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Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 04:20 PM PST

It Takes Practice

by CinDan

When I was but a wee lad, I worked as a waiter for a restaurant chain that, interestingly enough, has been in the news lately - apologizing for doing the right thing. It seems they think they shouldn't have...uh...ducked...

Anyway, the manager of the place was a real tool; very pushy, never satisfied, never wrong, etc. He had earned his manager chops working for a chain of Italian restaurants you probably know, and would talk endlessly of those glory days. And he had this ridiculous and quite irritating habit of using a really terrible Italian accent whenever reciting Italian dishes he thought should be on our menu - even things like "spaghetti." Can you imagine? But I digress.

So when I quit working for this restaurant chain, I failed to return one of my uniforms (in the clothes hamper), including a smock? apron? with my name embroidered on it. I was young and easily distracted; I soon forgot all about it.

Some years ago, I ran across this unintentionally misappropriated uniform in an old attic box...and decided it would be a hoot to wear it as my Halloween costume that year. I know, I'm a geek.

But it was my wife who made the costume choice epic. She suggested we have dinner that night - at that restaurant. Naturally, my inner juvenile delinquent was delighted at the thought!

The funniest thing I remember was the look on people's faces when they'd stop me (on one of my frequent but unnecessary trips to the restroom) and ask me for water and napkins and such, and I'd enthusiastically tell them I didn't actually work there, and was bewildered as to why they would think such a thing. Priceless! One lady stammered in frustration, "But...but...you're in uniform! You must work here! How can you not know that?"

Ahhhhhh...good times. My inner twelve year old got quite the workout, that Halloween...

Funny or not - in the starkest of terms, what made this restaurant uniform joke workable, was the essential hypocrisy inherent in wearing the uniform, in that place, while obviously knowing how I would be perceived - or, more accurately, how I would be mis-perceived - by those it affected.

You see, in wearing the restaurant uniform I was making a public declaration about who and what I was. And it was a declaration completely devoid of substance, for I performed virtually none of the actions which would have given the claim I was making a solid basis in reality. In fact, I had no intention of ever performing such acts.

But it turns out, I didn't even have to act like a waiter - simply declaring it by donning that uniform was all it took for people to believe me one.

I've been thinking about that night recently, though I have not done so, in many years.

It came unbidden to my mind as I read of the GOP's panicky response to the new Pope's unconventional and vociferous stance on economic issues.

Thinking about that night has made me feel that the Pope, for whatever reason, stopped short of fully delivering his message. It's as if he's reaching for the root, but is tangled in the branches. So I decided to dig at the root of it myself.

It's subtle, this root, but nonetheless, it runs right through the heart of this nation, and this globe-spanning culture...it lies buried in ground outside of our collective comfort zone...so it can be easily dismissed, denied, and ultimately ignored.

I have thought deeply upon what follows, for it is unsettling. The implications are immeasurably vast, nakedly apparent, and...well...simply appalling:

Poverty - anywhere - equals Christian hypocrisy - everywhere.

Discuss

Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 10:07 PM PST

Most Still "Think" It's A Luxury

by CinDan

I'm sitting in front of a nicely matured fire, my feet warming on the hearth, sipping a glass of hot cocoa (with baby marshmallows - yum!). Outside, the wind has picked up a bit, the temperature is down to 21 degrees and still dropping, and the snow continues to fall madly, adding relentlessly to the eight inches already accumulated on top of the inch and a half of sleet and ice we got this morning. The power was out for a couple of hours early this evening, hence the fire, but its back on now, and I'm all comfy. It's nice.

But...it did happen often, when I was very young.

And the winter that I was seven years old, is the instance that really stands out for me.

My single mom (dad took off when I was three, never to be heard from again), big brother, my little sister, and me, sleeping in the same bed for three nights during a terrible snowstorm in Denver...it was so cold. I remember wondering if I would ever be warm again...

Our electricity had been cut off, you see. My mom had missed several days of work, as she had to care for my sister, who had gotten pneumonia...so with the doctor's bill, the medicine, emergency room visit for the 105 fever, etc...well, there just wasn't any money for the electric bill (we didn't even have a phone until I was 10)...so our electricity was turned off.

Granted, this was back in the early 70's. My mom never asked for help, but I know the neighbors pooled some money together and got our electricity turned back on...and they left us a big huge box of food, too...first time I'd ever had Frosted Flakes...

Now, I'm not complaining, or crying on your shoulders, nor seeking pity, sympathy, etc. My life is freaking great. I'm successful, recently signed a contract for my second novel, I have been married - very happily - for 17 years next Spring to my smoking hot stripper wife (just kidding about the stripper thing, hon...kinda...!), I worked my way through school, as did my sister and brother, and between us we have two Masters and a PhD. Oh, and my mom went back to college and earned her PhD at the age of 55 - gooooooo mom! She still teaches anthropology, even though she's like 800 now...kidding, mom...kinda...!

So, it seems, given what I've seen in my own life, that in America there exists a kind of cultural inertia concerning utilities. America has been fully electric now for what? - only a bit over a century? And when electric service was being introduced, it was, for a long time, considered a luxury by most Americans, as were other utilities, like running water. It took decades to electrify the entire country, and the impression of electricity as a novel thing, as a luxury which people could live without, still clings as a cultural artifact today.

Bullshit, CinDan!

Well, maybe. But allow me to explain why I believe this is so:

Because your electricity can still be cut off, no matter the weather.

I know this is true, because I just helped someone get their electricity turned back on today, in the face of this massive winter storm I am watching out my window.

I asked the clerk at the power company if they would have turned her power on without payment, in  the face of the coming storm. She said, unequivocally - hell no.

The woman and her 6 year old son live in an apartment - with all electric heat. Her kid broke his wrist at school - but his mom still got stuck paying the bills, and nearly lost her job at - you guessed it - Walmart - for being two hours late getting her kid back from the hospital...

Sigh...

If you can't gather some wood and burn it to keep your house warm in the middle of a winter storm - then electricity is a fucking HUMAN RIGHT.

It's not a fucking luxury.

Discuss

Sun May 20, 2012 at 09:58 AM PDT

US Police Forces - Racketeers and Thugs

by CinDan

Being a police officer means becoming part of an exclusive culture which has become increasingly hostile, violent, vindictive, and arrogant. On any given day you will find multiple stories about police abuses - violence, killing, civil rights, lawsuits, militarization, stalking, theft, revenge, blatant corruption - it is an almost endless list.

You don't have to take my word for it; these stories are becoming unbiquitous. The big story right now of course is the Martin murder, and the possible attempted cover-up by the Sanford, Florida police. But there is so much more - in just two minutes spent surfing various websites I found these items:
--- --- ---
Pinal Sheriff's Office stockpiles, prepares to sell military equipment -- Uh, it's legal if the police are doing it...right? But don't ask such questions, or...

Chicago Police: “We’ll come look for you, each and every one of you.” -- The Constitution? Isn't that a ship? No civil rights aboard!

Police taser pregnant woman for refusing to sign ticket -- Anything goes, anything at all, for law enforcment has no line to cross...

Rochester Woman Arrested After Videotaping Police From Her Own Front Yard What the police do in public, is private, even on your own property.

Ticket-fixing has been condoned for decades as part of the "NYPD culture."  Police protesting because they have to follow laws. How dare us expect to have a law-abiding police force!
--- --- ---
And it isn't the big, newsworthy things, but rather the small, everyday things we all fearfully and resentfully accept, which are becoming more and more embedded in our lives.

More beyond the confused orange doughnut.

Continue Reading

Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 08:43 AM PDT

To All feMale Personages

by CinDan

OFFICIAL MEMORANDUM
SELECT COUNCIL OF REPUBLICAN POLITICIANS, CELEBRITIES, and PUNDITS
and THE SACRED UNION OF AMERICAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS and BISHOPS
and THE AMERICAN AFFILIATION OF EVANGELICALS

TO ALL feMALE PERSONAGES RESIDING WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

It is becoming increasingly evident, as noted by the Distunguished Men who comprise or otherwise support this Council, there is a growing disconnect between the reality we are charged to promote and protect, and the necessary, contented, and productive compliance by feMale personages who currently reside in this Blessed Country.

Therefore, it is the proud and sacred duty of this Council to eliminate any confusion projected by weaker minds, by the insufferably stubborn, and by the dangerously rebellious among you, who continue to resist taking your Divinely Ordained place in our society, as declared by this Council through strict interpretation of the Almighty's Heavenly Will.

This Council's derived Authority is absolute and preordained, as evidenced by the many levels of political office held by Members of this Council. feMales, though more numerous in population, represent only a fraction of the total political structure present within our Holy Land; this should be more than sufficient proof of this Council's Divine Ascendency, and is the most obvious reason for feMales to shift their attitudes, behavior, and in fact their very thoughts, into direct alignment with the authority and mission of this exalted Council of Venerated and Chosen Men.

It was believed by past representatives of this supreme Council that giving feMales the opportunity to organically learn the Truth this Council is now systematically implementing, would produce a more harmonious and productive civilization for the Men who build, grow, nurture, and maintain this honorable Country. These august Council representatives were fully tricked by the Great Satan to believe this strategy would work, thus giving the Great Satan an entire generation of willfull feMales dedicated to spreading evil lies of unattainable equality and morally questionable personhood among the impressionable and ignorant. This unfortunate circumstance continues today, to the Holy Lord's, and this emmaculate Council's, wholly justified and mighty Displeasure.

It is this Council's declared mission to offset the Great Satan's achievments and return us to a state of rightness with the Supreme Lord who's support of this Council's efforts and dictates is absolute.

feMALES: NOW IS THE TIME TO HEED THIS COUNCIL'S DECLARATIONS.

-1- Fully accept your inferiority in the realm of Men, who do the Lord's work running this country. You will NEVER be allowed to stand equally among Us, any more than a child is allowed to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with an adult; the lack of capability to do so naturally prevents this from happening. But your efforts for recognition as equal to blessed Men, nonetheless, continues, and this is an affront to this Council and it's righteous work, and to all that is Holy in the eyes of the Lord. feMales are the ultimate authors of Original Sin, and must accept the responsibility inherent in this perfect Fact.

-2- Fully accept your Divinely Ordained role as biological vessel. You have been constructed to create children for the Lord; this can easily be ascertained from biology, given the roughly week-long  viability of perpetually sanctified Male emissions faithfully deposited within the feMale vessel. A feMale cannot "own" or "possess" God's vessel, for it belongs soley to God; only blasphemous arrogance allows such contradictory thoughts as "ownership."  Any attempt by a feMale to interrupt the sacred journy of the Male's noble seed through so called "contraceptives" is an affront to the Lord and this Council, and is counterindicitive of the true nature of our heavenly Nation.

-3- Fully accept when a feMale womb has been called to duty, it is being utilized by the Lord. Any attempt by you to abort the Male seed growing within you is tantamount to murder. If it is the Supreme Will that you sacrifice your corporeal existence while your womb is being utilized, no matter the circumstance, no matter the reason, then feMales must accept this as Divine. The Miracle of God which is the Male's seed is being piously transformed into tomorrow's devout consumer; the pleasant work of this godly Council is to ensure Man's seed completes it's journey, and thus any concern for the individual (or collective) vessel used in this process, is immaterial, not worthy of note, and evidence of the Divine Will agreeing with this Saintly Council's interpretive actions and factually supported Righteous Decrees.

-4- Fully accept "rape" is a pejorative term, invented by rebellious feMales at the behest of the Great Satan. If the Supreme Will desires the use of any particular feMale vessel at any given time, the Lord will send his Chosen Male emmisary to perform this Godly Task. Often, a feMale will rebelliously resist the Lord's Will, and will claim some unnatural violation has occured to her, via "her" vessel. This Council's investigations, even at a personal "hands-on" level, do not support this view.

It is the further finding of this Council feMales invite these so-called "violations,"  or "rapes," by projecting whoreish and unclean sluttiness through the clothes they wear, the places they go, the way they act, and the way they consciously decide to be publically or privately perceived by Males. The Lord has given Man the ability and thus the responsibility to use any chosen vessel as the Male sees fit; thus, the feMale protestation and evil claim of bodily autonomy, are false , immodest, and not in compliance with the Lord's, and this Council's, Glorious Dictates.

CONCLUSION: feMales must accept and know their Divinely determined place. The vast patience of this Council has expired, and determined action is called for, to eliminate the feMale urge to obey the Great Satan, instead of the Almighty's Voice, in the form of this Holy Council.

Laws and appropriate consequences for disobedience and/or independent, rebellious activities, malicious acts of "medically necessary" self-preservation, or even evidently disobediant thoughts, are being implemented throughout our Superb Country. If these are insufficient to stem the feMale tide of unHoly righteousness, and because public shaming has so far been ineffective, this Council is exceedingly willing to use force and violence in a Magnificent Pogrom to finally put, and keep, feMales in their place.

The Time is at hand. feMales, know your place, and stay there. This Council embarks on this wonderful Journey for the decadent souls possessed by feMales, who are the source of Original Sin; feMale gratitude for these efforts - and for the Glory of God - should be, and thus WILL be, forthcoming.

feMale compliance with these edicts is mandatory. The Lord and this Council have no mercy for those who do the bidding of the Great Satan against the Lord's Chosen, this Great Council of Distinguished Men.

Continue Reading

Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 05:48 PM PDT

YOU.

by CinDan

It Can’t Happen Here. No, Really. I’m Totally Serious. And Stuff.
Oh, please. It is already happening here, and has been, for years. We’ve got torture chambers and secret police and warrantless spying and rendition and invasion of sovereign countries and dismantlement of the social safety net and black box voting and war crimes and government capitulation of our rights – all fed by endless, rampant corruption and greed and power lust. Habeas Corpus has been rendered meaningless, along with pretty much all of the Constitutionally guaranteed goodies that used to set America apart from third world countries.

You can no longer say with complete certainty we still practice actual Democracy. You certainly cannot assert we are the Democracy the Founders attempted to create. I’m not sure what we are – part fascist state utilizing pseudo-democracy and unbridled police power? We are not quite yet the capitalist/corporate anarchy we are becoming. Close – but not quite. I think. Maybe.

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Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 08:36 PM PDT

I Am A Millionaire.

by CinDan

Hi. I am a millionaire.

The vast majority of you...are not.

Yes, there are a few millionaires that hang out around here, and at least one billionaire. But I'm not here to drop names. And I'm not trying to brag about my wealth, or to disparage anyone's lack of it - I'm just setting out the facts, before we begin. I'm not famous or even well known outside of certain circles, so I don't have any particular axe to grind.

I just decided it was finally time for us to have a little chat.

Continue Reading

...Is a disaster for the American people.

I understand that there are some good things in this bill, and I also understand the fear that killing this bill will kill any chance of reform for another generation.

Like I said, I get the fear. But to suggest that to kill this very bad bill that mandates insurance purchased from the very same private insurance companies we are attempting to reign in, will result in another 20 to 40 years without reform, is, well, spineless.

And while you mull that over, you better get your head around this inconvenient fact:

Continue Reading

Thu Oct 29, 2009 at 09:41 AM PDT

We Are Disposable.

by CinDan

I keep waiting for change. Waiting for things to get better for my family, for my neighbors, for our country.

But, it doesn't.

A woman came into my wife's store today. She was completely bald, and she was wearing a wig that kept slipping off her head because it was not a real wig (she could not afford one), but one from an old Halloween costume. She had just finished up chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. She had been given - get this - a ONE MONTH health card by the State, as she had no insurance from her minimum wage job as a BANK TELLER, to pay for her chemo and time away from her job while she was too ill to continue working her wonderful minimum wage job.

One freaking month. That's it.

When my wife told me this today, I had to ask myself: How can our country treat people like this? And then it hit me - because we're disposable.

It explains a lot.

Continue Reading

Until We change the laws on this matter, We the People will always come in second to the moneyed interests running our economy, our politics, and our government.

So forget "bi-partisanship." This is only a buzzword fed to the masses.

And forget the two party system - there is no such animal in America any more.

And forget the concept of a "Christian" nation - look around you - THIS is the world our "Christian" nation has built.

And forget the Constitution - it has become a "quaint" document, since it has never accounted for Money, as political Power.

Continue Reading

Wed May 13, 2009 at 01:09 PM PDT

Employment is NOT SLAVERY.

by CinDan

So, many of you know some of our story - we moved from the West Coast to the Midwest to help our family deal with an illness.

Before we left, my wife was an executive in the credit department for a major semi-truck manufacturer. I am retired from the military.

So we've been back here now about three years. It's rural, lots of farms, and boring.

So my wife decided to get a part time job, working for a small retail dairy store (they still sell milk in glass bottles). She's been there for a few months now.

Yesterday, she came home from work furious. It seems the day before, during which she worked four hours, the cash register came up short $24. She doesn't get to count the drawer before or after her shift, and the owner and his family work the drawer alongside their employees all day.

Continue Reading

Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 06:04 PM PDT

Lip Service

by CinDan

 "Now, if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in cover-ups of those crimes with knowledge forefront, then I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law -- and I think that's roughly how I would look at it."

Our President, Barack Obama, said this on the campaign trail (hat tip to Something-The-Dog-Said for the quote).

Do you remember hearing this? I sure do. It is one of the reasons I threw my support behind him (I had been an Edwards man before this).

So what should we think of this? Just a broken campaign promise? Or he wasn't including TORTURE as a crime?

I'm not sure what to think...

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Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 10:40 AM PDT

UPDATE 2: Maybe I'm Just Stupid...

by CinDan

Because I just...don't...get it.

So we've spent/will spend about $8.5 trillion on all of the bailouts combined. That works out to just under $40,000 for every adult over 19 in America.

I was watching Countdown last night, and I heard Tim Geithner, and then Mr. Obama say, "We need to do this toxic asset plan, in order to free up the credit markets and get credit flowing to working families and small businesses again."

Okay, I guess I can go along with that...except for one small part.

"Get credit flowing..." -- to...whom? And for what?

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