Monday, May 28, 2018

Happy Day-After Memorial Day: Welcome To The War Of Attrition.

For the first time in a lotta years, Fort Snelling set flags at each of more than 225,000 graves. FIL is one of those graves, so I went to pay a visit. Truth be told, he felt Memorial Day was important. Each year he would tell stories about his friends who did not come back. He thought too many people didn't understand the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans' Day. There is a difference but one that seems to get lost in translation these days. I was glad I went; it was a lovely display. Lots of people were there but I would venture to guess FIL was the only there with a flag AND a rock. 

Moving from the lovely and kind experience at Fort Snelling, America again was forced to witness presidential tweets.  In a vacuous and exceptionally callous move, Donald Trump demonstrated the depth and breadth of his disregard for the military of this nation, and more so, the people who have died defending it. His Memorial Day tweet was horrid, painful, callous, and mean. 

He saw fit to broadcast:

Happy Memorial Day? Not a word about the sacrifice and honor of those who have fallen in defense of this nation?

Three of our living presidents took note of the sanctity of the day:

The emptiness of Trump's words is indicative of his regard for those who serve this nation. In a moment when gratitude for service should be expressed, he made it about himself. He deflected the attention away from solemnity of the day, and made it something less than even ordinary. It doesn't much matter if an hour later he posted some platitudes; his understanding of the holiday was made clear to this nation. 

For a guy who claims to have a towering intellect, these kinds of statement are not simply the ramblings of a degenerate narcissist, but rather intentionally, a sort of red herring that he knows will distract from the actual moment. See, that's the game plan.

While the press was busy jumping up and down about North Korea, the White House was quietly rolling back banking regulations, gutting part of Dodd-Frank. His Secretary of Education was busy rolling back guidelines for disabled students, and over at the EPA, Pruitt is repealing car-emissions regulations and an assortment of environmental protections.  It would seem if President Obama did it, this president is bent on undoing it. Whether or not the item benefits We, the People, if Obama's hand is on it, it's gone.

Spiteful, vengeful, childish, and dangerous. A never-ending lava floe of lies, hatred, and blame, all meant to wear us down until we give up.  A war of attrition. 

All too often I hear people talk about how tired they are from sifting through the tweets and lies trying to find one simple grain of truth. And yeah, I get it. I'm tired, too. I think about giving up the blog because I can't stand writing about this stuff; it's depressing. But then I think I cannot stop because that would be handing those miscreants a victory. 

Meanwhile, it's 100°F in Minnesota in May. [Yes, the thermometer in the car said 100°F at 3PM Monday afternoon.] Maryland is having its second 1,000-Year Flood in 2 years. And there is no such thing as climate change. 

And now, for a little levity. There was another school shooting this week, this one in Noblesville, Indiana, home state of Vice President Pence. 

Seems this school is more important to ol' Mike than all the other schools, because VP Pence from Indiana finally admitted what he had never admitted before: he has no brain.Yep, he is brainless. This time, he's  offering the parents of victims his heart and prayers. Granted, this is an improvement over thoughts and prayers, but remains brainless and heartless...which begs the question, does Mike Pence even have one of those heart thingees? 

Not bloody likely.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
It's okay to remember a dead person on his/her birthday.
Just don't expect a thank-you note.  

Monday, May 21, 2018

Another Day, Another School Shooting

Keep your thoughts and prayers; they are worthless.
Continue to accept money from the NRA.
Continue to blame gun violence on something other than guns.
Continue to believe nations with strict gun laws and low shooting deaths are misguided.

Continue to believe the president of this nation is interested in anything other than
  1. money
  2. the Nobel Peace Prize
  3. money
  4. pussy
  5. money
  6. power
  7. money
  8. permanent presidency
  9. money.
China bought themselves an American president by buying into a real estate scheme in Indonesia.

Follow the money.

More kids have died in school mass shootings this year than Americans who have died in Afghanistan. 

Follow the money.

Megan Markle got it right. She married up....and out. Out of the country and into a family where her presence can make a huge difference. Here 11 year old Meghan Markle on Nickelodeon's Nick News in 1993 flexing her social justice wings for that is probably NOT the first time:

More's the pity, though, because this woman should've been headed into US politics. Women like this are rare, even more so when they're an erudite and articulate pre-teen. Britain and the Commonwealth will benefit from her drive and determination. 

If the Parkland kids got other kids to register to vote, and if the Santa Fe kids can like arms with Parkland who have linked arms with Columbine, who have linked arms with Sandy Hook kids now almost grown up, then we can begin to think about hope.

The midterms are coming. If these kids motivate themselves and the rest of the 18-20 year olds, they will be a formidable force. 

I'm rooting for the kids. They have to be smarter and more savvy than the rest of us. Maybe they will be the ones to lead us outta this morass. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
If a guy constantly jokes about wanting to be president-for-life,
he's not joking.

Monday, May 14, 2018

When Nothing Makes Sense

The greatest kindness my mother-in-law ever performed was not to die on Mother's Day.  MIL was a deeply unhappy person who worked hard to make everyone around her as miserable as she was....yet she was a beloved and adored high school teacher, something none of us ever understood. On Mother's Day 1984, we told her I was expecting #2. I think Ziggy's decision to tell her was a last ditch effort to get her to wake up. All things considered, we figured she would be as thrilled about #2 as she was when we told her about #1....which was to ask us if we were crazy. This news might just get her riled up enough to wake up. She didn't. For the record, when the senior son was  born, she couldn't keep her hands off him and he has wonderful, albeit faint, memories of her. 

FIL and MIL at the wedding
She died the next day, Monday, and because MIL was not the world's biggest fan of Jews or Jewish tradition, we never did much to mark her yahrzeit, other than to mention it to each other and speak only kind words about her. Since Ziggy had the poor form to leave me with his father, those remembrances disappeared completely because FIL refused to acknowledge she ever existed. 

This year, however, I decided I needed to mark that day as a yahrzeit. I don't know if it's because I'm older than she was when she died, or it's the grandmother thing, or because I don't want her to be forgotten because she was, after all, Ziggy's mother. I think I'm the last one who remembers her, and I do not want her to be forgotten. So last night, as Mother's Day drew to a close, I lit a yahrzeit candle for her, and this morning, I said kaddish for her...I think for the first time. It breaks my heart because I have to work hard to remember good things about her. I should not have to do that. 

There are things in this world that are just broken. She was one of them. I wish it had been different. 

Wishing to make things different is kinda pointless. Which brings me to the new embassy in West Jerusalem. This is broken.

While the Palestinians are carrying on about the embassy being in Jerusalem, I find it amazing no one talks about the fact it's in West Jerusalem which, in the event of dividing the city, will be the Jewish half, and not in East Jerusalem which the Palestinians want for their capital. A small but niggling detail no one seems to remember to mention. Not that I think Jerusalem will ever be divided again, but at least edit your rhetoric. 

Moving the embassy is just broken. No one doubts Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. The Knesset is there, the seat of government is there. It's been the capital of Israel for several thousand years. Not even dividing it changed that. Moving the American embassy to Jerusalem does not magically confer some sort of status of the city. It doesn't need it. 

Moving the embassy sliced open the heart of Israel and laid it on a table to the target of potshots from the rest of the world. The haters see it as some kind of appropriation. The  religious fanatics see it as some kind of fantasy fulfillment. The rest of the world sees it as the complete abandonment of any hope for a two-state solution. Did anyone think there wasn't going to be riots?

The opening ceremonies were bizarre to say the least. The American pastor who gave the prayer at the opening of the embassy itself is a vicious and true anti-semite. Pastor Jeffress hates Jews and Muslims with equal vigor. And Catholics. And Mormons. Apparently he's the only one with a line to G-d and he thinks the rest of us are headed straight for hell. And this is is guy they sent to do the opening prayer.

Do we look that stupid?

Meanwhile, Michele I-never-met-a-sausage-I-couldn't-swallow-whole Bachmann, took it upon herself to apologize to the Jews:
Bachmann apologized ... Sunday at a joint Jewish-Christian Bible study at the Knesset, held in honor of Jerusalem Day. She asked for “repentance from the Jewish people for the horrible and arrogant way Christians — myself included — treated and regarded the Jewish people.”
“I ask for forgiveness from the Jewish people for what it is that we have done,” said Bachmann. “I apologize profoundly and ask forgiveness from the Almighty God that these statements brought pain.”    
                                       From the JTA -May 14, 2018
If you think for one New York nanosecond she's actually changed her mind about Jews, Israel, and the second coming, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd love to sell you. 

Still,  in the greater scheme of things, the embassy is minor, nothing more than a catalyst to reignite the violence in Gaza. What is not minor is the loss of life at the Gaza fence. There is something so fundamentally wrong with what's happening that that if one is not completely disgusted by the actions of both sides, one should probably crawl back into the hole from which one emerged. 

What is happening in Gaza is not a surprise; it was inevitable. The current Israeli government has done everything possible to foment this revolution and they have succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. Watching Heckle and Jeckle shred the last vestiges of world cooperation makes one think this is a well-thought-out plan. Between the tweets and the speeches, one can only conclude these are the ravings of two unstable human beings. Dumping the Iran deal, suddenly slow-dancing with Kim Jung Un, offering to help China recover jobs just as China is investing in a chain of Feckless Leader's hotels in in Indonesia...


I do not believe this is all coincidental. Too many moving pieces are aligning themselves. No, I'm not playing Cassandra here and I'm not predicting war. I just think some people are gonna walk away a whole lot richer than they are now....and in the end, the ones who will pay the lion's share of the bill will be the Palestinians. They are unwitting accomplices in this grand machination. They are playing right into the hands of the total self-immolation. They blow up their own gas and power lines. They blow up their own roads and water treatment plants. They misdirect humanitarian aid away from their own people. Who are they hurting? Israel? The US? No. They are orchestrating their own destruction.

if we are in a new period of globalization, there will be winners and losers. Yeah, the middle class in the US will ultimately lose, but we're too big to manipulate the same way a ragtag group of self-anointed refugees can be manipulated. 

They have become their own worst enemy.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week

Like I said at the top, there are some things that are just broken. 
That doesn't mean we are absolved from trying to fix them.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Judenrein America

This past weekend, a potential candidate was removed from the California GOP convention. The guy had been running with about 39% of the vote in assorted polls, but the GOP officials removed him, they said, because Patrick Little had never been a member of the party, and because his platform was unacceptable. 

All things considered, that had to be some platform if the GOP found it unacceptable. 

It was pretty simple, pretty basic in a racist, bigoted sorta way. His platform is a Judenrein America. 

Now there's a word you don't hear every day. It means cleansed of Jews and Jewish presence. You read that right. His platform is based on a Jew-free America. 

Go google him. Go read the platform. It's out there. It's real. And while support for his positions is actually marginal, there is support for his thinking. More than you might realize.

On the other side of the country, there's another race that baffles me. Don Blankenship is running for the GOP Senate nomination in West Virginia. This is a guy who, as CEO of Massey, a mining company, was known to be abusive to his corporate headquarters employees, and ultimately went to jail for creating unsafe conditions in his mines...which included an explosion in one on April 5th, 2010:
In March 2013, at a plea hearing in a federal court, Blankenship was directly implicated in conspiring to skirt safety regulations. A former Massey Energy official accused Blankenship of conspiring and plotting to hide safety violations from federal safety inspectors. The implication was that Blankenship would order his officials to warn mine operators when the federal inspectors were coming for "surprise" visits, and to quickly cover up any safety violations.                                                          Wikipedia: Don Blankenship
Feckless Leader is tweeting furiously to rally the masses against Blankenship which, if that works as well as it did in supporting Roy Moore in Alabama, insures Blankenship's place on the ticket.

But here's the part I don't get: why would the people of West Virginia, the heart and soul of mining country, vote for a guy who committed the worst possible crime in that state, resulting in the murder of 38 miners? Why would they vote against their own self-interest and send a guy to the senate who just doesn't give a flying fuck about them?

But this blog episode isn't about either race; it's really about the condition of this nation that makes those races possible. And supportable. 

May 6, 2018. Bruce Omori , EPA
Judenrein America isn't news. It's been around a long time. Like blood libels. Like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It exists and most of American ignores it. Still, it simmers under the surface like the lava flow of Kilauea. Eventually a fissure occurs and something truly terrifying pops molten lava or Patrick Little. Both are toxic...and tourists still flock to gawk at both. I don't think this kind of thinking was so blatant 2 years ago, and while it's disgusting and disturbing, maybe it's not such a bad thing that we are reminded this stuff exists in the real world. Maybe we were getting a little too complacent?

Whatever the reality in your world is, the reality in the bigger American world is that antisemitism, bigotry, and racism have not gone away. Despite the election of President Obama, we are not living in post-racial America. And we are not living in Jew-okay America either. And for the most part, CEO's don't give a damn about their workers, the environment, or research. They are in it for the money, the power, and the prestige. 

And on a slight side-bar: was anyone upset when Feckless referred to the DoJ as my Department of Justice?  When he called Fox and Friends last Thursday, he said:
“I’ve taken this position that I will not be involved with the justice department...I’m very disappointed in my justice department. I may change my mind at some point because what’s going on is a disgrace; it’s an absolute disgrace.”
Since when is it his justice department? I just about jumped outta my skin when I heard that. It struck me as an exceptionally dangerous insight into Feckless Leader's thinking. Talk about dog whistles! 

If we continue to ignore the warning signs emitted by the White House, we are in real and serious danger. Here are but four traditional warning signs that appear when a government its moving toward authoritarianism:

  1. Systematic efforts to intimidate the media
  2. Politicizing the civil service, military, National Guard, or the domestic security agencies
  3. Stacking the Supreme Court
  4. Fear-mongering/demonizing the opposition
The real revolution is yet to come....but is is coming and it's not gonna be pretty.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
If you live in ISD 197, go vote YES on the school referendum.
The NO mailer you got was produced and sent illegally, inaccurate, 
and a passel of misinformation. 
Protect our kids; upgrade our schools. The changes are long overdue.