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Friday, November 30, 2012

An Homage to Magnificent Friends



Photo from Fun Stuff To Do.com


There is a post going around Facebook that reads:

*For someone I love and admire greatly! THE BEAUTIFUL WOMAN AND WARRIOR AWARD!**
The game is as follows ... Once selected, you have to choose 10 women on Facebook you believe deserve the award, copy and paste this on their wall, you must be honest, This is a way to show your respect and admiration for women who should be told their worth! If you receive it over three times, consider yourself really a beautiful woman and warrior, if you break the game nothing will happen, but it's nice to know that someone appreciates and admires you ... and you're a beautiful person inside and out! I chose you!!~~ ♥ ~~


I like this very much. I have sent it to many of my friends, because this is exactly how I feel about them. But my friend, Judi asked an interesting question Friday morning-what do you do if this how you feel about all your friends? 

Over the past two years, I have met amazing, powerful and wonderful women. I met them through We Are Woman, through Facebook, through my early writing and through mutual friends. There are too many to name, and too many to single out for their magnificence, but if I could, this is what I would say to each one.

Thank you. Thank you for pushing me and encouraging me and loving me and supporting me. Thank you for your bravery and your brilliance and your friendship. You have each, in your own way, inspired me. The past few weeks have been a little weird, as a lot of my friends know, and never once did anyone say "Well, if you're not writing for tens of thousands of people anymore, I'm not going to be your friend." Oh, I lost a few people who latched onto me because of some imaginary notoriety that I don't have, but 99% of the people I have met over the past two years are still with me. And that's truly a blessing.

Now, before all my male friends begin gnashing their teeth, you inspire me as well. I've met astonishingly gifted writers, reconnected with friends from high school and Disney and consider it an honor to know you all. 

So, I would change that Facebook post to read "The beautiful person and warrior award," because I know so many warriors, men and women alike. Men who have battled horrors and come out of that empathetic and genuine and loving. Women who have dealt with sorrow and loss and pain, yet have the best senses of humor I've ever come across. Smart asses, snark masters, geniuses, blue collar, white collar, no collar. You all add so much to my life.

As we wind down 2012, I think a meet and greet is in order. Sort of a Facebook Reunion with Drinks and Bail Money. Someone suggested Vegas, which is hilarious. Can you see us all in Vegas? Butts glued to the stool at the Antiques Roadshow machine or the craps table, screaming across the casino floor "PEGGY! I won a DOLLAR!" We could visit the Wax Museum-I have a great photo of my husband pretending to punch former president George W. Bush's figurine in the nuts. Whatcha think, kids? A few days this summer in Vegas? (Shut up, it's a dry heat.)

In all seriousness, thank you. Thank you to my warrior women and warrior men for your love and friendship, your wisdom and your respect. I hope in 2013 to continue to earn it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Can We Stop The Kill the Gays Bill?



Photo from 2gayguys.blogspot.com

The Ugandan government is poised to pass into law the notorious "Kill the Gays Bill" before the end of 2012. All Out.org reported yesterday, November 28th, that contrary to some media reports, the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality" has not been removed from the bill and until the Ugandan parliament makes the bill public, "we must assume the bill contains the death penalty for gays," said Andre Banks, executive director and co-founder of All Out.

Many prominent "Christian" leaders and right wing pundits in America support this bill. These men and women understand that the bill calls for the death penalty for homosexuals, and they are perfectly fine with that. The Human Rights Campaign posted two screen shots this past Monday-Tweets from Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. Mr. Perkins wrote "American liberals are upset Ugandan Pres is leading his nation in repentance--afraid of a modern example of a nation prospered by God?" Mr. Fischer's Tweet was even more repulsive: "Homosexuality now against the law in Uganda, just as it was for 200 years in the US. It can be done."

As both Tony Perkins and Bryan Fischer sat at their desks, wearing mixed fabric shirts and beardless, I asked myself the same question I always ask myself when either of these men go off on their tirades against the LGBT community. What is the big deal with gay people? It's the only law from Leviticus modern fundamentalists are obsessed with, it's the only part of the "old covenant" modern fundamentalists cling to with both hands. I don't see millions of right wing Christian women living in red tents one week out of the month, I certainly don't see adulterers being stoned to death in the streets, and watching all the church goers line up outside Red Lobster on Sundays tells me they're not following the dietary laws either. This blatant hypocrisy and "pick and choose" attitude when it comes to the Bible then begs the question-what's the big deal with gay people?

I have a theory. It's not all gay people that bother fundamentalists; it's gay men. When you look at the states in America that download and view the most porn, the majority of those states are red states. And many straight men enjoy "lesbian" porn. (I put lesbian in quotation marks because two straight women getting paid to have sex on film isn't exactly a lesbian relationship. Porn isn't exactly a relationship either, now that I think about it.) Most right wing Christians don't know any gay people, and if they do, odds are they've thrown those kids out onto the street already. So, for a right wing Christian, the only gay people they've ever seen are straight female porn stars pretending to be lesbians or some bizarre representation shown them by their hell fire preacher on Sunday.

To fundamentalist Christians like Bryan Fischer, Tony Perkins, Scott Lively and Lou Engle (Lively and Engle are two of the most outspoken and active supporters of the Kill the Gays Bill), homosexuality has nothing to do with love. Look at what Bryan Fischer has said about the LGBT community: the Nazi soldiers were all gay, all homosexuals are pedophiles, the LGBT community is out to get your children and turn them gay. Tony Perkins isn't any better, with his traditional marriage bullshit and absolute lies about kids raised by gay parents. Oh, and when the LGBT community and their allies boycotted Chick-Fil-A? It wasn't about the Cathy family's statement, it was about the fact that they donate money to the Family Research Council which supports the Kill the Gays Bill. The Cathy family can say whatever they want, but when they donate money to a hate group that supports murdering people for who they love, then we have a problem.

Can we stop this bill? Well, we, meaning you and I may not be able to, but the US can do something to persuade the Ugandan government to reject this horrible legislation. According to Foreign Assistance.gov, the United States has $461 million in planned assistance marked for Uganda in 2013. Tell them no. Tell Uganda that if they go forward with this bill to imprison and kill members of the LGBT community, they're not getting another penny from the United States. We won't help them find Kony, we won't help them train their army, we won't help them kill gay people. We're done.

We bully other countries over oil or because they might have a nuclear weapon in 4 years, but we won't use a bully pulpit for this? To save innocent lives? Is the US government that afraid of people like Lou Engle and Scott Lively? For God's sake, one of Michele Bachmann's former campaign aides, Peter Waldron, is an admirer of Martin Ssempa, the fervently anti-gay Ugandan pastor. Waldron even spoke at Ssempa's church.

The American far right Christian connection to the Ugandan Kill the Gays Bill is deep and strong and obviously powerful if our own government won't step up and tell Uganda no more money unless you end this horror. We have a month, probably less, to stop this bill from becoming law. Please visit www.allout.org to sign a petition and learn more.

Thanks to Human Rights Campaign, All Out.org, Foreign Assistance.gov and Huffington Post.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Did Jezebel Go Too Far?


Image from Facebook.com



In the hours and days following the reelection of President Obama, some pretty disturbing comments began showing up on social media sites, especially Twitter. These comments were riddled with hateful language, racism and bigotry toward President Obama. The "N" word was used, comparisons to a monkey were made, even thinly veiled assassination threats appeared in record numbers online. Blogs and websites noticed and began reporting on the waves of hate permeating the web.

Quite a few teenagers voiced their thoughts on President Obama's reelection, which I found odd, since none of them can vote. Some were happy, like our son, some were ambivalent, and some were incredibly angry. The level of vitriol, ignorance and flat out racism contained in the posts from the angry teens was astonishing. As a mother, these were very difficult to read.

One online site did read them, and published them. Jezebel published screen shots of numerous Tweets from kids my son's age and a little older. Again, these Tweets were horrible-racist, hateful, ignorant and just plain evil. And I have no problem exposing hate on the Internet; I've done it numerous times. In fact, I exposed Caiden Cowger, a tween with his own radio show who spouts some of the most divisive and nasty rhetoric I've ever heard. But he's a "celebrity," he's not just some douche-y kid from the Midwest or the South who has no impulse control.

Kids do things online they would never do in real life, which is why our son does not have a Facebook account or a Twitter account. Look at Amanda Todd. Her nightmare began when, at age 12, she flashed a stranger her breasts online. Now, would a 12-year old girl do that say in the mall or in a restaurant? Of course not, but tweens and teens have this odd belief that the Internet is safer than real life, when the opposite is true.

Back to the Jezebel article. I read their first piece, and something in my stomach flipped over just a bit. I didn't like this-I didn't like a website shaming teenagers. So when Jezebel proudly announced what they had done TO these teenagers, my initial response was "Oh lord, no." Jezebel contacted the schools some of these teenagers attend and shared the Tweets with administrators.

Children learn what they live. These kids were not born hateful and racist and mean. They learned that from their parents. Shaming these teenagers and possibly ruining their futures is not going to help them grow or change or learn tolerance and love. It's going to make them angrier and motivate their families to instill even more fear and ignorance and hate in their hearts and souls. By publicly attempting (and possibly succeeding) to ruin quite a few teenagers' lives and futures, what Jezebel actually did was continue the cycle.

My first piece on Caiden Cowger was pretty snarky. My second piece was not. My second piece focused on the parenting that created Caiden. I learned something-the first piece, the "attack" piece did very well. The second piece, which was not angry but almost philosophical, did not generate the traffic or the "hits" that the first one did. Being the naive person I am, I was really surprised by this, until I realized that it doesn't matter who you shame, as long as you shame someone. Jezebel knows this, and when their editor-in-chief was interviewed on CNN recently about these articles, she admitted these pieces had generated a lot of traffic.

I won't write those pieces anymore, because I understand the only way to help the child is to change the parents. Our son has been raised to value equality and to never judge anyone by the way they look. He is being taught love and tolerance and acceptance, and I believe he will take that into adulthood, much like a child raised with hate and racism and ignorance and bigotry will take that into adulthood. If you can reach the parents in time, there is a chance for the child.

This is just my opinion, and I know many people who were thrilled that Jezebel shamed a bunch of teenagers, called their schools, and possibly destroyed their futures. I'm not. I'm not thrilled that a website I usually love succumbed to the "shame for shares" virus and went after kids the same age as our son. Teenagers are impulsive by nature, and if a teen is growing up surrounded by hate and Fox News and right wing rhetoric, what else are they going to believe? Their parents don't read books written by anyone other than Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, odds are they don't believe in evolution, and you can bet your sweet ass that the "N" word is used over dinner. How does what Jezebel did help those kids?

It doesn't. It helps Jezebel, and it helps liberals pat ourselves on the back and say "Our kids would never do that, I hope those awful teenagers get exactly what they deserve." What they deserve is to be raised in a home that doesn't feed on hate, that doesn't think President Obama is less of a person because he is African American, and what they really deserve is someone to sit down with them and show them the real world. When you take an angry kid and make them angrier, the odds of positive change occurring in their lives are diminished substantially. And when you go out of your way to destroy a teenager who lives what they learn without addressing the family dynamic, you aren't any better than the parents raising that teenager to hate and bully.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Policy? Not exactly.

This is from the "Comment policy" section of Mad Mike's America:

"Offensive behavior – Pretty straightforward really, The comment forum isn’t a place for offensive behavior of any kind. Fundamentally that applies to unnecessary swearing and /or abusing readers or contributors in any way.  If you insult any author or contributor your comment will be deleted.  A spirited debate is encouraged but name calling is not."


Okay? Now this is part of the comment that led me to quit writing for Mad Mike's America:

I was trying to be nice. You are trying to be obstinate, shrill and unbending. SO I'll will say it. You're a goddamned liar (pun intended). 

Bold and italics mine, grammar error not mine.

The person who wrote this comment, the man who attacked me personally, violating the "policy" at Mad Mike's America is now a writer for Mad Mike's America. I guess he's my replacement. 

I realized something the other day. The reason this bothers me so much and I have allowed it to hurt is because I thought Mad Mike and I were friends. Then I remembered-I actually don't have friends in "real life." I keep confusing having friends online with having friends in person. I have no friends "in person."

Look how easily I am replaced at Mad Mike's America. Obviously, my writing was not as good as people led me to believe if I can be replaced so quickly and by the person who bullied me out of writing for a large audience. Or any audience, since people don't really read this blog.

Read this, or don't, but don't comment, don't "pity." I'm just trying to understand how, at the age of 46, I have no friends. My husband has people from work he waves at in the store, but no friends either. 

See, here's the thing-if you looked at the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder, and then at me, you would notice I don't meet any of that criteria anymore. The self-harm, the unstable relationships, the dangerous behavior; I don't DO that now. What I do continue to practice is low self esteem, a lack of trust and I am emotional. 


When James Smith violated the comment policy by attacking me personally, that hit all three of my triggers. It told my self esteem I can fit in a thimble that I was a horrible person for standing up for myself. The lack of response from the editor when James Smith did exactly what is not allowed, according to the policy, told me my trust had been misplaced. And the name calling (which had actually happened in other comments, too) created an emotional response. The fact that James Smith has been "hired" as the newest writer for Mad Mike's America was incredibly difficult to handle, and to some extent, still is.

I had a lot of friends when I was mentally ill. I was the life of the party, hell, I WAS the party. Now, I'm just me. A person who doesn't trust easily, a person who doesn't like themselves very much and a person who cries at those Christmas Maxwell House coffee commercials. And who cried the day I realized that my trust in someone I thought was my friend was misplaced. This hurt, a lot. 

So, I'll muddle through. Obviously, tens of thousands of people will never read what I write again, and maybe they weren't in the first place, who knows. But perhaps, this all happened for a reason. Maybe this is one of those closed doors, opened window moments. We'll see.







Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Useful Hand and Pinkie Strength


My mom and me.

Four years ago today, November 14th, my mom died. She was in a hospital room in Reston, Virginia with my dad. He told me when he called that night, around midnight, that her face completely relaxed and she looked very peaceful.

It wasn't always good with my mom. Often it was awful, but today of all days, I remember the positive moments, the loving moments and the silly and unique things my mom and I said and did with each other. Like Useful Hand.

When I was little, I had long, very thick hair. It was difficult for me to wash, so my mom and I would drag a dining room chair into the kitchen of our house in San Diego so she could wash my hair. I would clamber up and put my head over the kitchen sink, my mom would get the water just the right temperature and she would lather my hair with shampoo that smelled like flowers, telling me stories while she gently worked the knots out. "Rapunzel," "Snow White," and my absolute favorite "Sleeping Beauty" would be softly spoken as  I held a washcloth to my eyes, protecting them from the shampoo.

Once we were done, my mom would comb my hair out and wait for it to dry. When it was dry, it was time for Useful Hand. Useful Hand was necessary for a certain hairstyle, where the back of the hair stays down, but the front and top are pulled into a ponytail. In order to accomplish this, my mom needed my help. She would brush my hair until it shined, then she would grab a rubber band and say "Okay, Useful Hand!" My hand shot up and grabbed the pony tail so my mom could get it into the band. One ribbon later and I was done.

I really believed that if I were strong enough, and could somehow get that strength into my mom, I could make her feel better. This was known as Pinkie Strength. When my mom was really not feeling well, I would sit down next to her and hold out my hand. We would join our pinkies together, and I'd close my eyes, willing as much strength as possible into my mother. She swore it worked, even when I did it in October of 2008. I had flown in to help my dad find a home health care worker and take care of my mom that October, and towards the end of my visit, I realized that my mom was done.

She was exhausted. Imagine having a disease like rheumatoid arthritis for 50 years. Imagine having a permanent staph infection that ate holes in your thighs. Imagine having a drain coming out your body that was attached on the inside to your liver and on the outside to a bag which filled with bile and had to be emptied, but not before the level of bile was measured and recorded. Imagine having at least three strokes, one that caused aphasia and one that rendered you deaf in one ear. Imagine loving to paint and watching your hands cripple and curl and bend. Imagine loving to walk with your grandson and being confined to a wheelchair. And finally imagine that when you and your body realize you cannot do this anymore, your only daughter is in your house trying to help you live.

Four years ago today, November 14th, my mom died. She began the process that week in October, and I like to think that the morning she and I were sitting at the kitchen table and we did Pinkie Strength, I was able to somehow send her the power to let go. We, my dad and I, found that power too. We let go, but we never forget and we never stop loving her. You have to. Unending grief will drive you mad, and I do not believe my mom would have wanted us to wallow in our missing of her.

Today I remember, but I do not let the sadness control me. I think about the amazing and wonderful memories-my mom, watching our son toddle around her house, not really caring if he broke something because he was so perfect, how my mom's salutation to me in all her letters was "Hi Sweetcakes," the moments when we would laugh so hard we would cry and how she tried to love us. I love her, and miss her terribly every day, but especially today.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's So Simple



Photo from The Daily Mail


If you're married, be married. Be monogamous, be faithful, be a good partner. If you're married and you suddenly have a burning desire to date, GET A DIVORCE. Do not drag your spouse down into the hell that is adultery. Do not think "Oh, he/she will never know."

So many in the media (and Pat Robertson) are blaming Paula Broadwell for the affair between she and David Patraeus, as though for the year or so she and Patraeus were having their "fling," he was tied up in her basement. It takes two to tango, kids, and, quite frankly, if I hear one more person say "She threw herself at him," I may just scream. So what? So what if she knocked on his hotel room door wearing nothing but a trench coat and a smile? He's married. He could have said "Wow, this is super flattering and my goodness aren't your arms toned, but I really love my wife and I have no desire to cheat on her, thanks so much."

If it was the other way around, and David Patraeus sauntered into her office with a box of Godiva truffles and 4 condoms, she, also being married, could have said "Ooo chocolate, I really could use that, thanks, as to the other thing, no, I'm married and I love my family and I don't want to do this."

Neither of these adults did that. They had an affair. The director of the CIA had an affair. And that's where it gets really dicey. You see, members of the intelligence community are supposed to hold themselves to a higher standard than the average Joe. For example-no behavior that could result in you being blackmailed or allow you to purposely or accidentally reveal confidential information. Ms. Broadwell made a rather strange comment during a speech in October about the horrible events in Benghazi. She stated that there were Libyan hostages in the CIA annex and the attack may have been a rescue attempt. Where did she ever get that idea?

So, what can we learn from this? Don't cheat on your spouse. Oh and don't cheat on your spouse. And the last thing of course, which is don't cheat on your spouse. And when someone like David Patraeus is discovered to have cheated on his wife, maybe the media should not go looking for advice from Newt Gingrich and his former mistress-now-wife, Callista.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Las Vegas convention or Scam?



*I took the screen shot above simply to prove the link A) did exist and B) has expired.

In the wee hours of November 11th, a Facebook page disappeared. Entitled "We are firing employees who voted for Obama or Gary Johnson," the page was filled with angry conservatives who jumped at the chance to violate federal labor law by finding out how their employees voted and firing them if they did not vote for Mitt Romney. My friend, John Henry, first shared the link to the page, and since I am a curious creature, I went over for a look.

As I perused the page, I noticed an event had been created in conjunction with the message of firing people who voted for President Obama or Gary Johnson. I clicked the link and was taken to a page purportedly promoting a convention or meeting in Las Vegas this coming December. The theme of this event was how to fire employees who voted for President Obama or Gary Johnson. The creators had a poster mock up, and were giving away a book with "advance ticket sales." The word "purchase" was also used, leading me to believe that there was money exchanging hands, if not now then in the future. The event also had a Google map inserted into the top portion of the page.

According to the address shown on the Google map, 3275 Paradise Road in Las Vegas, this event was taking place at the Courtyard Marriott, December 8-9, 2012. Now, I'm a former concierge and guest services supervisor and also an ardent fan of the Marriott corporation. My "Spidey senses" went haywire. There was no way that the Marriott corporation would allow their name to be attached to something like this, and I also knew that in order to put this together the way a normal convention or event came together, months of planning must have gone into it. You needed blocks of rooms, a venue reserved, you needed to contact the hotel restaurant and secure banquet menus, and the sales office would have to be involved. It would have been virtually impossible to just "come up with this" at a moment's notice.

So, I called the Courtyard Marriott on Paradise Road in Las Vegas. After speaking with a member of the front office staff, I knew I was right. This extremely helpful young woman informed me there were no events scheduled for those dates. I did not make my findings public, as I was planning to contact the original Facebook page and inquire as to ticket prices. Imagine my surprise when I realized the page was gone. The event page has also disappeared.

What happened? My guess, and this is only a guess, is that Vegas is a small town, and I was probably not the only person making calls and asking questions. I believe the creator of both the Facebook page and the event is from Las Vegas, simply because if he or she were from say California, he or she would have used a California hotel or meeting place for this occasion. Perhaps people with experience in labor law explained to the creator of the page that you can't actually do what they wanted to do. And maybe people called the Courtyard Marriott to book their rooms for this event and were told there was nothing scheduled, no convention, no event at all.

I truly hope no one actually purchased tickets for this, if it is indeed a scam. The Courtyard Marriott linked in the Google map is completely unaware of anything happening at their hotel on the dates promoted by "We are firing employees who voted for Obama or Gary Johnson," both the Facebook page and page for the event in December have disappeared, and Google searches for anything with those key words reveal that what was up last night at 9:30 is now gone.

On the off chance that there is, in fact, a convention/meeting taking place in Las Vegas this coming December 8th and 9th featuring ways to fire employees who voted for President Obama or Gary Johnson, it says something very ugly about our country. The man behind Papa John's has stated that he will have to cut hours and lay people off because President Obama was reelected and he cannot "afford" Obamacare. The creators of "We are firing employees who voted for Obama or Gary Johnson" claimed to be part of the 1%. John Schnatter, Papa John's founder, lives in a 40,000 square foot "castle" with a 22-car garage and its own golf course.

Suffering. I don't think that word means what the 1% thinks it means.

UPDATE: They're back. Both the Facebook page and the event page are back up. Thanks to John Henry, I Internet ran over to the event page and screenshotted it, just in case. The Google map is still up, the verbiage "purchase" and "sales" are still being used and the dates are the same. Here are the screen shots and the link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/393126640772373/








Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Ugliness and the Hope

On Tuesday, November 6th, we reelected President Barack Obama. It was not the blowout of 2008, but it was a message to the powers that want to be. Republican politicians who had made horrific comments about rape were tossed out on their ears, Allen West lost, Joe Walsh lost, Tommy Thompson lost and Michele Bachmann came closer that she ever has to losing Minnesota's 6th district. It was a good night to be a Democrat.

Here in Minnesota, we had two amendments on our ballot that disturbed many people. One was a Voter ID amendment and the other was an amendment to define marriage as one man and one woman. Both were struck down, but the fact that they even appeared on our ballots was, well, here's how my dad put it:

I found it kind of depressing to even have to vote on the two amendments.  Says something ugly about a lot of us.

I have to agree with that. Why is there this constant need to divide? Marriage is a contract between two adults who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together, unless you're Donald Trump or Newt Gingrich, then it's a contract between two people until something better comes along. Gay men and women are no different than anyone else when it comes to love. 

The Duluth Tribune had an article on the defeated Voter ID amendment, writing:

Democratic politicians had argued that photo ID requirements were meant to make voting tougher for certain groups that tend to favor Democrats: elderly people, the poor, college students and members of minority groups. Local government officials also said the ID requirement would be a costly mandate.

What I don't understand is why. Why are Republicans obsessed with making it impossible for two people who love each to get married, and harder for certain groups to vote? If the new GOP can take anything away from last night, it's the fact that most of America is sick of their shit. We're sick of being told that 47% of us are victims, we're sick of being told that pregnancy by rape is a gift from God, we're sick of hearing that the LGBT community is a hateful, angry, bitter group of people, hellbent on the destruction of America and we are really, really sick of watching the Republican party stand in the way of the healing of this country.

If gay people want to get married, okay. If an 85-year old woman who was born at home and doesn't have 50 documents to prove who she is wants to vote, okay. For those of us paying attention over the past few weeks, all the voter fraud in the news has been thanks to Republicans, not Democrats. 

We have four more years with President Obama. My sincere hope is that the ERA Amendment is ratified, DOMA is overturned and someone slaps some sanity back into the Republican party. We are headed towards yet another fiscal cliff, and we need Congress to forget about that secret meeting at the Caucus. Just stop blocking everything and work with the other side. 

Rush Limbaugh predicted that if President Obama won, it would be the end of the Republican party. Rush, sweetie, that train left the station in November of 2010. The Republican party is now the far right Tea Party, moving swiftly toward Sovereign Citizen-ville. Wouldn't it be swell if moderate Republicans woke up and took back their party? 

I'm glad the marriage amendment and the Voter ID amendment failed here in Minnesota. I would have been very ashamed of my state if they had passed. Love is love and voting is a right. We saw ugliness during this campaign, we saw bigotry and hate, lies and deceit. The campaign is over, sanity won (for the most part) and now it's time to go forward. We can do this because we're Americans and in the end, we know we work better when we work together.