What I see from here

This blog may be about anything - ranging from the mundane to highly charged. Really, it's an outlet for whatever happens to be burning a hole in my mind. It's about ideas or thoughts that occur to me when I'm not sleeping at 2:11 a.m., taking a shower, driving around, reading, or sitting in a meeting letting my mind wander because the meeting is boring and/or stupid. What you and I share is that neither of us knows what it will be about. But, hey, stick around and we'll see what happens.

P.S. There may will be curse words. Deal with it.

And another thing: Yes, I am aware that it is sometimes a long time between blogs, and here's the thing. I don't care. If you do, I cannot help you with that.

P.P.S. oh yeah, I erroneously deleted some stuff I didn't want deleted, so I've put that back in with its original publication date shown. In case you care.

June 28, 2015

Crowbars, fear, and days like this

"Sometimes there are days like this when that slow steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt." President Barack Obama, 06/27/2015 

I find it absolutely astounding that people of this country are so afraid of marriage equality. The many comments opposing the Supreme Court ruling cemented for me that fear is too deeply embedded in the citizenry of this country; and those fearful citizens allow that fear to lead their actions and thoughts. They don't see that they are not threatened by equality, that there will be no undoing of society because someone else gets what they have, that their personal decisions will not be impacted. They instead choose to embrace everything that tells them the sky is falling on their tiny little heads and hearts. They continue to insert their crowbars of fear into the fracture that runs deep through this country - prying away to force that divide. 

With Friday's ruling we celebrate that the Supreme Court of this country made a majority decision that acknowledges basic human rights for marriage. We celebrate that the fracture has been sealed in one section. But let us not forget that all is not resolved. Let us acknowledge that there is much work to be done to bring full equality, and that work cannot be achieved simply through laws, policies, and SCOTUS rulings. We cannot just swipe our hands together and say "well, thank goodness that's done, let's all move along." We must remember that what SCOTUS did yesterday was remove one crowbar, but many remain, for many groups:
The power and privilege held by men, whites, cis-gendered heterosexual, and the wealthy are mighty crowbars in deepening and widening the fracture of our nation. But we can each choose to put down the crowbar. We can decide to not scoff when we hear the word privilege associated with how we identify. We can decide to begin educating ourselves and do the hard work that means looking both outside of us at the systems and inside of us to see our own privilege alongside the racism, sexism, or other isms we hold onto - even if it is unintentional. We can choose to learn the reality of how oppressive our nation and laws are when it comes to so many that are not us, and we can do it honestly and openly again and again and again.

That work is part of us all putting down our crowbars and figuring out how we can help our neighbor put down his or hers so we can begin to mend the fracture. Let's as humans decide that enough is enough and we want to see more equality, love, healing, and hope. Not because some being or thing or person tells us we have to, or because a fractured nation can never be a great nation, but also just because it's the right thing to do.

In spite of those who stood (and continue to stand) firmly for hate and inequality, Friday's ruling showed us a glimpse of a day that comes in the form of social and legal justice. Commit to being a part of more days like this that make us a great people.

So This Happened in Texas

Originally posted May 8, 2015

Are they the only state? Sadly, no. According to a policy brief just released by the Guttmacher Institute, there are 27 others.

It makes me angry, sad, and concerned for the health of women in this country. Each day we watch as laws are recommended and or passed that place women more and more at risk of being under the dominant rule of the State (or government). If you believe that's not true, well, you are wrong

If you vote Republican, you are to blame. You give them the power. You help them. You encourage them. If you are anyone who is not a white christian man and voting Republican, I'd like to know why you are inclined to turn a knife in your own stomach. If you are a man who votes Republican, I'd like to hear you explain why you think every group that doesn't include you is less important than you. You obviously believe it's okay to discriminate against and disenfranchise women. Apparently you are okay with your mother, wife, sister, daughter, niece etc. being subjected to fewer rights than you. Enjoy power much? What kills me is that Repub voters say shit like "well, government has gotten too big, and Republicans are in support of a smaller government."  Cognitive dissonance runs strong in you voters.

Our country has lost its collective - and in too many cases individual - fucking minds. Apparently there's nothing left to do but play along with batshit crazy, so I'll start the ball rolling with this:

Let's put the GOP fully in our bedrooms - for everyone. If you want to legislate what happens between my legs, let's just finish batshit crazy by fulling getting involved in between everyone's legs. Everyone knows we cannot be trusted to make our own decisions, so I give you this list of what the Government must begin to take charge of:

~~ Men, no Viagra or other ED drugs paid from insurance of any kind. Pay for your own hard-ons as an out-of-pocket expense.

~~ Everyone - no watching porn in your bedroom unless it's GOP approved.

~~ Women having sex with men- no dominance in the bedroom. In fact you can't even get on top because that could be construed as dominance.

~~ Men having sex with women - No doggie style. No seated style. Nothing but missionary position. That Kama Sutra book you have? Burn it. Right now. Go get it and burn it.

~~ Men - those breastesez you love to suck on . Forget about it. Those are for feeding babies. You are not allowed to go there.

~~ Everyone - no oral. Because that leads to nothing but gratification, so all of you who like that shit, just forget it. You are not allowed.

~~ Everyone - keep your fucking clothes on. Go talk to a Mormon and figure out what kind of clothes they wear to have sex, and that's what you all should buy.

~~ Everyone - IF you get an STI of some sort - tough shit sparky. You'll live with that or pay for it out of pocket. It sure as hell will not be paid for out of your health insurance policy. You know, the one you pay for with your hard earned wages.

~~ Everyone - No pretty under things. Victoria's Secret - I'll miss you, but your stuff is first to get crossed off the list.

~~As an added bonus: Men - all PMS drugs will be taken off the shelves. From now on, you deal with it and keep your god damn mouths shut. You know, the way you keep them shut when we are losing rights. You deserve that shit.  Oh, and while we are PMSing we get to open carry. Because 2nd Amendment rights.

Oh, and how will we monitor all of this??? Cameras. Cameras in every room in the house. Cameras with night vision so they can see if you try to fool them. Don't even THINK about having sex on the kitchen counter or the couch because there will be NO fun during sex.The only thing to be done in the laundry room is the laundry. Don't make us disconnect the spin cycle. There is to be no spontaneity. You arrange 1 day a week on your calendar and that's IT.  That includes no lubricants or oils of any kind, because that might make it pleasurable. This means no showers together, because you would see each other all nekkid and shit, and frankly that's just too much temptation. And don't even think you are going to be sneaky and do it in the car, because we'll make sure cameras are there too.

If you get caught having an orgasm, if it is suspected you are enjoying yourself during your duty, or if you get caught breaking any of the above rules, we'll make sure you get a chip implanted in you so you are unable to have sex.

From here on out it is the nasty, the dirty thing, the unspeakable, the chore, the duty - all those things the nun told you it was - and it is not to be done except with that attitude.

I'm sure the GOP will come up with some batshit crazy I haven't thought of, but I think this will get us started.

Why Hillary Doesn’t Have My Vote Sewn Up

Originally posted   April 11 2015

I frequently get attacked when I question Hillary Clinton's ability to be the right president, or if I say she does not have my vote sewn up. I voted for President Barack Obama against her because she repeatedly failed to answer hard questions, because I question her political agenda, and because I think she's too closely aligned with major corporations (e.g. Monsanto and big oil). 

Does that mean I'll vote Republican? Not on your fuckin' life. But if the Democrat running against her in the Primary is more satisfactory to me than her, yeah, I'll vote against her. In spite of popular opinion, I do not vote for a woman just because she's a woman. You earn my vote. You don't get it.

For further explanation, here's my take on voting: It is incumbent upon politicians to tell us what they are doing. More importantly, it is incumbent upon voters to think and analyze. It is not just our job to vote blindly, but to ask questions of the politicians, or those who aspire to political office. Most importantly, it is their job to answer our questions.  And it is our job to vote for the bigger picture, which is why I would never vote Republican. Their big picture is one of hate, bigotry, misogyny, and greed.

Our system is a hot mess, and part of that is because people vote blindly, or guided by fear, or because they are star struck, and politicians keep terrible secrets or flat out lie. Worse, the Democrats, though they are mostly well-meaning, also have a terrible marketing plan and spend more time engaged in talking about how bad the other people are than they do talking about how good they are and the great things they've done for the nation and will do for this nation.

As a voter I should not be attacked for asking honest questions and expecting answers. Nor should I be attacked for questioning some of the things being done by a person who is asking for my vote.

If you break it down to a giant marketing plan, here's what it looks like:

Republicans have a two-part marketing plan. The first is a party line that they repeat endlessly. Yeah, it's a bunch of fucking lies, but it's also an effective marketing ploy. You know how when you hear one of those commercials where they say the phone number 7 - 10 times in about 30 seconds and it annoys the hell out of you? You know why they do that? Because if you hear something often and frequently, you remember that. Republicans have repeated their lie-filled party line enough that voters believe it as true. The second part of their plan is repeating endlessly how bad the Dems are - lies yes, but lies made true in the minds of those who hear it often enough. Also, Republicans rarely vote outside their party, and their leaders know this.

Democrats have a shitty marketing plan, which has been my greatest source of angst since I was 17 and gaining interest in politics - as a Democrat. They undersell themselves, they let the Repubs paint them into a corner, and instead of pushing back they say "nuh uh, you're mean." They allow Repubs to bully them, and for the most part they turn their backs and tuck their tales between their legs. Their marketing plan is to just scream bad things about Republicans. The important part they are missing is that they aren't giving a message - any fucking message at all - about what they will do or have done. Democrats will vote outside their party line, not because they are idiots, but because they are convinced by the Republicans and not the Democrats.

We as Democrats must begin to demand of our politicians that they do better, speak better, stand up better. We need to make sure that they address their accomplishments, answer the hard questions, and  aren't in bed with the 1%.

Or, we can just say those who don't tow the Democratic line and vote for the popular kid in class can go to hell and they are idiots and see how many we lose through insults, stomping our feet, and allowing the shit that has made us fail continue to be our party rule.


For fuck sake, STOP saying that the parties are the same. Do a bit of homework and you'll see immediately the fallacy in that statement.

P.P.S. This just in.

Life. Death and Fear

Originally posted February 27, 2015

Lately I've been thinking about fear and how it seems to have grown exponentially over the past few years. People live fear-based lives: someone wants to kill us; someone wants to commit a crime against us; someone wants to take what is ours; someone wants more than we think they deserve, and that will cut into the money and stuff we grasp in our needy fear-induced fists.

We load our children with fear using dying as a threat: don't do that, you could die; don't trust them, they might kill you; don't go there, it's too dangerous and it may mean death. We need more guns because there are people who want to harm us, so we have to be prepared to harm them first. Thus we enact stand-your-ground laws and defend cops who volley dozens of rounds into citizens, the citizens and cops alike claiming "I was afraid for my life." We have to limit where we go and what we do and who we associate with because, fear.

People live in anticipation of death, which I find incredibly sad, and that's what this is about.

I don't recall worrying much about death or letting fear guide my decisions throughout my life. That is not to say I've not been afraid of things, because I have. But aside from the basics, like something happening to my loved ones, my fears have been limited to two things. The first - and this will surprise those who know me (except my sisters) -  until recently I have been afraid of the dark. Of course there's a reason, but this is not the place for that examination. Suffice it to say that mostly I was afraid of things I could not see. Things that go bump in the night. It's why I was no good at camping. Because walking at night in the absolute dark that is the woods I could hear things that I could not see, which meant having no control over my own safety. I have a vivid imagination and there is quite literally nothing I cannot imagine (which is one reason I don't watch scary movies; and trust me, you do not want to know the things I've imagined in my life). I don't need the big screen to show me what my mind can conjure unbidden.

The second is love. I was always afraid of love. I was afraid I wouldn't be good enough, that I would make a mistake, that I would not have control, that I would trust the wrong person. Worst of all, I was afraid I would be hurt. I knew that if I invested 100% of me in that venture, the pain that would come should it not work would be deep, dark, and unending - like trying to measure the very end of nothing and everything.

Beyond these two fears, I wasn't really afraid of anything. Not of change, of moving, of cities, of strangers, of people in authority, of authority in general, of speaking up, of losing a job, of losing a friend, of being lost. People have always called me brave, but I don't see it as brave. It is simply that I am unafraid, and those are two very different things. What happens when you are unafraid is that you do not fear death. The fear of being killed or dying from a disease has no control over you, and you no longer let fear keep you from living.

Driving away from Seattle Tuesday I spent time considering these matters, and what occurred to me was something new that I've seen back there in the recesses of my mind in the past five months but not looked at, like seeing a box under the bed that you have to put effort into reaching, so you just leave it there until the time is right. When I opened the box and peered in, what I saw is that along with not being afraid of dying, I am now not afraid of anything at all. As I analyzed the contents of the box, what I realized is there is a connection between my newly found complete lack of fear and the fact that I was proven right about love. You see, someone convinced me that I didn't have to be afraid of love, that giving 100% of myself instead of my typical 85 - 90% was okay. I now know that it was in fact something that I was justified in fearing, but what has been confirmed for me as a result is that I can control that by simply not engaging. Love is something I never have to do again, so there is nothing more to fear.

And that brings us to my no longer existent fear of the dark. You see, once you've faced even one of your worst fears and lived through it, you no longer care about the other worst fear. Why? Because you care even less about dying than you did before. So if I'm out walking in the dark and a murderous raping orcvampwerezombie gets me, so be it. I will be dead.

This lack of fear is freeing, really. Does it mean I'm going to be careless and stupid? Of course not. Why? Because although I am not afraid of death, I also do like living, and I would like to see my grandchildren grow to adults and have children of their own. I would like to live long enough to see my work in areas of social justice make a difference.

As for things that go bump in the dark - bears, biting dogs, monsters (both human and imaginary), men, and all that other shit? Frankly my dear, just like my friend here, I don't give a shit.