A Brief History of the World, Winston Smith edition

First, according to astrophysicists, there was nothing. Nada. Zilch. Tabula rasa. Then that nothingness somehow exploded. Can you say big bang? Congratulations! To, uh, whatever produced the big bang, as it gave birth to what is referred to as the universe. According to scientific investigation, that was approximately 13.8 billion years ago. Then, around 13 billion years ago, the first stars begin to burn, their glow taking its sweet time to reach…well “us”; but let’s not get too far ahead here since “us” at this point in the life of the universe is still WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY off.

Moving on, about 4.6 billion years ago our solar system begins to come together and with it the birth our life-sustaining sun. Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and thus one of the charter members of our universe, which early on had no stars or planets. Stars were forged from atoms of hydrogen and helium, while new chemical elements were created inside the dying stars (birth and death, it’s inescapable, eh?). Planets and moons formed from blobs of ice and dust using these new chemicals and elements, and the first living cell evolved in the rich chemical environments of rocky planets.

Then, 3.8 billion years ago, comes the earliest forms of life on our very special planet we call Earth. These were mostly single cell life forms. Not too sophisticated but, hey, back then they were the entire show. And that “show” was a long-running production, with virtually zero competition for attention for the next 3.2 billion years. Okay, so let’s do the math: 3.2 billion from 3.8 billion=600 million , as in years ago, larger life forms appear. Those bigger living things had the stage for a mere 593 million (or so) years, when ‘only” 7 million years back our human lineage splits from that of the Chimpanzee. That “break-away” from the chimp world, over the next 5 million years, produced the–ta da!–homo erectus. This new “standing man” then becomes the species known as Homo sapiens, a classification that is marked at about at 200,000 years ago. Hey, from Big Bang to standing man. In a mere 4 billion, 599 million, 999.8 thousand years.

Or, in just three paragraphs on this blog entry.

A brief history, okay?

Standing man hasn’t always had it easy, though. Life was rough and tumble. Maslow’s pyramid of ascending needs would have to have several sub-basements to signify the ordeal of simply staying alive back in that day. Today’s homeless population live elite lifestyles compared to Homo neanderthalensis. Basic food and shelter? Life was always a bitch, no doubt. And then , as already noted, they would die. But enough of standing man got off his/her feet to copulate and Homo sapiens endured, right through the last ICE AGE, some 10,000 years ago. After that frosty kick in the loin cloth-covered asses of our species by the forces of nature, it was but 5,000 years ago that cities began to appear on the planet. 3,000 years later, standing man had developed its survival instincts and desire to be the masters of their–and other’s–domains, with the Han and Roman empires. Little by little, by about 500 years ago, exploration and discovery by our species started to link the world together. For better or worse. Mostly worse, in my estimation.

Formal knowledge, the refinement of arts and sciences, elevated our human place on planet earth. In the past 150 years industrialization has given us railroads, jet airplanes, radio and television and space travel. Just 50 years ago we landed on the moon, an event that for a brief moment in time, was at once inspirational and mesmerizing in its realization, and as such, transcended race, ethnicity, or nationality in a most powerful and positive sense of shared pride in our humanity. And it was quite a momentary antidote to a world in which over the previous 200 or so years having been marred by revolutionary wars here and abroad, the U.S.civil war, World Wars I & II, (the latter of which produced an another awesome, if not a Kumbaya, event called the creation–and deployment–of the atomic bomb), the Korean and Vietnam wars, and at this point in time bloodshed far and wide. More empires. Less humanism.

Now, here we are early in the first month of year 2019. Unless you are one of the Homo sapiens that has succumbed to a de-evolutionary modus operandi, and cannot think on your own, unable to truly engage your brain, not able to determine basic right from wrong, nor distinguish a stone cold fact from an inference to a bald face lie, you might have heard about, and perhaps become concerned for our planet, all 4.6 billion years old as it is. What am I getting at? Well, while the Big Bang theory says we came from nothing, (go figure) ever since, and as been alluded to earlier, all forms of life on this planet come and go. You know, born to die. In comparison to mother earth, we are all around for a nano second of a wee smaller nanosecond of a fraction of a fraction of a blink of an eye. Hope to live to be 110? No different. By the time you were born to your demise, you (all of us, okay?) relatively speaking were barely here at all! But reproduction keeps humankind around, whether one is using that brain very well or not. Among the scientists whom are most involved with the life span of our planet–which, mind you, is inevitably as with all else, going to die–they assert we have reached an “existential crisis”. It’s called climate change. And the virtual consensus of climate scientists is that our planet is sick. Very sick. Human activity is hastening our planet’s demise–and standing man and woman will eventually pass away when the sphere beneath our feet no longer can support itself, or us.

What are we humans doing about this crisis? Apparently not much. Certainly not nearly enough. In the decade that ran from 1979-1989 we had an excellent opportunity to solve this climate crisis. The world’s major powers came within several signatures of endorsing a binding, global framework to reduce carbon emissions–far closer than we have ever come since. During those years, the conditions for success could not have been more favorable. The obstacles we blame for that inaction are still emerging. But now, as back then, the only thing standing in the way of saving the planet is…ourselves.

And by ourselves, I include a particular person who is an avowed science-denier when it comes to looming climate collapse: this person is deeply, profoundly flawed. Okay, nobody is perfect but…this person is a sociopath. This person is a racist. Indeed, he is a white supremacist. He is a misogynist. A homophobe. A xenophobe. A failed businessman. A con man. As bad as all that is, the worst part is he has been allowed to be the President of our country. Oh, and one who may have colluded with Mother Russia and its evil strongman, V. Putin, during his campaign. This man is not helping with much except to create chaos and consternation amongst critical thinkers. Sadly, this person has followers. I call them “pod people” (after the people in Invasion of the Body Snatchers whose beings are overtaken by insidious pods being slipped near them as they slumbered, to awake and become zombie like automatons in the grip of alien forces). Today’s Pod People have brains, but they are a waste of gray matter. Podsters don’t seem to care about anything but what their “leader” thinks and does. But more than any creepy flaw he has clearly displayed, it’s that science-denying one that is the most dangerous here, in 2019.

Sadly, in my informed, personal opinion, it may be 2019, but I’m beginning to feel as though it is really 1984. As in the dystopian world penned by George Orwell in 1949, shortly after the carnage of World War II. In it, Orwell created Big Brother. A glossary of terms from that seminal novel would include, doublethink, hate week, newspeak, speakwrite, thought police, and thoughtcrime. Doesn’t sound like a Disney narrative, eh?Now, I am not saying we are actually immersed in Orwell’s nightmare vision of the future, as he saw it back in 1949, but there are indications that, since our current occupant of the White House took residence there in January of 2017, it certainly sounds and seems as though we are getting closer to an Orwellian nightmare than safely secured from any such approximation of it.

For example, a few nights ago, the corporate, mainstream media once again demonstrated its collusion in this country’s ever-increasing descent into creepy, dark political cynicism. How so? By granting a prominent platform for the dissemination of blatant propaganda and fear mongering by the above alluded to White House denizen.

The various major media outlets, both broadcast and cable, were asked to permit this person, who has been clearly and credibly identified as a bona-fide, dissembling demagogue to speak to we the people. The heads of these news outlets could not possibly have acted any more irresponsibly by agreeing to provide prime-time coverage for this person and his intended reason for seeking their assistance. After all, he was not addressing the vital–and ever more desperate–need for climate action. Of course not. He, at best, willfully denies the reality of climate change, or actually is unable to process the credible evidence that has been around for-as noted–several decades by now. He wasn’t talking about making healthcare more affordable for all of we the people, nor was he addressing the need for more affordable means of getting a college education. He wasn’t announcing a plan to address re-building our rotting national infrastructure, or creating a living wage policy to help the average person make ends meet without working two or more jobs.

No, he was give the national airwaves to potentially enter into the living rooms–Little Brother?–of every household, to demand several billion dollars for a “wall” to separate the U.S. from its neighboring countries to the south. He claimed–without evidence– that the border is not secure, and that those coming here included rapists, murderers, drug dealers and terrorists. All while our federal government has been shut down for almost three weeks as a means of showing he means business.

The Orwellian part of his being on the airwaves so pervasively is that there was no obligation on the part of the media to grant him time to spew his nonsense, all of which is at the expense of that evidence-based existential crisis known as the climate crisis that increasingly threatens our planet. The heads of each of those major media outlets could have easily declared his request as being so blatantly a political stunt that they could not possibly be so irresponsible as to let him have the airwaves to advance its unworthiness. The fact that they didn’t is extremely disturbing.

Orwell’s book, by the way, has become something of a new best seller in the past couple of years. Art imitates life? Ugh. Well, we’re not that far gone yet, but the media created this orange-hued occupant of the White House, and it could destroy him just as easily. We don’t have to listen to him even if the media continues to provide a platform for further prevarication, division and hate speech. But we shouldn’t have to willfully ignore what should never have been allowed to become a reality in the first place. What happened on Tuesday evening was a dangerous symptom of incipient Orwellianism, in my estimation.

After 4.6 billion years, here we are, my fellow Homo sapiens. We are the problem. Of course we are. We must have asked for this or else why has it become a reality? When did basic right and wrong become so jumbled in so many people’s minds? How can we be so easily led astray? Who and what are we paying attention to? So, as mother earth continues to wheeze and convulse, the clock is ticking. You can take time out for a break, but you can’t take a break from time, right? I’d say, time to take a break from taking break from thinking about the present and the future. You can change the dial, or turn off that tv, leave cyberspace and connect with reality. I mean, can’t we do better than this? This is what we have evolved into since leaving ChimpWorld?

4.6 billion years from nothing to the moon and back. And it was televised! Now, our media has become a tool for misinformation, disinformation, insipid celebrity cults, bread and circuses. It is everywhere and nowhere. Newspeak. Doublethink. Hate week. Thoughtcrime. Far fetched? Let’s hope so. But sometimes, lately, I feel a bit like Orwell’s protagonist, Winston Smith in 1984. But I’m hoping for a happier ending than Winston’s.

If your brain is critically engaged and your eyes wide open, I’d say you–as I–are all insipiently becoming Mr.Smith.

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Tis the Season

Good Vibrations.

Light My Fire.

For What It’s Worth.

Fortunate Son.

Spirit in the Sky.

Hey Joe.

Blowin in the Wind.

Heard it Through the Grapevine.

Were you around when any the above titled songs were being pumped out on the radio or in your crash pad, enhanced with high-end stereo components, right down to the diamond tipped needle that sent the sound to the Bose or Advent, Klipsch or other high-end speakers? If you were, you must be collecting Social Security by now. In the case of those who used these and other iconic anthems of the turbulent mid-to-late sixties to help chill out they likely had the volume pumped up at 11 on 10-max scale, a la Spinal Tap’s assertion of just how loud the sound can get. And why not? Music is life, especially in the very bad or really great times that are sprinkled along the way to wherever we may be going.

There’s just so much music from back when, and a lot of it never gets old, even if, as with the Rolling Stones band members now being in their mid-to-late seventies, the musicians sure do. Dylan. Paul and Ringo. Neil Young. David Crosby. And others. Rock/folk icons in particular. Some tunes do wear thin, while others never wear out their welcome. Right?

It’s quite a facile matter these days as far as wanting to cue up some moldy oldie, or just the latest from some 16 year-old rapper. Music is at our fingertips, anywhere, any time. If the performer can fill a void, uplift or comfort its consumer, whatever the genre, that’s what music can do. To varying degrees of genuine creativity, but beauty is always in the eye of the beholder or captured by other sensory receptors.

It’s Thanksgiving eve day as I write this. That means some really old, old, tunes are in the air. And I’m not talking about 60s folk/rock, okay? Different strokes for sure, and these tunes do not uplift or console me. Maybe when I was 5 years old they may have but now I can do without literally every last song that has to do with this current season. I’m talking about music that invokes that mythical Christmas spirit and the giving of gifts. Am I a Scrooge? No, I am not. Okay, I,ll cop to being an unregenerate cynic (and jingle bell jive brings it out. Mea culpa). I am, however, averse to any form of torture. The jingle bell genre tunes start a week or two before Thanksgiving. Torture! How about spending a chunk of time in the mall, the coffee shop, restaurants, other retail-service establishments that play a seemingly never-ending feed of every iconic holiday song, many with the original artist crooning away–can you say Bing Crosby, among others?–or even current pop stars who somehow are compelled to cover the originals themselves. Paging Taylor Swift…My guess is it’s another revenue stream for them. Okay. Money talks…

Christmas, after all (okay, okay, you non-Christians, the holiday season) is 99 and 44/100 percent about CONSUMERISM. Sprinkled in with family dysfunction (now in “knives out” toxic form if politics is brought up, I bet). Okay, I’ll lighten up: only 95% crass consumerism. Does, however, this doorbusting, super sale, go get the latest gadget or whatever, have to be accompanied by an incessant repetition of songs that, for those not even out of high school yet, likely have heard each a few hundred times, unsolicited.

It’s a form of torture as far as my ears go. You know what I mean. Don’t try and deny it. Auditory torture. No? What are you smoking? I try to avoid it every year, but there really is no escape unless one doesn’t leave their domicile, and one is quite selective on their choice of music not in the least associated with the bell-ringing, Rudolph, St. Nick mascots of this shopping season. I think of those who work long shifts at their place of employment and for those several weeks its all holiday jingles all the time, and wonder if some of them are ready to snap. Maybe some folks actually can’t get enough of this shopping season’s anthems. Maybe it compels them to shop, somehow. We are virtually conditoned to consume year round, but just past Halloween it’s ramped up by retailers beckoning the mall faithfull. Yikes! No doubt. It takes all kinds. Or do some just zone-in/space out when storming the outlets to grab that iPhone 14 or Xbox 1150xl or that bright, shiny bauble. Diamonds are forever, right? (even those used for the way back turntable needles, which, by the way, like bell bottoms, long hippie hair, fringe jackets, black lights/posters, tie dyes, and roach clips and head shops are making a comeback, according to the voices in my head. Hey more shopping options!).

Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Phych ward by Thursday? They’re dreaming of a white powder alright. Maybe not snow, though. Consume the music and the crass commercialism of the season. It’s the American Way! Shop til ya drop. Then shop some more.

But wait, in the era of on-line shopping, one can consume on steroids (or that white powder) and the transaction doesn’t have to be framed by background or foreground holiday jingles. That is, assuming the Amazon, Fed-Ex, UPS, USPS, or other delivery persons aren’t required to sing I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus along with their pit-stops.

Just as in some countries that limit their election seasons to a month or six weeks, it would be–in my worthless opinion–great to regulate the start of holiday music to maybe, say, just December 1 and end on the last strike of the 25th. At 12:00 A.M on the 26th, it will be a FCC felony to play any more of the well-worn warblings I am alluding to. Enough already. With serious fines for offenders. No more early November to New Years. Nothing in excess. Everything in moderation, as those Classic Greek philosophers urged.

Alas, I am pipe dreaming. Delusional. I may even be charged with sedition or treason, invoking negative feelings about consumerism. I have sinned! The FCC, CIA, Homeland Security and the even the library security guard over there eyeballing me. Uh oh…

I better get away from this computer and go shop. I know, I’ll go to a record store and go old school vinyl, buying remastered mixes of my favorite bands from those many decades ago. I still have my stereo system ready to hook up. Meanwhile, I’ll have my ear buds in tight and Spotify booming out my sonic white powder preferences…

…just in case the record store is playing you know what in the background. No retail place is safe in this regard.

Har har hardy har har, And a ho ho ho.

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Compare and Contrast; Single-Payer edition

Your humble WordPress denizen here. I’m slowing my output lately. Call it mental exhaustion, mostly. Plus some minor physical infirmity as the years pile on along with mounting doubts about the here and now. Not that I’m staring into any void. Well, maybe there is a sense of that. I try to distract myself with low, medium and an occasional high culture shiny object. That’s for the mental therapy. Physically, I’m still active for an aging Boomer, having played a lot of tennis this spring and summer season, and peddling the Trek as much as weather permitted, at times peddling more miles to get to a bike trail than miles spent on that trail itself in some cases. I’m not saying I do 40-50 miles on a whim, but I do more than lolligag along atop my 27 speed two-wheeler. 20-25 miles, maybe. An occasional 30-miler. No sweat. And it frees my mind. Endorphins, eh?

Right now, it’s not exactly tennis or bike weather in the Chicago area, but if creeping climate collapse turns a Midwest winter into a medium-to-light weight jacket needed at most situation, yours truly will at least get some benefit out of the inexorable descent into the environmental apocalypse seemingly foretold by those who study it closely. Give me 50s and sun and it’s off to the courts or the trails occasionally. Make the best of the rest of what’s left…

To keep healthy enough to bike on and on and rush the net now and then, I depend on a fairly healthy diet and, as every-so-often needed, my health care provider. You may be wondering, do I mean Aetna, United Health Group, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Humana or Cigna? No, none of those or their lessor competitors. Keep guessing. Give up? Okay it’s the Department of Veterans Affairs. One can qualify for this healthcare provider if he or she has served in our military, and received an honorable discharge. Having served our country during the Vietnam era, and after six years of service (2 active, 4 reserve) I got that honorable discharge. Thus, I qualified for the V.A. program. I am fortunate to not have any significant service-related disabilities, but our bodies (as alluded to above) are designed to fall apart one way or another. Kinda like any new car you might buy, it was created to ultimately go the the junkyard. BMW. Benz? Audi. Rolls Royce. No matter. Built-in obsolescence, as that saying goes. We humans don’t have, a la The Terminator, a hyper-alloy combat chassis. But I think you can order one from Amazon…

Now you might be wondering, where the hell is this going? Do I have a point to make? Well, yes I do.

The 2020 campaign for President and others who may write and pass legislation to address the needs of we the people is less than a year away. I consider it the most important national election in my lifetime, hands down. One of the hot campaign issues is healthcare. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both are insisting that a so-called single-payer healthcare plan (a.k.a “Medicare for All’) is the way to go. Of course, most of the current office holders of either Donkey and especially the Elephant affiliation have either snickered at, or flat-out denounced this single-payer format as financially unfeasible, impossible or at best an idea that needs much compromising. As in let’s make healthcare more affordable, sure, but let’s not take away the insurance providers who the vast majority of those with healthcare coverage are beholden to. Such as those companies noted above.

You may have heard that–factually–single-payer healthcare is in place in most–if not all–other industrialized, modern economies around the world. Here, where capitalism is king, the insurance companies essentially get to make money–tons and tons of it–off our built-to-eventually-break- down chassis, beseiged by any number of diminishments.

As a temporary antedote to this unavoidable endgame we have medical science. From a really bad cold to cancer, modern medicine can help, short or long term. Of course, one can depend on a strong immune system and embrace the notion that either the body heals itself or the body dies, but maybe a trip to the doctor would be more practical. With caveat emptor in both cases, to be sure.

I recently underwent a colonoscopy. At the Veteran’s hospital. Ugh! Nasty experience. But it is a procedure meant to screen for colon cancer. I looked up the average cost of a colonoscopy in the context of our for-profit system: $3,081. Sure that cost can be mitigated by having that insurance policy. However, an insurance policy has a monthly premium, sometime hundreds of dollars a month. Plus a deductible. And a co-pay. So, maybe a really good insurance policy will let the colonoscopy patient settle the bill for $500 out-of-pocket, maybe even much less, after the numbers are crunched. But that monthly premium isn’t going anywhere. It represents the “skim” in this sinister system that allows some insurance company CEOs to haul down millions of dollars in compensation. Each year. Tens of millions in the case of United Healthcare, whose CEO, with bonus and stock options “earned” over $21 million last year.

A true single payer plan, which is what the V.A. healthcare format is, has no “middle man” skimming money from those using its services. No monthly premiums. No deductibles. There is a co-pay, based on service-related health issues and/or income levels. Thus, some vets get totally cost free care while others, like myself, have a calculated co-pay. That colonoscopy procedure that averages over 3K cost me $74. The V.A., unlike private healthcare providers, is permitted to negotiate drug prices, too. Recall the Epi-pen (for those who may have a severe allergic reaction) outrage not long ago when one drug company arbitrarily jacked up the price for a 2-pen pack from about $100 to $600? I get Epi’s from the V.A. for $16 a set.

Sure there are far fewer vets than in the general population, but so what? Liz and Bernie argue that whatever the cost to our government to provide such a single- payer system would be financed by–finally!– taxing mega corporations and bizillionares their fare share, along with the significant savings accrued by not having bloated insurance companies and their minions of paper-pushing drones keeping track of that skim, and all the billing layers, or in some cases, finding ways of denying coverage for pricey procedures or long-term care (the outrageous “pre-existing condition” loop hole). The government (as in the V.A. system) would negotiate for cheaper drug prices, a huge factor in many people’s lives. Life and death in some cases. Pay for vitally needed meds or skip dinners. Insurance companies exist to make profits, first and foremost. They are not interested in anyone’s health. It’s an expensive, immoral, and at times deadly charade. If someone can afford top-tier insurance, then they don’t feel the pinch that millions of others, with bargain-basement, lesser policies, do.

You can be sure the naysayers against any single payer plan will rant about socialized healthcare!! Plus the cost (a false dilemma, as just presented) and how most Americans want to keep their insurance policies. Really? Okay, let them (those with the $ to afford to get sick, even really sick) keep enriching those CEOs. Others, listening to the naysayers who prefer the current for-profit system now and forever, get to file bankruptcy as a side effect of their diagnosis. Also, our mainstream corporate media will gladly assist in the demonization of a system that works in those other countries that guarantee healthcare for every one of their citizens, from cradle to grave (or urn). Fear appeals, the go-to that tends to lull lazy Americans into really bad, awful, absurd, dangerously stupid choices.

Given what happened in 2016, I’d say there’s not a likelihood of enough voters thinking past the propaganda and programmed pessimism that is part and parcel our profit-mongering, PAC-driven model of governance. And that applies to many other issues, from the environment, to education, to immigration and other issues-at-large.

I hope I’m being too pessimistic. But my eyes are wide open–for better or worse.

If 2020 results in more of the same political dysfunction–now bordering on outright tin pot dictatorial bluster, autocracy and insipient fascistic characteristics, then I can always get emotional support by getting psychiatric care, at the V.A. For a mere pittance. Single-payer style.

That is, if the VA isn’t privatized, as many of the Wall Street, marinated-in- corporate-donations office holders want so greedily, likely wet-dreaming its implementation. Along with Medicare, and social security, making it a ménage-a-trois wet dream. But we get the government we ask for. Look around.

Thus in 2020, dystopia or deliverance awaits. Eyes wide shut or…

… Where’s my very low cost, single-payer provided benzodiazepines?

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Send in the Clowns

A little more than a year from now, it’ll be the 2020 election, with nothing less than the future of our country at stake. Should the manifestly unstable, incompetent, crude, clueless and current criminal occupant of the White House somehow remain in office, the U.S. will officially be a combo of Autocracy, Banana Republic, Oligarchy, and Fascist enterprise. It’s all of that right now, based on the modus operandi of 40 years of ever more pernicious, anti-working class, culture war mongering, “Reganomics” mind you, but supposedly, the opposition party, the one whose mascot is a donkey, is allegedly moving to hold many of the party whose mascot is an elephant accountable (how appropriate–the elephant–given the circus that is led by their Orange hued ringmaster humanoid).

Hmm. That so-called opposition party…

Just this morning I see that Gloria Steinem is praising House leader Nancy Pelosi for getting the better of the self-proclaimed “stable genius” who has been demolishing all political protocol, and norms, and at this point apparently willing to do anything to keep the keys to the White House beyond 2020.

Okay, Gloria, but just as we all have our personal assholes, we all have our personal opinions. However, if Steinem and many other political pundits insist that Pelosi is outsmarting the flim-flam man, I have yet to see any dramatic evidence of that taking place. For me seeing is believing, not the other way around. Nancy has been averse to taking meaningful action from the moment others in her donkey party began to promote proceeding with articles of impeachment. Nancy, look! He’s done so many things that scream for accountability. Let’s get it on! Her rationale, however, remains that she (and the other donkeys) need to investigate more and find proof of impeachable offenses before pulling the trigger on such action.

Recall that President Bill Clinton was impeached by the Elephant Party for nothing more than receiving fallatio from one of his young, female White House interns. He wasn’t convicted by the Senate, because back in the late 90s, the public clearly did not want Clinton removed from office, even if he was a disgusting male pig. His approval rating was around 65%. The Senate realized the absurdity of convicting him for a non-political, personal dalliance. The senators knew they’d pay for a conviction at the ballot box.

The loose cannon from the Apprentice has an approval rating of just 41% That would be the mouth-breathing neanderthals who still dig his mojo. Ooops. Did I just insult some people? Personal opinion…

So, can we please get real here, Speaker Pelosi? Just today, certain lawyers for our Whack Man-in-Chief assert that even if he committed murder he could not be held accountable while in office. Recall, the prez famously claimed he could shoot someone dead on 5th Ave in Manhattan and his supporters would still love him? That was when he was running for office, mind you. While making an outrageous statement such as that while campaigning for the most powerful gig on planet Earth would seem to logically raise enough red flags that he’d be demolished on election day, we know that the media and 61 million people found his bravado to be no big deal. His “base” and that same media have apparently also decided it’s no big deal that he has blatantly violated laws while in office, including the emoluments clause of the Constitution, in and of itself an impeachable offense. But that is the least of his impeachable offenses. He commits one, seemingly, every day now. He threatened Democrat Adam Schiff by tweet recently, falsely accusing him of making up a story related to…to…wait…I can’t recall what Schiff said about The Orange Elephant. There’s just so much poop hitting the fan these days. Was it about the call to Ukraine asking them to dig dirt on Joe Biden’s son? Or lose military aid if they don’t. Bribery? Extortion?Wait, the “whistleblower” caper that has been getting in his face? He has openly threatened government officials who spoke to this whistleblower. Can you say witness tampering? There’s so many things that long ago cleared the “can we impeach?” bar! Misappropriating funds for his border wall without the approval of congress–as required by the Constitution?

The Constitution? That thing. Yeah. Right now, the White House doesn’t recognize that document in any way at all, other than tossing off a snark about it’s just an old piece of parchment. Then, in the next breath, president dumpster fire proclaimed that Article 2 of the Constitution gives him the power to do whatever he wants with impunity–including, it would seem, pumping some lethal lead into a innocent passerby. Of course he can’t be held to account, just ask his lawyers (wonder what law schools can brag on having taught these jurists?).

All of which brings me back to Nancy Pelosi. Still no articles of impeachment. Oh, sure, there’s an “inquiry” going on. And on. And on. Wow. Such bold, enough is enough! action on her part. There are Constitutional body parts scattered all over the D.C landscape at this point, and the perpetrator is openly daring her to do something about it. He taunts, rages, babbles, obstructs, invites foreign interference in our elections, coddles dictators and abandons our allies in the process. He and his party are an ipso facto criminal organization, as (most all) of the other elephants refuse to find their own backbones for the sake of sanity and this country’s reputation as a beacon of democracy, or what’s left of it.

But Nancy is outsmarting him, say Steinem and those scattered pundits. Why do we have to read such nonsense? I know that real, old school investigative journalism is no longer practiced in this country, and that this bull goose lunatic makes for easy (and sensationalized) headlines. But can we finally and officially invoke the powers of impeachment that the Democrat-controlled House possesses? I mean, how much more evidence does Pelosi think she still needs? Jesus H. you-know-who, but remember Nixon was brought down over a 3rd rate bungled break-in at the Watergate hotel. That was his Waterloo. A bungled robbery by elephant operatives.

The days, weeks and months just roll along here though, and we hear the same reporting on the action that is not being taken by the center and right-of-center democrats, while we hear so much about the guy who wants to be dictator/king. Who now says confidently he can kill anyone with impunity. Who has admitted to sexually assaulting women (the video of such admission came to light during his campaign!). Who is so garishly unfit for a job he astoundingly, recklessly, suspiciously, was given.

********************************************************************************

We aren’t hearing much about Greta Thunburg anymore. Remember her. 16 years old. Greta. Demanding adults DO SOMETHING to save the planet? That’s so not newsworthy now. The last debate by the Democrat candidates didn’t include a single question about climate change, the 80,000 lb gorilla in the room, but kept pretty much invisible by our democracy-destroying corporate media. So, perhaps regardless of the 2020 results, all this current dysfunction and incompetence will be a moot point. That clock is ticking. Loudly if one cares to listen. Mother Nature is speaking, but she doesn’t help pump up newscast ratings or sell papers, so she must not be too important. And she’s a she. Even more reason to dismiss her evident anger. So emotional, these women!

There are voices of reason out there: Amy Goodman. Jim Hightower. Tom Hartman, Rick Unger, Norman Goldman and the most feared man by any politician, Ralph Nader. They are actually reporting facts, and exposing fictions. But just try to find them somewhere in electronic or print media. And this is intentionally so. But they are out there if one cares to bother to find them.

In the meantime, kick back and watch the leaves fall. It’s Ma Nature again, just doing her natural thing. We humans have only been around since 300,000 years ago. Earth is about 4.5 billion years old. The reality is Nature doesn’t need us. But we do need nature. If only we acted like we do. Or cared.

To quote from Blue Oyster Cult’s ode to Godzilla: History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man.

Folly it is. As for our current political farce, a sad circus full of donkeys and elephants, one more quote:

A plague on both your houses!

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The More Things Change…

The lyrics below are from a song by the Quicksilver Messenger Service circa 1970. Clearly, they could have been written today. It’s titled “What You Gonna Do About Me? Check out the recording, whether you’ve heard it before or not. It’ll stick in your head–for better or worse–for awhile.

You poisoned my sweet water

You cut down my green trees

The food you fed my children

was the cause of their disease.

My world is slowly fallin down

and the air’s not too good to breathe

And those of us who care enough

have to do something, no time for ease

Your newspapers they

just put you on

they never tell you

the whole story

They just put your

young ideas down

I was wondering if this could be

the end of your pride and glory

I work in your factories

I study in your schools

I fill your penitentiaries

and your military too

I feel the world is trembling

as the word is passed around

“If you stand up for what you believe,

be prepared to be shot down”.

And I feel like a stranger

in the land where I was born

and I live like an outlaw

always on the run

And I’m always getting busted

and I got to take a stand

I believe the revolution

must be mighty close at hand

I smoke marijuana

but I can’t get behind your wars

and most of what I believe in

is against most of your laws

I’m a fugitive from injustice

but I’m going to be free

because your rules and regulations

they don’t do the thing for me

Oh oh, what you gonna

do about me?

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Hansen and Greta, a possible Grim Reality

Climate Strike! That was this past Friday, the 20th of September 2019. The “face” of this movement is a 16 year-old named Greta Thunberg, from Sweden. She was born on January 3, 2003. Ms.Thunberg is very concerned about the environment.

In1968, Stanford Research Institute delivered a report titled, Sources, Abundance, and Fate of Gaseous Atmospheric Polluters to the American Petroleum Institute.The report made clear the consequences of the climate trends it had noted, warning that if left unabated “could bring about climate changes” like temperature increases, melting of ice caps and sea level rise.

It took 7 more years before the term “global warming” would appear in a peer reviewed academic journal. James Hansen a prominent NASA scientist would not testify before Congress for another 20 years. So, the alarming evidence and what it meant, ultimately, for planet Earth, was scientific fact a long time ago in the current framework of Greta Thunberg’s remarkable effort to wake up governments far and wide to DO SOMETHING.

When Hansen and other climate scientists made their research available to the U.S. government decades ago, it didn’t take long for the energy companies to read between the lines of the reports proposed remedies, including finding alternate energy sources to fossil fuels and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. And thus began the propaganda campaign of Big Energy to pooh pooh the science, a campaign still being advanced today. As a result, the latest climate science reports are strongly suggesting that so much damage has now been done to our earthly environment that unless action to slow down and/or at least try to stabilize the negative atmospheric developments are put in place, the human species (and many non-human species) may be in danger of extinction, possibly within a generation or two into the future. The most dire predictions say that by 2030, if nothing continues to be done to address the scientific documentation of climate change, the drastic realities of environmental collapse will be a grim daily reality.

Is Greta going to make a difference? I, personally, think it’s too little, too late. Too little what? Protesting I guess. Demanding formal, official action. Storming the Bastille? Keep in mind our current administration pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord and is currently, systematically gutting layers of legislative environmental protections. Maybe some countries are trying, but not the USA. And then we have the media asking the question: who can beat Trump in 2020? Is that meant to be an ironic question? Irony lurks here. But never doubt our dumbed down culture, both popular and political. But that’s for another blog. However, that the mass media asks that question to an electorate evidently possessed of dubious critical thinking skills (Trump??!!), distracted by stressed-out living and soothing, mindless, touch screen escapism, it is an alarmingly relevant question.

Yeah, right. That media. The “legacy” media and now social media. As our worldly environment apparently succumbs to the neo-con, “free market” ideology of the far Right, profit over people/planet modus operandi, the idea that 50 years ago Stanford published its alarming climate report begs the question, why wasn’t this matter, factually identified, now so many years in the rear view mirror, given the spotlight in major media then? It was a report that certainly warranted significant attention with continual drum beating by the electronic and print media. The planet is dying?! Stop the presses! To say that the story was a victim of the aforementioned propaganda campaign by big energy to negate the science states the obvious, I’d say. Now, today, along with the psuedo-science that energy companies promulgate, the media has devolved along with the our atmosphere. The other day, the city of Houston was slammed with FORTY INCHES of rain! I didn’t hear or read of any correlation between that catastrophic event and the current climate science and its evermore alarming studies. The story is: wow!, 40 inches of rain! Let’s watch footage of the dramatic water rescues. One can use that example of the uselessness of the mass media when it comes to providing the most important information.

Similarly, Greta Thunberg’s story goes this way: Wow! a 16 year-old girl is the voice of her generation and demanding action regarding climate change. So remarkable. And she has austism! Incredible, no? Will she make any difference? Look, she’s speaking in front of elected officials. What’s the big deal about her? Oh, she’s only 16!  From Sweden! How bold. How unusual!

What the Greta narrative should include is the same Stanford report alluded to at the top of this blog entry. The story should be Greta’s parents, grandparents, and the other generations before her who should have been made aware of what was known over 50 years ago. The narrative should note that science has been silenced by influential, business-as-usual, profiteers (can you say Koch Industries) and thus it takes Greta (she’s only 16!) to say something. But Thunberg is the bright shiny object. What she is saying is lazily invoked by media, at best. And of course, because corporate media is implicit in our current environmental crisis, it isn‘t going to mea culpa now.

We get Trump and more Trump. Then more Trump. Then, wait, what did Trump say? Can Trump (wrecking the environment as best he can, as noted above) be beaten in 2020?

What the…?

Marshall McLuhan, also over 50 years ago, termed the phrase the medium is the message. In terms of Greta Thunberg, the message, as filtered through the various channels of the media is as I asserted above. Very little context and analysis of the real, actual, vital part of her story, that it’s getting late, so take action, PLUS the backstory of just how long ago action should have been taken and why it hasn’t been taken. Point fingers! This is a man-made crisis. Accountability as part of the take action now process. 

Look, a squirrel! Wow. Look, a cat video! Oh, those doggies all so cute! Social media? Russian hackers! Cardi B. Taylor Swift! Click bait abounds. What obscure YouTube “stars” have the most followers? There are teenagers making a fortune for giving advice via YouTube or InstasnapchatfacetimeBook about fashion or how to excel at Warcraft. Short attention span theater…

It’s been this way a long time too. Social media does have its smarter moments (Arab Spring, 2011) but the news cycles are now so short and facile that even today, having looked at the news feeds, there’s A LOT about Trump, as usual, and hardly any mention of Greta. Out of sight, out of…That was Friday, okay? What’s NEW? Beside what’s old: Trump. Trump. Trump did/said what? Trump and Russia. Trump and the wall. Trump and that…squirrel! What is easily digestible? People don’t need or want any context or analysis. If they did, they’d demand it. Right? If people wanted to save the environment, they’d just do it. And then the media would report on it. Why they would JUST DO IT doesn’t really matter. The media just reports. The reporting is the story. The medium IS the message. The media is the MASS-AGE. With legacy media or social media, one must ask, can I trust this information? Is this valid? Can what one reads or hears be verified by fact? Caveat emptor.

It’s Sunday. In the U.S. at this time of year that means football. Big advertising dollars for all the eyeballs that somehow, for some reason, just have to follow the action. And bet on it. Or sweat out their fantasy team’s stats. Lots of action. Winners and losers. The evening news in a major market that has a NFL franchise will spend extra, extra time breaking down the plays and the controversies and what should be done or could be done. The fans need answers! This is really important “news”.

Good luck to Greta and her capturing the media spotlight–for a moment or two. After the sports extra programs later, maybe there will be a special report on Thunberg. I mean really digging into the weeds on that story. What’s the score with this young woman? What is she saying? Why is she saying it? It what she’s saying true? Is the environment really going to collapse in the next 10-20 years? Can this be verified?

I’m sure CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, the New York Times, Washington Post, even the Peoria Journal Star will not let Greta down or the millions around the world who showed up for Climate Strike Friday. It’s a really big story, right? Release the journalism-degreed investigative hounds and get to the bottom of this story.

It sure is a big chunk of juicy news, and the story began decades ago. Not just since Greta got in gear. If the beginning of any story is left out, it’s not a complete story. Maybe this is all just a dream. You know, dreams have no logical beginning or end. One just has the dream, is in it some place, with no idea how it happened. The dream has a person floating about until it simply, abruptly succumbs to wakefulness. That’s a dream for ya, eh? But if the dreamer is about to plunge into an abyss, or be run over by a train? The dreamer is jolted awake. Unsettled. Whew! What to make of it? It seems absurd…

The Greta Thunberg story is like a dream as far as the reporting on it goes. Who would dream a 16 year-old could…? How did she get here? What’s this Greta want? Oh, never mind. What else is on the tellie?

The abyss awaits, my fellow humanoids. Will you wake up in time?

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Terror du Jour

Thursday, 9-12-2019. I usually try to mark momentous historical moments with a personal (and to some degree, formally informed) commentary of the then and now that reflects upon what history offers. Thus, where the hell was I yesterday, on the 18th anniversary of the 9-11-2001 terrorist attacks that quickly became noted as a variation on the Pearl Harbor attack that ushered the U.S. into WWII? Well, I was reflecting on 9-11 as I noted the day, but couldn’t come up with a line of reasoning to evoke what remains in my memory of that day, and what has transpired since.

What, generally, has transpired? There have been no other foreign borne attacks on our soil. That’s great, of course. Not that there hasn’t been other terror attacks, however. What?, you wonder am I alluding to? What terror attacks? You must be confused with another country. Oh, come on. You damn well ought to know what I am referring to. Hint: it has to do with the use of bullets. Bullets ripping through human flesh, borne by anything from handguns to rapid-fire, military style assault weapons. You should know by now how virtually weekly, at times recently even daily, come accounts of the now common use term “active shooter” nightmare scenario. At this point, educational institutions from K thru college have put in place the so-called “active shooter drills”. You know, just in case, well, the next shooter decides to act on some sense of disapproval or disappointment wherever one might happen to be in a classroom. And now we have those bullet proof backpacks as part of a response policy to these TERROR attacks.

However, these vicious and senseless attacks are not part of any Taliban or any Muslim-backed hate group. Not at all. Our mass shooters–the terrorists–are apparently always home grown, white males. I doubt that the crazed gunmen have killed more than the 2,900+ that died when the 9-11 attacks occurred, but consider this: As of right now, today, there have been more mass shootings than there have been DAYS in the year 2019. There have been 256 days (today is 9-12) in 2019, and a total of 283 mass shootings. The dead are in the hundreds. The wounded more than a thousand.

After 9-11, our response was to create the Homeland Security agency, and generally, incrementally, surveil we the people as part of sniffing out any possible sequels to 9-11-2001. I guess it must be working, since as noted no other foreign attacks have occurred. Hooray! In the meantime, our privacy has been compromised. A sense of anyone is suspicious is in effect, with tightened security, and “profiling” used to zoom in on those who might appear or act well, “suspicious” a la 9-11 terrorists. The most glaring reminder of how tight security has become is when one has to pass muster at any U.S.airport. Off with the belt. Off with the shoes. Stand in the scanning apparatus, receive a thorough pat-down, have your hands swabbed for what?–traces of explosive chemicals?–and maybe a rummaging through one’s luggage. Even children and the very elderly are not exempt from the process. No more O.J racing through an airport to get to that gate a the last moment. Those days are gone forever, over a long time ago (18 years, that is).

But what about detecting the next potential active shooter? We clearly do not have any effective screening for that type of terrorist. When El Paso and Dayton each had their crazed gunman terror attack within a day of one another, a sort of nadir had seemingly been reached. Could it get any worse? 31 total dead, dozens more wounded and the stories were so close together one might be forgiven for thinking the second was actually still referencing the first attack, with further updates. No, it was El Paso, Texas. Dayton, Ohio. And now the public just had to expect it was time for some real goddam legislative action to address this insanity. But in spite of such an outcry, exactly NOTHING has been done by our congress. After 9-11, the wheels almost instantly went into motion to do anything–even some unconstitutional action–to prevent another such attack.

As for mass shootings, which pre-date 9-11 as in the University of Texas clock tower gunman picking off 17 campus strolling folks in 1966, and Columbine High School and 13 shot dead there in 1999, there appears to be no will on the part of our government to protect the public from what–as already noted–has become a horrific, common occurrence. Shameful, I’d say. Disgraceful. Despicable. But there’s that gun lobby. And there are those bought-and-paid-for congress critters who abide by the NRA and are clearly not ashamed of all that innocent blood they must know is on their hands. Virtually, if not literally, all the blood shed at the hands of domestic terrorists. White. Male. Terrorists.

Do you feel safer anymore now than on September 11, 2001? If you are more than a handful of years old, with mass shootings occurring as an inconceivable quotidian reality. where is this safe place anymore? Not a school. Or a theater. Nor a shopping mall. Not a place of worship. Not an outdoor concert. It’s now devolved into not a matter of if another attack will occur, but when it will occur. Where it will occur might be just about anywhere. As I now sit operating the computer keyboard at a public library, it most certainly could happen here. Or has a library been shot up too? I have lost track of the places that once upon a time suggested one could go into and have every expectation of leaving on one’s own accord. Not in a body bag or by ambulance, with blood oozing from one body part or another.

Thank goodness we have prevented any further coordinated, diabolically plotted 9-11s from turning our world upside down. That was a nightmare of a day, writ large enough to garner the sympathy of most of the rest of the civilized world. As for the active shooter scenario, it may occur seemingly every single day, on average, but it evidently isn’t much of a blip on the radar of our elected officials. Of course they KNOW it’s a major problem, but hey, apparently it still, if it’s even possible, required to become an even BIGGER, more mind-shattering nightmare that demands action. Now! Like yesterday, or like back in 2012, when Sandy Hook had its crazed, white male shooter take out 20 six and seven-year olds. Little children. Ripped apart by bullets. I figured that had to be the nadir. A bottoming out point that would force a change in our lax and loony gun policy on easy access to absurdly dangerous weapons, change that demanded immediate action.

Silly me! Is there a lower level than what “nadir” asserts?: the lowest point in the fortunes of a person or an organization.

Where’s that thesaurus?

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Beating a Dead Horse

Happy Monday, guys and gals, kids and kiddies, and any precious furry pets that are a part of your singular or familia mojo. Here we are, just a little over 14 months until the next chance for the GOP to steal yet another election. If you recall, the last time we the people were invited to the polls to choose many an office holder, starting with the White House occupant and descending orders of political magnitude, 99% of which are members of either what I call the party of Murder, Inc. or the other major political organization I will call The Spineless Ones, the outcome was quite an odds-beater.

Harsh name calling, you may feel, but I am speaking on behalf of those who have the ability to see reality for what it is after actually taking the time to assess who is who and what they do and the whys and hows of their political sausage-making. I’ve been rather bleak in attitude the last couple of postings, basically saying that Evil is winning, in this still pretty young (infancy, actually) 21st century. The powers-that-be have brought the U.S. to a point that begs the question: what kind of country are we anymore? We seem to have become quite uncivil, to say the least.

Is there hope? Sure there is. After all, where there is no hope to be grasped, to cling to, to tightly hold in one’s heart and soul, then what’s the point of getting up in the morning? Hope for what, however? Well, many people hope to see an end to the acrimony, for a more peaceful coexistence, regardless of race, religion, gender, lifestyle or political affiliation. Sure, that’s worth hoping for! But I do believe the current Las Vegas odds still have Evil as a 3 to 5 favorite today and moving forward. Those oddsmakers closely study the participants, the major influences of their modus operandi, and set odds that are reflective of what is basically an irrefutable “tip sheet” on probable outcomes. The contest is a 2-horse political race, so there’s not a lot of sorting through the competitors. And, yeah, it’s 3-5 that nothing is going to change. The same horse will “win” again, one way or other. Why? Because the other “horse” has no game. It’s jockey has no spine, the horse under the jock is not interested in winning, not conditioned to win, not trained to win, or willing to make any serious effort at winning. The horse is as good as dead. How is this? I mean, how does this organization lose to a reality TV creature bereft of any substance? A prevaricating huckster. But lose they did. Yeah, I know, the loser got a few million more votes than the winner, but the Spineless candidate was so flawed and one-dimensional that millions more of potential voters sniffed the flagrant odor of the evil of two lessors and stayed home. Electoral math sealed the shocking outcome.

As I said, it’s barely 14 months to Race Day, and here’s what we have so far since the last race in 2016, the outcome of which has engendered much of that divisiveness (and hostility, and hate and, oh right, mass killings that occur on an almost daily basis) alluded to above. Try to refute my assertion, but you cannot, other than simply say this posting is just “fake news”. I wish it were. But I see reality. If you do too, you might agree.

Here is some harsh reality for you to chew on, whoever you are and what you may or not be aware of. Our current government, since January of 2017, after the “winner” of the 2016 election was settled, has taken action, all of which has succeeded to one degree or another: Caging migrant children, imposing corporate rule, destroying workers rights, rigging our elections, degrading women, gutting healthcare, gutting public education, denying climate change, decriminalizing pollution (again, climate change!) pampering billionaires with yet more tax cuts for the 1% leading the way, demonizing Muslims, coddling racists (literally labeling white supremacists as “nice people”) kowtowing to dictatorial thugs, profiteering on the presidency, flagrantly obstructing justice and I’m leaving some things out that I’ve lost track of.

Sounds like some Orwellian nightmare vision of a future dystopia, no? Yeah, except the future is now. Oh, you can still move about freely–especially if you are a white male of the species, but all are free to get up in the morning and go about things, okay?—-take the toddlers out to play innocently in the sandbox, walk the dog, cuddle your kitty, or your significant other, your spouse equivalent, or hit the sports bars and cheer for the home team, ride a bike, take a hike, attend a concert or a movie, a play, or just while away the day, maybe go to a mall. A museum. Your favorite eatery. Watch the idiot box. Go to the health club. Check the mail. Sure, on the very first layer of current waking life, all things seems pretty much the same as they were before the final electoral college outcome of election 2016.

But go a little deeper under that veneer of normalcy, and take a closer look. Listen more closely. Think beyond the daily routines. Think about the future. If you do, well, that’s a start. But how many of us are demanding change? Have you seen a wrong and stood up for right? Is what you think is wrong even right? Did we ask for this new “normal”?

Bullet-proof backpacks are now being sold for the little ones marching off to grades kindergarten and above. What?! No, that’s not the The Onion. It’s the New York Times reporting it. But not demanding to know how it came to be. Along with much of the mainstream media in its neo-journalistic slumber mode.

And if you do see what I know I see, do you sense any blowback against this increasingly unstable society fostered by an clearly nefarious government? Is there not any action, legal and binding, that can be taken? Right now? If not legal and righteous action, any mass rallies for a more reasoned, balanced approach to governing and its impact on our innate desires to pursue a peaceful place among the many of us, a mixed bag of race, gender, ethnicity, and spiritual beliefs? I don’t see any reports on any mass protests (unlike in France, and especially Hong Kong, with millions taking to the streets to vent their outrage). What about the opposition party, you know The Spineless Ones? Oh, wait. That’s right. They have no backbones, at least the supposedly empowered jockies who ride that party’s listless equine don’t. There are new members ready take the reigns of a fresh mount, but they are not given any access for real action. Their elder peers are apparently okay with the current choas and malice of Murder, Inc. But first, they need to grow that SPINE. Long odds on that!

I thought we had a constitution that set a clear agenda for one and all to live by, and by that I mean for the common good. You know we the people and our rights and protections from unreasonableness and ill intent. There is a Constitution, I know this because I saw it, encased under protective glass in a D.C. museum. However, I’m not sure anyone who really, really matters in either of the camps of Murder, Inc. or The Spineless Ones, has ever read it, or even if they did, have decided that its just a old piece of parchment and apparently fake news too! Seriously. Where are the committee hearings? Where are the subpoenas calling for answers and action to set things right? I hear crickets, not the gavel being slammed down as a call for inquiry and ultimate accountability. I hear crickets. No, not even crickets at this point. It’s that sound of silence, deafeningly filling the airwaves, while Murder, Inc. prevents any action as though it, and it alone, runs the show. Can you say Moscow Mitch.? I think he actually runs this country, though the constitution doesn’t spell that out, I’m pretty sure.

Really, caging children? A tacit support of white supremacy? Rigging election systems? Undermining public education? Denying affordable healthcare? Denying women the right to control their own bodies? Mocking the sciences, climate studies included? Overt union busting? Aren’t any of these well documented wrongs forbidden by the language and spirit of that constitution?

For now, I say I guess not. It’s just an old piece of parchment, folks. It reads all noble and just through its preamble and its Articles and Amendments, but it may as well be reprinted on toilet tissue for all the good it is doing with regards to those who are doing some really, really, very, very, nasty, dangerous and even deadly things as they go about “governing”.

If we now live in a country that is selling bullet proof backpacks for the kids, just in case an active shooter shows up at their school, why can’t we have our constitution on toilet paper? At least that way, its will serve we the people in a very fundamental way on a daily basis. I mean, think about it. Both Murder, Inc., and The Spineless Ones have been essentially wiping their asses with it for quite a while now.

Excuse me. Think I’ll take a stroll and watch the veneer of normalcy pass before my eyes. It can be downright Norman Rockwell-ish in mis-en-scene. I’m especially bewildered by the young couples pushing strollers, some carrying a payload per double or triple occupancy models. I look at them and assume they are blissfully unaware of the troubled times in which they all live. Complacent? Comatose? Clueless. Unless they endorse our current state of affairs, as too many apparently do.

…never mind. It’s late August. Here’s what is being profoundly judged and argued over: Are you ready for some football?!

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