You ain’t the only pebble on the beach

When you leave your cosy little corner where most folks either agree with you or, regardless, possess mostly similar understandings of what the world is like, you learn stuff.

Mark Twain wrote in Innocents Abroad an almost precise expression of what was on my mind during most of our recent journey.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

I advocate SABRO … the Society Against Boomers Running For Office

Stantis-Boomers-0122

Sophomoric political thinking:

“When I get to wear the boots, I’ll be able to do what them older guys did.”

How often do ya see someone elevated to a new position with new authority and watch while the doofuses start behaving in a way that looks like how they themselves perceived a predecessor. Dang fools assuming that what they thought the predecessor was doing is what they decided to do to?

Republicans went decades whining about corruption in Democratic-controlled congressional bodies. Them attacking  hounds promised that if elected,

“that’s not what I’m going to do.”

Yet once in power, based on nothing but assumptions that Democrat Crooks were the problem, them Repubs thought they could corrupt themselves in a sneakier way and not look like them crooked Dems.  So them Republicans behaved in a manner they thought they could get away with – because they assumed Democrats had done so earlier to the same or worse degree.

Remember Tom Delay? He came in around the time Newt the Gingrich was making  promises with his so-called Contract with America. Well Tommy Delay gave us his impression of what his sneaky vanquished opponents did. He acted in the manner he obviously thought was the way an elected official does business in Washington. Only he would do it better and with more ruthless efficiency using all forms of political extortion to accumulate power and influence.

Ever since they took the congressional majorities, they kept getting caught with their pants down. They stayed sophomoric with their rhetoric, with pretending to be tearful patriots and sloganeered their way to justification for political immaturity.

This is so tragic because most of these politicians trying to hang onto power represent the dying days of baby boomer (my generation) influence. These embarrassments from both parties keep parading as statesmen and have proven to be the last worst hope for boomers to leave the children a better world than what was in place before.

Those who near the end of their time in positions of influence may think they still possess opportunities to avoid a future in which boomers are left to apologize for the asinine and selfish behavior of our generation’s elected majority.

Midterms and the 2020 presidential election looms larger and larger on the horizon. Boomers can still do most of the good stuff if they ain’t distracted. They must make the attempt; rise off couches and put clickers down; must get off bar stools and go attend a rally or meet with elected officials. More of us must speaking out – but not run for President or Congress any more.

Step aside folks, encourage the young ones to take charge of their own futures.

What we took for granted as the American Way of Life ain’t there anymore. It’s diluted and morphed into something we can already recognize as “not the America we grew up in.”

The next generation will inevitably view us as grouped with the idiotic sophomores who thought they could to great things for themselves without harming the country – and failed.

 

On knee-taking, drugstore patriotism and hurt feelings: It’s the lies that kill.

WWII Vet Kneels

‘Those Kids Have Every Right to Protest.’ 97-Year-Old WWII Vet Kneels to Support NFL Players” – John Middlemas

Real Courage: WWII Vet Kneels in Support

Who are those most offended by knee-taking as a genuine, civic and even patriotic expression of concern about what Americans are aware of or ignore?

Drugstore patriots.

Drugstore Patriotism: The wearing of one’s prideful ego, narcissistic posturing and nationalistic foolishness on one’s sleeve in order to be seen, in order to be heard and in order to grind a particularly mindless ax.

To those who are quagmired into a belief that taking a knee is only about a song and a flag: It’s the lies that kill.

The remembering will go on for lifetimes long after the acrimony and partisan politics have faded. The legacy of public drugstore patriotism will be an ongoing and painful confusion for many of the same reasons that caused a shift in American civic awarenes during the VietNam War.

Wannabe “peace celebrities” are on their soap boxes with “We-are-too-polarized-to-communicate-so-we’ve-got-to-stop-challenging” brand of pop-psycho-pretend-statesmanship blather. It’s still too early for that. That time is not here yet. For all sides – not just one – the time to start acting peaceful, regretful and anxious that we stop talking nasty is now.

I don’t know how many citizens slept thru civics class, let alone even included such a class in their maturation process. I do know that constant bellowing at the electorate on how they should vote is about as effective as bellowing at the store shoppers outside a box store the day after Thanksgiving. Aren’t we all bellowed out and tired of being bellowed at? Bellowing as a form of educating someone else on how they should vote is the tired and proven Democratic path to loss of elections. Democrats are still learning this lesson.

Genuinely pissing all voters off is where it’s at.

There is nothing more powerful in arousing a national sense of indignation than to have a bunch of mom and pop towns and villages start waking each other up with infectious resolutions. That will outdo political educating and bellowing every time. The answers to the questions of why are more transparent, obvious and politically rancid.

PBS has an awesome series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick entitled The VietNam War. I don’t recommend you watch it. I demand that you do so. You’ll see and learn more truth about both sides of the conflict than you might think. You’ll also understand more about  governments that mostly tell you what it wants you to think – not know – in pursuit of an agenda. You may come to suspect that drugstore patriotism begins at the highest levels of government and is dispersed throughout the country by a media seeking profit, not wise civic awareness.

Who are our most precious citizens now when it comes to talking with experience about military service and what it means to be a genuine patriot? Real veterans, not the pretend kind. Among them let’s have more veterans who have banded together and taken a stand; who’ve spoken out and continue speaking – who in fact refuse to be silenced; and whose respect the current leadership in both parties has lost completely as they focus on the drugstore kind of audience.

When precious national blood is sacrificed and reason demands justification, shallow partisan politics seriously wound the fabric of all families in America. The time to speak out has never been more critical. Voices … it’s our time to tell the leadership, regardless of which party, that this drugstore tragedy must stop as soon as possible.

Not one more citizen need die to preserve the lies. It’s the lies that kill.
The lie that the correct side is only my side kills.
The lie that disagreement with me means you aren’t on the right side kills.

The notion that I’m right and you are wrong and nothing good will happen until you admit you’re wrong and I am right is a winning tactic for debates … I suppose … where a referee says, “Yup, that guy with that argument is the smartest.”  It’s also a lie that can kill.

Limiting yourself to the drugstore patriotism doesn’t go too far in any wider venue where your pretend posture has become the cheapest, most demeaning and diminishing turd regarding the value of every human life.

A presidency or a party with intellectually foppish projects and a parade of presidential wannabes who attempt to don some sort of wise-statesman cap and gown have worn this particular fabric so transparently thin as to offer the American electorate nothing but pure intellectual insult.

Drugstore patriotism says NFL rather human dignity and the national sorrow of racism. Drugstore patriotism says NFL rather than Puerto Rico.
Drugstore patriotism says tavern talk rather than sincere discourse.

“In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. To criticize one’s country is to do it a service … Criticism, in short, is more than a right; it is an act of patriotism – a higher form of patriotism, I believe, that the familiar rituals and national adulation … My question is whether America can overcome the fatal arrogance of power.” –
J. William Fulbright


 

“On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.

Is not nationalism — that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder — one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?

These ways of thinking — cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on — have been useful to those in power, and deadly for those out of power.” – Howard Zinn, July, 2007

Arguments and Illness

Is what made me ill what afflicted you too?
Have you been where I’ve been, do you do what I do?
Is all illness a blight with but one common source
and the consequence meted to all in its course?
Does affliction with symptoms reflecting dis-ease
and the payment of pain and discomfort to tease

come upon us in ways quite the same unto all
with a sense that the sickness is blind in its fall?
Illness doth strike in dis-similar ways
tho the same by its label, it’s impact quite plays
different tunes in each person whose lives aren’t the same,
who’s choices are moves in life’s ongoing game.

Disagreement is sickness that’s blind in its prime
like disease, lack of harmony lives for a time
between souls in dispute who do struggle to win
what’s perceived as a victory though small as a pin.
We will learn by our feelings when we disagree
and find understanding to greater degree

in knowing our opposites, how we compare
when agreement is wanting or even quite rare.
If I know where you stand and the place is amiss
in my own set of values, your thoughts are not bliss.
They’re in contrast and emphasize clearly a split
in our thinking, reflecting that all does not fit

in a tidy container where values are set
in a limit of rightness or wrongness, but let
Mother Wisdom come forth in her powerful gown
of perception that differences don’t mean we drown
in a sea of our discord where winning is king
but where learning brings harmony, living and being.

© 2000 Arthur Ruger

Where is the wisdom? It seems we Washingtonians are in the middle of it Take that 45!!

How Washington state became the epicenter of resistance to Trump’s agenda

As President Trump weathered his first two weeks in office, a surprising number of roadblocks to his agenda cropped up from another Washington, more than 2,500 miles away.

Acting swiftly and with a united front, leaders from the Evergreen State have marshaled a powerful resistance to Trump’s administration — the combination of a left-leaning populace, outspoken Democratic lawmakers, legal efforts spearheaded by a resolute attorney general and support from several Seattle-area tech companies wary of Trump’s policies.

On Jan. 27, Trump signed orders not only to suspend admission of all refugees into the United States for 120 days but also to implement “new vetting measures” to screen out “radical Islamic terrorists.” Refugee entry from Syria, however, would be suspended indefinitely, and all travel by citizens of Syria and six other nations — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen — would be suspended for 90 days. Trump also said he would give priority to Christian refugees over those of other religions, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network.

The ban triggered massive protests at airports around the country, including at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. On the afternoon of Jan. 28, Washington’s governor, Jay Inslee, and several other elected officials blasted the hastily implemented travel ban in a news conference held at the airport, before thousands descended upon it in protest.

Next time an uninformed makes a rhetorical statement about food assistance fraud consider the source and the source’s sources.

15589759_1590263314317974_2446818816239294526_n

More myth from the department of crooks and liars: The “Facts” below have not changed forever.
I know, I worked for the state. I authorized and issued Food Stamps. I was a tri-lingual case worker and managed food assistance for an assortment of non-English-speaking immigrants.I denied assistance to any who could not prove eligibility.

However, I saw more fraud from my gringo clients than my non-gringo clients. My gringo clients made far more accusations of food stamp fraud on the part of immigrants and fellow gringos whom they deemed dishonest. In fact, if I wanted to know what was being broadcast on Fox News my unemployed gringo clients were good sources.

Next time an uninformed makes a rhetorical statement about food assistance fraud consider the source and the source’s sources.

Good Samaritans Wanted

thegoodsamaritan2

Regarding the homeless …

the poor …

and right now particularly, the veterans.

If we can’t see them they don’t exist in our moral conscience.

They are subject to priorities governed by agency number crunchers

… governed by legislatures driven by political considerations and misguided perceptions of how the public feels about it’s military society and its poorest segment of society.

Welfare reform as legislated nationally by the self-righteous political thugs a la Gingrich-America-contractors in the mid 1990’s was in some ways cynical – primarily driven by negative images designed and created by the framing forefathers of partisan swift-boat crowd that can turn Johnny Appleseed into Oil Can Henry.

Images…

a single mother standing in the grocery checkout line with a child sitting in the grocery cart and with food stamps in her hand

… surrounded by presumptuous non-food-stamp patrons smug in awareness of being “better-than” and resentful of that young mother

who probably cheated on her application in order to qualify for food assistance.

Furthermore, I’ve met smug Daddies who have bragged about their sons’ studhood; their procreative ability to seduce girls but then dodge responsibility and accountability when that stud-ness results in conception;

… jerk baby-boomer-aged blowhards who actually insist that the slut who lured their wunderkind son into bed deserved what happened. Despite birthing his grandchild she deserved nothing from their son but contempt.

Except when after the child is born they sometimes push their sons into courtrooms for custody of what might be their only grandchild.

What happens in a society when a father teaches his son irresponsibility and that it’s okay to whisper anything necessary in the dark in order to get the clothes off?

And then find the junior-high-level maturity of that lover-boy stud in a tavern bragging pridefully about how they did it while whining indignantly when the Division of Child Support comes knocking.

Single pregnant females of course are accountable and responsible for their pregnancy as well as the males. But we as a society tend very much to blame the mothers almost entirely, look the other way regarding a criticism of the father because he’s out of sight and therefore out of mind.

That’s the same sort of thing that drives public apathy toward the homeless.

And don’t get me started about churches who get all straining and diahhretic about what gays are doing but don’t pour out of their churches and into the street in moral outrage about how a nation stays bereft of real morale values while worshipping consumption.