Friday, October 29, 2010

Music that Gets Us Through: Around and At Least

Around - Sixpence None the Richer
The Art of Falling Off - Pigeon John

  • "As" is one of my favorite songs. I envisioned having this song performed at my wedding reception (although it'd be awesome to have had it done at the wedding itself), but I doubt there's enough money in the world to do this song justice.
  • I talked about the Pigeon John song towards the end of this searching post here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Wuss by Any Other Name... (part 1)

It's time these losers were outted. Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat:

Tim Profitt -- Rand Paul campaign's Bourbon County coordinator*, whose friends tackled a woman protester outside a televised political debate that featured Paul while Profitt stomped on her shoulders and head -- you are not a man. You are a sissy. You can’t stand the idea that your ideas could be attacked, so you committed the ultimate ad hominem – lashing out in a heinous act of barbaric and gang-rape-ish violence. Big, bad Tim Proffit, you’re a little scared sissy that needs to be spanked and shown for the little punk you are – afraid to pick on someone your own size.

Additionally, for premeditating your assault and then for blaming your victim, Tim Profitt, you’re a wipe. Do you make your wife and children apologize to you after you hit them? A waste of a human being, a smelly maggot who will never grow up to become a full-fledged fly on the windshield of humanity.

Mike Pezzano, Tim Profitt’s friend, the one with the “Don’t Tread on Me” t-shirt who groped the protester while trying to hold her in position for a heel-to-the-head, you are a sissy too. It’s amazing that someone who complains about an imaginary and metaphorical trampling (from the State-power structure to himself) can’t see the irony in actually tackling someone to the ground so that she can be literally tread on. But what to expect from a laughable despicable sissy?

Of course we can’t stop there, though. After all, these two simian sissies are merely pawns – foot soldiers, if you will.

Rand Paul – you who continuously draws in such hate-filled sissies, including a full-on, out-of-the-box KKK Dragon and American Nazi supporter, yet can never truly distance yourself from them – you are a sissy as well. But not just because of the people who align themselves with you, nor even for your refusal to completely disassociate yourself from them as if you can’t survive without their thuggish Neanderthal knuckles keeping you grounded to your hateful scorched earth. Nor even because of your half-hearted apologies and false equivalencies.

No, Rand Paul, you are a sissy because of your stated policies (that as a senatorial candidate, you are within arms-reach of actually doing something about from a lofty position of power) against people who are – at least individually – weaker than you and your buddies.

Dr. Rand Paul – the Sissy, MD – you have stated that you think that the Civil Rights Act, which aims to protect minorities, was unnecessary. Oooh, mighty brave of you, white man.

Dr. Rand Paul – Pansy – you attack government assistance to citizens who can barely survive, as is, while shamelessly profiting from that same system through Medicare payments to your practice. But at least you're consistent on your desire to continue to live "comfortably." Because, of course, you're a sissy.

Dr. Rand Paul – you who took your nickname from Ayn Rand, the “writer” / “philosopher” who believes that anyone who isn’t a commerce engineer is a parasite on humanity – also made boldly false claims against the Americans with Disabilities Act and disapproved of the Act as he *sides* with business owners. Should the law’s name be changed to the Parasites with Disabilities Inaction?

For allowing your base to continue to attack and threaten people who hold different viewpoints, such as the self-described Lincoln Republican Tea Party lady who outted Pezzano, you are a sissy, Paulie. Laura Grass describes the fear that your people have put on her and those like her:
Rand Paul isn't going to do anything to me… but his supporters might. I'm afraid of them. Over at Liberty Forest, during the primary, there were calls for volunteers to "crush" me. They still despise me. They smear me around the internet.

Is this the kind of legacy you want to leave for yourself? The Thug Who Would Be Senator?
Or, more accurately, The Sissy Who Wants to Be Respected.

*Note: I had incorrectly labeled Mr. Profitt as a campaign adviser, instead of the non-ranked, volunteer position of campaign coordinator. Thanks, David M, for that.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How Children Learn Nasty Stuff from Us

Dan Savage (the NorthWest-based Sex Columnist known for being particularly crass in a field of crass-ness) had a particularly strong column last week on Christians' relationships with anti-gay bullying. Some of his points for those of us who need to listen the most may have been missed in his offensive efforts of calling the writer out, but they are poignant and for those of us who can stomach such insults, they need to be listened to. Slightly edited version is at the end of this blog.

However, I want to take some time to re-envision what this may mean for us Christians.

Imagine that your children are in school in a land where Christians are openly mocked and persecuted. Not the persecution-lite that some radio pundits and mass-mail fliers try to convince us is increasing in this country. (They were saying the same thing when I was a child, about basically the same situations. But I was a Christian then just as now and I can honestly say, I was never truly persecuted. However, as a teacher, I did see real, malignant persecution for sexually ambiguous young men. It broke my heart). Occasionally being teased for being a virgin in the locker room is hardly the same as the verbal, emotional, physical, sexual onslaught that, say, homosexual children receive on a daily, hourly basis. Let's put aside the concerns that homosexuality is learned or biological, because as Christians, we choose. So we know that choice shouldn't be a justification for persecution.

Now, imagine living in an area where Christians are outcasts, blamed for all sorts of things that we can't possibly be responsible for: polluting the minds of young children, if not doing worse; promoting a secret, clandestine agenda;looking to convert innocents and drag them from their family and traditions. In fact, it seems entirely plausible to me that WE are actually doing the things we are accusing the LGBT community as a whole of doing, even as they're mostly just trying to get a hold on the confusion-matrix that is school, life, hormones, family...

And your children go to school. And they're bumped into lockers for being at the least moderately associated with Christianity. They're called all sorts of names, the sorts of names that I just promised a friend I'd try not to repeat. Constant barrage, constant butt of highly embarrassing jokes. Being roughed up in the halls regularly; being sexually assaulted constantly. Derision. Mockery.

And you're talking with your next door neighbors about these problems. And they're basically decent folks. Keep to themselves, keep a clean manor, music is down low; they're not shout-y people like some of the other guys. But you know that their kids are roughing up your kids. Even leaders amongst the anti-Christian bullies.

And they respond, "Now, you guys can live over there and pray your little prayers to your Magical Sky Fairy in peace, and we can do something worthwhile and valuable in peace and we should be all okay. It's really too bad that's happening to your children. But we don't tell our kids to bully your kids. That wouldn't be very nice or neighborly. It's against our moral code to do so.

"I'm actually a bit offended," they continue, adding injury to insult by their mock pain, "that you'd suggest that we would possibly persuade our children to aggravate your children. Maybe if you people didn't try to be all Christian, what with your going to church and stuff, and wanting to be married and hang out at the ice cream shop like normal people... Maybe they wouldn't be targeted. But that's not our fault."

That's the same sort of semi-human/back-handed disregard that we're feeding in our Christian community about Gay/Lesbian/Bi-sexual/Transgendered people. How do our children internalize such talk? Seriously??

Q: I was listening to the radio yesterday morning, and I heard an interview with you about your It Gets Better campaign. I was saddened by and frustrated with your comments regarding people of faith and their perpetuation of bullying. As someone who loves the Lord and does not support gay marriage, I can honestly say I was heartbroken to hear about the young man who took his own life.

If your message is that we shouldn't judge people based on their sexual preference, how do you justify judging entire groups of people for any other reason (including their faith)? There is no part of me that took any pleasure in what happened to that young man, and I know for a fact that's true of many other people who disagree with your viewpoint.

To that end, to imply that I would somehow encourage my children to mock, hurt, or intimidate another person for any reason is completely unfounded and offensive. Being a follower of Christ is, above all things, a recognition that we are all imperfect, fallible, and in desperate need of a savior. We cannot believe that we are better or more worthy than other people....

A: I'm sorry your feelings were hurt by my comments.

No, wait. I'm not.
Gay kids are dying. So let's try to keep things in perspective: fuck your feelings.

A question: Do you "support" atheist marriage? Interfaith marriage? Divorce and remarriage? All are legal, all go against Christian and/or traditional ideas about marriage, and yet there's no "Christian" movement to deny marriage rights to atheists or people marrying outside their respective faiths or people divorcing and remarrying...

Sorry, L.R., but so long as you support the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples, it's clear that you do believe that some people—straight people—are "better or more worthy" than others.

And—sorry—but you are partly responsible for the bullying and physical violence being visited on vulnerable LGBT children. The kids of people who see gay people as sinful or damaged or disordered and unworthy of full civil equality—even if those people strive to express their bigotry in the politest possible way (at least when they happen to be addressing a gay person)—learn to see gay people as sinful, damaged, disordered, and unworthy. And while there may not be any gay adults or couples where you live, or at your church, or in your workplace, I promise you that there are gay and lesbian children in your schools. And while you can only attack gays and lesbians at the ballot box, nice and impersonally, your children have the option of attacking actual gays and lesbians, in person, in real time.

Real gay and lesbian children. Not political abstractions, not "sinners." Gay and lesbian children.

The dehumanizing bigotries that fall from the lips of "faithful Christians" and the lies about us vomited out from the pulpits of churches that "faithful Christians" drag their kids to on Sundays give your children license to verbally abuse, humiliate, and condemn the gay children they encounter at school. And many of your children—having listened to mom and dad talk about how gay marriage is a threat to family and how gay sex makes their magic sky friend Jesus cry—feel justified in physically abusing the LGBT children they encounter in their schools. You don't have to explicitly "encourage [your] children to mock, hurt, or intimidate" queer kids. Your encouragement—along with your hatred and fear—is implicit. It's here, it's clear, and we're seeing the fruits of it: dead children.

Oh, and those same dehumanizing bigotries that fill your straight children with hate? They fill your gay children with suicidal despair. And you have the nerve to ask me to be more careful with my words?

Did that hurt to hear? Good. But it couldn't have hurt nearly as much as what was said and done to Asher Brown and Justin Aaberg and Billy Lucas and Cody Barker and Seth Walsh and others—day in, day out for years—at
schools filled with bigoted little monsters created not in the image of a loving God but in the image of the hateful and false "followers of Christ" they call mom and dad.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chicago Tuesdays: Step by Step for Better Governance

Things may not be so bleak for Democrats this November, says Robert Creamer in HuffPo. Here's to hoping that he's right and that I won't be crucified for not voting straight party-line Democrat in two weeks. See, I just can't.
This is my line of reasoning and advice:
  • The Tea Party and Corporatist Munchers Can. Not. Win.
  • However, everyone needs to research all viable candidates.
  • When one does this, one may find that some candidates that are not specifically Tea Party and/or Republican are, in fact, Incompetent Corporatist Munchers.
  • These people also should not be given the keys.
  • One such person in the ICM Party is Alexi Gianoullias.
  • As mentioned here previously, Alexi is a failed bank executive who's risky ventures with his family's Uptown Bank were as reckless as any of the big losers on Wall St. He also somehow lost millions of dollars during his tenure as State Treasurer for an education program that, in hindsight, I'm glad my family never got to be a part of.
  • Of course, his opponent, Mark Kirk of the GoodOl'Boys Party - among being a serial liar, etc., etc., - displayed his dirty white boy politics a couple weeks ago by bragging about putting mostly White overseers (basically, the Intimidation Crew) in predominately Black neighborhoods, watching out for any nasty "jiggering" that may go on there... Of course those "lawyers and people" will undoubtedly look just like the people in the communities they go into and will not, under any circumstance, try to intimidate residents from voting...
  • Aww, who'm I kidding?
  • Sometimes, such monumental political FAILS, there is no choice but to unplug.
  • But, if we unplug, if we refuse to vote - to be engaged - the entrenched powers win. It's as simple as that. The fewer voters in general, the easier it is for them to amass the minimum votes necessary to stay in office.
  • Until it's too late.
  • What we need is a massive sea change. These kind of things take time. Lots of time.
  • The next two years may be a wash, however, for progressives. Our fate, we seem to be saying. We weren't able to convince the Supermajority Democrats to promote a truly progressive agenda, especially in the most important area of job creation and economic stability and accountability. Some things were accomplished (health care; some job creation), but others weren't (health care; comprehensive immigration reform; job creation). And now most forecasters are trending that Dems will likely lose the majority in the House and certainly be on the run in the Senate. Either way, there will actually be MORE morons running around in DC thanks in part to a strange synergy between the Toilet Paper Nimrods and the Dick Army Corporatists. Obviously, allowing Republicans may not be the best option, but then we have to start thinking long-range and if the options are so similar that it feels like you've taken a dumpy-whirl, well... Are we flushed? Hanging in the boys' bathroom, waiting for the final bell to ring or our mommies to bring clean clothes - desperately trying to dry our hair out before anyone notices the sure marks of the dreaded swirlie.
  • So, what's the option for those of us stuck with Evil and Stupid I v Evil and Stupid II? Pick someone else! For Chrissake's: Pick Someone Else!
  • My suggestion: Go Green, baby. They're the party concerned about sustainability, not just ecologically (which is important), but in terms of health care, education, economics, business and governing. So this year, they get 5, 10, 15%, maybe (hopefully! likely!) pick up a seat or two somewhere, next time they come back to fight, there'll be a referendum on the GODumbnuts and Democrats will fight to fight for us - just a little more. Next time, 15, 20, 25%, and so on... Equity builds. We all win.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Requiem for a smaller creature, with more legs...

The McRib is going national!

How much longer til THAT creature goes extinct?

Voice-over: Like a rib, it tastes like liberty. Like a rib, with a bun of sesame. We start with authentic, letter-graded meat, and process the hell out of it, till it's good enough for Krusty.
Krusty: Try my new Krusty Ribwich. Mmmm. I don't mind the taste.
Marge: Oooh, a new hamburger sandwich.
Homer Simpson: Wow, I can't wait to pack that into my colon!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

News of the Weird: Only in Wasilla

Radio Wagon Flyer from a pickup. Yep.

From AP:

Fred Keller and Judy Foster [of Wasilla, Alaska] worked on the vehicle for 11 months, using the base of a 1976 Mazda B1600 pickup truck.
The couple got the idea for their to-scale replica of the beloved childhood wagon after visiting a car show in summer 2009 in Oregon, and seeing another Radio Flyer, albeit that one on a hot rod.
"We said, 'We could use the Mazda for that,'" Foster, 67, said of the pickup which had sat undriven for about five years at their home. "We came home from our Portland trip, and about a day after, he was tearing the Mazda apart. No changing my mind."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Mis-Informant rings true

I swear this is how we're brainwashed from childhood to believe the lies that hurt us and enrich the rich.

"You want to be a doctor? That's the worst possible profession ever! Because Obamacare [reads palm] is going to take choice from doctors and so they're all going to quit."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chicago Tuesdays: The Politics of Politics

The Democrat idiot and Republican loser candidates for Illinois Senate (Obama's vacated seat) met on the air at NBC's Meet the Press with David Gregory the other day. Notably absent was any literate person with a plan for the US or Illinois. But that would entail the possibility that a major news network give equal hearing to a third party option. Because the only one on the ticket that's worth the ticket is LeAlan Jones.

In the words of Russ Stewart:
Both candidates, Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias are, at best, flawed, and, at worst, execrable. Voters feel as though they're choosing between a kick in the groin and a poke in the eye.
Kirk, a 10-year North Shore congressman, has come to be perceived as a serial liar, utterly devoid of principle, with no moral compass. In short, a crass opportunist and an ideological windsock. Giannoulias, the one-term state treasurer, is perceived as a clueless idiot, utterly lacking in judgment, whose performance as an officer at his now-defunct family bank was beyond inept. In short, out of his league.
The candidates' shortcomings -- Kirk's persistent exaggerations of his military record and Giannoulias's incompetence as treasurer and as a banker - mean that voters must choose the least unacceptable candidate. A plethora of media ads reinforce that theme: I'm not perfect, they say, but my opponent is worse.
Well, thank goodness for public radio, eh? The same questions that Gregory got to ask Mr. Military and Mr. Bank were also asked (in front of a much, much smaller audience) to Libertarian Party candidate Mike Labno and Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones. Take a listen.

On change since Obama took office: There has been very little change since he went into office. I think the president is an image that has really brought no equity to the voters who voted him in 2008 that thought that he was a voice of civility and credibility to their interests. The grassroots organizing skills that he won the presidency with have been lost to the corporate interests that are going to have to support him being there.

On earmarks: It’s very laughable [that Kirk says] that he’s sworn off earmarks for the 10th District, when many of those people are high net worth people who benefit when you have interest rates at zero. They’re the people who benefit when the Fed… buys bonds on the open market. So in terms of saying that they don’t need earmarks, that’s probably right when they have a fiscal and monetary policy that’s skewed to their lifestyles.

On spurring on the economy: The government has already run into problems The federal government needs to put resources in the hands of the people in the community that are actually in these communities and don't have banking relationships that are there: credit unions, shoring up pension funds, community co-ops, that have lost a lot of money over the years. But the sad thing about that... is that many of these people in the community have not built up the wherewithal to manage the resources you would put there, which creates a conundrum. We need a great deal of financial education in rural and urban communities so people can have a better management of their resources. Right now, there's gonna have to be a combination of working with the private sector, working with the public sector, and working with entrepreneurs that have been capitulated out of the job market for the last twenty-four months and creating a conversation out of these three entities. That will be the truest environment that can create the economic expansion that can create the employment levels that can help the suffering people right now.

Edward McClelland may have the last word, for now...
Of course, Jones can afford to tell the truth. He doesn’t have any campaign contributors paying him to say otherwise. That’s why he won the debate, but will lose the election.
But as I assert, if Illinois knew what was good for it, LeAlan would get the landslide...

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Facing Race Panel

Just the other day, I included a snippet from the great Van Jones from this video. It's long, but wonderful. Van is joined by white Anti-Racist activist Tim Wise, Voto Latino's Maria-Teresa Kumar, and the Applied Research Center's Rinku Sen were on a panel and talked about many issues affecting people of color in the States presently. Among the topics that they hit on in a compellingly creative and comprehensively are:

  • Immigration (Tim notes that during the 1920's, roughly a million people of Mexican descent were deported to Mexico, even though about 600,000 of those were American citizens);
  • Race-baiting and Reverse Discrimination attacks by Right/Nativist/White Supremacist pundits (and the Left's silence allowing the Right to define the discourse);
  • Color-blindness (and how that affects other issues, such as predatory lending, health, etc);
  • Gender and sex in the racial dynamics;
  • Racial equity;
  • Ecological equity;
  • Political activism/movements (I think it was Maria-Teresa who mentioned that progressives should use volunteers for transactions in the same way that the industries use lobbyists and their gifts as transactions with politicians. Brilliant);
  • Power acclimation (Specifically, progressives' Punk-Rawk-like fear of success).
This 1 1/2 hour vid is like a tasty grad-level course on race in the US and is definitely worth the listen.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Follow the Blood Trail 2

Imagine a city with two neighborhoods. It only has two neighborhoods because one of those neighborhoods expanded and conquered all the other neighborhoods. So now there are only two neighborhoods.

Neighborhood A (Alliance) is now encroaching on Neighborhood B's (The Bucks). Each neighborhood has youth gangs who represent, on the streets, the battles between the two neighborhoods. Alliance's gang is called The Valiant Warriors and the Buckians are called The Evil Terrorists. These are not the names that the gangs picked for themselves, but those that the city's newspapers and TV news (all controlled by the Alliance) pegged for them. And because the Alliance has control over all the media, it controls the message. So it doesn't matter that Alliance has the heavy weaponry, is starving and murdering Buckies, keeping them from resources to educate and employ their own, locking down the neighborhood and keeping others from entering to aid or enable them.

Yet, it's the Buckies who are called "Terrorists." And "Evil." And most people believe this to be the case because the Alliance runs the message. And in this message, the Buckians are a dangerous threat with their bats and bricks. They look different, even, then the Alliance. And they refuse to cave in to the more-than-generous relocation offers of the Alliance.

The Alliance and its Valiant Warriors need to defend themselves and their sacred land, women and children (ESPECIALLY the women and children!) from this menacing threat. And so they have bought guns and missiles and semiautomatic weapons and helicopters and fighter jets and machine guns and tankers. There are also rumors of a nuclear warhead. Just in case. "But don't worry!," we are reassured. "The Alliance is much too calm and placed and rational to ever consider actually using such a weapon. But we heard that the Evil Terrorists have all the makings of a dirty weapon of mass destruction at hand."

And it is for this possible frightening scenario that Buckians cannot get their hands on such seemingly innocuous products as toothpaste or school supplies. They can, however, get plenty of liquor cheaply. But any other supplies that so-called humanitarians wish to give to the Buckians, will have to go through a rigorous and demanding wall.

Now, imagine that some Alliance neighbors saw through the smoke, saw that their neighbors in the Bucks were suffering and badly and for no other reason than because they had what the Alliance wants. Imagine that they decide to help Buckians, despite what their family and friends think of them. Imagine that they set out to rescue Buckians, or give them aid, knowing full well that unless they make a dramatic gesture, the news of their work and the injustice of what is happening across town will not be carried by the newspapers, radio or tv stations. So they make big statements, carrying pencil sharpeners on river rafts in a doomed attempt to try to sail past the Valiant Warriors-led embargo. But that ends violently and sadly as the VW's shoot-to-kill first, board second, shoot-to-kill-at-close-range third, and detain and imprison fourth.

Imagine another group of Alliance neighbors standing in between the two neighborhoods as human shields. Trying to keep the VW's from launching helicopter, tanks, bombs and automatic weapons against the brick-wielding ET's. And as such, this ad hoc group of Alliance neighbors being labeled violent reactionaries. Because, of course, they highlight the violence that is already happening on a daily/hourly basis by placing their Alliance skins in between the Alliance grenades and Buckians' families and homes, they are somehow labeled as the perpetrators of violence and evil deeds.

Now, of course you don't have to do too much imagining. It's already happening.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Sunday Readings: Where is the world that hears the hurt?

Van (Target) Jones (12:00 in) on the silence of racism:

I think what bothers me the most is when I think about the ordinary folks who are hurt but now they can't holler. It's one thing to be hurt by racism but to be able to stand up and feel that the world is with you when you denounce it. It's something else now to be hurt by racism, to be in a community that's disproportionately impacted by all these things, to feel that you got a sock in your mouth.
And I wonder what that's going to do inside our communities. If you can't actually name your pain, if we can't holler when we're hurt, where does that hurt go?

What'cha Get Is What Ya Did wit Whatcha Had

Lincoln's Illinois. I'm sure he'd recognize the political landscape if he saw it now. Full of dimwits, half-wits and mass corruption - in both the party that he helped to establish and in that other party. I also have a feeling that he'd agree with me in not voting for any Republican, but in voting only for the Democrats who actually mean something.

Or maybe, standing just over my shoulder and looking into my skull, he'd just try to eat my brains. He is a two hundred-plus year old hugnry zombie and all...

Regardless, if one more Democrat tells me I have to vote for Alexi - the scion of banking scandal and irresponsibility himself - or else the Tea Bells Will Toll, I will sic a very hungry and feisty dog on him. Mr. Giannoulias and his RINO rival, the somewhat-moderate but bad liar Mark Kirk, represent most of what is wrong with politics in this state. And I see no change coming soon if we continue to do what we've been doing.

To choose between the lesser of two evils here would be to not cast a vote. However, I will choose the greater, to vote - for neither nincompoop. I am voting (and am asking you to vote for) LeAlan Jones (G).

Regardless of whether or not you agree with him, I ask that my fellow 'Noisians will vote for a third party rather than stay home November 2 (I'll stretch that out for everybody, period, in the States). And here's why:

Disaffection kills. We need to convince the powers that we are not happy. That we are not satisfied. That we will not sit down and be steamrolled by the politics of the few and monied. This is not a rich man's game. This is not a game at all; lives are at stake here.

The message if we are to stay home is that we do not care; they can do with us as they please because we will not interrupt their game. The message we send if we continue to vote as we have been voting is, "I know he loves me. He said so himself. He won't do it again. I can change him."

If we allow these two parties to continue to play the same game - specifically in this state - we'll get what we asked for. But I ain't asked for this. So please, at least for my sake, make your voice and dissent heard.

Update: In case you forget, my frustration with the Democratic Party in Illinois is largely local, and largely tied to the state of Illinois. Fortunately, most statewide Republicans are moderates, so there isn't the ultra Tea Party loon or War Hawk goon threat (as far as I know) even if, say, the GOP takes over Obama's old seat. But if you've been living under a rock and don't understand the deep-seated arrogance and corruption that has defined inter- and intra-state politics in this state, you can read up on some govs here.
*This post is partially a response to my friend Peter's post at Spirit of a Progressive.