All Articles by Atari

3055 Articles

The Lines Are Open….

I don’t know what it is, but I get on a roll with these rants or these diatribes, and *BAM!* I just can’t think of anything anymore. Maybe it’s just a cyclical writer’s block–or ranter’s block. I dunno, but it seems like once I get going (“Hey, this is great! Everything’s coming off the top of my head!”) I can talk and denote what I’m thinking, then, all of a sudden, I can’t seem to think of anything else to say. Once I have something recorded, I can’t think of anything else I want to say about it. That’s my biggest problem with the writer’s block–I have a tough time actually disciplining myself to sit down and write (or speak, rant, etc.) due to lack of material or perceived lack of material. Maybe I feel that I don’t want to weigh in on certain issues because I haven’t researched it enough or no one wants to hear about it–I don’t know. Maybe it’s just a temporary thing and it’ll get back to me…eventually.

I tell you what, comment to this post with what you want me to talk about–we’ll make it like a talk show. That should make things interesting. At least I would know what to talk about (and what to research).

The Sound of Modernity

You hear that?

That is the sound of modernity. That is the sound of a gas-powered leaf blower blowing leaves off of a wooded trail. Not a little asphalt-paved trail through the woods, I mean a gravel wooded trail.

I don’t see the point. I really don’t.

It seems like a massive exercise in futility. It’s like someone was thinking, “Y’know, we wanna preserve the semblance of nature in the middle of the city, but we don’t want it too natural–stepping on leaves and such, someone might scuff their shoes!” Not that walking in gravel won’t, but come on, folks, figure it out.

Not only do I personally not like leaf blowers–they don’t just blow leaves, but clouds of dust and dirt, and they’re as noisy as hell–but you’re blowing leaves from a wooded trail–a trail (which is an unpaved, but established path) through the woods (which is a large group of these things called “trees” that have a tendency to drop their voluminous leaves constantly throughout this time of year).

Someone out there, help me out here. Please, anyone, am I just going nuts? Has the stress from my job gotten me to where I begin to think that rudimentary tasks are asinine? Have I lost all faith in human intelligence? Someone, please, tell me that I have a point!

Atari out.

Ubiquitous Song Lyrics

One of these days, ev’rything that I want is gonna be mine,

But if it ain’t, that’ll be all right as long as there’s sunshine

And a big ol’ brew.

–John Winger (Bill Murray), Stripes

Fear and Loathing In The Call Center

Now, I was walking around the office today and they’ve got these little signs, printed out on pink copy paper, and posted all over the office saying:

“You are an important part of this business. Please show up to work on time.”

They’re just posted in various places around the call center, and I can’t help but thinking:

So maybe I am an important part of this business. This business of getting bitched at by random people who think that I am, of course, the scum of the earth–one of the most hateful and spiteful persons that they’ve ever encountered.

Then again, if they weren’t some of the most hateful and spiteful people that I have ever encountered, maybe I wouldn’t be….

All that aside, feeling like I am a part of this “team”–yeah, that’s a real encouraging metaphor. “Yeah! You’re a part of a team; part of the winning team! You’re gonna go and take one for that winning team!” I take one for that winning team every damn day. Multiple times every damn day. So, it pains me to say (well, it really doesn’t pain me to say) that until I feel like an important part of a team which I can be proud of; that until I feel like an important part of a team which practices business policies and ethics that I am in concert with; that until I am an important part of that kind of team, and I am doing something that I enjoy, these little motivational fliers are not going to motivate me. The only thing, right now, that does motivate me–especially in this slug hole of a job–is a paycheck.

And if it weren’t for that paycheck, I would not be motivated to come to work…at all.

So, frankly, in my opinion, they should consider themselves more than lucky that I do take the time to even show up; especially since, it goes without saying, I could be in other places…doing other things…and, most importantly, enjoying myself.

Atari out.

Here’s Something That Bugs Me:

It’s surprising and almost infuriating to me that Americans, in general, are quite ignorant of how their own government works. I see it every day as people blame the president, specifically, for things that aren’t necessarily his responsibility or under his control. For example, I was talking with someone earlier about how the bankruptcy laws had changed. He had made the observation that “thanks to Mr. Bush, no one can declare bankruptcy anymore.” I had to respond that he was incorrect. First, it’s not thanks to Mr. Bush, it’s thanks to the congress. You see, the congress is the branch of the government that actually makes the laws–that’s why it’s called the legislative branch of the government. The president’s job–as the executive–either approves the law or vetos the law. That’s the only thing the president can do as far as making laws, and if he vetos the law, he has to give a reason as to why he denies it. However, if the congress does not believe that the president’s reason is good enough to prevent legislation, they can approve the law with 3/4 consent anyway! It just bugs me how people don’t understand how that system works.

For example: spending bills and government spending. People blame the president on government spending when, in reality, it’s the congress that appropriates the money. Only after congress decides how to spend the money, does the president approve or deny the appropriation. Not to absolve the president from responsibility, as he does approve the spending, but it’s not the president that comes to congress saying “show me the money!” Of course, the president can suggesthow he would like money to be spent, but it is not entirely his decision. The point I’m making here, and what bugs me the most, is that instead of paying attention to the branch of government that they should be paying attention to, people choose to spend their time bickering about the president. Blame it on Bush, blame it on Clinton, whatever.

Another example: right now, the American economy is in a recession, and, of course, it’s blamed on Bush (W). However, the reality of the situation is that the only people to blame are consumers. You see, when Reagan was in office, he was heavily criticized for his trickle-down economic theory (which was introduced by Alan Greenspan), but because economics is a cause-and-effect science, things take time to come about, and from the late 1980’s through the 1990’s, the United States economy saw record exponential growth. Of course, who is credited with that boom? Why none other than the president of the 90’s–William Jefferson Clinton! People tend to only look around at what is happening to them presently, they don’t look at what processes were set in motion 10 and 20 years ago to provide for these changes–and I don’t blame them, it’s human nature. But people, instead of focusing on the president regarding legislative issues, start focusing on your congressmen. Focus on your senators and representatives–if you have a problem with something going on, take a look at how they voted, and go from there. Remember, the president can only persuade–congress does.

Atari out.

Rush Hour

I’m sitting in traffic in Buckhead, and I’ve come to the realization that I don’t like this burrough. None of the roads actually go anywhere! It’s quite ridiculous when you try to take secondary streets around the block, the secondary street dead-ends into a valet parking queue for some posh restaurant! The blocked off the road for valet parking! Am I wrong or is there something wrong with that? Never mind the fact that the road system in Atlanta is pathetic already. Every road turns–it starts in one direction, then curves and follows a completely different and almost opposite path! I got off of I-285 to dodge some traffic at the Cobb Cloverleaf, took a secondary road north (I checked the compass), and ended up in Buckhead–I was already north of Buckhead!

They have got to do something about the transportation system in this city. It’s not just Atlanta, either–it’s the entire metro area. The roads just cannot handle the volume of traffic! Something must be done!

Atari out.

Just A Random Thought….

If people from Nigeria are called Nigerians, what are people from Niger called?

Nigeriens, you racist bastard!

A Bright Idea

Ok, so I got these tapes, and I had this brilliant idea that I’m going to pull out the old microcassette recorder that I had in high school and I was going to use it to record my thoughts as I was just wandering around. I don’t have anything to write them down on–I don’t even think very well when I’m writing, anyway. The best thing I can do is to just talk and ramble on and edit as necessary.

Who needs a help guide?

Well, I finally figured out how to make comments visible. No big news, just now people can read the comments they post. So post! Post your little virtual hearts out!

Eminent Domain, Kelo v. New London, and the Death of Private Property

What happened to individual property rights? Did somebody forget to tell me that this nation never allowed for private property protection? According to the supreme court, that’s the way it is.

I’ve got a few issues with this deal.

First off, the job of the supreme court is to interpret the law, not to write it. That’s the job of the fuckheads across the street in the capitol building. I’ve got my own issues with those career fatcats who like to vote their own raises and fiddle while the country burns. Here is the actual text of the 5th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Pay particular attention to the last part, “…nor be deprived of…property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” To me, reading it literally, it says that if the government wants to seize land, they first have to go through a due process of holding a hearing on the proposal and provide a fair market compensation for the property. The government must also reserve the land for public use.

Now, what exactly constitutes public use? According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law (1996 ed), public use is defined as “use by or to the benefit of the public; broadly : use that serves a legitimate or conceivable public purpose…NOTE: If a taking of property is not for public use then the consent of the owner is required.” According to this interpretation, public use would be something like a public school or park or recreation center…not a fucking Wal-Mart! However, the supreme court, in a split decision, took it upon itself to redefine public use to include any private development that may generate increased tax revenue for the local government or provide jobs for the local citizens.

Now, I’m all for providing jobs, but I don’t agree that a private company may come in and coerce the local government to seize private property for that purpose. The free market economy will determine what jobs are needed and where they will be. A developer can come in and build, no problem, just not on land that I own (unless I’m getting hella compensation), and by just compensation, I don’t want condemned property value–I want potential capital value. I want the land to be sold for what it is potentially worth. This is how you avoid getting screwed. Thanks a lot, supreme court, you have succeeded in screwing us all.

But wasn’t it a split decision? 5-4 in favour. I have to give props to Justices O’Connor, Scalia, Thomas, and Chief Justice Rhenquist. These four justices had the balls to tell it like it is and defend American liberty. Figures, though, that a bunch of Clinton appointees would vote in favour of a socialist opinion. Yes, it’s socialist–it’s redistribution of wealth, and I’m sick and tired of it. Eminent domain for private development, socialist security, earned income tax credit–I’m sick of it all!

In other news, Ecuador looks like a gorgeous place to live.

High Court Expands Reach of Eminent Domain (Associated Press/Fox News)
Kelo et. al. vs. City of New London et. al.
Condemn-Nation: This land was your land, but now it’s my land.
The Bill of Rights (Boortz.com)
Neal’s Nuze (Boortz.com)
Supreme Court Rules American Homes Can Now Be Seized for Private Use (lp.org)
Living in Ecuador