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DonRedwood

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Member since: Tue Aug 9, 2011, 03:40 PM
Number of posts: 4,056

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It Was At This Moment Democracy Died.

Once upon a time Democracy was sitting on the side of the river sunning herself. It was a lovely day with Democracy. The air was clear and sunny, the water was clean and sparkled as it rushed beneath the old growth forest on the mountain.

Yes, Democracy lived in a beautiful world.

And then the Republican Scorpion crawled out from under a rock. His whisper sounded like a hiss. A testy hissy little voice that sounded like Golum, if Golum's voice had a Cuban/Canadian/Texas twang about it.

"Democracy, I need to cross the river. Can I sit on your head while you swim me across?"

Democracy laughed at the absurdness of such a request.

"Mr Scorpion, I know you. You are cruel and hateful and you will sting me and kill me!"

"No, no," twanged the Canuck, "Why would I do that? If I were on your head and stung you, you would drown and I too would die!"

And Democracy thought long and hard. In fact, she had a cup of tea while she was waiting. She gave Mr. Scorpion a cup of tea too. He drank it fast and begged for more.

Democracy thought the tea was bitter. Mr Scorpion had a second cup, and then a third.

"Well," he hissed, his black scales oily and dark in the sunshine, "Will you swim me across?"

And Democracy, thinking a nice drink of clear river water would help rinse the bad taste of the tea from her mouth, agreed.

She slipped off her robe and stepped into the brisk, fast-running river. She sank down and her lovely hair spread out around her.

"You promise you won't hurt me?" She asked as she leaned her head towards the Scorpion.

A line of drool fell from his mouth as he assured her. "No, Sweet Democracy, for I love you like no other. If you were to drown, so would I."

And so Democracy tipped her head and the Scorpion skittered on. And Democracy swam out into the river thinking she was safe, for who would hurt her if it meant their own demise?

And then the burning streak flashed across her brow. The Scorpion had stung her. Burning ripping pain flashed through her mind. And again, and again he stung. Her beautiful face began to swell and then he jammed his stinger into her eye. His poison ran down her face as she flailed and kicked in the rushing river. She screamed in pain, but then her limbs began to sink to her side. Her face was almost slipping under the water. Death was rushing forward to take her.

"But why did you do it?" She sputtered with her last breath, Her remaining beautiful blue eye glittering like a sapphire in the sun.

"Because it is my nature, Democracy. It is my nature." And he stung her in her remaining eye.

And Democracy slid to her watery grave, with the Scorpion clinging to her hair as it pulled him under.

"But I thought I would be King," he thought to himself as the darkness enveloped him as well.

And the moral to the story? Ted Cruz is a nasty piece of work. Oh, wait, I mean, the Scorpion can't help himself, because, um, like, I don't know. His brain is the size of a pinhead?

Help me out here DU...I'm not quite sure of the moral.

Stay tuned tomorrow when I retell the story of the little foxes starring Cruz, Paul and Ryan as the little foxes. Don't miss out your you'll miss them spoiling the vine!

A DU Challenge...if you dare except it.

Well, the dare part was just to pique your interest.

But here is the challenge:

There are a bunch of people hurting in this country. I would bet there is probably a hungry child within a mile of almost everyone of us. I can make a difference. You can make a difference. As a group WE can make a helluva huge difference.

So, let's do that. Let's be the people that make a difference. When you go to work tomorrow take an empty cardboard box, make a few signs and start a food drive. If you have gumption, make it a contest between sports teams, or offices. Make it something special if you can. But if you can't, then just take an empty cardboard box to work tomorrow and write "Food Drive" on the side. It doesn't matter how much you get. Two cans of food to a hungry person is a feast.

If you don't work, sweeten up your spouse into taking a box to work, get your roommates or your neighbors to take a box to school, or to church, or to the business of a friend that might have room for one little empty box.

What if just 10 of us collected a box of food! Imagine 100! Hell, I even invite all the DU Trolls to join me in this one. Your neighbors need your help too.

I promise I will do this tomorrow. Will you promise me the same?

I Have Faith That The Rat Trap Has Been Set

I love politics. I read politics every morning with coffee and every night, (once I wrestle the computer away from my partner and his Video Game--Some world building schemer where he is the king and constantly plotting to take over the world). So I consider myself knowledgeable.

Well, at least somewhat knowledgeable. I mean, compared to Fox News I'm practically the sharpest tool in the shed.

But I am the first to admit that I don't understand what President Obama is doing most of the time. He plays a very strategic chess game of politics that is so many steps ahead of the game, that I never know what the hell is going on. I'm a smart guy, and I can't figure out what his moves mean most of the time. Usually though it seems he doesn't do what I want him to do.

And it frustrates me sometimes because I don't think Obama is being aggressive enough, or linear enough, or, damnit, he's always seeming to be caving this way or that way.

But then, SUDDENLY, his rat trap snaps shut on the Republicans, and they squeal and thrash...but then there was Obamacare.

and instead of trumpeting his greatness, Obama just quietly went back to his game of chess.

And, again, another rat trap snaps shut and the Republicans are screaming and crying and gay marriage has suddenly leaped forward in a way I have been praying for and working towards since the 80s. This President, who I never in a million years would believe would become THE best President EVER for us gay peeps. If I were to ever meet the man, I think I would burst into tears at how deeply thankful I am for what he has done for me, my partner, our family.

But, my point is this: President Obama is a master politician. He beat Hillary Clinton. He won reelection even though the Republicans had spent enough to buy the seat 100 times over. His traps are long and complex and I've never seen one coming until after it was already done and over.

But it almost always starts the same way. He gives them just enough rope to hang themselves...

And so I wait to hear this current trap to snap shut. The last one kept the Senate Blue. I wonder what this next one will do.

Happy Weekend People. Thank you for the brilliant conversations during these times. It is good to know there are other smart, caring people out there who have taken the time to educate themselves. Cheers all.

Wanna Know What Just Made This 6'1" 275 lb He-Man Cry?

Tears are running down my cheeks like two little creeks and for some reason I can't seem to quit.

The military of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA just gave two week leaves to their gay members who are stationed in states that won't allow them to marry their partners. Two weeks of leave to gather your family in a state that allows such things, marry, maybe even a quick little honeymoon before being sent back to battle, or desk duty, or whatever. That marriage also will now allow benefits to your spouse.

Yes. Our Military just did something amazing.

An act of kindness.

After so many hard fought battles for civil rights, after so many court cases just to be treated like other Americans, after just one nasty-hard-fought-campaign after another...much of it hateful and painful. And today an act of kindness. In just a few short years we have come so far.

To offer a few weeks off to start a new life. Can you imagine how many lives just changed and shifted in an instant?

I cannot imagine another President, another administration, will ever, EVER compare to President Obama and how he has treated the gay people in this country. Under his leadership the military has truly gone above and beyond in how they have handled gay integration. I thought electing a black American President would help this country heal. I thought that President would be a great civil rights leader with a place in history no matter what. But President Obama has earned his place as a great leader in Civil Rights... and today's announcements by the military should seal that matter without a doubt.

My tears are drying up a little, finally. But this is a pretty amazing day for gay Americans. Its one of those days where we got a little bit closer to the dream that "all men are created equal". I hope you can all enjoy the importance of it.

I think this calls for a smilie....

Hey Straight DUers, I Have To Have A Word With You...

On this hot and beautiful Friday evening, with a lovely weekend stretching ahead of my partner and I, I am feeling truly blessed.

Not because of the deaths of DOMA and DADT, not because we have a President who, though maybe not always jumping up and down in support of gay rights, seems to somehow work behind the scenes to get things done without ever really talking about it much, but because I have found a group of straight people who stand so amazingly firm in support of gay Americans that it brings tears to my eyes.

Grannies from the South, weightlifters from Texas, moms who like ice sports, just so many amazing people who have taught me a thing or two about standing up for myself.

Thank you DU for being so staunch in your support of your gay members. I can speak freely and demand my rights because I have the strength of you people behind me. You all are teaching me how to do it.

I remember during the gay rights ballot initiatives here in the 80s. Heartbreaking to see so much hate aimed at gay people, especially when you are that young and trying to figure things out. And then one day I saw a "straight but not narrow" sticker on some cool dude's car and I burst into tears just being so grateful that someone decent had the guts to speak up. That's how you people make me feel every day.

Thank you very much straight people of DU. Your thoughtful support of LGBT people is truly special. In my life you are the Sun that balances out the darkness of the other side. I'd bet there are many gay DUers who would agree with me.

A beautiful weekend to you. May we all eat something delicious, see something beautiful and snuggle up to something (or one) that we love.

A Room With A View. A Tale For Father's Day.

My father and I weren't super close. He had terrible health starting at 36 (and a string of heart attacks) and he really took the "Boy Named Sue Route" in some aspects. I was 10 and they gave him only a couple of years to live. So, my dad made me stand up like a man. No crying. No running for help. Just deal with the damned problem as best you can and stand up and take the consequences of the choices you made.

Hard stuff for 10. But 36 is awfully young to be planning your death. Hard stuff for 36.

But despite laying on deathbed after deathbed, after being given last rights more than once, the guy just hung on. Heart attack after heart attack, one on a riverbank where his best buddy did CPR for half an hour before life flight zapped him on the helicopter. His heart started back up but when we got to the hospital the dr. said, "He won't wake up, and you wouldn't want him to. He'd most likely be a vegetable." Hard words for my mom to hear, he was just 45.

A few hours later he woke up and said, "Where am I? I was fishing." I looked at the Dr. when he said it. He was standing there with a look of shock on his face and his mouth hanging open. This was a dead man talking.

A few months before I graduated from college I was in a terrible car accident. T-boned in a little Toyota by a kid seeing how fast his new Dodge Charger would go. (at least to 85...that's what he was going when he hit me). The cop at the scene said I should have died. I didn't. But, it was decided as soon as I was out of the woods I'd be moving home. I was heartbroken. It was terrible. I was so close to graduating with a double major.

It was something my dad understood. He broke both knees in a college football game and had had to move home from college as well. He knew how hard it was going to be.

And I was freaking out. Saying goodbye to my health, my friends, my cool college apartment. And I was moving home to our teeny tiny 1920s farmhouse where my room was smaller than my dorm room had been. Horrible.

And when I got home, and I limped my way sadly back to my tiny dark high school bedroom, I couldn't help but start to cry. No 22 year old wants to go back to high school. And I opened the room to my tiny bedroom and, well, it wasn't there.

My father, despite his crappy health, was a builder, and he had built an addition on the back of our tiny house. There was a giant closet for all of my boxes from college, a big giant window right at the level of the bed so I could see outside, a wall of shelves to put my stuff on, a desk to sit at. No more dark little room, it was bright and sunny and big and wonderful.

He wouldn't talk about it. Barely accepted my tearful thank you. Walked off to the barn to get away from all those human emotions. But a man with a sick heart and a bad body built me something I could never ever forget. He built me a place to heal. He built my frail emotional state a place that wasn't stepping back. He saved me.

He was gone soon after. And when my mom sold the house I wept over that addition. It wasn't something I could pack up and take with me though so I said my goodbyes to the biggest kindness I've ever been given.

Happy Father's Day Dad, and thank you for not naming me "Sue".

Share some thoughts of your father with us. It's a good day for that.

I Hate Frosting.

I hate frosting. Disgusting stuff. I won't eat it. I scrape it off everything.

My mom was that lady who baked a cake from scratch with swirls and drifts of beautiful icing for every occasion. Spice cakes had rich cream cheese icing that she'd whip and she'd whip until it was more like meringue than frosting . German Chocolate, my dad's favorite, was layered with thick chocolate butter cream icing and that candied pecan topping, all made from scratch. She'd stand in front of the stove for half an hour stirring that pecan stuff while it bubbled and popped. You couldn't stop stirring or it would burn. She'd trust me to stir it if she was working on something else but my dad wasn't allowed near it. My dad would be hopping around the kitchen, hoping my mom would look the other way, just so he could steal a hot mouthful out of the saucepan.

My mother took her baking very seriously. If you asked my family over for a picnic my mom showed up with a potato salad big enough for a football team, and a beautiful cake. Well, a MOSTLY beautiful cake. Because they were always square, and they always had one corner that was unfrosted. There it would be, a two or three layer sheet cake, looking like Julia Childs had just spent a day in the kitchen baking something fit for the King of France. Except for that one little unfinished corner that looked sort of like an abandoned lot.

Yes, my Sunset-Magazine Worshipping mother, who strove to make every holiday look like a clipping out of her favorite magazine, would leave one corner of her masterpieces unfrosted, unfinished, and undone. Just so her youngest son, who could be a little bit fussy, got to have a piece of cake just the way he liked it.

I saw the eyebrows raised when people looked at her cakes. I know they thought she might be a little bit nutty. The cakes did look weird. Sort of like a roof with one little patch that had no rooftiles, or a perfect lawn with a little square chunk of just good old dirt. But my mom didn't care. Her kids came first. Sunset Magazine be damned.

That's how much my mom loves me.

Happy Mother's Day Mom. I know I won't see you this year but I hope you liked the flowers.

Call your mama, if you can. If you can't, then send them some good energy and a couple of beautiful thoughts.

And Hillary Steps Into The Ring Swinging.

Hillary Clinton is retired. Resting her weary bones. Sitting on a lounge chair reading a book and getting some sun.

"Hill, can I get you some tea?"

"Sure, Bill, green please."

And she is throwing wicked knock-out political punches from the sidelines.

Welcome to Presidential Politics Hillary Clinton style. For your discussion peeps, I offer this: We are about to see an entirely new type of Presidential Run. Nobody like Hillary Clinton has ever run before. Not even Hillary Clinton when she ran the first time. After the election, McCain settled down on the front porch like an angry old man with nothing better to do than yell at all the passing young whippersnappers, but Hillary seemed to have decided, "Well, what's the next hardest job then?"

Hillary Clinton applied for the job of President. We hired Obama instead. So Hillary looked at her resume and spent the last four years beefing it up. Now, it could be, she was just bored and is the type of person who likes a hard job. Or she could have been thinking ahead to, once again, being the country's first woman President. She is certainly going to be one of the most internationally connected people to run for President. She is certainly, one of our most skilled politicians on the world stage.

So Hillary Clinton isn't even in the race yet. But that doesn't mean she isn't in the ring. Her just released video for gay marriage is a prime example of the race that Hillary is starting to run. Hillary Clinton is so well-known, so respected and just so damned smart and interesting that people stop and listen when she talks.

And so she can and will throw these huge social statements out into the mix that nobody else can compare to. She is the wisest woman of the land in some way. She does not compare to other First Ladies. She does not compare to other Senators. She does not compare to other Secretaries of State. She is unique.

So watch her gay marriage video. Stunningly shot. Her points are not debatable. She just won the argument hands down. Gay people have equal rights of citizenship. What republican message will hold up well to that? Prebus might come out and make a statement-"Uhm, gay people shouldn't get full rights?" Woo hoo. Consider that a punch to the face Republicans... Hillary style.

She's too old says McConnell...but look at the video. Dang man, Hillary Clinton looks beautiful, fresh, ready to take on the world. The Turtle just told us she was a little old grey lady didn't he? Another swing and a miss by the Republicans and a roundhouse punch to the face from Hillary.

Stay tuned ladies and gentleman. From her lounge chair on her vacation, Hillary Clinton is about to run one of the most interesting, amazing and brutal Presidential campaigns in history. Her statements on Gay Marriage alone are groundbreaking in many ways. Love her or leave her, this is going to be one hell of a show. And, as we watch the viewer numbers of this video ratchet up into the millions, let it be known. Hillary Clinton just answered the GOP's attack on her. She is in the ring. She just kicked their asses in round one and didn't even chip a nail.

Bring the lady her tea...she's on vacation.


Do you need to read something beautiful today? This dad sure loves his kid.



Every once in a while you read about a parent who is...well...one of the best dads ever.

Please enjoy and have a good weekend.

Dad Overhears Son’s Plans to Come Out, Assuages His Fears with Preemptive Letter of Acceptance

Some people (ahem) need to wait until after their son comes out to show their support. Not Nate's dad.

the unidentified father writes his son an inspirational letter of acceptance after accidentally overhearing his express concerns about coming out to his family.

The letter is transcribed below (courtesy of Towleroad):

Nate,

I overheard your phone conversation with Mike last night about your plans to come out to me. The only thing I need you to plan is to bring home OJ and bread after class. We are out, like you now.

I've known you were gay since you were six, I've love you since you were born.

- Dad

P.S. Your mom and I think you and Mike make a cute couple.

More At:

http://gawker.com/5990745/dad-overhears-sons-plans-to-come-out-assuages-his-fears-with-heartwarming-letter-of-acceptance

The Pretty Little Hippie Chicks Are Grandmas Now.

The Pretty Little Hippie Chicks Are Grandmas Now

I work side by side with three beautiful hippie chicks. I know DU explodes when the term “chick” is used and for this essay I am willing to stand up for the word. But I will also appease the anti-chick crowd by also calling them, simply, beatuful women. And for those who will be mad at me for objectifying women I’ll also call them just simply beautiful people. But they were hippie chicks, fair and square.

These three ladies all came of age in the late 60s and their retirement is quickly approaching. It was the topic of conversation at breakfast the other day. And I find myself in mourning. I just love working with these ladies. They are strong, and committed and are always thinking of the next step, the next project, the next thing I should be getting ready for. Good Lord!—at times it is like having three extra moms who are ready to chew you out or cheer you on-depending on the day and the situation. Sometimes they do both at the same time.

They entertain me with tales of their youth. Most often fashion related. One just described her favorite outfit her senior year. White go go boots and a wiglet were part of it. I gasped, "You were a hippie chick?!" "Oh Yes! I WAS a hippie chick!" Then they were all giggling and talking about their favorite outfits, their senior pictures, and suddenly there they were…the three grandmas were three 20 year olds talking about gogo boots, and ponchos and fringe, lime green coats, straight ironed hair, bare feet and wiglets! They were just lit up from the inside talking about that brief time of their life when they were young and carefree and barefoot and, seriously, I could suddenly see them as they were then. Young, with flowers in their hair. Knitting ponchos and being ever so groovy. They were beautiful hippy chicks.

And it was all just kind of shocking when that picture went away and I was looking at three grandmas who are about to retire. And I find myself feeling very sorry for myself this evening that soon enough they will not be part of my day. I miss my hippie chicks already.
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