About Pateratic…

This page will give you a little insight into who I am. Since my views are unpopular with the current government, celebrities, and media, I find it a comfort to conceal as much of my identity as I can – I’d rather not have spike lee tweeting my address! But, at the same time, it is probably good for those reading here to have some perspective regarding how pateratic came to be who I am.

Believe me: I’m no-one special.

I was born to a family of modest means at around the birth of The Great Society. I was just over a year old when Kennedy was assassinated.

My parents, both born in the depression years, scrimped and saved in order to send my brothers and sisters and I – six, altogether – through private elementary school. I did not know great luxury. I did not often have new clothes – there were always hand-me-downs available from my older siblings – or the coolest toys. But we had a great home, and, looking back, I have no feeling of having been deprived. I don’t feel that I was shafted, and I love my parents deeply. Our family is very close-knit.

I recall that some of my favorite toys were discarded items – an old set of tunable TV antenna controls and the packing box from a large item were combined to create the bridge of my starship or battle tank. A clothespin and a playing card on my bike converted it to a Norton 750 Commando or a Harley-Davidson ElectraGlide. Three trees growing closely together made my fort.

Great memories came a lot cheaper in those days.

I learned very early the value of a dollar; of entrepreneurial ambition. Early on, my friends and I would develop carnival games in our backyard, and “spook houses” in our garages. We’d charge other friends to play at them, splitting the proceeds amongst us. Our Kool-Aid and lemonade stands help garner the quarters and dimes we’d use at the corner dime store for candy and small toys – usually little plastic army men and Silly Putty.  As soon as I could push a lawn mower, I hired myself out to cut lawns. I started working in eighth grade, taking babysitting jobs for neighbors who needed someone to greet their younger children when they came home from school because then, thanks to Mr Carter, the second worst-performing president of the United States, the economy sent many mothers out to work.

That money paid for my first car; a 12 year old car I paid $325 for and upon which I spent countless hours working – another set of experiences I still use. That car served me for many, many years and enabled me to pursue jobs I could not otherwise have had. I pity youths today who, thanks to the feckless wonder’s Cash for Clunkers are hard pressed to find an affordable used car and, thanks to the liberals’ never ceasing assault against small business hiring (minimum wage and rules for employing minors in the benevolently titled Fair Labor Standards Act) are equally hard pressed to find a business who can afford to wade through all the paperwork and records-keeping required to empoly anyone under 18.

I received my first real paycheck at the tender, young age of 13.

As soon as I hit the floor in high school, I secured a position working as a janitor at very school I was enrolled in – a private high school whose tuition I paid myself from those checks. After high school, I was bent on being a part of the Air Force, but a condition that hadn’t troubled me since grade school chose its opportunity to return, and I was turned out of basic training – washed out, some would say, but it wasn’t for lack of trying or desire.

My pursuits turned to engineering, where my interest had lain for a long time. Working a variety of jobs through those years to pay for it – sometimes working multiple jobs for long, long hours – I gained impressive skills that I still regularly put to use. A lot of unique opportunities sometimes fell into my lap: I was elevated from fry cook to executive chef when one of  the restaurant’s owners wanted to prove a point to the others; I was scooped up from my position as short-order cook to bartender simply because I looked like the existing bartender (almost identical, our voices were similar, as well as our interests – it was kind of scary), and the apparent “seamlessness” between the two of us appealed to the bar’s owner…

I found that there is no job I cannot do, if I only choose to do it.

Other opportunities pursued were not so glamorous: steam-cleaning the containers of garbage trucks on hot summer evenings, nailing shingles to roofs in the August sunshine, mind numbing hours cold-calling people in the hopes they’d buy office supplies,  stocking shelves, selling shoes; repairing, carrying, and installing sometimes back-breakingly heavy fitness equipment …  The paychecks – sometimes large, sometime meager – were the fuel upon which my education ran.

Being today the sum of the experiences of yesterday, I regret none of these.

The first president I had the honor of voting for was Ronald Reagan. I’ve missed no election that I can recall since being finally allowed to vote. I have never voted based on a candidates race, gender, or party affiliation, but only based on what I could learn about them and how well what I learned paralleled my views on the issues – and never just a singular issue. For instance, candidate strong on free market, strong on the 2nd Amendment, but supportive of abortion is a flawed product. They would have my vote, but only if I wouldn’t find a less egregious combination of views. Those holding socialistic views never gained my vote – even as I struggled with the conflict of charity vs. forced charity in my own thought processes.

You see, conservatism is learned and earned; not inherited or given.

Conservative principles really mean little to people who have never had to exercise them. That is the problem with today’s society. Since Woodrow Wilson instituted the progressive income tax and FDR decided that tax dollars should be doled out to bolster his political standing – for, to all accounts, it actually extended the depression – and Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and, most recently Øbama have expanded on the entitlements doled out… few today are left who really understand what conservatism means. Too many have their hands out, palms up, while the few stiff working have their hands up at the government’s gunpoint.

Am I rich? Not by a long shot.

So now I am a fairly successful engineer. Academically, I a bachelors degree in electrical engineering, a masters in engineering management, and a masters in computer science. I’ve worked for the past 20 years in a mechanical engineering/program management role for a US automaker, and have spent hundreds of millions of dollars of my employer’s money in pursuit of their goals. My skills at managing programs in my particular field of expertise are notorious.

I have a large family of my own, and live in a comfortable house in a decent suburb. I’ve put a lot of money into my home, and will put a lot more into before I pass from the vale of tears. My house is, thanks to Dodd, Frank, et al., underwater to the tune of half my mortgage. My 401 is roughly worth the same amount now as it was in 1998, despite careful investing and putting in the maximum allowed each year. My kids are getting into “the car years”, and automotive gas now consumes the lion’s share of my monthly budget. All the “current events” are playing out within my own life – I’m no different than you –

Except, perhaps, in that I expect and want no help from anyone.

If you espouse conservative values and self-determination, then we share a kindred spirit – I hope you enjoy those things I’ve put down here. If you do not espouse these tenets, mayhap you’ll learn something beyond the droning lessons of the co-opted media and the ideological ranting of the left. If nothing else, it’s a perspective you’re likely not used to.

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