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I still come here, but for different reasons.  My circumstances have changed, and I no longer have the time to write like I used to.  I still read...but I have so little time to write. So little energy at the end of the day.  I miss it.  I miss you.  Those of you who have followed me in the past.  Interacted with me.  

I keep telling myself I need to re-engage...but between work and dinner and laundry and the demands of my garden...time is a scarce resource.  I posted often when I was unemployed, because I had time on my hands and things to say.  I no longer have time on my hands.

This place was a refuge for me for many years.  A place to come to and get the news.  Hear the debate.  At times it was must other times it was so redundant and mob based that I could hardly stand it.  At the end of the day, however, this place gave me a gift that I never expected.

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I don't give a shit if it is bunch of Kentucky yahoos upset that their basketball team didn't win, or if it's a bunch of inner city youth who feel left out of the game...

There's no mystery in calling a riot a riot.  Only a whole shit load of political correctness and willfull ignorance.

When store windows get's a riot.

When fires get's a riot

When cement cinder blocks are thrown at first's a riot

When shots are's a riot

When businesses are's a riot

When innocent people get caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time, and have their heads bashed in with a hammer and bricks, it's a riot.

When store owners have to protect their businesses with's a riot

When people march down the street, en mass, holding placards...its a demonstration.

Don't confuse a riot with a demonstration.  And don't confuse an uprising with the looting of liquor stores, electronics and tennis shoe retailers.  That's not an uprising.  It's opportunism.


Tue Apr 28, 2015 at 08:30 PM PDT

There is a Woman Who Needs Help

by Keith930

I don't know her personally.  She's not a Kosniak.  She's not a trusted member.  She doesn't have a cat that needs a hysterectomy.  She doesn't own a horse that needs surgery. She's just living in her car.

She had to flee a bad relationship, and packed up her suitcase, and loaded up her car with all that she could take.  And she has been parked down the street for a week now.

I just came upon her yesterday.  I asked her to come to my home for a hot shower and
some pizza.  I told her I would give her a hot meal and a hot shower, but that I couldn't deal with any drama in her life.  She took up my invitation and showered for 30 minutes.

When she came out she apologized for lingering so was the first shower she had enjoyed in almost a week.

I can't help this woman alone.  I simply don't have the finances.  But she needs help.  And she doesn't have the resources to find the help she needs.  She is fleeing an abusive relationship.  She is a wounded bird.  She is damaged.  She is afraid.

And she is living out of her car.  Has been for a week now.  I just filled her tank with gas...cause when it's dry I can't imagine what she will do...abandon it?  It's all she has left.  I told her don't let your gas run dry...don't let lose of this's all you have left.

I need help helping this woman.

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Sat Feb 07, 2015 at 06:02 PM PST

My Musical Valentine

by Keith930

And like the best of valentines, this one goes out anonymously.  Though she will know it is from me.

I am smitten by you.  Amazed.  Enlivened.  Nervous.  Hopeful.  And thoroughly under your spell.

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His nomme de Kos was Translator.  I knew him, as many of you did, by his nicname Doc.  I think his real name was David.

He always signed off on a comment thread with his nic-name, "Doc", and warmest regards.

I remember him.  And I wanted to post this for those of you who also remember him.

He was a flawed person.  Aren't we all?  I had a couple of late night conversations with David right before he took his life.  

I knew he was distraught.  I just didn't understand how distraught he was.  His worries...his problems...were pretty universal.  He wanted to be loved.  And he thought he had found a woman that he loved, and that should have loved him back.

He was a smart guy.  Very well learned.  He wrote a lot of diaries here while he was living.  Some were pretty esoteric, and others were not.  I always enjoyed his "My little town diaries", in which he simply described his childhood home.  I was born in a small town, and I recognized his town.

I tried to talk to him before his death.  I tried to tell him that he had attatched himself, emotionally, to a girl that was too young for him.  He would hear none of that.

A man does what he does.

I saw the train wreck coming.  I couldn't do anything to stop it.  But I remember the man.

Do you?


Long before 2008 there was another candidate for the presidency whose siren call resound with me.  His name was Jesse Jackson.  I contributed to his rainbow coalition.  I cried when I listened to his convention speech.  I voted for him in the primary.  I watched him in the galleries when Barack Obama was inaugurated.  I cried a bit with him.  

But I am 58 years old now.  I'm no longer 30.  And I have wondered lately what would have happened back then if Jackson somehow pulled the primary off and actually won.

I would have celebrated, to be sure.  But what would the legacy have been?

What will Obama's legacy be?

What is the future political landscape for Black aspirants to the Oval Office?

I think, in retrospect, that Obama has paved a path forward for another Black president that Jackson, most probably, would have precluded.  At least for a much longer time.

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My Dad, that is.  He checked out about two years ago.  We're coming up upon Thanksgiving holiday, and my Dad won't be there.  He has Alzheimers, and there is no "there" there.  And I feel guilty about that, but at the same time I feel like I want to enjoy Thanksgiving.  And if we were to include him, it would be an ordeal.  So I guess that makes me a bad son.  Even though my sister concurs.  So we are both bad children.

But he's not there.  Not in any sense of the word.

His eyes are clear and bright.  But he's not there.

And I just can't take it anymore.

Let me tell you about my Dad.  I love him.  And it is a great loss to have lost him.  And lost him we have.  He is totally gone.

The laughter.  He had the most robust and genuine laugh you would ever want to hear.  The sense of humour...he had the best...and now nothing makes him laugh.  The sharp wit...he taught me everything I know about a quick repost.  The life of the party.  That hasn't been the case for at least 10 years.  

He is a shell.  And it breaks my heart.  And he won't be spending Thanksgiving with our family.  Not this year.  He wouldn't know where he was if he did, and it would be like a lead anchor upon the day.  And if that makes me a bad son, I own up to it.  Yet I know that it is as it must be.  

We just can't deal with it any longer.  Not on a holiday.  On any other given day?  Yeah...but even that is hard.  And I don't need you to make me feel any guiltier than I already do...believe me...guilt comes with the territory.

Old age is not for wusses, and Alzheimers is not for anyone.  I am worn out.  So is my sister.  We have given as much as we can...and yet the saga continues.

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I am curious...Put your wonk hats on.  How would you reform our current immigration policy if you could re-write it?

Does the current policy of family reunification make sense in terms of our labor needs?

Should we REALLY rework immigration policy to reflect current economic needs?

Do you believe the border needs to be secured?

Or do you believe in an open border?

What does an open border mean?

How does that impact our society?

Are we getting the best people?

Who do we want?

Who can we accommodate?

How many?

How does it impact native born population?

Do you care?

Does a country, any country, have the right to determine who enters their borders and under what terms?

And do you hold America to any different standard when answering that question than you do another country?

If so, why?

I want immigration reform.  Not sure it's the same as yours...but it's sorely needed.  Is there a moral argument that says we cannot discriminate between those who wish to enter and those we allow to enter?

Are there any conditions that we can reasonably place upon those whom we allow to enter?  In terms of skill base, or willingness to learn English?

I find the whole immigration debate to be fraught with generalities and intended unanswered questions.  And I am not stupid enough to realize that some of the countries that supply us with the most undocumented immigrants are the ones that employ the harshest measures when it comes to immigrants trasversing their own country.  Yes, I'm talking about Mexico.

What would an American, 21st century immigration policy look like?  What should it look like?  Should it be skill based?  Family based?  Should we go back to country specific allotments?  


Or is it even wrong to as that question?  I never see immigration debates address those questions.


Mon Oct 27, 2014 at 08:33 PM PDT

When Martha Coakley loses

by Keith930

When Coakley loses again, this time for the Governorship, will the Massachussetts Democratic Party finally quit regurgitating her to whichever elective office is in play in any given year?  I mean...really.  Is there noone else on the fricken bench?  

Anyone?????  Beuhler???????????

She's gonna lose, and one would hope it leads the MA Dems to take a long look at their farm club, and come up with some new prospects.  Because she obviously doesn't resonate in the state, and it makes one wonder why she always gets tossed into the contest.

How many times do you go back to the till?


Tue Sep 30, 2014 at 09:02 PM PDT

Why I left DKos

by Keith930

I couldn't stand the sense of victimization that infuses this place.  It is omnipresent.  It defines DailyKos.  I am absolutely sick of it.

Everybody has a grievance, and their own particular grievance is paramount.  It's all about me.  As a person of color.  As a person with disability.  As a person who came to this country illegally.  As a person who wants to live with another person of the same sex, and get all the tax benefits...even though people who live with another person of the opposite sex don't.

Everyone is a victim here.

It gets tiring.

You know what I am a victim of?  The economy.  I turned 58 today, and I have a job...but it's a far cry from jobs I have held in the past.  I'm earning much less.  I suspect that many in my age brackett are as well.  But I'm not Black.  And I'm not gay, and I'm not TG, and I'm not the son of illegal immigrants, I don't have ADHD, I don't have PTSD, I don't have lyme disease, nor am I bi-polar.  

I'm just a regular guy.

Watching my salary decrease every year.

And watching my political party ignore me.  I'm not part of the demographic that they care about.  My numbers are decreasing, and so it seems I become less important.

The flip side is that my party affiliation becomes less important.  I have eyed my party in exactly the same terms that it has eyed me.  As they have considered me more or less expendable, so have I considered them.  

My party doesn't even speak to me these days.  They speak past me, to the fringe they feel they need to lock in in order to win the next election.  And they have been doing this for at least 25 years.

So...yeah...I am done with this place, but I'm not done with the Democratic Party.  The only alternative is the GOP.  Which also doesn't speak to me.

Nobody, it seems, does.


Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 11:20 PM PDT

Technology and Pastimes

by Keith930

I met an elderly lady the other day who was having one of the rooms in her home remodeled to suit her hobbies, which included sewing, quilting and stamp collecting.  As she described the features she was asking for in the room remodel, it occurred to me...there aren't many people around who still enjoy or pursue those pastimes.  Times change, but mostly technology changes.  And it does so at a rate of acceleration that we have become almost blind to.

I used to collect stamps when I was around 12 years old.  Stamps from all over the world.  But that was in an era when people used to actually mail things.  When's the last time you received a real letter in the mail from someone you know?  Or even a postcard?

At about the same age I began collecting coins...again, from all over the world, but mostly American coins.  I got the foreign coins from the same contacts that I got most of the stamps from, but in the late Sixties you could still find old US coins in circulation.  I can remember finding mercury head dimes, old liberty quarters, wheat head pennies, and even, though rarely, an occasional buffalo head nickel in circulation. There was a local coin shop I would frequent, as a teen, to purchase more hard to find coins at a fair price.

I also collected rocks.  Yeah...that's  I studied geology in elementary school, and used to know all of the various types of stones.   Sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphous.  I had a collection of quartzes, granites, feldspars, jades, sandstones, obsidian, and other rocks whose names I have forgotten.  At the time I collected them, they were all treasures, and I knew them all.  

And then there were the butterflies.  I used to catch them in nets, asphyxiate them in a jar with alcohol saturated cotton, and carefully mount them in a case on cotton batting under glass.  I can remember having a couple dozen or more in my bedroom.

That makes me feel old.  Even though I'm not yet 60.  Nobody does this anymore.

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Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:31 PM PST

Of Place and Time and Roots

by Keith930

I live in the city.  Portland, Oregon, to be exact.  But I've also lived in other cities.  The East Bay of San Francisco.  Los Angeles.  Oklahoma City.  Columbus, Ohio. I have lived in these places, but I have never been of or from these places.  I have never belonged.  One doesn't belong to a just passes through.  Some cities feel more accommodating than others, it is true...and you may even feel a bond to them while you live there.  I felt a bond to the East Bay while I was growing up there...but perhaps that's just because of my age then.  I was still not yet 12 years old.  And I needed to feel a connection to a place.

And so I formed one.  And then my family moved again.  To Southern California.  Seems I've been transplanted all my life.  Remember the movie "The Professional", with Jean Reno and a quite young Natalie Portman?  I am the potted plant that Jean Reno carries with him from room to room.  I survive wherever I am, but I have always wanted to sink my roots down into a more permanent location.

The only place that has ever felt like home to me is the place that I left at the age of 6.  Southern Ohio.  Moving every 2 or 3 years growing up tends to lend a certain impermanence to wherever you happen to be.  And, as I look back upon my life...I'm 58 years old now...impermanence sums up my attitude towards "place" quite succinctly.  Wherever I have been, in my adulthood, I have felt as though I were "just passing through."

It leaves me feeling hollow, and I can't quite explain why.  Am I an anachronism?  I Luddite?  A malcontent along the highway to modernism?  Why can't I adapt to, and embrace, the urban milieu in which I find myself?  Be it now, or 5 years ago, or 15 years ago?  Why can I never feel connected to the place in which I find myself?  What does it mean to feel connected?  

I feel like a rootbound plant.  You could pull me up out of my pot/rooting medium with little effort, and transplant me anywhere.  I will adapt.  My roots will stretch out a bit...but they will never sink in.  Cause you never know when the next move might happen.   Or where it will take you.  I have lived my life this way since I was 6 years old.

I don't want to be the potted plant in "The Professional."  I want to be truly rooted.  At home.  Comfortable in my environment.  I want to recognize it, and feel a connection to it.  I want to feel its gravity and its history.  I want to feel like I have been here, and I am here, and this is where I belong.

And it occurs to me that...well, not many others feel this way.  That's alright.  But am I alone in feeling this way?  Am I crazy for thinking like this?  Has that boat left the dock way, way long ago?  Why do I feel so unconnected, after so many years, and so many addresses?  

Is it me? Or is it place?

If I could move back to my home town, and make a living, I would do so in a heart beat.  Sure...there are no good restaurants.  The two grocery stores are Walmart and something else, and neither offer the kinds of produce I have become accustomed to.  There is some poverty there, to be'd have to be blind not to see it.  But after living in the Big City for 40 years...I also know that there is just as much poverty here, and you don't have to be blind to not see it.  You just have to live in the right zipcode.

I live in a good city.  A progressive city.  With good restaurants.  Clean air.  An environmental ethic.  Mountains in the vista, and a coast just 1 1/2 hours away by car.
(not that you can actually swim in the ocean here...unless you area polar's a beach, but the water is fricken cold,)  I live in a great city, and I realize that.

But I don't feel the glue.  I don't feel the gravity.  I don't feel the connection to this great place that I do to a much less great place that I just happened to be born in.  Whenever I have travelled "home" over the years, be it by car or by plane (and even by plane requires a car rental), I have rolled down the windows as I enter the county line of my hometown.

It's usually spring or summer.  I can smell the place.  It smells like cut hay.  Freshly plowed earth.  Leaves.  There are cicadas in the distance.  A farm stand selling sweet corn and half runner beans.  The best beans you've ever eaten.  There's a road off the main highway that I can turn off onto and it quickly turns to gravel, but it takes me by the place where my grandparents used to live.  The house is still there, although other people live in it.  My grandmother helped build it back when it was built.  I know where the spring is, and I have hunted squirrels in the surrounding woods.

I know this place...this town...this county even, like the back of my hand.  Even to this day.  I know the back roads, and I know all the other roads.  I know its flaws, and I know its good points.  

I don't know Portland that well...and that is my fault.  It's not Los's a city on a much smaller scale.  I know parts of it, and I like living here.  Except after 2 months of steady rain.

But I will never be from Portland" as long as I live.  

I feel the tug of place...and I feel it more so now, at the age of 58, than I did 20 years ago.  

Why does a place I have never really lived in since I was 6 years old, even though I have revisited it quite often over the years, hold such a pull upon my soul?  Why do I consider "Home" a place I haven't lived in for 50 years?

What is home?

And can you ever go back?

Where do you call home?  And why?

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