IS YOUR LIFE JUST ONE BIG PARTY? NO, IT’S A LOT OF LITTLE PARTIES.

Photo by Donna Voss

If you’ve never been to a swanky, super fabulous (code for very, very gay) neighborhood mixer in Palm Springs, you haven’t lived. Allow me to share the experience.

The first thing I noticed is the open (copiously flowing) bars at either end of the million dollar patio. (In my world, there are only jokes about not having an open bar. Actually, that’s my old world. In my world today, open bar refers to ballet, a ranch or cow roping.) The next thing I noticed was the parade of highly-stylized, fastidiously-groomed, very good-looking men in a bunch of matchy matchy outfits. Then there were the older straight women with scary dark, leathery skin from having spent 50 years beside a pool. You know, the kind of women who apparently find that kind of thing attractive and wear skimpy clothes in their seventies. Then I noticed the straight women who were on their way to scary dark, leathery skin but hadn’t yet rounded third, one of whom was drunk enough to ask if my “very, very gay” (as he refers to himself) business partner and I were “together.” I said yes because I like messing with drunk people. My business partner got as far away from her as he could. Continue reading “IS YOUR LIFE JUST ONE BIG PARTY? NO, IT’S A LOT OF LITTLE PARTIES.”

PRAYER IS LIKE CHOPSTICKS

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Tell the truth. You’re just as insecure as I am. I am so freakishly self-confident most of the time that when I’m insecure, it’s freakishly debilitating. Lately, I have wanted someone somewhere to be my reality check: am I on track? is this the best I can do? is that a good topic to write about? are those the best colors for a book jacket? who do I think I am putting my ideas out into the public arena? do I look fat in these jeans?

I have quite a few reality checks in my inner circle; the problem is that they’re all checking/affirming a different reality. It’s quasi-pathetic that I need to find someone I respect who tells me enough of what I already know is true (I do look fat in these jeans) that I’m willing to trust them on everything else. I just want someone to spoon-feed it to me, where I can simply coast on his or her opinion of me. As you can imagine, that’s not working out so well. Continue reading “PRAYER IS LIKE CHOPSTICKS”

WE DON’T WANT EVERYBODY TO BELIEVE WHAT WE BELIEVE

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I’m sorry, but we don’t. We think we want this utopia where the lion shall lie down with lamb and we all believe and worship the same way, but that would be awful. The number one killer of Christlike love is pride, and we all need a mighty check on our pride. It’s human nature to rationalize everything we believe, say and do as correct. It’s not a flaw. It’s the way we’re made so I assume it has some survival advantage. Meanwhile, it can quickly get out of hand.

It’s very similar to a man or woman who has no intimates to put him or her in his or her place. Unless someone feeds back to you that you’re being selfish, unkind, greedy or egotistical, you go on blissfully unaware that you are being selfish, unkind, greedy or egotistical. That might sound like a good thing (the blissful ignorance part), but it is soul-killing. A) You by definition have no quality relationships if no one ever checks you; B) You are wasting a good mortality for nothing if you don’t use it fully (and the only thing we take with us when we go is who we’ve become); and C) Nothing, but I like the symmetry of A, B and C. Continue reading “WE DON’T WANT EVERYBODY TO BELIEVE WHAT WE BELIEVE”

WITHOUT FREEDOM OF SPEECH, DO THE OTHER FREEDOMS MATTER?

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In case you haven’t noticed, Donald Trump is president. In other words, pigs can fly. The unthinkable is suddenly thinkable, and word to the wise, it’s not an isolated incident. The college kids who shut down Milo Yiannopoulos at UC Berkeley and Charles Murray at Middlebury College seem to have missed the memo. The college students who protested Laura Kipnis at Wellesley—triggering a Title IX investigation into the controversial feminist—Charles Murray at Notre Dame, and Charles Murray at Villanova are also behind the curve. It’s so easy to wield the moral high ground when you have it (if moral high ground means unrighteous power), but today’s college students are blissfully unaware that, sooner or later, the moral high ground changes hands.

We’re so busy sheltering and coddling today’s college students that they seem completely unaware of something called “reality.” Reality by any other name is “what goes up must come down.” Rome fell, GM and Chrysler weren’t too big to fail, Brad and Angelina divorced. Change can happen. Change does happen. Change will happen. Continue reading “WITHOUT FREEDOM OF SPEECH, DO THE OTHER FREEDOMS MATTER?”

RELIGION ISN’T ABOUT KEEPING SCORE

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You know how they say you can always find someone better off than you and someone worse off than you? The same is true of religion. You can always find someone living their faith more diligently than you and someone less diligently than you. The trick is to realize that because then you cease comparing yourself to other people (theoretically). We’re all somewhere on that continuum and probably move up and down depending on the day. (As an aside, I think we can be pretty sure that at least some of the people who live their religion more diligently than we do are miserable doing it, i.e., doing it for show. And now I’ll have to repent of that very unchristian thought. But it’s still true.)

So A) we’re lost in the pack of religion runners, but it doesn’t really matter; we’re all going to cross the finish line sooner or later, one way or another. Now B) is worth pondering. Whenever you’re feeling grumpy because you choose to watch tv shows that don’t technically qualify as making your home a temple; or you don’t sacrifice your lifelong goal of becoming an Olympic gymnast because the meet is on Sunday; or you sleep in instead of going to a church function, just remember, you’re still living your religion more diligently than someone. Now, this isn’t a way to excuse laziness, it’s merely an acknowledgement that we are all at different places in our gospel knowledge and we need to walk before we can run.

Back to living your religion more diligently than someone else even though you don’t live it half as diligently as the shiny people next door. If you feel this grumpy around the family that glows with gospel light, imagine how grumpy are the people who don’t live their religion half as diligently as you do. If Shiny Family was the only example available, it would be too high a bar to meet and the less than diligent would give up. By you striking a more middle of the road path, you make a bridge between not diligent and blindingly diligent. Someone who’s still barely walking in the gospel can see in your example that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It might be nice to hit the high notes all the time, but few of us do.

Let the Shiny Family shine if that’s their thing. You do your thing  as diligently as you can. Someone out there is more likely to keep trying because your level of diligence is realistic for him or her.

No slacking! But no guilt either.

SAY GOODBYE TO THE ROBERT E. LEE MONUMENT IN NEW ORLEANS

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Are you up on your New Orleans happenings? Mayor Mitch Landrieu has prevailed in the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and will begin removing the statues of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.T.G. Beauregard, all heroes of the Confederacy. In an interview with NPR, Landrieu linked removal of the monuments to the city’s efforts to rebuild after Katrina.

And so the thought of the people of the city – and I share this thought – is that as we rebuild the city of New Orleans, we ought to rebuild it in a way that reflects our whole history, that’s inviting and that it’s open and not one that continues to cast shadows over a group of people where the message is still sent that, look, we didn’t even think that you were fully formed human persons and we think that the Confederacy was the right way to govern America. Those messages were wrong then, and they’re wrong now.

The same thing is happening and has been happening all over the country.  Continue reading “SAY GOODBYE TO THE ROBERT E. LEE MONUMENT IN NEW ORLEANS”

NO! PROPAGANDA ABOUT SANCTUARY CITIES? NOT POSSIBLE!

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Good news! Sanctuary cities are better than Christmas morning! Who knew? Dr. Tom Wong—Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California San Diego—knew. The Center for American Progress recently published his study with the stunning conclusion that:

The data are clear: Crime is statistically significantly lower in sanctuary counties compared to nonsanctuary counties. Moreover, economies are stronger in sanctuary counties—from higher median household income, less poverty, and less reliance on public assistance to higher labor force participation, higher employment-to-population ratios, and lower unemployment.

Semi-expert that I am now on sanctuary cities (shameless plug alert: Deep Dive: Sanctuary Cities, Amazon, $2.99, you should check it out), I figured I better add such felicitous information to my store of knowledge. Having learned the very hard way to do all my own fact-checking, I began what was to quickly become an epic takedown of this bogus (did I really just say that?) study. Continue reading “NO! PROPAGANDA ABOUT SANCTUARY CITIES? NOT POSSIBLE!”

DID POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GET A 14 YEAR OLD GIRL RAPED?

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A 14 year old girl was raped in the boys’ bathroom at a Rockville, Maryland high school by two men—men—who shouldn’t have been anywhere near her. At least one of them, Henry Sanchez, shouldn’t even have been in this country because a) he broke the law by entering illegally, and b) he had a pending “alien removal” case against him. The other one, Jose Montano, is a minor so his immigration status was not released, but let’s be real. If he were here legally, his immigration status would not only have been released (leaked if you like), it would have been hailed as proof that illegal aliens commit fewer crimes than legal residents.

Did political correctness get that girl raped? Political correctness put Sanchez, 18 and recently arrived from Guatemala, and Montano, 17, recently arrived from El Salvador, in a 9th grade class with proximal access to a child whose life they proceeded to ruin. Why were an 18 year old and a 17 year old in the 9th grade? Because it was “racist” and “xenophobic” to deny them equal access to education, let alone entertain the possibility that they were potential threats to the real 9th graders and anyone else at the school. Continue reading “DID POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GET A 14 YEAR OLD GIRL RAPED?”

BEWARE OF PRIDE

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I would venture to guess that if you didn’t wince when you read those words, you aren’t very honest with yourself. If you have not felt the hot, shame-ish flush of realizing you puffed yourself up only to discover you were wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, you are not fully alive.

Pride is the cardinal sin. (I’m just saying that. I don’t really know, but it fits my thesis.) I do know that pride covereth a multitude sins and that it goeth before a fall.

Should I recount the embarrassing fall I experienced the other day? Oh, why not. It will make me even more humble, which, apparently, is something I need. *wince* *wince* Continue reading “BEWARE OF PRIDE”

REPUBLICANS ARE STUPID

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The only reason I’m a Republican is that it would be disingenuous to be anything else. I agree with limited government, strong national defense, conservative values, entitlement reform, and freeing small business from the stranglehold of excessive regulation. It doesn’t mean I think the GOP is smart. In fact, today they proved how very stupid they really are.

How stupid to sit around for eight years kvetching about Obamacare without preparing its replacement.

How stupid to give up on your party before election night to the extent that you have no plan B.

How stupid not to realize that insisting on anything that defeats the healthcare bill just proves Republicans can’t get anything done. Why vote for them?

How stupid to squander the opportunity to give Donald Trump some momentum. Yesterday, Senator Nunes tossed President Trump some “vindication” on the wiretapping allegation. Had the House passed the healthcare bill today, they might have given him just enough juice to overcome the relentless Democratic headwind.

How stupid not to realize that as President Trump goes, all Republican office holders go. I’m almost thinking they deserve it.