My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Archive for February, 2016

Why not to back Bernie and his POLITICAL REVOLUTION

February 29th, 2016 | Category: Life,Opinions,Thoughts on Politics

So, I’m not a fan of Bernie Sanders, but not because I don’t necessarily like his ideas. Some of his plans are totally great; campaign finance reform, wage reform, making college possible for all, great ideas. He’s an excellent speaker, really powerful, his talk of POLITICAL REVOLUTION sounds to be exactly what America needs. Politics is astonishingly fucked up, something has to change, so his narrative of POLITICAL REVOLUTION is really compelling. Sanders is especially compelling to young voters, kids who are about to cast their very first ballot and already feel like their voices don’t matter, or those who voted for President Obama twice and feel disgusted because they were promised change and got less than they hoped. I totally understand the frustration, I see the appeal of Bernie Sanders. Political revolution sounds really fucking cool, and necessary these days. However, Bernie fans, casual and die-hard, are missing something important, something crucial about his candidacy. When Bernie Sanders talks about his POLITICAL REVOLUTION, he isn’t talking about some ephemeral ideal, it isn’t some affectation to make himself come across as daring, exciting. Rather, he means something quite specific by his promise of political revolution. Unfortunately, it’s a promise without wings.

See, when Bernie Sanders talks about political revolution, his POLITICAL REVOLUTION, he’s talking about how he plans to fund every policy, accomplish every goal. Sanders believes that he can create such voter support, such an uprising of the people that the political process will bend to their will. Congress will have to pass legislation for debt-free college tuition, they’ll have to pass legislation for a real living-wage, otherwise any legislators who oppose Sanders’ Presidential ideas will be voted out office by everyone throughout America gathered under the banner of President Bernie Sanders. He doesn’t publish detailed budget plans, nothing much beyond, we’ll make the fat cats pay for everything. Making the fat cats pay will be possible through political revolution, that’s the key to every piece of proposed legislation, every change in policy. He will bring so many people into the political process, people speaking as one voice, that politics will fundamentally and permanently change.

Ideally, the American people are in charge, those we elect are supposed to govern according to our will. This is how politics should work, and maybe one day, when society is truly ready to get deeply involved in the political process, we’ll see the sort of fundamental shift that is required for any kind of political revolution, but we’re not there yet, nor is Bernie Sanders the one to help us get there. For Sanders’ political revolution to take place, voter turnout would have to reach epic numbers, and so far, that hasn’t happened. Sanders would have to beat Hilary Clinton in primary after primary, and so far, he hasn’t. Lets say, Bernie Sanders does make it to the general election, but only just barely, and only through the bluster and moxie that is so loved by his base of young voters. That’s hardly an auspicious start for his POLITICAL REVOLUTION, and being that said revolution is the lynch-pin for his Presidency, his Presidency doesn’t look like the strong hand that America so desperately needs.

Bernie Sanders is all bold talk and bold ideas that are just right for firing up young voters who are a likely ticket into a general election, but that’s the only firm plan he has under his proverbial hat. His POLITICAL REVOLUTION is beyond his ability to make reality, and without it, his promised change and big ideas are nothing but ash. This election is far too important to leave to a guy who’s all cotton candy, fun, but no substance. We need someone with solid plans AND a realistic way to implement them. Bernie Sanders is not that someone.

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Tattoo #84 (fixed): The end of Tattoo Crisis 2015-2016

February 28th, 2016 | Category: Life,Tattoos,Thoughts on Music
Tattoo correction by Amanda, Doc Dog's Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor

Tattoo correction by Amanda, Doc Dog’s Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor

So, here we are (officially), tattoo number eighty-four. This tattoo is some brutally beautiful lyrics from an Alanis Morissette song, No Pressure Over Cappuccino, which is off of her MTV Unplugged record. It’s brutal because of its stark honesty; we all learn to lose absolutely everything, whether the loss is afflicted by circumstance, or time, or death. Especially death, which is guaranteed by time. It’s important to be aware everything is inherently temporary, in order to cherish and hang on to that which we cherish most. This is what I take away from the lyrics, at least.

I’ve lost… a lot of things I never expected to lose, or wanted to lose. I just found the words… fitting.

As for the typo correction, I think it came out nicely. I wanted it to look organic, like someone simply scratched out the wrong words with a pen.

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GIANT nerd: I like eSports

February 27th, 2016 | Category: Life

I won’t hide it, I’ll own it… I am a giant nerd. I’m watching the Heroes of the Storm North American Spring Regional Tournament.

Honestly, it’s more fun to watch than baseball, at least you didn’t have to be drunk to enjoy it!

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February 26th, 2016 | Category: Life

I’m empty of words, today.

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Spending time in the Clockwork Century

February 25th, 2016 | Category: Life,Opinions

So, I spent much of today reading, which I don’t necessarily consider a “lazy” pursuit. I’m finally reading the entire Clockwork Century series by the Queen of Steampunk, Cherie Priest. I don’t know why I haven’t gotten around to it before now, I’ve been a fan of her work for years.

I actually read the first book in the series, Boneshaker, awhile ago, and was amazed. Reading Boneshaker feels very similar to reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy, both books have this sense of urgency about them. The characters are in a poisoned environment, always struggling to find the next safe place that isn’t very safe at all. The stories are totally different, but they share the same brilliant vibe. Cherie Priest is definitely skilled.

Anyway, I re-read Boneshaker, just for continuity, and now I’m ploughing through book two, Dreadnought. I think after I finish Dreadnought, I’ll write a full review of Boneshaker, then Dreadnought, and so on, until the end. Six books, six reviews.

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February 24th, 2016 | Category: Life

Today was just a really really really slow day.

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What to post?

February 23rd, 2016 | Category: Life

So, I have a few ideas… percolating. I want to do a few book reviews, and some other provocative writing projects.

Doesn’t THAT sound exciting?


Mitch McConnell: The Architect of American Political Gridlock Since 2010

February 22nd, 2016 | Category: Life,Opinions

During President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union address he blamed himself for not being able to overcome the political gridlock that has plagued his two terms in office. It was a very noble “the buck stops here” kind of regret, but I think he needn’t blame himself.

Americans have this false perception that President Obama is ineffectual, that he can’t get anything done. People feel let-down, people feel that President Obama has let America down. Yes, the last eight years haven’t seen the change we expected, but to blame the President is absolutely unfair. The fact is, President Obama has passed a great deal of important legislation under the worst possible political conditions. It’s astonishing that he has managed to get anything passed, considering the wall of ignorance and intolerance between him and the change WE want. This wall was designed by one man, with the Republican party to help him build it brick-by-brick. The architect of our current state political gridlock is Senator Mitch McConnell.

Back in November of 2010, after a midterm election cycle dominated by the G.O.P., then Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, spoke at a press conference during which he laid out the Republican party’s political agenda for next two years. He spoke quite plainly, their top priority, their #1 political goal shouldn’t be to protect Social Security, or to lower taxes (like always). Mitch McConnell proudly and publicly announced that above all else, the Republicans should make Barack Obama a one-term President.

The plan was simple enough, just say no to everything President Obama proposed, first and foremost, the Affordable Care Act, something Mitch McConnell would not abide. The Affordable Care Act was already law at the time, so McConnell vowed to repeal it, or otherwise defund and hinder it until a successful repeal could be made. Of course, President Obama would veto any successful vote to repeal, hence Goal #1. Yet, vote they would, over and over and over again in some sort of bizarre symbolic gesture. Aside from trying to kill the Affordable Care Act, they would vote no on everything from the extension of unemployment benefits during a time of economic crisis, to blocking Presidential political office appointments. They even refused to pass typically non-partisan infrastructure legislation, legislation that would usually pass without a second thought. As a rule of thumb, infrastructure legislation passes easily, building roads and fixing bridges is a political slam-dunk. That is, until the Republican Wall of No went up.

Mitch McConnell’s plan didn’t totally pan out. President Obama is three years into his second term, his re-election soundly won. The Affordable Care is still law, it was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the Mitch McConnell architected Republican Wall of No is strong and tall as ever. Republicans are still voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the House of Representatives has taken up some 60 votes since 2010. These exercises in futility would be amusing, almost, if not for the waste of time and tax dollars.

Recently, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away. When a Supreme Court Justice dies or retires, it’s the President’s Constitutional duty to appoint a new Justice. There’s no fuzzy gray area, there’s nothing to interpret or debate, the Constitution is clear as glass. The Supreme Court must contain 9 Justices (to prevent situations of dead-lock), it’s the President’s duty to appointment new Justices when necessary. President Obama is our current President, his term doesn’t end for just under a year. That should be enough said, but of course, it’s not. Before Justice Scalia could make it into the ground (we’re talking an hour after Antonin Scalia quit breathing), Mitch McConnell flat-out vowed to block ANYBODY appointed by President Obama. He insists that our next President should appoint Justice Scalia’s replacement. While there have been Supreme Court appointments made toward the end of a Presidential term, no branch of government has ever demanded that a sitting President yield his duty to appoint, no matter the length of his fading term in office. McConnell would rather risk a year of dead-locked Supreme Court decisions for a 50/50 shot that a Republican President would appoint a conservative Supreme Court Justice. It’s unheard-of, it’s astonishingly arrogant, it puts one man’s agenda above what is written in the Constitution. It’s exactly how Senator McConnell has “governed” for the past six years. Damn the will of the people, damn what’s best for America, damn any and all rules governance. So long as President Barack Obama is blocked at every single turn, Mitch McConnell counts it as a victory. Is it a victory for the Republican party, a victory for Conservatism? No, to me, it’s a victory for closed-mindedness and selfish ego.

For the past six years, the Republican party hasn’t been about anything, rather, they’ve set out to stop Presidential ideas. Led by Senator Mitch McConnell, they’ve built their Wall of No between President Barack Obama and the change he promised America.

I think it’s telling that we have crumbling roads and failing bridges in our great nation, it shows a level ice-cold calculation. The Wall of No isn’t arbitrary and it isn’t stupid. It’s chillingly thoughtful. It didn’t work in 2012, but no matter, McConnell was planning for the long-con just in case. It’ll work this election cycle if we let it.

The Republican narrative on the campaign trail is that we are no longer a great nation, the shining city on a hill is a long-faded dream. America is broken as her roads and bridges. Don’t worry though, they con fix everything. A Republican President can restore us to our former glory. It sounds terrifying, and there are hints of truth that help to sell the story. We have experienced steady, but slow progress. Employment is up, but wages aren’t great. We are stagnant in many ways. We don’t have clean energy in place. Our infrastructure is stuck somewhere in the 1950s. Immigration reform is so far away it seems like fiction. Republicans point these things out, while painting America’s portrait a thousand times darker than it truly is, always crying that President Obama has done nothing to fix anything. Of course, Republicans conveniently leave out key facts. President Obama has tried to address each of these issues and dozens of others, but being that both houses of Congress are controlled by the Republicans, they’ve made certain that no legislation passes, made certain that nothing changes. They created the political gridlock that was necessary to make their narrative of stagnation and decline true enough to sell while maintaining straight faces.

History won’t look kindly on Mitch McConnell and his long-con, his Wall of No. History can not be fooled, History can not be swindled into marking down lies as facts. I don’t worry how History will look upon President Barack Obama and the way he fought to protect America against abhorrent political tactics. I do worry about the voters of 2016, I worry they’ll help to undo nearly a decade of good work by electing peddlers of half-truths and straight-up lies.

Come November, look at the big picture, look at the Wall of No. Vote to protect the ideals in which we saw so much merit. Do not vote from a place of fear. Republican manufactured fear.


Coming to a post near you

February 21st, 2016 | Category: Life

So, this post obviously sucks. The next one, however…

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February 20th, 2016 | Category: Life

My mind is blank today. Well, blank of anything I WANT to write.

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