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The Angry Liberal White Guy

Words to think about…or not.

The Garrulous Garbologist

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” Elie Weisel

 

One morning in the latter part of September of 1972 I took a train to Munich, Germany from another German town where I was stationed in the US Army. I had taken a two week leave with the intention of enjoying the yearly Oktoberfest. Sitting on the train I pulled out a letter from home. I was not a faithful letter writer so anything I got in the mail was a double edged sword. Mostly I was admonished for not writing. Some were just boilerplate missives from my mother to “be a good boy and don’t get in trouble.” (She knew my propensity for being a knucklehead) This letter was from my favorite uncle. His name was William but we all called him “Buddy.”

 

He had served in the paratroopers in WWII and, as a part of his duties, participated in the liberation of one of the Nazi concentration camps. The day he got home from the war he sat at my grandmother’s kitchen table, put his head down on the table, and wept for the next 24 hours. He then left the house and got drunk.

 

For the next forty years…until he died.

 

No one in the family knew why he drank so. This was during the forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, and part of the eighties. At the time it was a given in an Irish Catholic family to have a drunken uncle. No one questioned him or ever gave any effort into getting him to stop. It was just Uncle Buddy drinking strong gin martini’s as usual.

Over the years there were a number of incidences that bothered the family. Once, he climbed atop his roof naked and jumped into his swimming pool. He destroyed family dinners with his antics. He wandered the neighborhood in his pajamas causing my aunt to sew up the flap on the front used to urinate threw. He would get mad at my Aunt Dottie for nagging him about his drinking and attempt getting in the car to leave. He usually just wound up passing out slumped over in the passenger seat with the engine running.

On the other hand, he always went to work and paid his bills. He always voted, even campaigning for his older brother when he ran for Town Council. He always gave homeless people money. He never hit my Aunt. He loved all his nieces and nephews as they were his own children. He taught me everything I would need to know to become a man. And, he met me at the bus when I reported to Fort Dix to start Basic Training to tell me he was proud of me and to give me $110.00 to get me started. (Ten of which was for a bus ticket to come and see him on my first weekend pass) My real father did not even know I was in the service let alone where I was stationed.

While he was teaching me the things he taught me, mostly when we were driving around yelling at people to vote for my other uncle, I asked him why he drank. I was thirteen years old. He got quiet for several moments. No one in the family had ever dared ask him. He started to talk and after a few minutes began crying. When he finished describing what he and his fellow company members saw when liberating a concentration camp he wiped the tears from his eyes and told me that after that experience he had nightmares all the time. The only way they would stop was when he drank until he passed out.

***

Six years later on the train to Munich I read his letter. He told me again how proud he was of me. He was especially proud that I had gone to the US Army Airborne School to learn how to be a paratrooper. We had both thought that the first place they would send me was Southeast Asia but in their infinite (or limited) wisdom they sent me to an Artillery battalion in Germany that was a part of a division that had no paratrooper battalions or companies.

It was a short letter which had a P.S. on it. He told me that there were places in Germany I could go and understand the answer to my question of his drinking. There was a newspaper clipping from a German newspaper about the Konzentrationslager (KZ) Dachau. This was a concentration camp a short train and bus ride northwest of Munich that was giving tours. I had to find someone who spoke English to translate it for me. A guy standing outside a newsstand read what I gave him and spat on the ground next to my shoe. He pulled up the sleeve of his coat and showed me the tattooed number there. He tossed the article at me and walked back into the newsstand. This was the first of about a dozen and a half such tattoos I have seen in my life.

I found someone to translate the clipping for me and give me directions how I could get there. That second interpreter told me that the guy with the tattoo had not been in the local camp but in Auschwitz which was the worst place and the only one that tattooed prisoners. He further expressed the sentiment that the camp I was inquiring about was particularly despised because it was the first. The death toll was one of the smallest of all camps but being the first and was charged with formulating the operational procedure for the entire Final Solution. Every vile deed done in the camps originated in Dachau; the gas chambers, the crematoriums, the medical experimentation, the diseases that could kill people from overcrowding, the starvation, the forced labor, the rape of woman and children, the near eradication of cultures, and the 11-13 million souls that disappeared just to suit the whims of one horrible small man in charge of the government.

I followed the direction the translator gave me and arrived in Dachau that night. I found a place to stay, and went on the tour the next day. I did not ask any questions. I simply walked around and looked. I left the camp, found the first train back to Munich, and drank beer until the only thing I had left was my return train ticket back to my post. I’ve since told people that I went there, but never in detail. It has been 45 years since that day, and I have never told anyone what I saw or felt. I prayed that I would never feel that way again.

My prayers have not been answered…more than once.

On November 8, 2016, and January 20, 2017 they were totally ignored. I have been disappointed many times in my life. Metaphorically speaking it comes in the shuffle of the life’s cards. Some days are aces, and some days they turn up deuces. This does not necessarily bother me much as I have learned much in life and accept what I get most of the time. Having a misogynistic/sexual predator/pedophile/racist/grifter/criminal/scumbag for a president is not necessarily a lesson I yearn to experience. The future, in reality, does not exist as it has not yet occurred. The thought of the future exists as it must and there is a foreshadowing of a fear filled fate in the offing. We are not, as a nation or species, intelligent enough to learn lessons from history. Yes there was a guy who was responsible for that ugly few hours I spent in 1972. He was responsible for every single horrible picture, report, and testimony of survivors. His name was not Donald Trump.

I began this essay last week and normally would have completed such an exercise in a single setting before editing and posting. After writing the part of this essay about Dachau I had to stop due to the feelings that it stirred up. I am what many would call an old man and my memory is fading. I have to look up words I already know to make sure I write them in the correct context. I forget which prayer I am supposed to say next as I go through my daily Rosary. I break promises to my friends because they slip my mind.

I can see the wall of the gas chamber at Dachau as clear as the keyboard I am typing on.

I wanted to write a piece on the comparison of our president to the monster who had that loathsome place I visited built. Then I looked up to see that it was International Holocaust Remembrance Day. I cannot dishonor the memory of the victims/survivors of that despicable, shameful, and reprehensible event to make my point.

It also makes me feel reprehensible to use it as a soap box to stand on. I did research in order to accurately convey the original thought behind this near debacle of a post and I learned something surprising. IT IS TOO EASY TO LIKEN TRUMP TO HITLER!!!!

There is a thing out there on the net called “Godwin’s Law” which delineates that “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1.” The gist being that the more reprehensible the person that is being talked about, the reality is that that immoral idiot will be compared to Hitler. Well, I got news for all you intellectual icons: Hitler is not the only really bad dude there has ever been. Stalin, and Mao Zedong killed respectively three and four times and many people as Hitler, and Mao is consider the Father of his country.  Enver Pash, Kim Il Sung, Genghis Khan, Idi Amin Dada, Shaka Zulu, Vlad the Impaler, Pol Pot, Bashar al-Assad, Saddam Hussein, Muammar al-Gaddafi, Ante Pavelic, and Benito Mussolini are all scumbag leaders just as bad, per capita, as Das Führer. These are but a few that could fit the bill of genocidal maniac and, interestedly enough they are shockingly dissimilar to the current situation in America. They all have the murder of many humans beings as there legacy and;

Donald Trump has not killed anyone…yet

The trouble with Trump is not the evil things he says, or the misanthropes, deceivers, prevaricators, perjurers, counterfeiters, impostors, swindlers, and embezzlers he surrounds himself with. The trouble is in morally sociopathic, pseudo religious cretins who hold the potential to be the culpable parties when we look up and the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave has been replaced by some dystopian nightmare. Give them a free hand and Hunger Games, or the Divergent Series might not be just on the big screen in 3D IMAX.

Mexico is not the only place that a wall might be built.

The actions of this malevolent cretin are, as the days pass, increasingly disgraceful. He has taken the most revered position in the world and made it a horrible malignant laughingstock. He is a disease for which there is no treatment. He is a plague upon mankind. His inner circles are misanthropic malingerers, who are rich, money hungry, homophobic, antagonistic, and self-serving bastards. After all the negative publicity about the 1% taking advantage this administration and have told the country to go to hell. They have chosen to ignore our constitution and are absent of even the most basic human decency.

AND THEY ARE THERE BECAUSE WE WANT THEM TO BE!!!!!!!

If we did not want this reality in our government we would have fucking voted otherwise. So you say you voted? Big damn deal! What about the 97,000,000 eligible voters that stayed home? Why do liberals always stand up and protest AFTER the fact and not when it could change things for the better? We are complicit in what could be the destruction of our way of life.

What does it say when the Pope, Dick Chaney, and Michael Moore all agree that Trump is the worst choice that could be made? What about that the President of the United States will not be allowed to speak in front of the parliament of our oldest ally?

Check out the republicans who are against him here; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Republicans_who_opposed_the_Donald_Trump_presidential_campaign,_2016

The number is astounding. Forget the Democrats; they too are as complicit as any other entity. They played games with the primaries and nominated a candidate that could not win. As in the past they went for political smoke and mirrors instead of value and substance. President Obama was a decent intelligent Statesman and the party he served and led allowed the election to be absconded by a grifter who thinks that sitting on the toilet tweeting his displeasure in the morning is the way to reach the American public.

What I have sympathy for are those folks who as a result of chicanery and deception are going to have to support the senior citizen in their families after this guy takes away Social Security and Medicare. Those who got health insurance through the Affordable Care Act will just go back to using the emergency room (the most expensive services in our healthcare house of cards) and not pay because; they cannot turn you away if you demand to see a doctor. Those of us who do not have family to fall back on, such as myself, will just have to suffer and fucking die.

If he and his cronies get their way…

So nobody can win, except the minions of the Netherworld. We are all complicit. We are all at fault. We are all stupid. We must be, after all we let it happen. The middle class liberal who thought that voting was the answer. The middle class conservative who was dim witted enough to ignore the danger that is imminent in order to get the black guy out of office and fix shit. The guy who works on a factory floor who thinks it’s the liberal’s fault that his job went to China without understanding that it might just have been some acolyte of Trump, or Trump himself who made the deal that sent him/her off to experience the wonderful world of Fast Food in order to afford braces for his/her kid.

Protesting is all good and well, but what is the benefit of it. Celebrities get their pictures taken crying foul while cashing residual checks for movies they made a decade ago. The checks coming from people watching their old movies because they are just so cool for protesting. What about just a small man in wire rim glasses and a cheap cotton wrap around who refuses to eat? It worked before against an evil empire. Maybe we need protesting based on the evil in the world as opposed to “issues.” Maybe we need to take responsibility for fucking up the greatest nation on earth and electing someone who told us that he wanted to make America Great again while really just running another long con to line his pockets.

Maybe we should truly make America Great by sending criminals to prison, and not putting scumbags in places of power such as the Department of Education where we can go from educating to indoctrinating. Maybe we can take responsibility and charge of our lives and toss this guy out on his keister and find a real Statesman to replace him.

Or…we could sit on our dead asses, not vote, not stand up for ourselves in a realistic manner, and wonder why the fuck our kids don’t know what a concentration camp is even though they are living in one.

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Idiomatically Imperceptive

“Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.” Thomas Merton

It is Veterans Day here in what many would call the greatest nation on the planet. It is a day to wave flags and remember the valiant. It is a day to honor the deceased for their sacrifice. It is a day that most Americans do not have the first fucking clue about. There is little understanding of what it means to be a veteran, and even less idea what most veterans go through on a day to day basis.  

Now, for those still reading, this is not some unpatriotic rant from a bleeding heart liberal peacenik moron. I am a veteran of the United States Army from which I was Honorably Discharged after completing the term of service for which I VOLUNTEERED.

I was not much of a soldier but I did what I was told and went where I was sent. I did not receive any medals for bravery and valor. I was a Private First Class who drove a truck in an Artillery Battalion. For some reason I had a Top Secret clearance which made me eligible for some unusual duty in various places around the world. The most interesting of these extra duties was a seven day posting to Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin when there was still such a thing as East and West Berlin/Germany.

Volunteering was not a popular thing to do when I did. Many were protesting the war that was being fought at the time with many of my friends doing the opposing to that war. There were people being drafted based on a birth date lottery. My number was well out of the range of being chosen. I volunteered anyway.

I did so because my father did in WWII. I did because America is worthy of “…heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice.” I did so because it was a choice I had having recently graduated high school and not entering college. I regret nothing about being a soldier, and never will. If it was today…I would still enlist.

What I would not do is recommend, counsel, entreat, or otherwise persuade any young person to join the Armed Forces.

We have grown, as the dictionary defines being obtuse as, “annoyingly insensitive, or slow to understand.” We fight wars that do not have the meaning they are assigned. We fight wars that we lose. WWII had a reason. We were attacked by an enemy whose stated objective was the decimation of the American way of life and thus was in dire need of defense.

Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan were unnecessary wars that killed a huge number of people that did not deserve to die. We went to Korea and never finished what we were supposed to do there with the result that N. Korea is now a dangerous enemy. We spent 9305 days in Vietnam and were forced to leave while communist forces took over the country. We were attacked on 911 by citizens from Saudi Arabia and attacked Iraq. We went to Afghanistan to find Osama Bin Laden and are still there…almost six years later. Not one of these countries is significantly better because of our presence within their borders. Korea is a hotbed of divisiveness and holds the potential for the beginning of another war every day. Vietnam is a thriving nation but not due to our American values. Iraqi citizens had a decent lifestyle before we came in and blew up their cities and plunged then into poverty because we did not like their leader.

Realistically, the inspiration for these wars, on a rhetorical level was sound. Communism was a terrible system and hurt many people. Not so much today. On principle it made sense to attack Korea and Vietnam because of the atrocious lives led by people in China, Cuba, and the Soviet Union. Yes, Saddam Hussein was a tyrant and needed to be removed. Yes, Osama Bin Laden needed to be found. But let’s look at a few realities.

  • Korea has a history of incursions on their society dating to its founding in 2233 BC. We did nothing to help that trend to stop.
  • Vietnam was possibly the most conquered country in Asia for nearly the last four thousand years. It wasn’t until America came around that they were able to throw an invader out and thrive.
  • Iraqi’s had a normal life with employment and wealth available. They lived under Draconian rule but should have had the choice to change that on their own. These were not uneducated poor peasants. They lived better than most people on Earth. Until America decided to carpet bomb their capital. A city 1250 years old which, at one time, was the largest metropolitan area in the world. The only things the Americans really did in Iraq was send it back to the 7th Century by rendering the electricity, and other essential services useless.
  • The only thing we have accomplished in Afghanistan was to perpetuate a warlike culture that has existed for as long as there has been a country in some form. We should have packed up and left the minute we got Osama Bin Laden who we found in PAKISTAN!

Being a veteran I grieve for the fallen. We have given out too many medals. Awards for bravery are necessary when we send our people to war. They give the most of themselves and absolutely deserve to be honored. How about honoring them when they get home? Why are 22 veterans committing suicide every day? Why does the VA allow a sick or troubled ex-warrior to wait months for doctor’s appointments? Why do they have to go to the emergency room to get help (the most expensive type of care) and be turned away?

Because politicians wave flags and vomit rhetoric they do not fully understand in order to send out valiant Service people across the globe to get killed, crippled, maimed, and damaged in the name of a country that just elected an accused pedophile to be our president!

Lethal Lapdogs

 

Being a product of the era of my birth I have fond and sometimes not so fond memories of my childhood. I can remember watching Superman jump out of a window to search for bad guys. I can remember watching first aired episodes of such shows as “Dragnet,” “Gunsmoke,” “Rawhide,” “Bonanza,” and a plethora of other television that is now called Classic, Vintage, or perhaps just old. I remember comic books and Robbie the Robot.

And I remember the comic strips from the Sunday paper.

I read Pogo and never knew what it was about until I attained adulthood. Beetle Bailey probably aided in my decision to join the U.S. Army. Certainly Peanuts was definitely on the list, especially the football gig that Charlie never learned about before Mr. Schulz passed on. Doonesbury came along when I was old enough to discern truth from rhetoric in matters of politics.

But my all-time favorite comic strip was Dick Tracy. Dick knew exactly what was right and what was wrong. He chased villains and caught bad guys and did it in the seven Primary colors of the spectrum. As did the live action movie made of his adventures. He had a strong chiseled square jaw. A hot girlfriend and an out of this world watch that had a two way radio in it. (Apple should really be paying royalties to the guy that invented Dick Tracy)

Merchandising was alive and well in 1962 and there came on the market the “Official Dick Tracy Mattel Power-Jet Squad Gun” which was a plastic replica of a pump shotgun and I was convinced that I would die if I did not get it for Christmas. It fired caps and it also shot streams of water at targets. All in all a healthier gift to give a kid then the real thing which is what I currently own for personal protection.

Let’s now use Mister Peabody’s updated and enhanced WABAC machine to modern times. We live in an era that is bereft of reason as to what a toy is and what is not. To wit; assault rifles. Once more there is a mass shooting enthralling us with the incident in Orlando. I refuse to call it a tragedy because this function of our society has become acceptable and no longer will fit the definition of a tragedy. While it does fit all of the words associated with the word tragedy such as disaster, calamity, catastrophe, misfortune, or heartbreak it has gone beyond that. Outrage, fear, anger, unrest, confusion, and disgust also describe the incident. But those words still do not describe what is going on.

What is going on is quite simply business as usual.

Businesses as usual due to the fact that it keeps occurring and our leaders have impotently refused to take action to rectify the situation. Business as usual as long as the NRA has the funds to disperse to political leaders too cowardly and greedy to take action to protect the citizens of this country. Business as usual in that it allows for the exploitation by the news media that is in the for-profit business of reporting to us what will keep our attention and not what we can do about it. All the sorrow and all the pain will not do a damn thing to change anything. Candlelight vigils are just places for television cameras and tears.

And nothing gets done to change a fucking thing.

Already there are those who are blaming Middle Eastern extremists for committing this barbarity while ignoring the fact that it was a citizen of the United States of America who was the perpetrator. Someone who was able to purchase an assault rifle in spite of authorities knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that this individual was a dangerous supporter of the horrific ideology that champions this kind of behavior!!!!!

The AR-15, as we know it today, is weapon produced to be a civilian counterpart of the M-16A1 issued to ground troops that are charged with the duty of defending our country. It fires a single bullet at a time and is able to fire as much as 60 rounds in a minute. It is easily converted to full automatic with a simple five minute adjustment in the workings which increases the rate to 700-950 rounds per minute. Now that weapon is available to anyone, regardless of actual need who wishes to own one. It is available in many places without requiring identification.

Now that explains how a crazy bastard was able to shoot over a hundred people in a crowded nightclub. Even a semi-automatic version of this weapon and a bunch of folks in a small area is all that is necessary to commit genocide. Oh, is that too much? Does the term genocide not fit? Was it not “the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group?” Or did the fact that it happened in a gay bar exclude it from the broader term.

Now it is several days after the occurrence and all the politically correct terminology is being bandied about. All the outrage is being focused with the proper sound bite and meme in order to make better copy. All the defense of the indefensible is being vomited on the Internet by those who wish to defend their rights under the Second Amendment. By those…fucking children who think that if they have a gun just like a soldier that they will be safe and secure. By those fucking idiot children who are two stupid to realize the Second amendment was never meant to allow you own a weapon you have neither the intelligence, nor maturity to use. The Second Amendment does not give you the right to own this type of weapon. It gives you the right to bear arms in defense of your country. You want to fire a gun that holds 30 or 50 bullets and fires hundreds of rounds a minute…join the Armed Forces and defend your country.

I was ready to defend my family with my “Official Dick Tracy Mattel Power-Jet Squad Gun” the minute after I discovered it under the tree that long ago Christmas of 1963. That was the same year that the AR-15 civilian model became available to the public. I proudly defended my family the next day by hitting the family cat in the kisser and he ran his sopping wet ass under the house. When my father came to get it out, it scratched his arms so bad that he had to go to the emergency room. Somehow I was not able to find my device of defense after that. Would that it could be the same for a crazy mass murderer to encounter the same problem when he went looking for his deadly device and it had somehow had become unavailable to him once it became common knowledge that he was a sick son of a bitch. Would that it could be that common sense could prevail when anyone wanted to purchase a gun that has the ability to shoot a hundred people in two minutes.

Would that it could be that our society had the balls to do something that might stop crazy fuckers from doing this again. Would that it could be that our leaders would cease having moments of silence in place of taking action to regulate this insanity.

Would that it could be…

 

Introduction…Redux

This is a starting of sorts. It is a re-imagining of an ideal that has been fashioning itself since 2010. I have completed the requirements of the blog that was formerly at this location and have decided to go in a different direction…while journeying along the same path.

I have used this blog in its former incarnation as a sounding board for my political views and set for myself a stiff set of requirements as to what I would write and how I would write it. I restricted earlier posts to 1000 words and all prose had to be in the second person. Each post had to have an underlying theme and it was up to the reader to establish that theme. Posts were founded on the objective of navigating the alphabet and that all titles would be alliterative. That has been accomplished and it is time to move on.

The new incarnation of this blog has no rules.

Readers of mine who have encountered me is any of a number of web presences will attest to the reality that I am as left leaning as can be without falling completely on my ass. It was told me by one of my university professor that I am liberal to the point of incarceration, if justice worked the way it should. That is not to say that I am criminal in my political beliefs as I do not commit crimes except a generous disobedience of Strunk and White’s “Element of Style.”

I am passionate on those things in this life I find important, and even more vehement in my critique of those that I find atrocious. Love and peace are the optimal with apathy and cruelty being those things I dispute with the utmost intensity. Injustice enrages me and justice is what I wish to champion. Racism is an abomination and prejudice is nauseating.

I believe in the lessons of Jesus Christ who I believe is God. I reject religion as an institution that has generously denied the teachings of my God. History has attested to the veracity of this belief. I embrace those who generously apply the commandments of my God as he ordained in the New Testament. I also believe in the principles of other spiritual practices because it is my personal conviction that wisdom is universal no matter how it might be interpreted.

I feel that in many things I am correct, and I also acknowledge that imperfection is an integral part of life.

I am an active and zealous member of a Twelve Step Program. Reference the word “Anonymous” for further clarification.

My posting on this site is open to comment but if you disagree with me…that is your problem. There is a blocking feature that will be used.

I wish you all well, and I hope you enjoy what you read.

Peace.

Zaftig Zeitgeist

What of the disproportionate distribution of wealth? Why is it that a person can reach for the American Dream culminating in progressive and ongoing staggering debt for life? Mortgage and student loans have been around for many years but never accurately for the true theft they represent. Valuation and interest payment are restrictive and banks are uncaring. Until they are about to go under and then instead of working with the borrowers they look to government to get them out of the self-inflicted problems.

Why do we have a law to force companies to pay a living wage and resist the need to adjust that wage because things are more expensive than when the last increase was issued? Why is it in a country that calls for us to purportedly live based on a delusion called a National Standard do we make it impossible to live up to that aspiration and blame those who do search for betterment? Why are the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer?
Because we are a nation of Nazi’s.

We allow the very things that legitimized the murder of 18,723,900 people between the years of 1941 and 1945. This number is according to the American Holocaust Memorial Museum. Many might find this not readily believable. Everyone knows that 6,000,000 Jews died and usually tend to stop there, but the Final Solution also included Soviet civilians, Soviet prisoners of war, Non-Jewish Polish civilians, Serb civilians, people with disabilities living in institutions, Roma (Gypsies), Jehovah’s Witnesses, repeat criminal offenders and so-called asocials, German political opponents and resistance activists in Axis-occupied territory, and homosexuals. (https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10008193)

All of this appears but numbers on a page and they are. They are an example of a widely ignored reality. It is the reality of our time that we hold apathy to the past and that true danger we face.

The danger of what is possible.

We are satisfied in demonizing immigrants and those of other biological inclinations than we are. We forget that each of us is from immigrant stock. We forget that in our most Christian righteous interpretation and study of the Bible that Jesus Christ never said anything about homosexuality. We are especially forgetful that the Islamic population which we see as evil terrorist believes in the same God as the Abraham…along with over half the rest of the world. And yet we have a front runner in a political party calling for their elimination and deportation from our dreamlike existence.

So how do we change the bouquet of a clearly erroneous empathy to an idyllic idiocy? Perhaps we need to go back to James Truslow Adams for wisdom:

“It has been a dream of being able to grow to fullest development as man and woman, unhampered by the barriers which had slowly been erected in the older civilizations, unrepressed by social orders which had developed for the benefit of classes rather than for the simple human being of any and every class.”

Yogic Yokels

“Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”

P. J. O’Rourke

There is a malady in America today. It is not something that can be treated in the conventional manner. You cannot go to your HMO or PPO appointed Primary Care doctor and, after an unreasonable wait time in the lobby, obtain a diagnoses and resulting course of treatment or pharmaceutical prescription. You cannot search the internet for a holistic alternative with success. You cannot sit in a Native American sweat lodge and find relief. You cannot take some home remedy your Me Maw made. You cannot go to Switzerland for an experimental procedure to find relief. All you can do is sit, stand, walk, run, drive, fly, or ride a bus to anywhere that it will relieve your pain. All you can do is hurt.

This malaise is not a medical condition. It is not an emotional condition. It is not treatable with psychotropic medication or fifty minute sessions with a licensed mental health professional. It is a suffering that is ongoing and relentless in the discomfort, agony, and twinging torture it inflicts on everyone not vigilant against the threat. It is the syndrome of stupidity and the inanity of idiocy. It is the assertion that intelligence and information are not reason enough to act in a responsible manner when we vote.

Yogic principles going beyond the health paradigm teach a spiritual, philosophical, self-searching practice to discover one’s self or the knowledge of one’s purpose or direction. The idea of the yokel is the relaxing of knowledge and self-awareness and the belief of a coveted certainty that a simpler life is best. The first opposes the second but when put together there is a new beast. It is a creature of conscious unconsciousness and the beginning of a flock of intellectual and political sheep.

It is not the Yogic Yokel who is completely at fault. It is not those who search for the simplicity of days gone by. It is the contention that something is wrong when it might just be misunderstood. It is the “Plain Talking” candidate that is not really talking all that plain, or the reality that they conceal the more negative sides of their personality. It is the refusal to admit to an enhanced savoir-faire where it comes to the media. Take the current man of the orange hair and cheap toupee. He has many years of working the media. He has declared bankruptcy several times. It is the billionaire part that people grab ahold of and not that fact that he used the bankruptcy laws to his advantage to get out of paying his bills. The Yogic Yokel appears to find comfort in the lies of those who in the 19th Century would have been hawking their wares in an open faced tent in a carnival or off the back of a wagon. Snake Oil sells as long as no one knows what the actual ingredients are.

It is, on another level, the Yogic Yokels fault in that he/she takes the easy way out and refuses to do any significant amount of investigation or inquiry into matters that are important. It is the Yogic Yokels fault that allows the Republican Party to commit crimes and treason and write it off as “just the way things get done.” It is the acceptance that the 1% is nothing more than an aristocracy that is continuing the stated purpose of any aristocracy; to keep the common folk, the yokels, in their place and subjugated to their capitalist regime.

The addition of a yogic archetype where spiritual, philosophical, and wellness is allowed to be considered an inside job is, in fact, when the introspection is direction by the panderer on the television screen or at the town hall meeting where they are serving chicken wings with bleu cheese dressing and throwing  non-Christians out for dressing funny. It is the directed meditation of the masses. It is the hypnotist at the magic show in Vegas who is really a grifter. It is the antithesis of intellect and the embracement of entropy. It may well be the first chapter in the book of the millennium; “The Decline and Fall of the American Empire”

Let us skip forward a few hundred years…maybe half a millennium. Let us say that is to 2516. The Federation of Planets has not been realized yet, but there is a loosely based confederation of alien worlds tossing about outer space in search of intelligent life. Will they find anything here on Earth? Will they even be able to see the land for the things we allowed to be spewed in the stratosphere in the 20th and 21st Centuries? Are they going to just cruise on by marking it a place lacking intelligent…anything?

Or are they going to find a lush planet that took charge and decimated a vile, odious, and horrendous species whose apathy and lassitude nearly destroyed the planet? Are they going to find a race of simians that had evolved into a civilization that nurtured and respected the world they lived in while embracing all within their environment? Or will they find archeological ruins and deserts and wasteland populated by ugly mutated cannibals feasting on one another? Like something out of some science fiction short story collection. We cannot foretell the future and perhaps should try. Jules Verne predicted someone would go to the moon. Da Vinci designed tanks and helicopters which are now centerpieces in defense and offense and used by the armies all over the world. Nostradamus predicted the death of JFK. Why not we take a look into the future and see if our Yokelishness is something we wish to leave as a legacy.

Why not send the Snake Oil contingent and the Yogic Yokels to space to greet them.

Xenodochial Xenophobia

“I believe I am right. Or, if not right, at least plausible.” Ignatius Donnelly

 
There is a subset of a subset of a subset within the culture of the world that is of particular interest, or should be. We, in America, seem to have this subset both proliferate and, prospering. This is a prolific procreation producing offspring of a garrulous genus. This minute segment of our society is what is termed by Charles P. Pierce as the “American Crank.”

In his treatise “Idiot America –How Stupidity Became a Virtue in America” Mr. Pierce explains, most eloquently, on the emerging fact that the “greatest country in history” has become the “not so greatest country in history” by listening to a select few who have infected us with a malady. This malady is rampant; it is a full on, looking for a cure, disease which has necessitated this discourse you are reading. It can be, with obvious fault, christened Idiotitis or Stupid Syndrome or Moronophilia, or even fatuous gestionis. All of which caused by the philosophies, thought and dreams of folks who have decided to accentuate the absurd, or outright make stuff up in order to garner fame…or wealth.

This works well in the age of satellite and cable television. The Internet has exponentially multiplied the amount of people who listen to these snake oil salesmen through unbridled access as well as volume by decibel. Mr. Pierce’s third Great Premise of Idiot America rings eternally true – “Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough.”

Test this premise for yourself. Pick a group of people you are acquainted with, preferably a diverse section of the political spectrum and dispute something that one or more of them believe. Try to pick something they believe vehemently and would “defend with their last breath.” Make small dissenting observations that disprove what they preach and see if the volume of their voices increases. If so, make an even more cogent observation and see how it progresses. If what you get is a yelling, screaming squabble where reason is lacking and rhetoric abounds (regardless of veracity) you can accurately suppose that some or all of their beliefs are driven by one or more genuine American Crank.

If the volume does not increase, and everyone retains a modicum of affability…sit and have a constructive conversation about the affairs of the “greatest country in history.”

As to the Big Pink American Crank in the room, it is up to each of us, as citizens of this “greatest country in history” to find our particular Crank, or True Patriot. The Cranks which make up one side of the political spectrum, the Republican Party, are not lacking in a numbers. Actually it might be a misnomer to call it a party. Given the propensity for the exclusion of anyone who is not rich or disagrees with a platform of demonizing poor people, might it not better be called something more accurate; cabal, sect, gang, or league of evil?

The demonization of immigrants in contradiction of the actuality that we live in a country made up of émigrés, as well as the racism perpetrated against religions other than what is erroneously termed the state religion of America, Christianity, is paramount to treason. It is of some humor that the backings of most of these cranks are those who believe that religions such as Islam are bad, but only those Moslems who, say, rule the larger petroleum nations outside America. Where would the Republican Party be today if not for the House of Saud? Where would Fox News be without its owner Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of that same house?

Many of these Cranks have called for the exclusion of immigrants with calls for walls on borders or the closing of religious venues. At the same time these wondrously wise (sic) men universally neglect to inform the public of who has been paying them and sending them on prostitute/drug fueled vacations to the point that the Crank must continue to be a Crank out of fear of prosecution. Or so you should think.

It seems that xenophobia does not include rich foreigners that purchase the political perpetrators for their treason. Another place would include word upon word detailing these infractions but then, some Crank with the proper viewer demographic or a large enough Nielsen rating, but not here. The advantage of a free press, or rather, a free internet blog is that you can be just as disingenuous or fact ignoring as you wish. Except this is not the case. What is written here is certainty, but those same folks who can sit and have a constructive conversation about the affairs of the “greatest country in history” are free to discover this without the aid of some Crank or anyone else.

Perhaps it is the ideal that we get to choose our friends that allows for the hypocrisy, insincerity, and duplicity of the American Crank. They shout to the heavens to deny entry, imprison in contradiction of established law, and do so all in the name of “Murica.” Their platform is the very same architecture used seventy years ago when a certain group of European Cranks came up with something called “The Final Solution.”

Well hold on there, you say. That cannot happen! After all this is “Murica!” well it most certainly can happen. It not only has, but it is occurring as we speak. There were sixty seven locations in the United States that were, essentially, concentration camps from 1941 to 1945. One hundred and twenty thousand (120,000) American Citizens were imprisoned because of the shape of their eyes during WWII. The Guantanamo Bay detention camp, remains open and operating because of the American Crank in all his/her disillusioned beliefs refuse to call it what it is, or allow the President to shut it down.

So what’s it going to be? Reinstate National Socialism, or quietly sit and have a constructive conversation about the affairs of the “greatest country in history?

War-torn and Woeful Wastefulness

“The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.” George Bernard Shaw

Listening to our President speak on the issue of guns and the regulation thereof, it is particularly egregious to know or believe that his emotion is, yet again, the fodder of racist Republican reprobates. Moved to tears not at the long list of atrocities committed by mass shooters but by the memory of “first graders” being killed in what should be the safest of environments. It is not the first time a politician has wept on live television, but this time it is being perverted into yet another avenue for the ill-mannered and traitorous right wing of America in order to denigrate the duly elected President of the United States.

In his speech he cited numerous other government and business leaders, quite a few Republican who have for over the last thirty years cried for the reasonable regulation of guns, and the fact that most gun owners also favor regulations. His belief, based in experience and not partisanship, is that in spite of what the American people wish, Republicans are going to deny them this simple right to feel safe. He listed the constitutional rights that have been violated by the mass shooters and the list encompassed all of society. The worst, an possibly the vilest part of this issue, is that these Constitutional Rights will be denied based on lies, innuendo, and outright criminal treason on the parts of his detractors.

So whose fault is it? We are all guilty. We have become numb to the situation and have accepted that we live in the most violent nation on earth. We have the capability and the technology to greatly reduce this problem and refuse to by our inaction. We have the ability to police ourselves on a personal basis but we choose not to, leaving the responsibility to those who vilify the situation on national television. And we believe it all because it is on television.

It would be simple to place the blame on the black guy on the television or the fat guy on the radio, but that is just wrong. We live in a world that we must occupy with other people and it is our duty to see to the well-being of our fellow man. A premise of every major religion in the world whether there is a deity associated with it or not. We have to do something about this! We must!

That action is where we differ and also the address of import. There are real concerns for safety and the politicizing of the issue because of an upcoming election is horrific and abominable. Why not just try to come together and accept that we do, in fact, have first the responsibility and then the ability to make changes. A hunter knows when deer season is going to happen and acts accordingly. He/she prepares for the hunt with a plan on how it is going to occur and what equipment and supplies are needed to make the outcome a successful one. This includes what weapon is to be used and the ensuring that the chosen firearm is legal and within there purview to own and use. Hunting is not an “all of a sudden” activity.

Home protection is also not a happenstance deed. If a citizen feels need of the protective qualities of a firearm then the reasonable method is to investigate what type of weapon is best, obtain that weapon, and ensure that all in the home who might have occasion to use said gun know how to use it safely. Additional time should be spent to learn when it is appropriate to use that instrument in the defense of their loved ones or home.

That takes care of the “rational” and legal rights, regulations, and reasons for owning a weapon. Now let us talk about the cries of the unreasonable. Those individuals who, barring any sense of sanity who think there is an invasion about to be perpetrated by the duly appointed government, a large religion, or a bunch of Mexicans swimming the Rio Grande river. Those “enlightened” creatures who interpret the Second Amendment to mean that by virtue of the fact that they scored 987,912,576,281,384,877,465 on “Black Ops – Aren’t I a Badass” they are entitled and compelled to own a machine gun. Well, to be truthful that would properly be called an “Assault Weapon.” These weapons, actually war weapons converted to fire only semi-automatically, are really just machine guns for the “enlightened creatures” who wish to display them while they are purchasing a breakfast sandwich alongside a First Grader in search of a Happy Meal. Another truth is that most semi-automatic assault weapons are frighteningly simple to convert back to full auto with a little knowledge and a heavy duty diamond strength file. Many don’t because having to continually pull the trigger gives them that “Black Ops – Aren’t I a Badass” feel to the whole process.

Mass shooters do not use revolvers or single shot rifles. They mostly use semi-automatic weapons with large capacity magazines. Just like the brave soldiers who fight our wars. The difference is that soldiers are bound by an oath of allegiance and the shooter might only be following the user agreement of “Black Ops – Aren’t I a Badass” or some equally irrational and inane misinterpreted scriptural reference of some holy book. Or they might be out of medication. Or they might not even have medication and are disturbed and no one knows it. Or any number of reasons that would be less dangerous if semi-automatic weapons were much more difficult to obtain. Taking them off the market and leaving them in the hands of those appointed to wage war for us is a start. A reasonable mind knows that it will never be completely stopped. Not in a democratic nation. But we might just not have one every freaking day.

Venal Vacuousness

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
Abraham Maslow

So speaking on the state of affairs with the state we are having an affair with a disturbing reality has reared its ugly head. There is a corruption in America that is permeating everything we know, think, say, or do. It is the process by which we know, think, say, or do anything that is imperative to the continuance of this great nation which has turned out to be not so great. Simply put, our system of government is displaying the early onset of the end of an age. We have been fortunate in that somewhere around two hundred and forty years ago there were some enlightened, or what passed as enlightened, gentleman who devised a system of government which appeared to solve the issue with being ruled by a large empire whose main focus was the propagation of a ruling class who could care less for those less fortunate then themselves. We triumphed in spite of the shortsightedness of those selfsame honorable men who, also, conveniently found it necessary to ignore and negate most of society from their purpose driven utopia.

Women, children, people of color, the poor, the slave, differing religions, and the homeless were just fodder for the cannons of those who felt it was their God given right to rule and reign. Fast forward to present day and we find the same paradigm has not changed while the demographics have altered enormously. There are the same types of disenfranchised as in 1776; women, children, people of color, the poor, and the homeless with the added difficulties encountered by alternative lifestyle such as gays, Native Americans, and yes…slaves. All of which are living in the same country where the population has increased by 12,800%.

Not a particularly alarming set of realities for the normal citizen for the most part. The amount of uninformed or misinformed voting citizens has increased super-double exponentially. Not that this means anything to the average Joe who watches the television in order to keep up with the latest in news, sports, or whatever or whoever is in the lead on the reality show that rules there Tuesday or Wednesday prime time television viewing. The difficulty is that we have a system that is failing its citizens and we have no real clue that the organism is on its last legs.

Take the political process for instance. We have rampant graft and corruption throughout the system. We have allowed our leaders to not only become fraudulent, dishonest, unethical, and immoral but we have watched quietly or silently while they voted to make all that fraudulence, dishonesty, unethicality, and immorality legal! We have what we allow!

We face another election later in this year and the sad part of it is that those who vote are making decisions for those who do not. Or so we think. The entire practice of electing people to govern has bred the very activities which are, as stated earlier, fraudulent, dishonest, unethical, and immoral. This cannot be said too many times. When are we going to wake up and learn that exploitation, venality, and depravity is and cannot be the function of the first Tuesday of every eleventh month, and certainly not in even years every four. What must occur to change the way we do business! Let the FBI do its job and shut down the Federal Government as it did the Italian Mafia? Perhaps it might help if we changed our view of things away from money and returned to the noble words of the Founding Fathers. Not necessarily the real truth about those famous men but the spirit of the words they used to make their point

We need to stop worshiping money and stop electing people who value money over the health and well-being of the citizens they represent. Why should we wage war so that some corporation can make a profit? Corporations pay politicians to make it easier for them to make money in foreign countries, check out Halliburton’s profit/loss statements from the last fifteen years if you do not believe it. They get politicians to wave a flag and send brave soldiers to faraway places to get killed or maimed for some corporation’s bottom line. Our governmental leaders send our brave men and women off to commit atrocities, or have barbarities committed on them so that they can add another couple of zero’s to their checking accounts. Waving a flag is an easy convenient way to manipulate the citizenry who then have their sons and daughters coming home damaged, maimed, or worse…not coming home at all. All to ensure some CEO gets his multi-million bonus every Christmas.

We might start by changing one fundamental principle in our “Great” country. That might the so-called “right” to free speech given us in the First amendment;

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Abridgement by definition is to “diminish, lessen, or curtail.” Is it not a diminishment of truth occurring when we receive false information? The news media has been allowed to report whatever they wish in any way they wish forever without regard to the truth. Are we not lessened by the dishonesty of fact bending politicians on the stump in elections years. Is not our health and well-being curtailed by corporate America when we suffer the vicious disregard they commit when they ship jobs overseas instead of paying a living wage to an American?

We already allow abridgements of speech in every facet of society. Why not make freedom of speech mean that we are free to tell the truth and not diminish, lessen, or curtail ourselves by believing the lies we hear every single day?

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