The Only Thing They Have Is Fear Itself

“When you feel you have had it up to here, cause you mad enough to scream, and you sad enough to tear.” -from the song Rock Bottom by Eminem

Who didn’t see it coming? John McCain, a cagey twenty-six year veteran of Washington D.C. , is not afraid to go low. Last night he proved that, like an old school brawler who senses the end if he cannot catch his breath, he is a win at all cost kind of guy.

Short gasps audible through the microphone punctuated what Senator McCain had to say throughout the night, including when he tersely dismissed  Senator Obama as “that one”. Mr. Obama’s expression was a combination of offense, forgiveness, and a complete lack of surprise, exactly the way I imagine Jesus would look in the same situation.

Down talking to someone is a tricky business, but when an old white man is codescending toward a  bright, young black man, while being nationally televised on all three networks and the cable news channels, the going can prove especially perilous. A million years ago when McCain started his Washington career,  it may have been the norm to  polarize people along racial divides, but these days it does not fly in most places.

A girl that I knew back in California posted an video of some dudes who call themselves The Obama Youth on her facebook page, and declared that it was one of the most frightening things she had ever seen online.  In it some young black fellows, dressed in camoflage pants and matching navy blue tee shirts stomp/march into the room chanting “Alpha/Omega” before arranging themselves into an orderly line. One after another they declare that because of Obama they are inspired to be the next “doctor, lawyer, automotive technician,  chef, architect, engineer,” etc., you get the jist. At the end they all do a little yes we can cheer, combined with some synchronized movement, then a little cheer about health care, then it’s over.

Out on the campaign trail right now the GOP candidate and his running mate are whipping their conservative supporters up into a frenzy accusing Senator Obama of being a socialist who, “doesn’t see America”, as you and I do.  Over on Wall Street the market is sinking like a zeppelin made of lead and  Republican  champions of small government cannot print the money, to prop the economy up, fast enough.

Fear is a sublime motivator, but fear can also be misplaced and exploited, so that reality becomes less important than the preconceived notions that create our frame of reference. When we deny our fears it creates a mindset where hope can begin to take root and grow. Though fear has the ability to make people jump suddenly, hope can provide the motivation to endure the unspeakable.

Never in my lifetime has the choice been so clearly defined as we head into the polls. On the one hand I can vote because I am afraid of what will happen. On the other hand I can vote because of what I hope will happen.

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Obamer!!!!

A. K. A. Lamont Cranston

I’ve got headaches and toothaches and bad times too, but on the upside I have life, for what it’s worth. Yesterday over ten thousand people in China had their existence cut short by a cataclysmic earthquake that took lives and buried the dead in one fell swoop. A little over a week ago, the nation of Burma was devastated by a cyclone that washed more than one hundred thousand lives out to sea with the tide. Ken McDunn had it right when, after the accident onboard the ship he got a tattoo that says; “The Shadow of Death, A Fact Of Life”.

 

Mc Dunn is one of a kind and we met in boot camp years ago.  He got there a day before I did and we served our entire enlistment together, assigned to the same school, and later the same ship. McDunn was skinny and pale and a real life skin head, whose buddies were all on trial for murder. On Sundays, the one day that we were allowed to look at a newspaper, he would point out the articles that recounted the trial of his fellow skinheads who eventually wound up in prison. When we met, Ken had no tats, but by the time we had served our two year enlistment with the USN, his upper body was nearly covered with ink.

 

Like myself, Ken was not happy with his decision to enlist and chafed at the lunacy that is characteristic within the armed forces. We were in a drill company in boot camp and as a result tobacco was forbidden. Ken’s parents would send him chewing tobacco in the bottom of a Pringles can that they had removed all the chips from before replacing them and resealing the can. We would volunteer for the overnight watches so that we could indulge our nicotine craving while everyone else was sleeping.

 

The store on base was restricted for recruits that were still in boot camp, but McDunn didn’t care and would strut right in there like he belonged and buy cigarettes for the both of us that we secretly smoked at any chance we could get. It was big risk for him to break the rules and it could have resulted in an extra week in boot camp, but Ken was a genuine iconoclast who believes that authority exists only to be challenged and usurped.

 

When we graduated from boot camp Ken and I had one mission; like many freshly minted recruits in the armed services, we struck out to find some whores. The working girls that we came upon were supremely sketchy and he took the fat one, while I got the skinny one. They took us back to their filthy, one bedroom apartment and Ken and his girl went into the back bedroom while my gum cracking wraith and I took our place on the fold out couch. I’ll never forget the bored expression that she looked up at me with while my pale, skinny ass bounced up and down like an over revved piston. All the while she kept popping her gum and saying, “Are you finished yet”. It turned out that the experience did not match our expectations that had been eight weeks in the making.

 

When the ship was out at sea Ken would do something that, to this day, I find hilarious. Being assigned to a ship meant that when we were away from port we were on duty 24/7 and there was no way to escape, but Ken found a way to get time off even when the ship was in the middle of the ocean. Periodically he would collect up some snacks and soda pop and a book and then he would vanish into one of the ships many vacant crawl spaces for days at a time.

 

The first couple of times that  he did this it caused quite a stir, inspiring man over board drills and panic within the ship’s hierarchy, but after a few days Ken would reappear, rested and ready resume his duties, albeit in a lackluster fashion. Of course he would be punished for his unauthorized absence, but he didn’t care, and I knew that he would do it again regardless. They always came to find me when Ken pulled one of his disappearing acts and I would always assure them that he was still onboard and would come back when he was ready, he just needed a little time off to get lost in a book.

 

Authority can always be countermanded so long as there is a will that contends, but the power of nature is undeniable. When the earth shakes so mercilessly that humans are crushed under their own toppled creations, or the ocean encroaches upon the land to drag the living into its abyss there is little resistance that can be offered. There is nowhere to hide when the shadow of death stretches its pall across a landscape.

 

So long as we are the living we can continue to escape the things that displease us and avoid situations that are unpleasant. Eventually though, a bony, outstretched finger will tap every single one of us on the shoulder with a summons, and there will be nowhere to run. Until then, enjoy what you still have; life.

 

Down For The Keebler Kind

When I turned the T.V. on at six a.m. last Monday morning the screen was filled with the dramatic live images of a multi home fire that transcended spectacular. Three homes on the so called “Street of Dreams” had been completely consumed by the magnificent flames that roared into the sky, a fourth was nearly gutted and the fifth failed to ignite, leaving a wealth of evidence for the ATF and FBI boys to cull through. Immediately I knew that the Northwest’s #1 homegrown eco-terror group the Earth Liberation Front had struck again.

Their name is a misnomer. Really they should call themselves the Arson Liberation Front, because the only thing set free by their actions are some wicked flames. Fires that are rivaled only by the ones that supposedly burn down in Hell’s incendiary pit. If in fact these guys really want to liberate the Earth from human oppression they need to take up arms and start killing people. No joke, ELF should grow a pair and make it happen for real. There are many whose actions and decisions, Nature herself might consider as a personal effrontery. Get with it ELF.

Arson is a passive aggressive crime. Arsonists sneak in during the night to avoid confrontation and any rational challenge to their flawed reasoning. Setting a home gloriously ablaze makes for great television, but is hardly the way to rally the public behind a cause. Of course overly zealous cops/prosecutors/judges, along with Patriot Act style lawmaking is really all of the reason needed to avoid getting snatched up by the mechanical claw of the Federal Judiciary System.

ELF members are even more illogical and self righteous than the typical, run of the mill, granola types who clutter up the Northwest. Unlike many who believe that their worldview is morally superior and who aggressively push their ideology, ELF members have determined that the path to societal change is not by challenging the status quo with logic and reason, instead they create stupendous burning effigies of the culture that they revile.

Down in Portland right now there is a 34 year old ELF member named Tre Arrow who is facing life in prison for torching a bunch of cement mixers. Such heavy handed prosecution could only come about in the post 9/11 world. This guy foolishly placed himself in the crosshairs of an overly zealous legal system with his stupid, stupid actions. Now any opportunity that he might have had to make the world a better place is slipping away, along with his freedom.

Burn down hundred’s of homes with sleeping families in them in a suburb somewhere and then I will begin to think about being impressed by the beautiful flames that the ELF creates. That day will never arrive, because The Earth Liberation Front is the kind of faux terrorist group would never be willing to stage an actual legitimate attack against the American culture. ELF members need to remind themselves that making war against people is how you quash ideas that are unacceptable, and that if you make war by burning empty, model homes, it seems to indicate displeasure with some aspect of real estate, perhaps a hatred for the actual homes themselves.

Just think what could actually be accomplished if America wakes to the headline “Thousands Gone In Overnight Fire Bombings, L.A. Suburbs On High Alert”. Crawls on CNN and MSNBC would announce: “President To Address Nation About Fire Bombings” and “Country On High Alert Against Eco Terror Threat”. If things went really well the cause might get its own special eco terror, color coded, threat level thermometer. It is up to ELF members, the so called renegades against the American dreams and ideals to really jiggle America’s Fear/Change Throttle. So much can be accomplished when people think you are as serious as a murder and if they know that you are as serious as a mass murder it could really help change their minds about respecting the environment.

That’s Not Sick It’s Funny

Here are two links to sites that are amusing. The first one is intentionally so, the guy is pretty damned witty. The second link explains why everytime I sit down to watch  a football game with the fellas, I wind up in a naked circle jerk, trying to come the furthest. Go figure.

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/

http://baptistsforbrown2008.wordpress.com/2008/02/03/super-bowl-sunday-holy-grail-day-for-closeted-homos/