Monday, September 28, 2020

Election sabotage is real and happening now....


   I have a friend of many years who is getting worried about whether or not we can manage to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.  The reason for this is a flow of information that is coming his way that is all about how weak Biden is, how he's failing to get out on the campaign trail, how Trump is outdoing him in every possible way.  Some of this (mis)information has even suggested that there is no point in even making the effort to vote. 

  As of this morning, all of this has my friend--who is not a timid or easily persuaded person, and is a combat veteran as a marine in 'Nam--feeling rather bleak about the whole election business.  No wonder. 

  So, I suggested some news feeds that, while liberally biased, at least do not lie like so many of the right-leaning sites do.  Ol' Tucker Carlson, according to Politifact (a non-partisan site dedicated to sorting out the cavalcade of lies coming from any and all sources) almost never tells the truth, all the while telling serious lies, rated, "Pants on Fire" about 40% of the time.  These are not merely un-truths, they are outrageous distortions and outright whole-cloth falsehoods.  If you look up Sean Hannity you find that he's a continuous liar as well.  So is Laura Ingraham.  It seems that the right has pretty much written off telling the truth as counter-productive and just plain damned inconvenient.  Sound familiar?  The Idiot himself long ago decided (and was taught from an early age by his good ol' dad), to lie.  It's at the very core of his entire approach to life: lie whenever it is convenient or necessary.  Just lie your ass off and let the devil take the hindmost.

  It comes as no surprise then, that there are a host of conservatives out there who also embrace lying as a way of 'getting things done'.  Whatever it takes, and not to worry about the old Boy Scout bull that lying is wrong.  Lying is, well, just lying.  If it serves your purpose, then carry on. 

 When you have a president whose political strategy--if you can really call it that....more of a default to whatever is handy and seems to promote his agenda--is built around denying the truth and building a sand-castle out of lies, this is about what we can expect.  However, the problems with this approach are HUGE.

  For starters, once you have become un-moored from facts and the truth concerning any particular situation, the world becomes a very foggy place where things are often so distorted that reality is a distant silhouette, a vague hologram of the truth.   People need certain durable 'truths' to use as a guide for living their lives in a manner that is grounded in reality.  They will start to 'wander in the woods' when no firm guidance exists. And, that is exactly what the Idiot wants.  He wants people, as he's said publicly, to listen to what he says and to not believe their eyes and ears.  He craves having the power of telling them what is true according to the Gospel of St. Trump.  And, he does this at every possible juncture.  His rallies are nothing more than cheering sessions for all the lies he feeds them. 

  It's a marvelous list:  from how perfectly he handled the whole pandemic thing...which is all but gone as we sit here, right?  He would never collude with people like Vladimir Putin...argh, no way.  The wall is a great success...and the Mexicans will still be paying for it.  He has a health plan that will be ever so much better and cheaper than Obamacare. His small hands are not good indicators of his penis-size.  He never touched Stormy Daniels....or any of the dozens of women who have accused him of assaulting them sexually.  Oh, it just goes and goes.....

God help us if we let him have his way.....

    He's a sleazy liar.  That much is true.  Everything that pops out of his mouth, however is not.

  So, here we are, only thirty-five days until this country makes a decision that will determine if we are going to remain a democracy, or slide off toward becoming a full-blown autocracy....yes, a dictatorship. 

  If we do not get up and out and exercise our right to vote, and to have a free and fair election, unencumbered by cheating, lying and all kinds of evil machinations...then we will have nobody to blame but ourselves.  I know you recall the poem, (and there's a song), about the man who took in a frozen snake and brought it back to life....and, it, of course, bit him.  He was indignant, but the snake merely said, "You knew I was a snake when you took me in."  

  Many, perhaps even most, of us knew Donald J. Idiot was a liar, a despot wannabe and virtually incapable of honesty or even DECENCY.  He slipped one over on us last time, winning the electoral college despite being approximately THREE MILLION votes behind Clinton.  Ouch. 

  If we let him do it this time around, shame on us.  The old saw comes to mind: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, SHAME ON ME."

  Pay attention America.  This is a make or break moment in our history.  Who are we going to be in the years ahead?  If we allow the Idiot to take over and have his way, we will continue to be the laughing stock of the rest of the world, and we'll also be in Putin's pocket...because he definitely has something on ol' Donny the Dupe.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Turning toward the Dark-side.....


    I just watched video of street violence in Portland OR.  It was comprised of two sides feinting and dodging as they swiped at each other with long batons, and squirted great geysers of what I can only assume was pepper-spray.  Both sides had a variety of home-made shields, masks, helmets, what looked like re-purposed hockey or football pads, and the energy was intensely chaotic....the feeling one gets when adrenalin has surged and taken away any ability to act rationally.

  Both sides in this street drama are hyper-energized and feeling that they are 'right' and the other side is their enemy.  The hatred that is the engine driving all of this is virulent and deep.  It's hard to imagine either side pulling back and admitting that this is not a productive way forward.  No.  They are so devoted to their 'causes' in each case that the violence will not only persist; it will grow and perhaps even surge out of control.....just like the wildfires that are assaulting so much of the western U.S.  

  One has to wonder how anything positive or optimistic can come of this. There may be circuitous arguments that take the long view and posit that social breakdown is a precursor to healing and a new lease on exactly 'who we are', as a people and as a country....but, the truth is, violence leaves a bad taste in all the parties' mouths.  It foments a deeper hatred of the 'other' side, and that just leads to more, until you have a situation like we have seen in so many third world countries over the last decades, i.e. de facto Civil War.  

  And, once that cat is out of the bag, nobody can get it back in.  The strife in Northern Ireland is a perfect illustration of how violence begets violence.  It went on for generations, each successive generation carrying forward bitterness and hatred of a deep purple nature.  When asked why they were invested in continuing to kill each other, many of the fighters simply shrugged and said, more or less, "Well, it's what we do, have always done...and, it won't stop on my account."  

  There are parallels in this country as well.  If you drive around northern Virginia, and stop in at lunch counters, convenience stores and other local gathering spots, you will frequently encounter photographs of  Confederate generals, i.e. Massa Rob't Lee, of course, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Jeb Stuart, Stonewall Jackson, and on and on.  Some of these individuals were really terrible human beings, hardly deserving to be referred to as such.  Nathan Bedford Forrest, for example, was essentially the CSA's equivalent of Reinhard Heydrich.  He was a beast of a man who ordered his troops to massacre over 300 black Union soldiers who had surrendered after the battle at Fort Pillow.  Later on, he was also a Grand Wizard in the KKK and a despicable human being at large.  But, in the south, he's still a 'hero' of the Confederacy...and the present day south.

   The bitterness and pain of a war that ended 155 years ago still persists.  In fact, one could argue that said bitterness is as virulent as it has been at any time since 1865.  

   And, here we are again: at each others' throats, intending to harm other Americans because their vision for our country conflicts with ours.  The violence also plays right into Donald J. Asshole's agenda.  He WANTS this to be happening because it gives him an opening to be the 'Law and Order' president and he'll, "....dominate the streets", as he has tried to do in several cities this last few months since the George Floyd murder and BLM protests began.  Were it not for the military sending him notice that they would under no circumstances be pitted against Americans in American cities, who knows how far the Idiot would have gone.  He craves this kind of thing, wants big North Korean style military parades passing in front of him as he gloats on a canopied dais.  

  If we allow this chaotic influence to continue growing, we will soon arrive at a point of no return and we will have, as I have mentioned before several times, our own national nightmare.  We will be shooting each other over differences that could have been addressed rationally and calmly.  And, that will only lead to more of the same....and on and on.

  It breaks my heart to think we cannot find a way to avoid this eventuality.  We are better than least, I hope we are.

Friday, September 25, 2020

The word 'coup' is trending.....


    Every morning, almost without exception,  I make an effort to survey a broad selection of online news sources.  Sorry, but I cannot bear to subject myself to the Propaganda Ministry on Fox.  Politifact indicated a while back that Fox lies approximately 87% of the time and individuals like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham are so odious that I just don't want any exposure to their illnesses....and they are indeed ill and highly toxic.

  But, I do make an effort to at least know what is receiving the most attention from the media at large...i.e. what is 'trending'.  And, in the last few days the word, 'coup' has begun popping up with enough regularity that it falls into that trendy category. So, what's the deal?

  For starters, let's take a look at what 'coup' actually means.  It comes from the French verb, 'couper', pronounced, 'ku-pay'.  And,  it means 'to cut', as in '...coupez le fromage' , i.,e. 'cut the cheese', not flatulence, actually taking a knife and slicing a hunk of sharp cheddar.  Okay, flatulence too.  But, in the context of politics and the power of the state vs. the power of the people it becomes a  'Coup d'etat', and it means to stop the current government, separate it from it's ability to act in any manner, and to replace it with the next regime. This can happen in a 'bloodless' revolution, or a violent one.  I have no idea which is the most frequent, but they both result in a lawless change of regimes.  The 'law'--if we can even call it that--is Mao's law of revolution: "All power flows from the barrel of a gun."

  In the present situation, it would mean that Donald J. Idiot defies any and all laws or other constraints on his power as president and simply takes over the government with no accountability to anyone but himself.  He would toss out the Constitution, the body of law that has derived from its principles and any conventional policies or guidelines that normally dictate how the office of the president must, or at least should, behave.  

   Like his long admired dictator friends--you know the list of despots, with Vladimir Putin at the top--the Idiot would command the military and all law enforcement agencies and have them do his personal bidding. Their roll in society would become that of oppressors, using the terror of their eagerness to use brutality at the drop of a hat to eliminate any and all opposition. The media would either fall into line and spout his own propaganda, or it would be suppressed, again, by whatever means he chose.  Whatever he fantasized as the unaccountable leader of the once great country he will have what he would inflict via his own now dominant power.  He would be a straight-up dictator....given his wishes anyway.

  More and more psychiatric and psychological leaders in their areas of expertise are coming forward and telling us in no uncertain terms that this man is extraordinarily DANGEROUS.  From many years (even before he was in politics) of observing his behavior in a wide variety of circumstances, they have overwhelmingly reached this conclusion.  The Idiot will use any and all means to achieve his goal of becoming a dictator.  Laws and the Constitution mean absolutely nothing to him.  He will do what he is inclined to do regardless.

  So, it now becomes a matter of our own survival that we do absolutely everything we can to hand him the defeat of a lifetime.  The results of this impending election need to be definitive....leaving not the merest shred of doubt what the will of the people is:  get rid of this greedy, dishonest, destructive, power-hungry beast.  And, replace him with a man that all of us have known for decades and, while not the charismatic vote magnet that Obama was, is a person worthy of our trust and our respect and support.  I feel perfectly safe in saying that there is no hidden despot inside Joe Biden.  He is exactly what he appears to be, and that is a good thing after dealing with this incumbent Idiot.

  Let me be clear here: we either really get our backs up and stage the most decisive election in modern history....or we will become mired in a struggle by the Idiot to de-legitimize the election and our entire democracy along with it.  He has already telegraphed his moves:  he will continue to denigrate the voting process, claiming without any evidence whatsoever that mail-in, aka absentee, ballots are necessarily fraught with problems and are a 'disaster', as he keeps insisting.  Once he's been voted out, he will attempt to drag the entire electoral process through the courts and his plan is that the Supreme Court will then anoint him emperor.  He's sure this is his way to another term, because he's personally stacked SCOTUS in his favor.  

  The scary part of all of this is that he actually could pull it off.  

  But, the vast majority of Americans, despite all of his claims otherwise, already know that he's a con-artist, a wannabe king who has pretentions to maybe even go beyond the legally allowed two terms.  If ol' Dipshit Donny-boy gets his way, he will do so.  He's made it clear that he envies Putin, Xi, Kim Jong Un, Duterte, Erdogan, Mohammed bin Salman, Bolsonaro, and on and on.  He loves the idea of being a 'strong man' who dictates how things will go and knows more than, hell, ANYBODY. that mud.....or shit on him?
    Pay close attention now.  His plan is already in action.  It's been in play since he started talking about how the only way the Dems can win is if they cheat.  And, he attempted to disrupt even the Post Office and their ability to deliver the millions of mail-in ballots.  He has actually been somewhat successful in that endeavor because he installed a rich sycophant, DeJoy, to go in and turn the place on its ear.  And, DeJoy got a running start at it, all the while claiming he was just making the USPS more efficient.  He lies as easily as his demented boss.

  As we get closer to the election the Idiot is doing everything in his power to rev-up his base followers.  He's sent them copious dog-whistle hints that violence is okay if the Dems are getting the upper hand.  He is completely prepared to incite actual societal CHAOS if it appears that he is in danger of getting tossed out of the White House. He's made this as clear as he can, without actually stating it in plain language. 

   FWIW: Did you know that Hitler never signed orders, or acknowledged in any way that he ordered the Holocaust?  He just hinted strongly at what he wanted and functionaries like Himmler, Heydrich and so many more, put plans in action.....and mass murder on a scale never imagined followed.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Wisdom, An Endangered Quality


    I majored in philosophy in college.  The word itself translates as, "love of wisdom".  But, the term 'wisdom' itself is less clear.  Looking at various dictionaries online, I see that it is one of those words that is tricky, so they have done cute little tricks like,"...the quality of being wise".  Or they just resort to using synonyms, like 'sagacity'.  This gets a little silly.  Okay, says I, what is 'wise'?

   Well, it's a bit like some other hard to nail down qualities, like 'love' or 'truth'.  One can dance around, trying to gain some sense of it.  How would you define it to a non-English speaker, for instance?  In the end, you may well end-up saying, "Well, it's just one of those things that you know when you experience it." Aside: you can't really 'see' it, so witnessing it is about as close as we can get to 'knowing' it.

  I have had the wonderful privilege of being in the company of several truly 'wise' people this lifetime. She'll give me a roll of the eyes for saying it, but, my wife, Abigail is wise. Okay, not always...but, she most frequently has a handle on what will work best and also be the 'right thing' to do in any given situation.  My tendency is to react emotionally and launch a diatribe against the insults, injustices, un-kindnesses and just plain wrong things that we are encountering seemingly every day now.

  The actual application of 'wisdom' to any situation or problem is one of those things that, again, makes itself known by the result it achieves.  When confronted by a difficult ethical situation, where right and wrong are not just a simple and obvious way forward, a truly wise person will come up with something that seems to both recognize not only what the conflict is, but also what constitutes a reasonable response to it.  It uses more than logic, more than massive applied thinking.  The Heart Quality is in the mix.  

Compassion personified

   Okay, but what does that feel like?  It means that in considering all the possible ways of responding to a difficult problem, one must necessarily include compassion, or the ability to apprehend what both sides are feeling and even why they are feeling that way.  'Empathy' is another term that the dictionaries tend to dance around.   But, like 'compassion' it means that we can step out of our own, limited and usually skewed viewpoint, and understand that of another person....even when we may disagree vehemently with it.

 A truly wise person is not given to fits of egoic pique.  They are able to remain centered and feel the heart quality that is either missing or present, and by doing this, a wise person comes to a conclusion that will address opposing views with equal consideration.  Wisdom is a kind of compassionate overview of any given problem or situation.  We know it when we experience it first hand.  When a person is strongly invested in their own opinion being 'right' and is unwilling to even consider any others that are not in line with it....that is the functional opposite of being wise. It has earned little respect in that regard, often being described as 'pig-headed', 'stubborn', 'opinionated' and on and on.  We tend to not respect people when they act this way.  

  And, when we encounter a person who is able to rise above the differences and distinctions that divide people, we....most of us, anyway....recognize that as 'being wise'.  

  Ruth Bader Ginsberg, bless her, spent her entire professional life demonstrating compassion and wisdom.  She cared about the plight of the women and minorities in this society, and her interpretations of the Constitution were heavily flavored by that caring.

  Then we have the opposite in play.  You already know I am going to use the man I fondly refer to as 'The Idiot' as an example.  Donald J. Idiot is missing a large part of his personality that would render him a decent human being.  I'm sorry. It's just NOT THERE.   He revels in other peoples' pain, and has, in fact, demonstrated distinctly sadistic tendencies.  HE VISIBLY ENJOYS THE SUFFERING of anybody he has decided is his enemy....and that is anybody who dares to disagree with him.

A Mind is a precious thing to lose.

  He is unable to tell the truth and almost never does.  If he does, it is usually by accident, as when he said to Bob Woodward that he actually did know the virus was extremely deadly....all the while telling the American people that it was a 'hoax' , would pass quickly and no really effective prevention measures were necessary.  He lies because he thinks it will advance his personal gain more power and booty, i.e. re-election at present. 

   For his knuckle-draggers, lying is not a problem.  Hell, they probably do it too, so why would they hold their idol to a higher standard?  The evangelicals don't seem to mind that Donny boy is a life-time skirt chaser and violator of women, their bodies and their rights. He's a philanderer, adulterer, and general sleaze-ball....none of it is a problem for people who claim that they are practicing Christians and have a high moral standard themselves. 

  But, do they really?  How can they make a claim for their own moral uprightness and also embrace the leadership of such a down and rotten dirt-ball?  I still don't get it.  Hypocrisy is so rife throughout the GOP that perhaps they don't even recognize it anymore.  A good example at the present time, is this latest series of events that has unfolded after the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg....where Moscow Mitch McConnell completely reversed his 2016 declaration that supreme court justices should be picked by the people, and not by a lame duck president.  Really?   Turtle-man is so morally corrupt that he couldn't find his conscience if it literally bit him in the ass.  And, it will.,....sooner or later, at some point before his soul leaves his body, Ol' Moscow Mitch will realize that he's been a turd of a human being.  He may have beaten his conscience into submission for now....but it will rise at the proper moment and he will see the truth of his misdeeds.

  What we're experiencing an entire a dearth of Wisdom. It's out there in isolated cases, like RBG, but, for the most part people are just arguing for their own viewpoint, and rejecting any and all others.  We are divided now more than we have been at any time since the Civil War...and, as a result of being absolutely unwilling to even allow opposing views to exist, we are headed for a scenario that will quite possibly turn into something of a modern Civil War...our very own National Nightmare.

  When wisdom, and its integral quality Compassion have gone....violence is the most frequent path that awaits us.  To exacerbate the situation, we are a very heavily armed society.  No, I am not saying that we need to try and disarm America. That will never happen; we are way too far down the path of an armed citizenry to reverse it now.  And, we should not have to do that either.  

   If people can stop thinking that their opinion is the only one worth considering, and that all those who disagree with them are the 'enemy' other words, if people--at least a larger segment of us--can manage to rediscover what it means to be wise, and to demonstrate compassion, then there is a chance that we will avoid turning toward the Dark-Side and violence.  

  But, for many decades, I have felt that it would take some very painful and difficult circumstances to motivate such a change.  As my wife says frequently:  "It needs to break-down before we can fix it." And, it may just be that the Idiot has been sent to do just that: instigate chaos and all hell breaking loose.

 The question is:  how far down the path of self-destruction do we have to go before we realize that it is a bad choice and we decide to make some changes for the better?

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Passing of an American Giant.


     Regardless of anything he could possibly do in the hopefully short time the Idiot has left in politics....he will never even touch the accomplishments of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.  What you have are two examples of extremes in personalities.  On the one hand, RBG spent her entire life doing whatever she knew to be the right thing, serving the 'little people' and trying to make legal decisions that would make their lives feel more fair, less abused by an uncaring system.  

   On the other hand, you have a man who has spent his entire life doing anything at all to accumulate wealth and power.  And, while the Justice has left a legacy that will be a permanent part of American jurisprudence and go into the history books for multiple accomplishments....poor Donny-boy will have a legacy that is shrouded in a dark vail of intentional harm inflicted on others in order to get his way.  He has behaved as poorly as possible, especially in terms of just being a decent Human Being.  No need to take his inventory again; you already know the list, at least most of it.  He's a cess-pool of a man.  He has no hesitation to lie, cheat, steal, and to commit any act that will further his personal greed...for both money and power.  History will not be kind to Donald John it won't.

  So, on the other side of the equation we have a woman who will--already does, actually--have a legacy that historians will use as an example of a pioneer in her field and one who demonstrated not only the highest sense of duty and a devotion to ideals, but was willing to struggle mightily....even as she fought bravely to beat cancer.....and still perform her duties as a justice, in order to serve the people, and particularly the women, who otherwise would have little to no standing in the arcane world of constitutional law.  She was diminutive in stature...physically....and a giant in terms of her impact on people even beyond the United States.  Ruth Bader Ginsberg was cut from the same cloth as John Lewis, a hero for our time, and a decent human being on all accounts.

  Donald J. Idiot is the complete antithesis of RBG. If you wrote down a list of character qualities and how they range the spectrum from Heroic to Depraved Indifference, from compassionate to sadistic, you could use these two people to illustrate the polar opposites at either end of it.  She was everything a human being would aspire to be, and he is an example of what it means to remain totally unconscious throughout one's life.  She was willing to sacrifice; he is willing to sacrifice others...their well-being, even their order to get what he wants for himself.

  In the world of ethical philosophy they are as starkly juxtaposed as it is possible to be.  And, she is on her way to being an example to future generations.  Mothers will hold her up as a person of wisdom and intelligence....and, more importantly, a person of great compassion.  Donny-boy is destined to become a cartoon-character of a politician who was so self-obsessed and so out and out despicable that he will have managed to raise the bar for how disgusting a human being in a responsible position can be.  He will be understood as having been mentally-ill and very harmful to all that he touched.  Historians will debate for generations how he managed to gain such a high office. 

  I have always felt...yes, since childhood....that money is life's major distraction.  So many people are charmed by its massive allure and spend their entire lives trying to amass it.  But, at some point, an older soul sees that money is a trap.  Unless you really decide to use it for philanthropic purposes and attempt to right at least some of life's 'wrongs', it will destroy you.....especially in terms of your ability to be a decent and loving person.

  I grew up around rich people.  I saw clearly by the time I was an adolescent that many of them were leading useless and very unhappy lives.  I knew one fellow whose father had invested in IBM very early on and made a king's ransom.  The son, Basil, just could not figure out how to live his life in a way that was satisfying and happy.  He compounded the problem by becoming a drunk, and he dallied his days away doing things that amused him.  He had race I recall was called Sir apt name for a 'hobby' that consumes money by the wheelbarrow.  Basil had a trap-shooting range in his backyard, but he was usually too drunk to hit much with his bespoke English shotguns.  A story he told many times was how he went to Scotland and had to get drunk with a particular gun-maker before the man would consent to build him a shotgun.  Wow!  What an accomplishment, eh.  Basil also bought a car dealership several hours from home....and wound up getting his chauffeur to run it.  

  This is the same cloth Donny Drumpf was cut from.  He still, at his advanced age, thinks that having it all is what matters.  He has no clue what he's missing.....none.  And, this flawed belief system pushes him to do selfish, harmful, nasty and peevish things that he believes will hurt his enemies, (and, he's aware that he has a LOT of people who despise him) and bring him more money, or power.  This is precisely why he sucks up to despotic individuals like Putin and Kim Jong Un....he's hoping to have that kind of unlimited power someday and to be able to abuse it freely without any consequences.  He would give his left testicle to be able to just order assassinations whenever somebody crosses him.  As it is, he settles for gloating when somebody is he did just yesterday...gloating over a journalist, Ali Velshi of MSNBC, getting shot with a 'less lethal' shotgun projectile, a  painful and potentially very damaging event. The Idiot told a Minnesota crowd that, "This is a beautiful thing."...referring to Velshi getting wounded.  

  Now, there is a perfect example of a man who is wandering in the foggy woods...completely clueless as to what makes a decent Human Being.  No idea.  Open all the cupboard doors.....the shelves are empty.

Dead from Coronavirus now exceed 200K in U.S.


   This is a beautiful fall day here in Maine, coolish and leaves starting to slide toward their eventual riot of reds, oranges, and yellows.  They'll be there in another 3 or 4 weeks.  But, despite my idyllic surroundings there is a deep sadness in my heart. As above, we have surpassed the 200,000 mark for Covid-19 deaths in the United States.  World-wide, the total is just over 900,000 and will soon soar past 1 million.  

  We are now at a mortality level from this pandemic that is almost exactly half of the death toll in World War II.  Yes, you read that right.  405,399 Americans died from all causes between 1941 and 1945.  291,557 of those deaths were caused by combat, and the remaining 113,842 were from tangential causes, i.e. accidents, disease etc.

  And, yet, despite this stunning number of dead, so many people continue to think and act as if this is all a hoax.  We have only the Big Orange Idiot to thank for this situation being a great deal worse than  it needed to be. He brags that, "We have turned a corner....", and Dr. Fauci comes on the t-v and immediately says, "We have not turned a corner. We're still in the first wave."  Who you gonna believe: the Idiot who lies every time he opens his yap....or the doctor who has even suffered death threats to himself and his family in order to give us the truth?

  The people who create and run computer models of pretty much any situation where it is useful, have run some models that project that the death toll--just for the U.S.--could surpass 400,000 by the end of the year.  At that point, we will have lost the same number of people that we did in World War II. 

  I find that to be a heart-rending and mind-boggling statistic.  And, the way things are going at the moment, I also find it to be a totally believable number.  But, here's the kicker:  with proper and enthusiastic application of controls, i.e. masks, distancing, avoiding indoor gatherings and making sure outdoor ones are not all jammed together, we could manage this crisis FAR BETTER than we have to date. Hell, we might even get it sort of under control....which it is most definitely NOT at present.

  So, look around you.  I see a lot of people wearing masks under their chins...doing absolutely nothing as a preventative.  Either they are merely stupid, or they are very inconsiderate.  I see others declining to wear one at all.  Oh, they are just not buying this whole mess.  Never mind the's all fake news.  Amazing, isn't it?  I see the Idiot holding a rally in Nevada with his 'fans'--read 'suckers'--all shoulder to shoulder, no masks and lots of screaming. This is the means of choice for spreading the virus.  

   If they were intending to get as many people as possible infected at this rally, they have done everything right. And, this is all by way of the Idiot telling people they don't have to take such demeaning measures, that we're out of the woods with this thing, and that only libtards who have imbibed the liberal Kool-aid are so scared that they are going to get sick. 

  In just 42 days, we will have an opportunity to decide our fate...if we can even manage to have a fair and honest election, of course.  But, in hopes that we can indeed manage to do so, it will be the most stark choice we have quite possibly EVER MADE.  We can allow the Idiot to have four more years, during which time he will be very busy tearing down and destroying anything that resembles a democracy.  He's made banner progress in this respect during the last four years, and four more--or more, according to his wishes--years will be just what he needs to finish the job.  

  There will be a wide-open playing field for big money, and a dearth of restraints that would hinder anything they want to do in order to continue raping the economy for all the money they can get.  Anything resembling fairness, compassion for the least among us, a safety net for the poor and elderly, all of the mechanisms that were put in place over the last eight or nine decades to prevent people from absolute poverty and suffering.... WILL BE GONE.  Don't take my word for it.  You can hear the Idiot say it in plain language. 

  For all of his many and daunting shortcomings, the Great Asshole has been disarmingly honest about his intention to leave the lower echelons of society twisting in the wind.      

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Imagine this....


  You knew when the Idiot went to California yesterday that it wasn't going to be pretty.  Did he go to give comfort and aid to the thousands who have lost everything?  Oh, c'mon.  You know better than that.  

  Well, then, did he go to assess the damage so that the federal government could best target how to help Californians in their hour of dire need?  Yeah, right.

  Maybe he just wanted them to know that they're not alone in this bitter battle with the worst wildfires that have ever occurred.  Oh, hell no.

  He went as a photo op to showcase his complete disdain for climate change, and all the science that has been developed showing that it's getting worse at a rapid pace.  He wanted a stage on which to show off his vast knowledge of, well, EVERY-FUCKING-THING.  

  After all, this is the man who knows more than the best and brightest generals about all things military and tactical.  He said so.  This is the man who knows more than....uh, well.....anybody about everything.

  But, if nothing else, Donald J. Idiot has left me in complete awe. 

  Of what?

  Of his universe class...which is waaay beyond mere 'world class'.....ARROGANCE.  I am not sure what a person would have to do in order to beat him on this one.  As one who follows history, I have seen some dictators who have displayed rather profound and astonishing styles and levels of arrogance.  I mean if you really look into it, there have been lots of them.  Some have been clowns, just like our Donny Boy, but in most cases they have been the kinds of clowns you would expect to see in horror films.  Idi Amin is a good example...buffoonish in the extreme, but as deadly as a puff-adder.  Mussolini is one that comes quickly to mind.  He had this pose he'd do while he was waiting for the crowd to cheer during his speeches.  He would put his head back, fold his arms across his chest and nod if he was approving of the crowd's response.  It was comical....but, hey, you wouldn't want to be a member of his retinue and try to point out how ridiculous he looked.  He'd have you killed for that. 

What do we need Google for?  This idiot knows everything.

   Of course you have the Dutertes, the Saddam Husseins, the Libyan dictator Muhamar Ghaddafi, who was like a banty rooster and, like so many of his ilk, given to pretentious uniforms plastered with glittering medals.  Aside: apparently, you should really beware the dictators with the bone-simple uniforms.  Think: Mao Tse-Tung, Stalin, Hitler 

  What all of these sickos had in common was their willingness to use violence to get their way, and to maintain their power.  Some big league dictators have set the bar very high in that regard. Stalin was a world-class despot with approximately 3.3 million murdered, in addition to twice that who died in a famine Stalin could have prevented but chose not to.

   The undisputed world champion appears to be Adolf Hitler, coming in at over 11 million murdered and many millions more who died as a result of Hitler starting WWII.  He was arrogant in the extreme and if you can bear to watch his filmed speeches you will see a master actor on his stage.  After screaming a particular passage in a speech, he would often swipe his errant forelock back and nod as if to say, "Yeah, that was good, wasn't it?"

  So, here comes Donny boy into this elite neighborhood of world class buffoons.  Can he hold his own without having the advantage of killing off anybody who disagrees with him?  

  Oh, yes, he can.  He has all that television experience to fall back on, and he's always been a kind of ham anyway.  Howard Stern, the famous NYC shock-jock, had him on his radio program for many years, a sort of color character from among many in the world of New York high-rollers.  Howard knew just how to manipulate Donny-boy so that he'd start bragging about be honest, it was mostly about his sexual prowess and how hard it was to find hot women who didn't have an STD.  At one point, in a now famous moment, he compared his search for disease-free women to being in combat in Vietnam.  Now....that is hubris, serious, world-class and superlative HUBRIS!!!

  But, oh how he loved to go on about what a stud he was....past tense duly noted here, eh.

 So, yesterday in California the Idiot was seated at a meeting of concerned officials and some of them were obviously well-informed and clear about the role climate change is playing in the dramatic increase of malevolent weather phenomena....not merely wild-fires, but drought, heat, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods.  At this point, there is a vast amount of hard data that has been put together by climate researchers. These are not a bunch of kidders who make stuff up for personal gains....uh, sound familiar?  It's not a subject that is still being examined to see if it's real; it's a subject that is being looked at to try and predict how bad it may get and whether it will even be so catastrophic that it may be a so-called 'event horizon'....a major turning point in human history that could be a point of no return.  Many who are intimately familiar with climate change, are now calling it a 'climate crisis'.

  And, here's Donny boy sitting there and telling them that scientists don' t know about climate, it's all a bunch of speculation and bull.  He laughed at them.  He told them he knows best, and pay attention because he knows it's actually going to get COOLER.

  At times like this, one searches for the right words to express something that is beyond ridiculous, far beyond.  Just saying the words brings a feeling of deep hopelessness to me.  It's not that he's an idiot.  There are plenty of idiots in the world.  I meet one or more of them almost every time I drive.  But, they are just stupid drivers whose worst offence is pulling out in front of oncoming traffic.... not malevolent power players. Donny boy is being identified by various experts on human behavior as the 'greatest threat to American security'.  He's not merely dangerous, he is potentially off the scale and imminently LETHAL.  Recall that he has almost completely UNFETTERED access to the nuclear button. And, we will never know how many Americans died who didn't have to but did because he backed away from the virus when he should have taken it head-on.  For all of his braggadocio, he's a straight-up COWARD.  But, from his's the soldiers, sailors and marines who are lacking.  


  His combination of denseness--i.e. all the stuff he just doesn't get, whether intentionally or not--and his amazingly, beyond extreme DEADLY.   This is not because he routinely sends his enemies to concentration camps, gulags and the like...or just orders them to be 'rubbed out' like his buddy Putin does.  Oh no.  It is because he is so self-absorbed and so vainglorious, and so utterly lacking compassion or anything even close to human caring, that he just doesn't concern himself with people suffering and/or dying. 

   His now well-known statement: "It is what it is." Sums it all up, eh.


To the Young Adults of America: Wake the Hell Up!!!


     I have been coming across articles about the attitudes and actions of American young adults as this pandemic continues. The news is disheartening. Colleges are failing, in most cases, at bringing back on campus learning at any level resembling 'normal'.  They have done everything that has been recognized as proper and effective practice at minimizing the spread of this pernicious virus.  This includes spending considerable time and finances on re-arranging classrooms, creating 'bubbles' for groups of students, adequate testing of students on a recommended schedule, and tons of measures intended to make distancing more doable.  Masks are required and they are doing a better job of making sure this policy is more than it is in big-box stores like WallyWorld.  A few colleges have expelled students who violated the anti-covid measures....just sent them packing.  And, that is a good thing if it makes the others wake-up and realize this is not only not a hoax, it's no joke and must be taken as deadly serious. BECAUSE IT IS.

We don't need no education, we don't need no thought control
Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone.

  But, the students themselves have destroyed what could have been their best opportunity to get a college education under circumstances at least remotely resembling normal.  It's NOT normal, but it's about as close as anybody will come while this pandemic still rages across the land. Some states have it under control, for now, and others do not.  The Dakotas are a perfect example of being stupid about it: the idiot governor of S.D. has been anti-mask and generally a Trumpian dumb-ass about it all....and, so now her state is in runaway mode...right out of control.  Congratulations Governor.

  You do realize, right, that we not only have not won the battle....we are LOOSING IT?  The number of new infections continues to be very high, as it is around the globe.  Yesterday, the world had the highest number of new cases...EVER:  308,000.  India, Brazil, England.....and many more....are all in trouble.  They thought they had it beaten....but, here comes another surge and now they are back on their heels trying to get their citizens to practice measures they have apparently become too bored to bother with.

  So, a young person heads off to the great adventure that college has always been.  And, a part of that 'adventure' is being on one's own for likely the very first time.  And, that means there will be some acting out, i.e. partying, athletic events, bars that cater to them, frat and sorority rushes, and on and on.  What would freshman--or any-- year at college be without these 'perks'?

  But, add a generous dollop of 'stupid' and it all turns into an odoriferous sludge.  "Hey, let's get together and be defiant. Those masks and all that crap about social distancing....who needs it?  We will, as have generations before us, act like wild and crazy college kids.  Yes, we came here to get an education, and a large part of that is a social education.  So, let's get busy, drinking, and getting hooked-up. Late nights and wild parties are all a part of becoming socially adept, right?" Oh, yeah.  All work and no play makes Jack...and all his classmates.,...a dull boy. Same for Jane, eh.

  And, the net result, as you have likely guessed already, is rapid surges in new infections.  So, the colleges, in many cases, have had to back-up and resort to either a hybrid learning situation where those who choose it or need it can attend classes remotely...or just go entirely remote and send kids home.  Different colleges have tried and are experimenting with various combinations of organization. But, it didn't need to be this way.....if only the students themselves were willing to accept that things are no longer normal and will not be for a long time.  We have all made sacrifices, some people have even given their lives in order to take care of the sick.


  Kids will be kids, right?  Bullshit. Kids need to get their heads out of their asses and take this situation seriously.  No excuses are adequate for getting others killed...and, that is exactly the outcome of being a 'spreader', either unintentionally or out of a lack of concern for anybody but themselves. 

   Hey, who does that sound like?  Why it's the Big Orange Asshole. 

Friday, September 11, 2020

You Can't Fix Stupid.....


     My wife, Abigail, and I have an ongoing banter about the items in the news that seem to indicate that the primary cause of some kind of unfortunate situation has been stupidity. Of course, you don't have to wait very long before the next item drops in the news.  In fact, it almost seems like the various news outlets enjoy pointing to them.

    So, whenever one of these examples of the 'smartest beings on the planet' acting in a way that defies that braggadocio appears, we duly note it and punctuate it with a slightly cynical remark: "You cain't fix stupid".  And, my reply to that is often, "Oh, yes, you can....but, it's lethal."  Of course, far too many of the things people do that have been brought about by, shall we say, 'flawed' thinking, are already lethal, and someone or even many, have died because stupidity really can get you killed.

  Here's an example from the news this a.m.:  a woman in North Carolina, Ashley Smith, is the head of a group called 'Re-open NC', and they have apparently just run out of patience with the pandemic.  Covid-19 has become a bore and is impinging on their 'rights' as free, let's show the folks in charge just how fed-up we have become....and BURN OUR MASKS. 

Whatever you do....don't believe the scientists....

    Now there's a great idea. I am so sick of people thinking that this pandemic is less important than their precious right to go around and infect others.  If you don't want to wear a mask, then don't.  But, just stay away from public places.  Stop going to WalMart, and the other big-box stores.  Stay the hell out of restaurants and don't you dare make a scene because a business requires a mask if you want to enter their premises.  Yes, it's your choice, and you are free to exercise your precious freedoms....but, YOU ARE NOT FREE to infect or otherwise impact other people by doing so.  

  Listen up stupid people:  your freedoms do not extend out from you in all directions and allow you to do whatever the hell you want to do, wherever you want to do it.....not when it comes to injuring or even killing other people.  And, if you think that is an exaggeration, then you really are a dumb-ass.  We are coming right up on TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DEAD from this virus.  And, for older people catching it can very likely be a death sentence. 

  So, yes, go ahead and practice your stupidity.  Just don't think you have the right to inflict it on everybody else.  And, if you think that throwing a tantrum and accusing everybody of stomping on your precious freedoms is the any-fucking-thing...then you are even dumber than one could have imagined. 


Monday, September 7, 2020

On Intentional Ignorance....willful stupidity.

   There is something going on in this political season that I find very disturbing.  Well, okay, there's a TON OF STUFF that is disturbing, but I want to take a few minutes to pin down this one aspect that keeps popping up.

   People who support the Idiot are resorting to straight-up denial.  When confronted with the news of what the Idiot has tweeted today, or said at a rally or otherwise spouted off on...they simply say, "That's fake news."  In point of fact, this is something they have been taught to do by the Idiot himself.  He is the perfect one to teach this form of intentional stupidity because he practices it all the the point of ridiculousness. 

  He doesn't care, apparently, if there is a news video of him saying, for instance, that Sen. John McCain was a loser because he got captured.  I mean, there he is, saying those very words in a 2015 interview.  And, in his feverish wee brain he's fine with saying, "I never said that." It really is quite astonishing.  It's almost as if he is standing in front of you and has just peed on your shoes...something I can actually imagine him doing....and then he looks you right in the eye and says, "I didn't do that." 

  But, even more amazing, is the fact that so many Americans seem perfectly okay with this insanity. It is and will remain one of the great conundrums of our time that he was so obviously and astoundingly mentally ill..and, his followers have decided that it's all just fine.  How does a person who identifies themselves as an 'evangelical Christian' justify supporting a man with a vast array of qualities that completely fly in the face of all that Christianity supposedly stands for?

  Of course, the conventional wisdom says that they do this because it's a price they're willing to pay for getting what they want in terms of anti-choice judges and conservative policies that agree with their religious ideals...or, at least, goals.  'Ideals' seems a little too clean as a term to describe what they want....which is, basically, to tell the rest of us how we should live our lives. Their religion doesn't hesitate to claim the moral high-ground and pretend that they have a handle on what is 'right' and 'wrong' that the rest of us should just do what they tell us is correct.

  And, apparently, a leader who espouses White Supremacy, and is clearly a racist himself is just fine with them.  It sounds like a Faustian deal to me...they get to dominate the courts and decide for the rest of us what we can and cannot do in many areas of our return they are willing to vote for Mephistopheles.  And, in my book, this makes them hypocrites and sinners in the extreme.

Because I am psychic, I can tell that he's thinking about that shot he missed on the 13th hole yesterday

 How convenient it is, then, to be able to simply say anything you disagree with is a lie, i.e. fake news.  When confronted with the simple and demonstrable TRUTH, these pious souls simply push it away and say it's not true.  Wow!  And, ol' Adolf and Joseph Goebbles, are laughing so hard that their ribs ache.

  In the annals of human history I am not sure there has ever been a situation that could match this one for its sheer stupidity and moral inversion, i.e. insistence that right is wrong and wrong is right.  Pretty coy trick if you can pull it off, eh.

  So, the rest of you Americans really need to see this emerging monstrosity for what it is:  a pivotal time in which we are about to decide which path to take.  We are at a fork in the trail and the one to the right leads to more of what we are witnessing as this insane Idiot continues to flaunt both the laws of the land, and anything resembling human decency.  While the one to the left seeks to restore decency and honesty, compassion and integrity.

  What's it going to be, America?


And, what of those who have never been the same?

    My post of yesterday dealt with only those American service people who have died in the defense of our Freedom.  There is a much larger contingent of veterans who made it through alive, but have lived the rest of their lives with the wounds--both physical and spiritual--they sustained from being in a situation that most certainly is the closest approximation of HELL ON EARTH.

   When a human being is immersed in this maelstrom of violence it has a profound effect on their entire being and for the rest of their earthly years.  These Heroes, and, despite what the Idiot thinks with his tiny little pea-brain, they are heroes on a scale that he can only fantasize about.  At some function a vet gave him their Purple Heart.  I have no idea what this particular soul thinks the Idiot has done that would allow him to even handle this medal, but, the asshole accepted it as if he's earned it and held it up, and said, "I've always wanted one of these."  Yes, he had the temerity to actually act as if he did win it.  I felt vomitus creeping up the back of my throat.

"Cringeworthy" doesn't begin to describe this.
  Here in Maine, they issued a new version of the veteran's license plate, a nice looking item with red, white and blue in a design that is easily seen from a distance.  And, Maine vets really took to it, so that now you see it on what seems like every third vehicle, but, in reality, is more like one in ten or twelve.  You cannot drive through our town without seeing it many times.  Likewise, our cemeteries are liberally sprinkled with the small American flags that the VFW or AmVets, or whomever put on the graves of veterans.  In the burial ground just down the road from me, it appears to a passerby as if almost every grave has one.  Realistically, at least half of them do.

  Service to the country has been an indigenous part of Maine culture going back to the Revolution, and it was soldiers of the 20th Maine who saved the day at Little Roundtop on the first day of the three day battle at Gettysburg.  The whole shebang could have gone very badly for the Union had Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and his stalwart Mainers not been able to hold the end of the line. 

 Now, we are immersed in vets who have served as many as five or six tours in Afghanistan or Iraq, and come home in real pain. A friend who has spent many years going to veterans' groups for support of his own struggles from 'Nam, has said that he's seeing many more vets who are in real trouble with PTSD.  One or two tours over there would be a lot, more than anybody really should have to bear.  But, FIVE OR SIX?  And, one reason for their multiple tours is that congress has been too cowardly to re-institute the draft.  If you are going to have perpetual wars, then you need to have a fair and copious source of personnel.  To have a few bear a burden that should be shared across the societal spectrum should be avoided and regarded as a last resort in a much more dire situation.

  But, the sons of the upper and middle-class are pretty much sitting this one out unless they have volunteered out of a sense of their own duty and conscience.  Despite the highly dubious reasons for being there at all, there are still a few Americans who are willing to step-up and serve. Wars tend to be fought by those at the bottom and lower echelons of the socio-economic scale.  Used to be that judges frequently resorted to telling young males in trouble that they could go join the military...or go to jail.  Yes, that was a common occurrence.

  Now, military recruiters haunt high-schools and pitch soon to graduate students on how great it would be to be a Marine, or a Ranger, or a fighter pilot.  They have very professional videos that make it all look and sound like just a real-life video game. Wow!  Where do I sign-up?

   People have adopted the idea that it's a decent gesture of support to say, "Thank you for your service."  And, while that is not a bad thing, certainly it's a much better thing than how we got treated during Vietnam.  People actually did shout craven insults at military personnel.  I was hitching between Ft. Dix NJ and Trenton...and some asshole threw a beer at me..along with some shouted insults just to demonstrate what an asshole sounds like, I guess.

  So, we have this very sizable population living among us every day, of men and women who did volunteer and who paid a heavy, often a heart-rending, price for doing that.  And, we treat them like shit.  Not you and me so much...but the VA and the whole government relationship to vets.  It's not anything near what it should be. 

   I mentioned my father-in-law, Donald Downs.  Despite the 2 Bronze and 1 Silver Star medals, he was treated so badly by VA doctors and hospitals that it still makes my wife seethe after all these years.  We pay 'lip service' and then treat them like pariahs.  How is that okay?

    And, now, we have this draft-dodging coward in the White House who feels free to call all of these vets, alive and dead, losers and suckers. 

   So, I am trying to understand why any honorable vet would support him with their vote.

   I just don't get it.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Legions of the War Dead.....

   This is just a brief post because I wanted to quantify the numbers of Americans who have died in our wars.

   There have been dozens and dozens of wars, most of them so small that we tend to forget they ever even happened, but I am including them in the overall tally.

  Here are just the larger conflicts:

The Civil War:  214,938 KIA, approx. 450,000 other causes (disease, heat-stroke, etc.)
                  However, recent research has indicated that the actual overall death-toll was close to 750,000

World War I:   116,516 from all causes

World War II:  405,399 from all causes

Korea:  36,516  from all causes

Vietnam:  58,209  ditto

And the overall tally of all our wars combined comes to:  1,354,664

It is this relatively small percentage of our ongoing total population, now pegged at approx. 330,000, whom we owe our respect, and our undying gratitude.

I have studied war for most of my life, began when I was just a teenager.  I have been drawn to try and understand what it took, for instance, to be one of the infantrymen on a landing craft that was motoring toward a beachhead.  Whether it was Normandy, Anzio, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pelilieu, Iwo Jima, Saipan, Okinawa....and so many more I won't list them all....and, know that any moment now the ramp will go down and the enemy will have you zeroed in with both artillery and heavy machine-gun bunkers.  This was an act of immense, even super-human courage.

The troops in every war faced this moment, and had to decide that they were willing to die on that day to accomplish victory over the enemy.  In WWI it was "....going over the top" into the killing fields that were 'No Man's Land'.  In the Civil War it was much the same: stand-up and move towards  almost certain death or maiming.

And, they did this.  Over a million Americans did this: put their lives on the line, and lost them, in order to preserve OUR FREEDOM.  I can never forget what they have done for us, and I am deeply grateful for their willingness to put our country before their own lives.

So, when the Idiot disrespects and defames these people and their sacrifice....he becomes worse than merely being his typical asshole self.  He becomes an odious idiot who wouldn't either be capable or willing to do anything other than try to accumulate more power and wealth.  He's a piece of garbage and I believe it's starting to stink in the White House.  Maybe it's time to take the garbage out, eh.

Saw a sticker the other day:  DUMP TRUMP, flush the turd on Nov. 3rd

Yeah, that's the ticket.

Friday, September 4, 2020

What's all this noise about compassion?

  A little while back I posted two entries about mindfulness.  And, I said that we would re-visit it with an eye to an aspect of mindfulness that is now being overlooked: compassion.

  In Buddhism there are the Four Noble Truths. I am not intending this to be a history of Buddhism, or even a tutorial on its tenets, but the first of these Noble Truths is that there will always be suffering and pain.  It is a simple recognition of the fact that participating in life as a human being inevitably brings suffering.  And, I invite you to argue that this is not true.  Even the most privileged and blessed individuals suffer from all the difficulties that just being a mortal soul on Planet Earth entail.

   Of course, there is the crowning fact that we all die.  Nobody gets out alive.  When Howard Hughes was getting on, he realized that nothing he could do, no amount of money, influence or power could buy him immortality.  He sequestered himself in the penthouse of his hotel in Las Vegas, let his nails and his hair grow because he was apparently terrified that somebody cutting them could give him a lethal infection....of whatever.  He became reduced to a mere shadow of a human being because he was obsessed with the idea that there is no escape...other than death.

  Life on Earth has both exhilarating and depressing qualities.  We have the ability to choose which ones to focus on....but, this ability is hampered by our emotional, psychological and physical baggage....yes, the stuff we drag along as we navigate our lives.  So, we make bad choices with some predictable regularity.  These choices often involve using various substances to try and alter our perception of our life, to make it somehow more doable, more acceptable.  But, just getting drunk or high--despite their initial euphoria in most cases--doesn't help us to come to terms with the reality of the human condition. In fact, it's quite obvious that trying to use substances to either block or disguise our fear and our almost always counter-productive.  Addiction has been identified as a misapplied attempt to find relief from the suffering that the Buddhists have so long ago identified as the primary and constant presence for all mortals.

  But, there is another aspect of becoming more able to be fully present to life: compassion.  Let's first take a stab at defining this quality.  Dictionaries seem to pretty much agree that compassion is the ability to feel another person's pain.  It is the willingness to be present to another human being who is suffering, and to offer solace of whatever kind one is able, and seems appropriate.  The word 'empathy' is often used to define compassion...and vice versa.  Empathy is also the ability to understand and to feel the pain of others....deeply and without any attempt to buffer or deny it.

  So, as a person discovers the deep yearning for Peace in their life, and at some point, realizes that Mindfulness can play a central role in finding the calm and soothing feelings associated with being 'at peace'.....they move ahead with developing a new skill-set: tools for becoming mindful.  These include methods for keeping the Crazy Monkey too busy to keep interrupting your thoughts and feelings with chaotic and fearful interjections.  Yes, we're talking about the use of meditation, repetitive words and phrases usually referred to as 'mantra', and practices in which we continually remind ourselves that Being Present is a form of liberation from all that mind-mesh jabber that beats us up ongoing.

  A funny thing,...well, okay, not funny ha-ha....but kind of notably odd...happens when a person leaves the hustle and bustle of the too busy mind behind, and slides into a new level of just simply being Here, Now.  We begin to experience a form of clarity and insight.  Suddenly freed of all the crapola, the human consciousness can SEE and FEEL, without the imposition of judgement or all the other blather that the crazy monkey seems to think is 'reality'......but is NOT.

  On experiencing this 'freedom' for the first time, a person can see and identify what is really going on in the world, i.e. people are suffering, many of them at deeply disturbing, even heart-rending, levels.  You don't have to become an EMT, a nurse or doctor in an ER to see that there is suffering all around us.  Most people are so caught-up in solving the riddle of their daily life that they do not make the time or effort to either identify suffering, or they pass it off as, "Not my problem."

  But, when a person breaks free from all of that complexity and blather, and it becomes apparent that most people are indeed suffering, it is also possible to show them that you care and that you are 'there for them', and such caring gestures can make a powerful difference for both the people involved.  If you were able to do a very broad survey, I am certain that the great majority of people, in moments of candor, would admit that their worst fear and the most painful aspect of their the feeling that nobody cares, that they are all alone and destined to fade away in a state of deep loneliness.  Loneliness is a bleak feeling that nobody cares....about you or your suffering.

  Whether you call it compassion or empathy...or a host of similar terms...the willingness to be present to others is perhaps what truly defines our humanity....or our lack thereof.....more than any other quality.

  Why this is vitally all of a question peculiar to this time in our history, and with regard to the upcoming pivot point that we are approaching on November 3rd.

  Donald John Trump, the 45th president of the United States of America, is back in the news for saying that the soldiers, sailors and marines who have given their lives for us all, are, "LOSERS and SUCKERS", for having made this ultimate sacrifice. He questioned not just the heroism of Sen. John McCain, but ALL OF THE VETS who have died in combat.  I don't believe a human being capable of even the smallest modicum of compassion could possibly make such odious statements.

  Another Donald, my father-in-law, Sgt. 1st Class, Donald Downs went ashore on D+1 in Normandy. Over the next month he fought in the hedgerows behind the beachhead--the 'Bocage'--and he was bestowed with TWO BRONZE and ONE SILVER stars.  Then he had his arm shot off by a German sniper and was out of the war.  I have read the medal citations.  He was in Company G, of the 175 Inf. Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division...look him up.  And, I believe if Don were alive today he would just shake his head in disgust at the specter of an American President making such despicable remarks.

The American Cemetery at Normandy

   There is no way I can adequately express my anger and disgust at this.  As a veteran myself, of the Army infantry, I know and knew many good men who either died in Vietnam or had their lives so deeply damaged that it's the primary ongoing challenge for them.....even a half-century later.  There is a long list of men I knew who died in of them my childhood friend, William Stanley Smoyer, 2nd Lt, USMC.  Billy was killed in a vicious firefight in July '68. All who knew Bill anticipated that he would go on to accomplish something outstanding and even magnificent.  He was the kind of human being that Donald J. Idiot cannot even aspire to being. In fact, he was a person who demonstrated compassion in everything he did.  His loss will be felt by me to the day I die.

  And, to hear this chicken-shit asshole, who dodged the draft with fake bone-spurs, disparaging the memory of Bill Smoyer, and the hundreds of thousands of soldiers, sailors and marines who have died for our freedom.....JUST MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL!!!!

  Are you listening, Donny boy?  You have made some enemies you will regret making, you fucking asshole.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Cue the Theme from the Twilight Zone........

   The Big Orange Idiot sat down with one of his most sympathetic interviewers in the Fox universe: Laura Ingraham.  If anybody could ask softball questions designed to make him look smart and presidential, she could.....or so she thought.

   As the interview progressed, however, the wheels began to come off the bus.  The Idiot began spinning a story: "Referring to the Republican National Convention last week, Trump claimed, "We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend, and in the plane it was almost completely loaded with thugs, wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms, with gear and this and that."

There is no such plane. "
      As you listened, it was so perfectly clear that he was making it all up out of whole cloth....and, the inescapable impression was that the President of the United States had gone bonkers....just lost his freakin' mind.  The story was way beyond being merely unbelievable, right out there in "Say WHAT???" land.  One fact checker for MSNBC said, " stupid that it was barely fact-checkable".

So, this is what 'Bat shit Crazy' looks like
    He gets this oddly conspiratorial tone of voice, and this look in his eyes, and uses key phrases, i.e. "I don't know, but it's what I heard from a good source."   Of course, he cannot tell us what that 'source' might be but, by now, we know it is his very own feverish peanut-brain.  And, when he's in this 'storytelling' mode, he's just making it up as he goes.

  Laura Ingraham, as a good conservative pundit, was doing her best to feed him lines and offer suggestions that would make him sound less insane, and more in the realm of the believable.  Despite her best efforts, he insisted on rambling through the weeds with this cockamamie bullshit story.  It's what he does best......LIE.

  But, we have a national election that is just over the horizon.  It will happen 61 days from now and this country is still dealing with multiple crises.  The Idiot....and his Mini-me, Pence....want us to believe that the pandemic is gone....way back there in the rear-view mirror somewhere....but, it is far from over and various states and especially schools and colleges are struggling mightily to get things going again...without causing spikes in infection rates.  Parents are worried sick that sending their kids back to school is potentially dangerous.  Millions are still unemployed, and the GOPs are sitting on their hands and refusing to distribute any more funds to make their lives more doable.  California just forbade landlords from evicting tenants who are behind in their rent, but that hasn't happened all across the country, so the suffering has and will continue.

  There are hoards of people, as I mentioned in the last post, who have embraced one of the most nonsensical and idiotic conspiracies to come along....ever: Q-Anon.  Teams of radical right operators have posed as the left and are doing all they can to create chaos and terror in the streets of a host of cities.  The goal is to have potential voters become so afraid of the far-left that they run to Big Orange to save them from the deep-state and its evil cohorts.

  When you have a rapidly growing hoard of people who are willing to believe that Hillary Clinton and Tom Hanks...among many babies after molesting them, you are looking at the growth of mass insanity.  It's not so different from the 9-11 Truthers who believe that the U.S. government blew up the World Trade Center and the a plot to send the U.S. into a war in the middle-east.  The war, of course, happened and is still happening...but it wasn't because the government conspired to murder over 3000 Americans as a way of manipulating public sentiments.

  There is a certain kind of mind-set that is ready and even pleased to embrace conspiracies.,.and the more out there and insane they are, the better.

  And, the Idiot is as bat-shit crazy as the people who believe his bullshit. He's proving it over and over every single day.  Any neutral observer can clearly see that he is losing it.

   So, what do we do now?



Tuesday, September 1, 2020

As He Gets More Desperate.......

      Now that the RNC convention is behind us, it's apparent that the Idiot didn't get any post-convention bounce. In fact, his approval ratings even dipped a bit in some polls.  Some of that is no doubt due to his singularly uninspired speech accepting the nomination.  You would think by now that he'd take the time to learn how to read the teleprompter without sounding like he's doing some kind of perverse Gregorian chant.  He tilts his head, grasps the podium and sounds utterly bored with what he's saying.  And, in truth, the words on the teleprompter are written by somebody who can at least remember what the point of being there is.  But, it still comes off sounding inane and intellectually stunted.....seriously so.

   So, as the Idiot begins to sense that he really could lose this election, several things are beginning to emerge as his choice of strategy.  Foremost among them is demagoguery, i.e.appealing to peoples' emotions with lots of hyped-up rhetoric.  An example of this would be his wild assertions of what Biden will do and what a Biden presidency would cause to happen.  Perhaps the most un-hinged was his claim that, "....Biden will hurt God," which even most Christian pundits rejected as a silly idea.  If God is omnipotent and omniscient how can a mere mortal injure Him?  Oh,c'mon.

  Once the Idiot is on a roll, the bullshit flows out of his piggy little hooter like a stream of liquefied manure oozing out the back of a cow-barn. I seriously doubt if he even pauses to consider how stupid he sounds when he's blathering on.  Then he painted a picture of a hell-scape that would be the result of a Biden victory: "You will lose your guns, your freedom.  Suburbia will disappear and become a nightmare place to live with low income housing forced on you...", blah, blah, blah.  He just prattles on and on, making it up as he goes.  All of it is beyond exaggeration, well into fantasy-land.  And, of course, his base of Q-Anon and other knuckle-draggers, just eats it up, screaming and chanting their approval.

Weaponizing politics worked for Hitler too.

   I told you about the annual Nazi Party gathering in Nuremburg, at the vast stadium known as the Reichsparteitaggelande, and I keep coming back around to the obvious similarities with what the Idiot inspires at his rallies.  Hitler and Goebbles knew well that getting a vast throng all fired-up is a very effective way of managing them.  And, once you have them chanting and screaming, you can pretty much feed them any-fucking-thing and they will gobble it down.  The more emotional the appeal to their lowest instincts, the less likely they will put together the fact that they are actually his victims.  True.  It is a fact that these folks who make up his 'base' of screaming sycophants are driven by their emotions to the extent that they do not even realize he is using them and intends to take away any kind of safety nets that  might help them down the road.  He's admitted that he intends to destroy Social Security, by removing the payroll tax that funds it....and having it go bankrupt by 2023.  Are the older followers in his base really okay with that?  How about seniors all across the country?  For our entire working lives we paid for the money we get back on Social Security....and he's going to steal that? 

   Meanwhile he'll be continuing to fill his own pockets at every possible opportunity...and, those of the oligarchs he panders to.  With each passing day, it's becoming more and more clear that he intends to foment chaos and violence in the streets. His intent is to use that to sell himself as the "Law and Order president".  The grand irony of all this is that HE IS THE ONE who is committing violence, by turning his back on the pandemic--which the Idiot and his Idiot Child, Pence both want to pretend is already behind us--and, BTW, oh, what a magnificent job the Idiot did in addressing it, as he never fails to mention, despite that it is utterly the inverse of what he did do.  It is now readily apparent that the Idiot regards the people of this country as pawns on his chessboard.  He will use them any way he sees as having a political advantage.  If it means that some--or many--must die in order to accomplish his personal goal of achieving ultimate power, well, then, so be it, eh.

  As of now, the Idiot is beginning to really ramp-up the dog-whistle hints to the far-right. By saying, for example, that the 17 y.o. kid who drove all the way to Kenosha with the explicit intention of hunting protesters, bringing with him a rifle he was forbidden by law to possess and carrying a warped sense of entitlement that it was a good thing he was doing, i.e. protecting the police.  WTF?  This kid crossed state lines, violated multiple laws regarding weapons, his age and his intent....and the Idiot has supported him by saying that he was being threatened and was just defending himself.  If that is not a clarion call to the neo-fascists and all manner of militia types that it is okay to take to the streets, heavily armed and with the intent of shooting BLM or any leftist protesters who give them the opportunity......then I don't know what would be.

   We need to recognize that the Idiot's strategy from now until the election....and, almost certainly, beyond...will be to foment violence in the streets of our cities, and then use that to try and convince the country that he's the only one who can establish Law and Order again.  And....he's the one who poked the hornets' nest in the first place.  We CANNOT be bamboozled by this sleight of hand bullshit.  We need to call it out and we need to communicate a clear picture of how all of this is going down. If enough Americans are able to gain a clear sense of who this Idiot really is, I have to believe that they will both be motivated to vote......and maybe even to take up the cause of campaigning to boot his sorry ass out of a position where he stands to commit catastrophic damage to America and the American way of life.

  Otherwise, we run the dire risk of waking up on November 4th and realizing that we have entered into the final phase of the Great American Nightmare.