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Thread: Musings on a Tuesday...

  1. #1
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Musings on a Tuesday...

    I spoke with a friend the other day and he told me about a new job he has -- with the Colorado Republican Party.
    This doesn't bother me much as a Liberal. He is one of my best friends, a good guy and a great drinking buddy. HE knows of my political affiliation and he is not bothered by it. We have not tried to "convert" eachother either.
    As for polite or heated political debate, nothing has really happened in the way of that either. We have discussed our stance on things and basically agreed to disagree, then got a beer and turned a game on.
    In college, I was also buddies with the president of the College Republicans, who interned on the campaign of Northern Colorado Republican Congresswoman Marilyn MustGO... I mean Musgrave . It was the same situation. We never really discussed our political differences. The one time we decided to "hash it out", we both ended up agreeing that we have differences, but we are both Americans who love their country.

    I see a lot of people that are turned off by others of a different political affiliation, not really associating with them. I can see why. Politics is a discussion that can get very heated at times, it can divide friendships and families, as well as an entire nation. But kind of thinking about my buddies last night, I realized that we may have our political views, and work towards bettering our nation in our own ways, but there are still a lot of good Americans out there, and I am glad to have friends that will offer differing views, not only to see all sides of an issue, but also to hone my own opinions and educate myself.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I think that political discussion can occur on several planes. There is the all too familiar partisan web "debate" where each person professes allegiance to a particular 'side' and proceeds to engage in various forms of sophistic arguments to demonstrate how the other side is more corrupt/misguided/clueless than their guys (usually citing historic precedents as if both major parties have not committed hundreds of mortal sins themselves) - stand by as the flames begin. Then there's the debate that is not particularly more civil but at least is a little more rational in that each 'side' regurgitates/expounds on official party-line policy as heard from various talking heads/radio and tv talk shows/publications. Then there are the VERY RARE instances where mudslinging does not occur and people engage in rational discussions exploring various available facts and try to arrive at pragmatic/workable solutions based on the particulars of a given scenario. Differences still occur on this level based on values inherent to one's personal leanings, however, there is no 'scorekeeping' and debate is not viewed in terms of winners or losers, and the goal is that some rational and workable consensus gets reached.

    Too often, though, our (illusionary) personalities are formed around an identification with 'our team' and not with any rational thought or consciencous determination on our part. This is dysfunction no matter how desperately one tries to rationalize it.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  3. #3

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    Well, as a flaming leftie, I still have to work with decidedly conservative co-workers. My brother is also scary-paleolibertarian (We try to avoid discussing politics).

    There are indeed a couple of things that a particularly vocal GOP gal here has "done" (driving an hour to see Michael Savage? Yuck.). But, overall, she is a very thoughtful, kind, not dogmatic at all individual, so we can very quietly discuss things-and even agree sometimes. She has a more tolerant/kind views about some issues than I do (she ragged on another lib and myself about negative remarks about drifters/beggars)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    If someone can only associate people who vote the same as them they are the worst kind of morons. Its like people don't realize that this is a democracy where people get to have differing opinions. This isn't Rwanda for God's sake, and the 2 major parties aren't that different.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Political debate and discussion is ok for me. Although I don't like it when it gets too heated, because people tend to be overly defensive and close minded. I try to saty moderate and centered, I'm not fond of extremisms.

    Right now we're in electoral mayhem here, since the 2nd round presidential elections are this sunday. And we have a Center-left ("socialist") Candidate that's has the support of a pact that's been in the government since 1990, on the other side we have a center right, multimillionaire, with support of the extreme right. Since both of the candidates are basically the same, debate is quite poor, and the government has been shamelessly doing campaign supporting their candidate, which is obvious because they want the same corrupt friends to stay in the government... We'll see how things go on sunday...and we'll see if we have a Woman for a president that politically means that everything stays the same or we have a multimillionarie guy on the chair, and we actually see some things change (at least the faces, because I bet they'll be as corrupt as the others...)

  6. #6
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Maister and I do not agree on anything political... yet we remain friends... most of the time.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  7. #7
    If I were to tally up all of my friends and their political leanings, I would probably say I have more conservative friends than liberal. Though I believe my closer friends are fairly liberal. I have some conservative friends that I can talk/argue politics with and some that I completely avoid getting into debates with because they are irrational and will not listen to any opinions that differ from theirs.

    I have a conservative friend who disguised her leanings throughout college. In fact she did such a good job that she actually was part of the Campus Democrats. It wasn't until a few years ago that she confessed that she acted liberal because she feared that her friends (almost all of which were active in liberal politics) would ditch her. She said it is very difficult to be a conservative at a liberal state school.

    I think if you really talk about the issues you will find a lot of common ground. I know a lot of conservatives who don't have an issue with state support of gay marriage so long as churches can still decide who can get married in their church. I know a lot of liberals (myself included) who cannot stand when liberals take shots at Black and other minority conservatives calling them sell-outs or Uncle Toms.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  8. #8
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    While liberals and conservatives can definately get along in many cases and even be great friends, alot of times the personal differences between those of different political ideologies are too great. A perfect example IMO is the stereotypical red state republican versus the stereotypical blue state liberal - they will likely be so different in ALL respects that they would not get along.

    Yet it doesn't appear to be any secret that mskis is conservative and dobopoq is liberal - but I bet the two of them would enjoy having a beer together. And I would enjoy joining them!

  9. #9
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner
    While liberals and conservatives can definately get along in many cases and even be great friends, alot of times the personal differences between those of different political ideologies are too great. A perfect example IMO is the stereotypical red state republican versus the stereotypical blue state liberal - they will likely be so different in ALL respects that they would not get along.

    Yet it doesn't appear to be any secret that mskis is conservative and dobopoq is liberal - but I bet the two of them would enjoy having a beer together. And I would enjoy joining them!
    Related to this idea, I'll just elaborate on one other thing I mentioned in my first post. My observation has been that while political discussion occurs on several levels the same people are capable (and do) engage at all of those levels at different times - which level one engages in depends upon certain external factors:e.g. one's mood at that moment, does one have any 'friends/supporters' present, important personal experiences related to a particular topic, a desire to 'impress' others etc., but the fact remains most all of us do it.

    I think it boils down to the question of whether one is capable of considering another's point of view at a given moment.....to make an analogy, if someone cuts you off in traffic your first impulse may be to get angry and think "what a selfish/careless jerk that is", but what if we were to learn that the reason they were driving that way was because they or a family member were having a medical crisis or were late to a court hearing to decide their future - suddenly the act becomes more understandible. Likewise, when one is able to expend the effort to consider WHY someone's point of view may differ from one's own, the possibilities for finding common ground improve considerably. Since we are all capable of considering others' points of view (as opposed to exclusively considering our own), it stands to reason that the quality of discourse depends entirely on our ability and willingness to make the effort to TRY to see others views in as many situations as possible. It often happens when we see other people making an effort to do this it prompts us to respond in kind.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  10. #10
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I lost one of my best friends to a political disagreement. Nearly on the eve of Bush invading Iraq I was talking to my friend. He is very conservative and I am a middle-of-the-road Democrat. While we disagreed on what should be done, what took it over the top was he began to make it personal. That I was a bad person and a bad American because I wasn't supporting the invasion.

    So, we haven't spoken since. I miss him. We were friends since high school. But neither he or I are willing to offer the olive branch first. So it goes.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Living in Utah, many of my friends are very conservative, while I am overall very liberal. We have friendly debates, but when I lose it is when some of them throw out absolutely absurd reasons for their political believes (this happens with my frineds who are liberal too). Most of all, we were friends first so I think that is key. As far as aquaintances, we just tend not to get into that much.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    My BF is staunch liberal and i am pretty much labour. We try to avoid political conversation, but at the end of the day, i really do think he likes that fact that i dont always agree with him and thats where we leave it... well until the next election!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I try my darndest to stay out of political and religious discussions, at any time, with anyone. It sure saves on a lot of animosity.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus
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    What ZG said. There are enough other topics to ruffle peoples feathers with.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  15. #15
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    You Can't Take it With You... 1/17

    Well, over the course of reflecting upon my own finances and my new attitude toward spending and money, I am beginning to think that there are 2 definitions or interpretations to the term: You can't take it with you when you go....

    Interp 1
    You work hard your whole life, climb the corporate ladder, and earn lots of good coin. You begin to buy many things, cars, boats, snowmobliles (or snowmachines to you Alaskans...), a large house, etc.. You begin spending your money to enjoy life and get things that you want. Hey, you cannot take money with you to (insert chosen destiny here).

    Interp 2
    You work hard your whole life, climb the corporate ladder, and earn lots of good coin. You begin by saving money for your children. Living a simple, clean, ecologically-sound lifestyle. You give to those less fortunate and enjoy the things you have, as well as the presense of friends and family. That new car, or jetski just lsn't that important to you. Hey, you cannot take material things with you to (insert chosen destiny here).

    I can see both sides of the coin here. I can see advantages and disadvantages to each one, but I am beginning to think that I do not need to get many things to be happy. I have given up trying to find a larger TV (heck, I basically don't watch much TV anymore), I down graded my car to a lesser expensive truck, and others. Last Christmas all I really wanted for the holiday was to spend some good time with my family-- I actually did not care if I got anything or not, I did enjoy my gifts, but I really liked cooking dinner for my GF and then seeing extended family and friends the next day.

    So what's your take? Do you want to spend before you die, or are you not going to spend?
    What are the prevailing attitudes in the world? How do you think people should interpret the term: You can't take it with you...

    Z
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  16. #16
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    Well, over the course of reflecting upon my own finances and my new attitude toward spending and money, I am beginning to think that there are 2 definitions or interpretations to the term: You can't take it with you when you go....

    Interp 1
    You work hard your whole life, climb the corporate ladder, and earn lots of good coin. You begin to buy many things, cars, boats, snowmobliles (or snowmachines to you Alaskans...), a large house, etc.. You begin spending your money to enjoy life and get things that you want. Hey, you cannot take money with you to (insert chosen destiny here).

    Interp 2
    You work hard your whole life, climb the corporate ladder, and earn lots of good coin. You begin by saving money for your children. Living a simple, clean, ecologically-sound lifestyle. You give to those less fortunate and enjoy the things you have, as well as the presense of friends and family. That new car, or jetski just lsn't that important to you. Hey, you cannot take material things with you to (insert chosen destiny here).

    I can see both sides of the coin here. I can see advantages and disadvantages to each one, but I am beginning to think that I do not need to get many things to be happy. I have given up trying to find a larger TV (heck, I basically don't watch much TV anymore), I down graded my car to a lesser expensive truck, and others. Last Christmas all I really wanted for the holiday was to spend some good time with my family-- I actually did not care if I got anything or not, I did enjoy my gifts, but I really liked cooking dinner for my GF and then seeing extended family and friends the next day.

    So what's your take? Do you want to spend before you die, or are you not going to spend?
    What are the prevailing attitudes in the world? How do you think people should interpret the term: You can't take it with you...

    Z
    Gee, I wonder what prompted this particular post?

    ZMan, I'll ask you the same thing I asked Mskis in the credit thread - what is money? I think if we can answer that question to our own satisfaction then right action with regards to money becomes infinitely more clear to us.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  17. #17
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Back at it, with a fire in my belly... POST 2/14/06

    I am a white male, aged 18-34, raised by a recovering Catholic father and a post-Methodist mother, with little religion but a celebration of Christian holidays and traditions albeit in a secular manner. Basically as plain as one could get with my Eastern European/WASPish background.
    Typically people in my demographic tend to not understand covert prejudice of those with differing races and religous backgrounds. I grew up with numerous Jewish friends, but had to ask one one night "Why, do some hate Jews?" His answer helped me understand a little bit of the background of the history of Jewish persecution. Race relations, or lack thereof, seem to be a little easier to see with the naked eye, even if like me, it is hard to understand why anyone could hate anybody.
    Now I am an easy going guy, I tend to not speak up on conflicting views, because it could "rock the boat" or "upset the social balance", but the other day I lit into a coworker, with whom I have a good rapport, because of a minor ethnic slur he used. (About the stereotypical spending habits of the religous sect spoken about above)Also, when people's views of other races are less than perfect, I tend to speak out more, at least telling them "I don't want to hear it!" or "What gives you the right...".
    Seems I may have found a "spark" that elevates me into speaking out. I outlined my background and upbringing to basically highlight that I am of what might be called a "typical" bracket of society, basically someone who probably experiences very little discrimination himself.

    The point of this musing if anybody is still reading this thread is to see what sparks all of you out there? Is it something based upon personal experience? Or something that is important to you for known or unknown reasons..
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  18. #18
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN

    The point of this musing if anybody is still reading this thread is to see what sparks all of you out there? Is it something based upon personal experience? Or something that is important to you for known or unknown reasons..
    Prejudicial comments will occassionally rile me enough to want to slap somebody, but most people around me know I don't like it and thus avoid making those comments (at least around me).

    What will set me off is irresponsible/uncontrolled drinking. No, I don't mean getting drunk and passing out. I don't mean getting drunk and having a good time. I'm not talking about the harmless stuff that goes on. I mean getting drunk and getting behind the wheel, getting drunk and beating the crap out of someone you supposedly love, etc. I mean knowing how you handle alcohol.

    I have two big reasons for this. One is that one of my best friends is spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair because of a head-on collision with a wrong-way drunk driver. The second is another close friend whose boyfriend was perfectly nice when sober, but turned out to be one of those angry drunks and she ended up in the hospital.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  19. #19
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN

    The point of this musing if anybody is still reading this thread is to see what sparks all of you out there? Is it something based upon personal experience? Or something that is important to you for known or unknown reasons..
    i'm often an advocate for the "little guy" no matter the race, ethnicity, gender, or breed. i started young. in pre-school i socked a bully in the stomach for picking on the little kids.

    what has gotten me depressed lately is now that i'm in a certain geographic region where racial bias and discrimination are pretty much everywhere i've noticed that i don't speak up as much. i wonder if it is because if i actually drew attention to every little slight that i'd be harping 24/7 or have i just given up hope? my BF and i will comment on things to each other. frankly, i think so of it is insecurity and fear of being called a "bleeding hear liberal" and run out of town. but i suppose that is my own bias showing.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    June 13, 2006 -- Observations on Modern American "Culture"

    NEW EDITION

    Two things occurred to me in the past 24 hours. Seemingly brought on by an acute exposure to mass media and brief stint behind an RV on the morning drive.
    I guess the main point is the perception of relationships in America today. We'll place things chronologically, in the order of experience.
    I mainly watch sports on television. Therefore my exposure to beer commercials can be monumental on occassion, if I pay attention to the commercial blocks. The main characterization of couples on beer commercials (and most of the sitcoms that are popular today) is a nagging woman and a very dumb, in a stupid manner, male. The nagging woman seems to only care about whether or not she is married, (as seen on a recent Coors Light ad) and/or exists to "get him a beer". Whereas the male of this dyanmic exists to drink said beer (watered down swill, I might add) act like that is all that he does, and when he upsets the woman (who runs away when she finds out he is not asking her hand in marriage) to which he says "Get me a beer".
    My first question is why are we subject to this stereotyping of the American relationship? Is this the norm for people in society? If it is, I must be pretty spoiled in my limited life experience because I and my partner do not live such a manner. On the other hand, is Hollywood and the media portraying Americans in such a way for entertainment, or (don ye tin foil hat now) are they doing this on behalf of corporations thus forming actual people into these "roles" (as seen on TV) in order to sell product? Seems it is the norm to portray couples as a nagging wife and a dumb husband (who is always in trouble).
    The last statement was displayed to me on the drive in this morning. I was caught behind a 28 foot RV being pulled by a late model Suburban (how very sustainable...). Must to my chagrin, I had to read the spare tire cover: "Papa's Pad when Mama's Mad" "WHAT?!" I thought. You gotta be kidding me! This first reaction was out of my hatred for all things tacky, but then I got to thinking. Is this couple the "real" American family or are people so entertained by the dumb man, nagging woman dynamic that this traveling couple thought it would help "fit in" with other likeminded Americans they encouter on the open road.

    Discuss or comment if you wish, I just felt like musin'
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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  22. #22
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    NEW EDITION

    Two things occurred to me in the past 24 hours. Seemingly brought on by an acute exposure to mass media and brief stint behind an RV on the morning drive.
    I guess the main point is the perception of relationships in America today. We'll place things chronologically, in the order of experience.
    I mainly watch sports on television. Therefore my exposure to beer commercials can be monumental on occassion, if I pay attention to the commercial blocks. The main characterization of couples on beer commercials (and most of the sitcoms that are popular today) is a nagging woman and a very dumb, in a stupid manner, male. The nagging woman seems to only care about whether or not she is married, (as seen on a recent Coors Light ad) and/or exists to "get him a beer". Whereas the male of this dyanmic exists to drink said beer (watered down swill, I might add) act like that is all that he does, and when he upsets the woman (who runs away when she finds out he is not asking her hand in marriage) to which he says "Get me a beer".
    My first question is why are we subject to this stereotyping of the American relationship? Is this the norm for people in society? If it is, I must be pretty spoiled in my limited life experience because I and my partner do not live such a manner. On the other hand, is Hollywood and the media portraying Americans in such a way for entertainment, or (don ye tin foil hat now) are they doing this on behalf of corporations thus forming actual people into these "roles" (as seen on TV) in order to sell product? Seems it is the norm to portray couples as a nagging wife and a dumb husband (who is always in trouble).
    The last statement was displayed to me on the drive in this morning. I was caught behind a 28 foot RV being pulled by a late model Suburban (how very sustainable...). Must to my chagrin, I had to read the spare tire cover: "Papa's Pad when Mama's Mad" "WHAT?!" I thought. You gotta be kidding me! This first reaction was out of my hatred for all things tacky, but then I got to thinking. Is this couple the "real" American family or are people so entertained by the dumb man, nagging woman dynamic that this traveling couple thought it would help "fit in" with other likeminded Americans they encouter on the open road.
    I think the reality is somewhere in between. American culture as portrayed on TV and in the media is so superficial and shallow and downright ignorant that I hope that's really not the case.

  23. #23
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Well, as a flaming leftie, I still have to work with decidedly conservative co-workers.
    Pretty much the result of living and working in one of California's inner valleys. That's not prevalent toward the coast. Even the "conservatives" on the coast are pretty liberal. Coastal conservatives generally think "conservative" means balanced budgets, freedom from government intrusion into your private life, freedom of religion, small government, and limited intrusion into foreign affairs. It's refreshing to talk to them and to realize that conservative commentary on the radio or tv is a wierd spinoff from (and mockery of) traditional conservatism.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wulf9
    Pretty much the result of living and working in one of California's inner valleys. That's not prevalent toward the coast. Even the "conservatives" on the coast are pretty liberal. Coastal conservatives generally think "conservative" means balanced budgets, freedom from government intrusion into your private life, freedom of religion, small government, and limited intrusion into foreign affairs. It's refreshing to talk to them and to realize that conservative commentary on the radio or tv is a wierd spinoff from (and mockery of) traditional conservatism.
    so true. I just moved somwhat inland after living and working on the california coast and I am surprised by how "conservative" the liberals are

  25. #25
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    BUMP. New Musing.

    I have come to the conclusion that I am a man that enjoys the time of anticipation rather than the actual event itself. This had led me to a little frustration currently as well as a fervent attempt at making myself LIVE IN THE NOW!
    One example: All summer long, I bitch and crab about the heat, the length of the day, the lack of football and hockey, and just the overall “feel” of summer time. I know this is a little weird, but I am a man of cold weather, autumn beers and football watching; rather than a beach-going, shorts wearing, summer-lovin’ fool. So anyways, I usually spend the long, dog days of summer longing for the cool crisp Autumn air and the beginning of the Holiday Season. Basically, upon September, when the temps get cooler and the football is placed on the kicking tee, I am supposed to be loving it!
    This also leads to another example, the beginning of the Holiday Season. A couple years ago, I switched Thanksgiving to become my favorite holiday. I think one of the basic reasons for such a decision is that I love the wintery Christmas season so much, that Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Holiday Season, thus kicking off the anticipation season in my mind and heart.
    Well, now that Summer is long over and Autumn and the Holiday Season are in full swing, I cannot shake the notion that “It will soon be over… then what?” It seems that I wait and wait but when it finally comes around, I cannot enjoy it because “it will be over eventually”…

    So to those of you who share in my sentiment, please do your best to Live in the “Now” and focus on the current season and tasks at hand. That is what I will try to do as I continue down the road of December.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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