Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sad But True

via Renegade Evolution

IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY?
Yes! We Have No Bananas - Spike Jones

WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
Everything You Know is Wrong - Weird Al Yankovic

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Rescue - Eve6

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
Bathtub Gin - Phish

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight - Spinal Tap

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Fool in the Rain - Led Zeppelin

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Sick Again - Led Zeppelin

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Crawling - Linkin Park

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Scarlet Begonias - Grateful Dead

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Loser - Beck

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Godzilla - Blue Oyster Cult

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Volare - Dean Martin

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
The House That Jack Built - Metallica

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Jamming - Bob Marley

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Creeping Death - Metallica

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Peace of Mind - Boston

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Freewill - Rush

WHAT’S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?
Man in the Box - Alice in Chains

HOW WILL YOU DIE?
Nitemare Hippy Girl - Beck

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET?
Only Solitaire - Jethro Tull

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
Cash on Delivery - Spinal Tap

WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
You're My Home - Billy Joel

WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED?
Run to the Hills - Iron Maiden

WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST?
Rocks - Primal Scream

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
Us and Them - Pink Floyd

WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW?
Big Balls - AC/DC

WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
Sad But True - Metallica

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election results - try to keep some perspective

I posted this to a forum discussion and thought it was worth reposting here:

I'm not an Obama supporter (I voted for Bob Barr) but there's no need for hysteria. This country's had lousy presidents before and survived. I would include the current occupant of the oval office in the lousy category even though I voted for him in 2000; at this point no one I know, including many die-hard Republicans think he did a good job. OTOH, the hysterical rants from the left about him being a Nazi, etc. seem silly to anyone not caught up in the hype.

Similarly, that one who won the election tonight is not a Communist. A Socialist maybe, but any socialist agenda he tries to implement will cause a backlash. Then there will be a major Republican sweep of Congress in 2010. And we can once again rejoice in having divided government. That is the best option we'll have until the two-party duopoly is broken.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Election ... zzzzzzzz

OK, since this blog is mainly about politics I guess I should make a commentary about this election before it's over. I said before that I was leaning toward writing in Ron Paul, but that was before he gave his endorsement to a member of the Christian Taliban. I also briefly gave very slight consideration McCain after he picked Palin as his VP, on rumors that she leaned libertarian, but I have since come to see her as just another cookie cutter Republican, and one who answers questions with even less substance than a Washington insider (something I didn't think possible before).

So of the douches and turds still left in the presidential election, it looks as if the least unappealing is Bob Barr. A phony libertarian to be sure, one the Libertarian Party helped defeat in his last senate race because of his excessive Drug War zealotry, he is nonetheless saying all the right things in this race as the LP candidate. Does he believe what he says? Probably not and that would be a problem if he actually had a chance of winning and of governing on an agenda very different from that which he campaigned on. But it is obvious that White House will go to one of the candidates of the two wings of the Ever-Expanding Big Government party, and the best freedom-loving voters can do this year (on the presidential level at least) is send a message. A vote for Barr, of all the candidates running, would send the best message. There are no doubt many good write-in possibilities but none of these is likely to get a large enough block of votes to get any attention. Barr, on the other hand could get a percentage that would tip the balance in some closely contested states. Even where it is not close, like my own home state of Pennsylvania, 2 or 3% of the vote could be enough to give the major parties something to think about, in 2012 especially if the race is tight then. Whether this would move the major parties to do more than give lip service to reducing spending or restoring civil liberties is uncertain, but it is the best chance we have of moving them in that direction. And it is the best chance we have of possibly in the distant future electing a real libertarian president (LP or otherwise).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Never trust a Communist!

Well, it appears I was wrong when in my first post I described Renee from "Womanist Musings" as polite and civil. I was naive in my assessment. While I didn't know that she was a Communist at first, I should have seen the signs (such as her constant whining about "privilege"). Once she started referring to Marx, I should have known that any chance of a reasonable discussion was impossible, as it would be with a Nazi, or any other follower of totalitarian ideology. But I persisted hoping that if I couldn't reach her, maybe I could persuade one of her other readers of the wrongheadedness of her arguments. It's possible that I did and possible that I did not, though, I should have been prepared for what happened - being banned for life without warning, and then being trashed on her blog without any recourse to defend myself.

Now I will admit to crossing a line by bringing up her family. I was reacting to her mistreatment of a self-described stay at home dad seeking her approval. He was reaching out to her and she basically slapped him in the face, saying he because he is a privileged male, there is nothing he could do to earn the right to be treated kindly. Now, I suppose I shouldn't have cared, if this guy was trying to get compassion from such mean-spirited fountain of hate as Renee, I guess he should have known what to expect. Still, I did feel sorry for him and I did wonder if she treated her boyfriend and her sons this way. I also thought that she was being rather high and mighty condemning parents who spank their children, when she is so constantly filled with rage that it is hard to believe that some of that doesn't come out in her own parenting.

So, I made my comments which admittedly did contain some hyperbole. I guess I could have left well enough alone, my concern for the males in her life won't cause her to treat them any better than she does. Still, if she wanted no discussion of her family in her blog, she could have made that clear. It's not as if I attacked her family, just the way that I inferred that she treated them. I could understand a warning and maybe a temporary ban but then for someone following in the footsteps of Stalin, Mao, and Kim Jong-Il, I guess I should be grateful that I was allowed to speak my peace as long I was.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sign me up for DAMM!

The story of the college presidents supporting lowering the drinking age is old news by now, but when the news first came out I was too angry at some of the arguments around it to write about it calmly and rationally. Anyway, the news has been dominated by the snoozer Democrat convention. Yes, there's the war between Russia and Georgia but I haven't read or heard anything that makes a compelling case for me taking either side. And there's Hurricane Gustav, but there's not much I can write about that, except to say that I hope this time people have learned to take action on their own rather than wait for the government to come to the rescue. Of course. there's John McCain's VP pick, Sarah Palin, who I hear is somewhat libertarian leaning. So now instead of being 100% convinced to write in Ron Paul, I'm only 95% convinced with a 5% possibility that I might vote for McCain. Interesting but not significant.

So, back to the topic at hand. We all know that prohibition doesn't stop the activity it's meant to stop, whether it's substance use, a particular sexual practice, or another form of recreation, such as gambling. In the case of alcohol we acknowledged this as a society 76 years ago. So it would seem that the college presidents were just accepting reality by suggesting that a policy that is a proven failure with population at large could ever succeed when it was aimed at a group of people who are legally treated as adults in every other way.

Of course, prohibition has only been a failure in the sense that it fails to eliminate the targeted activity, causes needless suffering, increases crime, and generally costs more lives than it saves. Prohibitions of all kinds have been successful in increasing the power of the state and turning more people into second-class citizens for the self-righteous to scapegoat and look down upon. That is what MADD and similar organizations (such as the Partnership for a Drug Free America) are really all about. At the grassroots level there may be some dupes, with critical thinking deficiencies, who believe that they are really helping "THE CHILDREN™," but the leaders of these organizations know that their real mission is to get on the Big Government gravy train while patting themselves on the back about how superior they are to all of those dirty drunks and druggies.

After all, why would the prohibitionists ignore the fact that most of the rest of the world has drinking ages of 18 or lower (the major exceptions being the barbaric Islamofascist countries that ban alcohol altogether). While drunk driving fatality rates compared to the U.S. are higher in some of the countries with lower drinking ages, they are lower in many of the others. (Note also that South Korea with the highest level of drunk driving fatality rates has a drinking age of 19, lower than in the U.S. but higher than average). Obviously, being allowed to drink before age 21 does not automatically turn every young adult into a booze guzzling motorized murderer. But what about the studies that show drunk driving deaths are down among 18-20 year-olds since the federal government used the federal highway funds to blackmail the states that did not already have a 21 drinking age to enact one? (And by the way shame on the states for being so dependent on federal funding that they could allow themselves to be bullied this way). Well, I don't know the exact year that the last of the states (or the District of Columbia) knuckled under to the federal browbeaters but I know it was sometime in the late 80s or early 90s. Drunk driving among 18-20 year-olds probably came down since then AS IT DID FOR THE POPULATION IN GENERAL! It could be harsher penalties and better enforcement of drunk driving laws (Generally I support these, though random checkpoints are harassment and should be replaced by monitoring drivers showing signs of recklessness; also 0.08 is unnecessarily low as a BAC level cutoff, significant impairment does not result until BAC reaches 0.15. Still, it is true that before the 1980s police, prosecutors, and judges were often too lenient with drunk drivers). Besides the laws there is a much greater awareness of the dangers of drunk driving and much more social disapproval of DUI than there used to be.

Not that all young people will act responsibly, even if they do know the dangers. One of the points the college administrators brought up is the issue of binge drinking; binge drinkers don't show a lot of concern for their own health and safety, nevermind that of others. But as the school officials point out, binge drinking largely takes place in a prohibitionist atmosphere, where alcohol is a forbidden fruit and contempt for rules that deserve contempt often leads to contempt for societal norms and standards that should be respected. There is no doubt that binge drinking and other unsafe drinking practices could be reduced if 18-20 year-old drinking was allowed to come out of the underground and into the light of day. For those still worried about DUI, how about requiring breathalyzer devices that prevent a drunk driver from starting the car on all vehicles driven by an under 21 driver (it goes against my grain to suggest a new law, but I can accept one if it means the repeal of a much worse existing law).

But even if lowering the drinking age (possibly combined with other policies) lowered the total number of alcohol-related deaths (including the drunk driving deaths) to zero I doubt that that would matter to MADD and its allies. As I have said elsewhere, like the debates about medical marijuana, or opiates to relieve the terminally ill and chronic pain sufferers, any amount of horrible suffering is worthwhile if it prevents just one person from experiencing government disapproved pleasure. The anti-pleasure lobbyists will always have an excuse to continue their holier-than-thou quest for constant nanny state expansion. Which is why, though they are a fictional group, and I would never seriously encourage drunk driving, I am tempted to say "Sign me up for Drunks Against Mad Mothers!"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Retards! Retards! Retards!

I wanted to weigh in about the retarded controversy regarding the use of the word "retard" in the movie Tropic Thunder, but it appears my (not-so-tropic) thunder has been stolen by Becky from Just a Girl in short shorts. That is to say she's said basically everything I would have probably more eloquently. Except that I can add my perspective as a person with mental disabilities (and "mental disabilities" - or for the matter "mental handicaps" - is a much better term than that verbal equivalent of a polished turd, "intellectual disabilities.)

To recap the nature of my mental disabilities read my post on Michael Weiner (aka "Michael Savage). And note the glaring difference between the comedic use of the word "retard" in Tropic Thunder and Weiner's deliberate disinformation rant.

Now, in my teenage years I was hurt by the word "retard" directed at me, as well as words like "spaz" and "sped". The words "geek" and "nerd" were also hurtful even though they implied a level of intellectual achievement , which I surely did not even begin to approach until at least the second half of my sophomore year in college. In the current information age, of course, "geek" and "nerd" can be titles of honor; while I would rate my computer skills as above average, they are well below those of a true geek or nerd, and once again I find I only qualify for such honorifics in regards to the negative connotations they have for my social skills. But in any case, you can be sure that I will not protest or boycott any movie that uses the words "nerd", "geek", "spaz", or "sped", so why should I care about "retard", unless its used against an actual retarded person (and even then it might not be so bad used in a somewhat sympathetic context - as with Gary the Retard or Wendy the Retard.)

I don't think that this movie is intended to be hurtful to people with mental or physical disabilities. But if it is. disabled people can decide for ourselves whether or not to be offended. We don't need politically correct, do-gooder, motherfucking cuntrag-douchebags telling us that we should be offended, so we can help further their agendas. I've had enough of those people in my life already.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Immigration

I recently responded to a post on immigration on Womanist Musings. I wanted to flesh out my position but thought it would wind up being too long to put on someone else's blog. So I decided to put it here.

I generally believe in open immigration, one of the few things I disagree with Ron Paul about. I think only violent or larcenous criminals should be stopped from entering the country. I don't want people coming here to live on welfare (if they want to be supported by the taxpayers they should demand it of their own governments, we have enough of a dependency class of our own, and even the poorest nations have some wealthy people who could support their compatriots if need be). However, I think denying all non-emergency benefits to non-citizens and making the welfare state less generous in general could solve this problem without harassing and threatening the vast majority of people who come here to earn an honest living.

I do agree with Paul and other immigration opponents that we should repeal the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship for everyone born in the United States. To be born a citizen one should be required to have at least one parent who is a citizen. Hardly any other nation grants citizenship on the basis of birth alone. Some countries, such as Germany, have families who have lived there for several generations without being citizens.

I understand that the 14th Amendment was passed to insure citizenship for children of former slaves. It was a noble cause and it served an important purpose at the time, but now that no one who was legally enslaved in the United States is currently alive, this is mainly used by people looking to game the system. If a woman gives birth to a child inside of the U.S. whether she is here legally or illegally, working here married to someone working here, or even a tourist that child is automatically a citizen. And even if both parents and any other relatives of that child are deported, when the child reaches adulthood, he or she can move back to the U.S. and petition for citizenship for his or her previously deported family members. This hurts efforts at assimilation and makes it easier for people with no respect for our Constitution and traditions to influence our politics, undermining our liberty and making our country more like the ones they fled.

Lack of assimilation and allegiance to the Constitution are the main problems with immigration. True there are plenty of native born people who don't respect the Constitution, though there is nothing we can do about them. We can however avoid adding to their numbers, and can choose to naturalize new citizens who will help us restore our liberty and our commitment to free markets and self-sufficiency. As for those who claim that crime and even terrorism are the main problems with immigration, I would argue that almost all (if not all) terrorist acts on U.S. soil were by those here legally. And border guards could focus on terrorists and other criminal threats if they weren't so busy harassing people coming here to work. There is no reason why any government should stand between a willing employer and a willing employee, unless the government is obligated by its own laws to grant the employees additional rights. Eliminate any such laws, focus border patrols on real security threats, and you eliminate such problems.

There is still the problem of native born people being unwilling to engage in fair competition for jobs. The situation in the U.S. is not perfectly fair, of course, since American workers cannot as easily become eligible to work abroad. However, by allowing a free circulation of labor into the country, the U.S. would be in a better position to negotiate American workers' rights to work wherever they choose as part of Free Trade Agreements. This still wouldn't please workers who feel entitled to what has in the past been the American wage for a particular job, when the prevailing global wage is much lower, but it would allow proponents of free markets to support guest worker programs unambiguously.

More about "Hate Crimes" and the Hate Crime Industry

In response to my post about the Snickers ad a friend of mine sent me the following link:
http://home.att.net/~r.s.mccain/wilcox.html (McCain here refers to Robert McCain the author's article not John McCain, so please don't prejudge this based on your opinion of John McCain and his candidacy). This article explains how groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti- Defamation League exaggerate threats from groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis to scare their supporters into sending them more money. No surprise there.

However, much worse than parting fools with their money is the way these groups spy on others and use guilt-by (often specious) association. For example according to the article "ADL espionage targets included such liberal groups as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as well as labor unions and environmental groups." And the rumors and lies they spread about militias are beyond the pale. Do militias have racist and anti-Semitic members? I'm sure they have some but that is no reason to tar the militia movement with those labels. Opposing aid to Israel or criticizing "the banking elite" and the mainstream media are not anti-Semitic positions. They can be legitimately opposed(For my part, I do admire the nation of Israel, and while I would like to see no country be dependent on handouts - aka "Foreign Aid" - I believe we should find a way to form a mutually beneficial with it. I do believe in the gold standard, and would like to abolish the Federal Reserve, letting the market determine interest rates, but I see current banking practices as bad policy not a conspiracy). But, whatever one's position on these issues, it should not be too hard to understand holding the positions the militias do without being anti-Semitic. Israel, after all is not entitled to foreign aid, no country is, and militias are consistent in opposing foreign aid for all nations. Associating banks and the media with Jews may have originated with anti-Semites but now is used far more often by apologists for banks and the media trying to shield them from legitimate criticism. I'm sure militia members would acknowledge that even if Jews are disproportionately represented in banking, journalism, and entertainment, there are plenty of other religious and ethnic groups in these industries, and they are not immune from criticism. As for racism or bigotry against any group besides Jews, I know of nothing in the positions taken by militias that shows any evidence of this, whatsoever.

Last, but far from least, these groups continue to spread the lies about militias being involved in the Oklahoma City bombing. The FBI investigation of that affair showed no links between militias and the men convicted of the bombing. But I guess when you're objective is a more powerful authoritarian (or maybe even totalitarian) government, all anti-government groups seem the same.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

To Vitaly Kovtun I'd like to say....

Thanks a lot, asshole! Legitimate gun-owners don't have enough trouble with anti-self-defense reporters and editors trying to portray us as trigger-happy nuts. Of course, the thousands of people who use guns to prevent crimes or stop crime waves in progress rarely get this kind of coverage. If they're lucky they may get mentioned in their local press. If they're really lucky they might get mentioned in America's First Freedom's "Armed Citizen" column. America's First Freedom is, of course, mostly preaching to the choir, though it is better than nothing. Not that people protecting themselves or coming to the aid of their neighbors are looking for publicity, but it would be better for the rest of us to get a slightly more balanced picture by giving honest, decent gun owners a fraction of the publicity that turds like Kovtun get.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hate Crimes

Someone at DON'T DO THAT has claimed that this video promotes hate crimes:

I didn't realize that speed walkers were a protected minority.

What's that? You think that the people at "DON'T DO THAT" think the man in the video is gay? A pretty big assumption on their part. How did they come to that conclusion -by STEREOTYPING? Maybe so, because if they assume that most gays would be offended by this, much less consider it a "hate crime" they must be giving credibility to another stereotype - the idea that gays are "sissies."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Am I a hypocrite to sign a petition to get Michael Weiner fired?

Michael Weiner is the real name of Michael Savage. While normally I respect people's rights to go by the names of their choosing (I myself prefer to be called "Joe" short for my middle name "Joseph" rather than my first name "John"), "Weiner" is a much more appropriate name for this cum-stain with a radio show than the faux tough guy name "Savage." As you may have heard Weiner made some really idiotic comments about people with Autism:
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5j6X8F7Dkk2QieMRUQfAXl-pDyCvgD922S8P00

I am diagnosed as learning disabled, with all of the anxiety and depression disorders that normally go along with that. I have never been diagnosed with any form of autism, but as I have learned more about Asperger's Syndrome, I have found that I do have a lot of its traits. I asked my psychiatrist about it and she agreed that I have some of the traits, though she said that a diagnosis would cost $800 and treatment for me at this point in life (I'm 38) would be limited. I am skeptical about self-diagnoses so I will not diagnose myself with AS or any other autism spectrum disorder. I will say that I strongly identify with Aspies and find a lot of comfort in online AS support groups.

So I was offended by Weiner's remarks. I took them personally and I (electronically) signed a petition to get him fired. But even if I didn't I might still find them wrong. Would I have signed a petition to get him fired if I wasn't personally offended, maybe, maybe not, but I still would have found them wrong.

So, is it hypocritical to want Weiner fired when I would have tried to prevent the same for Imus based on his "Nappy-Headed Hos?" or similar comments (I wouldn't mind Imus being fired for general stupidity or lack of entertainment value but that's a different matter). How about The New Yorker's infamous cartoon, or John Kerry's use of the term "Tar Baby" (or John McCain's use of the same term some months ago)?(It should be noted that I would never defend any of these people or that magazine under normal circumstances). Maybe, it is hypocritical. I'm not Black so these don't affect me personally. Neither would slurs against my ethnic backgrounds (Irish and Italian) unless there was obvious intentional malice behind the slurs.

But, I think that it is intentional malice that's the point. I don't have a problem with someone making jokes about learning disabilities, emotional problems, autism, etc. In fact, on Uncyclopedia (where I post as "Naughtyned") I participated in tearing a new asshole for some loser who had a problem with the Asperger's Syndrome article there. The article itself was a mildly funny satire that had little to do with AS in reality. Making fun of the dick who made an issue out of it was hilarious: http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Aspie_War_of_Ought_Six
It should be noted that many of the other people participating in giving the asshole we dubbed "Anonymous Slashy" the ridicule he deserved, claimed to be diagnosed Aspies themselves. Maybe some were lying, but I doubt that all were.

Anyway, if someone could convince me that Michael Weiner's comments were a joke or just a thoughtless off the cuff remark, rather than a deliberate slander I would withdraw my support for the petition to have him fired. Otherwise, I feel justified trying to get him fired while at the same time opposing hypersensitivity in general.

I do want to make clear that as stupid as repulsive as I find Weiner and his comments, I do respect his right to free speech and would never go beyond using the power of the marketplace to get him fired. I would never subject his speech to restriction by the government.

Second Attempt

This is my second attempt at blogging. My first blog which was started about two years ago began with a lot of passionate energy, but that soon fizzled out and the blog fell by the wayside. The blog was called "Extreme Rage" and used the url wickedshallburn.blogspot.com. I know that url must give the impression that I am some kind of fundamentalist or other religious fanatic. I am not, nor was I at the time. I was raised Catholic and currently don't consider myself a member of any particular religion, though I do believe that some kind of God, or at least some being that transcends this universe exists. I don't know if there is a heaven or a hell, but I'd like to think some type of afterlife exists. And if there is justice anywhere in the cosmos there would have to be a place of punishment for the many rotten people who get away with horrible deeds in this world. A big "if" I admit, but thinking of people who create misery for others screaming in agony and making unheeded pleas for mercy does make life more bearable.


But neither this blog nor the old one is not about religion. This blog like "Extreme Rage" is about politics. Unfortunately, I deleted the previous blog. Now I wish I hadn't since, while it was not that great, and by now mostly outdated, it would be nice to have a record. But anyway, this like the previous blog this is about protecting liberty and the United States Constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic. Lately our own government has been a far greater threat to our freedom than foreign tyrants and terrorists, though we should not forget that there are people from other parts of the world who wish to harm us and our way of life, even if we don't like our governments methods of "defending" us. I hope to get to that in more detail in a future post.


The point is I have been wanting to create a new blog covering the same points as the old one, but with the idea that while they're are still plenty of things to be angry about, that life is not all bad, people are not all bad, and it helps to keep a balanced perspective. So for about a month I tried to think of a name for my new blog. Then it came to me as I was reading responses made to comments I made on another blog. These did not come from the author of the blog, who despite our differences, I have generally found to be polite and civil. However, some of the other commenters on "Womanist-musings" concluded that since I, and some other commenters questioned the wisdom of the welfare state and praised people who were able to rise above difficult circumstances through personal responsibility are "fucktard trolls": http://www.womanist-musings.com/2008/07/whose-children-count.html (comments 34 & 35 have the term, starting with any comment from 6 onward should give the context).
I changed the word in this title to "funktard" not because I have a problem with salty language, but because I thought it would be more in keeping with my attempt to make this blog less hostile and more light-hearted.


So there is my introduction. I hope to get into more substance, beginning with the next post, soon.