There are certain hypocrisies and inconsistencies in the Right Wing credo. I have trouble wrapping my head around it. I remember a George Carlin’s joke about the so-called Pro-Life crusade against abortion. Carlin said that their position is that “every life is sacred” as long as it’s still in the womb. Once it’s out, their attitude is “Fuck you! You’re on your own! No government aid or programs to help you thrive or even survive. It’s sink or swim, kid! And if you sink, it’s your own fault!”

I recently saw a Right-Wing sign that blew my mind. It was at one of those protests against the state-mandated shutdowns in place to protect people from contracting the Coronavirus. One issue that the Right has glommed onto is their constitutional ‘right’ to ignore state rules that require them to wear face masks when outside. The scientific rationale behind these requirements is the protection of OTHER people from possible infection from YOU. It is meant to be a selfless act to show support and consideration to others in your community.

The Trumpettes don’t care about others in the community. They claim that these regulations violate their freedom of choice.

The sign that set me off was carried by an unmasked, gun-toting libertarian. It said “My body, my choice”! Isn’t that the slogan of the pro-abortion advocates? It’s their position that women get to choose what happens in their own bodies. What am I missing here? That this freedom doesn’t apply to pregnant women unless the pregnant women are advocating for the right to choose not to wear a face mask to protect others?

There is now an extreme manifestation of the pro-death views of the alleged Pro-Lifers. Trump and his followers are now pressing for the opening up of state economies when the infection and death rate curves have not yet flattened and begun to go down. Which all scientists say is required for any reopening to succeed without unacceptable death rates.

Their stated philosophy is that it’s okay to have many more Coronavirus deaths as long as the economy gets going again. Some have literally said that older people should be willing to die to help the economy recover. Can you imagine thinking that, let alone saying that out loud? What happened to “every life is sacred”?

Carlin was right. The right to life only applies in utero.

Republicans/Trumpers seem to be willing to accept an out-of-control death rate from the virus in order to get the economy out of the recession/depression it is now in. What about MY right to life? I don’t understand how they envision a healthy economy with large numbers of workers out sick and larger numbers of people afraid to go out and continue to shelter at home. But that’s another issue.

Why is it that these people can’t see the total hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty of their positions? Some say the Trumpers are just too mentally challenged (read: stupid). But there are also psychological elements involved in the adoption of their political views. Trump supporters seem to believe that they are the moral ‘right’ and on the side of ‘good.’ Anyone opposing them is evil and morally corrupt. They are so certain of their righteousness they can’t even see the possibility of a legitimate opposing view. They ignore or deny facts that don’t fit in with their mindset.

In addition, they seem to have no problem imposing their will on everyone else and taking other people’s freedoms away. The Pro-Choice (pro-abortion) position has always been that if you want to follow your beliefs and NOT have an abortion, you’re free to abstain. Just don’t interfere with my right to do what I believe is right for me.

Freedom of choice is unacceptable to the Pro-Lifer/Pro Trumper.

We’ve been hearing a lot about the psychological pathology of Donald Trump. His malign narcissism is legendary. No one and nothing else matters but him and what he wants and he can pursue his own interests no matter who or what he destroys in the process.

He has also been labeled a toddler emotionally, with no impulse control or understanding of other people’s needs or of the good of society at large. It’s “Me!, Me!, Me!, Now !, Now!, Now!” all the time. I’ve concluded most of his followers suffer from the same psychopathy. They are incapable of seeing the world from the perspective of a compassionate, cooperative member of society. All they do is have tantrums when they don’t get what they want when they want it. The Toddler-In-Chief presides over a movement made up entirely of other toddlers.


It’s scary to think that one-third of our country consists of these psychologically damaged, intellectually. and morally limited people. Nonetheless, we have to move forward assuming this is the case. We need to focus on getting the nonright wing two-thirds of the population voting and engaged in the political process. That is the only way we can keep the infantile, selfish, autocratic. and compassionless minority from continuing to control our political system.

Hopefully, demographics are on our side over time. As the older Trump die-hards die off (and without masks, this isn’t pie in the sky). and the young and the minorities make up more of the population, the pendulum should swing back towards a more equitable, inclusive, open-minded. and socially responsible electoral majority.

At least this fantasy of the future will help get me through the next six months of the Trump Show until the election. And it’s only my optimistic belief that he can’t win reelection that allows me to sleep at all. If he does win in November and the fanatical toddlers continue to rule, I literally don’t know how I’ll get through the next four years. I’ll start by reading “Lord Of The Flies.”

WORLD OF STRANGE – Marilyn Armstrong

On some level or other, I’ve been waiting for my world to come crashing down since I was a kid. Call it one of the many fragmented outcomes of a dysfunctional childhood. And reading too many complicated books when I was too young to ignore them.

I should have waited until college where you are forced to read them and can forget the subject as soon as you pass the finals. I read them because I was interested in everything, so I read any book I could find. I don’t think I’d defined “reading for fun” as a concept. I just read. I had an empty brain and I needed to fill it up.

A lot of my early reading, once I got past horses and dogs, was historical fiction. With each piece of fiction I read, I found myself in the stacks of New York’s main library, somewhere down in the basement in the stacks. Because I wanted to know what was real and what was fiction. I ultimately had to unlearn almost everything when I got into more serious versions of history, but the fiction got me to the real deal.

I started with British history. I think it was King Arthur who got me into the monarchs of England beginning with William of Normandy. From there I moved into France and then fell into Rome where I stayed for a really long time. But they were around for a long time and many of their governmental structures are currently part of our modern government.

Over the years, I got a pretty good grip on history and how anything happening now has happened before and will happen again and again and again. Humans don’t seem to have much of a memory for the past. Even when it’s something through which they lived. We have approximately 50 years of historical memory, though recently it seems to be getting shorter. We call it stupid, but is it stupid or blind ignorance? And if it is blind ignorance, is it because our educational systems have been stripped to the bone?

Do they teach history? If they do, are they using books that have any basis in reality? Most of the books I got as “history” in public school were from the early 1940s and I think they are still using the same books. A kid who wants to learn history had better have a good library available because whatever he learns in school is probably wrong.

One day last year, Garry and I were standing behind someone at Target. She had an entire cart full of kid stuff. Young kids. It turned out she was a first-grade teacher and she was spending hundreds of dollars for supplies for her “kids.” She was buying pens and pencils, paper and scissors because the school didn’t have a budget. Notebooks. Little furry toys to use as prizes. Paint and paper. Glue. They’ve eliminated all of the things that made education fun for us. Art, music, excursions, drama. In most public schools you’re lucky if you get a textbook published post-WWII. I wonder if kindergartners get crayons or have to bring their own?

There are many reasons for the economic collapse. Coronavirus is the nail in a coffin we’ve been building as long as this country has existed and before that since the Romans ruled the world or at least an awful lot of it.

We can blame the Bubonic Plague for creating central governments on the European continent. Because so many people died and serfs were gone, the fields went untended. There was no food. What was left was often infected with ergot which is not unlike LSD in how it affects the human brain. So the wealthier people (we assume nobility but that’s not necessarily true) who had silos managed to gather the grain and took responsibility for distributing it. Until then, the government was essentially confined to the lord and his serfs, but after the 14th century, there were kings and subjects. I think there are too many kings and far too many subjects.

We never developed a vaccine for the Bubonic Plague. It’s still with us. Sometimes it responds to antibiotics, but not always. We keep it from taking over by controlling it the moment it appears. There was an outbreak in San Francisco in 1900 in Chinatown.

The San Francisco plague of 1900–1904 was an epidemic of bubonic plague centered on San Francisco’s Chinatown. The epidemic was recognized by medical authorities in March 1900, but its existence was denied for more than two years by California’s Governor Henry Gage.

Cause: Bubonic plague
Date: 1900 – 1904
Deaths: 119 deaths

San Francisco plague of 1900–1904 – Wikipedia

Although Bubonic Plague — when we think about plagues which we do more often these days than we used to — is always the one that first pops into our mind, the “Spanish” Plague which lasted from 1918 through 1919 killed far more people. It wasn’t Spanish. It actually started with some sick cows near a military base in Kansas, but if I called it the “Kansas Plague,” no one would know what I’m talking about.

So the first wave came through, helped along by the horrible conditions of the war. And just like now, they closed everything. But as soon as the contagion seemed to be letting up slightly started to drop, so the manufacturers  said: “it’s going away, open everything up.” The second wave hit and killed twice as many people as the first wave. But let’s not let history get in our way. Or science. Or even commonsense. See “1918 Pandemic Influenza” on the CDC website. It even has a timeline and pictures.

Culturally, we’ve maximized workplaces while simultaneously eliminating small and medium-size companies where owners and workers could have a relationship. Live in the same town. Send their kids to the same schools. When companies and farms were scattered throughout the country, a single company’s collapse would not leave thousands of people without work and their families in imminent danger of losing everything.

But wait! When the robots take over — and they will — nobody’s job will be safe. During the Democratic primary debates, I kept wondering why no one was paying attention to Andrew Yang. He was smart. He was telling the truth. He was already way ahead of our current monstrosity-in-office.

I know I didn’t start the fire that’s now burning our world, but I didn’t even understand there WAS a fire until I was in my thirties.

No generation made this mess alone. Civilization — European civilization — has been pushing in this direction since governments were invented. Bigger, richer, greedier, more powerful has always been the gold crown. It didn’t start in the U.S. It happened long ago in a land far away. Lay this one on Rome or maybe Macedonia.




First, thank you Fandango for offering to let me give myself the award. Is that anything like crowning myself.

Since Fandango called his post “Thanks For the Tag”  and I picked up on this invitation, so mine is “THANKS AGAIN FOR FANDANGO’S AWARD.” I’m just here for the questions.


The best part of it is that I’m not going to nominate anyone, but if you are interested in playing along — if for no better reason than to get your mind away from the news and personal worries and fears — AND you get to make up your own questions!

Which is also the problem because I have no idea what questions I’m going to ask. Hmm.

Here are the rules from this original blog’s creator:


  • Thank your nominator.  
  • Answer the ten questions they ask. 
  • Create ten new questions for your own nominees volunteers. 
  • Nominate ten neat bloggers for this special honor.
  • Contact your ten bloggers to let them know that they’ve been singled out for this momentous award.
  • Have fun.  This is purely for entertainment and passing a little bit of time, okay? No gloomy-gusses need apply.

Here are Fandango’s questions and his answers.

  1. Share one thing from your bucket list. (You haven’t made a bucket list? There must be things you hope to accomplish before you die, right? Just pick one, hehe.) My number one bucket list item is to kick the bucket peacefully and painlessly when the time comes.
  2. Have you ever read a fellow blogger’s book? What book was that, and can you link the author here? I’ve actually read a few, including books by Iain Kelly, Cage Dunn, Teresa Grabs, Paula Light, C.S. Boyack, and Jackson Radcliffe.
  3. What’s your favorite foreign country and why? The United States. I know what you’re thinking. I live in the United States, but these days, it seems quite foreign to me.
  4. Who’s the last person you wrote a real letter to? A “real” letter? You mean one written with a pen on a piece of paper? OMG, that’s so twentieth century.
  5. What are you the proudest about your blog? That I’m still blogging.
  6. What do you like the most about The Cove? The Cove? Can you be more specific? Is it a nightclub? A restaurant? A novelty shop? 😉
  7. What’s a word you wish you’d never hear again? Why? President Trump. Okay, that’s two words, and neither word, in and of itself, is offensive. But when said together: 🤮
  8. What’s the biggest “from you, to you” gift you ever got yourself? Back in the early 70s,  I bought myself a used, 1959 Jaguar XK 150. It was a beautiful car. Unfortunately, it spent more time in the shop than on the road.
  9. Tell me something you wish people knew about yourself, that most people don’t know. I’m an open book. Most people I know in the real world know everything there is to know about me.

Okay. Only 9 but who’s counting?

Time for me to create 10 new questions you can answer. Or not. Thinking. Thinking. A bit rusty up there. Grind, groan, grit, mumble. Okay, I think the wheels are beginning to turn. Here we go!

  1. What are you doing that makes it possible for you to get through the day? Do you read? Take pictures? Paint? Garden? Play with your dogs, cats, horses, goats, ponies, your kids, your husband? All of the above and a few more I haven’t thought of?

    Photo: Garry Armstrong

    I read. I write. I take pictures. I play with the dogs. I watch funny movies. I clean out closets but only one a day. I try to read other blogs, but I need to do some reading that I promised to do, so that will have to briefly change. A couple of days.

  2.   Are you trying something new which you never had time to do because you were too busy? This might be THE best time to learn French or Westphalian Saxon.
  3.  Are you using social media more or less than you did before the “plague” hit?
    It hasn’t changed. I don’t use it much.
  4.  Have you watched any superhero movies? Don’t you wish we had some real ones?
    I wanted the Green Lantern to get his friends together and fix things.
  5. Do you think we are really going to have an election? You ARE planning to vote, aren’t you?
    In theory, there’s an election coming. I have strong suspicions of just how far Trump will keep pushing. Will he try to become Stalin this November?
  6. How do lady cops manage to run in four-inch heels?
    Damned if I know.
  7.  When things turn ridiculous on a TV show or movie, do you ask yourself or someone else in your cocoon “why is …. doing that? when you know it’s just part of the script.
    I do. Garry does. And we know the answer: it’s in the script. Why is it in the script? Only the producer/director/writers will ever know.

    Down that road and back again. Photo: Garry Armstrong

  8.  Do you yell at your television during the news? Or ever? I correct their grammar. “FEW not LESS” I shout. Garry, on the other hand, starts to throw things and I have to quickly change the channel because we can’t afford a new one.
  9.  Have you remembered to drive your car recently? If not, go outside right now and drive around the block twice. Gotta keep the battery alive!

    The orange Jeep Renegade is ours.

    Once a week Garry drives around the block.

  10. Did you take your camera with you on your drive? Take any pictures? Garry takes the camera and has taken some pictures. That’s how I know the rhododendron is blooming.

Feel free to jump right on with some foolishness of your own. Happy Day-After Mother’s Day. Hope you have some cake left.


A Romantic Player, by Rich Paschall

Let’s face it, Jon was a bit of a player.  In fact, he felt he had to be.  How else was a poor boy to get by in the world?  He had tried to make it in other ways.  Now he had to expand his possibilities in any way he could.  He was looking for a way up and out and the present circumstance did not provide it.

By the time Jon had reached his late teens, he decided he must move out of the small South American town where poverty was the only way of life.  He dreamed of the big city and when he got his chance to join an acrobatic troupe based in one of the largest cities. He was off.  High in the tropical mountains was a city of millions of people and Jon would join the many and hope for a better life.

A move to the city

A move to the city

He could not afford a place in the city, actually, so he took a small apartment in a poor suburb.  He kept the place neat and clean so that he could enjoy his few possessions in pleasant surroundings.  Jon trained and exercised daily for his job.  The troupe performed exhibitions and entered competitions.   Sometimes there was money, but for some competitions, there was nothing.

With his youthful good looks and confidence, Jon signed up with a modeling agency.  There was little placement for fashion models, but with his cute face and athletic body, they were sure they could get Jon into a certain type of modeling and even film career.  Jon was stunned at the suggestion and refused the work.  The agency encouraged him to come back if he ever changed his mind.

Up on the roof

Up on the roof

While standing on the roof of his apartment building and looking down on the rooftops and poor people below, Jon got an idea.  He had to meet new people.  He had a phone and could easily steal WiFi from inside his apartment, so he decided to meet people and make friends from other areas, even other countries.  Since he thought the United States might be a good place, he decided to try to improve his little English and meet Americans.  Jon charmed his way into many lives under the guise of trying to learn the language.  He was really trying to find friends.

When there were some extra pesos in his pocket, Jon went to an area in the city that was frequented by tourists from other parts of the country and as well as “gringos.” Sometimes Jon went alone, sometimes with friends.  They would take a small table or sit at the bar in a popular nightspot.  There the young and handsome men would accept drinks from older men or women tourists.  Sometimes they would get an offer to go back to a hotel for the evening.  Jon liked the free drinks but declined the extra opportunity.  None of the people were right for him.  He did not want a one night stand, no matter what the offer.

Trolling for "friends"

Trolling for “friends”

While “borrowing” his internet connection from a neighbor, Jon started to become good friends with a few people he met online.  One stood out for Jon because he seemed to take a genuine interest in him as a person.  Jon talked with George about everything.  When chatting online Jon would use a program that would translate messages as they came in.  It is true it was not helping Jon learn English, but he did make more friends through faster communication.

George seemed special to Jon.  He told him all about the city where he lived.  He talked about his job and life.  He asked Jon about his life, his job, and his interests.  No one else wanted to know anything about Jon like George did.   Soon Jon wanted to use something other than the language site to communicate.

“Can we use Skype or Messenger or something else?”  And they did.  They followed each other on Facebook and called on Messenger.

“Send me the camera, George.”

“What do you mean?’

“I want to see you.  I want to see where you live.”

So they made virtual visits until one-day things changed.  Opportunity for Jon was at hand.  George had a vacation to use and nowhere to go.

“Come to me, George.  I want to see you.  Please.  I like you so much.  Please.”

After a few days of pleading, George was hooked and scheduled a visit to a continent he never dreamed of traveling to.

When George arrived as promised, Jon did not seem to notice, or at least not to care, that George was much older.  They went around town like tourists and had a good time seeing the sites by themselves one night, and with some of Jon’s friends the next.  They were both pleased with the country, the city, and with themselves.

Seeing the nightlife

Seeing the nightlife

Jon took advantage of the situation by offering to cook their meals rather than go to expensive restaurants.  Of course, they had to go to the markets where Jon made sure to get extra dry goods and fresh meats to last past George’s visit.  It was OK with George, even though he paid for it all.  He recognized what Jon was doing, but buying extra food for Jon was certainly cheaper than eating out every meal.  It was a win-win according to George.

When the brief visit was over, and George was at the airport, Jon cornered him down a hallway and told him that he loved him and thanked him for coming.  Then Jon looked around to be sure no one was watching before kissing him.  George was more than a bit surprised.

The next day Jon met with a favorite girlfriend, Vanessa.  She asked Jon about the visit of the stranger from America.

“He is very nice,” Jon told her.  “I think I will marry him.”

Vanessa looked at him as if she did not understand at first.  Finally, she spoke.


Related: For George’s side of the story, see “I LOVE YOU (No, You Don’t)

PORTRAITS OF THE DUKE – Marilyn Armstrong

He gave me his good side and I took pictures. Those are the eyes that make him popular. He is inordinately cute and he thinks he’s absolutely fierce. He greets everyone as if it’s the first time.

His eyes watch me. I might go to the kitchen!

Did I hear a squirrel?