Tuesday, April 21, 2015

random paths

molly, at home.
she and our daughter would've been friends, i think.

they were so similar in so many ways.

instead, the girl across the street died by random gunfire, leaving behind an infinite number of paths not taken.

probably the least of which is simply being our neighbor. just across the street.

molly conley's mom is still there, almost two years gone by. we hug her every chance we get, which isn't often. we saw her even less than usual during the recent trial, conviction, and sentencing of molly's killer.

what's she to do, after all? come bounding over with talk of great weather and flowers in her garden and "oh-my-gosh we should get together for a glass of wine on the patio"?

we want to reach out, but aren't wise enough to know how. we know this because, surprised to see her out walking her dogs last week, we waved and blurted a cheerful, "hello!"

because we like her, and were happy to see her.

the hello hung in the air, briefly, before she kindly looked up, smiled a small smile, and kept walking.

the unspeakable patiently waits and watches and listens. spoken or not, it will be part of the conversation, soon enough.

our daughter is smart and athletic and confident. she's just, you know, someone who makes you smile, someone you want to be around. which is the same way molly's mom described her daughter in one of our first conversations.

i believe we surround ourselves with people who reflect who we are and who we want to be. and because i believe this...i think our girls would've been friends.

one of countless paths it might've been nice to watch them follow.

kiss a lover, dance a measure
find your name and buried treasure
face your life, its pain, its pleasure
leave no path untaken

~ neil gaiman

the no-way scenario

“California’s in the midst of a 4-year-old drought. They tell us there’s a year’s supply of water left. What do you do about it?”

“I’m starting a Kickstarter campaign. I want $30 billion … to build a pipeline like the Alaska pipeline. Say, from Seattle — a place where there’s a lot of water. There’s too much water. How bad would it be to get a large, 4-foot pipeline, keep it aboveground — because if it leaks, you’re irrigating!”

And where would this water pipeline go?

“Bring it down here and fill one of our lakes! Lake Mead!”

it's not happening, bill.

not because washingtonians aren't sharing, caring people. we are. but let's be clear ~ you're not getting our water.

"Last year Washington saw more craft breweries open than any other state: 83 new breweries opened in Washington during 2014. Followed by New York 67, California 59, Colorado 55, and Florida. BOOM!"

there's a credibility gap here. if california's drought problem is so bad, what are they doing opening breweries? and why should we fill up their lakes, when everyone knows they're just going to use the water to irrigate the desert landscaping of the rich and famous?

"The Desert Water Agency, which provides water to Palm Springs and nearby areas, reported consumption of 221 gallons per person per day for February of this year, above the state average of 77 gallons, according to numbers released by the State Water Resources Control Board."

221 gallons per person! per day! that's a lot of lost beer-opportunity cost!

so, bill, you're saying with california facing its worst drought in 12 centuries, you want to keep the taps flowing...with washington's water?

no. i mean, sorry and all...but no.

we have beer to make.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

top billing (or, "learning to love the best of the worst")

"what could possibly go wrong?"
''i have tons of money, a stout resume, and a guy who likes to call himself 'commander in chief' in the bedroom. oh, and i want to be president."

~ hillary v.16

you don't have to love hillary and her, uh, DINO problem.

william rivers pitt, for example, doesn't love her one bit:

"Hillary voted for the PATRIOT Act. She voted for the Iraq War Resolution. She is snuggled up good and tight with the organized crime crews like Goldman Sachs that stole our future. She got the Keystone XL pipeline ball rolling at the State Department. Personal liberty...unjust war...Wall Street crime...climate change. Seems to me those are the signal issues of our time...and every chance she's had to cast a vote or exert influence, she's gone in absolutely the wrong direction."

uh, yup.

but unless there's another barack obama out there we're not aware of (there isn't ~ we'd be aware of him/her by now), you can bet brother william (and every other democrat and liberal) will pull the lever for hillary next year.

therefore it may be useful to find some reasons not to revile her.

1. she's not scott walker, jeb bush, or a member of the cruz/paul/rubio boy band.
2. social media will make it much harder for her to triangulate (note: that sentence is a nonsense collection of words that means nothing)
3. she can beat the stuffing out of john boehner and mitch mcconnell
4. she is only slightly right of center on most issues (as near as we can tell, based on the current understanding of her "evolving" views)
5. (hang on, i'm thinking...)

okay, that's all i've got right now.


Monday, April 06, 2015

hate pays

let's give this as little attention as possible.

but just enough to provide a cautionary tale.

in the wake of signing indiana's discriminatory "religious freedom restoration act," governor mike pence was asked if it should be legal to discriminate.

he refused to answer the question.

instead, he launched into full-on victim mode, complaining how "misunderstood" the new law was, and how horribly "mischaracterized" it had been.

the very next week, after businesses, religious groups, local governments, state governments, and countless individuals threatened to boycott indiana, the law was revised.

"Specifically, the new language says the RFRA does not authorize a provider — including businesses or individuals — to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, goods, employment, housing or public accommodation to any member of the public based on sexual orientation or gender identity, in addition to race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex or military service."

so apparently the law in its original form was pretty well understood after all, n'est-ce pas?

one more thing pence said (and the point of this little exercise), was that there was no reason for concern the law might be used as cover for discrimination.

"come on!" pence objected. "hoosiers don't believe in discrimination."

no, of course not.

and yet almost immediately one hoosier restaurant jumped into the news saying it would refuse to cater a gay wedding. after a deluge of negative reviews on yelp and facebook, the business closed. yay, social media.

soon thereafter, a gofundme page set up to support that business raised nearly $850,000 in two days. i haven't seen their books, but let's agree that $850K is more money than this mom and pop pizza shop in northern indiana would see in its shabby lifetime.

conclusion: lots of hoosiers (and others) believe in discrimination so fervently, they're willing to bankroll it to the tune of almost a million bucks.

here's another example of a florist in washington state who refused to sell flowers to a gay couple for their wedding. a crowdfunding campaign for her netted more than $80,000.

conclusion II: lots of americans don't really believe in the concept of america. they will gladly deprive their fellow citizens of basic civil rights if they think they can get away with it.

this is a good thing to remember any time you hear some (invariably republican) legislator say the fine people of his/her constituency would never discriminate by hiding behind a law passed to enable discrimination.

conclusion III: when in doubt...follow the money.