I wrote a post the other day when the white race riot at Charlottesville, Virginia was going on. It got an unusually large number of hits and comments. Marilyn wrote on the topic also and I noticed again, the high amount of … conversations. And the main question was, what the hell do we do with these morons? These marching morons?

Actual morons. Marching.

How do we deal with this evil, these vile excuses for human beings, these … morons?  I don’t know, but I have some ideas to throw out. They may work, they may not. Most people seem to want to convert these idiots, understand them, talk to them, swipe right when you see them on Tinder.

The thing is, this approach doesn’t seem to be working out so well. But I just read an article on how the tech world is handling the problem. Facebook and Twitter have suspended the accounts of identified white supremacists. Go-Daddy, Google and other ISPs will no longer host Nazi, KKK and white supremacist’s websites.

These morons are getting fired from their jobs when people recognize them from their news photos.  The Klan at least knew enough to hide under sheets.

This is the part where the morons who read these posts (Yeah, I have a few on Facebook when I post these blogs there) are fuming. They are furious. They’re going “What about our First Amendment rights!!!!? You fired me because I exercised my First Amendment rights! This is Obama’s fault!”

And that brings me to the point. Your first amendment rights mean you can say whatever you want, no matter how evil or vile or repugnant it is. And nobody can stop you. But here’s the other part we all seem to forget.


My Precious! These idiots are morons!

You don’t have the right to have your evil, vile, repugnant vitriol published by any social media service. They are all companies that have their own standards about acceptable content. They have every right to fire you, cancel you or close your account.

You can stand on a street corner and spout your crap, but nobody is required to pay any attention to you. Soap boxes are hard to come by these days, but consider an old tree stump. Very traditional.

In ancient cultures, one of the most severe punishments that could be meted out to a towns person, or tribe member who had done something wrong was “shunning”. The entire town would not talk to, deal with or even recognize the person being punished.

Eventually the person would leave town. The punishment was severe. Think about it. Nobody in the world would acknowledge you existed.

Hey. I’m talking to you. The Moron!

Maybe that’s what we need to do. Shun them in person and online. Google, Facebook, etc. already started it. The Virginia Governor said it in clear language. “You are not welcome here.”

When these morons stage a march. Go. Line the streets where they are marching. Turn your backs and ignore them. If they talk to you, tell them to “talk to the hand,” and walk away.

If they are going to some site to protect some stupid statue, let them. Don’t show up. No news coverage.Nothing.

Recently hundreds of these morons showed up to “protect Confederate memorials in Gettysburg from being defiled by the left.” The “left” never showed up. There are no Confederate memorials at Gettysburg. All that happened was one of the more moronic of the moron Trump supporters shot himself in the foot. 

Yes, he shot himself in the foot. That was a successful event.

That’s the template for these types of events. But if you need to show up at these events, and you can’t ignore them, mock them. Yelling doesn’t work. Fighting only helps their cause. Trying to reason with them is like teaching a pig to fly. You frustrate yourself and you annoy the pig.

I’m working on mocking white supremacist jokes, but all I’ve got so far is ripping off Jeff Foxworthy:

“If you go to family reunions to meet women, you just might be a white supremacist.

“If you walk your eight-year-old child to school every day because you are in the same grade, you just might be a white supremacist.”

“If you think Tiki Torches and polo shirts inspires fear in the liberal élite, you just may be a white supremacist.”

OK, the last one was mine, but you see where I’m going.

Oh, and if I’ve offended any white supremacists by calling you morons throughout this  post. I apologize. When I went to charm school, they taught me to say moron instead of asshole.

P.S. Anyone who catches the short story title reference, gets double points and years supply of Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat.



I’ve been pouring eye drops into my eyes for days in the hopes of making them feel less like someone poured dirt in them. It must be the weather. Or the dog hair. Or pieces of my brain falling out and messing with my eyes.

Garry is on his way to New York. He is going because his two younger brothers cannot have a conversation without a trained negotiator. In this case, Garry.

Seriously, they can’t talk to each other. My 75-year-old weary husband has to drive to New York to try and make sure middle brother will allow himself to be moved from Old Family Home currently being supported by Youngest brother. The hostage will then move to a nice senior facility in Northfield, Minnesota — which is city in which the youngest sibling resides.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Garry is driving because we aren’t doing airplanes. Just getting to the airport in downtown Boston and then out of the next airport to Long Island would take longer than the drive — even including the inevitable heavy traffic. Not to mention the money thing.

This leaves me here with no car as we sold the yellow one months ago. Take pity on me. Comment frequently.

I decided — briefly — that I need to start a new blog. I want to call it ALT-MIDDLE or maybe ALT-MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD. It will lobby for normalcy.

If I do it right, we can have our own alt-middle-news network. Rupert Murdoch will offer us gazillions to run it! I’ll be rich!

Or maybe not.

I got so excited, I nearly invested in another blog and then I said to myself, “Self? Are you insane? Another one?” So. No new blog. I’m barely keeping my head above water on this one.

But someone needs to be the ALT-MIDDLE. Too many left, rights, and just plain weird. Someone needs to stump for having a regular life without a lot of drama.

Just saying.

Grainy. My eyes feel like someone poured dirt in them.


Whether or not we voted for the same president, party, or believe in the same things, we are all citizens and all equal under the Constitution and laws of this country. Whatever our age, color, belief, faith, creed, tribe, or ethnicity — we are equal. We are the same before the law and in front of a cop with weapons.

I know about slavery. I know about endless attempts to wipe out every last Native American … and enslave every person of color … and several fortunately ineffectual attempts to lock up or get rid of other non-white peoples. We do not live up to our pledge to make life equal and fair for everyone, but that doesn’t change the intent of our Constitution or laws.

Yes, I know what the original said. I also know about the amendments that changed it. That is the point of having amendments — to alter the original.

That we have corrupt police officers and evil people who would prey on us and change us from a democracy to a totalitarian or fascist regime is sad, but probably inevitable. I will fight oppression and subversion until my dying breath. When you give up on freedom for others, you are give up on it for everyone. Oppressors don’t stop with one group. Once these people get started, they keep at it until they’ve gotten everyone under their guns. Oligarchs, autocrats, and kings want power and if you are in their way, you too are dead. They get power and keep it until a war overthrows them.

1st amendment cartoon

The first amendment states you can say, write, or publish whatever you want without fear of being arrested, shot, imprisoned, or otherwise legally penalized. On television, the internet, as film or in print. From your mouth or on your blog, even if what you are saying is incredibly stupid, baseless, and factually incorrect — and even if it offends everyone who reads or hears it.

The first amendment does not require you to utter, write, film, broadcast, or publish whatever idiocy crosses your mind. Just because you can does not mean you should. The Constitution protects your right to be a moron. It does not mandate you actually behave like one.

As an American, being a loudmouthed jerk is constitutionally protected — until you stop being a loudmouth and start hurting, killing, and locking people up. That changes everything.

When the violence begins, your freedom ends.

Those are your rights. My rights include the right to ignore you — and the right to fight should you impose your values on me.

A right is not a substitute for using your brains. It’s good to think. It’s good to read a book, check your sources. Find out the right thing to do — and then, do it. Your ignorant, blind opinion is not as good as everyone else’s, especially not when it’s based on hatred and fake facts. Hang on to your conscience, too.

You get respect after you trade your ignorance for knowledge.

Give reality a chance. Try thinking for yourself. Stop following your “leader” and prattling whatever nonsense he or she spouts. Our nation will be grateful to you. I will be grateful. With a little luck, the world will be a better, too.


My father, Abram Kardiner, was a well-known, well-respected psychoanalyst and anthropologist. He wrote many books, founded professional training programs and taught as a professor. But his real love was music. Listening to it, playing it, studying it.

My dad loved opera and classical music above all else. Opera blared throughout the house on his stereo every weekend. (P.S. I hate opera and always have!). He went to the opera and to concerts often and knew all the scores by heart. His favorite composer was Richard Wagner. He had a running debate with a friend over who was a greater composer, Wagner or Mozart.

But he was not a music snob. He listened to all kinds of music. He admired Broadway and popular music and he saw something in every musical style (rap had not been invented yet). He particularly liked the Beatles. He thought Paul McCartney was a genius and compared some of his melodies to Mozart’s.

In addition to listening to music, my father could also play musical instruments. He played the piano well and the violin adequately. But he had perfect pitch. He had the unusual ability to hear something and then be able to play it. He could go to an opera or a Broadway musical and come home and play most of the score on the piano. Without sheet music. Just from memory. It was awesome. I could play him anything and he could reproduce it for me on the piano!

But Dad could definitely read music. He was also well versed in music theory and had thought about becoming a conductor. One night I saw him in bed with a very large book. I asked him what he was reading. He turned the book around to show me and he was sight-reading the musical score of Tristan and Isolde. He was conducting along with his right hand as he held the book with his left.

Dad developed a relationship with some people from Julliard, the primo music school in New York City. We would regularly have musicales in our home. Dad would invite people over to listen to a private concert given by a Julliard student on our Steinway baby grand piano. He nurtured several pianists over the years.

Dad accomplished another extraordinary musical feat. When he was young, he actually MADE two violins. He taught himself how, he got the wood and the tools and created two violins from scratch! Good ones too.

Violins need to be played to keep their tone. So Dad loaned his violins to Julliard violinists to play. The violins had to be pretty good for Julliard students to play them. Often the violinists would come over and play with the pianist at one of our musical evenings. On one of Dad’s violins!

One of the things my dad regretted most in his life had to do with one of his violins. He felt it needed a minor adjustment in sound. So he took it to a violin maker and asked him to shave off just a sliver of wood from the center. The man shaved too much and, in my father’s eyes, ruined the tonal quality of the violin. It was still good, but no longer special. Dad never stopped obsessing over that mistake.

I took piano lessons as a child. I was good and I had my father’s great ear. But this was the area where I decided to rebel against my parents. The more they wanted me to play, the more I didn’t. I rejected music and eventually refused to practice the piano. My parents gave up on me when I was about nine. I later took clarinet briefly in school and took a year or two of guitar lessons as a teenager. But basically, I’m a musical dolt. I can’t play anything and I can’t read music.

Dad and me

Now I regret this deeply. I love music (though not opera) and listen all the time. It’s just frustrating to think that I could really play the piano if I hadn’t been such a child, when I was a child!