Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I Am the Revolution!

Peeking in. . . .

Hello again.

Didn't really mean to drop in unexpected and/or uninvited, but well, deal with it.

I've been off on a sabbatical, timeout, vacation, or any other amusing reference you might desire to attach to my abrupt but publicized leave-taking of social media shit.

I have read immensely more. I have prayed more. I have knitted more, and laughed more, giggled uncontrollably for extended moments in time captured in my heart and laid aside for those dreary days that pop up here and there.

I have found my husband to be my best friend once again, which he always was, but gave way in quiet knowing to my love affair with my own written word and my insanely silly belief that someone cared what the fuck I had to say.

I cared. Was that not enough?


For I was that proverbial fraud who claims they don't give a fuck when I of course gave the most massive fuck of all.

Validate me I screamed. I will not relent until you admit that I was right all along, and you were and are miserably wrong-headed and probably can't be trusted to get the "no pulp" orange juice except through a  pre-arranged call to the supermarket to alert them that you are coming.

Finally I asked, explain to who? or whom? shit I don't give a fuck about which one surely.

Well, the meds are kicking in, (the spiritual ones I've been watering assiduously for a month or more), and I'm not giving a fuck pretty good these days.

I watch maybe thirty minutes of the circus known as politics and then I say, "I really don't give a fuck," and find a baseball game. I'm up on both Arrieta's ERA and Noah Syndergaard's. That's something to give a fuck about I gotta say.

I'm finally sailing toward a pair of socks that I made with my own two hands.

I'm an ensconced at lane six at the pool as the first morning's swimmer from end to end.

I learned how to cook a few more dishes.

I've enjoyed pizza a number of times,

Parker thinks I'm way funner to be around since I'm not arguing any more with stupid people that I truly don't really give a fuck about anyway. I mean there is a FREAKIN' REASON why neither you or I bothered to look each other up for 45 YEARS ya know. So the, "hey you have 14 grandchildren do you?" has worn it's welcome out through the house and out the back door. See ya on the backside as they say.

Anyway, if you wanna read a really really good post on not giving a fuck and which explains me better than I can explain me, read forth.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Working It Out, A Thought At a Time

Well, that's one way of doing it.

I've always been pretty confident in the way I look at scripture. I have always seen it as a most human endeavor.

We are a curious being. We like answers. When we are confused by the world, we seek to understand it. We seek to explain. We seek to predict if possible. We like answers, as I said.

I have mostly thought this way for a very long time. Common sense tends to dictate it surely. If indeed God wished to create a "manual for human living" I think he could have done so in pretty simple ways, similar to his alleged "giving of the 10". Concise, to the point, you know, CLEAR. While we may quibble about the parameters of some commandments, (does kill include all "killing" or only human defined "murder"?), for the most part they are pretty straight forward.

So when I began to formally study scripture with the assistance of learned teachers, it came as no surprise that however much we may infuse scripture with "Godly inspiration", it is still a human activity, meant to help other humans understand what is quite literally inexplicable. As such, it is open to an array of hermeneutical tools the average person has little contact with. There are form and source criticisms, redaction and textual, comparative, iconographic, psychological, anthropological , sociological, poetic, gender, feminist, liberationist, literary, and a host of others. They are all intent on trying to figure out exactly what the writer actually meant.

And I loved this more than you can imagine. It meant that there was really no end to the possibilities, no end to the new insights available. In that sense, scripture remains an alive and vibrant series of documents, giving endless bounty to the determined exegete.

I have, increasingly it seems, warred against the literalist, the fundamentalist, who is never one such except when it suits them. The bible must be read literally they exclaim, for some reason God waited until the KJV translation to use the "obvious words" that anyone with an 8th grade education can understand. But, that aside, they rebel at the idea that they need anyone to teach them anything. God teaches directly to the inquiring heart they claim.

Such people don't read stuff literally when it impinges upon their life style. No usury for me, THAT is a OT prohibition for Jews only, cancelled in the saving power of the Cross. They don't explain why they still cite Leviticus for the proposition that men should not "lay with men". But somehow that is "different." Like I said, they use literalism selectively. As many have said, "how curious that for the fundamentalist, God just happens to agree with everything they are against."

So, I was going along in my self-righteous assumptions, when as usual, the obvious hits me in the face. In reading something in a book on the early church fathers and the development of Christian theology, I noted that the New Testament writers quite often cited "scripture", and that included Jesus.

Suddenly it hit me. Did they cite scripture in a manner that would be akin to "literalism"? Did they treat scriptures as the "actual word of God"? If so, then wasn't my assumption that these were words of men in some difficulty?

As I mulled that thought over for a day, thinking of where I would search for an answer (since I knew there must be one), I of course ran directly into the answer. Funny how things work like that.

To know me, is to know that I cannot abide conflict. My brain simply screams FIX IT when confronted with believe in any two things that are in opposition. Drop one, add a third, alter one or both, but fix it. Make it make sense. My brain demands it. It has always been an utter shock for me to learn that some folks have no such problem with conflict. Fundamentalists are like this, blithely believing in things that are complete opposite, and never nagged in the slightest with the need to reconcile the disparate ideas.

A dear friend had sent me a box of books a while ago. I have slowly but surely worked on reading them. One is a Dictionary of New Testament Background, and I read an entry each morning. I am in the B's, and the day after my "conflict" I got to: Biblical interpretation: Jewish. 

And I learned that almost from the beginning, Jewish scholars interpreted their scriptures not at all literally, but rather more as a "living" document.

An example may suffice to explain.

Many scholars (I'd argue the best and majority) see the US Constitution as a "living document". In other words, they argue that the true genius of the Constitution is that our Founders were wise enough to realize that they could not possible construct a government that could foresee all possible issues and controversies. So rather than being too terribly specific in the "rights" and "duties" department, they were deliberately vague, assuming that later generations would use the "principles" stated to fashion the proper solution to the very current problems being faced.

In other words, unreasonable searchers and seizures in the 4th amendment will change over time, as we define intellectual "property" to be treated no different than one's home or car. Such property can also be seized, and thus the legislature and judiciary together will define it's parameters. Similarly, the Warren Court concluded that taken together the first ten amendments constitute a "protection of privacy" which is not stated specifically but is a rational deduction from the others together.

Similarly, Jewish scholars considered scripture to be living as well, the genius to them was that interpretations would change to meet the current crises facing the community. So a literal statement in the bible would be interpreted in light of the problem needing an answer. These interpretations were in extra-canonical writings. There was no interest in "what the writer meant".

When we turn to the NT, and look at instances of citation to OT sayings, we find a similar response. The interpretation is often borrowed from these Jewish interpretations, as needed to make the point that needs making. Scripture was often changed to more clearly reflect what the NT author wished to convey. Jesus did exactly the same thing.

A perfect example is 2 Timothy 3:8, wherein Jannes and Jambres (two magicians from Egypt) opposed Moses. Nowhere in the OT are the two men named. However, the names are found in several ancient sources used to interpret those portions of Exodus pertaining to the events between Moses and Pharaoh regarding the plagues. So extra-biblical material is added to actual scripture by the interpreter, in order to make his point in Timothy.

Far from putting into danger my belief that scripture is written by humans for humans, and interpreted by them to solve present problems, it actually makes it crystal clear that this is the way interpretation was done, OBVIOUSLY BECAUSE NOBODY FROM DAY ONE EVER THOUGHT THAT SCRIPTURE WAS THE ACTUAL WORD OF GOD.

This is what scripture is to me. An endlessly fascinating examination of what we believed, why we believed it, and how it has changed over time as we have learned more. It makes sense.

Surely not a single fundamentalist will be convinced. Their compartmentalized thinking won't allow it firstly and secondly, it is all too comforting to interpret in a way that allows God always to agree with you in the end. Their deliverance to truth must come when in some moment of weakness they open the door just a crack, and the facade breaks and falls. Logic will never move them, since logic is something they are deeply suspicious of.

I am happy simply to realize that I am still on the road, I haven't fallen into a ravine, or waded too far into the raging current to recover. I am still, by fits and starts, leaps and crawls, working my way to unity with the divine.

Come, join us. The ride is wild, but oh so rewarding.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Why We Love Her

It's been a brutal season for primaries. Even with great candidates, the war managed to get rather ugly. Bernie Sanders followers blame Hillary followers and the opposite is also the case.

There is truth to both sides no doubt. I've seen that personally, although I must say, that a good many people I know who believe in Mrs. Clinton's candidacy, try hard to stick to real issues and differences and not fall victim to the game of pointing out failures on the part of the other candidate. Mostly they don't at least, except when anger takes over.

We all get tired of hearing Mrs. Clinton referred to as "$hillary and HilLIARy". And we are very tired of "paid speeches" crap. Why do we call it crap? Because the Bernie folk admit right up to the top of their team, that they have not a clue if there is any incriminating in her speeches to various banks and other corporate types. But as long as she doesn't release them, they claim they feel free to insinuate that "there must be something bad in them."

Well, that is probably not true for a couple of reasons. Why would Mrs. Clinton risk (in a large venue speaking engagement) assuming that all those present are lovers of her such that they wouldn't record "evidence" of her vile speechifying and release it? And then there is the argument many attach to this, Mrs. Clinton's well-known history of refusing to give in to the crass bullshit raised by her opponents by dignifying their charges with actual proof to the contrary.

But I'm not here to explain and defend Hillary.

I'm here to tell you unabashedly, that we do love her.

And I'll tell you why.

You see, I"m just 66. I was born in 1050. Do you remember the world then?

I grew up as a preteen knowing a few things. I could NOT be a fighter pilot in the Air Force. I could NOT expect to ever be part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the military. I could NOT be a police officer, except as a jail matron. I was not EXPECTED to be a lawyer or a doctor, but rather a nurse or school teacher. I was most suited to being a secretary, executive or otherwise. I could be lots of things no doubt that I had no idea about, such as a physicist or chemist, but nobody encouraging me to be a psychologist or city manager.

In other words, I was either utterly not welcome in a whole list of professions because of my delicate composition (uteri and bosom), or I was dissuaded from trying because only the best of the best of the best of my gender was given a chance in this or that endeavor.

In the 50's women were expected to stay home and take care of children and husbands. They might work, but only at certifiable "ladies" jobs, such as check-out clerks, waitresses, the aforementioned secretarial jobs and so forth. We weren't paid much, but then we were only supposed to be "supplementing" our hubby's salary. We were, if employed expected to do the laundry, clean the house, do the shopping, the cooking, and well, most everything else other than car repair and perhaps run the lawn mower.

We had trouble signing contracts, buying cars and houses without male assistance. We were looked upon suspiciously when it came to jury duty. We could vote, but most of us followed the lead of the male in our lives.

Hillary grew up in the same world.

As we attained near adult hood, things had changed. Universities were setting up "affirmative action" for women like other minorities. Some law schools, and no doubt medical schools started with quotas, trying to increase the numbers of women in their classes. We benefited from that process, and we became lawyers and doctors and all the rest in much bigger numbers in the late 60's.

We saw Hillary as Bill's wife. But slowly, we discovered she was not like other first ladies. She actually had a brain and intended to use it. You might recall when she got in all sorts of hot water by "insulting" homemakers with her, "I"m not Tammy Wynette, standing by her man" and references to not "staying home and baking cookies."

You see, we were not the least offended, but we realized that a lot of women were. The women who remained in the same old stereotypical roles that has always been assigned for women? Oh they were insulted, and angry that we "professional" women had the temerity to look down upon them.

In fairness, we did of course. It took us some time to get over our radical rhetoric and realize that we were attempting to give women choices, not turn them all into CEO's and engineers. It was enough if you had the real choice to be WHATEVER YOU WISHED.

But I don't think some of those housewives ever forgot. We had made them feel small and insignificant, unwilling but more likely UNABLE to make it in the world of business where real decisions were made.

So secretly, (or not so) we were outraged at how Hillary was treated thereafter. She was the subject of every one's ire it seemed. The GOP of course, but also women who were "traditional".

We've watched her over the years. We've watched as a totally different set of rules and standards were set for her, unlike any of her male counterparts. We have seen her soldier on, overcoming, holding her head high.

She was accused of all sorts of things when she didn't throw Bill out for his sexual misadventures. She was judged, plain and simple. And there was no right to do that. Nobody knows what goes on in anybodies relationship, and nobody has the right to judge another for their decision to stay or leave, or what conditions they imposed for doing either. It was her business.

Hillary represents to us professional women of a certain age, all that we went through and endured in this "man's world". I can sit here and tell you a dozen examples that I faced as a lawyer, still operating largely among men. I was called to the bench one day by a judge that I had probably never spoken ten sentences to that didn't revolve around the law. He asked me out to lunch. When I demurred, he got mad, asking his court workers "what was wrong with her?" When they told him that I was dating a police officer, he really blew. How dare I turn down a judge for some silly cop?

Sometimes you paid for such "wrong answers" for weeks or months, before some semblance of professionalism returned to your relationship.

Hillary was one of our role models. When we grew weary of playing "the game" ( and make no mistake we all played), we looked to her and gained renewed strength. I don't want to make more of this than it was, but to all you men out there, and perhaps a certain segment of women who stayed home, it was rather awful at times. It was simply not fair. And it was the "way things were".

As the years have ensued, and Mrs. Clinton has gone on to success after success, the hatred of the right wing has if anything grown greater. They are still determined to take her down. Mostly they have not been successful. She is not down. But they have made life harder for her certainly. And over the years and decades of such attacks, a certain degree of it inevitably sticks.

Mrs. Clinton is perceived as "untrustworthy" by men and women who should know better. It is this vague thing they speak of, for they surely are unable to point to anything specific when you put it to them.

Now, by and large, we are prepared for that. Such is the life of all politicians to a degree. But with her, it has been over the top. And to hear people on our own "side" call her slanderous names in the hope that somehow that will translate into somebody, anybody, being will to throw a vote their way, is maddening, sick, and troubling.

Bernie's followers have been merciless. Out of control often, and not within his ability to control apparently, they flock to her events and try to cause trouble by calling her names. They threw money at her recently and referred to her as "Hey, HO, Hey HO, Hillary has got to go." in some sick sing-song reminiscent of her being propositioned as a streetwalker.

When you do this, you do it to us. We feel it, just as stingingly as if you had said it to us directly. You are reducing her to a vagina, unworthy to be talked to on equal terms. We have tried to gently explain this to you Bernie Bots. But you won't listen because you have found (or have been told it is possible) that all this attack business with garner a vote or two. Perhaps it will, but never enough.

Never enough because with each slur you offer this woman, you make US more determined than ever. And of course, it is all over now. You can of course continue to help the GOP by running her down, but we kind of all know how this will end. And we will remember.

You may suggest that we "friend" up again on Facebook. I'd suggest you don't bother. We are gulfs apart you and I, I suspect. I don't place all the blame on you. I share in it as well. Apparently we never impressed upon you younger men and women just how fucking UNFAIR it was when I was a kid. Apparently you think this "women are paid 79c on the dollar business" as some relic from something you can't even imagine.

Well, we can imagine, because we endured. We lived through it. We struggled, never sure where our professionalism did or should leave off and our womanly attributes be thrust forth. We had to figure out where to "draw the line" a dozen times a week, sometimes in a day. What to resent. What to react to with hostility. What to ignore. What to forgive. What to SMILE THROUGH AND TAKE!

We didn't teach you fools just how bad it was, so you could be protective of FREEDOM to be who and what you want. It's why we are so damned supportive of gays and trans people, and immigrants, and all the "others" of the world. Because WE DAMN IT HAVE BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT.

Yes, kiddo, Bernie is a fine fellow with a fine agenda. He tells us what we can dream for. His sort are always necessary and desirable. But she is one of the doers. She translates the dreams as she has over the years, into policies and legislation and coalitions of people ready and willing to work to improve the lives of average women and children and men too in incremental ways. And as the decades go by, all that incremental stuff adds up and we make another leap forward. We moved from DOMA to full marriage equality didn't we?

So defriend me all you want, I'm better off for it I'm sure. But know this. If you attack her, you attack me. And I'm not nearly as nice as she is.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Spot Ya A Synapse and Raise You one Neuron

Spoiler Alert! Reading further may make your brain hurt!

And it will hurt yours worse than mine, because mine is rather used to the chaos in here.

I'm a collection of anomalies. There I said it. I am as contradictive and dystopian as one can get. And since that sentence probably made little sense to you, well, you see how crazy it is in here?

Okay, there is this.

Life is sorta like events interspersed with getting groceries, clipping your toenails and cleaning the lint filter in the dryer. You get what I mean. We get hired, fired, a baby is born, a grandparent dies, one contracts beriberi and one rejoices at the first tomato. In between is all the "stuff" of normalcy, passing as chores, and "routine".  We get up, we shit, we wash, we dress, we fit widgets with washers and then we come home, eat, vegetate and pass out for a few hours only to do it all over again.


It's that last part that makes me shudder.

I remember being around 40ish, practicing law in dreary, scary, boring Detroit, and looking at doddering old fools in their 80's shuffling around, dropping files and papers, not being able to hear their case called very well, grabbing their victim client firmly by the arm and marching them through a plea agreement neither one understood much at all.

I cringed, not so much for the luckless client as for the picture of me doing that, that transferred into my mind and made me want to run for the nearest ledge to leap from. I dinna wanna do that when I was 80.

The endless drudgery of sameness damned near stultified my breathing.

I have never been able to comfortably imagine doing the same thing for EVER. I mean the idea of living in the same house for 40 years unnerves me. To live and die within a radius of a hundred miles fills me with such sorrow and terror actually that I would feign take a turn at the local YWCA in Salt Lake rather than live all my life one place.


Have no clue.

Just is.

Doing the same thing forever, in the same place, fills me with dread. I avoid it, have avoided it for a good portion of my life. I'm not your hi, marry me, lets have babies together, you work, I'll work, and we will raise these kids, retire, adore grandchildren, and die in a bed surrounded by all those we love. It's the scenario most buy into, happily I presume.

Me? Terrifies me. Perhaps it's because I have a family with way too many people I don't really care much for. Spending a lifetime in that company will neutralize whatever intellect one started with I'm quite sure.

Now we get to the OTHER side.

I am not the person you would call to do something spontaneous. I hate spontaneity. I gotta plan ahead. That's all there is to it. No, I will not pack a bag and fly to Paris with you on the "spur of the moment" whatever the hell spur means in that context. No I will not.

Change my pool time, and it will take me a couple of weeks to rearrange all my other rituals and routines to fit the new schedule. And I won't feel the least comfortable until I've tweaked it sufficiently such that it feels "normal" to me.

I'm doing that now. I'm at the pool now at 6 a.m., a full two hours earlier. So no reading in the morning, no breakfast, no planning menus and other trivia. No first load of clothes in the dryer as I leave. It's all upended and I'm uncomfortable.

Tell me how these two very clear focuses on life can live together in one aging body? Please!

Now add this gem.

I separate "ongoing learning" from "set learning". Set learning is that body of knowledge all tend to agree is necessary to be absorbed before one is entitled to call oneself a bricklayer, lawyer, or accountant. Once you have learned the "set" of instructions on any subject, you may be that thing, and do that thing usually with some certificate called a license.

This is the money-making enterprise, the thing that makes everything else go. It earns the bucks that enables the dryer to be bought, the steak to be savored, and the grill to be heated up. Trouble is, I'm one of those "once I have learned the set knowledge, and proven that I get it and can use it properly," I'm pretty much done. Bored out of my skull.

Ready to move on.

Not a healthy way to earn a living consistently.

Ongoing learning is the thing I crave. It's the learning that has no end, each new discovery leading to new questions  and a new line of investigation. I crave it, I love it, I embrace it.

Very cool when the two come together. But I chose law, which is the epitome of set learning. It doesn't mean you don't continually update some of the info, because you do. But one does a lot of it by rote. I shoulda chose something like theology or paleontology, both subjects I've come to love.

Of course, being from a working class family, one doesn't dawdle with foo-foo professions that don't lead to jobs in the known free world. Last time I check Kraft Foods was not looking for a theologian. In fact, about the only people who do look for "on going learning" sorts  are universities. And I didn't think I wanted to teach it.

Kaleidoscope your way into now and see how it all fell out?

Well, being retired, I no longer am bored out of my skull by "beginning with Terry v Ohio,  and Cady v Dombrowski, et al. . . ." dialogues with yawning prosecutors and judges paging through their favorite magazine on the bench. That's the good part.

I made enough money, married enough money, that I was allowed to leave that past behind and concentrate on what I wanted to do NOW.

I figured, as most early retirees do, that just "doin what I want" would be splendid. It is, to a point. Then it becomes boring and meaningless and well, yes, endless. And the old fears return. Is there nothing new under the sun for me?

I seem to have found the right arrangement recently. It's a mixture of "doin what I want" and adding in some ongoing learning, and a bit of set learning too. It's learning new crafts, new ideas, new subjects of interest to concentrate on. It's blending and mixing it all up somehow into an easy but busy day that leave one satisfied at the end that one has "accomplished something."

I always say, feed the mind, the soul, the body. It's balance and each person much figure out what balance works best for them.

Right now, I'm engaged in learning to knit socks (class starts first Sunday in February), learning Spanish, (classes one hour a week), getting to the end of at least one "100 books you should read in your life"list,  and recombining a lot of things I do already that nurture me spiritually and bodily. When those are mastered, I'll seek new adventures. I have some new leads to volunteer work that might suit me as well.

The best part is I have a partner both flexible and with ideas of his own, and we can combine some things (like the Spanish classes) and go our own way on others. Discussing our triumphs and failures, our minor successes and near misses adds variety and excitement to our life together.

So, somehow I come to grips with my need and desire for routine, and my fear and loathing of sameness, and I manage to fashion a life that suits me.

Whether I am odd or normal is really of no concern to me. What you think isn't either but still I'd be interested in how you see the world. Are you married to a spot on this earth that is "home" and feels perfect forever? Or are you like me, always looking for something new to fit into your comfortable routine?

I really hope it turns out I'm odd. I would like to be odd. It's something to aim for.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Magic Gloves and the GOP Race

This has been an ongoing conversation in our home. No doubt it's raging in yours as well. My job? To give voice to the insanity.

Once upon a time there was a game called football. No reason why it was called football, since feet play a minor part in the game. But football it was called.

Now, for a long time, people just ran around chasing the person with the ball. Then came passing. Passing allowed the garnering of greater yardage (important in the concept of "moving the ball"), and at least gave  hope to the "receiver" (also known as a "catcher" not to be confused with a baseball player of the same name) that he might skedaddle into the "end zone" (the place where everyone wants to be) with nary a bruise to his precious skin.

Soon receivers became diversified into tight ends and split ends (not to be confused to anal personalities or the horrors of bad hair)."Wide" receivers (not obese mind you) "spread" the field. This required those who oppose them and attempt to steal the ball for themselves and their posterity, also get specific names such as safety and cornerback, though what these had to do with feeling secure or not being under a dunce cap, is harder to discern.

A particularized problem of said "receiving corp" is how to "hang on" to the ball. Now this in and of itself leads to misdirection, since there is nothing by which one can "hang". The ball being a strange configuration, neither round nor oval exactly nor rectangular. As such, it infuriates the most ardent player/observer with it's (the ball's that is) propensity to go off in all sorts of directions and bounce precariously on the head of a pin before "dying" or tumbling, or ricocheting backwards at the most inopportune of times.

Thus magic gloves.

Well, there were other things before. 

First, back in the cave man days, there was of course one's God-given hand, palm, and fingers which did the job. Said hands suffered as one might expect from exposure to the elements (dishpan hands!), and being stepped on, bitten, and spit on all for good measure.

Balls continued to fall from eager fingers onto the turf.

What to do?

The NFL is about money, and fans like catches not drops.

Enter gloves.

Gloves now, were initially just that, gloves. Designed to do what all gloves do, or should do I imagine... Keep the patties dry, warmer, and free from irritations. And no doubt they worked as expected.

They did not however, enhance in any great way, the ability to catch the oddity known as a football. By now, one hopes you are clear that this football is not what the world knows as football, which is really soccer as EVERYONE in America knows, and given that we are the biggest baddest ass on the block, our definition always holds forth.

So, receivers of all sorts continued their search for ball security.

Stick um.

Yes, I know. I mean seriously couldn't you even call it Miracle Goo?

So they used that until the damn balls got so blessed sticky that even the refs (whom everyone knows come from an island noted for it's care of the blind) said, "hey what the hell is on this ball?" and got another one. Forcing more stick um use, and more sticky balls (don't you DARE go there), and more confused referees.

Now everyone is actually in favor of confused referees, because they are such a humorous lot generally, but the damn stick um was starting to seep through gloves and players said their hands were stuck to steering wheels going home, and they had to sleep all night gripping the car keys because they couldn't let them go. So it was becoming a bit of a problem. (Don't even get me started at all the wide receivers who were being arrested for shoplifting!)

So stick um was declared verboten.

Enter the magic glove.

Channel the Gecko lizard. Think of his tiny little feet.

Each little rib acts as an individual "gripper" (not gipper you fool). Thus if even a finger touches the pigskin (doesn't work on penguin skin I'm told, but don't rely on me on this point), it sticks like glue until peeled off.

Allowing the most phenomenal "catches" which is sorta like this:

Or we could call them "snatches" (DO NOT GO THERE EITHER). Or "picks" but to be fair, picks are not pictures at all but the thing that happens when the QB fails to throw the pigskin near enough to the magic gloves of the receiver to enter into the field of magnetism drawing the ball to the finger tips. With such failure, the ball may pass too near the magic gloves of the "safety" or "cornerman" and be captured for the other side.

What does all this mean?

Nothing much. Or everything, depending on where you lie on the "football is necessary for my life" spectrum.

So, if this means nothing, well, get ready to be really pissed.

This post has nothing to do with the GOP race. But it made for a catchy title no?

Anyway, I don't count these "catches" of much account any more. I just yell "magic gloves" when another amazing, can't be done, sorta catch is seen. I don't like magic gloves.

Now that you mention it, I don't care for the day-glo colors, the "tights"worn now instead of socks, and the fanny packs which seem de rigeur these days so one's lipstick and powder are always available for those touch-ups after a particularly feisty tackle.

I wanna go back to men in leather helmets and no teeth grunting and gouging, spitting, and biting. No more inventive dance routines in the end zone, no more "hey look at me, I did my job of tackling that dude, for which I'm paid 17 million dollars. Aren't you impressed?"

Can you just play the stupid game?

Monday, December 21, 2015

How ISIS Helps Us

If one watched, as I did, both of the presidential debates this past week, one came away slightly confused.

According to the nine-thousand candidates running for the GOP, we are moments away from Armageddon, World War III, or a Hanukkah party, not sure which.

Anyway, they are all super scared and threatening to blow up Russian jet fighters, the sands of Syria, and the families of identified or not "terrorists". It's back to duck and cover and home prep for the coming chaos.

But nobody is trying to sell you a bomb shelter this time. Rather it's guns. Bigger and better, faster and deadlier, guns baby.

Solemnly, each and every one of them tell us that it's guns that will keep us safe. And your sons and daughters lives will keep us safe in the Middle East, where it is imperative we send more and more and more bodies to offer themselves to the gods of oil, who will properly maintain that natural resource for those who know how to use it arightly--the good old US of A.

Yet, on Saturday, the Democrats managed to have a civil, quiet, and at times fairly nuanced discussion about terrorism and how best to resist it.

Fear seems to be winning.

No longer fearful of being as they put it "politically correct" they lash out at Obama, demanding that no immigrants, especially not refugees be admitted to our fairly racist shores until and unless we can be assured that every single would-be terrorist is removed from the possibility of being in their numbers.

Now, when is the last time that law enforcement stopped by to assure you that they were watching your home 24/7 because they were required to make sure that NO burglar  violated your home? or stole your car? or ripped off some green apples from your tree?

Oh, this is different how?

Are you assured that lightening won't strike you during a rain storm? How 'bout whether that drunk driver will happen to be at your stop sign this morning and forget to stop? Are you demanding 100% assurance that these things won't befall you?

Yet you demand the same of the government.

The GOP urges you to at least.

Even though you are probably more likely to get hit by that bus today than you are to fall victim to a terrorist attack, domestic or otherwise.

Where would that stop? If the government is required to assure your utter safety, are they required to assure it from yourself? Are helmet laws, seat belt laws, dietary laws, part of the deal? How far is too far? Should you be limited to home much booze you can buy?

Now you may rebel at this idea, and say, hell no, what I do to myself is my own business. But it's not of course. You right to get stinkin' drunk stops where my right to live without being run over starts. I have some say in all the money you are wasting on treatment too don't I?

My point, I take it, is clear.

So the party of small government isn't really about small government at all. It's WHERE that government intrudes that is the problem. Business? Oh stay out of the way government. My uterus? Come on in and manage my life for me.

Since being afraid to go to the mall or the movie theatre or to the park is insane and not logical as we now see, what say we about those people who are mere seconds away from peeing their britches at the mention of refugees?

A host of men, mostly white, spend an hour strapping on all their guns and ammo belts before they walk their child to the teeter totter, ready at a moment's notice to mow down the terrorist lurking behind the monkey bars.

They do this out of a hysterical terror so great that no amount of weaponry is seemingly enough. With shades of pretending to respond to Call of Duty with patriotic fervor, such men assure us that "they will protect us." The reality of course is quite different.

Experts all agree, people that are not professionally trained, seldom if ever stop a bad guy. Most realize it if it indeed happens that they have no way to identify themselves as a "good guy" and so keep their shootin' irons holstered. The rest, given their intense level of terror, end up effectually neutralized, most sitting in a puddle of urine of their own creation.

So ISIS helps sort out those types for us. They are, oddly enough, just the sort of folks whom psychologists would suggest shouldn't be allowed to even come close enough to a gun to see it.

ISIS sorts out the sort of people who claim to believe such fear-mongering dogma, for the stupid and/or lying people that they are. Either they are too stupid to know better, or they know quite well the absurdity of their claims, but it's really about feeling the fresh air of naked racist/bigoted hate that really turns them on. We need to identify both sorts and keep them weaponless.

Plenty of people suggest to me, hey, live and let live. You're entitled to an opinion. I am too. And if you don't agree, smile and move on.

Do we live in such times where we can abide by the niceties of "don't discuss politics or religion" in polite company? I say no. We don't. We live in frightful times. And we cannot afford the luxury of letting everyone have "his say."

The fact is that there is nothing in the constitution that requires us to all have our say. So I am not compelled to do so, and more so when your opinion is damaging and dangerous. I have a duty, so it seems to me, to alert you of your error with facts and figures. I should not and must not allow you the comfort of thinking you're right so you can return to work on restoring that 57 Chevy, satisfied that you have considered the political implications of the latest Import/Export banking authorization.

All is not well. Your opinions are dangerous, and they hurt us all. We have a duty to inform you of that, stymie further of your kind from thinking you and they are right, and spreading it further without strong opposition.

Our duties as citizens compels us to speak up.

No doubt some will argue that that is merely a self-serving defense of a practice I find particularly embracing where you don't. That may be true, but that by itself does not negate my argument.

Democracy is a hands on sort of political system. It REQUIRES its citizens to maintain real knowledge of world events and alternative ways of responding. It requires not just a citizenry that is trained to operate within it, but one EDUCATED to steering it properly down the road. Those are two different things friends.

We have damn few of the latter.

The fact that you were taught to read and write and cipher in a limited fashion doesn't give you ANY basis for concluding that you have any right to decide whether this treaty or that piece of legislation is good or bad. You have to DO something with those skills of reading and writing. It's knowing HOW and on WHAT to use them that matters. And no, it's not to thumb through the Better Homes and Gardens or Outdoor Life.

I'm sick of memes about a fake "war on Christmas". I'm sick of memes about questioning what we do for others, when we have so many at home in want. (We can do both.) I'm sick of memes that tell me that guns don't kill people. They are stupid, absurd, and meaningless.

I'm sick of things that don't matter at all, but serve to dilute, distract, and misdirect the great unwashed millions who are "not dumb" but little more. Like the proverbial dog and the word squirrel, we are no different. Present us with shiny new toys, new movies, new games, and we are off to the races, with nary a secondary nod to that terrorists that may be hiding in aisles of  Barnes and Noble at the mall. When we got nothing better to do, we get all gangsta on the terrorists as we delight to visions of ourselves as modern Rambos.

Will the madness end? Surely. But no doubt it will be replaced by another "other". The powers that rule the world have good reason to keep you always looking NOT at them.

Wake up, smarten up, speak up.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Shame That is the GOP

I dunno about your household, but mine is a riot sometimes.

My husband, the ubiquitous "rational animal" and I, the ubiquitous "burn it down" anarchist, are often at odds politically. This stands to reason of course.

The Contrarian prides himself on NEVER (oops) using absolute terms. He objects to me telling him that he NEVER picks up after himself, preferring the term, OFTEN perhaps or ONCE IN A WHILE. Since he NEVER picks up after himself, I feel well within my spousal prerogatives in whining, nagging, reminding him gently of his failings.

He carries this unreasonable desire for rationality over to the political sphere as well, where, as we all known, rationality usually has no part, and if it does, it's a walk-on part with no lines and pays only union base. This means, that on no account will I get away with saying that ALL Republicans say or do anything other than pee standing up if male (making due allowances for Ms. Lindsey of course).

So, since he's no where around right now, let us proceed to call a spade a spade and an idiot an idiot.

I make no claims to special knowledge, nor accurate reflection and opinion generated by a white-hot recollection of all that I have seen and heard. Meaning, I'm often wrong. I'm wrong about a whole slew of things that I don't care about being either right or wrong about. I care not whether I understand what "rebooting the router" means, nor how that works. I care only that it does, and that the rebooter is not myself.

On politics I'm more right than wrong, and daresay that on some things, I might well mimic my new idol Maude Petre, theologian, who suggested that she believed herself so right in her conclusions about God that it would take God himself to tell her she was wrong. I stand with her, and reject the Contrarian's oft repeated admonition: Don't say, ALL, because it simply fosters more of the division in this country that keeps us from moving forward.



That being said.

Given that I suggested that the ceiling for Mr. Trump in his quest for whatever the hell it is he's questing for, was about 25%. That was, I figured the top of his appeal. Now I've oft stated that an electorate/population containing only 10/% intelligent rational people is enough to run any civilization, since we are here and not ---------------------------------> there. In that I jested a bit, figuring that in reality any society can handle about 25% stupid and still limp along despite the constant irritation of stupid people getting in the way.

Well, Trump is up in some polls at least to 41%.

This is scary stuff indeed, if you are my husband. Not so much for me. I'll tell you why.

Trump says a lot of really weird stuff. He says stuff that is outright, downright, racist, sexist, and Islamophobic. He makes it clear he has no clue what the nuclear triad even is, let alone what priorities should exist between the three elements. He says he will build a great fence, and the Mexicans will pay for it. He says he will create deals the likes of which the world has to this point never believed possible. Each of us will get a banana split with cherries on top each Sunday. He says a lot of things.

I have no clue what he really believes about ANYTHING. I've heard him say quite different things if I look at old footage of a few years back.

I do know that he knows (as do all smart politicians) what people are really thinking, or at least that part of "the people" that might vote for you if you tap into their thoughts. And he burps that out in soundbites that excite and grow hard-ons for the loyal down home boys whose carbine is never far from their eager hands.

Now these folks are not educated. They are not natively intelligent either. They are much like dear pets that consistently appear to have somewhere to go, but in reality are just walking around trying to remember why they got up in the first place. They are not very successful people, and they feel bad about that when they see people on the TV with all their shiny toys and acting like it was all normal and such to have such fine things.

So, they look for reasons excuses for why it ain't their fault. It's gotta be somebody's of course.

Trump and company come to the rescue.

The GOP en masse, offers any number of willing "causes" of the plight of the white/middle-aged/high-school diplomaed/working stiff dude. It's women and their uppity ways, it's blacks and theirs, it's Mexicans and theirs, it's gays and theirs, it's Muslims and theirs, and its libtards and theirs. (There could be more, but in the end white boys have limited capacities for remembering too many litanies).

Over and over, the ever-lazier media enunciates after the latest Trump spew, "well that's it. You can expect his poll numbers to drop now. Nobody is going to stand by while he spouts stuff that is unconstitutional, unAmerican, and immoral." Yet the numbers rise.And they throw up their hands in disbelief and wonder and move on until the next time they are sure he's tanking.

So what is going on?

It's simple really. Forget what Trump believes. I doubt it's what you or I thinks he believes. But he KNOWS what THEY think. In this he is no different than knuckle draggers like Huck or Randy P., or Cruz, or Rubio. He may be unlike Benjie Carson, whom I contend that history is proving is nothing but a idiot savant. They all KNOW what THEY think.

All the rest except Trump rely on the tried and true "code" for alerting their base that they agree with what THEY think, without being so crass and rude to say it out loud. Also they know, that EVEN IF there are a WHOLE LOT of THEM, it's not enough to win national elections. So they use the code. They are for your "freedoms" "law and order" "pride of work" and all the other slogans that stand for "hint, hint, nudge, nudge, we hate 'em too".

They, in other words, play the game.

Trump, thumbing his nose at the entire political enterprise, simple says what is actually lurking in the sad hateful minds of the mob. "They're rapists, they kill our families, they steal our jobs." He says it in technicolor with no nuances, no filters. It's raw hate, and it's the true beliefs of an enormous number of Americans. They HATE political correctness, because  then they have to wait until they are among friends to use the words they really think in.

His base will not go away because he says exactly what they crave to hear. They applaud the removal of the "code" in favor of the real words they long to give an "amen" to.

And here's what's worse.

Ted Cruz, knows this base and wants it for himself. He won't use the words, because in his stupidity, he actually believes he can be palatable to more than 50% of the electorate. He will play the game of code, while being nice to the Donald, all the while plotting and scheming to be the recipient of that great hate. His hands are eager to embrace it. His heart is eager to lead the people to God's kingdom on a hill filled with all the rest of his Dominionist rant.

And the rest are not far behind.

They all to one degree or another support torture if we need to use it, more troops dying over seas to prove that we are still the biggest bully in town. They all agree and continue using the code words that alert this great swath of haters that they count.

They call Trump names. The more desperate the campaign the louder the outrage at Mr. Trump's limited understanding of world politics, his impractical, unconstitutional, and yes, even inhumane plans. They attack at his effrontery to gain acceptance among the very sort of sick sad humans they want to court.

And yet.

They either dodge, or admit. Admit what?

Oh, if Trump is the standard bearer for the party, yeah, they will vote for him.

Because that is code. That is code for, and if he doesn't get it, please remember me when you cast your vote. I am just like Donald, just cleaner. Or smarter. Or whatever.

That designates the entire GOP as not having the moral rectitude of your average ant eater. To suggest that even a Donald Trump is better than a Martin O'Malley for instance, is insane. It's untrue. It's absurd. And if they say it, they don't mean it. What they do mean, is that I can play in the mud with you folks, but I'm trying to remain neat for those independents and the stray Democrat whom we can hold by appealing to their visceral fear of socialism and death squads.

This is the shame of the GOP. That it ends up standing for nothing at all, except it's willingness to play down to the lowest common denominator when it comes to human existence. It is a party bereft of compassion, empathy, forgiveness. It's a party devoted to rewarding those that feed it--big business, all the while pushing the lie that giving more to the haves will somehow rebound to the poor.

It is willing through it's climate change denial, to see future generations reduced to poverty, and then death, all because campaign contributions from oil and gas interests arrive monthly as needed.

If you cannot call a rabid dog such, then you aren't much of a champion of anything are you? If you can't put it down, stopping its rampage that increasingly aids our enemies and gives comfort to them as well, well, there isn't much to be said for you. You are crass individuals in love with your own rhetoric. You made your choice years ago, when you decided that a good life could be had  on the country's dime.

That's why Trump continues. They have no guts to even try to stop him.

And in the end, he does our work for us. There is no doubt who won't win in 2016.