Sunday, July 5, 2009


If you read the "About Me" blurb in the right-hand column, you will see the revelation that "I like to take photographs". This blog was intended originally to allow me to showcase some of my work from time to time. Today seemed like a good time to put the intention to practice while working on the Franken Recount missive promised this morning.

My cousin Kevin and I visited the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Museum before Kevin returned home to southern Minnesota after his holiday weekend visit. I happened to have my camera along and was blown away by the photographic opportunities. Not the sculptures, necessarily, magnificent as they are. I was mesmerized by the site as a public gathering place. Tourists, a wedding party, a professional photographer shooting professional musicians, a grandmother comforting a crying infant, a magnificent flower garden teeming with tiny life.

I plan on returning soon with my tripod and macro lens. In the meantime, here's a little sample to cleanse my blogging palate. Click on an image to view a larger version. Feel free to download any you wish. The color in the original images is better than reflected on this blog and can be further tweaked in any photo-editing software.

Senator Franken! (Watch This Space)

Now that Al Franken has finally been declared the winner of Minnesota's U.S. Senate election contest and Norm Coleman has conceded, the embargo on blogging imposed by the Franken Campaign has been lifted. When I volunteered to assist, I agreed not to write about anything I saw or did in connection with the election contest until the election was resolved. Since I served as a volunteer attorney for the campaign during the recount process, I took the directive as a matter of attorney-client privilege until waived.

It was an honor to have assisted ever so slightly with the campaign and a real eye-opener on the machinations of high stakes campaigns, both Democratic and Republican. I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences that helped reaffirm my belief that Minnesota will be well-served by its new junior Senator.

I have to deal with some prior commitments but will be pondering the experience from the prairie soon.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bad Posture and Bad Posturing: Stooped and Stupid

posture |ˈpäs ch ər|
noun: a position of a person's body when standing or sitting
verb: [ intrans. ] [often as n. ] ( posturing) behave in a way that is intended to impress or mislead others

Jimmy Stewart had good posture. Tall and lanky, he always carried himself proudly and effortlessly. His posturing in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington remains an American classic, the tale of Everyman taking on corruption in Government.

My how times have changed. There has been much posturing coming out of Washington D.C. and Columbia, South Carolina over the past week or so. Senator John Ensign of Nevada and Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina, both stalwart proponents of family values and the sanctity of marriage (particularly when worrying about same sex couples wanting to join the sacred ranks), have been forced to admit to behavior that they publicly refused to tolerate in others.

It made me realize that when one’s posture begins to suffer, there is a tendency to looked stooped. When one’s posturing suffers the fate of public servants Ensign and Sanford, there is a tendency to look stupid.

Judging from press coverage driven by the perception that the public gives a rat’s patootie about the details, I am one of the few people in America that did not care to share the contents of Governor Sanford’s intimate e-mail exchange. When I started writing this, I was under the impression that the Governor had fallen for his Argentine paramour like a lovesick adolescent. Not wanting to be judgmental about affairs of the heart, and not being privy to the condition of his marital relationship, I refused to fault him for giving in to the emotional pull of newly found love. After all, when an irresistible force such as hers meets an old immovable object like him, you can bet, as sure as you live, something’s gotta give, something’s gotta give, something’s gotta give.

Then the SOB acknowledged that he had regularly “crossed the line” when on road trips with his buddies, immediately switching his image from being a hopeless romantic to a self-absorbed boor. And, as noted above, particularly in light of his past posturing about family values and the need for our public servants to set a proper example and his propensity for marching out his beautiful accomplished wife and four sons whenever it made sense for political purposes, he looks stupid.

His Republican colleague, Senator John Ensign looks even dumber. This paragon of virtue who, posturing, called on President Clinton to resign when his dalliances became public, was forced last week to confess that his marital vows were similarly modifiable when the Senator's hormones took control. Now that he, too, has traded civilized restraint and respect for his spouse for the carnal pleasures of the wife of one of his top aides, he’s adopted a different viewpoint on the propriety of resignation.

His pronouncements of trouble in his marriage that led to such behavior are besides the point. When you deem yourself worthy to stand tall and posture about the logical harsh consequences of immoral behavior by public officials, do not subsequently (?) stoop to entering into an adulterous affair with your close friend’s wife and wife’s close friend. You come across as stupid.

On the other hand, I suppose that if everyone experiencing strife in their marriage took that as a get out of “jail” free card and explored intimacy outside of the marital relationship it would, at least, demote the perceived threat posed by same sex couples to the one man/one woman contingent.

Certainly, this is not a partisan issue. But the hypocrisy of those who deem themselves worthy to preach and attempt to impose their alleged moral values on all of us, yet abandon their public principles at the batting of an eyelash (or the tapping of a shoe in a men’s restroom) is sickening and peculiar to social conservatives. You don’t see Barney Frank advocating for same-sex marriage and flying up to Nova Scotia to lose himself in the arms of a lobster heiress. More precisely, even when Barney Frank advocates for same-sex marriage, he adopts a live and let live posture, content to allow those who disagree to carry on in their own lives as they see fit.

So, dear social conservative friends, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Practice what you preach. And if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with, NOT!

And, finally, Governor Sanford, show some respect for the mother of your children and quit pining in public. Your continued public apologies, couched in excuses, are making matters worse. Being a man means more than flying to Buenos Aires to service your mistress after your wife pleads with you not to see her again. It means owning up to the hurt you've caused and hopes and dreams you've discarded and making amends to your family, if possible, quietly, sincerely and earnestly.