Friday, February 14, 2014

In fairness, a response. And an invitation for pizza.

Required reading to understand this post: a blog post here, I read after my lovely cousin posted it on Facebook. I love her dearly and I'm glad I got to read this. I thought I'd write down my thoughts in the form of an open response. These days I just email myself my thoughts, but in the spirit of awakening this dormant blog - what the heck - I'll share these ramblings publicly this time.

In the authors article, he gently slams the religious culture he describes as "religious certainty. A sense of surety that I know all about God."

The undertone of the article is that all, or at least most practicing Christians (and maybe even all religious people) subscribe to that culture. Here's the thing I can't reconcile: As a card-carrying church-goer myself, I don't know anyone, of any religion, that feels so confident in their understanding of God. I certainly don't. I can imagine that if I did, I'd be pretty arrogant and also highly at risk of a huge landslide life crisis if I ever, heaven forbid, heard a logical argument that countered my "religious certainty" of "having all the answers." Yet, he paints a picture of Christians as people who walk around with a fake sense of "religious certainty," "having all the answers." The entire premise of his article is based on a bizarre caricature that anyone who would have been glued to my side for any significant portion of the last 30 years would know is simply unfair. Subsequently, his attempt to illustrate the contrast between his supposed Christian upbringing and his current freedom of mind and spirit is only applicable to his own unfortunate prior circumstances. Not broadly applicable, and not an accurate label of Christians I know.

Yes, I know there are many who read his article and think "Wow! he's really articulating my experience and thoughts. I can really relate to this." I know and love many of these people. I hope they are open to the possibly that the author's funhouse mirror reflection if Christianity isn't an accurate biopsy of millions of happy and critically thinking Christians. I'll explain where I (and millions I just mentioned) are coming from:

I've never heard the phrase "religious certainty" or even the notion that we/I/anyone knows "all about God" at my church attendance over 31 years and across four time zones. Because to preach that or believe it would be foolish. On the contrary, I hear the opposite sermon at church. One of uncertainty, trials, confusion, the need for charity (to give and received peer support) and the journey of faith. 

Perhaps this "religious certainty" exists out there in arrogant, close-minded-conservative-Christian-land, but I've never seen it myself, certainly not in my church. The bottom line is, it's an inaccurate caricature to oversimplify an entire religious category (let alone all religious people) as dim-witted, close-minded brainwashees that are too fearful to embrace the larger truth: that there's a lot we don't know.

Well, here I am, openly acknowledging, as I have many times before this article was written: there's a whole lot I don't know. Just like everyone else, I don't even know what I don't know. I'm surrounded by mind boggling mystery. And I love that. This acknowledgment doesn't contradict my religious faith. Anyone who thinks it does knows nothing of my faith. Perhaps they have mis-caricatured all of us in a subconscious effort to simplify their judgements and rationalize their new ethos. I happen to like the author's new ethos. It doesn't need an enemy to be true. His yin is not proved undeniably awesome only by fabricating a universal yang in Christian culture. 

As I continued to read the entire article, I realized that although I identify as a Christian, I cannot identify with any of the teachings the author was burdened with before he gave up his supposedly Christian religion. Although I am a Christian, my religion couldn't be further from whatever religion he was brought up in. On the contrary, as I read his article I found my religion to actually be very compatible, and even totally in line with his new, more enlightened, less-burdened mentality he's found sans his childhood theology. Take his #4 point, for example (read that before reading on if you haven't already). Of course if you can't figure out why something is wrong, then whatever religious "wrong" you're being taught is not going to fly for a critically thinking adult. Yet here I am, a critically thinking, church-going adult. Could it be that his current philosophy actually doesn't contradict my religion? In fact, could it be that his new-found religionless philosophy is actually - gasp - a doctrine of my Christian religion? Fancy that. He had to give up his childhood religion to get that particular point of #4, while here I am, agreeing whole heartedly with him and discussing that principle with friends at church on Sunday. Everyone has their own path. Happy for you! 

Several of his recollections of his unfortunate Christian education  start with "I was taught that..." or "I grew up learning..." or "In my youth..." He was obviously taught a dumbed down, somewhat skewed, steeped in cultural tradition version of what "Christianity" supposedly is. In some instances, I was too. Here's the difference: What I know now, as an adult, is that I had to figure out the real, adult version of my faith. That kid version wouldn't/couldn't sustain me through the questions, challenges and free-agency of adulthood. It's not supposed to. I believe it's simply supposed to carry us to the edge of the woods where we are dropped off, having been taught a bunch of fundamentals, and we need to figure out how to actually survive. If you're lucky and you do it right, you don't just learn to live with those childhood fundamentals, you learn a lot more to augment and clarify them, and you do more than survive - you thrive. The religion I practice puts a great individual, personal responsibility on us to seek God ourselves, as adults. Not rest on the laurels of Sunday school teachers we had when we were 7, or 12, or even 17. 

A theory. To be offended that you weren't handed the God-given faith of an adult without putting in the man hours of faithful testing is to not understand what it takes to be a Christian adult. Nobody could or should rest alone on the Christianity they were taught as a kid. Especially if it was some sad version the author seems to have been taught. What they may not want to admit is that it takes more than just doubting, uncertainty and walking away. It takes investment and testing to learn how to believe as an adult. I'm still working on it myself. We call it "enduring to the end" sometimes, but it's not as uncomfortable as is sounds.

I'm not done reading, but so far, I just feel bad that this guy was subjected to such an unfortunate interpretation of Christianity as he grew up. That's all he knew, and it's a shame if he thinks whatever his bubble used to be is what all other Christians are also being taught. It certainly isn't. No wonder I, a Christian, sometimes identify more with my Jewish and morally courageous agnostic friends than some defensive, narrow-minded "Christians." 

Okay, I finished reading his post. As I nodded along to his seventh and final point, it sealed it up and tied a bow on top: My religion sounds way more like his newer non-religion and almost nothing like the supposed religion he left behind. Just goes to show that there's truth everywhere. But it also goes to show that there's stark fallacy in his underlying assumption that you have to leave religion to find those truths in life.

What's left? In conclusion, I am bummed that people think Christianity is as he described it. It's not the version I know. As a result of my faith, I have what he has, but so much more. That doesn't make me better, just stupid lucky, I guess. If you'd ever like to learn more about why I'm so happy in my church - even with some unashamed uncertainty on some topics - I'd love to have you to dinner. I'm glad to just answer any questions you have - I don't want to impose anything on you. Open invite to those that are sincerely curious and respectful. And I make a good pizza. As much as I love pizza leftovers, it's more satisfying to know more of it was enjoyed at the first serving, by more folks. Hot off the stone. Come get it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Help kick me?

Forsyth & Gee are making a harmonic folk-pop EP for your heart, mind, soul and your ears. Yes, your ears will love this. Pre-order now and share around, wohntcha?


Friday, May 3, 2013

New Music: Forsyth & Gee

I'm thrilled to formally announce my new duo Forsyth & Gee. We now have demos streaming on our website, and even more on our Facebook page (via reverbnation). Give us a "like" and stay in touch. If you're interested in hosting a fantastic house concert, let me know and we'll talk.




Thursday, February 21, 2013

Changes.

Just an update for friends and family.

I made a move on Feb 7, 2013. I left the big beloved/hated/well-at -least-we're-known place of my employment of 6.5 years to pitch in at a little startup where even the locals who should know about it say "where?" I travelled internationally and managed multi-million dollar global ad campaigns at my last job. I load and unload the dishwasher and park in a gravel lot three blocks away at my new job.

So far, so rad.

I wasn't actively looking for a new gig, but life has a way of telling you what's next. You can either jump on board or tell life to mind its own business and stop tapping you on the shoulder. I've often dreamed about getting in on the ground floor of something small and special. This is not the first opportunity I've had to move on, but I'm sure glad I waited for this one.

6.5 years may not seem like that long to some, but CP+B years are like dog years. I don't know the exact multiplier, but I can tell you that I lived in three cities, moved four times, worked on several large, iconic accounts, a few smaller niche accounts and grew from an assistant content (account) manager to a supervisor. I was not once, ever, ever bored. At times it felt like struggling through and eventually earning a few MBAs in marketing, creative project management, dynamic workload juggling, tenacity-maintaining, and the largely abused and mistreated but paramount skill of human communication (aka storytelling, also sometimes as simple and common as the modern art of "email."). In short, it was my school where I studied and eventually felt like I became an assistant professor. My salary slowly and steadily grew over 6.5 years and I never felt a sense of entitlement. That said, I felt I worked hard and smart for every pre-tax penny. I left happy, on my terms and I was able to hold my head high and thank many people there for blessing my work life with their inspiring partnership. I was a bit nervous about leaving the familiar culture where I "grew up" in my professional life, but I was very much surprised at how liberating and comfortable it was when I resigned.

I started my new job the very next day, 8:30am sharp. I'm a Grenadier now. #10. An elite nimble clan of brand strategy, management and creativity warriors, all happy to be doing the dishes and taking out the trash. ("Passing the savings on to YOU.") We grill every Friday and we treat each other well. We don't tolerate slacking and we tell it like we see it. I'm proud to be associated with these guys and gals. I wouldn't have made this move if I didn't think it was built on principles that kept me up at night with excitement.

In the meantime, my life outside of work is also evolving, as per usual. Henry's growing fast, we traded in our Jetta lease for new TDI and I'm really excited about my new duo project with Sarah Gee - NY Broadway performer turned recent Coloradan who nails harmonies like it's her job. 'Cause it was her job. But now it's Forsyth & Gee. More to come on that. Just you wait. First gig this weekend, then a house concert on 3/1. Then a few more. Then a record.

A'ight, then.


Friday, December 21, 2012

The obligatory thoughts-on-guns post (sorry.)

(Author's caveat: This post contains just a couple stupid, but well-intended bits of esoteric humor I'm naively leaving in. It is in no way intended to reflect a light-minded treatment of recent tragedies.)

Just an estimation: It takes about 500 hours of well-rounded research and experience to have a valid 60-second opinion on most topics. Most people don't want to put in the work, but they want to take part in the discussion. This is why the discussion is nauseating to those who at least realize that they don't know what they don't know, and why those that don't realize that they don't know what they don't know also don't realize they are a part of the downward spiral.

If I didn't just lose you with that last sentence, thanks for sticking with me. 

I know a young man with a blog titled "The Experience-Free Opinion." I like the name of his blog even if I don't have time to read it most of the time, because he caveats his right to rhetoric with a healthy dosage of self-awareness. 

I'm building up the courage to post some thoughts and I think I'll start it with: I have no idea what I'm talking about because I don't know what I don't know. That said...

Point:
It is possible to not support a ban on "assault weapons" or "high-capacity magazines" in America, but at the same time to wish that they were never desired or easily provided for purchase by just anyone in the first place. (I write this with the understanding that the modern legislation defining what constitutes an "assault weapon" and "high-capacity magazine" was largely based on emotion and hollywood and mostly a symbolic gesture, not practical. More on that in a link below.*)

Just as it's possible to not support the prohibition, but not be a drinker myself and wish that others could find a more uplifting way of unwinding before they get into their car, or get angry at their spouse, or neglect their responsibilities and inconvenience others, or pickle their liver and cause their family and friends distress. (Not that all drinking results in these things, just all excessive drinking.)

And just as it's possible to not support large soda bans, but to certainly regret that far too many of our fellow country(wo)men are passing along bad health habits to children in their care; Children who already think that a sedentary lifestyle is "normal" and obesity-caused illness is probably just genes wreaking havoc.

Just as you wouldn't as an adult steal lunch money from a child, but you are baffled and saddened that s/he chose to spend that money on a "Black Eyed Peas" CD instead of eating. And then s/he sits through a live London Symphony Orchestra performance wearing noise-canceling headphones, listening to the CD over and over and over again.
People become exposed to, attracted to, and then dependent on unhealthy things, be it assault rifles or Coke. It seems as though they reach a state where they would be unhappy without those things and they tend to surround themselves with like-minded peers that enable and support their habits. Ideally, the goal should be to A) never reach that state or B) advocate self-awareness and replace the bad with something that is good/better for you and those around you. 

I will assume that you know stealing is wrong, bullies are bad, and people need to make their own choices until such time as they try to illegally take choice away from others. But if we ever have a chance to prevent something bad from becoming popular or "good" in the first place, let's give it a shot. Because once the people fall in love with it, then you're just the bully taking away their freedom of choice. Don't ban what you disagree with, however tempting as it may be. Rather, lobby and educate against what you disagree with lest it ever be widely perceived as desirable. If you care, and if you have a good case, make your case for a change of will, not a ban on choice. 

None of this will change the fact that using your choices to steal freedom from another (e.g. ending another's life via murder, or loudly singing along to the Black Eyed peas during the middle of a beautiful LSO performance for which people paid to hear the LSO and not you) is wrong, and rightfully illegal.

That's what makes a great society: People who have a choice, but make good choices. 

Counterpoint:
All that said, some places have reasonable preventative laws/restrictions/bans that are in place to prevent bad things from happening on accident: i.e. mandatory gun safes, trigger locks, speed limits in bad weather, school and construction zones, fire bans in public high fire danger lands, or FAA regulations for who is allowed to pilot a charter of children through the air. I just made that last one up, but it's probably real. You get it. 

Where do you draw the line? Can you own a functioning tank in a downtown area? An RPG Launcher? Are you allowed to take it anywhere? Should adults be able to do whatever they want as long as it only potentially harms him/herself?  Okay, but not children, right? Minors need to be protected from some choices for optimal development, right? Who decides who are children? Who decided that 18 years old is "adult?" Yet drinking age is 21, so for three years you're an adult, but not completely? (I guess there's an argument for gradual, tiered freedom granting, like in parenting.) Should there be exceptions to some freedoms for adults that act like or are stupider than some children 1/4 their age? What about adults with mental illness? What about mental illness that isn't easily detectable, but latently dangerous? Where do you draw the line, and is a 51% majority the only thing required to define the placement of the line?

Here's a question that requires more self-awareness, personal responsibility and civility, so it's appealing to me: 

What outlier "rights" are worth voluntarily sacrificing because it will make it harder for those less responsible than you to access the same "right" and abuse it to the detriment of innocents? Military-style assault rifles and high-capacity magazines easily fall into that category for me, the same way that I am not offended that I need a special government issued license to purchase or make C4 explosives. I am not offended that the Safe Explosives Act of 2002 and laws that existed before it make it very difficult for me to possess and use explosive tools. So why would I feel like a tyrannical government was infringing on my civil liberties if they made it equally as difficult to legally possess an assault rifle and high-capacity magazines? I'll tell you why: Because by now many people are used to being able to own them easily and freely. They've grown accustomed to the freedom. They ostensibly stand under the protective banner of the 2nd Amendment even while they are not equally offended that the 2nd Amendment doesn't grant them the right to stock up on regulated explosives. 

It's clear to me that the 2nd Amendment was inspired and should be protected at some level. I mean, just watch "Red Dawn." (To be clear, was a joke...kind of.) What is not clear is why many tools intended for taking massive amounts of life in a very short time should be allowed to any adult. In my "experience-free opinion" there is little room for that argument in this country. Some make a solid case that James Madison's 2nd Amendment was written for a different time, different circumstances and different weapons.

Now, for those that are somehow still reading, in addition to the link in the previous sentence, here is my recommended weekend editorial reading on the topic. A range of differing positions and opinions on both sides of the issue. I've collected these all in one place for your study and pondering:
  • A non-paranoid, level-headed, somewhat libertarian view. http://bit.ly/RHOgkR
  • The conservative case for an assault weapon ban, by the Republican-appointed federal judge that just sentenced Rep. Gabbi Gifford's shooter. http://lat.ms/RHNg0k
  • *A long, not very expertly substantiated editorial, but if most of it is true, still interesting read from a leftist that claims to also be a gun enthusiast. He ends his article with some food for thought. http://bit.ly/RHUhy1
  • What at first seams like a radical suggestion by Seattle's former police chief - repealing the 2nd Amendment - explains itself to be a fairly level-headed segue into simply regulating and registering the guns that people can and do own. http://huff.to/RHVSE1
  • And the first informative, data-centric set of facts I read after the Newtown school shooting: http://wapo.st/XSDipM
From the last link we see a clear link between gun control and drop in gun crime. Nobody is arguing that stiffer gun restrictions would eliminate 100% of premeditated gun violence, or even 50% of premeditated gun violence, but all the other developed countries in the world have already proven this is true: Stricter gun restrictions severely diminish the amount of gun violence. The only argument against it is that those countries may be "less free." That is likely a valid argument, but it's a broader argument.

That said, this is the USofA, and nobody is pretending that UK-esque laws would go over well here. (But we do love us some London Symphony Orchestra. Especially with an American at the helm.)

You may or may not be interested enough to study the data objectively. If you do, then there can be a discussion about measuring "free" vs. "not as free" societies and what the price of freedom is (the unit of measurement sometimes being liters of children's blood).

In closing, I acknowledge that this is largely a societal mental and moral health issue, more so than a gun issue. That doesn't mean there isn't a gun issue, it just means I believe underlying mental and moral health issues are what exacerbate what would otherwise be a smaller gun issue. 

This is all I currently know. I have no idea what I'm talking about because I don't know what I don't know. Then again, neither do you.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Remembering Dave Brubeck and crying just a little.



I'm from Concord, CA.

Tom Hanks is from Concord, CA. 

Meh, he's still alive.

Dave Brubeck is from Concord, CA.

...*sniffle*

I feel like crying a little. I'm so grateful for recorded music, for it will be like he never left. I have so many stories to tell about how Brubeck's music enlightened, inspired and soothed my mind and soul, but I can't bring myself to write them now. For now, just turn off the light and listen to this with headphones. In the dark. Then move on to Blue Ronda a la Turk, and the rest of "Time Out." Do it.

Dave Brubeck has long served as proof that creative jazz and popular success can go together. Thank heaven. 

Syncopated rest in peace.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Don't vote (for just anyone), it only encourages them.

This post should only be read if you have nothing better to do. It is not intended to convince anyone of better ways. It is only intended to organize my thoughts and record them for posterity. If anything is learned or better understood in the reading of my clumsy words, that's a bonus. 
---
Before you get too worried that I'm wasting away my right and responsibility to vote, yes, I'm voting. But I'm not voting for the Republican or Democratic Party nominee. And not because they are Republican or Democrat. Unlike many partisan slap-happy citizens, the label alone doesn't automatically mean "evil" to me. It's individual rhetoric and actions that win me over or repel me.

That said, Obama, having been president for four years already has the disadvantage by default. He's had more opportunity in the spotlight to say things and do things that turn me off, and that's not quite fair to him vs. Romney. But then I remember his over-confident promises and realize he made his disadvantage even worse by signing up for one term proposition back in the first month of his presidency.

I mean, really. If you're going to walk into office making large promises about your presidency, at least leave it open ended so you have the flexibility to say you need a second term to fully execute them. No, this president said, (paraphrased) "if I don't do this, and this, within four years, it's one term for me." (Both links are to non-partisan mainstream journalistic sources for you to hear and see his words for yourself. No Rush, no Hannity, no Tea Party, Obama-hating spin.)

This isn't a matter of his adversaries catching him in nuances of his word choice. Even his most loyal supporters should be upset that he would be foolish (read: overconfident and/or naive)  enough to say make such absolute promises. And he didn't even come close to realizing them. Not even close.

Harry S. Truman, another Democrat who made tough decisions to drop bombs, differed in one significant way. He had a sign on his desk in the Oval Office that read "The buck stops here!"

I lose respect and trust for President Obama when he digs for excuses and passes along the blame for things he himself said his administration would do. Even if it wasn't reasonable for him to make those promises, he should at least own up to his former over-confidence. Instead, he digs a deeper pit.

These broken promises don't even take into account other justifiable reasons why even a hopeful democrat would not vote for him again. Violations of morality and concerning foreign policy such as these.

Not voting for Romney is a little less fair of me, since I'm obviously making judgements on what I'm afraid he would do, instead of anything he actually hasn't even had a chance to do as president. But there are a lot of people who haven't had a chance to be president yet and that doesn't mean I'm going to vote to give them a chance. My main issue with Romney is one of association, and in that sense, it might not seem fair, but it's fair enough for me, because my main concern is for the future, and if the GOP goes along thinking registered Republican are okay with what they are doing, they've got another thing coming. In that sense, Romney shouldn't take it personally, but the GOP as a whole should take it very personally. My current feelings are that casting a vote, my own personal stamp of approval, for the Republican National Party - its advertising, its congressional candidates, its loudest, most popular partisan cheerleaders, its embarrassing primary season and its treatment of the Ron Paul delegates at the Convention - would be disingenuous of me.

I am not one to reward bad behavior. I am often much harder on my own people than I am of those of other flocks. Just ask my Republican friends on facebook.

I'm also not a big fan of the face that Romney felt he had to put on to appeal to the base and win the nomination. I am more of a fan of the Romney that got some stuff done in liberal Massachusetts, and made a bunch of money being fiscally strategic and conservatively selective at Bain, and helping shape up and lead the 2002 Winter Olympics. I might vote for that moderate and savvy Mitt, but he wouldn't have been the GOP candidate if he stayed that guy. He barely squeaked by as is. It's not his fault that his party has become such a mess, considering he himself is actually not very representational of the mess (i.e. Romney is not Akin or Palin). But it is his fault he decided to become the guy who could get the nomination. 

So in a nutshell, I'm more frustrated with the evolving GOP than I am with their presidential nominee that's made a choice to work hard to appeal to the GOP. But I'm not comforted by Romney's foreign policy sound bites either.

I changed my voter registration to Independent about a year ago, then changed it to Republican when I learned that registered Independents can't vote in the Colorado Republican Primary caucus. As one who believes that Republcianism at its finest can actually be something admirable and inclusive and functional, I wanted to do my small part to help put rational voices at the head of the party. To no avail, yet.

I'm a moderate libertarian. Hardcare libertarians will tell you there's no such thing. I like bike paths, maintained hiking trails, and well-paved roads. I like National Parks (though I'd be okay with handing them all over to the states in a pinch). I'm a product of public schools (but private University). I don't mind paying taxes for improved shared quality of life, as long as waste is minimized. But I've come to learn that the Constitution makes it very clear that most all of those tax-funded quality of life perks are actually locally organized anyway. Or if they aren't currently, they could and should be. Very few things ought to be controlled by the federal government. The founding fathers realized that the federal government should be very limited in its power and plenty of rational people today still think so. These are not all people that own guns and vote straight ticket Republican. These are people like me. And people in your family. And your neighbors and friends. And maybe you. Rational philosophies held by normal, educated, thinking people with whom I bet you wouldn't be ashamed to associate.

May I make a very strong suggestion? Read the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights and other amendments. Read them every single year. Really. This is not an exhortation that you should take lightly and think in the back of your mind "yeah, yeah, I know, the Constitution." Literally read it. Take a Sunday afternoon, sit down with a nice cup of your favorite beverage and read it earnestly. Take notes. While you're at it, read the Declaration of Independence. 

Within the walls of my home (or church) I likely look like a social conservative. When I'm in a voting booth, or at work, or anywhere else, I'm a moderate libertarian that doesn't feel the slightest temptation to legislate my personal beliefs on the coast-to-coast public. This is not two-faced. This is one thinking person who believes that we should not be coerced by laws to do the right thing, and my right thing may not be your right thing, but usually it is. I believe most people are really good. I believe we need to be kind to each other and look out for one another. I believe we should be accepting of each other, so long as we don't infringe upon each other's rights. 

And because I believe that our big problems require tough solutions, and I don't see either the GOP or Democratic nominees laying down plans for real change (though they want you to think there's a big difference between them), I'm not giving either of them a stamp of approval (aka a vote), as I feel that would be disingenuous of me.

There are many this election with the "lesser of two evils" rationale. This rationale takes no longer term strategy into account of showing the two party system that there are are other parties. Or at least showing them that both of the two main parties should adopt more classic, American libertarian policies. Libertarian policies actually meld really well with Republican and Democratic core philosophies already, so it's not a radical request. Republicans should be drooling over Libertarian fiscal policy and smaller federal government. Democrats should be drooling over Libertarian civil liberties policy. Unfortunately neither main party voluntarily follows these philosophies as they should, because doing so would require them to give up one major perk: Power: The audacious assumption that their personal preferences should become national law.

George Washington didn't want power. He just wanted to faithfully fulfill his elected duty, do no unnecessary harm, and then retire quietly. To his disappointment, two parties were developing by the end of his first term. Wearied of politics, feeling old, he retired at the end of his second. In his Farewell Address, he urged his countrymen to forswear excessive party spirit and geographical distinctions. In foreign affairs, he warned against long-term alliances. I want George Washington back.

Abraham Lincoln was a Republican that campaigned for national unity and civil liberties. I want Abraham Lincoln back. 

The way Romney talks about foreign policy and Constitutional Amendments that many feel would infringe upon the civil liberties of others, he's no Washington or Lincoln. 

The way Obama seems smug in his election and eager to pass the buck, he's no Washington or Truman.

I'm voting for Gary Johnson, who will not win, of course. But me and maybe 6 million other people will be voting for him because we know we should vote, but that doesn't mean the options the two major parties are providing are in line with our principles. And we hope that both parties will get the message that they should do a much better job of applying libertarian principles to their existing platforms. At least that's my message. 

Call it a protest vote if you want. Call it a wasted vote if you want. But it certainly isn't as wasted as a vote for a candidate that scares me or disappoints me. Voting against your conscience is a truly wasted vote, wouldn't you say?

The economy is picking up. It's going to continue to get better at a snail's pace over the next several years regardless of who is elected on Tuesday. The two main parties don't want you to believe that, but I recon it's a very safe bet. Safer even than a Bain Capital investment and certainly safer than a Solyndra investment.

So, I am voting. But not for the establishment. Not this time. It only encourages them.