Tuesday, February 28, 2017

On Hating in America

We seem to be headed downhill and picking up speed. I do hope we can negotiate that 90 degree turn at the bottom of the hill before we crash through the barrier and go flying into the canyon of despair—Donald and Louise???.

It seems almost every day, we encounter more madness on the part of either our President himself, or his henchmen. And the list of henchmen grows daily. It wasn’t too bad when we just needed to worry about Bannon, Priebus and that Spicer idiot. But now, we apparently have to worry about the remains of the republican party. And I do mean remains. The coffin of that once proud institution has now been nailed shut and it has been lowered below ground.  I assume at some point, the George Will’s of the world will attend a memorial service.  Maybe they could get Ronnie Reagan, Jr. to give the  eulogy . . . “alas poor Yorick, we knew him well . . .”  But maybe not. The Reagan boys aren’t too keen on the demise of the party since Daddy ruled the waves.  In one article, they assert:

“Ronald Reagan’s sons have one thing to say to Donald Trump: We knew Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was our father. And you’re no Ronald Reagan.

The conservative 40th president has been a touchstone in practically every presidential race since he left office, but  (in 2016), from Scott Walker’s fawning tweets to Jeb Bush’s custom T-shirt, Reagan fever seems to have reached a new high.

Not only is the whole party “certainly getting him wrong as a Republican,” says Ron, the idea of comparing Trump to his father disgusts him. “I can’t think of two people who are more diametrically opposed. This egotistical, narcissistic guy with the weird comb over swanning in his private plane. … I mean, look in the mirror, fat boy. Look at that hair, you’re ridiculous! Where do you get off talking on anybody’s appearance? It’s just so unchivalrous. My father would recoil at that sort of thing.”

Michael Reagan, a conservative political strategist who hosted a talk radio program for 26 years, also questioned the idea that Republican candidates today are just like his father, especially Trump. “It’s interesting to see how many of them … recreate my father in their image and likeness instead of his,” he says. “Ronald Reagan would never take 11 million people or three million people or a million people and throw them out of the United States of America.” Plus, Michael says, talking about Reagan all the time is just bad strategy: “I have a 32 year-old daughter named Ashley. She knows who Ronald Reagan is, but name another 32 year old who does.”

And as for Donald Trump being the next Ronald Reagan? That’s ridiculous, says Michael. “To say what he said about Carly? … Is that the face we want for the Republican Party? If that’s the face, then the Democrats have to be going, ‘Go Donald!’”

So, maybe they will have to go elsewhere to find someone who will swoon over the death of the party.  I guess back to you George Will. We know you have no principles. Maybe you should restart writing about, ummm . . . maybe Bill Clinton. You did so love writing about Bill.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, America seems collectively to be losing its head.

On the one hand, we have our Congress practically swooning at the prospect of taking health care away from Americans, from Obamacare to Medicare and Medicaid.  Paul Ryan wants to “privatize” everything, which means to him, arranging to give folks a discount on buying private insurance. Ryan seriously has no actual principles. If we follow his lead, and Republicans seem to have no thoughts except his inane few, then Americans will be virtually the only nation on earth in which its people really have no actual access to health care.  Under Obama, the uninsured had reached an all-time low. Under Trump, it appears that most of the population will have no health insurance, and, therefore, no health care.  Is that really what you voted for, you angry, disaffected voters??? Really???

And then there’s North Dakota, in which a state legislator has introduced a bill to not only criminalize protests, but would allow drivers to use their automobiles to run down and even kill protestors who are in the street . . . so long as it was done “accidentally”.  Really, North Dakota??? really?? But five republican states are planning to criminalize protests. Apparently nobody ever told them about the constitutional right to peacefully assemble, including to assemble in order to protest.

So, we are fast going off the rails, or headed downhill at an increasing pace, as we approach the 90 degree turn and the barrier that we will crash through, as we head into oblivion.

It still is not clear exactly why we turned so hateful.  Perhaps we have always been so, and it took a Black President to bring all the racists out of our collective woodwork.

No one can truly claim that Kim Jung Drumpf is proving to be a surprise. What you see is what you get with him. He appeals to everyone’s lowest instincts. And the current crop of power-mad pseudo-republicans always operate at that lowest level. It is why they are practically drooling from their foaming mouths at the prospect of taking away health care from millions of Americans. Their Christian Taliban supporters will quote their bible in support of removing health care or denying freedom to Americans they hate. And HATE is the new norm for these folks. They don’t just disagree. Now, they HATE. And apparently, they are willing to kill opposing Americans.

It is the new norm in America.

And I imagine that the rest of the world is now working on new ways to cope with America, including withdrawing from agreements or in fact any contact with America. Wait until we are sitting all alone in our own universe of hate, folks. 
Get ready. Here it comes.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


We seem to have a problem . . . one might call it a serious problem.

We have a sitting President who seems rarely to speak the truth. Instead, some estimates suggest that he lies 75% of the time he speaks---75%. That means he rarely tells you something that is factually correct.

He also, perhaps because of his personality disorder, is in the habit of routinely accusing others, his opponents mainly, of committing the sins that he commits routinely. For example, he seems to know that he lies routinely, so, to distract attention from that little problem, he accuses others, again his opponents mainly, of lying. When he called Hillary, “lying Hillary”, or “crooked Hillary”, he was really trying to shift attention away from his common problem, that he lies, and is of a crooked mind.

Now we all assume that politicians tell “porkys”, or that they, at the least, exaggerate.  But with our President, something different seems to happen. He lies, even when it is patently clear to even the most disinterested observer, that he is lying. It was raining, during his inaugural address, yet he asserted that God had cleared the air for him.  He lied about the size of the crowd watching him, even when photo evidence said that the crowd was modest at best compared to the crowd that had watched Obama. He lies about the issue of illegal voters casting votes for Hillary, even though he has no evidence, and all observers tell us there is no such evidence.

He lies about issues such as murder rates, unemployment rates, when we have fairly objective evidence, available to one and all, telling us that he is lying.

So, we have a new bottom line regarding our President. That is:

We cannot trust anything Donald Trump tells us.

Nor can anyone with whom he comes into contact. That would include:

Congress persons,


Foreign officials,

Military leaders,

Business leaders.

I failed to mention church leaders, but that seems unimportant, since so many of them no longer tell the truth either.

Now, why is this serious, you might ask? Well, in normal human encounters, we all make certain assumptions about the encounter, assuming it includes some form of human communication.  One assumption is that the people with whom we converse, will communicate most of the time in words that bear some semblance of reality. That is, they will not simply make stuff up out of thin air and pretend they are communicating factually. We might look askance, for example, were we to meet a friend at night, and have him comment on how wonderful the sunshine was at the moment, when in fact there is no sunshine and the night is very dark.  Or should we meet a friend who is 450 pounds, and he comments on how slim he is looking, and would I not agree?

See, I am not talking about opinions, where there is some room for multiple views. No, I mean that there is an objective truth, and the other person denies that obvious truth. That is our President.

So, why is this important?

Well, the President speaks to the people periodically to tell us about the state of some reality—the world, our relative safety, the state of our economy, or the state we observe in the world outside our nation. He “informs” us about those states of reality. And, although, those realities are always subject to multiple opinions, because they are neither black nor white, we need to able to trust that our President will at least approximate the truth of those reality states. That is, even if he shades the truth to one side or the other, he will not simply lie about the truth.  If we cannot trust what he says, then he cannot and must not be our leader. He must be led outside and removed from his high office. Mainly, if you cannot believe what some person tells you, then you cannot have a human relationship with that person.

Again, we know that periodically most folks will tell “porkys”, bend the truth in some way that favors them, or their perspective on something. But most folks do not simply lie about almost everything. Mainly, lying is too burdensome. It requires complex webs of tales that attempt to support the lies, but only make one appear terminally stupid.

So, why would someone, especially someone as public as our President, tell us so many obvious lies? Well, apparently, this is what he has always done, so he simply is continuing his normal pattern of abnormal behavior. But in the past, i.e., before he was President, it mattered less.  Oh, it mattered doubtless to his contractors, when he hired them to do some work, and then, on completion, he simply refused to pay them, inventing some tale about their inadequate work, forcing them to sue him in order to retrieve their money.  But largely, the public was unaware and unharmed by those lies.

He apparently lies, because he is mentally out of touch with reality much of the time.  His reality differs from most of the rest of us.  His friends and associates keep making excuses, telling us that he “believes” things and so speaks according to his altered state of reality belief system.  And we are not to take him literally. We should evidently take him seriously but not literally. Now what in heavens name does that mean?  He says he will act so as to have a wall erected between the USA and Mexico. And we are to deduce that the wall might be a fence, a wall, some other kind of electronic barrier, or maybe just make believe. He says he will Make America Great Again, implying that America is not now great. But he fails to tell us in what way he will make us great again.  He says he will rearm us, return our military to its former great state, instead of whatever pathetic state it is now in.  He says he will abolish “Obama-Care”, but introduce an even greater health care system. His hyperbolic language is so extreme, that it is now the stuff of comedy dreams. Comedians everywhere are being handed a daily dose of comic material such as they could only dream of.

And this pathetic state of affairs has occurred in less than a month. Whatever are we to do for the next four years? 

He has appointed arguably the worst cabinet in the history of our pathetically ungreat nation.  Almost without exception, he has appointed people who are antagonistic to the very purposes of the institutions they will lead.  One can only assume that he intends ridding the nation of Education, Energy, Environmental Protection, Health Research, and health care for the elderly, income assurance/supplementation for the elderly, protection of the working man through labor protections, and the entire judicial system (he does hate those pesky judges always interfering with his whims).

And this is what the entire Republican Party has come to. It is now the pathetic party of Donald Trump and his circus clown car rule. Wouldn’t Lincoln be proud? One might imagine some stirrings of a sense of horror and doom out of at least some of them. But no, they are no longer a party of principles. Instead, they are the great destroyers of a once great nation. 

They cannot even address the relationship between Trump and Vladimir Putin, or even perhaps between Trump and the Russian mafia.  They seem incurious about his tax returns, even while absorbed for years about Hillary’s e-mails. 

Curiouser and curiouser.

What are to make of all this? Well, for one, it seems clear that money has taken over our political system completely. The current party in charge is the best government money can buy—thank you Citizens United.  Thank you Supreme Court.

We can and doubtless should continue to protest the ongoing stupidities perpetuated by Trump, Ryan, Bannon and the rest of his corps of pseudo-Nazi leaders.

We can hope that leakers will continue to leak information being withheld about the inner doings of the Trump carnival or the republican serfs who now serve his purposes, whatever they may be.

Mainly, we will need to work on voting and getting folks out to vote in 2018 and then again in 2020.  Voting is truly our last refuge, assuming republicans do not remove our ability to vote . . . and they will and are trying, since they no longer have any shame.

So, think and work on 2018 and then on 2020, assuming we are not all dead by then.

Til then, continue watching anyone on TV who still is allowed to make fun of our dilemma and of the Drumpf especially. He is a buffoon, and we all need to make sure he realizes that, on a daily basis. Maybe begin to write the Drumpf frequently, telling him that he is a clown. He won’t like that, but it doesn’t matter any longer. He is what he is. Call a clown a clown.

Ta ta . . .

Monday, February 6, 2017

Making America Great Again

So, the Super-Duper Bowl is now ended, and we have witnessed the yugest athletic event in the history of mankind . . . yuger even than the old Olympic events held at Olympia, Greece. As you all know, the Olympic Games were held every four years throughout Classical antiquity, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD and they were really Yuge, yuge that is until the Super-Duper Bowl. Olympia was also known for the gigantic ivory and gold statue of Zeus that used to stand there, sculpted by Pheidias, which was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by Antipater of Sidon. We are thinking that now The New England Patriots may well be designated the 11th Wonder of the World (not sure what happened to 8-10).

And President Stupidhead of course held the best ever Super-Duper Bowl party. Since “Madame First-whatever” was present, we can assume his Super-Duper Bowl Game Party was not held in Washington, since it is rumored that Madame will not set foot in Washington, since it clashes with her many ball gowns.  But his party was the Yugest party ever held in any universe. We have been told that even Darth Vader’s Galactic Bowl party was less Yuge.  Although whether that is an Alternative Fact remains to be verified.  By the way, don’t you just love Alternative Facts? That means, we can all say whatever we want, and if we label it as an Alternative Fact, we can’t be held accountable in a court of law. Besides, we now understand that, since President Stupidhead has declared that it is ok to ignore the rule of law, that anyone can now ignore the rule of law and do or say anything we want. That is what Mlle. Conway said isn’t it???

So, the only question remaining in my mind now is, will this ever end??? Well, what the hell is “this” you are thinking.  I am thinking of "this" as the unending stream of stupidities.--the thing that is preventing us from achieving our Greatness again. Perhaps it is simply the Tweeting thing. Tweeting, bound as it is to 140 characters, isn’t exactly the stuff of Shakespeare. I mean, what would the Grand William say, it we limited him to 140 characters.  

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep (
oops, out of room here, so Willy would need a second Tweet)

No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
the heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
that Flesh is heir to? 'Tis a consummation
devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; aye, there's the rub,
for in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
when we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
must give us pause. There's the respect

(oops, there we go again . . .)

that makes Calamity of so long life:
For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of time,
the Oppressor's wrong, the proud man's Contumely, [F: poor]
the pangs of despised Love, the Law’s delay, [F: disprized]
the insolence of Office, and the spurns
that patient merit of the unworthy takes,
when he himself might his Quietus make
with a bare Bodkin? Who would Fardels bear, [F: these Fardels]
to grunt and sweat under a weary life,
but that the dread of something after death,
the undiscovered country, from whose bourn
no traveller returns, puzzles the will,
and makes us rather bear those ills we have,
than fly to others that we know not of.
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
and thus the native hue of Resolution
Is sicklied o'er, with the pale cast of Thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment, [F: pith]
with this regard their Currents turn awry, [F: away]
And lose the name of Action. Soft you now,
The fair Ophelia? Nymph, in thy Orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.”

So, you get the point. President Stupidhead is automatically limiting himself to the banal commentary. He will never get any points for being, say, thoughtful, although to be fair, I doubt that anyone has ever referred to the man as thoughtful.  But, who’s to know? Maybe a couple of weeks from now, he will tire of appearing to the World as President Stupidhead and will wish to take on the mantle of President Thoughtful.  See, it all depends on which particular 140 character sets he is taking in at the moment.  So, maybe if he sees a different set of characters, he might wish to change his ways.

And what might that mean?

Well, perhaps he might begin by writing longer pieces, perhaps for his talks, and maybe even for his  discussions with foreign leaders. It is said that he will not now be invited to speak before the UK Parliament.  He is seen, evidently, as a racist and sexist. Maybe if he writes something thoughtful he could retrieve his now lost status as a person of some gravitas. Maybe then, we The American People could be seen once again as a thoughtful people, whom other cultures would wish to know.

That would be a helpful start, because I fear that collectively, we are all viewed through the prism of President Stupidhead’s 140 character tweets.  It is not simply who he is. It is, rather, who we are, and we must never lose sight of that important distinction.

So, perhaps we collectively need to begin a process of healing ourselves, by giving to our great leader (the greatest leader in the history of the world) a grander sense of who he is in the world. He is better than 140 characters.  He needs to know that.

Or maybe not . . .