Wednesday, August 29

Condi Rice Rocks (Hear me out)

I can't say I ever wanna hear anything Condi Rice has to say regarding political policies or issues - but what a person. Enjoyed hearing her speak tonight at the RNC - love her biography - beautiful American story no matter what side of the political fence we all sit.

By the way - what a heart wrenching story of poverty last night when Ann Romney gave her speech and shared with us how she and Mitt had to sell some of (not all - but still) their stocks just to pay bills while in college. Can you imagine? I actually had a similar story - I once had to sell some of my socks just to pay bills while I was attending an online university, racking up student loan debt that I still haven't finished paying, 6 years later. But I am able to afford new socks now. So at least my feet know what it's like to live like a Romney. I also give 10% of my socks to Goodwill and call it Tithes. Change 3 letters in my adopted last name and I'm virtually a Romney already.

This just in...

Too funny, did you just see Paul Ryan's wife introduce him for his convention speech? Sure she looked nervous as she should - I used to performed in front of thousands playing the snare drum - but I was well practiced and there by choice. Didn't she look just a tad bit scared - a deeper scared than just being on that stage? It's like she realizes that her husband and his party are really bad for women. She's always known how scary his positions are and she's smart - so it's not escaping her that people see her and wonder how in the world can she, an intelligent lawyer (I know) be married to a man who co-signed a bill that would narrow the definition of rape - because apparently some rape just really isn't that bad. He actually considers rape just another form of conception.

To paraphrase from Talking Liberally: The Stephanie Miller Show on radio and Current TV - Stephanie said something similar to 'if these Republican men could get pregnant - there would be abortion clinics on every corner'. How true - and just imagine how eager they would be to make abortion exceptions for rape if that stint they did in county lockup led to an unwanted pregnancy. But wait - if a man is raped and never gets pregnant - that proves what Republican Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri said, it must be legitimate rape and the man's body just shut that whole thing down.

This is why the right thinks homosexuality is wrong - if no one never gets pregnant having homosexual sex, apparently none of the sex is consensual - it's all just gay rape and the human body knows it needs to shut that whole thing down. I know - that last part was just a bunch of silliness, but at least I am kidding and know better (and I'm not a sitting member of the Committee on Science in Congress). 

"I Wrote That"

Kurt's 2 Sense
Follow me on Twitter

Open your mind and question things.

Forget what you think for a moment - open your mind and give this a read. They are just words - they won't hurt you.

I'm watching the RNC coverage and just can't believe an entire party continues to repeat and cheer absolute lies. The first one being that Obama is removing the work requirement from Welfare. Total bullshit to anyone who can read and understand basic logic (and I'm happy to cite and show proof to anyone interested - which is something they can't offer you because they're lying).

Secondly, the President "stealing" 716 billion from Medicare. First of all - steal? - is that because he's a black President and all black people steal? The laughable part of this lie is that the 716 billion is taken from the payee side - agreed to by the hospitals and insurance companies in an effort to reduce fraud, abuse and waste on the billing side. Isn't that the freakin' goal - REDUCING COSTS WITHOUT REDUCING BENEFITS? Ryan on the other hand - "steals" 724 billion from the PATIENT and CARE side of Medicare to pay for tax cuts. Tax cuts for the middle class who need it the most you ask? Nope - for the rich. For himself. For Romney.

The 3rd lie is a good one - it's a group of phrases that republicans use to explain why jobs aren't being created. The mantra goes something like, "we need to put certainty into the tax code, reduce taxes for the job creators, and get government regulations off of the backs of small business." First of all - the tax code has existed in some form for all of our lives and business has always found a way to function. Is GE not hiring because they somehow need to pay less than ZERO PERCENT in taxes? Secondly - reduce taxes on the Job Creators? I am a job creator. What makes me hire people or not hire people? DEMAND If people want what I am making and I can't make it fast enough - I hire people. The kicker is the fact that while the economy seems bad - the stock market is at a 4 year high. Many companies including my own are making record profits. But - because we've had to find ways to be more efficient and cost effective - many companies have found ways to stay small and not rehire as many people. The problem with this greedy tactic of maximize profits is that unemployment will stay high and the customer base that feeds those profits will shrink. Finally, the next time you hear "we need to get the Obama regulations off of the backs of small businesses" - simply ask them, "What regulations are you speaking of?" They won't have an answer - because tax cuts are about the only thing Obama has done to small business. Don't accept "ObamaCare" for an answer because nothing in that bill has in any way been negative or costly to small businesses. I can prove that and they cannot prove the contrary.

Lie No. 4 - This whole "we built it" crap would be laughable if it weren't so sad - on many levels. First of all - I was watching the speech and know what the President actually said. Anyone with basic logic skills and read or viewed the speech knows he was speaking of the infrastructure (i.e. roads, laws, internet, educational systems etc.). So the republicans are either dishonest, or stupid. Making it even more embarrassing for them is the fact that they are surrounded by the very proof of what the President was saying. Read this article that includes the text from the speech and see if you think it's been fairly characterized.

The convention itself used the following government funds:

City of Tampa: 3M for upgrades and improvements to the area for the convention
Convention Center: 86M of construction paid by Government funds
The RNC Convention itself: 68M in Presidential Election Campaign funds and Congressional Security Grants
Total = 157 Million Dollars.

Not to mention - how did all of these convention goers arrive in Tampa? The only way they did that themselves was if they walked through fields and waded across streams on foot. Otherwise they used the infrastructure the President was speaking of. So the signs all over the convention that say "We Built It" should be amended to say "We built it with a shitload of government money!" Why didn't Romney pay for it out of his pocket - since he is anti-government spending and he uses every tax shelter available to avoid paying into the very kitty that IS paying for the convention.

The really sad part is that the Party they are cheering for has decided that they are such a stupid group of people - that they said, "Hey, they're so stupid that we can just lie to them over and over and they'll never call us out. They're too dumb to actually go look and see if what we are saying is even true." See, if I hear that our President, whether I voted for him or not, has just said something so ignorant - I'm gonna check it out to make sure it's true. I did vote for this President and I did build a small business - so had I not actually seen the speech live on TV, I certainly would have looked it up to see if it was true because I would have to think twice before voting for him again.

But hey - if it sounds fair that working folks should pay taxes while Big Oil companies make record profits and literally pay ZERO in taxes - or if it sounds fair that Romney should be able  to get a $77,000 tax deduction for a fucking Dressage Horse while I struggle to figure out how to make sure my children have medical coverage (I'm pretty sure that 77,000 tax break would have taken care of at least a few children) - if that sounds fair then let's elect Romney. I have no problem with the rich - I will be rich someday - but I will never reach a mindset that says we should tax income that is worked for (in some cases very difficult, gritty, honorable work) at a higher rate than income that is earned by doing absolutely nothing.

Also sad is to hear that a group of politicians decided to intentionally derail my country and it's great democracy because it lost, and didn't like someone. A group of self-interested Republicans decided that for 4 years, they would ignore the American people's democratic election of a President. They would literally vote against the very ideas that they gave birth to, rather than allow the people's President to have success. If you give this enough thought, you'll likely realize that Mitch McConnell and the rest are nearly guilty of treason.

And finally - rape. Do I really need to say more?

So everyone please - just question what you hear. Flip the channel - look up facts from reliable, non-partisan sources. I'm not even convinced either candidate is the right choice - but I do like to be armed with the truth and facts before I come to that decision.


With a chest that feels lighter already - goodnight all.

Saturday, August 21

She's all grown up now...

My oldest daughter Madison graduated this past June and it was incredible. Tracey was with me, and my Mom came up from Florida - it was a pretty good day. Madison is extraordinary in so many ways and I was so proud watching her receive her diploma. I smiled and cried and selfishly hoped I had something to do with her becoming such an exceptional young woman.

I wrote the following about Madi (all of her friends call her Madi) for a school project she was doing right before she graduated:

As a new father, I thought I should prepare for the worst. After all, I was well traveled and had seen quite a bit, heard plenty of parenthood stories, and took a good look at my own childhood and just knew I had to brace myself for what was to come. I shouldn't have worried so much. Madison was my first child and never what I expected. She was happy. Madison arrived smiling and seemed to have no complaints about what she found when she got here. Everything seemed to come natural to her and this didn't change when it was time to start her adventure in education.

Madison didn't seem nervous that very first day, at least not as nervous as I was, she acted as if she somehow knew it was what she was supposed to do next. So off she went. She didn't struggle to fit in or have the burden of being the most popular, she just had this natural quality of belonging. I was always proud to point out she was my daughter, always pleasant and polite with a smile on her face. She would leave effortlessly in the morning for school and come home to little sisters who adored her. She was the perfect role model for them, giving them the sense that they had nothing to worry about, good things were to come.

Family life was far from perfect, almost tragic at times, but Madison once again seemed to already know how to handle that too. When her sisters needed her, she knew what to do. She was caring and loving and filled the holes left by others. She was the playroom teacher, giving lessons to her sisters who needed to learn things if they were to survive a life full of unexpected turns. All the while, not losing herself and continuing to grow as this unique person we see today.

As Madison made her way though middle school and headed towards high school, she was able to let her sisters begin to find themselves as individuals and focus on the wonders of being a teenager and find out what kind of young woman she would become. Once again, I braced myself. I was the father of a "teenage" daughter now. Certainly this would not be easy. Madison made sure I was wrong again. She just has this way of realizing what is truly important, to her as the daughter, and to me as the father. With very few lectures or lessons learned the hard way, we managed to navigate these years successfully. I still have the pleasure of being the proud father who gets to point out that she's my daughter, always pleasant and polite with a smile on her face.

I've told Madison many times that I am jealous of her. Jealous of the rare quality she has to be comfortable with who she is and to never be afraid of new experiences, always feeling free to go after what it is she wants. It's an inner spirit or quality that's not necessarily taught, but can often be distinguished or discouraged in a person. Raising Madison and watching her mature over the last twelve years has been more about staying out of the way and allowing her to become who she is, than steering her and molding her into someone I thought she would be. I couldn't be happier with the results, or more excited about what she has to offer.

Proud Father

Saturday, April 12

I Love Tracey

I really want to write a song or poem - something special just for her. Maybe I'll simply make a list of all that is amazing about Tracey.

I'm just not sure yet... so until then... right here in front of the entire world...
"I Love You Tracey"

Thursday, July 19

Kid Thoughts

My kids are amazing. They’re so resilient with big, forgiving hearts. I don’t want to break them trying to fix them. I don’t want to harm them in an effort to protect them. I want them to be happy. I can’t yet provide everything their hearts desire but I can certainly try and make sure that no matter what they face in life, they have a father that will always love them, never give up on them, and will always encourage them. They make me stronger though I remain very weak. Inside, my imaginings are of a future full of plans that will change my life, my children’s lives, and even lives around the world. I don’t yet have the strength or confidence in myself to reveal these thoughts and dreams and begin these changes, but on some days - every now and then - I feel that strength and become aware that it’s possible. That awareness prevents my surrender.

Don't surrender.