Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.
-- Benjamin Franklin

It’s July 30th

I’m not sure why my entries here have dropped off so dramatically. All of them have been either one of two categories, political or personal. Politically, I continue to be amazed and astounded at the incompetence, and audacity, or the current administration. So much so that I feel as though I am becoming numb to it. Reagan was originally termed (I believe) the teflon president, because nothing he did stuck to him. W has surpassed this by an incredible margin. What has happened to the Plame investigation? Someone in government deliberately exposed an American spy for political purposes, threatening not only them but all the contacts they had made, and we hear nothing of it. We go to war under false pretenses, and it is OK because Saddam Hussein was a “Bad Guy” anyway, and we’re better off without him. Nevermind that the world is full of bad guys who we manage to live with, without spending 900 American soldier’s lives, 125 billion dollars, and all the good will this country has managed to accrue worldwide. We have lost 1.1 million american jobs, and the ones we have managed to create are low-paying garbage, and an administration official cracks that people should just take prozac. Take home pay has declined for the last two years, and we are forecasting another record deficit. Any of these things out to be enough to bring down a President, but somehow the Bush administration just ignores it, the press ignores it, and the great unwashed hoi polloi of American voters buys into it.

If that’s not depressing, what is?

Personally, and speaking of depression, things have been not so good. I have been slipping into a depressive state over the last few months, and didn’t feel it coming on until recently. Last January I cut out some anti-depressant medication, and just got the doc to get me back on it. I hope it helps.

I think what would get me out of this more than anything else, though, is finding something to do that felt worthwhile. My current paying job has been junk work for years. I am the company handyman, and get thrown at any garbage project that comes along. Usually this means trying to do something in 3 weeks or so, with no clue as to background, and no chance to investigate the problem well. I feel used, and as though I have no opportunity to actually get involved and contribute to anything.

Over the last few months I have written what may be the best piece of software I’ve ever done. Unfortunately, it’s a competition management package for homebrew competitions, which has a US market of maybe 50 copies or so. ;) What this has done, at least, is prove to myself that I can still write software, given the opportunity. What I have no confidence in, at all, is that the management of my company can actually find us work to do. I can do my job, I have no evidence that he can do his.

I’d love to go independent, change careers, or just change jobs, but the responsibility of providing for education and support of my family is overwhelming. I can’t risk jeopardizing that responsibility for the possibility that I might be better off emotionally. This is often referred to as “golden handcuffs,” and boy am I caught. In eight years the twins will be out of college. I may be able to change careers then, if I manage to live so long.

In personal news, I did just get back from scout summer camp. Fun. I didn’t go last year, which was the first year I’d missed in eight or so. It was just as much fun, and passed just as quickly, as it did before. I was so proud of my troop. They earned an average of 4.8 merit badges per scout, and had no partials, or incompletes. What really impressed me was how scouts supported each other. If one had finished a badge, he went to help his friends who hadn’t. There was cooperation everywhere in helping to get things done. Late Friday, as a few where struggling to complete the work for one tough badge, others were there to cheer them on. On Saturday morning, as I was waiting in line to talk to counselors about badges, other scouts with no issues were there as support to help their friends. That, in it’s ultimate essence, is what scouting is about, and they really excelled.

My boys are going back for another week, kind of a family tradition. More impressively, two other kids from the troop are going with them. I’ve never been associated with a better group of kids, and I challenge anyone who likes to complain about american youth to come get to know these guys. It will show you what american youth is really all about.

OK I’m tired of writing. At least this is an entry, with a little more than usually dismay over the leadership of what ought the greatest country on earth.

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