Luke came home 10 years ago today (on 3/7/2010). He makes every day better. Thank you, sweet boy.
In the long run, Americans favor more freedom, not less. Denying rights
goes against America’s self-image. Even many conservatives are leery of amending the Constitution. Prohibition was the last time we
amended the Constitution to restrict rights and freedom; you know how well that turned out.
There is absolutely no doubt that one
day, gays and lesbians will be free to have all the rights and responsibilities of marriage. No doubt.
Before that day comes,
there will be a battle with people who have no hesitation in denying countless Americans a whole host of rights. Ironically, these people
call themselves conservatives, though they are all about radical change. This is just one bar in the cage they are building around
America. They are our jihadists, our taliban, fanatic followers of the one true word of god (as they see it). Not content to live and let
live, not able to do unto others as they would have done onto them, the Radical Right will destroy this village to save it. We cannot
After they attempt a constitutional amendment to dictate who has the state’s blessing in declaring their love, the
Radical Right will move on to an amendment denying women control over their own bodies and their families. Then, an amendment to allow
Arnold Schwartzeneggar to become president (after Jeb Bush, perhaps).
We must stop this. But, if we fail, the pendulum will swing
and some of these changes will be undone (some things are already ruined forever). That’s assuming we haven’t all become slack-jawed
bible thumping reality TV watching apathetic illiterates in the meantime. Who benefits from ignorance? Who benefits from apathy or
despair? Who benefits from passivity? The Powers-that-be. Shake off your stupor and fight back! mjh
Happy Earth Day, Everyone!
Some say the “Environmental Movement” has itself become a corporation indistinguishable from its foes. Some say that “the people” no longer trust “the movement.” Some even say the movement is irrelevant because everyone is an environmentalist now. Yeah, that last one is especially funny.
Whatever bits of truth float in those views, all of us are coming to realize how fucked up the World has made the Earth. We see the climate change, and the severity of destruction it spawns. We see the diseases that may very well be Earth’s antibodies against humans. We see the end of the Era of Fossil Fuels and the shorter-term sputters of that dying system. We have a good sense of what is wrong, how we play into that, and how we are going to be part of the change. We all *know* that in a single lifetime everything will change dramatically. Our house is on fire. mjh
Earth Day 2002
I celebrated Earth Day idling in line at the drive-up window. As I burned my part of the world’s resources, I waited for chemical-laden beef raised on clear-cut forest land, served with genetically modified potatoes grown in the desert, watered by rapidly melting polar icecaps. On the radio, the president called for arctic drilling. On the TV, the vice-president called for nuclear power plants. On my cell phone, I called for replacement batteries for my laptop, my digital camera, my CD player, my pacemaker. On my palm-pilot, I wrote “need to get away.” I used a search engine to look for a campground with hook-ups, preferably near a convenience store. mjh
I first posted this 5 months ago, but it is again timely. I’m even more sanguine about time
change is Spring, when I finally find it easier to get out of bed and my hibernation is over. mjh
I like the biannual change of the clocks for reasons beyond my contrarian nature. For one thing, I like
change and the gentle disruption of the day-to-day. Change is not always good, but it is inevitable; best to be ready to find the good in
In particular, I like the way the time change underscores the arbitrary nature of our measurement of time. Is it really 11am
now or is it 10am or 12pm? Why do we care? Clocks rule modern life — there are 4 or more in this one room. Hours, minutes, seconds —
nanoseconds! If only we paid such attention to equinoxes and solstices or sat patiently through more sunrises and settings. What phase of the moon is it? It is yet another matter
that separates the World from the Earth and, in the process, makes us look and feel rather silly.
That silliness is elevated by
the sing-song, childish mnemonics we depend upon: is it fall forward or spring back? Notice how we need endless reminders the day before
and again the day after in the paper and on the TV. Imagine if we had such a thoroughly redundant system reminding us that lifestyle
choices affect longevity (see it twice in the paper, hear it repeatedly on the TV — every six months — maybe that would sink in).
Of late, as a sign of the times, my thoughts have turned darker. Perhaps it is an experiment in obedience and acceptance of arbitrary
authority (do opponents of Big Government refuse to change their clocks?). You will set your clock as we tell you to, and you will not
question that. Spring Forward! Burn your books! Fall Backwards! Betray your neighbors! It is always time to be a good citizen. mjh
Chance caused me to re-read the
following. I wrote this about 9 months ago after the Albuquerque Journal had an article on the AOL Call Center here bringing in a
motivational speaker as a “reward” for meeting goals. What a lovely way to say thank you. (sarcasm) mjh
From the Desk of the CEO of AOL
On behalf of myself, the
board, and our shareholders, I feel required to thank you for your recent efforts in winning the call center competition. We considered
giving you a raise (kidding) or a one-time bonus, but concluded it would be more fiscally responsible (ie, cheaper and more deductible)
to pay $10,000 to a football player to try to inspire you into keeping up the drop-dead pace at which you have been working. Thanks to
you forgoing bathroom breaks, I will get $10 million in bonuses this year. I can’t thank you enough. You are vitally important to our
company, even though you could be replaced in an instant by someone making less money.
Next month we will be cutting your medical
benefits again, but you will be glad to know we’re paying Dr Phil $100,000 to inspire you to accept your fate. When we abruptly close
your call center to ship the jobs to a place where your hourly pay is considered good monthly pay, we will try to get you a free AOL CD
as a token of our real appreciation. Now, back to work, lazy slaves! You can read on your own damn time.
posted March 5, 2005 02:27 PM
Greetings from Richmond, Virginia, the Capital of the Confederacy. My name is Jefferson Davis and I am here to accept my mandate — the people have spoken! It was never red versus blue states; it was always Blue versus Gray.
Brothers and Sisters, it has taken nearly 150 years to win our war against Northern Aggression. A lot of Yankee blood has watered our gardens. Now, we are triumphant. We have beaten the Beast and we can savor the bankrupting of the immoral Federacy. No longer do we have to accept their dominance — they are toast, my friends, relegated to the ashheap of history.
Now, the North must acknowledge our great culture. Our music, our stories, our family values, our moral fabric so stained by northern filth. Now, we can restore our economic greatness again — cheap labor makes men rich! Guns keep us free! Obedience to God benefits the State!
Many of you want to call the liberal North a bunch of fools, but that’s not our way. We are as genteel as we are resolute. We will treat the treacherous North with greater civility than they ever treated us. They don’t know what it is like to be subjugated, defeated, humiliated, bled. To be forced to accept a culture that has no moral compass, that puts science above God, justice above wealth, equality above property rights. They don’t know what it is like to have your entire society crushed, even burned to the ground. But we know. It has made our blood boil for 150 years, that northern arrogance, that Federal invasion. Now we will dismantle the Federal government and undo all the wickedness forced on us in the Sixties.
Let us not revel in vengeance against those who took everything from us. Instead, let us work toward solidifying our power for generations to come. Then the North, the Democrats, the Liberals, the Queers will all recognize they are nothing but a minority to be tolerated — to a point. Do not push us beyond that point, as you have so many times in the past. Do not dare think this great nation is yours any longer. It is ours, we’ve won it, we’ve earned it, we’ve paid dearly for it. We own it all. Now we are masters again. God bless US. mjh
The Internet is so vast it now reaches across time. Here is a message from 2010: …