10 reasons to celebrate freedom


A long time ago in a land of hope and plenty, a perfect union was formed. But after a few years people got together to try again, declaring the new arrangement was “a more perfect union.”

Even at that, they perceived something was missing from their founding document. They made 10 additions. Continue reading


We need a little Christmas


The social media discussion was about how early Christmas arrives nowadays and whether that’s a good thing. The consensus was no, in the sense that store displays and sales starting in September or October are pretty over-the-top.

The original lyrics to “We Need a Little Christmas” were pointed out – in the musical “Mame,” Auntie starts to sing “Haul out the holly” and get the Christmas trimmings up, but the objection is that “it’s only one week past Thanksgiving Day.”

Yep, a week after Thanksgiving was considered a little early as recently as 1966, when the musical was first produced.

It’s kind of insane to see all the commercial reminders of the Christmas shopping season so very far in advance of the actual day when we share gifts with our loved ones.

But you know what?

We do need a little Christmas, not before Thanksgiving and not in September or October, but year-round.

No, not THAT Christmas, but the one that reflects the original promise of the season.

You know:

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

I dare say the prophet got it a little wrong, because when the Prince of Peace did finally show up, he was the opposite of a guy who would have had much to do with the government.

But he did have a lot to say, some of it pretty darn blunt and some of it pretty darn beautiful, and the thing he said that sticks with me is when somebody asked what the most important law is, he replied as follows:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22: 37-40)

Love God and love one another. How different the world would be if everyone just followed those two commandments, don’t you think? Imagine how different the political campaign season would have been.

Christmas is about celebrating the birth of the guy who preached that philosophy. The other big-time Christian holiday, Easter, celebrates the guy’s immortality. For Christians who pay attention, every day is Christmas and every day is Easter.

So yes, Christmas season comes way too early in the sense that the social media conversation was going. But in the original sense, well, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute, and always.

It’s easy: Vote for who you want.


The latest from my day job:

As a habitual voter of third parties and an occasional purchaser of lottery tickets, I am always amused by the warnings about the dire consequences of voting third parties.

Those folks have been very active as the major parties careen toward a fall election that will match two of the most disliked politicians of our present era. It’s said that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have disapproval ratings north of 60 percent each.

“If you don’t vote for Trump, it’s a vote for Clinton,” holler alarmed Republicans. “If you don’t support Clinton, it’s a vote for Trump,” scream alarmed Democrats.

Well, no. A vote for Trump is a vote for Trump, period. A vote for Clinton is a vote for Clinton, period. A vote for someone else is a vote for someone else, period.

According to Google The Great and Powerful, if the November 2016 election were to mirror the 2012 turnout, my individual vote will be one of more than 3 million votes cast in Wisconsin that day. The odds that I will win today’s Badger 5 jackpot are twice as good as the odds my single vote will be the deciding factor in determining Wisconsin’s Electoral College votes for president.

Given those odds, for my own peace of mind, I will research and vote for the candidate whose views on the issues most closely mirror my own. Then, over the next four years, I will at least be able to say, “Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for that (insert the noun of your choice here).”

For the past 240 years, and at least for the time being, this has been a representative republic. What that means is we collectively choose the candidate who represents our beliefs better than any of the other candidates, theoretically at least.

It doesn’t mean we vote for who we consider the most electable candidate. It doesn’t mean we vote for whoever our preferred party puts up. It doesn’t mean we ignore our personal beliefs and choose the lesser of two evils.

It means exactly what the term “representative republic” implies: We should vote for the candidate who represents us.

I know what you’re thinking because I have had this conversation many times before: “OK, Warren, if you want to waste your vote, go ahead. But I’m at least going to vote for someone who has a chance to win.”

Why would you do that, especially in a year like this one? I know, you think only the major-party candidates have a real chance to win the election, so you should ignore all of the small-party candidates, even when you absolutely agree with how they say they would run the U.S. government.

But why? If you dislike or even hate the way the two major parties run the government, why would you vote for the major party candidate who would run it slightly less badly than the other major party candidate?

What happens if you vote instead for the candidate you agree with? Worst case scenario, nothing. Better case scenario, a great many people also vote that way and the numbers will draw attention to worthy candidates from smaller parties. Best case scenario, we actually get a president whose values and beliefs reflect a majority of Americans.

I know I’m spitting into the wind.

I know a lot of people are thinking, “I think Hillary Clinton will make a terrible president, but if I don’t vote for her then Donald Trump will win and that will be worse.”

I know a lot of people are thinking, “I think Donald Trump will make a terrible president, but if I don’t vote for him then Hillary Clinton will win and that will be worse.”

So, OK, if you want to waste your vote, go ahead. But I’m going to vote for someone who would actually represent me.

Creative log:

Friday, May 20, 2016: Krayatura 1 – 0/9,127/60,000; Reviewed existing projects with goal of setting deadlines and release dates; brainstormed new project ideas

Where to find a hero when you need one

Where are the heroes of yesteryear when we need them, we wonder?

We wait and search, asking, “I remember a hero and he/she saved us all, or at least saved enough of us to prove themselves a hero. Where are they today?”

These pretenders who step forward and declare, “Let me be your hero” – none of them are adequate. In the end, waiting for a hero to arrive is a fruitless enterprise.

Better to reach inside and do the things a hero would do if there were a hero here. In doing so, you might just make yourself a hero.