Monday, February 29, 2016

"That's Pride F..."

The movie poster from Pulp Fiction, Wikipedia, fair use claimed, full cite below in the credits.

Greetings All: 

It is the end of February.  Four weeks ago, my family and I gathered for our precinct caucus.  On that day, there were a bunch of folks running for president.  Now, the field has winnowed to two on the Democratic side and five on the Republican.  Yet one name has dominated the political landscape:  Donald J. Trump.

I will endeavor to never mention his name again in this blog.  (I'll salute him in uniform, should he win, but that's a tale for another time.)  Yet I must give credit where credit is due, he's winning.  

There are many theories as to why he has stormed the cockpit of the Republican's party Airbus.  Some believe he's going to crash it into the ground.  Others are convinced he's going to pull off a flawless landing onto the tarmac that is the "Morning in America" Ronald Reagan promised us.  Either way, we're in for one hell of an election year.

I'll just call it now to say that absent Rubio winning Florida two weeks from tomorrow, it's over.  In Cleveland, Trump gets the endorsement.  I understand the presumptive nominee does not drink.  That's OK, most of the establishment will be.

So how did this happen?  There are many schools of thought.  One being that the public was so outraged by conventional politics that the rise of any outsider was a foregone conclusion.  Another, as The Washington Post comments on below, is that supporters of this candidate embrace "authoritarianism."  Then there is the nicely written yet devoid of real facts article of Ross Douthat (a weekly columnist of The New York Times whom I truly enjoy reading) that the Republican front-runner (see, not mentioning his name) is due is some twisted part to President Obama being such a liberal rock star.  Nope, not seeing that one.  

What I do see and acknowledge is that this man has tapped into something.  For all his outrageous and disrespectful comments, for his previous unabashed support for liberal causes and candidates, for his temerity (if you're an establishment Republican) for attacking George W. Bush over 9/11, he is stoking a certain fire.  A fire that continues to burn hot and bright.

So what might that fire be?  Let's talk about it.  One answer could be economics.  I have a link to a Fortune article from a few days ago that sums up the issue with this opening line:  "Mississippi’s vast flatlands, laced with the remains of a fading industrial base, are fertile ground for the incendiary populism of Donald Trump."  The entire article is linked below, as are Mr. Douthat's and The Washington Post one I cited above earlier in this blog.  I encourage you to read all of them.  They all help educate the rise that is you-know-who.

So here's my explanation for why this guy is doing so well.  Please allow me to set the stage.

It's 1994 and it's the Twin Cities.  I was in my third year of law school and my friends had been telling me, "You gotta go see Pulp Fiction!"  This movie is about a gangster, a couple of hit men, an almost washed-up boxer, the gangster's wife, drug dealers and other assorted characters.  Think of it as Seinfield with heroin and multiple gun shots.

When I saw the movie, the theater was full.  There is a scene where the washed up boxer and the gangster comes to blows.  The boxer was supposed to throw a fight and in counseling the boxer to do so, the gangster says, "F... pride."  Later, as the boxer is beating the gangster, he mocks him by saying, "Feel, that?  That's pride f___in' with you."  I have a movie link to that scene, via YouTube, below in the credits.

Fast forward a few minutes into the film.  The gangster and boxer find themselves in a truly bad spot.  It is so bad that the gangster is being subjected to a most brutal, violent and humiliating crime.  The boxer is able to escape and as he is about to flee the scene, he hears the...crime still unfolding downstairs in the basement.  In a moment of truth, he realizes he cannot let this stand.  He chooses to fight back.

He's able to find a weapon and saves the gangster from a truly horrific set of circumstances.  As this is unfolding, my fellow movie attendees and I were expressing our profound approval of how the scene ended.  It was as if justice was served. 

I think the rise of this certain candidate is both a combination of people's need to have their pride restored (however they define it) and their desire to have someone do it for them.  They see this guy as their hero.

As for me, I see the irony in this candidate's rise is that you cannot have both. You cannot have the desire/need for national pride while at the same time dividing the very people whose collective strength and energies and resources you need do the things to achieve the accomplishments that make national pride a reality.

The guy at the top of certain polls is a master of dividing people.  Either you are with him or you're a loser.  Either you're with making America great again or you're part of the problem.  Us-v-them, sadly, we've seen this before.

And back in that movie theater in Minnesota, a diverse audience came together (robustly, I might add) in our approval of not the victory of pride, but justice over a certain set of circumstances.  Justice in two enemies joined together in a common cause of a heinous scene that had to be stopped.  And it was,...compliments of a Samurai sword.

So I say to the voters still eligible to cast a primary vote, ask yourself this question:  Are you more concerns with pride or justice?  If it's pride, then you've got your candidate.  If it is the other choice, I have far from certain you'll be pleased with the outcome.

After all, this is about an election, not a reality TV show or a movie.

Be well my friends,


Opening blog photo: 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

"Through Sheer Force of Will"

The Funeral Mass of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia,  held on February 20, 2016.  Photo by Zach Gibson, The New York Times, fair use claimed, full citation posted below in the sources.

Greetings All:

"The cemetery is full of irreplaceable people."  Charles de Gaulle 

Today, de Gaulle's statement was perhaps never more true.  Whether one admired or strongly disliked Senior Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, there is no denying that he was one of a kind.  

He entered the Supreme Court as in a minority of one in his "originalist" view of the Constitution.  Yet that changed over time.  I put the title to this blog post in quotes because it comes from today's New York Times article.  I have a link to it below in the credits and it is worth a read.   The authors are Peter Baker and Gardiner Harris.  (Thank you both for this excellent news article.)

As I read this line, it struck something in me, "Through sheer force of will."  Justice Scalia believed what he believed.  From what I hear, he was not someone to be taken lightly in oral argument.  While Justice Thomas is well known for not asking questions, Justice Scalia was the opposite.  He relished oral argument.  It was as if he was a guest at a wedding who walked down the aisle just before the bride.  OK, that might be a bit much, but it is true that he loved the Supreme Court and being a part of it...a HUGE part of it.

It is worth noting that President Bush (43) appointed John Roberts to be Chief Justice.  It was a brilliant political move, ensuring for at least several decades (barring health concerns) he would be on the Court.  (We are talking lifetime appointments, after all.)  I thought that Justice Scalia deserved the gig.  After all, if a Republican President is appointing not just a Justice, but the Chief Justice, it should have been Justice Scalia.  Yet the practicalities of politics got in the way.  Such is life.

In retrospect, it likely did not matter.  Justice Scalia had, by that point, achieved a degree of celebrity that transcended any additional status offered by the title of Chief Justice.  If anything, it might have diluted his "brand" as the original "originalist."  Besides, there would have been more paperwork with the other job.

There is no doubt, Justice Scalia changed the Supreme Court.  His opinions were biting, angry, caustic, full of great writing and at times, historic.  The Heller decision is perhaps his most famous work.  I have a link to the case, (Wikipedia, with links to links) in the credits below.  However, I also find his dissents to be meaningful, perhaps more so, to who this man was who sat on the bench for three decades.

I sum him up this way:  He did not care what people thought of him, at least for his professional life.  Yet on personal levels, he did care, and greatly so, about those around him.  His friendship with Ruth Bader Ginsberg is significant not just because of its genuineness, but because it was so real despite of their remarkably different judicial philosophies.

Justice Scalia has passed on.  I a convinced he is in Heaven and has been embroiled in discussions and debates with the Founders about the issues he so championed while on Earth.  I understand there are those of you who were not a fan of his.  That' fine, it's your right as a citizen.  Yet Justice Scalia is due our respect for how seriously he took his job and advocated for his position.  We can all, in our own ways and lives, be like him.  You don't need a robe, just the belief you are right.  (Now, I'd suggest being damn sure you know the why behind you think you are right, if only for your own purposes, but that's just me.)  Who knows, whatever your issue, your cause, your passion, you might just convince others, perhaps only a few, more more than one is enough, to come over to your side.  

If that occurs, then by through your own force of will, you can influence events that matters to you.  If so, then you can inspire others to carry forth your vision.  By doing so, you will have disproved de Galle, that the cemetery is not full of irreplaceable people.  Instead, they are still walking the Earth, thanks to you.

As I looked at the photos of Justice Scalia's funeral, I saw many people who were similarly motivated by him to carry forth his vision.  And only in America can we share something in common with a Supreme Court Justice in influencing others.  

That's a force of will I like to think the Framers would gladly applaud.

Be well my friends,


The New York Times article link, including photo credit to Zach Gibson,

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Smouldering Cigarette and the Whiff of Wisdom

The iconic sign for "Mac's Tavern" in downtown Davenport, from the Travel Iowa post on Facebook, April 18, 2015, fair use/public domain claimed.

Greetings All:

About a quarter-century ago, I had the best summer job an aspiring attorney could have, a law clerk ("prosecuting intern" was my official title) for the Scott County (Iowa) Attorney's Office.  I made $7.00 an hour and all the coffee I could drink.  Also, without question, the best part of the job was getting in court.  Although it was low level criminal misdemeanor stuff, it was still court.  It was terrific.  Bill Davis was the County Attorney and he went out of his way to help us feel welcome.  I was so giddy to have this gig that I got my shirts starched and wore suspenders.  Bill told me, gently at first, to stop dressing better than the attorneys.  I thought he was kidding until he told me a second time. 

I also learned a lot about how the real world worked, at least as far as the legal system was concerned.  For instance, although a clerk may not have a position of prestige, make no mistake, they had power.  Woe be unto the attorney who crossed them.  They could easily humble the most hubris-filled barrister.  

One of the places where my informal education took place was "Mac's Tavern."  I nick-named it, "The Fourth Floor of the Courthouse."  It was a place where the judges would gather for lunch.  Mac's would bring in lunch to juries.  On any given day, lawyers, off-duty law enforcement and others connected with the judicial system would gather.  Mac's had the best meatloaf in town.  Back then, Bill Collins (now the proprietor of "Me and Billy's") was holding court and treated everyone as a dear friend.  And they were.

I learned a LOT about how the judicial system worked by hanging out at Mac's.  I may have graduated somewhere between the basement and the wine cellar of my law school class, but I was the damn valedictorian of informal education that summer.  God, how I loved that summer.  It took another 16 years until I had another summer as memorable as that one.

There is one memory that sticks out of that summer and of Mac's Tavern.  It was a Friday afternoon, probably around 5:00 and I was there, at Mac's.  Sitting at the bar was an attorney named Richard "Dick" Larson.  Dick was a well-loved and respected attorney.  He'd faced his own share of adversity and before I knew what resilience was, he personified it.

On this Friday, he and I had a conversation.  He was sitting at the bar, sipping Scotch and smoking cigarettes.  Although his face was lined as one of his age might be, his eyes sparkled, taking it ALL in.  For some reason, he struck up a conversation with me.

I recall it went something like this:

Dick:  "So, you're working for Bill this summer?"

Me:  "Yup."

Dick:  "You likin' it?"

Me:  "Absolutely!  The hardest part of the job is getting up in the morning."

Dick:  (pausing)  "So, you want to be a lawyer?"

Me:  (a bit surprised and pausing to think what to say)  "Well, yeah.  It's what I've wanted to do for a long time."

At that point, he stared at me.  Not the "death-stare-through-your-soul" type of stare.  Instead, it was the stare I could not appreciate at 22 or 23 (or even 32 or 33).  It was one of perspective.  It was one of someone who had seen much and remembered most of it.  

All this while, there was the smouldering cigarette in his hand.  (This was back in the day when smoking in bars was both common and accepted.)  He took a drag of his cigarette.  The smoke, in parallel paths, exited out his nose.  He didn't smile yet he didn't scowl.  It was as if he knew what he wanted to say, yet was debating the best discourse to offer.  Then, like a jury with a verdict, he offered this advice, this whiff of wisdom.

"Kid," he said, decreed actually,  "Your job may be being a lawyer.  But your business is keeping secrets."  

That was it.  He bought me a beer, wished me well on my career and someone else circled into his sphere and our conversation was over.  It was brief but it was enough.  

I have been thinking about that conversation lately.  I wonder if it is because I am doing more law work or if it is because I have a jury trial starting Monday.  I wonder if it is because even when I get my hair cut was a "1" on the sides, there is still gray, faint yes, but still there.  I wonder if it is because we live in a world where there is no true privacy, where our wants are tracked on Facebook with an eerie speed and accuracy.  I wonder about this and other things.  All I know for certain is that the older I get, the more true Mr. Larson's words echo in my memory...and my mind.


A few years after that encounter, Dick passed away.  His memorial service was a celebration of his life.  Yet there was a true heaviness at the funeral home, where the true weight of his passing was felt by all.  After the service, a number of us headed to Mac's.  My friend Rita mused when we got there, "You don't take death home."  These were wise words indeed.  Of course, one does not have to go to a bar.  A church community room or other sober environment works just as well, if not the only appropriate venue, depending on whom the mourners are.  For us, however, Mac's was the perfect place to go for a final toast to our friend Dick.

Dick, as an attorney of many years, must have had many secrets indeed.  By all accounts, he not only attended to his job but his business.  Now, he was free of that burden.  I only hope I can be as good a steward of my business as he was.

This was perhaps the most important lesson learned, case heard during that summer and at that special place, the fourth floor of the courthouse.  I'm grateful I had that opportunity to have that whiff of wisdom, even if it was wrapped in the smoke of a smouldering cigarette.
Be well my friends,

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Game of Friends

Keeping score in Euchre the traditional way.  Photo by J. Berta

Greetings All:

A Friday night in February, in Iowa, winter's grip is strong.  We're inside.  What to do?  How about playin' some cards?  Sounds good to me.  What game?  Why Euchre of course.

For some of you, this game may (and hopefully will) trigger fun memories.  For others, you're scratching your heads.  "Euchre, what the heck is that?"  Only the best card game ever.  Read on, gentle readers, I'll explain.

But first, let's set the stage for last night.  After an absolutely moderately above average meal of Mongolian BBQ, Dawn and I got together with a couple of great friends to hang out in their basement and play this wonderful game.  On Direct TV was the 80s-New Wave station and it was the perfect background sounds.  (New Order, English Beat, Public Image Limited (yes, that is the song, "Rise" you are thinking of but could not remember, you're welcome) and others floated in the air.

Meanwhile, on a green felt table, cards were sliding, tricks were taken, points were made and great fun was being had.  There was no place I would have wanted to be at that time for those few, wonderful hours.  

Some of you reading this are nodding your head in approval.  "Euchre with friends on a winter night, super idea!"  Others of you are saying, "OK, I get it, some kind of card game.  But what kind of card game?  I never heard of it."

I've got some links to the game below for those of you who are so inclined to read up on it.  However, for those of you who are fine with a quick overview of the game, here goes:

Euchre is a "trump" card game.  You play with a partner and 24 cards are utilized.  Someone deals and after everyone has five cards, the dealer turns up one of the remaining four.  That is your prospective trump card.  If hearts is turned up, hearts is in line to be trump.  Unlike other games, the ace is not the highest card.  It is the jack of whatever suit is trump.  So, in our example, the jack of hearts is the "right bower."  It's the highest card in the game.  Next is the jack of the same color suit.  Thus, if hearts is trump, the jack of diamonds is the "left bower."  You and your partner need to win three of the five hands to earn a point.  If you get all five hands (called "tricks") you get two points.  However, if you call trump and only get two "tricks," look out, you just got "set" and the other team gets two points.

Then there is that magical moment when someone has enough trump in hand to "go it alone."  If you are so fortunate to be that person and get all five tricks, you have just earned four points.  It does not happen often, but when it does, it's a LOT of fun.  All your partner does is collect your tricks.  

You can play to any number but traditionally, winning is at 15 points.  You can keep score on paper or use the traditional way of the 7 and 8 to keep track.  To me, it just adds to the quaintness of the game.

Here's a bit of information about the current state of affairs with Euchre in America, from our friends at Wikipedia:

"The game has declined in popularity since the 19th century, when it was widely regarded as the national card game, but it retains a strong following in some regions like the Midwest; especially the states of Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin[citation needed]."

As to the call for "citation needed" I'll respectfully disagree.  All one has to do is walk into a VFW, bar, church hall, or basement on a weekend afternoon or evening in these states and I'll bet you'll find a game in progress...or three other folks more than eager to play.

It's true Euchre's popularity has faded.  At it's height, it was likely a national game and even was memorialized in song.  Please see below:

From the Library of Congress, a song about (I presume) Euchre, fair use claimed, full cite below.

Such is life, things change.  Who knows, perhaps in a few generations, Euchre will be a distant memory, resigned to nursing homes and senior centers.  I hope not, but if it is, I'll be be one of the old guys yelling, "What's trump again?"

Although as mentioned above, it's still got a strong following here in "flyover country."  Here's an advertisement for a Euchre Tournament at "Governor's" in Bettendorf.  (A place that has one of the BEST tenderloin sandwiches around, I might add!)

"Governor's" Eurche Tourney ad, sorry about the sun glare.  Photo by J. Berta

 Euchre is not a terribly mentally taxing game. You can carry on a conversation, listen to music (watching sports might be pushing it) and not worry about making a costly error.  Even if you do, no one really cares.  It is a fun game.

However, there is also a sense of friendly competition.  As we were playing last night, all our games were pretty tight.  Some hands were won by smart play and others by luck.  Either way, it was a super time.

It was a tight game indeed!  Photo by J. Berta

At one point in the evening, our friend commented about how he learned this game from his Father-In-Law.  I could tell by the sincerity in his voice that those were good times indeed.  On the walls of the basement were photos of that man.  Maybe it was just me, but I sensed the smile in the picture grew just a bit sharper as I looked at them, as if he was watching with approval of all of us having fun and playing a game he dearly loved.

As I type this, I think about my own family connection with this game.  My Dad is from Hungary and did not play this game until he came to this country.  I remember how he and my Grandpa Mike would play cards for hours, this game.  They would sit in the small living room in Ottumwa, Iowa, at an old coffee table.  On that table were vintage metal cups that were filled with "highballs."  I didn't understand it, but I knew it was something special.  

They had some version of single-player Euchre.  I'd like to learn it, I suppose, yet the desire was never strong enough to actually figure out how.  Perhaps I am more motivated by keeping the memory undisturbed of the two of them playing.  It's like, at least for me, a photograph of nostalgia hanging on the wall of my mind.    

Chess has been called the game of kings.  Bridge can have (unfairly or otherwise) a snooty association.  Poker is a game that has made some wealthy and many, many more poor.  Other games involve physical exertion and lots of equipment.  However, Euchre is unique.  Sure, there's an objective and points are kept.  Someone wins and someone loses.  But not really.  No one (at no one I hang out with) will say, "Hey, remember how we took three tricks without any of the bowers?"  Nope, not a chance.  Yet what is remembered is the good time that is had.

That is why I think of Euchre as, "The Game of Friends."  I'm a fortunate person indeed to have gotten to spent last night and any night, for that matter, playing this most special game.

Be well my friends,


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Of Bags and Boxes

The duffle bag I've had since 2000.  Photo by Jeno Berta

Greetings All:

It's been an interesting ten days since my last blog post.  First, the good stuff:  I got to see my youngest daughter sing at her variety show.  My oldest also got to perform last night.  I watched it on video as our youngest was a bit under the weather.  Still, I got to see it.  

Simply put, It is a gift to see your kids perform.  It is an especially wonderful gift after a bad week.  More on that in a moment.

Oh, and then there was Saturday night.  Dawn and I got to attend the Riverbend Make-A-Wish Gala.  We get dressed up twice a year and this is one of them.  

Dawn and I at Make-A-Wish Saturday night (at the end of it)  Photo by J. Berta.

Now for the not-so-great-stuff.  Last Thursday, I spent 12 hours in an administrative hearing for a client and it did not go well.  I was profoundly disappointed with the decision.  The hearing was over 7 hours away from home and even though it was after 9:00 p.m. when it was over, I drove well into Indiana just to ensure I'd be closer to home on Friday morning.  (As I mentioned above, I had a variety show to get to that night.)

I stayed the night in Seymour, Indiana at a very nice Holiday Inn Express.  I had a clean room and a soft bed.  I was exhausted.  There was no reason I should not have been asleep before my head the pillow.

An hour later- I'm still staring at the ceiling with the events of the day replaying in my head...over and over again.  I don't know when I finally fell asleep.  I don't think I really slept that night.  Instead, I think I just gave into unconsciousness.

The next morning, I was eager to get on the road.  For some reason, I took a picture of the bag that leads off this blog.  I have had this bag for over 16 years.  I took a moment to think about all the places this bag has been with me.  More than a few miles and more than a few unique places.

I made it home in time for the show.  It was nice to get back to normalcy.  However, the hearing was still re-playing in my head.  If it's true you learn more from your failures than your victories, then I learned a ton.

On Sunday, I unloaded the briefcase I had taken with me.  Here's a photo of it:

My file from my case last Thursday.  Photo by J. Berta

This is not so much of a briefcase what was once called a "catalog case."  I recall my high school debate coach referring to these as, "critter boxes."  I had borrowed this "critter box" from my friend and was grateful to have this much space.  I needed it.

I've been a lawyer for almost 22 years.  I have had victories and defeats.  I've experienced great highs and really, really bad lows.  It has been a l-o-n-g time since I have experienced such a low as I felt last week.

I don't get into court nearly as much as I used to, so perhaps the "loss" I experienced on Thursday stung more than other ones had in the past.  I also am convinced that the client I had the privilege to represent deserved better than the outcome that was handed down. 
And yet despite my profound disagreement with the outcome, it was an outcome that was grounded in a system of justice unique to America.  I got to stand in a courtroom where the rule of law was in effect.  Here is a photo of that place.

The courtroom I appeared in last Thursday.  Photo by J. Berta
Now, let's fast-forward to Sunday.  The temperature flirted with 40 degrees and it was clear.  I had some unfinished business in the backyard.  We have two dogs.  I think you know where I'm going with this...

After about 20 minutes the "clean up" was finished.  There was so much dog poop that I had to double bag it.  As I gently placed the bag in the trash, I took a bit of satisfaction in finished a task that I needed to address.   Two days prior, the bag on my mind was my travel bag.  This day, another bag.  Both represented tasks to complete and completed they were.  

In our lives we have things we carry.  Some only once, others, over and over again.  In some of these items, boxes or bags, are things that are valuable, sacred even.  I'd argue for me, there is nothing more precious, save for matters related to my family, than a file for client, a client who entrusts to me their case.  In others, there are things to be removed from our lives.  

I think the trick in life is to know how to appropriately spend our time and energy on the things we carry in our various boxes and bags.  Some are tangible and real.  Others are mental and emotional.  

And the later can be a whole lot more heavy than the real ones.
Be well my friends, 

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Caucuses

What I took with me to my caucus tonight.  Photo my J. Berta

Greetings All:

So tonight was the Iowa Caucuses.  I went.  Actually, all of us went, the whole family.  Even though Carly, our youngest, could not vote, she came out and was a great sport.  Cassie, our oldest, was able to participate in her first caucus.  I was so proud of her.  Dawn also participated in her first Democratic caucus.  Tomorrow, she's looking to switch back to being an Independent.  But for tonight, she chose to support Senator Sanders, as did Cassie.  As I type this, they are lamenting that he's coming up a bit short to Secretary Clinton.  

From my perspective, Senator Sanders, in many ways, already carried the day.  But more on that in a moment.

I attended my precinct caucus at our high school and was thrilled that 253 of my fellow neighbors and citizens came out to caucus.  I am beyond proud of how well everyone behaved, how their passion for their candidate still left room for civility and decorum.  It's how it should be.  I brought my copy of Robert Rules and didn't have to flip it open once.  As I mentioned, as it should be.

I've been a Democrat my whole life.  Yet this election was a challenge for me.  My issue this year was ISIS and the defeat thereof.  I even flirted (seriously) with endorsing another candidate for his support of ground troops to fight ISIS.  It was that important to me.

But in the final analysis, there was something that trumped one issue or a candidate, it was this:  I had the rare and wonderful opportunity to attend my precinct caucus with my entire family.  That will almost certainly never happen again.  There was no way I was going to miss that.

I took my time finding a candidate.  Actually, that is not entirely accurate.  First off, there was not much of a choice.  God bless the two Governor O'Malley supporters, but the was no way he was going to be viable.  That left Sanders and Clinton.  Although I do respect and yes, like, Senator Sanders, I do not see him electable.  So at the end of the day, er, evening, I went with Clinton.

Yet I had some unfinished business.  At the end of the Democratic Caucus, resolutions are introduced.  By then, there had been a mass exodus from our caucus site.  The number of 253 had melted to 25 of us.  There were three resolutions.  One of those was mine.  Here it is:

My resolution introduced tonight as the caucus.  Photo by J.Berta.

It failed and I was not surprised.  I was not upset.  All I wanted was to put it out there, my resolution it is.  Perhaps I caused one of the remaining 25 to at least think about this issue.

To me, that is both the obligation of and honor of being a citizen, of being a registered voter in Iowa.  You can participate to whatever degree you wish.  It is a wonderful feeling.

And now, it's time for bed.  Normalcy returns to Iowa with the sunrise.  I, for one, am looking forward to it.  I made my point on a big issue.  Now it's time to return to my regular life.  A regular, wonderful life I am grateful to have.  Many of my fellow Iowans have it as well.  

In that light, there are no losers.  Something truly to cheer about indeed.

Be well my friend,