Remember Me? The Return of My Blogging Self

This site has been blogless since the so-called election on November 8, 2016. Any submission seemed redundant to the ocean of writing covering the destruction of the country’s reputation and every single government department. Then there’s the nauseating aspect of Republican complicity, coupled with their indignation toward the Mueller and SDNY investigations, particularly in contrast with the mounting criminal indictments and more sides to this conspiracy than a myriagon (that’s a polygon with 10,000 sides). So I have been paying attention. It’s all just so terribly depressing. But I feel strength and renewed hope since the Democrats took back the House January 3rd. So I’m back, that one of you who wondered.

I got my start writing in journalism so, in as much as I want to avoid writing about a facet of the Russian coup that’s been done to death, I also like to be concise. So for that one of you out there, I submit this separate and brief explanation for my absence, in keeping with my journalism roots, rather than putting this personal prologue to the first post with legitimate content. I want to avoid resembling this guy I once had in a speech class who could not deliver one speech without first explaining in excruciating detail – like he was in his shrink’s office – his thought process for choosing his topic, what inspired him, what didn’t, his breakfast, his sock choice, route to class, and always punctuating these narcissistic prologues with failed stifles to laugh at something only he found amusing. (He’s so vain, he probably thinks this description’s about him.) One of his classmates always looked like there was a thought bubble containing a groan and eye roll overhead. OK, that was me. 

A lot has happened over the past two years, for me personally and professionally and in this world. Two years ago, who would have thought the Steele dossier would be mere Cliff Notes to the depth and breadth of the Drumpf (the original German) criminal corruption? Two years ago, who would have imagined the Mueller investigation would be ongoing, growing in indictments by the week almost and, so far, reaping tens of millions of dollars from the Manafort seizures alone? Two years ago, I would have sounded like a conspiracy nut if I said then what I believed and still do, like Hillary won, Drumpf is working against the nation’s interests or that he’s a global danger, due to his malignant narcissism and growing cognitive diminishment. Had I blogged about it then, I might have seemed prescient today. But I’ve been in a constant state of shock and outrage, like many of you. So I’ll try to offer something different and some historical framing with my blogs that may entertain, provoke or terrify. Or so I hope. I might even write about other stuff. So thanks for sticking around, that one of you!

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Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “We All Shine On” (Instant Karma) #SundayMorning

I am no expert on Buddhism and Hinduism so my observation of karma is purely personal and anecdotal. But I have seen instant karma, meaning the Universe’s quick, balanced payback for a good or bad deed. I consider it a good thing when I do a slight but unfair act and get payback the same day. I like to think that means I have good karma. On the other hand, when someone “gets away” with murder or a great wrong of some kind, I believe when their karma is bad (and if you commit murder you already have bad karma) and the Universal payback comes long after but with a vengeance, that’s very bad karma. O.J. Simpson often comes to mind. But that’s just my anecdotal theory.

Naturally, I think of those in power today who are demonstrating acts of injustice and how their karmic balance may come. We’ve got a guy who intends to ban those of Muslim faith from the country, prevent and remove transgender people from the military and who is so xenophobic, wants to literally construct a wall in 2017 to keep people out. Some Nazis are now deemed “good people” by the Commander and Chief who invites Russian spies into the Oval Office and sends bills from a his own private business to the Secret Service for expenses to protect him. And this is perfectly reasonable to the GOP, apparently! Hurry karma! Please don’t let this be the planet’s karmic payback for humanity’s damage to her.

John Lennon’s words in “We All Shine On” speak to instant karma slightly differently, in that it comes without warning. I’m okay with that, too. If we don’t have it written in the Constitution that swift justice must meet a wholly unfit being installed as president by a foreign country, let it be karma. Let karma smite Trump and everyone colluding with him to profit from his office or destroy our institutions.

Instant Karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you off your feet
Better recognize your brothers
Ev’ryone you meet

I needn’t remind you that John Lennon and every member of The Beatles were about love and its power. The song actually has a lot more to say about being rooted in love, in love for oneself and everything else. This song always grounds me and I need that today. It’s a universal truth that love, indeed, Secretary Clinton, trumps hate.

Who in the hell d’you think you are
A super star
Well, right you are

It’s hard to peer out from the pall shrouding us these days. So let Lennon remind you of the greater self, the most superior of super powers: love.

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Eve of Destruction”

The roots of hate are deep. It’s been passed through generations in families, on right-wing hate radio, social media, Trump, US Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and via Russian marionetting (fueling actions from afar). Daylight helps but it must be eradicated root and branch, and outlawed, as Germany did to its Nazis after WWII. All terrorism in the name of fill in the blank is all the same. It is evil and wrong. I pity those who go through life with such a chip on their shoulder. But they don’t belong in a civil society. Let’s not forget, we all share this place, like it or not. Poisoning any part of it is done to us all.

Day by day, week by week, things are getting worse under the Trump regime. We not only had a savage attack right here in Charlottesville, VA yesterday by people carrying torches and opposing the removal of a statue of a traitor to our nation, but the President of the United States egged on a nuclear war with North Korea and then just replied when asked for detail, “You’ll see,” like the sniveling bully Scut Farcus in “A Christmas Story.” No, I didn’t forget he also threatened Venezuela. But the day’s still young and there are so many other countries to belittle when a wholly unfit narcissist binges on propaganda media, seeks constant adulation, controls the nuclear codes and has a Twitter account.

Just after the election, I shared my fear for our nation to a cashier I know at a local store who replied to me, “What’s the worst that could happen?” I replied immediately with, “Fascism.” She didn’t reply. Not hyperbole folks. This is how it happens. “Leaders” divide, threaten, keep us off balance and always, always tell us we’re in danger and “only [he] can fix it.” That is all authoritarian followers need to react accordingly. Hitler had his Brown Shirts of brainwashed civilians. Trump has his red caps, although don’t you think Orange Shirts is more fitting?

Even before Heather Heyer was murdered and many others severely injured by a kid so filled with rage, he used his car as a missile, this song came to mind: Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction.” It was written by P. F. Sloan about 53 years ago. We don’t need to change a word, really.

“The eastern world, it is explodin’,
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’,
You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’,
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’,
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’,
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say?
And can’t you feel the fears I’m feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no running away,
There’ll be no one to save with the world in a grave,
Take a look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’,
I’m sittin’ here, just contemplatin’,
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
Handful of Senators don’t pass legislation,
And marches alone can’t bring integration,
When human respect is disintegratin’,
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China!
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
But when your return, it’s the same old place,
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace,
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace,
Hate your next door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace,
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
You don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

No, no, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.”

Resist.

Your Weekly Sunday Interlude: “Waterloo” #swedenincident

Out of my deep respect and heartfelt sympathies to all who suffered through the “Sweden Incident” Donald Trump mentioned in his remarks at his puppet show in Melbourne, FL yesterday, I can think of no more appropriate song for this week’s Sunday Interlude; “Waterloo,” by ABBA.

After all, ABBA is a Swedish group and the song refers to the Battle of Waterloo, the setting where the narcissistic, imbalanced dictator Napoleon Bonaparte faced his defeat.

Trump thinks Sweden had a terrorist attack, the empty space at his inauguration was, in fact, a throng of fans, that the sun parted the clouds as he spoke while it was visibly raining on his head and President Obama is not a US citizen. So rather than surrender like Napoleon, let’s make popcorn and an adult beverage and enjoy watching our dear leader’s descent into madness, for he knows not what he sees.

Mr. Trump: Please Add Me to Your Enemies’ List

To: Donald J. Trump, Regarding: Enemies’ List

I, hereby, surrender myself as a dissident to you and your hate, values and everything for which you stand because I wish to eliminate all doubt that I am your enemy. Whether you are elected our 45th president or you lose badly to the Democratic candidate, I expect the crepe paper thin skin of your fragile ego will force you to form an enemies’ list, if it has not already begun. And it will be longer than the 11 million undocumented people you say you want to round up and deport. So I am putting you on notice that I will never be compliant to a reprehensible, pathetic tyrant.

To you, I am an insignificant gnat. I am not rich or powerful or famous. But I know you are entirely unable to suppress exacting revenge for any slight. And I have been slighting you on social media, focusing particularly on your unusually small hands and you concealing your forehead since your late twenties, I presume because someone you admired once teased you. I’m not a priority like Alicia Machado, Gold Star father Khizr Khan or President Obama. But who knows how far you will go to exact revenge against those who do not genuflect to you? If Nixon did it, I can just imagine your “enemies’ list,” submitting people to audits or whatever kind of misery your Grinch-like soul conjures up. Still it would never compare to the misery wrought against this nation if it should crown you king .

Your red cap-wearing, “maga-gaga” loyalists, dare I say deplorables, on social media are vile. They lash out with horrid remarks. I only visit their profiles when they hurl personal insults at me. I mostly see pictures of over-compensating gun images and comments about poisoning, torturing or killing women, Jewish people or persons of color or applauding acts that do. So I would consider it an honor to be your enemy, not because I think you have any real power or possess even an average intellectual, a moral compass or a modicum of physical prowess, but because you are the king of the deplorables.

You see, I have learned from history because I cracked a book and absorbed the lessons from generations before me. I get how demagogues operate and you, kir, are a demagogue. I’ve read about Martin Niemöller, the pastor who spoke out against Hitler and ended up in a concentration camp. His famous quote is:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Around the same time in history, our president Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” I learned from that, too. I don’t want to be one of your subjects. I don’t want to cower to your orders to turn in my friends and neighbors or fear the people you want us to fear. It’s not in me. And I’d rather be thrown in prison than ever – and I mean ever  – obey your delusional orders.

To me, you are the arbiter of nothing. I just want the world to know I was not one who did not speak out.

 

 

The Pinnacle of GOP Southern Strategy and Voodoo Economics

This seems to be the year that the GOP has reached the pinnacle of the two core principles they’ve held over the past several decades, promote policies that only benefit the wealthiest and lock in the bigot vote. Donald J. Trump is the poster boy of both the southern strategy and Reagan’s voodoo, trickle-down economics. He’s been one of the primary benefactors of the economic and tax policies and he spouts the perfect angry, racist rhetoric for the narrow-minded.

Sure, the Republican Convention is void of many GOP leaders, like Senator McCain and both former Bush presidents, but make no mistake, not only will Republican voters come out in full force for Trump, it is why he won the nomination in the first place. He’s perfect for the party’s policies. He’s the monster they and the mainstream media created. And this grifter is taking the ride all the way. Well, I hope not all the way. But the election will be close because in the end, Republican voters don their brown shirts and fall in line.

For decades, the Republican party has used divisive campaign tactics and propaganda to appeal to and propagate single-issue voters. They’ve garnered a loyal following of gun fetishists, fetus fanatics, religious-intolerant Christians, racists, misogynists, homophobes and xenophobes. And Trump is their ideal brand, perfectly packaged and marketed with all the “best words.” All he has to do it drop an anti-Muslim line here and an “I’m building a wall” there and these voters are like Pavlov’s dog.

Trump

I truly wonder what the remaining Republican voters who thought their party stood for frugal government programs, dirty energy and a strong military are thinking or what they will do in November. I suspect some will still vote straight down ticket. But this time, if it hasn’t happened before, some of the rational must be having a deep soul searching. Because I saw this coming. Republicans in Congress are lawless traitors, serving lobbyists and corporations, not the people. This should come as no shock to Republican voters. How much lower could they go than to vow to defy a president elected twice other than running a fascist grifter at the top of the ticket? Trump’s a thief straight from GOP laws and policy and now he’s coming for the brass ring.

Those McCains and Bushes and other Republicans with global reputations are scared. I heard “W” say he fears he’ll be the last Republican president. I wish to my core his father had been the last, or Eisenhower, actually. I could see the fear in Congressman Ryan’s eyes at the Convention last night. Good. They should be scared. They played with our precious government for their own gain.  And now their own monster is burning down their casino. Unfortunately their casino has a shared wall with a government that matters to me and that I love.

I’ve been watching a bit of the Republican Convention each night, or as much as I can take without needing excessive alcohol. But I get the gist. The enemy is Hillary Clinton because she is the cause of Middle-East hostilities, four dead in Benghazi and is already the reason you don’t have a job. Rhetoric, anger and “our brand is the solution” are all normal for any Convention. But to have a speaker suggest the other party’s candidate be imprisoned is a first that I am aware. It’s a terrifying, aging, white, hateful mob who’ve been let down by their own party but are so brainwashed all they hear are dog whistles and comments about their pet issue. Abortion. Gays. Guns. Muslims. Coal. Hillary bad.

I listened to delegates and watched their reactions. And that’s when I saw Nixon’s Southern Strategy fully on display. Angry white people wanting their “country back,” their “American again.” It’s actually no longer a dog whistle. They have an African-American cop disparage Black Lives Matter. One of their speakers the first night posted a meme with Secretary Clinton and the “C” word for a woman. And most importantly, they are supporting and nominating a person who, in his candidacy declaration, said that the Mexicans coming here are rapists. Donald Trump took care of any concern the racist, xenophobic, Tea Party members had the moment he announced his candidacy. He agreed that the “solution” to their problems is to keep Latinos, people of Muslim faith and dislocated refugees out of the country and away from their America. The hatred unleashed since his nasty-looking, scowling face appeared in this campaign has resulted in street people being beaten. Trump’s supporters don’t want the diversity they see, mainly because Fox News has told them all the “others” are to blame for their fill-in-the-blank problem. And they certainly don’t want that diversity to have equal opportunity, let alone the White House. Eight years with an African-American and now a woman? Oh, hell no.