The world at war

We sometimes find ourselves in the middle of wars we don’t understand.  We can be under siege long before we even find out about the attempt to starve us into surrender.  Sometimes surrender is not enough, only by offering our lives will the blood debt be settled, if the enemy is implacable enough.  This has been going on for thousands of years, among Wise Apes, homo sapiens. 

At one time, within tribes, there were wise elders you could go to when you found yourself under attack by someone intent on destroying your good name and erasing you from society.  These elders would listen carefully, ask questions, pose other questions and broker peace, except when peace was impossible, in which case they’d render a judgment.   If you lyingly assassinated a fellow tribe member’s reputation you would be censured by the tribe, or sometimes sent packing.

Today we have a different system.  Nowadays we must rely on self-help.  Sometimes, we are told, we just have to suck it up if we find ourselves on the wrong end of somebody’s undying need to prevail, no matter what.   We either pretend everything is fine, or so much the worse for us if we still have the childish need to remain in pain, just because we were treated roughly, unfairly and told to suck it up and stop being a fucking baby.

Mel Brooks’s timeless truth about empathy comes to mind, when I think about others on the outskirts of the war, quietly taking the side of the righteous aggressor by taking no side:   Tragedy is when I break my fingernail.  Comedy is when you fall into a manhole and die. 

subway drawing

The mask mandate on the New York City subway is a bit squishy right now, they kind of recommend you wear a mask, but nobody will really make a fuss. It’s usually about 50% in each car wearing masks. Somehow this lady’s face on the A train the other night seemed to say it all to me, as I huffed into my mask.


Ron DeathSantis– cool dude

Heather Cox Richardson on strongman wannabe Ron DeathSantis:

This destructive storm highlights the distance between reality and the ideology that calls for getting rid of the federal government.

As a newly elected congress member in 2013, now-governor of Florida Ron DeSantis was one of the 67 House Republicans who voted against a $9.7 billion federal flood insurance assistance package for the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey. Now, with Florida on the ropes, DeSantis asked President Joe Biden for an emergency declaration to free up federal money and federal help even before the storm hit, and said Tuesday, “We all need to work together, regardless of party lines.” 

Heather then describes the hugely successful Republican push since Reagan to move wealth increasingly toward the already very wealthy and away from the average American

There is a direct correlation between growing economic inequality and the growing popularity of authoritarianism. Scholars of authoritarian systems note that a population that feels economically, religiously, or culturally dispossessed is an easy target for an authoritarian who promises to bring back a mythological world in which its members were powerful.

But, having lifted strongmen into power, they learn that they were only tools to put in place someone whose decisions are absolute and who is no longer bound by the law.

Got to work hard to get out the vote and make sure this Trump wannabe DeathSantis, overruling the will of Florida voters regarding former felons voting, with his armed “election integrity” goons intimidating voters, still loses reelection as Florida gauleiter [1]  by a million votes.

[1]  A Gauleiter was a regional leader of the Nazi Party who served as the head of a Gau or Reichsgau. Gauleiter was the third-highest rank in the Nazi political leadership, subordinate only to Reichsleiter and to the Führer himself. The position was effectively abolished with the fall of the Nazi regime on 8 May 1945.

MAGA= fight to the death

In order to ensure that the greatest former and future president in history has the final say, no matter what, loyal MAGA officials will do whatever he tells them to do, espouse anything he tells them to believe in.   It was a small shock at first to see a “principled” “moderate” “true conservative” like Mitt Romney (who once famously, if belatedly, took a stand and voted guilty on one article of impeachment against Trump after MAGA-man literally unleashed a lynch mob to try to overturn the 2020 election) vote with the rest of his party for united rejection of everything Biden looked for a bipartisan coalition to pass.   It’s just normal now.  If we can call it that.  Usual is a better word, or expected.

So F POTUS, who shut down his own government at one point, to get his way (very presidential, sir!) and who had the debt ceiling raised three times to pay for things he wanted government to pay for, has stamped his cloven hoof and told his MAGA followers in Congress that they better not piss him off by caving in to the partisan, sick, dangerous Radical Left Democrats who are destroying the nation he’s still working so hard to make great again.   

Here’s Heather Cox Richardson with the story about the looming fight to the death about raising the debt ceiling (and the alternative is the US defaulting on its debts, massive unemployment and a major recession) and the demand of the psychopathic god of the godless party of religious fanaticism.  The rest of her Letter from an American gives the historical parallel with the same scorched earth tactics used by the former Confederacy in 1879 — and how it came back to bite them in the 1880 election:

And yet, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who had voted to raise or suspend the debt ceiling 32 times in his career, said, “There is no chance, no chance the Republican conference will…help Democrats…resume ramming through partisan socialism.” His stand was in part because it was not clear he had the votes he needed to support an increase, even though establishment Republicans like McConnell were quite aware of the damage a default would create.

Driving the Republican stance was former president Trump, who pushed MAGA Republicans to use the threat of default to get what they want. “The way I look at it,” he wrote, “what the Democrats are proposing, on so many different levels, will destroy our country. Therefore, Republicans have no choice but to do what they have to do, and the Democrats will have no choice but to concede all of the horror they are trying to inflict upon the future of the United States.” Trump was not happy when McConnell backed down. He issued a statement blaming McConnell for “folding” and added, “He’s got all of the cards with the debt ceiling, it’s time to play the hand.”

The logic is so clear, so classic.  They hurt me.  Kill them all.  It was the final stand of one of F POTUS’s great heroes, Mr. Hitler, another master of five dimensional chess: if Germany lost the war they all deserve to die, for letting me, God’s chosen instrument, suffer an undeserved defeat because they are weak, unworthy of a leader like me and deserve to all die defending my corpse.  And so it was for many German boys, slaughtered at their posts as the Red Army and the Allied armies took Berlin the day Hitler shot his beloved dog, poisoned his wife and killed himself.  Insane fuckers fight to the death and beyond.

I can’t stop communicating

Some people, when they are hurt and in turmoil, keep themselves occupied every minute of the day, programming even their breaks so as not to allow time to reflect.   Reflecting means only more hurt and turmoil to this kind of person, so it makes sense to squeeze in an hour of strenuous exercise in between work and a social evening, and then whatever is next on the program.

In contrast, there are people like me.  If something is torturing me, I cannot stop my thoughts until I’ve worked out some way to make the pain stop.  The process involves communicating, with myself and others, to understand as much as I can about my predicament.   This is done by thinking, writing, reviewing and running it by people I respect.  It involves getting advice, feedback and insight from others, unless there is a privacy issue involving another person’s shame or anger that prevents me from sharing it with someone who knows them.  In that case I seek out someone who doesn’t know the party, and run it by them.  It is a very helpful, healing process, I find.  You hear things you never thought of, you see things from other perspectives, you learn new things, you get other things confirmed.  Importantly, you listen to things you may not want to hear sometimes.   Those things are sometimes the most helpful.   All of these things are the result of communication.

The thing Ive never been able to do is keep myself so busy, so programmed, that I don’t have time to focus on what is eating me from the inside.   I had a friend I’ve known since we were eight.  The guy loved me and told me frequently that I was his very best friend, that there was nobody else like me in his life.  I had fond feelings for him, having known him since we were boys.  His impulse to bend the truth when in a tight spot never bothered me, because I knew he couldn’t help it and his little untruths never unduly affected me.    Like his mother, who I know well (and God bless her sharpness at 95), he always runs what my father used to describe, referring to the mother’s frantic life, as a “full flight pattern”.  He meant that since so many planes were constantly taking off and landing in her mental airport it was impossible to concentrate on any one flight for more than a moment.

A full flight pattern prevents being present, you can’t be present, it’s too dangerous, all the planes will start to crash, thousands will be killed, it will instantly become an international scandal and all the fault of the distracted flight controller.

I called this guy a few months back, after a long period of estrangement.  Told him a few revelations I’d had since we last spoke three years earlier.  He told me I’d never left his life, that, odd though it might sound, he sees me in dreams quite regularly.  It’s truly like I never left.  He was happy to hear from me and promised to tell me his revelations next time we spoke.  It took a while.  About five or six weeks later, when he had an opening in his schedule, I asked him to tell me about his new revelations.

“I have no idea what those revelations could have been,” he said, the 6:02 coming in perilously close to the 5:57, with the 6:05 already on a dangerous trajectory.

Hub and Spoke RICO case against F POTUS and allies

The best explanation I’ve had for Merrick Garland’s slowness and longtime reticence about prosecuting F POTUS and his criminal associates was from Joyce Vance, many months ago. Vance, a former federal prosecutor, explained that the best way to prosecute all of these seditious creatures and take them off the political playing field is through a RICO prosecution. RICO is the racketeering law that Giuliani and others used to put away many of the top Mafia dons, their consiglieres and capos.

RICO is a powerful law, with long prison sentences. Vance pointed out that it’s not that hard to obtain convictions under RICO. The problem is if the case is not perfect and airtight, a good appellate lawyer will not have a hard time poking a hole and getting the entire conviction thrown out. Imagine fucking F POTUS and his gang being successfully prosecuted under RICO, getting long prison terms and then being sprung on appeal, having the entire prosecution tossed out. That would be devastating and the end of democracy.

So Vance pointed out that Garland has to work with extreme care to make sure there is not a weak link in his RICO case. This process typically takes a couple of years, she said, but it’s the best shot at taking down a gigantic criminal conspiracy. Garland knows he has one shot.

Recently Alex Wagner on MSNBC had an interview with a former prosecutor who has drawn a map of a likely RICO prosecution. All I can say is “damn!”. Look at the diagram and then watch the short segment. Then take solace in the fact that in this legal battle against lying zombie F POTUS and his zombie army of third rate lawyers, Garland has not made a false move or lost any significant motion in court. Garland has also made a few brilliant legal moves cutting directly through F POTUS’s most grotesquely muscular attempts to obstruct justice, his lifelong project. Now he has to indict, prosecute and convict gold plated Teflon Don.

A lie is more powerful than the truth, if needed

When someone is desperate, they will cling to a lie with the religious fervor of a martyred saint.   The lie, you see, is their rock and their foundation.  Without it, they are humiliated.  The lie protects their good name, their true intentions, their very value as human beings.  The lie becomes essential to their integrity and they will defend it as though their life depends on it.

Take the example of a woman married to a criminal.  She has been shocked and angered over and over by his criminal acts and the lies he told her to conceal them from her.  It is humiliating to her that he has never acknowledged being wrong — every “crime” he ever did was for her sake —  or asked for her forgiveness, even when his crimes, and the lies surrounding them, destroyed her dreams at the moment they were about to come true.  

Think about this scenario for a second.  If she ever said aloud what I just wrote above, how could she live with herself?  She couldn’t.  So… the lie!  It’s not her husband, it’s her fucking brother the self-righteous, unforgiving prick who is judging and torturing her entire family, always a threat to blow the lid off decades of carefully guarded shame.   He can’t keep anything secret, his mouth is an open faucet, he doesn’t care who he hurts with his pernicious moral uprightness.   He self-righteously hides behind “truth” when all he wants is to hurt people and feel virtuous being a sadistic piece of shit.

How do the sister and brother retain a relationship in this hostile situation?  They talk about books, movies, a little celebrity gossip, dogs, some commiserating about the political cesspool we are all bobbing in, their health.  Everything else, everything personal and important, is off the table.  The lie that her brother is a liar remains undisturbed. 

The brother tolerates this the best he can, which often is not very well.  His name is assassinated, since he is a threat to the children if he starts fucking blabbing and telling his precious “truth” to the kids.  The kids must be kept away from a destructive agenda-driven fuck like that. 

On the other hand, the brother must remain eternally patient, hopeful and generous.  If he ever shows frustration, or, god forbid, anger, he has shown his hand, proved the case against him and that’s the ballgame, ladies and gentlemen.

And so it goes.  You could say that a lie, if desperately needed, is more powerful than the truth.

fast, easy, tasty vegan recipe

Wash two zuchinis, cut ends off, leave skin on. Cut into thin strips. Peel and chop up a few cloves of garlic and a chunk of ginger.

Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet (we like avocado oil), over a fairly high flame (to sear and quick cook). When oil is hot drop in garlic and ginger. Stir continuouly. Add zuchini, stir well to coat with ginger and garlic.

Add small amount of soy sauce (contents of one take out soy sauce packet works for 2 medium zuchinis). Stir frequently.

Taste periodically. When cooked to taste, serve.