Dear Mr. President, It’s Not Us. It’s You.

Several years ago, I read an interesting take on the purpose of marriage. It has stuck with me ever since. I wish I could find the original, but my ex-wife took it in the divorce. Here’s the gist:

Marriage isn’t meant to make you happy, it just makes you married. Being happy is your responsibility. But from the foundation of a good and stable relationship, you can seek your personal happiness instead of spending your energy seeking a mate.

It’s no one else’s responsibility to make you happy. No one can “make” another person happy. Your mate might make you happier. But in the end, your emotional state isn’t your partner’s responsibility. It’s yours. And it’s likewise not your partner’s fault if you’re miserable. Of course, it may not be yours, either. But your emotional state is still your responsibility, and yours alone. Continue reading

Kakistocracy: Of, By, And For The Worst.

When you’re a kid, adults inspire you by saying, “You can be anything you want when you grow up!” Sometimes parents illustrate the true grandeur of that statement with a follow up: “…you could even be the president!”

My mom used to tell me that I was just too smart to be the president. Throughout my life, I’ve switched between two beliefs. Sometimes I believe my mom wholeheartedly. Other times, I think her premise is absurd. That switch has occurred once every eight years.

Continue reading

Next Infrastructure Week, Let’s Pave The Road To Hell.

They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.  I am not sure who “they” are but they make an excellent point.

Acting on one’s good intentions, such as giving advice in the form of proverbs, can have unintended negative consequences.

President George W. Bush wanted to improve America’s public schools. As a well-heeled, conservative businessman, he believed that if students could just move to Connecticut and go to expensive prep schools, we’d get a double benefit: better education and deeper bench strength for the U.S. yachting team. Continue reading

Democracy: If You Ain’t Rigging It, You Ain’t Trying.

Voting is the essential element of democracy. We all vote, and whoever gets the most votes wins the election. Right?

Well, let me be more specific. Whoever gets the most votes of every vote cast wins the election. You don’t need a majority of people to like you in a democracy. You just need a majority of people who voice their opinion on you to like you.

Okay, let me be even more specific because not everyone gets to vote, at least not in our sort of democracy. Whoever gets the most votes (1) of every vote cast (2) by non-felons (3) over the age of 18 (4) who can prove residency within the precinct wins the election. Continue reading

Personal Foul, Unstatesmanlike Conduct, Number 45.

Let’s say you’re a supporter of a professional football team. We’ll call them the Orangemen. Not the Syracuse Orangemen, since they’re just the “Orange” now. Same state though, just for consistency’s sake. The New York Orangemen.

A flamboyant, rich businessman sees an opportunity, swoops in and buys the team. His name is Ronald. Ronald Chump. Continue reading

The League Of Extraordinary Former Invertebrates

There’s nothing especially courageous about saying Donald Trump is nuts. He is, objectively, the most narcissistic, unpredictable, and petulant man to ever hold the office of President of the United States. Sure, maybe “nuts” isn’t the right way to frame the man’s clearly evidenced personality deficiencies. But, in layman’s terms, Donald Trump is more than nuts. To paraphrase the Secretary of State, he’s “fucking nuts.”

Democrats have been saying Trump is insane and his followers are deplorable since he descended the golden escalator back in 2015. “Descend the golden escalator” sounds like a euphemism for something slimy, but in this case…well, it’s still slimy, just in a different way. Continue reading

Gun Junkies & The People Who Love Them

Addicts give excuses. Constantly.

They rationalize and let themselves off the hook as a means of coping with objectively harmful behavior. They split hairs and insist that no broader conclusion can be drawn from their most recent specific episode. Some throw up their hands and declare that the status quo is the best possible outcome. Some blame anyone and anything they can to avoid taking actual, personal responsibility for the problem. Continue reading

The Buddha In The White House

We hear a lot about the idea of mindfulness. The most developed people are mindful. Oprah is mindful. That has to count for something, because she’s Oprah. Quod erat demonstrandum.

“Mindfulness” is the state of being totally present in the moment. A mindful man is not worried about what transpired yesterday. A mindful woman is not thinking about what she has to do tomorrow. A mindful person is living in the now, fully experiencing now with 100% of their consciousness. Some people utilize meditation to great effect in returning their scattered thoughts to center. The act of sitting attentively, but attending to nothing, is more powerful than its inherent inaction would indicate. Continue reading

Shut Up & Play, Unless I Like What You’re Saying.

If you’re a conservative, you likely believe that success comes from work ethic, skill, and maybe a tiny bit of luck. People get successful by plugging away, working their way up, and taking risks. Some “conservatives” also mix in several bankruptcies and being an orange-faced douche canoe, but that’s clearly not necessary to achieve success.

Now, I’ve written before about the idea that we’ve each got about a 1 in 100 shot at jumping more than one class level from where we’re born. And I’ve blogged about capitalism’s bent toward helping the rich get richer at the expense of the poor. I’ve ranted about the misguided glorification of entrepreneurship by the right. And yeah, I’ve written about plenty of other things that should give you a good indication that I’m a sissy pinko commie well-educated, intelligent, and compassionate liberal. I even know what the Oxford comma is AND I’m not afraid to use it. #nerd Continue reading

Hey Bubba, If The Icecaps Melt, There’ll Be Less Animals For You To Shoot.

Scientists tend to agree that climate change is happening, and humans are at least partially to blame.

Ask a liberal what they think, and you’ll likely hear something like this:

“Hang on, let me put down my non-GMO soy half-caff, fair trade, locally-sourced macchiato so I can gesticulate properly. Look, if 97% of scientists agree that we’re impacting our environment negatively, and there’s something we can do to reverse the damage, what’s the problem? We’ve only got one earth, and I want to leave a beautiful planet to my exceptional and gifted children, Namaste and Flax.” Continue reading