the House is an OPENLY GAY MAN! So how the hell did we not have this pushed to the front?

It’s LEADERSHIP or the lack thereof in our legislative body. Then there is Senate President M. Therese Paiva-Weed. I’ve had a brief email conversation with her but I get the feeling that she’s terrified to act on this.

As I said, if the LEADERSHIP of the house doesn’t know how to beat the bushes and lead their respective legislative bodies then maybe they need some serious encouragement.

As it stands now we have enormous support in the House, and if Paiva-Weed ever decides to pick up the reigns maybe we’d have the same in the Senate and we can pass this bill even with the Asshole still in the governors chair, and then override his inevitable veto of said equality.

This all leaves me shaking my head saying “WHAT THE FUCK!”

Thus the weekend begins August 14, 2010

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Last night Keyron and I went and had dinner over on Thayer again. This time to an old familiar, Meeting Street Cafe. He had the fish, I had the steak. Not bad, they actually understand how to cook steak medium-well.

Afterward we just bumped around the city a bit.

This morning I rented a car. Life is such I don’t NEED a car so every now and again I rent one for a weekend. I do it every couple of months. And as such we roam a bit.

For example this morning we headed over to Wickenden St. and ate breakfast/brunch at a place called The Brickway Cafe. The place was packed. We were so close in with other people we could hear their conversations. To our right a guy and girl were talking and the girl was telling the guy how to essentially listen, or what I’d term the “Learn to listen and you’ll be surrounded by so much pussy you’ll think you’re a tampon!”

The food was pretty good. This ranks the place high on my list because they know how to use flavor combinations pretty well. Their home fries are tasty enough but too soft. But just to give you an idea of HOW packed the place was:

Est. 50 seats. Those seats change over every 40 minutes. So every two hours you serve 150 people. Average per person hovers around $13. And figure they’re open eight hours.

4*150 = 600 people times $13 = $7,800 for ONE day. In two days on a weekend they’ll make $15,600. Don’t know what their weekday volume is but I’d say not quite as busy but good. In other words that restaurant is pulling $40K or more a week into the till.

They have about six staff between hostess, waitresses, cooks, etc. Figure $300 a week on average. Whoever owns this place has themselves a little gold mine.

After that we roamed a bit and then headed over to the Mr. Lemon shop over in Eagle Park.

Roamed a bit more then late this afternoon we head to a graduation party. After that we’ll probably visit some friends.

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