Monday, January 4, 2016

November 2015 Journal Archive

Saturday November 7, 2015

Happy Saturday my excellent friends!!!  I really can't believe it's November already, but the ache in my knees confirms it.  Time, it seems, marches on even when they won't.  October, my favorite month of the year, is gone again and November's chill is upon us.  We're officially running the furnace at my house already; that's for sure.  This October I turned 51, and my twin sons turned 20, proving unarguably that the world is indeed turning.

Things are percolating along here at the Calico Ranch.  I've got my sweet girl Ayden for the weekend and my adventurous, prodigal 19 year old son, The Coug (aka Matthew David Davis), is visiting from Bremerton also.  Hopefully he's home for the winter.  I've been missing him severely.  Although a selfish prodigal myself my whole adult life, I find I (also selfishly) much prefer my own children to be near me now that they are grown.  Suppose that's not what I taught them though.  

Only a year and a day to go until the 2016 Presidential election, and two things are abundantly clear to me:  1.  I'm sick and tired of politics, politicians, the press, and making political commentary  2.  Several people have become sick and tired of hearing/reading my political commentary.  I suppose they are free to change the channel.  Fair warning:  I'm not going to shut up...ever.  History is unfolding in front of us.  We all have our roles to play.  

I've said it in other forums, so I want to make sure to put it here as well for posterity.  If I had to say today, a year out, who the candidates/what the outcome will be:  Clinton v. Rubio; and Clinton wins.  This (the Journal) is not the forum to dissect the reasons for that viewpoint, suffice it to say that's where I'm currently leaning if anyone's curious.  I'll probably discuss it soon on the main page.

When it comes to this year's elections, I realize that I am sticking my neck out pretty far (maybe).  Historically speaking, it's very rare for a political party to stay in the White House after they have already held it for 8 years, regardless of political affiliation and especially with an approval rating as low, and an opposition as fired up as Obama's.  I think it's (still) safe to say that for most of us, me especially included, our crystal balls are a little cloudy except for when we look back...

Last election, I saw clearly that Obama would win, and so didn't stress it much. This much as I know it is a corporate controlled government; largely a one-party system where it counts, I believe sincerely that the right is the greater of the two evils by an exponential factor.  It seems to me that this is a critical time historically for America not to lag/rollback (*cough* Supreme Court Justice appointments *cough*).  It's hard to believe that the Chinese have even become more progressive than us on some issues; e.g. energy.  Of course they haven't spent the last couple decades embroiled in political wars on terror and drugs or obsessed and consumed with religiously and racially motivated fear and hatred.  You are stuck as a capitalist nation when communist nations out-perform you.  It's been my observation that the so-called "toughest" guys are just the ones that are most afraid of change (think "Bill the Butcher" and his infamous New York "Know Nothing" Party). 

The modern incarnation appear/claim to want change by supporting non-establishment candidates; who (of course) advocate a "return to the old (even more corrupt) ways." The left has recently (thankfully) won on marijuana, marriage equality, Planned Parenthood funding, our joke of a healthcare reform (Obamacare), and now defeated the Keystone Pipeline project. The change the right really wants is a stop to all this change.  It's a land of confusion. I'm starting to think that more and more the GOP party establishment is going to align behind pushover Rubio and roll their dice.  Check back on the main page for more of this line of thought, realistic discussion on "Benzarro" Carson, and a frank appraisal of the GOP candidates in general with a year and a day to go.

Dave ~ Until they stop you, ride, shoot straight, and speak the truth.

Friday November 13th!!

Obligatory Jason Voorhees Image

"This ain't a song for the broken-hearted 
No silent prayer for the faith-departed 
I ain't gonna be just a face in the crowd 
You're gonna hear my voice 
When I shout it out loud "
~ Bon Jovi ~

Happy Friday the 13th!!  It's a sleepless night and my headache is being stubborn, so we might as well ring it in together. Often the very best ideas "spring forth seemingly unbidden" while sitting here in the quiet soothing dark; listening mainly to my computer softly hum and my cats making mischief around the house.  Tonight it's the words of the old sage Alan Moore that once again reverberate in my mind:

"In latter times I feel that artists and writers have allowed themselves to be sold down the river.  They have accepted the prevailing belief that art and writing are merely forms of entertainment...they're not seen as transformative forces that can change a human being, that can change a society."

Catching up on the classics...

From the first time those words crossed my path in March 2012, they have remained clutched in my fist.  Truly my blessing and probably my curse is a clear understanding that Mr. Moore is bang on the money.  Although I'm just a guy with a voice, I sincerely believe that like all of you, my voice and my symbols have their own unique power to act as personal and cultural forces of transformation.  Far from alone in this understanding and belief, I'm heartened at how many voices make up the creative crescendo that ensures my sanity while simultaneously fueling my madness.  Not sure what I would do if I couldn't come to this forum and "clear the mechanism" every so often.

Brave New World

Global connectivity is my friend and the impulse to connect with all of you is undeniably tangible for me.  Everyone who reads this blog  at any time has my appreciation for meeting me halfway.  Do I think I can transform society?  Anything's possible and I'm determined to do my part, but I'm just a tiny part of the whole.  However, like Mr. Moore, I know for sure that together we can transform society.  Regardless, undoubtedly, ultimately, inevitably, society will be transformed, again and again and again...

Something about this is familiar...

Our good old days are here and now.  Every new beginning tolls another end. Each summer I dig mysteries out of the ground and get reminded that one day our petty concerns might well be unknown and unfathomable to our future kin.  Regardless, their good old days will be there and then, and society will be transformed again and again...

Lucy (We have a deal)

"Constant" change (lovely paradox) is here to stay my friends. I'm ready to get some sleep now.  Friday the 13th will still be here if I wake.

Dave ~ Until they stop you, ride, shoot straight, and speak the truth.

Sunday November 15, 2015

Lazer cat literally has my back

Happy Sunday from the Calico Ranch.  It's cold and windy (blustery) today outside here in historic Ellensburg, Wa.  Frankly, given the emotional state of the nation after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, France, it's a turbulent day inside as well.  One character trait, which has served me well over my lifetime, is my ability to remain calm amidst chaos, or as others have remarked, "He performs exceptionally well under pressure."  Pressure is an understatement of the position I find myself in right now, frankly.

I'm about to write another post that is going to continue to permanently define me, and undoubtedly meet with staunch criticism.  More busy by choice than usual, the time spent to do it comes with an extremely high opportunity cost.  But, this is not the moment for silence.  Only 48 hours ago I articulated what I believe is the real outcome of the efforts of artists and writers:  social transformation.  I waiver only in deciding where to begin?  Paris terrorism?  Iraq War?  9/11?  Desert Shield?  Russia/Afghanistan?  Iran/Iraq War?  Ayatollah Khomeini? Installation of the Shah of Iran?The Crusades?  Alexander the Great's defeat of Darius? Where do I put the goal line?  The Middle Eastern situation historically, and recently, is so complex that this becomes important for tons of reasons, not least of which is my goal to effectively transmit information, not generate hate-mongering, goalpost moving arguments.  

Calm moment of reflection before the storm...hmm, these cats have destroyed my chair...

Of course regular readers will acknowledge that I've been warning of the cultural storm we are now being battered with for years, since well before the last Presidential election.  When I wrote specifically about societal tipping points in June, and condemned the backlash of hatred which has followed in the wake of recent political developments, even I didn't expect it to reach the level we are all currently witnessing so swiftly. The word "wetback" has re-entered national language, white supremacist groups nationwide have become more vocal and emboldened, and of course that's just the start.  It's simultaneously enlightening and embarrassing watching all the people who are having wargasms, most of course either too old for service now themselves, former military failures, wannabes, recipients of less than honorable discharges, denied for service, or chickenhawks who never served.  Keep on squawking, I see you.  

Also, guess 9/11 and bad mob rule/emotional decisions didn't teach them much.  Watched every one of them cheer on the policies and actions that eventually destabilized the entire region, created ISIS, and changed America from the land of the free to the land of the fundamentalist, fear-mongering, fun-spoiling, hate peddlers.  Now they actually think Carson or Trump would be good as commander in chief, and we should go to war and create yet another generation of terrorists with our bombs  Because, "hey I'd just bomb the oil fields," and "Defeating ISIS  should be easy"  Nothing like doing exactly what your enemy wants.  On that note, suppose I'll get started.

Dave ~ Until they stop you, ride, shoot straight, and speak the truth.

Black Friday

City lights
But I treat it 
Like a gold mine
All these souls
Already sold mine
I'm an eagle 
Who's sleeping often
I'm breathing in 
All the toxins
For present days
Yet knowing 
I'm in the coffin
I feel 
I'm already rotten
The future 
Knows I'm forgotten
My own destiny
Portray me
As the prophet

~ Mike Davis ~

Happy Black Friday from all of us here at the Calico Ranch in lovely historic Ellensburg, Washington.  Here's hoping everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving holiday as well.  The Thanksgiving holiday has always been one of my personal favorites for my own weird reasons.  Firstly, it always comes packaged as a 4-day weekend, and three of them are officially recovery days!!!

Of course, the food ranks high on my list as well.  If the feast is at the Davis house, we use the day as an excuse to make any type of goodies we fancy, traditional or otherwise, from creamed spinach to cream cheese crab puffs.  This year we had a wonderful traditional meal at my equally wonderful in-laws place in Bremerton, Washington, and we even scored most of the leftovers!  Thanks so much for the hospitality Brian, Joanne, Stephanie, and Brianna.  We love you all so much.

Next up are the professional football games.  Nowhere near the fan I was in my youth (didn't watch this year), this tradition still holds a special place for me.  As a young boy, the after dinner football games were a chance for some really solid male-bonding with the adult family members.  I always made sure to be up on the teams that were playing that day so that I could be in on the inevitable chat (even if only in the distant periphery) between my Dad, Grandpa, and Uncle Jim.  This was thrilling to me; kids in my family in Indiana in those days were definitely still more in the "seen and not heard" category when it came to adult conversation.

These days, Thanksgiving for me is all about spending quality time with these great people

Yesterday was a lot like those days.  The ladies pitched in and did the cooking, the kids were off playing unseen and unheard.  Lots of laughter was heard from the adult side of the house, as the conversation stayed light and the company was right.  Translation:  I had a lot of fun.

Enough fun to make me realize that the ingredient of fun has been missing somewhat from my life recently.  Well, that just won't do; at all.  Speaking of fun, I've been pondering something written by Johnny Silvercloud  about a year ago for Onyx all day about poking fun:

Problem here is that the right-wing group are DEADLY SERIOUS, and because they are primarily motivated by FEAR, they show up at polls.  The interesting (but crazy) thing about the political right is that it’s becoming more far right — right-wing, right-edge — than ever before.  Nihilistic talk of simply getting rid of, locking up, deporting, killing people in disagreement (that’s you, liberals) once was the thing of rural, isolated militia camp talk.  Now it’s mainstream, and with people like Hannity, Alex Jones, Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh, it’s only going to get worse.
While both sides do tend to engage in name calling, there’s a core difference in how it’s done and how it’s said by who:  when a liberal calls someone a conservative, it’s like calling someone silly, or a clown in plain sight.  This is usually accompanied with a smirk or laughter.  When a conservative calls someone a liberal, the connotation seeks to dehumanize; filth, scum of the earth, animal.  Note that they are never laughing when they say this. There’s not even an arrogant smirk.  That’s because they want to kill you, that’s why.
So this trait that I define as “Jon Stewart Liberalism” has to go.  When a conservative is talking, everyone becomes a comedian.  While even I love a good laugh, and it’s okay to laugh sometimes, just remember that that conservative is NOT laughing, in fact no matter how ridiculous they seem they are serious as a heart attack in everything they are saying. 

If I've come to understand anything in the last few years, it's that these people are not kidding. Well, that's just no fun Precious.  No it isn't!  No fun at all.

 Dave ~ Until they stop you, ride, shoot straight, and speak the truth.