Trust no one (in politics)

Today is a glorious day.

Neil Gorsuch has been confirmed as the next member of the SCOTUS.  He is filling the seat vacated on the death of Antonin Scalia.  This balances out SCOTUS and makes the process of Super-legislative court actions much more difficult.

Of course this assumes Gorsuch does not pull Kennedy moves or does not abandon his originalist ideals.  I am pretty sure he will be a member of the court who faces down the living document folks (Kagan, Ginsburg…).  But trust NO ONE in politics.  That means no trusting Trump, Gorsuch or anyone else.  When Ginsburg dies / retires or whom ever else goes away, we need another originalist judge to help roll back the perversion of the Constitution by feel good / living interpretation doctrine espoused by the left.

 

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I will never love…

 

…again, like that.  I wrote a while back how the love Dawn and I shared was a perfect (for us) love.  It was and is.  There lies both the key and the problem.

Dawn and I bashed our heads against the lock of love.

At first we actively avoided any chance of love.  To that point, our lives had shown us, we were not those who found love.  So as semi-sensible adults we decided to enjoy our time together and not make it all complicated with such things.  We had fun.  We enjoyed each other’s company while we were together and when she disappeared, no great loss.  I had my other relationship and so did she.

We found a refuge from the crazy of our primary relationships, with each other.  When our partners didn’t want us, we found each other.  It was very strange, but we were two likeminded people who desperately needed shelter from the storms of our other situation.  Our relationship was fairly casual but also very close.  We became friends almost immediately.  That friendship would become the glue that bound us.  We did not know it at the time, but that friendship was the first step in building a key.

I am not ashamed to admit that after the third or fourth round of dating, I knew I was falling for Dawn in a way that was NOT casual at all.  By this time I knew I was in danger of telling her it was more than casual for me.  Then she surprised me with her younger daughter coming down visit.  Then she really surprised me when she said she wanted to introduce me as her boyfriend.  She told me that with a bit of fear written on her face.  I scooped her up in my arms and told her she was a genius.  She looked at me with a bewildered expression.  I let her go and said, you can tell her that all you want.  From my side it is true.  I have been trying to figure out how to tell you… I am falling for you… and you go and do this.  A look of uncertainty spread across her face, so I grabbed her hand and told her.  It won’t be any kind of lie.  I was trying to figure out how to ask you to be my girlfriend, but you beat me to it.  Kiss me and make it real.

She shook her head as that crooked smile graced her lips.  She kissed me then said, you are a very strange man.

I smiled back and told her she was a strange woman, but my kind of strange woman.  Then I pulled out a card from my back pocket.  It’s kind of anti-climactic now, but…

She read it and teared up.  I thought I had been to bold or something.  She saw the tinge of fear in my eyes and grabbed me in a big hug.  She whispered in my ear.  “I don’t deserve you.”

For once I kept my mouth shut, probably because I didn’t want her to hear my voice crack.  Then with the perfect timing of a teenager, Tucker knocked on the bedroom door.

Another piece of the key.

We had many other seminal events that we did not recognize in the moment.  Each was a piece of the key being built.

As odd as this will sound, by February of 2009 we had all the pieces of the key.  We both knew we loved each other.  We both knew that Tucker was very happy to have me in their lives.  All three of us knew we were a family in all but name.  There was one very large problem.

That problem can be looked at from many different angles.  We had built all the pieces of the key, but neither of us really knew how to put the key together.  She knew she wanted to keep me in her life.  She had taken me to visit her family.   I knew she was the most awesome person I had ever met and I wanted her to be a part of my life.  We were just too broken to know how to do it.  So it slipped from our hands.

Shithead stepped in and charmed her into marrying him.  That was the absolute worst 8-9 months of my life.  The ironic thing, it was also a very bad time for Dawn as well.  She knew she was making a mistake when she agreed to marry him.  She had a little voice screaming RUN during the ceremony.  Then the firestorm came.  Cancer.  In the moment, that was the worst 6 weeks of her life.  She endured two breast surgeries, a husband going from actively ignoring her to demonstrating his desire to kill her by putting her head through an interior wall, being driven from her home penniless with Tucker as a witness to all but the physical attack.

Looking back on that time, she needed the fire to burn her down to the core.  With everything else burned away she saw a freshly forged key in the ashes.  She did not recognize the significance of the key, but she did see an opportunity where she thought she had none.

She tentatively pushed the key towards the lock.  She was too scared to push it in, so she tapped on the lock.  To my surprise, I found out I was holding the lock.  I was just as shocked to find the lock as she had been to find the key.  I tentatively gripped the lock and steadied it for her.  She couldn’t get her hand steady enough to line up the key.  She tried again.  This time the key went in, but she couldn’t muster the strength to turn the key.  I turned the lock instead.

The key was roughly forged and the lock was dirty and neglected, but the key fit and it worked.  The latch sprang open and wonders poured out.  Things we had never imagined sparkled all around us.  Before we knew it, the lock was clasped together but it no longer kept us from the garden of love.  Now it linked the chain between our two hearts and we both knew how fragile and neglected both the lock and the key had been.  We both knew how lucky we were that they worked.  Without a word, we both set about correcting the deferred maintenance.  As we worked, the lock grew stouter, the key  grew stronger and so did the links of the chain.

Before we knew it the chains were gone and so was the lock.  But, that was a good thing.  They had been transformed into a pair of rings binding two hearts for eternity.

That is why I say it is both the key and the problem.  The lock and the key have disappeared.  There is no longer a key to unbind me.  Even if there was, I would not use it.  My heart and my soul are bound to Dawn.  Dawn’s heart and soul are bound to me.

She is such a giving soul.  In the last week we shared.  She pulled me aside and demanded that I do something for her.  She demanded that I wait an appropriate time before starting to date.  She told me, “no dating for at least two weeks…and no bringing some bitch to live in our house for at least two months”.  Looking at my blank stare, she smiled and kissed me, “You are too awesome of a man to not share love again after I am gone.  Go and make some woman ALMOST as happy as you’ve made me.”

I may yet do that, but I can tell you at this point.  I am done.  I have made an effort.  I have “dated”.  But my head isn’t in the game.  My soul and my heart protest.  Even my brain asks why.  Maybe someday, I will trip into something casual that turns into something awesome.  Maybe lightning will strike twice.  I won’t be holding my breath or searching anymore.

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Shaving the Federal Bureaucracy 2017

http://thefederalist.com/2017/03/20/truly-beat-bureaucrats-trump-needs-shut-agencies/

Hat tip to Peter Grant:  http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com/2017/03/dont-just-trim-it-kill-it.html

I have been saying this for years.  It is not like I am the first, the last or the best at stating it.  Tons of people have been suggesting the Federal bureaucracy needs to be slashed.  The preferred method among my peer group Constitutional Conservatives is to abolish all Federal agencies that are not explicitly delineated in the Constitution.  If they are not provided for in the Constitution, then they are STATE jobs.

My plan has been to have cumulative 25% cuts for the first 2 years.  Then 35% cumulative cuts the next two years.  The following year would be a 50% cumulative cut and the next year would have a budget of zero.   The stated goal is the complete elimination of all Federal duties of the affected agencies.  Where not completely possible, those few tasks fold into Constitutionally allowed agencies who receive zero budgetary increase.  Year 6 being the zero funding year.  All rounding down to the nearest whole percentage point.

The math for the Federal Department of Education

2016 was 100% funding         ………………………………….15,536,107,000

2017 – year one of cuts would be 75.0% of 2016………….11,652080250

2018 – year two would be 56.0% of 2016 ……………….8,700,219,920

2019 – year three at 36.0% of 2016………………………5,592,998,520

2020 – year four at 23.0% of 2016…………………………3,573,304,610

2021 – year five at 11.0% of 2016………………………….1,708,971,770

2022 – year six at 0.0% of 2016……………………………ZERO

In budgetary reality, the 2017 budget is probably already or close to being set, so this would likely need to be done starting at 2018 and the entire process moved back one year.  This delay will have significant consequences if Trump (or another NON-Democrat) is not elected in Nov of 2020.  Even so, a 77% reduction would be an awesome thing.  Most of the Federal Department of Education is blackmail grants.  These grants total just over $10B.

My suggestion of the Agencies to keep:

Department of Defense – Renamed Department of War  25% increase in spending over 2016 levels

Department of State – Renamed Department of Diplomacy 25% cut in budget

Department of Treasury –  same name with complete defunding of the IRS in 36 months (33.4% budget drop annually) with the creation of the Fair Tax implementation bureau in June of 2017.  The last IRS tax return will be for year 2017, due April 15 2018.   All IRS activities will cease at month 37 with follow up and prosecution of legacy cases turned over to the Fair Tax bureau and to be resolved within 24 months. Loss of IRS budget and 25% additional budget cut.  Fair tax Bureau budget of $2B for first 2 years, then $1.8B and $1.5B respectively in year 3 and 4.  Congressional oversight after that.

Department of Commerce –

Department of Justice –  same name with complete defunding of the ATF on the same path as IRS defunding.

There may be other agencies that need to be kept.  I will entertain well thought out reasons as to why.  But for now, all other agencies die as per the Department of Education example above and associated Federal taxes are dropped as the duties revert back to the states.  There will be a 1 year delay in lowering of the tax rate to match decreased expenditures, to allow for the excess funds as a direct payoff of the National Debt.

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Regarding addiction

I have never had an addictive personality.  My drinking habits in the last year of High School and the first two years of College should have made me an alcoholic.  They did not and by the time I turned 21, my days of over drinking were mostly over.  Prior to that, I abused caffeine in a bad way.  I once went night surfing at the Cocoa Beach Pier.  Prior to hitting the water, I took two Vivarin pills and washed them down with a 44 oz Mountain Dew.  I fell asleep on the surf board 20 minutes later waiting for a wave.  That effectively ended my use of caffeine or any stimulants.

I have never done any illicit drugs and I really hate taking pain medicine, so I have been safe there.

But I did develop one addiction.  It happened later in my life.  This particular addiction slowly crept in.  It was there at the edges for a while, then became more of a mainstay.  Periodically, it would not be available and I was fine with that.  Each time it was available, I partook.  The partaking became more frequent and I began to miss it when it was unavailable.  Then there was a streak of about nine months where it was just impossible to have.  I knew where it was, but I had no access.  My temptation grew to the bursting point, but I managed my withdraw symptoms.  The temptation never went away, but I managed to dull the ache with other things and keeping busy.

Then one day out of the blue, I got a notice that it might be available.  My hope soared, then my brain kicked in and I was confused and angry.  My emotions swirled as I was confused and the information was sketchy.  Over the next week, the information seemed reliable if abstract.  Finally, I had enough torture and I demanded the source call me.

She did.  My addiction was indeed on the other end of the phone.  I was so enraptured just by the sound of her voice, I could not process her words.  My stumbling brain caught up and I processed what she was saying.  Oh crap.

You already know much of that conversation.

Life was difficult over the next few months.  We had teething issues.  We had trust issues.  We had medical issues.  We had money issues.  But, with some help, lots of work and a little luck, we managed to get on top of everything.

About two months in, she called me and I answered, “how is my addiction doing?”

She laughed and scolded me, but it made us both smile.  A few more times over the next few weeks I made some mention of her being my addiction.  She grew uncomfortable with the phrase and confronted me about it, saying that addiction had bad connotations.

My simple response was, I crave to have you when you are not with me.  I am so much happier when I have you.  I dream about you when I sleep.  I think about you when we are apart.  I crave to touch you when we are together.  Your simple presence calms me.  Call it what you want, but it sounds a lot like addiction to me.  Not all addictions are bad, I don’t know if being addicted to you is bad.  I do know that realizing I was addicted to you when you were gone was horrible, so I don’t ever want you to leave again.

She smiled and said, “your stuck.  I’m with you for life and longer.”  she paused for a moment of introspection, then said, “If that is what you define as addiction, then I am addicted too.”

That was one of my first truly great smiles.  That smile lasted the entire rest of the day.  I kissed her so much after that, she asked, “what is wrong with you?  You are never this affectionate…without us ending up horizontal.”

I just smiled and kissed her again.  I then smacked her on the ass and said, “its just me being happy that we are co-addicted.”

She smacked me back and said, “I’m gonna call it LOVE, idiot man and lets get horizontal.”

In the time since, I have learned that we were both right.  A great melded love is an addiction.  Not addiction in the bad form of the word, but it is a thing that grows within you.  It is something that tightens its grasp as time, work and effort are applied.  This is a good thing and as I am learning 8 months after her death.  I am still completely and hopelessly in love and addicted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Not a hero

In the past, I have had people call me “hero” regarding my actions with Dawn.  They claim the things I did are mythical, unimaginable, breath taking…

I want to officially throw the bullshit flag.

I am not saying I do not appreciate praise.  I am simply stating it is undeserved.

Courage is not doing something without fear.  It is doing something despite fear.

Heroism is a similar thing.  I did not do what I did despite my fear.  I did what I did for a number of reasons, some of which I still don’t understand.  The only fear in that moment was somehow Dawn would slip away.

In order for you to understand, I need to give you some history of our relationship.  We met in April / May of 2007.  We hit it off immediately, but we were both in other fragmented relationships.  Those other relationships were the primaries and our relationship with each other was secondary.  Over time, my primary relationship ended.  The relationship between Dawn and I became increasingly close with each cycle, but she invariably broke up with me when the other guy wanted her back.  For the record we never dated when either of us was involved with our “other” relationship.

In December of 2008 thru early February of 2009, we made huge strides in our closeness.  The word love was often spoken between us.  Probably most importantly, she invited me to meet her family in Maryland.  Many of you know that my agreeing to enter Maryland is a HUGE tell to the depth of my feelings.  She assured me it wasn’t a trip to introduce me to her family, just a trip and she would enjoy my company.  About midway through, even she realized the depth of her bullshit.  I was being introduced to the family as a prospective husband.  In retrospect that became obvious, but I jump ahead.

At the end of the trip, I stopped in Georgia to hunt and she and Tucker went straight home.  The trip was awesome, but as we headed home I saw storm clouds.  We drove two vehicles and I knew she had sent Tucker to ride with me so she could text, privately.  I knew what that meant.  Sure enough, the next day I got no replies from my texts.  She had “disappeared” again.

In the middle of the first week in February, she reappeared.  She was a little bashful but very excited to see me.  In my normal subtle manner, I called her on it.  She fessed up and told me directly, he had finally snapped the last straw.  We talked about it and I took her at her word.  We spent three days together, 24/7.  That included a trip to visit her mother; which went swimmingly, much to Dawn’s surprise.  When we got back to my house, she asked me about marriage.  I have chronicled that elsewhere, so I won’t repeat the details here.  She left in the morning for work and I heard nothing.  It was like a black hole swallowed her up, again.

I thought I knew what that meant.  I did, sort of.  It meant she had somehow agreed to go back with the abuser.  What I didn’t know until mid-April was she had also agreed to MARRY HIM and had on Valentine’s Day.

Until that was confirmed, I was moderately hopeful she would come to her senses or he would throw her out again.  But marriage, that is another thing entirely.

The boy who was my son was removed from my life with an email that contained only two words “NO CONTACT”.   The woman that so recently asked me if I would consider her for marriage had married someone else 8 days later.  I was not a virgin to heart break.  My previous on and off relationship had been a drag through hot coals, but this.  I had no comparison.  I didn’t even have pain at first, just complete and utter shock.  I felt a little like Adam must have, when he awoke missing half his ribs.

Once the marriage was confirmed, the floor fell out of my life.  I kept up appearances as best I could.  I didn’t tell my family.  Most of my friends didn’t know.  They mostly just assumed Dawn and I were off again.  I just couldn’t bring myself to speak of it.  It was better to deny it to myself rather than face it and make it real.

Slowly, I got a slight handle on things and began to filter through our interactions.  Everything was examined; every disagreement, every missed opportunity.  I beat myself up pretty well.  Through it all I talked to God and I mourned.  Those talks were not overly friendly.  I mourned the death of our potential.  I mourned the abortion of our love.  I mourned the Death of Dawn as I knew he would either kill her outright or slowly drain her until she was an empty husk.  The steering wheel in my poor truck got pummeled frequently when a song came on that reminded me of her, us, our dreams…  The pain in my right hand helped dull the glass shards savaging my heart.

In my stronger moments I begged God for help.  I prayed he save her from the mistake and the monster she married.  I prayed that she might wake up and run.  No need for her to run to me, just that she be safe.  I begged God to protect her in my stead.  On really dark days, the prayer was that Tucker would not find his mother dead at the monster’s hand.  On weaker days, the prayer was that I be granted the opportunity and excuse to end the monster’s life even if that would insure Dawn’s enmity.  More than once I realized I was driving toward his house with ill intent.

Eventually, I met someone else.  We dated.  She was a wonderful woman, but she wasn’t Dawn.  She knew about Dawn and my issues.  She had her own issues with an ex-husband and we were good for each other.  We lived an hour apart and had our own lives, but we enjoyed each other’s company and both knew it wasn’t a forever thing.  Despite that, over the course of months we got close.  She helped me move away from the pit.  Spending time together gave us both some happiness and at least for me (in the moment) I didn’t miss my ribs, so acutely.

In retrospect, I hurt her.  When Dawn contacted me, I told her.  I saw the look on her face.  She knew before I did.  It took me the full week until Dawn and I actually talked on the phone to come to any kind of terms with it.  It took another two weeks for me to tell that her that our time was over.  She was rightly upset, but to her credit she told me she knew.  It was written all over my face.  She said, “I hope Dawn is as amazing as the look on your face tells me she is.  I hope she is worthy of that kind of love.”

She stunned me with that.  It was a good smack across the face.  It opened my eyes, but I knew the path I had to travel.  I spent MONTHS begging God for another chance.  I spent months inspecting every part of what “went wrong”.  Every single night I slept alone, Dawn was missing from my bed.  My failures haunted my days and nights.  I spent months chasing crazy ideas from my head and no matter what I did, it always came back to Dawn.  Not just that, but how could I be the man I claim to be if I didn’t honor the answering of my prayers?  What kind of man would I be; if when given a second chance, I turned away?  How could I even think about turning away the woman I love; especially considering the abuse, the cancer diagnosis, the theft of all her money and our son.

The simple fact, I was a shattered man.  I knew Dawn was the key.  Dawn was more shattered than I and she needed help, specifically my help.  My honor would not allow me to turn her away.   I had prayed, begged, bargained for this very thing.  God did not choose to do it in a way that I envisioned, but he brought her back.  I needed her as much as she needed me.  Sure she was still married to the abuser.  Certainly, things were going to be very tough.  She had cancer with no insurance, no job and no money.  She had our son in tow and he was having huge issues, but weren’t we all.  God brought us BOTH low.  He did that so we could rebuild together.  I did not see that, but somehow I knew it fit.

People bring up how she married someone else and I put that aside.  They mention how I stepped to the plate, despite her betrayal.  Betrayal, Dawn did not betray me.  She made a poor choice and she paid for it with brutal interest.  Why would I spite myself and cause myself pain by turning her away?  They cast me in the role of hero for that?

Other people imagine what they would have done in my place.  They imagine themselves (or their spouse) turning them away and call me a hero for not doing so.

Heroic: doing something despite fear.

I did no such thing.  In an earlier era, men protected women.  They protected women, family and strangers alike.  A woman in need, I think there are several mentions of that in the Chivalric code.  It doesn’t qualify as member of your family or a favored aunt or a friend’s sister – a woman in need.  Dawn was a woman in need.  I did what my honor code demanded.

Or put another way.  I did what we should all do for those who are important to us.  I did nothing more than what was right.  My actions were the actions that all men should do for those they love.  The things I did were nothing special.  I saw a need; one that I had the ability to fix and I acted.  The fact that many facing a similar situation chose another lesser path does not make me a hero.  I know what it makes them, but it does not make me a hero.

In doing what I did, it initiated forgiveness.  We were able to forgive each other and perhaps more importantly forgive ourselves.   As much as I helped her, she helped me more.  That pivotal moment at the bottom is what allowed us to build a relationship on the bedrock of an equally shared and equally treasured love.

If you want to see heroes, I can point you to heroes.  Many of them wear a blue ribbon with stars in the front.  The ribbon often holds a small gold plaque inscribed with “Valor”.  That plaque has a five pointed star hanging from it.  Here is a list of some actual heroes.

http://www.history.army.mil/moh/index.html

You will notice my absence from that list.

 

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I found a piece of Home

I bought a new phone recently as the old one was acting odd / unpredictable and I use it for my business.  Part of the process with a new phone is importing over the old stuff.

I did not realize it, but the old phone had tons of old voicemails that did not show up on the voicemails screen.  I just went to delete a few voicemails from today as I had already spoken to the person in real time.  As I was scrolling through, I noticed one, then four, then FOURTEEN voicemails from Dawn.  One dating back as far as May 2015.

I have been so wanting to hear her voice.  I have been so wanting to have 1 second of illusion that she is here.  I was tentative, but I listened to one voicemail.  It her telling me, “I’m done, come get me.”  I could hear the crackle of fluid in her lungs.  I am not sure the specifics, but it was certainly bittersweet hearing the pain in her voice, but also amazing just hearing her voice.

The next one was a, “nothing special” voicemail.  One of those “call me back.  I am on the way home.”  My whole face lit up, she sounded vibrant and healthy.  I remember taking those so for granted and it took me to a happy place.  A place where in half an hour we would be breathing the same air.

The third one, it was run of the mill for my loving wife, but it brought me immediately to tears.  She told me how she had been thinking about me for the last hour  and how in 10 minutes she was going to be on her way home.  How she was very much envisioning kissing me as soon as she walked through the door.  How for some reason today, she couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky she is and how much she loves me.  She finished by saying, “I miss you and plan to show you how much when I get home.”

Just typing that, hear it in her voice and I am crying all over again.

I couldn’t listen to anymore.  But, they are there.  Such a sweet treasure and such stabbing pain all wrapped up in the most lovely voice I have ever heard.

Dawn, I am not in control of when I come home.  The flights are messed up and what I can see of the schedule is written in Chinese.  I know you will patiently wait and work on our 1000 acre property.  As I am not in control of when, know that I am doing my best to catch the same flight as you.

Know that I miss you and plan to show you how much when I get Home.  The accompanying tears will be tears of joy.

***Dawn never liked the house we shared.  She always referred to it as the Falcon House or as the house, but never as home.  We both agreed, early on in the fight against cancer, that wherever we were together, was home.  When we shared a hospital room,  a camper while hunting, a car while driving around the country or the bedroom on Falcon; that was home.  It was the fact that we were sharing it that made it home.  We felt this very deeply. When she went on some of her cancer sponsored trips, I did not feel at home in my own house.  When I would go hunting and her job wouldn’t let her join me, she told me the bedroom felt like a strange hotel room.  It certainly wasn’t home.  The HOME part of the house was missing.  I very much miss feeling, being HOME.

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/what-happens-die-brain-activity-life-heart-beating-death-after-eeg-study-research-a7620131.html

 

Another reason certain people should have held their contempt for my wife’s wishes for at least another 5 minutes.

You know, beyond the fact that those of us still living, have feelings, might want to honor her wishes, might have throat punched you if we didn’t have such solid self control in place.

The best thing I can say about certain people, at least Dawn died poor.  So I didn’t have to fight them over THINGS, as well.

 

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March 12, 2017 · 12:31