Let’s not fuck about—Reality is a fucking nightmare—and we are all cognizant of that simple fact. It’s the reason we are so careful to shield our babies and toddlers from certain truths, it’s the reason we are so heartbroken to see our children off to ‘Senior Proms’, or College, etc. (AKA, their final exit from your lives—another example of the F-ing nightmare—don’t argue with me!)
By the same token, we all remember of ‘lost-ness’ as children, begging our parents, grandparents, teachers—even our peers, to give us straight answers to the most important questions in life—and getting ‘best-guesses’ from our peers, and the big Mum from grown-ups.
That’s why so many kids grow up with fond memories of totally-inappropriate adults who were irresponsible enough to tell them the truth. It is one of the few avenues of truth for a young person—a person who has been stomped on by this charade of ‘life’, who’ll honestly warn young people about the shit-show that awaits them.
Such ‘losers’ are all-the-more important now, when our planet has already been pushed beyond its limits, just to appease the liars who live off of Oil investments (or plastics manufacturing)—not to mention the be-Suited Republicans (who will do Anything, for the right price).
Just think about the fact that a man so debased as to be booted from Twitter, still gets his every inane utterance ‘reported’ by the Media-news. That is an indictment of mass Media, AND a sign that Chump is an enemy of our Nation. But, as long as some fat MF-er is making his bucks, sitting back, smoking his cigar—well, dat’s ‘Murica, aint’it?!
[It’s actually Nov. 1st, 2021, now. Hope you enjoyed your Halloween.]
Here’s something I typed in March. I’m not sure why I didn’t post it, at the time. Probably just some insecurity on my part, as to whether anyone in the world was still interested in anything but the media’s panic attack (read: ‘Special Breaking Report’s w/lots of high-priced air-time):
It’s ironic. (For me, at least—if you had watched the documentary about Suleiman the Magnificent and then looked up “1520: events in England” on Wiki, like I just did, you’d find it ironic too.)
Picture it. It’s the early sixteenth century, let’s say 1520. Suleiman the Magnificent is Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. His reign will see the patronage of the arts, architecture, and poetry. His Empire conquered parts of Europe, so his bench of artisans was varied and deep—including bookbinders.
Now, up to this point, the whole world read on an even playing field: anything important enough to copy multiple times, by hand, was handled by monks, scribes, whatever—writers, that is, but not like we think of writers. Literacy was a rare skill in 1520, even among gentry.
But, in England, in 1520, a guy named William Tynsdale published the first English translation of the Bible in England. Certainly, he had to run away immediately, because Henry VIII may have severed ties with Rome, but he was by no means leading the Reformation—his Clergymen wanted William executed.
After leading them a merry chase, as a lion-hearted English outlaw is wont to do—managing to spread hundreds of English bibles to new Protestant ‘preachers’, whose greatest imperative was piety and poverty—the Church of England clergy got their wish—but it was too late. Tynsdale’s translation was an excellent interpretation from original Greek and Latin texts.
Short decades later, the bible for which William Tynsdale was executed by strangulation (for heresy) and then burned at the stake (for good measure?) became legal, and was widely plagiarized—including large parts of the “King James Version of the Holy Bible” that soon followed.
Meanwhile, the Ottoman Empire is in the ascendant, fully engaged with the scholarship and research of the day, more than a conquering power—a civilizing influence under which much learning and sophistication is achieved.
Nevertheless, the Ottoman Empire got snagged on a technicality—we Westerners may have been brash enough to alter the “Word of God”, and invent movable type, etc. and so on, but the sacred script of the Quran was an entirely different matter. The flowing script of Arabic texts is far less amenable to regimentation than the Roman alphabet.
In the West, printing took off like a shot—and the Bible remains the greatest-selling printed book in history. For the Ottomans, another two centuries would pass before printing in Arabic would become common (and legal) in spite of reading, and trading, in printed books from the West.
It’s a little thing that made so much difference. The fragility felt by Ottomans towards the risk of desecrating the Quran, is much like the furor caused today, when someone dares to depict the Prophet’s portrait. I don’t know much about people from other countries or cultures. But I do know that the Mid-East is the longest occupied strip of dirt in the world—and those folks’ roots go deep—like primordial deep. And I’m not sure Westerners are prepared, or interested, in learning enough about them to keep them from trying to kill us, as a national pastime in some places.
[Okay, now I remember–that psycho ending! What the Hell was I trying to get at? I supposed I was thinking of the ‘modern crusades’, wherein Christians and Muslims consider themselves deadly enemies, regardless of treaties, alliances, or reassurances. And I’ll tell you: Some people just like to Hate–it’s what they focus on, as the point of existence. Lots of Christians and Muslims don’t feel that way–quite the opposite. But the Haters do exist. And we must keep an eye on them–whichever side they hate from.]
Money was meant to be utile. Those who have learned to abuse the concept seem to believe it confers honor and power upon them. They have complicated society to the point where everyone has become complicit, for survival. That still begs the question: Why do we let them ?
Today, we let most of them because—they’ve hired mercenaries as a ‘security detail’. That was the point they were supposed to understand that it’s wrong to take so much, and give nothing but betrayal in return—but they went with ‘security details’. I guess when you start stupid, you continue Stupid.
My point is: the power of wealth is founded on the Fiction of money, the legal fiction of a corporation’s ‘personhood’, and human nature. We can address that as an issue, or dismiss it. It’s killing the planet & threatening to genocide humanity—but, hell, we can dismiss it. Who really cares, right? Not me.
I’ll be dead (according to my doctor, at least) long before my kids face the hellscape created by Big Oil—& (if you can believe) they’re still trying that three-card-monte doubt-&-denial game, with the planet already Aflame! What a bunch of MF-ing scumbags! Could you imagine? They must remove the mirrors from their fucking houses.
I am a learned scholar of 65. That’s not something I would have ever said, in the recent past, pre-Tea-Party-fascist-resurgence, when it was both self-evident—and something folks respected me for. I had no need to describe myself in the pre-Post-truth Era. And I am even now uncomfortable, talking about my ‘gifts’, such as they are.
But, I have them, just the same. I know our nation’s history as well as most professors; I’ve read most of the literature of America and Britain—fiction, plays, and poetry, and translations of Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote de la Mancha”, Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”, Alexandre Dumas’ “The Three Musketeers“, Hermann Hesse’s “Siddhartha“, et alia; I’ve studied painting, sculpting, mosaic, draughting, fresco, woodwork, wood-carving, horn-carving, and I have used every “shop” power-tool, big or small. O, and I also dig music.
I’ve met top execs in their exclusive, pent-house dining halls; I’ve shared pup-tents with homeless junkies; I’ve ridden a bus from NYC to LA, and flown a jet back (tripping, re-reading LOTR) from my failure to make a go of Reed College, in Portland, OR. But I made my fortune in what was not yet a college course—programming.
So when I claim to understand the basics: Math, Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Geology, Biology, Medicine, Engineering, Economics, and Realpolitik—I don’t mean I have a Vague feeling that I ‘understand’ these subjects (nor do I claim Expertise)—I mean that I can follow a careful explanation as well as the next PhD. I mean that I’ve followed progress, on the daily, for decades—while learning more and more about the trail of time that led us here.
To be blunt, I cannot respond to a brat who confronts me with “What They Know”. The proper procedure is to Ask me if what you heard is true—I will gladly confirm any facts you’re new to. When someone (who was hitherto not exactly scholarly-inclined) begins to scream and shout ‘new information’ which is true by virtue of how Intensely they want to believe it—I have to wonder who wound up these poor, too-easily-manipulated ‘despera-mericans’?
“Pride cometh before a Fall”. In our American Pride is our downfall. We grew great by having open doors, if not open arms. We grew great by having few laws, but those ‘greats’ lobbied those laws in-shut for others who might compete or disrupt. We supported our needy only when and where the Church gave us license to also Condescend to those needy.
The tremendous wealth, held in the hands of those who, additionally, decide who goes without, is an insult to justice, and reproof to any claim to faith or decency those fatcats may make. All hail Democracy! May it survive the decade.
Disinformation, the cynical misuse of ‘Freedom of Speech’, has become the prime weapon of the Capitalists and Republicans. Secrecy, the cynical misuse of ‘Right to Privacy’, has always been an important part of the criminal arsenal—and another weapon of Capitalists and Republicans.
Black-Lung was denied and dismissed by Capitalists and Republicans in West Virginia. Frack-caused Earthquakes were denied and dismissed by Capitalists and Republicans in Oklahoma. Liquor, Tobacco, Hexavalent Chrome, Acid Rain, and Asbestos were denied and dismissed by Capitalists and Republicans, everywhere, for years, sometimes decades. The Oil Biz is still (unbelievably) doing it.
A whistleblower told the truth about Facebook recently. Facebook’s first response was, “She’s a dirty girl, with no knowledge of Facebook, and other bad things.”—or words to that effect. Who is supposed to take that seriously? Why start off, step one, with an outrageous, obvious lie? The lady had paperwork—her standing at Facebook was not the issue—she had memos.
Why is corporate and Republican lying de rigueur in our time? The rule used to be: don’t lie if you can get caught at it. Today’s rule: If you get caught lying, lie some more. Everyone can see they are dishonest, but they persist in pushing their false narratives, as if they were brands or personal styles.
And the trouble with that is it makes them so attractive to bubble-brained high-school-dropouts desperate for involvement, but without the trouble of engagement. There are more than a few kids whose childhood was so prolonged, their adult lives are, in a sense, a pursuit of the same irresponsibility they’ve always enjoyed.
Yet, if beer and broadcast football are to be the height of human achievement, let’s all get together to make that happen for everybody. If not, we have to start eschewing beer and football—such is meant for the exhausted minds of slave laborers.
America is such a great idea—it has worked for heroes And villains, for two centuries. But we have reached a point where the villains are just unreasonably irresponsible, and must be kicked out of the house—ere they divide it with their ignorance. America must choose Civilization—or watch idly, as the least-of-us lead the masses into violence and riot.
Did you think America’s greatness would go unchallenged? Did you think the rich, spoiled, power-hungry bastards in this land would just sit back and let others hold the power, by virtue of a democratic election?! O, you simple soul.
America needs fighting for. It’s not the best for nothing. If you let Fat-cats and Right-Wingers F this nation into regression, into the filth that makes up most nations, you will never get it back again.
If you can say to yourself, “My grounds are too vast, my house has too many rooms, I have an eight-car garage filled with high-performance vehicles. I have an indoor pool, and outdoor pools, a sauna, a hot tub, and a steam room. I have to have a team of people to handle all I possess.”—then you are well on your way to rationalizing servitude—and elitism, for that matter.
A middle-class person might have a small house, a small yard, and A car. But they don’t mind the size-difference half so much as the fact that they have to do all their own ‘serving’. Now, here’s the tricky part: they know they’re actually better off, but they can’t help resent the smugness of the overly-entitled.
To have someone else do one’s yard & garden is to give up full possession—it’s not really ‘your’ yard anymore, is it? Same with: the house, the cars, the money, the food, the schedule—a rich person, if not careful, can easily end up a prisoner of their assets. Worse, they can become deluded into thinking their ownership extends to those who tend their garden—which is silly and kind of embarrassing for us to witness, even if it isn’t embarrassing to the rich asshole who flaunts it.
The resurgence of fascism (fear-based crowd-manipulation) required a special guy. Chump had to represent every aspect of Ignorance and Authoritarianism—just as if those old evils hadn’t already been soundly and finally dismissed, years ago. He had to present old hatreds and fears as ‘new discoveries’, ‘exposés’ on the doubtfulness of common sense.
He had two allies—the GOP had blocked any attempts to support the middle class for decades—creating deep resentment in their own strongholds. All they had to do was point the finger at the ‘enemy’, and all their evil was put on the Democrats’ plate. Clever, right?
The second ally was the Media ‘News’ Outlets—these misinformation streamers sensationalized the worst lies they could come up with (Chump being the master of this art, supplied most of the ‘ideas’. Ha! To think of them as ‘ideas’—you see how tricky language can be…)
I just watched two PBS specials that blew my mind. One of them explained that the Egyptian Empire’s ‘Old Kingdom’ (the era in which all pyramids were constructed) ended mysteriously about 4,000 years ago, with the death of the 90-year-old Pepi II.
They found evidence that Egypt’s plains were once Savannahs, not the deserts of today, teeming with Ibex and other deer-like game. Evidence also indicated the sacred crocs of the Old Kingdom (Which were raised, fed, worshipped, and mummified at death by the temple priests.) left fossils which indicated they once inhabited the whole of North Africa, which would’ve required interconnected waterways.
Both core-samples of ice from the North Pole—and mud from the bottom of the ‘oasis’ at Birket Qarun (formerly Lake Moeris) independently came up with identical evidence of a ten-year drought, at the time of the death of Pepi II!
Anyway, Lake Moeris, which in those days was over 200-feet deep, was connected to the Nile. I can’t believe nobody in Hollywood has written a screenplay set in Egypt’s glory days, when the pyramids were white, geometric, and tipped with gold—and surrounded not by desert, but by lush savannah.
The parallel to Lake Mead’s recent news is unavoidable:
From the Washington Post:
“CARSON CITY, Nev. — Water levels in the two largest man-made reservoirs in the United States could dip to critically low levels by 2025, jeopardizing the steady flow of Colorado River water that more than 40 million people rely on in the American West.
After a dry summer, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released models on Tuesday suggesting looming shortages in Lake Powell–a and Lake Mead — the reservoirs where Colorado River water is stored — are more likely.
Only 55% of Colorado River water is flowing from the Rocky Mountains down to Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona line. Due to the below-average runoff, government scientists say the reservoirs are 12% more likely to fall to critically low levels by 2025 than they projected.”
What worries me is that many people, including people I care about, live on America’s West Coast—and the “The Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage” describes the Old Kingdom’s downfall as featuring domestic cannibalism (A record of that era which most scholars, until recently, thought fanciful). If that’s not a warning from history, nothing is.
The Other PBS special was “Operation Bridge Rescue”, about saving ancient bridges in China and a sorta-ancient covered-bridge in upstate New York. This was a fascinating show about how the Chinese invented a wooden bridge structure which was only vulnerable to flooding—which pushed upward on the interwoven support-beams, destroying the bridge’s integrity. To remedy this, old Chinese bridges had heavy stones as pavement and complex, massive pagoda-roofs to ensure that gravity would win out over water pressure.
These bridges are important historical sites in China’s culture—but a recent, massive flood (due to climate instability) destroyed three of these beautiful artifacts. The same thing happened to the old-timey covered bridge in Blenheim, NY. The show followed the differences and similarities in traditional construction techniques and modern planning for severe weather to continue. As I caromed from one of these shows to the other, I was struck by how hard it is, these days, for PBS to do a documentary that has no mention of the climate crisis. I guess that’s why the Republicants hate PBS & the NEA—it’s a streaming denial of all their oil-grubbing lies….
Today’s headlines included: sex-trafficking involving MN’s top GOP donor, criticism of Biden for ending the twenty-year war in Afghanistan, and a conservative Cardinal anti-masker who caught COVID and ended up on a ventilator.
The stupid is strong with this day’s news. Where to F-ing start?
First off, I must be older than I thought. It is news to me that Minnesota has become a hub for sex-trafficking, to where it has seeped into political leadership (or corruption, rather). I can only say that I’m glad it wasn’t a Democrat, not that trust isn’t an issue, with politicians, generally.
Secondly, someone has to kick these talking-head news-needles out of that rutted groove: Criticizing Biden for the way he handled ending a twenty-year-long-FUBAR—that is zombie-thinking.
We should be tearing apart the Pentagon in an attempt to find the worthless bucket of s__t who was in charge of Afghanistan. We should be laughing our guts out at the idea of these Afghanis having the same fire in their bellies that Americans have—WTF were we thinking?
All I know for sure is that Biden is the least-to-blame person in our government—and news media needs some cold water in their F-ing faces. Why do ‘journalists’ go after quotes from someone like Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, who recently chastised his ‘flock’ for not trusting in ‘Protection’ from Jesus?
Call me a cock-eyed Atheist, but when I was raised Catholic, I was taught that the Savior protects our souls, not our bloodstreams. They left that to doctors—even in the Dark Ages (when they shouldn’ta). Not for nothing, if JC was so keen, he mighta protected a few thousand young Catholic boys—from the priesthood.
Please note that I offer no offense to any faith—only to people who abuse the faith of others—without being honest with themselves about Why they do and say these disruptive, wacky things.
I am not volatile by nature—I was happy when Trump lost and I could go back to feeling sorry for him. It didn’t feel right, having to wait upon the next explosion of Narcissism and Pop-Hate, vilely hating a man whom I Knew to be totally beneath my notice, except for lying his way into Office.
Now he’s gone, it even more obvious: he was a small problem. The millions of dupes, believing disinformation from Trumpland’s GOP, are the big problem. How did people become so gullible as to believe terrible liars like the Republicans—when they attend a riot, then claim it was Antifa-imposters?! Their lies are so stupid, sometimes they have to backtrack, & say, ‘that one was just to make fun of all you hysterical leftists’.
But we all know BS when we hear it—even when we heard it five-times-a-day from Chump. I’m embarrassed for the faithful-followers. These people see the death-tolls fall, nationwide, except—whoops—where They live! Their hospitals are full to bursting—how long will these people stick to Republicans? Many have died for the team, already—prancing around like the virus can’t get’em. This is medical—it’s not as political as you media and troublemakers would wish it is.
So, yeah, I was (I hate to say) ‘normally’ outraged by the idiocy of the media’s coverage of our Afghan Exit, as a “Biden take-a-shot game”; and by the shamelessness of a Catholic Bishop preaching (dangerous) Christian Science, just because he lives in a Republican county!
But my craw totally stuck on the sex-trafficking in Minnesota. That is a new level of shitty-ness for our nation. You expect that sort of thing down where a family of inbreeds own a big mansion in a swamp—where even the cops won’t go. But I guess ‘modern times’, right?
When I was growing up, I worried a lot about whether I could do my part, be one of the good guys. But until our media stops being a fucking pot-stirrer about every horror, and ignoring anything thoughtful or long-term, we are actually under fire from our own ‘data-sources’, threatening our composure and our focus on priorities.
The Talking-News-Heads are a blight and an attitudinal problem for all of us—these Capitalists make money by charging advertisers, based on their viewership. People watch more when they’re angry or upset—you do the math. Good for them. Suicide for society. But, you be the judge. All I can say is, if Minnesota has become a hotbed of corruption, poverty, racism, drug-addiction, police brutality, and sex trafficking—WTF have you ‘Sotans been doing up there?! And why aren’t we being taken live, to Minneapolis—instead that F-ing desert where the people surrender themselves to the first bully comes the fuck along.
On PBS, there was a recent NOVA: Season 43, Episode 9, “The Hidden Fluorescent World”, of which, I happened to catch a small segment. Usually, NOVA is reviewing something I’d already heard about, somewhere. But not this Episode—no-sir-ee!
I can’t repeat the whole spiel (I’m an idiot). But there was a lot of talk about how sea-creatures tend to have bio-luminescent and bio-fluorescent pigmentation. GFP, or Green Fluorescent Protein, recently earned a Nobel Prize for its discoverers. But green is only the most common color of fluorescing proteins in ocean wildlife.
I saw a blasé, normal-looking gray shark—and when they shone the special light on this shark, it suddenly looked like a cross between a tiger’s markings and a punk-rocker’s tattoos. And, I have to say—the shark looked much more organic in his ‘undersea lighting’—an obvious predator.
Dialogue became denser as they explained why they needed a Red Fluorescent Protein if they’re ever to have a window into the living human brain’s activity. They can attach a protein to a brain cell—but human brains are too dense to see the light through. GFP was good enough for them to see a fruit-fly’s brain in action—their images of this are described as the first images of ‘a brain in action’.
Now, if I still had a sharp mind and a fit body, I would have become very excited about all this. This is big stuff. Even without being involved (like Armstrong’s famous first step off the LEM) I still felt a thrill—just to know that such a deep cut had been made—into the heart of life’s mystery.
And I came to this keyboard tonight with the express purpose of describing my disappointed wonder: we have been telling ourselves how we have it all ‘figured out’, since Edison; since Einstein; since Turing & Watson & Crick & who knows who else… But. Here’s this new thing: we haven’t been seeing fish the way they’ve been seeing themselves. Underwater Optics have a marine ‘twist’ to them—and that twist is: bio-luminescent, and especially, bio-fluorescent, proteins.
But the pretty colors, under the sea, are just a bonus. They search for proteins that fluoresce Red—because the closer to infra-red a light is, the further it can penetrate. The point is, or rather, the hope is, to find a good, red protein—to culture it, to introduce it to the very-dense Human brain cells, and thus to be able to ‘see’ the electrical charges of brain-activity more precisely than ever before dreamed of.
Tell you the truth, brain-scanning—or the possibility of it—is something I hope we never have to trust others with. Conversely, digital brain uploads will require such precision—spotting dysfunctional brains would also probably be helpful sometimes.
Anywho… as you can see, NOVA will sometimes sneak up on you—and kick you in your teeth. The sci-fi of Clarke and Asimov had no conception of the future they helped create. Turing, who invented numbers-for-words, i.e. binary computing—which won WWII and was then kept top-secret until the 1980s—was convicted of homosexuality and killed himself eating an apple, laced with cyanide. Even our most brilliant thinkers often stumble, trying to imagine the fullness of ten or twenty years’ time.
I still can’t get over the fact that stationary stores and book stores are obsolete. They were my favorite shops.
But, here we are, post-future, post-history, digital processing power, etc.—but we just found out what fish look like, to themselves. A consideration for anyone who thinks we have it all ‘figured out’…..
You know how, when you’re young, you think you’re hot shit? And then you realize that other people see right through you, and you’re making a fool of yourself? And so, you modify your behavior (no matter how hard it is to stop saying ‘radical’) and eventually go back to assuming you’re hot shit? And over and over, right up to today?
Well, I’m 65, and I am past tired of finding out what an asshole I am. Maybe I’ll just settle on being an asshole, and start relaxing?
New World settlers came with guns and powder. They found guns necessary for defense against the current inhabitants, the bears, wildcats, wolves, and what-have-you. That condition maintained for centuries and, in the mid-1700s, North American colonists were upset by the English Crown’s efforts to control and limit guns, powder, and ammo. They needed their guns to live.
The American Revolution is probably the only war in history that had no disarmament phase. After the Colonies won their Independence, and wrote their Constitution, they were still in need of guns, as part of daily life. They felt obligated to protect citizens from any future situation where government might impinge on the Peoples’ right to bear arms.
Thus, America entered history with an itchy trigger finger. Between the Native Americans, the wild predators, the occasional bandit gang, etc., USA citizens did more shooting than anything else. But we eventually ran out of game, as it were—and found our towns and cities crowded with civil, busy, harmless neighbors (shooting whom was frowned upon).
Moreover, in all our subsequent wars, privately-owned firearms were not in any way involved—we have a professional military (best in the world). But, sure, you feel better walking around your block with a concealed weapon—still, consider therapy.
Now, all of America is a civil community, in which guns are nothing but trouble. But, some extremists ‘explain’ that good people should all carry guns, to stop the troublemakers. That seems like the long way around, to me. What do you think?
All my life, I’ve been watching War Movies on TV. Oddly, the story changes every time I watch one. I just ejected out of “As it Happened: Tarawa”, because the beginning details delve into the inadequate and poorly-planned naval bombardment (foreseeable, hence not necessary) and the concern that, after the new tractor-carriers’ ‘wave’ came ashore, the older troop-landing craft, with their four-foot draft, would get hung up on the reef surrounding Tarawa, which they absolutely did (again, foreseeable, hence not necessary).
Also, they made a point of the Japanese defenders having insane firepower emplacements, with guns that punched through the landing craft, and the Marines within them. At that point, my mind spun out on all the WWII ‘heroism’ (i.e. self-martyrdom) required by the half-assed, block-headed bullshit that passed for military leadership, back then.
By the Fifties, American leadership had become so half-assed and block-headed, people started to notice. No one wanted to die in Korea, a policeman—a good cop. That is not what boot camp prepares them for. And, no surprise, they did a lousy job.
By Viet Nam, Daniel Ellsberg was able to reveal publicly that American leadership was sending our sons and daughters to the slaughter—in a war they knew they’d never win. Once the C-in-C was also exposed, as a small-minded gangster, in a job too big for him, many worried the People might lose faith in our politics, or government.
But they needn’t have worried. Since that time, Americans have been duped by Reagan, Two Bush’s, and a Chump. A grotesque warning against excessive self-love has been elected a Kentucky Senator for so many terms, his skin is sagging over his mouth. He’s presently denouncing major corporations as ‘Stupid’ for showing political support to the People.
You’d think dese bastids became physically wounded, every time a poor person got an extra buck. Like Bells, and Angels’ Wings, or something. And their eagerness to spill blood—our kids’, their kids’—these F-ers don care. Remember when they just up and ‘adios!-ed’ the Kurds, that one day—and then They all got slaughtered by Putin & Assad’s Death Emporium? I do. It was disgracefully contemporary, as war-crimes go.
Republicans used to be the ‘opponent’, the other side of the story. Yeah, they don’t bother fencing with humanism any more (they always lose). They just buy Media access and Media censor-privileges and personal NDAs, tell the biggest lies they can—and finesse off the rage they thus inspire in good people.
This is no F-ing ‘Party’, Okay? These are chambermaids of Satan: McConnell, Gaitz, Cruz, Kemp, ‘space-laser’ Greene, McConnell’s wife (talk about an unholy union—hope the sex is good, at least–eww).
The modern Republican Party was created by the Democrats—who, in the 60’s, found the courage to embrace Civil Rights—thus leaving many pompous, enraged Dixiecrats on the table. The Republicans, after scarfing up the racists, began to reach out to church-crazies, gun-nuts, and the entire underworld of ignorant resistance to civility. Having lost every single, solitary cultural and ethical debate to the free-thinkers choosing, in the 60’s, to re-echo our founding fathers, they really had no choice but to delve into the shadowy world of hatred, zealotry, conspiracy, greed, and ego.
Which brought them all the way up to Traitor Chump and Death-Fan Mitch. Now, these two clowns enjoyed monolithic political backing—to a F-ing man! Why? Because they don’t waste time debating issues, ethics, morals, or even common sense—like a biz, all these guys know is: they’ll get fired if they screw with the boss.
Democrats sit around arguing with each other, about right and wrong, and other worthless BS. Republicans don’t waste time on fairness, charity, kindness—what the hell are you thinking? We’re trying to run a biz here.
So, the strength of the Republicans lies solely in the shouting urgency they give their fables, the gloomy warnings they scream against a healthy society, the nightmares they ascribe to Democrats winning elections (or, really, Republicans losing them). It must be hard for them to find so many ways to brag on their elitism, without sounding like stupid, scared bullies. I’m not sure it’s still working. Do people really take them seriously—I mean, really?
The power of ‘what if’ used to be a ‘secret weapon’, deployed by every intellectual in a tight place, since the world began. The power of the intellect has always snuck under the radar, until modern times. Religious leaders always dismissed it as sinful folly—if not witchcraft, needful of Burning.
Making Logic dangerous and illegal did nothing to weaken its power—while Copernicus remained afraid to expose to the Vatican his “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres)”, this seminal work of Scholarship (an even more insidious form of ‘what if’) became a familiar subject amongst the world’s astronomers and gentlefolk science-enthusiasts.
Even after his death, only Tycho Brahe would stand up for his ideas. And Tycho did not believe in Heliocentrism—he just admired the elegance of Copernicus’ thinking—and took plenty of heat for it. Then Kepler had to face the same stupid fight. Popular acceptance of our modern image of the Solar System was still centuries away.
Truth has that elegance, especially in physics. Pi, for example, is both a constant and a mystery without a solution—is that not elegant? We may have admired Euclid, even if he’d screwed up a few formulae—just for the elegance of the great ones. And friggin Newton—OMG—a mathematical relationship between two masses, and their distance, that explains ‘gravity’—a term we still can’t adequately explain any better than Isaac did, as ‘spooky action at a distance’.
There is elegance in the universe—and only someone whose hackles don’t rise at the idea of ‘spooky action at a distance’ (?!) can be calm and settled, rather than racing furious to find that elegance that can protect us from that in our infinite universe which is ‘spooky’.
Of course, America has ruined ‘what if’, just as it has destroyed every other power of manipulation, and harnessed it to Capitalism. They have diverted ‘what if’ into fantasy, wish-fulfillment, ego-stroking, excuse-making, etc…
The OG ‘What-If’ created the steam engine, MF-ers—what have you done for me lately? Right?!
is a perfect example of the human desire to suspend time (and suffering) long enough to enjoy a piece of joyful music, such as “Simple Gifts”, with ‘advantages’. Copeland composes variations, he ‘plays’ with this beautiful tune, —basically, he ‘daydreams’ in the ‘key’ of that song.
Judy Collins did the same, on a much smaller scale, when she recorded that classic Shaker hymn as part of her Album “Whales & Nightingales”:
“’Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
’Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
’Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.”
Ms. Collins sings it virtually a cappella, because it is the lyric, far more than the musical ditty, that gives this hymn such power. Copeland’s arrangements reach for that lyric grandeur, within the music—and that, as far as I care, is what makes Copeland a great American Composer.
To me, this hymn has always stood out for two reasons: one—it extols the virtues of simplicity—and two—it never mentions the ‘Supreme Being’. This is a song to Humans, telling them to keep life simple and to eschew grandiosity and authority, per se, which is as Democratic a spiritual sentiment as America has ever brought forth.
We must look clear-eyed at this uniqueness. Many hymns exert the pressure of being watched by the Lord, and the need to Obey, without question. I think we can all agree, here in the 21st Century, that such BS is propaganda, meant to bolster the egoist authoritarianism of insecure, cowardly males throughout history.
True spirituality has never sought authority. Jesus, nor Buddha, ever said, “or else…” We must use this understanding of true spirituality—to slap in the face every jackass who tries to subvert Faith into child-abuse or monetary-gain, much less a rationale for ‘I said so.’.
All that being said, I wish to further point out that THC, marijuana, pot, hash, etc. have been demonized most harshly for one reason: When someone smokes a joint and then faces an ‘authority figure’, they are commonly overcome with laughter at the hilarity of the situation. They see the source of their daily fear—and recognize it as nothing more than a silly person—as silly as they are, but with ‘authority’. This makes anyone laugh, especially after some months of browbeating by said silly person.
Even now, if anyone advocates Legalization, serious people get scared. Authoritarianism is fragile—the least little titter of ridicule can break the whole system.
You watch TV, all you see is a bunch of stoned folks trying to maintain a sense of seriousness and decency—not because it’s true, not because they believe in it—no, no—just because they get Fired for breaking the illusion (and they shelve any errant film, forever, so, no point, really).
You listen closely to Aaron Copeland. You can hear the human desire to ‘step out of time and live in the music’. You can hear it in Barber’s ‘Adagio for Strings’ (used in Platoon (1986)).
You can see it in Van Gogh’s ‘Wheatfield with Crows’,
or Matisse’s ‘Water Lilies’.
You can even observe it in other mammals, which annually congregate at trees whose fallen fruit has fermented sufficiently to give these little monkeys a cheap high. They fall off branches, become emotional, and generally enjoy a break from life—then pass out. We humans desire no less.
The history of mankind, being authoritarian-oriented, has never really celebrated intoxication as the necessary vacation we all know it to be. But if we’re going to bother counting the Centuries of our Civilization, shouldn’t there be some progress to show? Twenty-One Centuries of trying to be decent people—still no luck, of course, but that’s hardly the point—we should by now have at least recognized the human persona as being complex enough to include intoxication, both as a release from stress, and as a social lubricant, —as a healthy part of a natural lifestyle.
Shout ‘addiction’, shout ‘temperance’, shout ‘self-control’—you’ll never get through to an honest adult human facing the stresses of being alive in this era. Sophistication about the human psyche is the only route to publicly healthy interactions between people who are ‘not the same’. Simple.
Marian Anderson (Feb. 27, 1897 – Apr. 8, 1993) was an American contralto. Throughout the forty years of her performing career (1925 – 1965), Marian Anderson was a pivotal figure in the United States and Europe—and her impact on all our lives, remains, and continues..
In 1939 the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused to allow Anderson to sing in Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Anderson, undeterred, performed an outdoor concert, Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the Lincoln Memorial steps.
On January 7, 1955, Anderson became the first African-American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. In addition, she worked as a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United States Department of State, giving concerts all over the world. She participated in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, singing at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. Marian Anderson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, the Congressional Gold Medal in 1977, the Kennedy Center Honors in 1978, the National Medal of Arts in 1986, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.
To acknowledge that Ms. Anderson is a great lady is no hardship—any hardship was on the side of those who discounted her humanity, her artistry, and her character, simply to insist on an obsolete simplemindedness-which has somehow become their ‘pride’. These kinds of misunderstandings should be ironed out in Kindergarten, not perpetuated as some ‘noble’ tradition. Nevertheless.
I begin with the admirable Ms. Anderson’s CV (lifted ad-hominem from Wiki—sorry ‘bout that!) because my story intersects, in a meaningless, but personally significant way, with hers. Not a big thing, but it sticks in my head.
Okay, my Gramma Duffy was a proud member of the DAR, a stiff-necked New Englander, who could trace us back (on my mother’s side), through Camden whalers, privateers, (and even Pirates), all the way to Elder Brewster. There was a bunch of Mayflower whatever-their-exclusive-club-was-called, also, that perhaps some DAR members could only wish for.
But Gramma said she couldn’t stand them, too stuffy. I suspect she had no great savour for the DAR Teas, either. Personally (and it may just be my upbringing) but it all sounds like a bunch of elitist BS, like many clubs, and I follow Groucho’s advice on membership.
In April 1939, while Fascists overseas were advocating Final Solutions for Non-Aryans, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt announced her resignation from the Daughters of the American Revolution, in protest of those ladies’ refusal to admit Marian Anderson to perform in their Hall. Eleanor Roosevelt and FDR both arranged for the alternate location, the famed steps of the Lincoln Memorial—which has ever since been a gathering place for important Civil Rights protests.
This was in the papers, and Gramma followed First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s example (as did many others) resigning forever from the DAR. Now, this was 1939, okay. Membership really did have privileges, then—and the farther you go back in history, the greater the privileges. It was no idle whim to quit the DAR. It was a solemn thing. My mother followed her example, and my sister.
Today, it struck me that I, a white man, have generational tales in my bloodline—about the evils of racism. I wish we had a jacket or something—my family has been opposing racism and exclusion for generations. It is as much a tradition with us Yankees, as it is for you simple, deep-down-south-folk.
And that is why Racism is having its ass kicked—you Proud Boy Scouts think you’ll never quit? Guess what?
As a honky-assed cracker, Black History Month is always emotional. When I think of the race issue in America, I want to weep. When good people (and when I refer to good people, I make no bones about skin tone) tried to end slavery, it became America’s bloodiest, most feral war.
When good people tried to institute Reconstruction of slave-states, White People shot our President and founded the Klan. When African-Americans tried to copy White society, to be just like them—so that no one could criticize anything about their behavior, in Tulsa, OK, in 1921—White People went mad at the sight of themselves with dark faces—and slaughtered the entire city.
By necessity, Blacks have kept their own culture—they have always been rebuffed by White People. And now they Have a Culture, as deep and long as the friggin DAR. White People appropriate it, they criticize it, they use it as a way to continue saying, “See? They’re not Like us.”
But Integration is now impossible. White People have been dickheads for too many centuries—African Americans have their own culture, their own comfort-zone, so ‘melting-in’ with the rest of ‘us’ requires an abandonment of all things their own—‘switching to honky talk’, if you will.
But let me add (so that I’m not mistaken) that integration has always been there, amongst Good People. That doesn’t mean the racism isn’t still thriving. Apparently, the default position for loser White People is: Racist. I don’t know why, I only know it makes me want to weep.
The major Western religions have a man: a prophet, a messiah, or a messenger, who walked the streets of Jerusalem. When Dark Age Europeans became restless, a trip to Jerusalem was the top choice among exotic voyages (excepting Polo). When Europeans tried to travel in the Dark Ages, it was part walking, part scouting, part defending against bands of robbers.
A favorite Era of mine is the one in which Europeans, first traveling to the “Holy Land”, were surprised to find travel much different in the Middle East. These travelers returned to Europe with virtually magical tales of hospitality, of how a traveler is treated like a king. They still condescended to these “Godless Saracens”, even while delighting in the culture and the sophisticated comfort of their society—because that’s what always happened. Someone else can write about why.
So, anyway, for that brief period, Western travelers found themselves in a traveler’s paradise, upon crossing into foreign territory. The pride in hospitality taken by their hosts, the connection hospitality had (in their minds) with spiritual rightness—all of this made for easy-pickings—and thus under-respected pickings, i.e. pearls before swine.
Soon enough, a flood of Europeans were passing through, disrespectfully greedy and completely unappreciative of the fact that their own culture offered no such bounty to strangers. The Middle East was quickly impoverished, and put on the defensive against travelers—and it soon became the harder part of the journey—leading to the so-called Crusades.
History is disgusting. It shows people, as a group, to be the most shameless pigs, with the occasional surprise mixed in. But I like to linger over those brief moments, when we surprise ourselves with generosity and splendor hitherto inconceivable. Promptly, such gardens are trampled by mobs—literally and figuratively—but that brief moment….
A traveler arrives. He is bruised and harried from a recent encounter with bandits. He delights in the contrast—this landscaped lane—these ordered orchards and fields—beautiful homes with airy courtyards. He is welcomed in by a smiling Father, the homeowner—tickled to death to have a chance to show off to his neighbors how great his hospitality.
The traveler is bathed with oils, showered with feasts, bedded in silks, clothed in gold-thread brocade—and generally made much of. Think Dark-Age Disneyworld. He is never asked to leave, quite the contrary, he cannot leave without protests from the Father.
Laden with gifts, supplies, and perhaps even servants and camels, the traveler proceeds fifty miles east and finds himself treated to the exact same hospitality. And on and on, there and back (and, no doubt, less-than-relieved to return to Europe’s dangerous roads and its cutthroats).
This was a brief era in history—when the globe began to reawaken from the crash of Rome’s glory. Before this era, no one in Europe went nowhere (plague, ya know). Soon after it, the trip to Jerusalem transformed from a fairyland’s wanderjahr , into a forced-march-in-enemy-territory—that’s what always happens.
Someone else can write about why.
This Black History Month, I can point to another brief stab of glory—Tulsa, OK, before the massacre. Another tragically short era, but, O, the beauty of it…
Cheer the Mighty Coming (as We Mourn the Going) (2021Feb 03)
Whoops, it’s my 65th birthday already. I’d thought I sat down here before midnight, but no such luck. Some party. My sister called last night to tell me our brother, Stephen, had passed (quietly, surrounded by his family) a little after midnight.
We’d been estranged for years, but he was, after all, my brother—the last one I had, come to that. Kath and I are the last two of the original seven. It’s been a gray 24 hours, if that’s understandable.
I won’t go into details about him, or me, or even the inclement weather. Let’s just say that, having been told by doctors I would be dead soon, 17 years ago, and more recently, even sooner, and then having survived my entire family, with the exception of my baby sister, and achieved the age of 65 (which used to mean something) I’m simply puzzled by the whole nonsense.
So, I’ve been thinking dark thoughts. Like, d’ya think people bestow Authority upon those in power, in the same way we bestow Love upon those we care for—that is, when they don’t necessarily deserve it, and almost never appreciate it?
What went through the minds of people who fell into Trump-zombie-hood, just before they lost all faith in the news they’d watched all their lives, the teachers, doctors and scientists they’d trusted all their lives, and turned into a simple receiver for Whatever Trump broadcasted from then on?
Now, politicians, generally, have no business fund-raising or any other nonsense. When I vote for someone, I expect a day’s work out of them—and not working on keeping their dang job, I tell ya! And we finally have that in good ol’ Unca Joe Biden—the new Unca Sam, ya hear?
And that’s why we’re all so uncomfortable—we’ve never done this before. I mean, we came close, voting for Obama, out of a desperate desire for ‘woke inclusion’, i.e. reason. But now we have voted for a president, simply because it was the correct and reasonable course of action (for anyone who hoped to keep America intact, at least).
We don’t love Biden. He is not our second coming. He is our safety. We are the people who want to live by virtue of reason—and he’s our F-ing guy. Charisma is not at issue today. And nerds, I exhort you, cheer the mighty coming of reason in democracy. May it linger awhile.
The Republicans laughter is only partly directed at we snowflakes—the other half is amusement at the gullibility of their base. They can feed those poor suckers anything.
The Republicans went Grunge under the influence of more frequent and varied dog-whistles and fictional realities, (i.e. QAnon, Deep State, etc.) Now, even when they bear public guilt over the redneck riot in DC, they will sometimes forget themselves, and roll their eyes when we itemize the criminality of that day. I just saw Margaret Hoover do it to Tim Kaine, in primetime,—on F-ing PBS, no less!
This is the time when the surreptitious injection of brain damage by the news-media drives away any possible focus on the Germane, dispersing it so broadly as to make life but a dream of constantly surprising refrains.
As I see it, the Republicans are counting on the pandemic and the starvation to cover them, while they not only disconnect Trump from blame, but themselves. The post-presidency Impeachment’s Senate-trial is not due to anything other than Trump’s post-election criminality.
Some of these Senators are no less culpable than Trump. Tim Kaine was explaining to Margaret Hoover why fund-raising texts, sent by Senators Cruz and Cornyn, (and the then-President) mid-riot, were the most infuriatingly craven aspect of the whole debacle—but she apparently got bored halfway through.
But I don’t want to come down too hard on Maggy Cool—she’s got to TCB just like every other talking-head. I just wish they’d shunt all these loud-mouthed boobs onto a different channel—and give people real news again. Republicans ‘serve’ like Fox ‘informs’. Tim Kaine deserves at least as much respect as that orange scum they just cleaned off the Oval Office carpets. O well.
GOP stands for Entitled Status-Quo Perverts (2021Jan29)
Can you imagine? They want to say the Capitol riot was terrible—without admitting the election-lie it was founded on—and which the legislators themselves participated in.
Given his life-style, you’d expect Trump to be more comfortable with failure and rejection. But this was something else—people were expecting him to acknowledge his failure—to concede his loss—and that is something he has never had to do—and never will.
Likewise the Republican Senators—they can’t renounce Trump’s election-lie without admitting that they always knew Trump was one big lie, and they all backed him as if they had faith in him, because he was a useful idiot. They celebrate the Supreme Court decision that makes their money speech—just as long as Truth is no constriction.
Seventy years of political and legal representation of Big Oil, in exchange for Big Campaign checks, fighting to obscure the truth—that Big Grease will eventually strangle us all in a global grease-fire. The desperation!—that there are still yahoos denying climate-change.
When I think of the Republican Party, all I imagine are entitled, poncey perverts to whom the status quo is survival—even if it has us all cliff-hanging over oblivion. Republicans are the first party tough enough to ignore existential threats to themselves, as long as they know the liberals are unhappy about how unreasonable it is, to keep on going.
MAGAts remind me of suicide bombers—scared dupes who threaten to ‘kill us all’ (for whatever reason) if we don’t let them win the argument. Or jihadists who believe the only proper response to a cartoon is mass murder. They are a political party, so they say—but they more closely resemble a day-room at a mental health facility.
Can you imagine? They want to say the Capitol riot was terrible—without admitting the election-lie it was founded on—and which the legislators themselves participated in.
These are people who have become far too comfortable with the idea that they don’t have to be credible, because their base will believe it. That doesn’t make their transparent corruption any less visible. I guess they’re satisfied with the “fool some of the people all of the time” thing. But I doubt Lincoln would approve.
Five years later, I have been needled by Trump’s lack of ethics, lack of honesty, lack of knowledge, lack of decency, and his seditious desire to disrupt our government, ruin its dignity, bankrupt it, and kill as many as possible without it looking blatantly like it was on purpose. I have not become a mirror image of my enemy—and he’s on trial for incitement—so good job, me.
I couldn’t help noticing that Trump’s MAGAts are always waving around guns. Of course, we liberals don’t wave our guns around unless we mean to use them—which we never do, so you never see it. But the Trumpsters, I feel, have no intention of ever pulling a trigger—their game is to bulldoze some nervous liberal into doing it for them. For them (with their imagist focus) that would be a ‘big win’. And a good excuse for fouler mayhem, naturally.
Trump has been a Zen exercise without parallel—the less an American engaged with the Trump Show, the sounder their frame of mind—COVID shutdown notwithstanding. I found that even the shelter-in-place was made exponentially more stressful, for having that jackass interrupt truth to bray his BS. Like most Americans, I felt I had to keep an eye on him.
Had I known McConnell and Ryan & the gang of ghouls would let Trump lie, cheat, and steal for four years, vouching for his fitness and honesty—without believing any of it, themselves—I would have thrown my TV out in 2016, like my wife did. Trump was just the jackass these corrupt scum were all riding—I sure didn’t need to listen to every bray.
Trump has inspired all of us towards our worser angels, besting Gettysburg’s hillsides of slain with his pandemic-neglect mountain of 400,000, and rising fast. The Republicans have disgraced themselves in an incredible manner—acting like people who can reshape the facts to suit, erasing any sins, venal or mortal—even existential.
Well, it only worked on your dupes and patsies—the vast majority of Americans see you people for the hollow-eyed whores you are. Beneath all those ugly suits and sheepskins, you have no center, no character, no strength of will. You take the most empowering document in history and play word games with it until you actually claim a member of a democracy can be above the law! ‘tha Fuck?! Take your bullshit and move to one of those Dictatorships you’re all so fixated on.
The cult’s favorite ruse this whole time has been to equate their nonsense with normal, thoughtful people. That’s why they teased us so mercilessly—their best hope was to get us to become just as bad a bunch of assholes as they were. But it never happened—their mistake was in being just too bat-shit crazy for anyone’s reaction to be to follow suit.
Snowflakes never sat down, never shut up—and you ‘grown-ups’ made a worse mess than no government at all. Hope you enjoyed yourselves—it’ll be a cold day in hell before anyone takes the Tea Party seriously again. Racist asswipes.
President Pig has normalized dysfunction to the point where the two pipe bombs found during the Capitol attack are hardly even mentioned–like some quaint throwback to the days of Jets being Hijacked to Cuba–just because they were found and removed.
Murder was committed. Historical artifacts were destroyed. A Joint Session of Congress and the Vice-POTUS were imperilled. But Jim Jones thinks we should give Trump this last week because, come on, it’s just a week. It’s no coincidence he’s a namesake of that suicide-cultist.
Between the wealthy people screwing up journalism and the wealthy people screwing up democracy, actual Americans are an endangered species. I can’t tell you how much I lust after some kind of mowing down of these big-mouthed, fat-assed seditionists. But they don’t even know what duped tools they are–as inviting of a fist in the face as they may be, they are, in truth, naive innocents (with guns).
In “Winter Meeting” (1949) Bette Davis has this strange line: “I have no particular religion, but even I have more faith in God than that.”
If you don’t know the movie, it was on TCM just now—it’s about a Manhattan heiress poetess (yes, the ‘weepers’ layered it on pretty thick) played by Davis, seduced by a war hero who, afterward, confesses that he was really intending to join the priesthood (I was raised Cat-licker—trust me, even for us, this was far-fetched—even in ’49).
But he ‘explains’ (finally) to Bette that he forsook his plans for the ‘hood one day, taking the train to his hometown (where they awaited with banners & bands) and a war-buddy plops down next to him (the war-hero being all aglow with heroism) and says, ‘too bad that ship you saved with your heroism got sunk with all hands two weeks later’.
Ah, old-timey Hollywood. Who the hell else would dare to so blatantly manipulate our emotions? And they knew we would pay for the privilege, too! But, hey: That’s Entertainment.
So, that’s when Bette delivers this curious line (after supposing aloud if a God would sink the whole ship and all hands just to teach this guy a lesson about being too cocky?!) But it isn’t this melodrama that really got me writing (big surprise, right?)
That line about I have more faith in the goodness of the god you believe in than you do, even though I don’t share your belief—that resonates the hell outta me. All my life, I’ve thought Theists got off pretty damn easy, with their special rule: anyone who questions the foolishness is too foolish.
Look, if you can’t talk about it and it’s too precious to be shared—it ain’t f-ing love, it’s a scam. If you can’t speak aloud, you’re being used (and abused). If you’re afraid to speak aloud—to debate with others—you’re being faithless to your own faith—don’t blame me. That’s cowardice.
America stands, in part, for the willingness of humans to stand together, regardless of religion and annoyance, to make things better for all of us. To be against this, by virtue of your ‘faith’, is to misunderstand where you are—and what’s going on.
I speak (as an atheist) with respect to theists: I will not mock your Faith—and I hope you will not try to use it as a replacement for Reason…s’pretty simple. Only totally extremophile, violent types would wish to attack—and we know the wealthy like to fund them, so look out, me—I guess… (Ain’t dat a bich!?)
But wasn’t Bette Davis the greatest? Hey, cis grampas can love her, too—she was a goddamn artist—respect must be given. In the late forties, no one dared to deny the existence of God, despite the new science of the early twentieth—not on film, at least.
For Bette to say “I have no particular religion” –even that was ‘racy’ for the time. Yet the screen-writer was speaking to a Humanism that forced even God to help us. It’s a curious inflection-point in social evolution. Censors never before so blatantly advocated for linguistic lobotomization, before the post-war era, when the authoritarians were still flush with the feeling of absolute control.
It was as if, having won world freedom, it was now their privilege to determine what that was, down to the very grain. Had not the subsequent explosion of capitalist corruption made them all ridiculous in their own human failings, we would have probable ended up with Hitler-lite (It seems nearly half of us are still in favor!)
But I speak, as always, from the point of view of one who sees nothing, where others see ‘faith’ (if that has any reality). Faith in people, I got—even in myself. But with reason, dammit. The psycho-socio-politics of America in the late 1940s isn’t not any specialty of mine, except for the contextual extrapolations allowed by my general study. But what a line, eh?
I hear stand-up comics taking cheap shots (funny, yeah, but still cheap) at atheists. “Why would you pick ‘atheist’? Everything is random and meaningless?! Why would you do that?”
But atheists don’t choose to become humans without religion—we simply find ourselves with a selection of faiths that are impossible to credit. Atheists, unlike the religious, do not ‘find their answers’ in atheism. We just accept that it’s possible the universe is so big and enigmatic that it may have little or nothing to do with this one planet’s smart-animals. It may even be about something too complicated for our tiny brains to understand.
Is it kinda chilly, seeing our human race as a bunch of smart-ass monkeys who can’t sleep at night unless we convince themselves that the universe was made just for us. Unfortunately, science makes most things clearer—and one of the things it made clear is the human origin of belief—of all our beliefs.
The history of evolving belief-systems through the centuries is not a comfortable one for Preachers. It clashes with the whole ‘forever and ever, as it was and shall ever be’ riffs they like to throw in. It also highlights the more venal uses of religion.
We don’t need to have faith because God said so—we just need to have faith—period. Souls, afterlives, sins, saints, and angels—our prehistoric graphic novel without graphics—it comforts us and it beats back any suspicion that we’re on our own, without a mission (unless we make up our own).
Atheists never proselytize—we see people, happy in their faiths, (and assuming they don’t get up to mischief over it) we see no reason to harsh their mellow. Most angry, vocal Atheists are new to it, still resentful of being indoctrinated (by their parents, or worse, their whole community) into something as restrictive as it was random—eager to spread the word, that it’s all a scam.
But nobody, raised happily in a reasonable form of Christianity / Islam / Judaism / Whatever, will find many opportunities to question their faith—only extremists make a big deal out of it, anyway. It has been my experience that God does not answer questions, but She also never argues with me. I assume she’s got stuff to do. If you have faith in her, it rarely does any harm—but if you have none, it makes no difference at all—except to other people.
But Atheists don’t literally believe in nothing—we just believe that ‘making up an answer for something we don’t understand’ is an obsolete solution. The universe is a mystery, yes—that doesn’t mean we get to know or understand anything—how hard is that to accept?
The human race must find validation within itself, purposes among ourselves, for the sake of each other and our own pursuit of happiness. Such an advanced society would find itself with much more achievable goals, without the distraction of the sky-daddy. And evil would lose its favorite hide-out.
I surfed into the ARTS channel (165 on N. West.’s Optimum ‘grid’) and they got me in my soft underbelly—first with footage of Wanda Landowska playing Bach excerpts on a double-keyboard (including the middle movement of Bach’s keyboard transcription of Vivaldi’s Concerto in D major—a lifetime super-favorite). The ARTS channel can make you want to cut your heart out for missing the beginning of some recordings…this one was from 1953 (three years before I was born).
Secondly, playing Rosalyn Tureck, performing Bach’s ‘Goldberg’s (‘excerpts’, again, of course—god forbid we take the time, eh?) Now, this hit home. Not only was Ms. Tureck the mentor of our shared, Croton Falls piano teacher (and erstwhile piano virtuoso) Muriel Brooks, but Claire and I had a memorable date once, going to see Rosalyn Tureck at Lincoln Center.
In the late ‘70s, Rosalyn Tureck was reaching the tail-end of her career—time passes, but she was still a marvel at the keyboard. The idea of this concert was to attract Bach fanatics such as Claire and I: it would be a recital of the Goldberg Variations on harpsichord, followed by a ‘dinner interval’, and continuing to a piano interpretation of the Goldberg’s, also by Ms. Rosalyn Tureck.
Do not take that lightly, please. I try to play piano—and I once had a great afternoon at Colonial Williamsburg, where the ‘harpsichord teacher’ let me take it for a spin. I am familiar with the superhuman demands of the keyboard—because I’ve spent a lifetime failing to capture the skill. When a performer plays a forty-five-minute baroque ‘musical mandala’ on the original harpsichord—it’s transportive. When she has the grace and the stamina to then sit down and replay the same piece—yet with all the added subtlety and phrasing demanded by the piano—that’s no ‘gimmick’—that’s an Olympic event.
Claire and I were transfixed by this live performance of our favorite work on harpsichord (as Bach would have played it). It was sublime. However, during the interval, the mundane intervened—one of the DuPont heirs had chosen the same restaurant for dinner. I had hoped to treat Claire to a very fancy dinner at this Swedish Smorgasbord restaurant, just across the street from the Center.
But it turned out that our seating was interrupted by the arrival of these Consumed-by-self-importance DuPont people—and we got maybe ten minutes to eat and rush back—while I was forever imprinted with a disgust for the ultra-wealthy—it’s a mental disease as much as a bank balance, trust me.
So, I guess Claire enjoyed the second part—for me it was darkened by shadow. It wasn’t just the insufferable attitude of the DuPonts—it was also the eager (‘though entirely understandable) toadying of the Maître de, et. al. That was the night I realized that Money does indeed ‘force’ some relationships. These relationships aren’t real—they are part of the business model.
And I have always felt that one should avoid any business that requires one to like a pig. It was surprising how absolutely impossible I found that tenet to stick to—the world is designed, not only to give the ones with the gold the ability to make the rules—but even to force the rest of us to smile at them—and talk to them. That just ain’t right. I don like it dat way…..
How did we get here? How did we end up with the psychotic, cretin con-man, hanging on to his final 7 weeks, only by the grace of some truly blatant hypocrites on the GOP side of the Senate (and their ‘Angel-of-Death’ leader, Mitch) with more than a quarter-million lost souls under his (what the hell? His mis-management?, His treason?, His con?!)
It’s difficult for an American, like me, to even name the horror that is Republicanism. Who the fuck are these character-less scumbags who believe they deserve privilege, above others? WTF?!?
I believe it is long past time that Americans got together on the difference between wealth and Judgement. Observe: a rich man can make a decision about his workers, simply because he pays their salaries. He can say to them, “I base my salaries on the value of your work—it is of no consequence if you, or your family, lack the funds to keep solvent.”
The question of whether or not it is criminal to employ someone for eight-hours-a-day without paying them a livable wage, is, according to these fucking geniuses, beside the point. I refer you, employee (AKA Worker), to Marx’s “Das Kapital”, which explains, surprisingly enough, a rebuttal of that self-serving bullshit. Please read it. It will save me a lot of typing, you ignorant, unread, unpatriotic, unintelligent, uninquisitive, disgrace to the true American Spirit.
Capitalism is outmoded and metastasized—ask any super-wealthy person: they can’t F-ing believe how hollow and fragile democracy becomes when assholes start selling favors. People have what’s called ‘human nature’—one can either take advantage of that, or connect with that. I prefer connection—especially when the alternative is that POS called Trump.
These extremist children piss me off nowadays—ignoring the past, but so very self-righteous. Truth is, they are not anti-abortion, or ‘pro-life’, or any of that nonsense.
When I was young, abortion was illegal. Abortion had been around for centuries and, such was human nature, no one could entirely ‘stop’ abortions. There were many panicked young women who accidentally killed themselves, desperately trying to remove their own pregnancies. There was a booming business in both ‘back-alley abortions’ and toxic nostrums meant to cause a chemical miscarriage—and both had their share of fatalities and tragedies.
It was common knowledge that the well-off could find someone safe and silent for their wives and kids—the law against abortion was caste-based in its enforcement. When it became clear that the law against abortion was causing easily as much harm as the abortions, and more, legal challenges of the law followed, ending with the Rowe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal.
All of these ‘Pro-Lifers’ don’t want to literally Stop Abortions, because that can’t be done. All they want to do is make Abortion a crime, again—like in the good old days, when only the rich and powerful could get away with it.
They are asking to make Abortion a crime, not to end abortion. And those hypocrites know it as well as you do….
There are places where people will just shoot you. There are places where people will just rape you. There are places where people will tell lies about you. Regular folks like you and me usually avoid such places.
The trouble is, the best humans that ever lived all got killed, from baby Jesus all the way to MLK, including Gandhi, the Kennedy Bros., and Malcolm X. It makes a person ponder: Am I good enough to drive others to murder me? Because we all know the truth: If you stand up and defend the truth loudly enough, in the wrong situation, someone will kill you.
Now, there are also campuses where the most delicate sensibility will find a willing audience; art galleries where the most enigmatic claims to artistic expression are allowed full display to the investors. It’s never all one thing.
But I have found that evil always carries the seeds of its own destruction. In the pursuit of its goals, evil inevitable reveals its true nature, repelling anyone who once saw it as viable.
The trick with evil is not to fight it, so much as to hurry it along to its own destruction, with as little contact as possible.
When an atheist finds themselves bereft in a hollow universe, first comprehending the “faith of their parents and grandparents” to be an ancient tradition of subjugation through mendacity, they feel wild anger and bitter resentment. Becoming an atheist often leads to attitudes just as indulgent in our human nature as those held by people of strong faith. I guess you could call these unhappy people Activist Atheists.
A true atheist finds themselves with the same problem as an ‘anarchist’ or a ‘nihilist’: you can’t form an institution to fight the corrupting influence of institutions. And, since we can’t field an opposing team, we can’t really push back.
But more than that, an atheist cannot change anyone’s mind. We come to discard religion, or we don’t—no one talks us into it. Knowing this, a decent atheist will forego the petty satisfaction of sniping at Theists—A Man in the Sky may be silly to you, but it’s not half as silly as hurting someone’s feelings for no good reason. The question of belief or disbelief is moot.
The thing we must look out for is the creepy people who use our faith, or lack of it, as a springboard for their political agenda. The greatness of our nation lies partly in our having recognized that Religion was too dangerous to let it be part of our Laws and regulations—and we separated church and state even before we declared Independence!
True American people of faith have been proud to live in a country that, by allowing many faiths, has kept them free to worship as they please—guaranteed. You think that’s everywhere? That just happens? No, sorry—that’s America. Or, at the very least, we started it. Why do you think all the Theocratic Dictatorships, like the Saudis and Iranians, always call us ‘Satan’?
So, it’s never been theist vs. atheist. The question remains simply this: Do you see everyone else you meet, as an equal? As a friend? As a strange relative at a family reunion? Well, there it is. That’s the only question. And our world is on the brink because too many people answer No.
If a preacher asks a throng to crowd close together on a public beach to pray, in a ploy to ridicule Public Health Warnings, when he’s never done that before—tell me, is that devotion to God—or a deadly PR stunt?
In the 1950s, the Pulps, as they were called, were considered a bad influence on children, along with Comic Books. This was the mind-set for which the Fifties are famous: some topics of conversation were forbidden, and others very definitely frowned upon.
But even the 1950s were broader-minded than the preceding decade—and this could be said of each the 20th Century’s decades. The acceleration of transportation and communications made ‘decades’ the new normal for a changing world.
Prior to the Industrial Explosion, humanity was regional, parochial, and only managed significant change in terms of centuries. And prior to the early cultures of the Mediterranean, change in humanity’s condition is measured in millennia.
Today’s Americans measure change by four-year presidential terms (whether they are first or second terms is immaterial). But the 1950s stands out as the last-gasp of a slower, more-ignorant American public. Communities still considered themselves close-knit enough for conversational taboos to keep uncomfortable ideas and issues from coming to light.
I am most impressed by the human habit of being irritated by a change in subject-matter. In olden times, saying anything unusual was a good way to get beat upon—if you weren’t a witch or a troublemaker, you were just simple in the head.
We have no conception of the communal irritation that ‘free’-ish thinkers were subjected to. The phrase Fulton’s Folly is still known, echoing down history as a reminder that his entire community laughed in Fulton’s face for years while he developed the first working steamboat.
In Salem, centuries earlier, women were being executed for looking funny at someone. We have no idea of the power of peer pressure, in the days when a community was tighter than most modern families.
It is only the disruption of Science and Reason that have levered humanity out of its built-in communal dysfunction—and I know, if civilization should happen to crash, that freedom-from-bullying will be the thing I’ll miss most.
The effects on me are curious: I would be at risk in many countries—not realizing that religious talk can be fatal, or other unconventional thoughts that may be illegal or dangerous to express—and it wouldn’t be safe for me to bring my library to many countries. Even in more conservative American regions, I could easily disgrace myself, just by being my usual discursive jabbermouth.
But one really has to read science fiction to get the full scope of the revolution in thinking—publicly-debated, social thinking—that liberal America (and most of Europe and Japan) enjoy. Asimov, Clarke, Sturgeon, et. al. were writing for the pulps in the fifties—because the idea of leaving the Earth was one of those ‘Beat-that-guy-up’ Ideas that ‘serious’ people had pooh-poohed forever.
Soon after, several things happened: People left the Earth, and the USA was spending billions to catch up. Arthur C. Clarke was awarded the patent for TelStar, the first telecommunications satellite in geo-synch orbit, because he published a pulp story that described it in exact detail —which kinda shut up all the naysayers. Then there was Roddenberry’s “Star Trek” and Kurt Vonnegut’s take on the far side of sci-fi—and humanity.
The amazing concept of interchanging numbers with characters, into something called ‘programming’—for a thinking machine, no less, was kept a deep secret, from the end of WWII onward. Had the Nerd Revolution not been swept off their feet by Intel, and further titillated by the globe-spanning power of the Internet, Computer Science might yet be a state secret, rotting in storage like Indy’s Ark.
Instead, we have an explosion, not only in new tools of digital magic—but an explosion of concepts, borne of the instantiation of such things as databases, real-time feeds, multi-player gaming, etc., etc. Alan Turing probably never considered the swath of established businesses (and business practices) that digital technology would erase from history, like horse-buggy-whips. Digitalization is changing more than business—it is changing the world. I hope no one was attached to our existing socio-economic culture—‘cause it’s going fast….
Traditionally, the American Male will jettison his family responsibilities, lose his last urge towards decency, and let fall his last shred of ethics—all in his quest for wealth and power. If he avoids arrest, and gets hold of a lot of other peoples’ money, we call that success. If these poor bastards are the winners, I’m proud to be a loser.
Then, these same animals will try to act all ‘elitist’, as if being a pure piece of shit made them better than us. This is the American Dream in its actuality—pretending your money makes you special.
Oh, if only it were true! If only rich people weren’t a uniform mass of assholes. Imagine that confused pol, Biden, as our knight in shining armor! Imagine being reluctant to criticize that asshole Bezos, just because Trump is jealous of him. Imagine people taking anything Zuckerberg says seriously.
Imagine having a whole TV cable channel devoted to lying, in crooks’ favor. Imagine a media empire with the same goal. The owner of The Inquirer made an industry out of lying to us—and blackmailing celebrities—and he’s all good. If only decent people had a sense of vengeance, he’d be looking over his shoulder, for life.
The people shouting the loudest are scared for all they have to lose—their dirty money, their respectability, their privilege. It all sits on a knife edge, balanced on the inertia of society. Now they’ve shifted the center of balance on society’s inertia, they’re shouting louder than ever, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”.
Fortunately, although people are ever concerned with money, Society, as a whole, doesn’t concern itself with bill-paying. Society reacts. So watch yourself.
Citizens are still working hard at the American Experiment. They’re marching (and masking) and protesting and calling for reform–as well they should. Respected Generals, forced by the disgraceful behavior of our ‘Administration’, are speaking directly to the public.
Think about that. Think about what it would have felt like, if a member of the Defense Department had ever done that with a real president. And imagine how we would have reacted! There’s even a movie about it, called “Seven Days in May” (I highly recommend both the movie and the original novel).
Now, that’s with a Real President (back when we have some judgement in our voting). Incredible though it may seem, former-secretary Mattis is not calling for a Coup. He is merely breaking the long-standing gentlemen’s agreement between big-shots–he is telling the American people what an a-hole our ‘president’ is. And he is doing it, not to overthrow, but to preserve our Democracy.
Trump is a confused old man who thinks history is not only Over, but oughta be Rolled Back a mite. Our American Experiment continues, whether that rich, old fuck likes it or not. I knew this would happen. No overgrown brat gets to spit on our legacy, borne in blood, for year upon year, without eventuaslly pissing off all Americans, as much as I was pissed off on his first day.
& Yes, the Racism is Bad–our national shame, that disgraces us in the eyes of civilized countries–but let’s not forget, we’re still in the middle of Trump trying let this virus run its course, kill 2-3% of Americans, and call it a win. The job of containing the virus still waits for the United States to begin a serious effort.
The United States Postal Service has been humbly serving every single citizen, and the world, for centuries. Centuries! Now, Trump wants to ‘dump’ it.
Why? Because Donald knows he will never leave his mark on history by accomplishing anything Good—and, like a serial killer, he hopes to become famous, come hell or high water (mostly hell).
Who the fuck does Trump think he is? And why the hell is this disgusting excuse for a president still in office?
100,000 Americans will have died from Trump’s incompetent inertia before this Memorial Day weekend is over. It’s confusing, because we usually remember the fallen from past wars—this weekend, we have to try to do that, while our own friends and family are dropping all around us.
I don’t care what your politics are. The fact this worthless bastard is still in charge of our Federal Government’s Administration beggars belief. This is the guy who was convicted of fraud, during his campaign. This is the guy who was impeached for treasonous crimes just a few months ago.
Republicans can’t seriously expect any support from any of us, ever again, can they? Now that they’re just sitting there, letting this clown tank the economy and oversee a self-inflicted pandemic? I get that Red and Blue are two different kinds of people—but don’t they have any survival instincts?
You can imagine it in mythic terms, if you like—like an episode of HBO’s “GOT”. Backstory: the One, True Bama has repelled the demon, Bola, from our vulnerable shores. He defeats it first in TX. Bama defeats it again, and for good, in NJ.
Then the Usurper, Rump, comes to power (through the machinations of The Eastern Winter-King—a dead thing, with no soul or brains, bent only on disruption of the Great Peace).
Rump has been raised by a worshipper of a death cult—and forms an alliance with all the dead-walkers of every dark kingdom in middle-earth.
When the new Demon, Coronadona, appears, Rump cravenly waves her right on into the Iron Palace. Suddenly, he finds himself imprisoned in his own palace, unable to put a glamour on masses of people each night.
Rump prays to Media the Hut, Lord Most High of human deception, and he answers Rump’s rants—Media repeats the spells into the ears of Everyone, Everywhere—and suddenly none of them try to protect themselves from the Demon, Coronadona. They rush into the street, begging to be held in its arms.
Can the befuddled Prince Biden raise a counter-army, and save the kingdom from the evils of ignorance and secrecy? Only if the Democratic Knighthood of Mothers, Grandmothers, & Bad-Ass Chicks can get organized in Time!
Stay tuned….—if you’re not dead, or quarantined, already.
Ever since President Lincoln was shot in the head, in Ford’s Theater, the Wealthy have appropriated the Republican Party which Abraham Lincoln immortalized. When Post-War Democrats decided America should grow up, and willingly embrace the standard of multi-racial equality, Republicans embraced the Dixie-Crats with open tentacles, spurring their racism for a further century.
And having found profit there, the Republicans went on to include the over-zealous Christian Evangelicals—those who are not satisfied with ripping off their TV audiences, but must create an isolated, mind-controlled, child-warping factory—and call it a ‘closed community’. They persist today, twisting the enforcement of Their religion into some bizarre version of ‘Freedom of Religion’—very Sartre-esque, but nonsense in emperor’s clothes.
Then Reagan crystallized the Republican Party’s entire raison d’être, by ushering in the ethics-less Eighties—when destroying whole communities, just to make a market killing, became so common it was ‘normalized’ by the media. Not, I’d wager, by the victims—but who cares about the victims? This is Republican America.
There are some very rich people in this world, and in this country—and they all have the means to tell us their story, from their POV. How nice for them. Let me just say—just because the Russians and the Chinese were too fucking primitive, in the early 20th century, to realize the ideas of Karl Marx properly—does not mean that Karl had no point to make.
Au contraire, Red-neck. Karl’s words were so clear and revelatory that they spurred those Revolutions, as tainted by human nature and ambition as they would eventually become. He started the people’s united rage—and he did it by pointing how totally screwed they all had been, and still were being screwed—by the ‘owners’ of land and wealth—assholes that had no more claim on authority than you or I. That’d make me mad—especially considering the working conditions of the nineteenth-century poor.
Nonetheless, we can see from the history of Soviet Russia and Communist China that human nature infects the poor as well as the rich. If only we could find a government that allowed the rich and poor, imperfect alike, to meet on a level playing-field.
Well, we fought for, and won, that—in the War of the Revolution, 1776-1781—and the War of 1812. The wealthy have sought the lost elitism of royalty ever since.
The Republicans have followed greed as the default ideal, they have committed to the belief that money is everything. Hard to argue with? Perhaps, but look at the result. Their President is an ugly, unethical, unreasoning, unfeeling, well, PIG, who has all that wealth promises a person—and what a disgrace it is.
Sure, we have Flat-Earthers in America. We’re proud of our tradition of suffering fools gladly, here. But I’d love to see one of those willfully-ignorant clowns fly to Kazakhstan, find a Cosmonaut who’s been to the ISS, and revolved above our globe—and look him in the eye and call him a liar. I’d love to watch that.
Liberals attack thoughtlessness and unfairness, mostly. To call them ‘snowflakes’ (?) implies the name-caller finds empathy and decency to be beyond the pale—something only a sissy would bother with.
As with most insults, it shames the namer more than the named. If you wanted ‘snowflake’ to mean a hysterical, panicky type, you’d have to apply it to the ‘Red team’.
Kirk Cameron made a Jesus-flic a few years ago. It was called “Saving Christmas” and it was meant to encourage viewers to “…stand fast against a culture that seeks to trivialize and eliminate the faith-element of this holiday…”
Likewise, there are apparently millions of Americans who believe that liberals are trying to ‘take their guns’. I’ll bet you Liberals own more firepower than the kkklan and the 4-H put together—but that’s beside the point.
Conservative men whine that the ‘Me Too’ movement has left them confused about what they can or can’t do or say. If these men truly don’t get that message, their problems go deeper than sexual politics—but conservative politicians will further this meme, to push back against equal rights for women.
These grown children always yell before the doctor evens sticks them—before there’s a doctor in the room. And they invent these projects of ‘ours’, like we spend our lives trying to attack Conservatives. We’re not the ones trying to suppress voters or gerrymander districts—we don’t need to.
I am perfectly happy with our Freedom of Religion rights, even without one of my own. I respect the Fourth Amendment—I just want some records kept, like with a car. I don’t want sex to become a legal issue—but I believe every person deserves respect and protection under the law.
Accusing me of attacking Christianity is fantasy. Accusing me of trying to disarm America is hyperbole without shame. Bitching about how you can’t paw women anymore—you’re on your own with that one.
“President” Trump is a de facto murderer, thru his inept dereliction and incompetence. The number of the dead is horrific—and we aren’t nearly done. Every day, president stare-at-the-sun announces non sequiturs—and shuns cogent questions regarding vital testing supplies.
And his tribe of primitives is out, breaking quarantine to protest the quarantine. That does it—Trump has convinced these yahoos to protest their doctors’ advice.
Trump has convinced his ‘base’ of incredible nonsense, on a regular basis—but the number of people that will die from protesting will be much greater than the people who drink bleach, or whatever….
So, it’s no great leap for Trump, or McConnell, to convince these deplorables—that we Liberals are just waiting fer a chance to bushwhack them varmints! Actually, we have other shit on our minds. But we do worry about all those people, listening to a psycho from TV….
Self-isolation is the literal definition of divisiveness. As a democracy, we are hobbled without the ability to congregate, to interact, and to protest.
I support the quarantine—I’m not one of those crazies. I’m just pointing out that our national quarantine is an unprecedented level of incompetence within the Federal Government. And a very dangerous position for our Democracy, given the Republicans’ ruthless inhumanity.
Better-run countries are doing tests and tracing source-points, as a First-World country does (so they don’t have to shut down, like some nineteenth-century Plague being re-enacted). Along with a death total (USA: 64,000 as of today) I’m seeing news reports of Trump muzzling the CDC, Dr. Fauci, and God knows who else.
‘President’ Donald Trump is acting as a de facto ‘useful idiot’ for the anti-Americans—whether he has a relationship with a specific head-of-state—or simply has narcissist sociopathy that presents as treasonous, it’s clear that Trump is a clear and present danger. He’s also trying to shovel unaccounted-for funds towards his billionaire buddies.
But who’s gonna stop him doing that, when he’s doing such a great job of obstructing both aid for, and information about, the pandemic? We are all in the grip of a handful of monstrously sociopathic anti-Americans.
Trump, Pence, Barr, McConnell, and a host of tame Republicans legislators have put us all in danger. They have made us as small and twisted as they are. I had cognitive dissonance in ’16, when that fat fuck was elected—and I still can’t believe I live in a place that trusts that piece of shit—or his buddies.
If lying was ever more transparent, I can’t recall the event. If incompetence in governing was ever more un-laughably laughable, I can’t recall the event. If any semblance of responsibility was ever more absent, I can’t recall the event. If corruption ever before enjoyed such freedom from objective analysis, I can’t recall the event.
I won’t call for Impeachment. They’ve even got that foxed. But, Americans, I ask you: is what we call the Republican Party still a political party—or has their lust for partisanship ‘morphed’ them into an enemy of the people? They call it the party of the wealthy. Is that what they mean by it?
You’ll remember from past presidents—during a crisis, they addressed the nation, reassured them that an adult was on the case, and then disappeared. They worked behind-the-scenes to remove the crisis from the headlines.
This was only common sense, from a citizen’s POV and from a political POV. Those past presidents had credibility (be it ever so tattered). When Nixon resigned, he was recognizing that no serious adult was taking his side. Trump has known this (or should) since his Impeachment.
Look at the many ‘reasonable adults’ in Trump’s own circle—and yes, term used loosely, & so on—who have, at least, recognized a politically untenable position when they were in one, and resigned. Only that cowboy-clown child-molester down south has equaled Trump in ‘Deafness to The Room”.
We must recognize: the people “empowered” by Trump are disreputable, sloppy-thinking ticks, who have (to quote Asimov) “the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”
They have been made to feel inferior their whole lives. Their lack of alacrity in wit and philosophy—is merely the consequence of their disinterest (or disability) in Reason. I’m just realizing that my own love of Reason is what stands out.
Every time I meet new people, there’s always someone who asks me if I’m a teacher or a scientist. It’s flattering, but it also puts distance between me and everyone else. My speech, my vocabulary, my attitude, even my body language—everyone else sees it immediately, but I never really got it until now.
I’m a scholastic. That is an obsolete term, from before modern times—as is my spirit, to some degree. I’ve always been interested in learning new stuff—and sharing it with others. What never really clicked, for me, was that this is not normal—I am not normal.
I’m just remarking on the reflexive principle at play here. There is an emotional component to being smarter than average—and there is an emotional component to being less-smart than average. Both extremes, on either side of the bell-curve, spend most of our lives trying to be seen, to be accepted.
And it may be hard to accept the Trump-base people—but we sure can see them now, can’t we?
People are animals. I don’t mean to be mean, I’m just stating a fact. There’s nothing inherently wrong with animals. Animals with the power of thought are a problem. We didn’t ask to be born. We didn’t ask to be ‘thinkers’. We didn’t ask to be stressed, insofar as we expect ourselves to be better-behaved than animals.
We are animals. Cruelty to animals is an expression of self-loathing and hatred of one’s own life. Misogyny is an example of how our thoughts are skewed by our feelings—knowing that women are basically ‘man, plus’, givers of life and love.
In fact, in many ways, men have no idea what love is—I certainly didn’t. I had lust, surely, and peer-pressure, and ego. But I hadn’t the faintest notion of love with the big L. We only get that from our mothers (if lucky) and are taught to be embarrassed by it, as soon as we socialize with other males.
And the masculine bent of organized religion is a monument to this dysfunction. That is why I am an atheist—religion is far-too-obviously a male scam, peaking during the era of witch-burning—when any women who acted with agency was quickly tortured to death.
But religion contains another primitive meme—the authoritarian skew that weaponizes the whole thing. God must be obeyed, thus the priest, the father, the male, must be obeyed—it’s a great racket. But the most dangerous thing about organized religion is that it buries the lede.
Men are not important. Authority is not important. Both are products of our dark side. The only truth in religion is the love of good. I’ve spent my life, trying to be good. Not for god—fuck’m. I do it because it is the only worthwhile aspect of our species—the urge towards goodness.
If we wish to be proud of the human race, of being a part of it, we have to stop with the mythology and start becoming our best evolutionary outcome.
The sad truth is that the educated, rational folks who
produce modern technology are not always anticipating, say, the Internet’s
potential, in the hands of a misanthropic, irrational troublemaker. America’s
vaunted freedoms are based partly on the lag time, between something starting
to happen—and the eventual legislative remedy for abuse of the new technology.
Capitalism, too, subsists in no small part on that gray area
between unthoughtful and illegal. Very few people would actually be comfortable
with wealth, knowing that its source was a criminal rip-off, or the cause of
climate change, or caused cancer, or was manufactured by under-aged
But there are arms-manufacturers, pharmaceutical
price-hikers, oil industry execs, bankers, investors, PR folks, etc. who are
all willing to live by the maxim: ‘If I
don’t do it, someone else will. And where does that leave me?’’ And I must
admit, as heuristics go, it’s difficult to find fault with that reasoning.
However, I find that a good, solid argument can often be the
worst kind of roadblock to an open mind. Perhaps I should state, rather than
leave implicit, that an open mind is the most important part of personal
liberty. Oddly, no one can give you an open mind—and no one can take an open
mind away from you (just FYI and bye-the-bye).
Thus I have ever linked (since childhood) freedom of thought
and open-minded-ness as core to being a solid American citizen. Perhaps this is
what Conservatives don’t understand about Liberal values? I dunno. To resume:
Capitalism’s emphasis on ownership is reasonable within the
bounds of business. But what Marx so inconveniently pointed out was, that the
bounds of business often ignored the bounds of decency or humanity. We see the
ultimate metastasis of Civilization’s “Big C” in the morphing of the USA from a
land of overall wealth, to a land of poverty, with a handful of billionaires.
Bad people will do a lot of things they oughtn’t do—that doesn’t
force us to do likewise, nor should
we mistake their behavior for ’leadership’. Wealth has, for too long, accorded
unearned dignity and false brilliance to its random lottery-of-inheritance
And let’s not forget those savage enough to claw their way
up, from nothing. They made themselves rich—shouldn’t a role-model show people
how to rise up as a group?
I get it—it’s a great accomplishment—no denying. But at my
age, I’ve come to suspect that I have more fun, imagining wealth, without
knowing about all the pain-in-the-ass details, than an actual Richie Rich
enjoys his actual dollars. I could be wrong. But I’m not.
Ask anyone—they’ll assure you: Money is everything. Yeah,
you buy food and pay rent with it—but not always. Some people grow their own
food. Some people live in their cars. Money is big—real big. But stop
brain-washing yourself—money is NOT everything. It is an invention—when it
stops working, people will stop using it.
That’s probably going to be a lot messier. I mean, than if we don’t make a conscious choice to shift towards increased social-service and social-support programs while the dregs of the outdated C system are still chugging away.
Science Fiction always predicts a future without want or payment—a post-need society. Ask HR what they think of that idea—ask the SCOTUS, while you’re at it. Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek made it all seem so simple. But can we get there from here?
Abusing the freedom of expression so dear to this nation,
the for-profit ‘info-tainment’ industry has become a predator of our national
consciousness, introducing uncertainty where none truly exists, amping fear
under the guise of offering guidance, and providing cover for true miscreants.
This deluge of disinformation and misinformation must be viewed as parallel to
shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater—indeed, it shouts ‘fire’ to the entire
The British have seen this for the threat to their national
interests which the for-profit ‘info-tainment’ industry represents—FoxNews has
lost its permission to broadcast there. And clear reflection on their motives
reveals their intentions to be counter to the free expression of all—it is a
‘jamming signal’ against the truth.
Their lawyers gleefully point to the difficulty of deciding between misguided opinion and purposeful disinformation—which would have settled things, back before these same sharks had created a database of criminally dangerous misinformation campaigns. Now we have archives of evidence.
60% of the human body is water (H.H.
Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158). Here’s the
Brain and heart 73%
Muscles and kidneys 79% water
Biologists often liken land animals’ bodies to ‘space-suits’
for their original ‘sea-ancestors’, evolutionarily speaking. I find evolution,
and its implications, as breathtaking as photos from the Hubble. That eternal
humping towards a Jerusalem of infinite potential in DNA, in Mitochondria, in
Microbiology in general—it’s psychedelic, man. Personally, I didn’t really see
it, until Joan Slonczewski’s books explicated it for me.
But microbiology as technology is, IMHO, the only way to
approach climate change, or the mitigation of human impact on environment. If
that can’t cut it, no amount of space travel is going to mean jack. But I’m
addressing Water, or I should be.
Water is known in chemical settings as the Universal
Solvent. It is an ingredient in most poisoning-remedies. It dissolves salts,
sugars—even rocks, which gives us both our sandy beaches and our Grand Canyon.
Water is the culprit who carries mineral deposits to your kidney and gall
Chemically, Water is also notable for being easily state-changed,
from solid to liquid to gas, and back again (dew, for instance). Not surprisingly,
the key Molecule in Life, has unique characteristics.
Chlorine, BTW, the most toxic chemical in our lives, has
equally, but darker, unique qualities—which make it the most deadly molecule. Neal
Stephenson wrote a wonderful eco-thriller novel about industrial misuse of
Chlorine, “Zodiac”, which I recommend. But, again, I digress.
So, Water, as a beverage, is always encouraged. To excess,
of course (are we not humans?) You can drink too much water, just as you can
drink too little. Why is moderation the last thought that ever occurs to us
humans? I can’t seem to stay on subject this evening>
The Disgrace at the Head of Our Country (2020Mar23)
Republicans just don’t know when to put their dicks away.
It’s as if they’re locked into Bluster-only. They’ve completely lost sight of
the ‘Public Service’ theme. Trump tries to restrain his third-world-dictator
persona, with all his might, during his flabber-talk (daily, for some reason).
But it still seeps through. You can hear in his voice that
his only interest is in bans, boundaries, and limits—his focus remains on
personal control, not fixing the pandemic.
And his Senate buddies are like dogs, smelling large cash amounts in play, and unable to listen to commands! They’ve actually held up vital legislation, to make sure they all get a big bite. As usual, they are disgraceful—and worthless as leaders.
By comparison, State leaders and local systems are dealing with the threat in an exemplary manner. It’s marred only by the total void, where federal sources of aid would normally be—and these people have to work even harder, more admirably, because of the disgrace at the head of our country.
If there’s a big ‘silver lining’ to this medical massacre,
it is the proof that our world can turn itself upside-down at the flick of a
switch. Everything’s closed. Everything’s stopped. Whatever was a sure thing,
last week, is a pipe-dream today. Whatever was debated, last week, is now known
as fact—and we didn’t even have to prove Trump wrong. We just had to have
people start dying.
But, to get back to my point, there is evidence
here—evidence that our society is not static, nor locked into financial
regulations—it is a living thing. And, being human, if we are offered a new
path, we’ll tell the super-wealthy to go F themselves.
Humanity still has enough instinct to drop what they’re doing and flee from disease, hunkering in their homes, so long as Plague stalks the streets. Trump’s non-existent ‘leadership’ is highlighted by the many examples of it displayed by various state and local leaders, in all 50 states. Conservs wanted ‘small government’—here it is: 50 entities acting without any coordination. My only question is: Are we gonna call the mortality-total the ‘death-toll’ of the Virus—or the ‘death-toll’ of the Trump administration?
We see by the poor results of our Federal Government’s
response to the recent viral pandemic (and thank god for competent state and
local authorities) that American society is no longer reflected by Capitalism.
Capitalism has gone from an engine-of-progress, to a small elite, willfully
persecuting citizens—and fragmenting their communities.
These ‘elites’ have gone so far as to ‘rebut’ reality, in
broad daylight. It’s their current system of public address. Trump and henchmen
spent weeks, urging folks to mingle, to get out there and spend money in
restaurants. Who knows how much worse they made this crisis?
And now, they ‘spring’ into action, accepting reality, as
people die and hospitals fill—without any reference to their little tap-dance
of the previous two weeks. O, don’t
bother making a fuss about last week’s lies, or the week’s before—we’ve got all
new misinformation for you, hot off the grill.
If you are not a dyed-in-the-wool, certified Geek like
myself (I once made a living, writing code all day) you have no business
confining your life to the tiny screen in front of you. Go talk to your friends
for real—what’s the big deal? Or, if it wouldn’t kill you, you could even use a
phone as a phone.
The elites let the chain-stores gut American small towns
from coast to coast—you think they’re gonna change i-phones to make them safer?
Why is social media a sniper’s nest for every psychopath with a conspiracy
theory? Is it really impossible to regulate the internet, without strangling
free-speech—or does that merely make the effort unprofitable?
After the Republicans finished urging citizens to gather
together in public places (and spend money, of course) and claiming this
pandemic was a ‘Democrat Hoax’, Trump and henchmen are finally acting as if
there is a pandemic.
My favorite quote from all of this is possibly the most
cogent argument against the sitting president anyone could possibly make—Trump:
“I take responsibility for absolutely nothing.” And, no, that is not out of
context. I would say it defines the
I don’t care for the Media’s attempts to make us envy
China’s pandemic response strategy. The Chinese herd and isolate their people
like cattle. Of course, that’ll do it—if you don’t mind being in the herd.
The Chinese choose to live the way they do—just as we choose
to live like Americans. We had a perfectly good American pandemic response
strategy. Obama had everything ‘ready to roll’ at the first sign of viral
threat. Obama’s Administration explained to the incoming Trump people what
these emergency provisions were for—and told them to expect this kind of threat
in the near future.
Trump was told. Trump was warned. Trump trashed it all—just ‘cause
Obama built it. If you want to be mad at Trump, you have more than enough
reason to. He’s still doing his best to F everything up—he’s probably tweeting
right now. I’m certainly mad as hell.
If you want to be afraid of the pandemic—that too, comes
well within the bounds of reason—be afraid—or just worry a lot, like I do.
But, for god’s sake, don’t start envying the Chinese!
What the hell is wrong with you people?!
I’m sick and tired of the Media encouraging the entire
population to panic every time the world goes awry. Cowardice is not America’s ‘brand’—or,
it didn’t used to be….
The media is supposed to perform a public service. They
would, ideally, tell us exactly what is going on, where to go for help or
answers, and exactly what the experts have said. Creating panic is not on that
list—fear-mongering for ratings is Extremist Post-Ethics Capitalism in its
We see ‘professional’ shift in meaning—from
mature-competence-and-responsibility to rapacious amorality—Capitalism’s
eternally slippery slope adopts the fashion of fuck-yer-buddy as a logical path towards maximum profits. Reagan
sold it well. But Trump is the perfect illustration of what eventually
transpires in a Republican culture with ethical corner-cutting.
President Disgrace seems to have only one gear—and
lying-one’s-ass-off is a particularly awkward tool to bring to a Health Crisis.
It is fortunate that most Americans have had four years to learn to ignore
everything he says—his psychotic blabberings in response to the Corona Virus
emergency would have caused national panic, coming from a real president.
I’m an at-risk senior—Corona has come to Somers. Westchester
County is, in fact, one of the worst loci on the East Coast. I can face death. That’s not what bothers me.
What bothers me is President Impeached dismantled all
the infrastructure built by Obama’s foresight. Obama got us through the Ebola
outbreak completely unscathed. Obama saw the future and acted to shore up our
health safeguards—with special ‘virus’-squads in the CDC, in Homeland, and with
the Pentagon. Trump trashed all of that stuff—because Trump isn’t a responsible
adult, much less a president.
Trump has replaced Benedict Arnold as America’s
Biggest Traitor. Trump betrays everything and everyone—it is his brand. It
doesn’t surprise me at all, anymore. What continues to shock and amaze me is
the favor he is still shown by otherwise sensible people.
Life in the world of Magic was interesting. Don’t mistake
me—with great power comes great danger—it was by no means a quiet life—but
Magic gave life a depth which it no longer has. But we are humans. We used it
all up—didn’t we?
Shall I tell you the story of the last Magic? We know its
worldly interpretation: “Song of Bernadette” (1945 – Twentieth Century Fox).
But others know it as the Final Chapter of The Saga of the Last Blue Fairy, a
ceremonial chorus last sung round an oak tree in 2005.
No one expects Magic to return, at these gatherings. They
are an amalgam of respect for the past and mourning for an irreplaceable loss.
Is it healthy or not, to remember that the world once had a deeper dimension to
it? To regret the human nature that led to its absence?
Still, one fascinating aspect of the chanting of the Saga is
that final chapter. When the last Blue Fairy was very old, nearing her Transit,
and barely visible in daylight, she sensed a pocket of Life-Water, just beneath
the ground in Massabielle, France. Risking her life, she exposed herself to a
human girl—who, luckily, mistook her for one of their gods. But she dug up the virgin
spring, releasing the Life-Water, which was all that mattered.
It was the last bit of Magic on Earth—and the Lady-Fairy of
the Blues felt it only right to have the Magic depart with her, the last of her
species. The humans flocked to it, as humans always do. In less than a year, it
was pure water, like any other spring.
We, the descendants of their human servants,
still keep alive the memory of the Old World, the world of Magic and Fairies
(and ‘gods’). We gather round the Old Oak, the big one. We have a bonfire, we
have a dance, we chant the chant, we drink the mead. And we dream of better times,
times when the Earth’s soul was still inviolate.
The debate over the shape of the Earth has been a reliable
measure of a person’s intellect, since Ancient Greece, when one guy remarked,
“All you have to do is, watch a ship sink beneath the horizon, its mast-top the
last thing to disappear, to know that our Earth is shaped liked an orange.” For
millennia, well-educated flat-earthers could point out that, “If the world was
round, why don’t we all fall off?” Thank goodness for Isaac Newton.
Claudius Ptolemaeus (c. AD
100 – c. 170) was quite certain
the Earth was the center of the Universe. He invented the Ptolemaic System,
which explained how all the planets (& the Sun) revolved around the Earth.
His planets stopped in orbit, occasionally, to do a little dance-orbit, then
continue on their ‘big’ orbit. Ptolemy made an assumption—he was geocentric.
“Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems”
by Galileo (1632) explained that all the planets ran in smooth orbits (and so
did we) around the Sun. He was tried for heresy by the Inquisition (No one ever
expects that, right?) and kept under house arrest for the rest of his life. But
since he was the ‘father’ of modern science, he just continued doing
Therefore, it took 1,500 years for someone to correct
Ptolemy’s assumption—and people were so used to it, they threw the ‘snowflake’
in jail for life. Fortunately, the scientists that grew out of the Renaissance
were more receptive to Galileo’s math… although the Vatican did issue an
apology to Galileo, about ten years ago, or so.
Sigismund Schlomo Freud (May 6, 1856 – September 23, 1939)
would invent psychoanalysis, but he would wrap it up in his own emotional
issues, using his assumption of male chauvinism as a given, rather than an
artificial overlay on society. This assumption made Freud’s work an amalgam of
his study of the mind, and the feelings of his heart—a mess that psychologists
are still trying to straighten out, a century later. Freud made an
assumption—he thought everyone was like him, in ways he didn’t think of.
This is all by way of saying: Science is a slow grind—and
people are its worst enemy. Galileo was also influential in separating the arts
from the new, ‘reproducible’ sciences—and some people, including me, are still not sure if that was the right move…
But Science is beside the point.
We are faced with a psycho who believes that if he repeats a
lie long enough, it will become true—and millions of people who are rooting for
him to get away with it. Science will not help you here.
We are faced with a Republican Senate that admitted, sotto
voce, ‘Yeah, he did it all—of course he
did it all.’—and then acquitted—as if what he did was not treasonously
criminal, clumsy, and unacceptable. It was acceptable to the Republican Senate
and they said, “Forget it—we don’t care.”
If one single GOP Nazi Traitor remains in office after their
2020 elections, this country has entirely lost its way—like a cute, cartoon
mouse with a thousand lawyers, or a Pussy-Grabber in the Oval Office. Where’s
Galileo when you need him?
I imagine right now the Republicans feel pretty much the
same way the White Sox felt after they threw the Series, 101 years ago. See,
the ‘Black Sox’ (as they came to be known) were just part of a culture of
sports-bet fixing that had become endemic. The players assumed that this was
acceptable behavior, because of the corruption all around them. They went out
and got drunk on the money they were paid.
When a straight-up judge was appointed the first Baseball
Commissioner, he ignored the legal
acquittals of the players and banned them for life, ignoring life-long pleas
for re-instatement. This seems harsh to some, but it resulted in restoration of
public faith in our national pastime—and our common belief in the integrity of
modern pro baseball games.
The Republicans have been doing the truth-denying, respect my authoritah, science-is-lying
‘thing’ for years—remember the ‘Tea Party’?—a simperingly-cute label for a
regressive inversion of truth and logic never-before-seen. What a bunch of
racist conspiracies against the plain truth! Those people made me want to start
screaming—the blatant confidence of sheer dumb-assed-ness.
But I don’t think these intellectual cowards, these
locked-in-their-own-self-interest morons, have yet become the majority of
voters. I think people that miss a respected and powerful America (or human
rights?) may vote for someone else….
And please don’t try to tell me that Trump deserves credit
for the fantastic Obama-fix of our economy—which he did nothing but ‘F’ with.
Trump has been an out-in-the-open criminal (while Republicans spent the last
four years pretending he was fine) destroying, dismissing, or demeaning every
American value he can get his hands on. And while his leadership results are in
the high negatives, his practical effect on our country has been nil—his
accomplishments remain entirely on Twitter. His advisors remain in jail.
But isn’t AG Barr the cute one? He may actually believe that
if you BS in the right tone of voice, no one will question it—but I find him
neck-and-neck with King Ubu. Never before has anyone accepted that post on the
understanding that his job will be to prevent
Now, I don’t blame the media, per se—they are the
fully-owned creatures of about four rich fuckers (tops—might be two). But they
do abet the charade by pretending Republicans aren’t blowing it out their
assholes, every time they respond to serious allegations against any of those
I have taken a cue from my wife, who stopped watching TV news after the 2016 election. Rachel Maddow is remarkable by contrast with all the rest of it—a lone voice of reason and research—but sometimes even she is reduced to following the peer-telephone up BS creek.
So we have no social grapevine, like Johnny Carson or All In The Family, that can assure we’re all on the same page. We certainly have no Murrow, or Cronkite, to give us all the straight poop. We have to develop judgement of our own. We have to learn to look at rich people and ask, “What the fuck are you doing in public service, now that you’re old and out-of-shape? You think you’re a good leader because you’re used to giving orders? Get tha Fuck outta here!”
Americans have always fought with each other. We fought with
(and about) the Native Americans. We fought with those who thought we should be
ruled. We fought with those who thought we should accept faith as law. We
fought with those who thought we should accept prejudice. We fought with those
who thought we should disrespect women. And none of these fights have ended.
Ever since we showed up here and started stealing their
home, we have been entirely cold-blooded about slaughtering the indigenous
people—and whoever survived the slaughter is treated, even today, as less than
a person. Just this week, Traitor Trump decided to dynamite their sacred site
to install a section of border wall.
Traitor Trump also demonstrated the flim-flam at the heart
of organized religion when, at last week’s prayer breakfast, he questioned the “part about loving your enemies… I don’t
know…” I’d quote the full sentence, if he ever talked in full or finished
The cowardice of the truly prejudiced is evident in the
notion that a border, lain open for centuries, suddenly needs a steel barrier
to protect us from the brown people. Traitor Trump is manifestly a troubled
Traitor Trump displays his disrespect for women most
incisively by bringing his third wife, an Eastern European émigré, to the White
House and somehow convincing her that First Lady isn’t a real job, and she
needn’t bother fulfilling that role. But, mind, that’s only the tippy top of a
humongously long list of panic attacks our Dear Traitor suffers over the
thought of female empowerment.
So America has a new image. The home of the constant battle
against ignorance, the land where ignorance is funded by the wealthy. Come the ‘80s,
we were so close to winning the culture war (because it was a war against
ignorance) that we assumed victory would just amble along. But ignorance is a
tool of the wealthy—and Trump has made it a power-tool.
And with last week’s Senate vote-of-denial,
ignorance has regained the upper hand.
Can we take a step back? Consider: All of the Republican’s/Trump’s
tactics are based on circumventing the will of the majority. An honest election
would be a fatal blow to the Right.
Thus the lying, the conspiracy theories, the
phone-line-clogging, the e-mail hacking, the randomly false accusations, the
extorting of Ukraine, etc.—the Republican Party virtually admits that they are opposed to Democracy, in both practice and
No wonder their darling is a convicted fraud, who can’t
speak without dishonesty mixing in with his ignorance. No wonder several of his
closest associates are now in prison, for working with him. No wonder the
Republican Party has had to historically disgrace itself, to keep up with him.
This is corruption and decline, pure and simple. Cable news
seemed a good idea, at first. Now, its format is a proven stress-inducer—and all
mental-health authorities recommend against watching that crap.
Political satirist have thrown up their hands, complaining
that nothing they could invent comes close to the Dali-esque quality of
Republican fact-alternatives and denied truths. Now, that may seem like a
merely ironic nugget among the deluge of bad news—but again, Consider:
People whose job
it is to exaggerate the issues-of-the-day to their most-ludicrous extremes—are being
outdone by straight-faced, angry Republicans. Hate crimes have soared. The news
reports that ‘everyone is happy with the economy’—but no one asked me, or my
So, what are we voting for, when we vote Republican?
Dishonesty? Criminality? Tax breaks for the rich? Nothing I’m wanting, that’s for sure….
I’ll tell you what happens if you watch too much stand-up:
you stop laughing. The point of stand-up is to tell the truths that everyone
else just naturally avoids saying. Whether we haven’t been clever enough to
have seen life from that perspective, or if we’ve just avoided facing reality
that objectively, the stand-up’s job is to rub something surprising in our
As soon as I, the viewer, get the least bit tired, I start
to hear stand-up as a litany of bitter truths—uncomfortable facts, being dwelt
on for far too long. Comedy has to be a relaxation—people under strain aren’t
prone to laugh.
I have become an expert in the overdoing of things. As a
sick, old dude I have spent the last twenty years in bed, getter worse instead
of better. As my activities become, year by year, ever more conscribed by
failings in mind and body, the few occupations left to me have a tendency to
TV has to be at the top of that list. No other activity so
perfectly matches a lazy blob. But now, I’m hypersensitive to bad TV—particularly
any talking-head-type show where the agenda is the sponsor, not the journalism.
I saw Edward R. Murrow on TV, myself—I don’t appreciate an entire channel
devoted to lying.
At eight years old, I saw my favorite president get shot in the head—and his brains rolled off the trunk and into the fucking street. So I can handle Republican traitors, like those faithless Senators that voted a lie today. Come November, we’ll see just how far these oath-breaking dick-heads get, now that we’re wise to’em.
More recent FB Posts:
The Repumpsters are traitors–their agenda is to destroy the fed. govt.
With Trump as POTUS, yes, the obese addicted racist hate-broadcaster gets the PMOF
I was disappointed with the Media, when they made Trump a
celebrity as a fat-cat who enjoyed saying “You’re fired!”—and even more famous
as the spokesman for that racist ‘birther’ conspiracy theory.
I was disappointed with the Republicans, when they allowed
him to run on their ticket—even though the only thing Trump has in common with
them is that he is corrosive to human progress.
I was disappointed (first) by McConnell, when he went full
racist, and denied a hearing for Obama’s SCOTUS pick.
I was immensely disappointed in the electorate, when they
voted by the millions for that transparent, idiotic fraud, Trump—and even more
disappointed in the Electoral College, which failed in being our failsafe
against grossly unfit candidates who bamboozle the voters.
I was disappointed in Mueller’s ‘Special Investigation’,
which was hardly what I would call ‘special’, or professional, for that matter.
I was disappointed at the lack of outcry against the caging of child refugees,
separate from their parents’ cages.
I was disappointed by the Senate recent admissions, both
that they wouldn’t deny Trump’s criminality any longer, but that they would
vote not to give a crap. Brett Kavanaugh, I think we can agree, was and remains
a disappointment to us all.
So here I am, in the land of my birth, surrounded by people
who don’t understand what America stands for—people who can’t even spot a
flim-flam man when he’s laughing right in their faces. I’ve lost faith in the
institutions, the communications, and the educations of my homeland.
I fear I now live in a greed-fueled slaughter-house, with an American flag pasted on the front of it, pretending we haven’t changed. Serious, straightforward issues, such as refuge, income inequality, gun violence, and climate disruption, are being ignored, while we discuss whatever simple-minded garbage our Networks and Platforms toss at us. They can’t resist Trump—because he’s a fount of simple-minded garbage.
I know that Americans can get mad. I know that great injustice, properly presented, can make every American rise and march as one. My greatest disappointment, I guess, is that I’ve yet to experience that reaction to our present political disaster. Why do we still find this mini-stroke mobster an acceptable head of state?
If we had sensible legislation, McConnell would have been
jailed as soon as he swore to refuse any compromise and kill any legislation, for
so long as he helmed the Senate. That kind of mindless, partisan obstructionism
has no place in that (formerly) august body.
When he guaranteed the outcome of Trump’s impeachment trial,
before it began and in contradiction of the oath he was due to swear, he
publicly disgraced himself in the same way. And this nonsense about not
allowing any evidence into the trial—ha! Justice prevails, right?
So we have this confessed gangster as president, being tried
by a bunch of fatuous cry-babies whose own sense of entitlement is threatened
by their responsibility to remove such a publicly-corrupt disgrace from office. So, they’re not gonna do it—easy answer. Easy, that is, for a
self-deluded traitor and waste of breath.
Never before in our history could there have been such a
multitude which that epithet covered—POTUS, VP, the entire Cabinet (but
especially Barr & Pompeo), more than half of all Senators, less than half
of all Congresspersons, a couple of SCOTUS judges….
Then there’s the problem of the one-quarter of the voters
who are actually ridin’ this guy’s crazy-train all the way to the end of the
line. They are the real problem. Decades of Republican, dog-whistling divisiveness
has created a bubble-land for these people to live in: a private info-feed of
disinformation ‘news’, scary stories to keep them from mingling with other
perspectives or cultures—even white nationalist clubs to join.
America has been ripped from our hands by liars and frauds.
The Democratic party is a disgrace—but even their wishy-washy adherence to the
Constitution, and the human rights it points towards, would be a ray of sunshine
in the midst of Trump’s flushing of the whole thing down the crapper.
Democracy requires a modicum of common sense—not much, but
some. I see now that the United States of America has exceeded its quota of
assholes. We no longer have a sufficient number of people intelligent enough to
execute a public office, rather than abuse it.
The Impeachment power should work without any problem. But when the President is an asshole—and the VP is an asshole—and the Attorney General is an asshole—and every Republican Senator is a righteous asshole—well, even our beloved Founding Fathers could never have imagined such a corrupt, fucked-up pack of crooks being elected into office, by the People.
The Democrats, usually the still, small voice of reason
(comparatively) are being joined by a disillusioned Russian gangster and a
nuke-crazy, war-monger Republican who didn’t get the memo about ABL (Always Be
Lying). Which means that even the craziest Tea-Party zealot, should they be
afflicted with chronic honesty, is having trouble singing along with the choir,
at this point.
Unfortunately, as I’ve said, we’ve exceeded our quota. Our
ratio of decent citizens to assholes has tipped over to equal that of the
rankest, third-world, war-torn ass-end of the earth you could name. This is
only partially due to the fuck-ups with ‘public education’ and ‘student-loan-slavery’.
It’s mostly due to Americans becoming gigantic assholes, disrespecting all the
social justice and enlightened inclusion our forebears worked so hard for,
sacrificed so much for.
And we assholes are just throwing it away. O, and we’re
letting them fry the planet too—but who cares?
So, this Impeachment Trial has got to be high-water Trump,
right? Have we not reached the peak, the acme of the ridiculous? Manifest guilt
spelled out by Dems. All Trump’s-greatest-hits Lies in rebuttal—for 3 days, no
less—talk about wading in BS….
Public servants used to have the decency to recognize when a
lie was simply too transparent to be supported. Simpler times, smarter folks…
I was pleased to see Liz Warren announce her new platform
plank—the undoing of all Trump’s mischief is as important as any new business
or plan the candidates might have. Trump’s term has been a hasty retreat to a
more ignorant outlook—and it has given the haters tremendous hope and
The Senate is fortunate that America has become so slothful.
Most of us real Americans are just one more dishonest disappointment away from
going to Washington, DC—not to protest, but to wipe those traitors off the face
of the earth. Mitch McConnell deserved it when whoever-it-was did that to his fucked-up
face—but it’s nothing compared to his full faithlessness and void, on the
My recent FB posts:
(These may be confusing, all lumped together like this, but
each post was a release of anger and frustration and moral outrage—complete with
color backgrounds—on a particular bit of idiotic injustice each day. It’s
impossible to recreate that here.)
Trump breaks laws, sure–but a Senate that votes to let him– That breaks the country.
By smearing Biden at Trump’s trial, the Republicans aren’t just acquitting the charge, they’re joining the conspiracy
He’s always guilty—he likes to be guilty. The pretense of Trump’s innocence is beneath any serious adult.
What’s the upshot here? That Crime is good TV, but Justice is too boring to watch?!
Republicans represent the one-percent. Their politics consist of misleading the other 99%.
Soon a cabal of white-collar gangsters will vote to take their fair share of blame for Trump’s corruption.
The Dems’ 3 days were the more interesting of the 2. Truth is stranger than fiction
Well, they sure ripped into those Democrats! Too bad they forgot to rebut Trump’s Impeachment…
Are we supposed to watch the lawyers until they’re finished? (& Why?)
Did the defense just brag about the successful obstruction of the Mueller report, as evidence?!
News reports Trump won’t believe this or that. What about us, who don’t believe Trump?
Republican liars are all over the Sunday talk shows, talking very fast–but saying nothing…
Yo, Mitch: Flouting the law is only safe until the guy next to you decides to copy you….
So, as you can tell, I’m mad. I suspect there are a lot of people that are just as furious as I am about this open corruption and dishonesty in every Republican-held office. The worst is how they grub and scratch to find some little e-mail-mistake that they can run with, damning the Dems for imperfection. Talk about hypocrites!
The Media isn’t actually ‘in on it’—they’re simply too
greedy and simple-minded to care what damage their ‘coverage’ does to the
I’m also mad at the Dems—they have been consistently
ineffective and have failed to fully face every challenge this century.
The Republicans are tearing apart what we understand to be ‘Liberty
& Justice’ and turning it into a Pay-as-you-go Disneyland recreation of the
America we once knew.
I guess, considering what people are, we’re lucky the USA
lasted as long as it did, in its ‘dreaming’ stage….
“After all, many of these Republican Senators will be hearing this
information for the first time.” (If these Senators have refused to
stay current on an issue they don’t like—right up until ‘D-Day’—that’s on them.
Dereliction is no Defense.)
“The House Managers had better not be too derogatory—they’ll need at
least some of these Republicans to vote with them, eventually.” (This
reminds me of back when the ‘deplorable’s didn’t like their new nickname—too on
the nose. We don’t need to sweet-talk
the Republicans—we’ll be lucky if we can shame
them into voting their conscience.)
In general, Democrats have been criticized for being too
unfeeling towards the Republicans—calling them bigots, dupes, idiots. But I
feel that they are equally at fault, for giving us good cause to describe them
as bigots, dupes, and idiots. We would not be so rude, if those words were not so
Likewise, “Democrats have been trying to Impeach Trump
since he took office.” That is only true because, even as a candidate,
Trump was a confessed con-artist and pervert, and entirely unfit for the
office. Democrats didn’t so much ‘run against him’ as beseech voters not to be
so fully taken in by an obviously amoral creep.
And intelligence reports concerning Trump’s cabal’s
connections to Putin and the GRU pre-dated Trump’s inauguration. So, it’s pure
spin to complain that Trump has been under scrutiny his entire presidency. Yes,
we’ve wanted to see him gone since day one, but—again—Trump, Barr, McConnell,
et. al. are equally at fault, for giving us good cause to need Trump impeached
and removed, from day one.
The Republicans would like to portray this Trial as the
high-tide of some Democrat frame-up. That would be so much easier if they could
refute any of the points on the House Managers’ timeline.
And still, CNN talks about “Is anyone listening to the Democrat’s message, yet?” That is such bullshit. They somehow equate ‘professionalism’ with lacking the balls to confirm an obvious fact, just so long as a single yahoo under the sun debates the point.
There is a distinction between preference and proof. You can belong to the Flat-Earth Society—but that only proves something about you—it doesn’t prove your preference.
Armchair politicians like to snipe at Clinton’s
Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell policy, here in the future. Back then, it was radical, it
was the best he could get, and he took it rather than let it go.
This idea that our elected government is something we should
gossip about and re-hash, rather than something which we are informed about, or
not, is a very entitled, viewer-centric concept of our elected and appointed
officials. That kind of perception makes it easy for the loudest voice to steer
the narrative—and is hardly how civilized, intelligent people conduct
Infotainment, in general, is a Capitalist scourge that runs
counter to every ideal but profit. It has empowered the corrupt and the
dishonest—so long as their job title is newsworthy, any nonsense they spout
will be repeated and legitimized by the media. I can think of one very
America should not be falling apart, economically and socially—that’s just poor leadership. We should be flowering with innovation, welcoming immigrants, and daring to reach for challenges equal to that of our ancestors. We should not be under the sway of senile fat-cats—we should be taxing them. We should not be indebting our young collegians, we should be empowering them. When did America re-institute fucking slavery?
C-SPAN2 is underutilized—Non-Americans would have fits of
laughter if this was streamed as a comedy series. The more partisan the
Republican, the more hilarious the character is. It’s not that they are all
poseurs—it’s that they are all so awkwardly, transparently poseurs.
We must admire the effectiveness of the Doubt Factories—they
have paralyzed reform of any kind, in our nation for nigh-on fifty years, maybe
more. The drawback is that our Conservatives are now living in a fact-denying
bubble. All their unacceptable truths are blamed on the Left Wing Democrats,
who are ‘just making it all up’.
It allows Republicans to speak idiocy with a straight face.
Worse, it allows Republicans to become too comfortable with denying
uncomfortable truths. The number and importance of denied facts has accrued to
a startling dogpile—which now includes: defending a treasonously criminal POTUS.
These SenatoTrumpers have crossed the line. Their
rabble-rousing might have worked in a darker time, say the 1930s, but I have
been annoyed. If I have to be
annoyed, so do these soft-soaping, hypocritical pick-pockets infesting our
There’s a reason they don’t allow Free Speech in many other
countries—if a little guy like me gets really annoyed, he might just bitch on
his blog—every damn day—for the rest of his life. And who knows? Someone might
As a child, I had a skewed notion of what the world was
like—I was assuming that it all, pretty much, matched our house and our family
dynamic—and later on, our TV shows. My context of ‘the world’ has been
broadened ever since, almost daily.
I know now that I can write nothing about which people will
fail to have strong views. Anything I say will loved by some, hated by
others—though my purpose is merely to avoid tedium or banality.
I started writing out my personal opinions and posting them
on my blog several years ago. I had a great deal to say, at first. Now, I find
it hard to say what I mean. Years of expressing myself have taught me that what
I want and what is true are two different things—just as what I write may
differ from what you read.
I’ve been thinking big-picture, you know? That thing with
Viet Nam and the Pentagon Papers coming to light—all of us learning that the
government had been sending boys to die over there, without any belief that
their sacrifice would have value.
It was shocking and disgusting—our government failed
spectacularly in their main job: to serve the people—and got thousands
needlessly killed, maimed, and wounded in the process. Not to mention the pile
of money they could just as well used to make a bonfire.
Nowadays, of course, when they tell us the same thing about
Afghanistan and Iraq, we hardly blink an eye. It’s no different—it’s just as
shocking and disgusting—it’s just not a surprise anymore.
Likewise, women couldn’t vote until the 19th
Amendment was ratified in 1920, one hundred years ago. Why (or How) women were
seen as fit to raise children, but too feeble-minded to cast a vote, up until
1920—is hard to figure.
Nevertheless, women’s legal rights did not suddenly become
equal to men’s. Margaret Sanger opened a birth-control clinic in 1916 and was
promptly arrested, charged with ‘distribution of contraceptives’. Our ‘Comstock
Laws’ lumped contraceptives in with dirty pictures and sex toys—and the
birth-control and family-planning movements were major legal opponents of those
who supported Comstock laws.
The 1950s discovery of the birth-control pill transformed
the debate into a business transaction, giving contraceptives a reformed
reputation among true capitalists. In the 1960s, it suddenly occurred to men
that baby-proofed women might be fun. And by the 1970s, women had had it up to
Then you had Ruth Ginsburg and her 270 laws-discriminating-by-sex she got overturned, repealed, whatever. And I just watched a movie about the lawyer lady “Saint Judy” who, just recently, fought to have our Asylum Courts recognize ‘Women who fight for women’s rights’ as valid refugee-status claimants. This ended a terrible ‘dead-end’ for women at risk, but it is not the end of fatuous laws that enforce gender inequality (or binary-gender identities, for that matter).
You see where I’m going with this, right? Our government
starts wars for no damn good reason—that’s insane. Our government has tried to
shackle women for centuries—and still resists their full equality—and that’s
The Catholic Church, it turns out, has been normalizing and
promoting pederasty, in addition to spreading the faith, in every Catholic
country on Earth—for centuries. Apparently, forcing celibacy on people is
unnatural—and invites a certain type of mental-health issue into those
The movie “Spotlight” made clear that pederasts have always
been—and still are—in every Catholic Diocese, domestic or foreign—and that
local civil authorities sometimes became entangled in the conflict between
reputation and scandal, helping the church hide this corruption.
I remember being under the nuns’ care during childhood CCD
classes—and encountering a priest or two after the children’s masses. They were
definitely a hinky bunch, but my interactions always involved fear of
cruelty—the clergy of St. Martin of Tours were really mean. Nobody ever made me
feel like I was being intimately accosted—with our nuns, it was more like being
It’s odd to look back on that terror and think, I was one of
the lucky ones—it’s ironic without
being at all funny. Catholic priests, sadly, are not even the whole story. Sandusky’s
Second-Mile scandal, and USA Girls Gymnastics Dr. Nassar’s scandal, make it
clear that anyone teaching, training,
or working closely with young people, as a profession, need (and should expect)
much more monitoring by a third-party—a quality
control, if you will.
To me, it all paints a picture of a society dumb enough to
poison the Earth until we all die. We’re not done yet, no—but we’re well into
it. Besides Greta, nobody seems to give a fuck—which makes us suicidally
stupid. The only realistic public figures in our time are two teenagers, Malala
& Greta. Ms. Yousafzai has actual grown past her teens, fighting for
women’s right to education.
My problem is that these institutions, these pillars of our
society, are all garbage. We continually try to push aside or abuse women, to
ignore or abuse children—when women and children are the only things that have
any real value (and I’ll grudgingly include men). Our TVs try to tell us that
we got nothing more important to do than lay back and stare at the screen.
These ‘heads of state’ who make the Middle East a sandbox
for their wargames and power-grabs and terrorist recruiting—and their opposites
in the ‘free world’—love to point at a military ‘outbreak’ and shout, “Look!
This takes precedence! Forget about everything else, until we’re done
shooting—or talking about shooting.”
So don’t get me started on habitat-loss or population-doubling or acid oceans or economic-inequality—we are extremely close to proving that, as a group, as a species, we are too stupid to live.
If only we didn’t waste all our careful planning on profits and threat-scenarios, we might come up with some real great ideas—what with all the computers and new tech and all. But money and arms are all that matter, right? The ones with all the gold make all the rules?
And what about us patient liberals? Are we supposed to feel good about being right, when the proof is the whole world joining Australia in general conflagration? Are we supposed to respect people that lie to our faces? Are we supposed to watch news that promotes these liars? Why should we participate in this riot of ignorance and irresponsibility?
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
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.
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
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
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:
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….
Usually, when someone admits to a crime, we don’t spend six
months holding hearings before sending it to ‘trial’ (in the Senate, no less).
It only happens because the Office of the Presidency is so important. However,
to hear the ferocious spin of the Republicans, one can’t help but think they’re
furiously trying to convince themselves that Trump is innocent, while they
admire him for doing it. I’m sure
there’s an explanation for Republicans, but I’m also sure it’s a tawdry, tragic
tale—and I don’t want to hear it.
The way Trump’s disdain for our country mirrors Putin’s
aggression toward us is a warning in itself. A high-tech society can’t be
populated by unseasoned illiterates with no respect for details, maintenance or
nuance. The world is too complicated to be run by a stupid bully.
I would not want to be a political leader in 2020. Seven
billion people is not something you want to piss off. Especially now that we’ve
broken the thermostat. They’ll be cranky enough.
We all know that not all grown-ups are adults. It’s time for
the real adults to get scared enough to involve themselves. The human race
needs enlightened leadership to replace the ancient power-foci, to get us all
working together, to take care of all of us as well as we do the best of us. We
have grown too powerful and too numerous for any other avenue of long-term
To see this oneself, to feel the urgency—it makes these
media match-ups of Dems Vs. Reps seem like glaring negligence only slightly
less onerous than the President’s and his coterie’s. Nunes’ behavior is
unacceptable—never has anyone so publicly committed to his role as lapdog—except
So I am torn between exhorting my fellow beings to face the
future like sci-fi protagonists and despairing of my fellow humans for so
seriously indulging in the busy-work which we solemnly call ‘The Impeachment
Hearings”. O, if only we could all agree that the jack-ass is guilty, and move
on—it would give me hope for mankind.
But then, I’ve forgotten—I’ve given up on ‘hope’ in humanity—we
really are so repulsive, sometimes. These days, I run on pure optimism, just
because optimism is better for my mental health. I no longer kid myself that my
acute interest in current events and my burning passion for ‘goodness’ are both
eating away at everyone else’s mind, as they do me.
But that is the most important part, don’t you see? People can’t
live on small farms anymore—we’ve souped the whole thing up. So now, through a
largely uncoordinated effort, the Earth supplies food, water, clothes, and
shelter to seven-billion people, instead of the two-million, tops, that could
sustain themselves without tech.
I ask you to consider what it meant to be human, pre-tech,
pre-population-explosion, pre-pollution. Those days are gone for good. (If we
keep ourselves from savagery.) The placidity and comfort of a life that asks
nothing more than a hard day’s work (and a shorter life-expectancy) is becoming
impossible to find. We’re having trouble getting kids to look up from their
When evil strikes, and we seek solutions—we now have to
worry about changing what it means to be human—CRSPR-stuff, surveillance-states,
corporate autonomy superceding the human-rights of employees and/or consumers,
We must then face the fact that we have already changed some
of the most fundamental things about being human: a walking pace, the problem
of solitude, our vulnerability to nature and biology, and our assumption that
the greatest number of people have the most force. There’s a big list, but I
won’t get distracted by detail.
And so we see that we enter an age where we will
be deciding how to consciously ‘define’ humanity. And the big question is: Do
you want the idle, greedy rich to make those future choices? Or would you
rather we all had a say? That is what makes Democracy more important today than
it has ever been.
A Flat Denial of the Nose on One’s Face (2019Nov27)
I think what I miss most of all is the shared-reality world
of pre-9/11. After the WTC attack, I clearly remember being afraid for my own
country. It had nothing to do with the terrorists—I was afraid of what
Americans would do.
It became clear that this was an attack by a small group of
criminals, with contacts throughout the Middle East—but with no specific
government behind them. They staged from Afghanistan—and were linked to the Taliban.
The Taliban were once called the Mujahideen, back when they
were being invaded by the Soviet Union—and we were only too happy to arm them and
train them to fight the Reds for us. We didn’t mind the Taliban’s sharply uber-orthodox
form of Islam—in fact, it fit right in with our own, Cold-War-heightened
support of organized faiths.
I’m sure the Soviets just wanted the real estate—but it is
nonetheless true that they imposed draconian limits on religions and their
clergy (when they allowed them at all). But, once they were beaten back by
Afghanis with US-supplied arms, the USA promptly lost Afghanistan’s number—a major
example of where a stitch in time could have saved nine.
Had we continued funding the Afghanis’ recovery and
modernization, with even a tenth of the money we’d spent arming them, the
Taliban would never have taken flying lessons. But that’s all milk under the
What had me scared, back then, was knowing that Americans saw this (as Bin Laden had intended) as an attack from the Middle East in general—and we would not be satisfied with an unsuccessful manhunt for an individual—we needed to declare war on a major Middle Eastern nation.
This was the beginning of all the Republican’s bare-faced
lying (and the backing up of each others’ bare-faced lying). Bush-43 claimed
there were WMDs in Iraq. Bush claimed links between Saddam Hussein and Bin
Laden. Journalists started seeing inconsistencies between our shared reality,
and Bush’s wish-fulfillment filter of ‘things as they are’.
Bush’s tenure would continue to tend a garden of Republican
zombie-lies, which would continue, through the Obama terms, as shrewish
rumor-mongering and the most thinly-veiled racism of any party ever. But that
was all just warm-up for the piece de
resistance –Trump’s 24-hour Lie-cycle, and the Greek chorus of Senators who
hear nothing, see nothing, and say nothing.
Now, granted, the media makes it far too easy for the
Republicans to play these games with the truth—and the fact that their bullshit
is working on millions of Americans must, also, encourage them to think there may
be some sanity to lying-as-a-long-term-plan.
But it should be clear to these people, who so blithely
manipulate people themselves, that all it takes is a well-placed sound-bite or
two. Suddenly, the entire country will see Trump and McConnell, et. al. as I
see them: opportunists who are very clever at bending rules, but
hollowed-skulled when it comes to big-picture, long-term stuff—like America.
So, I dream of a near future where Conservatives and Fat
Cats once again have the decency to see a flat denial of the nose on one’s face
as a bridge too far—as it used to be, and always will be for folks of common
sense and goodwill.
Aren’t Trump & Nunes & McConnell & Barr & Pompeo & Giuiliani (& Republicans in general) pushing a little too hard to sell their fairy tales? Are we supposed to see them as anything other than treasonous gangsters? They’re not Conservatives. Conservatives don’t pull this shit. They’re not Evangelicals. Evangelicals don’t pull this shit.
And they sure ain’t ‘businessmen’—they’re not even good at being crooks. They talk like criminals. They act like traitors.
And cable news keeps lending them the patina of legitimacy—as in: they wouldn’t keep broadcasting this creep if he was really just telling lies, would they?
I see Fox News has a new ad: “America is Watching”—and whenever I see it, I mentally add “(We’re only banned in Great Britain)”.
It took me losing my own mental health to realize just how
stupid people are. Before, I simply couldn’t imagine the levels of dullness and
willful ignorance on which the human race operates. Now that I accept the truth
about people, I can relax.
It seems that my upset was merely a matter of expecting too much. I couldn’t
understand why civilization was such a worthless, filthy mess—but I get it
now—and I’m going to let go of all my stress and let the human race be what it
is. I’ve only been here since 1956—and I’ll be gone soon. What do I care?
So, there you have it—I’ve just spent a lifetime in the
upper one-tenth of ‘intelligence’—and it’s only lately that it occurs to me
that nearly everyone else, being of less intellectual vigor, will not make
sense to me—any more than I to them. Thus, when I drove myself mad with
frustration over things that are ‘obvious’, it only now occurs to me they are
not obvious at all.
Thank goodness, I’m one with all of you now. My brain is as
rusty, rickety, and unreliable as anyone else’s. Plus, I’m old and sick. No one
has any hold on my obligation. Even if one man can make a difference, I
volunteer someone else, someone under sixty and healthy.
I was against Trump as a racist, misogynist con-man and
ignoramus. That seemed a bad choice for President. But even I, who expected the
worst, am surprised to find that Trump is a criminal conspirator and a traitor.
I was against the Republicans as being wholly in the pockets
of the wealthy. That seemed quite un-American to me. But that is nothing
compared to their willful blindness and cowardice in confronting their mistake,
in siding with the traitor—and continuing, against all reason, to pretend he’s
innocent of the mountain of allegations that completely obscure the rest of
American politics, or, indeed, governance.
I was against the media giving Trump billions in free
campaign advertising—while helping legitimize his louché insanity. For-profit journalism is trying to serve two masters,
and failing. But here we are, still getting critiques and discussions over what
Trump tweeted—the news as Rorschach Cards.
In America, to be fair to both sides means ignoring right
and wrong; and ignoring the rigor or provenance of ‘source references’. In
short, ‘fairness’ is being without any judgement or reason.
I’m a New Yorker. I saw through Trump at the get-go—we have
lots of slimy con-men in New York—especially in the city. They have charisma
out the butt. They talk a Great game. But if you watch closely, they only have
one agenda—to separate you from your wallet.
America’s Constitution—and its legacy: Public Education, the
Panama Canal, Edison, two World Wars, Fission, the UN, the Internet—the story
behind all that is neither clean nor simple. America is bloody. America is
Roughly one-third of Americans care only for the bloodiness.
Another one-third simply take ‘America’ for granted. We poor bastards are the
one-third that stands up to the complicated nature of America—and like our
fore-fathers—we apply our fucking brains to the issue at hand.
We know, from experience, to avoid self-serving
rationalization. We know not to confuse the anecdotal with the statistical. We
accept that Democracy means some minority (small or large) will be disappointed
by every election. We cling to the fantasy that the majority of Americans will
want what is best for all of America—because, why wouldn’t they?
It’s so ridiculous with this president. It’s like being
trapped in Kindergarten.
A ‘Long-Standing Justice Department Memo’ has no more
‘standing’ in Law than if I wrote it. The Republicans love to
fiddle with this whole thing, they think it’s a ‘loophole’, but it ain’t. Here
it is, so even Trump (if he listened) could get it:
The Justice Department can’t indict the President because
that privilege belongs to Congress, which has the power to indict him through
Impeachment. He can’t be tried in Court either—once indicted by Congress’
Impeachment Vote, the Senate has the privilege of Trying and Convicting the
President (with the help of a SCOTUS Judge).
There is nothing in the Constitution that says the State
Department, or the FBI, or any other agency, is prohibited from helping Congress
conduct an investigation.
For the president’s lawyers to argue that he can stonewall
Congress, because he’s immune from prosecution, is bullshit as high art, with a
Yale education—but it’s still bullshit. Innocent people don’t need legal
arguments that emulate Simon Biles’ floor-routines.
My legal difficulty with Trump is that our laws are based on
presumption of innocence—we give any defendant the benefit of the doubt. I can’t
do that for Trump—that pus-sac has been given more benefit-of-the-doubt than
any motherfucker in history—and it’s enough, already.
If Trump becomes the first US President ever to
be forcibly removed from office, he will have completely earned it.
As I’ve often said, our politics are just a symptom of
something much more endemic. Take music, for example.
While copyrights have been in the forefront of every labels’
and publishing companies’ legal department, it wasn’t long ago that they were
trying to steal artists’ intellectual property for themselves—and that
continues, more subtly, while they add this ‘frenzy’ of defending their hoard
from interlopers as amoral as they are.
Meanwhile, the mighty computer (which can supposedly play
chess and run a factory) cannot help YouTube differentiate between my homemade
videos of a Bach composition—and the same piece played by a world-famous
concert artist. They send me emails, telling me I have encroached on their
copyright of piano-works which have clearly aged into the Public Domain—which
would only apply if it were not me at the ivories. Stupid, bad computer—try
As well, I watch this Music Choice channel (now the Stingray
channel) which plays recordings, a la radio station—sans visuals. Except for
the Titles! Each piece is identified by Name, Composer, & Performer(s)—but not
Am I so expert? No, but I don’t have to be. When a Bach
piece is credited as a famous pianist’s recording—and one clearly hears a harpsichord;
or when a Debussy piece is credited as a famous pianist’s recording—and one
clearly hears an Orchestra playing a famous transcription of it; it takes no
scholar to understand that the database is corrupt.
Naivety might lead me to suggest that centuries of musical
genius, the sonic treasure-house of Western Civilization, recorded
painstakingly by talented stars who’ve devoted their lifetimes to this music—might
be worthy of respect. But I don’t ask for respect.
I ask only what computers are supposed to be good at—accuracy.
If computers’ precision exists only for accounting—and none of the other arts
or sciences—then what the hell good are they?
I just want to point out the desperate thinness of the GOP
Senators’ (and Trump’s other Goons’) excuses for him—the only reason they even
resemble ‘sense’ is because they so closely echo the nonsense that we’ve been
fed up until this tipping-point.
But it’s time to recognize the fatuity of their ridiculous
pretenses. These kinds of things only hold up when there is a sliver of a doubt
regarding legality. But that sliver disappeared when Trump broke the law on his
phone call with the Ukrainian President, trading Arms for oppo-dirt on Biden—and
again today, when he televised a request for China’s help in smearing Biden.
Anyone who is defending the President’s behavior today is a
traitor. It’s that simple. I need hardly add that it’s also the height of
Decades ago, we had already settled the argument over right
and wrong with such things as Social Security, Immigration, and De-segregation.
And as for Human Rights, America wasn’t just for them, we were pretenders to the Champion of Human Rights.
Somehow, we’ve devolved from that point, through the Reagan
Right-turn, into a Capitalist Autocracy where these ‘settled’ issues had now
the old one-two: both amnesiac re-booting of Hate as a ‘new idea’, and
questioning whether problems such as racism and sexual assault even exist.
(Hint: they do.)
If (1) we’re the richest country on Earth and (2) we have
only a handful of citizens hoarding the majority of that wealth—then the proof
that these fuckers run the show is in the fact that they just got a tax
break—from an ineptly unfit joke of a ‘president’ and a confessedly-corrupt
Conversely, you could try explaining why a few thousand
Americans own every. fucking. thing.—and that’s as it should be. But don’t try
that with me. I was born at night,
People warned about all this stuff. Sure. But money
eventually wore down individuals who had ‘pieces’ of the responsibility, until
all responsibility was gone. Mass media being controlled by
corporations—especially news, and that which dresses in ‘news’, such as
FOXnews, eliminated the foundation of free speech—a shared reality.
People warned about the environment—especially the impact of
petroleum combustion on the atmosphere—for over a century. And you will still
find rich people who claim that
Climate Change is a hoax—but no poor
People warned about opening the floodgates to campaign
financing—and industry-lobbyists having more influence than voters. But we let
it go, and now a drooling idiot sits in charge of the Free World.
What frustrates about Donald Trump the most isn’t the
bullshit he does—it’s the traitorous Republican-majority Senate that refuses to
say ‘boo’ about any of it. These are the same prissy-pantses who still pretend
to have a fainting spell whenever they mention Bill Clinton getting blown in
the White House—the same jack-asses who fought for decades against Healthcare
reform and are still mad that they lost that fight.
You could pooh-pooh Socialism all you wanted, back in the
day. The news didn’t report on the systemic racism and sexism—and a younger
Capitalism still had plenty of room for growth. The digital age had barely
gotten started. But now—now you’ve got low wages, student debt, income
inequality, national debt, and a recent middle-class tax increase—socialism
doesn’t sound so much like poison these days.
Let’s face it—nobody’s getting rich in America. The malls
are all ghost towns and if you want to start a new retail business, you have to
go through Mr. Bezos’ little shop. You can make your own demos today, but the
age of the rich rock star has passed. China and India are cranking out new
everything, including entrepreneurs—and they have the hunger. Plus, they can
get rich without coming here, now—so there’s that.
Strangely enough, Capitalism is a luxury we can no longer
afford. Money is costing us. Wealth concentrated in the hands of the few (with
those few fixated on the status quo)
paralyzes our ability to adapt to new information, to adapt to change.
And this is what’s so toxic about blind USA-boosting. We
chant USA! USA!, and threaten to flatten anyone who disses
America. But that pride is misplaced—it should be pride in what our fathers and
mothers and forebears did. We have done nothing to be proud of since we fell
spellbound into the GOP’s siren song of an ‘established America’ that required
no change, no maintenance—and certainly no re-thinking.
Hence, the increasing popularity of Socialism—when the rich
are the problem, just take their money in wealth-taxes. But it’s not that
simple. America is a car doing 80 on the interstate—fixing it on the fly is
dangerous and difficult.
All of this, however, is nothing
compared to the problem of forming a more-perfect union, using democracy, when
the wealthy few have taken the truth hostage (along with all the
communications/entertainment industry) and they are busily spreading false
propaganda to citizen-voters who have little enough education to start with.
These voters then proudly vote against their own best interests.
That is a problem so titanic that Trump’s ‘presidency’ is
merely one symptom of it.
Technology creates a world that requires sensible,
responsible behavior. Humanity cannot be confined to sensible, responsible
behavior. Thus it follows that we humans will misuse technology until we do
something that cannot be reversed—and we all die.
It used to be theory. Now, it is staring us in the face. The
Russians have created some kind of radioactive cloud (not for the first time)
and the glaciers are melting in days, rather than years. Earth’s major coastal
cities could be underwater in as little as five years. Heat waves and droughts
are decimating global food production. Habitats are vanishing.
The question arises: What’s wrong with humanity? Why can’t
we be confined to sensible, responsible behavior?
Well, for one thing, you can’t control reproduction. Anything we might do to regulate motherhood would make us less than human. But, more importantly, humans thrive under struggle and sicken under civilized luxury. Humans, like other animals, have their issues with captivity. And what is civilization but a set of rules repressing animal urges, a cage of communal behavior?
Civilized societies will never be able to defend themselves
against harsh societies that keep humans on their more-animal level of hunger
and violence. Which is why I always advocate world charity—if we let others
starve, we’re just breeding terrorists that hate and resent our security and
But charity isn’t enough—education and public health
maintenance are what lift a society into development. And it’s hard to teach
children to be thinking persons when their parents have raised them to be ‘survivors’
of a dangerous environment.
Besides, human don’t even have the sense to share their
wealth with their neighbors. One need not visit a third-world country. Go to
New York City, go to a million-dollar-a-year luxury apartment—then step
outside, to the hell-hole that has you tripping over homeless bodies.
We talk about being ‘humane’—that’s a stupid word—it’s not
human behavior, it’s what human’s rarely
And males—being born of women and then turning up their noses at females, dead certain they’re stronger and smarter. Have you ever heard anything so stupid? Humanity is so suicidally mindless that it’s hard to believe we can be so smart as individual units.