What shall we learn from this election?

As a friend, formerly at the State Department writes:

"What shall we learn from this election? Thoughts from a middle aged-white guy.

To my friends on the left:

If the only thing you take away from the 2020 election is that centrist Democrats and moderate Republicans are a bunch of sellouts, corporate shills, and intellectually-impoverished neanderthals who simply are not woke enough to understand how right you are, you will have learned nothing.

You need to take a very hard and dire lesson from the fact that almost 70,000,000 people voted for Donald Trump. You need to come to grips with the fact that not only the majority of the country, but the majority even of your fellow Democrats, do understand what you propose and are not interested in the radical redefinition of society that you would attempt to engineer.  Some of them so severely that they were prepared to live with a despicable vulgarian who would at least keep us stuck where we are, rather than send us plunging down an unknown and unproven road to an uncertain and ill-defined future.

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All this self-righteous bitching and moaning gives me a headache. Reminds me of all the sturm und drang around Thanksgiving when everyone conveniently forgets it was proclaimed by Lincoln in 1863 to be a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens"

An interesting essay about the day : https://theamericanscholar.org/what-columbus-day-really-means/#.Vhv0mMx15cX "Columbus Day was first proclaimed a national holiday by President Benjamin Harrison in 1892, 400 years after Columbus’s first voyage. The idea, lost on present-day critics of the holiday, was that this would be a national holiday that would be special for recognizing both Native Americans, who were here before Columbus, and the many immigrants—including Italians—who were just then coming to this country in astounding numbers. It was to be a national holiday that was notabout the Founding Fathers or the Civil War, but about the rest of American history. Like the Columbian Exposition dedicated in Chicago that year and opened in 1893, it was to be about our land and all its people."

So, you want "Indigenous Peoples Day", you already have it. It's called Columbus Day.


Dad died holding my hand at 4:05pm yesterday. Mom & I have sat with him as long as we could . holding his hand, giving him hugs and prayers. Utterly devestated right now.

2 weeks. that's it. He had a physical a month ago & looked fine. Was out shoveling the last of the winter snow with us. went for a pre-op visit for catarcat surgery & was sent to the hospital because he'd gained 20 lbs of water weight.  MRI found cancer lesions in his brain & lungs and a large liver tumor wrapped around the blood vessels that was also cuting off blood to the kidneys - hence the fluid build up. The medical team told this to my brother (a physician down in Florida) and had him call us to tell the harsh truth: it's inoperable, and they can't even do any treatments to shrink it and maybe buy us a few months maybe. Nope, you've got maybe a few days and he's fading fast.

For a week things looked serious but manageable. Then this past Thursday the MRI showed how bad things were and by then all the toxins in his system were clouding his mind, marring what time we could have together. Every time we visited he begged us to take him home . Called on the Sunday of Easter to say hi - and begged me to please come get him. So heartbroken that this was the last time he really spoke to us and there was nothing we could do to help him. I made sure the next day to hold him while he was still aware of it and me.

Monday he was transferred to the Hospice in Branford, sometimes still restless, trying to sit up or get out of bed, calling "help me!". I could only imagine what kind of Kafkaesque Hell this was for him,

When we came back the next day, he was sleeping. His brother and father (who has already outlived 3 of his 5 children) came to see him. we went home for a bit & came back at 3:30. Just in time

I was holding his hands, whispering my love in his ear and around 4pm, he took one deep breath and then stopped.

After the nurses cleaned and re-arranged him sitting up we stayed with him as long as we could. It's a horrible thing to hug your father for the last time.How can you go, knowing when you do its the last time you'll ever see him?

(in the midst of all this, he was our household's financial planner & hadn't finished doing our taxes yet, so one more major thing for us to suddenly grapple with out of the blue)

so yeah. completely stunned and overwhelmed right now



    One of the truly wonderful experiences of my life has been live RPGs, especially weekend-long immersions into world and plot and character. There is something deeply satisfying in not jut reading about adventure but actually going out and *living* it yourself. Stretching your imagination and ingenuity, exercising aspects of yourself and discovering things about yourslef along the way. Great as it is to not only play a hero but to find the hero in me, finding other people with whom this resonates is even greater.
        It has been a few years since our home-grown group  ( http://www.quest.org) has been able to mount one of these weekend events  as the costs rise  (some $3,000+ just to rent the site) and more and more people get eaten by their lives and fall away. Thank goodness for crowdsourcing campaigns...now we'll see about at least getting *this* one up and going. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/weekend-game-fundraiser-the-long-way-home/x/4320527

   It would be great to indeed get the Band Back Together, as it were - and even better to add some new players to it. 

Lorelei encounters the Kamikaze Bambi


As she wrote this morning "yes, I had an encounter with Darwin in action tonight.

Yes-, state troopers, tow service, and my car insurance are already on the case.

More to sort out as we go - I've never hit/been hit a kamakazi deer before.
But I think my poor ole' car has very likely seen its last trip; 10 years, 203k miles +/-.

Yes - this could have been so much much worse.
It's bad - but the 'what if's' aren't worth adding up.

It was just after 2:15am or so on IN-74 mile marker exit 52...out of 68 (my turn off to safety). I'd nearly clipped one earlier in the trek, so I was on the lookout best I could and was keeping both hands on the wheel and eyes open.
The deer came out of absolute nowhere, flipped over my car, filled my windshield, and apparently vanished.

I did not roll my car bringing it to a stop - and landed the car in the center median off the highway, with no headlights (or much front end left) to speak of.

Overall - I am totally and entirely freaked out and alternating between being punchy, and kinda really hacked off, shocky, and sleepy as its 5/6AM now.
And not even any Venison to show for it (state troopers looked, and were at least certain it wasn't still on the highway where it was a road hazard... we're not sure where it went, but it did leave two points of antler broken off in/through my windshield).
Guessing coyotes or hunters will get it before long.

But otherwise, yes- I'm about as well "okay" as anyone can be in this situation for the moment and aside from dealing with the paperwork and the whole car thing - going to try to have as nice a weekend as I can (and still try to be useful too) per the plans that brought me out here ...
Heck - It can only go up from here, right?"

There is a "Get Lorelei Back On The Road" fundraiser


I have been watching for some time with alarm and dismay as old friends who've great gifts of intellect, wit and good character have slid during the past dozen years into people I do not recognize...some supporting W and taking malicious glee in policies which killed hundreds of thousands, put millions of their fellow citizens in ruin and misery, and otherwise further degrade the honor and character of the US in the world and to itself in addition to delight in the failure or obstruction of any efforts to ameliorate any of this . Others wave the flag for the troops and somehow hate the country they defend; it may be the acme of patriotism perhaps to mock and jeer and show respect only to the country's military but none outside it but I confess I don't see it.  Worst of this has been seeing my dad slip into being a Fox dittohead. Where once years ago he was a proud Democrat and Kennedy campaign worker, now he too mocks the goody-two-shoes (whatever the hell THAT means), laughs at the pain and plight of others, thinks everything is a conspiracy against him and generally rails against the most tepid Democractic proposals that are indistinguishable from the Eishenhower-era GOP ones of his youth. I might believe his ideas had shifted or he'd become embittered by the rotten state of our country since Vietnam and Watergate made clear to all but the most self-deluded that we are not the country we tell ourselves we are...yes, I might believe so if every time the President comes on he didn't yell "Nig! Nig! Nig!" at the screen or make "Ooga-Booga" sounds or other similar comments befitting a taunting 2 year old and not a man near 70 with advanced degrees in history and poilitical science and who had worked in government for some years. Or yells how it's all the niggers niggering up everything when O'Reilly or Hannity says something ignorant and foolish virtually every damn night.

He knows better too, and has had the decency in the past to be abashed and ashamed when his own dad (a small city cop for 40 years)  would say worse louder (being hard of hearing) at the worst possible times - then wonder why no one would sit near him at basketball games and the like. I can at least try to understand  it as his era, growing up in the 20s and 30s and then as a cop when most of the people he would see just maybe *were* crooks and bums...but my dad knew better. I wish he still did.

When I think of it, I am reminded of C.S. Leiws, writing in The Great Divorce: "“Hell begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others... but you are still distinct from it. You may even criticize it in yourself and wish you could stop it. But there may come a day when you can no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood or even to enjoy it, but just the grumble itself, going on forever like a machine. It is not a question of God "sending us" to hell. In each of us there is something growing, which will BE hell unless it is nipped in the bud. ” and also:

"But the whole question is whether she is now a grumbler.”

“I should have thought there was no doubt about that!”

“Aye, but ye misunderstand me. The question is whether she is a grumbler, or only a grumble. If there is a real woman—even the least trace of one—still there inside the grumbling, it can be brought to life again. If there’s one wee spark under all those ashes, we’ll blow it till the whole pile is red and clear. But if there’s nothing but ashes we’ll not go on blowing them in our own eyes forever. They must be swept up.”

“But how can there be a grumble without a grumbler?”

“The whole difficulty of understanding Hell is that the thing to be understood is so nearly Nothing.”

Somewhere, that failure of empathy, that self-absoprtion,  crept into him and others. Or maybe he *does* notice the injustice and misery of others but something deep in him reacts with hurt that flares into rage by the time it reaches the surface and only has sarcasm and mockery for any making even an oblique attempt to help it. I don't know. I'd like to think the good man he was is still in there somewhere. In all of them really.

The post by Stonekettle Station's Jim Wright expresses my reaction to many of the syptoms at least, what the author calls "endless litany of pessimism and bitter grumblings fleshed out with the latest NRA hysteria, TEA Party conspiracy theories, Fox News lunacy, and silly chainmail nonsense."

His post on Benghazi (http://www.stonekettle.com/2013/05/benghazi-reductio-ad-absurdum.html) is also of interest as some keep rearing its nothingness, the IRS "scandal" having already evaporated as the silly charade it always was. As usual in such nihilistic self-gratification fantasies, there's no "there" there.

Not that I can tell my dad any of that. Not only contradiction, but even merely a demur from the GOP/Fox party line and the mere suggestion of some basic fact-checking drives him up the wall.  So very sad. I can hope somehow he will recover claity of mind and heart, but I am increasingly doubtful especially with an industry and party dedicated to catering to and inflaming all these dark passions.