Wednesday, November 30, 2011

funny signs

Hi Friends;
  I have had some things running through my mind lately.  I call them "Man rules"....though that seems to be taken by a whole list of other things.  These I see as rules for mankind to help sort through the bs of our daily lives.  I'd love your input on them and addition to the list.  For instance, I was reading a book recently and it talked about "good" vs. "evil"...and the general scope of things was that "evil" was being mistaken for the "good", the devil was being mistaken for the benevolent, just to start things out:
 1.  Words are Cheap.  The actions of the person, organization, etc., say a great deal more than the words from the propaganda office.
2.  Nothing good comes from Tequila.  No matter one's hopes, the complete removal of the brain in any action is doomed for failure. 
3.  Religious laws are only for Those In The Religion.  Debating any issue from a religious standpoint is doomed for irrelevence unless the person with whom you are debating is also of that religion.  And, any judgement is only valid for those who agree to be judged.
4.  Treat others as you would like to be treated.  This does not apply to you who are in S/M domination and leather games. 
5.  Treat myself as I would treat others.  If I don't expect respect for myself from myself, then how can I expect it from others.
* this is a new one for me and one I'm struggling to do.

Do you have some to share?  Please do.  I'd love to have some "rules" for us to live and love by.
I imagine that my personal rules will need editing and practical tweeking....but it's a start.

In the mean time, a neat vid:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Did you ever wonder where pumkin pie comes from?

Hi Everyone...

  Saw this.  Too funny.  Sorry, had to share it with you all.......

Was Thanksgiving Happy?

Hi Friends;

  I meant to sit down so many times and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  I just found it too difficult, I guess, to look at the day and kept putting it off.

  I've had a falling out with a majority of my family.  As a result, I spend a great many holidays alone.  I guess there are a lot of us out there who find ourselves not so welcome.  And, I guess, I am so glad to have come to understand that the concept of "family" can change.  I have a wonderful brother now that I didn't have the first 40 years of my life.  Who would have thought that at this age I suddenly get my life's wish for an older brother?! 
  Well, not able to sleep the night before, I finally laid down about 1100 and slept through my 1200 alarm, making me late for the dinner.  I rushed to prepare, take care of the dog's needs, and make it out the door, only being 15-minutes late.  We laughed it off, but I hate to be late.  I got hugs from my 3 aunts and went into the living room to watch the Lions/Packers game.
  It was a good day.  The things I brought went over well, and I learned that my aunt's best method for determining who will win the games centers around the asthetic quality of the football playera' "hats".   It does seem to work:  She believed the Lions have the prettiest hats, and she likes the dolphin, too.  But, as she really hates the color of the Dolphin's pants, I think it may be a wash.  In the end, I thought it an interesting method that seems no more effective than any other.
  I was sent home with some turkey after an enjoyable day.  And, my puppers enjoyed some of that when I fumbled on the goal line.....she was right there to help.

  So, I guess I'd like to wish everyone a happy Holiday, especially those like me who looked upon yesterday with dread.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Must I really be like you?

Hi Friends;
  I can't sleep, my knee is throbbing.  So, I'm up hoping the Excedrin will kick it....normally I take Aleve, but dummy me I left it in my tool box at work. 
  I was hitting some of the sites I've missed due to heavy work hours and found this follow up to the assault on the highschool student that I posted on before... (click here) .... for that Towel Road story.  What hit me the most is a comment made by the school officials to this young guy:  "Can't you maybe tone things down a bit?  Not draw so much attention to yourself?"
  In nature, conformity in packs is a survival mechanism.  Maybe that's true in people, too.  But, you see, if the fish, the Zebra, the Wilderbeast, etc., does not stand out, then the predator is not able to lock onto that one as a target.  In the uniformity and conformity of the pack, individualism is not a recipe for survival.  In fact, other fish, zebras and wilderbeast will actively distance themselves as not to be so near the target.
  I guess it's only in hindsight of looking at this phenomenon that I realize how basely driven we are even still.  We talk about this bully or that unfair system being a throwback, a Neanderthal, etc.  And, only now do I realize how correct that analogy.
  Nikki spoke of how shallow youth are, caring only about the clothes they wear.  I didn't understand his comment until now.  In the race to conformity, the style setters dictate survival.  Being "in" ensures a lead in the group, a centering of the mass so it is the stragglers and fringe who are sought by the predators. 
  It is, then, in increasing awe and admiration I have for those who live as themselves and not as part of the pack.  I personally am a t-shirt and jeans guy.  I don't know that I'd ever be otherwise...for that matter, I own little that doesn't fit that.  But, for those out there who proclaim themselves "out and proud", you have unfortunately painted yourself a target for the neanderthals.  But, perhaps more, you have begun to lead in a whole new social conformity that requires either acceptance or defiance.  You are winning the fight!  You are creating a world in which being different is not a death sentence, but a clarion call.  I am so proud of you.

Monday, November 21, 2011

In the "You have got to be kidding" file...

Bachmann's Iowa Campaign Chair Says Same-Sex Marriage Will Lead To Object Marriage
Submitted by Brian Tashman on November 21, 2011 - 1:30pm

A candidate with a long and ferocious anti-gay record as Michele Bachmann needs a campaign chairman with a similar history of activism against gay rights. Last week, Bachmann’s campaign announced that Tamara Scott will serve as her Iowa Co-Chair, with campaign manager Eric Woolson announcing, “We are proud to have the support of an honorable conservative leader like Tamara.”
Scott is the director of Iowa’s Concerned Women for America chapter, and last year successfully fought to remove three justices from the Iowa Supreme Court after they legalized marriage equality in the state. She claimed that the future of America and people’s potential to enter Heaven would be in jeopardy if marriage equality remains the law of the land, telling supporters, “This is a battle for your future as Americans, for your future as a society and for your future someday when you stand before the Throne.”

One reason Scott said that voters should oppose marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples is that it would open the door for polyamory and legalizing marriages between people and inanimate objects. While speaking with Bob Vander Plaats, the head of The Family Leader, Scott warned that gay rights will lead to people marrying objects like the Eiffel Tower:

  In all actuality, I'm so glad to hear this is coming available.  I plan to marry the Capital.  I figure the way I've been f'd raw by the politicians and government, I should at least get a tax break by being able to file "married".  I can take all of congress as a dependent, right?

  Be warned, people....these are the people who want to "lead us" in to the future.

The Cost of Media Bias, Corporate Censorship, and the Lack of a Free Internet

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Hello Friends;

  In times past I was once a republican.  Sorry.  I didn't understand.  But, truth be told, I still find many of my views to hold a conservative lean.  Not republican, just conservative.  Long story....

  I found an interesting site:  I guess it wasn't lost, but you understand -  it's brand new to me.  I find it interesting because this site seems to focus on the real beliefs behind the G.O.P.  A great example is this one:

  Now, I have numerous thoughts for rebuttal.  For instance, we could talk about the way that the rich "job creators" have mostly created jobs in Mexico, China, India....etc.  and how many jobs are now just plain gone.  Or, we could talk about the manner in which these "job creators" are sending off jobs paying $20+ an hour and replacing them...sorry, Creating new ones that pay minimum wage.  Or, we could even simply talk about how very huge the gap is between the wealthy "job creators" and the common working man.  We could even talk about the manner in which the wealthy have swindled and cheated and driven the companies into ruin only to be offered millions to step aside and let the next have his turn at the wealth.... no accountability, no shame, no broken legs.
  Why, you ask, do I not?  Well, i think it's mostly because the common man really doesn't care.  All he wants is to be able to feed his family and put a nice roof over their heads.  We've become mostly inured to the screwing we receive from the rich, we just want to be able to live our lives.  What the rich seem to forget, is that when you take away the carrot, the horse no longer has incentive to pull your little golden wagon.  The whip, the wise cracks and brow beating quickly lose their power.  In fact, they become quite pathetic and so very demeaning as to show the speaker all the more clueless and shallow. 
  But, I think rather than speak on into infinity arguing that the classes are tired of being demoted from middle and upper middle to poor and poverty stricken, I'll let Bill say it:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rights, Religion, Politics....

Hi Friends;

  Over the past month or so I've become quite enamored with the ACLU blog.  I sometimes don't agree with their views, but that's ok.  I love the fact that they fight for freedom.  And, I guess, anyone who would suggest that isn't a laudable goal really needs to pull back and consider things a bit closer.
  The other day in my explorations, I found a picture that I just truly loved.  Unfortunately, I didn't save the addy so I can't find it again.  But, as most of you know of my religious beliefs, I'll just tell you what it said:  it said  "Jesus is my saviour, not my religion".  Now, this made me stop and wonder a bit.  I came to realize in my thoughts that when we Christians refer to Jesus as our "Personal Savior" and then begin to abide by a bunch of rules promulgated by man into a "religion", we lose the substance of our belief into our structure.  I know, that's a bit convoluted, but I guess I'm saying we lose focus.  And, since our goal is to be, by definition, "Christ like", perhaps our focus is quite important.
  Now, I've got issue with what I call "Cherry Picking Christians"; people who pull scripture that is complimentary to their belief system and sort of gloss over that which isn't.  These same will deny another person his rights so that this so-called Christian can be "right".  Well, I don't believe that is anywhere near "Christ-like".  We have man made laws, and we have God's Law.  Christians really need to read a bit more, pray a bit more, and definitely THINK a bit more,  and listen to preachers a lot less.
  So, now we come to the crux of my issue:  this piece found at the ACLU Blog.  I guess I could have left my thoughts to the end, but knowing me I'd forget to do so.  Well, here we go....tell me your thoughts:

please note:  I made some highlights of interesting phrases and claims.

ACLU Lens: Using Religion as an Excuse for Discrimination

This week, the U.S. Conference on Catholic Bishops is holding its annual meeting in Baltimore. The bishops are the lobbying arm of the Catholic church, and they hold substantial sway over lawmakers. But instead of focusing on issues like poverty or the economy, the bishops are instead complaining loudly that recent laws broadening women’s access to contraception and granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry amount to an assault on their religion.
However, as this Media Matters piece attests, this is hardly the case.

The bishops complained of anti-Catholic bias when the Obama administration declined to award them a contract to administer a program assisting victims of sex trafficking because the bishops refused to allow program funds to be used for abortion and contraception services and referrals. HHS instead gave grants to organizations that enable these women to get the care they need (legal aside: the ACLU has an ongoing case challenging that initial grant, and will continue litigating to ensure that government money is never used to impose any set of beliefs on vulnerable victims). Media Matters dissects the bishops’ arguments as articulated in a recent Washington Post piece by Michael Gerson.

The Gerson piece attempts to gloss over the fact that trafficking victims are often sexually abused, which is why it is critical that they have access to a full range of reproductive health care. Media Matters points to a British study that found that 95 percent of trafficking victims in Europe report being sexually assaulted.

Additionally, Media Matters shows that the bishops do not speak for the overwhelming majority of American Catholics, 78 percent of whom believe that rape victims should have access to abortion care and 63 percent of whom believe that insurance should cover contraception.

With facts like these, it is a matter of good sense, not animus, that the administration gave the contract to groups that will allow victims access to critical reproductive health services.

There’s no question that the Constitution allows everyone to practice their religion as they see fit. However, the Constitution does NOT allow one particular group to impose its beliefs on everyone else with federal money. That is exactly what the bishops are seeking to do. Nobody’s religious liberty is in jeopardy here. It is the right of others to live free from discrimination that is in danger.

And it’s not just the bishops. We’re seeing cases in which students training to be guidance counselors refuse to help teenagers in crisis because they are gay. We are seeing adoption agencies that use government funds refuse to adopt to same-sex couples. We are hearing of hospitals facing censure for providing a critically ill woman with an abortion in order to save her life. The bishops are not the victims here.

Our government’s top priority should be to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and respectfully, in accordance with our constitutional values. Allowing one particular faith to dictate how others should live does nothing to achieve this.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Moments that change our lives...

Hello Friends;

  I was off on my's raining, so I'm not getting much work done today.  I had some pizza and a beer as I watched "Once Upon a Time".  I'm really liking that show.  I've also grown to like "Grimm".  I don't get to watch them on normal tv, but watch them here on the compy later.  But, I digress...

  I was off on my explorations and came across this picture.  It brought back memories and made me wonder about this lad.  I guess that's the magic of good art, good photography; it makes us wonder about the person, the place, the concept....
  I am like most people, I guess, in that I had a number of these moments when I was growing up.  I look back on them now, these moments of quiet sadness amidst the chaos of childhood and adolescence, and wonder just what decisions I made in these moments that now shape my life.
  Oh, we've all had these.  We've all had this time in our lives where we separated from one we loved, thought we'd never be able to show our face again, or just wished life held something more and different.  Lamenting our current position is perhaps the main title of adolescent depression.  I never thought I'd be this old when I was in such a predicament as this lad.  I thought I'd somehow escape my attractions to other lads and be married with kids of my own tearing about and destroying my home in their rambunctiousness.  Somehow I just knew life would be like the fairy tales, like the tv shows, and I'd be mowing a white picket fenced yard trying to escape my wife. 
  Escape being the operative word.  Escape reality.  You know, I have a lot of respect for kids now who are able to face themselves in the mirror, knowing that they are different and yet still very worthwhile.  It's hard for them to do that, I know, and we adults don't make it all that much easier all too often.  So, as I look at that picture there, I think back on my own refusals to face reality, even the many ways I tried to escape life, period.  The tv shows we watch....Once Upon a Time, indeed.  The books we read, the rants and raves, and all in all it's just a form of escape.  Can we be so brave to look into the mirror and see the truth....of ourselves, our worlds and the mistakes we've made and contributed to in others? 
  Well this is what was running through my mind for a bit today.....and then my pups jumped up into my lap - all 65 lbs of her - and reminded me that although my life hasn't turned out like the fairy tales, it's not so bad.  I'm loved, and I have someone...something? love, even when I'm feeling down.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The DOMA vote

I find it interesting, if I may interject my own words here for a moment, that it was Bill Clinton....of all presidents... who signed into law the so called "Defense Of Marriage Act".  Bill Clinton, who was a philanderer, a liar, had no concept of the word "is", and who's marriage for unknown years has been little more than a convenience.  But, that put aside, some may ask why this issue concerns me at all.  After all, it's not like I have any prospects, any expectations of any sort of marriage any time soon.  So why is it any of my business?
  Well, one:  it hurts a very good friend of mine.
   Two:  I still have hope.
    Three:  Any time we as Americans feel justified in taking the very basic rights of one group of people, we risk that very same thing happening to other groups of people.  It is why Martin Luther King Jr. stated so clearly that "an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere".  The fact that some would support the prejudice and discrimination involved in this issue is cause to wonder about that person's ethics in a greater scope.  As an example:  as a "white" male, I didn't support everything the Black Panthers, or N.O.I, or Malcolm X stood for.  But, I do stand and say that a so called "black" man is a man just as any other of the so called designations and descriptions we use (ie: white, brown, red, yellow, etc.) - and women, too.  I do stand and say that he has every right afforded any man, or woman, and vice verse. 
  You see, there are some in power who would fall all over themselves in denying by any method the taking away of the "black" man's rights - at least publicly - yet have no problem standing on their little morals and declare that a gay man's - or woman's - rights OUGHT to be denied them.   Who is next?  What is next?  Americans stand up and outcry the 1%, not understanding how it is that such inequality has come about - as a current issue example.  And, it wasn't all that long ago that this nation imprisoned Americans with Japanese ancestry for little other reason than suspecting collaboration.  Who is next?   It wasn't all that long ago that women were not allowed a vote, and in fact were considered property of the husband. 
  This is a repeating issue in this nation's history.  We, as a country, must have our noses bloodied on occasion to come awake to the understanding of freedom, liberty, and justice.  In the following clip, a number of politicians are mentioned by name..... some for equality, some against.  This is how we can know clearly who to support, and who to oust.
  ok, off my soap box now...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sorry sir, but it's illegal to be that poor.

Posted by ACLU of Michigan on Aug 17, 2011
Blog PostPovertyCriminal Justice

Guest blogger Desiree Cooper is a Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist and a legend in Detroit media. She blogs on race and politics in our fair city over at her Detroit Diary.

I’ve started noticing a troubling trend in the news lately:

June 9, 2011 – Police are looking for a white male who has taken liquor and baby formula from Kroger stores in Birmingham and Troy.
June 22, 2011 – An employee of a grocery store in West Bloomfield reportedly watched a 67-year-old woman place items in her carry basket into her purse. When confronted at the exit, police said her purse contained body lotion, flaxseed oil and Omega-3 fish oil worth $90.
July 6, 2011 – A man allegedly tried to shoplift 10 cans of baby formula worth a total of $137.40 at a supermarket in West Bloomfield. When approached by security, he dropped the formula and ran out of the store. Police tracked down the suspect’s Ford Taurus, and he reportedly admitted to attempting to take the formula.
As we continue to slog through this Next Great Depression, this is what new crime looks like. I’m trying to imagine myself as a security guard arresting a 67-year-old woman for stealing vitamins, or a couple skirting away with diapers and baby formula. Would I just turn a blind eye? Would I pay for the stolen items myself? Or, would I turn them in?
It all conjures up nightmares of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, where Jean Valjean spending the bulk of his life in debtors’ prison over a loaf of bread.
Debtors’ prison. Now there’s a word I never expected to hear outside of fiction. Unfortunately, it’s all too real for some metro area residents who are landing in jail not for their desperate crimes, but for their inability to pay their fines. According to the ACLU of Michigan, people across the state are being jailed for crime of being poor.
Case in point: 19-year-old Kyle Dewitt went fishing for rock bass in May. He’d lost his job last year and hasn’t been able to find anything steady since. (I even have to wonder if his fishing trip wasn’t just an attempt to find some R & R, but a real mission to put food on the table.) When he hooked a small-mouth bass out of season, he got slapped with a ticket from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
OK, that’s fair. The rules are the rules. But when Dewitt couldn’t pay the ticket, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. He turned himself in on July 25, 20ll, and an Ionia, Michigan district court judge ordered him to pay $215 by the end of the day or spend three days in jail. Dewitt offered to pay $100 the next day and the remainder the next month.
No go. The judge threw him in jail, even though Dewitt had never even pled guilty to the offense of catching the wrong fish in the wrong season. Seriously?? Lucky for Dewitt, the ACLU got him sprung pending a trial on the underlying offense.
In good times, fines may seem like an efficient way to slap the wrists of law-breakers. But in bad times, fines start to draw a bright line between the haves and the have nots. Should you really lose your freedom over not being able to pay traffic tickets or other misdemeanor fines?
“Long thought to be a relic of the 19th Century, debtors’ prisons are still alive and well in Michigan,” my good friend, Kary Moss, ACLU of Michigan’s executive director, said in a press release. “Jailing our clients because they are poor is not only unconstitutional, it’s unconscionable and a shameful waste of resources. Our justice system should be a place where freedom has no price and equality prevails regardless of a defendant’s economic status.”
But a multi-state study by the ACLU entitled, "In for a Penny," showed that Michigan is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to jailing people who are too poor to pay fines.
"Michigan, a state hit harder than most by the recession, is trying to find operating funds in the most unlikely of places: the pockets of poor people who have been convicted of crimes," concluded the report. "Though the Michigan Constitution forbids debtors’ prisons and state laws explicitly prohibit the jailing of individuals who cannot pay court fines and fees because they are too poor, judges routinely threaten to jail and frequently do jail poor people who cannot pay."
This year, the ACLU has challenged five cases where an indigent citizen was told to "pay or stay," without any inquiry into the defendant's ability to pay immediately or over time. Thank goodness the ACLU is here to stand for people who cannot fend for themselves. I fear that Victor Hugo had it right when he wrote in Les Miserables, “There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher.”

randy says.....   I am struck by this.  I am sure that there are people in my area that are desperate and poor...I just don't know them.  Lucky, I guess.  But, isn't that the way?  We only find out that someone is so badly hurting when it's gone all but too far.  Are they too prideful?  Do they figure that no one would care?  It's so sad that Americans are living in this place of bounty and some of us go without.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Hi Friends;

  A comment by Miles to my last post began a thought for me....almost always a dangerous thing leading to all sorts of unknown and heretofore best left alone areas.  You know, the proverbial " where angels fear to tread " thing.  Well, rash be damned, I'm confused.  
  To save you some time, in paraphrase, I commented to Miles that we create a great multitude of unnatural consequences from forcing what we would consider "natural" choices on people -- ok, actually I said that anytime a natural attraction is stifled, unnatural things are apt to develop.    And, there is where I get into trouble.  You see, this isn't a very well thought out post, it's an idea that is bugging me to no end.
  On the one hand, we, the "we as a people" we, have a duty and a right to train our young, etc, into an image that fits our outlook of what is right for humanity.  And yet, it is the very oddballs among us that seem to make such incredible leaps of creativity and thought.  Einstein was a very poor student due to his learning disabilities, and Elvis's choir teacher said he couldn't sing...the history of man is filled with such examples.  And yet, we try and try to put our youth and such into these forms that are fit in our eyes.
  Do any of you remember when the powers that be would try to retrain left handed kids to write right handed, because that was the right thing?  And yet, there is a certain segment of the population, a natural and undeniable portion of us as people, who are left handed.  What other traits are natural but the 'powers'  seek to "retrain"?
  Now, as is often the focus of this blog, the comment engendering this thought was about sexuality... specifically the church's role in deciding that certain behaviors of the priests were ok under wraps of secrecy while the outward orientation of homosexuality was decried a sin.  And, as is often the case with comments involving the church and sex, it was with kids that happened.....which made me wonder if the very control seeking behavior of the church decrying homosexuality did encourage pederasty as an unnatural outlet of the proverbial square peg being forced into the round hole?
  And, now we come to my confusion.  You see, I am wondering if this is part of the repeated problems we have now or if the problems we have are just the "anomie" of the times.  Are we fighting natural progressions and creating more and more problems because of that, or are we - again this is all 'we as a people' - failing to guide and develop our young as we should?

So, help me out...what do you think?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What does it mean to you?

Homophobia means:

I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights.
I am the girl kicked out of her home because I confided in my mother that I am a lesbian.
I am the prostitute working the streets because nobody will hire a transsexual woman.
We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time.
I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.
I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had. I wish they could adopt me.
I am one of the lucky ones, I guess. I survived the attack that left me in a coma for three weeks, and in another year I will probably be able to walk again.
I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school. It was simply too much to bear.
We are the couple who had the Realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men.
I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.
I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.
I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman.
I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.
I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.
I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.
I am the man who died when the paramedics stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual.
I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I did not have to always deal with society hating me.
I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don’t believe, but because they closed their doors to my kind.
I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most, love.
I am the person who is afraid of telling his loving Christian parents he loves another male.
I am the boy kicked out of his home because I am gay.

  and who are you?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A bully is never remembered well...

Hello everyone;

  I was reading on this new Michigan Law, "Matt's Safe School Law".  The law is named after Matt Epling, a teen who committed suicide after being bullied further than he could handle, to the distinct displeasure and embarrassment of the teen's father due to the impotence of the law.  It was passed by the entire Republican party portion of the Senate, and voted against by the entire Democratic party portion.  Ought to tell us something, huh.

  What I wanted to write about today was a boy I remember from school.  He was one of the "popular" kids.  Smart. Good looking. Athletic.  He was part of the "in crowd", in a school predominantly white and of upwardly moving middle class parents.  I was part of the lower middle class portion.  I saw him everyday.
  My school was dominated by the "in crowd".  It was filled with alligator shirts, spiked hair, snooty attitudes, you name it.  I was separate from that, sometimes its victim - and in a couple incidents I actually triumphed.  Yet, no amount of physical aggression could overcome the snooty judgementalism of that in crowd.
  Ok,...I'm dragging this along.  You see, I remember this boy so well not because he was a bully, but because he was not.  I have memories of the bullies to this day, but I'd be hard pressed to care one whit about them.  But, this boy was kind.  He was the anomaly of the 'in crowd' because he didn't judge others cruelly, didn't bully, didn't hate, didn't make people feel bad.  He had a ready smile, a laugh, and a power to lead that was nearly magical.  To this day I'd vote him for president.
  I nearly cried to learn that he died at the age of 21.  He fell asleep driving to college. 

  The sad thing about bullies is that even their friends don't really like them.  It could be argued that they don't like themselves.  Perhaps that is the real shame....that the bully lives on fear because that is such a great part of what he/she understands.  Afraid others will see just how small and insignificant they feel.  John was one who seemed so confident, so ready to smile and laugh, in contrast with some of the bullies I remember so well.  They seemed to laugh only with a sneer, compared themselves to the "lesser beings about them", and felt the ability to deal out humiliation and misery a profound power.  These boys peaked, in my eyes, in school.  I left them behind me, remembering only their pathetic nature.  John, on the other hand, I remember with a fondness and hope that even to this day I could be more like him.  That is real power.

The fox has new ideas on how to protect the hen house...

Hi everyone;

This came to my attention through Milkboys and Towelroad. Thought you would like to see it - and I'm really hoping you will spread the word. Repeatedly this arena is attacked by those purporting to "protect" it. Much like the fox proposing ideas on hen house security, the "protectors" seem intent on only protecting their position gained from the very things they now wish to stifle.