Trump Times Entry 68 – Instead

Instead

January 15, 2017inthought2

Today the, sixty-eighth since Trump, I had a long conversation with a worried friend rather than composing this blog. She, apparently, felt I had additional capacity or understanding or, maybe, hope. I, played the elder, listened, consoled – carefully withholding the harshness of my hope.

So today I offer one sentence:

The republic stands on our willingness to feel that which is painful to others, without agenda.

Oh, and fuck Trump!

In Peace and Justice
osv

Trump Times Entry 67 – Illegitimate Legitimately

Illegitimate Legitimately

January 14, 2017meashomer2

While the number sixty-seven is prime, this sixty-seventh day of Trump calculus is not. The latest Trump related events (and aren’t they all Trump related) include, but are not limited to the following:

1. Revelations that Trump Transition Team was on the phone with Russia the day we imposed sanctions on Russia.

Well, I’m sure they were talking about something other than sanction lifting – more likely they were just arranging entertainment for some upcoming Moscow diplomatic missions.

2. In a closed-door meeting, FBI Grand Commissioner Comey, apparently gave the Democrats his middle finger in response to charges that he politicly meddled with the election. Unverified sources suggest that his formal response was, “Na Na Boo Boo! We beat you!” after which he presented some unspecified body part.

The Democrats, as expected, were outraged. But, nevertheless, remain committed to their “When they go low, we go high” bully management strategy. So, in response, a few crossed over and voted with the Republicans on pharmaceutical regulations. Go team!

3. Oh, there’s the latest Trump Russian prostitute thing. Back in the day, this would be the lead story everywhere, but it’s starting to fall off the radar already. Apparently, the Donald’s sex life just isn’t all that interesting.

4. Finally, Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis publicly declared “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.”

It comes as no surprise that the only congressman with enough backbone to speak the self-evident truth out loud is John Lewis.

It’s also no surprise that the media and other congressmen are doing so much hand wringing over this that there’s been a carpal tunnel treatment spike in the DC area. I especially enjoyed watching Anderson Cooper squirm around grasping for a way to criticize Lewis without jeopardizing his career. It’s so hard to know who to sell out to these day.

The very fact that this is the news doesn’t, so much, beg the “legitimate president” question as answer it. Foreign collusion is treason, sexual impropriety is impeachable and the FBI is required to be non-political are all conservative principles. Yet our “conservative” leaders have nothing to say other than “We support our president.”

Makes one wonder, are they legitimately conservative?

The republic stands on an expectation of honor, but offers no guarantee. We exalt a man who claims, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” And present the Donald as proof that legitimately is not required.

In Peace and Justice,
osv

Trump Times Entry 66 – Acceptable Loss

Acceptable Loss

January 13, 2017mefront2

It’s been sixty-six days since the Donald was thrust upon an unsuspecting majority by an angry relentless minority. In keeping with the exceptional American expectation that “if you ignore it, it will go away”, forty percent of us sat out the selection process. And they were right, things are going away.

Obama Care, for sure, dead as Paul Ryan’s soul. Congressional ethics, oh please – it’s only merciful to kill off anything already that weak. Free speech, hold on partner – what about the white guy’s free speech right to tell everyone else to shut the fuck up! Gender related anything – shut the fuck up!

Some would call this phenomenon collateral damage. But, that would be an understandable mistake. Collateral damage refers to what is inflicted upon an unintended target. But in this case, the deliberation and remarkable accuracy indicates only intended targets. The ruin is intentional, not collateral.

Perhaps, acceptable loss, is a more properly descriptive choice. You know, like when Speaker Ryan, tells a cancer survivor that republicans will replace the Obama Care that saved the man’s life with something better, he means it.

It will be better for the top income people who won’t be spending so much or their money on health care that is unnecessary, for them. And if a small number of people suffer in some nonspecific way as a result of righting this horrible economic wrong… Well, that’s an acceptable loss.

Paul looked right at the guy and danced around the issue throwing out terms like “high risk pools” (commonly referred to “high cost pools”) to obfuscate the fact that the insurance business is only interested in low risk customers.

The insurance lords don’t want the high-risk cases. So, the public would be compelled cover them, but that would take tax dollars. Taxing to help the sick, a minority group, is not interesting to Paul and the austerity orthodox.

So, more likely, they would create a program, but not fund it. Then, make the rules to participate so complex that no one qualifies. The formula gives the appearance of social responsibility without the cost and has worked nicely before.

There would be some acceptable loss, but the cost saving will be worth it. Just ask Paul.

The republic stands because we all accept loss in favor of the common good. Well, everyone except our leadership. Can’t expect them to take any collateral damage.

In Peace and Justice,
osv

Trump Times Entry 65 – Golden What?

Golden What?

January 12, 2017trump_shower

OMG, has it already been sixty-five days since the Trump coming? Seems like only yesterday we were pondering the Donald’s weakness for crotch grabbing while simultaneously avoiding any thoughts regarding his daughter leering. Keeping distasteful images out of one’s head was so much simpler back then. If you know what I mean.

Now the Donald stands accused of enjoying a more broad carnal appetite. It’s further suggested that, ever the job creator, he enjoys that appetite with professionals. The specifics, while available, I choose not to read this time around – I think in pictures. Sounds risky.

Frankly, I don’t care what two or more consenting adults do in the privacy of a Moscow hotel room. Furthermore, I doubt that, even if presented on tape by FOX News, this would have any effect on the Trump faithful.

We lost big on the morality issue last time – shit, if they’re willing to overlook sexual assault, then they’re gonna be willing to overlook sexual anything-else. Using sex won’t work. (Why do I find that sentence so unnerving?)

And bluntly, the risk to the national psyche is, well, Freudian. I understand that with his golden motorcycle, golden helicopter and golden faucets in his private jet there’s temptation to go with the pattern, but where do we draw the line? (Apparently not here.)

On the other hand, it does feel kind of pleasant to throw more Trump smut at those good moral people who support him. And there is value in continuing to take moral high-ground away from hypocrites. So, I suppose, Trump smut is a valid, limited, tactic. But it won’t politically dismantle him because they don’t really care.

The republic stands inexplicably tolerant, as the Donald ogles Russia, intoxicated by her black gold and professionals.

In Peace with Justice,
osv

Trump Times Entry 64 – Cannot Look

Cannot Look

January 11, 2017inthought2

On this sixty-fourth day since the Donald became evident, I look away.

Tried, but could not watch congress, grinning like jackasses eating cactuses, invite the preeminent old-school racist to be our attorney general.

Attempted to listen, but just couldn’t stomach the Donald’s first press conference since the summer. (Remember summer? Warm longing…) Every time Trump spoke my attention drifted off, seeking puppy dogs and butterflies I guess.

Except for Above
offering no words today
so these few must do
taking pause to weep
for the republic

In Peace with Justice,
osv

Trump Times Entry 63 – Stop Being Reasonable

Stop Being Reasonable

January 10, 2017trump_1

After sixty-three days of the Donald little has changed. Sure, he hasn’t officially taken office yet, so the best is yet to come. But, for now we just have the expected Republican congress trying to deregulate everything, especially themselves. Oh, and vetting cabinet appointments has gone the way of the dodo bird and honest politician – extinct, a historical curiosity.

Apparently weary from six years of investigating, pretty much, everything, our conservative friends have decided enough is enough and it’s time to cut all the red tape. You know, investigating everything Obama just felt right; while, even customary vetting Trump appointments seem, well, wrong. Yeah, we can always count on Republicans to be in touch with their feelings. (Just, no one else’s.)

But let’s not dwell on Republican sensitivities, instead let’s check out a few of our own. After all, the republic stands on diversity of opinion – even unpopular opinion. Or so I’m told.

Mostly, I’m told on social media where I find ideas both confusing and inconsistent, even among people I actually know and respect. Recently, a couple posts struck me as atypical – for different reasons they to allude to larger issues.

The first, I’d have to call the “Head in the Sand” issue. In this case, a friend posted an objection to Meryl Streep using her Golden Globe speech to criticize the Donald. The poster suggested that rich people living in mansions should shut up about politics because the rest of us were struggling.

Of course, up upon the slightest reflection, we find this objection recursively insane. She doesn’t want a privileged person to use a public platform to talk about another privileged person who uses the public platform to gain political power?

Not to mention the whole contradiction when one uses free speech to demand another stop speaking.

I don’t think my friend is anti-free speech or crazy – no, I think she’s tired. And I understand, so am I. A reasonable response her post might be: ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away. But, it would be more sincere to say, if you don’t like what some celebrity is saying – spot listening! Certainly, don’t stretch it out by reposting. Need rest – take a break, turn off the computer.

The other, more concerning, social media provocation was a FB post suggesting that we “relent” regarding the appointment of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son in law as a White House adviser. The gentleman’s opinion, I’m sure, is based upon a deep seeded need to be fair and reasonable. And once again, I understand. Being the fair reasonable person gives one the high ground – so safe and warm.

Wrong!

Thus far, fair and reasonable has given us Trump and a shit load of self-righteous conservatives who are perfectly comfortable playing by two sets of rules. They came to power by acting like relentless pricks. They count on us to not act similarly.

While it’s not in our nature to be pricks, we better learn to be relentless – or follow the dodo bird. It’s not about reasonable, it’s about survival.

Disruption is a legitimate tactic.
Disrupt.

In Peace with Justice,
osv

Trump Times Entry 62 – Denuded Defunding

Denuded Defunding

January 9, 2017inthought2

Sixty-two days down the Trump-Putin rabbit hole and I can’t tell which is the March Hare and which is the Mad Hatter – though I have my suspicions. After all, the Mad Hatter quote, “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense” pretty much sums up everything I know about Trump.

Yeah, I know it’s a cheap shot to equate the Donald with an insane character from a children’s fantasy, but Lewis Carroll only had opium to contend with – while, we have the Donald. So, comparison seems fair.

(The paragraph you just read is my first intentional journey into Trump logic. Notice that while the topic sentence seems to have structure it really doesn’t. The compound clauses have nothing to do with one another and the dependent clause obfuscates meaning. The last sentence draws the conclusion that the speaker is the winner. Sound familiar?

I can see why Trump talks this way. He gets to say the words he wants people to hear, with no need to arrange them into coherent thoughts – loose associations and innuendo work best. Declare victory and move on. Who would have thought, elegant word tricks from the Donald?

But, enough with the Language Abuse Seminar, let’s look at different word trick: defunding.)

The notion that Congress plans to defund Planned Parenthood is strangely absurd. Unlike GE or Trump Inc, the government doesn’t fund Planned Parenthood. While the idea of withholding money you don’t spend has a certain Reaganesque appeal, it’s a logical absurdity. The Donald would call it a euphenism, if you know what he means. I think he means a soft word to hide a harsh reality. For instance…

For many reasons beyond the scope of this rant, lots of women choose to use Planned Parenthood health services. Some of those women have government health insurance like Medicare, SSI or alike. In those cases, the government pays Planned Parenthood for whatever services the insured woman receives. (Abortion related services are not covered because sometimes vocal minorities get to impose their will on all of us. After all, their religious views are best – just ask them.)

So, let’s see, the Republicans can’t directly defund Planned Parenthood, but they can defund the women who use it by refusing to pay for Planned Parenthood services. And there it is, our “free market” friends want to dictate, through federal funding, where women’s health care would occur.

Yup, “Defunding Planned Parenthood” sounds much better than “Taking medical services away from women”. So, that’s what they say. And even better, the take away is from people who don’t have the money to defend themselves. It’s a sure thing win. That’s what these assholes call wining.

The republic stands totally dependent upon the hand that rocks the cradle. Yet, mad as a hatter, Paul Ryan and his crew insist on taking the, self-interested, self-destructive war path. You may want to proceed with caution, Paul. A guy could get his eyes scratched out.

In Peace with Justice,
osv