Perhaps I was being paranoid…

At the time, someone asked why my post in response to the Orlando nightclub shooting didn’t support comments or WordPress.com likes. The answer is simple, sad, and a bit insidious: given the subject, I was concerned about the response, and any undue attention that those interactions might draw.

My brother serves; Trump’s treatment of the Khan family horrifies me

I didn’t watch Khizr Khan’s speech at the DNC–I couldn’t; it’s too emotional a topic for me. After all, my only brother is an Army Captain who’s deployed several times.

There’s nothing about Donald Trump’s reaction to Mr. Khan’s speech that doesn’t horrify me. As I think of my family being in the Khan’s situation, I know for sure that my father would be the only person capable of speaking about our experience.

To dismiss a mother’s silence for religious reasons, solely to promote one’s campaign and point of view, horrifies me. To denigrate a family’s mourning to promote a campaign of hatred and divisiveness horrifies me. That this sorry excuse for a leader could become my brother’s Commander-in-Chief horrifies me.

Ezra Klein’s response, drawing from James Fallows’ reactions, expresses my horror and anger far better than I can at this point.

All I know is that Donald Trump knows nothing of sacrifice.


My favorite thing about Fourth of July

Each year for the last 28 years, NPR’s Morning Edition has aired a reading–by the network’s hosts, reporters, and newscasters–of the Declaration of Independence. Hearing this is, by far, my favorite part of today’s celebrations.

NPR’s Annual Reading Of The Declaration Of Independence, 240 Years Later

Rage

Since I learned of the mass shooting in Orlando, an attack that targeted a community I’m part of, I’ve been filled with rage–not towards the shooter, though he certainly deserves no shortage of my anger–but towards the circumstances that let this happen yet again.

I’m full of rage towards the organized religions that teach love, forgiveness, and tolerance, while demonstrating hypocrisy by precious few sects or denominations welcoming the LGBT community. Instead, we’ve generally seen religious groups’ fervent support of hateful and discriminatory legislation go unopposed by religious leaders and organizations–which seems exactly opposed to the teachings they claim to follow.

I’m full of rage towards our elected officials and their empty rhetoric. They offer “thoughts and prayers” that claim to be heartfelt, but are delivered with no more emotion or sincerity than placing a coffee order. These statements come so frequently, and are so rarely followed by action, that they carry no weight, they have no significance.

I’m full of rage towards organizations like the NRA, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and their ilk, which claim to defend Americans’ freedoms while blindly ignoring the consequences of their lobbying.

But ultimately, I’m full of rage because despite this being “the worst mass shooting in US history,” despite the frequency with which these attacks occur, despite this being a hate crime, we’ll likely endure another of these events in six months time. We’ll go through the same pointless “national mourning” process, and the country will go back to what it was doing–growing increasingly self-absorbed and isolated from opposing viewpoints, oblivious to the experiences of our fellow Americans.

Why I use an editorial calendar

Someone asked recently why I use an editorial calendar for this site, with its low volume and single author. The reason is simple, and slightly amusing: to avoid publishing too frequently.

I’ve tried blogging challenges, and I’ve worked to post daily and maintain a streak as awarded through WordPress.com notifications.

I also found that the streak induced substantial stress to post daily, even when I had nothing worthwhile to share. Thanks to Edit Flow‘s calendar, I ensure that I post on no more than two consecutive days, as a defense against needing to publish daily.

Laugh if you want to, but this strategy’s enabled me to publish regularly since December 2015. Previously, one post per quarter was my about average.

Spring cleaning

Earlier this week, I consolidated several of my legacy sites into either ethitter.com or my photoblog at i.ethitter.com. While it’s a bit sad to shudder some blogs that I’ve had for nearly a decade, they hadn’t seen new content in several years.

It’s nice to clean up around my multisite network now and then.

Another advantage of not owning a car: sometimes you win the rental-car lottery

Hertz upgrade win

Sometimes circumstances and availability mean that the Premium-class vehicle you reserved becomes a Luxury-class 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300.

For the backstory, see “Surviving Southern California without a car.”