TO REPAIR …

Some people have their fingers crossed, as they wait.

Those 23 and Me tests and Ancestry inquiries are all the rage. And you can almost sense that some people are hoping and praying their test results show some racial quotient that puts them in a traditionally oppressed class. That, too, has become all the rage.

That’s the problem with racial stuff. It’s all based on a somebody’s set of perceptions. Anyway …

I once heard about a college professor who did a week-long experiment in one of his classes, where he treated all the people with brown eyes differently than the people with blue or green eyes. He gave them lower grades than everyone else. He talked to them with contempt. He didn’t smile at them. He forced them to sit and study together in class. He gave no one with brown eyes credit for anything and he blamed them for everything.

By the end of the week, some of the brown-eyed students were fighting depression. They were all defensive and angry. They had bonded together and organized themselves in opposition to the teacher as well as the other students.

Here’s the problem: even after the experiment ended, they still couldn’t trust that this professor was dealing with them honestly. Did he secretly hate people with brown eyes? Did he do that experiment because he wanted to prove brown-eyed people were actually inferior? What was his base motivation? Why “brown” eyes? And if they got a failing grade (and had brown eyes) after the experiment ended, could they trust that his true prejudices weren’t the reason for the grade? The conspiracy theories developed and some of the brown-eyed people in that class didn’t trust the professor all the way to the end of the year.

The truth is no sane person has a prejudice against brown-eyed people. It’s just weird to even think that. The professor picked brown randomly. It was just an experiment. But if you’ve been a victim of that experiment, where you actually KNEW you were the target based on your eye color, you would feel what you feel, regardless of the facts. And what you feel would affect your existence.

In our country, we did that experiment on a grander and more horrific scale with slavery. So did almost every other country on earth. Slavery has been practiced on every continent of the globe. And, in fact, there are more people in slavery RIGHT NOW than there ever have been in history. But, you see, not all other countries have the guaranteed freedoms IN WRITING that we do. No other countries have been founded on the ideals of liberty and freedom. No other founding fathers made the bold, world-shaking assertions our founding fathers made: All men are created equal, etc, etc.

And so, American slavery has always been impossible to square with its founding. Even now, 156 years after it’s abolishment, we still talk about it as if it was still in effect.

Slavery is evil and horrible. Let’s get that out of the way.

But there are a few things to keep in mind about slavery in America: There were slaves in America beginning in the late 1600s. But they weren’t technically slaves in The United States. All the American colonies were essentially BRITISH colonies until 1776 (hence, the Declaration of Independence). The United States, as we know it, wasn’t formed and set up as a nation until 1789. And when it was formed and set up, the founders were ONE vote away from abolishing slavery right then and there. South Carolina held out and pushed the inevitable back for 74 more years.

Then, the United States fought the bloodiest war in world history (up until that point) to settle the question once and for all. And we thought we did.

Then, we passed the 13th and 14th amendments, hoping to settle the questions once and for all. And we thought we did. As an aside, we sometimes forget that black MEN got the right to vote in The United States 55 years before white WOMEN did…we’re a work in progress, friends.

Then, there were Civil Rights leaders and there was Civil Rights legislation. And, at every stage, we keep thinking we’ve settled the question once and for all. But have we?

Now, people are, once again, talking about reparations to the descendants of slaves. This is actually nothing new. People have been talking about this since the abolition of slavery itself; hence, the infamous 40-acres-and-a-mule field order. But none of the talk has really ever come to much of anything. That’s when you, as a “brown-eyed” person continue to not trust the professor.

Keep in mind that slavery reparations are always talked about when times are very good. Nobody seems to bring any of it up when the economy is tanking. Anyway …

Personally, I’ve always understood the argument for reparations. If you can prove you are a direct descendant of a slave, then maybe you should receive something from not only the U.S Government, but also from all the countries who bought cotton and corn from the plantations during those years. Were those countries not complicit in the business of slavery? How about the businesses who sold seeds or farming equipment to the plantations? Were they not part of the problem? And of course the lending institutions that loaned money for the purchase of slaves, should be a part of the discussion as well. Ship builders and shipping companies who built slave ships should be addressed for sure.

If we’re going to petition for something like this, we have to make sure everyone with dirty hands gets clean. Not just the U.S government. It was only officially involved for 74 years. And can we even do that, now?

Is it even possible to “repair” (which is what reparations means) the damages of slavery with reparation payments? Practically everyone on earth was involved, in one way or another, in the system. The bloodlines are so blurred by now, determining who would get what would probably be a logistical nightmare that would require an entirely different branch of government to oversee it. And would this widen the wound between the races instead of healing it?

I guess I just see, generations from now, the “Department of Reparations” being under investigation by some Attorney General (possibly a half black/half Pakistani woman), for abuses by the director (possibly an Asian Transgender), using the slush fund for trips to Aruba and expensive dinners out. And no one will even remember why the program exists in the first place. It will simply be another agency people can petition to get government checks that aren’t enough to cover what they actually need; an at-one-time-noble-attempt to assuage our guilt about that time we separated people who had brown eyes.

There are other people groups with legitimate claims of reparations, based on injustices done to their ancestors. Do railroad companies owe Chinese descendants back pay for their ancestors building the transcontinental railroad for pennies on the dollar of what white workers were earning? Do they owe me some cash for my Irish ancestors working off their indentured servitude status down in the “cut”? It’s certainly complicated.

But maybe the best, most healing thing we can do is move forward, understanding that skin color (like eye color) is the most random way on earth to exclude or include ourselves. Maybe, if we acknowledge our past mistakes but understand that we, now, are a mix of all of it, rather than simply “victim” and “perpetrator”, we can move forward better and more equal.

And maybe we can finally accept the fact that blue-eyed and brown-eyed people are the same…until they get separated. Maybe that experiment showed that the blue-eyed and brown-eyed people, alike, were simply being controlled by ONE guy (and idea) to whom THEY all gave their power.

Maybe they should’ve all simply said in unison, “That’s enough. We’re not participating in this nonsense anymore.”

 

R

Subscribe to my daily blog here:

https://www.patreon.com/blahblahblogger

TO REPAIR …

Some people have their fingers crossed, as they wait.

Those 23 and Me tests and Ancestry inquiries are all the rage. And you can almost sense that some people are hoping and praying their test results show some racial quotient that puts them in a traditionally oppressed class. That, too, has become all the rage.

That’s the problem with racial stuff. It’s all based on a somebody’s set of perceptions. Anyway …

I once heard about a college professor who did a week-long experiment in one of his classes, where he treated all the people with brown eyes differently than the people with blue or green eyes. He gave them lower grades than everyone else. He talked to them with contempt. He didn’t smile at them. He forced them to sit and study together in class. He gave no one with brown eyes credit for anything and he blamed them for everything.

By the end of the week, some of the brown-eyed students were fighting depression. They were all defensive and angry. They had bonded together and organized themselves in opposition to the teacher as well as the other students.

Here’s the problem: even after the experiment ended, they still couldn’t trust that this professor was dealing with them honestly. Did he secretly hate people with brown eyes? Did he do that experiment because he wanted to prove brown-eyed people were actually inferior? What was his base motivation? Why “brown” eyes? And if they got a failing grade (and had brown eyes) after the experiment ended, could they trust that his true prejudices weren’t the reason for the grade? The conspiracy theories developed and some of the brown-eyed people in that class didn’t trust the professor all the way to the end of the year.

The truth is no sane person has a prejudice against brown-eyed people. It’s just weird to even think that. The professor picked brown randomly. It was just an experiment. But if you’ve been a victim of that experiment, where you actually KNEW you were the target based on your eye color, you would feel what you feel, regardless of the facts. And what you feel would affect your existence.

In our country, we did that experiment on a grander and more horrific scale with slavery. So did almost every other country on earth. Slavery has been practiced on every continent of the globe. And, in fact, there are more people in slavery RIGHT NOW than there ever have been in history. But, you see, not all other countries have the guaranteed freedoms IN WRITING that we do. No other countries have been founded on the ideals of liberty and freedom. No other founding fathers made the bold, world-shaking assertions our founding fathers made: All men are created equal, etc, etc.

And so, American slavery has always been impossible to square with its founding. Even now, 156 years after it’s abolishment, we still talk about it as if it was still in effect.

Slavery is evil and horrible. Let’s get tat out of the way.

But there are a few things to keep in mind about slavery in America: There were slaves in America beginning in the late 1600s. But they weren’t technically slaves in The United States. All the American colonies were essentially BRITISH colonies until 1776 (hence, the Declaration of Independence). The United States, as we know it, wasn’t formed and set up as a nation until 1789. And when it was formed and set up, the founders were ONE vote away from abolishing slavery right then and there. South Carolina held out and pushed the inevitable back for 74 more years.

Then, the United States fought the bloodiest war in world history (up until that point) to settle the question once and for all. And we thought we did.

Then, we passed the 13th and 14th amendments, hoping to settle the questions once and for all. And we thought we did. As an aside, we sometimes forget that black MEN got the right to vote in The United States 55 years before white WOMEN did…but I digress.

Then, there were Civil Rights leaders and there was Civil Rights legislation. And, at every stage, we keep thinking we’ve settled the question once and for all. But have we?

Now, people are, once again, talking about reparations to the descendants of slaves. This is actually nothing new. People have been talking about this since the abolition of slavery itself; hence, the infamous 40-acres-and-a-mule field order. But none of the talk has really ever come to much of anything. That’s when you, as a “brown-eyed” person continue to not trust the professor.

Keep in mind that slavery reparations are always talked about when times are very good. Nobody seems to bring any of it up when the economy is tanking. Anyway …

Personally, I’ve always been in favor of reparations. If you can prove you are a direct descendant of a slave, then maybe you should receive something from not only the U.S Government, but also from all the countries who bought cotton and corn from the plantations during those years. Were those countries not complicit in the business of slavery? How about the businesses who sold seeds or farming equipment to the plantations? Were they not part of the problem? And of course the lending institutions that loaned money for the purchase of slaves, should be a part of the discussion as well. Ship builders and shipping companies who built slave ships should be addressed for sure.

If we’re going to petition for something like this, we have to make sure everyone with dirty hands gets clean. Not just the U.S government. It was only officially involved for 74 years. And can we even do that, now?

Is it even possible to “repair” (which is what reparations means) the damages of slavery with reparation payments? Practically everyone on earth was involved, in one way or another, in the system. The bloodlines are so blurred by now, determining who would get what would probably be a logistical nightmare that would require an entirely different branch of government to oversee it. And would this would widen the wound between the races instead of healing it?

Generations from now, I can see the “Department of Reparations” being under investigation by some Attorney General (possibly a half black/half Pakistani woman), for misuses by the director (possibly an Asian Transgender), because they are using the slush fund for trips to Aruba and expensive dinners out. And no one will even remember why the program exists in the first place. It will simply be another agency people can petition to get government checks that aren’t enough to cover what they actually need; an at-one-time noble attempt to assuage our guilt about that time we separated people who had brown eyes.

Maybe the best, most healing thing we can do is move forward, understanding that skin color (like eye color) is the most random way on earth to exclude or include ourselves. Maybe, if we acknowledge our past mistakes but understand that we, now, are a mix of all of it, rather than simply victims and perpetrators, we can move forward better and more equal.

And maybe we can finally accept the fact that all blue-eyed and brown-eyed people are essentially the same…until they get separated. Maybe that experiment showed that the blue-eyed and brown-eyed people, alike, were ALL being controlled by ONE guy (and idea) who THEY all gave their power to.

Maybe they should’ve all simply said, “That’s enough. We’re not participating in this nonsense anymore.”

 

R

Subscribe to my daily blog here:

https://www.patreon.com/blahblahblogger

PREACH …

It has always been an interesting phenomenon to me.

As someone raised by preachers (a lot of preachers), I’ve always found it intriguing that people seem to love to be called out by someone. There’s almost something masochistic about our response to someone dressing us down. It’s weird. My father always got more “amens” when he was chastising the audience than when he wasn’t.

I get a few people a week who want me to “rant” about something in a blog. It’s always something they are grappling with, therefore, they think “I” am grappling with the same thing, for some reason. Most of the time (like, 97% of the time) I’m not grappling with their issue at all. Most of the time, I’m fine with whatever is going on.

Only on certain occasions will I throw my hands up and yell at the universe. THOSE are always the blogs that get the most attention. And it’s dumbfounding to me. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is we need to hate about ourselves, and what it is we respond to when our transgressions are called out.

This past week, I’ve been seeing this Jon Stewart video shared and lauded and praised. And it’s kinda funny to me.

The truth of the actual matter at hand is that no-one is going to NOT vote for this fund Jon is promoting. It has bi-partisan support and it gets funded every year. And it will get funded this year. There might have been some attempted fraud related to it, so people are looking into that. But at the end of the day, literally NO ONE doesn’t want to help 9/11 first responders.

But the committee chamber was empty when Jon showed up. And that’s what actually got him angry; the lack of an audience. So he railed on them and took the moment to slice and dice in a way only he can. It was great theater. And for those not realizing that his hearing was scheduled directly against several other hearings, it looked like a lot of people didn’t care. But they do. On both sides of the spectrum.

Then, he blamed the “fiscal hawks” (that’s always code for “Republicans”) for not doing their duty when it comes to the first responders. Hey, just a quick tip: if you’re in the majority, you can’t blame the minority for stuff. They can’t do anything about anything. This thing can be voted on and sent to the Senate without ONE vote from a “fiscal hawk.”

But it WILL be voted on and it WILL get done. It would’ve gotten done without Jon Stewart ever showing up and berating anyone.

But what fun would that have been?

We love being preached at. We love a good “gotcha” moment. We love watching the lawyer drop the hammer on cross examination. I have no idea why.

Because it has been my experience that that hammer eventually falls on you, if you’re being honest with yourself. We all eventually find ourselves in the crosshairs of a righteous shotgun blast. Because we’re all guilty of something.

Personally, I prefer mercy and grace. I need both of those things so much, so often. I don’t need anyone preaching at me. I’ve heard so much preaching I can’t get it out of my head. So, I bristle at people who come at others with absolute certainty of the moral high ground.

You never know when the high ground will have a mud slide, and you find yourself down there with all of those you were preaching at from a perch.

R

Subscribe to my daily blog here:

https://www.patreon.com/blahblahblogger

DECK CHAIRS …

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times …”

Truer opening words were never written.

As we move through life, maybe the most difficult thing to reconcile is the fact that no two people on earth have the same perspective on anything.

This concept tears us apart on social media and in the realm of the political. Depending on how you see the current world, you are either rejoicing or wringing your hands. If you keep people from all sides of the political spectrum on your Twitter or Facebook feed, you will see one post touting the record-breaking unemployment numbers, followed by a post asserting that Western Civilization will be over in a generation (I saw these VERY posts yesterday).

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this kind of duality in my lifetime. These days, we seem to simply decide what the world is, and manifest it to our making. If you think it’s a dark hell-hole, it can certainly be that for you. If you think it’s a wonderland, where anything can happen, it can be that too. It can actually be both at the same time. And maybe the meaning of life is to reconcile how you’re going to remember it.

My wife and I have two very different views of our patio furniture. And it sparked a rather deep conversation recently.

She is frustrated with the decade-old cushions and weathered upholstery. And she has mentioned, on occasion, that she would like “better” patio furniture in the future.

I, on the other hand, vividly remember buying said furniture. And it was very expensive. I remember this because I almost always remember paying for expensive things. And in my version of the patio furniture story, two friends of mine are standing on my deck, watching me assemble the table and chairs. They are both going through horrible marital struggles. One is getting a divorce and the other is crying over her husband leaving her.

All I want to do is get the chairs put together and enjoy my newly tiled deck. My wife is in the kitchen finishing up or prepping or somewhere in the middle.

When I finally got the chairs functionally rocking and the cushions and pillows (and more pillows) put in the right order (yes, there was an order) and everything placed and angled correctly, everyone just sat down (without thinking) and dipped and sipped and rocked and leaned and cried and talked and used the furniture. But that day, and that furniture, holds a different meaning for me than it does for almost anyone else.

For me, that day was about paying more for patio furniture than I thought you could pay for patio furniture. But it was also about providing a comfortable place for two friends to sit and vent. It marked the beginning of countless nights, rocking and talking and listening to music on the deck. So, while that furniture might mean very little to my wife, it actually means a lot to me. And it’s all because of our different perspectives when it comes to those chairs and that table.

I’ve heard it said that two people in a restaurant, having the same dinner, are each having different experiences …because they’re facing opposite directions.

It’s so true.

Part of the whole “being woke” thing is simply acknowledging that there might be different perspectives and experiences on a given topic. Yes, it’s true …I don’t know what a black woman from South Africa has experienced. I cannot see the world through her eyes. I cannot know what it’s like to feel her limitations or her joys or her sorrows. And she cannot know what it’s like to feel or know mine.

And this is true of every single human on the planet. Even twins can experience the exact same moment and experience it completely differently.

Our hope is to find some common ground; some consensus on which to build relational foundations. And we use art and memories to help with that. Songs, books, movies, concerts…these are all things we hold onto as touch points. They take us to a place where we had the same experience; where we remember it the same way. But even then, we remember it differently. Because we experience it differently.

Sometimes, we experience something one way, but then remember it another way. Once we have the perspective of age and we gain knowledge we didn’t have at the time, we make up our minds that what we thought was a bad experience was actually a wonderful one. And sometimes, what we thought was a great thing, turns out to have been not so great in retrospect.

I’m finding, as I get older, that my own retrospect is colored by what my hopes and fears were at the given time. And now that I’m beyond them, I can embrace the memory in a new way. What was once “the worst of times” might’ve actually been “the best of times.” I just didn’t know it.

All of this leads me to want to be more honest in the “now.” And also never discount the way someone else feels about a situation. My wonderful evening might represent someone else’s horrible evening. It’s rare when we agree on a given moment.

But maybe, if you find yourself sitting on a warm, Summer’s night, on a comfortable deck chair…think of it fondly. Remember it well. It might represent one of the more important days of someone else’s life.

R

Subscribe to my daily blog right here!

https://www.patreon.com/blahblahblogger

SONGLAND …

If losing teams didn’t get paid, professional football would be much more interesting to watch.

But there would also be many more injuries and fights and probable nervous breakdowns. Every single game would be a brawl to the end. Knowing you only get paid if you win, would create beasts out there, willing to take dangerous chances with themselves and others. It would create an entire population of psychopaths, who know they cannot take a loss if they want their kids to eat. One losing season could put an entire team of people out of business…for good. So, strange alliances would develop and creative new corruption would arise. This player or that one might agree to throw a certain game if he could get a kick-back from the winning coach, hence guaranteeing him a paycheck either way.

The entire game would be more of a Gladiatorial nightmare than it already is. And the people who play it would become mentally warped and damaged. Possibly, beyond repair.

There is a world where that very scenario exists: professional songwriting.

If you are a professional songwriter; feeding your family, paying your mortgage, gassing up your car, you’re either doing it on the future or the past. That means you’re either earning your money off of royalties (the past) or advances (the future). There is only the tiniest of windows for songwriters who haven’t had any success yet, but might getting advance money from a publisher. But those scenarios are almost gone and those days are all but over. No, if you’re affording your life as a “professional songwriter” you’re one of the Gladiators who are winning. There is just no way around it.

I meet screen writers all the time who make money for films that never get shot. They option and punch up and whatever and whatever. And their name may not be on all that many things when you look them up on IMDB but their WGA (Writers Guild of America) fees are set and they can make money here and there. But songwriters get nothing if their songs don’t get recorded and/or become popular. This makes for a chaotic and completely stressed-out work environment.

One of the systemic problems with songwriting is that everybody on earth is absolutely convinced they are a songwriter. They just know they have a great song idea. They are sure they’ve got the next, great hook or the next golden line that will become a cultural catch phrase. And the maddening thing is…they may actually be right.

We all start out making up songs when we’re kids. It’s a natural thing for humans to do. In a sense, songwriting is sacred in that way. Anything kids naturally do, must be something universal to us as a species. Then we grow up and enough people tell us we suck until we hide our talent away inside our work cubicle. We dabble on weekends and go to the occasional workshop. But we stow it away as the potential for a living.

But then there are those of us who don’t hear people telling us we suck. I mean, they’re saying it. We’re just not hearing it. We dive into the pool of professionals and act like we belong there, until one day…we finally do. Maybe we started with talent and a natural ability to make up melodies and lyrics. But through the years we hone something called “the craft.” And the knowledge of “the craft” is the difference between amateurs (with talent) and professionals.

But craft isn’t enough. It just has to be there. The mark of the great song is heart and soul and yearning and speaking a truth we all knew was there but couldn’t put into words before. And sometimes those great songs become “hit songs” or “popular.” And “hits” earn money…or at least they used to. So the coin of the realm for the songwriting Gladiators is the “hit.” It’s how the business sustains itself. But the problem is you can have a “hit” on something not great. You can have a hit on something not even good. This is where chaos ensues. And songwriting becomes a playground for the truly gifted as well as the hack with a good rhyming program. Great work-of-art songs never get heard and languish in hard drives, while mediocre offerings with a big choruses of “na na’s” win the day. And that very thing tilts the nature of the business toward not having any idea what the hell it’s doing most of the time.

I watched the show Songland last night, against the call for a boycott from some of my friends. I found the show compelling …sort of (as compelling as watching songs being written can be). And sure enough, the people who knew the craft (the professionals) were all pretty much on the same page. I found myself yelling out pro critiques as well: “Tighten the verse lyrics – scrap the B section – get to the chorus quicker – your throw-away melody after the chorus is your strongest hook – use it in a more prominent way” – etc, etc. A lot of song craft is understanding the human attention span and understanding some mathematical principles behind melody and meter. But even when you get the craft right, you still might not have that illusive thing called a “hit.”

Some people were outraged that the show had apparently asked the up-and-coming songwriters to waive their royalties in order to appear on the show. I could’t confirm if that story was actually true. Someone closely connected with the show contacted me and said that it was NOT true but that the contracts were a bit complicated to get around licensing and clearance problems. I would imagine licensing something IN PROCESS, that was copyrighted one way walking in, and a totally different way walking out, would be a very sticky scenario for a TV show. Plus, the sync royalties for a prime time TV show performance of only half a song (which is what they were performing – NOT the entire song) might only be around $1500 to $3000 anyway. If the show paid each contestant $5 k to appear, as a talent fee, that would be a better deal for them. (I don’t know if that’s what they did, but it would seem plausible.)

But even if the TV show took ALL the royalties, for every format (even radio) from each song, the trouble with songwriters is there are those out there who would still agree to it. Streaming services have destroyed professional songwriting as an industry and yet there are still legions of music artists lined up to get on those services. Record labels have done cut-rate royalty deals for decades, and songwriters have lined up for the abuse and then offered to shine their shoes if they will give them more abuse. Publishing companies have held royalties and cross-colateralized accounts and gone bankrupt in order to not have to pay writers, and yet there are armies of songwriters banging on the windows to be a part of that system.

Professional songwriters have toyed with the idea of unionizing and going on strike, for decades. But we all know that the minute that happens, there are thousands 24-year-olds, who have been waiting on the old guys (who don’t know what they’re doing anyway) to step aside and let the REAL talent finally get a shot. And if you listen to the radio, you know that nothing will stop. The wheel will still turn and the audience, by and large, won’t know the difference.

I question whether or not Songland can sustain enough interest through a whole season. Watching songs being written is not unlike watching someone do a crossword puzzle or knit. And when you’re watching those at the top of the game do it, it feels like you can do it just as easily as they can. Maybe you can. But if you decide to try it as a life, remember that no other business on earth waits for things to happen. And even if your song is just about to come out on the radio, the mortgage company doesn’t care. The insurance company doesn’t care. The grocery store doesn’t care.

All the people who work in those industries will be home watching Songland, cheering you on, on Tuesday …then calling you on Wednesday, asking why you haven’t paid your bill.

R

Follow my daily blog at:

https://www.patreon.com/blahblahblogger

DUMBER …

A lot of people have pretty much had enough. And I get it.

Actor Jeff Daniels said, this week, that one more term of Donald Trump would end Democracy as we know it. Okay, there cowboy. Settle down. Hitler couldn’t do that. The Civil War couldn’t do that. Nixon couldn’t do that. No, Obama couldn’t do that. FDR couldn’t do that (although he and Lincoln got the closest), even the Soviet Union couldn’t do that. I get it. You hate the guy. But ending Democracy as we know it is simply not happening. It’ll be here long after the Donald is replaced.

But then he said something that simply makes my blood boil. He said other than not wanting to pay taxes, the only reason he could see for people voting for Trump was racism. My eyes rolled so far back in my head I could see that phone number I forgot in 1989. Really, dude? Everybody’s a racist?

Shame on you, Jeff Daniels. Shame on you. Voting is very often a pragmatic act. It doesn’t mean you own everything a candidate does or says. It means you prefer their direction over the other direction. And guess what? Just because a lot of Americans can’t seem to square the circle on why every person on planet earth has to have a passport in order to travel; has to enter every other country (on planet Earth) through the correct portals; has to announce their presence in every other country (on planet Earth), except for a two-thousand-mile stretch on the southern border of the United States, where apparently, if you just show up, you should be allowed to simply walk across without any of the aforementioned tethers, that makes you some sort of Nazi…doesn’t make them racists.

I have a LEGAL immigrant who lives with me. She is my daughter. Mountains of paper work and gallons of ink went into her adoption and naturalization. My fingerprints are on file with the FBI. I had to turn my financial records over to TWO different governments. I’m sure this thing I’m writing is being monitored by someone, somewhere. And I guess I can’t understand why it would’ve been okay to simply have the orphanage meet us all in Mexico and walk the babies across the border for free.

Why do we even have an immigration department if it is essentially a racist act to use it?

Questions like these are why people voted for a foul-mouthed philanderer from Queens. And it has nothing to do with racism. It has to do with somebody in government finally asking the same question we’re all asking: “What the hell is going on and why hasn’t it been fixed???”

And yes, people want to pay less in taxes. Even Mr. Daniels will have to fly to the state with the best tax incentives for his next film. And for the life of me, I have never been able to understand why that is an immoral thing. Why is the government receiving more money than the citizenry somehow noble? Why is Bill Gates keeping ALL the money he earns, a matter of our collective, eternal souls? Bill does a pretty good job with his money. He helps a lot of people with his money. He gives a lot of his money away to worthy causes. I’ll bet he does a better job with it than all those congress people would. Why must he (and people like him) be a constant target of outrage?

The fact is lowering taxes has made the economy boom. Businesses can now expand. And although people desperately want to believe that when businesses expand one evil white guy at the top just keeps all the money, it really doesn’t work that way. When businesses expand, jobs get created to help it happen. And those people working those jobs save up their money and sacrifice those new shoes and don’t eat out for a few weeks so they can afford plane tickets to New York City, to watch Jeff Daniels play Atticus Finch on Broadway.

And yet somehow, he doesn’t know or understand that. And he believes that a lot of those people are horrible inside, and want harm done to people of other races. Meanwhile, those other races have a higher employment rate than they’ve ever had in the history of this country. Well, I suppose technically there was 100% employment of black people when they were slaves and didn’t have a choice. But then the Republican party showed up and gave them a choice.

A lot of family became Republicans in the 1960’s because the Republicans were the only people in some parts of the south who would register black voters. This is how and why Martin Luther King Jr. was a registered Republican. Then, a lot more of them became Republicans in the 80’s when they’d had enough economic chaos from the very likable and very Christian Jimmy Carter.

And what has turned a lot of people on to the current Mr. Trump? A lot of it is being tired of getting berated for asking simple questions: why don’t we have a secure border? Is a wall or a fence really “immoral?” Does that really make us all racists?

And while we’re at it, why does a series of tornadoes in Oklahoma (a place that is LITERALLY called “Tornado Alley”) mean the world is ending and in order to fix it we have to transfer all the wealth in the world to other countries? Does anybody else think the “Green New Deal” is a load of crap? Why do we have to take this nonsense seriously to be treated like a human being?

While we’re at it, why do we have to accept some man’s desire to dress and act like a woman as “science?” It’s not science. He’s a dude. Dress however you want. Call yourself whatever you want. Act however you want to act. Nobody really cares, anymore. But we actually have to pretend his gender pronouncement is science in order to not be horrible people? We have to pretend he’s not winning all those races in the women’s division because he’s actually a MAN?

These questions nag at regular people. These issues have all been hurled into the political realm. And people look for someone out there – some leader – to help them make sense of it all. If you don’t understand Donald Trump standing in that gap and offering to be the lightening rod for these people, then you wasted your money on that human behavior course you took in college.

Donald Trump may be a racist. I don’t know the man. And I don’t make judgements on people I don’t know (or DO know, for that matter). If he is a racist, he sucks at it because he sure has helped a lot of minorities do better, financially. But I DO know a lot of people who voted for him. And they are not racists. They are pragmatists who love their country and have questions that have never been sufficiently answered by their government. And they get the joke. Yes, they all know Donald Trump is saying about half of everything he says with his tongue in his cheek. And to some people that’s a breath of fresh air. And they’re tired of being talked down to by media types, with perfect jaw lines and no sense of humor.

And yes, they are incredibly weary of being scolded by actors and rock stars, who aren’t pulling double shifts to buy the kids Christmas presents, or getting bridge loans to keep the gas station open, or maxing out the credit card to go to the Big Apple and watch that Dumb and Dumber guy in his new play.

 

R

To subscribe to my daily blog, click the link:

https://www.patreon.com/blahblahblogger

ABORTION WARS …

It’s the blood that bothers me the most.

The fact that the mother’s blood doesn’t mingle with the child’s blood…yeah…that bothers me.

Also, whenever a woman says, “I’m eating for two, now,” I’ve always asked myself, “So, that IS a whole other person in there?”

Anyway …

We’ve all got our opinions on abortion. It’s one of the 3 or 4 primary issues with which our country grapples. And it has been since I was a child.

A lot of it sort of sprang out of the sexual revolution. Women got tired of being told what to do. They wanted the power and control over their own bodies. I totally get that. I want power and control over my own body too. I guess the only thing I would say to women, from someone with “white, male privilege” is that no matter how much power and control you think you have over your own body, it doesn’t exempt you from consequences.

With all my power and control over my own body, I can still get Herpes as easily as you can.

I know of guys who got girls pregnant and then got hit for child support after the fact, even though they didn’t want the child. If a man doesn’t want a child, he’s called a “deadbeat dad.” If a woman doesn’t want a child, she’s merely exercising her rights. But I digress …

The abortion debate is essentially a battle over who gets to live and who doesn’t. It’s no more complicated than that. And a lot of women firmly believe that until the child inside them takes its first breath of fresh, earth air, they are the sole arbiters of the child’s existence. I don’t argue this point. I never have. But if I were going to argue it, there’s a lot of science on that side of the argument.

It was once believed that people of color were inferior forms of the human race, therefore it was perfectly acceptable to use them for slave labor. This notion is so horrible and ghastly it’s hard to even process. Even if there were a lower form of human being (which there isn’t – the science is crystal clear), the idea that it somehow it gives the higher forms license to use them as slaves is still, in and of itself, nauseating. But we as a nation accepted it for centuries, then fought a whole war over it. And even as I type this, there are more slaves on earth today then there were in 1860. And yet the practice of slavery doesn’t ever, EVER make it right.

Now that we know more about the actual science of human fetuses, a lot of people compare the practice and acceptance of abortion to that of slavery; it is one person deciding life and death over another person. I suppose that is technically “murder.” But again, I digress.

I have questions for those who refuse to accept a human fetus as human life: why do we do “prenatal” care if we’re not protecting a life? Why do we discourage women from smoking or drinking or even eating tuna while they’re pregnant, if it’s not to protect a completely different, autonomous entity? That has always nagged at me. I watched a whole segment once, on Good Morning America, about prenatal care and all the things you should do to “protect” your unborn child. Then, literally as they were going to commercial break, the anchor said, “Next, the debate over abortion heats up!”

And I couldn’t help but think to myself, “so, you do all this stuff to keep your unborn baby safe …unless you decide to kill it at the last minute?”

It was hard to reconcile.

Then again, I understand the other argument. Hear me out …

My daughter has one of the rarest genetic disorders on planet earth. She cannot speak or care for herself in any way. There is an 80% molestation rate among people with disabilities. It’s completely insidious because predators know these are the weakest among us. And they act on it. And it sickens me. Still, God forbid my daughter were to get raped and pregnant, we know that she would not be able to carry a child to term. It would kill her or the baby. We know this. It has happened. And even if she were to somehow carry it to term, it would have to be adopted immediately. She would not be able to care for it. Furthermore, there is a 50% chance the baby would be born with Angelman Syndrome, making it much more difficult to adopt out.

These things keep me awake at night. And if I’m being honest, I would like to know there would be options for her, in an unthinkable situation like that. I’ve had this conversation with friends and even family members who have assured me that God would never let something happen that he didn’t have a plan for. Then, they got up and left my house and went back to their life, while I was there, still taking care of a person NO ONE ever comes to take to the mall or to the park or to a birthday party. Yeah …God takes care of it. I get it.

The harsh truth is you’re not really “pro-life” unless you have adopted children. Let me repeat that: you are not really pro-life unless you have adopted children. You may be philosophically opposed to abortion. But that is very different than being an active participant in protecting and providing for existing human life. It’s hard to listen to and face, but as long as there are orphans in the world, there aren’t enough people who actively embrace the idea of caring for all life.

Here are some other thing to think about and ask yourself:

If black women hadn’t aborted 70% of their children over the last 40 years, the black population of the United States would almost be the majority. Are you cool with that?

If abortions are made illegal in all 50 states, there will be millions more children (many of which will be children with special needs) who will need to be adopted. How many children are you prepared to adopt? How many families with multiple children with disabilities are you prepared to support?

If ALL life is precious, regardless of how it is made, how many single mothers who sleep around and get pregnant by multiple fathers, are you prepared to help support? After all, it isn’t the child’s fault how they got here.

Some liberal states are taking abortion to a grisly end; allowing for abortions right up until the due date, and even having the conversation about life being snuffed out even after the child has been born. That turns my stomach. And I’m sorry folks, but once a child is out of the womb, can you at least stop calling it “abortion?” It’s murder. Be honest

The good, white Christians on the other end of the spectrum, in the orthodox south (namely the Alabama legislature), are passing such intractable laws, even Pat Robertson is calling them “extreme.” And they are designed to rattle the Supreme Court and re-litigate Roe V. Wade.

Roe V. Wade is a flawed court decision. A lot of scholars agree on this. Still, in all this posturing and gamesmanship and in the desire to “win,” both sides often forget what the whole thing is about in the first place: a baby. And then it’s about what happens to that baby once it’s here. It’s also about what kind of society that baby will grow up in.

I’ve asked a lot of questions and provided almost no answers. Maybe that’s because the actual answers are not easy ones and they’re not ones we really want to hear. And unless we were prepared to face those answers honestly, this conversation will continue to be pointless.

R

To subscribe to my daily blog click this link:

https://www.patreon.com/blahblahblogger

FREE …

“Take one, they’re free,” is the sign we all love to see in front of cookies or candy or pretty much anything.

Free feels like the best thing of all. You trade literally nothing in that transaction (or so it seems). And make no mistake: our entire lives are transactions. We either trade our time for a paycheck (at a job), or we trade our talent for fees or we trade our property for rent or we trade our ideas for buyouts. Either way, all of economics is based on a transactional world. And in that world, the word “free” feels like an edge; a leg up; a welcome advantage.

But is anything really free?

I used to have an ongoing, good-natured back and forth with some of my Canadian friends about healthcare. They always touted the “free” healthcare in Canada. And I would always retort, “it’s not free. You’re just paying for it in a different way.” We would all have a good laugh. But I was right. For healthcare in Canada to be truly free, every single healthcare worker would have to donate their time. Every building built would have to be done so with donated labor. All the water and electricity provided to those buildings would also have to be donated. All of the medical supplies; syringes, bandages, heart monitors, bed pans, masks, gowns, splints, scalpels, pain killers, etc, etc, etc would all have to be donated.

But none of that is the case. All of those industries turn a profit. Therefore, Canadian healthcare is not free. It is just monetized a certain way. Now, the debate rages as to whether their way of monetizing healthcare is better than our way as opposed to the way they do it in the UK or Finland or China or Russia or India or wherever else. But as long as someone, somewhere is getting paid to provide a medical service, then that service isn’t free.

This week, Senator Elizabeth Warren unveiled her plan to forgive College debt for certain people. If I had a ton of College debt hanging over me, I would probably love this plan. I can see 24-year-old me being all for it and hoping someone would get on board with it. Because it’s an appeal to the most basic, human instinct: the struggle to get an edge in a transactional world. But now that I’m older (and hopefully wiser), I understand that nothing is really free. And an elected official simply “declaring” it free, doesn’t make it so.

There were financial institutions that acquired the funding and created the mechanisms for those loans. And there are armies of people who have jobs processing those loans and keeping track of everyone’s debt record regarding those loans. So, those people have to be paid. Of course Ms. Warren isn’t proposing those people work for free. She has a tax plan to pay off those loans. But people who just throw new burdens on wealth always forget that people with means have location options. They have options as to where they want to live and they also have options as to where they want their money living.

In the end, no one will pay this tax. Anyone with 50 million dollars of accumulated wealth has plans for it that do not include paying off someone else’s College loan. Because we get back to the basic principle: nothing is really free.

For the past decade, I’ve actually worked in an industry that has devalued itself to the point of near extinction. “Free music” was never free. Someone was paying a price, somewhere. It was people you will probably never see and institutions you will probably never know about. But it was happening and it is still happening. Homes were being lost. Pension funds were being raided. Incomes were dying. And that led to some house not being remodeled or some new car not being purchased or, yes, some College fund not being paid into.

Why? Because free is an illusion.

There is market correction to be made in the cost of College tuition. That is a fact. But the way to make that correction isn’t by forgiving the debt that has been incurred. It will happen by convincing kids coming out of high school that there are pretty damn good alternatives to going to an expensive school for 4 to 6 years. And it will come by parents sitting down and making difficult choices when it comes to College for their kids. Then, the Colleges themselves will have to lower prices in order to stay in business. Because whether they want to admit it or not, they too live in a transactional world.

If we’re gong to go around forgiving debt, let’s start with home mortgages. That is actual SHELTER. Then let’s move on to car loans. Actual TRANSPORTATION. Then how about consumer debt? Credit cards. How about business loans?

I suppose a case could be made for forgiving the whole house of cards and starting all over. Get everyone back to zero and see how it all shakes out. The problem is, if we do that on saturday night, on Monday morning we all have to go back to work somewhere. And barring the whole thing becoming a strictly barter system, we’ll need to agree on a type of currency. And we’ll have to make transactions. And those transactions will get more and more complicated as the day wears on. And even if you’re at zero debt, you might still find yourself wanting or needing to buy a house. And someone will inevitably come a long and offer you the money for the house, if you promise to pay back 4.75 percent more to them than the original loan amount. And when you figure it all up, that will be a pretty good deal.

And by Wednesday, we’ll be transacting again. Why? Because that candy you’re taking out of the bowl, isn’t really free.

R

To subscribe to my daily blog, click the link:

https://www.patreon.com/blahblahblogger

RHONDA’S REMEDY …

It’s one of those old chestnuts you really hope happened.

As the legendary story goes, a semi-truck got stuck under an overpass bridge. The clearance was just low enough to wedge the top of the 18-wheeler into the underside concrete and grind it to a halt. For hours, authorities scratched their heads and rubbed their chins and diverted traffic and contacted the best and brightest engineers.

While the bone fide geniuses were devising ways of removing part of the bridge or cutting off the top of the truck with a diamond blade, or actually imploding the entire truck and simply taking a loss on the cargo and machinery, a little 9-year-old girl, who was watching the whole thing from her halted car, kept tugging at her father’s trousers with an idea.

At first, the bystander father was too enthralled in the drama several car lengths ahead and didn’t pay any attention to her. But then he heard her idea and it made sense. Surely these experts had thought of this, hadn’t they? I mean, it was so obvious. Surely his 9-year-old daughter hadn’t come up with the solution that was right in front of them. Had she? But eventually, once he saw civil engineers rolling in the TNT, he raced up to the scene and let the little girl talk to the powers that be.

She told them her idea, and they all looked at each other completely stunned and embarrassed. Of course. It was so simple. All it took was someone with an open mind to figure it out.

In less than an hour, the truck was released from the underpass and on its way. And all the traffic was moving again. Nothing had to be blown up or severed or destroyed or harmed in any way. You see all they ever had to do was one thing: let air out of the tires. It was genius. It was simple. And it didn’t cost a thing.

That scenario could’ve turned into a months-long public works program. It could’ve required dozens of strong backs and hundreds of man hours, cutting through concrete and steel. It could’ve put people in extreme danger and even forced the city or state to tear down the entire bridge and re-build it with higher clearance, requiring new grading above it and new elevation surveys. That process might have taken years to complete. In the meantime, a new detour would’ve been needed and alternate routes put in place.

People’s lives would change and their commutes would be extended. An entire ecosystem might’ve been deconstructed because of one overreaction to a problem that looked daunting…but actually wasn’t.

In the state of Oregon, a small miracle is taking place.

A 450 person software company is reaping the benefits of some simple, obvious fixes. While political candidates are scratching their heads and making grand declarations and devising new, tectonic-plate-shifting plans to upend the American healthcare system…again (remember when we did this nine years ago?), an unassuming surgical nurse may be bringing a revolution to healthcare, one patient at a time.

Rhonda Nerenberg was listening to her husband grapple with the near impossible challenges facing his company, regarding healthcare compliance. In her husband Billy’s own words …

“When I took the reins four years ago, one of the biggest problems we had was our medical insurance premiums. They were already through the roof and were going to be raised 25% yet again. Insurance companies work on utilization rates and ours was apparently 173%, so we were basically out of luck. I did a national search to find someone who could help and found nothing useful. My wife suggested I start a wellness program. In my experience, they are next to useless and so I just laughed and said no. She just smiled at me and said she would design one with an onsite clinic, nutrition education, insurance advocacy and tie them together with behavioral coaching. She said if it worked, it would lower our utilization rates and if not, it wouldn’t cost us much and we would at least be trying something. Now, almost 4 years later, our utilization rates are down 68%, employee’s out-of-pocket expenses are down 39% and she has taken us self-insured. She has reversed dozens of long-term diseases including type II Diabetes pulling people off medications, lot’s of people have stopped smoking and we’ve lost a ton of weight as an organization. This program not only measurably works, it pays for itself, all within our current broken healthcare system.”

Rhonda doesn’t just get people eating right and exercising. She doesn’t just get them to quit smoking. But, being a nurse, she also helps with consultations on when key medical tests should be done and helps to tweak certain pieces of the insurance plans to incentivize certain tests at certain times for each individual patient. She also personally consults on preventative treatments and measures that have helped a half-dozen people side-step major issues.

All of this work (and resounding success) for her husband’s company has led to her starting her own business and doing this work for corporations across the country. Corporation by corporation; individual by individual, Rhonda is showing people how to simply let the air out of the tires and get the truck rolling again.

When Republicans held power of both chambers of Congress (and the Presidency), they did not address the cracks in the American Health Care system. Every time they had the chance to fix the broken pieces (and there WERE broken pieces), they failed. Every. Single. Time. My daughter and my family were direct victims of these problems. There have been over 15 Republican healthcare reform bills. And NONE of them has ever seen the floor for a vote, much less been implemented. When it comes to the issues regarding health care, either the Republicans have been mentally inferior or they have been cowards.

On the other hand, Democrats have used healthcare as a political tool for decades. And keep in mind that every piece of your current health care – EVERY. SINGLE. PIECE – was designed by and voted into law by DEMOCRATS. If you do not like the way our current health care system works, there is only one party to blame. They were the only ones who voted for it. NO Republicans voted for it – they were too busy being mentally inferior or being cowards. And now, ALL of the Democrat candidates are coming back, a decade later, to fix what they broke in the first place.

If Rhonda’s plan could be implemented nation wide, at every corporation, and she got even close to the same success rate at each company she’s had at her husband’s company, insurers would have to lower premiums and get creative with coverage, just to stay in business. If they had to do that, they would have to pay closer attention to the details of their payouts and make those calls to medical institutions, saying, “we’re not paying $60 for an aspirin anymore.”

If that were to happen, the medical profession itself would have to become more efficient and lean. I have seen this happen personally with the music business. People ask us all the time how we can make records for 25% of what we used to make them for. The answer is WE SIMPLY HAVE TO. The market forced us to.

THIS is how costs actually come down naturally, in a market driven way. Not by mandate or quota. But by incentives and market pressures.

In this political football game, where life and death is literally on the line, stories like Rhonda’s Remedy give me hope. Maybe the answer to our perpetual healthcare question is not in politics or who you vote for. Maybe it’s in the mind of someone who sees things a little differently; someone who sees the whole truck…and not just the top of it.

 

R

To subscribe to my daily blog, click the link below:

https://www.patreon.com/blahblahblogger

THE FLAT EARTH …

It’s one of my favorite stories about my father’s epic life.

He is 12-years-old and sailing across the Atlantic to England. It’s 1959. In the middle of the voyage he contracts the Mumps and is confined to sick bay for the duration of the journey. When they reach England, he’s not allowed off the ship. But somehow, he is smuggled off and into the home of a Jamaican minister, where he recovers. It’s a great story.

One of the interesting side stories from that episode, is that Liberace was on the ship with him. He was going to London for a court battle. It seems the London Times had accused Mr Liberace of being a homosexual. In 1959 that would’ve been a career killer. So he sailed to merry old England and promptly won the case, proving that he was indeed, NOT a homosexual.

Everyone who just read that is snickering right now. And that’s because we know beyond all doubt that Liberace was absolutely a homosexual. One hundred percent. He was literally shouting it from the rooftops in every way imaginable. But, in 1959 everyone had to act like it wasn’t true because …well, you know …let’s just not talk about it. He just hasn’t found the right girl yet.

It’s amazing what humans will continue to believe if they want to. I am amazed at the new movement asserting that the world is actually flat. I don’t even know what to say about it. We literally base all air and sea travel on the curvature of the planet. We have pictures of it from space. You can see it curve from the top of Mt Everest. We base our time zones on it. It’s round. We’ve proven it…like…a million times. Of all the things we should be proving, this is one thing we don’t need to prove anymore. We live on a ball.

But some people have found holes in the theory; cracks in the facts (if you will). And they are one hundred percent certain it’s a pancake and not an M&M (insert eye rolling emoji here).

To be honest, I am personally getting sick and tired of having to entertain absolute bullshit just because someone has poked around the internet and found some crazy websites. We’re living in a time with more information than ever. We have more empirical evidence than ever. And yet we are asked to consider more idiocy than ever.

Our culture has become a stew filled with organic vegetables that taste horrible yet are good for us, right next to mounds of marshmallows that have no nutritional value whatsoever. And we’re constantly asked to eat both things with a smile, acting like they belong together.

Our press coverage doesn’t help with this problem. I’m reminded of watching (with my own eyes) George Stephanopoulos shaking his head dutifully and squinting his eyes in earnest, listening to Michael Avenatti talk about his client, who asserted (without proof) that Bret Kavanaugh ran “rape trains” in college. Wow. That would be horrible if that were true. An accusation that affected that many people would surely have corroborators, right? Nope. Surely someone, somewhere would remember that. Right? Nope. That kind of pathology would leave evidence and a pattern of behavior. Right? Nope. Apparently, these days, we’ll just put you on Good Morning America and let you talk about pretty much anything that literally nobody can prove, as if it’s the gospel. Okay …

At some point you have to see things for what they actually are and accept them, even if you don’t like the conclusion. Look, our president is an unconventional guy. You might not like his tweets or his attitude or his personality or his policies. But he didn’t conspire with Russia to win his election. We know this. It has been studied from every angle in which you can study these things. So, to watch elected officials say they have evidence that contradicts these findings is maddening.

I’ve interviewed Adam Schiff. He and I shared a couple of laughs. He seemed like a nice guy. But dude, if you’ve got evidence that a sitting president committed TREASON (which, in case we’ve all forgotten, is a crime still punishable by death) drop it on us…TODAY. Because this thing was investigated by pretty much everyone who investigates things like this. It’s over. It was a rouse. It didn’t happen. We have to come to terms with this as a nation.

Jussie Smollett might have had his charges dropped, but for him to stand up in front of cameras and declare his innocence as if he’s still a victim of something, makes my eyes roll so far back in my head I can see memories from 1986. Dude, just say no comment and get on with your life. Please don’t ask us to participate in a notion that has already been completely disproven. If you’re going to ask us to do that, then we need to start a Gofundme to raise money for a private investigator, to find these horrible white supremacists and bring them to justice. I’ll contribute to it. Let’s get to the bottom of this and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Oh yeah…I forgot…the Chicago police department ALREADY DID THAT! Shut up and stop making me part of your movie, bro!

I watched R. Kelly scream and cry and throw a fit on national TV, declaring his innocence. Never mind that LITERALLY. EVERY. WOMAN. IN. HIS. LIFE (and most of the men) corroborate the fact that he needs to be behind bars.

I have dear friends who refuse to believe the boys who have come forward in the new Michael Jackson claims. I’ve literally seen posts that say things like, “I knew the guy who engineered for Michael for years. And he knows beyond all doubt that he would never do something like that!” I dearly love all the guys who have engineered for me, through the years. But I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t tell any of them if I was molesting little boys.

Guys, the FBI found stacks of porn in Michael’s bedroom, with his fingerprints on it. Okay – whatever. But then, they found the fingerprints of several children on it as well…SEVERAL. That means at the very least, while they were having popcorn parties and watching Spielberg movies, kids kept finding the private stash and asking uncle Michael what it was, as they were all bedding down for the night, together. Apparently, he was just saying, “this is not something you need to look at right now. get your jammies on and let’s snuggle.” Come on, man. Really???

My friends, it’s time to face some things we might not want to face:

We went to the moon.

Donald Trump won the 2016 fair and square (or at least as fair and square as we win elections in this country).

Jussie Smollett is guilty of his crimes but got some strings pulled to get the charges dropped.

R. Kelly is a monster.

Michael Jackson was a child molester.

Rachael Dolezal is a white woman.

Elizabeth Warren is a VERY white woman.

The world is not ending in 12 years and we are never building a land bridge to Hawaii (mainly because we don’t have to – because WE. CAN. F&*CKING. FLY. THERE!)

Peppermint Patty is not into Charlie Brown (or really any boys – her own best friend calls her “sir”).

Liberace was not straight.

And, for the love of Peter, Paul and Mary, the world is NOT flat!

If you want to indulge in things you wish were true, there’s an Ancient Aliens marathon every Friday on A&E. I love it. It’s fun to suspend your disbelief sometimes, when it isn’t hurting anyone.

But please stop asking me to believe in things that are provably untrue or not believe in things that have been proven to be true in every way you can prove them. A refusal to share common absolutes is how the human race gets plunged into things like the Dark Ages.

If you don’t know what “The Dark Ages” are, you can find out about it on the internet. We’re pretty sure it really happened.

R

If you want to subscribe to my daily blog, click the link below:

https://www.patreon.com/blahblahblogger