Friday, March 30, 2018

Liars Beware

And so Stormy “testified” against the Drumpf on Sixty Minutes. And, the Donald denies everything.  And how would we know whether The Donald is lying? Well, the sure test is:

“Whenever The Donald opens his mouth and words come tumbling out, he is lying.”

See, that is the problem Mr. Trump has with everyone.  He acknowledges that, while meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, he lied to him. And he more or less blew it off.  And therein lies the problem. He lies to everybody; ergo, nobody can believe anything he says, even when he is being truthful.  Apparently, the only way to know whether he is being truthful is if someone you know/trust certifies that he is being truthful. Because, see, all of his colleagues/paid serfs/family serfs, lie along with him.  So, it is only if someone you actually know, or someone you can absolutely trust, will say he is truthful that you can sigh and relax.

But what does that mean in practical terms? Well, it means that Trump is useless in any conversation in which agreements are sought.  So, if, say, an arms agreement were being negotiated, one would not want to have Trump in the room. He would screw it up simply by being present.  So, for example, Trump heading off to negotiate with China, or with his buddy Kim Jung Un about nuclear disarmament, is a total waste of time. Mainly, neither Trump nor Kim could be believed in any final agreement. Even if Trump agreed to some final solution, it would not matter, because he might change his mind tomorrow.

The scary thing about Trump and his lying is that it is not actually clear, when he says something, that he knows he is lying, or even knows that he is being truthful. He simply says stuff that he imagines people want to hear, or stuff that he imagines will make him look good.  He may say something not even knowing whether it is truthful. Accompanying his constant lying is his apparent ignorance about most subjects. I guess because he doesn’t/can’t read anything, he really doesn’t seem to understand anything in any detail. Maybe he just deals in headlines, and never reads or understands the accompanying text.  Like when he called his buddy Vlad the Impaler to congratulate him on his election, he perhaps did not understand that Vlad had rigged the election, in ways that most American Presidents would disapprove of. Now, to be fair, he isn’t “most American presidents”. He isn’t like any previous American President, but is rather, in a class by himself—a class of awfulness to be sure.
In any case, what this all means, is that Trump should not be an active participant in any agreement, or conversation leading to an agreement.  His staff should be allowed to negotiate all such agreements without Trump being present. He can sign the agreements, of course. Just don’t let him read any of them (oh, but I forget, he really cannot/would not read them anyway).

The other problem for Mr. Trump is that, because he cannot and should not be believed when he says something, no one will/should believe him, even if he speaks the truth. So, he will lose, even in the unlikely event he is actually saying something truthful.

His lying, his palpable ignorance about most subjects, and his willful behavior really explain his utter lack of success about almost everything he has ever attempted. Three failed/failing marriages, six bankruptcies, the development and then failure of seemingly fraudulent enterprises like Trump University are all explained fully by his standard behavior patterns.  He seems not to understand how anything runs, so he cannot really take charge, or “manage” anything. He needs to have others manage his enterprises, or they would all surely fail.  Having him pretend to be our senior executive over all of our government is way beyond just a horribly bad joke.  His assertions that he would assign responsibility for reorganizing government, and then also resolving the Middle East mess to his son-in-law Jared was so startling that it seemed that he must surely have been joking. But, no, he was as serious as he ever gets, at least at that moment. He simply did not understand what he was saying, because he understands almost nothing.  His constant hiring and firing of the heads of his cabinet posts also is consistent with his standard behavior practices. He hires people now who seemingly have not the slightest understanding of their intended positions or the agencies they are being asked to run.  Then, eventually, he tires of their ineptitude (by his definition of aptitude) and fires them.  It makes one wonder whether he is truly in process of destroying the entire US Government.  I am confident that his supporters would applaud such a finding, but they are as ignorant as our president.

It is difficult to now imagine how this all ends.  He will not be impeached I would guess, because the republican party no longer has any ethical standards at all. In the unlikely event all republicans are voted out of office in 2018 and 2020, I suppose we might depose him and his henchmen.  I no longer have any belief in such an outcome. The seeming constancy of his support, 40% and holding, makes me fear for what that says about America.  I might think/imagine differently were I a 30-something. But I am now in my 45th 39th year and my trust in America is now failing. I hope I am wrong and perhaps the youngsters—the teenagers who have behaved so wonderfully and made their “adults” look so tragically awful—perhaps they will rescue all of us from ourselves.  One can only hope, I guess.

So carry on teenagers. Our future is now in your hands, as soon as you can pry it from your adult ne’er-do-wells.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Darkness Descending

Lately I have become even darker than my usual cranky old man demeanor.  Partly, I guess, it is a function of aging. The closer to an ending, the darker is my hue. Partly, obviously, our absurd political situation is to blame. To observe this destructive clown (apologies to clowns everywhere) wreaking havoc on a daily basis, because he is both too stupid to understand what he is doing, and also because he simply doesn’t care about the effects of his actions on others, including on the Nation as a whole, is frankly more than disheartening.

And then, of course, one need only look abroad at the continued carnage in that place formerly called the Middle East, and now called Murderers' Row, to see that much of the rest of the world is an absurdity.  People there kill partly out of religious absurdity and partly just because they get off on killing.—sort of like the NRA here.

I have been thinking about our very own home-grown idiocies, and I have difficulty understanding how the moron’s support continues. He carries out some ridiculous action via his 3-4 AM Tweets, and the rest of us just gasp in disbelief. He appoints people to high level positions who are, purposefully, opposed to the very idea of the agency’s they now run.  He appoints people who seemingly know nothing, and we are expected to applaud.  And his supporters do just that.
How? How can they? Are they simply residents in Hillary’s infamous “Basket of Deplorables”? How could that be?

And then, upon ruminating a bit more, I finally conclude that his supporters are like him in attitude. They no longer care. Every time he does something terminally stupid, and his opponents gasp in anger and disbelief, his supporters smile, and perhaps even cheer him on. Because, they are now like bomb-throwers. They are getting someone else to do what they really want to do themselves—burn the place down, blow it up, and whatever comes as a result, let it come, because it couldn’t be worse than what they have been observing with the so-called rational folks in charge.  Many of his supporters are racists who hated the thought of Obama, and the idea of Hillary made them want to throw up.  Hillary and the Dems never really understood the level of hostility generated by Hillary every time she opened her mouth.  So, when the Trump yelled “Lock her up” they cheered in response.  Partly, they were being given an outlet for their rage about Obama, and partly, Hillary just provided a convenient target for their abuse.

And now, they seemingly just don’t care what happens.

So observing this mess that is now our country is dispiriting at best.  

Partly, too, the fact of the ending, now coming into view, pulls me into a worldview that is no longer optimistic and filled with possibilities. I see the missed opportunities more than I see the possible openings, because the openings seem fewer and less plausible. I watched a film the other day with Ben Stiller about Life’s missed opportunities called  Brad’s Status. As I watched, I began thinking back to all the career life mistakes I had made, and the missed opportunities that lay therein. Would’a, could’a should’a wandered through my head all night. Guaranteed to make your day.

But then we return to the wonderful world of Today.  Between The Donald-Doofus-in-Charge, the NRA death-mongrels, and the Facebook thieves of Cambridge Analytica (needs to be shut down) we have a real mess here in Amurrica. Enough to make one wonder just when we plan on descending into some other Hell-hole—the Middle East anyone?

Well, enough Richard. You will die soon enough, so try to enjoy your remaining time here on this spinning globe (take that Flat-Earthers).  And speaking of Flat-Earthers, I wonder whether they are all related to the Donald, who is, as far as we know, the stupidest person on the planet.

Meanwhile, the sun just came out today. So, perhaps my mood will lighten. Ignore all the crap in the world if you can, and there is much there. There are bright angels all around you, people smiling despite the idiot-savants of the world.  When they smile at you, smile back. Pretend you're an elephant and Carol is feeding you Cheerios. See, you can smile after all.
Ta ta.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Suicide Ideation

Suicide Ideation: I heard this term today from someone. It caused me to think about the end of life thing. Suicide means that you end your own life prematurely.  Life, actually, eventually ends your life, whether you like it or not.  And there is no meaning to any of it, life . . . death . . . unless you personally attach your own values or meaning to it.

I suppose there is this point about being deeply religious. It gives you an explanation for death, and even, sometimes, for life.  Religion often informs people of why they are here, and, also, what happens after life ends.  Mostly, such folks have great expectations for the “what happens after” thing.  You know, you climb into a bus, and the bus driver takes you to the gates . . . you know, those pearly gates thingie. And then the big guy formally decides whether you are staying there, and he (always a “he”) opens those gates, allowing you to enter, or he shakes his head and says, um, no, you are going to take the down elevator to Hell. Sorry, but you really didn’t pass muster down there on Earth.  And if you used to be good enough, you get assigned to a cloud, a harp and a friendly group of family and friends. Then you also get to oversee the folks not yet dead (remember at many funerals, the dude in charge often comments that, “he is in a better place and is looking down upon you now”. To be honest, that never seemed much fun, looking down on all the dudes and dudettes down below doing their thing and having fun, or not, while you just float up there observing.

Whereas those of the non-religious persuasion believe that life simply ceases, and nothing follows . . . nothing.  I have observed this belief several times in these pages, about my best understanding of the end of life.  You simply stop “being”. And you don’t know it, because your brain ceases to function.  All awareness just stops, and nothing follows. Again . . . and you don’t know it.  So, at one level, my concept is scary . . . that not knowing it thing. What will it be like, no longer seeing anything, because your brain stops working? At another level, though, it simply is, not scary or not wonderful. Neither emotion fits. But, because there is no Hell in my view, there is no longer anything to scare you about the end.

But my view also precludes any serious thoughts of suicide. Because, I guess, my life has been a mixed bag, but has been on average way better than it might have been, given my beginnings—great family, lots of exciting happenings throughout, beauty aplenty. Sure, down times too. But I think that’s the definition of life, some good, some bad, on average at least interesting.  I was created during the Great Depression (why would anyone create a kid during the Great Depression, you might wonder). So, early life was spare. Since daddy refused to do his job (be a father) my mom had to pick up the pieces. So, we survived, because she insisted we survive. And then came that Great War thingie, the war to end all wars, or WW II for short.  That was clearly a mixed bag. Scarcity, folks elsewhere being killed routinely, a relative or two going off to foreign climes, and then that happened. And I grew up, thanks to my caring mom. Several trips to the hospital to correct street happenings, but I survived.  We all mostly survived, despite the mental and physical bruises . . . leaving scars you never quite forget.  But life continues, and that is the definition of life after all. You get to kick the crap aside and just get on with it, to extract all the good juices you can.

So, when anyone talks about suicide, I have to believe they haven’t been thinking straight. I guess it is possible to focus all the time on the bad stuff in life. And almost everyone has some bad stuff to remember. But life really is a balancing act. And you, each and every one of us, has to do the balancing. If you understand that bad stuff will happen, but that you just need to get on, so as to grab the golden rings of life, you will survive the bad and the good. And then at some point, it all ends anyway. But, you really don’t want it to end until you really have sucked life dry. You need to get all the good stuff, ignoring the crap as much as possible (that includes the Trumps of the world) and live it to its fullest end point. That is what life is really all about. Life is all about beauty and laughter. Yeah, it includes ugly and crying (see Trump), but that’s just crap to be kicked aside. You cannot let the uglies dictate your life. Instead, let the beauty and the laughter be your life. Let you dictate your life.  There really are evil people in the world (see Nazi’s) and they really do screw up many lives. But if you’re lucky, you can maneuver around the ugly people and head to the light. When it ends and everything turns dark, you want to be smiling if at all possible.

So, should suicide cross your mental map, walk right on, ignore it. Only you can decide how you want life to proceed. And proceed it will. Let the sun shine in. And smile.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Emperor Butthead

Emperor for Life
So, the Chinese premier/President, or whatever he is, has now proposed that he be allowed to serve for the rest of his life, creating a new form of Emperor-dynasty system in China. It is not as though they haven’t been there before, but we all had imagined that China had graduated from the emperor system to something approximating a democratic governmental system.  I guess the temptation to retreat to a system that eliminates the need for thinking is just too great. Still, it kind of surprises me.

And then, President Doofus allowed as how he liked the Chinese emperor-wannabe, and thought perhaps we might try the same system.  And I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. See, if Borowitz proposed something like that, I would know to laugh, cuz Andy is a satirist and writes stuff like that all the time. But when Stupidhead says that, well maybe he’s just being stupidly comedic, or maybe the thought just entered his head . . . “hey, president (emperor??) for life. Hell, if the Chinese are thinking that, why not me and here?” Then, when he is criticized, he can just have one of his dumbass spokespeople (Sarah huckleberry) tell us that he was just joking . . . haha, she will say with her dark face scowling at us.

This all makes me wonder, mainly about us. See, we know President Doofus really doesn’t know anything, mainly because he can’t/won’t read.  I assume it’s the untreated ADHD thing. He apparently can’t sit still and focus long enough to read anything beyond a dinner menu.  Even there, I’ll bet he can’t stay focused beyond the triple cheeseburger and fries whopper. So, imagine him trying the read the Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution, or any history book, or much of anything that explains our government. See, we know he doesn’t even understand his own business, since he has failed so many times. He starts a fake university and then when he gets called out because it’s fake, he just bumbles along and gets out of the way.  But it seems the same with almost anything he has begun. He seems to think if he’s in charge of something, it means he can do anything he wants. And if it fails, then someone else will come along and pick up the pieces.

So, when he achieved the Presidency (Emperorhood??) he had no idea what that actually meant. Only that, he was in charge of something called the United States Government.  Which meant, of course, that he now could really do anything he wanted with, to and about the thing called The Government.  So, when he appoints Jared to “fix” the Middle East mess, and “reorganize” the Federal Government, he has no idea what that means, only that it seems like it’s something that might be fun to do. And surely Jared can handle that, along with managing his own businesses.  Since he doesn’t actually do anything, aside from telling other folks what he wants done, he doesn’t know how anything works.  Telling Jared to fix the Middle East is not unlike me telling my 6-year old grandkid to fix the fucked up global banking system. It would be funny if not so tragic and so dangerous.

That’s the problem. President Doofus doesn’t really understand anything. So when he says, tariff wars are a good thing and easy to win, he really has no idea what he is saying.  It’s just words tumbling out of his mouth in some vaguely understandable order. But he might as well be speaking in Icelandic, for all he understands what he just said.

See, then the real problem begins. Because people begin to treat what he says seriously. And at least a few of the people who are within his neighborhood (e.g., the White House) have an understanding that what he just said has potential consequences and that those consequences might not be all that great for America.  If people abroad find what he said threatening, they will begin to utter threatening words in response. And then he will begin twittering in response, as any annoyed two-year old would do.

You might imagine, even in this less than perfect world in which we live, that there might be some actual adults in the room who could step in to address his inanities.  But if they did, he would just fire them and/or insult them so that they would quit.

And what about Congress you might ask? Won’t they step in and tell him that his latest idea is less than wonderful? Well, no, there is nobody left in Congress with a functioning brain. Paul Ryan is too busy trying to eliminate Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. So he has a Do Not Disturb sign on his office that is permanently affixed.  And Mitch? Yeah, Mitch . . . hahahahahahahaha. He actually has no functioning brain, but you knew that.

And the Dems mainly sit on the sidelines sucking their thumbs and asking for $5.00. Ivanka anyone?

So, meanwhile, back at the ranch, we folks called citizens are just watching the latest TV utterances and pouring ourselves another drink. Maybe we can stay drunk long enough not to notice when President Doofus decides to nuke San Francisco . . . just cuz he can, don’t you know.

Happy hour every hour. Drink on me hearties.