They Decide, and the Shotgun Sings the Song*.

We’ve been had.  All of us.  Every facet of American life has been corrupted.  Even those who took advantage of the holes in the system to acquire wealth and power have discovered that wealth and power do not feed their souls.  So, like cocaine addicts, they keep chasing that first high, and it never comes.  They bought in, and they rage when someone points out the emptiness of their endeavor.

I was a victim of Madison Ave’s influence, early on I thought the acquisition of things was a worthy pursuit during my time here on this rock.  I did not think what I was chasing was unreasonable, I wanted the nice house, the sexy car, maybe a nice suit to wear to work.  It took decades for me to understand that, globally speaking, those were extravagant goals.  I’m not prone to feelings of guilt, at least not to the extent that I will let past personal failures define who I am.  That said, it is difficult sometimes to allow myself to enjoy the finer (material) things in life, especially knowing that roughly twenty percent of the people on the planet lack clean drinking water.  I suppose that makes me a bleeding heart Librul.

Alternatively, perhaps, I am someone who really wants our system to work, both to protect what I have managed to accumulate and to make sure others have the opportunity to do the same.  The American dream is still in it’s infancy, historically speaking, but my fear is that for too many of us, it is the ultimate empty promise, something we chase because we are supposed to, but one that leaves us unsure if we’ve actually achieved it.

It may well be that the post WWII era set the standard too high from the jump.  There was a big push toward infrastructure.  and we got world class dams and highways.  We wanted to provide opportunity to our returning Veterans, so the emphasis was affordable housing and the G.I. Bill.  We were still an industrial economy, and job stability was a given, as was a pension plan that would reward a lifetime of work with some measure of security.  With the exception of the G.I. Bill (which is not the same as it was but still exists) those things are gone.  Let that sink in.  They are gone.  No one is building affordable housing.  Before some of you point out that “affordable” is a relative term….I think we can safely assume that new construction in our little boom town consists primarily of luxury condos and custom homes.  Most working people will not be buying either of them.  Pension plans are few and far between, replaced by a system so corrupt, so rigged, that few Americans will ever be able to count on their participation in one to provide a secure and dignified retirement.  Ask the people who worked at  Enron how stock options worked out for them.  Even Social Security is beginning to look like yet another empty promise, which brings me back to this…..

We’ve been had.  All of us.  To some degree, we have all bought in to some form of tribalism or another.  We are being encouraged to do so by those who want to loot our treasury while we clobber each other for any number of ginned up differences, racial, gender, economic class, the list is way too exhaustive to try and list.  When a large enough group finds some collective mindset and decides to reshape or improve our system of government or the economy, it becomes a target for those with a stake in maintaining the status quo, and they are ruthless about it.

We used to value the journalists among us who’s job it was to shine a light on corruption or ask the questions that needed to be asked for all of us.  What we have now is largely a media consisting of one dimensional shills for one group or another.  Others within it are too worried about protecting their gig to truly report what is being done to us by the rich and powerful.  Sure, there are exceptions, I really admire the people at Vice news for at least taking a stab at reporting real issues and legitimately compelling stories.   There are still old school editors and free-lance journalists among us who look for the truth and report it, sometimes at great personal risk.

Today, I don’t have answers for these problems.  Even if legit answers are offered by people smarter than me, they will likely be drowned out in this sea of noise we’ve paddle around in every day.  All I know is, I do not want to be part of the problem.  I do not want to buy into this tribalism, it is the thing that is being foisted upon us much like leisure suits were in the 70’s.  Yes, I have real trouble with those on the Far Right, but no more than I do with the Purity Posse of the left.  So, I don’t plan to deal with extremists of any kind.  Rather, I intend to engage with anyone who seeks to find common ground with me, as I believe our failure to do that will bring about the end of our once great Nation.  We can hammer out the details after I’ve learned you’re not a Nazi in disguise, and you have learned that I am not a baby killer.  Let’s start there

*And, my beard has indeed grown longer overnight. Bonus points if anyone can tell me where I am in the pic.







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I Guess It Took This

I’m trying very hard to keep from posting photos of dead children.  One reason is that seems emotionally manipulative, and the other more obvious reason is that they are just so hard to look upon.  I may not be able to refrain much longer.  If it takes photos of Syrian children gasping their final breath to jar people, well so be it.  We need to decide who we are as a country…

It’s nearly impossible to put the politics of the region aside.  This war (like all wars) is about resources and who controls them.  The British, France, Germany and America were stoking the fires of radical Islam way back in the 19th century as a way to justify occupation.  It still goes on today.

At this point, I just want to see Bashar al-Assad removed from power and jailed.


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Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag

I will choose to not give out details just yet, but I finally broke the inertia and put my long game plan into motion.  Literally.  There are a lot of moving parts to this plan, each is somewhat independent of the others.  I’ve taken quite an interest in spiritual matters of late, and since I have the time to do it, I believe I will seek out those willing to engage in conversation so that I may learn, or teach.

I am currently reading Neale Donald Walschs’ “Conversation With Humanity” which helped put the last piece in place, and prompted me to begin.

More later.


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Been Away So Long I Hardly Knew The Place

Well.  Two years between posts.  Just to be clear, I was unable to log in here for over a year, I finally had to get the good people at WordPress to work a little magic with my credentials.  I’m not completely sure of the direction I’ll be heading with this, I only know that for a time I didn’t feel like I had much to say, but I think that has changed, and, well, I have this here blog.

Tonight I’ll be heading to Vanderbilt to watch my daughter participate in a debate with the college Republicans (both of them?) on the issues of immigration and foreign policies.  I never encouraged her to join the college Dems but it seems clear she wants to engage, and that makes me proud.

My legion group platoon duo of readers probably want to be brought up to speed on happenings here at Coyote Creek, so, here goes:  The family is happy and healthy, we lost Rocky, MeHa, and Chipper, but gained a Cookie and a Georgia. The horses and goats are fat.  One child is at Vandy, the other is about to be in his last year in high school hell.  Neither of them are fat. Your handsome host finally escaped from a cult that required a daily sacrifice of self-respect and punished any sign of innovation or human-ness.  I am back to wandering in the woods with my arsenal of discs and actually enjoying life as an old person.

Caught up?  Good.  Appreciate ya stopping by.  Do it again.


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We All Get A Pony!

EDITED TO ADD:  I wasn’t going to post this, but now I have to.  Everything in italics was written the day after the election, the rest was written today:

So much low hanging,  schadenfreude dripping fruit to be had, but I’m only going to indulge in it a little because, frankly, as someone who routinely votes for the losing side I feel a tad entitled.  Think of it as combat pay.  So, just let me get this out of the way…

To the nice elected official from South Carolina who felt it is was appropriate to shout “you lie” during a State of the Union speech, and to the Western Governor who wagged her bony ass finger in POTUS’s face, and finally, (mercifully) to The Donald, who treated POTUS like some minor character in the world’s worst reality show:  Please shut the hell up.

I’m past it.

So, boiled down, the The Community Organizer organized the community.  (There have been more than a few who have suggested that this was somehow something to be mocked.  I think that ability is rare and is probably Government at it’s essence.  But that’s for another post).

80% of the African American vote.  70% Latino vote.  50 PERCENT ASIAN vote.  18 point spread for women. Impressive numbers, amirite?  The long game is producing a political infrastructure to be reckoned with.  About damn time.

Let’s make sure we don’t make their mistake and insist on purity tests in the coming years.  We are always a poorly worded phrase away from destructive internecine battles.  Time to enlarge the tent, people.

I really was going to refrain from Mitt bashing.  For a hot minute, I believed this was a good man who just didn’t run a very good race.  But he has flung open the door and invited ridicule with his latest remarks.  Apparently, he was participating in a conference call with a number of his high dollar donors.  He blamed his electoral ass-kicking to be the result of “gifts” the Obama campaign promised to Latinos, (free health care) women, (free contraception) and young people (student loan interest forgiveness).  How rich do you have to be to say stuff like that?  I think this sorry excuse for a person has never been held accountable for anything his entire life.  Until this.  High profile Republicans are rightly calling him out.  I mean, fer crissake, if Bobby Jindal denounces you, just how far have you strayed?

He will never, EVER be able to run for office again.  Thank your personal higher power for that.


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I Want My Country Back Too

For those of you who don’t already know, there’s an election happening today.  Apparently, it’s the most important election of my lifetime.  It must be.  For over a year now, my inbox has been flooded with requests for money.  Daily.  I think I read somewhere that winning this election is going to cost 2.5 billion dollars, give or take a Super Pac.  I know prices have gone up of late, but, really, TWO AND A HALF BILLION?  A huge chunk of that money went to buying airtime to run ads, mostly in swing states, but there are races everywhere and everybody has to be on the tube.  If I were the cynical type, I might just wonder if media outlets didn’t play up the “horse-race” narrative in an effort to sell more and more airtime.  I know it’s a straw argument, but honestly, I look around and wonder how many schools 2.5 billion dollars builds?  How many local health clinics can we staff with that kind of stack?  How many veterans can we help heal or retrain for some of those great new jobs we have been promised?

My readers know I will vote for President Obama.  There was never any wavering on my part.  I don’t love Obama, nor do I worship him, despite what low information voters might have you believe.  I think the use of drones on U.S. citizens is wrong.  Allowing Holder to run roughshod over the medical marijuana industry deeply disappointed me.  There are serious policy disagreements between us, and he knows it.  Oh, he knows it.  But I have been more than impressed by his job performance as POTUS, particularly because he faced a cabal of craven congress critters intent on making him fail, and some of those were members of his own Party.  The stakes were huge, and he stepped up.  GM, Chrysler, Affordable Care Act, these were not popular causes, yet he got them done.  Beyond that, I really really really don’t want Mitt Romney making appointments to the bench.  Any bench, anywhere.  At any price.

I’m not going to rehash what’s been said about Mitt Romney here on this blog.  You either trust him, or you don’t.  But there is one near constant refrain I keep hearing from Romney supporters, and it irks me every damn time I hear it:

“I want my country back”.

You know what, you pathetic, cringing little milksop?  I do too.  The country I want back is the one that told it’s citizens that if they worked hard, and played by the rules, they could count on a little something when they were too old to work.  The country that told my father and millions of other men, “thank you for serving in our Armed Forces, here’s some tuition money to use to go school.”  Yes.  The country I miss is the one that said, “sure, you can form a union with your fellow workers, and negotiate en mass for safer conditions, better pay, fairer hours, etc.  It’s the country that told it’s black citizens that after generations of enslavement, you are entitled to be free and prosperous and have the full benefit of citizenship.  It’s the country that managed to build thousands of roads and bridges and dams, knowing full well the people doing the work were not the people who would most benefit.

It’s the country that helped win a global war against tyranny, and did so on the heels of a full scale economic meltdown.  It’s the country that asked it’s wealthiest to pony up roughly 87 percent of it’s income so that we might build an infrastructure that was the envy of the entire world.

It’s the country that found value in identifying public space and protected our most precious areas for future generations to enjoy.

I could go on forever, but, lastly, it’s the country that said if you were poor, hungry, tired or oppressed, you were welcome here.

I wonder what country they’re talking about.

Go vote.


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Torpedoes Away!

One of the things that separates gifted politicians from, well, hack politicians is the ability to quickly grasp situations and act accordingly.  Enter Hurricane Sandy.  Both POTUS and Romney cancelled campaign events in it’s wake, and rightly so.  After all, POTUS must communicate with Governors and FEMA to determine where to allocate resources, declarations must be considered and signed, and the country expects their President to lead during a disaster.  At first, it looked like Romney was going to put politics aside, to be mindful of the fact that millions of Americans were facing real hardship once Sandy came ashore.  That lasted about two hours.  The “Victory Rally” planned in Ohio was renamed the “storm relief” rally, and the Romney camp, ever clue-less, implored their supporters to bring canned goods, ostensibly to be sent to needy families in hurricane stricken areas.  Were they unaware that the Red Cross does not accept canned food?  The time and manpower required to collect, sort, and transport canned goods makes it counter-productive.  Nobody there has any disaster experience?

Anyway, while Romney was scrambling to stay relevant in this news cycle, Gov Chris Christie was on the airwaves, praising the leadership of President Obama for his quick response to his requests.  The deeply, deeply stupid trio over at Fox and Friends were interviewing him, and being shills, had to find a way to work in Romney’s name.  Mistake:


Someone is going to be tasting Gov Christies food long after next Tuesday….


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