Category Archives: politics

Toxic Politics

Yesterday I thought the nightmare was going to be over with the confirmation of Biden’s victory. I wrote a post lamenting that it appeared Donald Trump would get out of the office without ever being repudiated or convicted of any of the crimes we have been witnessing for four years.

I posted it before the insurrection began.

I know some of my friends and relatives get their political fixes by mainlining Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Ann Coulter. Some of them even believe that Mark Levin is an honorable and intelligent human being. I was disappointed to see how some of them have concluded that the insurrection was justified. Or blame it on Antifa.

I don’t give up on them. I don’t hate them. But they are wrong.

The best way to explain all of this is to review what made my politics what they are.

I was born in 1956, during the Eisenhower Administration. Quite naturally, I was part of a family that identified as Eisenhower Republicans. I learned to believe that the hero of WWII was what a president should be.

About Labor he said in 1956, “Labor is the United States. The men and women, who with their minds, their hearts and hands, create the wealth that is shared in this country—they are America.”

About Business he said, “Beginning with our creation of the very successful Small Business Administration, and continuing through the recently completed studies and recommendations of the Cabinet Committee on Small Business, which we strongly endorse, we have focused our attention on positive measures to help small businesses get started and grow.”

These are statements from the Republican Party platform.

President John F. Kennedy took over as President in 1956. He was far from a perfect man. But he was an idealist, and had the potential to be one of our best Presidents ever. He stared down Soviet leaders during the Cuban Missile Crisis and peacefully resolved what had the potential to be the beginning of a thermonuclear war. He took on the issue of racial inequality when the Emmit Till murder opened the eyes of both him and his younger brother Robert.

He took on Jimmy Hoffa and organized crime, and that was probably one of the most important factors in getting him assassinated. His potential greatness was cut off at the pass.

My political awareness really began with the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration and the Viet Nam War. My father voted for a Democrat the very first time because Kennedy won him over and he feared the outcome of a radical like Barry Goldwater becoming President.

Here is where you are most welome to debate me.

LBJ was an evil man, whom I believe had a hand in the assassination of JFK. I also believe he was a very effective President, but mostly because he felt guilty and instituted the Great Society reforms JFK had planned, as well as the Civil Rights Act. Much of the good he did meshed well with the goals of the Eisenhower Republicans.

But his Achilles Heel was the Viet Nam War.

Richard Nixon took advantage of the chaos in the Democratic party caused by LBJ’s resignation from the campaign and RFK’s assassination. He was almost as evil as LBJ (not quite as guilty of ordering murders as LBJ.) He undid the gains in Civil Rights with the toxic “Southern Strategy” by using dog-whistles like “bussing” and “law and order” to lure racists like Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond into leaving the Democratic Party and becoming Republicans. And he tried to cheat in the 1972 election even though he didn’t need that to beat the excessively liberal George McGovern. He did do one good thing, he founded the EPA.

My father voted for him, but regretted doing so for the rest of his life.

I am skipping over President Gerald R. Ford because he was never elected. So, we as voters, bear no responsibility for any evil he may have done.

Jimmy Carter was the first President I ever voted for. He is the second to last moral man we ever elected President. Although he was a very good man, he was not an effective President.

He did broker a historic deal between Egypt and Israel for Middle East peace that lasted at least until President Sadat of Egypt was assassinated.

And this is where the really toxic problems began. You are certainly welcome to call me out for my opinions here.

President Ronnie “Dutch” Reagan, cowboy and movie star, was not an evil man. But he was not a good man either. He was wealthy, entitled, and basically willing to continue Nixon’s worst practices for the benefit of rich guys, and the disadvantage of poor people, especially poor people of color.

He began rolling back environmental regulations and the rights of unions to bargain for the betterment of workers. Here is where Reagan Republicans became a completely different thing than Eisenhower Republicans.

Then the George HW Bush years began. Bush who may have participated in the CIA’s part in the JFK assassination. Who definitely had a part in the Iran Contra Affair. He was more evil than Reagan, though still less so than Nixon or LBJ.

He flubbed up the “Read my lips, NO NEW TAXES!” thing that lost him the backing of the wealthy elite.

That, of course, leads us to this toxic and evil man. Seriously, he styled himself as the New JFK, but he had more in common with the old LBJ.

His Presidency is the start of the Neo-Liberal Toxicity. What is a neo-liberal, you ask? A Republican in a Democrat suit… or a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He turned on the Democratic agenda, making the policy goals all about business and money. He cracked down on minorities with crime bills, and sent jobs overseas with free trade policies. He might be a pedophile (though he deserves to be presumed innocent until someone actually releases the Epstein records.) He was not a good husband, a good role model, or even a good man. But he was a good President, and brought the economy back for at least the wealthy and the middle class. He is also a good speaker and can explain really well as he tells you how his administration is going to screw you.

And as the backlash to Bill Clinton being too nice to the middle class, we got Lonesome George W. Bush, the rodeo-clown President. His grin and flubs and political oopsies were all good cover for the evil he did. Again, after the Democratic administration made the economy better, he thoroughly broke it again. Bank deregulation became the new way to become an infamous pirate (like Carl Icahn, T, Boone Pickens, and numerous other big-bucks buccaneers.) Remember Enron?

And you can certainly argue this too, but somebody made an awful lot of money during 9-11. And where were the anti-hijack aircraft from the forces that normally protect the airways?

And they then needed a black man to clean up the mess.

They chose a very well-spoken man. They picked a very good man. A good husband. A good family man. A man who could do for the Presidency what Jackie Robinson did for baseball, break the color barrier and endure a lot of horse poop for his trouble.

He improbably brought the economy back to life. He conducted eight years of leadership without significant scandal. And he was a very good man.

Although it would’ve been good if he had not used drones to kill children, and if he had pardoned Edward Snowden.

And in the end, we were left with a government that fosters the worst income inequality the world has ever seen. The environment has been abused for profit at levels that none of us will survive. And the backlash for eight relatively good years with Obama was four years of… yeah, that. We saw it in action yesterday. I am ashamed to be an American. I have hope for the future, but also a lot of anxiety to temper it with. And my confidence in good government is at all-time low.

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Pumpernickel Is More Than Just a Silly Word!

pumpernickel

We descendants of Germans  all understand something you all probably don’t know, and might have a hard time actually accepting.  Germans and German Americans like to simply call things what they are… but we do it with remarkably silly words so you don’t take things as seriously as you probably should.

Seriously…  Pumpernickel bread looks an awful lot like a cow pie.  Don’t know what a cow pie is?  That’s because you don’t speak Iowegian. Remember that post?  A cow eats grass, digests it for a while, bakes it in the secret methane chambers embedded secretly within every living cow, and then the old garbage shoot plops out the cow pie.  Flies love to eat it.  The grass grows fiercely after absorbing what the flies and maggots leave behind.  Yeah, that.

The bread originated in Germany where, as I have so graciously pointed out to you, they call things simply what it is.  Pumpern in German means to break wind. Nickel is a variant of Nicholas or Nick, which is the name der Teufel, err…the Devil often goes by.  So the bread is called, in its simplest translation, “Devil’s fart bread”.  Isn’t that rich?  And it tastes good too.

But what’s the point of praising pumpernickel?  Well, it brings to mind in Mickey’s mangled mish-mash of a mind an old Daffy Duck cartoon.

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Yes, the tale of the Scarlet Pumpernickel has been playing out in Monkey Town where the Great Orange Buffoon in charge of it all is busy making Nixon noises.

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“Yes, my lord, there is an investigation  into the Russian connection between your henchmen and Vladimir Putin,” said Director Comey.

“Hmmm…  Fake News!  Very Sad!” moaned the Buffoon.  “Comey, I appreciate you smearing Clinton and all you did to help the greatest most historic election ever… but you’re fired!

scarlet

“Aha!” says Comey, revealing himself to be the infamous hero, the Scarlet Pumpernickel “…now I have you, my lord! But, wait! Fired, you say?  Um, you do have the authority to fire me, don’t you.”

“Now, clear out your desk, loser!”

“Ah, but this action makes you look guilty, my lord.  Perhaps the sting of my sword of justice will prick you in the behind yet!”

“Sessions!  Defeat this loser for me!  Very sad, sick man!”

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“Me thinks you have not heard the last of the Scarlet Pumpernickel!” cried Comey as he leaped out the tower window into the chasm with a river at the bottom far below.

What happens in the next episode of the saga of the hero named after devil fart bread?  Only time will tell.

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Interesting way to introduce my latest Monkey President cartoon attempt to depict Trump… no?  You do realize he’s a German American too?

C360aaa

 

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Only Bad Guys Seize the Moment?

Political opinions are like dead fish…

You have to use them while they’re fresh because they quickly start to smell bad, and they then can make you ill.

He never should’ve won in the first place. He lost the popular vote. FBI Director Comey and the Russians gave him boosts over the finish line that he didn’t deserve. And after he got away with stealing the election, he went on a crime spree that went completely unchallenged by his own party. In fact, as the party totally in power, they supported some of the very worst offenses he committed against the average people of the United States. He took away environmental regulations to hurry along the killing of our atmosphere, and eventually the biosphere of the whole planet. He struck damage into renewable energy initiatives, pulled out of the Climate Accords, and championed polluting coal over anything sensible in the name of bringing back coal industry jobs, which he promptly failed to bring back.

He undercut farmers by taking away Chinese markets with tariffs, thereby contributing to hunger in China, bankruptcy for family farms, and a boom in China sales by Brazilian farmers.

He then screwed over DACA recipients who are basically raised to be Americans, kidnapped children from asylum seekers at the Southern border, and spewed hate-and-fear rhetoric all over the American media mindset.

He has subverted the basic values of not only the Republican Party, but the whole of the United States as well.

So, we used our voting power. And a record number of votes were cast to bring him his karmic reward.

But my question now is simple. Are we really gonna let him run again in 2024? He committed high crimes and misdemeanors. Shouldn’t we lock him up rather then let him continue to steal money from Republican donors, throw anti-election tantrums, and produce the touring company of the Rudy Giuliani Clown Show?

Pat Bagley / Salt Lake Tribune

Any other worker fired for total incompetence would immediately be shown the door and the replacement would immediately get the chance to start fixing the damage his incompetence caused.

Can’t we do that now? Why does this cat get to poop in the government sandbox for another month and a half? Do we really have a shortage of turds in Washington? Flush him already!!! If he were anything but a Republican, he would’ve been down the toilet hole after his first year.

They say you don’t get the government you vote for; you get the government you deserve. But what did I ever do wrong to deserve this?

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A Welcome Dawn

After the night I had, with Parkinson’s symptoms, chest pain, fainting, and loss of both perception and short-term-memory abilities I was happy to record this sunrise.

I thought around midnight that I was having a stroke. I lost about an hour’s worth of time, not with passing out or with sleep, but with unwanted time travel. I remember checking the clock and seeing 3:25 a.m. and then, after my next dizzy-stepping trip to the bathroom, my stupid, lying eyes saw 2:20 a.m. So, I doubled-checked, even resetting my phone to be sure, and all three time displays agreed that I had traveled back in time. Of course, maybe it was me misreading the earlier time. Yet, I am in the habit of double-checking every trip, once upstairs and once downstairs, and I distinctly remembered the 3:25 blinking on my phone. So, my mini-stroke may have been unwanted anomalous time-travel instead.

Never-the-less, I did not die in my sleep as per expectation. I was glad to see that Biden was ahead of Trump and only not the official winner because the Trumpalump and his terrible Trumpkins would act like trolls and break stuff if the victory in the election went to Biden only on the basis of… you know, more votes, both ballots and electoral college electors, and the math that proves it.

Anyway… I am still here. And with luck, tomorrow too.

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Up and Over the Hard Hill

I made it there. I voted. I am a pessimist and fully expect the pumpkin-head prexydink to win reelection and then succeed in dooming planet Earth. But I got my one little vote against him cast and counted. I no longer have to feel like our collective ultimate doom is all my fault. And I probably didn’t even catch COVID.

The polling precinct I was assigned to is in the middle of white-racist suburbia where threatening Ilhan Omar with deportation or death is a favorite sport watched nightly on Fox News. I fully expected an hours-long wait to vote, since there are black and Hispanic voters not far from here that have to take a day of work (if they are lucky enough to still have a job) to wait seven to eleven hours just to get in the door. And last time Trump supporters were riotous and jubilant in voting en mass, intent on sticking it to Hillary. It was crowded.

This time… no lines and very subdued. I voted in less than ten minutes after arriving.

I wonder. Are they ashamed to vote for him again? Or are they all on ventilators after the last Trump rally?

I am not gloating. I fully expect to lose again. Nothing gets you a political victory faster than corruptly giving the keys to the kingdom to your rich donors with unlimited dark money. But it is important to be on the right side even if you are doomed to lose the war.

Anyway, I did it. As hard as it was to climb that hill and vote at the top, it was a pleasant stroll on the way back home.

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I’m Not Gonna…

If you are planning to vote for this criminal for four more years, you don’t wanna read this post.

I am not gonna talk about any of the good things that this criminal prexydent has done… because there aren’t any. He has only caused me loss and pain and financial hardship. And it is fairly obvious he won’t win four more years… unless he cheats, which he has publicly promised to do.

And I am not gonna talk about how he and his gang of senatorial hypocrites are stealing another seat on the Supreme Court. It is obvious that they can’t be trusted to tell the truth. They said when they stole Merrick Garland’s seat that it was because it was an election year and the people must decide. But this seat opened up much closer to an election day and suddenly the rules are different. But I am not gonna talk about that.

And I am not gonna talk about how he thinks he can further punish all of us who are against him by making the most right-wing court in recent history with a six to three edge so that he can destroy the Affordable Care Act, all progress in the battle against climate change, women’s right to choose, and any other progressive change that may come up under the next three or five prexydents if we succeed in getting rid of him.

And I am not gonna talk about how thoroughly racist he is, sending unmarked and unidentified militias into cities protesting the police killings of unarmed black people just so they can stir up more violence and help him make his case that black crime is out of control in Democratically run cities.

And I am also not gonna talk about how this orange-skinned man is insulting black and brown congresswomen like Ilhan Omar, calling them unpatriotic for serving in the Congressional seats that voters gave them, based not on their qualifications for the job (they are much more qualified than he is for his job) but solely on the color of their skin and the religion they embrace.

I am not gonna talk about how some real law-enforcement official should’ve removed him from office for crimes already committed a long time ago.

Clint Eastwood is a conservative, but I’ll bet he isn’t in favor of Trump stealing the 2020 election.

So, I am not gonna say anything further about or against this criminal clown that has killed so many of us and continues to scheme about our ultimate demise and his personal profits. He does bad things… especially to my blood pressure. I need to not talk about him anymore. I am gonna vote during Texas early voting, in person, to make sure my vote gets counted. And I am not gonna vote for a Republican ever again. I am simply not gonna!

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Polly Ticks

Politics are complicated. Our economic and quality-of-life issues are basically killing us during this pandemic. And you cannot blame it all on the Simian in Chief. Or even on his Mean Monkey Party (GOP stands for Greedy Old Primates). They get a lot more of the justified blame than they are willing to accept without a lot of monkey howls and poop throwing. But not all the greedy evil people are Monkey Party People. There are definite problems with the black spots on the armor of the white knights we were depending on to slay the dragons.

The problems with Herr Twitler, the Chaos Clown have only gotten worse. We failed to hold him responsible for any of the many crimes he has committed. Impeached, but turning impeachment into peachy pie, Trumpalumpa the Oompaloompa is now able to do anything his manic monkey mind can conjure up for him to use against us. We suffer for the crimes of being poor, or a minority, or an immigrant. No matter what he does to us, he will get away with it, and then take away the whistle-blowers’ whistles and turn all Inspectors General into blind-folded privates.

And if I die from Covid 19, the terrible Trumpinator will not exactly be convicted of murder. But he is directly responsible. After Ebola there was an extensive pandemic playbook and procedures and protocols in place for the next health crisis. But because the Trumptastic Trumpaloo detected Obama-cooties on it, he threw it all away and fired the special task force and pandemic office.

And it is not even fun to make fun of him anymore. Nothing that used to be funny can still create even a wan smile. And how much of this is my fault?

I voted all Democrats in the last election. I have called most of my Republican, Trumpatater-loving friends doody-heads enough to alienate all of them (though admittedly I used a number of big words so that they don’t know what they mean). I have explained the problems with Trumpapalama and his minions like Devos and Barr on social media until I’m blue in the face, and purple on the inside. But none of that gets rid of the pumpkin-headed Cheeto-man.

I even need to get some of these dividers for the family dinner table. I am beginning to prefer lyme-disease ticks over Polly Ticks. I have had way too much of my blood sucked out these last four years.

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The Truth is…

  • The truth is… this pandemic will not be the end of the world even if it is the end of me.
  • The truth is… if we don’t learn some fundamental things about ourselves, the whole world won’t survive very long after the pandemic is over. We have only a few short years to get our environmental act straight.
  • The truth is… the people who are most in control of our world have far more than their reasonable share of the wealth and power in this world, and it is not fair and healthy for our society.
  • The truth is… too often it is the selfish, narcissistic people of the world who rise to the top, and they have no compassion or regard for the rest of us.
  • The truth is… we have to change things. And violence is not the most effective answer. But besides extraordinary acts of heroism and ultimate grace from unnoticed individuals, it may be the only answer we have left. The good things Obama tried were mostly shouted down and defeated by the corrupt and greedy among us. The power of the vote may have been completely undermined.
  • The truth is… wisdom only comes through time and hard experience. If you don’t face hardships, you will never learn how to deal with hardships. That is the gift we are being given by this pandemic.
  • The truth is… our leader at this moment is a criminal. He has stolen wealth from the American people and wrecked parts of the government that are essential to the American way of life as we have always known it. And in his incompetence, he has done things and failed to do things that have caused people’s deaths in this pandemic.
  • The truth is… Trump needs to be prosecuted and put in prison once we have removed him from office.
  • The truth is… if we don’t do something to solve these problems and fix these things, we don’t deserve to survive as a species.
  • The truth is… the Truth is sometimes a very hard thing to hear.

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“I Don’t Believe It”

The viruses are winning. And why are they winning? Because of people who say, “I don’t believe it,” and mean it, because they are either stupid (not the majority) or because they are too afraid of the obvious consequences to admit what they know in their hearts to be true.

We are not handling the pandemic well. The disease is out of control because so many carriers of the disease feel well enough to go out and have a good time while infecting everyone around them. And testing is not occurring to identify all of these happy, restaurant-going and green-beer-swilling Typhoid Marys. They are unknowingly (and more alarmingly, uncaringly) infecting the elderly, compromised, and vulnerable people in their lives. The Governor of Oklahoma took his family out to a restaurant to celebrate their obliviousness and later tweeted about it to tell us we should do the same. Congressman Devin Nunes of California went on television to tell his true believers that they might as well go out to bars for St Patrick’s Day. He said it wasn’t crowded. He ignored the potential consequences completely. There ought to be a law.

And we won’t even talk about Happy-Talk Trump, the moron criminal president, because… What’s the use?

There is no reason to believe that quarantines will cause problems with the grocery-store supply chains. There should not be shortages. People are having fist-fights to be able to hoard toilet paper. There’s almost no meat, bottled water, or bread at Walmart. Thank you, stupid people.

The worst of it is that this stupidity is exploitable. People don’t want to admit that they have to do hard things that they don’t want to deal with, not only Coronavirus, but also climate change, wealth inequality, racism, terrorism, or even such things as the browning of the American population demographics. They let the Koch Brothers and other evil billionaires convince them that money-making exploitations of the environment (that actually only make money for the billionaires) are in their own best interests. Those exploitations will doom us all.

But I am facing the end of my life no matter what complications I do or do not have ahead of me. It has been a good life. But everybody else in the world has a right to have the same sort of good life. And that will not happen on the paths we now tread.

So, I refuse to believe it. I refuse to believe that we, the people, are stupid enough, or callous enough, or lacking empathy enough to continue down these paths. And I am, by the evidence alone, a fool to not believe it. But there it is… the reason for my title and the theme of this rant.

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A Path to Tomorrow

Being a pessimist sometimes makes planning for the future difficult. I knew that the biggest argument against me going back into classrooms as a substitute was the fact that I could easily die the next time the germ factory that is your average middle school or high school is hit with a flu outbreak. And as a pessimist, I know the coronavirus is going to hit in a big way. So, part of the plan has to include dying in 2020.

Watching the way Democratic debates get reported in the media, I also have to live with the knowledge that Donald Trump will win in November. (That, of course, will lead to him making himself Emperor after his eight years are up, and then Don Jr. gets the Empire by birthright and rules us with a very stupid ham-fist until he is either assassinated by school teachers or the world ends from climate change.)

We may be on the way to losing the house we have owned since 2005, since property taxes are soaring beyond my ability to pay them in the middle of my Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. So, I will be planning to make my way through life in the near future living under a Fascist dictatorship while being both homeless and dead.

There are too many bad things coming that I cannot control. So, as the tidal wave draws nearer, I need to put on shark repellent and prepare my surfboard.

So, my priorities need to be adjusted since continued survival is probably not achievable. Living longer isn’t the most important thing after all.

So, here are my current priorities;

  1. Savor the time I have left with my family, however long or short that may be. I will live each day as if it were the last day of my life on Earth.
  2. Continue to write and share my writing with whoever cares enough to read it. This blog needs to be kept up as near to every day as possible. My work in progress is called A Field Guide to Fauns and it is set in a nudist park, but is really about families and how they survive domestic abuse and divorce. The picture above is an illustration from that book The next novel will most likely be The Wizard in His Keep if I am blessed with the time to write it.
  3. I will continue to be a substitute teacher as much as I physically can. Not only do I need the money from it, each day spent with kids, helping them to learn, or at least helping them not to kill and eat another substitute teacher, is priceless as an addition to my treasure-chest-full of teaching experiences.
  4. And I will face whatever comes without fear or regret. I have lived a good long life. I have shared a lot of things with a lot of people, and I really have committed no sins, crimes, nor sorrows that I must feel regret over.’

I have given myself things to think about in the time remaining. And, possibly, I have given you things to reflect upon too. My reality is that there is a great deal more past in my life than there is future, so let me not waste the present I have been given.

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