Category Archives: thoughts

Angels to bear me up

public-domain-images-free-stock-photos-shoes-feet-walking-rocks-creek-1

was walking through a building on my way to the business school for a class, when I noticed a sign for a “National Coming Out Day” workshop. I was surprised when the thought “I should go to that” popped into my head. How could my brain betray me like that? I knew I wasn’t gay.

That was 2005. Here I am, ten years later. And yeah, turns out, I’m gay.

have an amazing capacity for compartmentalization. When I first suspected I was maybe not like the other guys, I was in high school. I remember talking to my bishop and he asked me if I was struggling with same-sex attraction, and I cried and said that I was. We were supposed to meet again to talk about it, but I never set up another appointment. At the time, I thought it was controllable and changeable, and I could do it myself. So I put the episode in a box and set it on a shelf.

Another time, I was harassed in the halls by my classmates. I still don’t know what they knew that I didn’t, or if it was just plain old teenage cruelty. The episode shook me, so I wrote a letter to my seminary teacher, asking for help. I don’t really remember what I said, nor do I recall his response, but I was comforted by it. I knew I wasn’t gay. I knew I’d be ok. And my shelf got another box.

Continue reading Angels to bear me up

Sheep and Goats

I’ve been preparing a lesson for my Primary class, and the text pulled together a lot of the tumultuous feelings I’ve had over the last few weeks and set them to rest.

The lesson is the parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46). In the end, the Lord says at his coming, the nations will be divided Sheep to the Right hand, Goats to the left hand.

What got to me was the sorting criteria. There was only one.

On the right hand – those who were kind to others, those who fed the hungry, those who visited the sick. In other words, those who upheld the baptismal covenant to “stand with those who stand in need of comfort, to mourn with those that mourn.”

On the left – those who did not.

There was no talk of any other commandment. No other set of rules, no other set of things to do or do not.

Just to love, to stand with, to uphold the least of those among us. That’s what sets the sheep on the right from the goats on the left.

This has long been the bedrock of my personal faith. In the end, I don’t know a lot of things, but I know that what it takes from me is an added measure of kindness, an extra dose of empathy. That’s what I hang my gospel hopes on, and I’m hoping that my fellow Latter-day Saints do the same this day and always.

A Constantly Renewed Stream

This is the text of a talk I gave in my ward (Ann Arbor 2nd) on February 15, 2015.

I would like to explore one of the concepts from President Eyring’s October talk on the subject of continuing revelation [1], and share with you some of my experiences as I have sought revelation.

President Eyring said “We need revelation from God. And we will need not just one revelation in a time of stress, but we need a constantly renewed stream. We need not just one flash of light and comfort, but we need the continuing blessing of communication with God.” [2]

Today, I would like to focus on that concept of a “constantly renewed stream” of revelation. Continue reading A Constantly Renewed Stream

2014 Christmas letter

I suppose it is traditional to write a Christmas letter and enclose it with my Christmas cards.  I have failed to do that for the last several years. It feels presumptuous to me, I guess. I don’t really know. Maybe in the age of Facebook, I don’t feel like the Christmas update is as necessary.

There is some value in introspection though, so I’ll give it a shot.

Dear Friends and Family-

Well, can you believe it? We managed that annual trip around the sun once again.  I hope this season finds you all in good health and high spirits.  Just remember, winter is coming. 😉

This year has been a good one for me, I think.  A lot of things have come to completion, which is nice, and I have probably grown a lot too. Continue reading 2014 Christmas letter

The Wrong Side of the River- My Experience at Nauvoo

About a month ago, I took a quick roadtrip from my home in Southeast Michigan to Nauvoo, Illinois for a weekend retreat hosted by Affirmation. I plugged the address “Main Street, Nauvoo, Illinois” into Google Maps on my phone,  and off I went.

I suspected when I entered Iowa that I wasn’t quite on track, but I figured that Google Maps knew where I wanted to go, so I followed the course it laid out for me.  I soon found myself on the western banks of the Mississippi River, headed south.  I figured that there must be a bridge or something that would get me to Nauvoo faster than having stayed on the east banks.

Boy was I wrong.

It turns out that, for reasons unknown, Google Maps thinks that “Main Street, Nauvoo, Illinois” is co-located with “Main Street, Montrose, Iowa.”

Temple in the Distance
Nauvoo Temple in the Distance

As I was pulling into Montrose, I could see Nauvoo across the river.  I quickly recalibrated my phone with my actual desired destination, and as I headed out I realized that if this wasn’t a great metaphor, then Dieter F. Uchtdorf has never flown an airplane.

I have found that sometimes life takes me in directions that I don’t anticipate.  From a vantage point I did not anticipate, I end up looking at my desired destination across a gulf or a river or a gap I didn’t mean to put between me and my goal.

I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing.  Actually, having my retreat weekend begin on the wrong side of the river gave me some excellent perspective. I got to see the Nauvoo temple the way that the Saints would have seen it as they completed that first step of their no-turning-back journey.  Being afforded that view, when we later discussed the reasons we serve and  the things that sustain us, I felt a stronger kinship with the families who lined up on Parley Street and left their beautiful Nauvoo behind. I could imagine those lingering glances over their shoulders as they began their migration westward.

After I got myself oriented and found the nearest bridge, I also enjoyed a beautiful riverside drive that I would have missed if I had not taken a wrong turn.  (It was also very fun to drive that winding road!) I was reminded that even when my life detours in unexpected ways, I can always find some joy in there somewhere.

Tulips at Nauvoo
Tulips at Nauvoo
Redbud Tree
Redbud Tree

The remainder of the weekend was a refreshing journey. I was shy, but  I did make some connections with others on similar paths as mine.  Together, we looked across the metaphoric river that stands between where we find ourselves and the destinations where our lives may have originally taken us.

We discussed the revelations received by Joseph the prophet while in Nauvoo.  In D&C section 127, he commented that “deep water is what I am wont to swim in. It all has become a second nature to me; and I feel… to glory in tribulation.”  This became a secondary theme for us that weekend.  Life as LGBT Mormons and their allies isn’t easy swimming, but like Joseph, we gloried in our tribulations.

We also pondered how the early saints built Zion among them and how we might do the same. I took a few minutes during our free time to meditate at the site of the original temple stone quarry.  I find peace in old sites where there had once been furious activity but now sit silent and off the beaten path.

Quary at Nauvoo
Quary at Nauvoo
Temple Close
Temple Up Close

In the evening, we gathered in the Red Brick Store’s upper room. Among the speakers there, Carol Lynn Pearson shared a story about one of Emma Hale Smith’s final interactions with her husband, the Prophet Joseph Smith.  On the day that Joseph was to go to Carthage Jail, Emma felt the need for a blessing. With all of the goings on, Joseph didn’t feel he had the time so he told her to write out the best blessing that she could think of, and that he would sign in on his return.   Emma did just that.  She wrote it out, but because of Joseph’s death, it was never signed.  It is beautiful though.  Emma desired wisdom, strength, and the ability to understand the will of God, things I think we all desire.  (Read the whole thing here: http://www.the-exponent.com/emmas-blessing/)

Our weekend ended with a story sharing testimony style meeting in the Seventies Hall. It was a comforting to hear and be with so many Saints who desire the best things in life, to live a full, authentic life, who may have found themselves on the other side of a river they didn’t anticipate.  I left feeling uplifted, braver than before, and believing that I could find my way forward, just as the Saints did as they left Illinois for a place of peace.

Keeping The Spirit of Christmas All Year

This is the text of the talk I gave yesterday as part of our congregation’s Christmas program.  I thought I’d share.


The Spirit of Christmas is a marvelous thing. In the days of Christ’s birth Angels sang, Shepherds watched with care by night, Wise men adored. It was a time of wonders and miracles. A new star appeared in the sky. Half a world away, “at the going down of the sun, there was no darkness” (3 Nephi 1:15). A prophet was commanded to lift up his head and be of good cheer and a people of faith was spared.

One passage of scripture has often caught my attention as I have studied the glorious times that accompanied the Savior’s birth. In the Gospel of Luke we learn that His mother, Mary “kept all these things and pondered them in her heart”. (Luke 2:19)

She had the Son of God with her every day and yet she kept and pondered the miracles of His birth in her heart. We would do well to follow Mary’s example.

What might we keep and ponder in our hearts throughout the year?

I propose that we remember first and foremost the miracle of Christ’s life and death. That we remember that He lived for us and that He died for us and that through His infinite atonement, we can be made clean.

Second, I propose that we strive daily to model our actions after His; that we love one another; that we keep His commandments; that throughout the coming year, we keep in our hearts the generosity, the love, the joy, the gratitude, the kindness and the happiness that we feel during the Christmas season; that we love our God and we love our Neighbor and we love Ourselves.

Finally, I propose that we Be Believing, now and all year. Christmas is a time of faith. Christ has made many promises to us. If we Believe Christ, we will find that when we are challenged, there will be no darkness. We will not be alone. We will be able to lift up our heads and be of good cheer.

These are just a few of the many Christmas miracles we could keep in our hearts and ponder over the coming year. You and I have been blessed beyond measure through the birth of Jesus Christ.

President Howard W. Hunter made the following invitation many years ago, and I echo its sentiment now: “If you desire to find the true spirit of Christmas and partake of the sweetness of it, let me make this suggestion to you. During the hurry of the festive occasion of this Christmas season, find time to turn your heart to God. Perhaps in the quiet hours, and in a quiet place, and on your knees—alone or with loved ones—give thanks for the good things that have come to you, and ask that His Spirit might dwell in you as you earnestly strive to serve Him and keep His commandments. He will take you by the hand and His promises will be kept.”(Hunter 1972)

In conclusion, I would like to share a lesson that I learned from the classic Christmas story, A Muppet’s Christmas Carol. The Ghost of Christmas Present teaches old Scrooge that Christmas “is a season of the heart, a special time of caring, The ways of love made clear. It is the season of the spirit. The message, if we hear it, is make it last all year.” Scrooge also learns that “When you do your best for love, it feels like Christmas.”

I have learned that the Spirit of Christmas is a spirit of love and gratitude. For me, keeping and pondering the spirit of Christmas in my heart all year means working to show love, compassion and kindness as best I can.

I know that Jesus Christ lives, and that He loves us. I know it now and I hope I remember it throughout the year. I know that if we do keep the Spirit of Christmas with us all year, it will be a time of wonders and miracles for us as well.

Brothers and Sisters, May we keep and ponder these things in our hearts. May we remember the miracle of Christ’s Birth, follow His commandments, and Be Believing.  May we do our best for love and make the Christmas spirit last all year.

Auditioning New Alarm Clocks

I mentioned a while back that I was considering a navel-gazey post about trying to find a new alarm clock. Well, here goes.

I love my alarm clock. It’s a Timex travel alarm clock with an Indiglo backlight.   I have owned it for longer than just about everything else that I have owned. I think I was given it as a graduation present during high school. It’s possible that I have had it longer than that. I just don’t remember. I took it with me to on my mission, that’s for certain. It’s followed me from Wyoming to Utah to Michigan. Most everything else has been discarded or acquired somewhere along the line.

Indiglo alarm clock
My alarm clock looks kind of like this one, but it doesn't have that extension at the back.

I am perfectly attenuated to it. I know exactly when it will go off after a snooze and can usually drag myself out of bed a few moments before it sounds.  If for some reason I’m not around to silence it, or I’m already in the shower, I know that it will ring for exactly one minute and then stop. I even love the short high pitched sound it makes when I hit the snooze button.

It’s more than 10 years old by now, and with age, my alarm clock has developed some quirks.   Among others, it resets itself and loses the set alarm if it falls off my nightstand (or, as usually happens, when it gets forcibly knocked off my nightstand during the night terrors).  This can be problematic, as you might imagine.  It used to take a huge drop, but even gentle bumps will reset it these days.

So, reluctantly, last winter, I decided it was time to start auditioning new alarm clocks before it became terribly critical.  I had only a few requirements: #1 Battery operated #2 Easy to read in the dark without my contacts in.  Actually, #1 is a function of #2, because I usually have to hold it pretty close to my face, and if it were one of those big ones with a power cord, I’d smash my face frequently.

The first trial has ended unsuccessfully. Instead of replacing my alarm clock, I’ve just had two sitting on my nightstand in case one fails. The only things that I like about the new one was that it automatically reset itself for Daylight Savings Time.  It was insufficient in all other aspects of alarm-clockery.  The backlight is terrible. It rings for too long and at the wrong intervals.  For some reason, it has a thermometer which is consistently overly optimistic about how warm my bedroom is. In another oddly designed “feature”, if I hit the backlight, it shows me what time the alarm is set for, rather than what time it is, which has led to a few panicked moments.

So, on to round two, I guess.  Anyone know where I can find a brand new Timex Indiglo Travel Alarm clock, vintage 1998, perchance? Or have an awesome alarm clock that snoozes for exactly 8 minutes?

Conference Thoughts

So that was a great general conference, I thought. The lds.org website already has videos up for most of the talks, which is quick turnaround I thought. Here are some of my thoughts about the conference. I was able to hook my laptop up to my big TV and my internet handled the stream pretty well. I really thought that was a huge process improvement.

Thought #1:
The most exciting part for me happened right at the beginning, when President Monson announced the new temples. It actually took me a minute to process, but then I actually fist-pumped the air after I realized that he had announced a new temple in Concepcion Chile.Concepcion is just north of where I served my mission in Chile. The Saints in Osorno, Temuco, Valdivia, and all points south will now have much easier access to the temple. Previously it would take between 12 and 36 hours (from Punta Arenas, at the very south of the country) to get to the temple. Now it will be much much closer.

When I was a young Zone Leader in Valdivia, my companion and I motivated our zone by teaching them that work that we were doing was building a temple in the south of Chile. We made a chart that was shaped like the temple, and gave each companionship bricks to paste to it when they achieved certain goals. The point was that everything we were doing was laying a foundation for the building of the temple. That chart is probably still in a storage closet in a missionary apartment somewhere in Valdivia, but it’s really nice to know that the work we did, actually in fact did lay the groundwork for a temple that would serve the saints in the South of Chile.

Thought #2:
I got incredibly lost on my way to the Priesthood session on Saturday night. It’s not like I don’t know where the church is or anything. While I was driving over, I started worrying at something in my mind, and shifted into autopilot, and ended up driving past the exit I needed, and heading towards work. Not where I wanted to be on a Saturday night. After attempting to correct my error, I made a few more wrong turns, and ended up getting myself completely lost in a part of Ypsilanti that I didn’t really know. Needless to say, I was fairly frazzled when I actually did make it to the chapel, although I only missed the singing at the beginning.

Elder Uchtdorf’s talk really comforted me. He spoke of filling one’s time with work and knowledge and somehow was exactly what I needed to hear. I also took some of the weirdest notes that I’ve ever taken during his talk. I must have been free associating and doodling, and my thoughts just spilled out on to the page. I’m absolutely certain that I was driving the guy next to me crazy, with my pencil in constant motion as I turned my notebook around and around for 20 minutes.

Now imagine 3 pages worth of this.

The talks over at lds.org aren’t embeddable yet. I’m not sure if they will be or not, but you can watch his talk at this address. You have to click “Priesthood” and then scroll over to “President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.” If they make it available to embed, I’ll do that.

Update: Here’s a link to his talk. Here’s the video too:

Thought #3:
I just loved Elder Holland’s talk about the Book of Mormon in the Sunday afternoon session. It felt like everyone that I was watching conference at was at the edges of their seats. I’m really still processing it, so I don’t really know what else to say. He can really turn a phrase though.

If I’m diligent, once the text of his talk goes up on the web, I’ll link to it. For now, you can view it at the same link as above, except click “Sunday PM” and scroll over to “Elder Jeffery R. Holland.”

Update: Here’s a link to the text of his talk. And here’s the video:

Thought #4:
Does General Conference make anyone else super domestic? I was cooking during at least 3 of the sessions. I made banana bread, Amy’s Oatmeal Wheat bread, and some Basil Potatoes. What’s up with that?
So, anyone else have thoughts about General Conference? Which talks were the best for you?

Questions and answers

This will probably be my last post about the auto industry for a while.  I’m sure that you’re tired of reading these long winded posts with me begging for your understanding.  Unfortunately, the Senate failed to act on the bill, largely due to resistance from Republican Senators.  Fortunately, it looks as if the Administration will tap the TARP funds to provide short term relief until the next Congress is sworn in.  
One of my friends saw my previous post about the bridge loans and asked me some questions, which I think are fairly common.   I spent a good bit of time responding, and felt like the results were good enough to share.  With her permission, I’ve attached her unedited questions and my unedited responses.  I am by no means an expert, but I feel fairly confident in my understanding of the issues.  

2008 Ford Focus Washington State Drive

I promise to post something not auto industry related shortly.  Maybe a recipe or something.  We haven’t had one of those in a long time.
Questions and Answers:

Ok, if I am wrong or you see a different take on things, maybe you can explain them.  But here’s my problem with giving Ford and the other motor companies a loan…
 
Why do they need a loan in the first place?  If Ford made a profit in their first quarter and made some cost reductions, well, gas prices are down and while the credit crisis is still very serious, I think that it might be getting better.  So why do they have to have this loan to survive?
Here’s the long and the short of it.  Last year, the US auto sales were something like 17 million new vehicles (This is industry sales, all cars sold in the US).  During the first quarter, the sales rate was trending around 15-16 million cars for the full year, not great, but not shabby either.  By the time the second quarter got here, it had fallen a little more, primarily due to gas prices.  At the same time, the price of steel doubled, from about $500 / ton to $1000 / ton.  Over the summer, the credit crisis starts really fouling things up.  By October, industry sales are trending at 10 million units on an annual basis.  By November, the Year over year (That is, Nov-07 to Nov-08) sales dropped by about 35-40%.  Simply put, the # of cars sold in the US has fallen dramatically to levels that are unsustainable for the industry.  We have a fixed cost base that requires we sell a certain # of cars to pay the bills (bills that we will have to pay regardless of how many vehicles we produce.  Think health care benefits to our retirees, or energy costs to keep the assembly plants heated, things like that).  The American consumer simply isn’t buying right now, not from Ford, nor from anyone else.  
In normal times, the companies would just go to the credit or equity markets and get the funds to cover it.  Unfortunately, no one is lending to anyone.  People can’t get loans for their houses, the auto companies can’t get loans for their fixed costs.  
Ford is fortunately in the best situation of the Detroit.  GM and Chrysler are on the verge of running out of cash.  Ford obtained credit and lines of credit back in 2006, before the credit markets froze up, and so isn’t facing the same liquidity problems.  In fact, we aren’t asking for loans right now, but rather a line of credit (think a credit card, available when you need it, but the cash isn’t in your pocket right now.) in case of a failure of one of our competitors or in case the recession doesn’t end as quickly as people are projecting.  
Ford’s biggest fear right now is that the failure of one or both of the other two Detroit companies would cause a large scale disruption within the supply chain. Basically, as an industry, we have something like 75% overlapping suppliers.  We buy our parts from the same people that build parts for GM and Chrysler.  Now, imagine if one of those suppliers suddenly lost a third of their business.  It’s not an easy obstacle, but you might be able to get past it, maybe.  If 700 or 1000 suppliers and sub-suppliers suddenly lost 1/3 or more of their business, not all of them would stay in business.  Suddenly, Ford wouldn’t be able to build cars, simply because they can’t get nuts or seats or steering wheels.  Obviously, it would take time to find someone to make the new widget, test it to make sure it is safe, and get that new part to the assembly plants.  If Ford couldn’t sell cars for all of that time, it would put us in a very dire position.  That’s why we are asking for the loans to be given to the other two companies. 
 
What is Ford going to do once they get this loan to make things better for the American citizen?  Are they going to lower the cost of all their vehicles?  Make it easier to get a car loan?  Maybe build even more factories and create more jobs? 
I’ll answer this one in general, because Ford isn’t asking for the loan right now.  The other two need the money simply to survive a few more months to restructure their costs.  They will probably use the money to continue development of new cars, including the Chevy Volt, and other new green technologies.  They will use it to retool plants to make these new cars.  But with the legislation as it stands right now, basically they are buying themselves some time.  According to the bill that the House passed, they have until March 31 to develop and implement cost reductions.  This will probably  include wage cuts and other concessions, a restructuring of debt (i.e. reworking the terms of loans, swapping GM stock for debt, other things like that).  I haven’t read the GM or Chrysler plans, so I don’t really know what they are planning.
I do know that Ford has dramatically shifted development of its product line up to focus on smaller cars and more fuel efficient cross-overs.  We are doing that independent of the government financing, but that requires that we retool plants that once produced trucks and SUVs to be able to produce Focuses and Fusions, etc.  Not inexpensive.
I doubt that the companies would lower the prices of the cars, because the cost of material and assembly hasn’t fallen off that much.  Selling at a loss, especially when you have a big government loan to repay, probably isn’t a great idea.  Hopefully, they would be able to make car loans more available, but that has more to do with the ability of the financing companies to raise capital.  Ford Credit is still making loans and leases, although I’ve heard that isn’t true for many of the other car credit companies.
 
Who is to say that this loan will be put to good use and not wasted?  Is there any guarantee that jobs will not be lost and things will get better even if it is made?
It’s hard to say how you would be able to tell if it is put to good use.  The current legislation would have the President appoint a “Car Czar” who would monitor the progress of the restructuring, report back to Congress on a regular basis, and would have some say in the decision making process, especially large expenditures.  During the Chrysler bailout in the early 1980s, this kind of watchdog was put in place, and it seemed to be effective.
There is of course never any guarantee.  From my point of view, I’d rather take the risk that it might not work than the certainty of failure.  
 
 
Why should a company get a loan when we, the average American family, cannot even get a loan to consolidate our debts and make it a little easier to get by each month?  Is that really fair?
We can’t get a loan from anyone either.  However, if we don’t get the loans, and the industry fails, by some estimates between 3 and 5 million people will lose their jobs.   I don’t think that’s a good solution, by any stretch of the imagination.  I, like many others, thought that the other bailout was supposed to make it easier for the average American family to get loans.  Somehow, that hasn’t happened yet.  The government has serious questions to answer about that, but I digress.
 
I love ya and want you to keep your job, but if not giving this loan helps to make things just a little bit more fair, if that money could go somewhere else to help more people, then why shouldn’t it?  (And I’m not talking welfare and food stamps either)  Why can’t this loan money be put directly into the hands of those who have high amounts of debt and are trying to pay it off instead?
Again, I don’t have a really good answer here.  The government previously approved $700 Billion for just that purpose.  The amount of loans that are being requested by the auto companies isn’t chump change, by any stretch, but it also isn’t (relatively speaking) a huge amount of money.  The principal difference that I see between large scale debt relief and a bridge loan to the auto industry is where that money will be going.  Debt relief is basically paying back money that has already been spent, (an investment in the past), while the bridge loans will be investments for the future, investments that will pay back by creating value in the economy.  Both would add liquidity to the larger economy, but only one creates ongoing value. 
 
I’m not trying to be mean or cruel.  I just want to understand why this will make such a difference and why it is so needed.
I understand that many people don’t understand the gravity of this.  Some people don’t understand the complexity of the auto business, or the long lead times, or the costs.  Thanks for giving me the chance to explain some of it.  If you’ve got any more questions, I’m willing to answer any and all of them.  

How I voted

I know that I will be judged deficient for what I am about to post. I’ve already had two negative reactions when I told someone how I voted today. I’ve been pretty open about my indecision, and I feel that it would be cheating to not reveal how I actually voted. Please don’t call me stupid for my opinion. I respect yours.

Let me say that I did put a lot of thought and effort into this, although I think I could have probably done more. I honestly believe that both candidates are good men, good leaders, and both would lead the country in positive, albeit distinctly different, directions.

I ended up voting for John McCain.

The principal reasons I voted for McCain:

1- I believe that raising taxes on business is not the way to create jobs. I work for a company that would likely be penalized by Obama’s plan, not only not creating jobs, but putting my job in danger.

2- I know and understand McCain’s voting record over a long series of years. I tried to look up Obama’s record and found a whole bunch of Did not Votes. I used votesmart.org to compare records and special interest group ratings.

3- McCain and Palin are both western leaders, and understand the issues of the West. For me, that is important even though I am technically a Midwesterner right now.

I used a few different “Select a Candidate” style online quizes, but the one I trust the most, from American Public Media, gave both candidates a tied score. I guess that makes me truly middle of the road.

The opinion that finally tipped the scale was actually one that I trust quite a bit, and you’ll laugh when I say it: Orson Scott Card, one of my favorite sci-fi authors. Honestly, he’s kind of out there sometimes, and I can’t really explain why, but this article and this article were the last two that I read before I made my decision. Don’t think that I can’t see through the (clearly heavy handed) rhetoric in them, because I can. They helped me clarify my position on what was important to me.

I honestly think that Obama will likely win the election (As I write this, NPR has it 200 to 76 – favoring Obama), and I am really ok with it. I think this country needs to move beyond partisanship, demonizing the other side, the side that you don’t agree with as “evil,” “stupid,” and “just plain wrong.” A house divided against itself can never stand. I think both candidates are capable of truly building a great nation. (It’s now 200 to 90 – favoring Obama.)

God Bless America!