Hand-clasping, pulse-rising, hopeful, hopeful smile

Yes. I’m excited about the Inauguration ceremony. Are you?

I watch the people pouring into D.C. on the news. I see the excitement, the diversity of the features that express that excitement. Have citizens from such a broad spectrum of age, race, economic status and North American geography ever come together this way before?

Probably. But not to my recollection.

I also hear the reports of security. How they are combing through all the threats, how they are trying to apply caution to this event that is meant to be markedly inclusive.

And that makes me think about how fragile hope is. Fragile and immense- symbolized by those sea of faces, this event. And while it bothered me during election that racial considerations were so prominent in the reporting, I was struck today by the reactions of black Americans who are completely ecstatic. Tears of profound gratitude to be witnessing this event, exclamations of disbelief and pure triumph in the fact of Obama, the first black president ever elected in America.

I understood that it was historical. But I didn’t fully comprehend how personal this precedent is to people who have believed themselves on the margin of society all their lives. This is important in ways I can’t grasp fully because there are barriers coming down tomorrow that just never existed for me.

But I’m thrilled. And I feel a part of the changes, and maybe that’s what’s most miraculous about our future president:

So many of us feel like we’re a part of what’s going on. And what feels to be going on is a valid reason to hope for a better tomorrow.

Dark Horse Rising

Hillary. Obama. Hillary. Obama.

(isn’t it kinda weird how Hillary is referred to primarily by her first name, and Barack primarily by his last?)

Romney. Huckabee. McCain. *yawn*

Bloomberg.

What?

You heard me: Bloomberg.

No, no, no. He’s assured the world he is not running.

Uh huh.

Here’s what I’m thinking: not only is he running, he has set himself up 12 moves back with the most elegant, calculated political strategy in the history of black sheep candidates. I do believe Bloomberg is about to launch himself as the first competitive Independent candidate in U.S. presidential history since George Washington.

Look at this.

Flanked on the left and the right by a Republican and a Democrat…. delivering a searing criticism to ‘the establishment’… launching a not for profit to tend to the country’s infrastructure: Clever, clever boy.

Michael Bloomberg is a very effective individual. Whatever else you might say, he is no wallflower. He decided to run for Mayor of New York City in 2001, but could not run competitively as a Democrat so he simply switched to the Republican ticket, winning the Republican primaries and the general election. A rather remarkable feat considering that his views align with that of a social liberal. He was reelected as mayor in 2005.

Bloomberg is the founder of Bloomberg L.P. and he does not lack for funding to launch a major presidential campaign. In fact, Bloomberg could give the lavishly funded Romney some sleepless nights.

Bloomberg left the Republican party in June of 2007 and switched to an Independent.

He is a self-made man, a graduate of John Hopkins University with an M.B.A. from Harvard, a formidable philanthropist who has given hundreds of millions to charitable causes in the last ten years, and an Eagle Scout. In other words, he’s a force to be reckoned with.

The down-side? He has been accused of sexual harrasment by women working under him. He is divorced, and has a mistress in New York. He is commonly depicted as a ‘philanderer’. All these things measure against him as a presidential candidate.

Additionally, there are two sides of the coin to a powerful, wealthy man who is used to achieving whatever he sets his mind to. While the changes he has effected in New York City have garnered wide approval, there are those who feel Bloomberg embodies a certain ruthlessness of character.

His ideas are strong, and applied in an effective manner, but the mayor reserves a certain autonomy that makes some of his deterrers nervous. Like the move to switch parties; perhaps this method made it easier for him to actually act on the causes he championed, but it displays a certain lack of loyalty. The message is that Bloomberg will do whatever necessary to gain a foothold when he has decided to go after something.

Is that a good thing?

I have found him fascinating since I read an article on him in Vanity Fair years ago. I agree with many of his domestic political views, though his foreign policy stance makes me rather uncomfortable.

But I am curious. If Bloomberg throws down the gauntlet, this unprecedented presidential campaign is going to turn into one crazy game of poker. It would sure be interesting to watch it play out.

bberg.jpg

The Reasoning Rollercoaster

You know, my week has been one miserable, shitty-ass week.

That’s a horrible way to start a blog! On the bright side, it can only go uphill from here, y’know?

Hi, hi! This is it, the collaborative venture, the opening drum roll, the cut-the-ribbon ceremony. I really am glad for each and every contributor who said, “Sure, I’ll throw words your way..” at whatever pace they wanted to. I can’t wait for you to meet each other, ‘cus he’s so awesome, and she’s so funny and she’s so smart.

But back to me.

Gaza. Duuudes. What? What the hell? I mean you’re always waiting for some hell to break loose over there so it’s been almost anticlimactic, at least my reaction has. That’s not real respectful of the people and their plight, but my goodness. When you see ‘Abbas’ in the news, isn’t it hard to separate that from the band ‘ABBA’? Now I’m even more confused, because Abbas is denouncing Hamas, and that seems like something Bono would do, so now the band ABBA has this U2ian humanitarian slant in my head, and I just really need to see the news with pictures.

Not that fox and CNN and MSNBC ever seem to tell me anything I want to know. If I wanna hear about the election, it’s all Paris, all the time. But if I want to hear about the world detonating little by little a half a globe away, they can only talk about Obama and some stupid memo.

I. Don’t. Care.

Do you think it’s getting harder and harder to make people care?

I will not tie this into personal shit. I will not tie this into..

But, just cus it’s a little relevant …( I do apologize) this must be observed and noted: How the heck do married people do it? How do you continue after 10, 20, 30 years of marriage to still get along? To still like each other?

I’ve never been in a relationship that made it more than two years, and at the end of the two year ones, it was really, really bad. Awful. Brr. Like, the gap between how much he/she cared about the other’s every word had deteriorated into a tangled battle of horrific communication. Extreme sports communication. Every sentence was a potential all night argument, every topic a pending knife in the throat.

I’m really bad at relationships.

See how I segued foreign conflicts into me, there? This happens a lot.

It’s hard to be involved in either a budding romance or a declining romance and not be self-involved to a point. I wonder if the plateau is any better. That’s something I’ve never experienced.

So like, Texas, right? Scary ass and funny place, Texas. That comedian, Ron White of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, I think he embodies Texas really well in his comedy routine when he says, “Other states are tryin’ to abolish the death-sentence, …here in Texas, we’re putting in an Express Lane.”

So how does one take the latest big news story out of Texas? Here’s the headline:
Crowd kills man after car hits child.

AUSTIN, Texas – Police on Wednesday were pleading for witnesses to help them track down members of an angry mob that beat a man to death after the car he was riding in apparently struck and injured a child.

Investigators were struggling to piece together what happened Tuesday when David Rivas Morales died defending the driver from members of a crowd leaving a Juneteenth celebration. There could have been anywhere from two to 20 attackers, Austin Police Commander Harold Piatt said.

The car in which Morales, 40, was a passenger had entered an apartment complex’s parking lot when it struck a 3- or 4-year-old child, Piatt said. The child was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver got out of the car to check on the child and was confronted by several people, Piatt said. When they attacked the driver, Morales got out of the car to protect the driver and was attacked as well. Police said no guns or knives were used.

The driver got away and is cooperating with investigators, who are not releasing his name.

Margaret Morales said a young boy came to her door to tell her that her brother was lying on the ground outside. She found David Morales, sprawled on the pavement 100 feet from her townhouse, battered and choking on blood.

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Sorry, so not cheery.

Communities should take care of children. Definitely. People should be eachother’s care-takers, you know life isn’t worth livin’ without the milk of human kindness, to go all Vonnegut on your ass.

And I believe that, too. Without caring there is nothing really worthwhile about this shit-hole we call life.

But the execution… oh, bad word, but the execution of heartfelt concern is important.

So those people were angry, yeah. But they stopped being individuals and became an angry mob. An angry mob is a weird entity. It doesn’t reason. It doesn’t excuse. When people conform in that manner, in the heat of emotion or even in the cold, calculated decision to go along for convenience sake, they give away a part of their own humanity.

Once you start doing that, I think it becomes easier and easier to do it.

This scares the piss out of me. I mean when I take the long view, the societal view. Even the individual view, I’ll admit. It’s hard to ram your thumb into your own chest and say, “I gave up my reason today and became a slavering, murderous beast.”

I mighta, though.

Individually, not collectively. It isn’t that life has brought me to this point, it’s that I let myself get there.

I feel sorry for those people responsible for the death of an innocent man. Maybe they thought they were doing right, attacking a man who ran into a child? There’ll be no discussing it with the victim in the scenario. He won’t weigh in. Intention doesn’t mean a thing to his family, friends and co-workers. He’s just gone.

Giving up compassion, communication, reason… even for a moment- that’s a line never worth crossing.