Saturday, August 1, 2009

the clouds we once sat on are gone

Friday, July 31, 2009

make or mar

you either make or you mar.

your life, that is.

every split second is a choice.

your choice.

to make or mar.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

the balls to break free of obama

i voted for obama.  god damn right i did.  


i thought he was a practical, brilliant, empathetic centrist.  

after having read the audacity of hope, i believed there was no better man for the job.  

no better man on the planet earth.

honestly, i thought he was manna from heaven.  a divinely inspired leader with an incredible capacity for bridging a deeply disintegrated world. 

finally politics has someone who "gets it," i thought.    

finally we have someone who understands the two political parties, and knows how to reconcile their differences, i thought.  

no one has a greater capacity to bring this country together, i believed.

he's caring.  he's seeking our national betterment.  he's articulate.  he's popular.  we all love him.  other nations will be happy for us.  they won't resent us like they did under bush.  he'll usher in a new era of green jobs.  we'll see a renaissance of thought and open-mindedness and progress.  the arts will flourish under his leadership.  the poor will get more help. historically disadvantaged groups will finally have the voice they deserve.  everything will fall into place.  finally.

i'd see pictures of him hugging people and felt assured he was the nicest, most genuine politician we'd ever seen.  

i'd see photos of him with his family and know that he was a loving, fair, and good father and husband.

i'd see him shooting hoops on the news and would rejoice that we'd have a physically fit, energetic, good-natured guy in office.  

i also knew palin was a joke.  she had that cop thing going on in alaska.  she didn't believe that humans had a role in climate change.  she was willing to drill for oil in our national parklands.  and had wanted to spend tons of taxpayer money to build a bridge to nowhere, making her claim to fiscal "reform" a hypocrisy.  and she seemed way too socially backwards for my taste--especially with that library thing. 

and mccain--come on!  i pictured his world accurately enough:  a vast landscape of nuclear power plants and self-righteous, socially conservative republicans trying to run the show.  we'd had plenty of that under the bush era, and that had failed.  not to mention, since he was a war hero, i envisioned his approach to international affairs being a little too war-heavy.  choosing palin as a running mate made me lose faith in him.  and congress seemed to blacklist him when he strode down there to "fix" the financial crisis, which didn't bode well.  

we didn't need that.  we needed someone with more a more nuanced understanding of the world--someone who could guide us into the 21st century, not backwards into the 20th.   

mccain just didn't do it for me. 

obama was the one.  definitely obama.  yeah, he was a little extreme in some areas, but he'd balance out, once he got in power.

now, let's switch gears.

fast forward half a year.

at this point, while there have been a handful of things i've been happy about since obama has taken office (1. the world likes us more, 2. there seems to be more social unity, 3. he seems to know how to handle multiple crises simultaneously, 4. he's nominated a couple centrists to his administration, and 5. he seems to have a vision)--by and large i've been unsatisfied with the way he's handled things.

off the top of my head, here's some things that disturb me about what he's done:

1. we're massively deeper in debt and on an unsustainable path to greater debt.  anyone can tell you this, even the most obama-friendly media sources

2. we bailed out a dying auto industry that might be in need of another bailout, and might have never deserved the first one

3. health care seems like a very dangerous proposition.  sure, i want all americans to have better access to healthcare.  who doesn't?  but does it really need to be done the way we're planning it in congress right now?  because i can think of some alternative approaches that might yield similar ends with much better means.

4. the stimulus bill cost us hundreds of billions and doesn't seem to be stimulating.  again, pretty much anyone will agree to this--even the white house.  

5. the climate bill, though thankfully stalled in congress, scares me almost as much as the prospect of actual climate change.  the consequences of this bill could hamstring us in a way that could prevent us from nimbly and forcefully counteracting real climate change as it occurs in the future

6. i'm worried our national defense is slowly going to be weakened 

7. i'm worried we are on the path towards over-regulation, to our detriment

8. i'm worried about his supreme court nomination


and this is just the short list.  

making the case for each point would take a good 10 pages probably.  so i'll spare you the analysis behind it. 

and the point i really want to make is altogether different.  

the point of this whole story is not to do a pro/con list for the '09 political candidates.  because to do so would take much more time and energy than this blog can handle.  

instead, the purpose of this story is to tell a secret i really want to break free of:

for months now, i've been too timid to express my dissatisfaction with our leader.  and i did not want you to ever know this fact.    

there you have it.

hell, i didn't want to be thrown to the lions for being the one seemingly sensible, progressive-minded person who DIDN'T LIKE OBAMA.  

after all:  who would? 

especially when it's much easier to go with the flow, agree with the crowd, and smile whenever anyone gloats about the good job he's doing.

and i'll be the first to say that's exactly what i've been doing since inauguration.

and it didn't make it any easier that the media was always in obama's court.  hell, the world was in his court.  you think i wanted to go against the grain, when all there was was grain?

the requisite psychic energy it would've taken for someone like me (a naturally happy and agreeable person) to take a stand against obama...well, it would've taken more integrity than i could harness. 

but i'm no longer going to hold back.  not because i'm any less agreeable or happy, but because i would be willing to bet there are a few of you out there who might be holding back a little bit too. and if there is one solitary person out there who can relate to being swept away by the obama tide, even when in the back of his or her mind questioned some of what was going on--then speaking out right now makes it all worthwhile. 

but maybe i'm wrong.  maybe all of you fully agree with his policies. 

maybe you have more integrity and political insight than i do.

or better information or prescience about how all his policies will work out 10 years down the road.

maybe you all have more fortitude to stand up whenever you believe something is askew--reaching your conclusions without paying any regard to what the media or the general public tells you.

if this is you--my hat goes off to you.  honestly, you are beyond me in integrity and insight.

for myself, though, it's high time i get some balls and break free of obama.  

nothing personal.

it's just something i have to do for myself.

and i can honestly say i'm breaking free of obama with the the genuine belief that, were i ever given the chance to become more intimately involved in the political process, i could help shape the national debate in a way that would be equally progressive--yet MORE sustainable for our country and our future.  real progressivism.    

and i'm sorry that sounds delusional, self-centered, and egotistical.

trust me, i get it.  who am i to presume i could ever hold a candle to obama?  or that anyone could hold a candle, for that matter.    

but the thing is:  i honestly think creating equally progressive--yet financially sustainable--policies for our nation would be easier than it seems.  

it's not rocket science.  it just takes brutal self-honesty and a massive dose of reality.  it would involve much more honesty with the public about what is feasible in the real world--not the world of rhetoric.  it would involve explaining:

* ALL the risks involved with every decision
* ALL the motives behind ALL policy recommendations
* ALL the possible ways scenarios could play out, and selecting the most sensible one, and 
* ALWAYS being honest about the fact that not everyone would get what they want.  

but should politics honestly be handled any other way?

Monday, July 27, 2009

bear witness

 i am now ready to bare witness.

witness to the fact that prayer works.

witness to the fact that when you turn over your will and entrust god with full care of your life--miracles happen.  

more miracles have happened in the past two weeks than ever before.

and i'd like to bear witness.

god is real.

god will do for you what you cannot do for yourself.

earnestly pray--and miracles will happen to you.