Nothing Special, Really

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Say It Yourself

Friday night, Wac and I went to a bar, The Capitol Club, for a friend's birthday. We weren't planning on staying long, mostly because we were broke, but we stayed enough to catch up with our friend. Conversation was the usual - catch up on each other's lives, share some laughs about past memories, make fun of the girl in an all-denim outfit. There wasn't anything about the conversation that stood out, until I got to work on Monday.

At one point in the conversation, we were talking about a coworker of mine, and the friend mentioned "Say 'Hi' to Ryan for me!" I didn't think twice about the statement at the time. She enjoyed the company of the coworker when she was still working with us and, so, she wanted him to know she was still thinking about him. Since I would probably be seeing him before she would, it made sense to her to have me pass on the message. I've done this too, and furthermore, I'd venture to say everyone I know has done this too.

Today, when I got to work, I was thinking "oh, I should tell Ryan so-and-so said hi" (I don't think she reads this anyone, but even though my intent is not to riducule the birthday girl, I'll keep the name unknown anyways). But that got me thinking: what's the point of saying "Hi" if you're not even there to say it? Isn't the point of a "Hi" or a "Hello" to acknowledge one's presence before you? It's a way to greet someone, so if you're not really there when it's said, is it really a greeting?

Those that know me well know that this is how I am. I'm curious about these things we do, things that appear habituous or subconscious, things we do without really knowing why we do it or what we're really doing. Years ago, I gave up on the habit of saying "Bless You" after a sneeze. I know that some might think it's rude, but I think it's just rediculous. Whether it's because your heart supposedly stops when you sneeze, or it's to stop the demons from reentering once you sneeze, I personally don't see the point of saying "bless you". I don't think anyone's going to suffer if I don't bless them after they sneeze, and the only argument I've known to counter my stance is the "You're just supposed to say it" argument. I don't buy it. But I digress.

When I think about it, this whole "Hi" business is pretty pointless too. If you're trying to convey some sort of message to them, then just say what you mean. Instead of telling the person to say "Hi", have the messenger let the person know you'll call them soon, or that they should call you, or that you hope they're doing well. To me, that's more meaningful then this invisible salutation. More often than not, it seems like saying "Hi" is a lazy way of maintaining a friendship, and it hardly ever works. If they're not important enough to you to stay in contact with, then what's the point of arbitrarily saying "Hi" to them? All it does is communicate your own laziness and lack of desire to make a meaningful attempt to communicate with them.

I do acknowledge there might be some exceptions to the rule. Perhaps you have the chance to say "Hello" yourself, but for whatever reason you're tied up, a second-hand "hello" might be OK. But even in that instance, wouldn't it be better to say "Tell them I'm sorry I can't talk right now, but I hope they're doing well and I'll call them soon?"

Communication has become impersonal enough; with the advent of email & text-messaging, we have to rely on one's ability to convey emotion through text to get a message across, and even that's reduced to acronyms and superfluous exclamation points. If we have the chance to give a message to someone through another human being, shouldn't we take advantage of that and say something more than "hi"? From now on, this will be another one of my stupid little quirks. I'm not going to bless you and I'm not going to say when I'm not there. Call me weird, but if you really think about it logically, I don't see how I'm the one behaving weirdly.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Republican From Texas

The first time I saw him, I was floored. It was an interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Often a forum for presidential candidates, I expected this interview to be much like the others. Boring. Cliche'. The same ol' political diatribe. Make a bunch of generic statements, humor the host a little bit, smile pretty and exit quickly.

But this one was different. He had that certain charm about him. When he spoke, he'd say things that I never thought I'd ever hear. The way he was just so...unusual.

I'd heard rumors about the kind of things he'd done in the past. I started reading up on him, trying to discover the truth for myself. I started with wikipedia, the non-stop place for information on the internet. Sure enough, his entire history, everything he'd done before, laid out before me. I kept searching for more. The more I found about him, the more I realized that he was the one.

I was floored. I couldn't believe what I was thinking. Could this really be our President?

I really hope so. I never thought I'd say this, but the answer to our nation's problems could be solved by one man.

A Republican. From Texas.

No, not G-Dub.

Ron Paul

His name is Ron Paul

His name is Ron Paul

His name is Ron Paul

I'm a registered Democrat. I've been a Democrat for as long as I could remember. If I could've, I would have voted for Dukakis. Of course, I was 10 years old at the time, and my party affiliation was solely based on the my preference of the word "democrat" over "republican". Probably because, in my mind, democrat was a prettier word.

I stayed a Democrat because I supported Bill Clinton. I stayed a Democrat because I identified more with the liberal social view of the Democrat party. I liked the fact that Republicans didn't want to tax me, but I was more concerned with civil rights & foreign policy than I was with the economic views of each party.

Then George came along and everything got messed up.

I'm still a registered Democrat, but I don't affiliate myself with either party. Like so many other Americans, I'm fed up with the bi-partisan system. I'm tired of the bickering, the hostility. I'm tired of "Democrat" & "Republican" meaning "good" & "evil", however you see it. I just want a sensible President, not just one who seems like a nice guy, but one who is willing and capable of restoring honor to the Presidency.

I'm pretty sure I've found that guy.

I know it's wikipedia, so take it for whatever value you choose, but here's some excerpts regarding Ron Paul's political positions:

Congressman Paul advocates a non-interventionist foreign policy that avoids entangling alliances. He believes that when a war must be fought, it must be fought to protect the citizens, be declared by Congress, planned out, won and then left: "The American public deserves clear goals and a definite exit strategy in Iraq."

Ron Paul believes that the federal government has been neglecting its constitutional responsibility to protect its own borders and concentrating instead on unconstitutionally policing foreign countries.

Paul favors that all immigrants should be treated fairly and equally under the law through a "coherent immigration policy." He has spoken strongly against amnesty for illegal immigrants because it undermines the rule of law and grants pardons to lawbreakers

Paul believes in decreasing the size of federal government. He supports the gradual abolition of the income tax, most Cabinet departments and the Federal Reserve

Paul has spoken against the domestic surveillance program conducted by the National Security Agency on American citizens.

Paul was Co-Sponsor of H.R. 2592, the States' Rights to Medical Marijuana and is affirmative to the question "Should marijuana be a medical option?"

Congressman Paul adheres to the consistent life ethic, and therefore opposes all forms of killing not done in self-defense. His pro-life views factor into his support for foreign non-interventionism and opposition to capital punishment and abortion.

Paul opposes federal efforts to redefine marriage as something other than a union between one man and one woman. Paul believes that recognizing or legislating marriages should be left to the states.

Ron Paul believes that polluters are aggressors, and should not be granted immunity or otherwise insulated from accountability.

He believes that to stem the Social Security crisis, Congress should cut down on spending, but even with that, the commitment cannot be met. He thinks the only way to meet the commitment to elderly citizens who depend on Social Security is to reassess monetary policies and spending and stop borrowing so much from foreign investors, such as those in China, who hold US treasury bonds.

and so on and so forth...

I don't necessarily agree with all of Ron Paul's views, but we're not going to find a candidate that everyone can agree with in totality. What I do see in Ron Paul is this - a President who will make decisions that are consistent. A President who will stand up against something that he believes is unconstitutional, even if it means it is an unpopular stance. A President that allows state matters to be controlled by the states, and Federal matters to be controlled by the Federal Gov't. A President who has a clear, consistent, and hard-to-argue-against stance on civil freedoms.

You're probably not going to hear as much about Ron Paul as you will about Hillary, Obama, or McCain. They've got the name credentials, they've got the money, and they've got the support of corporations and lobbyists behind them. You may be ready to vote for one of them right now. But I encourage you to dig deeper, to investigate each candidate, and I think, I hope, you'll find that Ron Paul is your man.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Date Has Been Set

Thursday, Nov 1st.

That's when it all begins.

Stay tuned for details.