29 January 2009


A Good Offense Being the Best Defense....

A couple of postulates:

(1) Our wiring is such that we are more likely to take offense when no offense is given than we are to not take offense when offense is given.

(2) The fraction of times that offense is taken is greater, maybe substantially greater, than the fraction of times that offense is given.

Does (1) lead to (2)? I've got some preliminary event trees drawn out, but won't share until I take time to work it through. In the meantime, can't each of us choose to reduce our own incidence of taking offense when none is given by adopting the presumption that by-and-large offense is neither intended nor even given? Isn't it our responsibility to do so?

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21 January 2009


Adios a la Passado, and Back to the Beginning

When everyone was expecting Lincoln, Obama gave us Washington. at Valley Forge, quoting Thomas Payne.

My favorite segment from the speech:
But those values upon which our success depends — honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
Good luck, Mr. President.

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19 January 2009


A Small Rant (Number 492,696)

Yeah, I know, I've been quiet when I should be getting all excited about tomorrow's inauguration of President Obama.

I am excited, but my lingering disappointment in the LGBT movement—both in terms of moving forward after the November losses and in terms of not being able to move past focusing on distractions like Rick Warren—has just left me a little fried. I wish I could make more of a difference in moving LGBT rights forward, but I'm unclear how to do so. And I'm easily distracted by the day-to-day fulfilling of my family, personal, and professional obligations.

The only LGBT leaders who seem to me to have a clue are the actual politicians: the Barney Franks and Tammy Baldwins. The rest—activists, media/blogger types, and much of the community that I see online and in person—seem clueless. Anger seems to count for action, and the only action happening is anger.

We got our butts kicked here in Florida, and the local LGBT leadership goes on with their heads up their asses acting like nothing happened. Like November 4 doesn't deserve some kind of response beyond "we have really big plans for this year." The usual suspects—The Human Rights Campaign and Equality Florida, in particular—continue down their merry path in the delusion that they're going to be effective lobbying the reactionary Florida legislature (even more reactionary after November, since the local Democratic party gives the GOP a bye in just about ever district in which there's not already a Democratic legislator) for items like domestic partner benefits. The same people who led us to defeat in November are still running the show, but I see individual after individual on Facebook keep signing up as a supporter of the Human Rights Campaign. They may even think I'd want them to do so.

I certainly don't mean to declare "game over," but there is a time to actually take the safety, hunker down, and figure out what to do next. I don't see much of that happening. Instead, there's either Obama euphoria (Gene Robinson!), Obama disappointment (Rick Warren!), or floundering activity on an LGBT rights agenda that's going nowhere in the Florida legislature.

So, that's the report from Florida, 19 January 2009.

p.s. I am thrilled about President Obama, because I realize how far we've come as a nation in my lifetime regarding matters of race. But I remain dejected and irritated about my LGBT community, a community that seems not to have the slightest clue how to secure the rights that flow to its members as naturally as breathing air.

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10 January 2009


Bald Eagles

These are from a local bike ride one day before Christmas. Excerpts are at the original resolution. Click on the image to see it in Flickr, then click All Sizes -> Original if you want to see the entire image at full resolution.


Eagles Excerpt

Screaming Eagles

Screaming Eagles Excerpt

Bald Eagles

Bald Eagles Excerpt


01 January 2009


Happy 2009

We're off to Marco Island in southwest Florida for a few days. I've got to be there for a meeting on Sunday.

Hope each and every one of you have a fantastic 2009.

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