Increasing Intensity   (2018Sep04)


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Tuesday, September 04, 2018                                          12:45 AM

Increasing Intensity   (2018Sep04)

I’m always tempted to use the phrase ‘tsunami of bullsxxt’ when I think of the Republican party now. Mueller (and some helpful States’ Attorneys-General) are having success in uncovering a lot of corruption—and a lot of interaction—illegal interaction—with Russia (meaning Putin & Co.)—perpetrated by most of Trump’s entire ‘campaign cabinet’.

And now the Trump business and the Trump charitable foundation, and Eric, Ivanka, and Don Jr., are all looking down the barrel of tax-fraud and campaign-finance violations, especially surrounding the Inaugural Committee. Over $100 Million dollars in contributions (some contributed illegally by foreign entities—some stolen since). Cohen, for one, confessed to stealing some—but it appears unlikely his was the only wet beak.

Then there are the first two Congressmen to endorse Trump as a candidate—both facing indictments alleging corruption. This sect of the Republican Party is no Cub Scout Den—these folks have a very elastic understanding of ‘all men being created equal’, not to mention ‘public service’.

Now, when a floral horseshoe of charges, either convicted or confessed by a number of his circle, hangs around Trump’s neck—we are witnessing the unraveling of this manufactured ‘counter-culture’ of alternate-truth and non-facts and conspiracy theories like grains of sand. His so-called ‘base’ is about to be pushed back under the rocks it crawled out from—by the unison outrage of people who don’t yearn for an imagined past nearly as much as they do for a better tomorrow.

I use the word ‘tomorrow’ advisedly. I’m not talking about some ‘future’. We saw how quickly the Putin gang and the Alt-Right gang networked themselves into a de facto traitor-in-the-White-House—and with a host of avid cultists ready to excuse his every evil. If we are lucky enough to get a Blue Wave, we must use it to match their effectiveness—even if the truth is rarely as exciting as the dramatic lie, we must sell the truth with the same fervor as they hawk their ‘story’.

There was a time when we had sent astronauts to the Moon, long ago—and new Personal Computers were becoming something little children were playing with. Say the Eighties or thereabouts—when we started to think of ourselves as living in the future—‘George Jetson had nothing on us’.

And, of course, as in all transitional phases, we threw out a lot of babies with our old bathwater. The Sixties assassinations (highlighting public service and civil disobedience) were scarred over some—and the recent resignation of Nixon had soured many of us on the whole Authority thing. Not that we were surprised, really—no—but it was discomfiting to have it all spelled out and proved on tape.

Then Carter proved, in a way, that being a selfless, honest leader made easy prey for the jackals. And to twist the knife, the Republicans gave us a movie star—then overlooked Iran-Contra and his failing mental health, to christen him the ultra-Republican. And that is certainly true—flash over substance has been their business model, ever since Eisenhower left—and Reagan certainly personifies that credo.

The decades of hypocrisy—both in stealing oil from developing countries, and in defying the science behind the environmentalist movement, had made us ashamed of our American lifestyle—even though we (had we been asked) would have wanted things otherwise. The Ultra-Wealthy had a stake in the status quo—but the obstinance with which they shoved ethics aside to pursue profit has made the world what it is.

The hurricane season is something recent Republican presidents have not done well with—and that season is now upon us. When FEMA left Puerto Rico last year, they claimed great success and a very low mortality figure—double digits, I believe. But last week, Puerto Rico revised their mortality figures for Maria and concluded that nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the loss of electricity and clear roads and medical treatment—and drinking water!

I can’t understand why no one much cares about this in Washington DC. Tomorrow may be an unusually strong hurricane near the mouth of the Mississippi—and it seems that ‘unusually strong’ will ironically be ‘the usual’ for several years to come. So we have a president (oh how I hate that goon having that title) who did a lousy job on last year’s storms—and—he won’t even admit why the storms have increased energy every year.

I will never understand a person being so loosely tied to reality that they would deny it for purely political purposes. Trump knows as well as I do that Climate Change is real—there are pictures. And if he doesn’t believe the photos, he’s the president—he can fly a rocket up to the ISS and look at the polar ice caps himself—or, better yet, send Eric (that poor kid is better off where he can’t be subpoenaed).

With so much electronic interconnectivity, with so many environmental challenges, with so much new science and technology, and with so much income inequality—this is a bad time to decide we should follow luddites and anti-intellectuals. It is an even more dire time to be allow Inclusion and Peaceful Coexistence to be threatened by retrograde Nazis. What Trump did to children at our southern border was a Crime Against Humanity—whatever party you support, you should realize that the whole rest of the world sees it that way—because it was.

We really do live in the future now—but, instead of dazzling us with bottomless charity and industrial miracles of recovery and renovation, I suspect this year’s hurricane season will be, sadly, just as bad as last year’s, or possibly worse. And I mourn in advance the dead which Trump’s incompetence and bigotry will cause.

Unwelcome, Even On Twitter (2018Sep02)


Sunday, September 02, 2018                                            6:22 AM

Unwelcome, Even On Twitter   (2018Sep02)

Trump was not invited to McCain’s funeral. He would not have been welcome.

Trump’s disrespect and rudeness to McCain bothered McCain much less than Trump’s incomprehension of what made this country great—something McCain had fought for and risked his life for and had paid for in torn flesh and broken bone.

McCain’s daughter was well within her rights to point out Trump’s idiocy in calling for America to be made ‘great again’—since Trump had never done a thing to serve his country (and still hasn’t—quite the contrary, in the minds of most).

Trump’s tweeting out “MAGA” soon after daughter McCain’s elegiac comment—is a perfect example of the childish self-absorption that our president suffers from. God forbid that overgrown brat should sit there and take it like a man!

This MAGA business has been a symbol all along—a rallying flag for anti-intellectualism. Anyone who respected and loved America would never say such a thing. Only someone with a self-serving agenda (and a tin ear for surreptitious treason) would ever say we should “Make America great Again”.

Only a businessman who saw the crash of 2008 as a great defeat to America could say ‘MAGA’—thus revealing total ignorance of what makes America truly great. Hey, Trump—here’s a hint: you recently swore to protect, preserve, and defend it—but you forgot to read it.

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We Must Judge For Ourselves (2018Aug31)


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Friday, August 31, 2018                                           11:57 PM

We Must Judge For Ourselves   (2018Aug31)

There are so many convictions, indictments, confessions, and plea-deal-cooperating witnesses that I feel secure in pointing out (to anyone who doesn’t get their cues exclusively from ‘alt-news’ sources) that I was right about Trump—insofar as it was a mistake to elect him. As far as whether Trump is the mastermind of this corrupt insurgency of betrayal—or simple its witless front-man—that is still an open question.

I think it progressed, from simple high-stakes, white-collar, international money-laundering (And, really, who doesn’t engage in that?), to collusion with Russian operatives and their American stooges. At no point was Trump prepared to become our president—there is doubt as to whether he ever wanted to be president, as opposed to the fun of running for president. So far, his incompetence has led to thousands of deaths in Puerto Rico, thousands of children being traumatized at our border, and an increase in hate groups, and in their activity.

Our national reputation is in shreds—our president is, in a word, laughable. His ignorance, whether calculated, real, or a combination of the two, may play well with his willfully-blind base, but that crap don’t fly, overseas. And I really think the worst of it is the hyper-partisan unwillingness of our Republican Congress to observe the finer points of politics (ethics, say, or occasional honesty). That deranged septuagenarian in the Oval is not acting alone—nor is he invulnerable to Congressional oversight.

In fact, the Republicans’ obvious discomfort at accommodating their pet gorilla makes the presidency that much more a laughingstock—while showing us that Republicans are, in truth, without a platform, except to beat the Democrats (and the majority of voters) and make their super-rich donors happy. They inspire their followers with a burning resentment that blinds them to facts, and they point out a target—whether it’s immigrants, African Americans, liberals, women, gays, or overly-honest public figures.

The extent of this new media-network supporting the alternate reality of these truly-disturbed people is immense. The only defense against it is truth and logic—but they are so much less entertaining than conspiracy-theories and personality-assassinations. Plus, the assholes such as InfoWars host watsisname are always so full of outrage and indignation—it must be sincere, right? We really are so basic—people, I mean—just shout real loud and everyone turns to listen. If only there were a process, between hearing and believing, where people judged for themselves….

 

O, and, apropos of nothing, here are some brief thoughts from earlier in the month:

Friday, August 10, 2018                                           4:09 PM

Trump attacks the NFL protests because the humility of the act horrifies him. He won’t bend the knee—even to the rule of law—his ego won’t let him.

 

Friday, August 24, 2018                                           2:34 PM

Abortion is a practical issue so intimate that we feel emboldened to make of it an issue of morality. Morality is just a debate tactic, however, as history shows.

The Eighteenth Amendment banned alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933, when it was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment. That thirteen-year period forced virtually every American to participate in the sub rosa criminality of the underworld. It did not change human nature, it merely complicated it.

But we did not learn from this episode. Drugs remain criminalized. The harm to society has been so obvious that any reasonable person would have long since changed drug abuse from a Crime to a Health Issue. As with so many societal ills, our impulse to punish wrong blinds us to the potential of helping those who have been led there.

Those who wish to ‘re-criminalize’ abortion must admit that their motive, far from saving hypothetical infants, is merely to punish. We know that abortions were performed, back while it was still a crime. We know that, for some young women, an unplanned child is a foregone tragedy for both. We know that many of such women will attempt to terminate. Forcing them to do so as an outlaw serves no purpose.

Morality cuts both ways—it is not exclusive to evangelists.