Friday, June 29, 2012


  In a Democracy we often believe the most important thing is to vote.  That is important.  But even more important is to be informed - to vote according to the best information we can gain.  It is even more important in this day and age to research and be informed than ever before.  We have grown accustomed to 90 second snippets and slick ads driving many of our daily decisions.  Even though we know better, we oddly accept that most of what we see and hear is true.  Most of these 90 second snippets and slick ads are designed to appeal to our emotions because we more quickly act on impulse and emotion.  Once we have an emotional reaction to something, we rarely dig deeper.

DIG DEEPER folks!  Our Democracy - our society depends on it.  If you find yourself repeating emotion filled one liners, they have you where they want you.  You won't research and decide based on reality, you are hooked on the one liners.

"Obamacare"!  Do you repeat that term?  They gottcha.  Have you read the Affordable Care Act?  Can you tell me what part you don't like?

Are you against your children being allowed to stay on your health care plan until age 26?
Do you believe insurers should be able to deny coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition?
Do you believe it is wise for insurers to provide preventative health care screenings free of charge?
Do you believe insurers should be able to have a cap on the amount of health care benefits they provide over your lifetime?
Do you believe health care insurers should be able to spend as much money as they like on things other than providing health care to those they ensure?
Are you against tax incentives for small businesses to provide health insurance?

Have you read the Affordable Care Act?

Maybe you are against the mandate to get healthcare insurance.  Healthcare Insurers demanded that.  Why?  Because if our goal is to provide more affordable health care, we cannot just insure the sick and vurnerable.  We need a broader pool.  The cost has to be spread out or those insured will pay more and more.

Do you know what the punishment is if you don't get insured next year?  A whopping $95 in 2013.
If you don't think you will need any medical care in 2013, opt out - pay the $95.  The rest of us will hope you are right, that you don't need medical care.  Someone will have to pay for it if you cannot.

Read the Affordable Care Act!  It was modeled after the plan Mitt Romney enacted in Massachusetts.  See what that state has to say about how it has worked. 

If you can make an educated argument against any part of it, please share that.  More importantly, please share what you would do - specifically to solve our health care problems.  And if you aren't aware that we have any - get your head out of the sand.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I stand!

I stand with the woman who did not expect to become pregnant.  I stand by her.  I stand by you!
I stand with the woman who was raped.  I stand by her.  I stand by you!
I stand with the woman who was molested by her step daddy.  I stand by her.  I stand by you!
I stand with the woman who found the best option, a man who said he was catholic but chose a vasectomy  so he would not impregnate again.  He lied.  I stand by that woman.
I stand by any woman who is not pregnant by choice.  I stand by her.  I stand by you.
Women do not become pregnant all by themselves.  It's not an isolated incident.
I see no one stepping up to say they will adopt every unexpected, unplanned baby.  Where are you righteous soothsayers?
You want to bare punishment on the woman who is with child?  How did this child happen?  Where are you the next 20 years?
You would de-fund the very program that prevents unplanned pregnancy.  You would de-fund the very programs that help raise a child out of poverty?  You are afraid.  You live in fear.
I stand.
I stand with the woman....
I stand with woman and ask who will cast the first stone....
I stand with you dear woman.  I stand with you!!!!
Government stops at the VAGINA and the UTERUS.  You do not know this woman's story.  It is not a lump of clay.  Hear the story.  Love unconditionally.  Quit assuming you are somehow gifted in knowing the mind of "God".    Because, if you get it, there will be no questions. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Revival

For the first time in my life I have many guitars.  I've played since I was 12 when I was over the top surprised at Christmas to discover a used Kay electric under the tree.  Not too long after, I had my first acoustic...a used Harmony F-hole arch top that I wish I still had.  I played that through college in coffee houses and wherever someone would have me play. 
Then, after basic training and technical training with the Air Force, I landed in Greenland.  I mail ordered a brand new Jumbo Yamaha - shipped direct.  What a thrill when it arrived.  I found Bob who would play along and taught me a lot of Jackson Brown songs.  I carried the Yamaha to Spain and back to the US, playing it for the next decade or so.  Then, I sold the Yamaha to pay for an Oscar Schmidt that played oh so fine. 
My greatest joy has always been to find others who share the love to sing those same old songs.  In the 80's friends made fun of me so I took the old songs to nursing homes and senior centers.  In the late 90's I sat the guitar down when my favorite aunt died and it felt no one would love the old songs the same.  My friend Pete encouraged me again and we began playing on my front porch soon joined by "guitar Dave" who happened by one night.
And then I sold the Oscar Schmidt - not for another guitar but to help fund someone else's pipe dream.  Oddly, that pipe dream gave me opportunity to record on a movie sound track and I had no guitar to play.  I had to borrow the Oscar Schmidt to make the recording.
For the first time in my adult life, I had no guitar.  40 plus years.  I think it sent me off the deep edge.  I started buying guitars.  And then other instruments and another guitar, and other odd instruments and then a bag of stuff and then a sound system and then collecting people to sing and play and then....
And then - I was revived.  Every old song - every vision - every hope.  I am not a gifted guitar player.  I have often kidded that it is a prop and I can only sing if I can hold it.  I love to sing and have since I can remember.  I am not a gifted singer either.  I just love to sing.  I can mostly hold a tune and sometimes remember the words if they are both simple enough.  Every now and then I can even harmonize.  Suddenly I am surrounded by like spirits in a way I would never have imagined.

And now I own a Yamaha guitar, not quite like that first but a fine guitar.  I have a Godin 5th Avenue - not quite like that first Harmony F - hole but it is OH SO FINE.  I have a Jumbo Cumberland that reminds me much of that first Yamaha and two others that serve their purpose when I need them.  I don't really need them all.  But they have been part of my revival.  I suspect several will wind up in the hands of people that are an even bigger part of my revival some day yet seen.
It is about sharing spirit.  It's about understanding that harmony is here for all of us - if we can open up to hear it.  It's about understanding that all our stories have been told over and over again in song.  It's about understanding that the spirit - truth - is not complicated at all. 

Lastly - don't give up the vehicle that reminds you of all that.  Keep one guitar no matter what.  Otherwise you will go off the deep end and start collecting, even if you don't need to.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Stand for something!

In small town USA we know who's who.  We know who is most likely to do another wrong, who not to do business with and who can or cannot be trusted.  It can be very tough - politically - and the personal is very political.  How much do we turn a blind eye?  How much do we pretend not to know?  How much do we pretend is not really a big deal?  How much do we accept is a greater good and believe the bad stuff will just go away somehow?  Maybe - just maybe - the person doing harm to one will really do some benefit to ------to something.
So, we do not take a stand.  We do not go against the one we know has hurt so many.  Because maybe.... because.... there isn't enough on record...because they have something......because there is this nice side....because....because...because we cannot.
The Jerry Sandusky trial troubles me.  It troubles me most because it is clear that people who knew something was not right, turned a blind eye.  They did it because they thought a charity he headed was too important.  They did it because they thought a sports program he was associated with was too important.
When we turn a blind eye to behavior that we know in our heart and soul is wrong, we had better step up.  If we do not, we are part of the bad behavior.  We are contributing to the wrong doing.  If we know someone is a danger in any way and we turn a blind eye - we help them hurt the next victim.  It does not matter if it is children or adults - it does not matter if the court has weighed in - you know.  DO something - get the house in order.  Stand for something!  Simply don't support what you know is wrong.
If you cannot say NO - then don't say YES.  Don't support something that is wrong.  Don't say you like something that is going to wind up hurting someone.  In this age of social media, your name as a "like" of something is your stamp of approval.  If you "like" everything in an attempt to be politically correct, your liking something has little sway with me.  I want to know you stand for something.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dogs - Wonderful Creatures

Dogs are such wonderful creatures.  In many ways they are so connected to us and in the best ways - so much their own individual souls.  If not painfully convinced to be otherwise, they are typically content to be where they are.  My mutt paw friends are most fortunate.  They have lots of people who love them and two places they claim as home.  The past few days they have had opportunity to re-claim their "summer house" with a 4 times bigger yard and a couch that's old and they know they can pretend to own.
Fearing their wails when they may miss me, I leave them music as hopeful comfort.  Often I enter the driveway to anxious barking and hope it is only because they heard me near.  Today - there was no barking as I entered - music - but no wild greetings.  I entered - no greetings.  I stood for what seemed to be long moments staring at the two sleeping soundly on the couch.  Tobey - the timid and wild child, was laying on his back with paws sprawled - the last to realize I was there.  I guess the music worked.  They were quite content and relaxed.  I was actually a bit worried when they didn't greet me with great enthusiasm but that quickly came about.
We can learn a lot from them.  Their expectations are low and consistent.  They forgive quickly and easily - and music really does sooth their spirits.