Posted in Howling Sea Lane

The Why Behind the Howl

I’ve done a lot of talking and typing lately that I don’t normally do.  I’ve gotten into internet scraps and blown pretty hard at some people over issues that mean a lot to me.

When it comes to making decisions, I have two filters.  I have my James 3:17 filter and I have my Thor filter.  The Thor filter was born the day my son was, and I looked at him and thought, “I am going to do my best to make this world a better place for you, starting with me.”

My ultimate litmus test is this:  If this were happening to my son, what would I do?  I work from there.

I believe we all want the best for our children.  Our troubles begin when we think the best for our children has to be at the expense of someone else’s child.  Our troubles end when we look at other children and ask ourselves how we can make the world better for all of them.

I want my son to grow up in a world where people work together to see that everyone has enough.  Where, to paraphrase Louis CK, we are all making sure our neighbor’s bowls are full.

I want my son to grow up in a world where you are free to love any consenting adult, who would like to love you back.  I want my son to grow up in a world where you can be any color, or gender, and be the leader of our nation–without people calling you by racial epithets, or genitalia slang.

I want my son to grow up feeling free to worship as he chooses, knowing that if the next guy prays differently, he is no more, or less good, moral, or human than my son.  I want my son to grow up with an open mind, an open heart, and a solid understanding of when to close both of those functions against bigotry, racism, and unkindness.  I want him to stand tall with compassion and empathy, and carry a big stick of intolerance for cruelty.

The world is a scary place, full of anger, and hatred, and abuse.  It is full of people willing to oppress, degrade, and dehumanize others for power and financial gain.  I want my son to stand against that.

So, I have to stand against that, not just agree to disagree with it.

I don’t have any power, or prestige going for me.  All I have is my voice and my ability to type really fast.  But that’s why I post about religion and politics.  I’m trying to stand against a tide, hoping my toehold will make my son’s footprint deeper, so he can raise the next generation to do even better for humanity.  It’s not much, but it’s all I’ve got, and shame on me if I don’t use it.

Posted in Uncategorized

I’m Into Threesomes–I mean third-partysomes

My first voting event was Bush the Elder v. Clinton the Male-r.  Ross Perot gave it a go in that election, and after the debate in MO, I was sold.  Sadly, he dropped out of the race before I could cast my first vote, and my first Third Party vote.  But, the damage was done to my Red v. Blue socialization, and I’ve longed for a viable Third Party candidate ever since.

What I want in a candidate is this:

  • Economic conservatism
  • Social liberalism
  • A foreign policy of peace and non-interference
  • Strong backing for State’s rights
  • and I want someone who doesn’t try to win my vote by waving a crucifix at me

I’m actually pretty excited about Libertarian, Gary Johnson, this year.  His mini biography from his website says this:

[Gary Johnson] has been an outspoken advocate for efficient government, lower taxes, winning the war on drug abuse, protection of civil liberties, revitalization of the economy and promoting entrepreneurship and privatization.

I like that.  Nothing not to like there.

I also like statements like this:

    • The government cannot pick and choose which of our constitutional rights it must uphold.
    • America is a land of immigrants. Legal immigration should focus on making it easier and simpler for willing workers to come here with a temporary work visa, pay taxes, contribute…
    • Civil liberties are so foundational to America that the first eight amendments to the Constitution address them directly. These amendments enshrine government’s duty to protect individual liberties, including the rights to free speech and free association.
    •  But today, government has created for itself sweeping powers to monitor the private lives of individuals and otherwise intrude upon our daily activities, our households and our businesses. The extent of the government’s reach today would be unrecognizable to the Founders.
    •  Much of the recent erosion in civil liberties has occurred in the name of national security. But we can – and must — combat threats to our safety while adhering to due process and the rule of law.

Again, nothing not to like there.  There are a lot of pros in Johnson’s column, and just a couple of cons.  The biggest con is that he is a Third Party Candidate.  Well, that’s a con to a lot of voters because there is a mythology that voting for anyone other than a Democrat or a Republican just helps the guy you hate win an election.

Johnson addressed this, and I’ll let the man speak for himself:

“Wasting your vote is voting for somebody that you don’t believe in.  That’s wasting your vote. I’m asking everybody here, I’m asking everybody watching this [debate] nationwide to waste your vote on me.”  From the Washington Post–great article, btw.

I can’t vote for a man who sends drones in to murder children, and who fought to retain the ability to indefinitely detain American citizens.  I can’t vote for a man who would further deny civil liberties to my fellow citizens based on their sex, or sex-preferences (or whose positions I can’t quite figure out in the first place.)  Gary Johnson is against drone strikes on innocent parties and indefinite detention of citizens.  He is for gay marriage and women’s rights.  He is against deficit spending, and for education reform.  He is Third Party, but he is top choice for me.

Let’s make it official:  The Outside Lane endorses Gary Johnson for President of the United States.

Posted in Politics

Not to go All Dirty Hippy on You, But…

Now and then I still fantasize about going into national politics.  Then, I remember I have this blog and I have pretty much killed all my chances of ever being able to lie convincingly enough to get the traction it would take to make it onto a ballot.  I certainly wouldn’t get Pat Robertson’s endorsement.  While I am murdering my future political career…

Thor asks a lot of questions about politics.  Half the time I feel like I am telling him too much truth, and half the time I feel like the truth is too ridiculous to tell (I tell it anyway, and we laugh together.)  Yesterday, he started asking me about the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and the conversation wound around until I found myself trying to explain collateral damage and how targets are chosen.  He processed the information back to me.

“So the soldiers dropped those bombs and then we won the war?  But a lot of innocent people got hurt.  But it made us win the war?  So…I guess those soldiers felt very proud that they had done that.”

I told him I didn’t think the soldiers felt exactly like that, or at least that not all of them did.  That it wasn’t so black and white.  But, yes, the war had ended and we had accomplished our goals.  I told him I wasn’t sure there was such a thing as “winning” a war because no one is a winner when innocent people are hurt.  And no one is a winner when young men and women are forced to kill other young men and women.  We all lose.  Just some of us come out of it with more of what we wanted going into it.  Mainly, the politicians.  It ain’t baseball, Kid.

See?  That’s a lot to absorb.  I may not be doing him any favors by trying to explain the nuance of what makes war hell, but I really want him to grow up thinking about more than Point A and Point B.  I want him thinking about A.1.0001, A.1.0002, A.1.ooo3–all the steps it takes to get to Point B, and all the periphery of an idea.  I don’t want him to hear the President saying that there was an acceptable amount of collateral damage because there is no such thing.  All collateral damage is unacceptable and awful, and it is horrifying and heartbreaking to think that “the other side” might see my son as potentially acceptable collateral damage.  Worse, my own government might see my son as potentially acceptable collateral damage.  We’ve all got to understand that.

But, just as we’ll always have the poor among us, we’ll always have the sociopaths and the power mongers, and they will always be striving toward more for themselves, which will always mean less for someone else.  And those are the people who feel like blowing up children is fine, so long as they get their point across.

This should never be considered acceptable.  Ever.

(Lane’s career in politics=Dead)

Posted in books, Explaining the Strange Behavior, Friends of Mine, Inside Lane, Politics, Religion

Books, Cures, and Poor, Poor Baby Jesus (Updated)

I started a new book.  I can’t tell yet if it is good.  I’m two chapters in and the story has my attention, but the writer writes exactly the way I speak, and I find myself-in-other-people annoying, so I can’t decide whether or not to enjoy it.  I will end up with a grudging appreciation for it, as I do most things that remind me of myself. 

It is funny how we can be repelled by our own personalities.  My dearest friends are usually very different from me.  I gravitate toward big personalities (admittedly, I am one of those), but behind those big personalities are methodical, organized, slow-burning characters.  I have come to realize that the reason I get so irritated with short-fused, paranoid, self-effacing, mercurial talkers is because I am a short-fused, paranoid, self-effacing, mercurial talker.  (Thus, the heroine of the new novel is infuriating, being the poster child for above flaws.)

I do idealize solid people.  I idealize people who are doing the jobs they went to college to learn, and who have done the same jobs for entire career spans.  This fascinates and intrigues me.  To date, the longest I have ever stayed with one industry is five years.  Granted, I have returned to that industry (it also being the industry I most enjoyed), but I don’t feel like that counts because I only returned one peg above where I left it off 15 years ago.  I am in awe of people who commit to a course of career and keep it.

(Telaryn let me know that, “Reports are coming in that the statement is a parody and not, in fact, attributable to Akin.”  Good to know!  I found this retraction/correction.)

Posted in economy, parenting, Politics, Thor

Civics and the Six-Year-Old

Thor loves NPR and the Classical music station, and has since he was old enough to express a preference by screaming his lungs out when I tried to change to the pop channel.  Because he listens to NPR (and I swear to you, he ASKS to listen to NPR–believe me there are days I’d rather be letting the Top 40 fill my work-vacant brain) he hears a lot of talk of politics, and he asks some pretty good questions for a 1st Grader.

Last week, on our 5 minute drive, after a recap of his understanding of the 2-Party System, he asked me, “So what’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans?”

Uh…in a nutshell?  And impartially?  Geez.

I tried to explain that the Ds were usually more liberal socially, preferred for the Government to be very involved in daily life, and were more likely to spend money on people, and that Rs were more conservative socially, preferred small government, and were more likely to spend money on industry and business.  He then asked what was liberal, and what was conservative, and I said liberal socially meant fewer rules about how people should live their private lives (which was ironic, since many liberals like the Government to make more rules) and conservative meant more rules about how people should live their private lives (with the reciprocal irony.)

And then Thor asked, “So what about the money?”

I said, “It’s kind of like this.  Say you have no money.  The Democrats would ask the Government to give you $2 a week forever.”

He interrupted, “I don’t have any money!  They would give me money?!”

“But…  The Republicans would give $5 a week to a business, hoping that business would give you a job.  The job would pay you $3 a week, but the idea is that you can work hard and get a promotion, then make $5 a week, then get another promotion and make $15 a week.  So you would have a shot at improving your life and be more upwardly mobile.”

“Three is more than two,” he calculated.  “But then I have to get a job.”

“Dude, you are going to have to get a job anyway.  No deadbeats.  So, do you understand?”

“Yep.  Which one is better?”

“Neither.  Both sides want the same thing–a strong country where people are happy.  They just have different ideas about how to get there.”

“What are you?”


“And what are they?”

“Ask Daddy.”

“Cool.  Can I have a treat after dinner tonight?”


I’m sure I over-simplified or screwed that up majorly somehow, but B is the political mind in the family.  I keep hoping one day Thor will ask me a question that is easy to answer.  Like, “Mama, what kind of corsage should I get my prom date?”