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Thursday, January 20, 2005

Welcome to America, where we split the cost of the party equally between those who can least afford it and those who can benefit the most from buying their way in. Where DC preschool teachers and Halliburton stockholders stand in the same line to hand over their cash to the bar mitzvah boy. Give what you can, or he might decide to liberate you.

Maybe our lame duck president said something about healing and unity in his speech today. I wouldnít know, because he said those things four years ago and then did the opposite. Salt instead of salve is what our wounded country got from its first appointed president. I doubt he found it necessary to be conciliatory four years later, after actually winning more votes than his opponent, at least officially.

The difference for me is that I didnít feel obliged to listen to the lies again. When you know the mud slide is coming, itís best to move to higher ground. I didnít exactly fall for his lines last time, but I allowed myself to feel a bit hopeful after his first inauguration. He said some things I wanted to hear. That should have been my first clue.

Whatever heís selling this time, Iíve had enough of it already. Iím not going to let myself be led through another stinky, smelly swamp. In the past, Iíve always felt it my duty as a citizen to listen when my leaders spoke, but there are only so many times you can fall for the same trick. Even Charlie Brown has to wise up sooner or later.

20 January 2005

January sunset.

I donít like being an obstructionist. Pro-active, not re-active, thatís my motto. (One of them, anyway, and the most recent, considering I just thought of it.) But when momentum swings so far in one direction, it takes a lot of force and friction to bring it back the other way. Iím proud to provide as much friction as one lonely voter can muster, for as long as it takes.

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I didnít spend one damn dime on Inauguration Day, not because I thought it would do any good to punish my neighborhood merchants in the name of empty protest, but because I was actually working for a living and too tired to get myself to the store. (Actually, Iím all for symbolic gestures, even if theyíre hollow and ineffective. But I have to be honest about this. I canít claim any moral high ground just because I was exhausted.)

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Sixes and Sevens
"If you're an adult taking a night class at the junior college, you might feel a little like you did when you had that dream in sixth grade where you went to school in your underwear."

Two years ago: Loose Ends
"I think I would have enjoyed accepting an award from her last night."

Three years ago: Deactivated
"It's hard to rock the boat when you're so unsure of your swimming ability. It's even harder when you don't know how deep the water is."

Four years ago: Power Mad
"President Bush's inaugural speech was surprisingly inspiring and eloquent, when he spoke in general terms about civility, community and compassion. When he got into specifics (taxes, defense), it was a striking reminder that his agenda is in many ways starkly at odds not only with the outgoing administration, but with the beliefs of a large segment of American society."

Five years ago: Sunny Day
"Why, I do believe I even saw two strangers smile at each other today."

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