Saturday, August 13, 2016

Reinvent the GOP

What to make of The Donald and his quest for power and admiration? Perhaps the most amusing of the many theories about the Donald’s quest is that he is part of a Hillary-inspired campaign to wrest the powers of government away from the Republicans after eight long years of Democratic rule.  At first blush, it has some plausibility. Donald persuaded to join Hillary in a mock Presidential quest, in which he would pretend to be crazier than he actually is in order to allow Hillary an easier win. The main problem with that is that he actually is as crazy as he seems.   Sarah Palin seems a model of sanity and intellectual brilliance when compared with The Donald. When people say, “oh, I love that he says what he thinks, without regard to political correctness”, they are howling at the moon. He really doesn’t “think” at all it would seem. He’s like an ADHD baby just learning to talk. He cuts loose with whatever crosses his mind at that moment, whether it makes any sense or not. He imagines that he is always making sense, whereas in reality, he is just babbling stray words.

It has begun to alarm me when I listen to people, commentators generally, trying to compare what he says with what Hillary says.  Hillary seems to me a normal politician. She has some good ideas and some not so good ideas. She sometimes bends the truth to make herself seem better. And her hubby created for her a world of crap. Mostly, it would seem, people hate her because Fox News says she is to be hated. Then, when The Donald called her Crooked Hillary, or Lying Hillary, his idiotic supporters, all of whom seem to love to hate, adopted that theme.  I listened in disbelief when the idiot Christie put on that performance, calling her “GUILTY”, and then saying that he was a prosecutor. I wanted to vomit all over him. Christie, for God’s sake. That Christie, the one who abused his office by inventing the Bridge trauma, and then lying about it. Yeah, that Christie . . . perhaps the worst governor in the history of New Jersey.

Still, people look at and listen to The Donald and imagine that he is somehow on the same planet as Hillary, and that they can be compared. There really are not two sides here. Trump is not a responsible candidate who just differs from Hillary in his policy positions. Donald Trump is a dangerous man, a narcissistic-sociopath, who periodically crosses the line of psychopathic behavior by suggesting to his crazed followers that violence is ok with him, even to calling out to his gunners (that Second Amendment crowd) suggesting that “action” could be taken by them should Hillary get elected.

Trump is in a class by himself. It occurs to me that his wife and children must be viewing his behavior with some considerable alarm. They must surely have observed his craziness in the past. They above all other viewers must understand that he is now a danger to the world, should the unlikely occur. It is, it seems to me, time for his family to call it all off, and to corner him in a room in his big house, and just lock him in until they can get the friendly neighborhood shrink to come over and administer some serious antipsychotic medication.  He needs to be: a) institutionalized, and b) on very serious medication.  This would be for his own good, for the good of his family, but mainly, for the safety of the only world we have. He needs to be removed from his current playground.

And then, someone needs to reinvent the Republican Party.  Declare the current entity bankrupt, and begin anew to conceive of a party that supports free enterprise, but with limits, and a party that has a brand new moral compass that declares all of its citizens as worthy of protection from the forces of evil that have been let loose by Trump, and his ally Fox News.

We need to begin anew.

The time is NOW.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Amerika and Other Nightmares

Click your heels Richard. Maybe you will awaken back in Brooklyn in the 1940s, when America had just awakened to its real threats from abroad (as distinct from the Trumpian nightmares conjured by that carnival barker).

I have been thinking about writing an addition to my blog, but our world has become so bizarre that I really have become clogged. Mostly, I have been struggling to figure out what has happened, and how much of it is real.  For months now, concluding with that bizzaro Republican convention, I have been watching our world of democratic politics play out and fall apart, orchestrated by Fox News and the Trump Nightmare Express.  I still don’t know which is worse—Donald Trump or Fox News. Both seem to me to be existential threats to our democracy.

But I think what is even more troubling is the role being played by ordinary (Republican) citizens of the realm.  When I listen to those folk being interviewed about why they plan to vote for Donald Trump, I am struck by an otherworldly tone to these conversations. It is as though the folks understand they are being conned, but no longer care.  How does one know when Donald Trump is lying? Well, whenever he opens his mouth and words begin tumbling out, he is lying. And it is so abundantly clear that is the case, it must be that everyone is aware of that characteristic. He lies folks, all the time. He doesn’t even disguise the fact that he is lying.  He seems not to care that everyone knows he is lying, so long as nobody says anything directly to him. Then he becomes cranky.

He is the dictionary definition of a narcissistic sociopath. And what is that, you might ask?

Well, according to the Mayo Clinic, narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

Characteristics include: 
1. An exaggerated sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

2. Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

3. Believes he is "special" and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

4. Requires excessive admiration

5. Has a sense of entitlement

6. Selfishly takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends

7. Lacks empathy

8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him

9. Shows arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behaviors or attitudes 

Do those characteristics seem familiar, as in every time the Donald shows himself in any public setting? And then we might add his apparent sociopathy. And what might that be?

Sociopathy is a mental condition in which a person consistently shows no regard for right and wrong and ignores the rights and feelings of others. People with antisocial personality disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate or treat others harshly or with callous indifference. They show no guilt or remorse for their behavior. Examine how he deals with his business associates. Mainly, he seems to treat almost everyone with disdain, as though they simply do not matter.

All of these characteristics were on display during and preceding the convention. So, virtually all of his (very serious) flaws have been on public display for some time, including much evidence of his fatally flawed business dealings—the fraudulent Trump University tops the list of late, but his multiple bankruptcies, his constant lying about his financial status, his failed marriages, all point to a man who seems incapable of actually managing/running anything. So, tell me again why anyone would decide that he should be running the country, running our foreign and domestic affairs, overseeing and directing our military, when he is simply incapable of running anything, and has proven that incapacity over and over again?

What in heavens name are people thinking?

The only conclusion I can reach is that those people do not actually want a President. They want a God of some kind who can wave magic wands to make the unlikely likely. Now it may also be the case that they want a magician who will con them so that later they can claim to have been conned (didn’t happen on my watch folks. I was conned by the best conman in the world). It may be akin to what happens when people click “like” or “share” on the Internet and claim they are sending off prayers—which means they are punting the problem upstairs—no longer my responsibility folks.

Think of what might have happened in 1940 if the American people had elected a Donald Trump as President. America might well have simply disappeared as an active democracy. And that is the precise risk we now run in even thinking about electing this narcissistic sociopath.

This all is very sad, of course, but sadder yet is what it says about that institution we came to know as the Republican Party. That political entity seems no longer to exist in any real sense.  I imagine the dead now spinning away in their graves. That the party officials gave away their party to the likes of the Koch brothers, Rupert, and now The Donald is way beyond sad.  It is a tragic loss to our Nation.

We now have one real political party remaining, and that party is under attack by anti-American right wing fascists. That attack is trying to destroy the only political party left in our threatened democracy.  Whether the attacks are supported/funded partly by Vlad the Impaler Putin as has been claimed seems even more weird. Think of that—the Koch Brother (Nazis by almost any definition), Rupert Murdoch, and Vlad Putin align themselves in a quest to destroy American democracy. Now that is way beyond just weird.  It’s the stuff of Randian novels.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Trump: A Strategy

Trump: A Strategy
It finally dawned on me. The Hillary hearings: they are the main Republican strategy for winning the presidency in 2016.  They know that they cannot beat Hillary in a fair fight. Leaving it to the electorate simply won’t do. The electorate will elect a Democrat. In Hillary’s case, it’s a far-gone conclusion.

Thinking about elections. Republicans apparently decided a while ago that they really cannot win in open contests. So, at the State level, they are gerrymandering the districts such that they disable the vote. North Carolina is but one of many ways the republicans have chosen to win at all costs. Make it as difficult as possible for likely democratic voters to become registered to vote, and, if that fails, then screw with the voting districts such that republicans will gain a majority, despite the will of the people.  Again, here in North Carolina, they have succeeded admirably. The Governor and the State House are safely in Republican hands, where they are free to discriminate against Gays, eliminate public schooling, and provide tax breaks for the very wealthy (owners of the party faithful).  They appear to have few principles worthy of the name, but they are faithful to a fault in following the wishes of their wealthy owners.

In state after state, republicans follow much the same playbook:
1. Rig the election game to advantage republicans, and disenfranchise likely democrats

2.  Disable/reduce the public school system (educated voters who actually think tend not to vote for them) 

3. Batter Gays and Lesbians

4. Eliminate access to health care

5. Provide tax breaks to their owners
6. Ignore the crumbling infrastructure throughout their state (see Michigan, Ohio)

But then there is this little nasty game of Presidential politics. Not satisfied with their winning strategy at the State level, Republicans are yearning for the Trifecta—gaining the Presidency so that they can control all three elements of government.

And then Hillary decided to run. Oh, bad news Republicans. Well, first they had to face their own primary season, and it was not looking good.  Oh, they had candidates galore –16 was the count. Crazy people, ordinary nobodies, fascists. And even another Bushie. Oh Jeb, what were you thinking man?? And so they let their games begin. 

But then one of the crazies put his mouth in gear and Fox News (The Fake News Channel) was watching. The Trumpmouth provided fodder for their nightly fake news shows day in and day out. Even when he took on one of their darlings, Fox still prospered, and the Trumpmouth continued to spew forth its daily and nightly dose of garbage—how does one know when Donald Trump is lying? Well, when his mouth opens, and words begin tumbling out, he is lying.

But the illiterati in the land love it.  James Meek, writing in the London Review of Books[1] about the disaster that was Brexit, said, “We also have confirmation that people don’t object to being lied to, as long as they like the lie.  That sums up the Trump support nicely.

But, Then, a Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Trump stumbled, and bumbled, and coughed and sputtered, and the angry folks out there ate it up. He said, at one point, as though astonished at what was going on, “I could walk out on Fifth Avenue, take up a gun and shoot someone . . . and my support would increase.” See, he had no idea what the hell was happening. How could that be?

But, since the Republicans had no Plan B (Plan A remember was to take out Hillary by continuing to run investigations against her such that the public would finally sour on her, or she would be forced to drop out of the race) they elected to just let the game play on, assuming that, sooner or later one of the unholy 16 would finally assert himself (or herself . . . remember Carly Fiorina). And one by one, they dropped out.  Sort of like Ten Little Indians . . . and then there was one.

So, now the Republicans are totally fucked. Plan A is still in play—knock Hillary out of the game. Their last gambit was the FBI investigation.  But Comer failed to cooperate fully. They are still trying, seeing as Comer announced they could not/would not indict Hillary, just accuse her of bad judgment. The problem is that “bad judgment” is unlikely to derail her, so they are now forced to require him to testify, and they are shrieking about how all her e-mails and the entire FBI testimony and report must be made public (i.e., given to Fox News so they could create a story-line that would sway the public to drop her). 

But, what happens if Plan A actually succeeds and Hillary decides she’s had enough? They have no Plan C, i.e., some plan that gets the Trumpster to abandon ship.  It seems at least plausible that the Drumpf got into the race simply to boost his own stock. He would run for a while, get a lot of publicity, then find some way to drop out of the race, while he was still a “winner”, dropping out because he had more important and interesting things to do with his valuable time than run the United States of America.

But, as it turns out, everyone else got fed up first, and the folks who don’t mind being lied to, kept voting for him, thereby disabling his own plan to drop out.  

Now, a real Plan C would have included s scenario whereby the GOP would convince the Drumpf to leave the race in favor of someone else (Paul Ryan??). But Plan C never was developed--Republicans have never been big on actual planning—with them, shit just happens—see the invasion of Iraq.

So, now what happens? Suppose:

A.     Hillary drops out: well their worst nightmare would be that Hillary drops out and endorses someone like Elizabeth Warren. She may be to the Left, but she can out-argue almost anyone left in campaign-land. She would take the Drumpf apart even more effectively than he dismantles himself by opening his mouth.

B.    Hillary Stays in because Plan A fails to connect with anyone: Again, they are totally screwed, because then Hillary would not only take the Drumpf apart, but she would now expose Plan A for what it is, a cynical GOP plot to foil the will of the Nation. They might lose not only the Presidency, but state houses as well. Bummer.

C.    The Drumpf not only stays in the race, but wins it all, despite himself: perhaps this is a nightmare with the same force as A & B above. Perhaps this is the ultimate nightmare. Donald Trump becomes President of the United States. I imagine, even Rupert Murdoch and the Cock brothers would shudder, and slink off into their spiderholes somewhere. Who knows, Rupert might even give up entirely and move back to Oz, except that they hate him down under even more than we hate him here, or the Brits hate him there.

Yes, we all face our own Brexit outcome. What happens if all the republican gerrymandering and pandering to their rich owners produce this ultimate nightmare?  Who knows, maybe he would allow Texit to occur and his wall would be built somewhere just North and East of the former Texas. (One can hope).

Stay tuned folks.

[1] London Review of Books, Vol. 38 No. 14, July 2016, “Where Are We Now?”

Friday, July 1, 2016

61 Years Together

A Brief Highlight of 61 Years
1st – 1955 -- Honeymoon in Yosemite Park, accompanied by my Mother, sister and her family
5th – 1960, now living in our new home in pre-Silicon Valley, CA, a dinner doubtless in San Francisco

9th – Actual anniversary dinner at the St. George’s Hotel in Beirut, while enroute to New Delhi, India.

10TH – 1965, living at D-358 defense Colony, New Delhi, India, dinner of Tandoori Chicken doubtless at Moti Mahal in Old Delhi
11th – 1966—traveled East from New Delhi, through Bangkok, Hong Kong, thence by ship to Yokohama, and finally San Francisco, where we spent our home-leave anniversary with sister and family.

12th – Planned to visit Israel, but the idiot Arabs engaged in and lost (as always) the six-day war. So, we changed plans and traveled instead to Athens, Greece for our anniversary, while a sweet Canadian CUSO couple stayed with our kids. Spent our anniversary on Mykonos, dining by the harbor

13th – Left New Delhi for Moscow, where we toured Red Square, enjoyed the Bolshoi Ballet performing Swan Lake at the Bolshoi Theatre, and then on to London, where we picked up our new (1968) Rover 2000TC at the airport. We stayed at the home of our friends, the Dillons, who were still in Delhi, but had offered us the use of their home in Camberley. Dillo was an ex-Brigadier General who had served in Burma with the British Indian Army, and had been captured there. We were told he was a model for the Brigadier (Alec Guinness) in Bridge Over the River Kwai. Toured around London, before heading off to the Continent, where we lived wonderfully for a few weeks, touring with our three kids.

15th – Now living in the DC area, out in Cabin John, Maryland. Anniversary dinner at a favorite Italian restaurant in Georgetown.
20th – Still living in the DC area. Dined at a super expensive Italian restaurant in Georgetown, with the bill coming to $350. Carol closing in on her college degree, and poised to find her career as a school Librarian at The Bullis School.
25th – Celebrated our 25th with very close friends living in the DC area at the home of John and Susan Scanlon, with Pamela Horst (who now lives in Bangkok) helping to celebrate.  Had just left The Urban Institute and joined the Government under President Carter, only to discover that an idiot was scheduled to take over the reins of government later that year.
30th - Anniversary dinner again in Georgetown, our go-to spot for fine dining. Becoming ready to leave Government under Reagan, for fear of going brain-dead.
35th - Cannot believe it is 1990. We even survived 1984.  Began heading to the North Carolina beaches with our family of five plus Carol’s mom, who came to live with us in 1985.
40th – Wow, who do we know who has been married 40 years?  Traveled out to Seattle to attend Erika’s graduation from her family practice residency, and then we began looking and found a house in Concord, NC, after Erika and Steve decided they would move there so she could enter practice in Cabarrus Family Medicine. We had to fix up the house a lot, since it was an old bungalow, much like the ones we had encountered throughout India. We rented the house, first to Roxanne and Amy, two brand new lawyers.

45th – We began making plans to retire and move to Concord, NC. More house fixer-uppers.  Dinner somewhere in Concord.

49th – We decided to embark on a 9,000 mile road trip to celebrate 49 years together. We began in DC, after a meeting I had to attend at The Foundation School, wending our way down to Virginia and heading for our first stop in Nashville, where we met friends. We then drove through the Southwest and then up to Portland. Our plan was to visit places either neither of us had seen (Grand Canyon), or only one of us had seen (e.g., Grand Tetons.) Amazing 25 day trip. We love traveling together.

50th – Celebratory dinner with family. Then we made our trip up to Niagara on the Lake in Canada, arguably one of the prettiest towns in the world. We stayed at an inn, dined at a wonderful restaurant there (many available) attended a matinee performance of a play by Shaw (The Shaw festival runs there from April to October), and visited some wineries.

55th – Again visited Niagara on the Lake. We celebrated our actual anniversary at The Peller Estate Winery, having one of their wine-pairing dinners, after seeing a play at the Festival Theatre.
60th – We visited our favorite place in Canada again, attending plays, visiting wineries and dining again at The Peller Estate Winery, for another wonderful wine pairing dinner.

61 - Planning on a quiet evening, dining at our favorite restaurant, Gianni’s in downtown Concord. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Brexit and Trump

Brexit and Other Silliness

I’m beginning to develop a theory about people’s actions. Well, I can’t really call it a theory, since it wasn’t developed after any research, and is based on simple observation over many years.

I have been wondering how so many people could do things like vote for candidates, or issues that really seem, on their face, to be clearly against the interests of those same folks. Like the people here in the US, who seem to favor, strongly, Donald Trump for President, despite the evidence staring at them that he is a liar, a racist, a homophobe, a misogynist, and not even very good at his main game—business. I know that he is a millionaire, but he started out life as a millionaire. So many of his ventures are either outright frauds (Trump University springs to mind) or just economic disasters (four bankruptcies here) that it forces one to conclude he isn’t really any good at what he does for a living.  So, with all those attributes, why would anyone seriously entertain the idea that he would make a good President?

I understand that many Americans are racist at heart, so they hate the idea of a Black President. Everything wrong with America today they blame on Obama, despite the overwhelming evidence that, a) actually things are better today than they were under George W. Bush, and b) much of what is wrong today in America can be laid at the doorstep of a racist Republican Party that decided to oppose anything this Black President wanted to do.  Beyond their core racism, in fact the Republican Party seems aimed at demonstrating that Government is dysfunctional, whereas all they prove is that, if you put Republicans in charge, the result will be dysfunction.  There really isn’t anything inherently dysfunctional about government. It is the folks you place in charge. In this case, the Republicans, as they have gathered greater power, courtesy of the American electorate, have grown increasingly destructive to the functionality of our government. And by “government” here I mean the Congress, not the Executive Branch.

And then there’s Brexit. Most of the polls and most of the pundits decided in advance of the vote, that Britain would remain in the EU.  It seemed abundantly clear that, to leave, could well provoke economic chaos, and could further destabilize the EU, leading to political chaos in Europe. And for those who remember 1914, and 1939, political chaos in Europe is not something devoutly to be desired.

Even the promises offered by the Brexit backers—e.g., greater financial flows back into key British institutions like the National Health Service--were pure fabrications, offered up by people like Nigel Farage and his UKIP Brexit fans to sell Brexit.  The vote was barely cast before he admitted as such.
But you can’t take back the vote. The die is cast, and everyone will have to live with the result, whatever it may be.

And then we have Climate Science and the idea of global warming. The evidence seems to be in, but we still have idiot Congresspersons, bringing snowballs into the Halls of Congress, and tossing them just to demonstrate that the Earth is not warming. “See, we still have snow, so the earth cannot be warming”.

But, when evidence is fairly clear that something is either just a bad idea, or unlikely in the extreme of being true, or, in the case of global warming, obviously true, why would otherwise rational people still go for the other side?

And here’s my theory. Organized religion.

Over many centuries, the organizers and leaders of all religions have concocted a series of stories, fairy tales I like to call them, that after death, we will have an immediate meeting with a kindly old bearded man in the sky, who will welcome us with open arms (assuming we have been good) into the kingdom of heaven (I note that Heaven is never portrayed as a democratic place, but as a kingdom).  Once there, we will be issued our set of wings, and a spot on a free cloud, where dwell all of our beloved ancestors, and loved ones. We will then chat on forever in peace and harmony.

Talk about absence of evidence.

Now, why do otherwise rational people choose to believe such patent nonsense? Well, partly because it seems preferable to the alternatives. But partly, I think, they believe because they have been programmed almost from birth to believe such tales. Even current non-believers have been subjected to this fairy story for so long that they are now capable of wishing things to be true, even when all evidence suggests the reverse is true.  In short, they are capable of acting against their own best interests because they so wish something to be true.  I guess it explains gambling casinos, the Republican Party, the Lottery, Brexit, Climate deniers, and the Donald Trump story.

At any rate, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

And, Mister Pope, stop apologizing about your corrupt Church and do something about it. How about selling the Vatican and all its contents and distributing the proceeds to the World’s poor?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Public Inanities

So, the Brits are approaching their own unnecessary cataclysm—the Brexit vote. Whatever we non-EU persons think of the EU, it does seem obvious that the British are better off within the Union than outside it, where they can influence none of its policies. The Leave argument, as best I can understand it, is that EU representatives, unelected by the British people, are daily making rules that affect everyday life in Britain, and the British people are (or ought to be) fed up.  Turns out, to belong to the EU is to have to act in accordance with its rules.  Sounds familiar . . . where have I heard that before??? Oh, yeah, it’s called the United States of America. And, we too have our TEXIT fans here, periodically threatening that Texas will secede—promises, promises.

One might think that WW I and WW II would have forever convinced the Brits that they better stay involved in European affairs, or they will suffer the consequences. But no. The Brits very own Donald Trump (aka Boris Johnson) has been scaremongering and seems to be succeeding, despite the bizarre lies being propagated about life in the EU.  What Boris neglects to mention is this little thing called the United Kingdom, which shows signs of coming apart, should Brexit be the actual decision. Scotland may well revisit its decision to remain part of the “United” Kingdom, Northern Ireland could well decide it does not wish to remain, and then there’s Wales.  So, Great Britain could soon become that tight little island called England.  The place would lose much of its appeal as an ally to the US, having lost its access to European affairs, it would have to work very hard to resecure its borders, and it would lose ready access to the Common Market, which could devastate its economy.
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play???

But what seems to be happening in Britain is similar to what has already happened here in the US of A. And that is, the public dialogue has been captured by the demagogic right wing, and the stupid people have taken over.  There really is no other explanation for the Donald Trump phenomenon, and even more for the gun non-debate.  How anyone with an IQ above 70 can even consider voting for The Donald is utterly beyond me.  People keep mentioning him in the same context as Hitler or Mussolini, but that argument fails utterly. Hitler was not stupid, just demagogic. He did sell his anti-Jewish message to a people who had been undone by WW I, and needed someone to blame. Germans wanted desperately to become once again a great nation. Hitler provided a theme around which the nation’s haters could coalesce.

But here, Trump has no such common theme. Trump is an incompetent, morally vacant businessman who has no grand strategy. Yes, he seems anti-everything, but that’s the problem. He seems to hate everyone who isn’t him.  And what is his message? Elect me and we will be great again.  What does that even mean?  He claims that: a) we aren’t great any longer; b) we are losers; and c) he will build a wall, and we will then be great once again.  Oh, and he will do something to China, unspecified, to defeat them.

That he lacks coherence is obvious, but he seems to lack the IQ to string whole thoughts together into a meaningful concept. He’s like Sarah Palin on steroids. I’m sure he and Sarah Bimbo will get along fine (she’s hot I guess), but maybe he should just marry her and get it over with.  Perhaps she will be his VP?? Wow, what a combo that would be.

So, he really is just a triumph of hate over intelligence—thank you, in part Fox News.

And then we have the gun non-debate.

The Senate actually defeated any meaningful attempt to even begin to discuss gun control.  How could that be, when the measures under “debate” weren’t even especially arguable. That folks on the no-fly list should not be allowed to buy automatic weapons?  That we should consider doing background checks before allowing folks to buy guns?

The gun crowd has become so absurd that it beggars belief that people actually believe the crap coming out of their mouths. The actual Second Amendment has nothing to do with any of this, since the “well-regulated militia” part has evaporated entirely. They just want their guns period. Facts no longer are allowed in the debate. Facts just confuse the folks with guns.

And I really can no longer even understand the NRA. One might imagine that even the NRA would not want this “debate” to move to the absurd levels to which it has fallen, since they begin to resemble some Neo-Nazi tribe.  Don’t they want to preserve any dignity?  Have you, NRA, at last, no shame???

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Group prayers. I cannot imagine anything less useful than groups of folks talking to an imaginary being about the horrific event in Orlando. After which, of course, the same folks go out and have a beer and talk about the latest episode of Veep . . . or whatever TV program gets their rocks off.
We listened to Steven Colbert interview Bill O’Reilly, mostly about Orlando—yeah, that Bill O’Reilly. And I found myself holding the TV remote (we TIVO the show), having to almost forcibly restrain myself from fast forwarding just to get rid of the lying little creep O’Reilly. But I kept reminding myself of Sun Tzu—Know Thine Enemy.

Between the shooting itself, the brainless ramblings of Donald Trump, and the astonishing calls for killing people coming from Republicans, and, especially, from pastors of the right (Christian Taliban folks), I find myself sinking into a morass of despair.   How could this country have sunk to this level of idiocy?

And then I remind myself. This is Amurrica Richard. We are at or near the ending of the great American experiment with democracy. It’s been 200 years, or thereabouts, and that is apparently the life cycle of democracies.  Between the Christian Taliban, and the criminal bankers, both seeking power in their own ways, our country has been hijacked.  We need to take it back, but we (I) seem not to know how to accomplish that. I would say that maybe some horrible event would galvanize the public, and they would then get off their collective asses and throw the bankers in prison, kick the Christian Taliban in the ass and move them back into their closets, and then take away much of the arsenal that the crazy fucking gunners (small penis crowd) seem to believe they need. No, we don’t need to take away all their guns, just most of them, and certainly all of the things that resemble machine guns.  Maybe let folks have single-shot shotguns, and single shot pistols.

See, mainly, I’m not afraid of the State taking away my freedom, so much as I fear the crazed gunners of our country taking away the lives of people I hold dear.  And we all really know that the Second Amendment was not about assuring that every crazy person in Amurrica could own a machine gun.  It was all about a “well-regulated militia”.  In some circles, that’s now called the National Guard.

But our rapid decline into third world country status isn’t just about guns (although they do go together). It’s about the failure to educate our population—our public education system used to be a shining star and it is now rapidly deteriorating into a global joke, leaving us with a seriously dumbed-down population. It’s about our health care system that leaves thousands/millions out of our care system, including our veterans who frankly deserve better.  It’s about our growing problem of student debt, which will lead eventually to the demise of our great system of higher education. It’s about our inability to create an employment base for most of our workforce—we seem not to understand that if we continue to ship all jobs overseas, we will eventually fail as a nation. And that latter isn’t a problem created by our President, or even by our singularly inept Congress. It continues to be created and maintained by our bankers and our business CEO’s who make more money that way and who care not a fig about the effects on the nation’s workforce.  They don’t care folks. They don’t care.
And that is the central problem.  Too many of our people simply don’t care. They are too busy praying to non-existent figures in the sky, or playing video games to care.

Maybe we really have lost the ability to think, and, therefore, to care. Maybe it really is all over. I keep hoping not. I keep hoping that our grandchildren will turn out smarter and more caring than we are, and that they will take back their country from the inept grasp of their forebears.


Maybe, he said hopefully, but sadly.