Sellin’ The Estate

It’s been quite the process.

I’ve dealt with grief, loss, funeral planning, obituary writing, eulogy delivering and coming back to a (mostly) empty house and working to return to normal life while settling THE ESTATE (it feels like that in my mind)- whatever that is. Normal life, I mean.

I’ve sent boxes and boxes of material to the Butte Public Archives, explored all the nooks and crannies of this enormous old house, hired an excellent appraisal service, had a lot of great help from Ken and my friends, and lived with the anxiety that having price tags on everything in the house entails.

But now it’s time.

We’re having the estate sale next weekend, Sept 24-26th from 8am to 3pm daily. Click here for the flyer and a preview….

I think I’m ready to let go of all of this stuff- and it’s considerable. But I’m not going to watch the process, I don’t think I could stand it, so I’ll be in Billings helping the Yellowstone Aids Project with their Fall Retreat.

“To live in this world, you must be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones
knowing your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes
to let it go, to let it go.
~ Mary Oliver

Lest We Forget

The blogmance continues between me and MT Cowgirl… I’m completely busy these days working at my real job as a therapist and organizing the OSullivan Estate Sale (Sept 24-26th if you’re interested), and Cowgirl’s doing a great job of keeping the fringe on it’s toes. Well, she would if they really paid any attention- which, as a psychologist, I know that narcissistic ideologues rarely do…. Anyway, if you’re not checking out her blog every day, it’s a good idea. Not only for liberals, but for reasonable conservatives who don’t want their party hijacked- and I know you’re out there….

She has a great story today about Rehberg’s selling out the Republican Party to the Tea Party Movement.

Once again, oh ye students of history, a “movement” insinuates itself into democracy, and ideology desires to trounce representative government….

It usually ends badly.

But Wait, There’s More!

And I have a feeling it will just keep on coming.

Now that the mainstream press is following them a bit more closely (after the initial bravery and perseverence of Montana bloggers), some high-profile Tea Partiers in the Big Sky State are finding more of their personal histories exposed- and it ain’t pretty.

MT Cowgirl Blog has the lowdown on MT Tea Party links to The Church Universal and Triumphant, unpaid taxes and more. Check it out.
And keep your eyes peeled- I’m sure there’s more to come. I do wonder though, whether it will make a difference come November.

Update: Jay Stevens has links on all the pertinent craziness of the last week on Left In The West.

A Reminder For A Monday

Before the work week starts to do its little dance of damage to your soul, I thought I’d share something with you.
From one of my favorite poets and one of the most inspirational human beings to ever pick up a pen, comes this compact revelation:

“I believe in kindness.
Also in mischief.
Also in singing,
especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.”
~Mary Oliver

I’m going to do all three today….

Ed Kemmick, Patriot

The Billings Gazette has one of the most reasonable and well-crafted commentators in the state of Montana- Ed Kemmick. His City Lights column really is a light, especially this week when he highlights the Montana Tea Party BS.

And he does it beautifully.

Check it out.

Suicide Prevention Week- Gay Youth At Higher Risk

Nick Seaver does a great job over at Americablog bringing attention to LGBT youth risk for suicide- with a great video.

Read it. Watch it. We need to keep our kids and let them know they are cherished- even if their birth families don’t.

Gays, Welcome To The Tea Party?

I was the first blogger to break the news of the hateful dialog in which Montana Tea Party president Tim Ravndal was caught. In short, he appeared to advocate the torture/lynching of gay people, conjuring up the disturbing image of Matthew Shepard. And yet, as a gay man living in the West, I couldn’t help but be surprised and somewhat impressed with the official response of the Big Sky Tea Party leadership in announcing Ravndal’s termination:

“We continually make it known that we will not tolerate bigoted dialog, behavior or messages at our functions, our meetings or within our ranks. “If a person demonstrates bigotry relative to race, sex, ethnicity, etc. they are not welcome in our organization. The Tea Party movement is about standing up for individual freedom for everyone,” said chairman Jim Walker.

Wow. Not bad.

So I naturally have to ask myself, “Is the Tea Party officially more gay-inclusive than the Republican Party?” Let me explain.

The Montana Republican party has in its platform plank (as, similarly, does Texas) explicit language calling for the criminalization of homosexual acts:

We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal.

As a party that touts its tolerance, this seems to me to be quite intolerant. In fact, the Big Sky Tea Party now comes across as much more inclusive, less bigoted and homophobic than the Montana GOP, whose official platform (since 2008) clearly is loaded with prejudice, bigotry and intolerance.

I want to be clear- I am not a Republican, a conservative or a Tea Party member. I am an Independent, liberal, gay man living in Montana. But I can’t help but be struck by the diplomacy of my so-called right-wing adversaries vs. the silence and established prejudice of the Grand Old Party.

Which brings me back to the question, “Is the Big Sky Tea Party more supportive of basic human rights than the Montana GOP?”

I find it amusing that we even have to ask the question- and yes, I can honestly appreciate the full-on irony of this moment. But still, no major Republican or Republican groups (even the gay one) has denounced this plank publicly, or even made any semblance of a fuss. Hell, the Democrats haven’t even said anything officially- maybe because it’s too easy. Whatever. It’s just been a few gadflies with an outraged sense of injustice.

So, the answer to the question, on paper anyway, seems to be “Yes”.

Tea anyone?

Update:
Jay Stevens has a more in-depth analysis on Left In The West. Thanks Jay!