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The Political and Religious Views of a Not Quite Normal Citizen of the Greatest Country in the World

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I don’t know about any of you, but I am sick and tired of the “if you’re not on my side you’re an ignorant scumbag who cares only about him/herself and not the American People” attitude in Washington and elsewhere.  Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean that they are out to get you or those you think need protecting.  Along these lines is the refusal to compromise on things, great or small.  The worst example of all this is the United States Congress (both House & Senate) over the past 10 or so years.  Yeah, I get it that you all have your own pet projects/causes/whatever, but just look at where not compromising has gotten us.  I’m all for fighting over what you think is right, but when it just keeps driving us further and further into the hole then what good does it do?

I think a great example of all sides working together is the recent Pension/Healthcare reform that happened in New Jersey.  There was a problem where the Pension system was grossly underfunded (no, I’m not going to get into whose fault it was because it was just about everyone at the State level for about 20 years) and the State couldn’t afford to keep paying for the vast majority of the Healthcare premiums.  No one wanted to deal with the other side, initially to the point that the House Speaker said that nothing would be done on the plan as it was.  Eventually, though, rational thought won the day and a compromise was reached, passed in the Senate & Assembly and signed by the Governor.  Is it perfect?  Nope.  Did everyone get everything they wanted?  Not by a long shot.  But it’s a damn site better than what we had and the problem is now on the path to being solved.

Why can’t this happen more often?  Yeah, there are people that are upset by the outcome, but just remember that little axiom.  “You can’t please all of the people, all of the time.”   The result was as just as it could be, it had input for all sides and was passed in a decent amount of time (not rushed through and not stalled in some committee).  It’s not that hard of a thing to do, is it Congress?

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Glutton For Punishment

Yup.  That’s me.  At least, it must be.  Not only am I trying to maintain a weekly schedule on a blog that seems to be getting some decent readership, but now I’m starting another one to deal with two really hot/controversial/will attract possible hate mail topics.  Those topics being ones that I refuse to mention on my other blog: Religion and Politics.  OK, now let’s set up some ground rules here.  First of all, I am allowing comments and that is because I like intelligent discourse.  One of the hallmarks of intelligent discourse is that it is filled with facts.  Please make your arguments from a place of verifiable facts, as I will try and make my posts.  Secondly, while I might post on a topic that you don’t agree with me on, I invite you to try and change my mind.  Everything I post here is opinion and, like any reasonable human, I am willing to reevaluate that opinion based on the situation/facts changing.  Third, please be polite to your fellow commenters (or to me, if it goes that far).  Any comments that I deem inappropriate I will delete.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, let me give you my background.  First, religion.  While I was a Catholic growing up, I never felt like I belonged there.  After much research and years of soul searching, I finally found something that I fit with, and that is Asatru.  For those that don’t know, Asatru is the worship of the Norse Gods (the Aesir) such as Odin, Thor and Freyr.  It is a reconstructed religion that harkens back to the pre-conversion days of Scandinavia and Iceland.  The name of this blog is a reference to the hammer amulet that most Asatruar wear.  My wife, OTOH, is a Protestant Christian, but she it involved in what ceremonies that I do (normally at the New Moon of every month) and accepts what I believe.  Secondly, family status.  I come from a white, middle class background.  My dad was a truck driver and my mom worked at a bank, before getting a job in the treasurer’s department of the town.  I hold a Bachelor’s & Master’s of Science in Engineering and work for a Sheet Metal Contractor as an Estimator.  I have been married for nearly 10 years and have a 3 year old daughter.  I have had ~5 alcoholic drinks in my life, have never smoked or done drugs, not because I don’t think one should, but because I don’t see a need for it in my life.  Lastly, politics.  I’m an odd duck here.  Due to my religious views, I know that there has to be some kind of communial safety net for the less fortunate.  However, I am also big on personal responsibility and freedom.  I believe that a person should be free to do as they please in their own life, as long as it doesn’t harm another.  I also think that the government, on whatever level, needs to live within its means, just like all us plebes.

So, that’s where I’m coming from.  Let the games begin!