The Case for Obama and Against Liberal Despair - Mike Lofgren - The Atlantic

I think the Weimar Republic collapsed ... because there were not enough citizens. That's the lesson I have learned. Citizens cannot leave politics just to politicians.
-- Gunter Grass

In The Case for Obama and Against Liberal Despair, Mike Lofgren makes the case for Obama in a way that resonates for me. He lists some objections from liberals to Obama (including the idea that Democrats must win by taking on GOP ideas), but counters with nuggets like these:
  • The most compelling argument to support Obama has nothing directly to do with him or his performance in office, but goes to the heart of what self-government is supposed to mean. Since Obama's inauguration, Republicans have engaged in an unprecedented -- in my lifetime, anyway -- campaign of obstruction, feral negativity, and brinksmanship.... To reward a party for such obstructionism would be like rewarding the Southern fire eaters of antebellum congresses for their efforts at shutting down the debate over slavery with the gag rule
 Obama, playing his cards right, would have exposed this strategy, but he failed to do so. It is up to the electorate to uphold compromise and reasonableness. Not that we're great about typically supporting either.


Last night

I dreamed that I lived in a tall apartment build but kept losing my key. There was also a massive church in the basement of the building that was giving out free food after the service, but you had to sit through the service to get the food. the really weird part was that I was dressed up as Santa in the apartment build holiday parade, but with purple-colored Santa facial hair instead of white.

Yeah, I have no idea other, except maybe homecoming?

Craig Ferguson on Alcohol

Instrumental Guitar

Mourn the 10

Hurricane Sandy has come through NYC with a mighty storm that coincided with a high tide and full moon for a "perfect combo" of subway-flooding awfulness.

But we knew about it, way in advance, because somehow our computers could tell a week ago that this storm would manage to strengthen in combination with a cold air mass, thanks to high pressure over Greenland and warm water in the Atlantic, plus some horrendous timing.

Manhattan flooded, but the subway was already closed, and the the tunnels/bridges as well. We were ready (at least mostly ready) and amongst the damage and destruction, that's something to cherish as we hold our loved ones a little closer.

Quoting myself

I told a story this weekend about learning the economic theories and equations supporting the willful destruction of perfectly good crops, and how much that messed with my notions of intuition of right and wrong. That with all of my ideas of how things should be, I could be completely off.

That being honest and open with the world sometimes makes it more difficult to enact change. That being honest about my faith is about embracing uncertainty, and giving up part of the rationality that governs the rest of my life. That my utopias aren't and cannot be true utopias. But there I go talking about me.

Life is hard, and it sometimes sucks. The burdens placed on us are not equal, neither in terms of geography, time, or all sorts of other statuses. Sometimes we are at the high place looking down trying to see if there's a net, and sometimes we are holding the net. Sometimes we are looking and holding at the same time, in different contexts. Sometimes we can't just find our glasses, and sometimes we realize that we carelessly knocked someone else's glasses off a few days ago, as I did on Friday.

And maybe, just maybe, we can hold the net a little stronger if we grappled more with the high place. Perhaps, in staying, we can discover what our limits truly are. Sometimes we are fearful of discovering our own potential. At least I am.

Remarkable Weekend

After an indoor soccer game with friends (2-0!), I headed down to Chicago Saturday morning to see a work-friend that has since moved for personal reasons, along with three others from Madison. We had a great ride, topics ranging from the very serious to the very not serious. What makes this blog worthy is that I was intending to see another friend in Chicago, who I met in April at a religious event. I had no idea where in the cite she lived, only knowing that she worked in Lincoln Park. My work-friend lives in Uptown, a few miles away, but as fate would have it their buildings are next door; she actually heard us arrive and unload the car from her bedroom. Just to think, that in a city of 2.7 million, my friends are literal neighbors. Proximity to Chicago has been a subtle blessing to live in Madison, and I've enjoyed every visit. Weekends like this and that of two weeks ago are the foodstuffs of life, though the labor of my life is just as meaningful.