Saturday, July 30, 2011

Finally finished. My thoughts on Sex Offender laws.


Sex Offender Registry




     Scottie, at Scotties Toy Box (note blog link in sidebar), took on the incredible concept of the recent and expanding Sex Offender Registry laws currently going throughout the United States. His information comes much from letters received, some personal experiences as a child, and a lot of common sense, observation and ethics. He has encouraged others to make comment, and in part I’ve been somewhat hesitant to as it is such a hot button issue and difficult to find the balance of what should and should not be done.


     As I think on the issue, some thoughts come to mind about what MLK, Jr. said, and I’ll paraphrase rather than look up the exact quote, ‘injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere’. Another quote that comes to mind, attributed to Martin Nimoller, speaking on the lack of response to the rise of the Nazi party, control, and depredations:



First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.


Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.


Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.


Then they came for Me. And, there was not one left to speak for me.
     So, despite the uncomfortable nature of the topic and the difficulty in finding my way, it really is necessary that I look at this and offer my thoughts. Sorry, morality requires it of me.
~
     Evan, in his great post on this, spoke of a term called “Social Panic”. See (here). In this, he spoke of a Problem arising, being brought to the Media, which publishes their concern, etc., and gathers the attention of the Authority, who decide if and what response is necessary. Often, this response garners a Scapegoat, one sort or another of marginalized people or group the citizenry can place the blame upon.
     In the above, and thinking on the context of the post, it is not difficult to see where sex offenders and pedophiles in particular would be an easy scapegoat to the perceived outcry of the populace. Indeed, it is simple to get any sort of legislation passed by simply calling it by a name so filled with fear or so filled with positive feelings that no one would stand up against it as they would be then against that charged phrase. Things that come to mind, “It’s for the protection of the children” and “Family friendly”. Recent other hot-button issues falling into these catch phrases: gay marriage and DOMA, Patriot laws.
     Now, in all things, there is the good and the bad. When we look at issues that come up in the press and in the politics, a certain degree is good positive change and a certain degree is way over the top. Not surprising in an age of sensationalism and an elected authority desperate to avoid a real job that the appeasement of the populace is primary. What is right, positive, affirming and sustaining takes a distant position and is likely more considered “the next guys problem”. So saying, it is easy to find that a bit of push in one direction that brings a positive effect will increase the likelihood of continued pushing in that direction to be seen as “effective leadership” when in fact it is like feeding your child more and more chocolate cake because he so liked the first slice and encouraged more and more. And, just like that child, who has no concept of the future of such gluttony, the politician (parent) is only concerned about the now happy child. That one very good piece of cake transformed into gluttony becomes the catalyst for further inroads into obesity, diabetes, social stigma and weakness because the authority figure was too blinded by the applause.
     Another likely question: Since the damage to children is felt by the criminality of sex offenders, what about other issues? Surely the crack dealer is dangerous to all children. Surely the drunk driver is dangerous to all children. Surely the pit bull owner, the skateboard maker, the pool and lakeshore owners, the dangerous chemical manufacturers….. At what point do we put a stop?
     Currently we hear stories of the way that people, having been convicted of being a sex offender, are now unable to find housing, once finding housing are relegated to near hermit existence due to restriction about where they may go and what they may do, have difficulty finding employment much less meaningful employment, have their very lives splashed across the internet for anyone to see and react in whatever fashion they deem appropriate. There are difficulties everywhere, and it really isn’t hard to find a great list of them. Perhaps it’s far too easy to find such a list. And people hear of these troubles and think; ‘yeah, sucks to be them, but they deserve it right?’ Those questions and rationales really come back to the list of other things that could bind one to such strictures I noted above, where the proponents, if one were to replace a word, would find it quickly coming to their own doorstep.
     So, as my answer to the question: In my mind, this comes not in new legislation, but in relying on the things upon which this country has been grounded. Specifically: If you commit an offense, there are laws and consequences, specifically which we will send you off to prison and you will need to change your ways. The use of the penitentiary is …. for the penitent. The use of parole was originally done so those who are intent upon changing their ways could escape the full measure of the sentence and be a good and productive citizen. The concept of 5 to 10 imposed by the judge, or whatever given as the punishment, is to give an end to the term so that life can start again.
     Is this the case with the new laws? Are the new laws really helping? I would submit to you that the majority of sex offenders, the great majority (of around 90+%) of sex offenders are one time offenders - having once been caught and punished tend to refrain from more offenses. So, the real majority of NEW offenses are done by the person well known to the family and victim, the nice guy down the street, or whoever. Isn’t it they who should be watched? Isn’t it they who need to be focused upon?
     I have had the confusing and sometimes enlightening pleasure of taking some college courses in sociology and psychology. I must admit, most of it went way over my head. But, one of the things that I came to understand in those courses is that people will find a way to meet their needs. Laws, values, acceptable procedures all fail when looking at Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs; the starving person is rarely seeking self-actualization when faced with a dumpster dive. Well, among the many needs, sexual gratification is among the basic drives. The failure of the person to understand, to grow and reach a better method of meeting his needs cannot be helped by making his or her life even more onerous, cause an even greater degree of withdrawal, defensiveness, denial, fear. In time, the person will hopefully ask for help, but in some troubles it is more likely that s/he will come to the attention of the authorities and thrown into prison. This can only compound the problems, creating even greater withdrawal and defensiveness, certainly fear. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not against the concept of prison. It is often necessary to remove someone harmful to the group in order to help them and return them to the group….prison gives that opportunity to examine the motivations and methods, the faults and failures, and give chance for positive intervention. That should be the goal of prison: to establish in the prisoner’s mind that his ways are not acceptable, teach him new and effective methods, and return him positive and well to society.
     Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if a person entering into prison was given such a great deal of help that he would exit the prison system ready to positively meet his needs? I don’t believe this is the case; I believe people are swept under society’s rug, to wallow in semi-existence until some future point in time whence they are allowed to exit prison in worse shape than entering. Isn’t this quite counterproductive?
     Going further, it was my sad and yet very clear understanding in those very classes that the seeking of help, especially for a sexually based problem, is not only terrifying but likely opens one up for a lifetime of restrictions. A friend of mine broke his hand and severed tendons. The surgery and rehabilitation were torture, so he was prescribed pain medication – in increasing amounts until one day he was labled “cured” and all meds removed. Well, he’d become dependent. Seeking help to beat the dependency, he checked himself in for drug rehab. Now this avid hunter and sportsman is denied the ability to purchase guns because he is considered a drug abuser. All because he ASKED for help. Now, that is an example of how asking for help requires the admitting of the problem and then all the consequences seem to come crashing in on the person. If the consequences are a lifetime of restrictions and social pariahism, can we really expect people to ask for help?
     My concern with these new laws is that they are ineffective. They spend money on seeking to catch an offense and not upon helping to reduce the likelihood that an offense could occur. The very laws intended to straight-jacket an offender may encourage a return to past ways of meeting one’s needs as the new rules become too difficult, too shameful, too restrictive. These same laws seem to seek to make a person’s life public to a public that cares little for the person. Why would it not be better to list such information only to the local police? In fact, sifting the lists of people to find those most of concern could couple an officer with that person for mentoring and oversight, creating positive and affirming change in the offender’s life. I posit that the laws, having been named for the victims of the most horrible crimes, are more a method of vengeance than watchfulness. What better scapegoat than one who can’t ‘scape?

My conclusion, my opinion such as it is, is that these laws coming about do far more harm than good. They were made in fear and vengeance, furthered by opportunists, and have removed all thought from the process. The logical conclusion should be obvious, but the panic remains the driving force.

Friday, July 29, 2011

What are you saying?

video
  Many people over the years have suggested, in all caring, that I "come out" to those that care for me.  They tell me that it makes life easier not to have to live two lives, to not have to lie to people, deceive people, that you can be who you are.  So, recently I took that step and spoke with my mother about it, telling her that I'm gay.  Now, at 20, this brings about a fair portion of disappointment, denial, "maybe it's just a stage", you name it.  At 40, it's more a point of trying not to laugh.  Thankfully, she didn't say "No, duh, really", but "yes, Randy, we know" was very clearly expressed.
  So, the question, do I come out to others?  Tell the people at work?  Tell my neighbors?  Is it any of their damn business who I care for and who I invite to my bed?  No! 
  I did have one coworker ask me "what, are you gay".  I responded "what, are you stupid".  It's amazing the level of invasiveness that some feel acceptable, and whether joking or serious the issue has no place in most conversation.
  I've often wondered how some could joke about the issue.  Some people will haze a gay couple with things like "oh, I wonder who's the man and who's the woman".  Hell, I wonder that about a fair number of hetero couples I meet. 
  Being gay, being thought of as gay, I should say, casts an impression in some that gay means weak.  Or, that gay means crazy.  And yet, no one thinks about the fact that some in the closet who are thought quite sane or quite strong are, in fact, gay. 
  What am I saying with all of this?  We are men.  We are women.  With no greater or lesser rights than any other man or woman.  Going beyond those levels is inexcusably invasive and has no bearing on us as people, but it sure says a lot about the people asking the questions.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

It all but made me cry

Hi Friends;

  It's been a bit of a few weeks for me.  A number of small things a number of larger things, some anticlimatic, all seem to add up, though.
  I was over at Scottie's blog, reminded of the bombing and shooting in Oslo, and then began my normal scans for interesting things.  This picture came from ( HERE ) , a site I follow now on the linked Beautiful Men blog.  The thing is, the pictures leading up to this one held such beauty, peace, and longing for me, even a bit of laughter, that when I saw this one and continued to feel the raw nerves and wounds of the past bit, of the Oslo - wow, I don't even have a word, tragedy seems understated - and all, well, it immediately made an emotional link for me.
  I sometimes feel like this.  I sometimes feel like I've just been slapped, punched, and I stand there in pain wondering what I'd done to deserve that.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I've done plenty to deserve plenty, I guess the logical portion of the mind sort of forgets what the feeling portion holds.  None the less, somedays it all becomes just a bit too real.  Somedays I feel so bound up in my walls of stone, brittle and unyeilding that the mere touch of another is nearly enough to crash me to the ground.  I feel like I can't strike back, I can't escape, and I can't understand, I just have to take it.  That, my friends, is life.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

You are filth

  Oh, my friends, you wouldn't believe the height of arrogance flowing from my fingers as I tell you what I almost wrote.  How could I believe that the people responsible for the bombing in Oslo and the killing of those children would read my blog, contemplate my words, and realize their faulty thinking?  It is utter wishfulness, utter foolishness.  And yet, I want so bad to tell these people "Stop!". 
  I am what most consider a closed border proponent.  Meaning, I believe that our repeated meddling in other people's lives have repeatedly planted vines with oh so nasty fruit.  I think that we should pull in and worry about ourselves and allow people to live their own lives.
  For instance, when we look at our country, we see droughts, hunger, greed, anger, shooting and killing, arson, rape, and that's just in Congress.  Would it be so horrible to pull in and take care of our own cancers and let people live their lives?
  Then we see the Somali coast, where little men intent upon playing G.I.Joe are content to see famine and murder as normal.  We see some of the B.S. from the Iranians, Syrians, even the Chechnians in somewhat distant past.  The Koreans, the Japanese in their tragedy, the Haitians, etc.  So, we march in with food and water, guns and businesses, and after a moment we become a problem rather than a solution.  I like to think we start with good intentions....it's my little fantasy, let me have it.  But, my point:  we are a country of blessings; food, technology, industry, education, and shipping.....yep, we shipped a great deal of it overseas.  Now, we continue to be great farmers, but the farms are being sold for condo space.  We are of the most tech savy in the world, so wise that we've decided everyone should be building these parts except us.  We despair for the hungry so send them work....and quite willing are we to turn the blind eye to slaves wages.  We would rather watch the Jersey Shore than read a book, unless it's Snooky's book.  We value education right up there with nerd pantsing.....oops, can't do that anymore, it's now a life-long registration crime.  Shipping, we are stars....shipped it all, we did.
  Oh, what a tangled web I've woven as I drive my gas guzzler truck, eat my frozen pizza from Walmart, and type disparaging comments about other people on my computer from China.  I've gotten to the point that I don't even know if I could judge someone for that killing done in Oslo when I've profitted from the arrogance of others.  I just know it's wrong, so very wrong, and, if the rope flies, it will hang more than one.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Reparative Justice


Every prisoner behind bars was once some one's baby.
   Justice is a crazy concept.  We've read recently the story of the boy shot in the head in California, Scottie has shown us the stories of numerous people being chased and chastised even after fulfilling the punishment set out by the judge, and you've all seen my banner for young Jordan who is still fighting for his life in jail.   The thought of putting someone in prison would seem to some to be the ends of Justice, but in most cases it's simply the end of caring.
  If you look into a criminal case, the report will read "We the People of _____ vs. Mr. ABC".  It is always "We the People...", as if the prosecutor, the people's champion in this particular little joust, really cares and is truly representing the injured party.  This is the classic adversarial process, in which the people of the community have felt the injury and are therefore seeking redress, and yet most victims and their families will tell you that they feel completely forgotten in the process and no one really seems to care what they think.
  Justice can become the faceless machine process where little is cared for the why and the who, only the what.  In some cases, perhaps that is necessary as the painful process of dealing in such waters would quickly take a toll.  Of course, it would:  These are lives at stake!  And yet, a disheartened and detracted approach survives the morality of the situation when the expediency takes center position.
  Truth be told, it's hard to care.  It's difficult to be human in situations where humanity has failed and hard choices are necessary.  Ask any parent who has ever spanked a child and they will tell you there have been times when hurting the child to avoid allowing a greater hurt to develop has been the hardest thing they've ever done.  Ask another question and you'll find that parents who have grounded a child feel themselves as the ones being grounded as they are quickly become the gaoler and forced to enforce their proscription of justice.  Jail guards, judges, prosecutors, all are people and all have hearts.  In the end, if they don't harden their hearts to the inhumanity of the process they soon begin to see the defendants and prisoners as actual people
  The interesting thing about the adversarial process in justice is that sooner or later, the defendant....and this is going to sound really crazy here....becomes very defensive.  He begins to realize that he is not looking at some utopian  mommy or daddy who care about him and want to simply teach him a lesson to avoid further problems.  He begins to quickly realize that this is his life in jeopardy, be it a short stint in the pokey or a life long change of residence.  He begins to realize he is in a corner, in a box if you will, and there are a whole group of people hungry for his blood.  He begins to put up walls, become aggressive, change his views of the situation and seek to find ways out of it.  The concept of accepting the consequences of his actions pale beside the instinct for self preservation.  If this soul is in such a position, he garners a champion of his own to fight the system and the system's champions who placed him here.
 
  I imagine you are thinking 'so what' about now.  Well, I thought it might be necessary to lay all of that out to get to this point:  Restorative Justice. 

  We don't use the concept of RJ in this country, no to really speak of.  It's time consuming, it's hard because it has no crazy little political slogans like "zero tolerance", "mandatory minimums" and such.  It's heart-wrenching as it forces people to open themselves to the humanity of the tragedy and lose the shield of vengeful wrath.

  I hope I've interested you in the notion.  I'd like to speak further on this over the coming posts and such.  In the mean time, check out this link as a beginning primer for the concept and let me know what you think.
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

Thursday, July 14, 2011

If it walks like a duck, if it talks like a duck,

If it suppresses and subliminates it's issues of being, uh, a duck....hey, might this just be a duck?

video

Monday, July 11, 2011

Identity. The core me.

Hi friends, cotravelers, and my volunteer psychotherapists;

  Yes, that is an unpaid position.  Sorry.

  Reading Scotties recent post, I began to think about gender identity, and perhaps the identity that is really core to us all. 
  Most researchers believe that children develop a general understanding of themselves as boys or girls around three years of age.  That's likely due in great deal to their exposure to other boys and girls, as I'd imagine that a child in a less experiential environment would learn this issue at a different time.  But, point is, they learn fairly young, and then we spend a lifetime understanding this basic lesson of life.
  What does it mean to be a boy?  Or, in a more adult case, a man?  A woman?  How does that follow towards a future in our culture?  Do we define our gender by our actions, our likes, or our equipment?  Is it more in line with our desires?
  I will be honest; I've met some women who were very "masculine" and it took me back a bit.  I've met some men who were very "feminine" and it also surprised me a bit.  I say this in terms of how they presented themselves to others, how they reacted, acted, dressed, groomed, spoke, inflected, moved, and expressed their image to others.  I think it was because the image didn't match the package.
  We expect a great deal of our environment.  If you ask a soldier coming home from war, he will tell you that his reactions to everday stimuli are in conflict with his recent training.  If you ask a person who goes to another country, even with no language impediment, the culture is different and that traveler will tell you that he feels out of sorts with others.  We stereotype stimuli and expect things to be similar in most arenas, freeing our mind of the constant observations so that we can move out on other issues.  It is this mis-file of information that stops the mind, requires a recheck and in some cases a whole new file. 
  My thought is this:  What defines a man as a man ~ what defines a woman as a woman ~  what if what's on the outside may not meet what beats on the inside?  You know, it's all really irrelevent because all are people.  In the end, it's just me.  It's just you.  And while we have roads to travel, understandings to come to, hang-ups to release, we are as we are, as we will be, as we once were.  We are our hopes, our dreams, our laughs, our cries; we are our loves, our fears, our likes and our dislikes.  I hope that I am brave enough to love me.  I hope I am wise enough to love you.  And I hope I live long enough that such a hope is not a lone concept but is held in common when we all can look to another and say:  "You are beautiful".

Sunday, July 10, 2011

An interesting statistic

  Hi Friends, Neighbors....was' up Junebug?;

  So, in my reading, I've seen some interesting things today.  I read the "Focus on the Family" stance regarding homosexuality - this came about after reading Scottie's note regarding the Bachman bordello of boogiemen receiving federal funding for what the APA and the AMA describe as being not only unnecessary, but ineffective and dangerous, counseling on changing one's attractions.  "Focus on the Family is in that same sinking boat....they say that those who want to change unwanted attractions may do so through intense religious education and prayer.  They base this statistic on a group studied - of which 40+% were diligently seeking "relief" years previous to this group given therapy.  And, of this group, they found that some 60% were able to change their unwanted attractions.  (margin of error evidently somewhere around 59%).  In thier literature, they speak on this being the "healing effect of Christ", though in every tent revival I've ever seen the healing was immediate, as was it in the Bible.  Why it takes years (three) and more if you include the prior work many of those studied is not addressed, nor are the concepts of undue influence, wishful thinking, or brain washing.
  Oh, they did remove their section under "What to do if you think your teenager is gay".  I would have loved to read that.  I'm sure 'dunking in a pond', 'feeling for ice-cold nipples', or 'burning at the stake' would have been in there somewhere.
  I read that Michelle Bachman officially announced that she is unofficially officially running for president.  She made this while at a presidential candidate debate, in which she was a participating debater.  I'm sure everyone was offically surpised.
  I also read a recent gallup poll that said that the "pro-gay marriage" numbers are raising.  Especially for those in the younger groups, 35 or less, and in all groups holding a college education - and evidently not believing everything that is said on wrestling shows.  It's right there about 50%.  The republicans have used this poll and others for years to show how they should not allow the rights and privileges of all americans...sorry, of heterosexual americans to be given to those not heterosexual.  Isn't there a civil rights law on this?
  Ironically, Gallup also rates the approval ratings for congress.  77% -87% believe they aren't doing thier job, which in my book means they should be fired.  I guess congress isn't worried about that poll.

so, tell me, what have you been reading today?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

This struck me



People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

— Mother Teresa
http://victory-of-faith.tumblr.com/page/3
  In this age of ME, in this time of NOW, in this era of anger, retribution, revenge, road rage, confusion and hopelessness, in this time of judgement, lies, defeatists, even in all of this, rides a wave of compassion still.  Even still.  So, as you look upon your neighbor in modes of unruly passion, and this is true for me having been angered today by accusations of one who thought he could say I've not done my job because I wasn't doing his job, so as WE look upon our neighbors, maybe we can remember this message given by one of those who demonstrated compassion so very well.

A new Republican pledge...

Hello everyone;

   I learned of this piece of filth just recently and wanted to share it with you.  I know this is going to come to you as a shock, but Michelle Bachman signed it.  She's basically the only one.  It comes from an Iowa group hoping to change the politicians spots and create an eden all their own.  No apples allowed.  It's not the craziest pile of pulpit poo I've ever heard, but that's because I run in weird circles...


The Candidate Vow:

  Because candidates are well known for keeping thier vows once in office...

Therefore, in any elected or appointed capacity by which I may have the honor of serving our fellow citizens in these United States, I the undersigned do hereby solemnly vow to honor and to cherish, to defend and to uphold, the Institution of Marriage as only between one man and one woman. I vow to do so through my:
  "...of serving our fellow citizens..."  Oh, this is only referring to the "right kind" of citizens.  All others don't really count, you know.
--Personal fidelity to my spouse.
   because that's worked out so well for, hmm let's see:  well, there was Newt, Cheney, Clinton, Kennedy,
--Respect for the marital bonds of others.
   -unless of course you don't agree with that particular marriage bond.  Then, of course, it's open season
--Official fidelity to the U.S. Constitution, supporting the elevation of none but faithful constitutionalists as judges or justices.
  please translate to:  will judge as we tell them to judge or else we tell everyone they aren't 'faithful'.
--Vigorous opposition to any redefinition of the Institution of Marriage - faithful monogamy between one man and one woman - through statutory-, bureaucratic-, or court-imposed recognition of intimate unions which are bigamous, polygamous, polyandrous, same-sex, etc.
while being a law abiding person, I'll determine which laws are abidable, thank you.  Besides, if our unions aren't very intimate, neither can yours be intimate.
--Recognition of the overwhelming statistical evidence that married people enjoy better health, better sex, longer lives, greater financial stability, and that children raised by a mother and a father together experience better learning, less addiction, less legal trouble, and less extramarital pregnancy.
at lease that's they way it works in my fantasy.  reality is just not a concern at this moment
--Support for prompt reform of uneconomic, anti-marriage aspects of welfare policy, tax policy, and marital/divorce law, and extended "second chance" or "cooling-off" periods for those seeking a "quickie divorce."
oops, just lost the lawyers
--Earnest, bona fide legal advocacy for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the federal and state levels.
because there's nothing more proper than advocating the most base and illegally prejudicial bit of law since slavery was an "of course".
--Steadfast embrace of a federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in all of the United States.
Oh, and I want it put right next to the phrases about all men being equal, the right to liberty, pursuit of happiness, and see if you can get it next to the one about freedom of speech and the right to be treated equally under the laws.
--Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy - our next generation of American children - from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence.
you know like brain washing, miseducation, that type of stuff.
--Support for the enactment of safeguards for all married and unmarried U.S. Military and National Guard personnel, especially our combat troops, from inappropriate same-gender or opposite-gender sexual harassment, adultery or intrusively intimate commingling among attracteds (restrooms, showers, barracks, tents, etc.); plus prompt termination of military policymakers who would expose American wives and daughters to rape or sexual harassment, torture, enslavement or sexual leveraging by the enemy in forward combat roles.
ok, now we are going to regulate the thoughts of our soldiers?  I need some of this dope you're smokin', man.
--Rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control.
oh, dang.  Can we put this in the place next to "freedom of religion", but pencil in "of those religions we like".  Hmm.  Human rights?  Oh, that's right....gays aren't human so therefore have no rights....
--Recognition that robust childbearing and reproduction is beneficial to U.S. demographic, economic, strategic and actuarial health and security.
as long as the kids are white republicans.  Oh, and no making gay kids.  Otherwise, well, you know....
--Commitment to downsizing government and the enormous burden upon American families of the USA's $14.3 trillion public debt, its $77 trillion in unfunded liabilities, its $1.5 trillion federal deficit, and its $3.5 trillion federal budget.
Shhh!  you damned fool!  That's why I want to be a candidate; to get me mine!
--Fierce defense of the First Amendment's rights of Religious Liberty and Freedom of Speech, especially against the intolerance of any who would undermine law-abiding American citizens and institutions of faith and conscience for their adherence to, and defense of, faithful heterosexual monogamy.
you know, they really didn't read this.  ok, what this means is:  the right of those who are in the right religion and saying the right things to not have to hear other ideas.  That's just not kosher, you know.

Friday, July 8, 2011

It's Summertime!

Hi Everyone;

  It's finally begun to be consistently warm here in the great white north of the United States.  And, as much as I hate to admit this to you, Randy is a cheap s.o.b. who doesn't like to spend money on air conditioning to cool the house.  Instead, I've found a better way to be cool in my own home...
  I've become an in-house nudist lately.  'So what', you say?  Well, I guess that really isn't a big deal.  Except, well, it is for me.  You see, I was raised that such really just isn't acceptable.  And, it actually took me a bit to become more comfortable in my own skin.  You see, even though it's just the dog and me here now, there remain those memories and, well, baggage that told me over and over that there were times and places for all such activities, primarily in the bath or the bedroom and briefly at that.  Oh, growing up I had some moments of fun, but it always seemed like they were guilty moments and filled with the anxiety of horniness.
  Again, you say 'so what'.  Ok, I agree, so what.  But, to me it tells me that I am finally feeling more comfortable with myself, with my body, and that is important to me. 
  Will I become a nudist?  Likely not.  That's a really big hurdle.  But, I see a time where I can go out and be more comfortable, less looking over my shoulder and waiting for the rejection that must surely come from who knows where.  I am looking so very forward to being so comfortable that I can be me, where-ever I am.  And, maybe I can be me with someone who is ready to be who they are.
  Until then, call before you stop by.  Make loud noises.  And, for my friend who skypes me....now you know why I sometimes take a moment to answer :). 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The subtle art of changing your mind...

Hello Friends;
 
  Today the sky is orange.  That's right, I'm here to tell you that it's orange....in color, texture, and even smell.  Orange I tell you.
  You doubt me?  That's ok, I expect you to.  For years, your whole life even, you've looked up into the heavens and found a blue looking back at you.  I tell you, you were deceived and you need to wake up.
  You still doubt me.  That's not even a question, but a statement of fact, isn't it?  Well, that's ok, because I've bought a local news show and the news broadcasters are going to tell you that the sky is orange today.
  You will believe that something is still wrong, but you will begin to wonder how it is that these distinguished people find themselves seeing an orange sky when you only see blue. 
  Tomorrow folks at the water cooler are going to tell you about the news broadcast and say how the sky does seem a bit "oranger" than they recall.  "Yeah, I looked up and Wow!" says John, your nearby office cubby resident.  "There it was all along...an Orange Sky!".
  Soon, everyone is talking about the sky being reported as Orange.  They've learned how wrong they always were to see only the blue.  "Yep, that there is an Orange".
  This may take years, and you are going to get weary of telling people you see a blue sky where they only see orange.  In time, it will become the position of the government that the sky is orange - likely due to a considerable amount of pac money.  So, tell me......what color is the sky?  It's orange, isn't it.
 
   Such is the existence of the American culture.  News, it seems, is less about giving information than about presenting the "right sort" of information.  And, despite what we may want, despite what we may hope, after a bit of being chased and nipped at by the hounds of the establishment of what is real and what is false, we succumb if only for expedience.
  There's not one of us that would be offended to be referred to as a sheep being driven where we don't want to go.  But, the secret of the sheep is that they really just want to be left alone to eat and bang the woolies, maybe do the occasional baa'ing at the moon when the mood strikes, and sheep will only accept being driven for the hope of getting back to those preferred activities quite soon.  The fear and "safety in numbers" instinct drive them as much as the dog does, and all with the hope that someone else will be picked off so that they can be back to munching grass and that crazy thump of the wool.  If they ever thought far enough past those things they'd realize that they far outnumber the dog, are bigger individually than the dog, and if they were to stop and face the dog there would be little the dog could do to drive them further.  But, it's to the point where they've forgotten that they were ever not being driven, forgot that maybe they could be free.
 
  So, I guess the challenge today is:  What are you being bullied about?  Do you prefer the herd or do you want to be able to look up into the sky and say "I see blue".
 
 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The changing face of the blog

Hello Friends, visitors, those of you who took the wrong turn and now can't seem to get out of here....

I couldn't find a better cartoon to describe the changes I'm finding necessary in my blog. It is ironic in light of the cartoon, though, as I say that it's time for the blog - and for me as the blogger - to grow up. I mean that I need to look forward in my life, and the focus of the blog all too often was looking backward at the grace and wonder of a time that just no longer exists for me, and in some ways never did exist no matter how much I wanted it to. In forging ahead in my thoughts and even in my blog focus, I hope to find the grace and wonder of a time that WILL exist for me. Does that make any sense?

I know that some of you out there will have noticed that I've mentioned this before fairly recently - likely due to the fact that this is primary on my mind, but not sure of what to do about it. I also know that some of you will have noticed that I've made a recent change to remove some of the "blogs that I like" links. I sure hope that this is not something that causes offense. I will still visit my friends, and in truth I doubt you were getting much traffic from me.

As I look forward, I don't quite know where my blog will go. It's almost like I'm starting over, finding that certain things are now more interesting to me than they once were. I hope that you will continue with me on this ride, that I will still have things to share with you and that you will continue to help me grow as you did in the past. I've a long way to go and I dearly hope you, my friends, will ride along and help me through the bumps and pains.

I remain, your grateful co-paddler on this canoe of life;

randy.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Who got caught?

Hi Friends; I received a note from more than a couple of you that the last video caught some of you, had you believing that the news cast was for real. It came, as I mentioned in a comment response, from "The Onion", a grop of satirists who, much like John Stewert, poke fun at the obsurdity of our current world. I mentioned in a comment about how the "news people" jumped on the band wagon so quickly and called out thier abject horror at the audacity of the wind farmers. It's frighteningly close to the way our news broadcasts act. I recall some time back Geraldo Rivera was on Fox and a report was made. The others got so worked up that, are you ready for this?....Geraldo Rivera became the voice of reason! So, my title of "Beware the wind" was not about the wind farmers or the "threat" they pose, it was the hot air that comes from those who will say anything to be in the lime light; endorse any product, idea, or threat, cosign any "terror", any "protection". All that has to be said is that it is a threat and people fall over themselves to get in line. And, what do they give up....you know, outside of the ability to think?