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Archive of the Lair

Here are Archived Entries and Links from the Beautiful, Burgeoning Home Lair Page.

Archive Lair 1 Archive Lair 2


Angelfire, Don't You Ever #@!$*&# Scare Me Like That Again! And Merry Christmas to Everybody Else...

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2014: Egads, that was a Close one, LairCronies! Here I was on Facebook, just about to close a comment about creation myths with a link to my controversial Genesis: Notes for Research article; when up comes a message page at that url saying the Entire freaking site had been "permanently Removed"!! Why, Angelfire, why?? What did I do wrong? Well, having shot off a Nasty email to their Customer Servicecritters ("WTF??? Why the hell has my site been removed??"), and gotten a comparatively Pleasant reply, I have some Vague idea of what happened; and now the Entire Lair, as far as I know, has been Reinstated and Restored (turns out the account itself had been Disabled by an Automated review program over some sort of Broken or Questionable link or two. Word to the wise: Beware of Automated site review programs. I've tangled with them over at Squidoo as well; and half the time, they're not worth the CDs they're shipped on). The lesson for me here is: Back up every bloody word on the Lair from now on, on CDs as well as your hard drive, if you value the preservation of your Original written content, LairMistress! I admit I've gotten Lax about that over the past couple of years. And thank God/dess for the Wayback Archive mechanism; prior to this site coming back up, I was at least able to save the source code from Several pages onto my LairScript backup folder.

Also, I must keep in mind to Login to this site on a reasonably Regular basis. The scary thing about all this is that I was never Notified or Contacted in any way by Angelfire/Lycos, prior to my account being temporarily Disabled. The only ways to find out what had transpired was either to attempt to Login; or to type in the url to one or more pages or SubLairs, thereafter suffering near-heart failure upon discovering the "Permanently Removed" blurb page! And then, if one survives, to shoot off a nasty note to the Aforementioned Customer Servicecritters, and await their reply email. At least their Customer Service department seems to function way better than does its Outsourced equivalent at Hewlett-Packard...

Anyway...I suppose all's well that ends more or less Intact. Right now, my Mom and I are spending the holidays with my brother Leif at his new/retro home in the Canyon Creek neighborhood in Richardson, TX, which he claims provides a Shorter commute to his workplace. It's a nice one-story, early 70's house, though a bit large for one person. Among other things, it's got a Roundish backyard pool that gets used rather Seldom (obviously, it's a bit Chilly for good swimming at the moment). The neighborhood is also very nice, but also very quiet (borderline-Dead, in fact; when I go for walks around here, I might meet two or three other people. Gosh knows where everyone is), with large Inflatable Christmas lawn decorations at every four or so lots. There's a nice little shopping center with a couple of coffee shops a short walk Away; I was just down at this place called Pearl Coffee yesterday. My brother has been on Major fishing trips several months Back; and he is pushing grilled salmon on us (very Tasty, actually) every few days. He's got something like fifteen pounds of the stuff that he needs to get Rid of before he goes off on the next fishing jaunt...

At any rate, we at the Lair wish everyone Lurking nearby a very happy Christmas, Solstice, Yule, Kwaanzaa, Mothers' Night, Saturnalia etc.; whatever you're into. Hanukkah has already Wrapped for this year; but hopefully it was a good Festival of Lights for all who celebrate it. L'Chaya Tova; and Together Across the World!!


BRAND SPANKIN' NEW ARCHIVE UPDATE (WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2011): Good evening, LairLurkers! If you've been Lurking here for any length of time, you'll know that Early in the year is the time for us to go Archiving the stuff from the Previous year! So, now that we've torn ourselves Away from bloody Facebook and the Egyptian Revolution for a Brief spell, we're now in the Archiving process for 2010, even though we haven't done a great deal of posting at the Home Lair over the past year and a half, what with bloody Facebook eating our brains (and much of our online time and effort)! Whose farking idea was Facebook, anyway? And now they've actually made a bloody feature film about those eejits and their social-networking megalopolis, no less! Oh, well; we have rediscovered some of our high school and college pals via Facebook; so perhaps it's not all bad. Still, the best new bands are still to be Found on Myspace, which is NOT dead Yet...!


A Post-Birthday News Recap (Or, How Many Score Does It Take Me to Get Anything Accomplished?)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2014: Good evening, LairCronies all! Keanu Reeves and I turned 50 (count 'em!) a couple of weeks ago; but this, in fact, was one of the least Traumatic things that have happened Lately. Seems that everyone Interesting on the planet has died during the Past six weeks or So. Robin Williams! Joan Rivers! Jean Redpath! My best doggie friend Sammy! Rev. Ian Paisley! Okay, so maybe I wasn't that Interested in Big Ian. But he died Nonetheless, after living way Longer than a lot of better humans out there. And, for some reason, I've fallen in love with the good Mr. Williams all over Again since he ended his life, having read many accounts of what an Amazing human being he was on top of all his achievements in film, TV and comedy. I've been rather hard on myself for not getting to know him personally while he was still on this side of the Divide (he was Online quite a bit, it turns out--he posted regularly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Elsewhere--where the hell was I all that time? Well, the sad truth is, I'd nearly forgotten him over the past couple of years; I didn't even know about his Recent TV show, The Crazy Ones, until it was Cancelled after only one season). Now, I'm trying to play catchup with the spirit of the man; trying to get to know him through his Online posts and video clips on Youtube, as well as sending him distance Reiki and visiting him in Nonordinary Reality. Strange way to get to know someone; yet I want to be of help to him, if I can. I also seek help from him besides; I hear and read that he had a warm, loving, positive, very giving and Supportive presence and personality, and I desperately need someone like that in my life, if I am to avoid many more episodes of depression and Dark impulses toward harming myself, due to being Ignored as a musician and otherwise Creative person. There! I've said it. I'm seeking the support of dead artists, because living ones, including my own relatives, totally dismiss everything that's currently keeping me Alive.



#FreeJustina and the Three-Ring Circus

SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2014: LairCronies, maybe y'all can help me here. I've been rather Preoccupied with this Bizarre civil rights/medical custody case since late last year, when the progressive news/petition site clued me in about what has befallen a teenage girl from Connecticut named Justina Pelletier. The youngest of four daughters in a family from West Hartford, Justina had, until February of last year, been treated for a Rare genetic condition called mitochondrial disease (which potentially affects the entire body, aside from red blood cells), with which one of her sisters has also dealt for some time. Long story short: Justina, described as a Talented young artist and "ice-skating fanatic", caught the flu a year Ago in February, was transported to Boston Children's Hospital (BCH) to see her gastrointestinal specialist. Almost immediately upon her admittance, her case was "Intercepted" by a couple of neurology residents, who unilaterally decided to change her diagnosis (which she hadn't come for to begin with) and treatment plan. Her folks disagreed with this action, and tried to return her to her Usual doctors at Tufts University Medical Center; the BCH psychiatric and neurology team, with lightning speed, called in a Child Protection team, and alerted Massachusetts' CPS agency (DCF, or "Dept. of Children and Family Services"), accusing Justina's parents of something called "Medical Child Abuse", insinuating that they had "overmedicalized" the teenager (or, at least, erred on the side of too many doctor visits). This got Justina taken into custody by DCF as a ward of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, even though she and her family reside in Connecticut. Still following me here? Yeah, I struggle to keep track of the whole scenario myself. For some reason, BCH was Desperate to hang onto this kid as a psychiatric patient. But for what ends?

Ever since this occurred some fifteen months Ago, an entire National movement, bearing the hashtag moniker "#FreeJustina" has sprung up, and the story has flown all over the world, Online and Off. Rumors, facts, half-truths, accusations and intimations Galore are whipping up the Internet at the speed of a Tweetstorm. It's completely bloody Bonkers. Among said notions are suggestions as to exactly why, as I just mentioned, BCH and DCF are so freaking hell-bent on keeping custody of an out-of-state teenager that they've allegedly spent $2 million dollars of the DCF budget on her case Alone. Speculations include, but are not Limited to, the following: 1) Justina's condition is Psychiatric or Psychosomatic, and her family brainwashed her into thinking she has mitochondrial disease like her sister Jessica; 2) The hospital's psych department is using DCF to recruit young patients for some kind of Somatoform research study, using them as guinea pigs with or without their and their parents' consent; 3) DCF is hanging on to Justina in a personal vendetta against her parents, because the latter are going Hardball in "fighting the system", and state social workers don't like the parents' attitude; and 4) Justina is being Tortured and semi-Sacrificed by evil psych-ward medical personnel and staffers who may or may not have participated in Harvard University's dramatic re-enactment of a "Black Mass." Seriously, LairCronies, I couldn't make this shit up. I have actually seen, heard and/or read all of the Above in online articles, Facebook and Twitter alone. Which brings us to the Abovementioned "Three-Ring Circus"...

UPDATE (TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014): Just today, Justina Pelletier was (finally!) Released to her parents' custody by the juvenile court judge in Massachusetts who has been screwing with her life during the Past sixteen months. Nonetheless, the "Three-Ring Circus" referred to Above still exists; they're just happier, as of Now, than they used to be. To be Clear: when I refer to the "Three-Ring Circus", I am not speaking of the Vast majority of Justina's good-hearted, Dedicated supporters and advocates, among whom I am Proud to be Counted. Rather, by "Circus", I am referring to the smaller numbers of equally Visible and Vocal individuals and Public figures who persist in bringing their own agendas (related and Otherwise) into the Free Justina campaign. It's those folks whom I consider to be less than Savory or Beneficial to Justina & family's cause; their involvement, if anything, could potentially do more harm than good. To be Concise, they comprise:

1) THE POLITICAL HAYMAKERS: These are (usually right-wing) supporters of Justina and family who keep bringing Unrelated political causes and quarrels into discussions about the Pelletiers' long-running situation. They tend to be right-wing partisans who believe the whole mess can be squarely Blamed on the Democratic majority in Massachusetts' state government, and/or on "liberal politics" generally (seriously--everything from Obamacare to the Common Core curriculum have been brought Up and Vilified in discussions about Justina, online and on-air). Glenn Beck and Matt Barber, among others, are Notorious for displaying these tendencies. Some of them have been verbally Hostile towards progressive supporters of Justina's release--though, to be Fair, most people supporting Justina, though mainly Conservative, are Welcoming of practically anyone who supports the #FreeJustina campaign, Regardless of political affiliation. This Circus crowd, unfortunately, also includes "parents' rights" activists who yell for the Complete abolition of all Child Protection agencies, without addressing the Obvious question of how else children should be Protected from Actual abuse, neglect or sexual exploitation.

2) THE "GOOD VS. EVIL" AVANT-GARDE: There are many religious supporters of Justina who have prayed ceaselessly on her behalf for months, and this is likely a good thing; they are not whom I'm referring to Here. I'm speaking of some really Fanatical types who suspect (and post, and tweet, etc.) that Dark Spiritual Forces are behind Justina's longstanding captivity and her family's suffering, influencing the minds of judges, doctors, social workers and elected officials to refuse repeatedly to release Justina back to her parents. They have been in the habit of demonizing Said clinicians and authorities on Facebook, Twitter and Elsewhere, posting all manner of Frenzied rhetoric on the theme of "spiritual warfare." One frequent implication is that progressives and Democratic voters like myself are also on the "side of evil"; and they are seldom Inclined to retract such allegations. They have likely caused a number of progressive supporters of Justina and family to run Away screaming. I've had to take Occasional breaks from reading their posts myself, to preserve my own hold on rationality; they often read like Lunatic opinion pieces on WorldNetDaily and And then there's...

3) THE "PSYCHIATRY IS A CIA CONSPIRACY" THEORISTS: Since Justina Pelletier was (wrongly, most believe) treated as a psychiatric patient at Boston Children's Hospital for many months, the campaign for her release has attracted scores of folks who believe that psychiatry by itself is a Dangerous pseudo-science, if they don't Otherwise assert it is some kind of evil sorcery Dreamed Up by the CIA during World War II as a way to control and mess with the minds of the masses. There may well be too many Modern "disorders" out there that are, in reality, Normal teenage behavior that's been over-Analyzed; but the anti-Psychiatry crowd are not Content with Proposed overhauls of the DSM-V. They are Keen on discrediting any sort of mental health practice as Postmodern snake oil, going even beyond the aims of MindFreedom International et. al. My only real point of agreement with these folks is that I believe that Justina, and a number of other children and teens have, in fact, been seized by CPS agencies on Fraudulent accusations of abuse (which the medical staffers making Said accusations probably did not even believe themselves), who then pimped them out to hospital psychiatry departments and mental health facilities as psychiatric research study specimens ("wards as lab rats", in my own shorthand). Such practice, even if Legal, cannot possibly be moral, ethical, or Condoned by any precepts of Basic human decency. Let's hope this practice is busted wide Open for public scrutiny very Soon, and Abolished as soon as Possible.

Anyway, my Essential point here is that, even though Justina will be happily Free to go home first thing Tomorrow, the multifaceted issues Raised throughout this debacle are not going Away anytime Soon; and we can look Forward to loads of investigations, reports, and revelations, Unearthed with varying degrees of Invective and political mudslinging... #FreeJustinaAlready


A New Year's Eve Visit (Because I Promised Myself to Slink In Here on New Year's Eve)

NEW YEAR'S EVE (TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2013): Happy New Year's Eve, LairCronies! I've often asked myself if I should keep all my CyberLairs going--Including this one. Because Facebook and freaking Twitter seem to be eating my brain, I have trouble remembering to post here in the Home Lair more than every few months or So. But I'm keeping this sucker Up. Why? Probably because I don't know when to quit. However, there's no use making New Year's Resolutions (a complete waste of time for 99.9 percent of the population Anyway) to post here more Often; it's not going to happen unless I stop guilt-tripping myself about it. For that matter, I'm going to keep posting at The Confundus Conspiracy too, as long as the site doesn't delete it for me. I started a post talking about the ins and outs of being a Djinn-Seeker; and dammit, I'm going to finish that post!

In order to do all that stuff, though, something's got to give. I've got to spend less time on bloody Facebook; it's good for promoting things like my Squidoo lenses, but there are other good promo sites too. There are tradeoffs to be made: more time updating Squidoo lenses and promoting on LiveJournal and Myspace; less time on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest (yes, I've got one of those silly things too, on top of everything Else). So: Resolution 1--stop neglecting blogs and stuff. And maybe get back on Sonicbids. It didn't get me anything when my account was Active; but I knew less about marketing and promotion back Then. With what I've learned Since, maybe there's a chance it could pay for itself.

This past year, 2013, was the Year of the Snake, so they say across the Pacific pond. There was a lot of skin-shedding to do on many levels. It was a Major bummer when my old HP laptop was Stolen (I kid you not) from my neighborhood's Starbucks back around the end of November; but since most of the stuff on it has been Backed Up on CD's back home, perhaps the Cosmos was simply telling me that it was time to get a new effing laptop Already. So, now (writing from my Mom's house in Crossville, TN), my Mom has purchased me a brand-new Dell Inspiron 15 with Windows 7, which is working Fine thus Far. I do, of course, have to reimburse her in installments (she wasn't about to buy me a Christmas present running over $500, thank you very much).

This coming year will be the Year of the Horse in the Chinese calendar. Presumably this means building up stamina and working toward goalposts as Hard and Fast as Possible (among other things). This, for me, means fighting like hell to finish my CD and make more money than I subconsciously think I deserve. Change always comes kind of hard for me--it's been that way literally since the day I was born, when due-date time snuck up on me, and I was Caught in utero not having turned Around into the right position. Hence, I was born breach-style, dislocating my left hip in the process (my left leg was sticking straight Up while the right one was properly Curled up against my torso), and getting my umbilical cord wrapped part-way around my neck. Some kids die under those circumstances; but I figure I must have made it here for some reason, especially Given that both my parents nearly died at birth due to the Misguided tendency in the 1930's for doctors to induce labor early, for whatever reason. addition to a nice, new laptop, I will need a new set of headphones, and funding for some Updated versions of software for music and photo editing, Including Photoshop Elements, Audacity, Finale Songwriter and possibly Pro Tunes or Cakewalk Music Creator (along with tutorials Provided, especially for those last two). Making money and obtaining funds will be a Major focus--but only to help with my music and online businesses. I also want to have a hysterectomy sometime in the next year. I have at least one uterine fibroid at the moment, Confirmed by two different ultrasound methods; and things have been getting Intolerable when, as my Canadian online friend Logospilgrim puts it, Voldemort beckons. But that's a whole 'nother post by itself. I need money to complete my CD project and go on an open mic tour: these constitute Job One for 2014. Together Across the World!! And Bust Justina Pelletier the fuck outta that Hospital!!


My Band is All on My Hard Drive

THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2013: Dear LairCronies, I have Long been a Solitary in the world of folk music, ever since the old praise band at the little church formerly Known as Agape Lutheran Chapel (now called "The Chapel on the Ave", because that's where it's still Located, for better or worse) disbanded, along with most of the Agape community itself. I am still a busker, but a Solitary one. I want a band Regardless; so I am in the process of developing one on my laptop. You heard me--a new Potential band is Incubating on my Finale Songwriter software; and I am Determined that it will ultimately help me complete my CD, since no one Else will work with me, and I can't afford to hire anyone Anyway. The curiosity of having a band stashed Away on my laptop nearly inspired me to write a song about it. I figured I would title the song "My Band is All on My Hard Drive", and I would set it to the tune of O'Carolan's "Planxty Burke". Or maybe not. But then I got Busy, and so the song idea fell by the wayside. The software band, however, is still Incubating, and waiting to be Unleashed.

I am certainly not the first person to attempt to create instrumental parts for an album using music composing, editing or scoring software. Many a high school rock band is now enjoying Modest success on iTunes and Elsewhere, thanks to Pro Tools, Finale, Cakewalk, or whatever other electronic bass-and-beats program they could get their hands on. But since I'm apparently getting old and gray (well, not too gray just Yet), it's taking me longer than the Average 12-year-old to decipher the music-Related software I've got now (older editions of Finale Songwriter and Cakewalk), mostly because they've got so damn many features and functions to wade through. Shoot, I'm still learning new things on the version of Photoshop Elements I've had for over five years Now.

Anyway, thus Far, I've got the free download of Audacity music editing software, and the 2005 version of Finale Songwriter up on my hard drive, along with mp3 versions of all but one of the songs I've planned to put on my first CD (assuming the bloody thing ever gets Finished!). I've also got the software for Cakewalk Music Creator 3 in its Original packaging; but I really need to take a crash course on it via DVD tutorials or something; otherwise, I haven't got a clue how it all works. Why do I mention all these band-in-a-box software products? Because it seems to be my Only option for Full instrumentation on my CD at the moment. Why is that? Why don't I have an Actual group of backup folks playing on my recording project?

Funny you should ask. Well...given the Sorry outcome of my first-Ever crowdfunding campaign, I don't, first of all, have any funds to hire backup musicians; and I have an Awful time getting people to work with me in any Substantial way, for another thing. I do seem to be Jinxed as far as both money and professional success goes. Something is continually getting in my way, blocking my path, throwing wrenches in the machinery, and telling me I haven't got a chance in hell of doing what I really want to do in life. And besides, it continues, Decent people don't do what they want to do in life; their lives are Supposed to be all about other people. L'enfer, c'est les autres, as Sartre would say. L'enfer, et l'embouteillage aussi. Pas de choix pour toi.

In any case, I need a couple of guitarists--including a 12-string player; a bassist, percussionist, violinist; possibly a flute and hammer dulcimer. To be Honest, I'll have to go back and listen to each song a few times over again, to see what arrangement and instrumentation would fit it best. I already know the playback on Finale doesn't match the pitch on the Original recordings. Hence, the pitch will have to be Adjusted on either the software files, the mp3's, or both. And that Nebulous something that's jinxing my work had best get out of the damn way, because I've got some Uncrossing juju Brewing on the old hard drive too...


So, What Exactly IS "Meant to Be"? (Or, How to Predict the Future Without Being Accused of Occultism)

TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 2013: Dear LairCronies, doesn't it goad you into a near-Homicidal rage when someone tells you, after a Longed-for occasion (be it a movie date, a chance to see your Favorite band, or some other event you've been craving practically Forever) falls through and leaves you damn-near Devastated, "Well, it just wasn't Meant to Be"? How the hell do they know that? For that matter, how do any of us know what's "Meant" to happen, or not Meant to happen? If anyone who routinely says such things can pass Along the link to sign up for your Higher Power's own e-newsletter, we'd all be much Obliged. I'm really Curious about this Oddball tendency to kinda-sorta predict the future after the fact, or whatever folks call Said horsepucky.

What's Meant to Be, or not Meant to Be, that is the question. It's an everyday issue with Yours Truly. Was my youthful wish to play fiddle/guitar backup for my favorite Irish musicians (Including for their Reunion tour) really not Meant to happen? Was I truly "not Meant" to study and collaborate with my all-time Favorite singer, who (not, I think, coincidentally) died suddenly the Very week I wrote him a letter asking about the status of an academic program he was trying to start up in southern California? And, of course, was I actually not Meant, Intended, or otherwise Supposed to work with my favorite Local performer here in the Seattle area? Is any musical collaboration or solo success at all "not in the cards" for me? My aunt's personal variation on the "Not Meant to Happen" ideology is that I'm "not Genetically Qualified" for my own life's work. For some reason, though, I have yet to hear her say what she thinks I AM "genetically Qualified" for. Hell, both my great-grandfathers on my Mom's side were Accomplished fiddlers; and many still-Living folks on my Mom's side are also musicians of some aptitude. On my Dad's side, my great-aunt Borghild Olsen over in Norway was, like me, a singer and guitarist. If those aren't "Genetic Qualifications", what the blazes is?

Longtime readers of my LiveJournal blog have probably figured out by now that I have Significant trust issues with Higher Powers and other authority figures. I still believe in the Divine; I just don't trust Him/Her/It completely. I do not find the phrase "God is in control" particularly Reassuring. I also don't much care for the notion that "If it's God's will, it will happen." This, for me, constantly begs the question, "What the heck do I do if it's NOT God's will? Maybe I want to do 'X' (or have it happen) Regardless. How am I supposed to pull off something I really want to do if whatever Higher Power doesn't care to give it the Divine green light?" Maybe it's just paranoia on my part; but that stems from the idea that God is Opposed to my musical career (and Various collaborations Therein) because it's something I want to do, as Opposed to something that was Assigned to me from the Cosmic HQ. During my youth, as I recall, I didn't do very much of anything because I wanted to do it, or took pleasure in it. So much of what I did on a Regular basis was an assignment from Home or School. Hence, I guess I got Accustomed to a rather "Assigned" existence, and still feel Insecure and borderline-Guilty about doing things strictly because I WANT to do them. I still feel that a good bit of my life is Saddled with someone else's expectations; and I wonder if I will ever be Rid of this sort of mental programming.

(UPDATE: APRIL 29, 2013) Not long Ago, I did a little experiment. I attempted to spend an Entire weekend doing only things that I truly wanted to do. Trust me, it wasn't easy. But I think I could get Used to that. I will speak more on this Later. Now, I'm off to deal with those who want me to fail at what I want to do, so I'll give it all up and resign myself to doing what THEY want me to do Instead. That, of course, is not going to happen. There is nothing "sinful" or "selfish" about doing your very own Chosen life's work. Alas, there are always those who want to chose and direct a Bogus sort of "life's work" for you...


Just Before the Election...Some Desperate Scribblings that Probably Won't Influence Anyone

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2012: Good afternoon, good LairCronies! Though I'm still lusting after a Certain goth opera singer from Texas, and still suffering from laptop withdrawal since my HP notebook's hard drive bit the dust, I'm still here and regularly writing (mostly on Twitter and Facebook, naturally). Like many Washingtonians who receive mail-in Election ballots, I've already voted. And, aside from one vote for a Republican state Attorney General candidate (Reagan Dunn), I've voted basically a straight Democratic ticket.

Yes, I've voted to re-elect President Obama and Vice-President Biden. Is this because I absolutely love every element of their first-term record, and think these guys are utterly Awesome and Infallible? No. It's because I think they are infinitely Preferable, warts and all, to the right-wing alternative, which I viscerally fear and disdain.

I don't want to live in a nation with a government Dominated by right-wing ideologues, Religious Right fundamentalist blowhards, Callous neocons and war profiteers, and legislators Bought and Paid off by the super-rich, Big Business/Corporate class; the "1 percent", Koch Brothers and all their ilk. If they were to take over, they would attempt to place most wealth, power and influence in the already-Stuffed pockets of Said corporate overlords, arguing that the "Captains of Industry" should own and control most of the wealth, power and influence, because 1) they're somehow "better" than the rest of us; and 2) they're the only ones who really know how to manage money and power. The American right-wing simply hates it when the working class has any power or clout; they believe that the Big Bosses of the world should dominate our lives (even more than they currently do), and that workers' only options should be to work strictly on the boss's terms, or look for another job. Moreover, Republicans, and right-wingers generally, have long believed that they have some sort of "Divine Right" to sole ownership of the White House, with a concurrent "Divine Right" to dictate public policy. We've definitely seen evidence of this mindset in many state governments, where right-wing elements are completely Obsessed with controlling access to non-Whitewashed knowledge and information, when they're not attempting to control women's sex lives and uteruses.

And now, we've got the likes of Paul Ryan campaigning for the passage of a Federal budget that could literally starve economically Vulnerable individuals and families in order to give bigger tax breaks to Big Business, on the pretense of "encouraging job creation." However, as some of us recall, businesses have not been legally Required to use tax perks to invest in job creation since the Reagan Administration pushed through the repeal of Said legal requirement. Nowadays, we're simply Supposed to trust the Corporate class to do the right thing on their own, with no legal oversight as to whether they invest in job creation or not. Messrs. Romney and Ryan, et. al., there's a good reason why many of us in the "47 percent" camp need and receive publicly-Funded supplemental assistance (whether food stamps, energy assistance, or whatever), and it's NOT because the whole lot of us are Addicted to "dependency" or a lack of Personal responsibility. It's because so many of us have jobs that are chronically part-time, temporary, or project-basis (that is, work is only Available until a Given work project is Complete, then one gets laid off indefinitely, or until a new project comes Along. I've been there and done that more times than I care to recall); we have repeatedly begged for and been denied longer hours; and the jobs don't pay worth a plugged nickel, in any case. People, especially with dependent children, simply cannot live on such wages; and that, good sirs, is the REAL reason there is a Huge and Ongoing need for state- and federally-Funded supplemental assistance programs. Right-wing politicians frothing at the mouth about "socialism" and "dependency" simply don't get this reality. They haven't got the Foggiest clue about how low-income folks actually live their lives.

I want to live in a society where people of all backgrounds and socioeconomic levels feel at home, where all segments of society feel Valued and Needed. I want to see Serious investment in the worst schools, in the poorest neighborhoods, in the most-struggling businesses and industries--everywhere that the Hidden potential of so many individuals is Disregarded and Dismissed. I want to see local communities in this country trading directly with communities, small farmers, and artisans in other countries. I want to see Progressive values being Respected and Embraced, not Feared and Rejected out of hand. I want to see LGBT folks and other minorities Treated with respect, dignity, friendship and acceptance. I want to see women of all backgrounds being Honored and Respected, and people of all genders and orientations treated as equals, and paid and regarded accordingly. I want to see more businesses being employee-Owned, and the dividends of our export of natural resources being Nationalized and Shared among all our citizens. None of these things will likely develop in my lifetime if our Federal government goes all Antediluvian/Neanderthal on us. And that, my dear LairLurkers, is why I have voted, not so much for a Democratic administration, but AGAINST a reactionary/conservative Republican one.


After the Gold Rush: Some Thoughts and Comments on the London Summer Olympics

SUNDAY, AUGUST 19, 2012: Geez, LairCronies, where have I been since May?! Well, I'm still here in sunny Seattle; it's just that both Facebook and Twitter have been eating my brain these last few months! Having watched the latest Summer Olympics from London nearly every night on NBC's primetime slot, a number of thoughts have crossed my mind while observing all the Fascinating feats being Performed, and new world records being Set. It is now [UPDATE] Sunday, September 16, and I'm now writing from the New Wave Travel office, since my own laptop's hard drive recently died of old age, or something; and I'm struggling to raise funds to replace the hard drive, if not the whole machine. So, without Further ado, here are some items that particularly struck me while observing the Summer Games...

1) Gold Medal or Bust: For some reason, over the past several Olympic seasons, athletes have gotten it into their heads that winning a Silver medal is somehow a loss, a failure; that only Gold medal-winners are the "real winners" in an event. Gosh knows where this notion came from, though it fits rather nicely into the corporate-cultural myth that one must be Number One in Something merely to justify one's existence. When Zara Phillips, daughter of Princess Anne, won a silver medal in an equestrian event, one British newspaper article actually described it as a "failure". This, despite the fact that Ms. Phillips found it "Amazing" to be presented with "a medal from my mum" (Princess Anne distributed the medals for that event); and did not, in fact, see her win as a loss. I've lost count of how many times I watched some of the world's best athletes burst into tears and hang their heads in shame because they only won Silver--I often wanted to go over there and smack these kids upside the head, saying, "Geez, get a grip--is being Number Two in the World in your event not good Enough for you?!" Apparently not, at least for a lot of them--unless they somehow managed to snag a Gold in some other event. Curiously enough, the Bronze medalists seemed to have a better attitude about their achievements than the Silver medalists did, in many cases.

2) Seeking Inspiration: One reason I got into the habit of watching the Olympics every evening was to hear Inspirational wit and wisdom Shared by the athletes themselves, during interviews and (often otherwise Annoying) biographical clips. I've been going through a good deal of depression and hopeless feelings Lately, and was really needing these pep talks from young folks about never giving up, keeping one's sights on the achievement of goals and dreams; and, most importantly, that it's a GOOD thing to go for what you want in life, and to believe in yourself, your dreams and desires.

3) No One Gets There On Their Own: President Obama was quite right in what he said with his much-Maligned "You didn't build it" remarks. The most Important detail I took away from my Olympics viewing was the Plain fact that every single athlete who appeared at the London Games had any number of other folks watching their back--friends, family, coaches, sponsors, fellow athletes. As gifted as all of the competitors are, none of them got to the Olympics purely by struggling along on their own. They all had loads of people backing them up every step along the way, supporting and encouraging them, talking them out of discouragement, cheering them on and giving them Massive bearhugs, whether they won medals or not. I need all of this so much in my musical and other Creative work; and I have little if any support system at all, even from those Closest to me (in fact, I've had some of them call it Egotistical of me even to ask them to be more Encouraging). I've tried to do as much as I can, soldiering on by myself; but I can't do everything I want to accomplish completely Alone, with no one behind me who's "got my back." And I'm not sure where to find such supporters, even among those I myself support the most strongly. My relatives don't think my work is Realistic or Prestigious enough, and most of my friends believe that they themselves cannot afford the luxury of dreaming--hence, they don't think I can, either. Hence, I need to find professional supporters, I suppose--those in my Chosen profession and industries, who are Willing and Able to give me the backup that I desperately need, and can't seem to find.


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