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Author Topic: Time for Introduction threads
Redskullvw
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In light of current events, and after a couple of comments given to me by other members of Ornery I realized its time for another meet and greet thread.

With this weeks events we have prompted many of our former lurkers to become active posters. In addition members I do not recognize are repleat. This isnt a thread to present your entire biography. It is just a short a sweet way of saying who you are and what type of American, or in the case of Limey etc, foreigner you are.

For a bunch of us this will be a rehash thread, but bear with it and say who you are where your from and anything else you think is important.

I am from Athens, Georgia. Im 33 and hold degrees in Modern German History and East African Anthropology plus a couple minors and 15 hours short of a never to be completed masters. I love America, but I am also what most damn Yankees call a Rebel. Go state’s rights and the Confederacy I always say.

I drive very fast cars, Im single, and I love my pets especially Jack Frost Lee the Trench Beagle. I tend to be a Royalist. And piss many people off here because I also belive a fascist state is the most suitible form of government for most citizens of this country.

I am short with my words, terrible with my grammer and spelling, and as so many have noted.. brutally blunt and without tact.


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Mike_W
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Okey Dokey,
I'm one of the resident Canadians on the board. Age 33, involved, degree in Economics (with assorted dabbling in Philosophy and Poli Sci) and taking a health break from a career as a Business and Technology consultant, and small business owner.

Politically, I'm a hard core moderate, finding dogma and ideology to be poor bases on which to build process and policy that works. While it’s grossly simplistic, I could be characterized as being right of centre in my own nation, and, by comparison, left of centre by American standards. On America, while I have had and will continue to have issues with aspects of US policy, I have always felt that it did a remarkable job of being a responsible superpower. The things I admire most in America are its commitment to basic freedoms, and a general desire to do the “right” thing.

I like fast cars, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, boats, remote wilderness, the Blues, great beer, good scotch and average port.

I can't spell or type, which is evident when I am too lazy to spellcheck.

Mike

[This message has been edited by Mike_W (edited September 15, 2001).]


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Everard
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I'm 22, male, with no degrees in anything yet. I'm taking time off from school due to major mental health issues, but will finish a degree in Philosophy with a physics minor at some point in the near future. I am also somewhat of an amateur historian. I have my areas of expertise, and use them in all sorts of arguments.

I am a communist, and I hate the USSR's political system more then you do. Because it screwed up everyone's conception of what communism is. However, I'm also strongly in favor of the democratic method. I'm an atheist, but am strongly tied to my family's religious of Judaism.

I am a walking contradiction But consistency is the defense of small minds.


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Zyne
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Hi I'm Zyne, a 28 year old single no-kids female American living in Dallas, TX. I'm a tax attorney and I can't do math . Degrees in music, law, and tax.

I'm loosely libertarian and rabidly atheist. I live urban, don't eat meat, and don't own a car.

I'm reasonably into 'classical' music and try to read as much as I can. Lately on music I'm into Schnittke and Zimmerman and everything Daniel Hope records, and in books into Kundera, Eco, and Dick. So, contemporary on music and a few decades behind on books.

I tend to get overly emotional in my posts, and don't know how to spellcheck.


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Kenny Payne
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Hi, I'm amazed at how many of us like fast cars. I have a 1986 Porsche 944 turbo that's scary fast. My daily driver is a 99 VW Passat 1.8t that's chipped to 200 hp.

I'm 44, and I work in Information Security/Network Infrastructure. I've lived in Minneapolis, Mn. for the last 20 years. I grew up in North Philadelphia. Redskullvw, my father's side of the family is in Eastern Tennessee, near Chattanooga. I recently inherited my deceased father's home down there. I guess that makes me a Reb too. Actually, I've read a ton of Civil War history. I'd love to discuss it sometime. I've had some very good times in Athens Ga. I used to do sound reinforcement for bands and we used to play the 40 Watt on occasion. It's a great town.

I have about 2 master's degrees worth of credits, mainly in English, History, Political Science, and Philosophy. My only actual degree is an associate degree in Electronics Technology that I've used to make a living.

OSC is about my favorite author. Having grown up in the city where the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers, etc. were written and/or debated, I have a certain reverence for these documents. I'm considering writing an essay on the subject for submittal to this site.

In general, I'm a rabid idealist and a closet socialist. I believe very strongly that there is a huge disparity between what America represents and how we actually conduct ourselves internationally, especially in the the third world. I,like most everyone else, feel that the perpetrators of the recent terrorist attacks should be strung up by their genitals, but I don't believe that the US is blameless.

I'm a parent. I have a five year old son who is my heart and soul. I like to fish. I thnk I mentioned the cars.

Regards,

Kenny Payne

[This message has been edited by Kenny Payne (edited September 16, 2001).]


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Daedalus
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I'm Eduardo, just come in from one of OSC's other websites, www.hatrack.com. I'm still in high school, interested in a career in medicine.

Politically, I'm liberal, because I disagree with the core fundamentals of conservative thinking: elitist society, and "every man for himself" philosophy.

Religiously, I'm an atheist, because I've never quite been able to brainwash myself into believing that there's an all-powerful being out there, let alone that we know his name, that he cares for us, that he impreganted a virgin... The list goes on...

I love athletics, particularly track, though, ironically enough, I've never gotten into driving fast cars. I DO enjoy working on them, though, if that makes up for anything...

I'm anal when it comes to spelling and correct grammar, despite being educated in the state of California.

I love music (modern pop culture DOESN'T qualify as "music"), especially the farther-out bands, such as the Afghan Whigs, Tool, Bad Religion, etc. I also love art, especially oil paintings. I'm in the process of writing a book; or, at least, writing out the plot.

Oh, and since this IS the first time I've introduced myself here, I've got throw in this quote from a movie I saw a long time ago (no, I DON'T remember the name...): "I'm here to kick ass and chew bubble gum. (dramatic pause) And I'm all outta bubble gum."


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LetterRip
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SWM seeks... oops wrong introduction.

I was born and raised in Alaska (I'm 26, lived there till I was 23...), and have spent all my summers since the age of six (asside from this summer) killing poor defenseless salmon as a commercial fisherman. (Yeah, if killing fish causes negative karma, I'm doomed... but in my defense they would have rotted to death within a week otherwise and the fry (fish babies...) would have starved to death due to overpopulaton - maybe I was doing mercy killings)

I have a degree in psychology, bio/neuro focus, am a dedicated martial artist, and have read and studied more on social policy and leadership than can possibly be healthy <grin>.

I'm extraordinarily ignorant about history, and have recently begun to address that flaw.

I like fast woma - er... that is cars but am waiting for the big bucks to roll in before I buy one.

I'm currently employed at a startup company (no not computer related... we make an innovative building product...), which will make me rich beyond my wildest dreams <maybe..>.

In my spare time (spare time? what is that?) I play football, rollerblade, and write 'screeds' on social policy.

LetterRip


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ALG
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Hi, I'm a blessedly foolish idealist hailing from Indiana. I'm married to a wonderfully rational man who keeps me in balance. We have a precocious three-year-old.

I enjoy gardening, am a voracious reader, and am fighting my way through rejection letters to become a Published Writer.

My main occupation is mothering aforementioned three-year-old while maintaining a smoothly running household. The latter is usually a fluke.

I've recently realized how very provinicial I am, never having lived out of my home state. I have a close-knit extended family but very few intimate friends. I am smart, shy, and generally labelled as the weird one. That just means I think a lot and ask what if? and why? questions.

I'm two years away from 30. My birthday was last Tuesday.


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Everard
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Happy birthday!
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Kyle French
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School drove you crazy, ev? Or was it just us? And if that was a rude comment, I apologize.

In studying the last semester or so, I have discovered that the best label for what I am is a modern day Puritan. Which basically translates into "a religious wacko." But at least I can think. I know a lot of religious wackos who can't think and only believe a thing because that was what they told them.

So. My religious convictions are what my whole world revolves around. I interpret everything through them. And those views are both conservative and radical. Which means, if you can find it in the bible, I probably believe in it, to an extent that would be scary if I weren't such a nice guy.

Case in point. I find women attractive who don't wear makeup, have long hair, who prefer long skirts, and who dream of raising 8 children. No, I don't like fast women. In my defense, my sister's haircolor changes weekly (my favorite color was green. I got to call her Verdita), she almost never wears a skirt, and she has seven or eight piercings, including two in her tongue that almost gave my mom a heart attack. We get along fine.

I don't think I'm too terribly intollerant. I figure if you're going to hell, I should at least try to make the trip as pleasant as possible.

Currently I am a capitalist, though I suspect I'll turn communist just after the Second Coming.


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jeniwren
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I'm a 33 year old pregnant married woman with an 8 year old son by a previous marriage. I grew up in Anchorage, leaving there with a great sigh of relief when I was 27. I too have taken great pleasure in killing small numbers of fish both in Alaska and Washington, which is where I now call home. When I was 30, I discovered that I liked working with kids, so I've spent every school year and summer doing something with the children's programs at various churches.

I like fast cars, but prefer fast motorcycles, a passion I have given up for the time being. I like singing, mostly in large and small choral groups, another passion I've given up for the time being. Someday I'd like to be grown up enough to write something worthwhile, but in the meantime, I love to read, a passion I don't think I could give up if I tried.

I'm very fortunate to have a job that allows me to work at home, telecommuting. Various wholesale distribution companies throughout the US and Canada call me when they have problems with their business software. It's a small network of very fine people to work with, and I absolutely love my job.

Politically, I'm woefully ignorant, so I come here and become encouraged to learn more. I do follow the general conservative-Christian outlook. I'm pro-life, but believe abortion should be legal. I don't support gay marriage, but find myself loving at least one gay man for himself. I hope I wasn't the only one who laughed out loud when Clinton was shown hugging the frantic and upset females seeking loved ones lost, following Tuesday's events. It was dreadful, but I just couldn't help myself.


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leave
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I'm 19, a college student at brandeis studying to be an english teacher. OSC is my favorite author, though eddings rocks too. I am an agnostic who wants to believe in God, but hasn't figured out how to yet, am still seeking knowledge.
I want to teach because I figure the more I can help people think on their own, the better of the world will be.
I like women.
I don't care about cars one way or the other, if it has 4 wheels and an engine I am happy "you've got a nice shaggin' waggin'"
Track is the only sport there is. I am a sprinter on the team here, my coach is an idiot, but that's ok.
I like discussing topics that are discussed here, though for one reason or another, I've lurked since the founding days of the site. I love philosophy though I feel every discussion will always end in "i'm right" "no, I am" "no I am" etc.
Anyhoo, HI!

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msquared
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Well this sounds like a thread that I would start Red, therefore I love it.

I am a 38yr. old married male, two kids, age 9 and 6. I am the resident conservative Republican, but according to a test Letterip had us take a few weeks back it looks like I am a closet Libertarian. Maybe someday I will come out of the closet.

I live in the bithplace of aviation, and that is not North Carolina. If you do not know where it is look in my profile to get the real answer.

I work for a company that takes big mill rolls of paper and make little rolls of paper out of them. I do not have a job title so I call myself a utility infielder.

My degree was 12 years and three schools to get, but I finally got a degree in Accounting that I almost never use.

I like to hunt and fish but if you have ever seen me do it you know that no animals or fish are ever in danger when I go hunting or fishing.

I can hardly wait for the new Harry Potter movie to come out in a couple of months, and am almost having a fit waiting for the new Lord of the Rings movie due out in Dec.

I love to read and watch reality TV. Loved Survivor, The Mole and Murder in Small Town X, hated Big Brother and Love Cruise.

I may add more later.

msquared


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Karim_the_Heretic
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OK, I'm a 26 y.o. single man from Durham, NC. My family and I imigrated from Lebanon when I was 2. I've got a degree in Industrial design and speak English and Japanese and understand Arabic mostly. I'm both a libertarian, and a Libertarian. After spending the better part of my life as an unsuccessful agnostic, I now find myself an Apatheist.

I love good food, good movies, good music, good company, and good books. I'll read anything from Robert Jordan to Tom Robbins.

I'm a woodworker, LEGO maniac, scale modeler, intense rationalist, hopeless romantic, and Jack-of-All-Trades in training.

I'm also in disturbingly increasing frequency accused of being from a different planet.

[This message has been edited by Karim_the_Heretic (edited September 16, 2001).]


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BillyB
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Hello, I'm a 21 yr old college student at the University of Minnesota, and I live in St. Paul. Next May I will have a degree in genetics, cell, and developmental biology with minors in biochemistry and the history of science and technology. I've been doing research in a molecular biology lab since my freshman year, and my first paper should be published next month. (Yay for me.) Next year I plan to go to U-W-Seattle for graduate school and study astrobiology.

I am very liberal, especially in social issues and somewhat less in economic issues, but that definitely does not mean that I'm a Democrat. I think the two-party system is the biggest problem with our government. I think that the U.S. is the greatest country in the modern era, but it has made some very grave mistakes that we must keep in mind when judging the actions of other. My view is that we should work to ensure that all governments of the world are democratic, but capitalism does not necessarily go hand in hand with democracy.

My hobbies include boomerangs, writing plays, and football. I hate cars.

Billy


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Cedrios
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I am 19.5 year old Pol. Sci. major @ Wichita State University, hoping to transfer to UC next year. Though I lean toward the DEM.'s on ideology, i am not declared, and consider myself a hard-core mod. Born is Seattle, WA. I have lived in CA, AK, OR, UT, KS, MO, NC, VT, TX, of course WA(my fav.). Not military, just didn't get along well with family, and lets just say I didn't enjoy my stay in UT.

I don't affiliate with any culture, for all practical concerns I am an athiest. I don't believe true morality exists, only ethics. Also, I believe pyschology to be a natural science and dismiss all examples of any kind of spirituality. Privately, I don't think humans are suited to teach or judge each other.


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Johnny High Ground
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I'm a 27-year-old male currently living in Oak Park, IL. (About to move to Elmhurst, though. Like any one of you know where that is.) College educated, with a Bachelor's in Philosophy from Nowhere You've Heard Of College on the outskirts of Cleveland, Ohio--where I'm originally from. Before you oooh or aaah, let me tell you that our PHL department was two profs strong. And one of them was a complete dolt. Philosophy students, you'll get a kick out of this: I MAJORED in Philosophy, and in all my years of school we spent exactly ONE WEEK learning about Immanuel Kant.

Socially liberal, financially conservative, which makes me--you guessed it--Libertarian. Not that I "officially" belong to the party or anything; mob behavior gives me the willies. You won't find me line dancing, singing the National Anthem at a sporting event, or playing sports, for that matter.

I'm a musician by inclination (see for yourself here) and a magazine editor by trade, at The Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. That's right, I write about video games for a living. One of my proudest moments was reading the columns OSC wrote for our mag.

I am a Christian by ideological association--not dogmatic obligation--and Buddhist in the same respect. Raised Catholic, I'm waiting for an acceptable alternative, or a reason to return to the fold. I'm carefully hopeful.

Which describes my entire outlook on life, really: Hope for the best, work for the best, accept whatever comes.

I read voraciously (started and finished Seventh Son yesterday) and devour music in similar fashion. I listen to EVERYthing, except heavy electronic and most modern country. (Daedalus, if you wanna be creeped out for a second, re-listen to "Skyscraper" off Bad Religion's Recipe for Hate.) Favorite author is OSC, though his increasingly vocal political and social positions are making that more difficult. I just try to remind myself that the message is independent from the messenger. Favorite music is a little-known band from the U.K. called New Model Army. You must all listen to them. Now.

Er, is that it? I think that's it.

Peace,
-joe

[This message has been edited by Johnny High Ground (edited September 16, 2001).]


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Van Aaron
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Hi, all!

I am 35, happily married, with two kids, ages 5 and 1. I grew up in Seattle, went to school in California, and now live in Denver.

I'm a lawyer, which is great fun when I have a case turning on significant legal issues (two so far have gotten to the Supreme Court) and often tiresome when I don't.

I think of myself as quite conservative, yet I always piss off my Republican friends for not siding with them on social issues like abortion.

I am closing in on 2000 volumes in my SF collection, huge numbers of which are yet unread. I bounce around between other odd hobbies - right now I'm in the process of trying every type of fine tea in the world, and learning about the tarot of all things.


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Kentuckian
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I am a 23 year old male... as of the 12th, which was not as much fun, as you can imagine, as birthdays often are. I live in the great, but much maligned, Commonwealth of Kentucky, particularly in the far Western end of it that is so often cut off the road map and stuck in a little box in the corner. It's a strange part of the universe that can't quite decide if it's part of the South or part of the Midwest. Both regions claim we're part of the other!

I'm a libertarian but not a Libertarian. I'm a rationalist, which means I'm an agnostic. I'm a moral absolutist but I believe there are only a handfull of moral absolutes, everything else is gray.

I've been to nearly every state east of the Rockies, Ontario and Quebec. I've met lots of folks from all over the US and Canada, plus several good friends in the UK, Netherlands, and Japan, but still find my home town the most pleasant place to live I've so far discovered.

I'm part of a large family which is very tight, I'm perilously close to being engaged, and I'm a generally happy and well-adjusted guy, which is rare in libertarians, I know. I spend most of my free time teaching kids to play band instruments, which is great fun, and writing. I'm on here entirely too often.

I'm a third year senior at Murray State University (here's a lesson kids: don't change your major, and definitely don't do it twice) and in the very near future I'll be graduating with a History degree and a secondary certification to teach. As a teacher I'll have to get a Masters, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if I got a Doctorate at some point in the future.

OSC is a great writer but we disagree on nearly everything, RAH is a worse writer, but I agree with him much more often, and there is rarely a moment when the Dave Matthews Band is not in my CD player.


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Sacrip
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Another lurker comes forth.

I'm 28, white male and engaged. I make my living with the U.S Army as a sergeant in the Signal Corps. I'm extreme left wing, or right wing, depending on my mood swing, so lets say I'm moderate.

OSC is, of course, my favorite author, with Spider Robinson as a close second. I don't have hobbies to speak of, but I'm working on it.


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Kyle French
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I've heard that being engaged can be quite a distracting hobby.
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pilgrim
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I'm a longtime lurker, 43, lived most of my life in and around Atlanta, GA., though I now live in eastern Alabama. I've been married for nearly 23 years to the girl I fell in love with when I was 13 years old. We have 3 girls, one will be 16 week after next, one is 9 and one will be 2 week after next. I tend to be slightly right of center politically, though I don't find any niche a particularly comfortable fit. I like fast cars, motorcycles (though I haven't owned one in several years), astronomy, and music (I play several instruments with varying degrees of skill) and tend to be overly parenthetical when I write (though I'm trying to be better <g> ). I am a voracious reader. I am hard-headed and opinionated though tolerant and usually tactful (unless I'm ticked off).
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soulfly
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i am a 24 year old male. been in the navy for a few years now in the crypto community. very, very excited about heading ack to the states for my next duty station in the DC area, but being overseas has been an amazing experience.
my political views, like my life, is in a bit of a transitional stage.
right now i am reading a great book by Alain de Botton, 'On Love'.
my handle comes from one of my favorite bands.

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Pete
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I am a writer in my thirties. I was born a US citizen but spent most of my childhood outside the United States, and felt like a foreigner when I came to this country at age 17. I have a MA in English, and have taught a range of University and Community college classes ranging from Anatomy to bioethics to technical writing to speed reading.

I consider myself both a liberal and a republican in the classic sense of both words. The modern labels just don't work for me. In arguments of polarized controversy, I tend to stand for a third position that few people have thought of -- for example I lump extreme "pro-life" and "pro choice" groups under the category "anti-brain" and consider myself "pro-brain" -- believing that we should treat a fetus with brainwaves as a human with rights but not imbue a clump of zygote cells with any sort of human rights. My ideal society slightly resembles Heinlein's -- a situation where only veterans of public service (military, firefighter, etc.) are allowed to vote, even though such a system would deprive me of my vote.

My politics are based on personal principle, not on alignment with a particular party, so I tend to get irritated when someone consistently lumps with a position that I do not hold. But I am learning to be more polite about this, realizing that no one here does this maliciously.


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Dan Allen
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42 year old male. If I read this right, I share a birthdate with ALG. Born in the shadows of Grand Coulee Dam, spent most of my youth west of Seattle. Like others on here, I spent many summers commercial fishing of the coast.
Spent 2 years in Germany with the Army, have lived in WA, CA, UT, and now AZ.
My wife and I have 5 children; 17, 15, 12, 8, and 3, and can't spend near as much time with them as I would like to due to my *shudder* job as a electrical engineer with a rocket company.
Politically, I tend to lean towards the republicans; but only because they alone stand a chance of competing against the other's.

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Dom Peralt
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Well, I'm a 22 year old law student out in Springfield, MA. I got my B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in law. I'm currently unattached. Politically, I'm both libertarian and Libertarian, and am quite active in the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts. I've been here at Ornery since its inception, though I took a leave of absence for a bit, but now I'm back and happy to be so.
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Krya
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I'm a 25yo secretary/bartender/college student/single mother of a, a-hem, lively four year old and our alter ego, the mommy elephant.

In college I'm pursuing a degree in.... well, let's just that a degree will be a mere by-product of the experience. Ach, all part of my master plan to prove life to be a mobius strip and take over the world.


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John3haha
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I am a 36 year old male, blessed with a happy marraige for 12.5 years (plus an interesting five year roller coaster ride before tying the know). We have three kids ages 8.5, 7 and 5. I work as a banker, and have a strange fondness for figuring out unusual financing opportunities. I have degrees in Business and Econ, with a minor in poetry after finding I could not handle the math to remain a physics major. I live near Atlanta.

My great hobby is to play games, preferably some of the better German imported board games now more widely available. Over Labor Day, I spent eight hours in a brutal two player game against a friend at a local tournament and consider than immense fun.

I read a lot, most heavily in the broad catagory of "mystery" (Walter Mosley, Dashiel Hammett and Robert Parker can be great) and "sci fi" though I dabble too. I try to listen to a range of music, but generally like blues and the better mainstream "alternative" stuff.

Politically, I came here in response to an OSC comment about the "decline of America" which I still do not fully understand. Some points about the perceived arrogance of US policy have become clearer in recent days (great Op Ed pieces in the Wall Street the past two days). I grew up liberal in Oregon, even worked for Senator Wyden when in college, but have become more moderate. I have great faith in markets and capitalism, but feel there needs to be more equality of opportunity.

Oh, I am a Catholic who has great respect for and some knowledge of several other religions.

I tend to babble on way too long too. John


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Jon Camp
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28 yo male, born and raised in the NW Chicago suburbs (Palatine) so yes, Johnny High ground, I do know where Oak Park and Elmhurst are. I was in Lombard just last week. . . .

Anyway, moved to Draper, UT 2 yrs ago, and even though I'm Mormon, I don't like being around so many of them, so can't wait until I finish my Computer Science Degree in another year or so and can move back out to "the real world."

Married 5 years, 3 kids, 4, 2, and 6 mths. I too am a "conservative" but fail to specify a party, though I have yet to have voted for anything other than straight ticket Republican. I do try to see other viewpoints, but have a hard time with anything I think is "stupid" unless there's a really good argument to back it up (thanks Ev, you keep me honest, and I've learned a lot from you. Still disagree with 90% of what you say, but . . .)

Anyway, that's me!


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Everard
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Hey, as long as I make you think about why you're right and I'm wrong, I'm doing my job, right ?

I don't think I could have received a nicer compliment. Thank you very much...


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The Human Commodity
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Hmmm...

I'm 20 (almost 21), engaged, and a college student currently. I am pursuing a major in English, double emphasis on Lit and Writing, with 2 minors - Chinese and East Asia Studies, which weighed out the other 2 minors I was interested in - history of science and anthropology. My fiancee is an anthropology major, with minors in east asia studies, chinese, and english lit. She is also one of the resources I use most often.

As for hobbies? I'm into computer some... I've done some gaming, did a little programming in high school though now I don't go beyond html, or working with java or flash apps. I've done a little web design but right now that's more or less in the past.

I'm a writer, mostly of poetry, because I'm slightly ADHD which tends to interfere with sticking with the novels, though I have written some short fiction.

I'm also a musician - I play drums (8 years) guitar (4 years) bass (3 years) and piano (11 years) and I have a multitracker, so I enjoy putting together songs with it, in fact I started out college as a Music Composition major (and probably finished enough coursework to get a minor in music, if they offered such things). Mostly, though, that's just entertainment.

I, like many others it seems, came from Hatrack originally. I'm only into politics as a hobby, it tends to make me too angry.

I am a Christian, though I admit a somewhat eccentric one. I only believe in the Bible as a historical document, in which the authors recorded the life of a divine being - Christ, to the best of their ability. I believe that the letters of Paul take a divergent path from Christ's message, that much of the Israeli/Jewish history is true, though somewhat altered in their favor, and that the prophets were indeed prophets. However, I'm not too happy with modern institutions of religion.

I also tend to think of Buddhism, Daoism, Yoga, etc. more as philosophies than religions, because if you don't believe in the spirituality they claim, they still provide useful tools for living.

As for my political stance? Well, I believe that Martin Luther King, Jr. may have been one of the greatest men who ever lived, and that he's often overlooked as merely a civil rights activist, when in fact his works are so much more meaningful. Most people, however, never delve into the things he said, believed, and most importantly lived beyond the "I have a dream" speech. In fact, it was his criticism of Marx that made me realize what I had been struggling with in my pseudo-Marxist days. Neither communism nor capitalism can ever dictate the truth of human freedom to anyone.

Anyways, that's enough from me for now.


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Grant Morgan
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I'm a thirty-one-year-old Field Applications Engineer, which means that, while I pretend to be an engineer, I'm really a Slimey Sales Weasel. I have a M.E. in electrical engineering from Brigham Young University.

By now, most of you have probably guessed I'm LDS.

I've been married for eight years, and have two children, 1 and 3.

For a long while I thought I was going to be a science fiction writer. I've sat on a panel with OSC, though I doubt he'd know me from Adam. I was in a writers' group with Dave Wolverton (aka Dave Farland) for a couple of years, and managed to get a couple of stories published, but gave up on the whole gig about two years ago.

If lurking at this sight has taught me one thing, it's that I don't know much about anything. I am constantly amazed at the well-thought out and well-supported arguments people can make for positions I had always believed to be untenable. Once or twice, I've felt my own convictions shifting to the left beneath me.

Like Jon, I'm undeclared as far as party affiliation, but have always voted straight Republican. I was sorely tempted to vote for a Democrat in the last election-no, it was not Gore.

Speaking of which, is he heaving a mighty sigh of relief right now, or what? What a bullet to dodge


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Yank
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Well, I'm actually a fairly new member, having signed in -along with a legion of others- on 9/11/2001. So I ain't no form'r lurk'r (ah don nede no gramer r spelin) but I guess I'll give a little info anyhoo.

The lack of spelling and grammer on the 'net is actually one of my (stupid) pet peeves. Reading for me is what oxygen is to most people, and I inhale good books of all kinds. Ender's Game was easily my favorite. (I also recommend R.A. Salvatore's Dark Elf Trilogy. Yes, it's one the dreaded "D&D" books. Yes, most of them are solid crap. But Salvatore makes dazzling points on everything under the sun. It's literature in the highest sense of the word. Don't miss it.)

I'm 18 years old, and I live in Provo, attending Brigham Young University. I live in a dormitory. I am majoring in Computer Science and thinking about a minor in Political Science.

I would consider myself a Radical Republican, in the post-civil war sense. I do not have a drivers license; I think the driving age should be raised to 18, and I'm just now thinking about getting one. (The whole gun control debate makes me want to scream, "Look at how many people we kill with our *cars,* for crying out loud![rant])
I'm not sure which side I really sympathize with on gun control, but I think the gun-rights people have the Founders on their side: the Founders obviously meant us to rebel if the government got tyrannical, whether you like this position or not. [Another rant]

I practice Zen Buddhism along with another religion (guess which one? I'll give you a hint: I'm the direct descendant of a polygamist.) If you ask me, this isn't a paradox. Zen is really more a philosophy than a theology, and I'm a lot more Christian than Buddhist. I understand where atheists and agnostics are coming from, but I can only say this: that which you do not use the five senses to feel can be by far the most real.

Fundamentalists cause my left eye to twitch violently. I'm a non-materialist. I share Kyle's taste in women, although I think eight children might be too much for my poor sanity. I detest the way the rich hoard their wealth while millions starve, but I do not believe it should be taken away from them by force and redistributed, although I do believe in some welfare. Many of my opinions are in constant flux, as I believe they should be. I have not opinion on some things at all because I don't think I know enough about them. That's the Zen talking.

I am currently avoiding doing my Math 112 homework. I'm justifying it my telling myself that lurking about Ornery is good for my Poli Sci 110 class.

I greatly enjoy this forum because it lets me see things from different angles. I like the fact that people seem to use actual logic instead of brain-dead rhetoric.

My roommate is dragging me into the commons room to do said homework.

Adíos.

[This message has been edited by Yank (edited September 21, 2001).]


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Visionary
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Yank,

As a student myself, I wonder how you would be able to both major and minor in Computer Science. I sympathize either way as I am a student of Electrical Engineering and have been forced to suffer through many a CS course. I'll also note that I have visited Utah, and I will say that it is the most breathtaking state in the Union. The landscapes there are unlike anyplace else on Earth.

I myself am a 20 year old student at the University of Virginia. When my engineering endeavors aren't keeping me locked away in UNIX computer labs, I indulge myself in my other academic pursuits, those being history and politics. My two favorite shows are Inside Politics (which I hope CNN will resume again soon) and Senate Proceedings on CSPAN2.

I don't really support democrats or republicans, but I tend to vote liberally because I don't think conservatives are concerned enough about environmental issues. I would like to believe in God, but logic won't allow me that luxury.

Well, there I am. I think I've given everyone enough to chew on for now.

Peace


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TomDavidson
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"It's literature in the highest sense of the word."

*cringe* What makes me very, very sad is that you apparently MEAN this.

Look, I love a good piece of genre fiction as much as the next guy, but Salvatore has a LONG way to go before he can ever be considered literary.


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The Human Commodity
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Yeah. Salvatore is definately an improvement from the rest of the Forgotten Realms bound toilet paper, but Literature is a stretch.

Not that I'm biased against modern science fiction / fantasy completely - I do think a great many of Card's works are of literary merit, but Salvatore is definately a formula writer, more marketable than innovative.


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Yank
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Self-Appointed Definers of "literature"-
I wasn't talking about all of Salvatore's work- just the Dark Elf Trilogy. Formulaic or not, it was a lot more accessible than encoded crap that so often passes for "modern literature" these days. I do realize that most of his work *is* quite a bit short of literature, and I've been very disappointed, truth be told, with just about everything outside the Dark Elf Trilogy and a few passages from it's sequels.

Salvatore's trilogy had some important things to say. That an individual is not merely a product of his/her enviroment or society. How prejudice cannot always be overcome, that there will always be those who will judge us by things that do not matter. How individuals can change.

Salvatore had to work with a brain-dead genre and a brain-dead universe. He breathed life and meaning into it in this trilogy. And that, in my opinion, is what makes it such an accomplishment. It's a lot harder to accomplish anything under such conditions.

The irony is that when Salvatore started writing in his own worlds, his work went absolutely down the toilet. He has written nothing of almost any value outside the Drizzt Do'Urden books, as far as I can see. (And the later books in that series have, alas, gone down the commode as well).

How can anything be of "literary merit" if it can only be understood by a professor with four years of training in the proffessional code? 'Cuz that's all my English teachers ever threw at me, and I hated it- it seemed usually to be just a bunch of PC propaganda (exceptions: Cry the Beloved Country, Huckleberry Finn, Gulliver's Travels).

People, rip my opinions into shreds if you must, but use logic instead of condescension, please. Condescension pisses me off, but it doesn't change my opinions. If you want to talk to people like they're ignorant little children, go become a Freudian psychiatrist. And if I want to talk to literary snobs, I'd expect to find them in a college English department, not on a forum that's supposed to be full of "ornery" Americans.


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Yank
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Visionary-
Oops. Typo. I meant to say I'm minoring in *political* science.
And that was after three or four edits too..
There goes my future as an editor...

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Pete
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Very little stuff of literary merit is allowed to be taught these days in US schools. Consider yourself very lucky to have been allowed to read Huckleberry Finn -- a book near the top of the PC-hole book-burning hit list.

As for the merits of Salvatore -- I can't say -- I have not read him. I was trained to sneer at anything that is popular outside the ivory tower, but I've managed to break my programming.


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Everard
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Hrm. in my public school we read some truly amazing literature... and stuff that wasn't buried ten feet deep, all the time.

Besides which, most of the "PC" apologist that we read was better literature then shakespeare...


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