Demo Debate 1

Take-aways:

  • Grown ass adults with policy differences. What a refreshing contrast from the 2016 Republican circus of personal attacks all instigated by one particular buffoon.
  • The two smartest people in the room. . . Sanders and Klobuchar.
  • Best performances by third tier candidates—Castro and Booker.
  • Braggart Governor Award—Jay Inslee of Washington State. “I was the first Governor. . . ” Please, why don’t you give the state representatives, their staffers, and their constituents some credit. And you may want to reconsider bragging about championing reproductive rights.
  • Thank you for coming. Don’t call us, we’ll call you. . . Tulsi, John, Bill, Tim, Beto, Jay.
  • I should have paid A LOT more attention in Spanish 1 and 2.
  • First wave of moderators “A”, second “C+” [Maddow “A” + Todd “D”]. Not sure what was worse, Todd’s color commentating or his hair.
  • Technical difficulties, much ado about nothing. Probably can be traced back to an overweight Russian in his bedroom.

In related news, Klobuchar’s “all foam, no beer” quip has a Texan equivalent, “all hat, no cattle”. As a proud Pacific Northwesterner, I want in on that action. Which do you prefer?

  • all cup, no coffee
  • all river, no salmon
  • all clouds, no rain

The Great Equalizer

As this recent New York Times article poignantly illustrates, Horace Mann was wrong, education is not the great equalizer of men. Or women.

As always at the end of the year, most major newspapers list the most newsworthy deaths of the calendar year. Some provide a few paragraphs about each person. The “newsworthy deaths” compilations are a nice reminder that death is the great equalizer. Of men and women. The rich and poor. Hawk and dove. Religious and secular. Well known and anonymous. Prepared and unprepared.

I imagine most people who read those “famous deaths” compilations think to themselves, “Wow, a lot of famous people died this year.” That’s the thing about death, it’s kind of consistent. A lot of famous people die every year. In the United States, in 2013, someone will be born every 8 seconds and die every 12 seconds.

Poor form I know, but I can’t help but wonder if the comrades—Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro—will feature prominently in next year’s “famous deaths” lists. And what about Mugabe, Bush Sr, and Mandela, all quite skilled at postponing the great equalizer. Will they make it to 2014?

More importantly, will you and I make it to 2014? Psychologist Russ Harris suggests a simple exercise for being more conscious of The Great Equalizer (as described in The Antidote: Happiness for those Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking). Imagine you are eighty years old—assuming you’re not eighty already, that is; if you are, you’ll have to pick an older age—and then complete the sentences “I wish I’d spent more time on. . . ” and “I wish I’d spent less time on. . .”

Whatever your age, that wonderfully simple exercise will improve your chances of reaching death having lived life as fully and as deeply as possible.

I hope this isn’t your year or my year, but just in case, let’s live it like it could be.

Thank you for making time to read my writing this year. Peace to you and yours.