Wednesday, October 21, 2020

looking back on a political bet


It was just about six years today that my younger son, all languid on the couch, bet me 20 bucks that Hillary Clinton would not win the Democrat election for president of the United States. Living as I do in a blue-blue-blue (Democrat) state (Massachusetts), I figured it was time for him to learn a lesson. I offered him odds on his bet but he declined -- 20 bucks, straight across: Hillary would not win.

Come the day after the election ... well ... the rest is history.

Donald Trump had promised them "good paying" coal jobs. Donald Trump had promised them a Republican health care plan that would bump predecessor Barack Obama's health care law out of the batter's box. Donald Trump had promised to kick the old guard in the seat of the pants. To this day, not one Republican has stepped up and said, "Ooops! -- I screwed the goose." Please notice that a tax cut for the wealthy is now firmly in place ... just as with George W. Bush, another Republican stalwart and another man taken as a dumb-bell.

Tell me -- if intelligence does not pay off and stupidity does not pay off, what, then, pays off?

I thought of this today as my son (and middle child) drove back from Florida where he and his newly-engaged sweetie, Hannah, had gone for a little down time. " "We guessed it was 70 percent not wearing masks," he told me as he drove back towards their house in Georgia and Hannah headed south to visit with her parents. Two minutes after we hung up, the phone rang: "Just thought you'd like to know I passed a gigantic Confederate flag," he announced without preamble.

I paid my $20 bill and tried to remember not to forget -- politics is not my strong suit.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

national suicide hotline


 Ask and ye shall receive....

A bill that would make 9-8-8 a national number for those contemplating suicide has cleared the Federal Communications Commission and is headed for the U.S. President's signature. The law, if enacted, would take effect in 2020.

I see no quick-hit clues as to whether Trump will sign it or not. I imagine anyone's suicide might be OK with Trump as long as the one contemplating suicide did not slavishly support him.

Friday, October 9, 2020

I want therefore I am

I probably have said this before, but who knows....?

It is not so much  René Descartes' "I think therefore I am" that is true, but rather, unless I'm off by lot, "I want, therefore I am."

There is nothing wrong with thinking, which is a perfectly good human function. But as the T-shirt aptly observes, "Don't believe everything you think." It is the wanting that muddies the waters, I suspect.

Or maybe I am just swimming in quicksand yet again.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Donald Trump contracts disease he derides

Donald Trump, the president of the United States and a staunch opponent of wearing masks as a means of fending off the Covid-19 epidemic currently sweeping the world, has contracted the corona virus. Further, he has reversed course on granting financial relief to those poor bastards and bastardettes saddled with a love of a president who has bled them dry.

Why exultant Christians, who can be as idiotic as anyone else when the spirit moves them, are not dancing in the Gotcha aisles is beyond me .... or maybe I am not looking hard enough. God gotcha, honey!

The election is coming. When I nudged my wife about it, she grew mildly testy -- "I don't care who they elect," she said simply. It just doesn't matter, her tone said. Donald Trump has trampled all over the country he lives in and has milked. Before it went out of fashion, he would have been called a sociopath ... someone without affect for all others outside him/herself. Hanging Trump in some conspicuous archway, (à la Mussolini), based on his lies and misinformation and the suffering and confusion he has sown...

 

Benito Mussolini, 1945

 

But if you must spit, spit in the corner.

That, and, keep your eyes on the tax rebates Trump has organized (much like George W. Bush) in favor of the super-rich.


Colonial etiquette

Somewhere among the etiquette pamphlets of the (not-quite) early American colonies was this prim addendum, which I always loved:

... and if you must spit, spit in the corner.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

among the gun rights ... suicide

‘Nationally, nearly half of suicides involve a firearm. But this congressional district research shows that the national average masks enormous differences between districts,’ Everytown report explains.

Almost 23,000 people die annually by gun suicide in the United States, tragedies that are overwhelming some rural congressional districts clustered in the nation’s west and south, according to new research from the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund.

A dearth of mental health resources, shifting economic realities and widespread gun ownership factor in the devastating and disproportionate local death tolls around the country.

“Nationally, nearly half of suicides involve a firearm. But this congressional district research shows that the national average masks enormous differences between districts,” the Everytown report explains....

Indian and Fertile Crescent farmers have been at this for years .... no reason why we shouldn't catch up.

Monday, October 5, 2020

bling decline

Business is booming at a sea dock in western Turkey, where five hulking cruise ships are being dismantled for scrap metal sales after the COVID-19 pandemic all but destroyed the industry. REUTERS/Umit Bektas Business is booming at a sea dock in western Turkey, where five hulking cruise ships are being dismantled for scrap metal sales after the COVID-19 pandemic all but destroyed the industry.    REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Saturday, October 3, 2020

the apricot

 ... still as an apricot on the polished table ....

Thursday, September 24, 2020

thoughts du jour

1. The television works better when you turn it off.

2. Shoot Donald Trump. A clear and present danger to the country deserves no less.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

bless Plato's shadows

 

I would beg if I could, but I haven't got the training -- begging is above my paygrade, somehow.

 But anyway: I would beg ... honest to God, I would.

Please, please, please consider:

The bright light in Plato's cave is alluring. It beckons and soothes and elevates and ... Lord, what a bright light twinkles up ahead! You may think I'm kidding. I'm not. PLEASE! Everybody wants to be enlightened. No one begs to be un-enlightened. No one prays for shadows. This is a major mistake that is utterly correct.

Shadows and light are co-equal ... and not... the same and different. Honor one, honor the other, and still there is no other.

Raise up the shadows.

Raise up the light.

Stop raising shit up.

Stop not raising shit up.

Mesh and meld with the shadows. Mesh and meld with the light. 

And now ... stop meshing and melding. 

Lord, bless the shadows.

Lord, bless the light.

Stop it! I'm begging you ... but as I say, it's above my paygrade and as a result, as ever in the past, you are stuck with the farm.

Raise up the shadows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


photo fun

 Photo fun



Monday, September 14, 2020

a man of thin water

Donald J. Trump, a man of thin water and coincidentally the president of the United States is working his way towards an exit door -- exit into a new term/exit into leaving office. To date, he has dug himself such a deep hole of self-aggrandisment and lies, it is hard to imagine what his capping phrase might be ... what exit line would put a period (https://youtu.be/TI8RZhhoBM0) on his sentence from his point of view.

Oh well, as I type, two rip-roaring storms are clawing at the underbelly of the Caribbean and headed for New Orleans and environs; fires are ravaging (not, for once, too strong a word) the west coast; and the flu epidemic that has killed 190+k Americans shows no sign of abating on the faces of newscasters whose desperation to have something to say is written all over their repetitive faces.

I loll and do what I can to bypass medical appointments: As when I was a lazy teenager facing a sink full of dirty dishes, "Why wash 'em -- they'll just get dirty again?" Yes, and there will always be another doctor ... why go?

Sit-down meals, if I judge from the bling advertising on TV, are fast becoming a thing of the past. They are being supplanted by ready-cooked-just-microwave them.

Friday, August 28, 2020

parlous times

The dolloping, blopping humidity was in reverse gear this morning -- air light and thin and delightful. Now, by afternoon, the humidity returns.

Last night, Donald Trump took on the mantle of the Republican candidate for rebranding as president of the United States, breaking a Hatch Act law that says politics shall not be played out on public (White House) spaces. Fire works went off. Political commentators looked exhausted tying to keep up with Trump's prevarications and immoralities.

In the South, Hurricane Laura lashed the coasts and inland waterways of Louisiana with wind gusts up to 175 mph last night and today while in the West, forest fires raged and crackled. All of this snuggled down in a backdrop of Corona-19 epidemic that has claimed 180K+- American lives.

In my town, a place of pinch-pottery and other bling, shops and stores dribble into oblivion. Those with expensive rental space on Main Street ... well ... my sympathies are muted. The nearby University of Massachusetts at Amherst announces furloughs. Colleges everywhere are losing traction (read, "money"). 

On the sports front, at least once professional basketball team -- the Milwaukee Bucks (whose faces are largely brown and black) -- declined to take part in a playoff game in the wake of an as-yet-not-detailed shooting of a black man in Kenosha, Wisc. ... seven police-officer shots in the back at point-blank range while the black man's (Jacob Blake) three children sat in a car into which he was leaning. There has been violence as anyone might imagine ... seven (or more) shots in the back upcloseandpersonal and JEEEEE-SUS!

When I awoke this morning, I thought, now that Trump is finally a candidate and currently shows waning strength, it is time to know where the guns are. Even among cowardly Republicans, it is a little early for Trump's Mossolini fascism, but I hoped my younger son knew where his pistols were. (Turns out he has a small-bore shotgun as well.) The last time the well-to-do fended off the great unawashed -- and those with the tax breaks circled the wagons -- the cops and the military had most of the weapons. (Picture comes from England, but the substance is pretty much the same.)

Law and order, but whose law and whose order?