Saturday, October 22, 2022

The Price of Power: Americans Turning on One Another Like Rabid Honey Badgers

Sometimes I find myself blinking in astonishment at the warlike rhetoric that is standard in politics today.

This isn't the America I grew up in. I didn't hate my neighbor. Politics followed certain patterns like if you were caught flat-out lying about something during your election campaign... that was the end of it. You were pushed aside and ignored by all.

How things have changed.

Today politics is more a blood sport than ever with calls to hang opponents and line them up in partisan firing squads.

Republicans openly run on lies about the 2020 election being stolen. To get behind Trump's Big Lie is a badge of honor among the candidates running for office in November.

If Republicans take back Congress, they're promising a purge like this nation has never seen before. Their only agenda will be revenge against those who have stood up for democracy and called out the GOPs lies these last two years.

This upcoming election is about getting power at any price for Trump minions. The remnants of the Republican party that once balked at backing candidates like Hershel Walker and Dr. Oz have openly admitted they don't care what their candidates did or said in the past they're holding their noses and backing them.

The lust for power is that bad in the once United States where values like truth, honor, and respect for other humans have been trampled on by Trump and his fascist followers.

There are no limits. MAGA minions are increasingly turning to violence to overthrow our government. Jan. 6 was just a rehearsal for 2024 if the Republicans lose the presidential race.

What about our cherished ideals and love of freedom? Are we going to lose our democratic government because of rabid Republicans who can only think about being in power for themselves and are treasonous cretins?

Political pundits have bandied around the thought we could have another Civil War. I've got news for everyone who isn't paying attention... we ARE in a Civil War right now!

Look around you. Look at the people in your community. Look at the endless flow of misinformation and lies on all of the media platforms. It's all warfare. 

There are threats against women's rights. Threats against minorities. Threats against Jews. Threats against the LGBTQ community. Threats against teachers and election workers. Books are being banned from libraries and schools by MAGA morons.

All of this is the price of seeking unadulterated power to benefit a special segment of our society.

As it stands, where are you in this maelstrom of madness? Are you a combatant or a refugee?

Friday, October 21, 2022

Write on! Today is the National Day on Writing

Today is actually an initiative of the National Council of Teachers of English - built on the premise that writing is critical to literacy but needs greater attention and celebration.

For the past 11 years, the group has seen thousands of people share their responses and engage in activities around the theme #WhyIWrite.

As a lifetime lover of writing, I can honestly say the benefits are numerous. In a time when a former president and TV host had to have his daily briefings illustrated to keep his attention because he didn't like to read and simply couldn't write a coherent sentence, there's never been a greater need to write.

There's still room for writers in our world. There will always be room. The need to document history and to communicate via the written word is woven into mankind's DNA.

We've always recognized the power of the written word going back to ancient cave walls scribbled with our ancestor's messengers on them.

I'm concerned that the power of the written word is being diluted these days as fewer good writers can be found. There are hacks everywhere, brutalizing the language and lying in all caps.

I am encouraged by my granddaughter (a sophomore in high school) who loves to write unlike her peers. Her imagination pours out in cleverly written stories and essays. I like to think I'm part of the reason she loves to write and share her work with others.

Students nationwide need a renaissance of writing skills inspired by good teachers who understand the importance of the written word.

Words from Great Writers

-- "You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

--"The road to hell is paved with adverbs." Stephen King

-- "Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." Anton Chekhov

"Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on." Louis L'Amour

As it stands, when writing becomes a lost art civilization will sink into an ignorant morass with no records to read about what happened.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

An Upside-Down World Where Down is Up

You'd be wrong if you thought that sloths live in an upside-down world. They're world is right-side up to them and we're the confused ones.

Like the Republican party where GOP congressman today are trying to institute a bill - the so-called Children Sexualization Act - that will prevent liberals paying strippers to dance in front of our school children!

In the real world there's never been one case of schools or state governments funding strippers to do the hoochie-couchie for students from kindergarten thru high school. That ridiculous assertion doesn't bother the MAGA morons, however. They truly live in an upside-down world.

This crazed attempt won't go anywhere this time, the democrats still have the House and probably won't even allow it to come to the floor. But, if those same MAGA morons win back the House we can expect to see these kinds of bills introduced daily.

I think it's important to understand reality is no long a safety rail in our society where millions of Americans are doing mental handstands rather than be confronted with the truth and reality.

It's not easy standing your ground against so many lies, and so much hate and racism. Real conservative Republicans have found that out after rebuking Trump and his minions for their part in the Jan.6 insurrection. Their careers are over.

Back in the day native American's were quite liberal in some ways. For example, when it came to dealing with members who were off their rockers, they called them "Contraries" and gave them a space in their society.

Contraries walked backward, said no instead of yes (and vice versa) in reply to questions, frowned when they were happy, and basically did the opposite of everything.

Sound familiar?

The only problem with our modern-day contraries is they don't live peacefully with the rest of us. Instead, their goal is to turn us all upside-down and to turn America into an authoritarian utopia.

As it stands, people like you and me must maintain our balance in this topsy-turvy world we live in and be defenders of reality and truth.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

American Psychiatric Association Announces New Litmus Test for Crazies

Let's face it. 

It's not easy to tell who's crazy by just looking at them.

Especially nowadays when people run around wearing political cosplay costumes.

The only way to fully determine if someone is short a couple of bottles of a six-pack is to ask them some basic questions. 

After seeking advice from the American Psychiatric Assocation they shared an updated litmus test that I'm passing on to you.

Some core questions to ask:

1. Who is the president of the United States?

This is one of the quickest and most reliable ways of knowing if a person is a dimwit.

2. Is Trump the son of God?

Be prepared to hear blasphemy if you ask this. It's a surefire way to judge just how crazy they are.

3. What year is it?

Sounds too easy, doesn't it? Well guess what? When they start talking about 2020 you caught them red-handed.

4. Should there be more gun safety laws?

Keep a good distance when you ask this question and wear a bullet-proof vest. A normal person wouldn't pull an AR-15 to answer.

5. Is the earth round?

I know. Too easy. Crazies always feel strongly about their flat earth beliefs.

6. Describe what the American flag looks like.

If there's one thing crazies love, it's desecrating the national flag. A crazy will display numerous examples of Trump's fat orange face surrounded in stars and stripes.

Once you've determined your talking with a crazy here's some suggestions:

** Run away as fast as you can!

** Don't stop running.

** Smile pleasantly and suddenly say "Squirrel!" When they look. Run.

** Offer them a cheeseburger or a chicken wing from KFC to go away.

** Back away slowly smiling stupidly (it soothes them) while determining where the quickest escape route is.

** Agree with everything they say and even drool a little to put them at ease.

As it stands, those savvy shrinks emphasized that humor was the best medicine and .... defense!

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Things That Make no Sense, but We Still Have to Live with Them

The only things that make sense to me anymore are my pets. 

Their straightforward companions, loyal and they know how to have a good time. 

I roll my eyes in disgust when I hear about the stock market suddenly going boffo because corporations reported obscene profits which translates to growing inflation for the rest of the poor souls in the nation. 

How does anyone make sense of these contradictory sets of statistics that are only decipherable by cryptographers and bankers? 

Moving on.

Despite being legal (medical and recreational) in most states today, Marijuana is still rated as deadly as heroin and fentanyl by the federal government. It's classified as a Schedule 1 drug. The baddest of the bad.

Not only does it not make sense it's a stupid relic from the Demon Weed Days of Reefer Madness. A reminder of another madness that sent millions of Americans to jails for sparking up hooties and packing pipes with cannabis.

President Biden recently freed marijuana smokers (not dealers) who were locked up in prison with an executive action that could someday lead to complete normalization. Don't hold your breath, however.

Moving on.

It's doesn't make sense watching golf courses daily watering acres of land in California during an ongoing drought. 

Southern Californian residents are being paid to dig up their lawns in a desperate attempt to conserve the dwindling water supplies... but it's okay for golf courses to squander water!

Environmentally it makes no sense, but the rich and famous don't want to give up their entertainment (nor modify it) for the sake of others' lives.

Moving on.

The wild conspiracies that blanket our society daily don't have to make sense. They're about poisoning minds. People can't seem to stop their spread. The result is idiocracy reigns.

It'll never make sense to me why we can't just set all of our clocks at the same time and be done with it. I've heard all the feeble reasons why we can't and their too ridiculous to repeat here.

We could if Congress and the states got their shit together but that's as about as likely as Trump confessing to all of the lies he told while squatting in the White House like a bloated orange toad for four years. 

I'll never understand how millions of Americans have put the most corrupt president in our history onto a pedestal where he can do no wrong even as he dismantles our democracy in little ways daily. 

As it stands, one of the disappointments of growing older is the increasing amounts of things that make no sense in your world. Instead of revelations with age you find there's even more senseless things than ever before.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Midterms: Watching for an Impending Political Train Wreck

On a moonless night in America two trains are heading for a political collision... a red train and a blue train.

The American audience is watching for the possibility of impending disaster from their TV sets and computers with fear and loathing. The midterms are coming, and no one really knows what to expect. What to believe. Who to believe. Or cares.

I'm reminded of the old silent films and their cliff hanger endings that kept people coming back to theatres despite the poor economy. They couldn't wait to see what happened to their hero/heroine.

They wanted to see if the hero could untie the fair damsel in time before the train rolled over them both and turned them into pancakes.

The surreal political world we now live in doesn't have guardrails to protect the public. The free flow of disinformation and misinformation is threatening to derail democracy in the November midterms.

October 2022. The two trains chug on towards the same depot - the voting center. 

They carry with them passengers with two wildly different views for what America should look like in the future. 

Pundits try to predict which train is longer, but it's impossible to tell yet as they hurdle down the tracks during the moonless night toward election day.

Both trains fear being derailed before November 8. Many obstacles still remain for both before the race is over and they can discharge their passengers to cast their votes.

When the votes are counted and announced we'll discover which train - the red (Fascists) or blue (Democrats) -prevailed and what that means for America. Democracy or Fascism?  

As it stands, hopefully the good guys (that would be the democrats) prevail like in those old silent films I mentioned earlier. 

Sunday, October 16, 2022

A Call to Today's Younger Generation for Help from an Old Hippie

I'm passing on a sacred mantel today to America's youth who are old enough to vote in the upcoming midterms.

This mantel was woven by young Americans in the 70s who united to protest against the war in Vietnam and on marijuana. We declared war on a criminally flawed administration.

We gathered in in streets of San Francisco, New York, Oakland, and Berkeley to protest an administration that we felt was morally corrupt. Many Americans mocked us and called us stupid hippies because we believed in peace, not war.

But we stood firm.

We weren't going to be bullied by the crooked regime that used all of its powers to hunt us down and jail us with fake charges and laws attempting to take away our freedoms. 

Fun fact: all hippies didn't have long hair.

Remember the Mayday Protest in 1971 when citizens used the nation's capital as the ground on which to stage their disapproval?

It was a glorious day. A riot of youth and flowers where thousands of hippies camped out in masses on the edges of downtown Washington on May 2, 1971.

They chose places that enabled them to spread out along the entrances to the city as quickly as possible the next day.

Traffic was stopped for a few hours.

Later former CIA director Richard Helms remarked that Mayday was "one of the things that was putting increasing pressure on the Nixon administration to try and find some way to get out of the war."

I recall the rallies (Hell No! We won't go!) and the long-haired young men and women with flowers in their hair who at the time didn't realize the important role they each played in American history.

They were doing what they believed was right. They fought for individual freedoms and equality among races.

I look in the mirror today and I still see that long-haired rebel that believes in personal freedoms. But that was over 50 years ago and I'm slowing down now. 

I cherish my right to vote more than ever even if I can't physically attend rallies. But I'm worried that there's just not enough of us old hippies to lead democrats to victory in November.

All the election pundits seem to agree that the democrats only chance of not losing their majority in Congress lies with YOUNG VOTERS. That's you. The silent one's who don't respond to polls.

We know women are motivated and will turn out in great numbers because of the abortion issue. I'm counting on that. Still, it's not enough.

Campaigning against the negative headlines of inflation is an uphill battle for democrats which is giving the MAGA morons an edge in the closing weeks.

So, I'm asking all of you young voters to take this mantel - with its glorious history of making change - and wrap it around you. Talk with each other. I know you face numerous challenges in today's society my generation never dreamed of.

But we must not let Trump and his corrupt minions running for office establish any more footholds in our democratic process. They've already done enough damage.

Wear your Tye-dyed t-shirts to the ballot boxes or if you're voting by mail spark a bowl after you send it! 

Don't forget, your hippie predecessors also fought so you could legally smoke weed. The good fight continues.

As it stands, America needs you now more than ever. Your vote counts. 

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