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.

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.

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

It’s time to deal with this.

I have spent the last 3+ years pretty much out of the way given the travesty the current POTUS has brought to what was one of the most powerful and influential nations the world has ever seen.  This asshole has taken us back to a time over 60 years ago when the country was of one color, minorities basically knew their place and where people like Trump could manipulate, abuse and work around any sense of decency that existed at that time – which, in what is today’s terms for the educated and aware – was still rather uninspiring. While I hold Trump personally responsible for the “great again” he has foisted on this country, the real issue are the people who provide undying support for him and his ways.  The Christians (professed) who look the other way when he speaks of grabbing pussy.  The uneducated who actually think he is looking out for them and is like minded (but again, there are the uneducated).  The Republican politicians whom have sold their soul because they believe with enough time Roe vs. Wade will be overturned.  We do have the inmates running the prison, the crazies running the asylum.  Use whatever metaphor you like, we have no leadership of any principle, integrity or intelligence in charge.

Our situation today, as COVID-19 runs rampant and the daily task force briefing stands in front of a weakened nation basically providing no real or accurate information, is one where we are basically fucked.  Well, not all of us.  Some of us, actually the more aware among us, have been preparing for weeks, not waiting for our leaders to get their collective heads out of their asses.  We are not waiting for God to take care of things (or maybe given where this country is at the moment, he is fixing the wrongs and letting us know he is not pleased).  I jest at some level given I have been and will always remain a devout atheist.  I depend on my own intelligence and experience to tell me what is good and what is bad.  I don’t wait for others to show me the way.  In my sixty-six years on this earth I’ve figured quite a bit out and have been reasonably successful at it.  I am far from perfect but I do have eyes, I do have a brain, and I can see that things are not good.  Not just with COVID-19 but with where this country has headed in the last 3 years.  The reckoning is upon us, however, and the stupid and the sheep will be many of the ones that fall.

By the time this pandemic has completed it’s first pass thru the US, there will be more than 100,000 people who have died.  We can only hope that many of them are those who, even today, we see cavorting on the beaches of Florida, the visitors who can’t forgo seeing the Cherry Blossoms in D.C., the church goers in Michigan, whose Republican Senators have forced the hand of the Governor to not include places of worship under the mandate to not meet in crowds of 50 or more.

Yes, we can only hope that we are thinning the herd.  You can’t cure stupid.

Oh – last point – just got a notification on my phone – Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19.  Maybe there is a god.