Sunday, July 02, 2017

And I Rant On

Everyone I know seems angry and depressed.  Those of us who find the Trump administration both immoral and embarrassing feel like our country is being disgraced by an ignorant bully.  Our moral compass - which, granted, we have not always lived up to - is quite literally being shredded and tramped on with a kind of remorseless and gleeful hypocrisy.

I turned on CNN this morning to unending discussion of yet another crude stupid tweet from our narcissistic "leader,"  who apparently made a graphic of himself wrestlng CNN to submission.  A stupid tweet and what is probably a slightly hyperbolic response from CNN... but then it isn't me he is calling an "enemy of the people."  CNN has plenty of flaws, but I do find it ironic that my right wing acquaintances who are addicted to propaganda from FOX and Rush Limbaugh have swallowed and regurgitate the idea that the rest of the media is "fake."  What every happened to fact checking?  What ever happened to thinking.  It is apparently a dead art.

I stuck with CNN through Fareed Zakaria because he has guests who are knowledgeable and have actual conversations and don't just throw inane sound bytes (most talking head "debates" are the equivalent of monkeys through feces at each other).   What is most frustrating - I think I'm repeating myself, but if I keep this up, I will probably repeat myself a lot - is that the media continues to pretend that Donald Trump has a clue about anything.  They cover him as though he knows about issues and is making actual decisions.  You only need to listen to him for a couple of minutes to realize that he knows nothing at all, for example, about health care in general or about the bill he is pushing.  He doesn't actually care what's in it or who it hurts. (Unless you count our former President.  The Trump presidency is in many ways guided by a desire to erase everything Barack Obama did.  It is a blend of hatred of the first black president and narcissism. I'm sure psychologists - if the planet survives - will spend decades studying the psychological pathology.  But I digress...)   Besides hating Obama, Trump wants to score a point.  It's all about himself and how great he thinks he is.  Some in the news media hint at this, but they always add some qualifier that pretends the man is actually informed on any subject.  One only has to listen to the vague inanity that issues from his potty mouth to realize that there is no there there.  "It's going to be awesome," isn't a policy discussion.  "We had a great meeting," even if the participants had a grand old time - is not a reflection of substance.  It's theater.   So anyway, six historians sat around and pretended that this man who apparently spends something like 5 hours a day watching coverage of himself on TV is sitting in the oval office formulating policy.  He isn't.  He's spewing political chum for his followers. engaging with is family in an ethical free ride in which they are using the presidency to line their own pockets, signing horrible decisions with no thought to their repercussions because he is not a person who gives thought to anything except his own ego gratification.

I fear that the US has been lucky and prosperous and free for so long that we don't really understand that it is frighteningly easy to lose those treasures.

I guess I'll stop now.

Happy Independence Day Weekend.  May we wake up and recognize the gift we are at risk of losing to a self-serving bully who wouldn't recognize greatness if he tripped over it.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

I Don't Want to Rant But I Can't Stop Myself

It has been a really, really long time since I last posted anything here.  Lots has happened.  Tara Grace and Angel Joy both died and after a bi of an empty time, Merlin and Melissa - aka "the Twins" because they are brother and sister came into my life.

On another front, after 12 years of not doing so, I left my house 4 times - 3 of them in an ambulance, unfortunately, the 4th in my neighbotr's car.  Bless her.  Although I'm not (amazingly) diabetic, I developed a big hole in the bottom of my foot  (hospital visit 1) which led to trouble walking which led to a blood clot  (hospital visit 2 with a 3 week interment in a nursing home for rehab) which led to coumadin which led to misery and a leaky blood vessel in my eye and something called a fistula (hospital visit 3).  Luckily for me - against doctor's advice - I stopped the coumadin.  I'm sure it caused the fistula (not all medical professionals will admit that I'm right),  but I think it would have been worse if my "little voice" hadn't literally bellowed at me one morning - after a month of so of polite warnings - "STOP TAKING THAT STUFF.  IT'S KILLING YOU."  Anyway, I lived.

One of the reasons I stopped posting way back when was because I ran out of photo space.  That was half the fun of posting for me, but after Angel died and I stopped blogging, I kind of stopped taking pictures as well, so maybe it will be OK to have just words or maybe I can reuse pictures that are already in old posts.  I guess I'll figure it out if I post more than just this day's rant.  And I warn you.  I'm guided here by a desire to rant.  Two people asked me in the last few weeks if I had been blogging so maybe that's a sign.  Or maybe it's just two people asking a question.  I know that I am deeply angry and depressed about what is happening to my country.  It feels to me - I know there are some who are elated - like the forces of darkness are winning and it makes me sad and angry and deeply depressed.  

A friend of my voted for Donald Trump.  She's a woman with a gay son whom she loves and in whom she takes pride.  She's a woman with a pre-existing condition.  She's a woman who's family members survive because of HEAP and SNAP (as do I).  She also - though she denies it - hates Muslims.  She listens to Rush Limbaugh and follows Judge somebody from FOX news who foments blatantly dishonest propaganda.  I confess to the sin of stalking her Facebook page to some degree.  I hate Facebook, but I went to S's page initially to try and understand how someone who is a kind, decent person could vote for someone who preached racism, lied non-stop, bragged about molesting women - the list goes on and on  - and is generally ignorant on pretty much every subject there is..... How could she vote for him?  How could she vote for someone whose Vice Presidential choice would, given the chance, send her gay son away to be reprogrammed?

What I found was a lot Conservative and Tea Party propaganda, a lot of  disturbing (to me) "Muslim watch" posts, which are basically distorted fear mongering and half truth about how scary and evil Muslims are.  And I found posts about George Soros which were obvious lies.  Fine with me if you want to hate George Soros, but to post a photo of a Nazi commandant and say it's George Soros and have a false quote about how he loved World War II was something I couldn't just not fight back on... not because I care that much one way or another about George S, but because, as I said to S, because I care about truth and lies.  I offered her proof from SNOPES that her post was a lie.  Soros was 14 when the war ended and was Jewish, thus very unlikely to be a Nazi commandant. The identity of the man in the photo was also know and he was not Soros.  She and her friends dismissed this proof because SNOPES in their view is "left leaning."  So I went and found alternate sources... the BBC and other places.  They didn't care.  She has posted similar things since and feels that because - in her view - George Soros is a bad man, that it's OK to lie about him.  That REALLY bothers me.  She has bought the Trump mantra about Fake News, without recognizing that he is one of the prime purveyors of falsehoods and fake news.  She doesn't care and neither do her friends.  This breaks my heart and it makes me angry as well. Mostly it breaks my heart.

I will say that I DO think our news media sucks across the board.  They don't inform, they entertain.... or try to.  Most is more gossip than news.  FOX is propaganda laden gossip,  CNN (the station I can get) is gossip laden dribble.  They have all the Trump bot people who make absurd rationalizations about things he says and does and more left-leaning people who toss opposing sound bytes back.  It's all just stupid and angry and pointless.  (There are exceptions like Fareed Zakaria, who has guests who have actual conversations with content and information in them.)

I think what makes me craziest is that CNN continues to cover Trump as though he is rational, as though he knows or give a hoot about health care or anything else.  They cover the vacant photo ops of a man playing at being President as though he was anything more than a self-involved narcissist with the power to do enormous harm to the US and the world.  They hint at his lies and his fundamental incompetence but they won't go out on a limb and actually say that the Emperor has no clothes, that he doesn't understand or care to understand how health care works, that he doesn't understand history or government or the Constitution, that he has no ethics.  The right says everyone is picking on him? Nobody is really picking on him.  He, not the media or the left, has turned the Russia investigation into something that's all about him.  The media has helped him to do that, but the primary source of that distortion it the Paranoid, Distorter/Distractor in Chief.

The man is a disgrace. An embarrassment.  He shames and humiliates us in the eyes of the world.  The people who think he is going to save them are the ones who will pay the heaviest price for his dishonesty and cruelty.  The rich will thrive and the poor will get poorer.  The planet may pass it's tipping point.  Hate and bigotry are tacitly (and not so tacitly) encouraged.  Meanwhile the man who led the birther movement complains about people being mean to him.   Give me a break.

Where are Republicans of conscience?  They seem to share the President's disregard for truth.

I could just rant on and on, but I guess maybe I'll stop here.  I know many (assuming anybody finds and read this) will disagree with me.  That's fine.  We're still a free country, although I'm not sure we will remain that way if  Mr. Trump and his minions have their way.  Bullies don't like free speech.  Narcissists don't really care about the rights of other people.  They only care about themselves.