Monday, October 14, 2013

The Bag... in the field

This is a little bit of an update for those of you who follow these things. As you have read before, I have really geared up my bag with lots of odds and ends so that I am more or less ready for a lot of different situations. I wanted to take a minute and talk about some of my more resent uses just to give you an idea what how much I actually do use this this.

The rope:  I actually had to use the rope the other day. My wife and I do medieval reenactment, and after pitching our pavilion tent, I realized that the cord I used to hang the interior walls from  was missing. I plucked the 50 foot cord out of my bag and used it, worked like a charm, for which I was grateful. We had friends camping with us that weekend and we all were glad for the privacy of the cloth walls I had made.

My tools: Ive actually traded out some tools lately, but the other day, I actually had to pull out an Allen wrench to help someone while we were working on prepping the shafts on wooden arrows. It wasn't a bit deal, but I have to admit, it felt cool having the tool we needed when we needed it.

First air kit: What I can I say... I use this thing way the hell too much. Paper cuts, infected scabs, bumps... whatever and wherever, for me and about a dozen other people. Between work, home SCA and general life, I can't count all the times I can said "Oh, I have X if you want it" and moments later was digging into my kit for someone. I'm always glad to do it, I consider comfort and health important things to have.

The drink pocket: Yeah, I'm using and refilling that pocket all the time, it's good to have flavored water on hand, let me tell you.

So, yeah, anyway, that's what I have. I just wanted to take a moment and actually show what the bag can do and when it has done.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Some personal political foundations

I don't suppose that anyone who reads this will be surprised to know that I consider myself a conservative and/or libertarian to one extent or another. I generally have more faith in the individual than the government, and I generally have more hope in the community than any elected body.

Now to be clear, that is not to say that I have no faith in government, or even minimal faith. I think that the reality of my situation is that I am a pragmatic more than anything else. For as much as I believe in capitalism to grow out nation, I know that without safeguards, there are those who would deliberately create a more stratified society specifically to line their own pockets For as much as I believe self determination, and self reliance, I also know and understand that there are times where private assistance just isn't there in time to help. As much as I hold fast to my faith and its principles, I know that they can be misapplied, as any faith's can, and to great destructive ends. I believe that the faith of our elected leaders can, and should influence their decisions while making laws, but I also believe in the power of our constitutional safeguards to root out those problems.

But most importantly, I believe in the rule of law. Now, this is not an absolute faith, mind you. God and God alone holds that position in my heart. But I consider the laws of this nation, and the procedures they lay out critical important in order to protect and grow our nations.

I opposed the Affordable Healthcare law when it was first put forward. And I fully understand that the vigor of it's implementation was (at least in part) due to the democratic party's wish to help cement President Obama's place in american history as the first president to accomplish such a thing. Still, I opposed it through my legal means for as long as I could.

And guess what... My side lost.

And here, more than anything else is why I am not a registered Republican.

We lost. It is now law. It is now written on the same document that starts with "We the people...". Say what you will, say it however you want, but the democratically elected governing body of the US passed the law with the process that we, the voting body, let them put in place.

If it were truly as unpopular as some would make it out to be, I think the midterm elections would have been a very different story.

Ergo, what we are looking at is a minority faction of the national government, with a minority mandate, opposing a US federal law.

Just to say the obvious, if you look hard enough, you can find a minority mandate for just about anything... including female castration, racial segregation, antisemitism.. you name it. The idea of a minority mandate scars the hell out of me because it means one of the cornerstones of democracy is being challenges, and potentially eroded.

What is going on right now in Washing DC isn't about democracy, or running the nation. And it most certainly isn't about the rule of law.

What its about is a minority that don't like that they lost, and are willing to undercut the rule of law in order to salvage the scraps of a loosing battle.

This may sound like an attack on the government shutdown, and to some extent it is. But more to the point, it is talking about the wider problems with the Republican party today, problems that are highlighted by their current behavior.

I will probably never be a Liberal democrat, but the current mess in Washington is a good example of  why I will probably not ever be a Republican again either.