About Dan Granot

I chose the Shorter Whitman because of his work, "Song of Myself" and because of my self-deprecating sense of humor. I am under no illusion that I can write successful essays or poetry, but I have been known to write them anyway.

Lovecraft on Republicans

“As for the Republicans — how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical ‘American heritage’…) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.”
—HPL in a letter to Donalad Wandrei November 8, 1936

Some of HP’s writings dealt with his views on politics but I’ve never read any of his personal missives.

100 Days

I saw a post from a former pastor of mine.  I consider him a friend and mentor – at least, I considered him one.  It’s a confusing thing.  I still love and respect him, admire much of his character and have nothing but the deepest appreciation for the things he has taught me over the years.  But, I feel conflicted, too.  Our ideologies are not the same, and though I have faith in God, I would no longer characterize myself as a fundamentalist Christian in any form.  Over the past few years my friend has become increasingly more vocal in political and religious matters, something I will certainly never criticize, however it has highlighted the rift that is between us when I compare what we think and believe.  He is unabashedly both conservative Right and conservative Christian,  even when those two viewpoints are in direct contention.  More recently, he has taken to bashing both the Left and the Islamic religion, often conflating the two in order to make a skewed point.  Given his background as both an IBM engineer and a teacher of Philosophy, I have no doubt he understands faulty logic- but he no longer pays heed to that in service of rhetoric.  This depresses me.  There was a time when he measured the character of a person by when they were willing to keep their mouth shut.  Have we moved so far past civil discourse that even good men step over the line to protect what they see as their way of life?  Is the perceived threat to Christianity, whether it is by political, social or religious agenda so great that we must forget our principles?

I hope not.

Running for the Republicans

So yesterday I posited the idea of running for the Democrats as a non-Democrat, and not in the Bernie Sanders kind of why.  I can’t say I’d do the same for the Republicans, at least not at this time.  The first reason is that the Democratic party has, at least locally, accepted the notion that they are a party in disarray.  They know this.  Second, I can get behind a lot of their social programs without accepting their economic ones.  The Republican party?  Yeah, not so much, and it might be because I came from them originally.  I’ve found I disagree with many of their social stances, and I’m opposed to their attempts to push the Christian religion as the basis for our government and policy decisions.  On paper, I agree with many of their stated goals, at least as far as limited government and fiscal spending go, but in reality I have found that they have no desire to actually abide by those ideals.  It’s not a sales thing, or a presentation of the platform, it’s that in many ways, they are actively working against their stated principles.  To me that’s a longer row to hoe.  I also think that, as a party, they are still unaware of just how broken they are – Even as they laud their victories in the last election, they fail to see that many of those victories were on the back of Trump’s platform, which ironically, was similar to President Obama’s.  Change.  The people aren’t happy with the status quo and they’re looking for options.

I don’t think politics will ever change, but it could be an interesting political landscape in the next few years.

Day 165 – The day I didn’t sleep

I had a bout of insomnia last night.  That bout last exactly as long as it took to consume the rest of season 5 of Justified.  I am surprised and amazed at synchronicity that this particular circumstance displayed…but, the world is truly a wondrous place.

Yesterday I walked, but I need to walk further, longer.  So today, maybe one more step, maybe many more blocks.

I didn’t practice on the guitar last night, so it now sits beside me and gently weeps…

What are we fighting for?

Editor’s Note:  I wrote this back about 3 months or so, ago.  I was going to add a paragraph or two about my Dad, which I might do as an extended piece, but I thought I would get it posted now, as it has spent far too much time on my “To Do” list.

 

 

As the debate about health care continues, with President Trump and many of his supporters leading the way to repeal the ACA despite the lack of a real plan of action to replace or repair what is left, I find myself considering what it is we hope to accomplish with our country, our government.  What do we consider important at the national level, as a nation?  To what use do we put that blunt instrument that is our federal government?  That our government has grown large and unwieldy, straining under its own massive weight is no surprise to us.  We know it is fat, and growing larger.  We know that is too large, too heavy to support.  The Fed has grown in size and weight, but accomplishes less and less despite its increase in size and resources.  Both corporations and private citizens have attached themselves to that bloated mass, feeding off its excess like a tick to a mangy dog.  And those very fat, very happy ticks, they don’t want anything to change with their host.  No, even if the overall health and state of the union should falter, do not change anything lest their meal ticket become endangered.

This piece isn’t an analysis of the government, however.  It isn’t here to discuss the wasted resources and corporate whore mongering that goes on in our nation’s capital.  This essay is here to ask a basic question of ourselves.  What is it do we want our government to do for us?  What freedom and pursuit of happiness are we defending with our military?  What justice do we purport to provide to those of our nation that are too broke to pursue our self-evident truths?  In a nation as rich as ours, in a land as large as ours, truly our government should be responsible for very few things at the Federal level.  It is rarely the best tool for the job.  Help keep the common law consistent.  Help keep our perspective on infrastructure.  Facilitate communication among the States and their people as a whole, these things a Federal Government can do.  I would suggest to you that central to all of these things is the People.  Whatsoever our government does, it should be in the most benefit to her people, to the support of the pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness.  But what good is life, if we cannot enjoy it?  What good is liberty, if we cannot live it.  How can we have happiness if we are not healthy enough to pursue it?  People are the life’s blood of this country, the means be which everything is accomplished.  If our People are not healthy, how can our nation succeed?  We can educate ourselves, feed ourselves, defend ourselves- but only if we are healthy enough to do so.  In the past, collectively we have agreed that things like education, warfare, defense and trade are things we should spend our wealth on.  They are things that we considered integral to our nation, enough so to put into the Federal Government’s hands.  Why then, do we not consider our health such an asset, one worthy of our collective effort?  What else is worth fighting for if we don’t have our health?

 

And your new Democratic candidate is… Not a Democrat

Dear God, help us!

Heh.  Still between that article, and another one I read but cannot find, the Montana Democrats are in need of a few good candidates.  Perhaps I should throw my hat into the ring as the kind of candidate they need.  You see, I’m not a Democrat.  I’m not a Republican any more, either.  The Democrats have a tough go of it here in Montana – their social platform actually benefits a lot of the state, but they have no concept on how to market it.  On the economic side, well, Democrats suck.  We might identify, economically, as a state/nation of have nots, but even though the idea of sticking it to the man is appealing to many, even more of us want to be well off.  Sure those guys oppressing us are rich, but we wanna be rich too.  Taxing the rich isn’t something a lot of Montanan’s get behind, I think because many people identify wealth with hard work.  And while that isn’t as accurate as it used to be, we’re not really ready to throw that association out, not around here.  And truthfully, we shouldn’t.  Whether Democrats like it or not, the wealthy already foot the bill for the majority of our expenses- taxing them more just because we feel they can afford it is not a policy we should ever agree to.

So that’s where I come in.  Let’s get back to the basics of streamlining our government.  Less at the Federal level, more at the State.  Let’s invest in our infrastructure – our people, and we’ll sell it as good for business, good for the environment and good for the profits of everyone.  Well, almost everyone.  🙂  Let’s move from the extremes of both parties and find some ground that actually lets us accomplish some work in our country.

Day 135 – part 2

So what is today but another yesterday in the making?  Or perhaps, to quote the learned Axl Rose, “Yesterday there was so many things I was never told
Now that I’m startin’ to learn I feel I’m growing old”.

My father said something similar though he was surely no GNR fan.  Facing the frustrations of being sick with cancer and staring at a life cut short, he said, “Just when you’re starting to figure things out, you’re too old, too out of time.”

Mind you, I’m not feeling morbid, morose, ill or out of time, but I think it would be remiss of me to not learn from the very painful lessons of those who have come before me.  Carpe Diem was a popular saying thanks to Robin Williams, but I think it is apropos, too.  There are many, many miles to go before I sleep.  I hope.

So, today.  Fur Elise, The Firefly theme, and I heard an acoustical version of CCR’s Fortunate Son that I’d like to try.  I also need to find an amplifier since mine is broken.  Other than that, today is about sales calls, emails and maybe, exercise and coffee with my sons. Maybe a spot of tea, too.

What will you do with your day?  What mountain will you climb, lips will you kiss, flower will you smell?  Contribute that verse…

O Me! O Life!

Walt Whitman, 18191892

O Me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring;   
Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish;   
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who  more faithless?)   
Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever renew’d;   
Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;          
Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined;   
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?   
   
                                                        Answer.

That you are here—that life exists, and identity;   
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

Day 135

From my good friend Dave- notable events on October 19th

1386 – The Universität Heidelberg holds its first lecture, making it the oldest German university.
1469Ferdinand II of Aragon marries Isabella I of Castile, a marriage that paves the way to the unification of Aragon and Castile into a single country, Spain.
1781 – At Yorktown, Virginia, representatives of British commander Lord Cornwallis hand over Cornwallis’ sword and formally surrender to George Washington and the comte de Rochambeau.
1812Napoleon Bonaparte retreats from Moscow.

1900Max Planck discovers the law of black-body radiation (Planck’s law).

1950 – The People’s Republic of China joins the Korean War by sending thousands of troops across the Yalu River to fight United Nations forces.
1960Cold War: The United States government imposes a near-total trade embargo against Cuba.

 Born
1784Leigh Hunt, English poet and critic (d. 1859)
1945 – John Lithgow, American actor
1962 – Evander Holyfield, American boxer and actor
1966Jon Favreau, American actor, director, and screenwriter
1967 – Yōji Matsuda, Japanese actor
1967 – Yoko Shimomura, Japanese pianist and composer
1969 – Trey Parker, American actor, animator, producer, and screenwriter
1975Shian-Li Tsang, Japanese model
1977 – Dan Granot, American Hero
And some choice quotes, as well…
The same people who can deny others everything are famous for refusing themselves nothing.

There are two worlds: the world that we can measure with line and rule, and the world we feel with our hearts and imagination.

  • As quoted in The Farmer’s Wife, Vol. 36 (1933), p. 72

That there is pain and evil, is no rule
That I should make it greater, like a fool.

  • A Thought or Two on Reading Pomfret’s “Choice”, in The Poetical Works of Leigh Hunt, London: Edward Moxon, 1846, p. 147.

136 Days

One less than yesterday, no pressure though.

I started my day knowing it is one less day, one less day to do whatever it is I’m willing to commit to.  Did I start my day with a purpose?  No, but I wanted to…

Today is exercise, it’s sales calls and making money, it is Fur Elise on the guitar…

Walt Whitman

“To drive free, to love free, to court destruction with taunts. One brief house of madness and joy!”

Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

137 Days

If you had a bucket list, a list of things that had to get done, changes that needed to be made, and you gave yourself a time limit.  Could you get them done?  Or, in committing to get them done, would you know what you wanted to do?  Can you imagine change, accomplishment?  What could you do in X days, in X months?  By tomorrow?  How would you limit yourself?  Would you allow yourself to fail?  to succeed?

I have a time limit, self-imposed, nothing medical… 137 days, 3.5 months to my next birthday.  What’s on my list?