What I believe…

The scope and power of all levels of government should be limited and the burden of maintaining that government should be a cost borne by all Americans, from the poorest to the wealthiest. The rights guaranteed by the Constitution are not simple recommendations, but the absolute and highest law of the land and must be aggressively defended against those who seek to deny them. Protecting the territorial integrity of the United States is the single most important obligation of the federal government. The only JW16.pngappropriate legitimate “path to citizenship” involves respecting the following the laws and regulations governing immigration. Government should have no voice in defining love – or even lust – between two consenting adults. Locking people up for smoking marijuana is stupid. A woman’s right to access a relatively safe abortion has been the law of the land for over 40 years and it’s time we accept that. Our head of state is the president, not Jesus Christ, so let’s not pretend we want to live in that world unless we’re also willing to give Odin, Zeus, Mithras, Satan, and Buddha equal billing. The guy next door, or the one in the next county over, doesn’t owe you a damned thing. The only thing you as an individual are owed is the opportunity to be happy and successful, but that depends largely on how hard you’re willing to work and what you’re ready to sacrifice to reach your goals.

As it turns out, there isn’t a candidate in the 2016 presidential election who hits all those check boxes. I won’t vote for Hillary Clinton because I’ll never be convinced by equivocating investigators that she’s not an unindicted felon. I fundamentally disagree with her positions on so many issues of importance to me and deep down I just don’t trust her. Plaudits from the current administration that labeled her “the best qualified candidate in the history of the republic ever,” surprisingly did nothing to assuage my distrust. Representing the party I find myself most often aligned with, I have Donald Trump… the candidate who started off as an interesting outsider who seems to become more unhinged with every passing afternoon. Despite agreeing that we need to build one big ass wall on the southern border, I can’t seem to find a way in good conscience to vote for a man who condemns prisoners of war and gold star families.

With all that said, I believe one more thing. I believe that the best candidate for the Presidency of the United States in 2016 doesn’t come cloaked as a Democrat or a Republican. Like the others, he doesn’t hit all of my sweet spots. In fact his draconian proposals for defense spending are directly opposed to my own self interest in continuing to be paid out of that big pot of money. This election can’t be about my paycheck. It has to be a matter of principle… and even though we disagree on a few issues I believe Gary Johnson is far more qualified to sit behind the Resolute desk than either huckster the major parties have presented to us.

On Tuesday, November 8th I’ll cast my vote for Gary Johnson for President and Bill Weld for Vice President. I hope you’ll consider doing the same. I believe it’s the only reasonable and responsible option left to us.

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Measuring success. In a meeting it was casually mentioned that exceeding the standard wouldn’t be hard at all if we just changed the way the standard was measured. Well sure. As long as no one cares what something actually is, a perfectly acceptable description of it is “not my bathtub.” It’s technically correct but doesn’t tell you a damned thing about what the object actually is or how well it’s performing. The fact that there were a lot of allegedly smart people in the room who all nodded their heads in agreement of this asshattery leaves me so very little doubt about why this country is so utterly jacked up.

2. Walkers. The old woman who walked out from between two parked trucks on a one way street at 5PM without even looking in my direction (i.e. the direction from which traffic was coming) clearly has a death wish. I know this because she flipped me off and then yelled that I almost hit her. I hope I at least taught that wrinkled bitch a few new words. Fortunately for all of us I was more interested in getting home than jumping out of the truck and pummeling the Crypt Keeper with a tire iron.

3. Nest. It’s trying to be helpful. Maybe most people don’t notice the difference a single degree of temperature makes, but I do. Yes, my automated friend, I can feel the difference between 70 and 71. If I wanted 71 that’s the temperature I would have set. I appreciate that you’re doing your level best to save me money while keeping the house reasonably cool, but what I really need you to do is just go to the temperature I told you to go to and stay there until you receive further guidance. I’m fine with compromise, but not when it comes to comfort – and especially not when the cost is about $.37 a month.

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Standards. As a matter of principle, I never hold anyone to a higher standard than I hold myself. By the same token I don’t hold them to a lower one either. I’m many things but I do my best to avoid having hypocrite show up on that list – especially when it’s no harder a matter than maintaining just a little bit of consistency. Jaded as I am, though, I still find I can be surprised when people seem to behave with no sense of personal standards at all. Unfortunately, I’m not entirely sure whether it bothers me more that they do it or that I care.

2. Low Expectations. The high point of this week at the office was the arrival and unboxing of a new industrial strength shredder. I’m not even making that up. Given the volume of paper we push a heavy duty shredder isn’t a luxury item. It’s damned near an essential. An essential that we haven’t had for the last quarter of a year. It makes me a little sad to find my expectations of what constitutes a “good day” have been lowered so far that being able to turn PowerPoints into confetti now falls near the very top of the list.

3. Apple. I found myself reading through the initial reports from this afternoon’s Apple product rollout and rather than finding myself in need of selling a kidney for some new tech, I found myself mostly shrugging with something that approximated indifference. The latest iteration of iPad lacked something of the wow factor of a truly new product. The new iMac looks well enough kitted up, but not nearly enough to get me to drop $3K+ on on a desktop computer. There was nothing there that will find me leaping from bed at 3AM to make sure my pre-order is in. I know that every new product update can’t be a show stopper, but I’d have appreciated a little bit of “wow” when it comes time to deliver what should be iconic product offerings.

Wimps…

I’m a registered Republican and quite frankly I think the current crop of Republican “leaders” are a bunch of little nancy girls. Total friggin’ pansies. Cowards. Wimps. They’re going through the motions of “shutting down the government” in the name of resisting Obamacare. The reality is that what the government is going to carry out if they have their way is, at best, a partial government shutdown. If the “shutdown” happens, more than half the government will continue to operate. That’s a lame excuse for a shutdown if I ever heard one.

If the Tea Party Republicans were serious about stopping Obamacare, they’d actually shut down the government, not the kind of half-assed stunt like they seem bent on pulling. If they want to make a statement, they should really shut the mother down.

Shut it all the way down and let people suck on no Social Security checks, no federal prison guards or courts, no Border Patrol or Coast Guard; No food stamps, no disability, no agriculture subsidies, no meat inspection or drug oversight. No air traffic controllers, no TSA screeners, no GPS satellites, no weather forecasting or storm warnings. Shut down the VA hospitals, banks, and the stock market. Stop producing electricity at hydro-electric plants across the west. Lock the doors and walk away from every military installation across the country and throughout the world. Tell the troops overseas that they’re on their own until further notice. Take away their pay, food, uniforms, weapons, and ammunition because that came at tax payer expense. If you’re going to say you’re playing hardball, then for God’s sake have the stones to actually play hardball.

Unfortunately, what the loudmouthed amateurs who’ve hijacked the Republican party are doing is grandstanding, not standing on principle. If they were committed to their quest, they’d stop being a bunch of pansies about it… but all I can see them doing today is dicking around with the full faith and credit of the United States of America, loving the sound of their own voices, and trying to scorch the earth just to watch it burn.

You know what? I don’t think Obamacare is good law either, but I can accept that my party lost an election. The fact that we’re on the slippery slope to universal healthcare is an unfortunate results of that loss. It’s painfully obvious that these asshats have no earthly idea what it means to be a Republican (or a republican for that matter), because whatever they are, they’re not acting like the heirs of Lincoln, or TR, or Reagan. Right now they’re acting like nothing more than the bitter cranks that members of my party are always accused of being. That makes for bad politics. It makes for bad public relations. And it makes for bad government.