361 & 360 & 359 & 358

Four days gone by and not a word? Guess I’ve been busy. But we seem to have fallen into a pattern with this blog of late, with appearance rather consistent and not a lot to talk about. I think that means I’m pouring my creative energy into other things – finishing the Clemmie story (done and revised based on Aunt Jopie’s input – like she’s only 88, not 89 – oops) and Book 4 of the Save the Children series (I got up at 2:30 yesterday morning to finish the detailed outline that will allow me to meet my Thanksgiving deadline). Plus, I have to think about writing down my dreams in preparation for my therapy session. But more about that another time.

What I really want to talk about today is a step back from the detail and look at the world as a whole. There are upsets everywhere: Bolivia, Hong Kong, Baghdad & Basra in Iraq, Lebanon, Santiago, Chile.

Rioting in Baghdad

It would appear social media has made rioting a highly contageous, worldwide virus of action on the part of young people. But hey, kids, here’s the rub, as Shakespeare would say. It’s one thing to demand action and use varying degrees of violence to call attention to the need for change. But then – after you succeed and a power vacuum occurs – that’s when, historically, real trouble comes. Take Santiago. The Chilean president PiƱera cancelled the November APEC Trade forum because of protests. That was the meeting where DtheT/crazier and President XI were supposed to ratify whatever phase of trade agreement the diplomats had conjured up. But as it’s cancelled, now they have to figure out a face-saving way to do it without calling a meeting that might show weakness on either side.

But let’s look at Chile’s history when there were protests, culminating in the election of a socialist president Salvador Allende. He didn’t last 3 years and Chile became a dictatorship with thousands of young people killed. Fear drives the middle and upper classes to approve of dictatorship, just looking to preserve their way of life. It’s generally young idealists that pay the price for these choices borne out of fear.

It also should be noted that Nixon/Kissinger’s CIA played a big role in the coup that brought down Allende and ultimately led to his death by either murder or suicide. That tendency of previous American administrations to meddle in foreign affairs is one of the things that ultimately will turn the rest of the world against the United States, with unfortunate consequences. Spoiler alert – all that will be found in Book 5.

So what are young people fighting injustice to do? Be aware that your actions have consequences, and if you don’t have any alternative for what fills the void after you topple the government, be aware: you may pay the ultimate price for that failure to plan.

That is all.

362

So has anything really exciting or interesting occurred in the past twenty four hours? I don’t think so. We are moving toward the inexorable end of the impeachment investigation, which everyone knows will end up with the GOP finding the malfeasance does not rise to the level of impeachment. In two days less than a year, we will have another close election that cannot be predicted at this time. So we need a different strategy for living.

Here’s what I was thinking…If we pretty much know how things will turn out with the impeachment drama, but we do not know how the election will turn out, as there are way too many variables at play in this reality show, how about if we just create a new, different and more appealing reality show? It’s supposedly all fake news anyway, depending on which side of the mirror you’re on. So let’s create a new country, a new system, new players – everything new. That way, we pretty much know how it might turn out, and we can make it the way we like. Cool, huh?

I think what I’ve just described is being in a state of schizophrenia. There is some advantage in being crazy.

363

So the election in Kentucky last night likely got rid of Matt Bevin. It wasn’t just that he was a bad Republican; he was also a jerk of a guy. Good riddance..hope the new guy does a better job for those folks in that state. I’m sure we’ll be stuck with McConnell for another six years; maybe he won’t live out his term and we’ll get another bite at the apple. He does look rather old, and he’s been there since the earth started cooling.

Despite the fact that Bevin was the least – or next to the least – popular governor in the country, he still only lost by about six thousand votes. Gee, people! What does it take for you to vote for the other guy? This one’s got a really creepy smile.

None of this means anything for the 2020 election, despite pundits claiming it means this or that or the other. It means they voted out a guy who was a jerk and voted in the son of a former popular governor of the state. That’s it. There are no trend lines here..

Started work yesterday on book 4, and it’s taking a little adjusting to get back into the groove. My characters apparently staged a walkout when I switched to writing the Clemmie story. Can’t say I blame them: who wants to stand around waiting for somebody else’s story to get told? So I’ll have to figure out how to lure them back to talk to me. Any ideas? I’m using lines from the Koran for Chapter headings, and I’m finding it interesting reading.

It’s like a mashup of Corinthians and Poor Richard’s Almanac. Lots of helpful advice, but so far, not a word about holy war or fatwah or kill American soldiers. Guess there must be a jihadi version – maybe from the dark web? Hijacking the Koran for fun and profit. Gives all Muslims a bad name, which isn’t at all right. Can’t we all just get along? Thanks, Rodney, RIP.

364

The presidential election is one year from today. Eternal optimists are banking on a Democrat winning the White House. Unipolar manic depressives are assuming DtheT/crazier will win again and life in the U S of A will get progressively worse. I tend to vacillate wildly between the two extremes – just like last time. In the end, he will either win or lose; it’s binary. In the interim, we’ll count the days and keep writing!

Speaking of writing, I started on book 4 today of the Suffer the Children pentalogy. I have about three weeks to finish it, so I’ll have to be diligent in my writing. The outline is fairly complete, so it should be just a matter of filling in the blanks. I’ll do my best to make the deadline.

That’s it.

366 & 365

A year and a day left to go, and things are getting tougher for El Presidente. But that’s all anyone talks about, so let’s talk about something else, shall we? Yes, we shall.

We could talk about New England losing to those bad fellas called the Baltimore Ravens, but I really didn’t watch the game enough to comment intelligently. Alternatively, we could talk about the Season 2 of Jack Ryan, but I am not liking it enough to bother. So formulaic; no telling how much it cost to blow all that stuff up, but explosions do not a movie make. Noomi Rapace is in it (isn’t she in nearly every movie where stuff blows up?) but they give her very little to do but be a sex interest and lie repeatedly. So nah..let’s not talk about that.

I know – I think I’d like to talk about making videos using Windows Moviemaker Pro. I need to sneak that project in amongst all the others I have, either just finishing or in production. I haven’t made any videos since Erik the Younger returned from his second war gig in Iraq. But it’s time and I have material. I’ve just never used Moviemaker Pro. Any knowledgeable people out there that want to help – let me know.

Finally, I think I would like to say I’m glad the Durrells in Corfu is over, and I thought the ending was well done. That’s all..just that.

367

We went to Vero Beach last night to hear my friend Pat’s Porch Poets read, and to have dinner with Pat, her husband Tom, my friend Susan and her husband Bob, and Pat’s marvelous daughter Meredith, who works in Baghdad (!) as a paramedic. After the reading, we had dinner at a pub, and then went back to the parking lot to retrieve Big Brown. Sadly, Big Brown had been towed away.

Y’all would have been proud of old Erik & me.

We didn’t panic, figured out who had taken BB and where, called Pat who graciously took us to the ATM to get cash (another !) and then to the impound lot, where $118 dollars later, we had him back and on our way back to Jupiter.

Now the lesson for everyone reading this is: 1) Just because it has a big P sign in the lot, doesn’t mean you can park there for free. It sure looked inviting, but that was the hook..we weren’t the only ones towed away that night. Apparently, this is a cash cow for Charlie’s Towing, who likely kicks back to the owner of the lot. It stinks and Vero should be ashamed to tolerate this scam. But the lesson for Erik and me? Don’t park there next time…find someplace else where BB will be safe and still there when we return. I like Pat too much to say we won’t go back to Vero…but I’d be willing to bet a lot of other people who had their cars towed are saying that. So much for downtown development on a Friday night! That is all.

371 & 370 & 369 & 368

Wow – four days since I’ve written anything..understandable, since yesterday I finished up the Clemmie story. Afterward, I was a bit brain dead. But I’m back, and no, I will not discuss anything related to impeachment. It’s not a topic of interest – so let it go, willya?

I’d like to talk about the Washington Nationals winning the World Series in Game 7 in Houston. Apparently, this was the first time one team won all four road games. Quick edit – first time that the road team won all games in a seven game series in any major sport that has series. Thank you, Michael, for that clarification. Apparently the Natties play better when surrounded by the enemy; typical behavior for the underdog, maybe.

They were fun to watch. The team has esprit de corps – in spades. The desire to win at the game is half the battle; the other half is having the skill in both batting and pitching. Washington appeared to find both late in the season, to make for an exciting set of games for us to watch. The only negative in the whole thing was having to listen to Joe Buck drone on – not my favorite announcer..bit of a blabbermouth on topics of which he knows just enough to be dangerous. I tend to favor the announcers – more localized than national – that restrict their comments to the game and maybe some prior, appropriate statistics. Baseball is full of stats, but knowing when to use them is an art form most announcers are not proficient in.

But I have to comment on the infamous out at first called on Trea Turner, who allegedly interfered with the throw. Look at the picture and where the first baseman Yuri Gurriel is holding his glove. It’s right over the bag! How could Turner have avoided hitting it when he stepped on first base? ,All the videos that were shown afterward missed the critical moment. According to Joe Torre, who in retirement is now the sage of baseball, Trea knocked Gurriel’s glove off. I don’t see how he could have avoided hitting it. Anyway, Rendon’s home run sealed Houston’s fate. It was all downhill for them after that.

But it does bring to mind the reality that the rule invoked by the home plate umpire is indisputable. I’m sure he knew that when he invoked it. There was an effort to get New York involved, but they refused to comment, saying it was indisputable. I think that rule needs to be revisited in the era of multiple cameras and slo-mo. While it didn’t change the outcome, as dear old Joe the Buckster pointed out, it could have in a big way. So boys – let’s take a look at that rule and let it be reviewable. Many calls are reversed, as umpires are only human, and frankly whether consciously or subconsciously – or worse – they can have biases. The camera doesn’t lie…most of the time.

But then there’s the results from the Labor Department, saying 128,000 new jobs were created last month. Last year, they fudged the numbers every month. Who can say if they are telling the truth? And, if they aren’t, the lies will get more outrageous as we get closer to November of 2020. If you can’t trust the Labor Department, who can you trust? In this administration? Just whistleblowers, apparently.

373 & 372

Another writing day missed – they seem to go by so quickly! Al Baghdadi is dead, along with his number two, and number three is promoted to number one. Much ado about nothing? Maybe..but good for politics? Likely..we are so shallow!

But now I’m moving on with trying to finish the piece about Clemmie. That way, I can go back to writing book 4 of the Suffer the Children series. I want it done and out by Thanksgiving, so that work must begin soon. The week of Thanksgiving is generally taken up with shopping and pre-making the groaning board meal.

So that leaves a little less than 4 weeks to finish book 4. Fortunately, the outline for it is very detailed, so it should be relatively easy. But then again, I say that every time and every time it’s a challenge!

So I spoke with the therapist who is walking her own Emmaeus Road with a sick husband. We’ll have to work around her schedule, but she seems interested in what I have to say, and open to the craziness of my emotional dilemma with my writing. So maybe by Saturday she and I can talk. I hope so. I want to finish the piece without falling apart myself. Likelihood? Dunno. We shall see. Otherwise, …

376 & 375 & 374

Three days gone by and not a word – tsk! I’m back, and not gonna talk about DtheT/crazier now. The media frenzy makes it banal to discuss. I’m gonna talk about my other writing efforts.

I’m three quarters of the way through a story about the family and what happened to it after the death of one of its members. I feel like it’s a story that should and even must be told, because it holds a truth that is universal: the death of just one person under certain circumstances can affect the lives of that as well as succeeding generations in profound ways.

But here’s the thing – telling that story and confronting the ramifications of that death is terribly painful. I’m not sure why I subject myself to it. That’s why I’m going to go to therapy and maybe find out how it applies to me.

But I was clear the story wasn’t about me – I was just the writer. I intended the story for my 89 year old aunt, as the death was that of her brother, my uncle. But I find as I write it that it unearths a plethora of emotions in me that appear to have been suppressed. So off to therapy I go with the hope that digging into the effect of writing this story will rid me of whatever pain still exists within my soul. Wish me luck. That is all for today.

378 & 377

Watched Frontline last night and it was supposed to just be about immigration and how Trump has used it as a weapon in maintaining power & control over actions and events in his administration. But there was something very different presented that helps to explain a lot of what is going on now.

Steve Bannon was a featured speaker throughout the program. He started off explaining how he, Stephen Miller and Jeff Sessions formed an unlikely band of brothers to create a new and different approach to politics. Their goal was to take down the REPUBLICAN establishment and create something new in its place. Yes, I’ve repeated what he said – the Republicans. They targeted Eric Cantor in the 2014 mid terms and succeeded in ousting him from office – the second most powerful Republican in the House. How’d they do it? Breitbart and related social media. Why’d they do it? Because Cantor was allegedly ‘soft’ on immigration.

Then they decided that they needed a candidate for president in order to carry out their nefarious plans – and who better than an imperfect (his word, not mine) but nonetheless malleable (my word, not his) candidate like Donald Trump.

So they do everything in their power – with the help of the Russians – to destroy Hillary and boost Trump. We all know how that turned out. But somewhere along the line, their Frankenstein monster creation turned on two of them – and you know which two. Now there’s only the creepy Stephen Miller to whisper in Trump’s ear to toe the line on immigration – and likely a few other topics as well.

Now everybody – including those three amigos that created this mess – is finding out that those imperfections are causing chaos and mayhem in Washington with impeachment as the inevitable end. Did they really think they could control him? Apparently so – or maybe all this is okay with them, because destruction is the ultimate goal. But what if they take the country down with them? They’ll find someone else to blame. That is evil incarnate. My only consolation is karma – which is or will be visited on all of them for their actions. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of losers. But out of the ashes of the old will arise a new – and hopefully better country. At least I hope so.