10 October 2012

Voting Rights State by State

I am truly stumped by how the voting ID and early voting battle has been playing out across the country. I get how conservatives hold on to their "state's rights" argument, but the right to vote is a national issue. And so I don't really get how each state can and does alter its voting laws.
Pretty much you can travel most states and the laws of how you can vote differs from county to county and even from town to town. So I could vote certain hours in my county, but if I lived 5 miles to the south or east, in a different county, I would have different hours. Why? No reason, just because different people set the rules.
In Ohio, the Sect of State, who oversees the elections in that state, has decided that some counties should be able to vote early, even up to three days prior to the general election but other counties can only vote up to 2 weeks prior to the election. Why? No reason.
But wait, there IS a reason. All of these voting changes so close to the actual election day is all an attempt to dismay voters from voting. It's an attempt to either make it harder to vote, or to make people THINK its harder. They think it's going to be difficult, so they decide to stay home.
I think there should be a federal law that not only sets the voting age, but sets the dates and time of early voting as well. It should be the same in evey state, no matter what.
I dont have anything wrong with requiring photo IDs at the polls, but to do that, you have to set the law a year in advance, phase it in, and allow ALL citizens to get proper ID free of charge. That's not an easy thing to do. And it CANNOT be set 2, 3 or even 6 months before an election. It's a long term process.

I'm baaaack...

After a 7 or 8 month hiatus I've returned to the blogosphere. And with only 28days until the election, Justin time.

14 January 2012

lessons learned ..

a lesson that I have learned over the past few months that has really made itself known the past few days is one that I would give to anyone who is in a relationship. it isn't anything about how to find the right mate or anything like that. its more for those in a relationship.

rihanna has a recent song titled "only girl in the world".. in the chorus she says "i want you to love me like i'm the only girl in the world ... like i'm the only one you will ever love." now the rest of the lyrics may or may not really make all the sense in the world, but that one line says alot.

anytime you care for someone, you should treat them like they are the only girl/boy in the world. you should care for them in such a way that they feel that they are the only person in your world. we all know that we all have more than one person in our lives and that there are more people in the world. but when in a relationship you should make your partner, your loved one, feel like they are the only one that you could possibly love like that. like they are the only person whose happiness maters to you.

i know that I have not done this in the past. i did not make my partners feel like they were the only one in my world. i was either concerned with how they made me feel or didn't feel, or felt that i needed more. but without them in my life, I learned what i didn't do for them, and in the end what they needed from me.

this is something I see in my mom's relationship with my stepdad. they have such a bond, that anyone around them can see when they are in the same room with each other. when one is sick, having the other there in the room gives them such comfort and calmness. i saw my mom weak and tired, in her recent struggles in the hospital, and when my stepdad came in the room, and sat down to hold her hand, there was a spark there. you saw that she was weak, and then she was strong again. she knows that she is in the only girl in his world.

i regret not making my loved one feel like he was the only one in my world. i cant say why or that it was my true feeling, but i feel it was a lesson that I had not learned. we all learn things in our lives, but only when we stop and realize it, and accept it can we really learn it. I have done that, and I hope to never make that mistake again. cause someone like him deserves to feel like and be the only one in someone's world.

11 January 2012

Its going to be alright. Isnt it?

I don't like hospitals, never really have. I never really care for the medical field at all. I've been quite lucky to never be admitted to a hospital or need much medical care over the years and I hope and pray to keep that a constant in my life.
But visiting my Mom over the past two years on hospitals has me realizing more and more my opinion of them.

It's not the staffs. I have a total respect for anyone on the medical field, they have far more patience than I have to deal with all that their job throws at them on a daily basis.
Perhaps it's sitting in these hospital rooms seeing someone you love fighting the pain and not being able to do anything about it. The helplessness is probably the worst feeling in the world. You just wish you could hold their hand and take all the pain from their body into yours.
It raises so many questions. Philosophical ones, of why things happen. It raises questions as to why medical science cannot relieve the pain. Why we can't tell what is happening without whet seems like days of tests. And why in the hell does it feel like no one is doing anything.
See, I'm not a patient person. I just want to make my Mommy better, like she did when I was little. I want to hold her hand or stroke her cheek, and tell me "it's going to be ok".

31 December 2011

looking back. looking ahead.

This year has been up and down to say the least. A year ago I was in a similar place, not knowing where I was going and not sure what I wanted. I started the year off with some medical issues that I could have allowed to hold me back, but I didn't. 

Once I got back up on my feet and opened my mind to possibilities I met someone who would teach me more about myself and more about life in one year than I could ever had taught myself. After I had felt so down in the months before, I found msyelf feeling so up. Happiness was once again in my life. I opened my mind and my heart and experienced so many new things. I learned to think more about what I was eating and not eating. I learned to think more about healthy living and fitness than I had before. I discovered pilates, which I absolutely love now (#ToddPilates) and even tried out Bikram Yoga (90 min yoga in 105 degree room). I also learned how we all see life in so many different ways, and how changing your view can really change your opinion about things. 

I also learned things about myself. Not in the way I would suggest others to do. I learned that holding things back is not always the best. You need to be up front with those closest to you. And if its something that you may not be proud of at first, their acceptance and support can help you improve yourself. I learned that lessons in life are not always easy to learn.

Hurting someone who brightened your world in so many ways is the hardest thing to accept. But if you step back and accept it and learn from it, you will be better off in the end. Emotions are delicate things and they can heal. They take time to heal, but in the end they are all lessons for us to learn on our journey of life.

This past year, I learned several lessons. They were not all easy ones or even pleasant ones. But as I look into 2012, and beyond, they will help me a better person tomorrow, than I was today, and that in the end is the best thing we can do for ourselves.

I value all that has happened to me in the past year, and dedicate myself to learning from these lessons to one, not make the same mistakes again, but instead to make myself a better version of myself from one day to the next.

24 October 2011

My Mountain Awaits Me.

I downloaded an App on my iPhone several months ago of 50,000 Quotes. I click on it nearly every day and read a random quote. Sometimes I search for a particular subject or author, but usually I just read thru random quotes. When I find one that stands out I'l post it to my Twitter (@bentx74). I've grown quite fond of quotes. I have a few written on post-its at my desk at work and one or two at home. I was given a birthday gift this year with one that hangs above my desk. Its a photograph of an open road, with the quote "Follow the path your dreams take you". It reminds me to follow those dreams I have and just let them happen. After Steve Jobs passed away last month, I watched his commencement address at Stanford University, and pulled the quote "Your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life." Well today, I was presented with an opportunity, a really wonderful opportunity. An opportunity to do something that I've dreamed about. It might be small or medium, but can start something more for me. Its kind of the thing that I've been waiting to come along and start bigger things for me. And after working on the beginning of it. And realizing that it sparks something inside of me. I did a quick search of quotes online. I randomly came across a Dr Seuss quote, from the book 'Oh The Places You'll Go!'. When I read it, it hit me. I love mountains. If I could live anywhere, I would live closer to the Rockies. I would love to see them every day. To marvel in their majestic nature. They marvel me. I don't know how to describe it. Anyways, when I read this quote I knew it was my quote. So I took a pic I have of one of my favorite places, Glacier National Park and put the two together. I spent the summer of 2002 in Glacier National Park, at Many Glaceir Hotel. 12 miles from Babb, Montana and seems forever from everything else. That summer I felt alone at times, but also felt so at ease. The hotel sat on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake, which is at the foot of Mt Grinnell. I literally woke up every morning gazing at this mountain. So from that view, I knew I could draw inspiration to take my mountain. So here I go, to climb my mountain. To reach my dream.

12 October 2011

I believe I like me some Oprah

Ok, so I got me some love for the big O, Ms Oprah.  "Ooooooopraaaaaah!" And recently I saw on Facebook I think, that she was doing these "Life Lessons" on her new network. Facebook advertises a post-show webcast where you can log on and interact w/ Oprah, ask questions and such.

So tonight, I tried to catch up and watch some of the episodes. Well not as easy, they don't have the shows available, but they do have some video clips available to watch. Today's "Life Lesson"was "You Become What You Believe". Which on the surface makes complete sense. 

We've all heard the saying, "if you think you can, you will; if you can't, you won't". So Oprah has a clip of an interview with Jim Carey back in 2007, where he talks about visualizing his success before he became successful. 

This is an important thing to think about and I think even more powerful to carry out. I can't think of a time that I visualized myself doing something and then I did it. But I can think of times that I told myself or thought of myself failing at something and I later failed.

And when you think about it, what do you have to lose? You only have losing to lose.

10 October 2011

Learning a Life Lesson

personal commitment. I have learned that when you are faced with a challenge, you must commit yourself with all of your heart. you have to decide if what you want is truly what you want or just something that would be nice to have.

if you would like to have it, then maybe you will, maybe you won't.  but i you truly want it, then you must dedicate yourself to wanting it and doing whatever you can to achieve it. each day you must wake up and say to yourself "today i dedicate myself to fighting for what I want". it is this day after day commitment, the day to day dedication that focuses the mind and heart on what you want. 

its not easy, nothing is and nothing can be. too often we want the easy way to get what we want. I think in our society today we want instant gratification, we are too commonly accustomed to clicking on something and boom, we have what want. online shopping is the best example of this.

but in our lives, our personal lives, things are not easy. i was told a few months ago that "americans want everything to be so easy and if it isn't easy then they just give up" I don't think this is completely true, but I do see now how this opinion is common. i myself am guilty of this. guilty of just thinking things will happen for me, if I want them and hope for them, they will happen. this is not true. this is not a movie. this is life. and if you want something you have to fight for it. 

but realizing this is barely 10% of the battle, i know i have to wake up every day and remind myself, rededicate myself every day to fighting for what I want. its kind of like joining the gym and starting an exercise routine. some thing that I actually have recently done. I have to tell myself every morning when the damn alarm goes off, "get up! do it!" and not allow myself to make some excuse, roll over and go back to sleep. but doing it one day is not enough. one day a week will not help me get to my goal. I know I have to do it every day, and if its not going to the gym, perhaps its eating a salad, or not eating a greasy hamburger. 

and slowly, over time, slower than i want it to be, slowly a change is occurring, I am slowly changing my lack of habit into a habit. I am slowly changing myself. I am slowly getting to what I want.

and so that is what I must do in all aspects of my life. re-dedicate myself every morning, every afternoon and every evening. to remain focused on what I want.

25 August 2011

Texas drought ranks pretty low on the news cycle

I understand the news worthiness of a major hurricane hitting the east coast with a large population along the coast and the effects the storm will have on them. But I just don't care for the "end of the world" reporting that is already starting as the storm moves closer.

The 'over exposed' media  and their thirst to pump up every story for maximum ratings irks me. Especially when not a single news outlet has really given any attention to the fact that 98% of Texas is in 'extreme drought' conditions. A majority of the state hasn't even had a measurable rainfall in the past 6 months while dealing with above average heat the past 3 months. There are towns in north and west Texas that are being threatened with running out of their water source.

I have seen a few little articles about the drought, but its only when there isn't anything else more exciting is happening, such as Kim Kardashian's wedding. And I am sure part of Rick Perry's campaign team is trying out ways to blame the drought on Obama, but untill they do, we won't get much attention.

So the coming weekend as the east coast is flooded, all we can do is crank up the A/C and dream about the next one coming our way.

09 July 2011

American dream is about equality not wealth

[ this is a re-post of a special op-ed subimtted to CNN.com by author Nicolaus Mills, a professor of American studies at Sarah Lawrence College. He is at work on a new book, "Season of Fear: 9/11 and the Road to Iraq."

The battle between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans over raising the debt ceiling has escalated into more than a fight over the budget and taxes. It has become a battle over who speaks for the American dream -- those who want the wealthy to pay a greater share of the nation's taxes or those who want to cut entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare.
A look back in time provides a view of the American dream that ought to encourage liberals.
The famed historian James Truslow Adams, in his 1931 study "The Epic of America," is credited with popularizing the term "American dream." But Adams' dream had little to do with the now-popular idea of "striking it rich" and achieving fabulous wealth. Adams' version of the American dream was a modest one. It was a shared dream in which men and women attain "the fullest stature of which they are capable" without trampling one another.
Adams was opposed to a system that, as he put it, "steadily increases the gulf between the ordinary man and the super-rich," and in this view Adams was not just speaking for himself. He was describing the egalitarian core at the center of the historic American dream.
In the 17th century, we see this modest version of the American dream most clearly in the "city upon a hill" sermon (a favorite of Ronald Reagan) that John Winthrop, one of the Massachusetts Bay Colony's early governors, gave as the Puritans were on the way to the New World. For Winthrop, it was crucial for the Puritans to remember that theirs was a collective enterprise in which they would succeed or fail by virtue of being "knit together" as one people. Sharing and sacrifice were prerequisites, in Winthrop's mind, for becoming a city on a hill that would serve as an example for others.
"We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities for the supply of others' necessities," Winthrop insisted.
More than a century later Thomas Jefferson found himself reaching a similar conclusion while serving as minister to France. In a 1785 letter to his friend James Madison, Jefferson expressed his horror at the inequality of life in pre-revolutionary France and then went on to discuss how America could avoid Europe's fate.
"The earth is given as a common stock for man to labour and live on," Jefferson wrote Madison, and then with the vastness of America in mind, he observed, "It is too soon yet in our country to say that every man who cannot find employment but who can find uncultivated land shall be at liberty to cultivate it, paying a moderate rent. But it is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land."
Almost a century later, with passage of the Homestead Act looming, President-elect Abraham Lincoln expressed similar thoughts. "I have to say that in so far as the government lands can be disposed of, I am in favor of cutting up the wild lands into parcels, so that every poor man may have a home," Lincoln told a cheering Ohio audience.
On July 4, 1861, in a special message to Congress, Lincoln went even further in describing the government's obligation to its most vulnerable citizens. In an address devoted to justifying the Union cause, Lincoln defended the idea of "government whose leading object is, to elevate the conditions of men -- to lift artificial weights from all shoulders -- to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all -- to afford all, an unfettered start." It was this view of government that in Lincoln's mind made the Civil War a "people's contest."
Nearly 75 years later, with unemployment at 25 percent, President Franklin Roosevelt advanced a similar description of government. In his 1933 inaugural address, Roosevelt spoke of the need for the country to move as an army "willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline," and over the next 12 years, Roosevelt never backed away from that idea.
Campaigning for the presidency in 1936, he assured voters, "Your government is still on the same side of the street with the good Samaritan and not with those who pass by on the other side," and in his triumphant second inaugural, Roosevelt made it clear what being a good Samaritan meant in the middle of the Great Depression. "The test of our progress," he proclaimed, "is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."
World War II only heightened Roosevelt's egalitarian beliefs. In his first fireside chat after Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt told the nation "ahead there lies sacrifice for all of us," and in his 1942 State of the Union address, he spelled out what sacrifice now meant. "War costs money," Roosevelt reminded Congress and the nation. "That means taxes and bonds and bonds and taxes. It means cutting luxuries and other nonessentials."
For Roosevelt, the notion of carrying on a war while simultaneously cutting taxes was unthinkable and unpatriotic.
Whose vision of the American dream will prevail in the budget battle between Obama and congressional Republicans is far from clear. Both sides, who are still "far apart," as the president put it, may end up compromising their beliefs to get an agreement.
But in the meantime we should have no doubt about the American dream. For four centuries, it has rested on the idea that government should do all it can to narrow the divide between those at the top and those at the bottom of society.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Nicolaus Mills.

05 July 2011

the sensationalized media of our time is just as guilty

I am so over this whole Casey Anthony case.  Right off the bat, I agree that it is a very sad story and that I was surprised that the verdict came out like it did. But one thing it seems that people are not even considering here is that this woman was tried in front of a jury of her peers, but I do not believe she was ever considered "innocent until proven guilty". I believe the media circus that has circulated this case since the beginning had convicted her of the crime right off the bat.

CNN's Nancy Grace has virtually built her career over the past three years on the back of this case. She has dedicated hundreds of her shows to going over the details over and over. And no one has ever considered that perhaps Nancy Grace was biased in her discussions of the case. We've all heard details of how Casey was out at bars in Orlando while her daughter was missing and her weird behavior in jail house meetings with her family while awaiting trial. I am by no means saying that she has not caused a great air of guilt around her. She hasn't exactly been screaming her innocence through this.

But all of a sudden everyone is screaming that justice has not been served young Caylee all because her mother was not convicted of the crime. Yes, there has been allot of evidence that pointed suspicion to Casey, but there was no DNA evidence given in the trial. And there has been allot of drama surrounding all of the players in this story as well.

I guess what I keep thinking is that just because the media has painted Casey as the guilty party and the jury did not see that does not mean justice has not been stolen. If this woman did this (and I along with most of society believe she at least had something to do with it), she is not off scott-free. She will always have this on her conscious. And its not like she can just start her life over. Think she cant just go interview for a new job in her hometown? She prolly cant even go to the grocery store. She will also have to wake up everyday with the knowledge that only she and Caylee know.

But I do think this case, and way too many cases these, has been blown up by the media in ways that jeopardize the wheels of justice to flow right. Have you tried tuning into CNN Headline News lately? It used to be headline news, brief stories from major headlines to random stories. But the past month or so, it has been nearly back to back coverage of this case. Even before the court case was in session, every night you have hacks like Nancy Grace blowin up every angle of these cases with all the dramatics of a Law & Order episode crossed with the sensationalism of the National Enquirer. Now you have clinical criminologists, therapists, former prosecutors and any other lunatic hosting a show that somehow in one way or another sensationalizes stories about missing girls, to murdered women and children. And in their "coverage" they create biased views and opinions of the situation so the uneducated American then makes up their mind and opinion on the story without really looking at all of the facts and evidence in a non-biased way.

18 April 2011

Life Is a Highway.

There's a song by Tom Cochrane, "Life is a Highway" that I have to say speaks in so many ways. If you think of life as a highway, we drive down our route not knowing what is around the next bend or over the hill in the distance. We come across "road hazards" and "characters" along the way that teach us things, show us things we might not otherwise see, sometimes try to crash us, throw us off course or change our route all together.

We don't know what impact these people will have on our lives. Nor can we know what influence we will have on theirs. We don't know where our current route will take us. And sometimes we realize that its not the route we want to be on, and so we change it up.

So I guess where this song caught me today when I heard it was "am on the right track?" How do I know this is the right track? How do I know if I am on track to what I want?

Of course I don't know the answers to any of these questions. No one does. We just have to do things that will help us get to where want to be, and most of all have hope that we are right.

So I want to get back to my graphics. Its the one thing that has always made me feel happy inside. Its something that I have done on and off for several years. I earned my degree a few years back, but then let myself wander away. Well lately have felt something rising in me, something that was questioning where I was. What I was doing and what I was not doing.

Well today I had a conversation with my boyfriend and may not have know what I was saying, but as I said it and as we discussed what we both want. I realized what that questioning is. That's my inner desire wanting me to get graphics back into my life. I know what's holding myself back, me. And I know the only person who can overcome that is me also. I have to focus on what I want and pursue it.

Well, the best part of this is that I think I have finally found that inner drive to help me go where I want to go. While driving down this highway of life, I think I got some bad gasoline in me. The car has been sluggish and I've been taking backroads. staying off the more direct and speedy freeways. Well the inner drive and desire have realized this and are stepping up to get me back to the freeway.

So tonight I look ahead to a wide open road ahead of me. Its not the freeway I want to be on yet. I have some challenges to pass to get to it. But I think I can see it off in the distance. But now I am not alone. I have my drive. Slowly gaining strength. But that's not all. I also have a passenger in my car. Someone whose mere presence has helped clean the windshield and freshen up the car.

I didn't know I needed him. But now I know that he is what I needed. He helps me remember that what I want is the most important thing. And that no matter what I have felt or thought in the past, I can have happiness. He has shown me that. He himself is proof.

I am back on the highway. Not that I was off the road, but I that I was driving in the slow lane, not sure where I was heading. Now I am ready to get back in the fastlane.

07 December 2010

the loss of a woman with a heart of gold ...


Elizabeth Edwards passed away this afternoon, after fighting cancer the past few years. She was truly a remarkable woman who was incredibly smart and courageous, who earned the respect and admiration of the nation during her estranged husband's Presidential campaigns.

I liked John Edwards and really thought he brought some great issues to the forefront of the 2000 campaign, and along with everyone else, was captured by his wife's down home heart of gold and brilliant opinions and how she could hold her own on the trail.

Of course we all were crushed to learn of her cancer diagnosis, but knew she was a strong woman and her determination to fight was an inspiration to everyone. Then the country was stunned to learn of his infidelities and so our fondness for Elizabeth grew even more.

We now send our thoughts and prayers to her friends and family, including three children, for their loss. She definately was a true asset to her community and will be fondly missed. RIP.

23 November 2010

Palin's waste of time? Or ours?

[CNN Political Ticker: Palin won't waste time on Couric] If Sarah Palin does run for president next year, at least one high profile journalist will be forbidden access to the former Alaska governor. Speaking to Fox New's Sean Hannity in an interview to air Monday, Palin said she wants nothing to do with Katie Couric, the CBS Evening News anchor who's line of questioning facilitated one of the most memorable political foibles of the 2008 presidential campaign."

really? is this news? why do we care? I don't think we do. I don't think the American public, much less the American voter gives a flying flapjack what Plain thinks. She already wastes our time with her constant input into our society. She is so media obsessed. She has a reality show, appears weekly on Faux News commentary programs, shows up on her daughter's reality show appearance and then "writes" a book to criticize American society. SHe even has the audacity to say that the media invades her privacy? Are you serious? You invade our privacy, our peace and tranquility with your constant bitching and whinning.
So like Barbara Bush said in a recent interview, "I hope she stays up there in Alaska." We don't want you to waste your time with Katie Couric, and while you're at it, don't waste our time either.

17 November 2010

Is DADT still a priority for the Obama White House?

Gibbs: DADT Still a Priority
By Kerry Eleveld

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday that passing “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal as part of the National Defense Authorization Act before the end of the year is "a priority" for President Barack Obama. But Gibbs added that the president has not reached out to any key senators on the matter.

“I don’t believe that the president has talked to Senator [Susan] Collins or Senator [Joe] Lieberman on this issue,” Gibbs said during a morning press gaggle. “The president believes that this can be done in a way, and it should be done as you heard Secretary Gates and others say, in the next few weeks. We ought to keep [repeal] in the defense authorization bill; we ought to pass this in the defense authorization bill. And we ought to end a policy that the courts are rapidly getting close to ending on a timetable that [some] might not find as much to their liking.”

UPDATE: White House spokesman Shin Inouye sent the following statement to reporters Wednesday afternoon:

"Today, President Obama called Chairman [Carl] Levin to reiterate his commitment on keeping the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' in the National Defense Authorization Act, and the need for the Senate to pass this legislation during the lame duck. The President’s call follows the outreach over the past week by the White House to dozens of Senators from both sides of the aisle on this issue."

A transcript of the exchange with Gibbs is below:

The Advocate: Sen. Susan Collins joined Senator Lieberman in calling for early release of the Pentagon’s report on repeal. Has the president made any phone calls to Senator Collins or other swayable senators — does he plan to make any phone calls to those folks?
Robert Gibbs: I don’t know that the president has — I don’t believe that the president has talked to Senator Collins or Senator Lieberman on this issue. To my knowledge, the study has not come over here. Obviously, it’s being finished up by the Pentagon.

The president believes that this can be done in a way, and it should be done as you heard Secretary Gates and others say, in the next few weeks. We ought to keep this in the defense authorization bill; we ought to pass this in the defense authorization bill. And we ought to end a policy that the courts are rapidly getting close to ending on a timetable that those [inaudible] might not find as much to their liking.

You just don't know what to believe from the Obama WH anymore. I still believe he should sign an Executive Order issuing a stop to the execution of DADT. Which would stop all persecution of any LGBT servicemen/women. It would also allow the Defense Department to finish their report on the effects of repealing DADT. Then when the report is presented to Congress the first week in December, then Congress can take up the matter. Hopefully someone will lock John McCain in a closet and they can go about repealing this blatant discrimination of Americans who have volunteered to dedicate their lives in defense of our country and the freedoms that are entitled to all of its citizens. Sad that volunteering

I am back!

It has been over a year and a half since I posted on my blog. Recently I felt that I should pick it up again. So last night I cleaned it up and flushed out all the old posts. I still don't know exactly what I will blog about.
I enjoyed my political/current events blogging. But sometimes I get the urge to write things, like fictional stories. There are various things that stir around my head. And I seem to think putting them down somewhere would help. Hmmmm .. we will see.