Lunaya Pravda

25 September 2007

On the drawing of battle lines...

PintOfStout over at Murphy's Bye-Laws writes yet another excellent piece:

There are two reasons voting persists even though the choices almost all crawl from the same cesspool. The first reason is to keep those that are being extorted from flat-out stringing them up. This is accomplished by slapping some hooker-red lipstick on this pig and promising the booboisie anything they want, including respecting them in the morning. The second reason to keep up the voting illusion is to roll everyone, participant or not, into culpability for the actions of the few in control.

Precisely. Voting is an illusion... the Blue Pill. Nothing more than a feel-good measure to keep people believing that their input matters. Every single voter out there can recall at least one instance (if not more) when voters have had their say only to watch politicans and other bureaucratic slime do an end-around the voters, usually in a manner so underhanded that the blood boils.

To keep voting fits the definition of insanity--trying the same thing expecting different results. It matters not which mouth-breathing warm body is occupying a given office. Voting for the Other Party won't fix it. But few folks learn this cycle and opt out of it entirely. Even I haven't been able to entirely divest myself of the bad habit of voting. Surely there's a 12-step program for this...

In a means over ends approach of Voluntaryists, proper class struggle will be framed by means (political or productive) and not ends (rich and poor or labor and owner).

Describing politics as the diametric opposition to production is dead-on-balls accurate (it's an industry term). A struggle between the givers and the takers. Between the doers and the leeches.

The older I get, the less I appreciate the automatic bashing of the wealthy solely because of the bottom line on their bank statements. Whenever someone starts to vilify the wealthy in my presence, I feel my attention and respect for them slip away, and unfortunately, hating the rich is trendy, so this happens all too often. Granted, many of the wealthy have racked up laundry lists of reasons to dislike them--supporting government protectionism that drives out their competitors, subsidies, grants, property theft through eminent domain--but wealth alone is NOT sufficient reason to put someone on the other side of the disagreement.

Nice one, Stout.

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Knowing when to shut up

Maybe I should rethink this "overcoming fear" theme for the year.

Just a smidge over two weeks ago, I wrote about having my sunroof smashed by a rock thrown from an overpass. Yesterday morning, I was rear-ended on my way to work. Fortunately there were no serious injuries beyond some stiffness and soreness on my part, and it was pretty clearly the other driver's fault.

My heart aches for her. She's just barely 19, and I remember all too well what it was like causing an accident at that age. She was changing lanes, looking over her shoulder to make sure the lane was clear, when traffic (and me) came to a stop. How many times have we all taken that momentary glance over our shoulder only to find traffic at a stand-still, our own vehicle headed straight for the guy at the back of the line? It could've happened to anyone, and I think inexperience is primarily to blame. Not a cell phone, not the radio...just inexperience and bad luck. Man, have I been there.

Here's what really bothered me about the adversarial nature of the aftermath of a car accident. She kept doing the ONE thing insurance tells you not to do--she admitted fault. She apologized repeatedly. And because of the evil trio of insurance, lawyers, and liability, not only could I not tell her it was alright, I couldn't tell her to shut up and stop admitting fault. Doing anything humane such as patting her on the arm and telling her it would be alright might hurt MY case.

Her insurance company called me today to take my statement, and they specifically asked if she admitted fault. As much as I wanted to gloss over that fact, she DID admit it, and I told them so. And I'm not trying to be an asshole here. I'm not some lawsuit-happy pain-in-the-ass jerk looking to use a fender bender as a get rich quick scheme. But I feel like I threw her under the bus in order to save myself. Maybe her insurance would've paid anyway, whether or not I told them that information. Maybe this all strikes me as incredibly unfair because I've been in her shoes.

It seems to me that the law shouldn't exist to prevent us from acting like human beings with even an ounce of compassion. In this case, the law forces you to be the dickhead lest it steamroll you instead of the other guy.

So, to teenager B. who hit me--at the scene of an accident, for God's sake, SHUT UP! Exchange the necessary information with the other driver, but otherwise keep quiet. I know you that when you're at fault, you want to fall all over yourself apologizing (and God love you for it--only a completely heartless asshole wouldn't yearn to apologize for their mistakes). But for your own sake and my peace of mind, please, just shut up.


21 September 2007

From the "Good Fucking Grief" files

It's shit like this that makes me doubt any hope for humanity.

Iowa Family Finds Snake Head in Can of Beans

An Iowa family filed a lawsuit seeking damages over a snake head they claim to have found in a can of green beans.

Amy Schneider said she found the head when she opened the can of green beans on March 24, 2006. It was about the size of a golf ball, she said.

"It was ... yuck, it was really yuck," she said. "It was gross."

She said Lakeside Foods offered her some coupons when she complained.

It doesn't appear she actually ate any of the can's contents. And she deserves something more than coupons... why? Ms. Schneider, at BEST you can claim you're out perhaps a dollar for that can of green beans, plus perhaps a dollar for every other can of green beans in your pantry you now can't bring yourself to eat, and THAT'S being generous. But suing for mental anguish because you saw a snake head?

Grow the fuck up, you pantywaist.

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17 September 2007

Visit Seattle, ride the SLUT

New trolley saddled with mocking name

Officially, it's now the South Lake Union Streetcar. But the trolley name already has caught on, and in the old Cascade neighborhood in South Lake Union, they're waiting for the SLUT.

At the Kapow! Coffee house on Harrison Street, they're selling T-shirts that read "Ride the SLUT."

"We're welcoming the SLUT into the neighborhood," said Jerry Johnson, 29, a part-time barista. Johnson said the T-shirts were done just for fun, but they seem to have tapped into something: The first 100 sold out in days and now orders for the next 100 are under way.

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15 September 2007

New additions to the blogroll

Two folks I very much admire have finally started blogging.

Jacques, self-admitted lazy guy, has succumbed to nagging and started Jacques' Blog. I can only hope he sticks with it.

Meanwhile, I'm a little late to the party over at Eleanor's My Quiet Mountain Town. As she's someone who, when she speaks up, is worth listening to, I'm looking forward to reading her musings on her upcoming relocation and anything else she cares to write about.


14 September 2007

Robert Jamieson does hypocrisy

I sometimes wonder how folks can come relatively close to what I think is the right conclusion in one aspect of freedom and be so blindingly, painfully off-base in another.

Robert Jamieson of the Seattle PI bloviates:

But anyone who truly values democracy doesn't want safety if it comes attached to a troubling string: Big Brother-like surveillance.

Video eyes threaten civil liberties. And if we are not careful, we might end up like a frog in a pot of water that slowly warms up. We won't realize the worst has occurred until we're cooked.

Funny, Mr. Jamieson, but you didn't think civil liberties were all that important when it came to the right of self-defense through firearms ownership. You were more than happy to leave us at the mercy of all those downtown thugs who you now think the equally thuggish police need to do something about.

Just how much bullshit do you think they'd try if they suspected even HALF the workers downtown were armed and trained? Do you really think we'd need cops and cameras on every block if these little aggressive shits knew there was a 50/50 chance the next person they fucked with had the means to defend himself?

Oh, I suppose THOSE civil liberties don't matter. But just one last question... if and when free speech is obliterated, and the time comes to defend your civil liberties with something mightier than the pen, precisely what weapons will be left for you to pick up in your world free of private firearms?

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13 September 2007

What can they use against you?

Regarding my entry about my moon roof incident, B.W. Richardson said...

Not really surprising - they would have had to report it as an unsolved case, bad for their percentages, so they scared you out of reporting it (well, that, and the idiot insurance companies exist to keep your money and deny as much of your claim as legally possible).

I've been thinking about this comment for days. And I've come to the conclusion that it wasn't fear they used against me.

No one wants an insurance hike, but that possibility didn't really frighten me. It wouldn't be pleasant, and I don't like having my wallet squeezed, but I'd have survived.

Make no mistake, what they used against me was my impatience, and to a lesser extent, my anger. I'm a driver--a doer. Minutes after it happened, I was already on the phone reporting it to my insurance (which, incidentally, is covering the damage under my comprehensive policy). I wanted it (the problem, not the crime) solved, repaired, and off my plate, and THAT is what the state patrol was able to use against me most effectively. Any delay makes me angry, and THAT they used against me. They gambled on the possibility that I wouldn't pursue it out of a desire for resolution. Folks who know me would probably say that's not much of a gamble...

Playing the blame game can be such a waste of time and energy--the problem lies there staring everyone in the face while they all point fingers at who caused it. Solve the problem, then worry about how to prevent it from happening again. If that involves laying blame at someone's feet, THEN it's appropriate. We saw it when Katrina blew out the levees in New Orleans. The finger-pointing had already begun while water flooded into the city. Precious energy and effort was wasted playing Pin The Blame On The Bureaucrat.

So what if someone had caught the person who damaged my car? Other than some personal satisfaction, it would solve nothing. My window would still be broken.

Am I upset that my impatience was used against me? The jury is still out on that count.


08 September 2007


Why on earth do I continue to be surprised at government idiocy? You'd think that by now, I'd have long since accepted the fact that stupidity has no bounds... that we have, indeed, invented a better idiot at every junction in social evolution.

As I was driving home yesterday, someone tossed a rock (or something heavy--I never found it) off a freeway overpass and smashed my moon roof. Fortunately I had the sun shade closed, so there were no injuries.

Knowing my insurance would ask, I reported it to the state patrol. And even now, I'm astounded at the level of warped thinking that led to the response I got. First, they didn't get back to me for 20 minutes, ensuring that whoever threw the rock was long gone. And then they drop the bomb on me--if they file a report, it'll go down as a collision on MY driving record.


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05 September 2007

Why I love Rob

Rob over at To The People cracks me up. I appreciate a man who doesn't mince words.

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The appropriate response to nosy cops

Police visit but make no arrests at what appears to be speak-easy

About 3 a.m. Sunday, a uniformed officer attempted to follow a patron into the club, only to have the door slam shut on both of them.

I love it! Subversive behavior AND giving a nosy JBT with no warrant exactly the entry he deserves--none at all.

Does it get any better?

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04 September 2007

Leap, and the net will appear

Just as Kirsten blogged about her Year of Broken Things, I've been pondering the theme for my year. Sure, I could make it a broken things theme for the calendar year--a home burglary, a deceased grandmother, a stolen car, a cat with an abscessed jaw--but those things, while they cannot be trivialized, haven't coalesced into a concrete central motif.

This year's theme appears to be about overcoming fear, with emphasis on overcoming an ingrained flight response to confrontation, honesty, and discomfort. Rather than being up front when something upsets me, my natural inclination is to say nothing and grumble under my breath out of some misguided notions of harmony. I prefer something safe and mildly unpleasant or upsetting over taking any risks and seeing just how bad a situation can turn. Someone whose wisdom I value has written herself notes stating "leap, and the net will appear," all over her home, and because of a few invitations to visit, that message is sinking into me.

In this vein, I continue to be amazed and surprised at the ways in which my interactions with friends have contributed to this year's theme.

My recent rekindling of a friendship with B. has brought so many wonderful and unexpected things, and the timing of our reconnection has benefited me in ways I never foresaw, all beginning with that single, crucial hurdle over my trepidation in opening up a connection with him. That fear, which in many ways was more intense than most others, encompassed both my complete avoidance of confrontation and honesty about how our friendship had deteriorated and my dread of upgrading the tropical depression of grief over the loss to a full-force hurricane of angry and hurtful barbs we could have hurled at each other. But he was worth overcoming my fears for.

And though B. would never take or even acknowledge credit for it, he made the net appear when I leapt. He unintentionally inspired me to put other wheels in motion.

Offshoots of this courage continue to sprout around me. I found the courage to follow my own advice to a friend and confront her about something bothering me--something which happily turned out to be a simple miscommunication between us. Fear didn't overwhelm me when I was dealing with a possible change in jobs and negotiating with my current employer, which has netted me a promotion. I found the means, strength, and diplomacy not to burn my bridge with the company I turned down, which resulted in an open-ended job offer and no hurt feelings.

Ages ago it seems, I read that a person has a social, intellectual, and spiritual side, and that one side should never develop at the expense of the other two. That may or may not be true, but I'm certainly guilty of living the life of the mind while my social and spiritual sides atrophied. To prevent this trend from becoming irreversible, I've dived into actively pushing myself into social situations where my hermit-self would have a ready-made laundry list of excuses not to attend, and as a result, unfamiliar social situations are less nerve-wracking than before. And despite its awkwardness, I started dipping my toes back into the dating pool, with mixed results but much less anxiety and hesitation than before.

After my previous trip to Montana, I worried that I was slipping into something that has plagued me since I left home to attend college--the nagging sense that my heart will always be wherever I'm not currently living. When I was attending college out of state, I missed my home state. When I moved to California, I longed for the Pacific Northwest. And after I visited friends in Montana twice, I started getting that sense of dread at returning home and yearning for more time in the mountains.

But I don't feel that now. Sure, I'd love to have a home in Montana and visit whenever the mood struck me, but I'd hate living in that climate year-round, even with the intelligent, kind-hearted folks out there. And I'm reasonably happy where I am. Rootless thing that I was, I've put roots down here. And I feel nothing if not serenely calm about the idea of staying here in the lush Pacific Northwest, untroubled by the thought of what I might be missing in Montana. Make no mistake, I intend to keep visiting, but for the foreseeable future, I'll dance in the rain.

I've had fewer bouts of insomnia. I rarely feel the need to nap on the couch, and I can get up earlier than I used to with less grogginess. I feel healthier and more alive than ever before. I can conclude only that overcoming fear must be good for one's health.

The latter part of this year has left me feeling incredibly blessed, so much so that I'm finding it difficult to blog about all the crap going on in the world. I'm not swallowing the blue pill, mind you--I can't willfully blind myself to what's around me. But to quote a movie I love "I guess I could be pretty pissed off... but it's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world."