Tuesday… it’s Monday by another name

Posted: October 23, 2012 in Comcast, election, politics, Xfinity

Good morning (it’s morning now… might not be by the time I finish, so deal with it, ok?)! Hopefully this finds you well. It’s 54 degrees and raining today, which makes it feel like a Monday. The 54 degrees is fine… perhaps a little chilly, but it’s the rain that causes the problems. It’s kind of hard to go for a walk in it, especially if you have to worry about your feet getting too wet.

Monday, the real Monday, started off with a whimper. It’s a tight schedule day… gym appointment at 7, at work by 8:30. I got dressed, ate some breakfast (Cheerios and a banana, if you’re keeping score), and went out to the car. I should say a few words about my car. It’s a 1999 Oldsmobile with only 101,000 miles. It can be, shall we say, temperamental? It decided not to start… not because there was a problem, but because the security system was having a bad day. It’s not a good system… it basically senses a chip in the key and decides whether to start or not. If it doesn’t start, you have to wait around for an hour until it resets. Sigh. It doesn’t do this often, but it always seems to be while I’m in a hurry. So, I had to grab Supportive Partner Woman (sports editor extraordinaire!)’s ride, go to my session, come home and pray the car started. It did, but that was my morning shot to hell.

We’re doing a new proof of concept at work that’s had some hiccups… that pretty much blew the main part of the day. In the evening, I drove SPW to our hometown so she could participate in a class reunion meeting. I killed time at Barnes & Noble while she did reunion stuff, then we went home. Such an exciting life, you know?

So, since Monday was shot to hell, Tuesday has become the new Monday. At least for this week. I’m so looking forward to the evening when I have nothing planned.

In the Seriously, dude? files for today, had a phone call and a letter from Comcast. The purpose of said missives were to inform me that my cable modem would soon not be able to handle the full array of internet services the Xfinity offers. Of course, they would be happy to rent us a new modem. Of course. Seriously? Did they learn nothing from me? I tried to update my modem a few months ago and all I got was a piece of colossal excrement from Motorola.

It just seems that anymore, the inmates are running the asylum. Take my driver’s license renewal. I made a mistake and wrote the check for $29.00 instead of $29.50. Rather than call and say, “Hey, you messed up,” they mailed it back to me (costing them $0.42 in postage, making me write a second check for $0.50, which probably cost them around $8.00 to process. Net profit on that $0.50 was around -$7.92. Glad they got basic economics figured out. And these are the people running things?

People ask me what happened to me. I used to be totally fascinated by the political process. I was a poll worker, a judge of elections, worked phone banks, whatever was needed. I would attend political rallies. I was versed on the issues and thought that it mattered who was elected… that my candidate would be the better choice. Anymore, I see the elections as nothing but a choice between two unpalatable options. Politics has always been a dirty business, but lately it seems that the country has been completely polarized with no willingness to even listen to another point of view. Hollywood gets a few things right, and politics can be best summed up with the following quote from the 1990 release The Hunt for Red October:

 Listen; I’m a politician which means I’m a cheat and a liar, and when I’m not kissing babies I’m stealing their lollipops.

Only problem is, they aren’t just stealing lollipops. The politicians and all of “official” Washington are stealing our country. The two-party system is a failure and has marginalized those who don’t fit in either party’s mold. Economist Jeffrey Sachs writes in his book The Price of Civilization that:

The main reason for America’s majoritarian character is the electoral system for Congress. Members of Congress are elected in single-member districts according to the “first-past-the-post” (FPTP) principle, meaning that the candidate with the plurality of votes is the winner of the congressional seat. The losing party or parties win no representation at all. The first-past-the-post election tends to produce a small number of major parties, perhaps just two, a principle known in political science as Duverger’s Law. Smaller parties are trampled in first-past-the-post elections.

Tim Holden – I’d think that $174,000 a year would make him a little busier

Barring the emergence of a viable third-party, it seems to me that the best way to shake things up is to institute term limits. When guys like Arlen Specter spend 30 years in office, suckling at the collective teat of the people, there’s a problem. I grew up in the old 6th district of Pennsylvania which was “represented” by two, count them, TWO people. In 40 years. The current occupant of the office, Rep. Tim Holden, has these examples of groundbreaking legislation as his legacy. His predecessor, Gus Yatron, was even more ineffective. In 22 years, he sponsored 15 bills, none of which were made into law. There was one resolution condemning human rights violations in the former USSR, though. Earth shattering stuff.

So, in short, make sure you vote. Even if it involves holding your nose and voting for the candidate who stinks slightly less. If the elected officials aren’t getting it done, throw them out. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I still believe these people work for me, not vice-versa. Don’t think that you need to vote Republican or Democrat, either. There’s no law that says you need to vote for either Mittens or for the current occupant. Take the time to learn about an alternative, whether it be an independent or Libertarian or Communist, even. Vote for who you want… it’s your vote, not Candy Crowley’s or Wolf Blitzer’s or Anderson Freakin’ Cooper’s vote.

Anyone remember Gus Hall?

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