Sunday, December 24, 2017

I've been mulling over attempting to write some kind of definitive piece regarding the Trump era, and how I fear it represents a serious danger to our way of life as it slings daggers at the very heart of our society.

I must admit, I find it absolutely overwhelming. I honestly don't know where to start, or what direction to take it. I'm not even sure how to define how I feel, or what I think of all of it. I feel I am a fairly adept writer, but I don't believe I have command of the thoughts or the words to communicate anything even reasonably intelligible. It's just too deep, too vast.

I guess I should take things a piece or two at a time, and perhaps later find a means to bind them all together to form a comprehensive overview of where I believe we find ourselves.

I truly fear we are in new and dangerous territory. We didn't get to this perilous juncture overnight. It's been brewing for several decades, at least since the 1950s with the advent of the civil rights movement. We are living in what has become a deep ideological rift - a yin and yang that has not yet found a way to integrate, one with the other. It's difficult to even communicate with each other because we start from so vastly different paradigms. We barely speak the same language, and have certainly developed vastly different philosophies.

The fact that change comes so rapidly and from all directions makes our plight even harder to define. Throughout much of human history radical change in the way people lived often took centuries. There do remain people living today who do so much as their ancestors did hundreds, perhaps thousands of years ago.

But most of us have been living through changes starting, I suppose, with the western renaissance, and then subsequently accelerating with the advent of the industrial revolution. But even those changes came slowly compared to what has been happening to most of us just over the past 50 years or so, what with the coming of the computer age which has enabled the acquisition of and access to heretofore unimaginable amounts of information, and the ability to communicate much of that information instantly with people all round the world and beyond. We simply don't know what to do with all of it, or what it means to us in the present, how it will affect our future, and how it has enabled us to see into the past. So much of what we long believed to be true about human history has been at least called into question, and much of it has been debunked.

Many of us are effectively dazzled by what we see, hear and feel in this electronic age, finding it confusing and frightening. So, some find comfort in "clinging to their guns and their bibles," harkening back to some time before, some vague "good old days" when men were men or some shit. Others, of a more opportunistic ilk exploit our confusion and fear as a means to kindle falsehoods into conspiracies for their own aggrandizement, ascending to power and often great financial gain.

Fortunately, others of us manage to calm ourselves, dampen our fears and attempt to look through or around, all the clamor, all the sturm und drang, all the misinformation, all the hysteria and ignorance in an effort to grab onto a trailing thread that will hopefully take us to a place of reason and understanding.

The race is on.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Donald Trump is insane! His administration is an embarrassment to the Keystone Cops. Everyday, I physically cringe and get not a little nauseous when it comes back to me that he is our president. I have spared nothing in my derision, outrage, sarcasm and disgust. I have been about as merciless with those who chose to vote for him.

However, a sobering thought keeps hitting me in the head. Bill Maher touched on this in his "New Rules" monologue last Friday night. In it he stat...ed that we should give up trying to change his true believers' minds by cynically bringing up facts. All we're accomplishing is cementing them even deeper in the hardening concrete of their delusion.

As hard as it will be, we have to find a way to understand where it is they are coming from. We need to be sincere in our efforts to communicate, mainly to listen and then discuss the issues and attempt to find common ground. 

This will not be easy, but consider, we generally consider ourselves as being generally smarter and more aware of what's happening than most Trumpsters. I know this sounds not just a little smarmy and condescending. I guess it is. But if we want to break through the barrier between our respective camps, it will likely be up to us to take the first step. It will require that we swallow hard, that we gird our loins (however that is accomplished) and dive in.

Frankly, I don't have any idea how to begin, other than for us to go to friends and family and give it a go. I think it's probably best to listen a lot more than we talk.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Our world wise president once again proves he knows absolutely nothing about history, in particular, American History. He hasn't so much as picked up a book anytime in his adult life.

He now claims that that bastion of racial tolerance, Andrew Jackson would have had just the right touch to mediate between the north and south, and therefore, would have avoided the Civil War. What a guy! Never mind that it was Jackson who oversaw the slaughter of thousands of Native Americans and displacing thousands more. No doubt he would have mustered the sensitivity to deal fairly with all factions including Black slaves, southern plantation owners, northern merchants and abolitionists to come to an amicable agreement that would have been lauded by all.

Trump has also said that he would be honored to have that "pretty smart cookie" Korea's Kim Jong Un come for a White House visit so they could "work things out." He has also made an open invitation to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to come have a nice WH dinner. This after calling and congratulating Turkey's dictator Erdogan for his electoral victory, eliminating all democratic elements of their government.

Notice a pattern here? Coupled with his long time swooning over Vladimir Putin, Trump has repeatedly and consistently shown an admiration and probably not a little envy for the world's current crop of authoritarian leaders. Delusions of grandeur.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Trump granted an exclusive interview to what I believe were 3 Reuters reporters a few days ago. As they were sitting in the Oval Office discussing - whatever - tax issues, immigration, climate change - whatever - out of nowhere and totally off topic, Trump produced printed US maps showing where he had won his electoral votes, laying the on the desk in front of each reporter. Total non sequitur. 

Taken aback, the reporters paused, and in some way acknowledged the maps, and then proceeded to continue the conversation as it had been.

Trump is a child. An egomaniacal, narcissistic child. He continues to have these rallies as he did just a couple days ago in Philly. For what purpose? Can you think of any other president who continued to have such rallies just after being elected and sworn in to office? 

Obama and most other presidents would, from time to time go out on a rallying tour of sorts to promote some particular piece of legislation, or to support someone running for political office. But these rallies Trump has and continues to have are for no other reason than to allow him to wallow in the unabashed "love" of his rabid base. They are as useless as his numerous week-ends spent at Mara Lago playing golf.

 And we're paying for all of it!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

If Trump and Pence blunder us into a war with North Korea - or anyone, for that matter - through their ignorance and careless belligerent posturing, I think both should be jailed and the death penalty should be heavily considered.

The threats they and others in the administration are making against North Korea are dangerous and totally unneccessary. Kim Jong Un may actually be more volatile and unpredictable than Trump. He and his father and grandfather before him have spent virtually every available won (NK's currency,) on its military. Millions of North Koreans are apparently starving, but no matter so long as the military gets bigger and better. 

We know Un has nuclear weapons as his disposal, and, at least publicly he appears more than eager to use them. Even without the nukes, he has a huge # of long range artillery pieces aimed directly at Seoul which is only like 30 miles south of the DMZ. 

I also heard on the tube that he has something like 70 submarines. Now what quality and effectiveness they are is anyone's guess, but it still seems a real possibility that at least a few of them could wreak havoc somewhere in the world. 

The point being that any statements or movements by the US and/or our allies could be interpreted by Un as provocation. Keep in mind, it's not a matter of who could or would ultimately win such a conflict. North Korea could be rendered nothing more than radioactive ash in a matter of hours. Again, even without using nukes, Un's million man army could probably be defeated quickly.

The issue is how many people including South Koreans, Japanese and others in the region would be killed? How much damage could North Korea lay on its neighbors? And, remember, we have several military bases and thousands of our military members in the area that would almost certainly be targeted. And it's unclear as to whether North Korea has any assets here in or near the US. It's also unclear how China and/or Russia would respond. Would they back us or North Korea? 

Given any thoughtful analysis, would military action against North Korea be worth those kind of losses?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Every president, every politician, hell anyone who has been in the public eye for any length of time has misspoken. It just goes with the territory. We're all human, and we all screw up.

But Trump and a # of his lap dogs have taken verbal bullshitting to another level. Many of them can barely utter a sound that is not a lie or wrong in some substantive way.

One just wonders when or if Trump's adorants (I think that's a word I just made up, but it seems appropriate) will ever come to realize that lying and generally being utterly clueless is not a good quality in anyone, let alone a president.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Trumpsters are loving his having ordered the launching of 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria and allowing his military to deploy that monster bomb in Afghanistan. They apparently equate it with Trump having a big cock (which we pretty much know is not the case.) They also seem to have gotten all hot and heavy in love with his threats against North Korea. "Oh man! He's so presidential! Not like that wussy darkie before him."

People. Think about this. In less than 3 months Donnie... has taken us to the brink of war with a country which has nukes and is run by someone who actually may be crazier and less predictable than Trump. All this to pump up his poll #s? Wagging the dog to distract us from Russia?

His threats literally put millions of people at serious risk in South Korea and Japan including many thousands of Americans - military and civilians - in both countries. And, to believe that such a conflict would not touch us here at home, is at best naive. Americans in this country will die. Perhaps thousands or more.

Does this give you Trumpees a boner? Is this the swamp draining you were hoping for? Happy days.