Fire and brimstone burn all souls
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Writer to run first Party of Grace race
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT –– (LONG BEACH, CA) –– Dec. 21, 2017 –– Billy Orton, a novelist and former political staffer, knows how to run alone.
In the 2016 election cycle, he ran for Congress to help promote another candidate’s victory. He ran alone and knew he would lose.
In 2004, as a campaign consultant, he ran a statewide race for a Libertarian, and helped two Republicans and a Democrat. Three lost.
In 2002, the Democratic party roped him into a 365-day race as a sacrificial lamb, where he pushed a Republican incumbent into spending seven times the money. (The only question asked everywhere? "What'a'ya think 'bout medical marijuana?" His reply? "Treat it like alcohol.")
Earlier, in 1985, while attending Cal State Long Beach, he won more than 800 votes, campaigning in a Gumby suit, as leader of a slate.
“I did win a seat representing students in the faculty’s Academic Senate,” said Orton, who served three years on that panel, where scores of professors usually saw him as the sole student voting and debating.
Perhaps then it wouldn’t be unusual that the novelist might run another race in 2020.
But exactly two years ago, after 25 years working in politics, Orton got knocked to his knees by a major stroke, and had his brain sliced open in emergency surgery at St. Mary’s Medical Center, just before Christmas 2015.
“I’m the luckiest soul in America,” said the writer, who spent exactly zero attention to the 2016 presidential election. While most Americans suffered the hardest campaign of their life, Orton started the year in the Long Beach hospital, barely able to walk, unable to read, and limited to a few dozen spoken words.
“I asked God just to take me,” said Orton. Only the arrival of family turned his direction, to simply never give up.
For most of 2016, the writer hobbled to volunteer, to pour coffee and clean tables where the homeless are fed in downtown Long Beach. He swept floors and served cookies and chips to campaign volunteers in a state Senate race for a long-time acquaintance. And in an exercise to assess his own abilities, he used a manual typewriter to write essays and letters, including three to the White House, thanking Mr. Obama for saving his life.
While Orton did vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the June primary and backed a third party candidate in November, the lasting impression of the year was raging hatred poisoning America.
As a new president prepared to take office, the novelist began an absurd comedy to make Americans laugh again, posing the question of, “What happens if hate wins?”
In 2017 -- the second year after the stroke -- Orton is no longer a Democrat.
Shortly after the Inauguration, he registered as “Party of Grace,” a political organization that technically does not exist, and which has exactly one member.
He spread word to half-a-million people on social media inviting guests to a “Political Reviv’ul Mtg and Barn Dance,” held in a Thai restaurant, as the first-ever public event, held on July 4th. He was the only Party of Grace soul watching the fireworks above the Queen Mary.
Will the former Gumby candidate run again, in a party spelled with the letter G?
“Next December, Americans will show whether hatred is ripping us apart,” said the founder and only registered voter of the Party of Grace. The Facebook group and website domains he bought may be as much clout as the organization holds.
Still, on Dec. 19, Orton wrote a three-page letter to the President -- using an antique manual typewriter -- saying that he likely would run in the 2020 cycle as the first candidate of Party of Grace.
“I doubt the President has time to read my letter,” said Orton, who has written to every President since Gerald Ford.
Where are his politics? All over the map.
-- Liberals bashed Orton’s center-right 2002 race for state Assembly, and talking proudly of voting for John McCain two years earlier.
-- Conservatives scoff at Orton getting a reply from the last President, who apparently had staff periodically bring a stack of “Thanks for saving my life” letters to the Oval Office for signature.
-- Centrists wish him luck, but know he leads a party with exactly one member.
Back on his feet and no longer wearing a suit and tie, Orton continues work on novels, and just enrolled to start a masters in English program at Cal State Long Beach, where he earned a bachelors in history. As a symbol, he picked up a student ID card exactly two years after the emergency brain surgery.
“It’s hardest to read and to recite,” said Orton, “but the best political speech is a short one.”
While he does not offer which office he may seek, he did stand earlier for Congress, the state Assembly, and student body President. He’s also indicated possible entry for the city council seat in the Long Beach district where he wrote his first three novels.
Why say it will be a year before an announcement of candidacy? It is a “bookmark,” and in his letter the White House he speculates that the 2018 election will so destroy the GOP that the President himself may ditch the Republican party, to form a new one.
“The first law of politics is that time is inexorable,” said the writer, who does not want Party of Grace captured by hatred. “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”
Meanwhile, the lucky soul is happy being an obscure novel whose biggest daily task is to walk his kid’s dog.
“Every day is both a challenge and a reward,” said the writer, whose website -- www.billyorton.com -- provides links to Party of Grace, and is an archive of his novels and personal writing.
What else is the obscure novelist doing?
'LOVE AND HATE IN AMERICA' -- NOVELS IN 'POST GENDER' FICTION – (LONG BEACH, CA) -- Nov. 29, 2017 -- Does gender determine heroism? Has only one soldier married a stripper? When a young mother loves her husband, does it matter than both are women? It doesn't matter to this novelist, who simply wishes to give greatness to characters deserving it. Staff Sergeant Lori L Lewis, of Long Beach CA, and her wife, December Carrera, must cross the White House itself to find out whether love or hate won.
FaceBook "Love and Hate in America" Group SmashWords (FREE NOVELS)
As you endured the 2016 election...
THIS HUMBLY MESSENGER ASKED GOD SIMPLY TO TAKE ME AWAY... – (LONG BEACH, CA) -- ... Rather then that I stay... tied... bound... locked... a bed I don't sleep in... held in place... no idea where I am... and then my Kid and Dad and Brother... (Why haven't they rescued me from this prison and safed me?)
In Dec 2015, my Kid takes me to ER and my brain is spiced in major surgery. Strapped to the bed, unable to say words, is the thought visible in the soul, "You can just take me, God... I'll just fold it up." And there's Kid and family, and then the guiding message is, "Just never give up.
While you suffered a horrifying national election, I started on New Year's Day, grateful to God for His Grace allowing that I was the luckiest soul in a ward where no other stroke patient hobbled with such fortune.
How lucky to not read or listen to the fury and hate dividing this nation, my task merely was personal, and simply to survive. While your heart ripped open, I learned to walk and read and speak and live. I am as fortunate as a soul can be. If now my only role is to be a humble messenger, then I thank His Most Great Most Magnificent, to be in full sacrifice, to let go of selfishness and arrogance, particularly where I spent decades in politics and writing.
I may thank God that I again have eyes that can see and fingers that can type, for through His Gift, and with the fullness of His Heart, am I able to offer my own imperfect soul, to talk of messages that perhaps I may never know in fullness or understand 'what' or 'why' and thus simply can I consider this revival of a human soul as being my own life given by His Gift.
I no longer am registered with the Democratic Party, where I entered in 1992, and worked as a press secretary for five state lawmakers, and as a public relations hack in organized labor and political campaigns. I proudly am just an obscure novelist working on a fourth book that I had not believed would possibly begin.
The PARTY OF GRACE shown in the upper corner is where now my voter registration changed this year. The Party of Grace technically does not exist, but the link in the upper meme is the Facebook group where this humble messenger seeks a vehicle to carry to others thoughts that I don't even quite understand why.
Stroke surgery gives Bill a brain vacation
HEART PITTER PATT... – (JANUARY 27, 2016) -- Somehow I recall that on Dec 1, 2008, my body weight was 232 pounts. All my life, weight varied wildly. I never understood why I could gain or lose ten or more pounds in a week, despite no major eating changes. As it turned out, the failure of my heart resulted in fluid being stored in my body, sending huge shifts in my size, because the fluid and the heart were a nasty combo. At the end of 2008, I finally got a doctor who figured out why my heart and fluid were messed up, and in 2009 through 2012 the improvement moved me down from the 230s into the 220s, 210s, and 200s, all reflecting positive medical actions between me, my primarly doctor, and my heart doctor. Then, in 2012, I realized that it would be helpful for me to use a daily file to record how weight could be a helpful sum to show the progress of heart treatment. Then, in 2014, I finally was put into a survical action where my heart was cut open, patched with lots of surgery, and the result shows major improvement. However, the fluctuations remained, and the ultimate outcome in Dec 2015 was a major head stroke. That is shown in the righthand area. Based on the initial result from the Dec 14 surgery and the intense month of recovery at the hospital, not only did I survive the stroke, but there seems to now be a normalization of weight changes. I have been recording my daily weight, and for the first time in my life, there seems to be no wild shift in my weight. What this suggests is that not only did I live, but now my body seems to have achived a weight that goes up or down by a pound or so, and my weight is at a size of where I was about 30 years ago. So, sure, being knocked down for the major hospital thing that I experiendes between Dec 13 and Jan 5, I cound myself to be luckier than I every have been in my life. Woo hoo!
IMAGE: Forty years before a stroke, an 8th Grader on America's Bicentennial Year (1976)
ABOUT THIS SITE
Billy Orton began writing in the 1970s using a manual typewriter. This is a collection of his personal writing.
A SOUL REBORN
In Dec 2015, a stroke and major brain surgery knocked Billy Orton down.
Still in the hospital on New Year's Day 2016, he could barely walk, spoke a few dozen words, was unable to read, and memory swam away like fish.
Since Bill's hardest year also made him America's luckiest soul, he paid exactly zero attention to the 2016 election.
One must push to find their limits. Sometimes you smack into a wall. Reading is hard. Vision is weaker. The hands don't work so well. But the humble messenger tranks God for eyes that can see and fingers that can write.
Exactly two years after getting his brain sliced open, Bill picked up an ID card to start a Masters in English at Cal State Long Beach (where he finished a bachelors in 1991).
Letting go of selfishness and arrogance allows him to thank God (and Mr. Roosevelt) and simply never give up.
Bill stutters, cannot recite a speech, it is hard to read, and short-term memory still swims away like fish. How lucky a soul, indeed.
PARTY OF GRACE (2020)
Is the first PARTY OF GRACE campaign going to be a 2020 race for PRESIDENT? Maybe if the graduate student runs at Cal State Long Beach! Maybe Bill runs again as a SACRIFICIAL LAMB for United States CONGRESS or the California State ASSEMBLY? Or does he push himself hard to chase a possible victory on the Long Beach CITY COUNCIL? THE DECISION WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN DEC 2018. Meanwhile, a 250-word ballot statement is a good writing exercise for a lucky soul experiencing life's rebirth.
When eyes at times feel blind and hands often work poorly, jumping through hoops assesses what one can do.
WALK EVEN IN STRUGGLE
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SO ONE CAN COUNT FOOTSTEPS
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Three months campaigning to help defeat a front-runner. CERTAIN LOSS
Marched 365 days as a "Sacrificial Lamb." Outspent 7-to-1. Said everything I wanted.
Campaign Home Page
Press Releases Page
Sample ballot candidate statement
The 'First Day in Office' series
First Ten Bills
First Ten Phone Calls
First Ten Resolutions
First steps on budget reform
Bill Didn't Win
Bill's Concession Statement
VOTE GUMBY (1985)
Gumby was once just a little green slab of clay. You should see what he can do today. Vote Gumby. Three Gumbies Won.
Dad writes to his unbord kid
Random Advice and Hippy Values
Four novels of 'Post Gender' fiction
Go, Washington Fat Cats
The VB&B Business Plan
Father's Day Essay
Two Years on the Water
POTUS Knows Best
September 3, 2008
Palin masters first week on national stage
July 22, 2008
Shoot them, try them or set them free
June 1, 2008
The Anvil of History
March 4, 2008
Cheers, Mr. Roosevelt
February 20, 2008
Going Beyond a Single Word
February 6, 2008
The President's Lawyers Fight our Troops on Health Care
August 22, 2007
Lots of ’splaining to do
July 12, 2007
More Happy Talk from the President
April 13, 2007
End the Army's Bull Puckey
April 12, 2007
Americans in the crosshairs of death
January 30, 2007
SPEECH: The Three Paths to Power
November 11, 2006
Clean Government, Civility and Cooperation
October 8, 2005:
Bill's break of support for Senator McCain
June 28, 2005:
On the President’s War Speech
January 1, 2004:
The Three Rs: The Path to National Recovery
November 22, 2003:
In Memorium: John Fitzgerald Kennedy
November 3, 2003:
Iraqi farmers, Achilles & The President
September 24, 2003:
The President's Most Feared Foe
May 31, 2003:
Springtime Snowflakes: The Rummygram Blizzard
May 13, 2003:
George, Victoria & Empire: A new ballgame for "The Big A"
April 1, 2003:
Resign, Mr. Rumsfeld
March 13, 2003:
The War, the President & Mr. Lincoln
March 6, 2003:
Press conferences, U.N. vetoes and Jacques Chirac
March 1, 2003:
IRAQ: War, Peace & Secrecy
February 13, 2003:
Ari's 'Old News,' or Who let the North Koreans get The Bomb
Jan 27, 2003:
POLITICAL SUPERBOWL: Our team isn't scoring too many points, but the game isn't over.
January 13, 2003:
Stopping the Second Korean War
May 22, 2001:
GMO labeling & testing is cure for crop export panics