Let’s talk about Assholes…

No…not this kind…

This kind…

And this kind…

Anyone who has followed my blog over the long years will remember a period where I decided it was appropriate to hand out the occasional “Shitbag of the Day” award. There were many to whom I bestowed this award, mostly Republicans around our nation. While many of them have since moved out of public political life, there are some who remain in front of the pack even years later. One stand-out who I would expect would easily move from his Shitbag status into the Asshole category would be a perennial favorite would be Lindsey Graham, always a standout who moves easily between other assholes without hesitation.

To be clear, assholes come in several different varieties.

We have the Southern flavor –

We have the Mid-West variety –

We have the Southern style –

And let’s not forget the West –

And they are not just men –

But let’s not just pick on Politicians. Assholes abound in the private sector also.

And before we move to the main point, I can’t forget probably one of the biggest assholes in my time –

But today, I think there is one individual who demands much more attention and leads the Republican chase for the biggest asshole of the moment.

Yes, it is Ronald Harold Johnson, Republican Senator from Wisconsin, known as “America’s Dairyland”; it is particularly famous for its cheese. Ron has spent the last 4 years kissing the former President’s ass at every juncture. He has vehemently defended him in both Impeachment trials. Last spring as the Covid-19 pandemic was rapidly growing, he argued that the economy needed to open back up because people die all the time – here is an excerpt from the op-ed he authored:

“Every premature death is a tragedy, but death is an unavoidable part of life. More than 2.8 million die each year — nearly 7,700 a day. The 2017-18 flu season was exceptionally bad, with 61,000 deaths attributed to it. Can you imagine the panic if those mortality statistics were attributed to a new virus and reported nonstop?”

Ron has also consistently dismissed the January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol noting “this didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me”. He has had no problem spreading conspiracy theories after he read the account of a single eyewitness during the first public Senate hearing on the Capitol insurrection which suggested there were professional provocateurs in the crowd egging people on. Johnson read from an article published by the Federalist that argues “agents-provocateurs” and “fake Trump protesters” were behind the assault on the Capitol, rather than actual Trump supporters.

While most of these stands taken by Johnson would easily move him into the category of Asshole (and a rather large one at that), just yesterday, March 4th, as the Senate began their effort to pass the latest Covid-19 relief legislation, Ronny felt it important to force the entire bill – almost 700 pages – be read aloud in the Senate chamber, an almost 10 exercise in wasting time. The icing on the cake? Ronny left the Senate well before the reading was completed which was at around 2am. He was likely back in his DC apartment, dreaming of large chunks of cheese. This last act of Republican stall tactics undoubted brings Ronny to the head of pack of current assholes so let’s all recognize him for who he is.


Now, as I approach the point of going on too long (apologies) there is one other area I feel a need to address. It could logically fall into the discussion on assholes but since Sen. Ron held such a lead today it does take somewhat of a back seat.

Okay, so the US is now at around 525,000 deaths from the virus. Assholes around the country are opening businesses and removing restrictions around masks and the like (see – you can’t get too far away from assholes no matter where you look!) but the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) has decided it is time to ensure their flock of idiots makes this whole process a bit more difficult and dangerous. Thank goodness we still have the Pope:



I would think that these US Catholic Bishops’ might just have some other larger issues on which they could spend some time and effort.

And it’s a New Dawn…

…to quote Gracie Slick at Woodstock, another time of an awakening starting in this country.

Not sure about the rest of you but today (January 20th) felt a little different – from yesterday and from the last four years. The feeling was similar to something I feel every time we have a large amount of “things” we cart down to our community’s Spring or Fall Cleanup. We load up all the items that stopped working or were replaced since the last cleanup, we take a swing around the garage and basement looking for items we really will never use or have no use for and we take it all down to our township building and and dump it all in one of the large trash containers never to see it again. Probably the best feeling is that our house, at least for a short period of time, feels lighter and less weighed down.

That is what this morning felt like. Our nation’s trash and the crap that is no longer useful has been taken out. Our “house” is lighter and the feeling of daily dread of “what is the asshole in the White House is going to do today?” is gone. Trump leaves in some ways no differently than he arrived. His truth is only his truth and his actions only fit this needs. At the end of it all, he left as he arrived – an egocentric, self-centered, integrity-free dickhead. He is now really irrelevant to most of us, pretty much what he was prior to being elected. The difference now is that while only those of us living reasonably close to NYC knew who and what he is, now the nation has seen. We also have the benefit of seeing who and what his family and followers are – needy, low-life grifters.


With all we have gone thru, there are a number of key learnings I think we can take away from the last four years.

  • When someone tells and shows you who they are, believe them. Trump made it very clear what kind of man he is – he has done it all his life. There is little in Trump to which one can aspire – unless you really like gold toilets. There are few, if any, redeeming traits and his character flaws are obvious. A man who grabs pussy, cheats on every wife, stiffs contractors working for him, lies about everything to prop himself up and values nothing but himself is not someone who has any of the qualities needed to run our great country. The man didn’t drain the swamp – he is the swamp.

  • Most of those Americans who profess to be religious are anything but. These “believers” were willing to sell their souls to the devil just to get a few judges on the bench. Not sure how any of them can look in a mirror or sit in a pew on Sunday without worrying about that bolt from above given their false prayers and allegiance. A surprise? Not to anyone paying attention but for us atheists, we’ve been pretty much in front of this for a while. A lot of the rest of you have some explaining to do – and not to me.

  • We have a country that remains racist and bigoted across the board. While we have made some progress in the last 50 years, we are far from anything that resembles what many of us have hoped we, as a country, are. We are still pretty fucked up and we have a ways to go. Luckily as the newer generations are coming up, we can see glimpses of goodness and acceptance that many of us in older generations never realized. The hardest thing is trying to figure out how after watching what this country went thru in the 60’s and 70’s (when I came of age), my “peers” (in the word only) never moved past where their parents were in terms of bigotry. If there was any silver lining in the past four years it is the reality of who we Americans really are, not the image with which we can pretend to be “woke”. We are at a reckoning point and it can’t be laid out much clearer.

  • In any group or organization we shouldn’t assume that “good” people will balance out the “not-so-good ones”. In the Trump administration those “good” people were usually described as “the adults in the room”, somehow making Trump less toxic. We see how that worked out. Let’s maybe not assume people who seem better aren’t actually pieces of shit themselves. Maybe it is just in comparison to the worse person in the room. Kind of like having one leg is better than no legs – no doubt a true statement but still pretty sucky. People like Trump surround themselves primarily with people like themselves – or with those they can easily manipulate to do their bidding. The latter is a quality we saw in both elections. For the want of something – or anything for that matter – these people will even support things that aren’t in their best interest. This tells you how important the need to belong is in most people. Attaching to the Trump camp gave identity. Not good identity but at least an identity. When you feel you are nothing, anything is a step up. Back to one leg is better than no legs. Similarly, these people still suck. This is important to remember because Trump isn’t the last asshole these people will glom onto. Trump doesn’t have the market cornered on “users” ready to take advantage. Josh “Douchebag” Hawley is ready and able to step in and fill the void. The lesson here…when you see a leader who is corrupt, rest assured that those closest to him or her are of equal integrity and ethics. It also works the other way – if you find an individual who is a lying sack of shit with no ethics, then there is a high likelihood their leader is of the same ilk.

  • Life is not a zero sum game. There is no basis to the belief that if someone else does better, you end up doing worse. Thinking that “I’m OK only if you aren’t” is a mental disease of the unintelligent, the inadequate and the do-nothings in our country. It is the product of a stated sense of self-worth that is, upon closer examination, a recognition that “I am really pretty much a failure”. To quote Shakespeare – “Thou doth protest too much”. You actually need to put some effort into achieving success.


  • People need to focus on their own business and stay out of the lives and philosophies of others. I think many in our country seem to feel it is their obligation to make sure the rest of us are following their rules. Related to #5, this is again an approach I see in people trying to validate how they have chosen to live their lives – whether they really live it or or it is really just rhetoric. I don’t ever have to justify or explain my “beliefs” if no one else can hold contrary or different ones. Again, a sign of weakness, especially among those who always take their cues from someone else – the ones we call followers.


  • You wouldn’t think it would be necessary but maybe it is time for actual law that says you can’t put children in cages. A law that says you can’t separate babies from their mother. If we can’t do that minimal effort then maybe it is time that we reposition the Statue of Liberty. Probably needs about a 180 degree turn.

  • Let us not forget – ever – January 6th, 2021. I’ve seen a lot in my 67 years and there only a handful of events (beyond personal) that rise to the top of the list of impacts. I remember the race riots in the 60’s. The Vietnam War demonstrations. Let us also not underestimate the path to an authoritarian government where personal rights and freedoms are really removed. Momentum is a hard thing to stop so vigilance and healthy skepticism is now a requirement.


  • Last one – The call for the Democrats to focus on healing division. Nice try but there is still a lot about which to be angry. Many out there put a good deal of effort into messing everything up for the majority of us. While Covid-19 was bad, our nation’s lack of leadership and the ongoing unwillingness to “fix” it but Trump’s supporters is the primary reason we lead the world’s countries – first world thru third world – in Covid-related deaths. We do need to find a path to reducing anger levels. However, a bit of anger is always a good thing. Now is not the time to forgive and forget – it is too easy to fall back onto the aura of “let’s just get along”. There remains a good number of reasons – maybe 75 million – to stay angry. Time to clean up the politicians who seem to have forgotten they are there to do the work of the people rather than just gracing themselves with the benefits of their position…as well to remind all that climbing up someone’s ass is a dual-edged sword. But it isn’t just the politicians. Those complicit need to be held accountable. Whether neighbors or family, let us not forget the assholes that enabled the last four years. Let us never forget the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. We should be ashamed.

But at least this is goodness. And those fireworks were amazing!

Trump – The Stain


Trump and his People

My philosophy is always to hire the best from the best.”


Trump and Business Acumen…and Honesty

Trump Steaks are the world’s greatest steaks, and I mean that in every sense of the word. Treat yourself to the very, very best life has to offer you. And as a gift, Trump Steaks are the best you can give. One bite, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about, and believe me. I understand steaks, it’s my favorite food.” Trump marking the introduction of Trump Steaks by The Sharper Image (2007)


Trump and Women

You know, it doesn’t really matter what the media writes as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.Esquire Interview (1991)


Wow! Just think — in a couple of years I’ll be dating you.” – Trump to two 14-year-old girls in 1992


People want me to [run for president] all the time … I don’t like it. Can you imagine how controversial I’d be? You think about him [Bill Clinton] and the women. How about me with the women? Can you imagine?” – On Hardball with Chris Matthews


I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.” On Jeffrey Epstein. Quoted in New York Magazine, 28 October 2002.


All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me – consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.” Ny Daily News (24 March 2004)


I’ll go backstage, before a show, and everyone’s getting dressed and ready and everything else. And you know, no men are anywhere. And I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it. You know I’m inspecting, I want to make sure everything is good, the dresses, “Is everyone OK?”, you know they’re standing there with no clothes, “Is everybody OK?”, and you see these incredible-looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.Comments about his ownership of Miss Universe on the Howard Stern Show (11 April 2005)


I did try and fuck her. She was married. I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look. I’ve gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything… Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” To Billy Bush in 2005; “Transcript: Donald Trump’s Taped Comments About Women”, The New York Times (8 October 2016)



Trump and Healthcare

I’m conservative, and even very conservative. But I’m quite liberal and getting much more liberal on health care and other things. I really say: What’s the purpose of a country if you’re not going to have defensive and health care? If you can’t take care of your sick in the country, forget it, it’s all over. I mean, it’s no good. So I’m very liberal when it comes to health care. I believe in universal health care. I believe in whatever it takes to make people well and better.” Interview with Larry King CNN (October 1999)


Trump and the Military


Trump and China

I know the Chinese. I’ve made a lot of money with the Chinese. I understand the Chinese mind.” As quoted in Tony Pierce (3 May 2011), “Donald Trump has read a lot of books on China: ‘I understand the Chinese mind’“, Los Angeles Times

I love China. The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower. I love China. People say, “Oh, you don’t like China?” No, I love them. But their leaders are much smarter than our leaders, and we can’t sustain ourself with that.”


Trump and Leadership

Leadership: whatever happens, you’re responsible. If it doesn’t happen, you’re responsible. Tweet (8 November 2013)


Trump and Personal Qualities

Written by a nice reporter. Now the poor guy – you ought to see the guy: ‘Uhh I don’t know what I said. I don’t remember!’ He’s going, ‘I don’t remember! Maybe that’s what I said.’ As quoted in “Trump mocks reporter with disability” (25 November 2015 by CNN)


I know words. I have the best words. Speech in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, 30 December 2015

Quite the Looker!

Trump and the Wall

I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words. Campaign launch rally, 6/15/15


Trump and Racism

I think I’ve done more for the black community than any other President and let’s take a pass on Abraham Lincoln because he did good but although it’s always questionable, you know in other words the end result.


Trump and Work Ethic

I love working. I’m not a vacation guy. Right? Like Obama, he plays golf in Hawaii. He flies in a 747. Hardball with Chris Matthews, August 4, 2017 April 21, 2016 rally


Trump – Ethics and Honesty

I have no patience for injustice, no tolerance for government incompetence, no sympathy for leaders who fail their citizens.


Trump – Fooling some of the People some of the Time

You can’t con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.


And what does this say about America given Trump was elected as our President and Leader? Nothing good…

Maybe let’s get it right this time around.

What Really Matters…


“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

  • The Oath of office taken by our President and every member of the Senate and House

For anyone reading my blog it becomes immediately evident that I am not a fan of the Republican side of our political nation…and if you are a follower, there is no need for me to restate the obvious. However, given the events of the past several months, and in particular January 6th and the trial currently underway in the US Senate, it is near impossible to ignore these current events and actions. I find the point at which our nation finds itself to be particularly disturbing – of course for the travesty that former (love being able to write that) President Trump foisted on us – but more so for the place we find ourselves this week with those Senators and Representatives we have elected to lead the nation forward.

So let us get the obvious out of the way – Donald John Trump is no doubt one of the biggest pieces of shit that ever walked the face of this earth. He walks alongside such notaries as Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao Tse-Tung, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Sadam Hussain, and let’s not forget Putin. Maybe a little less impactful than a few of them – less deaths on his hands (let us not forget the 450,000+ from Covid-19) but there has been no one whom has threatened the existence of the longest running Democracy in history than this douchebag. I could go on and on (and I have previously if you care to read my previous posts) but not today. So on to the matter of the moment.


The eyes of the world have been on the United States for quite awhile now and we, the usual world leader, have recently but consistently fallen short of doing what is “right” and being the role model we’ve been for quite a long time. There are some things that don’t need discussion as to right and wrong. Overthrowing our Government is one of those things and if you need to discuss it, stop reading now as it is evident your head is already far up your ass. Falling short of what America has always espoused is going to happen again as we, as a nation, now try in the Senate, an impeached president for the second time. It is unfortunate for all of us that the result from our “leaders” will likely be no different than the first time around Trump’s impeachment. Facts again won’t matter because partisanship rises above all else. It is maddening and I have felt the rage, the dismay, the sadness and the plethora of not good emotions I am sure many good Americans have as we’ve watched events and actions that have stunned the world. I am tired of the tears I sometimes can’t control. I am tired of the anger which comes out in ways that often feels good at the moment but really helps no one. I am lucky. I have a wife who, despite my anger and intensity, walks up and hugs me and tells me I’m okay. I have kids who sometimes struggle with the normal challenges of daily living but are good kids (if you can call adults in their 30’s kids!). I don’t worry about much at this point as our life’s efforts and decisions have brought us to a good place in retirement. But I still ache at times more than I can ever remember in my 67 years.

I will watch the farce of a Senate trial play out over the next several days. While I commend what the House Impeachment Managers have presented so far, there is really no surprise result waiting on the horizon. There is no cavalry that will ride over the distant hill to come to our rescue. Again I will remind myself about something I’ve said many times over the years – there is no magic. What we see is what we get and what we must come to accept as reality – we are now a nation that is severely divided and one that has a good deal that needs to be fixed. We can approach this in several ways. We can continue to focus on the Trump effect and all those in power who have subscribed to his unethical, immoral and self-pleasuring approach to the world – an attitude based on narcissistic, self-centered actions focused purely on “what is good for me is all that matters”. We can give this part of us extra time and attention. We can waste our energy on people who will never change. And to be honest, change requires insight and integrity and there is a dearth of that in many of us in this nation.

I think it is time to really look at our path ahead and find the means to see something positive. I know it is critical for me as I really at a crossroad. Anger is sometimes a good thing but it will take it’s toll and I have much ahead of me I really don’t want to miss. I am far from a Pollyanna and I don’t dismiss the grave challenge we as a nation now face. But we can’t be consumed to the detriment of all else.

Not easy but I’m looking for perspective. Starting at the top, does it really matter that Trump is acquitted or not? It would be nice if for no other reason it could provide evidence that our political process actually works and that partisanship is not the map leading our actions. But that is not the case, made evident by how much Trump has been able to get away with for four years. If convicted, it will really change nothing. His supporters won’t believe it. They will again see it as just an extension of the stolen election. If acquitted, it won’t change anyone’s mind either. But the benefit here is that we will all see what he did and that view will not go away…ever. Ever. Ever. That is a long time.

There are many complicit in his actions and time will hold them accountable, as will history. I find it positive that over 70% of Americans think Trump should be convicted. I will focus on them rather than the 30% who continue to consistently demonstrate they offer no value or goodness to anything or anyone. These people are unrecoverable. They are not worth a moment’s time or attention. They thrive only in a time of discord and disarray. But we now know who they are and the best thing we can do is pay as little attention to them as possible. Keep in mind, their power only lies in how much they can disrupt our lives. Trump gave them life and for probably the first time in their lives, gave them recognition and told them they deserved more. And in their usual style and want, they really had to do nothing other than be who they really are. But they remain nothings and they remain damaged human beings. I am confident that good people will continue to find these insurrectionists and most will be brought to justice. And there will be goodness realized as many of us shun these broken people and we watch their livelihoods disappear. I will get a smile each time it happens.

I am hoping this place we find ourselves will bring a new awareness. I am hoping we all recognize we need to focus on the path forward. We have a lot to fix and maybe this bottom in which we find ourselves will help move us up towards better days. In the larger sense, I believe in very little that influences or controls what we do. However, I do believe in Karma…and it is a bitch. I have watched it work it’s wonders for most of my adult life. It is one thing that gives me solace when I watch these people who believe they are impervious to consequence. For those Senators and Representatives who continue to support this lowlife fuck – you who are the weak ones, afraid to cross anyone in a position of power, who have no integrity – it is coming for you. You are the individuals who have allowed and enabled this last four years.

Trump was right in at least one thing he said over the past four years – Remember the day (January 6th).

Let’s make sure that no one – elected officials or the American public forgets the Oath of Office sworn to by those we elect.

An Alternate Reality

If this last seven months have taught us in America anything, it is very clear our country hasn’t progressed out of the 1950’s to the extent many of us had thought…or at least had hoped. The election of 2016, if nothing else, has exposed to all of us who the people around us really are. I don’t like most people as a general rule but I can now put a pretty clear face on it – if you remain a Trump supporter in 2020, you are pretty much a piece of shit. It is likely that you and I have relatively little in common. It is likely you don’t have a college education. It is likely you wear a baseball hat. It is likely you watch Fox News (using the term loosely). You believe that the 2nd Amendment actually gives you, a private citizen, the right to have/carry a gun (or many guns). You believe that cars made in the US are superior to those made in other countries. You shop at Walmart, love how cheap everything is but don’t acknowledge that most of what you buy has been made in China. You think that electric cars are a fad or a phase. You think that Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity are actually journalists. You believe a 6 pack of beer and a pack of cigarettes just improve an evening. You remain convinced that women are less capable in most “important” things than men.

“I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute, and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that.” – President Trump April 23, 2020

You believe that Trump is a successful business man. You believe kids in cages are okay and that 465 children, separated from their parents at the border and now will never see their parents again is justified. And you still think that Mexico is paying for that wall. You believe that Covid-19 is really just a worse version of the flu and only old people are really at risk. You believe in God and church but only on Sundays or when it works in your favor. You believe that Trump actually cares about you. You believe that most minorities only have themselves to blame for where they are in our socio-economic scheme. You think that wearing a mask out in public during the pandemic is a sign of weakness and an affront to personal liberty (please then take your seatbelt off when you drive). You believe that Government handouts are socialist actions…but you freely take Social Security and Medicare. You believe QAnon is real and based on fact.

“I love the poorly educated.” Trump – February 2016

I could go on and on but the reality is that most of us are living in entirely different and separate worlds. Where we live and how we have lived are most often key in how differently we think and how we live our lives. For me personally, I could give two shits about how you live, where you live and what you believe. I would ask however, you of different worlds, please stop trying to remake my world into yours. Stop trying to make sure that your values and beliefs are ones that everyone should be living.

I have a natural instinct for science…What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening…People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times…No, I don’t take responsibility at all – President Trump, whenever

Let’s keep it pretty simple – stay the fuck out of everyone else’s business. Keep just fucking up your life. I’m good with that…and don’t ask for help when your life has met challenges. Works for me.

The Problem with Power

Watching the events that have unfolded over the past several days should shake this nation to its core. Without change, we will not survive as a free nation. The problem of taking and abusing power is endemic and at its base are people of weak character, challenged intellectual capacity and a “follower” lemming mentality. Whether it be members of Police Departments, the Secret Service, the National Guard, the Armed Services, The NRA, Neo-Nazis, protestors who storm state capitals with assault weapons, these are people who spend their lives being scared, realizing they have little to raise them up and realizing they are powerless against others with influence. These are the individuals who see guns and a badge or shield of some sort as the means to “be” powerful or at least feel something approaching adequacy.

Can this be fixed in the individual? Not at all since it reaches down into the depths of what makes an individual. It started as children who never felt they made the grade or never excelled at anything. It is part of the psyche, it is part of the soul of the individual. Watching the “police” responses to those peacefully protesting in our cities gives a good view into many of these people. No, not every one of those in uniform and in riot gear but the thought (or excuses) that “it only a few bad ones” is wrong. It is not everyone but it is endemic in these organizations we have evolved to maintain order. It is more than a few which means the fix is more than firing a couple when an obviously horrific act occurs – as it did in the murder of George Floyd. These organizations draw a good number of individuals who see it as a means to feel better and to exercise strength that without their uniform and weapons just won’t happen. Power without earning it. How convenient. It is time to start over. Watching many of the police who took their level of intensity over the top with the protesters was horrifying. Shades of 1968 as we watched police using tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and their shields as weapons to actually injure people. This was not maintaining order. This was the look of a fascist state.

It is time for a purge of active personnel that includes anyone who has shown their willingness to step over the line. It is time to stop the Police Unions whose first job is to protect their members no matter what. It is time for real external review boards to monitor, discipline and dismiss. It is time that police unions be disbanded or be made to focus only on just job benefits not job guarantees. It is time that psychological tests and instruments be mandated as a means to getting any job where a gun and position of power over the community is present.

It is time that people stand up for injustice and wrongs against other people. It doesn’t work to set up racial, ethnic, religious or whatever slice of life we have as a focus of who needs to change or who needs to take what action. At this juncture, we all have a way to go.

And we need a President who sets an example and who doesn’t cover the fact he is a pussy with power plays.

The Whole World is Watching…The Whole World is Watching.

Chicago Transit Authority – “Prologue, August 29, 1968”

There have been only a handful of times where I have looked around and wondered what the hell is going on and how did we get there. I expect that many are at that point as we watch what has unfolded over the past several days. Aside from the unnecessary deaths that have occurred following and including the murder of George Floyd, most disheartening is the fact that if we were really paying attention, none of this should be surprising at all.

I am now well past 60 and three-quarters of the way to my 70th birthday. Interesting how age provides perspective that one never thinks they don’t have in their younger years. Not sure I’m that much smarter – just more experienced and more aware. As I watch what is going on in our country at this time, I can’t help to be brought back to some of the earlier times where our country seemed to be splitting in two. I’m sure it wasn’t the first time for the US but I remember how the 1960’s was playing out. While the long and arduous civil rights journey has started decades earlier, it was the first decade and time where civil rights was actually taken seriously – by some – and change was underway. President Johnson had begun the effort to move the country forward, signing and putting into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964, soon followed by the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Even for a young teenager, it just seemed right. But this was too much for many, leading to the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr and Bobby Kennedy in the latter part of the decade.

We, as a country, were also well into the Viet Nam conflict and the country’s appetite for what was becoming seen as an unjust war was reaching most of us as we watched bodies piling up – on both sides. It had taken it’s toll on President Johnson and was severely impacting any unity in the country. I was coming of age, so to speak, in the later 1960’s and I remember distinctly the events at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, taking place in Chicago that year. We all sat and watched on TV as Chicago police, under orders from Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, beat demonstrators with nightsticks as they arrested them. I believe this is where the idea of the “Establishment” leading to an “Us vs. Them” mentality worked its way into our young minds. This was just the beginning. It is now over 50 years since then where the chant of the Chicago demonstrators “The whole world is watching” was picked up by a new group in their first album – Chicago Transit Authority – soon to be known as Chicago, one of the most popular groups of the 70’s.

On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard fired into a crowd of Kent State University demonstrators, killing four and wounding nine Kent State students.

Another “Us vs. Them”. Demonstrations grew across college campuses around the country. We became more distinctly aware of our generation vs. theirs. For many of us, racial division wasn’t really a big deal. Not sure why but I don’t recall any issues in college because someone was a different color or because they didn’t look the same as most of us. We had bigger things to do. It was a great time – our generation had moved into a space unoccupied by our parents – and the Establishment they represented. Sex, drugs and Rock and Roll, so to speak. But we got pulled back into it on occasion – Vietnam kept us engaged. As freshmen, we sat in the dorm watching TV as the Selective Service Draft Lottery was going on, each one of us knowing that if our number (birthday) got picked early enough, our lives would be dramatically changed as we would likely find ourselves embroiled in the Establishment’s Vietnam War. We had bigger concerns than the skin color of those around us. But we were college kids. For many in the country, the impact of the Civil Rights movement and what followed just solidified the racism and hatred that remains strong today.

Most of us have labored under the thought that in the past 50+ years the racial divide had been closing and that we were always moving forward. Donald Trump has brought that idea to a screaming halt. While he himself hasn’t caused the hate and discord, he has given it a platform and the energy of resurgence. This false sense of progress most of us have had is probably worse than if the reality of race inequality was obvious all along. Maybe we wouldn’t have taken our eyes of the ball. Maybe it would not have been so easy to assume. Maybe more real progress could have been made. Maybe we should have paid more attention to the riots we’ve seen over the years.

Our great country isn’t really so great after all. Making America Great Again has been shown in all it’s glory to make it a return to a time of demonstrated intolerance. It isn’t really a surprise when we look at those most responsible for Trump’s victory. They are those people most threatened by change. These are the people who never really accomplished much personal growth. Some might be “successful” in terms of what they have but they are stunted human beings. If someone else succeeds then they don’t believe they can. In comparison to others, they always fall short so they need someone a few rungs down on the ladder. I still don’t understand the mindsets or the attitudes but they would likely have criticisms and reservations about me. Am I always right? Not by a long shot. I can be an asshole and I can be intolerant but I am an equal opportunity asshole and intolerant. But I can judge myself to some degree by looking at the children we raised and the adults they have become…and I think their intolerance of hate and inequity speaks volumes.

There is still no other place I would want to have grown up and raised my children but I am disheartened by what we have not accomplished as a people who have generally had it much better and much easier than most other countries. But this is not the America on which our values have been based for much of our existence. It is time that we actually need to get a leader who knows how to lead (where is Obama when we need him?) and we need that person quickly. Without leadership, we are like an orchestra without a conductor – a lot of noise and everyone on their own. Not music I want to hear. No matter what, the path forward, assuming we get our act together at all, is a long one.

But here we are again – The Whole World is Watching…

You Can’t Cure Stupid…

Report Card

No, this time I’m not writing about the idiot-in-chief sitting in the Oval Office — although he is a mix of stupid, malice and money – not a great combination evidenced in what we have seen and become in the past three years. But I digress.

It has been a great many years since anyone has found my level of patience to be something to recognize as a core strength, even in normal times. It is a trait that I think has served me well over my long career but has taken it’s toll on most of those who have been forced to spend time around me.  It is something one would think with retirement should have ebbed a bit. Well, that’s apparently not happening – especially now.

Where I will most typically go quickly off the rails is in the face of stupidity and ignorance. Unfortunately the opportunities to experience those ever-present qualities among our fine citizens of this great nation abound. In normal times, I am reminded that I should recognize that it is a reality of life and that stupidity is a way of life for many and that is not going to change. I get it but don’t really accept it – I guess then I don’t really get it. But at this time when we have been now almost two months into this pandemic, I again struggle. maybe even more so given that the stupidity and ignorance of many wandering aimlessly out in public can, and likely will, add to the death toll…and unfortunately it won’t just be the stupid and ignorant whose herd we are ultimately thinning.

Why this today? Well, I just returned from what I thought was going to be a quick trip to the grocery store. Could I have done without it? Probably yes, but stubbornness sits up there with impatience in my makeup…again something those around me would not debate. I can rationalize my trek a bit given I don’t step foot in the store without my N95 mask and disposable gloves, as well as a Clorox disinfectant wipe or two in my pocket. I should have known as I wandered up to the entrance and two people wandered out sans mask (of any kind). While the store was not overly crowded, I was astonished by the number of people wandering the aisles without masks. Like to say it was mostly younger people who a often immune from those things that knock us seniors off balance but no, many were my peers. I, at least, can still move reasonably fast. Most of these people couldn’t get out of the way of a launched germ if they tried. I was also amazed at the number of children wandering around with a parent wearing a mask but they weren’t. I know there are times you would like to get rid of your kid but not sure this way works…especially since if they get Covid-19, then it is likely shortly coming your way. For many of these same people the concept of social distance appeared to also be something said in a foreign language. So, here we are weeks into this crisis and it now dawns on me why the media and most every health professional on TV still repeats the same instruction time after time after time after time. It isn’t just to annoy me, it is for the stupid and the ignorant.

Beyond these fine people, I also was blessed to experience a number of the people working in our fine supermarket, Giant Foods in Bartonsville, PA.  Now I do realize that we are in a crisis and “normal” (whatever that is) is off to the wayside.  However, not sure why given you would expect that most of us want to spend as little time in a store as possible and at the same time the store would most likely also want us out as soon as possible so we can’t spend too much time noticing how many shelves are not stocked, they only had two checkout lines open.  The self checkout, where I’ll usually try to go so I don’t have to depend on someone else, was not an option this time around and there was a line, no exaggeration, probably 10 or 11 people long – of course all practicing the recommended social distancing.  So, using my best judgement I looked at all the carts in front of me and did a quick evaluation of which line would go fastest.  Well, pretty much missed it.  At one point, with two people still ahead of me and nothing moving ahead of me for probably 10 minutes, I did wander around to see if the cashier I picked only had one arm.  Well, she had two but, aside from not moving very fast, she was dealing with a woman in line with no mask or gloves (see previous paragraph) and, no exaggeration, probably 25 bags or so…the cashier was doing all the bagging – ringing up 2 or 3 items, stopping to bag them, repeat and rinse…and she wasn’t wearing a mask either.  She was making sure she stayed behind the two foot wide, bulletproof barrier the store had put up so there wasn’t too much room to move. In fairness to my lack of patience (rationalizing more likely), the two people in front of me and the two behind me also weren’t too happy as I could hear muffled comments thru their masks.  Then it was my turn.  Of course I’m not patient enough to wait for someone else to bag my stuff so first I asked her if she was required to bag (which she wasn’t, just laziness on those ahead of me) so I bagged and did my part to moved things along.  By this time, I was convinced my frozen items were already thawed and our dinner tonight was going to be a bit different and much larger than planned.

Now on a more positive note (at least to like-minded folks), after seeing those many who feel no need to protect either themselves or the rest of us, I will make what to many would be a vast generalization. What I’m seeing among those idiots unfettered with masks are the Trump Nation.  A horde of people (“deplorables” fits here) who aspire to be something or someone they can never be. They have been too stupid and too ignorant most all their lives to achieve much and now they have been taken in by that lump of shit in the Whitehouse (I guess that could apply to many there) who has convinced them that many of us have been looking down on them for far too long and he is their savior…how fitting with Easter just around the corner.  Just thinning the herd….

Trump_Golum1

Wow – A tough 22 months

I have been absent from posts here on my blog now for almost 22 months.  I was brought back to it given notification that I had a new follower who somehow came across my blogs.  In coming back and reviewing the history of my rantings, I quickly returned to a certain level of excitement that I had back then when I was somewhat prolific in posts.  Given all going on (and going wrong) in our country at the moment, the timing is good.

I had spent considerable time commenting on what, at the time, were my perspectives on most everything I thought was going wrong in our country.  Interestingly enough, most of the posts back then were about the current idiot in the White House (yes, I realize that most everyone working as part of the current administration could fit that description) but I mean that fat, lard ass, Trump, who single-handedly, has reduced the reputation of the United States to the level of those third rate countries run by dictators and authoritarians (Trump’s heros) around the globe.  My previous posts were geared more to my issues with Trump.  What has become increasingly clear is that our real issue is not entirely with Trump (although there are a litany of issues that reside there) but more so with those in our country who continue to vehemently support and defend him.  While I see less people with red MAGA hats and teeshirts walking around (mostly given they are really cowards when facing others), it is apparent that “the basket of deplorables” remains in place and our great country has far too many people whose level of growth – intellectual, emotional, social, etc., etc.) remains stunted and at the level that is exceeded in many cases by a normal 4 year old.

When I first started my blog, I was still working and I used the blog as a means to blow off steam – as well to possibly annoy some people who might stumble across my rantings.  The good news is on two fronts.  First, based on comments, I did annoy at least one or two of those who spent the time to read my ramblings.  I do believe it also gave me an outlet to vent – which I needed given where I was in my career and life goals.  At this point, I am now retired (actually five years retired) and my angst has pretty much settled down to a level that is considerably less and hopefully much more reasonable and tolerable – especially given the state of affairs in which we find ourselves.  I am in a good place overall with little worries in my day to day wanderings and pretty comfortable across the board with most in everything in my life.  I have spent most of my existence internally focused (the ultimate introvert in psychological terms), I can look back with pride on my career accomplishments as well as my relationship with my wife of 38 years as well as the children (now successful adults) we raised.  I don’t have too many day to day worries, I don’t worry about meeting my financial commitments at the end of the month and I am relatively healthy for a 66 year old.  We’ve moved into the grandchild stage of our lives and it is pretty great.

However good my life is, there unfortunately remains that part of me the looks around at where we, as a country, seem to be, and it is disheartening at best.  It is a travesty and a profound disaster at its’ worst.  It is time, I think, to return to my “blow off steam” outlet and start posting again.  Much to speak to and much to raise attention on.  If there is any doubt as to where I particularly lean, a quick read of my older posts will make it very clear.  I will admit I’m pretty stoked to watch the next few months play out as the Trump horde continues down the path towards impeachment.  Between here and Twitter (where I’ve been pretty much focused on Trump’s posts), it should be fun.  Stay posted.  In the meantime, since I usually post some sort of photo, here’s one of my favorites that provides great insight into the oval office idiot.  Nothing like a bit of self-awareness….then again, what good is a piece of toilet paper if it isn’t attached to a piece of shit.

TrumpTP

 

Donnie “Fatboy” Trump – Surprised?

It would appear it is time to come back to my blog and re-visit many of the same topics I’ve visited in the past.  Interesting how many blog posts I made regarding our idiot president.  The sad thing is how predictable the current situation really should have been – I would offer anyone reading to take a trip back thru my posts – I would like to repeat some of the points I’ve made previously but there are far too many that are relevant.

Recognizing I have often managed to get a bit long-winded, this time around I’m intending to be bit more terse and to the point – don’t think any of us has much time to waste given the debacle underway.

To my blog title – should we be surprised when we look at Trump and his WH staff – not really.  I have to think that some of this is the result of what happened when we decided it was time to take the special education students and mainstream them into regular classrooms.  Made everyone think they were the same and could do the same – I’m betting that Kushner was the AV guy.

And speaking of Steve Bannon – pretty amazing there could be someone working in the WH who makes Cheney look reasonable….

I will take the time to re-publish a few past nuggets of info –