I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

December 12, 2017 - 3:00 p.m.

A Frank Discussion of Franken

When I have no time to update or want to write about what I did I have countless ideas on what to write about; when I don't, I go blank. #performanceanxiety I managed to go shopping yesterday; I figured that Italian bread I bought a week ago, that was now green, should be replaced; I'm picky that way.

My entertainment was watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. When I saw Vol. 1 I didn't realize it was part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I'm going to have to watch it again as it's villain, Thanos, and the Infinity Stones are going to be integral to the upcoming MCU films and I don't remember those details, just that I loved it and that I identify with Rocket. The films are far lighter than other MCU fare, but they maintain a great balance between humor and plot. The opening sequence where the Guardians fight an interdimensional monster, but the focus is on Groot dancing is the perfect illustration of how other works get it wrong. The silliness shows that what looks like an important fight is just a minor matter. Other films would do that during a climactic scene and distract from it.

I had to stop taking Gabapentin because it made me sleepy. My depression has made inroads in its absence. I'm using cognitive and DBT techniques to combat it. One of them is not letting myself dwell on the issues that sadden me and that means not writing about them. I try to stop myself from even thinking about writing them. It's for the best but it gives me one more thing to be unhappy about; not writing about what's on my mind.

Instead I'll write about something political that's on ground I fear to tread, the Al Franken affair. There are good arguments both for and against his resignation; what there are not good arguments for is that the people that disagree with you are worthy of your outrage. I'll make it clear where I stand, where it's clear to me. Franken is on my short list of favorite politicians; he is a statesman. I agree with his positions and I agree with his approach. He's not an ideologue, he believes in doing what it takes to get the best achievable outcome. He doesn't turn things into political theater. His questions for Sessions were the best of anyone's because they were about facts, not grandstanding. Despite my personal admiration of his politics I vacillate on whether he should resign. The key fact, that he has acknowledged, is that he has lost the confidence of the people of Minnesota. How serious are the charges against him? It's not clear. Some were just humor gone wrong. The original accuser pinched the ass of someone on stage for a joke; it's hard to take that accusation as fatal error. If it was just her I'd say that he should stay; but it isn't just her. Are they all just offensive humor? It's not clear. Putting his tongue down woman's mouths is more serious. At this time and place it might be better to err on the side of accusers not the accused.

What I find most disturbing on the part of his defenders is the argument that the Democrats can't afford to lose his seat. Anyone making that argument is justifying the Republicans voting for Moore. It's declaring that partisan politics is more important than public morality. If you defend Franken on that basis you can't honestly attack Republicans that vote for Moore to preserve their majority.

They are also operating under an unwarranted assumption, that Franken resigning makes it more likely that the seat will go to a Republican. Franken's approval rating has cratered. The woman who will be appointed in his place might have a better chance of being elected than Franken. The people being considered to be appointed in his place are popular women who would have the advantage of incumbency in 2018, a year where conditions will favor Democrats.

I love Kirsten Gillibrand, but this situation has led her to saying something I strongly object to. I can't find it now, this is a paraphrase; "Now is not the time to distinguish between sexual harassment and molestation." Making distinctions is vital to making proportional responses. Three is a huge difference between what Franken and Moore are accused of. To make believe there isn't is not just unfair, it weakens not strengthens the cause of women. By casting Franken as guilty as Moore it justifies casting Moore as no worse than Franken. People can get away with calling it "Politically incorrect" as opposed to immoral. We must always make distinctions if we want to make the best choices.

Perhaps my point is made best by saying that I would enthusiastically support Gillibrand for president even though I think she was wrong here. Nobody is perfect. I'm going to make my judgment on the totality, not hold a purity test.

I should get moving now. On Your Radar is tonight. John's guests are Heathcoat Hill, Pete Mancini, and Mary Scholz. I have more shows on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. All three of those shows will take me two hours to get to, two in Brooklyn and one in New Jersey.

I just made an executive decision. I'm not going to pick up my mail today even though it's been over a week. I'll do that on Thursday on my way to Brooklyn. Today I'll just stop at Trader Joe's on the way to On Your Radar.

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile December 12, 2017
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