PIG PEN RETURNS

 

 

No matter where Dear One walks, he stands in mud and mire and grime.   It follows him, it follows his cabinet, it follows nearly everyone to whom he offers his hand in those too often seen photo-ops of “friendship.”

We used to think that dirt and filth and dishonesty just colored the Americans with whom he hung out.  We were wrong.

He has single-handedly brought to bay – as each day a different population is exposed to him – Mexican teenagers, Central American parents and children, Theresa May, national leaders in central Europe, American men and women of good will on any side of a partisan line, Angela Merkel.   It matters not.  He reaches out; the virus is transferred. We watch horrified as what made the United States a haven for refugees, a laboratory for growth and freedom explodes before us.

There is this to say.   In addition to poisoning the air we breathe, the water we drink, the trade we struggle to increase, the very sea water that surrounds our shores, Dear One has exposed what’s under the rocks on which our country is founded.  What we had taught ourselves to believe – the honesty, the hard work, the sense of all for one – is revealed to be as corrupt as the governments, the parliaments, the research laboratories of any other nation about which we read.  We convinced ourselves we were ranked Number One in the civilized nations of the world.  It turns out we rank halfway down the slide, i.e. just like others of whom we had criticized and made fun of for years.

A new idea has invaded our mind.  If Theresa May and Angela Merkel were MEN, would DEAR ONE treat them so badly?  Women mucking about in what Dear One clearly thinks is his sandbox…his and Putin’s and Xi’s.

As a MAN, the Donald feels perfectly free to belittle the two female leaders of a confused European scene.  He told The Sun he had a simple solution to Brexit and he had shared this amazing wisdom with May but she chose to disregard his advice.  How just like a woman!   You can imagine the har-har’s shared between Donny and Vlad next week.

Realistically, international experts all agree there is room for improvement in NATO – as there is in the United Nations.   Governments with Borders and Refugees on both sides of the Atlantic who may once have been sympathetic to the conditions of hundreds of thousands of immigrants fleeing for their lives, their livelihoods, their beliefs acted initially out of sympathy and humanitarianism.   The waves of the needy overcame the genuine good feelings of nations trying to help resettle them.  They simply were too much for the “natives,” and with them we have some sympathy, too.

But enough is enough.  If the Donald is the “grenade launcher” (for the world’s benefit), let him throw himself atop the device to save the Western World rather than stand nearby watching it explode.  One of the things we’ve learned in these past weeks is that our government does many things of which we are (1) not aware and (2) of which we would not approve had we known.   The thousands of immigrants missing and separated from their family members on both sides of our Mexican border – the fact the even our own Government admits it’s unlikely that families will ever be completely and happily reunited – on either side of the border – demonstrates (although we didn’t need the show) that this administration is incompetent, acting on whims and why-nots, expecting no one to stand up to clear a throat and call it to account.   The administration ignores court orders at will.  Congress gives it a pass, to save its own ass.

Continue reading “PIG PEN RETURNS”

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Watching IT Happen

This (we hope) is a once in a lifetime event, the dissolution of a democratic experiment.   While our national media is being played as “rubes from the sticks” and willingly so, the powers behind the Trump organization – and there HAVE to be men and women of intelligence and foresight and hard-edged planning and cruelty – among them are tightening the bonds of tyranny to come.

Naturally, as is his wont, Trump is camouflaging his real desires from the glitzy decoys at the ends of his strings.  And when we consider the state of this man’s putative health, men and women of all stripes begin to sink into a Paleolithic state of despair.  As well they might.

The modus vivendi, outlined by hundreds of Trump watchers over the past few months, is “rope-a-dope,” the Muhammad Ali state of confusion induced by swinging at targets so vast, fast and varied that viewers are breathless in confusion.  At whom is he really aiming?   Think of his thousand targets: Jeff Sessions, Mika Brzezynski, Hillary of course; allies and enemies alike; industrialists with whom he disagrees, the defense services and the national security detail; economic mavens; trade delegations and international do-gooders.   North Korea, Yemen, Syria, Iran.   Muslims around the world.   Black people around the world.   The poor.   The uninsured.   The jobless, the diseased, refugees of all color.

Some of these people Trump truly despises and fears.  Others are set-ups to deflect our attention from those targets on which his guns are really trained.  It’s this latter group that we need to be cognizant of and ready to wrestle to the ground, into the ground.

America is being changed and altered in ways that we have heretofore criticized in other parts of the world.  Let us count the ways we are losing our liberty without, it seems, being made (yet) slaves.

With the addition of a new communications’ czar, David Shine, we are coming perilously close to having propaganda as the news of the world.   One state: one voice.  And with the addition of Sinclair Communications, we have a Thing I and a Thing II.   The big picture will be presented by Fox; the smaller, cogs and warts, will come from Sinclair. There will be no explanation, or compromise, or slow march.

Continue reading “Watching IT Happen”

WHY BIRDS STILL SING

Life in the United States is not getting easier.  Because there are so many clearly disastrous events occurring day by day, tonight we’re writing ahead of our usual schedule just to keep up.

Usually we arise on Friday mornings, check the world’s Internet, newspapers, commentators (or as many as we can) and then find we have inadvertently selected a topic on which we are now ready to write.  (Truth to tell, there are many weeks when we already know what most disturbs us and what we want to say.  Those are the good ones, when we sit at our machine and just Go!)

It’s cocktail time Thursday, 6/28/18.  The shoot-out in Annapolis is on every screen.  This is an important event, and one that leads many readers and viewers directly to conspiracy theories.  It will also be largely forgotten by dawn tomorrow.

Yesterday brought us real earth-shaking action, too.   We were stunned by the resignation of Justice Kennedy.

That bulletin preceded by only seconds the announcement that Dear One has decided he wants to get up close and personal with Vladboy.

Which occurred as the Court consigned Japanese-Americans’  World War II imprisonment to oblivion.

Even as more than two thousand immigrant children are still separated from their families in an effort about as ill-chosen and ill-planned as any of this administration.

What’s happening to the sensate citizenry upon which we so often declare we depend?   Under Dear One’s insistent direction that every day be about him (or Him), a goodly half of the nation has come to decide to do nothing in resistance but wait until fall and then vote.

The coming weekend’s plans for mass rallies sound healthy for the Republic.  But so, too, does intelligent commentary relying on the wisdom, strength, and silence of Robert Mueller.

Now there’s man who stands a reasonable chance of ruining the rest of our lives.   Suppose his investigation comes up without connections between Russia and our first family?   In truth we cannot blame him and his staff.  Nor could we thereafter blame Dear One for leading us all on such a merry chase.

Which is to say that none of us can afford to turn off and ignore the continual hourly refocus to himself that Dear One seems intent on providing day after day.

But that, we fear, is what’s happening.   The months of anxiety and exhaustion, of argument and threat,  of dirty tricks and endless lies has dulled the antennae not only of millions of voters but also, to a degree, the ability of the press to stay awake, to stay sharp and investigatory, to stay engaged day after day, night after night, with the decline and fall of history’s greatest shipwreck in front of their noses.

Doing our own personal rounds from dawn to sundown we try hard to listen for sounds of concern, or resistance, or anger and revenge of any kind.   We hear practically nothing. Part of this is plainly political: Democrats are afraid of alienating further men and women of good will who might, in the end, be swayed to join a blue state revolution.

This is accompanied by a reluctance to be as rough, rudderless, and ruthless as their opponents.   Wanting to stay “high” as others stay low.

Continue reading “WHY BIRDS STILL SING”

OTHER PEOPLE

 

Tuesday, 6/26/18

We cannot be the only citizens who, throughout each day, remember what kind of nation we grew up in, and grow tearful at what it’s become.   For God’s sweet sake, all of us by now should be “radicalized.”

Old, infirm, comparatively poor, but mad as hell.   Worst of all, sensing our own and our country’s isolation.

What comes as a surprise is not undisguised monarchism.   What does is that we believe in our Constitution and in our system of checks and balances.

Where is that big stick a Roosevelt once gave us permission to carry?

June 17 – June 20, 2018

 

Historically our worst week in more than two hundred forty years.

Ideally the beginning of a second reconstruction.

Remember how the Cold War was won?

The Soviet Union could not continue defense spending in order to maintain parity with the US.   In short, we outspent the world.

We did it ourselves, from the Korean War to the collapse of the Berlin Wall, from Truman to George H.W.

We rang up huge budget deficits.  Nothing else mattered.  The point was, we won.

This past week we managed to do it a second time.

We lost.

We knew our own personal defense budget deficit was insane (advisedly used).  But having forgotten Viet Nam and the Korean War, we were used to living on credit.

In the past eighteen months, our credit rating (internationally and nationally and historically) has plummeted to almost zero.

There is no longer any doubt that our current president is incapable  – not only of leading, but of understanding the goodness and purpose and renown of the United States.

To say we got what we deserved makes no one feel American.

We are standing at the bottom of an enormous rock pile, looking up at what was once a proud, meaningful, independent republic.

If God wills…

 

Economics 101

We’re not the most adept mathematical wizard.  But what we’ve been reading has caused us to pause and to rethink how we spend what little we have.

The basics seem simple.  The current administration – you know its name – has apparently decided we should live as we did at the turn of the 20th century: unfettered, rich as Croesus and the hell with the hindmost.  What this means is simple: them who has keeps and spends; he who ain’t got, ain’t got, and ain’t likely to get.

The newly approved merger of AT&T and Time-Warner means clouds on the horizon for those of us who ain’t got.  It also means that consumer prices for basic services are likely to increase, including credit card rates.  It’s likely going to cost us all more to use the little wonders we have grown so used to: televisions, cable, basic wireless communication.

Add to this bit of news the idea that interest rates have increased three times so far this year –  number four is on the way – and you have a reinforced sense of your credit card going up a point or two.  Mortgage rates, rates for car loans, small business assistance, health insurance.   Almost nothing escapes untouched. Certainly nothing is getting less expensive.

The capstone is the decision to open the barn doors to unregulated supervision of the entire Internet (nothing any longer neutral about it).

So how do we survive?  Is it possible to evade the rockslide and mud that follow this series of forest fires?

Living in gold and glitter may be very well for some.  For most of us, our surroundings turn into pewter and plastic.  We have to decide what and whether individual activities are important to us.  Are we determined to live as before, paying more than before for the privilege?  Or, in order to do that, do we need to make some sacrifices to maintain our extravagances?

We need now to think ahead in order to stay ahead of poverty and bankruptcy, both of which seem approved by the new administration.  (And cutting off immigration isn’t going to help us, either.)

O.K., checkbooks and safe-deposit boxes open and out.   What could we do without?

Certainly we can cut our cellphone use and expense…most of this already on our credit cards.  We can erase the evidence of ”free apps” which are used only to seduce.  Amazon may take a severe hit, not just in its millions of items, but particularly in the book business.  (Remember libraries?  Remember books themselves?)

Ten minute jaunts to a convenience store for items that are overpriced (hence “convenient”) should go the way of the dodo.

Home repairs as a trade should be reinforced because Angie’s List et al aren’t going to get cheaper, either.

Take the 83 % beef instead of the 95% fat free.

Pretend you’re old enough to remember “Victory Gardens.”

Never say “no” to any unexpected second job that’s offered.

Stay off freeways and save on gasoline.

Take short trips rather than intercontinental journeys.

Learn again to sew.

Save spare change at the end of every day and deposit it.

Depending on what a bank offers, grab the “no fee” checking accounts or automatic deposits.

You don’t need a new car every other year.

Give up car services and learn again to walk a few blocks.

Prepay if you can.

Give up food deliveries and learn again to cook.

Continue reading “Economics 101”