Monthly Archives: June 2010

We Don’t Have To Go There

I love reading Beale.  Every once in a while, I find myself in disagreement with her, but usually its on some small point that doesn’t keep me from being in tune with her in general.  Her post today is like that.  She is gently but firmly calling out some high profile Liberals for their obvious disdain of anyone who attempts to qualify a political position by weaving in some mention of their faith.  I understand the pull to do so.  Personally, I avoid any public displays of religion, or patriotism for that matter.  I just find it uncomfortable.  Nobody, and by that I mean NOBODY knows what my spiritual or religious beliefs are.  People tend to assume that I am not a Christian because I’m hard on the church.  I generally dislike and distrust people who too eagerly proclaim their membership in it because I have seen too much ignorance and hypocrisy come with that announcement.  To be sure, I could go my whole life not needing to know if you, my neighbor, my best friend, or my senator is a Christian.  Or a Muslim, for that matter.  That said, while I agreed with the tone of Beale’s post today, I must disagree with her here:

Oh for Chrissakes, people. That’s not what she’s saying, okay? That’s not what Christians mean when they say “God has a plan,” and “have a little faith,” alright? I swear, are you folks being intentionally obtuse for the sake of scoring a cheap political point or are you really just that out of touch with the faith community that you don’t know what Christians mean when they say “God has a plan”?

Beale went on to say she thought it was the latter.  I really don’t.  I think sometimes we Liberals get frustrated when we are unable to make a nuanced argument that matches the heat and intensity and, (most of all) the disingenuous-ness of the Far Right’s  noise machine.  As an example, I would offer the Huffington Post.  I agree with 90% of Huffpo writers.  But, its painful truth to admit that it is not a trusted news source for me.  The reason?  More and more, I’ve seen lazy and outright dishonest arguments made when addressing political opponents.  I’m going to catch heat for saying this, but matching fire with fire is unsound, and unnecessary.  No one is going to slap our arguments on their bumper, and we just have to accept it.  Changing the political environment is a crucial first step to changing bad policy.  Unfortunately, it will not happen quickly.  Most of us alive today probably won’t see significant change, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t coming.

Immigration advocates do their cause a disservice when they call people concerned with unchecked immigration “fascists.”  Feminists repeatedly use language and tactics that alienates the very people they need to reach.  It is natural to want to ridicule or humiliate people who stand in opposition to us, but to me, this is truly where the rubber meets the road.  By learning to use language effectively, and by holding ourselves to a higher standard of conduct, we will effect meaningful change in the world.  Only not by tomorrow.


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11 Days, 10 Nights.

2,964 miles in 11 days.  Doesn’t sound all that impressive, does it?  I mean, I know people who pride themselves in driving extreme distances without an overnight stop.  New York to Los Angeles in 3 days!  Normally, I don’t drive into Nashville without notifying AAA and making hotel reservations.  I live in a town with a single traffic light, remember?  Traffic isn’t really a part of my life anymore.  So, anyway, nearly three thousand miles logged on our trip is wicked impressive if you factor in the following activities:

Discovered a cool ski village in Northern Maryland.   Stayed at a wonderful hotel just south of New Bedford.

Visited a quaint old town and had lunch in their downtown, which, by the way, has three candy shops on one block.  Who wouldn’t love that?

Arrived in Pennsylvania on a Monday afternoon, re-connected with relatives I hadn’t seen in nearly a decade. Said relatives include a niece, her husband and her three children, two of which are the same age as my two knuckleheads.  Chaos ensued.  Dinner out, party of nine please.  Bowling.  Did you hear that?  Freakin bowling.  Laser tag.  Swimming at a community pool.  Met the rudest cigar store owner on the planet. Five rounds of disc golf.  (What a bunch of disc golf pussies live up there, btw.  The longest hole was 294 feet.  I kicked some Nittany ass.)

Toured the Accuweather Headquarters, Penn State University, and Circleville Park Disc Golf course.

Thursday we saddled up for the trip through Northern Pennsylvania with our relatives in tow.  We traveled through Connecticut and into Boston for a visit with my brother and his wife, and my niece, known to some of you as Melody Singer, the talented but extremely spotty blogger on your RSS feed.  More swimming, basketball, volleyball and dinner out.  Shopped at a fun place called finneal hall or funeral hall or something like that, and ate food and watched street performers and oh yea!  We took a boat ride to an island in Boston harbor!  Funniest thing in the world to watch my daughter, my great niece, and my son go tumbling across the boat when we hit a large wake.

I took a trip with Melody and my brother and his wife to Foxwoods Casino, and also the MGM Grand.  Escorted out by security since I won nearly 30 bucks playing video poker.

Watched my niece Melody absolutely own a room singing “My heart will go on” or some sappy song from the Titanic flick.  The hair on my arms still tingles when she sings.  I’ve been watching her sing for nearly 35 years and I am always blown away by her ability to get a crowd fired up.  She hates to sing karaoke but she was obliging us since we were visiting.  To my amazement, Supermousey and her cousin also got up and sang two songs in front of complete strangers.  I drank some scotch.

We left returned to Penn State on Monday.  I drove through upstate New York (Catskills area) to meet an online friend who is a retired, well, everything.  He and his lovely wife live in a 200 yr old house and have a dog named Star-fire, some cats, and believe it or not, turtles.  We left quickly.

More of the same until Wednesday, when we drove to Cincinnati and spent the night.  The next day saw us at Churchill Downs, watching the thoroughbreds do their thing.  I hit an exacta.

Arrived home on Thursday.

I intend to elaborate in another post, but I wanted to get a rough version of our itinerary down before I forget, as is my custom.  Today, though, I have to mow.  Shit.


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He’s A Rebel And A Runner

Oh, Rand.  You’re a restless young romantic who wants to run the Big Machine.  You’ve got a problem with your poisons, but I know you’ll find a cure, just keep cleaning up your systems, keep your nature pure.

Okay, that was fun.  I could have made bad puns all day behind this story.

Seems the band didn’t care for their music being used by Mr. Paul without permission.  They have threatened a lawsuit. Irony, anyone?

I’ve been a Rush fan for decades.  They have been a fun band to follow, mostly because their albums were all so different.  I get a bit testy when Libertarians adopt the band’s music because of lyrics they read in “The Trees”, or, for that matter, “2112.”  Yes, it’s true that Neil Peart (the band’s drummer and chief lyricist) culled a little bit from Ayn Rand when he wrote a few songs, but if you watched the band’s progress, you would see that his lyrics later reflected a much greater appreciation for the collective, and one of the things I like most was their willingness to weave other types of music into their own. But that’s another post.

So, Rand ol buddy, perhaps you can try illegally using Ted Nugent’s “music” for your events and videos.  Who doesn’t enjoy the brilliant and wonderfully misogynistic “Wango Tango”?  I know guitarists the world over are still trying to master all three chords of “Cat Scratch Fever”, maybe you could use this for a campaign hook:

And I don’t know how they do it
But they sure do it good
I hope they doin’ it for free

Okay, maybe not.  Let me go check out The Bay City Rollers and get back to ya, cool?


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Tear Down That Wall!

Mr. Lamb bitch-slaps admonishes a particularly ugly commenter known by those of us who read local newspapers and political blogs.  Besides being right about the blatant hypocrisy demonstrated by this prolific troll, his post today exposes a major problem we face when discussing immigration in this country.  The debate has been dominated for too long by those who seek to portray these people as something less than us, an idea human beings must accept before doing harm to others.  We are a wealthy nation, and as such we tend to try and wall off the parts of the world that we deem as unsightly or unpleasant.  Safely ensconced in our comfortable little enclaves, many of us tend to regard the people affected by  desperate circumstance as  somehow less deserving of our compassion and assistance than say, the people who look like us down the street who are experiencing some trouble.  Mr. Lamb uses the example of a person, who, when considering the acts of an immigrant, wants the letter of the law adhered to completely, yet, when that same person considers the illegal acts of someone they identify with, advocate a change in the law to better protect those with whom they share some common bond.

Most of the time, the most hateful rhetoric doesn’t resonate with people who know and interact with undocumented immigrants.  A good friend of mine works construction, and he has over the years come to admire and respect his co-workers and has embraced what they add to our collective culture.  When he hears words that seek to convince him that these co-workers are dangerous, or harmful to our way of life, he knows how untrue they are.  In this case, familiarity breeds compassion.  I have long maintained that if we inject more love and compassion into this issue, we will find an equitable solution in no time.

Anyway, this article by Mr. Lamb was probably meant as a harsh rebuke.  John is too nice a person to actually ridicule anyone.  Its one of his many admirable traits.  Drop by his site and let him know what you think.


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