Shades of Gray

Nobody Is Neutral About Net Neutrality

Posted in Free Choice, General, Government, Net Neutrality, Research by Wayland Abernathy III on December 14, 2017

Here is Ben Shapiro quickly discussing why Net Neutrality is not a good thing for consumers.

I do not understand the pro-Net Neutrality logic here. Ben explained this quite succinctly in the 2:35 video above. He has also tackled this issue at greater length in the recent past. Can anyone logically explain why this is getting so many panties and boxers all bunched up?

These “virtual monopolies” of ISPs are thanks to local and state governments that strike deals with these companies. I’m confused why it is no problem to pay extra if you choose to use more water and electricity and gas and groceries and clothing and housing. Folks are getting seriously bent out of shape because they might also pay more if they choose to use the internet more than their neighbor.

If I flush the toilet more than you do, I’m going to pay more for water than you do. If I leave all of my lights on 18 hours a day, I’m going to pay more for electricity than you do. If I eat out every night instead of cooking my own meals, then I will spend more money on food than you do. So it should come as no surprise that if I spend 4-6 hours a night streaming Netflix, I will pay more than you do for internet access.

Allow me to put it this way – people wouldn’t let their local and state governments allow Publix to sign a deal and become the sole provider of groceries for a specific area within city, county, or state limits. That’s crazy, right? Well, that is exactly what we allow to happen to public utilities, which Ben speaks to in the video. I prefer that _more_ competition exists, not less. This competition would provide all of us with more choices of ISPs in our neighborhoods. This competition would result in lower costs. To me, this is the core issue that folks are not even addressing.

And I will also point out that we already have the opportunity to pay more for faster internet speeds if we choose.

See here for a large array of bundles available:

Cox Cable is not at fault because they are the only provider I have access to in my area. I look to the folks responsible for allowing the deal to be done in the first place – local and state governments. Hell, the same business model is in place for water companies, electric companies, and gas companies. Gulf Power is it for me. If I want access to another company’s power, I am out of luck. Same for water – one provider. Why no boggled minds and lengthy posts complaining about such obvious monopolies? This is what we get when the government is left to “protect the people”.

If there was actual competition in the market between ISPs (like there is in South Korea, which has maintained its lead on the Top 10 list of world’s fastest average internet speed at 26.7Mbps for Q1 of 2017) then we would not have this conversation. Ever. Are you surprised that the U.S. entered the Top 10 on this list for the first time during Q1 of 2017? Latvia and The Netherlands got bumped out of the Top 10 by Denmark and the U.S. Yay, I guess.

Forgive me if I choose to disagree with all of the naysayers on this issue. Net Neutrality is not favored by large corporations like Facebook. ISPs favor it. No surprise there. Facebook would like nothing more than to be the first thing you look at in the morning and the last thing you check before you go to sleep at night. Keeping in mind that you pay for what you consume in all other parts of your life, why is it the end of the Internet that you would also pay more if you consume more bandwidth?

Checked Bag Fees. Why Does the Govt Care?

Posted in Airlines, D.C., Economy, Fairness, Free Choice, General, Government, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) by Wayland Abernathy III on December 12, 2017
Below is a link to a Facebook thread that I commented on last night and continue to banter back and forth on today. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) does not think airlines publish their checked bag fees prominently enough. Perhaps sending a personal text to every person that purchases a ticket would work, Mr. Nelson? Lots of folks are butthurt by my belief that the Federal govt should remove itself from our personal lives. Many people actually think that the world as they know it would cease to exist should such craziness come to pass. Seriously.
Thankfully, there are other’s who did not find it as alarming when I pointed out that the govt cannot run anything. The govt has not been able to do so in the history of ever. The knowledge that there are indeed other like-minded souls on this beautiful planet content to make their own choices makes me happy. It gives me the courage to face the day knowing I’m not the only one who can figure stuff out all by myself.
Take a few minutes to see what people really think. It won’t hurt. Physically, I mean. You might get a headache. No promises.
The Post:
The Video:

Why Can’t People Do Some Research?

Posted in General, Government, HUD, Research, The VA by Wayland Abernathy III on December 11, 2017

Recently a headline caught my attention. “Trump cuts funding for homeless vet program”. This seemed a bit wonky to me, so I clicked a few keys on my wireless keyboard and whattaya know – that headline is wonky. A lot.

While I’m not a lover of research, I do find it necessary in order to learn about a topic before I spout off about it. I am confused, though. It seems other folks in this world don’t share my desire to know something about a topic before they speak about it.

I just don’t get it. Maybe it is a time thing. Do people not have enough time in their day to pick up their phone and do a quick internet search for whatever it is that just triggered them? Or is it that people think their emotional response is more important than actually learning some new information? Learning is not for sissies, I’ll tell you that.

My 2 minutes of blistering research came up with loads of information. Some background: The HUD-VASH (here’s another link – from the VA – HUD-VASH) program offers vouchers to veterans to assist with housing along with other necessities. It is run by HUD, with case management assistance by the Veteran’s Administration. A Vet applies to HUD, they process the forms, and then ask the VA for their opinion. The VA does more paperwork and approves (or disapproves) the application.

The Trump administration simply reallocated the entire budget ($460 Million+) from HUD to the VA. The only stipulation being the money had to be used to alleviate homelessness among Veterans. The media (and aforementioned folks that didn’t bother to do anything beyond clicking the ‘angry’ emoticon) had a hissy fit.

Can anyone explain to me how eliminating red tape and placing the funding in the agency whose name actually has the word ‘Veterans’ in it is a horrible thing?


Should “Gay Rights” be a thing? Maybe…..

Posted in Fairness, Gay Rights, General by Wayland Abernathy III on September 18, 2015

Ok, let me commence to putting my foot directly into my mouth for just a moment.

This story is ridiculous. It is depressing. It is heartbreaking. It is distressing. It is ludicrous. It is bizarre. It is unreasonable. It is senseless. And, dare I say, it is daft. Most of all, it is sad.

Gay rights is a thing in our country. While I see the beauty of believing such a thing, I cannot fathom why there is such a strong will to discriminate and commit oneself to being a different class of person based on the lifestyle you live or the person you marry or the color of your skin or your belief (or lack thereof) in God or any of the other innumerable reasons existing in our wonderful world today. It is sad that folks cannot get through their day without being offended or uncomfortable or otherwise out-of-sorts with the world around them. This is an everyday occurrence for me. Note that I am speaking of the ‘out-of-sorts with the world’ around me portion of that previous sentence. I do not remember being offended or uncomfortable with any statement or action made by another person. Even if they were speaking directly to me. Perhaps I am alone in such a distinction. Although I doubt it.

It is sad that a guy would lose his job for suggesting a movie to a co-worker. I have no idea if he made the remark off-handedly. I have no idea which movie he suggested. I have no idea if he cornered his co-worker in the unisex bathroom and said she should see the movie to get the evil demons out of her body. Based on recent box-office releases, I can make a wild guess, though. (Edit: After further research, he suggested the movie “Audacity”.) Is this a situation that will be filed under the politically correct banner? Should it be? I just think there are better ways to coexist with our friends and co-workers. Being uncomfortable because someone suggested seeing a movie makes no sense to me. Should I be uncomfortable because people suggested I listen to more rap music in high school? Should I be offended if that happens now? Should I be offended if someone suggests I read the Koran? Or the Talmud? Or a book on the beauty of same-sex marriage? Should I be uncomfortable if a co-worker suggests I see a lesbian movie? Where does this “Help me, I can’t handle my feelings” type of bs end?

I know I should be angry about this. I am not. My first response was, “What?! Seriously?” Then, I just shook my head in dismay and moved the line out a little further away from my reality and towards something that I fear I will never understand. Our world (not just our country) is changing. It is not for the good, either. If people must continue to separate themselves from others based on their life choices, then we will eventually become a world of villages that cater to distinct lifestyles and people that differ – at all – will be shunned and sent packing to the village they belong to and would feel more comfortable. That makes me sad.

It makes me sad that people are not left to live their lives and be free from the egregious effects of another’s uncomfortable feeling. Is it really necessary to simply keep your head down and limit your talking to work-related topics for fear of being fired if you suggest someone visit the local museum and check out the display of original superhero comic books? Far-fetched example, yes, but no more far-fetched to me than a lesbian feeling uncomfortable about the suggestion of a Christian movie. Again, perhaps I am alone in such a comparison. I doubt that, too.

As I slowly remove my foot, allow me to stress that I do not care how another person chooses to live their life. It is not my business. It is also not going against the grain if I simply desire to live my life free from the worry of offending another person based on a movie suggestion I make. Do I _really_ have to concern myself with such asinine thinking? The end-game, to me, is removing ourselves from the company of others and simply living and working through technology. Work from home. Have meals delivered. Have groceries delivered. And pick whatever movie you want and have that delivered, too.

That sounds crazy fun, doesn’t it? Obviously, it is not. It is crazy sad.

Historic Vote by the Supreme Court

Posted in Fairness, General by Wayland Abernathy III on June 26, 2015

I agree with almost every word of this essay. I don’t think the government should be involved in marriage (or many other aspects of our personal lives) in any way. Marry whomever you wish. I could not care less. But do not decry the right of others to think differently than you. I do not agree with the LGBT lifestyle, but who cares what I think? No one should, that is a fact. Your personal life has zero bearing on mine. That is the way it should be. The government should also not give a hoot who you choose to spend your life with.

In a court of law, marriage is a contract between people. Nothing more and nothing less. I say people and not two people because if straight or gay marriage is cool with the government, then why isn’t polygamy cool, also? If you are looking for freedom for yourself, you must be willing to offer it to everyone else. Pretty simple to me – “All men are created equal.”

It will be interesting to see the fallout from the increased governmental intrusion (see the IRS) into the world of gay marriage.

Posted in Constitution, General, United States of America by Wayland Abernathy III on March 2, 2012

Big Brother is watching. George Orwell says "Hi."

America is supposedly the “land of the free and home of the brave.” What happens when the land of the free isn’t so free anymore? The government is swiping our freedoms right from under our feet and we are oblivious to it. Everyone deserves the right to privacy. We cannot continue to let our country suffer like this.

The recently introduced Stop All Piracy Acts bill (SOPA) is one of the many ways the government is attempting to constrain our nation. The legislation, set aside by President Barack Obama and the Congress, was a thinly veiled attempt to censor everything we do on the Internet. The Protect IP Act (PIPA), a Senate companion bill, also set aside for now, was the first attempt at censorship. If you’re not concerned yet, how about being constantly watched and recorded? Yes, “Big Brother” is watching. A new street light currently in testing is equipped with surveillance cameras, government broadcasting, and it is interactive. For example, if you litter, the street light will bark at you. There are no private conversations – the government is always watching.

Even with all of these crackdowns, you would expect to have your body to yourself, right? Think again. The government wants to see you naked. If you have been to the airport lately, the “backscatter” scanners have been installed in dozens of  airports around the country. These scanners capture pictures of you as you innocuously walk through. These pictures are so revealing – see naked – many news stations would not air the photos.

Government agents can attach GPS trackers to your car without you even knowing about it. The Government can listen to anything you say, and hold it against you as well. (Remind you of any Socialist or Communist regimes? Just spreading the fun around to everyone, aren’t they?) Anything you say, can and will be held against you. There are many more examples I could give of our freedoms being taken. I just don’t want to get that depressed at the moment. Check out just a little bit for yourself.

Do you feel safe in this country anymore? Do you feel free? I believe that the government should not have this much power and control over us. I also believe the Founders fought to prohibit just this type of government over-reach into the lives of United States citizens. Do you really believe that the government knows best? Is trying to censor us, really letting us be free? Current policies that infringe and outright destroy civil liberties provide all of us with a chilling vision of what a communist country looks like from the inside.

U.S. Constitution – Old and Terse? Really?

Posted in Constitution, SCOTUS by Wayland Abernathy III on February 19, 2012

Paula Priesse posted a thought-provoking bit of news on her Facebook page today.

I thought about laughing, but then I know that won’t do any good. I thought about crying, but there isn’t much I can do about the loss of common sense in our country. I thought about sending off a tersely worded message to Mr. Liptak, but that just did not feel right (no pun intended) to me. Here I sit, clicking away on the keyboard, feeling better about things with every word that shows up on the monitor in front of me.

After checking out what Adam Liptak had to say I realize that some folks will not be happy until they can re-write the ‘square’ Constitution and make it fit into a ’round’ hole. If the Obama administration could re-write the Constitution (or seek an edit through appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court) they would be in heaven. Our Congress seems hellbent on making the Constitution fit their laws, instead of using the Constitution as the backbone of any and all legislation being thrust down upon the good folks of this country.

If there is something in the Constitution that bothers you, work to amend the offensive wording. If that seems too difficult for you, sorry. There is a reason that our founding document has lasted so long. It actually is difficult to change the Constitution on a whim. Thank God for that. This country would have ceased to exist some time ago if amendments could be made to satisfy any and all requests. I view this as a protection of the people from the very elected officials that swore an oath to uphold the ideals within the Constitution.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court seems to agree that the U.S. Constitution is an old fuddy-duddy. “I would not look to the United States Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012,” she said. She recommended, instead, the South African Constitution, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the European Convention on Human Rights

For those folks that espouse looking to other “newer, sexier and more powerful” Constitutions, I humbly suggest moving to your new country and immersing yourself in their laws. Have fun with it. Live your dream.

Don’t force me to live your dream with you.

Shredding the Constitution - A Liberal Wet Dream

Holy War Over Health Care?

Posted in Catholic Church, General, Healthcare by Wayland Abernathy III on February 18, 2012

Holy War Over Health Care

It appears that Barack Obama has chosen the Catholic Church for his pilot program in infringement on the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion. To hell with Church teachings; to hell with personal principles; to hell with the notion of right and wrong; and most importantly of all, to hell with the document that defends all our rights, the United States Constitution.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney believes that the Administration struck an “appropriate balance” in crafting the policy. Appropriate balance for who exactly? The United States government was built upon a foundation that separated the Church and State. The Church cannot infringe upon the operation of the government. New rules within Obama’s health care reform law pose a massive infringement upon the teachings of an entire religious faith. Religious leaders from across the country are joining forces to fight against a stunningly brazen attack on religious freedom.

This issue is dividing people along well-defined schools of thought, with notable exceptions. Nancy Pelosi, a self-described devout follower of Catholicism, has decided to take a stand with the Obama Administration on this issue. Apparently, to Ms. Pelosi, church doctrine is similar to sagging skin; if it gets in the way, she trims it off and tosses it aside. And to prove how committed she is to the cause, Pelosi is more than willing to take up pew space at her church in San Francisco and defiantly continue to receive communion while courageously supporting a government edict that sanctions murder.

It appears that the war is just beginning.

Genetic Discrimination

Posted in General by Wayland Abernathy III on February 18, 2012


Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO’s were recently discussed in my Science class. As I am known to do on occasion, I started thinking. My mind moved directly into human genetics and how science has rapidly progressed in this field of study. I know little about the scientific applications of studying genetics. I simply am curious about the ramifications of unintended consequences due to past – and continuing – study of human genes. I know that genetic discrimination has already reared its head. The fruits of human genetics are trickling down to everyday people, and with them come an array of new challenges. Expectant parents can now peek into the life of their unborn child, since it is possible to ascertain a fetus’s genetic makeup. As a consequence, some may choose to abort a fetus that may have a predisposition for disabilities or diseases.

Furthermore, as heredity is better understood, insurance companies also become better informed. There are clear benefits to unlocking secrets with genetics, but if those secrets end up with employers and insurance companies, there could be major problems. Insurance companies have been known to cancel or refuse coverage to those that have been found to have an inheritable disease. The more widespread genetic study becomes, the easier it is for insurance companies to access this information and plan ­accordingly. The bottom line is companies want to make a profit, and insuring sick people is not how they will do it.

Genetic screening is a powerful technique that can aid the fight against disease and accurately predict heredity. However, it must be used with extreme caution. New testing, combined with today’s technologies, makes it easy to discern a person’s ­inheritable structure. With this new and vast power, scientists need to ­recognize the enormous ­responsibility they now have.

SOTU – The “post-rally” review

Posted in Barack Obama, Budget, D.C., Economy, SOTU, United States of America, White House by Wayland Abernathy III on January 29, 2010

I consider myself an educated man. I like to read. I can speak and write fairly well. I can usually tell within 2-3 minutes of meeting a person if there will be a need for a second meeting. I keep telling the folks that I manage that knowledge is a good thing. I seek out new knowledge every day. I recently learned that I need to look for employment elsewhere, since my current employer is not a good fit. That is good knowledge to have, right?

I only have about 45 hours of coursework (I think, I haven’t checked my transcripts in at least 5 years) towards an AA degree in Business Administration, however, I believe that a diploma is only worth the paper it is written on.  We all know college graduates that can’t think their way through the $1 menu at Wendy’s. Anyway, in my mind knowledge is king. The more knowledge you have, the better. If you are not receiving the knowledge you want, then it is up to you to make a change, not someone else. A caveat that I must include here is that how you use the knowledge you have gained speaks to your moral character, and to a large degree, the way that knowledge was presented to you. Now that I have said my piece about knowledge and the inherent good and bad that comes with it, I will continue on to the subject of this post.

To be honest, I missed the first 15 minutes of the SOTU Rally because my 3-year-old daughter decided to find out just how loud (and long) she could scream “nobody will help me get to bed” before my wife or I gave in and went back into her room and “helped” her (after she was already tucked in, along with her horse, elephant, giraffe, frog and dog.) I lost after 45 minutes, but only by default. My wife had a headache and said she couldn’t handle it at the moment. I am still positive that I am smarter than a 3-year-old, even though she did break her record by 10 minutes.

I was actually anticipating this speech. Can you believe that? I don’t know why I keep thinking, “This guy (and the people who pump him his information) can’t be THAT bad. He must sincerely be trying to do what he thinks is right for the country.” After listening and watching the jack-in-the-box show by Nancy Pelosi (even VP Biden was giving her sideways looks) and the right (ironic, isn’t it?) side of the chamber, I can comfortably say that President Obama (and by association, his staff) is pissed off at the people of the United States. Either that, or he is so ensconced in his cocoon of non-stop campaigning and speeches and photo ops (160+ flights on Air Force 1 in a single year? Really?) that he cannot remotely understand what the hub-bub is about. You know what I think? I think he is stunned that his popularity has fallen – even a little. At the beginning of his Presidency, he was confident in his speeches, with no idea how to lead this Country. Now? He still is confident in his speeches, with no idea how to lead this Country.

Did he really say he would not “give up” onUniversal Health Care? Even after the majority of polls ( I cannot read them all) tell him that the folks he is trying to help would rather he give up on Universal Health Care?

Did he really ask anyone with a better plan to “let him know” when the GOP has a website ( with just what he is looking for? 

Did he really, in all honesty, tell the SCOTUS that they f’ed up on Campaign Finance Reform? And not know that he was so badly mistaken in his understanding and subsequent representation of the decision? He is a constitutional lawyer, right? I wonder who vetted that part of the teleprompter…

Did he really say he was proposing a spending freeze (on a small portion of the budget) and then go on to say he was pushing forward with Cap & Trade (more spending), Universal Health Care (lots more spending) and taking $33 billion of “recovered money from the banks” and spending it on other stuff? Seriously?

As I typed earlier, I consider myself an educated man. It does not take a college degree to ponder what President Obama said and not wonder what in the hell he was thinking. Do you think he even bothered to scan the speech before it was loaded into the teleprompter? I see contempt for the workings of our government (even as politically damaged as they are), contempt for the people of the United States (even as economically damaged as they are) and a serious case of weknowitis. Simply put, he thinks the system sucks, he thinks the people denouncing his policies suck and he wants everyone to get out of the way and let him and his people handle it, because they know what is best for us.

I have never met this man and I know I do not want a first meeting let alone a second. He scares me.