Friday, January 29, 2021

A Tale of Two Women....


   I am still feeling amazed that I have such a profound sense of in RELIEF....that the Idiot is out of the oval office.  Yes, he's still in the news because he's not dead or banished to Tralfamador...the fictional planet in Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s short story collection, "Welcome to the Monkey House". But, he's not getting anything like the saturation coverage that he's had for the last five years.  And, that is huge.

  And, there is another face that I am pleased to not see. the smarmy, heavily made-up, often sneering visage of the former press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany.  She is attractive, in a sorority sister/ cheerleader kind of way.  But, I feel slightly nauseated at the sight of her.  She came to her job already having a background at Fox News, where she was employed as an assistant to Mike there's a nasty, pseudo-Christian piece of work for you.

She said on day one: "I will not lie to you."
And, then she lied almost daily for a year.

   So, from the very first day that she took over the podium in the press room at the White House, Kayleigh had an attitude.  She oozes arrogance. It's there in her voice, in her manners...or lack thereof...and it seems evident that she's pretty sure she's the smartest person in the room.  Sadly, Harvard Law School can count her among its graduates and, as is so often the case, when a person has been imbued with the Harvard Law patina, it leaves them feeling like this.  At some point--likely far down the road--Kayleigh may come to the startling revelation that just because you have an elite CV, does NOT mean you are a good human being. In order to get to that place, you need to have actual compassion on board, and I seriously doubt that is on the law curriculum at any of the elite Ivies. Being a 'smart' person, will get you on the NYC subway, long as you have a MetroCard or can do that scanning thing with your phone. 

   None of that matters, however.  What is so annoying about this woman is her archetypal conservative  political philosophy ('sucks to be you', from Ayn Rand) and her continuous inference that anybody who is not on the same conservative page must be somehow ignorant or merely inferior.  She is, of course, a true-believer, i.e. a KoolAid, and has spouted the Idiot's lies with apparent determination to shove them down our unwilling throats.  Arrogance is often a form of over-compensation for feelings of inadequacy.  But, in this time of people like Marjorie Taylor-Green and Lauren Bobert, along with Madison Cawthorn...and, there's a has become a banner that some people think furthers their conservative cause.  News Flash! It does not.  Actually, it just makes you look stupid because anybody who goes around acting in an arrogant manner rarely, if ever, has the goods to back it up.  Arrogance is like the hood ornament on some old barn clunker.  It may allude to the glory days of Packard, Pontiac or Plymouth, but there are just mice nests under the hood. 

 So, yes, it has been refreshing and a great relief to not see Kayleigh standing at her podium spewing lies from the Idiot.  But, I didn't really comprehend how far out to lunch Kayleigh was until I saw Jen Psaki brief the press for the first time.

Suddenly, facts and science matter again.

    Suddenly, I was watching a person I immediately knew I could believe.  She is a model of clarity, intelligence and respect.  She is not only at least as intellectually astute as McEnany, she has the kind of intelligence that gives her the ability to see a situation and then address it without making the reporter who asked the question feel that they were out of line for so doing.  She does her research, is very invested in transparency and, I know I am speaking for millions of Americans when I say that she makes you feel like facts matter again, and that science still has a critical role in making the big decisions about our future on this planet.

  Jen Psaki is a breath of fresh air.  After four plus years of being lied to by the Idiot's various press secretaries....beginning with Sean Spicer standing up there and telling us that we should not believe our eyes and that the Idiot had the biggest inauguration crowd....anywhere, ever.  It comes as a vast sense of comfort to have a spokesperson whom I know, intuitively, I can trust.  When a politician, an operative, or a pundit feeds you 'alternative facts', and you know they lie whenever it suits their agenda...all trust quickly evaporates and it becomes impossible to feel okay, much less 'good' about your own government.

  And, that is how we got into so much trouble with a chasm of distrust and even hatred in a now deeply divided society that formerly prided itself on 'values'.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

A New Day is Dawning.....


   Everywhere I go today, I will need to carry along a box of tissues.  I had no idea how powerful and sudden the relief over the transition from one era to the next would be.  It has hit me and my wife like the cathartic rush of hot bath-water as one sinks into a big, claw-footed tub.  All of my cells have apparently decided that it's time to let go of the tension, the discomfort and the fear that had, apparently built-up over the last few years.....FOUR to be exact.

  Yes, I knew that we were in a national crisis, that our very democracy itself was in extreme jeopardy....but, until the Capitol was invaded by the outback hordes of evil assholes...oh, sorry, uh, 'misguided souls', I really didn't know how much that was eating away at my peace of mind, my ability to be and remain fully present in the moment, and my actual sanity.  

  It seems that having a leader who lies constantly, who manipulates and schemes as he steals all he can and actively works to destroy peoples' stressful, VERY stressful.  I knew I was struggling, but I had no idea that my spirit was slowly being crushed by his universal despicability.  I just couldn't imagine that some idiot politician in an office five hundred miles away could have such an out-sized effect on me.

  I recently opined that it was getting on time to put this same idiot in the rear-view mirror and move on. In very clear and even elegant terms, the entire process of regime change yesterday did that for me. Abby and I were both getting more emotional as the whole thing unfolded, but then came a moment when we both just gave up resisting and the dam collapsed. 

This is what 'hope' looks like.

    Amanda Gorman is just 22 years old.  She is diminutive in stature and cute as a button....please don't take that as condescending, it is not meant to be....and she is as bright as the Morning Star, Venus. This very accomplished and astonishingly astute young lady is going to be one of the touch points for our hope that the future can not only compensate for all of the damage done by Despicable Donny, but I have reason to believe that she is also just one of many such souls who are emerging from the depths of the forest that we have been wandering in.

  Some have referred to these so obviously evolved young people as 'Indigo Children' and the phrase is open to interpretation, of course, but, it generally indicates a person who has a noticeably advanced level of awareness. Okay, yes, that is too vague.  In one 'New Age' paradigm such souls would be recognized as being 'old souls' and the idea is that they must have been here...there and everywhere....before, perhaps many times.  How else could such young people evince a level of understanding that even outstrips their elders?

   If you are struggling with the concept of reincarnation, I certainly do understand.  Were it not for a flurry of experiences I would be there too.  But, in the early 70s, I was in a major car-wreck, then on a scaffold in Kempten Germany that collapsed and finally I had an LSD trip in which I was led to the understanding--not the intellectual concept, but an actual epiphany--that souls have multiple opportunities in bodily form and use said chances to evolve.

  I left my body in each of these occasions.  I was outside of myself and regarding the situation as one might view a scene from a security camera.  The situation in Oklahoma City was a roll-over...of an elderly Chevy pick-up that was towing a '57 BelAire Chevy and the whole shootin' match went off the inside of a curve as the driver lost control while trying to make a move for the Will Rogers Expressway.  The truck tucked in and rolled three or four times.  I was tossed out through the now gone windshield and watched it all happen as if it were happening to some other poor bugger. 

  At some point after that my next recollection was that of standing on the side of the road as an Oklahoma trooper shone his light in my face, "Are you alright, son?"  My response was, "Am I alive?" to which he replied, "I don't know how, but, yes, you are alive."  As you can imagine, such an experience could have a serious impact on how one understands the relationship between one's body and one's 'spirit'.   It did and it still does.

  And, it was only a few months later that I was on that scaffold in Kempten.  I won't go over that here, but suffice it to say that it removed any lingering doubts about the implications of the first incident.

  There is a truly amazing non-fiction book that I recommend to anybody who is interested in deepening their understanding of this soul-body connection.  The title is, "Soul Survivor" and it's the story of a baby, then child, James, born to Bruce and Andrea Leininger, a couple in Louisiana.  Even as a small child James had nightmares in which he was terrified that he was trapped in a burning airplane and couldn't get out.  Well--long story, short--James was eventually accepted by the veterans of an escort carrier, the Natomah Bay, that was involved with the war in the South Pacific, including Iwo Jima. He was able to name other pilots who had also been shot down and killed...along with details that a young boy from Louisiana could not possibly know......unless he'd somehow BEEN THERE.

   For me, this is just one more validation of the facts as I have personally experienced them this lifetime.  We have a soul, a spirit, or whatever you want to name it...that is housed in your body, but, there comes a time when they can separate.  Your soul lives on, and your body gets re-cycled. 

  So, when I see young Amanda Gorman pretty much blow the entire country...who isn't asleep or brain-dead...out of the water with the wisdom, the over-arching beauty and goodness that came out of her poetic mind....I immediately feel that one more 'Old Soul' has stepped out into the light of day to help us through this darkest of dark nights. 

  It also seems to be a reminder that despite all the suffering, the dying, and the chaotic upheaval in peoples' lives....that there is a Light at the end of the tunnel.'s not a fast-freight that is about to run us down.  It is Amanda and a whole new generation of enlightened souls who have arrived among us.  I am not being facetious here....they're here and we need them to be.   

Monday, January 11, 2021

We Have Entered a New Era in American Politics.....


    And, it appears that nothing will ever be the same as it was before last Wednesday.  The media are still struggling to report the full scope of it all, but there is a level of disgust, anger, sadness and a deep-seated outrage that is palpable and isn't going to just fade away.  

   What the capital invaders did was push our political and social viewpoints toward something that may prove undoable as we try to get on down the road towards a livable and workable society.  At this moment, we are facing challenges as daunting as anything since World War II and the Great Depression that preceded it.  More people are dying each day than died on 9-11.  I can hardly get my brain to accept this idea. And, it's not getting better; it's getting WORSE.  The medical system in southern California is strained to the breaking point....for both physical facilities, supplies, even places to put all the dead bodies....AND the medical personnel--to whom we have been attributing seeming super powers along with being massively heroic.

  But, just because we have feelings of gratitude and immense respect....does not make their situation  any more doable.  It, in the near term, is becoming rapidly UNDOABLE.  People are being ground up and spit out by the hours and being immersed in the daily life and death pathos of the hospital ERs and ICUs.  It cannot go on this way for much longer.  What is coming is a feeling of becoming overwhelmed and of a massive failure to cope.  In fact, it's already here in some hospitals in SoCal.  

   Meanwhile, back at the nation's capital....we have no mere 'protest' on our hands but rather a full scale attempt to steal the government.  This was not a 'political statement' that was being made. Oh no!  This was a coup attempt.  It is domestic terrorism, by definition.  And, it has changed America from last Wednesday forward.  It's way too soon, to know what we will look like as a nation coming out the other side of this, but, it's a safe bet that it will be very different that what we have gotten used to up to this point.

   For starters, I don't sense that the people of color in America--and especially the black community--are ever going to be willing to be as oppressed and disenfranchised as they have been all along.  The genie is out of the lamp on this one....and there will be no stuffing him back into the lamp.  And, yet, even as this is becoming a reality, unarmed black men continue to be shot down by police who are not being charged for doing so.  

                              There is no more room for denial that the Trump agenda is wholly and deeply saturated with WHITE SUPREMACY

 Amazing leaders are showing up.  Stacey Abrams, for example, is a force of nature.  She was the driving force for achieving a fair and un-trammeled election in Georgia, a state that is famous for voter suppression and has even modeled it for other red-states.  There is AOC--don't even need to remind you of her name at this point.  Also a force to be reckoned with. And, there are lots of other women, especially women of color, who are now serving in the house.  Things are shifting away from the old model of white male supremacy.

  Of course, there are stirrings on the dark side too.  One new member of the house, Lauren Boebert of Colorado,  announced on social media that she'd be bringing her Glock pistol to sessions.  That prompted a visit from the Capitol Police to explain to her that she can't just do what she wants; there are laws around carrying weapons in DC. She's a Trumpet, naturally, so she'll make a fuss about her rights being abrogated.

  Oh, no! Wait a minute!  It turns out that this idiot tweeted to capitol invaders where they could find Nancy Pelosi.  Now it's possible that she'll lose her seat, and hopefully even be indicted for aiding and abetting a terror attack.  Good.  These anti-American assholes were chanting that they wanted to hang the Speaker of the House when they found her.  Mike Pence was also targeted, because he had the temerity to tell the Idiot that it was not within his power to simply turn the election over to his Idiotness.

  There are a ton of questions to be answered about how the invaders got into the capitol and whether or not they had members of the police in collusion, and, as Boebert has shown, even some members of the House of Representatives helping them.  Video continues to surface that is creating even more questions: Why were some police officers filmed having selfies taken with insurgents?  How did they find particular offices without an insider guiding them?  How is it that they managed to simply gain access to the building so seemingly easily?

  It's a good thing that the capitol invaders were a kind of farce force.  They put a lot of energy into having the perfect COSTUME for the somber occasion of taking over the country.  The now infamous jerk who dressed-up in animal furs with horns on his head, and red-white-blue make up, has been identified and arrested.  Likewise the idiot who sat at the desk in Pelosi's office, blathering about it was 'his desk' and only 'on loan' to the speaker. More to come....much more.

  The whole thing was a clown show.  But, it was a clown-show with a dark underside that caused five and arguably six deaths....if you count the policeman who killed himself two days after the fact. 

  It will all come out in the wash.  I have confidence that once the Biden/Harris administration is up and running that wheels will start turning in a more determined fashion and more and more invaders will be not only identified, but will be losing their jobs, the right to fly, and more.  The point will be made clear that you cannot simply decide to break the law, ride rough-shod into the seat of our government and tear the place up, all the while shouting that you're there to hang the Speaker of the House and the vice-president....and have it be taken lightly.  That won't happen.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Razor's Edge


    I am writing this at a little before noon on Wednesday, January 6th.  At this very moment there are two events transpiring that will change the history of our way or another.

   The first of these is the run-off election in Georgia.  The Democratic candidates are on a least, they may well be when the final tally is posted.  Raphael Warnnock has won his contest against Kelly Loeffler; and that is HUGE. Meanwhile, Jon Ossoff is leading Perdue, pending a few thousand votes being counted that are coming from heavily democratic counties...meaning that Ossoff is very likely to win also.

  Most Americans, if they are at all engaged in this season of political struggle, already know how vital this double race is.  If it went towards just one of the GOPs, Loeffler or Perdue, the senate would remain in GOP control and Moscow Mitch would spend the next four years doing what he's been doing for decades...blocking any legislation put forward by the Democrats.  He has had over 300 bills that he has simply left lying on his desk, vowing to make Obama a one-term president, and then putting up obstacles that for the most part Dems could not avoid in order to pass legislation.....ANY legislation.  Moscow Mitch has been a human wrecking-ball in terms of the Democratic agenda. And, apparently, he takes great pride in knowing this is what he has accomplished.  How much pain he has caused for low income working more than balanced in his pathetic mind by how much he has benefited the very affluent.  

  So, if Ossoff does, as expected, pull it off, and Warnock has already...that means Dems would be able to make progress on an agenda of bills that Joe Biden has touted throughout the campaign season.  His daunting task, initially at least, is to undo at least a significant part of the terrible damage that the Idiot has inflicted.  For four years, the Idiot has been waging an all-out assault on decency.  He has attacked the environment, never mind being a Climate Crisis denier, he is against anything that protects the natural world from the predations of big corporate America.  

    His idea is that we should be raping what is left of the natural world as hard and as fast as possible, animals, clean air, chemical pollution, water protection standards, regulations that protect workers from corporate bosses who are perfectly willing to put workers' lives at risk in order to increase their profits. All of this has been heavily under attack, and the results have been that the great majority of these have been seriously degraded.  He would destroy all the safety nets for the working and unemployed poor; the 'little people' don't score very highly on the Idiot's list of priorities.  He is incapable of caring about anybody but himself.  Which is about what we'd expect from a person with his type and severity of mental illness.

  And, then, this afternoon, there is a ceremonial counting of the electoral college votes, after which the election is further 'certified' and the final step in the transition is the actual inauguration on January 20th.  Historically, this has been a purely ceremonial event.  But, nothing in 2020 has been 'normal', of course, so neither will this be.  The Idiot has yapped endlessly, spewing his false narrative that the election was 'stolen' from him.  His incapacitated peanut-brain simply cannot embrace the idea that he is now a LOSER.  And, that, naturally, is a label he absolutely cannot tolerate....but, it is also one which will now follow him to his grave.  He will not only be remembered by history as a loser; he will be remembered as the fool who lost so terms of style and his complete failure to accept it....that it will be an historical footnote.  He will be not-so-fondly remembered for generations to come as the president who was as mad as a March hare.

   And, as if to further cement that reputation, he has demanded that his vice-president, in his ceremonial role as head of the senate, simply get up there and over-turn the election....something that Mike Pence has absolutely no power to do.  He simply cannot do it; his role in this is specified by the constitution and it doesn't bestow any such dictatorial power to toss out the votes and decide for himself who will be the next president.  Just the fact that the Idiot is asking--okay, DEMANDING--that he do this is a further indication of how very far out in the outback of Looney-land he is. 

  Meanwhile, out in the streets of our nation's capital.....the Idiot's equally looney followers are planning to smuggle their beloved guns into the firearms forbidden jurisdiction and start some trouble.  The National Guard is waiting.  It could get out of hand.  These are the same lunatics who believe that Tom Hanks and Oprah are feasting on the carcasses of fresh babies...which they molested before draining their blood to make 'life extending' potions.  Oh, yes....this is real.  It sounds so insane that it seems a giant leap to the idea of accepting that this is a genuine conspiracy these fools have embraced.  And, now the Idiot has inflammed and inspired these lunatics to hit the streets and the latest news reports are saying that they have rushed the capital and are causing such problems that Pence had to be spirited away by the Secret Service.  

  Oh, great.  We have a pathological idiot doing everything in his power to disrupt and even DESTROY  our democracy.  Isn't that special!  It's not exactly clear where all of this is headed...but, I can tell you one thing with absolute certainty: these mini-Idiots will NOT manage to get another term in the White House for the Idiot himself.  It WILL NOT HAPPEN.  

This man wants to be your leader....whether he wins another
election OR NOT.  He doesn't care at all if our country is a 
democracy.  Believe it.

    It feels like we are tip-toeing across the edge of a giant scimitar.  We have not come this close to our country being in dire straits in modern history.  And, to just ice the cake....we're in the midst of a major pandemic that stands to kill MORE AMERICANS THAN WORLD WAR II did.  

  Taken as single events or situations, any of this could be daunting and de-stabilizing for even a very well-grounded adult.  Taken as a cluster of things that are all rushing toward can be just completely overwhelming. 

  So, let's take a breath.  Watch where all of this is headed and know that we'll come out the other side with a functioning democracy.

  I hope.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Trump in the land of make believe.....


   When the story broke about the Idiot calling the Georgia Secretary of State, and spending just over an hour begging, wheedling, threatening and slyly suggesting...that Brad Raffensperger 'find' the necessary 11,780 votes to flip the election.....I was incredulous.  I mean, how could anybody be so amazingly dense as to think this was acceptable?  This was an undisguised and blatant effort to interfere with the results of an American presidential election.  It was an attempted 'coup' by any reasonable criteria.

  And, the Idiot just went ahead as if it was his right to commit any crime he felt like committing...without any consequences whatsoever.  I knew that he's not the brightest bulb in the drawer, that he does and says stupid stuff all the time, but I had no idea that he is this, off the scale, fucking DUMB.

  One of the t-v pundits with a legal background offered the opinion that it might be difficult to charge the Idiot with the crimes he's committed in making this phone-call.....get this....because, it appears he ACTUALLY BELIEVES IT.  The applicable statute apparently specifies that the crime has to be committed by a person who, "knowingly" does so.  Therefore, if the Idiot actually believes that it's okay to do something he cannot be classified as being 'knowing'.  

  Are you fucking shitting me?

He doesn't give a fart in a windstorm about your vote.  He is 
willing to just grab power and become some sort of pocket dictator....really.

    He may be a dumb-ass, but that doesn't mean he's incapable of respecting the law.  That is what he has a phalanx of lawyers tell him, "Mr. President, that's illegal.  You will be breaking the law if you do that."  To which, of course, he'd likely say something that only a stable genius could come up with, like: "I can do anything I want, because I am president".  The lawyers might then say something like: "But, Mr. President, this would not be covered by the immunity clause."  And, knowing the Idiot, he'd reply, "I know more than anybody what is okay and I can do whatever I want."  To which any lawyer with at least half of their brain working would reply, "As you wish, Mr. President."....and walk away.  When confronted by profound stupidity, it is almost always wiser to simply head for the door.  Besides, he's managed to surround himself with sycophants who will bob their empty heads and nod. 

   So, "What me worry?" as Alfred E. Neumann of Mad Magazine would have said.

 As is so often the case, the real problem is not that the Idiot is indeed an idiot; it lies with the fact that he has managed to infect a large percentage of the American population with his idiotic ideas and lies.  He has just about come out of the closet with QAnon now.  Much of what he tweets is either directly or indirectly purloined from paranoid and non-sensical QAnon sources as something that passes for factual truth....which is, of course, the opposite of the reality at hand. 

  We are inching along a precipice here.  If we misstep and fall, it will be generations before we manage to cobble back together anything resembling a truly democratic republic in which the power is in the hands of the people....not some mentally ill asshole who thinks he's the smartest genius on the planet. Allowing the Idiot and his orcs in the senate and house to steal the election....would be a disaster of an unapproachable scale.  It would mean that the oldest working democracy on the planet had failed and become an autocracy....but, but not just any autocracy, one with a bona fide fucking idiot leading it.  That is a whole different deal.


Saturday, January 2, 2021

Who could have imagined........?


  I realize that I have mentioned this previously, but as this heart-rending threshold approaches, I need to come back to the fact that the United States is fast approaching a death toll from Coronavirus that will EXCEED that of all the Americans who died in World War II. And, as I scroll down the list of all the major battles in both the Pacific and Europe, Africa, Asia and on the high seas, I see names that bring images of daunting casualties to mind. 

And....this is just one of MANY places where Americans rest in Europe.

   Here are just a few of these:  Anzio, Monte Casino, Normandy, Bastogne, Arnheim, Guadalcanal, Pelelieu, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Kwajalein, Okinawa, Saipan, the Philippines and on and on, not in any particular order.  These are just a few of the major battles, some of which went on for months.  The embedded image is just one of many military cemeteries in Europe. In every case, as you stand there and take in the rows, the seemingly ENDLESS rows of white crosses and a smattering of Stars of Davids, it becomes clear how massive the loss of life was.  And, then you have other Allied cemeteries, and German ones too. 

  If you look it up, the death toll for Americans in WWII comes in at 405,000.  And, this includes 'all causes' not just enemy action. If a soldier was killed when his ammo truck crashed into a ditch in the dark....his name is there. A phrase that gets re-visited on occasion is: "All gave some; some gave all." And, as kitschy as that may be, it's simply true.  The commitment to make whatever sacrifice was necessary to beat the Axis powers was absolute. 

  And, here we sit, battling an invisible enemy, still considered by many Americans to be a 'fake news' item, a hoax.  When asked how they explain the 340,000 dead, the smarmy reply is that this must be a lie, an exaggeration of the leftist losers who want the rights of all Americans to be abrogated....uh, well, not too sure why they would want that....but, NewsMax says so, so it must be true.

  We are working on an epitaph for our dead that will read something like: "Killed by our own foolishness".  If the goddamned Idiot in the Oval had any leadership ability, any strength of character, any human decency, any FUCKING BRAINS.....we would not be in anywhere near this insane situation we now find ourselves in.

  I don't think I need to mention...again...that it's run completely out of control.  And, despite the timely arrival of not one but TWO vaccines...the current administration is so incompetent and so completely uncaring and disengaged....that they are bungling the actual distribution and administering of injections.  Is there anything else they can make a mess of before they're out of here?

  Actually, funny you should ask:  Yessiree, there certainly is.  The Idiot himself is tweeting that he wants a mega-demonstration to take place in Washington on the 6th...this coming week.  He is fanning the flames of violence with his blatantly inflammatory tweets. We knew--on some level--that this was coming.  He is too deranged to simply admit that he lost the election....and he's too just plain evil to let go of anything graciously or with some evidence that he's anything but a t-v gangsta.  

  So, buckle your seat-belts and hang on.  The next two plus weeks is going to be a rough ride.