394 & 393

The thing I hate most about writing is marketing; it feels like shilling when I tell people about my books. I guess that’s why professional writers hire agents and PR people; you’re either good at it or you’re not and I am decidedly NOT…good at it.

Having gotten that off my chest, I guess it’s time to talk about current events again. So the question is: has he lost whatever mind he used to have or are his latest pronouncements just another round of what he always does – trying to scare his critics into backing down? It reminds me of a movie I will likely watch every time it’s on: The Fifth Element. If you recall the plot, there’s evil, eviler and evilest. Everybody has somebody calling the shots for them that is Richter scale more dastardly. It’s the President for Korben Dallas; it’s Gary Oldman’s character Zorg for the President; and it’s some other, unnamed evil creature that scares poor Zorg so that he bleeds chocolate out of his hairline. Now that’s evilest!

Gary Oldman as Zorg

So where’s the connection with DtheT/crazy(er? not est yet?) and current events? It’s this. For 95% of the movie, the bad guys are definitely winning. The poor monk (Ian Holm – great as ever) and his little assistant with the yamaka on his head are terrified, but keep buggering on. Ruby Rhod starts out brash but he, too, soon becomes terrified. Everything depends on Korben and orange-haired and outfitted Leeloo to fix everything. But, as a point of fact, all their machinations would have been for naught had it not been for yamaka boy blowing on the element for wind. That one tiny little sigh saved the world. And so it will be with all this – one tiny little whistleblower may be the thing that finally ends the reign of terror aka the Trump Administration. I wonder if this whistler wears a yamaka too?

And how long will it be – and how many more disasters will he be able to create – before the Republican Senate wakes up and sees that this is really a golden opportunity? Answer: we’ve still got at least another 30% of this bad movie to go before it’s over. So fasten your seatbelts; we’re in for a blustery ride.

396 & 395

Kiernan is helping me write this post. Kiernan: what do you want to say? Kiernan says she wants to help animals. How can she do this? Do you have any ideas? Let’s talk about animals.

Kiernan says do not throw trash on the beach and in the forest. She added don’t throw trash in the ocean – it already has enough as it is. Kiernan says you should help animals when they’re in danger. I just read a story about a dog rescue group that used a drone to find a dog trapped in the rubble in the Bahamas. They moved the rubble, and found the dog, barely alive. They took it back to their animal rescue center, and it is doing OK. That is an example of what Kiernan wants all of us to do: help animals when they’re in danger!

Kiernan says that’s all she wants to say about animals.

397

What are each of us capable of doing? Theft; assault; even murder under the right conditions? Those are the boundaries I’ve been exploring in my writing, and current events simply reinforce these questions.

One thing the internet has given us is the perception of anonymity. With that perception, we say things to one another we would never even think of saying to someone’s face.

Internet trolls just picked up that thread and ran with it, further pushing back the boundaries of what is considered civil discourse online. But now that phenomenon has begun to intrude into our ordinary lives. Road rage is so common now it’s barely reported by the media. The frequency of using violence to fix a simple problem is now legion: don’t get a divorce; murder your wife and kids so you can be with Amber, Bambi or Brittney and start over again.

My latest writing concerns itself with mass psychosis fueled by fear of climate change. It’s a theme I’ve explored before with a play I wrote called Fear of the Sixth Extinction. It ended with civilization effectively destroying itself because people act irrationally when they are caught up in a fearful situation together. The instinct for self or family preservation comes to the fore, and violence is used to fix a simple problem. But that play ended with a note of hope – an Adam and Eve scenario – so we can start over again.

So there’s the connection. Are we all so unhappy with our current lives that we’re driven to extreme behavior in the belief that it will let us have a new and better life? I think so. My current series – a pentalogy (5 part series) is called Suffer the Children, from Matthew 19 in the New Testament. The headings are biblical, and I formatted it that way for a reason. Let me explain.

The Apostles believed that the second coming of Christ would occur in their lifetime, and it would mean the destruction of the world, as detailed in John’s Book of Revelation. Christians everywhere are still seeking this second coming, believing their faith will spare them from John’s prognosticated painful end. So I started the first and most of the second books’ chapter headings with quotes from the Old Testament, the New Testament for most of book 3, with the final chapter in Book 3 quoting from the Koran. Book 4 will have quotes from the Koran until the last Chapter; then Book 5 – tentatively titled Karma, will quote from the Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu spiritual book. Why am I doing this? Because I am telling the story of the end – not of the world, but of the United States.

What is the point of my story? Depending on how you see it, it’s either a prognostication – like John’s – of what will happen to us; or a warning of what will happen if nothing changes. Only time will tell which it is. But the underlying notion for it? DISSOLUTION. Definition: the closing down or dismissal of an assembly, partnership or official body. In this case, that official body is the United States of America. But the other definition of DISSOLUTION is relevant here: debauched living; dissipation. Dissipation: the squandering of money, energy or resources. If that isn’t America in a nutshell, I don’t know what is.

I’ve finished the first three books; Book 4 will be finished by Thanksgiving and Book 5 with an Epilogue will be my Christmas gift to the world. Don’t thank me yet; wait until you’ve read it…and be afraid..be very afraid.

399 & 398

Interesting show on Frontline – about Mohammed Bin Salman and the murder of Khashoggi. It provided a fair amount of background about the journalist and how MBS turned on him when he thought his power was unlimited. Surprise! It’s not.

But at least for a while longer, despots and demagogues will continue to rule as the sheep amongst us long for some semblence of stability, rather than fighting for the right to say what we think is right. To continue with the parallels with Germany in the 30’s, here’s a quote from William Shirer, The Nightmare Years: 1930-1940.

There in the floodlit night, jammed together like sardines, in one massive formation, the little men of Germany, who have made Nazism possible, achieved the highest state of being the Germanic man knows: the shedding of their individual souls and minds – with the personal responsibilities and doubts and problems – until under the mystic lights and at the sound of the magic words of the Austrian they were merged completely in the German herd.”

Free speech is soon going to be a thing of the past, because of technology and concentrated power in the wrong hands. So that gives this blog a rather short shelf-life. Maybe generations from now, it’ll be like the last dinosaurs – to be marveled at and mourned in its loss. Baaaa.

400

A mere 400 days to go, but I sense things are changing. Is it possible we’ll get rid of Trump, and get even more right wing? Yes it is – let me ‘splain how.

I hate to keep beating this damned ‘Germany in the 30’s’ drum, but it really is on point as a roadmap for things to come in the current age. So I’ll tell this as a fable and maybe you’ll see the parallels.

Franz Von Papen

Once upon a time there was an elected Chancellor of Germany whose name was Franz von Papen. His was an old, aristocratic family, and he ruled Germany by decree..essentially, he started the notion of dictatorship at a time when Germans were looking for a strong hand. But poor Franz wasn’t very popular with members of the Reichstag (the legislature) so President Paul Von Hindenberg – another aristocrat – decided to replace him with a military guy named Kurt Von Schleicher.

Kurt Von Schleicher

Von Schleicher still continued the rule of dictatorship, and actually lasted more than a year. But Von Papen was mad that he’d been thrown out, and was good buddies with Von Hindenberg. So Franzie came up with the brilliant notion of replacing Von Schleicher with Hitler, thinking Hitler was an idiot and he – Franz Von Papen – would be the power behind the throne. Genius, huh? He convinced Von Hindenburg that Schleicher was bad for the country, and poof! Von Schleicher out; Hitler in. So Hitler took over the Chancellorship; soon after Von Hindenburg was kind enough to die, so Hitler took over the presidency too. And what was one of the first things he did after taking over? He had Von Schleicher, a brilliant military man, killed in The Night of the Long Knives, as it came to be known. And he got away with it! Nobody wanted to mess with Adolph after that.

So it’s entirely possible we have a repeat of this sort of scenario..the Dems will impeach Trump with enough dirt that will allow at least 20 Republican Senators to see the light and vote to convict. But who will take his place? Why, docile Mike Pence. But is he really all that docile, or is this playing into that religiouso’s fascist plans, in cahoots with McConnell? I’d argue it is, and then we’ll see the real right wing of the party emerge. We don’t need no stinkin’ elections. Do we?

402 & 401

The question for today: will DtheT/crazy even make it in his presidency for another 401 days? Enquiring minds want to know – mine doesn’t care anymore. So why am I counting down the days? Because anything can happen..and likely will. Why not call this reality series Survivor Meets the West Wing? Yeah – I like that.

404 & 403

The only thing people are talking about today is the Trump call to the President of Ukraine and should we/should we not impeach the bastard? As many predicted, this hardens the lines between those for and against DtheT/crazy. So when all this is said & done, how can we ever have a successful election again? I guess that’s the goal – not to have any more.

It sickens and saddens me that we have come to this, but hey – every institution has to end sooner or later, right? It appears to be close to our time to evolve into something much further to the right – institutionalized power tilted to varying degrees of right wingedness. No good will come of this – but then, not much good came from the tilt toward left wingedness

that began during the Great Depression and ended in ’92 with the Gingrich takeover of both houses of Congress. So let’s say from ’32 to ’92 – 60 years; that means we can expect to see the right wing tilt until 2052 when there will likely be a serious economic and political miasma exacerbated – or caused – by the final fruits of climate change. I’d be 102 by then, so it won’t be in my lifetime when we swing back. So what does this mean for me and mine? Three things (isn’t always three things?) First – we will have to declare our allegiance to the right side, or face consequences that will affect our pocketbooks if not our physical freedom. Second – we will worry about attacks on us from the rest of the world – the chickens coming home to roost, euphemistically speaking. Revenge will be exacted for all our misdeeds from the ’20’s ’til now. Finally – and nobody talks about this one – destruction will occur, all the way down to the family level.

I’ve got Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia in mind – those who supported the rise of the two men; those who failed to grasp the extent of each man’s capacity to wreak havoc on everyone to varying degrees. This tore whole families apart. The same will happen here. Civility will go out the window and children will inform on their parents and siblings in the name of honoring the party. It’s a mass psychosis that keeps people from effectively communicating with one another.

Will there be any way to stop it? I don’t think so – it happens so slowly, and the only thing one can do is expect it to run its course and try to keep one’s head down – and on one’s shoulders. Life will be a challenge henceforth, to say the least.

406 & 405

So the question at hand – hotly debated but never fully resolved – will impeachment efforts by the Democratic house help or hinder DtheT/crazy? I’m not sure anyone that is asked to speak on the topic fully understands the depth and complexity of the question or the process. Why is this? Because there are so few precedents upon which to base impeachment.

Depth and complexity. Removing a president – or any high ranking politician in this country – is fraught with peril, as John Yoo said in his op-ed piece in the NY Times. Name sound familiar? He’s the guy who told Baby Bush that waterboarding wasn’t torture – technically and from a purely legal standpoint.

And that’s the problem here as well. Technicalities and from a legal standpoint totally ignore the ultimate court – that of public opinion that can make or break an election. So on the one hand, does impeachment make Trump a martyr, based on talk radio and Fox news rhetoric? Absolutely. Conversely, if he is impeached but the Senate refuses to convict him, will that sway independents and middle of the road Conservative voters to turn out their recalcitrant Senator – or their convicting Senator in the case of the true believers? Maybe. But here’s the proverbial bottom line here. If Trump is impeached based on things he’s said to a foreign leader, the implications for future presidents could be disastrous. Strangely enough, that was what John Yoo said. So I guess that means I agree with John Yoo. Did the world stop turning? It should, for such a strange confluence of things to occur.

If future presidents fear their conversations – either with their aides or with foreign leaders – will get them impeached, either they’ll never write anything down, or they’ll never talk to anyone without first thinking of whether or not they are popular enough – or have sufficient cover in the Senate – to survive impeachment. Because the “I” word will become the new parlor game in D.C. Never mind governing – let’s just get more dirt on the guy in the oval office so our side will take the spot. Then the game will start all over again. This will inevitably cause all of us to lose faith in the process, paving the way for some real trouble, either in the form of a demagogue worse than Trump, or strong man takeover of the slot with associated reforms to eliminate key parts of the democratic process. So Dems in the House – let’s take this nice and slow. Borrow a playing card from the Chinese..talk about it, maybe have a few hearings, but let the real process – the voting process – decide whether DtheT/crazy should stay or go.

408 & 407

The UN opens its fall session today, with an impassioned speech by the Nordic princess of climate change, Greta Thunberg. You gotta admit, the kid has guts and did a great job with her speech, but sadly, to the wrong folk..they have no authority to do anything that will make any changes to the climate – or anything else. Alas.

The only way the world will begin to address climate change is when a critical mass of humans that aren’t poor and brown die. What is really needed here is for someone to find a way to make real money from finding solutions to prevent the earth from heating up. Unfortunately, we aren’t that clever, so it will be a while and a lot of folk will suffer…along the way to achieving that critical mass. How many will it take? 1%? Since there’s 7.7 billion people, that means 770,000 people have to die. So far we’re estimating about 400,000 per year – so we’re halfway there! Anyone volunteering to make up the difference? Not me – not finished with my books yet, and can’t leave my readers hanging.

409

She’s real fine, my 409, my 409! Old California surf/hot rod car tune by the phony Beach Boys in 1962.

Laurel and Hardy

Speaking of phonies, then there’s DtheT/crazy. As Stan Laurel always told Oliver Hardy, “Ollie, you’ve done it again!” This time, our esteemed president has involved himself in petty politics and along with weasel Rudy has threatened to withhold military aid used to fight the Russians unless the comedian president of Ukraine investigates bad boy Hunter Biden. This strategy is a non-starter on several fronts. First: everybody already knows Hunter is a bad boy who has badly used his father’s position for gain – along with stealing with dead brother’s wife. Tawdry. Second, Biden isn’t even the Democratic nominee yet, and most folk in the know think he’ll fade. Third, D&R are talkin’ to a comedian, for Christ’s sake. Yes, the President of Ukraine was a comedian who impersonated the president – before he became president. Once this comes out fully, he’ll have a really good time talking about it in a less than diplomatic way. Eew..creepy…but impeachable? Words..not actions..close, but likely no cigar.