A dreary walk in the woods … then magic

Saturday dawned gray, cold, and wet. A light mist eased through the forest at my university. But a day walking in the woods with a camera is a good day, no matter the weather, right?

The university was on holiday break. Students had fled home to give thanks with family and friends. I did, too, but returned early.

The deeply overcast sky dictated a flat, low-contrast aspect to the trees and trails in the forest. I looked down. At least I can shoot leaves, now wet and trodden. I like to shoot leaves. A little Photoshop would add hue and color contrast to them, I thought.

But the gray and the cold and the mist cut into my coat and mind. I shivered. Bummer. A dark day growing darker. Melancholy arrived and tapped on my shoulder. I turned and shuffled back onto the main trail, intent on returning to my truck. My Canon hung unused from its strap around my neck. I hate the interregnum between seasons: no leaves on the trees, no snow on the ground.

Franciscans have walked through these woods for more than a century and a half. Franciscans like nature and apparently thrive in it. They have, over the life of the university, constructed stations of the cross on a circular trail in this forest — Bob’s Woods, named after Fr. Bob Stewart, who died of cancer shortly after my arrival at the university.

I am not a Franciscan. I am not as hopeful as they appear to be. Dank, dark weather like this day’s further eroded my ability to detect hope.

Then I saw …
Continue reading

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Donald hires “Mad Dog”

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Donald: Congratulations, Mad Dog, you get the job.

Mad Dog: Sir, you should know that I’m being blackmailed by the Chinese.

Donald: Aren’t we all? The question is whether God and Country are more important.

Mad Dog: There’s more, sir. It’s not just me. Good men in our military are being blackmailed. We have no opportunity to meet women, and we’re ill-equipped to woo them when do. We have no practice. We have a very brief time before we’re redeployed. And then, suddenly, Tinder appeared, and Plenty Of Fish, and I suppose Grindr for the boys who swing that way. We were just trying to get laid, sir. Continue reading

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Donald meets Franklin Graham

Franklin: God bless you, my son. Fear not. The Lord is with you.

Donald: I don’t go to church much.

Franklin: Maybe it’s time you start.

Donald: I’m just so tired on Sunday mornings.

Franklin: I know how it is. Work all day. A set of keys all day.

Donald: How do you mean?

Franklin: When this country had faith in God, we didn’t lock our doors. Now we’re afraid and we have a ring full of keys. Continue reading

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Donald meets Merrick Garland

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Donald: I need you on the Supreme Court.

Merrick: Impossible. Congress won’t approve it.

Donald: Not even to preserve the separation of powers?

Merrick: You’ve seen how they act. Moderate Republicans are afraid to ally themselves with Democrats because they know how that ends. A challenger from the radical right unseats them. Senator Richard Burr, for example. Continue reading

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Donald concedes to Hillary Clinton

trump-hillaryDonald: Is this a secure line?

Hillary: Yes. I take security very seriously these days.

Donald: Somehow my words keep showing up on the internet. There’s a guy who writes my exact words, stenographically, on the internet.

Hillary: That is concerning.

Donald: But get this. Sometimes he writes my words down before I say them.

Hillary: That’s called a speechwriter, Donald. You really should get one. Continue reading

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Donald meets Tulsi Gabbard

wikileaks-netbook-globe-01-03Tulsi: Let’s talk about the radical left.

Donald: Yes. Let’s.

Tulsi: As you know, the radical right, which was so successful in electing you, recently suffered a major setback. We traded thousands of operatives and “the right to free speech” for basically nothing. We got a raw deal.

Donald: Thanks Obama.

Tulsi: But we’re not done. We have control of Hawaii and Vermont, and we’re very strong in Massachusetts. Continue reading

Donald meets John Allison

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John: I’d like to talk to you about gold.

Donald: Love gold. I have a ton of it. Literally a ton. US gold dollars, British sovereigns, I even have some Roman gold. It’s very rare. Most of it got melted down. Once I came across some Nazi gold. I bought it and donated it to the Holocaust Museum for display. Never forget. I hate Nazis. I’m of German extraction. It’s like our slavery.

John: Sir, we need to move back to the gold standard and away from the fiat currency system controlled by the Federal Reserve Bank.

Donald: Nonsense. Paper money allows us to respond to changing economic conditions. It’s called quantitative easing. I went business school, you know. Continue reading

Donald Trump

Donald is why we have the Electoral College

The Electoral College should deny Donald the Presidency for rejecting the legitimacy of the election even after he’s supposedly won it.

The Electoral College is a dinosaur of an institution that replaces the popular vote with the votes of electors, selected by but not beholden to each individual state. In living memory, the Electoral College victory has now twice overturned the popular vote in favor of the Republican candidate. Prior to George W. Bush, the last time the popular vote and Electoral College vote was split was in 1888.

But there is a point to the Electoral College. The idea was that electors would be well educated (and, originally, white and male) on the issues and thus would be able to stand in the way of a population that had elected someone who was clearly unfit to serve as President.

Look at the tweets at the right and tell me, honestly, if those look like the words of someone who is fit to be President of the United States of America.

Donald also tweeted the following in a series – I’ve collected them below instead of just linking all the tweets:

Hillary’s debate answer on delay: “That is horrifying. That is not the way our democracy works. Been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them, and that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a during a general election. I, for one, am appalled that somebody that is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position.” Then, separately she stated, “He said something truly horrifying … he refused to say that he would respect the results of this election. That is a direct threat to our democracy.” She then said, “We have to accept the results and look to the future, Donald Trump is going to be our President. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.” So much time and money will be spent – same result! Sad

It would have been much easier for me to win the so-called popular vote than the Electoral College in that I would only campaign in 3 or 4 states instead of the 15 states that I visited. I would have won even more easily and convincingly (but smaller states are forgotten)!

Jill Stein and Clinton have asked for, and will pay for, a recount. And here we have Donald doing the very thing that Clinton accused him of – questioning the legitimacy of the election, even after he’s apparently won it.

I realize that almost no-one who voted for Trump will ever read this. I don’t know how to get it to people outside my bubble (which is one of the major problems with bubbles in the first place). But if there was ever a reason for the Electoral College to reject the candidate that “won” it in favor of the candidate who won the actual popular vote, this is it. The chance of this happening, given how electors are chosen (by the winning party in the state in question), is minuscule, but it’s still the right thing. Here’s hoping for a lot of faithless electors.

Deny Donald the Presidency.

Donald Meets Rudy Giuliani

wikileaks-netbook-globe-01-03Rudy: Mitt says you’re thinking of going straight.

Donald: You got a problem with that?

Rudy: You need to be more worried about yourself, gabron. You work for me. I work for the mob, La Familia, Casa Nostra. When China doesn’t want to get their hands dirty, they send me. They’ve already given orders to tear down one of your precious hotels. They also said to tell you that if you don’t start cooperating, Hillary is gonna win that recount. Continue reading

CATEGORY: American Culture

woMAN; Woe, man; Whoa! Man.

By Tamara Enz

CATEGORY: American CultureWhen I was in third grade, the elementary school principal came into our class to speak with the students. I don’t now remember what the primary reason was for his visit; what I remember is only a fragment of his lecture.

He stood at the chalkboard and wrote in large letters:

M A N

Stepping to the side so everyone in the class could see the letters, he said, “Without man,” he stepped back to the board and wrote “wo” before completing his sentence, “you cannot have woman.”

On the board was the word:

wo MAN

Almost 50 years later, I can still see this man saying these words, spewing ignorance and sexism across a new generation of children. Continue reading

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Donald meets Mitt Romney

wikileaks-netbook-globe-01-03Mitt: There’s a word in Chinese. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it. Shuāngyíng. It means “both win.” It’s a business philosophy. I’ve found great success following this principle.

Donald: I invented the win-win, believe me. The Chinese got it from me.

Mitt: Now, what I did when I was running for President was place all my holdings in a blind trust. That way, I looked like I wasn’t on the payroll, and China could still pay me ridiculous amounts of money. Continue reading