problem #1: ignorant people

GIS for bleeding heart?
I know, it’s been a few days. Well, get used to it. I don’t plan to write much all next week when I’m away on holiday. I’ll try and drop a few entries on ya, but I’m not making any promises. I guess I’ve just been kinda bummed lately with this whole CIU thing… a visit to the allergist this week confirmed that I won’t be able to go on our planned rafting trip next weekend, which meant I had to cancel those reservations. Even crappier, since I didn’t find out until pretty close to the event, they’d only refund me 75% of what we paid in – which effectively means that this “disease” screwed a bunch of people out of $40 each. So, not only was I feeling bad for not being able to make the trip, I felt worse for hitting people in their pocketbooks because of it.

So I did what I do when I’m down, I took a morning off work and used it to work in the yard. I was at the Home Depot by 6:30am and swingin’ a pick by 7am. It’s amazing how much you can get done before noon when you don’t wait until 10am to get started. Got all of zone two sprinklers done, and covered. Just having a flat, un-trenched backyard makes things look so much better – even if it is still all dirt. I formed up the patio, and seeing the outline visually really helps the imagination – you can almost see what it’ll look like when it’s done. Also got five yards of decomposed granite (the base for the pavers-based porch) and 3 yards of cedar mulch for the slope above the retaining wall. After putting just a little mulch on that slope, it makes a big difference? this thing is actually starting to look like a backyard. I’m going to change subjects now, mixing in some of the half-written things I had for the days I skipped this week.

Getting older and taking more of an interest in politics must go hand in hand. Am I supposed to have this much hesitation and distrust of all news sources and politicians? I honestly don’t think I am. Were early Americans so leery? I mean, I have a hard time taking anything as 100%. What do I mean? I mean that whenever a politician or pundit speaks, I automatically assume that at least some of what they say is “spin” or pure crap. Where did this doubt-factor get built in to my thought processes? It’s the same kind of doubt that I have with auto mechanics, thinking that at best they can utter half-truths only. When it comes to politics, I have this built in notion that I have to take whatever I hear with a grain of salt. Everyone, from learned people I know and like, to analysts on Capitol Hill, has their agenda… where can a brother go for the straight dope? Not the Post, not Fox, not CNN?

Right now I’m listening to the new Interpol album, and I gotta say it’s outstanding. I needed to be weaned off the Killers, and I think this may be just the album to do it. My mind is in other places though, calculating volumes of rock and sand and mulch for the backyard, drifting hive-less down a river during my upcoming week off, or thinking back on my weekend on the range (I can still smell the campfire smell on my sneakers, and it’s awesome).

So, to it then. The weekend was outstanding. And like all things that I enjoy immensely, I’ll probably never write a proper entry about it. Suffice it to say (sufficed to say?) that we had a blast, playing cowboy in the high-desert under the shadows of the Sierras. It was relaxing, cathartic, and perfectly timed. Now I’m back in the working-world and once again feeling the pull of Summer, baiting me with every cloudless sunny day, taunting me. I can make it through these next two days and onto my vacation, I know I can.

In other news, today is my fourth wedding anniversary. I’ve been married for four years, been in CA for four years? it’s simply flown by. Four years ago today I was in a small church in Cocoa, Florida, getting married to someone I’d already been with for nearly eight years. Four years ago tomorrow we were arriving at our bed and breakfast in Martha’s Vineyard. I’m old.

Last night I checked my e-mail at home and found a forwarded letter waiting for me. It was from Sharaun’s grandmother, a woman who I love dearly – but also a staunch conservative who often sends Bush-loving, Kerry-hating missives that are making the rounds (you’ve seen the one about Kerry’s houses and that stupid ketchup rumour, I’m sure). I’m not going to get into politics, why quibble over the lesser of two evils – but this letter was a little different. It was a forwarded letter that was supposedly originally written by a father to his sons, regarding the war and terrorism and whatnot. It was long, but it caught my interest and I read the whole thing. For the sake of background, here’s a webized version of what I’m talking about (which is good because it doesn’t have the one-million carats and typos that come from a grandmother-forwarded e-mail). As a disclaimer, I have no idea what that site is about – it was just the first Google return for “muslim terrorists love dad letter.”

Now to the letter, it’s well-written, but some of the lines that I love are: “Why were we attacked? Envy of our position, our success, and our freedoms.” Yeah? Seems a bit classist and elitist to me. I mean, perhaps envy played a role – but I think the real reason lies in these peoples’ belief that our country is so immoral that they are commanded by God to destroy us. Not only that, but they feel that we attacked first. Read Osama’s letter, he tells us why they attack us. Anyway, there is some decent text in the letter, the portion addressing speaking to all Muslims being bad and Hitler’s Germany, etc. But for the most part it takes on a bit of a “conspiracy theory” vibe, talking about France eventually “fading” to the Muslims. I’m not sure, but is this guy trying to justify genocide here? What does the war in Iraq have to do with Muslim terrorists? Are all Iraqis Muslim terrorists?

Problem number one: ignorant people. Problem number two: the belief in divine justification for certain deeds. Either of these problems by themselves can be deadly, but the combination of the two is most certainly. When you have a person or group or persons who believe that they are called by God to do something, and that a) if they don’t do it they will be held accountable by said God, and b) that because it’s done in God’s name and at his command, it is beyond reproach or examination, you’re against a wall. There’s no arguing with it, there’s no logic that you can apply, there’s nothing. Whatever, I’m not defending terrorists… at least that’s not what I intended to do here. Hate me because California is turning me liberal, I guess.

I have nothing more, but I’m sure my logic above is all flawed? so tell me about it. Dave out.

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