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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
Works at TWiT.tv
Lived in Fremont, California
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ

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These are polarizing times, with more of the country upset with the winner of the election or apathetic about the vote than are satisfied with the results. There's a lot of frustration, confusion, and downright anger. It's time for something different, but most of us either don't know what that "different" looks like, or we can't stand to listen to what "different" might be from a person who voted against our candidate.

But maybe... now is the time for "different" to become "normal."

Because it will matter to some, let me start with my voting history. Since I turned of age, I've voted in 7 Presidential elections. In four of those elections, my candidate has won (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama x2), while in the other three, my candidate has lost (George H.W. Bush, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton). My family is heavily Republican and I started my political life as a registered, passionate member of the GOP. Since then, I've become one of those "swing voters" that everybody likes to quantify. I've voted for Republicans and Democrats alike, and I've never had a ballot that was entirely of one party or platform. In one case, I voted for a Republican presidential candidate, then for his Democratic challenger in the next election.

In this cycle, my candidate lost a bitter, horrible, almost surreal election. In my circles there are many who are complaining about the popular vote vs. the electoral college, or spinning theories of conspiracy and voter disenfranchisement. There are those who are pointing out hypocrisy of one form or another, or wildly advocating litigation and harassment. Some are dedicating themselves to "making sure Trump is a one-term President" or "destroying a corrupt political process." -- Much of this talk is out of despair, but some of it sounds like the planning of an actual strategy... and that scares me more than a Trump presidency.

So, as a Republican-turned-Democrat who still occasionally votes Republican, can I make a suggestion?

Stop.

Just stop.

I know the allure. I feel the temptation -- To do everything to Trump that was done to Obama. To give action to the frustration that seemingly has led us to this point in US history. But this frustration WILL turn into unchecked rage if we let it. We'll have Democratic spokesmen talking publicly about the illegitimacy of Trump's presidency, Democratic representatives breaking decorum during a State of the Union addresses, Democratic lawmakers who have an "obstruct-first" policy to legislation. It's so easy to look over the past 8 years and make the decision to become the people about whom we have complained these past two cycles. It would be SO easy to give in and use every trick and tool in the arsenal that was pulled out again Obama, but before we do that...

Stop.

Just stop.

We are at a precarious point in this country... and I'm not talking about the political process or who sits in what seat... I mean a precarious point in defining THE MEANING of America and the American Dream. This country is based on the ideal that hard work can make your life better. This "bootstrap" mentality doesn't belong to Republicans or Democrats, but to all Americans. It's an ethos that is built into our identity: short-term suffering can lead to long-term prosperity. -- But that ONLY works as long as people are willing to look to long-term prosperity... and as a country, we've failed miserably at doing that these past few elections. We've demanded short-term gratification in the form of revenge, or talking points, or lolz... and I don't think we can continue to do that without losing sight of our long-term prosperity altogether.

So... my fellow Democrats. --- Stop. Breathe. Stop. Reflect. Stop... then get back to work.

This isn't to say that we surrender or give up our ideals. It's our job to hold our representatives to their promises and to challenge them when we don't agree... but we CAN'T be obstructionists. We CAN'T be trolls. We CAN'T be focused on proving that "we were right!" every time a republican stumbles. It's time for us to take to heart all the advice we've been offering to our more reasonable Republican brothers and sisters during the Obama Administration. In other words, it's time to be Americans.

And to my fellow Republicans. --- Stop. Breathe. Stop. Reflect. Stop... then get back to work.

The only way this works is if we hold accountable all the people who have done things we don't want to see during the Trump administration. Every representative who promised obstruction when it looked like Hillary would win, should no longer be a representative. Every pundit who claimed we should grab a gun, incite violence, or otherwise overthrow a duly-elected president should be shunned and shamed. Every extremist who was claiming we should "take back America" from Americans should fade into obscurity, replaced by those who are willing and able to put the long-term prosperity of our country above headlines and airtime. It's time for us to work and compromise with our more reasonable Democratic brothers and sisters. In other words, it's time to be Americans.

This is a different way of living the political process than we've know the past two generations, but if we care about being the UNITED States of America, this is the ONLY way it will happen.

If we're willing, and open, and caring... and AMERICAN... this could become our new normal.

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30 comments
 
Thank you for sharing
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
Hey KITAs!

Did you know that +Bob Heil just joined our community?!

If you had any sound-related projects, he's the master. :)
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Eddie Foy's profile photo
 
Awesome!  Loved the interview he did with Dvorak about a year ago.  Very insightful and great behind the scenes info.  Learned a bunch of tech and history!
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
I've been wanting an interview with Adam Savage for YEARS.

This year, he was nice enough to take time out of CRAZY BUSY schedule.

#GeekSquee!
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James Hughes's profile photoFr. Robert Ballecer, SJ's profile photoStorm Mcleod's profile photoJason Perry's profile photo
6 comments
 
+Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ​, if you do have a podcaster meet up to fly your MRs who gets broadcast rights?
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
Hey KITAs,

(I'm trying K.IT.As rather than KIAs, because... well... I don't want people to think you're all dead.)

The new format of Know How has been well-received. It seems that you all like shorter shows with themed content.

So... how you would all feel if instead of doing a 2 weekly 30-45 minute shows with three segments and two ads each, we instead did 5 INDIVIDUAL 10-15 minute segments with a single ad that was released daily?

I think we can make them tight and bite-sized... perhaps increasing our YouTube viewership past the "1% of downloads" that we have right now. We'd also make it easier to find EXACTLY the segment that you're looking for, AND give you a new KH every day!

Whatcha' think? 
349 votes  -  votes visible to Public
83%
17%
Yes. I'd watch.
83%
No. Not interested.
17%
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Tyler Pearson's profile photoJason Eckelstafer's profile photoEddie Foy's profile photoJoel G. J's profile photo
69 comments
 
Question... Is this in preparation for YUUUUGE news (e.g. becoming independent?)
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
Pie anybody?
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Rud Dog's profile photo610GARAGE's profile photoDave Harding's profile photoFr. Robert Ballecer, SJ's profile photo
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+Dave Harding Or for people who know the date system in the US. Just sayin' :)
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ

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I need some sleep.
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Marian Torres's profile photoJason Wynn (JBird)'s profile photoRandy Turner's profile photoTorben Wolff's profile photo
14 comments
 
You've got talent, Padre😀
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
Hey all... just a quick note to some of our more prolific posters.

We LOVE activity in this community, thank you for that. However, some folks are resposting the same article/link/etc. to multiple groups and the G+ spam filters are automatically flagging/hiding posts. 

If you notice your posts disappearing or not appearing in the first place, it could be that your account has been flagged. Apologies for the inconvenience. 
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Thanks for the heads up +Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ 
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
Ok KITAs, this cute little ball of doge is the new KH mascot... and he needs a name.

Put your suggestions in the comments below, we'll pick the best, then open a poll to decide on a name for the Know Corgi!
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86 comments
 
Rupert Puttkins 
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
Yo KITAs!

I'm always working on new segments and series for the show. I like to go a little out of my wheelhouse so that we spread out our topics, but this time I'm going WAAAAAAAY out of my wheelhouse.

I've been working on a new series called, "The Green Geek" -- in which I show how to grow plants indoors, move to making tech to ease the growth of plants indoor (think: Arduino controlled lights, fans, heater and irrigation) and end up with some cool segments on extracting essential oils from plant material. (Lavender!)

Is this something that interests you?
263 votes  -  votes visible to Public
I'm interested. I'll watch!
73%
Not interested. I won't watch.
8%
Not interested, but I'll still watch.
14%
I'm interested, but I won't watch.
2%
Meh, grumble, you have a lack of choices
2%
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Armando Perez's profile photojr perez's profile photoStorm Mcleod's profile photoJason Perry's profile photo
19 comments
 
Aquaponics has killed a LOT of time on YouTube for me. There is a lot out there.

I am really interested in what sensors, past moisture, temp, and light, are out there to monitor the plants environment and its health.
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ

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And winning the Internet...
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Christopher Calvert's profile photoLinux Lite's profile photoJohn Phillips's profile photoJim F - CalgaryAB's profile photo
4 comments
 
I wonder if "This Robot" will follow the "Three Laws of Robotics"? Check "Bicentennial Man" Movie
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
Hey KIAs... I want to apologize for being absent from the community for the last month or so. --- The TWiT live schedule is pretty demanding and I just haven't had the time I want to interact with you. I've missed some great projects and a few angry members with legit gripes.

I'll try to do better... and things should get better once we get to May (until August, when it becomes a mad house once again)

I've queued up a bunch of your posts for feedback and segments in the near future. Stay active. Keep building... and we'll keep hacking at it.

Peace,
Padre 
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Dan Lo Fat's profile photoFr. Robert Ballecer, SJ's profile photoDan Hockey's profile photoFloyd Fernandez's profile photo
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You have a life too +Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ so don't apologize for living it, but I'm glade your back too it.
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
Want a little more help assembling the electronics for "Project Steampunk"?

Well then... take a seat and enjoy a real-time session of smoke and solder in Padre's Studio!
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Story
Tagline
How Geek is your love?
Introduction
I'm an over 9000 uberGeek, a TWiT network host, the director of National Vocation Promotion for the Jesuits, and a closet superhero sidekick.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Fremont, California - Santa Clara, California - San Jose, California - Berkeley, California - Oakland, California - San Francisco, California - Hayward, California - Culver City, California - Los Angeles, California - Sacrament, California - San Diego, California - Chicago, Illinois - St. Louis, MO - Milwaukee, WI - New York, NY -
Links
Work
Occupation
As little as possible
Employment
  • TWiT.tv
    Host, 2012 - present
    I host "This Week in Enterprise Tech" with co-hosts Brian Chee & Curtis Franklin. I host "Know How" with Bryan Burnett I host "Before you Buy" I host " Coding 101"
  • The Jesuit Conference
    National Director of Vocation Promotion, 2009 - 2013
  • TheTechStop.net
    Producer/Editor, 2007 - 2012
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
PadreSJ "Digital Jesuit" "Friar Tech"