Friday, December 29, 2006

My New Year's Resolution


People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered,


If you do good, people will accuse you of
selfish, ulterior motives,


If you are successful,
you win false friends and true enemies,


The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow,

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable,

What you spent years building may be
destroyed overnight,

People really need help
but may attack you if you help them,

Give the world the best you have
And you’ll get kicked in the teeth,

-Attributed to Mother Teresa.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Western Civilization, from the rise of the Roman Catholic church onward, has been defined by set of ascending hierarchies.

We are taught that all must start at the top, then work their way up. Rung by rung, we ascend to our highest level of competence, or incompetence, depending on the circumstances.

We here in America pride ourselves on having worked our way to the top. We pat ourselves on the back for living in a country where social mobility is fact, rather than fiction. We start to spin personal mythologies of pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps.

The problem is that once we've started making $100,000 a year or more, there's a natural tendency in human nature for us to forget that we too, once were at the bottom of the totem pole.

The Japanese do it a tad differently. In a corporate environment, they place their highest esteem and regard upon those at the bottom of the pyramid. However, Japanese society is quite conformist. Individuality is tolerated within reason, but the idea of the collective mindset is valued far above any sort of individual liberty.

There's a fine line between fear and trust in people. Many small businesses start based on ideas of trust. The employees know and trust each other. Those in charge of setting up this great-leap-forward---this grassroots endeavor---see the problems caused by corporate heirarchies. They seek to avoid them whenever possible. They don't treat their employees as though they are prisoners. They do not run their management like the Gestapo.

Then a larger company extends a check forward. They've discovered that the good idea advanced by this small company could help them, the large corporation, make even more money.

So the eternal quandry presents itself, thusly: Sell out and perpetuate unequality? Sell out and live a life of wealth? Spread fear, rather than trust? Sell out and ensure that an unfair system continues forward?

Or: Stay poor, pure, and happy?

Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Taking a bit of a break...

Let me take a bit of a break from saving the world to talk about something more personal.


Whether romantic or platonic, they take time. There will be occasional tension. Human beings are wired to never be completely content. We are hard wired, genetically, to be adaptable to an unfamiliar, sometimes hostile environment. True peace of mind is a pipe dream. A genetic impossibility.

Unitarians don't want to be saved! They want closure!

-Garrison Keiler

And that's true. We don't want to be saved. We want to KNOW!

And sometimes, we can't know everything. We are often paradoxical beings.

I seek less and less to understand and more and more to just be okay with contradiction. Not everything can be explained. There will always be unknowns.

I'm learning to be okay with that.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Change is Possible!

Even bah-humbugs can get a dose of the spirit every now and then.

Enclosed is the main theme of a favorite Unitarian of mine, Charles Dickens.

Yes! and the bedpost was his own. The bed was his own, the room was his own. Best and happiest of all, the Time before him was his own, to make amends in!

I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!” Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. “The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. Oh Jacob Marley! Heaven, and the Christmas Time be praised for this! I say it on my knees, old Jacob; on my knees!”

He was so fluttered and so glowing with his good intentions, that his broken voice would scarcely answer to his call. He had been sobbing violently in his conflict with the Spirit, and his face was wet with tears.

“They are not torn down,” cried Scrooge, folding one of his bed-curtains in his arms, “they are not torn down, rings and all. They are here—I am here—the shadows of the things that would have been, may be dispelled. They will be. I know they will!”

His hands were busy with his garments all this time; turning them inside out, putting them on upside down, tearing them, mislaying them, making them parties to every kind of extravagance.

“I don’t know what to do!” cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoön of himself with his stockings. “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world. Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!”

Friday, December 22, 2006

A few choice passages this Christmas

1. "Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (NASB ©1995)

-Jesus of Nazareth. AD 33.

2. When your head gets twisted and your mind grows numb
When you think you're too old, too young, too smart or too dumb
When you're laggin' behind an' losin' your pace
In the slow-motion crawl or life's busy race
No matter whatcha doin' if you start givin' up
If the wine don't come to the top of your cup
If the wind got you sideways with one hand holdin' on

And the other starts slippin' and the feelin' is gone
And your train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it
And the wood's easy findin' but you're lazy to fetch it
And your sidewalk starts curlin' and the street gets too long

And you start walkin' backwards though you know that it's wrong
And lonesome comes up as down goes the day
And tomorrow's mornin' seems so far away
And you feel the reins from your pony are slippin'

And your rope is a-slidin' 'cause your hands are a-drippin'
And your sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys
Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys
And your sky cries water and your drain pipe's a-pourin'
And the lightnin's a-flashin' and the thunder's a-crashin'
The windows are rattlin' and breakin' and the roof tops are shakin'

And your whole world's a-slammin' and bangin'
And your minutes of sun turn to hours of storm
An' to yourself you sometimes say"I never knew it was gonna be this way
Why didn't they tell me the day I was born?"

And you start gettin' chills and you're jumpin' from sweat
And you're lookin' for somethin' you ain't quite found yet
And you're knee-deep in dark water with your hands in the air
And the whole world's watchin' with a window peek stare
And your good gal leaves and she's long gone a-flyin'

And your heart feels sick like fish when they're fryin'
And your jackhammer falls from your hands to your feet
But you need it badly an' it lays on the street
And your bell's bangin' loudly but you can't hear its beat

And you think your ears mighta been hurt
Your eyes've turned filthy from the sight-blindin' dirt
And you figured you failed in yesterday's rush
When you were faked out an' fooled while facin' a four flush
And all the time you were holdin' three queens

It's makin you mad, it's makin' you mean
Like in the middle of Life magazine
Bouncin' around a pinball machine
And there's something on your mind that you wanna be sayin'
That somebody someplace oughta be hearin'

But it's trapped on your tongue, sealed in your head
And it bothers you badly when you're layin' in bed
And no matter how you try you just can't say it
And you're scared to your soul you just might forget it

And your eyes get swimmy from the tears in your head
An' your pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead
And the lion's mouth opens and you're starin' at his teeth

And his jaws start closin' with you underneath
And you're flat on your belly with your hands tied behind
And you wish you'd never taken that last detour sign

You say to yourself Just what am I doing?

On this road I'm walkin',
on this trail I'm turnin'
On this curve I'm hangin'
On this pathway I'm strollin',
this space I'm taking
And this air I'm inhaling?

Am I mixed up too much,
am I mixed up too hard
Why am I walking?
where am I running? What am I saying?
what am I knowing?
On this guitar I'm playing, on this banjo I'm frailing
On this mandolin I'm strumming, in the song I'm singing,
In the tune I'm humming, in the words that I'm thinking

In the words I'm writing
In this ocean of hours I'm all the time drinking

Who am I helping?
What am I breaking?
What am I giving?
What am I taking?

But you try with your whole soul best
Never to think these thoughts and never to let
Them kind of thoughts gain ground
Or make your heart pound
But then again you know when they're around
Just waiting for a chance to slip and drop down

'Cause sometimes you hear 'em when the night time come creeping
And you fear they might catch you sleeping
And you jump from your bed, from the last chapter of dreamin'
And you can't remember for the best of your thinkin'
If that was you in the dream that was screaming

And you know that's somethin' special you're needin'
And you know there's no drug that'll do for the healing
And no liquor in the land to stop your brain from bleeding

You need somethin' special
You need somethin' special, all right
You need a fast flyin' train on a tornado track
To shoot you someplace and shoot you back

You need a cyclone wind on a stream engine howler
That's been banging and booming and blowing forever
That knows your troubles a hundred times over

You need a Greyhound bus that don't bar no race
That won't laugh at your looks
Your voice or your face
And by any number of bets in the book
Will be rolling long after the bubblegum craze

You need something to open up a new door
To show you something you seen before
But overlooked a hundred times or more
You need something to open your eyes

You need something to make it known
That it's you and no one else that owns
That spot that you're standing, that space that you're sitting

That the world ain't got you beat
That it ain't got you licked
It can't get you crazy
no matter how many times you might get kicked

-Bob Dylan, 1963

3. I am not a Labor Leader; I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are.

I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition. - Eugene Debs, 1910

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Art and Chaos Day

I wanted to dedicate this poem to my wonderful girlfriend.

Mother to Son
by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—Bare.

But all the time I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.

So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.

Don't you fall now—For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',

And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Everyone wants to jump to conclusions these days.

Lock 'em up and throw away the key!

Makes you feel good when you say it. But look closer.

If you circle the wagons, it might make you feel secure for a little while. But stand aside and realize the only person you'll be locking in is yourself. If you treat people like prisoners, they will act like prisoners.

Case in point: my girlfriend arrived late last night. I went next door to call her on her cell phone.

I talked to her next-door-neighbor. Yes, I am aware I was asking to use his home phone to call her. Yes, I am aware he didn't know me from Adam.

I was met at the door by a man who acted as though I wanted to steal something from him or beat him up.

I am a twenty-six-year-old white male. I look about 18. I'm hardly the ideal candidate for an armed robbery. I resent being automatically treated as though I am a threat.

This is what I hate about my current job. I am treated as though I am a twelve-year-old in reform school. Instead of punishing the few offenders who bring the rest of us down, we are all punished the same.

How do you foster employee loyalty if you automatically assume they are up to no good? It doesn't foster loyalty. It pisses off employees and makes them desperate to leave. It makes a person work just hard enough to not get fired.

No more, no less.

Hope and Christmas-time

This holiday season, let us keep this at heart.

You need something special all right
You need something special to give you hope
But hope's just a word
That maybe you said or maybe you heard
On some windy corner 'round a wide-angled curve

But that's what you need man, and you need it bad
And yer trouble is you know it too good
'Cause you look an' you start getting the chills

'Cause you can't find it on a dollar bill
And it ain't on Macy's window sill
And it ain't on no rich kid's road map
And it ain't in no fat kid's fraternity house
And it ain't made in no Hollywood wheat germ

And it ain't on that dimlit stage
With that half-wit comedian on it
Ranting and raving and taking yer money
And you thinks it's funny
No you can't find it in no night club or no yacht club
And it ain't in the seats of a supper club
And sure as hell you're bound to tell
That no matter how hard you rub
You just ain't a-gonna find it on yer ticket stub
No, and it ain't in the rumors people're tellin' you

And it ain't in the pimple-lotion people are sellin' you
And it ain't in no cardboard-box house
Or down any movie star's blouse
And you can't find it on the golf course

And Uncle Remus can't tell you and neither can Santa Claus
And it ain't in the cream puff hair-do or cotton candy clothes
And it ain't in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons
And it ain't in the marshmallow noises of the chocolate cake voices
That come knockin' and tappin' in Christmas wrappin'

Sayin' ain't I pretty and ain't I cute and look at my skin Look at my skin shine, look at my skin glow Look at my skin laugh, look at my skin cry

When you can't even sense if they got any insides--These people so pretty in their ribbons and bows

No you'll not now or no other day
Find it on the doorsteps made out-a paper mache´
And inside it the people made of molasses
That every other day buy a new pair of sunglasses

And it ain't in the fifty-star generals and flipped-out phonies
Who'd turn yuh in for a tenth of a penny
Who breathe and burp and bend and crack
And before you can count from one to ten
Do it all over again but this time behind yer back, my friend

The ones that wheel and deal and whirl and twirl
And play games with each other in their sand-box world
And you can't find it either in the no-talent fools
That run around gallant

And make all rules for the ones that got talent
And it ain't in the ones that ain't got any talent but think they do
And think they're foolin' you

The ones who jump on the wagon
Just for a while 'cause they know it's in style
To get their kicks, get out of it quick
And make all kinds of money and chicks

And you yell to yourself and you throw down yer hat
Sayin', "Christ do I gotta be like that?

Ain't there no one here that knows where I'm at?
Ain't there no one here that knows how I feel?"

Good God Almighty

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Global Warming

Here in Atlanta, the high, yesterday, was 75 degrees. I need not remind you that yesterday was DECEMBER 18th!

Record warmth in December. And there's NO SUCH THING AS GLOBAL WARMING, right?

Agh. I really have to stop obsessing about things like this. I do what I can. I drive a (relatively) fuel efficient car. I recycle. I don't waste natural resources. I make sure I am as earth-friendly as possible.

I HATE hot weather. Hate, hate, hate. I joke that I was born part-polar bear. It can hardly ever be too cold for me. This is much to the chagrin of my girlfriend, for whom 50 degrees is an intolerable condition.

My anxiety attack centers around my fear that Atlanta, circa 2040, will resembles Miami, just with less Cubans and worse drivers.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Ebony and Ivory?

Despite being a cheesy song, "Ebony and Ivory" is factually incorrect.

Black notes and white notes on a piano keyboard are not in perfect harmony. They are, rather, discordant. Play a random black note and a random white note on a piano and see what I mean. The sound produced will not necessarily be pretty.

However, in combination with each other, black keys and white keys can make beautiful melodies.

I suppose that's the irony (among many others) of this country.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The REAL War on Christmas

13Not long before the Jewish festival of Passover, Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14There he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves in the temple. He also saw moneychangers sitting at their tables.

So he took some rope and made a whip. Then he chased everyone out of the temple, together with their sheep and cattle. He turned over the tables of the moneychangers and scattered their coins.

16Jesus said to the people who had been selling doves, "Get those doves out of here!

Don't make my Father's house a marketplace."

17The disciples then remembered that the Scriptures say, "My love for your house burns in me like a fire."

18The Jewish leaders asked Jesus, "What miracle [a] will you work to show us why you have done this?" 19"Destroy this temple," Jesus answered, "and in three days I will build it again!"

20The leaders replied, "It took forty-six years to build this temple. What makes you think you can rebuild it in three days?"

23In Jerusalem during Passover many people put their faith in Jesus, because they saw him work miracles. [b]

But Jesus knew what was in their hearts, and he would not let them have power over him.

No one had to tell him what people were like. He already knew.

-Gospel of John.

What's Going Wrong

Colin Zeal knows
the value of mass appeal

He's a pedestrian walker
He's a civil talker

He's an affable man
with a plausible plan
keeps his eye on the news
keeps his future in hand

(and then he..)

Looks at his watch
he's on time yet again

Looks at his watch
he's on time yet again

He's pleased with himself
he's pleased with himself
He's so pleased with himself, ah ha

While sitting in traffic
Colin thinks in automatic

He's an immaculate dresser
He's your common aggressor

He's a modern retard
with a love of bombast

Keeps his eye on the news
doesn't dwell on the past

(and then he..)

Looks at his watch,
he's on time yet again

Looks at his watch,
he's on time yet again

He's pleased with himself,
he's pleased with himself

He's so pleased with himself, ah ha
He's pleased with himself,

He's pleased with himself
He's so pleased with himself, ah ha

(and then he..)

He's a modern retard
He's terminal lard

He's an affable man
with a carrotene tan

Because Colin Zeal's ill.

-Damon Albarn, 1993.

Blogging versus Life

Dear Readership:

I am aware I haven't blogged as frequently as I have previously. Please forgive.

New relationships take up much time. Plus, I seem to be on this new diet called The Sex Diet. Too busy having sex to take time to eat or blog.

I have a cold today, which means that I have called in sick to work. What little voice I have left sounds like Louis Armstrong. I must admit, however, that I am not terribly upset to not have to go into work.

My mantra during this time of year is: at least I don't work retail.

People call in close to the holidays with the strangest requests.

The frenzy of buy, buy, buy coupled with guilt and frustration make for an unpleasant combination. Businesses may make money hand over fist during this time of year, but they also lose lots of customer base. It tests the patience of saints to deal with this time of year properly.

Everyone, employee or customer alike is on a short fuse. The pressure placed on everyone washes over to all aspects of their lives.

I am in a bad mood and have too much to do so I

  • Don't take the time to focus on driving in traffic-- so I cause an accident
  • Cause someone else to have to put off shopping for Christmas presents
  • Lose my patience with the people I work with
  • Rush around manically, trying to get everything done--putting too much on my already full plate
  • Forget that this season is really supposed to be about being good to my fellow brother/sister
  • Increase feelings of tension, resentment, and cast lots of negative energy into the world
May we not forget about peace on earth, goodwill towards fellow person, et al...PLEASE.

P.S. I recommend doing your Christmas shopping online. It totally saves time and prevents you from having to be around rude people.

Monday, December 11, 2006


The latest Congressional election shows us what happens when the Reagan Democrats, like my father, for example, return home and vote Blue.

No matter how far we extend the big tent, we're bound to leave people out. Third-party leaning people have long felt disenfranchised and disaffected within the confines of the two party system.

I think part of the problem is that the founding fathers, in a spirit of ostentatious over-optimism, scorned parties altogether. However, no sooner than you could say CONSTITUTION, we had two of them.

I support a multi-party system along the same lines the British House of Commons.

I think the Reagan Democrats, Libertarian, Greens, and almost-socialists like yours truly would feel more at home. Plus, it would force people to build much broader coalitions to pass legislation.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Taking Time to Smell the Roses

Dear Readership:

So long as there are human beings, there will always be problems.

Part of human nature is seeking to reform.

However, perceiving the problems of the world as one set of pitched skirmishes yet to be fought can be a tad overwhelming after a time. And all of you introverts out there know how overwhelming it is to be overstimulated by the world around you.

So instead, I denote today ART AND CHAOS DAY! (I stole the name from Blue Gal, yes).

This is an original work of my good friend Camilla Taylor who is a brilliant artist.

Visit her shop. Buy stuff!


-Jason copywrite 2005, Camilla Taylor.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Proper Exit Strategy

These words may sound a little familiar.

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

-Abraham Lincoln, 1865.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Addendum to Last Post

My liberuul friends, lest you feel compelled to channel your inner African...there is more to this story.

The African-American community has its own set of problems.

There is no real perfection.

Each community has its own problems.

Unlike the white community, the Black community can be a very homophobic place.

At my current workplace, I recognize how many males are living lies. I recognize how many males are in relationships with women. They have children.

But they are not heterosexual, and deep down inside, they know it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Understanding, not toleration

My current workplace environment is 90% minority.

I am one of four white males.

I'll be honest with you. When I started working here, I had the same thought that many other white people have in similar situations.

I bet they hate Whitey. I bet they resent me being there. I bet they will be militant and angry and and and...


It wasn't that way at all. I stand corrected.

In all honesty, I like black people much better than I like lots of white people. White people are so uptight. We are type A to the max. Black people let it all hang out and don't worry about it. Instead of obsessing about this or that, they live in the moment. Instead of being anal-retentive and micromanaging the future, they are content to live in the present.

I had a friend of color as we say in white liberal circles who asked me point-blank once: Kevin, why do white people kill themselves?

Damned good question.

The problem is that we have built all of these walls around ourselves. Black people weren't angry at me. Black people didn't automatically assume much of anything about me, except for the fact that I wouldn't understand them because I was not black myself.

We speak different languages. They have their language, and we ours. If we really wanted to change things for the better we would learn to be bilingual. And then language would cease to exist. It just wouldn't matter anymore.

Ignorance stems from a lack of understanding. Ignorance stands from prejudice.

Prejudice. Pre-judge.

I am pre-judging you before I know you.

I'll tell you another story.

I was talking to a woman on the phone from a prominent southern state.

The call was going so well until the very end. She said,

You sound like a nice guy. I'm so glad you're not a Mexican.

I mean, don't get me wrong. They work hard. But they come over here and drive up our taxes and and and...

Naturally, being that I must be friendly and courteous with all customers I was not allowed to tell this woman what I really thought about her.

But I understand where she's coming from. She's afraid of change. People fear change, particularly as they get older. Change means adjustment. Change is uncomfortable.

But without change, we will make no progress.

Without understanding, we will have only tolerance.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I am a bad, bad, blogger

Dear Readership:

I am so sorry I have not blogged in several days.

I've been too fucking busy, and vice versa.


Friday, December 01, 2006

History Repeats Itself

Dear readers,

I apologize for not blogging yesterday. I had an AMAZING day yesterday, which I will blog about in some detail later. No time right now, though. I've got to clock in to go to work in twenty minutes.

My father sometimes redeems himself. He was at first a supporter of this quagmire we have in Iraq, but around six months ago he said to me: This is such a mistake. This is going to turn out like Vietnam.

I said, Didn't they remember the lessons of Vietnam?

He said, Remember what I've always told you.

Everything hinges on

1. Money
2. Greed
3. Sex
4. Power

These four things drive human nature and drive humans to acts of madness.

I've never forgotten.

May we never have another Iraq/Vietnam quagmire.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Work Stuff

I work for a prominent large telephone company.

It is in the process of merging with another prominent large telephone company.

However, no one is completely sure whether this merger will be allowed to go through. You see, back in the 1980s, the Ma Bell telephone network was broken up into several smaller Baby Bells. In the years after that, each of these smaller Baby Bells established its own cellular network system.

Now, I'm sure I don't have to inform you, dear readers, as to how popular cell phones are these days. Some of you people would probably sooner sacrifice your first born child than to lose your mobile. (Insert sarcasm here).

The prominent large telephone company I work for makes lots of money. Here's how.

  1. Overages, in case you exceed your package minutes for any month.
  2. Text messaging.

Getting back to the point of this entire post. NO ONE knows whether the merger between the prominent large telephone company I work for will go through. The recently elected Democratic majority is looking into the matter further.

They are asking questions such as this:

  • We already broke up the Bell system once, and now it's trying to combine again, just in a different way? We've already done this once? Do we want to have to do it again?

I believe that breaking up the Bell system was a wise decision that has done more to aid consumers and telecommunication workers alike. I hope this merger does not go through.

We shall see.

P.S. The recording industry, having lost millions of dollars through burning and download music through file sharing programs, is now regaining its losses.

How, you ask? Well, by ringtone purchases. If you want your certain favorite song to indicate someone is trying to talk to you, then you are paying $2.99 to $4.99 per purchase download.

If I were you, I would not do this.

I'm not trying to tell you how to live your life. I'm just saying: use your options.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Social Commentary, Rock 'n Roll Style

On her post of Monday, 27 November, Blue Gal asserts that Frank Zappa was, as she puts it, one of the great political philosophers of our time.

I agree wholeheartedly. However, I would also safely add Ray Davies of The Kinks to the list.


You look like a real human being
But you don’t have a mind of your own

Yeah, you can talk, you can breathe
You can work, you can stitch, you can sew

But you’re brainwashed

Yes you are,
yes you are

Get down on your knees

You’ve got a job and a house
And a wife, and your kids and a car

Yeah, you’re conditioned to be
What they want you to be
And be happy to be where you are

Yes you are

Get down on your knees
Get down on your knees

The aristocrats and bureaucrats
Are dirty rats
For making you what you are

They’re up there and you're down here
You’re on the ground and they’re up with the stars

All your life they’ve kicked you around and pushed you around
Till you can’t take any more
To them you’re just a speck of dirt
But you don’t want to get up off the floor

Mister, you’re just brainwashed
They give you social security
Tax saving benefits that grow at maturity

Yeah, you’re conditioned to be
What they want you to be
And to do what they want you to
Yes you are, yes you are

Get down on your knees

-Ray Davies, 1970

Getting Better

I had a very good day yesterday.

Today is even better because I am off work.

Yesterday was good because:

  1. Let me backtrack a bit. I'm a union steward for C.W.A. (Communication Workers of America). This means that I make sure that the company I work for is complying with regulations; not dicking over people; behaving ethically; abiding to the contract we (C.W.A.) signed with them.
  2. Yesterday, a new hire class of new customer service reps started training. The union is given thirty minutes to talk to new hires and stress the importance of being a member of a unionized workplace. I have to say that I'm very happy that all the movers and shakers showed up. They did a damn good job of convincing everyone how they would greatly benefit from being a union member.
  3. I even got to put my own two cents in!
  4. Georgia is a right to work state, which means that union membership is totally voluntary. No one can be forced to join.

Of the 24 people in the next training class, 19 signed up to participate in the union.

That's damn good. *rejoices*


Disclaimer: Yes, Kipling was a patriarchial snooty old white male who believed in such notions as social darwinism, imperialism, and other horrendously bad lapses in good sense. Having said that, READ THE FUCKING POEM.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

-Rudyard Kipling

Monday, November 27, 2006

This is not really this is not really happening (you bet your life it is)

The news from Iraq gets bleaker and bleaker.
So the question, of course, is what to do.

Pull out now and risk chaos? Stay around and risk chaos?

We are caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

I will be honest. I do not know what is the proper course of action. I wish I were wise enough to suggest a course of action.

My inclination is for us to pull out now, though my fear is that Iraq will fall into the hands of an tyrant just as vicious as Saddam Hussein. Perhaps this is inevitable. The foolish actions of Warlord Premier Bush have put the Middle East into a state of extreme instability.

What should we expect if the worst happens--if Iraq falls into the hands of a theocratic dictator along the lines of Iran?
  • $6 per gallon gas?
  • An attack on Israel? By whom? When? With what? Where?
  • Do we come to the aid of Israel, if this comes about?

Curbing our appetite for petroleum is not as easy done as easy said. The economy of the world runs on oil. We, as the world's biggest economy, cannot eliminate our dependence for it without causing world wide economic chaos.

Indeed, without oil, the economies of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela, and other oil exporting countries would collapse. Most of these countries do not have the benefit of a middle class or extensive stratification. The rich are rich and the poor are poor and that's just about it.

Terrorism is born out of hopelessness and the attitudes of those who feel as though they have nothing to lose. More terrorists would be created if the world's economy collapsed.

So I propose we come to the table. Diplomacy cannot solve all problems, but the problems we have in Iraq have been largely of our own creation. They have largely been caused by this shoot first, ask questions later mentality. We should bring new mediators. The new Democratic leadership should bring new negotiators and new ideas to prevent the worst.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Gory Details

Emerson Avenger inquired in a comment as to the gory details of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham. He also wishes to know about the young adult UU movement and its problems.

The problems with the national movement deserve a post all to itself (if not a series), so I will talk about UUCB for right now.

For starters, the church was housed for forty years in Mountain Brook, the uppity old money suburb of Birmingham. The 24 karot gold stick up the ass of many long term members stems primarily from that crucial fact. Four families had been instrumental in founding the church in the mid 1950s. These upper-crust, pretentious chosen ones believed that they ran the church and that the entire life of UUCB should revolve around them and the decisions they chose to make.

They made over-theatric gestures in reference to their own supposed activism in the local community. In reality, their glory days had long since passed. Some had taken minor roles in the Civil Rights Movement and rested on their laurels, wishing to receive accolades for their roles as martyrs and messiahs. In reality, few had actively stuck their necks out but all wanted credit; they stated, in hushed tones, that they had actually walked hand in hand with Dr. King.

The problem with B activists is that their stories are often more impressive than the reality of their deeds. The problem with B activists is that, having scaled one mountain, they are utterly oblivious to the fact that there are other ranges and hilltops worthy of climbing. They were instead content to bask in the dying embers of their glorious past while running in place and thumping their chests.

Some abused the Circle of Lights, feeling that every Sunday's joys and concerns were their own personal soapbox.

They did not wish to grow the church. Instead, they wished to preserve the country club for members who they deemed worthy. They made no efforts to extend a warm hand to friends and visitors and only made overtures of friendship once satisfied they were worthy of their attention.

The latest minister they've installed has proceeded to call them out on all of these issues. I find it immensely amusing because these people decided: This time we're going to have the gay minister we've always wanted.

I guess they thought maybe the gay minister wouldn't get angry at them nor force them to confront the fallacies of their ways. I'm afraid this was not the case at all.

I feel sorry for about half of the members, who have come to expect a sort of mediocrity. They could have it so much better, but they have sold out into this second-rate, medium-sized city, self-defeating, inferiority complex attitude to such a degree that they resemble the walking dead.

I feel immensely unsorry for the other half who feel as though common courtesy is a gift only bestowed on people who masturbate their own immense egos and narcissistic attitudes.

Friday, November 24, 2006


I am not a Labor Leader; I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition. -Eugene Debs, 1910.

The problem with Flower Power and such was that few people were capable of living up to the hippie ethos: peace, love, and understanding.

Most jumped on the bandwagon for the free drugs and easy sex. Notice I didn't say "free love".

When the floodgates were opened, Pandora's Box was opened as well. We cannot latch it shut; we can only perform damage control for the furies that were unleashed. We must also be proactive in raising a new generation of children who are equipped to deal with these changing times.

We have produced a generation of people with absolutely no sense of delayed gratification. We have produced a generation of people who have been exposed to the worst excesses of humanity: all for the sake of making money.

Our children are growing up with record numbers of emotional problems. Research has proven that a person's brain does not finish developing until his/her early twenties. Yet, we are inundating people much younger than that with images and concepts even adults cannot correctly process.

The older I get, the more I believe that the liberal idea that provided enough education, people can rise above their prejudices is little more than an exploded myth.

I do not believe that most people have the ability to to make proper decisions for themselves. This was the fear of the Federalists, particularly Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, way back the beginning of this country.

But I do not ascribe to the claim of those who state, fatalistically, that this world is going to hell in a handbasket. We lived in a flawed world, not a fallen world. We can improve conditions here in our own way. Each of us can do something positive.

The inclination of many is to bury their heads in the sand and pretend.

These can be perceived as scary times, but these can also be perceived as thrilling times as well. Let us put aside our feelings of inadequacy. Let the leaders who have been born to lead set the course. Let those who feel powerless become empowered.

I have faith that we will rise to the occasion.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I've Got a Word or Two

I arrived back late tonight from a day spent back on in da 'ham.

I love my family. I hate Birmingham. And I admit that I felt sad when I had to leave my parents, particularly my poor mother, who had been going through total withdrawal for having not seen me in person for three whole months. She is a Pisces mom to a T. She cooked and cleaned and prepared a "care package" of leftover food for me to take back home.

I said, "Mom, are you going to tie it up with brown paper and string, too?"

She just grinned.

But yeah, my family is still my family. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. But not with Birmingham. The farther I stay away from that place, the more I despise it and realize how much I was getting the shaft just by being there.

While I was there, I heard through the grapevine that the Birmingham UU...I mean is being totally reamed out by the new minister they've just installed. Seems that he's run into the same sorts of issues that drove me away. And nearly drove away the interim as well.

Good that they're being called out finally, but I'm glad I'm not there to hear it.

Every cliche of a small, insular, snooty, dysfunctional church home applies to what passes for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham. I hope that, in some small way, my leaving made an impression on the long time members. More than likely it did not--they went on fumbling around, sounding impressive, full of sound and fury signifying nothing, and doing their best impression of what St. Paul called "tinkling brass".

*gasp* Was that a reference to Christianity? Why yes, yes it was.

And it's in 1st Corinthians, Chapter 13--which should be an inspiration for all of us.

UUCA is a paradise compared to Birmingham. This is why I have really low expectations so far as actual Unitarian churches are concerned. It seems that I was just in a bad home church for a while and in a bad YA national movement.

My heart goes out, once again, to young adults who have had similar experiences and find themselves diving into the national UU movement because they have nowhere else to go to be appreciated.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006



Person 1: I can't believe people go out to shop on the day after Thanksgiving.
Person 2: I know! It's so crowded!

Person 1: So what time are we leaving?

I once worked retail and I hate the day after Thanksgiving. This is the mantra of anyone ever unfortunate enough to have to slog away when everyone else is out trying to cram themselves into the same enclosed place as everyone else at the same time.

I don't get it, really, but then again I never got the point of trying to cram as many people as possible into a phone booth. The whole idea of big crowds in small places is enough to give me a panic attack. The sardines approach wasn't really attractive to me.

Three Main Reasons Not to Shop on the Day after Thanksgiving.

1. Avoid B musicians and actors specially hired for the occasion.
2. Avoid the thrill of waiting to leave a parking deck for two hours.
3. Avoid at least five people you could live the rest of your life without ever needing to see in person ever again.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Sorry State of Music

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I played open mic night at Eddie's Attic here in town.

To wit, I didn't win. This pisses me off in all sorts of ways. Mostly because everyone who made the top three sounded just like the next _________________.

In Birmingham, one sees amateurish mediocrity. These people looked like a patische of whatever's popular right now. For comparison, Birmingham is like receiving a really poor quality fruitcake for Christmas. Atlanta is like receiving a gourmet fruitcake for Christmas.

Both of them are hideous, but one is more asthetically hideous.

The night started out slowly. I thought I'd be a shoo-in, based on the first few acts. The first was a very nineteen-year-old faux country singer who used every cliche of inexperience known to man and plugged his own private myspace music page in between songs. *slaps forehead*

The winner, a nice young lady from Memphis, sounds like the latest popular thing.

I guess that's what gets me. Everyone was looking for the latest popular thing and not something particularly new or different. Compared to everyone else who played these extended, ornate, and utterly pedestrian songs.

The image I got was of shit in a silk stocking. Looks good on the outside, but it's still shit, no matter how clever the packaging.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Quick One (While He's Away)

Yeah, yeah, Blue Gal. I forgot to blog yesterday. You were sick and I was preoccupied with interesting people.

This blog tends to be of the ain't it awful activist variety, so I would just like to pause one fast moment to be thankful. Thanksgiving is coming on very shortly and I have much to be thankful for.

  • I am thankful for good friends. One of them is Chance Hunter. His blog is Making Chutney.
  • I am thankful for a fresh start in Atlanta
  • I am thankful for a progressive church which calls itself out when appropriate and makes needed reforms; I am thankful for a church where liberal is used in good sense and irony is understood.
  • I am thankful for a successful re-invention of myself in a bigger town.
  • I am thankful for Blue Gal , who has mentored me and served as the voice of reason and sanity for me, particularly when I was in a much darker point in my life.
  • I am thankful that the USA elected a Democratic majority Congress, thereby making my year.
Tonight I play at Eddie's Attic. This is where I get my music on. I'll be participating in an open mic competition. The competition will be fierce, so I am not expecting to win. But I am expecting to have a good time. Those who make a good impression are often invited back to play their own set on their own night. This is what I am hoping for as well.

Several UU friends are coming out to see me tonight and I am thankful for their being in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Comrade Kevin.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

What Needs to Change

I'm from the other side of town
Out of bounds
To anybody
Who don't live around
I never learned to share
Or how to care

I never had no teachings
About being fair.

WE people who are darker than blue

ARE we gonna stand around this town and let what others say come true?

We're just good for nothing they are figure
A boyish grown up shiftless jigger

Now we can't hardly stand for that


We people who are darker than blue
This ain't no time for segregating

I'm talking 'bout brown and yellow too

High yellow girl, can't you tell


If your mind could really see
You'd know your color same as me.

Pardon me, brother
As you stand in your glory
I know you won't mind if I tell the whole story

Get yourself together,
Learn to know your sign.

Shall we commit our own genocide before we check out our mind?
I know we've all got problems
That's why I'm here to say
Keep peace with me and I with you
Let me love in my own way

Now I know we have great respect for the sister and mother
It's even better yet
But there's the joker in the street
Loving one brother and killing the other

When the time comes and we are really free
They'll be no brothers left you see

We people who are darker than blue
Don't let us hang around this town
And let what others say come true

We're just good for nothing they all figure
A boyish grown up shiftless jigger

Now we can't hardly stand for that
Or is that really where it's at?

Pardon me brother, I know we've
come a long long way


Curtis Mayfield, 1970.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Religion is the opiate of the masses. -Karl Marx.

Me: I'm sorry that you were lied to by ________________.

You can register a complaint with the FCC if you choose.

Customer: Nope. I'm going to leave that in the hands of the Lord.

I'm sure God has better things to worry about than whether or not you've been mischarged by a prominent large telephone corporation.

And I'm sure the praying will help.

I have no problem with organized religion. I DO, however, have a problem with people who dissolve themselves of all responsibility for their own actions and put it all in the hands of DA LAWD.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Andy Warhol Ruined Art

Today, at auction, Andy Warhol's iconic picture of Chairman Mao sold for a record $17.5 million dollars.

(No need to provide the picture here.)

This iconic picture of many iconic pictures looks the same as any other Andy Warhol silkscreen, which is to say that it looks like it could have been completed by a 13 year old middle school student during art class.

A few facts about this picture (not I didn't say PAINTING).

  • This picture was probably never MADE by Mr. Warhol himself. By that point in time, after his ill-fated assassination attempt, Mr. Warhol hired a staff of people who made silk screens by the process, under his name.
  • The only thing authentically Warhol about this is the fact that he probably paid the money to have it created
  • By the late 1970s, Andy Warhol was too busy throwing lavish dinner parties and commenting on the TV talk show circuit to bother with art.

And yet, this picture sold for $17.5 million dollars at auction.

If this progresses further, I expect for an authentic finger-painting mass produced by a major corporation to draw at least 1 million dollars at auction. Nevermind that they are all made out of ticky-tacky and they turn out all the same.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Christmas Time is Here Again?!?!

As I was driving home this weekend from church, I noticed that the large Coca-Cola billboard in the heart of downtown Atlanta has already been transformed to its Happy Holidays motif.: Santa Claus blowing snowflakes across a wintry landscape.

This is ironic in all sorts of ways:

1. It hardly ever snows in Atlanta. Even one inch is enough to cause a massive panic and create eight separate multi-car pileups.

2. It isn't even Thanksgiving yet!

And yes, I hear the voice of Charlie Brown, a la A Charlie Brown Christmas as I think of this--synched nicely in time with that familar jazz piano riff we all associate with the program.

If I were Jesus of Nazareth, I'd be sorely pissed that a holiday meant to commemorate my birth and gift to the world had been transformed to a consumer buy-fest. Somehow I don't understand how giving gifts and vowing to reform your conduct for a brief shining moment redeems a person for being utterly obnoxious the other 11 months of the year.

We ought to live every day like it's Christmas time (And tip like it's Christmas-time, but that's a different subject altogether and I digress). And instead of getting your progeny, friends, or assorted relatives the latest gizmo, why not provide something useful?

Something they can use. Something they will use over and over again, not something they will use for a month until the newness wears off. Garage sales, the Goodwill, and thrift stores are full of such instant gratification gadgets.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Workplace Humor

Me: Thank you for calling ____________, how may I help you?

Customer: *flirty* Hello! Are you married? I'm just a single gal by myself.

Me: Ummm. No.

Customer: Good. I'm looking for a man.

Me: *blinks* Can I help you?

Customer: Maybe could you breathe really heavy on the phone for me?

This call isn't being recorded, is it?

Me: Potentially, ma'am.

Customer: Oh well then. I'll have to be good.

Oh shit, we're out of beer. I haven't been drinking, though.

I was just talking to a man who I signed me up for a new phone.
Damn, he sounded hot.


Me: Would you like to add roadside assistance to your phone?

Customer: No, I think my clients can take me places if I have a problem out on the road.

It's not how it sounds! I'm a hairdresser. They're not THAT sort of clients.

Me: Is there anything else I can do for you?

Customer: No, because you're in Georgia and I'm in Florida

Me: Okay, then. Have a good night, now.

(what a FLOOZY!)


The art of compromise is a concept the recently elected Democratic Congress should pay more than just lip service towards accomplishing.

Compromise, on a bi-partisan basis, requires a skill called tact.


Let us assume that the discussion of Hillary R. Clinton comes up in the course of debate. Let us assume that the topic shifts to the personality of Ms. Clinton and let us say she has come across as rather unfriendly.

A person from different regions of the country would respond to this pronouncment in different ways.

1. Southern: "Mrs. Clinton is a control freak, bless her heart."
2. New England: "She's a total bitch."

Neither answer is correct.

The correct answer is somewhere in between the Passive-aggressive evasiveness of the South and the BLUNT honesty of New England.

Suggested Answer:

Mrs. Clinton is a formidable force in the party. Despite the fact that she can come across as rather impersonal on a face-to-face basis, I understand the importance of working together to accomplish our goals. After all, we are stewards of the peoples' trust and they elected us to get the job done.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Now that we've secured the majority, it's time to clean house.

Let's make sure we purge away all the people who give Democrats a bad name.

This includes:

1. Rev. Al Sharpton
2. Jesse Jackson
3. James Carville
4. Marion Barry
5. John Kerry

If we intend to keep power, we'll need to be known as the Anti-Wingnut party.

I feel a bit conflicted with this victory. The mass of Americans who voted for Democrats this time around are far more moderate than I am. I consider myself liberal, but (and this is a big but) with a sense of irony. I fear any ideology that does considers itself infallible and immune to tweaking. The God word for this concept is "idolatry".

We should not let the radical left hyjack our agenda. The neo-con far right are what effectively did in the GOP this time around. May we never lose sight of that as we press forward.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

We Won. Now...*roll up sleeves*

There is no real perfection
There'll be no perfect day
Just love is our connection
The truth in what we say

There's no good revolution
Just power changing hands
There is no straight solution
Except to understand

So listen to my song of life
You don't need a gun or a knife
Successful conversation will take you very far

There is no real perfection
There'll be no perfect man
Just peace is our connection
Forgiving all you can

There's no good kind of killing
Just power taking life
It's all good blood that's spilling
To make a bigger knife

Successful conversations will take you very far

Successful conversations will take you very far

Successful conversations will take you very far

-Pete Ham

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Saturday Amusement

Customer: Yeah, well...I got this phone for my Grandson, see. His mother done blowed her head off earlier in the week and _______ sent me a phone in the mail today.

Me: I'm sorry to hear that.

(thinking) Why are you telling me this? Do I need to transfer you to the therapy department? Why don't you audition for Jerry Springer.

I'll be glad to help you with that.

And you live in Mississippi, correct?

Customer: That's correct.

Friday, November 10, 2006

One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State

A better way to put it would be Red Region versus Blue region. Aside from the northeast, few states are solidly red or blue. By far, most areas in the country have an urban blue core surrounded by a red sea of rural residents. (Say THAT five times fast!)

Any city dwelling resident will tell you that there is a world of difference in attitudes betwixt the two. Rural reds find the attitudes of blue city dwellers incomprehensible and reprehensible, and vice versa. A tradition has long existed in America: the traditional suspicion of big cities and those who live within them.

I must say that my own prejudices lie with the so-called salt of the earth types. I do not believe them often able to make the right decisions. I believe they often to fall prey to superstition, demagogery, character assassination, and emotional appeals that have no basis in rationality.

The reason I broach this topic is to bring light to the fact that the recently elected Democratic majority in Congress contains some very conservative new membership. I admit to be suspicious that this tightrope act of appealing to rural residents while trying to shy away from labels like "liberal" and "tax and spend" will work.

Mostly, I wish to reframe the argument. I wish "liberal" wasn't synonymous with "child molester" in red states. I do not agree with the sort of pandering that recent Democrats have made to secure their own election. America is a conservative country, by in large, but I believe it needs to be taught WHY the Democratic party AND liberalism by in large is in its own best interest.

FDR was a liberal, but he was looked upon as a deity in the South after he pushed through the New Deal. My grandparents, both sets, talked about him in reverent terms. They never even considered the possibility of voting GOP--feeling that Republicans pandered only to the rich and influential.

My grandmother once said, "You only become a Republican when you get money!"

It will take something as ambitious as the New Deal to break the GOP chokehold on the Solid South. Though the Democrats have the Congress, American do not yet have a compelling reason to claim lifelong loyalty to the majority party.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Good News

For a moment, I want to set aside the cynicism I have cultivated from a lifetime of being constantly and chronically disappointed.

To wit, we have the Senate.

Now, let us resolve to not repeat the mistakes of the past. Let us resolve to make something lasting of our good fortune. Americans have short memories. Short memories are what created the no-win war our troops currently suffer in Iraq.

At church last Sunday, I listened to an impassioned, eloquent, articulate, and downright clever sermon regarding this very topic. We must be unified. We must stand strong. We must not allow our wealth of opinions to divide us yet again.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could say, with confidence, "That was then. This is now. We're back and here to stay"?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cautiously Optimistic Celebration

Dear American People:

Thank you for seeing the light of reason and making the right decision.

I'm proud of you.

"We may allow ourselves a brief moment of rejoicing. For there is much work to be done."- Winston Churchill, V-E Day 1945.

The best we can hope for is a sort of gridlock the next two years. At least Bush's radical agenda will be greatly curbed. I do not expect any sort of massive reform for the next Congress--that will have to wait until 2008, if and when we can win back the Presidency.

I do wish to inform you out there that there are many people who would prefer a divided executive and legislative branch--feeling one to be an effective check and balance on the other. This attitude will pose a challenge to our chances in 2008.

This attitude has also created one of the most conservative Democratic parties ever to hold control of the House. The pendlum swing to the right that picked up speed with Reagan in 1980 is still alive and well. I see encouraging signs that we are moving more towards equilibrium, but let us not forget the folly of moving too far to the left that got us into this mess in the first place.

Conventional wisdom states that, this time around, more people weren't voting Pro-Democrat so much as Anti-GOP. Let us resolve to reform both of those--come up with a strong position and statement of purpose and prove that we are the party who has the best interest of all Americans at heart.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Demystifying a National Hero

On this election day, I pause to reflect on the memory of the man responsible for forming the precursor to the modern day Democratic party: Thomas Jefferson.

Upon closer inspection, he seems to have formulated the current strategy of many of the old guard of the Democratic party today--the fine art of talking out of both sides of the mouth.

This is a man who proported to champion the common man. However, this is also a person who is famously quoted as saying he admired the commoner, at a distance. His Democratic-Republican party favored the rights of the righteous yeoman farmer who made money by his own means on his own plantation, no doubt off the back of slave labor.

Alexander Hamilton's Federalists preferred trade and capital over such isolationist sentiment.
Thus Hamilton's North industrialized rapidly and Jefferson's South stuck to agriculture.

I have ambivalent feelings towards Jefferson. On one hand, I admire his eloquence but on the other hand I have a difficult time reconciling his devotion of the radical Jacobins whose agenda pushed France into a Reign of Terror mirroring the worse excesses of 20th Century Totalitarianism. Jefferson never fought in the Revolutionary War, so he had a view of war that was grandiose and romantic.

Those who fight in war know what an inhuman and horrific experience it is. This is why, for example, Eisenhower tried every way in hell to avoid war unless as a means of last resort. It is why William T. Sherman famously mentioned that "Gentleman, war is hell."

It is a sort of Jeffersonian naivete on the part of our current emperor that has bogged us down in a no-win war in Iraq.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Even better than the real thing

As my grandfather would say, "I'll be ding-danged".

The following article cites a potential correlations between the way you vote and the sort of soda you drink.

Here's my rule of thumb.

Blood of Iraqi children: Republican
Mountain Spring Water (Organic): Green
Sensible Purified Water: Democratic

Add your own and have fun with the joke.

P.S. Vote tomorrow, gol-darnit.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Something inside that you wanna say

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation".- H.D. Thoreau.

I know I am likely preaching to the choir here, being that my readership tends to be of the hyper-individual sort, but I must speak out.

There is a great benefit to having the ability to think for oneself. There is a great benefit of having the ability to take stock in oneself and feel in charge of one's own affairs.

I remember when I was 15 my parents decided to uproot the family from the fairly middle-of-the-road Methodism I had grown accustomed to and instead took us to a non-denominational praise and worship band Evangelical church. It was an eye-opening experience for me, mostly because I had learned to take Revelations and Satan with a grain of salt.

The church was comprised of baby boomers who had lived lives of sin (i.e. hippiedom and then '70s hedonism), then drifted back to Christianity. The number one reason they did this is because they found they could not control their kids. Their children, being children, were having sex, using drugs, and being generally unruly. So the parents assumed they needed a case of the old time religion to remedy the situation. This knee-jerk reaction felt good but it really made things worse.

Baptist denial combined with self-destructive attitudes is probably worth two years of therapy in and of itself.

There are times, dear readers, where I harbor an extreme misanthropic streak. In times such as these, I really wish more people would strive to be leaders rather than joining the ranks of the adoring masses.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Job Shite

My job can be really depressing.

Case in point 1:

I talked to one customer today, a very effeminate gentleman, I might add--who was calling regarding his phone and his wife's phone. Though I don't mean to stereotype, the first thought that popped into my head is this: Who are you fooling? C'mon, admit that you're gay.

Case in point 2:

Me: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Customer: I just want to know if you've been saved.

Me: I don't discuss religion at work.

Customer: For my own benefit, I just want to know if you've been saved.

Me: I don't discuss religion at work. I really don't.

Customer: Are you saying that you're a sinner?

Me: Thank you for calling __________ __________. Have a good day now. *click*

Friday, November 03, 2006

Waiting for the Sun to Shine

Editor's note: You may have noticed I've been blogging more recently. The reasons for this are two part: 1) Blue Gal threw down the gauntlet before me and unsubtly coerced me to write 2) My lady love is out of town until early next week.

That being said, let me get to the gist of it while the euphoria of coffee consumption is still around and before I prepare to leave for another slog at my current job.

I have nothing particularly pithy to add towards John Kerry's chronic case of foot-in-mouth disease. Suffice to say he wasn't my first choice, though I did vote for him. I was a Deaniac until "Yeahhhha" (or the Primal Scream Incident). There was always something about John Kerry that I disliked. He seems inauthentic, robotic, and stuffy.

I tend to be attracted more to the charismatic sorts who cannot seem to keep their member in their pants. This includes politicians who rut with people PAST THE LEGAL AGE OF CONSENT.

I favor Barak Obama, though I believe strongly the Right isn't ready for a President of Color.

I certainly do not want Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton because she a) lacks charisma b) polarizes rather than unifies c) isn't liberal enough for my tastes d) lets opinion polls determine her positions, rather than relying on actual conviction and e) I have never liked her as a personality.

I think Mr. Obama will put up a strong challenge in '08, but I think the Clinton machine will grind away at his New Hampshire primary win and through cult of personality and sheer money will wrest the nomination. And furthermore, I think Hillary can win because I think many women out there who proport to loathe her will get to the polls and have a sort of epiphany.

"I want a woman president. I wish it wasn't Hillary. But who knows when we'll get another chance to elect a woman. I mean, Britain has had a female Prime Minister. Isn't it time for the USA?"

So they'll vote for her.

There are currently many more white females (or females, for that matter) then there are African-Americans.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Therapy (a break from politics for a change)

Lots of people out there apparently need someone to talk to.

People tell me EVERYTHING about their personal lives when they call in to register complaints about their cellular service.

My job is very stressful in many ways, but particularly stressful in that I realize how many people out there feel as though material possessions (to wit, a new cell phone) will somehow compensate for the shambles that is their own life.

A customer who called in the other day summarizes the Southern mentality perfectly.

CUSTOMER: One of my friends has downloaded a ringtone that sings a song about smoking two joints. That is so asinine. I don't want to have that on my phone. I mean, I smoke pot too, but I don't want my minister overhearing it.

My friends smoked about an ounce of pot when I went to go visit them this weekend. They didn't want to do anything but just sit there and smoke. I'm not as young as I used to be. I'm thirty-three now and they should be old enough to know better.

So my advice to all of you out there...GET A THERAPIST. Or just find someone to talk to. You obviously need it.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Friendly Reminder...

One week from today is one of the most important election cycles we've had in quite some time.

Here is my prediction. I will be disappointed if Democrats do not take back the House, but I do not expect any sort of landslide. I expect a net gain of thirty or some odd seats.

Furthermore, I expect a 49-49 tie in the Senate. Close, but no cigar.

I wish to be proven unnecessarily cautious in my analysis, but this is my gut instinct.

Having said that...


Sunday, October 29, 2006

I read the news today, oh boy

Having observed that President Bush's approval ratings have increased from 33 to 37 percent in the last week....having observed that the amount of people who think the Iraq War was worth it has increased by 5 percentage points over the past week...

I have one simple question for the country.


(I mean, I'm just saying).

Saturday, October 21, 2006

How true, How True

(Click on the strip to enlarge)

Today's Doonesbury speaks volumes.

A real update tomorrow, like always.

I'll update more starting two weeks from Monday. Thanks for your patience.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

It's the Beginning of Our New Age

After participating in a frustratingly (and ironically titled) conflict resolution session/congressional meeting at the local UU church, I thought I'd post this as my latest blog post. Q & A sessions with a few fevered egos I often don't look forward to and this was no exception. People can be so petty sometimes over what amounts to a bunch of sound and fury signifying nothing.

If you don't have a song
To sing you're okay

You know how to get along

If you don't have a date

Go out and sit on the lawn
And do nothing
'Cause it's just what you must do and
Nobody does it anymore

No, I don't believe in the wasting of time,
But I don't believe that I'm wasting mine

If you don't have a point to make
Don't sweat it

You'll make a sharp one being so kind
And I'd sure appreciate it

Everyone else's goal's to get big headed
Why should I follow that beat being that I'm
Better than fine?

-Fiona Apple

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Community Building

I was going to blog about the mess that is the Mark Foley scandal, but I decided to change course at the last second.

Instead, what I would like to talk about is building community. It is imperative that we here on the left find ways to unify together for sake of common purpose. The right has done a much more effective job of it then we have and we are finding ourselves playing catch up, much to our own detriment. We have the best chance we have had in a long time to make some desperately needed changes and let us strive to put our money where our mouths are.

I find all too often these days that parents come across to their children more as friends than as authority figures and role models. Today's generation contains attitudes of entitlement and selfishness such that I have not seen ever before.

This post-modern attitude of noting every last distinction down to the micrometer has proven to be our own undoing.

We cannot allow minority groups to hold up the process of bringing work to the table. When decisions for change are made, it is inevitable that certain people will get mad and leave. Instead of wasting time chasing after them and making concessions to their every qualm, it is best that we let them go. Doing otherwise will only foster a sense of disunity. It will empower other disgruntled members to voice their own concerns and all will be too concerned with
tearing down and voicing concerns to make any change.

The concept of tough love comes into play. And this goes for parenting as well as politics.
Life isn't fair. You don't get everything you want. The world does not owe anyone a living.

Rather, we owe our living to the benefit of the world.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

and drank rapidly a glass of water

I caught around ten minutes or so of the Labour Party convention that went on earlier this week in Manchester, England.

You don't have to know about British politics to see how far Labour has fallen in the past decade. I didn't see all that many stiff upper lips amongst the throngs. Instead I saw a hangdog look of cynicism and skepticism in the faces of all who attended. Many people didn't even bother to applaud once.

Gordon Brown, Labour's heir apparent, spouted out rhetorical cliche after rhetorical cliche but it was evident to me that he didn't believe a goddamned word of it. Despite urgings to carry on the good fight and the obligatory mention of job creation, Labour is sorely wounded.

And in my estimation, they have only themselves to blame for it. Blair was probably one of the most conservative Labour PMs in the history of the country and he steered Labour well to the right during his tenure. He time in power lead more and more liberal Britons towards the Liberal Democrats and away from Labour.

And yet, for now at least, the party line is to stay the course in Iraq no matter what the cost. Brown's speech included a deliberate mention that "Anti-Americanism" has no place in a global fight against terrorism. I do wonder what his position will be when he finds himself Leader of the Opposition in two years' time.

British politics are in a bit of a doldrums these days. Come the next general election, Britons will have to choose between the lesser of two evils: a Labour party that no one trusts anymore or a re-vamped Tory party that is still seeking to distance itself from Margaret Thatcher.

I can't say I ever really trusted Tony Blair. It's tough for me to trust a man who never seems to cease smiling. But I distrust Gordon Brown more. His arrogance appears to me to be totally self-serving. (and doesn't he look like one of the guys from Monty Python?)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Dead or Alive?

I want to believe he's dead.

The best case scenario for Democrats right now is if Osama Bin Laden has in fact passed away from natural causes.

If Bin Laden died last month, then Democrats can rightly point out to the American people that despite all the posturing from the GOP about eliminating Public Enemy Number One; Osama was neither brought to justice to stand trial nor killed by American military action.

I admit freely that I dread an October Surprise to end all October Surprises. I'm a bit paranoid that Bin Laden will be "killed" by our forces shortly before the election in a move of Rovian grand theatre.

It unnerves me to contemplate how the current administration has used cheap theatrics culled from bad Hollywood films and sitcoms to keep themselves in positions of power. It is as if the waste products of our own decadence has been used against us.

Ultimately, what we on the left must do in setting forth our position is three fold.

1. We must understand that Americans love theatrics and dramatics. This is why Karl Rove has worked such magic. People want to believe in good versus evil. People want to believe in last-minute miracles.

2. We must utilize this fact to our advantage without sinking to their same level. We must not resort to propaganda tactics to get our points across. We know that people love truth but hate hypocrisy.

3. We must stand unified. Set aside petty differences for now. We must stand firm. If we do not, we may never get the chance again.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Strange Bedfellows

This is the famous David Low cartoon from 1939, written after the Soviet Nonaggression pact was signed between Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia.

Both Hitler and Stalin are bowing over the corpse of Poland.

Hitler bows and says, "The scum of the earth, I believe?"

Stalin returns the bow. "The bloody assassin of the workers, I believe?"

My mind often shifts to this image when I hear how this country has formed dubious alliances with other countries.

This week, NPR ran a series of vignettes profiling the governments of the major South American countries. I was reminded again how the USA has poked its nose into the affairs of Latin America under the pretext of being "Good Neighborly".

Politics do make strange bedfellows, particularly when our "interests" are at stake.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Le Gah!

I am here, I promise.

My new job has been kicking my ass so for the next month (or two) I will only be able to update weekly, rather than daily. Look for updates on Sunday of every week.

This frustrates me, but there's nothing I can do right now.

That being said, look for a new update tomorrow.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I certainly respect the views of those who argue for impeachment, particularly in light of the recent revelations about secret CIA prisons.

Still, I do not at this present moment believe that Impeachment would accomplish its aims. Has the President committed impeachable offenses? Certainly. If the world was a fair place, he would have been brought to trial long ago.

Even if both Houses of Congress return to the control of the Democrats come November, I do not believe the I word is a worthwhile endeavor. Impeachment proceedings are laborious affairs that prevent important legislation from being enacted; government grinds to a halt. And in this world of global terror, we need some sort of stability at the top. A chaotic, distracted executive branch could leave us even more unprepared than we were before 11 September 2001.

As unpopular as President Bush is, I foresee his trial as being lengthy, frustrating, inconclusive, and counterproductive. I see an American electorate growing as weary of it as it has grown weary of the Iraq war and high gas prices.

I need not remind all of you that even a chief executive as obviously guilty as Nixon fought off Watergate for two whole years until the bitter end. Are we prepared for that again? As uncertain and challenging as times have been recently, do we wish to return to those days?

In crisis situations, people seldom make correct decisions. Instead, they opt for knee-jerk reactions that prove to be destructive in the end. This reaction is the reason why the Democratic party has been in chaos for the past twenty-six years.

Good man, bad President.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

I'm back, bitches!

Communism is like one big phone company- Lenny Bruce.

I have recently started working for a corporation whose name I shall not mention. Suffice to say that it is one big phone company. And in approximately one week of work, I have seriously reconsidered my zest for greater government involvement.

With greater government involvement comes complications, exceptions to every rule, and convoluted regulations.

As regards my own job, I say this:

Does every system, department, and next best thing need its own acronym? Do I need fifty different passwords for fifty different programs, none of which run together efficiently? Do I need nine different bosses?

I know that some will argue than in these increasingly complex times that this sort of phenomenon is inevitable, but it doesn't have to be this way. The very fact that people have discovered ways to make a living by figuring out how to efficiently navigate legalese and jargon speaks volumes towards the way we have become.
Why don't we simplify the tax code, first of all. Instead of loopholes and exceptions and fine print, why not put into play a uniform tax that taxes us all equally?

The libertarians have proposed a 23% across the board sale tax. Their rationale for this is that illegal immigrants will have to pay into the system and not be able to dodge income and property taxes.

I often think we ought to tax the richest of the rich far more than we currently do.

I think also it comes down to strong leadership. Any sort of complicated system be it corporate or governmental will be seriously hampered by bad leadership. So why not keep it simple?