We’re Toast

Coronavirus has killed over 1.01 million Americans. 74.2 million people voted for Donald Trump in 2020. What’s the greatest national tragedy? At least, we have developed vaccines and other medical protocol to control a pandemic. The Trump plague will be with us for decades and will not just affect us but future generations too.

After his testimony at the January 6 Congressional hearing on how Trump pressured him to appoint phony electors, Rusty Bowers, the Arizona House Speaker said a truly remarkable thing. He said that he would vote for Trump again.

Really?

You’ve just testified how Trump tried to override an accurate and legal election result plus you witnessed the storming of the Capitol fomented by Trump and you would vote for him again?

For a man who has witnessed 70 years of American history, these are very depressing times. While advances in technology, medicine and science have largely been mind boggling positive, our national politics, culture, civility, judgment and educational systems have remarkably declined.

We are a country that cannot agree on facts, science, history, truth and the meaning of decency. Civil conversations today? How? We are cursed liked the workers on The Tower of Babel, unable to communicate civilly or constructively. No greater example of this is to watch a session of Congress or a political debate. Or better yet, postings on social media…

So now there is a “wailing and gnashing of teeth” about this week’s Supreme Court rulings? Did you really expect the wisdom of Solomon to emanate from men and a woman appointed by a failed businessman, corrupt politician and reality star? Democrats, liberals and journalists expecting a different result are as naive as the stupidity passed on by the Court.

While I appreciate the calls to vote out pro-life politicians and pack the Supreme Court, to quote Carole King, “And it’s too late, baby, now it’s too late.” You are now at the mercy of a noted judicial scholar and husband of Ginni Thomas and at least four or five others who have an agenda to roll back social and racial justice progress for the past seventy years.

My guess is the current furor over the abortion rights decision will sadly dissipate. There may be some demonstrations and continued expressions of anger and grief. Do I think abortion rights will be the focal point of a national referendum? Maybe. Our national memory is very short. We’ve already largely forgotten the young children massacred at Uvalde. As their dust was scattered in Texas, so was our national attention.

Congress congratulated themselves for passing a paltry gun control bill that was quickly offset by the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down laws limiting guns in public places. So the Supreme Court is taking us back into the 50’s. No, not the 1950s but the 1850s.

I have read a number of books about Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. What strikes me is the utter denial of the German people as to what was going on particularly as it related to the inhumane treatment of European Jews and the curtailement of civil liberties for many groups. We seem to be in a similar state of denial. There is no unity. There are very few principles that we agree upon. Very few shared sacrifices. We are led by old people with their old ideas and prejudices. I keep waiting for new leadership by a younger generation.

Until this happens, We’re toast!

Uvalde, 1/6/21 Committee and Joe Biden

I seriously doubt that any major gun control legislation will be passed even with the massacre of young children and teachers at Uvalde. The news cycle on the story is fading with the pending 1/6/2021 Commission hearings.


It will be interesting to see the TV ratings and the reaction to the televised Commission hearings starting tonight. I remember how enthralled the country was during the Watergate hearings that ultimately brought down the Nixon presidency in 1974.


So far the 1/6/2021 Committee has produced and delivered compelling video, text, and testimonial evidence of an attempted coup by Donald Trump. The coup appears more organized than many have thought.


Joe Biden will not be the Democratic nominee in 2024. He is a placeholder President. A likable man, but he is showing his age.


I think there is a 50% chance that Biden will not finish his term due to health reasons. It would also provide Kamala Harris an opportunity to be the frontrunner in 2024 though any support for her appears very soft.


Maybe the dumbest trade in sports history involved the Cleveland Browns picking up DeShaun Watson. He is this football era’s OJ Simpson.


I paid $50 to fill my gas tank and I had a 1/2 tank left! That’s why Democrats are going to lose so many election races in November.


Political Potpourri

Why should I worry about the future? Political, religious and cultural groups are pushing an agenda to return to the way things were in the mid-1960s when I was in my teens. Intolerance, racism, sexual repression, discrimination, and religious fanaticism are making a return thanks to Republicans and the Supreme Court, though I’m sure they have never left.

In my almost eight decades of life in the United States, I have seen so much improvement in our technology, medicine and science. Sadly I have not seen the same level of improvement in our national character.

Studying American history after November 21, 1963 is like reading a tragedy. The previous four Presidents before that date were successful ones: FDR, Truman, Eisenhower and JFK. The next four Presidents were LBJ, Nixon, Ford and Carter. They were responsible for the Vietnam War, Watergate, Nixon’s pardon and Iran hostage crisis. Since 1963, we have been involved in unnecessary wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Starting with the Reagan years, we have hollowed out the middle class in this country and made it much harder for young citizens to achieve the “American dream.” The United States has largely lost the immense respect it had in the world after World War II.

Was the last great national achievement of this country the moon landing in July 1969?

So many Americans are content to being entertained as opposed to being informed and educated. Those Americans are like professional wrestling “marks”. They are gullible to the most ludicrous story lines and pontifications…

Today’s Supreme Court has the same credibility as a moral, ethical, judicial and intellectual authority and arbiter as the Vatican.

While many in this country seem to celebrate individual success stories, one senses that many in the public secretly revel more in the failures, scandals and downfalls of those individuals. The media like to highlight the successes but love to cover and commentate on the downfall.

“Next time the National Anthem is played, every woman and girl should take a knee.” Cheri Jacobus, writing on Twitter

I think that you may receive a more accurate projection of your money and finances from a carnival fortuneteller then a certified financial advisor.

Roe vs Wade Overturn: First Thoughts

A leaked draft opinion indicating the Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that guaranteed abortion access, sent immediate shock waves throughout the United States, as many Americans braced for a future without reproductive rights that had been established for nearly a half-century.

NYT 5/3/2022

First Thoughts:

This development is probably bad news for the Republican party as it pertains to the midterm elections. The GOP was looking forward to significant gains in the House and Senate in the upcoming November election. I sense that there will be a significant political backlash and rise in political activism among women.


I think that many Democrats and liberals who decided to stand on the sidelines for the November midterm elections will now get back into the game.


Regrettably this story will push back and minimize coverage of the war in Ukraine. I hope that Americans will still support Ukraine with the fervor that they have shown so far.


This purported decision by the Supreme Court will further deepen the cultural, political and social rifts that plagued this country. I fear there will be political violence and terrorism created by this decision.


This decision will spur further discussion on how to limit the Supreme Court’s powers and also bring back ideas on increasing the size of the Court. I don’t believe that any of these discussions will generate any results.

Senescence Round 6

For older guys, Pickleball: Exercise = Viagra: Sex

Ukraine: Their legislators are dodging bullets.
USA: Our GOP legislators are dodging ballots.

Hollywood: A slap results in one suffering a 10 year ban from the Academy of Arts and Sciences
Washington: An attempted overthrow of the government results in one being the favorite for the GOP nomination for President in 2024

I am a hoarder of cluttered life experiences and emotional baggage including insults remembered, disappointments, unfulfilled expectations, envies, failures and missed opportunities. Time to declutter…

My most irrational belief is that people should act and think like I do.

Most men should be ending their political careers at age 70 not beginning or renewing it.

Voters are doing a poor job of eliminating politicians whose ages may be less than 70 but so are their IQs.

In their teens and 20s, baby boomers crammed to study for exams and finish class papers. In their 60s and older, baby boomers now cram to complete their bucket list while they are still healthy and active.

In their teens and twenties, baby boomers pulled “all nighters” which was staying up all night to study or finish papers. In their 60s and older, all nighters usually represent the hours between 10 p.m and 7 a.m. where baby boomers try to get a good night sleep.

Resonance

Words, phrases, ideas and thoughts of resonance…

“Moving on, after all, is the favorite American activity. And technology has exacerbated our twitchy consciousness and sensationalist culture. We now live in a world of nothing but distractions, with a blizzard of stimuli.”
Kim and Pete, or Vladimir and Volodymyr? NYT Maureen Dowd 4/10/22

“Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson today became the first Black woman to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, in case you’re wondering why the flag over the Fox News building is at half-staff.” — SETH MEYERS

“Today’s today’s housing market has become a game of musical chairs due mostly to the significant inventory shortage,” said Ken H Johnson a real estate economist at Florida Atlantic university. “No one wants to be holding equity, but the trade-offs, moving to a lower cost part of the country, overpaying to own or over paying to rent, are not very attractive.”

“For years, exercise scientists tried to quantify the ideal “dose” of exercise for most people. They finally reached a broad consensus in 2008 with the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which were updated in 2018 after an extensive review of the available science about movement, sitting and health. In both versions, the guidelines advised anyone who was physically able to accumulate 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, and half as much if it is intense.”

Is 30 Minutes of Exercise a Day Enough? NYT Gretchen Reynolds 4/6/22

“Liberalism’s most important selling point remains the pragmatic one that has existed for centuries: its ability to manage diversity in pluralistic societies. Yet there is a limit to the kinds of diversity that liberal societies can handle. If enough people reject liberal principles themselves and seek to restrict the fundamental rights of others, or if citizens resort to violence to get their way, then liberalism alone cannot maintain political order. And if diverse societies move away from liberal principles and try to base their national identities on race, ethnicity, religion, or some other, different substantive vision of the good life, they invite a return to potentially bloody conflict. A world full of such countries will invariably be more fractious, more tumultuous, and more violent.”

A Country of Their Own:Liberalism Needs the Nation Foreign Affairs Francis Fukuyama

Who is our Zelinskyy?

We exist in a game of lifelong dodgeball. Life throws a lot of challenges and problems where we have to bob, weave, duck and adjust. However well we dodge what is thrown at us, the last throw always hits us and eliminates us from the game.

Antidotes for anxiety and depression: a warm shower, a long walk, favorite music, and leafing through old family pictures.

I had a conversation with my 95-year-old uncle a week or so ago. He mentioned to me that he never feels angry anymore. He views it as a waste of time and given how short of time he may have left, he has downsized useless emotions and feelings. Anger does seem to be one of the top items that all of us should downsize no matter what our age.

If I had a choice and given the unity and bravery of the people and leadership in Ukraine, would I prefer to identify myself as an American? Or as a Ukrainian?

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) at Trump’s Save America Rally in Commerce, Georgia tonight: “And you know what? Pete Buttigieg can take his electric vehicles and his bicycles and he and his husband can stay out of our girls’ bathrooms.” The crowd actually applauded this line…

List of women (Trumpunts) who have me reaching on my remote for the Power Off, mute or change channel buttons…
Marjorie Taylor Greene
Lauren Boebert
Ginni Thomas
Laura Ingraham
Jeanne Pirro
Kayleigh McEnany
Maria Bartiromo
Marsha Blackburn
Toni Lahren
Candace Owens
Ann Coulter
Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Winter Ponderings

Stupidity has spread faster than omicron in this country. Omicron is transmitted by air, stupidity spreads generally by social media and right wing blogs and networks.

Omicron’s ill effects are mild and short term (for the vaccinated). Stupid’s effects are long term and spur many and various variants, most uncontrolled and impervious for remedy.

January 6, 2021 is a metaphorical “Fort Sumter” on the current civil war in the United States.

Does anyone think long-term today? Companies and their shareholders don’t. Politicians don’t. Sports franchises don’t. We live in an era of instant gratification. Many if not most of the public demand instant results. A first year coach in any sport gets critical comments from his team’s fanbase if the wins and losses aren’t to their exaggerated expectations.

My description of a woman I know: “She is as cold as a blizzardly blustery late January sundown in Buffalo…”

At age 69, I should have developed an immunity towards being disappointed and hurt. I have not. While I am more philosophical about experiencing those emotions, I have not developed an antibody for the sadness I feel.

Observations that I have read and found worthy of repeat…

Having been retired for about three years, I look back on my “career” in various positions as defining a job as an inconvenient interruption between weekends. Phil from Philadelphia (comment on NYT article Public Displays of Resignation: Saying ‘I Quit’ Loud and Proud)

“It is simple: depending on others is misery; depending on yourself is power.”
—Robert Greene, The Daily Laws

“To keep Trump and his epigones away from high office, it isn’t enough to have the moral high ground. It’s like something Adlai Stevenson supposedly said once when a voter told him that every thinking person was on his side. “I’m afraid that won’t do,” he replied. “I need a majority.” Democracy needs a majority.” (Bret Stephens NYT Covid 3.0, Biden 2.0 and Trump Number …1/10/22)