I was looking at my web stats and realized that I probably shouldn't have written posts favoring vouchers. I see that most of the people who had links to Salt Lake Sites pulled 'em in the last months. Going against a group as powerful as the UEA has consequences.
I used to get about $400 in ad revenue on the sites in the fourth quarter, which I would use to pay the hosting fees. I still hope to get $300, although I am really braced to see nada.
I am extremely grateful to live in a free country. I was able to risk starting some local sites. There was interest in the project in Missoula. Not surprisingly, I only saw hostility in Utah. Of course, the goal of my project was to show the diversity of the community. Utah is a place where people strive for conformance.
I am thankful for living in a country where I was able to experiment with ideas without being hung up by my thumbs in the towns square as a result. I would be hanging by my thumbs in the town square if I tried this in a progressive country like North Korea or Cuba.
I am thankful for free thinkers like Patrick Byrne who are willing to state opinions despite the fact that the pack will try to bring him down.
Speaking of people who try to do good, I am thankful to live in a world where a person who dedicated himself to advancing the Boy Scouts prospered in the process. It is inspiring to know that a person made six figures by doing good.
I wish it were possible for teachers to make six figure salaries. They could if they were allowed to start teaching companies.
Professors at state Universities routinely make six figures. Most do so by thrusting daggers in the backs of the peers and graduate students. So, I guess I wouldn't count the wealthy professoriat among the class of people doing well by doing good.
I am extremely thankful this year for the brave men and women who served our nation abroad. I've known several people who served abroad and lost their lifelong friendships at home as a result. These veterans shrug and say that their schools buddies must not have really been friends ... still it is painful to be made a pariah for trying to do good.
The people in this world who stand against group think to do good are real heroes in my book. They, above all, deserve thanks.
I am thankful that General Patreus and George Bush stood against Pelosi and Reid and did the troop surge. There would have been a slaughter if they did not stand against group think. I we can find a way to exit from the area with a functioning democracy. I suspect that the US government will continue to be bumbling and inept in its doings.
Speaking of Exit Strategies ... During the decades that I've lived in Salt Lake, I've been asked some twenty or so times to leave. Mormons tell people to leave in firm, steady yet polite voices. Progressives do so with black slurs and backstabbing. I've become too jaded living here. So, I put a pull asking for thoughts on where I should go next.
I was born in Denver. I can actually claim to be a third generation Coloradan!
I love the Grand Junction area. It has access to both mountains and desert. I could be happy living on the Colorado River. Grand Junction just doesn't have a good University. I still have fantasies that someone might be interested in my mathematical research.
Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Missoula and Durango all have universities that blow the socks off anything Utah has to offer. There used to be a University in Boulder. I visited Boulder a few years back thinking to make that place my home.
There was a large progressive church where Colorado University used to stand. I went to some pagan religious ceremonies in the buildings that once housed classrooms. The priests at the CU Church seemed more interested in indoctrination than in teaching, the initiates seemed more interested in conforming than in learning.
There is a new Wyoming Catholic College in Lander. I understand that WCC wants to revive the classical liberal curriculum. It would be cool to live in an area with a school trying to revive the classical liberal world view, although I would prefer to see a nondenominational effort. Of course, it is entirely possible that you have to have a well stated religion that is separate from science to avoid the trap of trying to elevate science to a religion.
Wyoming is cold, and I don't know if there is a market for my skill set (database and web programming); So, I didn't put Lander or Laramie on the list. In Colorado and Utah, you can always just turn the heat off and wear a sweater when money gets tight. In Montana and Wyoming: if you turn the heat off; you die.
Damn, my thanksgiving post is coming off as jaded.
I am thankful for the efforts of so many to help clean up the air in Salt Lake Valley. Salt Lake is prone to inversions. Due to some very hard work and dedication to the environment, the population of the valley has been able to double without a corresponding increase in pollution. The valley is still smoggy in the winter, but it is far better than it was in the 70s.
I am thankful that most of the things I prayed for as a youth never happened. Things would be a lot worse if God had listened to me. I am thankful that most people ignore what they are taught in school. I am thankful that most politicians are inept. Things get bad when politicians realize their grandiose dreams. I am thankful for the billions of people who work to achieve their modest dreams. A collection of individual dreams is so much more interesting than singular dream of a collective.
I am thankful for each and every American who is working to achieve their modest dream, and am thankful that America has so far avoided the nightmare of a collective.