Greg Orman isn’t Selfish, You Are

DISCLAIMER: at the time I originally wrote the rough draft of this, Kobach was slated to win.  Somewhere over the weekend, I heard he and Colyer were having to recount the vote due to some rule I just now heard about.  So forgive me if I assume Kobach won the primary in this article, only for the committee doing the recount to decide Colyer won.  Anyway, back to the article.

“Oh my god!  I can’t believe Greg Orman is so selfish!  Running in a race where we can’t afford to let Kris Kobach win!  What is he thinking!?”

This is the attitude I’ve been seeing from people lately revolving around independent candidate Greg Orman’s campaign for Kansas Governor.  I told myself I wasn’t going to talk politics this year, but stuff like this leaves me no choice.  I must purge!

This attitude is both sickening, and sadly unsurprising.  I find it interesting that we live in a society where everything from cell phones, to soda corporations, to fucking GENDER isn’t binary, but politics still is .  This is like someone getting yelled at because they had the audacity to buy an RC cola, knowing full well it’d take sales away from Pepsi.  Or for buying a Windows phone because it takes sales away from Android.  This is a highly irrational thought process everywhere else…  But in the battle between democrats and republicans, the moment someone decides they like an independent like Greg Orman, they’ve committed a sin.

Greg Orman has just as much right to run in the election as anybody else.  He shouldn’t have to bow before your democratic or republican overlords in order to get approval.  Dude wants to run, I say let him run!

Does he stand a chance?  That question is irrelevant.  He still deserves to run.

“But he’s taking votes away from Laura Kelly by running!”

First of all, I’m sick and tired of hearing this “a vote for X is a vote for Y” mentality.  Ross Perot ran in 1992, and republicans like to complain about how he stole votes from Bush Sr.  Meanwhile, surveys that were conducted in that time, where in voters ranked their choices from favorite to least favorite, it was actually Bill Clinton who suffered the most losses due to Perot’s involvement.  And Clinton still managed to win.

Also, telling people that the only reason your candidate lost was because a third party candidate was running…  Well, that really speaks volumes of how anemic your candidate was in the longrun, doesn’t it?  If your candidate’s success depends entirely on running unopposed, then that’s probably not a good candidate.

I have a question: who the hell is Laura Kelly?  This isn’t a lead into something clever like “Here’s who Laura Kelly is.”  This is a legit question.  Because lord knows I’ve never even heard of her until just now.  I had no idea she won the primary.  I had no idea she was even IN the primary.  I didn’t even know she existed till now.  Hell, I’m not even sure I’m spelling her name right, that’s how little I know about her as a candidate.

True, the local media has been a bit hyperfocused on how good ol’ Cowboy Kobach is trying to juggle a court case AND a campaign for governor (it’s like Milton Wolf all over again), but at the same time, this doesn’t look good when your entire primary is an afterthought before the candidates have even been named.

Also, candidates like Greg Orman exist not to ruin everybody’s fun, or to intentionally screw over your favorite team.  Rather, they exist because the two party system can’t possibly cater to every single group on the planet.  And lately, the democrats have been terrible at this.  I’ve seen more democrats turn independent because rather than give us the candidate WE WANTED, they gave us the candidate THEY wanted.  Hillary Clinton is a conservative in democrat’s clothing.  Her husband signed NAFTA into law.  Her husband supported The Defense of Marriage Act: a law that delt a blow to same-sex couples who wanted to get married.  As a senator, she supported the war in Iraq, as well as  a potential war in Iran.  She preached all about transparency, but not once did she ever make her speeches to Goldman Sacks public.  She DID change her mind on The Transpacific Partnership Act: an act so secretive that nothing good could’ve possibly come from it getting passed into law.  However, it took people like Bernie Sanders, The Justice Party, and dozens of paranoid individuals from the other side of the aisle to force that opinion change.  And if she got elected, five bucks says she would’ve flipflopped, and signed that law into effect anyway.  Of course she’d probably focus more on open and outright war with Russia first, because America definitely needs to have another one of those right now…  But I digress.

The overall point is that Hillary Clinton was a terrible democrat, and never should’ve won the primary.  Yet she did, and I was supposed to just swallow my pride and vote for her.  Because the alternative was just too terrible to comprehend, and because there’s no other choice.  Either vote for Hilldawg in 2016, or you’re a bigot-ass racist who masturbates to pictures of Pepe the Frog.  Isn’t that right, Hillary?

It’s this exact mentality of “Vote Hillary or you’re a racist” that made people like me second guess being registered democrats, and start looking into third parties.  In my case, I admit to eyeing the exit since about 2008, but while I felt like Obama was SOOOO not ready for this job when he ran, I stuck with it.  It wasn’t until Hillary started her march for the white house when I realized that there was no way this two party system was going to benefit me this go-around.

Two years later, we have a race for the governor’s office.  Based on Twitter, the democrats haven’t changed their strategy even a little bit.  Furthermore, we’re living in a generation where republican candidates can be brick fucking stupid mongos who just say every stupid little thing that comes into their heads, all the while juggling campaigns and criminal charges for white collar crime or whatever, and still win.  And they win because the other side is insisting I have to vote for them, or I’m racist.  I’m not racist, and I’m sick and tired of you idiots telling me otherwise.

Furthermore, as I’ve said before, I have no idea who Laura Kelly is.  Probably nothing a quick Ecosia search wouldn’t fix (yeah, I abandoned Google years ago), but even then, if this is the situation, I’m not going in to her campaign positively.

I can’t remember her name, but she ran against Kevin Yoder in 2014.  And she lost.  Not because of third party interference, but because she was quite literally a nonentity the entire time.  Sure, she probably got on the debate stage, but I saw NO presence from her and her campaign outside that.  Hell, I couldn’t even remember her name when the 2014 midterms were going on!  This is unfortunately looking like the fate of Laura Kelly.

By comparison, I know who Greg Orman is.  Setting aside his defeat in the 2014 senate election, I know who he is because he’s making his presence felt.  He was all over Facebook, and I guess all over Twitter as well (I only got my twitter a month ago, so I don’t know).  He has comercials that pop up on YouTube before my videos.  I knew before primary season even started that he was going to be running.

Does this mean Orman is going to win?  Who can say, really?  All I know for sure is that he has a better chance than Laura fucking Kelly.  And I have a feeling that was going to be the case even if Orman DIDN’T run.

Greg Orman exists because the other two candidates aren’t giving me what I want.  That’s not selfish, that’s an alternative.  If anything, YOU’RE the selfish one.

People around here are talking about the governor’s race the same way they talk about a football game between The Chiefs and The Raiders.  I don’t even think it’s about making Kansas better to some of these guys.  I think they just want to see their team win.  And that’s a shitty reason to support a candidate.  The republican party have been a collective of syckophants for as long as I’ve been following politics (thou shalt not criticize a fellow republican).  The more recent “vote blue no matter who” slogan of the democratic party doesn’t make them a better alternative.  For guys like me, this is like a Chiefs Vs Raiders game where both teams are The Raiders!  We need an alternative!  And YOU need to improve your fucking attitude, mister.

So yeah, my mind’s made up.  And if you don’t like that…  Well, the unfollow button is right there.  No one will miss you.


SJW Concerns

The Majin Among Us is my latest writing project I plan to get published.  It’s pretty much guaranteed to be getting a paperback release at this time, so good news for all you people who prefer paper to ebook.

The further I get in to this project, though, the more one particular worry hits me.  That concern is that my book immediately gets dismissed as social justice tripe.  I’ll be posting a sample chapter within the week, but for now, take my word on it when I say that this thing may be a little preachy.

Make no mistake, I’m a lefty at heart.  True, I abandoned the democrats completely in 2016 after the stunt they pulled, and I’ve spoken highly of various aspects of libertarian ideaology, but in my heart of hearts, I’m still a lefty in many aspects.  I believe gays should be allowed to get married.  I believe abortion should be legal.  I believe net neutrality should’ve never been repealed.  I believe marijuana should be legal for recreational use, although I’d settle for medicinal if that’s how we have to start out.  I believe if someone wants to mutilate the shit out of their body in order to resemble a woman, why not?  Really, the only things I DON’T agree with my fellow lefties on is gun control (I’m pro-constitutional carry), and the death penalty (hang ’em all!), but that’s pretty much it.

Then we get into the kind of nonsense that passes for modern day liberalism: a horrifying checklist ideaology known as neoliberalism, or social justice warrioring.  I may think of myself as a liberal, but jesus tap dancing Christ, the SJW crowd makes me feel legitimately embarrassed to admit out loud that I vote democrat in public.

I could go on, but many other classical liberals have probably made all the points I’d probably be making.  Furthermore, they probably did it more intelligently, and with fewer swear words, because I’m a rude-ass boogan with no shame in using me some colorful language.

This is a crowd I generally want to distance myself from…  Except looking over the rough draft for The Majin Among Us, and making all the edits and additions I feel needed adding, I fear this book may come off as social justice tripe: the very thing I’m NOT going for.

The Majin Among Us is a tail of xenophobia.  A majin and her family find that their cover has been blown by the worst representation of their race: a cannibalistic serial killer with no concepts of restraint, social skills, or diplomacy.  The people take one look at this horrible majin and his wicked ways, and like people are prone to doing, they immediately assume EVERY majin is wicked, unspeakable evil.  From there, it’s a combination of trying to mend the bridge while keeping the guy who ruined it for everyone as far away as possible.

Pretty SJW-ish, right?  Honestly, I’ve based the story on all the stories I’ve heard of retards beating hindus and Sikhs to let us all know Muslams ain’t welcome in Amrrrica.  Or like the local dumbass who lost the mayoral election after running under the most blatant anticimetic platform…  Probably in the history of Kansas for all I know and care, then went on a shooting spree with all the intention of killing as many jews as possible…  Only to end up missing all the jews, and killing a couple Methodist Christians instead.  There are several examples of this caliber of retardation, and I could probably fill an entire blog with nothing but those stories alone.  However, I instead decided to draw influence from those stories when describing the level of ignorance displayed.

Unfortunately, one can’t write a story about racism in this day and age without immediately being labeled some sort of antifa level socialist ideaolog (as if being a right-winged libertarian anarchist somehow isn’t being an ideaolog).  You’re labeled an SJW, and you’re accused of virtue signaling to your fellow SJWs while pandering to the left’s lowest common denominators.

Need proof?  I refer you to the bullshit going on with Marvel comics right now.  A lot of what I can tell you is pretty much second-hand information at best.  Plus I’m strongly in favor of people actually looking it up and formulating their own fucking opinion instead of expecting my dumb ass to spoonfeed it to you.  But in any case, the current state of Marvel…  Well, the movies are doing all right, but the comics are a bit of a disaster right now.  I could probably forgive Ms. Marvel, on the grounds that Ms. Marvel (according to my own research) is less of a character, and more of a mantle handed down from heroine to heroine.  Then you get into things like Captain America just fucking off and shouting “Hile Hydra” so they can get the black guy the roll.  I’ve also heard of things like “Girl Thor”, “Asian Hulk”…  I think Storm might be transgendered now?  Or maybe I misunderstood my friend’s latest rant.  In any case, nobody asked for this.  I sure as shit didn’t want to throw Bruce Banner under the bus so some rando Asian guy could help Marvel show off how PC they are, bruh.  Wearing their sweet-ass Oakleys, and reminding us PC is the way to be for me.  And you.  WOO WOO!

Comparing my work, a work of fiction still in development with virtually no preestablished fanbase (unless fanbases from my previous novels counts, anyway), to Marvel, a studio that’s been around since the 1960s with an impressive legacy some SJW editor decided to wipe his ass with so we can recolor the heroes and find fascinating new ways to scream “FUCK WHITEY!” in approximately twenty-two pages, is probably not fair to me.  Or to Marvel, for all I know and care.  Dude, I WISH I was making Marvel cash at this point in my life, but I digress.

It’s an unfair comparison, sure, but it gives me an idea of the sort of fiction I want to desperately avoid.  Financially speaking, because according to the previously mentioned friend who’s given me all this information, it’s a direction that has thoroughly buttfucked Marvel’s sales.  Culturally speaking, because I’m not a social justice warrior.  We have some common ground, sure, but then you guys go and take it to a very psychotic level of nonsense that even I can’t agree with.

People will, and probably have accused me of having biases.  They’ll probably point out the liberal is the one in Charlie’s Chocolate Factory of Unspeakable Horrors is the soul survivor amongst a conservative, a libertarian, and a communist.  They’ll mention HikikoMorey takes potshots at The Tea Party.  They’ll mention how The Gael Saga demonizes capitalists by making Dan Adelson the A-list villain.  Right after the SJWs accuse me of using Gael as some sexist way of living out some foot fetish fantasy that demeans women, because fuck you for being a male.  Or whatever.

In all those cases…  Fair enough.  Even I’M not one-hundred percent unbiased.  But boy, the last thing I want to do is associate myself with a crowd that makes people like me look bad by association.

Once I’ve picked out a chapter or two I’d like to use as sample chapters, you’ll probably have a better idea of where these concerns are coming from.  Until then, I just want to get this off my chest, and out of my mind.

American Labor Party?

The election is over.  About seventy-five percent of the people sending me petitions and requests for donations have either ceased operations, or I unsubscribed from them.  The remaining twenty-five percent, meanwhile, have reorganized their priorities now that the election is over in an effort that…  I hate to say, seems like an exercise in futility now that the republicans have everything.  Stranger things have happened, and as divided as the democrats are right now between Clintonite shills and Bernie backers, The Republican Party is actually just as divided.  That being said, I’m still bracing myself for anywhere between two to eight years of Christian tallaban rule despite these petitioners and their best efforts.

I bring this up, though, because one petitioner actually has a concept that left me scratching my head.  A petition is circling the net, and if it gets enough signatures, we might be seeing the beginning of The American Labor Party.

First of all, I’m pretty sure the labor party is a British political party.  Furthermore, I’m pretty sure the British Labor Party is basically the British equivalent of the democrats over here.  I could be wrong about that, though.  By all means, correct me on this.

As a third party man myself (Go Justice Party!  Rock the teal!), I can tell you right now that this is going to be an uphill battle.  The last time a third party had ANY success in America was Ross Perot.  Say what you want about Perot’s politics, personality, and the fact the dude could probably fly by simply flapping his ears, but looking back in 1992, you have to admit, he was a pretty influential figure.  It’s too bad The Reform Party fell to pieces like it did (thanks a lot, Buchanan), because if I were old enough in the 90s, I’d have probably registered as a Reformer.

All and all, you’re more than welcome to try, but I have a hard time seeing this new third party working out for anybody.  The Libertarian Party was at its most popular this election, but even THEY couldn’t win a single state.  And don’t even get me started on Garry Johnson again, or we’ll be here all day, and frankly, I have work in an hour.

But I suppose all of this has little to do with anything, because the most defining feature of any party is their agenda.  The democrats are…  Or WERE a home for lefties.  The republicans are home for the psychotic Christians and corporate tycoons who don’t want to pay taxes.  The libertarians are for those who want small government.  The Justice Party is home to people like me who are sick of corporate greed, government bureaucracy, and cronyism.  The Constitution Party (assuming they’re still a thing) want to preserve the United States constitution, and rule according to it and it alone.  The Freedom and Peace Party are communists.  And I suppose The Green Party is in there somewhere as well, but good luck figuring out what THEY want now that Nader isn’t there anymore.

So what will The Labor Party stand for?  At the time I’m writing this, your guess is as good as mine.  Although it was mentioned in the email that Bernie Sanders’ general philosophies are part of the foundation, so that probably speaks volumes all by itself.

Thing is, though, a lot of those philosophies are already part of The Justice Party.  Hell, The Justice Party themselves opted out of the 2016 election on the grounds Bernie Sanders basically wanted everything we wanted.  A decision that ultimately proved to be an exercise in futility, but I suppose in failing to get our guy past the primaries, this year was the opportunity we needed to build the foundation of our party a little more, and get the funding and support to get senate and house rep campaigns going.

So yeah, if you’re asking me personally, I can’t help but think this Labor Party might be a waste of time.  Maybe if The Justice Party collapses in on itself and kurplodes between now and 2020, I’ll think about it.  Assuming the effort for The Labor Party didn’t kurplode as well, at which point, I’m loudly and proudly independent again.

Still, it might be interesting to see what they come up with.

Clinton Vs Trump: Whoever Wins, We Lose

It’s debate season over in the 2016 election, and frankly, I could not be more uninterested if I tried.  This is literally the single worst election I have ever lived through.  Seriously, even 2012 had the option of giving Obama four more years.  Not to mention the devil I knew wouldn’t fuck up every other thing he tried till 2014, so there was that.

I’m a libertarian for Bernie.  I make no apologies about that.  If being a libertarian who supported Bernie Sanders, then jumped back to the Johnson camp when I didn’t get Bernie Sanders makes me a retard, then sign me up for the next special Olympics.  I don’t agree with socialism, but as a co-worker once told me: “It really tells you how fucked up things are in our glorious capitalist society when a fucking socialist is the only one who’s making any sense.”

The democrats had every opportunity to give the people what they wanted: a charismatic, intelligent, well-spoken man with a lot of good ideas.  But instead, the blue party decided to fuck him over at every turn, and forcefeed their voters more of the same.

I fucking hate Hillary Clinton.  Even as a syckophantic, opinionless, “vote blue no matter who”, “a vote for Nater is a vote for Bush”, loud-and-proud democrat in 2004, I never liked Clinton.  In fact, it amazes me republicans hate her as much as they do: she votes like a republican, and supported a lot of republican friendly agendas like the defense of marriage act, and the war in Iraq.  But hey, I guess it’s a matter of “you ain’t one of us, so fuck you”.

The more I learn about Clinton, the less I want her in charge of this country.  She’s voted in favor of wars and coups, she’s supported very neoconservative-friendly legislation that takes away people’s rights, she’s supported trade agreements that take jobs away from the American people, she’s legendary for using plants in town halls, she’s the least transparent politician preaching the gospel of government transparency I can think of…  But hey, I guess she’s better than Trump, right?  Vote Clinton, or you’re a sexist, misogynistic pig!  Just like Trump!

I’m not a Trump supporter, either, for the record.  Really, what the hell can I say about Trump any other blogger hasn’t already.  The dude’s a cheeto-colored mongoloid who has no business being near that other potium.  The man is so unbelievably incompetent, no wonder the whole “It’s all a work to get Clinton into the white house” conspiracy theory sounds legit.

People are telling me over and over again that this is the most important election ever.  Yeah, uh, no.  I have literally no investment in this election.  I haven’t since June.  No matter who wins this election, America loses.

I have said I supported Garry Johnson, but honestly, even I think the man has no chance in hell.  Not necessarily because he’s third party, and third parties haven’t won a single election in The States since the 1860s, but rather, because the man has proven to be a disaster on the mic.  In his defense, I didn’t know where Aleppo was, either.  In fact, I’m not even sure I’m spelling it right.  Still, you want to be ruler of the free world, you may want to read a fucking geography book every once and a while.

I just want this election to be over with.  I don’t care who wins, I don’t care who gets the majority in congress…  For all I know and care, Jill fucking Stein could win the election.  All I know is I’m done.  Game over.  I quit.

Back to the Libertarians, I guess

I’d always known about libertarianism, but I never really put a whole lot of stock into it until around 2007 or so.  The first time I heard about the libertarian party was in 2004.  I can’t remember the candidate’s name from 2004, but I distinctly remember hearing he got thrown in jail a week before election day.  Supposedly.  I don’t know, I was kind of caught up in voting John Kerry that year.  Oh don’t look at me like that, We wer all stupid when we were young, fresh out of high school, and convinced there were only two choices.  Three if Ross Perot was involved.  God I miss that guy.

I grew rather fond of the philosophy when I read more into it, and even declared myself a libertarian that same year.  Then the tea party came along and ruined it for everybody.

People were telling me that the tea party was a sort of gateway for libertarians to find their way into congress.  It worked for Rand Paul, after all.  Unfortunately, it also saw lunatics like Ted Cruz get the nomination.

I don’t care what anybody says, I’m fucking grateful to god almighty Cruz didn’t win the republican nomination.  I truly believe Cruz would’ve been WORSE than Donald Trump.  I’m not saying I support Donald Trump, or that I like Donald Trump, or even that I’m not convinced that there’s probably a very special place in hell reserved for Donald Trump, but I’m kind of glad the lesser of two psychotic mongoloids won over on the republican side.

People like Ted Cruz, the Koches, Sarah Palin, etc, were all identifying as libertarians, and suddenly, I didn’t feel like I belonged.  I believe in the libertarian cause when it comes to things like gay marriage, the right to own guns, legalizing weed, etc.  I just can’t agree with people when they talk about welfare as “a program designed to breed loyalty to tyrants”.  I’m not proud of the fact I have to collect disability pay, but the way the economy is all over the country, the fact Sam Brownback is thoroughly sodomizing the state of Kansas on a near daily basis, and the fact an alarming amount of people aren’t all that willing to hire blind people (in some cases, it makes sense, but in others…), welfare is literally the only way I can afford to pay my bills.  You’d be amazed how much I spend on a weekly basis just getting to work.

I also couldn’t agree with the tea party in the slightest over things like The Affordable Healthcare Act, better known as Obamacare.  On top of my current situation, I also come from a family that has thoroughly been buttfucked by insurance companies who say they’re going to help you, but then immediately find excuses to not only NOT help you, but jack up your premiums right afterward.

Semi-related note: Handcock is fucking horrible, and if you have an account with them, change it.  You’re better off with literally anyone else.  In fact, you’re better off declaring “fuck it”, and going uninsured for the rest of your life, dealing out $300 a year or whatever the penalty under Obamacare is for going uninsured than ever using Handcock.  You’re literally better off getting “oops insurance” from mafia racketeers than with Handcock.  Trust me on this one, Handcock sucks, and you’re doing yourself a favor by not only avoiding them, but encouraging all your friends and family to do the same.

Okay, back on topic.

2013 was the year I severed my ties with the libertarian party.  I still agree with some of their philosophies, but found that The Justice Party suited me better.  Does this make me a progressive?  Or is a friend of mine right in remarking I’m a “leftbertarian”?  Hell if I know.

Like many people on the left, The Justice Party fell in love with one Bernie Sanders, and rather than run a candidate of their own, they decided to cast their lot with Bernie.  It’s not hard to see why they like him.  Dude’s got charisma out the wazoo.  You’d think it weird that a former libertarian decided to devote his donation dollars to a campaign led by a loud and proud socialist, but here we are.

Really, it speaks VOLUMES of just how fucked up this country is when the only one making any god damn sense in this glorious capitalist society that loves its capitalism is a socialist.  I’m not going to pretend like I know everything about everything, but at the same time, a lot of the things Bernie wants to fix are things I’ve been saying need fixed for years now.  And I’ve realized that minimizing the government to the size of a peanut is only going to result in Corporate America running even MORE hog wild than they already are.

It’s just too bad Bernie has literally no chance of winning right now.  Seriously, it’s the most depressing thing in the world to admit out loud, but it’s looking more and more like Hillary Clinton is getting the nomination.

Hillary VS Trump is like Triple H VS Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania32: nobody wants to see it, neither individual has any likeable qualities, and we’re being forced to choose between these two by the establishment instead of getting the next Daniel Bryan or someone who actually deserves the spotlight like we want.  There’s petitions urging Bernie to run as an independent, but trust me, if Ross Perot couldn’t succeed, I can’t say I’m confident in his chances.  Others are saying he should join The Green Party.  Shit, why don’t you just ask him to drop out of the race?  Last I checked, The Green Party’s motto was “We’ll lose for sure”.

So yeah, the champion of the progressives is on the verge of falling.  I suppose stranger things have happened, and he might win, but for arguement’s sake, let’s say he doesn’t.  Now what?  I’m not voting Hillary.  I’m not voting Trump.  I’m DEFINITELY not voting Bloomberg (assuming he’s even in the race still).  The Justice Party isn’t running a candidate this year (as far as I know anyway), so that’s a moot point.  While I’ve only recently found common ground with Ralph Nader, I still don’t see myself voting for The Green Party.  Especially if Jill Stein is running again.  So who the hell is left?  Near as I can tell, the only option left is Garry Johnson of the libertarians.

Not going to lie, it feels kind of awkward coming back home to the libertarians.  I still don’t agree with their stance on welfare, or the affordable healthcare act…  There’s probably other points we clash on nowadays, but I can’t think of them right now.  This must be what it’s like for the black sheep of the family to come to a family reunion and have to face up to his own idiotic decision making.  At the same time, though, what other option is there.

I suppose I could just flat out not vote, but then I lose my right to complain about the neoconservative warhawk in democrat clothes, or the hatemongering lunatic with stupid hair winning the election.  Anyone who says your vote doesn’t matter is either stupid, or they’re trying to talk you out of voting because they think it’ll give their guy a boost.  Even if you vote third party like I have since 08, you’re still telling the establishment that you’re not interested in the duopoly.

I’m afraid this is the year I have to swallow my pride, and try to mend some bridges I thought I’d burnt years ago.  Never say never indeed, am I right?