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Archive for July, 2011

We been hearing a lot about inflexible ideologues holding us hostage over this debt ceiling “crisis”, and how childish they are, and how they are terrorists who are taking hostages as part of this process.

Yesterday, they struck again.

It really is amazing just how small of stature some people are.  It must be difficult in among the shadows who are leading from behind with a plan that they dare not clearly present for fear of rejection, and it must be even harder for poor little Harry.  Am I the only one who thinks that without the shoes he clearly has trouble filling, no one would give him another thought five minutes after he speaks?

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“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”

-Johnny Rotten, at the close of the last Sex Pistols concert.

I’m starting to feel this way every single day.

 Each day, the cries that people who are rejecting or have rejected the status quo “Are stupid, insane, or my personal favorite, “handing the election to Obama” because they just don’t see the wisdom in any debt ceiling fix that gives more spenditol to the hopelessly addicted in D.C. without honest, true (not gimmicky) and most importantly immediate cuts to the Federal Government’s spending grow louder, and I find myself growing more annoyed with people I have more similarities than differences with, not because of the differences, but because their inability to convince me that the compromise they are rallying behind will prevent the calamity they fear has driven them to derision, name-calling, insults, and questioning our patriotism.  In other words, they are acting like the Democrats do when we tell them “No.” too.

Whether it’s the New York Times’ favorite “maverick” referring to the Tea Party as Hobbits, and claiming that “Others know better” than the Tea Party Freshmen in the Congress, or people I respect telling me in serial FB postings that anyone who isn’t for Boehner’s plan to raise the credit limit again in exchange for promises to make some piddling cuts at some time that history tells us will never be made anyway, and then bring us back to this point yet again during election season is the same as a Democrat such as the President, contempt is the tune played with the complete expectation that we will dance, and its put me into a position I never wanted to be in.  I’m being pushed into declaring for the Tea Party.

It isn’t that I had any particular beef with the Tea Party.  My objections have really been more dealing with the movement’s long-term prospects.  As I said to a Republican Tea Party basher on FB:

‎1. I am not a Tea Party member. I enjoyed the fact that it was grassroots and genuine. I never signed on, because I knew that it was destined to be co-opted or marginalized because it threatened the political establishment and their power base.
2. Your willingness to appoint them with a responsibility to “shut people up” chills me a bit. The appeal of the tea party was a central message, and the ability for people who had felt marginalized or removed from the mainstream political process to participate and bring some of their own ideas to the fore. A “leadership” would be counter to that idea.
3. Much of what I’ve feared has come to pass…a degree of co-opting, both actual, and presumed by those for whom it would be handy to do so, and marginalization…by a corrupt media that needed a group of “extremists”, and a political establishment that needed a boogeyman to save us from.
4. And even though I don’t agree with a lot of them, I’d rather have a political system that doesn’t “silence” the fringes, or anything outside the mainstream, largely because I firmly believe that we HAVE to trust the people, in the firm knowledge that they are going to make mistakes (Thanks, 52%ers!) or that none of this political system means anything and we can simply officially appoint those who presume to be our betters as such, and dispense with the charade.

And how did we arrive at this point, anyway?  Really, before we entrust these responsible stewards of the public purse with the ability to spend even more money, isn’t that a question we all should be asking?  If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result, then the “compromise” they are offering doesn’t make any damn sense.

The Tea Party owes its existence to government’s reckless and irresponsible spending, and the way that government demonstrated its feeling of entitlement to not only continue spending more money than it takes in, but to continually increase this spending in order to mitigate the consequences of really poor decisions. (Too Big To Fail, anyone?)

It was a terrific thing to behold as it gathered steam, because people who had never given politics a second thought, or only considered it when filling out a ballot were now looking at the ways their elected officials had squandered their trust, and enhanced their own power and finances at the expense of our own personal sovereignty and wallet.  They had realized that government by the professional and the expert first benefits the professional and the expert, and then trickles down only to the extent that doing so will also benefit the professional and the expert.  But this newfound clarity threatens not just the chattering class, whose false narratives and very selective reporting kept the majority of the nation slumbering and dreaming dreams in which every man woman and child was a lottery winner, and never had to be asked to pay for the welfare state that continued to grow in its quest to provide for them from cradle to grave, and so the new narrative began, about these “extremists” who opposed what government hath wrought not because it stifled freedom and opportunity, and confiscated wealth on an enormous scale to redistribute it to others who did nothing to earn it , but because they were “racists who didn’t want a black President to succeed.”  They were haters, who if given an opportunity to do so, would commit unspeakable acts of violence against those who disagreed with them, even kill them if they thought it necessary. 

It was certainly a surprise to the everyday mothers, fathers, grandpas, and grandmas who came to the rallies, and participated in the peaceful protests.  It was a surprise to those who came to townhalls to confront their elected officials about the trust that they so casually abused, only to find themselves shouted down, disrespected, and questioned by their public servants, and their supporters, many of whom freely feed at the public trough.  I know many people who consider themselves part of the Tea Party, one of who graciously lets me co-blog with her when I get the urge to speak up, and the media portrayals of them couldn’t be farther from the truth.  And as irritating as that is, its ok.  One of the things that came clear during the emergence of the Tea Party and the rush of the legacy media to portray them as unhinged extremists is the fact that the self-appointed cognoscenti were defending a power base, and the shriller the denunciations, the more obvious it became to observers that the media members, and their patrons in the Democratic Party were the ones standing naked while commenting to each other about their resplendent wardrobes.  The more they condescended, complained, and projected, the more hollow their lofty pronouncements rang.

And it had a result, as the elections of 2010 proved, and the consequence was a series of election gains in the House of Representatives that completely changed the make up of that body. 

Now we find ourselves facing yet another crisis.  Another in a string of crises that miraculously can only be solved by the federal government spending more money that it does not have, to pay for consequences that it bears the responsibility for.  The only truly good comparison that I can think of is the domestic violence victim who keeps going back to her abuser, because he promises that this time, things will be different…after he tells her that it is her fault that he beats her.  We keep going back, and if we hesitate, we’re told to “get our asses back in line.”  And for all the noise about the approaching deadline, “inflexible ideologues”, and swift and certain financialgeddon, and the absolute and positive need to address this RIGHT NOW, OR ELSE!  and the only option, no matter how it is dressed up, is to increase the credit limit now, and make cuts later, or whenever they can get around to it, if they feel like it, and the moon is in the right phase, with the only real distinctions being how much, and whether or not the timing is politically beneficial to one side or the other, several key facts and follow-up questions keep getting lost.

1.  We actually hit the debt ceiling in May of this year.  In all the hysteria, hyperventilation, finger-pointing, and name-calling, that fact seems to get lost.  One might ask how this got to be a “crisis”, considering the fact that it couldn’t have been a surprise.

2.  The US’s credit rating has already been downgraded.  While I don’t expect it to be a harmless event if the other rating agencies follow, I also noted that the sky didn’t fall, and I didn’t have to take a wheelbarrow full of $100,000.00 bills to the Safeway to buy a loaf of bread after it happened. 

4.  The Democrats have not passed a budget since 2009, despite the fact that it is one of Congress’ duties.  This works to their advantage.  No budget means no parameters on spending.  Anything goes until you hit the ceiling.  Besides, they were too busy with Spendulous, Cash for Clunkers, and Obamacare to actually attend to their duties.  And who do you think you are for asking pointed questions about it anyway, peasant?

5.  Do your creditors maintain your credit score when your debt to income ratio is already too high and you decide that you can and should borrow more?   So why should we believe that a government that is characterized by an abject avoidance of restraint when it comes to spending the public’s money will not suffer the same fate when if they pass a bill that bumps out that limit, and purports to address a portion of the spending problem, somehow, some way, some time?  It would be like believing that the chronic alcoholic will be ok if the bartender doesn’t serve him the last two shots he’s used to downing nightly; the real problem is in the 5 shots he was served before.  And yet the Tea Party is now the enemy of America, and actively working for the re-election of Barack Obama for recognizing that what is being offered and discussed is a “more of the same” of what we’ve had before, and declining to go along with it.

6.  Teh Fred! and others keep crowing about a victory in shifting the conversation away from tax increases, and demanding we take that, and ignore the fact that even with the “cuts” being proposed, the leviathan that is Fedzilla still grows.   More and more people are getting clued in to the magical growth formula in government accounting based on premise that Zero = Last Year’s Budget.  Taxes weren’t negotiable because despite what Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi believe, this was NEVER a revenue problem; it is a spending problem, and taking away what never should have been on the table to begin with, and then rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic will not prevent a really, really cold swim.

It comes down to this:  Government Spending first empowers the government.  Democrats have known this for years, and used it to their advantage to cultivate a block of constituents beholden to them for their sustenance due to the advent of multigenerational welfare, and they have carefully nurtured it until we have reached a point where nearly 50% of the citizens in this country don’t have any of the precious “skin in the game” that the Teleprompter President likes to babble on about, because they pay no taxes.   They have no intention of changing this state of affairs.  TPOTUS himself has all but admitted that his idea of “shared sacrifice” is that the people who are paying the check need to pay even more.   The real-life warnings that the failed welfare states of Europe pose do nothing to change any of this.  They will spend it, even when they don’t have it, and they will do anything for their fix.  If unchecked, this can only end one way.

Get used to scenes like these, because if we don’t address the festering sore that is Federal Spending now, we lose choices. There won’t be an option that helps Granny get the check that the Federal Government has no business paying her. The government will probably not have the ability to perform its enumerated duties, let alone pay for mohair subsidies, studies on the flow rate of catsup, or refurbishing mosques in foreign countries.   This nonsense cannot be sustained.  Enacting special welfare and calling it general welfare is a path to ruin.  Growing a federal bureaucracy that must continue to worm its tentacles further and further into all aspects life and business in order to justify itself is not conducive the maintenance of freedom and liberty.  This is what “go along to get along” has gotten us…legions of experts who prove day in and day out that there is no problem that government cannot create, and then make worse with its “solutions”.  Learned professionals without any practical experience who pass laws and regulations without a thought to the cost that it imposes on those who they would regulate, because they only choose to see what they have done as a goal that they have fulfilled.

We aren’t stupid for deciding that more of the same isn’t a serious answer.

We’re not unpatriotic for not trusting a professional political class peopled by Republicans as well as Democrats when they tell me that if we just do this for them this time, then they can get majorities in the next election and things will be different.  Tell it to Newt Gingrich.  We’ve swallowed that turd sandwich before.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.

And calling me a Hobbit because I see the snare and refuse to step into it doesn’t change my mind or my heart in the Reagan tradition.  It just tells me that you know you’re more concerned with your power than you are for the future of this country, and that lacking a convincing argument, you believe that I’m as willing to compromise as you are, in the pursuit of being loved, of course.  Just ask “the maverick”.

My friends...

No thanks. The madness can’t continue if enough people just opt out.

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It was a hot summer day in Michigan in 197Late or 198Early. A boy and his father are inside a house, the blinds drawn in an attempt to avoid the sticky, blinding heat outside. In an attempt to ward off boredom, the father turns on the television, turns the channel to one of the cable channels, and for the next almost two hours, neither the boy or his father say a word, their breath being held at different stages, their eyes glued to the flickering screen.

Its funny how magic a movie can be in your youth, and disappointing when the magic doesn’t carry into adulthood.

Happily, I don’t have this problem with this movie.

As a young man, I loved technology. I had an unhealthy fascination with Star Trek, less because of the stories, although they had a greater impact than I might have otherwise acknowledged for a long time. No, my fascination was with the technology. Space travel. Shuttle crafts. Transporters. Communicators (I still dig my flip phone, although I may be upgrading to a smart[er than me] phone, and phasers…hand held, and ship mounted…and of course, battles.

But this movie, perhaps more than just about any other disaster pic of its era caught and held my attention, not with the technology of tomorrow, but with the technology of that era…and because it was “real”, the drama of the story got my attention too.

The USS Neptune was on its final homeward voyage under the skipper played by Charlton Heston, who will be shipping out on a desk as the newest squadron commander in the Atlantic. His exec, played by Ronny Cox, will be the sub’s new skipper. (Other cast notables include Stacy Keach, David Carradine, Ned Beatty, and in his screen debut, Christopher Reeve.)

A confluence of bad events, including broken radar and fog leads to a Norwegian freighter running across the aft portion of the sub, which floods and rushes to the bottom. The crew in the control room forward got to listen to the depth being called out as they approached the sub’s 1200 ft. crush depth, and then exceeded it, finally coming to rest on a ledge in an underground canyon…at 1450 ft.

The Navy scrambles the DSRV-1 from its station in Coronado, and flew it out to the east coast, then put it on a ship (the USS Pidgeon) specially designed to carry it to the accident scene.

The story rings true. The sailors on the sub appear to be feeling what you might expect, and the moments of elation, despair, and self-sacrifice have them carrying on in the finest tradtions of their service. (And watching it this time made me think of the Chief…with lines like “Take a few aspirins and stop the bullshit, or report to sick bay.”, and the scene below, where the exec has to say two of the hardest things he probably had to say in his entire life.)

Watching it today, I was thinking “What the heck? Why didn’t they have a DSRV stationed on the east coast?”, which cut me loose with the search engine. Two links that were helpful are below.

http://navysite.de/ships/dsrv.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Submergence_Rescue_Vehicle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Pigeon_(ASR-21)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Ortolan_(ASR-22)

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Complete and utter crap, presented as fact, and thus imposing a duty of unequal treatment for certain people based on their race.

Up is down, black is white, wrong is right…

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Teresa in Fort Worth notes the Divider In Chief’s startling admission:  That the government really has been stealing from us for years.

Go read it, and give her some love in the comments section. 

 Go. 

 Now.

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Sadly, subtlety is a lost art among the privileged denizens of Hollywood.

This means that as a result, sometimes when we seek entertainment, even when we know we might not agree with the message, we are instead disappointed with wasted potential, and bloodied by a point of view that you cannot begin to seriously consider because of the over-the-top delivery so weighed down in cynicism that you cannot even begin to believe that the messenger believes it.

And its a shame, because I wanted to like this movie.  I really, really did.

The movie follows Brand Hauser, played by John Cusack, who is a character not unlike Martin Blank of Grosse Pointe Blank.  Like Blank, he was trained by the government to be a killer and to eliminate problems.  And like Blank, he left government service, but unlike Blank, he went to work for a huge multinational corporation, headed by a former US Vice President, played by Dan Akroyd. 

The film opens with a brutal and blatant hit inside a bar in Iqualit.  It is clear that Hauser is starting to feel the weight of his demons as he struggles to suppress his emotions about what he does for a living.  Before long, he is discussing it with the disembodied voice that comes from the on-star-like device in all of the corporate vehicles he uses.  

Hauser’s next gig is “producing” the corporation’s trade show in the capital of Turaqistan so he can get close to and kill Omar Shariff, the country’s President, who is trying to build an oil pipeline through his own country without the “help” of the ubiquitous corporation.  On this journey, we are treated to flashbacks which slowly unfold the story of how the hot sauce guzzling hitman came to work for this corporation and walk through life seemingly oblivious to the ridiculous circumstances that surround him.

His mission gets bogged down, despite the best efforts of his right hand (wo)man, Melissa Dillon, played by Joan Cusack.  He soon finds himself distracted by a comely leftist reporter, played by Marissa Tomei, and a middle-eastern pop-starlet played by Hillary Duff, both of whom start to turn Hauser around to face his many demons head on.  Yes, you’re right to think that this sounds very similar to Grosse Pointe Blank.  But frankly, it is nowhere near as good.

The problem is that WAR INC is so wrapped up in shrieking paranoia about the “military-industrial complex”, that it pushes the storytelling aside so that it can preach to you, and it doesn’t even succeed at that, because the story itself is so very unbelievable.  The movie succeeds when Cusack and the other scriptwriters let the characters be human.  One resonant moment was when Hauser finally lures his target to a hotel room, thinking he will get a chance to bed the beautiful reporter, but finds himself on the wrong end of Hauser’s gun and takes a moment to wax poetic about the situation.

Ah Hauser, love does get one into difficult situations.  We’re in a constant state of war, Hauser. We kill our brothers, complete strangers, the guilty and the innocent. We are at war with our own hearts. Love is a cease-fire that’s destined to fail. But, as I said, it does get us into tricky situations… sometimes the back of a garbage truck.

This movie has some genuinely funny and touching scenes, and some of the clever dialogue that you might expect from Cusack playing a hitman.  But it falls short of being anywhere near as good because where Blank walked away and reclaimed his soul, Hauser became human again, and did nothing with it.  There was no redemption and the characters were all callously thrown away after the sermon was completed.   Every bit of the story was too outrageous to be believable, whereas anyone who grew up in the 80s and felt alienated could identify with Martin Blank. 

WAR INC is what happens when people who act for a living want to become political moralists.  If you want to see an enteraining film about a hitman, put Grosse Pointe Blank in your DVD player, and spare yourself the wasting of approximately 2 hours.

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So yesterday, I was listening to the world’s only living brain donor, Juan Williams, debating with Rick Santelli about the debt ceiling.  True to form, it took Juan all of about a minute to start prattling about the need to raise the debt ceiling and taxes, because we have a “moral obligation” to preserve entitlements, because we have a “social contract” with the recipients. 

Really? 

Really?

and then I saw this at Michelle Malkin

Washington (CNN) – Veteran Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel made an impassioned plea to religious leaders Friday, calling on them to lobby members of Congress and the Obama administration to remember the “lesser of my brothers and sisters” during this weekend’s debt negotiations.

“What would Jesus do this weekend? Or Moses. Or Allah. Or anyone else,” the New York congressman said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. “I don’t want this book (debt negotiations) closed without the clergy having an opportunity to forcefully express themselves as well as I know they can do.”

Well, Congressman…I’ve read the whole book many times, I missed the part where Jesus said “Pay lots and lots of taxes to Rome, so that Rome can buy the votes of the poor with your tax money (after witholding a significant handling fee, of course).”  No, in the gospels, the charge was always on the individual to act…and that was markedly without a middle man to decide who got the help, in what degree, and to <i>ensure</i> that it would happen, or else.

But then all the translations I own are lacking “The Book Of Bureauocracy”, in which Jesus proclaims that the redistribution of wealth by the government is a noble goal, and that it is ok for government to display open hostility to everything else he said, and those who want to address those things publically.

An oversight, I’m sure.

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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Liberty: freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.
 
If you are of a certain age, you probably read these words in school, but didn’t dwell on them much.  If you are younger, you likely didn’t read them in school, or only did so in a perfunctory fashion, because the popular and widespread view is that this document is “a dead letter” with no operative legal meaning or authority in this day and age.  While popular, this view is one that purposely marginalizes the ideals that this document embodies.  And that isn’t an accident.
 
Perhaps the greatest lie pinned to this document, and its modern interpretation, is that this document is not a Christian document.
 
I know.  It is shocking.  I just spoke in contradiction to one of the greatest dogmas of our day…the belief that the man credited with the inflated, magnified, and the much misapplied “wall of separation between church and state” was a deist at worst, but more likely an atheist, thus justifying its application to religious (and specifically Christian) observances by activist jurists who have chosen to insert it in to a Constitution that never knew it.
 
I would refer you to the collection on Jefferson which speaks with the most authority, as it is the collection of his own words.  Thomas Jefferson: Writings.  Pay particular attention to his letters to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, Dr. Benjamin Rush, and Peter Carr.  An accurate reading of these and his other writings outline a man who believed in God, and admired what Jesus said, but felt that those who came after, peddling religion, corrupted teaching meant to edify mankind and provide a morality superior to all others.  He despised sectarianism, but wasn’t hostile to the morality set forth in its pages.
 
The reason why it matters is that the liberty refered to in the Declaration of Independence takes on a meaning best understood through the context of Christianity. 
 
The Founders were all very familiar with the Bible.  It was a text book.  It was the only book in many homes.  Church attendance was the rule and not the exception in that era.  And the word “liberty” appears no less than 25 times in the King James Version of the Bible.
 
Christian liberty concerns the freedom from the bondage of sin.  It makes men free in the liberty that Christ provided.  But it was also about having enough restraint to keep from abusing that liberty and leading others astray.  The men in Philadelphia who sought to take possession of the liberty that their Creator gave them understood that Liberty was the freedom to live without restraint, yet they also knew that man needed some restraint and boundaries to keep one’s exercise of liberty from encroaching on the liberty of others (as set forth in 1 Corinthians 8:9—”But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to then that are weak.” or 1 Corinthians 10:29 “Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?”) while understanding that an unfettered liberty was an invitation to ruin by the wickedness that dwells in every man (2 Peter 2:19 “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same he is brought in bondage.”
 
Liberty has always been the ideal of this nation.  Wise men seek the balance that applies just enough law to preserve the most freedom for people by regulating the outside boundaries of human behavior.  However, wisdom is in short supply, and morality is not studied or sought, as people have fallen under the spell of their own understanding.  In a climate of moral ambiguity, or laziness, more regulation becomes necessary, and as people are taught out of the traits which allow them to govern themselves, more regulation becomes necessary, and more desirous to the few in whom authority is vested…until liberty becomes a hollow word, the meaning and knowledge of which is foreign to the people who invoke it as an incantation with other words squeezed of meaning, like freedom, or justice, all of which become eclipsed in the growing corruption that enslaves all who must live in that place.
 
Just something for you to think about this July 4, as people celebrate “freedoms” that liberate wickedness and corruption, being rooted in the flesh, but do nothing to edify the spirit or the soul of man.
 
And as an aside, the Declaration of Independence is a charter, and an explanation of why we declared independence, but the real declaration of independence actually occurred on July 2, 1776.
 

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A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be a ruler of a free people.

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Ennui

Sometimes, the things we love get tarnished because of our carelessness, because of our anger, or our powerlessness.

I used to LOVE blogging.

Don’t get me wrong.  I still enjoy it, but it used to be something I looked forward to with great zeal and anticipation.  It is a hobby that has provided some great friendships and provided me with reassurance that I’m not the only one looking around at the world today and wondering “What the Hell?  When did the inmates start running the damn asylum?”  But as with anything that has an emotional investment and that is worthwhile, it has had its share of disappointments, and friends who have either grown cold, or are friends no more.

I was lucky enough to be accepted into a few online communities that have a family feel for those who find a place there.  But like all such places, they can be brutal to those who are not, or those who find that they have been cast out.

A few months back, I found two friends who were part of my family at odds with each other.  Things escalated, words were exchanged, and actions were taken.  To say that it shocked some people would be an understatement.  As a result, I started a new blog.  Which is to say that I turned on the lights, and put a name on it.

I didn’t enter into this decision lightly.  Before taking this step, I talked to someone who took this conflict even more to heart than I did.  And she loved the idea.  Others were given invites and it took off.  Sharing a penchant for low-brow conservative leaning humor, we always knew it would be a whorehouse, but we wanted it to be our whorehouse.  The members of out happy little band, led by my friend, made it so..quite literally, and a new clubhouse was born.  Unfortunately, there were still hard feelings, and possessing some myself, I let my anger and my fingers get the better of me.  This was soon discovered, and the result was more confrontation, public and private.  My friend “quit” the family, and while the rest of us weren’t disinherited, some of us weren’t exactly welcome anymore.

Then my friend, who had a complicated and complex surgery months ago had very suddenly taken a turn for the worse.  The news was a shock to all, both the family she retained, and the family she had quit.  Her health became the center of everyone’s attention, and concern transcended the recent hurts and unpleasantness.

After a brave battle, and several traumatic surgeries, my friend died, leaving a husband, two children, grandchildren, and more internet friends than her family ever knew she had.

Being close to the two in the family who lived nearby and who visited her during her hospital stay, I knew the prognosis wasn’t good.  The news that she left us wasn’t a surprise, but it didn’t make it any easier to take.  Grief is a funny thing.  Some people turn inward, some retreat, and others wear it on their sleeves.  I’m not sure that I have fully reconciled with it.

Some people have a presence, even when they say very little at all.  My friend was like that, and I find on many days, that I sorely miss that presence.  I think that she was the emotional touchstone for our little fold in moronspace on the internet.  I do know that while the conflict with the family took away my joy in blogging for a while, my friend’s death sucked all the air of the room for me.

It would be difficult to explain why I’ve let any of this affect me the way that it has.  I know that some people would tell me that it is silly, but I’ve met some of the members of the family, and had private conversations with others.  They aren’t “fake internet friends” anymore when you’ve dined and had drinks with some of them, or can at least put a real name and a voice with them.  And when you have witnessed or participated in the genuine decency that they show toward their own, detachment doesn’t really seem to be an option anymore.

Sometimes, not all your friends will get along.  Sometimes, they will carry grudges.  And sometimes, one or both will go to the grave unreconciled.

I’d like to say that fatigue from being busy at work and a constant parade of mendacity, contempt, and lawlessness from this administration have been the reason why I just haven’t been posting much. (And that would certainly be part of it.)  But, really, its been thinking about family, and those who can’t reconcile any longer, for whatever reason.  I can’t speak for everyone, and I don’t expect everyone else to see it my way.  But I have learned that life is too damn short to let things said in anger keep you divided from friends and family.  Those divides and the words that fill them have a way of growing, and becoming more jagged over time.  And in the end, no words haunt more than the ones left unsaid.

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