Ten Basic Truths

1.  If you, or a group you belong to, discriminate against another individual or group and people call you out for that discrimination, you don’t get to call their objection to your behavior hate or discrimination.

2.  If you think the Dixie Chicks got what they deserved for what they said about President Bush during “wartime”, you have to want to burn Ted Nugent at the stake.

3.  If you would object to someone telling YOU who you can or can’t marry, you cannot be against marriage equality.

4.  You cannot complain about being taxed excessively if your tax rates are at a 50 year low or if you don’t actually know what your tax rate is.

5.  If you ever say the phrase, “I’m not prejudiced, but…”, you are a racist.  Own it or change your ways.

6.  Gun Control is the reasonable regulation of the sales and ownership of firearms and ammunition to help prevent the adverse effects of the negative uses of those items on our society as a whole.  It is not “Disarming the Innocent”, “UN Troops coming to take your guns so they can take you to the FEMA camps”, or “what Hitler did”.

7.  If you are for the death penalty or if you think we should bomb Iran or if you oppose basic health care for all regardless of the ability to pay for it, you cannot call yourself “pro-life”, no matter how many women you harassed at the Planned Parenthood Clinic.

8.  If you believe that we should never give undocumented immigrants amnesty or that we should never raise taxes, you cannot believe that Ronald Reagan was the best President ever.

9.  If you believe that all Arab people should be suspected of being terrorists, you have to believe that all Catholic people should be suspected of being pedophiles and all middle-aged, white, Christian men should be suspected of being serial killers.

10. Even if you don’t believe in human influenced climate change, you have to believe that making sure that we have clean air, clean water, and a planet with less pollution is a good idea, even if that means that some corporations will make less money.

Bonus:  If you have malice in your heart for anyone (except Justin Bieber), you are probably living your life incorrectly.

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Thanksgiving and Thanks For Nothing

 Thanksgiving is upon us.  Time for a meal with family and friends, time for football games half-watched due to massive ingestion of tryptophan and good wine, and the time to give thanks for the good fortunes we have received this year.  Well, that is what Thanksgiving used to be.  Now, it is Black Friday Eve. 


Retailers have convinced us that we need STUFF above all other things and the time to get that STUFF at a discounted, yet still heavily marked up price, is the Friday after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday.  They have also convinced us that this is the official start of the Christmas season, in stark contradiction to the fact that Christmas paraphernalia has been displayed for sale at major retail outlets since September 1st, and Christmas music has been playing at those establishments since November 1st.    


People have been camped out for several days at electronics stores and other retail shops to get “the deal of the century” on the newest STUFF that you can buy.  Never mind that 3-10 people die each year on Black Friday from stampeding events and “shopper’s rage”.  Never mind that the items that they advertise so heavily are limited in number and in most cases are last year’s model that the retailers are trying to clear from their inventory.  Never mind that you probably don’t need that STUFF in the first place.  The marketing wizards have tricked the masses into thinking that if they don’t go fight for these items like a gladiator in the middle of the night, they are somehow cheating themselves and are not good Americans.


The saddest part about all of this is an unintended side effect of the Black Friday shopping frenzy phenomenon.  It has caused people to lose perspective of what Thanksgiving and Christmas is supposed to be about.  I am an atheist, but I enjoy Christmas for the same reasons I enjoy Thanksgiving; time with family, good food and conversation, and reflection on the good fortune and prosperity that I have been lucky enough to achieve in my life.  This is worth more than money to me, but apparently all of this holiday cheer has a price.  It appears that all of the reasons I love Thanksgiving are worth about $150.


I love my sister.  She is a wonderful person and has always been very close to me in my life.  A few years ago she started participating in this Black Friday nonsense.  Every year she gets a good deal on one item, usually a TV or a video game console for the kids, or something of that nature.  Now, she doesn’t come to our family gatherings on Thanksgiving because she doesn’t want to miss her Black Friday discounts.  So, she may get a $400 flat screen TV for $250 this year.  All of the good fellowship with our family, quality time spent with our aging parents, and all of the joy of eating a wonderful meal with the people who love her most is worth $150. 


We are easily deceived and manipulated by the marketing machine that guides our lives and our behavior every day.  We wonder why our children are angry and want to shoot up high schools and movie theaters.  We wonder why families are detached and fragmented and no roots seem to take in the rat race of today’s society.  It is because we have allowed people who could care less about us or our families to convince us that the panicked acquisition of $150 worth of STUFF is more important than anything else, including the love of our relatives and friends and the lives of 3-10 strangers per year. 

Happy Thanks for nothing. 

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Ideas, Ramblings, Insanity, and Clarity

This is another restart of my blog.  I have a hard time getting motivated to write sometimes. The ideas and subjects just don’t seem to coalesce in my brain enough to organize and publish them in a coherent manner.  Recently, I have had a ton of ideas banging around in my skull, so here is another go at trying to get this blog going and sustaining some kind of progress.  I was also motivated by my friend Shea, who just recently restarted her blog.  To facilitate this new start, any subject is on the table and any idea will be shared.  If you are offended, well, post your displeasure in your own blog because I am not going to have my creativity stifled by someone who is probably just a hater.  That being said, I hope you all enjoy my writing and recommend it to your friends and family. 

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