Thursday, July 9, 2015

Daddy on the Edge of Our Better Angels

I watched something today.
"Spirit Guide" by Ironshod on deviantART

Hmmm...y'know Daddy, you've been AWOL for about six months now.  Don'tcha think a bit of an explanation might be in order for your five or six ardent followers?

Yeah, I suppose you're right.  Hey folks; sorry about the disappearing act.  There was...ummmm...laundry.  A whole bunch of...laundry.

But today, I watched something.

I took a break from the Republican Clown Car of Candidates, averted my eyes from a thrice divorced county clerk suddenly freaking over the sanctity of marriage when two fellas show up at her counter to get hitched - even stepped away from all the ludicrous, backward, just plain ignorant defense of a loser's flag the Confederate flag and spent the next twelve minutes watching an incredible video about incredible human beings that made history.

Most of us never heard about it at the time, because there was other, darker history being made on this date.  And yet, through the grimmest, most terrifying hours of a day that no one could ever conceive, this loose cadre of heroes were a largely unsung light in the darkness, and bravely surged into the mouth of that help others.

There are no words for how hopeful I feel about humanity after watching this.  Nowhere in that video were people discriminating against people of different colors or faiths.  Nowhere did you see people being denied a place on a boat because of who they loved or how they voted.  It would have been utter nonsense and the height of wickedness to have made such distinctions in the face of the unimaginable horror that surrounded them on that fateful day.

So why is it ever okay?  Do we need a 9/11 to remind us that every being we share the world with is just as deserving of help, respect and love as we are?  There is so much wrong with the world.  There are catastrophes around every corner - people suffering seemingly insurmountable odds...and they need our help, too.

We should not need one of the country's most horrific disasters to call us to action.  We should not need our world to literally come crashing down around us to remember our goddamned humanity, and the humanity of every other person around us.  There is an absolutely staggering amount of pain and suffering happening on our planet every single second of the day.  We can either contribute to it, or try to alleviate it in some way - in any way.  We can choose to be the darkness, or choose to be the Light.  For the people on those boats, it was an easy choice.  It should be for us all.

The term "better angels" comes from Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural speech.  These words were written in a spirit of reconciliation; a hope for a restoration of friendly relations.  He ended his address with this plea;

"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

We can be Heroes.  

We can be Angels.  

We can be Better.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Daddy on the Edge of The Grace of God

"There but for the grace of God go I."

I'm sure you've heard that saying.  It's paraphrased from John Bradford, an English reformer and martyr from the 1500's.  It's said that when he would see "evil doers" being taken to the place of execution, he knew that could well be him some day.  Eventually, he was right.  Today, it's something we tell ourselves when we see someone else's bad situation and realize how easily it could become our own.  It's a reminder that, no matter the station or circumstance in life, we are all alike.

We are all, deep down inside, the same.  We want what's ours.  We want to be treated fairly.  We want to be happy.  We want to protect our loved ones, and gain justice for those loved ones who have been wronged.  We want to be understood, to be loved, to be rewarded for our good deeds and not punished too harshly for our bad deeds.

Deep down inside, I want what you want.  You want what I want.

We are all the same.

When a private citizen dies, that is a tragedy.  I frankly do not care if he was selling loosies, or was belligerent or had a criminal record - when a private citizen dies, that is a tragedy.

When an officer of the law dies, that is a tragedy.  I don't care what any other person in uniform did or did not do in some other place and in some other time - when an officer of the law dies, that is a tragedy.

When any one of us dies, any human being on this planet, that is a tragedy.

We are all the same.

We used to at least attempt to walk a mile in another's shoes.  We used to at least attempt to not throw rocks if we ourselves lived in glass houses.  We used to at least attempt to not cast stones, as none of us were without sin.

But we forgot.

We got blinded by differences, and lost sight of our similarities.  We got overwhelmed by competition, and looked at each other as opponents to be beaten, rather than teammates that could share success.  We immersed ourselves in conflict, and starved ourselves of comradery.

We got real good at Hate, 
and all but cast Love aside.

Blame whatever you want; in the end, it doesn't matter.  Blame is just another false flag - another senseless diversion that upsets and divides people, but in the end accomplishes nothing.  If you got an STD, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter who you got it from - what matters is the healing.

And healing begins with realizing 
that we are all the same.

Have you ever wanted a superpower?  I did - I wanted to fly, but today I thought of a new one - a much better power;

I wish I had the power to make people see the face of a loved one 
or themselves on any person they tried to harm.

We've gone down such a road of desensitizing - of seeing anyone who doesn't share our beliefs as someone less than tolerable, as someone to be marginalized to satisfy some mis-perceived "greater good" - maybe seeing our children's faces on those people that we seek to harm could give us pause.  Maybe seeing our mother's faces on those who are suffering would cause us to not turn a blind eye.  Maybe looking deep into our own eyes, and our own hearts, would cause us to realize that we are all the same.  Then maybe we could stop trying so God damned hard to hurt every "other" person around us, and instead try to help, and to heal...and to love.

I tried something today, and I'm going to ask that you try it as well.  It's not going to feel easy - it may  initially feel uncomfortable, but it gets easier and more comfortable the more that you do it; after a while, it can even feel like fun.  So, here's what I did, and I hope you'll try it too -

Today I decided that I would find something 
I liked or loved about every single person I saw.

It could be anything - the way they walk, the shape of their eyeglasses, their hairstyle or their cool jeans; their fashionable scarf or the sparkle in their eyes or the sound of their laughter or a million other random things that make up the people that walk into and out of your life every day.  The only rules are that you must find something good, you can't "skip" anyone, and if you see something that you don't like, you must dismiss it immediately and instead only focus on what you like.

I decided to try this as I was arriving at the mall.  Two days before Christmas.  Trial by fire is what I was expecting.  Well, I have to tell you, I have never smiled as much on a shopping trip as I did today.  There's something that happens, when you seek out and appreciate the positives in the people around you - it shows in your face.  I'm not sure what "it" is - that you appreciate them?  That you enjoy their presence in your life in that moment?  That you make them feel good?  I can't tell you, but whatever it is, I felt it - and the more I did it, the more I felt it - an extra energy, a physiological shift - a connection..  As people, we're generally accustomed to being ignored, or treated coldly and all too often we do the same.  We disconnect.  We self center.  This exercise brought me out of myself and allowed me to reconnect, however briefly,  with those miraculous, beautiful creations with whom I have so much in common.

And if you don't believe Daddy, then listen to Dalai -

We all have the potential. And it's easier than we think.

All My Love, 


Monday, November 10, 2014

Daddy on the Edge of Giving

I'm here today to talk about giving.

And Tim Minchin.

Minchin first.

Tim Minchin wrote a Christmas song.  Well, no - Tim Minchin wrote a song about happenings occurring during the Christmas season, and clinically dissected the actual holiday and it's religious counterparts in his own Minchinesque fashion.  Minchin doesn't speak of Jesus as the miracle baby away in a manger; he does instead refer to him as "a dead Palestinian press-ganged into selling Playstations and beer"...

It's one of my favorite Christmas songs.

Not because it bashes organized religion, but because, once you get past all that, the song reminds us that - dogma and commercialization aside - the holiday season is really about two things -  love and family.

I was gonna start sermonizing here, but I'm stopping myself.  That's not my place (although Daddy is an ordained Minister. Just throwing that out there; y'know, in case anyone reading this wants to be married by a blogger).  Daddy's trying to remember that he too is a flawed human being and that his horse is not, and should not be, any higher than anyone else's.

But I've gotta say; as the holiday season approaches, I'm more than a little depressed and just a little bit pissed at some of the things I see on my screen lately.  We're getting ready to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, who taught us in countless Bible verses and parables to love one another and to help the less fortunate among us.

So, what better way to ring in the holiday than by busting a Priest, a Minister and a Samaritan for feeding the homeless?

But yeah - that's what happened.  The City Commission of Ft. Lauderdale (henceforth known as "The Dickhead Squad"), passed an ordinance in October making it actually very difficult for Mark Sims (the Priest), Dwayne Black (the Pastor) and 90 year old Arnold Abbott (the Samaritan) to feed the homeless without getting arrested.

So they did it anyway.

And they got arrested.

Okay - they weren't actually taken to jail - they were cited and ordered to court.  If they don't show, then they'll be taken to jail.  If they do show, I imagine they'll be fined.  'Cuz you don't want to encourage this whole helping those less fortunate, right?  Gotta shut that right down - after all, this is 2014 Ft. Lauderdale, not 33 AD Jerusalem - got it??

Damn - Who Would Jesus Call a Weenie?

Sitting in church as a kid, this is what I was taught - you help those less fortunate than you, you stand up for injustice, you are your brother's keeper -

You. Do. What's. Right.

These men were feeding hungry people.  What could be more right?  Feeding the hungry - that was in Jesus' Top Ten!  Calling this a crime stuns and saddens me - and saying that feeding someone who is hungry helps "keep them in that cycle of homelessness" (as Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler said) is horseshit of the highest order.  Of course, the idea behind such thinking is that if you stop feeding them, they'll go away, which is just Pez-head logic.  Here's a crazy idea - maybe, instead of arresting the Samaritans trying to help the hungry, maybe the local government could try to help the hungry as well.  Maybe, instead of passing new laws to make life tougher on people that are already living on the fucking streets, the community can try to think outside the box, and search for solutions to help people up instead of knocking them further down.

Maybe they could stop giving out tickets and start giving a shit about their fellow man.

Damn.  I preached anyway, didn't I?  Yeah, sorry - now meekly climbing off of my high horse (which is only slightly higher because we climbed up on my soap box) and getting back to the original point -

Tim Minchin wrote a Christmas song.  And, if you buy this song from iTunes from November to January, all proceeds will go to The National Autistic Society, which provides support, information and services for people with autism and their families and campaigns for "a better world for people with autism".

So, you can help some people and not get arrested.  And you can hear what is really quite a beautiful song.  Click here to see the many ways you can purchase the tune.  Also, if  you would like to support the work of 90 year old Samaritan Arnold Abbott, you can click on the following link and contribute to Love Thy Neighbor.

And one more thing - I'd like to ask a favor.  In the spirit of the season, I'd love for you to give me your favorite quotes on the subject of giving.  Just googling "quotes on giving" provides tons of resources to some really wonderful quotes - please post your fav in the comments section.  Here's one that I really liked -

“Giving does not only precede receiving; it is the reason for it. It is in giving that we receive.” 
― Israelmore Ayivor

And now, without further ado, I give you Tim Minchin...

 Thank you so much, 


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Daddy on the Edge of F*cking Feminism

As a Daddy of two daughters, I've got a thing or two to say about gender inequality - 

Thing One - The only workplace where having a penis should factor into salary negotiations is in a male whorehouse.

Thing Two - See Thing One.

Seriously, there's a ton more that I could say on the subject, and one day I will - but there's a video going around that states it so perfectly that I'm just gonna let it speak for itself.

I do have to prepare you though - this video was produced by  Daddy featured a video of theirs in a previous blog post, "Daddy on the Edge of Promoting the Gay Agenda" and I offered the same warning as I do now;

Here's the Daddy on the Edge warning -

If the word Fuck bothers you, then you probably shouldn't watch this Fucking video. There's a Fucking cleaned up version of it, but that, to Daddy, is like low fat Fucking cheesecake - what's the Fucking point? You want to say Fuck in your video? Say Fuck in your video. So here's the Fucking video. I hope you Fucking enjoy it as much as I Fucking did.


Fuck yeah, 


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Daddy on the Edge of The Common Core

Full Disclosure - I wrote most of this post in May, and I didn't publish it...because I thought it might be too crazy.  

Sometimes, even Daddy has an edit button - it's hard to see, and is oft forgotten in favor of the much larger, more used  "What's the Worst That Could Happen???" button, the "Fuck 'em if They Can't Take a Joke!!" button and the "Perhaps I should sober up a bit first...NAH!!!!" button, but it does exist, and sometimes I blow the dust off and ever so gently engage it's function, turning off my own mic, as it were.

So why publish now?  Because apparently, I am not alone in my theory.  Crazy loves company, but then again - so does sanity.  And the difference between sanity and insanity usually comes down to opinion.  so, you tell me - am I crazy?

Oh, and one more thing - WARNING:  This is probably the wordiest, most statistic filled Daddy on the Edge post you will ever see.  Sorry - it couldn't be helped.  There are lots of moving parts to this story, and I felt like the whole thing needed to be put out there. I'll make it up to you in the next post, I promise.  So, now that you have been aptly warned, 

Here we go....

Daddy on the Edge of The Common Core

Who doesn't like a good conspiracy theory?  They make you think.  They make you wonder.  They make you question.  Daddy loves 'em - the door to creativity opens with the key of "What If...?" and that is how every good conspiracy theory begins.

What if Lee Harvey Oswald wasn't the lone gunman? The grand-daddy of them all.  And No.  No, he wasn't.

What if the government is manipulating the weather using HAARP technology? Do we microwave the atmosphere? Hmmmm....

What if Congress is trying to force the Post Office to go broke?  I know - why would they do something like that?  Why?  Because Money, that's why.  Lobbyists from Fed Ex and UPS shelled out a whole bunch of money to Congressional leaders, and as a result, they passed a statute in 2006 that required of the US Post Office the early payment of 75 years of retirement benefits within ten years. I know, right?

Well here's Daddy's very own conspiracy theory - stop me if you've heard this one before...

What if Common Core Curriculum was implemented expressly to cause public school children to fail?

I know - that doesn't make sense.  But it does.  Why?  Because Money, that's why.

Money - really, really big money isn't made overnight.  To make "fat stacks", the smart money is on The Long Game.  When Warren Buffett talks about investments and anticipated future performance, he talks in centuries.  The game I describe isn't quite that long - this game starts to build steam in 2001.

In 2001, the No Child Left Behind Act was passed.  The thinking behind NCLB was, I think, in the right place - schools had to do well to receive funding.  If a school didn't do well, steps were taken to improve it.  Consistently poor scores met with increasingly harsher penalties and remedies.  If a school was marked "in need of improvement" for two consecutive years, parents had the option of relocating their child to a private or charter school.  Six straight years of school failure meant possible school closing, conversion to a charter school, hiring a private company to run the school, or asking the state office of education to run the school directly.  So basically, "Teach your children well, or go through hell, and kiss your school good-bye" (apologies to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young).  We know the upshot to this - teachers began "teaching to the test"- training their students to become proficient at exactly what was going to be on the exams, but not a whole lot more.  The other unintended effect was...well, lying.  They didn't call it that, of course - they called it "creative reclassification".  For instance, at Houston's Sharpstown High School, 463 of it's 1,700 students left during the 2001-2002 school year, but not one was reported as a dropout, which makes Houston's dropout rate somewhere between 33 and 50 percent rather than the reported 1.5 percent.

Why do I bring this up?  Charter Schools.  From 1999-2000 to 2010-2011, the number of students enrolled in public charter schools increased from 0.3 million to 1.8 million students.  During this period, the percentage of all public schools that were public charter schools, based on schools that reported enrollment, increased from 2 to 5 percent, comprising 5,300 schools in 2010-2011.  As of September 2013, the number of charter schools in the US has grown to over 6,000, educating 2.3 million children.  They might have gone up more than that, if not for the individual states placing limits or caps on the number of charter schools that were allowed to exist in each state.

But let's rewind a little bit to 2009.  In 2009, Arnie Duncan (a big fan of charter schools when he ran the Chicago Public Schools) released the Obama Administration's "Race to the Top" initiative, handing out $4.4 billion in federal money to the states.  But "handing out $4.4 billion" isn't exactly correct - Race to the Top was not a law or a mandated federal program - it was a contest.  Schools had to do certain things to gain points - gain enough points, and you were eligible for the green.  Here's a quickie Wiki sample of the points system -

State applications for funding were scored on selection criteria worth a total of 500 points. In order of weight, the criteria were:[1]
  • Great Teachers and Leaders (138 total points)
    • Improving teacher and principal effectiveness based on performance (58 points)
    • Ensuring equitable distribution of effective teachers and principals (25 points)
    • Providing high-quality pathways for aspiring teachers and principals (21 points)
    • Providing effective support to teachers and principals (20 points)
    • Improving the effectiveness of teacher and principal preparation programs (14 points)
  • State Success Factors (125 total points)
    • Articulating State's education reform agenda and LEAs' participation in it (65 points)
    • Building strong statewide capacity to implement, scale up, and sustain proposed plans (30 points)
    • Demonstrating significant progress in raising achievement and closing gaps (30 points)
  • Standards and Assessments (70 total points)
    • Developing and adopting common standards (from the Common Core State Standards Initiative) (40 points)
    • Supporting the transition to enhanced standards and high-quality assessments (20 points)
    • Developing and implementing common, high-quality assessments (10 points)
  • General Selection Criteria (55 total points)
    • Ensuring successful conditions for high-performing charters and other innovative schools (40 points)
    • Making education funding a priority (10 points)
    • Demonstrating other significant reform conditions (5 points)
  • Turning Around the Lowest-Achieving Schools (50 total points)
    • Turning around the lowest-achieving schools (40 points)
    • Intervening in the lowest-achieving schools and LEAs (10 points)
  • Data Systems to Support Instruction (47 total points)
    • Fully implementing a statewide longitudinal data system (24 points)
    • Using data to improve instruction (18 points)
    • Accessing and using State data (5 points)
In addition to the 485 possible points from the criteria above, the prioritization of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education is worth another fifteen points for a possible total of 500.[1]

So, as you can see, instituting Common Core Standards got you some points.  Another stipulation not mentioned here was that for a state to be eligible,  they had to lift their caps on the number of charter schools.  So certain states are gonna get massive moolah.  But they're not the only ones.

Fast forward to May, 2012.  President Obama grants eight states, including New York, waivers from the NCLB education mandates, bringing the total of states with waivers in 2012 to nineteen.  Waivers were needed because Congress wouldn't fix the law, and it was pretty clear by now that the 100% mandated success rate just wasn't going to happen.  But there was a catch - again, probably a well meaning one in some respect, but a catch none the less.  In exchange for the NCLB waiver, the states had to promise to implement "common core standards" for students.  Between the waivers and Race to the Top, we were sure gonna need a heckuva lot of new common core textbooks, huh?


It is estimated that national cost for compliance with common core will be between $1 billion to $8 billion and the profits will go almost directly to publishers.  Pearson Education is one of the big winners in this whole thing.

But that's not even where the real money is.  The real money - the truly fat stacks - they come if the scenario I am about to paint becomes fully realized.  What am I talking about?  I am talking about a perceived systematic failure of our entire public school system  - a ranking of "piss poor" due to the fact that our children will have lost the ability to do simple addition and subtraction - not because they are lacking in intelligence, not because teachers are not skilled in educating, but because the Common Core that was introduced was intended not to educate, but to confuse both children and parents alike.  Why?  Oh, come on - say it with me -

'Cuz Money, That's Why.

Here's a glimpse at what's already happening in our society as a result of the already existing charter schools (and remember, the more public schools fail, the more charter schools are "needed") -

Alan Singer,  a social studies educator in the Department of Teaching, Literacy and Leadership at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, and the editor of Social Science Docket (a joint publication of the New York and New Jersey Councils for Social Studies) has taught at a number of secondary schools in New York City, including Franklin K. Lane High School and Edward R. Murrow High School. He is also the author of several books.  This appeared on his Huffington Post blog.

By Alan Singer
"Obscure laws can have a very big impact on social policy, including obscure changes in the United States federal tax code. The 2001 Consolidated Appropriations Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President  Clinton, included provisions from the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act of 2000. The law provided tax incentives for seven years to businesses that locate and hire residents in economically depressed urban and rural areas. The tax credits were reauthorized for 2008-2009, 2010-2011, and 2012-2013.
As a result of this change to the tax code, banks and equity funds that invest in charter schools in underserved areas can take advantage of a very generous tax credit. They are permitted to combine this tax credit with other tax breaks while they also collect interest on any money they lend out. According to one analyst, the credit allows them to double the money they invested in seven years. Another interesting side note is that foreign investors who put a minimum of $500,000 in charter school companies are eligible to purchase immigration visas for themselves and family members under a federal program called EB-5.
The tax credit may also explain why Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerbergpartnered with the former mayor of Newark, New Jersey, to promote charter schools; donated a half a million dollars worth of stock to organizations that distribute charter school funding; and opened his own foundation, Startup: Education, to build new charter schools.
The real estate industry, which already receives huge tax breaks as it gentrifies communities, also stands to benefit by promoting charter schools and helping them buy up property, or rent, in inner city communities. One real estate company, Eminent Properties Trust, boasts on its website:

"Our investment portfolio of nearly $3 billion includes megaplex movie theatres and adjacent retail, public charter schools, and other destination recreational and specialty investments.  This portfolio includes over 160 locations spread across 34 states with over 200 tenants."
The Charter management group Charter Schools USA recommends that rental costs should not exceed 20 percent of a school’s budget. However theMiami Herald reported that in 2011, 19 charter schools in Miami-Dade and Broward exceeded this figure and one in Miami Gardens paid 43 percent. The Herald called south Florida charter schools a “$400-million-a-year powerhouse backed by real-estate developers and promoted by politicians, but with little oversight.” Its report found charters paying exorbitant fees to management companies and that many of the highest rents were paid to landlords with ties to the management companies running the schools.

According to The New York Times, the 10 highest-paid hedge fund operators with close ties to charter schools also includes David Tepper (No. 1 at $3.5 billion in 2013), founder of founder of Appaloosa Management and New Jersey based “Better Education for Kids”; Steven A. Cohen (No. 2 at $2.4 billion) of SAC Capital Advisors, which was forced to pay a $1.2 billion dollar penalty for insider trading, who has given over $10 million to the Achievement First charter school network; and Paul Tudor Jones II(tied for tenth at $600 million), founder of the Tudor Investment Corporation who has supported charter schools through his Robin Hood Foundation."

That last mention kills me - dude calls his scam, "The Robin Hood Foundation".  Is it still robbing from the rich and giving to the poor if the rich first stole from the poor, only to profit from their altruism when they return a bit of their ill-gotten gains?  You can't conspire to destroy public education in the United States for another few zeros at the end of your bank balance and call yourself Robin Hood, dude.  Honestly, I don't know how you do that and call yourself a person.

In the name of Capitalism, we have gone to war where we didn't belong, we have watched banks ruin the economy and be rewarded for it in bailouts, we have mortally wounded our planet.  In the name of Capitalism, we have vilified the poor and needy, malnourished the least and the youngest of us, we have practically forced many of our number into lives of crime, so that they might be locked for-profit prisons.

In the name of Capitalism have all these things been done, and now they have come for education.  Common core is not a solution - it was never intended to be a solution.  It is a virus, poisoning the Public School system until there is no alternative but to quarantine and kill it.

Does the US education system need re-vamping?  Yes, of course it does.  In the most recent analysis, the US ranks 36th in the world in education.  And before anyone spews all that crap about Asian countries working their kids to death to be number 1, let me just say that countries like Canada are also kicking our asses.  Canada.  Let that sink in for a minute.

So yeah - there need to be real, dynamic paradigm shifts in our educational process, but in a positive direction.  Common Core was never the answer to our education problem.  It was the answer to a profit and loss statement - and it's time that Wall Street's profits stopped coming from our children's losses.

I was gonna wrap this up with the 1984 music video, "What People Do For Money" by Divine Sounds, because it's "old school"  (see the hook?) and, well...'cuz money, that's why.

But in my YouTube voyaging, I encountered a paradigm shift of my own when I came across the spoken word of one Suli Breaks.  Check it -

So what do you think?  Do you think I'm crazy?


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Daddy on the Edge of Fashion

You've seen this one before, but watch it again...

How much awesomeness is that, huh?  I think this speech should be required viewing by all Liberals - we need to watch this once a month just to remind ourselves that we are not any of the ridiculous, hateful things that the Right Wing paint us as being. That we are so much better than how they see us.  We need constant reminders that we should not be ashamed, but rather proud of the fact that we are Liberals.

And that's why I made a t-shirt.

Is creating a t-shirt a huge political publicity stunt?  Nope.  An earth shattering outcry against the Right Wing?  No, Sir.  Will this action forever alter the political landscape and, consequently, life as we know it in this country????


It's just a t-shirt.  It's got some names on it - names of other liberals.  Liberals who have changed the world for the better.  The Right Wing mercilessly tears at the word Liberal - it's a sneer and a punchline when they say it - but Galileo was a liberal.  Ghandi was a liberal.  John Lennon and Einstein and yes - despite the Tea Party rhetoric - Jesus Christ was a liberal.

Here's a picture of the shirt - what I hope will be the first of the Daddy on the Edge line of clothing for fashion forward forward thinkers.

If you click the pic, it will take you to the link where you can purchase the shirt.  This is a limited run - it's a test balloon, so we've set our goal at selling 25 shirts.  There's also a limited time that you can purchase - we began a 25 day campaign last night, so we have 24 days to sell 25 shirts.  Teespring, the company we're using, requires that you meet your sales goal before they print any shirts.  If you don't meet the goal, anyone who's ordered the shirt will receive a refund.

I like the shirt.  It's a conversation starter, it's a history lesson - it's a way of saying, pretty boldly, that the wearer refuses to buy into the hype and be ashamed of  what we are - what all of these people are; 

People that have tried to make this world a much better place, not just for a select few, but for all of us.

I'd like for us to meet our sales goal, but more importantly, I'd like to spread this message. The Right Wing has been pounding their messages pretty hard over the last few years - I think it's time we stood up and reminded them of who we are, echoing the voices of those that came before us.  

If you believe in the spirit of this shirt, I hope you'll purchase it.  I'll leave you with the words of John F. Kennedy - 

"What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the word “Liberal”?  If by liberal, they mean - as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government and who is unconcerned with the tax payers dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrates that we are not that kind of liberal.  But if by a liberal they mean someone who looks ahead, and not behind; someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions; someone who cares about the welfare of the people – their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties; someone who believes that we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad – if that is what they mean by a liberal, then I’m proud to say that I’m a Liberal."

Stand Proud, 


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Daddy on the Edge of Using Your Words


Everlast - "What It's Like".  Pretty moving song. Of course, this is the first time I've actually heard it all the way through without half of the words squelched out (squelching is my word for what we used to call bleeping, or censoring - they mask the lyric with a rap record "scratching" sound).  Some of the words they squelch are predictable - "fuckin'" and "shit" are still pretty de riguer in radio land.  They censor the word "balls" (as in testicles), but I think that's only because the lyric refers to cutting them off.  The word "whore" is censored from this song on many radio stations, but to my knowledge, has not been removed from any printings of The Holy Bible. Come to think of it, the Bible also mentions eunuchs a couple of times, which are guys that operate sans balls.  There's even talk that marijuana (or "green") is mentioned in the Old and New Testaments - (you can click over to here to read about that.)  Pretty funny that American radio's standards of decency are more stringent than...well...God's.  But then, America and God haven't always been in perfect harmony on everything - America gets their panties all up in a wad because someone says "shit", but they let a lot of things slide - often going out of their way to broadcast and re-broadcast them in a 24 hour news cycle - yet I'm pretty sure that God would never approve of backwoods, hee-haw, hatespeak shit like this:

"God hates fags."           "Thank God for dead soldiers."
               "Italy is a nation of mobster-breeding perverts."
            "It's a sin to pray for America."
 "A  fag is a Jew, pretty much."           "Santa is a fag."
"This is the hypocritical, fag-infested, fag-run United States of America and we're supposed to respect that fag rag flag?"

"If you would STOP worshiping false gods, 
being a fag would not be a complex matter."

I don't even pretend to understand that last one.  But case you haven't guessed by now, Daddy's
talkin' about the Douchebag du jour, The Reverend Fred Phelps.  He's said far worse than this, but even Daddy's got standards, and frankly, the only reason that I'm even talking about this whack-a-mole is because I'm growing exceedingly pissed off with America's double standard when it comes to what can and cannot be said in our country, and Freddy is a real popular poster boy right now.

In Fred's world, God hates me.  God hates you, too.  According to Fred, God hates pretty much everyone who isn't Fred or Fred's family.  But do you wanna hear something funny?  The Westboro Baptist Church, which Fred Phelps founded and which is made up mostly of Phelps' extended family...excommunicated him.

Yeah...they kicked his ass out last summer.  You may think that God hates us Fred, but we've got some pretty strong evidence that your family, your church - hell, pretty much your entire world - isn't too crazy about you, either. 

That's not to say that you haven't done some good in this world, Reverend.  Your vile, disrespectful behavior toward your fellow men has inspired a Federal law and laws in numerous states limiting picketing at funerals.  Granted, I don't think we ever needed such laws before you came along, but I imagine they're good to have now that you've made picketing the dead so hip.  On the other hand, the Supreme Court did rule that your church and it's members couldn't be sued for monetary damages for inflicting pain on grieving families under the first amendment.

Dude can't sing about ganja but a hate group can purposely make grieving families suffer even more than they already were, ridiculing their fallen family members as a part of some macabre, hillbilly circus - without fear of litigation. What a frigging First Amendment triumph.

It seems like the role of censorship is to shield the innocents (read children) from things that may be harmful to them.  Well, it may make me a bad parent, but Daddy's kids have heard some four letter words in this house. They will also learn about drugs - what they are and what they can do - because knowledge is power.  Hearing these words, knowing about these things isn't harmful.  Hate speak is harmful.  Fanning the flames of hate is harmful.  Hate has done more evil, has destroyed more lives than the word Fuck or Shit or any other "profanity" ever possibly could.  And, in this case, Phelps and his flock have named The Creator as an accomplice to their Hate.  You wanna talk about using God's name in vain?  Censor That.

We're hearing now that the Reverend may not be long for this world, and Daddy's been trying to put himself in a right way about that.  If Fred Phelps has taught me anything, he has taught me that it is not right to express joy at a death.  I am not happy that this man is dying. I also hope that no one decides to picket his funeral - poetic justice aside, it is (as we know all too well) a disrespectful act, but more importantly - it would only serve to give this man the attention that he has so desperately craved throughout his existence on this planet.  Denying him that is the true Justice.  Let us leave him alone - completely, totally, utterly alone - and pray that, when he does leave this plane, that some of the hate that he has fostered over the years leaves with him.  We have had quite enough of it.

As I mentioned at the start of this piece, the Everlast song is highly squelched, because the lead singer cursed and talked about drugs.  And yet, there's a song that came decades before - a song who's poetic turn of a phrase managed to rarely get censored, despite the fact that it talks about transsexuality, drugs, male prostitution and oral sex.  I can think of no better farewell  to Reverend Fred Phelps than to dedicate this other First Amendment triumph to him. 

Freddy baby, this one's for you...

God doesn't hate gay people.  God doesn't hate soldiers, or Italians, or Jews; God doesn't hate the liberal media or the conservative media or America or Santa.  God Loves Us All.  Even you, Fred Phelps.  Even You.

God Bless,