The Original Post (June, 2007)

Greetings! Allow me to introduce myself.

Notwithstanding the canine nom du blog, I am, in fact, a 48 year old man who lives in Southern California, grew up in New York and Minneapolis, and has family scattered in three countries. I am a liberal, and woe be to anyone who says that with any sort of moronic disclaimer (i.e. “I’m a liberal but I’m not crazy” or “I’m a liberal but I still believe terrorism is bad”). I’m a liberal, OK? No apologies. However, I do think, when I hear the word uttered by some people, of Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Below is a list, summarized and not exhaustive, of things I believe. I am happy to elaborate on any of them, but that will come in time.

– I believe that The last 6 1/2 years have been incalculably disastrous for this country on just about every front.

– I believed that invading Iraq was a mistake before we did it and that the consequences since have been worse than I possibly could have imagined.

– I believe that the Republican Party is incapable of looking beyond its own instinct for winning elections and self-preservation in order to govern effectively, and I believe that the Democrats, sadly, suffer from abused spouse syndrome.

– I believe that I am better off when those with less become better off, even if I might have just a little bit less disposable income.

– I believe it is incoherently stupid to claim that protecting the environment is bad for business. It might be bad for your business, but if you have an imagination and courage, you can make doing the right thing pay off. Don’t believe me? Think how Detroit would be doing if the Big 3 automakers had embraced fuel economy and emissions reductions 25 years ago.

– I believe that this country is special because of a constitution which treasures the rights of individuals, stifles (less successfully these days) the concentration of power in one individual, and treasures the rule of law over individual fiat. [Note to George Bush and Dick Cheney: this means you.]

– I believe our greatest hope for getting through a frightening ideological battle with fundamentalism is to be the beacon of liberty and justice everyone talks about but few people are willing to truly embrace. Liberty and justice exist only in so much as they exist for everyone – rich or poor, citizen or non-citizen, accused criminal or accused terrorist. The moment our country deems any group less worthy of fair treatment than other groups, we are all less free.

– I believe people who advocate the abrogation of rights for certain people because of what we think they might have done miss the point, and don’t really love this country as much as they claim to.

– I believe in the separation of church and state, not necessarily to protect the state from religion, but to protect religion from the state. These days, however, both are important.

– I don’t believe that God tells people to do any of the following: kill people, wage war, punish the poor, hate anybody. If your God is telling you to do any of those things, you might need a hearing aid.

– I believe that when I die, if there’s more than $10 million or so in my estate (and I do have a ways to go to get there) my descendants will have to make do with that. I just hope that whatever the Feds do collect of the balance goes to something other than a bomb that turns soldiers gay.

– I believe in the New York Mets but not the Yankees; the UCLA Bruins but not the USC Trojans, and I don’t, for the flippin’ life of me, understand golf.

I read various newspapers on line and my home-town rag, The LA Times, in the traditional manner; I read numerous blogs, some of which are listed at the top right and others of which aren’t, yet; I listen to NPR but studiously avoid TV news, which has become a joke played on its consumers on a daily basis.

I used to work for a large media corporation but don’t anymore. This makes me both less trusting of the products of those entities (accuracy is not the first concern) and, with the exception of Fox news, less enamored of conspiracy theories. Mostly, I think the media are lazy, and its main practitioners never got out of Junior High School.

We’re in for a bumpy ride in this country for a while. I’ll try to stay sane in the midst of all of it.

Thanks for stopping by. More to come.

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