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Of Politics, Sports and Sex

OK, so there won't be a LOT on here about sex, but tell the truth, that's most of the reason you entered this site, right? So, I'll slip some things in from time to time just to keep you coming...back.

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

I went to a few funerals earlier this month, each for someone of my parents' generation. At the second of the two, there were so many people there, in a non-denominational setting, that I had to stand along one side of the packed room, giving me an opportunity to spend time, as I waited for it to start, looking at the assembled mourners.

To say that I was among the 5 youngest non-family attenders of the hundred or so gathered was obvious. It was a very grey looking crowd (not that I'm not!). And it made me wonder...

I think part of the appeal for young women in going to weddings, besides the opportunity to dress up and to dance and drink and celebrate and be among friends, is the chance to imagine what her big day will be like - a day they spend a good portion of their young fantasy life imagining things like what color schemes they'll use, what flowers they'll carry, who'll be in it, where it'll be, who they'll invite. I'm sure I can't even make a dent in all the things they have to consider. All with the goal of making it just perfect.

So, as I looked around the room at the 70- and 80+ year olds, I found myself wondering if part of their interest in attending any given funeral was for the same reasons: to imagine what they want their service to be like - who would speak, where it would be, and ultimately wondering if people would say as nice things about them as were being said about the person they were actually there to honor.

I have to admit, I've given some thought to that last point myself. I'm sure there are enough decent things I've done that people can scrounge up a few fond memories or traits they had the chance to observe, but I also know no one would be out of line in saying a few things about what a grump I could be. I'm not proud of that part of me, but it is me and all's fair, not just in love and war, but also, I suppose, in death.

But in the end, all I really want to know is what Father Guido Sarducci would say about all this

Trev and I go to a thing called Guys Read at the local library every month where dads and sons discuss whatever book they've chosen to read the previous month.

At the meeting earlier this month, the boys were off discussing what kind of superpowers they'd give their own alien, leaving the 4-5 dads to make small talk, which is routinely awkward, none of us being the sort of outgoing, jovial-types who thrive in such situations.

But this time, someone brought up the topic of the Pope having recently announced that he was going to resign and one dad said the rumors had already started as to what the real reason for it could be.

I quickly said that I hoped it was not some new scandal that would surface, as the church, and any of us even barely interested (which would describe my level) had already had way more than they/we could handle.

But then he went on to say that one theory was that the Pope may have been previously married or fathered (Or would it be Fathered) a child, at which point, I, perhaps a little too excitedly, corrected my point, saying I hope that if the scandal involves something illegal, then I hope it doesn't happen, but if it involves something legal, like marriage (gasp!) or father hood (Oh, no, say it ain't so, yer Eminarience!), then I very much hope it does come out as true.

God, I would love that. I'd like to say that the previous sentence was an actual request to God, but of course, he doesn't listen to me, just the Pope, so no point in my trying to bother him.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cheryl and I had an awesome weekend away a few weeks back. I'd call it a Red Berenson weekend, though to be fair, he accomplished his amazing feat in 60 minutes, where it took us almost exactly 60 hours, going from late Friday night to Sunday afternoon.

I'm not sure he scored again the next night though, so we have that going for us.

Mirrors can have SOME value if used correctly

Dailykos had an interesting piece yesterday excerpting from that day's NY TImes:

This is a great, lengthy piece about young techno-savvy Republicans thinking Mitt Romney lost because of Twitter. But among the wealth of information in it, there's this:

The [young, working-class] all-female focus group [in Ohio] began with a sobering assessment of the Obama economy. All of the women spoke gloomily about the prospect of paying off student loans, about what they believed to be Social Security’s likely insolvency and about their children’s schooling. A few of them bitterly opined that the Democrats care little about the working class but lavish the poor with federal aid. “You get more off welfare than you would at a minimum-wage job,” observed one of them. Another added, “And if you have a kid, you’re set up for life!”

About an hour into the session, Anderson walked up to a whiteboard and took out a magic marker. “I’m going to write down a word, and you guys free-associate with whatever comes to mind,” she said. The first word she wrote was “Democrat.”

“Young people,” one woman called out. “Liberal,” another said. Followed by: “Diverse.” “Bill Clinton.”“Change.”“Open-minded.”“Spending.”“Handouts.”“Green.”“More science-based.”

When Anderson then wrote “Republican,” the outburst was immediate and vehement: “Corporate greed.”“Old.”“Middle-aged white men.” “Rich.” “Religious.” “Conservative.” “Hypocritical.” “Military retirees.” “Narrow-minded.” “Rigid.” “Not progressive.” “Polarizing.” “Stuck in their ways.” “Farmers.”

A similar panel with men didn't go much better:

None of them expressed great enthusiasm for Obama. But their depiction of Republicans was even more lacerating than the women’s had been. “Racist,” “out of touch” and “hateful” made the list — “and put ‘1950s’ on there too!” one called out.

Holy crap! These focus group respondents hate Republicans more than we do at Daily Kos! Asked what would make them change their mind and be more open to Republicans, the respondents urged Republicans to drop social issues, to drop opposition to science, and be more willing to compromise—hilarious advice in the context of the Hagel filibuster.

Democrats need to do more to lock in this vote—show real fortitude in the battle against Wall Street excesses, for one. They have to prove they're on the side of working class Americans, not the one percent. But our team's challenge is nothing like theirs. The more Democrats take the fight to Wall Street, the happier our base. Witness Elizabeth Warren. But Republicans only infuriate their base by de-emphasizing abortion, gay marriage, opposition to science and brown people.

In other words, exactly counter to Democrats, what Republicans need to do to win is mutually exclusive with what the conservative base will allow them to do.

After years of demonizing the "other" and winning elections on racial and gay bigotry, this is nothing short of remarkable.

There is so much here that is noteworthy, but instead of focuing on the (too obvious) shortcomings of the Right, it is another example to me that there is one single issue the Dems need to address that would keep them in majority power for decades to come and it is what i've highlighted in red above. I hear that over and over when people are complaining about the democratic party and is something we need to come to grips with. We are doing a lot of gloating lately, (see my post below about vindication) and with good reason, but we'd be very wise to spend as much time looking critically inward as outward.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Whenever I go to this blog to make an entry, I look about midway down the right hand side to see where people have come from to visit the site. Probably about 2/3rds are from Chester County, generally arriving from the Daily Local News' Blogtown site. I also have a loyal visitor from Mountain View, California, which is kind of flattering.

But I'm often amazed by the number of visits I get from countries I've barely heard of. Today, I had a visitor from a place I have definitely never heard of: Antalya.

I had to look up where it is. Shows how sheltered a life I live. Antalya was the world's fourth most visited city by number of international arrivals in 2011, with 10.5 million annual visitors. And it's on the Turkish Riviera...which I also didn't even know there was one of. And now I can see why there were so many visitors. It looks to be a pretty amazing place.

So to my new friend there, if you want to fly a few friendly folks over for a visit, my wife and I would love to come have you show us what I've been missing!

And I hope you found what you were looking for here, even if it was only a search for the photo of an alluring view of the side of Taylor Swift's breast.

We win! Time for a nap.

I belong to an invitation-only political Facebook page, where there are about 15 people, from both sides of the political aisle and where, leading up to the most recent election, we all posted frequently, sometimes arguing fairly vigorously our point of view on any given topic that someone would bring up.

Since the election ended, I have found myself less interested in combating the vitriol from the right, for the simple reason that We won. The country has moved center-left and by proxy, my points have been validated, I have been vindicated and there is not much reason to argue with folks whose opinions have been either discredited entirely or who are in the small minority.

Either that or like just after sex, where the guy is totally spent and wants to just take a long nap until he's revved up again...which should come, so to speak, just as we're ready to start a new election cycle this fall.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A year or two ago, there was increasing sentiment and rallying on facebook to get them to add a Dislike button and I never agreed and still don't, though there surely are plenty of status posts that I'd love to put it to use, especially any involving cats.

It just seems to me that banning a Dislike button sort of honors the sentiment that if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all.

A belly full of thoughts...about my belly:

In honor of the day just passed, I'll point out that the movie Groundhog Day could have been made about my waistline since it never improves either, but I'm glad it wasn't because Bill Murray is much funnier.

Trev to me the other day as we were lying in bed talking and generally carrying on: "When you laugh, your face doesn't change, but your stomach is having a party!"

If someone were to ask me when one officially becomes a grown-up, I'd say it happens when one stops buying new pants because they are growing up and starts buying them because they are growing out.

Pathological Honester

It amazes me the things I'm still learning. I guess I must have thought that everything there was to learn, I would know by now. Here's one of a number of things I've come to learn in the past few days, for instance:

Being completely honest can be very selfish.

I think I can easily generalize about We McVicks, but I'll only speak for myself now, when I say that I often feel like I don't just want to be completely honest with folks, but I have an almost physiological need to be honest with them, as in, I would have a physically uncomfortable reaction to holding back from something I'm thinking.

Needless to say, that gets me in trouble sometimes, especially when what I have to say isn't what the person hearing it wants to hear.

And I should also add that I have gotten much, much better over time at not saying everything I'm thinking. Honesty is not always the best policy for that obvious reason.

But what I've come to realize recently is that anytime I feel a need to tell someone something, I need to stop first and determine if I am saying it for my benefit or theirs.

What made me realize it so particularly this time goes back to my post on January 4th, when I wrote of my conversation with Cheryl about my crush.  In looking back at why I talked with her about it, I think there were 3 reasons, in no particular order, why I spilled:

1 - To impress her...and me probably, with how honest and open I could be with her, and to show she could trust me to always tell her about even the most uncomfortable things to talk about.

2 - Probably out of some measure of guilt, feeling like I was obliged to tell her.

3 - I really did want to know her thoughts on it and to better understand how I could be experiencing the feelings I was when I was already deeply, madly in love with her (but that's another blog entry yet to come).

But in retrospect, even though I have a feeling Cheryl would say that she is glad I told her, I don't think it was a good idea. The only person who could benefit from a discussion like that one was me and I realize that now.

Friday, February 1, 2013

From, this morning:

1.Private sector hiring is up:

Since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, we've gained 1.9 million private sector jobs. And since we hit bottom in February 2010, we've gained 6.1 million. Under President George W. Bush, we lost 685,000 private sector jobs.

2.Government employment is down:

Since January 2009, we've lost 606,000 public sector jobs. Since February 2010, we've lost 719,000. Under Bush, we gained 1.7 million public sector jobs.

3.The stock market is up:

When President Obama took office, the Dow was at 7,949. As of 10:00 AM EST Friday, it was at 13,967—an increase of 75 percent. Under Bush, the Dow fell from 10,578 to 7,949, a decrease of 25 percent.

You know, after looking at those numbers, I'm starting to think that the biggest threat to America's economy has nothing to with Comrade Obama's secret plan to have the government take over the entire economy. Instead, the real danger is the GOP's insistence that we embark on even more austerity, shrinking the public sector even smaller—and putting even more people out of work.