Monday, December 28, 2015

The Great American Delusion

There's this white stuff falling outta the sky at the moment. The weather pundits started out predicting 5-10" but it's bargain time of year, so they've reduced the prediction to 1-3". Meh. There will be minyan tomorrow morning. 

Tuesday will mark the 30th day since my Dad's burial. To those of you familiar with Jewish law, it's the end of Shloshim. No more torn ribbons. I can get a haircut. I can fully return to the world. Ready or not, here I come. 

Honestly, I am glad to see the back-end of 2015. It's not been a great year. Oh, yeah, I've weathered it all in my take-no-prisoners-Spartacus-kinda-way, but it's not been all that easy, and I am tired. Really, really tired. Okay, it might be the letrozole they've got me taking for this cancer thing, but whatever it is, I am bone weary and would like to sleep for a couple of days....or weeks. Not happening. 

On the flip side, this has been the first year I've lived on my own. Not in my childhood home, not in a dorm, not with my husband, kids, or father-in-law. Just me and the dog. And although she's lousy company, I find I rather like it. Which is a bit of a surprise. 

The blog has had a resurgence of late. For a while, readership had declined, but suddenly, it's back with a vengeance. Emails are up, and frankly, pretty interesting. I continue to be annoyed with the new commenting policy over at the NY Times. They no longer publish opinion at 10 or 11 p.m. Eastern time, which means I don't see the columns until the morning, and then I don't feel much like opining. I opine best late at night. And that they keep publishing Ross Donut remains an utter mystery. 

Meanwhile. back at the ranch, GOP Clown Cavalcade seems to have stalled. I keep waiting for a policy statement from someone, anyone, and all I hear is crap fluttering outta their mouths. This really pisses me off. Not because they are saying stupid stuff, which they are, but because they are expecting We, the People to be distracted from issues by their non-stop obfuscation. They keep lining up on the stage like game show contestants...the winner being the one who can get the most LIAR-LIAR-PANTS-ON-FIRE ratings from the fact-checker groups. 

I cannot wait for Iowa and New Hampshire. I want to see what people actually do when asked to make a decision about who should actually run. I want to see who is left standing at the end of those two events. Keep in mind who won Iowa in 2012. Just because you win in Iowa it doesn't mean you're gonna take the cake. And in New Hampshire, Romney took only 39% of the vote. 
As of Dec. 23rd-Huff Post

The best anyone can hope for is the winnowing of the field. These are the standings as of December 23th...a little old, but close enough for government work. Still, it's a field crowded with inconsequential would-be politicians who have, one and all, sold the electorate down some cockamamie river of no  economic return. 

Dr. Paul Krugman, in his NY Times column this morning, wrote:

You might think, then, that Bush-style tax cuts would be out of favor. In fact, however, establishment candidates like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are proposing much bigger tax cuts than W ever did. And independent analysis of Jeb’s proposal shows that it’s even more tilted toward the wealthy than anything his brother did.
Oddly enough, this is the key. What Krugman implies is that those who would support either of these two....or any of the Clown Cavalcade for that really supporting a FantasyLand kinda pipe dream. Why would someone who barely makes a subsistence living cast their vote for someone who is going to give more tax breaks to the superrich while cutting back basic human services? Well, the answer may be easier to discern than one might think. It's all about The Great American Dream, or, in this case, The Great American  Delusion. 

We, the People hear talk about how wealth has to be protected and that by ensuring the wealthy retain and increase their own incomes, benefits will trickle down to the masses because the wealthy will have more to spend. Baloney. There is a whole segment of the population that honestly and whole-heartedly believes that if they wish/pray/buy enough lottery tickets, magic will happen and they will be super-rich, and once that happens, they're gonna need that write off for their new personal Lear jet. It's not about hard work or start-ups in the garage; it's about money falling outta the sky....or out of the lotto kiosk at the local 7-Eleven. 

The Great American Delusion brings with it all manner of scary stuff. There is blame to assign, people to hate, and laws to repress. It's not about's about promulgating fear and making sure We, the People, have a target to hate. It's not about defending the Constitution, it's about defending our right to own a war-machine-type-rifle that we can shoot at will at anyone or anything. 

Nazi Germany did not begin with gas chambers. Nazi Germany began with a party that instilled fear of the other in its citizenry. They found an outsider to blame. They found a way to round up segments of their own population. And they found a way to manufacture death in a canister. Nazi Germany began with Adolf Hitler telling the people who to blame for whatever was wrong with their own lives. This is NOT American thinking.... least not yet. 

Bring on 2016. I am more than ready for the Clown Cavalcade to move on!

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Resolve to regularly read an actual print newspaper this year.


  1. Read...Is Israel Good for the Jews by Richard Cohen of the Washington Post. Very well researched and information about anti semetism seems familiar to what is gong on today in the election with Trump.

  2. I think the Great American Delusion has at its root despair. Work your tail off here and you barely scrape by, stuff keeps costing more and no one gets a raise. Get your education and all that gets you is debt. How else to finally stop worrying about keeping the lights on, except to win the lottery?

  3. Great to read your insightful and humorous comments. May your father's memory be only for a blessing.

  4. "Resolve to regularly read an actual print newspaper this year."

    Should you also resolve not to regularly split infinitives in 2016? :)

    I wish you to definitely have a Happy (or Happier) New Year, WP!

    1. I am amazed someone even noticed that. I went back and forth on several constructions, liked none of them, and returned to the original version; anything else seemed awkward.

      Grammarian George Oliver Curme says the decrying of the split infinitive is unnecessary, and it should "should be furthered rather than censured, for it makes for clearer expression." Additionally, Merriam Websters DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN USAGE says the objection was never rational and should be discarded.

      So there.

    2. Not to worry -- or to not worry... I am a split infinitive junkie who is well aware of the current American thinking that to awkwardly split an infinitive is proper English. Disirregardless, I would rather split my pants than to regularly split an infinitive.

    3. To go boldly, eh? The more I think about it, the more I side with Curme. It's an arbitrary convention that often harms more than it helps prose. Besides, you can find little written in defense of the rule.

      That said, it pleases me no end that someone noticed.

  5. Are you suggesting that the American traits of optimism and hope are holding us back? It seems that if we can give those up we would rely more on ourselves than on outside forces to rescue us. Really, it is false hope and unsupported optimism that prevents us from building the self-confidence to move ahead pragmatically and for the greater good.

    1. Unfortunately, the American traits of optimism of hope are being traded in for ostracism and hate. Unfortunately, it seems that because Hope was included in Obama's campaign slogan in 2008, the Right decreed it a bad thing and found new traits to endorse. False hope and unsupported optimism at least work for the good of all, rather than the downfall of the minority.