Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Winter is just around the corner here in Maine


    As I sit at this computer, I have a window right beside me and I look out on our backyard.  This is the time of the year here in northern New England when nature is putting herself to bed for the winter.  The leaves are mostly down now, with the notable exception of the beech trees that, for some reason known only to them, hold onto their leaves and often keep them until spring.  The beech leaves gradually bleach out until they are a beautiful shade of pale, yellowish tan.  I see them 'nattering' in the breeze and sometimes refer to them as 'ghost leaves'.  

   The rest of the landscape is already hunkering down and has that feeling of something just around the corner.  Of course, the winters here are not what the Old Timers remember, deep snow, bone-chilling minus temps, Nor'easters that come howling down on us, making all but the most durable head for the kitchen and a hot cup of coffee or tea.  But, a Maine winter is still enough to cause thousands to flee for warmer climes, mostly, of course "God's waiting room."  

  If I didn't know better, I would be inclined to think that all is right and the world keeps on turning as we go about our busy lives.  But, I do know better.  And, I am spilt  between wanting to cling to an essentially optimistic view of our life and the world outside our door....and, knowing that our beloved country is in deep crisis at this very moment.  It's not just about the politics.  Oh, no.  Covid-19 is an uncaring monster and it knows how to remain elusive as it keeps on morphing into what is effectively a new virus as it continues its devastation of our population.  It is this characteristic of viruses that makes it so difficult to find a cure for them; we saw this clearly with the AIDS virus.  It amounted to a moving target.  Recall that Covid can even sneak into some people without letting on that it's there.  They become asymptomatic and unwitting agents for the virus, spreading it without even knowing they are doing so.  This creature...and, it is a life-form worthy of that a powerful and difficult foe, no bones about it.

  And, just when a city, a county or a state starts to think that they are on top of the situation, and things are headed in a good direction, it comes back with a vengeance.  People are talking about the 'second wave', but, in some places it is already a THIRD wave.  States like North Dakota, are simply out of control and the virus will run its course until either a vaccine or herd immunity arrive.  And, this--as mentioned in a previous post, concept of 'herd immunity' has the added drawback of a much higher level of lethality than if measures had been taken to, 'flatten the curve'.  

He knows these rallies are super spreader events.....just don't expect him to care.    

    In the midst of this crisis, in which over 223,000 Americans have already died,  the White House announced the other day that they have simply GIVEN UP on any efforts to control the virus.  When I heard Meadows say this to the press, I was stunned.  What do you mean, you have given-the-fuck-up?  A legitimate opposed to what we have that feels like a joke....would know that they do not have the right to simply say, "Well, I just don't want to fight this anymore.  So, good luck, suckers."  Months ago, the Idiot blustered that he was fighting a war against the pandemic....but, what he really meant was, "I'm a hero. Look at me."  He didn't really take it all that seriously and once it was apparent that he had neither the leadership skills, or the competence, or the basic native intelligence to actually LEAD...he just threw up his meaty little hands and walked away.

   Something symbolic happened that is also a clear indicator of where the Trump campaign is, both in terms of competence and caring about the flock they attract to their rallies.  Yesterday, the Idiot had one of his 'quick hitter' rallies at the airport in Omaha Nebraska.  By the time he was ready to get back on his jet, it was dark and near freezing.  And, the buses carrying many older people to the rally had been stupidly re-routed onto a feeder road around the airport that was designated as a 'one way' road for the they were foolishly blocked from getting back to pick-up their passengers.  This left them standing in the dark and getting so cold that seven were hospitalized and many more treated for hypothermia.  Police at the scene, according to witnesses, just didn't know what to do or how to respond.  

  If a campaign actually cares about its supporters, I guarantee this kind of a serious cluster-fuck would not happen.  Somebody would have thought about how these stranded elders were going to fare, and would have pulled out all stops to find a way to get them to warmth and transportation.  But, when a campaign cares only about its star performer and where they are headed next to spread the virus...this is what can happen. 

  Next Tuesday cannot come soon enough.  Please let it end.  If we have taken it as seriously as the situation is demanding....we will end the reign of the most incompetent, uncaring, hateful, racist, mysogenist, lawless and crooked grifter of a president the country has ever had.  Did I forget to mention that this Idiot is also, by a huge margin, the most DANGEROUS president as well?

 Let's get this Idiot out of here.....

VOTE!   Whatever it takes, just get it done.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Think on this.....and, do not despair because we will triumph in the end.


   I came across a piece on Alternet this a.m. that is both informative...and more than a little alarming.  Here's the link to it:    The handwriting expert mentioned, Felix Klein, more properly referred to as a 'graphologist', looked at the Idiot's handwriting in about 1988, without knowing who the writer was, and his conclusions--as you will read in the article--are about what we'd expect.  Yes, we know he's a 'malignant narcissist, and a sociopath...and blah, blah.  We have known all along that he's a sick puppy with serious mental deficiencies.  But, when I read the linked piece, I was still shocked.

  The statement that really sent chills down my spine was this:  "I've probably examined well over 200,000 handwriting samples over more than 60 years, and Trump's writing is one of the worst I've ever seen. In fact, the only writing that comes to mind that is as bad is Charles Manson's."

    I knew it was bad, but I really didn't think of it in such stark terms.  Read the article and you will understand the cause of my alarm...and that is not too strong a term for how I feel about knowing that this man is beyond merely 'ill' and is way down the rabbit-hole of 'seriously fucked-up'.....but, especially pay attention to Felix Klein's emphasis on just how DANGEROUS the man is.  

We are about to find out what he's really capable of....

  So, we have a week left before the election finally culminates...or, at least, until the great struggle begins to prove that either candidate got the most legitimate votes.  The Idiot has been proclaiming since way before the election was even happening that the only way he could lose is if the Dems are able to pull off a massive fraud.  This has been the first stage of a plan in his feverish brain to completely de-legitimize the vote and have SCOTUS hand him another term in office.  We have watched him preparing the ground-work for this and he is already trying to put the plan in motion. Within hours of swearing in, his new super-conservative justice, Barrett, the court is already busy throwing out measures in various states that would ensure a fair vote...and an honest and fair opportunity to even vote at all.  

   We have seen this coming, and, God willing, the lawyers and other Dem operatives can make some headway against this attack on our constitutional right to vote.....and be heard.  It has been apparent for decades that the current iteration of the GOP is morally bankrupt.  That is not a statement I make lightly, either.  They have shown again and again that McConnell et al, are perfectly willing to ignore the laws and long established conventions that have guided congress for so many generations.  Moscow Mitch and his cronies do not give a fig about such 'niceties' as the law.  They want to have complete control of the government and the freedom to re-shape it in the ultra-conservative manner that the oligarchs prefer, i.e. few, if any regulations on how they conduct their finances, minimal taxes, if any, freedom to ride rough-shod over any laws that protect people and the environment, and a system that continues to support a massive flow of wealth to the very few at the top....all the while stripping away any and all safety nets that keep millions of poor and working poor people from starvation and homelessness, not to mention, Social Security and Medicare...which will be dismantled under the guise of financial necessity.  So much for 'the golden years', eh.  

  The Idiot has amply demostrated that he has no regard for the elderly people of America, once having said that the Covid statistics would be more accurate and a lot 'better' if we just didn't count all the old folks who would be dying anyway...well, sooner than later, in his opinion. 

  In their dystopian view of the future, the little people will not fare well.  The amount of suffering and pain inflicted on them will be unimaginable...but, for the Idiot, McConnell et al, that is of little consequence.  When you have no ability to feel empathy or compassion, it's so much easier to pillage and plunder.  

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Voter harassment is


   It comes as no surprise that voters are experiencing various kinds of harassment as they stand in line to vote.  In an unspecified town in Pennsylvania, a convoy of semi-trucks and pick-ups...waving Trump banners, of course....circled a voting place for hours, apparently.  But, they weren't just driving around the block...oh, no.  They were putting up such a cacophony of honking horns and shouted epithets that it easily constituted illegal voter harassment.  The story is still growing and it's not clear if law enforcement officials were called...or if they were, did they do anything to stop the harassment. More to come on this.

  But, here's the real issue: what exactly is going through the minds of the people who feel empowered to do this?  Clearly, they have no allegiance to the ideals and conventions of what it means to live in a democracy.  They seem oblivious to the idea that they are violating the rights of fellow Americans.  All they care about, apparently, is getting another term for their Fuhrer, aka, The Idiot.  Does anybody imagine that these thugs would be acting this way without a clear signal from the Idiot's campaign that it is okay?  Nah.

Dreams of becoming a Supreme Leader....about to be dashed.
God willing, eh.

  He has been sending signals all along (some of them blatant, and some of them more subtle, i.e. 'dog-whistles') that observing anything resembling fairness, honesty, decency...and HONOR.....are just stupid and irrelevant ideas.  What counts is getting the minority voters to stay home, letting them know that white supremacist America is not ready for them to participate in the democratic process.  The Idiot made a faux appeal to black voters just the other day.  It was so clearly insincere that it resonated with his begging white women in the suburbs to love him.  He is utterly incapable of actual sincerity.  It's like asking dogs to fly.  

  And, in his haste to get in as many super-spreader rallies as possible in the remaining 9 days until the election, he has scheduled as many as five rallies in each day of travel.  He's a busy boy, eh.  But, the tragedy is that these are 'quick hitter' rallies, taking place in a hangar or on the tarmac at airports.  His jet lands, parks, he gets out and spews his hatred of anything that is not himself or somehow part of his fantasy...pops back into the jet, and is GONE.  Meanwhile, his sycophants are all huddled together, without masks, of course...and cross-infecting each other.  Research has just come out that these many as he can manage....are indeed 'super spreaders'.  Tough shit for the ones who get sick; they are merely collateral damage.

  Had to laugh...okay, it was a sarcastic gufaw.....the other day when the Idiot said, "I take full responsibility.  It was all China's fault."  Can you even tell me what that means?  My take is that he just wanted to speak the words, indicating that his critics are all wrong, uh, okay...lying...and, that he is a responsible leader, despite what the 'fake news' has been saying all along.  Nah.  He invalidated his willingness to actually be responsible....for any goddamned the very next sentence, "....It was all China's fault".  The truth is, this man is incapable of taking responsibility.  His horribly mutilated ego won't tolerate being blamed for a single in NOTHING.

  What needs to happen now is this: we need to stay the course.  When his red-neck brownshirts start harassing a poling place, it needs to be documented.  That is actually as easy as people pulling out their phones and recording what is happening.  As with the unending police shootings of unarmed black men....nothing would happen in these cases unless a bystander got video footage of it.  

   The George Floyd murder became over-the-top horrific precisely because that woman who recorded it knew that what she was doing was critical and stayed the course.  Her determination to remain a witness to the horror that was happening right in front of her....allowed the entire world to witness it also, and to more deeply understand how much of a nightmare the black community has been living for generations...many generations.

   So, please people, make a clear a record of these incidents, and send it to not just the police, but to the ACLU, the voting commission, and the press.,...especially to sites like Salon, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and any others you can think of. 

   The only way to meet this assault on our democracy is head-on.  Record the transgressions and follow-up on getting them exposed to as much of the country and the world as possible.  Cowards and Assholes much prefer to do their law-breaking in anonymity and having a video record means that is impossible.  

  I am still feeling a strong sense of calm and certainty.  I am calm.... because, hey, what else am I going to do?  Getting overly worked-up over all of this will not change it.  But, I am asking you, my fellow Americans, to take reasonable and doable actions in the face of people who do not give a flying fart about your right to vote or to live in a fair and honest democracy.

  My heart and my deepest respect goes out to the American Heroes who are still and always fighting in the trenches against Covid-19.  And, I have a strong sense of gratitude to all the people who are making the great effort to stand in line for many order to be heard.

  The knaves and the idiots will not triumph here.  They are going down.  And, how they react when that has been a whole other matter.  I will take it up as we get closer to the election and it's results. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Facing down the pre-election jitters for Dems...


  The old witticism, "Once burnt, twice shy", has certainly taken on a new degree of relevance and also a high level of urgency in this moment in our history.  No voter who voted for Hillary can forget the feeling of waking up on the morning after the 2016 election and hearing the worst possible news.  The Orange Idiot pulled off a spectacular feat and, in effect, stole the election while getting 3 MILLION votes less than his opponent.  

  As we all know now, it was a manifestation of the electoral college and how poorly it works if you assume its purpose is to ensure fair elections.  More than a few constitutional scholars are of the mind that the Founding Fathers created the electoral college in order to hedge their bets and override the popular vote if it was somehow not aligned with their interests.  Essentially, they did not feel comfortable leaving the final decision up to voters whom they saw as uneducated and less able to understand the needs of the country.  Truth is, they were all oligarchs and just felt more comfortable holding onto the reins of power.  Let that pesky proletariat, peasantry, i.e. the 'Little People', start having some real control and it would be a problem.  

  I am not going to delve into those complexities, which still haven't changed in the slightest, and which could burn us again...only, this time, the burns could be fatal.  I do not believe that most of the Founding Fathers could imagine someone as corrupt and immoral as the Idiot would ever attain the highest office.  With the Supreme Court about to be packed with ultra-conservative justices, and with all the slimey GOP tactics aimed at suppressing the vote in lower income communities...which they know tend to be more black and brown...and's a crap shoot.  I want to think that you cannot get hit by the train that you see.  I mean, we know the GOPs will stoop to any and all means, legal and extra-legal, to steal this election.  They are well aware that there is not a ghost of a chance of beating Joe Biden in a wholly fair and honest election.  So, hell yes, they are willing to cheat.  What's new, right?

Enough is enough....he needs to go.

  But, with two weeks to go, it's really getting difficult to not allow oneself to feel at least somewhat optimistic, right?  And, right along with that small glimmer of hope and positive gleanings, comes the familiar feeling of dread.  And, we should allow ourselves to pay attention to that feeling, because it may well be the warning we did NOT heed last time we were here.  I well remember feeling quite certain that Clinton had it in the bag, and, of course, the polls did all they could to re-affirm that.  I looked at and saw they were estimating that Hillary was 98% likely to win.  How reassuring, eh.  They're giving Biden a 97% chance as I write this.  Maybe that should be more alarming than it is reassuring.

  It was 2 a.m. on election night when I reached for my phone and got the news that gave me an instant wave of nausea.  At one point, there were 22 or 23 Republicans hoping to become the candidate, and yet, the single-most uniquely unfit and odious candidate had pushed his way into the White House and I knew at that moment that America was facing a challenge we cannot afford to lose. If we do, the price will be unimaginable to many.  With four more years to continue destroying our government, he will fully succeed in doing so.  He's like an insane person on a bender; every single safety net, including financial and medical, as well as environmental protections...will be laid low.  His goal is to have a government that is modelled after Putin's in Russia, where the leader can actually (and frequently) get away with having his opponents murdered, and the oligarchs can plunder on, until the cupboard is empty and we are a lost nation of miserable souls.  How ironic that his rabid base of followers, (now known to me as "Kool Aids", because, yes, they did drink it), think he actually gives a flying fuck about them.  He's using them and they don't have a clue that he is.

   The Kool Aids are going to have one helluva surprise when he's finally in a position where he doesn't need them to maintain his office anymore.  He'll throw them a few bones, and he'll enjoy their mindless adulation because he does, after all, have to feed the monster that lies within....his gigantic ego. But, in the same breath that he tells the American people that he has (for example) a health plan that is, "....far better, so much better that you won't believe it, and cheaper too." he will know it's a lie.  There is no evidence at all that he has anything remotely resembling a 'health plan'.  He does not.  It's all bullshit and it has gone on since before he took office. Reporters have looked high and low and can find NOTHING.  It doesn't exist.  Wouldn't you think that people might look at such a blatant lie and think to themselves, "Hey, this guy is a liar and a rip-off."?  Nah, too easy.  

  That is just one example of how he's playing all of us....or, at least, the people still willing to listen to his lies and believe them.   At this point, a sizeable slice of Americans know exactly who this Idiot is; we've had four years to find out, eh.  And, now we read...or see....that a quickly growing number of people are fascinated by QAnon....the all-time champion of idiotic conspiracies.  It is so moronic that it's hard to imagine anybody being willing to believe it....but, many thousands of people are, in fact.  

And, that is very scary, folks. 

  So, what are we to do?  If you haven't already voted, you might want to get that out of the way.  The earlier you vote the better the chance it will be counted, and if you run into problems with your absentee ballot, most election commissions are willing, if not eager, to help you get it straightened out.  Believe it or not, most of the Americans who are responsible for having an honest and fair election really do feel a strong sense of how important it is and are dedicated to seeing that it happens.  Yes, there are some bad apples who are willing to act immorally because they think that is just fine in the Trump era.  Most are honest and dedicated to the principles that have maintained our democracy for almost two and a half centuries.

  When you have your voting accomplished, it's time to try and let go, let the process take its course, and maintain a vigil over the voting practices in your area.  Some places are going to have 'poll watchers' sent by the Idiot to watch over the election.  This is a fallacy.  You cannot stand or sit in a polling place and have the least idea if the voters you are watching as they come and go are doing anything improper or illegal.  C'mon, let's get real here.  The Idiot is hoping that sending out 'poll watchers' will serve to deter some people from voting, specifically in the poorer districts where the vote is traditionally for Dems. 

  I have found that I am getting too wound-up with worrying about the outcome.  This is where borrowing from Alcoholics Anonymous is worthwhile.  In the Serenity Prayer, one of the primary supplications to the Higher Power is that the one saying the prayer needs help in accepting all that which they cannot change.  This is wisdom in action.  For starters, it acknowledges that there are indeed some things that are beyond our reach, and the only way to be at peace with that is to practice 'acceptance'.  Of course, this is light years easier than actually accepting it.  That is the part that requires determination and practice.  

  So, once your vote is in, it's time to loosen your least a little...and work on accepting that we will somehow find a way forward.  No matter how the election pans out, we need to keep on being Americans and find a way to practice our ideals, even if it happens that we are headed into our great national nightmare.   

  But, you know....I just am not feeling that it will go that way.  I have a certain kind of calm in my gut that tells me we're going to pull it off and the Idiot will be out. Yes, I could be wrong, but I have spent 75 years listening to my intuition, and I have learned to recognize when it's bringing me a message worth hearing.  And, I am of a mind that we're going to be okay.

God willing, eh

Thursday, October 15, 2020

You have heard of herd immunity?


  It seems so long ago now, but, way back when this pandemic first exploded onto the world stage, the term 'Herd Immunity' was bandied about.  Sweden adopted it as their approach to dealing with Covid-19. But, it turns out that making a 'herd' become immune to the coronavirus has a major drawback:  it means that the death toll will spiral out of sight.

  'Herd Immunity' is the practice of simply letting a pandemic run wild in a particular population.  You drop all pretenses of being able to 'stop' it and just let it ramble through the entire population.  When it has run its course, there will be a substantial portion of the population that are now immune to the disease because they have developed the anti-bodies that fight it.

  That's all well and good.....except for the fact that a lot of people will NOT get better and have immunity because THEY'LL BE DEAD.  As we already clearly recognize, older people have weaker immune systems and often are unable to fight off the coronavirus....and become casualties of it. In a population as large as the U.S., i.e. over 330 million, you would need at least 70% to become infected, and the projected death toll could be in the neighborhood of SIX MILLION.   Ouch!

 So, knowing this is plenty enough reason to rule-out this approach to dealing with the pandemic. Isn't it?

  Well, no, because this has now become the Idiot's idea of how we'll proceed from this point forward....just as the so-called 'Second Wave' is coming crashing down on our country.  Any sane person--which, of course, rules out the Idiot--can plainly see that this is in the running for 'Worst Idea Ever'.  But, because he has completely botched handling the pandemic to this point, the Idiot has given-up on mounting any response at all in the waning days of his administration.  And, I say that with growing confidence that his cover has now been completely destroyed and far too many Americans understand that he's a danger to all of us, a psycho out of control and with increasingly bad intentions as he is rejected by a country that only a few months ago he thought he had firmly under his boot.

   When his niece, Mary Trump, says in her book about him, "Too Much, Never Enough", that he is 'dangerous', this is exactly the kind of danger she is referring to.  He makes rash and unthinking decisions that can have disastrous consequences.  If he even understands this, he does not care.  The deaths of even huge numbers of people is of no concern.  What he does care about is holding onto power and even becoming more his despot buddies.  You know their names, but, Vladimir is the one he really wants to please. 

Herd Immunity is this man's plan now.
It could kill MILLIONS of us.

    He can rationalize just about anything if it means retaining power.  Millions of Americans dying would be a small price to pay for that.  And, besides, most of them would be old, or brown and probably poor, or quite likely all three.  These demographics are the ones doing most of the dying these days.  And, if you really have a clear understanding of who this man is, and the nature of his dysfunction, i.e. mental illness, you also realize that he doesn't care about anybody but himself.  If he was in a theater and somebody yelled, "Fire!", he would run roughshod right over even his own family to be the first one out of danger.  Oh, yes, he would.  In his feverish mind, only losers sacrifice themselves for the survival of others.  Which is, of course, where he got the idea that all soldiers, sailors and marines who died for our freedom.....are LOSERS and SUCKERS.  I mean, hey, what was in it for them, right?

  It is still amazing to me, but, this really is how the Idiot thinks.  

  So, here's where we are: we need to get this Idiot out of power.  He is a persistent and mortal danger to all of us.  And, there is NOTHING that he will not stoop to if it appears to have some chance of prolonging his tenure as 'the most powerful man on the planet'.  This is no joke; he really does think that 'Herd Immunity' is where we go from here and estimates of a sky-high death toll do not deter him even one tiny bit.

  What can we do?  We can VOTE.  Whatever it takes to be heard....and not become part of the HERD.


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The story of a Founding Father.....Richard Stockton.


   I recall a school field-trip when I was about ten years-old.  We traveled to the Princeton Battlefield and saw 'General Mercer oak' the tree being held together with steel supporting rods, and under which Brigadier General Hugh Mercer died on January 3rd, 1777, after being wounded in the battle of Princeton.

We made our way up to Stoney Brook Quaker Meetinghouse which sits on the northern boundary of the battlefield, and our teacher discussed the importance of the battle to the revolutionary war.  As I was sitting on a bench near the door, I looked down and saw a number of circular impressions in the very wide floorboards.  I asked our teacher what caused them and he explained that it was from British soldiers banging the muzzles of their muskets on the floor as they cleaned them.  For some reason that has remained in my mind as one of those moments that has a clarity and 'freshness' that it hardly deserves.

  As a children, our mother used to take us to swim in the pool behind a large house in Princeton. We would park around back and use the pool all afternoon.  She did mention that the house was called 'Morven' and had once been the home of a distant relative.  But, that was about all I knew.  I only learned a few years ago that the 'distant relative' was Richard Stockton, b. 1730, d. 1781, aged 50.  So, it has only been in later life that I have made an effort to find out who this man was.  

  Turns out, his most notable accomplishment was that he was nominated to the Continental Congress from New Jersey and signed the Declaration of Independence.  But, he had more to his life than what happened on that day in July 1776.  He was also a well-respected solicitor and a judge.  His father, John Stockton, b. 1701, d. 1758, was a wealthy land-owner who donated the land and was instrumental in bringing the College of New Jersey to Princeton from Newark.  That college is now referred to as Princeton University.  

Richard Stockton

    Richard gave up his law practice in Princeton to travel to England in 1766 and 67.  He was preceded by his reputation and received by various dukes and lords, but his primary purpose in being there was to convince King George III (widely known to have been mentally-ill during at least the later part of his reign) that the Stamp Act was going to lead to a violent falling out if it was pressed forward without a provision for the colonies to have their own representation.  This is the origin of the expression most Americans have at least heard of:  "No taxation without representation".   The king was unreceptive, however, so Stockton returned to the colonies and was appointed to the Second Continental Congress.  As signatories to the Declaration, the men who signed it were considered by the crown to be traitors. 

  Richard was sent by Congress to see how the Continental Army was faring in Albany, Fort Ticonderoga, and Saratoga.  He returned home after an exhausting two months, and was a fugitive. He and a friend, John Covenhoven,  were betrayed by loyalists to the British and were arrested in the night, force marched to Perth Amboy where he was put in irons, treated like a common criminal, and held in an un-heated cell during the winter.  When he was finally released due to an agreement to trade prisoners, his health was broken.  He died at age 50 less than two years later.

  It should be noted that approximately 12,000 prisoners of the British died in cells and on prison ships during the revolution. while the total number of combat deaths for the Continental Army was  4,335.  That should give you a picture of how the English behaved towards the colonials; i.e. they were beastly.

  In learning about my great grandfather, (x6) I was touched by his willingness to sacrifice what turned out to be all of his worldly possession, including a library said to be the best in the colonies, and even his life in order to be a part of and a supporter of the vision that has become America.  Yes, he was an oligarch.  But, despite having been born into opulent circumstances, he managed to cleave to a vision of what those little colonies could become, a haven for democratic ideals, a place where a person truly could be free to pursue, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".  

  Clearly, it has been a work in progress for all of the 245 years that we have been working towards realizing the ideals set out in the Declaration.  And, even more apparently, we have a ways to go.  Until we really are a society and a country where people of all colors, faiths and orientations are actually experiencing REAL FREEDOM, we will keep at it.

  Donald J. Trump is a national lesson for us to learn from.  He models all of the vile characteristics that we so least those of us who are not lost and wandering in the foggy woods of moral turpitude. We are being challenged to either admit we have failed at the delicate art of creating and maintaining a democratic society, or to rise up and realize that this is yet another test of our resolve to do that.  In 20 days we will pass through another portal, and we will come out the other side knowing that we can find our way back to sanity, kindness, compassion and genuine fairness and equality....or that  we are not yet done with our national flirtation with grave danger.....the dark future of a society that has embraced lies, deceit, cruelty, greed and violence on all levels.  If we do happen to fall off of that precipice...and, it is still and truly possible....things are going to get even a whole lot nastier than what we have been through already. 

  Therefore, it is up to us.  What we need out of this pivotal election season is what is being referred to as a, "Blue Tsunami", a massive and decisive turn-out of our fellow Americans...a vote so overwhelmingly and undeniably clear that the Idiot will be unable to finagle his way around it.  I do not subscribe to the notion that the idiots and assholes will succeed in the end.  

  No!  They will not.  Not if what we are seeing the first signs of already comes to pass.  People, God bless them, are indeed making the effort, to stand in long lines for hours, to do whatever it takes to get their vote counted.  

  Yes, the GOPs will do all they can to sabotage, undermine and outright steal the election.  They have long ago given up the idea that honesty, fairness, honor and integrity all.  They are behaving according to the rules that guided pirates in the wild and wooly distant past:  Grab all you can get and let the devil take the hindmost.  In other words, "I want as much as I can get, and to hell with you."  They are demonstrating this complete absence of any moral constraints every day and in everything they do, like this business with pushing through Amy Coney Barrett's nomination, despite having denied Obama the same right to choose a justice.  Hypocrisy is just fine with them, doesn't matter at all.  

  So, we have to stay the course and keep focused on getting them out of power.  They have done nothing but feather their own nests and those of the very rich, and big corporate interests. Time for them to go. 

Thank you, Americans who are standing in line to vote.  And, thank you American Heroes who have sacrificed so very much to help us through the pandemic.


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

America has a mental health crisis......


   Well, that is a pretty bold assertion, eh.  But, I believe I can convince you that it's also TRUE.

   Here's the essence of the case:  QAnon is flourishing.  That's it.  Nothing else is needed.  All good.  

   Nah, I'm kidding.  Okay, here's the reason we should believe that not only does this country have a full-blown mental health crisis on its hands, but the situation is growing more dire all the time.

   Right off the bat, it's important to define QAnon as what it is, a conspiracy theory; nothing more nor less.  But, that seems such a calm and low-key term for this particular conspiracy.  At the core of it is the contention that there is an international cabal of people who run a pedophile ring and are Satanists who also drain blood from the babies after they sexually molest them....and then they EAT THEM. Then they use the infant blood to extract a life-extending compound. Hold onto your hat, it gets worse.  These evil beasts are people you have heard Hillary Clinton, Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, Crissy Teigen, Adam Schiff and on and on.  All of these craven beasts are, of course, Democrats...almost goes without saying.  Right?

 Here is a link to the QAnon page on Wikipedia:

 And, another article that goes deep in terms of explaining how it is proliferating:

Part of being a Trumpie is being willing to reject science....and ignore 
all the safety measures....because you are merely truculent, and a dumb-ass.

  When I first heard a description of QAnon, my immediate reaction was that it was a joke, maybe something from Saturday Night Live, right out there with all the alien abduction stuff.  Try to imagine my horror when I realized that there are thousands of pages on Facebook dedicated to this insanity and MILLIONS of people who have adopted it as 'true'.  If you take the time to read both of the articles linked above, you will have a rudimentary working knowledge of what QAnon is all about, and, unless you are among those who have 'drunk the Kool-Aid', you will be stunned and perhaps also perplexed at how fantastic the parameters of this cesspool of human confusion are and, even more disturbing, is the fact that it is proliferating at an apparently runaway pace. 

  This might be the moment to mention that The Idiot is at the center of this cockamamie conspiracy. True Believers have the idea that Donald J. Asshole is the Savior of us all, and is working hard behind the scenes (which is the first hint that it's complete bullshit...i.e., he hardly 'works' at all) to destroy the cabal of Satanists and save the world from their evil predations. 

  I submit to you the idea that if a person is ready to believe that all of these named conspirators are molesting and EATING babies, it is proof that they are in big trouble psychologically and likely emotionally as well.  There is simply no room in a sane person's mind to accommodate such absolutely insane ideas.

  You will perhaps remember when a man got into his vehicle and drove some distance to the suspected pizza restaurant where the evil ones were dining on babies in the basement, (Comet Ping Pong in Washington DC), intending to 'rescue' the child victims of this nefarious cabal.  He showed-up with an AR-15 and was ready to do battle....before he was arrested and faced multiple charges.  

  There reaches a point where you end up just shaking your head in disbelief.  But, wait a second, we can't just dismiss something that is growing like a runaway tumor.  QAnon 'believers' are coming out of the woodwork, and some of them do not fit the archetypal description that such far-out whack-jobs would normally fit.  Here are some figures that I hope you will find as alarming and as perplexing as I do:

  Since March 2020, Facebook posts about QAnon have increased 67%, the weekly rate increase of posts has been 791%.  Holy Cow, Batman!!!  And, on Twitter it's even worse: 126% increase of QAnon related posts, and a 176% increase in unique authors tweeting about QAnon.  It should be noted that Facebook has taken measures to ban QAnon pages, and Twitter is being shamed into acting too, but, it will take awhile before either platform has really purged its crazies....if ever.

This dramatic increase in people who are embracing it is also related to the Trump phenomenon.  He has re-tweeted over 129 QAnon related posts, thereby lending his tacit support to it.  He is at the core of it, identified by the Kool-Aids as the Savior sent by God to save the planet from this great evil.  He is portrayed as this heroic knight who will ride in on his white charger and save us all....well, those of us who are ready to be saved, eh....who are ready to drink the Kool-Aid too.

  Coming back to my contention that America has a mental health crisis.  I am of a mind that when you have this many people flocking to a conspiracy that is soooo far out there, it is an indication of much deeper problems in the society at large. I am utterly unqualified to analyze what the psychological and deeper medical conditions would be.  My education is in the philosophy of ethics, and that is merely a bachelor's degree, albeit from a school that is well-regarded.  But, I am qualified as a human being, as are you.  And, it seems utterly crystal-clear that a person who is willing to believe outlandish, even outrageous conspiracies is not playing with a full deck of cards.

  No amount of claiming something is 'real' makes it so.  Sorry all you Kool-Aids out there; just because you WANT something to be true and agitate for it to be so....doesn't make it suddenly become true.  Facts are coming back into vogue.  We have stumbled around the Idiot's perpetual whining that, for instance, mail-in voting is rife with corruption and fraud.  He's actually got some of his base to believe this. But, they would believe it if he told them the earth was flat.  What?  Are you telling me that there are people out there who actually DO BELIEVE this?  Eeeegads.



Thursday, October 1, 2020

Stand Back and Stand By......


    Well, it seems that ol' Donny boy has done it again.  Given the opportunity to deny his support of the far right in America, he chose to demure.  Chris Wallace was the moderator at the first presidential debate on Tuesday evening.  About 73 million viewers tuned-in to watch and see which candidate would best his opposite.  

   At one point, Wallace asked the prez if he would be willing to disavow any support of the far right.  Trump was very snippy and arrogant...big surprise there, eh.....and insisted that Wallace give him a name to use.  Wallace came up with the "Proud Boys", which is a trending radical right group listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a 'hate group'.   They have played a (violent) role in the conflicts in Kenosha and Portland OR, as well as being an 'up and coming' presence among the metastasizing crop of  far-right groups.  They boast about being racist, mysogenist, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic etc.  

  So, the Idiot...instead of using the moment to answer that he doesn't support any radical approach to our politics, that using the threat of violence to push the far-right agenda is wholly unacceptable....he said, that the Proud Boys should, "....stand back, and stand by".  And, just like that, the opportunity to let people know that he's no fascist...was gone!  It was replaced instead with the understanding that he has put the far-right on notice that they are his enforcers and should be ready to act whenever he calls on them.

  Is there another way to spin it?  In every setting that I have experienced or have read about, or spoken with others about....'Stand By' means, "Be ready to act".  If you are an Air Force fighter or bomber pilot, and are on 'stand by' it means that you are ready to sprint out to your aircraft and have it in the air, on its way to perform a mission in a matter of mere minutes.  Firemen, and women on 'stand by' are not allowed to leave the station or put themselves in any kind of a situation wherein they wouldn't be instantly available.  This is such a common and 'standard' understanding that one should not even have to explain it.

   So, among a slew of other complaints about the Idiot's behavior in the debate debacle, i.e. incessant interrupting, brushing off the moderator's requests to behave, a cavalcade of lies and misinformation etc....all of which we have come to expect from him....the fact that he refused to chastise or otherwise distance himself from these armed vigilante hairballs, was the single fact that remained foremost in peoples' minds. There was even some tepid outrage from Republicans...well, the ones that didn't try to spin it, dismiss it, deny it or simply look away.  

   It feels like the last straw in establishing a final and proven conclusion that the president of the United States of America is a FUCKING RACIST.... not to mention being a Fascist, a misogynist, and a host of other despicablities.  The president was openly sending a completely bold and direct notice to these heavily armed hairballs that they are essentially his Brownshirts.  

   Anybody who chooses to ignore these facts and gloss them over in order to continue justifying that  they are going to vote for adopting these qualities for themselves.  You cannot lend your support and your vote to a racist...for example....and then say you are not a racist yourself.  It doesn't work that way, despite the fact that it would be ever so much easier if it did.  Then you could support all manner of evil-doing...and remain above the fray yourself. you can't.  You might wish you could, but if you give your support to a politician who is a racist, you are furthering that agenda, and that makes you one of them.  Not because 'I say so' but because it is a simple fact.  Supporting a racist means that you ARE ONE.  No amount of ducking and dodging will change that.  YOU ARE WHAT YOU DO.  

These are the Proud Boys.  They think we should be intimidated by them. They freely admit to being White Supremacists, misogynists, Islamophobes, and more. They often appear in public at demonstrations carrying military style arms.

    Of course, the Idiot stood in the White House driveway, as he is typically inclined to do for brief interludes with the press corps...and said, "I don't know who the Proud Boys are."  And, get this, he said it with nary a hint of irony or duplicity.  He said it as if it was true....and, it clearly is NOT.  But, that is how he motors.  Lies come fast and frequently.  He clearly is way beyond caring about whether lying is ethical.  His ethical code consists of doing any damn thing that pops into his feverish brain...and then seeing how it is received.  If it 'floats', it must be okay.

  So, here we are, only about one month from what is certainly the most critical election in modern history.... not just for America, but for the entire planet. True. Because the decisions that need to be taken in the immediate future are going to affect the climate crisis, planetary stability with nuclear weapons, the world economy and more.

  Once again, the only way forward out of this swamp is straight ahead.......VOTE!