The Quick Fix (2019Dec20)

Friday, December 20, 2019                                               3:01 AM

The Quick Fix   (2019Dec20)

Once, late last century, our office went non-smoking. This was a major shift in the business environment. Before anti-smoking groups lobbied for clean-air environments in bars, restaurants, and workplaces, every office had been a fog bank of cigarette smoke.

This was a perfect environment for a heavy smoker like me—I didn’t notice the stink or the lung irritation—I even let the kids hang out in my office. It was, obviously, a different time.

That all changed in the 1990s. Suddenly, I was expected to sit at my computer all day long without smoking. I panicked. I said, “Look, why don’t we just keep my office at the end of the hall, as a smoking area?” They said sure, and I was able to keep my environment cozy.

As days went by, other smokers found reasons to visit my office and, of course, have a smoke or two while we talked. It wasn’t long before my office became a crowded place—with smoke so thick it crept down the hall on little cat feet.

Luckily, the end of the hall is also where the back door was, so we changed the smoking area to ‘outside the back door’, and I got used to nicotine patches and exterior lounging. Change is the only constant.

I’ve been thinking about Capital. Karl Marx, who couldn’t spell it right, still found several glaring problems with the whole system of property and ownership. And that was before it became the bloody hell-scape it is today.

Long ago, the fight for freedom was a fight against the idea that people are born subject to another, against the idea of owning another. Now things are more subtle.

Today, we are born free. And the wealthy stand ready to sell us everything we were born free of. They’ll even loan us money—as long as we make regular payments, and keep our underpaid, unfair jobs, and pay taxes (for ourselves and the wealthy, too—they don’t pay taxes).

The framers lived in a world where one could fly off into the woods, kill the local natives, and scratch out a private kingdom with one’s bare hands. But we live in a world where you’re not allowed to kill the people that own everything. In fact, the cops pretty much work for them.

That seems very unfair to me. But, because I once created a crowded smoking section in my own office, I’m always very careful about offering my solutions. But, bottom line, their world had farmers and hunters. Our world has lawyers and traders. Pretending money and government don’t mix in our present-day democratic self-government is the blithest of hypocrisies, and desperate wishful-thinking on the part of the wealthy.

Grand Old Party in Bad Faith (2019Dec06)

Friday, December 06, 2019                                               10:22 PM

Grand Old Party in Bad Faith   (2019Dec06)

Once Nixon resigned, the Republicans were in pretty bad odor, for a political party—between the Pentagon Papers, Nixon’s Enemies-List, & Watergate, their opposition to civil rights and women’s lib looked less like Conservatism and more like Racism and Misogyny. Scofflaw bigots don’t get many votes.

So, with Reagan began the Era of Republican BS. We find ourselves surprised by the fact that Nixon created the EPA—that’s how long it’s been since the Republicans have acted in a truly bipartisan spirit.

With Reagan came denial of the AIDS crisis, support for Extremist Evangelicals, deregulation of Banks, and the whole Iran-Contra scandal—a refutation of bipartisanship that has only grown with time. When Bush-41 came in, he made it abundantly clear that businesses (especially his friends’ businesses) took precedence over the will of the people.

When Clinton came in, they spent years impeaching him for a blow-job—as if the rest of Washington, D.C. were a pack of virginal choirboys—these are Republicans, remember. Hypocrisy jumped the shark with the Clinton Impeachment.

Need I enumerate the iniquities of Bush-43? Can’t we just leave it at: Allowed 9/11, Started first by-mistake War, Didn’t catch one terrorist in two terms, Caused financial crash? That was followed by Obama’s eight years, which displayed Republicans as bigots, liars (birtherism), and actors in bad faith (demonizing the ACA).

So this is a steadily rising tide of Republican hypocrisy, dishonesty, bigotry, misogyny, and bad faith. It attracts and unites some of the worst, most un-American citizens of this nation (not to mention small-time crooks) and picks as its leader the slimiest, cruelest, most dishonest among them: Trump.

And now Trump Tweets: “I don’t believe Nancy prays for me.” Talk about transference!  Charlie Manson’s cult of personal loyalty only had about a dozen. Jim Jones’ cult of personal loyalty only had a few hundred. But Trump’s followers number in the millions. It is the most successful attack on the US Government since Pearl Harbor.

And now some ‘moderate Democrats’ are talking about ‘alternatives to removal’! Sometimes I just wanna slap somebody….