Monday, June 25, 2018

I am NOT a Libertarian

Though I agree with them on many things, and vote for them often.

More to follow...

An Exercise in Not Being Hopelessly Partisan

List ten positive things about your favorite and least favorite politician. List ten bad things about the same two people. Get mad about all 20 bad things, give credit for all 20 good things. If you can't do this, you are hopelessly partisan and are part of the problem. You do not have to do this on Facebook. If you can't think of them off the top of your head, spend some time researching.

It is simply impossible that your political opponents are wrong about everything. It is absolutely possible that you think they are wrong about some things simply because they are your political opponent and that's what our government wants.

Who wins when a country is divided?

It's the people who want more power and control and less accountability. I'll give you a hint: when you see their name in print they have a D or an R after their name.

Break the cycle of assuming a PARTY wants anything from you other than your vote, and will offer you anything more than a reason to hate the other party enough to keep you voting for them and not noticing that they never actually FIX anything they proclaim to be so badly broken that it is literally a TRAGEDY if it isn't fixed immediately.

Another exercise to help you to stop vilifying the PEOPLE (actual human beings) who don't vote the same way you do. List ten GOOD reasons that someone might vote for the politician you hate.

Let's try to remember that PEOPLE are generally good, and want others live's to be better. Let's also remember that it is a pretty good time to be alive. Let's personally help others better their lives. Leave jealousy and anger behind. Make ONE person's day better today, and make NO person's day worse.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Double IPA Blind Taste Testing - Update

For the last couple of years, we have been doing blind taste tests of Double IPAs.  The original post is HERE (with the full rankings).

This summer we will be doing a bunch, always trying to include previously tested beers so we can roughly rank them.

Here's what we are doing this summer (at a minimum):

Wicked Weed Freak of Nature
Edmunds Oast Viridi Rex
Burlington Wizard (it's complicated)
Clown Shoes Galactica
Boulevard The Calling
Coast Boy King
Crooked Run Orbz
Weyerbacher Double Simcoe
Westbrook Two Claw
Fiddlehead Second Fiddle
Maui Double Overhead

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

If you're pissed off at people protesting the anthem (as I often am). I would encourage you to remember the last line.
I've written about freedom a lot. Let's talk about being brave.
Is it brave for a police officer to not take the extra seconds, admittedly at the risk of his own life, before shooting someone?
Is it brave to deny people the right to bear arms because we risk criminals having guns?
Is it brave to turn our backs on desperate refugees because terrorists MIGHT use our compassion against us?
I could go on. I bet you could think of dozens of examples.
Americans need to grow some balls and live up to the anthem we're so worked up about.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Harvey and Irma response and climate change

This isn't written as a post about the reality or unreality of climate change. What it is, is a suggestion for the next few months.
Pay attention to the actions of government, pundits, charities, politicians and advocacy groups in the next coming months. You will have a chance to see what they REALLY believe about climate change. You will see if they are willing to make the hard choices that a belief in climate change REQUIRES them to make.
If we respond to Harvey and Irma in the same way we have in the past, then you know that the people in power aren't serious about climate change.
Massive changes to the national flood insurance program, FEMA and HUD assistance, flood zone requirements and zoning are ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED if the current consensus on climate change is true. Rebuilding in many of these areas is ABSURD! Rebuilding in other areas without significant changes in building codes is RIDICULOUS.
If the government does the usual thing, and not only allows rebuilding without major changes in building standards, but subsidizes and encourages it, then you know that they aren't serious about climate change. This doesn't mean they're wrong, or lying, just that they put politics above reality.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Letter to The Post and Courier

In a Nov. 13 editorial titled “The next president’s policies,” you talked about being concerned about Trump “sounding less than committed to fulfilling our security treaty obligations.”
Let’s be clear, I am far from a Trump supporter, but this comment ignores the reality of NATO’s “obligations” to each other. NATO countries are supposed to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense in order to support their obligations towards mutual defense. In 2015, countries other than the United
States shirked that obligation to the tune of $100 billion. Let that sink in. This means the United States is subsidizing European social democracies by $100 billion. That’s a $100 billion that we could, theoretically be spending on our own social programs.
Obviously we wouldn’t suddenly divert all that money away from defense, but imagine if we did. What would $100 billion a year pay for? Fix Social Security? Improve mental health care? Expand Medicaid or fix the Affordable Care Act? Tax cuts?
It gets worse. Five countries in the top 10 of GDP in NATO make up $80 billion of that gap. Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada and the Netherlands have all outsourced their national defense to the United States. Only five of the 28 countries spend 2 percent of GDP on defense.
Twenty-three NATO countries are not meeting their obligations for mutual defense, yet we are to be castigated for even suggesting that we might be tired of carrying the weight of the world on our military’s back. America is paying for those wonderful European social welfare programs that we are told we should be emulating.
I say if we’re going to be like them, let’s go all the way. One percent of 2015 GDP (what Canada spends) would be $180 billion (rough numbers). Cut military spending from $600 billion to $180 billion and we would have money for the best social welfare system in the world.
Obviously I am not suggesting we do any of the above, but let’s point fingers in the right direction.