So, I went to a symposium held each year by my senator. Supposed to bolster leadership.


Everything was going find, they offered a pretty nice continental breakfast (their warm apple cider was outstanding), and then we went in for the big speech by the senator himself. It was a pretty long speech, but he made some good points, and didn’t interject his politics into it to much, much less than most would have, I think. That being said, it dragged on in spots, but it wasn’t too long overall, so that is not my biggest complaint.

Then, the arguable highlight of my day came when the next guess speaker was talking, and he was taking questions from the audience. This guy was like a charity worker, thingy, not exactly sure what his title would be. But anyway, he was taking questions, and a guy comes up, and I had seen him before, and he certainly didn’t fit in with all the stuff-shirts that populated the symposium, he was in a hood and baggy pants, and had a slightly unbalanced swagger in his step. So, he gets up there and starts talking about how he uses medical marijuana and he wants advice about that. And it kinda left the speaker stunned, and he said he wasn’t qualified to answer that, and then everyone got a slight chuckled out of the whole incident. It was just so unexpected, and out of place, what else could people do?

So, after that highlight, we went for our photo-op with the senator, what fun. Nothing to say about that.

After that we ate lunch, okay, but since my group ate last the food was pretty cold, but not ice cold thankfully. Had a nice long lunch break, mmmm….

After that blissful time, we got to the meat of the day, the time when we went and discussed different issues. The way it was set up, there would be two people (with supposedly opposing viewpoints) that would talk, and then we would have free-form discussion.

My first meeting was about Food & Energy security, overall it went pretty well, although I got bored and started doodling on my notes.  Other than that, overall it was pretty good. We had on one side a guy from the corn grower’s council, chief biofuel guy, and on the other side we had a PhD from a university. Not exactly opposing viewpoints though, I thought they agreed to much…

Then after that I attended a meeting on climate change.


Where do I begin? Maybe by stating that it seems that whoever chose these people didn’t understand the phrase “people with opposing viewpoints.” They were both democrats, both worked in a green-related field (one was a lawyer/consultant for environmental stuff at a firm, and the other was a PhD at a university), both were democrats, and I don’t think they ever disagreed once. WTF? They are supposed to argue, present both sides of this thing, not to agree with each other or not say anything at all! I was mad by the time it was over, and oh how I wish I had the amazing power of anonymity during that discussion, and was able to think as fast as I talked, how I would have let them on fire. If only it had happened on a forum or IRC… but I didn’t have the internet on hand to find my facts and back everything up, plus I tend to hold back when I am face to face with the person I am saying is an idiot more or less.

I guess my point in all this is, that everything was fine until the end “Climate Change” session, which really made me mad. They should have gotten to people with opposite viewpoints, and then told all the people that believed it to go to one side of the room, and the ones that didn’t believe it to the other, and then we have a good old fashion debate, which I would probably have been good at. Because I am not good at just freeform discussion, but a debate, now that is a different story…

So, overall, an okay use of my Saturday, even if it had its low points.  Although I am still mad.

And that guy will always be MMG (Medical Marijuana Guy) to me.


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