Friday, February 03, 2017 10:56 AM
A Promise To Pollute (2017Feb03)
Lots of phone calls and Facebook posts wishing me a happy birthday today—I’m glad everyone else is enjoying my turning 61—I’m of two minds about the aging process, myself. I think I’d celebrate a lot harder if I got a year subtracted from my age—but you work with what you have.
People pay a lot more attention to politics when it’s all going up in flames, as it seems to be doing right now. Back when Obama was being a competent president, with a firm grasp of world affairs, nobody gave a damn—there were even people who said, ‘I don’t know—I don’t think I’ll vote for anyone.’ Well, they voted without even realizing it, by letting the far-right win enough votes to elect Trump.
America doesn’t believe in the ‘Check Engine’ light—we worry about our problems only after the engine block has burst into flames. Well, the car’s on fire—are you happy now? The female half of this country is up in arms. The environmentally-conscious are up in arms. Anyone who doesn’t have pasty-white skin, or who talks with an accent, is up in arms. But Hillary had an email server—so what choice did we have, right?
The army of redneck supporters, ignorant enough to be taken in by the alt-right alternative facts and the subtle racism and the fear-mongering—those people are numerous enough to give Trump his electoral college win. But they are the least of it. The cynical power-brokers behind the scenes—the spreaders of the new fascism’s propaganda—are not the leaders of these shoeless morons. They are using them, not leading them—and they are using them to divert our efforts away from regulation, ethical watchdogs, and much-needed social programs.
The wealthy love the status quo—and all the suffering that implies. A real leader makes real change—and change is the enemy of the wealthy. They never argue this stuff head-on. They create a fog of controversy about a hundred little things, twisting the truth and stonewalling against accusations as if they really care—meanwhile, their true agenda carries on virtually unnoticed. It’s diabolical—but it’s working like gang-busters. For instance: Trump didn’t campaign on a promise to dump coal waste into our rivers and streams—but that is one of the first things he did.
Thursday, February 02, 2017 7:17 PM
Nation of Fools (2017Feb02)
In the early 1700s, the Protestant Huguenots fled persecution in France. These educated and successful people took all their skills and energy to other countries, mostly in Great Britain and the colonies. This ultimately weakened France and strengthened her neighbors and enemies—at a time when the exodus of nearly one million was not the ‘blip’ it is today.
Nazi Germany would make the same mistake—destroying the University system that had made Germany the intellectual hub of the world (although they would make deadly use of some of that scientific development) and driving the finest scientific minds of the day to foreign shores—many of them, thankfully, here to America.
Todays’ warning of the dearth of young scientists America now produces, combined with our new draconian xenophobia and divisiveness, shows the US seemingly poised to shoot itself in the leg, in like manner to Louis XIV and Hitler. And, truly, when stupid rules the roost, can we expect our brightest to hang around?
There is a cost to idiotic foreign policy, to populist-partisan domestic policy, to science-denial, religious reactionism, ignorance, bigotry, and especially to the dilution of rigor in public discourse. Those with the energy and brilliance to excel in society are not going to keep themselves in a dumbed-down America out of pride—not when our pride becomes transparent bluster and our legendary Yankee ingenuity is focused solely on such post-modern breakthroughs as the world’s biggest cement wall.
Where are booster rockets built? Russia. Where is solar technology being developed? China. Where is tidal power being researched? The Netherlands. Who’s building the electronics of tomorrow? Everybody but us. The question is: whose boot is most heavily pressed against the neck of America’s collective intelligence? Is it our school systems? Is it our politicians? Is it our ubiquitous media-trance? Why have we become a nation of fools?
Is the Internet nothing but a subtle form of mass lobotomy? When faced with dueling fact-checkers, is it not obvious that one of them is a lying, faithless scumbag? I give up. The world is too full of dogmen—humans are too rare. It is too cruel to teach me to love this country, sixty years now, only to see it transform itself into insane asylum.
I made a commitment to face down these drooling dogs of ignorance and hate—but I feel my determination flagging. Stupid is a powerful foe. And like an exorcist faced with a body possessed by a demon, it’s hard to decide how to exorcize the stupidity without destroying the victim—a lot of these people are not evil, per se—merely trapped in a web of alternative facts and fear-mongering that makes them zombie followers of the king of the brain dead—Trump himself. Telling them they are in error only hurts them, causing them to reflexively clutch their delusions to their breasts all the tighter.
Evil’s got us in a pretty tight corner, just recently. It’s ironic that I get some of them spewing the most outraged denouncements at me, when all I was trying to do is save them from their own mistakes. Granted, no one likes to be called an idiot—but for some reason I thought being brutally frank would help cut through the BS. I lose—same player plays again.
I was wrong. And that’s the tragedy—we’re all wrong, at least ten times a day. To err is human. But, when a group of cynical hypocrites start institutionalizing their own brand of self-serving Wrong—well, that’s evil—and those fuckers need to be exposed and neutralized. We use to rely on journalists for that. What happened? “They’re calling from inside the newsroom!” Noooo!