Sarah Baby, according to your interpretation of the First Amendment, you can indeed yell that in a crowded theater.  You can also go up to someone who is African American, and call them the “N Word”.  In Sarah Palin’s America, you can call someone a Communist even though they aren’t; you may feel free say anything you want about anyone, most especially in the media because your rights to absolutely unlimited speech are protected by the First Amendment!  Isn’t that right, Sarah Baby?

Every time I think this woman can say something or do something dumber than previously shown, she surprises me once again.  Just imagine how Johnny Boy feels about that!  In an interview with a Conservative radio host today, she claims that by constantly bringing up William Ayers (and now apparently Jeremiah Wright), the media getting on her case is akin to infringement of her First Amendment rights.  Let’s let Governor Moosebrains speak for herself in this direct quote: “If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations,” Palin told host Chris Plante, “then I don’t know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.”

This woman is incredibly fucking dumb.  A doorknob has a higher IQ…in fact, it’s MENSA compared to her.

Remember from grade school (they have those in Alaska, Sarah Baby; I know this for a fact because recently I’ve met quite a few incredibly intelligent folks from our 49th State.  So what’s your excuse?) the old addage of Free speech does not mean you can yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater.  In other words, there are certain times where your rights do not extend as far as you think.  You cannot accuse someone of something in the media without evidence to back it up, or it becomes a little thing known as “slander”.  So let’s just say someone accused you of being woefully being unprepared for ANY public office and that you have an incredibly narrow and shockingly shallow understanding of the US Constitution, you’d have to prove that they were wrong.  Gee, I wonder what would happen if that actually occurred?  I think you might just lose that argument.

What is even more frightening about this woman’s clear lack of a functioning brain, is the fact that she also is missing another key point of the First Amendment.  The Press (which has been guaranteed freedom under Amendment One) has the RIGHT to criticize you Sarah Baby…THAT IS exercising Freedom of Speech, not abridging YOUR right to speak…but once again, speaking in public within bounds.  Conceivably your accusation or Senator McCain’s accusation that Senator Obama is a Socialist or a Communist is SLANDER.  If he chose to, he could sue you (and would almost certainly win), and you can kiss little Piper’s college education fund goodbye.

More frightening is this: there are people in this country who will DEFEND her for this!  Not only that, the mindset of the current Republican Party is such that this is perfectly in line with their reasoning.  Please, I KNOW there are real Conservatives and Libertarians in the Republican Party who have no great love for what has happened to their Party.  Please take back your Party, give Americans a real, intelligent, and viable political movement and PUT THIS WOMAN OUT OF OUR MISERY.

Oh…one final thing Sarah Baby: this is an OPINION piece, just like the rest of the posts in this blog.  I even state that fact in the “About This Place” tab just over on the right.  You are an ignorant, dumb shit Sarah Palin.  If that offends you, well it’s too bad.

It’s my opinion, and I have a right to say it.  In fact, it’s guaranteed.

“Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” – Constitution Of The United States Of America


Deal Closed…I Hope, No I Believe!

It was moving, it offered us a glimmer of hope for this country.  It made me feel proud and more than willing to help move America forward, and like Senator Obama said, participate in our democracy.

Perspective: My best friend (we met in college, in wedding parties, would have been Godfather to my kids if he was Catholic…damned Church) is a staunch Libertarian/Conservative.  (He’s a REAL Conservative, not the Neocon impostors or anyone else in the GOP he has become disgusted with)  He called me after the campaign ad and said he was voting for Obama.  I cannot believe that…he is voting for the first Democrat IN HIS LIFE.  If that had an impact on someone like my friend…then we have hope that there might be impact elsewhere.

We might just really have a chance to hope and dream and become Americans again.

“I was there at the Dawn of The Third Age of Mankind…” – Ambassador Londo Molari (Babylon 5/jms)

The Art Of Closing The Deal

This evening is Barack Obama’s chance to close the deal with the American People.  If you don’t close the deal, you have no sale; and in this case, no sale means no future for America.

I was a salesperson (financial sales) at one time in my life.  One of the first things I learned was the axiom, “He who talks first loses”.  What that means is that if you are selling something to someone, you’ve made your pitch, and now there’s that awkward silence between you and the prospective buyer.  If the buyer talks first, odds are they will buy (or they “lose”); if you talk first, you lose your sale.  Think about this the next time you’re being sold something; because if the sales person has to talk after that silence, then they HAVEN’T closed the deal…they feel a need to reinforce or add on to what they have said.  Good sales people keep their mouth shut at the end of the pitch.  They can also REALLY screw up the sale by saying something incredibly stupid.

I’m not so worried about Senator Obama having a loose lip, but Good Ol’ Joe Biden better keep quiet from now until Tuesday.  Senator Obama makes his pitch tonight in a 30 minute Prime Time campaign ad (I hate that they are calling it an “infomercial”.  Sarah Palin is the type that would do an infomercial for designer AK-47s with dancing moose in the background.   SNL was probably incredibly on target, with the target sitting right there!).  At the end of the campaign ad, Obama will speak live.  I don’t know what he will add, but let’s just hope that by him having that coda is not akin to losing the sale by talking too much.

I’ll be back later on with some thoughts on the ad.

“Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won’t taste good.” – Joe Paterno

Election 2008 Word Association

You know those word association tests?  Well, I decided to play one out here for a while.  See how well you do at home:

  • Stevens? Guilty
  • Guilty? Conscience
  • Conscience? None
  • None? Many
  • Many? Crazies
  • Crazies? Skinheads
  • Skinheads? Foiled
  • Foiled? Thwarted
  • Thwarted? Palin
  • Palin? Rogue
  • Rogue? X-Men
  • X-Men? Hulk
  • Hulk? Smash!!
  • Smash? McCain
  • McCain? Senile
  • Senile? Republicans
  • Republicans? Romans
  • Romans? Countrymen
  • Countrymen? Vote
  • Vote? Change
  • Change? Obama
  • Obama? President

Feel free to play along at home…or as my daughter just said to me, “Confusing!”

(…And how could I possibly put some other quote here when my daughter’s coda was PERFECT?)

OK…Now That I’ve Had My Xanax…

This is what this Election has done: taken normal, sane (mostly, anyway) people and turned them into raging lunatics.

Yes, my post from Saturday was WAY over the top, but you know what?  It’s staying right where it is because it’s a perfect example of what can happen to you when you lose your line of vision.  When you lose yourself in the moment and all rationality has been stripped bare.  I just went “out there” because That Woman infuriates me to no end; she and her ilk.  They’re looking for the Un-Americans?

All they have to do is look in a mirror.

More later on today…right now, I need my coffee…

The Moebius Loop Of Insanity

Author’s Note 10/28/08: This post contains language that might be offensive to some. I wrote it the other night in the heat of the moment, and for content purposes and the message it is trying to get across, it remains posted.  I apologize to anyone who may have read this prior to my posting of this caveat.  I am a down to earth man, and many times my language reflects that.  I cannot apologize for who I am or what I wrote, but I will apologize for my use of some rather colorful metaphors! 😀

I am writing this now because I have the fear and anger inside me that needs to be channeled out before I lose the moment.  The only way I know how to do this is to write about how I feel and what I just witnessed.

Sarah Palin has officially crossed the line.  She has gone over the edge, down the rabbit hole and into the snake pit (where I’m sure she’ll feel quite at home).  At a rally today, she said that Obama’s policies will lead to a Communist state and the death of freedom.  We’ve moved from Socialist to Communist in one short week.

It began a week ago with the insane ravings of Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann reciting a Neo-McCarthyist message, and now we have Palin pretty much calling Senator Obama a Communist.  Note to GOP: Your Rogue has officially gone WAY off course and is treading waters that haven’t been sailed upon in over 50 years.  She has a message that is so right wing, one could call you Fascists…or NAZIS.  This is 1932 all over again.

Think about it: economic crisis, uncertain electorate, Nazis blaming everything on the Communists; only now the Fascist GOP is pushing the Dems as Communists.  God help us if McCain gets in, because clearly he is President Hindenburg and Palin is Chancellor Hitler…and we know what happened there.  Hinndenberg dies, and Hitler takes charge and institutes complete and total domination of the State by the Nazis.

The mechanisms have already been put into place for this to happen: the PATRIOT Act, the wiretapping, the secret prison locations, the massive camps built all around the nation by Haliburton, suspension of Habeas Corpus.  The machinery is all there, and it’s just waiting for someone to push the button to start the conveyor belts running.  And who gets that rolling?

WE DO.  We start the process toward completion by voting these right wing nut jobs by pushing the button, turning the lever, or punching a hole next to their names on Election Day.

My wife thinks I’m about ready to completely snap, and after what I saw tonight on Huffington Post, I am truly frightened for this country and the world: SARAH HAS OFFICIALLY LEFT THE RESERVATION

The parallels between what is happening right now and Germany’s Wiemar Republic in 1932 are absolutely UNCANNY.  IT IS UP TO US TO STOP HISTORY FROM REPEATING ITSELF.  Instead of locking up Jews, they will do that to Muslims this time around.  They will create another “Reichstag Event” to make this all happen.  9/11 got the ball rolling; Bush started the plan and layed the groundwork.  Pretty soon dissent will be a thing of the past.  Blogs like this one will disappear without a trace to be replaced with those favoring the State.


God, I am MAD…and fucking scared.  My hands were literally trembling before.  I KNOW she is a nut case, but I have common sense and a 150 IQ…but it is entirely possible that people will BELIEVE HER.  THAT is the most frightening thing I can imagine…and that is why I am probably a bit over the top tonight.  But I have to be.  Because my conscience will not allow me to stay silent in any form.  Because I love my country too much to see it taken over by a bunch of fucking right wing fringe lunatics.

I probably sound the same way she does right now…that just occurred to me.  There is a difference though…I don’t have a lust for power behind my conviction SHE DOES.

For me, I put my love of Country first.  God help us all in the coming days.  We’re going to need all the help we can get to keep America free.

Senator McCain…please stop the insanity NOW, because you are the only one who can pull the plug on this lunatic.  If I hear you defend this speech tomorrow, and evolve a strategy around this, then I know one thing is for certain.  When you sold your soul you truly did not understand the price you would pay.

Not only did you lose your soul, but have taken the Nation with you in the process.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” – Joseph Goebbels

The State Of Separation

I never thought it would be possible, but never before have I seen an election that has polarized friends and family to the breaking point.  I’ve heard all kinds of stories about how couples dislike visiting their parents or in-laws’ because of differing politics.  Friendships have been put to the test, and I personally know of at least two cases where this election has terminated long-time friendships.  All kinds of relationships have been put to the test in this election cycle, and with very good reason: eight years of hell.

I am no exception.  A few months ago, an old college buddy of mine (still one of my closest friends to this day) sent me an e-mail about Obama’s tax plans for people.  This was at the beginning of AUGUST when I received this, before ANYTHING had been finalized by EITHER candidate.  It was the last straw in a series of e-mails I had received from him about Senator Obama that were of the hate e-mail variety.  I had pretty much had it at that point, and 30 years of friendship or no, I launched off on him via a reply that probably may have been a bit too harsh; but after what has gone on in the campaign since then, I think this may have set the wires on fire for good reason.

Here’s my reply to that e-mail.  I’ll warn you up front, I take no prisoners and drop the f-bomb like it came during the Battle of Britain…so be prepared.  Keep in mind this was a FRIEND I was replying to…just imagine what I do to my enemies!



You’re a smart guy.  After almost 30 years of friendship I know that is true.  So, let’s look at a few things that you may want to think about:

-First off, the talking points just don’t cut it with me.  Although I have my left leaning ways, I am also a hater of big government and taxes.  After having two buildings dropped on my head, I don’t trust a fucking soul…Republican or Democrat to save this sorry state of affairs we are in and return America to greatness.  Only INDEPENDENT THINKERS can do that.  That means reading every source you can find in print or on the Net on a topic in which you have concern and not believe everything your Inbox tells you.  (And if you don’t believe that, look down a few more topics and there’s a guy in Nigeria who wants to borrow money and will give you a million dollars in return).

-Many of the things stated for BOTH Mc Cain and Obama are shit, pure and simple.  Neither has laid out a detailed plan for anything yet, so how come an e-mail that has come down from on High (like my use of that one, huh?  I took it from McCain’s nasty playbook, page 356) lets me know something for which there is no basis in fact FOR EITHER CANDIDATE?

-My father was just put in a Nursing Home.  He served his country during the Korean War…in the fucking Company as a courier no less.  He had no choice in the matter, they told him, “Courier or Korea”.  He chose the former, and managed to see more fucked up shit (and KNOW more fucked up shit, which is probably worse) than he ever bargained for.  My mother is now going BROKE to take care of him.  THIS is the way America treats its “living fallen”.  We pack them up to some God forsaken hole (worse than whatever my Dad experienced in his wildest dreams), make their families go broke in the process.  We then have a lovely ceremony when he dies, where my mom gets a flag, he gets a star on a wall in Virginia, and we’re all supposed to be proud.  FUCK THAT.  This country treats its Veterans like shit.  It treats its sick like shit.  Come to think of it, it treats EVERYONE like shit.  Socialized medicine sounds DAMNED good right about now.  One day you and I will be in the same boat and OUR families will go broke too, under the current system.  I sure as hell don’t want to see that for Tess and the kids, and I’m sure you don’t want that for your wife either.  Let’s think about this NOW while we still can, because by the time this fucking government gets its shit together and does something to help its sick, you and I will be in varying states of dementia in some God forsaken hole somewhere playing Scrabble with only half the alphabet to give a flying fuck.

-As far as taxes go, we make under $100K with two kids and we own a home; so we’re fine.  I don’t like taxes and in fact, they are illegal as the Sixteenth Amendment that allowed the Income Tax and the creation of the IRS WAS NEVER PROPERLY RATIFIED.  (Try telling that to your accountant OR the IRS though).  I like a flat tax, nice and easy.  Proportionate and simple.  I make 100 grand, I owe 15%…that’s, uh (breaking out my Bomar Brain here)…$15,000.  Gee!  No forms, either!  Oh, and they can take that from me so we’re ALWAYS even every paycheck.  I know you favor the Consumption Model, but I’d go nuts if I had to pay tax on a pair of briefs to support my nuts.

-It’s ironic that you favor a Consumption Tax though.  If Obama (or anyone) wanted to tax energy consumption (as the e-mail below alleges) to prevent global warming and/or ensure that we use less foreign energy imports, I would think you’d be all for it.  After all, based on your “everyone shares the pain” philosophy, then everyone will, huh?  How about if we apply this same methodology to Nationalized Health Care or paying for the Iraq War?  Socialism sounds pretty good right about now, I bet.

-We preempted a potential Cap Gains Tax increase just in case someone decides to raise it by bailing out of the market before the big plunge and while it was still above 12,000.  I have a long memory; Clinton did a retroactive tax increase that screwed me and Tess the same year we got married, both working, no home ownership, and no kids; so we weren’t taking any chances this time. Tess inherited some Mutual Funds from her late brother, and we needed to remodel the kitchen, the bathrooms, the garage…you name it.  Since we tapped out out Home Equity, we cashed in the fund.  No matter how you slice the taxes, we still have a loss on it.  So our favorite Uncle can go fuck himself.

-I know for you taxes under Obama will suck, no doubt about that.  I have no doubt that we shall be next as the Deficit continues to escalate; a deficit mind you, that the Republican Party and Clueless Leader escalated more than any other Administration in the HISTORY of the United States.  Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater are doing 360s in their graves right now.  And don’t think McCain isn’t going to raise taxes either…HE WILL HAVE TO.  He’s even said as much on CBS News Sunday last week.  “Nothing’s off the table”, he said when queried regarding Social Security and a possible increase in SS tax to make the system solvent. No e-mail necessary on that one; like Warmer Wolf said, “Let’s go to the video tape”.  Look on You Tube, I’m sure it’s there.  THAT, my friend is a FACT.

-This campaign I hoped would be about substance.  It will not even be about style.  It will be about who flings more shit at the other guy and what fucking SUPERFICIAL BULLSHIT the consultants come up with to win the race for their guy.  WAKE UP!  Dude…we are SO fucked if this Election goes down that path; and whoever wins will have a Pyrrhic  Victory.

Please do something for me…THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.  Watch DIFFERENT News Channels.  Read DIFFERENT newspapers.  Read THE BLOGS on the INTERNET.  Get every side to every story.  (Climb every mountain, ford every stream!  Couldn’t resist that one, LOL).  The truth is out there, you just have to look for it.  More importantly, you have to WANT to look for it.  Look past the Inbox, my friend.  Don’t let someone make your mind up for you.  I’m not suggesting you vote for Obama…shit, Tess has voted 3rd Party (yes, she voted for Ross Perot, but that’s another long e-mail in itself, LOL) every election since 1992; maybe you might want to think about that.  Just because the Dems and the Reps are the two big political parties doesn’t mean they are the only ones.  You might want to take a good look at the Libertarian candidate, Bob Barr.  The Libertarian Party web site is here:

I think you might find out that you have more in common with Libertarians (as I do) than you ever thought.  And for the record, my mind is still not made up as to whom I am voting for; right now it’s either Obama or Barr.  it sure as hell ain’t McCain, I can tell you that.  He sold his soul to the North Vietnamese, now he’s sold it to the right wing of the Republican Party.

At least the Vietnamese were honest.

By the way, this post was written entirely sober.  Bitter?  Yeah; but I don’t own a gun or go to church either.  I’m an American.


Back to the present…

It’s amazing how much foresight I had on a few issues, (the point I made about style, substance, and mud was just uncanny) and who could have POSSIBLY known Governor Moosebrains was on her way into the American political scene?  Since this was written, I have most definitely cast my lot in with Senator Obama because he his the right man in the right place at the right time.  Make no mistake though, no matter who wins this election, there will be plenty of bitterness to go around.  I certainly believe that Obama can help heal any wounds left over; but Senator McCain will more than likely rip them open and Sarah The Well Dressed will be more than happy to pour salt in them…and if we thought we had a state of separation during the election cycle, I fear we may have worse things to fear.

Like a separation of states.

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – Abraham Lincoln

I Am NOT Joe The Plumber!

I am a “Domestic Warrior”, a much more “manly” moniker I gave to the term “Stay At Home Dad”.  I absolutely hate when people call me “Mr. Mom”; and when my wife is pissed-off at me, she will occasionally refer to me as “The Househusband”, which rankles my feathers even more.  I pretty much had no choice in the matter, and for about a year, it was an extremely difficult transition.  I was in a huge round of layoffs at JP Morgan Chase after a merger in 2004.  I had worked for the company for 17 years, and although I received a generous severance package of full pay and benefits for a year after my termination, we had bills to pay and who the hell wanted a middle-aged banker with a six-figure salary when they could get some kid out of college at half my salary.  The money wasn’t going to last forever, we had a ton of debt, and were treading on thin ice for a while, thank God I married a professional.

Meet Tess The Nurse.  She’s my wife for 15 years, best mother on the planet, and currently the breadwinner of the family.  She works three 12 hour days (most days longer) a week with every other weekend off.  Going back to work was extremely difficult for her as well, because not only had she been out of the workforce since 1996, but she REALLY enjoyed being a full-time mom.  Unfortunately, in addition to my rather untimely employment situation, I was declared disabled because of my acute PTSD and recent bi-polar diagnosis.  This pretty much means that unless my condition improves (highly doubtful according to several physicians and psychiatrists), I’m the Domestic Warrior for the foreseeable future (unless some of this writing actually gets noticed by someone who wants a columnist or my work-in-progress memoir gets published).

Out of the Sunshine State comes the news that John McCain is doing a “Joe The Plumber Bus Tour”.  From what I understand, KISS will be opening.  He’s out there looking for regular folks, you know…people who are lucky to be able to have one house.  People who live from paycheck to paycheck.  Seniors who have extensive medical bills and have to scrimp on medication in order to eat.  All the people that would benefit the MOST under an Obama Administration…not those $250,000 a year Republican plants…er…plumbers like Joe.  In some sense of irony, Joe the Plumber isn’t accompanying him…I guess he might have to deal with his national celebrity status of plant, plumber, and tax-dodger in front of the adoring crowds that will most assuredly swamp McCain over the weekend.  After all, he WILL be visiting those area of Florida that Sarah The Well Dressed didn’t last time she was there visiting in the heavily GOP rich retirement enclaves.

I can assure you one one thing though: Arkangel The Disabled Domestic Warrior, and Tess The Nurse will not be voting for John The Senile Senior Senator & Crazy Old Coot.

“Not only is there no God, but try finding a plumber on Sunday.” – Woody Allen


Time you guys knew something more about your humble author.  I’ve mentioned before that I am a Recovering Alcoholic, and I’m pretty open about that.  My line of thinking is that if I can save just one life from pain and suffering, then the loss of my anonymity (at least in the Real World) will have been worth it.

The piece that follows is something I wrote back in March, just as I was about to celebrate being two years sober and it’s from my personal blog (which is on another website).  With all of the political bad vibes being circulated, and my wanting to focus a bit more on Humanity, I thought this piece would be appropriate.


“Old pirates, yes, they rob I; Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took I, From the bottomless pit…”

Two years ago today, I went on my last bender.

After 30 years of regular drinking and drugging, it had to come to an end.  I was a shell of the man I was, a frightened child in an adult body; lost in the wilderness of self and self-doubt.  I was drinking almost non-stop around the clock, caught in that vicious cycle that I swore would never happen to me: do not pass Go, do not get coffee, go directly to booze.  Get coffee, go back to booze; maybe even eat something for lunch.  Go back to booze; pass out.  Wake up, drink some more and pass out again…repeat procedure.  A moebius loop of insanity that had to be broken.

It took me a while to get to this point in my life, but the previous 5 years had been the period in which I wanted to do nothing but hide the pain and sorrow that was in my heart.  I wanted nothing more than to forget about this world, my family…everything…because I felt that I could no longer go on in a world as I then understood it to be.  It was a hopeless place with no love for me save for The Bottle; an emptiness that cannot possibly be described into words or put on paper.  It is the abyss that, as Nietzsche so adequately described, stares back at you; a darkness in which no light can penetrate nor escape, a virtual event horizon of being. This was a hell of my own design and my own choosing, no matter how much I tried to tell myself that it was not; that it was outside events that forced me into this situation.

It had been surviving September 11th that began the descent into the madness; the guilt of being alive while I watched as 3,000 human beings were atomized in a flash of cascading concrete and steel.  The guilt I felt every time I saw my neighbor, and felt an incredible sense of horror because I survived on that day, and her brother did not.  Moreover, did she feel in some way a resentment toward me?  Every time I went outside my office building for a cigarette, all I could do was stare at the empty hole two blocks away from where I was, reliving every moment of that day as I stood there, still trying to understand that day and make some sense of it all.

Then there were the constant Terror Alerts on the news, ghastly reminders of a new world in which I had no desire to be baptized, but unfortunately had no choice in the matter.  The lies and the build up to the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the nightly death toll on the news…a not so friendly reminder of my youth when Huntley and Brinkley and Uncle Walter would remind us how many were dead in Vietnam.  National Guard and NYPD Officers patrolling the street of New York City wearing body armor and carrying AK 47s; loud noises in the street that would send not only I, but many others running for cover…even if it was something as simple as a car backfiring.

I used to be a Vice President of a major financial institution, and was in charge of a $28 million budget for semi-annual incentives for almost 1,000 people.  In the days following the attack, I carried on with my job working from home, and ensured that not one payment was missed or incorrectly calculated for those thousand people.  Not one executive said as much as a “thank you” to me…not one.  In one moment of heated discussion with my former boss, I reminded him of those everts, and I was told simply, “That’s your job”.

Simple things began to drive me insane.  The audacity of a Senior Vice President complaining about the size and type of font I used in a presentation…didn’t he care that 3,000 people died two blocks away?  People driving well over the 25 mph speed limit on my street caused me, in a drunken rage one night, to stand in the middle of the night on the road in front of an oncoming car are practically daring it to stop…which it thankfully did.  All I could remember was the expression on the driver’s face, as I approached her window and proceeded to read her the riot act, as my wife came out of the house dragging me away from the insanity.

The only way to deal with everything, I felt, was to drink myself into oblivion.  It started out slowly at first: drinking every night to try and stop the nightmares from coming; then drinking at lunch time on the job.  Oh yeah, I was quite the functional alcoholic at work; in fact, management turned a blind eye toward me (and a few others) who did the same thing…as long as the job got done, no problems.  Eventually, the House of Cards that I had built began to tumble down upon me.

In September 2002, I began to seek psychiatric help for what was becoming obvious to everyone else but me: I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  So I was put on  a little pink cloud by a little pink pill called Paxil.  (Of course, being the good alcoholic I was, I neglected to tell my shrink at the time that I was indulging just a tad too much.)  It was supposed to help me deal with my PTSD, but unfortunately, when you drink…it kind of negates the effect of an anti-depressant because alcohol IS a depressant.  So, I was supposed to now blissfully deal with my situation and start whistling “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” 24 hours a day.

Oh boy, were the experts ever wrong.  The drinking, the prescription drugging, and the illegal drugging continued at a break neck pace for the next two years…all the while the rods in the nuclear reactor are slowly being withdrawn, and critical mass is inevitably being achieved one drink and one pill at a time.

One day, I went critical: I pretty much threatened to throw my boss out a plate glass window.  That’s when I knew things were going VERY wrong; and I was now facing the Cosmic Announcer:

“Thank you for playing our game…we have some lovely parting gifts for you…tell him what he’s won, Johnny!”

“A Nervous Breakdown!  Yes, that’s right…this nervous breakdown is all yours, complete with loss of job due to a merger and downsizing!  You’ll also receive one year of severance for all of your hard work complete with benefits…and it’s all yours, as a thank you for playing Corporate Insanity!”

As an added bonus, I was found to be bi-polar.  Bi-polar works wonders for the speakers in your stereo system, but not your brain.  Add this to PTSD and a runaway case of alcoholism, plus one year ON SALARY to drink myself into the ground…and I think you get the picture.

The official meltdown occurred on March 25th 2006, when I was unceremoniously offered a choice to get my act together, get to a rehab, or lose my wife and kids.  Ironically, this did not come from my wife, but my NYPD Detective Brother In Law who was threatening to take away my kids from both me and my wife…me for obvious reasons, and my wife because she was the classic enabler.  Of course, I was in a great fog while all this was happening, and my brother had to come over the house and explain all of this AGAIN, and how he was going to take me to a place to detox for a few days.

So on March 26th, after downing two Valium with a very large glass of red wine, my brother, brother-in-law and I drove to Norther New Jersey to the Carrier Clinic.  (NOTE: I rehabbed once before in 1985 because of cocaine, and went to the rehab sober.  I was NOT going to make that same mistake again…I was going to enjoy at least one final hurrah).  With that, the control rods were placed back into their proper positions, and the reactor was shut down.

“But my hand was made strong
By the ‘and of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation

March 27th 2006 was the first day of sobriety for me since 1985.  The only drugs I had in my system now were my prescribed medications, drugs to help me though alcohol withdrawal, and drugs to help get me off other drugs.  After two days, I was a complete and total mess.  I was falling asleep in meetings, my blood pressure was all over the place, and like the Jefferson Airplane had said many years ago, my mind had left my body.  It was during one of these episodes, that two Orderlies had to escort me back to my room for rest and monitoring.

So, as they’re holding me up, my legs trying to walk (but mostly dragging behind me)…I realized that I had come full circle.  Years ago in college, I was dragged across an Interstate Highway on the way back to my dorm room by two friends after I put away the majority of a bottle of schnapps.  Now, here I was…legs dragging behind me once again.  I was feeling absolutely no pain, higher than I ever was before, and then it hit me…in that one single moment, as clear as crystal, it revealed itself to me:

I never wanted to feel this way again.

“… Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds…”

After seven days, I was returned to the land of the living, two things stayed with me; the first one being Step One of Alcoholics Anonymous: “We admitted to ourselves that we were powerless over alcohol, and our lives had become unmanageable”.  Well, I pretty much had answered every part of that question in the affirmative.  The other was something that was said by the head counselor of Carrier to me one morning.

She was English, looked and sounded like the host of The Weakest Link, and had been sober a number of years.  So I had asked her on this particular morning how long she had been sober, and her reply was very simply, “Since five-thirty this morning”.  There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about that phrase, and many times it has helped me to get through the day without a drink.

I mentioned earlier that all of this was a hell of my own choosing, despite all that happened to me.  It was my choice to try and destroy myself; it was my choice not to pull myself back from the edge.  Alcoholism runs in my family, and I am a firm believer that it is a disease and is passed on genetically, so I think I would have found myself in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous a few years later than I came in…eventually.  It may not have happened in this fashion, in fact, it could have even been worse.

All I know is that I am dealing with my life in a very different manner than I ever was before.  I am a much better father, and I should be, because I’m the stay at home parent.  I am a much better husband.  I am also becoming something else, something I never gave myself a chance to do for years…a chance to be a decent human being, and learn to be happy with who I am.

I am no saint, by any stretch of the imagination; nor am I a great sinner.

I am simply a man who is alive because of grace and redemption, by who and for what reason, I have yet to figure out.  I have realized though, that when you do not understand; that is when you begin to understand.

“…Won’t you help to sing
‘Dese songs of freedom? –
‘Cause all I ever had: Redemption songs –
All I ever had: Redemption songs:
These songs of freedom,
Songs of freedom.”

-Bob Marley, “Redemption Song”

The Universe Has A Question…

Let us assume for a moment that the Universe itself is sentient.  Let us assume for a moment that just as we would ask a question in order to receive an answer, that the Universe does the same thing.  What if the Universe used WE as individuals as proxies to ask that question, and receive an answer on behalf of it?  This could be asked through one person, a select few, or millions of us all working at the same time to come up with the answer to the question that the Universe seeks at that moment, not knowing that we ourselves are asking the question? In so doing, do we unknowingly understand a part of ourselves in the process?

When we receive an answer to one of our own questions, perhaps the Universe is even more inquisitive…so it uses us to ask another question, and another, and another…

In this way, we ourselves are becoming whole as is the Universe itself.  We must strive to understand the moments when we are vessels of the Universe; for therein lies the true promise of Humanity, and its salvation.

Old Soldiers Never Die, They Just Redeem Their Souls; Old Newsmen On The Other Hand, Just Sell Theirs Out

This morning, General Colin Powell a former Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff and Secretary Of State did the unthinkable to the GOP.  He hit them hard, and right where it hurts.  In endorsing Barack Obama for President, he not only managed to break ranks with them; but repudiate their tactics, tone, and nastiness of the campaign as well as slam the Neocons into the ground.  All while being quite eloquent and very much the gentleman, with nary a harsh word.  An absolutely BRILLIANT performance, wonderful endorsement, and a stinging indictment all at the same time.  Oh, and did I mention manage to potentially diffuse the arguments that Senator Obama was “un-American”?  It was the stuff of legend, and truly expressed what so many of us have felt for weeks now.

General Powell not only proved to the country that he is a great American, but truly served us up an example of how an American behaves, and what we should aspire to.  He also managed to redeem his soul in the process.

For too long, the question of the Iraq War and his selling of it in front of the United Nations and the world HAD to be knawing at him.  Ever the loyal soldier, he waited until just the right moments to make his statements of protest quietly and without reservation.  First, he resigned after Bush’s first term…now I think we know why.  He kept quiet for all these years in deference to his former Boss.  He stayed silent because he knew that the situation in Iraq was bad, and with just enough time and rope Bush and his ilk would hang themselves.  He would wait until just the right moment and do more damage to the Neocons than anyone has ever sone.  He waited until today, when he could regain his honor and his soul and put the screws to the very same guys who left his reputation in tatters a mere 5 years ago.

Bravo, General Powell.  You are a man of rare talent; loyal to a fault perhaps, but at least you get a chance to regain the otherwise stellar reputation you once had.  Moveover, you finally get a chance at a decent night’s sleep again.  It’s never easy turning your back on a friend, but when that friend does something dishonorable, they need to be made aware of it and the full implications thereof.  In this case, the ramifications of dishonor carry far more weight than most, and like the Military Code you so proudly served for many years, it strikes at those who would dishonor not only themselves but the entire nation in the process.

While General Powell was redeeming his soul, Tom Brokow and whatever Faustian deal he made with whatever demon that has been possessing him since the death of his close friend Tim Russert, was out selling his.  He is the mass media’s version of John McCain: a once proud and honorable reporter and anchorman whose unrelenting quest for neutrality and fairness were never in question.  Until now.  I honestly think Tom’s lost more then a step over the past few years, and Russert’s death has pushed him over the edge.  At every turn, he tried to corner and goad General Powell into coming back with some sort of retort to leading questions about Ayers and the McCain campaign; all this AFTER he had endorsed Obama.  It was almost as if Brokow was attempting to delegitimize the endorsement right then and there.  Powell never took the bait…not once.  In fact, he made his case even stronger. Brokow looked like the tired old man he is, just like his buddy, John McCain.  (My neighbor works for NBC and told me yesterday, “You won’t be seeing Brokow much after the Election…trust me.”)

One man’s redemption through grace and class; another man’s fall by selling the last of his soul for just one more moment of glory…one more campaign.  Just like his buddy, John McCain.

Sleep is the interest we have to pay on the capital which is called in at death; and the higher the rate of interest and the more regularly it is paid, the further the date of redemption is postponed.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been A Member Of The Republican Party?

Last night at 5 PM Eastern Standard Time, I truly realized the extent of this nation’s descent into madness and the potential for Fascism to arise en masse here with a decade.  Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R) of Minnesota, appeared on “Hardball With Chris Matthews” as the usual surrogate of the McCain campaign armed with what I thought were the usual talking points.  By the time the fifteen minute segment was over, I was filled with a mixture of fear and rage.  Rage, because of the incredible consequences of what this woman was advocating, and fear because it is not inconceivable that what she did say could indeed happen in this country.

I cannot begin to even explain what she said, so I’ll just let her and Mister Matthews do all of the talking for the next 11 minutes, and I’ll be back.  Be forewarned, you might want to walk away from the computer for a few minutes after watching this:

Is this what we have been reduced to?  Is this what eight years of savaging the Constitution and involvement in an Illegal War have taught us?  You’ve just witnessed 227 years of democracy go down in flames in those 11 minutes.  You have just seen what the past two weeks of negative and hateful campaigning by John McCain and Sarah Palin would represent at the completion of another four or eight years of Neoconservative destruction of our country should they be elected.  If this doesn’t frighten you, or you simply dismiss this out of hand as one fringe lunatic (like McCain does at his rallies), think again.  If you’re not concerned that the fact that these types of so-called Republicans exist and are in vast numbers, then think again.  Her biography and Sarah Palin’s biography look remarkably similar; likewise their extreme religious views are almost identical.

The Neoconservative movement in the Unites States has been allowed to flourish over the past eight years, thanks in part to a clueless Chief Executive and a Richelieu-like Vice President and the abject complacency of the American people.  In addition, a more-than willing Congress initially led by Republicans (in concert with Democrats) who handed over the powers of the Legislative Branch of the government to that of the Executive Branch.  The fact that Nanci Pelosi and Harry Reid took Impeachment off the table in 2006, when the Democrats regained control of both Houses, was a HUGE mistake.  This could have led to the removal from office of the President and Vice-President and potentially brought them up on war crimes charges which may have stopped these Neocon Lunatics right in their tracks.  Instead, what we have is the Fringe Right Wingers coming out of the woodwork, seeing an opening in a campaign that is becoming more openly hateful and racist every day.

What I want to ask now is this: Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Republican Party?  If you are or have been, then you better start picking some new leaders, because the Party of Lincoln has most definitely been hijacked by a party of thugs.  The Party that pioneered equality among races has become nothing more than a party of racists.  There are still some sane people among you: true Conservatives who can stop the madness (real Libertarians left you a LONG time ago, except for Ron Paul…and God only knows why he’s still hanging in there).  From this author’s Liberal-Libertarian’s viewpoint, there are people who cling to the Republican “brand name” as opposed to the original principles of the Republican Party.  These are the people who continue not to speak up as gradually their Party has been transformed into a Fascist apparatus.  These are the people who remain silent at rallies instead of pointing out the lunatic yelling, “Kill Him” or “Terrorist”.

There will come a day when the Republican Party will bear no resemblance AT ALL to it’s heritage.  It will have become the controlling mechanism that will maintain and operate a Fascist Government, one that will stifle freedoms entirely and suspends the Constitution in order to carry out its mission of Global Domination; a mission that will make Hitler’s desires pale in comparison.  In fact, they might even change the name of the Party as well; and force its members to sign loyalty oaths.  Think about that prospect.  Think about yourself strapped to a chair in a windowless room, with a bright light shining on your face, and a signing statement in front of you.  The Interrogator will then come over to you and ask you the all-important question, one that will perhaps guarantee your safety and freedom, or that of your family:

“Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Republican Party?”

CODA: Michele Bachmann’s Democratic main opponent, Democrat Elwin Tinklenberg, has raised (as of this posting) over $450,000 in campaign contributions from all over the country a mere 27 hours after this interview aired.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold” – Sicilian Proverb

The Final Debate: Quick Thoughts

Just some things I’ll write about quickly, then I’ll have a much longer post later on or tomorrow:

Who took Johnny Boy off his meds?  It sure as hell seemed that he was more coherent, but much more angrier (if that al all possible) than he had been previously.  I had been on an anti-depressant that controlled my mood, made me calmer and much less prone to anger, but I was a zombie most of the time.  Thankfully, I’m no longer on it (it was Paxil…STAY FAR AWAY FROM THIS PILL!).  This was his best debate performance, but not a game changer…unless you’re a woman today wincing at the “air quotes” when he described “health” of the mother when talking about abortion.

Senator Obama was his usual cool, poised self.  It seems the calmer he stayed and answered every question put to him (with a minimum of the usual political runaround, and MUCH less so than in other debates), the madder Johnny Boy got.  The master-lawyer and President of the Harvard Law Review was on display all night last night, as well as a Machiavellian Master of drawing an opponent into battle and crushing him with overwhelming force.  He made sure McCain went into attack mode, and deftly explained his relations with Ayers and ACORN and then some.  He also made sure the good Senator knew about his current “associations” of who he “pals around with” on Foreign Policy (Joe Biden and Dick Lugar), and Economics (Warren Buffett and Paul Volcker).  I thought he laid waste that line of attack last night, but Johnny Boy and surrogates are still clinging to it.

For me, the moment where Obama may just have won the Presidency was when he drew out McCain on the hateful tone at Palin’s rallies after Obama had just explained what Congressman Lewis meant by his remarks over the weekend (commenting on the tenor of those rallies as dangerous in character).  McCain looked flummoxed, and almost saddened.  He knows DAMNED WELL those fringe elements are at the rallies, and mostly at Palins…and neither of them have stopped their speeches and pointed these lunatics out.  Obama called him on it…said PALIN did nothing to stop it…staying a bit short of McCain, probably because McCain did the right thing last Friday.  All McCain could do was say he was proud of his supporters (Veterans, and who knows who else; it all got lost in translation).  Johnny Boy knows all this behavior is WRONG…I know he does, you could tell…you can see it on his face when he realized just how far this has gotten out of line.

When Obama went out, and stood up to racist and frightening behavior…it proved he was a brave soul and a fighter.  That’s why I think more people will vote for him after this debate.

And good old Joe The Plumber?  He’s starting to look like more of a Watergate-like plumber…and that, dear readers, is going to be cannon fodder for our next installment.  Cya then.

“It ain’t over, till it’s over.” – Yogi Berra

The Final Debate: Pre-Game Show

Once again, the lucky NY Giants hat and pack of Camel Crush cigarettes are at the ready.  Once again, I’m DVRing the entire debate (and watching it live as well) on MSNBC starting with Matthews at 7, Olbermann at 8, The Debate Itself plus analysis, Olbermann again at 11, and Matthews rapping things up at midnight.  Once again, I got the butterflies in my belly…but Senator Obama is keeping cool for me.  Better get that cell phone or text message in quick, because he turns his cell phone off 3 hours before the debate.

Given the fact that the Market took yet another nose-dive, the retail sales numbers (which make up 2/3 of our Economy) are down 1.2%, or almost TWICE what analysts predicted; McCain would be a fool to even think of bringing up Ayers or any other dirty tricks he may have up his sleeve.  Then again, this guy has been known to take big risks (see: Palin, Sarah) and be willing to have them not pay off (see: Palin, Sarah).

In an irony, the town where the debate is being held is Hempstead, NY…the last stop on the Long Island Rail Road line that bears its name.  Let’s just it’s the last stop for John McCain’s campaign.

See you with a post after the debate (quick or detailed analysis remains to be seen).

Statistics Are An Interesting Thing

OK…first off, I took an extra day off from blogging…I needed the rest and I needed to put the focus on my family for a few days instead of being this middle-aged, chain smoking, hard core Pepsi drinking madman writer locked in his office.  I got some new perspective on things, I took a break (as much as I could) away from politics (at my oldest daughter’s urging) and just chilled with some sports and movies on TV.  I also took some time to look at my blog statistics, and I began to notice a pattern:

You guys REALLY like my writing when its angry and sarcastic, don’t you?

Perhaps it’s the topic I wrote about that day, or maybe it’s the way I used my words; but I get more hits on this site when you can practically feel the venom spitting forth from the computer screen on some of my posts.  Don’t get me wrong, I truly appreciate the hits and I am glad you’re enjoying that type of writing when I choose to do it.  That’s very much like me in real life too: extremely sarcastic, armed with a quip or a one liner for everything, and occasionally a very angry man…but I’m usually justified in the latter, particularly when it comes to fairness and justice.  I always related to the character of Hawkeye on M.A.S.H. very much, because I was watching myself on that television screen; and like that character, I also have a very serious and philosophical side as well.

I think that one of the best pieces I wrote was “For Absent Friends, In Memories Burning Brighly”, about the closing of Yankee Stadium.  I poured my heart into that piece, and I can’t tell you how many times I broke down while writing it.  That hasn’t happened to me before, when I could put so much emotion and feeling into a piece that I was literally drained afterward, but ultimately satisfied with the result.  Likewise, “Memories Of Two Towers Struck Down” was another piece that I am very proud of, unfortunately it came at a very bad time in my life (my 9/11 experience related and written two days after the event); but ultimately it got it’s point across because that’s obviously what got the most hits (and still continues to do so) since I started “Intersections…”.

Then there are those pieces where I tear John McCain and Sarah Palin to shreds, and I pretty much reflect the angry part of this electorate that is fed up with the past eight years of corruption and destruction of this Administration.  Those particular pieces have FAR outweighed the two pieces I mention in terms of hits on the site.  Are they more topical?  Is it because I’m reflecting YOUR anger as well as mine?  Maybe a little slice of sarcastic wit to go with it?  I don’t know…it just makes me wonder.

Yeah, I’m still going to have my nuclear meltdown moments; they are inevitable…and so will the posts be that reflect them.  I also have a great deal to say on a philosophical level, folks; and I’ve barely even touched on that part of things, mainly because this Election is too damned important to concentrate on anything else.  With any luck, McCain and Palin will be a footnote in history and a blip on my radar after November 4th.  Perhaps then, I’ll be able to start writing more pieces of a philosophical and humanities nature…which is REALLY what I want to do, and what more of this blog should be about.  Of course, it’s not going to be that all the time, but I think I’d like to get to more balance if the Universe does indeed smile and Barack Obama and Joe Biden are elected.

Otherwise, you’re going to be reading a lot of sarcastic, angry political posts for the next four years.

“The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.” – Harlan Ellison

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Mr. Ellison is my favorite writer of all time.  I cannot even begin to tell you the joy his works have given me, nor can I even begin to state the influence of this man on my writing style.  He is indeed one of the Universe’s most unique treasures.