The final choice

the final choice

It was always coming to this.

The signs were all there: The events, the crazy revelations, the tide of history itself, all led up to this moment, these people in this place under these circumstances. Even the taste in the mouth and the smells in the air felt inevitable. It could only have come to this, and the time was now.

Only one choice was left: Step forward and do it, or turn away and run back to the life that waited back there, unalterably changed forever by events but nonetheless waiting.

Funny how it all felt inevitable, and yet there were choices every step of the way. This time all the right choices had been made, and here they all were as if it had fallen into place, and now the final choice presented itself.

They didn’t have to do it.

But they did.

Finally, they all took a deep breath, blew it out, and breathed in.

No one said a word, but you could feel the words in the air: “All right, let’s do this.”

And they stepped forward.

The world has never been the same.

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10 reasons to celebrate freedom

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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

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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.

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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.

It doesn’t have to be what it is

“It is what it is.”

You hear that a lot these days, often with a tone of resignation. Someone is facing adversity, and you express condolences, and they shrug and say, “It is what it is.”

I agree that it is what it is, but you need to know it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Yes: It is what it is, but if you simply accept that fact, you’re in the wrong place.

It is what it is: This is where you start to fix it.

It’s vitally important that you be realistic, that you understand that this is what it is.

But.

Know that it doesn’t always have to be what it is. You have the power to fix what needs to be fixed so it isn’t this tomorrow, or next month, or next year.

Maybe you can’t change some of it all by yourself, and you’ll need help. But you can change something today. Even a little adjustment is a start.

It is what it is. But you can see to it that it becomes something better, starting today.

If statists ran Major League Baseball

Prince Fielder has just signed a nine-year, $214 million with the Detroit Tigers, an average of almost $24 million a year.

Obviously the gap between the richest and poorest baseball players is growing. Fielder’s deal amounts to more than 55 times the minimum baseball salary of $414,000.

Why should an elite few get mega-contracts while the average player struggles along on about $3 million a year? Justice demands that these fat cats be required to share a major portion of their wealth with their teammates and league mates.

Some would argue that Fielder earned his high salary through hard work and talent. This is a selfish viewpoint that ignores the victories he gained at the expense of other players. All I’m suggesting is that Fielder pay his fair share.

UPDATE: Edited to fix faulty math.