The Improbable Donald Trump*

July 17, 2016

A year ago, it was unthinkable, six months ago, improbable. But on Thursday night, Donald J. Trump will be, barring a riot of Chicago-style proportions, the Republican nominee for President.

That the emptiest suit in America, a bullying braggart of a man, a man with enough baggage to weigh down an ordinary candidate, but in this, the year of the angry and fearful, it seems that all the old rules don’t apply here.

Fourteen months ago, Trump was an employee of Mark Burnett, the “reality-show” TV producer of such fare as “Survivor,” “The Voice” and the Trump-led “Celebrity Apprentice.” Then, a month after NBC cancelled his show, he rode down the golden escalator at the building with his name on it, he announced he was running for President. Of the United States. Of America.

People, at first, thought it was a joke. After all, he was a man with no political experience, never ran for anything, never did anything besides brag about his “deals.” His opponents all looked at him as a novelty candidate, one that would fade quickly, especially after his comments about Mexicans, women, the disabled and anyone who dared cross him.

Plus, he was running against 15 others who wanted the nomination as well. At the first GOP debate, he accused Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly of having a vendetta against him after asking him about comments he had made about women in the past. Quickly, the field started to thin, from 15 down to 12, then 10 by the time the first caucuses and primaries rolled around. Trump continued to make outrageous comments about anyone. He incited violence at his rallies. “Stop Donald” movements sprung up in pockets, but it was too little, too late. He eventually vanquished all of them, including Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

His rhetoric has touched a nerve with people who both will and won’t vote for him.  He revoked the Washington Post’s credentials. The Detroit News ran a Sunday editorial “Dump Trump,” begging the RNC to unbound the delegates on the first ballot so they could “vote their conscience.” Nothing worked.

Except this: Benghazi! Benghazi!! Benghazi!!! And emails. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who will be nominated next week, was the target of eight investigations, each clearing her of wrongdoing in the death’s of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. However, the email probe stretched into the FBI and gave the “Industrial Investigation Complex” more sauce for the goose.

And just so people don’t forget, here’s a list of some of the outrageous statements made by the yammering yam.

■ “[Ted Cruz’s] father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald being, you know, shot. I mean the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this, right, prior to his being shot? And nobody even brings it up.” [Trump was right on one point: the whole thing is ridiculous.]
■ “An extremely credible source has called my office and told me that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud”
■ “I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”
■ “Oh, look at my African-American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest?”
■ “I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists.”
■ “NBC News just called it ‘The Great Freeze’—coldest weather in years. Is our country still spending money on the global warming hoax?”
■ A farmer told me “‘There is no drought [in California], they turn the water out into the ocean.’ And I said I’ve been hearing it. … There’s plenty of water.”
■ In the Philippines more than a century ago, Gen. John Pershing “took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pigs’ blood,” and shot 49 Muslim rebels. “The 50th person, he said, ‘You go back to your people, and you tell them what happened.’ And for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem.”
■ “Throughout the Middle East, they’re chopping off heads of Christians; they’re chopping off heads of anybody who gets in the way; ; they’re drowning thirty, forty people at a time in heavy steel cages. As far as I’m concerned, waterboarding is absolutely fine, but we should go much further.” “We have to play the game the way they’re playing the game.”
■ The Trans-Pacific Partnership “was designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone.” [In fact, China is not a part of TTP.]
■ “Look at those hands, are they small hands? And, [“Little Marco”] referred to my hands: ‘If they’re small, something else must be small.’ I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee.”
■ “My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.”
■ “I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”
■ “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.”
■ “I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
■ “I have a great relationship with the Mexican people. … They love me.”
■ “He [John McCain]’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
■ “Nobody respects women more than Donald Trump.” he says. “I cherish women.” But he has said, “You have to treat [women] like shit.” And he refers to women as “bimbos,” “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs,” and “disgusting animals.” And: “A woman who is very flat-chested is very hard to be a 10.”
■ “My favorite part [of Pulp Fiction] is when Sam has his gun out in the diner and he tells the guy to tell his girlfriend to shut up. ‘Tell that bitch to be cool. Say: “Bitch be cool.”‘ I love those lines.”
■ When columnist Gail Collins called Trump a “financially embattled thousandaire,” he sent her a copy of the column with her picture circled and “The Face of a Dog!” written over it.”
■ “You know, it doesn’t really matter what they write [about you] as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
■ “Look at that face [referring to Carly Fiorina]! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?! I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”
■ “She [Megyn Kelly] gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her—wherever.”
■ “We don’t know anything about Hillary in terms of religion. Now, she’s been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there’s no — there’s nothing out there.”
■ “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.” “It did happen. I saw it.”
■ “Now the poor guy, you gotta see this guy [reporter Serge Kovaleski, who is afflicted with a disease that limits the mobility of his limbs and causes his joints to lock].” Trump contorted his arm into a crooked pose and made a contorted face. “‘Uh, I don’t know what I said. I don’t remember.’ He’s going, “I don’t remember. Maybe that’s what I said.’”
■ “George Will and Charles Krauthammer [both of whom have been for decades very prominent conservative Republicans] are “losers, just losers … Krauthammer is a jerk.” I get called by a guy that can’t buy a pair of pants, I get called names?” (Mr. Krauthammer is paralyzed from the waist down.)
■ It “is Hillary Clinton’s agenda” to “release the violent criminals from jail. She wants them all released.”
■ He termed right-wing conspiracy theories about the Clintons having murdered former White House aide Vince Foster “very serious” and said the circumstances of Foster’s death are “very fishy.” “I don’t bring up [Foster’s death],” he said while bringing it up, “because I don’t know enough to really discuss it. I will say there are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. I don’t do that because I don’t think it’s fair.” [Multiple investigations, including one lasting years by Clinton-hater Ken Starr concluded that Foster’s death was a suicide.]
■ “The point is, you can never be too greedy.”
■ “The last quarter, it was just announced, our gross domestic product … was below zero. Who ever heard of this? It’s never below zero.”
■ “My IQ is one of the highest—and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault.”
■ “I know words, I have the best words.”
■ “I’m the most successful person to ever run for the presidency, by far.”
■ “[Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg] has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements … her mind is shot – resign!”
■ And, of course, there is all the bullying and grade-school playground name-calling: “Little Marco,” “Low-energy Jeb,” “Lying Ted,” “Crooked Hillary,” “Pocahontas” …
And, finally:
■ “I think apologizing’s a great thing, but you have to be wrong. I will absolutely apologize, sometime in the hopefully distant future, if I’m ever wrong.”

Those are just some of what he has said.  But people say, “he speaks what I think.” Yeah, well, if he does, then America is doomed.


Just a reminder

May 18, 2016

Just a reminder for those who think they have it so damn much better…You don’t.

I am not old.

I am not irrelevant.

I have learned lessons most of you never could understand.

I am tired of being mocked, dismissed and being played the fool.

I am not perfect and neither is anyone else.

I am not here to be dismissed or made fun of.

I have beliefs and they are mine. So are my prejudices. I own them and they are what shape my worldview. Forgive me for not sharing yours.

Life is too short to be ignored or used and I refuse to be either anymore.

I am not “young,” but I am far from old.


Richard Nixon, Jackie Robinson and Donald Trump

April 13, 2016

Sometimes, the history, it smacks you right in the gob. When it does, we have to ask, why is this man still laughing?a_nixon-laughing-108329929978

Yes, History’s Yard Waste, old Tanned, Rested and Ready, Richard Nixon, is still relevant today. How does he, Jack Roosevelt Robinson and the Libidinous Visitor connect. Interestingly, in a straight line.

Last night, in part two of “Jackie Robinson” on PBS, (another fine Ken Burns documentary) Robinson’s activism was highlighted. In the 15 years he lived following his retirement in 1957, after his Hall of Fame career ended in 1956, he helped in business, politics and, even though baseball thought they were done with him, baseball itself. In business, he helped Chock Full o’Nuts raise their wages, created Freedom National Bank, once the largest minority-owned bank in America and did commentary for Major League Baseball telecasts on ABC.

Without Robinson, there is no Rosa Parks, desegregation, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X or Barack Obama. Without Robinson, there is no Hank Aaron. Without Robinson, there is no Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Flip Wilson or Redd Foxx.  Without Robinson, there might not even be Rock and Roll. He paved the way for so many things in our modern world that we take for granted.

But once again, it all comes back to Nixon.  In 1960, Robinson, three years removed from baseball, endorsed then Vice-President Nixon in his race for the White House.  He wasn’t impressed by John Kennedy and had known Nixon for many years.  Kennedy “wouldn’t look me in the eye,” he recalled. King had also endorsed Nixon. After all, as Burns documentary pointed out, the Republican Party was “the Party of Lincoln,” the man who gave them their freedom.

But, when MLK, Jr. was sentenced to jail and four months on a chain-gang in October, 1960, Robinson was appalled when Nixon didn’t step in and use his influence to get King freed. Kennedy did. Robinson did vote for Nixon in 1960, but never supported him again, especially after 1964, when the GOP nominated Barry Goldwater and renounced President Johnson’s Civil Rights Act, which was initiated after the March on Washington in 1963 by Kennedy, where King’s “I have a dream” speech was delivered   and still resonates today. Robinson was also there and spoke as well.

Earlier that summer, he spoke out after Bull Connor used attack dogs and fire hydrants on protesters in Birmingham, Alabama. “It amazes me that white Americans are allowing Bull Connor to be their spokesman.” Sound familiar? More on that in a bit.

In 1964, following the assassination of President Kennedy, Robinson backed Nelson Rockefeller for the GOP nomination. After Goldwater became the GOP nominee, Robinson backed Johnson, who got 94% of the black vote in his landslide election.

In 1968, Nixon re-emerged. He spoke to the “silent majority” and wanted “law and order” (mandatory musical requirement here: restored in America. He had a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam and vowed to end it within the first 60 days of his administration.  Robinson, who eight years earlier supported him said that, for white Americans, “law and order meant keeping the black man down.”

Which of course, brings us to the current state of our political mess. Donald Trump, a man who, combines both Goldwater and Nixon (hard to do, because those two men despised each other) in both tone and rhetoric, is once again appealing to our darker instincts. Taking extreme positions on everything from immigration to trade.  He speaks to the “silent majority” and of “making America great again.” Yet not many have called him out on his positions or his ignorance. For all of their failings, Goldwater and the perpetual 5-o’clock shadow weren’t ignorant. That’s the biggest difference. Plus, whenever you point out the outrageous statements Trump makes to his supporters, they double down.  In the words of Dave Anderson, (no relation) the great sportswriter and columnist, when referring to someone complaining about being mistreated, “they know. And they don’t care.” Facts, when it come to Trump, don’t matter. They didn’t matter much to Nixon, either (which begs the question, what if Nixon called and had Martin Luther King, Jr. out on bond instead of Kennedy? Would he of become President in 1960? One of history’s mysteries).

But they mattered for Jackie Robinson, who, through his actions and deeds, paved the way for so many people, black, white, Hispanic, women and the disabled, died in 1972 at the age of 53. In his last public appearance, at game two of the 1972 World Series, where he threw out the ceremonial first pitch, he continued his activism, saying, “I’m going to be tremendously more pleased and more proud when I look at that third base coaching line one day and see a black face managing in baseball.” It would be another two years before fellow Hall of Famer Frank Robinson would accomplish that milestone.

Also, he didn’t live to see the Trickster crush McGovern in 1972 and then resign in disgrace in 1974. He never saw the rise of Reagan and the religious wrong and the stealing of the 2000 election. He never saw the triumph of Barack Obama in 2008, becoming our first black President. But were he alive today, he would recognize the same problems that faced America in his lifetime, unequal justice, voting rights, discrimination, inequality, segregation, wage stagnation, profiling and the lack of opportunity for so many, that he’d be fighting just as hard.

Six years, seems like yesterday

March 31, 2016

Six years ago, March 31, 2010, I started this blog.  I was reminded of that this morning on Facebook.  After writing an introduction to my blog and who I was and what this blog was to be about, I have written on a number of subjects. But let’s revisit 2010, shall we?

This inspiration for me to start a blog came from an old high school friend who was doing a late-night blog about being unemployed at nearly 50 and facing uncertainty in an economic downturn that none of us had ever experienced in our lifetimes. He would write about how he would go on interview after interview and seemingly be on the verge of that elusive job, but he would come up short.

Well, I’m relieved to say he found a job a few months later and his daughter is in college now.  He stopped writing as frequently as he was and is doing well.

Others, well, I’m not sure about. I’ve reconnected with friends who seem to come and go, the ones who’ve stayed with me, I am grateful for, the ones who aren’t in my sphere of influence anymore, they’re ok, I presume.

Over the last six years, I have written about many things, mostly the way I see the world.  Six years ago, I was 51. I am now 57. I am still very passionate about the things that matter to me. My family, my friends, my beliefs, my causes, disappointments and small victories.  In these last six years, I have become a surrogate father to a friend’s daughter. She is going to be 17 a week from Saturday and I am proud of her. My niece had three kids, now she has four. My nephew was deployed in Afghanistan back then, he now has two kids of his own, plus a step-son. My youngest niece, 17, is a good kid.

My dad, already in the throes of dementia in 2010, is now in full Alzheimer’s and is in a nursing home.  My mother is still around, she is getting up there in years as well.  As someone told me recently, getting old isn’t for wimps.

All in all, I have a good life. I live in the same place I have for the past 10 years, in the same development for 12.  I am mostly retired from sport, although I keep a keen eye on the goings on. I contribute to society in small (and sometimes big) ways. I contribute to the Michigan Humane Society, Amnesty International, support my local public broadcasting station and would do more, but hey…

I am never bored, but do get lonely. I have led a solitary life for most of my time on this planet, so I’m used to it. I will never forget the heartaches I have endured, though. I am still angry and disappointed at what happened to me many years ago, even decades. Yet somehow, I don’t feel bitterness anymore, I feel sad for the people and institutions that let me down.  I get angry sometimes, but the passage of time has made me realize that I put myself in those situations and allowed others to dictate terms.  I have walked away from so many things in my life and allowed others to be “happy” at my expense. But in the end, that’s their loss, not mine. I just go on my way and survive.

In short, I have had a mostly fun experience doing this.  For those people who read my blogs, thank you. I hope that I have given you a fresh perspective and insight into my life and the challenges we all face at some point in time. Looking forward to many more years.

Donald Trump, seriously

February 25, 2016

A few weeks ago, I was out to lunch with a friend of mine. He told me of his 93-year-old rich Aunt (hey, everyone should have one of those) who lives in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. She has met the Libidinous yammering yam known as Donald J. Trump. He relayed the story she told him to me “She said ‘his children are smart, polite and well-mannered. He is a boorish, mean egotist.'” He then said something that sent proverbial shivers down my spine. “He’s not in this to play the game. He’s in it to win.”

Yes, apparently, he is.  Which of course, many of us have known for quite some time. He talks about “Making America Great Again.” One guy at a rally actually said, “He’s going to make America great again, it’s on his hat.” Of course, that brings to mind this:

Which of course comes after winning the first three primaries and taking a sizeable lead in delegates in the process, is now scaring the living shit out of the GOP big wigs, including the obvious anagram himself, Reince Priebus, stammering on one of the Sunday bullshit shows “I think that if you look at all these exit polls on both sides of the aisle, I think people are just sick and tired of—of politics in general, sick and tired of Washington, DC, and I think just actually sick and tired of—of all the—both parties. So I mean I—I think it’s just a general feeling out there that’s real. I wouldn’t deny it. But, obviously, all these, uh, folks are fighting to be the nominee and spokesperson of our party, um, and we’re going to be there to support whoever that nominee is.”

No, Reince, people are sick and tired of being fed the same slop every two years (yes, every two, because you will have Governor’s races in 2018, along with your friendly Congressman or woman and even though everybody hates Congress, they’ll vote them back in, just like they always do). People are sick and tired of being tossed aside in an economy that’s been rigged against them for the past 35 years. In short, they’re sick and tired of being sick and tired.

So, along comes this bombastic jerk who pumps into the zeitgeist of 2016 and makes fun of everyone and everything. Bernie Sanders is trying his best to run on that same theme, but as Charles Pierce at put it the other day, Sanders “has failed the most superficial test of American “populism”—its targets are “Wall Street” and “billionaires,” vague categories of people with whom most Americans have little or no contact. This is opposed to He, Trump, who tells his audience that the problem is “Mexicans” and “Muslims.” People may not know who’s on the board of Citigroup, but they know they have to hit “1” for English. They may not know a billionaire, but they see women in hijabs at the mall. The Sanders campaign gives them targets for their anger. The Trump campaign gives them enemies, and that makes all the difference. ”

Yes, apparently, it does.  Here is man who has never held public office, never sat in on a policy meeting, yet is the overwhelming choice of the GOP to be their nominee for President of the United States. Of America. At least Reagan was a governor and understood the way government works. Whenever he’s pressed on an issue, he makes an insult or says, “we have people working on that.”

“Enemies.” America has always needed an enemy.  From King George VI, to the Mexicans to the Native Americans to the Germans, Japanese, Chinese, North Koreans, Vietnamese and the USSR, to faceless ones like Al Qaeda and ISIL, we have always needed enemies. But the Trump candacity has internalized it. Oh sure, there are threats looming, but don’t worry, The Donald will take care of that. A Wall along the southern border, that Mexico will pay for? Kicking out 11 million illegals? When the current President has deported more than the last five Presidents combined? Making fun of disabled people? Hey, everyone does it, right?  Kicking out Muslims? Really? Most just live their lives, go about their daily lives. They’re not terrorists. Yet we don’t call the Bundy’s terrorists, which is exactly what they are. Just like the kid who shot up Sandy Hook or Timothy McVeigh.

Last July, I wrote how Trump was irrelevant. But he has turned out to be very relevant. Jeb! (who still a Bush) said “you can’t insult your way to the Presidency, Donald.” Well, apparently you can. At least in 2016.

Here’s the truth: Donald Trump could win the Presidency. Then, we’d be the laughingstock of the world. But his campaign has shown America at its’ worst. A Xenophobic, racist, untoward, nonplussed country that couldn’t tell you what the Bill of Rights are, but knows what Kanye West and Taylor Swift are fighting about. It has show us that a petty, small man could become President in 270 days, because a Black man put his hand on the Bible.

The reality of Alzheimer’s

November 11, 2015

It was somewhere in Texas, around 2005 or 06, that my dad pulled over to the side of the road and said to my step-mother, “I can’t do this anymore.” He never drove again. It was 2009 when, standing in the driveway of my sister’s house, that I finally realized he had dementia. I last saw him walk in August, 2011. A month later, he was in the hospital, felled by a series of mini-strokes. Still, six days after returning from a trip to the United Kingdom, you could carry on a lucid conversation with him. Three months later, in December of 2011, he was put into a nursing home, where, nearly four years on, he still lives. Lives, might be the wrong word, exists is a better one.

This is a collage of pictures my step-mother made for the staff at the nursing home. They love him and we love them for taking very good care of him.  This was my dad, before Alzheimer’s robbed him of his abilities. It is a slow decent, it just doesn’t happen overnight.


The reason for this posting is the shit-storm that has been going on between George Will and Bill O’Reilly about O’Reilly’s book “Killing Reagan.”  There are a number of hypothesis about Reagan’s descent into dementia and Alzheimer’s, but O’Reilly puts forth the theory that the assassination attempt in March of 1981 exasperated his symptoms and almost caused his staff to forcibly remove him from office shortly into his second term. But this isn’t about Will, the pompous twit that he is, or O’Reilly, that blowhard who is still pissed off about getting fired by CBS 30 years ago.  Nor is this about Reagan, whom I found to be totally lacking in credibility even before becoming President.

It is about Alzheimer’s and its effects on not only the person afflicted with it, but the family and those around them. Friends, neighbors and total strangers. Since 1968, my dad has lived in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, with my step-mother, Ann, a farmer’s daughter from Manitoba.  I had just turned 10 when they got married.  I was attending boarding school in North Dakota at the time and would until 1974, when my mother remarried and my step-father said “you’re going to ‘normal school.'” Whatever that was.

My dad wasn’t much of a father.  But he did teach me how to be loyal. An intangible trait, perhaps, but it has served me well in my 57 years. After all, his best friend was a man of dubious character for many years.  I have many friends of dubious character. But I’m loyal to them.

Alzheimer’s is a cruel affliction. It takes away your cognitive skills and then your essence. In the first months following his paralysis, he could carry on a conversation, he knew who you were and where he was. Early on, he asked Ann, “when are we going home?”  Since then, his cognition has gone down to the point of where he talks very little and there are days when he says nothing.

Alzheimer’s knows what its’ doing. As us Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers get older, it will happen to us, too.  That we have spent billions on pills like Viagra, yet Alzheimer’s research is a fraction of that, is, to pardon the expression, mind-blowing.  Which is exactly what Alzheimer’s does, it blows up your mind and scatters it to the four winds.

Someone once said “getting old isn’t for wimps.” There’s a lot of truth to that statement.  But no one, not my dad, grandfather, Sargent Shriver or Ronald Reagan, should spend their final years in a descending fog into nothingness, not remembering spouses, children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. Will and Bill O’s sniping over Reagan’s condition does a grand disservice to us all, because it mocks those of us who have to live with it every damn day.

There is one more picture I’d like to share with you. It is a picture taken by my niece, Bianca, of my dad and his great-granddaughter, Dalis…She is looking at him and he is looking at my niece, who took the picture. It is a picture of a 16-month-old girl who will grow up hearing stories of her grandpa Ric and hopefully will live in a world where Alzheimer’s is a thing of the and Dalis

The stench of Russ Thomas

November 6, 2015

Source: The stench of Russ Thomas

The Irrelevancy of Donald Trump

July 19, 2015

We, on what media likes to call the professional left, often make fun of the GOP and their gaffes and pandering to the madness that has afflicted them since 1980 (but really since 1968). But yesterday, in Iowa, might have been the day the madness reached its nadir or somehow continues unabated. It might be the day the clowns exit the car or the double down and drive it off the proverbial cliff.

This is a fork in the road of their own making.  They can, if they are smart, pull back from the brink and become the Party of Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln, or they can continue on the path towards oblivion first started by Barry Goldwater in 1964.

Yesterday, in Iowa, Donald J. Trump, a carnival barker, legend-in-his own-mind, said this about John McCain, who spent five years as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam.   “He is not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

He then went on to say this on his Facebook post:

“I am not a fan of John McCain because he has done so little for our Veterans and he should know better than anybody what the Veterans need, especially in regards to the VA. He is yet another all talk, no action politician who spends too much time on television and not enough time doing his job and helping the Vets. He is also allowing our military to decrease substantially in size and strength, something which should never be allowed to happen.

Furthermore, he was extremely disrespectful to the thousands upon thousands of people, many of whom happen to be his constituents, that came to listen to me speak about illegal immigration in Phoenix last week by calling them “crazies”.

These were not “crazies”—these were great American citizens.

I have great respect for all those who serve in our military including those that weren’t captured and are also heroes.

I want to strengthen our military and take care of our Veterans. I want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN especially for those that serve to protect our freedom. I am fighting for our Veterans!”

Yes, OK, Elmer. By disparaging and disrespecting them?  Especially John McCain, who spent five years in the Hanoi Hilton? Who is more disabled then many who have been that way their whole lives?  A man, who just seven years ago, you supported for President? As another writer of my acquaintance, Barry Friedman, put it on his Facebook page yesterday “Donald Trump has done what John McCain could not do. Get liberals to start defending John McCain again. Bravo, Trump. Your douchebaggery is astonishingly cruel, astonishingly hypocritical, you who did your military service at Wharton School of Finance in Pennsylvania.”

Yes, son of Fred, not surprisingly, gets the silver medal when in comes to draft deferments during Vietnam.  Little Donnie-boy got four. The winner and still champion is Richard Cheney. Up until yesterday, Trump was leading the Republican polls and almost a sure bet to be on the stage in Cleveland on August 6, when the first debate takes place.

That we are even talking about this guy is amazing. He is not a serious candidate, but he is, or was, until the outrageous statement he made yesterday, a serious threat to mount a third-party run, which does seem highly unlikely now.  Sixteen months away and we’re already knee deep in the brown stuff.

This all started when McCain condemned Trumps speech in Phoenix last week, saying it brought out the “crazies.” Excuse me, Uncle Fester, but you probably forgot that you were the one who unleashed Sarah Palin on America.  But yes, Trump’s anti-immigration speeches since “declaring” as a candidate a month ago and a magazine saying he was taking up Nixon’s mantle of speaking to “the Silent Majority” or the fictitious, coming-unglued newscaster Howard Beale of “Network,” (“I’m mad as hell and i’m not going to take it anymore!!!”) struck a nerve among those who want to blame the “other,” – Jews, blacks, women, Mexicans, hippies, – there’s always someone else to blame for something here in the United States.

There are some in the GOP who said he was a Democratic plant, based on his previous support for Democrats and his personal relationship with the presumed frontrunner, Hilary Clinton.  Trump is neither. The owner of a mansion and yacht, who puts his name on everything, but never his money, is nothing but a huge phony and loudmouth. There are serious issues and maybe Trump’s sound and fury signifying nothing and the backlash it’s produced might spell a turning point for the Republicans. Do they, in their quick commendation in the wake of yesterday’s comments, seek to isolate and make Trump a non-factor, or do they continue to hope he goes away on his own. Which he won’t.

We’ve heard this kind of talk before, but nothing’s ever changed. The GOP still plays to the fear and longing of those who hate more than those who accept.  Maybe now, it might. Otherwise, they will go the same way of their ideological predecessor’s, the Whigs.  Which bring me to the end of this post with a reference from two iconic characters, basically summing up the pickle the Party of St. Ronnie is in:

McCoy: Spock, you haven’t changed a bit. You’re just as warm and sociable as ever. 

Spock: Nor have you, doctor, as your continued predilection for irrelevancy demonstrates.

The Unraveling Continues

June 21, 2015

It is time to stop pretending that we are the United States of America. It is time we stop deluding ourselves that we are United in anything.  After the events of Wednesday in South Carolina, it has never been more clear to me that we will never, ever get past a certain point, never stop the “us against them” rhetoric, that the rationale behind this was somehow not political, that, once again, it’s too soon to talk about race, guns, religion.

It is time to stop thinking that anything will get resolved. Ever.  It is time that we understand that. Because nothing ever gets “resolved.” Nothing.  This 21-year-old who went into a church, sat quietly for an hour and then slaughtered nine people, wanted to start a race war.

Somewhere, in Corcoran State Prison in California, prisoner number B33920, smiles.

That this atrocity happened in a black church, a historic church that has survived for nearly 200 years in a state which still hoists the Confederate flag on its state capital in Columbia. South Carolina was the first state to leave the Union following the election of Lincoln and the last to be re-admitted in 1876, in a compromise that gave the Presidency to Rutherford B. Hayes in exchange for Union (Northern) troops to leave the south.

Nothing will ever be resolved because that’s the way it happens in this country.  We never get around to resolving the important things, like race, poverty and injustice. Why?  Because every time we try, someone pulls out a gun and starts shooting.  On Thursday, I wrote ” They keep yapping on the TV about how “they don’t know what motivated (him).” Bullshit. They know exactly what motivated him. He even said to the woman he let survive, “There’s too many of you. You’re taking over this country. You’re raping our women. This has to stop.” That he cited the Trayvon Martin murder as “justification” for this is just outlandish.

What this person did was premeditated and planned. Granted, he might be as delusional as prisoner B33920, but he went in there with intent and carried it out.  He did it because there are cowards in this country who react in horror and the next moment try and explain away the motivation behind it.  A “lone wolf,” “a deranged fan,” “drifter,” “disheveled loner,” a “radical hippie.” This person is none, none of those.

This was not an “accident” as Rick Perry asserted yesterday. Then what was it, Governor? A spokesman says he “misspoke.”  Of course he did. Just like Joni Ernst said last year. The chorus at False News is already saying it’s too soon to talk about this.  But we have to, we need to in order to move the needle.

But we won’t. Because we don’t know how to talk to each other. And we don’t have the time. I have to pay my bills, plan a trip, take my kid to practice, the list of excuses masquerading as reasons are as long as my arm. We don’t make the time.

Please don’t tell me this has nothing to do with the guy in the White House, because it does. To deny it is to deny reality.

It is too bad that George Carlin isn’t around to speak the truth. Or Robin Williams or Richard Pryor.  First of all George would be having so much fun right now, as would Richard. Carlin predicted this before he died.

The unraveling continues, unabated.  And yes, we can trace this back to History’s Yard Waste. Old tanned, rested and ready. Nixon and his “Southern Strategy.” Maybe even Goldwater.  Funny thing, though, both of those would never be nominated in today’s GOP.

A huge first step would be taking down the flag of sedition and treason.  The south says this isn’t about slavery, but, if you read the various secession declarations, those state’s who made up the Confederacy (and their ancestors) are liars, plain and simple.

Here is a sample. From Alabama: “And as it is the desire and purpose of the people of Alabama to meet the slaveholding States of the South, who may approve such purpose, in order to frame a provisional as well as a permanent Government upon the principles of the Constitution of the United States.”

The original sin of this nation continues.  This was well-thought-out, well planned.  There isn’t anything post-racial about America. As Pryor once asked “How long will this bullshit go on?”

Forty years later, the better question might be “When will this bullshit stop?”

Oh, prisoner B33920’s name? Charlie Manson.

Stupid Should Hurt

June 12, 2015

I don’t get it. I really don’t. How people can say things like what Nevada Congressman Cresent Hardy said at a Libertarian rally in Las Vegas recently, essentially saying that people with disabilities are a drain on society.

I’ve heard it before.  All my damned life.  I have kicked and screamed and yelled and challenged people to try and live on what I receive each month. I have been shunned by a society that doesn’t want me, have any need for my talents or insight, but they get to call me a “freeloader.”


There are a million reasons why I’m angry.  But this asshole just doesn’t get it.

I never asked to be born, let alone with Cerebral Palsy.  Yet somehow, I managed against very long odds, to carve out a life for myself. Granted, it’s not the life I envisioned or wanted, but it’s a life. It is said that life happens when your planning other things, but when you’re wearing braces at five and getting purposely locked in a bathroom and thrown on the floor at nine, you pretty much know what your life is going to be like.

I understand how people look at me and assume certain things.  The names I have been called are too numerous to recount. I have been called cynical. To me that’s a compliment.  It might mean I am not anyone’s cup of tea, but at this point in my life, I don’t give a shit.

These people are lacking empathy.  This guy can’t even count.  It’s just that his worldview is so narrow that he can’t see the bigger picture.  Well, here it is, asshole:  We all have a disability. Yours is being a Rethuglican.  Who hates people with disabilities.  I’ll tell you what dumbass, you come to my house and tell me i’m a “drain on society,” and you’ll get my 30-year-old javelin shoved up your ass.

I have a bumper sticker on the back of my chair.  It says, simply “Not a Republican.” This, is yet another reason why. Here is a picture of me when I was nearly 10. Those braces hurt. A lot. Now, tell me how I’m a drain on society, Mr. Congressman?10458352_10154291750005578_2428510650537870333_n