19 March, 2008

Welcome to the Invasion Party.

Happy Birthday Invasion!!! I know we have been at odds lately. Ok. Ok. You're right. We've been at odds from the start. Buy can't we get along? ...No. It was a stupid idea. Actually, a stupid deception. On this anniversary, I'm reminded of how many of my fellow citizens were cowed and cajoled into supporting this damn war effort.

I don't think many people actually believed Saddam had WMDs. Maybe people were still smarting from the September 11, 2001 attacks and Afghanistan didn't provide enough raw meat for the dogs of vengeance. We lost the person "responsible" for 9/11 somewhere in the hills! There was no resolution!

This is where the real evil seeps up from the sewer. What better way do distract from this huge failure than to get even with the perennial favorite evildoer, Saddam Hussein. That would surely satisfy the call for blood! Eye for an eye, folks! That's how it's done!

Phuleeese. We have squandered great opportunities to become a just and respected nation. Instead, of building up relationships with our Allies, we have become belligerent, stubborn, and mean. Instead of investing in improving the lives of our own citizens, we would rather bomb the have-nots in other lands.

I wonder if there would be such a call for the end to the war if gasoline wasn't $3.60 per gallon. Why have we sacrificed 3900+ American lives in Iraq if it wasn't for cheap gas? The hawks were wrong. None of the rhetoric proved to be true. Everything they told the people was wrong. They should be held accountable. Those that do not want to hold them accountable are becoming more and more culpable for these actions. This sad, pathetic adventure as been allowed to fester for long enough.

So, Happy Birthday Iraq invasion! Fuck you.

17 March, 2008

Democracy in Action?

I just returned from a meeting of democratically minded folk in the form of a democratic club.  A few nights back, we sponsored an "election" between candidates for the local assembly districts.  As it turns out, most all the members thought we did a good job with the event.  There were a few people, and candidates that felt the "election" was unfair and not transparent enough.
I thought the whole thing was a bit of a cluster-fuck, and have vowed never allow us to be this unprepared again.

So the question that came up in this evening's planning meeting: should we re-vote.  Here is the thought process.  We designed a poor ballot and voting process.  Why?  It was due mostly to time.  The members of our group didn't make this enough of a priority before the meeting.
I think that by admitting the mistakes publicly, posting the new changes, and allowing for membership commentary, these steps would have a positive effect.  Then, we have a re-vote based on the new procedures.

The other camp suggested that we should keep the results as they are, and have another vote to fill remaining seats (not all seats were filled by the first vote).  Of course, this brings up fairness issues all around (in my mind).  The basic feeling among others in the group was that by having a re-vote, that would disenfranchise those who took the time to vote the first time.  The argument also suggests that because there was a problem with the first vote, that the membership would become distrustful of the leadership.
Are Americans that lazy and fragile?  Wouldn't the population be appreciative of a government (or club) that could admit to a mistake and take actions to correct it?  I think it would be refreshing for the powers-that-be to show some humility and re-vote.

So what is more representative of democratic, grass-roots action?  Is it good enough to make the changes and move forward, or make the changes and re-vote?

Anyone from the Florida Democratic Party wanna field this one? :)

13 March, 2008


I pulled up to the cookie-cutter strip mall to buy some crap I thought I needed to make my life complete.  There was a man sitting on the sidewalk with a "Please Help"  cardboard sign right in front of the car.  It was getting cold outside.  He looked miserable, and I couldn't help but think of how it must feel to be in that situation.

I hate giving away money.  Don't mind spending it.  Just hate giving it away.

As I exited the store, I asked the guy if he wanted some dinner.  He said, "Sure!"  So I motioned to the door of the Popeye's Chicken and we both stood in line together.  As we waited, I made some small talk.  He had been sitting there for a few minutes when I had pulled up.  The weather had been pretty nice lately...etc...etc.  

I ordered what he wanted, paid the cashier, and wished him good luck.  I waited in the car for a minute to make sure the staff gave him his food and drink, and to make sure they didn't chase him out the door as soon as I walked out.

Sometimes, people need to step up and lend a hand.  Sometimes, I need to get off my ass and help someone who needs a little.  Sometimes, people need to take a writing course to create a more interesting narrative.

Oh, well.  What am I getting at?  Make that difference today.  Be that ray of sunshine that bursts through.  Even if you have to actively tell yourself to be a happier person, do it today.  The worst that can happen is you become that happier person and the people in white coats haul you off to the funny farm.  Would that be soooo bad?

08 March, 2008

Requiem for a Beloved Pet

Introducing miss Kali-Ma, named after the Hindu goddess of life, death, change, and transformation. Last Sunday night, we said goodbye to her after 13 really good years. The vet suspected that some blockages in her intestines were cancerous and thought we'd only have about 6 more months with her if we'd put her through surgery. Sadly, we thought it better all around if she fell quietly to sleep than went through that. I will miss her terribly.

I love this picture. It's taken under the kitchen table. She used to sit with us when we ate. Her little ears would pop up over the table, and if we said "hello Kali", she'd poke her whole head up. We have three cats, but as Aaron very astutely pointed out "we had a different relationship with Kali than we do with the other cats." He was right on with that comment. Kali, unlike the other two, was very people-centered. She always followed us around to the rooms we were in and would purr just being near us - no petting required :) She greeted us at the door when we came home. She easily let us hold her and came when she was called. I remember many-a weekend day when I'd say "who wants to take a nap?" and Kali was the only one to join me. She always did. I made that poor cat move 8 or 9 times, even once putting her on a plane in cargo to move from Chicago to San Francisco. She was always a good sport, and as long as we were at the new destination, she adapted quickly.

So, I've lost a little bit of comfort in my life. I'm adjusting my mental map of the world slowly - a map without my little orange tabby following me around, being at the foot of the bed when I can't sleep, stupendously yapping away to get someone's attention. Things are a little quieter, a tiny bit lonelier, and tinged with a bit of sadness. Thank you to Aaron, Hobbes & Kim (the other two cats), friends and family for your sweet words. In the greater scheme of things, the loss of a cat seems trivial, but it's an adjustment none-the-less, so thanks for helping me make it. Love, loop