Joseph, Mary, and Alabama Republicans

About Jesus, Mary and Joseph and early marriage: Back then life was hard, hard, hard. There was no safety net or school. Girls were married off early to older men who had finally accumulated enough wealth to care for other people because that was the only alternative. Boys were also farmed out at 15 in order to work the farm or be an apprentice and they too were exploited. And there were no doubt male creepers who also exploited their “farmhands” for that too. And even then, it was considered the best of bad options. Literature is a good indication: think of all the stories about older men going off to find their wives had fallen for younger men who at least paid attention to them, or the stories about older men who were suddenly found dead-widowhood was better than living with a creep. Guinevere/Lancelot/Arthur, for example. Or a fair amount of Shakespeare or other plays with the stories of cuckolded or even murdered older husbands. “The Merry Widow” was merry because she was still young and had all the money in the world with no need (at least for a while) to marry. And it wasn’t always apparent, especially in the days before modern forensics and medicine, that the widow wasn’t a natural widow either.

So Mary had no choice but to marry Joseph. Now she may have liked him, (and remember, according to the stories that are being retold this season, was a virgin) so Joseph wasn’t creeping on her, being an honorable man. But that was 2000 years ago. What other practices have we advanced beyond in a couple of millenia? Blood sacrifices in the temple? Crucifixion? Chariot races and fights in the Coliseum? We let go of those practices without regret because we grew out of them and because there were better options and because the collective consciousness evolved enough (that word that freaks out Alabama Republicans) that we were no longer willing the accept the suffering and cruelty as a necessary price for whatever benefits they conferred. Child marriage is now going the same way and soon will be looked at the same way, as bad practices that are no longer tolerable ,and will not be missed either once it finally goes away.

And the Republicans in Alabama who defend this creep, have their brains fallen out of their heads? Do they have daughters, and would they want a 32 year old guy creeping on them if they were 14 year olds? The hypocrisy reeks like a dumpster that hasn’t been cleaned out in weeks.

I know this much: if a 32-year old man had exploited me in the way Moore had, they would just now be finding his body. Mom didn’t play. “Please Mrs. Johnson, can you at least tell us where you buried him so we could give him a proper burial?”

Willie Horton Doesn’t Work Anymore-At Least Not In Virginia


A lot has changed since 1989 and Willie Horton, as was seen last night in NJ and Virginia. Some of it’s demographic. The suburbs around the cities-and the cities themselves-have become browner, blacker and more diverse over all. As access to better housing has grown, the formerly Republican suburbs have become more and more Democratic.

But last night-in Virginia, New Jersey, and all over in local races-where racist fearmongering was a tactic, the Republicans lost badly. Hate just isn’t a winner like it used to be in anywhere that’s competitive. It’s hard to make it work when the scary foreigners, black people, and gays are neighbors who often work in the next cubicle and live on the next block. It’s hard to really make it work after Obama’s success in the Presidency. If a black man can do a terrific job as President, having the Muslim neighbor as your Mayor just isn’t scary. Or a gay man who promises that as a member of the State Assembly, he will make sure that the toxic site gets cleaned up

Racist fearmongering became like crack to the Republican party-highly addictive and replacing substance. No need to talk about matters that ordinary people care about like health care, good roads, schools, or just getting along. As long as you can scare enough Fox-watchers to the polls, you didn’t have to actually govern. But Republicans forgot there’s another side to the election. Those people who are being fearmongered about are voters too. And these days there are enough of them to actually vote out the bigots. And the people who are tired of the negative campaigning and not having their needs met are now joining him. People know enough about Democrats to know that they take governing seriously enough to do a good job and care about everyone, not just a handful of church goers. So the Republicans lost badly last night-and until they give up the bigots-will lose even more.

The Hillary Haven


Tonight I created what may be only one of two forums. One is Hillary Haven, to centralize all the things that Hillary is doing now, and the other might be something on the lines of better voting and better liberal media. I used to have forums before but keeping up with them is hard to do without help. So they will be closed until January 1st when I can take more time.

They will be membership forums-people will have to formally join them after the first comment. And they will be moderated forums as well.

HIllary, Tea Drinking, Cats, and No Worries This Weekend


While we are all waiting to see who does the perp walk this weekend, there is one woman who isn’t worried about about one. Our Hillary. For all of the talk about Uranium One, Benghazi, and just being “That Woman” it’s clear that the investigations turned up nothing. And were so thorough they covered everything. There are no more questions that can be asked, but not for lack of trying by the endless committees.

It’s clear that the triple somersaults by Trump is being done to muddy the waters and hopefully find the unfindable.

Bring Back the Blogs

Twits on Twitter get your head spinning? Worried about Russian/whoever hacking the system?. Think you are responding to bots, trolls, and bigots? Face it, or Facebook, don’t really care about moderatiion or much of anything else. When you give your life to something you don’t really understand or control, you suffer. Social Media’s not the way. Bring back the Blogs.


  • Control of discussion space-no begging for moderation. Do it yourself when there’s a problem.
  • Some things take more than 280/140 characters to explain. Some folks need to be educated. Blogs give experts space to explain in depth. Enough of these, and a reader actually learns something.
  • Blogs can follow the whole story of something from start to finish. Things tend to disappear on Twitter after a few days.
  • Because of its structure, it can actually create a community beyond the blog.


  • No central hub/site to give publicity or instant discussion
  • Can become insular
  • Writing long-form is not for everyone.

And remember, it was blogs that grew the internet and made it grow up.

For everyone who has visited this blog today.

First of all, thank you very much. I hope you like the Obama videos I put up yesterday. There will be more video, as I seek to animate tha blog and add more links and and pages. I was surprised at how many there were, even ones that go back to when he was a student at Harvard. And at every turn, Obama comes across as the intelligent,
ethical, and compassionate person he has shown the world. And that being good does not preclude one being an effective leader and political savvy.

I miss Obama very much indeed. It was nice having a genuinely good and competent man running things. He never was embarassing, crude or stupid. At his best he reminded me of the brief time of Kennedy-cultured, smart and knowledgeable. He was Clinton without the skirtchasing. Carter without the sanctimony.

I’m glad he had a successful 8 years-and actually made it the entire 8 years. You all know what I’m talking about. While I felt Obama was too disciplined to involve himself in anything shady, I always wondered if they would make up something to push him out-or worse.

Edit: The Obama Video Haven

A Sam Gamgee Democrat

Of all of the main characters in the Lord of the Rings, Sam Gamgee was, as you know, Frodo’s faithful companion duirng the Quest. While he never thought of himself as a hero, his bravery often saved the day for the quest. When the wargs (ghost wolves) surrounded the camp near the Mountains of Moria, it was Sam who reminded the group that they weren’t eaten yet and people took heart. It was Sam who kept Frodo going during the last stage. The point is that while he sometimes underestimated himself, he always managed to save the day.

So it is with us. We may not lead the marches, but we work hard to make sure they take place. We pour the coffee, write the blogs, make sure people get the resources they need to do the fight. And we don’t give in easily to despair. We know that victory comes from doing the essential things that need to be done, by taking that first step.

Many people seem to be unable to take that first step. They feel they aren’t King, or Malcolm. When I bring up meetings, the sense is that they need permission to do something or that they don’t have time. Yes, it seems overwhelming, but go to-or even set up that meeting.

I used to do that a long time ago (another subject).; I would ride an hour and a half to get there every week. Of course, now I’m a little busier, but I do what I can from home. I brought a cake for Hillary organizers. I gave to a blog. I’ve signed petitions. It all helps.

Don’t Mourn-Organize!

Recently, I have been reading all of the blogs and so many of them insist we are doomed, that Trump will win everything, that there’s nothing we can do about it, et cetera. That we are inexorably headed towards Chile, or Nazi Germany, or something similar.

Me, I’ve felt the opposite. I want to resist and rebuild. Maybe it’s because I’m a Harry Truman, Samwise Gamgee Democrat who insists “we aren’t eten yet”, and because despite the whole condemnation of Trump voters, there are some folks who were simply bamboozled into supporting someone who they saw on TV (and TV presents people in a light better than they really are).

But most importantly, instead of focusing on whether or not they get it-why not start with some unity? And Organization? If we are unified, then the stragglers and the folks who get it later have a place to go that’s already humming. Also unity can help stop a lot of stuff from happening in the first place.

In a sense, (without getting too personal) I’ve been there twice. To do things that were beyond my capacity by holding out the promise that something will come of the suffering. In the end, I left abruptly the relationships it involved, and the only thing I really carried away was a pet cat I adored, and experience. And a long-standing feeling I was used. One of the people died, the other still lives and I’m just now feeling a desire to reconcile.

When it happens, a unified front will be needed.

Dont mourn, Organize

Fiffteen years ago today

Laid off, watching morning tv on my WebTv like I always did. It was a sunny Tuesday Morning in Cincinnati. It was a non-descript day, The tv was its usual bland self, until I heard them mention a plane crash. My fust thought was some wayward commuter jet and hoping that the other building’s occupants would be allowed to go home instead of breathing in toxic fumes all day. That lasted until I saw the other plane crash, and I knew it was no accident at all. It was strange-I was old enough to sort of remember Kennedy, but I had never watched people die in real time. Yes, there was Challenger, but I remember that I saw the video later, having taken space flight for granted. There was a time when broadcasters would edit that part out, deeming it too painful or graphic. But this was too sudden, too quick for carefully placed graphics.

I lived then in an apartment that was in the usual path of jets going to the airport. After the attacks, I heard only one plane-at the time I thought it was a fighter jet of some kind-instead it was the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.

Sitting there, not really grasping the scale of it all. And grasping how absent Bush was at the time. Not a word, not a speech. Clinton would have said something as soon as he was safe. Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan. Not this guy. No words, no action.I had remembered the mourning after Kennedy, this time it seemed rushed-3000 people had died, but instead of remembering them, there was this orgy of super patriotism that seemed so-well-more like anger than loss.

What was your 9/11 story and memory?

On Third Parties


The older I get, the less logic I see in going third party. Third parties rarely win, even locally, so their influence is at best, marginal. Better to take that energy and become a coalition within whichever major party is compatible with your views. -A Green Caucus within the Democratic Party could at least put members into administrative or regulatory institutions or the bench, reach out to various constituencies for support. A Green Party will do nothing but attract cranks and the marginal.

It’s no accident that the groups who most need legislation and tangible results don’t go third party. Third parties in the United States are at best feel-good institutio, at worst, cult-like in nature. People who could win real elections don’t bother, and if someone like that actually joins, they soon quit and join the majors. So it becomes a continuous loop of failure.

The result is also a narrowing of political discourse in several ways. As a faction inside one of the two parties, at least certain issues could get a more general hearing and a wider audience, Yes, not everything will ever get enacted-there is such a thing as “impossible” in democratic discourse, but at least they will be discussed before being dismissed. And some things could work at least on a local level


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