Just Hear Me Out

Finally, blessedly, this election over. I’m positive I’m not alone in this sentiment. I’ve been biting my tongue so much that I feel as though I need a blood transfusion. But I’ll just come out and say it: I’m not happy with the result. That is oversimplifying how I actually feel, but I decided on Wednesday morning that I’m not going to drag everyone through my personal demons over this. But I did want to take a moment to put into words a healthy dose of my thoughts. If you’re here to watch me eviscerate anyone, you may be disappointed. I have equal criticisms for both sides of this election — partially because it seems to be written somewhere that if you’re going to vote, you must vote one side or the other.

I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s a lot rolling around in my grey matter, so I hope you can forgive me if I stray from topic to topic like a lost child in the woods. But in the current state of American politics, more and more people are feeling that way. Truth be told, that’s why Donald Trump won. Regardless of how I and many other people feel about the man as a person, it was his “outsider” status that won him the Republican nomination and, to my personal horror, the Presidency. Many of my liberal and progressive friends may disagree with me, but when you strip away the layers of bile that is Donald’s stock and trade in personality, fundamentally it came down to the fact that he was the only one of the candidates who didn’t have years of political indoctrination under his belt. If anything, Hillary’s decades of experience in public service only seemed to make everyone feel worse about her. That sounds counterintuitive, and it is, but people are sick and fucking tired of “politics as usual”.
Continue reading “Just Hear Me Out”

Worst. Election. Ever.

As some of you know, I’ve been doing my best to avoid the Chernobyl-like levels of political radiation sickness that enveloped me whole back during the early-Dubya years. It wasn’t easy. Much like anything you have an interest for, it’s easy to fall into old habits. But I was pretty happy that I was able to avoid getting into verbal fisticuffs with some right-wing nutjob who just learned how the three branches of government worked a week prior. It just wasn’t worth it, I’d say to myself. When Donald Trump announced his candidacy, all bets were off. It has become absolutely impossible for me to function without tuning in to see what particular brand of narcissistic bullshit fell out of his mouth in the last four hours. To anyone who has paid attention to the past few elections, the past 14 months have been something on a true political enigma. Everything that past candidates have done to end their political stardom seems to be not only acceptable for Trump, but it’s become expected. I feel cheated if Trump hasn’t claimed that Hillary Clinton is responsible for the Bay of Pigs in the last 24 hours.

There has been a great deal of conjecture over how, precisely, Donald J Trump became the nominee for Republican ticket for President. My favorite so far has been a piece that was put together by Cracked wherein two comedy writers are hired to run a parody political campaign for Donald Trump, who isn’t actually interested in the job. Despite their best efforts to piss people off, Trump ultimately becomes the choice candidate. This is pretty much the only explanation that make any real sense. Continue reading “Worst. Election. Ever.”

Pavlov’s New Dogs

I’m beginning to liken the hardcore second amendment folks with Pavlov’s dogs. But instead of a bell causing them to drool at the thought of food, it’s the NRA saying Democrats want to take their guns away and they froth at the mouth and lose their collective shit. I’ve done my best to stay on the sidelines in this instance. What happened in Orlando was truly horrific, but the conventional wisdom appears to be just ignore it and it’ll go away. Something else will hit the news and the nation will get distracted. Why would this situation be any different? If 20 adolescent kids getting mowed down in their school can’t get folks to talk rationally about gun legislation, what are the chances that over a hundred gay people (and their allies) being maimed and murdered would be any different? I know that sounds callous and uncaring, but show me where I’m wrong about the apparent lack of conscience of the country.

Over the past few days, I’ve sat back. For the most part anyway. I’ve been reading what others have to say. But what is absolutely stunning to me is the apparently inability for second amendment folks to listen to the other side and comprehend what they’re saying. This isn’t to say the opposite isn’t true, but I simply haven’t seen that as often. What’s more amazing are the literal fields of straw men being constructed by those who like the gun situation as it is. In an effort to offer a peace pipe, with every fiber of my being trying to avoid sounding condescending or snarky, let me explain what most of us want. Along the way I’ll try to dispel some myths so that you folks can at least try to calm down a bit.

Let me start with this: If you’re a law abiding citizen, I don’t give a shit if you have a gun. Seriously. Don’t fucking care. I hope you find great enjoyment in your hobby. Got that? Good. Let’s continue. Continue reading “Pavlov’s New Dogs”

Assuming Game

I’ve done my best to put some distance between myself and the current Presidential election here in the US. Having been fully invested in the 2004 and 2008 campaigns, I saw what it did to my usual easy-going humor and turned me into a nasty little troll on the internets. It affected the way I interacted with people and overall affected my mood in general. It really wasn’t a pleasant feeling and was not the person I wanted to be. Since then I’ve lived with the concept that it’s all well and good to be informed, and I highly encourage doing so, but live and let live. Above all else, if someone is going to vote for a candidate who I believe fundamentally will legislate against their interests, it’s their business — and there’s fuck all I can say that will make them change their minds. Hakuna fuckoffa.

When candidates starting lining up for the job, I was a bit perturbed that everyone on the Democrats’ side seemed to be stepping out of the way for Hillary. On a fundamental level, sure, she’s got the experience and knowledge for the job. But she also has a rather distinguished history of changing her viewpoints when it best benefits her political goals. It’s the kind of trait that is usually pointed out by any voter as something that disgusts them with all politicians. Oddly enough, when it’s their own candidate, they don their blinders and become very vocal in their defense of them. But it’s also the reason why I became a Bernie Sanders supporter. The man has been espousing the same political rhetoric for the better part of forty years. Agree with him or not, you have to admire that kind of dedication and integrity.

The one that shocked me, and indeed continues to shock me, is the popularity of one Donald Trump. I’m actually loathe to write anything about him because the man thrives off of negative publicity, and has gotten 99% of election coverage on all major news outlets. Of course he is — he’s a reality TV star and knows how to manipulate the American public. It’s said public that inspired this post. Continue reading “Assuming Game”

Mad Libs

I loved Mad Libs when I was a kid. You know, those silly books of paragraphs that encourage others to find nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc, that are to be placed is deliberate spots so that the paragraphs take on ridiculous but mostly humorous resolutions. I think they’re great because most adults I know don’t even know what an adverb is, and these books actually force you to figure it out. All in good fun.

I brought this up because I use these to help illustrate my problem with religion. I know — quite the analogy. But follow me on this. Continue reading “Mad Libs”

Reality 101

As we go into Day 9 of the shutdown of the Federal Government, the media has gone to great lengths to do two things:

  • Assign blame
  • Appear unbiased

The two obvious exceptions to this are the networks of Fox “Ultra-Conservative” News and MSLiberalNBC. The rest of the networks, by and large, have been doing everything they can to appear as unbiased as possible in their coverage with varying degrees of success. The problem is that has arisen from this is their apparent inability to give any kind of news without some strange obligation to make this issue look like it’s the fault of everyone involved.

This shutdown is the fault of the intransigence of the collective House GOP. There’s no simpler or direct way of putting that. You can argue with me about that all you want, but you’re wrong. It’s not an opinion. It’s a pretty well-established fact at this point. Largely because the Speaker of the House has maintained a thin mask that he is, in fact, at the mercy of the Tea Party members of congress and he wants to keep his Speaker’s Chair. His usually well-focused messaging is everything but focused, as he proved on Sunday on This Week. Continue reading “Reality 101”

A Scorned Lover’s Lament

After President Obama was elected back in 2008, I made a concerted effort to put a good distance between me and politics. It was like an abusive relationship. I was so in love, but politics inevitably made me into an unlikable person. Even when it donned that French Maid outfit and said all those naughty things I loved hear, I looked at my reflection in the mirror and was horrified by what my lusting affair with politics had made me become. I was a broken man.

Over the past five years, I’ve done everything I could to get away from that self-destructive lifestyle. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t check up on my old mistress from time to time. I watched from afar, knowingly, as my old temptress brought old friends to her bed. I did what I could to warn them, but I knew that perfume all too well and know what it does to one’s mind.

What I’ve learned is that politics is a very old mistress – something akin to a vampire; No, not a vampire in the Stephanie Myers-influenced nonsense, but a beast straight out of the tomes of Ann Rice. This creature has been around for centuries – feeding on her victims as the penultimate result of long, quiet, inescapable seduction. And much like a vampire, you cannot kill what is already corporeally dead.

Truth be told, I don’t necessarily want to end politics. Perhaps it’s the spousal abuse talking, or perhaps I’ve watched Return of the Jedi too many times, but I know there’s good in her. When you break it down to the basics, the word politics comes from the Latin word polis, which means “people”. And that’s what politics is supposed to be – the people making laws for the betterment of all. And, really, how can one not fall in love with such a vision?

In light of my mistress’s latest activities, I’m formally throwing my hat back into to the ring. So expect a bit more out of me in the coming days and weeks.

It’s Come To This

As a child of the 80s, I was raised initially to mistrust the country of Russia. It was the USSR back then, and everything they were was supposed to represent all that was evil in this world. President Reagan implored Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” and that wall finally came down in 1989. America basked in the glory that was the final victory in the so-called Cold War.

That’s how the history books will record it. That’s how it has been recorded so far. Communism was a failed system and Democracy, with the capital D, was the only way to enlightenment.

Now I must ask my fellow countrymen, be they republican or democrat, how it feels to know that a citizen contractor who worked for the NSA has sought and succeeded to find asylum in the country of Russia because his government, who touts “the land of the free and the home of the brave” as their stock in life, has found his exposing what everyone already knew was unspoken truth?

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so detached from true freedom. Fuck your parties, fuck your protections against our free society…this young man sought to bring to light a grievous overreaching of our government, in the name of protecting our way of life, and he’s a pariah. He didn’t tell you anything you didn’t already know, or even less what those we call our enemies knew; he only focused it for us so that we could see it more clearly.

Is this what Democracy means? If you dare to speak the truth, to pull back the curtain to expose the man behind it; is this the end result?

I was against everything that Preznit Bush spoke for, but only because I knew full well what his intentions were. He barely hid them. But now that President Obama is seemingly compliant with the very same raping of what it means to be free, what’s the fucking point? I’m absolutely disgusted with the whole endeavor. If being free means robbing people of their freedom to the point where they seek freedom in the nations that once represented everything but freedom, who do you believe?

This country needs to collectively pull its head out of its ass. Sadly, I don’t see that happening. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not holding my breath doing so.

 

Bubba’s Still Got It

I had forgotten how much I enjoy listening to Bill Clinton speaking passionately on his beliefs. He isn’t even running and I still want to vote for him.

Now, Republicans out there can get all huffy if you like, but I encourage you to listen to this speech with an open mind. You don’t have to admit anything outwardly, but take to heart the central themes that “We are all in this together” and recognize your own party’s failure to do so.