Just So You Know Where My Head's At

Ah the good old days, back when there was actually such a thing as a lucid Republican. Granted, I disagreed with him on many issues. But that's the point. He was able to prioritize and discern real issues, rather than the stupidity and minutia that today's Republicans focus on.

This speaks for itself.

Pretty much sums it up.

Sound familiar?

Admittedly, I'm not as chipper as I once was....

Sour Grapes?

There are those who think that we Democrats have been overly celebratory in our victory. They have misinterpreted our reaction. It isn't poor sportsmanship. It's relief. Immense relief. It's like being in a horrible car crash, then realizing afterward that you don't have a scratch on you.

We all dodged a bullet.

From Bain and the comical notion that he was a job creator, to offshore bank accounts, to refusal to release tax returns (obviously hiding something; logic dictates it), to his open contempt of not just the 47%, but to every working person in this country, and endless comments that were guaranteed to alienate different voters, Mitt was showing to many why he should never be allowed anywhere near the White House. Putting aside the "magic underwear", his questionable personal and business ethics, and his painfully obvious cluelessness about everything outside of his bubble, he simply was not qualified for the job.

The fact that the election was this close was due, in large part, to people like the Koch brothers, organizations like ALEC, and multinational (read foreign) corporations who, because of Citizens United, were convinced that this election was already bought and paid for. It's the reason for Karl Rove's meltdown on election night, and why Mitt Romney was described afterward as being "shell-shocked". They thought the fix was in.

It is they who are the takers. They who commit crimes on a scale.much larger than some welfare mom  (often vilified by these same people) would have either the will, or the resources to carry out. It should be obvious who does the most damage.

They would gladly turn our elections into a spectator sport. A football game where we still pay the price of admission, but have no say on how the game is played.

A man shared a Facebook post his daughter made that put it eloquently:

"Last thing I'll say about the election and then I'll move on to enjoying these next 4 years, the simple FACT that Obama has won TWICE proves that that times have changed. We are a new America and Republicans need to wake up to this new reality. Open your closed minds and do some simple research. ALL Obama supporters are not welfare recipients or sitting at home waiting to collect another check from the government. Not all Obama supporters are "takers," we are providers as well. We provide for our children, the elderly, veterans.... We work long and hard and pay taxes just like everyone. We watched money being taken from ALL of our checks to pay for a war that was pointless and ridiculously expensive. Please remember the FACTS and go back to the drawing board, because "The Right" is not tuned-in to this new ideology."

He is rightfully proud of her. But her youth shows in her hope that the Right will learn from their mistakes.  If history is any indication, they will double down as they've been doing, convincing themselves that they can change the nature of reality itself, if they can get enough people to believe the lie.

The Most Iimportant Right

Today is election day. If you haven't done so, go vote. Trust me, the most basic of American rights may not seem important, until you lose it.

About a decade ago, I had a raging drug problem.  It progressed as you might expect, and I ended up doing a couple of years in prison. When you're convicted of a crime, the first thing they do, is take your right to vote. I've alway assumed that the reason for this is that since you've committed a crime, you decision-making abilities are therefore suspect.  Of course there is the fact that there are many politicians out there whose decision making abilities resemble that of someone who is mentally ill.  They also have committed crimes on a scale that most of us have neither the will or the resources for.  These are the people who write laws. It's up to you to call them on it.

I'm told I can get my civil rights restored.  It is, unfortunately, way above my price range.  My experience in prison served what I assume was it's intent, and I've lived an exemplary life since, I think.  I don't even jaywalk.

But none of that matters. Because money is now free speech, and that freedom is now being held for ransom by the state.

There are millions like me, and that number is growing every day.  So, go vote. Because, trust me, you don't want to spend the rest of your life on the outside looking in, with a blog that few people read as your only voice.


I haven't posted in a while. My brother passed two months ago today.  It was sudden and unexpected. One of those cancers that show little in the way of symptoms until it's too late.

I'm not exactly what one would call emotionally demonstrative, unless you count being perpetually glib an emotion. (Yeah, I know. Yada yada defense mechanism...I'm workin' on it, alright?).  So I was caught off guard as far as how much his loss affected everything I was doing. Especially writing.  I usually write a blog post down on paper, then go back and read it a day or so later. At that point, I usually think, "What crap", and try again. 

You're welcome.

My brother and I weren't close growing up. He was 15 years older, and out on his own before I was really aware of his presence. As a teenager, I spent a couple of summers with him and his family. I had a lot of hair, and an equal amount of angst. But he was patient with me, and I was lucid enough between bong hits for some of it to take. He would occasionally get the look on his face that hard to describe. It was his way of calling bullshit when I did or said something stupid. Whatever it was, it worked.

After I became an adult, my brother and I found that we had two diametrically opposing political viewpoints. This made for some interesting Thanksgivings, and a couple of decades' worth of spirited emails. 

For me, it began when Reagan was elected.  I knew it was bad. Really bad. I knew that the consequences would be far-reaching.  Being able to say, "I told you so" isn't as fun as I thought it would be.

I suspect now that, much of the time, my brother was playing devil's advocate in order to get me to think logically, and back up my opinions. If so, I owe him a debt of gratitude.

But what I've learned, is that logic and reason must be tempered with empathy and compassion. Otherwise, we tend to end up doing what is expedient, rather than what is right.

Part of my liberalism, and my atheism for that matter,  is the belief that most people are good, decent, hard-working folks just trying to do the best they can.  Sometimes this is little more than a carefully cultivated delusion. But it's a necessary one, I think. When I'm wrong, it is often spectacularly so. But the times I'm right more than make up for it. If I'm to err, I prefer it to be on the positive side. The problem is, that it requires a strength which I don't always posses. It's at these times, I tend to go into a sort of hibernation until it passes.

Otherwise, I run the risk of seeing, in my mind's eye, that look on my brother's face.