Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Daddy on the Edge of a Happy Birthday

Go Daddy!  It's your birthday!
We gonna party like it's your birthday!
We gonna drink Bacardi like it's your birthday!

Feh.  Daddy don't like Bacardi (however, Daddy is a fan of fine tequila, so if my name comes up on your Secret Santa list...).  The lyrics above are from a 50 Cent song called "In Da Club" - the song has absolutely nothing to do with birthdays, despite the misleading opening - but it is my birthday, and it's a fun little open, and it's about as close as an old white guy like Daddy gets to singing rap, so there it is.

Number one question on your birthday?  "How do you still look sooo incredibly sexy at your age?"  Oops; my bad - that's the number one question I wish I would hear on my birthday (as opposed to the oft heard, "You're how old?  Damn, I really thought you were older.").  No, the number one question is "What do you want for your birthday?"  And it never ceases to frustrate my wife, because there is quite honestly very little that I want, at least in terms of material possessions.  I used to want things - lots of things - and I bought a lot of them, often using credit cards and ringing up my average share of the average American debt.  So, what do I want now?

I want money to be no object.

What do I desire? It's different than "what do I want?".  Desire burns, it comes from deep inside and it is rarely fully quenched.  Want is fleeting, and usually does not stand the test of time.  Right now, go into your closet and take a long hard look at those things that you haven't worn since the Clinton Administration.  There was a time when you wanted every one of those things - the fuscia Le Tigre dinner jacket, the dayglow leotards which you wore with the Flashdance legwarmers.  We had to have that stuff (and yes, during Daddy's performing arts career, even I wore legwarmers) so we bought it.  We bought it all, and if we couldn't pay for it, we put it on credit.  And God almighty, would you look what's happened since - 

From nerd wallet finance

American Household Credit Card Debt Statistics: 2013

The average US household credit card debt stands at $15,112, the result of a small number of deeply indebted households forcing up the numbers. Based on an analysis of Federal Reserve statistics and other government data, the average household owes  $7,050 on their cards; looking only at indebted households, the average outstanding balance rises to $15,112. Here are statistics, trends, studies and methodology behind the average U.S. household debt.
Current as of November 2013
U.S. household consumer debt profile:
  • Average credit card debt: $15,112
  • Average mortgage debt: $146,215
  • Average student loan debt: $31,240
In total, American consumers owe:
  • $11.08 trillion in debt
    • A decrease of 3.2% from last year
  • $846.9 billion in credit card debt
  • $7.75 trillion in mortgages
  • $1,002.0 billion in student loans
    • An increase of 10.9% from last year
Did'ja get that?  In 2013, American consumers owe $11.08 trillion dollars in debt!  That's a lot of leg warmers.  And it's not just the price of the leg warmers; it's the interest.  The national average interest on credit cards is currently 14.95 percent.  Our interest payments alone could buy a small country.  And of course, these are just averages.  Many of us, in terms of the amount of debt we've been able to amass and the interest that we pay, are quite above average.  Some of us are just frigging exceptional.  There are many reasons for debt.  Medical issues, school loans, divorce, death - a myriad of perfectly valid, sometimes heart wrenching reasons to have gotten into the hole...

and they don't mean squat.  

That's not meant to be insensitive; it is only meant to say that what's past is past, and there is no reason (aside from a legally binding contractual agreement that we and our credit card companies entered into) that we should keep spending our present and future days financing the past.  We are spending too many of our tomorrows on our yesterdays.  And society has been built up around it.

Debt has become a way of life; both for those that pay for it, and those that charge for it.  What would the world economy look like if all that debt were to suddenly disappear?  Can you imagine what kind of world it would be if people could no longer profit from debt?  Can you imagine what life would be like if we didn't embody the bumper sticker sentiment, "I owe, I owe, so off to work I go!"?

Can you imagine what would happen...if we all just stopped making the payments?

Well, that's what I'm suggesting.  Not defaulting - not unless you absolutely, positively have to.  But instead, by working as hard as we possibly can - harder than we work at our regular jobs, harder than we work on winning a Facebook debate, harder than we work to get to the next level of Candy Crush - to pay off every single bloodsucking, life altering, time wasting, dream killing debt that we have (and we have 11.08 trillion of them - that's a lot of dreams being killed.)

Alan Watts asks in the video above, "What would you do if money were no object?"  The way some of us live with our debt, that's like asking a burning man, "What would you do if you weren't on fire?"  We can't think about that; we can't think about anything at all - except the fire and the fact that we are being burned alive.  And yet, we continue to feed the very fire that destroys us.

It's time to stop the fire.  Proverbs 22:7 says, "Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender".  As far as the Bible is concerned, we are slaves to our credit cards, to our mortgage companies, to our leasing companies - time to stop that, too.

In the United States, we talk a lot about "Freedom".  No, that's not right - the word "Freedom" is said often, usually by politicians telling you that other politicians are trying to take it away (your freedom, that is - to practice your religion, to carry a weapon, to say "Merry Christmas" - whatever "Freedom du jour" will best serve the purpose for the point being made), but if we think about it, we can hardly call ourselves free if we are carrying the weighted chains of debt.  We're just deluded slaves.

I don't want to be a slave anymore.  I desire to be free.  I'd like to walk in the sun and ask myself what I would do if money were no object, and know that I have the luxury of time to think about it, and to come to a real and fulfilling answer, because money will be no object.  That's what I desire -  for me, and for you, and for every one in the whole frigging world.

I want us all to be truly "Free".  That's all I want for my birthday.

That, and the tequila...

You could get me the tequila if you really wanted to...

But pay cash.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Daddy on the Edge of the Voice of God

I don't usually listen to NPR.

Not that I have a problem with the station; on the contrary, I don't think the world gets enough intelligent humor and commentary anymore aside from Frasier re-runs, Bill Maher, and Dennis Miller (y'know,
before he became an asshole).

But I took my wife's car to go and pick up milk, and it was on her radio.  For whatever reason, I did not automatically change it to the classic rock station, and instead found myself listening to a story so compelling that even now, weeks later, it's still very much on my mind (and Daddy has always got a world of troubles on his mind - you have really got to rate to get that much play on my mental big screen).

It was a story about a man named James Hampton.  Born in 1909 in Elloree, SC to a self-ordained minister and his wife.  The father left his wife and children to "follow his calling" and at age 19, James left home as well, travelling to Washington, DC where he stayed with his brother's family, and found employment as a short order cook.  In 1942, he was drafted into WW2 and served in the Pacific as a carpenter.  In 1945, he was honorably discharged, moved to a boarding house back in DC, and started working for the General Services Administration as a janitor.  In 1964, he died of cancer.

Compelling, right?  Fascinating!  Amazing!

Yeah, hardly.  If you were trying to script a more mundane existence, you probably couldn't do much better than the apparent life of one James Hampton.  Couple of things distinguish James Hampton from the least interesting man in the world.  First, he believed that God had appeared to him as a real person in real life.  Second, God told him to build this - 

In 1950, James Hampton rented out an old stable building behind 1133 7th Street NW and, for the next 14 years, worked diligently for four to five hours a night after having gotten off his job at the GSA at midnight.  Every night, for 14 years he toiled in service to his Lord on this creation - and by all accounts, he still had more to do when he died.

This incredible, glittering tribute to The Creator, consists of little more than cardboard and broken furniture pieces, foil and jelly jars, desk blotters and burned out light bulbs.  Mr. Hampton would tour the streets, back alleys and used furniture shops of his neighborhood, looking for materials - one man's trash that he could transform into a holy treasure. Upon his passing, the doors to the stable building were opened, and his creation was revealed.

It is called "The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly".  It was the name that got me - it sounded like something out of a Terry Gilliam movie, but you knew it was not - that it held a much deeper meaning than could be understood by the uninitiated, by those not members of Mr. Hampton's inner sanctum - by those of us who hadn't spoken with God.  James Hampton had an extreme internal communication with the Almighty.  In his writings, he referred to himself as St. James (more specifically, "St. James, Director for Special Projects for the State of Eternity"), and recalled being blessed by visitations from God and angels alike during his time on earth - indeed, he believed that God visited the stable building regularly to direct him in The Thrones fabrication.

It was St. James' hope that The Throne would be recognized by religious leaders and that it, and he, would find their rightful places within the church structure.  That reality was not meant to be.  Instead, James Hampton died of cancer and The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly found its way to the American Folk Art Division of the Smithsonian Museum .

Gallery Label

"Where there is no vision, the people perish" — Proverbs 29:18 (King James Version)
posted on the wall of Hampton's garage
James Hampton's entire artistic output is this single work which he called The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly. Hampton worked for more than fourteen years on his masterwork in a rented garage, transforming its drab interior into a heavenly vision, as he prepared for the return of Christ to earth. The Throne is his attempt to create a spiritual environment that could only have been made as the result of a passionate and highly personal religious faith.
Hampton's full creation consists of 180 components—only a portion of which are on view. The total work suggests a chancel complete with altar, a throne, offertory tables, pulpits, mercy seats, and other obscure objects of Hampton's own invention. His work also includes plaques, tags, and notebooks bearing a secret writing system which has yet to be, and may never be, deciphered.
Hampton's intricate, large-scale design for The Throne derives coherence from parallel rows of constructions, densely packed on several levels. A seven-foot tall cushioned throne at the rear center is the work's focal point. Pairs of objects on either side of it impart a powerful, compulsive sense of symmetry. To the actual throne's right, objects refer to the New Testament and Jesus; to the left, the Old Testament and Moses, a division that corresponds to the disposition of the saved in the Bible. Every item has a relationship to the others and most bear a dedication to a saint, prophet, or other biblical character that may have appeared in the recurrent visions that inspired Hampton's efforts.
Massive wings, suggesting angels, sprout from most components; framed tablets line the walls, and crowns and other complex foil decorations fill every available space of the assemblage. The entire complex was originally placed on a three-foot tall platform set stage like against the rear wall of his garage.
The Throne and all of its associated components are made from discarded materials and found objects consisting of old furniture, wooden planks and supports, cardboard cutouts, scraps of insulation board, discarded light bulbs, jelly glasses, hollow cardboard cylinders, Kraft paper, desk blotters, mirror fragments and electrical cables and a variety of other "found objects," all scavenged from second-hand shops, the streets, or the federal office buildings in which he worked. To complete each element, Hampton used shimmering metallic foils and brilliant purple paper (now faded to tan) to evoke spiritual awe and splendor. Hampton's symbolism extended even to his choice of materials such as light bulbs, which represent God as the light of the world.
Praised as America's greatest work of visionary art, Hampton's Throne reveals one man's faith in God as well as his hope for salvation. Although Hampton did not live to initiate a public ministry, the capping phrase "FEAR NOT" summarizes his project's universally eloquent message.
Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006

When Meyer Wertlieb, landlord of the old stable building behind 1133 7th St. NW, opened the doors on the space following Hampton's death, he could scarcely believe what he saw.  He contacted Hampton's sister, and when she decided not to take possession of her brothers' creation, he reached out to the press.  “You can’t just destroy something a man devoted himself to for 14 years,” he told a Washington Post reporter.  ”It seems to be an example of the futility of life.”

I guess that all depends on your definition of "life".

Tony Robbins once said, "Your life is either a shining example or a cautionary tale".  Now, there's no doubt
that, under the rules of the Corporate Ladder, Married with Kids, Good Old American Dream, the life of James Hampton is indeed a cautionary tale - you don't want to grow up to be like Mr. Hampton, a poor, solitary man surviving on a meager salary in a nowhere job - a life practically devoid of material rewards.  However, in the spiritual sense, what could the life of St. James the Janitor be but a shining example?  Where one could complain, he sought to rejoice.  Where one could resent, he sought to honor.  When God give James trash, James made for Him a treasure.

Albert Einstein said, "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."  Easy to call a man like James Hampton crazy when he doesn't follow our version of reality - but when it occurs to us that we spend the majority of our waking life chasing scraps of wealth, laboring to make other people's dreams come true, driven by an almost compulsive need to purchase, to consume, to spend and that we call that "normal"; well then, perhaps his existence was much more worthwhile, much more fulfilling than our traditional, "normal" one.

Does God speak to us?  I believe that he does.  I believe that God makes a multitude of "suggestions" during our days - sometimes in the form of gut instinct or a nagging feeling, sometimes in the shape of an overwhelming passion to pursue a dream, no matter how ludicrous or impossible it may seem - sometimes merely in the guise of the serendipitous moment, or the happy accident. It's not crazy to believe that God speaks to us - what's crazy is that we don't listen nearly as much as we should.

What might happen?  If we listened, if we opened our ears to the suggestions of a Higher Power, if we allowed ourselves to be blown by the winds of Our Creator?  It's hard to imagine, largely because of the fears that society has lodged into our psyches - fears that say trying and failing at anything new would be horrible and is best not pursued, that taking time from your work to instead pursue your joy will leave you starving and broke, that diverting from what the majority refers to as normal will cause you great shame and suffering - so many fears, most of which revolve around other people and what they think of someone who no longer wishes to participate in their particular illusion of their particular reality.

If James Hampton considered any of those fears, they were apparently quickly forgotten.  St. James was doing the work of  God. Perhaps it was that higher calling, or of course direct direction from the Almighty, that had him crown the throne chair with the words, "Fear Not".  We must not fear the persistent illusion; we should, instead, let ourselves faithfully fall into the arms of serendipity, and open our sails to the winds of destiny.

I was planning on wrapping this entry with the video to The Fray song, "You Found Me" ("I found God, on the corner of First and Amistad..."), but fell into this happy coincidence when a friend posted the following video on Facebook.  Moments of divine intervention aren't always monumental, and they certainly aren't rare...if we open our eyes, our ears and our hearts to them.  Watch -

"When the solution is simple, God is answering." - Albert Einstein



Monday, June 3, 2013

Daddy on the Edge of Another Banana in the Big Gay Hate Sundae

Look, Mom!  A pandering idiot!  Let's see what he has to say!!


The asshat in the ironic "gay equality" tie (look at it again - red background, pink equal sign - what's that they say?  "Man dresses himself, and God laughs") is former evangelical pastor and conservative activist David Barton.  Daddy has got a real fucking problem with David Barton - not because he founded WallBuilders, a Texas based organization which promotes the view that it is a "myth" that the US Constitution insists on separation of church and state. Not because he is the former vice chair of the Republican Party of Texas.  Not because he has been described as a Christian nationalist and "one of the foremost Christian revisionist historians" who's work is devoted to advancing the idea, based upon research that many historians describe as flawed, that the United States was founded as an explicitly Christian nation. Not even because his buddy, Glenn Beck - referred to him as "the Library of Congress in shoes".

Whatever the hell that means.

None of that is why I have a fucking problem with David Barton.  It's not even because he's trying to get people to hate on gays.  Don't get me wrong - hating on the LGBT is a surefire way to get on Daddy's Shit List, but this douche is just the cherry on top of the GOP Gay Hate Sundae.  Honestly, after a while, you start to wonder if any of them have original thought, or if they all memorized the same script and improv is forbidden - it reminds me of children's auditions in the 80's - "If one more kid comes in here and sings "Tomorrow", I'm gonna set my eyes on fire..."

But that's Part One of the Republican Playbook - say the same stupid ass thing as all the rest of the GOP - if we all say the same stupid thing, it echoes and reverbs and echoes again and of course it has to be true because we're all saying it and the echoing and the and it's just gotta be TRUE!

Part Two of the Republican Playbook consists of taking a veritable smorgasbord of  truly idiotic statements and stacking them neatly, precisely until they form a seemingly impenetrable Jenga style tower of Batshit Crazy.

And then they throw God into it.

And that is why Daddy has a real fucking problem with David Barton, because David dipshit Barton did all three...David Barton went for the GOP Trifecta, the Holy Trinity of Holy Shit, and decided to just let a wad of silliness and foolishness roll out of his wordhole, and it was just too much for Daddy to bear.

Let us dissect the STOOPID, shall we?  Here's how he started...

"Starbucks is pouring all this money into destroying traditional marriage..."

Okay.  Starbucks may be donating money to efforts that support and defend the rights of the LGBT community to marry, but that does not "destroy traditional marriage".  Gays have no interest in destroying traditional marriage - in fact, in most weddings, you can be pretty sure that gays were involved in one or more of the following - designing the wedding dress, designing the tux, doing the hair and makeup, catering the event, planning the event, providing the flowers, providing the music, taking the pictures - face it dude, at the end of the day, gays don't destroy traditional marriage - they keep it alive.

Can a Christian give money to a group that he knows will use it to attack what God supports? much stupid here, I don't know where to start.  Christ supports Peace; can a Christian give money to companies that support war and war profiteering ?  Christ supports caring for the poor; can a Christian give money to companies like Walmart that keep their national employees poor enough to require food stamps, and let their international employees (who were making slave wages) perish in a substandard building collapse?  Christ said to give away everything and follow Him, so I guess the real question is, can a Christian keep any money at all?

God supports Love.  God supports Forgiveness.  God supports Peace.  Starbucks is not attacking any of that.

"If you know that, when you buy a cup of Starbucks, five, ten, fifteen cents is going to be used to defeat marriage, can you do that?  Answer is no..."

When my wife and I got married, after we had our first dance, do you know what we did?  We went to the wedding reception across the hall and beat the holy living bejeesus out of their marriage!!!  Defeated the Crap out of it!!  Yeah!  Sweep the leg, Johnny!!  Cuz that's what marriage is!  It's frigging Thunderdome!  Two Marriages Enter - One Marriage Leaves!!!!!  THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

David, David, David...marriage is not a welter weight boxing match (sorry Rhianna baby, it's really not).  It is not something that takes place in finite space, where there is only room for one to survive.  Nothing that anyone ever does will in any way threaten, cheapen or otherwise lessen the marriage that I have with my wife.  If your marriage isn't that strong, then that is just your fucking problem, idn't it?

"Biblically, there's no way a Christian can help support what is attacking God..."

In Christianity, God is the eternal being that created and preserves the world.  He is all powerful, all knowing, He is every where, He is every thing; there is nothing in all of all there is that is mightier, more divine, more completely and utterly awesome than God.

And I attacked him.  With a Mocha Frappuccino.

What the hell was I thinking?  God could totally kick my ass!  Sounds ludicrous, right?  Almost as ludicrous as God concerning himself with the passing of currency for the purchase of java, with a bit of that spare change going to lawyers who fight for fairness.

I could go on and on about the douchiness factor of David Barton, and the pathetic pandering that he engages in to remain minutely relevant and religiously provocative, or I could thank him for reminding me of why I admire Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz as much as I do.  Howard Schultz isn't waving a Bible in the air, and calling you a heathen if you don't wave yours too.  No; Howard Schultz is openly supporting diversity in his company and the right of his employees to have the same rights as David Barton.  Can you see what he's doing here, David?  It's this thing called doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, with a side order of judging not lest you yourself be judged, followed with a nice slice of loving your neighbor as you love yourself.

And ya know what's great to wash that all down with, David?  A nice, hot cup of Pike Place.

Next cup is on me, 


Monday, May 27, 2013

Daddy on the Edge of Memorializing

It's Memorial Day again, and Daddy on the Edge wishes to take this time to thank all of those who have worn a uniform and served our country, as well as their families.  I want to thank you by suggesting that every business that profits from Memorial Day Sales gives 1% of their profits to organizations that support the active duty military and veterans.  You can start with these folks; watch...



We have the worlds greatest military - let's treat 'em like it - Every Day.

Thank You,


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Daddy on the Edge of a Rebuttal

Daddy on the Edge doesn't get a whole lot of feedback.

It happens, and I've come to accept that.  While I know there are a pretty fair amount of people that come by and read the posts here, the comments section remains fairly bare (which I gotta tell you, can sometimes feel like having sex with a mime - in the dark.  You think you're doing pretty good, but it's always hard to know if you have truly "satisfied" with your "content".  Was she thrashing in pleasure, or pretending to be assaulted by the wind, holding on to an invisible rope so she wouldn't be blown away?).

But today, Daddy got a comment; here's a bit of it  -

"I read your most recent blog post from the speak of charity and then deride conservatives for not giving to charity.

I find this humorous and uninformed since study after study (including Pew Research, whom I am sure you find more palatable than say Breitbart) have all concurred that conservatives consistently give more to charity than liberals."

I have not found a study that supports this idea - not exactly, anyway - I have found studies that suggest that "Red States" give more to charity than "Blue States", but I know lots of Democrats who live in Red States and vice versa for the Republicans, so it's not so easy for me to buy into that argument.  And besides, that's not the argument I was making.

While I did use the word "Charity" in my last blog post, what I was driving at was the idea that we should care for each other, that whatever we do for the least of us, we do for Christ; that helping the least fortunate among us is a major theme in many, many different religions. The idea of "giving to charity", while it should be synonymous with what I'm saying, can often times...not be.  It's easy to say that Republicans give more to charity, (and my critic did indeed provide me with articles - one from 2006 and one from 2008) but what are we really talking about?

From Wiki charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization (NPO). It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on non-profit and philanthropic goals as well as social well-being ( e.g. charitable, educational, religious or other activities serving the public interest or common good)

Like these guys - The American Family Association (AFA) is a United States non profit organization that promotes conservative fundamentalist Christian values. It opposes same-sex marriage, pornography, and abortion.  It also takes a position on a variety of other public policy goals and has lobbied against the Employee Free Choice Act. The AFA defined itself as "a Christian organization promoting the biblical ethic of decency in American society with primary emphasis on television and other media," later switching their stated emphasis to "moral issues that impact the family." It engages in activism efforts, including boycotts, buycotts, action alert emails, publications on the AFA's web sites or in the AFA Journal, broadcasts on American Family Radio, and lobbying The organization is accredited by the Evengelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) and posted a 2011 budget of over US$16 million.  AFA owns 200 American Family Radio stations in 33 states, seven affiliate stations in seven states, and one affiliate TV station KAZQ TV) in New Mexico.
AFA has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center as of November 2010 for the "propagation of known falsehoods" and the use of "demonizing propaganda" against LGBT people.  AFA has been criticized for its opposition to LGBT rights.

Annnnnd... it's a Charity.

The AFA is but one example - the Southern Poverty Law Center lists 18 Anti-Gay Hate Groups and their Propaganda that all claim non-profit, tax free status, and any donation you make to them can be claimed as a charitable contribution on your 1040's.

Then there are the environmental charities.  Nope, not Greenpeace - these non profit organizations are "sock puppet groups" put together by the Koch Heads and their ilk to counter rational, scientific conclusions regarding climate change with their own brand of...methane.
In February of this year, The Guardian posted a story that talks about these organizations, which you can read in it's entirety here - the following is a snippet of that article...

" As the Guardian revealed last week, two secretive organisations working for US billionaires have spent $118m to ensure that no action is taken to prevent man made climate change.  
The two organisations – the Donors' Trust and the Donors' Capital Fund have financed 102 organisations which either dismiss climate science or downplay the need to take action.
Among them are the American Enterprise Institute, American Legislative Exchange Council, Hudson Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Reason Foundation, Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, Mont Pelerin Society and Discovery Institute. All pose as learned societies, earnestly trying to determine the best interests of the public. The exposure of this funding reinforces the claim by David Frum, formerly a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, that such groups "increasingly function as public relations agencies"".

The Westboro Baptist Church is a charity.    The Ku Klux Klan has enjoyed tax free, non profit status.  Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network is a charitable organization, (despite the fact that Roberston used CBN money and equipment to aid his diamond mining operation in Zaire).  There are volumes of  charities, 501c3s, non profit organizations - countless groups, (all tax exempt, mind you) that, while charities in name and filing status, are in no way charitable.  Now, if you want to tell me that Republicans lead the way in giving to those types of organizations, well then I'll have no trouble believing that.

But again, what I was referring to were actual works - things that you do that directly help or hurt the poorest and weakest among us.  When sequestration was put on the table, the cuts were designed to be so unpalatable that no decent person could actually let such a thing happen, and that Republicans and Democrats would do whatever was necessary to avoid them.  Now that obstructionist Republicans have blocked every attempt at actual progress, this is what will happen to the poorest among us; 
From Mother Jones; 
Public housing subsidies:  $1.9 billion in cuts would affect 125,000 low-income people who would lose access to vouchers to help them with their rent.
Foreclosure prevention:  75,000 fewer people would receive foreclosure prevention, rental, and homeless counseling services.
Emergency housing: 100,000 formerly homeless people could be removed from their current emergency shelters.
Educational programs: Learning programs for poor kids would see a total of $2.7 billion in cuts. The $400 million slashed from Head Start, the preschool program for poor children, would result in reduced services for some 70,000 kids.
Title I Funding: The Department of Education's Title I program, the biggest federal education program in the country, subsidizes schools that serve more than a million disadvantaged students. It would see $725 million in cuts.
Rural rental assistance: Cuts to the Department of Agriculture would result in the elimination of rental assistance for 10,000 very low-income rural people, most of whom are single women, elderly, or disabled.
Social Security: Although Social Security payments themselves won't be scaled back, cuts to the program would result in a massive backlogging of disability claims.
Unemployment benefits: More than 3.8 million people getting long-term unemployment benefits would see their monthly payments reduced by as much as 9.4 percent, and would lose an average of $400 in benefits over their period of joblessness.
Veterans services: The Transition Assistance Program would be forced to cut back some of the job search and career transition services it provides to 150,000 vets a year.
Nutritional Assistance for Women & Children: The government's main food stamp program is exempt from cuts, but other food programs would take a hit. Some 600,000 women and children would be cut from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, which provides nutrition assistance and education.
Special education:  $978 million in cuts would affect 30.7 million children. For example, the scaling back of federal grants to states for students with disabilities would mean that cash-strapped states and districts would have to come up with the salaries for thousands of teachers, aides and staff that serve special needs kids.
Job training programs:  $37 million would be slashed from a job retraining and placement program called Employment Services, and $83 million would be cut from Job Corps, which provides low-income kids with jobs and education.
Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa) said that the $85 billion in cuts "would really help a long way and get us on a sustainable fiscal path." would only fighting the wars that we really needed to, as well as not paying for antiquated weaponry that is obsolete to our current military needs (and is expensive as hell); so would abandoning your parties repeated attempts to repeal "ObamaCare" (which as of July 2012 had racked up costs of approximately $48 million) and constantly defending the Defense of Marriage Act ($ 3 million so far) -  then there's that pesky notion of paying salaries, health care, personal protection, ground, air and sea transportation, pension and rent to a bunch of Congressional jack-wads who would rather propose 694 Anti-Choice bills in three months (!) than actually sit down and work with the President to tackle the serious problems still facing this nation and this planet.  I'd much rather give that money to Head Start kids or homeless Vets than to a bunch of self aggrandizing K Street whores who don't seem to have a fucking care in the world about ANYONE but themselves.  And yeah, I'm talking about you, Toomey.  Weenie.

So, in conclusion - thanks for the feedback.  Glad you found some humor here, and I hope you come back.  And honestly, I love feedback - I would be thrilled to hear from anyone and everyone who's got something to say, but know this - this blog is the radically amplified, barely censored, oft times caustic opinion of a self proclaimed ludicrous asshole who goes by the name of  Daddy on the Edge. The fact that you call me uninformed frankly makes me giggle, but you go right ahead and call me that if it makes you feel better.  Facts are facts, and even blind guides and blind fools can see that your GOP brothers wailing for this to be a Christian Nation are about as Christlike as a post Purim nosh at the 2nd Avenue Deli.

I'll wrap this up with a few words from the biggest Liberal I know; Watch...

Go with God, 


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Daddy on the Edge of Jesus, Muhammad and The Common Good

"This is the rule of most perfect Christianity, its most exact definition, its highest point, namely, the seeking of the"common good". . . for nothing can so make a person an imitator of Christ as caring for his neighbors.” ~John Chrysostom

Did'ja know that Daddy is an ordained Minister?

Yep - signed, sealed and delivered us from evil honest to God fearing Man of the Cloth, courtesy of The Universal Life Church Monastery.  I also signed The Big Book in NYC (seriously - no joke - it's this massive, leather bound tome that they pull out and have you sign - this after you've been sitting in the main waiting area of City Hall, listening for your name to be called and watching couple after couple coming in to get married - the whole afternoon was like some sort of college film, but I think I can say quite honestly that it was the best time I have ever had in a government building), which means I am able to marry people in Manhattan and all the Five Boroughs.  What could be better than having Daddy on the Edge officiate at your wedding?  Well this, for starters...

This is salted caramel ice cream, hot fudge, peanuts and caramel corn.  The creator of this concoction, Felicia Day, calls it a Cracker Jack Sundae.  It is delicious sounding, decadent looking, and it is consuming most of my thoughts this evening.  This needs to find a way into Daddy's mouth by the end of the week or bad things may occur. I might even accept this as payment for performing your wedding ceremony - that's how badly I want this thing.  Will marry for food?  I might, rabbit...I might.

But I digress (ya think???).  Salted caramel ice cream and all the fixin's is not the topic of today's foray into Daddy's brain.  Today, Minister Daddy, (nah...Papa Padre?  Father Father?  Eh, screw it) - today, I want to talk about The New Testament, The Qur'an, and The Torah.

I'll take "Religious Best Sellers" for $1,000, Alex!  Yep, these are three of the big boys - the play books, the instruction manuals, the veritable "eHows" for being the best darned Christian, or Muslim, or Jew you can be.  Throughout the centuries, they have been used to highlight our differences (usually to point out how one is so much better than the other two), but Preacher Pop (still not quite right...) is looking to focus for just a moment on one of the similarities of these three Holy Books - one of the main, central tenets that they all share -


2 Corinthians 9:7 - Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Deuteronomy 15:7 - If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother.

 The Noble Qur'an -By no means shall you attain to righteousness until you spend (benevolently) out of what you love; and whatever thing you spend, Allah surely knows it. (3:92)

Mark 10:21 - Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

Leviticus 25:35 - If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you.

We could be here all day highlighting how religions share a common belief in the importance of charity to their spirituality.  I've touched on three, but Hinduism practices a "daily morality" based on Karma and Dharma, Buddhism says that there must be joy in every act of giving, the Sikh Guru Amar Das says, "Blessed is the godly person and the riches they possess because they can be used for charitable purposes and to give happiness."  - On and on and on.  I've saved this one for last, because I thought it was excellent -

The Prophet Muhammad said: 'Charity is a necessity for every Muslim.'

 He was asked: 'What if a person has nothing?'

 The Prophet replied: 'He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity.'

The Companions asked: 'What if he is not able to work?' 

 The Prophet said: 'He should help poor and needy persons.' 

 The Companions further asked 'What if he cannot do even that?' 

 The Prophet said 'He should urge others to do the good.' 

The Companions said 'What if he lacks that also?' 

 The Prophet said 'He should hold himself from doing evil. That is also charity.'

If you can't do anything good, at least stop yourself from doing evil.  That is also charity.  Congress could learn a lot from the Prophet Muhammad.

Day after day, I hear a growing number of our legislators and lawmakers calling for this to be a Judeo-Christian Nation, a nation that embraces Christianity - truly, One Nation Under God (the GOP God, of course - kinda looks like a cross between Charlton Heston and Jerry Garcia - loves assault rifles, hates gays...surprisingly runs hot and cold on Ted Nugent.)  But their words and their actions don't match.

From the book of James - "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. ..."

What do the latest "works" of Congress, specifically that God fearing, Jesus loving Right Wing of Congress - show us?  Attempting to restrict voter rights, cutting food programs for the poor, refusing to raise an anemic minimum wage, countless campaigns and measures unleashed daily for the seemingly sole purpose of  hurting the least of us.  That's not Christ talking, that's someone else.  Please, please show me one bill, one proposal that has been suggested by anyone in the GOP that could even be considered the least bit "Christlike".  I'm here to tell ya, they don't exist.

Meanwhile, the folks that we have been told to revile; well now - they seem to be walking the path of the righteous a lot easier than the self-righteous whack-a-moles of Congress.

Compare and contrast with me for a moment, willya?  While House Republicans recently proposed cuts to nutrition assistance that will kick 280,000 low income children off automatic enrollment in the Free School Lunch and Breakfast Program, The Imperial Court of New York
was hosting the 27th annual Night of a Thousand Gowns, a gala fundraiser, this year raising funds for GMHC and GLAAD.  In their history, the court has donated over a million dollars to worthy LGBT and HIV/AIDS related causes.  Seems that crossdressers, drag queens and "sodomites" (as many a Republican has referred to my gay brothers) are being a whole lot more "Christian" than all you good, morally bankrupt upstanding GOP mothers. (PS:  The folks on the right are newly crowned Emperor XXII Wen-Dee Bouvier Pinkhouse and Empress XXVII Gracie Steeles - word is the house was royally rocked at their coronation, and all of us here at Daddy on the Edge wish them a most epic reign. Link to ICNY will be on the sidebar - go get involved and be frigging fabulous!).

Here's another one - while Paul Ryan and his holier than thou GOP Cabal are still trying to cut $1.4 trillion from Medicaid over a ten year period (way to sock it to those "takers", Paul Ryan, you Social Security Recipient you) prison inmates in various correctional facilities were helping charities through several different methods.  At The Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, CA, a group of inmates known as "The Longtermers Association" has raised and donated over $150,000 to charitable organizations.  In Key West, FL, "Art Behind Bars" is a program that provides inmates with art classes, whose work is then exhibited and sold with the proceeds given to charity.  Since 1994, the group has donated over $100,000 to 400-plus non-profit organizations.  You can read about more of these organizations here.  These folks are amazing to me.  Prison can tear you down; it can eat you up inside, leaving you with nothing but darkness - or a person can choose, even in their darkest hour, to find a bit of light...and make it brighter.

The Republicans in Congress snuff out that light, or they try to.  They decry, defund and destroy every charitable program that doesn't fit with their way of thinking (ACORN, Planned Parenthood, anything "gay"), all the while making poor people poorer and rich people richer and THEN claiming that somehow, that's the way God wants it.

God doesn't want that.  Jesus doesn't want that.  Muhammad, Moses, Buddha - they don't want that either.  Saying that they do; saying that you act in Their names, is the mark of a False Prophet.  Worse - it is the mark of a Pharisee.

Jesus was not a fan of the Pharisees.  He called them blind fools, serpants, and hypocrites, accusing them of saying one thing but doing another - accusing them of making heavy burdens for men to carry, without lifting a finger to help.  He accused them of making a show of their faith, but doing very little to back it up with works.  The Pharisees, like our present day GOP, cared little for "the common good".

Who but demons would demonize the poor and the defenseless?  In every religion, save the religion of Greed and Avarice, what the Republicans are doing to the poor, the hungry, the homeless and destitute are some of the greatest sins imaginable.  And when we give in to their constant mantra - when we allow ourselves to believe, even for a moment, that it's the poor and their "entitlement programs" that are to blame for our current financial situation - then we have succumbed to the teachings of False Prophets.

This callous, malevolent, evil attitude toward the poor in this country Must End.  It is an empty, fruitless, heartless endeavor and we are simply better than that.  We Must be better than that.  How do I know?  Jesus told me.

It's sad that I have to look to a fictional character to wrap this up - how extraordinary would it be to hear one of our elected leaders speak these words, or words anywhere close to these?  Thank you, Charlie Chaplin - for reminding me that the Kingdom of God is within every one of us.  Watch...

  Can I get an Amen up in here?


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Daddy on the Edge - The Expiration of Inspiration

I don't breathe much, really...lately.

I mean, obviously I breathe enough; I'm walking and talking, doin' my thang in the blogopolis, so I must be getting enough O2 in my system.

But it's not the real thing, y'know?  What most Americans (and probably folks in a whole lot of the world) pass off as breathing is actually this shallow, ragged push me-pull you between oxygen and carbon dioxide - it's just about enough respiration to keep us conscious and alive, but not a helluva lot more.  It's like duct taping the hell out of that broken mailbox post so it'll stay upright a bit longer- it ain't the right way to do it, but it gets the job done, know what I mean?

And the real kicker is that it should be so easy!  It's breathing, for crying out loud!  But when work, and bills, and work, and taxes, and work and the dog and work and broken appliances and work and health issues and work and work and work...(whew...head rush)...yeah, when the pressures of life get to rest too heavily on one's chest and one's mind, this simple thing to do ain't no longer simple, and we suffer from a lack...of inspiration.

Isn't that great?  The art of the inhale is called inspiration.  Daddy loves unexpected words like that - for instance, the french word for "Warning" is "Advertissement" (which makes perfect sense if you've ever listened to the litany of nasty side effects in one of those Cymbalta commercials).  The french word for "gasoline"?  "Essence".  Isn't that awesome?  "Will you be home in time for dinner?"  "Sure - just gotta stop for some Essence and then I'll be there."  Filling your tank sounds downright sexy when the french say it (although at $4.00 a gallon, it still feels like you're getting mugged at the pump, no matter what you call it).

So, I've been suffering from insufficient inspiration.  The flip side of Inspiration (breathing in) is Expiration (breathing out), hence the title of today's post.  I'm not sure where I first heard the term, but I wrote it down immediately because it just tickled the hell out of me.  I didn't take it to have anything to do with breathing, although that is how it had been introduced.  To me it seemed like speculating that there could be an expiration date, a finite period of time - a limit to one's inspiration, or perhaps to the usefulness of such (use it or lose it, as it were).

We've all seen that happen, so there must be something to that - my great ideas, your great ideas - they don't die if we don't act on them - only our time to act on them expires, and they go on to someone else.  Years later, we see our ideas being sold on TV, or Bill Gates is unveiling them, or someone else opens that coffee shop, and we sulk quietly, jealous of all the attention our ideas are getting, up there with those other people who actually used them.  Song about The Twilight Zone?  My idea.  "Yadda, yadda, yadda"?  Swear to God, it was mine before it was Seinfeld's.  I tell ya, you've gotta copyright that shit the second it pops into your head, 'cuz you never know how long you're gonna have it.

Inspiration - it begins.  Expiration - it is over.  We live and die in a single breath, to be born again with the next, and the next, and the next.  Every breath an opportunity to be inspired anew - to go down another path, make another choice - live another life.  Not these half assed, token sucks of air like people drowning in oceans of their own design - but real, clean, deep down in your toes, get you high kind of breathing.  Do this with me right now - Exhale; whatever breath you have in you, force it out of you - empty yourself - push it all out...every last bit.  Now, deep and steady in through your nose, inhale as much air as you can comfortably take in , and then take in just a little bit more, and hold it. Hold it in for four times the amount of time you took inhaling...and then release.  Exhale normally, and let your breathing return to normal.

How'd that feel?  Did your teeth tingle?  Feel a little bit high?  I know, I know - it's nothing new.  Y'all do this in yoga and meditation - but for many of us unenlightened ones, this is not something we come by naturally, because we're stressed beyond belief, because there's too much noise and not enough sound, because there's too much doing and not enough being - because sometimes life...makes it hard to breathe.

But it's not life that makes it hard to breathe - it's all the crap with which we clog up our existence and refer to as life.  Life is not our job, or our political affiliation; Life is not our house, or our car, or any of the material possessions that we hold dear.  Life is expression.  Life is inspiration realized.  Life is every unencumbered, unstressed breath that we allow ourselves to take.

We can breathe; we can absorb inspiration freely and easily; we can be divine and mystic and extraordinary and epic...we just have to get out of our own way.

Observe your own body. It breathes. You breathe when you are asleep, when you are no longer conscious of your own ideas of self-identity. Who, then, is breathing? The collection of information that you mistakenly think it’s you is not the main protagonist in this drama called the breath. In fact, you are not breathing; breath is naturally happening to you. You can purposely end your own life, but you cannot purposely keep your own life going. The expression, “My life” is actually an oxymoron, a result of ignorance and mistaken assumption. You don’t posses life; life expresses itself through you. Your body is a flower that life let bloom, a phenomenon created by life.” 

~ Ilchi Lee

Breathe easy, my friends.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Daddy on the Edge of Believing...

My daughter was in a recent episode of the award winning web series "Haywire" .  She had some very basic action - be chased from one room to another.  I was at rehearsal and watched her pretend to run from someone, causing the person chasing her to slow down and end up pretending as well.  I asked the director if I could speak to my daughter for a moment.  He agreed and I quickly walked over to her and said "I'm chasing you - don't let me catch you!  RUN!", and I chased her at full speed.  Now that she was actually being chased, it was real for her, and the pretending was over.  Because acting is not ever about pretending...

Acting is about make-believe.

Some would call pretending and make-believe the same.  The Free Dictionary lumps make-believe together with fantasy, unreality, charade - even mock and sham - and a host of other terms that would regulate it to the world of the imaginary, the unreal...the false.

I disagree.  In Daddy's lexicon,

Make-Believe = Making the viewer Believe.

It's not about pretending; it's about convincing.  And to truly convince someone else, you first have to convince yourself.  Great actors immerse themselves in a role, losing themselves, so that they might become this other person, and convince you that they have done so.  Acting is like sales; the first step is that you yourself believe in your product. You have to make yourself believe, in acting, in our everyday lives - and sometimes that last one is the toughest - can you make yourself you?

Sometimes, that's a tall order.  Sometimes Conventional Wisdom, The Powers That Be, or the so-called Experts will make it almost impossible for you to believe that something is possible.  They'll call you a dreamer, or worse - a fool for believing what you believe.  Can you still overcome?  Can your belief system overcome theirs?  Can you make yourself, and others believe what, up until now, was wholly unbelievable?

Let's ask this guy...

Thank You, Arthur Boorman - for your service to our country, for serving as an amazing inspiration, and for making Daddy cry those good tears, those happy tears...those tears that flow every time I watch you run...

You Make Me Believe.