17 April 2018

Tax Day Rant

When people tell me, "taxes are the price we pay to live in a civilized society," do you mean the society where:
  • the President, without even consulting with Congress, much less getting authorization from them, launches 66 Tomahawk cruise missiles and 19 JASSM-ER's at a cost of $119M at a country that does not threaten the national security of the United States?
  • the government uses civil asset forfeiture to seize property of people who are never convicted or even charged with a crime?
  • the government continues to lock people up for minor drug offenses, then prevents them from getting a job or from voting because they have a felony on their record?
  • the government is projected to spend a TRILLION more dollars than it collects just this year?
  • unelected bureaucrats in administrative agencies write regulations, enforce those regulations, and then rule on those same regulations?
  • the government (through the Federal Reserve) steals from you every day through inflation of the currency--a dollar in 1913 has lost over 96% of its value?
This is the same government that enforced the Fugitive Slave Act until the Civil War. This is the same government that rounded up Japanese American citizens during WW2 and a Supreme Court of the same government who said it was constitutional. A Supreme Court who also legitimized compulsory sterilization with the most infamous of words, "Three generations of imbeciles are enough."
When you tell me taxes pay for a "civilized society," those are the things I think of. What about you? I don't want any part of it. I'm sure you can come up with a list of all the great things government does for you. But if you want to claim those things you also get the baggage of mine.

03 October 2017

Who I am: Meeting my birth father

This is one in a series of posts on the search for my biological family.

In a previous update, I had mentioned that I had (finally) identified both my birth mother and birth father. I have since reached out to my birth mother and we have chatted some online. It remains to be seen if we will meet, but I hope that we will eventually.

She also helped to identify my birth father. I reached out to him, and he responded. We talked on the phone several times, and eventually met in Baltimore a few months ago. I also found out that he was engaged to be married; and that I was invited to attend the wedding. How cool!!!

Fast-forward to this weekend: My family attended the wedding in Baltimore at the Sagamore Pendry Hotel:


It was an amazing weekend. We had a great time, and I was able to meet many new relatives that I never knew about!

Who I am: What's in a name, revisited

This is one in a series of posts on the search for my biological family.

A short update to my previous post about my curiously official lack of a middle name.

Maryland refused to put my middle name on my driver's license because, well, I have no middle name on my social security card.

Now that I've moved back to Pennsylvania, I had to apply for a driver's license again. And despite not having a middle name on my social security card, and though I'm pretty sure I did not even put my middle name on my driver's license application, Pennsylvania has seen it fit to put my middle name back on my driver's license. Go figure.

02 September 2017

2017 Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster (FINAL)


50/53 for the second year in a row.

QB (2): Wentz, Foles
RB (5): Sproles, Blount, Smallwood, Pumphrey, Clement
WR (6): Jeffrey, Smith, Agholor, Hollins, Johnson, Gibson
TE (3): Ertz, Celek, Burton
C (2): Kelce, Wisniewski
G (3): Seulamo, Brooks, Warmack
T (3): Peters, Johnson, Vaitai

DE (5): Graham, Curry, Barnett, Long, Means
DT (5): Cox, Jernigan, Allen, Qualls, Vaeao
LB (6): Hicks, Bradham, Kendricks, Goode, Walker, Grugier-Hill
CB (5): Darby, Mills, Douglas, McDougle, Robinson
S: (5) Jenkins, McLeod, Graham, Watkins, Maragos

P: Jones
PK: Sturgis 
LS: Lovato

01 September 2017

2017 Philadelphia Eagles projected 53-man roster (FINAL)


QB (2): Wentz, Foles
RB (4): Sproles, Blount, Smallwood, Pumphrey
WR (5): Jeffrey, Smith, Agholor, Hollins, Johnson
TE (3): Ertz, Celek, Burton
C (2): Kelce, Wisniewski
G (3): Seulamo, Brooks, Warmack
T (4): Peters, Johnson, Vaitai, Gordon

DE (5): Graham, Curry, Barnett, Long, Means
DT (6): Cox, Jernigan, Allen, Qualls, Vaeao, Hamilton
LB (6): Hicks, Bradham, Kendricks, Goode, Walker, Grugier-Hill
CB (5): Darby, Mills, Douglas, McDougle, Robinson
S: (5) Jenkins, McLeod, Graham, Watkins, Maragos

P: Jones
PK: Sturgis 
LS: Lovato

12 April 2017

Who I am: DNA testing and ethnicity (FamilyTreeDNA update)

This is one in a series of posts on the search for my biological family.

In a previous post, I reviewed how DNA testing revealed my ethnic background. Since then, FamilyTreeDNA has updated its MyOrigins analysis. It's not clear exactly what they did, but I assume it had something to do with updating its reference population. My numbers changed, a little bit. Here are the new (left) and old (right):




The website notes that "[a] trace percentage indicates a very small amount of shared DNA in common with the coresponding population. In some cases this minor percentage could be attributed to background noise." So it's not clear if if actually have any ancestry from the trace regions, but it is possible. Now, here are FamilyTreeDNA and Ancestry side by side:


What is going on here? To be clear, this is the same DNA test, done at Ancestry and the results uploaded to FamilyTreeDNA. Again, these differences are almost certainly do to different reference populations. Still, it's a bit frustrating, don't you think? Aside from Iberia, which appears on both tests, the trace regions don't necessarily match up. Scandinavia went from 5-8% to disappearing. Still, these are very small numbers. That 32% from Western Europe on the Ancestry test just completely disappears at FamilyTreeDNA. Another mystery to figure out...