It’s been an odd week for me, in more ways than usual. I had cataract surgery on one of my eyes on Thursday. For a few days before, and still now, a few days after, I’m not in my usual groove.
Even writing this column is a little tricky. I’m using a massive font, pre-edit, because I’m still having trouble focusing. This will pass, and I’ll be glad when it does, because having my ability to read hampered is truly my definition of a circle of hell.
On the plus side, the left side of the world is definitely brighter and clearer, post surgery. In the last few years, I’ve resisted wearing corrective lenses, preferring to see my friends looking a little fuzzy around the edges. Everyone looks better when they’re a little fuzzy around the edges, in my opinion.
I can’t say enough good things about the nurses and doctors at Kensington Eye Institute. Kind, compassionate, and professional, they got me in and out of there in record time, with zero pain.
Overall, I’m feeling great, healing well, and looking forward to getting the all clear to get the other eye ‘done’ soon. All part of my quest to become Bionic Granny. Someone’s gotta do it.
Anyway, my point (and I do have one,) is that I’ve been BUSY, DAMMIT! And it’s not my fault that the world refuses to stop while I’m doing my thing. I can’t be everywhere, keeping an eye on everything, when one of my eyes is out of commish!
Frankly, this week has been all about me, me, me, so there won’t be much in-depth commentary on the shenanigans of the planet. Go ahead, sue me. You’re not getting your money back.
You know who else isn’t getting their money back? These people.
“Will you accept the results if Joe Biden wins? “
What can you say about the people who continue to surge to the Disinformation Superspreader Rally Tour? We know why TRUMP is there … he’s desperate. He’s in the ‘please clap’ phase of his campaign, and he is trying to suck down the last of the ‘love’ and hysteria of these poor deluded loons, who care so little for themselves or others that they think nothing of putting their own lives and the lives of their loved ones in danger, just to feed trump’s sick need for applause and admiration.
He’s on the road, out of the office, and proving daily that he’s clearly not an ‘essential’ worker … in fact, things seem to run smoother when he’s not around.
Those in this personality cult can’t see that the object of their affection despises them. Trump’s objective is quite simple; he wants people to sacrifice themselves, their lives and the lives of their loved ones to keep the economy running. Throw those students and another teacher on the barby, mate.
Two weeks before the election, you’re unlikely to change hearts and minds, so the thousands he invites to his super-spreader rallies, who show up without masks, disdain social distancing, and who make up their own mad science to justify courting a deadly virus, are there simply to prop up a narcissist, at the expense of their own health.
Some may be too sick to vote for him on November 3. The unlucky ones may be fighting for their lives in an ICU. Inviting his supporters to prove their fealty with their very lives doesn’t seem the smartest way forward. It seems more like the actions of a killer with a quota to fill.
As trump and his surrogates insist that they’re about to ‘turn the corner’ on controlling COVID-19, the virus is not only not going away, it’s actually doubling-down. The numbers don’t lie. But trump surrogates do.
Two weeks to go until the nation’s fate is decided. Fingers crossed, America. Fingers crossed.
Demi Lovato – Commander-In-Chief
A little food for thought.
I like to play with ideas.
Thinking outside the box, wrestling with concepts, pushing mental boundaries – that’s my idea of a good time. To me, it’s like jazz; there’s your basic premise, and then there’s where you can go with it. Especially if you have a willing collaborator. Stretch that thought … take it where it wants to go, and where it’s afraid to tread …. That’s jazz …
This comedy skit is jazz. Time to give your mind, and your funny bone – a workout.
“Oh God, Our Cancer Cure Was Invented By A Pedophile!”
“There are decades when nothing happens, and weeks when decades happen.”
Ain’t it the truth! Hey, Hi! It’s me, back from what seems like the hiatus that lasted an eternity.
Not that I’m complaining… no siree! I have been BUSY, my darlings … busier than a <fill in your corny but slightly amusing blank here.> Hellzapoppin’, dontcha know, and we’re careening sans seatbelts to what I expect to be a fiery finish to the apogee of the annus horribilis known as 2020.
One might even go so far as to say 2020 is the annus horribilis of all anni horribiles.
About the only good thing I can say about this year so far is that it was a good year for coleus.
Oh, and another good thing – the world took a much needed, deep breath. COVID-19 forced so many of us to slow down, for possibly the first time in our busy, busy lives. Not just slow down; in some cases, things came to a screeching halt. With very little notice, the fabric of our lives, the government offices, the libraries, the restaurants I loved to frequent – began to shut down around us, without the slightest hint of if or when they’d ever re-open.
COVID put a spoke in the wheel that belonged to the organizers of my high school reunion event. Fifty years! Man, that’s a long time! And I never would have even heard about the celebrations (now postponed to next July) if the occasion had not been postponed. With extra time, and unexpected time on their hands, some of the planners set about contacting as many of the old grads as they could. And I was one of their finds.
As each new contact is added to the Facebook page, I find myself drifting back to the skinny, big eyed school girl I was then, staring dreamy eyed at the Roman profile of my first crush, Hugh, or walking home from school with Michael, who managed to con me out of my bus money every single day, so that he could satisfy his thirst for a family sized bottle of Coke. Gathering with Ann, Marianne and Donna to squeal over the new Monkees album. Getting ripped off, trying to buy pot for the first time, and being sold parsley in its place. Ah, those were the days.
So, I guess that’s two things good about this annus … the coleus, and the reunion. Sadly, the rest of this year has really sucked.
Hmm, let’s see .. did anything else interesting happen since we last chatted, on August 9th?
Oh. Right. We discovered a few rather nasty things about that trump guy. Like, that he’s not actually as dozy, folksy and down home as he’s been pretending, and that, in fact, he’s got some rather interesting ideas about the 1.3 million active duty military of whom he’s currently Commander in Chief, as well as those countless millions of volunteers and draftees thru the decades, who went forth and around the globe to protect America and others from the horrors of fascism and dictatorship.
We already knew that he ‘preferred people who didn’t get captured’ in wartime, but we didn’t yet know that he thought that those who chose to serve were suckers, and those that became injured, prisoners of war, or who died for the cause, were losers, until the recent release of his ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen’s, new tell-all book.
But I think what came as the deepest gut punch was the realization that the elected and nominal ‘leader of men’ is completely unable to understand the selflessness and patriotism of those that gave their lives in service to their country. For trump, everything is transactional. Even love of country.
“I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” Trump asked as he stood by the grave of General John Kelly’s son, killed in combat.
But even as we reeled in horror from the blatant entitlement of a creature who had himself medically deferred from serving, not once, but five times, there was another sucker punch waiting in the wings.
Veteran journalist Bob Woodward, half of the dynamic duo that brought down Nixon by exposing the Watergate scandal, released a new book detailing his late night, and uncensored chatty chats with the POTUS. And oh lordy, there were tapes.
Considering that trump is said not to drink alcohol, it’s hard to understand the ‘in vino veritas’ nature of his confidences. Was he bragging when he leaked top secret military information on future armaments to someone with no security clearance? Did he think that confessing his complicity in covering up Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman’s role in the torture and murder of Jamal Khashoggi, an American resident and journalist, would make him look like a strongman?
And most of all, did he care at all about the consequences of concealing exactly how deadly COVID-19 was, from the American people, whom he’d sworn an oath to defend?
The tapes confirm that trump knew that the virus was especially deadly in early February, even as he publicly told American citizens that there was nothing to worry about, and that the 15 official cases the U.S. currently had would soon be down to just a handful.
“It goes through the air. That’s always tougher than the touch. You don’t have to touch things. Right? But the air, you just breath the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flus.” Trump told Woodward.
In front of a South Carolina rally, just two days later, he told the crowd that the virus was just the Democrats’ ‘new hoax.”
On March 19, trump told Woodward that he “wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
Strange words indeed from the man who has whipped up the fears of Americans daily – even hourly – since coming down the escalator to announce his intent to run for president, to save Americans from the ‘carnage’ about to befall them due to immigrants, people of colour, transsexuals, bathrooms, suburbs, and Muslims.
In March, trump also confided to Woodward that some “startling facts” had just come out about the virus’ targets. “It’s not just old, older. Young people, too, plenty of young people.”
It’s been a long year, so remind me .. when exactly did trump begin exhorting the nation to re-open it’s doors, in order to save ‘his’ economy? Oh right.. that would have been before Easter – April 12th this year.
And when did he begin demanding that kids, whom he claimed where virtually immune to the virus, prepare to return to schools?
July 6, 2020: “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” he tweeted, and repeated again and again as the weeks went by, adding threats to withhold federal funds should the schools not obey his mandate.
Trump lied. People died. Trump lied to protect his ratings. He lied to get re-elected. He lied because he put his own needs above the needs of every single one of the 331 million Americans under his mantle. He lied, and he golfed, and he lied some more and golfed some more.
When confronted with his lies, trump began to spin like an intoxicated top. First, he insisted that his reticence to tell the people the extent of the virus was due to his reluctance to start a panic.
Imagine how very different the world would look today if, when the first bombs began to fall on London, Winston Churchill had told the people of England not to worry, because the Nazis would be gone by the spring. But that didn’t happen, because Churchill had faith in the British people. Trump did NOT have faith that the American people could cope with a pandemic.
Next, he tried to paint himself as some sort of cheerleader of the people. Let’s look back at Exhibit A, shall we? If you don’t trust your people enough to believe they could handle news of a pandemic .. just how ‘cheery’ are you? Time to turn in the pom poms, Missy.
And yet, even as over 6 million Americans have tested positive for the virus, with 4000 new infections and 1000 new deaths being tabulated every single day, with nearly 200,000 Americans tucked into body bags, and new estimates for year end rising to as high as 450,000, trump is still not telling his deluded base the truth, still mocking others for wearing masks and attempting to protect themselves from infection.
Despite the truth now being evident that children are not only carriers, but can themselves become ill and die, trump is not calling for the schools to be shut down, or ensuring public health standards are met, but instead, continues to pretend that all is well.
It’s as if he’s a starry-eyed seven-year-old at a Peter Pan pantomime matinee, still believing that if we all clap our hands, Tinkerbelle will come back to life, along with all those innocents he’s murdered through criminal negligence.
It’s mid September – just 50 plus days away from what will most assuredly be a memorable election on November 3rd.
For those who still wonder if he should be given the chance he’s requesting, to be re-elected so that he might, in effect, have a ‘do over’ … so that this time, he might actually accomplish one good thing for the American people NOT in the 1%, it must be remembered that his years in office have sent the economy into a tailspin, and millions to food banks and hostels; that he’s willfully and maliciously mismanaged the COVID-19 pandemic, while also attempting to bribe the Ukrainian Government into investigating a political rival, and begging China to help him in his quest for re-election. He’s supported white nationalist, white supremacist, racist causes while endorsing conspiracy theories about political opponents and minorities, withheld funds to states he believes have not shown enough gratitude to him, and kissed Kim Jung Un’s ass – possibly with tongue. And that he’s told over 20,000 verified lies.
He’s separated untold thousands of children from their parents, and confined them in cages, where they have shivered, alone, untended, and unmedicated, to the point where some have died. He’s already been impeached, although his Republican colleagues refused to actually throw him out of office, due to their fear of his tweets and threats.
He’s continued to work to overturn policies that might attempt to mitigate climate change, and fired or silenced climate scientists, even as the west burns, and the south floods. He sold out the Kurds to suck up to Erdogan, and ignored North Korea’s building of a nuclear arsenal. He assigned unqualified and incompetent minions to prime positions, and assigned them to tear down the foundations of American government. He has yet to confront Putin over allegations that Russia is paying Afghan militants bounties to murder U.S. troops.
He and his family have illegally used the White House grounds, personnel, and the military for partisan political events, for his own benefit, but paid for by taxpayer dollars. He’s used his presidential powers to enrich himself, his family, and his friends. He’s foisted unqualified judges upon the nation, which alone will ensure a continuation of his racist, bigoted, and misogynistic policies for decades to come.
And he’s left the country holding their breath in fear for what will happen in the days leading up to Election Night, and what will happen after that, regardless of who wins the presidential race. It is pretty much a given that he will claim fraud of some sort, and rally his motley crue of toothless, but heavily armed ‘militias’ to come to his defence.
The election, like the one in 2000, may very well end up decided in the Supreme Court, at which point we can only hope that Chief Justice John Roberts, with his swing vote, will have the power to either save American democracy, or not allow the nation to lapse into chaos and possibly Civil War.
So, yeah – good to be back in the saddle, fellow babies. Strap in. It’s gonna be a helluva ride ….
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and if you didn’t look at the calendar, you’d think that Spring had sprung.
Except for in Nevada, where the Bernie Sanders romp to victory last night has half of America’s pundits tearing their hair out in despair, and the other half still picking their jaws up off the ground.
Bob Lefsetz nailed it in his Lefsetz Letter when he wrote, “Bernie Sanders wins handily in Nevada and the lead story in the “Times” is how his road forward is fraught with difficulties. That’s like focusing on LeBron’s theoretical injuries in the future as opposed to how well he is playing for the Lakers today.”
Political pundit Chris Matthews put his foot in it last night, when he claimed on his show Hardball that the GOP had oppo research on Sanders that would blow him out of the water, should he become the Democratic presidential nominee. As the Bernie votes rose, Matthews then compared Sanders’ Nevada victory to Hitler’s invasion of France.
Sanders Is a 78 year old man who lost family in the Holocaust, and is on track to be America’s first Jewish president.
Shouldn’t be too surprising that both terrestrial and social media exploded this morning with demands that Matthews resign, if not immediately commit ceremonial seppuku, to expiate his sin of having an unpopular opinion.
Hey, I’ve had my issues with all of the delegates, including Bernie. There’s not one ‘great’ candidate on display. But in such a limited field, I can get behind Bernie, and not just in an ‘anyone but trump’ position.
I get a little peeved that Bernie can’t seem to consistently and properly describe and explain that it’s not democratic socialism, it’s social democracy. Yeah, yeah… he’s been working this side of the street forever, and I can believe he’s tired of saying the same thing over and over, but that’s how this stuff is done now, in a world where people DO have to be beaten over the head before they embrace a new thought.
(Is it the water down there? It’s gotta be the water, right?)
In fact, Bernie would be smarter to use a term that Republicans could really get behind, and would have no real reason to undermine … “Rooseveltism.” In one swell foop the word evokes that cherished time when the ‘greatest generation’ worshipped FDR for ‘saving’ America.
On January the 1st of this year, the Atlantic ran an article that said that, no matter what happens in this election, Americans will almost certainly elect the oldest president, the youngest president, or the only president to ever win re-election following impeachment. In no part of the article did it even hint that Americans would be electing a great president.
We’re in full blown BizarroWorld now.
It’s odd, this place that both the Democratic and Republican party have come to. We’re not in Kansas anymore. The Republican party is a shell of it’s former self, having abandoned everything they ever stood for in blind loyalty to a mad man determined to suck the American treasury dry for his own gratification, before setting the place on fire and walking away. The Democratic party is beating itself up on debate stages while the Democratic National Committee is in danger of repeating it’s horrific 2016 choice to shove their preferred candidate into position, regardless of what the people profess to want.
Didn’t work then. Won’t work now. But it could spell the end of the DNC, should they try that tactic again.
And of course, all of this very expensive campaigning and jockeying for position assumes that the November elections will actually be ‘free and fair.’ That’s debatable right there. Although Congress made available over $425 million to be used to ensure election security, pretty much nothing has been done, or spent, on working towards that goal.
And every single time the House puts forward bills meant to ensure the fairness and security of the election, the Republicans in the Senate veto the bills, without offering any suggestions of their own about security.
Just from that truth, you have to see that it’s extremely unlikely that the November 3rd elections will have much to do with democracy. It’s pretty much a forgone conclusion that they will be the antithesis of fair and free.
And that’s a real pity, because I think that Americans who are watching this unfettered POTUS post acquittal are too skittish to do what they probably should be doing right this minute – rising up en masse to protest and force him out of office and into a straightjacket.
I think that the average voter is instead saying, let’s be sensible. Let’s push this down the road. We’ll deal with it in November, when we can legally and properly vote him out of office.
And hey! I really hope that works for them. I just don’t think there’s gonna be much left of America worth voting for, nine months from now. Not the way the madness is accelerating out of control. Trump has picked up the pace on the crazy, and turned up the fascism burner to stun.
Am I lucky or cursed, to be able to spend so much time following the news? You really couldn’t be any more jacked in to the trump administration’s insanity than I am, and I still can’t process all of the horrors that this barbaric juggernaut lays down every day. I am one person – they are an administration dedicated to only one thing – the complete annihilation of America’s institutions and foundations.
This morning I read that Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor wrote a scathing dissent to a recent decision made by the Court, which is now little more than a rubber stamp for Trumpian requests.
“Claiming one emergency after another, the Government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases, demanding immediate attention and consuming limited Court resources in each. And with each successive application, of course, its cries of urgency ring increasingly hollow.”
While I understand her overall anger and frustration with the Court, the particular case she chose to present as proof was more than a little troubling. This request was to pursue something so vile and so un-American that I had originally assumed the issue would never even come to court.
The application pending litigation, the case that trump’s administration considered an emergency, was an update of the “public charge” rule. This rule is meant to help officials decide if an immigrant should be allowed to apply for citizenship and/or a green card, in consideration of whether that immigrant can prove self-sufficiency, and whether or not they might at some point in their lives become a burden on the state, by requiring any government benefits, from welfare, to health care, or social security at retirement.
In a five to four decision, trump’s horribly xenophobic request, a condition that his own parents couldn’t have passed, passed in his favour.
I guess it’s time to melt that Statue of Liberty down, and make it into a big T for TrumpLandia to be put in its place. Underneath that, instead of the beautiful poem that offers respite and welcome to immigrants, they should place a sign that says, “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here. “
Every now and again I wonder if America (and the world, for that matter) is being punked. Surely these last three years of horrific assaults on common decency, made by an unprincipled, unbridled, racist, misogynist, xenophobic, senile, doddering old fool will at some point be broken by a maniacally grinning Mitch McConnell, dressed as The Joker, popping up and yelling “GOTCHA”
As it stands, all we can hope for is that this ongoing reality series has a huge blindside in the works, that will knock out our least favorite player, and send him off the island. The tribe has spoken.
If this column doesn’t actually get written, edited and/or published until February or March of 2020 …. don’t blame me.
NO ONE can resist the call
of nineties arcade games! Remember Commander Keen, Bio Menace, Mr Blobby, Duke Nukem and the
rest of the Apogee Games? They’re back, baby! and as addictive as ever.
I can’t believe this DOS dump of 2500 hot titles of the nineties .. the list is
endless .. well, at least until you look for game 2501 ….
Over the last few weeks,
I’ve had to come to the conclusion that America’s POTUS is, in truth, a Russian asset. I know
– now you’re laughing and want to throw me a tinfoil hat.
But bear with me for a bit. Take a look at everything that has been accomplished in Trump’s first 1000 days – does America look any better than it did before he was inaugurated? Are America’s lower and middle class wealthier, or indeed even happier, than they were before he arrived? Is the country more secure, better positioned, now that most of her allies have been driven away, and her strategic alliances have been irreparably damaged?
Is America’s farmland protected from the devastation of Trump’s
trade war that has seen family farms go bankrupt, only to be snapped up by
Russian and Chinese investment companies?
For that matter, with the flood of rollbacks of regulations and legislation that once protected America’s parks, wildlife and water … are you happy with the devastation that’s been allowed to happen throughout the nation?
Or are most Americans sick to death of the constant flood of criminal nonsense flowing from this White House?
It begs credulity to not see
the strong link between Russia and Trump; he’s repeatedly insisted that all of the Intelligence
Agencies, venerable pillars in American governance, are against him, and are
wrong in their conclusion that Russia interfered with the 2016 election. He’s insisted
over and over again that Russia needs to be back in the G7, since he believes that
it was only Obama’s prejudice against Putin that resulted in the sanctions
against Russia, that he’s tried repeatedly to remove. And at this very moment, Trump has his puppet,
Attorney General Bill Barr, traveling the world, in a totally bizarre attempt
to prove those intelligence agencies wrong about Russia’s part in the election.
Putin’s long term plan to
bring down America as a world power has always been to destroy it from
the inside, and that seems to have been what has happened. The nation is
divided, there’s no progress being made although trillions of dollars are being
spent on nonsense, this president may well be the first to be not just
impeached, but imprisoned, and his supporters are threatening a civil war
should anyone be mean to their fair haired, orange faced, tweetheart.
And then there’s this ….
Gee. That’s not suspicious
And is it just a coincidence that Trump gave Turkey the go ahead to besiege Syria, and to begin a genocide against the Kurdish fighters who’d saved America’s bacon against the rebels … on Putin’s birthday?
Here’s a portion of what the Kurds’ commander in chief says about America’s betrayal of Syrian Kurds.
” We lost
11,000 soldiers, some of our best fighters and commanders, to rescue our people
from this grave danger. I have also always instructed our forces that the Americans
and other allied forces are our partners, and so we should always make sure
that they are not harmed.
Amid the lawlessness of war, we always stuck with our ethics and discipline, unlike many other nonstate actors. We defeated al Qaeda, we eradicated the Islamic State, and, at the same time, we built a system of good governance based on small government, pluralism, and diversity. We provided services through local governing authorities for Arabs, Kurds, and Syriac Christians. We called on a pluralistic Syrian national identity that is inclusive for all. This is our vision for Syria’s political future: decentralized federalism, with religious freedom and respect for mutual differences.
The forces that I command are
now dedicated to protecting one-third of Syria against an invasion by Turkey and its jihadi mercenaries. The area of Syria we defend has been a safe refuge for
people who survived genocides and ethnic cleansings committed by Turkey against the Kurds, Syriacs, Assyrians,
and Armenians during the last two centuries.
We guard more than 12,000 Islamic State terrorist prisoners and bear the burden of their radicalized wives and children. We also protect this part of Syria from Iranian militias.
When the whole world failed to support us, the United States extended its hands. We shook hands and appreciated its generous support.
At Washington’s request, we agreed to withdraw our heavy weapons from the border area with Turkey, destroy our defensive fortifications, and pull back our most seasoned fighters. Turkey would never attack us so long as the U.S. government was true to its word with us.
We are now standing with our chests
bare to face the Turkish knives”(ForeignPolicy.com)
By every measure, Trump’s
treachery has resulted in the deaths of thousands more innocents, and his
botched attempt at stopping the horrific wave of genocidal murders only gave Turkey’s leader everything he wanted .. and more .. since
the validation of Turkey’s annexation of Kurdish land came with the stamp of approval of the American
“The cease-fire agreement reached with Turkey by Vice President Mike Pence amounts to a near-total victory for Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who gains territory, pays little in penalties and appears to have outmanoeuvred President Trump.” (The New York Times)
“This is essentially the US validating what Turkey did and allowing them to annex a portion of Syria and displace the Kurdish population,’ the senior US official said. ‘This is what Turkey wanted and what POTUS green lighted.’” (CNN)
America’s president gave Russia quite the present for it’s leader’s birthday. It would seem that Putin’s work here is done.
Some Trump followers are lauding the withdrawal of American troops from Syria as honouring a campaign promise to ‘end endless wars.’ However, the troops that are currently abandoning the Kurds to a bloody fate are not going home – they are being deployed to Saudi Arabia to be a PAID military for the Saud’s own war.
Trump has remade the United States military in his own image… now .. they’ll murder
for pay. Once proud soldiers are now mercenaries. You have to wonder if that is
what all of them signed up for.
So .. is Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic presidential contender, also a Russian asset, as Hillary Clinton claimed? All things considered.. she’s certainly not much of a Democratic asset . I’m hearing so much back and forth on this today; on the one hand, people are scoffing at the very idea. On the other, well, Clinton has been right many times before. Can you really afford to just pooh pooh the idea?
The funny thing is – Hillary didn’t name Gabbard. Gabbard just immediately grabbed the quote and ran with it.
If we look at Gabbard’s voting record, it’s pretty easy to see a not so
Democratic bent to many of her decisions.
2014 onward, Gabbard appeared regularly on Fox News to lambast the Obama
administration for avoiding the phrase (“radical Islam.”) In one interview, she
told the host that “the vast majority of terrorist attacks conducted around the
world for over the last decade have been conducted by groups who are fueled by
this radical Islamic ideology,” a statement that may be technically true due to
the violence and instability plaguing Middle Eastern countries, but is wildly
misleading considering that non-Muslims make up the vast, vast majority of
terrorist perpetrators in both Europe and the United States.
wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in January 2015, Gabbard complained
on Fox News that by “not using this term ‘Islamic extremism’ and clearly
identifying our enemies,” the administration couldn’t “come up with a very
effective strategy to defeat that enemy.” She told Neil Cavuto that “this isn’t
about one specific group,” but about “this radical Islamic ideology that is
fueling this,” and that it needed to be defeated “militarily and
ideologically.” She characterized Obama’s refusal to “recognize” the enemy as
“mind-boggling” and “troubling.”
Gabbard flirted with
joining the Trump administration, taking an interview, and she also refused to
denounce the appointment of Steve Bannon in the Trump administration.
Breitbart, Bannon, and others quickly praised her. ” (The Daily Kos)
While Gabbard is basically a
non-issue this election, I’d keep an eye on her performance over the next few
years. It would be a shame for America to find itself with yet another Russian asset, next
I’ve written before about
the dangers of elected officials lying to the public. Twice, in fact. In modern
politics, it seems that lying in public has replaced any pretence of integrity
or any desire to have one’s tenure be remembered with respect.
Lying breaks our faith in others – once we know that someone will lie to us, we can never again truly trust that person. And it doesn’t matter why the lie was told, because the lie reveals something very important about the liar; the liar is a coward.
There’s a reason that the book ‘Profiles in Courage’ is so slim .. it’s because most people are cowards. Oh, they talk a good game. Keyboard warriors slam those who disagree with their contentions. But put them in the same room with their opponent, face to face, and …. crickets. What are they going to do, pull out a gun? Not in Canada, thank heavens. A raised voice is generally our strongest weapon.
The media, bound by
economics to depend on ratings and ‘hits,’ lies regularly, either to advance a
cause, by omission, or to ensure that the fool sitting in front of the camera
will be willing to return the next time they do something newsworthy enough to
be asked back. They forget that truth is what is needed, and that you are
allowed to talk over or contradict a liar. Profit has trumped truth.
Getting along with other
people is integral to a workable society. Being friendly and helpful to others,
while respecting their differences and opinions, is the glue that advances and
enhances our society.
Humans have evolved to tell polite little ‘white lies’ in their daily lives, and most of us tell at least two a day. But there is a very clear distinction between ‘white lies’ that are meant to soothe the person being lied to, and ‘black lies’, which are antisocial, and meant to benefit the person doing the lying.
Black liars are cowards, and
cowards are afraid of being found unworthy. So they lie to cover their lack of
abilities. They know that there will be consequences if people discover the
truth about what they are, what they do, and why.
Those who stand behind liars
and bullies for fear of the bully taking reprisals are cowards, who only have
loyalty to themselves.
Right now, we’re watching a
dismantling of nations. We have discovered, as people do when little can be
hidden, that too many of the people in whom they are supposed to have unlimited
trust, are liars and cowards.
In this time, when people
have long been vaguely aware that governments are fallible, and that those same
governments are often not working for the working classes, but rather for the
enrichment of big businesses, a lack of leadership contenders has never been so
Whether in Canada or the United States of America, a huge swath of taxpayers feel that their concerns
are being ignored, and that the world they will be leaving to their children
has been hijacked by the wealthy, in
favour of the wealthy.
People have little faith in the
‘checks and balances’ built into government, because they see those in power
blow right past those defences. And then it’s check .. and mate. Goodbye clean
air and water. Hello oligarchy.
With elections on the horizon in both halves of North America, there is a rise in the use of dirty tricks, innuendo, and accusations that are near slander. There are trolls and bots in social media, sent to shake our faith in all of the political contenders.
It seems that we are now
being coerced to choose our country’s leaders and representatives NOT by
assessing who is the most qualified, but rather, by whom we’ve defined as the
least corrupt, the least politically incorrect, or the least likely to indulge themselves
at the tax payers expense.
Instead of a spectacle of
intellectual and/or heroic giants battling it out for the prize of leading us,
we watch maggots trying to convince us that they are less maggot-y than the
Our words and deeds teach
others how we expect to be treated. The lesson these politicians have learned
is that we expect a circus of high wire acts and fireworks, rather than a clear
and cogent statement of policy. Like children, we wait to be delighted by Seussian
” They’ll bang on tong-tinglers, blow their foo-flounders, they’ll crash
on jang-jinglers, and bounce on boing-bounders!”
Rather than creating platforms or visions of a strong and united nation, these professional politicians seek only to win an election, form a government, and put into place formats to ensure their own enrichment. The voters are just the cannon fodder; the voters are the rubes the con men seek to fool.
And that’s sad.
I’ve always known that there
are many people that haven’t the time, or just don’t care about politics,
because they’re doing the things that build a nation.. having a family, buying
homes, starting businesses, and buying stuff. They only care when it affects
them, their children, or their pocketbook.
And that’s sort of
understandable. We need those nose to the grindstone types, to keep the country
ticking along. But it is still really frightening to see the lack of
understanding from the voters, to watch
them be played and swayed by the machinations of the parties’ publicity wonks.
In the United States, the president, terrified of the prospect of
impeachment, is now seemingly unable to say anything but lies. His Secretary of
State was caught in several blatant lies to the public, and pretty much all of
his administration and Cabinet are complicit in impeachable, illegal offences.
In Canada, the leader of the Conservative Party has been
caught lying on his resume about his work record, and his education. His loyalty
to the nation was questioned this week, when he told the media that he’d never
spoken publicly about being a dual Canadian-United States citizen,
because “no one ever asked me.”
silent on his citizenship, even as the Conservative party regularly attacked
politicians for their citizenships, like Michael Ignatieff in 2011,
insinuating that he was ‘just visiting Canada’
They made a huge issue of former NDP leader Tom Mulcair and
former Liberal leader Stephane Dion having dual Canadian-French
citizenship. And in 2005, Scheer himself questioned the integrity of former
governor general Michaelle Jean’s dual citizenship, asking in a blog
written to his constituents if they could trust her, saying ” “Does it bother you that she is
a dual citizen (France and Canada)? Would it bother you if instead of French
citizenship, she held U.S. citizenship?”
It’s a breathtaking example of two-faced hypocrisy.
Do political parties, particularly on the right, no longer even vet their members, and potential leaders? Is it just a question of being the right colour, having money, and being willing to toe the party line?
We are going to find out a
lot of things about ourselves in the next few months, on both sides of the
border. We’re going to find out who we really are, and how much effort we put
forward to understand the policies and platforms of those parties viewing for
our votes. We’re going to discover if we are sheep that manipulative entities
can herd into their enclosures, or if we are willing to make the time and
effort to choose the leaders that will decide our countries futures.
It’s up to us all to stop
accepting lies and dirty tricks as the foundation of political campaigns, and
to demand truth and accountability from those we’ve chosen to lead our nations.
“In 2016, candidate Donald Trump boasted, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” In the coming weeks, we will find out whether he’s right about who he thinks we are as Americans”Rep Eric Swalwell
… with your Sunday political sermon, though it’s a day late. Time to catch up on what you may have missed over the last couple of weeks, and to get a sense of the direction we seem to be heading towards as Canadian election fever sets in.
In other words… where are
we going and why am I in this hand basket?
Looking specifically to Canada, I’m getting very nervous about how Canadians feel
about the parties from which they’ll choose their next leader. And one of those
reasons is because of a lack of charismatic leadership.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m a
lifelong Liberal, and will vote for Trudeau again, because I
agree with most of his stated policies. However, I’m unhappy about some
election promises that were either not kept, or kept very badly … looking at
YOU, new cannabis legislation… what a mess that is!
I wanted electoral reform,
incontestably part of the Liberal
platform in 2015, and that was off the table after the first year.
“The Special Committee on Electoral
Reform was created in the spring of 2016, and it delivered its report in
December. It proposed two things. The first was that Canada replace its
traditional system of voting (the single-member plurality system known widely
as the first-past-the-post model) with a proportional system of representation
(where seats in the House of Commons would be allocated according to the
proportion of votes each party received). Second, it recommended that the idea
be put to a referendum.” (reviewcanada.ca)
However …. On February 1, 2017, the newly appointed
Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould announced that the
government was no longer pursuing electoral reform and it was not listed as a
priority in her mandate letter from Justin Trudeau In the letter, Trudeau
wrote that “a clear preference for a new electoral system, let alone a
consensus, has not emerged” and that “without a clear preference or a
clear question, a referendum would not be in Canada’s interest. ” (Wikipedia)
The Liberals never wanted proportional representation, so it’s
not surprising that an excuse was found not to pursue it with the people. But
I’m still angry that it was taken off the table.
Still, even the National Post, notoriously right leaning, had to
report that “The Universite Laval’s Centre for Public Policy Analysis’s
latest reading — updated since March — shows the Liberals have entirely
fulfilled 53.5 per cent of their 2015 vows, partially lived up to 38.5 per cent
and broken eight per cent.”
of promises kept. Unfortunately, the 8% not kept are the ones I was hoping to
see fulfilled. Still – I’m just one Canadian, out of 37 million. Got to be a
lot of people who did have their wishlist met.
I still say, when I”m
looking to the other parties that are in the race, it’s the lack of a strong, compelling
leader that stands out. At least to me. Your mileage may vary.
Andrew Scheer has the look of a Howdy Doody puppet, and the
wooden emotions to go along with the image. He’s 3 parts Harper and 1
part the preacher from Footloose. The dimples and simper can’t hide his
lack of connection to the actual citizens, that is, those of us who haven’t
been living off the taxpayer dollar for the last 15 years, which is most of his
life to date. This is a guy who has not paid for his own housing or meals in so
long, he couldn’t tell you the price of a kilo of sugar if you stuck a gun to
his head. His idea of transportation costs entails having the taxpayer fund
over $2,035,886 of luxury travel,
just in the time since he became an MP. This is your guy if a Conservative
plutocracy is what you want for your government.
I voted NDP in the last provincial election, but I can’t say that
I’m sold on Jagmeet Singh asPrime Minister. Remember when Margaret
Wente gushed over his ascension to leadership?
“Those turbans! That beard! He was just the kind of figure to
make progressive folks feel good about themselves, their party and their
prospects. GQ, the men’s fashion magazine, profiled him in rapturous terms,
calling him “the incredibly well-dressed rising star in Canadian
Ah, but we were all so much
older then – we’re younger and more racist than that now.
Elizabeth May, bless her heart, remains our Green Queen,
and with climate change such an important issue top of mind right now, there
are many who will put their X beside her name, just because there’s Green in
the party’s title. Google the party’s platform to see what else the party has
in mind for the country.
As to Maxime Bernier
and his People’s Party -well, on the bright side, it’s looking like his
main contribution to the election will be drawing support away from Scheer’s
Regardless of your
preference, please remember that, unless you are a white male, someone fought
for your right to vote. Someone may well have died, fighting for your right to
vote, and it is important that you exercise that right. Because – your vote
does count. If it didn’t, the bad guys wouldn’t be constantly trying to
suppress that right.
Maybe you’ve already made up
your mind, and made your choice, and are happy with it. If so, I’m glad to hear
it. What worries me, honestly, is the voters who tend to vote ‘against’ rather
than for; or those who vote their ‘gut’ without understanding the platforms of
the party leaders. The time has long gone when you could just close your eyes
and pin the tail on a prime minister, and tell yourself that it didn’t matter,
because all parties are the same. They are not.
On the plus side, and whether
you are into politics or not, our entire electoral race lasts only a few
months, so there isn’t time to get too bogged down in nastiness and slurs. Well
– unless you want to. Lots of people love to argue on social media. Have at it,
if that turns your crank.
A few short months. Not like in the United States, where Trump officially filed his re-election campaign with the FEC on January 20 , 2017, the day of his inauguration. He didn’t want to miss a penny of the donations he could keep requesting, nor the adulation of his base, who could be relied upon to keep massaging his ego.
We’re still fourteen months away from the next presidential election, and I’m already over it. Pretty sure Trump is too – after all, he called off his trip to Denmark because they laughed when he wanted to buy Greenland, and sent Pence to visit Poland (“Congratulations, Poland! on the 80th anniversary of the Nazi invasion!”) so that he could stay at Camp David to ‘oversee’ Hurricane Dorian, and fit in a couple rounds of golf. And then he apparently cancelled a secret meeting that he’d planned to hold at Camp David with some Taliban leaders, to celebrate the anniversary of 9/11. I’m beginning to think this guy just doesn’t feel like presidenting any more!
whole new world, isn’t it? I mean.. do you remember when we worried that
impeaching Trump would result in a Pence presidency? Now we know that, no
matter how low Trump goes, there’s always another abyss he’s programmed into
his GPS. Worse =we’re all gonna get tweeted to death on the ride there.
This is the hell in which
Americans now find themselves, looking down the barrel of fourteen months in
which the average citizen can never really be sure that what they’re being
told, by any of their leaders, or the heads of federal services, is true, or
just what they’ve been told they have to say, in order not to contradict their
It’s not even so much a
flood of DISinformation as it is a bombardment of MISinformation, the likes of
which no society can be expected to deal with gracefully. Like headless
chickens, we can only bob and weave, ducking each new onslaught of lies and
untruths aimed at what is left of our sanity. And even once the liars are gone,
the bully pulpit power of those lies will continue to warp the minds of
Americans for generations to come.
I’m hoping that Pelosi finally finds her spine and allows the Dems to begin impeachment proceedings, but I’m not holding my breath. In truth, it’s immaterial if the Senate won’t pass it; the point is to put the spotlight on all of the crimes and misdemeanours that have happened during Trump’s reign of errors and terrors, so that all Americans can see clearly what’s been going on in the halls of power since January 2017.
We have to accept that there
is NO savior coming to America. We thought Mueller might be the guy to vanquish
the goblin, but he didn’t, or perhaps he couldn’t, under paid lackey AG
Right now it seems like the
Dems are just crossing their fingers and toes, and praying that everything will
be hunky dory if they can make it from here to Nov 2020 without Trump releasing
a load of nuclear ejaculate in the direction of whatever country displeased him
I don’t believe that a lack
of action is the right course to take, but I’m not running for anything, and
I’m not American. I have my own Canadian election to worry about.
My bigger fear, like that of other countries around the world, is that not beginning impeachment proceedings now will lead to a second, third, fourth and for life tenure of his presidency, which, once he’s tired of playing Emperor, he’ll pass down to Ivanka.
And that’s a fate I wouldn’t
wish on my worse enemy.
Today’s column is a round up of ideas and issues that have zipped past us in the last few days.
Have you noticed that, the speeding up of events? In the last few years we have become accustomed to barely accommodating the horrors of a day before awakening to the new atrocities of the next. It’s exhausting, and it’s been taking a huge toll on the psyches of not only Americans, but of citizens in countries all around the world.
Apparently the Orange
Warthog is officially on a two week holiday, but unfortunately, his fingers
and tongue have not been disabled for the duration. And that means he’s busily
doing —- well, pretty much exactly as he does every day that he’s NOT
officially on holiday.
Even as he re-tweets conspiracy theories about the Clintons having murdered Jeffrey Epstein (because apparently the Clintons are magic who could somehow breach a high security prison under Attorney General Bill Barr’s protection) his head minion, Kelly Anne WrongWay is hitting the Sunday morning airwaves to confirm and abet Trump’s pell-mell race to full blown dementia.
It’s a full time job,
defending the indefensible. I hope it’s
well paid, because eventually, even Kelly Anne will pay the price every other
trump loyalists pays in the end; total degradation, a reputation in tatters,
and a book deal.
On many days I find myself really disheartened with the thinking patterns of so many people – in America, yes, but also here in Canada, and around the world. There was a time when I wouldn’t have included Canada in that scenario, but the results of the last several provincial elections, and the prospect of what is to come after our next Federal election, has me utterly discouraged.
So many seem to be shielding
themselves behind a combination of an innocent belief that the checks and
balances of other decades will hold, coupled with a disbelief that what is
playing out before their eyes is really happening. They are determined that
“It Can’t Happen Here,” even as it actually happens
Exhibit A. Was any kind of sense, common or otherwise, in play when this video pic was shot? Witness these two lumps of flesh, who seem to believe they are Klansmen of 1819, instead of police officers living in Texas in the year 2019, walking a handcuffed black man to the police station, as they sat astride their horses. Did no one think to check how many times these goons watched Django Unchained before assigning them horseback duty?
It seems that what I strove to digest a day or two ago bumps right up against the poison we’re asked to swallow today. After the horror of not one, but two deadly mass murders last weekend, both seemingly instigated by Trump’s racist and xenophobic rhetoric, there actually looked to be a glimmer of hope that these latest deaths might lead to some small attempt at gun reform in McConnell’s Senate.
Exhibit B...Our prayers for no longer fearing death by Wal-Mart Back to School Shopping were dashed almost overnight, when we were told that the NRA’s head, Wayne LaPierre, had already left a message for Trump while POTUS was out pimping for the cameras in Dayton (or was it Toledo?), warning that Trump’s base, whipped up by LaPierre, would be angered by any kind of scenario involving America’s gun fetish.
Exhibit C … Even as LaPierre was leaving his bile-filled message, ICE squads were putting together the largest raid against illegal immigrants in US history. They went after two poultry factories in Mississippi, where they arrested 680 workers, many of who were not only legal immigrants, but who had migrated there over the last few years from – oh! El Paso! which had just suffered the largest slaughter of Hispanics in US history.
Rather than alert the local schools and nurseries, who were welcoming the little children of these workers to their first day at school, the raid took no notice of the kids being left to find their way home alone, unknowing of when, if ever, they’d see their parents again.
Exhibit D … Acting CPB Chief Mark Morgan, on being asked to defend the timing and manner of ICE’s cruel raids, brushed aside the video of a little girl crying for her dad, by saying that the girl’s father was ‘a criminal,’ which Morgan seemed to think made the family’s suffering irrelevant.
Truth is, in the American
Justice system, a person cannot be branded a criminal, without due process, just
because they’ll work cheap, often at less than minimum wage, and do the jobs
that even the poorest American born citizens would refuse. This is a stunning
pronouncement from a government official, who has no legal right to call
‘criminal’ any human being in the United States, under their own laws.
Tellingly, the executives at these factories, who knowingly hired the illegal workers, and had been successfully sued for discrimination and poor working conditions, have not been charged for their part in the ‘crime.’ Well, they can’t be, really, can they? Because if they were, what would that mean for Trump’s many companies, that are known to also use illegal immigrants for their grunt work, in his hotels and golf resorts?
As conditions worsen for
people of colour in the United States, the Trump supporters claims that they don’t like
the man, but they do like the economy are beginning to wear thin.
There is no moral
distinction between those who are excited by Trump’s racism and those who plead
indifference to it, and it’s consequences. All the money in the world can’t put
a pretty face on the horrific cruelty behind the wealth they are reaping.
And here’s the real thing – while the hordes of Democratic representatives pursuing the presidency storm the boards in Ohio and other politically important states, Americans need to realize that they don’t just need to vote Trump out of power next November, they need to think about how they will vote this era of ‘trumpism’ out of power as well.
Since November of 2016, everything we thought we knew about politics in the US and the world has been changed
forever. As populist leaders lie their way into positions of power, flush with
dirty money and the support of the wealthiest people in human history, their selfishness,
and desire to overturn democratic norms, have badly damaged the pillars of
society we need to move civilization forward.
The irresponsibility of overturning everything previous regimes have put into place is, sadly, not coupled with an understanding or ability of how to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
The next POTUS will have to have a spine of steel to face down the crippling changes put into place during these four years of Trump’s incompetence. The GOP are going to fight tooth and nail to try and keep the legal and financial gains they made by executive fiat, and there are bound to be not only legal impediments brought by 45’s appointed judges, and his stooges in the Supreme Court, but from all of the other departments, offices, and agencies that vowed loyalty to Trump.
And while fighting that good
fight, the 46th president is also going to have to face 45s millions of
supporters, who pledged themselves to him because they thought he’d fix their
lives, share his largesse, heal their addicted family members of opiate
addictions, kick out all the ‘bad’ people, and maybe even cure their cancer.
Even though he accomplished none of those things, and indeed, has left the country battered and bruised at the core, these supporters are still just as filled with anger, frustration, fear, and anxiety as they were three years ago. But they’ll be even madder that the next president couldn’t have given Trump just a little more time.. say four .. or six .. or eight .. or twelve more years to finally get them what they believe they are due.
The inequality that faced them in 2016, still faces
them now, in fact, for many, it’s worse. For the farmers, they lost $10
billion in agricultural sales in 2018, and another $20 billion in 2019. Now
has found other places to buy wheat and soybeans, those billions are never
coming back. What do you tell the farmers?
Those 50,000 coal miners who were told that ‘coal’s coming back!‘ and who therefore decided not to accept retraining in a more current field, have had to roll with the punches, as the country’s third largest mine filed for bankruptcy protection in May. What do you tell those miners?
While those who watch media other than Trump sanctioned FOX News have been following the collapse of these industries, and holding our collective breaths as the GOP administration threatens to remove America’s social safety net, his loyalists continue to believe that it’s just a matter of time until they are all living in a land of milk and honey.
Which is all to say that defeating Trump at the ballot box in 2020 will be just the first step towards pulling America back to the centre, and away from the far right where it now uncomfortably dwells. That fight will involve angry Republicans tossed from fat cat, lifetime terms in office, as well as a fight against every day Americans who can’t give up the Kool-Aid.
That may seem a daunting
task, but another four years under Trump would be far more horrific and
devastating to the planet.
Canada is inching up to it’s own appointment in Samara this fall, and I no longer feel I can say with any confidence that Canadians will do the right thing when they saddle up to vote federally in October. I can only hope that saner heads prevail than those that voted lately in Ontario and Alberta.
And now, I’m off to enjoy
what remains of summer. See you in September!
Let’s let some talented Youtubers do the talking …
Wishing everyone a very Happy Canada Day, Eh!
And now … for your Sunday Sermon …..
How critical is ‘choice‘ in how we live our lives? The last time we were looking for a place to live, I began to see how little I really understood both the concept, and the reality, of choice.
After over 30 years of home ownership, we were neophytes at this rental game, and discovered quickly that everything had changed since the days when the local newspapers (remember those?) listed page after page of places to let.
And that really got me thinking – not just about the frustration of trying to find a decent rental in these anxious teens, but about how essential available choices are to our daily life.
Buying a house is the biggest financial decision that most people will deal with in a lifetime. When you begin house hunting, your agent will ask you to narrow down what it is you’d like in a home. You are asked how much you can spend, but also, what areas of the city or suburbs interest you, and what sort of structure do you picture when you envision your future. Do you fancy a bungalow? Split Level? A MacMansion? Something with a lot of land, or maybe something with as little necessary upkeep as possible?
But there’s also another factor in that quest, and that is what is available at the time of your search. At any given time, there will be a finite amount of available homes from which to choose. And, depending on how much of a city explorer you have been, you may have defined a fairly narrow search area for your house hunt.
In the end, humans like to believe that they make decisions based on rational and carefully decided logic. But in fact, they are driven by the options before them, and the good salesmanship of the people that get them to choose. The ‘shit or get off the pot moment’ is when the agent says, “ok … this one? or this one?” It’s not so much about how ‘right’ this one piece of property is over the other, it’s about the choice you can make, based on what is available, right now.
I have traveled all over the city, for business and pleasure, and I would consider myself fairly cognizant of what most Toronto neighbourhoods and local areas have to offer. But when I look for somewhere to live, I tend to stay within the same area that I have lived in since I first arrived here, in 1976. It’s not that I don’t LIKE other parts of the city, it’s that I’m more comfortable living in the East End. And so that is where I choose to look for accommodations.
And yet, given half a chance, would I live in an artist’s loft in the West End? You betcha. Or in a big house, up in Rosedale, with a view of the ravine? In a heartbeat. I’d enjoy any chance to see how others live and what other areas have to offer.
I just don’t immediately think of those areas when I’m looking for a place to live – because I’ve never lived there. The familiarity, the knowledge of the streets, the shops, the pubs, the people … I would have to learn all of those in order to best enjoy a new location.
Which is … again … a choice. I would have to choose to learn all about that new neighbourhood, and sometimes I feel like I’m just too old, tired, and lazy to go to all that trouble.
The sad truth is that we often think our choices only come in black or white, until someone introduces Technicolor into our lives.
Our love lives are also governed by limited choice. Whom we choose to fall in love with is often driven by our age, where we live, and how strong a sex drive one of the two in the couple have. Again, it may not be about Mr or Ms Right .. but Mr or Ms Right Now.
Most of us will have to live a lifetime to understand that the person without whom you could not bear to live another minute in your teens, is not necessarily the person you would choose in your twenties, thirties, forties or really, at any other point in your life.
People change, and the people you love, or even like, at one point, may be the person you literally cannot tolerate in another phase. That silly certainty that drove Romeo and Juliet to their deaths over a glimpsed ankle? Very romantic. Very teenaged. Highly irrational.
I’m gonna bet that neither Romeo nor Juliet had met a lot of people by that point in their short lives, and, by the end of the tale, neither one was ever gonna get any more chances to do so. End of choices. Stuff happens.
Our access to money – ours or our families – plays a huge role in our choices. We can be born into it, we can earn it, or we can lose it, and each of those options determine everything from how and where we live, to whom we have the opportunity to meet and marry.
Where we are born, and what colour skin we wear, will also have an enormous impact on the choices and options available to us. Not everything is open to everyone. The father and daughter that died this week on the Mexican border had made choices, and sadly, those choices turned out to be deadly.
But those that berate these sad victims for choosing to put their lives and their children’s lives in danger forget that life is only cozy and safe for some people – many others live in places filled with violence and terrorism. The two that died in that river were just two more people who made choices, based on the only choices they had – to fight or to flee.
That family were no different to my ancestors choosing a long sea journey from France, to try and start a new life in another country, free from the prejudices, crime, and politics of their own birthplace. I’m sure my maternal grandfather’s mother would rather not have given birth on a ship somewhere between Ireland and New York City, but there was that pesky famine going on back home. My gramma walked behind a covered wagon from South Dakota to Alberta, despite the many stories of those who died from that journey in the 1800s, from wild animals, disease, the rigours of crossing the Rocky Mountains, and the perils of encountering other humans who might wish them harm.
Choices. So many choices. What to eat, and what to drink, and what happens if you eat and drink the wrong things. Deciding to smoke, in order to fit in with your peers, and, fifty years later, being the one dying of emphysema. Opting to take drugs to temporarily numb the pain, only to find your whole life fitting easily into the plastic bag that rests beside you on the sidewalk you now call home ….
Choosing to learn how to best care for yourself and others; learning how to navigate the technology of your day; opting to reach for the stars rather than plod along like so many others who are afraid of failure if they make the wrong choice …..
Choices – and consequence. Politics; elections have consequences. When we vote, not for someone good for our country, but to punish the person who didn’t fulfill all of our needs and dreams, we will face the consequences.
When old men, intent on feeling the thrill of virility again, launch a war that will be fought by young men … are the deaths of those soldiers their own choice? Or were the soldiers only offered two choices; to fight for their country, or to be deemed unpatriotic?
We like to think that we have all the choices in the world, but of course, the only choices you have are the ones you find in front of you, and those are based on this moment in time, and your current place in the cosmos.
We may not necessarily make the right choice, and these may not be all of the choices available to us, but each of us can always try to make the right choice for right now.
And, in the end, that’s the only choice we ever really have.
Roxanne Tellier, choice, choosing, real estate, romance, love, elections
Happy Easter! Did you find any chocolate in inappropriate places today?
We’re not religious, nor do we have any little ones in the house, so we just sort of forgot about the whole thing until we tried to buy some milk, and found the grocery store closed Friday.
Christians in the West celebrate Easter somewhere between March 22 and April 25, on the first Sunday after the full moon of the vernal equinox on March 21. This timing, and the halting of capitalism for the day, is brought to you by the pagan Teutonic goddess of the dawn, fertility and spring – Eostre. If that sounds familiar, it’s because her name is the ‘root’ for words like estrogen … the female hormone necessary for fertilization and child bearing.
As cavemen, we couldn’t be 100% sure that Winter would actually end, or when. The pagan ritual of the Spring Equinox is a celebration of the change and renewed life we yearn for in this season. Early priestesses encouraged worship of Eostre as the symbol for this return.
” Today, pagans continue to celebrate spring and attribute the change of the seasons to the powers of their god and goddess – also portrayed as The Green Man and Mother Earth.”
That’s an irony indeed, since today’s pagans are greatly outnumbered by those who are intent on stripping the earth of all her wealth and beauty, in order to enrich a small number of people.
Ah well, mustn’t grumble. Let’s eat some chocolate and sing along with Deanna Durbin!
Think the timing for the official pre-wash with extra spin cycle of the Mueller Report might have had a little something to do with Easter? As in … hopefully most people will have forgotten about it by the time they get back from their holidays?
….. and how about that Barr, eh?
It seems like only yesterday that I was opining on the wisdom of the official Attorney General of the United States position being a partisan one; surely the top law enforcement office for ALL of the citizens of the United States should be one that rules from a bipartisan stance.
And why, oh why, by all that’s holy, does William Barr have to look like a Bizarro World John Goodman?
Following in the footsteps of a president that favours his base over the greater populace, AG Barr came down firmly on the side of Trump, donning kid gloves to handle how the Mueller Report was unveiled, and, like a mum defending her bad widdle boy, provided excuses for the despicable behavior that has irrevocably despoiled the presidential seat, ahead of the actual report outlining those behaviors.
He was shilling for the POTUS like a two bit carny trying to get the punters to buy tickets to see the Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla Grrrrrll.
Worse still, his toadying ensured that the Report only deepened the public distrust of the justice department, while revealing conclusively that the Republican Party is morally and legally bankrupt.
“We have in Mueller’s report a narrative, a timeline narrative, of the cover up by the President and his actions. There’s absolutely no question that this has been a vast Presidential cover up.” says legendary Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein.
“Bernstein, a CNN analyst, cited his former Watergate colleague Bob Woodward’s book Fear: Trump in the White House, in which Woodward reported that former Cabinet officials believed Trump was not acting in the best interests of the United States and was a danger to national security.” (CNN)
And even the legal beagles of FOX (News) were more honest in their comments, if cautious not to bring down the full wrath of the president upon them, than the Republicans in the Senate who are still attempting to defend the indefensible.
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday noted that there were items in the report that Barr failed to mention during the pre-spin press conference on Thursday morning.
“The president—the behavior of the president is immoral, deceptive, and repellent,” Napolitano exclaimed. “But it doesn’t rise to the level of criminality.”
We should be reminded that the worst of the president’s impulses, that would have lead indelibly to criminality, were generally forestalled by unelected, career administration personnel, who had to try and read his rants and determine if he was just blowing off steam, ‘joking,’ or really intended for others to commit criminal acts on his behalf. A master of deception, Trump will never put anything implicating himself in wrong doing in writing – he leaves it for his minions to divine his intent, to carry out his crimes, and then pay the legal price for their loyalty.
Well, his previous conduct, and the belief that a sitting president cannot be indicted might have kept him out of jail so far, but the aftermath of the Report’s release may change how he goes forward.
Bear in mind … the report only covered the lead up to his inauguration, and his first few months in office. What he’s gotten up to in the two years since then are blowing up the pages of American history on a daily basis.
You’d think by now we’d be inured to his constant threats and bullying. Trump is lashing out, demanding an investigation of the investigators, and causing those who testified against him to fear for their futures. He has called the investigation an illegal witch hunt, and said that “the whole episode was an illegal takedown that failed … and somebody’s going to be looking at the other side.”
Despite overwhelming evidence that the Russians did, indeed, meddle in the 2016 election to help Trump win the presidency, Trump continues to fight the ghost of his defeated opponent, Hillary Clinton, and now,-incredibly – has begun to blame his predecessor, President Obama, for not stopping the Russian interference, for some nefarious purpose that doesn’t make much sense at all … why would Obama encourage the electoral win of a Republican candidate by allowing a foreign power to influence the outcome? Do you have to be in full blown senile dementia to understand that convoluted contention?
But what now has to be determined is if the Democrats are prepared to pick up the gauntlet that the Report has thrown down.
” In its extensive discussion of the constitutional issues implicated by special counsel Robert Mueller’s 22-month investigation, the report asserts that Congress has the authority to apply law “to all persons – including the President.” Specifically, Congress may “protect its own legislative functions against corrupt efforts designed to impede legitimate fact-gathering and lawmaking efforts.” The authority to prohibit a president’s corrupt use of power, the report finds, is essential to “our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”
The report declines to reach a judgment on whether the president has committed a crime because Mueller views himself as bound by Department of Justice policy against indicting a sitting president. This does not mean that the president has not committed a crime. Indeed, Mueller’s refusal to reach a judgment is based partly on principles of fairness to the president: while people accused of a crime usually have the opportunity to give their story at trial, in this case, when no charges can be brought, the accused has no opportunity to clear his name. Mueller pointedly notes that the sitting president’s immunity, however, would not preclude prosecution “once the President’s term is over or he is otherwise removed from office” — that is, impeached.” (USAToday, 2019/4/21)
And this is where the going is gonna get rough for traditional Democrats. In the past, egregious interferences into Obama’s presidency were largely tolerated, rather than called out as the profound malfeasance McConnell practiced for eight years. This must stop .. right here, and right now … if America is to regain her fading democracy.
The time for the battle is when it presents itself, not somewhere down the road, when the contentious actions have become ‘old news’ and the battle itself appears to be nothing but hurt feelings and the re-treading of old ground.
The time to stop McConnell from preventing Merrick Garland’s appointment was in 2016, when it happened. The Democrats assumed they’d win 2016, and ‘fix it in the mix,’ but that political hubris now has America dealing with a Supreme Court and minor courts stacked with Trump loyalists that will impact upon major legal decisions for decades to come.
No, now is the time for the Democrats to show some of the backbone and ‘strong man’ attitude that so many in the United States believe to be the measure of their vigour. This is not the time to ‘go high.’ It’s the time to stand up and fight.
No more delicate tippy toeing towards justice, fearful of causing upset. It’s time to roar ahead, just like the Republicans did against Clinton, when they showed that they were prepared to go to the mat over a presidential blow job, to win, no matter the cost. And it worked for them electorally, got them more seats, and moved Lindsey Graham into a position of power he could only have dreamed of before he snatched the media spotlight with his pearl clutching antics.
There has been some talk from moderate Dems that they would like to conduct a few more lengthy investigations before deciding on whether or not to consider impeachment procedures, but in my view, that has the potential of further angering the populace, who are fed up with what looks to them to be a major waste of time and tax payer dollars.
There’s also been talk that it would be smarter, this close to the next election, to focus on positive progression on the health and environmental front, but let’s face it .. ain’t nothing good coming from that as long as Trump has the bullhorn, and his gang of sycophants are blocking any forward movement from the Dems.
Although it IS possible to talk impeachment AND other concerns simultaneously.
Some contrarians are advising that calls for impeachment might lead to a further division of the country, but, apart from the Civil War, it would be hard indeed to find another time in history when the country was so critically divided.
Despite the voluminous material, articles, and books – AND this Report – that have been written outlining the illegalities and corruption of the current administration, those who have drunk the Trump Kool-Aid are not going to change their minds on what they believe. Six more months, another year, of investigations, are not going to change the hearts and minds of his base.
It is up to the Congress, who are charged with oversight, to hold the president accountable for the obstruction that he has committed.
The only way the Dems are going to change the current trajectory of American history is to stop trying to be the party that always has to be perfect and correct, always taking the punishment that ensues with a gracious smile. They have to put an immediate stop to McConnell’s sneakiness, and burn it down the minute he raises his unholy turtle head. They have to stop pretending that politics is a gentleman’s game, where everyone plays fair – they have solid proof that fairness is a foreign concept to career Republicans, and that playing nice only benefits the GOP. Ignoring how dirty the Republicans play is only making the Democrats appear like weaklings.
As the Democrats wonder if they dare go after a career criminal, the GOP are already in attack mode, with a double pronged frontal attack that is determined to punish those they consider treasonous for the audaciousness of investigating the election, while also implying that a move to impeach the president would mean that the Democrats do not love their country. The banners are being printed, the catch phrases practiced, and the talking points sharpened.
In Trump, the Republicans have found their savior, and they are not afraid to use every last fibre of their beings to stand by their man, even as they abet his corruption, and help destroy the country they claim to so love. It may be a twisted, ultimately destructive, passion, but it definitely trumps the indecisiveness that the Dems are bringing to the skirmish.
Yes, a call for impeachment has little hope of succeeding, in the face of a Republican senate and presidency. But it is what the Democrats must be seen to do, charged as they are by their elected positions to bring oversight to the most powerful position in the nation. They must be seen to be the face of all of those who decry this president, who rules from a throne of lies and corruption.
The road to impeachment has been laid out for them to follow. All they have to do is pick up the gauntlet, and fight for those who put them into power.
The Democrats have to look to 2020, and their crop of young, exciting, fresh faces with progressive ideas looking to be the next leaders of the nation.
All that the Republicans bring to the party is a senile old man, whose lies and corruptions will drag them down, and a bunch of long in the tooth senators content to live out their last years fighting against someone who hasn’t even held office in over eight years.
Launching an impeachment at this time will throw into sharp contrast the difference between the party of tomorrow, and the party of the old, corrupt, past.
ENOUGH already with this daylight saving nonsense. The cost to the country, and it’s citizens, has been recorded and shown to be of little to no benefit to the nation.
I wonder if Ford has considered making this a pet project for Ontario. (Opting in or out of daylight saving is within a provincial premier’s purview.) It would fit into his stated platform, save money, and kill something that the ‘elites’ determined decades ago would be beneficial to the ‘little people.’ And, when he’s finally out of office, it will be one thing he can point to as having successfully and fairly easily accomplished.
Anyone got Dougie’s ear?
Hey, it’s Indie Week! My colleagues have written a fair bit about what that means, musically, so I won’t belabour the possible tuneful delights that your wristbands can get you into. There IS a lot of great music, I assure you, a veritable cornucopia of raw talent.
But .. I probably won’t get to many of the shows. You see, I’m more like those people that buy Playboy for the articles.. I like the conferences. I like to learn from people with experience and stories to tell.
So, on Wednesday, you’ll likely find me checking out a forum on anxiety, depression and mental health, or taking notes at Martin Atkins’ discourse on “How to Make an Extra $100K in the Next Year.”
On Friday, there’s a seminar on Women Influencers, and another on “New Rules in the Music Industry.”
And those are the things that interest moi … but that’s moi. Why don’t YOU check out what’s available this week, and see what turns your crank? I’ll see you there!
We’re now literally days away from the American midterm elections, when those who will exercise their right to vote will determine the arc of America’s future. It really is a critical moment in time. Voting Democrat will enable the guardrails to keep Trump and his madness in check. Voting Republican will tell Trump that his madness and rush to a fascist dictatorship is A-OK with the citizens of the United States
VOTING IS HOW YOU SEIZE POWER. And that’s why old people, rich people and people who are terrified of change… are ALWAYS voting, every chance they get. That is why there are old, rich, white men in power in the U.S., who’ve been voted back in every time those old, rich, white, scared people get a chance to enter the voting booth. That is why there is a lying, perjuring, accused sexual assailant on the Supreme Court.
Does your vote count? Damned straight it does! And mouthing off that it ‘won’t change anything anyway’ is not a ‘too cool for the pool,’ detached cynicism, it’s a naive, and entitled sentiment that betrays an ignorance of how democracy works.
Are you enjoying Trump’s America? Because, despite how many people tell me that I am incorrect about America sliding into fascism… it’s looking pretty textbook fascist-y right about now.
” Fascism is a form of government which is a type of one-party dictatorship. Fascists are against democracy. They work for a totalitarian one-party state. This aim is to prepare the nation for armed conflict, and to respond to economic difficulties. Fascism puts nation and often race above the individual. It stands for a centralized government headed by a dictator. Historically, fascist governments tend to be militaristic, and racist. In the Third Reich German society was pictured as a racially unified hierarchy, the Volksgemeinschaft..” (wikipedia)
The country has been steamrollered under the armoured treads of an administration that has control of the House, the Senate, the Presidency, AND the Supreme Court. Except for the horrific tax cuts that sent billions of dollars to the 1 per cent, the majority of Trump accomplishments have come about through the high handed use of ‘executive orders,’ which, when used in lieu of democratic debate, compromise, and bipartisanship, are, of course, the way dictators govern.
Now, there may have been times in America’s history where one party having control of ALL aspects of government might not have been quite as frightening as it is in 2018. But the horrors that we’ve seen to date can’t hold a candle to what we’ll see in the future, if the midterms keep the power in the Republican party’s hands.
While you might have been aware that the Supreme Court newbie, Kavanaugh, has some interesting views on presidential reach and abortion, and that the other newbie, Gorsuch, has some equally interesting opinions on religious liberty and the rights of LGBTQ citizens …. did you know that the Supreme Court is about to begin debate on whether or not America will be maintaining a separation of church and state?
That’s kind of a biggie right there. What will be left of America, when it is only the furthest hard right thinkers who decide what citizens are allowed to do, in public, or in the privacy of their own homes?
Many of those who agree with the far right’s racism and xenophobia are not only falling prey to the president’s Hail Mary pass to save control of the House and/or Senate through terrorizing the people with talks of war and invasions, they’re whipping up even further paranoia by declaring that migrants have a super power that enables them to bring extinct diseases back into the American mainstream.
America needs a Zanax. Despite Trump’s assurance that the migrant caravan is an invading horde, his words, and those of the Foxy Friends who agree with him, are nothing more than a panicked attempt to continue their icy grip on America’s gonads.
Imagine the desperation that would make you gather up your family, what little you could carry, and force you to walk thousands of miles, to somewhere that you hoped .. didn’t know for sure, but hoped … would grant you sanctuary. This is an apocalyptic scenario. You’ve seen it in movies, in ‘after the end of the world‘ scripts, but this is real life for these migrants.
It is believed that there are two caravans, one traveling thru southern Mexico, and the other just now crossing Guatemala into Mexico. The second group is believed to be mostly the family members of the first caravan. The number of people in both of these caravans fluctuates daily, but is estimated to be between a thousand to five thousand people total. (And, bear in mind, neither of these groups would be converging at any one American border, all at the same time.)
Among the sympathizers to Trump’s cause and senile paranoia are the citizen militia, who, with significant armament, are hoping to join the even more heavily armed 15,000 troops, 20,000 border guards, and 10,000 Nation Guard members gathering to dispel .. with brute force and severe prejudice – the few thousand dusty, dirty, thirsty, tired refugees fleeing gang violence and government corruption in Honduras.
Sadly.. those migrants are walking right into the unwelcoming arms of America’s own home-grown violence and government corruption.
The sight of this gang of tens of thousands, shoulder to shoulder against these desperate people, should be the most humiliating spectacle that America ever hopes to see. Home of the Brave? No, it’s the land of the loose bowelled, chicken shits.
As of November 2nd, the caravans are in Matias Romero, a town in the southwestern Mexican state of Oaxaca. They are at least several weeks away from reaching the United States, although the Department of Homeland Security – well known for fudging and outright lying of facts – has said they could arrive at the border somewhere in between four days and two weeks from now.
I guess if they all grow wings it’s possible. But these are families, that include women, children, and at least one newborn who made her appearance just a day or two ago.
I can draw a straight line from the ‘no room at the inn‘ prejudice and xenophobia of 2000 years ago to the cruelty and barbarism we’re seeing at the American border today. Two thousand years later, what these ‘warriors’ choose to cloak themselves in on a Sunday morning doesn’t look very much like Christianity at all.
This is Trump’s Last Stand, this desperate Mexican standoff, and he’s got all of his hopes pinned on his belief that America will believe the lies and hyperventilation that he, his administration and FOX News have poured into the far right’s ears like so much aural poison. I am hoping that Americans are smarter, and better human beings, than that.
I want to believe that justice will prevail in America. I want to believe that there will be a fair election, and that America and the world will be able to believe that the results of the voting are just and true, and show the real will of the people.
That’s what I want to believe, America. That’s what I need to believe. All you have to do, America, is listen to your better angels. Listen to them now, while they still live.