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In honor of the oppressed who gained some level of voice and empowerment in last night’s election, I decided to wear my Clash “Know Your Rights” t-shirt today. Ione and I were brushing our teeth (actually, I was brushing my teeth and she was just hanging out on the toilet) when she saw my shirt and asked, “Daddy, does your shirt say ‘now your rights’?”

“No, sweetie, it says Know. Know your rights.”

“But, daddy, you’re a left.”

Speaking of rights, this morning I came to the realization that I don’t have to be friends with anyone – on facebook that is. See, I’ve been getting riled up about what some people have entered as their “status.” I rile easy, and I de-rile with much work over a long period of time. So, avoiding the initial riling is important for my spiritual health and well being (not to mention the class project due tomorrow). After my blood boiled over one particularly shameful jingoistic “status” I read this morning, I was prepared to explode – figuratively and literally. And then, it occurred to me. I do not have to be facebook friends with individuals who express their vitriolic fear through jackassery. So, I deleted them and feel much better.

Speaking of jackassery, for many years I thought that word had been invented by my friend, Bill Power. Just a few years ago, I discovered it is a real word! I read it in a scholarly theological work on sin by Cornelius Plantinga. Who knew?

Speaking of Plantinga, he understands sin as the lack or absence of shalom (or, “the way things God intended them to be”). I think in last night’s election, a little bit of shalom was restored and the kingdom of God was made visible.

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I’ve seen a lot worse – for a lot less. But, seriously, don’t these people know they are supposed to run away once the police let go?

I’m just glad to see someone is finally taking this election seriously!

Little known fact: I was in favor of impeaching my FAVORITE president because he lied. It’s true. You can ask my wife. When I found out that Bill Clinton had lied to the American people, I thought (and deeply felt) he should be impeached. I just don’t think lieing is ok – especially by leaders. Maybe that’s why I hate politics and I have had a general sense of discomfort and angst over the last 5 weeks. Even the conservative press is calling McCain a big, fat liar – read it here.

God said, “thou shalt not lie.” I guess that means no God-fearing Christians are going to be voting for McCain, huh? At least the secret Muslim tells the truth.

My wife thinks I’m a wacko. She tries to persuade me rationally with “facts” she’s heard on the radio or read in a newspaper. I feel sorry for her.

It all became very clear to me while I was shopping in Safeway yesterday. Coke products: buy 2, get 3 free. Supply and demand. Voodoo economics. All that crap. It’s prime soft drink season – their peak, you might say. And, what are they doing? Giving it away.

Allow me to explain the high price of gas. No matter what Obama or the “news” or my wife says, there is no reason why gas couldn’t be $3.00 per gallon. Oh, just slow down, “Mr. I’m an expert on the price of oil because I watch CNN” and let me explain. The cost of gas has not gone up because of the war or because of limited supply. There is virtually just as much oil in the ground as there was 9 months ago when I was furious about gas prices pushing up past $3.00 per gallon. I used to think the prices had gone up because the oil industry was evil and our corrupt government was part of the evil oil industry and they were all just greedy and wanted to make a few bucks and thought killing a bunch of brown people was a good way to jack up the prices. Now, I know better – because John McCain is trying to sell me on the idea of off shore oil drilling – and, hell, if it will lower the cost of gas, I might even want it.

It all became very clear. Record profits. Even higher prices for the consumer. This whole damn thing has been an elaborate test market set up by the Coca-Cola corporation so they can charge me $27.89 for a 6 pack of Diet Coke next summer!

Bastards!

I simply do not understand the youth of today. The other day, I saw a teenage kid wearing a black t-shirt with large white block letters that spelled “GENERATION REAGAN” with a small iconic cut out of the Gipper’s head. Seeing as how the aforementioned youth who was wearing the shirt was in high school, there is no way he was even alive when Reagan was in office.

My initial reaction was that this teen was obviously making an anti-capitalist, anti-militaristic, anti-liar-istic statement. But, then… I mean, ya never know. Could Ronald Reagan somehow be an icon of antidisestablishmentarianism? Could this t-shirt represent the hope for a brighter future via a call back to the good old days when the president wasn’t an unpopular Republican who hated the poor and killed dark skinned people in foreign lands while telling lies to the American people, but instead was a popular Republican who hated the poor and killed dark skinned people in foreign lands while telling lies to the American people?


I had to know. So, I googled.

I did find some quality clothing including the shirt sporting a pic of Reagan above the words “zip it, hippie.” There was one that labeled Reagan “Hero” in big block letters. “I heart Ronald Reagan.” I found “Viva La Reagan Revolution” quite inspiring despite the obvious irony. But, out of the 148,000 matches for “Ronald Reagan T-Shirt,” Google could not find a single anti-Reagan slogan.

Kids today.

What happened to the good ol’ days when we rebelled AGAINST those in power and made records like Wasted Youth’s Reagan’s In, We’re Gone For Good? I miss the simplicity of my childhood.

This is sure to get a lot of positive feedback, I’m sure. So, before you spend your valuable time writing a comment instead of waiting in a line to vote, let me warn you. I’ve already been told A) voting is my responsibility, right, and/or privilege; B) that I’m not allowed to complain if I don’t vote; C) I can’t make a difference unless I vote. And, here is my preemptive strike: A) voting is the opiate of the masses; B) who says I can’t complain? what do you mean by “can’t”? who started making these rules? did they take on a vote on this?; C) my vote doesn’t make a difference and it never will.

Now that all that is out of the way, may I please say what I want to say and not be interrupted by pro-voting polemics? Thank you.

Unfortunately, I have voted in the past. I say unfortunately, because the candidate I chose actually won. But, guess what? He was a LIAR! I was a one issue voter (state college tuition increases) in the 1990 election for California governor. I only cared about one thing. So, I found the candidate who said, “I will not raise tuition!” I voted for him. He won. The next semester my tuition doubled and it increased more than 350% in the next two years. Lesson 1: Politicians lie. Don’t trust them. And, certainly don’t encourage their behavior by voting for them.

I was so disenfranchised that I didn’t vote for another 10 years. Against my better judgement, I took part in the 2000 Presidential election. And, guess what? The guy I vote for won! Woo hoo! I’m two for two! I voted for the winner, unfortunately, he never made it to the White House – apparently, there was a military coup or something that year. Lesson 2: Politicians steal. Don’t trust them. Actually, your vote doesn’t count.

2008: Obama vs. McCain. I don’t want either one of them. The candidate I was excited about is getting prepared to concede. Talk about the ol’ bait and switch! Get me all excited about something, DNC and then the old switcheroo! So, there. I’m not excited about either one, so I’m not going to vote for either one. I’m certainly more interested in Obama, but, according to my experience, that’s just proof he is a liar or destined to be a Nobel Peace Prize winning non-president. Lesson 3: There are better things to put your hope in than politics.

My favorite president during my lifetime has been Bill Clinton. Guess how many times I voted for him? None. Zip. Zilch. Zero. See? I’m better off not voting.

Honestly, right now, I’m more interested in rioting over gas prices.