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My dear, boneheaded Americans (and, incidentally, yes, that means all of you):
Finally, after lo these many years, you have seen the light and done something right. I have been silent these many months, disgusted with your lame presidential “campaigns”—which are truly nothing more than whine-fests if you ask me, and I’m glad you did—and I was beginning to think that you would never truly change. I have heard so much about your “openness” and your “liberty”—not that I think you are mature enough to understand, much less to handle those gifts, they should only be reserved to those who, like me, can truly fathom their importance—but I had heard so much about them without seeing any actual evidence. I was just beginning to assume that you would never raise your marginally-furred heads above the blue glow of your humming computer screens enough to see the real world, when suddenly you do something like this!

You go and elect a skinny, biracial, well-spoken, intelligent President! Amazing! Astounding! You truly elected Barack O’Llama to the highest office in the land!

I have to hand it to you, Americans, I never thought that I would live to see the dark days when Anti-ruminantism would be overcome, and you would finally see that the highly enlightened members of the Camelid Party were what you needed.

I must admit that I had never heard of this amazing Barack O’Llama before Tuesday night. But for you to overcome your prejudices and elect a Peruvian-Irish-American-Lama-Glama!

I never even knew that there were llamas in Ireland! Of course there have been rumors of the Lost Tribe of Llama, who travelled across the seas in the year of Our Llama 1092 to spread the gospel of the Great God Spitatchoo among the miserable, heathen bipeds. There are of course those among the alpaca who claim to be the descendants of the Lost Tribe, but their claims have never been proven. Obviously, this new president of yours is proof that this Lost Tribe exists and succeeded in bringing the Wisdom of the DillyDally Llama to the Western Hemisphere. And I, Ralph the Diva Llama, am the first to make this connection and to break this scientific discovery! It will rock the science world and finally put those miserable alpaca hangers-on in their places!

So, let me just again congratulate you on electing the Camelid Barack O’Llama into office.

What? He’s not a Llama? He’s an imposter, then! He must be punished for falsely assuming the mantle of Glamaism! He must be…

His name is Barack OBAMA?

I should have known better than to think that you miserable, unenlightened bundles of depilated, elasticized skin could do anything right. No matter how much you try, you are still not ready to accept what is best for you.

Forget it, I’ll have to do it myself. I am formally announcing my candidacy for President in 2012.

This message has been brought to you by the Ralph for President Campaign.

RDL in 2012!!!!

Election Day Concerns

Today is election Day and I know a lot of people who are genuinely excited about it. Personally, I’m completely stressed out.
Now let me say a few things about myself. I’m a moderate. I like balance. If I had to categorize myself, I’d say that I’m a social liberal and fiscal conservative. I’m OK with same-sex marriage. I’m not OK with the Wall Street buyout. I lean more conservative, but I do see the need for social change in our country.
And I have always thought that the Democrats would win this election. I think that the American people are ready for a change. My worry is that it might just be change for change’s sake rather than change for a reason, which is very different. Change what? How much? When?
So why stressed out? Well first of all, because of all the hate out there. On both sides, hate, hate, hate.
Now I’m not naïve enough to think that there was ever a golden age of politics where this didn’t happen. I think we all remember the scare-mongering, the infighting, the name calling, the ad hominem attacks of the infamous election of 1800. But this year, it seems so much more to me.

First the Democrats. I seriously bothers me that the “progressive, compassionate” party would so vilify Sarah Palin. Why the vitriol? Why the Hanging in Effigy? (And don’t tell me that it was just “a Halloween thing” because we all know it was a political statement. Hell, you said it yourself. ) If a Republican had hung a black manikin would we have stood for it? No way. But because it’s Palin, it’s funny. That, my friends, is the textbook definition of a double standard.
And speaking of double standards, I honestly don’t get the whole Barack Obama is qualified Sarah Palin is not argument. Honestly, I don’t. Obama is a first-term senator, with limited experience. At least Palin has executive-branch experience. Being a coalition-building senator and a policy-making executive are two different things. Policy is not driven by public opinion. Sometimes it means doing what you believe is right, even when it is unpopular. Can Obama do that? I certainly hope so, but he’s done a lot of throwing advisors under the bus in his campaign.
I do understand that many people are miffed about Sarah Palin being nominated. They argue that she was nominated simply because she is a woman, and that’s not Equal Rights, that’s special “pity” treatment, and condescending to boot. This is not a “Take what you can get” scenario. It’s much more important than that. I see your argument. But are you only saying that because it was the Republicans who nominated her? Take a step back and ask yourself that question. Did you feel the same way about Geraldine Ferraro? Or did you lambaste people who dared to say that she was only nominated because she was a woman?
And then what about folks who claim that Obama has been groomed for office in part simply because he’s black? Is that the same thing?
Now the Republicans. I have been terribly saddened by their campaign strategies. The negativity, the scare tactics, they all sadden me. The continual stream of vitriol and hate for Obama. I don’t believe that it is based on his skin color, honestly I don’t. But there are lots of slanderous associating his Muslim name with terrorists crap out there. And even more scaremongering. I don’t buy it.
To hear McCain giving his stump speeches “Fight with me, fight this, fight that” has troubled me greatly as well. That’s not what we need. We don’t need more fighting, we need less. We don’t need more anger, we need less. We don’t need more partisanship, we need less. And all of that is what McCain started out promising us. Why the sudden about face?
And something else that bothers me: I don’t want any one party to have total control of all three branches of government. And the Democrats could conceivably do so with Obama, and a filibuster-proof majority in the Congress, and the Supreme Court. If all branches of the government are working toward the same party goal, it short-circuits our vastly important system of checks and balances.
The polls are seeing long lines, and lots of brotherhood. People who fight and scream obscenities at each other when stuck in traffic are patiently and good-humoredly standing in long lines to do it. That is encouraging.
So, as Obama goes on to win this election, as I predict he will, I hope that the optimists and idealists are right. I hope that he is up to it. I hope that he can truly bring the change that we need, that he can repair America’s stature in the world. Because looking like the man or woman to do it is totally different from doing it.

The Problem of Professional Pitiers

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently. Thinking about funny things, about stories, about problems, about people, about what I want to do with my life. Thinking about things that go wrong, and sacrifices I have to make. About feeling sorry for myself and well, those other people.

It always annoyed me to no end when I’d be in the middle of a problem, and someone would try to help me by telling me about someone who had it worse than me.

Here I am, shell-shocked because they just found a lump in my wife’s breast.

“At least you don’t have AIDS. Just think of all those babies with AIDS.”

I’m going deaf in one ear.

“Well, you know, you do have both your ears. You know Tom Johnson? He was walking down the street and both his ears just fell off! They have no idea why! True story!

I had food poisoning while out of town.

“I heard this story about a guy who got stuck in a portajohn for 48 hours. Really, He got stuck Friday night after everyone had left, and they didn’t find him until they returned to work the next Monday. Yeah, and there had been a snake in the portajohn he was stuck on and it kept biting him.”

You know the ones, the professional pitiers. The ones who always know someone or something happening that is worse than your personal hell.

They have the best of intentions, they really want to help. I used to think that they must be the shallowest people on the earth if that simple thought would cure their depression.

But the thing about them isn’t that they are wrong, in a sense. Sometimes I am just pitying myself and need to snap out of it. But this simple comparison of my condition to someone else’s isn’t the way to snap me out of anything, at least not if it’s remotely serious. Because now, on top of my problems, I feel guilty for feeling bad about myself when there are people out there with bigger problems than my own. I doesn’t make my problems any less real, it just makes me feel bad about feeling bad about them. And so rather than feeling better, I feel worse.

And that’s when it hit me. The guilt was the key. These people aren’t wrong, they are just stopping a few steps too short. The thing isn’t to feel better because there are people are worse off, the thing is to help do something about the people who are worse off, and you’ll feel better. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, but not by feeling sorry for someone else, but by doing something for someone else.

Because when it’s about someone else, and not all about you, you know what? You feel better. And when you feel better, you think better, you have a better attitude, and you can deal with your own disasters. Because it’s not about you anymore. It’s bigger than you. But you are doing something to make someone else happy.

And that always makes me happy.
Things you thought you might have to say as a parent

Don't put that raisin in your nose.

Corollaries to the things you thought you might have to say as a parent, but which you never suspected might have to come out of your mouth

Don't put that raisin in your nose and then eat it.
Luke: Mmmmm. I love me some Maple and Brown Sugar...What the...a face in my oatmeal?

Oatmeal: Luuuuuuke....

Luke: Jesus?!? Is that you?

Oatmeal: No, Luke, it's me, Obi Wan Kenobi.

Luke: Christ! You scared me. Ben, you look like hell.

Oatmeal: Well, it's not my fault. Maybe if you'd try eating something a little more conducive to transplanar communication--like toast or cheetos-- I wouldn't be so exhausted from holding this glutinous goop together in the shape of my face.

Luke: What is it Ben? Are my friends in trouble? Do I need to visit Master Yoda? Have the Sith arisen again and are threatening the New Republic (not the newspaper)?

Oatmeal: Nooooooo. I just wanted to tell you that you left your spoon by the siiiiiiiiink.

Luke: Oh, thanks. [Uses Force to get the spoon.] Wow, Ben you taste really good.

Oatmeal: That's what she said.

Overheard in Crack-Fil-A

Man: And can I get some of that Peloponnesian sauce?

Me: If I've told you once, I've told you 300 times, Leonidas, it's Polynesian sauce. Peloponnesian sauce is grease.

Now if you're talking Tzatziki you might have a deal.

Holy Cows!

Nepal wonders what to do with cows

The extremely rare Holy CowaBurga. Nothing on this earth like it. Slow grilled over Brazilian rain forest, this rare treat will transcend earthly description!

Pontiffs and Holy Folk across the globe are raving about it:

"I love me a great burger, and this one pairs well with the Blood of Christ! But not on Fridays!"
Pope Benedict XVI

"It's Nirvana on a whole wheat bun!"
Dalai Lama

"Allah Akhbar and pass the A1!"
Ayatollah Khameni

"What else would I have used to make myself?"
Flying Spaghetti Monster

Get your Holy Cowaburga now! Only at Brother Hezekiah's Healing Tabernacle and Grille.
Home of the Chicken a la Yamulka.

How many Frenchmen does it take

to wave a white flag? 54,000 less than it used to.
France says it will cut 54,000 defense jobs

Lamentations of the Father

Appropriate for Father's Day.
Lamentations of the Father
And of course I have some addenda to make, as time permitteth.