The B!%@# Doesn’t Want to Stop Noticing

There are days when I really believe that the Repugnants plan and try to push the sane people of this country over the edge.  They have been running a full-on desensitizing campaign and truth be told I worry that people will eventually just be lost and used to it.  It’s like that person who walks for miles with a rock in the bottom of their shoe.  As they begin their journey it hurts…and they try desperately to remove what is causing them pain.  Then as they find that their efforts produce no results they begin to shift the way they walk.  Their put more pressure on one side of their foot and do their best to avoid that which is causing their agony.  All the while a callous is building and they eventually become less likely to notice the rock.

This seems to me, to be a danger we face as time passes with this group of repugnants occupying congress and the White House.  And to top everything off, there has been a quiet movement going on in the background, almost undetected.  A group of repugnants have been needling away, meticulously working to get enough states under their control to amend the constitution.  Let that sink in… they, the people who have historically put profit over people and have done everything in their power to turn the clock back 50 years…those people want to alter the constitution.

As I sit here thinking about it, it sends a chill along my spine.  I find myself in a very bad place lately as I flip through the news each day.  Every day has me feeling more despondent about the future of this country.  I see it careening down a path that I truly cannot support and it makes me feel like curling up in my recliner and crying.  Why is it that people are allowing this to happen?

Recently while reading through a few blogs on the internet, I came across a post by an individual succinctly titled, “Don’t like it here… get out.”  They went on to say that we are in control of our own lives and that if we hate the place we are in we should change it.  You know, I wish I could fully agree with that person.  I would love to have the ability to pick up and move my daughter and myself out of the red state I am stuck in and head back to California where I grew up.  But I am not able to, I am what you would call the typical “lower middle class” single mother.  I have no savings to speak of, a house that I could not sell for near what I paid for it, and no way to just pick up and go.  Any move I make, will have to be at the end of a long drawn out process… all the while leaving me more and more depressed with the state of the world.

Don’t get me wrong, California is not some golden escape door and the world is not going to be suddenly better there, but at least I won’t feel like I am trapped in a state that is swiftly going down the repugnant shitter.  This state is caught in a nose dive fully powered by the “good Christians” who state that the answer to everything is “Jesus” all the while declaring… well I don’t think I should have to pay for… insert their selfish diatribe here.  Frankly I have lost all respect for anyone who calls themselves a Christian and voted for the Tangerine.  Their piss poor justification of why they voted for a pathological liar doesn’t stand on its own feet.

You know what gets me the most right now… the repugs KNOW how to exploit people.  They have figured out how to push the self-centered button on the middle class white dude and his family.  Each cut to programs for the poor is prefaced with a statement about how it isn’t fair for this person or that person to have to pay for another.  What fries my ass about that… this is humanity… we are meant to be there for each other.  We are supposed to be helping each other along the way and standing together as a civilization.  Instead people are buying into the whole me, me, me verses that are being sung by the repugnant choir.  They are looking around at their stuff and crying about the imagined thief who will take a few dollars out of their pockets.

We live in a world where people readily post on Facebook their latest need to add a home theater or some other random piece of garbage to their already overdone trophy house.  We live in a world where people want to feel superior to others and they do it by bragging about their latest toys and how they have managed to figure out ways to avoid paying taxes because they write it all off as a “business expense.”  After all, a $500,000 home should be a business expense and they should be able to spend their money exactly how they want…and avoid paying taxes because well…they are above all that.  Shakes my head… people have really developed into some self-centered shits.

Don’t get me wrong… I know there are a lot of good people out there.  I know that humanity is not lost.  There were more people in this country who voted for Hillary than for the Tangerine. There are more people who actually care and who want to lift others up than there are those who want to tear them down.  But for one moment stop and think… if I am feeling this way after just two months of that shitty Tangerine holding office… what is going to happen as it drags on and on?  Is he going to simply become the rock in the shoe that we learn to walk around?  Are we going to become so desensitized to things that eventually we just don’t notice Sighs…I sincerely hope not.

 

The B!%@# Wants to Strike Too…

Tomorrow is the day without women and I wish I was able to take the day off and participate in something, anything that would be meaningful.  This is not an option for me however, as sadly, I live in a location where it would simply be seen as a “ditch” day, not a day with a purpose.  This attitude guts me.  The fact that people have made choices to step away from their normal routines to have their voice heard inspires me.  Yet for many they will find the response will be… “oh is that another one of those skip days.”

When the Day without Immigrants happened a few weeks back I heard those very words of disdain.  They fell readily from the lips of many as they discussed the day.  People who had no real skin in the game (i.e. – white middle class) were commenting on the motives of those who had chosen to act on that day.  The people who chose to stay home and to risk their livelihoods felt that it was important to follow that course of action.  Something in the world around them, demanded that they had to step up and show that they too are an important part of this country.  Immigrants make essential contributions each and every day and when they are not there, they are missed.

As immigrants throughout the country took the day and demonstrated, I found myself deeply moved by their choices.  Children did not go to school and adults did not go to work. On that day a woman whom I respect deeply was absent from work.  I knew why she was not present that day and I supported her decision. When she returned the following day, I made a point of telling her that I understood and backed her choice. She had been missed. But even as we spoke, she knew that many whom we work with did not support her choices and would not be willing to learn her reasons.

Tomorrow there will be women all over this country who do not arrive at work.  They will take the day and they will stand up for their beliefs.  I am sure there will be teenagers as well, who do not attend school out of allegiance to the ideas put forward by this movement.  The young are vocal in their ideals and despite those who wish to demean their convictions, many of those youth are extremely educated on the issues.  My own daughter reads stories from multiple sources and makes a conscious choice to stay informed.  Were she to ask tomorrow for the day, I would allow her to stay home as I would know that her choice was an educated one.

Sadly, there will be many who do not understand the actions of tomorrow.  They will make assumptions and cast aspersions without learning the why.  They will sneer and spit  because to learn the reasons would be an inconvenience, a task that is beyond their sphere of comfort.  To these people the day will simply be a temper tantrum, a “snowflake” having a meltdown.

What I wonder tonight as I sit her contemplating tomorrow is rather simple.  When will it be enough?  At what point will these people, the one’s who discount every action as a temper fit, finally start to see.  What has to happen in this country for those people to finally realize that these choices are not made easily?  There are already people dying, there are already piles of hate festering throughout the country… what will it take for those who sneer to finally open their eyes and ears to the why?

The B!%# and The Media Ramble On…

Have you ever reached a point where you feel like you are shouting at a wall?  You begin to wonder if anything you have to say will make a difference to anyone.  As I reread my last post a little over a week ago, I found myself wondering: why was I writing, what did I hope to accomplish, and did I really believe that I would change anything?

For many writers this moment comes at various points in their lives.  I like to call it the “what the fuck am I doing” moment.  The moment when a person suddenly realizes they have taken off, careening down a path that could quite possibly lead to death, dismemberment, or at the very least, a lot of pissed off people.  Okay, I over-dramatize, but the point is relevant.  Writing in today’s climate is like putting your ass in front of firing line and hoping that everyone taking aim, has failed to acquire ammunition.

While I am just a blogger with an ever present opinion, I am still an example of a thorn. I share or comment on information that would not be considered flattering to the Tangerine and his repugnants.  Admittedly most of what I write is opinion and my personal interpretation of the facts.  But it is still an opinion based on events that are occurring in our world.  An opinion that normally serves to skewer, filet, and dissect the crap being perpetrated by the repugnant party.

So with my rambling I have placed myself on the table beside the media and let’s face it, we currently live in a world where the Tangerine and his ilk are consistently calling the media, “fake.”  Their agenda is quite clear on this; discredit the media so the public will not trust anything that is reported.  If the public does not trust the media to report the truth, then they are less likely to believe reports that show crimes being committed by the Tangerine and his repugnants.

Many people don’t this as a problem or threat, but I can assure you it is a significant issue. The press is the people’s way of maintaining oversight of the actions of the politicians who are elected to serve us.  When a politician is elected to office they are tasked with representing the people of their constituency.  They are expected to act in the best interest of the people.  Unfortunately there are limited ways to keep tabs on the actions of our representatives.  Government is by its very nature a collection of working parts and no one person can keep watch on all of it at the same time.  That is where the press is invaluable. These journalists work to ensure that we are informed, but even with the press maintaining the flow of information there are still many dealings that remain hidden long after the damage has been done.

Sadly, politicians have perfected the skill of sidestepping and avoiding exposing their own missteps.  They have long ago learned to hide from the public what they do not wish to admit and wave openly what they think will garner accolades.  They hire press agents and publicity managers to ensure that what is revealed to the world puts them in the rosiest of lights.  Fixers are utilized to bury their misdealing and false steps from the public view. Which is but another reason why it is imperative to have a free and open press monitoring our employees.

All of this being said, there is also an onus on the public in this country to ensure that we verify, verify, verify.  As I have stated before, I am a rather opinionated b!%@# and I am the first to admit that my writings are based on my personal interpretation of the facts. Through my writings I share what I believe should happen in the world.  But my writings are based on verified facts.  I always read multiple sources when a story breaks and I make a concentrated effort to read articles from sources that often represent the other side of the political spectrum.

We have a bad habit in this country of locking onto ONE source and calling it good.  We create a vacuum in which our world is limited to only that which we wish to hear. The rise of Faux Fox News is a case in point, the people who watch this network rarely watch other sources.  They tend to state that other networks cannot be trusted and that their is no point to verify the information elsewhere.  The problem with this is that when you climb into a vacuum you rarely can get out of it.  Fixating on one source ensures that you are locked into one set of opinions and one view of the facts.  You are guaranteeing that you are not exposed to anything that might upset your desired state of self-imposed equilibrium.

With the state of the government today the idea of accepting one source has the potential for catastrophic results.  People must be willing to be their own fact checkers.  They must look beyond their standard bubble and check to see how stories are being reported through other sources.  We cannot allow ourselves to become trapped in a world where we only see what we want to see as that plays into the hopes of the Tangerine and his repugnants. They are hoping that we will find ourselves contented with 140 characters and single sources.  They want to proclaim anything disparaging “fake” and anything positive “real.” We can’t let them sell us their own fairy tales as truths.  We must believe in the intentions of the press to serve as our spotlight and then verify.  And this B!%@#, will continue to ramble on…

 

 

 

The B!%@# is an Exceptional Eclectic

Have you ever found yourself hating the mere mention of a phrase?  A phrase that sends you scrambling for the other room, the next state, or perhaps a few countries over, when you hear it uttered?  You know those phrases.  The one’s that remind you of someone dragging their fingernails across a chalkboard.  The words that have your spine lengthening, your lips curling, and your temper intermediately riled.

While I could make case for many annoying phrases, there is one that will always put my temper on edge.  The two little words in question?  “Good Christian.”  Now let me start out by saying that I believe that everyone has to find the religion or non-religion that brings them a personal sense of peace.  People need to find a personal code that guarantees they will treat others with respect and dignity.  This post is not in anyway, shape, or form designed to demonize the Christian faith, as I know many people who are Christian for whom I have much respect and admiration.  It is, however, my intention to specifically target a group of people who have made the lives of many difficult and at times almost unbearable.  That group being the ones who spout venom and hate all the while proclaiming themselves to be “good Christians.”

I suspect you can ascertain from my need to address this topic that I am not Christian and you would be correct.  For the last three decades I have identified myself as either Pagan, Wiccan, or simply a Spiritual Eclectic.  The later probably being my label of choice, if I had to give myself a label.  I don’t spend my days going about advertising my spiritual beliefs.  It has never been that I am ashamed of them, I simply don’t find it necessary to wear them like a pair of designer jeans with the label prominently displayed across my ass.

The world is made of a hodgepodge of faiths and beliefs.  Everyone seems to be trying to assign meaning to things and they are always on the lookout for signs that they are somehow right in their personal choices of faith and belief.  The problem with that, is that in order to believe themselves “right,” they have to believe someone else is wrong.  That, in and of itself, is not a problem.  The problem appears when those people start arguing over who is right and wrong.  The conflict develops when one people decides that they must inflict their beliefs on others.

This brings me back to those two teeny tiny words.  Why do they inspire a rage in me?  The simple explanation is that they imply a superiority of the person who utters them over others.  Rarely can you compliment a “good Christian” by calling them a good person, as they will frequently correct you.  It is as if being a good person is somehow not sufficient. They can’t take credit for their actions without attaching their religion to it and with that they are somehow proclaiming their religion as being the cause of their positive actions. Their religion is the basis of all good and the implication is that a person cannot be good enough if they are not of that religion.

With the current social climate these beliefs are ever present and seem to be saturating the actions of many politicians.  Today, as I was scanning through the articles running across my news feed, I found one that mentioned a group who are determined to bring “good Christian” beliefs back into the classroom.  Admittedly my initial reaction was a muttered string of expletives.  Why do people feel the need to dictate religion to others?  Public schools serve people from a variety of faiths and when you proclaim that you want to carry those schools back to “good Christian” beliefs you are declaring that other faiths are NOT good and NOT worthy.  It’s offensive to make such claims.

Every day we are subjected to the “good Christians” need to convert the world. They cannot seem to accept diversity and they demonize differences while they proclaim they are simply being “good Christians.” They only want to save everyone and in order to do that they have to tell you everything that is wrong with you (in their opinion, of course).  Call me crazy, but I have never felt the need to stick my hand on a hot stove… but when a “good Christian” gets to spouting off their hate and judgment that stove seems the better alternative to their ways and beliefs.

For years I have had to listen to people spout off about how Christianity is under attack. Do you know why people of other religions rarely utter such moronic statements?  It’s not because they are ashamed of their faiths or beliefs.  It’s that they simply do not feel the need to wave their personal faiths around like a flag.  They desire respect in their choice of faith, but they do not need to have it become some universally accepted proclamation. They do not need to force it down the throats of the public at large.  Not once has it ever occurred to me that I should be out converting others to my personal spiritual truth.

Generally you could say that I am tired of being the one who sits silently in the room as those around me talk about their faith and religions.  I am exhausted by burden of having to validate their right to believe as they choose, while denying my own right to be as expressive.  I am disgusted by the fact that the word “good” has been commandeered as a label to be applied to those of a particular faith and belief system.

Perhaps we should let them have that word… instead let us choose something more splendid for our personal identification.  Let us be magnificent Muslims, marvelous Jews, wondrous Wiccans, and just generally phenomenal people.  We don’t have to allow them to inflict their “good Christian” ideals on our classrooms, in our personal lives, and throughout our government.  Instead we need to demand that they demonstrate that they can be spectacular human beings and embrace all of the world’s diversity with a breathtaking wonder.

The B!%@# Hates Partisan Bullshit

It seems that the hypocrisy of the repugnants is truly multifaceted and considering the events of late, it appears they have chosen to wave that hypocrisy as if it were a flag of pride.  With the resignation of Michael Flynn yesterday one would have expected to see government officials clamoring for a full investigation into the depth and breadth of the issue.   After all, how many millions of dollars were spent on the investigations of Hillary Clinton?  Yet with the coming of today, Senator Rand Paul gave a voice and face to the hypocrisy as he declared that probing into the administration’s ties to Russia would be excessive.  He then took it a step further to admit that it was all about party over country when he stated, “I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of our own party.”  

I have long ago lost any rosy colored outlook about politicians.  They do tend to make deals with the devil on a daily basis and it doesn’t appear to be purely on one side of the aisle. Generally you know that with every move a politician makes there is going to be someone who will scream foul.  But I used to think that despite all of the sideways deals, the purpose was ultimately the betterment of the United States for everyone.  Lately however, I am not sure that is actually the goal of the repugnants.  With everything that has been occurring in Washington and in legislatures around the country I have a sneaking suspicion that they are actually trying to drive the United States to its knees.

The repugnants and I have never seen eye to eye and I feel it is important for me to acknowledge that up front.  I am pro-people.  I believe that society should work together to ensure that all people have what they need to survive.  I recognize the need for taxes as a way to pay for the programs that contribute to the maintenance of our society.  Generally, the repugnants used to be the party of small government (relatively speaking) and big military.  They wanted fewer social programs as they believed that should be left up to private charities and they wanted to spend money on building big tanks.  But there has been a shift as of late in their ideals and it’s one that is genuinely frightening.

Recent years have seen the repugnants embracing corporations and their money.  The current crop of bills that are moving through congress shows an almost rabid desire to strip businesses of any and all regulations.  Bank regulations are being lifted.  Ethics monitors and disclosures are being repealed. Workers protections are being tossed on the fire.  Social programs such as social security, medicaid, and medicare are targeted. Education is at risk of losing massive amounts of funding in favor of privatization. Environmental regulations are being shredded, climate change is being denied, and companies are being offered free reign to do what they will to the environment. 

It’s as if the repugnants are going full steam ahead for a cliff and they honestly don’t care. Why else would they do nothing even as they are faced with mounting evidence that another country actively engaged in altering the outcome of our elections?  If they truly cared about this country and wanted to maintain it for future generations wouldn’t they be turning every stone over to find the truth?  The repugnant regime seems dead set on driving this country to brink.  

We are going to have fight back.  Phone calls to representatives are going to have to continue to be a daily occurrence.  Letters, emails, and when possible, personal visits are going to become routine parts of our lives as we show them that we are not willing to allow this to occur unchecked.  People owe it to the future of this country to stay informed and to demand actions are taken.  

We can’t accept partisan politics that are blinded by the longevity of party over the health of country.  Day after day we are going to have to demand that they stand up for us as they were elected to do.  The people of this country are not limited to a voice only on election day and they must remember that the women and men of congress are our employees.  They are there to listen to our will and to meet our needs.  It’s time for their bosses to stop sleeping behind the desk.    We no longer live in a time when we can vote and then go back to our regular programming.  

The B!%@# with A Bleeding Heart

Have you ever had a moment where a phrase suddenly strikes you?  A passing second that suddenly grows into hours spent pondering the implications of your thinking?  That was my afternoon.  As I drove to a nearby city today a car passed mine and gunned it.  That in and of itself is not unusual, as I do live in an area with a high number of fools who think back roads are invitations to open it up and see just how much they can risk their lives. What struck me about this car was one of their bumper stickers, “WARNING: Does not Play Well with Liberals” with a picture of an automatic rifle on the corner.

My first reaction was to get my feathers riled up.  I know for a fact my face contorted and I quietly muttered a few not so well chosen expletives.  But then something happened.  I pulled into a drive through and ordered drinks for my daughter and myself.  When the carhop brought out the order I handed him a ten for a $4.50 order and told him to keep the change.  The kid looked at me with a rather confused expression and said, “Are you sure?” I nodded, told him to have a nice day, and left.  I found myself smiling.  I had taken a moment that had inspired aggravation and had tossed it off by choosing to do something positive for someone else.

Admittedly I am what many would classify as a ‘bleeding heart liberal.’  I believe that society should work to ensure the welfare of all.  I believe that the environment is important and that we should do what we can to protect it and ensure that future generations are not tasked with cleaning up or surviving a mess we create today.  I think that taxes are a necessary part of civilization and that there is nothing wrong with providing for others.

The term ‘bleeding heart liberal’ has been tossed about like it were an insult.  The people who wield it see it as derogatory.  Whenever a cause is brought to the light by liberals, the sneers ooze, “it’s just those bleeding hearts again.”  It’s a way of discounting the actions of a group of people as if they were somehow lessor because they seem to act based on their heart. But it is in that term that we might find our strength.  We might be able to fight back against the current regime and introduce ourselves to the world in a much better light.

The repugnants found their way into power by proclaiming that they cared about those who saw themselves as forgotten.  Through the spouting of a series of generic slogans, the Tangerine started rallying those who believed themselves to be lost.  He declared that he would fix things and make everything great by returning the country to a fantasized past that never really existed.  Instead of rallying people behind the concept of a shared future that would be built together, he placed himself on high as the only one who could save them from a dark evil that they believed had banished them and left them lacking. Through lies, sound bites, and twitter bursts, the repugnants inspired hate and rage all under the false moniker of hope.

The repugnants are continuing to maintain their platform of hate.  Facts are being distorted to fester fear and fear propagates hatred.   Fingers are pointing at those who are different, labeling them as the sources of all that ails this country.  The idea of caring for all is being trounced upon by the promotion of a “me first” mind set.  Suddenly we are at a place where we cannot do for others because we might not have enough for ourselves.  We no longer care for the poor because it costs too much and we don’t want to be forced to help anyway.   Lines are being drawn and people are being categorized as worthy and unworthy.

My little interaction today got me thinking about the current movements going on throughout the entire country.  Town halls around the nation have seen an influx of people demanding answers of their repugnant representatives.  They are wanting to know how those representatives are planning to ensure that they are not left behind.  People want to know exactly how the actions being taken by the White House and congress are going to provide for a better future for all members of our society, not just the wealthy or the corporations.  They are standing up and screaming their needs, their hopes, and their desires.  Calls are flooding offices and emails are flying at unprecedented rates.

So perhaps it is time for the ‘bleeding hearts’ to start putting it out there again.  We are already protesting and proclaiming what we want for this world.  Now it is time for us to start modeling for others what we already know to be true.  We are one people (the human race) and we need to have each others backs.  The ‘bleeding hearts’ are at a place where they can genuinely impact the future direction of this country by doing for others and encouraging each other to step up.  We are going to have to reach our hands out to give, even when it is giving just a kind word.

Instead of turning into trolls and bashing each other over the head with memes and off the cuff statements on the internet, we need to start providing logical and caring solutions. Those who are promoting hate must be combated with love and it must be done openly and routinely.  We must demonstrate what it is we wish to see in our society if we want to hold onto the progress that has been made in the last forty years, we have to expose its values to others.  Sharing and supporting those who are the targets of the hatred must become the normal way of life if we are going to continue to move our world forward.  This is not a religious movement as they are often clouded with expectations of dogma.  Instead we ‘bleeding hearts’ are tasked with a movement of action, a movement of love, and movement of hope.

 

The B!%@# Never Thought it was Entry Level

There are many professions in this world that require a person to receive training. Before you can become a doctor you are expected to have a medical degree and to have met the licensing requirements.  Lawyers must obtain an advanced degree and then pass the bar. Teachers are required obtain a degree, complete a period of supervised student teaching, and then pass a licensing test.  Even a person who is hired to manage a fast food restaurant has an expectation that they have spent time on a career path that built their experience in the industry before they acquire the position of manager.

To me it has always seemed appropriate that positions that are not generally considered entry level require more qualifications.  Whereas jobs that are considered gateway positions have fewer expectations attached.  Employees who take an entry level job are often trained as they go.  They learn about the nuts and bolts of the day to day operations of a company as they build experience and knowledge on the job.  These employees through years of learning the ropes move up into positions that are more qualification intensive, the management positions.

Color me surprised when it struck me recently that the office of the president of the United States was actually an entry level position.  For years I had been under the impression that the people who held that job should have some experience. While I am familiar with the qualifications as expressed in the constitution:

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.

It never occurred to me that someone with absolutely experience in government could actually step into that position.

For all intents and purposes, the Tangerine has the same level of government experience as the guy who greets me as I walk through the doors of my local shopping center (aka NADA, ZILCH, NONE). Come to think of it, the greeter has at least some experience in diplomacy, as he has to deal with a broad variety of patrons from day to day and ensure that they feel welcome.  Whereas the Tangerine has the last two decades proving to the world that he excels at being an obtrusive jackass with the ability to spout off the words, “your fired” with a contrived and practiced tone.  This does not inspire confidence in his ability to navigate the complexities of governmental negotiations.

Each and every day we see his on-the-job training failing us.  He spouts off on Twitter about things that no President should be airing publicly.  He embarrasses the people of this country routinely with his absence of grammar, vocabulary, and a general understanding of syntax.  We are exposed to ridicule as we live though his lack of knowledge of basic civics. During the campaign he was asked if he had ever read the constitution.  Personally I would love to take that further and question the grades he achieved in high school government and history classes.  He seems to have zero understanding of the idea of the three branch system and approaches the job as if he were the CEO with ultimate authority.

His shortage of understanding of the branches of government was put openly on display today with the release of the verdict from the 9th circuit court.  The CEO responded by ranting and showing his arse on Twitter.  He spouted off a few times and closed with a tweet delivered entirely in capital letters.  Through his lapse of judgment (although it is getting harder to call these lapses, as I have yet to see him utilize good judgement), he demonstrated to the world that he doesn’t understand that he is not the be all, end all, decision maker for this country.

This gets me thinking though.  If we are going to start treating the office of the president as if it were an entry-level position, isn’t it time we institute a probationary period.  It would be relatively simple to put in place.  For every year of experience in governmental positions we knock some time off of the probationary period.  I am not even looking for congressional level experience.  Even basic city council or perhaps state representative would be preferable to train as you go.  Hell I’d settle for school board member. Something, anything, with some kind of knowledge and training on the operations of government would be preferable to this.