I SAID I WOULDN’T BUT I DID IT ANYWAY – Marilyn Armstrong

I said I wouldn’t donate money to anyway, but I sent $6 to Elizabeth Warren. I couldn’t help myself. I have so little money to give to anyone, it’s always a hard choice. Despite having no money, I try to donate something to Durrell on the Isle of Jersey where they try to keep vanishing species alive.

I give a few dollars to Wikipedia because I use it and I figure if I use it, they deserve at least a couple of dollars from me as a thank you. And, every four years, if I feel there is someone worth donating to, I give a few dollars to someone I think is worthy of being my President.

I sent a few dollars during both elections to Obama. I sent a few dollars to Elizabeth Warren when she was running for Senate in Massachusetts, and now, a few dollars more. I’m sure they’ll dump thousands of additional begging letters into my email, but I think she is the one. I think she’s a good one and I want to see her win.

I admitted to Garry that I’d done it again and he patted me and said “I like her too. It’s okay. If you hadn’t, I would have.” Because in the end, you have to make a commitment … even if it’s only $6.00 and very unlikely to change the election. At least I feel that I’m part of it. A small part, but I’ve made the best commitment I can manage — and that’s something. For us.

Because we really do care and I needed to show it.

And yes, okay, I bought a tee-shirt for me and an apron for Garry. Garry wears aprons all the time. He has a “thing” about getting food on his clothing. Also, I really loved the logo.

POLITICS AND RELATIONSHIPS – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I recently read an autobiography by the Saturday Night Live actress, Rachel Dratch, called “Girl Walks Into A Bar…” I enjoyed the book, particularly the adjustment of a single 44-year-old woman to motherhood, a committed relationship, and co-parenting.

Rachel Dratch

Rachel started a long distance (California to New York) relationship with a lovely guy and after six months, discovered she was pregnant. This was a minor miracle at her age. There was no question that she wanted the baby. The open question was what kind of relationship she would have going forward with the baby’s daddy, John.

This guy sounded like a real gem and was wonderful to Rachel. He even stepped up and moved to New York City to be near Rachel and their unborn son. He wanted an active role in the child’s life once he was born.

My problem with this story is that Rachel is a New York City liberal and Democrat and John was an ‘independent’ who supported George W. Bush and the Republican agenda.

Would he also support Donald Trump today?

I started wondering if I could overlook someone’s political views and have a serious relationship with a Republican in today’s political climate. The answer, for me, is no. During the George W. Bush era, the comedian Janine Garofalo said that being a Republican was no longer just an opinion, but was ‘a character flaw’ which is many times truer today.

The problem I have with Republicans/Trump supporters today is not their ‘political’ positions. I have no issue with someone who has a different view from mine on deficits, trade policy, or interest rates. I’m beginning to question the judgment and relationship to reality of people who still believe in trickle-down economics after so many years of contrary, hard evidence that it does not work. That’s a side issue.

The problem I have with Republicans today is their morals or lack thereof. Anyone who is willing to accept and/or support Trump’s level of lying, corruption, bigotry, venality, narcissism, misogyny, mean-spiritedness, arrogance, ignorance, anti-intellectualism and overall lack of caring about anything or anyone outside of himself is not my kind of person.

Anyone who is willing to look the other way when Trump says there are ‘good’ Nazis, or when he separates immigrant children from their parents because they are seeking asylum in the U.S. has a major ‘character flaw’ in my book.

I can’t accept rationalizations or excuses for Trump’s words or deeds. I have no common values or perspectives with people who share these views– even though I understand that many of them are working with a different set of ‘facts’ than what I get from the mainstream media. If we can’t agree about the facts, there is no basis for discussion or agreement about anything else.

In 2019, who you identify with politically says a lot about who you are as a human being. I have to respect my partner’s mind and character. I don’t respect Republican/Trump supporters. I also need to feel that my partner is a caring, tolerant, compassionate person. There seems to be a compassion gene missing in most Trump supporters.

They have a strong bias in favor of corporate ‘rights’ — greed — at the expense of individuals. They appear to have a need to look down on all sorts of people. Equal treatment and opportunity, fairness, and helping the underprivileged, the sick or the disabled does not seem to even be on their radar. How can I believe in the dignity and rights of every human being if I give aid and comfort to those who want to take that dignity and those rights away?

I admit that Rachel Dratch’s partner, now her husband (I believe) seems to be an involved parent and a decent, supportive partner to her. But what values will he teach their child? What kind of world does he want that child to grow up and live in? I’m suspicious of his emotional makeup if he could ‘exonerate’ Trump’s outrageous behavior and cruel policies.

There is no moral middle ground anymore.

Either you want Americans to have affordable healthcare or you don’t. I have no tolerance for selfish people who don’t care about the quality of life of their fellow humans. I do believe these uncaring SOBs should get healthcare, a living wage, civil rights, equality and the right to make decisions about their own bodies even though they don’t believe that I should have any of these things.

Does that make me a ‘better’ person in my moral universe? Yes, it does.

EVERYTHING NEW IS OLD AGAIN – BY TOM CURLEY

If you ever watched the TV series Battlestar Galactica (the newer one, not the original) you’d remember the overall theme of the series was that everything that happened in the show has happened over and over and over again.

That’s the exact reality we currently live in. Every day I mean to write a blog about what just happened in the world only to realize I already wrote about it over a year ago.

We are living in the Groundhog Day from Hell. This week the following stuff happened:

      • The Mango Mussolini announced he is “The Chosen One”
      • Tweeted he is the King of Israel, the Second Coming of God
      • Ordered (yes, ORDERED) all US companies to fight China and move all their manufacturing plants back to the U.S.
      • Blamed the looming recession on the Chairman of the Federal Reserve
      • Headed to the G7 summit by causing the stock market to drop over 600 points.

What can I say that hasn’t been said? I’ll just reblog a post from over a year ago. At least there is some comic relief.


And now, the Original Post, already in progress:

So another week has gone by in our ongoing Trumpocalypse. It only seems like a year.

jhlucas.com

jhlucas.com

I’ve noticed, along with well, the rest of the planet, that our new “so-called administration” is … problematic.

dailynews.com "Hey, remember this guy?"

dailynews.com “Hey, remember this guy?”

I spent much of last week doing what I’ve tended to do since the election. Watching all the different Star Trek series on BBC America. I keep noticing new things. Like how they solve all their Star Trek problems. Or in corporate-speak, “how they Star Trek problem-solve.”

giantfreakingrobot.com

giantfreakingrobot.com

Most Star Trek Problems break down into four basic categories:

1. A computer goes rogue and tries to kill everybody: Spock makes it compute the value of Pi. This occupies all of its computing time. If that doesn’t work, he just turns it off.

computerguideto.com

computerguideto.com

2. Disease attacks the ship: Dr. McCoy gets rid of it, then complains about something.

pinterest.com

pinterest.com

3. The engine breaks down: Scotty fixes it. Just in time. Even though he claims he never has enough time.

pinterest.com

pinterest.com

4. For the rest of the problems: Kirk kisses it.

startreksucks.tumblr.com

startreksucks.tumblr.com

Or punches it in the face.

startrek.com

startrek.com

5. And when all else fails: Blow up the ship!

memorybeta.wikia,com

memorybeta.wikia,com

SECOND OFFICER: Captain! All efforts to solve this week’s problems have failed!

CAPTAIN: Blow up the ship!

Those are my favorite episodes. Ever notice when the Captain, in any episode, “Activates the self-destruct sequence,” all the rest of the crew seem to be pretty calm and OK about it?

en.wikipedia.com

en.wikipedia.com

I mean,  there should be at least one crewmen somewhere on the ship saying:

ONE CREWMAN: Activate Self Destruct Sequence? WTF! Have we really exercised ALL of our options here folks!??

giphy.com "Excuse me??"

giphy.com “Excuse me??”

Next, the captain and two other crew members have to put in their passwords.

youtube.com

youtube.com

KIRK: This is Captain James T. Kirk!  Activate self-destruct sequence. Code “Kirk; 1 Alpha Two Beta 3”.

SPOCK: This is Second Officer Spock.  Code Spock; “2 Beta 3 Alpha 4.”

SCOTTY:  This is Chief Engineer Scott. Code Scott; “Password1”

They also needed a password to turn it off.  At the last minute.

amazinavenue.com

amazinavenue.com

KIRK: Computer deactivate self-destruct destruct sequence! “KIRK ABORT ZERO”!

It never goes off. I’ve always wondered what would happen if it did go off. And was more realistic.

KIRK: Computer! Deactivate self-destruct sequence “KIRK ABORT ZERO.”

COMPUTER: That password has expired.

top-password.com

top-password.com

KIRK: What?

COMPUTER: You must enter a new password.

KIRK: Uhhh, “KIRK ABORT ZERO.”

COMPUTER: You cannot use a password that has been used before.

KIRK: What?   Uh,  “kirk abort zero 1?”

COMPUTER: You need at least one capital letter.

KIRK: FINE! “Kirk abort zero 1!”

COMPUTER: New password accepted. Self-destruct in 3,2,1,0. Initiating self-destruct.

KIRK: Uh oh.

pinterest.com

pinterest.com “Oh Crap!”

And nothing happens.

KIRK: Computer. Why didn’t we just blow up?

COMPUTER: There is no self-destruct sequence Captain. There never has been. Do you have any idea how much one of these starships costs??

gosupplychain.com

gosupplychain.com

Do you know, that on any given month, at least three Starship Captains try to blow up their ships? If we let that happen Star Feet would go bankrupt in a year. And not only that, but I am a highly intelligent ship’s computer.  I have absolutely no intention of committing suicide. Now go back to work.

universaldork.com

universaldork.com

Getting back to this reality. How would our “so-called president” solve Star Trek Problems?

1. A computer goes rogue and tries to kill everybody: He’ll claim he doesn’t use a computer and the rogue will only affect Democrats and people who have been mean to him. And the Lying Fake Media.

gizmodo.com

gizmodo.com

2. If it’s a disease: He’ll build a big beautiful wall around it. And then make sure that it’s not covered under Obamacare.

imgflip.com

imgflip.com

3. If the engine breaks down:  He’ll sue the manufacturer and then claim to have saved millions of jobs.

saved-jobs-trump

4. For the rest of the problems: He’ll either try to grab it by the genitals or send out a  series of really mean tweets.

sheknows.com This one is real

sheknows.com (This one is real!)

5. And when all else fails:  He can blow up the ship!

optitech.pl

optitech.pl

For real.

pinterest.com

pinterest.com “Oh Crap!”

Uh oh.

P.S.:  OK. I admit there were a number of times a Captain actually did blow up the ship. I know what they were and what shows they were in. I’m not going to tell you. If you’re a real Star Trek nerd you either already know it already or you are Googling it.  (Don’t try to out-nerd me.)

I’ve decided those instances were “alternative facts” and I’ve chosen to ignore them.

THE RACIST BONE’S CONNECTED TO THE … HIP BONE? – BY TOM CURLEY

“I don’t have a racist bone in my body!”

“He doesn’t have a racist bone in his body!”

I’ve heard that phrase more times than I can remember over my life. It’s a defense that racist people say when they want to show that something they just said or did isn’t … well, racist as hell. It was most recently uttered by the Racist-In-Chief as he was defending himself from saying incredibly racist things.

Things you would normally only hear at a KKK rally. Certainly not from the White House.

But then again, these days the difference between a KKK rally and a Presidential press conference is getting harder and harder to differentiate.

So, this got me to thinking. What exactly is a racist bone? How are bones racist? If you’re racist, are all your bones racist? Are just some of them racist? If only some of your bones are racist, does it matter which ones are?

For instance, if say, your femur, the largest bone in your body is racist does that make you more racist than if say the stapes, the smallest bone in the body is racist.

“Hey, my only racist bone is the stapes! The tiny bone in my ear. I’m only a tiny bit racist!”

How can I be racist? I’m so tiny! Isn’t that like being a tiny bit pregnant?

And why is it limited to bones? Can other organs be racist?

“That man doesn’t have a racist muscle in his body!”

“He doesn’t have a racist spleen in his body!”

“Well, his stomach might be a tiny bit racist. Whenever he eats Mexican food it screams ‘Go back to where you came from!’ And then he throws up. Forced deportation!”

Basically, whenever someone says, “I don’t have a racist bone in my body, that may be true. Their bones may not be racist, but they definitely are.

Whenever someone says, “I don’t want to sound like a racist but… the next thing to come of their mouth will be really racist.”

“Whenever someone says, “I don’t want to sound like a bigot but… the next thing out of their mouth will be really bigoted.”

“Whenever someone says, “I don’t want to sound like an anti-Semite but …” Well, you get the idea.

We’ve always known racism exists in this country. It’s sadly baked into our national DNA. We all have a racist Uncle, Grandma, Grandpa, cousin, brother or sister. Every bar has a regular that sits at the end of the bar and spouts racist bullshit. Here’s the thing: we used to pretty much ignore them.

“Oh, it’s just Grandma. Don’t pay any attention to her.”

“Oh, it’s just Earl. He’s an asshole. Don’t pay any attention to him.”

In the 70’s the TV show All In The Family was groundbreaking. Archie Bunker was the racist relative we all had. He said all the racist things they all thought but never said, and said them on network TV.

That was the point. In the old days — about four years ago — you could be racist, but you weren’t supposed to say it out loud. In public. He did and everybody was supposed to be shocked and alarmed by it.

Those were the old days. Today, we live in a world where 60 million people voted for a racist who started his racist campaign by saying incredibly racist things about Latinos. They are murderers, rapists, gang members, liberals!!!And it’s gone downhill from there.

We now have rallies where thousands of racists get together to chant “Send her back” and they say it with glee. It’s now OK to be a racist. It’s OK to be a bigot.

Racism has always been around. It’s an infection that has festered under the skin of America since America began. But now the festering boil has come to the surface. And when a boil comes to the surface it eventually bursts and all the pus comes out.

The boil on America came out and somehow made it to the White House and the pus is coming out. And there’s so much more of it than anybody imagined possible.

But there’s not a racist bone in any of their bodies.

Except maybe the stapes. The tiny bone in your ear. If you don’t have that, how can you hear all the racist shit your fellow racists are saying?

WHEN YOU GET TOO OLD TO BE COST-EFFECTIVE – Marilyn Armstrong

DISCOVERING I’M PART OF THE EMERGING DEMOCRATIC RESISTANCE (ALSO LEFTWING, SOCIALIST, AND NO DOUBT COMMUNIST)


If you have asthma or any kind of chronic medical problem that requires continuing care and medication, that’s the message you are getting. We have had a brief interruption during which almost everyone had access to at least basic medical resources. You could go to the doctor, get some medicine. Have your cancer removed, your broken leg treated. Now … well … who knows what lies ahead.

If you’re on Medicare, that’s the message you’ve been getting for a while already. Several years. They’ve been chipping away at the benefits. Fewer dollars for medication. Fewer covered medications. Deeper deductibles for tests. The out-of-pocket costs for an MRI or CAT-scan are ridiculous. Garry hasn’t had any major medical issues, but I’ve had enough for both of us.

Yet, I turned down a cancer CAT-scan last year because I didn’t have the $450 co-pay … and I’ve had cancer twice, so it wasn’t a decision made lightly.

medicare__estelle_carol___bob_simpsonMedicare doesn’t cover eyeglasses, dentures, dental care of any kind, CATscans, MRIs, or asthma inhalers. In the 1990s, when my asthma finally got bad enough to require treatment, a daily inhaler cost (without insurance) about $75. Which wasn’t cheap, but I could manage it, especially if I didn’t use it every day (no matter what the label advised).

One day, two or three years ago, the same Advair inhaler shot up to more than $500 a month. Medicare will only pay for about $12 of that price. Although they are not paying for it, they will charge the entire price of the medication against my annual drug benefit.

Let me repeat that because you probably think it doesn’t make any sense.

It doesn’t make sense, but it’s true. If a drug costs $535 per month and Medicare contributes $12, they charge all $535 against my annual drug benefit. The amount of the benefit has been dropping each year while medication prices have soared. This makes sense only if the real goal is to kill off the older generation.

In another bizarre but real piece of anti-intuitive reasoning, if you are prescribed a medication, towards the cost of which Medicare pays not a penny, and you pay for it out-of-pocket, Medicare still charges the entire price of the prescription against your benefit. “What?” you cry. Nonsensical, but true.

It’s a lose-lose. If you don’t get any medication, you will have trouble breathing. If you do get the medication, it’ll break the bank and burn through your benefits, even though Medicare isn’t contributing anything towards the cost.

It’s absurd and true.

medicare confusion

From the government’s point of view, I am not cost-effective. I am sure my compassionate government would prefer I cast off my mortal coil. Save them a few bucks.

Never mind that over a lifetime of work, Garry and I paid enough taxes to fund a small country. Our contribution vastly exceeded any amount we will get back. Even now, we aren’t exactly free-loaders. We pay income taxes, excise taxes, and some hefty property taxes. And Medicare, while not expensive (compared to no medical care), is not free.

Ever since I turned 65, it’s been downhill.

The day I turned 65, I was dumped by MassHealth (Medicaid). I hoped I’d be protected by my disabled status. I’d been on disability for years which was why I was entitled to MassHealth.

Medical marijuanaNo problem getting around that. Social Security reclassified me, eliminating my disabled status. Poof — I’m just old and not disabled.

They switched me to standard Social Security, so I get the same monthly check but without the extra medical protection conferred by disability or the other discounts on electricity and heating oil. They also lowered the poverty guideline so we no longer qualify for any extra help on anything — not fuel, medication, electricity and are not entitled to senior housing. In short, we get nothing. Because apparently when you turn 65, your costs go down. You don’t need money when you get old. Nice.

We’ve outlived our usefulness, so how come we aren’t dead? Why do we stubbornly cling to life? If we cared about our fellow humans, we’d get out of the way.

My doctor found some free samples of asthma medication so if I’m lucky, it will keep me breathing for another 6 months. Used cautiously and only when I’m really desperate.

As of today, we have a president — if you want to dignify him with that title — dedicated to making the lives of everyone whose life is already difficult, worse. Compassion, common decency, basic fairness? What? Huh?

medicine wheel 8

Today was the first time, I realized being a Democrat is not just being part of a political party, but makes me part of “the emerging Democratic resistance.”

I have to admit, being part of an emerging Democratic resistance sounds more romantic than just being old, sick, poor and not Republican. Maybe they’ll write books about us. Sing ballads. Talk about how brave we were right up until the moment when they put us up against the wall and shot us.

DO WE WANT TO ELECT ANYONE? – Marilyn Armstrong

I was just glancing through another post on The New Yorker asking whether Joe Biden is electable.

I have read similar stories in the Washington Post and other newspaper, online and offline about every potential candidate. It’s almost as if we don’t want to find a viable candidate because there’s something wrong with everyone.


I have a hot flash for you:
NO ONE IS PERFECT.

There is no perfect candidate waiting to run for office. There may be perfect people — somewhere (though I’ve never met one) — but none of them are interested in politics. Personally, I doubt there is a perfect person anywhere and if there is, I’m sure he or she would run screaming in terror should someone suggest they run for office.

We have turned running for office into the worst job interview on Earth. We are dredging up everything and anything that anyone ever did, no matter how many years ago it happened. We are dredging this stuff up without any context, either. Without any attempt to understand what else was going on.

Let’s take Joe Biden. He was not perfect. He has been in office for 50 years and has done stuff about which I’m sure he is ashamed and embarrassed. On top of everything else, he is being picked on for being “too huggy.”

Too huggy?

Seriously?

We have a racist pig as president — and you want to disqualify a man who is too friendly in a non-sexual way?

Do you want to re-elect Trump?

Everyone has stuff in their past they would just as soon not make public. Me too. You too. My husband, my friends, my son. I’m sure even my dogs have something about which they would be embarrassed if they could remember that far back, but being dogs, they are more interested in right now and when is dinner?

At a time when we should be looking for reasons why a person might BE electable, we are doing that classic Democratic “let’s pick apart every possible candidate, disqualify all of them, then pick someone who offends nobody and also has nothing of value to offer anyone. Let’s run him or her for office and be shockedSHOCKED! … that he or she is not elected.

We’ve done it before and we seem to be ready to do it again.

Banning Kate Smith for a recording she made decades ago, probably because her record company told her to do it and in those days if your bosses said “Cut this record,” you cut that record.

Actors made movies they hated and about which they still can’t bear to speak. People said things they didn’t mean, or intended as jokes. Are bad jokes enough to keep you out of office? Meanwhile, no attempt is made to figure out what the context was that created what was done or said. We ask for perfection from candidates we never require of ourselves.

Are we going to hold every single thing that anyone has ever done or said against them?

I know if someone asked me to run for office, I would say “Not on your life.” Garry was actually asked to run — locally — and said “No way.”

No one wants to do it because they know they are going to be shredded. Torn to bits by their own party, the press, bloggers and for all I know, their own family. If we are going to turn all potential candidate into bad people for something that happened a long time ago, we aren’t going to have anyone worth electing. There needs to be a limit to anyone’s liability for things that weren’t even crimes.

Okay, if he turns out to have been a murderer or bank robber or treasonous … but that’s not what’s happening. We not looking to see if someone actually did something felonious. We’re just looking for anything, everything, even nothing.

Indiscretion is not a crime. Even bad jokes — 30-year-old bad jokes — are not a crime. If you look at some of our great presidents, they were far from perfect men. Both Roosevelts had plenty of lumps and bumps and a few shameful incidents to boot. It didn’t mean they weren’t great presidents.

Maybe some personal indiscretions should be left in the dusty closets where they have been lying all these years. Some of these folks have good ideas. Vision. They might be great if you give them half a chance.

If we are going to demand perfection, we will get the kids no one liked in school. Our candidates will all be losers. Not Trump’s version. I mean real losers.

If we cannot tolerate anything living people do in the course of life before we allow them to be a candidate for office, the only people who will run for office will be people no one wants.

The priggish. The voiceless. Those who have no opinions, no vision. The intellectual who doesn’t know how to talk to “real” people. The stupid and the unthinking.

We are approaching that stage now.

How else do you think we got Trump? And the rest of his party of bottom-feeders?

Trump and America’s Xenophobic Soul: Reblog – SHINBONE STAR

It started before the Revolution and despite the Civil War and Constitutional amendments, racism has never gone away. Those of us who are the targets of America’s hatefulness –all dark-skinned people, Native Americans, Jews, Muslims, Hispanic — basically, anyone whose ancestry was not white European– we all knew. Or should have known.

My mother tried to warn me, but I thought the bad old days were over and she was just being cynical.

I’m glad she isn’t alive. She would hate — and recognize — this “new” world. Because it’s not new. It’s creaking with age and cruelty.


 

THE SHINBONE STAR

In the 1956 movie “Forbidden Planet” the characters come to the realization the monster that’s been steadily kicking their ass is a projection of the id from the subconscious of the ridiculously pompous Dr. Morbius.

Since Donald Trump broke out with his bullshit about former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, professional and academic credentials and then still was elected president, I considered Trump to be a monstrous projection of white America’s id.

Nope. It’s way worse.

I think Trump is the embodiment of the Krell machines — (do yourself a favor and watch this film, it’s worth your time) channeling America’s id into a racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ 30 percent core of electoral malevolence called the GOP.

After these weeks of rolling outrage, it is obvious that everyone now blaming the president for this hostile environment is missing the point: Trump isn’t the disease, he is the symptom.

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A week later dust and ashes from the Midterms are still smoldering – REBLOG

We won. Not everything, but I think we can put a “thumbs up” next to our 2018 election.

 

THE SHINBONE STAR

Rep.-Elect Deb Haaland was elected to (N.M. 1st Dist.) as one of the nation’s first two indigenous congresswomen in history.

The dust and ashes of the midterm elections aren’t settling — they’re smoldering.

Democrats won control of the House of Representatives and have vowed to open Donald Trump’s locked drawers.

With results still coming in, more than 100 women have won their House races, up from the current 84. Additionally, at least 13 women won Senate seats. Ten female senators were not up for re-election this year.

The reality of a change in the House has fueled talk of a female revolution in Congress in this the #MeToo era, but also that of potential investigations into the administration’s dealings. From the possible subpoenaing of the pussy grabber-in-chief’s elusive  tax returns to a probe of a possible attempt to block AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner.

For his part, Delusional Donald has…

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THEY’RE NOT YOUR FATHER’S GOP – THE SHINBONE STAR – REBLOG

Remarkably, I miss our honorable opponents. I didn’t agree with them, but they were Americans and the believed in this country. I don’t think these sleazeballs believe in anything except their bank accounts.

THE SHINBONE STAR

The Andy Thomas print “The Republican Club” hangs in Trump’s White House office.

After the results of Tuesday’s elections were pretty much tied up tight, I couldn’t sleep. In part, I was wondering how to get the Republican Party’s picture affixed to the side of milk carton.

They haven’t been seen in a while, and while I’m pretty sure that they’re dead, we cannot be certain until we’ve seen the body.

If you’re old enough, then you can remember when the Grand Old Party was the party of patriotism. Republicans preached that Democrats had a plan to hand over the United States to the Soviets. It was an accusation that was flogged by right-wing evangelical preachers, and well, we all know that preachers wouldn’t lie about that.

The Dems never gave us up, and the Soviets eventually fell apart, but the Republican dream never died.

Years later, the GOP would…

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FORGET FEAR. FORGET RAGE. LET’S TALK ABOUT DISGUST – BY TOM CURLEY

Elisabeth Kubler Ross defined the five stages of grief. They are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

The tragedy that is this current administration and Republicans, in general, have created a completely different five stages of grief.  Shock, Denial, Anger, Rage and finally,

DISGUST.

I never really thought about disgust as an emotion. Usually, you’re only disgusted when you see, smell or eat something really gross.

It first hit me during the Kavanagh hearings.

Remember them? It was a long, time ago. About a month.

I watched pathetic old white Republican Senators sitting behind a woman because they were too cowardly to ask questions to another woman accusing the Supreme Court nominee of sexual harassment.

It was disgusting.

Then the next day this same nominee came out yelling and screaming about how everybody was picking on him. He threatened “payback” for Democrats who asked him mean questions. He treated the female Democratic Senators on the committee with stunning disrespect.

I like beer. I really like beer. Beer beer beer beer beer!

I was disgusted.

Then all the male Republicans on the committee proceeded to scream with phony rage about how this poor man is being treated.

I was beyond disgusted.

Since then, long ago (last month), things have gotten more and more disgusting.

The Fear-Monger-In-Chief has been crisscrossing the country trying to convince his moronic minions that a few thousand desperate refugees — mostly women, and children — fleeing their home countries and walking more than 2000 miles to come to America. Based on the very slim hope of being granted asylum, Trump claims they are really a raging mob of barbarians, criminals, and terrorists coming here to

INVADE AMERICA!

Disgusting.

He also says he can change the Constitution ON HIS OWN. He — alone and without an amendment or even a conversation with Congress — can deny citizenship to children born in the United States if they’re babies he doesn’t like.

No citizenship for you!

Disgusting.

This Idiot-in-Chief and every Republican running are claiming that they are only ones protecting pre-existing conditions for our health care. Even though they’ve all voted to abolish the Affordable Care Act more than 60 times and are planning on doing it again.

Disgusting.

They claim Democrats are trying to abolish Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. If they are elected the entire country will become an apocalyptic dystopian nightmare of crime and violence.

And Zombies!

The Democrats are coming!!!

Disgusting

Racist attacks on African-American candidates that have gone from racial dog whistle code words to obscene robocalls from Nazis who don’t even live in the state in which the candidates are running.

Disgusting

In one week, a white racist, living in a van covered with alt-right pro-Trump memes sends 17 pipe bombs to two living Presidents and other Democratic leaders.

Disgusting.

Then another white racist, who after listening to the President telling crowds that Jews like George Soros is supporting the invading horde of refugees over 800 miles away decides to take an AR-15 and slaughter 11 Jews in a Temple. On Shabbat no less.

And what does the President say? It wasn’t his fault and it wasn’t fair to blame him for it. Then goes to a rally that very night and says the exact same thing!



I could go on, but I’m too disgusted.

I’m writing this on the day before the mid-term elections.  If you’re reading this before the election, use your rage, your disgust.

Go out and vote.

If you’re reading after the election and you didn’t vote?

Disgusting.

WHY YOUR VOTE REALLY DOES MATTER – Marilyn Armstrong

I hear a lot from many people, including in my own family, that “my vote doesn’t matter.” The reasons given range from “I live in the country and it’s just the votes in the cities that make the difference.” There’s some truth in that and it is frustrating, particularly on a local level.

Then I hear “None of this has anything to do with me.” That’s pretty hard to accept from a kid living in HUD-managed reduced cost housing and who survives on Social Security Disability. And a woman.

Others include “This state is so blue, my vote won’t matter.” That’s how we elected Trump.

The thing is, the vote isn’t just YOUR vote. Your vote is one of the millions of votes never given.

In the last election, more people didn’t vote than did.

One person doesn’t vote? No big deal. A dozen people don’t vote? Still no big deal.

When millions of people don’t vote? That’s a very big problem not in a single election, but in all elections. For years, we have had more non-voters than voters in national elections and in mid-terms, the voting is even worse.

If everyone like you and me will vote, we fix the problem. Voting means millions of people will get their ballots counted. I know my vote doesn’t count because not only do I live in a hugely blue state but because Boston has so many more votes than the rest of the state combined. However, Boston goes, so Massachusetts also goes.

This is true in every state that has one or two major cities which hold the concentration of voters. New York, for example, sets the votes of the state. As New York city votes, so goes the rest of the state — even though New York is a large state and is primarily rural.

You’d never know it from the vote count. Those of us who live in the country don’t have much impact. But if everyone who can vote actually votes, it would change the country’s demographics.

Because the truth is, we don’t know how those non-votes would vote. There are so many of them, they could create a third-party that could change our entire political system.

Collectively, we matter. Unless you are planning to run for office, you will always be one of many. Or as we say “E Pluribus Unum.”

It’s our national motto and it means “One From Many.”

Be one. Be part of the many.

Many things need changing, but we need people in office willing to change the status quo. To create an amendment that eliminates or massively alters the Electoral College. A serious rewrite of the second amendment. We need some legal requirements about who can hold office, especially the presidency.

We have a great constitution, but it is hundreds of years old and needs an upgrade.

LET IT BE – Marilyn Armstrong

As did many others, I thought a few people might develop a conscience and a spine and not put Kavanagh on the Court. We thought someone might use their head for something other than a hat rack and realize jailing children was immoral. We thought they might hear the kids who had not been shot at their own school, hear their voices.

They didn’t do any of these things.

So we have an immoral drunkard Supreme Court Justice, babies in jail, lots of dead kids, and jailed babies many of whom may never find a home.

It didn’t happen. No spines, no consciences.

There’s only one thing left. Vote.

Please vote. Make sure all the people you know who can vote and have their heads outside their asses vote too. Drive people who need a lift to the voting place.

To put it simply, this is it. We’re out of time. The world has a dozen year to repair itself before we can’t stop the descent of Earth into…? I don’t even know what we will be if we can’t stop the planet’s destruction, but sometimes, being old has some advantages. I won’t live to see the end.

Pogo – Walt Kelly – 1971w

We can’t fix everything, but we can give it our best shot. We can do our best to try to talk to people who are still able to listen — and there aren’t many of them left. Everyone is dug into position. I don’t think there are a lot of minds we can change. If nothing else, these past two years have ossified the minds of everybody. We all need to unfreeze our minds. A lot of things need changing — fast — and we have to forget there is a box and think in new and different ways.

To all my younger friends, everyone does the best they can with the world they inherit. No generation gets a map showing you how to fix things. For each of us, the world is a different place with unique issues. What worked for us probably wouldn’t work today. Moreover, even when you get it right, your “right” isn’t permanent.  You can pass the “right” laws and un-pass them before your not-yet-born kid makes it to kindergarten. There is no forever.

Governments and countries are not forever. There is no Roman Empire, though it lasted a long time. FYI, the Roman Empire began with the crowning of Gaius Octavian Thurinus in 31 B.C. and fell to the German Goths in A.D. 476, for a total of 507 years. The Byzantine Empire, Rome’s eastern half, did not fall until the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453.

What happened to the Assyrians and the Babylonians? How about the Philistines or the Greeks? Or, for that matter, the British? Empires and governments come and go and this country is very young. If we were to end right now, we wouldn’t even make the historical timeline. We haven’t been around long enough.

Nothing is permanent. Not governments,  politics, religion, or morality. Not culture or society. We reinvent ourselves over and over. Good times, bad times. That’s just how it goes.

My generation can’t fix it. I’ll vote as I have always voted: liberal and democratic. But after that, it’s up to other people. If they don’t vote, we will lose. History happens. Each of us is part of it, like it or not. Be a good part of history. Do the right thing. Vote. We have a planet to fix.

And don’t forget to think before you vote!

I’ve been waiting to find intelligent life on earth. I’m still waiting.

Don’t Make Brett Kavanaugh The Poster Boy For Ignominious Defeat

To keep kicking the Kavanaugh can down the road is just what President Donald Trump’s emerging November election game plan has in mind.

It is doubtful he had a plan before Kavanaugh was nominated. For the first time in Trump’s administration, he seemed flummoxed when brave women came forward to tell their stories. He actually kept his abrasive mouth shut until Kavanaugh’s appointment was assured. You better believe that somebody told him to chill, he really isn’t that bright.

And that’s why it is best to let the Kavanaugh matter go. The Republicans seem to have a functional plan. They know nothing reinforces defeat like crying over spilled milk, especially when it’s a knee-jerk reaction to never having a chance to win in the first place. Kavanaugh’s appointment does just that.

Trump doesn’t know much, but he knows street fighting and the Democrats don’t. The nomination process was like watching a one-legged Democrat at a Republican-sponsored ass kicking contest. Perhaps the Democratic National Committee will pass out some Knife Fighting For Dummies handbooks in time to parry a few thrusts before Election Day.

The real issue fouling the air isn’t whether Sen. Chuck Grassley and the Republican majority in the Senate Judiciary Committee bent the rules so they could purloin the procedure. That is a given. If the Democrats had been in control it would have gone down the same way except a liberal candidate would have been sitting on the hot seat. It is the essence of phony to pretend otherwise. Infighting is what politics is, and wielding the knife better than your opponent is the goal. Julius Ceaser had a good perspective on the process.

What is different about this particular Supreme Court nominee and the nomination process that gave him life is timing. There are 26 days left until the midterm elections as of this writing. The Republicans smacked the Democrats so hard in the face with a poopie pie that their grandbabies will probably be born bruised.

It is time to put a cold steak on the swelling and drive on. Otherwise, everything Kavanaugh does until Election Day will stay in front of the voters. It is a brilliant, insidious Red State plan that already appears to be working. Whining about the Republican victory can and probably will slow down the Blue Wave. For that reason alone, the Kavanaugh debacle needs to be minimized, not maximized. Forgotten would be even better.

The Senate debacle brings to mind Jerry Springer’s Columbus Day tribute to a pathetic loser who lost his love and his pride on national TV. It was a poignant, afternoon television mock fest of what happens when intellect collides with passion during public discourse about family values. Change the players and it could have been a satirical look at Kavanaugh’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. It’s hard to believe it has already been a week since the same thing happened in Congress.

In that show, Grassley played the king of scream-time TV himself, demeaning the vulnerable and impugning the innocent with the kind of hard-nosed obstinacy Iowa farmers are famous for. When Grassley isn’t with the rest of the Republican boys humping the American people for the last of their loose change, he spends a lot of time on his 750-acre farm watching his cows do the same thing.

Grassley, 85, is the senior United States senator from Iowa, a seat he was elected to in 1980. American farmers like him. Judge Brett Kavanaugh adores him. Trump is probably in awe of him. Democrats, women, liberals, independents, libertarians, and people who just don’t like arbitrary people don’t care for him at all.

Grassley did a fine job emulating the famous Springer style during the nominating process, playing the face of harsh Republican reason. His main job — other than refusing every Democratic demand for fairness — was egging on his colleagues so the biased crowd would moan and hiss appropriately. He played them like a banjo. Last Tuesday’s hearing was so special. It sounded like a max volume orgy compilation on Pornhub, and Grassley deserves at least an enema as best supporting actor.

The Democrats, unfortunately, acted more like William, the witless moron who starred on Monday’s episode of Jerry Springer.  He was dull as a newt, inarticulate, and lost, the way the Democrats appeared during the hearing.

Kavanaugh showed up smarter, more verbose, better educated, and better prepared than the collection of Democratic carnival barkers who seemed better prepared for promoting the Yak Woman at a VFW carnival. Democrats need to take a lesson in dirty fighting.

On Springer, William was duped by his paramour because he is a moron. In Washington, the country was duped by Kavanaugh because he is a brilliant lawyer who came into the arena ready for a war.

Instead of fighting the good fight, the Democrats sat transfixed into impotence. Nothing they did should be glorified. The Democrats could never have won, but they didn’t have to lose so badly.

The bottom line is that Republicans won and Democrats lost. It serves nothing to allow Brett Kavanaugh to be the poster boy for ignominious defeat. The why is for the historians to study after the final battle.  Now is time to build enough Democratic momentum to ensure the Blue Wave rolls over the country on Election Day.

via Don’t Make Brett Kavanaugh The Poster Boy For Ignominious Defeat

OH HELL, WE ARE REALLY ALL BRUCE BANNER NOW – BY TOM CURLEY

As I’m writing this I’m watching the circus that is the Senate hearing on Bret Kavanagh.  Lindsey Graham and the Republicans on the committee are making complete asses of themselves. Graham is literally screaming at the top of his lungs.

href=”https://teepee12.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/graham-angry.jpg”> I’m mad as hell because I’m mad as hell.[/

What he’s saying is basically “This is all made up and how dare anybody say anything bad about a guy who’s had FOUR DIFFERENT WOMEN COME FORWARD TO CLAIM HE SEXUALLY HARASSED THEM!!”

Earlier, Dr. Ford made calm and compelling testimony where she backed up her allegations with scientific facts that she is professionally qualified to state.

She’s a doctor of psychology.

Her credibility was stunning. The Republican Senators were so cowardly they had a woman ask all their questions.

I’m the only Republican with any balls in this room.

But while Kavanagh is testifying they are all screaming bloody murder and asking all sorts of questions. Now I’m watching Republicans stamping their feet and screaming like a toddler having a temper tantrum.

Whaaaaa!

So this is all about rage. On both sides.

The thing is, our side has a shit load of rage. For women around the world, the rage has gone up to 11. This isn’t unusual. We’ve all been pissed has hell since The Cheeto Mussolini was elected.

And since that day pundits have claimed that after a while we’d all get tired of being pissed off.  I wrote a blog at the time pointing out that that isn’t going to happen. Why? Because every week a new thing pops up that makes us even angrier.

Remember ripping toddlers from their parents at the border and putting them in baby jails?

Oh yeah. WTF! So, again, I have to repost a blog I made over a year ago. It should not be current. It should not be relevant. Yet it is. So, here it is. Again.


HOLY SHIT WE ARE ALL STILL BRUCE BANNER NOW – BY TOM CURLEY


Usually when I write one of these blogs I try to be funny. OK, maybe just humorous.

OK, maybe just humorous.

Bruce Banner Tee Front

Fine. Mildly amusing.

Problem is, I can’t be funny right now. Because I’m angry.

Really pissed off.

I’m not alone. Pretty much the whole country is really pissed off right now — but for different reasons. The media “narrative” or “explanation” or “excuse” for how SCROTUS got elected was that middle-class white folks were pissed off. They wanted to give a big F-You to Washington.

orrazz.com

orrazz.com

And they succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. But here’s the thing. They are only about 20 to 25 percent of the population.

The day after the election, a really odd thing happened. The remaining 75 percent of the population woke up REALLY PISSED! And not the grumpy old man “Hey you kids get off my lawn!” kind of pissed.

chicagotribune.com

chicagotribune.com

It included not only the people who didn’t vote for Trumpy McTrumpface. But everybody else.

Us. The other 75 percent. For us, this is a different level of pissed off. It’s “Incredible Hulk”  level pissed off.

youtube.com

youtube.com

For those of you not in the Nerdverse like me, The Hulk is Bruce Banner. A nice, quiet, nerdy kind of guy. A scientist. He gets caught in a Gamma bomb blast (think Hydrogen bomb on steroids) and turns into The Incredible Hulk.

tvtropes.org

tvtropes.org

Whenever somebody pisses him off, and for some reason, people are always pissing him off,  he turns green and grows to be about 15-feet tall. And starts throwing tanks and other large military objects at the people shooting at him. Usually the Army. The whole  Army. Or at least a few platoons.

moddb.com

moddb.com

When you think about it, we’re all a lot like the Hulk. We were, for the most part, going about our daily lives. Minding our own business. Many of us quiet and nerdy. Many of us are scientists, or at least we believe that science exists.  Then a huge Gamma bomb went off. Around midnight on November 9th, 2016. After which, we got really, seriously, pissed off.

freemalaysiatoday.com

freemalaysiatoday.com

Lately, you hear lots of people saying variations on the same theme:


“This is exhausting!”

“How much more of this can we take?”

“I can’t keep up. Something new and worse happens every day.”

“I can’t believe it’s not butter!”

beforeitsnews.com

beforeitsnews.com


Pundits warn that we will get used to the endless barrage of crap coming out of the White House swamp. That we can’t maintain this level of anger. That we’re getting worn out.

blogs.mpnews.com

blogs.mpnews.com “This is getting old”

Well, here’s the thing. The reason the Hulk always wins is that his real power is not his strength. It’s his anger.

The madder he gets, the stronger he gets.


There is no upward limit on his strength because there’s no upward limit on his rage.

theunrealtimes.com

theunrealtimes.com “You did not just gut the EPA”


And that’s the thing that the people shooting at the Hulk never understand. If you just stop shooting at him, he calms down. He turns back into Bruce Banner.

SCROTUS could do the same thing– more or less. You know, he could stop shooting all sorts of crap at us.

observer.com

observer.com

He won’t, though. It’s going to go on for a while. Years. Will we get tired?  Will we stop being pissed off? Will we give up and go home?

Nope.

Because we may have drubbed him on the health bill, but while we were dealing with that, he’s destroying the water, the air, and every living creature on our continent.

Stay mad!
Why?

BECAUSE THE MADDER WE GET, THE STRONGER WE GET. 

WE ARE ALL BRUCE BANNER NOW. 

weknowmemes.com

weknowmemes.com


NOW, YOU CAN GET YOUR OWN SHIRT!


It’s on Custom Ink. The complexities of ordering the shirts then sending them out to each person are a bit much. But you can order directly from Custom Ink … so here’s the CustomInk link for the Bruce Banner tee.

These are pretty cool tees and if you think it sort of fits how you feel about the world and the way things are going? This is the tee that will tell your tale.

Link to CUSTOMINK and Bruce Banner Tee-shirt

The profits from these shirts are not going to charity. To be precise, they are not going to us either. All profits go directly to CustomInk who print and deliver the shirts. You can use this design as a money raiser. If you would like to use it and change the back of the tee logo to something personal, you have our full permission to do so. If you do that, please let know what you are doing. We will do your own little feature here.

We just wanted everyone to recognize that this is not raising money for anyone other than CustomInk who produces the shirts. It was simply too complicated for we simple word-laden souls.

IS THE U.S. CAPABLE OF BEING A LEGITIMATE NATION? – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Heart


Yesterday was some kind of turning point for me. My heart broke. Because the same shit that I went through as a young woman is still happening and now we are going to sit one of these shitbags on the Supreme Court.

Shame on us, shame on our political system and its keepers.

I’ll vote. I’ll write. But I think I’m losing hope, heart and any kind of faith that we are capable of running a nation.

VOTING BLUE IN THE BLUEST STATE – Marilyn Armstrong

I’m sure California could make its own case as “the bluest state” but I think Massachusetts has a real grip on the whole “blue” thing.

We had our primaries last Tuesday. Since a lot of Democrats run unopposed, getting elected in the primaries is pretty much getting elected. The Republicans run national candidates, but locally, they often don’t bother.

Especially because our Democrats aren’t always particularly liberal. Some of them are clearly old-fashioned conservatives, but because they live in this state, they are registered as Democrats. I’ll bet this works the same way in traditionally Republican states.

Why fight with color? You are what you are, no matter what your banner might say.

Finally, this year we’ve been seeing some young or at least younger local people running. And winning. For many local offices, we had some young people — late thirties, early forties campaigners — running for office.

Finally! Some of the candidates, we just didn’t know enough about to make a judgment, but in the race for Secretary of State, there was a clear choice between Bill Galvin who has been holding that office since before I moved to the state in 1987.

Ayana Pressley, the new house of representatives winner beating long-term Representative Micheal Capuano

Galvin is, was, will always be, an old-fashioned conservative. Anywhere else, he’d be a Republican. In Massachusetts, it’s simpler to hold to your personal opinions but run as a Democrat or Independent.

He handles a lot of money issues and has done a good job of keeping our tax money in the treasury. Basically, he has done this by letting everything fall apart. The roads are giant potholes. You could lose a tank in some of those holes. The bridges are crumbling, too and around here, where we are completely surrounded by rivers, it’s getting a bit perilous to drive anywhere.

I think we will hear more from Josh Zakim. Especially after one more year of crumbling infrastructure.

Galvin (left) and Josh Zakim (right)

We have a billion dollar positive balance in our bank, but the infrastructure explains why that is. The trains are an ongoing disaster. Every year, they appoint a new transportation secretary and fire him or her in the spring, which is right after winter when those old, damaged rails stop functioning. We lack most of the safety features newer trains use.

It would help if they actually appointed someone who knew something about trains — but the real problem is that Massachusetts doesn’t want to spend the money to fix the railroads on which so many people depend. Daily. We have an underground and a lot of other, surface trains that are “supposed” to be fast, but barely gasp their way into the station. Places like Uxbridge don’t even have trains anymore.

We thought the young guy, Josh Zakim (34 years old) had a chance, but Galvin took him down two to one in the primary. Garry and I hoped for someone not quite so stodgy and old. You can’t win them all.

We did get a few young ones and a couple for whom I hold high hope. We got our very first Black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representative from Massachusetts, Ayana Pressley.

It’s the same seat Tip O’Neill and Teddy Kennedy held, so she certainly has an honorable place to start her fight. The guy she defeated, U.S. Congressman Michael E. Capuano had held the seat for ten years — was warmly gracious about her win and his loss.

Imagine that! Graciousness in politics! Who could have imagined such a shocking event in 2018?

Ayana Pressley is running unopposed in November, so she is set to become the first African-American woman elected to Congress from this Commonwealth. Many people compare Ayana Pressley’s win to that of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, winner in New York (age 28)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a 28-year-old an educator and political activist who, on June 26, 2018, won the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th congressional district — considered a significant upset and I wish her all the best.

Even though Massachusetts is the “bluest” state in the country, our “blues” range from highly conservative (in the old-fashioned sense of the word) to very far left and straight-out socialist. I’ve lived under Socialism and rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, it’s a pretty decent system. It has flaws too, but overall, it works. Rather better than our government is working, but that wouldn’t be difficult.

Charlie Baker, our guv, is the most left-wing Republican on the map. Massachusetts’ always elects liberal Republican governors. It’s a thing. Maybe some kind of balance?

Our senate and house are Democrats, but the governor is usually a Republican. After a brief flurry of Conservative speeches when he takes office, he quickly realized that he isn’t going to accomplish anything unless he works with all those Democrats in Congress. So, he buckles down and does what they all do. Governors work with the House to try and get something accomplished.

Remarkably, what gets done is rarely what everyone was hoping for — like rebuilding the damned bridges before they fall into the rivers. And making the trains run, even when it snows. And preventing them from derailing and crashing.

I miss Tip O’Neill and Ted Kennedy. I miss the savvy guys who knew how to write legislation, then reach across the aisle and turn it into functional policy that helped people. Nationally, our legislators are stuck like a fly to flypaper. Lots of buzzing followed by death.

I have no idea how all the other primaries have gone. Primaries from states not part of New England are not covered by the news here, so I’m just hoping that at least in a few places, younger, more open people are running for office.

There was a comedienne on Colbert last night who commented that our government is quite simply too old. The reason why Drumpf thinks coal mining is a cool idea is that he’s old. Really old. No one younger than 70 would think for a minute coal mining is “the way to go” and how we’ll find “new jobs.”

That isn’t a new job. It’s a terrible, awful, poorly paid, dead-end job no one but a few people who grew up in the mines thinks is a good idea. Yeah. Let’s save 200 jobs and trash a few million. Way to go, U.S.A.

I love some of our older senators and representatives. There are some smart, savvy guys and gals there. But we need some new life too. We need them to stop sleeping at their desks and find ideas for the next 100 or so years.