Dear Mr. President

Dear President Obama,

I am writing to you in this public form to appeal not only to yourself, but to others in power who may stumble across this.

Allow me to introduce myself quickly. I am 23 years of age and I live in a small town in Virginia with my wife of 20 months, our 1 year old Golden Retriever “Crash,” our 7 month old kitten “Olive,” and my wife’s family – her Mom, Dad, Brother, and their 3 cats.

Since moving to the United States in April 2008 I have held 2 jobs, one as a Camp Counselor at a Christian Camp and one as a Program Leader for a local Boys and Girls Club Unit. I have also done casual work for another camp in the area, hardly enough to call a job in most senses of the term and I am presently unemployed. My wife works at a Day Care Center as a teacher for 3 year old children, and enjoys it a lot.

However, we are stuck in a position where a lack of job openings in the local area as well as high fuel costs are preventing me from finding or accepting job offers. Just a week ago I had to turn down a well-paying offer to work in Northern Virginia because we couldn’t afford the gas to allow me to work the first day, let alone until the first pay check. I also stopped by the local Food Lion (supermarket) last night to inquire as to whether there were any open positions and how I could apply, only to be told that they are cutting their employees hours – they simply aren’t making it themselves.

I feel that “free” health-care, paid for by the taxpayer, is an important issue – especially having moved from a public health care system in New Zealand. I know that if our health insurance bill was lowered or indeed gone then my wife and I would be a lot closer to making our personal financial ends meet. I am also very much aware that the mainstream media have done a very good job of scaring us all with what might unfold if that were allowed to happen here. I feel that stimulating the economy is important too, especially because it seems a lot of people have little money to spend. I know if American products could better compete in price-wars against imported products then I would be more inclined to purchase the “home-grown” version. I am also very much aware that what most people are spending their money on are imported goods from overseas – simply because they are so much more affordable to them.

I wouldn’t mind if my job was providing technical support to a foreign organization that purchased a product from a US source, while I went to a store during my break and bought meat imported from outside the country for a meal, but from what I can tell there are very few things of worth being exported from the United States compared to the vast amount of things being imported. What the people need is employment to provide them with an income and the US economy with a profitable product, and what the economy needs is an increase in exports and a decrease in imports in order to create a balance.

Perhaps this means increasing taxes on imported goods intended for sale, or imposing limits on how much an individual or an organization can import every year. Perhaps this means increasing and reducing taxes on individuals and organizations who refuse to produce in the United States or who take the initiative to create jobs and products in America for Americans (and others). Whatever the solution, it needs to come quickly.

I am not an American, I am certainly not someone to tell you how to do your job or what this country needs. In all honesty, I don’t know. Maybe a start would be some form of inspiration to lower gas prices. To increase the desire of Americans to buy American. To foster the ideas of individuals or organizations who have something of exportable value and help them to bring dream to reality.

Kind Regards,

A Concerned Legal Alien.

Ice Cream

I received an email tonight from a long-time internet friend. Granted, our political views usually differ greatly, and I typically ignore everything he sends me. Occasionally, I draw some kind of feeling from them. Tonight it was frustration, an extension of a discussion I had with Kelly earlier today. Here is the email:

“He is now President and the Bible says to pray for our leaders.”

This was so true!

From a teacher in the Nashville area

We are worried about “the cow” when it is all about the “Ice Cream”

The most eye-opening civics lesson I ever had was while teaching third grade this year. The presidential election was heating up and some of the children showed an interest. I decided we would have an election for a class president.

We would choose our nominees. They would make a campaign speech and the class would vote.

To simplify the process, candidates were nominated by other class members. We discussed what kinds of characteristics these students should have. We got many nominations and from those, Jamie and Olivia were picked to run for the top spot.

The class had done a great job in their selections. Both candidates were good kids. I thought Jamie might have an advantage because he got lots of parental support. I had never seen Olivia’s mother.

The day arrived when they were to make their speeches Jamie went first. He had specific ideas about how to make our class a better place. He ended by promising to do his very best. Every one applauded. He sat down and Olivia came to the podium.

Her speech was concise. She said, “If you will vote for me, I will give you ice cream.” She sat down. The class went wild. “Yes! Yes! We want ice cream.”

She surely would say more. She did not have to. A discussion followed. How did she plan to pay for the ice cream? She wasn’t sure. Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it. She didn’t know. The class really didn’t care. All they were thinking about was ice cream.

Jamie was forgotten. Olivia won by a land slide.

Every time Barack Obama opens his mouth he offers ice cream, fifty percent of the people react like nine year olds. They want ice cream. The other fifty percent know they’re going to have to feed the cow and clean up the mess.

So.. now I’m aware I’m being a little hypocritical posting this on the interwebs, but I’ve also addressed him directly and I’m going to publish exactly what I said. Here goes:

The inherent problem with politics is that there are always going to be offers of ice cream, and there is always going to be a need for someone to pay for it. We’ll also be complaining at the cost of the broccolli when it is so desperately needed in the people as well, saying that it doesn’t taste good, irrelevant of the health benefits. Some people are worried about the flavor of the ice cream, and will only support it if it is chocolate, and others will only support if it is vanilla. Some will quote the cost of the ice cream without tax added in order to make it sound more lucrative. Others will attack the ice-cream people, claiming they have backgrounds in the wrong fields and don’t know anything about providing such frozen dairy products.

What is worse is when people lie to others, and claim a politician is offering yoghurt or cheese instead, and instead of actually doing some useful complaining, they make petty emails with bad analogies and forward them to everyone in their address books.

See, this is a democratic country, and while it may be more fun to spread rumor or sow seeds of doubt in the minds of the people, it would be more productive to write to those in power and exercise the democratic rights that residents and citizens hold by telling them what their subjects think and want of them. We can complain to each other all we like, but it’s spitting in the wind unless the right people hear it. This is precisely how minority groups come across as majorities, because their people write to newspapers, they write to senators and congressmen, and they get the laws changed in their favor. The majority, on the other hand, sit back and write emails to each other complaining about the other side, how silly or stupid they are, and complain further when ‘the other side’ makes progress in government, wondering how something like that could ever happen.

I’m told that every letter written to a newspaper or a government official represents the views of roughly 10,000 other people who weren’t prepared to write for one reason or another. In a country such as this, your opinion is only worth the time you take to voice it to the right people, and convincing like-minded people to do the same. Instead of relishing in the freedom you have to bash government among friends, it would be a more intelligent thing to do to relish the freedom you have to convince your representatives in government to reflect your views among their peers, to do your part in making democracy work. It shouldn’t end at the voting booth, and if you disagree with decisions being made by government, pick up a pen and a pad, and write to those in power to voice your complaints. If you can’t do something so simple as writing a letter, you don’t deserve to complain when decisions are made against your views. Then again, if you don’t like it, you’re free to leave 😉


Let me explain myself.. In this case it isn’t so much that I disagree with the anti-Obama statements – I don’t really have much of an opinion anymore. What I have a problem with is when people think that forwarding anti-[insertgrouporindividual] emails around their friends is being productive and actually changes anything. Heres a wake-up call: It doesn’t. If you want to change a church, talk to the pastor. If you want to change a classroom, talk to a teacher. If you want to change a store, talk to the manager. It only makes logical sense that if you want to change government that you talk to a government representative. Yes, this is America, governed by the people for the people – but telling Joe the Plumber about your problems with government is going to fix them about as well as telling a brick wall. If you can forward an email with your complaints, you can write a letter to your senator. You can copy that letter and send it to your congressman. You can copy it a second time and send it to your local newspaper. If you have a problem with the way the government is governing you have three choices: You can talk to them and argue your points, you can move to a country that has views you agree with, or you can do nothing and live with it. And forwarding emails around with silly analogies is about equivalent to the last option. Let me be blunt. If you can’t be bothered complaining to the right people, you don’t deserve to be listened to by anyone.

Why We Suck – An Incomplete Review

This evening I went to work with Kelly to keep her company in hell. Not that making coffee for stupid people in a corporately-run bookstore is bad, she just doesn’t do well working alone with no outside communication for long periods. It is her personal hell.

While I was there I picked out 3 books to read. C++ For Dummies (considering learning a new language), Eminem’s recent book “The Way I Am,” in which he tells of events passed, and Dr. Denis Leary’s “Why We Suck.”

I was intrigued after seeing Dr. Leary on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (and especially the discussion regarding Autism), and it was a must-read. It is a 240 page rand on the U.S., and Why We Suck. From the Lewinsky scandal to Janet Jackson’s Wardrobe Malfunction. From parenting to drugs. Nothing is immune from his assault on stupidity.

In the course of the evening I have realised several things. Joel Osteen had good reason to fly business class. As Eminem points out, famous people flying coach don’t get any freedom to sleep or relax at all. Learning C/C++/Anything will be an interesting adventure after PHP. And I definitely enjoy semi-satirical rants. This week I stumbled upon Violent Acre‘s rant on fear mongering among children. After reading several other articles I’ve decided to begin following the site.

In other news, I’ve begun planning my next web-project. Amazon meets eBay meets Cafepress meets WordPress. At this point it is in database and general design phase, but will hopefully take shape over the next month or so. I’ve also been working on UCCN trying to get more web-integration happening and progress is slowly being made.

Lastly, my desktop PC started making loud noises, again. I just hope I can rescue data from the hard disk, which I’m strongly suspecting is the noise-maker…

Why I Love Satire and IRC

Recently I was involved in a purely satire-based discussion which spawned from a serious discussion on IRC. I feel it is self explanatory, so let me just blog the log..

[00:26:36] <MyMaynor> lol thats okay…. theres plenty of time to talk to new people.. right now i wanna ask your opinion about something…
[00:26:55] <zEkE_> sure
[00:27:04] <intricatic> hiya MyMaynor
[00:27:06] <MyMaynor> Im sure you’ve read revelations and somewhat know a lil about the end of day.
[00:27:16] <MyMaynor> hello intricatic you can join in
[00:27:18] <zEkE_> a little
[00:27:27] <zEkE_> intricatic is probably better at this than I 😛
[00:27:50] <MyMaynor> so am i being crazy when i trully believe that obama is the antichrist…
[00:28:12] <zEkE_> intricatic? lol
[00:28:19] <MyMaynor> like not like just throwing it out there. i feel he fits the description and we’re so close
[00:28:27] <intricatic> i think the antichrist, in terms of each generation’s assumptions about what the antichrist is, becomes a spectre for political puppetry
[00:28:28] <MyMaynor> everything has come to pass
[00:29:08] <intricatic> it’s also variable based on what part of the world you live in, and how horrible your government is, i’m sure o.o
[00:30:01] <intricatic> i could just as easily say that some super-charismatic leader in Russia who’s able to whip the public into a nationalistic frenzy, much like the communists of past ages, could be a better candidate for the antichrist
[00:30:38] <intricatic> but then i love to argue, so don’t mind me, haha
[00:31:06] <zEkE_> lol
[00:31:41] <intricatic> but seriously – have you read anything about Putin’s strategy for political approval? o.o
[00:32:03] <MyMaynor> well no im not basing it on how horrible the government is…. or anything like that… not that i just picked someone and decided that he should be him…. im saying he can’t put his hand on our bible… he asks for a Korean one… but hes running for president of the US… doesn’t look at our flag to say the pledge of allegance
[00:32:09] <MyMaynor> no i’ve never heard of it
[00:32:26] <MyMaynor> why
[00:32:28] <MyMaynor> ??
[00:32:31] <intricatic> even Satan knows scripture – i’m sure he can touch a bible very easily
[00:32:51] <zEkE_> my personal view is pretty much…who cares? if he is, we’ll find out soon enough…
[00:33:55] <MyMaynor> lol you’re totally right . both of ya….. om gosh i get crazy with it but i kknow i shouldn’t even care. it will all come to pass when he’s ready. so
[00:33:56] <MyMaynor> lol
[00:33:59] <intricatic> Putin is using this strategy of playing off of the people’s perception of the former USSR as a “golden age” for Russia, because of the economic turmoil caused by the revocation of their mutually invested, government-sponsored retirement programs (when the USSR collapsed, they lost everything), to whip them into a total frenzy
[00:34:01] <MyMaynor> i guess i need to suck it up
[00:34:52] <intricatic> but he’s also using the Czars and the warm feelings people have of that era to build a base in the people’s collective memory 😛
[00:35:39] <intricatic> but all the while, it looks like he’s moving closer and closer to reintegrating Russia to it’s “former glory”, in terms of nationalized industries and totalitarian rule
[00:36:11] <MyMaynor> ohhhh glory. lol and?
[00:36:26] <intricatic> and, well, mostly i think he’s just power-hungry and really frightening, lol
[00:36:38] <MyMaynor> yes sir….
[00:36:52] <MyMaynor> see i don’t like to here stuff like this cuz it scares me
[00:37:14] <intricatic> ad hominem satire time: and his first name is Vladimir… that’s got to add at least five points on the “pure evil” scale
[00:37:30] <zEkE_> lol
[00:38:02] <zEkE_> come on now, noone likes to be generalised
[00:38:32] <intricatic> generalization is fun though… all vladimirs are evil, just like all people named Elvis will die from eating too much chicken o.o
[00:39:32] <intricatic> and because i had a bad experience with a cat once, all cats are mean
[00:40:06] <intricatic> seriously… they’re like little demons with deceptive cuteness o.o
[00:40:11] <zEkE_> just like everyone from the middle east is intent on killing Americans, small town mayors are well qualified to be vice president, and everyone who reads the bible and goes to church is saved and will go to heaven
[00:40:23] <intricatic> exactly!
[00:40:35] <intricatic> silly middle-easterners… i bet they’re all suicide bombers, too
[00:40:44] <zEkE_> Wait, wasn’t Jesus from the middle east??
[00:40:49] <zEkE_> man
[00:40:49] <MyMaynor> lol ya’ll r funny
[00:40:54] <intricatic> hush! you’ll foil my satire!
[00:40:57] <zEkE_> our whole religion is based on him
[00:41:05] <intricatic> lol
[00:41:14] <zEkE_> that makes us anti-american via the transitive property!
[00:41:33] <intricatic> i actually love Hebrew history – the Hebrew language is actually so much more interesting than Greek 😀 it’s underrated in terms of popular theology
[00:41:39] <intricatic> 😮
[00:41:45] <intricatic> i r anti-american? o.o
[00:41:47] <zEkE_> yes
[00:41:52] <zEkE_> so long as you are Christian
[00:41:59] <intricatic> well, i have been called unpatriotic at least four times this week, so far
[00:42:05] <zEkE_> because you follow the teachings of a middle-eastern born man
[00:42:11] <intricatic> how terrible o.o
[00:42:16] <zEkE_> who is by his birthplace anti-american
[00:42:19] <zEkE_> 😛
[00:43:07] <intricatic> this is a fine illustration in satire of why i can’t say all middle-easterners are evil, lol
[00:43:16] <intricatic> besides guilt-by-association being a logical fallacy, of course
[00:43:51] <zEkE_> so anyone who says that the US is a Christian nation, by the above satirical explanation, is anti america